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August 12th, 2009
08:42 AM ET

Would You Attend a Town Hall Meeting?

Would you attend a health care town hall meeting if you could?

Members of Congress across the nation are holding town hall meetings to discuss health care reform. People are showing up to ask questions and to share their concerns, doubts, opinions, etc.

As you’ve probably seen - some of the meetings have turned into shouting matches –but others have remained civil, and serious issues are being addressed. We want to know what you think. Would you attend a health care town hall meeting if you could? Tell us why.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. David Clark

    Yep! I'm getting ready right now to go to a town hall meeting with Senator Ben Cardin here in Hagerstown, MD.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  2. Diane from Kennewick WA

    I would go to a health care town hall to support the president's efforts to reform the healthcare system. These meetings shouldn't be dominated by screaming people who are programmed to disrupt the democratic process by promulgating lies and misinformation.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  3. Joe Eliafan

    I would attend town hall meetings when smart people are willing to participate. I am tired of comments like: "46 m have not insurance, they need insurance". Very prodcutive.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  4. Jennifer in Tennessee

    Absolutely! I need to know the facts and my opinions need to be heard. I'm sick of hearing all the soundbites and rhetoric on the news; a townhall meeting is the only place to hear at least most of the truth (to be taken with a grain of salt, naturally).

    August 12, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  5. KCA

    These "town hall meetings" discussing health care reform are not that at all. They are simply a front for Republicans to have commentary, complaints and rants about the fact that our President is a black man. These meetings are hidden racism in the purest form!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  6. Ed Maxwell

    The reason I would not attend a town hall is fear–simply fear. When someone can show up, like in Portsmouth NH, wearing a gun with a sign implying that the president would be better off dead; when people can show up with planned scripts shouting everyone else down; then fear rules and I stay home. How sad is that. The right wins by intimidation. How sad is that.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  7. Fealbs

    I would want to go to a town hall meeting if I am assured that there will be intelligent conversation. From what I've see on TV these meetings have turned into dangerous places where questions are not heard or answered. This is a shame.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  8. Sam f

    Yes I would go to a townhall meeting on Healtcare reform to support President Obama in reforming the Healthcare process, even though that I have the cadillac of healthcare right now. I want to lend my support to the millions of young people who don't have healthcare insurance just because they get dropped off of their parents insurance because of their age, something they can't do anything about.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  9. George Reichert

    No I would not attend a townhall meeting after yesterday's incedent of two people carrying guns to the demonstration. The fact that weapons are now part of the activities of these peoples has crossed a very dangerous line. Was yesterday merely a test of police procedures? What if the demonstrators' had gone beyond verbal exchanges, would those two have used their guns? You need to pay more attention to this issue as it may be the first instance in some more aggressive activities.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  10. Jacob

    I would attend a town hall meeting if I felt like exercising futility. Whereas political participation is a brilliant feature of our democratic republic, political efficacy is so rarely ensured. So often as seen in the media these meetings turn merely into emotionally enraged and often factually questionable rhetorical battles. At best it would be pointless to attend, at worst incredibly annoying.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  11. Derek

    Of course I would go to a town hall meeting. But if people want to yell and chant, join the protesters outside. I've been so disappointed with the lack of structure of civilized debate. I enjoyed watching Sen. McCaskill (D-Mo.) organized town hall meetings.

    What's up with the web cam angles now? Leave it to the YouTube bloggers.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  12. Elizabeth w.

    Heidi I'd go because we are not being heard by the elected officials. They are going on their plan without regard to their constituents.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  13. Sharolyn

    I'm for health care reform but would be afraid to attend due to the "thug mentality" I see at the meetings. Yelling & trying to intimidate congressional representatives / President make me even more convinced we need to reform. Right now, the insurance companies can do as they please and certainly enter into every decision I and my doctor make on our health care decisions,

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  14. Al

    I wish I could fing to voice my views, but not only that I'd like to listen to some of these people who have a problem with health care reform and see judge for myself if there's any validity or is it just more anti-Obama reaction. I watch CNN and my local channels showing all of these townhall meetings (well the disruptive ones) in these areas where there is no racial diversity and in listening to some and all I hear is what's going to be taken or changed and there hasn't even been a final draft of any bill.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  15. rich sottilaro

    This is the reason this in NOT the united states but the divided states.
    We are the laughing stock of all those countries that have socialized medicine already in place!! Canadian's are laughing at this circus and they have people in America touring and talking about the success of their system. We only have republicans lying about their excellent system and it is offending them to no end With all these town hall meeting circuses misinformation lies and scare tactics is turning my stomach. This is NOT what our forefathers had in mind when they brilliantly crafted the declaration of independence did they!! They would turn in their grave at these antics. Pathetic is the only would that comes to mind in response to this circus!!

    rich

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  16. For Rational Reform

    Watching the town hall meetings on tv I have to believe that many of these people are actually paid to be here by interested parties that support the healthcare status quo, be they insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, etc–meeting attendees seem more interested in making noise than voicing their thoughts, listening respectfully, and contributing to a thoughtful discussion on the pros and cons of healthcare reform. Why is the mainstream media not further exploring the possibility that some of these individuals may be "planted" by special interests?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  17. Marilyn Hollinger

    I have not heard any discussion regarding mental health benefits and how these illnesses would be treated in the health care reform bill. Is there a site that actually has an overview of the plan as proposed by the democrats and the republicans? What happened to the value of truth?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  18. Barbara Tellman

    I have gone to two forums by my Congressman already before the mobs made it intimidating to go. They were well attended by people desperate for change in our current broken so-called system. I will go to another next week and hope the thugs do not show up. Honest difference of opinion is fine. These thugs are not.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  19. Stephen

    I'm a college instructor and in every class that I teach I always have a few non performing students who are primarily in college because they need would no longer be eligible for coverage under their parents' health insurance if they did not remain in school.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  20. Christine Jones

    Heidi,
    I have been a Nurse Practitioner for 30 years and would like to discuss my thoughts a town hall meeting. But I would not consider going after seeing samples of these meetings.

    I want us to have the great universal health care that Germany and France have (not socialized health care like England and Canada).

    But how would I get a word in over the yelling and and vitrious paranoid anger of these really scary people?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  21. Kim

    Tell the President to come to Minneapolis! We would love to tell him and a cowd in his presence that we think Healthcare Reform is the best thing for us!!

    I am small business owner / employer and a major health insurance group dropped us. All 12 of my emoplyees are without healt insurance now. I had a few late pays with them.

    The sad part is...the insurance group who dropped me is one of my payers who didn't pay me! I am healthcare provider and saw many of their patients and never received reimbursement from them.

    They made me pay my past due (I help back employee paychecks to do this, saying they will reinstate me once current, then i received a letter that we are NOT reinstated.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  22. Dave Marshall

    I would not attend a Town Hall meeting. They have proven to be only a place to post your opinion. Those attending are not interested in asking questions. Those attending don't want to hear anything different than the opinion they already have. These meeting are disruptive to the legislative process under the current format. I remember an old comment that you really don't want to see sausage or laws being made.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  23. Thelma Donahue

    I would like to attend a town hall meeting; however, one that is not disrupted by shouting and anger. That is so counterproductive that it is hard to believe that any of that is genuine. We need the facts of any kind of health care bill and it appears that there is certainly more good than bad in what has been proposed . Even though my husband and I have health care insurance, the increasing costs of both health care and pharmaceuticals have made us feel insecure and fearful that we will not be able to continue the care we have.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  24. karen meredith

    Let's do the easy things first. Tort reform. Eliminate 50 state regulation. Require that patients receive a copy of every medical bill. Require Doctors and hospitals to post their prices. Loosen regulations to allow Pharmacists and Nurses to provide more of the basic everyday care. All of the other country plans that Lou Dobbs has been reviewing have twice as many doctors per capita than the US. Let's spend tax dollars on scholarships to train more doctors. All of these things would significantly lower costs.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  25. Roger W.

    I am in fear of what is being passed while they have us in a frenzy over health care. I am concerned about the interest rates that are being increased monthly on credit cards so they can beat the Feb deadline. This is affecting me every day. I am current and have a high 790 FICA score and never missed a payment. I feel this health care smoke screen is just that. What would happen if everyone just stopped paying the credit cards until the rates went back to their previous interest rate.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  26. Robert

    Dear Heidi, I don't get it. Why is it so difficult for CNN (In general) to simply say it like it is? If this was George Bush pushing a healthcare plan before it can be read, would you guys be sooooo onboard? People raise concerns about aspects of National Healthcare that are present in countries that have it, and CNN's general response is to scoff at them as misrepresenting the facts. This, because it's supposedly not present in the current bill. So you're saying it will never happen here? And how do you know it's not there if nobody can read it, and it's likely to get additions/subtractions...?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  27. Lisbet

    I have a 5k deductible for a hospital plan at $152 per month! Useless –
    I've lived in Europe for 17yrs and experienced many forms of healthcare there. I felt valued by the society and at every aspect of my health; that is from the type of food sold in the country or junk kept out of the food! All the way to days off work and healthcare. It is a human right and NOT a benefit for a modern civilized society.

    My child has kidcare, that costs $20 per month, If I improve my income above the max level allowed, then my kidcare cost jumps to $126 per month! I need this reform to allow me to improve my earnings, pay a higher rate for kidcare, maybe $50 per mnth and about $80-100 per month form me and actually cover more then catastrophic care. We need preventative care.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  28. Greg, Ontario

    I would go just to set some of the fears to rest. The amount of ignorance, blatant lies and misinformation being spread by the media is amazing. I'm in a shooting club that interacts with American clubs ( great guys) and some of the horror stories they tell us about would amaze you.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  29. Dan

    I would attend to show that we are all concerned with the goverment take over of Healthcare by attrition. I am also displeased that our senators and congressman think they can ignore the Amercan people. They are elitist who won't have to participate in a system doomed to fail. Why not fix Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Two failing government programs.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  30. ken

    ive been a nurse for a decade and i can tell you that people who need health reform dont have the strength to make it to those meetings. obviously the discussion i hear at the town meeting doesnt reflect the same people i care for. but there is something similar about the town hall meeting and theJerry Springer Show

    August 12, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  31. Josh Trump

    I would not attend a town hall meeting and I am in the medical field. I deal directly with leading surgeons & educators, research labs, pharmaceutical companies as well as the very ill very under insured Americans on a daily basis. Having said that I have read HR3200 and believe I have a solid grasp on the essence of the bill. That being said I don't think going to a town hall meeting will benefit myself or effect change to the issue on the table. I believe that these town hall meetings are more about the repersentative running the meeting and not the issue itself. I think that this has become way to political. It seems all agree Americans need medical care and need options with that medical care. It is also apparent all agree on reform, just how we get there seems to be a forum for political flexing.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  32. Bill

    i would like to attend a town hall meeting, but not to add my view, i already am more then willing to share with others. But i just want to witness what i always thought, People will do anything for a buck.Grown adults being paid to act foolish in public. It's not just corporate greed anymore, it's greed all the way down the ladder.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  33. John

    It seems to me we're trying to put a band aid on a bullet wound. We all want affordable health care, but aren't looking into the reasons why our health care is increasingly more expensive than anywhere else in the world. It's not just the insurance companies. They are raising rates because the services are raising their rates. The services are raising their rates because medical equipment and drugs are more expensive and insurance companies are paying less and less for the services...

    It's a big circle. I think we need to get to the root of the problem. Then affordable insurance can be attainable.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  34. Andy

    I wouldn't be caught dead in one of the insurance-sponsored town hall rallies where gullible citizens are duped into thinking that the insurance reform bill is bad and the insurance companies have their best interest in mind. Remember, the health insurance companies made billions of dollars in profits this past year; one of the few industries that saw profits. And this was all done on the backs on hardworking Americans like me who are finding it harder and harder everyday to make ends meet....thanks to rising health care costs and rising insurance premiums that cover less and less. We need insurance reform now! How many of those people yelling and screaming at the rallies actually read the bill themselves. I have, and while there are part I don't agree with and don't understand fully, I support 90% of what is being proposed to date!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  35. Shirley Ches

    Absolutely – I would LOVE to attend! I would LOVE to speak! My story is one of incredibly increasing health insurance costs just as the gentlemans (the former insurance agent) you just showed on your AM broadcast. Our costs increased 8.75% this year alone, and – to add insult to injury – our co-pays have also increased. Our total health care insurance costs now total 32.6% of our retirement income. We will soon be priced out of the market.
    Don't you agree that insurance companies need to take a lesson from the auto industry? They priced themselves out of the market – AND probably a good part of the reason their prices increased was due to outrageous increases in THEIR EMPLOYEE HEALTH CARE COSTS!
    WHY DON'T WE SEE MORE STORIES LIKE THE AFOREMENTIONED GENTLEMAN'S AND MINE ON ALL TV CHANNELS? WHY DO WE GET ENDLESS DOSES OF THE LOUDMOUTHS RANTING THEIR MISCONCEPTIONS?????

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  36. Michelle Gustavsson

    I would like all of these people who are against a health care public option to look my chronically ill child in the eyes and say that she doesn't deserve to have health care. I am tired of the senior citizens who already have socialized medicine, yelling and screaming about socialized medicine.

    I would like to attend a town hall. I would like to support my Senator, Arlen Spector against these very loud ignorant people.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  37. Bobby Seabrook

    I would attend health care town hall meetings for several reasons, the republican party is behind the shouting matches which are attented by misinformed republicanites and to also counter the ignorant untrue rant of Palin (Failin).

    I have health care through my job and I am retired, under no circumstances will

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  38. Monica Marin

    I haven't had health insurance my entire adult life and raised my kids with the aid of the State. Now my children are grown and both have jobs that provide health insurance, but I still have none. If it wasn't for my fiance' I would not be able to go to the doctor or the dentist. I have had fibromyalgia for a few years now, and only because my fiance' can afford for me to go to the doctor I can finally go. It is pretty sad that we live in the the greatest nation in the world and we have to suffer when we are ill because to see the doctor would cost way too much.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  39. Andy Frey

    Heidi i've been watching CNN for the last 2 hours. the health care debate is completely full of misinformation. i hope americans take a proactive approach to educating themselves before even commenting on this topic. my problem is that americans are forgeting that happiness is a pursuit, not a given birth right. this is the fundamental problem with america and is involed at the heart of this debate. yes there are rights that are and should be given. if one wants a better health insurance, then go out and pursue the ability to improve ones health insurance.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  40. Steve

    Most adults who have jobs are working when these 'town hall' meetings take place. The video u-tube clips that I have seen on the news show that most of the adults who are attending these meetings are either 'senior citizens' who most likely are retired, 'stay at home moms,' or other's who are members of an organization with an agenda that are present to disrupt orderly dialogue. At anyrate, they represent a minority of a mionority of the true electorate who have no time to waste by encountering the screamers and chanters with the nazi and racist signs.
    For these reasons I would never attend a town hall. Instead, I prefer to email my representative/senator.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  41. William Collins

    I won't go because too many crazies have failed to look at the total picture with an objective eye. They are merely following the lead of selfish people, who for financial and political reasons have financed massive protests. They are acting like sheep and disrupting what should be civil discussion. This is not the United States that I have been so proud of.

