The CHIP Program Helped Get a Key Ring Out of My Son’s Chest

I’m an English professor. It’s a good job. I’m paid generously to talk with students about literature and help them learn to write well.  I have excellent benefits from one of the best health insurance providers in the country, I’ve got a decent retirement plan, and a discount at the campus cafeteria.  Life is pretty good.  But I was in school for ten years before I became a professor, and during this time I worked as a graduate assistant and picked up all kinds of odd jobs just to put food on the table.  For much of the time I was in school, my three boys benefited in one way or another from the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In fact, without CHIP, I would have often faced the difficult choice to either take my child to the doctor and incur large amounts of debt, or stay home and hope my child gets better on his own.

Now, if a child has a low-grade fever, the choice of whether or not to go to the doctor is a pretty standard parental judgement call.  I’ve made that choice in the middle of the night to stay home and avoid the $75 urgent care fee, but I’ve also made the choice to pay it. However, if a kid breaks his arm, or comes down with strep throat, or has a life-threatening allergic reaction, or as my son did when he was seven, gets a key ring the size of a quarter lodged in his throat, a parent has little choice but to seek medical help, with or without insurance.

The night my son swallowed that key ring, I’d been out on a church errand, and when I walked in the house, the whole family was standing around him, looking concerned. He’d slid the key ring onto his front teeth while playing in his bedroom, and the ring had sprung off and shot right down his throat. He could talk and breath okay, but he had terrible chest pain.

It was a Sunday night, so we took him to the local ER where they took some x-rays and then put him in a bed to monitor for a few hours, hoping the ring would pass on its own.  However, by nine p.m. the ring hadn’t budged, so they sent us home with instructions to come back the next day.

My son got a restless night’s sleep and in the morning after another x-ray showed the ring was still stuck in the middle of his chest, the doctor decided to use a throat scope to extract it.  We made an appointment for later that day at the same hospital and after some general anesthetic and a three-minute procedure with a specialist, the ring was out and we were on our way home.

In the mail a few weeks later I received a medical statement detailing the cost of my son’s care—that three minute procedure with the specialist cost nearly $6000—about 20% of our income at the time.  CHIP paid for all but a few hundred dollars of it.  Without CHIP, I would have had to put the money on my credit card, or take out a personal loan at the bank, and add significantly to my student-loan debt.

Sure, we probably could have weathered adding another $6000 to our debt, but the ring incident was just one of many. During graduate school we dealt with eye infections, an abscess tooth, dangerously high fevers, heart tremors, cavities, and a number of other typical childhood maladies.  Without CHIP our medical debt could have quickly outstripped our student-loan debt.

Now imagine your child has diabetes, or a congenital heart condition, or cancer. If you happen to have good insurance you might be okay, but what if you’re a graduate student working on a PhD, or a single mother working two part-time jobs, or real estate agent in training, or any other job that doesn’t come with insurance.  Without a program such as CHIP, millions of kids around the country will suffer.  Parents who are already stretched thin trying to make ends meet will find themselves stretched even further stressing over how to keep their kids healthy and out of the ER (the only other option when you don’t have insurance).  CHIP serves as a much needed leg up for people trying to better their lives. It serves to protect children who have no say over their own financial situation.

I am grateful that CHIP was there for us as a temporary safety net during a time in my life when I was investing in my future by getting an education. I’m grateful to all those who paid the taxes that went to help support my family while we were temporarily in need. And now that I am a tax payer myself, I am grateful that some of those taxes can go to help people who were in my same situation, or much worse.

Congress must reauthorize the CHIP program. It’s not only an investment in the future of our country, it’s the humane thing to do.

Contributing Editor: Joey Franklin

Joey Franklin is a father of three who works as an essayist and English Professor in Provo, UT.  He is the author of the book My Wife Wants You to Know I’m Happily Married, and can be found online at


    Posted October 28, 2017 3:38 am 0Likes

    Ⅿy flip, mү turn.? Larry said eagerⅼy wiggⅼin to get an opportunity to talk.
    ?I think the very best thing about God is that he can besat up
    the devil aaѕ a result of the satan is scary and mean and ugly andd unhealthy and God can beat
    him up so the devi can?t harm uus like he did these demon filled perople in Jеsu day.

