Archive for Thursday, February 12, 2009

Taxpayers may have to help cover octuplet mom’s costs

February 12, 2009

Advertisement

— A big share of the financial burden of raising Nadya Suleman’s 14 children could fall on the shoulders of California’s taxpayers, compounding the public furor in a state already billions of dollars in the red.

Even before the 33-year-old single, unemployed mother gave birth to octuplets last month, she had been caring for her six other children with the help of $490 a month in food stamps, plus Social Security disability payments for three of the youngsters. The public aid will almost certainly be increased with the new additions to her family.

Also, the hospital where the octuplets are expected to spend seven to 12 weeks has requested reimbursement from Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, for care of the premature babies, according to the Los Angeles Times. The cost has not been disclosed.

Word of the public assistance has stoked the furor over Suleman’s decision to have so many children by having embryos implanted in her womb.

“It appears that, in the case of the Suleman family, raising 14 children takes not simply a village but the combined resources of the county, state and federal governments,” Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten wrote in Wednesday’s paper. He called Suleman’s story “grotesque.”

On the Internet, bloggers rained insults on Suleman, calling her an “idiot,” criticizing her decision to have more children when she couldn’t afford the ones she had and suggesting she be sterilized.

“It’s my opinion that a woman’s right to reproduce should be limited to a number which the parents can pay for,” Charles Murray wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Daily News. “Why should my wife and I, as taxpayers, pay child support for 14 Suleman kids?”

She was also berated on talk radio, where listeners accused her of manipulating the system and being an irresponsible mother.

“From the outside you can tell that this woman was playing the system,” host Bryan Suits said on the “Kennedy and Suits” show on KFI-AM. “You’re damn right the state should step in and seize the kids and adopt them out.”

Suleman’s spokesman, Mike Furtney, urged understanding.

“I would just ask people to consider her situation and she has been under a tremendous amount of pressure that no one could be prepared for,” Furtney said.

Furtney said he, Suleman and her family had received death threats and had been getting messages that were “disgusting things that would never be proper to put in any story.”

In her only media interviews, Suleman told NBC’s “Today” she doesn’t consider the public assistance she receives to be welfare and doesn’t intend to remain on it for long.

Also, a Nadya Suleman Family Web Site has been set up to collect donations for the children. It features pictures of the mother and each octuplet and has instructions for making donations by check or credit card.

Comments

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

Put her in prison. Kids up for adoption. Clinic closed and take away all doctors involved licenses.She was already on $500/mo. food stamps!!?? Throw away the freakin' key!

WHY 6 years, 4 months ago

People on food stamps should be sterilized. In nature if you can not feed yourself you die. I would only require that you quit making kids that you can't feed.

Thinking_Out_Loud 6 years, 4 months ago

Yet we do not exist in a State of Nature, WHY.

ThatGirl2 6 years, 4 months ago

WHY (Anonymous) says…

People on food stamps should be sterilized. In nature if you can not feed yourself you die. I would only require that you quit making kids that you can't feed.

Perhaps a more palatable solution would be not to require sterilization, but a contract: if you're receiving government assistance and choose to have an additional child (or 8) your benefits will not increase. That would be something to consider for those who wish to have more children--do so at your own expense.

avoice 6 years, 4 months ago

The Suleman case is the flipside of the abortion issue. Abortion procedures allow science to preclude nature by letting people artificially create the type of spontaneous elimination of a fetus that happens in numerous pregnancies without the help of science. On the flipside, in vitro fertilization and other such procedures allow science to preclude nature by letting people (not just women) have a pregnancy that otherwise would not be possible. Now, everyone who is against abortion, please step up and help us stop the madness that allows women (and now men) to create pregnancies and childbirth where none should have naturally existed.

ThatGirl2 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says…

invitro should be outlawed.

I'm curious--on what basis and for what purpose?

ThatGirl2 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says…

On the basis that is unnatural and a danger to general public health. If you are unable to have children, adopt or put your energies towards helping society. It is selfish to have unnatural children, what will happen when they wan to have children? Will there be an entire class of test tube people?

Unnatural? How? Because the egg and the sperm are introduced outside of the body? So what??

I'm failing to see the connection between invitro and "general public health." I agree that in this case, with 8 babies and 6 more to care for at home--this creates a taxpayer burden. But how does it impact public health? Also, this case shouldn't present the standard for invitro. It's a VERY rare circumstance. Invitro typically results in one birth, sometimes twins.

Entire "class of test tube people"? How would you know? How do you really know that your best friend isn't a "test tube" person? That's just being silly.

