American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
August 5th, 2009
06:30 AM ET

Health care hecklers: Can we talk – civilly?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/05/dogget.art.jpg caption="Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett says he was a victim of a health care heckler."]

This August, lawmakers on summer break are holding town hall meetings so voters can ask questions and get answers about health care reform. Except, as some describe it, in some districts those town hall meeting have turned into a kind of town-hell – with lawmakers being met by groups of angry hecklers.

In Texas over the weekend, Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett tried to talk to a constituent about health care reform. He says it was nearly impossible.

"The crowd certainly was angry, I suppose some might have been concerned to see a beautiful full color photo of a marble tombstone with my name on it, or might have had a negative reaction to the poster that said 'Lloyd Doggett, traitor to Texas, devil to all people,'" he says.

"But I found it more amusing than I did something to be fearful of." Doggett adds: "This is not a grass roots, pitchfork operation. If anything, it’s pure Astro turf." He claims local Republicans organized the protests; a Texas GOP spokesman denies that. Max Pappas, of the conservative group Freedomworks, says they encourage members to attend the town halls, "to sit down and talk with the congressmen."

But, some Democrats say Freedomworks doesn't want that at all. Some claim it urges its thousands of members to participate, not in a discussion about health care reform, but a shout down. "You get some instances where people get so passionate," Pappas says. "When they get into discussion they start yelling or chanting. But it's not fake outrage."

Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, was shouted down himself in a town hall meeting Sunday. But he appeared to take it in stride. "My preference would be to have it more sedate, but listen, a democracy is robust, it can be rough and tumble. Nothing really surprises me anymore."

What do you think? Is it possible to talk about health care reform and come to some sort of compromise? Or are passions too inflamed for a reasoned debate? Can we talk – civilly?


Filed under: Health • Just Sayin'
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Joyce

    Point is, I never called any of you names because you have a different opinion than mine. Apparently Fred doesn't pay close attention. I have discussed issues many times in my entries. A new issues, for instance, this country is on the verge of being bankrupt due to uncontrolled spending and it will be even more so with the proposed health care reform. What do you think will happen if we go belly up?
    Probably won't be any healthcare for anyone. If the reform bill passes it still won't cover everyone and it is not free. There is a cost to everyone and if you don't sign up, you pay a penalty. Some will pay the penalty because it is cheaper and won't sign up untill they have a serious problem. FOX news is not my source of info. I happen to read alot and get my info from professionals who are well versed in their particular fields. I could also come back with you believe everything the Clinton News Network has to say. Flo this is my last and forever also, tired of the hatefulness and whining.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Flo

    Joyce, one last and forever comment on your remarks: you others of "name calling." but you well-educated conservities love to bash President Obama, calling him "communist, socialist, Nazi, and one million other awful names. Well, I guess it makes you feel good. You are the one who feeds on that kind of evil rhetoric so, carry on. It will soon eat you up. I feel bad for you and all the others who practice it.

    October 20, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Fred Tondalo

    Joyce you never engage on the issues....we don't believe FOX news you do thats the problem

    October 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  4. Joyce

    Here we go again. You liberals can't have a conversation without resorting to name calling. Childish and unproductive. What is a "wingnut" anyway? I have one more question. Are any of you, who love Obama so much, practicing Catholics? If you are, you might want to visit http://www.realcatholictv.com. FYI – Fred is the one who brings race into every comment that he makes. Go back and review all of his input. I was trying to make him see a person can have an opposite view without being a racist, but I doubt that will ever occur. It is a waste of time telling any of you facts. You aren't interested.

    October 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Flo

    Joyce, go and see a Psychiartrist, take your master's degree with you! You need to be in the "Wingnuts" section. Read your comment.

    October 20, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  6. Sharry

    Fear mongering and blatant negative slamming others doesn't help anyone become more educated and it seems these discussions often end quickly when terms such as "retribution and socialism" are used in addition to when people obviously have blinders on. It is a sad state of affairs when people can not look around at their own community and see the reality of the need for health care reform. Maybe too many people are listening to Fox or talk radio and thinking it's reporting news rather than fomenting anger and misrepresenting intelligent viewpoints. "Radical extremists" seems like a term right out of Glenn Beck's play book rather than any reasonable substantive position with a policy or scholarly background.

    October 20, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  7. Mary

    Are you going to prove to us that you are black, Joyce? This "black" thing has to end. Neither argument rings true here if you are both bringing race into it.

