Health care reform heats up in Jonesboro

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - High emotions, hot tempers, and people divided on both sides of the issue.  That's the way town hall meetings on health care have been all across the country.  Friday the debate is coming to Jonesboro.

"Something needs to be done," said Vickie Briscoe.

"I don't want my rights taken from me," said Becca Moss.

"It's a life and death issue," said Shawn Barnhill.

"Some people are going to be for it and some people are going to be against it," said Gloria Thompson.

Health care reform is a hot button issue for everyone.  Town hall meetings are being held across the country and at almost every one of the meetings tempers flare.  Some believe similar scenes could play out Friday morning, when Senator Blanche Lincoln holds a town hall meeting at the ASU Fowler Center.

"I think you're going to hear a lot of varying opinions expressed.  Everybody is going to have a varying opinion, but it is going to be a very passionate meeting.  There's going to be a lot of fireworks," said Barnhill.

But there should be plenty of information, too.

"I think they're probably pretty good and will be informative.  I'd like to go there and see what they have to say," said Moss.

When Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri held a meeting in Poplar Bluff last month, those who support and oppose health care reform showed up.

"Those that are going to be against it are those who have health insurance and benefits and money saved up for their families for years to come.  They are secure.  You have got unemployment at a high risk and things of that nature and people can't afford this," said Thompson.

While many do support some kind of reform, others say they are worried about what any change would mean.

"I don't agree that we should have to give up our rights to the way our medical insurance is working for us," said Moss.

As for what will happen in Friday's meeting, no one knows yet.  People do know what they want to see happen.

"I hope it's said that everybody in the whole United States can have insurance and not have to worry if they're going to take their last breathe tomorrow," said Briscoe.

The town hall meeting will start Friday morning at 9 a.m.  Doors open at the Fowler Center at 8 a.m.

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