EVERY DAY in our pediatric primary care practice we see families whose breadwinners have lost their jobs because of the recession and families who can’t get needed state services — like early intervention for infants at risk of disability — because of state budget cuts. From this perspective, we were disappointed in Senator Scott Brown’s announcement that he would not require banks to pay fees to support the federal regulatory process that was required by their own inability to self-regulate.
In contrast to his goal to cut “unnecessary federal spending,’’ his actions will redirect money to support the banking industry. As if to rub salt in the wound, Brown joined the filibuster of the federal unemployment benefits legislation, causing more people to become impoverished.
As pediatricians, we know that childhood poverty and family stress are specifically associated with increased levels of child abuse and neglect, and generally have lifelong consequences. We urge Brown to reconsider his stance on financial reform and on extending federal unemployment benefits. The children we care for need our help.
Ben Siegel, MD and Robert Sege, MD
The writers are pediatricians at Boston Medical Center.