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July 1st, 2009
08:26 AM ET

What Concerns You about Health Care Reform?

President Obama will hold a town hall-style session on health care today. The event will take questions from you via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as from the live audience in the auditorium. According to the latest CNN opinion research poll, only a small majority of Americans support President Obama’s health care reform plan.

From everything you’ve read or heard about the President’s plan so far, what part of it most concerns you? Please let us know by adding a comment here.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (182 Responses)
  1. Steve

    It concerns me that not enough change is coming, not enough reform, not enough money saving measures put in place for the future, while also not getting all people covered or having it available to them, and yet still costing trillions, while not accomplishing much.

    Seems like the WH is caving into pressure to water down their plans to satisfy those making profits off a way too costly and unfair system that is fine as long as businesses pick up the health care tab, fine as long as you make good money, but well over 50% of Americans Do not make good money and right now huge amounts are jobless.
    Satisfying the power elite and profiteering companies seems like the wrong direction again.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  2. Betty

    I am against this health care plan the country cannot afford it and I do not believe that it has been studied and analyzed. I believe that we need something but not this.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  3. Steve S.

    What concerns me the most is the urgency this issue is being pushed through congress and the senate with little time being taken to ensure the quality of healthcare doesn't fall. A large concern with most americans is the bedside manners of the providers they come in contact with. They will argue the quality has already fallen. Lets not let it slip more just to raise quantity of those covered.

    Also, Obama is not addressing the cost hospitals are billing to insurance carriers. The cost of healthcare continues to rise even though tests are becoming simpler to perform. Lets reduce costs and more people can afford the insurance. Lets not just attack insurers, they are the ones who have to cover the rising costs, which directly influence the rising premiums. Keep in mind, insurance is a business; you wouldn't get into a car accident and then run to geico and get coverage, they'll laugh at you. The same goes for all other insurance.

    Obama needs to address the cost hospitals are charging for the poor care they are supplying. Not attacking the insurance providers.

    The more I listen to Obama attack insurance, the more I believe he is just trying to get back at them for denying his mother coverage because she didn't prepare for the future and get insurance before she got sick, again, back to the geico analogy...

    July 1, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  4. Marcia Schneider

    Why do you think many people who have health insurance through their employers are fearful of a plan that will cover everyone? Even though their coverage is getting less comprehensive every year, co-pays are going up, tests and treatments are not covered. My coverage with a school district is good – but here in California, 10,000's of school staff are being laid off – what happens to these families if they become ill or injured?

    July 1, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  5. Aaron Azevedo

    What concerns me about Obama's plan is that it will eliminate our current system and coverage choices. I understand that he says he will not eliminate the choice, but a public choice in a capitalist economy will force one more affordable option, thus making it harder for private options to compete. I fear any public option will passively eliminate my private options. In order for me to support any public option, it would have to be strictly limited to low income, tax paying, US citizens. Oh but wait – Isn't that Medicaid?

    July 1, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  6. mary centeno

    THE ONLY THING THAT CONCERNS ME IS HOW MUCH WILL IT COST ME. NO DETAILS ON PRICE. PLEASE GIVE AN EXAMPLE. I AM A SINGLE PERSON. EMPLOYEED WITH NO HEALTH CARE COVERAGE. I WORK A LOW PAYING JOB, CAN NOT AFFORD BASIC HEALTH COVERAGE HOW MUCH WIL I PAY THANKS

    July 1, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  7. Morris

    I have two concerns about the current healthcare reform discussion:
    1) Little or no attention is being paid to the excess costs that are in the system because most health plans are either for-profit, or act as if they were. The result is that anywhere from 20 to 30% of insurance premiums are spent on marketing or in returning a profit to shareholders. While there are many ways to take cost out of the system, this represents perhaps the biggest opportunity.
    2) Opponents of a public option are using the "big lie" without being challenged by reporters - they claim that a public option will eliminate choice, implying people won't be able to pick their own doctors. But examine their language closely and you find what they are really doing is expressing their fear that private companies would be unable to compete against the public option and would be eliminated over time as a result. But if private health insurance is actually superior, this should not be a problem. So which is it?

    July 1, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  8. Lynn

    Against health care program, its going to cost everyone big time! Worried about where the government is headed already.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  9. Rocky

    I believe that we have the best health care system in the world and the reform needs to be focused on the insurance industry that is the main cause of skyrocking costs.

    July 1, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  10. Deborah Daniels

    My husband is retiring next year and we are concerned about having medical insurance for me. He's 67 so he'll be covered, but I'm 61 and laid off. We won't be able to afford $300.00 a month for my medical insurance. Plus my chances of competing with younger job seakers is bleak. I need a gov't program to help cover my medical insurance. HELP!

