Congressman Steve King says the fate of health care reform is likely being decided in public forums nationwide this month. King, a Republican from Kiron, says the legislation has been heavily debated by congress and it’s now up to the people whether it should pass.
“I’m hoping the debate of the century takes place in the town hall meetings all across America in every state,” King says. “I hope the people in America will rise up and go fill those buildings up and demand that they be allowed to keep their health insurance policy and have the freedom to purchase one of their choice and not be shoehorned into a government program.”
A heated town hall meeting on Saturday in Des Moines that was led by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin was punctuated by people yelling and interrupting each other. Harkin had to call for quiet many times and uniformed police were called in to maintain order. Meanwhile, King says it’s possible the health care reform bill may die as a result of what representatives hear during the current recess.
“If they can do that in August and in the first week in September, then the bill itself won’t come up after Labor Day, so that is the answer, it’s the American people,” King says. “I can go make all kinds of arguments in Washington and I can even have members of congress secretly agree with me and vote against me because the people that changed their mind are their constituents, because they like their jobs so they need to hear from their constituents.”
King plans to hold a series of town hall meetings across his western Iowa district over the next two weeks. Sarah Palin, the ex-Alaska governor who was the G-O-P’s nominee for vice president last year, asked Republicans to show restraint over the weekend. In a posting on her Facebook page, Palin said tactics like harassment and intimidation will give health care reform proponents ammunition and a reason to criticize Republicans and others who oppose the bills.