Local mother takes health care concerns to legislators

Congressman Steve Knight talks with constituents following a town hall at Canyon High School on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

For as long as two-year-old Jasmine Winning has been alive, her mother has worried about health care.

Jasmine has Hypoplastic Left Heart, meaning she only has half of a heart, and Heterotaxy Syndrome, meaning many of her organs are flipped the wrong way.

When she is properly taken care of, Jasmine is happy and healthy, but two years of battling the family’s insurance provider has left her mother Joanna Joshua concerned about her daughter’s future.

Feeling the provider and the Department of Insurance had failed her, Joshua took her concern to Congressman Steve Knight (R-Palmdale) during an hour-long meeting on Monday.

After introducing herself to the representative at his June 1 town hall meeting, he agreed to meet her at his Santa Clarita office.

“I went through all of our issues (at the meeting),” Joshua told The Signal Tuesday.

On June 19, Congressman Steve Knight holds Jasmine Winning, 2, who has Hypoplastic Left Heart and Heterotaxy Syndrome.

“He definitely wanted to make sure that Jasmine was able to get any surgeries that she could in the future and wouldn’t have interference with care.”

Though, she said Knight expressed a sentiment that often health care providers just do not operate as they should.

“That’s why things need to change,” Joshua said.

Mostly, health care problems like this one are a state issue, Joshua said Knight told her, so he promised he would personally contact Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) and Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita).

According to Joshua, she has reached out to staffers for both state legislators in the past but has not been able to meet with them.

“I want to speak directly to Acosta and Wilk,” she said. “When you’re able to speak with representatives themselves, I think it takes it to the next level.”

However, when Joshua took her daughter to Boston to get care last month, the act of crossing state lines now qualifies their problem as a federal issue, she said.

Knight said he would share Jasmine’s story with other legislators in D.C., her mother said. She’s hoping this can bring awareness and new legislation that will protect people like her daughter.

“We’re not alone in this fight and we’re having the backing and support of our representative,” Joshua said.

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