We got a note yesterday from a CDNews reader CL who says that a boy who has been mentioned by Patty Murray as an example of why we need health reform is a Central District resident:
I found out [Marcela Owens] lives in the Central District (not Capitol Hill, darn) on 20th and Union.He is your golden boy that might tip the legislative vote for the health reform bill.
Most famous indeed. Hope you can do a story on him.Only 25 people from 20 states are going to the Congressional hearings and he is the only kid.If he testifies last, it is believed his words ringing in their ears will help pass the health reform bill.
Here’s a snippet from Senator Patty Murray’s speech on the senate floor:
“Today, I am here to tell my colleagues the story of a little boy named Marcelas Owens whose mom got sick.
“I met Marcelas in June at a health care rally in Seattle. He’s just ten years old, but he and his two younger siblings have already been through a lot.
“Two years ago, their mother, Tifanny, lost her life because she was uninsured. She was only 27 years old.
Mr. President, Tifanny was a single mom who felt strongly about working to support her family.
“She worked as an assistant manager at a fast food restaurant. She had health care coverage through her job. But in September 2006, she got sick. During this time, Tifanny missed a lot of work.
“Her employer gave her an ultimatum: Make up the lost time, or lose your job. Well, because she was so sick, she physically couldn’t make up the time and Tifanny did lose her job.
“When she lost her job, she lost her insurance. And without coverage and the care she needed, in June of 2007, Tifanny lost her life. And Marcelas and his two siblings lost their mom.
“Mr. President, our health care system is broken. It’s broken for moms like Tifanny who work to provide for their families and are charged nearly 50 percent more than men for health care in the individual market.
“It’s broken for women who are denied coverage or charged more for ‘Pre-Existing Conditions’ like pregnancy, C-sections, or domestic violence.
“And it’s broken for their families and for little boys like Marcelas who can never get back what they have lost.