Not very much is the answer. Apparently both the Mill Valley and Santa Rosa meetings were low-key and yielded a few answers for the attendees but there were no great crowds and few real challenges to Rep. Woolsey’s premise that the health care bill that is now legislation is good for America.
The congresswoman is quoted in the IJ report on the Marin forum as having said, “It fixes what is broken and leaves alone, or improves what works,” Woolsey said. “”Health care reform is providing more choices, it’s not about taking choices away.”” That’s what she thinks — but, according to the polls, most Americans don’t agree with her.
In Santa Rosa, according to the PD article, one attendee had this concern:
“I want to know as a Social Security beneficiary is my premium going to go up,” she said. “If they reduce it by whatever, that money has to come from somewhere,” she said. “What I want to do is be able to prepare for it.”
Apparently a direct answer wasn’t forthcoming. The best the AARP representative could do was say, ““Seniors will be keeping all of their guaranteed benefits under Medicare.”” And what about premiums? Mum’s the word, it seems.
To their credit some in that audience “openly asked where the money would come from to pay for both the added coverage and increased benefits.” The answer from Rep. Woolsey shows she doesn’t have a realistic grasp of the enormity of the costs that are coming our way. She told the concerned attendees, “that savings would result from reductions in waste and fraud in the health care industry.” Uh huh. Sure. It’s all going to be just fine because the congresswoman says so.
Unfortunately, there was nary a sign of any of Rep. Woolsey’s opponents for the 6th District seat at these public meetings. Okay, maybe the candidates aren’t seniors, but surely some of their supporters are. But no staff member seems to have shown up to challenge her and her “expert” panel about some of the assumptions being made regarding how the health care system will function under the onerous new legislation. As least no one identified themselves as connected to any rival campaign. That’s a shame and a lost opportunity for these trailing candidates. I’m talking to you, Jim Judd, Jared Huffman, and Bob Stevens. I don’t mean that anyone representing a candidate should cause disruptions or turn the forum into a political circus, but they could certainly have asked additional pointed questions and perhaps made some counterpoints to such inanities as Lynn Woolsey’s platitude about future rising costs being offset by waste and fraud savings.