"We're Listening, Not Shouting"
EUGENE, Ore. - When it comes to health care reform, you may get more accomplished by chatting than by shouting. That's the hope of some Oregon workers who have been going door to door, asking that people write or call their Congressional reps to let them know how they feel about the country's health care system.
Kirby Torrance, canvassing director for the Oregon chapter of the labor-sponsored group Working America, says he's just been a good listener, and he has heard a lot of discontent.
"It's easy to get people to talk about the problems they've encountered with our current health care system. And they sometimes share struggles that are immensely personal with someone they've only just met."
Working America, affiliated with the AFL-CIO, supports cost controls and health care coverage for all. Torrance says he's encountered a lot of questions, but not a lot of people who want to pick fights.
"Very few . . . Largely, people want to get the facts and get rid of the spin from the insurance companies, move beyond that and get into some serious discussion about reform."
Torrance says some people want to write their letters on the spot... or to join his organization.
Tonight, some of the letters will be delivered to Representative Peter DeFazio at town hall meetings in Eugene and Springfield.
This week, the Oregon Republican Party has also begun a TV ad campaign critical of the Obama administration's health care reform ideas.
The town hall meetings are tonight at 5:15 p.m. at the Hilton Eugene Conference Center, Eugene; and at 7 p.m. at Springfield City Hall, Springfield.