Thursday, August 27, 2009

Woodlands resident and national congressman Kevin Brady speaks out on the Health Care Bill in Conroe Townhall Meeting

Last night, congressman Kevin Brady presented the proposed national health care plan to approximately 900 constituents at the Crighton Theatre in Conroe Texas. With a capacity of 500 occupants, those arriving early were the only ones initially able to participate. About 100 people left when turned away; the remaining 300 stayed, determined to have a say in the matter.

As Mr. Brady was speaking inside, many were outside in the heat talking and at times arguing. It was apparent that the story here was going to be outside. A representative came to speak to the crowd who was clamoring to get inside. Dressed in a suit, he stirred a reaction as you can see in these photographs. He is yelling to an attendee behind the crowd. 

There were liberals and conservatives attending this meeting. All wanted to speak out, of course some were against the message Mr. Brady was bringing to the meeting (otherwise known as  the ice cream social). This young man was shouting over the crowd to the Brady representative.

Mrs. Michelle Duffy pictured here waiting outside, wife of a medical doctor, near neighbors to Mr Brady, spoke out for the people as she brought her cost consciousness to the forefront.
Mr and Mrs Chris Lumpkin of Porter are "squarely opposed" to the bill.  "Quickness causes ill conceived results. Slow it down! We don't buy a house in one day." We have three children and are concerned about their future."  

Isabella Smith told her story. Her brother was in Brazil. He was diagnosed with a back problem, so he came here for treatment. One Cortisone shot cost $15,000. In Brazil, four shots using the same procedure costs $10,000. That is a six fold difference in cost. We need reform.

Betty Brown of Conroe wanted to be heard. Her mother died of Ovarian cancer. The hospital took everything she had. On her deathbed, they said "You owe us $80,000." Is that what you want to hear as you are leaving this world?

The police were challenged to enforce the fire code here as enthusiastic citizens were anxious to join the crowd inside. However, the crowd was behaved and their behavior met all the normal rules of orderly conduct.  
Finally, about 2/3 way through the first session, a representative came outside and told the crowd that the congressman had decided, with the permission of the owner of Crighton Theatre to conduct a second session for the remaining crowd. Everyone was asked to form a line as seen here. In less than 30 minutes after the theater emptied, we entered to have our turn with Mr. Brady.

As people left the theater, I took a quick random poll from about 20-30 people, young and old, men and women. About 95% said they were happy with what Mr. Brady said. one person said he was lying like all politicans do. One person said he was unhappy with what occurred.

Inside the theater, as the crowd was being seated, we were shown the matrix of organizations and interrelationships on an overhead projector (first photograph at top of this article). This was of course to show the complexity of the plan and how much beaurocracy would be entailed.
Some of Mr Brady's statements below reflect his views of the bill and what he would like to do about it. 
  • After this bill is passed, we will have 39 states with taxes greater than 1/2 of a person's income. That is the "Tipping point". Government gets more from the paycheck than the taxpayer himself. We must not let that happen.
  • This bill (holding a huge paper document) will increase health care costs. It It will not make health care affordable. We cannot afford this plan. There will be a $240 billion deficit in year one. That is just the start of this 1.3 trillion dollar bill. This will be liked an adjustable home loan rate – low at the beginning and affordable and then later very high and not affordable. A trap.
  • Medicare will be insolvent in 5 years. It is broken. This just piles costs on top of it. The Democrats are telling us that small businesses have had it too easy all these years. Now it's their turn to anti up. We actually need to lower small business taxes and enable them to employ people. That is at the heart of our economy.
  • Dean Heller amendment was voted down. That stated that if this bill is so great, then the congress should use that as well. Congress said “congress needs choices”.
  • What I say is that we need to fix medicare first and then when the government has proven it can manage the medical industry, then lets have a government run health care system. That is what I think.
  • No illegals, no college students, no person over $80000 income per year. They should pay their own way. Focus on the hard working middle/low income Americans. Provide jobs, don’t take them away. Small businesses with less than 10 employees, let them have the same discounts as corporate America.
  • I favor the backpack health plan where an employee chooses out of a list of available packages, carries it with him from job to job.
  • "“For the first time we have a chance to stop this bill. Send it back. We need to go back to the drawing board."
  • “I don’t believe a government run health care system is good for America.”
  • With this bill, “we will end up rationing care”, destroying the excellence we have enjoyed in medical care in the USA. 

Not all was so serious as we all got a good laugh when Michelle Duffy tried to take the microphone. Mrs Duffy wants health care reform and she is concerned about her child's financial future and health care.  Her son attends school with the congressman's child.

Can we just do what WE want to do? (referring to cessation from the union). Brady answered with -I don't know about cessation. We are working hard on this for America.

"The issue is our freedom and our rights! We don't appreciate your last minute stand on this issue. You are not allowed to make friends with the enemy"

This World War II Navy veteran was concerned about the behavior of Congress and the future of health care. "Divided we will fall." Get rid of the polarized bickering in Washington and fix the system.

Another gentleman said "Congressmen tell us what to do with our lives." We say "honor the constitution."

This lady brought a full copy of the legislation with her. She not only read it, she and some of her colleagues have analyzed it. She wanted Mr Brady to know that we can and are interested in every detail. Her two sided copy was not nearly as bulky as Mr Brady's. She handed him a copy of a page she was commenting about.

This author now says this about that. We are one nation under God with inherent rights to choose how we provide for ourselves.  No, the constitution does not say we must have health insurance, nor does it say we have the right to it. However, we know the shortcomings of government bureaucracies.  This bill has all flavors in it. Perhaps Mr Brady took a stand a bit late. I can't vouch for that, but starting right now, we all need to have a grasp on this legislation. Our congressman is recommending that we stand up and fight for our rights, not by email, but by physical presence at townhalls such as this.  Write your congressman and call for him to speak out and share with you the pluses and negatives. We cannot afford for congressmen to sit in glass houses thinking they have the solution for us unless we can tell them, "thank you for a job well done". Right now, the job has not been done. Never accept an incomplete project nor one with many fallacies.  What you see is what you will get. Don't expect Congress to come back and fix what they destroy. Any such bill must have checks and balances with taxpayer feedback and audits. It must have clear and measurable objectives with full accountability. Those responsible must put their money where their mouth is - they must be  takers of the new bureaucratic process and know for themselves and through their families without special privilege that they have done the right thing.

If I have offended anyone by quoting them incorrectly, I will be glad to correct  it. That inevitably happens, like water flowing downhill.

Click here to see all presentable photographs taken at the townhall meeting.    

Videos of other Townhall meetings elsewhere.

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