August 13th, 2009
01:05 PM ET
9 years ago

Health care town halls will press on, could get heated

People protest President Obama's health care plan Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Panora, Iowa.

People protest President Obama's health care plan Wednesday at a town hall meeting in Panora, Iowa.

(CNN) - Town hall meetings are continuing Thursday, and more members of Congress will undoubtedly face an onslaught of tough questions - and maybe even some anger - about health care reform plans.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, will have three town hall meetings Thursday. Coburn, one of two doctors in the Senate, is against the current draft legislation in the House.

And to the north, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, will also hold a series of meetings throughout the state. Grassley is one of six members of the Senate Finance Committee, which is made up of three Democrats and three Republicans.

Rep. Mike Ross, D-Arkansas, will have a town hall meeting later Thursday in his home state. The member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats has been a vocal critic of leadership in the Democratic-controlled Congress.

Also Thursday, Rep. Steve Rothman, D-New Jersey, will have a health care town hall meeting in Secaucus; Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, will have town halls in McPherson and Cottonwood; Rep. Thomas Petri, R-Wisconsin, will hold two town hall meetings in Oakfield; and Rep. David Wu, D-Oregon, will have a meeting in Seaside.

On Wednesday, Grassley got an earful from his constituents after holding four town meetings, welcoming what he called much larger crowds than such gatherings usually attract.

Full story

Filed under: Congress • Health care
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. notfooledtx

    Mr. Grassley is spineless. It only cost the health care lobbyists 2.5 million to buy him off.

    August 13, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Bill

    No to government run health care. Go to and type Obama 2003 and you will see the real Obama and his plans.

    August 13, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  3. donttreadonme

    NPR was on the air yesterday stating that anyone that opposes Obama is racist. And that all of this anger is because of race and is part of a larger conspiracy from the right-wing militias to have Obama assassinated???.... Who is drinking the kool-aid now???

    While it is true that militias and racists exist to try to tie them to Repubs and conservatives is insane.

    August 13, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  4. Buster, AZ

    It will sure get heated when the Liar in Chief sends out the unions to cause problems. Why doesn't the media care about the SEIU beating up the short guy in St. Louis? Attn: Union won't stop me.

    August 13, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  5. Kathy

    Are these far right nuts with guns going to get out of control and actually kill someone? I think they are. They are so full of hate, not even sure they know why, but they are. Very little of what they say has any foundation in the trugh.

    August 13, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  6. Gerry M. Eugene, OR

    The latest news from the ‘undisclosed location’ is that George was a difficult student and that by beginning of the second term, Dick was not allowed to call all of the shots, just the ones that do not implicate Dick in felonious behavior, like suborning perjury, conspiracy to defraud, and actions that bring the government into a disreputable reputation in regards to following the law.

    August 13, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Sam Sixpack

    When will someone explain why President Obama even let the Special Advisor for Health Policy into the White House?

    This quack says, "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

    When will someone explain what's up with the "Independent Medicare Advisory Council?" President Obama will hand-pick five bureaucrats to decide what will and will not be covered by our Medicare of the future.

    Will President Obama appoint this Special Advisor guy to be Chairman of the IMAC?

    Don't believe me! Just look it up for yourself! You can start at the White House’s website!

    August 13, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. a health economist

    "This is no less than liberty versus tyranny, good versus evil, and there is no middle ground," said one woman at a meeting in Adel, Iowa.

    This says a whole lot about the ignorance of many in this country. While I don't like everything the Democrats are pushing, I fully believe many Republicans are taking advantage of peoples' fears to push their agenda.

    If the devil's greatest trick was to convince the world he doesn't exist, the Republicans' greatest trick was to convince the average American that Socialism=Communism, therefore Socialism=Bad. Nevermind the fact that our police/fire stations, roads/highways, military, and all forms of insurance function under principals of socialism and not capitalism.

    August 13, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. Johnny B

    It doesn't help civilized discussion of of the health care debate when the former Governor of Alaska is misrepresenting truth about health care reform. Republican fear tactics are apparently the best tactic to use, especially since they have nothing substantial to offer for real health care reform. Like Sarah Palin's remarks about Death Panels. Please... Who in their right mind thinks that would actually happen? Don't you think that members congress would lose their coveted positions in government if that were even an actual option? Duh, use your brains people

    August 13, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  10. 60's survivor

    the way I see it those who want Obama to fail will be loudly negative no matter what the truth or reality is. these meetings are tainted and irrelavant. who can really trust what is going on when everything is kept in chaos. that is the plan. hopefully deception doesn't work. real lives are depending on a better healthcare system. our country isn't rated the highest quality. that must
    mean something

    August 13, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  11. Joan

    Unfortunately the media is only showing the controversial shouting and screaming that goes on at the town hall meetings on their shows and so to those watching this on the internet or on international television we just see this and some might incorrectly think this is how all Americans think. If there is a two hour town hall meeting, probably a great deal of the time was spent in sensible, respectful dialogue but this is never shown. It might be nice if the media fairly protrayed both sides instead of running just the sensational stuff and giving the protestors the attention they crave. The extreme right wing fringe has succeeded in defining the Republican party in this manner but I doubt you want all of America to be seen this way.

    August 13, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  12. Colleen

    Frankly, I find the behavior of these protestors appaling and reminicent of when my son was about 2 years old. I am tired of hearing over and over on the news these ignorant, uninformed idiots behaving like children and expecting us to listen. I did not allow my 2-year old to control me with a temper tantrum. I hope the President treats these "grown-up" children the same way. Also, I think that if the media would stop covering the silly antics of these people, they would stop doing it because they would no longer have an audience. Just like children-just a childish attempt to get attention, even if it is the wrong kind.

