Despite the great questions and opposition to so many of the Republican plans, there are still many in the town hall below that are basically just going along with their party, taking the easy way out. But the skeptics may force a few in the crowd to think twice, and who knows, maybe change their mind. I will continue to post every story I find about GOP town halls.
Brookfield Patch: Concerns about Medicare and health care dominated a Town Hall meeting Sunday held by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who along with state legislators.
At age 54, Menomonee Falls resident Paul Race said he just misses the cutoff in U.S. Paul Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare for those younger than 55. "If it's good enough for the people 54 and younger... then I think it's good enough for people 55 and older," said Race, a former Marine who has been a teacher for 25 years. He said under Ryan's plan he would have to "go shopping to insurance companies" whose administrative costs will be higher than under Medicare and who may be unwilling to cover people with pre-existing conditions. He predicted he will have to spend a greater share of his retirement funds on health care than will those 55 and older.
Sensenbrenner said, "I'm not here to say he's (Ryan) right or he's wrong, but at least he's got a plan."
Darcy Gustavvson of Brookfield said Congress should prioritize funding for essential social nets such as "decent, affordable health care" for seniors who need it most. "Your job is to fund what the American people want," she said, not turn Medicare into a "voucher system."
Others applauded when several citizens said the United States was spending too much money on wars it didn't need to be waging.
Brookfield resident Mary Magnuson asked the state legislators in attendance how they could support the governor's budget "knowing that hundreds of thousands" of people protested it and it is balanced "on the backs of the working class."
State Sen. Leah Vukmir said the budget closed a $3.6 billion deficit without gimmicks and one-time revenue sources. "This is the first time that we were able to put our fiscal house in order, which is what the people of the state of Wisconsin asked us to do last November," she said, drawing applause from a large share of the audience of about 75 people.
A University of Wisconsin — Madison student challenged lawmakers to cite evidence of students committing voter fraud by voting twice, saying the voter ID bill could disenfranchise students who don't have proper IDs, especially out-of-state students.
"We don't know" if there has been student voter fraud," Vukmir said. "There has certainly been reports, and the opportunity is there.... So we want to firm that up. It's about protecting the integrity of the voting process."