"Shemar is my 18-year-old brother. I am six years older than him. Shemar is a Senior in high school who loves to play the ukulele in his free time. After graduating, Shemar plans to go to Midlands Tech and transfer to Clemson University. Shemar is a great student and a great brother. Shemar is very kindhearted and has compassion for everyone he encounters. We affectionately call Shemar “Google” because of how knowledgeable he is in regard to random facts." - Shatari Dunmore
Shatari: Can you tell me what it means for you to have Medicaid and how it has made a difference in your life?
Shemar: It means a lot. I have a disorder called Sickle Cell, and it affects a lot in my life. If I didn't have health coverage, I wouldn't know where I would be right now. And I also have some other health struggles, like OCD, and Depression, and I don't even think that I would be here today without my Medicaid coverage.
Shatari: Can you elaborate on what you mean by like you wouldn't be here without Medicaid?
Shemar: I've gone through some stuff. Some stuff that without the right help that I could get with Medicaid, I probably would've been long gone.
Shatari: So, how has Medicaid helped with what you need, the healthcare?
Shemar: I have about 6 doctors that I go to at least yearly, some I go to about 3 times a month, one I go to weekly, and without the healthcare coverage I don't think that my family would be able to pay that. And I also take multiple medications a day, I don't know how we would be able to pay for the medications that I need.
Shatari: So, have you ever experienced any challenges while getting on Medicaid or while having it, like with your doctors or do you feel you were treated differently because you're a Black man while you know going to the doctor or anything?
Shemar: I wouldn’t really know anything about getting the coverage because I'm under mom’s plan so, that would be more of a question I would need to ask her. But I do think that I've been discriminated against some, not really because I have Medicaid, but because I'm Black. And it's just a crazy thing to go through, especially when you don't feel the best.
Shatari: Can you elaborate on what you mean by you feel discriminated against because you're Black?
Shemar: I, sometimes, with like my Sickle Cell, it feels like people don't really believe how bad I'm hurting. But my doctors they're always great. But, if I go to an ER I kinda feel like I'm not taken seriously, and then with mental health side, I don't feel taken seriously at all sometimes. But my doctors that I have now they're all great.
Shatari: What would you say to State leaders about Medicaid Expansion
Shemar: Just listen to the people that need it because this is a very important thing to have. People need it, I'm a living example for who needs it and it's very important. Just listen please.