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Heart Of The Matter

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As Congress begins again to consider policies related to health spending, there’s no better time to increase awareness of the health care needs of America’s children who could be most affected by major health policy changes.

My husband and I were thrilled to welcome our son Caleb in 2010. We knew we were having a boy, but what we did not know was that our son would be born with a congenital heart defect (CHD) called Transposition of the Great Arteries. Three days after his birth, Caleb had open heart surgery to help his heart properly circulate blood through his body. We came to learn that a congenital heart defect is the most common birth defect, affecting more children than spina bifida and Down syndrome, yet many remain unaware of this condition and the needs of the 40,000 children born with CHD annually in the U.S.

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Most of the specialized cardiac care CHD kids need is provided in children’s hospitals. These regional institutions see an average of 30,000 cardiac cases per year. Of these cases, 45 percent rely on Medicaid for that care. Not just for those from families with low incomes, Medicaid helps cover children from all backgrounds when serious medical issues suddenly require a level of care above and beyond the needs of most kids. It took a while for my family to understand the longevity of Caleb’s condition. We had insurance through my husband’s employer and assumed there wasn’t any financial help available to us. Yet, at some point we realized Caleb was not “fixed.” His appointments and therefore the medical bills would not stop.

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Source : http://www.sun-sentinel.com/opinion/fl-op-medicaid-congenital-heart-defect-children-20180416-story.html

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