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Members of Persisterhood St. Joseph hold up signs to passing cars Saturday during a ‘health care is a right for all’ rally at Frederick Boulevard and Belt Highway.

Over a dozen liberal groups from 43 states around the country hosted “Our lives are on the line” protests on Saturday as part of a national “day of action” for health care.

About 25 demonstrators with Persisterhood St. Joseph gathered at the intersection of Frederick Boulevard and Belt Highway to share their belief that health care should be a right for all.

Protesters held signs that discussed several approaches to the health-care system such as “Medicare for All” and “Honk to fix Obamacare.”

Melinda Kovacs, one of eight co-facilitators with Persisterhood, said the health care demonstration references a philosophical debate that has been going on for over 20 years.

“You want to be able to engage the local community in conversation,” Kovacs said. “Is health care a commodity that you buy, and that you earn and pay for? Or is health care a right that you are entitled to on account of being human, being sick or needing it?”

A majority of the vehicles that passed the intersection responded by honking in support, but some also shared their disagreement with the health care for all position.

“It’s always a challenge to find something we can come together around, and it seems like this may be one of those issues,” Kovacs said. “I’m pretty sure that there are conservative Republicans who want health care, just like there are moderate Republicans, moderate Democrats, liberal Democrats and everybody else in between who want health care.”

Ken Beck, who is on the board of the Northwest Missouri Republican Club, agrees that the health of the American public is extremely important and said they’re encouraging members to call their representative and share their views on issues like health care.

“I think all these representatives need to have dialogue from their constituents. I’ve preached that for years,” Beck said. “They just need to get out of Washington and start visiting and talking to the public, and see what the public thinks not just lobbyists.”

A proposed Senate bill to repeal Obamacare failed to pass Friday after three Republican senators voted no in the 49 to 51 decision.

Beck believes that both political parties don’t have a cohesive plan to improve the country’s health-care system.

“The Democrats are saying we’re going to stay with what we got, even though it costs all that extra money in taxes,” he said. “On the other side, those that want to change it need to sit down and look at it from the standpoint of the effect on the American citizens and also businesses.”

The local GOP group is planning to have their next monthly club meeting Thursday, Aug. 24, and the next Persisterhood meeting will take place at Rolling Hills Library at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Nathan Ellgren can be reached at nathan.ellgren@knpn.com. Follow him on Twitter at @NPNowEllgren.