August 6th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Are health care protests legit or orchestrated?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Depending on who you ask - the protests against health care reform may or may not be the real thing.

Democrats and the White House claim these sometimes rowdy protests that have disrupted meetings and health care events around the country are mostly orchestrated by insurers, lobbyists and Republican activists. They're accusing the GOP of organizing "angry mobs" and trying to destroy President Obama.

Nancy Pelosi even claims protesters are "carrying swastikas and symbols like that" to these meetings.

But Republicans insists these protests are just a sign of real opposition and frustration about the president's health care plan... they say the protests are part of a ground-level movement.

Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele says "We're not inciting anyone to go out and disrupt anything." Steele calls the Democrats' claims "a bunch of baloney" and says there's no upside for the Republican Party in the protests.

Meanwhile - a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows the nation is pretty evenly divided over the president's health care plan - with 50-percent supporting it and 45-percent opposed.

The poll also shows that more than half of Americans have strong feelings about this debate... with one-third saying they strongly oppose Mr. Obama's plans and 23-percent saying they strongly favor them. The poll also suggests that those against the president's plan may be more motivated to attend town hall meetings than those who support it.

Here’s my question to you: Are the protests against health care reform grass roots democracy or orchestrated opposition?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Billy from Las Vegas writes:
Michael Steele is full of baloney. These protests are no more "grass roots" than the so-called "tea parties" were. This is a well-financed, corporate-run campaign to disrupt any serious discussion of health care reform so the likes of United Healthcare, Blue Cross and the other "health care denial" companies can protect their business.

Charles writes:
The protesters at the town halls are real. I am sure a few are there to cause trouble, but a majority are furious about this obscene plan to socialize health care. Yesterday it came out that the plan would cover abortion on demand, making groups like Planned Parenthood rich and yet cutting service to seniors. Anyone looking at the plan should be outraged.

Arthur writes:
If this health care package is so great, why aren’t elected officials leading the way, joining the public plan and dumping their private plans? This is a grass roots movement because these elitists are giving us a horrible plan, one they are avoiding for themselves. Mob, indeed. That is insulting to the people taking part in their government and adding their opinion. Isn't their health coverage paid for on our dime?

Charles from Lawrence, New Jersey writes:
These protests are political theater. The insurance industry has everything to lose with government run health care and will stop at nothing to prevent it. The GOP pursues politics and policy with the same "professionalism" because they are business cronies. Profiting from wants is the American way but profiting from needs is predatory dystopia run by corporate overlords.

Alexander from Lee's Summit, Missouri writes:
It doesn't matter if the protests are orchestrated or not, because either way they are legitimate. America was built on protests that were organized so I have no problem with the protests; the problem I do have is with the misbehavior of these protesters at the town hall meetings. Town halls are meant to share ideas, not to yell at those presenting them.

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. karen

    Its totally orchestrated. All of those protesting reforms currently have insurance, and have no clue what a preexisting condition can do to the price of coverage or the ability to even get it.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  2. marlene

    See, this is the kiind of question journalists should be asking and then reporting to the public, the facts. Not asking the public what they think is the case, unless all journalists can do is Guess, as well.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  3. anthony zollo

    I believe these protests are politically organized. We need universal health care. I was critically injured on my job 5 years ago and I am permanently disabled. After 30 days, my company canceled my health care coverage. I couldn't even apply for Social Security Disability until 2 years had passed. I was offered the option of buying my own health care policy at $800.00 per month. All this without disability income! If this happen to these protesters, they would all want universal health care.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  4. Kevin in Dallas

    It's a grass roots movement that is encouraged by the Republican party, much in the way the grass roots movement during the election was encouraged by the Democratic party. I also love how Democratic leaders are saying they'd like to have an intelligent conversation about the bill, when most of these protests are a result of our congressmen being unable to intelligently explain the bill.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  5. John from Alabama

    Jack: I believe they are orchestrated opposition which is okay, but they are misguided. The 46 million folks who do not have health care insurance need to start protesting more. The longer the 46 million go without some type of coverage the higher care will cost the orchestrating opposition in premiums.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  6. Peg from NY

    Orchestrated, in my opinion.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  7. Chris

    Orchestrated makes them sound civil. This is classic Corp. bullying. The question we should ask is ' How many of these people voted for Obama?' Jack , this can be boiled down to three things..RACE, RACE, RACE.!. Until these people get over that, big business will always win. Because Big Business can always play on their hatred, fears and stupidity. Let me remind you that these are the same patiots that wanted my brother to go over and fight for them, but they don't want to help him get health care for his family. Way to go America!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  8. Albert Killackey. L.A, CA

    Jack, this is not “grass roots democracy or an “orchestrated opposition.” I think these radical reactionary right-wing republicans should be arrested and charged with conspiracy to interfere with the civil rights of others to peacefully assemble and express their thoughts in a public forum free of disorderly conduct.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  9. Paul Austin, Texas

    I would say less than one per cent are legit the rest it is obvious they are orchestraded. What ever happened to listening to both sides. If the shoe was on the other foot and most the protesters were against the GOP issue of not to pass health care they would all be called pinko, commies, and anti american. It seems the GOP learned alot from the reds.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  10. Allison

    Of Course these protest are orchestrated. The Republicans are up to their Under-handed tricks as usually. These people won't even allow answers to the questions they scream out They don't want answers, their there to just cause havoc and disruption. It would be patriotic for the Republicans to for once play fair; don't use the race card, don't use scare tactics, just plain honest dialogue would be a nice for a change of pace. Ha, that will never happen!

    August 6, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  11. Dan, Chantilly VA

    A little from Column A, a little from Column B. To characterize all these people as nut jobs is a little extreme. To characterize all these people as freedom fighters is equally extreme. As usual, the real answer is somewhere in the middle.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  12. Conor in Chicago

    These protests are neither grass roots democracy nor orchestrated opposition. They are ignorance, fear, and a frightening level of nationalism tacitly whipped into a frenzy by the minority party who has no other hope of returning to power than to destabilize this country and then sweep in during the chaos.

    That's what people need to realize about all of this. The strategy is clearly to destabilize everything in order to gain control. We've been doing this to other countries for nearly a century. Now the Republicans are doing it to their own country-for our own good presumably.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  13. Kevin

    Well as an Inependent it is hard for me to believe that not one republican congressmen town hall meeting has been shown on Cnn, Msnbc or Fox where there are people angry at them for not trying to do nothing all to give America better health care. Why becouse that's not news the demacrats are in control of congress so they have the burden to get us better health care so the media will focus on there town halls more. Jack, Mr Blitzer, Mr state of the union John king show me just one republican congressmen having a town hall meeting where his distric disagree with him, I DON'T THINK YOU CAN

    August 6, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  14. Julie from CA.

    We've seen the GOP letters egging on distruption at townhall meetings.

    They are not only not spontaneous, Jack, they show a complete disrespect for democracy and free speech (meaning, the right of people attending meetings with the Congressmen to HEAR what they are saying.....the right of everyone to CIVIL discussion).

    August 6, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  15. John from L.A.

    The GOP leadership (with helpf from friendly media) is manipulating and exploiting their base's ignorance and bigotry for one reason and one reason only, Jack: to score political points against Obama.

    They show a disrespect for Americans–those of us who go to townhall meetings to ask genuine questions and to learn about the issue and share our views with our elected representatives.

    To think the first vote I ever cast was for a Republican. What a disgrace the GOP is now.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  16. Jayne

    The protests are orchestrated. If you casually browse conservative web sites you can read the game plan instructing how to act at health care information meetings held by members of the Congress and Senate and then you can check the schedule to find one in your area. Sadly, the people playing the part of protesters have been misinformed by their corporate leaders (and that is who is behind this). They don't seem to realize that a) Medicare is the closest thing to socialized medicine this country has; b) no one wants to kill the elderly – Living Wills have been around for decades; c) their insurance premiums are likely to double within the next few years without reform. They should also read the fine print on their own health insurance policies. Most don't know there is a lifetime maximum for payouts and they could get tossed out of the plan in the middle of life-saving cancer therapy.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  17. Jason, Koloa, HI

    I guess that depends on if you are for or against health care reform. As I am for reform I would lean toward the latter, because they use the same conservative republican't strategy on every issue they oppose. Work up the least educated of the population into a panic and let fear spread into the public no matter how irrational it may be. A true grass roots movement relies on education and is not an exercise of spreading mass panic.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  18. george

    Too well planned , and well timed not to be orchestrated. Its a shame that we have people who try to frustrate the issues when our country in much need of health reform. These people will be the first in line to take advantage of any change that is made, and the way things are going with health care now, they might just need the help themselves. I don't see any of them making pledges not to use the system once it is in place...

    August 6, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  19. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think they are orchestrated by special interest groups. It reminds me of the Nixon campaign days and makes me sick to my stomach. I think it is one thing to be against Health Care and voice your opinion at meetings. But to disrupt public meetings is a threat to our democracy. And to have a national TV Network like Fox News to broadcast it in such a manor, to give the impression that the majority at the meeting is strongly against Health Care, is just downright scary. Jack I want to thank you for making this one of your questions today. People need to be informed what is happening especially when it concerns freedom of speech. Both sides need to be heard without interruption.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  20. Russ in PA

    Perhaps some are, and perhaps some citizens are genuinely concerned about government plans for health care. If citizens are not free to speak their minds – and have politicians listen to them – then what is the point? Declare this country a fascist state, and be done with it.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  21. Michael, AL

    Based on what i've seen, these mobs are purely orchestrated by these notorious Republican operatives who are so filled with angst over trying to reform our dysfunctional health care system. If the party wants to remain viable, they need to stop letting some of these rabid, psychotic, religiously-fundamentalist, paranoid, birther-manipulating, race-baiting and hatemongering buffoons from speaking on their behalf.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  22. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    They are totally orchestrated by the insurance and drug companies. They have the conservative Republicans in their back pockets and will do anything they can to stop this reform bill from going forward. All of these "town hall protests" are phony arrangements to make the country think that the protest are nationwide, but they're not. People need to realize that the thought of losing their enormous profits have turned these people into lunatics who will lie to the country and try to scare the elderly into believing that the president is going to leave them will no healthcare at all. Wake up people! The opposition lied throughout the campaign last year about everything, and they're at it again!

    August 6, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  23. David Alexandria, VA

    Seems to be both. The concerns are legitimate about a major government encroachment on health care delivery and cost. Some protest are probably staged - Butt what's new? They usually are by both parties all the time. If a Congressman wants to convince a crowd of the efficacy of his plan, he needs to do so in a public forum against all sorts of questions and opinions. If he can't do that, it can"t be much of a plan.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  24. Valerie in Raleigh

    When meetings are scheduled and a "group" comes to the hearings, not to listen to what is being said by both sides and to learn more about the subject, but solely to disrupt to the place that the speaker can not continue, that is called orchestrated dirty tricks. And in some cases, these "groups" have physically chased the speaker from the room to bring the meeting to and end. I smell the Republican Party.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  25. mark pribble anna illinois

    The RNC is really playing dirty on this issue. All they are doing is causing a lot of problems at town hall meetings to make it look like no one wants health care reform, its no wonder the party of NO is dying i am ready for the funeral.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  26. Janne from NC

    Why is it if a person disagrees with the present administration that it must be staged? Just because I do not agree with Nancy Pelosi's health care plan does not mean I am Astroturf, it does not mean that I am less intellectual than she and it certainly does not mean that my opinion is not valid. Why is it unreasonable to think that the government that has given us social security, Medicaid, Medicare, the VA and the post office is incapable of controlling a health care system that will be 20% of the US economy? Why is it unreasonable to expect our elected representatives actually read this bill before passing it?
    If protests against present administrations are all staged then I guess President Bush was not near as unpopular as the democrats would have had us believe.
    I know this is too long for the show but it felt good to get it off my chest.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  27. Bob Goldson

    I noticed that a good number of the people shouting and trying to disrupting the Health care debate are in the age bracket of collecting Social Security and on Medicare. Who are they kidding, they are on a government provided and paid health care plan. Is it that they don't want the rest of the population to enjoy what they have?

    August 6, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  28. Jaime from Plantation, FL

    Clearly this is orchestrated opposition. If it were gass roots, then the town halls would have debate and discussion. Instead they have shouting down. Shouting down and booing the speakers. Shouting down and booing of people who ask questions in support of govt option. And cheering of talking points long enough to drown out the responses.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:47 pm |

    its only an organized, evil, un-rully, and un-american if it goes against the democrats. Lets have an open discussion with opinions from both sides on health care as well as global warming. Lou Dobbs isn't afraid of it, why can't all the other media outlets open it up for discussion?

