More than 30,000 residents of Virginiaâ€™s 11th Congressional District participated in Congressman Gerry Connollyâ€™s Telephone Town Hall Meeting Wednesday and they made it clear in a poll conducted during the meeting that they strongly oppose the Republican plan to dismantle the Medicare program for seniors.
Wednesday eveningâ€™s telephone town hall, Connollyâ€™s 11th since taking office in January 2009, was the largest yet and the first where constituents were able to send in questions via Twitter as well as ask them live over the phone.
In a strong showing of support for Medicare, 73 percent of constituents participating in the poll conducted during Connollyâ€™s meeting said they donâ€™t support the Republican plan to eliminate the current Medicare program that provides health care for all seniors and replace it with vouchers that would help seniors pay part of their cost of purchasing private health insurance.
Specifically, the Connolly poll question asked, â€œDo you support the Fiscal Year 2012 budget proposal in the House to dismantle traditional Medicare for seniors and replace it with a voucher system to help seniors defray the cost of private health insurance?â€ Seventy-three percent of the 1,229 people who participated in the poll said they supported retaining Medicare as the health care program for all seniors, while 27 percent favored the proposal to replace the current Medicare program with vouchers.
Many of the callers expressed concerns about the GOP plan to dismantle Medicare. Connolly took two questions on the subject, but at least 100 participants indicated to staff screening the calls that they opposed changing the program.
Overall, Connolly fielded more than a dozen questions from constituents during the hour-long town meeting. Those who were unable to ask a question during the meeting due to time limitations had an opportunity to leave a message for Connolly so he could respond to them later.
Connolly is a strong advocate of the telephone town meetings, noting that it gives thousands of constituents an opportunity to participate. The format is also very popular among constituents, who can participate from their homes or other locations using cell phones.
â€œI thank every 11th District constituent who took the time to join in on the call,â€ Connolly said. â€œIt is one more opportunity for me to have a good dialogue with the people I represent and provide them with an update about what is going on in Congress.â€
April 20th Town Hall Meeting
If you would like to hear Congressman Connolly’s most recent telephone town hall please clickhere.