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Rooney Votes Against Children's Health Care

Tim Rooney
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What if teenagers wrote a letter to Rep. Tom Rooney?
Here's what they might say about the freshman congressman's vote against spending more on kids' health

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Dear Congressman Rooney:

I urged my mom and dad to vote for you in the summer and fall because I heard you say that you were not just another politician, but a real, caring person, especially when it came to children.

I believed you, because in the few minutes I got onto the Internet at school, I was really impressed by your background, even compared with Gayle Harrell, your opponent in the primary. She worked on behalf of children in the Florida Legislature, but didn't seem to have the same kind of experience with kids as you.

On TCPalm, you said something that really impressed me.

"The last thing Washington needs is another run-of-the-mill career politician. If elected I will bring new ideas and a can-do attitude to Congress. I will leave the partisan bickering behind and be a tireless advocate for the people of the 16th district."

Everyone is tired of politicians who don't think for themselves and do only what their party's leaders tell them to do. That seems to be what's hurting our country. I'm just a teenager, but I know that people, including congressmen, have to get along with each other and think for themselves to accomplish anything.

I read all about your service to kids and the fact you had three young children. I learned you were a member of the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County and that you'd run and been on the board of a nonprofit organization that helps abused and neglected children.

To me, that meant you'd do whatever you could to make sure my parents wouldn't go bankrupt if I get sick again. So when I read that you voted against expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program to serve 4.1 million kids like me, I was sad.

You see, my mom and dad make too much money for Medicaid or the old SCHIP program, which serves 324,000 Florida kids. But, partly because of my last illness, they can't afford the only health insurance they can find. Now, thanks to mostly Democrats, I'll be one of about 290,000 Florida kids who will be able to afford insurance if President Barack Obama signs the bill you didn't vote for.

I respect what your spokesman said was the reason for your vote against children like me: You think this plan is "a step toward bureaucratic taxpayer-funded universal health care." I don't want to debate that issue now.

Instead, I hope your vote against the plan (137 of 139 "no" votes were Republican) is not a sign that you will be controlled by the Republican Party as opposed to your own conscience. I would have thought that in your first vote, knowing that the plan was going to pass anyway (it did by 150 votes!), you could have sided with kids like me.

I'm still hopeful that you'll do what you said — support children in need and be your own person (not a politician). I'll be watching. I hope you turn out to be a hero to me and other kids, not just another politician who says the right thing to get elected.


Suffering in Stuart

(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Martin County Democratic Executive Committee has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Martin County Democratic Executive Committee endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)