Cause: Preventing proposed cuts to Medicaid (yeah, you might have heard of a certain GOP bill circulating around Congress these days) that some advocates say will disproportionately affect children, particularly ones with complex medical issues.
Celeb: Reality TV star Jennifer Arnold, one half of the titular “Little Couple” on the TLC series. Arnold knows about kids’ health care: She, her husband and their two children have skeletal dysplasia, commonly known as dwarfism, and she’s a practicing neonatologist.
Arnold says the chance to play prominent lobbyist for a day is exactly why she got into reality TV. “My goal of putting our lives out there is to raise awareness, so whenever I have opportunity to use this platform … well, that’s why I put up with TV cameras in our house.”
Scene: Various inner sanctums of power around Capitol Hill, where Arnold and her family on Thursday joined the Children’s Hospital Association for a day of meetings with members of Congress. Her agenda included confabs with Republicans who have supported the proposed cuts to Medicaid, the prospect of which daunted her — but only for a moment. “I guess I’m going to have to change their minds,” Arnold said cheerily.
Sound bite: “The timing is critical,” she said. “The BCRA is scary — it would cut $43 billion in Medicaid funding, which would more negatively affect kids than adults. We have to speak out. We have to talk to our congresspeople.”