Mainers Rally in the Name of Health Care Reform 

Catherine Pegram

Hundreds of Mainers hit the streets today in what they called the biggest rally for healthcare reform in the state’s history. In Portland, they carried signs, and chanted: “The time is now for legislation that would provide access for all Americans”.The message of health care reform now is contrary to what Maine’s two senators say. Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins called this week for the President to back off from his end-of-the-month deadline for passage of health care reform legislation in the House and Senate.About three dozen people held a counter-rally in opposition to the government-backed health care plan.Terren Bradgon with the Maine Heritage Policy Center says, “We don’t want politicians playing doctor, taking away the patient-physician relationship and government getting in between that. We think that people need more choices when it come to private health insurance, but we don’t need big government taking away our options.”Democratic Representative Hannah Pingree, the Maine House Speaker, says, “For the farmers, for the mill workers, for the accountants and architects we all get sick, we all deserve some kind of peace of mind knowing we can get better without bankrupting our families.”Pingree says delaying adopting health care reform until after the legislative recess in August recess will give lobbyists from the powerful pharmaceutical industry too much time to confuse the public.