    July 1, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  11. maria camacho

    I am concerned about the high cost of premiums, and the pre-existing clauses which make it almost impossible to shop for new health insurance coverage... we are stuck....the insurance companies have all the control. I am hopeful that Obama and Congress can help with both of these important healthcare issues. Please give the people some control over getting around these pre-existing clauses, while also lowering our premiums.

    Maria

    July 1, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  12. Ron

    What concerns me is that I've heard no talk about removing the profits in health insurance. My understanding is that upwards of 30 cent of every healthcare dollar spent goes to profits. Why can't we require all health insurance companies to be non-profit? Then they can compete with any public plan. I'm a member of a non-profit insurance company which provides auto, life and property coverage and has been rated #1 for the past 20 years. Why can't we do the same in healthcare coverage?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  13. Richard W. Clem

    I am against any form of organized health care by the Government. Every time the Government gets involved, it turns out to be a failure. Just look at Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as prime examples. My mother raised five children without any health care and we all turned out great. She doctored us when ever we needed it and had some extremely good home remedies. The only time I saw a doctor in 18 years was to have my appendix removed at age 12. I might add that health care was affordable for every one until the Government got involved and drove up health care costs. Now people see a doctor for any minor cold or anything. Probably 99% of doctor visits are unnecessary. The Government needs to only get involved in governing issues, not personal issues.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  14. Constance

    What concerns me the most is the absurd idea of penalizing people who don't have health care for which I am one . It makes no sence at all to penalize some one for somehing they cannot afford. I find it to be ridiculous that people in our goverment who have health care along with thier famillies at the tax payers expence want to denie others the same right.

    Constance

    July 1, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  15. Eva

    What concerns me is that if this health care reform gets passed is I have not heard anything as to what it is going to cost an individual to have this insurance that is going to be required. We are going to be made to get insurance but I have heard no one say what an individual was going to have to pay for it. I cannot afford insurance now and if forced to pay a huge amount then I will be losing what income I have coming in.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  16. Amy

    My fear is actually that the reform wont take place. I am afraid President obama wont receive the backup and support he needs. I am an american citizen who has bee living in germany for the last two years. The healthcare system here is socialized and is one of the main reasons why i do not plan to move with my family back to the USA. IN the USA i was always struggling. i was a single mother and could barley pay all my bills, let alone all the large medical ones. Here in germany we have to pay more taxes but in the long run we save so much more because for those who have healthcare problems, you can be treated quickly and as needed without worrying about how you will pay rent. i am embarassed of fellow americans who state all these irrational things about healthcare. they should get out and see what some other countries are doing. America, in my opinion, is no longer the best all around country to live in. My hope is that obama can make the changes that need to be made so that it might be more possible for me to come back home with my family to live.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  17. Shirley Matzek

    Cancer survivors and others with serious medical conditions cannot get healthcare because of pre-existing conditions. Often they lose a job due to year-long cancer or other medical treatments–resulting in bankruptcy and/or home foreclosure! Single payer such as Medicare would take care of their needs. We as a country owe them care. Middle-aged, middle income workers are limited from seeing their doctor if they change jobs and are so fortunate to have a "new" health care plan–which them limits them to the "doctors" in that plan. Medicare recipients can see any doctor of their choosing–making care much more affordable because of continuity of care. Medicare is exceptionally cost effective with low administrative costs. Please make healthcare AVAILABLE to all and AFFORDABLE for all.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  18. Dorothy, Kentucky

    My comment about the president's plan is "We desperately need the health care reform and in particular we need the public option" As a health care provider let me just say someone is in control of the healthcare that we're getting now. Mostly insurance companies that say whether or not a certain test or procedure is warranted. The public doesn't generally know about the fight that goes on betwee their doctor and the insurance companies. So for those who are falling for the fear tactics and talking points handed out by the republicans. Just know you don't have a choice now regarding your healthcare, you just pay more not to. I pray that congress will work with our president and look out for those of us that are not on wall street for once.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  19. Kari

    In computing the costs of health care reform, has anyone taken into consideration the current price tag that is spent covering those who are uninsured when they do get health care? Usually, they go to the ER because they cannot afford to see a doctor before they are really sick, then they cannot pay for the ER to treat them. So the cost is picked up by the Feds, state or the hospital itself. If these people are covered, they would be able to go to the doctor to avert the more expensive cost of the ER.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  20. Alexander Mackenzie

    My "fear" is just what it will cover. My federal bc/bs was very fast to stop covering anything that medicare did not. By that I speak of a specific item, my wifes maintenance of charcotfoot was required every 6 or 7 weeks, when she turned 65 we were immediately informed by bc/bc that medicare only paid for such visits once every
    10 weeks so they would as well. Even tho they now were second banana and paid much less than previous. We had to cover each 2nd visit at full cost.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  21. Ralph Patch

