Medicare Votes Spark Town Hall Debates

Wednesday, 27 Apr 2011 12:27 PM

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House Republicans are feeling some heat over Medicare reform at town-hall meetings back home but say they are sticking by their vote to lower the long-term cost of government health benefits for seniors, The New York Times reports.

town, hall, meetings, medicare“You’re not going to intimidate me,” Rep. Allen West, a leading tea party lawmaker, said at a town hall on Tuesday night in Fort Lauderdale, where opponents and supporters of a Medicare overhaul passed by the GOP-controlled House engaged in a shouting match.

A town hall in Orlando with GOP Rep. Daniel Webster erupted into “near chaos,” the Times reports. Webster, too, insisted that Medicare reform was necessary and said over the din, “Not one senior citizen is harmed by this budget.”

Even House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, the plan’s author, heard some boos — but also cheers — while meeting with constituents in Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Some observers see a mirror image of the raucous town halls of summer 2009 in which supporters of President Barack Obama's national health law struggled to justify their stance.

“My town halls are being disrupted by Democrats,” said Rep. Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania Republican, adding, “I am not going to do anything different.”



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