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Clifton Park Healthcare Town Hall

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Congressman Murphy did his local town hall stop last Monday, to speak about health care reform and the economy. His economy talk was cautiously optimistic. He literally stated that things are getting worse at a reduced rate.

The healthcare reforms which congress is mulling over was why the majority of folks were there. I was surprised at the number of Pro public option folks who were there. The majority of pro reform people were public option supporters and they numbered about 60% of the total audience. They seemed fairly well organized and had preprinted signs and banners.

The anti reform crowd was much more informal. It was interesting to see the comparison of the 2 groups. Both groups seemed to be late 50s early 60s. The anti HC reform crowd seemed to be mostly blue collar workers by their dress. The pro HC reform crowd seemed to be Berkinstock and sock wearing yuppie types. Better dressed and far more smug than the anti crowd.

Murphy talked for about 50 minutes then opened it up for a line of people to ask questions. There was no PA, and no one could hear. The crowd grew restless while the congressmen listened to the question or rant in some cases then repeated a summary of the question for the crowd. The questions boiled down to this

Q.People are dying how can anyone be against this.
A. Everyone knows the system needs reform (boos and cat calls in the background from the anti HC folks, chants of "Public Option Now" from the pro HC folks.

Q. Shouldn't Tort Reform be part of this?
A. Torte reform is part of the problem, but there is little chance of addressing that issue as part of this. A torte reform bill should be introduced.

Q. Would you vote for the house bill as it stands now.
A. No

Q. How would we pay for public option Health Care if the government is broke now.
A. I am only in favor of public option if it would be self funding

Q. Wouldn't public option crush private healthcare
A. No.... Then he went on about the whole fedex vs post office thing. The analogy would be far better if the post office was still self supporting and not tanking.

Murphy then did an informal survey asking if folks could pick between 5 to 1. 5 being no change at all, 1 being complete government take over of the health care system. Two things I found interesting here. No one voted for 5 (no change) most of the anti HC bill crowd voted for 4 some reforms of the health care system. The a large majority of attendees (60%) still voted for 1 - compete government take over.