Politics

Marcelas Owens’s 7-year-old sister Monique primed to become America’s next child health-care lobbyist

Photo of Aleksandra Kulczuga
Aleksandra Kulczuga
Contributor

Eleven-year-old Marcelas Owens, who last week invoked his deceased mother’s memory during a speech on Capitol Hill, won’t stay America’s youngest health-care activist for long — his sister Monique, 7, is next to be thrust into the limelight.

“She’s learning the process like Marcelas learned the process,” the siblings’ grandmother, Gina Owens, an activist herself, told The Daily Caller. “Now that the 7-year old wants to know more about it, whenever we do events or workshops with Wa-CAN [Washington Community Action Network], Marcelas will come home and immediately tell his sister about it, how fun it was or how hard it was.”

On the Hill last week, Marcelas’s home-state senator, Democrat Pat Murray, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid flanked the boy during his remarks. “My mom was a health-care activist just like I am today,” Marcelas said, as Gina Owens looked on, smiling and nodding. “She would testify at rallies about everyone having health care.”

Senator Dick Durbin said, “We are asking for an up or down vote and that sounds abstract, but an up or down vote is about Marcelas’s mom.”

Some said the boy, whose mother died three years ago without health insurance at age 27, was being exploited for political gain.

“You can’t talk to Marcelas and listen to this brave young boy talk, and truly believe that,” said Joshua Welter, an Wa-CAN employee and the Owens family’s spokesman. “He asked to share his story, he asked Senator Murray to share his story. People who would stoop so low to attack this 11-year-old kid who has lost his mother and who has the courage to speak up are just disgusting.”

When asked if he felt attacks against the adults closest to Marcelas were warranted Welter said, “I hear what you’re saying. I feel very, very strongly about this, and I just want to push back against the idea that it’s not an attack on the kid.”

“It’s absolutely an attack on him, on his integrity, on his intelligence — to think that people could be putting words in his mouth,” he said. Welter said when he picked Marcelas up from the airport after he returned from Washington, reporters greeted the boy at the airport. “He told me that was the 26th time he’s talked to a reporter in the past week — he really wants to see this passed.”

“To be honest with you, he tells me what he wants to say, and all I do is help him put it in words, but the words and ideas are his,” Gina Owens said. “After I’ve written it on 3×5 cards for him, he’ll practice a lot, he’ll practice the timing.”

Responding to criticisms that adults are putting words in his mouth, she said, “I have seen that and so has Marcelas, and Marcelas has answered that … he was taught that everyone has their own opinion, and that people who have negative things to say about what he’s talking about or doing can have their opinions, but it’s not going to stop him from having his opinion and fighting his fight.”

“We’ve had discussions about it, and he wants to know what it means when people say that: ‘They’re using me.’ And so I have to explain to him that some people are accusing Democrats who want health care to happen of telling you what to say to the press and are using your story to get health care passed,” Marcelas’s grandmother said.

“What they’re saying is that the Democrats don’t care about you, they just want the bill to pass,” Owens said she tells her grandson. “And he says, ‘Well, I want health care to pass too, so what’s the difference?’ and I tell him that for us there is no difference.”

Owens explained that she and Marcelas hadn’t planned to come to Washington last week because it was the boy’s birthday.

“HCAN wanted Marcelas to come and talk about his mom’s story, but Marcelas didn’t want to go because it was right during the week of the wrestling event we had tickets to, he really wanted to just be a kid and spend his birthday looking at wrestling,” she said.

“We had tried arrange for someone else at Wa-CAN who was close to our family to go in our place, but HCAN called and said, ‘It was Marcelas’s story that Senator Murray was talking about — it was Marcelas’s story that got to Barack Obama during the big health-care summit, so it’s really Marcelas’s story we want to see here’,” she said.

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  • bandmom

    The headline on this should have read

    GRANDMOTHER PIMPS OUT CHILDREN.

  • laikaisdead

    it’s disgusting how liberals are parading this kid around

    • strawhat88

      They would have sent his mother, BUT SHE’S DEAD.

      • devnull

        > They would have sent his mother, BUT SHE’S DEAD.

        And making a disgusting show parading her son around helps him…how exactly? And the fact that she was treated despite not having insurance makes…what point about obamacare? Educate me please, you seem to have all the answers, you axelturfing dingleberry.

        • independentvoter

          apparently the left does not believe that people WITH insurance die.. therefore they draw the conclusion that if you do not have insurance even though your treated you die anyway.. it’s because you didn’t have insurance.. There is no method to their thinking.. it defies logic and common sense..

    • wit2

      If Republicans are the party of “no,” Democrats are the party of “victims.” The Left has no shame about parading those who suffer to promote the liberal agenda, at least until they get what they want.

      Marcelas, meet Cindy Sheehan.

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  • palmeto

    More deadbeats lining up for some of odingos cash from his stash. It is really pathetic how the left screws with the blacks and uses them for props.
    The blacks will never get out from under until they get off their collective asses and work.
    Get off the governments teat you losers….

    • kris

      Nasty little bigot. You’re still upset about the Civil Rights Bill passing back in the 60′s, aren’t you. Sad little person.

      • mugwa

        He;s right though. I say let G_d be the judge of who is a racist, not the democratic party or even moderates. Only G_d knows a man’s heart, despite the bile that comes from his mouth.

        What’s worse someone who openly talks awith hard feelings towards somebody, or people who proclaim liberal virtue and use any evil to accomplish it – like theft and decption e.g. Nancy P.

      • devnull

        The only thing that upsets me about the 60′s is that everyone was having casual sex with anyone they damn well pleased, all day every day, in broad daylight. And I was born about 6 years too late to get in on the action.

    • independentvoter

      I agree that the left is WHO has kept the blacks down.. it’s easier to give them money for doing nothing than encourage them to compete for something.. however, I use to know a bunch of white people with the same mind set..they were so absorbed in getting handouts they didn’t even bother to pay bills etc.. they just took everything they could get so don’t just say it’s the blacks..