by Tracee Sioux
Our friends Jen and Aaron are in a health insurance nightmare. It's a predicament millions of American's face. They are middle-class. They work hard, they live within their means and are very frugal. Their situation merits attention because they are doing everything right, yet they find themselves in an impossible situation.
One of their twins has cerebral palsy and a seizure disorder. On Jlogged Jen talks about the nightmare she's been living in as a mother trying to advocate for her son. For a while they have benefited from SCHIPS, but now they make too much money to qualify for any programs. They've been being bounced back and forth between public programs due to clerical errors.
Too much to qualify doesn't equal ability to pay for the excessively high costs of health care. That's the rub.
My son is uninsurable. No insurance company will touch him with a ten foot pole. We make too much to get help, but not enough to cover catastrophic costs of health care. We aren’t poor enough. If my husband can find a job with group health insurance it will help, but it is still far from a perfect solution. Until then we are stuck. Our options are limited and all of them suck: a) get a divorce, b) lie, c) put my son in a state nursing home facility d.) go without insurance risking bankruptcy, and going without care that will effect my son for the rest of his life. None of these are acceptable, and this is what the richest country in the world has to offer the disabled children of America. It. Is. Sick.
There is a disconnect in this country about healthcare. I think those who are against universal care haven't received a true medical bill in quite some time. They are under the illusion that healthcare has remained reasonably affordable.
That, or they are insulated from the astronomical costs of healthcare. They are insulated either by good health or unusually high incomes.
If you think any American family could afford to carry the costs of a medical needs child on $50,000 ($12,000 higher than the median income) a year try this: Get out your budget. Add in $300 a month in maintenance medications. Add in $125 every week each for speech therapy and physical therapy. (Lucas is 5 and isn't speaking yet, whether or not he gets speech therapy now has a big impact on whether he will ever speak.) Then add in one life flight and hospital visit at $150,000.
The costs of medical care have exceeded the means of American families if they carry the burden alone. Yet, there is enough resources and wealth as a whole to provide care.
Go over to Jlogged to read more about her family's predicament.