Saturday, September 29, 2007

Dean Heller's Vote Could Overturn Bush's Veto

Oftentimes, a vote is just a vote. One of many, sure. There is often much at stake but it's unlikely that the vote of a freshman backbencher makes much of a difference. That's why hardly anyone beyond Nevada has ever heard of Dean Heller.

That was until SCHIP, the State Children's Health Insurance Program, came up for reauthorization. Democrats seized upon the opportunity to expand coverage to more children who need it. Which is a sensible thing to do. So sensible, indeed, that it received a veto proof majority in the U.S. Senate, with 18 Republican Senators voting for the expansion of SCHIP. In the House 45 Republicans voted for SCHIP, including Jon Porter.

Overall, 265 members of the House voted for SCHIP, with 290 needed to overturn a veto. If all 12 Democrats either voting no, present, or who were not present would vote in favor, another 13 votes would be needed.

What are the chances of Heller being one of the 13? Hard to tell. There's definitely no chance if he's not pressured.

So, this is where you come in. You can contact Dean Heller directly by calling one of his offices:

Washington, DC: 202-225-6155 (Office)
Reno: 775-686-5760 (Office)
Elko: 775-777-7920 (Office)
Las Vegas: 702-255-1651 (Office)

Another thing you should do is write a letter to the editor to one or more of the following newspapers:

The Desert Valley Times (Mesquite)
Elko Daily Free Press
The Ely Times
Lahontan Valley News (Fallon)
Las Vegas Review Journal
Las Vegas Sun
Nevada Appeal (Carson City)
Pahrump Valley Times
The Record Courie (Gardnerville)
Reno Gazette Journal
The Sparks Tribune
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

Write those letters as quickly as you can. You can usually do so by submitting them online, either through an online form or an email. Bush is expected to veto early next week. So, the sooner you write the better.

Will Heller really let it come that far that it is his vote that would leave millions of children uninsured? Especially, considering how bad the situation in Nevada is:

According to the professionals, Nevada has one of the worst insurance rates in the country and this legislation is critical to ensuring the healthcare of children uninsured in Nevada.

If President Bush vetoes the bill, it might not just be these children who lose out.

They say the healthcare of the estimated 30,000 children enrolled in the Nevada Checkup program would also be jeopardized.

Martin Gallacher, a registered nurse, says "if it doesn't pass, it will affect the neediest of us in the state of Nevada. Again, parents who are forced to choose the emergency room as a primary source of care".

Act now!

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