House Republican Paul Ryan is renting a larger hall for his next listening session in Racine. He expects a bigger-than-normal crowd to discuss concerns about the proposed health care reform package. It was a standing room gathering at Kenosha’s Gateway Technical College Tuesday where a diversity of opinions was expressed.
A man referred to the current health care system as dragging down the US, adding that 16-percent of its gross domestic product is for health care compared to 10-percent in other industrialized counties. The man says he is not concerned of health care “rationing,” which is what critics says the Democrats’ plan would lead to.
“I would rather have the rationing done with people who we can steer with our votes rather than an anonymous insurance company,” he said.
Another Wisconsinite had issue with changing the entire health care system based upon 43-million uninsured, which he notes is only 18-percent of the population. The man also called the Janesville Republican “naive” in believing Democrats will listen to Republicans.
Ryan admitted he didn’t think his health care proposal has a chance, “I’ve been told my bill won’t see the light of day by the chairman of my committee.”
A teacher was heckled a bit when talking about her health care package and desire for the same treatment as those considered rich, who would be taxed more under the Obama administration’s proposal.
AUDIO: Teacher on willingness to pay (MP3 :34)
Another woman said there are no incentives for new doctors, nurses or any practitioner under the Democrats’ plan. She’s concerned of a practitioner shortage after 47 million are “shoved” into the system and the physician wait times will only get worse. “I already wait two weeks for a doctor’s appointment.” Ryan said practitioner shortages will be a greater concern as baby boomers will expand from 40 million to 80 million retirees in coming years.
Ryan said how far Congress is willing to listen to the opposition to the health care reform plan remains to the be seen.
AUDIO: Ryan on what Congress will do (MP3 :31)
The Janesville House member’s next gathering will take place Thursday afternoon at Racine’s Roma Lodge.
Tom Karkow-WRJN contributed to this report