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Health-Care Crisis

Thanks to Jonathan Freedman for his two-part series, “No Care Mothers--No Hope Babies,” (Commentary, May 15-16). It was a good start at touching on the health-care crisis we presently have in this state, as well as country. What he failed to point out was that even insured babies can be doomed by the system.

My children were planned and born into an insured, loving environment. When my eldest daughter was 3, she was operated on for a blocked kidney. One can hardly find the words to describe the range of emotions a parent goes through when something of that magnitude happens to her child. The only thing that allowed us some peace of mind was that we had good health coverage, which enabled her the best care available. Little did we realize that the true crisis was yet to begin.

Today, four years later, our daughter happily runs and plays, her world filled with kittens, school and friends. Today, we, her parents, face having her uninsured. Our insurance company has raised our rates 100% every year, to the current rate of $9,000 a year. And looming ahead--$18,000?

We have a stack of rejection letters from other health insurers. They will insure everyone but our eldest. She cannot qualify for Medi-Cal because they take into account her parents’ salary. Ironically, our taxes help fund this. Unfortunately she (we) are neither rich enough to continue paying what amounts to blackmail, nor poor enough to qualify for assistance.

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Health rights are survival rights. There are no easy answers. Politicians often use the phrase “the children are our future.” But where is their future without the right to medical care? We need to be advocates for the basic rights of all children or we end up with a separatist, discriminatory state. Children caught in the bind of “pre-existing” conditions face a dark, uncertain future.

KATHLEEN RENSHAW-HARVEY

Leucadia


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