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Health care reform is a controversial issue, but for families dealing with chronic medical conditions, there is no controversy.  For Jenni Dunham of Tennessee, whose husband Chris and son Jacob both have von Willebrand disease, the future has gotten “much more hopeful” since the reform.

Jenni estimates that Jacob, now three, would have reached the lifetime cap on his insurance by the time he was thirteen years old.  Now she no longer has to worry about that.  “I know families with bills $100,000 a month,” she said.  “Luckily it’s not going to work out that way [for us.]”

Chris is currently covered through his work insurance, but has had no other options, having been told multiple times that he was ineligible for private insurance due to his bleeding disorder and accompanying health issues.  Jacob is covered under Cover Kids, a Tennessee-based program for uninsured children, which has cut down on the bills but still has high co-pays.  “It affects every decision we make, to make sure we have health insurance,” said Jenni, who previously had to pay out-of-pocket for every ER visit.

To the people who are against the health care reform, Jenni simply says “Until they have lived with a chronic medical condition… They couldn’t appreciate what this means to our family.”

The Denham family’s full story

By: Rachael Prokop

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