August 19th, 2009
02:59 PM ET
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    Wow, the fear mongering on here by some of the posters never ceases to amaze me.

    August 20, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  2. A.M. Deist

    What is amazing to me is how the Congressmen and Senators are allowing the people to control the town hall meetings. Were I to be one of those elected representatives, the first thing I would do before even allowing anyone to speak at a town hall meeting is to separate the constituency into a few groups. There are going to be major differences in philosophy between people who have health insurance provided by their employer, those who are paying for health insurance themselves, those who have medicare alone, those who have medicare with a supplement or Tricare for Life, and those who have no health insurance. By watching all the insanity, the Congressmen and Senators are gaining nothing by allowing those who want publicity to not allow others to share their ideas. Furthermore, it is clear that Americans today have a "Whats In It For Me (WIIFM)" attitude. I would totally control the town hall by calling on people in each group to speak their ideas about what they would like to see in a bill. I would let the constituents know that when someone is speaking, they are to remain quiet until their turn to speak, otherwise they would be forcibly removed from the town hall.

    August 20, 2009 at 6:43 am |
  3. dottie

    l hope it wont come to marching on Washington moument for the cause that ,every American should have healthcare insurance.

    August 20, 2009 at 4:30 am |
  4. dottie

    l just learned through another networth, that those guys , goon's and
    thugs,that were showing up at those townhall meetings you saw,That angry mob in every State raising hell.to my understanding they are part of a viper militias group.an unauthorized-quasi military group,who arm themselves with ak 47's weapon.do you want to know what l think ? these people are home grown terroist.

    like l said before, it's look as though they're there to terrorize
    The President,by sending him a message,we own this
    sir.as well as sending the House of Senate and Representive.
    a bold message. l say to the F.B.l-,C.l.A and all security forces
    take heed, this is not good. we have to protect who resides in the
    White House and on Captial Hill..for real.

    l also think that some of the Members of Congress are
    acting quite Racist,why are they trying to hold him (President)
    back is it simple because he is black., especially his own
    party, the Democratic.
    Alright ; you know that,black Civil Right Leaders, will march on Washingtons.we hope it want come to that.
    to terroist mob: how can Obama be Hitler,he is Germany.
    and Obama is Africa American,there are not any comparison

    August 20, 2009 at 4:24 am |
  5. dottie

    l just learned through another networth, that those guys , goon's and
    thugs,that were showing up at those townhall meetings you saw,That angry mob in every State raising hell.to my understanding they are part of a viper militias group.an unauthorized-quasi military group,who arm themselves with ak 47's weapon.do you want to know what think ? these people are home grown terroist.

    like l said before, it's look as though they're there to terrorize
    The President,by sending him a message,we own this
    sir.as well as sending the House of Senate and Representive.
    a bold message. l say to the F.B.l-,C.l.A and all security forces
    take heed, this is not good. we have to protect who resides in the
    White House and on Captial Hill..for real.

    l also think that some of the Members of Congress are
    acting quite Racist,why are they trying to hold him (President)
    back is it simple because he is black., especially his own
    party, the Democratic.
    Alright ; you know that,black Civil Right Leaders, will march on Washingtons.we hope it want come to that.
    to terroist mob: how can Obama be Hitler,he is Germany.
    and Obama is Africa American,there are not any comparison

    August 20, 2009 at 4:23 am |
  6. DJ

    While it'a about time someone did something like Franks did, it would really be interesting to see Franks actually explain what is being done.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  7. R.B.

    I have a question. How can these Townhall meetings be respresentative of America?

    1. The people are being bussed in from out of town or are prompted by rigged right wing news networks and sensationalist radio talk shows.
    2. Their impacted employer groupss can and do organzing them while claiming to favor reform, as long as it doesn't happen.
    3. They are all white (in all the news clips).
    4. They appear to be blue collar and have a high school education.
    5. They are quite misinformed but prefer it that way.
    6. They appear angry that Mr. Obama won the election.
    7. They forget the previous adminsitration made it a policy not to listen to media, public, or polls.
    8. They appear to link health care reform with politics, not health care.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  8. Dianne Steblaj

