Tonight was the first town hall meeting regarding National Health are to be held on the Mississippi Coast. Gene Taylor, Congressman from the 4th District of Mississippi, addressed a crowd of between 400 to 500 people ready, willing and more than able to express their opinions against the Health Care Reform Bills now in Congress.
Taylor, a Democrat in a heavily Republican district, started the standing room only meeting with a slide show outlining the increases of the national debt, beginning with President H. W. Bush and continuing to George W Bush. When he began talking about the national debt increases under Bush 2, he got booed…big time. The crowd shouted…: We were in a war; others shouted…”we had 9/11 and still others shouted out that Katrina contributed to debt increases. He drew back and regrouped realizing this crowd was not there to hear him put the blame on Bush!
Then he opened the question and answer period by saying:” Under no circumstances will I vote for any Health Care Bill”. That brought down the house with applause, cheers and whistles.
His comments about being adamantly opposed to National Health Care was quite a change from his town hall meeting three weeks ago in Waynesboro or on previous appearance on WLOX TV News shows when he said he would not vote for Nationalized Health Care unless he could be assured it would not increase the deficit!
He also said he would not support Cap and Trade legislation calling it a Ponzi Scheme!
It was obvious that the anti-Obama people outnumbered the Democrats 5 or 6 to 1 and Taylor, when confronted with remarks from the local head of the NAACP, Curley Clark who wanted to know what Taylor would do for
The “hard-working Mississippians who don’t have health care, Taylor responded: ” We have only agreed to guarantee health care for our Veterans and that’s all.”
He outlined several things he wanted to achieve to help drive down current medical costs.
1. Repeal the exemption the medical insurance industry enjoys against anti-trust provisions required by most other industries.
2. Require access to Government purchases for prescription drugs in order to lower the costs to all those currently under Medicaid or Medicare.
3. Require generic use of all drugs paid for by a Governmental program.
The crowd was very rowdy and there were repeated comments as well as questions as to how and why Congress had strayed so far from abiding by the Constitution. Other loud responses came from questions and comments about protecting the right to bear arms.
It was a most conservative group and they were well informed, angry and ready to do battle; some even asking Gene what they could do to stop Pelosi and Reid!.
Taylor was questioned about his vote to install Pelosi as Speaker of the House and said she had promised him she would support his efforts on catastrophic insurance coverage, which he said she did not. He strongly suggested he would not vote for her again as Speaker of the House.
Even though the meeting was held in the Pelican Landing Civic Center in the heavily populated African-American community of Moss Point, there were few in attendance. In an almost agreed upon effort the name of Obama was seldom mentioned during the meeting by either side.
Taylor spent the first few minutes of his slide presentation talking about his achievements in reducing costs of Naval ships; many slated to be built at Northrup Grunman in nearby Pascagoula, which is the state largest private employer. Taylor took credit for the design change in some yet to be built combination land and sea vehicles as well as other changes he said he was responsible for that reduce the cost of Naval vessels. He also said his design change suggestions on the Hummvee helped reduce the danger of road-side bomb damage in Iraq.
There were several questions regarding hurricane- related insurance problems pertaining to residents of the Coast which are greatly inhibiting development and housing starts but offered no clear cut answer to those questions.
The meeting went the full hour and a half as scheduled. After hearing Taylor repeat twice that regardless of amendments, tweeks, changes or other proposals he would not vote for a National Health Care Bill for any reason, some of the crowd began to leave having satisfied their reason for attending.