Town Halls: Even Tempers Prevail In Wisconsin, But Not Phoenix
In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis, encountered something Democrats may have become unaccustomed to: "a fairly even-tempered crowd" at an "intimate" town hall meeting, Roll Call reports. Kind voted against the reform proposal in the House Ways and Means Committee, but defended current incarnations of the overhaul package during a meeting with local business owners and state National Federation of Independent Business representatives. Despite the civil tone, "business owners still voiced skepticism over the uncertainty and lack of specifics in the health reform proposals - and how they might affect small businesses." Kind replied, "There's going to be some uncertainty, and that's natural. ... The hardest thing to change is the status quo" (Palmer, 8/27).
Meanwhile, "Sen. John McCain [an Arizona Republican] met with an angry crowd at a town-hall meeting about health care reform Wednesday, sometimes having to fight to talk and telling one woman who wouldn't stop yelling that she had to leave," the Associated Press/Boston Globe reports. One audience member at the Phoenix event asked why McCain should get better health coverage than regular people, while others described their experience of diseases like HIV and multiple sclerosis. McCain replied that he wanted health reform that would make care cheaper and more accessible, but that he opposed President Obama's plan to create a government-run insurance plan (Myers, 8/26).