Town hall

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

English: President Barack Obama’s signature on the health insurance reform bill at the White House, March 23, 2010. The President signed the bill with 22 different pens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Recently I attended a town hall here in Saint George to meet my newly elected US Representative Chris Stewart. Chris is a retired USAF pilot and a best-selling author and a member of the GOP. He represents the 2nd district in Utah which is geographically the largest of our four districts, stretching 320 miles from Saint George to Chris’s home in Farmington, north of Salt Lake City. Chris lives farther away from Saint George than do our two Senators, Orrin Hatch in Salt Lake City and Mike Lee in Alpine, a Salt Lake City suburb. I believe that Congressional districts should be compact and competitive so that my vote can make a difference. Only the 4th district is both compact and somewhat competitive, and it is now represented by Jim Matheson who was my representative in Congress before the 2010 census and subsequent redistricting.

I attended the town hall to see how many attended and the strength of the defund Obamacare movement. There were between 600 and 700 attendees, mostly elderly because of the 5:30 pm timing and all were white. They gave raucous support to defunding Obamacare. Chris stated his strategy was to defund or delay. Chris spoke for a short time before opening the floor to questions. He asked for short, focused questions, but most were long and rambling. Chris said that the sequester was a terrible law, but that he voted for it. As an excuse, he stated that the sequester was President Obama’s idea. That is false. In addition, if it were Obama’s idea, the GOP would not have voted for it, since they oppose the President at all costs.

I really do not understand the logic of opposing Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) by the vast majority of the attendees at the town hall. I assume the majority are on Medicare and will scarcely be affected by Obamacare at all. Perhaps more people are on Medicare Advantage than I thought. When I turned 65 and was eligible for Medicare, I investigated the choices and selected Medicare over Medicare Advantage because I was convinced that Medicare Advantage was a GOP plot to wean seniors from Medicare and then terminate Medicare and voucherize Medicare Advantage. Medicare Advantage costs the government more than Medicare and will be restructured under Obamacare to help fund extending insurance to 30 million of the uninsured.

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Medicare Advantage

English: image edited to hide card's owner nam...

English: image edited to hide card’s owner name. author: Arturo Portilla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I became eligible for Medicare six years ago, I considered Medicare Advantage, more services for the same cost. As I researched the subject, I became convinced that Medicare Advantage, costing the government more than Medicare, was a Republican plot to wean voters away from Medicare. If enough people dropped Medicare in favor of Medicare Advantage, the GOP could use that fact to reduce Medicare or eliminate it. Now under the Paul Ryan budget, the chickens are coming home to roost sooner than I and others may have expected. Paul Ryan was on Hannity this evening making that very argument. Don’t trust the GOP and their 2012 ticket.