    Instead, I have written my senator with my views.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  42. Thom Bate

    I cannot allow the stuipid, angry and uninformed Right wing nuts, to be the only voices heard. They fear any change, and clearly have no idea of what proper health care and costs should be. And while many of them have care, they dont want it for the rest of us. They should listen to message of their lord. Clearly his message has gotton lost in translation. Listen, I was just living in Panama, and the health care there is awsome, compared to the care in our country. AND , its a fraction of the cost!. If I get sick , I'm flying to Central America! Meanwhile, I'm going to fight for reform, and if that means attending a meeting or two, I'm there!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  43. Jere

    All conversation and confrontation regarding a national healthcare program would be over if the executive branch, congress (house and senate) and the judicial branch all said we are ending our current health care plans and signing on to the new health care program which will be just like everybody elses. Case closed, done deal and everybody is happy, well almost everybody.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  44. Jane Beck

    I would go, hoping for enlightenment, fearing only the display of ignorance and ill manners.
    Those who are shouting down others, preventing them from speaking are not examples of first amendment rights, they are simply bullies. And they are always shouting slogans from the same playbook, handed out by industry representatives.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  45. Indra Turnbull

    I lost my husband to cancer seven years ago and although we had insurance, he was not covered as it was a "pre-existing" condition as he had cancer 11 years previously when he had a kidney removed. We had our own small business and the financial consequences to his trying to fight the disease – the associated costs with a clinical trial he was on ($4,670 every six weeks for a CT scan and $1,000 a week for bloodwork) caused us to lose everything. When he died in 2002, I was left with two young sons and a mountain of debt.

    I am originally from Britain. My mother was diagnosed two years ago with lung cancer – she received first class attention and treatment. At the age of 80, unfortunately she did decline but she had home nursing care and hospice care at no cost to her. Britain does provide private options for those who can afford it and therefore the fear mongering that if government get involved all other options are off the table, is totally falacious.

    I feel very strongly about the misinformation and total exaggerations being bandied about by people who are blinkered as to the consequences that a dire medical emergency will cause them or their families. We never thought it would happen to us but it did – as it does for thousands of other families across the country. Something needs to be done in order to stop the bleeding, heartbreak and financial devastation families are experiencing every day when cancer or some other disease hits.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  46. Peter Acquaviva

    I would definetely attend if our Republican Congresswomen Jean Schmidt has one. So far no indication she will. I support reform, Schmidt's website has the standard anti reform rhetoric. But all we ever get from her is the Republican just say no position.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  47. Ashley macisaac

    Hi – we are watching in Canada.WE celebrate everytime we see how the Greatest Country inthe World -so called – America,fights over the most inane issue.You knowthe statement – Its the economy stupid- Its health care stupid.When you allow people to make profit off your health- you allow the devil to run your lives.Youhave a great govt ,and now arguably the best ever- under Obama,and he will go down as the man who made America fair again,not only around the world,but domestically.When you take care of your citizens first,then you can once again claim to be truly the greatest country in the world(because Canada is the greatest country in the Universe)!Profit based health care is as silly as Fox Friday night programming.Youhave enough money to war,to pomp and to go to the moon- what you can't pay for a pregnancy?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  48. B. Goodwill

    I have been to a townhall meeting (republican) on Monday in Harahan Louisiana on Monday hosted by Senator David Vitter. He preached the oposite to what Pres. Obama is saying. Healthcare reform has been needed for a long time in this country, why hasn't the republicans come up with an idea when they had control of congress for the last 8 years. Health Insurance Companies are paying 1.4 million dollars a day to prevent healthcare reform. EXPOSE WHO IS GETTING PAID. This is why people are so confused.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  49. Lance Weems (Fort Worth, TX)

    It seems to me that the town hall meetings are one sided and I feel that the majority of them are being subjected with obstractions to only disrupt them. I wish I could at least hear the people who have reasonable concerns and solid questions that would help america understand why it is so important to reform healthcare. I would go to a meeting to help achieve that.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  50. Mike Mihalek

    Because yesterday’s presidential news conference provided for more questions than answers.
    It’s easy to say “if you’re happy with your plan you can keep it”, but what if your employer pays for your healthcare? If a less expensive option exists, aren’t they more likely to choose it, even if it’s less comprehensive and your physician doesn’t participate?
    If Medicare is wasting $166 billion/year and in danger of running out of funds in 8-10 years, wouldn’t it be better to use that money to keep it going rather than to subsidize the uninsured, many of which are illegal immigrants and indigents?
    Certainly the drug companies are making huge profits, but isn’t it counter-intuitive to interfere with drug patents? Where’s the incentive for more research and development? The president just met with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Why do their citizens pay a fraction of what we do for those same medications? I wonder if he asked them to start paying their fair share so that American’s can stop funding all the new drug research that our neighbors to the north and south benefit from.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  51. Eliza

    Heidi,
    As is often the case, CNN and other networks put too much emphasis on the lunatic fringe. This is enough to scare off a lot of people from active participation. I am happy to see that on your show today we are hearing from people who are sharing their personal stories and their need for health care reform. Please focus more on the positive aspects of health care reform. We are at a crossroads in this country and we must unite to support these reforms.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  52. Candy K

    I would attend a townhall meeting if I could feel safe but some of the meetings I see on TV makes me wonder if I would be safe. I'm in a wheelchair due to a rare neurological disease, Transverse Myelitis, which left me paralyzed with terrible muscle cramps and spasms resulting in me quiting my job. I would like to tell my story of COBRA coverage – coverage where the payments double then tripled and I'm the only one insured! When the payments tripled, I had an income of $3000 a month so I was paying 1/3 of my income just for payments PLUS I had 3 doctor's co-pay and med costs of $500 per month! Then the last 2 months before Medicare, my Long Term Disability Co. decided I could find "gainful employment" and dropped me which cut my income in half! I was sixty, take meds that make me sleepy and fog my mind. 14 to 20 hours a day! I varily have the energry to make meals – thank GOD for microwaves or do the normal daily living requirements.
    HEALTH REFORM WITH A PUBLIC OPTIO – NOT JUST YES but HEL- YES!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  53. Corey

    Yes I would attend a town hall. I would ask if 88 percent of people are satisfied with their current healthcare, then why is there a fear that a public option would make people change their mind about their coverage?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  54. EWYoung

    August 12, 2009

    Has anyone ever brought up the plan that they have in The Netherlands and Switzerland? In their plan everyone is required to have health insurance. For those who actually cannot afford it the government helps pay for it or pays for it. What a huge relief to business not to have to deal with it at all. Also people pay for their plan so they do not have to worry about loosing it when they loose their job. With this plan you would not have the arguments you are currently having about the government taking over and making decisions regarding who gets what under the health care system The people and their Dr.’s would be making the decision, and that should stop all the arguments. This is so much better than England or Canada where we have relatives. When they have to have surgery they may wait 2 years for hip replacement, or other necessary surgery.

    EWYoung

    August 12, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  55. Joe Braxton

    I went to the Memphis town hall meeting and it was awful. If you were on the opposition side of health care you were heard. If not, you were booed and it was extremely difficult to be heard. I want to hear all sides and we all deserve to be heard. During the meeting this was said: “I don't want to be forced into a health care option." I wonder, how can one be forced into an option? If so, then it is not an option. The operative word is OPTION! I have read H.R. 3200 "America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009" and H.R. 3438 "Access to Insurance for all Americans Act" but no one talks about 3438. I am not sure all these upset people know what they are yelling and protesting about. Doesn't anyone realize that both bills, and whatever others there are, are going to be debated and worked through. I cannot help but believe that all this hoopla and ballyhoo is nothing more than a manifestation of lies, fear and ignorance. What I experienced in Memphis and other meetings shown in the media is not a rational democratic process

    August 12, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  56. Bobby Seabrook

    I go against those that do not have health care. When I saw how many AMERICANS were standing in line for free health care at free clinics, it showed me that health care reform is nort only needed but past due.

    And yes it is unAmerican to let those who do not have health care to suffer. I thought we were one nation under God, indivisable with liberty and justice for all.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  57. Joe

    YES,YES,YES, I would attend a town meeting, just to remind the politicians that "THEY WORK FOR US" not the other way around. We put them in office to serve us and we can take them out for not doing their job. America, wake up. Its time to clean house and hire people that have OUR interests in mind, not their own selfish agenda. Insurance companies have been making billions of dollars off the American people for decades. It's time for them to pitch in. Lets legislate a law that makes health insurance payments commensurate with income. And for those that have no income, well , lets call that, pro bono.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  58. Ralph Patch

    Yes, I will go. If those rednecks start their crap, I will be very happy to kick some Republican ass!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  59. Susan Schneider

    Thank you CNN for airing "Beyond the Townhalls" where you give the people with the real "need" for healthcare some airtime.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  60. John

    I would not go to a health care town hall meeting if I were paid to do so. I can't stand to hear the ignorance of people who think that the louder they yell the more right they are. I am an Iraqi war veteran, and it breaks my heart to see how Americans have lost their sense of sacrifice to help one another out. Americans only care about themselves and their wallet. Greed is destroying this great country.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  61. Murry Phillips

    Yes, i would like to attend a Townhall meeting, people are not getting the right facts. “I have a right to health care!”, where in the US Constitution does it say this, everyone is missing the point. You cannot blame one part of the industry except for greed. Everyone is taking their share, from the Pharmacies, the people that make the medical supplies, and yes the Insurance co. People must remember that if you get insurance thru you place of work, it is them that dictate on what is covered, not the Insurance CO. You want to fix the heath inderesty? Then Regulations is the only means to do it. No need to create another option, and yes, everyone should have a plan that is affordable, but not free, and it’s not going to be something that covers you in case of an emergency. And I do think the cost should be attached to how well you take care of yourself, just like when you get a discount when you drive without an accident.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  62. Virginia Hirsh

    As an insurance agent selling health insurance, I see the inequities the insurance companies impose on their applicants. They turn down anyone with preexisting conditions. They do their best to refuse to cover treatments that could be expensive., They pay insurance agents, like me, monthy commissions (a percentage of the insureds' premium), even though we cannot really service the clients' claims, due to the HIPAA privacy laws. Of course, it's nice to get the commission, but I'd forgo some of it, if it would help the country to secure a Universal type of healthcare. I am entitled to be paid for selling the policies, but not for service I cannot perform. The system needs to be reformed.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  63. Eden

    I would go to a town hall because health insurance reform is needed urgently and I don't want the fools shouting and not listening to our elected officials to dominate public policy. Everyone is welcome to their own opinions and should voice concerns, however, the lack of civility in society today is alarming. The protests at town halls are just another example of this. They're not listening, they're not offering reform ideas of their own. They're just trying to stop progress, at our expense.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  64. Jon Auer

    Yes, I would attend and respectiflly ask my question if allowed.

    I also have a practical example of a denial Letter, from a foregin Doctor, who has no ofice or practice in the US and is working for my Insurance Co.

    They use a cost cutting best practice board to determine treatments and suposidly save costs! In reality it is being used to come up with ways to not pay for services that the doctor says you need!

    I would love the opertunity to present this letter to them as a practical example of real life treatment that we get from an insurance co, and then ask my question

    The Senators that are in my area, Nashville, are not offering meetings
    and Senator Corker already held a meeting in Memphis?

    Which I believe is not his area of the state! Amazing!

    Jon in Nashville

    August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  65. Rosemary Mjal

    The American people may feel more confident in healthcare reform if they had more faith in Congress or if the bill was developed by a newly formed Federal Board of Medical Governors staffed by top medical and insurance professionals, and who would, end the end, oversee all compliance reform. I am for a single payers system under Medicare which brings equal benefits to all Americans and where no one is denied.

    The federal government should be strategically seeking reform that empowers respect and dignity for all people and one that is a model for the world. It should not be all about the money or keeping insurance companies happy. Insurance companies are the culprits not disease, chronic illness, and old age. If we had Universal Medicare, corporations and small business would not have reason to discriminate against older workers and that would help the unemployment dilemma.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  66. Sheri Matigian

    I would like to attend a town hall meeting. I believe why Americans are so angry is because our government is just not getting it. We do need reform in the form of retort reform, for example, but what Americans do not like is our government pushing mandates on us. And that is why Americans are constantly referring back to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  67. CF

    I am a 67 yr old retiree and have health insurance but if I were not married I would not have health coverage. I go to a clinic about once every 10 yrs. I have lived a very healthy life style, and find most people do not-so why should those who take care of their health pay for the the slobs that do not. I believe that there should be a full national/government coverage for those who are hospitalized for illnesses like cancer and other critical illnesses/diseases not of the individuals making–but not for careless fools who don't care about their health until they become obese, drunkards, drug addicts, etc. and have numerous health problems as a result. Farther, government needs to clean up the fraud and overcharges by hospitals/doctors associated with health care, as it is massive.

    CF
    Wisconsin

    August 12, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  68. Joan Carroll

    The town halls are in dire need of intelligent, reasoned discussion, and in that regard, I would like to attend a town hall meeting, believing that I could contribute to that discussion. However, from what I see on the news, it appears that the town halls–and the news media–cater to the shouting match, allowing any and all to give vent to their emotions without any reasoning or facts attached. In that regard, I see the town hall meeting as a waste of my time. This is unfortunately, since when reasoning people turn away, it is left to the mob to control the message. The woman from Lebanon PA yesterday, who took no part in politics previously, but is evidently now a constitutional scholar, was given an interview today on headline news. She did not state any facts, all she did was spout her emotional belief that 'government was taking over health care' and how awful that would be.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  69. Roy Heckler

    It would be interesting to compare the health care benefits and costs the members of congress have to what is being proposed for the average AMERICAN citizen. Would conggressional members accept the same coverage/costs?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  70. Harp

    To attend would be useless because all the sensible voices have been drowned out by those who are using this forum for rabble-rousing.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  71. Kimberly

    Although I am a social worker and have a vested interest in this topic, I would not attend a town hall meeting on the health care topic because I feel like I have already explored the information and had all of my questions answered through my own research online and through various reliable news sources. I personally support health care reform with a public option. I feel no need to expose myself to the rantings, insults, and possible violence from those who have chosen to disrupt these forums since I know there is nothing I can personally say to change their minds at this point. Nothing anyone can say will convince them to read read the draft bill themselves, nor would these folks likely be capable of understanding the bill if they did read it.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  72. Shari

    It seems to me that a townhall meeting should be a place for a reasonable dialogue. It should be a place to find out more about an issue, to express opinions, to ask questions, and get questions answered. What I've observed in the televised meetings are politicians who are promoting their program speaking to groups of people who seem to have already made up their mind that they are against the program. I don't see a lot of listening from either side. Questions are asked, but when answers are given, even if it seems to clear up a misconception, there is no sense that that changed anything. The meetings are interesting spectacles, but are not helpful to people who are trying to understand a complex problem and possible solutions.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  73. charlotte shirley

    I do not think anyone, not even our repr. in DC understand this Health Reform Bill. If they are going to give free health care to illegals I am against it, in our state they even issue drivers license to illegals. One thing I do not understand is why they do not check what medical costs are, If I see my doctor for 5 minutes the charge is in th 60 dollar range, if I see him for more than 5 it can be over 100 dollars, My hubby and I are retired, have Medicare and his co insurance yet we pay more medical bills than we did when we were working. Plus the cost of medicine is out of this world, who is making all the money? The drug companies.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  74. marsha

    yes, i would go infact i am planning to go .... WE all have the right to know the realities of this reform, and to disagree with it if we see fit to .
    people who are saying that we are right wing exremist, or racist , simply because we are protestng is ridiculous.
    we are simply exercising our first amendment right.
    my concerns are taht if the government cant fix programs like medicaid and medicare , how do they plan to fix healthcare on a larger scale ?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  75. Bobby Seabrook

    I would attend health care town hall meetings for several reasons, the republican party is behind the shouting matches which are attented by misinformed republicanites and to also counter the ignorant untrue rant of Palin (Failin).

    I go against those that do not have health care. When I saw how many AMERICANS were standing in line for free health care at free clinics, it showed me that health care reform is nort only needed but past due.

