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Health & Science

Former Bengals' Quarterback Speaks Out on Change Affecting State Health Program

photo of Boomer Esiason
Boomer Esiason (at podium) joined families concerned about the change because he says serious illness can cause financial stress.

About 40,000 Ohio families with medically fragile children are battling to stop a change in the state program that helps them pay their kids’ bills. They got a boost in their fight from a well-known Ohio sports figure.

Boomer Esiason has a child with cystic fibrosis. The former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback doesn’t get help from the Bureau of Children with Medical Handicaps, but he joined families in that program at the Statehouse to say treatment for serious illnesses can cause serious financial stress.

“My son basically has a disease that basically costs an excess of $300,000 a year. And while I do have very good insurance back home in New York to be able to cover that and I do have very good job security to fill in the doughnut holes, not every family in America is like ours.”

Families fear moving the program into Medicaid would reduce or eliminate some coverage. Republican lawmakers are saying they don’t support that move.