.
August 7th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Will loud & violent town hall protests kill health care reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The protests at town hall meetings on health care reform continue to get louder and more violent.

One event in Tampa, Florida, got particularly ugly... with hecklers and people pushing and shoving. As the Democratic congresswoman addressed the crowd - people chanted "read the bill" and "tyranny."

Hundreds couldn't even get into the meeting - as demonstrators on both side of the debate shouted at one other.

In St. Louis - there are reports that six people were arrested after health care protests broke out at what was supposed to be a forum on aging held by a Democratic congressman.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was even at the center of about 200 protesters in Denver where she was visiting a homeless clinic. The crowd was loud, but orderly - about half supported the reform and half opposed it.

Pelosi and other Democrats insist these protests at meetings sponsored by Democrats won't derail health care reform once Congress gets back to work next month. Democrats have been accusing Republicans and special interest groups of orchestrating many of these demonstrations. Some liberal groups have started sending their own supporters detailed instructions on how to counter what they called organized disruptions.

Republicans insist the opposition is legitimate and coming from the people. Conservative groups are telling their supporters where to find upcoming town hall meetings. They're sending them confrontational questions to ask members of Congress... and chants and slogans to use when they get there.

Here’s my question to you: Will increasingly loud and violent town hall protests succeed in killing health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Steve from Tampa, Florida writes:
The protesters at the town hall meeting last night were only there to be disruptive. They wouldn't even stay silent long enough to allow Rep. Kathy Castor the courtesy to speak. Democracy is about listening to both sides of an issue and forming your own opinion. I'm a conservative, but this was embarrassing.

Curly from Ashland, Wisconsin writes:
I do not condone loud and violent protests, but when the elected officials do not listen to the voices of the people, they sometimes have to get their attention. The Washington establishment hasn't listened to the voices of the people for many years and they are getting tired of not being heard.

Donnie from Canada writes:
All these protests just show how much Americans do not understand health care. In Canada, we have a great system. Yes, we have to wait sometimes but not for emergencies. I have had a broken leg and two cancer surgeries that would have cost me over $50,000 and I never paid a cent. And, my taxes stayed the same under a public system. Grow up, America.

Corey writes:
Jack, I think the reason for these protests, as childish as they may be, is because the president is not doing a good job of explaining this plan. He continues to say it is different but he does not say how. People need answers.

Mary Ann writes:
No, it will not! Compare health care reform to the civil rights legislation in the 1960s. Any comprehensive change comes with growing pains, just as we are seeing today.

Frank from Philadelphia writes:
I don't think that it will stop health care reform; it may have the opposite result. The protesters put nothing on the table and sound like a bunch of screeching idiots. Stopping debate will not solve the problem.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. Chad N.

    No, but the insurance companies, big Pharma, and other special interests surely will with or without the town hall protests. Always remember, its people that care about people, corporations only care about the bottom line. So they wont support, and will make every attempt to kill by any means required, any reform that has a negative impact on thier bottom line.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  2. Kevin in Dallas

    It's not about killing health care reform, it's about killing the proposed health care reform. But it wouldn't have come to protests if our representatives represented us, instead of dismissing us as a fabrication that is not representative of the people. What is this, Iran?

    August 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  3. Tom from Philly

    No the effort well be exposed for its transparencey the telephone town meeting is the way to go. These radical republican extremist domestic terrorists, are a fringe group being manipulated by corporate interestes.

    Just report the truth dude and everything will be ok

    August 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  4. Rob, Henderson Nevada

    Jack, I hope not, if thats the only way Republicans can react when they loose an election, I am asking all Republicans to look in the mirror and ask yourself the question: Why are you preaching hatred? Violence and disruptions is not the answer, no one stole your vote. Bush 2 your Republican hero destroyed our economy after inheriting the greatest economy in history from Clinton, and its now starting to rebound, yes a rebound with Obama. Republicans please put something concrete forward, then you might win some, but if you are going to be nut-cases and follow the lead of Rush, Sean, O'Riley etc you will become the irrelevant shrinking party.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  5. Vivian- Minnesota

    Are you asking if loud screaming people with no class or ability to sit down and debate an issue properly be able to shut down health care reform? Didn't work for Sarah and John.

    Vivian Cowan
    Isanti, MN

    August 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  6. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    The health care reform bill will not work. It will be too costly, as a result people that need costly procedures will be left out in the cold and their cases declined.

    What they need to do is mandate ALL EMPLOYERS, temporary or direct to previde full coverage to their empolyees. That resolve this.

    Ron Temecula Ca

    August 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  7. Cameron in SF, CA

    I think that Congress will find these protests are not the exception to the rule but are the heartfelt feelings by a majority of Americans. I belive that people want health care reform but the path they are taking is not the solution to the true problems.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  8. Thomas Livesay

    "No more than being loud and violent will reduce the bill your proctologist hands you after removing his glove!!

    Myrtle Beach
    South Carolina

    August 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  9. John from Alabama

    Jack: I hope the loud screams and yelling does not kill health care reform. Bad manners and rudeness should not stop 46 million Americans from getting medical check ups and medicine when needed. The crime is 46 million Americans showing up in Emergency Rooms across this land when a simple doctor visit and medicine would be sufficient.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  10. Ted Beaverton, OR

    Maybe not kill healthcare reform, but for sure it will put a larger Democratic majority in the House and Senate. These protesters are gorging themselves on the unsubstantiated propaganda of money grubbing healthcare corporations and the inflammatory rhetoric of the right wing TV pundits. Nobody seems to want to decide when and how free speech turns to incitement of riots and civil disorder.
    Yelling fire in a theater anyone?

    August 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  11. Rebecca in SC

    If it does, it will be a sad commentary on the state of our nation. If a fringe group is able to kill reform by making reasoned discussion impossible, we are in really bad shape. However, I am enough of an optimist to hope that the majority of our elected officials will see this movement for what it is and will not be swayed by it.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  12. Alex in Seattle

    No! I still have hope that reasonable people can have a reasonable debate about this, or any, important issue. More realistically, despite multiple compromises on the details of the reform bill, there will be something for President Obama to sign relating to health care reform sometime this year.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  13. Fred

    I hope not, although they will certainly add to the "dummying down" of America. These and other forums, like your recent 200 day report card, are part of the nonsense designed to attract those who can no longer read the National Enquirer. Reform is needed despite the advice of the republican "conservatives" who conserve nothing.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  14. joan

    No all the rage is going to back fire on the GOP. but something needs to change before someone is killed or badly injured .

    August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  15. Bob

    Jack,

    I really don't think so. I think these expressions at these meetings come from the gut and everyone knows it affects their health care service and cost.
    Until a clear picture is presented on services and cost and what it will cost in additional taxes, it will continue to be a very explosive issue.

    This will not be passed the way the stimulus bill was passed. Americans are going to want to know the bottom line first, and they certainly will let their elected representative know over this recess.

    If the plan is good, that's great! However, if the plan sucks, then it will not be rammed down our throats.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  16. Don (Ottawa)

    It won't help. Some people say it is democracy in action. I say it's a bunch of uneducated, greedy people that don't want to see their tax dollars going to pay for health care where they aren't the beneficiary. And I bet these are the same people that go to church every Sunday.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  17. Jackie in Dallas

    I don't think so, Jack. I think some of the more outrageous behavior will actually influence people in the opposite direction. Those who want to ask honest questions, and those who favor health care reform are being overwhelmed by the protestors, and the majority of Americans don't like bullies.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  18. Joe CE

    No, there will be a backlash against these tactics. Unfortunately, in the past, both liberal and conservatives have been quitlty of this type of UnAmerican behavior. We have too many superpatriots ready to deby the rights of anyone who dose not agree with in order to preserve the American way..

    August 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  19. Jackie in Dallas

    I don't think so, Jack. I think some of the more outrageous behavior will actually influence people in the opposite direction. They are poisoning their own water by refusing to let people have rationale discussion. Those who want to ask honest questions, and those who favor health care reform are being overwhelmed by the protestors, and the majority of Americans don't like bullies.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  20. Connie

    As long as these people are screaming and yelling about health care reform, I think they may as well as scream and yell about ending Medicare and Medicaid. Why should Americans over the age of 65 have free medical care? That's socialized medicine, too

    August 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  21. RALPH

    Jack, why is there no footage of left wingers disrupting Republican town hall meetings? Do the not want to exercise their right to free speech?

    Jimbob

    August 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  22. Philly/PA

    Health care reform is important to all american: Young, middle aged, the elderly and rich or poor. Unfortunately, our elected officials have not focused of improving health care. Instead, members of the house and senate have inserted endless "pet requirements". The result is that many are very undesirable and hidden somewhere in the 1000 plus pages.

    There is something for everyone to be concerned about. Most important, for all, is how government will expand, big time, into our private lives. Consequently, the debate, now, has become one of Freedom from excessive government controls.

    Philly Media, PA

    August 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  23. Kevin from Montebello CA

    I hope not but leave it to the GOP and Insurance corporations to resullt to their own form of terrorism.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  24. Lois Harvey

    Only way to stop this nonsense if for folks with higher IQ'S attend these meetings and know the facts. Older people need to volunteer their time to something worth while and not be a part of these radical people that have nothing more to do than listen to the likes of Limbaugh and the Glen Becks of the world who are laughing all the way to the bank with the money they are making . You are being taken for fools and Limbaugh loves it.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  25. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think it depends on how the media reports on the people causing the disturbances. If they expose the demonstrators as people whose only concern is to disrupt the meetings in order to keep the other side from being heard, then democracy might prevail. But if they keep giving these people more exposure on TV than they deserve [ like one conservative network] then we might be in serious trouble. All these conservatives that wrapped themselves in American flag and want the 10 commandments posted in every public building. They don't practice what they preach. Health Care is one subject that needs to be presented and debated in an honestly and fair manner by both sides.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  26. Travis

    I hope not. The sad thing is, no one knows who to trust. (Dems or Reps) On the one hand, we do not know all of the details of this Bill. On the other, American People who are protesting MAY have been mislead by content for others who have another agenda (for greed). If a hidden agenda does exists and those who are shouting at these town hall meetings were mislead – I will have lost a huge wedge of shape in humanity. It seems like both sides are only telling a candy coated side of the story but in the end – with the shouting and the secrecy the candy coating tastes very sour.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  27. Sharon in Virginia

    Jack,
    I don't think loud and violent town hall protest will kill healthcare reform because President Obama and his administration along with the sore losing Repugs know one thing for sure; Healthcare must be reformed to help all Americans. However the Loud and Violent Town Hall meeting/protest will get people hurt and/or killed. A stop should be put to it once and for all. The Repugs will do anything to try and show Power over people.
    America is starting to look like other countries fighting a civil war of some kind. All because we have an AA man as the President of the United States.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  28. Al - Syracuse, NY

    Ask anyone who has worked in retail before. Whoever makes the most noise gets what he or she wants regardless of the facts.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  29. Jayne

    I sure hope the manufactured protests don't stop health reform. If they do, the same people waving their signs will, very soon, open their health insurance bills and find they can't afford coverage anymore. Or they will lose their jobs and be unable to purchase insurance at any price because they have a pre-existing condition. Or, maybe, they will reach the lifetime coverage limit on their insurance policies and be booted out when they need it most. On another note, I hope all the Medicare recipients protesting "government takeover" of health care will return their Medicare cards immediately and go out in the private insurance market for coverage.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  30. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Personally I think that the health insurance lobbyists and Republicans are instrumental in these health care town hall meeting violent protests. What surprises me the most is the fact that most employers have not joined the bandwagon for health care reform. After all a public health insurance plan would provide competition to the private health insurance sector. But then again most employers are probably Republican and they too probably enjoy "unofficial" perks from the private health insurance companies for purchasing their organizational insurance plans.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  31. Arcy S.

    Jack,

    When you see Americans showing up in huge numbers to meet their congressional represenatives for a town-hall meeting, you know the majority of Americans are against what ever it is thats being proposed – right now its this social healthcare program.

    Healthcare reform will NOT, I repeat, NOT be legislated in to law.

