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August 19th, 2009
09:30 AM ET

Rep. Frank fires back at rowdy town hall

We've heard all kinds of snarky, snide, and sarcastic remarks during health care town halls. They're just not usually coming from the member of Congress at the front of the room.

But last night Congressman Barney Frank got rather frank with some of his constituents in Massachusetts. CNN's Jim Acosta was in the room during the rowdy debate.

Filed under: Health • Politics
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. ronvan

    This is one politician that has the guts & fortitude to "control" his town hall meetings. BRAVO! On the other hand it shows just how "stupid" and hard headed people can be. Frank had the proposed bill and the answers, yet people could not accept the facts!

    August 20, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  2. Phil Dupuis

    John, Your reference to "Hussein Obama" gives the lie to any claim you have of balance. I am not crazy about Ms Pelosi either, But I do not take such cheap and moronic shots.

    August 19, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  3. Phil Dupuis

    First point...Thank you Mr. Frank!

    Second Point...What is the basis for the connectiojn between President Obama and National Socialism?

    Third point...Isn't the life expectancy in Canada and Western Europe, where the people have to live under the burden of socialized medicine longer than ours?

    Fourth point...While there is no constitutional right to health care, isn't that at least as important as education which is free through grade 12?

    Fifth point...While there is no constitutional right to health care, when the constitution was written, did health care really exist in any real sense? Had vaccination even become common at that point?

    Sixth (and final) point...What are these people afraid of? Living longer and better? Our competitors all provide health care and we are struggling to stay ahead of them. While profit and business is important to the US, I don't think it is any less important to the British, Canadians, Germans or French. If the health insurance industry in the US is archaic in it's current form, what is the problem with forcing it to adapt to new realities and take care of it's customers as it should? I think our children would benefit.

    August 19, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  4. Audrey

    Barney Frank. Crude but honest and says it the way it is.
    The Republicans have done a great disservice to the poor uneducated people that did not read the Health plan and stand up at town halls to criticize it. Barney Frank obviously read the plan and answered the stupid accusations.
    If we do not get this plan in to place "God Bless America"
    Why don't the Republicans help instead of argue and start all kinds of negativity. I was a Republican and am ashamed to admit it. There negativity is a good way for them to LOSE elections. All people do not fall for their lies . Most of us are very intelligent and well read. MOST.
    OUr country needs to be put back on track. Thanks to Pres. Obama it might be if the republicans will work in a bi partisan way.

    August 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  5. joanne

    President Obama is the one that needs to be tried for treason, trying to push through his agendas with no recorse from the American public. I am glad to see people up in arms. First he stated during his election he was going to end the war in 6 months, oh well that time frame has passed and nothing. Now he is trying to pass a health reform bill that has everyone up in arms. This is the beginning of the end of this country as we now it and many states should consider to succeed from the USA and get rid of all the lousey politians who have ruled this country from their congressional and house seats for to many years. God Bless the USA.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  6. Reed

    It is not the government that would make money by denying people medical treatment, it is the health insurance companies we have now. They are the ones who have real death panels, and they don't include patients in their decisions. They simply tell them that their policies are canceled, or they keep denying claims until the patient finally dies, or they use extremely complicated contracts to make people think they have more coverage than they actually do. In short, they lie, cheat, steal, and kill in order to keep their stock price high. You can't tell me that any public option under consideration would be worse than what we have. But the insurance industry is very good at terrifying people by calling it socialism. At least a public option would be a system that is accountable to voters, unlike any private health insurance company.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  7. daisy

    I think he had every right. The Nazi references are way too much.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  8. Ned Alpert

    Thank goodness for the outspoken Barney Frank.

    The big problems that REALLY need to be addressed: the greedy Insurance companies, the frivolous and outrageous lawsuits, and the equally greedy drug companies.

    And stop the lies and exaggerations that the conservatives and republicans are using to whip the uninformed and stubborn geezers into a needless frenzy.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  9. Steven

    GOD BLESS Barney Frank!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nuf said!
    And to Omar, Let's see name a few things the government runs that work
    The Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard(talk about unsung HEROES, USCG are the best!), the federal highway system, library of congress,NASA, National Parks Service, and on and on!!!! Omar, sounds to me like you are nothing more than a run of the mill America hating right wing Anarchist.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  10. Andrew

    If health care is not reformed in the US it will bankrupt the nation. Why are people against cutting out the insurance companies playing the middle man and profiting from health care? We do not need the middle man and no one should be profiting from health care because health care is already expensive enough!

