'Tom in Town' in Greene County

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Freshman Congressman Tom Perriello may be one of the key voices in what's expected to be a very close U.S. House vote on President Obama's push for health care reform. Those opposed to the president's plan want to make sure that the 5th District Democrat hears their concerns. Monday night, they were heard loud and clear.

Tom Perriello stood up Monday before a packed house in Greene. While everyone had a different opinion on health care, they all applauded Perriello for showing up.

At times, there was yelling. There were boos and there was applause. But in the end, this "Tom in Your Town" in Ruckersville was, for the most part, tame.

Laura Germino was one of several dozen who got to grill Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello.  The main topic of debate was President Obama's healthcare plan.  Germino says she and her husband are shelling out more than $10,000 a year on skyrocketing premiums.

"I'm for getting premiums to be reasonable to be able to afford the premiums," stated Germino.

But at this town hall meeting, Germino was in the minority. A big turnout from conservatives, with plenty of signs in hand, fueled the no public option end of the argument.

"It's not change.  It's not helping those in need. It's a takeover of the healthcare system," stated George Shirey, who is against public health option.

Shirey is concerned that a public option will prevent doctors and scientists from doing their best work in this country. "It's the profit incentive that makes us the best in the world," said Shirey.

Now, Perriello will continue his roving tour of the Fifth District this month with 14 stops to go. "It was absolutely terrific. I mean, this is exactly what it should be about," stated Perriello (D) after Monday night's meeting.

Perriello says as things stand with the current health care bill, he would vote "no". He says there is not enough reform as the bill currently stands.

Reported by Henry Graff
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