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Harry Reid hides behind 11-year-old kiddie shield Marcelas Owens

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 12, 2010 12:25 AM

This new video is currently the featured clip on the Senate Democrats’ YouTube site. It’s health insurance-bashing demagoguery and dumbing-down and cowardice and child exploitation at its worst. Watch what the Senate Democrats have entitled “Young Health Care Activist Discusses Health Insurance Industry Abuses:”

On Wednesday, I told you about how the Democrats have resurrected the kiddie human shield strategy to salvage their health care takeover plans. My column introduced you to the boy featured in the clip — Marcelas Owens, who just turned 11:

One of President Obama’s youngest lobbyists – 11-year-old Marcelas Owens of Washington state – traveled to D.C. on Tuesday on the dime of astroturf group, HCAN (Health Care for America Now). His 27-year-old mother, Tiffany, died of pulmonary hypertension. According to the family, Ms. Owens – a single mother of three — lost her job as a fast-food manager and lost her insurance. She received emergency care and treatment throughout her illness, but died in 2007.

Young Marcelas – goaded by his left-wing activist grandmother and promoted by Democrat Sen. Patty Murray — is now a regular on the pro-Obamacare circuit and is leading a congressional sit-in until the Democrat plan passes. He admits he doesn’t understand the complexities of health insurance reform and doesn’t “think it’s anyone’s fault” that his mom passed away. “But they could have done more” for her, he says.

It’s a heart-wrenching story, but the tale raises more questions than it answers. Washington state offers a plethora of existing government assistance programs to laid-off and unemployed workers like Marcelas’s mom. Why didn’t she enroll? Second, she died nine months after she reportedly lost her health insurance. By the time she lost her coverage through her employer, she was apparently already in dire health straits. It’s not clear that additional doctors’ visits in the subsequent months would have prevented her death.

All that said, the Owens’ case demonstrates the flaws of the employer-based system of health insurance. It needs real reform. Unfortunately, the current crop of Democrat plans would leave the employer-based system fully intact. What we need are grown-ups to start over from scratch and leave the kids on the playground.

But just as he elevated youngster Graeme Frost to champion the S-CHIP entitlement expansion, Harry Reid put Marcelas Owens in front of the cameras to help deflect tough health care policy and political questions. It worked. Here’s the superficial coverage from the NYTimes, which touts Marcelas as “a new face in the health care debate” and swallows the Owens’ family story whole without asking a single question of any independent state agency or outside source for verification:

Senate Democratic leaders on Thursday sought to put a human face on the health care debate, and a cute face at that.

Marcelas Owens, a fifth-grader from Seattle who turned 11 on Wednesday, joined Senate majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada and other senior Democrats at a news conference on Thursday.

“We know health reform is not about numbers, it’s about people,” Mr. Reid said. “It’s about pain, real pain, suffered by real people.”

The boy’s mother, Tiffany Owens, died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 at age 27 after losing her health insurance because she could no longer work. Ms. Owens had been an assistant manager at a Jack in the Box restaurant.

Imagine them taking any conservative opponent’s life story at face value (see: Joe the Plumber).

The Times fails to mention that Owens’ grandmother and family have been longtime activists for the left-wing, single-payer advocates of the Washington Community Action Network or that the boy and his grandmother traveled to Washington with sponsorship from the Astroturf lobbyists of the Health Care for America Now outfit, which characterized Marcelas as an “insurance abuse survivor.”

Never mind that there is not a shred of evidence that any health insurer ever “abused” Marcelas. Never mind that the family has made no claim that Marcelas himself has survived without insurance (in Washington state, low-income children have been covered either through Medicaid, SCHIP, or the SCHIP expansion program Apple Health for Kids). Newsbusters is also covering the MSM’s soft-shoe coverage of the Democrats’ use of the Owens’ kiddie shield here, here, and here.

Not that gullible health care sob story coverage is anything new to the Times. See: Unbelievable update: The crappiest NYTimes column on Obamacare just got crappier; Update: Kristof’s disingenuous non-response.

The usual hyperventilating from the Left — horrible conservatives “targeting” poor, innocent kid! conservatives “assault” poor, innocent kid! — just proves my point. Despite President Obama’s repeated admonition that health care reform is a “complex issue that can’t be reduced to snippets,” it’s exactly what Reid, Murray, Schumer, and his Owens’ grandmother propped up young Marcelas to do. Anyone who questions the narrative and absolute moral authority of the kiddie human shield is a heartless, right-wing stalker who should be vilified, if not arrested.

As always, the current ruling majority is incapable of holding an adult discussion on the costs and consequences of its plans.

Gives a whole ‘nother meaning to No Child Left Behind…

humanshield004.jpg
(Makestickers.com)

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Commenter Bob on Staten Island: “I am glad Senator Reid sees this eleven year old as an equal, because I see most of congress as equal to eleven year olds.”

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On a separate note: Reid’s wife and daughter were involved in a serious car crash in the Beltway area Thursday afternoon. Liberal readers are already e-mailing that I am an evil #*&^% for exposing Reid’s tactics while his relatives have sustained injuries. I wish only the best for his family. But the unfortunate traffic accident doesn’t make Harry Reid immune from criticism. It’s another bad shield.

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Proving my point again:

ongress wouldn’t listen to people like Tiffany Owens talk about the need for affordable health care coverage, but maybe they will listen to her 11-year-old orphaned son, Marcelas.

Owens died, her family says, because she developed pulmonary hypertension and was unable to work. When Owens lost her job, she lost her health coverage and could not afford to buy any on her own. Owens fought for passage of health care reform in her final days, and now her son is carrying on in her memory.

“I’m telling the members of Congress that the health care bill should be passed because everyone deserves health care,” Marcelas said during an interview on MSNBC.

“The health care system is broken, and it caused my mother’s death,” Marcelas added.

Talk about wisdom coming from the mouth of babes.Marcelas is an articulate and heart-wrenching example of why we need health care reform in this country.

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