I know several people who have been trying to obtain the meeting schedules of South Dakota’s congressional delegation (Senator Tim Johnson, Senator John Thune and Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin), to little avail.
Normally our federal representatives make it widely known when and where they will be speaking and visiting during the August recess. They want to make contact with the people as much as possible; this contact is, after all, a key step in ensuring their re-election.
Not so this August recess.
With patriotic Americans livid over the proposed government takeover of health care, many senators and congressmen are diving for the foxhole. They are starting to avoid town hall and other meetings, with many that are still being scheduled held by teleconference or in tightly controlled settings.
This morning the Argus Leader reports on another speaking engagement that didn’t get on anyone’s radar that I know of:
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin was able to convey the notion Tuesday she does not support health care reform where a public insurance option overwhelms private industry competition or where a public option is based on Medicare reimbursement rates.
Herseth Sandlin told participants of the Midwest Rural Assembly at the Sioux Falls Convention Center that her assessment of public opinion on health care is that while enthusiasm for a publicly funded insurance option is mixed, there is wide support for Congress to improve access to primary care and preventive care, to cap expenses from catastrophic illness and injury and to make insurance universally available to control costs.
If Herseth Sandlin really doesn’t support socialized medicine, this should put her in good standing with the good people of South Dakota. After all, South Dakota has a heritage of independence, self-reliance and personal responsibility. Most South Dakotans don’t want government meddling in their lives, especially in something so important and personal as health care. They also aren’t keen on the monumental waste, abuse and inefficiency that comes with most government systems.
Herseth Sandlin should come out and engage the people of South Dakota if she’s really on their side in this issue. She could be one of the few members of congress to hold a town hall meeting where people are cheering what she has to say, instead of calling out the lying defenses of a socialized health care system as we’ve seen at so many town hall meetings recently.
Hopefully she will soon meet with the citizens of South Dakota openly, coming right out to reassure them she will fight against any government takeover of health care, that she will not support multi-trillion dollar socialist schemes, that she will not condone the kind of statist and intrusive meddling found in HR 3200 and similar debacles.
Herseth will also be speaking in Mitchell on Aug. 18.