Children with special needs will undoubtedly be affected by whatever decisions our elected officials make about health care reform. As a parent are you concerned? Do you know what is happening? There are steps you can take to get involved and make your voice heard. No matter what your political stance, I encourage you to take these actions at minimum:
1. Read, listen, or watch as much as you can in order to learn as much as you can about the health care reforms that are being considered by our elected officials. I've linked to two differing views below. Consider these a starting point for your investigations.
"The sick, special needs patients, and seniors – those most at risk when the government involves itself in these tough decisions – deserve better. Like it or not, once government-run health care is a fait accompli, government rationing becomes the logical endpoint." getbetterhealth.com
"The status quo that is 50 million Americans not having health insurance, a system that has administrative waste and as a result drives up premiums so that it is unaffordable for many patients – that is just not acceptable." huffingtonpost.com
3. Contact your elected representatives and let them know your opinion.
There are also several specific actions that you can take if you find that the messages of these petitions and e-mails aligns with your own views. I'm sure there are others, these are just some I've come across in my own search for information.
- Send a "fax" to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, asking her to watch the AutismVotes advertisement and to support health care reform that ends insurance discrimination against autism. ***Update: 7/29/09 - AutismVotes asked everyone to stop contacting Speaker Pelosi because her office entered "productive discussions" on this issue. I'll keep you posted if I hear any more on this. ***Update: 11/27/09 - The House version of the Health Care Reform legislation did include provisions to end insurance discrimination against autism. You can read more here. This shows that with enough voices concentrated on one objective we really can be heard!
- Sign a petition to ask Michelle Obama to sit down with two parents of autistic children and two self-advocating autistic adults to discuss the formation of an Autism Corps.
- Watch this video about the effects of the current health care reform proposal on the abortion issue. CitizenLink can help you contact your representative.