Thursday, September 3, 2009

August Town Hall in Athens

The week had started with a 4 hour Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Parker Griffith in Florence, and I certainly thought that was plenty. But then the emails started coming in about the Friday afternoon Meeting in Athens…And a request for the attendance by as many of us as possible…So I made arrangements for my daughter to watch our store, and off my son and I went for Athens. This one was only scheduled for 2 hours, so we figured it shouldn't last TOO long!

This was to be the 6th Health Care related event I had attended in the last two months, and I must say it rated as the most uncomfortable! They had set up ~120 folding chairs on a gym floor -- - and the rest of us got to sit on bleachers! We guessed that there were at least 400 folks at this one by time it got going, maybe more like 500 or 600.

Promptly at 2:00 the event began with an invocation. It was considerably longer than Monday evening's: "…here today as a community…gather today out of a common concern…give thanks for gift of freedom…acknowledge many perspectives…seek your wisdom…help us to remember the Common Ground we come from…your compassion eclipses partisan politics…"

Then a Professor came up to finish welcoming us: "The University is proud to have Congressman Griffith here…but we are also proud to see you here…Mr. Jefferson would be proud…Health Care consumes 16% of our national wealth every year…Congress is engaged in a great debate (on Health Care), the first in over 40 years…(Remember) hearing yourself talk is not always the best exercise of the First Amendment…Our Congressman is new to Congress, (it is his) first term…not new to this topic, since he is a physician by occupation."

There were two microphones set up, and we were directed to keep our introductions short, under one minute. (That continually proves to be a hard concept for so many at these meetings!) As usual, I took detailed notes during the meeting, and share those here. Parker Griffith's words, as best as I could record them that afternoon, are in bold below and my thoughts are italicized. I have also underlined some of the key points.

Congressman Griffith started his introduction: It is gratifying to see the interest in Health Care…America is no longer confined to the TV set…(But I) must say to you that there are other issues should turn out for – education (and) illegal immigration (are) serious problems in our country.
[1st applause this afternoon]
If he wants us to attend Town Halls on those other issues, guess he needs to try setting them up…Only then might he be able to complain that we don't care about those other issues as well.

He continued: The federal Government has no backbone to close that border
[2nd applause]
I have to ask myself when I hear these comments – did he misspeak, or does he truly want NO immigration from the South…If that is not the case, he wants the border secured, not closed – there is a VERY important difference!

Now on to today's topic: Let's talk about Health Care…The American public is living longer and longer…and people from all over the world come here for Health Care. [applause]
But where will we/they go if this wonderful Health Care system is destroyed?...system second to none. Trying to fix SMALL part of it. But aren't we in danger of destroying the entire thing with most of these "fixes" being suggested? Trying to provide access for small number (lost jobs, etc.)…We have decided in America to air this out/tee this up. Well, no, let's get this straight, Congressman Griffith…The President and Congress decided to make these major changes, and we, the People, have forced the issue by not taking the changes quietly. …We are asking ourselves as a Nation…

One of those, the Waxman bill, is already out of committee…I am not for that bill and will vote against it. (applause)But doesn't mean (I'm) against reforming Health CareAt this point he launched into the tragic story about Patsy and her cancer that we heard Monday evening. …Can we find (the) solution to that problem? …Waxman Bill is a threat to Medicare…We need a solution…There is no Senate bill yet…2 committees…Vast majority want us to improve our Health Care… Do you really care what we want? I don't believe the majority wants the Federal Government trying to "fix" Health Care…and does it really matter what the majority "wants", if there is no money to do it?!?

