Fort Worth Families Wary Of Health Care Reform Repeal

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Two North Texas families are paying close attention to the heated debate over health care reform: If President Barack Obama’s bill is repealed, they will likely be unable to afford the cost of their child’s autism therapy.

Four-year-old Cooper Little and two-year-old Miles Roberson are each receiving autism therapy at the Hope Center For Autism in Fort Worth. Their parents cover the high price in separate ways.

Little’s mother has spent thousands of dollars out of her own pocket, while the Roberson family was able to find a grant for their son’s treatment. But Susan Little’s money is quickly dwindling, and the Robersons’ grant runs out Wednesday, the day Melvin turns three.

“I’m filing bankruptcy now; I maxed out all my credit cards to do it,” Susan Little said. “I lost my job because I can’t work.”

Under Obama’s health care reform bill, which was signed into law last year, insurance companies won’t be able to label either child’s ailment as a pre-existing condition.

But Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have filed a bill – titled the Repeal The Job Killing Health Care Law Act – that may scrap each family’s hope that their child could be picked up by insurance carriers without adding crippling expenses.

“It’s beyond frustrating,” Melvin Roberson, Miles’ father, said. “Since Miles is three tomorrow, they are going to drop us.”

Miles will be covered by insurance once the grant runs out, and if the repeal fails, Cooper will as well.

Each family was incredibly encouraged by the developmental results they saw in their child after visiting the Hope Center, and said they’re worried politics will get in the way.

“Just the fact that he is putting together words; I can’t even explain it,” Roberson said.

The repeal bill was set to come for a vote in the House this week, but it was postponed after a 22-year-old assailant attempted to kill Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during a shooting outside a Tuscon, Ariz. supermarket. The vote has not been rescheduled.

  • mom

    this parents are partly lying. I have child that has been receiving therapy for the past 3 years 2 times or 3 ties a week, long before the health reform. Parents need to find out a provider with their network instead of wanting to use some that is not just because they want to. When reporting, try to enterview more than e People.

    • Rachel Ballio Henderson

      These parents are not lying. You just may have been a lucky person to get the services you have been getting for your child. We are all in the same boat and should never call names or cast stones! God Bless you and your family.

    • a supportive mom

      I m happy that your child’s therapy is getting paid for. Count yourself lucky that you don’t have to carry the financial burdon that some families might. It is not very nice of you to say that these parents are “partly lying” when there is no way that you have all the info. You have no clue what type of insrance coverage these families have or don’t have. Please try to be considerate of others, especially those that are just trying to do what is best for their children!

    • Lanette

      I am so glad you are blessed to have coverage for your child. Each person with insurance does not get the same benifits, companies and policies vary.

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  • Lanette

    Thank you Channel 11 for covering the story of what many families have to deal with daily.

  • jennifer

    you can also ask your doctor NOT to diagnose the child with autism but with developmental delay or speech delay or physical weaknesses. that way, your child qualifies for therapies without the “pre-existing condition” label. That is what I did and it worked. Insurance covered all therapies. :-) Just a thought. Remember though, the current HCB also takes services away from adults with special needs later in life. They are in danger of not being able to live out a fuller life because most of them will not be able to contribute to a way that is “productive” enough. I would rather not get my child an official diagnosis that have him stuck in a state facility with no way out when he’s older. Just another thought.

  • Marilyn

    I’m surprised that a station like CBS isn’t more informed about news they report.
    The story was full of misinformation. To say that they would not be able to have health coverage if the law is repealed is not true.
    Texas had before the law and still has in place an insurance policy underwritten by Blue Cross Blue Shield called the TX Health Pool that will cover anyone that is not able to secure regular health insurance because of pre-existing health conditions.

    • Jan

      The story was on ABA coverage not health care in general.

  • Busto

    The Texas Health Pool is under-insurance. Saying this is a good deal is a joke because it’s just for people who need real long term or expensive care, there is no large pool of participants to offset the cost of medical care. It’s like something equivalent to a leper colony.
    Any insurance needs a large pool of healthy and not so health people to offset costs. Currently the bills get paid by the public now and also after people eventually go bankrupt —>your taxes pay for public care. That is why the scary “mandate” is required and better for everyone. You pay either way, why not have everyone get insurance to encourage preventative care, then there will be a lower number of people that have preventable chronic illnesses that you will pay for anyway. Hope you get this, people helping people….If not the human race is doomed.

  • Crude

    I’m wondering if any of you parents with special needs children voted Republican?

  • FatBoySlim

    Healthcare is a privilege – not a right. We all have sob stories and this one is no different than the rest. If folks feel compelled to donate to this cause, so be it. But don’t expect the general public to pay for this treatment thru higher premiums.

    • Cashual

      Healthcare is a right that all should have. It shouldn’t even cost any american money. It should be in a pool of money that is paid to medical center employees with capped salaries. Everyone that is an american citizen should make sure we all are healthy. The world of politicians aren’t fair, but most of this country are Christians and we should demand more from the government that is suppose to work for us and listen to us. We have a serious disconnect going on here in this country and power has been switch from the citizens to the lobyist and private companies. God help them all.

  • RKH

    As far as Autism services go, the real issue is not about Health Care Reform vs. Repeal. The core issue is Fully Funded Insurance plans vs. Self Funded plans. The insurance industry is out of control. The govt. Autism mandates only apply to fully funded plans which the majority of people don’t have. We desperately need a federal mandate forcing private insurance companies (including self funded plans) to pay for needed Autism services just like they would if it were Childhood Diabetes or any other childhood disorder. Until then…ASK FOR PARENT TRAINING, WORK INTENSIVELY WITH YOUR CHILD. FIND OUT WHAT PROCEDURES ARE BEING USED WITH YOUR CHILD AND DUPLICATE THOSE AT HOME. READ EVERYTHING YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON ABOUT APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (ABA). YOU can make a difference in your child’s life!!! And FatBoy Slim, have a litte mercy, you never know when you might need some!

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    […] Fort Worth Families Wary Of Health Care Reform Repeal Two North Texas families are paying close attention to the heated debate over health care reform: If President Barack Obama’s bill is repealed, they will likely be unable to afford the cost of their child’s autism therapy. Read more on CBS 11 Dallas – Fort Worth […]

  • Spectrum

    How wonderful that the district has determined no educational benefit of special Ed services. It is easy to place kids in special Ed without considering the long term consequences. Districts consider this heavily. That is why districts assemble teams of experts to contemplate all aspects for 60 days, not 2 to 3 days in a medical diagnosis from one individual based on parent data only. Schools are not stupid and the media needs to stop presenting them as such!

    • Spectrum

      I thought posting on other stor… Sorry

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