DNC Wrap-Up: A Vote for Life

One of the most inspiring moments for me at the Democratic National Convention – a moment that set the tone for the entire event — happened the very first morning. I mentioned it briefly in my first post from the DNC, but it made such an impression on me that I wanted to share more below (and on Sarasota Patch):

Rod Smith, Chair of the Florida Democratic Party stood up in front of the Florida delegation and told us that his 25-year-old son, Dillon, was recently diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that usually strikes children. He has undergone his first round of chemotherapy, and the family is optimistic.

The inspiration came when Rod described how the health care reform passed by President Obama may end up saving Dillon’s life. Continue reading

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A Choice for Our Families

With the conventions just around the corner, I’ll be back to sharing the latest news from on the ground, particularly as a delegate in Charlotte.  Today, here’s another piece that ran earlier this month on the Sarasota Patch site:

Most of the women I know have experienced a time when they were treated as “less than equal.”

Many have had to pay more for health insurance because they are a woman. A few, like my friend who had a heart attack, have been denied coverage. Others are like my colleague Carol, who was paid less than a man we worked with for the same work. And worse for some women, but luckily no one I know, it happens at home where they suffer abuse.

So what do these issues affecting women all have in common? They are all issues that President Obama has fought to address. They are also problems that Mitt Romney and many other Republicans have worked to make worse.

Continue reading

Upholding Peace of Mind

With the dust starting to settle from the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (or Obamacare, depending on your perspective), I shared my thoughts as mother on the legislation in an op-ed for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. My son, Christopher, has a heart murmur and although he’s thriving, the idea that he could be denied coverage because of this pre-existing condition was always hanging over me in the back of my mind. So certainly, beyond my political beliefs, the Supreme Court’s upholding of the law came as a huge relief to me, and to the millions of those people and parents facing similar circumstances. Of course, the ruling was not hailed across the board, with Mitt Romney and others vowing to repeal the act if given the chance.

The misinformation spread far and wide about the act has also led to concerns from small business owners, but it’s important to realize that, for instance, businesses with fewer than 25 full time employees are not required to provide health insurance and there is no penalty if they don’t. Moreover, new tax credits could help out businesses that do provide insurance. With this ruling and Republican vows to dismantle the ACA, this fall’s election has taken on even greater importance – particularly if you believe, like me, that investing in access to health care services and insurance coverage is as crucial to our children’s future as is investing in their education and economic opportunities.