Karen Fratti
July 30, 2017 11:51 am
Lorne Thomson/Getty Images

It’s been a tough week for anyone watching or invested in the health care debate, including singer Rod Stewart. After the singer saw a report on CNN about a group of families who wanted to travel to D.C. from Baton Rouge, Louisiana to protest cuts to Medicaid but couldn’t afford the travel costs, Stewart quickly offered up the money needed to get them there and back. No matter what your politics are, it’s hard not to see the group of disabled children and their activist parents as total heroes — standing up for what you believe in is always admirable.

The group was struggling to raise the funds needed to take the trip: The charter was going to cost about $30,000 in all, but they had only been able to raise about $7,000. One of the organizers was Angela Loria, the co-founder of Trach Mommas of Louisiana, a charity that donates support and resources to families and individuals who have had to undergo tracheostomies. Loria is also the mom of a 4 year old with severe disabilities. Simply put: the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and associated cuts to Medicaid would affect her family personally, so she was moved to organize the trip to make sure that didn’t happen to anyone.

Not being able to afford to protect their affordable health care? That’s pretty tragic. Which is why Stewart was moved to help the group.

Stewart saw a report about the group on CNN and called his manager. “I’ve just seen something on CNN that’s heartbreaking. It was a group of families with severely disabled children who are driving to Washington to confront about health care cuts. See if you can find out who they are. I’d like to help in some way,” he said. His people called Loria’s people, and Stewart sent over a check to cover the group’s remaining travel costs.

The organizers of the trip posted a video diary on Monday, when Loria said she cashed the “biggest” check she’d ever seen.

At a concert in New Jersey later in the week, Stewart showed the video of her cashing the check and explained that although he’s British, he lives in America and pays his taxes here. “I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but I am a father,” he said.

On Thursday night, the Senate failed to pass a repeal of the ACA, also known as Obamacare. It’s a good thing that Loria and her group were able to make it to D.C. to have their voices heard.