    August 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  11. Omar Armenteros

    Barney Frank along with all the other elitests who have done nothing for this country (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, all Fed. Reserve Chairmen etc) need to be arrested and tried for treason.

    Name one thing the government runs, that works.

    That is the government you are asking to now take over healthcare. Way to think it through.

    August 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  12. John

    Barbara, you are so out of touch with reality if you think that these are just the lunitic fringe. Even polls by the liberal media now show that a majority of American's don't want government run health care. So it is really just the lunatic liberals that want it, like you and Frank and Pelosi, and Hussain Obama, etc.

    August 19, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  13. Mindy

    Say what you want about Barney Frank, but how can anyone take exception to what he is saying here? Unlike opponents of health care reform, he is clarifying facts, not perpetuating the lies and exaggerations that are being circulated (and shouted out) by people who refuse to see the need for health care reform in this country. I'm getting tired of people that just want to believe lies because it's easier to maintain the status quo than to make changes, even if those changes are clearly necessary. And a previous poster (drew) is right...where is the clip of the lunatic that dared compare elements of this proposal to Nazism and Obama to Hitler? Nazi! Socialist! Killer of the Elderly! These ridiculous tired chants just make those that utter them look completely uneducated and backwater.

    And for the record, my family is currently DOUBLE insured by two excellent health care plans provided by our employers. We have no personal need for a government option. HOWEVER, my husband and I both agree that access to the same quality health care that WE enjoy should be accessible to all Americans. Health care is a right, not a privilege and shame on anyone who doesn't see it that way!

    August 19, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  14. Barbara McCall

    Thank you Barney Frank. Someone needs to forcefully stand up to the lies that are being circulated about health care reform. The lunatic fringe is denying the country of a rational debate about health care.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  15. Susan Jacobs

    Whether you love Barney Frank or you hate him, he's one of the few politicians who really cares about the people and not just the issues. He is easy to make jokes about and criticize but he deserves more respect than he got in this forum. I don't understand the whole idiotic ranting about "pulling the plug on Grandma". Where is this grandmother who is plugged in and what was she plugged in to? As for prolonging life through artificial means and being confined to a bed or wheel chair, I would prefer death. Some people need to visit nursing homes and spend time with the people in them instead of debating about non-existent people. Go see Grandma or Grandpa for the day instead of shouting about Nazis.

    August 19, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  16. Bob

    Frank, Dodd, Spector, Reid, Pelosi are simptomatic of why this country has the issue's it does. They, along with all incumbants of all parties,, that do what they or the party want and not what the public wants need to be relieved of their positions, and put back in the general work force.......these power hungry elitists need to be voted out.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  17. jenny

    What it boils down to is people are scared of change. the govt is proposing many changes to our health care system which in the long run will benefit most Americans, but instead of embrassing it and listening to all the arguements you have people just shouting crap out. It's nice to see a Rep tell the crowd how it really is – I wish more Reps would do the same at their town halls.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  18. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    Congress don't want US american to know the truth,They want to keep getting money from insurance lobbist and pharmaceutical, As long as lobbying is ok we will always have corupption in congress.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  19. Nate G.

    Representative Barney Frank is, and always has been, a rude and contemptuous ‘know-it-all,’ who really doesn’t know anything. He is loud, annoying, and, to be frank, an idiot. I’ve listen to him speak time and time again. He can speak for hours and not say anything at all. This town hall meeting was another example of him stroking his ego.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  20. joe

    This is typical self obsessed, self righteous Barney Frank behavior now isn't it – not getting his way he has to lash out – amazingly we have seen this before when the House and Senate were debating the Stimulus, TARP and TALF – Really Barney? You were one of the people that actually helped get the banking system into the problems we now face and then got all childish during the "hearings" and now he shows his immaturity again. This is not the type of leadership we need at this time; children wanting total control.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  21. drew

    The online versions of this story highlight the Nazi references that so obviously upset Congressman Frank, while Jim Acosta's on-air piece makes no reference to the incendiary rhetoric.

    The viewers deserve a more complete description of the over-the-top language employed by opponents to health care reform. Without this information, Congressman Frank looks prickly and the piece has a somewhat snarky tone.

    I'd like to see a discussion of the lack of civil discourse and the need of some people to vilify those they have policy disagreements with. It seems we forget how to debate ideas in this nation.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:44 am |