Gov. Schweitzer is talking right now
http://www.kpax.com/ has live coverage. PBO should start speaking in about 15 minutes.
Gov. Schweitzer made a point of asking the crowd to be civil and respectful.
Approximately 800 tickets were handed out on a first come, first serve basis at the Bozeman and Belgrade City Halls. Limit: 2 per person.
Approximately 1300 people are in attendance. It's been a rainy day today so it will be humid and sticky in the hangar.
Air Force One is on final approach to the airport.
We know at least one tea-bagger will be there.
A Three Forks woman was the first to get a townhall ticket, after waiting outside Bozeman's city hall for nearly 18 hours. She says she has a question and a comment for President Obama.
"At what point is the US government going to be fiscally responsible and accountable and quit printing money. And the second, quit trashing the constitution and get back to it," she said.
Tester, Baucus, Schweitzer and Bozeman mayor are waiting at the base of the mobile steps for PBO to de-plane.
First Family deplanes, Michelle is wearing a white skirt and very pink sweater.
Apparently, the protester zone is a half mile away from the airport. Various groups/agendas (pro & con) standing out in a wet field.
The reporter said at one point all the groups were chanting "we want...,we want..." and then you hear 5 or 6 different buzz words.
Recurrent cancer survivor, Katie Gibson?, shares her story of insurance nightmares during her 17 year battle as a cancer survivor.
She introduces PBO. The crowd goes wild. Not hearing any booing or catcalls.
Standard introductions, some humor, a shot at TV loving a ruckus while ignoring less contentious meeting, relates other examples of people losing coverage when they needed it most.
Fight the fear!!
No pre-selected questions. No pre-screened questioners.
Q1: I am unemployed, children on Medicaid. Have you looked at Canadian and European models?
Q2: Medicare is the best system. We can all agree on that. How do we keep costs down so as to not endanger Medicare?
Q3: Single mom, college student, 2kids, one is 11, Autistic, Epileptic, Diabetic on Medicaid. What will this reform mean to his Medicaid, can he still recv it?
Q4: NRA member from Ekalaka, MT (WAY down in the SE corner of MT). How are you gonna pay for this without raising taxes? You said you wouldn't raise taxes. (ed. That there was a real Montanan, folks)
Q5: I lost my job at a non-profit. Thanks to the stimulus package I got a new job. But I lost my insurance in between. What can you do to help people who have a gap in coverage?
Q6: Medicare pays 94% of hospital costs, Medicaid pays 84%, Private insurance pays 135%. Will the public option become underfunded?
Q7: Member of Montana Ambassadors, gal in a cowboy hat. Owns a small lumber company but the company is too small for her recently laid-off employees to qualify for COBRA. How can that be adressed?
Q8: PBO wants a skeptic. He sells insurance. Insurance industry has some very good proposals. Why did you change strategy from "health care reform" to "health insurance reform"?
Q9: She wants to share MT's Preamble. She reads it.
We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.
Thank you Montana!
(Ed.--Thank you all for taking part in this liveblog!)