Ok, I know I say this about damn near each kid I write a post about but I swear it gets truer and truer each day! Aside from the toddlers that lay on the ground kicking and screaming at the mall and the bothersome kids that insist on putting their grubby little hands all over the food at my favorite buffets, kids are awesome! I’m convinced that it’s the fact that as a child you truly believe that anything is possible and that your opinion really does matter to the world around you. It really seems that in a child’s mind, a convincing letter could change the mind of a professional athlete, their favorite performer or in this case, a hard-ass politician.
It’s no secret that Mitt Romney has put his foot in his mouth a couple of times when giving his public addresses and citizens have made it a point to let him know exactly how they felt. Some have taken to their blogs, most have posted their feelings and general upset on Facebook but an awesome little boy went old school and sent the presidential candidate a good ole’ fashioned letter. I love it!
After an afternoon of watching news coverage with his mom, 12-year-old Jackson Ripley of Denver, Colorado put his thoughts to paper in an attempt to let the presidential hopeful know exactly how he felt about his big plan for our country, and also took a moment to call him out on a couple of specifics including gay and women’s right and what appears to be most dear to his precious little heart; health care.
Before I go on, big ups to Jackson! Many people have voiced their opinions privately about their political and personal opinions and in an act of cowardess-bravery (oxymoron, I know) took to sites like Facebook and Twitter to parade around their views but haven’t done a damn thing about it. It’s easy to post a status or tweet and spread meme’s, funny pictures, infographics and flat-out propaganda about Mitt Romney and President Obama but how many are really trying to make a difference? How many people do you know who are helping others register to vote rather than plaguing Facebook with political sludge? Exactly. Let’s try to keep that in mind when we as a nation speak illy of those in power and attempt to slander them. No, I personally don’t agree with everything that goes on in the White House but I’m for damned sure registered to vote, ready to make a difference and not slandering the ones that are truly in a position to do so. If you want your voice to be heard, vote. As my dad once told me when I first became legal voting age, “if you don’t vote, don’t bitch”. Ok, that was my PSA for the week; back to Jackson and his story!
Its plain to see from this powerful letter but clearly health care is one thing that means quite a bit to Jackson as well as his family; specifically his little sister Kennedy. Shortly after birth Kennedy was diagnosed with a hemangioma (a tumor composed of blood vessels). Statistically hemengioma only effect ten percent of all children born and less than one percent of cases prove to be life threatening like Kennedy’s. All of Kennedy’s life (seven years) she’s been forced to deal with the ramifications of such a rare and sucky condition and her parents, like most middle-class familys effected by these political changes, have been hit pretty hard with the medical bill. Due to failing economy Jackson’s father John Ripley was temporarily laid-off and he and his family were forced to live without medical coverage. This of course did not stop the proud parents from caring for their daughter, but it did start to take a toll on the family financially and emotionally. Once John was blessed with another job the Ripley’s regained their medical coverage but this time with reduced coverage. You see, it’s quite common for medical insurance companies to deny a person coverage with a pre-existing medical condition and sadly little Kennedy was no different. “I knew they were going to deny Kennedy, but I wasn’t prepared for how angry and sick it would make me feel” says Lindsay Ripley. The mother of two continued to express her upset to the Huffington Post with, “like the insurance companies were saying my daughter was trash, she didn’t matter, wasn’t worth the same the health care and coverage the rest of us enjoy. Our only option was to purchase Kennedy an expensive policy through an insurance company exclusively for people with pre-existing conditions. Although they accepted Kennedy and took our money each month, they refused to cover her pre-existing condition, or anything caused by it, which was almost everything”.
I can only imagine the upset the Ripley family feels being faced with such a difficult situation. I mean, I know how costly medical care can be and Lord knows I understand how tough things can be when you have lacking medical coverage but to go through all of that with your young daughter or little sister and have a presidential candidate threaten to snatch it all away from you? Wow. That’s a lot to deal with. With all of that in mind, it’s pretty clear why Jackson decided to take matters into his own hands and put his thoughts on paper. Below you will find the complete letter from Jackson Ripley to Governor Romney (please be kind, this letter was not edited for spelling or grammar) as well as the complete story compliments of the Huffington Post. Enjoy!
Dear Governor Romney,
I’d like to say congratulations on winning the republican nomination. But, I wish you stayed in Massachusetts. You’re plan for America isn’t what we need, and would hurt us more than it would help.
First, repealing Obama care and other health plans he’s put in place have helped families across America, including mine. I live in a middle class family, and two years ago my little sister; Kennedy was denied insurance because of her pre-existing condition. This was a huge emotional stress and financial burden on my entire family. Under Obama Care, insurance companies can no longer deny Kennedy and kids like her, the coverage they need and deserve. Because of Obama care my little sister was able to have the several surgeries she needed that helped save her life. Once the President was elected he put Obama Care into action, just like he promised and made it so that you could get insurance with pre-existing conditions. This has made a direct impact on my family. My family is with out a doubt better off now, than we were four years ago!
It is to my understanding that you stated that you were going to repeal Obama Care, including the part I have mentioned, which will take away the insurance we have and need for my sister Kennedy. Why do you think she doesn’t deserve health care? Also, when you were interviewed on “Meet the Press”, you stated that you would NOT repeal this part of Obama Care, but then your campaign backpedalled and on the “Tonight show with Jay Leno”, you said that you WOULD repeal this.
Also, you’re domestic plans (birth control, gay rights etc.) are horrible! Women should get to manage their own health, and if you wonder why you’re not appealing to many women voters, rethink your birth control and women’s’ rights plans. And people should be able to marry whom they want. We built this country so people could have freedom, and not have religious beliefs control them to that length. This country was in no way built on any religion, so we should not create laws that repress the American people in a religious way and hurt our most vulnerable.
Jackson Ripley, age 12