Friday, September 18, 2009

The REAL reason health care reform is pro-life

I'm bringing you another Sojourners story:

Consider two very close friends of the Sojourners family who recently found out that their unborn baby daughter has a brain tumor. To protect their privacy, we'll call her Milagro - meaning "Miracle" - or Mila, for short.

The tumor is the same size as her brain and is causing a build-up of fluid and the enlargement of her head. Significant brain damage is near certain. She's been given a 15 percent chance of survival and then only with a severely impaired quality of life. And yet, they've been told what Glenn's doctors told him: "miracles happen."

Mila will likely be delivered in December. With their current coverage, premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs for a complicated pregnancy will cost 20 percent of their modest income. But if their total bills exceed $250,000, they must pay all additional expenses. It's unclear how likely this is, but multiple brain surgeries and the additional care Mila may need could spell deep financial trouble.

But their worries don't stop there. Our friends receive their insurance through the mother's university. After she completes her Ph.D. this spring, her coverage will end in August. After that, with the possibility of Mila's severe pre-existing conditions, they may not be able to get any coverage at all.

Our friends do not fear a future where a government bureaucracy forces them to kill their child. Doctors in the current system have already suggested abortion. Their fear is much more immediate: If by some miracle their child survives beyond the womb, will they be able to afford the care she'll need once the insurance coverage ends?

Contrary to Glenn's [Beck's] fears, nothing in any of the proposed legislation would take away the right of a parent to carry her child to term. Nothing in any of the current legislation would deny life-saving treatment to anyone in need.
All of the reform proposals being debated include provisions to cap out-of-pocket expenses, end exclusions for pre-existing conditions, and eliminate limits like our friends' annual $250,000 cap on coverage - removing the financial pressures that currently lead many families to terminate difficult pregnancies.

Now I thought that the last point there was something of an interesting twist that the so-called "pro-life" people really need to consider most seriously.

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