Outside, the gathering verged on a street brawl. The opposing forces lined up like screaming armies on either side of the street, about 1,000 people a side. Diane Campbell of Kingston, N.H., held a sign with Mr. Obama's face superimposed on a Nazi storm trooper, a sign, she said, that was made by her chronically ill mother.
Her mother's hereditary autoimmune disease is treated with expensive transfusions of gamma globulin, paid for by Medicare. Her sister, Louise, was born with no arms and one leg, and is also covered by Medicare, the government-run, health-insurance program for the elderly and disabled.