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Citizens share concerns at Patients First rally

By Staff | Aug 12, 2009

The devil is in the details, they say, and it’s those details that remain unclear regarding national health care reform that have many citizens concerned about President Obama’s and Congress’ plans to rapidly overhaul the country’s health care system.

It’s those uncertainties that prompted Patients First, a project of Americans For Prosperity, to criss-cross the country, stopping in towns to raise awareness, sign petitions and encourage people who are opposed to major changes to the nation’s health care system to action.

Patients First advocates made a brief stop in Rugby on Aug. 12 and spoke to a crowd of about 17 near the Northern Lights Interpretive Center in Rugby.

Bob Murray, of Kansas, explained the purpose of the Patients First campaign, which is to have people opposed to any legislation imposing greater government control over health care sign a petition. The hope is millions will do so, showing leaders of Congress there is a strong voice opposed to government control health care.

Most of the people who attended the meeting, signed a petition and some requested more to hand out to family and friends.

Susan Marchus was one of the most outspoken, raising concerns about what could happen if sweeping changes are passed into law concerning health care.

“Why do we feel like we have to rush this through?’ she said, adding a majority of people have health care coverage. She likes the health care she presently has and doesn’t want to see any changes.

While the House of Representatives has passed a version of health care reform known as House Resolution 3200, the Senate has yet to pass any bill. Congress is in recess until after Labor Day, and it’s no secret Patients First is on the road to get people opposed to legislative action to talk to their representatives in Congress during the break.

While the House has passed a version of health care reform, one of the questions raised by people in attendance is whether there is any substance in the resolution, or are the details going to be worked out after the fact, leaving people without a voice in how new health care services and coverage will be provided?

Jeff Miller said it’s good to see people attend and be proactive in this debate, but it’s also important not to stop here, but rather talk with others and not be afraid to contact lawmakers and address your concerns about government-controlled health care.

Patients First also made stops in Fargo, Grand Forks, Minot and Bismarck last week.

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