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Spirited, but calm

Published: Tue, September 15, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.


John Breedlove addresses Congressman Tim Ryan during the Health Debate at the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown Monday evening.


U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-17) responds to questions from invited audience members during a discussion on the current health care bill at the Jewish Community Center in Youngstown Monday evening.

The congressman said the ‘public option’ is not a ‘deal-breaker’ for him.

By David Skolnick

YOUNGSTOWN — The comments ranged from “health care is a right, not a privilege” to the questioning of the federal government’s constitutional authority to overhaul the health-care system.

WFMJ Channel 21 and The Vindicator sponsored a live 90- minute health-care forum Monday from the Jewish Community Center at 505 Gypsy Lane.

The forum featured U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Niles, D-17th, answering questions from citizens about health care.

There were about 70 members of the public at the televised forum.

Ryan said he’s 90 percent sure that Congress will approve significant changes to health care later this year.

There are those concerned that changes are taking too long and others feel “it’s being jammed down their throat,” Ryan said.

One contentious issue is the “public option,” a government-run insurance plan.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders have sent mixed messages in recent weeks about the inclusion of a public option.

While Ryan said he supports a public option, “It’s not a deal-breaker for me,” and he’d vote for a bill without it as long as there are other significant changes.

Among those changes, Ryan said, is the requirement that health-insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions, a cap for citizens on out-of-pocket medical expenses and provide more options for people to receive wellness care.

Sandra Martin of Youngstown, a Youngstown State University student who wants to be a social worker, asked Ryan where she could find accurate information about the health-care proposal, which has generated a lot of discussion, debate and controversy.

Ryan suggested reading the bill online. He also said those who watch a lot of CNN or MSNBC should tune in to Fox News, and vice versa, to get a different perspective.

John Breedlove of Austintown, a junior at The Ohio State University, said the federal government’s involvement in health care, particularly a public option, would be a “burden on my generation.”

When the federal government gets involved, there is usually a problem, he said.

Despite Ryan’s statements on not rushing to make a decision and being open to eliminating a public option, Breedlove said, “I don’t think they’re backing away. I think the Democrats will shove [a public option] down our throats.”

Dave Williams, a repairman from Mineral Ridge, also opposes any involvement from the federal government in health care.

After it was pointed out that the federal government is already in the health-care business through Medicare and Medicaid, Williams said it shouldn’t have those programs.

“This should have been stopped 50 years ago,” he said.

Martin praised the forum saying “it was extremely informative” and said she is hopeful meaningful health care changes can be made.

“I think health care is a right, not a privilege,” she said. “We have to have health-care changes by this year.”

Beth Dunn, a small-business owner from Poland, said she supports changes to the health-care system.

But she expressed concerns that the changes will require everyone to have insurance, whether or not they want it.

Walter “Buzz” Pishkur, president and chief executive of Forum Health, said the event was productive.

“I don’t think there’s anyone opposed to having health-care coverage as it increases the quality of life,” he said. “We’d like to have a system that’s reasonable in costs. We need more dialogue.”



1Nonsocialist(710 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

It is my hope to be able to say this to Ryan, Pelosi and the rest of the mathematically-challenged freaks posing as public servants after the 2010 election:

"You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

-Leo Amery

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2MD1533(25 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

He got a lot of "Softball" questions thrown at him! Should have been a "Real Town Hall Meeting"! Looked almost staged! Way to GO Ryan!

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3UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Once again Tim Ryan strikes out. Time to replace this failed congressman with Jimbo. What has he done for the valley lately except have us see 15% unemployment?

Jimbo - we need you more then ever jere in the valley. Please run for Ryan's seat next year so the valley gets back on it's feet.

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4DouglasJohnson(6 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

Tim Ryan has certainly worked hard on health care reform -- worked hard to undercut the efforts of the real pro-life lawmakers, in both parties, who are trying to remove the provisions that would result in the federal government subsidizing abortion and insurance that covers abortion. Ryan impersonates a pro-life congressman on TV, but he peddles legislative language that pleases Planned Parenthod. He has also been trying to repeal a longstanding ban on the use of congressionally appropriated funds to pay for elective abortions in the District of Columbia, a federal jurisdiction. You can read all about it on the special National Right to Life webpage on "Tim Ryan, Pro-life Impersonator," here:

Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee
Washington, D.C.

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5GreenHomesOhio(11 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

As a small business owner who can barely afford to pay an employee there is no way my business could afford to provide an affordable health plan for my employees no matter how much I wanted too.

Is the proposed legislation perfect NO! Nothing that goes into or comes out of Washington ever is. At least not until we either give the President line item veto power or or require bills to be single issue preventing pork projects and hidden defense funding to be tacked onto otherwise logical bills.

Some have suggested allowing BIG Insurance more power by letting them sell plans across state lines. Currently plans do not sell across state lines because the federal govt. does not regulate insurance, states do! Are you proposing a new federal agency to oversee insurance? That seems like a states rights battle that would likely never be won. In addition this would allow the insurance giants to out compete or buy up all of the locally run regional health insurers thereby reducing competition and raising price not lowering them.

Others have suggested tort reform and I do agree that intelligent tort reform should be part of the answer,

However as to illegal aliens, first they won't have access, second most of them are here working for republican owned farms and businesses in California and Texas. Having lived in California most of my life I know that the migrant workers perform a valuable service to America doing work that most Americans consider to dangerous and menial for even their children to do. So unless you are proposing sending unemployed Ohio steel and autoworkers or your own children to work in the western farms at $4.00 to $6.00 and hour for 60+ hours a week while living in tin shacks with no running water, I suggest you rethink that part of the solution.

As for Mr. Dave Williams' comment that "Medicare and Medicaid should have been gotten rid of 50 years ago" that sounds like he wants families to have to decide when "Grandma" kicks the bucket because they can't afford to pay for her insurance/health care any more. (kinda like a min death panel, that so many have complained about)

Finally the public option will not be taxpayer subsidized, secondly unless you think that the insurance company executives are stupid and lazy they will come up with creative ways to keep customers and make their plans more affordable just the way they would do it if a new private company came on the market and undercut their prices and started taking their customer base.

Just needed to voice my 2 cents and inject a little logic into an otherwise illogical debate.

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6GreenHomesOhio(11 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

In response to Douglas Johnson comments I pose this Question:
Since you appose abortion would be willing to support legislation increasing mandating nurse taught sex education in all schools public and private since the lack of that education and inability of parents to adequately cover the subject with their own children directly corresponds to the problems of teen pregnancy and abortion.
Would be willing to support legislation increasing
access to adoption to all legal adults whether they be single, same sex couples, or interracial couples, and allowing the adoption of American children by parents outside of the United States, and requiring all adoption agencies and orphanages both public and private to adhere to these rules.

I agree that abortion is a horrible practice, but unless we resolve to handle the underlying causes it is a necessary option that must be available.

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7dd933(312 comments)posted 6 years, 10 months ago

OK here are the facts. President Obama was elected by the majority of the electoral votes as required by the Constitution, and by a popular majority that far exceeded the former president, on a platform that included national health care reform (actually health care insurance reform). With pluralities in both houses there shloud be no problem achieving this end. It is the Christian thing to do. Remember "Whatever you do to the least of these, that you do unto me."? Excluding nearly 15% of our population from health care is morally wrong for a people claiming to be Christian.

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