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. MomofFour

    So let me get this straight...the liberal media decides that the town hall protestors are too boring now. Oops! Actually...they're dragging down Obama so let's stop talking about them and people won't know they're there!! This is what's going on. Censoring the public is what that is called. Guess what?? It's NOT going to work. You see...the liberal media is so arrogant that they don't have a clue that when they do that...people go en mass to Fox for the real truth. Fox News' ratings right now are THROUGH THE ROOF. That's because they can't get the news on the liberal stations. All the networks and CNN have ratings that have tanked. But they still don't get it. They really don't. It's a liberal denial thing.

    The more this administration insults and ignores the will of the American people the angrier they will become. They will sit back and watch the DNC and the elite media turn this country into a socialist system. PERIOD. If the Democrats ram this through without bipartisanship....just pack your bags now because you will be outta there!

    August 14, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  2. Annie, Atlanta

    There are a lot of questions. There isn't a final bill yet. But one thing is certain. We need reform. Insurance companies have increased profits by 400% since 2000. Their executives are making tens of millions of dollars a year. That's tens of millions, folks. How many of you would be happy to make $1M in a year. Something needs to be done. This is rampant uncontrolled greed, made off of our hard work.

    Yet there are a handful of people attending these rallies who are pulling for the insurance companies and against their own best interests. I'm dumbfounded. And some of them are screaming socialism while it's obvious they're on Medicare. What's wrong with these people? And we have senators and congressmen backing up some of the most dreadful of the lies to come out of this campaign of misinformation. Have we lost our minds, or have we been this stupid all along?

    August 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  3. Astroturf This

    The protestors are being called mobs, nazi's, extremists, rabid mobs, malcontents, evil mongers, racist, un-American....the list goes on. How despate do you have to be to attack Americans exercising their freedom of speech? A president who would marginalize and insult the American people who elected him to office...who HE works for...has the arrogance of lying and insulting and ignoring the will of the people...is a president who will be kicked out on the Jimmy Carter curb if he doesn't get a clue...and in a hurry.

    I don't care if you are liberal, republican, independent...I don't care if you're a martian from outer space...you are just plain dumb if you think that this is a good strategy.

    August 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  4. Meidy

    This picture says it all. Here's the class clown with money to spend on stupid haircuts, expensive tattoos and apparently has money for plenty of food yet he can't afford to spend a dime on health care and wants people like me to foot the bill. Give me a break.

    August 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  5. Joan

    There's no way you can have a health care system like we do in Canada because so much of your health care is historically tied up by big health and pharmacutical companies. President Obama has said many times that the whole system cannot be overhauled and does not plan on even considering that. If your country was starting from scratch, that would be your best bet but it's not going to happen. However, there are many things that do need to be changed and immediately. Anyone with half a brain can see that. Some countries overseas have a mixture of private and public systems and it seems to be working well. I am glad to see the media finally getting the courage to confront some of the lies that the right is spreading around and that some gullible people actually believe. Kudos to Rick Sanchez for being the only journalist to really hold Rick Scott's feet to the fire and show how hypocritical he is. Scott is so tied up to the big health care industry and his company was fined over a billion dollars for illegally billing the government. Not too credible a spokesman! Also, kudos to the journalists who have acknovledged that it is mainly the Democratic town halls that have been attacked by the protestors. They seem to be leaving the Republican town halls alone. Doesn't that kind of smell like a conspiracy?

    August 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Tabeth

    How can america fail to solve such basic humanitarian need of its people?

    August 14, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Astroturf This

    On Craigslist...look it up yourself...ACORN and OFA are actually advertising to pay people to protest the protestors at these town halls.

    Desperate anyone?

    August 14, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  8. FL for Change

    I stay STOP THE TOWN HALLS! If "adults" are going to act like children – treat them as such. We ignore the tantrums our children display...I say do the same to these idiots. If you have legitimate concerns, email or call your representatives as I have. There's no need to take part in the circus sideshow CLEARLY orchestrated by the big insurance companies. Thank you, Mr. President, for staying strong, firm, and committed to helping ALL Americans.

    August 14, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  9. Lynne

    So CNN are there no orderly informative townhall meetings across the country; are there no people attending who support the health care reform plans?

    That is the one sided picture that both your blogs and tv coverage is painting! You are as much a sell out to monied interests as the Republicans are.

    Where are the socalled republican leaders...hiding in Cheney's cave...why aren't you demanding they answer to the outright lies and hysteria you are helping to promote??

    Where is you demand for Palin to get up off her computer and defend her statements? Why are you giving her free rein to say whatever she wants with no one on one interviews?

    August 14, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  10. sandy

    I just wish people would listen instead of screaming. Some members of the Senate and Congress are instigating fear etc. and their job should be to reassure their constituents that they will do all in their power to get a good healthcare reform bill passed. Instead they stand up like Senator Grassley and make inflamatory remarks that feed into the frenzy that is taking place. No bill has been formed to date, and once one is, it should be read in it's entirety and discussed like adults both among the american public and among our government officials. At this time, I am not very proud of our government officials. also, I think the media should back off and also quit giving these "nut cases" air time. It only fuels the flames.