    As a Canadian who has lived in both Canada and The US and has used both systems I have this to say, no system is perfect. There are always those who are dissatisfied. What I will say is that I take great offence at this continual bashing of Americans of the Canadian health care system. You are really being fed so much absolute garbage and utter lies by some radical conservative groups.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  9. pbatl

    CNN's Larry King showed the above video of Barney Frank laying the smack down on a woman at a townhall meeting who compared Obama to Hitler. CNN left out the fact that this woman is a Lyndon LaRouche Democrat. TELL THE TRUTH CNN

    August 19, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  10. Matt

    the distraction is that the media is wasting their time covering such stories as this. I applaud Mr. Frank for labeling this what it truly is; extremist nonsense. People such as this woman who claims Obama's health care plan is comparable to a Nazi plan and people like Mike Sola do not need media coverage that touts them as "concerned citizens" they need to be ignored. Extremists and wackos have always been around, however, these days the media insists on putting a microphone in front of them.

    August 19, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  11. Lois Campbell

    I am a 59 year-old woman with a rare chronic disease (Mastocytosis) which in 1993 flared out of control. My husband and I have paid for private healthcare insurance through Blue Cross since 1985. We pay $682 @ month (a $100 increase over last year) and have a $5,000 deductible each. Over the past six years we have paid out of pocket medical expenses of over $25,000 @ year. We have used our savings, cashed in our IRA, maxed out all of our credit cards and refinanced our home several times. After surgery in July, we are now faced with additional medical bills of over $15,000 and are unable to, once again, refinance our home.

    I wonder how much I, as an independent, am supplementing the healthcare of those who have insurance through the government. I struggle to understand how my husband and I have lost our financial stability and now are in line to lose any retirement we have planned, while those who work for the government have both healthcare and retirement secured for life which we, tax payers, have paid for.

    1. What deductible do congressmen, senators or all government workers pay?
    2. How much money would it add to healthcare reform if their deductibles were raised by a mere $100 @ month?
    3. Aren’t government workers now under government run healthcare?
    4. Why does it cost the private insurance industry 20% for overhead while it costs Medicare 3%? My guess is greed.
    5. Are those opposed to government run healthcare willing to give up Medicare?

    All I ask is that we have the same opportunity to purchase the same healthcare insurance as those in the government at the same cost.

    Looking for Answers

    August 19, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  12. Angie S.

    Thank You Barney Frank – I think it's wonderful a politician had the guts to stand up to an idiot bully spewing this hate talk about HEALTH CARE. Comparing Obama to Hitler defies all logic. These people are nuts!

    August 19, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  13. Earl Feagans

    BRAVO! Barney Frank......at last, someone was not only frank but took control of a stupid Q, from someone who did not get her 15 sec. of fame.
    Barney, quickly and without undue anger, stopped her in her tracks, Clair from my state, MO was also good. Hope this sets an example for the rest of the DEMS. I would pay to watch it, well in a way I do. When you went with Dr. S. G. can't spell his name still on planet in peril, I cannot begin to tell you how much I admire your insight and humour on your show. Keep it up and again BRAVO! You and your CNN DR. should have been a Hero's. Heck, I was in the Navy and Air Force and would not go in those jungles. Thank you for all you have given to us, that others would not tread. There is no hate, anger or any negativity of the other news shows from you, that my friend says a lot!
    Earl Feagans & Margaret, Warrensburg, Mo

    August 19, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  14. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Mark, you are clearly misinformed. Opponents include people of all parties as numerous polls have shown. But then again, facts were never a Democratic strong point.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  15. Joe Fattal

    People were angry in some of their town hall meeting in front of their representatives. But then, when President Obama shows up in his town hall meetings people very calm ask their questions and got an answer. I am very confuse.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  16. Linda Ward Mattsson

    Hooray for Barney Frank! I'm a reasonably intelligent senior citizen with all of my faculties intact. I am dumbfounded that so many folks give credence to the rumors that ANY health plan proposed by ANY politician would take coverage away from folks, would euthanize Gramma, would present an unworkable, unrealiable plan for our citizens! We NEED health care coverage for all of our citizens. Our politicians have outstanding coverage for themselves and their families. Perhaps it's true that they just don't GET it. The rest of us wait, and hope. It's time that Republicans and Democrats work together, open their minds, and START to GET it!! We need a revamped health care system. GET it done....soon.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  17. alice NYC

    Yes they are. There is absolutely no reason for all the yelling, I will bet that the majority of those who are making the fuss, are those who did not vote for Obama. It is time for that MAJORITY who did, to start making a little fuss as well.

