I've seen the consequences of America's broken healthcare program firsthand. I have a neighbor and good friend who is mentally retarded and suffering from cancer. When our Governor callously cut 65,000 elderly and disabled people from Medicaid, he was one of the people who lost his coverage. As a result, he was told by his doctor that he was going to cut off his chemotherapy.
Let that sink in for just a moment. In the United States of America, a mentally retarded man was going to be sentenced to death because he was powerless, poor and mentally retarded. In a fit of anger, I called the doctor's office and let it be known that this was not going to happen, and if it did, there would be consequences. His chemo was not stopped.
Sadly, things like this happen every day in our state and our country. That's why as Chairman of the House Public Health Committee, I fought Governor Barbour tooth and nail to preserve Medicaid, and I was able to restore coverage to those 65,000 who desperately needed it.
In our current healthcare crisis, children are often left without healthcare. It's not a child's fault if her parents do not earn enough to provide adequate healthcare. That's why I've been a passionate supporter of the CHIPS program that has provided millions of children with the healthcare they need to grow up to be healthy adults. We need to continue to support CHIPS so states can continue to provide healthcare for their children.
I believe everyone should have affordable healthcare. If you send me to Congress, I will use my experience to find ways to provide affordable and accessible care for all Americans.