fresh voices from the front lines of change







Dan Doubet of Keystone Progress delivered these comments at the "Don't Take Our Health Care" rally in Pittsburgh, PA on June 24, 2017.

Like many of you, my family is suffering. My 2 year old and 3 year old sons have been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder. Because of that, my family faces many unknowns, and now we have the unknowns about the future of healthcare in this country.

I love my sons for the amazing, creative, hilarious, beautiful creatures they are, and I will do everything I can to give them what they need for the brightest possible future. All the best research shows they need is 40 hours of intensive, applied behavioral therapy a week. The minimum recommendation is 25 hours. With ASD, the earlier they receive treatment, the better, so the clock is ticking.

Because he’s three years old, my son Dashiell is beginning to get services through Pennsylvania’s Department of Education and Medicaid. Through this program, he is eligible for just two hours of therapy a week.

That’s as is; that’s the status quo. The people he works with are underappreciated, underpaid and overworked, and these are the very people who give him the best chance at the best possible outcomes.

Under the AHCA, even this meager program comes under threat. Because this bill puts tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires ahead of the health of all, my sons’ futures are under attack.

Senator Toomey, my sons are not burned-out buildings. They are not profit-loss data points on a spreadsheet. They are beautiful human beings, who have unlimited potential, like all children.

So, Senator Toomey, while my family is suffering, I am truly optimistic, because it has never been clearer: this is no longer left versus right, Republican versus Democrat.

It’s the bottom versus the top, and there are more us than there are of you. At the top are millionaires and billionaires who care more about shreds of money than my children, and the bottom, is me, my boys and 300 million friends.

Senator Toomey, We do not live in a time of scarcity, we live in a time of scarcity for the many, and unprecedented wealth for the very few. Some argue my kids only deserve what I can provide on my own, so we’re clear, that would mean providing two full-time behavioral therapists. I don’t have an extra hundred thousand dollars a year, and neither do the 1 in 68 parents who face this disorder.

And through the work of organizations like Keystone Progress, we are not just getting mad, we are getting clear. Clear that we have the power to make this country better than it’s ever been, for all of our children. And we will keep building power until we get it.

What is the point of civilization, except to take care of each other? To provide wealth to members of the Club for Growth?

Senator Toomey might think so, Representative Mike Kelly might think so, but do we think so?

 We know what the sickness is in our society: a government that only works for the few. But we are the many. We have the power. WE are the cure.

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