    And yes it is unAmerican to let those who do not have health care to suffer. I thought we were one nation under God, indivisable with liberty and justice for all.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  76. Daniel Jordan

    Not only would I attend but yesterday I did attend Sen. Spector's meeting in Lebanon, Pa. What I learned was that the opposition to health care reform is highly organized by right-wing groups, travelling in an expensively painted bus, with preprepared signs and other materials and employing loud, aggressive, threatening tactics to forestall any real discussion of the issues. Spector's meeting was scheduled for 9:30 AM but the buses carrying health care opponents had arrived so early that they had nearly filled the hall and others were not able to enter. The police had tp stop anyone else from entering after 7AM

    I intend t attend as many such meetings as posssible to counter these tactics and make sure that those who genuinely want health care reform get a fair chance to make their position known in a democratic manner.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  77. Steven

    I would definitely go to a town hall, We need health care desperately. I am lucky to have a job and be able to assist my friend with Cancer he is unable to get private insurance and State Coverage isn't adding new patients, and the job hunt has been impossible for the past 9 months. Why is my life worth covering but his is not. At what point does America say 24 Years is enough?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  78. Alice from Oklahoma

    From my research, it looks like most of the outbursts are from people who have been (often unknowingly) stirred up through the actions of health care lobbyists. I think the term "astroturf" is often appropriate vs. 'grassroots'. Sadly, many of these people don't realize how they have been manipulated.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  79. Lynn Petersen

    NEVER!!! I have been to town meetings but I would not attend any at this time. A town meeting's purpose is to ask questions and hear responses from our legislators. Now town house meetings are attended by many idiots who have decided to yell and scream AND look like FOOLS! These idiots don't accomplish anything.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  80. Denise Coleman

    Yes I would attend so that someone might hear my story. I was a return to work disabled person in 1999. I wrote Social Security when I returned to work and told them I no longer wanted disability and Medicare, as my employer offerred health ins. I took up BCBS of GA. Two years later I had to have surgery and was shocked when I started receiving bills for 80% of total costs. It seems that SS did not inform me that I was required to maintain Medicare for so many years after return to work (at my expense of course) and BCBS was only legally responsible for 20% of all medical bills because I was "Eligible" for Medicare, regardless of whether I had it or not.
    So, I no choice but to call and reinstate my Medicare at an "increased" premium because of break in service.

    In Oct. 2008 I was hospitalized in Fl. with my heart. 1st time ever. When I returned home to GA I went to Dr.s and found that I had multinodual goiters in thyroid and an ASD of the heart. Several tests were ran on my heart and surgery was scheduled for the thyroid.

    Then I started receiving bills for the Florida hospital stay, Dr.s, labs, x-rays. I called BCBS and they informed me that I no longer had Medicare. I had just paid my bill for Medicare that they sent me for premiums good thru 1/2009. So, I called Medicare and they informed me that my Medicare should have ceased 11/1/07, so they were stopping my Medicare as of that date! This was in Dec. of 2008! They just forgot to stop it, continued to bill me and then decided they would just stop it retroactive and NOT CONTACT ME AT ALL.

    So not only was I stuck with close to $30K in outstanding bills they would not pay, but I was now faced with being "Uninsurable" in the private sector. NO ONE will give me a major medical policy now.

    I contacted Senator Zaxby Chambliss' office and they tried to have it reinstated until I could be officially notified of their decision to cease coverage and have those outstanding bills covered. All to no avail. Rep. Paul Broun's office is still working on the case for me. Chambliss' office said I would have to hire an atty, but there is not one atty who will take the case. There is nothing for them to gain.

    President Obama said it wasn't right for families to be stuck with tremendous debt from health care, but his organization did this very thing to me. He says Americans should all have the right to affordable health care, but his organization took my right of health care completely away from me.

    If they had ceased coverage 11/2007 I could have been insured privately with no health issues. Medicare waited until AFTER they started receiving diagnosis with life threatening heart disease to say, whoops, our mistake, we take back the last year and haha, guess what, you can't get insurance coverage anywhere now with your diagnoses.

    Okay, so you tell me how they can efficiently run a health care program for the US when they can't even run it on retirees and disabled persons now? How can they just screw up one life so terribly and sweep it under the rug? Don't I count? Where is the justice here?

    And I did send President Obama a letter, via email, to inform him of this decision. He did not come and sit down with me and have coffee to discuss the matter. He did not respond at all.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  81. charles

    i would like to add my 2 cents on the segment with dr. gupta. i currently do not have health insurance, could afford it, but not really motivated to get it. this is mainly due to the fact that i don't feel that it is worth it, because every time i would go to the doctor under my previous plan, i felt like i was on an assembly line and kept on getting the impression from several doctors that if they couldn't just send me out the door with a medication or ointment they really didn't care about my issues. sooo i've lost faith in this so called existing health care system.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  82. Carole Scott

    I would love to go to a Town Hall Meeting to voice my support of reform. Yesterday, Senator Specter asked a man who was opposed to reform what he would like to see in the plan, and the man was speechless. The crowd began shouting "tort reform" and so he said, "tort reform." This was so telling of the majority of people who have been attending these meetings. They don't know what to think unless Rush Limbaugh or some other lunatic tells them what to think. They just know it is a "government takeover", "unconstitutional", and "a really bad idea." I'm embarrassed for them and this country. We must look like a bunch of kooks to the rest of the world.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  83. Peter

    I feel that Health Care reform is needed but not a Government Health Care. As resident of Massachusetts everyone is required to have Health Care and affordable Health Care is provided for you. I want to see Federal laws written to prevent deny people health insurance with pre-existing condition. I do not think people should be denied health care. I do not feel that Health Care needs to be run by the government. Even know the current bills will allow people to keep their existing health care, I feel is that private health care rates could continue to climb as they loose subscribers to government plans. Eventually this will cause the fall of private health care and then we will all be on government health care. Also I feel is the US people are not actually reading the bill H.R. 3200. In this day in age everyone should be reading a summary or the actual bill so everyone understands what is being proposed. The US people should not just blindly be following the Mass Media.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  84. Jocelyn McCoy

    Yes, I would love to go to a Town Hall meeting if there were a member of Congress present who has actually read the bill or has a copy at the site so that specific questions could be answered – not just generalities.

    There has been too much "Pablum" from Congress. "Oh don't worry.
    We wouldn't do that to you" from people who don't even know the details of what is in the bill.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  85. Candice

    I would like to be a part of a town hall meeting to listen to the information about President Obama's Health Care reform plans, but I will not attend. I see that many of the people attending are not going in to listen, but rather to scream over one another and insult our President with racial attacks. I think that researching on my own will be more productive. I will use my vote and letters to my elected officials to make a difference. Shame on the radicals that are making this very important issue something political for their own gain (Sara Palin) and shame on insurance companies and the drug industry for making this commentary necessary at all. What happened to respect for all humanity?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  86. Deborah Sheats

    Yes I would. I am a type 2 diabetic with insurance but find that most of my budget is spent on health care. The high cost of medicines and the fact that even if a doctor orders a process my insurance company has the right to refuse to cover it or only cover a portion is just not right..

    If that wasn't enought the medicine is so expensive that we cannot affort to buy it. We all deserve decent affortable health care and I don't understand what the problem is. We ALL should be working to make this happen not to cause a distraction so that nothing changes.

    We need and deserve affordable care and I feel there should be a united effort to get the job done.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  87. steve

    yes , i would attend one of these meetings- only because alot of misunderstanding are rising about health care. my parents live in america ( i'm canadian) and even they disagree about your health care system. as a canadian our health care IS NOT SOCIALISM. we also have private health care and if you make a certain amount of money, part of the yearly tax form has a section you fill in to pay some of the provincial part of health care. yes there is wait times but this is because there is NOT ENOUGH DOCTORS- JUST SPECIALIST.my parents even perefer the canadian health care system than the American system. this whole mess is because Americans think that the health care system reform will mean that they won't get coverage.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  88. Bob Stafford

    I'm all for "grassroots" politics, I can't see myself being a part of the screaming and yelling I've witnessed the past several days in news coverage. I'm a senior and would love to see constructive debate where people talk to each other and actually listen to each other. And, that politicians sponsoring these events would let us know how comments made at these meetings actually affect their voting cosiderations.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  89. Ann G.Macpherson

    Of the 40 mil some uninsured quoted this morning, how many of that number are ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS ??? NO ONE seems to talk about that. I'd appreciate it someone would' Thank you. Hopefully you did receive the email I'd sent a little earlier with a couple of comments/questions including the above.

    No, I probably wouldn't attend a Townhall as some seem to be very 'controlled' esp those with Obama. I would rather be able to 'sit down' and listen and/or participate in a 'discussion' with a congressman and a citizen group as opposed to this 'town hall ' format. Doesn't appear we're hearing much detail or new information in these 'meetings' – just a lot of hollering and angry people.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  90. Mary

    with the subject of Medical care and Insurance reform, I had considered attending a Town Hall meeting, however with the insertion of people who are intent on disrupting the meetings rather than having a mature discussion about the subject, I will not attend. I don't have time to waste with people who do not care to listen to an actual discussion about the subject.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  91. Ron

    If the president can go on TV and mislead us about AARP support what will keep my representative from doing the same thing. I believe if makes no difference w

    August 12, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  92. devon price

    if going to a town hall meeting would mean that something would actually be accomplished, then i might consider attending. the only thing happening at these "meetings" is a bit of emotional release from individuals that have just now come to the realization that this is no longer the 80's. these meetings could have a positive role in the fact that they will allow the attendees to awaken from a deep slumber and move FORWARD with the rest of the globe...

    August 12, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  93. Bobby Seabrook

    SIMPLY THE PROBLEMS ARE THE REPULICANS AND THE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANYS THAT LINE THERE POCKETS. DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE FEW DISRUPTIVE REPUBLICAN AND HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY COUCHED PROTESTERS. AMERICANS ARE DYING, WAKE UP OR MOVE OUT.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  94. Janice

    Yes, yes, I am all for Government getting into the health care business. Not that they are not already there, but we need more control on waste and premiums of private insurance companies and prescription drugs. Help, help!!! That is what we need. I respect all of congress for finally thinking of we, the people. Praise God that we have men and women in congress that care enough to stand up and take the abuse that they have been taking in the townhall meetings. Take care and God bless you all. Jan

    August 12, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  95. Cindy&Jim

    We need health care for those of us who can't afford it ...I believe the health care system needs some structure to it ...........it suxs the way it is now that only rich people and goverment can get good health care....

    August 12, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  96. Dee Evenson

    My husband and I pay a fortune for health insurance. Thank goodness we can afford to pay for it, by giving up other things and cutting back on some. Health care should costs a couple of chickens or a cow, but not the whole farm. Competition is good, even if the competitor is the U.S. Government. But, more importantly, I want everyone to be able to have affordable health care. Every American should be able to get the same health care protection as our Senators, Representatives, etc.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  97. George Mock

    I just came from Sen Specter's town hall meeting in State College, PA. I got there an hour early and i still didn't get in! There were close to two thousand people there in my opinion. And if the Dems and Liberals think that these crowds are not genuine grassroots people with real concerns, they're making a terrible mistake!

    I went there because the Obama administrations attempt to push through healthcare was the final straw! First the stimulus, then cap and trade and card check; then Obama fires the CEO of GM and replaces him with his own man. Now he has one of his czars deciding on what executive pay levels should be.....WHERE IS OBMAMA TAKING THIS COUNTRY?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  98. Darrell Stichler - Lebanon, Pa

    I have just one question to opposition of the Health Care Reform.

    If yours, mine and everyone else in America currently are being provided the best care, for the best costs with the best coverage, then why are any of you worried about these companies folding?

    I know if I am getting the best service and best cost I will NOT go elsewhere! So if this is truly already happening and we do not need reform, then won't the Government option fail to bring people on board because they will stick with their current provider?

    In addition, those who say they don't want to pay for people who do not work or make too little to buy the option.... WAKE UP! You already pay for them via Welfare taxes and or increasing premiums.

    Here are two facts for you to consider if you are opposed to reforming the health care system.

    #1 – in 2000 there were 35 million without insurance, in 2007 there were 47 million without health insurance

    #2 – in 2000 Health Care company profits were over $2 Billion, in 2007 profits were over $12 Billion

    Health Care companies lost 12 MILLION Customers but gained $10 BILLION in profits! I am not a genius but typically when businesses lose customers they also lose profits.... why have they gained profits?

    The answer is, they are extorting US! And we sit and pay our premiums (which are the same as paying taxes) and co-pays (also like a tax) and our co-insurance (also like a tax) with a smile on our faces!

    WHY???

    Because it is a private firm? Because it is business? If this happened and the program was run by the government everyone would throw a fit, but just because it is private sector it is ok????

    That makes NO SENSE! You are allowing yourself to lose money and coverage just in the name of "capitalism" (I call it extortion)...

    I say let's create a solid option and see just who gives us the best choice and if your beloved Health Care provider is so great, then stop worrying because nobody jumps from a yacht to a canoe!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  99. cindy morgan

    I hear alot of people making the comment about letting grandma die, about the death pannel,and of course it's not true,but what about all the people out there right now who don;t have health insurance how many of then will die because people are are lead to believe that this is a true statement. Younger people who would love to see the children grow up and won;t because there is no one who is willing to help to save them. So by say this and not helping ,you will be pulling the plug on these people,and so does this make this better.Maybe it;s not your family ,but it is someones family. You people need to really wake up ,you are not getting the facts straight.It;s a living will to help out ,not to pull the plug.doesn;t God say to love all people.We spent money to try and help other countries ,but we won;t help our own people.How sad .Maybe people should look and see how the other people live the continue to struggle just to live.None of then ask to live paycheck to paycheck.And also they are trying to make your health insurance better for you to so you are not denied when you get sick and no one comes to your rescue.I and my husband make very little and we would be willing to pay more in taxes just to have alittle health care.And our income is less than 27,000.Because we have nothing as well as alot of other people.Sitting pretty now does not mean you will be when you get sick.We need to find an answer ,so people are not put in the streets.Think people someday it may be you on that corner.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  100. Don Ladolcetta

    If you asked me any time prior to a year ago for an opinion about what was going on in congress I would have a very uninformed position. My congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz says her town hall is going to be a tele-town hall. To me this appears like she is afraid to face her constituency or she doesn't believe in what her party is selling. I want to go and express my opinion at town hall. I'm not going to yell. I want to see and I want her to see how many of her constituents are against this health plan. President Obama won his election because people were really angry at George Bush. His health care platform was not the reason people voted for him. The democrats are taking the election as a mandate for health care reform and this arrogance is what is making people angry. Our nation is in deep debt. To insure 47 million uninsured people is going to require money and that will come only if someone pays it. We can't afford this. Reform is good but instead of spending money why not 1st change the things that don't require this huge investment. Also, instead of handing out insurance, why not create an environment where people can get great jobs and then they can buy their own insurance. Feed a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for the rest of his life. When the government writes a check to provide health care for these people it will mean that these people will never wean themselves off handouts. That should be left to charity.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  101. Connie

    Hi Heidi,

    Yes absolutely I would attend one of the health care town hall meetings. I support the President on Health Care reform. I have health care coverage but find that administratively health care is a mess! I feel compassion for those without health care. Like I said, I do have health insurance and can see that our health care is a mess and needs restructuring at least in administrative procedures, most doctor’s offices have entry level clerks and they will not even make a call to gain approval for certain test and procedures. And some doctors are in health care for the money! I watch CNN almost around the clock and the people I’ve seen lately showing up at these towns’ hall meetings should be ashamed of themselves for acting belligerent all at the expense of the uninsured. Go Obama you are on the right track continue to preserve it will make a great difference in the future! People in America need help with the health care blues!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  102. Yash Dalal

    Government should not be in charge of health care because thats socialization when we are a democratic nation. Why should the government choose who lives and who doesn't or what medication a person should get? It is not the job of the government to play doctor!

