Tale of Two Town Hall Meetings

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DICKSON CITY -- Town hall meetings across the country are drawing crowds as lawmakers meet with residents to talk about changes the Trump administration plans to make.

Wednesday night, two U.S. congressmen from our area, one Democrat, the other Republican, held their own town halls.

Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-17th District) held a gathering here in Lackawanna County, where he was met with a majority of supporters.

Republican Congressman Lou Barletta (R-11th District) met with people at Shippensburg University, where protesters demanded President Trump keep the Affordable Care Act.

It was a different tone than most of the town hall meetings we've seen with lawmakers, but many in the packed room at the Dickson City borough building were in agreement with U.S. Congressman Matt Cartwright.

“You know, I'm a supporter of ACA,” said Cartwright, as the room erupted into cheers and applause.

Cartwright, a Democrat, told the crowd he was firmly against President Trump's plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and it's clearly what the people wanted to hear.

“I’m not pleased with how our country is going under the Trump administration,” said Judy Senkow from Dickson City. “I'm concerned for our senior citizens, with social security, with the under-insured, with the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act.”

Town hall meetings have been turning contentious with protesters lashing out at their lawmakers, in particular Republican ones, as there is anger over the Trump administration's plans for the country.

“It seems like most of the folks that have been showing up at town halls across the country are talking the healthcare law and whether it's going to be repealed and what the replacement is going to be,” said Cartwright.

“For example, Paul Ryan, his plan for Medicare is to turn it into a voucher system. That will destroy it over time because the funding those vouchers down the road will never keep up with costs,” said Jim Shuta from Dickson City.

Lackawanna County is predominantly Democrat and many here are supporters of Cartwright.

But not all.

Cartwright did field a question from Lackawanna County Commissioner Laureen Cummings, who is a Republican.

“’What is holding up repeal of ACA?’ Cartwright said as he read her written question. “I think there is a reticence there.”

While Cartwright is against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, he does believe the plan needs to be re-worked, admitting there are flaws in ACA.

Meanwhile, Republican Congressman Lou Barletta participated in a town hall meeting Wednesday evening at Shippensburg University.

The atmosphere inside the forum was calm, although some constituents turned out in support of the Affordable Care Act.

Outside the town hall meeting about three dozen protesters picketed against Barletta and President Trump.


  • dogwood

    I have a great idea, lets have Cartright explain how to fund the ACA (ObamaCare) !!
    Settled science when everyone realizes it is UN –affordable !!

  • magicmikexxsm

    The people in that pic above look to be in their 50’s on up…..do they not know that the ACA is making them buy all that prenatal care, and Pediatric Care and everything elese that comes when you have a baby…seriously you people going to have mnore kids??? just think if you didn’t have to buy that in your policy how much less it would be……

    Idiots the whole lot…

  • magicmikexxsm

    Democratic Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-17th District)…About the biggest useless Turd their is in Congress….
    Some how we got stuck with him down here in Schuylkill County..never see him do a town hall meeting down here….

    Just look at the lap dog left supporters , they probably have no clue what the heck they are talking about..

  • JessicainWilliamsport

    What you don’t like does not equal “fake news”; Truth does not equal “fake news” — fake news is made up stuff, you know like the Bowling Green Massacre and the Sweden incident LOL

  • Mary K

    About three dozen protesters ya had to put that in there nothing but fake news. WNEP should be ashamed always making up stories and always negative towards the Republicans. REAL FAKE NEWS!!!

  • Judith Senkow

    Why did you cut out my comments about LGBT rights…ESPECIALLY on a night a that the TRUMP administration strips aware the previous administrations directive regarding the safety of trans students. From professional healthcare provider, I am considered about increased bullying of these students by others and staff of the schools if the student becomes “outed” by being mandated to use the facility designated to them thru birth or special use bathroom. This bullying could ( and does) increase suicide rates in trans students. THis will also lead to trans students not using a bathroom ALL day at school leading to an increase in dehydration from intake of less fluids and also an increases of urinary tract infection from not urinating all day. Literally, the health risk can go on.

    • Get On Board

      Look, just because President Trump did away with what Obama did, does not mean that the schools that had already complied will do away with separate bathrooms. He, like many Americans didn’t agree to hold schools hostage from Federal dollars to schools just because they were unable or didn’t want to comply. Why should our straight children suffer the benefits of the federal money because a school did not want to comply?

      Now, he has left it up the individual states to deal with it, the way it should have been all along. If it’s bullying you are concerned about, then the schools need to get involved more. Everyone gets bullied not just transgender. When I went to school it was called teasing then. We all survived it with no help from schools.

      If its health issues, then have child’s doctor sign a health directive to be sent to Nurse at school. Giving said child permission to go to Nurse during class time . Then Nurse can walk the child to bathroom of child’s choice and stand outside bathroom door until child is finished. Issue solved.

