Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Speak Now For Kids

Many of you, my readers, have kids. Not all, but many. Many of you also have kids with special needs. Every single one of you has a stake in upcoming health care reform legislation. Those of you with kids, or plans to have kids, or who care about kids has an interest in making sure that children and their particular needs are included in health care reform.

(I know. I'm being serious. Chill out. I'm allowed.)

Speak Now For Kids is a great new campaign aimed at getting your thoughts about health reform to legislators. They invited me to a lunch meeting with some other bloggers the other day to tell us about their campaign. Of course I arrived late and had to leave early because, um, DC traffic sucks, I had to drop Quinn off with Alex during the meeting, and did you know that if you try to loiter in your car near certain downtown buildings, security guards will insist you move? Yeah.


I'll go a little more into the campaign in a second, but for those of you getting bored and looking for Blue Bear Goes to Congress or something, I'll tell you what you can do to make your voice heard. Go to the Speak Now For Kids website, click on Speak Now, and enter your own testimonial about what you think is important concerning health care reform as it relates to kids. You can write something, submit a photo, or even submit a video. Speak Now For Kids will make sure that your information and your concerns get to Congress. Talk about an easy and fast way to get your voice heard.

I put in a testimonial. I have health coverage—good health coverage—and I still pay $70 a WEEK in co-pays for Jack's therapy and social skills group. And I have to compulsively count the number of sessions to make sure we don't go over our yearly limit and end up with hundreds of dollars in therapy bills. People without my type of coverage simply cannot afford to give their children therapy. And with a public school culture that you have to fight every step of the way to get adequate services at school, there aren't many options for low and middle income people. There is an autism waiver program in my state, but the wait list is months, if not years long.

There are so many ways that children can benefit from real health care reform. The costs of autism coverage is just one of my personal concerns. I'm sure all of you have your own. This is an easy way for you to make sure your legislators know what you care about.

The Speak Now For Kids campaign wants to give a voice to children in the current Congressional health care debate. They are using social media and other innovative strategies to let people use their own voices and their own stories to show the importance of children and health care. The National Association of Children's Hospitals is sponsoring the campaign, and is partnered with the Children's Health Fund, the March of Dimes, First Focus, the Children's Defense Fund, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Obviously each of these groups has their own agenda and their own points that they want included in health reform. But they're asking for your opinion too. They want to know what is important to you. And I think that's pretty cool.

Take a couple minutes to write down your story today. Be sure to do it soon because Speak Now For Kids wants as many stories in the next couple of weeks as possible.

Do it, or the bear gets it.


  1. OMG Seventy Bucks! Zowie. Think of all the clothes, and the mani/pedis you are missing!

  2. Yeah, HMO's don't cover "autism". Fortunately, California has the Lanterman Act and Regional Centers. Still, no traditional medical insurance that I know of will cover a DAN doctor. Traditional medicine seems to pooh pooh any treatments for autism.

    Sad. That's why so many parents and families are struggling financially. It's VERY expensive to have a special needs child and to fight for them ($attorneys$$$).

  3. Yep, I figure I'm in for about $400 per month on Edward's therapies...sometimes more. It's why I work part-time from home...to pay for co-pays and therapies that are not covered. And that doesn't include all the things I buy in order to do therapy at home.

    I don't know how people do it honestly. Thank you for shedding light on this.


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