Thursday, September 20, 2007

In Which I Climb onto My Soapbox Once Again

I am a two issue voter: healthcare and marriage equality. There are other things I care about, definitely, but these are my two hot button issues because they impact me directly in very tangible ways.

Anyhow, I learned that the senate will soon vote on the renewal of the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which, if it passes, President Bush threatens to veto. There is no good reason to veto this legislation!

Children need health insurance coverage, this program covers them and has proven quite successful. It saves us all money when children receive adequate preventive care and are treated for small illnesses before they balloon into big ones. But more importantly, children deserve to be healthy, no matter what family they are born into. Is my son somehow more deserving of healthcare than another boy, born on exactly the same day, whose parents are unable to afford any health insurance? I don't think so! This program is a good way to get health coverage on those children whose parents cannot (for whatever reason) provide them with health insurance.

For more information on this, see the Families USA Children's health campaign webpage. They urge you to write your representative and senators.

Amazingly, both of my senators voted for the legislation in August. My representative, however, did not, so I shot off the following message to him. Feel free to borrow from it to write your own message if you'd like.

Dear Congressman [his name]:

I noticed with interest that one of the headlines on your web page today was "HEALTHY MINDS NEED HEALTHY BODIES." I agree that healthy minds need healthy bodies, which is why I am particularly bewildered by your vote against the reauthorization of the State Children's Health Insurance Program in August.

Children who are covered by health insurance are more likely to receive preventive care and more likely to receive appropriate healthcare treatments before a small problem turns into a big one. Children with health insurance coverage are more likely to have the healthy bodies that you and I both agree are integral to their well-being.

The SCHIP program provides health insurance coverage to children who need it. Ideally, it would be nice if all parents could provide insurance without government assistance but the reality is that not all parents can, and this program protects children from getting into precarious healthcare situations that are beyond their control. I urge you to support the SCHIP legislation and to prevent it from being undermined or vetoed.


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