    August 13, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  13. JD

    I love these signs from right-wingers about balancing the budget. They fail to realize that under President Clinton, the budget went from massive deficits to a surplus. That surplus was blown out of the water under President Bush.

    But they haven't let the facts stand in the way of their arguments so far, so why now?

    August 13, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. cjr

    since most of these folks are not aware that social security and medicare are government funded programs, and that these rallies are sponsored by the health care companies – and that senators like Grassley has taken over $2 million from the health care companies. I fail to take anything they protest about seriously. They can't comprehend that the insurance companies will raise their premiums. This comes down to Republican racism. and the protesters are the face of the republican party. Democrats only have to show the films of the slobbering screamers during the next election cycle and they will take every election nationally and locally. And in the states where most of these protesters come from- we don't really care about you.

    August 13, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. Vigla

    This constant whining by so called conservatives is just plain ridiculous. They did the same thing before Obama wa selected. "The world is gonna end!"

    The loons on the right are out in full force! Everyone knows that this country cannot compete with other nations that have national health care and national pension. All our jobs are being outsourced to India and China. Why? Because they provide basic services to their people and companies are not required to offer these benefits to their employees. Without reform, we are pricing ourselves out of the job market, and you nuts on the right could care less about it. If jobs are outsourced, there is no income tax revenue. WE NEED TO COMPETE WITH OTHER NATIONS IN ORDER TO SURVIVE!!! Our current system STINKS! Let's fix it and quit the whining.

    August 13, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. sharon

    Could get heated?

    That is what the GOP wants .

    "some" people are not enterested in talking facts.

    "some" are just wanting to do the bidding of their handlers and spread lies,cause confussion.........and as we have all seen make the area ripe for those that may be even less stable and cause SERIOUS

    One problem with "their" plans........they may be in thea area of the harm themselves. Did "they " think about this?

    I thought that the adults in this country had grown past this.............................was I wrong. 2 year olds could have a better disccussion than some of the people I have seen.

    Also , 2 year olds have not developed the lieing curse .
    They are honest......still at this age...... Not so the so-called adults at some of these town halls.

    August 13, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Pepou

    I attended a town hall meeting in Setauket NY. A bunch of crazy lunatics showed up, shouted and prevented everyone who did not agree with them to speak. I was so disgusted that I left. I have read parts of the bill on my own and discussed with colleagues and friends. I will support President Obama's public option.

    August 13, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. Ken

    Heated? The only 'heat' being generated is that produced by rude rightwing-ideology-driven nincompoops who don't care a hoot about health care in the end - they are just partisan hacks. They attempt to drown out the voices that truly do care, even the ones that have honest opposition and questions. I witnessed this first-hand. Two of those disruptive neo-nincompoops got busted by me after the Cardin townhall - they will not be disruptive again. To the benfit of their own health, they at least did not head their lord Limbaugh's call to 'carry'; those who do are going to become sad national statistics.

    August 13, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Scott, Tucson

    If these politicians refuse to listen to their constituents and as usual, vote their conscious, they might find themselves joining the unemployed after 2010.

    August 13, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  20. Tom Paine

    Well, protesting is the highest form of patriotism – or so I was told by the media and Democrats for the last 8 years.

    August 13, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  21. Please go deeper!

    I am sick of one-paycheck-away from homelessness, Sarah Palin loving, job-holding, non-compassionate, self-focused individuals yelling and screaming at these town halls. Have you held the hand of a friend or family member dying from some God-forsaken disease? Have you witnessed them argue with their insurance company about medications, doctor visits, or experimental care that could prolong their life? Have you suffered the heartbreak of being told that you will have trouble conceiving a child naturally and will need the help of invetro-fertilization only to be told by your insurance company the procedure isn't covered? If you have not experienced these things you have NO BUSINESS yelling and screaming like YOU'VE been persecuted. (you only lost an election, not your life) You are not compassionate, you're only focused on your point of view. You need to listen! Stop trying to punish the President and our leaders in Congress. People, your fellow Americans, are suffering.

    August 13, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. single mom

    Well, I'm still feeling very neglected and left out!
    I'm a registered Republican and the only notices I've received on town halls are from my congressman – and he's a Democrat!

    August 13, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  23. Ted Tartaglia

    If the people who attend town hall meetings cannot control their behaviour, they should be thrown out of the meeting. Their right to free speech does not override the free speech rights of those who behave themselves.

    Yelling, shouting, and making speechs in not appropriate and prevents civil discourse from taking place.

    Also, it is time some Republican leaders like John Boehner, Newt Gringrich, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity, among others, to stop issuing false and inflammatory statements and rants. These fools only stir up hatred and in some instances could well provoke some of the more unstable of their followers to committ violence. They need to take responsibility for their actions like they are always exhorting others to do.

    Let's fix the broken health care system!

    August 13, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Vigla

    Another thing, you conservatives complain about not being able to afford stuff, but you have no problem spending so much on military spending that we have to sacrifice things we should have. Iraq alone is costing us complaints from you.

    At least be consistent, but we all know this complaining is just an elaborate rouse. It's OK if President Bush wants to pass a perscription drug benefit that is a boon to big pharma, billions of dollars of taxpayer money, but it's "bad" if Obama wants to have a safety net for those who have no insurance.

    Two faced, that's what you complainers are. Go back under the rock from where you came.

    August 13, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  25. Johnny DC

    Tough questions = organized, hate-mongering, insurance-backed, contrived people.

    Yeah right. The American people aren't buying it. Just like your irresponsible health insurance proposals. Finally, I am proud to be an American again.

    August 13, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
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