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Marcelas Owens

Seattle’s Marcelas Owens at White House

“History is Made” states Vice President Joe Biden.
March 23, 2010, Seattle 5th grader, Marcelas Owens, stood on stage with President Obama when he signed the historic health reform legislation into law as his grandmother Gina Owens and Capitol Hill resident Kami Bodily looked on. Marcelas had received an invitation to attend the bill signing directly from the White House according to Joshua Welter, spokesperson for the Owens family with Washington Community Action Network – a community organization that Marcelas and his mother Tifanny volunteered for supporting health care reform.

Tifanny Owens died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 due to lack of health insurance and Marcelas and his Grandmother Gina have been telling her story ever since. Marcelas has given a face to the health reform campaign and it is believed his personal story has crystallized the issue for many.

President Barack Obama said “Today I am signing this reform bill into law “on behalf of my mother who argued with insurance companies even as she battled cancer in her final days…
I’m signing it for 11 year old Marcelas Owens who is also here. Marcelas lost his mom to an illness, and she didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the care that she needed. So in her memory he has told her story across American so that no other children would have to go through what his family has experienced.”

“It’s exciting to think that I might have played some small role in helping the health care bill pass,” said Marcelas, who, in the past few weeks, has become a nationally recognized spokesperson for health care reform in honor of his mother, Tifanny.

“This is the Civil Rights Act of the 21st century,” said Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina.

Joshua Welter who has been working for reform for years comments that Marcelas’s story “struck a chord” with people. ” I will be thinking back on the many thousands across the country waiting to see this day”.

“It’s tough not having my mom around,” said Marcelas. “But she’s been with me in spirit every time I talk. I hope I’ve made her proud.”

Marcelas I’m sure you have.

Look for upcoming photos of the White House signing to be posted soon. Seattle Intelligencer

Posted by  Charlette Report at March 23, 2010 9:45 a.m.

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