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Some welcome health reform, others call it ‘scary’

March 21, 2010Some welcome health reform, others call it ‘scary’

ASHTABULA TOWNSHIP – the nation’s health care overhaul was on the minds — and television screens – of Ashtabula County residents Sunday afternoon as people waited for news on the dramatic down-to-the wire vote.

Mike Cole of Ashtabula knows what it is like to dread illness because of lack of health insurance.

“I don’t have health insurance right now because I am self-employed,” he said. “It is time to put that worry to rest.”

Cole said he doesn’t think most Americans know about or would even understand the many, many details of the health care bill.

“For the most part, the average citizen wouldn’t grasp or understand what could or should be done with our nation’s health care,” he said. “I am one of those people. I may not know every single little thing there is to know about this bill, but I know our health care system is broken and something must be done about it.”

He spoke at Ashtabula Towne Square.

Judy Lach of Geneva said she couldn’t agree less.

“When this passes, it is going to be scary,” she said.

Lach, a registered nurse and self described “avid Fox News watcher,” said Americans will not get free health care, no matter what President Barack Obama says.

“Nothing is free,” she said. “Someone is going to have to pay for this at some point. (Democrats) are all trying to paint a pretty picture of free health care now, but wait until our taxes are sky-high to pay for it.”

Bob Hannon, of Jefferson, said he was against health care reform – and Obama – from the start.

“I don’t like ‘Obama BinLaden’,” he said, “and I don’t like what he is trying to shove down the throats of Americans.”

Hannon’s friend, Lois Flower of North Bay, Ontario, said she is “thrilled” for Americans and their choice in health care.

“I support this 1 billion percent,” she said. “Right now I go to the doctor when I am sick and it is paid for. I go to the hospital and it is paid for. I had cancer, my husband had cancer and we got good, fast care for free.”

Canadian Lise Lessard, now of Geneva, said she hated Canada’s “socialized” health care system.

“You have to wait and wait and wait for appointments. It takes too long. Plus, you think you get it for free, but in Canada you pay 30 percent or more in taxes on everything. That is where the money comes from,” she said.

Flower said there are some negative points to Canada’s health care system, but she gets all her medication for $4.11 a prescription and she doesn’t have to worry about falling ill and getting huge hospital bills in the mail.

“I wouldn’t be able to afford to have this good health care now if I had to pay for it myself,” she said. “As a nation, Canadians didn’t want the change to government health care at first, but after it went through and was accepted by the people, we really see the many benefits for everyone, not just the very rich.”

Cole said he doesn’t care how the bill is passed, just as long as it is passed.

“I don’t care if (the bill) has to be rammed through,” he said. “Actually, I think it should be rammed through. this process has taken long enough. It is time for something legitimate to happen.”

Some welcome health reform, others call it ‘scary’