On the first day of a listening tour on health care, an issue pivotal to the new Congress and his own re-election, U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd got an earful Friday.

The first comment came from a furious homeless shelter manager: He and his clients have no coverage, yet insurance giant American International Group got an $85 billion federal loan.

And don’t forget Countrywide, which gave Dodd a sweetheart mortgage whose terms he has so far refused to disclose:

Dodd was reluctant Friday to talk about one source of his poor polling: a controversy over favorable treatment extended him on mortgages by Countrywide Financial. Dodd has declined to release all relevant documents until the Senate Ethics Committee concludes its inquiry.

Asked if he still intended to wait for its conclusion before releasing the documents, Dodd said, “Not necessarily. … At some point soon we’ll do it.”

What’s the healthcare equivalent of being a “Friend of Angelo?” You can bet that if Dodd gets his way, there’ll be one, and we won’t get disclosure there, either . . . .

UPDATE: And that question is answered. It’s all at your expense, of course. But, then, what isn’t, these days?