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August 12th, 2009
12:47 PM ET

Town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?

 Are the town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?

Are the town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to these town hall meetings on health care reform, the Democrats may want to rethink their strategy.

Democratic Senators Arlen Specter and Claire McCaskill were among the latest to be drowned out by angry protesters. One woman in Missouri told McCaskill, "If they don't let us vent our frustrations out, they will have a revolution." McCaskill said she's seeing a lot of distrust of government and cynicism.

Protesters at Specter's meeting said they think the Obama administration is going too far with health care reform... One woman shouted quote, "This is about the dismantling of this country." Specter said he thinks the people protesting are "not necessarily representative of America" but should be heard.

Pres. Obama and the Democrats seem to face an increasingly uphill battle in selling health care reform to a skeptical public. People don't know what's in the bill because the Democrats haven't done a good job explaining it.

For his part, the president is urging people to ignore those who are trying to "scare and mislead" the public. He says what's "truly scary is if we do nothing."

But the public is pretty split on this one. A new Gallup poll shows more Americans disapprove than approve of the way the president is handling health care reform, by a margin of 49% to 43%. What's interesting here is these numbers are virtually unchanged from 3 weeks ago – before the administration stepped up its effort to win support and before all the anger boiled over at these town hall meetings.

SO HERE'S THE QUESTION: Are the town hall meetings helping or hurting health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Sandra in North Carolina
Sadly, they appear to be hurting health care reform. The most publicized events are the embarrassing screaming matches filled with untruths. The louder and more obnoxious, the more frequently we get to see it on TV. I, for one, would like to hear real discussion and maybe even be part of a town hall meeting, but I don't think I could yell loud enough to be heard.

Eva
Until the final bill comes out and all the misinformation is straightened out, I think the town hall meetings are only hurting the Obama administration. Right now, anyone can say anything about what is in the bill as there is no bill.

Jacki
Most of the angry protesters seem like they are really upset, but each time they speak about what they are upset about, they say something that has been dispelled as a myth. I feel sorry for them because they have been misinformed and they are afraid. I think this display will actually help health care reform to happen.

Thomas
If I were an opponent of the health care reform effort, I would be emboldened by what I've seen and heard in these town hall reports. The real question is: Are the town halls themselves hurting the health care debate or is it the media's coverage of them that is doing the damage?

Don in Toledo, Ohio
I think they are hurting and that's too bad. We need health care reform, but as you can see the squeaky wheel will get most of the grease. It is also too bad that these noisy individuals are so willing to believe the misinformation being put out by the lobbyists for health insurers and right wing radicals. Too bad Pres. Obama turned such an important issue over to the likes of Rep. Pelosi and Senator Reid.

John
This is what happens when you try to ram stuff down people's throats. Obama and the Democrats are making the Billary health care mistake. The more things change, the more they stay the same.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Ray Lawson from Danville, VA

    We can only hope they will scrap this mess they tried to get passed before anyone knew what they were doing.
    Now maybe they will try to do something that will be helpful to the country when they return.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  2. Nestor, Austin, TX

    It depends on what side you're on Jack. If you have common sense and you know that we can't pay for the Democrat plan, then the longer this goes on, the better. If you have no common sense, or if you're a socialist, then these meetings are bad.

    The administration is trying to silence debate on healthcare, just like with "global warming". If the facts were on their side, they would welcome debate. The administration knows their plan sucks, which is why they are trying to paint protesters as lobbyists.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  3. RLD

    Jack these are TOWNHELLS.The racist Obama haters get to voice their greivances that have been inside since Jan. 20th The media is feeding this monster and the food source is attention..

    August 12, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  4. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It depends which side of the issue you support. I think eventually all this drama and negativity is going to hurt the progress of reform in general. I think the Republicans don't have any good ideas to put out there, but they don't want the President to make any progress with his. This kind of outrageous drama is great for obstructing progress. Actually, it hurts all of us.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  5. SHIRLEY-OHIO

    Hurting, but CNN is helping. When Campbell do the true or false segment in her show, I am learning more and more about the health care reform bill and getting an understanding of the truth. Everytime I see those town hall meetings on T.V., I just say to myself, those people are ignorant and stupid and very rude.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  6. bill bruening

    If the folks who disrupt town hall meetings on health care represent the thinking of the majority of americans, I fear for my country. The mantra of those opposed to health care reform seems to be READ THE BILL. I seriously doubt that the disrupters have read the bill. If they have, then the cannot undertstand ENGLISH. Death panel and euthanasia board are nowhere to be found in the bills being considered. The US is embarrasing itself by\ the distortions and perhaps delibertate lies that get news time daily.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  7. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: The Town Hall meetings are neither helping or heartnig. It's all a lot of noise. Americans have already voted for healthcare reform when they elected Barack Obama. What we're seeing in the meetings are paid obstructonists. Change the channel!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  8. Michelle

    It’s obvious the hecklers at the townhall meetings are organized by those in opposition to healthcare reform to intentionally disrupt townhall meetings and create an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. They are not there because they want answers. If they wanted answers they would listen.

    So, it appears the angry mob is winning and townhall meetings are currently working against rather than for reform? Footage of disrupted townhall meetings continues to be used as “proof” the American public does not want reform. The violent protest orchestrated by these groups is intended to frighten the people away from the meetings. This week, the media cited incidents of death threats and fears someone would be killed during the protests. Some democratics are concerned about their own safety at meetings. This is mob rule of the worst kind because it is inflamed by obvious lies and open social manipulation. It is outrageous, in the 21st century, that the behavior of these people, motivated by fear or not, should be given any credence or sanction.

    But, stepping back from my personal outrage, I can see this can also be a teaching moment. Perhaps cooler heads may yet prevail. The question is how can the Obama administration reach folks who don’t use the internet and who are highly susceptible to fear and misinformation?

    During the presidential election, the citizen phone banks were a great way to contact and inform people who did not have internet access or who lived in small communities. Perhaps all the folks who don’t have medical insurance, have pre-exisiting conditions insurance doesn’t cover, have gone bankrupt due to high medical costs or just see the madness of our broken healthcare system could find the courage to personally call their neighbors and fellow citizens and share why they feel there are even higher costs if our country does not pass healthcare reform.

    Auburn, CA

    August 12, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  9. Duane Lock Haven PA

    It,s helping. Hearing the views of the people is a good thing. Some are good?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  10. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    How can it hurt? Any attention is good attention because health care reform has been neglected for so long. A monster has been created by the very people who are telling us to calm down.
    What part of this mess should we not be angry about?
    Is the part where the phamacuetical companies rip us off?
    Is it the part where todays doctors are millionaires?
    Is it the part where our senior citizens have to go to Canada by the bus loads because they can't afford thier medicine?
    Or the part where most Americans can't afford health care premiums to begin and to top it off illegal immigrants recieve treatment for nothing?
    It's a shame the richest country in the world has such a large deductable on life or death.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  11. Karl from SF, CA

    Irrational behavior doesn’t help anything except maybe show up the fringe nutcases. I don’t think health care is being necessarily hurt, but the scare tactics are being seen for what they are. I don’t think the Astroturf crowd realizes the sooner they scare the uninformed, the more likely the uninformed are of becoming informed before the end of August.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  12. Hugh in California

    Jack,

    I've never seen so many angry predominately white Americans in my life. This health care issue is an embarrassment to our nation. Screaming and yelling like a bunch of delinquents sets a very poor image for the youth of this country. These rude people only hurt the chances of any real health care reform, and it's obvious most of these angry folks did not want Obama to be elected president. Throw decorum out the window, speak up when it's not your turn, forget about the rules, and do whatever the hell you want. It's disgraceful.

    Hugh Carpenter
    in Tracy

    August 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  13. Art

    What's the big deal? If health care reform is not passed this year, the profit driven insurance and pharmaceutical companies will eventually bring the health care system to it's knees, and then the vast majority of the population will demand socialized medicine.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  14. Tina Tx

    Where was the outrage against Bush and Cheney when they were leading Americans into 2 wars and with the money they spent could have solved our health care problems. People need to take a chill pill and take a deep breath and work with Obama.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  15. Bryan from Colorado

    I believe this helps the debate, because we finally will see if this congress will stand up to the extreme righty's. After all thats why americans elected them. Also we will see if the President will do the same and sign health care reform with a public option.
    Anything short of that will clearly indicate if our newly elected officials will do what americans sent them to Washington to do. Dems always
    loose backbone when they get into a fight with the extreme right.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  16. Myrna Rodz

    Jack, are these people christian??

