Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Town Hall Blog

If you have pics and video of tonight's event, post the link to your blog, YouTube, Facebook, Flickr, etc, into the comment section of this post. Interesting observations will be highlighted in the next blog post.


TRNF said...

I went to Pete Sessions Town Hall meeting in Richardson this evening.
When he was asked about giving up his own government provided health care he claimed rather indignantly that he is NOT on the House plan and has not been so for 13 years. Hmmm Can this be TRUE? and how would I find out?
Maybe his wife has a plan.

TRNF said...

It was an SRO, slip out into the hallway meeting.It started out with a man introducing him like we were at a Republican Rally. When they opened up the floor for questions My hand was already up. The guy with the mike came toward me. But Pete says, I tell you what let's have all the ladies who are 65 or older come up and ask their questions first. I thought, "What a chicken shit thing to do. I was already to ask about the blimp. I'd like one of those jobs.

TRNF said...

If you were there...I was the woman yelling "Shame on you" in response to the jerk walking up and down the aisle with the OBAMACARE EUTHANASIA sign. I am so discouraged at the quality of intelligence of the people there. I have to Hand it to Pete,he controlled that meeting. Not so hard I guess if the majority is with you.

Sessions Watch said...

Thanks for the report, TRNF. If anyone else has a report or links to pics/video, post them here.

Sessions Watch said...

And, by the way, shame on Pete Sessions for not telling the "euthanasia" sign person that the end-of-life directive in the new health care plan provides funding for the 2003 Advanced Directives plan outlined by the Bush Administration.

Read it at this link:

Anonymous said...

Pete kinda stacked the deck his way a bit by letting the seniors at the mic for over an hour before anyone under 65 ever got to talk. But some of those seniors gave him hell. Mostly wingnuts though, huge response to a lady who expressed her terror that we were becoming like the Soviet Union (referring to the whitehouse program collecting baseless rumors about the plan)

Bill Eastland said...

So, TNRF, those of you who were PAID ACORN and agitators were hoplessly outnumbered by real people? You guys are hopeless and you don't have a clue to what is happening. A revolution is brewing and you will be the first up against the wall when it comes. (Quote credit to Douglas Adams.)

Thought Criminal said...

"up against the wall"??
Sounds like the real Soviet type threat comes from the "revolution" Eastland and his ilk threaten. Why do you hate America and the American people who made their voices loud and clear last November? If you don't like it, move to Iran where elections don't matter.

Anonymous said...

I was there. Couldn't get in the room so was in the hallway where they piped in the proceedings. The place was jammed with seniors - all mortified at the thought of Health Care reform. Didn't hear any of them propose to disband Medicare. Pete invited 65+ senior women up to the mike first for 40 minutes or so then 65+ men were invited up. One complained about the "donut hole" prescription drug coverage problem. At least 3 of them filled time with long winded "Read the Bill" speeches. I got called away for the last 20 minutes or so - maybe a non-senior got a shot at the mike, not sure. Seniors apparently only want health care reserved for them.

John Peterson said...

Hey Guys,

I'll admit I'm probably the odd man out here, but I enjoy reading views from all sides. That's why I keep coming back here.

Anyway, below is a short YouTube snippet and my summary with my opinion of last nights town hall.

I'm sorry I don't officially have the comment system opened up on my blog yet to those out of Precinct 1712. I'll be doing that soon. If you want to register though just put in any random number for the Voter ID field and I'll approve you. I'll be moving to an open commenting system which does not require a specific login for my page later.

Anyway, feel free to discuss here, or send me an email.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Peterson, thank you for the civil tone of your blog posting. As you might have noticed, Republicans lately have a reputation for being mean and devoid of rational thinking.
I hope to see level-headed people take over your party and turn it into a party I could respect again, even if I don't agree with their positions.

I do have one comment to your mention of health care rationing. Do we not have that already? If it's not your insurance company arbitrarily denying treatment your Dr. recommends, it's the rationing provided to those with insurance vs those who don't. As taxpayers and owners of a national plan, we can change it if it's not responsive to our needs. Try that with an insurance company.

TRNF said...

Mr. Eastland, It is odd you choose to mangle a quote from Douglas Adams. Here is a bit from his bio:His fans and friends also knew Adams as an environmental activist, an atheist, and a lover of fast cars, cameras, the Macintosh computer, and other "techno gizmos".The biologist Richard Dawkins dedicated his book The God Delusion to Douglas Adams and in it described how Adams came to understand evolution. Douglas was a keen technologist, writing about such topics as e-mail and Usenet before they became widely known. Toward the end of his life he was a sought-after lecturer on topics including technology and the environment. Hmm, sounds like Mr. Adams and I share somethings in common. :) Should I take your threatening tone personally?

John Peterson said...

Mr. Anonymous (hehe),

Thanks for the kind words. Good point on rationing. Yes, every health care plan out there has limitations. Some of them are disaster health care plans that only start to take effect once you hit $5,000 or more in claims. Some are HMOs that specify which doctors you can go to when. Some are PPOs with low deductibles.

Each plan has their trade offs. Each plan will ration care after a certain point. However, in each case we have choice. We can choose to spend more of our income or less of our income for the level of care we want. (Assuming we can afford. More on that later.) If I want to scrimp I get the High Deductible HMO. Maybe I'm young and that makes sense, or maybe I'm old and that would be an idiotic decision.

With a single payer government option everyone is in the same boat. For good or for bad. What I don't like is not having a choice about the level of care I want.

