9:00 The meeting has wrapped up and nobody has offered a solution that would cover the uninsured or bring down costs.
8:56 Tom Miller of AEI: "We all have our constitutions. Mine is in exile at the moment."
8:50 Capretta says the current system is not patient oriented. But then goes on to say that's because of government interference.
8:43 Turner says if the healthcare reform bill is passed, it will suffocate innovation such as the invention of the insulin pump.
8:32 Uh-Oh. Fimian says the problem with the Massachusetts plan is they started with accessibility. Now their hospitals are overcrowded. I guess Keith can't expect Mitt Romney to campaign for him.
8:30 After one Latino questioner speaks, Keith Fimian shouts, "That's Tito the Builder! Thanks, Tito the Builder!"
8:28 Questioner: "I think I know what Obama's going to to do to bring in more doctors: he's going to bring them from Cuba!"
8:21 people are saying that since Congress hasn't passed an amendment saying that abortions won't be covered, that means that all abortions will be covered under the plan.
8:18 Jim Capretta has stated outright that he is against passing a national healthcare plan.
8:17 So far the only solution offered has been to let the states figure out their own healthcare plans.
Fimian says, let's try this plan in one state, maybe Illinois! [laughter]. One attendee yells, "Go to hell Obama!"
8:04 Questioner says this plan is not about healthcare, it's about power.
Turner thinks the insurance companies know they'll be out of business if this bill passes.
7:55 Fimian: There's nothing in HR 3200 about wellness."
7:52 NOw for the questions. I'm starting to get used to this. People come up to the podium with typed manifestos. At least they're limited to 2 minutes.
As usual, a complaint about tort reform and insuring illegal immigrants.
Tom Miller of AEI says the solution to providing healthcare is to reward those who keep their healthcare. "The boss should be the patient."
7:42 Thomas Miller of the American Enterprise Institute talking about government taking over our lives.
Capretta says there's a "hidden tax" in the bill. By requiring everybody to get insurance. Workers "will have no option but to take what they're offered" by the employer. How is that different than today?
7:30 So far lots of complaints about the cost of the bill, but no solutions.
7:25 Capretta talking about the projected growth of medicare, other entitlements. To be 17 billion in 25 years. All of a sudden conservatives are concerened about the national debt.
7:20 Panelist Jim Capretta was Bush's OMB official on health care. Writes for the Weekly Standard, Wash Times, other rightie rags. About to give cost overview of the healthcare bill.
7:18: Turner arguing against the public option, quotes the Lewin Group. I hear that this group also advises Mark Warner.
7:10: Grace Marie Turner about to explain how the free market will solve all our healthcare problems.
The town hall is about to begin, and there are at least 150 people here. The crowd is 99% white. As I was waiting in line, I listened to comments from some attendees.
Panel includes 3 members of right-wing think tanks:
Grace Marie Turner, Galen Institute*
Jim Capretta, Ethics and Public Policy Center*
Thomas Miller, American Enterprise Institute*
Herrity predicts it will be "an open, honest forum."