    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  17. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    How can a bunch of meetings with screaming idiots be helpful. Where were these numskulls when we were declaring war on Iraq?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  18. Sam

    President Obama tells us to ignore those who are spreading hate, but how can we? As a Jewish American, the things I hear frighten me, sicken me, and make me think twice about what we're actually fighting for here. But continue on with the town hall meetings. America's voice should not be stopped by hate. Continue to educate and hope understanding and acceptance can catch on.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  19. ronvan

    Jack: I am retired military and am getting excellent health care. Everyone agrees that our health care system needs change. These people "yelling & screaming" are not going to change anything and only compound the difficulty in trying to fix a broken system.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  20. James

    This morning i broke out my Obama gear and my Wife and i went to Rep. Peter Defazio "Oregon" town hall. It was at a community center that over flowed to the point they moved it outside. Signs were passed out that simply said ( Don't disrupt Democracy ) and we were told that if anyone started getting out of line and trying to talk over people , just silently hold up the signs.

    Defazio came very informed and in command of the setting. He addressed all the crazy email myths in his opening remarks and asked for a civil respectful forum.

    I am here to report that EAST COAST – WEST COAST , are completely different animals. Sure there was folks there from both side of the health care reform issue , but both sides were very respectful.

    There was absolutely no fake outrage or people trying to shut down the discussion.

    In the end , Defazio strongly supports a public option and did a fantastic job of explaining exactly why.

    Defazio is holding 14 Oregon town hall events this month.

    By the way , there was more people there fired up and ready to go , then not.

    James

    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  21. Affy California

    jack, i think theyre hurting health care reform, president obama should've just pulled a Bush, lied about what he wants to do and pass whatever he wants without the people of america knowing about it, im starting to think ignorance is bliss.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  22. Shawn C. Cross Lanes, WV

    I like how all these Right Wing Republicans are protesting and voicing their opinions of how they feel the Government is too involved in our lives and they're terrified of universal health care reform. Where were all these people at when Bush and the GOP congress took away our civil liberties with the Patriot Act and getting us involved in two wars which cost us billions of dollars???? Remember the bumper stickers they had during the last 8 years on their cars? "I support my president and my troops" and "if you don't support the president, leave"

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  23. Steve from FL

    The people coming to the town halls have already made their minds up. They could be told by Jesus that if they like their current insurance they can keep it, and they still wouldn't believe it.

    The only thing I think that the town halls are serving is confuse people into inaction. In the meantime, people are dying because they can't get insurance.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  24. Ken

    It only hurts based on the angle of how it is reported by the media. I do agree that the message has not been clear, but "bad press" does not help. Unfortunately, people would rather doubt than hope.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  25. nancy

    Jack

    The town hall meetings are doing more harm than good. The dems should take the time and READ the damn things. That is the only way to stop the bull.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  26. Michael Espinal

    Definitely yes! These town halls are showing how uninformed and ignorant the American population can be. When these lunatic falsifications such as "death panels" are shot down, it creates more of a health care reform acceptance. I echo the words of Bill Maher, "this is a stupid country."

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  27. Eva

    Until the final bill comes out and all the misinformation is straightened out then I think the town hall meetings are only hurting the Obama administration. Right now anyone can say anything about what is in the bill as there is no bill.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  28. Karl

    Why does it seem the only people opposed to Healthcare Reform are those WITH healthcare? I have seen nobody WITHOUT healthcare speaking out against it! I have a great Healthcare plan and will have it when I retire, so I too could say, "Don't touch Mine!" But I think healthcare is a RIGHT for ALL Americans, not just those that happened to land in a job that provide healthcare!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  29. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Both, Jack. I actually think they are being held prematurely, since the House and Senate bills haven’t even gone to the floor yet, and we know that they will have to go to a joint committee for compromise before we have the final bill. While the town hall meetings have good intentions, what they are doing most is allowing those radical right wingers to spread lies about what the reforms really consist of. The flip side, the good side to me, is that this is underscoring to the majority of Americans just how partisan they are. Ex-Governor Palin’s mis-information is just a single example, but certainly pretty blatant.

    Yes, it is true that the different versions of the bills have provisions I don’t like, and I’m a supporter of the President. But playing on the fears of the older folks, and using disruptive techniques so that better informed people can bring up legitimate concerns is hardly the way to actually affect change.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  30. Melissa, Humble, TX

    Hurting...and I love it! Keep it up Dems!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  31. Farley In Nebraska

    Jack, I think its hurting it. They are not tell full details on exactly what everyone will be paying and what it will/will not pay. Till they can show on paper their words out of their mouths are worthless.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  32. Clifton M

    It is helping. These meetings are nothing but a place for racist people who didnt vote for Obama to get together. They got to find some way to bring him down.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  33. Zachary Jensen

    These town hall meetings would do much better if people would behave like adults and voice their concerns, not scream and fight like toddlers deprived of their toys.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  34. Gery, Atlanta

    It doesnt appear that they are helping clear up the misconceptions out there about the details in this bill. Instead they seem to be adding to the fury among those who misinterpret the details and dont know what they are talking about.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  35. Robert - Venice, FL

    Jack,

    What concerns me about the town hall meetings we've witnessed is that democrats and republican supporters both would rather shout the other down and nobody is willing to listen. Even if someone does get to ask a question, the senator attempting to respond is shouted down in mid sentence. We will never be able to accomplish anything if folks can't even be bothered to listen. When this happens, we the American people lose.

    Robert

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  36. CG

    The town hall meetings are exposing the ignorance of the people who get their marching orders from Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. No matter what the Congressmen say, the angry mob still believes there will be "death panels", it will cover illegal immigrants and it will pay for abortions. They're like the birthers: no matter how much evidence there is that these things are lies, they put ideology before reality and believe what they want to believe.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  37. Dylan Frendt, Lehighton, Pennsylvania

    They're doing nothing. The people screaming at meetings are equally as ignorant and foolish as they were in 1993, the people who defend it without thought are equally as naive and arrogant.. We have these ridiculous adults fighting and arguing over absolutely nothing but fear and stupidity while the Americans of my generation, the ones who will inherit their disgusting mess of lackluster policies, roll our eyes and see the need for compromise, intellect, and doing whatever actually works.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  38. Adrienne G.

    Town halls as they have been happening are hurting the democratic process. Democracy is not about who can shout the loudest or frighten the most- it is about discussion. The conservative base in America seem to have gone off the deep end- resorting to scare tactics and unruly exchanges in order to filibuster any real conversation about health care. Health care reform dissenters may have valid concerns- but how will we know if we can't hear them over the angry mob mentality?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  39. Annie, Atlanta

    It’s not the town halls that will help or hurt reform, which we desperately need. It’s insurance and drug companies that have a lot to lose with reform. It’s full out war for them, based on sheer greed. And they have the buying power to own politicians and disrupt by lies and disruption.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  40. Emily

    They're helping, definitely. We need to have a dialogue or else scare tactics and disinformation will fester and result in more scare tactics and disinformation. There are two sides to every argument and they're not always pretty. The important thing is that there's a debate going on. This does not excuse the extremist protests which have taken place in many of these town hall meetings; the debate will not get anywhere unless people start behaving like adults. However, I have faith that this phase of egregious, childish behavior will pass and both sides will be able to sit down and talk this through. I guess this is just an unfortunate side effect of people being afraid and misinformed.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  41. helen

    The town hall meetings help in explaining the health care package. I am for health care reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  42. Carl D.

    Jack,
    This is about the only way we can keep our corrupt government in line. With every passing day, our government acts like a third world run government, i'am sick to death of all politicians.
    Carl in Illinois

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  43. Erin Starr

    It does not seem to be helping if there is not an truely democratic meeting. Ranting, yelling, and using racist derogatory remarks and pictures turns into a onesided meeting and then who is the focuse of the news. Clearly the purpose is served for these organizations when they are filling the news every hour of the day. I believe in the plan and reform is one of the most important and overdue things our country needs. But, hey lets pay for 8 years of war in Iraq but not our family and friends and children dieing of disease. We know who funds this ranting and passes the emails of lies, but the real question why are the people falling for this. Obviously health care is only one problem-lack of a good education is also top on the list.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  44. Chris San Antonio, Texas

    It's hurting the chance for health care reform because many people are following through the footsteps of the beligerent Republicans and Conservatives by staging the shouting, the screaming of death, socialism, and evil on health care, and injecting Nazi Symbols that was followed from a disgusting rant from Rush Limbaugh. There's a battle between helping and letting people die without care, and I could tell you this that killing the Health Care Reform could mean a spike in costs of Healthcare and bankrupting the families. The republicans are not helping!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  45. Darren

    Not hurting Healhcare Reform but the dwindling masses of the Republican Party. It's nothing more than a last ditch effort by a scared minority, wishing desperately to keep their healthcare-for-profit model alive.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  46. Kim Harrison Retired Teamster

    Obama/Democratic Plans are "Totalitarian Government Plans!!! We now know 'Totalitarianism is the Plan "Who Will Protect Us From Our Protectors?"
    Kim Harrison
    Retired Teamster
    Sibley Missouri

    PS Yes Claire McCackle is mine..We hear a lot of cackling, but don't see any eggs.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  47. Mike in Beautiful Quebec City

    It's comical to see the citizens in a tizzy over something that is a human right. To be taken care of. I live in Canada. Had 2 reconstruction surgeries and finally a total knee replacement at 47 years old over a 3 year period. The system works GREAT as it does all over the world. Hospitals in the US are like hotels and that isn't what patient care is all about. We don't need a waterfall in the foyer. Good doctors, comfortable rooms and great nurse care, you can keep the waterfall.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  48. Annie N.

