August 14th, 2009
09:15 AM ET
5 years ago

Tough questions, frustrations continue in town halls

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Cape Verde on Friday, the final stop on her seven-nation Africa tour.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Cape Verde on Friday, the final stop on her seven-nation Africa tour.

(CNN) - Town hall meetings continued Thursday with more members of Congress facing an onslaught of tough questions about health care reform plans.

Rep. Steve Rothman, D-New Jersey, said at a meeting in Secaucus that the aim of health care reform is not to make America's system mimic Great Britain's or Canada's.

"I, for one, don't want a system like Great Britain's. I don't want a system like Canada's. I don't want national health care, and I don't want socialized medicine," he said.

Rothman said that any health care bill coming out of Congress has to "fix what needs to be fixed" but not "destroy what's good about the existing private health insurance system."


Filed under: Congress
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. George

    Anyone going to town hall meetings should listen to the truth. Don't thrive on stupid lies created by the special intrests and republicans.
    All the GOP wants is that America fails. They put party over country.
    They put greed over people. Now if you go to a town hall, listen rather that yell. You just might learn the truth. The GOP is afraid of the truth.

    August 14, 2009 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  2. worriedmom

    Well this is one Democrat that seems to get it. Fix what has to be fixed but not destroy what is good! finally is someone seeing the light!
    By the way I think you Libs are still off your rocker, the things you are saying about the MOB!!! heh,heh

    August 14, 2009 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  3. smokey

    What is the dwal wit this country ? They sat around for the past 8 years not saying 1 word while the former WH spent us into oblivion, not to metion 1 billion dollars a month on a war which they misled the whole world on..MEANTIME, our country goes into a depression, and not person objected to any type of big spending..But the minute Pres Obama tries to make Healthcare affordable and accesible to as many as Americans as he can, there is all this pushback, and talk about big spending..Just think we could have used all those billions of dollars wasted on a unjusifiable war towards health care for millions of Americans..So I think people need to stop and think about what they are saying, becasue it really doesn hold any water..It is time, that the American people and their basic needs are addressed and met !!

    August 14, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  4. obummer, 1 and done

    Wow! A democrat that thinks!
    Will wonders never cease.

    But then again, he doesn't say what it is that he supports. Keeps him out of the hot seat I guess.

    August 14, 2009 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. Enlightened Voters

    Republicans didn't even have townhalls when they were in reign.

    August 14, 2009 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  6. FORMER republican, NEVER again!

    Wish we could have had town halls about the war, deregulation, Patriot Act, tarp, bank bailouts......but the republicans didn't care what we thought.

    August 14, 2009 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. Jose

    So you all that don't want health care are against everyone being insured? Wow, is that compassionate conservatism in action?

    August 14, 2009 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  8. Randy, San Francisco

    The health care reform bill is in trouble because the process is flawed. The lack of bi-partisanship and an open transparent process in which the public is informed and educated every step of the way is troublesome.

    August 14, 2009 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  9. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    The proponents of this can't seem to provide truthful answers to the questions and instead are attacking the people asking questions, seeming to compile enemies lists, the Speaker (so to speak) calling the questioners "unamerican", the DNC and the White House calling them a mob. Here is a question that they have not provided an answer to, if this is indeed a health care insurance reform plan (that is what the administration is calling it today, I believe) the why does it not include tort reform? Another, how can proponents and the liar in chief continue to state that this is budget neutral, when the CBO and every economisst says it is not? Where is the money to pay for it coming from, really (don't give the trumped up preventative medicine pap the administration has been trying to spread, thats crap and we all know it).

    August 14, 2009 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  10. Sandra Day

    At first I was kind of ticked at the townhall thugs, but now I think it is a good idea that President Obama is welcoming these kind of discussions, even negative ones. It will help clear the air, and it certainly shows that the President is not afraid of any kind of confrontation and has nothing to hide.

    August 14, 2009 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  11. Wise Latina

    Despite CNN's best and repeated efforts to provide cover for Obama and proclaim that there are no "death panels" in the house bill, we now know that there were indeed such proivisions, becuase it has just been announced on all the news outlets that these panels have now been removed from the language!!

    State-controlled media's shilling for Obama is the only thing that has been transparent about his presidency!

    August 14, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  12. steve

    My question to the media is: Why do you keep inviting critics/ protesters to congressional democrats town hall meeting for TV interview? Could you balance this picture with proponent of health care reform questioning republican congress men. The cooperate media is hurting the American people in their coverage of this health care debate just like they helped to hype the propaganda effort by Bush/cheney leading to the Iraq war in 2003.

    August 14, 2009 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  13. Marmayogi

    People were totally confused by the insurance companies. They used their long time hidden partners GOPs to spread all kind of false rumors about the health care reform. Nothing is going to be worst than the present health care condition. There will be at least something good than the present one. We already lost everything in Healthcare and presently do not have nothing to lose. Another important factor we have consider is no body is there to make the country worst than Bush and Cheney. I trust Obama and USA. Be Positive... Let’s hope for a good reform in wealth, health and character. GOD BLESSES PEOPLE and USA.

