Tea Party activists defy rain to rip Obama health care law

WASHINGTON Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:41pm EDT

1 of 7. A man hides from the rain under his sign at a Tea Party Patriots rally calling for the repeal of the 2010 healthcare law championed by President Barack Obama, on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several hundred rain-soaked Tea Party activists rallied on Saturday to call for the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law after arguments next week.

Speaker after speaker at the two-hour protest in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol tore up copies of the law and condemned it as a threat to American freedoms and a violation of the Constitution.

The flag-waving rally by the Tea Party movement, which fueled a conservative Republican wave in 2010 mid-term elections, was an early start to demonstrations by opponents and supporters of the law around the Supreme Court arguments.

The Supreme Court has scheduled six hours over three days for the arguments from Monday to Wednesday.

"If Obamacare stands, I would have, you would have, future generations would have a future that not even ("1984" author George) Orwell could have foreseen coming," Representative Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, told the crowd.

Many activists huddled under umbrellas or wore ponchos against intermittent showers. The rally began with "The Star-Spangled Banner," the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer, and some Tea Partyers wore colonial outfits.

Speakers repeatedly attacked the healthcare law as socialist and some condemned it as an illegal extension of federal power, just as, they said, Social Security and income taxes had been.

They cheered references to conservative activist Andrew Breitbart, who died this month, and waved signs that said "Keep your politics out of my healthcare" and "Obamacare Unconstitutional."

Herman Cain, who pulled out of the Republican presidential race in December, said the issue before the Supreme Court was not just about repealing the two-year-old law.

"This is about getting our freedom back to just be free to make our own decisions with our lives," Cain said.

The National Federation of Small Business and 26 states are challenging the law, whose key feature requires most adults to buy health insurance. The court is not expected to rule until as late as June 30.

Roger Hardwicke, 52, an engineer from Frederick, Maryland, said the healthcare issue was not a partisan one between Democrats and Republicans.

"It's (between) those that believe in limited government according to the Constitution and those who want to expand the government beyond what the constitution allows," he said.

(Reporting By Ian Simpson; Editing by David Bailey)

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Comments (8)
zippi wrote:
Now I believe the good Texas Rep. has not bothered to read Mr. Orwell. I’m pretty sure the description of MiniLuv are a bit more troubling than requiring insurance companies to keep kids on their parents plan until they’re out of school. But whatever, lying apparently is not longer the sin it was.

Mar 24, 2012 6:15pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
spkpost wrote:
Rah! Rah! These Tea Baggers must be just plain dumb. Their claim that the Affordable Health Care for America Act impinges on their freedom is just plain bogus BS. OK, let’s dissemble this: Rah! Rah! I choose NO HEALTH INSURANCE. Rah! Rah! I’m FREE! The next day I’m diagnosed with CANCER (rah? rah?). I go to the hospital but I have NO insurance. That’s OK, they are required by law to treat me. I start treatments and on my way out the door, I’m presented with a BILL for $150,000. Guess I’m free now to SELL MY HOUSE to cover it. I relapse. I burn down all my retirement accounts to pay for the next treatment. Upon release, I go straight to HHS to sign up for FOOD STAMPS and then over to the SALVATION ARMY SHELTER to find a place to sleep (because my Tea Bagger associates – like Dick Army and the Koch brothers – thought it would be better for me to SELL MY HOUSE rather than pay the mandate premiums that would have covered almost EVERYTHING. These poor right wing Tea Baggers are so bamboozled by the BIG MONEY that wants to go back to the days of massive PROFITS for DENYING care for upwards of 50,000,000 people. I feel sorry for them. They need to be better informed than listening to the LIES of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Handjobitty, Dick Army, and the Koch Brothers.

Mar 24, 2012 6:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Marvin8 wrote:
The Tea Party’ers are truly stocked up on crazy. If you corner some of them and ask for a few sentences describing what the want, they generally can’t come up with anything coherent.

Mar 24, 2012 9:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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