Sen. McCaskill's town hall dominated by health care reform supporters

The Kansas City StarAugust 25, 2009 

After an August dominated by their opponents, health care reform advocates pushed back on Monday.

Supporters clearly outnumbered skeptics among the 1,300 people who attended a health care town hall meeting in Kansas City — a first for session organizer Sen. Claire McCaskill.

"It's certainly the most vociferous support I've seen for attempts to reform health care so far," the Missouri Democrat said. "No question about it."

That vocal support probably didn't change many minds at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Swinney Recreation Center, where the hour-long event was held. And it certainly didn't alter the views of hundreds of opponents of health care reform, who booed, turned their thumbs down and said in no uncertain terms they didn't trust the government to fix health care.

"The federal government has absolutely no business in any way, shape or form addressing health care," said Brad Haines of Kansas City. "Not pro, not con. Zero. Zip."

Democrats said the pro-reform turnout was a sign their party was finally mobilizing just as Congress prepares to return from its August recess and take up health care reform.

"Supporters of insurance reform got caught flat-footed at first," conceded longtime Democratic operative Steve Glorioso, who helped McCaskill's staff decide on a room for the forum.

To read the complete article, visit www.kansascity.com.

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