    Also, the government has a track record of inefficiency; whats the guarantee that this program will not be a drain on an already troubled economy?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  103. Noah

    I absolutely would attend a town hall meeting. Our country was founded on debate, and I believe that it is my duty as a citizen of the United States to contribute my opinion. A democracy relies on the participation of all of it's citizens to create a healthy balance. I think part of the reason why people are dissatisfied with their leadership is because they are not making their voice heard, and thus they are not being properly represented. Our leaders will not get it right until they hear from everyone.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  104. Toby

    Americans has become a bunch of winny babies, making a spectacle of ourselves like savages about health care reform. We look like idiots that are never satisfied in front of the international community. Whatever happened to manners or disagreeing without making a spectacle. The fact is we need to reform our health care. Canada, UK, Australia, France and many other European nations has universal healthcare. Even Cuba of all countries has universal health care so why cant we? Does that mean that Cuba is better than us? We need to rebuild our country together. Greed is what got us here. Republican motos has been to do for ourselves only. Maddoff had that moto and look what happened. If the forefathers didnt band together we would never be were we are. For those of you christians or religious groups that go to church, pray, and pretend that you have moral values yet turn around and dont want to help your neighbor. The good book says love thy neighbor as thyself and do unto others as you would like others to do unto you. Think about that next time you decide to lash out at the town hall meeting just so you can make 5 o'clock news and impress Rush "crack head" Limbaugh. Doesnt it tell you something about your morals if you put your faith and hope on a man who hires doctors to fake prescription pills and abuse alchohol. Is this what America has now come to? Is this the type of message we want to send to our children? That's just soo sad...

    August 12, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  105. FRANCIS M DOYLE

    IF THE PRESIDENT WANTS TO PUSH HIS HEALTH CARE REFORM HE SHOULD WAIT UNTIL CONGRESS COMES BACK AND HAVE EVERY DEMOCRAT GIVE UP THEIR PRESENT MEDICAL COVERAGE AND SIGN UP FOR HIS PLAN.CONGRESS HASN`T MOVED THIS FAST SINCE IT GAVE EVERYBODY A $5000 RAISE,AND THE PEOPLE ON SOCIAL SECURITY GOT NOTHING.WE WILL NOT FORGET THIS SLAP IN THE FACE AT THE POLLS.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  106. Cindy & Jim

    The health care needs reform cause it's not working the way it is right now .............I lost my job and can"t afford health care now.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  107. Sandra

    No, I wouldnt attend any of these town hall health care meetings. The people who are being "heard" have only one agenda and that is to disrupt, cite their hatred and bigotry and fear-mongering and bring Obama down. These people never voted for him in the first place and are following the crazy rantings of Limbaugh. They are being allowed to intimidate others who dont agree with them and frankly, they should be ashamed. They spout constitution, etc but do these people think this is how they teach their children to have a civil discussion with people you might not agree with? They say none of the Senators have read the health bill, I have to say have any of them really sat down and read it themselves because by the questions Im seeing which are full of paranoia and false claims, they have not read any of it. I am ashamed as a US citizen to watch these people and their behavior and I think they dont realize even if they have a valid concern, its not being heard through all the ranting and ridiculous behavior.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  108. Karen

    CNN,
    PLEASE GIVE US DETAIL OF THE PROPOSED BILLS. We are getting a feel for public opinion but are being told by our congress that those who oppose do not know the facts. PLEASE tell us the FACTS. CNN is biased to the left - FOX is biased to the right, but I do hear a few facts (?) from them. Give me the other side. PLEASE.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  109. Rachelle Lorenzo-Mott

    I would lovvvve to go to a "town meeting". The meetings I have seen on TV have been jam packed full with 70 year old white men with big mouths. These men look like the reitred white men all around middle America who have been handed the best Blue Cross insurance their companies could provide. They are spoiled. Rotten. And scared as hell that the next guy may get the same.

    I am a Registered Nurse at a large hospital in Bay City, Michigan, and I do not have health care coverage. The hospital does not provide it to part-time employees. I work at least 20 hours a week, and attend grad school full time. I am a single mother. I work in the mental health unit, and I take care of patients who are homeless, unemployed, etc. They have the health care I cannot afford.

    I am stuck in the middle of the 70 year old white man and the homeless woman. The irony is that I have been the one hired to take care of them when they get sick! Why do they deserve to receive health care, and me and my child do not?

    Yeah, I would like to go to a "meeting".

    Rachelle Lorenzo-Mott

    August 12, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  110. Steve camp

    While I was serving in the US Navy I personnaly knew a sailor that the navy doctors said that he had terminal form of cancer. He ask to see a non military doctor and the Navy said no. One of the Cheif petty officers knew first hand about the quality of care the sailer could get in England so he told the sailor about. He went awol and went to england. In 1984 he was told that he be dead by the Navy doctors but he now he has grand kids and is in better health than me.
    I know that it will almost imposable to get congress to provide all Americans an livable wage so I praying congress actually do what the rest of the modern world knew knew the right thing to do.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  111. Charles B.

    Dear Heidi:

    Let's put the Health Care Debate into context.

    The US 2008 Census estimates say approx 43 – 47 million
    Americans are uninsured today.

    This is the equivalent of EVERYONE in America over age 60!

    Or everyone now living in the following States:
    WY, D.C., ND, AK, SD, DE, MT, RI, HI, NH, ME, ID,
    NE, WV, NM, NV, UT, KY, OK, AR, MS, IA, CT & MN.

    This is an issue that is going to do nothing but make our
    health care system get more expensive and less effective for
    everyone because many of the uninsured still need health care
    and will get it at the expense of us all.

    These figures do not include people who ARE insured with a
    pre-eisting condition that have their insurance due to their
    employment. As soon as they attempt to retire or are no longer
    employed they may never be able to get insurance.

    Our lawmakers can give us what we need if the time is taken
    to work out an effective System. This is not the time to
    play one upmanship Democrate vs Republican but for them to
    act as AMERICANS WHO CARE!

    Sincerely,

    Charles B.
    St. Petersburg, FL

    August 12, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  112. Jerry Fitzpatrick

    Hi Heidi,
    Yes I would go to a meeting. My concern is having been laid off and at the age of 62 in a really tight job market without a decient insurance. Health care for me is not the issue, I am covered through the VA, but for the rest of the family it is a different story. First of all they are epileptic so have a pre-existing condition. Finding insurance was a challenge, the only thing we found was very high deductable. We do have savings, however, one medical emergency would wipe that out, then what? Our house? Cars?
    So with this in mind, I diffinitely see a need for some type of reform in health care. I have talked to many people, whom have lost jobs, and this is the big issue!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  113. Jeff Seamans

    I tried to attend a town hall at Penn State University today but the huge crowds made it impossible to attend. Which could be a good thing people are willing to come out and discuss the issue.
    I noticed a large number of cars coming into State College, so I wonder whether Senator Specter got to hear from local Pennsylvanians or "out of towners" It almost seemed like a football weekend driving up to the Stadium and over to the Penn Stater convention center. I hope he heard from Pennsylvanians today. I did notice a huge RV labeled with "Hands off our Health Care" which probably cost $350,000 to outfit it for display and I wonder who paid to advertise against a public option: concerned citizens, or concerned corporations?
    Outside of State College there are still many communities that are impoverished and need to see affordable health care.
    I just wanted to say that the real people effected by this proposal may not have attended today, the waitresses and waiters and other food service personnel, the grocery store clerk, the minimum wage earners that are working two and three jobs just to get by with their families. These people will never be able to afford health care without some type of public option. NOT welfare, but a program that they pay based on income and gives them and their families peace of mind. We need a public option to provide everyone health care.
    There are tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians that are without health care and they deserve to be able to provide affordable health care to themselves and their families. We need a simple comprehensive plan (not a 1,000 pages) hopefully the Senate can address that with some concise editing.
    I was a Republican until recently, I still have many strong views on the individual's personal responsibility for their life , I believe in training and workfare, NOT lifelong welfare, and that nothing is more valuable than a job (no matter how minimal) to make a person a productive citizen. As a moderate I wanted to see the Republican party come up with new ideas, move forward on issues and reach compromise if necessary, BUT MOVE INTO 21st Century!
    I realized that I am an American first, and the right wing rhetoric that branded many prominent PA Republicans as liberals has made the national Party too neo-conservative and unable to move forward. The American people deserve more than a unified "No" on every issue. They need real discussion not ridiculous statements about "death panels" from defunct governors. The lack of dialogue, lack of compromise and dialogue on any major issue made it easy to switch to the Democratic party.
    This is one of one of the greatest social issues of modern American life about to be discussed over the next few months. All American citizens deserve basic health care, not just the ones lucky enough to have jobs that can afford to provide it.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  114. charles

    of course people are venting about health care! they're finally getting a chance to voice their opinion on what they've been getting screwed with for the past how ever many years it's been! the health insurance companies decide what they want to cover you on or not! and that's not right when it comes to peoples health! a persons health is not a commodity it's a human being and it is inhumane to deny anyone any type of health care!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  115. Yash Dalal

    I agree that insurance companies are the culprit. They drive up prices in any industry they enter. Plus we just bailed them out. I believe that health care should be left privatized, however, there should be stricter regulation in that industry.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  116. Jason Voulgaris

    Yes, I would like to attend a town hall meeting if I could. I would go to voice my concern that there is so much rhetoric being put out there, it is hard to distinguish the truth. I wanted it to be known that my wife is one of those with a "pre-existing condition" who was denied health insurance because she is pregnant. I didn't realize that being pregnant is classified under the same guidelines as a disease or cancer. I want to voice my support for some kind of reform to include affordability, no pre-existing clauses, and not be dropped for becoming terminal ill or something else castrophic. This is a very important issue to me and it makes me upset that there are people out there who would want to sabotage the passing of government reform or become disruptive as to prevent a civil debate over this isssue. Alot of people feel that the government should not be involved with health insurance, but the way the health insurance companies are currently being run isn't working. I believe it is the government's job to regulate this industry as with other industries.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  117. tammy

    I would attend a town hall meeting to express how really bad our current health care system is. I think you don't get a true answer when you ask the young or healthy people that have never had to use their insurance coverage. You need only ask those Americans that have actually been sick and has had the need to use their coverage. The rising costs in coverage, co-pays, and out of pocket expenses, have made health care unaffordable to us who are sick and need it the most.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  118. Colleen

    I am on medicare through disability. I am really sorry but I don't know what all of the excitement is about. I have excellent health insurance through medicare. The drug program plus the extra government help with that has allowed me to SURVIVE on my limited income. I get $800 a month drugs for less than $10. All these people have to do is STOP reading the internet/emails from those who's only job it is is to unseat a great leader. By the way I am 55..white and married. I have an open mind and when Obama became president I was not thrilled...but I accepted it. I sent him a personal letter stating that fact and told him to do me proud....he hasn't messed up yet. If you don't like him..you can always vote him out in four years...GIVE ME A BREAK.....USE YOUR OWN MIND and stop this screaming.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  119. Charles

    Any undertaking requires time and money. The Obama health-care initiative will require time and money from those who have it and distribute it to those who don't have it. It requires work and time to make money. The population that works has the money and can afford healthcare if they want it or need it because they have spent their lives and their time working. Those who will benefit the most by this government sponsored program are those who are not working, will not work, can't work, or refuse to be productive. They can sit, lay, relax, reproduce, be non-productive and have someone else pay for their existence. That has been going on now since the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. Generations of non-productive people and more being produced all the time. There may be a time when everyone (the workers) decide to sit or dissent or move or just quit too. Then who will pay for the government programs?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  120. Matt Jessup

    If I could attend a town hall meeting, I would ask Obama. Why, are large retailers, such as Wal-Mart and Safeway, supporting your health care agenda? I spent five months on a picket line fighting Safeway’s new business format modeled after Wal-Mart. What are these big box retailers going to gain? Is my current health care plan negotiated by my union going to gain or lose? I smell a rat! These companies don’t care about people only profits.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  121. mary read

    My Husband and I live on 694.00 a month. He is disabled and I have to stay home and take care of him. Most of the time we have to decide between groceries or gas.We can't afford health care insurance. If Nancy Peloski is in favor of fining people who don't have it, then she is the one who is unamerican. She is more than welcome to pay our fine. With the money she makes, I am sure she can afford it but we can't Mary

    August 12, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  122. Mary Tegtmeier

    I'm disappointed and angry that some have changed the debate to defeat Obama and healthcare reform instead of working to get the best solution possible. Originally I supported single payer but was willing to compromise. Now when I hear folks outright lie, challenge the President as being unconstitutional when he was a constitutional law professor, I think many are being manipulated and not supporting what is in their own best interest. My biggest disappointment is the loss of reasonable discourse due to partisan politics.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  123. Byron

    I believe that no one should have health ins. I believe that everyone should pay their own way. There would be a reduction in healthcare costs if no one had health ins. It would be like it was when this country was founded, People don't need a midddle man to pay their medical bills. Costs for extreme care like transplants, chemo etc. should be funded with a program like medicare but called extreme care. If you need medicines for blood pressure etc. you pay without ins. All health ins. should be outlawed!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  124. Marcia Palmater

    I find it troubling that in the midst of your earnest efforts to debunk the outrageous and untrue rumors about the proposed (and needed) health care reform legislation, CNN is running advertisements repeating some of the very same untruths!

    Maybe CNN doesn't have the ability to choose its advertisers?

    Nevertheless, these very official-sounding commercials seem to render your program content useless!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  125. Diana Hilton

    I think the Town Hall Meetings should be stopped immediately! People are giving emotional reactions to something they have not read and do not understand. It makes me extremely sad to see our nation represented by verbal attacks full of irrational comments.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  126. Marilyn from Gaithersburg, MD

    I would go to a town hall meeting, although I'm not sure my blood pressure could handle the anger they rouse, when all those insured people kill the discussion (and I am lucky enough to be insured).

    Americans all need health care, and we all need the truth. It is up to responsible media like CNN to help sort the truth from the lies.

    Josh Lev helps a lot with his truth checks, but why did he only check one lie this morning? Death panels? The President put that one to rest yesterday. What about all the other lies?

    health care will make us socialist/communist
    government agents will come between you and your doctor
    medicare benefits will be cut
    treatment will be rationed
    abortions and sex changes will be mandated
    all private insurance companies will shut down
    and so on and so on

    There are SO many of them on posters, signs, websites and questions in the town halls. Please address all the lies, and try to spread the truth.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  127. Jodee B.

    Heidi, I would not go because they have no real plan or bill, all this to me is an over reaction to nothing. Since there is really nothing solid on the table. This is the same overreaction that Obama recieved when he was campaining. All of it was blown out of portion and a media frenzy and people's over reactions to rumors and lies. I am all for democracy and I believe people should have a voice. I think when they do actually come up with some real plans. Then they should post those and people should vote on what plan they want or not!!! I am all for health care and ridding of high cost medical, but I think they should have a few plans so people can make choices to fit their families needs. I would stop these town hall meetings not the presidents but the others until I actually had a plan to talk about. I get upset and angry when anyone signs a BILL with out reading it first. So I am so glad they did not pass anything too soon and they are taking the time in talking about it first. I think eventually something will get passed but I hope it is simple and brings down the cost for other medicals and treatment plans.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  128. Marsha Weaver

    Heidi,

    No wonder Americans are venting at Town Hall Meetings:

    SEE: "Why Health Insurers are Winning-The Industry,
    deftly maneuvering behind the scenes in Wash DC prepares
    to profit from Health Reform" pages 34-40 Business Week
    magazine August 17, 2009

    Health Care Insurance Industry is deftly shaping Health
    Care Legislation while their campaign contributions are
    buying legislative support. So what else is new? American
    publics monthly health care premiums are probably subsidizing
    the campaign contributions.

    "American Democracy" The best money can buy.