So, I guess I need more explanation for your position b/c I'm not getting it.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

"It's a VERY rare circumstance. Invitro typically results in one birth, sometimes twins."

Not for long. And is that really the case when some irresponsible quack implants 6 fertilized eggs? How many copy-catters are we gonna have to endure if this woman makes one red cent from a book deal, movie, or speaking engagements? Over/under? The fact she hired a spokesman (paying his fee with food stamps?) proves she did this not only because she's got serious psychological issues, but also because she expected a money grab somewhere down the line. I say throw her in prison for negligence, fraud, and/or theft of state welfare funds and get the kids in good homes. This whole thing is a travesty.

ThatGirl2 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaywalker: I agree with some of what you're saying. I still don't believe this will become a typical occurance. IVF is expensive as heck, so (with the exceptions of people who have insurance to cover it, or live in CA--where it gets covered) most people can't just run down to the fertility clinic and order "six embryos please." It doesn't happen that way and I don't see it happening that way. That being said--I agree that this situation represents the height of irresposnsibility on the part of many people, not just the mother.

The question I had was to the poster who indicated invitro should be made illegal, period. I don't see the benefit to that--I only see that the majority of people who use IVF for it's intended purpose would be robbed of the only opportunity they may have to have a child of their own. This woman is not the poster child for IVF. But there are MANY people who could be and they don't deserve to have that option taken away.

lawrencechick 6 years, 4 months ago

Anyone who gets public assistance (food stamps, welfare, medicaid, free school lunch and breakfast) should be held to the same scrutiny that they are finally subjecting the banks to. No more handing out money that taxpayers earn with no questions asked. I for one am really tired of the abuse of the system.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

Thatgirl,

Don't misunderstand, I don't disagree with you at all. Nor do I believe IVF is the/a problem. I hope you're right that this won't become a more common event. It just seems in this country that any scheme to 'get paid' is cozied to as soon as someone proves it can work. While it is an expensive procedure ( I think Suleman used the majority of her disability settlement to pay for her IVF's), I imagine some of the more enterprising slackers might try to scrounge 10 to 20k if the 'investment' could yield a million dollar book deal or movie. Then again, this might end up just being an isolated case involving one seriously disturbed woman. At least I hope so.

bad_dog 6 years, 4 months ago

I heard Ms. Suleman paid for the IVF using student loan monies. If so, what an abuse of educational funding intended for school related expenses. I also heard the same sperm donor "fathered" all 14 children. Given 3 of the first 6 have disabilities including one with autism, why would she take a chance and return for 8 more from the same donor?

What about the housing arrangements for these children? Ms. Suleman lives with her parents and the other 6 children in a 3 bedroom house. When all 8 newborns come home there will be 14 children and 3 adults living in the home. I saw an interview with her mother and you can't help but feel terrible for her. The house was in squalid condition. It's obvious she's already stretched beyond capacity but feels duty bound to help her family.

I also agree with some of the sentiments expressed regarding the need for the CA medical licensing authorities to thoroughly investigate the circumstances surrounding this fertilization and suspend/revoke licenses, if the facts indicate a legal or ethical issue sufficient to justify doing so.

I believe Ms. Suleman is somewhat deranged and it is not in the best interests of the children to remain with her. She has no job or means to support the children aside from what her family may be able to provide or arises from the goodwill of others. God help us all if someone rewards her with a book deal or other offer.

Oh and Jay, I'm taking the over...

Charlie Sabotage 6 years, 4 months ago

i just don't believe we are to be responsible because this woman chose not to selectively eliminate some of the feti. she had the choice to do so and she chose to keep them all, knowing her financial situation was less than desirable with fourteen children. there isn't another income in her household, if there was on in the first place. plus, she plans to go back to school to be a counselor or something. good for her.bet she's really hoping the prez decides to get rid of all school debt.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 4 months ago

Strike "may" out of the headline & add "will". I'm just saying...

jumpin_catfish 6 years, 4 months ago

OK I get everyone's angry but if all these wall street fat cats get golden parachutes and bail outs from uncle sam then why not this stupid woman and its not the kids fault.

Confrontation 6 years, 4 months ago

Look at all these conservative hypocrites. You must have your babies, but don't expect any assistance. Don't even consider an abortion, but don't expect any help.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

"but if all these wall street fat cats get golden parachutes and bail outs from uncle sam then why not this stupid woman and its not the kids fault."

Sweet Jesus!! That's an exceptionally stupid tie-in, jumpin'. Well done. And who here is blamin' the kids or trying to punish them?

