Who Was That Cute Kid at The Health Care Bill Signing?

By Jorge Rivas Mar 23, 2010

His name is Marcelas Owens, and he’s eleven years old. Tifanny Owens, Marcelas’ mother, died of pulmonary hypertension in 2007 because she didn’t have access to medical care. Marcelas and his grandmother Gina have been sharing her story ever since they joined Washington CAN!, a statewide grassroots lobbying organization in Seattle. President Obama at the health care bill signing:

"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 America, so that no other children would have to go through what his family has experienced."

ARC featured Marcelas and his grandmother in our ‘Race & Recession Report.’ Below is a snippet of an interview that ColorLines’ Seth Wessler did with Marcelas a year ago. CL: Should immigrants have health care? MO: If you are a human being and you walk and you talk you should have equal health care, just cause. CL: What would equal healthcare look like? MO: People would not die in hospitals, they would die of old age.