Austinites divided over health care reform passage

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by ANDREW HORANSKY/ KVUE News

kvue.com

Posted on March 22, 2010 at 4:04 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 22 at 6:26 PM

Divisiveness over the new health care bill did not end with Sunday's vote.  In Austin, people called it everything from a "mess" to "progress."

At the Austin-based Center for Public Priorities, Anne Dunkelberg praised it.  She said she believes the new bill will help the 25 percent of Texans who are uninsured.

"We will have a market where no individual, no group and no family can be turned down for health insurance," Dunkelberg said.

Others saw it differently.  To Texas Tea Party member Greg Holloway, the bill marks a growth in big government and a decline in personal choice.  He called it "a terrible bill."

Members of the Catholic Church continued to express concern that the bill might fund abortions.

Despite President Obama's executive order affirming that no federal funding would go into abortions, Andrew Rivas of the Texas Catholic Conference said the President's order "won't matter."

In Butler Park, some walkers wondered where the money for the new bill will come from.  Others asked why it was such a major priority in the first place.

As Beth Smith of Austin put it, "there could be strong arguments made for other projects that need attention and funding too."

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