A report from the Head Blue Dog's telephone town hall last night. (Rep. Mike Ross D-AR)
I don't live in Ross' district, but have written and called his Arkansas office before. I wondered if I could even get into his telephone town hall last night, but it was not a problem.
He stated that the call was the 37th. 'town hall' on health care reform he's held since April of this year. He did a good job of summing up what is contained in HR 3200 (draft), took about 30 questions from callers, and ran a poll on 4 questions. I was impressed that he kept telling people that the first $1100 of our insurance premiums currently go not to our health care but to pay for the uninsured. There were 6,534 folks on the phone call!
Now his district is very rural, lacking in educated folks, and poor. 61% of the callers said they were on Medicare, Medicaid, VA health care, AR-Kids, or another government-provided program. Rep. Ross stated that about 50% of the nation was currently receiving health services from the government. Some of the questions were sad in that they reflected the lack of understanding among the poor, elderly, and uneducated out there. One came from a Nam vet who was opposed to mandatory participation in health insurance. He finally admitted that he received his VA treatment without any cost to him because of his low income. He thought he'd have to buy some type of insurance to keep his VA.
One lady said she had pulled the draft bill from Ross' website and was confused by the end-of-death sections. He spent a good deal of time explaining what that all meant. That if one chose, they could simply not fill out any forms or they could set up a 'living will', power of attorney, health proxy, etc.
Ross kept trying to stress that all 310 million Americans were involved in this. He did call it 'health care reform'. And he talked a lot about how they hoped to get preventive measures in place to reduce future costs. He hedged on one question; not knowing whether legal aliens would be covered. Answered a woman with standard RW talking point # xx, that the bill would be covered by the Hyde Act that will not allow the use of federal money for abortion except in cases of rape or incest or to save the woman's life.
Here are the poll questions he asked: 1. Are you worried that you or your employer will reach a point where you can no longer afford health insurance? 53% - Yes 47% - No
2. Do you support health care reform if you can keep your current coverage and current doctors? 59% - Yes 41% - No
3. Are you currently on Medicare, Medicaid, VA Health, AR-Kids, or any other government health program? 61% - Yes 39% - No
4. Do you support a public option to keep insurance companies honest and cost effective? 49% - Yes 51% - No
Overall, I was pretty impressed with his support of HR 3200. I didn't get to ask my question and I'm sure there were several hundred others.
Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators
Important Notices: By participating on this discussion
board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules
page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the
opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent
the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.