    Hi,
    The thing that concerns me most is that the healthcare bill will get watered down and will not give everyone comprehensive coverage. My wife and I are in our mid fifties. My wife has insurance through her employer and I have no coverage. We both have pre-existing conditions and can't even afford to pay the twenty percent she has to pay for medical care. If I develope a serious condition, it could ruin us financially. If we can't get this done now, I don't see how we'll ever do it.
    Ralph Patch

    July 1, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  22. John Whitmore

    Many companies bought into the concept that health care would be established as a self-contained, profit making cost center. Excess premiums paid in were justified as a hedge against rising medical costs. As the books were closed out each year, the excess taken in became income to the business and became part of the expected source of funds for executive compensation, dividends, etc.

    My question is this – is corporate america really ready to close out these corporate "piggy banks" and run these programs at cost?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  23. Kari

    My own (idiot and Republican) senators have stated that they think giving a "Tax Break' to uninsured Americans would the the best approach. So, how is that going to help? I'm out of work right now and cannot afford health insurance. I don't pay taxes, except on my unemployment. How the heck is a "tax break" that I would not see until the next year ever help me afford to pay for the health insurance I need today???

    July 1, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  24. Kim

    As a medical transcriptionist I want to be sure patients understand the ramifications of the electronic medical record that the president is going to make mandatory in hospitals and medical clinics. I've done this job for 26 years and I have seen so many mistakes made by physicians. These would have been deadly mistakes if I had not caught them and notified the physician so he could make corrections. Everyone please check their medical records. I just had a physician dictate that a patient was ALLERGIC to a drug and then he prescribed the drug to the patient! I notified the physician and hopefully they got in touch with the patient before this drug killed them. Medical transcription is a vital industry and the physicians are going to make mistakes with this electronic medical record. I hate to think of people dying because the president did away with my job.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  25. sandyinohio

    I am concerned about Obama & the Dems. in general spending too much money that they all admit we don't have! Also, I cannot help but wonder what people are thinking in insisting we have a public option. Communists plain & simple folks: no choices, everyone the same...poorer! Look at these government programs: Amtrak, postal service, Medicaid, Medicare, Fannie & Freddie, and social security. Are any of them cost effective? Are any succeeding w/o massive govt. subsidy? Are any NOT broke? How can people be so gullible? This president will say anything to "even the score" of his childhood gripes. He does not respect American history, culture, religions, or its people.
    How this Chicago thug stays in office is beyond me; seems he breaks laws about bankruptcy, extending federal powers , overtaking private companies, etc constantly and no one has the nerve to threaten impeachment. I guess that only applies to sexual deviants huh? No wait; Nixon was considered too if he hadn't had the decency to resign! Can you tell how disgusted I am with the current "regime"?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  26. maria camacho

    We own a small business and currently are charged 2430.90 per month for health insurance for a family of four. That price does not include dental or vision care. At this rate, we will not be able to afford this for much longer? However, we are afraid of going without the coverage because we stand to lose everything we have worked so hard for. Both my husband and I have pre-exisiting conditions, and I have tried to obtain health insurance through a different company but they do not even want to give us a quote because of our pre-existing conditions...if this is not discrimination then I don't know what is. How is this fair or humane? Everyone should have health coverage provided by the US government. Out of the top 25 industrialized nations, the US is the only one that does not provide a national healthcare system for it's people. Personally, I know my life would be almost stress free if I wasn't worried about paying $2430.90 per month for my health insurance coverage. Social dwarinism is alive and strong in the US. This is very sad. ....

    July 1, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  27. wayland dye

    THE FACTS ARE SIMPLE DO SOMETHING OR DO NOTHING. WE HAVE HAD DO NOTHING FOR FAR TO LONG. NOW WE HAVE DO SOMETHING AND THE DO NOTHINGS ARE SQUAKING CHANGE IS GOOD, NOT ALWAYS EASY.BUT FINALLY A YES WE CAN, BACK TO THE TURE AMERICAN SPIRT . NOTHING IS IMPOSSABLE IF WE WORK TOGETHER. 100% BEHIND OBAMA.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  28. Karen

    Children aging off of parents' health care face a real problem. Many kids just starting out either cannot find a job at all or cannot afford the steep costs that health insurance companies charge to maintain the same level of coverage when the young person is no longer covered on the parents' plan.