    August 6, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  30. Joe CE

    Seems like some of each. The orchistrated ones are mostly those disrupting discussion. They are pushed by people who would deny free speech as a way of pushing their adgenda. Afraid that a public discussion will make it clear that the existing system is an expensive failure causing heath care costs to increase at 4 times the cost of living. Where the US foremerly was in a class by itself, it now rates below many developed courties considering both cost & quality. The worst possible course is inaction.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  31. David

    The protesters are probably genuine in their concern about the issue but I believe the groups that are organizing these protests, as well as republicans in congress and conservative media, are exploiting their concerns by spreading absurd rumors and passing them off facts. regardless of weather its grass roots or not the behavior of shouting over town hall discussions is not only poor discourse but is a very troubling sign for the future our nation in such critical times

    August 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  32. Bob Grant

    Jack, like everything else the protests are from "vested" interests. I myself would not have a problem with national health insurance if all our elected officials were covered by the same health insurance which I am sure they are not.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  33. Ken Osredker

    There's no doubt in my mind that they are orchestrated. As a person with a pre-existing condition – I say it is imperative to have a public health care option too. For crying out loud, we live under an economic system where "buyer beware" is the mantra; where anything mechanical or electronic is built to break intentionally – long before it "should", it's called built-in-obsolescence and it's been out in the open since the 1960's – you should remember we're about the same age. Not only do we consume beyond reason, we make things to break at predictable intervals so the consumer will have to buy AGAIN (it's really very easy to do). This practice in a world of finite resources. I wish I had all my grandparents old appliances, etc... I'll bet my life they'd still be working today.

    Under our current free-enterprise/capitalistic system I BEG President Obama and Congress: Please don't leave us thrown to the private, corporate wolves with such a mantra and immoral, unethical practices.

    West Fork, AR

    August 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  34. Alex in Seattle

    Even though feelings are running high, we need a reasonable debate on this and every issue. When people are bussed in to shout the same talking points using the same think tank tactics across the country I think there may be some orchestration to the protests.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  35. Rick Medina,OH


    We're seeing both. We spend one-sixth of GDP on health care ... that's enough to incite some organized movement. But, there are also real fears ... the source of any grass roots movement.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 6, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  36. Phil in Long Beach

    Probably both, but what does it matter? Lots of people are opposed to this legislation. Is it suddenly 'un-patriotic' to oppose a another bloated, socialist, money-sucking program? We need to hear from all sides on this issue.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  37. Terry from North Carolina

    I believe the majority of the American people are in favor of health care reform. That being said these protests against health care reform have been orchestrated by a certain few groups that apparently have sufficient health care coverage and dont seem to care about the people who arent covered at all.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  38. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    A combination Jack. I can't say what is going on elsewhere, but localy there is a small (and very vocal) minority who are pushing the status quo. I would note that they are being quietly supported by health care industry / insurance factions. (Not the doctors or nurses... corporate exectuvies....) In passing I can point out that, for the most part, they ( the protesters) have no idea of what their own health insurance (assuming that they have any,) does or does not cover. Much less how any changes might affect them.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  39. Nana Egyir, Harrisburg, Pa.

    The arrogant beast power is seducing the innocence and vulnerability of these stressful and difficult times to confuse what is of rightful necessity. The GOP has turned a corner of some of our civic weaknesses to smolder hate unseen before to do whatever it takes to emerge from their uncomfortable minority, all geared towards failure of the health care reform. The health care reform is the GOP's last vestiges and the President's powerful venom to sting. If President Obama succeeds, it may weaken the most powerful stronghold of the GOP and possibly sent them further to the abyss, destroying any hope of gaining power. It is this reason; the President's agenda from the economy to health care is being fought viciously between the majority rich and middle majority.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  40. Susan from Bham, Al.

    Why is it that if people are against a democratic issue they are viewed
    as mob-like, but if anti-war protesters are out there then thats
    democracy in action., this is so hypocritical!!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  41. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Dear Jack
    Opposing fress discussion and civil discourse in this manner is a put up job and everyone knows it. It's not even new. Naysayers have been pulling stunts like this since the Age of Pericles.
    What's wanted here is for the people who sincerely wish to listen, and to air out the pros and cons of the various reform proposals, to forcefully insist on a fair hearing. If the imported disruption artists refuse to then cooperate then THEY should be run out of the meetings.


    August 6, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  42. David in Texas

    Jack – Just follow the money!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  43. Lou from Fayetteville, NC

    Orchestrated and by whom, I don't know. The whole Congress should be behind and in favor of universal health care for Americans so it must be someone who is now making lots of money and will not if there is universal healthcare.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  44. Gene

    The protests are definitely orchestrated just as the Tea Parties were largely coordinated by Foxnews. Someone higher up the economic/political ladder is pulling the strings that control these right wing lemmings. There's one thing I'm sure of. That is, if those in favor of universal healthcare don't respond forcefully to these wing-nut bullies, they have only themselves to blame for the outcome.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  45. steve

    How can it be possible to know which it is without knowing who the protesters are. People who claim it's orchestrated should be challanged by the media to name names and affiliations or to provide other proof of their claims. Vague and general accusations without specifics are nothing more than plays out of the Clinton's "vast right-wing conspiracy" playbook aimed at the naive.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  46. george charles paree

    I think there real because people who have insurance are happy with theres the only are poor who need help obama wat is to steel from the rich ans give to poor not the good old fashen way buy working for it

    August 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  47. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Orchestrated opposition. Same old Republican tactics. Same old script. Just revolting. And Jack, it's all about race!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  48. S, Michigan

    It's definitely orchestrated- how else do you get simultaneous protests across various parts of the country? These protestors should protest via their votes not disrupting town hall meetings etc and wasting other people's time. It helps the Dems and the Prez anyway (2010/2012) when viewers see the horrible signs some of these people hold and link these nuts automatically to the GOP! Keep protesting against other's healthcare needs but don't touch your Medicare eh?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  49. Fred R Deleon

    As a good Socialist you will never know. As an American loving this country I know there is no such orchestraded opossition. Your question hits another one.....Can the socialists probe it?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  50. Richard, in Kansas

    At no time in our history has one side worked so hard to undermine the other. It seems to me that the republican party is more interested in seeing the democrats fail than working together for the good of the country. They remind me of another political party that used very similar tactics of disinformation, bullying and outright lies to promote their hate filled ultra right wing views. That party duped Germany into believing their nonsense and we all know what followed. If nobody calls them out on these things we are setting ourselves up for the same thing to happen here.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  51. Steve, NY

    Why are you asking us? Simple solution, ask 30 people at random
    that are at the gathering and statistically you'll have your real answer. If you listen to you commentators here, all you are going to get is it's the Republican's fault. They made them do it.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  52. Don (Ottawa)

    I say a little of both. I don't believe the Republicans are orchestrating opposition, but they certainly arn't doing anything to curtail it. the name of the game is to muddy the waters and confuse as many people as possible. This can be done by television adds, the internet, or protesters at a town hall meeting. The rest that are in opposition will be those that have insurance and don't want to see their tax dollars going to the have nots. These will be the loudest protesters, the ones crying socialism. What Obama has to do is defuse the opposition with statistics that show that health care reform will be cheaper than doing nothing and confront the misinformation as it is generated.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  53. Jackie in Dallas

    Oh, I'm absolutely sure that some of the protests are orchestrated, but not necessarily by any "official" group such as the GOP National Committee. But this is a topic that is very polarizing. Personally, I'd love to see the insurance companies teeth pulled a bit - I lost a friend who died because his insurance company wouldn't pay for a needed procedure - but I must admit that I have a few doubts about the various plans I've seen put forward, and I am a supporter of our President in general. I'm waiting to see what the final bill looks like before I either support or fight it.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  54. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Does it make a difference? When loud shouting, fear mongering and threats have replaced informed political discourse the only reason why we should ask who's been stoking the fire is to find out whom we should blame for making a mockery of the political system.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  55. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    It's somewhere in between. But has anyone else noticed how much our political parties are starting to behave like the ones in Iran?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  56. Bill in Michigan

    If it's grass roots, it's more like "crab grass roots than a Kentucky blue.". News stories were out prior to the meetings that conservative ideological groups were going to try to disrupt this process to gain headlines.. Heck they even gave pointers on how to boo, shout out their questions and sit right back down. Low and behold that's exactly what they've done. It seems to me they would rather shut down the process than participate in an open democratic discussion.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  57. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    Their as legit as the GOP operatives who pretended to be local opposition to the 2000 Florida recount. This is all marketing and deceit, and should be reported as such.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  58. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If you look at the people and organizations that "sponsor" these protests, there is very little doubt that this is an organized and planned effort. I loved it when I saw a clip last night from a rally where they were strongly opposed to a government run health care plan, but most of them raised their hands when asked if they were on Medicare. Who do they think is running Medicare?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  59. Ryan - Galesburg, IL

    They are as legit as the GOP operatives who pretended to be local opposition to the 2000 Florida recount. This is all marketing and deceit, and should be reported as such.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  60. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    GOP are so full of it and wasted precious time for pure political games instead of figuring what they have to change about themselves and continue to do so by not offering solutions instead continues to offer people hearing their same old rhetoric of the past that people are sick and tired of and the same old tactics like people have the right to express their frustrations...of course people has that right as long as it does not interrupt the country from having productive and constructive conversations...republicans are afraid to lose benefits for their friends since those are changes they do not want to face! Hard to hear the President Healthcare plan when all you hear are disruptions and yelling...we have seen this too often here...to give a hard time to regular folks trying to participate in a respectful spirited democratic exercice...in fact this is what we cannot stand from the politics being sold to others as a way to keep their status quo...! Too bad you have all been used to it by now to forget what it is to be talking and listening to each other to get better and faster results to all the challenges!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  61. Chris from Buffalo, NY

    What hubris for the democrats to try to explain any opposition to their agenda as "mobs." This is the mobilization of a citizenry at its best. Normally the democrats love this but I guess they only like it when it happens by them and not when it happens to them.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  62. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    These folks should be outraged. What would we ever do without venal, rapacious, greedy, grasping, self-serving, insurance companies? The science worshipping doctors, and their stupid, sick patients should be glad there is an entity that stands between them close enough to have its hands deep in both their pockets.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  63. Desmond


    I think that there are some people there who have real concerns, but because of the thuggish orchestrated outburst of a few, they are unable to get their questions answered. All I hear from the media is that these people have the right to "free speech" and I agree, but don't the speakers have the same rights, and shouldn't they have the opportunity to present information before it is childishly interrupted.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  64. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    The strong opposition (33%) is more than could be orchestrated by the RNC. This groundswell is people waking up to what is going on and deciding they do not want the same government which cannot effectively manage a post office, which is bankrupting our existing entitlement programs (Medicare, Social Security) running an even bigger entitlement program and determining their healthcare.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  65. Chad N.

    I am sure its a little bit of both, some orchestrated and some legit. But really, who cares? There was HUGE public outcry and protests against the TARP program and bailing out the big banks and those were completely ignored. Why should we think that these protests legit or not will be regarded any differently by our congress?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  66. Ron Temecula

    Hi Jack:

    No! if you read the bill, you will see the potential for disaster. They need to clean it up more.

    Ron Temecula, Ca

    August 6, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  67. Al - Syracuse, NY

    The truth, as usual, lies somewhere in between. These aren't plants pretending to be outraged but they are a very real and well organized opposition. Unfortunately that opposition is organized by groups with a big financial interest in putting off meaningful reform as long as possible. The only accurate information they give is the meeting time and location. They're openly encouraging people to be rude and disruptive and that's what needs to stop. Have your say, then let others have their say. Leave the shouting where it belongs... on cable news.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  68. Bob

    I would say a little of both. Remember almost congressman or senator who holds these has no idea what is in the house version of he bill (senate version has not been written), they only have talking points.

    If I am affected by Health Care Reform, I want my elected representative to give me some details, not just talking points from Nancy Pelosi.

    There is no transparency on this yet because, how it will be paid for has not been either decided or is being withheld to the last minute.

    Because of this, it is a hot-button issue, and I don't care if it is someone who support or is against it, townhall meeting will continue to get more explosive until bottom line answers that will be in the legislation are known by the average citizen.

