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March 8th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Saving Carlos: Budget cuts leave 2nd-grader behind

Editor’s Note: Carlos is a little boy who suffers from ADHD and severe anxiety. His family doesn't have insurance and relies on the public mental health system. But now a broke state may be taking out a mortgage on his future. CNN's Thelma Gutierrez has his story for the American Morning original series we're calling "Saving Carlos." Tomorrow, we find out how just how much Carlos' therapy costs taxpayers and whether he'll be able to keep on going.

8-year-old Carlos is at the mercy of California lawmakers who control the state's budget and, in some way, his future.

8-year-old Carlos is at the mercy of California lawmakers who control the state's budget and, in some way, his future.

By Thelma Gutierrez, CNN

(CNN) – South Los Angeles is a community of working class families, hit hard by the economy. This is where I met Carlos more than a month ago.

He is a young boy who is at the mercy of California lawmakers. They control the state's budget and, in some way, his future.

Carlos needs help. He's only in the 2nd grade already and he’s falling through the cracks.

Carlos lives with his sister and parents. They're unemployed, uninsured and barely scraping by. Among Carlos' many challenges in life, he also suffers from severe anxiety and ADHD.

He meets regularly with Elena Fernandez, director of behavioral health, at St. John's Community Clinic in South Los Angeles. She's trying to unlock the causes of his angst.

Kids slipping through cracks Video

Elena uses art therapy to help Carlos express things that are going in his life. Carlos' mother says she believes it is critical for people to understand how important these services are to children like her son.

During therapy, Carlos draws a picture of his “family fights.”

“This is my mom, this is my dad. Sometimes he fights with me,” he says. “…sometimes I cry.”

Carlos tells Elena his dad used to drink and that led to fighting between his mom and dad. He says at home, there was no escape. That was six months ago. Carlos' life was in shambles.

“I just want to leave somewhere,” he says. “I tell them not to fight. I tell ‘em if you fight, I'm out of here.”

“He first came to me because he was having lots of problems at home and mom did not know how to modify his behavior,” says Fernandez. “The teacher was frustrated and didn't know how to help Carlos and was writing him up or sending him to the office or wanting him out of the classroom instead of working with him.”

Carlos' mom, Leticia, tells me she worried her son was being written off at the age of 8. He felt labeled as a "bad kid" and rejected by his teacher. Leticia said she knew mental health services. She searched for clinics that accept Medi-Cal, a state public health program for the poor.

Leticia says she tried really hard to get help. She says she took him to four different clinics and each time she was told Carlos didn't qualify because he wasn't considered an emergency.

Carlos would have to be physically violent or suicidal to get help. It sounds extreme, but an official with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health told us clinics are so overloaded and under-funded, they're forced to triage children. And right now, those who need ongoing therapy like Carlos, are not a priority.

After nearly a year of searching, Leticia finally found St. John's, a free clinic.

If Carlos wasn't able to go to his therapy sessions at St. John’s, would he be at risk?

“Of course he would be at risk,” says Fernandez. “He'd be at risk behaviorally and academically.”

But now, St. Johns and other clinics like it are also facing California's bruising budget cuts. The 7000 people who receive help from St. John's alone will no longer receive mental health care, and that includes 4000 kids just like Carlos whose family is now in therapy.

Filed under: Education cuts • Health • Saving Carlos
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Deb Parks

    Our city is the home of Purdue University, Eli Lilly, Subaru, Alcoa, Caterpillar just to name a few. Several new schools have been built (or are under construction for the 2010-2011 yr.) within the last 4 or 5 yrs. And...two state of the art Hospitals have been built and opened with the past year.
    We were recently informed that they are laying off hundreds of teachers here as well. This makes no sense to me. Where do these companies think their future workers are coming from ??

    March 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  2. RTrain

    So Adderall is a basic human right now? Looks like Carlos could use some pec implants while we have our wallets out. What, CNN couldn't find any real handicapped kids with which to yank my heartstrings? Things must not be that article.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  3. MC

    Manny: Unfortunately at this time California has ( I think at last count) 2.9 million illegal aliens from Mexico in the state. That is more people than most states. 2.9 million people draining funds from programs that are being cut because they are serving those who should not receive them. It's not a white, black or hispanic thing; it's a legal thing. If you are not a citizen you should not receive benefits as if you are one.
    (ignore previous post)

    March 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  4. Carl

    Even if the story was about a poor white kid, the cause is the same. Oh no...not it comes...too much stress on a system by excess immigrants. We eventually absorbed the Irish and Italians and they are part of the backbone of America. We will absorb the Mexicans too. But it must be measured. Excess immigration into a indigenous population always stresses it. This has happened since the dawn of ancient civilization, all over the world. It is nothing new. Carlos has a tough life, but better than those in Haiti, Ethiopia, Palestine, Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq and Mexico to name a few. California's sales tax is already almost 10% on top of a high income tax. You CANNOT raise taxes...successful people will avoid the state putting more burdens on it. The budget cuts MUST happen, immigration will slack, things will equalize, and history will repeat until the world no longer has developing countries. I am hopeful this will happen within a few centuries, if we control world population. Think about what a great world we will have when every country is prosperous! But for now keep cutting. It's the only way.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |

    I see so many comments here that place blame on parents, the system, etc. Tax dollars helping others??!! NO WAY! Ha. So sad that people feel that way. Eventhough I totally agree that we should not be footing the bill for illegal immigrants (not sure if this is the case here), or the folks that dont work, but would rather get drunk and wasted – like it or not, this boy is part of our society. Without care he may grow up to hurt one your family members, how would you feel then? Would you blame the system for letting him fall through the cracks? Sure you would. The problem is we react, instead of trying to prevent. We should be trying to do everything we can to help young children like these, or else we will end up with more crime, and unwanted behavior.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
  6. Sjc

    Thank you, Julie and the others who are not pointing the blame at the parents. No, we do not know how they became unemployed. It happens to the most educated people in tough times. How dare you say that child does not need help b/c his family had some dysfunctions! What family doesn't have issues?! My son has the same issues and we are a "normal" family. If it weren't for state aid, I could not afford his treatment which is keeping him stable at the moment. If you do not have a special needs family member, then you cannot possible know exactly what this family goes through. Why shouldn't we help Carlos the same way we'd help others in tough situations? I wonder how many of you judgemental people would spend money on your animals, yet turn your back on a little boy.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  7. chertz

