Chicago-area residents discuss health care

August 14, 2009 8:48:22 PM PDT
President Barack Obama is on a mission to change the tone of the debate over health care.Obama faced some tough questions at a town hall meeting in Montana on Friday.

On Friday night in Chicago, organizers closed a health care forum, involving a U.S. senator and a congressman to TV cameras.

Senator Roland Burris and Representative Danny Davis took part in that event.

President Obama says his health care initiative is about 80 percent there in terms of passing Congress. But if that's true the remaining 20 percent is turning out to be a battle. While the president is fighting for the plan around the country, in Chicago the rhetoric is heating up on both sides.

They certainly had other places they could have been on a beautiful summer Friday night. But several hundred people filed into Trinity United Church of Christ to hear more about the proposed health care plan from patients, doctors and lawmakers, including Senator Roland Burris.

"One reason I'm out here is because of the misinformation that is being put out over the airwaves and the opportunity of some people to mislead others which causes them to be concerned and upset," said Sen. Roland Burris, (D) Illinois.

Despite their refusal to allows cameras inside, it was a crowd primarily filled with Democrats who support a universal health care plan.

It was just the opposite in Rosemont, however, where attendees of the GOPAC conference were working on derailing President Obama's health care plan. They believe their campaign has been effective in convincing people to oppose government sponsored health insurance.

"We have to stop Obamacare because that's government run. It's a takeover of healthcare in America," said Frank Donatelli, GOPAC chairman.

The president meantime received a warm welcome during a forum in normally conservative Montana. He did get questions from the audience about where the money for his health plan would come from.

"We keep getting bull. You can't tell us how the government is going to pay for it.," said Randy Rathie, Montana resident.

The president responded by saying two thirds of the cost would be covered by eliminating waste.

"We've got to get over this idea that we can have something for nothing. That's part of how we got into the debts and deficits," said Obama.

And in Chicago, Congressman Danny Davis says opponents are pitting those who already have health care against those who don't.

"They're trying to make people feel that somehow or another that those who have health insurance are going to have to give up a part of what they've got so that somebody else can get some," said Rep. Danny Davis, (D) Chicago.


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