    Thanks for CNN's coverage/Heidi Collins excellent reporting.
    Marsha Weaver, Tallahassee, FL

    August 12, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  129. Colleen

    I forgot to add that on medicare I had two knees replaced and a hip replaced and paid very little co-pay. I was denied by my insurance to go to an inhouse rehabilitaion. MEDICARE told my insurance to not only allow it but to pay for it also....Check your state...look for the best deal with your local insurance plans. This new deal is only going to improve my insurance..I know because I asked my insurance compay.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  130. Yash Dalal

    Everyone will get coverage, but not in a timely fashion. People may get the service, but may not have a choice in which doctor treats them.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  131. LaLasha

    I said no, I have two small child and no childcare alternative so would taking them with me. Under ordinary circumstances I would have o
    no problem with that but because there are bad elements, no way to know wich town hall crowd will get overzelouse and the very real possibility of physical altercations, be it accidental or on purpose, I can not risk harm to my children. However I do have very strong feelings about health care reform and have been writting emails like crazy to my senate and congress people.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  132. Joan

    My first choice would be a single payer health care plan – Medicare for all. There are some things that should not be profit generating operations – health care is one of them. But, I'm a realist and I realize we can't dismantle the entire health care administrative structure, especially with our current unemployment situation. Therefore I strongly support a public option to keep the health insurance industry honest.

    I worry that all the press the rowdy "teabaggers/birthers" are receiving will drown out what most of us know. We are all subject to being unprotected at the worst possible moment. Currently I have good insurance, but there have been times when my family has not been covered due to a lay off and the high cost of COBRA. I worry about my children. What happens when they graduate from college, can't find a job with benefits and can no longer be covered under our policy? My nephew was trying to start his own business after college, and didn't get health insurance due to the exorbitant costs. He had an emergency appendectomy and is being harassed by collections agencies due to his income fluctuations. My other nephew is currently unemployed. He's had medical problems and although he gets treatment at emergency rooms, it's just a band aid to the symptoms. He needs a complete medical work up but can't afford it.

    I'm reminded of a term from my childhood – the silent majority. I feel there is a silent majority in this country that wants health care reform, but they are being upstaged by the corporate interests and their PR firms with the help of people too angry to realize they are working against their own best interests.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  133. David

    Yes Heidi, I would love to attend a town hall meeting to express my anger at how in spite of all we have been through this past year, as far as our economic situation goes and how so many Americans continue to loose jobs, we continue to be a society of me, me, me and the he'll with everybody else. I as an American am willing to pay Up to $100.00 extra in taxes every to weeks if I have to, that's $2600.00 a year extra, so that my fellow Americans can have Heath coverage. That's how unselfish I am and how pro help thy neighbor I am willing to be.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  134. Yash Dalal

    Obviously, I would definitely attend a town hall meeting!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  135. Wanda Dixon

    No, I would not attend a town meeing. From what I've seenon your broadcast and others these meetings appear to be nothing more than staged events for conservatives (mostly white) who are so afraid of loosing what they believe to be "their" country. It's interesting that few if any blacks or minorities have been featured at any of these town meetings. Health insurance reform is oneof the most important campaign promises that President Obama ran on, and helped him win the Presidency which speaks to the great need in our country. People who supported this initiative don't appear to be the ones at these town meetings....including me. This country needs health care reform for the millions who don't hav insurance and for the elderly who can't afford to pay for life saving medicines. The anger and fear of change seen lately reminds me of the same anger and fear that occured during the 60's during the end of Jim Crow.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  136. Pat Reed

    Hi Heidi. To respond, yes I would very much like to attend a TH meet on HC. I am a RN, now retired. The final 14 yrs of my career were in the Regulatory arena, state of Maine and the final 7 with the Federal gov in a role that gave me both regional and national access to HC.I would like to answer critics of the gov's ability to be efficient and have a positive impact on HC with this statement: never, in over 44 yrs of practice , did I work with a team of professionals that had and applied more expertise over all areas of HC under CMS over-site, than I did in those 7 yrs.

    I support fully a thoughtful, affordable HC reform policy that allows access to all Americans. I am proud of our president for running this particular gauntlet. Finally, I am proud of myself for serving others as a RN....a truly remarkable profession.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  137. Yash Dalal

    I agree that people should stop screaming and my problem is not with the president himself, but with his policy. I am happy that you have good coverage Colleen, but this is not the fact for everyone. My grandmother is on medicare and we run into an endless list of problems when we are trying to get her medical attention.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  138. Linda Patterson

    As a retired public school teacher, I have excellent health insurance for life. My feelings on this issue are not connected any personal need.

    The Republican behavior in the past week has violated all of my previous stereotypes of them. The typical Republican of the past ten years has repeatedly struck me as a master of insensitivity who craftily operates under a thin veneer of civilization. The current town hall meetings have stripped away this veneer, exposing nothing more than uncivilized selfish, and badly behaving brats.

    Attending a town hall meeting to listen to members of an audience, many of whom have already been revealed as "plants" would be a waste of time.

    Throughout the Bush administration Republicans were content to let the society and the economy fester and die as long as it padded their bank accounts. Now that it is no longer their turn to lead, they seem unable to let the other side have its turn. Instead, they are doing all they can to disrupt attempts to cure one of American society's major ills.

    That there are so many uninsured people in this wealthy country is a disgrace. We ned to look beyond our own selfish concerns and accept our social responsibility to be a humane society. To watch more uncivilized behavior attempting to dismantle this attempt would serve no purpose, and it only gives voice to the lies and misinformation permeating this issue.

    I hope our President reamins steadfast in his mision to get healthcare for all American citizens.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  139. Tim

    I got a real kick out of watching some of the citizens at A. Spectors's Town Hall. One of the vocalists was ranting about a portion of the bill that would give the Government our (his) bank account number and how this would give them access to his finances. Does he not understand that everyone he gives a check to has this information. And did he scream and complain when George Bush gave himself the power to arrest citizens for suspicion, or to listen in an their conversations.

    Misinformed, and ill informed are these citizens, it continues to be the politics of fear by the Republican party and others.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  140. Doug

    I want to find out why the proposed law fails to meet the concepts, and standards of our founding fathers The recent debates and town hall meetings regarding health care legislation again demonstrates that too many Congressmen are clueless about why they are serving in Congress and either have never learned or forgotten our founder’s concepts, principles and standards for those who serve. These concepts, principles and standards were best observed by James Madison when he warned“: "The house of representatives, restraining them from oppressive measures, that they can make no law which will not have full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers with the people. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government denigrates into tyranny.”

    August 12, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  141. Dean Vavak

    those townhall meetings are always just the activists. Most real people have to WORK!!! Way too much fear here – the plain truth is the screamers are racists. I'm a 60 y.o. white man and I can see it as plain as the nose on your face.

    OMG!!! a black man as Pres. – a woman as Sec of State – and GASP!! a latino as a Supreme Ct. Judge – the world's coming to an end. About time the middle aged white MEN have screwed up this country royally!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  142. Phillip McCallum

    Good Morning Heidi, This Health Care debate is good for America but, I dont agree with name calling,and of all the tactics of bullying elective officials. Im an African American (D) living in Clinton, Tn and my Senator is Lamar Alexander (R) I dont always agree with him on issues this one particulary. But I wont be standing in a town hall meeting shouting him down this is STUPID. As I said yesterday im on the side street not Main or Wall Street. Come see how this disabled Vietnam Era Veteran would get along without health care reform. And they wonder why people are stealing, robbing,not paying bills you see my medical bills with Medicare and my income. Just wait till the present day Veterans come home watch the suicide rate go up.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  143. John

    These town hall meetings thus far are no different than a KKK rally. A loud, small, uneducated minority that are bigoted in nature and not truly addressing the point or concerns at hand which is health care.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  144. Luisa A. Cavanaugh

    Hi Heidi – I appeciate you and your broadcast so much & I love your style and spirit. I would love to attend a town hall meeting to make sure that it is not stolen by hired thugs for the insurance idustry and (mainly) hired and fired up by the Republican Party. They dare to call themselves grass roots. We, who elected President Obama by a majority and with a mandate for change are THE GRASS ROOT MOVEMENT in this country. You need to expose those groups and who is funding them (CPR Rights; 60plus; your own Lou Dobbs and former Glenn Beck). I would do everything in my power to stop the lynch mob mentality that they are encouraging; it is so shameful, and to dialogue with those who truly do not know and are completely ignorant of so much.......My God, Seniors who are screaming along with those who disrupt that they don't want the Government in their business (consider the horrors of the past 8 years); they don't want Medicare! They don't even know the Government pays for their health care! Ignorance and poverty is being preyed upon by big business/money and in my heart of heart's I believe racism and big EVIL. And I rarely use that word. Anyhow, I would love to be there – I have a really big mouth and no one would ever be able to shout me down or shut me up – quite simply and quietly it is all of our "right" to speak. Be well, and keep up your great work. I would encourage you and all of your colleagues to speak more of these groups who are trying to undermine the very thing they profess to love and uphold – our Constitution. I am quite sure they have never read it. It would be a miracle some day to see a true Republican Party again – I am sure the founding father's are twirling in their graves as that gross old saying goes..........

    August 12, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  145. Ralph

    I don’t believe that anyone should start showing up at these town hall meetings. If citizens don’t believe that they have been getting the representation that they deserve the empty seats should be the first warning to our representatives.
    So many of our representatives appear to think they are in life time appointments. We the people need to take a serious approach and start replacing them with who ever the new individual is on the next ballot. If the next one doesn’t quickly appear to be doing the work of the people replace them and don’t give them a second term. We all must remember they work for us!
    Here is an alternative to send the message, as soon as the town hall meeting begins everyone should get up and walk out in total silence.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  146. Erica

    I would go to a town hall meeting because I am concerned about the people out there who don't have health insurance because they can't afford it and dispel the notion that you are paying for lazy deadbeats. You're not. In fact if the government ran healthcare as a single payer system, i.e like Sweden, the UK, Canada you would actually pay LESS poor year and get far better care than you have right now. So you may love your health care but just wait till you have a serious illness and spend months fighting them to get them to pay, to cover it at all, and then they drop you. Then wouldn't you like to have something to fall back on.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  147. Shepherd

    Honestly, in my personal opinion, the town hall meetings are a good example of grassroots democracy at work. These impassioned citizens are voicing very reasonable concerns, concerns that perhaps others are unwilling to acknowledge. Citizens like these should be honored as great Americans, not vilified.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  148. Erika

    I would because I know how to keep meetingscivil and if it gets out of hand i just leave because its imochore our senate is acting like children thats just childishness but other then that i would go.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  149. ggs trenton, nj

    I would probably not attend a town hall meeting because of the people who are adamant about stopping the truth from getting out–who needs that.
    But one more thing-I think there is a point about the public option that is rarely mentioned–it has to be be self funded. People think that it will go bankrupt like Medicare but that cannot be if it is not subsidized by the government–it might be cheaper just because of no profit. It would help if you pointed out the not taxpayer dollars in the funding of the public option

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  150. Barbara J. Harris

    I would NOT attend a town hall meeting, which are being taken over by the extreme right. I want to know who is doing the organizing. Most of the questions I hear are beyond ill-informed. I think CNN should continue it's program that says what is actually true about health reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  151. Rosemary McConologue

    I would rather have Town Hall Meetings when we know what we are talking about and the cost of a final plan. An intelligent dialogue can only take place when we know what the final plan is going to look like.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  152. Tyson

    Heidi, the behavior at these meetings is appauling and I wouldn't attend if they paid me. I trusted Obama when I voted for him and I still trust him, IMPLICITLY. Let those of us, who know very little, get out of the way and let them, who know much more, do what we elected them to do.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  153. TAYFUN

    Dear Heidi, Why we do not talk about, Healtcare CEO salary. For example United CEO makes per year 124 million dollar. Also I want to know any healtcare CEO or vice president, Did they ever get denied from our healtcare companys. ?

    Thank you for your time.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  154. Pam R

    Hi,
    I would like to attend a town meeting but would be fearful of being intimidated by the anger and hostility I am seeing in the news. It would be nice to attend a meeting and express concerns and opinions but not if people will start screaming at me that reform is some sort of evil Democratic plan.

    This is not democracy.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  155. Doris

    I would be more willing to accept this health plan if each member of Congress would step forward and enroll in this government plan. After all, we pay their salaries and they should be made to take this plan or pay for their own private plan as any of us would have to do if we had a job. It this plan is so great, we should watch on CNN as each person signed the form. By them not enrolling makes me vote no on this government plan.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  156. Louise

    Short and sweet.

    My aunt was in the hospice program for 2-1/2 years. She was not medicated nor helped to eat. Went to court and lost, judge said she was terminal (so is she from the day she was born). We reported medicaid fraud and medicare. they found no fault but removed my aunt from hospice and she is now 90 years old and thriving with medication and feeding.

    We used hospice for my mom and if she did not pass in 30 days she would be removed from the program. This was 13 years ago. How did we get to this point? GOVERNMENT AND A RIDICULOUS COURT SYSTEM.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  157. Joe

    If Pres. Obama says "the post office is always in trouble but UPS and FedEx are doing fine", why would we want to have yet another Federal government bureaucracy to compete with the private sector? Why not just offer all Americans the same health coverage as Federal employees and let the private sector compete?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  158. Michael B

    Certainly, I would like to attend a Town Hall Meeting and plan to attend once it hits NYC. However, I am disappointed that so many people are losing the opportunity to get the facts and understand the issues better when these unruly and politically motivated people try to disrupt the proceedings.
    I am convinced that this is one of their ways of showing their disappointment over the poor showing of the Republicans in the last elections.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  159. Mindy

    Yes! I would attend a town hall meeting. I am not afraid to face these uncivilized indiviuals who attend to simply stop progress.However I do think that a code of conduct should be enforced. So that everyone can be heard.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  160. Kristina

    I am planning on attending our local town hall later this month despite the best efforts of our local teabagging group to intimidate our representative into canceling his. I have actually listened to the local right wing radio host crowing about how they have scared Rep Boyd so badly he'll probably cancel our meeting. How very deeply patriotic of these people to try and squash peaceful discourse between representatives and the people. I suppose cognitive dissonance is just a term in the dictionary they've never bothered to look up...

    August 12, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  161. Phyllis

    I would love to attend a town hall. There are not a lot of democrats where I live in Texas. We have a lunatic governor who is trying to secede from the United States and no one seems to care. I wish we could get what dems we have here to get together.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  162. Quentin Schroeder

    What would be the point in going to a town meeting at this stage? The house bill is completed but has not been voted on by the House of Representatives. The Senate has a bill but it has not been voted on by the Senate either. Both of the bills are entirely different. Until the bills are reconciled and there is a final bill to review, I do not see the point in having the discussion.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  163. John Hudson - Chattanooga, Tn

    I would love to attend a Town Hall of any kind but since I have no representation in my state or district by a Democrat, there are no Town Halls for me to attend. Republican congressmen seem to be standing back and enjoying the show but contributing nothing. I would like to ask my congressmen of both houses of congress what their ideas for health insurance reform are.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  164. Frank

    Has everybody missed the large number of tour buses carrying people from out of town with preprinted signs that seem to show up at these meetings. Doesn't it seem a bit odd that some many people of working age are available to attend these meetings during the work day?

    I suspect the outrage that is displayed at these meetings isn't exactly spontaneous. I've spoken with a number of people who sought clarification at these meetings only to be shouted down by people who had arrived on these buses when they would ask their questions.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  165. Kaye Lynn

    I would love to attend a town hall meeting but our local congressman Heath Shuler – NC does not have the backbone to have a face-to-face town hall meeting. He is holding an "online" townhall, what is up with that?! Apparently, he is afraid to meet with the constituents he has already either abandoned or lied to.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  166. Al

    Yes, I would be thrilled to attend a town meeting and let my representatives know how I feel about what they are doing in Washington! The only problem is.....Not one of my N.C. representatives, Senate or Congress, are giving any of us citizens, the opportunity to voice any opinion we may have! Another example of why there has become such hostility between Washington and their constituents!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  167. YN1 Michael T. Galindo, USN, P.D.R.L.