    The anger boiling over is clearly part of an organized campaign by the right wing and the big pharma groups, and it's a minority. If the media doesn't point this out, then the country is being mislead just as it was during the campaign to go into Iraq. The truth is out there, but it doesn't always make for big ratings nor is it easy to report on as watching an angry mob shout down a congressman. Report it for what it is, not for what it looks like.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  49. Jim Bailey

    It's embaressing to see the vile greed displayed at these meetings.
    No doubt it warms the stone hearts of insurance executives to see their lobbying dollars buying so much astroturf.
    Jim
    Cripple Creek CO

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  50. Jack Beslanwitch

    What they are really doing is muddying up the water and fogging over the facts. At some point both sides need to sit down, take a deep breath and realize that there are millions without health care, myself included, and if we do nothing the inflation of health care will increasingly marginalize and push out more and more people into my situation. So, whatever the nature of health care reform, it does need to be done. Hopefully with less sound and fury and more considered thought.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. Mike Crocker

    Jack,

    They are hurting health care reform. Some of the meetings end up changing topic so many times that Im not sure anyone really remembers what the oringinal purpose of the meeting was. I understand peoples frustration on varying issues however there is a civil way to approach these varying issues. Anger, shouting, complaining, I say to those that are acting like 2 year olds, grow up!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Deb

    Jack,

    These meetings are simply giving the uninformed a platform upon which to stand. We need to stop televising these screeching banshees, and instead work to EDUCATE THEM. What most people fail to understand is that with Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, the elderly, poor and children are entitled to healthcare. Those of us that are working and paying for these plans are NOT. What kind of sense does that make?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  53. steven

    I believe Town Hall meetings are a waste of time in General.

    I believe if the nay sayers of this bill were compared with who they voted for, they probably were McCain supporters.

    Republicans are just mean spirited Americans (and I use that term loosely for them), because they just want to get rich while the poor get poorer and sicker!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Erik Halbritter

    The Town Hall meetings are the best thing that could happen to reform. There is no more effective way for congressmen to get a reality check on the feelings of the american people and the fears people have regarding the current state of reform. Letting them know we're serious about holding them accountable for mistakes they seem to be making will for them to act carefully, and in our favor.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  55. Bill, California

    What the meetings are doing is showing the Democrats that the country is not as left leaning as they think. Just because people were tired of George Bush and his Iraq war doesn't mean they want socialism. The result has also been to expose congressional leadership as not believing in free speech if it differs from their agenda. Nancy Pelosi would have called the Boston tea party un-American as well.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  56. lex

    when people see these town hall meetings, one must see the ignorance that exist, there are people yelling and screaming, but they dont know what the health care reform is all about. these people need to understand the good for the country and stop being selfish. just because they can afford health care, doesnt mean someone who cant, should be denied

    August 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  57. Mechell

    I think the town halls are helping because as fear and misformation is unnecessarily spewed, it has caused more people to seek out the REAL facts. Any person with a modicum of common sense should be able to decipher blatant truth from lies...at least that's what I thought until I tuned into some of the townhall meetings. After that theory was unexplicable dashed, it even forced me to read the bill for myself so that I can join the crusade in refutting the lies.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  58. TGF, Walnut Creek, CA

    For starters, can pollsters quit asking whether or not people approve of the way President Obama is "handling" healthcare? The debate we're supposed to be having is about whether or not we need health care reform, and what form it should take. Asking me my opinion about how President Obama is handling it say a lot about what I think of him, but not much about what I think about health care reform- which is the major issue.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  59. Fran, Michigan

    It certainly is hurting. Civility and calm exchange will accomplish much more than shouting heads and pointing fingers!! Have we become so embroiled in our own interests that we completely ignore the anguish of those who have no health care and decide to forgo medical attention till it is too late to help or cure? Has America sucumbed to this level? God Help Us!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  60. Al Waghorne

    I would like to go to bed tonight thinking that our elected officals are doing thier best to make our lives better. I will not sleep well until someone tells me why our President tried to pass a health care bill before the August break.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  61. Adrienne G. from Grover Beach, CA

    Town halls as they have been happening are hurting the democratic process. Democracy is not about who can shout the loudest or frighten the most- it is about discussion. The conservative base in America seem to have gone off the deep end- resorting to scare tactics and unruly exchanges in order to filibuster any real conversation about health care. Health care reform dissenters may have valid concerns- but how will we know if we can’t hear them over the angry mob mentality?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  62. Marcia from Michigan

    The town hall meetings are important and should be giving us information.
    We are hurting the meetings and making all of us look like idiots.
    We are ACTING OUT based on rumor, fear, and complete ignorance.
    We need reform now or soon we will have no health care that will be affordable or available.
    We need town hall meetings.
    I think there is so much frustration with everything that is happening economically in our country ... and there is such a huge lack of patience... that people would be screaming about the option to have chocolate cake on a hospital menu if the government suggested it might be an option.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  63. Jon

    Every day while I catch a little bit about these healthcare reform town hall meetings, they seem super negative. I believe that the people in attendance are the most passionate opposition to the reform, but don't represent the entire population. The meetings seem to be causing more confusion, but I feel like that is due the guests. We need these meetings and I know the government has their heart in the right place getting out amongst us.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  64. Marcus B.

    The town hall meetings originally were made to help. There is no way they can be productive when people are yelling and screaming - not listening for an answer of any kind. I think this reform would work better if the people that came to these rallies would voice their opinions and actually be intelligent enough to not scream and fight. Oh yeah, jack, i'm a republican. Weird right? lol

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  65. Levy

    Personally, I feel like the town hall meetings are hurting the possibility of healthcare reform. They're riling up people's anxieties before there is anything to really debate. Having everyone's anxieties and energies sky high will not help anyone to make a clearer more educated decision once the time comes. We don't really know what the President or the administration is proposing so it seems like people are fighting an idea that hasn't even come into a proposition as of yet. With all the different possible proposals of how this reform will take place, all of these are speculation until it is put out more formally. Then these meetings will actually be worth something.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  66. Josh

    The town hall meetings are not a legitimate sorce of knowledge if you want to know about health care reform. Republicans and Idiots are making it impossible to actually know what is truth or a lie. If you want to get more info contact your congressmen directly not at these reality shows

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  67. Allen Moore

    These Town Hall meetings have definately affected the healthcare issue by providing a forum for every 'yahoo' with a gripe to come out of the woodwork. Paid or not, the disrupters at these meetings have given an international face to what could easily be called the 'ugly American.' They are a embarassment to the entire nation.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  68. Tony (New York)

    I live in New York City and I'm looking forward to our representatives having "town hall" type meetings to discuss health care. I think the meetings are necessary.

    However, the meetings that have taken place so far have only shown how misinformed and paranoid the general population is and how unprepared politicians are. After hours of reading and listening, I am not sure what health care reform will look like. It has never been clearly defined by anyone, not even the President.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  69. Rob Terheggen

    I think it's kind of obvious what caused all of this rage, which are Fox TV and Radio shows (and some copy cats) that over the last 7 months have been consistently do everything they can to create a public outcry, by distording the facts in many cases and put fear into people. The words people are using in the town hall meeting are literally the exact same as used by these TV and Radio hosts...

    Rob

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  70. Don from Toledo

    I think they are hurting and that's too bad. We need health insurance reform but as you can see the squeaky wheel will get most of the grease. It is also too bad that these noisy individuals are so willing to believe the misinformation being put out by the lobbyist for health insurers and right wing radicals. Too bad Pres. Obama turned such an important issue over to the likes of Rep. Pelosi and Senator Reed. Maybe the Pres. will realize just how much these two hurt his party and will try to do something about them.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  71. A.G. (San Francisco)

    These townhall meetings could be extremely helpful to Americans if the media focused on deciphering the truth vs. sensationalizing the debate by highlighting the angry and mostly misinformed outbursts.

    I wouldn't put it past the Republicans to plant these protestors at these townhall meetings...Some investigative reporting into that would be newsworthy, as well.

