AL) Nick's crusade has conquered Medicaid. It's exciting news for a
young mobile man who made history on Tuesday. He'll continue to receive
at home nursing care beyond his 21st birthday. NBC 15 has exclusively
followed Nick's crusade from the very beginning.
feel like their should be streamers and confetti and a band
playing," says Nick's mother, Ruth Belasco.
describes the pride she feels for her son nick.
glad I won," Nick says.
his small frame strapped to a wheelchair, Nick Dupree strolled out of
the massive federal courthouse in Montgomery victorious and a winner.
In a case of David verses Goliath, Nick defeated Alabama Medicaid.
of the care ending just because I turn a day older, it will
continue," he says.
who has a rare form of muscular dystrophy, was due to lose his "at
home" nursing care on his 21st birthday, which is a week and a
half away. But before Tuesday's hearing, the Federal Government
approved a new program for a small group of Alabama Medicaid patients
which would extend at home nursing care for people with extreme
disabilities. The new waiver would help 30 people this year.
really happy that I could make medicaid save 29 other people," Nick
says. "I'm happy about that."
is about one person advocating to the Government and petitioning the
Government over a number of years," says Nick's Lawyer, Larry
Menafee, "and I also applaud the press that's enabled that to
WPMI followed us was really important," Ruth says, "and I
don't understand why other people didn't jump in. Although I bet they
Nick's crusade is not through. He will continue to fight. He says this
is just the tip of the ice burg.
going to make it my life's work to continue with this until every
person with disabilities in America has what they need," he says.
while Nick was learning his fate in Montgomery, a small group of
supporters gathered in Washington. outside of the White House on Nick's
2 year crusade overcame many steep obstacles and powerful opposition.
But Nick kept going. He took his fight to the state capital and Federal
Court and now, for the first time, Nick knows his 21st birthday will be
a celebration, not a vigil.
lawyers will review the details of Medicaid's new program. If
satisfied, they will drop the lawsuit against the Governor and
Medicaid's commissioner. Meanwhile, the program goes into effect on
February 22nd, the day before Nick turns 21, which was when he was due
to lose his at home nursing care.