Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge Town Hall Meeting: Ford Auditoreum Case Western August 2009

This is the shortened version of the 11 PM Channel 3 News. It does show some of what happened at the Town Hall Meeting.It does show some of the tension and rude people who were attempting to disrupt. They are clearly not there to discuss or learn or look at options, they randomly would yell out and in the beginning would yell things that were hateful and senseless. The police were very organized and quick to remove anyone that was problematic.Marcia Fudge was amazing, strong and clear that it was HER meeting and she was in charge and that Rudeness would not be tolerated. She was brave and determined to have her meeting,period.The Disrupters only want to shut the meeting down, they were not successful tonight. The Crowd also did a good job supporting her and clapping loudly over the Disrupters, and it worked. The Disrupters were mostly middle-aged white men well dressed, looking like they left a golf game early in their Dockers and sport shirts.They sat in the middle and yelled at random. People around them yelled them down, and photographed and filmed them. The Auditoreum held approximately 500, I am not sure of number of Disrupters, maybe 20 ?

Marcia did get the Facts out about the Financial Burden of this situation. She explained that "rationing' is already happening and being done by the Insurance Companies deciding what they will pay for. She also explained that premiums are already high to pay for the un-insured.She also explained about the Bankruptcy Numbers and people losing homes for Care. And that 14,000 a day are losing Healthcare.

Her Statement from her site that she repeated.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” Forty years after Dr. King made this statement, injustice persists.

America has suffered an escalating healthcare crisis for decades. Those who say our system is sufficient have avoided the truth. Truly, there is something wrong when healthcare is more reactive than proactive. There is something wrong when healthcare costs rise more rapidly than individual income. There is something wrong when where you are born or the neighborhood you live in determines your quality of care. All of these wrongs can be found in our current healthcare system.
Within Congress, I will advocate for every American to have healthcare. Whether the citizen is rich or poor, schooled or unschooled, black or white, America must ensure all her citizens have care that is preventive, cost-effective and humane.

Government's job is to take care of its people. Caring for citizens includes facilitating their access to healthcare. Congress is currently discussing healthcare reform and I will use my vote to advocate for true healthcare reform for all Americans."

About My Question and What I asked Marcia Fudge ?
And it shows some of the Questions, I was Number 5. I did explain that I am a Nurse, and have been for over 20 years. That I took an oath to take care of people , all people, and that I had never denied care to anyone for any reason, or if they had insurance or money. I explained that I had gone through hell trying to get insurance, and due to Family history was cancelled and now I have no insurance and no care. I asked the People in the Audience, and I turned to face them, I asked them to remember someone sitting near them has no health Insurance and no healthcare, and that no one should be ashamed or embarrassed that they have been denied or cancelled, or can not afford it. ( Channel 3 said I was tearful- which is not true- I was nervous and a bit pale from the flu,and scrubs are less than flattering, but I wanted people to understand I am a Nurse. Channel 4,and 19 also filmed the meeting and yes, my question made it on their channels too).

