The Right Wing Attacks Eleven Year Old Health Care Reform Advocate Marcelas Owens Whose Mother Died Jobless and Without Insurance
These people are without shame. From the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:
Last week, Marcelas Owens, a 5th grader from Seattle, spent his 11th birthday in Washington, DC to advocate for health care reform and shared the story of losing his mother due to lack of health care and health insurance. After being interviewed by numerous network news shows Marcelas now has quickly become a nationally recognized spokesperson for health care reform.
The health bill is expected to pass this weekend and it’s possible Marcelas may be going back to Washington D.C. to witness the signing alongside Barack Obama.
From the moment Marcelas received media attention last week, bullies such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michelle Malkin, Sean Hannity and others have scrambled to attack Marcelas, his family and his supporters. Not once have these “news journalists” ever once asked to speak to the family to verify any of their claims. Because I bet if they did, they would have to face one of the strongest 11-year-olds in this country. And they would buckle. I know they would because I’ve seen this kid in action. He’s real and solid. Truth hurts.
Marcelas’ message to Congress is simple: “Pass health care reform, just get it done. No other kid should lose their mom because they don’t have health care.”
Marcelas remembers what a great mom Tifanny was. He remembers she used to take him to the park and write notes on his lunch bag everyday before school. His mom always told him to “never give up and always keep trying.”
Marcelas has demonstrated that every person can make a difference. To make a difference, contact your Congressperson at www.congress.org.
This child would never lie about something this important. He saw it all. He saw his mother, a relatively young woman, die.
Joshua Welter, spokesperson for the family, states Marcelas’ mom lost her job in October 2006 where she had worked as an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant. After she got sick and couldn’t work, she lost her job and couldn’t afford regular doctors’ visits. In December 2006 she was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension at an emergency room visit. It is believed if she could have afforded to continue doctors’ visits after she lost her job, she may have been diagnosed earlier. During the half year between her diagnosis and her death, it is believed if she had health insurance, she could have been receiving proactive, ongoing treatment for pulmonary hypertension. According to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, while many pulmonary hypertension patients go too long without an accurate diagnosis, some receive prompt, effective treatment and are able to manage their disease for 20+ years.
Without health insurance, Marcelas’ mom had little chance to survive. She went to the ER when things got really critical – it got to the point where Tifanny was vomiting blood three or four times a day. She died in June of 2007.
With health insurance, it is believed she would have had a fighting chance to battle a tough disease. Marcelas has been advocating for health care in honor of his mother since she died in 2007.
This is the real reason why Rush, Beck et al. are jumping on Marcelas Owens. A little boy. Truth is never a wrong answer.
“I am here because of my mom,” said Owens. “My mom was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2006. She missed so much work she lost her job. And when my mom lost her job, she lost her health care. And losing her health care ended up costing her her life.”
He continued, “I don’t want any other kids to go through the pain that our family has gone through. My grandma and I want Barack Obama and Congress and everybody to come together and to help get the health care bill passed.”
It’s zero hour for the health care reform bill that P<resident Obama is putting through. The vote is scheduled for this weekend, possibly on Sunday. Call your congresspeople and your senators. While I would rather that we had a public option or even Medicare for all, something is better than nothing. Americans are dying because their circumstances–poor or middle-class–preclude them from getting quality health care. It's the equivalent of slow murder by the health care industry.
After the press conference, HuffPost caught up with Owens and his grandmother and asked him what it was like to address a room full of reporters.
“I wasn’t nervous,” he said, adding that it was his 24th media appearance. He’s been in Washington all week participating in protests and meeting with members of Congress. HuffPost followed up with a question about politicians. What did Owens think about people who oppose health insurance reform?
“I don’t have any bad comments,” he said. “But I would like to say their opinion is their opinion and they can say what they want about me… and I’ll just keep turning around and doing what I’m doing.”
Make it so that there are no more Marcelas Owens in the U.S.