Local Politics

Hundreds debate health care reform in Durham

Posted August 13, 2009 10:14 p.m. EDT
Updated August 14, 2009 3:25 p.m. EDT

— More than 850 people packed the B. N. Duke Auditorium on the North Carolina Central University Campus in Durham on Thursday to debate health care reform.

President Barack Obama has proposed a government-sponsored health insurance plan aimed at providing all Americans with coverage, but opponents say it would increase bureaucracy and raise the costs of private insurers.

Fourth District Congressman David Price fielded questions and heard comments from the crowd.

Some residents expressed concern about the government coming between them and their doctors. Other residents shared their frustrations with the current health care system and argued for change.

About 100 people were turned away from the event when the auditorium reached capacity. Police escorted a couple of people out of the event after an altercation in the balcony area of the auditorium. No other incidents were reported.

Similar town hall meetings have taken place across North Carolina and the rest of the country.

In Lillington, Second District Congressman Bob Etheridge faced a raucous crowd of more than 200 people Wednesday night at Central Carolina Community College.

Eleventh District Congressman Heath Shuler held a telephone news conference on the subject Thursday.

Thirteenth District Congressman Brad Miller said he plans to meet with small groups on both sides of the debate instead of holding a public forum after a death threat was phoned into his office.