- Title: USA: Conservative protesters rally in Washington.
- Date: 13th September 2009
- Summary: WASHINGTON DC, UNITED STATES (SEPTEMBER 12, 2009) (REUTERS-ACCESS ALL) PROTESTERS CHANTING "CAN YOU HEAR US NOW?" PROTESTERS WALKING WIDE OF PROTESTERS AT CAPITOL HILL
- Reuters ID: LVA9ONHTU1NG9QFGQLU4C2P89NE9
- Location: Usa
- Country: USA
- Duration: 00:00:36
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Story Text: Thousands of conservative protesters marched in the U.S Capitol against President Barack Obama's healthcare initiative.
Tens of thousands of conservative opponents marched in the U.S. capital against his health care initiative, arguing it amounted to a government takeover and driving the country towards socialism.
The rally, organized by the conservative Tea Party Express group, was the last stop in a series of tours across the country. Tea party activists carried posters and demonstrated against health care reform, higher taxes and what they saw as spiralling government spending.
"This administration is going to bankrupt our country and I am here to protest it and do what I can as an American citizen to stand up for my rights." protester Kevin Fisher said.
sstem.scripts. Protester Russell Ammons said he was protesting against Obama's proposed healthcare reform.
"I don't see this dying down at all until Barack Obama's out of the White House," he added.
Many Americans are wary of the need for reform because they have health insurance through their employers, and Obama has said repeatedly that his program would not force them to change their insurance or doctors.
The insurance industry has also fiercely opposed plans for a government-run program to compete with private insurers -- the "public option" -- which Obama has floated as a preferred part of his plan.
Obama continued to press his case at a campaign-style rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he urged supporters to back his reform initiatives.
"If we do nothing, your premiums will continue to rise faster than your wages. If we do nothing, more businesses will close down and fewer will open in the first place. If we do nothing, we will eventually spend more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined. That is not an option for the United States of America. So Minnesota, I may not be the first President to take up the cause of health care reform, but I am determined to be the last," Obama told a cheering crowd of more than 10,000 people at the Target Center sports arena.
His trip to the Midwest was part of his effort to seize back the initiative on the divisive issue after losing ground to critics during a tumultuous summer.
Even some supporters had criticized him for doing too little to sell his plan to a skeptical public while his approval ratings slipped.
Obama is now throwing his full political weight behind the push to reshape the $2.5 trillion healthcare industry. He says his plan would expand coverage to 30 million Americans who are now uninsured, but would not cover illegal immigrants -- as some Republicans have repeatedly claimed.
He estimates reform would cost $900 billion over 10 years without increasing the budget deficit. But critics insist he has not provided enough specifics on how it would be financed
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