My sweet boy turned 5 this week. As such, he is no longer eligible for services from WIC, a Federal program that provides nutrition and nutrition counseling to pregnant mothers and children under the age of 5. This is not a program for poor people. You can make $60,000 and have a child on WIC. We sought it out when N. was put on a formula that cost more than $300 a month to purchase.
So we have already found other options to help offset the high cost of N’s nutritional needs, but many of my special needs mom friends are worried. Some of their boys are tube fed. As such, they don’t supplement with formula, as we do. Formula is their child’s primary sustenance, and costs more than a thousand dollars per month. Just to eat! This does not include medical equipment or therapies or doctor visits.
Most of these moms have had to purchase their kid’s food supplies out of pocket this month while WIC is shut down. And most of these moms consider themselves middle class. They can do this for a month or two. But then what? $1000 a month for one child’s food is not sustainable. Not for anyone I know.
Then there’s Medicaid. Most people with significant disabilities are on Medicaid, again because of the massive costs of doctors, surgeries, therapies and medications. No typical American family can afford a special needs child. And yet, we all want to do everything we can to keep our kids healthy.
Medicaid comes from the state and coverage varies greatly, depending on where you live. But the states get money from the Fed to help with this. So how long does this shut-down drag on before my child’s services are cut?
I know Federal workers are hurting. It is shameful to ask these hard-working people to show up every day as their bills pile up. But they aren’t the only ones. A lot of people in this country are suffering for a political stunt. And some of those are vulnerable children.