Health care debate comes to the Bootheel

KENNETT, Mo. (AP) - Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill visits rural southeast Missouri today for a series of town hall meetings expected to be dominated by discussion of President Obama's proposed health care overhaul.

The sessions come amid growing public protests over the reforms plans Congress will consider after its summer break. A public meeting in St. Louis hosted by Democratic Rep. Russ Carnahan last week ended in a melee with six arrests, including a St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter.

The first event is an open forum at Southeast Missouri State University in Kennett starting at 9 a.m. McCaskill then hosts a roundtable discussion with rural health care providers in Hayti followed by a 2:30 p.m. public meeting in Poplar Bluff.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.