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>LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An unruly Little Rock crowd heckled and shouted at two Arkansas Democratic congressmen Wednesday, accusing them of supporting a government-backed health plan that would take away Americans’ personal choice and freedom.
At one point, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross sat with his head in his hands while the crowd shouted. He and fellow Democratic Rep. Vic Snyder told audience members at a forum at Arkansas Children’s Hospital that they wouldn’t support a completely government-run, single-payer health insurance plan.
“But that’s what Obama wants!” an audience member shouted, leading to more heckling.
Ross, who represents south Arkansas, sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee and has led his fellow Blue Dog Democrats in delaying a vote on the health care overhaul until at least September. Ross is chairman of the Blue Dogs’ health care task force.
The Blue Dogs — a group of mostly Southern, fiscally conservative Democrats — have not committed to supporting or opposing the bill yet. A deal reached last week calls for exempting more small businesses from a requirement to offer coverage, cutting subsidies to help people buy health insurance and making any government-sponsored insurance plan negotiate payment rates with medical providers.
Lawmakers across the country are encountering growing public doubts about President Barack Obama‘s push to remake the system for providing medical care, evident in polls that find confidence in Obama’s handling of the issue has fallen since January. Concerns are growing about government-run health plans, a growing federal deficit, and the impact on small businesses and end-of-life provisions.

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