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article imageHealth care reform too late for baby Houston Tracy

By KJ Mullins     Mar 28, 2010 in Health
Pre-existing conditions have been the reason many in America do not qualify for life-saving health care. That is the case for a baby born last month in Texas; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas say the infant's heart problems are pre-existing.
The Health Care Reform bill just passed by Congress will go into effect in September. For those who have pre-existing conditions the bill could come too late to save them.
One of those who may not survive to see September is Houston Tracy, just barely over a week old. His parents found out on Wednesday that their infant son was denied coverage.
Houston was born with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect that causes the two major vessels that carry blood away from the heart to become switched.
CBS news quoted Houston's father Doug, ""They kept saying it's preexisting, it's preexisting, but I don't know how it can be preexisting on a baby that was just born. If it's mandated that everyone have health insurance, than how can one be denied?"
The insurance company will not speak on individual cases sending out a statement to KTVT:
"We will work closely with our customers to keep them informed of any changes that may result from the new law. We will continue to review the bill's requirements on our business and their respective time frames to ensure full compliance."
They also told Forth Worth Star-Telegram that:
Our policy is that if a family has existing coverage with us, a baby can be added to the contract within 31 days without the need for underwriting to assess the baby's eligibility."
Houston's parents aren't covered by Blue Cross and Blue Shield but their older two children are. The elder Tracys' own their own small businesses.
Houston's condition was not discovered until he was born. It can be fixed by surgery with 95 percent of babies surviving the operation. Without an operation Houston will die, most babies with this condition only survive for days while some do live for as long as a year.
There is hope now for Houston, his family has found an alternative way to get coverage through the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool.
More about Healthcare reform, Houston tracy, Pre-existing conditions
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