    Arcy S.
    New York, NY

    August 7, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  32. Deborah/Kansas City

    No- I really hope not. These people remind me of the ever more violent groups, who attended Sara Palin rallies, during the elections. They were shouting kill him and everyting else. These people obviously have swallowed the lies and misinformation campaign being waged by the far right; who are using people's deep hatred of the President, based on his race, to try to thwart everything he does.
    We need healthcare reform and we need it now, to avert financial collapse. We can not allow groups of angry mobs, with no intent of learning anything, or making rational decisions, to rule our country.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  33. Irv Lilley

    Jack , Healthcare does not need reform. The insurance and drug companies that continue to secretly run healthcare as a profit making business need to be put in their place. They should be made to realize that , by nature healthcare is not a commodity to
    be produced and operated as a profit making business.
    I don't know how to get this across to them. But it must be done.
    to stop the confusion and spread of outright false information.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  34. JWC in Atlanta

    No...health reform can't happen without insurance reform. And insurance can only happen when you take the money out of the equation. So no reform is likely, however there will be a highly touted Washington signing ceremony of some kind of bill or other with the title of "health reform" before we move on to the next issue.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  35. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I don't know if these staged protests will derail healthcare. The protests does prove our education system failed long ago. All European country have some type of national heath care system along with some 3rd world countries: Brazil, Columbia, Preu, India and Thailand. The thinking of the protester and their sponsors are 4th world thinking.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  36. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    It's not health care. What hapens during the next Presidential Campaign? To me, this is the strongest sign that the republican party is going the way of the dinosaur. It is under these conditions that our democracy will come closest to experiencing a coup de tat. If you don't believe me, keep an eye on Cheney and the NeoCons. They wait and lurk.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  37. Paul Austin, Texas

    No all these loud mouth fools that do not understand how to express freedom of speech will only cause the vote to happen faster than it would have. Then they will have what they do not want. They need to stop listening to Rush and all the other fear mongers that put out false truths just to upset people that fail to check out the infromation about health care reform. Most of what they are yelling about is not even going to happen if it does pass. Kill it no they will only help pass it.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  38. Roger Zoeller

    Jack, Let's hope that they do. The American people are tired of being lied to and fed up with the beaurocracy and BS from our goverrnment officials . Yes , it's time for real "CHANGE" This administration and congress must be put out of office and new blood be put in that is concerned for the American people and their needs. Roger Zoeller , Meridian , Idaho

    August 7, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  39. Ed

    There is that chance, especially considering the uninsured sick are unable to show up to counter the selfish few, many of whom look like they're on Medicare.

    Ed
    Texas, land of the uninsured

    August 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  40. Dennis

    Jack, the only thing this loud and violent protest will kill is any chance to figure a way to fix the problem.
    I don't hear anything constructive coming from these protesters and I bet if you ask them about the details of the "Obama" public option, they can't come up with actual answers.
    How about somebody going to a town hall meeting and yelling out "Hey! It's time to work together!"

    Dennis / Nashville,Tn.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  41. fred hughes

    JACK,
    I hope not. But, I do know this. It seem to me that everything that turns out to be good for America, the Republicans are always aginst it. The Republicans fought aginst social security and medicare. It makes me wonder if these same loud protesters would be out fighting aginst those two government programs if they were just being introduced to todays America. I don't expect the government to give us what we want, but a good government does give the people what it needs. And, health care is a need.

    Fred

    Livingston, AL

    August 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  42. Rae from Indiana

    No, Jack, I think lobbyists, ignorance and the incompetence of the news media has that well taken care of.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  43. Carmine Yevoli

    The seniors in this country are very worried about what is going to happen to them after medicare is gone. They are also worried about the cost of said insurance because no-one seems to knows.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  44. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    We can only hope so. That is our goal.
    This healthcare bill is about the same as tearing down a house and rebuilding it in order to repair the air conditioning unit.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  45. James

    Jack,
    Where is Sarah Palin and her Republican devotees to condemn these coordinated, increasingly violent, and undemocratic protests as the politically influenced "politics as usual" cheap trickery that they are? Let's have some frank and common sense discussions about the issues.

    James
    Dallas, Texas

    August 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  46. Melissa

    I doubt it. As Shakespeare once said its all "A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing". They know not what they speak, and simply parrot the fear mongering that the Republicans try to promote. Remember, the Republicans want this country to fail. They have said it themselves.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  47. Barbara in NC

    Probably. The Insurance Companies have enough money to buy our politicians and a few loud-mouths that will travel anywhere for "under the table tax free money".

    August 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  48. Phil-North Central Washington

    Everybody (I hope) realizes that there is a need to overhaul the health (insurance) care system. Are all of these loud and violent town hall protestors happy with the current system as it exists today? I know of one person "happy" with the system. She pays over $4,000/year for health insurance. Her insurer doesn't pay squat, and she is now in arrears for $6,000 for an arthoscopic procedure. Is this really a satisfactory health (insurance) care system?

    August 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  49. Chris from NC

    Only if you let them!!! One lesson the Dems have yet to learn is that fighting tooth and nail for what they want doesn't end on election day. If the opponents for HC reform want to shout out the Democrats' town halls, then those folks supporting reform ought to do the same to the Republicans. That's my two cents.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  50. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    The loud and violent antagonists or anti-reform groups that are disrupting debates and the free exchanges of ideas have shut off the world to new ideas because they are afraid of change. The fear of change has kept many an unwanted or ineffective system afloat that does eventually sink. We must accept change or survive in a stalemate of progress. I'm trying to weigh my sympathy for thier ignorance and my contempt thier anti-democratic tactics. Despite these tactics of desperation and ignorance, American democracy will bring healthcare reform foward into a new way of life and respect for each other.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  51. Ed - California

    It sure looks like America isn't the brightest bunch of light bulbs. The right is hell bent on keeping us down. The Health Insurance business must be pretty lucrative. ( I keep thinking of that Brad Pitt trailer, "We are in the Nazi kill'n business. And business is a boom'n" ). The Health business is in the "Health Care" kill'n business. And business is a boom'n.
    Let's all get over it, the Democrats won. Lets' get this health care passed with or without the Republicans. You won, now lead!

    August 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  52. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,loud protest most likely won't do anything to supress healthcare,just like it nothing to suppress George W. Bush when the left was doing the same thing,with their Hiltler posters and union rabble rousers.This whole healthcare mess is nothing more than a political game to both the left and the right.It really makes me wonder what happened th the great country in which I grew up.What the hell ever happened to guys like Truman and Eisenhower???!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  53. Mary from Houston, tx

    Loud & violent protests, No.
    Big insurance Propaganda/spin fed to uninformed American Idol- Americans. Yes

    Will big insurance company greed for profits kill health care/insurance reform? Perhaps

    August 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  54. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    This action will backfire on the Republican Party. This is still a Democratic Society and this action is NOT the action of a Democratic Society. It will come back to bite them.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  55. Cheryl Johns

    No, but it will further dig the Republican Party's grave. They are becoming more ridiculous every day. We need a two-party system – but we only have one: the Democrats and the Party of Crazytown. This is not good. The Moderates have to take the party back. I refused to attend a town meeting because I had heard what they are doing. Does it mean I don't care? No, and I will vote against the ones that vote against reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  56. Cecelia

    Jack – I sure hope not. But we all know from past issues that the Republicans are really good at getting all those ignorant, loud-mouth right-wingers together. They tell them lies & half truths and say it's gospel. Then there's always Rush & Ann Coulter stirring up the pot! The Republicans are so afraid that when President Obama succeeds, all their followers will realize what frauds they all have been! It's a real shame that the Republicans would prefer to see the Country fail, and the people within along with it, than to try to give the President a chance. After all the mess that Bush/Cheney left this Country in you would hope they would want to do better.

    Cecelia
    San Jose, CA

    August 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  57. Max, Dallas

    No, being loud probably won't help. This president and congress is dead set on bankrupting the country and they don't plan to let prudent spending and rational thinking influence them in anyway. Case in point is cash for clunkers, I mean we are trillions in debt and they are giving money away to aid unions in keeping jobs, not to mention we are now subsidizing the auto industry. But wait no one is thinking of all the down side to other sectors of the economy. How about those millions of jobs that depend on auto repair, do they not think this will hurt them. How about the millions that work in the parts industry, well all these new cars means less used car parts needed. How about all those that count on donated cars to support worthwhile charities, again these will all be hurt simply to aid the unions because of support during an election.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  58. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I think it will just do the opposite, Jack.
    People are outraged over the actions, tactics of those who are
    creating all of this unAmerican behavior. It has brought out
    disgust and disappointment that any political party can support
    and be part of such irresponsible, terrorist like activity.
    That big business and politicians stoop to this level is
    a real black mark on democracy and our country.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  59. John in Norfolk

    Goodness, let's hope so. The Democrats tried to jam another massive spending bill past the American taxpayers before even reading it. Jack, you may not like it, but this is real democracy in action – the politicians stopped listening to the people a long time ago and this is the only way to get them to pay attention. It should be said that the protests should be good and loud, but not violent.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  60. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    Let's hope so, Jack. We are slipping into mediocrity right now and Health care, as it is presently being conceived, will gives a swift kick in that direction. This is a situation where polls show the vast majority of Americans like the healthcare they currently have and a large percentage of the people without insurance, do not want it. Everyone agrees we need reform but lets not throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  61. Mark from Dallas

    It will. I would certainly rather have intelligent discussions but, it seems the democrats are n';t goping to listen to anybody. America doesn't want this but, it is be crammed down our throats. You just have to realize why the CBO says this will cost 1.5 Trillion. It is because they are estimating that by the end of 10 years 100 Million Americans will be on the public plan. I don't want to be on public health care. I like many Americans are double covered, by my employer and by my spouses employer. What one doesn't pay for the other steps in. It doesn't get any better than what we have. Why do 10's of thousands of Canadians cross the border to pay for health care when they can get it for free? Where would we go? Mexico?

    August 7, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  62. Gary R.

    You can tell these people have no Idea what they are protesting. The one guy said keep Goverment out of my Medicare. Medicare is a goverment run health care, That should give you some sort of Idea how smart these people are. They are just a flock of sheep following the wolf. That wolf is the Insurance companies that are getting Fat from from the sheep they are eating

    August 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  63. Tollie

    I don't think the loud and violent town halls will kill health care reform but it may kill the Republican party. If screaming uninformed talking points at our representatives is the only counter argument they have, then that pretty much tells the whole story Jack. They got nothin, so trying to shout down those with ideas is their only tactic. Pitiful.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  64. Erica

    No. It will take "blue cross" senate democrats to kill health care reform. The loud and violent protests are just making old, white people look unruly and poorly mannered. If you ask me, they're ingrates... they're getting money for their medicare out of every single paycheck I get, but apparently want to keep all the health care just for themselves. I believe those of us who elected Obama outnumber those who tried to elect McCain and thus we are getting health care reform - that's EXACTLY the change we voted for.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  65. Erica

    And I'm in Danville, VA.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  66. Max Fairview, Texas

    Unfortunately no it won't. The democrats have a super majority and don't need republicans to pass this legislation. All they do need however is a spine to stand erect and claim this healthcare plan which none seem to have. That way if it fails there will be no one but the democrats to blame for it.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  67. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    If we succumb to this new form of domestic terrorism, Jack, then this is not the country I thought it was. If it kills health care reform for the citizenry to save the rapacious insurance companies profits, then election or not it is the United Snakes, not the United States.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  68. Taj Madiwale (Chattanooga, TN)

    Jack,
    If everyone hates what President Obama and others are trying to do by reforming healthcare and those same people love medicare so much, then why don't we just lower the minimum medicare recipient age to zero and just change medicare practices and policies. This might seem easier since the framework is already in place. Maybe that will make the hypocritical critics shut up about it since everyone loves medicare.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  69. Jim Bailey

    Jack, I'd rather have these loons howling at meetings than killing museum guards and blowing up Federal buildings with fertilizer bombs.
    Jim Bailey
    Cripple Creek, Colorado

    August 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  70. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    These are the insured, not the out of work or the part time workers that have no insurance or for that matter very little chance of getting health coverage if this bill isnt passed. If something like this kills health care reform we as a nation are in serious trouble.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  71. joe m

    far less likely than actually having all the details of the plan be aired out for the public to view, question, and scrutinize. the loud angry mobs just put more heat on the politicians who don't really want to discuss the details of this plan, but would rather read off nancy pelosi's talking point cards. if people actually knew and understood all the details in this plan, they would probably not only expect their representatives to go back and get a better plan, or threaten them with their votes in upcoming elections. how can healthcare reform actually take place when out of the over 1000 pages only 40 are dedicated to addressing fraud? reform is needed, but let us hope that this is what we actually get after these politicians finish all their closed door deals.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  72. Russ in PA

    I hope so, as so far I haven't seen any reason to call this plan "reform". It's just more government control over another industry. And the government does such a great job at anything else it does. It does a damn good job meddling, though, doesn't it?

