Town Hall Meetings Continue To Trigger Unexpected Events
Town Hall meetings continue to feature unexpected events.
The New York Times reports, for example, that conservatives are hungry for a real debate beyond the rhetoric at these events: "Far from embracing the attacks, many leading conservative health care policy experts said in recent interviews that the dynamic was precluding a more robust real-world debate while making it nearly impossible for them to inject their studied, free-market solutions into the discussions. Their argument holds that they can find (health care cost savings) with real efforts to decrease redundant procedures due to poor record keeping - causing a doctor, for instance, to prescribe an expensive test a patient has already had - and the correction of similarly exorbitant inefficiencies throughout the system" (Rutenberg and Harris, 9/2).
Meanwhile, two health care events have been marred by violence this week. In Florida, a 65-year-old supporter of health reform, Luis Perrero, was waving a sign outside of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce when a passerby got out of his car, began arguing with the advocates, and ultimately punched Perrero, the Miami Herald reports. Witnesses said Perrero had directed a Spanish curse word at the man. The assailant, Raul Anasagasti, was arrested and charged. "It shows that people who are against the public option will resort to anything -- including battery on a senior citizen -- to prevent healthcare reform," Perrero said (Olorunnipa, 9/3).
Separately, a 65-year-old man's finger was bitten off at a rally near Los Angeles. Around 100 health reform supporters sponsored by MoveOn.org were rallying when a group of reform opponents gathered nearby, KTLA, a Los Angeles television station, reports. "A witness from the scene says a man was walking through the anti-reform group to get to the pro-reform side when he got into an altercation with the 65-year-old, who opposes health care reform. The 65-year-old was apparently aggressive and hit the other man, who then retaliated by biting off his attacker's pinky" (9/3).