Transplant Taken Away

Tiffany Tate was told by the state of Arizona that Medicaid will no longer cover her double lung transplant. CBS

Tiffany Tate was told by the state of Arizona that Medicaid will no longer cover her double lung transplant.
CBS

This was one of the most difficult interviews I have done in a long time.

When a 27-year-old looks you in the eye and says she is going to die, there is not much you can say. You have to carry on with the interview while your heart is breaking for her. However, no matter how hard it was for me to talk to her about it, Tiffany Tate's struggle is exponentially tougher and what really matters.

She has Cystic Fibrosis and has just 25 percent lung capacity left. Unless she gets a double lung transplant, she will die.

Arizona Medicaid Cuts Transplants for Budget

Donate to Tiffany Tate

She told us, "I'm scared to know I won't get it and if I don't get it, I'm going to die. There's no way around it. That's the harsh truth." 

It is a truth made all the more harsh knowing that Tiffany was on the transplant list and Arizona had agreed to pay for her it because Tiffany qualifies for the state version of Medicaid. Because of her pre-existing condition, she cannot get private insurance (the federal health care law will change that but not until 2014). She also can't work a full-time job because of her lung capacity issues.

However, as of October 1,  Arizona no longer pays for certain organ transplants. This was a cost cutting move that will save 1.4 million dollars. Yet that is just 1/10th  of 1percent of the state's $825 million budget deficit. 

98 other people waiting for transplants will not get them unless they pay for it themselves. Tiffany's procedure could cost nearly $300,000. She is raising money knowing she may not be able to wait until the legislature reconsiders transplant funding.

If you want to help Tiffany or have any resources for her, check out her Facebook page here. 



  • Ben Tracy

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