Clashing rallies at congressman's office shows health care divide

  • Carol Nightingale of Plato Township attended the Affordable Care Act rally Tuesday outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office.

    Carol Nightingale of Plato Township attended the Affordable Care Act rally Tuesday outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Charles Sigwart of DeKalb attended the Affordable Care Act rally Tuesday outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office.

    Charles Sigwart of DeKalb attended the Affordable Care Act rally Tuesday outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Jacque Dibble of Elburn voices her opposition to the crowd outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office Tuesday. Kane County Democrats and a group supported by the Democratic National Committee hosted a rally in support of "Obamacare" in recognition of the anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act.

    Jacque Dibble of Elburn voices her opposition to the crowd outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office Tuesday. Kane County Democrats and a group supported by the Democratic National Committee hosted a rally in support of "Obamacare" in recognition of the anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • People file into Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office Tuesday.

    People file into Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office Tuesday. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Case worker Ruth Richardson, center, talks to people gathered at the entrance to Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office. One group was celebrating the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, and another group was voicing their displeasure about the health care reform.

    Case worker Ruth Richardson, center, talks to people gathered at the entrance to Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office. One group was celebrating the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, and another group was voicing their displeasure about the health care reform. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/22/2011 5:09 PM

Braving illness brought on by standing out in the cold and rain, a few dozen local residents rallied outside Congressman Randy Hultgren's Geneva office Tuesday for health care changes.

About two-thirds of the crowd was there to urge Hultgren to reverse his views and support funding of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The other third brandished "The best social program is a job" signs in support of erasing the act from the books.

 

The so-called "Obamacare" law marks its anniversary this week even as a wave of freshmen Republican congressmen, Hultgren included, try to defund its provisions. For those in support of the act, it seemed the key provision for most is the ability to get health insurance despite pre-existing conditions.

Ron and Mary Ann Gilkerson of Batavia have a son-in-law who was diagnosed with bladder cancer about four months ago. The diagnosis came just after the company he worked for dropped its health insurance plan. Now the whole family finds itself selling off many of their personal possessions just to give him a chance at surviving via chemotherapy.

"The hospitals just say send money or else," Ron Gilkerson said. "Without a change in the law that allows him to get affordable insurance he's going to die. If they get rid of (the Affordable Care Act) we'll be attending a funeral."

Marie Moulton already feels like she's at a funeral and the deceased is the American way of life she loves.

"I grew up in an America where we take care of ourselves," said the North Aurora resident. "We saved our money to pay for our doctor visits. Now those that haven't are getting all the goodies. America is being destroyed by this Socialist plan."

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Moulton and the group in support of defunding the Affordable Care Act said they do believe health care reform is needed, it's just that Obama's plan is flawed.

"The redundancies and paperwork in hospitals is crazy," Moulton said. "They have six people who do the same things."

"The Affordable Care Act simply did nothing to address the cost of health care while at the same time increasing the cost of doing business in this country," Hultgren said. "If we want to be serious about health care reform, we need to increase the accessibility to health insurance, reduce the cost of insurance by encouraging competition and offer real medical malpractice reforms."