Town Hall Follies

Kirk crowd a sad mirror of ourselves

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Mark Kirk packed the house.

    Mark Kirk's health care town hall meeting on Monday was squatting room only.

    In fact, so many people showed up to the village hall in Arlington Heights that a second meeting had to be scheduled.

    But that doesn't mean the debate will get any clearer.

    "I want bullet points and a Cliff's Notes version," Cindy Flatebo of Grayslake told the Daily Herald.

    Flatebo complained that few people had actually read the 1,000-page bill now under consideration.

    And yet, an overflow crowd that spilled onto the street was filled with experts zealously guarding their positions.

    Oh, democracy! 

    "Illegal immigrants are getting all kinds of health care," Frank Skorski told the Daily Herald.

    If you count emergency rooms, then yes. Should the sick and maimed just be turned away?

    "I am 67 years old, and if we go to universal health care, I wouldn't be here today," Linda Camodeca told CBS2

    Really? Let me guess why.

    "I'm afraid that they would consider me too old to do all they've done for me and save my life."

    Calm down, no death panel is coming for you.

    And then there's those pesky foreigners.

    "In England, we decided that health care is a right and not a privilege," Nick Blackbourn said after Kirk criticized the Canadian and English systems.

    There's really no good answer to that.

    The best conspiracy theory of the day had Kirk purposely booking the event into a space too small to hold it in order to draw media attention for overflow crowds.

    It's not entirely impossible, but thinking about it just makes our heads hurt.

    To Kirk's credit, he has proposed his own version of health care reform. To Kirk's detriment, his plan isn't going anywhere except into the fliers for his U.S. Senate campaign.

    In the meantime, we can't wait for the next town hall. If nothing else, these get-togethers are like holding a giant mirror to ourselves. And indeed, we don't feel so well.

    Steve Rhodes is the proprietor of The Beachwood Reporter, a Chicago-centric news and culture review.