Of the hundreds of sentiments from Capitol Hill mourning the loss of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, among the most poignant comes from Rep. Pete Sessions...In 2001, Pete Sessions introduced The Family Opportunity Act alongside one of the most liberal members of Congress, Henry Waxman (CA-30). From Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law:
"I am deeply saddened by his passing and most appreciative of his work on behalf of people with special needs," Sessions said in a statement.
"Without Senator Kennedy's leadership in the Senate, this bill [the Family Opportunity Act] would not have become law," Sessions said. "A fierce advocate of the liberal cause, Senator Kennedy will be remembered most for his ability to reach across party lines and work to get things done."
February 28, 2001-Legislation to give many more children with serious disabilities access to needed health and mentalhealth services was reintroduced this month by Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Edward Kennedy (D-MA)and Representatives Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Henry Waxman (D-CA).Which brings us back to the questions that's been asked so many times on this blog: if Pete Sessions could support that bill, why the vehement opposition to a plan allowing anyone to buy into a public health insurance plan?
The Family Opportunity Act of 2001 (S. 321 and H.R. 600) is also referred to as the Dylan Lee James Act, in honor of a little boy with Down syndrome who lived in Representative Sessions' district in Texas. He lost Medicaid coverage when his father received a $3,000 bonus. The bill targets the huge gap in coverage faced by families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, lack employer health coverage or have private insurance with inadequate mental health benefits.