A group of US celebrities has teamed up with US senator Cory Brooker to fight for cheaper fertility treatment
Reality television star, Gretchen Rossi, who is believed to be six months pregnant after IVF treatment, appeared on the US television show The Doctors to discuss the campaign. She was joined by her husband, Slade Smiley, NASCAR superstar Kyle Busch and his wife, Samantha who have come together to change policy on the cost of IVF.
Eight million babies have been born through IVF, but costs can vary wildly and in the US are in the region of $15,000 to $25,000.
Gretchen said on the popular daily medical show: “I was feeling the baby kick at 2am and I was experiencing this amazing joyful moment, and I thought ‘there are so many women out there that might never feel this’. It broke my heart, Financially, a lot of people can’t even go through IVF. And a lot just don’t know that a couple of years ago infertility was diagnosed as a disease.
“I was laying there and had this premonition that I was going to Capitol Hill to change fertility policy. I woke Slade up and told him.”
A week later, Samantha and Kyle reached out and said they’d heard Gretchen’s podcast and they had the same vision to go to Capitol Hill.
Gretchen said: “It was so exciting we have come together to do this.”
Slade said: “Just this morning we were on the phone New Jersey Senator Cory Brooker, who has authored a new bill, Access to Infertility treatment and Care Act, actively trying to influence congress to make changes to fertility insurance.
“We are doing everything we can as a group to get on board with this.”
Samantha, who has three-year-old son, Brexton, via IVF and runs a charity grant giving fund for people who can’t afford treatment, said: “I read so many applications and it is heartbreaking. We’ve had couples who have sold their home, moved in with their parents, work three jobs, just to have a shot of one cycle of IVF. It is not fair to tell a family ‘you cannot try for a child’.
“We know at the Bundle of Joy group we are doing good but we need to do more and it is going to come from government level.”
Kyle said: “The more that insurance companies and the government can help change the legislation for insurance companies is obviously going to make that cost come down. Instead of it being $25,000, make it $5,000 and we can help so many more people.”
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