Thousands flocked to a Vista gym Wednesday for a town hall meeting on health care reform. In just one week, President Barack Obama is expected to address the issue to a joint session of Congress.
It was a mad rush as 1,500 people crowded into Rancho Buena Vista High School's gym. More than 1,000 more were forced to listen outside.
“What Barack Obama is proposing and trying to force down the American people’s throats is just wrong,” Valley Center resident Jason Miller said.
Despite the heat, many say it's important that their voice be heard and their questions answered.
“I think it's imperative we have a public option. The health care system now is so broken,” Escondido resident Kathy Winn said.
For some the issue of health care reform is personal.
“My mother lived with cancer for eleven years and she died about five years ago,” Vista resident Rachel Rott said.
Congressman Darrell Issa answered questions Wednesday night from the crowd. Government coverage was a big issue at this town hall and others across the nation.
“42 million Americans don't have health insurance at all. So, without a public option how can you be sure that everyone will be insured,” one man asked Congressman Issa.
“One of the biggest challenges we have is documenting the so called 42 million figure,” he replied.
Meanwhile members of MoveOn.org held a vigil on Soledad Mountain. Members said they are supporting reform with an affordable public option.
"This is an opportunity to make such a big change to our country and I want to be a part of it," Beverly Cramb said.
There is currently a bill sponsored by Issa, House Resolution 34-38, which would give people access to the same health care plans that members of Congress have.