Wednesday, January 26, 2005

John Kerry Introduces Kids Come First Health Care Act

In a letter to supporters, John Kerry vowed to keep his campaign promise to fight for health care for all children. So far over 300,000 supporters have signed on to the petition with the goal "to top 500,000 before President Bush makes his State of the Union Address on February 2nd."

Text of email: This is personal. As I traveled across the country last year, I learned a lot about the dreams, hopes, fears and frustrations of the American people. Nothing touched me more than the parents I met who feared that illness would strike a child who is uninsured.

A sick child is always a worry. A sick child that you can't get help for is a parent's worst nightmare. Helping the 11 million children who have no health coverage isn't even on the radar screen of the Bush administration and the Republican leaders in Congress. But, we're going to put it there.

It is totally unacceptable that, in the greatest country in the world, millions of children are not getting the health care they need. That's why this week I introduced the Kids Come First Act. Help me push through the Republicans' political roadblocks and take care of the 11 million children without health insurance.

The Republican leadership will try to prevent this essential legislation from ever seeing the light of day. Help me gather one million co-signers for the Kids Come First Act, and we'll force them to act or to admit that they just don't care enough to act. Here's why it's so important to do something now:

- 1/4 of children are not fully up to date on their basic immunizations.
- 1/3 with chronic asthma do not get a prescription for medications they need.
- 1/2 of uninsured children have not had a well child visit in the past year.
- 1 in 6 has delayed or unmet medical needs.
- 1 in 5 has trouble accessing health care.
- 1 in 4 does not see a dentist annually.
- 1 in 3 had no health insurance during 2002 and 2003.

Read More: View summary of the Kids Come First Act

Stand with John Kerry. Sign the Kids Come First Act Petition.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry Battling Bush on Health Care Plan

By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) took on President Bush (news - web sites)'s health care proposals Thursday in his first major speech since losing to Bush in November, saying the plans won't meet the needs of children and low-income families who don't have health coverage.

"Today the president is in Ohio addressing health care, but his effort is the same window dressing, avoidance of reality that we've seen the last four years," the Massachusetts Democrat said.

Bush was in Cleveland Thursday talking about a plan for more computerization of medical records as a way to reduce medication errors and cut cots.

Kerry spoke at a luncheon, sponsored by the private group Families USA, that at times resembled one of his election campaign stops. He joked, posed for pictures and hugged supporters.

As on the campaign trail, he recounted stories of people he had met who were struggling to pay their health care bills or going without care so they could buy other necessities.

Recounting a meeting with Erie, Pa., resident Albert Barker, Kerry said the man had a heart attack and later lost his health coverage, so his wife would pray every day that nothing else happened.

"We shouldn't have to rely on a faith-based initiative for health care," Kerry said, taking another swipe at Bush, who has pushed for more funding for religious programs.

Republican National Committee (news - web sites) spokesman Danny Diaz questioned Kerry's commitment to health care, saying he was "long on political attacks and short on credibility."

"Over the course of Senator Kerry's two decades in Congress, he has introduced virtually no health care legislation," said Diaz.

Kerry is pushing a proposal that would provide health care to all children through an expansion of the Medicaid program. The federal government would absorb states' costs for children at or below poverty level, to encourage states to expand coverage to children in families that make less than about $47,000. It would cover children up to the age of 21.

It is a legislative long shot in the Republican-controlled Senate.

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