    I am sure this is one of many children who face this challenge. ADHD is real and is a problem. His ADHD and anxiety need to be treated for him to have a life. Some estimates are that over 80% of juvenile delinquents have untreated ADHD, so there is real societal impact in increased crime, if he is not properly treated. I know this because I have a son, who has this same challenge who made bad choices. In my case, I have the financial resources and access to top medical care, so my son is being treated and he is now doing very well academically and otherwise.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm |
  8. Tired of the entitled

    We cannot care for all the children of the world. As long as we allow irresponsible people to have children, and reward them for it, we can't be expected to. I will do whatever I can to help those whose parents are working and are trying. As so many of you point out, it is not the child's fault. Maybe not, but their are not unlimited resources and money to help all of them. As long as you liberals can not see past this and correct the problems that lead up to this, nothing will change and their will be an unending line of children who you want to save. IT CANNOT BE DONE! And yet you want to do things that don't help change the situation, you want to do things that make it even worse. You want to give amnesty to illegals; you want to give free health care to all, you don't want to limit entitlement programs, but expand on them. Where is all the money that is going to pay for this coming from??? Maybe it isn't the children fault, but, BOTTOM LINE, it is the parents fault and it is associated guilt, like it or not.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  9. FstEti

    This is THE headline story on CNN today; actually just saw it on CNN TV just now. Really? THE story of the day? Not the 200 Christians murdered by their Muslim countrymen in Nigeria, not the earthquake in Turkey, not the Democrat Congressman that is accusing the White House of forcing his resignation because he is opposed to the Health Care Bill? CARLOS??? REALLY??????

    March 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  10. MC

    Manny: Unfortunately at this time California has ( I think at last count) 2.9 million illegal aliens from Mexico in the state. That is more people than most states. 2.9 million dollars draining funds from programs that are being cut because they are serving those who should not receive them. It's not a white, black or hispanic thing; it's a legal thing. If you are not a citizen you should not receive benefits as if you are one.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  11. poisedpen

    Mental health is a critical piece of overall health and wellbeing and we should do all we can as individuals and communities to see that all people in this country get prompt and proper mental health care–including preventive care, diagnosis and treatment. Improving mental health–for children, adults and seniors–is both compassionate and cost-cutting, because healthier communities see improved outcomes in graduation rates, employment rates, etc. and reductions in problems like homelessness, crime, domestic violence and substance abuse that cost us all dearly. Investing in mental health care is an investment in all aspects of our society, and I thank this reporter for covering this issue.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  12. eandw

    To Steve
    How is that you are held responsible as a taxpayer, as I am, when genetic testing does not test for ADHD which requires medication, as I know as my SON is ADHD and autistic which is not genetically tested for also. So how is it the parent's fault or yours as a taxpayer? Carlos is an at risk child as is my 10 year old son... personally I would rather that these children be productive society dedicates ,than in jail which in the long run...WE PAY FOR with our tax dollars anyway! So Grow Up and stop your whining!!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  13. J

    So many people here talk about how this isn't their problem and how the govt shouldn't intervene. Yet nobody realizes that we are very reliant on the govt for many of the things that make our lives better. Money, utilities, food, transportation is provided by the govt that we elected into office to use our tax dollars to help our society in many ways flourish. Granted it's easier said then done.

    Cutting the budget is a reality. What is heartbreaking is it is cutting a lifeline and probably the only hope these children have to potentially have a better and more productive life not only as a person but as a citizen and contributor and tax payer to our society. So people need to first have a heart before they start whining about working and their dollars going "down the drain". It sounds extremely selfish to me personally.

    Of course there are a million things that the govt itself should stop that is corrupting our society and letting billions of dollars go into the wrong hands of greedy people that feel they deserve it all for their "hard work". I think that is the thing people should be angry about.

    For such a rich nation I am constantly mind boggled in how so many basic needs and rights for people are not available. I agree it is frustrating to see our tax dollars get "wasted" but I really do not agree on cutting help for children who are the future of our nation and need stability and a strong foundation to go above and beyond where we first started. It's sad and maybe people just need to look at the big picture rather then themselves and live a more humble way of life.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
  14. Single Mom

    Carlos...All of this because his parents were fighting? It sounds like a Democrats plant to get health care passed. ADHD meds are inexpensive, much less than the gas to take him to clinics. When we as a nation can not afford to keep Pedophiles in jail, we should be worried for little Carlos because he is upset when his parents fight? Who isn't. Parents should grow up, learn how to behave in front of their children & get a job. Let's see, a job, money, less time & energy to fight, sounds like a solid plan for me, unless your socialistic tendency makes you want to buy into; more taxes so little Carlos will be more accepting of his parents behavior & learn how to do it himself. Likely this is just a bit of bad reporting, but what's new?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
  15. TJ

    This is just the liberal media, finding whatever sorry case they can to try to support Obama's health care push. There is ALWAYS some sorry case out there to exploit in this way.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  16. Phil

    The proposed health insurance reform doesn't really fix this "problem" because his parents probably can't afford -any- health insurance. Perhaps it is lost on people, but a large number of people without insurance, like Carlos, have access to free medical care. Our society doesn't do a very good job of differentiating supporting those who cannot take of themselves (our societal responsibility) to those who refuse to take care of themselves (not our responsibility).

    Like or not, if you guarantee health care for absolutely everyone, you have to define a fairly low guaranteed level of support because you can't afford to give absolutely everything to everyone.

    Perhaps the bleeding hearts at CNN should look at cases where people fall through the cracks in England or Canada or some other national health service country. It happens everywhere, including the good 'ol USA. Our current health care system is the finest in the world, but there are clear common sense reforms that would make it better. I know people have lost sight of the current legislation. They think it is health care reform. Nope, it is health insurance reform and overreaches dramatically. Sign the Obama bill and see if Carlos is any better off - he won't be able to afford insurance and California will still be broke.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  17. trisha

    I find it amazing to drive through streets in California and see such poverty in an area with such wealth. The stars are quick to give some time to a cause so they can ask us middle class to donate what little money we have. They need to step up to the plate.

    I think it is sad that Carlos' parents are causing such trouble in his life. They need to get a job, stop drinking and take care of their son.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  18. citizen

    I agree people need health care. I do NOT believe that free clinics are the way to go. First, we need to get our politicians in touch with reality. THEIR reality is the best free health care in the world for them and their families for their entire lives. No out of network. no wating. No premiums or co-pays. No prior authorizations needed. No pre-existing conditions. Aren't they public servants? If so, then why do they get free health care while the rest of us work our tails off to pay for our own? Second, we need to make AFFORDABLE, quality health care available to everyone. Notice, I did not say FREE. I am all about affordable quality health care. We NEED it.