    But please, focus on the truth vs. sensationalism and help America out!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  72. Bob

    The only reason that town hall meetings are hurting the attempts to improve healthcare is because of a small noisy minority who are gulible enough to believe the lies of the insurance companies and hospitals. They and their Republican minions will do and say anything to block healthcare for those who do not have it. Stop the lies from those who object to it.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  73. Gbenga

    I will think itis helping the reform, bcause the mis-informed people are making the entire country see how they can react to false facts.

    The concerned Americans are working hard and trying to improve their health habit.

    I currently have no insurance after loosing my job in March. my coverage ended the midnight of the day I got laid off because of recession.

    I want this reform to pass, so that special interest will not have control over me, I am currently controled by them.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  74. Jen H.

    These town hall meetings are doing but confusing people on what the reform is really about. For something this large and powerful, how about letting us registered voters decide the outcome? This is so scary, especially for our young family with a husband that was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer last year.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  75. john kesrouan

    This is what happens when you try to ram stuff down people's throats. Obama and the Democrats are making the Billary health care mistake. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  76. Kevin Washington

    Its said that this issue health care has caused a problem
    conservatives are angry about what it is going to cost, but fail to remember they blew all the money,the past eight years .
    Who would not want Health care ? Everyone needs health care. The
    Rich the poor ,what could possibly be the problem with Adult not being able to think and do the right thing .I say pass the Bill and make the necessary adjustment along the way. Its only going to be a win win situation.How could the most powerful country in the world have this problem.

    Kevin CA

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  77. Canada

    Sitting here in Canada and watching the TV with CNN, I cannot believe how the Americans can act this way...Too many opinions and people to satisfy, our healthcare is wonderful and the Americans would be happy with it...You are lucky you have a Pres. Obama leading you....I believe he is very smart and the average American just does not meet his intelligence level..where is the trust in the elected heads??? Unbelievable...Cry babies for sure

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  78. Ken in NC

    The Town Halls are not hurting. The method of presentation of the Health Care issue by Democrats doomed the entire bill.

    Remember that we, Americans, do not understand how Medical Insurance works. The only control we have is the date and time we pay the premium and we do not even control that if the premium is deducted from our pay roll checks. The only thing we control is the fact that we have no control

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  79. virginia aveni

    Jack,

    I'm in total support of the reforms described by the President, but not yet combined into a conference possibility among all those Democratic bills in play.

    The extra time taken by the Senate to work on a bill in the Senate Finance Committee will, I expect, improve the legislation, but the meetings are not so much enlightening the public as much as allowing a foment of anti-government rage.

    Most folks have no idea how legislation is developed (for good or ill).

    Ugh.

    Virginia Aveni
    Lyndhurst, Ohio

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  80. Garry Klinebriel

    It is hurting better idea,give the 46 million cheap insurance to calm everyone down,if they are happy with there insurance live them alone,Garry from ohio

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  81. Roxanne A. From Ontario Canada

    Jack, I thought the United States was the land of the free, and the greatest country on the face of the earth,how can they treat eachother the way there are healthcare is something that everyone should be entitle to, regardless of income and race, we Canadians enjoy our healthcare system,my 91 yr old grandmother gets the same treatment as my ten year old daughter, no one puts the seniors aside becuase of illness and cost.Why does the middle aged hostile rebels seemed to think that our healthcare is garbage its not its what we are use to.Change is something that alot dont want to face, these angry mobs are the same one turning out to the McCain/Pallin rallies.Guess they rested during the winter and now ready for round two....bottom line the poor who dont have healthcare needs it and those that can afford it and have dont want reform,we Canadians get it more than those angry mobs, if you have healthcare great keep it if you dont you need it.If they stop shouting long enough and listen then they might hear what the pros and cons are, instead of fuelling their anger.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  82. Rebecca Simmons

    These loud-mouths attending the "town hall" meetings are not seeking clarity. They are there for one reason: To disrupt and cause chaos.

    They are mad that the election in November didn't go their way. The election couldn't be manipulated for another 4 or 8 years of Republican rule.

    We elected President Obama to implement changes to our failing health care system. These protestors aren't interested in listening and learning. They are only interested in spouting the lies and misinformation that they circulate amoung themselves.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  83. Nell, Clemson, South Carolina

    I think in the long run, they will help health care. The side of America that is being shown is ugly, uninformed, and selfish. I am convinced that these people who shout their opinions do not represent America. I would help a lot if the media did more fact-checking. The media has ceded the game to the ugly side. Why? Is it because the media has no other "news" or because they have done little research into how people lose insurance when they lose their job or actually get sick.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  84. Nick Diaz

    Jack I think the idea of holding these town hall meetings are a good idea, so we can have a say in the health care reform, but when people come to the meetings only to yell and be mad and not listen, they are not helping any chance for reform, and before you know it, they will be complaining "Why is health care reform not happening?" The answer- because you stopped it.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  85. JJ - NJ

    Jack, Americans are doing what they're being told to do by both the President and the lunatics over on Fox News. Both are encouraging people to go to these town hall health care forums and voice their concerns. However, Fox is blatant and pushes the fear to boiling points which is how they continue to add fuel to the bonfires. The FCC should flat out fine them for inventing the news instead of accurately reporting it like CNN does.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  86. Mark

    Jack, I think they are hurting Obama's Heatlh Care plan because I honestly don't think anyone in Washington had the forethought to see how Americans were going to act when you start messing with their medicine. Instead of trying to do a total make-over of our health care system, Mr. Obama should have singled out just a few of the things wrong with our system like out of control mal-practice premiums for Doctors, Tort reform etc. Then, we might get something done with health-care.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  87. Maria

    These meetings cannot hurt. Questions are being asked which are similar to ones being asked by people who have no access to local meets.

    However, the Congressional replies *are* hurting the reform. Dems and Reps are all showing how little they know about the actual bill's goals, what is being thrown out, what's in.

    Why, if Congress has the next month to peruse the House bill, don't we have access via the web to that 1000 page document as well? Most of us seem quite able to peruse, digest and comprehend what Congress seems unable to do.

    Brunswick,MD

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  88. Rosemarie

    The reason the polls show low is not because we do not want reform. It is because we think the president is too compromising with the republicans. We want the public options and we want it now

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  89. Jim Green, Seguin, TX, www.Inclusivism.org

    Jack, Churchill had it right....Democracy sound great until you spend 5 minutes talking to the average voter....how can expect these town halls to be constructive when they turn the mike over to assorted fruits and nuts–screaming gibberish!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  90. Ricky

    I think the town halls are a good idea gone wrong. The lack of control demonstrated is reason enough to call a halt to them and rethink tactics. Its a shame that there are people that want to protest about their rights then step all over the rights of others.

    Kyle, Texas

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  91. Dorman Sargent

    Definetly hurting it. President Obama allowed the corporate interests get control of the debate. People should look into who is backing these protesters (financially). Freedomworks is ran by Dick Armey , who is a lobbyist for the health care industry.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  92. roger

    The problem is that when a few people start screaming to stop any intellegent questions or information, the mediatelevises and discusses this over and over, as if each segment is happening in many different locatiions. Yes, you state the location, but how many people actually listen to the announcer? Remember when items had to fit into 30-60 minutes and then people had hours to digest the information? News today resembles peep show booth porn reels, just a continuous loop replaying the same thing over and over.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  93. Mario Rodriguez

    Who are these protestors? I speak to co workers, neighbors and friends and i have heard some people against reform but over all more people are for it than against. But I guess unless you're screaming and yelling at some town hall you wont be noticed. So much for fairness in the media. Only screaming and yelling make it on TV.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  94. Michigan

    I;m sick and tired of bullys taking over the town hall meetings. they need to lose there jobs and be without health care and see if they still act like bullys. they need to grow up and listen to what is in the bill before they make themselves look like ignorant fools

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  95. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    Very simple answer on this one, Jack. All of the town meetings piled together will have absolutely no effect on health care reform due to the fact that politicians will do whatever they want. Lobbyists will have the final say so I suggest "the people" should put their signs away.
    Don't forget that 20% of the citizenry are against everything anyway.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  96. Charlie Seaman

    I am a person who disapproves of the President's handling of healthcare because he has not been strong enough to get people behind his original plan., not because his plan is or was bad. He has let conservatives get too much control.

