Health care issues dominate Cole town hall meeting in Moore, OK

By Andrew W. Griffin

Oklahoma Watchdog

Posted: August 11, 2009

andrew@oklahomawatchdog.org

MOORE, Okla. – With some holding signs which read “It’s not health care, it’s a death sentence” or wearing American flag shirts and NRA gimme caps, it was standing-room only at the Moore Public Library on Tuesday as over 300 people attended a town hall meeting hosted by U.S. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Moore).

In this decidedly conservative congressional district, Cole’s constituents were clearly upset by President Obama’s push, via the liberal congress, to get health care reform that will basically lead to socialistic, government-run health care.

And while a lot of town hall events have featured plenty of angry Americans letting their feelings be known, the Moore event was fairly cordial, save for a few moments where tense comments were made on both side of the debate. But make no mistake, the vast majority do not want government-run health care.

There were a few supporters of ObamaCare, with several determined ladies holding a sign which read “Yes To Health Care Reform.”

Walking in, Cole received a standing ovation, while a man in one corner unfurled a yellow “Don’t Tread On Me” Gadsden flag. The tension and anticipation was palpable.

“Never had a town meeting like this,” Cole said with a smile, before kicking off the town hall meeting.

Cole said issues like “Cap and Trade,” which he referred to as “cap and tax,” is “basically an energy tax” which will be tough on oil and gas producing states like Oklahoma. And while it passed in the House (none of the Oklahoma delegation voted for it), Cole said he is confident it won’t pass in the Senate.

“Cap and trade is a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist,” said one man in the audience. “Twenty years from now, global warming will have as much credibility as Bigfoot.”

Of course it was health care reform that many came to talk about and hear more about. Cole said that the problem is that the Obama administration has not offered a plan for health care reform, rather, Obama has allowed liberals in congress to put it together.

Addressing health care, Obama said that with 50 million without health insurance, a lot are healthy young people, others include folks who don’t know that there are government options already available. And then there are all those illegal alien freeloaders flooding into the country. When Cole mentioned this, he received huge applause.

He then offered some solutions, including medical liability reform, a national market in insurance to promote competition, and thirdly allow small businesses to pool together and have an associated health plan that works for them. He said that insurance companies don’t want that but it’s the people that increasingly do.  Also, pre-tax dollar health insurance was suggested as well.

“What in the world is the hurry on this health care legislation,” asked John Madison, of Goldsby, who got some big applause from the audience.

“You’re 100-percent right,” Cole said. “We don’t need to be in a hurry. The more we look and debate, the better it is.”

He also warned the folks in the crowded library meeting room that “Once this thing (ObamaCare) is done, it will not be undone.”

One woman, who spent time in Florida, noted how Canadians flock to the Sunshine State in the winter months and line up to have surgeries they have trouble getting in their home country, due to socialistic health-care that is run by the Canadian government.

Asked about the good, government-offered health care that members of Congress receive, Cole agreed that if those that want it and pass it, they should have to be under it as well.

“I’d rather be sick here then sick  somewhere else,” Cole said, noting America’s good health care system.

But some wanted more. Several were clearly in favor of the liberal Democrat’s desire for a government overhaul of health care in the United States.

“Why are we so afraid of nationalized health care?” bellowed a self-described military veteran. He was booed.

Talking about the pressure put on her family because of her husband’s multiple tours in Iraq, “Joan of Norman” said, “(Obama) inherited a crack in the Liberty Bell and I don’t want that fixed. I don’t want health care fixed.”

One 18-year-old woman, who had difficulty articulating her question, managed to ask “Why is it always about money? Not about society?”

This got a reaction from the audience and the young woman did not back down, apparently looking for a fight.

Cole finally had a chance to interject, merely calming everyone down saying “We will get through this national debate and come to a conclusion.”

Obama’s out-of-control creation of czars was the topic of one woman, who wanted Cole to explain why Obama was appointing so many of them.

“We now have more czars than Imperial Russia ever did,” joked Cole. “Every czar has a staff,” adding, “Who is really in charge of what?” The question remained unanswered and was a subject that troubled Cole and apparently many in the audience if the murmuring was any indication.

And regarding the world scene, Cole said there has been much success in Iraq and in Iran “major decisions to be made with dealing with that regime.”

And one unusual question to Cole came from a young man who addressed U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s HR 1207 “Audit the Fed” bill, noting that the Federal Reserve’s actions were an example of “fascism.” Cole responded, saying he supported Paul’s efforts (“Ron Paul deserves a lot of credit”) and said he voted for it.

Rep. Cole will continue his district town hall tour with an appearance in Lawton on Thursday at noon at Cameron University’s CETES Conference Center at 2800 West Gore Blvd. For more information, go to www.cole.house.gov

Copyright 2009 West Marie Media

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