    Not to be cruel, but we cannot afford to carry the burden for illegal aliens (you're right, that isn't politically correct). We are in some tough economic times in this country. Perhaps the worst ever. We can't continue to throw money around like it is confetti. Make health care affordable for LEGAL residents of this country. I said make it afordable, I didn't say free. If you break the law to come and live (or take from) this country, you're on your own.

    Enough about the rights of illegals, of inmates, other criminals or anyone looking for a "free ride" taking the front seat to everyone else. You break the law, you pay the price. Period. t's about time we start being concerned about the rights of legal residents/citizens in this country who are hardworking, law-abiding people. And sorry Carlos, while I have empathy for you, ADHD and anxiety aren't lethal.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  19. Rod

    What did people do before ADHD was invented? Discipline. Aristotle talked all about how you need to train people to be good. You can't just expect that poor circumstances ireevocably doom this kid to a violent and underacheiving life. Doing so simply sanctions a lack of effort on his and the parents part. He is predestined, so what is the point of trying. When it comes to aspirations you generally get what you expect you'll get.

    From a budgetary view It is not just what can the state do for this kid but what could it do better with the money. There are limited funds, they need to allocate it where it is most needed. This is not the most needed. If the family needs monetary support to be able to stay together maybe they should just get divorced. While divorce is not a good thing, in some cases it can be better thing.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  20. Lo

    Please look how many comments are here with people saying my son or my daughter suffrers from ADHD... if this was such a delimiting factor as people and medical industry makes it out to be then HOW, HOW have we gotten this far in society cause half the world is considered ADHD. ADD and ADHD are a BS medical condition told to you and people say O YEA my child is hyper or O yea my child doesn't pay attention hmm could it be b]c he's a f'ing child

    March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  21. John

    Bill made some very good points about immigration and spreading it around. Regarding this story I think all those people blaming the system should just go ahead and pay for his medical care, I am sure they can reach him by contacting CNN. I don't want my tax dollars going to pay for welfare, I would like to see it going towards education and infrastructure which will be the future of this country.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  22. manny

    It:s interresting how so many of the comments are race/legal status based. I wonder if they had the same story of a "white" complected with kid, still out of south LA, would those comments have been written. I tend to think not.... The parents are partly to blame, however whether we like it or not: if he's born here he is as American as anybody else...As far as amending the constituttion to have at least one parent be born here in order to considered American, how far back should we start wtih that.... Maybe during the Irish immigration, maybe about Polish...Again it's funny how amending the constitution only comes up as people from countries not generally "white complected" start to immigate here...

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  23. Daisy

    Shame on those parents for their bad behavior. If he has problems it seems to be their own fault. They made a mess of him, they can fix him also. I pay my own insurance and don't go looking for handouts.
    And for heavens sake, speak English to that child. This is America and if those parents have dreams for those kids them teach them the American language. And that counselor should be speaking to him in English also. I am sure her salary is in American dollars. So teach him to be an American.
    Both parents would have a better chance at getting work if they spoke English. Step up to the plate. You are in America now. That boy should not speak the broken English that he speaks.
    This is the land of Opportunity not the land of Hand Outs.
    Those parents need to quit being so selfish.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  24. Jannette

    To those who think this family shouldn't receive help because of their financial situation are not looking at the bigger picture. What happens when this kid – who obviously has a hard time at school AND home – grows up and has not learned how to be a constructive member of society? Then you will complain that tax payers are paying for his time in prison. Why is it the 8 year olds problem he was BORN INTO this family? So we should punish the children for the parents mistakes? At least his Mom is proactively trying to get this child help. My son has ADHD & ODD....I spend OVER $600 per month for his mental health – I am in a position to do so.....BUT even full time workers can not afford this!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  25. Bob

    Sounds like the kid is an achor baby, meaning his parents are illegals. I am all for immigration, just do it the right and legal way of the US. Those of you who say illegal immigration is racist is an idiot, come her the right way and follow our laws and welcome to the USA!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  26. J

    To the people who say this is the parents fault and not our responsibility...What will you do in 10 years when Carlos becomes a criminal because he has bad parents and society said it's not our problem? You will pay to have him incarcerated that's what... I TOTALLY believe in the saying that "it takes a village to raise a child" and that we are ALL responsible to help kids like Carlos of their parents don't. It continually blows my mind that we have become a society where only the wealthy get premium healthcare and the rest get none...

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  27. cel

    There is a bigger issue her. It is not a "FREE" clinic. Somebody is paying for it; namely, taxpayers. The only way to solve the healthcare issue is to eliminate the Sherman Antitrust Exemption for isurance companies, require insurance companies to sell across state lines and this will force them to cover everyone to generate the revenue and it will bring down prices because there will be free market competition.
    I don't mind everyone having insurance and access to healthcare, but I don't want to pay for it with tax dollars.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  28. Peter Amherst

    Simple question: Are his unemployed, non-English speaking parents here in the U.S. legally? And if not, why doesn't reporter Thelma Gutierrez take them into her house and support them? Perhaps she can foot the bill, feed them, and pay all their financial needs? No where in the story is there a mention of their legal status. I pay my taxes...California is broke, and I'm tired of being a welcome mat to the rest of the world.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:09 pm |
  29. Thad

    Sorry for you Carlos. Now. Not my problem. I have my own problems and I'll solve them myself, I don't need to suckle at the teet of government. If parents are unable to raise their children then they should be unable to procreate. Lifes hard, man up and meet the challenge.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  30. Carlos

    A childs heath care should be a responsibility of the childs parents, not the state. The article only mentions that his parents are unemployed and that his father had a drinking problem, but nothing about the parents efforts to provide health care except take him to state run clinics.

    Has the child always been on state funded health care, medi-cal? If so, why haven't his parents been provided health care for him in the past? Surely they haven't been unemployed his entire life.

    Also, the article implies the family is poor and of hispanic decent - I can't help but question the legality of Carlos or his parents? Can the autor clarify these two points in future articles about Carlos?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
  31. CanMan

    I think before people start the " immigration blaming game", read what the story is trying to portray. It simply says how the economic cut backs are going to affect some people, in this case, young carlos. It was very sad to see how people made quotes like " it my tax dollars"or, "why should I care"?

    I just wonder if the comments would be different if the story read:

    Saving John, or Saving Jill.

    You dislike the fact that your tax dollars are making a contribution in someones life, but say nothing when your military budget exceeds that of a small country. Makes no sense.....

