Call for health-care reform

Letters to the Portland Editor, December 25, 2009
By PORTLAND PHOENIX LETTERS  |  December 22, 2009

The November 7 passage of health-care reform, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, in the House of Representatives was a very important and exciting moment for everyone who is dedicated to the idea that all Americans need and deserve access to high quality, affordable health care.

Maine's two representatives, Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree, deserve a lot of thanks from all of us for helping make this happen.

The Affordable Health Care for America Act is a large and complicated piece of legislation, with many important provisions. One of them of particular interest to families and children concerns school-based health centers (SBHCs).

SBHCs provide a vital link in delivering health care to kids who need it most. The health reform bill creates a new program that will support SBHCs at many locations in Maine and around the country.

I was a member of Deering High School's School Based Health Center Outreach Team before I graduated in 2008. I am also a member of the Maine Assembly on School-Based Health Care and I work with school-based health centers all across Maine. I have seen Deering High School's health center, along with many health centers across Maine, do a lot of great work to improve students' health and lives. We are thrilled that the House saw the wisdom of incorporating this successful program into a national vision for health care.

Now, we must get on with the equally important job of passing a Senate bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, that ensures access to high quality and affordable health care. To make the important investments in our children that we know are needed, and will pay big dividends in the future, we must finish the work that has been so successfully begun.

Please call Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and ask them to support health-care reform that will meet the needs of all children.

Chelsea Schoen
Youth Training and Projects Coordinator
Maine Youth Action Network

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