Hill Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Civil

by ekramer on September 1, 2009

Congressman Baron Hill of Indiana’s ninth district held his first town hall meeting on proposed health care overhaul legislation last night in New Albany. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

Nearly 600 people came to the Indiana University Southeast campus to hear from and ask questions of Hill. The overflow crowd included 200 people in an area just outside. The crowd was civil with supporters and opponents of the proposals for health care now in Congress.

Hill repeated his priorities for any health care legislation several times.

“Make sure that people who can’t get insurance now can get it — that’s priority number one,” he says. “If you’re sick; if you got diabetes; if you got multiple sclerosis you’re not excluded — that’s number one. Number two: we’ve got millions of Americans who do not have health insurance and we need to bring them in to the pool. Number three: the bill has to be deficit neutral.”

Hill says he disagrees with some government agencies that report the government could save $2 trillion by overhauling the system,  and that government needs to make the new system deficit neutral.

“Probably, there’s going to have to be some kind of tax increase somewhere,” he says. “And the proposal that is out there is a tax — a surtax on people who make $250,000 or more or $350,000 or more if you’re someone filing jointly.

Kay and Don Novak of Floyds Knobs were among about 200 people in an overflow area outside the hall where Hill spoke. Both have doubts about the proposed legislation.

“I just don’t like how they’re rushing everything through,” Kay Novak says.
“Rush, Rush,” says Don Novak.
“Yeah,” Kay says.
“Where’s the money going to come from?” he asks before answering, “Us.”
“Right,” says Kay. “And if they cut different things, you know, we don’t want to be disposable.”

Hill is a so-called Blue Dog Democrat who has questioned some of the details of the proposals. He holds another meeting in Bloomington, Ind., tomorrow.

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