Today, I had the fun assignment of covering the pro-life protests surrounding the growing health care debate. Why fun, you ask? It surely wasn’t the pouring rain I stood in for two hours. Nor was getting up three hours before my usual time. These stories are fun because of the people you meet while covering them. I wouldn’t go as far to say I enjoy covering the crazies, but I love doing stories where the characters are larger than life. It makes the job a bit easier because they are colorful, vocal, and say strong, declarative things that make for good quotes. I even volunteered to cover the 9/12 protests because I knew that would be full of “broadcast moments,” so to speak.
The characters I met today are protesting the upcoming changes to health care. They were very friendly and open to talk (which I can’t really say about the passerbys I tried to interview in reaction to the protests, I’ll go ahead and blame the rain). However, I found myself holding back my thoughts as not to disrespect them or start a fight. Their message was clear, but what was also clear was the lack of true understanding of what goes into this health care bill. I dont think most people understand it, including myself. The whole story prompted me to look deeper into the issue, but all I could really find were interpretations of the bill from different political parties. Did it really include women’s reproductive insurance? Would EVERY American be covered? What does that mean for employers–would they switch to government insurance instead of providing their employees with better insurance? Would our medicine be socialized, or would the government decide who is worthy of getting treatment and who’s not? Would this make it so people my age (in the awkward period between graduation and employment) will be covered after they no longer get their parents’ insurance? Hopefully Obama’s press conference tonight will clear the air on this issue. In the meantime, get a look at this street theatre reenacting the beliefs of many Americans today on health care. Creepy.