Medicaid helps get entrepreneur back to work

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David Elkin is a hardworking entrepreneur by nature. His most recent venture was a food cart, Bacon PDX, located at the Rose City Food Park on NE Sandy and 52nd. It was hard work, up to 14 hours a day, but he enjoyed the camaraderie and running his own business.

Elkin, age 59, has qualified for Medicaid coverage since 2014.

Two summers ago, Elkin said the repetitive motions of the business caused him to develop severe tendinitis in his elbow. “The doctor said physical work is not your thing,” he said. Elkin sold the cart, and has been in the process of making the transition to inside work where he could put his MBA to use.

Then last June Elkin began to feel extreme pain in his left calf. He had it checked and learned from his physician that he was suffering from PAD – peripheral artery disease. He needed surgery, a femoral artery bypass. Elkin also knew that without his Medicaid coverage, he was looking at a medical bankruptcy.

The surgery at Legacy Emanuel was successful, and now Elkin says “I feel great. Before the surgery, I could not walk 150 yards before my calf would really be hurting me. Now, I’m out twice a day walking a mile or more.”

He’s grateful to his doctors, but he’s also grateful to Medicaid. “If it hadn’t been for Care Oregon, I would be laid up with very few opportunities,” said Elkin. “My health would have continued to slide. Eventually I might have needed an amputation,” he said.

Elkin says the improvements in his health will help him get back into the workforce, hopefully in finance. “I’m trying to get to work again, and contribute to society,” he said. “I don’t want to feel like a burden. I want to give back.”

There are thousands of stories like this one, of people depending on Medicaid for their health, for their productivity, for their lives. Click here to join the fight to protect Medicaid in Oregon.