Senator Mark Warner talks healthcare reform with rowdy crowd

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

FREDERICKSBURG, VA (WWBT) - A heated discussion in Fredericksburg about healthcare reform in America. Senator Mark Warner held his first mass town hall meeting and the event drew a large, rowdy crowd.

Nearly two thousand very vocal people showed up at the Fredericksburg Expo Center Thursday night. Senator Warner wanted to hear what they had to say but also made sure he got his point across too.

The questions and answers were often drowned out by all the cheering and booing upsetting an already angry crowd. Many signs and chants expressing concerns about a government run healthcare program.

"This situation we talk about nationalized health systems is absolutely asinine one we can't afford it," said one man in the crowd.

"Every time we start a new program like social security or whatever it is we end up mortgaging our future," said another.

Senator Warner says he too is concerned about an exploding federal deficit.

"It's got to be paid for it can't add to the deficit and it's going to drive every body's healthcare cost down not just the government but everybody in private sector as well," said Senator Warner.

He says there's a lot at stake if congress does nothing.

"I don't believe in an expansion of a big government single payer program and I don't believe that doing nothing is the right option," said Senator Warner.

Since mid-June, the senator's office has received 81 thousand calls, emails and letters about healthcare reform from both sides. Senator Warner's town hall meeting drew so much interest the line wrapped around the building.

Harold Hoffler believes the government should stop meddling in Americans' lives.

"The big message is we're tired of losing our freedom and we see him eroding it and the administration and we don't want to lose it," said Hoffler.

Senator Warner says he has twenty years experience working on healthcare related issues. He told the crowd he will read and review any bill that comes across his desk before casting his vote on a plan.

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