Packed rooms greeted — and, occasionally, booed — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan at two Kenosha County listening sessions Tuesday.
Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, is holding a series of district listening sessions as a national debate rages over health care reform.
Crowds in Kenosha and Paddock Lake seized on the issue, discussing it almost exclusively in what were technically free-wheeling town halls to discuss any federal concerns...
Ryan said he doubts Democrats want to ration care, but he believes it is a definite outcome if their plan becomes law.
The congressman used the sessions to tout his reform alternative, called the Patients Choice Act, which would alter the system within the framework of the current private-sector insurance model.
While Ryan bemoaned the costs of the Democratic plan, Steve Herr, a 2006 Democratic primary candidate for Ryan’s seat, told Ryan he spends about 15 percent of his small business’ fixed monthly expenses on health insurance for himself and his employees.
Herr said the United States spends about 15 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, a figure that drops to about 10 percent in other nations with universal care.
“In effect, our current health care system, particularly the insurance companies, are nothing but a 5 percent anchor” on the economy, Herr said.
While applause outweighed boos at the meetings, there were a few moments in which Ryan stopped to remind audience members to respect one anothers’ views.
A reasonable voice.
Kenosha resident Kent Peters urged for some middle ground in the health care debate.Look up, Kent. It's Paul Ryan.
Peters — who said he spends about 40 percent of his income buying coverage through the state’s high-risk pool, and added he is willing to continue to do so — said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “take-it-or-leave-it approach” is driving a wedge through her party and the entire nation.
“Where is the voice of moderation and compromise?” Peters asked.