This toddler captured hearts when we met him and his father, Pablo Urquiza.
In this post, Pablo tells the story of his son, costs of his epilepsy treatment, and the SCHIP veto.
Are you listening, Mario Diaz-Balart?
Last September, my three year old son Pablo was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. Although this is very difficult for any parent to deal with (no one wants to see their child suffering from a disease) the situation was alleviated by the fact that at least my family had health insurance provided through my employer.
My son’s condition required hospitalization, visits to the emergency room, x-rays, various MRI’s, encephalograms, the intervention of doctors, paramedics, specialists and medication – with the cost of his treatment rapidly escalating to nearly $30,000. Fortunately, I had medical insurance and a job. Then I was told that I was being laid-off, and I was left without a steady job, but with medical coverage (for only a few more months).
That’s when I really became desperate. What do I do? What happens if I have to take my son to the hospital again? And what if he has to undergo more costly examinations? Just one MRI costs $4,000…A good option for someone in my situation would have been the health program for children, SCHIP. But at the same time, I learned that President Bush had just vetoed extending coverage to millions of children who are citizens and legal residents in this country. I also discovered that my Republican congressman, Mario Diaz-Balart, also voted against extending coverage which would have helped my son in the near future.
What excuse do these bureaucrats have to deny my son a basic human right – the right to have access to the best medical care possible? How can the richest country on the planet deny that right to my three year old son? What can I do as a father? I want Mario Diaz-Balart to explain to my son, face to face, the reasons why he has forgotten those who are helpless and innocent.
--- Pablo – Miami Lakes, Florida
Thanks to Isabel of Democratas de Miami for talking with Pablo and translating. Check out our blog in Spanish that she handles, http://democatasdemiami.blogspot.com