Health

Jan 25, 2011 6:00 AM by Jenise Fernandez

Million Dollar Baby

Ethan Martin is nicknamed the "Million-Dollar Baby." Already, his medical bills add up to $1.6 million.
"God makes millions of miracles and when one those miracles misfires, this is what happens," said Ethan's dad, Jessie Martin.
The Martin family's primary insurance paid $400,000 toward Ethan's medical expenses. Medicaid paid the remaining $1.2 million, but now Medicaid says Jessie and his wife's combined income makes them ineligible for Medicaid.
"If we lose our medicaid, what are we going to do, how are we going to get him all these things? Our primary insurance won't pay for all these things," said Jessie.
Soon after birth, Ethan's brain was damaged. With the righ medical attention, 11-month-old Ethan could one day walk and live a relatively normal life.
"The basal ganglia controls your ability to speak, eat, and your core body from the chest to waist. He can't turn, he can't twist, and he can't sit up," said Jessie.
"I really think it's unfair because now this family that put into the system and has worked, needs national help and cannot afford and cannot get it," said Ethan's pediatrician Dr. Mia-Singleton-Ben of All Kids Pediatrics in Opelousas.
She suggests the government should take cases like Ethan's as a test case.
"They should go, assess the child's needs and take care of him and than write down the policies. At least know what to do and not totally write him off," said Dr. Singleton-Ben.
Jessie says the healthcare reform bill would help.
"His cap is $2 million and he could reach that quickly, but with the current healthcare bill for a sick baby like Ethan, there is no cap on his lifetime benefits. I don't want to have, ten years from now, apologize and say he can't walk because I couldn't afford this or couldn't afford therapy," said Jessie.

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