Continuing the saga of last night’s, September 2, 2009, Town Hall Meeting held by Second District Congressman Joe Courtney.
15. The collection of people in this hall is less than one percent of a voting precinct. Please don’t let a skewed audience swing your vote. (Shouts and rumblings from the audience). A small portion of the population already has a public option for health care – Why are veterans, children and seniors so special? How can we help get health care for everyone? (more boos and grumblings along with calls for quiet)
Courtney – Expressing different points of view is what this forum is all about. There is a public option in the bill After an initial infusion of public funds, the public option will have to compete with the insurance companies and if providers do not join the public option network, it will not succeed. We will continue to work to get the best model of health care possible passed in Congress.
16. Since the TARP legislation passed the government is a little on the wild side. The President is printing dollars like they were going out of style. Everyone should be concerned. How are we going to pay for this? People should get jobs and save their money to pay for Health Care. No one has seen the finished product for this bill. We need to get the country back and get rid of Pelosi and Barney Frank.
Courtney – No comment and nodded to the microphone holder to go for the next question. There was a little back and forth rumbling from the audience.
17. I can’t sleep since Obama is President. He has stated that you cannot rely on the military. He wants to establish a civilian “National Security Force”. Do you support this?
Courtney – The Armed Forces must defend the country but the “Posse Comitatus” law prevents the use of military for domestic enforcement. I am not familar with the comment but would be opposed to a separate internal security force. (During this response, it was difficult to hear the Courtney response due to the shouting and grumbling by some of the audience.)
Personal Note – I was not familar with this quote by President Obama so I did a search prior to writing this blog. It turns out that in July 2008 during the campaign, President Obama was addressing a group regarding voluntary service to the country such as Americorps and the Peace Corps. He stated that National Security was not just the responsiblity of the military and that civilian service to the country was just as important and proposed a National Service Corp to provide volunteer services. There are some web sites that have taken this comment to mean that Obama wants to establish an armed Internal Security Force – Not the intent of the speach he delivered at all.
18. What is the most important part of the Bill? Lots of mumbling from audience.
Courtney – after a moment of hesitation – Part A that deals with Insurance Reform is the most important part of the bill. Introducing these reforms will reduce the number of bankruptcies due medical care costs.
19. Please support the Public Option. It is an important part of the reform of health care.
Courtney – No comment. On to next question.
20. Health Care needs reform but there is too much of a rush. What will you do if directed to support a single payer option plan by House Leadership?
Courtney – Chance for a single payer plan in the current Congress is less than zero. A public option is the best compromise but do not know just what will be in the final bill. (Much noise from audience and calls of “Liar, Liar.”. Noise made it difficult for Courtney to answer the questions.
21. The US is only wealthy country that 1) does not insure all persons; 2) is twice as expensive as Europe; 3) Standing is 38th in the world; 4) Deaths are highest of all developed countries with a Health Care System. Much Noise from the audience.
Courtney – No comment. Moved on to the next question.
Will pick up with next question later this evening in the Final installment (Town Hall -Part IV).