Ali Chandra is making her opinion known after posting her son’s hospital bill on social media to share her thoughts about the current political debate over health care.
“I guess I hoped someone would look at it and realize that the whole debate is a lot more multi-faceted than people on the internet would like you to believe,” Chandra, a registered nurse, told InsideEdition.com.
Chandra’s 3-year-old son, Ethan, has undergone five heart surgeries since he was 6 days old.
Ethan was diagnosed with heterotaxy syndrome, a rare heart defect that occurs at birth, and multiple congenital heart defects before he was born.
His latest surgery has been getting a ton of attention as Chandra posted the boy's medical bill to Twitter.
Two tweets were displayed to highlight what the costs of Ethan’s surgery would have been had the family not been covered by health insurance.
In the first tweet, Chandra posted a picture of the bill with a caption about Trump’s health care debate, saying: “It seems fitting that, with the #TrumpCare debate raging, I got this bill in the mail today from Ethan's most recent open heart surgery.” At the bottom of the picture, it says she owes $500.00.
Following the first tweet, came the second with a screenshotted photo of her phone’s calculator showing how much she would have owed without coverage. The total came to $231,115 “…for 10 hours in the OR, 1 week in the CICU and 1 week on the cardiac floor.”
In tweets posted after that, Chandra mentions Ethan’s doctor’s appointments, medications, surgeries and hospital visits that have all added up.
“He blew past the million-dollar mark long ago,” she says in another tweet, but thanks to her health insurance, she never had to pay as much as a million dollars.
Despite the high uninsured cost, the bill Chandra posted is not the most expensive bill she’s received for Ethan.
Her purpose of the various posts is to bring awareness to the health care debate and how society should try to find a common ground to keep costs down.
"If both sides of this debate realize that this bill is not good for either side of us, we need to come together and demand something that’s better for all of us,” she said. “Imagine the power we would have if we united our voices.”
Chandra's other child, Zoe, 4, refers to her brother’s heart as “special” and she enjoys running around with him. Chandra says that after his most recent surgery, Ethan can run for much longer than before becoming too tired.
Chandra, who’s covered by Aetna insurance, says that without it, none of the health care would be possible for their family of four.
“If Ethan’s care would not be covered, we would need to find a way to pay out of pocket,” she said.
Chandra is originally from Canada and says that if they needed to, they could move back north. Her concern lies within the other families who live in a country where their voices go unheard.
“There are families all over this country who don’t have that luxury that’s why I’m trying to give a voice to the hundreds and millions of kids and stories going on like this," she said. "There are families who will go bankrupt.
“There are families who will have to choose between putting food on the table and paying for a prescription for their child.”