Boardman family heading to D.C. to talk Medicaid importance

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Boardman family has been asked to go to Washington D.C. and meet with lawmakers this week. They’ll be talking about the importance of Medicaid programs as representatives of the advocacy program Speak Now For Kids.

And there’s good reason the Benson’s are doing so.

A few days after Bridget Benson was born, doctors told her family she had CHARGE syndrome, which is a rare genetic disease.

A Boardman family has been asked to go to Washington D.C. and meet with lawmakers this week. They'll be talking about the importance of Medicaid programs as representatives of the advocacy program Speak Now For Kids.
Bridget Benson was born with CHARGE syndrome, which is a rare genetic disease.

“With that syndrome, she had multiple birth defects, which required surgeries,” mother Kim Benson said. “And we had to see specialists, an ENT, gastrointestinal, pulmonologist — and they were just all there at the Cleveland Clinic.”

Bridget must take her nutrition through a tube and she can’t see or hear on the left side of her body. But she’s overcome many obstacles with the help of services provided by Medicaid.

“We do have private insurance,” father Josh Benson said. “But when you have kids like Bridget, they max out every deductible, every co-insurance, every single year. So some of those co-pays and co-insurance, the Medicaid does pick up part of that for us.”

Bridget loves to learn and read, but she can’t go to a regular day care. So the program covers part-time nursing care at home so the Benson’s can work.

But Congress is debating cutting Medicaid and healthcare programs.

The Cleveland Clinic asked the Benson’s to go to Washington and talk about the impact that would have.

“Primarily, Medicaid and some of the changes that are going through Congress right now, that affects families like ours,” John Benson said.

Bridget says she’s excited to go on the trip and wants to help.

The Benson’s leave for their trip on Tuesday. They’re scheduled to meet with Senator Rob Portman and other lawmakers.