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Jackson Little Lobbyist

A kid lobbyist explained what it's like talking health care with senators


Jackson is just 11 years old, but he's doing a big job - lobbying senators about health care.

Jackson and his brother, Henry, both have Noonan's syndrome, a genetic mutation that prevents normal development in various parts of the body.

They also both receive Medicaid because of their condition, which Jackson says could be deadly.

"Our blood doesn't clot as fast as other people's so if we bump our head or something it could bleed out a whole lot," he explained.

The condition is not good news for a little boy like Jackson who enjoys playing tag with his friends.

Jackson has been coming to Capitol Hill regularly over the past several weeks with his mom to tell senators his story and explain how cuts to Medicaid could put his life in danger.

He's not alone as Jackson has been accompanied by a crew calling themselves the little lobbyists.

It's a group of kids with medically complex needs that has been going door-to-door in the Capitol with their parents to tell senators why they should vote "no" on the GOP's Better Care Reconciliation Act.

"We need healthcare too and if we don’t get health care we won't…We might not make it as adults. We could die."
Jackson, little lobbyist

The little lobbyists have been collecting stories of other kids like them who would be hurt by the GOP's health care plan and are sharing them with lawmakers. So far they've collected over 200 anecdotes from kids across the country.

The kids have been vising with senators from both sides of the aisle for the past few weeks.

Jackson says some of those visits have been more challenging than others, like when the little lobbyists swung by Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey's office.

"One time we tried to come in and there were like protesters and then we came back the next time and he wasn’t even there at all," he said.

But he says others like Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey have inspired him to press on instead.

"He kept saying like ‘we need to keep moving, because we can’t stop for even a second because we literally can’t afford to stop because the bill could be passed any day,’" Jackson said.

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