Eshoo's staff seemed to have worked out some of the kinks after the first meeting, held on Wednesday of last week, failed to connect some callers. Eshoo said that meeting was a success, however, with more than 7,000 participants.
She also announced this week that she has scheduled a face-to-face forum on health care issues for Wednesday, Sept. 2, at Gunn High School in Palo Alto.
Meanwhile, two more "telephone town hall" meetings were planned for Thursday, Aug. 27, after the Voice went to press. District residents could sign up for the meetings — held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and from 6:40 to 7:40 p.m. — by filling out an online form on Eshoo's Web site.
Responding to questions Monday, Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, defended the need for health care reform and said that much of the added costs will be offset by savings by making health care delivery more efficient and rational.
During last week's meeting, Eshoo elaborated on why she endorses the much-discussed "public option."
"I'm four-square for it and let me tell you why," she said. "I believe that in the reforms that need to be done, the public option will bring about competition — competition between private health plans and the government-run but nonprofit health care plan. The public option will be government-run, but it is a nonprofit plan that will be available to people by the Exchange.
"Like Medicare, it will not be funded by government subsidies, but solely by premiums it collects, like private plans do. I think it will bring about real competition — will bring about cost savings. It will give people a choice, and the public option will be required to follow the same regulations that are placed on private insurance companies, including staying financially solvent.
"The whole issue of lowering health care costs and improving efficiencies and driving costs down are absolutely essential. If we don't bring the costs down that are part of the overall health-care system in our country, it could bankrupt our country."
Eshoo added: "I think it would be a march to folly if in fact the public option were dropped."
The congresswoman also provided an overview on the current state of health care reform as it works its way through the House.
"There are three House committees that have responsibility over the issue of health care," she said. "Each committee wrote its own section of legislation and passed it. Now these three versions have to be melded into one bill to be considered by the full House when the House reconvenes next month." Eshoo is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, one of the three committees charged with drafting portions of the bill.
In response to earlier press reports that she hadn't scheduled a town hall session on health care, Eshoo said she has held more face-to-face town halls on public issues than almost any other member of Congress.
The face-to-face "Health Care Town Hall Meeting," hosted by Anna Eshoo, will be held Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Gunn High School's Spangenberg Theatre, 780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto. More information is available on Eshoo's Web site, eshoo.house.gov.