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One Child: Why We Must Protect Everyone's Health-care
I rarely invite guest posts, but this is a special case...an individual case with national implications. Please listen to Ellen McLean, who sent me and other family friends this email--which I thought needed much wider distribution.: ..........................................................................
So Romney announces he'd keep parts of Obamacare like insuring those with pre-existing conditions with David Gregory on the Sunday morning show and then within hours he is "clarified" by one of his minions.
I am the grandmother of an absolutely adorable little boy named Daniel. He has CHARGE syndrome which means he spent the first five months of his life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. He's had eleven operations and has maintained a mostly cheerful attitude the whole time. He was born with a mess of "pre-existing conditions" including half formed semicircular canals in his ears (causes both deafness and lack of internal balance), breathing difficulties that necessitated a trach along with oxygen at night and various inhalent treatments morning and night. He's fed thru a tube in his tummy from a backpack he can wear while moving about.
Any messing with Obamacare is regarded by everyone in our family as a direct attack on this child. He's already blown thru most insurance companies' lifetime limits. He is a walking pre-existing condition and we are damned grateful he's learned to walk. We want him to stay alive and I'm not about to let any politician claim how pro-life they are and cast a vote to hurt or kill Daniel.
Elizabeth here, adding to Ellen's original email. Daniel's parents knew he would be disabled before he was born: CHARGE syndrome is detectable before birth. They chose not to terminate the pregnancy, something Romney and the GOP claim is the only moral choice. But now that Daniel is alive...Romney and the GOP--the Teabaggers, Rush Limbaugh, all the rest--have no interest in helping to keep Daniel alive and thriving. Both Daniel's parents work at good jobs--something many parents don't have. Both have insurance....but insurance has limits, as all parents of children with serious disabilities have found out. To the insurance company, such families are a liability--they cost money and lower profits. Children like Daniel exceed the limits before they ever reach school age.
Romney--the The GOP would let them die--and blame the parents. Because although they'd force every woman to bear every child conceived in her body, they don't do a damn thing to help with the medical care, or education, or housing, or anything else...never mind if the parents can't get insurance because the child was born that way--never mind if the parents can't get a job, or can't afford the cost of treatment for the child. They should have been rich.
Daniel is just as human as he was in his mother's womb. He didn't become non-human, and thus (as some Republicans have described fellow citizens not in the 1%) an "animal." He didn't become any less a human body, a human soul, just because he was born, and costs money. Failure to cover pre-existing conditions like Daniel's...like my own mother's renal disease...like the aftermath of trauma from being hit by a drunk driver...means condemning real live people--living, breathing, growing, often working--to suffering and death.
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This essay ©2012 Elizabeth Moon, Ellen McLean