"Today 70 Americans will die for lack of health insurance. And when the Republicans tell us — "Go slow, Start over, Take your time" — we’ve got to add it up. It’s 70 a day. How much time can we take?"
– Senator Dick Durbin
Given the length of Congress’ health care debate, it’s not unusual that media coverage often focuses on process and procedure. But on days like today, when Marcelas Owens, an 11-year-old boy, traveled across the country on his birthday to advocate for health reform, Senators and press have reason to pause and reflect on the necessity of changing our broken health care system.
Marcelas Owens began speaking out about the need to end health insurance industry abuses since his mother died after she fell ill and lost her job and insurance coverage. Speaking at an event today with Senate leadership, Owens said, "I am here because of my mom. My mom was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension in 2006. She missed so much work she lost her job. And when my mom lost her job, she lost her health care. And losing her health care ended up costing her her life."
"Our fight for health reform is driven by stories like that of Marcelas and his mother Tifanny that too many Nevadans and too many Americans know all too well," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "Opponents of reform would rather focus on process. Our work is about real people like Marcelas and his mother who deserve a better health system."