Groups rally for and against health insurance reform - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Groups rally for and against health insurance reform

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By Len Kiese - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The health care debate continues across the country. Congressman Sanford Bishop's office in downtown Albany has been the backdrop of several recent health care reform rallies. Tuesday afternoon, there were two groups with opposing views on the issue.

On Roosevelt Avenue in downtown Albany, two groups stood on two separate corners. On one side you heard, "Yes we can!"

On the other side you heard chants of, "Don't kill Grandma.  Kill the bill!"

The ralliers were clearly split but both were passionate on one issue--health care. "It's becoming too much of a welfare state, taking away from people and giving to others and that's wrong," said one reform opponent.

Some say they're fearful of what they call big government. "And I want the government out of my life," said reform opponent Kathy Young.

The group is fearful of current health care reform plans. "This bill is not going to help the people that need it," said Mike Sabot.

"I've looked at certain issues and it's not what we need, socialized medicine and the government making decisions for us, that's not what we need," said Ruby Long.

But supporters say the reform is needed and it's needed now. "We've listened for a long time now about getting health care done. This is the year we're going to do it," said reform supporter Grady Burrell.

Lawmakers have gotten an earful on the proposed health care legislation. "What this is designed to do is to have everyone have access to affordable, accessible healthcare," said Congressman Sanford Bishop.

Congressman Sanford Bishop says there are a lot of misconceptions out there on the issue. "Once people see what it really is, we'll be able to form a consensus and we'll be able to have a final product," said Bishop.

However, the road to passage is still paved with much opposition. "Yes we want health care reform but we don't want it in the current form that's being presented by Congress," said Sabot.

A grassroots group formed by the Democratic National Committee by the name of Organized For America does support the efforts. They're rallying for Congress to get a bill passed and they've signed hundreds of petitions to prove it. "These petitions say we support reform. Registered voters who live in this county say they support reform," said Ken King with OFA.

With a song and march, that petitioned support was delivered to Sanford Bishop's office Tuesday evening. "We shall win this race," said reform supporter Kirby Browning. But it still seems the slow race to reform is far from over.

Congressman Bishop was not at his office Tuesday evening when those rallies were taking place. Members of Congress will soon head back to Washington to debate the health care issue but some doubt they can reach a resolution this year.

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