This week the sporadic violence at protests over health care reform took on a new dimension when a Southern California man who was protesting against health care legislation had his finger bitten off by a health care supporter.
The scene of the maiming was a MoveOn.org rally in Ventura County where about 100 health care supporters took one side of the street and about 25 counter-protesters took a position on the other side of the street. One of the MoveOn.org group apparently became enraged, rushed across the street and confronted a group of three counter-protesters, calling them "idiots." A scuffle ensued in which 65 year-old Bill Rice took a couple of swings at the contentious health care reform supporter. The second blow connected, Rice's pinky ended up in the man's mouth and half of it was bitten off, after which the sharp-toothed activist fled.
Rice went to the local hospital where they were unable to reattach the severed finger because it was contaminated with bacteria from the biter's mouth. Ironically, Rice's treatment was paid for by Medicare. The Ventura County Sheriff's office is still looking for the other man.
When interviewed on FoxNews this afternoon, Rice echoed the views of many health care reform opponents, pointing out that violence was not the answer and that health care isn't the primary source of the outrage sweeping the nation. He said:
"I don't think that this has anything to do with health care. I think that this is something much more devious than health care. I think that health care is how we are being diverted while the government grabs what's left of our freedom away from us."