Nightly News   |  February 09, 2014

Mom of AOL’s ‘Distressed Baby’ Speak Out

One mom takes direct aim at AOL after she says it called out her baby as one reason for the company’s rising health care costs.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> aol has received a big wave of criticism for remarks he made while announcing a change to the company's benefit plan. he talked about the high cost of health care and, in doing so, he cited two aol families, who had relied on their benefits to pay the medical bills for what he called distressed babies. one of those two mothers is speaking out. the ceo, tim armstrong , has reversed himself. we get our report on all of it tonight from nbc 's kristen dahlgren. glr for deanna faye , every day with her daughter is remarkable.

>> on the day she was born we were told we had a -- i'm sorry -- one-third chance of her dying before we would ever be able to bring her home.

>> reporter: her husband works for aol. last week ceo tim armstrong announced in his town hall meeting they were changing the 401(k) benefit saying it had paid $1 million each for what he called two distressed babies, born to aol staffers. he didn't name the families, but faye knew.

>> it was sort of impossible to process that he was talking about my daughter, who was home with me at that time. you know, to hear her labeled a distressed baby. and, to me, there did sound like the implication that somehow we were greedy consumers of health care benefits, that we had kind of gobbled up more than our share of the pie.

>> reporter: faye wasn't alone in her shock. the internet lit up with criticism and aol quickly did an aboutface, restoring its original 401(k) policy. in a letter armstrong said i made a mistake and i apologize for my comments last week at the town hall when i mentioned specific healthcare examples when trying to explain our decision-making process. today, nbc news reached out to aol and a spokesman says armstrong has apologized personally to the family.

>> he has spoken in very heartfelt ways about how badly he feels for having caused us this hurt. and i accept that.

>> reporter: but for faye , who wrote an article in slate magazine that has now gone viral, it's about her baby.

>> i think it's important to have the national conversation about health care spending that we are having, but i also think it's important to keep in mind the lives that are sometimes, you know, so tiny, so vulnerable, so perilous that we're really talking about. did you have a good night, baby?

>> reporter: a mom putting a face on a national conversation . kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new york.