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Obama expected in Raleigh to promote health care reform

Posted July 28, 2009
Updated July 29, 2009

— President Barack Obama is expected to promote health care reform at a Raleigh high school Wednesday, the latest stop on his national tour to tout the controversial plan that would ensure health insurance for every American.

WRAL-TV and WRAL.com will carry the president's visit LIVE. Watch the video online, and interact with others via a live chat.

The president's $1 trillion-plus plan would include a new government insurance program that would compete with private insurers and bar insurance companies from excluding people with pre-existing health conditions. The plan, Obama has said, would hold down health care costs and extend coverage to most of the 50 million uninsured Americans.

In recent weeks, Obama has spoke out in support of his plan, putting pressure on Congress to pass the plan before it recesses next month. But the plan has drawn criticism from Republicans and some Democrats because of cost and coverage concerns.

Broughton prepares for presidential visit Broughton prepares for presidential visit

Obama's latest stop is at Broughton High School in downtown Raleigh and an important one for the president.

An estimated 1.8 million residents – 21 percent of the population – have no health care in North Carolina, according to a report by the Center for American Progress. For those who have coverage, health insurance premiums have increased 75 percent from 2000 to 2007.

About 2,200 ticketholders are expected to attend the town hall meeting.

Air Force One is expected to land at Raleigh-Durham International around 11:10 a.m..

Raleigh police said they expected heavy traffic congestion around the school and urged motorists to avoid the area.

Although formal street closings probably would not be necessary, police said, some streets near the high school might be shut down temporarily to accommodate vehicle or pedestrian traffic related to the event.

Parking in the surrounding area will also be very limited, and Broughton officials urge attendees to carpool to the event.

Meanwhile, Broughton on Tuesday put finishing touches on preparations for the president's visit, which will include a performance by the school's jazz ensemble. Broughton students will also sing the national anthem and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

The school plans to hang a banner in Obama’s honor, and present the 44th president with a No. 44 jersey.

"I’m sure there are a lot of other places (President Obama) could go, but it means a lot to our kids and our community, and it follows a great tradition,” parent Dr. Randall Williams said.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell and former presidential candidate John Edwards have spoken there in recent years.

A nearby florist was chosen to help set the stage for Obama’s visit by arranging the floral arrangements.

“It is exciting," said Frank Campis, owner of Fallons Flowers, which provided floral arrangements for the event. "Not many people get to say that they delivered flowers for the president.”

Ronnie Bagwell, owner of a nearby insurance company, also expressed concern Tuesday that no one had talked to nearby business owners about Obama’s visit, and potential traffic backups.

"I thought they would have given us some kind of update about what was going on, and we will have to get through (Wednesday) and see how confusing it is,” said Bagwell, owner of Bagwell and Bagwell Insurance.

The president's visit is expected to be a short one. He will head Wednesday afternoon to another event at a supermarket in Bristol, Va.


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  • szdomb Jul 29, 2009

    Read the 1,018 pages plan: http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090714/aahca.pdf

  • happiness9801 Jul 29, 2009

    This is darwinism at the fullest, people it is called survival of the fittest! Yes, it will be cheaper, because if you need health care and the Govt does not think it is worth it guess what, you won't get it. That is how the Govt will reduce the cost(s) because they will start to eliminate and exterminate those not deemed worthy to exist. PLEASSSSSSSE wake up and realize it really is not for the best interest of the country to have this reform. Reform is one thing, fascism is another.

  • happiness9801 Jul 29, 2009

    To all,
    Yes we all know that this country is in a mess and is getting worse each day.
    Most of us (educated ones at least) know that B.O, Pelosi, and Reid are on the rampage to dominate every aspect of the US and will stop at nothing to obtain it. The sad fact is that regardless of the past, the direction the the dem's are driving is and continues to destroy the U.S. Unfortunately, the lazy soles that follow the masses are buying this "FREE HEALTHCARE for all" are completely incapable of "thinking". "You can keep your current doctor if you like him/her, you can keep your current health insurance if you like it." Are you serious, how many hours will it be before the insurance companies are shut down and doctors are made into servants of the govt. Do people not realize that you cannot compete with Uncle Sam, can anyone name one intity that competes with the government? NONE! Insurance is not a right, it's a good/service, not intitled to anyone any more than a house or car!

  • mom2threecld Jul 29, 2009

    manofjustice, you got one thing right, we all need to pray , pray that the healthcare proposal does NOT pass, pray that we get a real president that knows whats going on pray for all of the people , like yourself, that are obasessed with obama and can not or will not see the destruction he is causing to the usa. i wish we could get a refund and get another person for president and i hope all of the people who voted for change are happy, cause you voted wrong. and he is NOT going to help anything or anyone but himself. we are all in trouble with healthcare if this passes. for all you lazy behinds that don't want to or won't work, you would be pleased i'm sure. that is about what follows obama, people that want to live in the welfare system

  • gcfarms Jul 29, 2009

    I am amazed at the lack of disrespect being shown here for the President of the United States. I wasn't a big fan of George Bush, but I respected him and would never disrespect him, but the words I read here are positively saddening. Yes, discourse is a good thing, and we should always voice our differing opinions, that's how things get better, but the level of disresect I read here is really bad. I'm ashamed of some of the peoples' comments here. You can disagree with the President's plans without being disrespectful to the man or the office of the Presidency. Just my thought here.
    Maybe if he would stop lying, listen to the American people,quit being so arrogant, and quite calling and acting like we are all "stupid" then he might be worthy of respect. I'm not getting any respect from this man.

  • nobama Jul 29, 2009

    The reason Obama refuses to produce his birth certificate is that even if he comes out with a great forgery the best ever seen there is always that worry that something tiny some minor flaw will be found and the biggest scan in history will be discovered and Obaba will have to step down as President.

  • gcfarms Jul 29, 2009

    Wonder how many people know about the alternative reform plans that Republicans have for health care? News media does not want you to know nor does Obama. If you believed what he said you would think that his plan is the only alternative and that the minority Republicans are somehow magically holding this plan up. Keep the fight up Blue Dogs!! We conservatives are on your side!!

  • gcfarms Jul 29, 2009

    Kudo's to deacon for telling us what is in this plan. You are the man!!

  • smcallah Jul 29, 2009

    "It doesn't take much to print something in a newspaper and if he has fam. there it is possible to announce a birth in another country so that the fam. knows."

    Did you even read what you typed? It's a 47 year old newspaper. So you believe that they planned 47 years ago for this baby to one day become president? So they planted this in an Hawaiian newspaper just to be sure they had some extra proof?

  • goobnav Jul 29, 2009

    All Hail Hooked Again,

    We must bow before our all mighty government let them lead our lives for us. Over my cold dead body. Ordo Ab Chao.