Obama Heads to Montana for Healthcare Town Hall

The president might face tougher questions about healthcare reform than he did in New Hampshire.


Protesters lined the streets leading to Sen. Ben Cardin's town hall meeting. (August 12)

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President Barack Obama is expected to take his healthcare reform message to Montana this afternoon for the second of three town hall meetings this week.

While Obama faced a mild-mannered crowd in Tuesday's town hall meeting in Democratic-leaning New Hampshire, the president could feel the heat this afternoon in Montana, a historically Republican state.

There, Obama plans to continue his criticism of insurance companies, who he says shouldn't be meddling in America's healthcare system.

As many as 500 protesters are expected to rally outside the Gallatin Field Airport hangar in Belgrade, Mont., where the event is being held at 2:55 p.m. EST.

Unlike at Tuesday's event, many of the tickets for today's meeting were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis at the city halls in Bozeman and Belgrade. Under the usual system, people have to sign up on the White House's Web site, be selected at random out of thousands who register, and show up to receive the tickets.

Tickets to some of the most heated town hall meetings this week, such as that of Sen. Arlen Specter in Lebanon, Pa., and Sen. Claire McCaskill in Hillsboro, Mo., were distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

While protestors have not confronted the president directly, many lawmakers have borne the brunt of angry outbursts that have disrupted town hall meetings nationwide. Near the end of a meeting yesterday in Kittanning, Pa., an audience member accused Specter of planting some of his questions and called him a "socialist, fascist pig."

The White House expects about 1,300 people to attend today's town hall in Montana.

Obama is expected to hold another town hall meeting Saturday in Grand Junction, Colo.