Medical assistance vital

In response to the article “Doctor: Medicaid takes away dignity” Altoona Mirror Feb. 7, 2013:

It’s easy to feel embarrassed using food stamps. I’ve been there. With a pregnant wife and working as much as medical school would allow, I couldn’t afford the basic necessities. I wouldn’t have been able to buy diapers for my baby.

Talk about a loss of dignity! Thankfully, medical assistance was there as a bridge. It wasn’t perfect, but I was able to finish my schooling.

By refusing the feds’ help, Gov. Corbett is turning his back on our fellow Pennsylvania residents who need it most, the working poor. Many lose everything due to medical bills, and then we pick up the whole tab.

As a physician, I’ve seen the good public assistance can do and how lack of access to care harms whole families.

Trust me: Sometimes people need Medicaid. Used properly it’s a hand up, not a hand out – and, to me, a lot more dignified than losing a home and living on the street.

Dan Johnson