This is going to hurt
It became apparent quickly that Congresswoman Diana Degette's town hall meeting on Saturday at South High School wasn't about health care. It was about politics.
The walkway to the main doors of the high school were lined with activists passing out "Health Care Reform Now" stickers. One activist distributing fliers advocating a single-payer system said, "America has always been a socialist nation. We have a post office, a military, Medicare and the Veterans Administration. The government built the railroads and a Republican president built the Interstate Highway System. If people don't like socialism they can go live in a cave in Pakistan with Osama bin Laden." That set the tone for the forum. The two sides of this argument really don't like each other.
Inside the auditorium, 22 of the 400 or so attendees took turns at the microphone making statements pro or con on the proposed legislation and all comments were received by cheers and boos from the audience. It's unlikely any minds were changed and the congresswoman will vote for the proposed House of Representatives legislation. Attendees had the opportunity to blow off some steam and shout obscenities at those at the opposite end of the political spectrum. Do they kiss their mothers with those mouths? Hopefully they felt better by the end of the meeting and will not have to bill their insurance companies for cardiac care.
As a result of this meeting, are we closer to getting real health care reform? It was apparent from listening to Representative DeGette that the intent of the proposed legislation is to create a government insurance system to compete with private insurance. The proposed legislation will give Americans the choice of having their doctor work for a private insurance company or the government. Pick your hell. Is there a better way? Perhaps, but most attendees weren't interested in health care, they were only interested in raging against their political adversaries.