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Bay Ridge Republicans fearing what they call “socialized health care” rallied at John Paul Jones Park this weekend.
“I don’t want the government in any part of my life if I can avoid it,” Bay Ridge retiree Louise Speziale said. “I think I live in a great country and I don’t want it to change.”
Craig Eaton, chair of the Brooklyn Republican Club, said that his group sent out over 20,000 e-mails announcing the event.
Roughly 40 people like Speziale actually showed up at the rally held on Sunday afternoon to oppose health care reforms now winding through the U.S. Congress.
“A lot of the people that are here are all united with the same goal,” Eaton said. “We need health care, we need to change the health care system in America, but we cannot bankrupt the nation by using the health care system that’s proposed by the Democrats.
The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed legislation aimed at reforming the nation’s health care system on November 7.
The Affordable Health Care for America Act garnered only one Republican vote while at the same time further disenchanting Progressives advocating a single-payer or Medicare for all system, and women’s rights groups opposed to a provision withholding funding for abortions.
The U.S. Senate has yet to vote on its version of health care reform.
“I can’t answer why the Progressives don’t like it,” Eaton said. “I know why we don’t like it %u2013 I don’t think it’s fiscally conservative, I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s reasonable. I think it needs to be tweaked before the final result.”
State Senator Marty Golden was far less diplomatic, dismissing health care reform as “one huge tax hike” and a partisan effort to “get a win” for President Barack Obama
“Fifteen percent of the nation needs health care,” Golden said. “Eighty-five-percent have great health care %u2013 we’re going to turn the system upside down for 15 percent of the nation?”
While Golden declared, “We have the greatest health care in the world,” osteopathic practitioner Dr. Joseph Caruana, who has an office in Dyker Heights, said that there is “no doubt” in his mind that the nation needs “some type of health care reform.”
“It just can’t continue to go on the way it is,” Dr. Caruana told the small crowd gathered on 101st Street and 4th Avenue.
Instead of the current course of reform, however, the local physician criticized what he called “defensive medicine” and “Cadillac health plans” forced on recipients by the state for rising health care costs.
Leslie Rice, director of Youth Activities for the Brooklyn RepublicanParty, said that she is happy with her current health insurance plan, but complained that if the “Obama health care plan passes” she will be forced onto what she views as an inferior public option plan.
“This is a very bad choice for the average person,” she said.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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