    March 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  32. Kevin

    You pay now or you pay later, that is what people tend not to understand. Look at the big picture, if you take away services like the ones Carlos needs now to save tax dollars, that money x10 will just have to be spent later in life to support him in a mental or correctional facility. Guess where that money comes dollars. It's an investment in society and keeping future spending down.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  33. Steve

    After reading the reader's comments, it looks like most readers have more common sense than the CNN writer Thelma Gutierrez. The writer paints this picture indicating it is the government's (lawmakers) fault. Why do the taxpayers (me) have to pay for the irresponsible behavior of the parents (adults). I need money to have a better life....but the government (and teachers and hospitals) should not be held responsible for that. I HAVE TO!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:07 pm |
  34. manny

    It:s interresting how so many of the comments are race/legal status based. I wonder if they had the same story of a "white" complected with kid, still out of south LA, would those comments have been written. I tend to think not.... The parents are partly to blame, however whether we like it or not: if he's born here he is as American as anybody else...As far as ammneding the constituttion to have at least one parent be born here in order to considered American, how far back should we start wtih that.... Maybe during the Irish immigration, maybe about Polish...Again it's funny how ammending the constitution only comes up as people from countries not generally "white complected" start to immigate here...

    March 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  35. Lola

    He has crummy parents and his parents need the therapy. I have a special needs child and to date, the most effective therapy he has received has been from family the form of spending time with him. My child has more severe challenges than Carlos and I receive no gov't assistance. Yet, I'm expected to pay for every illegal alien that slips across the border. I can tell you first hand that they do not get things for free in South America and ironically...medical costs are more affordable there.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  36. Matt

    What are you pleading for Thelma Gutierrez of CNN? Handouts? Is this the governments responsibility? No!!!!! this article represents everything that is wrong in America. Lawmakers dont control his future. He does, with the help of his parents, who have failed him up to this point. California get afford to bail out all of its disfunctional citizens, but anyone who lives here can see the effects if they try.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  37. Nono

    Wow, the compassion shown from some of the other posters just astounds me (sarcasm). For those of you who want the parents to just take responsibility or not procreate, you're idiots. The fact of the matter is that this child is already here and already suffering. We already know that these parents are not responsible – knowing that, doesn't it make sense that this child would need MORE support and services than a child whose parents both have jobs and love their child more than life itself? An 8-year-old child with ADHD and anxiety simply does NOT have a capacity to pull himself up by his bootstraps and make it. Some of you talk about the cost of providing services to him – you DO realize that either way we'll be paying for this child? Either we pay for him to receive the services and help he needs NOW so that he can become a responsible, productive, healthy, tax-paying adult, OR we pay LATER to incarcerate him for most of his adult like after he robs/kills someone. With these being our choices, I find it hard to believe that so many people would advocate for paying later.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  38. Homer

    If the boy was white then I am very sure most of the comments posted here would have been totally different.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  39. Kat

    It is a taxpayer problem. Pay now to try to save the child or pay later when negligence of his problems lands him in the penal system.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
  40. Mike_T

    If his parent's fighting seems to be a factor in his behavior, then why is that not being addressed. Why is this article about saving Carlos? when it should be more about what his parents have gone through (if anything) or are doing to prevent this situation at all (to save Carlos). Were they working and lost their jobs? Did their benefits unemployment or otherwise run out? This story seems like a a pair of horse blinders on the real problem....the parents and their situation. I feel for any child that is slighted, because if anything, children don't get to decide their fates, who their parents are, what income line they live in etc, but there are many stories out there. According to this article, Carlos has fallen through several cracks that relate to taxpayer funding and people have got to realize to stop depending on public taxpayer funded assistance because eventually the wells will dry up. The mother in this story has been searching and searching for this clinic. This should be a realization to her and the father they may very well need to start putting other efforts into play here i.e. stopping the arguing (especially in front of Carlos), working with their own son, taking any kind of job that offers benefits and just doing what you must for the sake of Carlos. These stories about the public failing children don't resonate when the parents are failing them first.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  41. Teri

    I tend to agree with DCdude. The parents are on here supposedly concerned that their child may not get the care that he needs. From what I can tell in the story, most of this kid's problems are due to his parents. So, I don't see how they are truly overly concerned with his well-being. They just want the government to fix what they've broken and allow them to continue to do what they want, which apparently does not include properly taking care of their child.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  42. Lana

    Wow. I had no idea my fellow countrymen were so heartless. It doesn't matter if "his parents should get a job" or "stop fighting". And no one would even wonder about his "immigration status" if he was lighter skinned. What matters is that he exists. Carlos. Are we as a society so uncaring that all that matters to us is money? Our taxes being used for a child of parents that maybe should be helping themselves? Are we going to turn our backs on him? Really?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  43. SCOTT

    CNN did a piece on Latino in America but where is the piece on the disappearance of the white middle class America who is being taxed to death to pay for the illegals in this country. I am sick of CNN's biast reporting on every minority (or so called minority) but they have NOTHING to say about the backbone of this country. Once the white middle class that built this country is gone it will become just another South American third world country. Think I am kidding then just look at California and you will see where the country is destined. If these people are illegal or this child is an anchor baby then send them back to their third world hole and let them fight it out with all the other deadbeets. This is not our problem, this is the Latino culture of breeding, violence, drugs and death which should be eliminated from this country but the politicians, like OBAMA, want to give them all a free pass to continue their destruction of this country. I am not worried about terrorists because we have 8 million illegal terrorists in this country. THROW THEM ALL OUT!!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  44. TCM

    aew – obviously you're missing the point......if CA enforced immigration laws, you'd be amazed at the savings to taxpayers; the Governator would probably have a surplus...that's the drain these illegals, predominantly mexican, are causing....sure it's a child...and CNN wants to bring a tear to everyone's eye...and make this country out to be the big bad bully.....(while we're funnelling billions into Haiti, Chili, etc...) You've been listening to too much OBamaeze.....

    Life's tough; there are always going to be rich and poor....but in this country you have a better opportunity to change your life – moreso than anywhere else on earth....put away the tissues..

