Ilovebenefits’s Blog

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Town Hall Meeting — Healthcare

Editor’s note: The following from a friend, a personal eyewitness to a town hall meeting on the healthcare bill. Pictures not included.


Conversation: Health Care Town Hall – Mendon, New York
Subject: Health Care Town Hall – Mendon, New York

Attached are photos of the town hall meeting tonight conducted by Congressman Eric Massa of New York.  Held in Honeoye Falls, New York at 7:30, it was attended by about 1,500 people.  There were many reporters and TV cameras (local television crews).  Originally to be held indoors, the Congressman moved it outdoors to accommodate the many people who arrived with something to say (Cf. Claire McAskill).  Massa promised to stay all night and to answer every question.  The crowd was polite (though many appreciative and opposing sentiments expressed at the end of various speakers’ points).  My estimate had about 80% opposing and 20% supporting the bill.  The Congressman said that he could not vote for the bill, though not for some of the reasons expressed in “the mass media”.  He said that his chief issue was budget neutrality, on which he claimed to insist.  He also emphasized that it was irresponsible to vote on the bill before hearing from his constituents.  There were many pre-printed signs stating “Single Payer System Now”, giving the sense of some organization of those attendees.  Signs opposing the bill were hand drawn.  Very few people knew each other, and, as a resident of Honeoye Falls for many years, I can say that no more that 5% of the attendees were from that small community.  Massa’s general thrust, simply stated was “The system needs fixing, but we need to talk carefully about what we do.”  One commenter noted that every company perfects a beta program before rolling out the product wholesale and pressed to perfect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid before moving to health care generally.  Massa responded to the effect that the health services industry is so interwoven that piecemeal experimentation is not possible.  He confronted many on that point.  Massa also acknowledged that every American can receive medical care by going to an emergency room in a hospital, and one commenter then said that it therefore was clear that Congress is dealing with rationing of health insurance, not health care.  Massa refused to accept that dichotomy.  I left after about an hour and 15 minutes, and it appeared that everyone was prepared to stay for the entire evening to speak with Massa.

Impressive group of well spoken and civil Americans so long as I was there.


August 7, 2009 - Posted by | Federal Government, healthcare | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Well we are absolutely in accord I’ll link a part of one of your posts on my page, should help you get more exposure, and that’s what we all need. I’m Jim

    Comment by jcscuba | August 8, 2009 | Reply

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