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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sister Simone

Kate Blocher

Staff Writer

As the second night of the Democratic National Convention got under way, women once again played a major role. From Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), to Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren, it’s clear women’s issues are a hot topic. But the speaker that stood out the most for me was Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Roman Catholic Social Justice Organization, NETWORK, and one of the nuns on the bus. For me and my Families USA colleagues, Sister Simone holds a special place in our hearts. She was one of the recipients of our Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award, and after listening to her address last night, she more than deserves the honor.

Sister Simone told the crowd stories of the people she has met while on the road, like Jini from Cincinnati:

In Cincinnati, I met Jini, who had just come from her sister's memorial service. When Jini's sister Margaret lost her job, she lost her health insurance. She developed cancer and had no access to diagnosis or treatment. She died unnecessarily. That is tragic. And it is wrong.

As we know all too well, Jini’s story is not unique, but as Sister Simone went on to point out, with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, stories like Jini’s will no longer be the norm. But just passing the law is not enough to keep the Jinis and the Margarets of America healthy. As Sister Simone said, “We all share responsibility to ensure that this vital health care reform law is properly implemented and that all governors expand Medicaid coverage so no more Margarets die from lack of care.”

Yes Sister Simone, we all share in that responsibility and we’re ready to fight!