Parents Ask Lawmakers To Keep Kids In Mind During Reform Debate

A group of 50 families will ask lawmakers this week to keep in mind 9 million uninsured children and many more who are underinsured when they undertake health reform this summer, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. "Covering all children, and making sure they have access to the care they need regardless of their family's financial situation or where they live, is an achievable first step toward covering all Americans," the CEO of the Children's Hospital Association told the Enquirer.

The parents of Leo Johnson, who died in 2006 two years after being diagnosed with leukemia, will be among  the group meeting with lawmakers, the Enquirer reports. The family carried insurance for the boy, who was 13-years-old at the time of his death, but the plan had a lifetime maximum of $1 million and an annual cap of $500,000. With single episodes of treatment approaching $100,000, the Johnsons quickly exceeded the limit and struggled to cope with massive bills as their son drifted in and out of Medicaid eligibility. "The primary thing we're going to ask for is some kind of safety net for regular people," his parents told the Enquirer. Nationally, 9 million children are uninsured, and significant gaps exist in coverage for children with Medicaid and commercial coverage (O'Farrell, 6/15).

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