Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Contact Senator Coats Today about Maternal and Child Health Services

Family Voices Indiana recognizes that you have been receiving many calls for advocacy and action lately, and we thank you for your efforts. These are challenging times at the state and national level and it is critical that our representatives hear from families about how important the systems and services we interact with are. To support your efforts we share the following critical action alert from our partners at AMCHP and National Family Voices:

At 3:00 p.m. EST today (September 21) the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on a Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2012 that includes a $50 million cut to the Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant. This cut will affect every state and possibly every Title V SPRANS grant. In Indiana the Block Grant support many important programs including the Children's Special Health Care Services program.

Elected officials need to hear from you NOW about the impact of this cut before they vote. Indiana’s Senator Dan Coats is on the Senate Appropriations Committee we urge you to IMMEDIATELY call his office (202-224-5623), ask for Adam Howard, the staff person who handles health appropriations, and share the following message:

• I am deeply concerned that the LHHS appropriations bill begins deficit reduction by targeting Title V MCH programs serving pregnant women, infants and children with special health care needs. It seems highly unfair that a program representing less than one half percent of the entire bill is being asked to shoulder 16% of the total cuts.

• If this cut goes forward hundreds of health professionals will lose their jobs within months. These are people working to protect and improve the health of pregnant women, babies, children, adolescents, and children with special health care needs.

• If the cuts in Title V are made, we ask that you protect programs providing technical assistance to federal grantees working to help children with special health care needs and their families, such as the National Center for Family/Professional Partnerships.

• We ask that the committee reconsider why MCH is being asked to absorb nearly one sixth of this committee’s total budget cut and find a way to share deficit reduction more fairly.

You can also email Adam Howard at:adam_howard@coats.senate.gov

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