#KeepKidsCovered

Medical care for children is suffering because of politics and it is driving me crazy.

Kids, who through no fault of their own, are born with certain conditions or have contracted certain illnesses are not getting the care they need in the greatest and richest country in the world.

This should never happen.

As I’ve said many times before, I’m in a special club, a club that no one ever wants to  be in.  It’s a club for parents of kids who are chronically ill.  I’m tapped into advocacy groups, medical news sources, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and I hear lots of stories.  Life for these families is always hard, juggling the needs of your child and the needs of your family, doctors appointments, medical bills, school accommodations like IEPs and 504s, prescription medicines and medical device procurement.  A lot of these kids qualify for special medicaid programs that help parents get the care they need for their child, but I can tell you, the process is long and infuriating.  I have my master’s degree, I do research for a living, and I can tell you that the powers that be make the forms and the process as difficult as possible to get benefits for your child.  I joke, though it’s not funny, that I have spent years of my life on the phone with ombudsmen, insurance companies, government offices, and pharmacies.

Parents have enough to worry about if their kid is sick.  They shouldn’t worry about if their health insurance is going to go away too.

Maybe you don’t know about your Medicaid programs, that’s ok.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has designed a program called #KeepKidsCovered.  You can click on it and see what your state is doing for Medicaid.

If you’re so inclined, you can also write to the secretary of Health and Human Services in support of the Affordable Care Act.  His name is Tom Price and you can write him something like this (or you can cut and paste this):

Dear Secretary Price,

We are one nation, and we take care of our children, especially the sick and vulnerable ones.  Please keep provisions in the Affordable Care Act to protect chronically and terminally ill children, including keeping them on their parents’ insurance until they are 26, eliminating the lifetime cap,  and not allowing insurance companies to drop their parents because the child has a life threatening illness.  Please also protect the chidren who need Medicaid, the program that keeps them healthy so they can become productive members of society.

You are responsible to keep this country healthy.  These provisions will help.

Thank you,

Your name

Your address

Here’s his address:

Secretary Tom Price,

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

Somewhere along the line, we lost sight of the fact that our country is just one big community and we need to help each other.  Who wouldn’t spend a few extra pennies on their taxes to make sure that kids are medically taken care of.  I don’t know a single person who says, “No, it doesn’t matter, let that kid suffer.”  So WHY ARE WE HAVING THIS BATTTLE?

Please write to Tom Price, and your senators, and your congressman.  Please print ten out and have a party and invite your friends.  Please share this post wildly.  We are the people who make a difference so that kids stay healthy.

Even the poor ones.  Even the sick ones.   Even the weak ones.