Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Several hundred attend Alhambra town hall on healthcare

August 11, 2009 |  8:45 pm

Several hundred people representing both sides of the debate on the nation's healthcare crisis showed up at an emotional town hall tonight in Alhambra.

The gathering, led by U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank), was part of a series of summer town hall meetings on healthcare being held across the country.

A number of the events have been marked by shouting and booing from the crowd.The town hall in front of Alhambra High was no exception. People jeered and applauded as Schiff introduced a panel of experts who spoke about the nation's healthcare crisis.

"I know most of you came to listen and engage in a respectful dialogue," Schiff said. "I hope we can do that tonight."

One woman shouted out at Schiff: "Liar, liar! Pants on fire!"

As the panel spoke, people waved signs that said: "No Nazi Health Care,"  "Reform Now" and "Insure People, Not Profits."

Jose Orozco, 51, of Alhambra waved a yellow flag with a coiled snake that said: "Don't tread on me."  A small-business owner, he said the nation's healthcare system was just fine and needed only a "few small adjustments."

"I don't like the idea that the government can take over such a large part of the economy," Orozco said.

Meredith Fox, 51, of Glendale said she came to learn more about the issue before making up her mind. She said she was upset by the crowd's behavior.

"People don't even want to listen," Fox said. "It's very disheartening."

--Gerrick D. Kennedy in Alhambra