People get divorced for plenty of reasons, but usually it’s over issues that involve the couple’s inability to happily stay together. One couple in Texas, however, is considering divorce out of necessity for their child’s well-being, a reflection of how desperate many people in our country have become when it comes to attaining adequate health care.
Married for nine years, Jake and Maria Grey are out of options for how to help their 6-year-old daughter. She suffers from a condition called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, a chromosomal disorder that makes her, developmentally, the same as a newborn child.
“You know when you have a newborn, everything gets really stressful. You really have to adapt to someone needing you 24-7 all the time,” Maria said. “We've had a newborn for six and a half years.”
The costs of taking care of their daughter exceed $15,000 a year — which, with Jake’s annual salary of $40,000, is a big hit for the family. Because he earns that much, however, they don’t qualify for Medicaid.
So the couple are considering a drastic option: divorcing one another. If they get a divorce, Maria will become a single mom of two children, allowing her to qualify for health care benefits for her and her children.
It’s not an option the couple takes lightly.
“It's morally wrong, I feel like, and I think it's conflicting for me too, because I feel like what's happening to us is morally wrong,” Jake explained.
What’s happening to this family is morally reprehensible. In the wealthiest nation on the planet, a hard-working family must decide if they should end their marriage in order to pay for their child’s medical expenses.
Perhaps a better option exists. Perhaps the Greys could live in a country which recognizes health care as a fundamental right, and which provides access to medicine and care while allowing the two to remain married. If only the United States of America were such a country.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Pxhere