CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - More than 1,000 people turned out at the Citadel Monday morning for the town hall meeting with Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. "Whether you like me or not; whether you like my record or not; there's nothing I won't do that I think makes sense to save this country," Graham said.
Both senators said Americans need to make changes, but the government's public option is not the way to go. "And when the president says, 'well if you like your health insurance policy you can keep it,' what if your employer decides to drop the private and go with public? You can't keep it," McCain said.
Graham says the first things we need to change are Medicaid and Medicare -- systems he calls "broken." "Are we able as Republicans and Democrats to agree that 65 has to change? Are we able and ready as Republicans, Democrats and Independents to realize that Medicare is hopelessly broken unless we change it," Graham said.
Both promoted competition in the health insurance marketplace, across state lines, to keep quality up and drive prices down. "Right now you can't go across state lines so I think competition is one of the vital aspects of it," McCain said.
"Senior citizens are the best shoppers in the world, if there's a deal they'll find it. What we need to do is have better deals," Graham said.
There were some outbursts from the crowd. One woman yelled, "What have you done in the last 40 years? He's doing something! What have you done? It's something!"
Both McCain and Graham say these town hall meetings are so crucial right now because the Obama administration is trying to rush their own healthcare reform bill through using reconciliation where by October 15, Democrats could get a bill through the senate with only 51 votes.