Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SCHIP and Military Families

Most people understand that SCHIP helps working parents afford health care coverage for their children. Many people don't know that there are provisions in the SCHIP bill vetoed by President Bush that have a major impact on military families, too.

Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) released this statement yesterday:

SCHIP Veto Hurts Families of Wounded TroopsOverlooked Provisions in Insurance Bill Have Significant Impact on Military Families

NEW YORK – Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation's first and largest nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today urged Congress to override the President’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) reauthorization. SCHIP includes two little-known provisions which help the families of critically wounded troops. The provisions provide one year of employment discrimination protection to family members caring for severely injured troops, and extends permitted work leave for those family members from three months to six months. Congress passed SCHIP earlier this month, but President Bush vetoed the legislation for reasons unrelated to these military families’ amendments. This Thursday, the House will vote on whether to override the President’s veto.
One in five severely wounded troops say a family member or friend has been forced to give up a job to care for them. This is true of Annette McLeod, who is featured in the national TV ad campaign IAVA is running this week to demand that Congress
and the President improve care for veterans. Mrs. McLeod’s husband, Specialist Wendall McLeod, sustained multiple, life-threatening injuries while serving in Iraq. “When my husband returned home grievously wounded, it ripped my life apart,” said Mrs. McLeod. “I lived in South Carolina, but Wendell was being treated in Washington, DC. After just three months, the human resources department at the factory where I had worked for 20 years said I had exhausted my time off. Being forced to give up my job made a heart-wrenching and difficult time even harder.”


Hopefully, Mr. Rogers will actually DO something to support our troops and vote to override the veto on Thursday.
If you haven't already, please call, write, fax or email his office. Contact info is on the right-hand side of the page.

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