August 12th, 2009
03:45 PM ET
13 years ago

Maryland senator has boisterous town hall on health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Maryland Democrat Sen. Ben Cardin has been holding a series of town halls this week."]
(CNN) - There were tears, fears and lots of shouting Wednesday when Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland held a town hall meeting on health care at Hagerstown Community College in his home state.

Dozens of audience members crowded two microphones to ask questions, and many accused Cardin and President Barack Obama's administration of seeking to
bankrupt the nation's future by overhauling the health-care system.

"This government is out of control. We are in debt up to our eyeballs," one questioner declared, her voice rising in anger. "What are you going to do to restore trust and faith in the American people that you know what you're doing?"

Cardin, often speaking above booing and shouts of protest, said he believes the government has a responsibility to ensure that all citizens have access to affordable health coverage.

Much of the crowd's anger focused on one of three House proposals approved by different committees. As a senator, Cardin is considering versions that differ from the House measures, and he noted several times that Congress would continue negotiating to derive a single bill from the various proposals.

He also repeated four times that he won't vote for a bill that raises the federal deficit, and explained how the goal of overhauling health care is to end discriminatory practices by the insurance industry while bringing down costs.

The more he spoke, though, the louder the shouts of protest became.

"How will more bureaucrats and probably fewer health-care providers make health care better?" demanded another woman, adding that the plan seemed to be a "takeover, not reform."

Cardin acknowledged he wasn't going to change the minds of his loudest detractors.

"I was told that the people of Hagerstown are generally respectful," he said, adding that "90 percent of you are listening to what I'm saying."

As he left the stage, a woman in the crowd screamed at him and broke down crying.

Filed under: Health care • Maryland
soundoff (138 Responses)
  1. Suzanne

    What makes me angry are people who claim that the proposed health care reform would create something that could only have been created in Germany in the 1930's and who hold up signs with swastikas.

    Everybody should understand that the German health care system is the world's oldest universal health care system and was created in 1883, not the 1930's. 90% of the population have a public health insurance plan, with the remaining 10% participating in private health insurance. The public plan is funded by employers and employees (50-50 split) and the government only pays for health insurance for low-income/unemployed people. Health care expenditures are around 10% of GDP, compared to the approx. 16% of GDP in the US.

    August 12, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. joy

    pls CNN report fact on this HCR. the stupid Chuck Grassley Appearing at a town hall in his home state of Iowa, told a crowd of more than 300 that they were correct to fear that the government would “pull the plug on grandma.”
    “There is some fear because in the House bill, there is counseling for end-of-life,” Grassley said. “And from that standpoint, you have every right to fear. You shouldn’t have counseling at the end of life. You ought to have counseling 20 years before you’re going to die. You ought to plan these things out. And I don’t have any problem with things like living wills. But they ought to be done within the family. We should not have a government program that determines if you’re going to pull the plug on grandma.” come on CNN the most trusted name in news, why are u guys not calling out this fool on his misleading information. pls help with the truth. the Rupublicans are just misleading the public. we depend on the media to help with the truth. i hope u guys will call the Grassley guy out.
    concern citizen.

    August 12, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  3. Charles

    I've concluded these Senators and Congressman are doing these for TV and sympathy now that I see this.

    Have any of you ever been to Hagerstown? The area is essentially West Virginia and a lot different than the far-left majority in Maryland. What did the Senator expect when he went; a pro-Obama love affair?

    August 12, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  4. stormerF

    Sen; Cardin did a good job at his health care meeting,with the Exception of where is the money comming from? when the deficit this year is looking like 1.84 Trillion where as last year it was 450 billion,just the deficit is unsustainable,Now the Governemnt wants to take on more and more?
    Too many of Obama's town meetings are scripted,and shown on CNN as what a town hall meeting would be like if everyone agreed with the messiah,but in trurth,town hall meetings get loud and rowdy at times,especially over such a thing as health care.... There is no bill,so why do the Democrtas want you to support a proposed bill,before its finalized? what do they want to add to it? other than they will not be using it.

    August 12, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. donttreadonme

    Is this lib anger all about Healthcare or is it something else!

    Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance, Fifty-two percent (52%) now disapprove.

    August 12, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  6. Arizonan

    I was watching CSPAN they had a Republican Representative having a Town Hall in Eastern Texas. There were no shouting or boos because why, he was totting the GnOP party line and was totally against the healthcare bill (which is fine) but when I saw that I knew the people in town halls all around the country either are minions of the GnOP and/or the Insurance industry.

    August 12, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  7. John

    How come all the town hall events seem to be held by Democrats? Are Republicans afraid to face the public? I went to my (Repubican) Congressman's office today to urge him to put public interest ahead of partisanship and support meaningful health care reform. I asked if he would be having any town hall meetings, and was advised that "He doesn't do town hall meetings." That led me to wonder – is it only Democrats that do town hall meetings? And if not, why doesn't CNN cover Republican ones?

    August 12, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Proud Member..Party of No

    These people are there to represent their constituents but democrats don't care what their constituents want as long as their socialist tax and spend policies are passed. Vote them out!

    August 12, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  9. Wake Up

    I don't want to buy your health insurance. buy your own. Everyone should agreee on limited federal power, limited federal taxes. all of this should happen at local level. Quit bowing to King Obama. His beliefs have been proved wrong over 100's of years.

    August 12, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  10. Idiot_Pelosi

    What has OBUMMER done?

    Triple the (8Yr) Bush Deficit in < 8 months

    Increase Unemployment

    Break another campaign promise (NO MORE PORK), see Porkulus Bill

    Drive up Energy Costs with a usless Cap And Trade Bill

    Nothing on immigration (illegals)

    Nothing in the fight on Terrorism (oh, that talk is doing so much)

    Yep, Obummers track record is real solid. NOT !!!!

    August 12, 2009 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  11. Arizonan

    BTW I work for an insurance company and know the ins and outs, the proposed plan most people already have that under a corporation it's called an HMO

    August 12, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  12. Nathan

    If it was left to Democrats we would be France. Socialized medicine, govermment mandated month long vacations, weak military and an abundance of rude people. I forgot to say no GOD so the Obama Seculare Welfare State – Perfect.. FREE ABORTIONS FOR ALL...

    August 12, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. A Canadian Bogeyman

    It is not about reducing Cost... It is more about finding a way, to reshape Cost. You always attack from the outside. Why???

    August 12, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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