Gay Dad Life

"If Obamacare Stops For my Son’s Expensive Medication, What am I to do?”

Obamacare Saves My Son Every Day


My youngest son. He’s not the type of person insurance companies like.

That’s because he consumes a disproportionate amount of health care. At a cost far more than his monthly premium.

And that’s because he lives with a chronic condition. In his case, it’s Fetal Alcohol Syndrome from being exposed to alcohol in the womb. The result is permanent brain damage. Although his challenges will be life-long, he’s working today. Contributing to society.

But let me be clear. Without his finely-tweaked cocktail of psychotropic medications, that wouldn’t be possible. He wouldn’t be emotional stable. Unfortunately, their monthly cost is huge – $1500.

That’s more than he brings home in pay. That’s more than he could ever afford on his own.

Affordable healthy insurance – with a pre-existing condition – is his lifeline.

As a special-needs adoption, the state of Indiana provided Medicaid coverage until 21.

Yet, unlike his two older brothers who also have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, he didn’t qualify for ongoing Medicaid coverage as a disabled adult.

So what about employer-sponsored health insurance through his job? Like many in the service industry, his weekly work hours conveniently vary – making him and many others ineligible for coverage.

In other words, Obamacare is a blessing.

Since others will disagree with that statement, let’s look at history to further understanding.

 

A Little History of Health Care

During World War II, the federal government capped wages to combat inflation. That’s when employer-sponsored healthcare took off as a replacement for compensation. Shortly thereafter, President Truman endorsed universal coverage with strong public support. Not surprisingly, special interests disagreed and prevailed in the end.

While much of Europe embraced national health care at this same time (and still does today), employer-sponsored insurance became the norm in the United States. Even so, problems lingered. With only half of seniors insured in 1965, Medicare became law – along with Medicaid for the poor.

Meanwhile, health care expenditures steadily increased as a share of gross domestic product (GDP). From 5.0 percent in 1960 to 17.4 percent in 2013.

And the result was skyrocketing health care premiums – that forced fewer employers to offer insurance. From a peak of 75 percent in 1975, coverage fell to only 55 percent of working people in 2009. Millions of working people couldn’t afford insurance on their own.

Finally in 2010, the Affordable Care Act, known to many as Obamacare, became law with the inclusion of an individual mandate to purchase insurance. Twenty million people gained coverage. Many with subsidies. Many with pre-existing conditions. Many with mental health issues.

Including my son at a price he could afford.

Interestingly, President Nixon in 1971 – and again in 1974 – introduced plans that would have gone beyond the scope of Obamacare. Republicans in Congress agreed. Democrats did not – pushing instead for universal health care.

Yet the pool of healthy young people didn’t grow as predicted, even with Obamacare’s mandate. This left too few people to cover the hefty increase in sick or chronically ill people like my son. In turn, insurance companies increased premiums for the middle class, and much more than expected.

Frustration soon turned to anger.

Now Congress must act. Will access to affordable insurance be maintained for all? Will pre-existing conditions still be covered? Will insurance companies be encouraged – even pushed – to increase competition in every state? Will federal government subsidies for working families remain a priority?

Please no confusing Medicare vouchers for Grandpa and Grandma. No complicated Medicaid block grants that could allow some states to reduce essential coverage, while others do not.

Craig with five of his kids

Important Questions That Must Figure Into the Solution

How do we rein in health care costs – knowing that the sickest 10 percent of the population accounts for two-thirds of all spending?

How do we make prescriptions affordable while supporting research and development?

How do we shift the mentality of Americans from illness to prevention?

How do we redefine urgent care and improve cost-effectiveness of emergency rooms?

How do we create a culture of wellness that would reduce diabetes, hypertension, obesity, smoking, some forms of cancer – and even preventable conditions like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

How do we encourage every patient to have a medical home – with a primary care physician who coordinates care and improves outcomes, without duplicating services?

How do we replicate local programs where seniors, on their own, decide end-of-life measures before losing mental capacity and putting decision-making for expensive procedures in the hands of others?

