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Welcome to our HealthCare Blog Carnival! We've rounded up some of the most interesting, useful stories and analysis on healthcare reform, focusing on posts that speak to the impact of healthcare on families. Browse through and enjoy. We've got something for everyone, from personal stories to detailed policy analysis, from writers all around the country. The common thread: the need for our healthcare system to change, to provide truly solid support for families.

Real Life Support for Moms blog weaves the need for healthcare reform in with her personal story of jobs she and her husband lost, found, and how coverage followed.

MissLori writes on the Chicago Moms Blog about her family's personal struggle to get and keep health insurance, a struggle made even more urgent with the discovery of her daughter's enlarged pancreas.

A Portland, OR mama asks "Health care and your family's work set-up: Is it working?" She describes how every single one of her career choices has depended on whether or not her family would be able to get coverage through her work.

The Activistas are mobilizing moms in Oregon on healthcare reform, with a treasure trove of 52 posts and counting on healthcare reform and the ways moms can get involved with spreading the word about reform within their communities. Highlights include re-posting a powerful letter to the editor on the high cost of birth without healthcare; commenting on Rolling Stone's article "Sick and Wrong," which, as you might, guess cuts to the chase of what's wrong with healthcare as it is, as well as Bill Moyers' frank assessment of the less-than-civil tone that has taken hold of portions of the health reform debate; and making the important point of including the reduction of infant mortality in the healthcare debate. And I'd be remiss not to mention that among the many events posted, they included an announcement of their MomsRising-organized trip to visit Senator Jeff Merkley! Great work, Activistas!

Along those lines, MojoMom of North Carolina shares her story of visiting Senator Kay Hagan and Rep. Brad Miller with her fellow NC MomsRising members. An empowering read for any mom or caregiver who wants to make her voice heard directly to lawmakers-- this is how you can do it!

BlogHer and MomsRising blogger Morra Aarons Mele writes a post explaining that "Health Reform Does Not Cut Medicare." It's a good simple breakdown; Morra tells us that Mike Kruger of the US Committee on Education and Labor blog singled her post out as being effective and simple to understand. Worth a read.

National Women's Law Center provides excellent, conversational-yet-fact-filled posts with their Women and Health Reform series. Learn how preventive services save lives and money. Find out why we should keep health decisions in our hands, noting that "we don’t want the government denying us access to care, and we don’t want our insurance companies denying us access either." And put yourself in her shoes: a single mother to a 5-year-old daughter, losing a stable job, and becoming a statistic in the economic downturn. What happens when women's poverty increases and our insurance decreases?

And PhDinParenting provides a Canadian perspective on health reform, debunking myths and sharing anecdotes about what it's like to live with a public health care system. Among the many interesting comments on this post is one that includes a link to "A Brief History of Canada's Health Care System."

Maria Niles at BlogHer picks up PhDinParenting's post and several others in her well-sourced post "Debating Health Care Reform: What Can the United States Learn From the Rest of the World?", including the always-fascinating Nate Silver who points out that "Not All Socialist Countries are Alike," (comparing Canada and the UK), and TR Reid at the Washington Post, who busts "Five Myths About Health Care in the Rest of the World."

And for another intriguing international perspective, check out "This American's Experience of Britain's Healthcare System." At 315 comments and counting, readers are definitely engaged here and sharing their own interesting stories.

Speaking up for the children is something we do everyday as moms and caregivers, and it's no less important in the healthcare reform debate. Heidi Hess of the Children's Defense Fund refers us to three articles providing vital information on where kids stand in healthcare reform: The Boston Globe's "The Top Stakeholders in Health Reform" by Tom Daschle and John C. Danforth; Politico's "SCHIP May Hang In the Balance" by Carrie Budoff Brown; and an opinion piece by Eva Longoria Parker in USA Today entitled "Children of color need a healthy start."

Speaking up for ourselves is another story! Professor Cheryl J. Edwards shares what she heard from a group of women of color from DC. Also drawing from a report by the US Dept of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, entitled "In Their Own Voices," Prof. Edwards points out that while cost is a significant barrier to access, "women face additional barriers that affect the convenience of accessing care, such as the lack of transportation and child care."

Micky Hingorani of The Opportunity Agenda submits a thoughtful piece by Kevin Shawn Hsu, who carefully breaks down a couple of different meanings and approaches to the term "universal health care." You'll also find a rich, interesting blogroll and set of fact sheets there.

Bill Haxton schools us with two articles in the Kaweah Commonwealth that provide a meaningful American historical context in which to consider health reform.

Ellen Wu, MPH, Executive Director of the California Pan Ethnic Health Network, reminds us of the values that drive us to work for healthcare reform, which she got to reflect upon during a recent trip to the Galapagos Islands. We should all be so lucky to contemplate healthcare reform while on a tropical island!

HipMama highlights "The Face of Reform," a moving story by a mom named Natalie whose daughter Sophie endures the heartbreaking, totally unexpected transformation from being "the healthiest kid that you had ever met" to a little girl with chronic pulmonary disease. Find out what happens when they decide to switch plans-- and learn that they're now being denied coverage for Sophie's pulmonary sickness altogether.

The Spohrs Are Multiplying is a beautifully-written blog about one family's experiences with high-risk pregnancies. In a post entitled "Dollars and Sense," Heather relates how she's being denied ultrasounds, even though her previous pregnancy resulted in a premature birth at 28 weeks (that baby, Madeline, passed away five months ago). She writes clearly and powerfully about how the preventive care that ultrasounds would provide could end up saving hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road-- if only the insurance company would recognize that fact.

Suzanne White's personal story includes breast cancer twice, going to France for care, and the medical student who refused to admit his mistake for fear of ruining his career.

Yearning for a reasonable debate between folks with different opinions on healthcare reform? I was, and I have to say my soul was soothed by the respectful tone and intelligent exchange in the comments following Karoli's post on Momocrats about her firsthand experience at a healthcare vigil.

Also at Momocrats, Julie Pippert draws on excellent reports and fact sheets published by the Kaiser Family Foundation to talk about what's working in Massachusetts and what we can learn from their experience.

These stories and analysis are a small slice of the vast amount of information on healthcare reform out there, but they're fundamentally important because they are the stories of real moms and families. We're so glad to highlight a few of these stories on this blog. And we encourage you to keep reading and sharing these stories, and to keep remembering the everyday people who are asking Congress to get healthcare done now, and to get it right for kids and families. Thank you for all you do!

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