    When the polls are quoted saying some percentage of people are dissatisfied with his handling of healthcare, I'd like to see it broken down between those dissatisfied because they don't like the idea of health reform or because reform isn't going fast enough.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  97. Patnap/Georgia

    Hurting because more attention is being focused on the loud mouths rather than what is really in the bill. Thanks to Limbaugh and others, they believe what is told negatively against the bill. Unfortunately they believe Limbaugh rather than our president. President Obama needs to get out and lay down in more definitive terms as to just what he is proposing and make the people understand. However, there is a contingent who is unhappy with Obama due to his race and see this as an opportunity to get rid of him. Pat from Georgia

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  98. Karen in Cortland, Ohio

    Jack – to quote an old but true statement .... "It's the economy, stupid", except in this case, our health care problems are causing an economic meltdown for the middle class.. and NO ONE is talking about that... WHY ?

    Medical problems caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the U.S. in 2007, according to a study by Harvard researchers. And in a finding that surprised even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3% who had private coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.

    Medically related bankruptcies have been rising steadily for decades. In 1981, only 8% of families filing for bankruptcy cited a serious medical problem as the reason, while a 2001 study of bankruptcies in five states by the same researchers found that illness or medical bills contributed to 50% of all filings.

    This newest, nationwide study, conducted before the start of the current recession by Drs. David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler of Harvard Medical School, Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School, and Deborah Thorne, a sociology professor at Ohio University, found that the filers were for the most part solidly middle class before medical disaster hit. Two-thirds owned their home and three-fifths had gone to college.

    The study was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published online June 4, 2009 by the American Journal of Medicine. It will appear in the Journal's August 2009 print edition.

    They found that a number of medical factors contributed to a family's financial disaster. More than 90% of medically related bankruptcies were caused by high medical bills directly or medical costs that were so high the family was forced to mortgage their home. The remaining 8% went bankrupt because a medical problem caused them to lose income. The authors were not able to track credit-card defaults caused by medical bills, but a 2007 study found that, of low- and middle-income households with credit-card debt, 29% used their plastic to pay off medical expenses.

    These statistics show that our health insurance crisis has had a significant impact on our financial crisis. As this is happening, the health care industry as a whole are generating record profits.

    So can we please talk facts, instead of lies?

    Thanks,

    Karen

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  99. RGH

    It is bringing reform to it's knees, in addition, it will probably take a few congressman with it. I don't think that necessarily is a bad thing.

    Right or wrong, good or bad, the Specter's and Pelosi's need to go. They are a turn-off regardless of the topic.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  100. Anthony Adoghe. Amsterdam, Toronto

    YES and NO. We are beginning to clearly see how ignorant some Americans are about health-care and at the same time, how selfish and insensitive those who do not want health care reforms are. The news media should concentrate on the world statistics and let the Americans know how far behind they are in health coverage for all the big money they spend!!!

    Dr Anthony

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  101. Jay Blodgett

    I guess I am cynical enough to believe that the town hall meetings are not really going to have an effect on the Bill that will eventually leave those Committees. In other words, are the voices at the Town Halls going to speak louder than the CEOs of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, UHC, etc., when the final versions of the bills are drafted behind those closed doors next month?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  102. Heidi from Arizona

    I watch CNN everyday and I can't tell you how many times I've seen what almost seems like crazy people on air. People screaming at our elected officials is just unbelievable to me. I was brought up better than that.

    I don't necessarily think that the town hall meetings themselves are hurting healthcare reform but something that was said at the Missouri meeting is haunting me today – it's when Claire McCaskill said that out of the nearly 1 3/4 hour courteous portion of her meeting, only the disturbance would appear on TV – well after watching CNN today, she was right. I love CNN, but come on, stop giving those people their 15 hours of fame – isn't it supposed to be 15 minutes?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  103. Rebecca in SC

    I don't think that they will hurt enough to prevent reform. The poll numbers you cite do not indicate that a majority objects to reform. The 49% who disapprove of the way Obama is handling the issue includes not only your protesters but also people who think he is not going far enough–people who want a single-payer system and people who do not like his attempts at bipartisanship. The poll question would have to be asked differently to give an idea of how many folks oppose reform altogether.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  104. Kyle M

    I believe the meetings are shedding negative light on a positive motion... Claire Mccaskill was ripped apart in my hometown of Poplar Bluff, Mo. and i am embarrassed because of it. It is time that we look past the color of our president's skin, and focus on the future that he is leading us towards

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  105. Abby Lewis in Austin, Texas

    No one is actually discussing real health care reform at these town halls. They're still shouting and screaming about death panels, single payer, and other false nonsense.

    The town halls aren't making any real progress when the Americans attending them aren't properly informed on the issues and show up looking to pick a fight instead of debating the issues in a civil manner. The Congressmen and women who are holding the meetings are just subjecting themselves to unecessary torture.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  106. Ruie - Brownstown, MI

    Dear Jack: Unfortunately, as my Mother-in-Law used to say "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." (And she really knew how to squeak)!

    Unfortunately, those yelling loudest about health care and taxes are merely pawns of sharks like Forbes, Murdoc, and Scott who pour millions into propaganda to make sure they can make even MORE millions. Frankly, I don't see how those guys sleep at night – but one things for sure - their feet are already on fire. The saddest thing is that those who are afraid of health care reform, need it the most.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  107. daphine

    I believe their are hurting the Healthcare reform message, It clearly these people are stupid, becuase this effects all of us. The very people who are making noise, are the very ones who need it.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  108. Victoria Huszgah-Case

    I think that the town hall meetings are hurting potential health care reform. The situation of health care in the US is long over due. I can't help but notice how absent Secretary Clinton is from all of this. She has already been burnt by the American people in her attempt to make the nation better for all not just some. I am a nurse who has worked in the health care industry in both the United States and in Canada. I have to say that given the state of the US health care system, while my heart may still be in the US. I wouldn't trust my body or those of my children to the Unites States health care system as it stands today. I do believe it is time to come to the table and progress as a nation Nationalized single payer or France style two-tier health care is the way to go!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  109. David B. Yackley

    Anytime dissent becomes an end in itself, it hurts any communication. Who are these dissenters? They have no substantive points to make, and spend valuable time waving constitutional red herrings and screaming. Is this Republican-orchestrated theatre meant to fill up 30 second sound bites? They are doing it because CNN is showing it. Where are the tough questions about who these screamers actually are?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  110. Patricia Madison

    It is not the town hall meeting, but the people that shows up at the meetings. Most are on Medicare, but they don't want government involvement in health care. Will someone ask the question; have the governments that have adopted healthcare reform emploded, if not why?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  111. Joy

    I think most of these people already have their minds made up to not like anything President Obama does..Its not about health care reform. Its about the fact that they hate anything he does..and we all know why...Shame Shame on them....

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  112. phil Jorgenson

    How can an open forum where politicians face "real" questions be harmful to a self described democracy? While I've always preferred the idea of a true republic, the US today is a democracy, and the peoples right to be heard should not be infringed, lest we fall into the barbarous traps so many civilizations have succumbed to before. Or not.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  113. Uke Jackson

    It's not the town meetings, it's the media coverage of the thugs and ruffians that is hurting health care, and the country. Of course, Obama blew it, too. He should have said "We're expanding Medicare to cover everyone." Then the greedy grays, who want their coverage continued while others are denied health care, might sit down, shut up and be grateful for what this country gives them.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  114. Deacon Jones

    I don't think that the meetings are hurting reform, but, I feel that the politicians have forgotten who they really work for. If it's the peoples opinion not to have or want this health care, it's their job to express our wants as we wish. We as a people should not lose our mind over whats being stated at these meetings. Just remember how they voted the next time we vote. Deacon Tallulah, La.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  115. Nancy, Tennessee

    It's a toss up. After seeing the broadcast from Senator Corbin's townhall meeting, I learned a lot of facts, but still with the questions being asked there will be people who believe the fiction. Health care reform is getting a bad rap from these people attending the meetings who truly have some myths. A "Death squad" will not be a part of the package even though some seem geniunely convinced that this is how the government plans to reduce the cost of healthcare in America.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  116. Edna NJ

    IF the protestors (rioters) would stop screaming and shouting and let the senators explain the bill they would be able to understand it but like typical republicans they want to just attack it without knowing the facts.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  117. Alex A.

    With the immaturity of some of the protestors, I'm not sure which answer to lean on. I don't think they understand the entire health care bill, much less read the whole thing, before they started complaining at the town hall meetings. Now that I think about it, if they don't try to think logically here, what are the odds of them thinking logically on OTHER topics?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  118. Margaret

    It seems the people screaming at the town hall meetings are set on only one thing....shutting out the truth about what is in the bill. I would love to see a poll re health care (or any presidential policy for that matter) that also asks how many people listen to the conservative talk show radio hosts. I'm thinking maybe 49%?? It would be nice for the media to just focus on what's in the bill and forget about the shouters that won't listen to a rational thought...

