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Area Democrats push for health care overhaul
Bren Ames takes her turn at the microphone to tell about her problems with health care Thursday evening at the Fair Street Neighborhood Center.

Even as the U.S. Senate proposed a slower and more careful examination of how to offer health care for the country on Thursday, Hall County Young Democrats pushed for a quick and affordable solution.

"I don’t have insurance, and I just hope that I don’t get sick at all," Jenn Rafanan said. "I work really hard, but I live paycheck to paycheck ... and I’m too young for anything like Medicaid to cover me. I’m falling through the cracks."

The Young Democrats presented videos they collected of community members who have been struggling to keep insurance or are currently uninsured for financial reasons.

"Health care is expensive, and I have a high deductible with high premiums and minimum coverage," Clarence Jackson of Good News at Noon said in the video. "I want affordable insurance, but paying less for less coverage is not what I’m after either."

The group invited community members to share their health care problems, recorded it on video and plan to send them to Sen. Johnny Isakson to encourage his support for a quick solution.

"I may look robust and employed, but if I didn’t take three medications, I would be disabled and may die," said Mike Parker, who said he has insurance under his wife’s job at Kaiser Permanente. "She’s at the age where she can retire, but she could lose me as a husband if she did."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said Thursday he expected a bipartisan agreement on health care legislation to emerge from the Senate Finance Committee before the recess begins on Aug. 8. He said he would spend the break merging the bill with legislation approved by the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Although a bill may be approved in coming months, Hall County Democrats said that’s simply not soon enough.

"What if you became unemployed, or we voted you out and you didn’t have insurance?" said Doreen Thomas, addressing the camera. "Shame on you for not passing this."