California Fair Share

A grassroots campaign to make sure everyone gets a fair shot, pays their fair share and plays by the same rules

Cancer patient denied treatment confronts Rep. McClintock

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OCT. 16, 2013

Contact: Patrick Stelmach, 916-817-9148

                                                                                                                                 

CANCER PATIENT DENIED TREATMENT CONFRONTS CONGRESSMAN MCCLINTOCK, WHO HELPED SHUT GOVERNMENT DOWN 

Michelle Langbehn, CA Fair Share and OFA-CA delivered 140,000 petition signatures to Rep. McClintock’s office, calling on him to put our government back to work

Granite Bay, CA  – As the federal government shutdown enters its third week, California Fair Share and Organizing for Action-CA held a news conference yesterday to discuss the expanding collateral damage and demand that Congress simply take an up-or-down vote on putting government back to work.

“For so many Americans, the shutdown is an insult that adds to injury,” said Patrick Stelmach, spokesman for California Fair Share. “Many middle class families are living on the brink of poverty. Who knows how many families will fall out of the safety net unless Congressman Tom McClintock halts his political brinkmanship and focuses on real policies that address the widening income gap and invest in rebuilding our economy to grow the middle class.”

The news conference highlighted Auburn resident Michelle Langbehn, whose shutdown story has been featured in the Washington Post and other state and national media. Michelle, who suffers from sarcoma, a rare form of deadly cancer, had just finished submitting her application to the National Institute of Health to be included in a potentially life-saving testing protocol when the federal government shut down. As a result, her application is on hold.

“For hopeful applicants like me, the shutdown pushed cutting edge treatments further away. A delay of weeks or even days could mean a matter of life and death,” said Michelle Langbehn. “Each day that passes without a budget, twenty five more patients cannot enroll in their trials. So far, four hundred patients have been denied.”

Michelle’s petition to the U.S. Congress on Change.org has gained nearly 140,000 signatures as of Monday. She and her supporters delivered the signatures to Rep. McClintock’s staff and urged him to vote to end the shutdown immediately.

Rep. Tom McClintock was one of 81 Members of Congress that signed a letter demanding a government funding bill, or continuing resolution, that defunded the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. This letter played a part in precipitating the shutdown of the federal government on October 1, 2013.

Many of Rep. McClintock’s constituents have been frustrated by the shutdown, and Michelle captured the sentiment stating, “I stand here as a voting American whose voice is being ignored. We, the citizens, are the losers.  We voted for politicians, like Tom McClintock, who shut down the government and put American lives at risk. We deserve better.”

California has more federal workers than any other state, and approximately 11,585 federal workers live in Rep. McClintock’s district. Lindon Pronto, a Wildland Firefighter in the US Forest Service, spoke out saying, “I am required to show up for work, but until the government reopens, I am not being paid. I am unable to afford to drive to work, but if I do not show up, I may be fired.”

“We know that the job of Congress is to make government work better for the people – not to stop it from working,” Patrick Stelmach said. “It is simply unconscionable that we have even gotten to this point. It is time for a vote. Re-open government, pay our country’s bills and get back to work building a better tomorrow. That’s why we elected you.”

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This entry was posted on October 16, 2013 by in Uncategorized.
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