It was the largest town hall meeting of his career, and the crowd of 1,500 was raucous and ready.

When the Democratic leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, Steny Hoyer, arrived to promote healthcare overhaul, they pounced. FINANCIAL/

“You’re late,” a woman roared. Hoyer showed up nine minutes behind schedule for the meeting in Waldorf, Maryland.

“We don’t believe you,” others shouted when Hoyer rejected as myths complaints that the legislation would raise taxes or the deficit.

But along with the jeers there were cheers. Many in the crowd voiced support for the drive to provide health insurance to all Americans and scores wore “Health care for America now” stickers.