Will civil unrest at town hall meetings produce policy change?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:05 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Americans are making their voices heard on health care reform across the country with loud voices and raised fists. Since Friday, the town hall meetings that members of Congress are using to stage open dialogue with their constituents have more or less turned into shouting matches.

On Thursday in St. Louis, at Democrat Rep. Russ Carnahan's town hall meeting, six arrests were made. The main demographic upset over the health care issue and speaking out is the elderly because they'll be the ones immediately affected. Many cite that with a single-payer system they won't receive the same quality of care they would have received on their current plan.

The country recently split down the middle on approving Obama's performance on reforming health care, and with five separate bills in Congress, the impatience many citizens have has finally bubbled over.

Democrats have even gone so far as to saying the protests are being staged by conservative activist groups and Republicans.

More recently, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, in a USA Today op-ed piece about the recent unrest at the town hall meetings, referred to the health care critics as a mob. She asserted that shouting so loud as to drown out others from sharing their viewpoints is un-American.

Will the protests at the town hall meetings motivate legislators to take a different approach to reforming health care?

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