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Youngstown State University Republicans hold student-run health care forum

When the College Republicans at Youngstown State University discovered neither Rep. Tim Ryan or Rep. Charlie Wilson were going to do a face-to-face debate on health care, they knew they had to act.

The group organized and hosted a town hall meeting in room 132 of DeBartolo Hall Tuesday night in front of a crowd of roughly 60 community residents, students, professors and health care professionals.

College Republican President Jim Shaw voiced concerns about raising awareness of House Bill 3200. The bill, currently moving through the House of Representatives, deals directly with affordable health care for America.

‘When the congressmen weren’t going to [have public meetings], we stepped in,’ said Shaw, a senior political science major. ‘We need to enlighten students about this bill and give the community the opportunity to voice concerns and just learn about HR3200,’ he added.

Shaw and the College Republicans sent certified mail invitations to Rep. Wilson and Rep. Ryan to be present at the town hall meeting, but Shaw said neither responded. YSU College Democrats were also invited, but declined for various reasons, Shaw said.

‘I think Tim Ryan is in Akron doing a fundraiser today, actually,’ Shaw said. ‘I guess money is more important to him than talking to his constituents.’

Donald Allen, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives 6th District, Bill Johnson, sales tax reform advocate, Dr. Charles McGowen, retired physician and health care expert, and David Hahn, business and health care consultant were among the presenters Tuesday evening. Dan Rivers, program director and talk show host at 570 WKBN, moderated the forum.

The presenters each dissected different parts of the bill and expressed their dissatisfaction with it. Most agreed that the current health care system in America needs revamped, but in the right way.

Dr. Allen discussed how important the current bill is for students.

‘If this bill passes, [students] are the ones that are going to be living with it,’ Allen said. ‘In short, [the bill] scares me, and it should scare you, too.’

Johnson discussed his disagreement with the cost of the reform and the tax dollars going into it.

‘This program is going to cost 1.6 billion dollars, and it’s just an experiment,’ he said.

Though the College Republicans had roughly two weeks to plan, the intention for the forum was clear from the beginning.

‘Our ultimate goal is to stop this bill in its current form,’ Shaw said. ‘There are both good things and bad things in the bill, but overall it’s just bad legislation.’

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