UPDATED: Waffles shouldn't be on the menu today: Loretta Sanchez needs to stand up for families on healthcare now
UPDATE: Last night health reform passed the House. Representative Loretta Sanchez voted YES. Interested in what passage of this bill means for you and your family? Here's a terrific, interactive article from the New York Times today, titled, "How The Healthcare Overhaul Could Affect You". One big part of the bill is that with full passage, Medicaid will be expanded to cover anyone with income at or below 133 percent of the poverty line -- $29,327 for a family of four. And all families earning up to 400 percent of the poverty line -- $88,200 for a family of four -- will receive subsidies to help afford premiums. Wondering how healthcare reform will cover more people while reducing the deficit? Newsweek has a great article discussing just that, titled, "How Health Care Reform Reduces the Deficit in 5 Not-So-Easy Steps."
I like waffles on the weekend, but not this kind. Today's vote on health reform is a nail-biter and a number of the Members of Congress are still undecided. Among them is Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat from Orange County, California. Clearly, the health reform bill is not perfect, but it's an important start at addressing a monumental problem for California and the nation.
The need for health reform in California couldn't be more clear. A recently released study by UCLA Center for Health Policy Research finds that nearly two million Californians lost their health insurance during 2008 and 2009, years which were characterized by a deep recession and mass layoffs bringing the total number of uninsured in the state to more than eight million. That number represents a 25 percent increase in the number of uninsured since 2007.
This need creates heartbreak for too many families. Recently, a MomsRising member, and mother of three, wrote us to say that because she doesn't have health insurance, she can't afford a crucial test that would show whether her cancer is in remission. So, she has to face her children and her husband every single day, not knowing how long she has to live. She doesn't know and they don't know whether she's going to be cancer-free or if her body is still fighting for its life. No family should have to deal with that kind of agony and heartbreak.
Today we have the chance to make a critical difference in the lives of Californians and so many people across the country struggling to obtain or keep health insurance.
While there are many reasons not to like the health reform bill, none are good enough to prevent an estimated 32 million people from gaining health insurance through this historic legislation; and without reform, healthcare will continue to drag our families, small businesses, and out economy down.
In fact, Representative Sanchez herself said in her tweet on March 16th at 8:39am: "1 in 4 Californians lack health insurance (including over 190,000 in Orange County). Major, major drag on state & local economy"
We urge Representative Loretta Sanchez to address this urgent need for affordable and secure healthcare in her district and throughout California that she highlighted on Twitter. We also urge her colleagues in Congress to stand with moms, children, and families by voting yes today for health reform.
You can contact the office of Representative Sanchez to tell her that families are counting on her to vote YES via fax at (202) 225-5859 or phone at (202) 225-2965. And, you can also post messages on her two Facebook pages after you click "Become a Fan" on her pages at http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Loretta-Sanchez/6282804763?ref=ts and http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/LorettaSanchez?ref=ts
And, it's not just Representative Sanchez who's waffling today. The Washington Post top headline this morning reads, Healthcare Cliff Hanger, and the article notes: "Senior Democrats predicted a cliffhanger when the House is expected to vote Sunday night, saying they are likely to clear the 216-vote threshold for final passage by the narrowest of margins."
With so many Congressional waffles on the table this morning, it's not a bad idea to take a moment out of your weekend and give your Representative a call (again, if you've called in the past) today before the vote. Here's a link to find the direct number to your Representative's office, so you can make that last minute call before the healthcare vote reminding them to vote YES for families:http://bit.ly/cNse8m
Although it's the weekend, Congressional waffles shouldn't be on the menu today. Covering 32 million people is serious business. Too many lives are at stake with this vote.
Cross posted from the Huffington Post.