Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Texas couple considering divorce to afford healthcare for daughter

Texas couple considering divorce to afford healthcare for daughter

A happily married couple are considering filing for divorce to get their disabled daughter Medicaid and the health care she needs.

Jake and Maria Grey, from Texas in the USA, have been married for nine years, but are struggling to afford Brighton's $20,000-a-year treatment.

The couple has tried to get Medicaid to help with spiraling medical costs but Jake earns too much - $40,000 - for the family to qualify.

Because of that the Greys are considering a divorce, so that Maria Grey becomes, at least under the law, a single, unemployed mother of two little children - and, thus, eligible for Medicaid.

'When you have a newborn everything gets really stressful and you have to really adapt to somebody needing you 24/7. we've had a newborn for six and a half years, ' Maria said.

Thad Miller, DrPH, a professor at Fort Worth, Texas-based UNT Health Science Center, said he has never heard of a family seek divorce due to circumstances regarding healthcare. "We've just struggled and struggled with it, and now we've gotten to the point, where we feel it's a real possibility", Jake said. But he believes there are many, many other families in this very same position, especially considering the numbers of people on the assistance waiting lists.

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"We promised to each other and to her that we'd do whatever we could do to make her life, however long she's going to be with us, as good as possible", Maria said.

"For someone to make you choose between your marriage and your child is just - it's a really weird spot to be in".

It was nine years ago they took their wedding vows on a handsome Florida beach. 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. They've applied for state assistance - but they're number 59,979 on the waiting list, they said.

"We're No. 60,000", Maria said. But they're considering a divorce, for the sake of one of their kids.

"She is a pure and handsome soul", Maria said. "I need the state to step up and give us the benefits that we need".

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