Tweets to Tackle Health Care

December 18, 2009

Public anger boiled over at some highly publicized town hall meetings during the summer as U.S. lawmakers weighed health reform plans — but what happens when the debate moves online?

New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone will find out Monday.
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He’s holding a three-hour online Town Hall meeting to discuss healthcare reform on Twitter, the micro-blogging website known for its short 140-character text messages.

Pallone, a Democrat and one of the authors of the House of Representatives health bill that passed Nov. 7, will use the time to help answer questions about the roughly 2,000-page measure.

A number of other lawmakers have adopted Twitter, Facebook and other websites as part their media machines.

But Pallone’s move online comes as Democrat colleagues in the Senate struggle to pass their health bill by Christmas despite Republican attempts to stall a vote.

National polls show public support for health reform sagging, but Pallone sees his Twitter Town Hall as new way to spur support.

“I want you all to stay engaged in this issue,” he wrote in a statement posted on a New Jersey political website.

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Photo credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni (A Twitter page on a computer screen in October)

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