The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

August 19, 2009

Casey visiting today


Barely a week after his counterpart faced a raucous crowd in nearby State College, Sen. Bob Casey will hold his town hall meeting today in Johnstown.

The public forum to discuss health-care reform legislation will take place at 2 p.m. in the Living/Learning Center at Pitt-Johnstown.

Casey does not expect the often-hostile audiences that Sen. Arlen Specter faced at his town hall meetings, including the Aug. 12 event in State College.

“We are expecting a good discussion on the challenges of our current health-care system and the need for reform,” spokeswoman Stephanie D. Zarecky said.

Across the state and nation, those opposed to President Barack Obama’s health-care reform proposals have disrupted events, heckling politicians and other supporters.

“There is more anger in America today than at any time I can remember,” Specter told the Associated Press after a recent series of meetings.

Those attending today’s event should not expect a free-for-all, Zarecky warned.

The program will begin with Casey’s talk about the bill. Several panelists will share experiences about the challenges in today’s health-care system.

“The bulk of the time will be spent taking questions from the audience,” Zarecky said.

“Audience members will be asked to write their questions on a card, and their question will be drawn at random.”

Johnstown’s event will follow another town hall meeting this morning in Lock Haven. Casey spent Wednesday discussing health-care reform with business and health-care leaders in the Danville area.

“Senator Casey has gotten a great reception at his events (Wednesday),” Zarecky said.