Health Care

Emotions run high at Rep. Myrick's town hall meeting

More that 1,200 people crowded into Weddington High School Tuesday night for a boisterous town hall meeting that evoked passionate sentiments not only about health care, but also immigration and the Obama administration. | 08/26/09 15:21:52 By - Jim Morrill

Georgia representative has town hall on health care

U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop told more than 530 people at a town hall meeting he had not made up his mind on how he would vote on health care reform legislation. | 08/20/09 15:34:49 By - Chuck Williams and Lily Gordon

Senator DeMint town hall stays civil in Myrtle beach

A health care town hall featuring U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint drew more people from both parties than anyone expected, but the atmosphere inside and outside the restaurant stayed civil. | 08/19/09 16:03:01 By - Claudia Lauer

Sen. DeMint's health care town hall relatively quiet

A health care town hall featuring U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint drew more people from both parties than anyone expected, but the atmosphere inside and outside the restaurant stayed civil. | 08/19/09 16:03:34 By - Claudia Lauer

Amid health care picketing, study details rising cost of premiums

North Carolinians have seen their health insurance costs rise five times faster than their salaries over the last decade, according a new report released this morning that will likely add more fuel to the health care debate. | 08/18/09 13:24:31 By - Rob Christensen

Are health care co-ops the answer for reforming the system?

The day after the Obama administration hinted it might drop the option of publicly supported health insurance, politicians and taxpayers scrambled to understand what the alternative to public insurance might look like. One possibility is health insurance cooperatives. "Co-ops" would provide competition for private insurers, making many Democrats happy, but would not be run by the government, pleasing most Republicans. | 08/18/09 10:18:41 By - Dan Helling

Obama's hint that he'd drop public plan provokes ire

Concerned that the president might be ready to negotiate away one of their key goals, liberal Democrats pressed President Barack Obama on Monday to resist conservative opposition and maintain support for a government insurance option as part of his health care overhaul. | 08/18/09 10:18:29 By - Steven Thomma

Most health industry players would win under overhaul

When Congress and the White House began talking about a health care overhaul, the industries that profit from the $2.5 trillion system were understandably nervous. But as the legislation takes shape, it appears much of the anxiety was misplaced. | 08/16/09 14:19:50 By - Phil Galewitz

Healthy question: What’s all the shouting really about?

The issues — tax policy, employer mandates, community-rated insurance plans — required the combined expertise of a doctor, an economist, a lawyer and an actuary to fully grasp. But ever since Congress stopped talking and went into recess several weeks ago, the health care reform debate has grown white-hot. Topping the bill are the issues of euthanasia, abortion, illegal immigration, federal ID cards, socialized medicine. | 08/15/09 15:47:34 By - ALAN BAVLEY and DAVE HELLING

N.C. protesters aim message at Sen. Hagan

Critics of President Barack Obama's efforts to overhaul the health-care system finished an intense week of opposition Friday by picketing the Raleigh district office of Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.

About 250 people showed up outside the Federal Building on New Bern Avenue in downtown Raleigh on Friday afternoon, carrying placards with such messages as "We the people say no to socialism," "Freedom isn't free and neither is Obamacare" and "Pack your bags Congress, you're fired." | 08/15/09 15:24:50 By - ROB CHRISTENSEN

Health care proponents and opponents converge on Modesto

Modesto had its own town hall meeting over health care reform Friday — only it didn't include a town hall.

Nearly 200 people gathered downtown during lunchtime to rally in support of or against changes to the U.S. health care system. | 08/15/09 14:38:42 By - Michelle Hatfield

Florida rally for public health-care option draws counter protest

A demonstration organized by MoveOn.org outside the Coral Gables, Fla., office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in support of a public insurance option drew 100 supporters and about 150 opponents, organized by the editor of SFlaConservative.com. The two sides shouted slogans at one another, but did not clash physically. Nelson was not present. | 08/14/09 00:17:28 By - Toluse Olorunnipa

In Macon, Senator Chambliss speaks about health-care reform

Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., addressed the issue of health-care reform with the Macon Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday afternoon on the Central Georgia Technical College campus in Macon. | 08/13/09 18:46:55 By - Thomas L. Day

'Town brawls' have California reps rethinking how to reach out

Congressional town hall meetings can now be a contact sport, so the five lawmakers from California's San Joaquin Valley are trying different strategies for meeting with constituents. Some lawmakers are holding traditional town halls. Some are meeting with select groups. Some are emphasizing targeted meetings and telephone conference calls. | 08/13/09 16:57:54 By - Michael Doyle

Rep. Tiahrt, in Wichita, gets warm response at area town halls

The fear of government intrusion into private lives was the underlying theme of a series of meetings U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, held Tuesday in his home district. | 08/12/09 17:18:03 By - Fred Mann

Specter jeered by angry crowd at Penn State health forum

"Turncoat!" someone shouted at Sen. Arlen Specter as he tried to explain his decisions to both vote for the Obama administration's economic stimulus program and then change from a Republican to a Democrat. More than 1,600 people were kept from entering the forum, which was held in a room that reached capacity at 400. | 08/12/09 15:06:07 By - Mike Joseph

Emotions run high at N.C. health care town hall (with photos)

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Amid heckling and boos Tuesday night, North Carolina held its first congressional health care forum since the issue has become a national flash point. | 08/12/09 12:54:02 By - Rob Christensen

If U.S. health care's so good, why do other people live longer?

Ask around for the healthiest country in the world, and the United States won't come close to topping the list. People live longer in just about every industrialized nation, from Canada to our north, throughout much of Europe, and around the Pacific in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. | 08/12/09 08:15:34 By - Carrie Peyton Dahlberg

At last, a Republican takes on Palin over health-care claims

"It does us no good to incite fear in people by saying that there's these end-of-life provisions, these death panels," Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, told an Anchorage health-care forum on Tuesday. "Quite honestly, I'm so offended at that terminology because it absolutely isn't (in the bill). There is no reason to gin up fear in the American public by saying things that are not included in the bill." | 08/12/09 07:49:00 By - Lisa Demer

Reality check: Health care scare talk is just that, scary talk

The strongest critics call the Obama administration's healthcare ideas "downright evil'' and claim that government "death panels'' will decide who among the old and weak should die while Medicare benefits get slashed to fund the uninsured. The reality is much less sensational. | 08/12/09 06:32:54 By - John Dorschner

Headed to a health care 'town brawl?' Read this first

Two independent organizations that are widely respected for objective fact-checking on topics of political controversy, FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Politifact, a Pulitzer-prize winning project of the St. Petersburg Times, have checked many of the claims being made about health-care proposals and found them inaccurate. Democratic congressional staffers summarized their findings in a memo released Tuesday. | 08/11/09 16:13:45 By -

Look out: Specter to host health care debate in Pennsylvania

The potentially volatile political dispute over health care reform is headed for State College on Wednesday as U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter plans a town hall meeting at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel. | 08/11/09 14:27:00 By - Mike Joseph

Health care plan backers hit the road in North Caroilna

With critics of President Obama's health care proposals having finished their bus tour, supporters of the plan will begin theirs. Beginning tonight in Greenville, the State Employees Association of North Carolina will host a series of town meetings on health insurance reform across the state.

"State employees are concerned about health care," SEANC executive director Dana Cope in a statement. "Many of them can't afford to cover their spouses or children on the State Health Plan, adding to the growing number of uninsured North Carolinians." | 08/10/09 17:07:33 By - Rob Christensen

N. Carolina Dems tout Obama health care — in private

Three Democratic congressmen tried to build support for President Obama's health care proposal Monday, saying it would help ensure that when middle class people became seriously ill, or changed or lost jobs, they would not be left to pay their own medical bills. They did so at a private event. | 08/10/09 16:55:41 By - Rob Christensen

Pharmacists' nonprofit in Durham could be a model for health-care reform

For 15 years, pharmacists at a Durham nonprofit have helped older, low-income people take the right prescription drugs, in the right amounts at the right times. | 08/10/09 15:57:34 By - Thomas Goldsmith

As Congress debates, Gulf Coast Mississippi still uninsured

While Congress expects to keep debating over a national health care insurance plan after its August recess, thousands of people in on Mississippi's Gulf Coast are going with no health insurance protection at all. | 08/10/09 14:32:27 By - J. R. Welsh

Underinsured seek spot in health care discussion

Laura Burwell was weeding her backyard vineyard last summer when she was bit by a rattlesnake. She rushed to a Chico hospital for antivenin and morphine, which eased the pain during an overnight stay. Then came the unexpected sting of a $73,000 hospital bill — and shock upon learning her health insurance would cover a mere $3,000. | 08/10/09 14:20:55 By - Bobby Caina Calvan

Florida small businesses confused, concerned over health care

MANATEE, Fla. — Fear and confusion abound when local small business owners think about the health care proposals going through Congress. Some worry about massive government red tape and intense oversight; others fear they won’t be able to afford offering coverage to their employees without cutting back elsewhere. Still some are flummoxed by all the debate and have adopted a wait-and-see attitude until a bill is passed and signed. | 08/10/09 13:38:22 By - Jennifer Rich

