GOP town meeting to cover health care

November 28, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll residents who have questions about proposed national health care plans may hear some answers Thursday at a town meeting sponsored by the Tri-District Republican Club.

Speakers at the meeting will be Dr. Steven N. Shaffer, a Hampstead family doctor, and Shawn Coughlin, an aide to U.S. Rep. Fred Grandy, R-Iowa.

Mr. Grandy has introduced a health care alternative to the Clinton administration's proposal.

The free program will begin at 7:15 p.m. at the Gamber fire hall, at Route 32 and Niner Road.

"We wanted to make it a nonpartisan event," said Tri-District Club President Sandy Gover.

Organizers said they want to answer at least three basic questions:

* What are the specifics of President Bill Clinton's plan?

* What medical care will citizens receive?

* How much will it cost taxpayers?

Dr. Shaffer, 36, who has had a general and family practice for seven years, said he is studying a 250-page outline of the president's proposal to provide health care to all Americans.

"The health plan basically is going to affect my practice by the fact that the government will buy all health care available in this country," he said.

"I will basically be at the mercy of the government for the rest of my life."

Dr. Shaffer said he does not have any patients who carry insurance through health maintenance organizations.

Dr. Shaffer is Mrs. Gover's physician.

The other speaker, Mr. Coughlin, is a legislative assistant to Mr. Grandy, a fourth-term congressman who is a member of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Mr. Grandy represents a western Iowa district that includes Sioux City.

Mr. Grandy and Rep. James Cooper, D-Tenn., have introduced an alternative bill to Mr. Clinton's plan.

Their plan offers a bipartisan approach to allow market-based reforms of the health care system, Mr. Coughlin said, and proposes "managed competition."

Mr. Coughlin said he will present an overview of Mr. Clinton's proposal and discuss Mr. Grandy's plan and other alternatives.

Lawmakers have introduced at least four alternatives, he said.

Republican state Sen. Larry E. Haines of Carroll County will be the moderator.

Each speaker will talk for 15 minutes, then answer questions from the audience, Mrs. Gover said.

Audience members may write down their questions before the meeting, and Mr. Haines will choose questions at random.

"There are lots of questions out there. People don't fully understand everything about the plan," Mrs. Gover said.

Organizers expect to fill the fire hall, which holds 330 people.

Tri-District Club members hope to sponsor town meetings on other topics as well.

"We're hoping this will be the start of more to come in Carroll County," Mrs. Gover said.

For information, call Mrs. Gover at 861-8216 or Robin Frazier at 374-5291.

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