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. Health care Reform now

    Some people are afraid of new ideas, thats ok

    its the ones who are afraid of old ideas that are the problem.

    Break the Death monopoly held by your insurance company,

    they will profit of you, your family and employees hardships

    Health Care reform, Yes , Public option Yes, Diginity Yes.

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

    Heated or not, they need to stop acting like children.

    August 13, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Bev - NYC

    All Town Halls should be cancelled until there is a completed bill ready to be voted on. I am tired of seeing the nightly parade of Stupid morons and coward with guns. These non-listening, socialist, nazi agenda spouting idiots do not represent me. Mr. Obama you have tried to be honest and open with those who don't know what honesty is, you're damed if you do, double dammed if you don't. Take a page from Bush/Cheney enact the laws you want, start a fear and lie campaign and let us find out about it later. You have told everyone over and over ,if you like what you have keep it, keep paying, be at the mercy of a 1-800 voice on the phone who informs you they won't pay for your healthcare when you need it most. I like having choices whether it's flat screens, cereal or healthcare. Most of this noise is coming from hypocritical bigots, people long past childbearing age who have no problem shooting one of gods creatures then clutch the bible and lamening about abortion. Stop giving a forum to these nut bags!!!

    August 13, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  4. Mich


    people + doctors = No shortage of services.
    poeple + 50 million more people + doctors = Lots of shortage of services.

    Stop the lies you can not have 50 more million people into the system ,and their not be shortage of medical people.

    August 13, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    It really is almost laughable the questions they are dealing with at these meetings. Arlen Specter was asked if he has ever read the Qur’an. Claire McCaskill was asked the same question about abortion several times, despite having answered it. The questions about euthanasia and death panels are always out there. My personal favorite was someone who said, “We don’t want government run healthcare. Stay away from my Medicare and Medicaid.” Our education system is really failing these people.

    August 13, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. Jay T.

    Check out how great of a job Reagan did balancing the budget. He failed miserably at that task. But, I bet the idiot with the sign doesn't know that, nor did they dust that sign off from when they used to remind Reagan, Bush I, or Bush II of their failure to balance the budget. That is why the Conservative argument is obviously not genuine. It is clearly a partisan attack.

    August 13, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  7. Dave

    We have to get the facts, but the wing-nuttery is keeping a dialogue from happening. Shouting isn't a dialogue.

    When I read about the misinformation that is perpetuated by conservative talking heads, it really makes me question the educational system, or perhaps the drug enforcement people, or those who determine sanity. It is outrageous... and some of them believe the nonsense they say.

    August 13, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  8. T'SAH from Virginia

    Have you noticed that SIGNS are allowed in these meetings but yet you're not allowed to bring in your own sign – like Rosa Parks!!!

    Have you noticed that it seems as if the SAME person wrote the SIGNS!!

    Most likely 95% of the people who are attending these meetings are people who DID NOT vote for President Obama!!!

    These SMALL POCKETS of America is out to destroy ALL OF AMERICA -- BUT, that would be a losing BATTLE because the VERY FAR RIGHT WINGERS are not the MAJORITY anymore!!!

    August 13, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  9. peter

    I have heard national deficit! balance the budget brahbrahh yet this same people don't know Hawaii is part of America!. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know who their real masters are! fox news!, Pharma and insurance companies!!

    August 13, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. CAL

    That punk Grassley needs to stop spreading the lies hes been spreading about the death plan. He needs to correct that, loser.

    August 13, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Randolph Carter, the narcissistic Obamabot

    Memo to republicans: The catchphrase of the week is, "rammed down our throats." Please use this phrase in all discussions of healthcare reform. Have a nice day!

    August 13, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  12. Fenarkleman

    This shouting down malarkey will stop. Healthcare reform will pass because America needs it for our survival. And, as always happens, something more attention-grabbing will occur that will make headlines. Those who are taking marching orders from evil and suspect sources will be drowned out by history. Those who have legitimate concerns about something as vital to everyone as healthcare will have those concerns heard and addressed. While Glenn Beck, et al, do a Howard Beale, the rest of America will do what we have always done. Use our resilience, our patriotism and our innate ability to be fair to move forward to make our country, the best place in the history of planet Earth, even better. So there.

    August 13, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. Barbara Independent in NY

    Like most Americans I would like to know more about the health care plans that are being proposed. However, the people that are screaming and yelling at these townhall meetings are making information gathering impossible. What is clear though is the need for improving education in the U.S. Most of these people are incoherent and inarticulate. Video from these meetings are shown all over the world and we look to be not just really ignorant people, but really stupid people.

