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. ran

    As long as our health is for profit there will never be true change.

    Single payer NON-PROFIT is the only way to insure that our money goes toward our health and not for multimillion $ salaries/bonuses to executives or dividends to shareholders or insurance companies private jets.

    What part of non-profit don't people get. It is not government run. You still have to pay just your money goes to your health not for profits for the few.

    Demand single payer non-profit if you are really serious about your health.

    August 14, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Post always rejected by CNN

    PS... And the one provision that has people upset...the so called death panel....well a republican had suggested they put that provision in. So that families could talk it over about what to do with relatives facing terminal illness....ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SEARCH AND YOU WILL SEE A REPUBLICAN REP NAMED ISSACK or spelled something like that wanted the provision in. And the republicans are whining and moaning like it is a democrat provision...See Palin and Fox are telling lies. Palin even proclaimed a Living Will Day, something she is not whining and moaning and posting lies about. But then the sheep that follow them don't remember from day to day thats why they follow the thugs to get the FALSE MESSAGES.

    August 14, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Buster

    Would anyone expect the first version of the bill to be the best? If so, then you are intellectually dishonest and a Pelousy fan. This isn't about winning because you support Oloser, it is about your family and your life.

    August 14, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Tami in CO

    Why would any Congressmen or Senator care about what the American people have for health care? They are an elite group that gets special treatment and aren't bound to the crap we are when it comes to health care and insurance.

    August 14, 2009 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  5. Dan Holiday

    Stop this healthcare "reform". Now the democrats want to have people put to death? This is crazy. See them for what they are. Anti-American. Racist. Big business. Pro-war (remember they said they were going to get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan?), Pro-death and abortion. Vote them out. They only want power. You can take that from them.

    August 14, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  6. Peggy - TX

    Big $ (from the insurance industry) + GOP Obstructionist Tactics + Stupid people = Protestors disrupting town hall meetings.

    Democrats need to stand firm, confident that they in the right for all Americans and with a CLEAR MANDATE given by the American people in the last National Election.

    PASS HEALTH CARE REFORM NOW!!!

    August 14, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    "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........ THEN YOU BETTER NOT VOTE FOR IT!

    August 14, 2009 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. makesUwonder

    Wake up Washington....the American people don't like this bill and don't want this bill............keep 2010 in mind, it's not that far away.

    August 14, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Careful people. Remember, whenever you say something that is in oppostion to the federal government (and the democratic party), you are automatically guilty of hate-mongering. Within 10 years, I predict there will be a federal hate-crime law on the books explicitly stating so.

    August 14, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  10. Ilona Proud Canadian

    Okay CNN

    What's up with the above caption under the picture
    of people holding up signs at the Town Hall?

    "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was in Cape Verde
    on Friday, the final stop on her seven nation tour" ??

    This is a real silly error!

    August 14, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  11. Brian0901

    What a bunch of morons! They believe anything the GOP tells them. Don't they realize how stupid they all look. Thank God I am not a republican but then again my I.Q is over 10 so I don't qualify.

    August 14, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. King

    Isn’t that strange???? We keep hearing all those “though questions" on TV, but no media would show us congressmen's answers. Even CNN is aligning on Fox news behaviour. Is that means it's more important to notice and report hunger among citizens, but when it comes time to give American people the right answers, your political analysts are better than lawmakers ??????
    Please guys; Let us hear from Lawmakers themselves. We want to know the kind of answers these non-polite and furious citizens are getting from devoted Congressmen’s during those town halls; how lawmakers are keeping their calm no matter what booed, or insults they are getting from the crowd.
    All that needed to be reported as well.
    But I realise it’s more funny for you to show us a congressman answering her cell phone during a town hall, than all the answers she gave during that meeting.
    It’s sad.

    August 14, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Hugo

    Still haven't heard anything about fixing the problems, TORT LAW reform and Insurance company regulation.... Ever wonder why after this long no one in DC will step up to fix the problem, instead they come up with Bills to have control over you and your right. I think something has gotten turned around here in our way of government, it is we the people that control them not government that controls us!

    Vote them ALL OUT in 2010 to destroy the network of lobbyist corruption in our government, it is the only way! Elect an Independent in 2012, put our government back under control and make them accountable for what they do, no more twisting our laws or our Constitution, no more molding our ethics to meet their needs.

    August 14, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. gtekam

    Reform and what type of reform was on the main reason why people voted in Nov. 2008, for or against Obama. The 53% who made the choice for Pres. Obama after reviewing options offered by both democrats and republicans.

    Townhall mobs are trying to overthrow our government (the agenda choice we made).