    August 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  73. Marlene C. Wilmington,De

    Dear Jack, No-all the protest wiil not kill the healthcare bill! It shows how desparate the health industry is in wanting to continue their greed! It's time for people to realize that all the noise and media coverage is an attempt to continue with the status quo! 'We the people' need to WAKE UP! The media gets huge amounts of $ from healthcare industries buying air time for ads. Just count on one network-how many commercials a day relate to healthcare? The scare tactics that are provoking the right to protest are insulting to a thinking person's intelligence!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  74. Steve in Tampa

    The protestors at the town hall meeting last night were only there to be disruptive. They wouldn't even stay silent long enough to allow Representative Kathy Castor the courtesy to speak. Democracy is about listening to both sides of an issue and forming your own opinion. I'm a conservative, but this was embarrasing.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  75. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    I sure hope not.
    Round here all the MC's (members of Congress) are GOP and have no intention of holding such open forums.
    Instead plans are afoot for "invitation only" town halls packed with Tea Baggers, Birthers, and other Conservative Cranks ala the classic Dick Cheney playbook.
    Open rational civil discourse is the enemy ot the ideologically committed. And believe me, Jack, every one of these Texas Republicans ought to be committed.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    August 7, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  76. Richard Sternagel

    Not for those of us who Recognize the Fear factor that's involved! Some people are getting funding from different sources to disrupt a town hall meeting were every one should have his/her say. They want to instill fear into all present rather than contribute anything positive. These same people don't care about the issue of health care and want President Obama and the Democrats to Fail .

    August 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  77. Doyle from Canada

    I only have questions.
    Where are the 45 million people without health care?
    Where are the people who has been cheated by insurance companys?
    Where are the people who has been denied treatment by insurance companys?
    If they take to the streets-look out republicans.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  78. Brad in Memphis, TN

    These attacks on public discourse are made by cowards who can't allow someone a different view from their own. AKA: Republicans. The party of "NO" is now throwing a corporately-sponsored tantrum. They perform beautifully on the end of their masters' leash.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  79. kirk fortwashington maryland

    no jack stupidity will. the same people that are causing the violent town hall problems are the ones on medicare. excuse me but isn't this government healthcare. the same type of reform that they so strongley oppose
    .

    August 7, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  80. Mary

    Hi jack, I don’t think violent town hall protests will kill healthcare, it might damage it and cause Obama to run into more stumbling blocks, maybe make changes, but NO.I live in Britain and Supporters of the labour party, Who are our version, of the democrats, would have already been on the streets by now with the placards, giving the republicans a piece of our minds. This could also be a platform for democrats and republicans to debate more, (given their differences) if anyone can tell me where the democrats are hiding?.... why don’t they get up and defend the president they voted for and the healthcare I assume they want, if it is what they want. I can’t imagine Britain without the healthcare we currently have. Then again, I never really understood the way Americans think. It’s more or less free health care, bloody hell, what is wrong with you lot!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  81. Chris

    No, it won't kill health care reform. These town hall protests will end up with people getting severely injured or killed. We are supposed to be better than this. I hope President Obama withdraw healthcare reform and let the prices SKYROCKET. They will get what they deserve when they go bankrupt because high medical bills and being dropped by the insurance company.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  82. Chris-Illinois

    No Jack! Iraq has had Universal Healthcare for 3 yrs AND we are paying for it!! I wish he had waited until a plan was in place & how it would be paid for, he left himself wide open for what is happening now. I am apprehensive at what Congress is going to piece together (temporarily) and call it whatever it will be called. President Obama should have stayed with fixing this economy and job creation. America has 6.7 MILLION unemployed Americans and we have the President trying to shove Healthcare reform down our throats! This is crazy! Fix the Economy & get the MILLIONS of unemployed back working again. That is the #1 Priority to me!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  83. Valerie in Raleigh

    I hope not. It is too important of an issue to be stopped by a bunch of thugs sent on the scenes by the far-right fringe of the Republican Party. They also are doing mailings to senior citizens that are so dishonest and full of down right lies about senior's having their taxes raised steeply in every aspect of their lives if healthcare coverage passes, that I could not believe any decent person would scare elderly people in such a way. Why are the responsible voices of the Republican Party not putting a stop to such indecent behavior? I guess too busy collecting their donations from the drug and insurance companies. How sad!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  84. Richard, in Kansas

    Only if we let it. Americans are wise to these republican brownshirt tactics and are getting more and more sick of it. Expect a backlash.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  85. S, Michigan

    Of course not- it's just a side show- sort of like gawkers at a roadside accident. It brings up temporary emotions (sometimes laughter) and then we all drive off towards true healthcare reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  86. Dennis North Carolina

    no and it may lead to the down fall of the conservative and the republicans movement in politics. this does not show America in the best view of the world image. it also shows that people can be lead with out having the true facts but just by fear tactics.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  87. Michelle Klein-Hass

    The people who are going to these events with the sole purpose of shouting them down are most definitely un-American and against free speech. They cannot wrap their brains around the idea that a majority of Americans voted a Black man into office. They have nothing but contempt for American ideals. They are not there to criticize health care, that's just their pretext. They are there because they can't stand a Black man in the White house.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  88. Paul, Parry Sound, Ontario

    I hope not. The man who introduced medicare in Canada was Tommy Douglas, Keifer Sutherland's grandfather. Last year Douglas was voted greatest Canadian ever, and I thanked that man last January when I underwent a hospital visit that would have cost me $100,000 in the U. S. but in Canada cost me nothing.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  89. Ron in Ohio

    Only if we let it, Jack. When is the twenty some percent that declare themselves Republican going to see just what damage the GOP does to American with their hate, with their attacks. Everything the Republicans stand for is against and erodes the middle class, the foundation of a country. Pretty much the bulk of the country has admitted we need health care reform, but the Republicans are still lobbying for the health insurance companies. The protestors haven't stopped to realize, as usual, it's the Republicans who are hurting them not only with health care they need but with the hate with which they poison our society. Scumbags. We need less Republicans the next election.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  90. Mary - Boerne, TX

    No, all it does is expose the ignorance these people have. They should be taken away when they start yelling – that's the only reason they are there is to cause disruption. Such a shame they've lowered themselves to this pathetic behavior. I can guarantee you the insurance company executives are all smiling and crossing their fingers when they see this.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  91. Denis Duffy

    We need a healthy debate on health care reform, Jack. Of course, many Democrats are calling recent town hall meetings, an unhealthy debate. If Congress is afraid to go home and face town hall meetings with their constituents, they should not be in Washington at all. Congress is supposed to listen to the voice of the people. Perhaps they only want to listen to what they want to hear. Well, they can listen now or start preparing a concession speach for the next round of elections. That's when town hall stops listening and starts acting.

    Denis
    Upper Saint Clair, Pa.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  92. deloris mclemore

    When I watch these town hall meetings and see grown adults acting this way it is shamefull. We need healthe care reform I have been on disability for almost 2 years and I will not be eligable for medicare untill January 2010 . I f it wasnt for my husband having insurance I would not be able to have my oxygen and medications I need to live. He was laid off and if it wasnt for cobra we both would be in a pickle. So for all of the grown adults fighting this reform and trying to stop the town hall meetings please find something else to do with your time. Deloris Mobile, Alabama

    August 7, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  93. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Health care reform is DOA with or without the bombastic vociferous right-wing protagonists making absolute fools of themselves. I'm so glad the left-wing elite are civilized.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  94. Homer

    No Jack , as intelligent group of people we know who is behind these protests, the Republican wingers.I don't believe mob violence will stop health care reform.
    Homer of Arkansas

    August 7, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  95. Dave Brown

    The short answer is NO. The reason is that way to much money is on the table for the players to just walk away.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  96. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    I sure wish it would. People are finally getting tired of the government taking control of our lives. If the health care plan they want for us is so wonderful, why do the people who represent us are exempting themselves from this plan? They probably know it smells to the high heavens.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  97. Bill

    It should! Right or wrong, the public input 'Should' direct the actions of our representatives. Isn't that how a representative government works?

    August 7, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  98. Dave -- Altoona, PA

    We keep hearing the "talking heads" decrying the deceptions and distortions of the right wing attack on health care reform but why are the networks accepting ads that are clearly misleading and just plain lying? I'm all for freedom of speech, but these commercials are akin to shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  99. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    If it does, it will be absolutely criminal. Too many American citizens cannot get affordable coverage right now and it will only get worse if we don't get this done soon. As the only industrial nation without universal coverage we are doing ourselves a disservice by not getting it done now.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  100. cy

    I hope that Americans are smart enough to know staged political thuggery when they see it. These GOP flunkies think they are spreading democracy by shouting down anyone who doesn't like the way the insurance companies run the country. In truth, they hate democracy. We need to make a radical departure from the health care status quo and the status quo is spending one point four million bucks a day to lie, delay, smear and do whatever it takes to keep their cash cow intact. The insurance companies don't care about America or its people. Their flunkies don't have enough brains between them to understand the problem. cy arlington va

    August 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  101. Mike in Colorado

    These hecklers don't have any message other than just say no and vitriol for Obama. They are attempting to shut down adult discussion.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  102. Michael Ewah

    If the democrats sit back and let republicans hijack the healthcare reform, yes it will fail. It is high time those that do not have health insurance speak out and make some noises so that their voices can be heard. The republicans are passionate about their beliefs, whether it hurt greater number of people they can care less. Democrats need to know one thing, people tend to believe what they have heard repeatedly right or wrong. Democrat must counter immediately if they want to have a chance.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  103. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    Unfortunately, the Party of NO and the big money insurance companies are winning this battle by creating a lot of turmoil as well as making people afraid to do the right thing. Yes, once again after more than 50 years our country will still not have health care reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  104. Karen Mickleson, CA

    They'll *help* kill it by spreading unfounded hysterical fears. But that might be a blessing in disguise because according to Business Week, it's already so watered down by insurance companies as to be rendered useless. Or likely worse than useless: If a bill is passed which can't produce savings because it has to protect the insurance industry, then it will ultimately sour the public even more on future efforts to take the profit motive out of health care.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  105. Tim in Texas

    What this mob mentality exposes is a very ugly truth about a segment of our society. When people scream and act violently instead of engaging in civil discourse, it's an indication that they have no logical or meaningful points to express. They can't make a convincing case for their positions, so they trample over everybody else's right to speak. They act in a way that is antithetical to the principles of democracy while proclaiming that it is "their America" that is being lost. It makes one wonder what they think "their America" is. I tend to think that it is an all white America. And as they see power being equalized, it scares them - and they don't even recognize what their fear is. It won't affect insurance reform because it's not about insurance reform. But it's sad nonetheless.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  106. Jim

    These disruptions only show us how many blind followers there are in America. Hey it worked for Hitler. Maybe it will work for these crude wingnuts. Freedom of speech does not mean you can shout away someone else's right to speak. Sub Note: Today, in the local paper, Blue Cross Blue Shield anounced a rate hike, in Michigan, of about 22%!!!! Now do you think we should just let the market place run itself.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  107. Lynne Parker in N. Augusta, SC

    The politicians who have been purchased by the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries will kill health reform. Citizens yelling has little impact. Money talks....

    August 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  108. Linda in Southern Indiana

    The protests are not helping to get the word out about health care reform. There are so many emails, rumors, etc. floating around that the public doesn't know who to believe. I checked on Snopes.com today about several emails I have received lately. Perhaps the Republic party is behind a lot of the disruptions at these town hall meetings? Why doesn't the media investigate and let us know why the people aren't letting our senators and representatives speak? Tell us, Jack, what is going on?

