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Cuts to Pediatric Program Affects Local Teen

Paul Crate from News Chief

A local teenager is in Washington D.C. today to talk with legislators about how their decisions affect his health care.

17-year-old Hunter Ratcliffe had a heart transplant when he was six weeks old. He is still a patient at the All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

This hospital receives funding for its Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education program. This federal program trains half of all pediatricians in the U.S.

But its funding continues to be cut.

Ratcliffe said cuts to programs like this and programs like Medicaid affect him.

"Me and my other friends at the All Children's Hospital won't have any real Medicaid for us," he said,  "and our medicines will rapidly increase and we probably won't be able to afford them."

Medicaid provides health coverage for 1 in 3 children.

The News Chief  featured Ratcliffe in a story here.

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