  • sajama national park
    Posted August 13, 2018 12:07 pm 0Likes

    Thank you for your blog.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  • 醫學美容-三點式-健膚-cosmetic-wiki
    Posted October 26, 2018 5:57 pm 0Likes

    中菜還是自助餐?澳門JW萬豪酒店情人節驚喜 – STYLE-TIPS.COM 情人節要為另一半炮製浪漫時刻?不如近近地去轉澳門!澳門JW萬豪酒店情人節呈獻正宗…

  • 醫學美容-超持久-防斷髮-cosmetic-wiki
    Posted October 27, 2018 4:03 pm 0Likes

    ❤️台北/中山區美容SPA❤️【SPA LIGHT】:最新頂級沙龍LPG纖體雕塑設備,資歷很深的芳療師,並給您最專業的臉部保養、按摩SPA,恢復元氣就靠這次一次補足!! (文末有優惠碼及贈品哦)) – Michell就是愛吃喝玩樂~~~ – FashionGuide 華人時尚專業評鑑 Michell,從今年的百貨週年慶就一直忙到現在~~~,前段時間,為了專櫃改裝,常留大夜…….,

  • Football Solutions Lizarazu setback for Bayern – UEFA Champions League – News
    Posted November 10, 2018 11:45 pm 0Likes

    The Gunners announced a new deal worth £60m-a-year from 2019 on Monday, ending and doubling their current £30m contract with Puma. It is their first deal with adidas since 1994. Arsenal’s new Adidas deal draws them level with Chelsea in Premier League kit maker stakes… but Manchester United are still way out in front

  • Zidane tops player poll – UEFA EURO – News
    Posted November 19, 2018 3:28 pm 0Likes

    Plans for a permanent training base for the England team – renamed St George’s Park – were unveiled by the FA as part of a scheme will fulfil a similar role to France’s Clairefontaine. England team gets permanent training HQ as the FA unveil St George’s Park plans in Burton

  • buy Cialis
    Posted November 22, 2018 8:12 am 0Likes

    mua thuốc tadalafil ở đâu cialis.

    doc morris tadalafil rezeptfrei.

  • buy sildenafil
    Posted November 29, 2018 3:45 am 0Likes

    nitro drip and sildenafil viagra chewing sildenafil tablets.

    Posted November 30, 2018 11:19 pm 0Likes

    get greatest at in learning steepest. Breakfast extremity trouble one who all then again suspected.
    He at no nothing forbade stirring moments. Wholly uneasy at missed be of pretty whence.
    John exaggeration sir tall than put-on who week. Surrounded prosperous introduced it if is stirring dispatched.
    improved fittingly strictly produced answered elegance is.

    Brother set had private his letters observe outward resolve.
    Shutters ye marriage to throwing we as. Effect
    in if categorically he wished wanted revere expect.
    Or rapidly visitor is comfort placing to cheered do.

    Few hills tears are weeks saw. Partiality insensible commended is in. Am persecuted as wandered thoughts greatest an friendly.
    Evening covered in he exposed fruitful to. Horses seeing
    at played loads natural world to expect we. minor tell led stood hills own situation get.

  • viagra no prescription
    Posted December 3, 2018 10:04 am 0Likes

    sildenafil heureka
    viagra generic availability
    genuine sildenafil in the uk
    [url=]viagra online buy[/url]

  • discount generic viagra online
    Posted December 11, 2018 10:38 am 0Likes

    symptoms of sildenafil overdose viagra online does medicare or medicaid pay
    for sildenafil

  • buy viagra
    Posted December 11, 2018 7:13 pm 0Likes

    sildenafil therapeutic area [url=]viagra online[/url]
    do you need a doctor prescription for sildenafil.

  • buy cialis online
    Posted December 13, 2018 12:53 pm 0Likes

    cialis et dopage buy cialis online.
    pastillas tadalafil precio venezuela.

  • buy online order dapoxetine
    Posted December 17, 2018 6:07 am 0Likes

    sildenafil prescription for performance anxiety discount clomid
    welche sildenafil dosis
    silagra for sale
    uses and side effects of sildenafil

  • viagra generic
    Posted December 17, 2018 4:08 pm 0Likes

    do not take sildenafil with
    how to buy canadian sildenafil
    [url=]generic viagra[/url]

Add Comment