By Dawn Wolfe
Help Senator John Kerry tell Bush & co. that “Kids Come First”
In response to the frightening lack of health care coverage for the country’s children – especially poor children – Senator John Kerry has introduced the Put Kids First Act.
If passed, the bill would provide states with funds to help expand health insurance coverage for children, require parents to insure their children (while providing substantial help for them to do so), and cut down on existing barriers to enrolling in state-sponsored child health insurance plans.
According to the Kids Come First page of http://JohnKerry.com:
1 out of every 4 children is not fully up to date on basic immunizations.
Half of all uninsured children have not had a check up in the past year.
1 out of every 3 children with chronic asthma do not get a prescription for medications they need.
1 in 5 children has trouble accessing needed care.
1 in 3 children went without health insurance for all or part of 2002 and 2003.
A March 9 email from Kerry says that “over 500,000 people have signed on as citizen co-sponsors of the bill,” which is being supported by organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the March of Dimes, Every Child Matters, and the AFL-CIO.
However, none of that support will matter if the Republican majority can keep hearings from being scheduled on the bill. This is why, according to the Kerry email, “our powerful coalition is kicking off a month-long campaign to press for a firm date this spring for hearings.”
“Millions of families wake up every day to the stark reality of knowing their children have no health insurance. Surely, the Senate can wake up one day this spring and devote a few hours to hearing their stories,” said Kerry in the message.
Help Sen. Kerry remind George W. Bush and the Republican majority in Congress that protecting kids’ health is a family value.
To sign as a citizen co-sponsor of the Kids Come First Act, visit http://www.johnkerry.com/petition/kidsfirst.php.
Senator Charles Grassley, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will decide whether or not to allow hearings on the bill. To contact Senator Grassley call the U.S. Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Also, call Michigan’s Senators: Sen. Debbie Stabenow at 202-224-4822 and Sen. Carl Levin at 202-224-6221. Tell them to support the bill.