Woman says Medicaid expansion could save her life - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Woman says Medicaid expansion could save her life

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

51-year-old Carol Alexander worked most every day of her adult life until last May when the chronic lung condition COPD finally forced her to quit.

"I have 25 percent lung capacity and this oxygen is the only thing that sustains me everyday," said Alexander.

With the job went her health insurance.

 Carol was approved for a disability benefit of $855 a month, just enough in Texas to disqualify her for Medicaid.

 With no coverage her access to life preserving medicine and oxygen has been cut-off.
 "I have no safety net, barely have any oxygen. It could be taken from me any day," said Alexander.

 Carol is among an estimated 2 million Texans who would automatically gain coverage if the state would expand Medicaid under President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

 "Why is there no medical coverage for those who have worked all they're life?," asked Alexander.

But Governor Rick Perry says investing $15 Billion state dollars to access $100 billion federal dollars is a bad deal that taxpayers can't afford.

He is now the only Governor among the most populous states who thinks so.

"He's getting pressure from across the board county leaders, local leaders, members of hospital corporations, hospital boards, people with private insurance, employers everybody is pressuring Rick Perry to accept the deal and I think he wants to, but he needs the Obama administration to allow him to save face," said Mark Jones, chairman of Political Science at Rice University.

For Carol Alexander, the stakes couldn't be higher.

"I'll lose my life," she said her voice cracking with emotion.
 
 Raising her 4 year-old grandson Elijah entirely alone, Alexander's attached to an oxygen generating machine 24/7. 

With her last tank empty and no money to re-place the contents, she's a prisoner in her own home. For Rick Perry she has a simple question:  "How can you work all your life for something and end up with nothing?"

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