COVINGTON, LA (WVUE) - Dozens of people were turned away today from a town hall meeting with a Louisiana doctor and senator who finds himself in the middle of the national health care debate.
Sen. Bill Cassidy believes the plan passed by the House will gain little traction in the Senate.
They wanted to be part of the national discussion.
"The turnout should have been expected, there are a lot of people who feel their voices aren't being heard right now," said the Rev. Bill Miller of Covington.
"I wonder how many came from the south shore? I'm one," said Kate Hoffman from New Orleans.
Inside the St. Tammany School Board auditorium, Cassidy took questions for an hour before a crowd of about 200.
Cassidy, who has gained national attention on the health care issue, is a co-sponsor of the Cassidy-Collins Bill which calls for states to be able to opt in or opt out of health care. It also provides for transparency in prices, which Cassidy believes will hold medical costs down.
" We're in a process, and I'm in the middle of it, trying to communicate a better approach," said Cassidy.
"This is Bill Cassidy's potential moment, being a doctor in the Senate puts him in the right position to be influential," said FOX 8 political analyst Mike Sherman.
One thing is certain, Cassidy says the health care bill that came out of the House won't gain any traction in the Senate. The Congressional Budget Office says the bill in its current form would result in 23 million fewer people having health insurance.
"The American Health Care Act won't come before the Senate. It will be changed substantially," said Cassidy.
Cassidy believes the health care bill will come out of the Ssenate by mid-summer. Unlike the House plan, he says the Senate isn't likely to approve one until they've gotten a thorough cost analysis from the Congressional Budget Office.