    August 14, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  14. The Real Issue

    Rep. Steve Rothman is 1000% correct. The Health Care Bill has to fix what needs to be fixed in the existing health insurance system. My fellow Americans do not look at change as throwing out the baby who needs his clothes changed. The Health Plans can and should remain if you want. Not allowing for pre-existing illnesses, pulling back on insurance, charging exorbitant rates, hospitals and doctors charging 2 and 3 times for basic examinations, not insuring all Americans therefore if they go to the emergency room and not able to pay, the insurances are increased for everyone, pushing people to the brink of raffling their homes because their child has a health bill that cannot be paid for.....etc. etc. etc.

    August 14, 2009 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  15. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Tort reform, I can sign up for that. Now, what about costs? Are we expecting the insurance companies to pass on tort reform savings to the customer with a pinky promise? Like Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill said, “We’ve had great tort reform in this state…now a show of hands, how many have seen their premiums go down?” Quite frankly, tax credits proposals would still leave me at least 7-10,000 short per year. I have looked at both sides, and unless a public option is available, we are still beholden to for-profit companies that make money by denying services. Sarah Palin’s “death panels” don’t exist in Washington; they currently exist in insurance boardrooms across America.

    August 14, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  16. jfs Memhis, Tn

    I am glad that there is so much interest out there. A LONG TIME SINCE THE PUBLIC HAS HAD "ANY" INTEREST IN ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE GOVERNMENT !!!! Wish however that folks were more informed on the issue and less opinionated on the messenger. Fact is that the President carried the insurance and national health insurance on his platform when he ran for President..........he won by a landslide. He is doing EXACTLY what he said he would do. Funny how fickle and misinformed we are as a nation. These things take time and there is no FINALIZED anything out there !!! We need to make sure that ALL of Congress comes together with a consensus plan. UGLINESS gets NO WHERE and those responsible for this need to CALM DOWN and add constructive ideas.....not nasty, selfish, one-sided or divisivness. THE MAN IS DOING HIS JOB.............there will be changes...the train has started and the NET result cannot be stopped. THIS IS AMERICA.

    August 14, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  17. Dave C - NJ

    If you don't want the govt run health option, don't sign up for it. Keep your insurnace, since all of those complaining are the ones that have it.

    One of those idiots was carrying a sign that said "I WILL NOT DISCUSS END OF LIFE OPTIONS WITH ANYONE" OK, fine, who the heck was forcing THAT on anyone??? It's just a provision in the plan...a plan that would far exceeed the alternative for millions: having NO insurance.

    August 14, 2009 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  18. Chipster

    How obtuse can people be? They complain that elected officials failed to read the health care proposals when they have no evidence to support that claim. Many of the officials state that they have read the proposals and their staff members are studying sections and the many changes. So those accusations are absolutely false.

    Now that citizens have been informed that the proposed legislation does NOT contain any "death panels" and other nonsense (obviously those citizens haven't bothered to read any of it for themselves), don't they feel somewhat foolish and realize that they have been misled for purely political reasons?

    No, of course not, they continue to recite the false information as if it were fact. It's most bizarre. We have public care programs (Social Security, Medicare, etc.) and the spiraling cost of health care is expanding the national debt. Put your prejudice aside and get a clue people!

    August 14, 2009 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  19. John, Brooklyn, New York

    CNN, please give us examples of the so-called "tough questions". So far I've only heard name-calling, accusations, and attempts to shout down genuine discussion and debate on this incredibly serious issue. If the deportment of the anti-democracy protesters are what you are calling "tough questions", then your journalists simply don't know what a "question" is.

    August 14, 2009 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  20. Marmayogi

    People were confused by the insurance companies. They used their long time hidden partners GOPs to spread all kind of false rumors about the health care reform. Nothing is going to be worst than the present health care condition. There will be at least something good than the present one. We already lost everything in Healthcare and presently do not have nothing to lose. Another important factor we have consider is no body is there to make the country worst than Bush and Cheney. I trust Obama and USA. Be Positive... Let’s hope for a good reform in wealth, health and character. GOD BLESSES PEOPLE and USA.

    August 14, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  21. Michigan

    The current health care reform legislation is dead. There are too many unanswered questions and problems with it (like fining people for not being covered).

    Obama should let it drop and move on to the next crisis.

    August 14, 2009 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  22. Sniffit

    Right...because screaming "this is like Nazi Germany led by Nietsche and you better keep your government hands off my Medicare and not tell grandma to shop for caskets instead of cardiologists!!!!" at the top of your lungs into a microphone is a "tough question."

    August 14, 2009 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  23. Mike

    Pay for the health care for the lazy and illegals. No way should any law abiding American "tax payer"agree to this nor the government intrusion in our medical care.

    August 14, 2009 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  24. coolchange

    Town hall protesters aren't asking tough questions, and the only reason they are frustrated is because there is a Black man in the White House.

    Anyone holding a sign saying "Death to Obama" or calling him Hitler doesn't want to know the truth about HCR policy or anything else, and they are hell bent and determined to oppos Obama at all costs.

    Boy, I tell you. This country never ceases to amaze me.

    August 14, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  25. Zion

    Tough questions are great, ignorance is what should not be allowed. Look if any of you guys go to townhall meetings, here are some great questions.
    1. Does this new plan include college students?
    2. When crafting this public option, are there certain qualifications set to receive this service?
    3. Explain how you believe that including a public option, or this plan in general will reduce our deficit in the long run?
    4. For those of us with private insurance, will this reduce our premiums?

    These questions are great whether you are for or against the proposal.

    August 14, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
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