In my blog post I mentioned the cancer mortality rates of those in the UK. From what I gather, the British have been complaining to government for years to increase the quality of their care. However, due to national budget constraints and inefficiency in the government run system their survival rates are much lower than citizens in the US.

I think the broader issue is, which is more responsive to the customer. Government or business. My vote is with business because in the end they have to make a profit, and they have to constantly work to outperform their competition. Profit isn't evil unless it is acquired unethically.

Profit is a great motivator for competitors to enter the market. What I would like to see is less regulation on health care, and more providers of health care. That way BlueCross, or United, or Aetna can't corner the market. More competitors equals more innovation, lower prices, better service. If there are twenty health care providers they are going to have to fight tooth and nail and kiss your but to get your business.

I think what is lost in the debates on universal health care is that we all want the same thing. We all want the best health care that we can have for our money. However, we disagree on how to do it.

I would like to have more options, not less. I would like to vote with my dollars, and not have to worry about trying to overcome lobbyist dollars in Washington.

Politicians have many masters. They have the public that elected them, their parties which they caucus with, their lobbyists which fund their campaigns, their personal principles, and their ambitions. With few exceptions, they're always adjusting their political algorithm to changing political conditions.

Companies have one motive, one master, one focus. Profit. The people who pay their bills are their masters.

So what about those with pre-existing conditions, those with diabetes, heart disease, quadriplegics, etc... I think we need to address universal coverage. I don't know what the answer is. Maybe you guys have some ideas on that. However, I do know it's with more choice and not less.


Anonymous said...


I'm a different Mr. Anonymous here (hehe) but I'd like to engage you a bit on your comments, if you don't mind.

First, I think the comparison to the UK is a bit unfair. UK has truly nationalized their healthcare - doctors are government employees. No one here is suggesting that kind of drastic change in our health care system. We're talking about the govt. offering an insurance plan just like ExxonMobil and GE offer insurance plans for their employees. Why can't the individual be part of a US Citizen Group Plan and have a government employee negotiate rates and payments on their behalf.

Second, the choice you speak of exists where? Sure - people can go out and buy health insurance from anyone they want to, I guess - but no one does. They get it from their employer; they take what is available - there is no choice. If the government offered a plan maybe I could consider it if it was affordable - then I would have some choice. My understanding of the current bill (and I know it's changing daily) is that the government will require all insurance companies to offer a baseline level of coverage and the government will offer a plan with this same coverage. Private companies are free to offer insurance at this basic level, or increasing levels if they find the increased levels attracts the employees they want. Limits will be put on insurance companies that don't cover pre-existing conditions or drop people after years of coverage for some technical reason when it appears they have come down with some costly condition. As a taxpayer I like this because I don't think ins. co. should be allowed to only insure healthy people and dump all the sick on the public system. This is all like car insurance (car insurance is the law!) so why not come up with something for health?

Also, regarding choice, you make it sound as if these ins co. will fall all over each other to provide great service - and get the business of the consumer. A for-profit insurance company will be run by people who want to maximize their personal gain - and in the for-profit world that is done by maximizing profits for the shareholder - not by providing great service to sick people. Bonuses go to those that figure out ways to minimize expenses (services)

IMO health insurance cannot be evaluated like other consumer products. It is impossible for an individual to evaluate what health care costs - and make an informed decision about what they need to insure. Have you ever tried to compare prices between doctors for anything? Try something simple like a broken arm. Pretend you broke your arm and you want to get the best deal for your money - you can't do it. Now - in real life you wouldn't be comparison shopping - you would just jump in the car and head for the ER.

My final point is the hot button issue of illegal immigrant use of services. I personally don't like how our borders are out of control but the fact is that illegal immigrants continue to stream over the border because there are people here who will pay them peanuts and they are happy with peanuts. Once they are here I don't think we should let them die of their illnesses - I am not yet ready to step over a dying person on the sidewalk and walk away with a clear conscience because he's not legal. These people are in the stores, in the schools, and everywhere the rest of us go - I don't want them to walk around diseased. Their employers are making sufficient profits (I suppose) but it is at the expense of the rest of us who must shoulder the social expenses. I love the idea of a minimum tax on businesses who have employees but don't provide insurance. Some of these small businesses may go out of business because of this tax - but maybe they should because they cost society so much.

Sorry such a long post - I have lots of thought on health insurance!

Sessions Watch said...

Thank you, everybody, for the civil debate on the health care issue.

This is how debate in America is supposed to be, weighing the issues and discussing them in a civil manner instead of yelling and being disruptive in meetings.

And thanks to those of you who attended the town hall meeting and resisted the urge to boo those with an opposing viewpoint.

One of our Republican Sessions Watchers from Park Cities called ahead to make sure there would not be disruptions, as we've seen on TV, and said she'd call 911 if there was any trouble! The Sessions office assured her that measures were being taken to keep it civil, and they did, mostly. Still, our Republican Park Cities person chickened out when Mr. Sessions invited the 65+ ladies to come up; her question was about insurance reform and what Mr. Sessions was going to do about the situation of people being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions (her son can't get insurance because he had cancer as a baby; it was cured, but the bout with cancer is still on his "permanent record.") She lost her nerve because of the "tone of the room."

So, thanks to those who kept the event fairly civil; please continue to be a role model for the disruptive people--give them nasty looks, go "shhh", whatever it takes. Remember, this fight is really between the American people and the gigantic insurance/drug company interests. The fight is not between members of different political parties. A Republican can be denied insurance same as a Democrat, so be respectful and let's work this out together.