    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  45. GraceB

    All of who are talking about how it's the parents fault need to reevaluate the situation! This is a prime example of the health care problem and i am pretty sure at the pay the parents make at their jobs, probably is barely enough to eat let alone pay for health insurance..dummies. Otherwise i am sure if they had the money they wouldn't just sit back and watch their child suffer. Which would you rather have food for your kids or health insurance! Of course they have to go without! This is exactly why we need to pass the health care bill! People who are not in this type of situation like so many millions of Americans really don't grasp how detrimental not having health insurance is. So once you've been in this situation then you can judge.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:04 pm |
  46. Jeff

    CNN wants to make this into an issue on why we need health care reform. They will not touch the real problem – Illegal Immigrants. Billions wasted. Carlos could be cared for if billions werent spent on illegals in California.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  47. Parent of Three

    I have a child who is ADD and I go to work for my families benefits since my husband is self employed. Not to sound cruel and uncaring, BUT I have worked everyday of my children's lives to provide for them. I didn't want to have to leave my children and work but I had no choice. We should not be responsible for providing for those who don't work or have benefits. Find a way. I am tired of providing for those who don't have while I am trying to provide for my children. Then when we had a medical emergency with a pile of bills left to pay due to co-insurance and dedutibles, I was told we make too much money to qualify for help. The middle class American family gets nothing. It didn't state if the family is here illegally, but aren't we tired of paying for them too?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  48. Katie

    Why isn't Carlos on Medi-Cal? My grandaughter is a 6 yr old uninsured child with ADHD living in California, and she receives all medications and counseling through Medi-Cal. All children are eligible. This doesn't have to happen. If the parents choices disqualify Carlos from these services, then perhaps the parents are to blame and not the system. This was a poor example to put forth in the fight to keep clinics open.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  49. Cindy

    Unfortunately Lana, I agree we need to do better to help all people with no health care, however, how can society teach him to be a productive member if his own parents aren't? I feel for this little boy as I suffer from anxiety and could not imagine life without the help of my doctor but this little boy is suffering more at the hands of his parents drinking, fighting and failure to to get jobs and provide for him.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
  50. ivettealegria

    Republicans would say, "tough life? HA! I'm a card carrying, conservative Republican and you know what I instantly thought before I could even finish the article?

    How can I mobilize private schools, churches, educational nonprofits, volunteers and urban ministries to create a program or coalition to support kids in this situation.

    Even the most well to do families struggle with effectively educating/raising children with ADD, Autism, etc. how much more challenging must it be for the working poor or the unemployed, fragmented family that is often found in the inner cities? We need to do something.

    Are their heartless, xenophobic people who call themselves Republicans? Sure. But, the distinctive among conservatives and liberals isn't between compassion and cold-heartedness!

    It's this: When our neighbor has a need, we look first to ourselves and not the Savior of Big Government.

    Lets think outside the ineffective box of government solutions, and come together as Americans to meet the needs of these children and their families.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  51. Mona

    I beleive the Lord said for us to take care of our Widows and Orphans and I beleive that includes helpless children that were not ask to be born into this family. The governments priorities are all messed up. Why can't we take care of our own before going out to help the rest of the world. The homeless, unemployed, children and the elderly. God help Us.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  52. Tired of the entitled

    Well, I see how the pulling of the heart-strings worked with all the liberals and their idiotic comments. All blaming the rich and blaming the government. Illegals and generational welfare families are hurting the working class that pays taxes, not the rich. California's financial problems are due to all the entitlement programs that rewards people that are not supporting themselves, for having children. There is an overcrowding problem and it is cause by people who should not be having children. How is this the fault of wealthy people? How many of these entitled people have cell phones, video games systems, cable TV, and new vehicles – all things I don't have because I work for a living and pay for all the things handed to them – housing, food, schooling, utilities, etc... And I will read how ignorant people say oh how those cost paid for them are only a small part of the budget. BULL!!!! It all adds up – the costs for their schooling, medical, and all of that affects the working class.

    March 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  53. Fran

    Can anybody say CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES. Somebody get this poor child out of this abusive home. All of the medicine and counseling isn't going to save him from an abusive drunken father and a mother who is too stupid to leave the man.
    This story will eventually develope from "Help Carlos" to Where's Carlos". This child is in danger everyday with or without his medicine.
    If you take the child and put him in foster care, he will get the needed counceling, medication and most importantly he won't be abused!!!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
  54. Phillipatomus

    For all you sanctimonious Tards.

    The unemployment rate is around 10%. That means 10 percent of people CAN NOT, I repeat CAN NOT, find a job. Why? Because there are no jobs to be had. Thus people like Carlos don't have insurance.

    Children should never suffer because of adults. Never. Thats it. If you think otherwise go put your head in an oven.

    I guess the haves would rather Carlos get kicked out of school, grow up on the streets and kill someone in a botched robbery 10 years from now.


    March 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  55. infuriated

    I can't believe how many people are pointing the finger at the parents. It must be nice to have "normal" kids. As a mother, w/ private insurance and a son afflicted with emotional troubles, I can tell you it does NOT come from the fighting. My husband and I rarely ever fight ( I mean once or twice in ten years ). This is not an individual problem, this is a cultural and societal problem. There are so many people out there that need mental health asst and can't get it. It is so hard for me to believe that there are ignorant people out there enjoying their "normal" lives and pointing fingers. SHAME ON YOU!

    March 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  56. Michael

    There is no such thing as a "Free Clinic". Yeah, it might be free for the patients, but not so for the tax payer. Since when did it become my obligation to forfeit my earned resources needed to raise my own children so that it may be given to others to raise their children?

    March 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm |
  57. TCM

    Tristan – I wasn't born rich, or "lucky," as you say; capitalism is merely a more open free market where you can make your own way. It's often blamed for issues such as you claim, by those that are just too plain lazy to work to make their way and are accustomed to sucking on the government entitlement teet....maybe look at the glass being half full?

    TRACY W – you hit the nail on the head...

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  58. Chris in WashDC

    The familys' immigration status has been conveniently left out. I have ZERO sympathy for people that entered the country illegally and use legal taxpayers money to fund their healthcare. The parents of this child need to take reponsiblity and do whatever is necessary to provide adequate care.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  59. James L.