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  119. Chuck from Inglewood, CA

    Jack, Just like the economy has been stopped from its freefall, and its only a matter of time for job recovery to set in, townhall meetings have helped to stop or stabilize the freefall in poll ratings of healthcare reform as you earlier stated. And as the criminally false and ridiculous "misleaders" ie Palin. limbaugh, etc of the Republican party get exposed, the polls will surely begin an upward rise.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  120. Terry at Cincinnati

    The townhalls are hurting. Enough talking; pass the damn bill before we have a revolution.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  121. Elijah

    Theres no doubt about it, the town hall meetings are hurting health care reform. Its not so much the fact that the meetings are taking place, but the uninformed public that disrupts the process of learning that is supposed to take place at the town halls. We already elected these officials, if the people are not behind the government the government will get nothing done. We are now stuck in what George Washington warned us about. A divided country due to tough party politics

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  122. Phil

    Jack I think you are reading the survey not quite right. I am 100% for reform but I am also 100% dissapointed in how it is being handled. These town hall meeting only show how much hate is still in this Great nation. I think their are alot of people that want the Dems to get a backbone and do the right thing even if it mean the REP set on the sideline and just comp[lain and lie

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  123. Darryl of Farmington Hills, Michigan

    The REPORTING of the town hall meetings – specifically the poor reporting of the industry sponsored and organized misinformation driven nature of them – is indeed hurting the prospects for health care reform. The survey, however, is misleading – many voice dissatisfaction over President Obama's handling of health care reform because they believe he should ignore the "just say no" GOP and go forward with a strong plan. Seeking compromise is a losing proposition in this environment of GOP stoked fear and lies.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  124. amelia

    In my opinion, the town hall meetings are helping the process. This is a government for the people, by the people. These meetings, although they might potentially hurt the President's plans for reform, are giving our elected officials a feel for their constituents views.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  125. Jim Rogers

    I think it's hurting the cause for reform. The "protesters" are allowed to steal the meetings. I have yet to hear a congress person stand up to them and control their meeting," if you can't be civil you will be removed". I have yet to hear a rep say " well, what do YOU suggest we do about the 50 million w/o coverage or the constant cost increases." They just don't answer the miss-information.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  126. frankie

    Neither, it's just noise. To those of you who keep saying that Medicare and Social Security are bankrupt, let me assure you that I get my check every month and I have medical coverage every month.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  127. Demos Theodorakakis

    They are hurting health care reform because people are divided, confused and angered over the information that is floating around the country. The dems have to give out more information to the people about this bill. There is potential danger that a revolution will arise over the national debt and overspending.

    Salem, MA

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  128. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    The meetings are allowing the most vocal members of both sides to vent their feelings. People often wave signs when they cannot get anything else up. They will not signify much else unless Congress listen to people who are not shouting as well as those who are.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  129. Gery, Atlanta

    Jack, I think you need to hold a townhall meeting...then something might actually get accomplished!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  130. John Volner

    Mr.Cafferty
    Once again I agree with your opinion that the white house has dropped the ball by not explaining the health care bill. However they have also lost many of would be supporters by holding town hall meetings by the president and democrats, that are unclear in thier messages and seem more like a way of pushing americans toward something they are overwhelmingly against.The town hall forum should be used to hear what the american people want.Not tell them what they may get. Thank You John Volner St.Louis Mo.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  131. michael

    I am so sick of this health care debate. If Americans do not support a health care reform bill that in most case will not only help them but other Amerindians then fine. If the Americans that really need it do not want to take time to show up to these debates that's fine also. Its sad to say that many Americans are not ready to help their self's and other Americans on this. The president just needs to let this one go. Thanks for trying.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  132. Tim

    It's not about healthcare. If you asked the desenters if there was anything they agreed with President Obama about you would hear a long silent pause.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  133. Dan in Florida

    Jack, the town hall meetings are hurting the health care reform issue because they've been filled with off-the-wall assumptions and hyprocrisy. Some of these screaming citizens have a pre-disposed attitude before they even walk in the room. If you want questions answered you need to possess some handle of facts and be prepared that the answers may not suit you personally. Many of these screamers shout that they should have their say, but then deny others to have theirs. The President has been clear on what he would like to see in legislation but some just choose to read a sentence and form the rest of the paragraph to their own agenda.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  134. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    Town hall meetings will continue to confuse people until they stop and listen carefully to what the loudest voices are actually raving about. Those demanding that we "take our country back" are simply racists objecting to the Obama Administration. From the comments made most of the speakers have no idea what they are talking about and merely repeat the chants voiced at other meetings. The Nazi symbols and slurs against the President go to the wing nut "right" who educate themselves by listening to Limbaugh and Beck. Real Americans are respectful and tolerant. Not obnoxious boors.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  135. Faye Clark

    Jack I am more concern about how I will explain to my grandson, how a group of so call disrespectable older americans or citizens refuse to look at the facts and are the world how there is so much hate. The townhall meeting are good to show who the american people really are. Jack face it, these meeting have allowed some people to really state how that feel about the president. I am a retired person who care more about the healthcare of children than I do about who wins this debate. Why is there so much hate in this debate? People, just think what this last 8 years has done to this country, what party put us in a recession.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  136. Jan M. Hollis

    The Town Hall meetings are not helping health care reform but they are helping the reform of politicians who think the American people are stupid.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  137. wes ward

    Help me out here, Jack. I've got health care through my employer, yet my costs are rising (for a variety of reasons). Many others do not have (and currently cannot get) health insurance.

    If they don't get coverage, either they will be treated (with those costs passed on to me and others like me) or they will be turned away.

    Why is this so hard to comprehend - getting coverage for and lowering the costs to all is the only way the system will stabilize.

    Ironic isn't it, that if the folks who holler the most at town halls have their way, my costs will continue to rise incredibly steeply AND folks will have to go away some place to die.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  138. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Howdy Jack,

    I'd say the town halls are a wash; no odds either way.
    What you have here is Republican Chicken Littles stirring up all the Goosey Ganders with dysinformation proving "The Sky Is Falling". Enough with the fairy tales. It is high time the Democrats and their few GOP allies to step up and be the adults here. The panic mongers and their Legion of the Lost-witted want sitting on.... HARD!! This is serious business and we do not have time for nonsense.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  139. GLoria PA

    It's hard to understand something when you don't shut up long enough to listen.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  140. kevin from chicago

    Jack, why not let the american people vote on it. Isn't that the way it should be.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  141. Shellie

    Jack, why are there no disruptive protests at Republican legislators' town hall meetings? That suggests that the angry protests are largely unhappy Republicans using the health care debate for partisan purposes. They're trying to create the impression of widespread rejections to health care reform, and that's simply untrue.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  142. Lois

    The "National Health Care Reform" idea is BAD. People are only rewarding bad medicine. They will rape your bank accounts. The type of medicine they want us under is the culture of death.

    From what I heard over the radio today on the Glenn Beck show, there is proof that doctors cut out vital organs, tonsils, FEET, for MONEY, when it is not necessary.

    I had to have 5 pints of blood because of a slip during a simple procedure. I avoid doctors like the plague. I believe in alternative medicine. Will the plan allow it?...NO....

    We need a different kind of medicine...with a love for life...not one of death with it comes to disease.

    I worked in a hospital for 8 years. I could tell you horror stories..

    NO to the plan Obama has in store for us....

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  143. Joshua Reese

    Jack, it frightens me – when pro-lifers start bloviating about ObamaCare funding abortions – – all should beware the injection of folklore into emotionally-charged outbursts, we fade further away from civil discourse. Civilized debate is what makes America great, not name-calling and baseless accusations. – Josh, Folcroft, PA

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  144. Greg

    I would be willing to bet that 90% of the people who complain about Health care at the town Meetings already have adequate care. Of that 90%, 85 % are paid (with stimulus funds) by the republican party just to attend those meeting and see what they can stir up. 5% jsut dont like Arlen Specter. The remaining 10% are the American who really need Health care, let them be heard.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  145. Ken, Long Beach, CA

    Town hall meetings help, and I would even encourage them more. But people need to use those meetings to have civil discussions and express their opinions in a civilized manner, rather than yelling an screaming like an uneducated idiot. Most of what I hear people screaming about is baseless and more about "rumours" and lies than on actual facts. Having seen the medical systems of over 10 developed countries, I can say with a degree of knowledge that our system is severely broke. If the Right-wingers want the private insurance companies to resolve the problem then the private sector needs to fix it themselves so it doesn't get to a point where the govt has to step in.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  146. Maralynn Mash

    The outbursts at the town hall meetings are clearly politically motivated. I wonder how many of these people are 'birthers'.
    The Republicans did not allow open debate. President Bush only spoke in front of republicans.
    Drowning out others and not allowing rational discussion is unAmerican....This is orchestrated...no doubt about it.
    Someone should do an investigative piece on who these people are who are disrupting the town halls....it may be a version of Watergate...Look into it CNN. Who's paying for travel, web sites...follow the money.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  147. Natalie

    Unfortunately Jack, despite the fact that town hall meetings have in past years (under previous administrations) been helpful in shedding light and bringing Americans together civilly, these meetings have been nothing more than another opportunity for Republicans to once again protest the election of President Obama.

