|Health Care Reform; Hate Crimes Prevention; Child Abuse Prevention - April 24, 2009|
Thank you for reading another edition of my e-newsletter, the Carson Courier.
In this week’s
Reforming Our Health Care System
Protecting Against Hate Crimes
Recognizing National Child Abuse Awareness Month
Each week I receive hundreds of calls, letters and emails from local residents on critical issues like our economy and the environment. While these issues receive national attention everyday, they are not the only important issues about which my constituents contact me. I would like to use this week’s Carson Courier as an opportunity to address a few of the most common concerns on which I have received correspondence in the last few weeks. Thank you again to everyone who contacted my office on these and other important issues and I look forward to speaking with you about them further in the near future.
REFORMING OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM
Recent statistics have shown that average health care costs in 2009 will rise above $5,000 for individuals and $12,000 for families, more than double what they were just a decade ago. Sadly, millions of Americans are forced to forgo necessary care in order to put food on their tables and pay their bills. As nationwide unemployment, foreclosure and bankruptcy rates rise, the mounting cost of health care clearly presents a crisis that we can no longer ignore.
I believe strongly that every American, regardless of their financial situation, has the right to affordable, accessible, high quality treatment when they are sick. Because of this, I joined my colleagues in Congress earlier this year to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and bring health care to 11 million uninsured children. This was significant but only a first step toward comprehensive health reform.
Fortunately, President Obama and our Democratic Congress understand how pressing this crisis truly is and are working to enact initiatives that will correct shortfalls in Medicare and Medicaid, expand access to qualified physicians, and reform our private insurance system so that it is simpler and more affordable for average Americans.
In the coming weeks, the House will begin crafting legislation that will create a modern health care system that is capable of meeting the needs of all Americans. As this crucial debate progresses, I encourage you to contact me with any thoughts or concerns that you might have so that I can better represent you and all
PROTECTING AGAINST HATE CRIMES
As a former law enforcement officer, I have seen first hand the negative impacts that hate crimes have on minority groups.
For this reason, I will be cosponsoring H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. This important legislation will provide local law enforcement agencies additional funding and technical support to better investigate and prosecute hate crimes.
I believe that every individual has a right to live without fear of discrimination or violence because of their race, ethnicity, religion, gender, disability or sexual orientation. I look forward to supporting this legislation in the 111th Congress.
RECOGNIZING NATIONAL CHILD ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH
In recognition of the tragic number of child abuse cases reported each year, our nation designates each April as National Child Abuse Awareness Month. Each year, over 3 million child abuse reports are filed, although experts estimate that the actual number is three times greater than those cases that are reported. As a parent, I feel very strongly about the protection of all of our nation’s children and believe that every child has a right to live free of violence, exploitation and neglect. However, the responsibility to detect and prevent child abuse does not lie in the hands of parents alone. Preventing child abuse requires a collective effort, with teachers, coaches, friends and neighbors all looking out for signs of mistreatment.
As an active member of the Congressional Children’s Caucus, I am dedicated to the implementation of legislation that will encourage education about child abuse detection and strengthen the prosecution of adults who harm children. I also believe that such legislation should also address the lasting impact that abuse has on children.
To receive additional information on child abuse and how to report it to proper authorities, please visit http://www.childwelfare.gov/preventing/. I am confident that by working together we can reduce incidents of child abuse and help provide safe, nurturing childhoods to millions of American children.
Thank you for reading the Carson Courier. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts and concerns. I value your views and your input which help me to better represent the people of
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