Health Care and Health Insurance for Childhood Disorders
Congress and the nation are engaged in an important debate over the future of the country’s health care system. Much of the emphasis is on increasing the number of individuals covered by health insurance in our country. However, what would the ambitious bills now being considered do to affect insurance coverage of certain kinds of specific ailments that are often not covered by health insurance today?
Two key examples are autism spectrum disorders and vascular birthmark issues, which together affect over two million Americans. Most treatments for these health problems are not covered by most health insurance plans in the United States today. In addition, they disproportionately affect children and if not effectively addressed early, they become lifelong problems, degrading quality of life and in many cases causing huge additional costs down the road.
On October 23, the Brookings Institution hosted a discussion featuring a group of individuals committed to the cause of childhood health care. Panelists included Michael O’Hanlon, Brookings senior fellow and parent of a child on the autism spectrum; Leslie Sinclair, program director of the Center for Autism at the Cleveland Clinic; Nicholas Sparks, bestselling author of The Notebook (Grand Central Publishing, 1999) and Nights in Rodanthe (Warner Books, 2003) and parent of a child with a vascular anomaly; and Dr. Milton Waner, co-founder of the Waner Children’s Vascular Anomaly Foundation. Hannah Storm, ESPN anchor and founder of the Hannah Storm Foundation, provided introductory remarks and will moderated the discussion.
Author, The Notebook and Nights in Rodanthe
Program Director, Center for Autism, The Cleveland Clinic
Co-Founder, Waner Children’s Vascular Anomaly Foundation
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