Residents of all ages attended a town hall meeting in Springtown Saturday afternoon to hear from United States House Representative Kay Granger.

Teens, not even voting age, listened to the representative’s words and assisted by setting up chairs and videotaping the event held at the Springtown Area Senior Center. Adults in the crowd submitted questions prior to the meeting for Granger to address.

Granger opened the meeting by speaking of her involvement in homeland security, but the main topic of the day was health care reform.

“The environment we are in today is difficult,” Granger said. “When the financial crisis hit us, we all made changes. Retirements were cut in half, people lost jobs.

“The government’s made changes. They are not the changes I would have wanted. Because in a time where we are all saying ‘I can do without this,’ the government, the bills we are faced with, has not been doing that.”

Standing next to a copy of the 1,990-page health reform bill presented to congress last week, she spoke critically of President Barack Obama’s “czars” and Nancy Pelosi’s statement that “this will be a time of transparency and ethics.”

“This is scheduled for a vote this week,” she said referring to the newest health care reform bill. “That doesn’t even make sense. We’ve been talking about one of five bills that is not the bill you see here. Hopefully the votes are not there to pass this. There should not be one Republican ‘yes.’ I think every Republican will vote ‘no.’”

One audience member asked if the bill being presented was something she had never seen before or did it encompass pieces of the previous bills.

“It has some parts of each,” Granger said. “It has other parts that have never been seen and will never go through committee or sub-committee. There are 800 pages here that have never been seen because they were not in the bill everyone was talking about.”

Another audience member asked the representative if she thought the bill could pass without any republican votes. She said yes, because the democrats hold a majority in the senate, but added she knows of democrats who are planning on voting against the bill unless changes are made.

In her own moment of transparency, Granger told the audience she pays $159 a month for her Blue Cross health insurance plan that covers only herself. She said her cost it low because the larger the employer the lower the cost, and the federal government is a large employer.

“Part of reform should take on that,” she said. “If you are self employed or buying individual insurance you should not be paying higher. That’s not even in this bill. You should be able to form associations and buy insurance across state lines. None of that is in here.”

Granger said health needs to be reformed, but the current bill will cost tax payers more money and could be devastating to the future of medical research. She said one of her fears is the government would stop spending money on finding cures for a disease or cancer if it is not “cost effective.”

“It doesn’t lower costs when you have that sort of bureaucracy,” she said. “The only way to do that is with hold care. There is nothing else in it that lowers costs. There are new agencies. It’s going to increase costs.”

In response to another audience submitted question, Granger said it is not constitutional for the government to mandate individuals to purchase health insurance. She also spoke against government control of banks and the auto industry.

“I don’t want the government in my life anymore than it is,” she said. “It is not constitutional. For the federal government to go into a bank and say this is the salary you will pay. That is outrageous.”

She also said if the current health care reform passes, she is concerned about the future of the medical field when doctors are already not being able to recouping the costs of tests funded through Medicare.

“Sometimes we forget that doctors are small business owners,” Granger said. “They want to provide health care, but that have to pay nurses and keep their offices open. We’re losing doctors and people saying they would not advise their children to go into medicine.”