    You can be sure of one thing, those facts will not come out until the wee hours prior to the vote. That is what I call non-transparency.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  69. Vivian Fauntleroy, Largo MD

    Jack, a grassroots movement is democracy at work. What is going on in these town halls is orchestrated travesty perpetrated by those who would prey upon the fears and prejudices of the least knowledgeable of us by encouraging them with half truths, innuendo and flat out lies, to believe that all things government are evil, and that HCR will be the literal cause of their deaths. So now instead of discussions and debates, we have mob rule. The next logical step is violence. Then all of those who whipped this thing to a fare-de-well, will trip all over themselves on cable news declaring that they had no idea things would get so violent. The heck they didn’t.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  70. Border City Canadian, Windsor, ON

    Republicans have openly stated that defeating healthcare reform will being Obama down. Does anyone need to say more?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  71. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Considering that, more than likely, none of the protesters have read the entire bill before deciding to adopt a position, I would have to say that it is orchestrated. People in the sixties knew how to protest, these guys are just annoying Limbaugh Lemmings.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  72. Jan Illinois

    Don't you find it strange that Americans will take to the streets over Health care reform but they will allow an illegal war to go on without protest, knowing that soldiers are dying and that the war is based on lies. What have we become. Orchestrated.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  73. Donna Wisconsin

    The President was elected–NOT McCain–because of his Health care plan. So, I believe this is all orchestrated by the party of 'NO'. They don't want to change anything and have a zillion reasins not to. As one person said today here in a Letter to the Editor in our paper "If it was so easy to fix it your way, why didn't you during the last eight years when your party was in office".

    August 6, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  74. Amber - Austin, TX

    Jack, you know that a bully won't back down until someone knocks him down first. The Republicans will not back down until they are all voted out of Congress and we have an instant one party system. Won't that be a glorious day?!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  75. James in Alabama

    I believe that the health care industry such as the major pharmaceutical and health insurance companies are planting protesters at these so called town hall meetings to give the false impression to others that the majority of people are opposed to health care reform. If this is proven, it will backfire on those responsible and help the reform movement. I hope that the news media gets to the bottom of all this before the reform movement is subverted. The Republicans are also pulling out all the stops to defeat this movement with lies and misrepresentation of facts. What a sorry bunch.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  76. JaneE

    The screaming mobs are orchestrated. I have been to a public hearing (on a different subject) and seen the same type of behavior. Intimidate anyone who doesn't agree with you and make it difficult for anyone trying to provide real information. The real question is, why haven't some of these people been arrested for disorderly conduct?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  77. Tina Tx

    All of the above and I believe that the drug and insurance companies have put plants out to keep the pot stirred up. To all the people who will loose your jobs and need insurance; open your mind because you could be in the sinking boat and need health care and cannot afford it.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  78. Betty from Texas

    They are orchestrated opposition designed to prohibit any kind of intelligent discussion. Everyone deserves the chance to be heard whether they are for or against the proposed healthcare plan. The rowdy people at these town hall meetings seem determined that no one except themselves gets a chance to speak. That is not democracy, it is a mob mentality.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  79. Linda

    The U.S. is in desperate need of healthcare for all it citizens. To allow a ignorant bunch of thugs(republican senators and money hungry corps) ruin the approval for all in need is stupid. We suppose to be a progressive country and now discover we are the worst is sad. Those who do not want healthcare for all are the wealthy corps who expect to get richer. Those rioters with mob mentalities are pushing a negative agenda for these corps that are hurting them. To hurt yourself and others based on partisan views is pathetic.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  80. Ken in Pinon Hills, California

    We had an election stolen from us, we went to war with the wrong country, and there is a whole catalog of things we could have demonstrated over, but we didn't. We don't do protests over what we may gain or loose, only those do who have and want more.It is the,"screw you, I've got mine crowd" who demonstrate against the millions of those unfortunates who do not have health care.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  81. EJ in metro Houston

    you know Jack it's the American way to be able to protest against something that you don't like or agree with. On the other hand I think that it's rude and un-American to shout down the other group and not even allow them a rebuttle so others there perhaps undecided can't even hear the pro side of the issue. So far all I have seen is rude behavior and it seems to be planned to act on cue which leads me to believe it's another GOP invention.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  82. Jay in Texas

    The protests are a little of both. Some are organized by the Republicans, some are just brainwashed by the Republicans, some have legitimate complaints like this health care program is just another gigantic giveaway to giant insurance and drug corporations and some people, like me, favor a singe-payer, not-for-profit health care system.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 6, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  83. Terry in Virginia

    It could be both but the part that is orchestrated probably isn't by the GOP because the GOP just isn't that organized. My money's on the insurance industry trying to get rid of the public option any way it can because that option would cut into the only thing insurance CEOs care about: profits.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  84. Max Fairview, Texas

    Jack I think it is a little of both and for good reason. The speed at which Obama and the congress are attempting to ram this through without really any healthcare reform is frightening. Even if you give 47 million people insurance if it isn't worth a damn what good is it. Proof of this is simple. Look at the clause in the healthcare bill that makes the President, Senate and, Congress exempt from this healthcare bill! They think it is good enough for everyone else but themselves and their families. That says a whole lot Jack.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  85. Andrew

    If anyone has seen any footage from these town halls they are filled with veterans, elderly men and women, and even registered democrats so it is ridiculous to think that these people are set up by the GOP, its pretty tough to get actors that good. The DNC are always trying to come up with excuses to opposition to their horrible programs. You never heard from the GOP when people where protesting the war in Iraq or protesting against George W Bush did you? Its called the first amendment and now stated on the white house blog they are asking citizens to report "fishy" statements from people to the Whitehouse that are against Barack's Health Care.

    -Andrew, Apple Valley, Mn

    August 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  86. marian, nj

    From what I have seen of the protests and protestors it is hard to tell. They do look and sound as if they are really upset and angry about the proposed health care changes. I wonder though – who are they and where are they from? Because if they are truly this angry and upset about the health care changes than it would seem to me that they don't know anyone who has had to file for bankruptcy because of medical expenses, they don't know anyone who does not have health care coverage because thye can't afford it, they don't know anyone who no longer has coverage because they've lost their job, and they don't know anyone who has been denied healthcare because they can't afford it. It seems to me that if these protestors knew some of the people that I know they would be yelling and screaming at those that are trying to block healthcare reform to get back to Washington and fix our healthcare system!

    August 6, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  87. Birddog in Mississippi

    They're mostly astroturf, Jack. They're all kinds of websites detailing ways to disrupt town halls. The sites have names that make them appear that they are independent non-partisan organizations, but tracing the sponsors usually leads to Insurance Companies or Republicans. And then there is, of course, Fox Not News. The really funny thing is, the middle class, senior citizens, and the working poor seem to be the ones out there yelling. These are the folks who stand to really lose if health care reform doesn't go through.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  88. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    These protests are political theater. The insurance industry has everything to lose with government run health care and will stop at nothing to prevent it. The GOP pursues politics and policy with the same “professionalism” because they are business cronies. Profiting from wants is the American way but profiting from needs is predatory dystopia run by corporate overlords.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  89. My V. Nguyen, San Jose CA

    Dear Jack,

    Of course, these so-called activists are part of an orchestration. Health care industry and the RNC are spreading lies and fears about the Democrats' plan to overhaul health care in America. I notice that many of these activists are elderly people.

    One elderly and overweight woman stood up and asked the audience who didn't have "some kind of insurance". My view is that this woman along with other "activists" has insurance in the form of government run Medicare. I don't believe that she has private insurance from an employer because she is too old to be gainfully employed.

    Why these elderly activists protest about a public option? Beat me. Imagine what America is going to be today without Medicare or Social Security. Do they think that Capitalism and the free markets will take good care of them when they get old or lose their jobs?

    August 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  90. Tony from Torrington

    Jack, why wasn't that question asked when protesters marched against the war?

    Why were THOSE Americans legitimate, and the Americans who are afraid we are losing our country to socilaism NOT legitimate?

    Why are Americans who fear that they will lose medicare after paying into it for over 45 years NOT legitimate?

    Why is it NOT legitimate for Americans to believe that changes in healthcare should not include government run or single payer healthcare?

    Why is it that any time there are protests against democrats that they question the legitimacey? Is it because they are guilty of doing it when THEY protest?

    August 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm |

    It is orchestrated. The Republicans, lobbiest, pill pushers, and the insurers would love to get the voters to be anti President Obama.
    We have seen what they have offered in the past, "nothing". I wish someone would check them out about the secret family. They don't want the lowly people to have anything, homes, unions, ins. They want to be in office and control us forever. What a mess they made. Go Obama.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  92. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    I think that they're a little of both. Some of our genuine American nuts have been energized against Obama's healthcare plan and they're bringing themselves and their friends to these meetings. In addition, the ultra-conservative talking heads are whipping up a frenzy of their own that is sending people out to these meetings to be deliberately disruptive and inflammatory. I'd say the talking heads are afraid, very afraid of President Obama.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  93. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    I have never protested against anything in my 73 years, but will gladly protest if and when I get the opportunity. This health care bill is against seniors. I like the health care that I have and am against any bureaucrat in Washington telling me I have to cancel what I have and take their low HMO. What right do they have to tell me if I get Alzheimers or any other debilitating disease that I will be denied medical care? Why should I every five years have to go to counseling to discuss my quality of life? Why will health care coverage be provided for all non-US citizens? Slowly but surely this bill is being e-mailed to everyone advising us what is really in it. How about the senators getting the same coverage? A bill was submitted that they do so but was killed. Why is not what is good for the goose (us) not good for the gander (senators)? People are FINALLY waking up to what is going on under this administration, and I sadly voted for Obama.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  94. Donald in CA

    This is strickly to dirupt any thing the Obama administration does. People in these protest dont even know what they are protesting. Some dont even have health care. This is just hate mongering.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  95. Chryssa

    It doesn't matter what Steele says – we all know Rush is the GOP leader. What's he asking people to do?

    Boise, ID

    August 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  96. Sandra in Arkansas

    Possibly both! I'll post grassroots objections. What good does a health care program do you if the providers don't accept it? We have TRI-Care Prime (which is active duty insurance) and is accepted by few doctors (especially Primary Care) in our area. Until recently only one of the two hospitals took it. This is the insurance provided by our government for loyal servicemen and women and their families! If that is the best the government can do for us, what is it going to do for everyone else?

    Texarkana (Texas and Arkansas)

    August 6, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  97. Billy in Las Vegas

    Michael Steele is full of baloney. these protests are no more "grass roots" that the so called "tea party's" were. this is a well financed corporate run campaign to disrupt any serious discussion of healthcare reform so the likes of United Healthcare, Blue Cross and the other "healthcare denial" companies can protect their business.

    and btw, Jack. this is they type of "let's bust up a meeting" stuff that used to go on in 1920's Germany. as I remember, that didn't end to well for them.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  98. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    People wouldn't be protesting if they didn't feel strongly about what Obama is trying to do to the country, especially with cap and trade and the healthcare bill which would be a federal takeover of the health industry in this country. This is not like an ACORN protest financed by the democratic party. I have taken part in protests and no one financed us. We are concerned citizens who are getting together to express our displeasure with the loss of our freedom of choice about healthcare. If more people would find out what is in the bill that no one reads, they would be disgusted with it too.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  99. Ben in Maryland

    I do not know what part of the protests are orchestrated and what part are truly opposition, but why are those opposed afraid to hear what is being proposed? Has the GOP spin machine of lies, distortions and disinformation succeeded in scaring the opponents that if the public hears the truth about the proposals, they will be in favor?

    August 6, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  100. Gus from California

    Totally astroturf. Long a Republican agitprop tactic. Strictly to get TV clips that appear to be legit. Look at who is behind all this. The "Teabag" crowd. Another illegitimate "protest".

    I don't think they are succeeding. Most people see through this. And even many with serious doubts have anger at the tactics of preventing honest dialog. Just not the American way, and it is resented. Backfiring, if you will.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  101. Dee in Florida

    Several years ago I happened to encounter a group of protesters picketing for some cause.

    I engaged in conversation with two of the "protesters" and learned something interesting. They were being PAID by whatever group they represented. In other words, they were in it solely for the cash, not the cause.

    I think it would be very interesting to learn how many of the so-called protesters at town hall meetings and other events about the issue of health care reform are actually paid to be there and protest.