    I am also generally concerned about the impunity with which plans such as Kaiser fix prices. My adult son who aged off my plan can get the same coverage for either 204.00/month or 100.00/month. The 204.00 number represents what is called a conversion plan and is guaranteed coverage. The 100.00 is the cost for the same coverage if he applies as an individual (rather than converting) and is accepted. PROBLEM: He has applied 3 times for the 100.00 plan and each time Kaiser has failed to even process the application – we have tried both paper and electronic routes to apply and cannot get an honest evaluation or decision on the more affordable coverage. Meanwhile we have to continue to pay the more expensive price which I can ill-afford because if we let the coverage lapse we will face the problem wherein few.no insurance companies want to issue coverage tp someone who is currently uninsured.

    So how will the new plan handle young people who are just starting out and/or aging off parent's plans? Also how will the plan address problems with price-fixing and denial of service and other sneaky bureacracy?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  29. Ron

    All the criticism about a public plan in that we don't want the government standing between the patient and the doctor. Health care delivery as it stands now has the insurance companies standing between a patient and the doctor. We seen tragic results with that scenario.

    Additionally, the criticism surrounding a public plan and having to wait for a procedure...we have that today. It's called HMO. Check out the wait for a non emergency procedure if you're on an HMO plan. I've experienced weeks. This was coverage provided by a major CA health insurer.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  30. Perl

    Other countries have this "health care" and it isn't working. Their taxes are 19% and higher just to cover what isn't working. Why do you think it would work here? Have you or your staff really done any research on this at all?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  31. Norm Matzek

    $300 – $400 billion is wasted annually by the insurance industry by competing sales forces, marketing and advertising costs, high executive pay, lobbying legislators (this MUST stop), and researching applicants to see what their medical risk is before accepting them into the program! Medicare type coverage for all would eliminate this waste.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  32. dp

    What I don't understand is the cost. One of the reasons Obama says we need reform is because of the rising costs of insurance. Well, if fixing health care is going to INCREASE what the insured already pay (by taxing health care benefits), then I say don't fix it. Aren't the insured already paying for the uninsured in their costs? Why should it cost me more if they become insured? This just doesn't make sense. Is there anyone saying private insurance costs will go down?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  33. Dennis Bironas

    I'm concerned that the President's plan will be loosely or NOT implemented.

    My circumstances are a little different. I retired from Delphi November of 2008 and healthcare was part of the retirement deal (as was retirement pay). Early this year the salary retirees lost Delphi's participation and so the retirees were given the choice of choosing a health care plan or drop all coverage (retirees to pay for the whole amount). Consequently, I dropped from Blue Cross BS to Advantage which was about $400 less a month. My current retirement pay, which could change due to Delphi's bankrupt plea, could be 1/2 if it defaults to PBGC.

    Currently the healthcare cost is $1400.00 per month (1/2 of retirement pay).

    I cannot get other healthcare since I have a preexixting condition (insulin dependant iabetic).

    I welcome an alternative healthcare plan that would not be dependant upon preexisting conditions. Insurance picks and cooses to maximize their profits and have nothing to do with health care. It's all about profits. So............................

    Will the Presidents plan exclude preexisting conditions?????
    Hopefully it will. I am willing to pay a reasonable amount for healthcare of my choice for my wife and I.

    Are there any projections of cost?
    How soon could his plan take effect?

    My understanding is that other health care insurance companies are against his plan because it'll eat into their profits.

    The adds currently showing on TV against his reform are against his plan. They ( the cdd ampaigns) are one sided and don't tell the truth (at the least are one sided).

    I would like to be informed of the pros and cons so that I can make an informed choice. I want the whole truthful story instead of the one sided partial truths that I've been hearing.

    CNN appears to be in the driver's seat to provide the whole story.

    Respectifully

    Dennis Bironas

    July 1, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  34. mike mc

    I am really concern about the health care reform.

    1. I am retired and over 30yrs my benefits were bargained for and I don't to lose them now.

    2. I am concern that we will have managed care and as we get older care will with held from us.

    3. In the future there will be a lower amount of physicians and poor health care given and long lines

    4. I don't want a Canadian or England health system.

    Now I do believe people who don't have health care need it, but not by taking my health care away from me. Improve Medcaid or have a Co-Op system.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  35. Kari

    My concern is that the insurance companies have not been and may not be held accountable for performing their part of the whole scheme. My son had health insurance, which was paid on time. He was then an a car wreck and suffered a tramatic brain injury. The health insurance company required him to call them for each and every bill they received to repeat the same information they had already received from prior bills. They would not let me call for him and he was really not capable, at that time, to comply with their ridiculous demands for them to pay the bills. They did not pay all of his hospital bills and he ended up filing for bankruptcy. So how will this new plan avoid this type of rip off by the insurance company?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  36. maria camacho

    Two thousand four hundred thirty dollars per month...yes, that is how much we are paying for health insurance for a family of four...This is totally unacceptable.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  37. Luke in Oklahoma City

    Me and about 13,000 other families are members of a medical bill sharing co-op. We split medical bills amongst ourselves and simply pay outright directly to health care facilities. Cutting insurance out of the picture has cut our medical bills by half. Shows you how worthless insurance is.

