September 1, 2009
Tuesday morning, dozens of people gathered at Congressman Tom Perriello's office to share their thoughts on health care.
Organizing for America held the meeting to show support for health care reform, and support for getting the bill passed this year.
But supporters weren't the only ones with a message for the congressman. Dozens of protesters also crowded the parking lot. They were waiting for a chance to speak with Perriello.
One-by-one speakers took the floor, addressing the Congressman and the crowd.
A handful of people told personal stories about their struggles with health care, and why they'd like to see a change. One World War II veteran supports the reform bill, and has collected more than 70 signatures for a petition in favor of health care reform.
"I feel that health care is a right. It's not a privilege that you can afford if you have enough money and enough income or have enough wealth. It's something that we should all be privileged to have, not as a matter of privilege, but a matter of right," says Glenn
Protesters gathered outside, many affiliated with the Jefferson Area Tea Party, saying they believe in reform, but they think a public option isn't the answer.
"We think we need to work with insurance companies to lower costs, and not sue them every time somebody gets sick, and doesn't get the health care they want," says Donald Meck, a protester. "[You can't] sue every doctor that's trying to do his job. It's ridiculous. It's why health care is so high in this country. We need tort reform first, then we can get health care reform we need."
Regardless of what opponents and supporters believe, it's clear that everyone at the rally believes something needs to be done about the state of health care in America.
Congressman Perriello says he's heard a lot of feedback, and he says he'll take the 5th District concerns with him back to Washington.
Perriello has held 21 town hall meetings throughout the 5th district in August, and he says September will be just as busy in Washington.