BECKETT WAIVER: Legacy Continued

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The life and impact of Iowan Katie Beckett is being remembered.

Katie died on May 18th at the age of 34.

Family and friends held a funeral this morning in Cedar Rapids.

While she is gone, her legacy lives on; Katie helped pave the way for the way for in-home care for those with disabilities.

After a childhood illness left her on a respirator, Katie Beckett couldn’t go home to be cared for because Medicaid would only pay for a hospital stay.

However, Beckett’s family wouldn’t take no for an answer.

They fought for a change in the law that led to the “Katie Beckett Waiver.”

Under it, Medicaid would pay for in-home care for disabled children.

The Cook’s of Ankeny are among those benefiting from the “Beckett Waiver.”

Steve’s 28-year-old daughter Lucy has intellectual disabilities.

He credits the Medicaid Waiver for making a big difference in her life.

“I can’t imagine how many young adults and older adults with disabilities have been helped by this program that she initiated what a tremendous legacy to give to people with disabilities,” says Steve Cook.

Lucy is able to live independently at an apartment with the help of the organization Candeo.

And it’s living that independent life that gives her Dad peace of mind.

“One of these days she’s going to be 40, 50, 60 and I won’t be here for her, so you have to look at this in a broader perspective what does this do. If this gets her into the community, if this helps her get a job, if this program allows to spread her wings and fly and lead a much more enriching life that’s better than Dad could do,” says Cook.

The federal law took effect in 1982.

Currently more than 11,000 Iowa children are enrolled in the program.

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