Lake Elmo Fire: Bachmann draws overflow crowd for health care scrum

Rep. Michele Bachmann Photo: Paul Demko, Minnesota Independent

The auditorium at Oak-Land Junior High School in Lake Elmo was nearly filled to capacity an hour before the main attraction was slated to appear. A couple hundred additional folks gathered to watch the proceedings on a television screen in the school’s cafeteria. If by no other standard than attendance, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann’s first town hall meeting on health care reform was a smashing success.

The 6th district Republican has been railing against Democratic plans to dramatically reshape the country’s beleaguered health care system for weeks. She’s decried the proposals as somehow being unconstitutional and advocated prayer and fasting to defeat the measures. Thursday’s gathering featured similarly heated rhetoric.

“Let’s not destroy the greatest health care system the world has ever known,” Bachmann warned.

It was a predominantly Bachmann-friendly crowd. As has been the pattern across the country, there was more heat than illumination. Attendees were required to leave their signs at the door (”Obama care: unborn and elderly beware!”), but similar slogans were parroted at the microphones. It’s doubtful anyone came away with a more nuanced understanding of the legislation that’s actually being debated in Washington. One gentleman suggested that Obama is intent on creating a socialist dictatorship. After stating “I’m not a racist, I’m not a rightwing extremist,” the speaker said he fears Obama will use “brute force” or fraud to stay in office indefinitely. Another woman simply declared her love for Bachmann.

But that’s not to say that the two-term congresswoman didn’t hear from detractors. “I would first like to thank you for turning a Reagan voter into a DFL activist,” stated one attendeee at the beginning of his remarks.



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The Healthcare Drama

At a time when tax revenues are down and the federal deficit is soaring, this is the time we choose to spend trillions to grow the federal involvement in healthcare?  By law everyone must be treated today.  Why do this now?

Let's get out of Iraq and Afghanistan (save money), shut down some of our foreign bases (save money), send illegals home and provide jobs for American citizens (save money and increase tax revenue), tax all the financial gimmicks on Wall Street (increase revenues), etc., etc., etc.

Then let us consider a healthcare mega-investment.  Let's get our house in order and NOT spend ourselves into oblivion.  If we destroy the fiscal health of the country.....we then have NOTHING for anyone, let alone a better health insurance program and healthcare system.