On Monday, August 23rd, Democrat Congressman Murphy (NY 20) held a town hall in Halfmoon, NY. The press release announcing this was dated August 21st, a Saturday.
The press release recapping the August 23rd town hall is basically a fluff piece which really does nothing to tell us the kinds of questions asked at the event, the concerns communicated by the attendees, etc.
As I was not aware of the event, I did not attend. Thankfully, I was able to speak with someone who did learn of the event in enough time to be there. My source described a very interesting meeting…
My source indicates that as attendees entered, Murphy staffers provided a book entitled “Medicare & You 2010” which was printed in September 2009 and another entitled “Medicare Basics” which was printed in July 2009. Note that both printing dates are BEFORE the first vote on ObamaCare in November 2009 (at that time, Murphy voted against it) and obviously, before it later passed (when Murphy flip flopped and voted for it) in Spring 2010. A staffer was asked if they had more a current version, but they did not. During the meeting, an attendee pointed out that it would have been nice if the books contained information actually reflecting the provisions of the new health care law.
Mr. Murphy allegedly had trouble speaking in complete sentences at certain points. Seniors are very concerned about the costs of the new health care law and are afraid that nobody is really listening to them or really cares. Apparently, nobody was very happy at this event. My source indicated there were around thirty-one attendees.
One individual apparently asked Mr. Murphy “Can you tell us deep in your heart of hearts that this isn’t going to cost us more?” He allegedly was not able to answer and danced around the question. My source states that his face turned a bit red and his hand shook.
At another point, someone else evidently asked Mr. Murphy if he was pressured by Nancy Pelosi to vote for the bill. He apparently stated that he did not speak to Pelosi and was not pressured. Yet right after that, Murphy was alleged to have stated that he talks to Pelosi all the time.
When asked why he voted against ObamaCare the first time and later switched his vote, Murphy is alleged to have said that he voted against the first bill because it lacked a provision to eliminate fraudulent duplicate charges for medical devices. The final version of ObamaCare has this provision and Murphy evidently said that was the reason why he voted for it. This is ridiculous. Do we pass an unconstitutional multi-thousand page bill which includes a government takeover of health care for something as simple as this? There are already laws on the books which deal with fraud.
I am told that Murphy said he read the entire health care bill. The US Senate passed their version of ObamaCare just before Christmas. The vote in the US House on that bill was done in March. It is POSSIBLE for Murphy to have read that bill. However, the bill is loaded with references along the lines of “replace the semicolon in XX USC section YYY paragraph ZZ with the word ‘or'” meaning that to properly understand this, Murphy would have needed to have also read and thoroughly understood the law being modified. With numerous cases like this throughout the bill, this would take quite a bit of time.
On the other hand, after ObamaCare was rammed through Congress, word came out that members of Congress and their families would be subject to the same terms of the ObamaCare bill as the rest of the citizens. Originally, nobody expected that this would happen. In their haste to pass this bill, it seems Congress forgot to “scrub” this provision. If they had really read and understood the bill, would this provision have been allowed to stand? I am told Murphy acknowledged that he and his family would be subject to the terms of the new law like everyone else.
Mr. Murphy’s guest (prop?) at the town hall, Peter Budetti, Deputy Administrator for Program Integrity at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies (CMS), allegedly quickly departed, thus preventing town hall attendees from asking him any questions. Why did he bother coming in the first place? Of course, Murphy could truthfully mention in his press release that he included this individual in his meeting. If ObamaCare is so great, this individual should have been willing to talk it up and take every question until attendees left.
From what I have been told, Murphy was apparently not thrilled that nobody at this town hall was evidently supportive of his votes. Further, he was allegedly not prepared for the apparently very hard questions that were asked. My source felt that attendees were treated like first graders. As I noted previously, Murphy allegedly had trouble speaking in complete sentences at times. Obama is on vacation (for the sixth time this year) right now. Couldn’t Murphy have asked Obama to loan him the teleprompter?
In a previous post, I described Murphy’s failure to hold numerous well announced general town halls for people of all walks of life like he did in August of last year. Based on what I have heard, I guess I can understand why. Likewise, I can understand why he will not appear with challenger Chris Gibson for town hall style debates. The best Murphy would agree to is a one hour forum with Gibson on August 26th CLOSED to the public.