About 40 people gathered on a dirt lot in downtown Boulder City Wednesday night to show support for health care reform.
The vigil was one of more than 300 planned as part of a nationwide effort by the liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org. A second vigil was held at the same time in front of University Medical Center in Las Vegas.
Those who had gathered in Boulder City carried candles and signs and told stories that illustrated the ways they see the current health care system failing.
And they had real stories to share.
Dina Wawers said she suffered a spinal injury two years ago in a fall and is no longer able to work. For the past two years, she has tried to get onto Social Security disability and has been denied. She is appealing but, in the meantime, she has no health insurance, she said. [...]
Speech and language pathologist Valerie McNay told the group she has good health insurance through the Clark County School District, but she thinks the money it costs could be better spent on educating children.
In addition, she said, her family is having difficulty getting a health insurer to pay on a long-term care policy her mother has had since 1994 now that her mother has dementia and needs in-home care.
In addition, McNay said, her mother has to continue to pay the $3,800 annual premiums on the policy.
“Something has to change,” she said. “We need health insurance reform now.” [...]
“Everyone is just one incident away from losing their livelihood or life,” said Cassie Rice, a Henderson business owner.
Ian Smith, who identified himself as a firefighter and emergency medical technician for eight years, said he recalled patients refusing care because they were afraid of the hospital bills or that insurance would not cover their care.
After being laid off from a previous job, he said, he cannot get health coverage because of a pre-existing condition. That has left him and his five children without coverage, he said.
Notice that there were no buses full of "teabagger superstars". There were no angry mobs brandishing rifles and starting brawls with other people. There were no corporate fat cats funding some massive media spectacle.
No, these were just real working people calling for real health care reform. That's all.
If you feel as bad as I do about missing this, you can still do the virtual vigil at MoveOn now. Tell your story and counter the corporate funded lie campaign with the truth.