For the past two years, I experienced a special privilege of meeting those families every single day all across our country - good people who love their communities, love their country, and are determined to build a better life for their kids.
What I saw and what they told me was moving and motivating. I'll never forget the single mother I met who lies awake worrying that her child's health care might cost more than she makes in a month. Moms and dads who save and save for their kids' college education, but still come up short when they get a bill for their elderly parents' health care that's higher than Medicare will pay. In Erie , Pennsylvania , I met a man named Albert Barker. He wonders how he'll pay thousands of dollars in medical bills. After he suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery, his employer stopped his health coverage just because it was too expensive. His wife said she just prays nothing else happens. The message is clear: In the United States of America, decent health care shouldn't be a faith - based delivery service - - that's wrong, and we can do better than that. In Council Bluffs, Iowa, I met a woman named Myrtle Walck - - 82 years old, she still volunteers at her neighborhood school - - and she doesn't know what she'll do if the price of her medicine rises any higher. As it is, she pays a good chunk of her Social Security check - her only source of income - to the drugstore every month just to cover the cost of her two daily prescriptions. That's wrong, and we can do better than that. And in Jacksonville , Florida I met Renee Harris, who owned a school bus company that was in her family for over fifty years. But recently, she was forced to sell it because she could no longer afford to insure her workers or herself. That's wrong, and we can do better than that. In Cannonsburg, Pennsylvania, I met Lori Shelton who said to me that every month she pays her families' bills - - clothes, books, food, and doctor's bills - health insurance - - and she said, "Senator, I'm tired of having to tell my children 'no.'" I met people like Lori every day, and I'll never forget them. Their struggle didn't go away on November 2nd - the issue is as compelling today as it was every day of the campaign, and the mission is clear: we need to make something happen on health care. So today I want to ask you to stand up again and join me in a fight for a very simple proposition - that America can no longer afford to ignore the millions of children who aren't covered by health insurance.
On Monday I introduced the Kids First Act of 2005, which would cover every one of the 11 million uninsured children in America , putting the force of law behind a commitment that so many Democrats and Republicans have supported in principle over the years - - a commitment that this Congress and this administration have failed to redeem for far too long.
Just think about it: nearly seven million of those 11 million kids are already eligible for coverage under the federal and state Medicaid and SCHiP programs. But they aren't getting the insurance we promised to them.
That's wrong, and we break a fundamental promise to those children again and again each day we tolerate the status quo.
The cost of our broken promises - - the burden we place on families, on businesses, on communities, and on the states - - also rises every day.
Read More - Address to Families USA January 27, 2005
Yesterday, LightUpTheDarkness.org launched a campaign to support John Kerry 's "Kid's Come First" Act, the "We've Got Your Back" campaign. Please join us in supporting this important healthcare initiative for children, by linking to our "We've Got Your Back" campaign on your blog or website.
The “We’ve Got Your Back” campaign makes it easy for everyone to send a letter to their Senators urging them to Co - Sponsor the "Kids Come First" Act through our Action Alert on Congress.org.