Griffith continued: How did we get in this fix? Times have changed since World War II…every company began to offer perks, and one of them was Health Care…We had men and women who worked at the same companies for 20 – 30 years…A system that we were used to became scrambled…For small companies (it is) too expensive…no health insurance…(There was a) great debate back in the 90's that went nowhere…Big companies, pharmaceuticals, etc. were against any reform…(Now we are) trying to reform this Health Care system around an acute shortage…the typical medical establishment failed to recognize Baby Boom generation coming through…even wealthy counties like Madison, hard to get Medicare patients seen…

Griffith started to make his proposals for correcting these problems: …good students being turned down by medical schools, need reform [applause] …Tort Reform
[applause] At this point Griffith had been talking for almost 15 minutes, and sounded like he would have continued, until one brave soul walked up to one of the empty mikes and asked for the opportunity for the audience to be heard by the Congressman now, instead of the other way around. Within moments, lines were forming at both mikes:

  1. "I don't understand…why can't we think outside the box? (Are we offering) a blue ribbon plan or bottom level plan?" Griffith: Insurance Companies need to be reformed, need to compete across state lines. Oh yes, those big, bad insurance companies again… isn't it the fault of governments (state and/or federal) that insurance companies CAN'T currently compete across state lines?!?
    Questioner: "(Could set up) community Centers to provide Health Care for those without insurance…" Griffith: (There are) not enough of them.
  2. "On FTC commission, are you not?" Griffith: No, I'm not. Questioner: "Why are we allowing trucks and truck drivers coming across the border and taking jobs from Americans?" Griffith: Until the federal government stops it…and your elected officials take care of
    {At that point someone pointed out included him.}
    I'm on your team, don't fight me. Questioner: "Other question, what would it take for you to vote for Obama's plan?" Griffith: He doesn't have a plan…he's waiting for Congress to fight this out…One day he says this and one day he says that… Seems like Griffith won't be real popular with his own party when he returns to D.C. next month! But I'm still not convinced he has any plans of switching parties!
  3. George, from Liberty House: "…Congress didn't write these bills, lobbyists did… [applause] We ask that bills be available for 14 days on the internet before any votes and that those who wrote the bills are listed in the bills, an annex…Health Care is only the symptom." [applause] Griffith: I authored two resolutions…they would require that any Health Care bill must be on each Congressman's desk for 1 week before a vote and any Health Care plan passed becomes Congress' plan. Kudos to the Congressman for each of those proposals – but my understanding is that they have both failed…so nothing really changes. It's not lobbyists who write bills, they write checks…The most dangerous individuals are the long term staff.
  4. An older gentleman was up next: "Most of adult life working for the federal government…I learned one thing: Whenever government buys anything, its market value falls to zero….(During) LBJ's Great Society – Medicare checks devalued husband/fathers – 42% of kids now live in home with no father or step-father." (Someone in audience stood up and yelled: "Are you advocating getting rid of Medicare/Medicaid?") The gentleman continued: "General Motors was selling at $42/share…now Government GM, is not even listed on Dow Jones – it's penny stock…" [There were boos from the audience when Congressman Griffith tried to explain the demise of GM was because of debt at top and Toyota…]
  5. Next older gentleman explained: "H.R. 3200 isn't about Health Care, it's government control."
    "We don't want a greater expansion of our entitlement society, we will run out of our money."
    [applause] "The (true) number of uninsured does not equal 47 million, that includes illegals and those who don't want insurance. Only about 3% of population is uninsured. [Audience members yelling, "Ask a question."] He quoted from book, "Goal is to keep us on the plantation." Griffith interrupted: Town Hall Meetings tend to go to the negative…The Judeo-Christian ethics is woven into capitalism…I don't want us to believe (we are) not the best in the world. [Audience member yelled, "Get government out of it."]
  6. "One solution would offer: small number who need Health Insurance, Health Care, Government can help those…(could) easily pay for (it, with) Health Care stamps, however you want to do it…Government facilities…Has to be a way to deal with illegals clogging Emergency Rooms before we close our borders…Do you believe any bill that rations Health care would lessen our life expectancy?" Griffith: No question. But Judeo-Christian ethics reject that.
  7. Diane: "First question: "What was your very first vote as our representative?" It was clear she already knew the answer…Griffith danced around the question/answer before he finally admitted: For Pelosi (as Speaker of the House). Second question: "In Florence several people asked you Constitutional questions; do you carry with you a copy of the Constitution?" Griffith answered: No. To which she responded, "I have one for you to keep with you…this is it…you don't need a 15,000 page document." [She got a standing ovation while she was taking it up to him.]
  8. A 19-year-old student from UAH spoke next: "…My Mom had ovarian cancer…no chemo ever worked…She is using an experimental drug, which is banned in Canada and U.K….Obama would decide if my mom is worth the money…Obama is so arrogant, he thinks he can play God." [applause] "Will you stand up to Pelosi?" Griffith: Absolutely.