    Hello Heidi:
    1. While being raised as a child, my dad stressed:
    a. Once you have turned 21, you will be responsible for the choices
    you make with (in) your life,
    1) If you make a choice at the age of 25 to take a shortcut down Avenue "D" (instead of going down Avenue "A"), and this choice comes back to haunt you at the age of 32 (i.e., you become homeless), don't whine, cause you are the one who made the choice.
    2) Keep an eye on your life (like you do your health, etc.)
    b. The most important things are a roof over your head, food in your
    belly, and clothes on your back – the rest is incidental.
    2. Having provided you the above, I have problems with this health
    care system that Uncle Sam wants to come out with,
    a. Why should I have to pay for Joe Blow's (who is age 55) medical care (cause he chose to go down Avenue "D" when he was age 30)?
    3. I will close this comment by saying that I don't see anyone coming
    forwarding and saying, "Michael, I will pay for the repairs you need
    for your van", or, "Michael, I will pay your mortgage payment for you".
    4. Take care Heidi and have a nice day!
    Sincerely,
    Michael
    Chula Vista, CA

    at the ag

    August 12, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  168. J. C.

    No, I would not attend. They have become mob scenes with no substanstive information get asked and/or explained. I shall, as I have, communicate with my elected officials via a visit to their office, phone call, e-mail, or letter not a shout match. A true pity.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  169. Bret V

    No.

    I admire and respect our politicians for having town hall meeting and trying to reach out to the people. I find it shocking how adults conduct themselves in public. “Great example for our kids or grand kids” I don’t agree with everything going with health care or the direction we maybe heading as a country however there is a way to present your views.
    Thank God our Civil Right leader conducted themselves properly under so much adversity.

    Bret V

    August 12, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  170. Yash Dalal

    I think you make an excellent point Doris!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  171. Claudia

    My voice has been completely drowned out by the screaming – the crazies have won.l

    I am employed seasonally. Health care is much too expensive when I am on unemployment. I would much prefer to pay a higher tax when I am employed and have health care be a right of every resident of America. You say that the public plan will be 20% less than other insurance. If insurance is 20% less, it is still 35% of my unemploymnet payment. Why must insurance continue to be tied to employment.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  172. Chris

    Hi Heidi

    Please continue to display tthe chart that shows how a bill becomes law. The chart that Campbell Brown displayed last evening provides an excellent opportunity to "educate" the electoric on what might happen, what may be lost on the cutting floor and what is unknown.

    The American electoric seems to be totally "clueless" that there is a long process to get a bill to a point of agreement between the House and Senate and thus a VOTE!!

    Thanks Heidi!!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  173. Lewis

    Yes, I would go even though I have already decided that I support it, but I will quickly change my mind if "Death Panels" where to pop up in the bill. I do believe that insurance companies cannot be trusted, and only want the people's money, hopefully with this new option of government healthcare will straiten out these insurance companies to make it affordable and won't drop your coverage when you need.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  174. Eileen Savage

    I would attend a Town Hall meeting if only to off a counter opinion to the organized opposition. I'd like you to pose a question to one of the elderly participants: if they don't support a public insurance option, then are they willing to give up Medicare? And how much do they think their children and grandchildren will be paying if we don't implement health insurance reform. My premiums for a healthy family of three have risen 25% each year for the last four years. It's unsustainable. These Town Hall meetings have been stacked by those who fear-monger. We need a rational discussion of FACTS. Ironic that these meetings are mostly attended by those who have the least to fear: the elderly. 100% insured by the Government!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  175. Chris R. Henrie

    Yes, I would love the chance to ask the more important questions that never come up. Like we are trying to pass this bill by sending the President and Senators out to push the bill but where are the big Health Care Providers or the the Drug Companies for the support of this bill? And are there any pork fat in the Bill or will is it stand alone? I also have a question on the 783 million dollars of more that was given in bonus to the CITI Group managers out of our money? How can we get that money back from the bail out of there company and out of our pockets?

    Thank You,

    Chris R. Henrie

    August 12, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  176. Steven in Phoenix

    I would attend the Town Halls to get out a common fact that health insurance aside, health care cost is too high. My son recently was hospitalized for a head injury that cost $25,000 for observation and transporrtation. Since I am currently laid off and without insurance I face the choice of bankruptcy or the life of my children with the nexxt medical emergency. What does this bill do to reduce costs/

    August 12, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  177. cay supp

    I'm discouraged at the lack of respect my fellow citizens have for the President and for other elected officials who are trying to explain their work on health care reform. Is it necessary? Of course it is, but people in their fear and ignorance are behaving badly. I like to think that the vision of our forefathers, who believed in an educated public who would understand the philosophy and machinations of democracy, allows us to have access through our vote and our opinions to those who represent us. Instead, people are not listening to those who know what is in the bill, but listening to vitriolic fear mongers whose agenda is to discredit the administration. The clincher was the man who said, "Don't let the government touch my Medicare." When you suffer from ignorance, you're vulnerable to manipulation.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  178. Michael

    Yes I would attend a town hall meeting as a matter of fact I live in Saint Louis,Missouri and am hoping to have a chance to see the CNN health tour bus coming through town today. I believe as the President states that the status quo on our current health care system is non sustainable.
    The health care industry has been controlling the system far too long. It's time we act upon them. I have a federal employee health plan but I'd gladly pay more in taxes to help insure my college aged children that can no longer apply under my health plan.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  179. Dino Rossi

    I woul like the opportunity to attend one of these town hall meetings. I am retired and on disability due to 3 degenerative/terminal diseases. My experience with medicaid/medicare has proven to be at the same level of quality of service as that of my private insurance experience. I would like to balance the peoples voice. I'm curious to find out when did we loose our country? Who are we taking it back from? Where were these motivated squads when the last administration actually lied to America and the world.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  180. Daniel

    Looking on the positive side of things, I think it's fantastic that these meetings are taking place. When was the last time you had our represenatives span the country to reach out and get our feedback?

    On the negative side, the ignorance and rudeness of the attendees turned me off. I am a three time cancer survivor out working so I remain insured, so I am unable to attend a meeting. i would gladly pay extra to have my neighbor insured if they could not afford it, because that is "American".

    If you don't agree with the plan, offer another option, I say let's vote for more intelligent exchange. WE CAN'T AFFORD TO DO NOTHING!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  181. ken w stephens sr

    hey there Heidi i would love townhall meeting for heathcare issure i,m for heathcare it going work how Grov. would do it rasie fedral sale tax and let go to heathcare & socialsecuirty it work in canadas & england and in Ireland to your friend ken w stephens sr

    August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  182. David Lawrence

    I wouldn't be caught dead at one of those "public forums". The only reasonable people I saw in the coverage of Senator Spector's forum were the police officers on duty and the senator himself. In fact, I would expect more reasonable discourse at a frat party. Instead of intelligent questions that the senator could respond to in order clarify his own position on the issue of health care reform, he got an ideological rant. I wouldn't be surprised if Sacha Cohen had slipped in just for fun but I would have spotted anyone that thin. I'm not sure if anyone actually asked a real question. For these "town hall forums" to be productive, a few simple rules need to be applied:
    1) Only allow questions.
    2) Insure that no question is more than 25 words in length. That might allow for some preliminary ranting that seems to be obligatory.
    3) Security will remove anybody out who shouts out any comment and the proceedings will not resume until that person leaves.
    4) This may not be possible but let's keep any references to ideology out of the discussion. References to socialism and communism are completely pointless. People...move on the wall is down...the cold war is over and the good guys won.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  183. Hans Lundgren

    The debate has become ridiculous. Our system has failed to deliver the services at a reasonable price to all Americans. Depending on the services needed, it would be cheaper to take a flight to Europe get your services and have a vacation than to get the same services here. Even with the loss of value of the dollar against the Euro it is cheaper. How can the rest of the world deliver cheaper and, in many cases, better health care across the board than here? We pay more for everything that it takes to deliver services. I know that some of the cost is associated with liability, insurance administration cost and collections costs, but we as Americans can do better than what we have now. We need to move forward and treat this as a right.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  184. Melissa Dent

    I'm not going to a town hall but i am planning to visit my congressman w/a written statement telling him why I support President Obama's health Care Plan....I am heartsick that people angrily cling to the lies & misinformation & refuse to believe that the President wants to offer choice & help....and not "death quads" & abortion" etc...why doesn't anyone hold Glenn Beck & Rush Limbaugh to account for their misleading peopl24/7....neither of these men has a college degree & they are paid $80million & $400million to mislead people!!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  185. Jon Auer

    Heidi, please excuse the typing errors above, I am a bit mad at all this still, and doing it fast. I am sorry for that.

    Jon

    August 12, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  186. James

    I would like to go to a meeting. All these people screaming at Spector yesterday are scary but I don't understand why they don't know that the insurance companies are the only ones that are profiting now. Our president is trying to help us. Please quit listening to Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Hannity and try to find out the real truth.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  187. Kate Ryan

    It was ironic to watch a feature on the town hall meetings on health care, followed by a Fancy Feast commercial that boasts of seafood, chicken, and other real food. Maybe if we ate as well as our pets, we wouldn't need so much health care.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  188. Kira

    Dear Heidi,
    I am actually watching you right now! Great job covering heath reform! Thank you for presenting different points of view in the most civilized, cultured way, instead of doing the "Fox" way: screaming, interrupting and simply lying!
    My husband and I are in our late 40s and we fully support health reform. I am a US citizen, but I am originally from Europe. It is a shame that some folks here probably never travelled or lived abroad but are trying to simply deny any and all good ideas! They don't want to know that we are the ONLY developed country without health coverage for all citizens! There is an argument that "US will turn into socialist" country... This is a scare tactic and nothing more! The rest of the world is doing just fine , and we are the country with 40 millions uninsured! and ...ironically, we are THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY!
    People of our age are practically "slaves" to corporations! Why? Because we are not afraid of loosing our jobs, we are afraid of loosing health coverage while unemployed! Shame!

    Keep up a good job you're doing!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  189. Don Ladolcetta

    While I did not read all the comments that have been posted as there are so many, all of the comments that have passed moderation that I have read so far are pro health care. I do not see any comments that oppose it. My comments oppose it. Yet you have not allowed it to pass moderation for all the others to see. It seems to me there is a little bias here on your part

    August 12, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  190. Eric Carter of Baton Rouge, La.

    seeing the news that racist organizations enrollment is up drastically, as well as enrollment in anti-goverment/white supremacy groups, it's no wonder, people screamed hateful things during election ralliies. And President Obama got more death threats in history. Those same people are doing it again. They have jobs in tv, radio, politics, government and all other occupations. They are ignorant and biting the hand that feeds them. Republican party stands, now, for the same things it always has, the rich and wealthy. Poor fools, especially those that don't have health insurance or lost their job or was on umemployment , or is on unemployment, or have student loans , are biting the hand that feeds them.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  191. Suzi Hauman

    Heidi, I am embarrassed by the rude ,uncivilized behavior of my 'fellow Pennsylvanians' toward Sen. Arlen Specter...As one who has served this State & this Nation for decades, the Senator has earned the right to have a respectful conversation with his constituants...Unfortunately these very same people who supported him this time last year...are the very ones who won't allow him HIS "Constitutional Rights" to speak his mind & heart in a public forum. As a thoughtful Pennsylvanian, Senator, I apologize.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  192. Rolland

    I am 75 years of age. In the old days, our doctor lived in our neighborhood in a modest house like the rest of us...no multimillion dollar spread. If we were abulatory, we visited his office when in medical need. If not, he came to our house to treat us where we were treated and we paid our $ 25 to $ 50 fee. No insurance because this was before doctors, pharmacies and hospitals started price fixing and price gouging. When medical expenses became ridiculus, the insurance industry stepped in as if we should pre-pay for exorbident medical costs plus their profits.

    We need to get back to root causes and basics: Politicians...Take agressive action to reduce what the medical profession charges. Stop avoiding the basic issue. It's OK if they live a more modest life like the rest of us. If that happens, insurance wouldn't be necessary and healthcare would once again be affordable. Simple, eh? Stop playing around with consequences and address the root cause!!! MEDICAL CHARGES & COSTS. Roland in Pembroke Pines, FL

    August 12, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  193. Eric Carter of Baton Rouge, La.

    no one is proposing that you, with insurance, enroll in a government plan. Read and watch something other than foxnews and you might know the facts.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  194. Greg

    Yes, I'd attend a Town Hall meeting if for no other reason than to provide a rational, sane alternative voice to the ignorant, ill-conceived and often loud partisan opposition to health care reform. One of your callers said that she wouldn't stand for health care reform being rushed through. Where has she and the other complainers been for the last 20 years? Health care reform has been a major issue in the last 4 or 5 presidential campaigns. President Obama made his health care priority very clear and he won. I'm sick and tired of the "I've got mine" mentality. If health care reform isn't achieved, these people are in for a rude awakening. Health insurance premiums and costs will continue to rise dramatically and, worse still, many more Americans and their families will find themselves bankrupt and without insurance coverage. These folks opposed to reasonable heath care reform may be shouting the loudest but they don't reflect the majority view. Legislators had better not miss this opportunity fix a broken system. If they do, they deserve to lose their next elections, regardless of political affiliation. Speaking of... Senator Grassley hardly gives one confidence in the Republicans' leadership on this critical issue!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  195. Reynaldo Rodriguez

    I would definitely attend a town hall meeting. I am a recently retired 21 year veteran of the United States Army and this January returned to my home town of Elsa, Texas. Our small town is very close to the US-Mexico border and I believe that there are unique issues to this area that should be addressed. Some issues should be pressed for governmental consideration but, I believe some should be addressed at a local level because just as the government needs to adjust its policies, we Americans need to take a good look at our individual policies, take charge of our finances, adjust our attitudes and understand that just as our government owes us, we owe it. We must learn that only through hard work can we achieve our goals and dreams and there is no free anything....everything cost somebody something.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  196. Kimberly

    American health care is just like EVERY OTHER AMERICAN SUBJECT/AREA.... TOO COMPLEX. Thus, I want to know why we are all just 'sooo upset' and 'sooo scared' of what the Obama Administration is TRYING (nothing is official/set-in-stone) to figure out an answer for. I feel if we all put aside our personal feelings for this Administration and for these public/private insurance companies for just a moment, we would have a more clear mind to really see exactly what it is that they are trying to accomplish. So what if the government has a bit more control?! If you haven't noticed or haven't lived here longer than 24 hours, they CONTROL EVERYTHING already, and the country has had tremendous success and failures since we've all been born. Quit pretending like life as we know it would end if health care takes massive reform. EVERYTHING (the economy, the environment, health care, energy, terrorism, education) HAS AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER taken major reform, and yet and still we've lived one more day to complanin about the nation we live in. Hell, it's life, and it's complicated. If you understood business/'how to be profitable in a competitive-capitalistic market', your anger probably wouldn't be aimed so directly at the Obama Administration, but our Fathers from way back when who supposedly had the greatest minds which put the US at the top. All of this going back and forth is just to say....LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE, AND LEARN TO PLAY THE GAME. You can't control it, you've never been able to. So what makes you believe you can now......