    August 14, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Susan

    It would have been helpful if Congress had done what the President asked, and had a bill ready before the recess. Then these congresspeople would actually know what was in ONE bill, not five variations, none of which has come to a vote yet. This righteous indignation from the right has little to do with any actual tenets in the bilsl, and much more to do with the far right radio talkers who will say anything to sink this bill. Do they not care that our system is not working? That we pay more per capita for less care than any industrialized nation on Earth? That 46 MILLION people have no care except the ER?
    They do not care....they only care about ratings, and if making up 'death panels' out of perfectly reasonable end of life discussions (that Palin supported so much she had a whole day devoted to educating Alaskans about them on April 16, 2008!) will strike fear into the elderly demographic, they will do that. Look at the people screaming at meetings: mostly on Medicare, mostly overweight, mostly retired folks who listen to Rush or Fox all day or sit at the computer reading these Malkin editorials that are full of lies. Republicans prey on these people....and it is a sad day for America.

    August 14, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. Right Leaning Independent

    Rothman needs to read Section 102 regarding existing private insurance. I am not a lawyer and it is a bit hard to understand but my take on it is that you will have your insurance "Grandfathered" if you want but if you change jobs you are going to have to pick up Government insurance or take part in the exchange insurance. It appears that the insurance company can not enroll new individuals once the Gov. plan is in effect. It appears that eventually all Americans will be part of the Government plan and not private or employment based plans. If I have understood that section correctly, than there is much mis-representation of the comments "If you like your current plan – you keep your current plan"...

    August 14, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. machtim akannah

    I don't think the frustrations would surface to the extent they have if the President and Congress would be more open and honest regarding the benefits, limitations, and costs of the bill. They apparently have not read the bill, certainly not digested the intent, and yet they purport to tell us how good the bill is for us and the economy. Maybe it is, but I remain unconvinced since the details are always shrouded in mystery and "political speak" and Congress itself will not sign on for the plan. The presentations are basically "pandering" for votes without tell us the details. More time is spent at the town hall meetings pointing fingers and accusing the opposition, both sides, than discussing the bill itself. The biggest laugh is "deficit neutral". What does that mean? The deficit will not grow because we will be taxed (or pay fees) to offset the cost. But no one addresses that specifically.

    August 14, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  18. jp,michigan

    They've got to start over. This work should be done in the middle. The proposals were written by the far left, with no input from the Republicans and too little from moderate Democrats. Go back to Washington this fall with the goal of passing a streamline bill that normal people can read. One which attacks the COST of health care and EXPANDS access, but STAYS AWAY from anything that looks like a government takeover. Democrats reached to far and now are getting there hands slapped. If The President goes ahead with what is now proposed , and rushes it through the senate and house, he will be acting against the will of the majority .

    August 14, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  19. Pepou

    I wish he had experienced the health care system in Great Britain and Canada like I have, he would change his mind.
    Other countries have wonderful health care and it costs them half as much as what we pay here. What's wrong with following their example ?

    August 14, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  20. Independent thinker

    We need a new 'ism' introduced into the English language. I don't know what 'ism' should be called, but it is just as ugly as racism, sexism, ageism and all the others. It refers to the practice of left-wing TV 'talking heads', media pundits, syndicated columnists and elected politicians of demonizing and grouping together the vast majority of decent Americans who are justifiably expressing their anger towards an ill-conceived and so-far poorly explained bill, alongside a few whacko extremists who have a different agenda. It is outrageous, arrogant and shameful that this 'ism' is being perpetuated. Personally, I would like to see health care reform. However, the tactics being used by a few on both sides of the debate are an embarrassment and serve no purpose to ordinary Americans.

    August 14, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  21. Tony

    Don't forget we don't want a system that continues to ration heathcare like the one we have.

    We now ration care based on money. If you have money you get whatever you want. If you don't have money you don't (unless you go to the ER, which comes out of the taxpayer pocket anyway).

    August 14, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Few people have advocated for the single payer system or some other socialized medicine policy. Those that have aren't writing the bills in Congress or working in the White House. The people on the right are scaring people into doing stupid fear and uncivil actions, behaving poorly.

    Let us have a calm civil discussion with all the facts, and persectives on the table right up front. Those that don't see a problem can sit in the back and listen. I think there is a concern that we all end up paying for someone who has to go to the emergancy room for regular things. If we all had some level of regular care, this would be less of a problem.

    August 14, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. Four and The Door

    More rhetoric, fewer answers. Face it...they are not prepared to talk to the public about this Health Care plan yet. It's premature. They still have no idea how much it is going to cost or who is going to pay for it. Maybe they thought we wouldn't notice?

    August 14, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Lets see,who do we want making decisions about my healthcare,a government by, and for the people,or Corporate Fascists that now control the industry and dont want to stop stealing our money?

    August 14, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. S Callahan

    It's time to put out a National Handbook of what and what not the health care is to do. Let people read, sit on it, think about it (digest it) and then do the town hall meetings.....too much fear going around...that does not allow for rational thinking.

    August 14, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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