31 July 2009
Yesterday evening, I had the unique opportunity to participate in a tele-town hall meeting with Congressman Jeff Flake on the subject of healthcare and the so-called "ObamaCare" bills in Congress right now. I had been complaining about the GOP not doing anything recently, and a friend of mine with better connections than I can dream to have at this point apparently put my name on the short list of people to participate. (You know who you are, and thanks!) So anyway, I got a call from an automated conference call system around dinnertime and was surprised to hear Congressman Flake's voice on the other end inviting me to wait on the line to be automatically connected. I was, and then I was told to push zero if I had a question on healthcare to ask the Congressman. I thought for a moment about what I'd like to hear, grabbed a pen and pad of paper to write it down on, and hit zero. I was placed in a queue (I LOVE that word!) of others to ask a question. While I waited, I got to hear from a bunch of other people, almost all of whom I'm thinking were seniors or 35+ adults. The Congressman answered questions on Medicare/Medicaid, the Democrats' bill's penalties for people who didn't carry health insurance, the Republican Party members' plans for what THEY'D do with healthcare to reform it, and about how the average person could help to defeat ObamaCare by calling and sending letters to swing vote members of Congress (the "Blue Dogs"). Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to ask my question because the Congressman ran out of time, and I guess I was a bit late getting into the queue, but here it was: "Hello Congressman, it's nice to hear from you again. I'm 23 years old, and I've never really had need for much of the healthcare system just yet, since I've been covered under my parents until last year. However, I know that the systems that are in place are currently failing, and it's very likely that unless something changes, the Medicare/Medicaid system and the healthcare system in general will be bankrupt before I turn 65 in four decades. I definitely don't think government-run healthcare is going to help; probably will make it much, much worse, but can you tell me what safeguards the Republican Party is trying to push for with regards to making sure the system I pay taxes into will still be available to the young people in my generation?" Good question? You be the judge. Anyway, thanks again to my friend (who may or may not read this blog and whose name I don't want to use unjustly) for setting me up for that unique experience. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Congressman Flake does around the district once he comes home from Washington.
Posted by Andrew Meeusen at 10:21