Campus Tea Parties protest health care bill


A healthcare protest is held at the Student Center free speach patio on Thursday April 29, 2010. Photo by Scott Hannigan

By Drew Teague

Tea parties have come to campus, but not the kind that include sugar and cream.

Students and Lexington residents came to the Free Speech Area to speak out against the recently-passed health care bill.

Community member Karen Sebey and mathematics and economics sophomore Lance Wheeler spoke Thursday afternoon at the podium set up for their Tea Party on the Student Center Patio.

Wheeler said he organized the event on short notice by contacting people via Facebook to get the Tea Party protest put together in time.

Wheeler said he hosted the Tea Party because he feels that health care, and most of what the government does, is unconstitutional.

“People can say ‘Ah, I’m against health care,’ that’s fine,” Wheeler said. “But what you really need to look into is why are you against health care? You are against healthcare because it’s unconstitutional, because what it is, is the government coming into your life.”

With a small crowd of around 12 people in attendance, Sebey, a local businesswoman, was the first to take the podium.

Sebey started her speech with an altered version of the Presidential oath of office.

“We have resumed the fight for our country, we have resumed where our fore fathers left off, we do not pretend to have all the answers,” Sebey said. “But what we expect is that the decisions made should be based on constitutional principle and not political expediency.”

Wheeler said he blames all the branches of governments for the problems, and said about 90 percent of what the government does is unconstitutional.

“I ask you today to look at the constitution, read it and understand it,” Wheeler said during his speech. “Without that, we have no country. The constitution is a contract between people and its government, and when that contract is broken, the people have the right to rebel and make a new contract.”

Eli Edwards, a secondary English education freshman, came out to hear the speakers because he said he shares their views of the government and health care.

“I came out to see those share the same beliefs as me,” Edwards said. “This health care bill is unnecessary and unconstitutional.”

Wheeler does not pay for his own health care, like most college students, but is insured by his parents’ plans. He said he wonders how much it would cost if he were on his own.

“In this health care bill it specifically states that you will be fined on your IRS tax credit if you do not have health care,” Wheeler said. “Why do we even need to fine people  if they choose not to have health care? Isn’t that their problem?”

Sebey said she wished all people who see problems with the government would protest and get their message out there.

“Now is the time for all concerned citizens to join in the defense of this great nation, our great republic, our beloved country,” Sebey said. “Be angry, fend not, keep the faith, we shall overcome.”