Mother's Massive Hospital Bill Tweet Goes Viral

A mother's tweets sharing her son's hospital bill have gone viral as Senate Republicans are working to pass a new health care bill. 

Alison Chandra's son suffers from heterotaxy syndrome - a rare genetic disorder that causes organs to form incorrectly or in the wrong place. 

Chandra tweeted out a photo of a bill for her son Ethan's recent open heart surgery at Boston Children's Hospital Friday, saying without insurance her family would be paying more than $231,000.

With insurance, the family owed $500. 

In follow up tweets, she explained that parts of her pre-natal care as well as her delivery and son's first two surgeries were covered by Medicaid. She later switched to insurance through her husband's employer. 

Chandra wrote her son's life is "infinitely precious," and she criticized the Senate proposal that would allow states to ease standards for insurance requirements, such as inpatient hospital care and prescription drug coverage. 

Under the Senate's bill, states could get waivers to eliminate the Affordable Care Act's requirement that plans cap yearly out-of-pocket spending, according to the Brookings Institution. The bill would also phase out extra federal money that is given to 31 states to expand Medicaid, and put caps on the amount of Medicaid money given to states.

Chandra said her bill covered 10 hours in the operating room, one week in the children's ICU and one week on the cardiac floor. She said Ethan has had four of these surgeries and this wouldn't be the last one. 

He also sees a local cardiologist, electrophysiologist and other doctors, and takes five different prescriptions. 

"He blew past the million dollar mark long ago," Chandra wrote.

She added, "A lifetime cap on benefits is the same as saying, 'Sorry, you're not worth keeping alive anymore. You're just too expensive.'"

If the Senate health care bill becomes law, 22 million Americans would be uninsured by 2026, the Congressional Budget Office said on Monday. Fifteen million would be without coverage next year.

The photo of Ethan's bill has since been retweeted more than 54,000 times. 

President Donald Trump has urged action to replace President Barack Obama's health care law. 

"Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats. Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!" Trump tweeted about the Senate bill on Monday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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