    This argument that Obama and his health advisors are "intent on putting government in charge of your doctor's decisions" is bogus. I have not seen any proof or any statements made to support that argurment. In fact, even most doctors know that this is not going to be the case with health care reform. In fact, since the big insurance companies may have less control over what they can do to withhold payment and deny treatment, patients and their doctors will actually have MORE control over health care decisions. That is one of the main goals of Obama's health care proposal.

    Using resources wisely is also not going to mean people will not get the care they need. What it could mean is that they will actually get better and more efficient care and those who have no care at all will now be able to get health care as well. And as a 62 year old who is looking at my income when I retire and my health care with Medicare and supplemental insurance, I think I can afford to get less and/or pay more taxes to make sure that every person in this country gets decent health care. It is time to think about our kids and grandkids and quit being selfish. Those of us living comfortably should be able to step up and give back a little. It is shameful that so many are going without decent health care in this great nation. Obama is trying to do something about that and I thank him for it.

    October 20, 2009 at 8:13 am |
  8. Fred Tondalo

    The only extremists we have seen in the last 8 years are the neo-cons who have placed our country in very real danger. BTW Joyce I only asked the race question AFTER I addressed your issue of health care, and because I am not black and I know better what white people say in private than maybe you do.

    You however do not answer the issues I raised in my letter talking about the millions of people who fall through those huge cracks in our system as it exists now. You in stead make wild claims as to what the motivation of this President is. Do you really think he is a Socialist? Do you even know what Socialism really is or do you equate it to what you see in China and Old USSR or in North Korea? I'd ask you to look to Europe for the true definition of Socialism. Europe's economies are doing far better than ours and european's live longer than we do and happier as well. As the saying goes Americans live to work we Europeans work to live. I think they have something there.

    October 20, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  9. Joyce

    Fred – I read all of your posts on this site and the recurring theme with you is Obama is black. It seems you can't respond without assuming everyone who is against his plan is a racist. FYI – I am black, I have a Masters Degree and am far, far from being against Obama because he is black. I have investigated and think he has ulterior motives with his plan for health care reform and most of everything he has attempted to do. It is called retribution and socialism. Its fine if you put your trust in Obama and his advisors, I don't. He is surrounded with radical extremists. He follows where they lead him and doesn't have any ideas of his own. Simple as that.

    October 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  10. Fred Tondalo

    Well i dont think the stats you are citing are indicative of those without health insurance. There was a woman in Miami Florida who was found with a 40lb tumor in her breast dead in bed because she didnt have health insurance. One of my employees was refused care by a GYN doctor unless she gave him 400 dollars up front because she had not gotten health insurance due to her not being employed for 90 days and she had a suspected tumor in her uterus. So when you cite statistics its always a good idea to check the COMPLETE picture before criticizing the ONLY President who has had the courage to really get something done for this country that the republicans didn't even consider when they were in power. And BTW why didnt we hear from all you malcontents when Bush and the republicans passed Medicare part D without paying for it, and increasing the national debt?

    I seem to remember a deafening silence from the right wing then, why are you so concerned with debt now? Could it be because there is a Black man in the White House?

    October 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  11. Joyce

    When Obama addressed Congress and the nation on September 9th, he didn't say one good thing about American medical care! A man diagnosed with prostate cancer has a 99.3% of surviving it in the U.S. It's not a death sentence here. But in Europe, 23% of men diagnosed with it die, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER, July 2009). Women diagnosed with breast cancer have over a 90% chance of surviving it in the U.S., but less than an 80% chance in Europe, on average (Ibid). These statistics reflect the experiences of all patients, not just those with insurance.

    Obama didn't even discuss the United States' leadership in producing new cures. Since 1950, the U.S. has won more Nobel Prizes in Medicine and Physiology than the rest of the world combined. Last week, three more scientists working in the U.S. received this award

    Obama and his health advisors are intent upon putting government in charge of your doctor's decisions. Ezekiel Emanuel, for example, blames the Hippocratic Oath for what he terms the "overuse" of medical care. Shockingly, Emanuel argues that doctors focus too much on the needs of their own patient without considering the impact on society. Emanuel says doctors should be trained to always ask, is the money being spent on this patient worth it?

    The current legislation puts in place government controls to curb your doctor's leeway and reduce your use of medical care. Seniors will bear the brunt. The health bills are paid for in part by a $500 billion reduction in future Medicare funding, about a 10% reduction over the next decade, when almost 18 million baby boomers will be turning 65 and entering Medicare. Those numbers don't add up.

    Ezekiel Emanuel also criticizes Americans for being enamored with technology. The Obama administration's proposals will slow the development and use of new treatments. That's a mistake. In ten years, no one will want to settle for 2009 medical knowledge.

