Critics Overshadow Obama's Reform Proposal

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President Barack Obama worked to calm fears over his plans for health care, taking his message on the road, Tuesday.

Obama operated as "fireman in chief" at the New Hampshire town hall meeting, dousing flames surrounding his plan to reform Americans healthcare system.

"Where we do disagree, let's disagree over things that are real, not these wild misrepresentations that bear no resemblance to anything that's actually been proposed," he said.

The crowd inside was supportive and respectful.

Outside, however, on the streets of Portsmouth, lines were drawn.

"I earned my health insurance and I paid for it with my money that I worked very hard for," said one protestor.

It's a scene that's dominating the August recess and it appears, at least for now, naysayers are winning the message war.

A new Rasmussen poll revealed 53 percent of Americans now oppose the plan-- nearly a 10 point increase from late June.

Opposition is even stronger among senior citizens, the sector of the population that relies on the healthcare system the most.

"I recognize there is an underlying fear here that people somehow won't get the care they need," Obama said.  "You will have not only the care you need, but also the care that right now is being denied to you.  Only if we get healthcare reform."

The debate has been so intense in Dallas, AARP has cancelled town hall meetings in north Texas, and in Pennsylvania, Tuesday, Sen. Arlen Specter got an earful.

"You're taking our kid's future and driving it right down the toilet," one person charged.

"When are you going to get this country back to what the constitution is all about?" another asked.

"I will not support a bill which deprives you of the right and gives it to some governmental agency to pick your health plan," Specter responded.

Fiery debate is causing some congressmen to cancel town hall meetings all together.

In Georgia, the FBI is investigating racial slurs directed towards Congressman David Scott.  A swastika was painted on a sign outside his office.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.