It took three, hour-long sessions at a town-hall meeting on health care reform for Republican Congressman Mike Coffman to address more than 500 …
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It took three, hour-long sessions at a town-hall meeting on
health care reform for Republican Congressman Mike Coffman to
address more than 500 people waiting outside the Arapahoe County
Administration Building in Littleton Aug. 12.
While the crowd remained relatively calm compared to other
health care town-halls around the state, many came equipped with
emotional stories, protest signs and pointed questions for the
Congressman who opposes a public option.
Lynn Replinger, a Centennial resident, has been e-mailing and
calling Coffman for months with specific questions about lowering
health care costs but has yet to receive an answer.
“He says that a public option is too expensive but what
alternative is he proposing?” she said.
Coffman didn’t offer an alternative solution but he did say that
the current system is too expensive for many people and that “the
president should be commended for raising these issues.”
Opposed to a system that would offer affordable insurance from
the government, Coffman said his biggest concern is how harmful it
might be to the economy, a comment that some audience members saw
But Coffman said the economy should be Congress’s number one
focus right now.
“Forcing an 8 percent tax on payroll will kill jobs and drive
debt even further,” Coffman said at the final session.
Forcing companies to provide insurance for employees or slapping
them with a surcharge if they don’t would be a job killer, he said
at an earlier session.
A statement which brought the majority of the room to their feet
was Coffman’s promise to offer an amendment to require members of
Congress to use the public option, if passed.
“If it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for Congress,” one
audience member shouted.
Karin O’hara said the current health care system completely
degraded her sister, who suffered from chronic mental illness for
35 years. The system offered little assistance while her sister was
living and left O’hara with hefty medical bills after her
“I strongly support Obama’s public option so no citizen ever has
to be degraded to that point,” she said.
She continued, urging Coffman to support a public-option.
Opponents to the public option don’t want the government
involved in their medical decisions.
Take 29-year-old Jayme Harker, for example. With two babies, one
of which had a hole in his heart, medical bills have been
expensive, she said.
“But if that’s the price for freedom, I will pay it,” she said,
bringing about massive applause.
“On page 838 (of the bill) it says the government will send
agents into my house to tell me how to be a parent. I hope you go
back to Washington and tell them to mind their own business,” she
said, adding an expletive for emphasis.
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