The Columbian reports on freshman U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler's (R-WA, 3) evidently divisive and restive town hall meeting in Vancouver last night, where she had to defend her position on capping Medicare coverage. Herrera Beutler supports U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) plan to substitute ongoing medical coverage with one-time vouchers for seniors to help them buy coverage in the private market.

She also had to defend her position against raising the debt ceiling—which means, according to a column by lefty pugilist Paul Krugman—primary government line items such as Medicare and the military will have to be cut back.

One surprise the Columbian notes: Herrera Beutler indicated she supports the Democratic push to end subsidies for big oil companies—$21 billion over ten years is on the table—such as Exxon and BP. She did, however, vote along party lines with the Republicans to expand domestic oil drilling.

The article doesn't say whether Herrera Beutler was asked about her vote earlier this year to repeal the health care reform bill while accepting government-subsidized health care herself.

The Columbian reports:
My first priority is to preserve and protect Medicare for the present generation and for future generations,” she said. But when she insisted that the Republican budget blueprint for 2012 “protects Medicare,” a chorus of boos and catcalls and shouts of “liar” erupted in the auditorium.

Unfazed, she repeated her argument that the budget blueprint written by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which would convert Medicare to a voucher program and let seniors use the vouchers to buy insurance on the private market, actually ensures that Medicare will be there for future generations.

She compared the Ryan plan to the health care coverage members of Congress receive. ‘You get to choose your plan. It’s really that simple,” she said.