On a steamy evening in Bristol Tuesday, about 50 people rallied in support of universal healthcare.
“The fight starts here. It starts on the local level,” said Mayor Art Ward.
State Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Democrat whose 79th District covers the southern third of Bristol, reminded those in attendance that the American Revolution didn’t start in the nation’s capital.
It began, he said, with a few rebels in Boston “and it grew and grew and grew.”
“We can do the same thing when it comes to health care,” Nicastro said.
Supporters said that 10 percent of Connecticut residents, many of them in Bristol, don’t have health insurance or they have plans that cost them so much they’re afraid to go to the doctor because they still can’t afford it.
More than 500 Bristol residents signed a petition calling for universal health care.
City councilors unanimously backed that call at Tuesday’s meeting. One member of the council, Republican Ken Cockayne, abstained because he sells insurance.
“You can be sure this City Council is behind this resolution wholeheartedly,” Ward said.
Jody Trestman, a city resident facing whopping health care bills each month, said that “a person’s health care should no longer be trumped by a corporation’s bottom line.”
Christopher Wright, the Democrats’ 77th District state House district candidate, said that providing health care for all is a moral issue.
In the richest state in the world’s most wealthy nation, he said, it is “just wrong” that so many people either don’t have insurance or they have inadequate coverage.
“We need to take care of the least of us,” Wright said. “It needs to start here.”
Democrat Jacqui Denski of Plymouth, who is taking on an incumbent Republican in the 78th state House district, said that access to health care is “directly related to income.”
“People are dying because they can’t afford something,” said state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat from the 31st District.
“We’re the only country in the world that runs our health care system for a profit,” said Jim Hopkins, who’s been organizing on the issue for a quarter century.
For more information, the organizers’ website is www.healthcare4every1.org.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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