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Donna's picture

I admit it. With the grim news that one in four U.S. children are on the brink of hunger [1], that an estimated 5 million children are without healthcare today [2], and that 14,000 Americans are losing their healthcare every day [3], I'm tempted to retreat into the familiar comfort of eggnog and holiday cookies.

But the holiday season - a time when we are usually filled with hope and community - is the perfect time for us to come together to help those in need.

Right now, the Senate is back in session and is starting to debate whether or not to enact health reform. In our nation's long history, we have never gotten this close to achieving real health reform. But keep the champagne on ice because the vote in the Senate is expected to be even closer than the vote in the House and victory is in no way assured.

Tell the Senate to make sure that this holiday season we get real health reform before it is too late for kids and families who are in need now.

How fitting that Americans, like Ebenezer Scrooge, are being asked to decide this December whether we will fulfill our promise by caring for our sick or whether we will continue in our miserly ways.

We need to make sure that we get health reform done now and that we get it right for kids and families by:

* Keeping the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and strengthening it at least until the new insurance exchange can ensure that children have an equal or stronger package of benefits and cost protections as they have now in CHIP.

* Eliminating unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to care that keep families from getting the coverage for which they're eligible, and make it easy for families to enroll in Medicaid or the subsidy program and stay enrolled.

* Ensuring employers create both the time and space for new mothers to breastfeed or pump at the workplace.

* Creating a strong public option for moms and others who work part time, have small businesses, or are uninsured and do not have access to affordable group rates provided by large employers.

* Making affordable health coverage like Medicaid accessible to more families by expanding income eligibility.

* Ensuring subsidies for working families are adequate to make health insurance premiums affordable.

Tell the Senate to pass health reform now that finally provides hope to the 46 million people in America without healthcare and the many more who will lose their healthcare just when they need it the most.

Please pass this message on to your friends and family because we are going to need everyone's voice to drown out the well financed opponents of health reform.

Just like Ebenezer Scrooge, we are being given a once in a lifetime chance to awake from our national slumber and finally fix our broken healthcare system. Let us all now raise our voices and demand a better future for our children.

Thank you for your work on behalf of our nation's families.

-- Donna, Anita, Ashley, Julia, Dionna, Kristin, and the Team

1."1 in 7 Americans Went Hungry in 2008," CBS News Story, November 16,2009
2. Speech of the Secretary of Health and Human Services at the National Children's Health Insurance Summit, November 4, 2009
3. "Obama statement on health care legislation," Associated Press, November 7, 2009

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