Health Care Reform Town Hall Draws Hundreds Of East Texans

By Layron Livingston - bio | email

HENDERSON COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - The debate over of health care reform has tensions running high across the country.  Just days ago, swarms of picketing protestors lined the streets in Phoenix, Arizona.

Police in Tampa, Florida cut one town hall meeting short after attendees began shouting, pushing, and shoving.

Monday's town hall meeting in Chandler was met with applause.

Brynda Long said she has suffered from four heart attacks, a kidney transplant, and other health problems.  She said she is a Medicare recipient.  She decided to attend the town hall this morning, along with nearly 400 other east Texans.

"I think the American people are letting it be known that they don't want a government-run health care system," said Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas.

Hensarling said the goal should be to provide everyone with affordable health care.  But he said, the current health care reform bill being pushed by Democratic party leaders will do more harm than good.

"It'll put a government bureaucrat between you and your doctor, it'll cost over $1 trillion.  It'll raise taxes on small businesses; it will hurt our economy," Hensarling said.

"It's difficult to have any kind of a discussion with the people who are against it because they are against it no matter what comes out of it," said David Henderson, chairman of the Smith County Democratic Party.

Henderson said he is concerned about the rising cost of health care, but he said he is equally concerned about the nearly 40 million people who do not have any health care insurance.

"Until we actually know what the plan looks like, all the [Republicans] are doing is stirring up a froth," said Henderson.

"There's a number of reforms that we could make that will empower patients, empower doctors, not empower government bureaucrats," said Hensarling.

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