August 7th, 2009
08:43 AM ET
13 years ago

Town hall meeting on health care turns ugly

(CNN) - A health care town hall meeting in Florida on Thursday dissolved into bouts of heckling and violent pushing and shoving among attendees.

The meeting in Tampa, which featured Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor and Florida State Representative Betty Reed, was another example of the tense battle lines that have been created in the passionate health care debate.

Hundreds showed for the meeting at the Children's Board of Hillsborough County, some carrying signs railing against President Obama's proposed health care reforms. Hundreds more were not able to get into the meeting room.

As Castor first began to speak, scuffles broke out as people tried to get into the meeting room. Parts of the congresswoman's speech was drowned out by chants of "read the bill, read the bill" and "tyranny," video of the meeting showed.

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (142 Responses)
  1. Alex

    I'm sure there's a majority of sensible people in the Republican party that are dismayed by the party's descent into mob mentality.

    August 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. gary berti

    I remember when...

    during the Bush administration hecklers were arrested for interrupting political rallies. I even remeber reporters being locked out events.

    My, how things have changed. Freedom of speech is back when Democrats drive the bus, but go away when Republican Conservatives drive the bus.

    Well done, Conservatives! You have really laid bare your feelings on the democratic republic we all thought we lived in.

    August 7, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Jefe

    Dissent is great, but I wonder how misinformed many of these people are. I know Neoconservatives who believe some amazingly incorrect things about what the healthcare bill is about.

    I don't think its perfect at all, but I know enough not to believe the government is going to decide when its your time to die. Unfortunately, much of the Michael Savage/Rush Limbaugh Nation is lost in a dangerous web of lies.

    August 7, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Prove your from the district and act in a civil manor or be escorted out of the meeting,period.If this were the republicans,you would also have to prove you are a citizen of the country and they still wouldnt believe you if you were other than white.

    August 7, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. Welcome to The BoBo Show

    We need affordable cable, Plasma TV's, BMW's, Boats and mansions for all Americans. To think we have all lived this long without them is obsurd

    August 7, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  6. Dave

    Why don't they just say what they mean? It's obvious to me that most of these people could benefit from health care reform but asking the government not to do anything is counter productive to me. Like the tax tea parties protesters when ask how many made over 250 thousand dollars a years a very few raised their hands so most was protesting against themselves.

    August 7, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Excuse me? a native Floridian, I just love the way we're always in the news. Remember how we GAVE the 2000 election to our Governor's brother?? The Repubs are really working hard to stop health care reform under threats from the insurance lobbyists. When elected officials who support reform are threatened w/bodily harm...we act no better than Iran. People are out of control...and I blame the Repubs who I will be working and campaining AGAINST next year.

    August 7, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. JOY

    It is shameful what is going on . Civilized behavior is needed, the tuggish display is a bad image for America. Some people go to create havoc others want to hear and learn, give those who want to hear, the chance. These are organized groups designed to obstruct. Millions of people have no jobs, income and health Insurance, they need to hear what is the best way to help them. It is time to put aside the POLITICS, it is RUINING america

    August 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  9. Disillusioned

    Funny how the left is calling the voices from the crowd "extremists " because they don't follow the same liberal beat. I recall hecklers voicing their opinions "at" McCain during the campain last year and where was the admonisment by the DNC then? I didn't vote for a single Republican candidate last election and I still don't care for the current Democratic policies. Am I an extremist also?

    August 7, 2009 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Michigan Independent

    What's sad about the whole mess, is that the people that are loud and angry don't have clue about the facts ...shame on those that are behind the entire misinformation project...that alone should be a wake up call the American people!

    August 7, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  11. Lynda/Minnesota

    Not so hard to understand where the children who fight each other for nothing more than the priviledge of posting said fights on U Tube get their behavior from.

    Not being a Jerry Springer fan, I am not sure how this behavior is supposed to work. The more screaming and shouting one does accomplishes what exactly?

    August 7, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. Torch

    The biggest problem we have here is Mr. Obama himself.

    He's so intent on trying to "save us" because that's what Liberals think they were put on this earth to do, that he refuses to recognize that this attempt at healthcare (can't call it reform, because it's not) is such a rotting skunk, and American's are not going to stand for it, that he can't actually believe people don't like it. That's how sick this man is.

    Mr Obama needs to check himself into rehab, because he's so drunk with his Liberalism, his condition is affecting the entire nation.

    August 7, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  13. Tim from Tampa

    Nice job Rush & Beck. Let's see some more true politics of obstruction.

    August 7, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  14. beevee

    I am not sure who is behind all the ugly scenes that are being created at these townhall meetings on health care reforms but I suspect the GOP conservatives and special interest groups are behind it. It is such a shame that those people who participate in these hecklings have probably the least comprehension of the full scope of the reforms but have succumbed to the fear mongering tactics of those behind it. Wake up and use your brains.

    August 7, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  15. Craig of LA

    Fact: Medicare is socialized government run health care.
    I ask republicans are you going to give up medicare and place your parents on your family's private policy or force your parents to buy private insurance? Of course not! So stop the hypocrisy!

    Fact: Insurance companies delay care, deny care, ration care, cancel policies everyday.
    Why? They are in it for the money you dolts! The more they pay out to your doctor, the less their profits. They care nothing about you, your family or your health. All that matters to them is profit! Wake up!

    Democrats will bring the change we need, what the vast majority of Americans voted for in 2006 and 2008, and you and our country will benefit. YES WE CAN!

    August 7, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. Matthew K

    And these are the adults Generation Y and X should look up to? These are the folks that will help pull us out of this recession? Instead of offering solutions, they would rather talk over each other like a Jerry Springer show. These "adults" should be ashamed of themselves. If this is the best of the baby boomers, no wonder unemployment is over 9% and we are all in a recession. Children know better than these folks, maybe they could learn a lesson from preschoolers to respect others.

    August 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. yuri

    The bothersome babaric behaviors of the blokes in FL, is another e.g. of healthcare and its reform gone wrong. Somebody ought to fix it, but some politically motivated mob do let loose a littany of loathesomely loud lodgings of protests in a least desirable way, obviously.

    August 7, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
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