Peaceful march for health care
September 13, 2009 4:38 PM
Nearly 80 people marched from Market Street to San Francisco City Hall Sunday afternoon in support of the health care reform and for a public option.
The march started at the Justin Herman Plaza around noon. Some wore white shirts and balloons with the logo "Get Well." Others held signs with "police, fire and healthcare," and "protection for all citizens is not socialism."
As the group walked towards City Hall, the small crowd chanted "we want public option," "get well" and "public health now."
At City Hall, State Sen. Mark Leno, who represents the 3rd Senate District-- including portions of San Francisco, told the crowd how over 200,000 state workers premiums are paid with tax dollars and it's the state's obligation to take care of health care.
"If we remove the middle man we'll save $20 million, instead of wasting the money on claim adjusters," he said.
Elizabeth Ward is a 53-year-old Republican who held a sign stating "Rational Republicans for Reform." She is unemployed and with her health care coverage running out in four months, she is concerned about getting future health coverage because of her pre-existing gastro bypass condition, and her son who will also lose his coverage.
"This is not a democrat-republican issue, this is a people's issue," Ward said.
PJ Marks, who organized the event, is also concerned of losing her health coverage at the end of this year. She has a brother who nearly died a few months ago for lack of health insurance.
"We are marching to show that most of the country supports both reform and the public option," Marks said.
Eileen Nevitt, 56, from Walnut Creek, came to support the seniors.
"Seniors are experiencing bankruptcy because of raising health cost coverage," Nevitt said. "They are forced to get back to work."
The march comes a few days after President Obama gave his health care speech. He mentioned and agreed to late Sen. Ted Kennedy's belief that health care is "the great unfinished business of our society."
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