lemonade stand health insurance

Depending on where you’re reading the story about six year old Drew Cox, you get a different taste in your mouth. From local affiliates and mom-blogs, you get a sense of heart-warming lemony-goodness. But Boing Boing‘s Xeni Jardin wants you to remember something: these “heart-warming” stories highlight the sad fact that the state of health care in the United States is absolutely abominable.

As the crow flies, Texas father Randy Cox has a rare form of cancer. Cox can’t afford his medical bills (who can?), and his six year old son, Drew, raised $10,000 to help dad out. “Doctors gave an excellent prognosis,” says the Cox family’s fundraising website, “and thinks he only needs 4 cycles of chemotherapy using 2 medications. He goes 6 hours a day for a week and then off for two weeks before the next cycle begins.”

But Drew didn’t raise $10,000 for his dad with a fundraising website. Drew did it, incredibly, with a lemonade stand.

Drew is the oldest of three kids – his brothers Jake and Micah are four years old and seven months old, respectively. What Drew did was incredible – and the bond between he and his father is awesome. It’s to be commended and celebrated in a culture where we typically look at dads as the walking wallets. But this also highlights (to an extreme extent) a dangerous trend in American economics: kids nowadays have to take care of themselves and their parents financially. And if it’s not bad enough just worrying about housing and living expenses, there’s also the sh*tty health care system, profiting off of death and disease.

Boing Boing‘s Jardin would know that the state of health care is in the sh*ts because Jardin herself has cancer – and is also soldiering through cycles of bills. She says stories like this should make America feel bad, not good. “A working father gets cancer, and the family has to rely on charity, and a lemonade stand manned by a 6 year old, to obtain life-sustaining medical treatment? F*ck this,” says Jardin.

And Jardin’s exactly right.

The rate of uninsured people is climbing, and what’s worse is that people with insurance aren’t emotionally-eased by their coverage. In the end, stories like that of Drew Cox’s lemonade stand warms your heart on a personal level, but only if you’re able to forget about the colder reality that has created the need for a six year old to raise money for his father’s treatment. “And what’s worse, that $10K they raised on the lemonade stand won’t get you very far,” notes Jardin. Depending on the time, place, drug and process, $10,000 might be gone in one infusion.

Good luck to the Cox family, from the bottom of 8BitDad‘s collective heart. It’s a terrible system, and we’re all in it together.