How will this bill affect the self-employed?
|Q&A: Seeing a doctor|
How can a public option guarantee that every American is seen by a doctor in a timely fashion?
An audience question asks how employer plans can compete with rising healthcare costs and how America can compete with other nations who pay less for healthcare coverage.
|Q&A: Questions get heated|
A question leads to audience members to heatedly aski Grijalva to state his stance on coverage of abortion in the healthcare reform bill.
|Q&A: Medicare rationing?|
How can we reduce funding to Medicare and not have to ration care? Will care be rationed for Medicare patients in the future?
|Q&A: IRS access?|
Does the healthcare bill grant access to the IRS in checking savings account information?
|Q&A: Same as congress?|
One audience question asked if everyone can be on the same insurance as their congressman.
|Q&A: Medicare coverage|
What happens to people who will be covered by Medicare?
|Q&A: Already have insurance|
What happens to people who already have their own insurance?
|Q&A: Public option|
An audience question asks what is the best way to ensure a real public option gets through congress?
|Q&A: Illegal immigration|
Audience asks Grijalva if he believes in healthcare coverage for illegal immigrants.
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Protesters voice opinions on health care reform
Several people with large signs gathered to protest health care reform Wednesday morning during a town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Raul Grijalva.
Some of the protesters, who happily described themselves as an "angry mob," voiced their concerns about the divisive issue.
"We need to tell (the politicians) to read the Constitution," said John Mitchell, who was holding a large sign demanding the impeachment of both President Barack Obama and Grijalva, D-Ariz..
"If they are not willing to pledge to the Constitution, then they have no business in our government. Obama-Care is one big mistake for America, because anything that the government runs is a mistake. Look at the postal department, Medicare and Social Security; they’re broke."
Mitchell had some choice words for certain Democrats in public office.
"Grijalva is a coward," Mitchell said. "This is a small venue (Yuma Regional Corporate Center), and many of the people inside who are pro-reform he had bused in. They unloaded them off of the bus this morning and marched them in to get seats before everyone else got seats."
Some protesters believed many of the supporters were being paid to come out; a charge Grijalva denied.
"This is a continuation of misinformation and outright lies," Grijalva said. "Nobody got paid and if people came to this in an organized fashion, that was not due to payment or anything else. There are organizations who are backing and paying the opposition but we are not committing that same sin."
Jedi Teeling, who is for health care reform, said the supporters are just tight-knit.
"The supporters aren't being paid, they are just people who care about what happens to them and don't like to come and make a lot of noise. They organized as a community and carpooled."
Teeling believes people are angry because they don't understand how the reform will work.
"It is because of ignorance," Teeling said. "This is the only way they can retaliate. I think the majority of the protesters are Republicans and this is a partisan issue. It is very funny because some of the loudest comments have been the most ignorant comments."
Teeling said people need to remain civilized in their disagreements.
"You can always have your opinion, but you should be willing to listen to the opposition even if you don't agree with them and then maybe they will listen to what you have to say. Why would you ever put somebody else down for having the same right?"
Emma Torres said people may be angry in part because they fear the unknown.
"I think there is a lot of misinformation, and since we are in such an economic crisis, that creates a lot of confusion and fear. I think that is why people get angry. There are a lot of myths that are circulated through the media, the Internet and by word of mouth.
"I think honestly they are just concerned and afraid, and I totally understand that because when you don't have a clear picture of what is going to happen, that creates fear," Torres said. "People need to get the facts and not believe everything they hear but to really educate themselves through research. Dialogue is good so we can get the facts and dispel misinformation."
According to James Ernest McMullen III, many military veterans, including himself, are against reform.
"According to Article I Section A of the Constitution (health care reform) is unconstitutional," McMullen said. "This will adversely affect veterans benefits. This will pull money from the VA just like it is going to pull money from Medicare and Medicaid. I am totally against it, and I would say there are many veterans who feel the same."
McMullen was very unimpressed by the choice of location for the town hall.
"This is a poor excuse for any kind of venue," McMullen said. "There is a civic center just over there we could have used. (Grijalva) is a total coward, and a corrupt one at that."
Grijalva said the forum site was not chosen because of any specific political posturing.
"We set this up before the organized opposition really took root. We had already made arrangements, the panel had already been invited, and we didn’t want to pull up stakes."
Grijalva said opponents wanted to have the event in a larger locale so they could turn it into a circus.
"(The opposition) wanted to have a free-for-all and just make it a confrontation session. They wanted to scream until they were hoarse and then call it a day. While that may be a good venting for them, it serves minimal purpose. The level of anger is disappointing."
Mitchell said people need to vote if they want their voices heard.
"We can all stand out here and preach to the choir and it doesn’t do much good. Where your opinion really counts is in the ballot box. We have got to get rid of the complacency and the lethargy of the American electorate."
The videos to the right are from the Q&A portion of Wednesday's forum. Click here for videos of the panel speakers.
Download the entire text of the healthcare reform bill through this page on Congressman Grijalva's website.