Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

September 27, 2012

Letter: L'Italien can work with others

Editor, Townsman:

Just a couple of years ago, our country was embroiled in a serious, yet divisive debate on how to manage our nation’s healthcare. Democrats and Republicans refused to cooperate in addressing this pressing issue and Washington D.C. was left in gridlock. As our nation’s capital stood at a standstill, Massachusetts was in the process of setting an example when it came to both healthcare policy and political cooperation.

Leading this example was Barbara L’Italien, who was showing Washington, D.C. that it was possible for the different political parties to work together. While Washington was left arguing, L’Italien was in Boston working with advocates, parents and politicians of all stripes in building support for legislation that would expand health-insurance coverage for Massachusetts residents diagnosed with autism.

With tens of thousands of Massachusetts families impacted by autism, L’Italien was leading the charge in writing and passing a law that would guarantee care and help these families avoid bankruptcy. What can’t be overlooked is that she was able to successfully pass this law because she got different politicians to work together. At a time when the different political parties wouldn’t speak to each other in Washington D.C., L’Italien brought Republicans and Democrats together in supporting Autism Health Insurance. Republicans and Democrats saw Barbara’s Autism Health Insurance law and agreed that it was the right thing to do – it even attracted Scott Brown as a co-sponsor!

When it came time to vote on L’Italien’s bill, it passed the State House and Senate, unanimously.

As Washington D.C. seemed incapable of agreeing on anything related to healthcare,L’Italien was in Boston bringing together Democrats and Republicans in passing groundbreaking legislation. She showed Massachusetts voters that it is certainly possible for different parties to work together – and she showed that when that happens, it is the voters who end up winning. Please join me in supporting L’Italien as our next state representative. Our government needs less political bickering and more people willing to work together.

Marilyn M. Fitzgerald

25 Washington Ave.

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