  9. "In 1963 my husband enlisted…(we were) promised Health Care for life, not true…perhaps we should go looking for all these "lost dollars" first…We would ask for at least one week on ANY bill, and no last minute additions…How can we stop Cap & Trade?" Griffith: Cap and Trade is a perfect example of why Blue Dogs decided not to let Waxman do that to American people again. Why did they let Waxman do it once? We knew it was a bad bill! Why didn't ALL of the Blue Dogs and Republicans vote against Cap and Trade?!?…Pelosi didn't bring Health Care to the floor, she didn't have the votes. Barack Obama's responsible…we learned a lesson with Cap and Trade, men and women folded under pressure…American people don't want (it). [applause]
  10. Christie, Huntsville Tea Party Organizer: "In Florence you said, 'You liked Price's bill, but it doesn't have enough support.'…Will you get behind this bill and give it the support it needs?" Griffith: I will.
  11. Dale Jackson came up next. He started in politely enough, "Thank you for holding these events…Thank you for opposing HR 3200 and Cap and Trade…" But Griffith was ready for him: Why did you falsify the state seal? Dale explained his mistake and then asked, "Is it important that Congressmen have integrity?" Griffith: Yes, it is. But then Dale started wasting time talking about Pelosi, and then the "secret" meeting in Decatur… Griffith wasn't happy: You took it out of context…There was an individual recording…It was a joke…you're an entertainer, son. [Much of the audience started yelling, "Next".] A wasted opportunity, Dale, in my humble opinion. So many important things you COULD have asked him.
  12. An older gentleman was next: "$91 Trillion deficit over next 10 years…How do you propose that any costs of any Health Care (Reform will) be paid for?" Griffith: We've gone off the cliff on debt…Unless the Senate can come up with a bill that is deficit neutral. Since that will NEVER happen, except with rationing, which he claims is wrong, they should just give up and move on to other things…maybe protecting our Country from enemies?
  13. "Half my face is paralyzed permanently…I'm married to a Marine…I went to see military doctors…I was misdiagnosed for 5 months…until got permission to see private doctor (diagnosed with a childhood cancer at 22-years-old)…(There) will be rationing of care…I've been trying to read the bill…The committee (will all be) appointed by the President directly or indirectly. Too much power for any one man…" [applause] Griffith: One of many reasons Waxman bill can't be law! The Commissioner will be kind of a king or a czar…We've already established going to kill bill, so relax… Excuse me, Mr. Congressman, that was very rude! We won't relax until the bill IS killed…Promises to do so don't mean much.
  14. "Most doctors in Alabama oppose Waxman…It is very complicated to treat patients…Pharmaceutical companies are raising the cost of Drugs." Griffith: A deal about 8 weeks ago between the Executive and Pharmaceuticals…can't stand. [applause] …We know we CAN improve our Health Care system…We know we MUST improve our Health Care system.
  15. "…Drugs I had been using, are now being denied…I don't want to live in country where being run by czars who don't believe in the Constitution." [applause] "…I heard Obama (would be) doing away with the insurance I have…it replaces Medicare (Medicare Advantage)…Why would they do that?" Griffith: Many of Medicare Advantage have been sold well… I must have missed the point somewhere in that answer.
  16. Older gentleman: "…(Tell us) why you voted for Pelosi?" At this point, it feels like we need to get beyond Pelosi! Griffith: New Congressmen…As Blue Dogs, we sat down with Pelosi… Gentleman: "Do the Blue Dogs control the way you think? Why did you vote for her?" Griffith: …We needed the support of leadership…Committees…
    [audience members yelling "Pork"] Griffith: Bridge and schools are not equal to Pork….The opportunity to do…to help my district… I wouldn't vote for her again… What's good for this district is important. Gentleman: "…Won't be any grandchildren if you continue along this path…What is COBRA?" Griffith danced around the answer, before finally saying: Ability to continue insurance after lose job… Gentleman: Single Mom who just got laid off, would she get treatment at Huntsville Emergency Room?" Griffith: Yes, but we want to see her earlier. Gentleman: "You want to steal all of this money…" [audience members yelling "Next"]
