My first job in Washington, D.C. was with the Health Division of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF) during its CHILD Health Now Campaign. Launched during the heyday of Newt Gingrich's Contract with America, the CHILD Health Now Campaign played a key role in passing the bipartisan State Children's Health Insurance Program -- the largest expansion of Medicaid since the program's creation. At the time, The New York Times called CDF's campaign "the most feverish grassroots campaign ever on an issue."
My research and analysis was read from the Senate floor, referenced by the Congressional Budget Office, and included in the President's State of the Union Address.
Playing a part in an effort that successfully provided millions of children with health insurance, especially at a time when many insiders doubted we could succeed, made me an optimist for life.