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Wisconsin Family Stays Together With Help From Medicaid

While Medicaid is best known as a health care program for poor people, more than 80 percent of its budget goes to care for elderly people, disabled people and children.
Ben Gapinski, 10, (center) is greeted by his parents Dan and Nancy Gapinski after getting off the school bus. When Ben was a toddler, he was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and needed constant monitoring to stay safe. Source: Sara Stathas for NPR

Nancy and Dan Gapinski of Glendale, Wis., remember a time when they couldn't really communicate with their own son.

"He used to not really have any kinds of conversations with us. He did a lot of echoing things that we said, and scripting from movies," Nancy Gapinski says as she and her husband wait for their son Ben's school bus to arrive. "A lot of times kids didn't know how to respond to him then, and didn't know what he was trying to say and conversations wouldn't really go anywhere."

But that's all changed. On a recent Friday afternoon, 10-year-old Ben hops off the bus, greets both his

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