    And, it would be very interesting if I could learn where one applies for such a job, since my husband has not worked in over a year, our savings are nearly gone and we are in essence homeless. I could use a few extra bucks. And I am not at all nice in my choice of things to protest about. Short of advocating rape or murder, I will protest ANYTHING if the money is right.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  102. Mary McCool Pittsburgh PA

    Has anyone used their health insurance lately??? I have ‘good’ insurance through my employer. Yes I can go to any doctor but some doctors cost more than other doctors. Yes I have prescription drug coverage but my insurance company decides for me which ones I am able to take, not my doctor. Any company that is governed by the profit motive is not going to give you the best price. They are in the business to make money off of you!! Duh!!! I would much rather have the government involved in my life then Kenneth Lay, Louis Borget, Lou Pai or Bernie Maddoff. Capitalism is great for cars, homes, clothing and vacations but not for health or education. Our country is only as smart as or as healthy as each of our citizens.

    re the healthcare protests: CCN itself reported on the sponsors ot the protests. Sounded like big money capitalists to me.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  103. Mark

    They are the real McCoy.....and perhaps, Jack, this is the first real issue where the common man or woman can be actually heard in person in front of a congressman. They are ticked off because the government can't run medicare or medicaid like it should be, yet Obama wants to have the federal government take over every aspect of our health care lives. That alone is one helluva scary thought.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  104. Ann Bennett

    Orchestrated or not, this entire nation needs to give President Obama some slack! Solutions to the monumental problems he faced from day one don't happen overnight. He went into this job to help this country regain its position in the world – economically, politically and internationally. My guess is that there isn't one heckler out there who would be willing to take his place. So, give him a chance to achieve what needs to be done, and be quiet. We have gone from an elitist administration of the last eight years to an ethical administration for a minimum of the next four. What's wrong with a government that wants the greatest good for the greatest number?
    Cleveland, OH

    August 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  105. Geoffrey in Lowell MA

    The health care protests are orchestrated. In fact, I recognize some of the individuals from the Presidential campaign. Mobbing and disrupting a gathering is not an exercise of Free Speech at least not since the French Revolution. These people are not patriotic, they are disgusting.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  106. Rus in St. Paul, MN

    Honestly, I don't know. But if I go to a town hall meeting with my congress woman, I'm kind of concerned now I'll be labeled as a right wing nut by asking legitimate questions on the reform. I'm more worried that valid concerns will be shrugged off as being part of the angry mob and not be taken as seriously as they should.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  107. Lucy

    As per usual, neither Republicans or Democrats are being completely honest. I'm going to say that some protests are organized, others are not. It's a tough issue for a lot of people out there, and a lot of people have a right to be concerned and angry. I've never really needed to think about healthcare too much, except for a presentation in college, so my feelings are not as strong.
    SF, CA

    August 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  108. Vincent

    Orchastrated. Just look on the right wing websites for your next time and place..

    August 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  109. Jack Carlson

    As an Independent I say they are legitimate....why? Because they are Democrat Townhall meetings that I've seen on TV. Oh yes, there could be one or two but it is so obvious as a Business Owner of 37 yrs and working w/thousands of people they are "real" people that are more intelligent than the Congress or the Whitehouse.
    The "fishy" EMails that are to be reported to the Whitehouse however smacks of Totalitarism...a little scary and could backfire. Chicago Machine better be careful.
    Jack Carlson

    August 6, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  110. Dennis North Carolina

    the lobbyist against health care are trying to destroy health care in this country and the reason is money. greedy people will do any thing to protect their source of income at the expense of people's health and life.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  111. honest John in Vermont

    I'm sure it is a mix, some are sincere and some are staged by the Republicans. Until a solution is found for the healthcare mess meant to help insure the taxpayers– we should cancel the healthcare that Congress enjoys at the expense of the publc.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  112. Dale,,,IOWA

    Jack,,, Its orchestrated opposition by the drug companies,, look at all the $$$ being spent on this,, would you want to give up a part of a $250, 000,000,000. pie!,, 2010 ELECTIONS, who ever votes NO is not WE THE PEOPLE's friend,,..

    August 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  113. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    All protests are ligit. An organized disruption of an opponent is one of many ways to express dissent. For those who oppose Health Care reform because it will put people to sleep like a sick pet and allow government bureaucrats to prescribe drugs and preform operations, disruption and misleading ads are the only choice. Some of us prefer logic, facts and discussion, but that only works when the logic and facts are on your side.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  114. Scott, Billings, MT

    Yes it is organized. The only "ground movement" about it is in the Republican voting millionare-club circles and the health insurance lobbies. And oh yes, let's not forget the right wing nut jobs who hate anything that's not their idea and especially if it makes sense. Better to shout down everyone who thinks different from the paranoid,dark caves they call their brains.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  115. Jerry Alpharetta, GA

    These protests are not against health c are reform, they are against what is being forced down the throat of American Taxpayers. People I talk to are very much in favor of universal health care but vehemently opposed to the manner in which it is being orchestrated by democrats. Where has the media been in their reviews of Congressman Tom Price's Hr Bill 3400. He is a medical doctor and has a viable alternative. There must be rigorous debates on Government Health Care so all Americans truly understand what is being proposed and what the ultimate price will be. Arbitrary deadlines to develop the solution for health care is an absolutely ridiculous notion.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  116. Lynne Parker in N. Augusta, SC

    They are orchestrated opposition. The memos from lobbyist-run groups Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks are out on the net for those who put forth a little effort to do the homework.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  117. Nelson from Lagos Nigeria

    Definitely orchestrated opposition,Jack.You cannot underestimate the lengths some republicans will go to stop a historic bill like Health Care Reform being passed let alone during president Obama's watch.They simply hate Obama as much as Limbaugh and sen.De Mint and want him to fail every step of the way in the exercise of his huge,historic mandate to govern.It is sad indeed to see the antics of some Americans at public events that clearly show they are yet to come to terms with this black man's election to the Presidency.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  118. Irv Lilley

    Jack , The protestors are yelling at the wrong people. They should be yelling at the insurance companies and drug companies. Somebody must try to get it through to them. We already have a healthcare system that is controlled by the insurance and drug
    companies. Go to the National Committee for Preserving Social Security and Medicare. You will learn the truth.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  119. Stephanie

    The protestors are stating they are supporting their 'freedom of speech" yet what they are actually doing is preventing those who are there to ask questions and hear answers to exercise their own.

    Tyranny is denying others their freedoms through bullying and shouting down; democracy stands for respectful dialogue, and debate. So, organized or not, these hecklers are acting against the basic tenets of a democratic society,

    August 6, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  120. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    If these protests are not orchestrated I'll eat my shorts! What concerns me is that this could be the start of chaos in our election cycle. What happens when President Obama gets the same treatment on the campaign trail? Will there be deaths? Why not try to introduce common sense, civility and honest negotiation into our political system? It used to be there years ago. What happened?

    August 6, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  121. Lia in Bradenton

    Aw, come on, Jack – these childish rants are the last health insurance company recess antics before they all get a permanent time-out. The GOPers are simply standing by enjoying the bullying. That's okay – the voters will be sure they get expelled, too.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  122. Jo Ann/Gulf Shores, AL

    These are staged by paid lobbyist and Republican operatives, many who being bused in from other areas. They are not allowing the people who actually live in the districts to hear from their representative and I think it's shameful. When the Health Care industry is paying $1,400,000 a day to make sure their is no public option in the Health Care bill, therefore no competition, you know who is pulling the strings. And we will all keep paying the bill, through higher premiums. I guess when its gets to the point that only 26% of Americans can afford Health Care and its really, really a crisis, something will get done. To bad that people have to go bankrupt, forgo wage increases on their job, or just die so that the CEO of a Health Care Co. can continue to make his $24 million a year.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  123. Pat in Georgia

    There may be some folks with strong anti-reform feelings, but many of the loud "just say no" voices remind me of the whipped-up frenzy we saw at Palin rallies. Anti-reform fear and smear commercials have scared a lot of people - many of whom probably still believe that Obama pals around with terrorists, is a closet Muslim and isn't a citizen.

    Whether planted or not, the screamers cut off the opportunity for other folks to learn more and have an honest debate. The people who "represent" me in Congress are republicans - so I won't be learning too much from them. I'll just tune in to CNN...

    August 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  124. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    Although the Republicans may not themselves be behind the protests, they certainly would love to claim that special interests are not behind them. But it's really not the public that benefits from the status quo, so we need to look at who benefits most from the system as it is for the authors of the anarchy. As a person who has had to live without insurance for most of the past twenty years because of the expense all I have to say is- Shame on them

    August 6, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  125. Janice from Collingswood NJ


    I would be so ashamed to admit that I was a Republican. These protests are fueled by and orchestrated by Rick Scott and others. I have seen the e-mails. Add these mob scenes to the crazy" birthers" and the C Street "Family" disgrace filled Republican immoral, unethical members and the election of Chairman Steele......you got enough drama to cause a complete meltdown of the Republican Party.
    It is all about losing the election to a black man......these racists want to destroy Obama. It's a total waste of time and money. They need to wise up.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  126. Rae from Indiana

    Remember the Brooks Brothers protest in Florida in 2000? We were told it was regular citizens and it turns out that big money paid for and orchestrated it. So we know that there are those will stoop to these tactics and I have no reason to think that they are not doing it now. I am sure that there are people who are opposed, but I would like to think that most people would like to have things explained and give others a chance to ask questions and make their points also. Shouting others down and closing off debate is not the answer.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  127. Linda in Arizona

    Well, of COURSE they're orchestrated. Ask Rick Scott. Ask the RNC. Naturally, they will lie. Big pharma, private insurance companies, and the regressive republicans, all of whom are owned by lobbyists for the industry, have roused the rabble once again; ignorant old fools, most of them, who don't even know how to turn on a computer and find the facts for themselves. Most of them probably can barely read anyway. Ignorant trash, palin's base, teagaggers, hate-Obama racists who would oppose anything the president is for, and other impressionable, malleable, fearful, selfish SHEEP. In short, it's easy to incite a bunch of ignorant morons, and this is what is being done by the industry and the republicans. It's a major threat to the democratic process we rely on to keep our country free. They are perfect fodder for fascists and nazis. Will they succeed? Unless the cowardly media exposes them the way Rick Sanchez did today with Rick Scott, they probably will succeed in defeating health care reform once again. I hope they all lose their insurance and wind up dying in agony in the street.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  128. al pearis

    If you scratch off the surface you will find the fingrer prints of the same bunch of people that sponsered the" tea parties." These rowdy thugs are being bused around the country for the sole purpose of disrupting these meetings. There most likely are a few "birthers" thrown in for good measure.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  129. Matt from VA

    Of course they are orchestrated, but not in a direct way. The insurance companies and big pharma are pushing out lie after lie after lie and trying to incite people to create an illusion of a groundswell of support. It is just like the birther issue, but instead of race, this is about money.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  130. Jeff

    I believe people are finally tired of what is going on in Washington. They are standing up for what they believe is right, instead of sitting around letting Washington tell them what they are going to do. If it takes shouting to their attention, then that is they way it is.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  131. daniel

    Jack, The phony "protests" are staged and paid for by health insurance lobbyists. Can you think of anything more un-American than mob rule at a town meeting where most people have assembled in good faith to discuss a major issue like health care reform? Every day reform can be delayed is many more millions in the pockets of the only stakeholders who benefit from our current system.
    Capitola CA

    August 6, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  132. kevin from chicago

    Jack, there isn't going to be enough busses in america to transport all the people who are against the health care being rammed down our throats. I just wish acorn was on our side. but most of them don't have jobs and pay taxes anyway

    August 6, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  133. david dionne

    Finally CNN is covering what most of us have been saying for the past week. Throughout the conservative blogs they are telling people where to go and how to cause the most trouble. I only hope that these groups are getting more desperate and to quote one of their demi-gods, "Are in the last throes of their insurgency."

