Conservatives, Tea Party groups, Republicans and Occupy Grand Junction groups gathered today on the front lawn of the Old County Courthouse in Grand Junction. Americans for Prosperity sponsored “Hands off Our Healthcare” rallies throughout the nation today, in conjunction with arguments in the Supreme Court of the United States for and against the Obama healthcare legislation.
Frank Francone of the “Doc Squad,” a group of Denver physicians who oppose Obamacare, spoke briefly about the economic and medical impact which the legislation, with only partial implementation, has already had on the American health care system. He warned that if the law is fully implemented, things would get much worse, not better, for those on fixed incomes, and who are currently without insurance.
One member of the Occupy Grand Junction group, Benita Phillips, who is also a vociferous advocate of legalized marijuana in Mesa County, briefly disrupted the occasion with an emotional outburst entailing her personal difficulties with medical issues. Kelly Sloan, the Mesa County coordinator for Americans for Prosperity, asked her to calm down, at which time she angrily yelled, “What are you doing here, you're from Canada!”
Kelly Sloan, who is originally from Canada and is legally working in the United States, took the opportunity to speak about his experiences with the Canadian healthcare system, which is socialized. Kelly spoke eloquently about relatives of his in Canada who had died from treatable diseases simply because they had to wait for a minimum of 6 months, which is typical in the nationalized healthcare system of Canada, for basic diagnostic tests. Kelly related to the crowd why he moved his family to the United States and has taken a role in Conservative activism as an immigrant to America. One of the reasons, he said, that he moved to the United States was because of the deplorable state of healthcare in his home country. He spoke about his personal admiration and respect for the United States Constitution, and of how the Obamacare legislation is an attack on the Constitution and the liberties it is supposed to protect.
The rally was otherwise pleasant, with several people waving American flags and the bright yellow Gadsden flags which are associated with the Tea Party. The conversation of those who attended was dominated by discussions of the Obama healthcare law, which is in front of the Supreme Court this week. Many seemed buoyed by news that the Obamacare law is floundering in the High Court, and that there is a strong chance that it will be found unconstitutional. Regardless of what the Supreme Court decides about the future of Obamacare, this is an issue that is not going away, and the debate is sustained by passionate rhetoric from both sides of the political spectrum.