Tumultuous town hall meetings about health care in wealthy, blue blood Connecticut towns


This is quite extraordinary, in-your-face town hall meetings about health care in the privileged, wealthy enclaves of West Hartford and Greenwich in Connecticut

Look folks, I grew up in West Hartford, and we lived near there for a year recently. It is not a rowdy place. In fact, it is anti-rowdy – staid, mostly upper middle class and above, with a snobby undercurrent and lots of old money.

Colin McEnroe on the health care town hall meeting in West Hartford CT.

I made several passes tonight, on bicycle, by the tumult outside West Hartford town hall, as forces on both sides of the health care question assembled to yell back and forth at each other. I’ve decided that people actually like to yell and especially to yell at each other. It gives them something to do. People get so excited and aggressive about health reform that one cannot help but worry that somebody’s going to get hurt and have to go to the emergency room, which is already crowded with people who don’t have health insurance and are trying to get routine medical care.

The same thing happened in Greenwich CT, a worldwide home for hedge funds, and one of the wealthiest towns in the country.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-4, entered the vortex of the national health care debate Monday night, reaffirming his support for a public insurance coverage option at a tea party-like public forum in his hometown.

For residents of these towns to be on the town hall lawn yelling at each other about health care is beyond unusual. This isn’t just a few wacko teabaggers on the fringe. The country is having a loud, messy, passionate debate about health care. Rather than be appalled, liberals should join in and celebrate it. Because in a very real sense, what’s going on is called “democracy.”