  17. This older woman went on and on about shaking Griffith's hand and Senator Kennedy... "I want to tell story…" [boos] "I'm going to tell it anyway…His son, with treatment after lost leg… Said he couldn't have afforded it without his senate insurance…" [more boos] She finally asked Griffith a question, "Are you willing to give up money you've received from Insurance Pacts?" Griffith: Not the facts…I have accumulated whatever wealth I have by grace of God and hard work…I cannot be bought by any individuals… Her: "Pacts are not individuals…Will you give back the money you got from the Insurance Pacts?" At this point Griffith was getting upset, maybe because she wouldn't accept his answer.
  18. "…I'm a right wing terrorist, not wearing a swastika…Would you vote for any bill that funded abortions overseas?" Griffith: No. "(Do you think they should have) access to our accounts?" Griffith: No.
  19. U.S. Army retiree: "How will we pay for this? I can't afford more taxes…I'm working harder in retirement to protect freedoms for my grandchildren…"
  20. Older gentleman: "I voted Republican, but very impressed today…" By what? Someone PLEASE tell me what Griffith said at any of these Town Halls that should have impressed a Conservative?!? "…a Legal house of prostitution in Nevada was taken over by IRS; they couldn't sell sex and booze, how can they sell this?"
  21. Karen: "…an enigma – Conservative from Massachusetts…any price you can be paid to vote for Pelosi next time?" Griffith: No. Karen: "…Convey to your colleagues…you are employed by 'We the People'…We need Term Limits…This entitlement mentality…What has happened to personal responsibility in this country?"
    [major applause]
    "Do you oppose Fair Tax?" Griffith: Don't know yet. Haven't read it.
    That's a dangerous expectation to start there, Congressman Griffith,
    we might start expecting that type of reaction on every bill you are presented.
    [The Audience is getting rowdy, they have less and less patience with those who don't get to a question quickly.] Karen: "…We need picture IDs to vote…" [audience: "where is question?"] "…fire in your belly…I would cast my first Democratic vote, but I would love to see you flip to the Republican Party." Again, I have to ask "Why?" Griffith:
    Left wing crazies are as crazy as right wing crazies… Guessing that was his way of telling us he was content right where he is; but would we be better off with another RINO anyway?
  22. I recognized this gentleman from Florence Town Hall, where he asked a similar question about Drug Companies and Doctors. I don't get the impression he likes either group very well. Griffith: Drug companies have too much power…but experimental drugs cost millions to develop, even those which fail…easy to suppress creativity…
    I don't remember that attitude about Drug development on Monday evening, Mr. Griffith…Does that mean you are learning? Or just changing your answers to please us? Gentleman: "Tort Reform – return to hands of people." Griffith didn't respond to that comment, maybe he didn't understand it any more than I did.
  23. Bob, an older gentleman, who had been a pastor for 25 years: "You mentioned…Judeo-Christian…What is the foundation of the U.S.?" Griffith: Other than the Constitution? Bob: "What you think (it is)?" Griffith: "Freedom…to make choices…to fail…to reach potential…a country born of an idea, not a geography…Christian…
    [applause] Bob: "Past 16 years, I've been teaching high school History/Economics…my greater concern: I subscribed to the White House newsletter, and the first one blew me away. 'Dear Friend…a nationwide…building a NEW foundation for America…' Do you believe…that America needs a new foundation?" Griffith: I do not.
    Then why do you make all these suggestions that would take away our freedoms, and would tear at our foundation?
  24. Older gentleman: "…all Blue Dogs are going to have their arms twisted…" Griffith: It has already happened. This is hard ball. Like being in the principal's office. I'm new up there, but I'm not new! Gentleman: "Average people…we're fearful of what this country's becoming..." [applause]
  25. Very old gentleman, couldn't understand his question, something about cancer and cancer tests… Griffith: Tests varied…and very complicated…specifically, can't answer.