    It makes me feel that Obama wants to take us where California is.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  60. MC

    It is sad, this young boy is not at fault for the life he was brought into, but I agree with many of the comments above that, why does the government have to pay for problems that appear to be cause by his parents.
    Additionally a legitamate question is "Are the parents/ family US citizens?" If they are not, then I hate being harsh but they should not receive any services. That is what's wrong with the US, we care for others before we care for our own citizens.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  61. Michelle

    Why should the taxpayers bear the burden? California is broke. Two reasons: illegal immigrants taxing the system for benefits as well as those who think they are entitled to other people's money. California could be back within budget if they ended the free for all programs. Entitlements enslave people. For example, the people in this story. Carlos' family needs to put his responsibility back on them and go out and find a job. If they cannot find jobs then move to where you can get a job. I find it so sad and disturbing that people are actually ruining their lives and the lives of their children all because they think they deserve some benefit – without having to pay a price for it then turn around and vote for someone who will keep giving them the free stuff! Nonsense! This has become an entitement nation.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  62. Dan

    Funny how quickly this turn into bash the immigrants. First as far as we know he is from the US. Second half California is full of Spanish names from San francisco to Los Angeles, so his name shows nothing. Also for CNN next time do the story about a little blonde boy with an english name and you might get a better outcome, because there are a lot of racists out there.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  63. Jason

    I love all of the racist neoliberal comments being posted here. Imagine if this kid doesn't get help. He wont be able to read what you are saying about him. It is just like saying you need to pay to vote or stop crying if your local water is dirty.

    This kid is chastised by his country, everyone is writing him off as an illegal immigrant because he is Hispanic, and you all do not see the inherent difficulty in avoiding prejudice.

    Also, everyone is saying that the family should do more, but they need help too. If the father left you would blame it on him but since he kept his family together and fought his addiction you blame him. What you are promoting is a form of racist eugenics. We will have nationalized healthcare if all of you teabaggers have your way; it will be forced sterilization for every non-white person who makes under $57K a year.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:59 pm |
  64. tracy

    Carlos did not ask to be born. He didn't ask for an alcoholic father. I feel bad for him and clearly his parents are to blame for creating an unstable home life. But the truth is that horse is already out of the barn folks. Too many children have been born whose parents are not capable of taking care of them or providing for them. Now most states are broke and we have a group that needs help but no way to provide it.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  65. Rochie

    YOU are responsible for own one else. Might as well blame the neighbor when I can away for free. If you have kids, BE A PARENT!!! I would think that wpouldn't be too much to ask. If you can't handle it, search alternative routes..., to me it's black and white. Bad people don't need to bring more bad people into this world and if you do, correct it while you can.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  66. KamaraSune

    Carlos's family needs help and they need to help themselves as well.
    There are churches and charities and many of those that will help, but this is being brandished as a guilt card against CA citizens who are in a horrible crunch of both state debt and out of hand taxation. As most Americans look on to the state of CA as the leader among states that pushed for a more socialized system, we are left to review the results of their choices which have nearly collapsed them several times before this passage in time in spite of its abundant wealth.
    CA law makers would be wise to drop the socialist agenda and line themselves back up with the constitution of the United States of America.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  67. a mom

    I have an adult child on medicaid and even then the mental health programs were bad to begin with.
    I agree with the posters that the dad seems to be the cause of this poor kid's issue.MOM LEAVE DAD!!! make dad get counseling not hte kid.
    That said would love to work full time but mly daughter needs help so I can work. I no longer can full time and now I am sick and have no health care coverage. I do not qualify for anything and I no longer qualify for private ins. and even if I could it would cost me 500 a month. I could pay 125 or even 200 but 500 is to m much. The laws need to be changed.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  68. lupe

    Pay me now or pay more later...without help this child is at risk for out of home placement many times the cost of the meger amout of the support the family receives now....fisical conservaties it is in our financial best interes to help this child a detention center or jail later.


    that is what's called a 'sucker'. man, they are milking you people like crazy.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  69. Sherry in Texas

    It is cheaper to take care of Carlos now than it will be when he is in juvy.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  70. mfe

    I am saddened by the comments written here. I realize many people do not want to assume the burden for those who have less than we do. But, we have to look out for the good of our community, not just ourselves. This young man will soon be a teenager. As a teacher, I have seen so many teenagers who have slipped through the cracks along the way. If we want them to become productive members of our society they need help now. California may not want to pay for treatment now, but they very well may be paying for a prison sentence in 10 years.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  71. jeff haupt

    So What!! everybody has a sob story. We got to make our cuts somewhere and the illegals should be the 1st place we start.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  72. Jeff

    We should not be spending my tax dollars on illegals, educating, health care or otherwise. If you give birth to a child in the U.S.A, both parents must be a citizen, or the child won't be one either. What about me. My wife has been sick for years and I do have private health insurance, I've just paid $7200 over the last 6 weeks in medical bills. Where are my freebies? That's right, I don't get any because I'm working and married to the mother of my children, I guess that's my mistake!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  73. The comments are more exasperating than the story

    Why is this the taxpayers burden? Because Carlos' outcome will affect the taxpayer. Or, another child left behind by the system will affect them – whether by a random act of violence, or a random act of kindness. We're all in this together and none of us are living alone on this overpopulated planet. Would you rather finance his therapy or his prison stay? I'm a product of the system. I'm also the first college grad in my family. The cycle has been broken. And to those who say "don't have kids you can't support" I have one question: where do you stand on the abortion issue? ... I'll bet I can guess.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  74. Bob

    Yes, it's sad when a child is harmed by their parents. But no amount of assistance for this kid (psych, meds, whatever) is going to help unless his family deals with its issues. The kid is simply a symptom of the family's disease–and they're focusing on the wrong thing. The parents and the family need to change, then the child will end up "fixed". What child wouldn't feel anxious in a family like this?

    All of that is the responsibility of the family and not of taxpayers. This is not a "medical issue" or health care issue, and it's not a government issue. It's a family issue and the family is responsible for itself.

    And all the money in the world isn't going to "fix" this family . As with anyone, they will need to decide to fix themselves and fix their family. Just like you can't force an alcoholic to stop drinking–they need to decide to do that for themselves. This isn't being heartless, it's the truth. You cannot force a person or a family to heal–they have to do it of their own accord.

    When in the world did people get the idea that the government's role is to fix peoples/familiy's personal lives? Not only is that not government's role, it doesn't work, and it's throwing money down the drain. Government isn't our "SAVIOUR"–and placing it in that role is reprehensible.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  75. aew

    Everyone complaining about whether Carlos is an "illegal immigrant" or telling the parents to take responsibility, you're missing the point and you'll pay for it later. Kids at around Carlos' age are at a crossroads, where they can go down the right path or the very wrong one.

    Prevention is key, and cleaning up the messes later is much more expensive for taxpayers. Would you rather your tax dollars pay to treat this kid's problems now, or wait until he's in jail at 18 and pay much more to incarcerate him? No matter his parents' immigration status, Carlos is here and the State of California has to deal with him one way or another... so wouldn't he be better off being helped out now rather than all of us paying the consequences later when he ends up in jail?