    So, people like me don't have health insurance. And we all don't want health insurance.

    Supposing that Obamacare passes, what happens to people like us who don't have insurance and don't want to feed the pork that is health insurance companies (and now the government).

    Luke in Oklahoma City

    July 1, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  38. Becky Clem

    i am very concerned that Obama's plan will be nothing more than socialized medicine. It has not been successful in Canada or in Europe. My husband had to go to a hospital while vacationing in Italy, and we were shocked at the health care we received. We are both retired and have excellent health care now which we have WORKED FOR AND PAID FOR and I expect EVERYONE to do the same. It is only fair!! I am afraid that his (Obama's) plan will cater to illegal immigrants and persons who could, BUT WILL NOT, spend their money on health insurance. I am not opposed to all LEGAL AMERICANS receiving care, but I am opposed to not getting a needed colonoscopy, a yearly mammogram or other necessary test just because the government doesn't approve of it. PLEASE, LEAVE MY HEALTH CARE ALONE!! I don't know how to take care of all the uninsured, but PLEASE LEAVE MY HEALTH CARE ALONE!! My husband and I have worked for ours and we deserve to keep it AS IS!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  39. Luke in Oklahoma City

    I forgot to add, when those medical bills are split among 13,000 families, the cost per month is between $200 to $300 per month (depending on how many are in your family: 1, 2 , 3 or more). So, my family pays around $300 a month for full coverage and no deductible. Way cheaper than insurance and MUCH better coverage.

    For example, our baby will be born in October, and all medical bills related to her birth are already paid for at HALF the cost insurance would be billed. We selected the doctor and the hospital and we are saving money.

    We don't want insurance.

    What does Obamacare mean for my family?

    Luke

    July 1, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  40. Amy

    to clarify how easy it is for me here in germany... i pay a little over 200 euros a month. this covers my family of three. it covers just about everything. seriously i just had an emergency root canal (they only had 15 minutes notice) they took care of the problem in 30 minutes and i paid nothing! also, when we first moved here i had to go to the emergency room for a problem i have always had. when we left (after an overnight stay visit) i only paid a 10 euro copay. the country is not , by any means, poor because of the system. everything my family needs is taken care of based only on the monthly payment and a 10 euro copay each three months (you only pay this copay if you go to the dr. and it is only paid once in that 3 month period) there is no question about if you have a preexisting condition, no questions at all. you send in a report about how much money you make and each person pays a percentage from their income. this way everyone pays the same percentage and the people who make more, pay more in total numbers but its very fair and makes life so much easier for all ages and incomes.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  41. serg

    I will agree to this health care IF ALL our gov't employees also adapt to this system without options for personal health. It is time the arm chair quarter backs feel the pain and frustration of life in these United States. Maybe then they would better understand how America works as they obviously have no clues and only till then will our process be fixed correctly!
    Just one other item, they should also be put onto a 401K plan and all pensions should be terminated as has happened/happening in the private sector.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  42. Brian Earle

    I have no doubt that if the government offers affordable health care that companies will flock to the program and we will end up with a single payer system. The government can administer the program for the same cost or less than the corporations can and they do not need to make a profit, which should lead to 20% to 25% lower rates. However I do not see this reducing the rates of hospital stays, doctors rates and medical device prices. These companies have a strong lobby in Washington and will make every effort to keep the prices high. If the doctors and hospitals charged the same rates negotiated by the insurance companies to people who do not have insurance it may not be so critical to be without insurance, most of the rates I have encounterd are atleast 50% less if paid by insurance. If the rates were lower most of us could pay as we go and have a catastrophic health insurance policy to cover major illnesses.

    I am glad the president is doing something.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  43. Steve S.

    I would like to revise and extend my remarks by simply adding that I am tired of the handouts in this country.

    I read in some of these comments the fact that people deserve this, or that people without jobs and pay no taxes need this. Nobody deserves to be paid for by everybody else, nobody; well, unless you are Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck and protected the world from armageddon. Second of all, if you don't have a job, and pay no taxes, then you aren't providing for your own health care. You are relying on others to provider for your healthcare. We have our trouble too and don't feel like paying for you and ourselves.

    Also, regarding the pre-existing clause... most companies have a waiting period, so wait. You are a huge risk if you are sick and then try to get insurance. You will cost the company much more than you will pay in premiums. They aren't going to deny you forever, just for the waiting period. They are simply asking that you pay them some money before you take more than you give. Stop crying about it. If it's that big of a deal, get insurance before you find out your sick, it's called preparing for the future. Maybe Obama should be talking about preparing for the future instead of telling 20% americans that 80% of americans will pay for them.

