GAINESVILLE - The conservative group Americans For Prosperity (AFP) is holding protests this week against Enroll America's efforts to register Georgians for medical insurance coverage under Obamacare, and Gainesville was the group's first stop.
The four protesters held signs at the intersection of Jesse Jewell and E.E. Butler Parkways during the busy lunch hour Monday, prompting some honking horns and even a few curious questions from motorists stopped at one traffic light.
Organizer Joel Foster, the Grassroots Organizer for Georgia's AFP Chapter, said the Gainesville demonstration was thrown together quickly on Sunday night; at 12:30 p.m. Monday, just four people were participating in the hour-and-a-half long protest.
Foster said the goal in Gainesville - and other Georgia cities - is to warn Georgians that the non-profit group Enroll America is actually backed by large for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
"They are coming in to states like Georgia, and 18 other target states around the country, using campaign-style tactics to pressure new enrollments in Obamacare-approved health insurance packages," said Foster.
Foster contends that while Enroll America is touted as a tax-exempt group, certain companies stand to gain millions of dollars through these enrollments.
"The executive board of this organization includes executives from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, Aetna, Teva Pharmaceutical," said Foster.
He said the goal of this week's demonstrations is getting potential enrollees to ask questions before they sign up for federal health care programs.
Foster said AFP will be in Athens on Tuesday and in the Atlanta area on Thursday for similar demonstrations. He said a protest may also take place in Savannah.