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Kerry's Town Hall on Health Care Reform

Anyone hear how it went?


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 4th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
I think Pete was there -- he was talking about it at Meg's late last night.
Sep. 4th, 2009 04:49 am (UTC)
My Impressions
I was quite surprised. Kerry was articulate and passionate. The town hall was technically open to talk about any topic, but it turned out to be 100% about health care reform. There were a few republicans in the audience, but the vast majority of the audience was pro-reform.

When we came in, they gave everyone who wanted to ask a question a number. After the introductory speeches by the major and representative Capuano (who was very warm and personable), Kerry talked about the common elements of the reform plans. Then he pulled numbers out of a box to determine which people got to ask questions.

There were a couple of questions which boiled down to "why not try to pass single payer?" to which the answer was "Even Kennedy wasn't trying for single payer now. The votes just aren't there" All of the questions were from liberals. There were a couple of anti-reformers who shouted out questions or comments, but they were not very disruptive (either because they weren't trying to be disruptive or because they were sooooooooo outnumbered)

After a while of fielding questions, Kerry trolled for Republicans who could explain the republican proposal for health care, and got three people to give it a shot. One of them was for buy-into-Medicare, which Kerry would support. One believed that most of the 45ish million people without insurance were rich folks and illegal aliens, so we should just concentrate on the 2ish million people who really need help, and he had some ill-formed ideas about how to do that. The third was just crazy, but I can't remember how.

After that, there was more questions from people with numbers, but there was more just kinda shooting out, and Kerry focused more on those people to rebut or educate them. One of the was concerned about all the mercury that people would get from the mandatory inoculations.

At the end of it, Kerry pledged not to vote for a bill that did stupid things that none of the bills do and to vote for good things instead. It would have pointless except for the crazy things being said out there.

It ran 2 1/2 hours out of a scheduled 1 1/2.
Sep. 4th, 2009 12:54 pm (UTC)
Re: My Impressions
Kerry talked about the common elements of the reform plans.

Could you summarize some of that, to at least the extent you summarized some of the responses?

Also, out of sociological curiosity, were there any questioners who were generally supportive yet still interested in tricky details (like "how will costs be prevented from spiraling out of control?" or "who will decide what treatments are covered?") that might make a well-intentioned plan cause more problems than it solves?
Sep. 8th, 2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
Re: My Impressions
it's nice that it didn't get disrupted - the other day i was listening to npr, and they played some clips from some town halls (i think one was in PA and i'm blanking on the other one) - and it was shocking how crazy people were - from condemning health reform as evil "and god will punish you for this!" and masses of people yelling antireform stuff and preventing any kind of debate or discussion. And then the politicians at the town hall either totally folded or tried to reason with the mob - doesn't seem to make a difference. It's very depressing.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )