St. Louis Public Radio News
6:18 am
Wed September 2, 2009

Health care advocates rally at Mo. Capitol

Jefferson City, MO – Supporters of creating a government-run health care program rallied today outside the State Capitol in Jefferson City.

More than 150 people gathered on the Capitol's south lawn, and demanded that lawmakers in Washington reform the nation's health care system so that it covers everybody.

They sang songs and shouted slogans, while several speakers told the crowd that health care is a right, not a privilege.

Among the speakers was State Representative Rebecca McClanahan (D, Kirksville), who's also a registered nurse.

"Do we want health care that limits coverage, and then denies treatment when you get sick?" McClanahan asked. The crowd shouted back, "No!"

McClanahan and the audience then shouted in unison, "Oh, wait, that's the current system!"

Those against a government-run system disagree.

Former State Representative Carl Bearden now works as Missouri Director for the group Americans for Prosperity, which opposes the health care bill recently passed by the U.S. House.

"Government-run health care has never been economically feasible in any country that it's currently in, short of having to provide rationing, reducing the quality of care, and making some pretty tough decisions about people's lives," Bearden said.

Bearden added that a government-run health care program would also increase the tax burden, forcing small businesses to lay off workers and further straining the economy.