North Texans have written letters and e-mails by the thousands, made countless phone calls and turned out for town-hall meetings, mobilized as never before, some lawmakers say, by the proposed government overhaul of the nation’s health care system.
"This is unprecedented, to have this much spontaneous intensity," said U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Arlington, who hosted a half-dozen town hall-meetings that drew about 4,000 residents. "People are really concerned about the proposal."
The overhaul is expected to be at the top of the legislative agenda when Congress returns Sept. 8 from the summer recess, which many lawmakers spent in their home districts, listening to constituents.
"If you are not listening during this August break, you are missing the passion of the people," said U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth.
At issue is a controversial Democratic plan that’s been in the works for months.
Area members say they’ve heard passionate concerns about several aspects of the plan, including a government-run insurance option that would exist alongside private health insurance.
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