Health care reform critics protest outside Castor's office
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08/24/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

This past Saturday morning in West Tampa, approximately two dozen critics of health care reform protested outside the district office of Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Some liberal activists joined them. But instead of the arguing and shouted back-and-forths that have occurred throughout the country at town halls this August, a more civilized give-and-take took place on this rainy morning.

Democrat John Russell ran unsuccessfully for Congress in Florida’s 5th District against Ginny Brown in 2006 and 2008. A nurse practioner, he approached a handful of activists who were just prepared to distribute signs along West Armenia Avenue.

Russell told the crowd, organized by the Pasco County based group Citizens Protecting the Republic, that he favored a single payer form of health care. He was challenged by a woman named Emily from Zephyrhills, who said she works at a local cancer institute, and is not fond of expanding Medicare type bureaucracy.

But it wasn’t all discord. At another point in the discussion, Russell found himself in agreement with Bob Caruso from Odessa. Later on, Debbie from Lutz said that even though she disagreed with Russell, she appreciated the civilized exchange.

Later, WMNF caught up with Emily from Zephyrhills. She said she is against helping out others who are uninsured.

Overall, the mood was very much against the President in his battles to change the health care system in the country.

John Rossler had a sign that read “OTP One Term President”. He said he was a supporter of Mitt Romney in the GOP primaries last year, but supported John McCain unenthusiastically last November.

Cecelie from Pasco County had a sign that read “Obama Bin Lyin." Like others at the protest, she expressed dissatisfaction and fear that her insurance coverage might change if the government gets involved to help out those who don’t currently have coverage.

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