Edinburg family struggles with health care debate

It TMs been a long, hard road for Elidia Villa and her husband Antonio. Last September, the Edinburg man was diagnosed with throat cancer that eventually spread to his nose. The cancer has left him unable to eat solid food and barely able to speak. He told Action 4 News that he goes in for chemotherapy treatments every month but is not even sure if they are working.

Like so many other Americans, Antonio does not qualify for Medicare. For a short time he had emergency Medicare, but that service stopped when he started to receive Social Security. "Once he started getting the check they took the emergency Medicare away because he's already receiving that check," said Antonio TMs nephew Sergio Cuevas. Cuevas said his uncle is unable to receive the care that he needs without Medicare.

Antonio's chemo treatments are $300 each treatment not to mention the hundreds of dollars in medication and special food he needs to survive. On top of that, one of his hospital bills totals over $64,000 and for a 14-day stay.

The family said they are struggling to stay afloat. In addition to their bills, a tube Antonio uses to get liquid into his body has not been changed in five months and his wife fears it could give him an infection. Antonio's story is no different than thousands of Americans who face this same problem everyday.

Even though Congress continues to debate this issue Elidia said it is time for them to do something|because people need help. "Please help us," said Elidia. "Look at him...he doesn't have the will to get up!" Antonio, who spent all of his life working hard to earn a living said, "We worked all of our lives and now that we need help we can't get it. We don't want promises." "As much as you want to move forward and be positive...and keep my uncle with that motivation to keep going forward... you can only do so much with is actions that count," said Cuevas. But for this family and so many others they will continue to wait for action.