I asked Marcia Fudge if she would promise to fight for people like me, 52 Million Americans and do all she could to make certain that the Public Option was in the Final Bill ?
Her Response....
She explained that she would do all she could to make sure it was in the Bill, and that she would not Vote for the Bill unless it was in the Bill.
( I am trying to locate the video of her Response- because it was amazing and did get thunderous applause and many were standing).
Questions that did come up in the Q&A period, the most important ones
(1) The Death Panel Question ( she explained that it made no sense, that she has a mom that she loves).
(2) WHO and HOW will we pay for it ( the but our grandchildren will pay for it ?)She explained that is still being worked on, but that they are trying to do it in a way that does not contribute to debt or deficit.
(3) What is the Rush ?( She reminded folks that America has been working on this since Teddy Roosevelt).
(4) Two people asked if Single Payer was off the table ( it clearly is,and she did explain that we have working Government programs, from VA to medicare).
(5) A disabled woman did ask if there was any way she could get insurance and work and get off disability. ( it sounded like that is not addressed in this bill).
(6) She did admit that she has not read the whole bill, that she has staff to do that ( HR 3200 was up to 1400 pages so that is an absurd question, I think).
(7) A Med student explained that the financial costs were huge, and she agreed and said they are trying to work that in the bill to pay for increased education and then have increased care in areas of need.
Okay,so I did take cellphone photos- but they did not turn out well..sorry, looking for better ones....Please also if Anyone has video, I would love to see, I know someone from Daily Kos was supposed to be there, so please let me know.
Final thoughts and Reflections
I was very proud of Marcia Fudge and her staff and of the Reform Supporters there.I don't know what to think after seeing the Disrupters in person. It was a lesson that there is Hate in this country, and it was palpable and worrisome.It was also a lesson that we need to stand up for people, all people. There were people there braver than me, a woman in wheelchair and elderly and people with disease who need us to stand up and ask for Better Care in this Country. Marcia Fudge was also a wonderful example of Some Capable of Stating the Facts and being clear about what we are facing, but also willing to listen and talk.At one point she yelled back to Hecklers that THIS was HER meeting and she was in Charge, and that really set the Rules. I loved that she also told some stories and used humor to diffuse the tension. I know that somewhere tonight Stephanie Tubbs Jones is proud tonight of Clevelanders and of Marcia Fudge....

I also want to thanks the people there...for their courage and solidarity. I also think the Police and Security were very calm and watchful and that helped.And also Marcia's staff were very much there and a calming presence.
Channel 19 News, has snippets of the meeting that do show the tension and some of the questions and also the heckling. Click the pop up videos- "Healthcare Reform Wars come to Cleveland".
FOX video from the meeting, scroll down to Video "Health Care Debate". Marcia Fudge's Euthansia Answer is here, it was a wonderful answer where she pointed out that the Death panel issue made no sense , especially as her own mother was there in the audience.
Jane Hamsher shared my story and info about our Town Hall in FDL.Thank you.


enigma4ever said...

Akron Beacon Journal ( postd on Channel 3 too)::::
CLEVELAND -- In a town hall meeting at Case Western Reserve University, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge said she wanted to get feedback from residents about health care reform. She certainly got an earful.

"Certainly I don't mind people disagreeing with what we're doing," said Fudge. "That is the democratic process."

The Democrat stood on the stage at Ford Auditorium on the campus of Case Western Reserve University and added, "but they have to keep in mind that this is my meeting."

Within minutes, two men in the center of the auditorium began yelling at Fudge. Both were quickly tossed out of the hall by CWRU security as many in the crowd applauded.

Most of the protesters chose to remain across the street holding signs for both passing cars and media cameras. Several belonged to a group called the "Cleveland Tea Party Patriots."

Ralph King is the group's leader. "We're over here and we're staying over here for the simple fact that we respect their right to voice their free speech," said King.

He added, "I just want everybody to know that thousands of people don't agree with this Obama health care plan. We won't change the Congresswoman's mind, but that's ok. We just want to get our message out there."

In the wake of other contentious town hall meetings across the country, Congresswoman Fudge was clearly prepared to handle the distractions at her forum.

When a man at the microphone said, "you know in my experience when you rush into things it's usually a big mistake. What is the rush with health care reform?"

Fudge responded, "We have been trying to change health care for almost 60 years. It's not new."

Across the room, a man dressed in black yelled out , "so what's the rush? It's been 60 years."

"Wait a minute," Fudge said calmly. "Are you going to disrespect all these people standing in this line waiting patiently for a chance to speak?"

Moments later, a woman choked back tears as she addressed the crowd. "I have worked my whole life and I can't get health insurance."

The former nurse continued, "I did nothing wrong except to have a family history full of cancer. So I'm asking you to please, please, I know Stephanie would want you to, but please, please fight for the public option for people like me."

The majority of the capacity crowd in Ford Auditorium burst into applause for several minutes.

Said Fudge, "It is very clear that the cost of doing nothing is higher than the cost of doing something."

© 2009 WKYC-TV

yeah..I am the nurse in the article..I did not choke back tears- I was just nervous ( hey who wouldn't be ?)

Georgia Eliot said...

Allie, you and Cleveland good to know the support expressed for the public option!