Dueling Rallies Debate Health Care Reform

Hoosiers On Both Side Of Health Care Debate Rally Near Statehouse

Dueling rallies on the lawn of the Statehouse on Monday brought out Hoosiers on both sides of the health care reform debate.

Hundreds of opponents of the legislation gathered on the south side of the building for a "Kill the bill" rally hosted by the Indianapolis Tea Party, while a smaller group of about 100 supporters of the bill congregated around the corner.

U.S. Rep. Mike Pence told tea party sympathizers that Democrats in Congress don't have enough votes to pass President Barack Obama's health care legislation, 6News' Ericka Flye reported.

"We don't want a massive government bureaucracy paid for by job-killing taxes during the worst economy in 25 years," he told demonstrators as they loudly chanted, "Kill the bill." "No matter what you see on TV, no matter the proud posturing and prognostication of the White House and Congress, I got news for you -- they don't have the votes."

The third-ranking Republican in the House said the bill would bring a massive government bureaucracy paid for by what he called "job-killing taxes."

"I'm against the health care plan. I think that it's going to drive this country into such debt that we'll never ever recover. Our kids our grandkids and their grandkids will be paying for it," said Floy Heidenreich, who attended the tea party rally.

But those on the other side of the issue said it's about health care for everyone, no matter their situation.

"Young people should be covered, along with older people," said Andrew Bowman. "You shouldn't be denied because you had a pre-existing condition. I think that's unfair."

U.S. Rep. Baron Hill did not attend the pro-reform rally, but earlier on Monday urged constituents to listen carefully to the claims made in advertising for and against the bill.

He recommended people check the ads' claims with his office or Web sites like FactCheck.org and PolitiFact.com, and to investigate who is paying for the ads.

Hill has not taken a position on the final bill but voted for an earlier version.