published Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

Local protesters tell president, Congress to 'step up'

by Matt Wilson

Despite chilly weather and the loud sounds of construction at the Walnut Street bridge Tuesday afternoon, a group of protesters stood by Frazier Avenue traffic to send President Barack Obama and Congress a message.

"We're pressing Washington to fight," said Gary Holland, 65.

Mr. Holland was one of about 18 people who attended a North Chattanooga rally organized by the self-described progressive organization

Antoinette Pereira, 59, an event organizer, said the rally was meant as a counterpoint to those who say the election of U.S. Sen.-elect Scott Brown, R-Mass., was a rejection of health care reform.

"People in Chattanooga should know, and in the nation should know, that a lot of people still, despite that election, want health care reform," she said.

Local Republicans have hailed the Massachusetts election as signifying a national turn away from Democrats.

Matthew Bryant, chairman of the Hamilton County Republican Party, said he sees the election in Massachusetts, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 3-1, as more than just pushing back against the health care bill.

"It's a rejection of an entire agenda," he said.


Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley 52 percent to 47 percent in the Jan. 19 special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat long held by the late U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

But Ms. Pereira cited a Jan. 19 poll of Massachusetts residents that showed three-fifths of them who supported President Obama in 2008 but voted for Sen.-elect Brown thought the current health care bill "doesn't go far enough."

Patrick Moore, 20, a local coordinator for MoveOn, said he wants a bill with a public option and for President Obama to "step up."

"I'm sick of seeing the majority not be the majority," he said.

The Chattanooga rally was among a number of MoveOn rallies held nationwide.

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whatsthefuss said...

Move on, Move over or Move out. It matters not. One point you never hear discussed in this matter is the fact that we all fund everyones health care one way or another. If you are fortunate to have a so called Cadillac plan, then you see the doctor when your hemorrhoids flare up instead of breaking out the Preperation H. If you are without an insurance plan and you have a life threatning event, you go to the public E.R. and are presented with a bill you can never pay and once again, we fund the visit. If you are illegal and you have a cough, you again go to the E.R. and again we fund the visit. Elected officals, union members, teachers and so on all enjoy a high level of health care. We as taxpayers fund all of these insurance costs, so if we fund theirs it only makes sense that they help fund the rest of the people who make theirs possible. The truth is health care costs are not justified. Doctors and administrators were once average citizens with high ethical standards. Now it is about how many cars they have, how many homes and how often they go on vacation. They should earn more than most professions but the idea that they practice in tax free non profit hospitals and continue to bankrupt millions of Americans every year because of the financial disparity between the average American and todays health professionals is criminal. Very good health insurance policies were affordable not that long ago. Employers provided them with the job as a common practice. This has come to a dead end due to the greed of the health care industry. Congress needs to decapitate this greedy monster so we as Americans can return to a normal, enjoyable existence where the health of our families and ourselves is not a constant concern. I'm just sayin!!

January 27, 2010 at 8:10 a.m.
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