    God help us!

    October 15, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  12. Chigginbotham

    I am a white female in her late thirtes. I have voted for the democratic as well as the republican parties. I voted for Barack Obama. I oppose this healtcare bill as it is written. I take offense at what Former President Carter said about protesters being racist, in fact I am very angry. Racism comes in all colors and religions. The media and card carrying democrats can say is WHITE people are the ones that disrespect, and protest President Obama's policy. Wake up and look around.

    September 16, 2009 at 1:42 am |
  13. Victor Carbo III

    This is just one more moronic tactic by a party of mis-lead, misguided fascists who masquerade themselves as the party of "family values and apple pie," yet they're completely out of touch with America's mainstream. So "government-controlled" health care is why people are up in arms? Seems to work for Canada, Europe, and the rest of the world, why wouldn't it work for us? We die from more heart attacks, preventable cancers and other assorted ailments because America's majority cannot afford the doctor visit costs, and ridiculous costs of medicine. Meanwhile doctors are playing golf and drug companies are building new editions onto their buildings while some poor family is turned away from yet another hospital and thrown out into the cold to die. Refering back to the shouting matches at town hall meetings, If those idiots sole purpose is to shout someone down that's trying to speak, they need to arrest them on disorderly conduct charges and slap them with a big, fat fine. That will fix the problem! If we can't expect that Republicans know basic manners and decency, then we will have to use the law to enforce it.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  14. Mary

    I'm wondering how so many of you can state what "the bill" contains and criticize it when there has yet to be a bill written. There are proposals but the bill has not even been totally put together yet. Read a civics book and find out how your government works before you make radical and untrue statements.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  15. Flo

    Doyle, you do not HAVE to yell, you CHOOSE to yell, for whatever reason – frustration, bewilderment, discontent, hate; only a phychiartrist could tell. Most of you, wittingly or unwittingly, yell and heckle in obedience to your immoral leaders, e.g., "Bouncy-Bouncy" Rush Lumbaugh, not realizing that he gets the glory while you get a sore throat. He, like other Republican leaders, issued the command to make Obama fail. That is so UNamerican! Why not be vocal through intelligent debate? For many years we had to sit on the sidelines and wish we could make our thoughts heard,but we could not. We kept silent for many years while the "fat cats" and bigots perpetrated their greed and hatred on us, until at last enough of us had grown up and able to vote; so we got our revenge the american way - with our vote. So now, you guys can be big boys and wait like we had to do. And remember, if Obama fails – in cleaning up the mess your leaders left behind when he took office, we, all of us, also fail. Take it for what it is worth. Be blessed.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  16. Doyal

    Hey, you want to know why we have to yell? Because we don't have CNN to speak for us. Your reporting only supports the Pres. Our Representatives are Washington elitists and won't listen. They will listen in 2010. Then CNN can go back to bashing the Pres. You were good at it. Supporting the Pres is very unlike you.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  17. Joyce

    One reason for the rancor over the current health bill is that few people, including members of Congress, know what it says.
    When those who have read it point to its dangerous provisions, the bill's defenders offer vague denials, and most people have no way of knowing who is telling the truth. Its not just the bill's length that's the problem. Intentionally or not, the bill gives readers the runaround.

    John Conyers, House Judiciary chairman, said in exasperation, "What good is reading the bill if it's a thousand pages and you don't have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?" Consider section 805 (p. 157), mandating that employers provide health insurance for their workers:

    "Section 502 of such Act (29 USC 1132) is amended in subsection (a) (6) by striking paragraph and all that follows through subsection (c) and inserting paragraph (2), (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) or (11) of subsection (c) and (2) in subsection (c), by redesignating the second paragraph (10) as paragraph (12) and by inserting after the first paragraph (10) the following new paragraph."

    Who could understand this gobbledygook? You have to consult dozens of other pieces of legislation to patch the meaning together.
    And yet employers who fail to follow this provision would face fines of up to $500,000 a year, even if their failure to obey the law was due to reasonable cause (page 158).

    Secondly, the president should announce that the purpose of his 20-page bill is to cover the truly uninsured. Period.
    In these economically frightening times, let's meet that urgent need, rather than embarking on a health-care overhaul and wild spending spree with unintended consequences. Afterward, Congress can make other improvements in the health system, at a prudent pace, including stopping insurance companies from refusing claims and protecting doctors from unfair lawsuits.