And on a very personal level, how do we ensure health care coverage for my son – enabling him to retain stability and continue his place in the workforce?

There are thousands – perhaps millions – just like him.

 

Originally published on Craig’s own blog: Adopting Faith: A Father's Unconditional Love

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Life

8 Ways for Dads to Find Work/Life Balance

Finding work/life balance is hard enough... but can be even harder for gay dads.

Having kids is an amazing part of life, and it should be fun. Life does tend to get in the way sometimes, and one huge aspect of that is work. Striking that balance between work and home life is tough. If you both work it's even harder.

And if you're a gay couple, it can have it's own set of problems above and beyond the standard work-life issues that people face. Recently, the Harvard Business Review conducted a study that focused specifically on the experiences of same-sex couples who wanted to make moves towards a work/life balance.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

'NolaPapa' Launches YouTube Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

Check out Erik Alexander's new YouTune Channel: Story of a Gay Dad

When we first found out that our second daughter was African American I froze. Not because of her race, but because I knew NOTHING about African American hair. So I frantically tried to learn as much as I could while she was a newborn so I was ready to style it when she was a little older.

I decided to launch our YouTube channel Nolapapa: Story of a Gay Dad to focus on this very topic! Episodes 1-5 will solely be dedicated to learning how to wash, care for and styling African American hair. Afterwards, the content will shift towards personal & family situations, adoption, gay parenting questions and other great content! I'd love your support and become part of our little village as we launch this new project!

Sending Nola love to each of ya!

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

Encouraged by His Son, Single Dad Richard Started Dating Again — and Just Got Married!

After his 14 year relationship ended, Richard got a gentle push into the dating pool from an unexpected source — his son!

In 2014, Richard Rothman's relationship of 15 years ended, leaving him understandably reluctant to jump back into the world of dating as a single gay dad. But after spending one too many Friday nights at home, he got a gentle nudge from somebody unexpected —his teenaged son, Jonathan.

"Dad," Jonathan said. "Would you just get out of the house and go on a date already?" (You may remember wise-beyond-his-years Jonathan from this post that went viral of a tattoo he got commemorating his adoption day.)

On his son's encouragement, Richard started dipping a tentative toe back into the dating pool. In 2015, he met Kevin thanks to mutual friends that introduced them via social media. It took four months before Richard introduced Kevin to his son, who was a Sophomore in high school at the time.

On New Year's Eve in 2017, Kevin proposed while the couple was vacationing in Palm Springs. The city has an outdoor festival every year, he explained, which the couple attended. The band Plain White T's happened to be performing their hit "Hey There Delilah" as Kevin got down on one knee and proposed. "Now whenever I hear that song it brings back memories of that night," Richard said.

Richard and Kevin married on March 30, 2019 back at the scene of the crime — in Palm Springs, at the Frederick Loewe Estate. Jonathan was Richard's best man, and also walked him down the aisle (awwww.....). Kevin's brother Bobby served as his best man.

"As so many wonderful moments continue to happen for us in Palm Springs, we now own a home there in addition to our primary residence in Bentonville, Arkansas," said Richard.

Check out video from the couple's special day below!


And Jonathan is now an E4 Master-at-Arms in the US Navy.

Today is National Coming Out Day, and as we celebrate, we're sharing six coming out stories from dads in our community. Their personal stories are heartwarming, relatable, and empowering. Happy Coming Out Day, and remember, live your truth!

Keep reading... Show less
Personal Essays by Gay Dads

Growing a Thicker Skin

Experiencing hateful and hurtful comments, Erik Alexander had to learn an important lesson: how to ignore the trolls.

Photo credit: BSA Photography

Twenty years ago when I came out, it was unbearably hard. As I have written before, I am from the Deep South. Anyone who dared to deviate from social norms was sure to be ostracized. It's not that these people were born hateful or mean; rather, it probably had more to do with them not being subjected to other lifestyles. Anything different from their own experiences sparked fear and confusion. Homosexuality, interracial relationships, religious differences – these were all unfamiliar territories to the average person I grew up around. Thus, growing up was particularly difficult.

