Virginia townhall meeting covered by C-SPAN in Reston for Rep. Jim Moran (D-8th CD) and Howard Dean (D). Turn it on and see if Organizing for America was successful in packing Democrats and libs into the townhall meeting. From the looks of the number of preprinted signs sitting down front, it looks like they were able to get their message out to thwart conservatives in their effort to get answers to questions about the mammoth 1,017-page health care bill.
As the two men entered the facility, there was a mixture of boos and cheers.... Moran said there were still two long lines of people waiting outside trying to enter the hall.
This should be an interesting townhall to watch. I hope Leslie Carbone was able to find a seat....
7:27 PM: Jim Moran just said people could keep their same health care under the bill (boos from crowd)
7:41 PM: Jim Moran is trying to explain portions of the nationalized health care bill to boos from the crowd.
He said after about 30-40 minutes of explanation, there would be about 90 minutes of questions from the crowd.
7:50 PM: Several Gladsen flags are visible in the crowd. Preprinted "THANK YOU" signs are being held by a number of attendees.
Moran is going through "myths" about the bill ... and the crowd does not agree with him. I hope there's a transcript of this available afterwards ... I am multi-tasking. Myths that he clarifies: "grandma will not die," "illegals will not get health care," etc. The crowd obviously has read the bill and appear to disagree ... Myth #6, he said, "public option," he says, no one can be forced onto the public plan - the only way would be the person's own individual choice, and says MORE employers are likely to provide coverage under this bill or pay 8% of their payroll to provide coverage for their employees unless their total work force is under $750,000.
8:30 PM: MORAN JUST SAID HE WOULD BE WILLING TO GO ON THE SAME NATIONALIZED HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT WOULD BE REQUIRED OF EVERYONE ONE. Then the microphone was unceremoniously taken away from the lady asking the question.
The next questioner was cut off by Rep. Moran and not allowed to ask her question because she apparently was not the person whose name he called. Apparently he knew the person whose name was called which makes one wonder if the questioners are stacked. The crowd is booing in disagreement with him and a police officer is intimidating the lady to walk up the aisle to her seat.
Now an African-American questioner is asking if the plan is so good for all of us, why can't he be honest with the crowd about his becoming a part of the plan because, as the man said, Moran would find a way to get out of being part of it.
Howard Dean responded to a question about why tort reform was not included in this huge bill. He responded that the people who wrote the bill didn't want to have to take on the trial lawyers, too. Then he expanded on the answer. Moran added that the bill would also have had to go through the Judiciary Committee.
The next questioner is for the bill and for government taking care of Americans as much as possible.
The final questioner said she has friends in France who have an ID card with a computer chip on it with their medical information from birth to present. She said it's uncomfortable having the government knowing everything about individuals, and she felt privacy between a doctor and patient was very important and not a place for the government to be involved. Howard Dean answered the question and said the reason for the chip was to have records if you are traveling away from home and have an accident -- they know about you. He questioned how to keep private information private but allow it to be available when needed.
9:07 PM: Closing remarks are now taking place.