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Wednesday, 04 October 2017 15:53

Children’s healthcare must be supported

Written by 

To the Editor:

Last week the US Congress failed to reauthorized the Children’s Health Insurance Plan — CHIP — known in North Carolina as Health Choice. Seven million children in the U.S. rely on this plan for their health insurance. Several thousand of these children live in Western North Carolina. I have been a pediatrician in Haywood County for 28 years and have treated many children with serious chronic diseases, including cancer. For hundreds of families in WNC Health Choice is not an option — it is a life or death necessity.

Our Congressman, Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, knows what the tragedy of cancer can do to a family. He lost his sister and father to cancer. We can only offer him our deepest sympathy for those tragedies. Congressman Meadows now must step up and protect those children — many of whom who suffer from serious diseases or need preventive care — and who rely on Health Choice. So far he has NOT done so.

CHIP was passed in the 1990s by an effort of both political parties working together. It is time to put aside useless partisan bickering and stand up for the health of the children of this country. Re-fund CHIP/Health Choice NOW!

Our local state representatives have been absolutely silent on this critical issue. Rep. Mike Clampitt, R-Bryson City, and Rep. Michelle Presnell, R-Burnsville, will you lend your voices to meet the needs of the children of WNC? Speak with Congressman Meadows. I have called his office and alerted his staff to the crisis about to hit hundreds of families in your districts. Failure to act on this would be a moral failure.

Stephen Wall, MD

Waynesville

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