Pretzels with Senator Reed

I think the highlight of my day Thursday was our meeting with Senator Jack Reed from Rhode Island. I think this is the third or fourth time I have accompanied a family from Rhode Island (this time Bekah’s wonderful family). Every single time Senator Reed takes the time to sit down and really LISTEN to what the families have to say. This morning, he immediately went off to fetch pretzels when Bekah said she was hungry. I suspect this may be because Senator Reed has a 2 ½ year old daughter himself and knows how to keep kids happy.

On a more substantive level, Senator Reed worked very hard last year to make sure that the Children’s Health Insurance Program was reauthorized. He sits on the key HELP Committee which is co-writing the Senate bill, and had a lot to say about the quickly unfolding political dynamics. He clearly believes there is a strong and vocal set of Senators who will continue to speak up for children, and seems clearly to count himself among them.

I was also impressed with the attention that each office paid to the individual situations of our families and whether they could help smoothe some of the difficulties they have accessing care on occasion. It is worth remembering the impact that one’s own elected officials and especially their staffs can have in resolving complex issues, and how those experiences will sometimes inform the kinds of issues the office works on in Congress.


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