Three-year-old Ryla Woodard spent a weekend in the hospital earlier this year when she broke out in a rash, her fever spiked to 103 and doctors diagnosed her with mononucleosis.
Just days later she lost her government-sponsored health coverage, and her family can't afford a second follow-up blood test to see if she's still infected with the virus that can cause fatigue and swelling, or even rupturing, of the spleen.
"She's complaining of a sore throat. It lingers in your system a while," said Ryla's mother, Traci Woodard, from the East Texas town of Orange. "Today I cannot take her anywhere to see if she still tests positive for mono because I have no health insurance. I'm hitting walls and locked doors."
"If that (bill) is the only issue that he can come up with in 32 years of service, then bring it on," he said.