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Tempers flare in South Florida over healthcare overhaul

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BETH REINHARD AND LESLEY CLARK
Miami Herald
Thursday, August 6, 2009

A raucous group of about 100 protesters confronted staffers of U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, expressing their displeasure with the healthcare overhaul bills being considered in Congress.

Confrontation over a national healthcare overhaul reached South Florida on Wednesday, when routine office hours for the staff of a Broward-area congressman turned into a raucous protest.

The incident is like others that reflect nerves frayed by the nationwide debate. Democrats decry what they describe as a mob rule orchestrated by special interests trying to protect the status quo; Republicans call it genuine grass-roots concern over a costly government takeover.

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Though only a handful of constituents typically show up at the Lighthouse Point public library once a month with questions for U.S. Rep. Ron Klein’s staffers — often questions about Social Security checks or passport applications — this time about 100 people packed the room for two hours.

The group was rowdy, rude and fired up about healthcare.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“Where the hell is Klein?” demanded Republican activist Ana Gomez-Mallada, even though the congressman was not scheduled to be there. Others branded him a “coward” and a “communist.”

From Texas to Pennsylvania, protesters have disrupted town halls. In North Florida, an effigy of a congressman, Allen Boyd, was tarred and feathered; in New York, a congressman had to be escorted to his car by police.

Full story here.

This article was posted: Thursday, August 6, 2009 at 11:54 am





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