Senator Tom Harkin made public appearances today in Waterloo and Cedar Rapids, but neither event compared to Harkin’s town hall meeting in Des Moines this weekend.
On Saturday audience members critical of health care reform repeatedly shouted at Harkin and questioned the rational behind the reform plan that Harkin supports. Harkin’s appearance today at a community health center in Cedar Rapids was rather tame by comparison.
"I think there’s a whole, broad spectrum of people coming to these meetings," Harkin said during an interview with Iowa Public Radio. "There are attempts made, nationally, to organize protests and disrupt these meetings. I know there’s some attempts to do that on a national basis, but I think most people in Iowa aren’t into that. I think most people are pretty respectful here."
According to Harkin, you can’t "clump" all those who disagree with him into one group.
The Linn County Community Care Center Harkin visited today was damaged by last year’s flooding. The center got over half a million dollars from the federal economic stimulus to reopen, at a new site.
"One of the great things I like about community health centers is that they, number one, take in anyone who comes in the door, I mean, even if you have health insurance. If you have health insurance, you can come here, or Medicare or Medicare or if you don’t have insurance — anyone who comes in the door gets high quality, personal care," Harkin said during the event in Cedar Rapids. "And the other thing that the community health centers do is they focus a lot on prevention and wellness and in keeping people healthy."
The Linn County Community Health Center is due to receive another quarter of a million dollars in federal stimulus funds in the coming weeks.