My ‘pre-existing’ experience: Ailing prognosis on Trump Administration’s new medical listing

In 1986 when my twin son was a few months old, he was refused coverage by our medical insurance company because he had a pre-existing condition. As a result, the Atlanta neurologist who — bi-weekly — reviewed and offered diagnosis for our son based on his EEG lab work, always provided us with a per visit invoice of $1,000.00.

Being denied medical care in the United States because of pre-existing conditions or due to stiff insurance premium hikes, is wrong.

It was wrong in 1986. It is wrong in 2017.  John Kimbrough had a pre-existing condition. His birth caused a severe umbilical hernia.  Upon his delivery by C-Section, the first born of the twins was  whisked away from the delivery room due to my high risk pregnancy and anticipated difficult birth. The second twin, Jocelyn, was born with respiratory issues that were resolved within minutes.

John was fortunate. A surgeon who specialized in intestinal procedures with infants, missed his flight home to Asia and was on-call when John arrived in the surgical room. John lived and his surgery that resulted in a star placed where his belly button should be, has been a blessing. Now nearing 31 years of age,  John is a young man who withstood bacterial meningitis at age 3 months that resulted in Petit Mal seizures, which left him with partial hearing loss and ultimately, he completely lost his eye sight.

When John’s sight completely left his last functioning eye, we took him to the hospital and after review of his case, we were called into a room with two hospital administrators.  They told us that it we would have to provide the hospital with a $1,000.00 cash deposit on John’s surgery to hopefully repair the sight in his right eye. We didn’t immediately have it. Once we produced the money — three days later — the Atlanta hospital scheduled the surgery. Who knows if John had the surgery immediately upon his blindness if he would be able to see today? Yet, today, John bravely begins the full evaluation of a kidney transplant operation. Soon, his older brother, twin sister, father and me along with other family and friends will learn if we are the perfect match for John’s kidney transplant procedure.

My vision dimmed as I contemplated John’s future that would include paying out of pocket for his health care.  It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.

I praised the passage of the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare.  It allowed everyone access to affordable health care. Today, I loudly condemn the repeal of ACA by the recent U.S. House approval. Its repeal allows insurance carriers to determine (again) if patients are outright denied coverage or have to pay higher premiums for pre-existing medical conditions. The bi-partisan list of pre-existing conditions causes my skin to crawl and tears well in my eyes. One denial is too many. How dare the ill-advised Congress determine the life and death of thousands of our Americans by their vote? Whether fully denied coverage or huge hikes in health care premiums result from what could be the Senate’s passage of the Obamacare repeal, this messing-with the Obamacare health care law is a political debacle.

Looking forward to the U.S. Senate rejecting the bill. For more facts on this matter, see http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factcheck/fact-check-rumors-claims-and-context-on-gop-health-bill/ar-BBANwfG

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About annwead

I am a professor of multimedia, innovative journalism in the Journalism & Graphic Design School at Florida A&M University. As an award-winning journalist and higher ed executive, my latest high profile project involves the multi-faceted development of a 'teaching hospital' formed via a public-private partnership and located on the FAMU campus. The public-private partnership's outcome is a multi-million-dollar, annual economic benefit to the north Florida region with direct benefits to communication students enrolled in programs at FAMU. internship and training program for FAMU communications majors. It has been a rewarding career where I have been transforming lives in education, government and media for more 25 years. Also, as a ghost and co-writer of literary works that highlight the careers and lives of accomplished "hidden" people, I am achieving a valued use of my talents and skills.
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