Thousands rally on Capitol Hill for health care freedom

Thousands gathered on the steps of the US Capitol building today to state their opposition to Nancy Pelosi’s government-run health care bill which may be voted on as early as Saturday. The event was mostly organized and brought about by Minnesota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.

Here’s a video of clips including some of the main speakers via Politico:

Report from Fox News:

As a crowd of protesters shouted “kill the bill,” House Republicans on Thursday rallied opposition against the Democrats’ health care legislation, even as President Obama touted two major endorsements from doctors and seniors groups.

The president interrupted the daily press briefing Thursday to note that the American Medical Association and AARP had just endorsed House Democrats’ health care plan.

“This is no small endorsement,” Obama said of the AARP’s backing. “They know it’s a good deal for our seniors.”

At the same time, Republicans decried the bill on the steps of Congress in a last-ditch bid to derail or at least delay the legislation heading toward a possible vote Saturday.

Thousands of protesters arrived by bus for the rally, which the GOP is calling an emergency “House Call.” The event drew the conservative “tea party” activists but unlike past rallies was officially sanctioned by House Republicans.

Republicans want those who attend to track down their elected representatives in Congress and put pressure on them to think twice about voting for the more than $1 trillion health care overhaul pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“They’re going to listen,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., who originally called for the rally. “The biggest voice in the United States is your voice.”

According to a new report issued by the Congressional Budget Office, the newly offered Republican plan costs fractions compared to the Democrat plan, increases availability, lowers costs and provides increased access to insurance:

This evening, CBO released a preliminary analysis of a substitute amendment to H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act, proposed by Representative John Boehner, the Republican Leader in the House of Representatives. CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that the amendment would reduce federal deficits by $68 billion over the 2010-2019 period; it would also slightly reduce federal budget deficits in the following decade, relative to those projected under current law, with a total effect during that decade that is in a broad range between zero and one-quarter percent of gross domestic product.

CBO anticipates that the combination of provisions in the amendment would reduce average private health insurance premiums per enrollee in the United States, relative to what they would be under current law-by 7 percent to 10 percent in the small group market, by 5 percent to 8 percent for individually purchased insurance, and by zero to 3 percent in the large group market. Those are averages, however, and they are subject to a great deal of uncertainty; some individuals and families in each market would see different results.

All this without another failing government program. Clearly it is one small step but it is a step which doesn’t destroy the private insurance market and force people onto a government insurance plan.