Some riders joined the Health Security Express along the way, while others joined because they had "personal and professional stories of health care difficulties." During the national tour, some passengers, or "reform riders," told of their experiences with the U.S. health care system. Other events during rallies included music by Willie Nelson, speeches by Clinton himself, and the collecting of letters written by citizens supporting Clinton's reform plan.
During one stop in Independence, Clinton spoke about universal health care proponent Harry Truman, an Independence native. Both supporters and opponents of Clinton's plan turned out, which he said was reminiscent of protests he encountered in an earlier 1992 bus campaign. The Health Security Express was often met with opposition by anti-abortion advocates, who did not want health care reform to support abortions, and conservative groups against increased government presence, including the National Taxpayers Union. Health care reform supporters disregarded the protests, focusing instead on the riders' stories.