Supporters and opponents of health care reform squared off in Visalia

September 2, 2009 11:20:02 PM PDT
Wednesday's event turned out to be much calmer than an event Tuesday in Fresno that turned into a war of words.No matter what side your beliefs rest, emotions are sure to flare when the issue is healthcare. One woman said, "It took me 3 days to read the entire bill. I can guarantee not one of you have read a word on it." Another man said, "The time has come to cover all the American people."

The "South Valley Peace Center" and "Health Care for All" used Facebook to bring out supporters. After walking a few blocks to Kaweah Delta District Hospital they lit candles and listened to some personal stories. Janet Stiles said, "I don't think I've been to the dentist in 10 years. I haven't got a normal check up cause I can't afford it." Mabel Sparks argued that "I think it's something we have to have in order to get a handle on reducing costs."

Those opposed to President Obama's health care plan stayed across the street but didn't stay quiet. Deanne Martin-Soares said, "The cost is going to go down because there's going to be a rationing of care and that's a given. There's no way or system is set up right now to have enough physicians to cover the amount of care that's going to be required." Joe Wierzbicki from Porterville said, "There's so much in there from what I've read that just violates the constitution because it's denying freedom of choice between a doctor."

Wednesday's calm protest stood in stark contrast to a demonstration in downtown Fresno the day before that turned into a shouting match.

Protesters at the event in Visalia said they preferred to keep the discussion civil. Wierzbicki said, "I think it's healthy it's what we have guaranteed in our constitution the right to express ourselves."

Both sides of this issue will formally come together for a town hall meeting in downtown Visalia September 14th.

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