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Boyd Continues Townhall Tour in Tallahassee

Florida congressman Allen Boyd, D-Monticello, was booed, applauded, chastised, questioned and listened to for three hours Tuesday night as Panhandle residents debated the national health care proposal that President Barack Obama is promoting.

Boyd and other lawmakers across the country have been holding town hall meetings with constituents over the summer congressional recess to talk about potential health care legislation that is aimed in part at providing uninsured Americans with health insurance. However, many town halls have turned nasty with protesters often yelling at lawmakers and interrupting debate.

Organizers of Tuesday's event at the Tallahassee City Commission chambers minimized outcry by holding it in a 240 seat room, much to the displeasure of critics who said it would not allow many people to participate. They also forbid people to bring signs into the meeting and threatened to remove anyone who disrupted the event.

A few hundred people turned up, meaning some couldn’t make it in, and had to watch a television broadcast of the meeting.

The issue at hand was pending legislation that could change how health care is paid for throughout the country. Obama has been pushing for a health care overhaul that would provide more coverage to the uninsured, but a group of lawmakers, including Boyd, blocked his plans and told him to wait until after the summer recess so lawmakers could talk to their constituents.

A variety of plans and proposals were put up for consideration over the summer, including ones that include a so-called public option that would offer basic care as a government funded program. That particular proposal has drawn criticism from a number of factions who have said private businesses would not be able to compete with a cheaper, government health care alternative.

Boyd said he has not taken a position on the public option, but said it was just one of the reasons that he and other lawmakers did not feel comfortable voting on the bill before they left Washington D.C. for the summer.

“I don't think rushing this through is the right thing to do,” Boyd said.

The Tallahassee event drew participants from all sides – people who were in favor of the public option, some who thought the current bill needed to be reworked, some who thought Congress should first look at medical malpractice lawsuit limits, and others who didn't want the government getting remotely involved in their health care coverage.

Jo Hobbs, a former Havana teacher who lost her job, said it used to be part of her job to find people who would help her disadvantaged students get food or medical care so they could attend school and learn. She said she felt many of the barriers facing her students were hunger and illness, rather than a lack of interest in school.

But now she is the one without health care, she said.

“I know I'm not the only person in this boat right now because of the economy,” she told Boyd and other panelists at the meeting.

Boyd, who also held meetings Tuesday in nearby Crawfordville and Quincy, will conclude his town hall tour on Friday and will have held 15 public events by that time. He has also pledged to hold another larger even this fall before a final vote on whichever health care reform package emerges.

1 Responses »

  1. NO CO-OP'S! A Little History Lesson

    Young People. America needs your help.

    More than two thirds of the American people want a single payer health care system. And if they cant have a single payer system 77% of all Americans want a strong government-run public option on day one (86% of democrats, 75% of independents, and 72% of republicans). Basically everyone.

    According to a new AARP POLL: 86 percent of seniors want universal healthcare security for All, including 93% of Democrats, 87% of Independents, and 78% of Republicans. And 79% of seniors support creating a new strong Government-run public option plan, available immediately. Including 89% of Democrats, 80% of Independents, and 61% of Republicans, STUNNING!! Senator Max Baucus, You better come out of committee with a strong government-run public option available on day one.

    The History:

    Our last great economic catastrophe was called the Great Depression. Then as now it was caused by a reckless, and corrupt Republican administration and republican congress. FDR a Democrat, was then elected to save the nation and the American people from the unbridled GREED and profiteering, of the unregulated predatory self-interest of the banking industry and Wallstreet. Just like now.

    FDR proposed a Government-run health insurance plan to go with Social Security. To assure all Americans high quality, easily accessible, affordable, National Healthcare security. Regardless of where you lived, worked, or your ability to pay. But the AMA riled against it. Using all manor of scare tactics, like Calling it SOCIALIZED MEDICINE!! :-0

    So FDR established thousands of co-op's around the country in rural America. And all of them failed. The biggest of these co-op organizations would become the grandfather of the predatory monster that all of you know today as the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance industry. And the DISGRACEFUL GREED DRIVEN PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare industry.

    This former co-op would grow so powerful that it would corrupt every aspect of healthcare delivery in America. Even corrupting the Government of the United States.

    This former co-op's name is BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD.

    Do you see now why even the suggestion of co-op's is ridiculous. It makes me so ANGRY! Co-op's are not a substitute for a government-run public option.

    They are trying to pull the wool over our eye's again. Senators, if you don't have the votes now, GET THEM! Or turn them over to us. WE WILL! DEAL WITH THEM. Why do you think we gave your party Control of the House, Control of the Senate, Control of the Whitehouse. The only option on the table that has any chance of fixing our healthcare crisis is a STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION.

    An insurance mandate and subsidies without a strong government-run public option choice available on day one, would be worse than the healthcare catastrophe we have now. The insurance, and healthcare industry have been very successful at exploiting the good hearts of the American people. But Congress and the president must not let that happen this time. House Progressives and members of the Tri-caucus must continue to hold firm on their demand for a strong Government-run public option.

    A healthcare reform bill with mandates and subsidies but without a STRONG government-run public option choice on day one, would be much worse than NO healthcare reform at all. So you must be strong and KILL IT! if you have too. And let the chips fall where they may. You can do insurance reform without mandates, subsidies, or taxpayer expense.

    Actually, no tax payer funds should be use to subsidize any private for profit insurance plans. So, NO TAX PAYER SUBSIDIES TO PRIVATE FOR PROFIT PLANS. Tax payer funds should only be used to subsidize the public plans. Healthcare reform should be 100% for the American people. Not another taxpayer bailout of the private for profit insurance industry, disguised as healthcare reform for the people.

    God Bless You

    Jacksmith — Working Class

    Twitter search #welovetheNHS #NHS Check it out

    (http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/25/why-markets-cant-cure-healthcare/)

    Senator Bernie Sanders on healthcare (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSM8t_cLZgk&feature=player_embedded)

    American HEROES!! :-) Click replay to play http://bit.ly/j31oU

    (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbWw23XwO5o) CYBER WARRIORS!! - TAKE THIS VIRAL