It's August, and lawmakers are back in their home states talking to constituents. Liberals and conservatives alike will show up to town-hall meetings and other events to question their elected officials--sometimes loudly--about health care and the rest of Washington's business, as lawmakers make the case for their own agenda. When passions run high, debate can be spirited. We'll be watching.
It's not a protest, and no one shuts down the discussion with chanting, but a crowd shouts at Arkansas Democratic Reps. Mike Ross and Vic Snyder (the former being a lead Blue Dog spokesman on health care) when Snyder tells them President Obama doesn't want a single-payer health care system, which, from what we've seen of Obama in this health reform push, is true.
Snyder tells the audience that he and Ross don't support single-payer, after many criticisms of government-run care are raised: "Mike and I do not support a single-payer system. We are not interested in a single-payer system, we're not interested in expanding Medicare to the [rest of the public?], we don't support a single-payer system."
A woman interrupts to shout "But that's what Obama wants!"
"No, that is not what President Obama wants" Snyder replies, and the crowd erupts with indignant shouting. "Yes it is!" audience members shout; "He said it!"..."It's on tape!"..."Don't tell us that!"
Obama has pushed for a government-run insurance option, not a single-payer system (which entails the elimination of private insurance in favor of a public plan for everyone)...his goal being to drive down prices by introducing a public plan, available as an option when people buy insurance, to drive down prices across the board. Obama has actually disappointed single-payer advocates, including his own former doctor and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) by pushing for the public option instead.