Albany, NY – Calling for a public option which would provide government-run health care those in favor of a plan put forth by President Barack Obama gathered for a morning rally Thursday in Downtown Albany. Capital District Bureau Chief Dave Lucas was there and files this report.
Congressman Paul Tonko fired up the crowd, drawing cheers and applause. Tonko joined local residents, good government organizations and other elected officials gathered outside the Leo O'Brien Federal Building in Albany to press for health care reform with a strong public option. Protestors voiced concern that with every day insurance companies lobby to weaken reform and extend the debate, citizens are paying the price: Beverly Padgett nearly died when her blood sugar rose to a dangerous level. Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness Ron Deutsch agrees that the public option must be included in any reform package. State Senator Neil Breslin says the debate goes beyond politics: it's about the health and well-being of all citizens. Breslin pointed out that 2-point-8 million New Yorkers are currently without health insurance. The protestors and politicians agree the public option will make health care affordable and accessible to all: they urged local congress members to take that message to the Nation's Capitol when they return from their August recess.