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Conservative political group rallies against Obama health care push

Posted July 29, 2009

— The North Carolina chapter of a conservative political advocacy group held a rally Wednesday to provide a counter-argument to President Barack Obama's effort to overhaul the U.S. health care system.

Rally held against government-run health care Rally held against government-run care

More than 200 people showed up at the Americans for Prosperity gathering at the North Raleigh Hilton, a few miles away from Broughton High School where Obama spoke to a crowd about why America needs health care reform.

“America has the best health care system in the world. Why are we messing with it,” health care reform opponent Dr. Brent Elmers said at the Americans for Prosperity rally.

Opponents worry that Obama's health care plan would include too much government involvement.

“We don't want Washington running our health care system,” Americans for Prosperity state director Dallas Woodhouse said.

Opponents to Obama's plan say they fear government-run health care will create more bureaucracy, higher taxes, fewer choices and less access.

“It takes away our freedom that I helped fight for,” health care reform opponent Don Wiseman said at the Americans for Prosperity rally.

Wiseman, an 82-year-old World War II veteran, said he doesn't think a government-run plan is necessary to achieve the reform needed.

State GOP Chairman Tom Fetzer also criticized Obama's plan, saying health care needs reforming, not an overhaul. He said he believes the private sector can keep health care affordable and costs down.

“Let’s look at how we can allow doctors not to practice so defensively. Let us look at the true cost of allowing non-Americans to access our health care system, and who is going to pay for it, and why shouldn't they,” Fetzer said.

But Obama tried to reassure more than 2,000 people at the Broughton town hall forum that his plan is not about a government takeover of health care but rather bringing stability and security to the industry.

"Under the reform I’ve proposed, if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan," Obama said.

Obama pledged that the health care legislation he is seeking will bar insurance companies from denying coverage because of pre-existing medical conditions and include numerous provisions to hold down the cost of care for consumers.

"No longer will insurance companies be allowed to drop or water down coverage for someone who's become seriously ill. That's not right, it's not fair," Obama said.

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.

Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-2nd district, said Obama's plan would help bring affordable and high-quality health care to the uninsured.

"We need to get (health care) costs under control for working families, while improving access, increasing quality and providing peace of mind," Etheridge said in a statement.

Senate Republican leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, however, said that he is concerned that government-run health care will "result in greater burdens to families, small businesses and state governments."

Under Obama's plan, insurance companies would also have to obey limits on the out-of-pocket costs they could demand and would not be permitted to charge co-pays or other fees for preventive care such as checkups or mammograms.

Children would remain eligible for family coverage through age 26, rather than the current 23, a step that would reduce the number of young uninsured adults.

House lawmakers indicated Wednesday that they were moving ahead on their version of the health care legislation after leaders and fiscally conservative Democrats worked out a deal.

Senators trying to reach a bipartisan compromise also indicated progress in paring the costs of the plan as they push for an agreement they hope will appeal to the political middle.


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  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Jul 31, 2009

    Why exactly should I pay for other people's heath care? Why do those that take care of their business also have to take care of other people.

  • town guy Jul 31, 2009

    Enough jousting for now. Have a good weekend.

  • Jay4 Jul 31, 2009

    The program is described as "a total mess" - don't you understand English, Townguy?

    This program was rushed through Congress just as they have attempted to rush through the healthcare monstrosity bill - about something of much greater importance.

    And all we hear is we must get this done! We must get this bill passed!

    Why the rush? The bill, if you would read it, is a hodgepodge of bureaucratic NIGHTMARES for doctors and hospitals and those who have the misfortune to get sick.

    Just as with this cash for clunkers program - to say the least - it will be a huge mess.

    But that mess will cost lives! And our freedom!

    Finally if the healthcare boondoggle is so wonderful, THEN CONGRESS MUST BE FORCED TO BE ON IT ALSO! - Don't you agree, Townguy?

  • town guy Jul 31, 2009

    Jay 4, I didn't say there were no problems - of course they've got to get the dealers reimbursed. Overall, the program is a success in its stated purpose of getting gas-guzzlers off the road.

  • Jay4 Jul 31, 2009

    Townguy - of course it was successful - in that many people rushed to get "free" money towards new cars. But you didn't read the article - read snippets below and tell me this is a successful program - and then tell me you want these same people in charge of your life and death decisions or for those of your loved ones.

    The White House and Congress may be giving the “cash for clunkers” program a reprieve, but one can’t help wondering how many dealers and customers will have the confidence to go forward at this point. Things sound like a total mess in the showrooms.

    “There is absolute frustration across the board,” Alex Kurkin, a lawyer based in Miami who represents several car dealerships, tells The Lede today. “As of this morning, they’re not really confident about any deals, and no one can give them advice about what they should be telling their customers.”

  • town guy Jul 31, 2009

    Yes, Jay 4 I read the NYT article about Cash for Clunkers. What I saw was a program that exceeded its wildest expectations...Not only did people rush to take advantage of the offer, more people wanted to join them, and the system was overrun.
    You see problems; I see a successful program experiencing growing pains.

  • Jay4 Jul 31, 2009

    Hey Town Guy - go read in the NY Times today about the Clunkers for Cash program that the Dems passed (quickly) through Congress....ha ha ha....http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/dealers-race-to-get-their-clunkers-crushed/?hp - and imagine these same people - the Federal Government - running your healthcare!

    One big difference - healthcare is life and death, it is comfort vs misery, it affects everything you do.

    To put the federal government in charge of this huge and complex (20% of our GDP is healthcare related) - is insane when they cannot even plan and run a simple government giveaway for cars! Also listen to Barney Frank as he off the cuff let the cat out of the bag - saying he and fellow Democrats and the President really want single payer - total government control - of healthcare in this country and that is what Obamacare is for - to pave the way to fully socialized medicine. http://www.freedomslighthouse.com/2009/07/barney-frank-in-off-cuff-moment-admits.html

  • Hooked_Again Jul 31, 2009

    The republicans don't have any problem with a government run program for the elderly, military, and Congress which by the way is much more efficent than the system we are stuck with. So why is it so important to make me pay a private insurance company for health care. I would like to pay for the same plan the congress voted in for themselves.

  • town guy Jul 31, 2009

    Yes, insure illegal immigrants.

  • ncblue2 Jul 31, 2009

    I personally think that health insurance should be required of all citizens... just like car insurance is required.

    Currently, anyone who has health insurance is paying for those that do not.... sort of like the un-insured/under-insured options on our auto insurance.


    Should we provide heath care insurance for illegal immigrants as well ?