August 10th, 2009
01:51 PM ET
2 years ago

Town halls push on amid protest fears

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, says her goal is to have a 'civil' debate at town hall meetings.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, says her goal is to have a 'civil' debate at town hall meetings.

(CNN) – Senators, like many in the House, continue to face grilling from constituents concerned about proposed health care legislation before Congress.

Although some meetings have been "civil," as one senator pointed out Monday, at least one lawmaker has received a threat from those angry about a plan being devised by Democrats.

Three House committees are working have been working on a plan. On the Senate side, two committees are working on a proposal - before negotiations begin between top members of both chambers.

And the negotiations are heating up. On Thursday, Obama met privately at the White House with the "Gang of Six," three Democrats and three Republicans working to find middle ground on the issue.

Not all town hall meetings have been raucous. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri, held a town hall meeting Monday morning in Kennett, Missouri, to help clarify what she says is some of the misinformation that is being circulated.

Meanwhile, for one member of Congress, the anger over health care has become dangerous.

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Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. gt

    gee ....whiz... guys... please dont say anything and just flow me ... i will lead you to narvana,,,,,be just like sheep.....bahhhhhhhhhhh....give me a break claire....

    August 10, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  2. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Painting citizens who have a different opinion as "dangerous"? The only real, not imagined danger, is to the Obama agenda.

    And if he continues to ignore people's opinions, it should get loader.

    Protest is healthy. Question Authority.

    August 10, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    The democrats are obviously very scared of the concept of "free speech" when the ones espousing their views offer a different opinion. Republican put up with eight years of it without complaint. It is obvious that many of those speaking at these town halls are real people who have not been "organized". But, even if they WERE organized, what is the problem????? Haven't the liberals done it that way for years?????

    August 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  4. JP

    The government that runs the post office is going to make the healthcare system more efficient. If moveon.org is for this it has to be really bad.

    August 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  5. Respect

    Down with medicare & medicaid. This is socialism!!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    I'd argue that someone needs to euthanize the GOP, but it's probably not necessary: they seem completely content to let Limbaugh and Coulter and their ilk assist them with suicide. Political sepuku anyone? It's all the rage...

    BTW, just google for a right wingnut editorial trying to use the UK system as an anaology and claiming that the UK system would value Stephen Hawking's life at zero...like "Obamacare" would. Guess where Stephen Hawking has lived his entire life or 67 years? Get it through your skulls CNN: These people have the credibility of wood lice and you're just helping them spread their lies and fear.

    August 10, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  7. Respect

    Down with SS. This is socialism!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    The government should not get involved in health care other than regulating what the insurance can charge a company or an individual. They are making too much profit and the customer has no choice as to which company they can go with. When the rates go sky high, we have no choice. The government has not been able to do Social Security or Medicare with a profit, so why would a person think they could run a health care program. They either still funds from another program, of take for themselves. Until they are proven trust worthy I do not want to give them any more powers or most of all more of my hard earned money.

    August 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  9. Sandra,Atlanta

    I think if the leadership in BOTH parties left Congress and the moderates took control, you would see leadership where today there is none. Both factions are only about politics and not the people's business. I am in strong favor of term limits – no more than 8 years. Voters are basically lazy and won't vote the bums out that they know need to go. I think you would see much much honesty and sincerety in trying to take care of the American people and not being bought out by big business and wealthy doctors and lawyers.

    August 10, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Lynne

    This morning CNN was erroneouslt announcing that Senator McCaskill had cancelled her townhall meeting...If you can't get that small detail right, how can you be trusted to be correct about the big stuff??

    August 10, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  11. Average guy in Kansas

    It seems those of us who enjoy civil discourse are pretty much in the minority these days, thanks to intolerance, sophistry and the pent-up anger of the buffoons who think yelling at someone is going to get them what they want.

    Perhaps by yelling they feel better. So, perhaps we should let them rant all they want. That way, they'll feel better and we can ignore them and their common, petty sniveling.

    August 10, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Shibumi

    Town hall meetings only became violent after Dingle Barry sent out his union thug supporters to "show support" for his deathcare package at these meetings.
    Assaults were committed this past weekend at these meetings. Prior to that there was shouting and screaming but no violence. Apparently, BO BO the AZZ Clown thinks Chicage style politics can work nationwide.

    August 10, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  13. Reality check for President Obi wan kanobi

    If anyone believes Washington has the fiscal fortitude, honesty, and restraint can bring cost reform to healthcare, then please seek pshychiatric help fast. Here is a dose of reality for you:

    Anyone remember how Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Frank, Dodd and other Democrats in Congress jumped all over the CEO's of GM Ford and Chrysler for flying down to DC in their privately owned corporate jets? Well now Pelosi, Reid, Waxman, Frank, and others are spending $500 million of taxpayer money for new luxury jets for the democratic leadership. With hypocricy and irresponsible acts like this, the unpopulalrity of Democrats will surely grow and Obama and the Dems will lose their majority in Congress and the White House soon enough.