    August 14, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  11. Bev - NYC

    God forbid Americans should have quality afforable healthcare. We can have half an aisle of cereal and toilet paper to choose from but different choices for health care BAD ! Osama Bin Laden must be laughing in his undisclosed location at the nightly pardade of loud and ignorant on display nightly. All he has to do is start a ridiculous rumor, get some low IQ talk radio puppet to repeat it and we are at each other throats, truly pathetic, and theis bill is only in dicsussion, the final version isn't out yet, what will happen then? If healthcare isn't reformed don't complain when your private health care giant cancels your policy because you're too expensive.

    August 14, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  12. Bob in Pa

    And no answers to real questions, just talking points and staged questions

    August 14, 2009 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  13. Save America

    Who does the government think they're kidding with these union member/acorn "plants" at the townhall meetings.
    Bottom feeders getting paid by the democrats to hold up signs in favor of the healthcare takeover. It figures.
    It's time for obama and his thugs to be impeached.

    August 14, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  14. My fellow Americans

    Can all of you on the left and right get with us the independents and act like adults to reform our healthcare system? I don't want messy government healthcare, but I would support Medicare like quality for all. Conservatives, please stop backing big insurance – it's working against you, no matter how much you scream at a town hall.

    We ALL need to stand together and get the facts to stop the price gouging of big insurance.

    August 14, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  15. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    There can be no fulfillment of the American dream – no life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – without equal access to quality health care for all.

    Let’s move toward our more perfect Union!

    August 14, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  16. Fair guy

    What is good about the private health care insurance we have now? Ever increasing premiums/deductibles/out of pocket expenses, getting rejected due to pre existing conditions, coverage dropped for procedures costing too much, to name a few. Whom are you trying to serve? The people who elected you?

    August 14, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  17. bozo the obama

    obamas' news network (cnn, abc. nbc, cbs and msnbc) will keep up the mantra MOBS< MOBS< MOBS....desperate times deserve desperate solutions.

    August 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  18. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Congressman Rothman sounds like a sensible guy.

    I think part of the problem is that the Democratic Party is dominated by extreme Lefties who don't really represent average American Democrats–just like the Republican Party is dominated by extreme neo-cons who don't really represent average American conservatives.

    It would be cool if there was a party for average Americans–probably a majority–who don't lean too far in either direction. Instead, we have flaming extremists running both major parties, and the government, and no one representing the interests of most of the population.

    Maybe we need more Steve Rothmans.

    August 14, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  19. Robert jay

    Waht do these people opposed to health care want? They act the same as Republicans voicing criticism, mis stating facts, twisting facts, and outright lying whether by choice or stupidity. I am tired of hearing the health care chage proposal referred to as an experiment. Everything that is ever done begins with and experiment. That doesn't mean it' is bad. These selfish, self centered, cold hearted, paranoid people can't see past the end of their own pitfully selfish nose, and expect people with a rationale mind to support them. I ask you einsteins who oppose the proposal. What is wrong with choice? What is wrong with each person amking up their own mind without you jamming down our throt like Bush? If you don't want the proposed care then don't take it. Stay where and as you are, paranoid, pay the exorbitant costs and SHUT UP. Let this country grow (as it should) and accept that growth takes change whether you like it or not!

    August 14, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. Rob

    "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.""

    WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT THE OBAMA/PELOSI PLAN WILL NOT DO! IT WILL DESTROY HEALTHCARE IN AMERICA, PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

    What really needs to be fixed is new leadership in Congress and a new president, but we've got to stick it out until 2010 and 2012 for that to happen.

    August 14, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. m jeff

    Quality affordable insurance coming soon to a town near you, REFORM IS COMING.

    August 14, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  22. Lauren

    We need health care reform now.

    I cannot believe these individuals going to the town hall meetings that are so misinformed and incorrect, yet they continue to talk over everybody else and repeat themselves over and over. There's no problem with debating, but everyone needs to be respectful and be there to really get answers, not scream and get all worked up over lies.

    For anyone who still might not know the truth or is confused about some of the accusations out there, look on at WhiteHouse.gov and you'll see all these issues addressed. Also visit Health Care NOW's site. In addition, look on CNN's site and search Health Care Facts Checks and you'll see more clarification.

    Listen to what's really in the bill and listen to the American Medical Association, economists, health care experts, and the AARP.

    August 14, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  23. Belinda Dewrell

    Woe be unto all politicians who support this government takeover of health care....Election cycles keep on turning...

    August 14, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  24. Axl in Iowa

    Funny. As I'm watchin' Campbell Brown last nite as john talks about facts true or false...

    Everything against healthcare reform is either "false" or "pants on fire".
    But when it comes to Mr. O, everthing is either "true" or "Half true".
    Can't say I'm surprised.

    Just what the heck is "half true" anyway???? And where do CNN correspondants get off have any opinion at all regarding opposing Americans as extremist? I thought "news" was supposed to be impartial.

    CNN, #1 in News... Ha, yeah right. #1 in kissing O's you know what, it seems to me.

    August 14, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  25. Axl in Iowa

    I think maybe I'll start watching the FOX News Channel instead.

    August 14, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
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