    August 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  109. Brian

    No, the democrats will lose it because they still don't have the courage of their rhetoric. The democrats have all the power and to blame "the mob" for killing health care is tantamout to saying their losing support due to the GOP using the Jedi mind trick.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  110. cy

    Do the Americans in the middle, the independents, know hypocrisy when they see it? How many of those insurance company lobbyists' flunkies are collecting Social Security or getting Medicare? They hate government run programs that help anyone but them. How many of them are only there because they hate seeing a black president succeed? These people are brain dead thugs and I think most Americans will dismiss the way the mainstream media has been giving them more credit than they deserve. Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh, Fox and these people are more like Nazis than any thing else in our political history. It is a sad chapter. cy arlington va

    August 7, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  111. Randy from Salt Lake City

    It's already dead, Jack. The insurance corporations and Big Pharma will always win. They own the goverment, plain and simple, so nothing will change. We're doomed.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  112. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Jack, this is democracy in action. Hopefully it will kill this out of control plan. Sure we need health care reform, but not some trillion dollar monster that no one can explain the fundamentals of. Let it die.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  113. Clarence Koprowski, Troy, Michigan

    I am an 80 year old Democrat who voted for President Obama, but now this man is beginning to scare me. He has put all his Campaign promises in his back pocket and is now sitting on them. Congress is now threatening to avoid Town Hall Meetings and do it by teleconferece meetings. Which then the people will not be able to say what they want to say in front of a forum. My opinion of President Obama if that he is a silver tongue lier. Where are all the jobs he promised?

    August 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  114. G. Curley

    No, At least I hope not , I believe the time has come for a change in the Health Care System . It has gouged people's savings and pockets for years. I am sure that the GOP, greedy old panhandlers and the likes of people like Rx Lush Slimbaugh won't agree. But the people who hurt the most probably will..

    Signed ,
    GC
    Binghamton, NY

    August 7, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  115. Jennifer - Winnipeg

    I just hope that the majority of the American people can see these unruly mobs for what they are ... Republican terrorists. If a Democrat said the sky was blue, you can bet your bottom dollar a Republican would say it was pink. I hope this attempt at scuttling health care reform will fail. I think the plan need some tweaks, but it's headed in the right direction to help an awful lot of people who have no coverage at all right now.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  116. Sandi , Oklahoma

    Jack, we can only hope it doesn't derail any of the work being done to help the working people in this country. I find it so hard to believe that so many supposedly intelligent citizens can fall for this BS that the special interest groups,that have been ripping them off, are spreading. They aren't trying to help the people.....they are trying to keep themselves from losing their gravy train that we have been paying for. Where are these peoples heads that they can't see they are being played by the very people that have destroyed our health care?

    August 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  117. Marion/Birmingham

    Jack,,,, the health care bill will kill the health care bill. If people will just take time and try reading some of what it says...The Democrats can not defend it, it is not in final draft and has been changed 100 times already so they don't know what it contains.....
    Rowdy Town halls happen all the time when they are not scripted as Obama's have been...To bad the Democrats can not concieve that other Democrats may not want the government to ruin their health care.Of course any disruption will be those nasty Republicans,and not the American Tax Payers who have to pay for it.,If it is so good why did congress exempt themselves and their families from being forced to use it.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  118. Don Wilson

    If healthcare is killed, it will be still another example of "big, corporate money" winning again over the needs of the common people.
    Don Wilson, Overland Park, KS

    August 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  119. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    There's nothing wrong with a lively conversation, but the screaming has GOT to go! I hope they will be seen for what they are, people who have been paid by the GOP and special interest groups to keep correct information from getting to the public. I hope the Obama administration will remain tenacious and continue to fight for the people in spite of these morons. I wasn't so sure about government health care at first, but now I would rather have my eyes dug out with a rusty spoon than see the radical right successfully trash the efforts.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  120. Jay in Texas

    It may mean the death of the current health care "reform" plan but it won't be the end of efforts to provide not-for-profit, single-payer health care for every American which has been proposed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich and others in Congress.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  121. Rick St Thomas

    Spanish Springs, Nevada 89441

    No, as soon as the general public finds out who's behind these orchestrated, phony, angry disruptive outbursts, they will begin asking another question. If the pharma's, insurance folks and republicans will go to this extreme to defeat reform, maybe health care reform isn't so bad and really would be good for patients? The republicans are against health care reform, imagine that!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  122. mohamed -clarkston ga

    truth and logic prevail over loud & violent town hall protests.
    but taxing employee health benefits will.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  123. Larry

    No it won't.

    All these protests are doing is exposing Republicans and health care lobbyists for the thugs they are.

    People are fed up with politicians and special interests running our government.

    These protests show the need for health care reform.

    Larry
    Cincinnati, OH

    August 7, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  124. Cindy from Ohio

    No, Jack, it just enlightens the hatred so many have for this president and anything he says or does. The rancor at these meetings just puts a spotlight and a big ol' pat on the back of the Fox News groupies. Where are the Republican leaders now? You know, I used to at least highly respect Sen. McCain. Still have my McCain sign from 2000. But can he only correct an elderly woman with a microphone at a rally that said candidate Obama wasn't even American? Is there not an elected official that will be running again in 2010 that has the guts to tell the right wing hate-mongers on tv and radio to just shut up for the good of the country? If the rancor gets worse, what will the next step be for a few of the nut cases that identify themselves with these health care rally "rabids"? High deficits, terrorists and "illegals" aren't what will kill this nation. Its the cancer growing loudly and rudely from within.

    August 7, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  125. RD Kansas City

    No camera no drama you dig?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  126. Sherri-Illinois

    What is with the Democrats??? The Republicans did the same thing back in 94 against President Clinton when Hillary had attempted Healthcare Reform. THIS time they should have been prepared with a PLAN, how it will be PAID FOR and yet they didn't. I don't feel sorry for them at all because they & Obama should have waited until the economy and this Recession showed substantial improvement AND the jobless numbers showed the same. Too much Too soon! Obama & the Democrats will come up with some piecemeal, just to save face AND thats sad because it will be at our expense!.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  127. Kim - Blair, NE

    Over my dead body! Oops, bad choice of words, huh?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  128. Steve

    I have not seen from either side not to do some sort of reform it's what is in the bill that most people are arguing about. It is the way it being presented that most people have a problem with.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  129. Richard New Hampshire

    The fall of the Empire!
    This nation is set up as a representative government.It is not a government of who can yell the loudest.Disruption of intelligent discussion is not a right stated in the Constitution.
    This is the strategy the Nazis used in Germany.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  130. Arlene, Illinois

    These people are acting like my spoiled grandkids,
    they all need a time out or go stand in the corner.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  131. Norman Shifman

    Dear Jack:

    I am an American living in Canada and I was born here.
    CNN would be of great help to people living in the United States if you would send someone up here and do a real story on a goverment health care system. It has it's good points and bad points. At the top of the list is this; you cannot lose your health insurance unless you drop dead. It's not so bad and it's not so good. Send Dr. Gupta up here and do a real story.

    Thanks

    Norman Shifman

    August 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  132. Robert in Fayetteville, Ar.

    That would be the equivalent of letting a bunch of chimpanzees take over the board meeting. When they are ready to make an intelligent argument or present reasonable alternatives they should have their turn to speak. Until then, where are those guys with the tasers when you need them?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  133. Carolyn in Portland Maine

    Who knows if it will work?However, the health care lobbyists and their GOP supporters are certainly trying.Let's face the fact that serious discussion is what these folks fear the most and they will do anything to stop it.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  134. Darrell

    If these protesters are, indeed from the representatives home district- fine, let them talk. But if they're being bussed in from far-flung areas they have no right to create a disturbance.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  135. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    I don't think so. There is a difference between protests that simply make a lot of noise, and those that arise from passion.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  136. marlene

    Jack, Conservative Democrats (Blue Dogs) will be able to handle that all by themselves. And then listen to them tell everyone how happy they are to make sure my children don't have to pay additional taxes. What a sham!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  137. Larry, Michigan

    Jack,
    I have a suggestion inregards to the health care plan. What the American people need is a moderator and two individuals, one for and the other against , to debate this health care plan on national TV.
    It would eliminate the problems we are having at the town hall meetings. This is a very serious issue, the American people need the facts.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  138. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    When Americans are attacked, we gather together in a unified effort and FIGHT BACK. That will be the result of these shout downs at the townhalls.
    The town hall mob strategy harnesses the same energy as the old Richard Nixon “southern strategy.” The Republicans have consistently sought power in America by appealing to the worst parts of America. And by “worst parts of America” I meant the hateful and bigoted parts, not necessarily the southern states. Though I have to say, there’s a lot of overlap there. Now that strategy has reduced Republicans to nothing but angry white voters. And those people can’t keep on taking part in mob actions forever. Eventually they have to go back to work. That’s why it’s important for Barack Obama to find REAL jobs for them.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  139. JoAnn in Iowa

    People who do not have truth on their side just shout and shove and disrupt these meetings. If they knew facts and if they cared about healthcare, they could have a rational discussion. Healthcare in this country is a mess. The folks in the mobs are being "used" by the insurance industry who seek only to maintain their record profits and by the radioheads who seek only to have Obama fail. We need healthcare reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  140. Ann from Charleston S.C.

    I don't think the boisterous disruptions will derail a health care reform bill
    I think rational thought will prevail and a health reform bill will be the result.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  141. Bill Carter

    No Jack, I think that the American people are finally seeing what the party of NO represent. The right wing of the GOP is finally showing their true colors. The reform that is needed in health care will happen. These elected officials only represent the select few. Those of us who do not have the backing or money of corporate America stand no chance of reaching them. The Party of NO must GO.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  142. Missy M

    Jack,
    These politicians asked for their jobs. They asked to represent these people in Washington. If their constituents are angry, frustrated, misinformed or scared, it's the job of Congress and the Senate to put their people skills to use and be patient, listen and respond.

    The attitude coming out of Washington in response to people's fears is "shut up and sit down. We know what's best for you." It's offensive - I say that and I'm a democrat!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  143. Jack - Lancaster, OH

    Jack:

    I think, if you recall the recent Iran protests, and before that the tienemen square confrontation, and even the Kent State University protests, that if the issue is not killed, people very likely will be, and thanks for this volatile question. Now we do not even know if protests are real ? What an Obsurd accusation and so what, it came from the people no ?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  144. LUCI - ILLINOIS

    No, I don't think it will kill the health care that we need very much. All the shouting etc. might give them a heart attack or stroke, etc. Most are too old to be doing that kind of ignorance. They should stay home and listen, they might learn what kind of program it is going to be. Please quit listening to Rush, Dobbs, Rick Scott, and Fox news in general. Let the ones get it that want and need it.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  145. bob from woodland park, co

    the ill informed, easily influenced continue to march to the beat of republican fear drums

    August 7, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  146. Fred May Sr Spanaway WA.

    I have said in the past and will continue to say, As long we allow the lobbiest to buy our representatives in congress we will never get true representation. It is time to ban all lobbying in Washington D.C. Big corporations have bought every congress person in D.C. We elect our congress person to serve in Washington and big corporations buy them. Aslong as this goes on we the public will suffer. Time to change the rules of government. Its sad how GREED has started to erode common sense. It's to the point of being illeagle.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  147. Herbie

    It won't kill health care, but it may (temporarily) kill town hall meetings.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  148. Fred Dean Weaver Oklahoma City

    Jack With luck We will get healthcare And kill Buledog Democrate And greedy Republicans.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  149. Joe in Phoenix

    At a minimum, these people believe in freedom of speech only for themselves. They have never quite grasped what it takes to be good Americans in the first place.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  150. Mike - Toledo, OH

    No it won't and hopefully these people will feel some shame when violence eventually does break out and someone gets hurt at one of these industry sponsored 'protests'.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  151. Steve Canada

    These people are hot after this whole administation, and see this as a keynote issue..Those two idiots that voiced the thoughts about this issue wiping out Obama betrayed the true feelings of the Right..This just the vehicle of the month..There will be more..guaranteed

    August 7, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  152. Eric VanSickle, Cedar Falls, Iowa

    Jack:

    No, it won't kill the reform effort. It will only strengthen the resolve by Democrats when they realize that these loud protests are not from "concerned citizens," but from the health care lobby, wanting to keep the status quo so they can be free to increase premiums or deny coverage just to make more money. Health care shoud NOT be a for-profit venture. Hypocrates created an oath back in ancient Greece: First, do no harm. It seems the market system is doing more harm than good, and it's time to redo the whole system so that it works for the patients, not the insurance companies.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  153. Carolyn H - Atlanta, GA

    NO...it will only make those of us who support it stronger...the real silent majority. In this case, the squeaky wheel will not get the oil, it will rust and fall off!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  154. Bob Watts

    As a result of the insuranc companies and drug companies spending millions upon miliions to protect their profits of billions upon billions – Yes it may well not pass. What a shame but that's what the Greedy Republicans want to shoot down Obama and protect big business. What America needs just does not matter! Welcome to the best country on earth......Maybe.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  155. franf

    Loud and unintellectual discourse by repubilcan stooges is another indication of how limited and out of touch they are. If you republicans have a great fromat to present to the American debate the issue. Resuting to violent ptrotest shows and just saying NO is all I have.