    August 13, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. Mississippi Mike

    Thanks for the hard hitting analysis. Without it I wouldn't have been able to figure out that town halls would continue to have heated discussions.

    August 13, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Enough

    Too bad their concerns fall on the deaf ears of the Democrats who are hell bent on destroying our healthcare. The MAJORITY of Americans do NOT want this healthcare proposal. Older Americans know what it means, it is the younger ones that are Naive to the promises of the lying politicians.

    Glad they have the opportunity to voice their opinions.........Pelosi hasn't been able to take that away...............Yet!

    August 13, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. unshrub

    Just because these loud mouths think they own the country, they need to remember that they lost the last election and Obama won. More importantly, he is doing what the majority wanted him to do when they voted for him. I am sick and tired of those on the right who think they have a God given mandate to get their way. This country is not mob rule, and just because they may think liberals are here to destroy the country, that does not mean they know what they are talking about. I love my country and I went to war to prove it. Now it is time that those who put most of them in office get what they asked for in the last election, and not what the minority mob thinks they have a God given right to have. Democrat politicians need to know that those loud mouths that come to these meetings are not going to vote for them anyhow. I voted for them and I expect them to do that the majority wanted in the last election. I want everyone covered with health care, and for the record, I have good health insurance.

    August 13, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  17. CAL

    I would not have a town hall meeting with these animals. They are so ignorant and all the anger is based on lies they are listening to from the right. People are so quick to jump to the wrong conclusion, if these idiots would listen and read this for themselves, then maybe they would act civilized. Oh wait maybe most of these loud mouth idiots can't read they only listen and act on whatever the GOP, greasy fat boy rush, hannity and that stupid, stupid palin tells them.

    August 13, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  18. Pat F

    "Press on" – yes, what a cross for our elected officials to actually have to hear criticism from the people who put them there instead of the endless choirs of halleujahs that they get from the press and the Obamatons.

    They have another option, of course. Quit!

    August 13, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. illinoistom

    You won't see any Dick Durbin town halls. Unlike Specter, McCaskill, and other Senators that are doing their job and are willing to face upset voters that are confused by the mishmash of proposals on the table, Dick Durbin is going to hide from his constituents. Illinois deserves better.

    August 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  20. rob c

    Let's see where the protests are at that get rowdy.I'm betting that if there is any angry crowds it will be at the democratic meetings since all those I have seen againts reform have been rrpublican and older white people who lean republican. I mean those who are upset that we have a biracial president who's skin is black. I hope someone keeps tabs on that so we can see the real faces of opposition(those lingering feeble minds who have a fear of someone being the face of the nation who is not a white person).

    August 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    What is it about living wills that gets the GOPers dander up so much? First it was Terry Schiavo and now it is Grandma and Grandpa . . . Quite frankly, when my dad was diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that our Pastor and my dad's doctor did was get his living will in order. It certainly lessened the stress and hospice was able to treat him as HE wanted, not as WE wanted.

    Maybe it is a republican thing: the bigger the controversy, the better to fool everyone. Death panels indeed. Take a simple matter of a living will and create a huge drama. Makes no sense, but there you have it.

    Does the GOP really want to recreate the Schiavo drama again. The first time didn't go over very well for them . . .

    August 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  22. Sam Sixpack

    Can anyone explain why President Obama even let the new 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."

    Also, can anyone explain what's up with the "Independent Medicare Advisory Council" (IMAC)? The White House proposes that, under the IMAC umbrella, President Obama will hand-pick five bureaucrats to decide what will and will not be covered by our Medicare of the future.

    Does anyone know if President Obama intends to appoint this Special Advisor guy to be the first Chairman of the IMAC?

    Look it up for yourself! You can start at the White House’s website!

    August 13, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Lynne

    Not all the townhall meetings are heated. When is CNN going to report on the ones which are having respectful, democratic discussion?

    August 13, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Troy from NJ

    Most of these folk that are protesting are arguing about things that are false and the media nor Republicans are helping the truth in this argument. The Republicans are lying and they know, and the media wants to cover the circus instead of debate the facts and lies on both side. 24 hours news has killed responsible journalism!!!

    August 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. Sara

    I love the sign "Balance the Budget". Yeah, we did a real good job of that in the last 8 years. It must be Obama's fault... get a brain people!

    August 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
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