Angry town hall confrontations continue

Aug. 12, 2009 at 3:40 PM
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WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Lawmakers fielded heated and repeated questions on healthcare reform from town hall attendees in Iowa, Maryland and elsewhere Wednesday, observers said.

The Washington publication Politico reported confrontations occurred on assisted suicide and coverage for illegal immigrants, despite repeated assurances the reform measures under consideration contained no such provisions.

A self-described "dumb southern Iowa redneck" told Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley in Afton, Iowa: "I see nowhere in the Constitution where healthcare is a right. … I want to hear it from (President Barack) Obama, I want to hear it from (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi, about how this is about 'We the people.'"

Politico said a town hall meeting held in Hagerstown, Md., by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin quickly devolved into shouting after one questioner ordered Cardin to "cease and desist" from considering healthcare legislation.

The shouting matches continued one day after Obama attacked opponents for using "scare tactics."

Advocates told Politico they're trying to determine if the confrontations -- which have left the impression of a popular uprising against the plan -- really have any depth or are a case of a small but extremely vocal minority.

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