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1 obama braces for N H town hall debate on Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:24 pm



updated 2 hours, 17 minutes ago

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. - Braced for a fight he never got, President Barack Obama went on the offensive in support of his health care plan Tuesday, urging a town hall audience not to listen to those who seek to "scare and mislead the American people."

"For all the scare tactics out there, what is truly scary is if we do nothing," Obama told a friendly crowd of about 1,800 in a high school auditorium and a nationwide audience watching on cable television.

The White House had been ready for an unruly reception from opponents of overhauling health care. There was no sign of that, perhaps because of the makeup of the day's crowd or out of traditional deference for the president.

Obama's push came amid a string of disruptive health care town halls nationwide that have overshadowed his message and threatened to derail support in Congress. Indeed, Republican-turned-Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter faced hostile questions, taunts and jeers earlier Tuesday as he tried to explain his positions at a town hall in Lebanon, Pa. Voter fears of a government takeover of health care were on stark display.

Some lawmakers, holding forums during Congress' August recess, have gone so far as to replace public forums with teleconferences or step up security to keep protesters at bay.

But the Democratic president faced no outbursts.

The encounter was so friendly, in fact, that by the end Obama was even asking for skeptical questioners to come forward to no avail.

Jim Cole / AP
Protestors march near Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H., on Tuesday.
He told his audience reassuringly, "For all the chatter and the yelling and the shouting and the noise, what you need to know is this ... if you do have health insurance, we will make sure that no insurance company or government bureaucrat gets between you and the care you need."

Retooling his message amid sliding support, he addressed some of his remarks to a vital and skeptical audience: the tens of millions of people who already have health insurance and are generally satisfied with the care they get.

He said the overhaul is essential to them, too, contending it is the way to keep control in their hands. Obama said while government bureaucrats should not meddle with people's care, bureaucrats at insurance companies should not, either.

The president accused critics of creating "bogeymen."

"Spread the facts. Let's get this done," Obama implored the crowd.

The tone was set as soon as Obama arrived. He came in to applause and told one person who shouted support, "I love you back."

One man identified himself as a Republican and said, "I don't know what I'm doing here." The Democratic president said he was happy to have him in attendance.

Toward the end of the session, Obama went so far as to ask people to give him skeptical questions. The best he got were queries about why he doesn't chastise Congress more and where the nation would find the additional doctors and nurses it needed

Morning Meeting
Heading toward a pivotal fall debate before congressional action, Obama is scrambling to get lawmakers and the public behind what would be the most ambitious and costly changes to the health care system in decades.

He reiterated his determination that the plan be paid for without adding to the nation's soaring deficit.

He took on what he described as erroneous claims that have risen as the debate in Washington and the nation has developed.

He singled out the charge that the Democratic health care legislation would create "death panels" to deny care to frail seniors. Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin has said the Democrats' legislation includes "death panels" that could deny care.

Obama declared that a provision that he said had caused the uproar would only authorize Medicare to pay doctors for counseling patients about end-of-life care, living wills, hospice care and other issues, if the patients wanted it. It would not "basically pull the plug on grandma because we decided that it's too expensive to let her live anymore," as Obama put it.

2 Re: obama braces for N H town hall debate on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:26 pm


I watched the town meeting Obama conducted today, It wasn't to bad of a performance the only thing lacking was a commitment on Obama's part on how this whole health care program was to be funded.
Some things are not written out yet so he was void of some crucial answers. I also watched 2 other town meetings , the difference between the one Obama staged and the other 2 was like night and day. In the other 2 meetings real people with honest concerns mostly relating to Medicare were voicing questions which neither Specter nor Caskell could answer, but the controlled audience at Obama's meeting was very obvious.

3 Re: obama braces for N H town hall debate on Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:41 pm


yes I watched the ruckus on the other town hall meetings.

an as my article/video here , those are planned by the group 60+ run by Republicans, Jim Martin is President look his profile up he was mixed up with union trouble and other things. also another group it is here to read Rachel maddows is on the tape.commenting like I said those demonstrations are planned to shout down the question/answer session, I don't see one republican stating anything but wanting Obama to fail in this~Health Care reform//why aren't they working to produce something else, if they don't approve of this one.. if you can produce different I would gladly read it.. an voice my opinion`

4 Re: obama braces for N H town hall debate on Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:07 pm

rosco 357

its being said on tv now, and i did not see the presidents talk, but aparently he said aarp is behind the bill, if i am correct and i may not be, ,BUT AARP did state today, as being reported on tv that they will study the final bill and make a judgement then either back it or not,but so far neither backs it or is against it, i just heard it on shepards fox new show,

5 Re: obama braces for N H town hall debate on Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:12 pm


I had posted on that last night Rosco..Obama was incorrect in his statement and AARP jumped to defend their position, another example why this is so confusing, even the President is not making truthful statements, he is becoming his own worst enemy..

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