Stories about: Health legislation & reform

What I Hope Parents Do on Election Day

If he were president, my seven-year-old son told me, there would be no more wars. There would be no more robberies—and nobody would get sick or hurt. He wouldn’t let anybody die, either.

It broke my heart a bit to have to explain to him that presidents couldn’t stop all wars, or all robberies—and that no matter what we do, people get sick, hurt and die. Liam got very quiet. But, I told him, there’s a lot that presidents and all of us can do to bring peace, keep people safe, make fewer people choose crime and make sure more people have what they need to get and stay healthy. Liam perked up. That’s what I’ll do, then.

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Massachusetts requires insurance companies to cover hearing aids for children

Paul and Nathan were born with hearing loss

Naturally, Lisa Adams was worried when she found out her twin infant sons, Nathan and Paul, were born with moderate hearing loss. She became even more concerned when her children’s audiologist, Amal Awdeh, AuD, explained how poor hearing during such a critical time in development could severely impact their budding language skills.

But Adams was quickly comforted when Awdeh explained how far hearing aid technology had come in recent years—with the right equipment, medical and educational teams supporting them—the twins’ speech would most likely develop just fine.

Paul and Nathan were fitted with hearing aids on loan from Boston Children’s Hospital, a practice that allows doctors to find the perfect match of hearing aid to patient before anything permanent is obtained and fitted.

(Click here to support the Caroline Bass Fund at Boston Children’s, which helps fund our loaner hearing aid project. Please write Caroline Bass Fund in the ‘designation’ section.)


As toddlers the twins had loaner hearing aids

After a year Paul and Nathan’s growth was consistent, and doctors were pleased with the progress they were making with the loaner aids, so Adams took her sons to be fitted for their own hearing aids. The visit went well, right up until it was time to process payment.

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Boston Children’s raises its voice for kids everywhere

A team from Boston Children’s Hospital recently returned from Family Advocacy Day, a national event sponsored by the Children’s Hospital Association that gives children’s hospital patients from around the country and their families a chance to meet with leaders on Capitol Hill and share their stories about the importance of pediatric hospitals. Here, Joshua Greenberg, Boston Children’s s vice president of Government Relations, shares why Family Advocacy Day is so important and explains how this year’s meeting was helped by three special kids.

Joshua Greenberg and Amy DeLong of Boston Children's Government Relations team make a promise for all pediatric patients.

Taking three families from three different New England states to Washington D.C. to speak with their elected officials about health policies is a lot of work. There is a ton of travel logistics to be sorted out and some pretty complicated schedules to accommodate. Once there, D.C. takes a little getting used to. The city moves at a fast pace and has its own special language that can be confusing to the uninitiated. Factor in the heat and humidity of a southern city in mid-July and you can be left with a cranky Government Relations staffer (me!) and a tired group of children and families. It’s far from a vacation, but Boston Children’s Government Relations team would never miss a Family Advocacy Day event. All the work it takes to organize is instantly justified when we see in person the reach our advocacy efforts can have in Washington. Every year our team returns to work refreshed, engaged and energized. I think the families that participate feel the same way.

Children are often left out of the “formal” political process. They don’t vote, and younger children can only rely on adults to speak up for their needs. For that reason it’s the mission of Boston Children’s (and children’s hospitals in general) to advocate for their health needs. Boston Children’s Government Relations team devotes a great deal of time and effort to a broad range of issues, from preserving insurance coverage to improving mental health access and reducing childhood obesity rates. I like to think we are good at what we do, but without question the best child advocates are children and their parents.

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How will the Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama’s health reform law impact children?

James Mandell, MD

Regardless of your political views, yesterday’s Supreme Court decision to uphold President Obama’s health reform law, which was originally passed in March 2010, was historic and will touch the lives of nearly every American in some way or another.

As the CEO of one of the nation’s largest hospitals for children and chairman of the board for the Children’s Hospital Association, I’m focused on how this law impacts children and their families. As I said in 2010, I believe there are several positive things related to pediatric health in this law, namely:

  • Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage for any child with a pre-existing condition.
  • There are no lifetime limits or exclusions on insurance coverage.
  • Young adults can now stay on their parents’ insurance plans until they’re 26.

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