Friday, 26 June 2009

Hundreds rally on Capitol Hill for health care reform

Former "Sopranos" actress Edie Falco and hundreds of people from around the U.S., join lawmakers on Capitol Hill to demand health care reform.

WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES (JUNE 25, 2009) REUTERS -
Actress Edie Falco and several lawmakers joined hundreds of labor workers and activists on Capitol Hill on Thursday (June 25) to rally for health care reform.

The rally's timing is strategic as President Barack Obama encounters resistance from lawmakers regarding his health care plan Activists waved placards calling for health care reform, chanting that

Actress Edie Falco of "Sopranos" fame also participated in the event, explaining her own experience with the health care system had convinced her of the need for reform.

"We can do better. We must do better. We are here today because we can longer wait for a Health Care system, that every individual, business, family in this country can afford," Falco said.

She was joined by lawmakers including Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) who echoed similar sentiments

"We're not going to wait another hundred years, we're not going to wait another fifty years, we're not even going to wait another year. We're going to do it now," Schumer told the crowd gathered at Russell Park.

The event, which was organized by Health Care for America Now, a group that has been staunch in its support of the president's plan, took place a day after the president stepped press on congress to pass his healthcare reform this year.

Obama staged a day-long media blitz that ended with a televised town hall-style meeting at the White House to rally public support.

The president's campaign-style push for reform, including an e-mail plea to supporters in recent days, comes amid signs of strain in the diverse coalition, from doctors to insurance companies, that have so far united behind his push for change.

Insurers and doctors have expressed concern about Obama's call for a public insurance option to compete with private insurers, while others have objected to the cost of the trillion-dollar program and a proposal to pay for it in part by raising taxes on some employer-paid insurance benefits.

Some 47 million Americans are uninsured and have little access to the healthcare system. Insurance costs have doubled in under a decade, prompting businesses that provide much of the coverage to complain it threatens U.S. global competitiveness.