U.S. Sen. David Vitter held a Vernon Parish town hall meeting Wednesday afternoon.
A packed crowd consisting mostly of seniors and retired veterans filled the auditorium at the Vernon Parish fairgrounds where the proposed health care reform package dominated the discussion.
"I am completely against O'Bama's plan," Vitter stressed at the very beginning of his talk.
The congressman went on to explain that he did feel that there were some problems with the healthcare delivery system, but that the government needed to use a "scalpel, not a sledgehammer" not fix the problem.
"The president's approach will cause just as much damage as it will good," he said.
Vitter also expressed his concern that implementing a government run healthcare program would not be easily undone.
"So many patients and employees would become dependent so quickly that I think it would be one of the toughest things to undo," he explained.
Vitter said that a few approaches he felt would improve the current healthcare system would be to change the laws and allow groups and businesses to cross state lines and join larger associations in purchasing insurance at a group rate and save costs.
Another approach Vitter mentioned was that of medical liability reform, which would cut healthcare costs as well.
"Physicians are now having to practice 'defensive medicine' by ordering every test allowed just to avoid any liability," he explained. "If we can reduce frivolous law suits then that will cut costs without hurting the care patients receive."
One question posed by the a member of the crowd was in regards to the cap and trade bill, which Vitter said he strongly opposed.
"It would be a huge creator of job loss by pushing American jobs out, and it would be very bad for Louisiana," he said.
Before the meeting ended, Vitter heard one final question from retired veteran Frank Johnson, Jr., who asked the senator when the government would ever replace the money once removed from the Social Security fund.
"President Reagan took money out and we want to know when it's going to be put back in," Johnson asked.
"Every time we have deficit spending there is stealing from social security. It is happening now more than ever before," Vitter said.
Because of this, Vitter said that he himself has introduced a proposed bill that will separate social security into a completely separate trust fund.
"We need to separate social security," Vitter said.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Vitter and many others felt positive about the meeting. "There was a great turn out and great participation, so I feel very good about it," Vitter said before exiting the auditorium.
Johnson also felt pleased with the way the meeting was handled. "I think it was productive, and it was very well organized and orderly," Johnson said. "I am glad that I came."
This was not the only town hall meeting for Vitter. By the end of the month, the senator will have hosted 19 meetings, with his goal to reach every parish in the state.
Leesville Daily Leader