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Health care is target of lunch protests
Tea Party concept shifts to new issue
tea party bus 3 es
Carl Swigart, with sign, and Jonathan Rajala took part in a TEA party demonstration in April. A similar event is planned for lunchtime today in Atlanta. - photo by File photo

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Congressmen across the country will have some company for lunch Friday.

Between noon and 1 p.m., a group of Tea Party Patriots plans to protest upcoming health care reform legislation at 184 locations nationwide.

In Georgia, 36 events are scheduled, including the offices of U.S. Reps. Nathan Deal, Hank Johnson, John Lewis and John Linder.

Among the protestors will be Forsyth County resident Brad Wilkins, who is coordinating the event at Lewis’ office.  

“Congress is planning to try to push the vote to occur prior to the August break, and the big fear is that whenever they push a vote forward that fast, you tend to get legislation that is not as well thought through, and you tend to get legislation that the legislators don’t all read,” he said.

“That’s what we got with the bailout bills and that’s also what we’ve received with the cap and trade votes.”

Wilkins said the event won’t garner as much attention as the national Tax Day Tea Parties on April 15, but the idea is to target representatives who are likely to vote in favor of the health care reform legislation.

Forsyth County Republican Party Chairman Ethan Underwood said he encourages anyone who can get time off work to head downtown and participate in the event.

“This is not just a Republican or Democratic issue, this is whether or not the nation is going to step over the edge with even more debt on something that, quite frankly, is unconstitutional,” he said. “There is no constitutional basis for forcing people to pay for their neighbor’s doctor bills.

“Regardless of what your party affiliation is, we really need to get that message to Washington D.C.”