US Senator talks health care in Clovis - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/18/09

US Senator talks health care in Clovis

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By Ann Wyatt Little - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The national debate surrounding health care reform hits the high plains. New Mexico Democratic Senator Jeff Bingaman hosted a town hall meeting within a two hour drive of Lubbock -- in Clovis.

The town hall meeting was scheduled Monday and word spread that the senator would be in Clovis and nearly 350 people showed up to discuss health care reform. Bingaman serves on the Health Education and Labor Committee and the Finance Committee both have jurisdiction over the health care system. He said he wanted to hear everyone and they had plenty of questions.

 "We wanted Clovis to be able to come out and tell the senator how they feel about healthcare," adds Runyon. And they did, Senator Jeff Bingaman arrived took off his coat, and was ready to talk health care.

"It's the citizens who are expressing democracy by coming here today wanting answers," says Kim Runyon who drove 60 miles to Clovis to get some answers. Every day for the past two weeks she had called Senator Bingaman's office.

"If you like it you, keep it," says Bingaman about the proposed legislation. He spent about ten minutes discussing his take on the current state of health care in Washington and says the system is broken.

"New Mexico is second worse state to Texas as far as uninsured citizens go," says Bingaman.

Bingaman opened the floor for questions and comments and hands shot up. "Why can't federal government leave us alone," says one man. "Everyone is going to buy insurance and ya'll haven't even begun to show us the financial cost and it's not free," says Runyon to the senator. The exchange became heated. "Let me answer as fast as you are yelling the questions at me," says Senator Bingaman to the crowd.

Runyon says she was pleased with the level of discussion at Tuesday's town hall meeting. "I know Washington is under a lot of pressure to pass a bill," says Runyon.

The senator answered questions for a little over an hour and could have been there all night.

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