About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Obama Woos Supporters at Massive Health Care Rally

by VR Sreeraman on September 18, 2009 at 2:36 PM
Font : A-A+

 Obama Woos Supporters at Massive Health Care Rally

At a rally that recaptured the energy and exuberance of his presidential campaign, President Barack Obama wooed and charmed America's young and called for their help to pass health care reform.

"Because you voted for change in November, we're going to bring change," he told the near-capacity crowd that had gathered in the 20,000-seat basketball stadium at the University of Maryland for the rally, some of whom had been waiting since before sunrise to hear the president speak.

Advertisement

The United States was "on the cusp" of fulfilling the promise of easier access to higher education, which is very costly, and of changing the health care system, which Obama said was a defining issue for the current generation.

"One in three adults who don't have health insurance live one accident away from bankruptcy," the president said, his speech regularly interrupted by deafening cheers and at one point by a lone heckler, who shouted "child killer" as Obama began his speech.
Advertisement

The president never broke his stride, and the heckler was quickly ushered out of the stadium by security guards.

The rally was the latest sign that Obama is now hitting back hard at opponents to his proposed reforms who hogged the media spotlight last month by disrupting town hall meetings held to explain and promote the president's vision for change.

It was also a bid by Obama's behind-the-scenes team, whose near flawless handling of his campaign took him from the bottom rungs of the US Senate to the White House, to boost the president's popularity ratings.

Obama's poll numbers have fallen over the past few months as politicians dickered over health care and the public reacted to what it saw as excessive government spending.

"It's time to put our shoulders to the wheel of history," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, acting as a warm-up man for the president, told the exuberant crowd inside the University of Maryland's 20,000-seat basketball stadium before Obama arrived.

"We are closer than ever before to building a health care system that America can be proud of. We cannot let this opportunity slip by," he said as the crowd whooped and cheered.

A digital display on a blue tickerboard reading "Stable and Secure Health Care" ran across the uppermost level of bleachers on three sides of the stadium.

Rachel Peck, a third-year student at the university who was diagnosed in her first year with thyroid cancer, told the crowd: "It is for people like me, people like you, and millions across the United States that we have to address health care reform now."

Jean Silver-Isenstadt, president of the National Physicians Alliance, had come with her husband Ari, a pediatrician based in Baltimore.

"A solid majority of doctors support the public option," Silver-Isenstadt told AFP, citing the results of a survey published last week in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), which showed that 62.9 percent of physicians back having a government insurance plan as part of Americans' health care coverage.

Just over 27 percent wanted only a private system, the poll showed.

"We're here to show our support for health care reform this year. The need is really urgent," said Silver-Isenstadt.

"So many patients have no access to coverage and can't afford it. The idea that this is something we can hold off on is unacceptable," she said.

The university band played an incongruous mix of songs -- Barry Manilow's "Copacabana," "Viva Las Vegas," "Sweet Caroline," "Living on a Prayer" -- as the crowd danced and chanted slogans from Obama's campaign.

Obama harnessed the energy by recalling how, back when "nobody could pronounce my name," his campaign hooked onto a slogan -- "Fired up, ready to go."

At the University of Maryland, after Obama stoked the passions of his supporters, some in the crowd filed out of the arena chanting, "Fired up! Ready to go!"

Source: AFP
LIN
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Health Insurance Plan New India Assurance Policies Health Insurance - India 

Recommended Reading
President Obama Faces Key Test in Health Care Speech
President Barack Obama, whose approval ratings have taken a hit, is preparing to address Congress ....
Obama Pushes for Health Care Reform at New Hampshire Meeting
President Barack Obama held a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, early this afternoon ....
Public Health Insurance Option is Viable, Says Obama
President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he was open to the idea of a public funding of health ......
Obama Stands By Public Plan During Radio Talk Show Interview
"President Barack Obama is standing his position that a public option for health insurance coverage ...
Health Insurance - India
Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance indust...
Health Insurance Plan
With a health insurance policy you and your family can rest assured!...
New India Assurance Policies
The existing Mediclaim and Health Plus Medical expenses policies have been discontinued and Mediclai...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use