I attended the health-care forum Thursday night, October 29, in Painesville, Ohio. First before I give you my take, I would like to thank Councilman Flock for organizing this engaging and informative event on a very important issue facing America. He cordially welcomed everyone and ran the event well.
Senator Sherrod Brown who was suppose to host this town hall meeting did not attend but instead sent Regional Representative Max Blachman to field questions.
Even though I said it was engaging and informative I did not learn much about the health-care plan from Representative Max himself. Instead I learned more listening to the questions from the rather small crowd of only about 35 who attended, almost all were in opposition. It was pointed out to me various reasons for the small attendance. One was lack of promoting the event and the other reason was the area it was held has a lot of welfare and those people don’t care. Something else I heard at the event was they were going to have heightened security because of the opposition to the plan and Conservatives who may show. Really not sure how true any of this is.
I was not at all pleased with the rhetoric or demeanor from R. Rep. Max. Instead of giving real answers he used the term straw argument a few times, attacked profits as one of the reasons for spiraling health care costs, and blamed capitalism. He fast talked over my question and also blamed me as one of the reasons why the costs are out of control and the need for mandatory insurance
My questions were – I am self-employed, barely making it right now, very healthy, I choose not to have health insurance. BUT even if I did want it I can’t afford it and any more government involvement whether taxes or mandatory programs. If I choose not to carry health insurance will I be fined or jailed?
Max said no one will be sent to jail, I never heard that but a possible fine may be included. Well according to one proposal it would include a fine of up to $1,000.00 and up to six months in jail. He went on to say it was people like me who don’t carry health insurance and use the emergency room as primary care. I guess he was alluding to people not paying for the care they received. I was not at all happy when someone else used me as an example for one of the reasons for needing a plan. I confronted Max afterward to set things straight but he didn’t want any explanation.
The thing that upsets me the most is the term they keep using, health care crisis. There is no health care crisis. You can still be treated in a hospital if needed. Max repeatedly used this term. The loudest jeers and boos came when R. Rep. Max blamed capitalism. I don’t remember the exact question but blaming capitalism seems to me that he has socialist leanings and this is a socialist plan. Is capitalism perfect no but it has given us the highest standard of living and is still far better than socialism. He also attacked profits as if they are evil.
I was quite vocal when R. Rep. Max said the figure of 42 million for people who don’t have any health insurance. I spoke out of turn and asked loudly what is the real number, President Obama said 42 million then dropped it to 36 million and I have heard numbers as high as 47 million? Does this number include illegal aliens? R. Rep. Max responded those illegals are a straw argument; there is only 6 million in this country. 6 million people receiving care from your money is not a straw argument. That’s where you need to start, who is covered in this plan?
Questions were raised whether abortion would be covered and if you can keep you existing coverage. To be honest with you, I don’t remember the answers to those. By this time I was turned off by Max’s answer to the illegal alien question and him turning the tables on me as if I was the problem. As I said I learned more from the questions asked rather than the answers given of this enormous bill that I am pretty sure even R. Rep. Max hasn’t completely read because most of what was asked was answered with, no the plan doesn’t have that.
*It’s amazing how you can have two opposing views to an issue. A person spoke up and said they know people who go to Canada for medicine and universal healthcare is working for Canada. To that I shouted I have family living in Canada and she is not at all happy with their system. Someone else gave me the thumbs up and said I agree with you, I also have family living up there and they are not happy.
**When I confronted R. Rep. Max afterwards I asked him again about the fine and or jail time, he replied no jail time but there would be some incentive to make you get it.
***I also tried to set him and said I own three houses, have paid property and income tax, he cut me off and said property tax doesn’t pay for health care. The point I was trying to make is, I am a citizen born here and have paid taxes for years, if someone should be covered or use the emergency room then it should be someone as myself not an illegal.
**** A veteran brought to my attention that there was no pledge of allegiance and no recognition of the vets serving.
******This is the email I received informing me of this event:
On Wednesday, October 28, 2009 Posted in the Northeast Ohio News-Herald on page A3 was written in a SMALL area, about the size of a United States postage stamp…..Our Representative Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) is hosting a town hall meeting on Thursday night in Painesville at 7:00 p.m. Sherrod Brown will discuss the Health-care Reform Act at Elm Street Elementary School, 585 Elm St.
What is hilarious about this is...the article is so small that my thumb would cover it up. Do you think he really wants anyone to know about it? What's he afraid of? Why was this posted 1 day before the actual town hall meeting?
PS: I didn't even touch on the cost of Universal Health Care, America can not afford any more debt!!!!
If you would like to voice your opinion to Regional Representative Max Blachman he can be reached at Max_Blachman@brown.senate.gov.
Or you can contact Senator Sherrod Brown at 1-888-896-6446 or www.brown.senate.gov