Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How to Follow Rafael and SB 1274 in D.C.

Follow Rafael on his Twitter page here.

Support his efforts to save Hawaii's health insurance rights by visiting President Obama's website, and sending him a message like the following:

Dear Mr. President:

Greetings from your home state of Hawaii. I am writing to urge you to avoid an ironic turn of events which is potentially very embarrassing for the Affordable Care Act.

Hawaii is poised to repeal its best-in-the-nation consumer protections because your CCIIO staffers refuse to say whether Hawaii law complies with the ACA regulations. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the ACA is reported to be responsible for the repeal of the law in the State that was a model for universal health care?

Rafael “Del” del Castillo and many others have tried for months to get an answer from the CCIIO staff, but they refuse. Hawaii’s health plans have spent tens of thousands trying to persuade lawmakers that they should repeal our law, so Del decided to fly to Washington DC this week to meet face-to-face with the CCIIO decisionmakers.

He needs your help to get an appointment. Governor Abercrombie’s office has asked Del to bring back all of the information he can obtain to prevent the unnecessary loss of our consumer protection law. It is a no-win proposition for Governor Abercrombie if he acts to destroy our consumer protections without the information he needs. What a shame it would be to stick Governor Abercrombie with responsibility for destroying our consumer protections just because the CCIIO policymakers refuse to meet with Del for a few minutes.

Your office can reach Del at 808-782-1262. Please help him get an appointment.

Thank you for your kokua!

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.