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Locals speak out on healthcare reform

Fallbrook residents gathered along the sidewalks of two popular intersections in the downtown area on Feb. 26 to voice their support for national healthcare reform.

The demonstrators stood near the intersections of Main Avenue and Alvarado Street and Main Avenue and Fallbrook Street as part of Organizing for America (OFA), a national group that works across the country to mobilize support for President Obama’s health insurance reform agenda.

Individuals walking on the sidewalk near Main and Alvarado were approached by demonstrators and asked to call their congressional representatives and support reform. Demonstrators at the Main and Fallbrook Streets intersection cheered and waved at vehicles as they held up signs encouraging healthcare reform.

“I have friends in Fallbrook who are struggling to keep health coverage, said Joseph Crews, a representative of OFA. “They are middle-income, hard working people who pay taxes, raise kids, but make a little too much money to qualify for medical . They are at the point now of having to choose food and housing over paying for health insurance. This is a terrible choice for parents, especially single, working-mothers, to have to make.”

The event in Fallbrook was just one of several in San Diego and Riverside counties. Events were also held in Hemet, San Jacinto and Oceanside, participants said.

While he acknowledged that Obama’s reform bill is “not perfect,” Crews believes that a change is needed.

“I do not particularly like the Senate bill, but if this current battle for health care reform fails, nothing will be done at all. It will only get worse and rates will continue to soar,” explained Crews. “Personally, I would much prefer Medicare for everybody in America, or even coverage like we taxpayers are funding for members of congress.”

According to a press release from OFA, the purpose of demonstrations was to create “awareness among Southern Californians about the dire need for reform, and participants will ask passerby to call their members of congress on the spot and ask them to get reform done.”

“Failure of this reform effort will be no cause to celebrate, because it will be catastrophic for many people in Fallbrook,” said Crews. “Defeating ‘Obamacare’ will defeat the desperate American people. That is why I joined the demonstration on Main Ave.”

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