    Who are the truly uninsured? According to the US Census, 47 million people say they are uninsured. But 14 million are already eligible for government programs such as Medicaid or SCHIP (for children) and simply haven't signed up. Another 10 million have household incomes over $75,000. That leaves 23.7 million people who probably can't afford insurance. However, an estimated 12 million of these people are newcomers to the United States, many here illegally.
    The largest influx of immigrants in any seven years in American history occurred in the present decade. In this same decade, the lion's share of the increase in uninsured took place in the five border states. In tough times, it's fair to look out for our own first, which means helping about 12 million Americans. Covering them is affordable, especially because many are young, and others are uninsured temporarily, less than a year.

    Thirdly, the president should announce that he will divert the unused stimulus funds to this purpose. There's enough in the pot - over $500 billion to cover these 12 million for the next decade.
    The unspent stimulus funds are enough to buy a $1,000 deductible plan for every uninsured family earning less than $50,000 and provide a partial subsidy to those earning $50,000 to $75,000.
    This will protect families from going bankrupt or losing their home if someone in the family gets seriously ill or has an accident.
    Americans want to put a lid on the deficit, help the uninsured immediately, and pay for it without making dangerous cuts in Medicare. If they have health insurance they like, they want to keep it.
    And they want to be sure their representatives are not pulling a fast one by passing a thousand-page bill that puts new rules on them and their doctors while exempting Washington insiders, or spends billions on pork.

    September 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  18. Joyce

    You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friends, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. This is exactly the direction our country is being driven to and it will never be the same again. Those who wish to control and interfere with every minute segment of our lives are on a mission and it is not the mission our founding fathers intended. God help this nation.

    September 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  19. james heinis

    After seeing these "town halls", it becomes obvious why our founding fathers chose to create a republic rather than a true democracy. The nation would be "governed by a mob" as we have seen here. As we get older and older, we will need more expensive health care to prolong our lives for a shorter and shorter time. Due to abortions that the baby boomers had when women were of child bearing age, there are fewer and fewer young people to pay into the system (of any kind) so it is breaking down. Ultimately, the system will crash of its own dead weight. It is sad to realize that we deserve what we get.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  20. Joyce

    Do I trust government to run a national health care program? Absolutely not! Every program they have run in the past is a total success, right? Absolutely not! Be careful what you wish for. The more government in your life the less freedom you will have. 'A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have!' – Thomas Jefferson

    September 6, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  21. Sharry Manning

    The Tea Party Protestors make me trust Republicans less because of their fanatical, unreasonable ways of discussing the need for health care reform. They seem so out of control and so not "conservative" in keeping order or society maintained that they are becoming more fringe. Is this the same group that reacts to Obama's message in schools? It appear that they are just down-right unAmerican. I can see that they are similar to the far left groups that spoke out against Bush, but this gives me no reason to have Obama back off from pushing for a Public Option in the Health Care Reform bill. None of these protestors and even less TV journalists are talking about any of the details of the health care reform bills with any substantial depth. It's a sad state of affairs, where it seems like a tempest in a teapot and not news at all.

    September 5, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  22. Flo

    Thank you, Dr. Becker; it's about time that someone like you speaks out! I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    The Lord's richest blessings upon you.

    September 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  23. Dr. Dennis Becker

    I've been a Speech Coach for more than 40 years. I've coached many people through political campaigns. The current environment of political discourse contains more vitriol and anger than any I've ever heard. I am a strong supporter of the freedom of speech. However, free speech is not the same as cheap talk. That is what I'm hearing on the radio and tv in the past 5 years. It is always easier to tear down a cathedral than it is to build a dog house. It may be even more distressing that there are so many listeners who take them seriously.

    September 4, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  24. Jeff

    I find it funny that so many opponents of reform talk about stuff like rationing and choice and things like this, since if that's what they want they should be in favor of reform and totally against the current system. Currently the majority of Americans with private health insurance have almost zero choice, we get what our employer provides, and then if we change jobs we may lose our doctor or totally lose our insurance altogether. Most people just take whatever plan their employer provides for cheapest and have no idea what the plan even covers and have no choice in the types of plans they could even have, and employer health coverage can be a chain tying people to jobs they don't like or preventing them from starting their own business. If these opponents are so concerned about choice, small business, and entrepreneurship, then they should be totally against the current system and totally in favor of reform that includes a public option.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  25. chris

