“If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make”

+1000 to Jimmy Kimmel.

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 preexisting condition…

If your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a preexisting condition. Babies shouldn’t die when surgery can save them.. It shouldn’t matter how much money you make.

His comments on health reform and preexisting conditions are here. His newborn son’s heartwarming story is below. My favorite line is simple: “We need to take care of each other.”

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect, tnr.com, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

3 thoughts on ““If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make””

  1. My recurring nightmare during the bad old days didn't even get to the question of whether our son would be eligible for insurance on his own. His NICU bill alone (doctors, medications and any other interventions bill separately) was north of $125K. So another serious episode of pretty much anything and you could be looking at hitting his lifetime treatment cap. We were lucky, but plenty of really sick privately-insured preemies used to hit that cap before they even left the hospital.

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