A gallant move

Published 11:40 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009

By Staff
Congressman G.K. Butterfield is doing the right thing by holding a two-hour public town-hall meeting to discuss health-care reform.
Butterfield, a Democrat who represents North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, is bucking the trend in which other members of Congress are canceling such meetings. Knowing he’s likely to run into some strong, extremely vocal opposition to health-care reform as preferred by President Barack Obama, Butterfield is showing some backbone by being willing to become a target for those who don’t support what Obama and others are trying to do when it comes to overhauling the nation’s health-care system.
Expect Butterfield to listen to the opposition, even welcome debate on the issue. During a visit to the Agape Community Health Clinic in Washington last week, the congressman said he would welcome “healthy debate” on health-care reform.
There’s no doubt he’ll get it tonight. And there’s no doubt that the congressman will make his case for overhauling the existing health-care system.
“It is clear that people want their opinions heard,” Butterfield said in a press release announcing tonight’s meeting. “I want to help people to understand why these changes are needed and exactly how they would benefit.”
Butterfield contends that misinformation is confusing people. He wants to counter that misinformation and what he calls “false attacks” against health-care reform. In his press release, among the most-common false attacks Butterfield listed were “big government spending,” “health-care rationing” for the elderly and a “government takeover” of health care.
Butterfield deserves commendation for providing an opportunity for supporters and opponents to debate the issue and present suggestions to improve health care in the nation.
Whether he agrees or disagrees with the voices he hears tonight, at least this congressman is giving his constituents an opportunity to voice their concerns and ask questions.
Perhaps other members of Congress will follow suit. It’s the right thing to do.