Day 216- Rep. Fortney “Pete” Stark (D, California)

For the next 36 days (from March 28 to May 2),  I will be contacting and writing about 36 extraordinary members of the House of Representatives. They are all extraordinary in that they form the bipartisan Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus, and so they strive to address the unique needs of the spina bifida community in the U.S. My “mission” is to write to them, and urge them to make quality of life, and not solely prevention, a priority on their agenda in Congress. It has come to my attention that education about spina bifida is critical during all the stages of development– from planning to prevent spina bifida through the consumption of folic acid, to comprehensive education about spina bifida once it is diagnosed. We need to educate, starting with the physicians and other healthcare providers, so that they will be made aware of the potential that each child with spina bifida possesses.

I see this Congressional Caucus as a great starting point, as they have already committed to educating their colleagues in Congress about spina bifida.

An early supporter of healthcare reform, Stark has effected big changes in Medicare.

I hope you are all having a blessed Good Friday. Let’s talk healthcare! Rep. Pete Stark of California was a staunch supporter of healthcare reform, back when the public option was still on the table.

Indeed, Congressman Stark is a champion of many health-related causes in the House of Representatives. In 1985, he became chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee. As chairman, he has overseen many reforms to Medicare. He’s a former member of the Council for Civic Unity, and is a current member of the Progressive Caucus.

Stark, as a senior member of the Ways and Means Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee, also helped introduce a bill in Congress that would help protect victims of domestic abuse.

Other than that, there is not much more to tell. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m really hitting a wall in trying to find information about this Congressional Spina Bifida Caucus. I’m beginning to wonder if it even exists. That being said, I hope to find out more soon. Although I will only be profiling the caucus’ members for the next few weeks, I mailed a letter today to my Congressman Alan Grayson of Florida. He was an ardent proponent of health care reform, and I feel confident that he will reply to me. I also sent him a copy of my letter to the President, in hopes that he will have the opportunity to share that with him in Washington.

Allergies or not, I’m picking up the pace! Oh yeah– I left a voicemail for and am hoping to receive a call back from Ms. Kelsey Mishkin, who works in Congressman Raúl Grijalva’s D.C. office.

So, that’s a lot of information, but I figured it would give you all a little hope that this is going somewhere! I hope you’ve had a peaceful Good Friday, and have a wonderful, beautiful, blessed Easter weekend!

Love,

Laurita ♥

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