GOP Wants to Resurrect That Town Hall Feeling

Party hopes to drum up anger over health bills
By Sarah Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2009 12:23 PM CST
Mike Engles of Easton, Md., center, and others who attended a health reform town hall meeting in Walfdorf, Md., on Sept. 1, 2009, express their disapproval.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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(Newser) – Republicans are hoping to re-create the late-summer town hall meetings at which angry voters lashed out over proposed health care legislation. Sen. Lamar Alexander tells Politico the party is planning 50 phone and in-person gatherings over the next few weeks. "If every American has a chance to read the bill, understand what it costs and how it affects them, it wouldn’t have a chance in the world of passing," he said.

While many Democrats feel optimistic about efforts to make over the nation's health care system, the GOP is eager to seize on potential weaknesses. A recent poll found that 49% of Americans think their health costs would go up under the changes. So the party plans to give Senate Republican Conference members talking points that warn of higher costs and a "Washington takeover."