A Newborn Baby’s Experience Tells The Story: Health Care Policy Effects All of Us

Anyone who has needed to use their health care policy to remain healthy, get care for a health condition, or plan to use their health insurance is faced with a challenge. Most of Americans agree that health care is a right, not a privilege and we all want access to it. We believe most agree that we don’t want to go back to the terrible place where people are denied health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition.

However, we still have a lot of work to do, because small businesses in America are being penalized with ever increasing insurance rates because something unplanned or catastrophic fell on one or more of the business’s employees and insurance rates are increasing in an exponential manner for these families who subscribe to the business’s plan.

Jimmy Kimmel highlighted some of these issues last night in his monologue as he told the tale of his son’s birth last week with a congenital heart defect. He decried the idea that anyone should be denied access to health insurance and to coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, about which President Trump has been unclear. Many people are concerned about the loss of such coverage, and Mr. Kimmel captured their fears:

We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago, millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all. Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. You were born with a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition.

If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”
“This isn’t football,” Mr. Kimmel added. “There are no teams. We are the team, it’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants.”

Kimmel began his monologue describing how incredibly, his baby boy was identified by a nurse to have a life-jeapordizing heart murmur during her routine assessment a few hours after his birth.

An example of excellence that those of us working in health care are trained to provide. This is set in motion daily in countless ways and in countless places. Without funding for education, opportunity for astute assessment and quick action diminish exponentially. We need to support continued funding to assure training so that all health care professionals function with full competency and capacity.

Kimmel also congratulated Congress on doing the right thing in not decreasing, but increasing funding for medical research for the National Institute of Health, rather than decreasing the funding by billions as President Trump proposed.

All is not fixed. There is much work to do. Cost of health care continues to increase, especially for those who have needed to use the benefits. Share your story. Contact your legislator. Keep the conversation going.

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