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Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:18 PM

A Message To Republicans From A Teen Who Was On CHIP And Raised By A Single Mom

Last edited Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:07 AM - Edit history (1)

In light of Congressman James Lankford's recent startling characterization that "Welfare moms" who are on some form of public assistance are to blame for violence in our society because they are purpously overmedicating their children to get more benefits, I wanted to clear the air a little bit.

After my dad passed away from brain cancer when I was 6 years old, there was a period of about 2 years where I was raised by a single mother. A mother who worked just as hard as two parents to make sure I got on the right path in the beginning of my school years, and taught the importance of acting responsible and respectful.

After moving to Pennsylvania from New York around that time, I had to go onto CHIP, the state health care program for children whose parents don't qualify for Medicaid. I was on this form of public health care not because my mother was too LAZY or didn't work hard enough for me to be on private insurance, I was on this program because my mother's insurance company denied me (who was about 8 years old at the time) because I had a pre-existing condition....otherwise know as ASTHMA! I was on CHIP for several years before my mother was finally able to get me on to her plan. I also have a HUGE amount of gratitude for President Obama who had the courage to do something about some of the ridiculous aspects of our health care system.

Just because I was raised for a period of time by a single mother at one point in my life and on a form of "socialized, government run healthcare" at another point in my life does NOT mean that I am at a higher predisposition to be violent or the reason for problems in society. That kid who was raised by a single mother and on a form of public health care went on to become Class President, a member of the high honor roll, and starting next fall, a student studying to go into law.

Even though life for my mother and I has changed in the sense that I have been blessed with a step-father and a younger sister, and we live a pretty comfortable life, and even if, God willing, I do become even more blessed later on in life, I still will never vote for a political party that shows such blatant disregard toward, and makes such mischaracterizations about, certain groups in our society - a group that my mother and I once belonged to.

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply A Message To Republicans From A Teen Who Was On CHIP And Raised By A Single Mom (Original post)
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 OP
Skittles Jan 2013 #1
msongs Jan 2013 #2
RC Jan 2013 #3
Still Sensible Jan 2013 #4
riverbendviewgal Jan 2013 #5
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #8
abq e streeter Jan 2013 #6
PennsylvaniaMatt Jan 2013 #7
sheshe2 Jan 2013 #9
SheilaT Jan 2013 #10
LittleGirl Jan 2013 #11

Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:20 PM

1. wonderful rant

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:27 PM

2. the congressman has socialized medical coverage and retirement. hypocite as ususal nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:39 PM

3. That congressman does not have socialized medical coverage.

 

He has Blue Cross/Blue Shield for insurance, as do most other congress critters. Congress critters are federal employes, and as such have the same access to health insurance as does every other federal employee.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Tue Jan 22, 2013, 11:57 PM

4. Lankford is a shit-stain

among many in my state.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:35 AM

5. you will do well in this world

Matt, you have empathy, something that senator and republicans do not have. Wishing you all the best.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:01 AM

8. Thank you very much!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:54 AM

6. Would it be oK to copy and post (anonymously ) on facebook?

Just say it's a post from DU...?
That was powerful.Thank you for sharing this.

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Response to abq e streeter (Reply #6)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:01 AM

7. No problem! Go ahead!

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:22 AM

9. Oh Matt, hugs to you and your Mom.

You are going into law, you can now make a difference to others. So very sweet.
You beat the party of no compassion, no basic decency. They have no heart or soul.

Please go on, You can excell and make your mark on this world.

Peace, to you and your family.

sheshe

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:07 AM

10. Here's my story.

I'm probably quite a bit older than you are, because when I was young there were no programs for children of single mothers, other than perhaps the food thing (before foodstamps) and a few random programs that I'll get to in a bit.

My father drank too much. Back then we didn't really use the word alcoholic, although that's what he was. He was what's often termed "a functioning alcoholic", which means he always held a job. My mother, as a nurse, actually earned more money than he did. And both incomes were needed, because there were six of us kids. This was back in the 1950's. I was almost the only person I knew whose mother worked.

Dad was actually a loving and caring father. I can't really speak to his attributes as a husband, since I was so very young. But his drinking got in the way of a lot of stuff. By the time I was 11 or 12, he was getting increasingly violent. My older brother left home, first to college and then to the army, because it was clear that if he stayed, either he'd kill Dad or Dad would kill him. Read the Richard Rhodes book "Why the Kill" for some insight here.

Anyway, this is the story I want to tell. When I was just turned 14, my mom moved the five children still at home from Upstate New York, to Tucson, AZ to get away from Dad and start a new life. Mom was a nurse. Back then, in 1962, nurses could not collect unemployment, no matter what, because the assumption was that a nurse could always get a job. I know, things are a bit different these days. So we moved. It was difficult in very many ways. Moving from one part of the country to a very different part back when those differences mattered a whole lot more than they do now. There were almost no support systems. Mom got a job as a nurse at one of the hospitals in Tucson and she worked as much overtime as she could possibly get, because we needed the money desperately. As I said before, there were no food stamps. There was no Medicaid. I needed dental work urgently. Fortunately, there was a charity clinic that did that dental work for us, no charge. For a number of years I sent them money, in appreciation for what they did for me.

We were normal kids, a normal family, even if in the early 1960's a family like ours was less common. I always said that the best thing that my mom ever did for us was to move us across the country, to get us away from our dad. Many years later, when I was married myself with small children, I REALLY understood what she'd done. I was at that point in a stable marriage, but I could, now that I had young children, begin to understand what it must have been like for her.

The entire experience (plus my own as a stay-at-home mom) has made me very vocal about what parents need. Children are hugely important. And yes, I realize that not everyone has children, and even those of us who do have them only spend a small portion of our lives with small children. But as a society our children are hugely important, and collectively we must do all that we can to make sure that children have the best possible start in life.

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Response to PennsylvaniaMatt (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 02:16 AM

11. With that attitude...You'll

Go Far in this Life. You are one of the successful ones and you are treasured. You show us that that stereotype of being raised by a single Mother isn't always gloom and doom. You had choices and you made the right ones with your Mother's help.

Along the way, you could have said "F* it. It's too hard or I'm not supposed to be doing this good, I better go do some drugs or rob a store for drug money." Or worse, rob a family member. But it sounds like you didn't make that choice. Good for YOU!

You show us that good people have bad luck sometimes but with perseverance and LOVE, you can survive, survive well and make this society a better place because you're in it.

All the best!

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