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  76. eandw

    It is sad that the majority of comments on this story blame the parents. If anybody with an education would know that ADHD is heredity, so do blame the parents for procreating...not knowing if ADHD will be a genetic factor? Shame on you, my son is ADHD and autistic which was not diagnosed until the age of 5 and his biological father, who was not diagnosed until age 25 with adult ADD, which I encouraged him to go and get tested. My son was still not a thought at the time of his fathers's diagnosis. Autism is also considered heredity, so do you want to blame me as a parent for having my son instead of an abortion? I have worked since I was 16 and I have paid my dues to have my son covered whether thru private insurance or state insurance. Thank God that all you haters out there don't have a special needs child because you probably would not have kept that child because she/he did not fit in with your view of a normal society. Thank God I chose to keep my son because it shows all of you inconsiderate and ignorant individuals that being different is O.K. and yes I have three, as you classify, normal daughters who are actually in the gifted programs at their schools. Who are you to judge? I pray Carlos gets the help he needs at my expense as a taxpayer.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  77. Feed up tax payer

    1. 40% of all workers in L. A. County ( L. A. County has 10.2 million people) are working for cash and not paying taxes. This is because they are predominantly illegal immigrants working without a green card.
    2. 95% of warrants for murder in Los Angeles are for illegal aliens.
    3. 75% of people on the most wanted list in Los Angeles are illegal aliens.
    4. Over 2/3 of all births in Los Angeles County are to illegal alien Mexicans on Medi-Cal, whose births were paid for by taxpayers.
    5. Nearly 35% of all inmates in California detention centers are Mexican nationals here illegally.
    6. Over 300,000 illegal aliens in Los Angeles County are living in garages.
    7... The FBI reports half of all gang members in Los Angeles are most likely illegal aliens from south of the border.
    8 Nearly 60% of all occupants of HUD properties are illegal.
    9. 21 radio stations in L. A. are Spanish speaking.
    10. In L.. A. County 5.1 million people speak English, 3.9 million speak Spanish.. (There are 10.2 million people in L. A. County ...)

    Tax payer money can only pay for so much. What we are seeing is the total collapse of a state. Soon more states will follow. If I was a tax payer and lived in California the first thing I would think about is moving out of the state!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  78. eliza

    Private insurance does not cover these services. No matter how fantastic your private insurance is, it doesn't cover these service, I know from experience. We have great insurance via my employer yet my son is on Medical Assistance to get the counseling and wrap around services he needs. These kinds of budget cuts affect all walks of life, insured and uninsured. Either fix the system or don't cut the budget.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  79. nancy

    I was a single parent, worked 2 jobs plus, I was a full time college student, and worked another part time job on Saturdays to pay for health care. My son also suffered from ADD. So what! That was my problem to deal with. I wasn't out there crying about lack of free health care. I didn't ask the State of California or anyone else to solve my problems. I worked to pay for the insurance and the health care insurance would not cover.

    I worked to provide for myself and my son. If you can't afford to pay for what a child needs, don't have them. Stop expecting the world to pick up the tab for your family's situation, and start taking care of your own responsibilities. Starting with the father going to AA....isn't it free?

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  80. diane

    Poor kid-he's so cute! We shouldn't write him off. If things are bad at home, the mother should try and fix the problems that are affecting her family. Kick the alcoholic dad to the curb. Also, though, how does he get money to drink when he's unemployed?

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  81. jeff

    I feel bad for Carlos, he seems like a smart child and was able to determine what is causing his ADHD and anxiety. He said the problem is his dad's drinking and fighting and fighting with his mother. It is the responsibility of the parents to help Carlos. If you are unable to raise a child in a healthy environment then please DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  82. George in NH

    Everyone has a sad story these days in the US.

    But with both parents unemployed, living off federal assistance, and exposing the kids to regular "family fights"..........this kid doesn't have much of a chance to be a contributing member of society, free treatment for ADHD or not.

    California's health care system has been going bankrupt for some time now. Ironically, all the social services certainly share the blame for it.

    Carlos isn't at the mercy of the California legislature, he is at the mercy of two incompetent parents.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:55 pm |
  83. Barry

    Pay me now or pay more later...without help this child is at risk for out of home placement many times the cost of the meger amout of the support the family receives now....fisical conservaties it is in our financial best interes to help this child a detention center or jail later.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  84. Tracy W

    Welcome to the United States of Enablers. Get a job, and take adult responsibility for yorself and those you brought into this world. Get off the booze, get some self-respect and move forward. Some of the liberal posters here want to blame the "wealthy", or the "capitalists" – well where the heck do you think that jobs? Where do you think the tax dollars and funding for these programs come from? The money doesn't fall out of the sky, we, the "fortunate enough to still have a job" people pick up the tabs for the down trodden. Well, the way this administration is focusing on health care reform instead of jobs, you can bet a lot more budget cuts are on the horizon. Suck it up, Cupcake. Lord, help us all!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  85. Tristan

    Capitalism kills kids, and others who don't happen to be born lucky. This is not news. Why do we put up with it? That may be news.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  86. Brianne

    If Carlos mother or father were really interested in getting him help on their dime, the maybe one or both should be looking into joining one of the branches of the military. They woule be assured health care for their son and a very good life for themselves.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  87. Cheryl F

    This child does not need drugs. He needs new parents and a safe home and probably a whole lot better nutrition than he's now getting. I am sure; however, that he most likely would benefit from some counseling to help him over the rough patches and to understand that none of what is happening is his fault.

    And yes, I would FAR rather pay for help for people like this than have my tax dollars go to WAR or subsidizing taxes for the wealthy...far, far, far rather!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
  88. Stephanie

    It makes me sad that I live in what many consider to be the most prosperous country in the world, yet we can't afford to make sure that all of our citizens have access to health care.

    I am ashamed at what we have become....a country full of people apathetic to the plight of others. Since when did we stop caring about the people who live around us?

    It would seem that his parents clearly need help here. And I have yet to see a single person who has taken the time to comment on this story offer any!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  89. Norma T

    I'm sorry for Carlos and especially sorry for his parents who are unemployed. It's extremely difficult to get any type of job in CA. And, budget cuts to education are putting thousands of students, not just kids "at risk" is peril. It seems our legislators cut budgets where money is most needed: police, fire, and education!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:53 pm |
  90. karen

    the bottom line is that there are children in need. Stop looking at the parents/grandparents society and look at children, ALL children be it white/black/hispanic/asian, like our best and most valuable investment. If Carlos has a succesfull life, the community suceeds. Children should not be punish due to our short coming or ignorance. Children our our future. They will determine one day what to do with us, old gizzards!

