Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Father fears for Pablito after SCHIP veto

This toddler captured hearts when we met him and his father, Pablo Urquiza.

In this post, Pablo tells the story of his son, costs of his epilepsy treatment, and the SCHIP veto.

Are you listening, Mario Diaz-Balart?

Last September, my three year old son Pablo was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy. Although this is very difficult for any parent to deal with (no one wants to see their child suffering from a disease) the situation was alleviated by the fact that at least my family had health insurance provided through my employer.

My son’s condition required hospitalization, visits to the emergency room, x-rays, various MRI’s, encephalograms, the intervention of doctors, paramedics, specialists and medication – with the cost of his treatment rapidly escalating to nearly $30,000. Fortunately, I had medical insurance and a job. Then I was told that I was being laid-off, and I was left without a steady job, but with medical coverage (for only a few more months).

That’s when I really became desperate. What do I do? What happens if I have to take my son to the hospital again? And what if he has to undergo more costly examinations? Just one MRI costs $4,000…A good option for someone in my situation would have been the health program for children, SCHIP. But at the same time, I learned that President Bush had just vetoed extending coverage to millions of children who are citizens and legal residents in this country. I also discovered that my Republican congressman, Mario Diaz-Balart, also voted against extending coverage which would have helped my son in the near future.

What excuse do these bureaucrats have to deny my son a basic human right – the right to have access to the best medical care possible? How can the richest country on the planet deny that right to my three year old son? What can I do as a father? I want Mario Diaz-Balart to explain to my son, face to face, the reasons why he has forgotten those who are helpless and innocent.

--- Pablo – Miami Lakes, Florida

Thanks to Isabel of Democratas de Miami for talking with Pablo and translating. Check out our blog in Spanish that she handles, http://democatasdemiami.blogspot.com

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yes to Torture, say Ros-Lehtinen and Diaz-Balarts

Our three Republican members of the U.S. House have voted for torture. Yes, let’s reaffirm that: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL-21), and Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) voted Thursday with 186 other Republicans on the Nay side of a measure that the Democratic majority put forward to bar CIA agents from using waterboarding while questioning suspected terrorists.

Thank goodness that the Republicans no longer are in the majority in the House – the measure passed in a 222-199 vote. Let it not be said that the Democrats are worthless in Washington.

That said, we don’t know what will happen when this measure hits the Senate with its lovely rules and scant Democratic majority.

Here’s the story on DailyKos with a link therein to the full vote tally. A puzzle to me was why Dennis Kucinich was on the Nay side with most Republicans. I looked at his campaign web site and U.S. House web site and saw no explanation. Kendrick Meek was on the Aye side, while Debbie Wasserman Schultz was not voting.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Protest at two Miami Republicans' offices