The families joining us today know these realities firsthand. When Gregory Secrest, from Martinsville, Virginia lost his job back in August, his kids lost their health care. When he broke the news to his family, his nine year-old son handed over his piggy bank with $4 in it, and told him, "Daddy, if you need it, you take it."He returns to their story when he concludes his speech:
In the end, that's really all that folks like the Secrests are looking for - the chance to work hard, and to have that hard work translate into a good life for their kids. I'm pleased to report that their story had a happy ending - it turned out that Gregory's two sons were eligible for CHIP, and they are now fully covered, much to his relief. I think Gregory put it best when he said: "Kids look at us and think 'they'll take care of us.' That is our job - to keep them safe and healthy."When Obama stumped in Martinsville last August, he promised that the city will be on his mind every morning when he wakes up. It appears it wasn't just campaign rhetoric.
Update: The Secrests were highlighted in a Georgetown University study last year about the effects of the economic downturn on children's healthcare, and last week, Greg wrote a Letter to the Editor to the Martinsville Bulletin on FAMIS, Virginia's SCHIP system.