Jillian Bandes

“We were able to stop an inevitability.”

That was the message on health care from Laura Ingraham at the Americans for Prosperity Summit on Friday night in Washington, D.C.

Ingraham told the producers on her radio show staff at the beginning of the summer that the singular goal of her show from that point on was to stop health care legislation. Exactly how that goal was achieved was explained earlier by Rep. Patrick McHenry, (R-S.C.), a speaker at AFP’s Capitol Hill rally earlier in the day.

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“[The health care bill] was supposed to go for a vote in July. Then September. Then October,” he told a rowdy crowd. “Last night, Steny Hoyer said it would be two more weeks. What they’re trying to do now is twist arms.”

AFP’s 2000-person summit was more than receptive to both the Congressman’s and Ingraham’s remarks. Sarah Cadwell, 36, traveled to the Summit from Ann Arbor, Michigan, despite not really having the money to do so.

“The 9-12 [March on Washington] was the beginning of it for me,” she said. “My understanding of the government is that it’s supposed to function from the bottom up, not the top-down.”

She complained that when she contacted her legislator, she was given the run-around as to why he was not holding a town hall meeting in her district. She was unable to voice her opinion to her Representative, so she hoped to make her voice heard at the AFP conference, which included a session where participants visited their Congressmens' offices.

That idea was echoed by Ingraham, who told the crowd on Friday night that participation in events like AFP’s was essential for reinforcing American values of liberty and freedom.

“If you don’t do what you’re doing tonight… you will, one of these days, perhaps spend your final years telling your children and your children’s children about this place you once called America,” she said.

Dr. Jim Miller, former budget director for President Reagan, Congressman Mike Pence, and health care TV-advertisement star Shona Holmes were others who presented at the first day of the summit. The event is held annually to expose participants to “free-market leaders” and effect legislative change in their hometowns, but this year, it took on a distinctly anti-health care flavor.

That was why Jonathon Johnson, of Charlotte, N.C., was there.

“Being a vet, I saw the problems with health care reform,” he said. “I believe in health care reform” – but not the kind that is currently working it’s way through Congress.

“It’s not broken, but this isn’t the way to fix it.”


Jillian Bandes

Jillian Bandes is the National Political Reporter for Townhall.com