    I see all these elderly people who are yelling and acting out, but they are either accepting their medicare or ten minutes away from it. You have to be in someone elses shoes to understand how that person feels, having lost their job and not have health insurance for their family, especially those who are really ill. I am on unemployment and a mother of one I had a heart attack 2 years ago, and take $700 worth of meds everyday. I do not qualify for medicaid because unemployment benefits puts me $ 24.00 above the criteria. I don't qualify for foodstamps because unemployment puts be over their criteria by $42.00. By the way i get $ 1,600 a month. sounds like a lot huh? i live in manhattan my rent is $ 1,450. and obviously i don't have the money to move, and landlords prefer people who are unemployed.

    You figure it out. I have learned to love the farmers markets and free food pantries.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:44 pm |
  18. BHO - fan

    Barney Frank ROCKS! . . . Now that's how you handle those uninformed. . . PRO. . PESTERS. . .IT'S TIME TO TAKE OFF THE GLOVES. . . ( or the earrings).

    August 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  19. Deborah Engleson

    CONGRATULATIONS to Barney Frank – someone finally stood up to one of these ill-mannered, uninformed crazies who seem to populate every town hall meeting! How dare that woman equate the president's attempts to fix a terribly broken system with the systematic annihilation of human beings. It is obvious that in addition to a complete lack of understanding of what is involved with health care reform she is also ignorant of history and what was done by the Nazis.

    Yes, reform will cost money, but doing nothing will cost much more. Those of you under 65 who "don't want government control of health care" should be given the option of declining Medicare and paying for your own health care when the time comes – every last dime. Those already enrolled should be dropped and made to pay their own medical expenses. I'm sure that they will then be the first and loudest to scream about losing their savings and their homes.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:23 pm |
  20. Sabin Rich

    For those people that think it's ok to bring loaded guns to public and political gatherings. Look at this senero. If white people continue to bring guns to Obama gatherings, blacks will think they want to assinate Obama, now you motoviate blacks to protect the first black president. So about 40 black men with do rags on their heads all carrying assult wepons ( black panther style ) come to the event.
    and if confronted by a beer drinking white with a gun you may have another civil war brake out. I believe that's the underlying motive

    August 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    Hooray for Mr. Frank – I'm glad he shut that lady down in mid-rant. She didn't know what she was talking about but she sure was strident about airing her uninformed views. If these people are plants of the GOP then we have them to blame if health care reform is wrecked. These people need to be taught some manners – even in a town hall setting in a big crowd you still need to show some manners and consideration for others.

    August 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  22. lampe

    Just because people are outraged, does not make them ignorant. Everytime you disageed with GWB, were you ignorant? I believe we should have some kind of HealthCare Reform, but not at the hands of the Government. And, why should my taxes be raised, just so people who can get insurance, and don't because they decided something else was more important to spend their money on Get Insurance. And STOP blaming this just on The Republicans. Like I've said before "Obama and Pelosi and Reid, said they have enough votes to pass this, well go ahead and pass it then." What are they waiting for? Since they feel they have enough support from fellow Democrats, then do it. STOP crying and MAN UP!

    August 19, 2009 at 7:33 pm |
  23. Johnn From SC

    It's really sad when you have a President that is trying to actually help the citizens in this country not just fattening the pockets of the super rich. It does amaze me that people are fine with soldiers dying in a country that doesn't want us there. But don't care about helping the people in our own country. When it comes to serving the people that voted them into office the so called " Blue Dog Dems " or not helping the people that got them there. I hope that in the 2010 election all blue dog dems have to take a permanent vacation. America voted for change and we have the President that wants to bring change. Unfortunately; his race and his birth certificate mean more to people than the what he wants to do for this country.

    I can't understand how people can be so swayed by liars on the news, and on the radio. It so obvious that these folk's are being lied to. But the poor, the middle, and the rich are all falling for the crap that is being spread. It seems like I'm watching a live verison of The Onion news report. Some of the things that are being said are as ridiculous as reading the funny papers.