    Let's debate and let the American decide

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  156. Linda in Arizona

    Nah. Those scum are just rabble. The republicans and the "Blue Dog" Democrats already killed health care reform, withe the tacit agreement of the rest of the cowardly, caving Democrats, including Obama. We're just waiting for the funeral ceremony now.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  157. Simon - New York

    These groups are simply being played the GOP and by these RIght-Wing groups. They think that the Republicans and other conservatives have their interests at heart but in reality, they are being used to disrupt the health care debate and cause chaos so that it won't passed. Because the Republicans have no alternative except Do nothing

    August 7, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  158. Brandon

    Jack, Its not about the violence, its about the information. I, personally am in favor of reform, but not every part of this bill. Many people who protest this bill are misinformed by Rush and the media, and haven't read any parts of the bill themselves. Log on and read the bill, and make a decision for yourself. Maybe us Americans are becoming too lazy to make up our own minds...that may be the real health problem

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  159. jayne shaw

    It might or it might not. I think healthcare reform is being pushed for pay back to Senator Kennedy for his support during the primary. But more importantly you have to shout. Letters and phone calls to Washington only get canned response. They don't listen and they are so out of touch.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  160. Lynne

    Oh, I get it – protest from the right is 'orchestrated' and fraudulent but the left sending in their own recruits is not orchestrated and fraudulent. One thing about the left that is absolutely consistent – when they lose it's fraud but some will do anything fraudulent and duplicitous to 'win.'

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  161. Albert Killackey. L.A, CA

    No! Health-care reform will pass. Unlike the non-violent peaceful protesters of the 60’s who gained support when they were seen in news videos being victimized by police for merely exercising their civil rights, these disorderly Republicans are seen interfering with American freedoms of peaceful assemble and speech and that will ultimately have an adverse effect on their campaign.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  162. Sherry

    Absolutely. If not ALL voices are allowed to be heard, it will definitely be defeated, which IS of course the Republicans plan . . . THIS is the only plan they have offered to the problem, in the absence of a real idea or productive plan; Just derail any real effort to find a solution to Health Care Reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  163. Jennifer

    I certainly hope not. It's sad to me that these people are so angry. If they set that aside & opened their minds to change, they might be pleasantly surprised. I also think it's sad that this country is reduced to setting policy by listening to those who scream the loudest regardless of whether or not they're the majority. In the end, I don't think a few shouting maniacs should be allowed to speak for those of us who are looking for reform & I hope it doesn't happen.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  164. Gloria Southington CT

    No. Most Americans will realize this debate is about more than who can yell the loudest. We MUST have a civilized debate on this issue that has far-reaching implications for generations to come.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  165. Deborah, Cincinnati

    The shout downs at the town hall meetings won't derail health care. They will only hurt the civil discourse that is suppose to be a hallmark of democracy and show that the Republican instigators and supporters of this kind of protest are really brown shirts.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  166. Kenny

    I wonder, will all of these rowdy protesters continue this game when they or their loved ones are stricken with a serious illness and get caught up in the red-tape and eronious regulations of our current health care system. Everyone's a critic until they're in need.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  167. Rick in northern California

    Jack, it doesn't have to have any effect. Where are the people who do want reform? They should start attending those town hall meetings as well. Let's see who can chant the loudest. In reality these people from the GOP who are disrupting things should be arrested for disturbing the peace or disorderly conduct at least. They are depriving people of their right to assemble and practice free speech. If they want to complain let them hold their own town hall meetings.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  168. Mitch if Phoenix

    No. Only frightened and ineffective Democrats can kill health care reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  169. Judy

    I am uninsurable and have high prescriptions costs each month. To me if you have good health insurance that you want to keep, then you should just shut up! How many times does he have to say you are not going to lose your insurance? This is not free speech. This is anarchy. Free speech would be a free exchange of ideas. I am scared for the first time we are not going to get it through.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  170. Luis Aviles

    Healthcare reform should include a greater provision for Mental Healthcare as we see more and more how people lose their heads and act violently. Freedom of speech, not freedom of scream, brings about change. If they continue orchestrating these attacks on town halls they are simply asking the government to make decisions without listening to the population.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  171. Ron from SF

    No, it's clear that it's not grass roots anger, but Atro Turfed morons who have been bussed in. The way to deal with these fools is to say “you're against government Health care, then sign this letter and you'll never get Medicare–because that is Government Health Care”. Yea, that should clear out the rooms.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  172. Elton Wilson

    Jack,
    If anything, I think the loud protests will have the opposite effect from what was intended. Anytime a group of people try to silence someone, they cause people to become more curious and investigate. Of course there are some people who will see the shouters and think those people are the majority and as a result, change their mind against health care. However, to all those shouters, I have one thing to say: You should NEVER claim a medicare benefit or you are a hypocrite!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  173. Glacier Carol

    If anything, these unruly demonstrations will push those of us in favor of health care reform to get involved with passing it.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  174. Locksley, Senoia GA

    No, it wont! We all know this "protest" is being driven by wealthy company owners who want to continue defrauding the people of their hard earned money, just like that guy whose company (HCA) had to pay over $1 billion in fraud penalty!
    Responsible Americans know what is going on and are still supporting the health care reform will succeed. This mob mentality will backfire on those Republicans and unpatriotic Americana.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  175. Andy

    Jack,

    No, it shouldn't. I find it increasingly absurd that people can unite around a party or candidate (like Obama) based on his campaign promises like heath care reform yet ignite into chaos like these town hall meetings when the promises are actually carried out. The problem with American politics today is that people love to support candidates but hate them when they do what they promise.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  176. Patricia Harlow

    This despicable behavior will only serve to destroy America's image abroad where nations are being served up images of Old-Guard Puppet Organizations effectively corralling people through the use of fear into proponents for the agenda of tyranny and oppression. I thought it when the 'tea-parties' were being thrown and I feel even more so now that America is headed towards civil war or disaster should we continue down this path. As the wicked claws desperately for it's last tastes of waning power it takes away our humanity, civility, and dignity.

    Patricia Harlow
    Austin, TX

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  177. Michael B

    No Jack. The popular vote protested George Bush's controversial election as President in 2000 but, that didn't prevent him from being elected. I suspect, this "noise" will wane and health care reform will be achieved.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  178. Keith

    No, what you see occuring in these town hall meetings will not stop Presidents Obama Health care reform. On a side note, do these people realize Medicare and Mediaid by defination a form of Socialize medicine......lolol.....omg.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  179. nancy miller-houck

    Yes Jack, the buly's will win. Remember middle school. It will be interesting to see how they feel when they lose their healthcare due too an illness or a pre-existing condition. Or to the other half of them that are out there protesting and have medicare but don't want a government option. They are being manipulated by the corporations and in the end they will lose.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  180. Dolores Surprise AZ

    It would be a shame if these unrully town hall meetings would kill the health care reform. I am not sure if I am for it or against it but there is no way to find out with all of the comotion going on at the town hall meetings. Yes, those people have a right to free speech, bud don't the Senators and Congressmen ALSO have the right to free speech. These people are not letting them speak so how are we suppose to find out what the bill is all about. If they go and ask questions and WAIT for answers,then fine, otherwise, they might as will not hold anymore town hall meetings as nothing is accomplished when the people holding the meetings are not allowed to speak even to answer questions.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  181. Ken, Long Beach, CA

    I hope not, but I don't see any legitimate reform making it through anyway. Forget the idea of Govt backed systems, Healthcare in this country is treated as a Wall Street commodity. The idea of healthcare as a basic human right in this country is a pipe dream. Insurance and HMO companies rely on us being sick and kept that way so they can profit from the "management" of your illness or condition. To me it doesn't matter, I can't afford the insurance, I haven't had insurance in years, and if I ever get diagnosed with something, you better believe I'm getting treated overseas where it is cheaper and more efficient.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  182. Paul

    Only if uneducated people are the majority in the United States, Jack. It's obvious to anyone outside of America that the only people who oppose health care reform are the ones with their hands in the corrupted cookie jar. There is a LOT of money being made and a LOT of money about to be lost by crooked insurance companies and the poiticians they lobby. Obama's plan is sensible and fair to the average person. Anyone who can't see this is being misled. Power is almost impossible to relinquish, even when it's the right thing to do. Republicans know this. Insurance companies know it. And if the media would educate people as to what is really going on here, the battle would be won by the reformists.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  183. Jane

    No, they won't derail health care reform. You guys don't get it. The protests are not about trying to stop health care reform, they are about slowing the process so that well-defined, thoughtful and responsible legislation is created and passed – not just the first bill that comes along. Pelosi and her gang need to remember that we can read, too, and that what we are reading right now, is frightening. Either they haven't done enough explaining, or this is really bad legislation.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  184. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    If you allow the loud and violent town hall protests to accomplish the shutting down of the health care reform, then yes, the mission will have died in vain, but if you keep persevering, then the mission has a greater opportunity of succeeding. Politicians of all political beliefs should have the necessity to join each other in getting health care for those who are without it. We can no longer fail when it comes to getting the health care reform bill passed, because that means that more and more American citizens will get ill and/or die, if we keep failing this magnificent opportunity.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  185. Deborah Morgan

    A lot of the protestors are older white men who are probably on Medicare, a government run health system. It would be nice if the rest of the population was able to get it too.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  186. Collin S. in Glenwood Springs, CO

    Of course they will, I've about had it with American ignorance, and corporate sway tactics. The people are pawns in our fake democracy. If we would just educate ourselves, we'd see where the influences are coming from, but most will just bury their heads in the bible or in reality television. We need this reform and most should watch tape of the protests of '93, they'll see the same "socialism arguements" and possibly realize how much they are being manipulated. New Zealand here I come...

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  187. Graham

    The people in these town hall meetings are exercising their freedom to assemble, and freedom of speech. It is amazing that you in the media, the Congessional Democratic leadership and the president are trying to characterize it differently - just because the majority of Americans don't agree with you. If you 'can't stand the heat........."

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  188. Ethan from Florida

    Mr. Cafferty, I have on thing to say to this. These people who go to these town halls should go in civilized, and listen to the elected representatives from their area, and be quiet, when questions are called they should politely ask questions not shout out. Your not going to get anything accomplished by yelling, but maybe a sore throat. When do you don't listen, you don't know what your talking about when you respond. Get Jack Layton on CNN and interview him about Canadian health care so that Republicans, and Conservatives stop bad mouthing the Canadian health care system and dispel these lies about the Canadian system. All systems have the good and bad things about them.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  189. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Jack,
    No. Its time all well-meaning people stand up for health care. Its time all the supporters and all those who voted for change last November start going to these town halls and make their voices heard. What these radical republican nuts are counting on is our civility believing that we will not fight back. We will fight back. If we don't, it is the death of our democracy as we know it.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  190. Margaret in TN

    Absolutely NOT. I refuse to be intimidated by these radical right wing crazies engaging in thuggish behavior to scare the elderly into believing they will be euthanized and flat out lying about the President's position. They should grow up and get over the fact that they lost the election. If anything, I think they have ticked off enough Congressional members with their belligerent behavior and attempts at bullying that they will be more determined to pass health care reform. I know I am.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  191. Tom Tagye

    I hope the loud mouths don't have much influence. Their rude behavior should discount their voices. It's fine to disagree, but the outrageous behavior of many of those opposed to a rational plan for health care for all Americans deserves no consideration.

    I'm hoping that those who support the plan do not engage in the rudeness. That helps nothing.

    It's time for a reasoned debate.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  192. Marian Atkinson

    I certainly hope they don"t end the move to re-vamp health care. I live in Canada. We have Medicare which covers hospitals, surgeries, etc., and I also have private insurance co-paid by me and my employer. This covers my perscriptions, dental care, prosthetics, wheelchair; massage therapy, physiotherapy etc. If when I retire my pension is below a certain amount, there is a government perscription plan. This all provides a lot of security should I become seriously ill. While it is not perfect, it is the next best thing to perfect and I am so pleased to have it all. It sounds to me that what is proposed by President Obama could work very well. We get to choose our own doctors and as I understand him, his plan allows for this as well. To me, it does appear these outrageous displays at the town hall meetings have to be organized - by whom I don't know - but there's something going on for sure.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  193. Armando in MA

    It’s more like anarchy than protest and it has succeeded, check out the polls. The anarchists (right wing) seem to have all the answers but no solutions. Maybe that’s what they insinuate when they shout “just say no”. Wake up America God saves us all, if these demagogues continue to squash our free speech.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  194. Cynthia

    No it won't – just like during the campaign the Republicans were putting out all kinds of things that weren't true and we all see where it got them.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  195. Mary Ann

    No, it will not! Compare health care reform to the civil rights legislation in the 1960's. Any comprehensive change comes with growing pains just as we are seeing today. There are many out there who are culturally never easy to change, stimulate that feeling with commentators as Rush Limbaugh, and the result is violent unheaval. However, this will not change a thing, as we all know that this is the only way to successfully change health care. Many of these people do not realize the hold that insurance companies have on health care!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  196. phil

    Jack,

    They won't kill health care reform but we need to be very careful to ensure that some nut doesn't go too far and attempt something idiotic. It looks like these mobs aren't there to listen and debate but only to disrupt and disturb in the crudest of ways.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  197. Gigi

    Why would it make a difference, do you really think are representatives do anything to please the people. They are catering to big business not the average person. They might listen if our protest came in the form of a letter directly to their office. But...it would take at least 20% of the voting population before they would take notice.

    Oregon

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  198. Russell, Bethel Alaska

    It worked in the recount in Florida, why wouldn't it work now? The funny thing about all this is that republicans have done this all before, there is camera footage of republican staffers sent down to stop the recount. Now that a simliar thing is happening most of the news organizations seem to be saying "noooo, they wouldn't possibly do something that underhanded". Unless a respectable news organization gets out there and finds out for sure what's going on we won't know until this is all over....

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  199. Jennifer

    I don't think so, especially since the people that are yelling the loudest don't seem to have any idea what they're talking about.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  200. Beth Strickler

    I sure hope not. And I wish the debate were more constructive.

    I also find it interesting that in the health care townhalls video clips that I have seen, a large number of those protesting appear to be over the age of 65! Are these people in favor of getting their health insurance in the free market eliminating Medicare? Or are they just opposed to the rest of us being assured of continuing and affordable health care??

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  201. Luis Aviles

    I don't understand why, for years, these people didn't complain about Congress having a different health insurance, yet now it is all of a sudden an issue. Whose idea was it to require congressmen to subscribe to the same health plan so public opinion will favor it?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  202. Tina Davis

    No, most Americans want real debate. These mobs aren't making their point at all and they are showing how uninformed and violent they are by these outbursts. I hope their own kids don't act like that.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  203. Corey

    Jack,

    I think the reason for these protests, as childish as they may be, are because the President is not doing a good job of explaining this plan. He continues to say it is different but he does not say how. People need answers.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  204. Stephen Charchuk

    I hope that those who derail health care reform in America have something bad happen to them to see just how stupid and short-sighted they truly are.

    I'm a Canadian and I see the lies that the right wing is spreading about our system. It may not be perfect, but is is still better than what so many Americans have to suffer through.

    Its like someone who doesn't have any shoes putting down someone who has bargain basement shoes.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  205. kathy

    These town hall meetings are a good reason to increase mental health funding!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  206. Cheryl from Destin, Florida

    I sure hope not Jack. I've called my Senator (only 1, Martinez dropped his bombshell today) and let him know I support health care reform. I'm self-employed and 52 with no insurance. I never realized the Republicans were so childish.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  207. Stephen from Victoria

    I hope God blesses America. Meaningful health insurance reform (health care reform is a whole other ball of wax) is already dead. As with most everything else, your dysfunctional and dystopic political system is pre-destined to produce a weak mish-mash of a gruel of reform. There's a reason the US is the both the only industrialized country without universal health care or having embraced the metric system. Unless you get a grip, within 10-15 years your entire socio-economic-political system will implode from the weight of its inability to engage in anything resembling rational policy making, with the resulting economic calamity bringing such chaos to the international economic order that the current recession will look like just a little bump in the road.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  208. Orintha Galella

    I really hope that it doesn;t stop healthcare reform.We as a nation can't continue on the road we are on.I would like to attend a meeting but I am afraid that a real nut case might show up and hurt someone.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  209. Kelly in Atlanta

    I hope that everyone can now see -with their eyes wide open- that the goal of republicans (backed by wealthy heath insurance companies) is to scare people into keeping things the way they are, as opposed to offering real solutions. Speaking as one of those who is uninsured, I can tell you that for 15 years I have worked in the food service industry as a server and never made enough to pay for health care. Having to stay sick for weeks because I can not afford a Doctor (while serving these republicans their food mind you) is getting old.

    No amount of money they can spend lobbying for leaving health care the way it is will make me forget that I suffer from a broken system.

    Stop fighting and start fixing. Nuff' said.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  210. Frank Horner, Philadelphia

    I don't think that it will stop health care reform, it may have the opposite
    result. The protesters put nothing on the table and sound like a bunch of screeching idiots. Stopping debate will not solve the problem.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  211. Libby

    Shouldn't your question be: will effective community organizing derail health care reform?

    The protesters are being informed of events by community organizers. They are obviously being effective. Why are Democrats so outraged by this form of community organizing?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  212. Larry

    It had better not kill it! These "protests" are obviously an extension of the "spontaneous" tea parties. The Republican party has become great at letting us know what they are against but still haven't told us what they are for. The system has to change or we will be bankrupt. Politics has polarized our country and I believe that President Obama will have to employ reconcilliation to get this done.

    ps– I'd much rather have the gov't between me and my doctor as long as the insurace company is kicked out of the way!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  213. Karen Brabham

    No, The people in real need are not there yelling they are home praying that Obama can make a miricle happen and give them the relief that they need and soon!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  214. Clare

    Hopefully, When they go back to capital hill they'll do everything they can to shove the healthcare bill down the GOP's throat.While working on the recovery of jobs. So far I don't see or understand how this recovery act will help our bottom line which would be jobs for whoever wants to work.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  215. Lois, St. Louis, Mo

    No, it won't kill healthcare reform, but we are going to end up with a poor reform, because people can't disuss things in a civilized manner. Congress will give up and pass what they want, and not what Americans neeed and want, because they don't really know what we want. They can't hear the message over the bitter shouting.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  216. Judy A Puckett

    The answers to these questions should be made clear about health care reform;
    Will a H.R. 3200 reform plan raise taxes, ration health care, eliminate employer-sponsored health benefits for working families, or allow government bureaucrats to make decisions that should in fact be made by families and their doctors. ?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  217. Virginia Harrington

    Rick Sanchez did a great job of exposing Rick Scott todaly. All thinking journalists should do the same thing. Get your attorneys out. Aren't these disruptions illegal? They should be. It's about time the media stepped forward and exposed all the past insuraance frauds by the health insurance industry and exactly who, in addition to Scott, are behind these planned riots. Democracy is going out the window with these "conservatives."

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  218. Sheri : From Arkansas

    As long as lobbyist, insurance companies, and Right Wing Radicals are
    disrupting town hall meetings, we'll never get health care reform. That is their goal. All of the American people will suffer if they succeed.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  219. Taylor in Lansdale, PA

    Jack, I hope not. But I fear that increasingly loud and violent town hall meetings will succeed in killing an innocent citizen. Isn't it sad that something like that is what's needed to knock common sense into people? Are these the same people educating their children about how to resovle conflicts with their peers? It's very scary.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  220. Dave in Colorado Springs

    Jack
    I think if most of the protesters got their information from CNN instead of Rush Limbaugh and Fox Noise, they wouldnt be out there supporting the fat-cat CEOs that are robbing us blind. These people are lemmings that are there because they are anti-black, anti-abortion, anti-education, and anti-respect for any opinion they their own. When they dont like the discussion, they drown it out with their mindless chants – "Just Say NO!!!"
    Thanks
    -Dave

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  221. Tom Fulks

    Jack,
    The unruly opposition to health care reform is not so much trying to kill it altogether, but is against the approaches in the emerging legislation. The president should provide better criteria, and congress should create moderate and bipartisan ways and means to implement those criteria.
    Tom,
    Sarasota, FL

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  222. Alan

    Jack pepole in this country voted for W not once but twice. I dont think they have informed themself any better yet. Look at they way they act at a meeting, to get informed.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  223. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    I hope congress passes a strong health care reform bill this fall. This country can not wait another for reform. However, health care reform has not succeeded year after year, decade after decade, and generation after generation. Failure of health care reform is an American tragedy. But don't blame the town hall protesters, blame the politicians. The majority of Americans voted for change.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  224. JC

    Jack,

    No it will not kill health care reform. However it will continue to show the world some of the ignorance that US citizens have become famous for worldwide as well as give the Republicans something else to cry about once Health Care reform passes.

    JC
    Las Vegas, NV

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  225. Carolyn H - Atlanta, GA

    They are a bunch of loud mouth idiots with nothing of substance to say, just throw their weight around, like the bully in school. They are a bunch of cowards!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  226. Ryan :Vermont

    I hope so, Obama probly hasent even read the bill and doent care whats in it i think he just wants to keep his poll numbers up. The protesters are the only people who understand that Obama dosent know what he is doing and he only looks to things in the short term not the long term.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  227. Tina Steele

    I don't think so. I am a regular person who speaks with regular people everyday. Not one person that I know of (even the republican ones) are against health care reform. I believe the only people against reform are the republican senators in Washington. I can't help but see these near violent town hall meetings and feel sympathy and yes a little empathy for these ignorant and mislead people. The Republicans are banking on the crazies and the regular American people recognize dirty politics when we see. The good shall overcome

    T. Steele

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  228. Elaine R. from Leeds, AL

    I believe all these people are doing is bullying others in to accepting what they want. Isn't that what the Bush administration did?! Why can't people listen to all the views and come up with a compromise that works for the American people. Nothing is perfect in this world and the Republicans certainly have shown their lack thereof.........now they are using school yard bully tactics. A most enlightened methodology to convey your points. We can't let anyone kill a realistic opportunity to provide care for anyone who may require it. We're already in debt up to our eyeballs. What's a few more billion?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  229. Annie, Atlanta

    No. The insurance/health industry, run by the mega rich, who can spend $1.4M a DAY just to lobby against reform, are staking everything they have on it, including recruiting thugs. They’re making a fortune, and fighting with everything they have to keep it that way. That’s who will kill it.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  230. laraine ward

    Hi Jack. Laraine from Nova Scotia. These people are obviously being put up to this, but people in the U.S. with a brain, will see through it and go on and do the right thing. I wonder if those people realize that they look like a bunch of unruly children and they look really silly to the rest of the world. The signs they are holding are beyond the pale. Don't they realize what a gem they have in your President. We love him in this Country and can see the vision he has for your Country and for the planet. For God's sale already, he has not been president for a year yet. What do they expect so soon? He is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and he can bear it. Right on, Mr. President.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  231. WendyNC

    As someone who is incapacitated by MS and in the advanced stages, I certainly hope NOT. This is a case of the conservatives and special interest groups spending money to make the tea-baggers mobile and parroting idiotic talking points. Ask ME about pre-existing conditions, out of pocket costs and services cut more deeply every year. I can't yell at a town hall but I make sure my voice is heard by communicating directly with my congresspeople.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  232. Wally Tubell

    Yes it will. It's a reflection of the squabbling and refusal to work together and reach reasonable compromises exhibited by our elected representatives. Monkey see, monkey do.

