But try to pin any of the politicians down at a town hall, and what you are likely to get is "I will not" do this or that if and when there is a bill on which to vote. These promises are important, and probably the best thing to come from the town halls.
Here are some excerpts from Arlen Specter's town hall held earlier today:
- "I will not vote for a plan that has a deficit."
- "I will not support a bill that gives health service to illegal immigrants."
- "We're not going to add tax to companies that have health care. I will not support a Senate bill that has that requirement."
- "So I just want to assure we're not talking about cutting Medicare benefits."
- "First of all, I said I won't sign a bill that adds to the deficit or the national debt."
Be ready for the final scrum, "the set of all-night meetings at the end of the Congressional summer session when all the different pieces actually get put together." The Democrats and Obama will try to push through some monstrously long, complicated, and obtuse health care restructuring bill with only days or hours between the final bill and a vote, as with the stimulus bill.
So arm yourselves with transcripts of all the "I will not" promises. It will be your best ammunition to prevent another stimulus-like fiasco on a much more grand and damaging scale.
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