Young Helper for Health Care Bill
How an 11-year-old became an advocate for the new health care bill.
When I interviewed 11-year-old Marcelas Owens today, I wondered what it was like to be standing next to the President of the United States at the White House, when he signed the historic health care bill. Marcelas seemed so calm as he stood there while history was being made. I asked him what he noticed as it was happening.
“Well he used 22 pens to sign the bill, and I also noticed that he was good with people,” said the young man from Seattle, Washington. He added that he was really excited to be there and to meet the President.
Marcelas has been traveling the country to help promote passage of the health care bill. He talks about how his mother died because she did not have access to health care. I asked Marcelas what was one of the most important things his mother taught him and he said, “To never give up.” That’s a very good lesson I’d say.
I also was curious how Marcelas got involved with traveling and telling his family’s story. He said he approached an organization called Washington Community Action Network and asked if he could get involved. They helped him set up public speeches and interviews. Marcelas’ mom was an advocate for health reform and Marcelas wanted to carry on her work.
To me, Marcelas seems very much like his own description of Obama. I asked him what Obama was like, now that he has gotten to know him.
“He’s sets his mind to something and then he works on it until he gets it,” Marcelas said. “He worked really hard for health care.”
What would Marcelas like to tell other kids who went through what he did? “That they can turn it into something good and try to help other people not go through that,” he said.
I told Marcelas that I thought his mother would be very proud of him right now and he said, “Thank you.”
I’m proud of him, too. It takes a lot of courage to do what Marcelas Owens has done!
PHOTO: Marcelas Owens at President Obama’s side as the President signs the health care bill into law. (Photo Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images/NewsCom)