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Reform Supporters Outnumber Critics At Town Halls

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The Huffington Post   First Posted: 09/18/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:50 PM ET

While television cameras have focused on vocal opponents to health care reform, in many cases they have been outnumbered by supporters of the legislation in general and a public option in particular.

In Phoenix, Arizona, "Pro-Obama demonstrators appeared to outnumber the anti-Obama ones, with Phoenix police estimating the crowd at 1,200 to 2,000 at locations around the convention center."

In Boulder, Colorado, "a few hundred residents of one of the nation's more liberal congressional districts turned out Monday night to tell their congressman, Democratic Rep. Jared Polis, to keep that public option, however controversial politically, in the final bill."

"It's the most essential part of the bill," said Leigh Kirkland, in direct response to Sunday's statement from U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the public option "wasn't the most essential" part of the reform package.
In Fork Union, Virginia, Rep. Tom Perriello faced a more divided crowd, "with roughly half the crowd apparently in favor of reform and the other half opposed.

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) "held a spirited but civil town-hall meeting Monday night inside a union hall where his supporters outnumbered critics."

And when Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) held a forum on health care reform he drew an overflow crowd, with a majority on the Democratic lawmaker's side. "A large majority of those present at the first discussion applauded Lujan when he stressed several times that he was in favor of a public option and when Lujan and other panelists criticized insurance companies."

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