Mom Shares Son's Surgery Bill to Show the Real Cost of TrumpCare


Aliranger29/Twitter

As Senate Republicans jostle to secure the votes necessary to pass their American Health Care Act, a New Jersey mom is doing some scrambling of her own. Ali Chandra is bereft over how she'll pay her 3-year-old's massive health care bills under the new legislation.

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What began as simply "venting into the void" for Ali, who works as a registered nurse, turned into a viral conversation when the concerned mom shared what her son's hospital bill would look like under TrumpCare. The little boy suffers from a birth defect called heterotaxy syndrome.

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"Ethan was born with nine heart defects -- nine congenital heart defects," Ali told CNN. "He has two left lungs, five or so spleens of dubious function, and his liver and his gallbladder are down the middle of his body along with his heart, and then his stomach is on the right side instead of the left side."

Ali Chandra's tweets about healthcare
aliranger29/Twitter
If the American Health Care Act is passed, Ali says the insurance coverage needed to provide Ethan's treatments, which passed the million dollar mark some time ago, would be in danger. This is partially due to the fact that under the new law, states could seek waivers for bans on lifetime limits on insurance coverage, which would allow providers to deny coverage to patients like Ethan. Health care benefits that are currently deemed "essential" are also in jeopardy.

Ali Chandra tweets son's healthcare bill
aliranger29/Twitter
"My fear is that this bill comes into play and suddenly essential health benefits are no longer covered -- which is things like hospitalizations, prescription medications," Ali said in the CNN interview. "He will rely on prescription medications for the rest of his life."

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She brings up a point that should hit close to home for everyone. Under the American Health Care Act, suddenly daily care that people expect to have covered by their insurance -- things that we take for granted, like lab work, hospital stays, and medication -- could go poof. And lifetime limits on insurance put added stress and take away hope from those who find themselves in medical conundrums.

ali chandra health care
aliranger29/Twitter

Initially Ali's tweets sparked a lot of support from social media, but in the hours and days that followed, backers of the bill began lashing out.

Ali Chandra twitter comments
aliranger29/Twitter
For her own sanity, Ali says she's stopped looking at the comments as they became increasingly "savage." While she understands complaints that she's using Ethan's story to promote a political agenda, she believes her story still needs to be told. Ali sums it up best with this:"This is our reality," she told NJ Advance Media, "and I think it's important that the people making the laws come face to face with the people those laws will directly impact."

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