  26. "…Millions of Americans uninsured continue to (just) survive…(Yet there is) more outrage over Vick's actions towards dogs…(Always) excuses: socialism, too expensive, death panels…(Then) why do grandmas live longer in Europe than here? …Obama is a Christian…This is a moral issue like Civil Rights… [boos] …(We are in the) Bible belt… (In Heaven, when Jesus says, you) 'saw me sick and uninsured', how are you going to answer the Lord?" [audience – "Thou shalt not steal"]
  27. Stephanie, from Huntsville: "Will you dismantle Medicare and Medicaid?" Griffith: No, but if we allow government to compete with private insurance companies (it won't matter)…(this) program (has the) potential to drain people (from their existing plans)… She asked again, "You don't support a government option at all?" Griffith: Medicare and VA are existing systems, but they are not working well. Stephanie continued: "…(In) Canada they will fly you if you live in rural area… [negative reactions coming from the audience]
  28. Older gentleman: "…We haven't talked much about Health Care (here today)…Is it a right? …(Is it) a privilege? …We know our Health Care system needs reform…In 1992 (there was a red flag, but) nothing was done…(It was all) left in private hands, (with) insurance companies…(But) now (we are) in a dilemma…Think we all know need reform…83% (approve)...(There are) more and more losses because of loss of jobs… [audience: "ask a question"] …we're losing…The only way is to put some pressure on insurance companies is a public opinion." [boos] Griffith: Every major employer in U.S. is begging us to make this an affordable system…change from '92, back then all your major companies were against any reform…all recognize this as a competitive problem
    I think we need to go back to one of the first people, who warned of government competing with private enterprise.
    …without us improving the system…(It is) a business decision on CEOs part…Half of all deaths in America in the next 100 years will be preventable. When did Griffith get a crystal ball? …smoking is a self-inflicted wound…obesity/diabetes (are lifestyle choices that add a) huge cost into our system…(Because of this) the life expectancy (of kids) is already going down…personal accountability… Personal accountability should be exactly that, personal!
  29. Gentleman from Limestone County said something about silly discussion of co-ops. Griffith: You need a critical number of people, (there are) not enough in Alabama who are uninsured (only 600,000)…They threw the word out, (but) national co-op not any better than (government option).
  30. Very old gentleman asked: "…Is it true that people in U.S. fund the research of new drugs?" Griffith: A big federally funded organization does fundamental research, then promising finds are shown to a Drug Company, who decides whether to raise millions of dollars to do toxicity study, study of last resort, and then the FDA considers release…(The whole process can take up to) 15 years. Gentleman: "American people, not other countries, are paying for…Other countries should be paying for drug development, too...Obama, the people he surrounds himself with are Communists. Griffith: He is having trouble transitioning from Candidate to President. Gentleman: "…Say public health care passes – will abortion be included?" Griffith: In the Waxman bill, yes! Gentleman: "I don't want my tax money paying for abortion."
  31. Martha, as one Health Care practitioner to another: "Have you heard of the Australian filing a lawsuit against U.S. officials, for attempted 'mass murder' with mixture of swine flu, avian, and tama flu…to use as vaccine? (It is a) criminal act to refuse forced vaccines…" Griffith: I will look into that.
  32. Older woman: "Back to illegals…illegals are not going to be covered in Health Care, however also heard if there is one citizen in the family, the entire family is covered." Griffith: It is not true that (illegals) won't be covered; the border has to be closed. Her: "Why do they say it?" Griffith: …Trying to get it (the Health Care bill) passed.
  33. Retired female teacher: "Inquire about the Health of our Nation…(I am) thankful for TV; it covers a lot that needs to be covered…" Griffith: Very concerned…Obama will be a one-term President if this is rammed down our throats [No reaction today to that comment] …The danger is we don't care enough to change things…
  34. Older man: "We (my wife and I) worked on your campaign…I have a rhetorical question: as someone who cannot buy individual Health Care at any price, how can we contain costs without a Public Option?" Griffith: Four changes would make that happen. Him: "I don't share your confidence."
    …I think we can change that without a Public Option.