    August 6, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  134. isaura

    orchestrated Jack!!! This country is a freespeech country they have at least let other people listen to the explanation! That's i 've been taught if you don't agree with someone at least let him speak!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  135. M. Rains - Ontario

    Jack, I keep watching all this from Canada and it's almost hard to believe all the false statements coming from the Republicans about health care in Canada and possible chang of health care for the USA. What is most astonishing is the number of people who believe them.
    The Republicans remind me during the Clinton impeachement when the whole world saw them parading on CNN as "self righteous hypocrites" and they're all back at it again. Really sad to see American people could end up being the losers again.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  136. Will from San Jose

    Grass roots or orchestrated, yelling at debates to the point of stifling any actual discussion of the issues is not democracy, but suppression. Something both parties should be against, doubly so on an issue this important.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  137. Armando in MA

    You better believe Jack
    These poor sheep are being played like a fine tune harp by the Maestro Rick Scott.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  138. Corinne

    Jack, It's obvious to the most casual observer that these are staged events. The Dems should ask how many in the crowd are on Medicare, receiving Social Security benefits or VA benefits. All government programs. Then they should ask how many in the crowd have been denied coverage on an insurance claim, medical, homeowners(Katrina), or auto. It makes no difference, even if they were covered, the ammount received is maybe enough to cover gas to their doctor or insurance company, and you are made to feel as if it is your fault that accident, illness, or a storm wiped out your house. Corinne, Haiku, HI

    August 6, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  139. Jill

    It doesn't matter. Perception is reality and alot of people either don't read the news or get it from questionable sources like FOX and make up their minds based on inaccurate/biased information. Unfortunately, they then get to vote possibly impacting the rest of us e.g. Bush's two terms in office, going to war with Iraq, and now healthcare.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  140. David in Raleigh, NC

    I'm against Obamacare and nobody organized me to be against it.

    I'm against Government Controled and Rationed Health Care.

    I don't want the tax increase on the middle class that's going to be required to pay for Obamacare.

    I don't want Obamacare to pay for abortions.

    I don't want Obamacare to have mandatory counseling for older people to encourage them to die instead of receiving expensive medical treatments.

    I don't want Obamacare to tell my doctor what medicines and treatments that I'm eligible for. That's my Doctor's job.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  141. john ....... marlton, nj

    It’s stronger than a grass roots democracy movement. It is a battle to shut down the administration’s fascination with entitlement and efforts to plunder the treasures of hard working Americans and their children. It’s not reform, it’s stealing !

    August 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  142. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    They are orchestrated, of course. They shout out and won't let people ask legitimate questions. And when they ask a question, no matter the answer, they say its a lie anyway. Best of all, if and when they do get around to saying anything about healthcare, if you notice, they have no answers themselves or an alternative to what is being offered.
    Who wants the system to stay the same? Republicans and the ditto heads that can't think for themselves. The same people that don't want government to run medicare. Hello? Anybody home?
    What we have now is less coverage for more money and the insurance companies telling you what doctor you can see and what treatments you can get if they let you get treatments to begin with. If the insurance companies say have better value for the buck, let them put their money where their mouth is because I haven't seen anything better from them yet.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  143. Russell, Bethel Alaska

    Yes it's orchestrated. Corporate America has figured out that by starting it's own news channel ("Faux" News), they can use the media megaphone to misinform the public. The indictment however, isn't that of them and their are lying, it's that other news organizations aren't getting the truth out. How can republican senators and talking heads on "Faux" news get away with this? Journalists are letting them. It's time to go to work, call them what they are and to their faces, do it each and every day and I guarantee your audience will grow.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  144. Ruie - Brownstown, MI

    Dear Jack:

    When people are given a sheet of talking points that was printed by "Conservatives For Patient's Rights", which is funded by Steve Forbes, Brian Burgess from a big law firm in Texas, who funded Swiftboaters, CRC a PR firm who funded Swiftboaters, Rick Scott, who was ousted from a big Health Care company for fraud, well, one could go on and on; in a nutshell - they are being duped by the very "ELITE" they think they are against!

    If you want to stop a bill, you do 2 things: 1.) Scare the crap out of old people, and 2.) Wrap yourself in the flag!

    August 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  145. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Whether it's a grass root democracy or orchestrated opposition protesting against healthcare reform somebodies getting paid and it sure isn't the protesters. Somebody is keeping their hands clean and the only way to find out whose behind this, follow the money trail.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  146. John in San Diego

    Jack, is this a trick question? A lot of special interests want to shut down any discussion that will allow the American people to learn the truth regarding the need for real health care reform. This isn't legitimate grass roots protest – it's an organized campaign to stifle civil discourse.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  147. gilles mauviel

    hi jack.approuving the obama healthcare plan is what the american people should vote on like a general vote and you will see who would win (the average american people black yellow white ect).butwhen the insurance magna will lose its grip on the medical empire created mostley by the (right wing.white supremacy. most religious group feeding on weak and old people. as a canadian i predict that going forward with your president all the world willl respected the real anerican people not the political party

    August 6, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  148. Mellie in Phoenix

    Personally, I think they're legit. The people shown in the DNC ad and on the news don't seem like actors. They don't seem like activists. Frankly, they seem like ordinary people who are simply frustrated with a lack of clear, concise info coming out of Washington.

    In the end though, it doesn't matter if they're orchestrated or not, these people are Americans with concerns. Politicians would be wise to suck it up, listen and respond.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  149. Robert

    Jack this is totally fabricated. The HMO's and Insurance companies are putting up the cash and the republican party are putting out misinformation.....and I mean misinformation in the form of fear and smear. Still 75% of americans are in favor of a government plan.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  150. Frank Horner, Philadelphia

    The protesters are trying to stop debate with childish tactics. I guess if they cannot debate their side then their only choice is to disrupt the debate like babies. This type of protest just gets my back up.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  151. joy

    with out being told I know this for a fact that are orchestrated opposition. The republicans will oppose anything that President Obama stand for, Even if the thing will benefit them. All the so called conservative are good for is just say No, No to Obama plans. God help us all.
    from new York.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  152. Jim/NC

    Yes, the protests are orchestrated alright...by concerned citizens that see what is coming. This is grass roots democracy in action. Citizens truly hate this plan...please read the bill or reap the consequences.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  153. Richard Green

    They are every bit as orchestrated as the Teabagger events. A lot of gullible Americans are being suckered into hurting their own interests to protect the interests of millionaires and billionaires. What a sad state of affairs.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  154. Gigi

    Orchestrated opposition.
    My republican friends have been sending daily, multiple emails of propaganda. Which I send back to them as untruths and give the site to check it out. I also remind them of the amount of taxes I pay to feed house and provide health care to our Government representatives. And if they don't believe we all should get health care then please ask the representatives of this great land to refuse theirs and buy their own health care..


    August 6, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  155. Pete from Atlantic Highlands, NJ

    They are definitely orchestrated. The protesters sound like they are either well scripted or they don't know what they're talking about. There is always press coverage, even if the protest is very small. The sorry part is that these protests seem to further the notion that the Republican party has become the party of empty-headed radicals, and the Republican bigwigs seem to want that.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  156. Kim Smith, Dodge City, Kansas

    Who cares? The important thing to note is that as long as the insurance companies, Big Pharma and the mass media are making money off of the current system, nothing will change. That is what they should be protesting.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  157. Gail AL.

    These groups are legite. Congress is trying to pass this health care to fast. Without explaining the details. Is congress going to have the same health care. I want to be sure, when I need health care I can get it without having to wait 6 months or a year, without Washington having to approve it. The government has never run anything with any success, expect the Post Office, and know it's in trouble. I don't want the government in health care. Give me a break, who wants all that government red tape.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  158. Philly/PA

    Dear Jack,

    Right now the republican party does not have a particular leader. For this reason, I strongly doubt that the "mob" is the result of an organized republican party effort. As one republican spokesman said: "Presently the republicans are not organized enough to put my daughters birthday party together!"

    In contrast, Obama has Acorn, the unions, move on, etc. ready to ambush a true American show of "free speech"

    Making these comments will I now be on the "fishy" list?

    Phyllis Media, PA

    August 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  159. paul coke

    The protest are clearly organized to scare legislators to voting no on health care. The problem is these stupid idiots don't realize that health care will impact them with increased cost and limited services. Some day down the road they wish they had full health care coverage. The bogus rant that government can't run health care seem to like Medicare which government program as is the veterans health care and the health care legislators get. The reality is health care is and will be a high cost item that must be addressed and resolved. These protesting fools do nothing to have open debate and will not chill those who want information and open discussion. What it doe do is turn off those who believe in open discussion and turn views in favor of health care reform.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  160. HD in Phoenix

    If one were to follow the money, we would discover that these protests are orchestrated. It is no secret that the those who stand to lose the most in the scope of any true reform that works are the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical giants. It is also no secret that these private sectors own the GOP and much of our nation's congress. Capitalism is not the culprit here. The culprit is corporate greed and it has no place in healthcare. Until the government forces a legitimate single payer system, the insurances companies will continue to be the biggest pigs at the trough destroying healthcare.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    August 6, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  161. Ed - California

    The Insurance lobby is among the strongest in Washington. When OUR lawmakers listen to the lobbyist instead of the people who actually vote for them, then we all have a huge problem. Yes, the Insurance companies are staging these protests. Did you notice at one of these events on TV. That, one guy who was yelling the hardest had to be of Medicare Age. And he's protesting? To the old Dude, Medicare is Government operated ! And, it's operated pretty good. ( my parents had it, not me).
    To make these protests work better the Insurance industry has to hire younger protester's. Not protester's who are on Geritol!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  162. Joe in MO

    Orchestrated big time though web sites which, if you could trace it back, are financed by lobbies and health care and insurance corporations.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  163. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    One of my on line acquaintances wrote, today, about attending a town hall meeting for a GOP legislator. He reported no shouting, no discourtesy, and disruption. Sounds to me as if that points to orchestration.,

    I'm going to have to attend any such meetings my Congressman schedules. I'm relieved to know that my voice in support for nationalized health care will be heard.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  164. David Richards

    They're totally orchestrated, bought and paid for by the insurance industry. I remember the "spontaneous" demonstration before the canvasing board in Florida in 2000. All of those people got jobs in the Bush Administration. Republicans can't rally a grassroots campaign because only five states in the country are Republican or leaning Republican anymore. The Republican Party is dying and this is their last gasp effort for relevance.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  165. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I'm sure the uninsured aren't protesting healthcare. Could it be the health care industry who's behind the rhetoric to scuttle the bill? Republican's say it's true opposition. Hmmm, republican's were also against, the 40 hour work week, vacation pay, heath insurance from employees, against the latest GI Bill. It seems to me Republicans are against most everything for the individual. Republicans are for bullets, bombs and a new country to test this stuff, the latest being Iraq and Afghanistan. In the '60's it was Vietnam

    August 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  166. Jack Martin

    They are obviously orchestrated. They are the same hoodlums who attacked the people in Miami who were attempting to re-count the votes in the 2000 election debacle. Look where that got us.
    Jack in Boynton beach FL

    August 6, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  167. Howard M./ Bolingbrook IL

    These hot tempered protester are orchestrated interlopers. Let's be honest most of these people are doing whatever they can, under whatever feigned veil that presents itself to protest the Black President.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  168. B

    jack, I believe that they are orchestrated on the grounds that those who say they like the insurance they have, they have never used it. A co-pay is easier to pay than the the bills that start to come after you walk out the office. My 20 year old has health insurance but can't afford to use it. So you tell me, what good is having health insurance if you can't afford to use it but you still have to pay a premium...

    August 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  169. Ken in NC

    The protests against health care reform are grass roots Republican orchestrated opposition to a reform they have no other way of opposing. They have no solution so they disrupt. It is the new Mission Statement of the Republican Party.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  170. Denis Duffy

    Jack, this is democracy at work. Obama and his Democrat cronies give creedence when they start pinning labels on the protestors. Obama sure doesn't like anyone suggesting he might be wrong. When spoiled children act like this, it's time to make them stand in the corner or go to their room.

