In 1981, three and a half-year old Katie Beckett caught the attention of President Ronald Reagan. Katie had contracted viral encephalitis as an infant and as a result required a mechanical ventilator to help her breathe. Her parents wanted to take her home from the hospital where she had lived since infancy, but Medicaid would fund her care only if she remained in the institution. Therefore Katie remained in the hospital, which cost the public approximately $10,000 more per month than home care.

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