Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

New Health Care Proposals; a Time for Action

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

New Health Care Proposals; a Time for Action

Article excerpt

A Time For Action

Providing adequate health care has come to receive serious attention from everyone - from individuals to families to large corporations to our legislative bodies. Even the American Medical Association, which has traditionally worried about changing methods of providing care and paying for them, has issued a report supporting better planning and a new way of doing business.

Parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs know all too well:

* the limits of the best health insurance plans;

* that the costs to meet the health care needs of their

* child may far exceed their coverage;

* how their child and family may be considered uninsurable

because of a "pre-existing condition";

* that hospital bills can bankrupt any family;

* that very few families can afford the costs of

extensive care;

* that the only way to qualify for care may be to

declare poverty, and that such care itself is often

impoverished;

* that inpatient care may be fully covered while care

by parents at home is not;

* that a parent can be trapped in a job for fear of

losing health insurance coverage by moving on;

* that important mobility or communication equipment

may not be covered because it is not medically

necessary;

* that even when a child's needs appear to be covered

by health insurance, parents are told to accept

the lowest-priced alternative regardless of whether

or not the child's actual needs will be met;

* that parents need to spend valuable time and energy

creating stories so that needed help qualifies for

reimbursement;

* that the future may be worse and needs may go

unmet.

In fact, many parents of children with disabilities have been victimized by the so-called health care system for so long and so often that many have become numbed. They feel overwhelmed and powerless in the midst of forces far beyond their personal control.

And now, providing adequate health care coverage is receiving serious attention on many fronts:

* from the government leaders asked to allocate

limited resources;

* from corporations, large and small, who can no

longer support health care plans for employees a

remain competitive;

* from well-intentioned health care providers who

cannot deliver the care they know is needed;

* from administrators adrift in a sea of paperwork;

* from major media reports and comparisons with

other countries who appear to be able to deliver so

much more for so much less;

* from individual citizens who have begun to appreciate

that every citizen is vulnerable and that

health care is not someone else's problem - as

they have struggled to pay higher and higher costs. …

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