    Pittsburgh, Pa.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  171. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    When evidence has come out that PROVES this is not a Grass Roots idea. When evidence has come out that shows this is planned, this is NOT a Democratic Movement. It is in fact a Dictatorship. Eliminate any type of opposition to the Anti-Health Care groups and they think they will win.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  172. Jose in Austin TX


    I believe these protesters are real. Why is the media suddenly so concerned about who organizes protesters? Is it bad that an organization encourages its members to ask questions of their representatives? Where was the media outrage when ACORN was recruiting members for activist causes? Also, we had eight years of groups like Code Pink protesting the Bush administration, and no one asked who is organizing or funding them. Most of the people at these town hall meetings are concerned citizens who don't want a socialist style health care system and are worried about sky rocketing deficits. We need to take our country back.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  173. Marion/Birmingham

    Funny thing,Jack..Democrats can not believe other Democrats may be concerned Health care,being run by the Government.The Government has done such a good job with Social Security and Medicare.
    Town hall meetings get rowdy at times ,but of course the Democrats think all Town hall meetings are scripted as Obama's have been, thats the problem,they have never really been to a town hall Meeting,when there were citizens with real questions,who demanded answers.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  174. Tom K in WA

    Hi Jack,

    Either way it is freedom of speech be it organized or not. As soon as I see combative displays on TV I hit the mute button or fast-forward the recording. I find it much less annoying that way.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  175. ken

    The protests against health care are mostly from the heart of the American people. If you are from a certain viewpoint, one will defend it, no matter what, right or wrong. I don't agree with anybody! What is right!? Here it is !! Is this America or some other nation or place? As a women has a purpose as does a man, THIS COUNTRY IS FOR THE PEOPLE, but our government seems to think what is best for us. This Is America!! It's about our people, our hearts, our ways, our traditions, and our Love for God!!!!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  176. James

    Isn't all the noise orchestrated by either the far left or far right?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  177. Abraham

    The protesters are no doubt real but are probably fueled with anger by the opposition. By the way the Situation Room is in HD now? Or is Wolf in New York?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  178. Jason

    Jack, if it is not orchestrated, then if nothing else it shows how well the Republicans are misinforming the public on the issue. Either way, the Republicans are the villains here.

    Schenectady, NY

    August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  179. cal callahan

    Jack.....I just checked my dictionary under the words "certified incompetent and found the answer.."GOP"
    Why would anyone in their right mind seek the advise or adopt any directives, advise, or programs from a unit of govt. individuals who have shown convincingly, for eight years straight, that they have the intelligence of a fruit fly. Collectively that is.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  180. Annie, Atlanta

    It’s obvious, since there’s ads for “conservatives” to attend these rallies, on internet listings. The GOP has become the butt end of a bad joke, using old folks who can barely make ends meet as rabble rousers to protest in favor of insurance execs’ multi million dollar golden parachutes. You can’t make this stuff up.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  181. Johnnie C

    Its just another ploy of the Just Say No Party

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  182. Barbara from Coral Springs, FL

    I find this whole thing so sad. The republicans send out pointers on how to be heard. The democrats send out talking points for their congressmen to use, which include false information. The goverment asks for copies of emails that could be considered suspicious. Two weeks ago a democratic grassroots group went around my neighborhood pushing the health care reform, but didn't know what the reform would be. If the plan is so good, why are the democrats so scared.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  183. Tom Groht

    I believe the protests are legit. I've contacted Senator Bill Nelson twice and received one form letter from him that my friends who have wrote have received. I requested a date when he would be in my part of the state and received no response. I inqiured if he has read the healthcare bill, still receiving no response. It is futile to write to these people as they have an agenda and will hide from us until they vote. I won't be hiding on election day.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  184. peggy Williams Johnson

    The insurers stand to lose monopoly....of course they are paying millions that they squeezed out of us "insured" people to pay for these disgusting rallies.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  185. Arthur

    If this healthcare package is so great why are elected officials not leading the way and joining the public plan and dumping their private plans. This is a grass roots movement because these elitist are giving us a horrible plan, one they are avoiding for themselves. Mob indeed. That is insulting to people taking part in their government and adding their opinion. Isn't their health coverage paid for on our dime?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  186. Rita/ Pennsylvania

    They are carefully orchestrated by Conservatives and the health insurance industry. I do not understand why ordinary people would do the bidding of billionaire heath insurance industry?
    The industry should be non profit as it was 30 yrs ago. If the Republicans wanted healthcare they had 8 yrs to do so . They are in the pockets of big business and gave billions of $$ to the drug companies, Halliburton and the wealthy people in this country. When they enacted the Medicare Drug program they had the leverage to have the drug companies lower costs for all of us but they paid them the full amounts ? How stupid was that ?
    I am a nurse for a major insurance company and my benefits cost me more each year and my coverage is less while my employer has billiions of dollars in profits!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  187. Tim in Texas

    Rick Scott was just on Rick Sanchez and didn't deny that he is playing a role in orchestrating these events - which is pretty evident on his website. It's important to understand that Rick Scott was CEO of a group of clinics that defrauded the US government - essentially stealing billions of senior citizens medicaid funds. His organization had to pay out the largest sum ever. Of course, he's not the only one ginning this up, but it ain't grassroots - it's astroturf, and it's a movement built on an organized campaign of disinformation perpetrated by the insurance companies.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  188. bob from woodland park, co

    Rick Scott and his paid Republican minions are playing the BASS like a finely tuning violin.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  189. Kiara from Florida

    Jack, put me on the news. The protest are obviously orchestrated by the republicans. They have nothing else to do but go against the President, Jack. But remember this is the party that will revamp themselves.. NOT!

    Kiara from Florida

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  190. Bob D

    We've all seen the strategy memos from the insurance industry advocates, Jack. Obviously the shout-downs are orchestrated. Why even ask the question?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  191. Leslie

    No there is nothing legit about this. Frankly, I am getting tired of the insurance companies charging us boat loads of money then, hiding behind the right wing and blue dog congressmen and women that they bought with our money. Lets face it the only people that do not benifit from us having a real health care plan are the insurance comapnies and those in congress that took money from them. So to the blue dogs and the right wing in congress who oppose national health care. I say this why do'nt up your free health care plan that we pay for your own.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  192. CW San Francisco, CA

    Those town hall protests would have to be orchestrated. Where else would you get a bunch of old geezers who don't understand that Medicare is a government run program and stand and scream "get your hands off of my Medicare" with the same ferocity and anger as "get off of my lawn?"

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  193. Martha Sample

    Yes they are orchestrated by the GOP because these people cannot stand the fact that President Obama is a Black Man plain and simple. but they forget His mother was White so they want to say no regarding what ever Obama does, Health care or what ever he wants to get passed., wake up people and live in the real world.
    Richmond VA.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  194. bob silva

    Absolutely grass roots. Everyone I know is totally frustrated that the politicians from both parties don't represent anyone but themselves and special interests. Hopefully they will wake up.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  195. Bonnie

    Jack come on.. there are websites out there that not only list the dates and times of Democratic town halls, but also instruct how to disrupt the proceedings and literally take up all the air in the room. And it has to be paid for by some corporation.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  196. Melissa Shea

    They are totally orchestrated – what really worries me is when it gets out of hand and someone becomes violent. Mobs like that only encourage real crazy people to come out. I hope the police are protecting the elected officials. It's sad that a town hall meeting can't be what it's supposed to be.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  197. Amy

    It's as grass roots as the ads attacking healthcare reform. With Republicans you look at the money trail. Republicans want those who can afford it to have healthcare and those who don't in a coffin. Where did all the compassion go?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  198. Drew

    I have been to these town hall meetings, and I'm an independent voter. It offends me when the Democrats state that these town hall protesters are "orchestrated events" done by the Republicans. I hate the Republicans just as much as I hate the Democrats!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  199. Kenneth Rubenstein

    definitely orchestrated – too many of those in favor are complacent while too many opposed are fed by mis-information.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  200. Ann

    Liberals are deluding themselves if they think this outrage is merely feigned! Elections in 2010 will prove this out!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  201. Tyler Age 10

    Obama's campaign inspired people to start grassroots campaigns, now he has realize that no all those people were in favor of him.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  202. Michael

    It's both legit and orchestrated because most of these people are innocent unknowns who are getting sucked in by false RUMORS by conservative websites, the TV network (you know who), and false people such as Rick Scott from CPR who was interviewed by Rick Sanchez earlier.

    Michael from Houston, TX

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  203. Locksley, Senoia GA

    Definitely orchestrated and we know who the puppet master is!
    The republicans are very angry. They were hoping that President Obama and his team would crash and burn, taking the American economy and society with them. It didn’t happen. President Obama’s policies are actually pulling us out of the colossal mess the republicans got us in, and the republicans are very angry! They, together with big corporation, will do anything, including kill debate on the health reform bill in an attempt to destroy the President. Sound like Fascism to me!

    Thank you President Obama! Keep up the good job! Keep on doing what you are doing!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  204. Alison

    The protest are the American people that are trying to voice their feelings to a government that doesn't want to listen. They are not "astroturf". The democrats using character assassination on them proves their fear. The dems are just bitter that everything is not coming up roses as it should be with complete control of the government.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  205. Prof. William Weston

    The comments represent the type visceral, knee-jerk reaction by people who do n ot understand the subject. They do not know that we have a very costly system and that their insurance companies are not their friends. Sure this is being orchestrated; otherwise, we would ordinary people show up and argue something that has been dormant for so long? Surely they know their health costs are going up and quality is going down (we are 37th in the world in quality). The real issue here is the lack of willingness by selfish, self-centered people to give up a little so that 45 million people can have something. That is the real issue. "I have my piece of the rock; and I really don't care about you". Their ignorance is palpable. They pay all of these costs already; this is about making a broken system work better not about the GOP apporach of keeping status quo. We had that for eight years and it did not work then.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  206. Sharon

    These town hall meeting protests do not appear to be orchestrated. They are simply people trying to let their congressmen know they are not in favor of this health care bill. it is frightening when the people we elected will not listen to us. At election time, they will see the real result of not representing their constituencies.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  207. B in NC

    Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.

    Works for me. As an Independent, I wanted to KNOW for sure, so a few weeks ago I signed up as a "Republican" on one of their sites and had myself added to their mailing lists.

    What I've received JUST IN EMAIL is enough to curl the hair on your head. I have "instructions" of where to go to disrupt, how to disrupt, things to say, etc. They even offer transportation to and from.

    I don't take anybodies word for anything after the last 8 years. Call me cynical. Guess we're on our own.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  208. Rob

    Jack, everyone in America knows, if they admit the truth, that this is all about corporate profits...money. If health insurance companies have real competition, and have to cut there own budget's, they won't have the extra money to fund re-election campaigns! Watch what happens, will Congress do what is right for American or what is right for there own pockets?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  209. Christopher Cahill

    I find it a bit wierd and ironic that the Republicans showed a great deal of respect for those democrats who protested the war in Iraq, but the dems show absolutely no remorse or even take the ideas of some of these people into consideration. Instead they are a "Racist Bunch of Biggots, who hate black people including our president" as some such as Nancy Pelosi would love us to believe. Well My question Jack is this, What the hell happened to democracy in this country? It is a sad day when you can't speak up against a president's plans in a democratic society!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  210. Darren

    As orchestrated as Aurthur Fieldler conducting the Boston Pops Orchestra himself,

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  211. Josh

    Orchestrated by republicans, no. Promoted by republicans, absolutely. These meetings are filled with ordinary citizens speaking out. At least they're not busing random people to AIG executives houses with protest ready signs for them... right ACORN? THAT is what orchestrated opposition is.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  212. Dorothy, Kentucky

    Well Jack, it's hard to tell. When you are talking about Republicans they generally do everything in an angry tone. That's the only way they know how to do it. Does this help understand why we want to Iraq, and why we want to bomb Iran. Thank God the Democrats are running things.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  213. Dan in Michigan

    These are highly organized efforts Jack, but that's not the point. Much of Obama's campaign was also highly organized. The real problem is that these people are reacting on impulse to misinformation, and being fed lies in order to sustain their efforts to simulate a psuedo-Movement. When ignorant people organize in masses they can be very powerful, and the Republican vested interest groups know this all too well.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  214. Shane

    As a Canadian, I am amazed at how many Americans are willing to cut off their noses to spite their faces. I have a hard time believing that all of these protesters are covered by privately-funded health insurance. From what I understand, many people who DO have private insurance are denied coverage when they need it most based on dubious 'preexisting conditions'.

    Wake up America. YOU NEED THIS.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  215. Jane

    This is definitely an orchestrated oppostion. Is it a coincidence that hundreds of people are flocking to town hall meetings with pre-made signs of oppostion? I think not.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  216. richard locker

    Clearly orchestrated! The republicans are for themselves firstn the Republican party second, and the country a DISTANT third.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  217. Sam Moore

    Both. It has to be some of both. The shame is when others stop people from participating. It is an infringement of an individuals rights.

    Sam Moore
    Indianola, Iowa

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  218. Carolee Wood

    I think the protests that drown out town halls are heavily financed by health care corps, directed by selected Republicans and carefully orchestrated by people who are being used. This people are not informed. They are given responses to chant or repeated accusations.

