The Mother of the 'Distressed Baby' Speaks Out After AOL's CEO Blames Them for Reduced Benefits

baby

Some commentators have questioned the implausibility of “million-dollar babies.” I have no expertise in health care costs, but I have a 3-inch thick folder of hospital bills that range from a few dollars and cents to the high six figures (before insurance adjustments). So even though it’s unlikely that AOL directly paid out those sums, I don’t take issue with Tim Armstrong’s number.

I take issue with how he reduced my daughter to a “distressed baby” who cost the company too much money. How he blamed the saving of her life for his decision to scale back employee benefits. How he exposed the most searing experience of our lives, one that my husband and I still struggle to discuss with anyone but each other, for no other purpose than an absurd justification for corporate cost-cutting.

-Author Deanna Fei, in Slate, on the fight to save the life of her daughter, who was born just five months into her pregnancy, at 1 lb., 9 oz.—and what happened when AOL CEO Tim Armstrong pointed to their situation as a reason the company had to cut benefits. Read more on health care.

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Photo: Flickr

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