    I lost my father a year and a half ago. He had medicaid. However; after several trips to the hospital and to his personal doctor. Do to cost he was not treated for what he was really ailing from. After losing the ability to walk he was never given and MRI until it was to late. He was treated for '"Gout ". What he really had was a spinal infection. He suffered for over a month and got to the point where he could not even sit up in his bed. During all the emergency room visits and all the doctor visits you would think that someone would have said lets get a MRI done so we can really see what's going on. Well once they did he had to have emergency surgery. By then he was so weak .He died the next day.

    This is our oportunity to change this system so other families don't have to feel the pain that my family and I have had to deal with on a daily basis.

    The Public Option is the only option. People stop yelling and start listening.

    August 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  24. Marlene Petta

    And from our childhoods, I'm always in the fat body, and you think you do look feminine. I don't know if there's any more crock we can all keep for a lifetime.

    August 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  25. Marlene Petta

    Golly Gees, ACE. I got it! Erika wa always playing head games with both both of us, brother, cn she set it up! She's probably really jeoulous of our love and best friendships with eachother, exactly what she doesn't have with her husband for the same reason- she probably
    always plays head games with him to, or the other way around. Tony set me up really good , too, and as always, I fell right into it. After no boundary I ever set with him was working in this house, even thoough I had such a laundry list of them taped to his desk, litterally stalking me around the house probably to keep me from from looking behind his back, he sets a boudary with me not to use abusive language in his E-mails, you know, calling a spade a spade was abusive to him, and he becomes the victim of my emotional abuse! I cry because games really, really are designed to and are an effective way of making the real victim hur! They are very, very, painful for me, and the chief way I've always been so emotionally abused. And that is why all these people are so toxic to me. I knew that yet fall into it over and over, made to feel guily for abandoning them every time, and evey single one of them dragged Shawn into it to hurt me worse. Tony always knew if it became between me and Shawn, he would lose. And he was always so, so jealous of Shawn! And for a while, even Shawn became so toxic to me as did Leslie. All of a sudden, Tony is kicked out by me holding his desktop computer hostage, and for the very first time he's buddies and calling both Leslie and Shawn without me having to beg him. He does have something going on with Len, doesn't he? I'm quite sure its the dumb singles group, isn't it? I know it is. What a scam. I stopped crying.

    August 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  26. RLWellman

    It's too bad you left wing liberals think the rest of the country is in the pockets of the insurance companies. Because it's not only Republicans, but Democrats and Independents that are sick and tired of what the Government is trying to do.

    You are the ones with the blinders on that don't care what's in the bills. All you want is everything signed as fast as possible. You are the ones who are ignorant and don't care what happens to our country. All you ever care about is what's in it for youselves.

    Well guess what? The country (the majority) is fed up and is not going to be ran by you. The laws are going to be made for the people and by the majority, not some half baked left wing radicals.

    August 19, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  27. Mark

    99% of Americans who voted for Obama are not surprised on a public option being made into law. 99% of the those who voted for McCain, Palin or Bush are outraged, surprised and displaying utter ignorance. CNN continues to look like the new FOX NETWORK as they allow clips of those opposed rather than show meetings with calmness and good questions. CNN's so-called Mr Independent Lou Dobbs must be getting his pills from the same dealer as R. Limbo. The media will not stand up to these Republican protestors like they would stand up to civil rights protestors.

    August 19, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  28. Bryan- Los Angeles

    I would love to walk into my doctors office or hospitol, show my I.D., get treated and then leave. Sounds great to me!! Unfortunately the reality is completely different.

    If we ever get a Government Health Care plan passed I would hope that there is a way to ensure that only those who are paying taxes and into the system receive coverage! We already have plenty of folks....illegal and legal....draining our system.

    Also, I would hope that it's a plan that Obama, Pelosi and Reid would entrust their own health to.

    August 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  29. Marlene Petta


    I still had so much left over rage from Tony, and did you exactly what I wanted to do to hm had he deliberately not become so elusive. But ironically, you took it like a champ, probably have known all along, and you were THAT SAFE, and I never could have even got out of bed again
    had you not been my best friend through the whole thing! And I was finally finished with it and everything you've been trying to tell me all along I just wasn't ready to hear yet, but I took it and receive it like a champ last night!

