There were many more people there than they are used to getting, by far. I would say easily 500 people showed up to a campaign event that your were supposed to RSVP to attend. It started out with traditional campaign type stuff, especially since we are voting for Governor this year.
When Mr. Cantor took the microphone, he knew it was a semi-friendly crowd. I think he leaves with a slightly better understanding that “regular” Americans are scared of the direction their country is being taken.
The first thing he did was explain and argue against the Health Care bill. He has read the entire bill and he took the time (using the flow chart) to point out a few of the most ridiculous bureaucracies created in the bill. The first was the Health Choices Administration designed to decide what is acceptable health care for all Americans. The second one he pointed our was the CER Commission (Comparative Effectiveness Research, which was funded in the stimulus and Sebelius has just named the 15 commissioners (h/t Dan Spencer). This group will “weigh healthcare results against procedures” so only the most “effective” will be used. I also learned from this that all Health Savings Accounts will be eliminated.
Mr. Cantor then went over the Republican plan to “reform” health care. This is a summary of the Republican Health Care Plan for Reform:
1) Encourage Health Savings Accounts to increase cost competiveness. These are also tax free accounts.
2)Provide flexibility in insurance laws so that if you lose your job, you don’t have to lose health care.
3)Provide Small business and individuals the same tax discounts as large corporations for providing health care.
4)Allow competition across state lines.
6)Help insure those with pre-existing conditions through current state and regional programs
7)*** There was a number 7, but he was speaking quickly and I could not see the bottom of the screen. I will update this when I find it.
Mr. Cantor then took questions from the audience. Everyone was very respectful and still straightforward. More than one person asked him what was happening to their beloved United States. There was loud applause when a former submariner, following a former fighter pilot, asked if he would stand on the principles of the Founders. (He said yes, of course). Mr. Cantor conviently forgot TARP, but railed against the Porkulus, Cap and Tax (he coined the phrase, apparently), and healthcare. Someone shouted out we need to stop funding ACORN, and he seemed to agree.
All in all, I think Mr. Cantor did a fine job. I do not agree with him all of the time, and sometimes feel our district suffers the whims of the national Republican party because of his position as Whip. I do not support his and other pols desire for high speed rail to DC. I think he sometimes supports things that are un-necessary and extra-Constitutional (he said he supported a $15,000 tax credit for anyone buying a home, instead of an $8000 credit for first-time buyers—I say why not just make it the cost of the home, that would be stimulating also). I have never voted against Mr. Cantor (he became my Rep after George Allen got redistricted out), but I am still going to consider some alternatives, just in case. If you attended this meeting, please leave your impressions. And if you remember #7, please let me know.
I will leave you with 2 quotes from Mr Cantor (written down quickly in my chicken scratch while crammed between people)…
“…neither party has proven ability to cut cost and show efficiency” and “We [Republicans] learned from our mistakes in the past, but now we have to move forward”
Thank you, Mr. Cantor, for showing up and responding to your constituents! It was much appreciated.