Health care demonstration draws hundreds


Health care demonstration draws hundreds


Date: September 3, 2009
by: Robin Roy | City Editor


Four lanes of Fruitville Road separated about 400 health-care reform supporters from the detractors during a Sept. 2 demonstration.

The group organized the show of support outside U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s office at Fruitville Road and Orange Avenue. The Republican Party of Sarasota learned of the demonstration and urged its members to stage a counter-demonstration.

For the most part, reform supporters stayed on the north side of Fruitville, and the opponents stood on the south side.

“The number of uninsured and underinsured is critical,” said demonstrator Ed Hurley. “Without Medicaid, I wouldn’t have a ghost of a chance of getting health care.”

“(The reform bill) is not going to solve the problem,” said Larry Bernard. “It’s going to make it worse.”
Many people carried signs, with such slogans as “No to health-care change,” “Obama, wipe the lipstick off that pig,” “Don’t Obamacare me, bro” and “We can’t afford to wait.”

The demonstration was generally civil, with a few insults being shouted back and forth, such as, “It’s called capitalism, you idiots.” staged a candlelight vigil and invited people to stand before the other supporters and share their stories of struggling to maintain health care.

In response to the vigil being held across the street, one man held up a sign that read, “Candles cause global warming.”

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Currently 2 Responses

  • 1.
  • Robin: I was at the protest. Dr. Swier's article is more accurate than yours. (better journalism less bias)
    By Dr. Richard Swier: While I was there those who were against the public option outnumbered the protesters by a ratio of four to one.

    According to Terry Needell, the hostess of the vigil, she was instructed to conduct the vigil by headquarters starting at 7:30 p.m. EST. I asked her why at that time because there was no one in Congressman Buchanan's district office. She had no answer other than she was following orders. I also asked Terry if she attended the recent town hall meeting on health care hosted by Congressman Buchanan, which drew over 1,400 attendees. Terry said she did not and her reason was because she did not want to be "shouted down". According to reports 90% of those who attended Congressman Buchanan's town hall meeting were against a public option and the Obama health care plan.

    A key argument is that Medicare is a public option. Actually, it is not as pointed out by Frank Patti a contributor. Every tax payer is required by law to pay into the Medicare system. There is no option to not contribute and provide one's own private health care plan using private insurance. With the unfunded liabilites of Medicare and Medicaid estimated at $60 trillion, it is now clear these public health care programs are unsustainable. When I asked the pro-public option demonstrators about this they had no solution. However, when I was leaving the demonstrations one pro-public option supporter shouted out "the government will bail them [Medicare and Medicaid] out". Irrational to say the least.

    Please listen to these two interviews with members or those there in support of the public option. Their rational and reasoning simply does not add up but you decide for yourself.

    Interview with Terry Needell, hostess of the vigil in Sarasota (at the end told me to move on because they did not like my questions):

    Interview with Bob Brown a pro-public option supporter:

    It is clear from these interviews that neither Terry or Bob understand the potential negative consequences of instituting a public option - adding to the national debt and how Medicare and Medicaid are unsustainable. They have no concerns for what that may mean for the nation. The key is to get the public option put into law regardless of the consequences.


    Attachment Size
    Attachment Size
    Interview with Terry Needell Hostess of MoveOn Vigal in Sarasota 922009.mp3 21.57 MB
    Interview with Bob Brown at vigil 922009.mp3 14.34 MB

    | | 1 Comment | Related Topics »FLORIDA Comments
  • Cindy Mercurio
    Fri 4th Sep 2009
    at 11:06am
  • 2.
  • Robin,

    We appreciate the coverage for the support of health care reform, not necessarily a government run health care program.

    Facts are important in the coverage of news and my invite was not from the Republican Party but from freedom loving Americans that belive in the free market and true reform, not just another failing government agency.

    Thank you.
  • Susan Nartowicz
    Thu 3rd Sep 2009
    at 3:25pm
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