  • Kevin

    it is so clear that WNEP doesn’t like republicans. WNEP does love all things democrat and Obamacare. Just look at their lead story last night at 7. This isn’t news, it’s opinion.

    • lookback

      Barletta is now sitting on Trump’s caucus, he always wanted to be on Trump’s caucus and now that he is firmly in place there seems to be a twinkle in his eye. I’ve heard it is not a very big caucus, rather petite actually but it is probably a perfect fit for Barletta. As a sitting member on Trump’s caucus Barletta often wants to go fast but sometimes Trump looks at him and says slow down, take it easy, make it last, other times he says to hurry up, get er done and Barletta obliges. I’m sure being a slick politician will help Barletta ride on Trump’s caucus for a long time and he will surely receive a warm reward from the President for his efforts. Not sure but also heard, Trump has a nickname for Barletta, some say he calls him his little LuLu.

    • truck driver

      They were good to Carnahan and Ciavarella before the FBI exposed them. Then refused to mention party affiliation, which was democrat.

  • Givemeabreak

    Another problem I see is when are we going to have a real discussion about our diets in this country? If you look at ingredients in our foods they all have refined sugar in them. I am not kidding go read the ingredients on your food in your house. This started back in the 50’s to make food taste better. We have gone from a high fat low carb diet to a low fat high carb diet over time. Most of these foods we eat are unhealthy mixed with non labor jobs due to lack of jobs and automation. More and more people don’t work or are not active and the ones who work sit behind a computer screen all day. We have more obese sick people driving up the cost of healthcare because of our foods. I can’t even say life choices anymore when it comes to our diet because most of the food is bad or people just can’t afford to buy the healthy foods. Mix all this in with smokers and people addicted to legal and illegal drugs and surround them with toxic materials in their house and it is no surprise that everyone is sick and the costs are out of control.
    We have been dismissing these things around us and not wanting to believe they (whomever the ominous they is) would allow this to happen. Everyone knows that Teflon is bad to cook on but they still allow it to be sold. Everyone knows that diabetes is a serious problem but they still allow them to put sugar in all our foods.
    It just seems like population control to me and a way to keep us sick and suck all of our money out of us to keep controlling us.
    Healthcare costs are out of control but I see it all by design. If you think I am crazy do your own research on these foods we eat and what we have in our homes. I don’t trust any of them.

  • Givemeabreak

    Everyone pretty much agrees that healthcare costs have spiraled out of control to a point where it has made insurance unaffordable. When is everyone going to get on board with regulation of these costs? The greed has taken over the healthcare industry. It is all about the money. What a world we live in that you can put a dollar amount on someone’s life, while all the politicians have great health insurance.

  • Dave

    It’s clear WNEP is against our President !!!
    They do the same as fake news CNN does, amplify the minority of what the people want !

  • WarningFakeNews

    These aren’t “grass roots” protests, they are astroturf. Fortunately, Lou’s not a “soft target” so they wasted their time.

    Obamacare forced people to get INSURANCE which, by design, was getting massively expensive, and had such high deductibles- in the thousands of dollars, that it was too expensive to go get ANYTHING done. What Obamacare did was to make health CARE unaffordable, unless you were on welfare, or an illegal alien.

    • goose

      Socialism leads to communism which leads to full governmental control? And if I read some of these books right, doesn’t that mean that government control leads to violence against it’s citizens instead of the citizens being able to defend themselves against such tyranny and violence? Huh. I’m at a loss that this is how the world works since America existed. You wanna go halfies on a protest sign later? Emoji

      • Givemeabreak

        You are right and very few of us will be able to defend ourselves because we are all sick. They already have full control we don’t have to wait for communism. We are controlled everyday by the media and their message. We are taught to consume and not produce. We are easily triggered into doing what they want to keep their system going. I call it theirs because it only works for them and not us common folk anymore.
        Choice and freedom is just one big illusion in this system. You can choose to not work and loose your house. You can choose to not get Obamacare and get fined. You can choose to not pay your taxes and go to jail. You can say whatever you want but their are consequences for what you say. There is no real choice and if you don’t make their choice you loose your freedom, if you can even call it that. It’s all one big illusion.

      • WarningFakeNews

        Don’t answer the question on the tax form, there is no penalty now. It’s sorta like Bill Clinton all over again, “don’t ask, don’t tell” but they still ask. The IRS says they will no longer do anything if you don’t answer them on it, as per President Trump’s order. He took out the teeth in the law with it.


      Another falsehood propagated by the Putin White House and spread like dung on the soles of the GOP shoes by minions like yourself. Sad!

  • Roger White

    I wonder how many of the old ladies gave up their bingo night so that they could have their faces on the Telescreen.

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