Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Patrick Murphy's Health Care Meetings

A number of times I have read of someone saying that Congressman Patrick Murphy has not held any public meetings on health care. This always puzzles me because I attended one public meeting on health care that featured Murphy and watched with my own eyes as he fielded a number of questions on the topic and heard with my own ears a number of people heckling and catcalling – may favorite being the woman who, when another woman invoked “what would Jesus do” said “Jesus would throw you out.” What a charmer.

In any event, in this past Sunday’s debate between Murphy and the man he defeated in 2006, Mike Fitzpatrick, Fitzpatrick said something about Murphy not holding townhall meetings on health care (see question 8 in the post on the debate).

In hopes of providing some evidence to the contrary, beyond my own experience, here is a list of at least some of his public meetings, as reported in the Bucks County papers have reported on several public meetings. I don't know if this is a complete list; I just got tired of looking.

August 1, 2009, “congress on your corner,” 150 people at Concerto Fusion restaurant in Morrissville, 90 minutes long, and later at the Acme in Levittown (Vineberg, 8/02/2009)

August 13, 2009 Philadelphia Biblical University in Langhorne Manor, Lower bucks County Chamber of Commerce, (Anastasi, 8/14/2009)

August 22, 2009, impromptu meeting in front of Murphy’s Bristol office, 40 people (Kall, 8/28/2009)

August 27, 2009, Warminster, 100 residents of Ann’s Choice in Warminster (Ciavaglia 8/28/09)

August 27, 2009, tele townhall, 6,200 people on the call (follow up questions taken and answers provided in the paper on 9/30) (Weckselblatt, 8/28/2009 – I listened in and reported on this also)

August 31, 2009, Perkasie, meeting of business leaders and residents, 2 hours, 80 people in attendance (Debree 9/01/09. Ciavaglia, 9/02/2009))

September 1, 2009, Grundy Towers, Bristol retirement community, 20 people (Ciavaglia, 9/02,2009)

September 12, 2009, Lower Bucks Senior Activity Center in Bristol (Wagh, 9/13/2009)

September 12, 2009, Philadelphia to a group of veterans (Wagh, 9/13/2009)

September 12, 2009, Quakertown meeting with seniors (Wagh, 9/13/2009)

September 16, 2009, tele townhall, 9,000 people on the call (Ciavaglia 9/09, Weckselblatt, 9/17/2009; I wrote about this call also)

September 18, 2009 meeting of the Regional Biotechnology Council in Buckingham (debree 9/20/2009)

September 18, 2009, private home in Doylestown with small business owners (Debree, 9/20/2009)

October 12, 2009, BuxMont Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Warrington, 100 people (Portnoy, 10/13/2009

October 13, 2009, Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce breakfast


Anastasi, John, “Health care plan can help small business,” Bucks County Courier Times 8/14/2009)

Ciavaglina, Jo, “Murphy tries to dispel health reform myths,” Bucks County Courier Times 8/28/2009

Ciavaglia, Jo, “Reform meetings public,” Bucks County Courier Times 9/02/2009

Debree, Crissa Shoemaker, “Health costs crippling,” 9/20/2009

Debree, Chrissa Shoemaker, “Murphy continues pitching health insurance reform,” Intelligencer 9/01/2009

Kall, Rob, “Impressed by Murphy’s answers but more questions need to be resolved,” Bucks County Courier Times 8/28/2009

“Murphy’s answers on health care reform,” Bucks County Courier times 9/30/2009

Portnoy, Jenna, “Interfaith service focuses on health care debate,” 10/13/2009

Vineberg, Andy, “Murphy hears it from both sides of the issue,” Bucks County Courier Times (8/02.2009)

Wagh, Manasee, “Seniors want bill passed, “ Bucks County Courier Times 9/13/2009

Weckselblatt, Gary, “Health care, fiscal responsibility is possible,” bucks County courier Times 10/14/2009

Weckselblatt, Gary, “Murphy takes fight to tele-town hall,” Bucks County Courier Times 8/28/2009

Weckselblatt, Gary, “Murphy: Reform just a ‘tweak’,” 9/17/2009


Robert B. Sklaroff, M.D. said...

Jane, you are a Patrick-advocate.

By your own admission, there were no Town Hall events held during this entire calendar year.

Furthermore, your rendition of what transpired in 2009 contains events that were held before select-groups and--on one occasion--he made brief comments in a park.

Thus, you validate the charge that he has not held any Town Hall meeting--on Healthcare or on anything else--during his entire term!

AboveAvgJane said...

Dr. Sklaroff,

1) I am upfront about being a Democrat and blogging from that perspective.

2) The blog post says the list of meetings is not intended to be complete. The start of the school year is a busy time at my house and I didn't do a comprehensive search.

3) Some of these meetings were held with selected groups but some of the articles mentioned that some people who were not part of those groups also attended. The congress on your corner meetings are open to the public. The meeting I attended was open to the public and Murphy lingered quite some time after making formal remarks, answering questions from the general public. You also seem to assume that everyone in the selected groups was in favor of the proposed health care reform measures. The articles make it clear that not everyone was. The teletown hall meetings brought in thousands of people and, at least on the call sponsored by the paper, those whose questions could not be answered within the time constraints of the call were answered later and those answers published in the paper.

3) Could you tell me how you define the term "town hall?" I am confused as to what you think the congressman has not done. He met with constituents, both in person and in the large phone calls; how is that not a townhall meeting?

4) This is a blog, compiled by a hobbyist volunteer. It should not be considered the definitive word on anything. I do encourage you to read the articles I reference for more information.

Anonymous said...

You know what Murphy should have done. There should have been one maybe two twon halls in a huge gym at BCCC for example. There should have been a couple of ads in the Intel etc. he should have timed it to be three hrs or so. You know when Clinton really impressed people? When she was up in NH and had a town hall meeting until everyone in the room were done with questions! She wasa warrior and could defend her positions. Murphy wanted to runout the clock. I dont know what e-mail list of group you belong to Jane,. but I read about all of tehse after the fact! Including the pathetic meeting he held at ACME markets.