Medicaid is Truly a Lifeline for this Oregonian

“I probably wouldn’t be alive.”

That was Pam Terpin’s response when asked where she would be without Medicaid.

“I depend on the medication and the ability to have a doctor,” said Terpin, a resident of Gold Beach.

She says the coverage she gets from Medicaid helps her cope with a long list of health issues including high blood pressure, a leaky heart valve that has led to two heart attacks, diabetes, and COPD. Pam has had 19 surgeries since 1985.
Her health struggles have prevented Terpin from working since 2010, and that means financial struggles as well. She says “there’s no way I could buy insurance and pay for the prescriptions” if she didn’t have Medicaid coverage. Terpin says making ends meet is a constant battle; she lives on SSI checks, plus food stamps and trips to the food bank.

Terpin is 63, so she doesn’t qualify for Medicare for two years. The coverage she gets from Medicaid takes care of a long list of medications. She’s had 19 different surgeries performed since 1985, including a triple heart bypass in 1999.

Despite the difficulties, Pam has a cheerful disposition, and says she’s grateful to be able to spend time with friends. Terpin is also grateful for her number one fan, a Yorkie named Max.

She also appreciate the gorgeous scenery of the southern Oregon coast. “When the weather permits, I walk a lot,” she said. “I enjoy this beautiful place.”