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Pre-teen worries about health reform
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Editor, My name is Chantai Thomas. I am 12 years old and live in Ludowici. I have an 8-year-old sister named Chyrish. My mother is physically disabled because of a car accident and my sister and I live with our disabled grandparents. My grandmother, Cynthia, is 58 and has major back troubles. She is almost unable to walk. Her legs and back cause her great pain and she is going to have surgery to fix her problems. I fear that under the new health-care plan, her insurance will not cover the costs of her surgery.
My grandfather, Gerald, is 65 years old and is disabled by a lung disease called COPD. He is on oxygen all day and night. He has to take many different types of medicine to stabilize his condition. The new health-care plan won’t cover the cost of the medicines that keep him alive.
On a news program I was watching earlier, there was a chart showing the amount of coverage with the new plan. The age area that got the most coverage was 18-22. After and before that high peak, the line was lower and lower, so the young and elderly barely have any health care. I strongly disagree with this plan. My grandparents and my family are the most important people to me and in the condition they are in, the new plan won’t keep anyone older than 50 alive much longer.
For a moment, I would like Congress to put itself in the shoes of the elderly. Think about it: If you were 60 and you took a bad fall and broke your hip, you would want the coverage to pay for surgery, wouldn’t you? Or if you had a brand new grandbaby or even your own child and he or she had a birth defect, you would want the coverage to take care of that person, right? I know I would. It seems to me that most of the people getting in car accidents and shootings are in the 18-25 age group, so maybe that’s why they have the most coverage. But think about that. If they are the people getting hurt the most, aren’t they costing the country the most money? Why does Congress want to spend trillions of dollars on the people who tend to use it up the fastest instead of trying to keep our youngest generation safe? They are the ones who will one day be controlling the government.
I would want to set the correct example for them, and try to protect them. Eventually, the middle-aged people are going to get old. The young are going to become middle-aged. So instead of wasting so much money on the ones who use it up, use it to keep the young ones strong. It is proven that the younger you start to build up your immunizations, the stronger you are in the future.
If something were to happen to your child or grandchild, wouldn’t you hope they would have enough health care to take care of their accident?
The older people (50 and older) are also very important. These are the people who hold America’s history. My grandfather is a Vietnam veteran. He fought in a war to keep our country safe. If Congress is half as patriotic as it claims to be, then lawmakers would know that the elderly are the ones who tell our nation’s stories. If George Washington suddenly came back to life in perfect condition and he was about 70 years old, we would do everything in our power to keep him alive, right? He laid the cornerstone of our nation. He put up the walls of America.
Like Washington, today’s senior citizens are the pillars holding the nation up. They support the triumphs of America. Sure, we could always just get someone to record all the statistical information about wars our soldiers have fought in. You can do that. But it wouldn’t be the same. The real experience is to hear someone speak about America with true patriotic reverence. To tell the story of how they worked as hard as possible to protect our nation. These are the people whose father’s father’s father’s grandfathers fought in a war more than 200 years ago. The elderly have so many stories about the past to share. Kids in America today aren’t going to care about that. They think that some 300-year-old war isn’t worth anything. They won’t want to listen to some story about how America came to be. They just don’t care. That’s why we need our veterans. They keep the flame of America bright.
I hope my letter helps you see the flaws in the proposed health-care plan. If not, then I hope my words will at least rest heavy on your conscience when you are elderly or have a sick grandchild. If you have read this and you are someone who can make a difference, then I thank you for your time. I appreciate it very much.

Chantai L.R. Thomas
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