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These little lobbyists are telling Senators to vote 'no' on the GOP health care bill


Hundreds of protesters have stormed the Capitol in recent weeks, holding sit-ins, forming human chains, and loudly protesting the GOP's bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

While Capitol Police had their hands full with protesters engaging in civil disobedience on Monday, another group spent the afternoon skipping down and approaching senators with a smile.

They're the Little Lobbyists, a group of kids with medically complex needs going door-to-door with their parents to tell GOP senators to vote "no" on the current healthcare bill, and to thank those who have pledged to do so.

"We’ve been collecting stories from all over the nation of parents who are in our situation, who have kids with medically complex needs," said Mark Morrison, who came to Capitol Hill from Maryland with his son Timmy. "Their parents are worried about how to take care of them in a world that doesn't value healthcare."

Morrison and other parents of Little Lobbyists particularly want lawmakers to know that the Senate's Better Health Care Act would hurt kids like theirs by cutting Medicaid and placing lifetime limits on health insurance.

"The legislation would put into place a lifetime cap, meaning once you’ve reached a certain amount in medical expenses for your life, that the insurance companies are no longer required to cover them," said Austin Carrigg, who's daughter has already exceeded $1 million in medical expenses.

"Our daughter had open heart surgery at eight weeks old and that surgery, the hospital bill alone was $1 million," Carrigg said. "The likelihood that she'll need a second cardiac repair in the future is about fifty-fifty, and if she needs that second repair, it wouldn't be covered by insurance."

Timmy was born with over 30 preexisting conditions, but his parents say their private insurance plan helps cover his medical expenses thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which bars insurers from setting lifetime limits.

"We are over a million dollars on our current private insurance plan so if lifetime limits come back...I don’t know what will happen," Morrison said.

The GOP plan also calls for deep cuts to Medicaid, which was expanded under Obamacare.

Rebecca Wood says her daughter Charlie, another Little Lobbyist, benefited from Medicaid when she was born premature at just 26 weeks.

"She weighed one pound, twelve ounces and she benefited from institutional Medicaid when she was in the NICU [neonatal intensive care unit] for three months," Wood said.

Carrigg says these Little Lobbyists are showing senators that these kids deserve the chance to grow up and get medical care.

"My daughter’s worth it," she said. "I know it’s a lot of money but she has so much to give to the world and she makes so many people happy that you just need to give her the chance to show you who she can be."

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