    The meetings are not about healthcare reform. They are yet another ploy of far right conservatives to disrupt what should be a civil union and valid concerns over defining the health care that will best suit our citizens. I'm not suggesting proposed bills are the best bills. Rather I am stating that the civility that should allow us to find the best bill has gone the way of the modern day republican pirates who do not represent me as a true republican.

    First the world watched as Republicans protested the election of our first African American president. Next the world was witness to that ever embarrassing "tea party revolt" by tantruming republicans. Then they the right wing nut jobs began a witch hunt to find our new Justice's scarlet letter "L" and now? Well they've pulled another stunt to disrupt in the name of patriotism what should be a vital discussion to find healthcare for our countrymen.

    I am embarrassed and ashamed that the world is watching this display of pathetic desperation by those comfortable being viewed as bafoons in front of our children and the world. Whats will they do next for attention?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  148. Leslie

    Town Hall meetings are most definitely helping the cause for health care reform. The behavior of the participants demonastrates a screaming need for more funding for mental health facilities and physciatric services in this country. These people are truly sick and need help!

    Leslie (Houston, TX)

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  149. Mark Baltin

    Jack,
    My wife and I were asked by Obama's group "Organizing For America" to attend as many of these town halls as we could in order to counter the protesters. We just got back from our first one in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, this afternoon, and we were pretty nervous about what to expect.
    What we found was that there were people who didn't like the plan, but they were either elderly people who were nervous about the change, or people who were probably Republicans. Nevertheless, while they were pretty clear about their views, the discussion was pretty civil. At least everybody was treated with respect. As a matter of fact, after we left, I said to my wife that seeing a town hall like this was probably a good civics lesson for kids. My compliments to Congressman Steve Rothman (who, incidentally, isn't my Congressman).

    August 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  150. Theresa

    These town hall meetings are hurting health care reform. These people are using scare tactics against a bill that isn't finished yet. That being said anyone who believes that there is going to be a "death panel" is a moron.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  151. Ivan

    None of the loud ignorant people that show up at these events has ever voted Democrat or ever will vote Democrat in the future, even if we give up health care reform. Every Democrat rep & senator can safely ignore them without fear of losing any votes. We the quieter majority, will re-elect them, unless they turn out to be just as useless as Republicans.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  152. Molly Jo Texas

    Obama and the Adminstration better wake up & realize this is about the American people tired of being ramrodded – YES! Everyone is in an uproar & it's not about party lines (cop-out) it's about being lied to and having the govt "own" the banks, the auto industry and now health care – and what's next? Obama has lied to the American people and is way to full of himself.
    "We're mad as hell and we won't take it any more!" There is going to be a revolution unless they poison everyone first with their vaccines(flu shot anyone?)

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  153. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The Obama administration and the Democratic congress have done a poor job of spelling out exactly what they plan to do regarding healthcare reform. I know exactly what Medicare covers, which in my case is everything when combined with supplemental insurance, and like a wingwalker I don't want to let go of this strut until I have a firm grip on the next one. When it comes to the healthcare reform plan, I can't even see the next strut.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  154. Vanessa Emerzian

    A televised debate on this issue between key decision-makers would go a long way to clearing the confusion for a large number of people.

    Sacramento, CA

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  155. Jack Lambert

    Jack,

    I could be wrong, but I'd guess that you could hold town hall meetings all over the planet til the cows come home, featuring the world's most talented presenters, and still fail to convince folks that you can add 47 million people to the already overburdened public health care roles for practically no additional cost.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  156. Laura

    I think the town hall meetings are helping because Congress is having to listen to constituets. I don't think it it the governments business. Why not the high cost of car insurance or house insurance? Why not tort reform?
    If they really feel they need to "help" ; send each American the cost of an annual premium that would cover the kind of plan that Congress has..
    Thanks for covering this..

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  157. John

    I think having town hall meetings on health care reform is a good idea. However those attending should be prepared and have already read the documents outlining the proposed reforms. It is clear to most citizens that is not the case. Many attendees just show up to drown out speakers and intmidate those prepared.

    They rely on rumors, heresay and the comments of indiviuals like Newt Ginrich and Sarah Palin to form their opinions. Frankly Newt has not read the reforms and Sarah would not understand them anyway. I think everyone should refocus their efforts on determining objectives and discussing a willingness to cover the costs. Equal access and coverage for everyone through all the phases of life is crucial. Remember the golden rule. Treat everyone the way you expect to be treated and there for the grace of God I. In this country it seems no one is willing to pay for anything or for anyone unless it benefits them. We are only as strong as our weakest link. Lets solve the healthcare reform problem now by working together for the betterment of everyone and the USA. Otherwise we are doomed financially and as a country as we tear each other apart.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  158. Barbara Lou Townsend

    The exercise of free speech as part of a debate is one thing. The types of hateful outbursts during these town hall meetings is another. Ignorant poor people manipulated by factions fo the GOP and people in the health industry who stand to lose something if the health care reform happens.

    Barbara Lou Townsend
    Clearwater Florida

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  159. Taylor

    Arkansas
    The meetings are helping by showing how desperate the opposition is getting. History has shown us that public displays of anger rarely help a political cause, and I expect this to be no different.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  160. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Jack, I don't know yet, but it's really shaking all the bugs out of woodwork. Tomorrow, I'll be at a town meeting myself and hopefully, I'll have a better idea

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  161. Frank

    The town hall meetings are hurting the discussion on healthcare because it's giving a platform for these fanatics liberal and conservative to voice their visceral hatred towards each other. The townhall meeting with President Obama in New Hampshire was a perfect example how they should be run. He talked about the proposed legislation and then fielded questions from the people. The people who had questions behaved in a respectable way. Especially the gentleman who said he was a Republican. He was somewhat suspicious of the bill and asked a question in a calm manner. Kudos to the gentleman all americans should behave the way he did. I'm ashamed of these so called americans behaving in such a uncivilized fashion because their choice for president didn't win. This was still my country when Bush and Cheney were in office. I mean the bill is trying to provide healthcare for all citizens,how is that evil?

    August 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  162. Carolyn Danley

    I think the town hall meetings are hurting. Most of these people, not all of them are getting the stage now that they did not get in the tea parties. It's understandable why some people would not trust the government after the Bush years. That doesn't mean we should sit back and wait for the United States totally collaspe.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  163. Oscar Torres

    This should be a civil talk among citizens. Lets see if these people in
    Washington can get it together get some detailed information out , and let us read it, so we can then have a vote.....

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  164. Daniel

    The town hall meetings are definitely hurting President Obama's attempts at healthcare reform. The folks in Washington have been ignoring the American people for some time and now their anger is boiling over. This debate is really about complete government control over healthcare despite what the president is telling us. If we create a public funded issurance company with unlimited funding, how are private insurance companies suppose to compete? Logically, private insurance will go out of business and everyone will have to get government healthcare. This bill is just a vehicle to bring about socialized medicine.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  165. Barbara Thomas

    How else can the people of the US voice their views and be heard. The only other word comes from the media quoting those who agree with them.. At last there is some recognition that a lot of people are very unhappy with our government. But the question is..does anyone in the congress or senate really care about what the people want after they are elected. Thank you to all those who have the courage and ability to go to a town hall meeting and raise their voices. Add mine.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  166. Dave

    The town hall meetings are creating chaos and muddying the waters of the health care reform debate. Republicans in Congress opposed to reform began the distortion, deceit, and division prior to the August recess in order to feed common dissent with tactics to divide the country and lead to a break down of reform legislation. Opponents who create the "monsters in the closet" know that the status quo will be preserved if a large enough % of common citizens are frightened beyond belief. There is an inherent political flaw in democracy that has existed since 1776. Uninformed and ignorant activists force higher order thinkers to just throw up their hands and give up in the face of an absurd mob. It is an unfortunate reality that threatens to drown out the sensible portions of theis health reform debate.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  167. Don from Moline

    There is no one "Health Reform Bill". The House has a
    PROPOSED" bill and the Senate the same. We need to express our concerns to our elected officials before any bill is passed and sent to the Pres. I can understand the frustration felt by these individuals. I've written numerous times to my Rep. and never get anything but a standard form letter in reply. Too bad these passions won't last to the next election and we could vote all the bumbs out.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  168. Katy Connor

