Friday, August 7, 2009
Our Local Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform
Got to Honeoye Falls an hour early. The meeting had been move to a larger venue and people were lined up. Eventually it was moved outside. Cars were parked a 1/2 mile down the road by the time it was underway. Probably 500+. The comments were predominantly opposed but because of rude shouts it was hard to estimate the real balance. More spoke against than for.
After establishing rules of conduct, Rep. Massa opened by saying that there was was no mention of abortion and that explained the truth surrounding the euthanasia lie. He also said that in its current state he could not support the bill. There was a great imbalance of benefit to NYS that needed to be fixed ... and he wants a public option.
Eric Massa was very generous in allowing people to make speeches before they got to a question. Much more than I believe was appropriate.
The first questioner set the tone for a disconnect with reality and the "color" of the crowd. "I don't know anyone who can't get health care." Probably a true statement in the white male privileged world in which this guy and the majority of the crowd lives. Although Massa's response did not really challange the man's assumption, but later he did get the cogent point that many people without health care were using Emergency Rooms for primary care is the most inefficient and least cost affective way to get health care.
One speaker identifying herself as an Emergency Care Physician, whith lab coat and with a stethescope over her shoulder told us that it is government control that is closing down... huh? As if we did would not believe her claim without the costume. (Later I asked her personally if health care via Emergency Room wasn't an expensive alternative... and she said said that was not true!)
Another emergency care physician later debunked her and did it well without a lab coat.
Then the was the RTL man who cried about how babies would be killed with his tax dollars. Massa patiently explained again that the bill did not say anything about abortion and that the Hyde Act would not be effected which provides protection against what he is concerned about. He cried and interrupted and said he was being dishonest... and of course the media covered him.
Another woman told of her sister who could not get insurance because she was diagnosed with diabetes. The crowd was moved to silence... and of course the media did not report this.
Those opposed were constantly trying to blame everything on "Obama." Never once was he refered to as President Obama or even the President. It made me think that many of these people are opposed to health care reform or think they are for a completely unrelated reason. They are angry because there is an African-American Democrat in the White House.
And today they are showing their true colors. As the unemployment rate actually dropped bit they say it couldn't possibly have anything to due with the economic stimulus package...