    Also, for-profit companies spend 80-85 cents on the dollar directly towards medical bills. The rest go to overhead in order to process your claims in a timely manner and to negotiate down costs. Read press releases and quarterly earnings once in a while before forming an opinion.

    Most of the other comments here are right on, how much will this cost those of us who have jobs to pay for those without jobs but with their hands out?

    Obama is driving this independant towards the right.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  44. D MacDougall

    When will President Obama's health care plan factor in the cost of millions of illegal aliens: heart transplants are costly.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  45. Elaine

    Is the Obama plan going to interfere with people who already have good insurance? If he is going to cut down on "unneeded" procedures, etc, does that include health plans that now don't need referrals for specialist, test, MRIs, etc? If not, I guess I can be more positive about his reform, but I think that it's going to interfere with private companies too on what they can and can not do . Who's going to pay money for private insurance if you can only get the same coverage as people getting it cheap or free? The horror stories about Englands health care are true. Too many people and not enough hospital beds, medicines,etc. Just google NHS(Englands health care system) and any health concern(Waiting times for appointments , surgery)

    July 1, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  46. Beth_Albany_OR

    Healthcare for all taxpayers or healthcare for none – Listen up elected officials.

    All elected officials (republicans or democrats) have not considered a very obvious fact; every taxpayer in the United States, whether they have healthcare insurance or not, is already paying taxes for healthcare. What? Yep. From our President to elected officials, staff, and government department employees, anyone whose job is paid for by taxpayers, has healthcare benefits paid for by every taxpaying citizen of the United States.

    So . . . a 16-year-old working very part-time at McDonalds, is paying taxes; and some portion of those taxes are paying for government employees to enjoy healthcare benefits, even though that 16-year-old has NO access or does not qualify for any healthcare insurance.

    It is not such a great leap of thought that those who are paying taxes, but have no access to healthcare insurance or ability to pay for it, would really appreciate that some of their tax dollars would actually pay for an affordable healthcare insurance for themselves.

    All of our elected officials, who enjoy their healthcare benefits, have no right to block taxpayers or the disadvantaged; any citizen living in the United States, from receiving the same healthcare benefit taxpayers are already paying for.

    Healthcare for everyone is as bipartisan as it gets; every single political affiliation, ethic group, and social-eco status group of citizens have the exact same need; healthcare. It is so sad that taxpaying citizens are filing bankruptcy once, twice, or more because they don’t have healthcare and/or don’t have any financial ability to pay for it, all the while still paying their taxes so that the United States government employees can have great healthcare benefits.

    Every elected official, republican or democrat or independent, in a position to vote on healthcare reform bill have an absolute duty to taxpayers who elected them to unanimously vote YES, or give up their own healthcare benefit to reduce taxes so that taxpayers have more discretionary money to seek out and get their own healthcare insurance.

    Out of three hundred million citizens, it is so hard to understand why someone would not have made this very simple connection. I bet if more people understood this concept; the 2010 elections would most likely boot out every single elected official associated with any political affiliation that didn’t support the healthcare reform legislation and elect officials who they are confident would vote YES.

    The time is now for “We All the People” to get this message strongly across to every single official we elected, before those official find themselves on the unemployment line right behind the 9.2%+ who have lost their jobs and most likely any healthcare insurance they once enjoyed.

    Here’s an idea – let’s pass a bill that all of these employees give up their medical insurance or QUIT there jobs so that all the TAXAYERS who have been paying their salary and medical benefits, who are currently standing in the unemployment line, could apply for their jobs.

    Food or health for thought.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  47. Shirley Matzek

    The comments about the other countries just don't ring true. Even if those waits are happening–at least there is care. In America, if you have a pre-existing condition or no healthcare insurance because of unemployment or lack of funds, you get no care. Should you just die? We also hear about the emergency rooms not being able to handle those who have no other choice–and we certainly know that is the most costly way to care for individuals!

    July 1, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  48. Kathy

    What concerns me is that we are paying 815 $ a month for our helath ins .. its more than our house payment ..
    what kind of break do those of us who are paying these outreagous prices get ...
    You can't just go do health care for everyone and not gives us who are responsible enough to carry it a break too !!

    Otherwise we should all all just drop our coverage and get it free to ? I bet not ..

    July 1, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  49. Dale

    I'm concerned that for the first time in history WE have an opportunity to fix a huge problem for the people. Instead of working together to come up with win/win type solutions, the Republicans (in bed with the insurers of today) are putting up roadblocks left and right. Don't they know that WE know that they are all greedy and on the side of money? This is their BIG chance to work TOGETHER with Democrats to fix something the PEOPLE really need. I would think a lot more of them if they did. But I know that is asking too much. They'd rather see the world go down in flames than the Democrats win something. I thought politicians were supposed to be working for the people. Well I guess they are, the RICH people.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  50. Terri

    I am on disabilty. How will this health care reform affect my social security, medicare and medicaid?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  51. Joseph Cermatori

    Here's my concern about the current health care reforms under consideration: will the benefits they extend be made accessible to domestic partners and/or same-sex couples in civil unions?

