Protesters make second visit to Bishop's Albany office - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Protesters make second visit to Bishop's Albany office

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Another protest Friday in front of Congressman Sanford Bishop's district office in Albany.

While protesters were just as passionate today as they were during a protest here a few weeks ago, the crowd was about half the size.

Protests have come under criticism from democrats and the Obama Administration for spreading misinformation, but the people we spoke to today say they know exactly what they don't want in health care reform.

Fewer than 100 people showed up to protest outside of Congressman Sanford Bishop's Albany office at noon today.

"Free health care is not free..." the crowd chanted.

The health care proposals currently floating around in the house and Senate are the latest issues they are concerned about.

"It is so vague, which is causing so much dissent on either side. No one really knows what it's going to be," said protester Mike Sabot.

But these protesters know exactly why they don't want it. Maria Ricketson says her biggest concern is the price tag. "They don't know how they're going to pay for it and that's my major concern. Secondly, there are gong to be unintended consequences."

Like employers dropping private insurance to sign up for the government plan. Pete Peterson believes it's going to hurt African Americans the most, though he was one of the few African Americans there.

"Well, because they're not really looking at the issue the way they should be," he said. "While I'm glad Obama got elected, etc, but I'm also looking at the facts, too, that the legislation he's putting forward is detrimental to us as a group."

Protests like this have come under fire recently for only stirring up misinformation and causing a rift between republicans and democrats.

Sabot asked, "Do you think that these protests are really just causing more of a divide than they are any sort of common ground?"

"Well, they're not meant to cause common ground. They're meant to express an opposing viewpoint. If we don't stand up and tell people that we don't support it, then you're only going to see the group that supports it," said Pete Peterson.

"Here we are," Ricketson said. "The silent majority has been silent too long. We need to stop this."

Congressman Bishop will be here in Albany next Thursday for a town hall meeting sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.

Here is more information from the Congressman's office--

"Following the August District Work Period, the House will consider H.R. 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act, which seeks to reform our broken health care system," Bishop said. "On an issue as important as this, the Members of Congress must be given ample time to review the bill closely and to hear the concerns of their constituents. All of you will play an important role in the future of health care, and I encourage you to attend one of these town hall events and let your voices be heard."

The schedule of town hall meetings is as follows:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009:

8:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
National Infantry Museum
3800 South Lumpkin Road
Columbus, GA 31903

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Fort Valley State University, Pettigrew Center Auditorium
1000 University Drive
Fort Valley, GA 31030

Thursday, August 20, 2009:

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Bainbridge College, Kirbo Regional Center
2500 East Shotwell Street
Bainbridge, GA 39819

4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Albany State University, ACAD Auditorium
504 College Drive
Albany, GA 31705




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