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    Chicago Tea-Partiers about Lipinski: "He sold us out!" - More than 300 pack Town Hall
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    Raucous crowd greets Lipinski on health care

    November 15, 2009

    Although slated as a town hall meeting for U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-3rd) to address federal issues, the topic on the minds of the 300 or so people who showed up Saturday was health care.

    Almost exactly one week ago, Lipinski voted with the majority of the House of Representatives to pass the expansive health care reform bill, which he called "far from perfect."

    "It was important to vote 'yes' in order to keep this moving forward," Lipinski said at the three-hour forum at Oak Lawn Community High School.

    One of his major concerns is the bill does not do enough to bring down the "skyrocketing" costs of health care, something he said needs to be addressed before deciding how he will vote on the final version.

    "There are a number of very good reforms in the bill," he said. "The ban on making people pay more because of pre-existing conditions, putting a lifetime cap on how much people have to pay if they have a serious illness so it doesn't bankrupt them -- and making coverage cheaper for the people who don't have insurance are all good things."

    Many in the vocal and at times hostile audience, however, disagreed. Lipinski seemed to keep his cool as members in the crowd booed, hurled insults, questioned the constitutionality of the bill and chanted, "You work for us."

    "When you start talking about heath care, it is something that impacts every one personally," he said. "I understand that there are a lot of strong feelings on it."

    Catherina Wojtowicz, the coordinator of the Chicago Tea Party, encouraged large attendance by dissenters by sending out fliers that read "He sold us out! He voted for socialized medicine" before the event.

    "This bill is taxes," said Wojtowicz, of Chicago's Mount Greenwood community. "It has nothing to do with health insurance. The deficit will be increased. Illegals are going to be covered."

    Wayne Haskett, of Blue Island, spoke out against Lipinski, his stance on health care and his party.

    "He's lock-stepped with Obama on everything he wants to do," Haskett said. "This administration is trying to turn us into a Third World county. This (health care bill) is another way to destroy this country."

    At one point in the meeting, Lipinski said he was not there to defend Obama and quickly moved on.

    Although less outspoken, Lipinski supporters such as Sue Joseph attended because they were "proud" he voted for the legislation.

    "This country needs health care reform badly," she said.

    Colette Wagner, of Mount Greenwood, questioned the cost of reform.

    "We will lose good, smart doctors," Wagner said. "The only ones left will be HMO doctors. National health care will be one big HMO."

    Lipinski, who said he's probably spent more than 250 hours on the bill, said that apart from going to war, tackling health care is one of the biggest issues Congress will ever address.

    "I know in the end, no matter what happens, it will not be a case where everyone is happy," Lipinski said.

    Posted 2009-11-15 5:27 AM (#28312) By: Editor

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