Center for American Progress Action

Arizona Parents Struggle To Afford Medication for Their Children Affected by COVID-19

Potentially 1 in 4 people develop long-term health implications as a result of COVID-19 infection. For parents such as Jennifer Schuerman in Mesa, Arizona, their child’s COVID-19 infection brought on new illnesses, including Type 1 diabetes, and thousands of dollars in new medical bills.

Jennifer Schuerman is pictured with her husband, Todd, and son, Carter.

Jennifer Schuerman, right, is pictured with her husband, Todd, and son, Carter, in May 2022. (Photo credit: Jennifer Schuerman)

As Jennifer and her husband, both nurses, worked the on the front lines of the pandemic, she worried about her 11-year-old son, Carter, contracting COVID-19 and anxiously waited for the vaccine to become available for his age group. But just four days before Carter became eligible, he contracted COVID-19. As his initial symptoms subsided, Jennifer noticed new symptoms: 12 days after his positive COVID-19 test, Carter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes—one of the many chronic illnesses that can be triggered by a COVID-19 infection. She worries her son will be saddled by ever-increasing insulin prices for the rest of his life.

I would do everything in my power to get my child what he needs: I would give up my house, I’d give it all up to keep him alive. But there’s no reason we should expect people to risk their livelihood or even their lives to afford a drug made 100 years ago for $1 Jennifer Schuerman

Experts have warned the COVID-19 pandemic will be a mass disabling event. As millions of Americans face newfound chronic health conditions, Congress must take action on prescription drug price and health care insurance reform.

Read more stories on economic justice and health care

This storybook features women in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose stories center on issues from prescription drug pricing and health insurance, to child care and paid leave.

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