    Don;t tread on me Mr Oblah blah

    A proud Democrat, small business owner, and veteran

    August 10, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  14. carlos, that one

    those swampys protesting and disrupting are the people in this U.S.of A. who revolve around a low IQ or as it is said-"They are '3' below plant life"

    August 10, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  15. carlo

    Don't leave out CNN the story from today where an Arizona townhall had one of its protesters drop his gun at the meeting. Oh yeah, its past getting bad. You guys, instead of telling the truth about the nature of these protests, keep skating over it hoping that someone really gets hurt so you can sensationalize it for your own gain.

    August 10, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  16. Dave

    This is a very important debate one our country must have as Congress debates the future of our Health Care. If our politicans were HONEST about what is in the legislation and actually went into the specifics of the plan we ALL would be better off.

    When politicans take in generalities and are not honest about what is in the House legislation or proposed differing pieces coming out of the Senate, then the American Public should rise up in anger and so very glad we are seeing democracy work.

    Is this getting dangerous, YES it is. But the legislation being forced upon us by the Dem's is equally dangerous and can not be ignored. POWER TO THE PEOPLE !!!!!

    August 10, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  17. ephraim

    at this point, simply state anyone who raises their voice at a town hall meeting, yells or gets overheated is ejected. we are not children, a civil and even passionate discussion can be had without an utter breakdown
    and decent into chaos. there is a difference between a dramatic conversation and drama. cut out the un-necessary drama, and
    the message of both sides will be heard.

    August 10, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. carlos, that one

    take away their Medicare and see if they survive without this government assistance, after two days they will be begging.......and they protest, disrupt and threaten?.......total ignorance

    August 10, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  19. Susan

    When lawmakers of either party are physically threatened, hung in effigy, and screamed down, that is not democracy, nor is it freedom of speech. It is unfair to those who are truly interested in what the plan does and does not say. We all have a stake in this, and to act in an illegal manner does not push the debate forward, nor does it do anything except make yourself and your party look bad. Everyone needs to calm down and let the process work...you have a voice, use it rationally, and everyone stop listening to talk radio nuts as if they cared about what happens to you...they are about ratings.

    August 10, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  20. Aaron

    Despite all of the public heckling and chaos, the healthcare bill will clear the Congress and President Obama will sign it into law this year. All members of congress must proceed with educating the public on the health reform proposal and on the imperative of pushing this initiative. The President must continue to educate the public on this initiative as well and explain the nexus between healthcare costs and its impact on the health of our economy. The democrats have only one chance to pass this legislation and may not get another chance to do so for long while. So democrats, carpe diem!!

    August 10, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Reformed Republican

    MEMO to WHITE HOUSE
    Re: Elinimation of Rethuglicans and the GOP

    Here's the deal.
    Just quit on health care and health insurance reform. Give the rethugs what ever they want. They won't want much, they will just let everything remain stagnant quo. Then when the insurance companies "death panels" eliminate everybodys coverage when they get sick and raise premiums beyond the ability of people or their employers to pay them, tell voters who ruined health care in the USA.

    BUT TELL AMERICANS WHAT YOUR DOING UP FRONT SO THERE IS NO DOUBT ABOUT WHOSE PLAN SCREWED THE POOCH!

    August 10, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  22. johns

    CNN,- please promote dialog with civility about Health Care.

    Looks like the live stream was stopped after it was clear that the townhall with Sen. Claire McCaskill had civility and the attendants were not screaming and yelling.
    Why?

    Please post this.

    Sincerely
    John

    August 10, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Chris

    I can't believe that folks do not think these disruptive people are not put in place by the GOP and Lobbyists groups!! This is all part of the GOP and Lobbyists agenda to halt Healthcare reform in America. I mean seriously shouting and getting violent over something that hasn't even made it out of committee? I mean one has to ask do people really understand the American Democratic process? This is real silly and the media is only building it up. People need to get a grip!!! I think the Reps and Senators need to tell these folks don't come to my meeting shouting and screaming unless you want to be put out!!! Silly grown folks!!! Oh and what I really see funny in the whole thing, it is predominately White Americans that are screaming to the Heavens the main folks who need it...LOL!!!

    August 10, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    ...and I'm sure that the reason Obama tried so hard to get the bill through before congress went on their break was because he felt so bad about the 47 million people ( some of them Americans ) going without health care one minute longer than necessary!

    That's kinda how they got the "Stimulus" bill through...quick, before they figure out what's going on!

    August 10, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. notfooledtx

    The opponents of healt care reform have lost all sense of civility. They're nothing but verbal vigilantees squelching the first ammendment of the others in attendance who actually want information on health care reform. The republican party in general has also lost all sense of civility – look at the mccain palin rallies, the tea bagging events. They're bitter, bigoted bullies who aren't capable of having adult conversations or debates on the issues. It's really a shame that my 12 year old displays more composure and maturity than those folks do.

    August 10, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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