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Rumors and Misinformation Dominate Discussion Over Health Care

Los Angeles Sentinel, News Report , Xavier Higgs Posted: Aug 26, 2009

Determined to push their agenda, stubborn and vocal crowds continue to haunt congressional representatives as they pitch President Obama's health care reform proposal.

But the rumors associated health care reform, such as free medical assistance for undocumented aliens, government-sponsored "death panels" continue to come up at Congressional town-hall-style meetings. This in spite a flood of information disputing such claims.

Overhauling health care was the only topic of discussion at a recent Congressional town-hall gathering outside the Alhambra Civic Center Library hosted by U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, Democratic California's 29th District. The meeting was originally schedule for indoors but was moved to the outdoors when more than 2000 people showed up.

In the face of an irritable, shouting, sign waving crowd Rep. Schiff and a panel of medical experts calmly endure insults and some scuffles within the crowd, to explain the facts of the health care reform proposal currently before congress.

"Meeting like this gives us a chance to debunk the rumors and misinformation about the proposal in front of congress," says Rep. Schiff. He adds, "Congress knows there is much more work to be done on the current proposal."

But not everyone in attendance agrees with the congressman. "I do not with government taking over healthcare, I believe in a free market," says Monica. "If this plan is so great, why does congress not want to be a part of this plan?"

Meanwhile throughout the past few months, fears from anti-abortion conservatives that the Obama Administration would pursue a pro-abortion, agenda, combined with twisted accounts of legislative proposals that would provide financing for optional consultations with doctors about hospice care and other "end of life" services, fed the rumor to the point where it overcame the facts of the health reform debate.

The extent to which it and other provisions have been misinterpreted in recent days, notably by angry speakers at recent town hall meetings there is a considerable amount of support for the healthcare reform package.

Pasadena resident Tara Nyasio, a proponent of the proposed changes said, "This country disparately needs health care reform and I support the President's plan."

Rep. Schiff says he would like to see more provisions aimed at bringing health care cost down.

Congresswoman Diane E. Watson will be hosting a Healthcare Reform Town Hall meeting on Thursday Aug. 27 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ward African Methodist Episcopal Church located at 1177 W. 25th Street in Los Angeles.

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