REID J. EPSTEIN
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Rep. Steve Israel gamely tried to explain the proposed health care reform Monday night, but was often shouted down during his town hall-style meeting at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
Israel (D-Huntington) at one point pleaded with those in the crowd yelling at him to “stop calling me a liar and listen.” Judging by the ever-increasing decibel level, he did not win over many converts.
Shouts of — “Stop printing money,” “We don’t care what you think,” and “You’re a moron” — permeated the 90-minute session, which drew far more than the 450 people who filled Van Nostrand Theatre. Scores more were not allowed inside after a Suffolk fire marshal closed the doors.
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People opposing the proposed health care reform outnumbered those in favor, though both sides strove to outshout each other during the question-and-answer period.
A typical scene came after Anneliese Lanza of Huntington asked, “Why can’t we just fix the part of health care that is broken when what is needed is tort reform?” The anti-reform portion of the crowd broke into a raucous standing ovation chanting “tort reform.”
“You’re saying tort reform now, but if something happens to you, you’ll be the first one to want to take the case to a judge and jury,” Israel said. “I don’t believe a member of the United States Congress should decide when you can go to court.”
This article was posted: Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 8:49 am