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The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan

The Rev. Dr. Kimberleigh Buchanan is senior pastor of First Congregational Church (UCC) in Asheville, NC.

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First Congregational United Church of Christ, Asheville, NC


The Healthcare Crisis Hits Home

June 10, 2010

If nothing else rouses our concern for universal healthcare access, perhaps the pain of my three year old grand nephew will... Here's a blog post from my niece, Jenny.

What kind of world do we live in??

What kind of world do we live in where the first question a doctor asks is not "why is your son in pain" but "what insurance do you have"? Here's my sons story, I hope it opens the eyes to everyone about the world we actually live in. I really don't care if you are republican, democratic, independent or would prefer a totalitarian society, read this and think of our children...

My son is three years old and has had ear problems all his life. He has had tubes put in but still struggles with ear infections. We moved back to Georgia a few weeks ago from North Carolina. When David starts work we will have insurance, once his paperwork goes through.

On Saturday I took my three year old son, Chandler, to the minute clinic because he was complaining his ear was hurting and had a fever. I assumed it was another ear infection and they gave him antibiotics. On Monday night when I got home from work he was screaming in pain saying his head was hurting and he couldn't keep down food. We went to the ER and after the CT scan they realized he had chronic mastoiditis and he needed a series of antibiotic shots and hardcore pain medicines.

The next day we were referred to the ENT. She took out his tube and did a hearing test. She said we would have to replace the tubes and remove the adenoids. That was until she realized we did not have insurance. Instead of working out a plan with us her exact response was, "No ENT will do surgery without insurance. Until there is some insurance we cannot do anything". She told us to work on getting insurance and sent us on our way.

After we left I went straight into the Medicaid office to apply for Medicaid. They told me it would take up to 45 days to process the application (business days at that) and someone would be in touch.  I did find out that they would cover any medical bills that occurred within 3 months prior to your acceptance (probably because that's how long it takes).

Please someone tell me what to do. No insurance will cover him because it is a pre existing condition and he needs surgery soon. Yet no doctor will do the surgery without insurance. Since I do not have the total amount for a surgical procedure I can't even set up a payment plan. The state of GA takes forever to process, so where does that leave my child?

What kind of society do we stand for when children can be put on a waiting list because doctors care more about where their funds are coming from? What one Lexus or boat is not enough? I am sure that a six figure income is making life rough for you. I should not put the blame solely on the doctors. The judicial system has made doctors leery to do anything because everyone is sue happy. They probably think we are going to sue them if something goes wrong.

What I cannot wrap my head around is why people are not more concerned about a three year old's health? Have we gotten to the point where the insurance companies, banks and corporations have replaced simple human kindness? That a child's cry is nothing more than a fly's buzz on the wall? My faith in mankind and our world today has been shaken. I am sad to say it is hard to look into my son's eyes and still be proud to be an American.

Simple human kindness.  Indeed.

Peace for your journey.  Oh.  And stay well...

Kim

 

 


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