You are here

Health Care Demonstration Gets Ugly in Columbus

Learn what occurred in Columbus just on Tuesday, and read the rapid response from Rep. Kilroy

onkAt a health-care rally outside of Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy's (OH-15) Columbus office on March 16, 2010, about a total of 250 people showed up. According to an attendee, roughly 150 were pro health-care reform, and the remaining 100 were Tea Baggers looking for confrontation. "They’re energized, emboldened, angry and in your face," says Melissa Hedden. "They believe that they are in the majority and have the momentum."

"They were very negative and engaged in name calling," she says, "and insult hurling (such as pay for your own insurance, get a job, freeloaders, communists, dumb, uninformed, stop drinking the Kool-Aid)." Another attendee characterized the anti-reform crowd as seeming a little “cult-like.”

The anti-reform group came bearing professional looking, pre-printed signs such as "Don't Tread on Me." A woman in the crowd was trying to have a conversation with one of the opponents to reform – sharing that she has MS and how health care reform would help her. His response to her was "I don’t give a damn. Your MS isn’t my problem. " Another example of this little regard for others is the video of the man with Parkinson's, something that Chris Mathews of Hardball calls "a sickening display." (see Columbus Dispatch link bleow.)

In short, it was an ugly scene.

And even though Rep. Kilroy represents a swing district, she has been steadfast in her support of reform. We owe her. She spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives this morning (March 18) in regard to the health care reform debate and the Columbus Dispatch video showing a protester in front of her Columbus office throwing what appeared to be money at a sitting man who said he had Parkinson’s disease. The video of Kilroy’s remarks begins at 10:22 on C-SPAN. The disturbing Columbus Dispatch video, something that Chris Mathews of Hardball calls "a sickening display" has been played widely on television.

Rep. Kilroy's comments on the floor:

“I believe that a great strength of our democracy is our first amendment. It allows for the robust exchange of ideas and opinions. I welcome that. I want to hear what my constituents are thinking, what concerns they have—concerns about how health care will work for them. I want to listen to them about their lack of health care and how that affects their lives or the high cost of health care and how they’re coping with that.

“I have held town halls, round tables, small groups—over twenty meetings in my district over health care. And this week demonstrations for and against health care reform were held in front of my district office.

“Unfortunately, some of those opposing health care reform went too far. Instead of making their arguments against the bill they engaged in abusive language directed at one of my constituents who suffers the terrible ravages of Parkinson’s disease. They treated him like a beggar. They threw dollar bills at him. They did not respect his humanity. They did not respect his right to give his opinion on the health care bill.

“This type of protest goes too far. It has crossed the line. The health care reform debate is about respecting each other’s rights as human beings and, when it comes to needed medical care respecting our rights as citizens to express our opinions.”


Theme by Danetsoft and Danang Probo Sayekti inspired by Maksimer