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Protesters rap proposal for government-run health care system

July 17, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- A TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party rally protesting government-run health care was held Friday afternoon in front of the federal building on King Street in Martinsburg.

The Blue Ridge Patriots of Berkeley County and the Jefferson County TEA Party joined forces for the rally, said Barb Miller of Gerrardstown, W.Va., who organized the event.

About 60 people attended the rally, many of them carrying handmade signs protesting health-care nationalization. Some asked motorists to "honk for freedom," which was done in abundance.

Miller's sign read "Health Care Reform NOT Health Care Takeover. My Uncle Sam is Not My Doctor."

Some of Miller's concerns with government-run health care are the quality of care, government rationing of care and the costs through taxation that will be passed on to consumers, she said.

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Gary Dooley of Martinsburg said he attended the rally to protest health-care proposals and government spending.

"Anything the government has tried to run has never worked," Dooley said. "Politicians are more concerned about winning the next election than about running our country."

Richard Schroeder of Martinsburg wore an "America the Beautiful" shirt and carried a Revolutionary War "Don't Tread on Me" flag.

Schroeder said with government-controlled health care, "it's the government's launching pad to get into everything else and to control every aspect of your life."

Schroeder said the private sector is the answer to the nation's health-care problems.

"It can solve the problem," he said.

Patricia Rucker of Harpers Ferry, W.Va., head of the Jefferson County TEA Party group, said she is against government-run health care.

Rucker said her husband, who is a nurse for a government-run hospital, told her he's seen "so much waste."

Douglas Mason of Martinsburg wanted to know what the protest was about. He said he disagreed with the protesters.

"In this bad situation, people need health care," Mason said. "The government should help."

TEA Party events were to be held nationwide Friday, Miller said.

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