Media Advisory: Max Page Goes to Washington D.C. to Lobby Congress for Children’s Health Care
LOS ANGELES – As the health care battle on Capitol Hill enters a critical stage, child actor Max Page, a Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) heart patient, is heading to Washington D.C. sponsored by CHLA to attend the Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day, hosted by the Children’s Hospital Association on July 12 & 13. He will be joined by his family, including his mother Jennifer, a CHLA trustee, his father, Buck, and his brother, Els.
“I hope that I can be the face for healthcare and show them that kids have health problems and that we didn’t do anything to deserve this,” Max, who wears a pacemaker and has an artificial pulmonary heart valve, tells PEOPLE. “It just happened to us.”
Max, 12, best known as the mini Darth Vader from the 2011 Super Bowl Volkswagen commercial, suffers from a congenital heart defect, tetralogy of Fallot. He will be joined at Family Advocacy Day by 46 other young patients from 28 states who will be meeting with Congressional leadership to urge support of children’s health as they consider the overhaul of the Affordable Care Act. Max and his mother, Jennifer, are asking Senators to reject the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) and for Republicans and Democrats to come together to develop a bipartisan solution for health care. They are also advocating that Congress protect Medicaid for children and continue support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
Max’s story is well-known, as he has undergone 12 heart surgeries and procedures at CHLA since he was three months old. During Family Advocacy Day, Max will visit politicians on Capitol Hill and help lead a rally in support of child health care. This will be Max’s sixth visit to Washington in support of Family Advocacy Day since 2011. In the past, he and his family have supported initiatives that call for funding pediatric residency training programs and the ACE Kids Act to improve care for kids with complex medical conditions on Medicaid. But the stakes are much higher this year as the Senate grapples with a BCRA proposal that is detrimental to children. Any legislation adopted, says Jennifer Page, not only needs to protect Medicaid for the more than 30 million children receiving it, but also must provide coverage for preexisting medical conditions and not impose lifetime caps on what insurers pay for treatment. That would be detrimental to Max and the many, many thousands of children like him with medically complex conditions that could last a lifetime.
Max spoke with People.com about what he hoped to accomplish on the trip in an article that appeared on July 10, 2017. “It’s important to share stories,” says Max. “I want the Senators to put a face to children’s health care.”
- In June, Max spoke at a CHLA press conference with Congressman Tony Cardenas in support of Medicaid and health care for kids. http://www.chla.org/press-release/children-s-hospital-los-angeles-and-congressman-tony-c-rdenas-advocate-protecting
- Here is a link with VIDEO B Roll on Max that ran in 2015 after his heart surgery at CHLA, which you can repurpose. http://www.chla.org/press-release/children-s-hospital-los-angeles-cardiologists-perform-melody-heart-valve-implant-child
- Here is a link to photos from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles with Max Page and his mother Jennifer. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/3c5pu5wjef5q6qn/AAC7G9PRNccM3JFN4FXGW8-Ha?dl=0
For media inquiries, please contact:
Lorenzo Benet, CHLA Media Relations Director
firstname.lastname@example.org | 323-251-2847