    Sadly it's also a symptom of our society's cultural decline into a land of incivility, immaturity and self-centeredness.

    Me, me, me. Squabble, squabble, squabble. Accomplish nothing.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  233. Dan Fleury

    This mob lynch mentality reminds me of how the Republicans conducted themselves during the election. We all remember the "Paling around with terrorists" remark and the reactions after that. I recall some pretty scary things happened by some real sociopaths.

    If we were under the impression that they went anywere, this is a stark reminder that they didn't. They are still right here, thinking that they can bully their way to getting results. I hope everyone sees it for what it is, it's rediculous to call this communication, it's just plain bullying The rabid ones will take care of themselves by breaking the law and getting arrested.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  234. simon leblanc

    Those town meetings are getting out of control. We all know how an incident can easily happen whenever a crowd is out of control, fights, fire, injuries, etc... facitlties that accomodate those meeting are really insured against that, is all of this within the law? Anyone can and should be heard but, in an orderly fashion.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  235. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    No, as they are quickly being shown to be "astroturf" by partisans and health insurance employees. This sham opposition is going to backfire in their faces and result in a stronger bill.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  236. Bill from pa

    It could, but I certainly hope not. Those of us who want "for profit companies" out of healthcare, (like it was before before privatization caused all this polarization, like it has in so many other areas) must voice our concerns to our representatives. They are like bamboo, and will bend to political winds to save their cushy, FREE HEALTHCARE, jobs.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  237. Jeff, MI

    Jack, let's keep it simple. REQUIRE lawmakers to have the new plan, not the one they currently have. And, while we're at it, REQUIRE lawmakers to be part of the same social security plan all of us have. Only then will we feel we're being adequately represented.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  238. Nick

    Rush Limbaugh and his mentally ill followers do this country a great disservice but if we had better health care he and his followers could finally get the help they need.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  239. tony donell

    Why don't we ask the 18, 000 people that will die every year due to not having health care – Ask if any of these protesters health care – guarantee
    they have – maybe if we wait a little longer and these people start losing their health care – maybe they will change their tune.

    An easy solution – take health care away from all our congressman – and tell them that they have to have the same health care as everyone else.

    Why is it OK to spend billions of dollars for a war we shouldn't be in on the premise to keep the terrorists out of our country – so they don't kill us – but we won't spend money to save the thousands who die every year without health care.

    I am lucky enough to be retired and have health care – but the price keeps going up every year – the republicans seem to be happy with the nothing they have done for the last 8 years – of course they have health care

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  240. R.C. Barrows

    Not only might it kill health care, but it might kill democracy itself. It's ironic that the conservative lemmings opposing health care are shouting "tyranny" because the tactics they are using– forcibly shouting down all opposing viewpoints– is one of the milder tactics used by Nazis and fascists to stifle actual debate. Democracy is not a shouting match.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  241. Gary Meixell

    Jack,
    I don't think that the opposition to the Administration's Health-Reform Plan is to destroy it, but we want to know the truth and the details to this bill. We have seen the stimulus bill and the cap&trade bill rushed through Congress, why? Are the Democrats doing this so there is no debate. I would like Health-Care Reform, I am unemployed and 7 years away from Medicare. I would like a system where I could purchase issurance from a private insurer, not Uncle Sam. Uncle Sam cannot manage it's own finances, how are we to believe that they will manage health-care.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  242. Dakota in Stillwater, OK

    I use to travel to Canada for my healthcare until they required everyone to have a passport. I personally, at this time, can not afford to purchase a passport for myself. So I certainly hope that they will pass a government run insurance option soon, before my next checkup in November. I am a supporter of universal health; however I would support a public option over a private option any day. The government is already very socialistic. You have schools, libraries, emergency services, and Medicare that are all run by the government. Social Security use to work until former president Bush got a hold of it. I belief it was Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner who purposed an amendment to abolish Medicare to prove a point. Much of the Republicans voted against it, because they know Medicare works. We could just get rid of all government run programs and let the American people fend for themselves. Be a true anarchist society, where people are killed for no reason and corruption overtakes every aspect of our lives. Government run healthcare can work and will work under the right government. After all, we rarely hear other nations complain about their own healthcare system; but at times we do hear them complain about ours.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  243. linda

    No one is orchestrating the tea parties that have been taking place in Michigan. It's word of mouth, email etc. getting people out who are for the first time really scared of the deficit in this country. People are engaging who have never done so before. We're trying to save our children! Let's fix what we have first. Start with tort reform and fraud. Then see what's left.

    Linda
    Bloomfield, Michigan

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  244. Matt K

    We need healthcare reform, nobody questions this. What we oppose is government run healthcare. This is America, lets solve this problem the good old American way, by using the FREE market, And use the government the way they should be used, as watch dogs.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  245. Rolando DePuy

    Even if the enemies of the country scream and yell about the Health reform, it will pass. It has to pass because they are a lot of people like me on Medicare, that even with the coverage we cannot see the doctor or buy medicine. I know The Republican and independent Senate can afford to keep things the way they are. After all, they have the Golden Egg of Health care while the people that put them there with their votes, can't see doctors or get medications. Something has to change.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  246. leonard oen

    To all of you who support the health care plan. Be ready to pay for it through any tax congress can think of at the time. The president stated that the middle class will not pay for it. Now I may not be the smartest person in the world but if all of sudden lets say 47 million get health care where do you think the money is going to come from? Out of you pocket and out of mine.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  247. anil

    Typical.. We know that medical system is broken. Yet we (i.e Rebulicans) are doing their best to preserve the system. Wages are down and costs are up.
    I am a registered Rebulican and I am very angry. Go Obama.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  248. Kirstin Olsen

    I hope not, Jack. A hundred and fifty years ago, medical care was so primitive that it didn't really matter whether you could afford it; now it's so effective that we have to consider it an emerging human right. I just got billed more than a thousand dollars for a single clinic visit–just a check-up–for my son so that he can get preventive and follow-up care for his Type I diabetes. The current system is insane. Health care should not be a for-profit business, and the hysteria being whipped up by the health-care and health-insurance industry is a perfect example of why some things should not be entrusted solely to the private sector.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  249. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    I hope not for the countrys sake. These loud-mouthed troublemakers are showing the country exactly what kind of political party the Republicans truly are. This is totally orchestrated by Republicans who are in the back pockets of insurance and drug companies, and they will lie to your face and not think twice about it. Not only are they rude by shouting over anyone who is trying to get a point across, but they are stirring up racial hatred at the same time. We don't need anymore right-wing lunatics who listen to Limbaugh and Beck and try to destroy freedom of speech when they don't agree!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  250. Boomer, Battle Creek, MI

    The disruption of town hall meetings is easily recognized as the latest tactic of the Party of No. The astroturf airheads have learned their behaviors from the past eight years of indecency and incivility pushed to the edge of illegality. This will, in the end, be seen for what it is by the moderate and middle-of-the-road citizenry: extremists willing to abandon their independent thought to follow the Party of Know-Nothings.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  251. Mo,Greensboro

    These childlike demonstrations shows fear, fear without understanding. Yoda says ' Fear is the path to the dark side Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering', and back into the hospital waitiing from to get a dose of our great system. Our health care in the US is top notch our system and access to it is flaud. I have no respect for anyone who does not allow for the other side to be heard. This is a republican orchestrated Townhall Filibuster.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  252. Doris Butler

    The GOP is desperately afraid that Obama's health care reform will succeed. That is why they are organizing their "loyalists" to sabotage the town hall meetings. There was an opinion written for the Washington Post by our Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty. It was reprinted in the Minneapolis Tribune. He stated that the Democratic Party needed to start over from "scratch" on health reform policies. He listed the GOP ideas for health care reform and guess what...they were the same proposals initiated by President Obama. Trying to steal ideas and making them your own – and the general American public doesn't have a glue. I'm sure that all the protestors are uniformed or merely stupid.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  253. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack,
    This is America! We all know that staged protests have happened through our short history. So why are we so excited about it now?
    Well besides record spending, trillions in national debt, experimental fixes, White House staff spending at an all time high, junkets to London, New York City, and staged town hall meetings. I think people have a right to be angry, the Hill sure isn't listening.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  254. Jeff - Florida

    I don't think so Jack, but the Republicans are doing a damn good job of trying to. The Republicans agree the health care system needs to be improved, but they continue trying to obstruct any progress towards that end. If the Republicans agree health care needs improving, why didn't they do something about it when they were in control the last eight years? It seems to me they want things to remain the same. Who are the Republicans for? By their inaction over the last eight years and their behavior now, it's sure not the American people.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  255. Anne

    This organized effort to hijack healthcare reform trashes our democratic process of exchanging ideas. The health insurance industry has done such a disservice to our health and wealth for too long. Now the Republicans are jumping on this tawdry bandwagon to aim their blow at democracy. Let's hope voters are smart enough to look past the noise and lies to take an intelligent look at what is proposed and what will best serve us all and then make their voices heard in a respectful and rational manner.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  256. Jack Martin

    Jack
    The congress has already damaged the healthcare plan. Those protestors can't do much more damage. A single payer plan like medicare is the only way to go. Congress and the insurance companies created the healthcare disaster and they intend to continue it.
    Boynton Beach FL

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  257. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    No, the real killer in some of these protesters is the possibility of increased heart rate or stroke as a result of being loud and violent resulting in prolonged medical care and fighting with insurance companies for coverage which could result in hiring an attorney to plead their case.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  258. anthony, swedesboro, nj

    The dastardly republicans, having no other options, are sending in waves of delusional, and uninformed rabble rousers in an obvious attempt at ruining president Obama's intiative.
    That such ignorant folks are the core of the Republican party tells me that desperation is afoot and their party is drowning.
    Who knows what desperate steps they'll take if Obama succeeds. Hell know no fury likea republican scorned!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  259. joan in Pittsburgh

    I have worked in health care for over 40 years and feel I know more than the average Joe. I watch these commercials and lies being said about what will happen if the government gets involved in health care. Who has the most to gain if there is no reform.....large health care systems and the insurance companies. There is one commercial that shows a government official in between the patient and the doctor. Everything that the physician does must be approved...by the insurance companies. Whose guidelines do they mostly follow....medicares. When there is a change in reimbursement for medicare the changes filter down through the insurance companies for those who are under 65. Who rips off the government mostly in medicare fraud....healthcare providers. Americans wake up...stop listening and read for yourselves.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  260. Nancy, Tennessee

    It's August, Jack. Everyone's emotions run higher during this month whether health care is the issue or not. In September maybe a few level-headed people in Congress will help get health care reform passed. Forty-six million people are a lot of people crowding our Emergency rooms because they don't have health care insurance to pay for a doctor's visit. If one of these protesters gets hurt and have to lay in the hallway of an emergency room for hours waiting because the Emergency room is full then they'll understand the problem. People are not going without health care, they are just obtaining it the only way they know how. Health care reform will benefit everyone.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  261. Jane (Minnesota)

    It didn't work last fall in the Campaign – apparently it's hard to learn lessons for some groups (RNC????).

    There's more of a chance of it being killed by the members of Congress who fear losing campaign contributions from the Health care industry. Maybe if Americans knew what each member of Congress has received from the Health Care Lobby – they'd be protesting that instead of the reform!!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  262. Marty W.

    It won't help, that's for sure. Why don't the organizers of these Town Hall events simply check the IDs of attendees, and only allow people from that particular district attend? That might prevent some of the traveling hecklers from getting in. The loud and rowdy folks are obvious shills because most real people don't get that excited over healthcare reform.

