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Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum Continues to Voice Support for the Public Option Plan at Health Care Town Hall

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I experienced my first Health Care Town Hall first hand on the grounds of Macalester College where Democratic Representative Betty McCollum of Minnesota spoke to a predominantly pro health care reform crowd. The chapel had seats for around 400 people and the free tickets for the town hall ran out almost an hour before the event was to start. I ended up outside in the overflow area with an additional 400 people where we all listened to the event via a PA system. Representative McCollum drew some of her loudest cheers from the crowd when she said health care should be a right for all Americans and the idea of pre-existing conditions as a means to deny health care needed to stop now. She also noted that someone is already between you and your doctor and that is an insurance bureaucrat.

Photo: Eric Nelson

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Representative McCollum, a five-term Democratic congresswoman from St. Paul, has voiced her support for the public option plan and continued to do so last night, "I support a public insurance option that will increase competition in the marketplace".

She also addressed some of the Republican opposition to health care reform and noted the hypocrisy of many now becoming worried about costs. "The same people who spent a trillion dollars in Iraq after misleading our nation in that war now say it's too expensive to invest in health care here at home", said Representative McCollum during her prepared statement.

Watching the handful of opponents outside the chapel I made note of a few signs that essentially said, "Don't Tread on My Health Care". Ironically later in the question and answer session one young man said the Democrats were clearly losing the messaging battle and should make a stronger case to the American people and to make the message clearer, more consistent and more understandable. He said change the message from "Public Option" to "Public Choice", "nobody likes too many options but everyone likes choices". Considering the signs I saw from the opposition I could not have agreed more with this man's comments. The idea that somehow people who already have health care would somehow lose it under any current plan being proposed is a clear indication that people are just not getting an accurate message.

The opposition chanted that the government can't run anything. They of course fail to note that the government runs our military, runs a post office that still allows you to mail a letter anywhere in the United States for only 44 cents, and provides health care to our seniors and veterans that no one dares try dismantling because of the uprising that would ensue from the people currently receiving those services with much satisfaction.

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Why all but the top 5% of this country should not be busting down the doors of Congress to get health care reform done is baffling to me.

Today I came across this YouTube song by Russell Buchanan called "All-American Suckers" that pretty much sums up what I observed last night among the opponents to health care reform.

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Eric Nelson is freelance writer, an editor at OpEdNews, and a spiritual progressive from Minnesota who has become more politically active. The reasons for this should be obvious to most; rising poverty, a broken health care system, and a growing (more...)

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