S.C. senator takes on Obama over health care overhaul

Soft-spoken, slight of physical stature and not even the senior senator in his own state, Jim DeMint wouldn't seem like the most likely choice to fill the role of one-man Obama wrecking crew. | 08/10/09 10:30:39 By - James Rosen

Health care debate spills onto North Carolina streets

The crowd, intense but not unruly, turned sedate, tree-lined St. Mary's Street into political theater with signs such as "Hands off My Health Care," and "God Forgive Them, They May not Know They are Helping Traitors," and "Right Wing Organizer." | 08/08/09 16:27:31 By - Rob Christenson

Healthcare overhaul supporters rally at Fla. lawmaker's office

Looking to shift some of the attention Republicans have generated in recent days with raucous opposition to a national healthcare overhaul, a group of largely Democratic activists rallied Friday in support of the planned changes. | 08/08/09 16:21:17 By - Laura Figueroa

Kentucky Democrat faces heat over health care, energy bill

Rep. Ben Chandler is trying to balance his support for the administration's health care overhaul with his own discomfort over proposals on how to structure and fund changes. | 08/08/09 16:03:28 By - Halimah Abdullah

Hundreds gather at congressman's health care event

Hundreds of people for or against health care reform filled a coffee shop here this morning and lined up for blocks to get into what was to be a small monthly private chat session. | 08/08/09 15:55:33 By - Joe Lambe

Health care forum canceled in Fresno, California

Officials at the University of California at San Francisco's Fresno center insisted that scheduling conflicts compelled them to pull the plug. Doubters wonder if they just hoped to avoid protesters. | 08/08/09 15:31:36 By - Michael Doyle and John Ellis

Health care debate degenerates into brawls, death threats

From Connecticut to California, angry demonstrators opposed to health care reform have disrupted recent town hall meetings held by congressional Democrats. They attack lawmakers for backing a "socialist agenda," shout questions without waiting for answers and repeat misinformation as fact, in some cases even accusing Democrats of favoring mandatory euthanasia for senior citizens. | 08/07/09 19:20:17 By - David Goldstein

Commentary: This country needs an outburst of common sense

If ever there were a time for comprehensive health care reform, it's now, and yet the forces of darkness are lining up against this urgent need, buttressed by lies, mobs inflamed by those lies and millions of dollars changing hands and changing votes in Washington, D.C. | 08/07/09 19:08:13 By - Joseph L. Galloway

Palin accuses Obama of backing health-care 'death panel'

Further staking out right-wing political ground in a Facebook post today, former Gov. Palin blasted Democratic-led health care reform and accused President Obama of backing a "death panel." | 08/07/09 18:55:06 By -

Republicans targeted with health care robo-calls

MIAMI — Democrats are amping up their efforts to push President Obama's health care reform efforts — targeting Mario Diaz-Balart and 24 other Republicans with robo and live calls, part of a month-long advertising and grassroots offensive they've dubbed “Health Care ER,” a "health care emergency response network." | 08/07/09 18:24:22 By - Lesley Clark

Democrats avoid health care town halls amid disruptions

The town hall forum, long a hallmark of the August congressional recess, is disappearing this year as the partisan lines harden and tempers flare over the health care debate.

Democratic Rep. Brad Miller of Raleigh received a death threat from a constituent, his staff said. The caller was angry that Miller wasn't holding a town hall meeting. | 08/07/09 17:59:50 By - Rob Christensen and Tim Funk

Democrats hit the road to sell health insurance plan

As Congress left town for its August break, House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio predicted that the Democrats were in for a long, hot summer. He might be right. | 08/07/09 16:14:30 By - Rob Hotakainen

Washington state's Baird chooses to skip 'town halls' this year

Since being elected 11 years ago, Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, has held 305 town hall meetings in sweaty high school gyms, community centers and county courthouses across his district. | 08/07/09 16:14:41 By - Les Blumenthal

Blue Dog lawmaker has harsh words for conservative group

An incensed Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., is ready to go to the mat with Grover Norquist, a GOP strongman whose organization, Americans for Tax Reform, sent a news release out this week claiming that Taylor had changed his position on health care. | 08/07/09 17:51:12 By - Maria Recio

Republicans bet on attacking Democrats

Republicans are aggressively spreading a simple but tart message across the nation this summer: Democrats only want to tax and spend wildly and expand an already-bloated government. | 08/07/09 17:49:39 By - David Lightman

Democrats say they won't bow to 'shrill' health-care protests

President Obama didn't close the differences among Democratic senators on how best to revise the country's health-care system during a pep rally Tuesday at the White House. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned protesters who've recently disrupted townhall meetings that they won't stop the process. | 08/07/09 17:39:31 By - David Lightman and William Douglas

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