Health care protesters want 'Town Hall' style meeting with reps - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Health care protesters want 'Town Hall' style meeting with reps

Senator Patty Murray Senator Patty Murray
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    Health care debate hits Spokane, 'public-option' supporters speak out

    Health care debate hits Spokane, 'public-option' supporters speak out

    Wednesday, August 19 2009 8:10 PM EDT2009-08-20 00:10:20 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The debate over health care has been gaining steam across the country and for the most part, those opposed to government involvement have been at the center of attention.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The debate over health care has been gaining steam across the country and for the most part, those opposed to government involvement have been at the center of attention, but in Spokane, Wednesday brought something different. Instead of the usual protestors opposed to government control, those is favor of a 'public-option' could be heard voicing their opinions outside a private meeting between Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and local groups. >>

SPOKANE, Wash. - Around 15 protesters rallied outside the Spokane Club Thursday afternoon to voice their opposition of government run health care while Democratic Senator Patty Murray delivered a speech inside to the Spokane Rotary Club.

Murray's speech focused on efforts to expand Spokane's economy and she discussed how national legislation is working to benefit the Spokane area, however health care, as on the national level, took center stage.

While their prescience was not as large as the pro 'public-option' protest outside a Wednesday meeting between Republican Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers and local groups, Thursday's protesters of government control did have a message.

"Neither of our representatives are holding Town Halls," said one protester referencing that fact that no 'Town Hall' style meetings have been held in Spokane, like in other parts of the country. "It's part of your job as a representative or a senator to hear out the issue, give everyone a chance, both sides, to voice their opinions on the issues."

Thursday's protesters, much like their pro 'public-option' counterparts, want the chance to speak openly with their representatives, an opportunity that was also denied to those rallying outside the meeting involving Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers.

When asked about Town Hall style meetings, Senator Murray was not receptive to the idea, but says she is doing other things to make sure people stay informed.

"This is not a debate about Town Hall formats, this is a debate about how we provide health care coverage for millions of Americans that is stable and secure," said Murray. ""I am reaching out in many different ways and in many formats to get as much input as possible."

Senator Murray says that she is asked about health care reform no matter where she goes, including the grocery store and adds that she launched a new web site where constituents can go to voice their opinions.

As for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers, her staff says they are working on organizing a town hall forum. Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers recently held an event in Colville where 700 people attended to discuss health care.

Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers will be holding a special Walla Walla town hall meeting for Eastern Washington seniors concerned about health care on August 27.

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