Oklahoman: Rep. Frank Lucas to Oklahoma Town Hall: Health Care Bill ‘At Best a Work in Progress’

Aug 20, 2009
In The News

PERRY — Global warming, the federal deficit and government’s expanding role were among the issues on the minds of voters this afternoon in Perry.

About 100 people turned out for a town hall meeting with U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas.

Lucas spoke to the crowd for about 20 minutes about his opposition to many of the key Democrat-backed issues in Congress, before taking questions from the crowd. The town hall meeting was one of four meetings Lucas, R-Cheyenne, held across his district today.

"Like your neighbors, you’re frightened and furious about what’s going on in Congress," Lucas said.

Like other lawmakers across the country, Lucas is taking time to meet with constituents during Congress’ August recess. Lucas said the numbers of people attending his town hall meetings have swelled as more and more people want straight answers about government spending programs and plans to reform the nation’s health care system.

Lucas listed several measures passed by the Democrat-led Congress, noting that he didn’t support a massive spending bill to bail out banks or a measure that would cap emissions and charge companies that exceeded those limits.

"When I can’t be sure on how your money is going to be spent, I’m going to vote no," Lucas said.

Lucas called the proposed health care bill "at best a work in progress" and said he doesn’t support the measure in its current form. Instead he supports a proposal backed by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, to provide a tax credit for Americans to buy health insurance policies.

"I’m in favor of letting market forces improve programs as opposed to a government-run program," Lucas said.

The crowd at the Perry town hall ranged from young families with children to retirees. The crowd listened to Lucas’ points and offered sporadic applause to his statements. The meeting was tame in comparison to town hall meetings held in other parts of the country where shouting matches have erupted.

While many in the crowd said they agreed with Lucas’ positions on the issues, they wondered how they could work to change the minds of other lawmakers.

"Reach out to your business associates, your friends in other states," Lucas said. "In the times we live in, you better be involved."

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