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By the Way, There Will Be an In-Person Town Hall

August 7th, 2009 by Steven Gardner

I admit it. Sen. Patty Murray’s press secretary Alex Glass is right. Members of Congress have been coming to the community and talking about health care and not getting much attention until now. “I honestly think it was because there wasn’t this frenzy, and people like to watch the frenzy,” Glass said.

Murray, herself, was in Bremerton in July for a health care workforce event at Harrison Medical Center. As for town halls, that’s not a forum she prefers, said Glass. The interaction is better at smaller, round-table events. She probably won’t be in Kitsap during this recess, Glass said, but will be traveling the state discussing health care. And she has had the telephone town-hall meetings.

I’ve called the office of U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, but have yet to hear back on his plans over the break.

U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell has had nine forums on health care this year. She doesn’t have any planned over the break, but will have three events during the break that are open to the public. I know of one, so far. It’s next Friday in Pend Oreille County where she’ll address multiple issues, including health care.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Bainbridge Island, said he will have two town halls, probably within the first couple weeks of September. One of those will be on this side of the water. They’re still working on dates, times and location.

Even if you blanche at the sight of the name “Paul Krugman” or “New York Times,” I think you might find his take on the town halls today interesting. He believes the people shouting at these events are not just shills trucked in from elsewhere, even if he thinks some of their anger is misguided.

” . . . while the organizers are as crass as they come, I haven’t seen any evidence that the people disrupting those town halls are Florida-style rent-a-mobs. For the most part, the protesters appear to be genuinely angry. The question is, what are they angry about?”

I won’t spoil the ending for you, or the beginning for that matter. Seriously, go read it.

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2 Responses to “By the Way, There Will Be an In-Person Town Hall”

  1. MorknoOrc Says:

    In a nutshell this is the health care system the right wing supports:

    They promote private insurance beyond the income of individual subscribers who, to be insured, go through an employer, union, or other group.

    The private insurance companies dictate to the groups and threaten them with increased premiums unless they find a way of riding themselves of the persons who are decreasing profit.

    Once a subscriber becomes infirmed with an ongoing illness the insurance company instructs the group to find a way to rid themselves of the subscriber so they can terminate their insurance.

    That individual must now go to an emergency room in a hospital for treatment. The increasing costs of medical care due to the uninsured are grounds for the insurance companies to raise their fees, usually enough to increase their profit even more.

    Litigators are standing by in case the overburdened emergency care system makes mistakes in order to sue the Doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. These lawyers then run for public office.

    They pass more laws relieving the insurance companies of even more of their responsibility so they can increase profits for them and from litigation due to the increasingly over burdened system.

    The government, in an attempt to correct the problem for seniors, the most needy of health subscribers, enacts Medicare and Medicaid which will bankrupt our Government unless the problem is corrected.

    Add to that the excessive profiteering by the drug companies and medical supply companies and you have the American health care system.

    Naturally those responsible have tons of money to organize protests, buy talk show hosts and fabricate phony reports keeping the bulk of the people in this country in the dark.

    All the while, countries like Germany pass a single payer government sponsored system in the 1800′s that even survives the “Nazis”.

    One has to wonder if health care in this country can be salvaged in spite of the “Conservatives”. We shall see.

  2. sjstewart Says:

    I would love to argue the pro’s and con’s of the proposed healthcare plan, but it is so complicated, so vague yet over-engineered, that quite frankly I don’t understand it. And if I don’t understand it, then I will not support it. And I take geat comfort in knowing that many of representatives in Washington DC don’t understand it either. Or at least take the time to admit that they won’t even read the bill as it’s too large and would take too much time to understand. I guess they aren’t the only ones who are busy. However, that should be enough for them to get a chill up their spine that perhaps they should vote this one down. The bigger picture, to me, in my humble and unimportant opinion, is that our elected officials need to remember one thing; this is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is a representative form of goverment. They, the representatives whom we elect, are there to cast a vote on our behalf. Nothing more. I personally don’t care what their opinion is. They need to care about mine. And they need to do so whether they agree with it or not. If 50.01% of your constituents disagree with something, then you have an absolute moral obligation to vote based on their desires, not yours. No matter how good you feel the deal is. They need to remember that we did not elect them to represent special interests, self interests or their political party. I don’t care what your party line wants, I care what your constituents told you what they want. They are after all, the ones who employed you. And I find it offensive that our own government would refer to citizens of the United States of America, voicing their opposition to the “proposed” Healthcare Plan, as “angry mobs”, that their opinions are “astro-turf”. It’s absurd. Whether they are right, wrong or indifferent, they have a right to be heard, not mocked, not attacked physically by special interest groups. It seems that one side allows itself free reign in protesting with no holds barred in the interest of voicing their opinions, ideals and philosophies, throwing chairs, tables, rushing the stage and attacking speakers, yet when another group voices their concerns or protest in an organized public venue to a particular groups attempt to ram something down the throats of the American people, they are criminalized, called names and dismissed.
    Be very careful in your decisions. Unemployment is at an all time high, and you, our representatives will very quickly find yourselves as one of those statistics if you don’t start hinestly representing the people who put you there.

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