Clinton church rallies for national health care reform
Pastor leads three days of marches in D.C.
Members of a Clinton church took to the Capitol this week adorned in colorful T-shirts and signs reading "Honk for Health Care Reform."
The rally July 30 was the final of three this week that were organized by the Mount Ennon Baptist Church pastor, the Rev. Delman Coates. Coates founded the nonprofit Enough is Enough Campaign for Health Care Reform organization, which is fighting for Congress to pass a comprehensive health care plan.
More than 20 Prince George's County residents, most of whom are parishioners at the church, marched for two hours outside of the Rayburn House Office building on South Capitol Street in Washington, D.C.
The previous rallies were held outside the Republican and Democratic National headquarters July 28 and 29, also with about two dozen people from the church attending, Coates said.
Coates, of Fort Washington, said he has inspired to hold the rallies after seeing parishioners affected by a lack of health care.
"It breaks my heart to see members of my own church struggling," he said at the march.
For some marchers, the health care crisis was not only national, but personal.
Julia Pollard of Clinton, a chairwoman of the Enough is Enough Campaign, said she has seen a lack of health care affect her friends, particularly an 88-year-old woman who recently had to have her leg amputated after struggling with diabetes for years, she said.
"I believe if she had better health care it wouldn't have happened," Pollard said, adding that the need for preventative health care should be a priority.
Pollard, who is black, said that as a member of a minority community it is important to make sure black residents are represented, especially when black women have the highest rates of breast cancer and diabetes, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
"It's important to fight for people who can't fight for themselves," she said.
Another marcher, Fay Macon of Clinton, said she was there to not only support the uninsured but also the underinsured, she said.
"You could visit the doctor and get a $1,000 bill for two hours [of service]," she said.
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