"Look at all these conservative hypocrites. You must have your babies, but don't expect any assistance"

Hmmm......which is the dumber poster.....jumpin' or Confrontation? I'd call it a push but Confrontation wins by default for a long history of sensless posts. Hey dumb@#!, noone told this woman she had to have her babies, she did this all on her own and on purpose. And to both of you absolute morons, if you can't afford the children you should not have the children. There is assistance for having the babies, but if you don't want them then give them up for adoption. There should not be continued 'assistance' for anyone irresponsible enough to have 8 MORE babies when they're already drawing disability for three others AND food stamps for six. And if you can't wrap your pea brains around the actual argument then don't bother posting. Wall street fatcats and abortion? Your parents must shudder when they think of the money they've wasted on your education.

Sigmund 6 years, 4 months ago

Communist China has the answers forced abortions and infanticide to reduce the carbon footprint.

Sigmund 6 years, 4 months ago

Fourteen babies? No problem turn thirteen into organic fertilizer to help feed the homeless masses.

TopJayhawk 6 years, 4 months ago

I like the idea of drug testing to get Gov't funds. do that and you just eliminated 95% of all of it.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 4 months ago

This support everyone else gig is getting old. By the time I get my hand-out, I will probably be taxed 95% for the free lunch... guess I could donate it, and get a write-off. .

asleepinthechapel 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says…

On the basis that is unnatural and a danger to general public health. If you are unable to have children, adopt or put your energies towards helping society. It is selfish to have unnatural children...


Amen! Actually, it's pretty selfish to have children all together. But using your student loan monies to purchase fertilized eggs and have 8 children to care for on top of the 6 you're already not caring for reaches new levels of selfishness and stupidity.

For whomever was suggesting she wouldn't be on assistance forever, let me ask this: When is she going to get off assistance? When she gets the job at McDonald's because she doesn't have a degree because she used her student loans to make babies? When she catches up? She's already drawing assistance on her first six, and you think she's going to somehow turn it all around with the addition of another eight mouths to feed? She won't. Her only hope is the book deals she'll get or the off chance that she'll change her mind about marriage and find some really great rich partner to help her out. And for whomever mentioned that if we're going to sterilize the woman we need to sterilize the man - that doesn't/wouldn't apply in this case. She went to a sperm bank. That man probably has no idea what he's created. He gave up his rights and responsibilities to that DNA when he filled the little cup. Got a problem with that? Then let's find a way to get rid of sperm banks.

We as a society frown on all the "welfare" moms who just keep having babies. Some go so far as to say these women keep reproducing just to get a check. I won't make that judgment against those women I don't know nor this woman, but I do think it's safe, not to mention morally obligatory, to discourage this kind of behavior as it puts an unnecessary strain on this woman, her offspring and society.

Satirical 6 years, 4 months ago

TopJayhawk....

I think the problem not allowing government aid to drug users is that the children also suffer. It isnt' their fault their mom or dad is a drug user. Although I would support aid that is directly to benefit them, and not the children. However, that line isn't so easy to draw.

I think we have to face the facts. We live in a welfare state where the government is required, and people are considered entitled to any and all benefits no matter how their personal chioces put them in that position. There is very little personal accountability for ones actions. Unfortunately the entitlements will only increase under the Obama administration.

asleepinthechapel 6 years, 4 months ago

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29038814/

"Suleman said she went to the same in vitro fertilization clinic to have all 14 of her children. All were conceived with donated sperm from the same father, Suleman said.

Suleman told Curry that the father is a bit overwhelmed right now, but she is hoping that he will want to get to know his children when he is ready."

Doesn't sound like she "knew" him to me, just that she picked the same donor every time. (Sperm banks are gross!) But I would say in this case, even if he did know what she was doing, he likely signed away his rights and responsibilities to the DNA when he donated. That's the way it works, as I understand it. He didn't donate specifically to her, loads of his sperm were just available to her.

If he did have an active part in the decision to have these children, then yes I would say hold him responsible. But donating sperm doesn't exactly constitute an active part in the decision, any more than it does for every other guy who donates. If we were going to hold men who donate sperm responsible for the subsequent offspring, few would continue to donate.

In any case, it still stands that this woman made a selfish and potentially really harmful decision that will affect not only her and her offspring, but apparently the rest of society as well. Who's going to send her 14 kids to college? Even if she finishes her masters in counseling as she says she'll do, it won't be her but the rest of us.

Satirical 6 years, 4 months ago

Couranna1….

