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Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Real Voices: Your Weekly Dose from the HCFA Helpline

Real Voices: Your Weekly Dose from the HCFA Helpline

December 21, 2008

Every week we highlight the voices of real people that contact our Helpline every day. Once a week you will be introduced to a family whose life has changed for the better due to health reform. If you or anyone you know needs assistance applying for free or low-cost health care coverage, please contact our Helpline online, or call 1-800-272-4232. Here’s this week’s story:

Barbara was born with a health condition called hip dysplasia, causing severe pain which affects her life in many ways. She works as a secretary at a landscape company and is a 22-year-old single mother. She can’t walk well unless she takes a high number of very expensive medications.

She had been uninsured for two years and suffering without the medications that allow her to function normally when she was helped by a counselor at the Helpline. A few weeks after she filled out an application over the phone, she started her Commonwealth Care health insurance coverage and was finally able visit a specialist to take care of her health issues.

Barbara has been in treatment ever since. Pain medication is keeping her comfortable until her surgery scheduled for next month. She will have a hip replacement and the chance of success of her surgery is 98%. She is so excited about her new hip and stresses the important roll that Health Care For All played in helping her through the whole process. Here is what Barbara has to say:

“We are so lucky to be Massachusetts residents. My daughter is 1 year-old and she was born with the same problem I have. But thank to all the health care we receive, her health condition was diagnosed as soon as she was born and she had all the care necessary to fix her hips before she started having severe problems. She used a harness for a period of 4 months which helped to cure her problem. And through MassHealth she has the opportunity to go to the doctor for regular checkups until her situation is normalized. So I couldn’t be happier about the health reform in Massachusetts and all the assistance and care I receive every time I call the helpline.”

Monika Lira Malhoit