    Those same people who are doing all of the bickering, and screeming
    (at the town-hall meetings) are the same people who claimed that this country was once a beckon of hope and/or illustration (during the times of presidents...Like Regan and Rosevelt). Evidentially, America never was a model for exemplification because it grew into a place where it needed radical reform, in every sector of its societal existance. (Health-care, racial relations, education, government)... This means that either America never had a valuable governing elite,
    that could put it on a noble and/or a right-minded track...Or the country was built on a wrong-minded/shallow foundation...And we know what the God of Abraham says about places that were built on shaddy foundations, and/or sand. Even if these people are being sent to these town-hall meetings by opposing political groups (to make haste and/or trivialize the issues). The true detrimential issues facing America is changing all of the time. And the issues about public-options and/or health care (in this instance) is starting to get old. Racial differances, and/or hatred is the one indistinguishable issue facing America for negitivity...And until this problem is seriously addressed...Then Health Care and/or nothing else, will seem to matter (or coincide with the reform). Nevertheless, it can't be resolved by having a beer at the White House!

    August 29, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  26. Doe Hall

    Isn't it funny, how Gates got arrested for disturbing the peace in his own house. And these town hall lunatics are able to disrupt our civil discussion and walk out with no problem.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  27. Doe Hall

    I don't think these rude, obnoxious and classless town hall loonies, represent the majority of rational thinking Americans. Most Americans know how to disagree and debate, without becoming disrespectful. These people represent the worst of America. They are extreme right wing radicals who are kicking and screaming because their numbers are shrinking. Let's debate Health care. Let's use the democratic process to make or prevent changes that we agree or disgree with. But, let us not believe that these town hall radicals represent the America and Americans that we have worked so hard to become.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  28. Brettski

    MAYBE, these politicians should lok at themselves in the mirror and then THRY can see how they act amongst themselves, republicans and democrats! look at how they act on the floor yelling and screaming at themselves when someone doesn"t like a bill or proposal, they're just like children in elementary school. So maybe before you start dirtying up one parties yard clean up YOUR OWN yard!! Americans don't like being told this is what They're going to HAVE to do that's why we're all PO'd. You people have the same feeling, look in the mirror and truly ask yourself, do you like being told what to do? no mater the issue? If Obama has all the answers, then fix they current system first, and don't tell us you can't, MAYBE the politicians should have to pay for the same bennies as us? That's stuff we should be discussing, they have no worries about retirement , remember? They're all set along with their families. It doesn't matter what we say anyways, they're going to do what they want, and we voted for them and put them there to tell us what to do, so let's take a long look in the mirror and blame that one looking back at us.

    August 24, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  29. Flo

    To B. Stanley: Well said; I agree with all you said – wholeheartedly!!
    Stay blessed.

    August 24, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  30. B Stanley

    FYI: There's a letter/e-mail hitting seniors everywhere about how Obama is going to give social security to illegal aliens. A friend in Pasadena had to talk down her 94-year-old neighbor who almost had a stroke when she read this. Of course, no one has proposed such a change but it's circulating like wildfire. How desperate are the Republicans that they have to resort to these kind of tactics? C'mon folks, these are the same folks who lied to us for 8 years about everything from Weapons of Mass Destruction to Halliburton and the price of gas. Now, you're going to believe them or worse, put them back in office for another 4 years of lies and corruption?

    August 23, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  31. Dave

    The best way to deal with this is to lay down the law ... literally. There are laws against "disturbing the peace" or "public disturbance" that can be enforced. So, before the Town Halls begin, announce that the discussion will be civil and orderly, put one person in charge of moderating the discussion, and if people get out of hand, have them arrested and fined. I agree that people have a right to free speech, but that does not give them the right to infringe on others right to free speech because they can shout louder. You just can't yell "FIRE" in a crowded theatre ... there are limits to free speech.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  32. Fred Tondalo

    That's the point Nate you never said anything about race but that's what all this is about and you know it. I asked you to man up and own it because y0ur "village idiot" Bush was soooo good for America now wasn't he? Where were you rocket scientists when Bush was screwing us over? Oh thats right makin love to your guns....

    August 19, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  33. Nate G.

    Fred Whoa, first off my comment said nothing about race, to imply otherwise is well, frankly stupid. So I’m going to call you out, fred you are the racist one. You hate white Americans, and it grids your gears when they express a different opinion than you. Rather than debate rationally and intelligently you rely on the only weapon you have in your arsenal; name calling. You represent exactly what is wrong with America and its distorted sense of equality. The only problem I have with President Obama is that he is liberal.
    Second: do you remember the names Bush was called by liberals all across the country? If you’re willing to call names you should be ready to receive them.
    Third: the Democratic Party did the same thing, organizing protest about the war, supporting groups that verbally attacked the GOP. Its politics, get over it. Besides people wouldn’t protest if they didn’t believe in what they are fighting for. Don’t hold your party on some pedestal, (especially not when you insult me with such a lowbrow argument).
    Finally: I am for freedom of speech in all shapes and forms. So yes they are heroes.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  34. Nate G.

