What has America come to when single mother Elly-Elizabeth Cardenas has to sell her daughter’s beloved pets to afford cancer treatment? Ahnalita Gabrielle McMillin, 12 years old and the daughter of Cardenas, has been diagnosed with an Intraoseous Capillary Hemangioma. This is a rare form of cancer. Ahnalita Gabrielle McMillin is being treated at the Seattle Children’s hospital in Seattle Washington and even with Obamacare taking ahold of the nation’s medical insurance market McMillin’s family is still in dire need.
How could this be? Obamacare was supposed to be the bailout for the medically underinsured and uninsured. According to The US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health, “Primary intraosseous cavernous hemangiomas (PICHs) of the skull base are extremely rare tumors. These lesions are most common in the frontal and parietal bones of the calvarium.” Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, was supposed to help Americans eliminate what is known as medical bankruptcy where Americans financially falter due to heavy medical costs. But Obamacare is not so cut and dry.
McMillin’s mother faces what a lot of other American families are facing right now today – high medical costs and no way to pay the bills. According to USA Today’s story ran in January 2014 after Obamacare’s insurance marketplace implementation, “The ACA is an important safety net, but it doesn’t necessarily solve the problem of high up-front medical expenses for those who don’t have ability to pay for them.” This lack of full funding still leaves Americans in serious financial dilemmas, like that of McMillin’s mother Cardenas who has had to try to sell her daughter’s Shih Tzu in order to receive funding on sites like GoFundMe where you can find a multitude of other families searching for help. These families are searching for the financial help to save their loved ones from death or serious illness that Obamacare is not picking up the pieces for.
For some it is simply the hassle of signing up for the Affordable Care Act’s insurance plans in the market place. You can click on many stories and find heart wrenching tales of those not being able to afford life-saving medical care like Esther LaVonne. LaVonne is a woman from California diagnosed right after the 2014 New Year with lung cancer at 32 years old. She has had to rely on funding from the online community in order to get adequate care due to not being able to simply wait for the Obamacare health insurance plans to assist her.
When will stories like McMillin’s and LaVonne’s no longer be replicated to remind us that countless American’s suffer without adequate healthcare in America? According to USA Today’s story this might not be something we see for quite some time and families could still be needing help despite Obamacare for quite some time, “Kaiser analyzed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey data and did case studies of 23 people with medical debt, which is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. It found cost sharing for covered services that were in-network providers and facilities was the leading contributor to debt for those interviewed.” While the uninsured and medical debt situation might be improving with the Affordable Care Act families are still in need of help to cover what Obamacare is not. A little girl is going to lose her Shih Tzu in trade for her body to be tumor free. People will continue to go medically bankrupt. Is America still morally bankrupt? When will this medical need cease to be a reality for many families like Cardenas who sell their child’s pets to help fund their child’s cancer treatment?