  35. Personal friend of Terri Schiavo, daughter of World War II Vet who committed suicide, thanks to Hemlock Society: "…You are a Senior Citizen, a physician, and a politician…do you see anything in HR3200 (that starts us down a) slippery slope…" Griffith: …If we are paying physicians to discuss end of life care…becomes a standard…Language means something, (which is) why we don't want it rushed through… (Well, I would agree that it's ONE of the reasons we don't want it rushed through, but ONLY one.)
  36. Vet: "…(We want) a Congressman who talks the talk AND walks the walk…You rival Obama in speaking skills…(But I am) disappointed, (since you are) unique as physician and as a Blue Dog, you could lead the opposition against this – with one phone call. Griffith: …It could make my effectiveness LESS if I was a TV "thing"…I am working behind the scenes, (since the) Congressmen I serve with are not physicians; I have to sit down with them and go over again and again…(If you become a) media star, you lose your credibility with your peers. Vet: "You need to influence the American people…through the Media." Griffith: It's going to be a different Congress…in September.
    That is certainly our hope, but it is hard not to think those are hollow words.
  37. Older woman: "…HR 219 (has been) in committee for almost 2 years; (it is) robbing from Social Security…Why are we so intent on pork barrel spending? …Our President wants us to be a third world country…(he is surrounded by) communists (who) don't pay taxes…" Griffith: We are showing our muscle with this… Her: "Take some of that money out of the Stimulus and put it back in Social Security…ACLU should be closed down; they get paid with taxpayer money."
  38. Older gentleman, retired Navy vet, fully dependent on VA care: "…I can't stand, because in pain, can't work, because can't breathe…What are you going to do to help me? …" Griffith: …We are completely dedicated in this Congress to improving our VA system, (to get rid of) rationing… (It is an) overloaded system; …a very, very difficult problem…My office is here to help you… Him: "Regulations from Washington make it more difficult to get care…(with) too much government, it can get broken!" Griffith: …Health Care…like Post Office…our men and women not be attracted to medicine… I think I missed something in that answer, sorry.
  39. Older gentleman, Marine, son in Iraq: "…I did this for freedom of speech… We should be respectful of all…We need Term Limits, redistricting…reappropriating of Congressional seats…Term limits is pie in the sky…(We need a) reasonable number of reps serving reasonable number of people…The Census occurred…(In the past) Congress expanded the House of Representatives; (if we) enlarge Congress two – three times, so have more voice in Congress… Griffith: No real answer. Gentleman: …TV...sick of…FCC… [At this point the audience started yelling "Next" and being quite rude.]
  40. Mr. Wall: "…offering solutions, not just criticisms…I am self-employed, so one but me responsible for my Health Care [applause] Two Bills (you might want to endorse): HR 1495 and HR 2630. First one let's ME compete with private insurance [applause] …Tax credits (give me) more money in my pocket, so I can help those who need help…Have you heard of these? Do you support them? Are you familiar with how low percentage (of charges) insurance companies actually pay?" Griffith: …Great idea…don't know of those bills… Mr. Wall: "Credit so reduce taxes pay for insurance…(Should also) look at tax rebate for EXPORTS…" [more applause]
    I'm not sure if Mr. Wall ever mentioned Dr. Lappert by name when he was referring to us competing with insurance companies, but I had my notes from Dr. Lappper's talk a couple of weeks ago, and presented them to Mr. Griffith's staff member afterwards.
  41. The Tea Party Organizer from Limestone County spoke next. She spoke of: "…I am part of the majority – opposing government (intervention? option?)…I am a gun owner…The Obama administration is working behind the scenes to take away our rights to bear arms." Griffith:
    …NRA monitoring EVERY bill submitted to Congress….alot more diligent than you think…Every bill dropped in to the hopper is read by them… That was an amazing concept to me – the NRA is capable of monitoring EVER bill submitted to Congress, but our Congressional representatives can vote on them without reading them?!? Her: "Assurance, you will fight for our right to bear arms?" Griffith:
    Unequivocally! She ended by invited us to join her in D.C. on September 12. I hope to see you there!
  42. Small business owner…He and his wife are independents, Conservatives, Christians: "Two factions concerned about in D.C…. Pelosi/Boxer/Reed faction…Other faction…Rahm Immanuel…Frank Lloyd…Is this a back door?" Griffith: …The lines are drawn…It should be clear to all of us…The people the President has surrounded himself with…(We can't let it) divide us on an issue…we have to be American…independent thinking…vote for the woman/man/issues.
    [applause] Businessman: "…Dan Jones, head of the Apollo Alliance, is taking credit for authoring the Stimulus bill…" Griffith: The Stimulus…has been a disaster.
  43. Retired gentleman: "…VA had database compromised about three years ago…(An example of) government in action…In Seattle, Washington (there was an) article in the paper about illegals…taking jobs from U.S. Citizens." Griffith: The Stimulus bill had E-Verify in it when it left the House, it was gone when it left the Senate. Retiree: "…Democrats voted against it overall…" Griffith: I would have voted for E-Verify. Retiree: "…Acorn & SEIC…Acorn…why hasn't Democratic Party demanded the A.G. investigate Acorn? Griffith: The issue in many districts (is that there) are many Congressmen/women who will block…
  44. "We need to learn to disagree without being disagreeable…If government wants to be involved – issue vouchers for physicals every 3 – 5 years… And how much would that cost? And who would administer it? I don't trust the government to come clean on this…(I was in the military during the) Vietnam era, as an Officer, I was promised Health Care and Dental Care for myself and my wife for the rest of my life…The only winners will be the bureaucrats who administer that system…" Griffith: …We have a fundamental distrust of government…In God we trust…(We believe in) Personal accountability…Your freedom is in your wallet…(This is a) nation of free will and free choice….It is hard to tell people what they can and cannot do…Those of you who don't believe in Government intervention…the polio vaccine was developed without one penny of government money.

Almost an hour later than the 4:00 scheduled end, the Town Hall was closed out with these parting words from Congressman Griffith: …It is wonderful that we are here…America goes through these cycles of agreement and disagreement…(An important) issue that didn't come up…You should get involved in your school system…

I went up and talked to the Walls for a few minutes about the bill, and Dr. Lappert's previous talk on Health Care. Since some of Lappert's points had come up, I presented my notes from that talk to a young man on the Congressman's staff. I don't know what the likelihood is that anyone connected to the Congressman will actually read the various things that were presented to them, but figured he certainly wouldn't read it if we DIDN'T share it with him.

After three Town Hall Meetings with our Congressman, I still don't trust him NOT to vote for this bill (or something equally bad), and I am not ready to consider him the next candidate for party switching, but we should at least hold out SOME hope that he's right that the Blue Dogs WILL succeed in keeping the liberal Democrats from ramming the worst of these things down our throats! And we should pray our country holds on until the 2010 elections, and succeeds at that point in changing the tune being played in Washington!

No comments:

Post a Comment