Reminiscent of the August 2009 town halls when members of Congress faced angry constituents over health care reforms, a public forum in Carbon County with Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) Wednesday night provided a glimpse of the strong emotions stirred by a Republican plan to alter Medicare benefits.
At the start of his town hall meeting, Barletta welcomed people to use the conversation to get things off their chests. While he was going through a slide projector presentation about the Medicare changes proposed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), a woman raised her hand.
"Excuse me, I'd like to get something off my chest," she said, standing. "You seem to think that because I'm not effected I won't care if my niece, my grandson, my child is affected. I do care. What you're doing with this Ryan budget is you're taking Medicare and changing it from a guaranteed health care system to one that is a voucher system where you throw seniors on the mercy of for-profit insurance companies."
"You said nothing in the campaign about I'm going to change Medicare, now you voted for a plan that will destroy Medicare," Linda Christman, 64, said. Christman is president of the Carbon County Democrats for Change, according to Barletta's office.
"I won't destroy Medicare, Medicare is going to be destroyed by itself," Barletta said.
Then it got ugly.
You can see more from the town hall meeting below, and read more at the Morning Call's Pennsylvania Avenue blog.