Politics & Government

Alaska Sen. Murkowski slams health care plan at town hall

At a town hall meeting in Chugiak Wednesday night, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski propped up a foot-high stack of paper next to her at the podium — the 1,900-page health care bill passed by the House last week.

"We can pull this thing back," she told a supportive crowd.

Murkowski, a Republican and an outspoken opponent of Democrat-led health care reform bills, wants much more limited legislation.

She spoke to 150 to 200 people at Mirror Lake Middle School. Unlike previous town halls in Anchorage, where many spoke on both sides of major health care reform, the Chugiak group was overwhelmingly critical of the direction Congress is headed.

"This is a monstrosity," said Harry Young of Eagle River, who said he served 26 years in the military. "It's spun so far out of control. It's about security for the Democratic Party."

"I think we have a pretty darn good health care system now," said Ron Bauers, in from Dillingham. "I want you to continue the good fight."

Ed Singer of Chugiak, a retired teacher, predicted a mass exodus of businesses out of the U.S. if health care bills like the ones being considered in Congress pass.

George Hines, a disabled veteran and a journalism student, asked where in the Constitution it says the government has a right to be in his health care.

"I agree. The government doesn't need to be in the insurance industry," said Murkowski. Pressed further by Hines, she said, "I will not vote for a law that is unconstitutional."

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