Kids With Costly Medical Issues Get Help, But Not Enough
August 26, 2013
“Katie hit a million [dollars] in her first year of life,” says Marcy Doderer, Katie’s mother. Katie used to require 24-hour nursing; now the nurse only comes at night, but it still costs almost $75,000 a year, by Marcy’s estimate. It’s a service that most private insurance doesn’t cover. It is, however, paid for by Katie’s Medicaid coverage—even though the family is well off.
Marcy Doderer, who until recently was the CEO of the children’s hospital in San Antonio, Texas, acknowledges that her job gives her family an advantage. “I know how to navigate the system,” she says. “I know how to find ways to get what my child needs that the average family would never know how to do.”
“It’s important to think about health care spending not as competing for infinite dollars where everyone gets everything they want,” says Salo. “Health care is, unfortunately, a limited pool of funds. So carving out additional dollars for one group may well mean that another group gets less—low-income frail seniors or individuals with physical disabilities.”