Town hall meeting gets heated
More than 600 people attended Congressman Sanford Bishop's health care forum at Albany State University.
People from all walks of life attended the town hall meeting on health care. Some people were there to support reform, others to oppose it, and some people attended to gain a better understanding of what all the health care fuss is about.
There were claps and boo's as the Congressman spoke, and he says he held a town hall in Albany for one main reason. "To try to get input, to try to discuss what is probably one of the most important issues that the congress will undertake and that's healthcare reform" says Bishop.
Congressman Bishop's staff handed out more than 500 copies of the health care bill summary, a timeline of events, and a website link where residents can go to get more information.
After he was done giving a brief explanation of the six different parts of the bill, he opened the forum up for questions and comments.
Leigh Ann Bjerregaard attended the meeting to voice her opinions and learn what her community thinks of health care reform. "I believe that if people don't get the fundamental problem that is going on right now, all this debate about health care won't mean anything" says Bjerregaard.
Other attendees came to make sure their concerns will be taken back to Washington D.C.
Albany State University student JP Truss is concerned because of the large amount of money tacked onto the bill. "I want to take out time and make sure that everything is hashed out with the people so at the end of the day when the Congress votes on it and the President signs it we know that we got absolutely the best deal possible" says Truss.
A packed house listened intently as the Congressman tried to dispel health care myths. "Without accurate information, those fears - those unfounded fears will abound" says Congressman Bishop.
One supporter FOX 31 spoke with said health care reform is needed as soon as possible. "Health care is terrible. Its terrible if I have to go to a doctor and he can't give me a prescription that he thinks is good for me without using something cheap or generic" says Anita Tunstall
Another hot topic at the health care town hall...illegal immigrants.
Albany resident Tom Manning is extremely concerned and asked Congressman Bishop how he would prevent illegal immigrants from receiving healthcare. "I didn't get an answer from him to my satisfaction" says Manning.
Congressman Bishop says he's working hard towards one main goal. "At the end of the day we'll have a product that every American will be able to have affordable accessible health care without driving our country into bankruptcy" says Bishop
Tempers occasionally flared and one woman had to be removed from the auditorium by police.
Congressman Bishop remained ninety minutes after the event was scheduled to close in order to answer every question.