I remember lying in bed at night when I was a little boy. I would pray and beg God to not let me be gay. Every single night I would end my prayers with "... and God, please don't let me have nightmares and please don't let me be gay." I remember crying myself to sleep many nights. I was embarrassed and ashamed. And I wanted God to cure me.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

10 Inspiring Coming Out Stories From Gay Dads

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our recent stories about gay men with kids coming out to live their most authentic lives.

Happy National Coming Out Day! To celebrate, we've rounded up some of our best articles of gay dads coming out to live their authentic lives.

#1. Former NFL Player Jeff Rohrer, and Father of Two, Comes Out as Gay and Marries Longterm Partner


Jeff Rohrer, a father of two teenage boys via a previous relationship with a woman, is the first NFL player to marry another man. Read the article here.

#2. Coming Out to His Wife Was Painful, Says This Salt Lake-Based Dad of Four. But it Started Him on a Path of Authenticity

After Kyle came out to his wife, with whom he has four children, "she listened, she mourned and she loved," he said. Read the article here.

#3. Gay Dads Share Their Coming Out Stories for National Coming Out Day

We asked several gay dads to share their coming out stories in honor of National Coming Out Day, whose stories are heartwarming, instructive, and everything in between. Read the article here.

#4. Gay Muslim Single Dad Writes Op Ed on His Path to Self Acceptance

Maivon Wahid writes about the challenges of reconciling three separate, but equally important, identities in an opinion piece for Gay Star News. Read the article here.

#5. One Gay Dad's Path Towards Realizing Being Gay and Christian are Not Mutually Exclusive

Gay dads Matt and David Clark-Sally talk about coming out, parenting as gay men, and reconciling faith and sexuality. Read the article here.

#6. Republican Utah Lawmaker, and Dad of Two, Comes Out as Gay in Moving Video

Nathan Ivie has many important identities he's proud of: Mormon, Republican, Utahn, father of two... and gay. Read the article here.

#7. How Coming Out Helped This Gay Man Find the Strength to Be a Dad

Steven Kerr shares the moment he came out to his ex-girlfriend. "From that moment on," he writes, "my strength and purpose have grown." Read the article here.

#8. Ed Smart, Father of Kidnapping Victim Elizabeth Smart, Comes Out as Gay

In coming his coming out letter, Ed Smart, a Mormon, condemned the church for their "ridicule, shunning, rejection and outright humiliation" of LGBTQ individuals. Read the article here.

#9. The Best Part of Coming Out, Says This Gay Dad, Is Being an Out and Proud Role Model for His Daughter

"I couldn't face myself in the mirror and think that I could be a good dad and role model for my child when I was lying to myself every moment of every day," said Nate Wormington of his decision to come out. Read the article here.

#10. These Gay Dads Via Previous Marriages Have Adopted a Motto Since Coming Out and Finding Each Other: "United We Stand"

Vincent and Richard both had children in previous marriages with women; together, with their ex-wives, they are helping raise seven beautiful kids. Read the article here.

Gay Dad Family Stories

These Adoptive Dads Gained an Extended Family Through Foster Care

Adoptive dads Edward and Andrew have maintained a close relationship with their twins' biological family.

Celebrating gay, bi and trans fatherhood is what we do on Gays With Kids. We rejoice in whatever paths our community took to become parents. But many of those journeys come with heartbreak, sometimes for the intended parents, and sometimes for the biological family from whom the adoption or foster placement occurs. With an open adoption, the adoptive and biological families come to an arrangement which best benefits the child, and that's when something truly beautiful can occur. This isn't always possible in every scenario, but when it does, we're exceedingly thankful. Can a child ever have too many family members loving them? Not likely. This was husbands of five years Edward and Andrew Senn's experience.

Keep reading... Show less

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse