Thursday, February 19, 2009

Help for a Little Guy

I don't know this woman. Until this week I had never visited her blog or heard of her. But through another blog I saw a plea for help for her son Ike and her family. Ike was born 13 weeks early, which meant a lot of work and expense when he arrived. He did better than expected, but then his father was laid off and the family's health insurance was terminated with no warning. You can read about it here.

It touched a nerve for me, both because twin pregnancies are automatically on pre-term delivery watch, and because at work I am engaged in efforts to reform the health care system so that this kind of thing does not happen to people. (Well, that the loss of insurance doesn't happen and doesn't keep people from getting needed health care. Someone else is working on pre-term birth, I imagine.) Personally, every time I am gripped by a strong series of contractions I worry that the twins will show up before we or they are ready for them to be on the outside. I have read a lot about twins and NICUs and the scary process of parenting in the hospital. But yes, it was the loss of health insurance that pushed me over the edge. I am not an advocate for a "single payer" health care system - as nice as it might be, I think it is too late for the United States to go down that path. (for the wonks in the crowd, please see the great article by Atul Gawande in the January 26 New Yorker.) I do think that people should have access to health insurance and health care whether or not they are employed, and that people who lose their jobs should have an easy way to get connected to continuing coverage. (I will admit I am not sure what the situation is like for workers in Texas, where this family lives, but even with technical "access" via COBRA, that can be a prohibitively expensive proposition, especially for a family that just lost a wage earner.)

For those who just tuned out because I got all wonky on you: 
The point here is: these people could use some help. Even a few dollars would probably mean a lot. You can donate by Paypal (go here for the link) and in other ways. I sent them a little, and hope that by writing about this a few more people will too. I wish for the best for Ike and his family, and hope that my family will never have to face what they are going through.


  1. Oh wonk away! I can handle it. I also dropped a small amount in the virtual tin. I can't do it for everyone but I can do it for someone. And it could be me tomorrow, UK health system notwithstanding.

  2. that story almost made me cry. so funny, so crazy, so brave. thank you for pointing to it.