    March 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  91. Francis

    To All~ The budget cuts that this boy is facing in education is going to be faced by millions of ther children and their parents around our nation due to that fact that we are now nearly 11 billion dollars in debt. When nations and states look to cut money out of their budgets in order to balance overspending or to give a tax break to others who do not need take breaks in this day and age, our children are always the ones to suffer... We can spend billions on a war and yet cut money to our nation's greatest natural resource, our children.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  92. TCM

    Yeah, HIS care at a FREE clinic....that I'M paying for...along with others who fund the entitlement coffers...maybe, just maybe, hispanics and other minorities should think twice about having so many children if they cannot afford to pay for them now that the Good ol' Uncle Sam gravy train is grinding to a halt. You can only stack so much on the backs of hardworking, TRUE US citizen taxpayers.

    Liberals have these great ideas...until it comes to spending their own money...when it's someone else's, they are carefree and wispy like a bunch of 60's's tough, don't have the kids if you cannot afford them.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:52 pm |
  93. Todd

    This whole piece reads like a piece of propaganda to guilt people into supporting socialized medicine. As others have said, the problem is the parents. The solution stated is to medicate the child to deal with his problematic parents. Again we see people trying to cure a symptom while ignoring the problem, and if this is what "free" governmental care aims to do then we are all in for a world of hurt.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  94. Kelly

    I see many people saying it's the parent's fault. I see many saying this child is the responsibity of the parents, but what happens when parents fail to be responsible for thier children. Do we just shrug our shoulders, and say "oh well, it's the parents fault not my problem"

    While I agree that much of the reasons why children are as they are today is because of the parents, we should not let them just be forgotten because the parents aren't doing thier job.

    That's not fair to the kids who did nothing to deserve the poor hand they were given in life.

    Complaining that it's the parents' fault, and stating how we don't want our tax dollars being spent on someone else's kids is not a solution to the problem. Instead of complaining, lets have a dialouge on how this can be fixed.


    March 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  95. Dynahog

    So what? If someone runs a charity or has a lot of money they don't want, let them provide insurance and complete coverage of all deductibles. It is neither a Federal Responsibility or State Responsibility.

    Life is not a bowl of cherrys.

    We are not a Socialist country, and never will be.
    If you want Socialism move to a country that may tell you something you don't want to hear: you can not collect on their National Health Care insurance by just entering the Country. They may require residence for a period of time; and they may want you to qualify as a legal resident in "good health".

    However don't lose hope. Charity is the only way.

    There are limited circumstances for the Permanently Disabled that can get them covered by Social Security and Medicare. Very "limited".

    March 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  96. Charlotte

    This article leaves out my one major question....are the members of this family American Citizens? While my heart goes out to this little boy, there are many concerns that come to my 8 year old exposed to fighting between the mother and father, father drinks too much...memories that he will now carry through his life.

    Unfortuneatly I do not feel sympathy for his parents. As a former single Mom with a deadbeat ex (never paid child support, basically dissappeared), it was up to me to support and raise my children. I worked part time at a pizza place, brought work home from a local company that paid by the piece (winding transister parts for circuit boards), and working at the office during the day while the kids were at school. Did I miss out on some the things in their lives, I am sure I did, did I worry about not providing all the things they needed, sure I did. But the point is, I did it, I took any available job to make sure that my kids had what they needed, had food on the table and a roof over our head. There are jobs out there for responsible adults, may not pay what you want, but something is better than nothing.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  97. Ashley

    Not my intention to judge by why arent the parents working? Atleast if they worked and brought in some type of supplemental income then maybe they could afford continued treatment at an institution that charges a nominla fee. I am truly tired of footing the bill for people who are able to work and dont. I'm 26, have full time job earning 30K a year (nope not a lot) and I supplment my income by working a part time job in retail which can be difficult because of the many personalities but why cant these people have at least a PT job. Instead of Obama looking a health care, he/they need to look at the number of Americans on public assitant and figure out a way to ween them off and get them jobs because this is becoming ridiculous. Its very sad that his boy is going through such termoil but mom and dad need to hit the pavement, find jobs, search for local support groups, read infoormative literature on ADHD and figure out how to make this work. God Bless them

    March 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  98. Iris

    I feel terrible for Carlos and his family, and understand since we are in similar situation with healthcare. In our case, after 30 years of working and paying into the "system" including unemployment taxes, we both lost our livelyhoods. Unfortunately, the last 2 years we owned a business and therefore were not eligible for unemployment benefits when our businesses failed. We also had investments that were lost. As a result of not working for a year now (we have both applied to hundreds of jobs in the past year), we not only lost our health insurance, but are loosing our house as well. We are not eligible for Medicaid and the state of Washington no longer offers their basic health insurance because of cutbacks the governor is making in the budget.

    The worst of it is that my husband is a Type 1 diabetic who relies on insulin to live. We can't afford the doctor, so he has not been able to have his A1C's checked and to get an prescription for his insulin supplies. So even though we found a charity organization who can get him the supplies at a discounted rate (which is still almost more than we can afford) we can't get it because he needs that prescription and the doctor can't give it to him without an office visit at $185, along with additional lab costs of $150.

    We wrote to our senators and representative over a week ago to see if they had any options for us, but we have not heard a word back. I'm sure we will get one of their 'form letters' in the mail letting us know that there is nothing they can do for us, but then sprouting off on all the things they have voted for in congress and how it's the "other sides" fault, etc. They just play games because they already have their "government sponsored" health insurance.

    So, my question is, does my husband just lie down and die because he doesn't have a means of injecting his insulin, or do we take him to the hospital when he goes into a reaction (coma) to save his life at the cost of tens of thousands of dollars to the taxpayers? Sounds harsh, but this is our reality in the present economy.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  99. Tim

    2 weeks ago, there was a story about how all of the teachers at a Rhode Island school were fired because of low test scores. There were 4000+ comments and so many of them were slamming teachers and not focused on the bigger picture. So many people made ridiculous generalizations about how teachers don't work hard enough for their students, and how they are responsible for 100% of their student's development. This story illustrates some of the other factors that influence a child's life, and affect what happens with their learning and social development. This poor little guy has the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he is 8. He does not have the chance to just be a little boy.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
  100. Kat

    Why are their two adults in the household not working is my first question. I feel badly him, but I do not want to pay for his medical care from my hard earned money. I work hard to pay for insurance to take care of my child and I am a single mother.

    March 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
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