Can you try making sense for once? Or do you prefer to just lob mindless attacks rather than engage in any discussion?

feeble 6 years, 4 months ago

Why not require prospective parents seeking in vitro procedures to go through a review process similar to normal adoption? One of the risks of in vitro fertilization is multiple children, due to fertilization drugs used in the procedure.

An alternative would be to increase liability for the doctors or practices that perform these procedures, which in turn may cause the practices to adhere to better ethical standards.

I don't think we should put this out of reach for most couples, but I do think Ms. Suleman's case should prompt us, as a society, to ask some more questions at the start of the process.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 4 months ago

Couranna1- Welcome to Lawrence.... If you need some alone time, ride the T.

Satirical 6 years, 4 months ago

couranna1....

Try using complete sentences, then I will consider responding.

Chris Ogle 6 years, 4 months ago

couranna1 (Anonymous) says…

thank you and the T is too dirty for me

Hint.... if you ride it often, and sit in the same seat, it won't be so dusty.

asleepinthechapel 6 years, 4 months ago

So Suleman knew some guy who had donated all this sperm and instead of just doing it the old-fashioned way she went and had it implanted? I mean, I take it having sex with her was out of the question for him, for some reason. If I were him I'd be "overwhelmed" now too. I'd be scared for my life because there's crazy person out there obsessed with getting my DNA and using it to build a small nation.

It just gets sicker and sicker.

mom_of_three 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus, you are a jack a$$. You are about the only person who will cuss someone out over a posting, and yours are the most inane, tiresome postings of them all.

mom_of_three 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with what agnostick wrote about some family situations now, and foodstamps.
There are people, families, on foodstamps now who have never had to use them before because they lost their jobs. They weren't able to save much, and now it's gone. They are using that system for what it was set up for and shouldn't be looked down upon for what has happened to them due to the economy.
Now, with that said, what Ms. Suleman did was irresponsible. She doesn't have the money to take care of them and her situation hadn't recently changed. The doctor who did it was just as wrong as she was to request it. I feel sorry for those kids, and hope for their sakes, that it works out for the best.

ThatGirl2 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says…

Agnostick shut up and go make me a sandwich you crazy B*tc%, no wonder you sympathize with this nut case in cali. You loons really stick together. I just hope you haven’t passed on your crazy jeans, let the insanity die with you.

See, here I was thinking you were a legitimate poster with an actual position. My mistake. I didn't realize you were trolling.

mom_of_three 6 years, 4 months ago

Invictus - Just another example of your dumbness.... Nothing like writing what ag wrote and taking it out of context.
Ag was just showing how you always blame the woman, and just showing examples of how it takes two.
And you take it to the next level.....of course, you would....

mom_of_three 6 years, 4 months ago

But yes, you pissed ag off, and ag went off.....

but you still took some of it out of context.

asleepinthechapel 6 years, 4 months ago

I never knew that thinking people who can't afford children shouldn't have them or that people who can't have children should adopt or put their resources to better uses made you a "coward, worthless sack, chauvinist, misogynist, and bigot."

Gotta love life - you learn something new every day.

Trobs 6 years, 4 months ago

She looks a bit like Angelina Jolie, maybe she just idolizes her and wants to have a bigger family then Jolie in order to draw off her fame.

Or maybe she's just playing the system for all it's worth.

Satirical 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with logicsound04, she must be some kind of a robot, or a cyborg of some type.

Mandie Eutsler 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says…

"On the basis that is unnatural and a danger to general public health. If you are unable to have children, adopt or put your energies towards helping society. It is selfish to have unnatural children, what will happen when they wan to have children? Will there be an entire class of test tube people?"


so should we not ivf livestock anymore? or is that a danger to general public health too?

ThatGirl2 6 years, 4 months ago

invictus (Anonymous) says…

No, because sickly and weak livestock are immediately put down with no cost to society.

Oh, so your issues are with the sick a weakly then? If that's the case, how do you propose we deal with the sick and weakly "natural" born children?

asleepinthechapel 6 years, 4 months ago

When someone uses ivf for livestock, the rest of society doesn't have to give the cow and calves food stamps and welfare. We just eat them.

It's not a really good comparison, if you see what I mean.

Corey Williams 6 years, 4 months ago

ThatGirl2 (Anonymous) says… "If that's the case, how do you propose we deal with the sick and weakly “natural” born children?"

Do like Texas does. If children are born with a disability or disease that requires immediate and costly care, the hospital can let that child die naturally if the parents either can't afford treatment or if they can't find a hospital that will take over treatment (presumably with little hope of being paid). That is, unless they changed it since Schiavo.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.