    Frank, Whoa, first off my comment said nothing about race, to imply otherwise is well, frankly stupid. So I’m going to call you out, frank, you are the racist one. You hate white Americans, and it grids your gears when they express a different opinion than you. Rather than debate rationally and intelligently you rely on the only weapon you have in your arsenal; name calling. You represent exactly what is wrong with America and its distorted sense of equality. The only problem I have with President Obama is that he is liberal.
    Second: do you remember the names Bush was called by liberals all across the country? If you’re willing to call names you should be ready to receive them.
    Third: the Democratic Party did the same thing, organizing protest about the war, supporting groups that verbally attacked the GOP. Its politics, get over it. Besides people wouldn’t protest if they didn’t believe in what they are fighting for. Don’t hold your party on some pedestal, (especially not when you insult me with such a lowbrow argument).
    Finally: I am for freedom of speech in all shapes and forms. So yes they are heroes.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  35. Ronnie Snow

    Frank Killackey – the angry protesters do not represent me and many people I know. And we all pay taxes. They are ignorant and borish.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  36. Fred Tondalo

    Hey Nate: here's a little reality lesson....The republicans organized, funded and support the crazies who show up at the town meetings and have you by chance read any of the placards and signs they hold? have you heard the vicious things being said about our President? Have you seen the loaded guns showing up at these meetings? Now tell me who is calling names and who is threatening the democratic process? You don't see those of us who support Pres. Obama going to these meetings with guns or Nazi signs do you? Try to grow up and at least be a man about how much you hate the fact that we have a Black President.

    At least the KKK wore hoods to proclaim their hate and they at least are honest about it, not like those who hide behind "health-scare antics and try and call THEM HEROS?....PLEase!!!

    August 19, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  37. Nate G.

    These ‘hecklers’ are heroes. They see the government running afoul under Presidents Obama’s administration and decided to take a stand. They are NOT being lead by lies, as many in this blog have accused them of. They are NOT being coerced by the republican leadership. They are standing up for what they believe in; it’s time for American politicians to listen. Those who would call these people names, are idiots who are simply upset that there are so many who disagree with this outrageous bill. You are scared, so you do what all liberals do when you are scared: distort the truth and insult anyone who disagrees with you. It’s sick and pathetic, yet not at all surprising.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  38. Flo

    To Anti-Iraq War: I understand how you're feeling, I am an "Iraq War Mom;" My youngest son spent a total of one year in Iraq. Barack has been in office for eight months; he knew going in that the country was in a mess but it was only when he took office that he found out just how messed up it really is! Please give him some time, he'll come through for us, don't worry. We live in a microwave society, we want everything to be done RIGHT NOW! Sometime, however, we have to wait. Again, I truly understand your anxiety and your feeling of berayal; but, just give him some time – he'll come through for us. Be Blessed.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  39. Flo

    These people – hecklers, yellers, gun-toters, hate sign carriers, etc., all need prayer - lots of it!! They are sick! These are weakminded people who feel betrayed because the vast majority of americans voted for Barack Obama to be our President; they obviously never dreamed they would ever see this day; so the greedy, power hungry, bigoted republicans seized upon the opportunity to use these weakminded people to their advantage by using them to vent their misguided anger at the president and the deomcratic party. That is so sad!! I wouldn't treat a rabid stray dog that way. IT IS SAD! SAD! SAD!
    Every time I see a video of these people I become so depressed, I want to cry for them, and I remember what the Bible says that Christ said as He was dying on the cross for our sins: "FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO." God, please help us.

    RIGHT always prevails; so I am urging all Christians and Right thinking Americans to set aside three days a week to fast and pray – if only for half days – asking the Lord to forgive our sins and help this country to come back to Him before we destroy ourselves. Thank you.

    August 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  40. Fred Tondalo

    And Brenda.....What about that Social Security Check should i tell Washington to expect you to send it back in the mail. Lets have all the Republicans send back their Social Security Check and give up their Medicare/Medicaid ,since every one should take take of themselves as they say then lead by example. Then we will have more than enough money to care for the people who do care if their fellow citizen gets health care or is forced to live under a bridge after losing everything because an Insurance company rationed their care, and refused to pay for a claim.

    Republicans are Darwinian Economist, "survival of the fit and well, for all others go to hell". As an American I don't live in a jungle and I do not want my fellow citizens treated like animals.

