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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Callers concerned about socialized medicine

Callers to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers tele-town hall meeting were pretty convinced that the government shouldn't take over health care and the Eastern Washington Republican should do everything in her power to stop socialized medicine.

She didn't much disagree.

Among her comments on proposals by President Obama and other Democrats were that they want to put the government between you and your doctor, take away your choice of doctors and hospitals, that they won't reimburse doctors enough for services, and the process needs to be slowed down because it is moving too fast.

She also said Washington state's Basic Health Plan has grown to the point where it's too expensive.

Interestingly enough, while no one disagreed with her in the first 45 minutes (we had to  take another call and lost the connection at that point) there were some scenarios that seemed to contradict her basic premises. One woman with kidney disease complained that Medicare didn't cover the alternative treatments she was taking instead of dialysis. Alternative treatments can be effective, but requiring an insurer to cover them can boost the cost of premiums.

One man with an unemployed son who has three children and a wife who works without insurance said they can't get insurance and wondered why Social Security couldn't help out... which sounds suspiciously like expanding government health care.

McMorris Rodgers suggested that one of the solution for the man's son, and others without insurance because they are out of work is to improve the economy.

Her event was competing for folks' attention with Obama's live press conference, scheduled at the same time. She said, however, that her event was scheduled when they thought the presidential press  conference was going to be an hour later.

The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.