Obama Presses HC Bill Despite Protests, Anger

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WASHINGTON -- Despite angry and loud voices against health care reform, President Barack Obama will continue to take his message on the road to try and convince Americans that the system needs to be reformed and that the federal government should play a major role.

The White House knows their best weapon to pass health care reform is the president himself. So Mr. Obama will press his case in town hall meetings later this week in Montana and Colorado.

He has some work to do.

The latest Rasmussen Poll shows a steady slide in support for reform with just 42 percent now favoring the plan, 53 percent against it.

And while poll numbers sink lower, the anger and volume at town hall meetings across the country just keep on getting louder.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., tried to fend off an angry mob in Missouri.

"I don't understand this rudeness, what is this? I don't get it, I honestly don't get it. Do you think you're persuading people when you shout out like that? (crowd shouts) Beg your pardon? What is that? You don't trust me?" McCaskill said.

Big government skepticism seems to be at the heart of the problem for the White House. Some come to these town halls saying Obama's a socialist or a new name: "Obamadinejad."

One man in Oregon brought a sign of Obama looking like Hitler.

"The president is now supporting genocide against the American people to keep the bailout of the financial interest going. It's no different than Hitler's program," he said.

Rep. David Wu, D-Ore., responded to critics at a health care forum.

"It is an outrageous falsehood that there is anything like you are talking about," Wu said.

The president's job is to now play fact checker. That was on display at his own New Hampshire town hall on Tuesday.

"Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real,  not these wild misrepresentations," Obama said.

The president says don't believe the scare tactics like, for example, that seniors will have their Medicare benefits cut back. He says AARP wouldn't have endorsed his plan if that were the case, but AARP says they haven't endorsed any health care plan yet.

The biggest challenge for this president may be overcoming the talk in the bill about "death panels." Critics say the bill would essentially create a bureaucratic panel that would make end-of-life decisions for Americans. 

Obama says that's just not true.

"The intention of the members of Congress was to give people more information so that they could handle issues of end-of-life care when they're ready, on their own terms," Obama said.

This White House has also come under criticism for asking people to inform them of people or groups spreading "fishy" rumors about the president's health care proposals. To critics, this feels like "Big Brother." It's something Obama had to address during the town hall.

"I'm one of the people that turned myself in on the White House Web page the other day for being a skeptic of this bill," Obama said.

The president says they just want the information so they can set the record straight.

"Suddenly, on some of these news outlets, this is being portrayed as 'Obama collecting an enemies list,'" Obama said.

But still, no matter how much the president defends the bill, these town halls simply won't settle down.

"One day God's gonna stand before you and He's gonna judge you," a man said at a town hall in Pennsylvania.

Democratic senators may be starting to get the point.

"I have a very good idea of the temper of the crowd," Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Penn., said.

Summers are hot but this one seems hotter than ever - this time on the inside as well as the outside.

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David Brody is an Emmy Award-winning veteran news journalist who has interviewed many prominent national figures during his career of nearly 25 years. Currently, David covers the White House and interviews national newsmakers across the country.  Follow David on Twitter @TheBrodyFile and "like" him at Facebook.com/TheBrodyFile.