MPR: Hundreds attend Paulsen town hall

by Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
September 11, 2009

Maple Grove, Minn. — Several hundred people attended a town hall meeting on health care reform Friday night hosted by Rep. Erik Paulsen in Maple Grove.

Paulsen says the status quo is not working and he would like to see the country’s health care system reformed. But the 3rd District Republican says he doesn’t approve of many of the proposals currently being considered by Congress.

Paulsen says he favors a bipartisan plan that would bring down costs over the long term.

“The status quo needs to be changed, but I think first and foremost we have to keep the doctor-patient relationship,” he said. “It has to be patient-centered. We have to focus on that more than anything else – I don’t want any special interest group, member of Congress or politician or bureaucrat making decisions between a doctor and their patient.”

Supporters of President Obama’s reform efforts say the current system allows insurance companies to make decisions between doctors and their patients.

However, audience member Carole Tubesing from Rockford said she hopes Congress does not throw out everything from the current health care system as it works toward an overhaul.

“That is not my choice,” she said. “I would rather pay my huge premium that I’m paying now than to go to government run health care. I’m afraid it will be mismanaged. I’m concerned about the amount of money it’s going to cost when they start running out of money.”

Paulsen says he’d like to see a plan that would cover people with pre-existing conditions, and allow small businesses and the self-employed to join insurance pools that help them bring down insurance costs.


One response to “MPR: Hundreds attend Paulsen town hall

  1. September 11, 2009
    It’s a warm September evening in Minnesota. My husband, Joe and I pulled into the parking lot of the Maple Grove High School marveling at the beautiful blue sky painted with sparse clouds and the gentle hint of purple that signifies the beginning of the night. This vision of beauty was quickly tainted by the signage in the van parked next to us – the one that reads “Standing Together for Health Insurance Reform” nicely printed up by the Obama supporters. Joe and I both looked at each other in silent agreement that ACORN was in attendance. Mutually we knew they wouldn’t be too vocal in light of the recent exposure they have been receiving.

    Following the groups of people we headed towards the entrance. Within one hundred feet of the door there is a man spouting off that all of his friends are doctors and that they are all for the proposed government run health care- he went on to state than anyone who claims otherwise were liars. I wanted to go tell this man to go fly a kite- noticing the string attached to his finger it was apparent that someone else had already told him to do so. A few steps closer to the door there is a man dressed up as if he were homeless handing out some preprinted rhetoric which he forced into my husband’s hand (I reminded my husband that the high school was kind enough to allow us to use their facility to practice our civic duty- it was already enough that they had trash walking around in their parking lot- the least we could do was make sure the trash forced into his hand make it to the waste basket just a few feet ahead).

    The “homeless” man was more proof that the left will stop at nothing. There was a time in Joe’s life when he was truly homeless- If it wasn’t for the Union Gospel Mission (St. Paul) taking him in and turning his life around, I don’t know that he would be here today. That being said- even then Joe would have NEVER supported any bill that promotes socialism!

    Walking into the lobby of the school auditorium it was refreshing to see the two ladies standing behind the table handing out the agenda for the evening and pocket copies of our Constitution of the United States. I made a mental note to grab one on the way out.

    Joe and I selected seats towards the front looking around the room I was taking in the cacophony of conversations taking place around us. The man behind us was definitely sound. Mirroring our views that we do need health reform, but socialism is not the solution. Several rows up there was a lady that I pegged as a left-winger. I don’t know what it was about her, the hemp purse or 1970’s hippy perm but definitely not the “well dressed” right wing radicals that we’ve been seeing on FOX . My hunch was confirmed as a man in his late 50’s ran over to greet her dressed in a black suit and a T-shirt with the Obama flag plastered all over the front. Don Johnson?
    The meeting started with a prayer. I give Erik Paulsen KUDO’s for exercising his freedom of religion. As the prayer ends with “we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ” the woman behind me yells out “inappropriate” – Joe Wilson she is not!

    Erik was an excellent facilitator- there were no screaming matches, and he let people voice their opinion and ask their questions no matter which side of the political fence they were on. Most of the night focused on health care reform. Still, there were a couple of points I wish were addressed. I call these the “BIG PICTURE”.

    First: The lady who made the “inappropriate” comment. She went on later in the evening to state that Erik had “no right” to represent Christianity without bringing into the mix a rabbi and an Imam- Where were the Imam’s only eight years ago today !!!!! But that was not the point- The fact that she said “no right” made it clear that this woman DOES NOT KNOW OUR CONSTITUTION!!! – Lady, if you learn nothing else…do yourself a favor and learn the First Amendment!

    Second: Hippy Lady later in the evening went on to strike the nail in deeper as she spewed out comments that the insurance companies were evil money makers (are we not a country that was built on capitalism????). I am financially poor but rich in freedom! The loss of America and my freedoms would make me destitute!

    Erik- I ask you to promise me this. Though we may not agree on every issue that goes through Washington- I ask that you promise to represent me and my fellow Americans by never voting for anything that would compromise our rights as they are written in The Constitution of the United States. We The People!!!!

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