In our last blog, we told you that proposed H.R. 1215, if passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, would prevent victims of medical negligence, including infants and children, from having their rights protected. Now we see that on the State level, the current budget proposal by Governor Kasich would reduce or eliminate benefits for our sickest children and their families.
Rourke & Blumenthal regularly represents families whose children have suffered injuries due to errors in managing pregnancies and labor and delivery resulting in life-altering injuries such as cerebral palsy. As a result, we spend large amounts of time in our clients’ home and see firsthand how hard they work, fight, love, and nurture to make sure that their son or daughter can have the best life possible. One major component of these efforts is the Bureau of Children with Medical Handicaps (BCMH). As noted in the linked Dispatch article, the BCMH enables families to provide their children with life-saving and quality of life improving equipment, medications, and treatments. The Stasel family highlighted by the Dispatch are a perfect example of the pain and perverse costs that elimination of the BCMH program will have, particularly on the working poor and middle class. The proposed change would require that a family of four living on $60,000 a year with a daughter suffering from cystic fibrosis like Melody Stasel pay $36,000 just to buy the equipment necessary to keep their daughter alive since they would no longer receive assistance from BCMH. Forcing families to choose between bankruptcy and their child’s life is beyond barbaric. We as Ohioans are better than that.
Please call your State Representatives and Governor Kasich and demand that they protect our sickest children by maintaining the Bureau of Children with Medical Handicaps and continuing its funding at least at 2016/2017 levels.