Sunday, August 30, 2009

Health care reform rally draws 2,000-plus at state Capitol

Congressman Doggett pointed out that private providers currently are spending about 81 cents on the premium dollar for actual health care, and that provisions are floating around to "allow" as low as 65 cents

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Austin, Tx – The rally began around 1 p.m. Saturday on the south steps of the Capitol. Supporters and opponents turned out by the hundreds. A contingent of Texas Secessionists were on hand to add to the color and excitement. Lots of signs, shouting and chanting. By and large, it was a peaceful demonstration.

The numbers grew steadily as the rally moved to the grand old
Methodist Church on Lavaca St. a block away. The church was filled to capacity (estimated 1,200 inside with hundreds more outside) for a 3 o'clock speech from Congressman Lloyd Doggett. Media and other head counters said proponents of health care reform outnumbered opponents about 2,000 to 60.

Doggett said the disruptive
actions of opponents at earlier Austin area town hall meetings (and other events around the country) had only increased his resolve to fight for reform legislation that includes a public health plan option. That brought whoops and a thunderous standing ovation from the pews.

The congressman pointed out that private providers currently are spending about 81 cents on the premium dollar for actual health care, and that provisions are floating around to "allow" as low as 65 cents. Not a very
good deal, as premiums, deductibles and co-pays continue to shoot skyward in the private health care market.

One line delivered
by the Rev. Jim Rigby, Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin that brought the house down and is sure to be repeated went something like this: 'When we talk about helping our neighbors and the poor, we're Christians, but when we actually try to do something about it, we're socialists.'

All in all, it was a good rally and a good day for Democracy in America and Texas. Everyone's views were expressed. A hat tip should go to the phalanx of DPS troopers who helped make it all possible. It also was good to see a spirited turnout from Hays County. Several showed up afterwards at the famous old Austin watering hole Scholtz's for some good cheer and discussion.


SursumTX said...

Yahoo! Great turnout that more accurately shows the amount of support for a public option!

There is a march on Washington planned for Sept 13 -- let's make sure Hays & South Travis Cty are represented!

Give me liberty said...

Yes, a very good and positive turnout. Please contact Congressman Doggett to relay your appreciation for his courage in supporting the public option, the only option, that will break the private insurance industry's stranglehold around our necks.

Anonymous said...

Our awesome Congressman knows how to represent! Thank you Congressman Doggett!

Anonymous said...

Who are you guys kidding? All the polls show that the Obama healthcare bill is extremely unpopular! The real people are aware of the dangers if the Obamanistas are able to push it through congress. To take this staged demonstration by these leftists as an indicator of public support for government run healthcare (aka “public option”) is absurd. You are only kidding yourselves.

IMO Lloyd Doggett represents a real danger for America’s Freedoms and is just to the left Nancy Pelosi. I still can’t understand why this rather small cell of old hippies and liberals continue to exist smack in the center of conservative Texas. I guess it all started with our second worst president, LBJ. I thought using the DPS as security guards for old “Lefty Lloyd” at the rally was kind of tacky.

Casual Observer said...


The line "'When we talk about helping our neighbors and the poor, we're Christians, but when we actually try to do something about it, it's socialism.'"

was not delivered by Doggett, but by Rev. Jim Rigby, Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin. Rigby was the first speaker at the event. Please correct your story to this effect.

Anonymous said...

While the Obama bill has a lot of questionable areas in it, we do need health care changes. The system can NOT continue as it is and be effective.

What is wrong with extending the Medicare system to cover all American citizens?

In Medicare, thought not without its flaws, we already have a viable system in place. Why reinvent the wheel?

Medicare as a system and process could be tweaked and made into a better system.

Politicians can NOT manage a whole new health care system. It is a mistake waiting to happen.

Congress and the health care industry should be reviewing and revamping the Medicare system instead of fighting each other over an entirely new health care system.

It makes no sense to do otherwise.

Casual Observer said...

Anonymous (above, comment 4) states that:

"All the polls show that the Obama healthcare bill is extremely unpopular!"

First, there is no Obama healthcare bill. There are several bills and non of them are Obama's.
Second, the above statement is absolutely, patently, false. Recent polls show a strong public preference for a public insurance option as part of healthcare reform. A recent poll conducted by SurveyUSA measures the preference at 77%. That is, 3 out of 4 americans want a plan that has a public option.

Links for that poll are here:

The fact is this--the American public wants a public option to be included in any healthcare reform bill. One can debate what form that bill should take, but nobody can honestly argue that the american people don't want a public option. They do--in overwhelming majority.

Anonymous said...

Casual Observer, How was the Kool-Aid? Getting your information from the Huffington Post and SurveyUSA is likely to be very left slanted. Obama’s popularity has hit an all time low of 45% because of his mishandling of the healthcare issue, his takeover of the auto and financial industries, his failed “clunker” program, his payback to the unions, bailouts, etc. Because of the impending failure of his healthcare program, he is distancing himself from the congressional bill/s.

I think Americans are coming out of their coma and realizing what is happening to our country. A lot of people made a very costly mistake last November.

all they want is our money said...

Hey fossil head, No. 8, I don't think I'd want you in the fox hole next to me. You're too confused on who the real enemy is. Maybe once the public plan option is in place and the private sector and their bought politicians' fog machine runs out of fog, you'll be able to see more clearly.

Casual Observer said...

Anonymous #4 claimed that support for healthcare was staged and that the reform effort was unpopular. He/she provided no basis for this.

I responded with one poll that clearly shows otherwise--that the american public clearly wants a public option included in healthcare reform. I could have picked other polls, this one was just recent and handy.

Anonymous #8 then said that the poll is wrong, that news stories covering the poll are also wrong, and then launched off into other topics that have nothing to do with healthcare.

Neither of these Anons offer one shred of evidence to back up anything they claim.

That's because each one is simply making stuff up.

Getting Discouraged said...

I agree about extending Medicare. Makes a lot of sense to me. So, why isn't Congress trying to do this?

I mean, outside of the reality that the health care industry in the U.S. determines its own future and fate?

And if the industry does not like or want Obama's plan and/or extending Medicare, then why has it developed its own plan for restructuring and making health care more affordable for Americans?

Anonymous said...

Contrary to what some seniors might tell you, Medicare is a dismal failure. My wife and I are covered by Medicare. In the last year we have had 3 doctors refuse to treat us any longer due to the fact that Medicare keeps reducing the reimbursement rate for physician’s charges. Two of these doctors were cardiologists and one an orthopedist. Every time you change doctors the cost of new tests and the predictable record screw-ups take their toll. It is getting harder to find a doctor that will accept Medicare rules and payments. The best doctors make more money so they can do without Medicare so you end up with …

The dirty little secret is that Medicare is going broke while bankrupting our nation. Medicare has to reduce payments to doctors and hospitals since it is running on red ink. It is always that way with anything the government runs. This is the real truth about Government health care. Regardless of the media coverage, the care given to our veterans is something that most of the public would not tolerate.

Those that think extending Medicare is the solution simply do not know the facts. To many, it is the quick answer to a problem that they just don’t want to deal with.