Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Phil Roe's Town Hall Extravaganza

The Johnson City Press and The Kingsport-Times News reported Rep. Phil Roe's Town Hall meeting regarding health care reform. Two newspapers. One reporter. Same story. The tone of the article was to dismiss those who advocate for reform as "emotional."

One woman recounted an experience in which she was turned away from a hospital emergency room because “the waiting room was packed with the uninsured.”

“I was told to go to another hospital,” she said. “Meanwhile my system was going septic. Triage in this (health care system) is broken, and it will continue to be broken until the poor and the uninsured have other options than the emergency room.”

The rest of the woman’s message was punctuated with applause that escalated as her volume increased.

“Republicans have said that defeating health care will bring them back to power in 2010,” she said. “Although they had eight years, all we got was an underfunded prescription drug plan for seniors that has a big doughnut hole in it. Please tell your cronies to stop playing politics with our lives.”

Roe asked the other speakers to keep a quiet tone.

“I didn’t understand half of what you said because you were yelling,” he told the woman.

A commenter on the Times-News website. Janet Meek, countered the article with this perspective:
I was at this Town Hall meeting. The woman referred to in this poorly written article was obviously nervous at the microphone, she was emotional but not in any way threatening. It was clear that this woman had an unfortunate experience that she was reacting to and she needed Congressman Roe’s understanding and not his sarcasm. What the article overlooked was that the majority of the people who spoke were in favor of meaningful health care reform. The audience was calm and no one was interrupted or yelled at. People took turns at the microphone and both sides stated their concerns and observations. The one consistent comment I heard after the meeting was how calm it was and how well it went. I am just sorry that the reporter for this story was unable to get this in print and instead chose to elevate one person’s emotional story into some kind of distorted headliner.
My Presby peeps were there. Here's the word from one of them:
First Pres was well-represented, with a number of us there and challenging questions for Roe by Deborah ____ and Lydia _____. Can't wait to see the papers tomorrow - progressives definitely got in some zingers!
You wouldn't know it by reading the paper.

Thank Odin for Twitter. Here are Tracey's tweets from the Phil Roe Show:

  • Going to Roe's JC townhall tomorrow night. Hmmmm...which gun goes best with peaceable assembly?
  • Just kidding. I have faith tomorrow's meeting will be a calm and respectful gathering.
  • At town hall, so far so good...no guns, no screaming
  • ...In meeting. Very calm. Weird smell.
  • Listening to Dr. Roe talk about...well, himself.
  • Roe: talking about unfunded fed mandates, how can we spend when people don't have health insurance? NO sense of irony.
  • I feel like I am at a campaign event. Quit trying to get re-elected and let's get to the issues.
  • Talk about the issues already...
  • 85% of signs here are opposing abortion
  • Roe just misquoted DYLAN. For shame.
  • Roe: more about politics as usual. Again, no sense of irony.
  • AGAIN with the false TennCare comparison
  • AGAIN with the pro-HSA talk. HSAs are for the wealthy and healthy, Dr Roe, NOT for families!
  • Roe just suggested the bill would allow gov funded abortions.
  • Roe: now suggesting death panels are found in bill
  • questions just started - pro reform woman got booed.
  • Libertarian Teabaggers have taken over the questions.
  • Beth is OWNING Roe!
  • Roe is stopping the questions now.
  • http://twitpic.com/f5uge "We Are Not Raciests" full sign
  • I am going home to my wonderful and well-insured family. I am a very lucky American.
Now that is reporting, gol'darnit. You feel like you are there!

Don't forget to send your personal stories about health care to the Johnson City Press.
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