ESTHERVILLE, IOWA -- Barack Obama's campaigning through northern Iowa continued today as he held several town hall meetings around the state.
The first stop was the First Congregational United Church of Christ, where Obama told parishioners: “I was not raised in the church. I came to the church by way of work as a community organizer.”
He acknowledged that Iowans are overrun by political messages but said he hopes the messages will remind people of the importance of community service. “You dont have to run for president in order to make a difference,” Obama said.
After church, Obama made his way to three town hall meetings where he was most frequently asked about health care and immigration.
On health care, Obama said, if given the opportunity to design the health care system from scratch, he would look at France’s single payer plan. However, he admitted that a similar plan is impossible in the U.S. because the insurance industry cannot be eliminated.
“We have the legacy of employer based health care, and private insurance, and HMOs, you’ve got this whole infrastructure and they’re not just going to vanish.”
On the issue of immigration, Obama told an Emmetsburg voter that he does not blame immigrants for coming to the U.S. He said if he was living in Mexico and had trouble feeding his children, he might consider leaving as well.
“Here’s another way of looking at it, if you were out of work and Canada paid $100 dollars an hour, it would be interesting to see how many Americans were trying to get into Canada.”