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This evening in Warrensburg I spoke with Randy Huggins of Leeton, Missouri, who was one of the individuals who helped organize yesterday’s health care reform march and rally in Warrensburg.

Show Me Progress:…You’ve been involved in organizing the health care reform rally here in Johnson County. What brought you to this point…?

Randy Huggins: On a personal level, my grandson was denied coverage for congenital heart defects that he was born with. He had health insurance, my, my daughter had health insurance before he was born. His coverage started when he was born, but the defects were a pre-existing condition, so there’s no coverage.

SMP: So the insurance company said that the congenital heart defect was a pre-exisiting condition, so they weren’t gonna cover it?

Randy Huggins: Correct, correct.

SMP: And so what kind of impact did this have?

Randy Huggins: Oh [breath] just, just the fight trying to find someplace to get the care and, thank God there’s Childrens Mercy Hospital [in Kansas City] that took care of the situation. And they’re still taking care of it….

….the stress from having to fight that, the financial stress that it added, just.

SMP: And so your story and the effect of this from a personal level, you know, it’s obviously, it’s personal for you. But have you encountered stories of other people as you’ve talked about [crosstalk] health care?

Randy Huggins: Oh, absolutely. We had one last night at, at the rally….told about his son, and they had to fight with the insurance companies to get coverage and to get care.

Visit Childrens Mercy Hospital any day of the week and just talk to any of the parents up there. Some of them do have health insurance, but the majority of them up there are there because they don’t have coverage.

SMP: And, and you’ve told your story in a variety of, of places. Last week you attended a, another forum for, in this area. Could you tell me about that?

Randy Huggins:…Last Thursday I went to a health care information forum, I guess you could call it, Vicki Hartzler [a declared Republican candidate for the 4th Congressional District seat] held here. And she had concerns about the legislation and she had things that she liked about the legislation. Then she said she had solutions. The solution that she offered for the pre-existing condition my grandson had was, she offered to bring the family a, a hot meal. [pause] We’re hungry, but that’s not gonna help his heart, so.

SMP: And so, do you, do you feel some frustration when, when dealing with this, you know, the subject of health care reform and when you feel like people give you solutions that really aren’t solutions?

Randy Huggins: Absolutely it’s frustrating. [pause] I, I just, I don’t understand where they’re coming from. Why they can’t see the need to fix, the system’s broken. And they don’t see any need to fix it or to change it in any way. Just….

Vicki Hartzler, a republican, is challenging Representative Ike Skelton (D).

“…Then she said she had solutions. The solution that she offered for the pre-existing condition my grandson had was, she offered to bring the family a, a hot meal….”

The event with Vicki Hartzler was covered by the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal.