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Couple whose baby has same condition as Charlie Gard now faces insurance woes

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A Michigan couple whose baby has the same degenerative condition as Charlie Gard are struggling to get health insurance coverage so he can see a specialist who has experience with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, they said Thursday.

Russell Cruzan II and Michelle Budnik-Nap joined “The Glenn Beck Radio Program” to share an update on care for baby Russell. Their insurance provider, Priority Health, had been poised to cover expenses for an appointment with a specialist in Boston – but now the company says the appointment won’t be covered.

“We just want to do everything we can to get little Russell to a doctor who can help him,” Budnik-Nap said.

According to the couple, the issue is that Priority Health doesn’t see the distinction between baby Russell seeing a Michigan-based geneticist and the specialist with experience with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome in Boston.

The rare genetic condition, which affects muscles and organs, has no known medical cure; however, doctors have made some progress with experimental treatments to improve quality of life for children.

Glenn Beck contrasted 11-month-old Charlie Gard’s case with Russell’s. The son of Connie Yates and Chris Gard, Charlie, died last month in a U.K. hospital after a lengthy legal battle. Charlie’s parents wanted to take him to the U.S. for experimental treatment after British doctors gave up, but the hospital and courts wouldn’t allow them to move him. In Russell’s case, the issue isn’t government-related, and he has options – but delays with health coverage could be incredibly hard on him and the family.

“Are we going to run the clock out on this child, too?” Glenn asked.

To see more from Glenn, visit his channel on TheBlaze and listen live to “The Glenn Beck Radio Program” with Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, Stu Burguiere and Jeffy Fisher weekdays 9 a.m.–noon ET on TheBlaze Radio Network.

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