Atlanta Protests Obamacare

Obamacare is a polarizing law with no middle ground. In Atlanta, a lawsuit filed by 26 states is being heard by a panel of judges representing the U.S. District Court.

Atlanta protesters decry, support ‘Obamacare'




The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

1:44 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, 2011

About 50 activists stood outside the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta Wednesday morning to support or decry federally mandated health insurance.

Inside, a three-judge panel heard arguments on whether to uphold the verdict U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson handed down January in Florida. Vinson's ruling struck down the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act that requires  Americans to purchase health insurance.

In ruling the act unconstitutional, Vinson said Congress overstepped its authority under the commerce clause.

Dozens of people opposed to the law President Barack Obama enacted last year waived posters and placards saying "Hands Off My Health Insurance" and "Freedom? Not if I'm Forced to Buy Insurance."

"Pretty soon, it will be like slavery," said Dave McFarland, of Kennesaw. "We will lose the right for our children to choose their own health care."

McFarland was part of roughly 40 people who were protesting against the health-care law.

"Nowhere in the Constitution is there justification for this kind of legislation," said Michael Williams, who is a Georgia Tea Party board member.

But on the other side of the issue, fewer than 10 people were supporting "Obamacare."

"All of us are medical consumers," Midtown attorney and mother Kathie McClure said. "Unless there's a government solution, the free market won't give insurance to pre-existing cases."

At one point, chanting from the larger group could be heard in the court room, and a Homeland Security Department officer came to ask that the group respect the terms that were agreed upon for their rally.

Joel Aaron, head of the Georgia chapter of Americans For Prosperity, said his organization would continue to support Vinson's decision all the way up the judicial ladder.

"We as AFP activists are here all the way through the process," Aaron said. "We are here for the fight from the very beginning to the final end of this at the Unite State Supreme Court."

A supporter of the new law, Families USA executive director Ron Pollack, said he believed the law would be preserved.

"There are decades of precedent that indicate that this law will continue," Pollack said. "If I don't have insurance and you do, and I have a heart attack, hospitals can't deny me care. So your insurance is going to charge you for my care. That's not fair."

Ron Jackson, a representative from Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens' office, told the crowd that Hudgens was preparing the state to make the most of any decisions that might overturn Vinson's ruling.

"If the law is upheld …  we have to take a look at how Georgians can make work for themselves," Jackson said, speaking for Hudgens,  "versus taking a top-down approach, which is to let the federal government tell Georgia how to run the insurance exchange."

Such an exchange would make insurance plans both in and outside the state available for purchase at cheaper rates, the way group plans now are available to large companies looking to insure their employees.




If Obamacrap is allowed to go forward what else will Washington put on the mandate plate?


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