Congressman David Obey’s office said over 13-thousand people heard at least part of his health care forum on the telephone last night. The Wausau Democrat spent an hour with residents throughout his 20-county district in central and northern Wisconsin. And while critics accused of Obey of avoiding a hostile crowd like those seen at other forums, the lawmaker said the phone conference was the best way to reach folks from such a large area. And his office said it was arranged before the controversy erupted over the town hall gatherings.
A number of people had their say. A woman from Dorchester wanted to know how Congress would pay for a public health-care option – and a Medford man said he didn’t trust Washington to do the job right. Another caller worried that his company would drop health benefits, and force him and others into the public plan. Obey reminded the caller of a proposed eight-percent tax penalty for companies which do that.
He also urged people to learn as much as possible about the various proposals – find out what’s best for them and their families – and don’t oppose an idea just because it’s from the wrong side of the political aisle.
Contributed by Mike Warren-WDLB