Former New York Gov. George Pataki and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Steve Poizner held a news conference in San Francisco today as part of a national campaign to collect 1 million signatures to repeal the newly signed health care reform bill.
"This is one of the worst pieces of public policy coming out of Washington in the last 50 years," Poizner, currently California's insurance commissioner, said to a small crowd at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis on Fourth Street this afternoon.
Some in the crowd held signs for Revere America, a group chaired by Pataki that is organizing the signature drive. Today's event was part of a three-day, six-state tour. The group ultimately plans to take the petition drive to all 50 states.
"We know this is the heart of the opposition," Pataki said of his stop in San Francisco.
The whirlwind tour kicked off in Boston on Sunday. Earlier today, Pataki was in Lincoln, Neb., for a morning event, then Reno, Nev., for a noon rally. On Tuesday, he heads to Texas and Iowa.
Pataki said he believes the freedom of the American people is in danger and that President Obama and members of Congress "rammed" the bill through the legislative process.
He said he doubts that even one of the 535 members of Congress read and fully understood the bill.
Poizner and Pataki said they are also concerned that there aren't enough physicians to extend health coverage to an estimated 32 million new patients who are currently uninsured.
Not adding a proportionate number of doctors and nurses will lead to a "rationing of care," said Gabriella Holt, a registered nurse and CEO of the group Citizens for California Reform who introduced Poizner and Pataki today.
Poizner, competing with former eBay CEO Meg Whitman for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, said that the signed reform package is "irresponsible" and will increase spending and the burden on the states.