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updated: 7/1/2012 9:23 PM

Rep. Joe Walsh says Obamacare is "the issue in 2012"

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  • Tammy Duckworth, left, opposes Joe Walsh in the 8th Congressional District for the 2012 General Election.

    Tammy Duckworth, left, opposes Joe Walsh in the 8th Congressional District for the 2012 General Election.


On the same day that musician Joe Walsh gave a concert in Schaumburg in honor of Tammy Duckworth, the candidate for the 8th Congressional District and Duckworth's opponent, Joe Walsh, delivered a performance of his own at a town-hall meeting in Elk Grove Village.

Before a packed room at Belvedere Events & Banquets, Walsh stoked the partisan fires as he gave his interpretation of the significance of Supreme Court's recent decision to uphold President Obama's health care plan, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the tiebreaking vote.

Thanks to the Supreme Court, Walsh said, health care is now a fulcrum issue for November.

"I said a couple of years ago, Obamacare was the most important issue in the year 2010," he said. "John Roberts, the Supreme Court, just made it the issue in 2012."

What the court did, he said, was put the issue squarely in the laps of the voters, adding, "They shouldn't have had to do it for us."

Walsh said the beauty of "Obamacare" is that it wraps up every other crucial issue dividing what he called "two strongly held visions," naming issues like jobs, the debt, health care and "our freedoms."

He said the court's decision has also forced Democrats, including his opponent, to talk about the issue, something he said they have avoided since the health care plan was signed into law.

"How much was Tammy Duckworth talking about Obamacare before last Thursday?" he asked. "How much was President Obama talking about Obamacare before last Thursday? Nada."

Now, Walsh said, "Every Democrat running for office now has to defend it."

Walsh noted the presence of cameras documenting the event, saying they were from the Duckworth campaign.

"Tammy Duckworth may want to spend this afternoon with the other Joe Walsh but she can't run away now from Obamacare," he added.

Throughout the two-hour event, Walsh, sometimes with the help of medical professionals quoting figures, presented a panorama of the dire consequences for such groups as seniors and the medical profession unless the health care legislation is repealed.

He also pointed out another aspect of the court's decision.

"The Supreme Court just told us last week that the government now has the power to tax you for not doing something," he said. "Why is that so easy for them to do? Because they don't think it's your money."

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