:: to the teeth ::    thoughts on social justice, medicine, race, hope and beats

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way.
On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." :: Arundhati Roy ::

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." :: Alice Walker ::
Sunday, October 03, 2004  

Docs for kids stand up for kids, and stick it to Bush

Last week a group of prominent pediatricians said "Hey Bush administration, you're screwing with childrens' access to health care, and we won't take that!" Ok, well they said something more refined, but equally angrily, in a letter they're publishing in newspapers around the country over the next few weeks (keep on the lookout for it!).

The letter, entitled "Our Children Deserve Better," was released at a news conference and will be running in key newspapers around the country over the next few weeks. It was signed by 36 pediatricians, including six past presidents of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). One of the letter's key points noted that 27 million children in the United States were without health insurance at some point in 2002-2003...

"We need to address the fact that it is simply unconscionable that the wealthiest, most powerful nation in the world under the Bush administration has millions of uninsured children. The words 'leave no child behind' ring hollow when so many children are left out," said Dr. Joel Alpert, professor and chairman emeritus at Boston University School of Medicine and past president of the AAP.

The letter, along with statements from various pediatricians at the news conference, bemoaned various aspects of White House policies, including cuts in state health programs. "In the president's home state of Texas alone, more than 150,000 children of working-class families have been dropped from the State Child Health Insurance Program, leaving them without any insurance," said Dr. Stephen Berman, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and past president of the AAP.

Berman related the story of a teenager who recently came to him with severe diabetic ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the body doesn't get enough insulin. The family, it turned out, was not insured and could not afford to pay for the insulin the patient needed. They were denied Medicaid because their one asset, a car, exceeded the allowable amount in Colorado.

"The boy almost died -- and shared with us that perhaps he wished he had died so he would not be such a financial burden on his family," Berman said.

It's nice to see a personal story presented here. The individual experiences that doctors can relate to the public and to our elected officials make them SO powerful in the struggle for increased access to health care. The letter ended with a strong endorsement of Kerry. Now this is being published in many newspapers around the country, and I think it'll make some folks think real hard about the election because hey, everyone cares about their kids' health. They summarized the stark differences between the Kerry and Bush plans in a final paragraph:

"President Bush's main health-care proposal of tax credits and deductions would decrease the number of uninsured by as little as 5 percent while still relying on market forces proven to be ineffective for dealing with the millions who will remain uninsured," the letter read. "Sen. Kerry's proposal, building on his belief that health care is a right, not a privilege, extends coverage to virtually all children, and ultimately to all Americans."
And this is why this sticker below, from the group Security Moms 4 Bush, really holds no weight. (by the way there's a new group, called Band of Sisters, started by Wesley Clark and friends. So many groups, so many agendas, so many votes to swing... makes my head spin!)

posted by Anjali Taneja | 10/03/2004 07:40:00 PM | |


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