Residents Alarmed by Congressman’s Vote to Sell Out Children’s Healthcare While Giving Subsidies to Big Oil Companies
San Dimas, Calif. – More than 100 children and their families protested U.S. Representative David Dreier’s (R-CA) recent vote to end healthcare for millions of California children in front of his San Dimas office today.
Families from Rep. Dreier’s district are alarmed by the Congressman’s April 25 vote to dismantle Medicare and drastically cut Medicaid, which has played a central role in successfully reducing the number of uninsured children in California. Many working families in the district rely on Medicaid for flu shots, hearing tests, and tackling common medical conditions such as asthma and ADHD so their kids can stay healthy, grow and learn.
“My son has autism and my family relies on healthcare funding so he can get the care he needs,” said Estela Chavez, a mother of two from Los Angeles. “David Dreier and Representatives like him obviously have the wrong priorities. We’re committed to keeping our kids healthy and Congress should be too.”
Dreier voted in April to support the Republican-backed budget proposal by Congressman Paul Ryan that would ration healthcare funds distributed to states. In California, this would lead to an immediate reduction in healthcare services for people who need it most, including children. At the same time, the proposal provides tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, subsidies to oil companies and giveaways to special interests.
“Families are really hurting in this economy and depend more than ever on access to affordable healthcare for their kids,” said Jose Calderon, a Professor at Pitzer College in Claremont and resident of the district. “Rep. Dreier is obviously out of touch and needs to understand that his priorities are misplaced–children’s health should come before giving money to big corporations.”
On June 1, House Republicans continued their assault on children’s healthcare by approving a rule that allows them to bypass Senate approval and slip the House-approved budget through by attaching it to a Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill. As Chairman of the House Rules Committee, David Dreier allowed the open rule to go forward even though the Senate resoundingly rejected the Republican budget.
According to a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute, changes to Medicaid under the House-approved budget plan would cause between 31 million and 44 million people to lose Medicaid coverage nationally, adding to the ranks of the uninsured.
California’s 26th Congressional District spans nearly 20 communities across the San Gabriel Valley portion of Los Angeles County and the western portion of San Bernardino County.