WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Barack Obama has paid tribute to ordinary Americans who've had to wrestle with health insurance problems -- and those ordinary Americans include his mother and an 11-year-old Seattle boy.
As he signed the landmark health care bill into law on Tuesday, Obama said his mother had to argue with insurance companies over health coverage even as she was dying of cancer.
The President then paid tribute to 11-year-old boy Marcelas Owens, whose mother died because she didn't have insurance and couldn't get the care she needed.
Three years ago, Marcelas lost his 27-year-old mother, Tiffany Owens, to pulmonary hypertension. She became too sick to work and, when she lost her job, she lost her health insurance.
"She was in pain and she could barely walk," said Marcelas. "I think if she had health care, they could have given her the medicine that she needed and the treatment."
On March 11th, the day after his 11th birthday, Marcelas headlined a press conference in Washington, DC with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Patty Murray, and other Senate leaders in support of the health care reform. He
President Obama also mentioned an Ohio woman who had to give up her health insurance because of skyrocketing insurance premiums, and now is hospitalized without any coverage.
Obama also paid tribute to presidents past and other leaders who sought health reform.