    Have a lovely day Brenda, and it amazes me that a woman with so many health problems can have a heart made of stone when it comes to those less fortunate.....are you sure your name isn't Marie Antoinette?

    August 18, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  41. Brenda Costello

    Fred – First of all I have been listening to doctors tell me what is going to happen as they have been informed. They all tell me their payments will be reduced therefore they won't be able to continue seeing some patients. I know one in particular who has already stopped seeing medicaid patients due to lack of payment. Yes, I do have a supplement and it was on full insurance that my hip replacement and breast cancer( with 6 wks of radiation everyday) were covered and I never paid a penny for any of the radiation therapy and minimal copay for the hospital,etc. I have only been 65 and qualified for medicare for a short period. I do not think Obama's plan will give us the coverage we have now, especially prescriptions. If I had to guess, my supplemtent cost is less now than it would be under the proposed plan. I also realize illegals are getting free health care now but if it is written in the bill that they are guaranteed free health care and citizens have to pay for theirs, that is not right. They shouldn't be here anyway! When have I called Obama a failure or threat? Don't think I have as I don't resort to calling names. But, if Obama is so competent why has he quadrupled the national debt? Anyway, I don't think he runs the show. I think it is the Queen, Nancy Pelosi(who is sooooo rich and should be hated, right!), and Harry Reid. It seems most dems are still so stuck in the hate mode and can't seem to get over it. You come across the same way, very angry, which is unfortunate. In my mind, one man cannot be responsible for the health, welfare and happiness of everyone. People need to take some responsibility for their on lives, especially those who have lived off the gov. most of their lives, but I don't see that happening with what is proposed. My husband and I have worked for what we have, as I have said, nothing was ever given to us, but somehow we managed. Now, as seniors I still don't want what we worked for taken away from us and I truly. truly think it will be changed for the worse under this health care reform. This is my last response. I am headed for the beach with the girls (Our toes in the water and -sses in the sand!) and will try to forget for a while what is happening in Wash. All disagreements aside, this republican has enjoyed the correspondence. Hope you are not as filled with hate toward people who have opposite views as you seem. Best wishes.

    August 18, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  42. Anti-Iraq War

    Dear Carol, Do you even know what an American Morning is?
    We protesters tried so hard to talk civilly years ago about an illegal UNJUST war. We learned that no matter how sincere our communications, we were ignored. So, we started public protesting years ago and put our hope in an audacity that promised to Bring The Troops Home if we backed a Chicago Southside Organizer who turned out to be a Medicine Man Carnival Barker, so we still didn't succeed. We are older now, us protesters... and find that those who cheered our protests years ago are the very same ones who talk out of the other side of their mouths now and hate protesters. So, we must endure the etch-a-sketch mentality of today's reporters and continue to endure in our protests in this atrocity. We won't be fooled again and won't trust those who have turned on us, lied to us and caused us to have a new "yell" Obama Lied and Troops Still Die. Now, Obama lies and very young and very old will die thanks to his lies, IF he succeeds. DON'T ever protest ANYTHING... stick to your morals and categorize all protesters as anti-American scum. Don't want you to change themes, because Americans should watch your career as you age.

    August 16, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  43. carol

    hmmmmm.... and i didn't see the respectful democarts have an Infantry with gun power or police or armed guards standing by to Hit, push back the crowds , shoot tear gas and other poison into the air to dismantle the crowd AS THE REPUBLICANS DID WHEN GEORGE W BUSH WAS REPEATING WHAT WAS WHISPERED IN HIS EAR IN Minnisota in 2008..... and the people gathered there in 2008 were not being loud and obnoxious, God forbid shouting hateful words or disrupting anything for that matter, it was a peaceful protest to his being there.

    This is the difference between Dems and Repubs! If the repubs can't have it their way then no one can hear or speak and being disruptive is what they do best. GO DEMOCRATS! THE REPUBS ARE A LOST CAUSE! SHAME ON YOU REPUBLICNAS SHAME SHAME SHAME

    August 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  44. Fred Tondalo

    Brenda: these arguments were made way back in the 1940's with SS and in the 60's with Medicare, which I assume you and your husband are on now....a SOCIALIST program just as is Social Security. As for illegals, you are already paying for them and all the un-insured and underinsured you just dont see it because its not itemized on any roster its just passed along in higher premiums and higher costs. NO abortions will be paid for by the public option, the Hyde amendment prohibits this. As for being rich, I never said you were, but u are lucky to have good insurance,some of which is a socialist plan and maybe you have a supplement but under PRESIDENT Obamas plan you wont need a supplement. Please call our PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT Obama to at least show some respect.

