The Heart Of The Matter
A little Don Henley to start the day, “Heart Of The Matter.”
The vote to override the SCHIP veto will held on Thursday. And children and families all over this country need your help.
All over America, there are families like the Johnsons, living on the edge financially and working hard to make ends meet. Many have full-time jobs but seldom take vacations. They meet monthly bills for basics such as food, car insurance and housing but have little or nothing left for dining out, college savings or band uniforms.
Without affordable health coverage for their children, many say, insurance costs and medical bills would threaten to break the family budget.
It is families like these who are at the center of the political controversy in Washington that will come to a head Thursday when the Democratic-led House attempts to override President Bush’s veto of an expansion of the children’s health program that Congress passed last month by sizable bipartisan majorities. The fight, playing out in television and radio ads and in plenty of arm-twisting on Capitol Hill, is over how much money to spend — and on whom to spend it.
When I think about how much money we are spending in Iraq — on an occupation of the President’s choosing — and then the fact that he vetoed this spending on keeping vulnerable children in America healthy? It is beyond maddening, isn’t it? Especially in the context of a public health and safety concern that kids who don’t have regular preventive health care visits can pose an infectious risk to the general public, whether or not your own family has health insurance. All it takes is one bird flu exposure in a community and a missed opportunity for quarantine to start that ball rolling swiftly downhill to disaster.
Beyond that, though, these are children. They have no control over their parents’ means. They have no say into which family — rich or poor, or hard-working blue collar job with no insurance plan — they are born.
For families on the edge — neither comfortably middle class nor truly low income — Thursday’s vote is not just one of the most dramatic political skirmishes of the year but also a referendum on whether people like them deserve the government’s help in making sure that their kids have health coverage….
“If we didn’t have this program, honestly, my husband and I would probably be working two jobs apiece to pay for the health care,” Nelson said. “We haven’t been on a vacation in, like, four years. We can’t afford to do the extras. We don’t eat in restaurants; we don’t do McDonald’s; we don’t do any of that stuff. . . . We’re really going to be in a jam if we lose coverage for my son.”
“The least of these, my bretheren…” That’s the heart of the matter, here, that these children could belong to any of us, there but for the grace of God or a whole lot of luck. Please make calls today — even if you have already made a call, please make another one. This vote in the House is going down to the wire, and every call, every FAX, every contact with a DC office and a local office — every single one counts this week. Please add your voice today. Your call could make the difference in the vote we need for the veto override. But without your call, we’ll never know…
You can call toll free via these numbers that katymine found:
1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437
Here are some members of the House who especially need to hear from constituents: (partially via the Seminal) I’ve put these together so that the name link goes to a contact information page, for ease of locating local office numbers for everyone, and a DC office number and FAX number (where available) for each as well.
Robert Aderholt (AL-04) (202) 225-4876 FAX: (202) 225-5587
Rodney Alexander (LA-05) (202) 225-8490 Fax: (202) 225-5639
Michele Bachmann (MN-06) (202) 225-2331 Fax: (202) 225-6475
Roscoe Bartlett (MD-06) 202-225-2721 Fax Number: 202-225-2193
Judy Biggert (IL-13) 202-225-3515 Fax: 202-225-9420
Brian Bilbray (CA-50) 202-225-0508 Fax: 202-225-2558
Gus Bilirakis (FL-09) 202-225-5755 fx: 202-225-4085
John Boozman (AR-03) (202) 225-4301 Fax: (202) 225-5713
Ginny Brown-Waite (FL-05) (202) 225-1002 FAX: 202 226 6559
Steve Chabot (OH-01) (202) 225-2216 FAX: (202) 225-3012
Barbara Cubin (WY) (202) 225-2311 FAX: (202) 225-3057
John Doolittle (CA-04) 202-225-2511 FAX: 202-225-5444
Thelma Drake (VA-02) (202) 225-4215 Fax: (202) 225-4218
Tim Johnson (IL-15) (202) 225-2371 fax: (202) 226-0791
Rick Keller (FL-08) (202) 225-2176 Fax (202) 225-0999
Joseph Knollenberg (MI-09) (202) 225-5802 Fax: (202) 226-2356
Randy Kuhl (NY-29) 202 225-3161 FAX: 202 226-6599
Tom Latham (IA-04) 202-225-5476 Fax: 202-225-3301
Thaddeus McCotter (MI-11) (202) 225-8171 FAX: (202) 225-2667
Marilyn Musgrave (CO-04) (202) 225-4676 FAX: (202) 225-5870
John Peterson (PA-05) 202-225-5121 Fax: 202-225-5796
Thomas Reynolds (NY-26) (202) 225-5265 FAX: (202) 225-5910
Peter Roskam (IL-6) (202) 225-4561 FAX: (202) 225-1166
Bill Sali (ID-01) (202) 225-6611 FAX: (202) 225-3029
Jim Saxton (NJ-03) (202) 225-4765 FAX — (202) 225-0778
Tim Walberg (MI-07) (202) 225-6276 FAX: (202) 225-6281
Greg Walden (OR-02) 202-225-6730 Fax: 202-225-5774
Jerry Weller (IL-11) (202) 225-3635 Fax: (202) 225-3521
Bob Etheridge (NC-02) (202) 225-4531 Fax: (202) 225-5662
Jim Marshall (GA-08) 202/225-6531 Fax: 202/225-3013
Mike McIntrye (NC-07) (202) 225-2731 fax (202) 225-5773
Gene Taylor (MS-04) 202 225-5772 fax: 202 225-7074