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The future of Medicaid remains big concern for local beneficiaries

SEATTLE — With a health care overhaul possibly on the horizon, Medicaid beneficiaries are worried about the impact.

A local Seattle woman says Medicaid is the one big thing helping her to overcome poverty.

Kristina Sawyckyj has one passion in life.

“My number one goal is to graduate college,” Sawyckyj said.

But when you are homeless and in a wheelchair, just getting to class every day is a daunting process.

“There are times I've slept in my chair downtown in a doorway because I'm exhausted until the next paper is due the next day,” Sawyckyj said.

Other times she is sleeping in her van, a vehicle she’s called home for more than two and half years.

Amidst the chaos inside her van she points out what she is most proud of.

“This was my best grade in my class,” Sawyckyj said.

Her determination to excel would be nothing, Sawyckyj says, without Medicaid.

“I was attacked on active duty -- mine was from a military sexual trauma injury from 1987,” Sawyckyj said.

That sexual attack is what put her in a wheelchair.

“A lot of times my body will go out and I will go to the ground,” Sawyckyj said.

Sawyckyj claims the VA doesn’t offer her the specialized care she needs.

“There are medications not covered in the VA, they have a very strict formulary that they don’t go outside of,” Sawyckyj said.

In Washington state, 56,000 veterans get health care from Medicaid.

Sawyckyj fears a health care overhaul will take away her lifeline.

“It would derail my plan completely,” Sawyckyj said.

All the money she has goes to pay for school.

She’s hoping she won’t ever have to one day choose between school or health care.