    August 12, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  197. Mom

    I would attend if there was one in my area. Thank you for showing a Town Hall Meeting this morning by a Republican Senator (Grassley). CNN is my main source of national news, but so far I have been seeing only meetings conducted by Democrats, who do not appear able to handle the outrageous annimosity displayed by the attendees. Let us see more of how the Republicans are able to satisfy their constituents. The President's meeting yesterday was a welcome relief from the bumbling meeting held in Pennsylvania yesterday morning.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  198. Eric Carter of Baton Rouge, La.

    death panels, cutting medicare, having a big old government plan are all examples of lies and misinformation meant to make fools of those too ignorant to look for the real story and fools that just hate President Obama, so much that they can't see anything positive.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  199. KRJ56

    I would attend a town hall meeting because thus far the attendees have been very one-sided and horribly misinformed. I have actually been embarrassed by some of the questions that people have been asking and their behavior. I also do not think that these smaller town halls have been representative of the totality of our population. There is something much deeper going on at these meetings and those of us with a different perspective need to be there too to be heard as well.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  200. Rajiv

    I just now (10:45 AM EST) heard Ms Cohen providing a highly optimistically and actually contrary to how companies choose the health plan that they offer to their employees. There is (will be) nothing to prevent companies from offering the cheapest heath plan. I know from personal experience with Fortune 100 companies, that they continue to offer cheaper and cheaper health plans every new year, since at least 2006. And these do reduce the benefits. Ms. Cohen point about companies not offering cheaper plans because of competition to get employees, continues to be less and less relevant as almost all companies continue to go towards cheaper plan, so competition to offer better (and more expensive) plans is also going down. So Ms Cohen's point is unrealistic and to optimistic, and lack business understanding. Ms. Cohen may want to talk to CNN's management that decides the health plans for CNN's employee, she may be surprised by their answers, if these are provided in clear language.

    The other point Ms Collins made that government will put constraints that may prevent some big companies to go to cheaper health plans may have some validity, but this too ignores that the government constraints may not prevent such companies from offering plans that are even cheaper (and hence provide less benefits) government plans.

    Please do not ignore the current employment and business environment before providing uniformed opinions.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  201. Ray S

    I support the Presidents Health Care Reform, I beleive it's what most if not all Americans need. We MUST pass this reform. Having any kind of Health coverage is much better that not having one, so that People can do prevention instead of waiting until they are accutely ill. In return US tax payers can then save money.

    The Private Insurance companies have been milking everyone, they charge too much. What worse is that when you lost your job you lost your health coverage. There is something very wrong with this picture. Americans need a system where you have coverage working or not, otherwise we become like the third world countries where Government don't care at all.

    How do we make sure, the Health Care Reform passes?
    Thank You.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  202. cliff

    Your taxes will pay for abortions. My wife is a Quality analyst for AETNA.
    She says if it is not written that insurance does not state what it doesn't cover
    She must pay the claim. Court decisions require insurance to pay for abortions
    If not stated. Our tax dollars will pay for abortions. The reform attoneys know this as do
    Our senators. Stop lying bout this bill. My wife is a naturalised citizen from mexico.
    I am American Mexican who grew up picking strawberries. I am the owner of. A
    real estate brokrage in souther CA and I know this bill will pay for illegal imagrantssm
    No one has to provide documentation to receive assistance and the staff here will be
    directed not ask for documentation as to the possibility the hospital may not be able to be
    Reimbursed for the treatment provided. Its the don't ask don't tell policy.
    Not even my wife born and educated in mexico belives congress. Wake up my fellow minorities
    This is good for no one.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  203. Theo

    It is sad to see the yelling and screaming simply caused by pure FEAR and IGNORANCE. They fell into prey of the wrong rhetoric. I think they've watched Fox News too much. Somebody gotta to say something about Fox News. Its political vision and vested interests, and manipulative attitudes are pulling America down.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  204. joe

    Colleen, You are not getting $800 worth of drugs. You are getting $10 worth of drugs jacked up to $800. When things are not price shopped see what happens to the price. Insurance is a method used to prevent price shopping. One insurance company versas another is not price shopping. I take $500 a month in pills but I only pay under $20 straight from India. The true market value of the pills is $20. Why is Wall Street charging $500? Why can't we create a model which places tests, pills, and procedures under the same price shopping scrutiny as toilet paper on a Walmart shelf.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  205. Michael Phillips

    What is all the debate about health care and town halls for? Let's start debating the ferocius attacks on any progress by news groups like FOX. I have been switching back and forth between CNN and FOX news for the past 3 weeks on XM and the lies and scare tactics coming from that channel are absurd. It's amazing to me how supposedly smart college educated people can honestly believe Obama is going to "pull the plug on grandma" or "get between you and your doctor"etc. When you take the freedom of press to levels for politcal and hurtfull reasons you tend to have ignorant viewers. Let's debate there tactics. Turn up the heat on there ignorance and let's put them in the spotlight. Let's start making up rumors about them and see what happens. Also let's turn up the heat on there off shore accounts, we'll get the money for health care. The middle class is taxed on there level of income, why not execs? Why is this not being reported? I would rather here about positive truthful news. Scare tactics are over.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  206. Ralph Toth

    It doesn't amaze me that all this silliness is going on in town hall meetings, given the inane things that are put online on Utube and the "unreality" TV programs that are so popular on the networks.
    Ralph – Illinois

    August 12, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  207. Chuck Matheson

    Heidi, in reading these responses and I hear a common thread that is of concern. Many, many people do not even know where to go to be able to read the actual bill, HR3200 in its current form. Could you please post the web site so that all your viewers can log on and read and become informed of the facts for themselves instead of relying on the lies of the extreme right. Read the entire 1018 page document before you start complaining about what's in it or what's not in it. I've read it, I know what's in it and it is nothing close to what the extreme right is portraying. Thanks.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  208. Jerry Gottlieb

    Heidi,
    The health care issue is a defining moment for our country. It is as important as a Presidential election. I suggest CNN host 2, 2 hour debates on the subject. The pro reform group led by President Obama
    vs the Republicans who represent those opposed to reform.
    Have an independent moderator like a Presidential debate and questions put forward by a qualified group of journalists who know this issue. America needs the media to help Americans get the truth.
    I believe it is essential that the real facts be put in front off all thinking
    Americans. Please help the democracy work !

    Jerry Gottlieb

    August 12, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  209. Don Ladolcetta

    You want to know why people are angry. Its because their voice is being ignored. Just like it seems you are ignoring my voice.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  210. rich sottilaro

    Another comment!! Anyone against government sponsored health care is anti american. Especially a congressman or women being against it when they have carte blanche health care benefits!!! Hypocrites to the max. If your against helping your fellow citizens. You are corrupt and should leave this country!! Go to Russia and try to live under that system. Not a free democrocy!! We are paying the most in health care costs and rank 37th in the world in overall coverage. Second world countries are beating us in many categories in helath care!! Pathetic!!

    rich

    August 12, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  211. Edye Draegert

    I would like to hear directly what the proposals are, conceptually); ask questions as they arise, and offer my opinions as a constituent. The current negative shouting and disrupting, while expressive of our great country's freedom of expression, do nothing to inform citizens of the potential improvements to our lives. I listen to senior citizens complain that they prefer the status quo, and do not want the government controlling their medical care, in fact are the participants in medicare, a government run medical insurance plan. If all of these disgruntled citizens shifted to private health care, the cost of government-run health care would perhaps reduce significantly. We need improvement in the availability, quality and cost of health-care. When the government created social security and medicare I would surmise that there was much outrage of fear. That program has worked for 75 years. We need something with some forsight.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  212. Don Ladolcetta

    I have never written to a media outlet before in response to current events. This is the first time I have ever done so. The news is showing that people are afraid of the future. The fact that CNN is ignoring my feedback is making me worry that maybe these folks have a valid set of issues.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  213. David

    Yes, I would attend a town hall meeting. Listening to people's comments and questions you could probably get an excellent picture of the health care system as it stands now and what needs to be done, though I imagine it's a very complex and involved picture.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  214. Richard Dowson

    Hi

    Love my American cousins but am shocked at how you are treating each other in the 'health care' debate. You are debating a concept the rest fo the developed world accepted years ago. After all, who in their right mind would want to continue a system that takes away everything you worked for all your life if you get sick? It is not the rich or the poor who are suffering under your system of health care. It is the good – average – regular run of the mill Americans that I've met over the years. Please, don't tear yourself apart over what the rest of the developed world accepts.

    Be good

    Richard Dowson, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  215. richard

    my name is rick and i am so grateful
    for having medicare ,Medicaid
    and all that goes with it,( i have just
    surpassed 4 years on dialysis)
    IF IT WASNT FOR ALL THAT STUFF
    i would not be able to
    afford the coast of it all, right now
    it coast 30,000 dollars a month
    to do what i do each month, and
    just think it might go to 40.000
    a month next year. i don't know many people
    who make that kind of money do you ?
    and my wife takes medicine
    that coast more per bottle than
    what i make in a month bringing down
    the coast of health care and prescription
    medication would be very helpful

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  216. Carl Gray

    I think we all know that reforming health care is not a job for Congress to decide for us.
    Of course we need change, we all know it, but let's change the big things, now and see how they work out.
    1. Tort reform – Limit the # and type of lawsuits and pay-outs of patients.
    No one talks about it and it's probably because most members of congress are attorneys as well as the white house leadership.
    2. Limit ER visits for life-threatening patients, only. Set up clinics nearby to treat the rest.
    3. Limit Lab testing, X-rays, CatScans, MRI's, etc. to serious illnesses and patient pays a large % if not life threatening.
    4. Rather than allowing a generic after the patent runs out, make Pharma Co. drop the drug's price by 50% for 5 years and then allow generics.
    5. All new drug therapies must be priced at no more than the Ave price of all competitive Branded meds(same class of drugs) plus no more than 5%.
    6. Price increases on All medical therapies should be capped so price increases can not be greater than 5% above inflation per year.
    These changes alone would save Billions.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  217. Don Ladolcetta

    Should I send a printout of this computer screen to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh to show them how eager you are to suppress an honest rational reasonable conservative comment on the comments page that you set up.

    I said no lies in my comment. I said nothing that is not being said by other Americans. My words were not angry. There were concerned words with a valid viewpoint.

    I am not being pushed by some organization to step up. My actions are my own. I am not part of any subversive plot. I am not Un-American.

    Send me a private email at least to explain to me why you won't publish my comment

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  218. Stephen

    As a Canadian , I would like my American friends know that our system takes care of all its citizens very well . All Canadians are treated equally in this regard . Nobody really waits too long or goes untreated . That is how our nation stays strong, healthy and free .

    Profit and greed by exploiting a sick person? If anything is evil that would be it . This is not good for any nation because it weakens it's people . And its the American people who are being cheated by insurance companies .

    I hope America can find the courage to challenge these companies by installing its own collective force of competition, by using it's own government by the people , for the people .
    For the good of ALL Americans .

    If you can put a man on the moon you can certainly reform health care. So get on with it .

    Stephen

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  219. Angela Tacoma Washington

    No I could not stand to associate my self with a bunch of Idiots, for any period of time, I believe in health care reform, however the largest groups that have shown up have been there just to spread hate and disrupt with no concern for health care reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  220. victor

    I do not want the government to get into he healh care business. The government says that they have found all kinds of waste in the present system , so why not just eliminate those problems and use those savings to help cover the uninsured, Instead of blowing up the whole system he government could 1 implment.torte reform 2. regulate what the insurers can charge.
    3. assist insurers to cover preexistng conditions 4. regulate the drug companies and again cap what they can charge for drugs. Also stop spending so much money because the interest they have to spend on interest for all the loans could go towards coverng those who do not have healthcare. Why blow up a system that some what works and just needs some improvments. You do not need a thousand pages to solve this problem. You just need some common sense.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  221. Alvin Smallwood

    I will go to any of these town hall meetings just to see and hear some of the questions that are being asked. First of all there is nothing perfect in this world and no matter how thoughtful or how well plan things are there will be instances where there will be room for improvement in certain areas as thing goes along. People are not either fully informed, don't care or are just totally against any reform in this country. Especially when it comes to health care reform. We are so fast in helping people all over the world when it comes to providing medical care or medications, building roads, schools, protecting countries, etc. and all of these cost millions of dollars. We as tax payers are paying for all of these things. We are more comfortable in helping other people, which is not bad in itself. But there is always concern or problems when it comes to spending money or doing things for ourselves. We don't care how much we spend in other countries, we are only concern when it comes to spending money on ourselves. If these people can just be civil and ask the neccessry questions then yelling, I am sure they will get the right answer or close to it. Health care in other countries have been down played by us in this country and even though it not perfect, but at least they have something that we don't have. There are people leaving here for Canada to buy medications due to the high cost in this coountry. I can give many explains, this is just a food for thought. Let us be wise and come together to try and make this work. Not perfect.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  222. Marcia Palmater

    How about you brilliant journalists (no sarcasm) dig up some information on this "60 Plus Association" that is buying so much time on your Newsroom broadcasts? Their ads are full of lies and speculation. I'd really like to know who this group is and who is funding their media blitz!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  223. Ken

    I'd probably avoid town meetings right now. Too many Americans are simply incapable of the kind of logical reasoning that it takes to deal with real problems. These are going about as well as the "dialogues on race" that I have attended and witnessed.

    That woman from Lebanon, PA that's gotten so much press in the past couple of days is a great example. Her blind rage and rambling abstractions about the Constitution and the Founding Fathers had about as much to do with the current situation as the Big Bang. She clearly has what would have been the equivalent of a 4th or 5th grade education back in the 1960s, and I was shocked to see her on CNN Wednesday morning offering her "expertise" regarding the Constitution and health care. Who needs facts or evidence?

    Far too many Americans are much better equipped to watch "American Idol" and "Dancin' with the Stars" than they'll ever be for dealing with the complexities that face us in the real world. If confronted with the Great Depression as were my parents, a lot of these folks would have the proverbial snowball's chance in Hades.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  224. Greg

    Town halls should focus on preventative medicine and taking health into our own hands and our own responsibility. Online tools like Holosfitness.com make it easy to lose weight, get in shape, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Holosfitness.com has hundreds of exercises listed with step-by-step instruction, all of which are provided for free. The site also contains a wide array of fitness and nutritional information, including blogs, videos, and photos.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  225. henry

    if the government would have saved all that money from all the bail outs that they did.the govnment could have put a 1million$ in an account for each tax paying person and let them draw off the interest each month and not ever have to worry about being broke or ever laid off from work.people could even payfor health programs.thank you for listening

    August 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  226. Carlton Gamer

    I strongly support the inclusion of the public option in the proposed health care insurance reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  227. Gary, Washington

    I would attend a town hall meeting if I thought I could get my thoughts heard. Sadly I don't think that is possible. From what I have seen this as turned into a grand stand play for our elected officials. Instead of listening to their constituents so they could do their jobs when they returned to Washington DC I get the feeling they are doing more talking rather than listening.

    By the way, I find our President's town hall meeting a joke. He is certainly an egotisical, self centered individual that lies to the people. For example he clearly stated that the AARP endorsed his plan. That group clearly denies endorsing any plan at the moment. So much for his honesty.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  228. Roy Jackson

    Dear Heidi,

    As a 90-year-old dual citizen with dozens of relatives in Canada all happy with their health care, I am disgusted by the lies about their system, and after the recent meetings I’m about to agree with Bill Maher that Americans are too stupid to be governable. The Obama plan is complicated and vulnerable to vicious misinformation, so perhaps the President should offer an alternative  the reality of single payer and say, “Which do you prefer?”.

    Back on the road to single payer reality and the GDP percentage other developed nations spend on health care would mean less than about 11% of GDP (Canada) or a quarter less than the 15.4 % we spend. There is no reason we can’t save that quarter, which would amount to about 4% of 14 trillion or nearly $1.7 trillion. That should be enough. There are tons of stats and case histories to support the Canadian and French (about 9%) experiences. And did you read Paul Krugman’s column of yesterday?

    Roy

    August 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  229. Syed, Atlanta

    Hi Heidi:

    I am reminded of a quotation regarding legal argument. it goes something like this – if you have the facts on your side then site the facts; if you have law on your side then site the law. If you have neither on your side then holler.

