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Sarasota Thursday, Sep. 3, 2009 12 years ago

Health care demonstration draws hundreds

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.”

Contact Robin Roy at [email protected].


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