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Health care reform advocates, opponents rally in Raleigh

Posted July 21, 2009
Updated July 22, 2009

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— President Barack Obama on Tuesday said he wants to sign health care legislation that ensures choice of doctors and plans, improves quality and reduces costs. It is an issue that is dividing people in Wake County, and across the country.

Volunteers push health care agendas Volunteers push health care agendas

North Carolina's Organizing for America (OFA) is in support of Obama's health care plan. They held a phone bank Tuesday evening at St. Matthew AME Church at 1629 Bennett St. in Raleigh.

Volunteers called on other Wake County residents to support the plan before Congress.

“Many of the people across the country don't have health care insurance, and it is an issue that I think everyone needs to be involved with,” Organizing for America volunteer Eric Holmes said.

Those on the opposite side of the issue also reached out for support Tuesday.

Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory was the keynote speaker at the Americans for Prosperity's Patients First rally against government-centered health care reform at the RBC Center in Raleigh.

McCrory said government takeover of health care will hurt patients by delaying and denying treatments.

"People are worried about losing access to the doctor of their choice, getting the quality of care of their choice, and they are worried that it will become a bureaucratic nightmare,” McCrory said.

Patients First has started an online petition to urge lawmakers to oppose government-run health care legislation. The group is also airing television ads nationwide against the plan.

The cost of a government-run plan is among the concerns for Patients First supporters.

"I am already very concerned about the money that has been given away. I don't see how our country will ever get back on our feet financially,” said Julie Simons, who is against Obama's health care plan.

Despite the cost, others say health care should be available to everyone, and the best way to achieve that is with reform.

"If this gets 46 million off un-insurance, that's the most important thing I think we can get,” said Danyale Washington, an Organizing for America supporter.

Obama has insisted that legislation reinventing the nation's $2.4 trillion health care system be in place before Congress recesses in August, but the plan has drawn sharp criticism from Republicans and some Democrats that it is too expensive.

The bill before the U.S. House of Representatives would, for the first time, require all individuals to have health insurance and all employers to provide it.

Under the proposal, the poor would get subsidies to buy insurance and insurers would be barred from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. The bill also would raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, the top 1.2 percent of earners.

The president is scheduled to address the nation on the matter Wednesday at 8 p.m. Watch the address live on WRAL.com or on WRAL-TV.


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  • smalldogsrule Jul 22, 2009

    The Fair Tax along with tort reform will go further toward increasing health care insurance coverage than any reform plan anyone can come up with.

  • whatusay Jul 22, 2009

    Competition will be eliminated the day this bill is voted into law. The Government plan destroys competition, not because of price, but because of law. There will be no options or choices. Government way or government way, nothing else. You will have no other options. You can't choose between private and government after this bill is passed, you can only get gov't. Private insurance companies will be gone in a few short years and you will be left with the long lines and a few options of service. Shortages of doctors and nurses and not much research going on because the preferred health care will be going to government officials and their families through private government health care clinics.

  • whatusay Jul 22, 2009

    The reason health care costs are sky rocketing is because of the U.S. Government. Medicare and medicaid abuse and fraud has made criminals out of our doctors and hospitals trying to re-coop the costs out of private insured patients. Why would a hospital charge $10.00 for an aspirin? The government is the reason our insurance premiums are as high as they are now and rising. Get government out of health care and costs will go down. Why would we want a National Government Socialist Health
    Care program? Wake up America before it is too late. Nothing the government does is cheaper.

  • whatusay Jul 22, 2009

    prodigalrn says...."This plan works toward lowering costs, and giving insurance companies some competition, thereby lowering costs. Think Cablevision here. Until Satellite came along, there was no competition. Same premise here. And if you like your present coverage, keep it."

    This is a quote from one of Obams's speeches. Why don't you go to the web and read the bill instead of quoting Obama. Nothing you have said is true, believe me, socialist health care is not what is best for America.

  • Here kitty kitty Jul 22, 2009

    I'm so confused....

  • whatusay Jul 22, 2009

    This is the entire bill. Not any details as to what will be offered or what it will cost.

  • Eastern N.C. Native Jul 22, 2009

    I'm to the point that I believe Democrats suck. I thought so before, but I'm certain now.

  • vote4changeASAP Jul 22, 2009

    colliedave, Democrats get a free pass when using a church to promote political platforms. You have just noticed? It IS a violation because of the "tax exempt" amendment.

  • mom2threecld Jul 22, 2009

    normson7 the govt is stating that if you currently have insurance you can keep it but for those that don't get the obama plan and they can NOT change to private insurance later if they want. if someone looses their private insurance the MUST take the obama plan and again, cannot change back to private insurance. the goal is to get rid of private insurance and to get rid of freedom of choice. this is WRONG

  • Ripcord Jul 22, 2009

    "Republicans don't have any plan of their own."

    Not true. Maybe YOU haven't heard it, but they do. For starters they have introduced 2 amendments that would allow a tax write off for the cost of health insurance and the other would allow you to buy health insurance in another state. These have been on the table before (in 2007) but Democrats shot them down. Barack Obama voted against both measures.