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When the U.S. Marine carried me from the tarmac in San Francisco, he became the first American I ever met. I was 9; it was 1975 and I couldn’t thank him because I didn’t speak a word of English. Several months earlier, my dad dropped my three siblings and me off at an orphanage in Saigon before it fell. None of us knew if we’d ever see each other again. I didn’t know it then, but it was a selfless act of love by my father to give his children a shot at freedom.
Miraculously, we were reunited in rural Oregon later that year after they also escaped our war-torn country. We became farmworkers, picking berries alongside hundreds of other migrant families. The bus would drop us off in town at the end of each long day in the fields. We were tired and covered with dirt. My parents had rented our only bedroom to a stranger, so the rest of us crammed into our living room and kitchen.
We were poor but safe, and with the help of some government food assistance, a public school and kind neighbors, we forged ahead.
I cleaned bathrooms as a janitor working my way through Harvard, with the help of Pell Grants and scholarships. Dartmouth/Brown Medical School came next, again with the help of scholarships, student loans and federal grants. I finished my residency in Pediatrics at UCLA, and settled in Orange County where I have been caring for the children of working families for the past twenty-five years.
I overcame some pretty long odds and feel privileged for the opportunity to give back and serve my community as a pediatrician because America never turned her back on me.
I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor, and was blessed to become a mother in my forties. Thankfully, I had reliable health insurance that I could afford, or neither would have been possible.
In addition to practicing medicine here in Orange County, I’ve participated in and led more than a hundred medical missions abroad to provide post-disaster relief, medical care to underserved areas, and treatment for lepers in remote parts of the world.
Congressman Royce has turned his back on us, and his vote for Trumpcare is a giveaway to big insurance companies and the wealthy at the expense of families struggling to afford basic care.
As a physician I am saddened by Ed Royce’s callousness, as a mom I am hurt, and as a citizen I am angry. Americans deserve better and I want to do something about it.
In addition to the forty or so times he’s voted to boot tens of thousands of his own constituents off affordable health coverage, he recently voted to wipe away guaranteed protections for those with pre-existing conditions - and to put a massive new tax burden on Californians who would have to pick up the bill.
Even if the State of California does find a way to create and afford new so-called high risk insurance pools, the premiums for those with pre-existing conditions will absolutely skyrocket.
There is simply no way many of the families that I serve as a pediatrician will keep their insurance coverage.
He has taken millions of dollars from corporate special interests and has a failing record on safeguarding our environment from climate change and pollution.
Congressman Royce cannot justify earning an A rating from the NRA, especially considering the devastating gun violence we’ve experienced in San Bernardino, Riverside and throughout our State and Country.
Ed Royce’s votes to slash funding for our K-12 public schools, colleges and universities strip too many kids of the same opportunities that allowed me and millions of others to strive toward our American Dream.
Almost none of Congressman Royce’s stances on the issues make sense for Southern California. It’s not who we are and I’m ready to force him into a real debate on these critical issues.