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Large crowds rally in Green Bay and Madison on national health care

The debate on national health care reform was heard loud and clear at two large events in Wisconsin last night.

More than 1,700 opponents of the current House reform package attended a discussion in Middleton, held by the conservative Americans for Prosperity.

And around 450 supporters of the legislation joined House Democrat Steve Kagen at a rally in Green Bay.

John Stossel, co-anchor of ABC's 20-20 news-magazine, told the Middleton crowd that President Obama's health plans would lead to higher costs and fewer choices for patients.

Stossel and other speakers advocated a free-market approach with higher deductibles that encourage people to compare prices and take better care of themselves.

Stossel also said something had to be done with Medicare, which is not directly part of the House plan.

Stossel called Medicare a Ponzi scheme that would lead to government rationing and the so-called "death panels" that Sarah Palin said would happen under the Democratic House reform bill.

Some supporters of the package also had their voices heard at the event, billed as a forum to explore both sides.

Similar sessions are planned today in La Crosse and Wausau.

In Green Bay, Congressman Kagen told supporters he would not vote for a bill that lets insurers deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

And he said the final package would create an open and competitive marketplace.