    July 1, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  52. Danielle Osborne

    I personally don't care if the choices for healthcare are diminished, nor do I care if the quality goes down. I am someone who has no healthcare AT ALL. I would welcome any healthcare, I suffer from high blood pressure, am showing signs of type II diabetes and I am becoming anemic from lack of a surgery that I desperately need but can't have because i have no health care. I haven't been to a Dr. in years and I haven't been on medication for years because I can't afford to go to the Dr. yet in my state I don't qualify for Medicaid. I listen to all the people whining and complaining and I wonder how many more people like me there are out there that have a very poor quality of life because we have no health care... no one ever stops to think about people like us though.

    July 1, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  53. Kathy

    don't people who don't have coverage already get it free basically ? they go to the er ?? so whats the difference ..

    and hopefully they wont get this bill at 3 am ... and be told it has to be voted on in a day !!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  54. Howard Espin

    HMO's are for "profit" companies. Health care should not be for profit. When HMO's were started that is when health costs started rising and have been rising ever since to satisfy investors demands for dividends. Further the HMO bean counters are a major problem in the profit motive.
    Not only that but HMO's do make contributions to congressional political campaigns. Thus lobbyists reign supreme on capital hill and congress sure doesn't want to lose that "money." Will congress ever use some common sense with regard to health care? I wonder!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  55. Derek

    i am in full support of President Obama's plan. i believe strongly that the insurance companies can bring down cost to compete with the public option that the president is proposing in his plan. Competition at this level will help bring down the overall cost of health care. Congress should stop playing
    political games and think about the millions of people without health care.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  56. Paul VDM

    Medical Insurance Companies are only interested in profits and not your health. We have expensive insurance and we always have to pay out of our pocket. Pre-existing conditions is just another way insurance companies want to protect themselves. At a certain age about everything is pre-existing – making it impossible to get coverage. Medical Insurance also became insanely expensive.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  57. M. Scott Seay

    EVERYTHING about Obama's health plan scare me including:
    1-will drive out private insurance companies and therefore our great family coverage. WHY? Because it will not be fair competition. As our employers get taxed/penalized more they will assuredly have less funds for us the employees.
    2-tax burden will grow and effectiveness of coverage will decline. WHY? Each time government gets involved in anything it spends way too much. ie... $600 hammers, $2000 toilet seats, etc... LOOK at Medicare and Medicaid as a glimpse of what to expect but, on a much larger scale.
    3-bureaucaracy will slow healthcare to a crawl. LOOK at Great Britain and France for examples. If they can NOT do it effectively, admittedly, then why would we waist people's lives and trillions of dollars ????

    You will see less numbers and lower quality of persons willing to work in such a system so get ready to go back in time about 75 years when our ancestors didn't go to doctors...... they toughed it out and used home remedies and that is most assuredly what we will have to do as waiting times for appointments are sometimges over 6 months admittedly in countries with socialized medicine.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  58. Miriam W

    What concerns me is your question. Or maybe it should have been asked what concerns you about the existing healthcare for profit insurance? The system is broken, many cannot afford what is offered and many are underinsured and the ones that have coverage are one illness or one layoff away from losing everything.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  59. Hank

    I am very concerned that the congress is haphazardly putting together a health plan that will turn out to be a huge bureaucratic mess. I do not want to see anybody who is healthy and of working age and unemployed receive benefits from a government sponsored plan. Nor, do I favor allowing illegal immigrants to receive benefits from a public plan.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  60. Kristen

    What concerns me about this health care reform is there is no discussion of the rising cost of prescription medications. I understand that seniors will be getting a break if they are on Medicare, well I am on Medicare for disability and I cannot afford my medications when I fall into the donut hole (Medicare gap). I will have to pay $929.33 a month for generic prescriptions when I hit the Medicare gap. My social security check comes to $1,100.00 after Medicare fees and my health plan fees are taken out. That doesn't leave me much for food, mortgage or anything else.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  61. Robert Oudkerk

    Healthcare:

    It is obvious were the problem lies; just follow the Michael Jackson "doctors" stories. (corruption and greed)
    The doctor and hospital proffessions are the real culprits!!
    It is the "greed" which drives this proffession, the same as bankers and lawyers. As long as there is no control over doctors and hospital charges; corruption will prevail.
    The healthcare program as proposed will not reduce cost, as long as doctors and hospitals can charge whatever they like!!!

