Updated: Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009, 6:05 PM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 11 Aug 2009, 6:05 PM EDT
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Indiana Congressman Baron Hill is on the hot seat in the health care reform debate.
Hill is a leader of the so-called Blue Dog Democrats, Moderates and Conservatives who recently won a health care compromise.
But, his criticism of health care opponents has Republicans demanding an apology.
Hill traveled outside his southern Indiana district to address the Indianapolis Rotary Club Tuesday where he made no effort to avoid controversy, criticizing the health care reform opponents who disrupt town hall meetings.
"They have only one purpose in mind and that's to blow up the meetings that are being held and that serves no one, ladies and gentlemen," said Hill.
Hill recently called them political terrorists, a term he avoided in his speech but not in a 24-Hour News 8 interview.
"If you just want to blow up a meeting that's a political terrorist," said Hill.
Hill sits on a committee that passed one of the reform bills. He voted yes after a field hearing was held in his district on July 27. As a result Congressman Hill is the subject of reporting in the Washington Post and radio ads from Republicans.
GOP ad: "He folded like a lawn chair. Baron Hill. He threw in the towel.”
"So, my life started to change about a month ago," said Hill.
Hill told the rotary that it would be a shame if health care reform fails this year and he found a sympathetic audience.
"They have to do something because it's so expensive," said Ron Zargarian, a Rotarian.
Connie Dillman, a Rotarian said, "People are so frightened and people are putting out things that are frightening to people and I agree with the Congressman that we have to get back to what the facts are."
But, Baron Hill has no town meetings of his own scheduled, at least not yet.
"We'll I'm going to hold a town hall meeting, but I want to make sure we get it under control," said Hill.
Before leaving he thanked Rotarians for their civil questions. Hill said that when he holds a town hall meeting it will be a daylong affair.
In the meantime, he plans to meet with constituents in his office in groups of just three or four.
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