    Marty W.
    Springfield, IL

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  263. Yiheyis

    NOT THIS TIME! The American people deserve a better health care system than what we have now! What these noisy, sometimes violent protesters are doing is a disgrace to our Democracy!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  264. Richard Smith

    Dear Jack,
    It is good to have a forum where there is no shouting and fighting. Thank you.About health care reform. I think it is utterly stupid that senior citizens (presumably on government medicare) and veterans also on government health care can participate in this heckling and disrespectful behavior. I was brought up to be a Christian and I was always taught to treat others as you wou would want to be treated, also to care for one another. How dare these so called Christians dare to dirty the term "Christian? I think Christ is probably crying right now.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  265. ann in texas

    I hope the American people can see through the bully tactics, having seen this act before in the Florida recount. My wish is that all these folks shouting get the chance before they die to walk in the shoes of those that don't have or can't get health care like so many others in this country are now experiencing. They have "theirs" and don't seem to care much about anyone else. It is the height of selfishness being acted out. If they are truly concerned about the terms of the plan or its costs, they should be having a serious discussion of the issues and putting their ideas on the table. So far I have seen anything from them that resembles a constructive idea!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  266. Thomas Bate

    Yes , these tactics could very well stop this legislation if the Democrats don't get on the ball and fight fire with fire.. Its outrageous whats going one, and it is tragic.. These poor , stupid, and uniformed people , have misplaced their anger. They are supporting the very forces, and corporations that are working against their better interests.. Of course they watch FOX news and get emails from Newsmax; and they BELIVE it all ! What do you do with stupid people? And when they wave American flags and bibles and scream gibberish, it reminds me of Natzi Germany. These people are screaming words such as socialism, fascism, communism,; and are clueless of what those words actually mean. These people are dupes of the very companies that are working hard against their interests. But most of all these "folks" that are disrupting town hall meetings are guilty of trying to destroy democracy, the very institution they profess to love. Tom Bate Ft Lauderdale

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  267. Keith, Lewisville, TX

    Shouting down speakers at public forums on healthcare reform won't kill the effort itself. What these people are doing is killing any hope of intelligent discussion on any subject that they disagree with. I realize that both sides have participated in disruptive antics but it seems that it has become the primary weapon of the ultra-right in the Republican party who apparently believe in free speech...when it is their speech. Any party that supports or encourages this type of behavior has lost its legitimatecy not to mention its moral and civic compass.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  268. abbie

    Not at All! If anything the outpouring of such intense emotions on both sides only helps to bring this issue to the forefront. Finally, everyone is looking at the pink elephant in the room and determined to address it. There is no denying or skirting this issue that is affecting all of us and depending on if this bill passes or not, we will all continue to be affected- some morethan others. At least, our President is making the attempt to confront this issue and actually do something about is. For those of us who have healthcare, it's very easy for us to sit back and vocalize and weigh the pros and cons but at the end of the day, WE have insurance and 14 million of our neighbors do not. Change is scary, uncomfortable and inherently difficult to sit with, but so was implementing medicare and medicaid and frankly, those programs have been successful and saved all of us a lot in the long run. They have their kinks, but honestly, what program doesn't?

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  269. Jim Draper, Bossier City, La

    When you watch the new coverage of these townhall meetings, you come away with the feeling that we are just another 3rd world Nation in the Americas. All of these so-called Rightious People need to stop and re-think their actions.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  270. Jim

    Jack,
    Wasn't the Consitution written using the town hall forum?
    Imagine the founding fathers trying to work in the current cage match environment that we see now at town hall meetings. Good thing the founding fathers did not have to deal with today's GOP.

    Jim
    Santa Barbara

    August 7, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  271. Shiela Lawson - Lexington, KY

    This Country needs comprehensive health care reform and I'm concerned there will be enough corporate and right-wing pressure to cause whatever health care legislation is passed to be very inadequate.

    If today's mass communication methods were available in the 1930's, the Republican strong efforts against a Social Security bill may have succeeded in preventing FDR and the Democrats from passing a program that has been a Godsend to millions of Americans in these subsequent decades.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  272. Mike - Indianapolis

    Loud and violent town hall meetings will result in loud obnoxious people making demands they themselves don't understand and can't hear because of all the noise. The question is do you want the government deciding whether or not to pay a claim, or do you want the insurance company clerks, paid incentives that will save the company money, making those decisions. As a small business owner and uninsured for 20 years, I can't tell you how comforting it is now under medicare to even have the opportunity to have something covered. Tell the obnoxious to try it without any options for a while – they will soon see the light.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  273. Yvonne

    WOW. So much for allowing President Obama to have open discussion.

    To put a stop to it, the Republicans send out the troups to riot.

    Yvonne
    Indiana

    August 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  274. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    Jack
    These protestors are republicans who are still angry over losing the election. They are in shock because they got used to being in control for 8 years and now they lack the means to do anything.. The Obama administration is moving too fast for them and they are scared. The instigators are health care execs who will suffer when this bill goes through. They are crooks and people ought to be ashamed to associate with them. The bill, in some form, will pass because this charade is just making the Dems angry and more determined. Come 2010, there won't be any Republican party left.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  275. Alvin, Atlanta, GA

    We had the tea party which was a promotion against paying taxes, now we have health care town meetings turning into a primitive uncivilized bacchanal. What ever happened to polite discourse and civil intelligent debate. These same protesters are going to wind up in ER being treated by a govt-subsidized/ funded health care program.
    A sad day for America, but I am confident we will have a good health care in place this year, 2009. God Bless America

    August 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  276. Lee in Michigan

    No, ultimately a bill will be voted on, but this disgracefull and treasonous disruption of political meetings will be remembered. It is up to you and other reporters to show the paper trail, which is now more and more obvious, back to who is instigating these attacks. Rick Sanchez has reported that the head of a health care company is head of the Citizens for Health Care Reform (or something like that) which is instigating these near-riots, and that his company was fined billions for health care fraud. You and Wolf should follow up on this if you are not already. Please report it along with the web of connections that are found. Bottom line-the conservatives lost the election and are upsetting the checkerboard like a little child. They are determined not to allow the democrats rule no matter what. Obama's Waterloo? This, during a time of war, is the treasonous part.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  277. Dan Fleury

    When referring to these town hall outbursts II heard Michael Steele actually say that he feels that when we lable dissent as extreamism, we have turned a dark page in the direction of this cojntry. Guess he forgot how the Republicans labeled dissent as unpatriotic.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  278. Terry from NH

    I find it interesting to compare the logic and ethics of a conservative party that will go to the point of causing and disrupting a forum that has been used by American citizens since our beginning. Can we compare these same methods that were used in "pre-war Germany"? Learn,read and listen to make a intelligent decision.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  279. Bob Field Toronto

    The powerful special interest will kill any meaningful reform. A very diluted version will be passed to appease the masses.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  280. Edzel

    If the barbaric actions of a small group of people kill the health care bill, I wonder what will happen to American democracy. These people are not trying to resolve this in a democratic fashion. They are behaving as children throwing a tantrum because they need their pacifier. These people are anarchist, and they ought to be treated as such. If this is fueled by republicans, I hope that they are ashamed. However, these republicans behave as if they have no shame because they think that they are chosen by God, with the right to do whatever they please. In any case, with what face will the USA be able to preach to other countries about adopting democratic means to resolve their differences. What I am seeing with the health care debate is not democracy, groups of people screaming together at a meeting held to inform them – – that is barbarism. In the end, it is no surprise why the Founding Fathers were weary about democracy.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  281. Ardyth

    I see "grown ups" acting as bullies and thugs repeating mantras handed to them by hate talk radio people. The obscene behaviour with nazi signs and hateful slogans is cringe worthy and I'm left wondering what on earth has happened to your country.

    Ardyth
    London, Ontario

    August 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  282. Karen, Chicago

    This won't make a bit of difference either way and the government will get their way as usual. I wonder just how many of those in the hollering mob actually read and interpreted the bill for themselves; or simply listened to the interpretation of someone else. I disagree with the bill but I actually read it line by line (it took a while!). I wish I could say the same for congress or even some of my fellow Americans.

    Karen, Chicago

    August 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  283. Senior76 Va.

    It is apparent that the protesters are not hurting by the lack of money or health care and are afraid that they may be put in a position of helping those who are not as well off. There is a lack of minorities and young people at the meeting, what we need is their input, how they feel when their child or spouse gets sick and they cannot pay the bills to get them well. My husband I predate health insurance so I remember how scared we got when a child of ours got sick and we didn't know how we would pay for the Dr. and the prescriptions.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  284. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Police, fire, military, schools, government, these and many more aspects of our country are socialized. Why not heath care? The protesters can throw all the childish tantrums they want, in a society this large socialized medicine is an eventuallity. Get over it.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  285. Dee Montgomery

    Even if the all protestors at the town hall meetings were organized Republicans – and I assure you they are not – just when did Americans of one party, in districts with congressmen from the other party, lose their right to a voice in their government?

    I am disgusted by anyone who would demean those Americans (whether Republican or Democrat) who want to be heard.

    Dee Montgomery
    Registered Democrat in Arizona

    August 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  286. mary hedrick

    I think it will fail because I think the country as a whole is too stupid to realize the insurance companies and the Republicians are spreading wrong information. They are inciting panic and near riots at the town hall meetings. They call themselves Patriots and I call them idiots!!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  287. Mark Baltin

    In a word-No. It can't. Too many people want to see this happen to see it derailed by a bunch of thugs. I don't care whether they're orchestrated or not- nobody has the right to keep an orderly exchange of ideas from happening. For the record, I'm a liberal Democrat who opposes my kinfolk that keep conservative Republicans from speaking.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  288. diane

    Once again those god fearing right wingers that listen to too much talk radio are going postal. Whipped into frenzy they can’t think that maybe a family member will be born with a condition that will become pre-existing when they reach a certain age or they could develop some condition and have to be labeled with pre-existing when they switch insurances. Worrying only about what others don’t deserve, they forget we already pay for others non-payment. This issue could have been solved and refined a long time ago. I wish they would just snap out of it!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  289. Katie

    If the Democrats in Congress allow these screaming morons to destroy a chance of the health care reform bill being passed, then they are just as pathetic as the screaming, senseless mobsters/radicals are.

    Katie
    Louisville, KY

    August 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  290. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: No, the hecklers will not prevail. Most Americans are disappointed by the hooligan actions we're seeing. Healthcare is important, but it should not be generating the passion that we're seeing. This is an organized attempt to crash and burn what Americans desperatly need – access to healthcare. Especially when older hecklers damm the thought of government sponsored healthcare, maybe someone should tell them to tear up thier medicare card and see how they like it!! The organizers overlooked this when they conducted their casting call for angry looking people!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  291. eugene Wiese

    Republicans and the GOP should get the blame if Healthcare reform,including a public option,fails. It's getting nasty out there,Jack. the GOP is deperate and they will do anything to get back in power. Gene

    August 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  292. Harriette Wilson

    Jack,
    Each voter has a voting card which you have to show to vote– Why not have each person attending the meeting show their voting card to get in the meeting. Those that are not registered to vote need to be- and those from elsewhere can't get in!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  293. Fred May Sr Spanaway WA.

    To Connie, Out of my check of $1094 I pay $98.50 for my Medicare.
    Try living on that amount of money in todays Economy.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  294. Juanita

    These protestors remind me of small children throwing tantrums. They must have all attended Rush Limbaugh's school of etiquette?
    I say if the democrats have enough votes to pass the health care reform, they should go ahead and do it. Because these hecklers do not want to discuss it like mature adults...

    August 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  295. LYNN NY, NY

    I certainly hope that these demented protests don't disrupt health care reform, because a lot of the participants look like they are in serious need of psychiatric counseling that is probably not covered by their current insurance policy.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  296. Bob Watts

    Jack, Isn't it funny how ALL Republicans hate the health care plan! I want to know what the drink that made them so smart after 8 years of nothing from them.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  297. Samilton, Corona, Ca.

    No it won't. If something is not done about healthcare in this country soon, middle class folks with insurance, won't be able to afford it. Only the rich will. This is what will add to the tanking of the economy.

    All you have to do is experience a serious illness to know what I'm talking about. We did. My husband is a cancer survivor. The heathcare (with ins.) was extremly expensive.

    The Dems and Repubs need to come together to find a solution to this problem where the american people can feel confident in the solution and willing to come on board.

    Brawling and coming to blows is childish!

    August 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  298. Melissa

    They need to start throwing people that are disruptive out. Nowhere else would this behavior be tolerated.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  299. Melissa R Boswell

    Jack- Love the free market argument- the "free" market has done NOTHING to help Americans stay healthy but it has done a lot to encourage Americans to stay sick. That's how they make MONEY.

    I want the media to interview insurance companies and ask why we spend more per person than any other country, yet are one of most unhealthiest countries, and why is our healthcare system reacting to people being sick instead of proactive... oh wait- MONEY.

    Finally ask the Republicans why they kill health care reform everytime it comes around... oh wait- MONEY.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:55 pm |