    The Medicare and Medicaid payment reductions are to INSURANCE companies not to Dr's or actual health care providers you are listening to Fox News too much.

    My Mother is 82yo I am 53yo and we are not scared of our black President nor his policies we are encouraged and comforted by them and him. My Mother lived and suffered through the depression and WWII, my Father fought and almost died for this country, we are patriots and do not support the slow unraveling of our Constitution and the character of our country by corporate driven republicans. Even Teddy Roosevelt called the industrialists of this country "the biggest threat to our democracy", and he was a republican! We finally have an intelligent competent man in the White House I would only ask you and the rest of the malcontents out there to at least give this PRESIDENT 2 years before you call him a failure or a "threat" after all we gave the village idiot 8 years with 6 of those years with a solid majority in both houses of congress and the republicans DID NOTHING to improve the life and liberty of our people. GIVE THIS MAN A CHANCE TO EITHER SUCCEED OR FAIL! And stop supporting the lies and misinformation that the traitors to America will have you believe.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  45. Brenda Costello

    Fred – You assume way too much. I am not a wealthy republican. I am 65 and my husband is 69 and we still work because we have to. We also are supporting two households due to a daughter's divorce and the father not paying his child support. Also, you assume I don't care about the citizens without health care. I do care. I just don't want to pay for free health care for illegals and I do not want to fund abortions. You are right, the final bill has not been written, but if Obama had his way it would have passed before the August break. He did not want to give the American public a chance to learn what was in it, because he knew it was going to be a problem for the majority. I still believe it will damage the coverage of millions like us. With all of the compulsory areas that companies will have to adhere to and the fines that will be imposed if they do not, companies will not be able to provide what they have in the past. I also believe that many of the people that are for Obama's plan think it is going to be free for them. Everyone will have to pay for their coverage or be fined for not doing so. The bill clearly states this. The only people that probably will get free health care are illegals, because it does not state they will have to pay. You called me lucky. Luck has nothing to do with us having the health care we have. As I stated before, I worked for many years to insure we have what we have. Finally, the seniors that are protesting know that medicare payments are going to be reduced beginning 2010 and will prevent many doctors from seeing medicare patients. Medicare already pays a reduced amount for doctor and hospital services, which is fine with me because I think they all overcharge, but this added reduction will eliminate many doctors from the program. This reduction in paymets is where some of the money will come from to pay for Obama's plan. Seniors do not think this is right and have a right to protest. Are there no seniors in your family that this will hurt? If Obama's plan would guarantee us what we have, I would have no problem (except for covering illegals and abortions), but it does not. It only says we can keep what we already have. The problem is, it doesn't say how we can keep what we have if the companies we retired from can't afford it anymore, due to the rules and demands they have to adhere to. Apparently you are not a senior because you don't seem to be able to comprehend the fear that we feel. It has nothing to do with not caring about other people, race, or any of the things we are being accused of. It is just fear for the future and whether we have one.

    August 15, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  46. Joe Camel

    It's all great isn't it? Even obama has now HAD to resort to busing in his pathetic lackeys Acorn (you remember them right? Under indictment in twelve states for voter fraud and the prez is STILL supporting them because of his misguided arrogance) for staged townhalls! Seems like he is surely trying to make it about race when almost every person he is busing into his 'townhall' (advertisement) is black. I'm curious, if he can only find perennial welfare recipients to back his plan (oh, and a few brain dead whites with weird guilty issues about slavery) to back his plan, where does it go from here? The poles certainly hold that answer don't they. LOL, honeymoon is over for all you retards that voted the buffoon into office. His mob tatics aren't working on the people who actually pay taxes.
    ***I do give him credit as a motivator though....NO ONE ELSE HAS EVER BEEN ABLE TO GET THE PERENNIAL WELFARE RECIPIENTS OFF THEIR *SSES AND DOING SOMETHING OTHER THAN BEGGING FOR MORE FREE MONEY (REPARATIONS). Congratulations on being the first prez to have his face put on the foodstamp! Well deserved!

    August 15, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  47. Vlin

    If the hecklers are "just your ordinary Americans" then we as a country have a serious anger management problem!! I am also an American who is very passionate about the healthcare debate, but I manage to keep my emotions in check and talk about the issues with civility, respect, and maturity. People who run around with signs of Obama as Hitler or screaming at those who disagree with their opinions may feel that they are exercising their 1st amendment right, but they certainly are not acting as a patriotic American, but rather they bring dishonor to our people.

    August 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
1 2 3