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Hanover woman to join Casey for State of the Union

A Hanover woman will be joining U.S. Sen. Bob Casey for the State of the Union address.

Anna Corbin was asked to join Casey, D-Pa., for President Donald Trump's State of the Union Address Tuesday, Jan. 30.

She has two children, both diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, who rely on Medicaid to address the costs of their medical needs.

During a conference call Tuesday, Casey said he was bringing Corbin as his guest because Republicans had tried "decimating" Medicaid in 2017.

"The president could put a stop to that, and he has a chance to do that tonight," he said.

Sen. Bob Casey, left, sits next to Hanover resident Anna Corbin. Casey invited Corbin to attend the State of the Union address with him Tuesday, Jan. 30. Photo courtesy of the Office of Senator Bob Casey.

Corbin: Corbin's children, Jackson, 12, and Henry, 9, were diagnosed with Noonan syndrome in 2008.

Noonan syndrome affects multiple parts of the body and can cause unusual facial features, short stature, heart defects, bleeding problems and skeletal malformations, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

Corbin said that before their children's diagnosis, she and her husband lived in a pretty happy place in the middle class, and they were pursuing their dreams.

"Those dreams were put on the back burner," she said. Corbin quit her job to take care of her two children.

Corbin said the medical bills were devastating to her family's financial situation.

Medicaid: Corbin said she was taking her children to Baltimore for treatment, and it wasn't until 2012 that she found out that her children qualified for Medicaid.

“We spent nearly four years in almost poverty trying to cover the costs of the expenses for the boys,” she said.

Medicaid brought them back to the middle class, and Corbin said it completely improved their quality of life.

“Medicaid didn’t only give our family health care to the boys ... it contributed to our livelihood, it allowed us to begin feeding our children healthier," she said.

Corbin is afraid of what will happen if people don't have access to Medicaid.

"I've already been there ... I know what that will be like," she said.

Casey said in all Republican health care bills presented last year, Medicaid was "decimated." 

“We need bipartisan efforts led by the president to bring down costs and cover more people,” the senator said.

Opioids: In addition to Medicaid, Casey also mentioned that he would like the president to address the opioid epidemic.

The senator described the crisis as one of the worst epidemics in 100 years.

He said it doesn't have to be a federal solution but rather a commitment to support local governments and their efforts to fight the epidemic.

"The only encouraging news here on this horrific challenge is that people on the local level know what to do," he said.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.