    Unfortunately, the town hall meetings, at least some of them are being turned into hollering meetings. These meetings could serve as important forums for the democratic process to address a very important & critical issue for the citizens of this country. I earnestly hope and pray that August becomes the make month for health care rather than the break month. Hope the peoples' representatives will keep the average citizens interest paramount in their mind & not beholden to corporate interests only.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  230. David

    I don't know, Mom, I thought Sen. Spector did allright given the heated questions in that Pennsylvania town hall, but yes the President's town hall meeting in the afternoon, given the video of it that I saw, went much more smoothly less arduously.

    It was nice to see Sen Grassley's town hall meeting in Iowa this morning in Madison County, setting of the movie Bridges of Madison County as Senior Political correspondent Candy Crowley noted. I haven't seen that movie. But, I noticed how friendly and congenial both Sen. Spector and Sen. Grassley were with their constituents and their many quesitons. It must be hard for a member of congress to handle a meeting of concerned, in the case of the meeting in Iowa, or perhaps nearly agitated, in the case of the meeting in Pennsylvania, constituents.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  231. Frank Trotta

    Hi, my name is Frank, 41 y/o, married, no kids, citizen living in NY state. I work for a small company as manager of an Italian resturant.
    I'd like to hear somebody talking about my category and how hard or impossible is to get health insurance. Insurance company don't like to insures restaurant workers. Is that discrimination or what?
    Can someone suggest me how to solve our problems? We are not part of Unions ( unfortunately ) but we work and pay taxes like anybody else. But the way, I'm a cancer survivor and nedd to follow up every 6 months ( if everything is fine ) doing tests that cost thousands dollars.
    Why a government employee or Union worker have insurance that cost a couple hundred dollars a month and if we want one I would we need to pay about 1,000 dollars?
    Please respond. Thank you.
    Frank

    August 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  232. Doc in Gilroy, CA

    I would love to go to a townhall meeting on Healthcare, but my Congressman Mike Honda (D-15) has decided not to meet face to face with his constituents. The other two Silicon Valley area, Eshoo (D-14), and Lofgren (D-16) have also decided not to meet in a public meeting. All three are following the advice of their Democratic leadership to avoid public meetings.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  233. Bill Tower

    1. Many of the townhall comments I've heard do not relate to the health care/insurance issue. Many of the most emotional and vocal statements seem to come from people who have some serious anti-government attitude, and they are using the townhalls as an opportunity to vent those criticisms rather than to comment on the central issue.
    2. There is no single bill up for consideration and discussion. Therefore responses and questions are all over the map. It would have been more productive to have waited for a concrete proposal that was more fully defined so people could ask meaningful questions and express more useful opinions.
    3. The townhall settings are so emotionally charged, and there is so little give and take in the discussions that people's opinions get more hardened and less flexible. That is not a setting conducive to any form of consensus.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  234. joe

    I am so angry with the way Mr. Obama makes light of those that have a different view, making us out to be nothing more than "Nazi's" as Pelosi called those that have a different point of view. People were angry when Bush used the term "evil doers" to talk about people outside this country, well this administration is painting you, Americans, with that same brush. I would attend a town hall meeting because at least people are seeing there are others as angry as they are.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  235. Martin

    You bet I would attend a Town Hall meeting! I don’t know that these meetings are helping to push the reform, because the public “servants” who are perceived to be in favor of the monstrosity of a bill are not offering much more than the usual politicizing. I think snow shovels are needed to dig through some snow jobs.
    Big government ( the Nanny State) is unproductive and toxic to freedom. Fix the smaller, immediate problems first. Why empower monsters with never-ending tentacles, with unending reach? ( ACORN, SEIU, UAW, czars, GE, Greenpeace, Sierra Club) Much more concern than just “ Healthcare” reform.
    The Media gives a lot of time to “disrespectful protesters”. During Bush’s eight years, were the protesters on the left respectful? I am embarrassed about uncontrolled behavior- it takes away credibility. However, and you can put this in your book, We the People call and write our elected officials and get no response, responses to questions we don’t even ask, snubbing responses assuming we know nothing… for years: What does it take to upset you?
    Martin Kilmer
    Solen, ND

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  236. James E. Bergeron

    Why does the news medium publicize erroneous comments all over the news? Because people believe these erroneous comments, they get all worked up over these erroneous statements and they go to town hall meetings with banners disrupting the meetings in showing their non-support for the proposed healthcare reform program. Then the news medium comes out with a fact sheet which proves these erroneous published comments were based on false and misinterpreted information. The news medium should have checked the facts out before they blasted these falsehoods all over our television screens! In my humble judgement, the news medium is creating distrust of our government by providing erroneous and false statements to the American public, rather than reporting accurate news, which we as Americans deserve and expect in accordance with our right of Freedom of the Press. Freedom of the Press, in turn, does not give you the right to mislead and misinform the public.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  237. Wendell w Phillips

    DOORMANT CLAIMS

    Get all the THOTNS UT,YOU WILL REFORM HEALTHCARE!!!!!!!!!

    Healthcare Reform? Reform Dirty ,Sick,Inaccurate ,Data that has made some People this world ?
    which has put thorns in Health care?

    There have been Doormant Claims for Decades. mine is one of them.
    My Claims have been Doormant for Over 13 years.

    I worked 25 years as a Public Safety Officer at a Middle School in Lansin,.Michigan I have Been wrongfully Terminated

    I have an Invention New Back Board Device Patent Infringement I have worked on for over 30 Years ,met with Daktronics Authorities from South Dakota who are now with NBA,and other Affiliates with my Invention,BOTH Violation of Antitrust,Security and Exchange,EEOC,LABOR who know what else.!!!!! You name it!!!!

    I NEED MY MONEY RIGHT NOW!!!! I need to SETTLE MY Claims NOW!!!
    I have Obeyed all the True,Legal, Laws Required for my Relief!!!
    My Cases are in Circuit court Lansing,Michigan
    and detroit Michigan
    URGENT!!!!!!!!!!
    I NEED TO SETTLE MY CLAIMS RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!
    URGENT!!!!! RESPONSE I NEED MY MONEY IMEDIATELY!!!!!!

    Wendell w. Phillips
    3225 Holiday drive #6
    Lansing,Michigan
    48912
    wendellwphillips@hotmail;.com
    5172033056
    Graduate University Milwaukee Wisconsin
    Paralegal
    Criminal Justice
    Public safety Officer

    August 12, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  238. Anubiez Black

    Before I proceed, I would like to state that I am not American and am currently not in America. I am just a concerned person on the globe who can't sit and see people suffer for no justified reason.
    Due to this fact i will state no facts as i am not privy to the laws that govern health care in the US but i will make assumption based on naural laws which i know every democratic nation abides by.

    I will not attend these town meetings and this is for one reason only. It won't make a difference in anyone's situation. It is just like posting a comment on a public forum. The woes of the people are to be addressed to the people with power to effect any form of change. Anyway in regards to the health-care issue there is only one issue that is causing all this trouble and that issue is greed. If you pay close attention to the arguments and facts that have been brought forward, you will notice how some people are strongly against affordable health-care and how the keep going on about how expensive it is going to be. Really? where are these so called expenses coming from? If there is enough money in the U.S coffers to fund a war in two foreign countries and enough money to spend on keeping sex workers and other harmless felons in prisons they why isn't there money to cater for the health of the nation's tax payer. I my point of view, services such as medical care and education should be offered at bare minimum costs if not free. How is a nation supposed to be productive if all the work force is unfit to do work? People should stop discussing among themselves and take action now. Follow the avenues available to get what is deserved. If a citizen is required to pay taxes then i feel the government is definitely responsible for the care of its people. The right to life goes hand in hand with medicare. therefore the government is in violation of a basic human right which is life because a financial barrier has been put up to separate the a person from getting good medical care.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:13 pm |
  239. Michelle

    Heidi,

    As I mentioned in your "2 cents" piece, I am impressed with the very impressive "down the middle" job you are doing as a journalist. This morning, however, I was a little surprised about how Jim Acosta handled coverage of President Obama's Town Hall Meeting yesterday and how you didn't press him on his very "apologetic, pro-Obama" description of the Town Hall Meeting, but you handled the rest of your broadcast with your usual journalistic rigor, so though I thought Acosta was extremely biased, I didn't feel moved to write, even though any independent observer would wonder why when there is so much angst in the country and polls showing support for his healthcare dropping that you would never know it by watching his very "smooth" Town Hall Meeting. The answer is simple: it was stacked with supporters and screened for desenters. I never liked it when other presidents did it, and I don't think Obama should get a pass on it either. So I was a little surprised that you and Acosta didn't address the REAL reason the Town Hall came across as a love fest, but instead gave it a complete pass, but wasn't moved to write this morning. But now I am moved to write because I find out that just a little research is showing the meeting was VERY stacked and manipulated, to include the cute little 11 year old's adorable pro-Obama comments, whose mom ran the Massachusettes Women for Obama org, who has allegedly been at the White House for Easter egg hunts, and has supported Obama on the trail. How disgusting for a president's administration to lower themselves to planting a child for political commentary on national television, when the forum was supposed to be a fair sampling of people's concerns,which it was clearly devoid of. Plus of course, Obama talked about dispelling myths when he himself told a MYTH about AARP support at the meeting. It angers me when any administration tries to pull the wool or lies or manipulates and it would be great if you had not allowed the very biased Jim Acosta to promote Obama's Town Meeting as a success when indeed it is now being revealed to be yet another manipulation instead of a true Town Hall Meeting where a true cross-section of America should've been allowed to show their very reasonable questions and angst about his handling of healthcare. Otherwise, you and Lou Dobbs continue to be great role models for the independence that all journalists should show.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  240. angela

    Yes, I would attend a town hall meeting. Do I approve of the tone being presented on the news, no, but I feel an obligation to get involved., to find out how others think/feel. It is frustrating to voice an opinion otherwise or to get information. I went to the White House Website and asked for a link to the House bill and haven't head back in 2 days.
    I like people's rationale..., don't you.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  241. angela

    Yes, I would attend a town hall meeting. Do I approve of the tone being presented on the news, no, but I feel an obligation to get involved., to find out how others think/feel. It is frustrating to voice an opinion otherwise or to get information. I went to the White House Website and asked for a link to the House bill and haven't head back in 2 days.
    I like people's rationale..., don't you.

    I don't think the man in NH carrying a gun mae a good decision, but I am not sure I would leap to the asssumption that he palnned to kill the President. Do you know something the rest of us don't know?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  242. Jason

    Healthcare reform is a complex issue that will require education, compromise, and understanding. I am saddened to see fellow Americana’s embarrass themselves at town hall meetings. These individuals that I witnessed speak are both uneducated and reckless. Americans should be ashamed that this was allowed. We have suffered enough in these hard months and these town hall meetings are just another blow to the American sprit. I hope in the future we can be more responsible, but for now healthcare reform will just have to remain a joke while these town hall meetings are allowed to continue.

    August 13, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  243. sandy

    joe, think about the things americans have called the president. by the way these nasty things were said by americans.

    August 13, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  244. donnie

    I would love to attend an Obama town hall meeting. I want to know why he is lying when stating he is not a single-payer system supporter. There is video evidence to the contrary in 2003. I also want to ask him if he believes what Barney Frank said about this public option being a step towards a single-payer system. Bet he would lie about that, too.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  245. Carol - Chattanooga, Tenn

    I would certainly attend a town meeting and have asked my two Senators and my Representative to hold one so that I could attend. There have been none in my part of Tennessee. But, then, my two Senators are Republicans and so is my Representative. They have no reason to hold a Town Meeting because they are not participating in the Health Reform legislation. They have spent their time on the sidelines. As for accusing the demonstrators, who act like 2 year olds, of being 'un-American', I tend to agree. It is my belief that comparing our government to Nazi/Fascism and painting Hitler mustaches on pictures of our President is more akin to Nazi Germany and those same symbols are used in this country by the white supremist groups.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  246. Jim N

    I would go to a town hall, but NONE of my representatives are having one.

    I would go if I knew what the final proposal was. At this date no one knows. By the time we do, we won't be given time to read it or debate it and it will be passed.

    Our representatives are not listening anyway. The final draft will be determined by whomever has the most money to stuff into Congressional pockets.

    Sorry, I have no trust in Congress nor do I believe that they can run anything!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  247. Michael B - NYC

    I am convinced that many of the emotions being expressed have nothing to do with health care but rather how to get back at a Republican lost in the polls. Come on people deal with the issues and not the emotions. In fact, in many cases you are hearing things people only assumed. I listened to a woman saying what she heard is in the bill however, she could not say where it is.
    I would appreciate if people attend meetings to hear what are the plans, and not what you assumed they will be.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  248. Tony

    Why do you only cover the town hall meetings when the vocal minority are causing problems. Most of us want to see a meaningful discussion on the health care with both pro's and con's

    August 13, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  249. Evelyn Swart

    Cnn anchor, Kyra Phillps says "If we see fireworks (at one of the town halls), you will, too." Also," if things get hot and heavy," we will show you.
    Please show us some examples of people being civil and rational. By showing only the town halls where people are acting out, you are encouraging irrational thinking and uncivil behavior.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  250. Melissa Fryette Mosley

    I would love to go. I would have to do some serious talking to myself to stay calm. I am so discouraged with the non-progressive, self centered, rude behavior at these most important meetings. I see people that are obviously on Medicare speaking violently against government involved health care. It's mind boggleing! My Mother is 89yrs.old. Everytime I take her to the Doctor I am envious of the care she receives. My husband and myself are small business owners, we are 58yrs old and we hope everyday we don't get sick or have an accident as we cannot afford health insurance. We are just trying to hold onto our business and our home in this insane economy that was created by the previous administration.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  251. Jim Pierce

    If we don't get health care this year we will never get it. jim

    August 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  252. Carl Nowell

    No, I would not want to attend any Town Hall meeting because I don't like what I read nor do I trust President Obama or most members of Congress.
    I would like to see the issue of Health Care tabled for a long period of time in order that Congress can re-write the package in English where we citizens can understand it better and not have to have someone from Washington DC try to explain it to me when he/she doesn't understand half of it themselves.
    This is madness, to predict trillions of dollars will be spent on Health Care on top of trillions of dollars we are preparing to spend now for other programs is lunacy.

    President Obama is out for himself. Congress is following his lead. Something is very wrong here. We need to slow down, recover from a near financial & economic disaster before trying to solve the health issue.

    Stabilize our Country first President Obama then you can try to sell your plan. In the interim Congress and your Czars can try to come up with a viable solution to satisfy American citizens.

    With our country at war, rebuilding from a near deisaster, and trying to figure out how to house feed and cloth Americans should be the priority right now. Your Health Care plan can be second in line if we ever recover from the first major crisis.

    In closing I state, Americans have been suffering a great deal due to idiotic plans and programs Congress has come up with and most Americans have lost faith in our leaders.

    Civil unrest is looming on the horizon and I hope I don't get to see America torn apart because some President and his liberal party have decided that their 'plan' is the right plan. We need time to review it, look for reasonable alturnatives and to have everything and I do mean every little item spelled out in large ENGLISH letters that "We the People" can follow and understand.

    Respectfully,

    Carl (Central Florida)

    August 13, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  253. Winston Puckett

    I wish people understood how the right wing loves to start trouble. This time they sent out one of their most laughed at yet still listened to representatives Sarah Palin to spread all these lies so that congress could go on their hiatas while the rest of the US sits in town hall meetings not trusting the President because of the Republicans lies? how convenient that this mis-information comes just a few days before the recess so it will not be viable to keep them from their recess. Doesn't make sense to me. I trust the President and I don't have a problem with some competition of a government insurance agency driving a price warto drive things closer to where they should be!

    August 14, 2009 at 8:12 am |