    This is political terrorism.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  219. Rick St Augustine Fla

    Jack,,,40% of republicans polled last year thought Iraq attacked America on 9–11....Currrently 60% of them think President Obama wasn't born in the US....orchestrated???.....maipulated???.....kind of Obvious isn't iit

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  220. Doni George

    these "protesters" are your typical low information voter who gets their news from Fox and Rush and thinks of Joe the Plumber as their hero. They are easily manipulated and do not know the facts and don't want to know the facts. Funny how they all appear to be older and white and very similar to the people who adored Sarah Palin as she ranted about Obama's "pals" – its all about hatred, not health care.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  221. Alexander Fick

    It doesn't matter if the protests are orchestrated or not, because either way they are legitimate. America was built on protests that were organized so I have no problem with the protests, the problem I do have is with the misbehavior of these protesters at the town hall meetings. Town halls are meant to share ideas, not to yell at those presenting them. Coming from a hardcore democrat in Lee's Summit, Missouri.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  222. Jim

    I think this is obviously orchestrated, and worse one of the key people that says he want's americans to be heard has been involved in fraud with 1.7 billion in fines and more importantly, currently making money off those who would benefit from healthcare reform. As far as polls are concerned, I just doubt that the poor and indigent are being fairly polled in these opinion polls.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  223. Marie Marshall

    This are very mad Americans and getting madder the more they are put down and ignored by Congress and the Whitehouse.

    You can't organize people that are that angry....so they are not organized.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  224. Mary in Tennessee

    Yes, Jack, of course they are...just like those silly 'tea parties', which were organized by the same swift boaters as these 'protests'. And Rick Sanchez had one of the ring leaders, the crook and fraud Rick Scott on his show! And don't worry. Those of us who really WANT health care reform, insurance for all 46 million who don't have it, and a good public option...we are getting ready to tell our side...in a civil manner.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  225. Rob from New Orleans

    I think this question would best be answered by looking at those who are doing all of the screaming at these town hall meetings. They are mainly retirees. If you read the proposed bill you can see that they elderly have the most to lose if health care is nationalized. It seems that the protesters are looking out for their health....I would be scared if I was over 50 as well....

    This isn't manufactured anger and that is what is truly astounding...we haven't seen this type of public outrage in a very long time. I think that Washington should heed the message coming from their constituents.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  226. James Daniel

    These people are as real as can be and the smears of the democrats on them will backfire. Pelosi called these citizens who disagree with her "Nazis". What if Newt had done this? The president wants people to spy on their neighbors. What if GW Bush had done this?
    I think the democrats are doomed this next election.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  227. Charles Eriman

    Remember the faux outrage in Florida by the right in 2000 regading the recount? – They're back!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  228. Karl from SF, CA

    They are organized and paid for by the health insurance lobby and the American people are falling for it. Grassroots protests that are this organized have an acknowledged leader. This doesn’t. If the media was doing its job they would zero in on these bad actors and identify them and who they work for. I’d guess none of them are from the state or district they are protesting in but move from meeting to meeting and are affiliated with the GOP or health insurance industry and are very recognizable. I hope the American people are smart enough to see through this sham. If not, we will get what we deserve. Nothing.

    By the way, remember when John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and other Republicans quote the Lewin Group for their statistics against reform, Lewin is owned by UnitedHealth, one of the nation’s largest health care companies. Any questions?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  229. John

    Speaking only for myself (of course) I am as grass roots as they come. No one can organize me to do anything, even my wife. I am appearing at every meeting I can find within sixty miles or so, motivated only by my sense of duty to my children and grandchildren. The more we know about this health care plan, the less we like it. If Congresspersons cannot explain why they and their families won't be part of it, they have lost the argument. As Ross Perot would say, it's that simple, Larry.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  230. Prentice Griffin

    I definetly think this is an organized attempt to distract us from really trying to talk about the serious issue we face with healthcare. After all of the backlash our President faced being called a comunity organizer I will take Obamas organizing anyday over this circus.Lets get real America lets force them to get with it !!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  231. Bill

    Jack, Just go looking atround the web at the organizations that are funding, bussing these4 paid prosters and you will find that most are being supported by the Health Care companies through front organizations... It is all otu there on the WEB just go find the truth yourself.

    Hey they make BILLONS at the Public trough. would you want CHANGE???

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  232. Carolyn H - Atlanta, GA

    That's a no brainer...definitely orchestrated!

    However, it will not work, we, the silent majotiry, see through it and will support our Congress people who support it. Republicans won't see the real backlash until election time...including those who voted against the confirmation of Sotomayor.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  233. CJ Arkansas

    I think some of it is orchestrated. But the rest is fueled by the campaign of lies and scare tactics now being employed by vested intereests as well as the loony wing of the Republican party. They are circulating viral e-mail in our community aimed at scaring seniors by saying Obama the socialist is going to ration their care so they die. early. And unfortunately, this works on the folks that sit home and watch Fox news all day.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  234. Samuel Ernest

    They obviously aren't organized. In its current state, the Republican party couldn't organize something like what has happened. And the protests are from both sides: there are also liberals who think that the bill isn't strong enough, like Obama's ex-doctor. The American people are capable of getting themselves out and speaking their mind.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  235. Esther

    We've already witnessed the same "outrage" with the last Tea Parties. Only the costumes have changed, weather oblige!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  236. Marilyn

    The protests are grass roots – ordinary people who are fed up with what is going on in DC.
    All our neighbors, friends, and family have the same sentiments – we do not want government run health care. You make it sound as if people are stupid and need a leader to be against something. Wake up CNN – you are not getting the grass roots people's feelings at all.
    Wake up

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  237. JayKay

    Maybe some of those in the crowds are recently laid off folks? Maybe they are just frustrated with a government that promises everyting for for everyone and rarely delivers anything.

    Why not make it a single pay medical insurance package that the members of Congress has? I think all of America would be real happy LOL

    By the way, why is everything a conspiracy?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  238. Kathy Rayford

    I think that it is the insurance industry as well as republicans causing these disruptions during town hall meetings. As someone who does not have health insurance nor a job, it is beyond me how foolish these people are. Healthcare reform is needed and is needed now!!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  239. Liz

    They are being orchestrated; same words and same signs at all the rallies. Sounds like the protesters have not read the house bill and don't want to read it. They probably received an e-mail with line by line comments about the bill...and if they did not read the bill ttself they have no clue that the e-mail is not true. The e-mail looks like it was written by a two year old, but that seems to be the mental level of the protesters.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  240. Peter M

    They are clearly orchestrated, intended to disrupt discussion a rattle the speaker.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  241. doris wright

    the protests are definitely valid grass roots protests. people are finally waking up to what obama is trying to pull over our eyes!!!.
    ft worth, tx

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  242. John in San Diego

    Regardless of whether they're grassroots or astro-turf, they're behaving immaturely and are speaking nonsensically. As a moderate, more left than right these days, these protesters seem very extreme. I suspect that many Americans also have an initial negative reaction to their disruptive behavior.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  243. John Christiansen

    I think they orchestrated by insurers, lobbyists and Republican activists. They’re accusing the GOP of organizing “angry mobs” and trying to destroy President Obama. When I here about people getting there insurance cancelled because they forgot about some minor thing they were treated for 30 years ago we need reform

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  244. Mary

    I believe that the town hall meetings are being orchestrated by the conservative Republican movement.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  245. Larry in Atlanta

    Of course the Heath Care Protests are orchestrated by the Insurance and Pharmaceutical Goons, also know as the Republicans

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  246. Cynthia

    Of course, they are orchestrated, that's what the Republican Right does best...heckle, scream, yell and do ANYTHING they can to bring the Obama administration down. They know that if Obama fails at getting Health Care Reform, he won't be able to bring out Energy Reform and the other huge issues that helped get him elected.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  247. Michael Gordon

    One of the most transparent things the Republicans have managed in more than 8 years is this flimsily veiled attempt to stifle public opinion about the current attempt to Reform health Care in the USA. Their disappointment at losing the election last November and their thinly veiled disdain for anything whatever that Obama does is courting the racial hatred that seems to underlay this attempt to "stop Obama " in his tracks. All I can say in my 72th year is SHAME, SHAME!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  248. Miriamfl

    Jack, definitely orchestrated demonstrations. The blogesphere is loaded with it and people have been bussed in. If you notice many look like seniors already on socialized medicine ( called MEDICARE ).

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  249. Lizzie

    People were fooled by G.W.Bush and Karl Rove in the last eight years,
    I hope we grew smarter now... Naive!!! to think that the republicans, (who always say NO), the insurance companies and the millionairs that has almost admitted to being involved in these "MOBS".... It is really too bad that we as civilized people cannot discuss and come to a solution to our problems. We "Americans" criticize other nations for this type of
    juvenile behavior...... So Sad and embarrassing!!!!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  250. Jacque D (Oregon)

    ORCHESTRATED of course. We ordinary voters with any brains know that big money is running congress and has much more influence than our phone calls and emails. How we take our government back is our biggest question and the most detrimental obstacle to our welfare.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  251. Mark Baltin

    I've been a registered(and active) Democrat from 1968, when I worked for Eugene McCarthy, through the present, but when the Republicans took control of Congress in 1994, we got a Republican congressman. I didn't vote for him, and he was defeated two years later, but he called a Town Hall meeting shortly after his election. I attended, as did a lot of my Democratic friends, and we let him talk-we didn't act like these loudmouths. I've been trying to find a town hall to go to, to push back against these jerks. I've never liked bullies.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  252. Hans

    These demonstrations are orchestrated by the rich and greedy and use the ignorant to demonstrate against their own best interests.
    The rest just can't get over the fact that they lost last November.

    Hermann, MO

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  253. Gloria Mann

    This is just another scare tactic of the Repubs to stop dialogue and debate. It is great that finally the truth is coming out about these so-called grass-roots movements of people that end up putting these "events" in their resumes to later get a GOP job... Simply disgusting!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  254. Charles Greenhouse, M.D

    Health care protests are legit and they should be. No one seems to have thought this whole process out. Until this occurs we cannot vote for it

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  255. SBBeaudry

    Definitely orchestrated. As reported by TalkingPointsMemo, here's an outline of their tactics from a recently circulated right-wing plan:
    "pack the hall... spread out" to make their numbers seem more significant, and to "rock-the-boat early in the Rep's presentation...to yell out and challenge the Rep's statements early... to rattle him, get him off his prepared script and agenda...stand up and shout and sit right back down."
    They are not interested in discussion only in disruption.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  256. bill bruening

    It does not make any difference!!! Congress fiddles while ROME is burning!!! Health care is the US is broken. It is embarrassing that we cannot solve the problem like other nations have solved it. We pay more and get lower quality outcomes.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  257. Mike Gonzales

    So let me get this right, Americans protest, confront their Congressman and we are being manipulated? Mind you had Americans not done this sort of thing in the 1770's there would be no "America"! No matter what or who are at the meetings, they are exercising their rights. This is what America is about. Just because Reid doesn't like the opposition doesn't invalidate the message.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  258. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    Orchestrated! I'm on a lot of conservative email lists and one asked me to join them. They would supply signs, things to say, and bus us from town hall meeting to town hall meeting. We were told to disrupt, to yell and interrupt the speaker. We were told to get down front so that it looked like we were in the majority.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  259. Linda

    Yes they are being staged for the most part, there may be a few people in the group that agree with these people being shipped in. But Jack the people who need health care, can't afford or who are worried that they can no longer afford it for their family are at work. How can they afford to take the time off to go to these protest, not only does it cost in your paycheck, you still have to pay the same deductable. So Yeah come on these people with nothing better to do but go out do the Health Care Companies bidding.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  260. RP

    I'm from Virginia. The protests against health coverage for all Americans are embarrassing orchestrated crap and I wish they didn't get so much coverage. They look like B movie extras from Jerry Springer's show and do not come across as sincere at all. Me and my family have suffered with serious medical conditions (cancer and heart) and couldn't get proper care due to lack of insurance. And I am strongly in favor of health care for everyone. If these so-called protesters had been in our position they would be demonstrating in favor of health care reform. I want to know who is paying them to protest.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  261. Alex

    I think that the protests are likely orchestrated but that alone doesn't make them wrong. The problem with these protests is that they are designed to not allow the Democrats to talk about the health reform bill. Those involved in these protests don't want the American people to hear from the Democratic members of congress and that is wrong and should be exposed.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  262. charles mcafee

    The protesters at the town halls are real. I am sure a few are there to
    cause trouble but a majority are furious about this obscene plan to
    socialize healthcare. Yesterday it came out that the plan would cover abortion on demand, making groups like planned parenthood rich and yet would cut service to senior. Anyone looking at the plan
    should be outraged

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  263. Bob from With City (Salem, MA)

    Dubyu had the solution. Make public events by invitation only. What's the difference if debate is cut off at the door or drowned out in the auditorium? These democracy thing is over rated anyhow. Power to the mob.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  264. Maureen Morris

    When the left was shouting down President Bush and members of his administration it was free speech. We are ordinary citzens that disagree and no we are not organized, even if we were the Dems are masters of it. Again what they accuse citizens of it is something that they do all the time themselves. Shame, shame.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  265. linda in Columbus, Indiana

    Totally orchestrated to create fear in the minds of the uninformed. If people are so against socialized programs, ask them to give up their Medicare and Social Security. Same thing. I'm sick of these bought and paid for elected officials. Hopefully, voters will know their names and vote them out next time.
    Linda in Columbus

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  266. James Hill

    It is clear that the attacks are orchestrated. And, it is equally clear that thme protesters are not interested in an honest debate on the issue. To much of the political discourse in this country has degenerated into sloganeering, name calling and mindless attacks. What has happened to honest difference of opinion, reasonably expressed?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  267. Worriedmom

    Protests are Legit. For the first time in my 55 years, I am very worried about what is happening to our country and I am one of those well dressed people that have started making my opinions be heard. If our area has a town hall meeting I will be there. No one owns me, no one would pay me to be there I will be there to help my children and grandchildren's future and to defend Freedom of Speech!!! Isn't this what President Obama preached to get out and organize and support your positions on things???