    I listened to as many town hall meeting as I good trying to understand it. Trying to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt. I have been against the health care reform from the beginning. I am more concerned and very much against it now. There are too many plans. How are we going to understand any of it. Then, to have President Obama misquote AARP makes it even worse. We cannot research anything with all of these plans.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  169. Dylan(Columbia ,SC)

    As an independent I am not very impressed with the Obama administration's effort to explain this health care bill. Where are the facts and details? There has just been a lot of talk about reform At the same time where are Republicans on this issue? They haven't proposed one single useful idea alternative to the Democrats. I understand that they don't like this health care bill at all but don't they know that the majority of Americans want some kind of health care reform?. Can't we just put our political beliefs aside and come together as Americans and come up with a real health care reform plan? Until both parties do I give them both an F grade.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  170. Casey

    The only thing that these town hall meetings are hurting is America itself. These meetings are set up in order to provide an open forum for civil debate on a very important issue. However, protesters seem to think that free speech means shouting down the other person so their viewpoint can't be heard. Instead of getting their opinions heard they are ruining the democratic system for everyone.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  171. Steve

    Jack,
    I think it hurts health care reform. Primarily because most of the politicians don't understand the importance of reforming health care. In the next 5-15 years, the baby boomers are going to bankrupt this country. There are about 70 million baby boomers that are going to retire. How will we pay for this?
    Secondly, the trillions of dollars in debt was left by the Bush Administration. Why don't these politicians throw the blame back at those who are in opposition of health care and talking about debt. The Obama administration didn't create all this debt, only to correct it.
    Either the politicians don't understand the importance of health care reform or they want it to fail.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  172. Will

    I dont think they should take place. First of all everyone is complaining about a bill that is'nt even completed. As I recall the Republicans and Blue dogs wanted to delay these bills out of committee. Now the conservatives are spreading misinformation about a bill that is not even completed thanks to Republicans and the insurance companies. So no more town hall meetings.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  173. Dan Hickey

    We in Canada went thorough this debate years ago. Our system is not perfect but it works for me. I think our members of parliament get the same coverage as I do. I pay a premium for myself and my wife.

    I would like to know what members of congress and senators in your government have for coverage. What does it cost them? Simple give everyone the same plan as they get and make them pay the same premium. The elected officials could not possibly be against that could they?????

    Dan

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  174. Darlene Hill PA

    IT amazes me how these 'protesters' are fighting against their own best interests. No one in their right mind would oppose Health Care Reform. America already chose Health Care Reform when we elected President Obama.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  175. Neil from LA

    Hi Jack I am amazed by the rantings of the uneducated. Is the USA a civilized country? not from what I hear...it seems to me that I am OK and I do not want to assist with the less well off to access the Health Business!! Socialism....what's the problem we have socialized Police and Fire Service.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  176. Sherri Mraz

    I think in the long run, the angry screamers will help healthcare reform. Most reasonable people will not want to be associated with them, and their unjustified fears based on misinformation and lies are slowly being debunked. They come across as uneducated and racist, two things most people do not want to be perceived as. I hope reasonable people will come to believe it is in their best interest to reform healthcare. I believe doing nothing will cost me more, than the reform. If my premiums double as predicted over the next years, I will probably be without insurance. Then, if I get sick, those angry mob people will be paying for me anyway, and probably at a higher price, than if reform had gone through. Obama will get the last laugh.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  177. Jay Costello Scranto PA

    These town meetings are hurting this so-called health care "debate". While many attendees may be well meaning folks, most participants
    appear to be just "screamers and gun totters" reacting to this critical issue in a purely visceral manner. Many appear to be in dire need of health care services- Mental.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  178. Larry

    Another part of the story is what is not said by the neo-cons. Here is the question of the day who believes someone who has paid for health insurance for thirty years then has a serious illness and discovers what most people don't know ,that now they will lose there house because there coverage did not cover enough....Should people lose there home and go into poverty after they have worked there whole life...Ask the next Neo-con this question.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  179. Jon Auer

    Jack, I believe they are hurting as much as they are helping. In short we are getting no where. Political Spin, half truths, aloof behavior of the Legislatores. CNN trying to patch the gap and show the truth when and if they can even get a hold of it.

    What ever comes out of this, I believe will be full of Insurance loop-holes in favor of Insurance companies, costly to the middle glass, reguardless of what is said, and not the total care package America so despirately needs. And- I hope I am worng.

    I feel beat down with all this Jack, I just want a safe and secure place to retire, it is just to much

    Jon in Nashville

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  180. rocio baytown,tx

    The town halls are somewhat hurting healthcare reform since it spreads the misleading information and irrational people who are not as openminded to change and sit down and actually listen to what their representative has to say. But it is also a time where they can voice what they think but just calm down and act civilised, and hopefully get stuff cleared up. So it just depends.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  181. shirley curtis

    The town hall meetings are showing just how angry and out of control the Obama haters have become. In the long run, I think it will only hurt the opponents of health care reform by showing just how selfish they are. The silent majority who want decent health care at a reasonable price will far outnumber those who are only out to hurt Obama.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  182. Steve B.

    The town hall meetings are NOT the issue. The willingness of people to become so upset over falsehoods is. Any "debate" on healthcare has to rest on honesty, and only cynicism has evidenced as mobs at these town hall meetings.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  183. Josh Rencher

    The meetings are well-meaning, but they're hurting, because the attending mobs are distinctly partisan and show up with torches and pitchforks. Why are Republican citizens so rude, rowdy, untrusting, and unwilling to be educated of the facts? You never saw this kind of behavior from Democrats during Bush's disastrous administration, because Democrats, as a whole, are more prone to rational thinking, intelligent discourse, and civil protest.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  184. Bunny

    As a democrat and Obama fan, I feel that Health Care Reform is a MUST. However, I do not feel all these town hall meetings are helping the situation – they are just giving a lot of loonie tunes exposure on TV. Our senators and congressmen are doing a pretty good job of keeping their cool amid so many hotheads, but the message is getting lost. People need more clarity about what is in the Bill; we should send the rumors to the trash can, and get on with a Bill that will help Americans who have no health insurance and poor health care, at best . We need to curb the COST of America's healthcare! People who already have good health insurance need to relax and understand they are not being threatened.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  185. Darrell Abrams

    Jack,
    Health care or wellfare,I choose health care get off wellfare.
    Just hope the fine print is fair for all working Americans.
    Go Obama

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  186. Bob Kosick

    Jack,
    After seeing the economic mess our country is in, ordinary citizens are fed up. There is the perception that our politicians in Washington have sold us out to Wall street, Detroit, big oil, the drug companies, insurance companies the AMA and the list goes on. The people we have elected have fallen into bed with all the special interest lobbyists and have forgotten we sent them there to, so to speak, be our lobbyist. If we can change presidents every four to eight years we should also have term limits for Congress. We don't trust them anymore and that's why Health Care Reform is running into so much resistance.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  187. Alice Walsh

    Up here in Canada, we find it all very entertaining. Especially comments like Obama is going to kill your Grandma. George Bush spent the first six months of his term on vacation. He ignored warnings of an attack on the United States. President Obama is working tirelessly on getting health care reform. He is an intelligent compassionate man. He came into office with more problems than most presidents, yet he is being scorned and criticized by the likes of Sarah Palin and Glen Beck. People need to come together and support the president instead of making his job more difficult.
    Alice Walsh
    Nova Scotia
    Canada

    August 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  188. Dave in Indiana

    The town hall meetings are creating chaos and muddying the waters of the health care reform debate. Republicans in Congress opposed to reform began the distortion, deceit, and division prior to the August recess in order to feed common dissent with tactics to divide the country and lead to a break down of reform legislation. Opponents who create the “monsters in the closet” know that the status quo will be preserved if a large enough % of common citizens are frightened beyond belief. There is an inherent political flaw in democracy that has existed since 1776. Uninformed and ignorant activists force higher order thinkers to just throw up their hands and give up in the face of an absurd mob. It is an unfortunate reality that threatens to drown out the sensible portions of theis health reform debate. Dave, in Indiana

    August 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  189. debra

    I think if we can have a healthy debate from both sides, then yes it is good but if you can't talk at all or all you talk about is pure nonsense, then what good comes of that?
    By the way Jack.....you're awesome!

    August 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  190. Casey

    I am 16 years old and I believe that it is definitely hurting health care reform. Stations like Fox News are trying to frighten its viewers by putting too much emphasis on small parts of the plan that I also disagree on. They should talk more about the benefits that would come from this plan. I remember a few days ago I saw a clip of some angry guy saying “this health care plan will make us like 1930’s Germany” Is he trying to say that the Germans had healthcare for everyone back then?… Haha, this kind of talk is absurd. Then hearing people yell “yeah!” after he says that just astounds me how gullible some people are.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |