This is what my step son said to his father the other day.  Glenn took this comment as positive, thinking that Garrett’s recent diagnosis of MR (mental retardation) might be inaccurate.  Garrett is aware that he is not normal, said he, and that means his IQ cannot be below 70.

“My brain doesn’t work”, was Garrett’s follow up statement.

I don’t know what to think.  Parallel to this discussion, we have been awarded help for Garrett, help that will assure that we can retain our middle class lifestyle.  That the more than $12,000 we owe for two visits to the emergency room will be paid by the state (in this state, there are no places of respite when a six foot, 200 pound teenager gets violent). That a shot given him during that time costing $2000 dollars will not be our responsibility.  That the money we have been hemorrhaging for counselors, therapists, tests of this kind and another will be replaced.  Basically we do not have to use our retirement money any more for Garrett.

The “Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act“, or TEFRA Medicaid,  of 1982 is what is helping us.  It is also called “Katie Beckett” named for a child whose medical needs at the cost of $12,000 a month in a hospital could be met at home by her parents for much less, if professional medical costs would be paid as an out patient. It would be cheaper for the government and she would be living at home.  The incomes of the parents were middle class ones, and too high for Katie to receive Medicaid, therefore the dilemma.   Rules were forcing Katie to stay in the hospital to receive help when it would be better for her to be at home with her parents.  And cheaper, if the government paid just for the medical costs. Katie died in 2012 at the age of 34.  She lived three times longer than she was expected to, and the fight her parents waged changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

Reading about this, it is amazing to remember the Republicans of 1982.  Ronald Reagan forced through this tax increase, or maybe re designation of tax money, along with the help of Bob Dole.  Ted Kennedy’s hands were all over it. This certainly does not feel like today.

I feel guilty.  We are the 47%, thanks for reminding us, Mitt Romney.  I hate to think what would happen to us if someone like Mitt Romney were in the head office.  Or not?  Remember what Massachusetts did with respect to health care a long time ago, when he was governor?  He moved the state towards “single payer”, which would be cheaper for all of us.  Which Mitt Romney to believe?  This is the scary part about American politics now.  Everybody is mugging for the camera.

So now we have a plastic card to use for Garrett that will give him better healthcare than we are able to purchase for our family.  It is a huge relief.


9 thoughts on “I WAS BORN DEAD

  1. what a sobering statement out of Garrett. i can only hope that he doesn’t have any negative emotions associated with his knowledge that he is different.t

  2. Lee. Your story just keeps unfolding. The old saying “that which does not kill us only makes us stronger” comes to mind reading your post and knowing you for so many years. I think you (and your husband) could probably “leap tall buildings with a single bound” at this point. I am so happy to know that this assistance is available. We are familiar with this kind of situation, having a nephew who was born with CHARGE syndrome. (It is very rare, but without going into detail, each of those letters stands for a different defect..Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, Retardation of growth and/or development, Genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and Ear abnormalities and deafness.) However, he lives in Texas where the state medical and inhome care for kids like him are much different than here. Pretty much anything he has needed, including educational tutors, has been furnished. (He just graduated from high school this past May). Although I am sure the assistance you describe is not enough, I am glad to know it exists. Thinking of you and your family.

  3. oh man, sounds like your nephew is carrying a lot. you can always look around and see someone with more problems than you. we are truly fine here in our little self-made village. what counts is that glenn and i are totally on the same page regarding garrett’s needs. thanks for reading, wayne.

  4. Lee, I’m so glad that you have some assistance now. I do not think that Garrett would be making these statements if he wasn’t feeling them. Try to follow up with as much dialog as possible. Take care and Lord willing, we will see each other on Tues.


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