Saturday zigged and zagged through a calendar full of Earth Day themed events. Smack in the middle, as if daring its critics, Republican Congressional candidate and member of the Tea Party movement David Ratowitz planned a town hall style meeting at Welles Park.
The story of the Tea Party movement is closely related to the distrust and unease many people feel with the press. And, the press for its part has portrayed the Tea Party movement as fringe Americans, bent on a racist attack on President Barack Obama.
The town hall at Welles Park was ordered and allowed parties to exchange their views. The Bulldog can report that there were no confrontations, misspelled signs or swastikas in the small group of neighbors. In fact, there were candid discussions of very different political views among residents, all of whom appeared to be still of working age, most of whom appeared to be under the age of 40.
Residents told the Bulldog they saw notice for the meeting in the Bulldog and on Yelp! Some came to hear what Ratowitz had to say expressing an open mind about the November election.
No one wore a costume.
Candidate Ratowitz, who is Jewish, used the two hours to give a personal account of how the recently passed health care bill will impact his sister.
In meetings between the Bulldog and Ratowitz, Ratowitz has come off best when he is talking about the personal challenges he has faced. His story of fleeing New Orleans in the teeth of hurricane Katrina is both a testimony to the good heart of America and the character of Ratowitz.
He was able to touch the audience with that personal appeal Saturday as he described how his sister, a Type I Diabetic, was disheartened to learn of the provisions of the health care bill.
Declaring that his sister wouldn’t receive the benefits of the health care bill till 2014, Ratowitz said the bill did nothing to prevent immediate increases in her health insurance costs and added that it increases the cost of her diabetes treatment by taxing her medical devices. [Why is this italicized? See note below.] His detailed summary of the health care bill appeared matter of fact. Congressman Quigley’s campaign is studying the Ratowitz summary and has not yet responded on its opinion of it.
Ratowitz said if elected he’d work to repeal the law. But Ratowitz noted that the bill was the law and attempting to unravel it would be very challenging. “A big fight was appropriate,” Ratowitz said of the months long debate. “This affects 20 percent of the economy. Long term it will forever affect the economy.”
Ratowitz likened the bill to the debate during the enactment of Social Security. “We need to pick what we are going to do with our government,” he declared. Ratowitz said expansive government programs could not continue in the face of financial uncertainty and growing national debt.
“What I learned in law school remains true. Politicians follow the saying “don’t tax you, don’t tax me. Tax that man behind the tree,”” Ratowitz told the crowd.
[David Ratowitz noted that we did not add the fact that his sister's medical device purchases for things like monitoring strips and blood monitors are being taxed immediately. Ratowitz said that many medical purchases like these were usually written off by the consumer. The health care bill changes remove those items from the list of items given a preferred tax status. The change is noted in italics above.]