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Supporters Of Health-Insurance Reform Rally In Highland Park

Home News Tribune / MyCentralJersey.com — Wednesday, September 2, 2009

By LALITA ALOOR AMUTHAN
STAFF WRITER

Highland Park resident Lori Freedman worries about being able to pay the monthly health insurance bill for her daughter on time.

Freedman's daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes, which in medical insurance terms is considered a pre-existing condition.

"If she's without coverage even for a day, she's denied coverage for life, " Freedman told a group of over 100 people who gathered Wednesday night outside the Reformed Church in Highland Park for a vigil to show their support for a public health-insurance plan.

Freedman told the crowd how she scrambles to make the insurance payment — which during times that she was unemployed and receiving insurance from her employer under the COBRA plan, ran up to about $2,000 a month — for fear her daughter would "lapse" in insurance coverage.

Vigil participants lit candles and held signs which said "Stop Rationing Healthcare, Public Option Now,!" "Central Jersey for Change" and "Give us the healthcare the Congress gets -- We pay for it!"

They hope to send the message to members of Congress, who are preparing to go back to Washington, D.C., next week after a month-long recess.

"This is to bring attention back to the fact that there is a health-care crisis in the country, with thousands of people dying every year because they don't have health insurance," said Eve Weissman, the health-care campaign coordinator for NJ Citizen Action, one of the many organizers of Wednesday's rally.

The Central Jersey Move On Local Council, Central NJ For Change and the Health Care For America Now Campaign were the other organizers of the vigil.

Following the vigil, participants walked across the Raritan River bridge connecting Highland Park with New Brunswick. A moment of silence was held at the middle of the bridge.

The vigil also included a memorial to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who viewed fighting for universal health care as the "cause of his life."

This vigil was one of hundreds of events planned nationwide by groups in favor of proposed medical insurance reforms.

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