And when it comes to finding a specialist to treat her children’s asthma, she
has a better chance for finding a four-leaf clover sprouting through a crack in
the sidewalk. Then, when she does find a health provider who will take her insurance, the deductibles and
medications are too costly for her to afford.
Her case isn’t an anomaly. According to a new study by the
Children’s Health Fund, one in four children in the U.S. do not have access to
regular, essential health care even if they have insurance. Stats show that more children than ever
have health insurance, yet 20.3 million people under the age of 18 aren’t getting
basic pediatric or dental care. Shocking
and shameful, isn’t it?
Experts warn this should be addressed immediately but the problems with the system are manifold:
Employer-based health insurance premiums increased by 73 percent from 2003 to 2013, and
employee contributions went up by 93 percent.
The average deductible climbed, too. On
top of that, many clinics and providers will no longer accept Medicaid (the
plan that Solomon has). During her last
pregnancy, she made 20 calls before she found a doctor who accepted her insurance to give her prenatal
To combat the issue, telemedicine has become a growing
trend. It allows patients to be evaluated over the internet or by phone. And some parents
rely on treating their kids with the free sample meds that are given at
doctor’s offices. Although some drug manufacturers also offer deeply discounted prescription medications when the cost is too prohibitive to get them from a pharmacy, it's not nearly enough—and parents can't rely solely on samples from their pediatrician's office, either.
Sadly, things are not
likely to get better if President-Elect Donald Trump follows through on his
promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which has extended
healthcare to 20 million people.