JOHN KERRY SPEAKS AT HEALTHCARE RALLY IN TAMPA-Andrew Stelzer

10/18/04

In his second Trip to Florida in the last 4 days, John Kerry held a rally at the Tampa Bay performing arts center, in an effort to get out the vote. WMNFs Andrew Stelzer was there and filed this report.

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CHANTING

About 300 supporters of John Kerry attended the rally, which was supposed to be about his healthcare plan, but the speakers spent an equal amount of time discussing President Bush’s failures in regard to the invasion of Iraq. Senator Bill Nelson spoke about the recently discovered letter from general Ricardo Sanchez dated December of 2003, in which the top US commander in Iraq complained to the Pentagon in December that his supply situation was so poor that it threatened army troops' ability to fight.

ACT "a documentation has been discovered....a letter...Rumsfeld...he did not have enough equipment....applause..it coming to light..there something we can do today

Senator Bob Graham asked the crowd to reelect Bill nelson in 2006, and criticized the Presidents manipulation of the public to support the war in Iraq by using the idea of patriotism.

ACT 'this president has ran his campaign by wrapping himself in the flag....he is a war president...as someone who knows about the war on terror...he has been nothing less than disaster....

Kerry said the Sanchez letter is just another example of the Bush administration lying to the American people.

ACT 'lieutenant general Ricardo Sanchez argued last winter...the day after he write his letter, GWB told the people our troops ...arrogant boasting that he’s done everything right...the truth is beginning to catch up with him....'

Congressman Jim Davis introduced Kerry, by telling the crowd that the democratic nominee for President would fulfill promised which President Bush made and then never followed through on.

ACT 'I dare say no state has more to lose or gain that the state of Florida...our seniors are entitled and not worrying about healthcare bills..this president promised us a patient’s bill of rights--John Kerry!!! this promised us a Medicare benefit--whose gonna do it---JOHN KERRY!!!

A Kerry campaign worker--Julienne Petrich; spoke about her mother, who is fighting her second cancer at moffit cancer center.

ACT "she received cobra benefits when she decided to stop working, we decided what are we gonna do next,...moffit lets us go piece meal..one ting ive decided on is that a citizen in the greatest country in the world should not have to fear that they will get sick. My mom was making good income, she got sick and health coverage wasnt there. A person should not be cast aside, they should be embraced...these are real; families that are drowning because they cant afford healthcare.

John Kerry spoke about a report, which is scheduled to be released tomorrow, which says that many US veterans of war are not able to get necessary medical treatment.

ACT "just think about 4 more years, that s what were measuring...4 more years...Medicare is u, premiums are up, 5 million more Americans have no health acre , 3 million lost care, 45 million have no HC and 3 million in FLA. ...what doe GWB say?...well in the debate in response, he \called these a litany of complaint, there you have it, George Bushs answer is to tell people stop whining...that bush...lower wages, and a high share of the tax burden--stop whining..45 millions stop whining, tens of millions...stop whining...everything’s fine I don’t ant to hear your litany of complaint, the struggles are not complaint, they are details to be solved...they are realities...so hers the bush health care plan. don’t get a flu shot don’t import less drugs from Canada, don’t get sick, don’t get sick

Kerry health care plan includes giving Americans the choice of keeping their current coverage, or taking one of several options, the same choices that are given to the members of congress. He also promised full health coverage to every child in America.WMNF spoke to some of the people who attended the rally

ACT "how will he be able to pay for the stuff, he will have to work the figures out..Bush screwed it up, its a shame what he did to our country, he says he’s for this war, ...I don’t see him helping WILL he be able to pay? yeah, if one can do it with lyin war, he didn’t say he’s gonna cut taxes, millionaires, billionaires...we need to put a stop to it.

WMNF also asked state representative Arthenia Joyner if Kerry would be able to pay for the healthcare plan he is proposing, and get it passed by congress

ACT "at least he s gonna try...the presidnet has done nothing...there is no reason why the most highly industrailized country , whatever it takes, children have no business being sick.

Kerry will be in Orlando later tonight, and he is expected to make at least one more trip back to Florida before election day.

For WMNF news, I’m Andrew Stelzer

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