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Tea Party Rallies in DC and Grand Rapids Over Proposed Health Care Bill

November 6, 2009

Yesterday, thousands of people gathered in Washington, DC to rally against health care legislation that will be voted in the next 24 hours. The organizers of this rally were members of the Tea Party, the same group that organized a much larger gathering on September 12.


Alternet posted a story about the DC rally and pointed out some of the speakers, their message and the support the rally was given by Fox News. Members of the Kent County Tea Party gathered yesterday in front of the Federal building in downtown Grand Rapids to express their opposition to the proposed legislation as well.

I counted about 30 people during the time I was there, many of which had signs that read “Stop Spending,” “No Big Government Obama,” and “Congress Does Not Measure Up.” I spoke with several people at the rally in Grand Rapids and asked them their thoughts on the proposed health care legislation.

Nancy DeBoer from Conklin said that she wants to see people who don’t have health insurance have access to health care, but she thinks that the proposed bill will force people to have insurance that will be too expensive for taxpayers.

Another person who did not want to give her name said she live in the UK for 10 years and was not impressed with their “socialized” form of health care. “What the government wants to do is adopt a similar health care system, which I didn’t think was very effective.” I asked this woman if she could give me an example of how the proposed legislation in the US is similar to what they have in the UK, but she refused to answer.

I asked a group of four women at one point if they would support some kind of assistance for the 40 million plus people in the US who don’t have health care insurance and they all said they would support that. However, they all thought that the current legislation would not achieve that and that it would give too much power to the government in determining who would get treatment.

At one point one of the Tea Party members made the observation that she was puzzled why the health insurance companies were not more vocal in their opposition to the proposed bill. I mentioned the data from the Center for Responsive Politics and said that the health care sector makes their voice heard through money, not by staging media events.

I looked at the local news media this morning and the only place that the Tea Party rally received any attention was in the Grand Rapids Press. The Press only reported on the DC rally not the one in Grand Rapids. The article does not really discuss what happened at the DC rally, only that Congressman Hoekstra spoke there.

The Press article also had a video statement from Congressman Vern Ehlers, who compared the size of the proposed bill to his family bible. 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Peter Ruark permalink
    November 6, 2009 7:04 pm

    Opponents of the bill keep mentioning the SIZE of the bill. As if having a bill that gets into the detail of how the money is to be used and the program operated–which would seem to be a good thing as it would help control “waste, fraud, and abuse”–is somehow akin to “big government.” If the corporate media were doing its job, reporters would ask legislators point blank “why is the size of this bill a bad thing?”

  2. Jeff Smith permalink
    November 6, 2009 7:18 pm

    Peter, thanks for your comments and I couldn’t agree more…….if the corporate media would actually practice journalism we would be better informed.

  3. November 1, 2011 7:51 pm

    Great article but it didn’t have erveyhting—I didn’t find the kitchen sink!

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