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Beebe: Health care debate should be civil

Public debate over health care reform is healthy but should be civil, Gov. Mike Beebe said today.

The subject came up while Beebe was fielding calls on his monthly radio program, “Ask the Governor,” on the Arkansas Radio Network. A caller asked if Arkansas would be able to “push back” if a reform bill ultimately passed by Congress contains unfunded mandates for the states.

“I read or saw where both Congressman (Vic) Snyder and Congressman (Mike) Ross got some push-back the other day,” Beebe said, referring to a public forum Wednesday at Arkansas Children’s Hospital during which audience members heckled and jeered at the two Democratic congressmen.

On Thursday, Sen. Blanche Lincoln criticized the rowdiness of audience members at recent public meetings on health care. Lincoln told reporters Thursday that efforts to disrupt public forums are “un-American,” though she later said she should not have used the term.

“I think the debate on this is healthy, as long as it’s a civil debate,” Beebe said today. “I think people are scared, I think people are unsure, I think people are uncertain. Part of the whole democratic process is to voice those concerns to your elected representatives, and I think that is going on and I think it should go on. Again, I hope it goes on in a civil and constructive fashion.”

Beebe told the caller Arkansas would have to comply with any federal mandates, but he added, “We need to slow down a second here, because first of all, I don’t think anything that they’re talking about right now is necessarily what you’re going to see come out of Congress, based upon what I keep hearing.”

Beebe said there is “a whole lot of information out there that’s scaring the heck out of a lot of people,” including rumors that seniors’ health care will be cut off or rationed.

“It’s not going to happen, in my opinion, and if it does I will be one of the most shocked people around. I just cannot see that occurring,” he said.


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6 Responses to “Beebe: Health care debate should be civil”

  1. August 8th, 2009 at 7:52 am

    Stand Firm says:

    Our president, setting the example, pulling us together, in VA on 8/6.

  2. August 10th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Steve Holloway says:

    We do NOT want this poison Health care pill. It will be a huge tax burden on each working man and women. It will have access to my bank account. Why? The government does not need to have its nose in my account.

    I say fire them all. Vote and start over with brand new people that will look out for us and not what Obama wants.

    I called Lincoln’s office once and the aid was very rude and treated me with disrespect. I could not believe this kind of treatment.

    If Lincoln think’s that if you disagree with HER and this bill or anything else, then you are un-american….Well guess what….they need to GO. That is FREEDOM BABY and that is as american as you can get.

  3. August 12th, 2009 at 10:25 am

    steven estrada says:

    Beebe is ignoring the main point.

    The People are speaking up. Key organizations are treating the proposed HellCare like the plague. Cost realities are setting in, which should sink the proposal right there.

    While there is no rationing, what I have found, while glomming through this HellCare mess is an aparatus for ‘averaging’. Great, I thought, a euphemism. It boils down to rations AND limits AND cost controls that will create shortages.

    The People can see these consequences, but the pols are more interested in doing something, as opposed to do something right. This hurry hurry nonsense makes people rightfully skittish.

    So, when we ask our reps, who work at the pleasure of the People, and these reps hem, haw and LIE to us, it is understandble that the people lose patience. If they wish us to be civil, our reps should endeavor to honesty. If they haven’t read the bill, tell us. If they do not know parts of the bill when questioned, be honest. If they are voting for the bill merely because someone else told them to vote so, tell us.

    We, the People, are NOT entitled to be civil or repsectful to representatives that hold the People in such low regard. Lying, obsfucating and parroting talking points is no way to earn respect.

    The grass roots that have popped up reposnded top the televised deceit of our reps. When you have such luminaries like Barney Frank that will lie with such ease and contempt for his constituents. Too many of our elected officials have shown the most unforgivable contempt for the people, and they should be held accountable for their haughty behavior.

    If our elected officials want civility, they should be honest.

  4. August 13th, 2009 at 9:04 am

    dianinar says:

    You know what? Anything they do to insure the uninsured and to curb the cost of health care in these good ol United States of America is alright by me. I sit here, in pain, and unable to afford health care.

  5. August 14th, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Organic Coffee says:

    I am really tired of the exageration on both sides of the issue. I think that we need to do something about health care, but I think that there are lots of things the government can do other than take it over. One thing would be a simple change to the IRS code which allows Drug Companies to write off advertising as a cost of business. This would stop them from spending so much money on ads that frankly anoy me greatly. Every day a new drug and a new disease.
    Sparky Organic Coffee Guy

  6. August 19th, 2009 at 9:25 am

    steven estrada says:

    Yes, there are lots of things that can be done. There is reform needed. Point of fact, though, is that the proposals under consideration are disasterous and do nothing to address the real areas of health care that need reform. Such as the aforementioned taxes that many companies avoid paying. But there is also the need to face how ehalth care will be done.

    There is an excellent article in The Atlantic that adressess these many issues.

    To adress the needs of reform, there has to be a cautious approach, and one that seriously impedes the ability of govt to control any aspect of health.

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