Samantha Bailey was 26 weeks into her pregnancy when she and her husband found out their son, Henry, would be born with a rare congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. It meant Henry would be born with a heart that only functions on the right side.
Samantha and her husband decided to move forward with the pregnancy. Now, Henry is 2 years old. He already has had two open-heart surgeries and in June received a life-saving heart transplant at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
His medical bills have quickly sky-rocketed, though his family hasn’t had to pay for most of them. At first, their private insurance covered the bills and AHCCCS helped with whatever costs weren’t covered by the private insurance. Now, the family no longer has the private insurance but continue to have healthcare coverage through AHCCCS.
“If we didn’t qualify for AHCCCS, or for some reason Henry specifically wasn’t able to be on it, we would probably have to file for personal bankruptcy or choose between having a house and food or pay medical bills,” Samantha said.
Having AHCCCS pay for Henry’s medications and medical care has been a big relief for Samantha and her husband, who’s the main breadwinner in the family of six.
Samantha, a registered Republican, said she’s aware of the efforts led mostly by Republican lawmakers to make cuts to Medicaid programs, like AHCCCS. She said her message to them is that individuals, like her son, who are benefiting from AHCCCS “are not just a number. They are somebody and they are living, and their lives depend on this care that they’re getting thanks to AHCCCS.”