Corker: U.S. ‘awakened' by town halls

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) says America is finally interested in health care

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) credited town hall protesters on Monday with having “awakened” Americans to a contentious health care debate.

“That is a great thing,” Corker said of the conservative energy demonstrated in recent town halls opposing President Barack Obama’s plan for a health care overhaul during a town hall of his own at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press. 

The first-term Tennessee Republican identified potential tax increases as a major flaw in the Democratic plan and celebrated news that the White House appears to be backing off a public option.

Corker also railed against the President’s $787 billion stimulus package, calling the bill “ridiculous.”

“If you feel there are short-term issues that need to be dealt with in this country, at least you’d get the long-term set, so when this little dip is over, people can see there are blue skies down the road,” he said, according to the Chattanoogan. 

Following Corker’s statement on health care, few of those in attendance asked the Republican questions related to the issue, though one attendee inquired if illegal immigrants would get coverage.

“Of the 47 million, 11 million are immigrants. Half of them are legal, half of them are illegal. What we’re not trying to do is craft a health care solution for those who are here illegally,” Corker said.

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