    How in the world did you do all that!. You are so definitely my magic man! And the therapist I never had! Why do I still feel so guily and like I just don't deserve you? Will all the scars from the worst emotion ever heal? I just still keep om crying and crying. Probabably because I realize how bad I must of hurt you. Did you know al along? And where in the world did you find out Eve? Did you talk to my father?

    August 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  30. c,ca

    I thought the response from Barney Frank was priceless!

    That woman had absolutely no idea what she was talking about.... Frank called her on it, and made her look like an idiot.

    He had asked the protestors if they wanted to have a discussion – or if they just wanted to shout. They just wanted to shout because they do not understand the situation well enough to have a discussion. And they are so closed-minded that they do not want to listen to anyone (except Limbaugh and Beck) explain the plan. God forbid, they might learn something.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  31. john

    I wonder how many of those protesting would be the first in line to sign up for Public Option Heath Care when they lose their own coverage or are denied coverage in other health plans for pre-existing conditions. Many are just as hypocritical as their Republican representatives. I gave up trying to reason with them. If you say 2+2 = 4 they would argue that it doesn't.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  32. Melissa

    All these people want to do is cause trouble, nothing more. And the fact that they haven't been shouted down by others makes it worse.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  33. lampe

    elizabeth: Do you feel that Acorn People are rabble-rousers? If not why not? This is a Free Country, where everyone has the right to speak their mind. Like it or not, that is how it is. And unless Obama and The Dems are willing to sit down and listen, and give real answers to questions, all these people are entitled to raise HELL.

    August 19, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  34. elizabeth of sacramento

    These townhall mtgs. show how education has failed in America. Most of these participants are simply uneducated rabble-rousers. I applaud Barney Frank for treating them as they deserve today. Repubs are in the pockets of insurance companies & Dems need to find their soul & spine and do WHATEVER is necessary to pass this righteous legislation.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  35. L. T. Wright

    The public is angry at being misled! ILLEGALS WILL HAVE ACCESS TO FREE HEALTH CARE, despite assertions to the contrary.

    Barney Franks, Press Secretary Gibbs, and other Dems are correct that the bill has been changed and now says that illegals will not have access - HOWEVER, at the same time they made that change, THEY REMOVED LANGUAGE REQUIRING DOCUMENTATION OF LEGAL STATUS for receiving public health care! Absent a requirement to show legal residence or citizenship, illegals (who have plenty of access to photo IDs and fake SSNs) WILL receive free care - and we, the legal US residents and citizens, will pick up the tab!

    This slight-of-hand change in the bill is typical of how Dems are trying to get their agenda through, while quoting half-truths. No wonder we don't trust them!

    August 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  36. Linda B., Ga

    Why are there all these outbreaks, at the Town Halls? What has so many people so outraged at the thought of all the citizens of the USA having healthcare, when they need it? What is wrong with a healthcare system that allows you to go to your current doctors? I'm kind of outraged at the thought that somebody would want to begrudge someone else a doctors care (whether they have money to pay for it or not). What is wrong with controlling the HUGE profits that these Pharmacuetical, Insurance companies, hospitals and even a good amount of our doctors? It's these companies that are planting trouble makers at all these town halls.....

    I'm all for ALL of us to have healthcare available to anybody who is in need of it.

    August 19, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  37. Fed Up

    People are angry at the destruction the Democrats want to do to our healthcare/country. Should we sit back and just take it while Pelosi sinks the titanic?? The Democrats are so out of touch with reality, they can't possibly understand why we are so pissed off. Maybe they would if they were forced to be on their own plan!

    August 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  38. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    I applaud Rep. Frank! I am very happy he did that. I feel like he stood up for my own rights and views when he spoke out .This is something I for one would like to see more of. Thank you Mr. Frank.

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    August 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  39. Bryan- Los Angeles

    The CARS program is great for consumers in the market for a new car. Now we hear the car dealers are fuming because they have not yet been reimbursed by the Government! The cars have been sold and driven away.....and now the struggling dealers are without the funds.

    This is a good indication on how well Government Health Care would work!!

    August 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm |