Since the age of 2, Madeleine Kelly-Kellogg, now 7, has gone through three surgeries to remove a benign brain tumor. After the first surgery Madeleine lost all ability to function on the right side OF her body and underwent two months of therapy to learn how to walk and speak again.
Melissa Kelly says she was surprised to learn how fast her daughter's insurance's $1 million lifetime limit could be spent.
"People don't think about how fast it goes," she says. 'You think $1 million is a lot until you're paying $2,000 to $3,000 a day for a hospital bed."
Madeleine's father, Deren, gave up full-time employment to take care of his daughter and the family struggled to pay their bills.
"The biggest monetary hit was that my husband could not work, we had a lot of bills; plus, someone had to take care of her," Kelly says.
When the tumor came back for the third time, the family made the decision to seek treatment at St. Judes Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., where all of their hospital and travel expenses would be paid for. St. Judes selects patients who have special cases and no other alternatives. Kelly says she believes her daughter would have died without that option. Other doctors told her the surgery to remove Madeleine's tumor was too risky and could cause permanent damage.
Today Madeleine, a bubbly first-grader, has fully recovered. Kelly has concerns, though, that a day will come when her daughter won't be able to obtain insurance due to her pre-existing condition.
Kelly, a psychology professor at Millsaps College doesn't plan to change careers anytime soon, but even so she is bound to her current employer's health insurance plan as she fears it would be impossible to obtain new coverage because of her daughter's pre-existing condition
"She has the most massive pre-existing condition you could ever imagine," she says. "Before all this we were the textbook family for what a hospital would want to have."
Thank you for puting a "white face" on the health care mess this country has allowed the insurance and drug companies to create (with the full support, coooperation a cheer leading of our elected officials in DC). This entry as well as your cover story is a refreshing change from my opinion of "media business as usual".
I have noticed that both the conservative and "so called liberal" media (so-called liberal because the 10 major TV/Cable media and print networks are in fact owned by the conservative corporate leadership who have demonstrated their propensity to dictate editorial and operation policy in their news rooms), consistently showcase black faces in their progrossive leaning news stories the vast majority of the time.
The media did this during Katrina, during the election of Obama, during the "sub-prime loan crisis, etc. As blacks make up only 14% of the total population and much smaller percentages of the participants of the voting, economic and health care systems of of America, this "black facing demonization" of these critical issues that effect vastly greater numbers of white Americans does a major dis-service to the entire country.
This is similiar to the media showcasing a Delta farmer who has 1,000 acres as being hurt by farm policy and subsidy reduction when 90% of all subsidies goe to the huge corporate farm conglomerate who effective hide behind the small farmer to score markeiting points and sympathy from the gullibe, ingnorant and mis-informed American public. National Public Radio (NPR) does this all of the time.
Thanks for breaking the mold. Is this a JFP Policy or just a lucky co-incidence?
Casual, we strive for diversity in every possible direction -- and, more importantly, to tell the whole story. The whole welfare/health-care story is not just about one race, and solid reporting shows that without any special effort to diversify the coverage. I always say it's easier to be diverse than not to be -- if you take your blinders off.
And I agree: Too many white people are undoubtedly against health-insurance reform because they are drinking the Koolaid that, suddenly, they are going to have foot the bill for socialism to help people of color and immigrants. No doubt.