The outspoken, sometimes rowdy opposition at town hall meetings this month so far isn't causing many congressional Democrats to back away from plans to pass sweeping health care overhaul legislation this year. Interviews with about a dozen Democratic House members reveal they think a lot of the loud criticism they have encountered over the August recess has been ginned up by Republicans, conservative commentators, or groups spending large sums of money to try to derail President Obama's top legislative priority.
The language is polite, but a new report by a coalition pushing for better preventive care says the congressional health overhaul effort is missing the mark when it comes to managing chronic disease and isn't doing enough to bend the health spending curve as a result.
A three-to-one majority of Americans would oppose the elimination of the Children's Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) if a health insurance exchange, an alternative to CHIP proposed in overhaul legislation, is more costly for families and provides children with fewer benefits, according to a poll released by bipartisan children's advocacy group First Focus.
President Obama's town hall meeting on health care in Portsmouth, N.H., last week failed to draw the heckling, shouting, and even effigy-hanging that have occurred at town hall meetings with members of Congress in other U.S. cities in recent days. But Obama did purposefully focus attention on Medicare issues that are worrying seniors, who polls have found are the most skeptical about the president and congressional Democrats' plans to overhaul the health care system.