Rally at Altmire's office backs health care bill

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A rally for health care reform today attracted 100 supporters, two opponents and a loud argument.

The crowd gathered in the parking lot outside the Aliquippa district office of U.S. Rep. Jason Altmire, D-McCandless, and urged the congressman to vote in favor of the Obama administration's proposed health care reform package.

Mr. Altmire voted against the initial health reform bill last year and has said he is not yet decided on the current version that faces a test in the House as early as this weekend.

"What this bill is all about is securing the economy for middle class folks," said David Ninehouser of Pennsylvania Health Access Network, one of the principal speakers today.

The gathering was heavily peppered with members and retirees of the United Steelworkers union as well as representatives from the Service Employees International Union.

It was also attended, if briefly, by Chrys Reynolds, who came with a large truck, a sign against the bill, and a loud horn that she blasted up and down McLean Street, where the rally was held.

"This is Americans for Prosperity. It's a honk against Obamacare," said Ms. Reynolds as irritated protesters gathered around her truck window and invited her to leave.

Ms. Reynolds said she was there to protest the government takeover of health care.

"Turn in your Medicare card," one of the protesters replied.

Ms. Reynolds' group gets its turn at 4 p.m.

A rally urging the congressman to vote against the reform bill has been scheduled by McKay Sailer, a figure in the state's Tea Party movement.

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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