August 28, 2009

Inhofe slams health reform

By Ellis Goodwin

Staff Writer

At a town hall meeting Wednesday Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) told Chickasha residents he does not need to read the 1,000 page health care reform bill, he will simply vote against it.

"I don't have to read it, or know what's in it. I'm going to oppose it anyways," he said.

Inhofe said public opinion and information provided by news media have helped him become a staunch non-supporter of the bill. He said he would prefer waiting until after mid-term elections in 2010 to enact reforms. He did not say nothing should be done. He simply feels that a topic as important as healthcare should not be rushed through the Senate or House of Representatives.

City Council Member Hank Ross agreed with Inhofe. Ross owns a medical care company in Chickasha. He said he does not believe the government would be efficient in providing care and would like to see reforms happen at a slower pace.

"I personally think Obama has over reached," Ross said. "I think we need to treat this with kid gloves and do it right."

Inhofe also spoke about the diminishing military budget and the closing of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center, but healthcare was the hot button subject.

Inhofe took the opportunity to blame Democrats for a bevy of issues. He lashed out at democrats for overtaking the government and spending billions of dollars on unpopular packages. He said government is becoming too big and overreaching its boundaries.

"People are not buying these concepts that are completely foreign to America," Inhofe said. "We're almost reaching a revolution in this country."

Many in the meeting agreed and were vocal about their disdain for the current climate in Washington.

"No more compromise," Chickasha resident Ed Hicks said. "We're losing our country."

Inhofe's town hall meeting was much like others happening during the Senate's recess. Except there was no dissent, just concerns about change and what is happening in Washington. Health care reform was the main topic of discussion, but some voiced their worries that the Cap and Trade bill would hurt local oil producers. Others were worried about their Second Amendment right and their ability to own and carry firearms.

Inhofe tried to squelch the concerns, but until Republicans take control of at least one branch of the government it will be an uphill battle. He said he will do anything he can to keep fighting and promote the wants and needs of his constituents when he returns to Washington next month.