Protests over US health plan

Protests over US health plan

Obama denounces critics, says he will not accept status quo

Marchers waved signs reading, ‘Proud member of the angry mob,’ ‘I didn’t vote for this Obamanation,’ ‘Fire the czars’ and ‘You represent us, not rule us’ during the rally on Saturday night here.

The demonstrations came to Washington from across the US as the President sought to boost support for his health care reform plans during a rally in Minneapolis, a Democratic-leaning state which has one of the country’s smallest numbers of uninsured residents.
“I will not accept the status quo. Not this time. Not now,” Obama said addressing a crowd of 15,000. He said he would not allow special interests to “use the same old tactics to keep things the way they are”.

Obama, however, said his plan was open to ideas from across the political spectrum. “If you come to me with a serious set of proposals, I will be there to listen. My door is always open,” he said.

He warned, though, that he would not waste time with those who believe: “It is better politics to kill this plan than improve it.” It is estimated that some 46 million Americans do not have health insurance and a further 25 million are thought to have inadequate insurance. The health care plans currently being considered in Congress are attempting to expand coverage, while also reforming the system to prevent spiralling costs.
The bill in this regard would expand coverage to 97 per cent of Americans, at a cost of about $ 600 billion.

In Washington, protesters attacked the Obama Administration for what they called out-of-control spending on health care, the stimulus packages and the bailout of the banking and car industries.

The protesters insisted that spending tax dollars on a government-run health insurance option will increase inflation and lead the country to economic ruin.
The march was coordinated by the conservative grouping Freedomworks, a grassroots movement calling for lower taxes and smaller government.

“The government should be doing things that are authorised by the Constitution; they should be doing things that the people want, not things that they just decide are nifty. We can’t afford these things anymore.

“The government should be concentrating on cutting spending on all the programmes, not thinking of new, wonderful ways of spending more .... I’ve voted my whole life. This is the first time in my life I’ve gotten off the couch and said, ‘I’m sick of this,’” a protester was quoted as saying by CNN.

The conservative advocacy group Tea Party Express was among those protested at the US Capitol.

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