Murray, Cantwell cheered at health reform rally

By:  John Flick
Source: KOMOnews.com

SEATTLE - Cheers shook the rafters at a celebration of the new health care law in South Seattle on Sunday as top state leaders and pro-reform crowds got together to send a message.

"Yes we did! Yes we did!" health reform supports chanted as major players filled the stage before a packed house at the machinist's union hall.

Headlining the celebration were Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Washington state's Democratic U.S. senators.

"You have made a difference for people all over this country," Murray said to resounding cheers. "Thanks to you, kids with pre-existing conditions can never be denied healthcare again."

Also at the rally was 11-year old Marcelas Owens, who's become the face of reform since he stood right next to President Obama when he signed the health care legislation last week.

Owens has carried on his mom's fight after she lost her job and her health insurance, then passed away.

"I think it will stop the stories about people having health care, but then losing it because they're not able to pay for it," he said.

Cantwell commented on Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna's decision to join a lawsuit against some of the reforms.

"This legislation says any state who innovates and covers a population like the basic health plan won't have to do a mandate. So my message to our attorney general is, he should innovate, not litigate," Cantwell said to wild cheers.

Cantwell will also hold a news conference Monday on the reform and the basic health plan for those taking part in Washington state - and how it should be a model for the nation.