Pro Health Care reform activists rally

09/14/09 Mitch E. Perry
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Fired up after President Obama’s joint address to Congress, pro-healthcare reform activists got going this weekend in Tampa, holding rallies on both Saturday and Sunday.

The Health Insurance Reform Now! Tour bus came to Al Lopez Park, where an estimated 500 people came to listen to Tampa Bay area residents talk about the problems they’ve had with the health care system.

And yesterday (Sunday) over 100 people lined up on the east bound section of the Courtney Campbell Causeway to show their support for President Obama’s goal of changing the health care system.

Janet Dao From Clearwater said his speech on Wednesday night inspired her.

Sunday’s event was organized by the group Americans United 4 Change, led by Malanda Schmitz. She had a theory on why the critics of health care reform have shown more intensity than supporters.

Although a poll taken after the President’s speech showed Democrats nationally more united than ever on supporting some sort of health care reform, the status of some centrist Senate Democrats on the issue is still uncertain.

Tampa area Democratic Representative Kathy Castor’s one and only Town Hall Meeting devolved into chaos last month after critics shouted down the Congresswoman early in her presentation.

Gerri Presley Diamond from Pasco County says that level of anger is why some health reform supporters didn’t want to engage in such events.

Malanda Schmitz said she too, was inspired by President Obama’s joint address to Congress last week.

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