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  268. Lee in MN

    The same people that oppose health care reform are the same people that supported the Bush fiasco that created thiss mess in our country. Why is the most vocal oppoition led by Rick Scott. " Rick Scott is a multimillionaire hospital CEO whose former company pled guilty to 14 felonies – the largest health care fraud settlement in history. His former company was charged with over-billing Medicare, giving kickbacks, and falsifying procedures.

    Scott’s former company was forced to pay $1.7 billion in penalties for these crimes."


    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  269. Adrienne

    A Familiar Ring outside one of the town hall meetings .. " Just say No..Just say No " ; remember all the campaign chanting... Orchestrated ?? you betcha !!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  270. george mahar- phoenix

    this is beging to look like nixon's dirty tricks ,i'm sure there are lots of republicians with lots of experiance in this sort of thing.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  271. @Dawn


    Ofcourse its orchestrated!!! Real debate allow those in favor and those opposed to be heard in real discussion. What we have witnessed is the mob mentality with the intent of never allowing anyone to be heard. Questions, are yelled...slogans hurled...and meetings disrupted without anyone given a chance to speak. This looks like an orchestrated attempt to ensure that no own get clarification, ask relevant questions or even be heard..just the loud lies and slogans...Michael Steele and his party of no need to find a real message, come up with alternatives or engage in real debate rather than the rhetoric and lies all the while hiding behind the mob...

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  272. Don Flakes

    The right wing demonstrations are as orchestrated as the "stop the recount" mobs after the 2000 elections, or the brownshirt nazi tactics that resulted in WWII.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  273. Linda B

    I believe the health care town hall meeting protests are orchestrated. Just listen to the language they use consistently in all the meetings and, especially, the drone-type chanting they use to drown out any reasonable discussion.

    Fort Worth, TX

    August 6, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  274. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    They have been proven to be orchestrated by shills connected to the healthcare industry. The insurance companies are spending $1.4 million a day, and they’re getting these people to be their chanting hordes? You’d think for that kind of money you would have somebody who looks alive yelling at Democratic Congressmen. At $1.4 million per day, the mobs at the town halls should look real.

    The rightwing isn’t just continuing the attacks, they seem positively proud of them. Another fake mob destroyed a town hall meeting by Democratic Congressman Gene Green of Texas. A mob member at the Gene Green event asked who there would “oppose any form of socialized or government-run health care.” They all raised their hands. Then Rep. Green asked, “How many of you have Medicare?” Half the mob raised their hands. Nice. Evidently these people don’t oppose socialized medicine when it’s just for them.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  275. Susana

    Democracy demands civilized conversation and a respect for allowing another to opine regardless of disagreement. That's what the Framers intended in the First Amendment.

    These protesters are thugs who are encouraged by Rick Scott and the part leaders who lost last November.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  276. Diana

    It's pathetic let's have a real debate without anger lets have a real debate about the facts , Let's have a debate when there is an actual bill on the table.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  277. Andy

    It's orchestrated and opposed by those who have health insurance and are afraid that they might have to pay some additional tax so that all can be covered Yow know, 'I've got mine, screw you'.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  278. B.J.

    Clearly they are organized by Republican special interests and fat cats.

    Look at the protestors. How many minority faces do you see? Not a single one!!

    How many young people, unemployed and without health insurance do you see? Not a single one.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  279. Frank B Fort Worth TX

    Jack, these disruptions are actually orchestrated opposition posing as grass roots democracy. They are funded by the lobbyists and interest groups whose sole "interest" is to keep all current settings as they are, because they will continue to get rich off of the rest of us.
    Until these parasites are removed, the healthcare system will remain as unhealthy as most of the current uninsured population.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  280. Jeff, Marietta, GA

    Jack, insurance companies make alot of money on "insuring" their customers (at least until they get sued because they denied some kind of lifesaving treatment.) Insurance companies are the opposition.
    Opposition activists claim healthcare reform to be socialist. They throw the S word around like its the enemy against insuring everyone in the United States with quality healthcare. I say the enemy to healthcare reform is Capitalism. There's no money to be had in honestly insuring people. There's no money in putting a price on someone's life.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  281. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    The latter. I have no doubt that people are not by and large out there protesting health reform.
    Michael Steele claiming there's no upside for Republicans is bogus. What about all the money they get from health care providers and drug companies.
    These protests are as phony as three dollar bills. The republicans are leading this band and calling the tune.
    Remember the Republican senator who claimed he could destroy Obama by defeating health care reform?? Reform is in tyhe best interest of the Americans people which is why the money people(republicans) are against it.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  282. Chris

    Jack – I think we're just seeing what Obama and the Democrats were afraid would happen if people had time to peruse the bullet points of the House Bill. Combine that with a steadily growing discontent with rapidfire legislation on very complex issues, it's no wonder people are turning out and demanding real answers from their representatives. Health Reform is needed, but for crying out loud, slow down and do it right!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  283. Milton

    I believe these events are put together and funded solely on fear of the unknown. There has not been a concise, strong bill drafted yet by both the House and Senate and released to the public, only fundamental ideas in a committee bill. These details must be debated upon civilly, not completely opposed to as being done at these events. We need Affordable Health Coverage and Costs Control, not scare tactics so this will not come to pass.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  284. Mea & Charles Dewers

    Of course, they are orchestrated by the Republicans. This is what they do best. They have failed at anything which might include honest
    analysis on any issue.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  285. Susan

    If America agrees with the Democrats we r smart and hardworking if we disagree we r stupid enough to buy their excuses.
    As long as we remember our place and that they are "in charge" it's great but exercise your right to protest and you suddenly become radical activists.
    Come on Miss Pelosi show us the pictures of the swastikas to lend some credibility to your otherwise idiotic statements.
    Here's breaking news
    we are not that stupid!

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  286. Rodney Hayes

    It seems to me that these protests are about the have and the have not. This country needs to understand this is about the future not now and worry about the generations after them.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  287. erma

    I feel that Insurance companies and greedy repulicans are the ones causing the problems. It's sad that people are so selfish as to accept money to hurt others and them selves.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  288. MichiganAndy

    If there was a hint of spontaneity to these protests, I would say grassroots. But the fact that the almost identical tactics are being used nationwide in townhall meetings shows clearly this is orchestrated. Not only that, such behavior got people arrested in the past, most recently anti-war advocates. Either the law is enforced and this criminal behavior is dealt with, or this could get real ugly as the majority of Americans demanding health care reform fight back.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  289. Erika

    It's my opinion that they are completely orchestrated by people who don't know what they are talking about. These people don't know the facts about this new health care reform. My step dad died last year of cancer because he had no insurance and no hospital would take him. My husband as well as myself both need dental care but we can't get insurance so what do we do? I think the health care reform is a great idea. If it doesn't pass then perhaps I should just move to Canada and be done with it.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  290. Francoise Dubois

    Of course it's orchestrated, they're being bussed from other towns, sometimes other states. Memos were sent to instruct how to disrupt the meetings. The purpose is to unsettle the speaker, stop him or her from explaining the plans out there. These people are nothing but manipulated sheep, they should be escorted out whenever they start disrupting so others can listen. They are idiots who wouldn't recognize their own interest if it hit them in the face!
    Françoise, Thousand Oaks, CA

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  291. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    The demonstrations are orchestrated all right, maybe not by the RNC, but by even more right-wing groups like the National Alliance and the Aryan Nations and other groups that think that health care reform equals taking their guns away even though people who play with guns should be the first ones behind a public health care option. I mean where are you going to go when you shoot yourself in the foot?

    August 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  292. Sam Thornton

    Jack, whether or not health care protesters are phony or real is a factual question. You know, what actual reporters used to get off their duffs for to find out. If the folks at CNN can't be bothered with actual reporting, I'd suggest recruiting a flock of squirrels to run around in circles and scope things out. We'd learn at least as much as we know now.

    August 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  293. Mike Ryskamp

    The instigators of the events are certainly orchestrated and part of larger lobbying and corporate interests, but the average folks who show up are real. The real probably is how they do it. Screaming and yelling so others cannot discuss issues with their representatives isn't democratic, it's mob-rule. Until their elected leaders in congress, looking at you Bohner, denounce this bullying tactic it needs to be derided.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  294. Tommc

    Jack - My 76 year old mother and her cronies are drumming up the senior houses to get out and voice their opposition. Most of these seniors view this country going in the wrong direction and has accelerated based on the latest congressional policies. She will not call them Obama's plans because he has not put them forward to be changed or challenged by congress. He is letting congress do what they want. They have contempt for congress and Obama for not leading with an initial bill or white paper.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  295. Dorothy Caverly, Amesbury, MA

    I think these protests at the Town Meetings that Democrats are having are organized by the Republicans, the same as the protests at the Terry Shivo protests, The Tea Parties, The Notre Dame protest, where there weren't many protesting actually from Notre Dame but outsiders sprurred on by the Conservative Press. I seem to recoznize many of the same people in the crowds.
    As far as the town meetings are concerned, yes, someone who is opposed to health care should be allowed to voice their opinone, but they should not be allowed to disrupt the meetings by shouting down someone is pro health care, both sides should be allowed to speak without interference. Those who disrupt the meeting and not allow the opposition to be heard should be arrested for causing a public disturbance.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  296. Bob

    They're orchestrated! It should be obvious by now that the republicans are more interested in getting elected than they are in helping the current administration succeed. In other words, doing what's best for the American people comes in second place where egos are concerned. If the republicans can use Obama as their scapegoat they will every time. They're surely not going to rethink some of the tenets of the prehistoric conservative ideology.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  297. Larry

    How can anyone think what is being said by the democrats as anything but lies. They continually talk about a bill that they have not even read. There are so many negatives in this and the democrats including Obie does not know what are all of the things in the terrible bill. When you add the stupidity of the AARP supporting a lot of this garbage, we are in the middle of a great sales job. As has been previously stated by the circus owner . . . a sucker is born every minute.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  298. Phil Newton

    These protests are organized, and they have become increasingly disruptive. The RNC might not be urging these nuts on, but Limbaugh and the rest of the Rabid Republican Right are most certainly doing so.

    Welcome to government by mob rule.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  299. Dorothy from MN

    I am suspicious that they are orchestrated. I watch Fox cable and they seem to encourage this sort of behavior by giving a lot of news time to this. And since only certain congresspeople are targeted it is even more suspicious. IT is certainly rude.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  300. Bill

    I have never heard so much insults thrown at the voters acording to congress all lowincome people are not capaple of making a informed choice jut too dam "STUPID" or all vets are terriost and the list goes on and on so the next election we will see who the the dum ones are

    August 6, 2009 at 6:04 pm |