Health Care Reform Top Priority at Town Halls

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Health care reform is the only item on the agenda at town hall meetings across the country.
    
There is still growing opposition to what is being served up as health care reform in Washington.   But for the most part, the tone of the town hall meetings may have changed.  The earlier loud and angry protests have been replaced by peaceful discussions.

But there is still no shortage of passion from voters who want their questions answered and their opinions heard.
    
A tough crowd attended the town hall meeting Tuesday night in Dartmouth, Mass., offering plenty of questions as well as applause.    

"I was wondering can you pledge here tonight that if a new government single payer system is instituted that you will opt out of your Cadillac insurance and into the same one that we will be forced to take," one man asked during Tuesday's meeting.
    
The applause after the question was directed at Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was a clear sign of opposition to his support for a public option when it comes to health care.

"I'm just curious, do you really think that is thoughtful conversation," Frank replied. "Do you really think that advances your argument?"
    
Perhaps the more thoughtful conversation took place at the town hall meeting in Muskogee, Okla., Tuesday, where Democratic Rep. Dan Boren and his constituents discussed health care savings plans and tort reform.

"On the bill before the House - 3200, I am a 'no' vote," Boren said.
    
There was opposition to the bill at Tuesday's town hall meeting in Asheville, N.C.

"I'm opposed to the government option," said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C. "I'm opposed to the single-payer system. I think that'll be harmful and destructive to health care."
    
However, there was a different opinion in President Obama's home state, where Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., led a town hall meeting Tuesday in Chicago.

"If there is not a viable public option in the final legislation, healthcare reform legislation, would you vote for that legislation?," Jackson asked. "A healthcare reform without a viable strong public option is a non-starter for us."

There were also town hall meetings in New Mexico and Virginia Tuesday. They were also peaceful, but passionate.

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