Wednesday, September 2, 2009 | 4:16 p.m. CDT;
updated 11:21 a.m. CDT, Thursday, September 3, 2009
JEFFERSON CITY — About 200 people turned out at the Missouri Capitol for a rally in support of a federal health care overhaul.
Participants at Tuesday's event chanted that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that no one should be left without health insurance. Featured speakers included several past and present Democratic lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Paul LeVota of Indepedence.
The event was sponsored by Mexico, Mo.,-based Grass Roots Organizing and the national advocacy group Health Care for America Now.
Melanie Edwards of Keytesville speaks to a pro-health care reform group on the steps of the Capitol building in Jefferson City on Wednesday. "At first, I was fearful to speak out in front of people," said Edwards, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December. "Now, I'm more fearful not speak up and demand change." The rally brought supporters from all over Missouri to help demand Missouri legislators make a move on the health care reform. Many speakers remarked that the next two weeks were crucial to getting something passed. Speakers included state Rep. James Morris, minority house leader Paul LeVota, members of the Disabled Citizens Alliance for Independence and individuals who have been negatively affected by the current health care system. The rally lasted from 10:30 to noon.
Richard Green of Ozark tells his story at a health care rally on the Capitol steps in Jefferson City on Wednesday. Green, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, said he wants to educate people on the loopholes and shortfalls of the current health care system, a system he said failed him when he needed it most.
A sign rests at the feet of a health care supporter during a rally at the Capitol building in Jefferson City on Wednesday. Speaker and organizer Robin Acree led the rally with songs and chants, welcoming speakers of all backgrounds to share their negative experiences with the current health care system.