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Shelby visits Pike County residents

State Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., made a stop in Troy late Tuesday for a Town Hall meeting.

Shelby gathered with several from the community at the Pike County Courthouse to discuss issues brewing in the nation’s capital.

“The state of the union’s kind of dire right now,” Shelby said. “People said they want change. Now they are starting to realize what change is.”

Shelby said that became apparent first with the plan to pass a national health care bill, a bill he hopes is now out of the picture.

“I hope that health care bill is dead. We have the best health care system in the world — not perfect,” Shelby said. “I believe Congress is beginning to hear the American people. There are things we can do to improve the health care system and lower costs.”

Shelby said one solution would be some type of insurance exchange system.

“I have not and will not support the Democratic health care plan,” he said.

Other challenges Shelby said will be addressing unemployment in the nationwide recession.

“2010’s going to be a tough year. We’re resilient people. We’re strong people, and we can bounce back,” Shelby said.

The bigger challenge, he said, will come for future generations.

“The debt is up to $14 trillion. The biggest challenge will be for the future of our country,” Shelby said.

Residents gathered at the town hall meeting shared their concerns with Shelby, as well — concerns like health care, social security and real estate.

Some were concerned about just where the money paid into the social security system was going.

“The problem with social security is it was strong when it started,” Shelby said.

“But, you can’t change it because politically you don’t have the votes to change it.”

Shelby also addressed housing issues, saying he believes the housing market will bounce back.

“We will boom again, but not this year.”

This is Shelby’s 24th term in office.