The crowd of several dozen that assembled May 18 in the parking lot of the Fountain Valley Town Center had a single purpose: to voice displeasure with the health-care reform passed by Congress and signed by the Obama administration. The conservative group Revere America, chaired by Pataki, organized the event, and volunteers circulated petitions with the goal of sending 1 million signatures opposing reform to the White House.
"During the worst recession since the Great Depression, this is the worst possible time to add these new challenges to our economy," said Tran, who also referred to the reform as a "job-killing health-care agenda."
Since President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in March, opinions – and predictions – about the reform have varied widely throughout Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley. Some anticipate more business for insurance agents, while others foresee less; some believe extending health insurance to more Americans will result in lower costs, while others expect it to drive costs through the roof.
Probably the area closest to reaching a consensus on health-care reform is the political arena. Among elected officials in an overwhelmingly conservative part of the county, ObamaCare – as it's often derisively labeled by opponents – has few supporters.
"I feel that we're buying into a program that is going to be a financial disaster to our country," said Assemblyman Jim Silva, a Republican whose district includes Huntington Beach.
The reform, he said, would result in higher taxes and have a detrimental effect on health care itself. Silva said he agreed that parts of the American health system need fixing, but didn't believe federal regulation was the solution.