Healthcare in America and Ben’s pre-existing condition

The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world that does not provide equal access to healthcare for all citizens. Obamacare expanded healthcare coverage and made it more affordable for many Americans,  but the current Republican-led House of Representatives just voted to gut that coverage.  One of the worst aspects of the House plan is that insurance companies would no longer have to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions include not only serious medical conditions such as cancer and diabetes but also medical problems like high cholesterol and even pregnancy.  The actual list is quite long.

Many Americans are “up in arms” over what the House of Representatives has done. Bear in mind that the bill also must pass the U.S. Senate, and many believe that is unlikely.  However, I, too, am “up in arms” because our Brave Ben clearly has a pre-existing condition.

Here is what I posted on Facebook about this matter…

Pre-existing condition

This is what a pre-existing condition looks like. Would you like to tell him that he is less deserving of access to healthcare options than others? Giving him limited access to a high risk insurance pool is not the same as allowing him to have health insurance!

Please don’t get distracted by thinking these issues are political. These aren’t issues that need to boil down to voting along party lines. This is about people. Men, women, and children who are more than a label of “pre-existing” condition. This is about people you love in your family. People you see everyday at work. Neighbors. Friends. HUMAN BEINGS. As Christians, as Americans, as humans we are responsible for looking at the people beyond the politics.

This is my grandson Ben. He will turn 7 years old on Friday but already has had 3 brain surgeries for a vascular malformation in his brain. Those surgeries saved his life, and he now excels in school, plays sports, and lives a normal life.

Our President and Members of Congress should work harder at ensuring we all have the right to affordable quality health care! Every life matters. Not just those the insurance companies deem worthy.

This is not about Republicans. Or Democrats. It’s about people. Let’s not let our politicians and media distract us from that. #lovepeople

(Thank you to Jennafer Eddy-Loving who first stated this so beautifully. I borrowed much of her original post.)


“Believing 4 Ben” Helping With Medical Expenses

There have been two organized events to raise funds to help with Ben’s medical expenses, and those posts can be seen here and here.  However, it was just brought to my attention by a fellow blogger that nowhere have I provided information about how people who could not attend those events might also donate to Ben’s medical fund.  I can’t believe I never posted that!

It is possible to donate online here.  (


As can be imagined, the medical expenses are astronomical.  During the first operation, Dr. Berenstein placed 18 tiny platinum coils in the fistula in Ben’s brain, and each coil cost $5,000.  That’s $90,000 right there!

While at the hospital in New York, Ben’s parents were told that although the hospital itself is covered by their health insurance, the surgeon is considered to be out-of-network.  The insurance company even sent them a list of approved surgeons.  Too late!  The surgery was already done by that time, and Dr. Berenstein, the world-renowned neurosurgeon who performed the operations on Ben, was not on the list.  Ironically, the surgeons who were on the list were the ones at Scottish Rite Hospital in Atlanta who first diagnosed the AV fistula but told the family they were not qualified to perform the surgery. You gotta love the health insurance industry in the U.S. !