    Rob

    July 1, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  62. Brandy W

    I want to know what plans are being made to ensure that the competition in health care remains. Canadians come to America for quality health care because their system does not ensure enough competition and doctors are poorly paid. How can this system keep quality doctors in America?

    July 1, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  63. sandyinohio

    And when will most people realize that this sceme is another payoff to spanish voters? The "47 million uninsured" are made up of the following: between jobbers (therefore not always w/o coverage); the free choicers who don't want to pay premiums(can't or won't buy it freely because young, other priorities, won't need it etc); and the illegal immigrants! The actual CTIZRNS w/o coverage becomes much smaller,
    some 5 to 6% of AMERICANS. I see no need to turn to a socialsits system of public payer for so few people to benefit. The truly poor are handled by Medicaid; many are handles by charities or drug company programs. I am a retired teacher & our pension plan has a program for its own needy too! Wake up America...we are no longer a wealthy nation;
    we are THE biggest debtor nation on earth, up way past our eyeballs; do you want to keep spending money we don't have so our children and grandchildren will all hate us for passing them off into tax slavery to pay for all this? My answer is certainly NOT! we have couples writing here, corrections by some, additions by others; some commentary huh? And to the guy who said "yes we can, the true American spirit" I have news: the true American is freedom & liberty loving and not of the moocher society of some today!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  64. Eva

    My concer is about whut about the people that are on disability and are married whut do you do when one person in the home has disability and the other one is disabled and cant have ther disability they cant even get health insurance and have no money to pay for the lowicome health insurance what are you going to do for them or are you going to do any thing thank you eva wetherby

    July 1, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  65. Beads Underfoot

    How did it happen that, through the bankrupt or receivership process, corporations/entities can eliminate their medical obligations for their retirees (?) who gave their LIFE to these corporations/entities. How and why did these valid contracts get eliminated? AND then after the bankrupt process, these corporations/entities can go along and make money without complying or taking care of those people who gave their lives with the promise of a life benefits...and then government has not yet forced these corporations to comply with the contracts with the retirees, rather has done the opposite? A measure of any society is how it takes care of its children and elderly...are we doomed?

    July 1, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  66. Carol Gossard

    I was fortunate enough to have a great career and great health insurance but when I approached the age of 50 all of that changed. I am on Medicare now but for 5 years I had no health insurance- my income per month became what it used to be per week. It was a big wake up call for me- millions of American's have been living in that position for most of their lives or when they lost their employment. I was fortunate to be healthy and I eat healthy and despite the fact breast cancer runs in my family I remained healthy. Families lose their assets, and their lives by not having proper health care. We jumped into the war in Iraq and other wars so easily and we spent 1 Trillion on the war in Iraq- so why are so many against helping Americans retain their lives, their health and everything they have worked for. Government by and for the people- that is what we have- why do so many not want to help our people. I have sold health insurance- and I know that many people either can not afford private health insurance and many can not qualify because of prior health conditions or a gap in coverage. The cost of not having health care effects many other costs in the long run- can we care about the people in this country- it is about the many who need help- our people need help- let us defend our countrymen every day by helping them to have health care every day.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  67. VJ

    Why must there be insurance companies? Why the middlemen who haven't a clue about patient care? Why can't we go back to direct pay to the doctor of choice? Malpractice insurance is the thing that drove many fine doctors out of practice.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  68. Neil W. Russ

    I agree healthcare reform is essential, however I believe some of the biggest problems with healthcare are being ignored. The cost of healthcare...
    The cost of healthcare is broken, it is driven by lawyers and insurance companies. True healthcare reform should include and be partially paid for (by savings) by also reforming the out of control costs by controlling lawsuit ceilings, lawyer profits, insurance rates and other factors which contribute to this skyrocketing cost or other means.
    I am not an expert, but I believe this is the main problem, if healcare costs were reasonable, then health insurance costs would be lower and more people could afford insurance.
    Also a significant cost is involved in hospital and doctors insurance rates for protection against litigation.
    If you really want to fix healthcare, then fix these problems too...

    July 1, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  69. Ron Roseboro

    What concerns me most is that the plan will be washed out by groups that want the same plan we have in place now. It took very strong leadership to take on the tabacco industry and thank God we have a President who from his heart can see and feel the needs of all people.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  70. Robert Peteren

    It appears that I will be able to keep my over-priced health plan, but I will also be forced to pay for the new plan thru tax increase's.
    I have a Plan that Costs nothing, provides for up to 100% retirement Health Insurance, and saves, Any Company or Governmental agency a lot of money. it cuts no jobs. I ran the numbers for Berkeley, Ca. It saves the City in excess of $5mil per year, and is an employee benefit. I have been un-able to get any political leader to even look at this Plan.
    This Plan is very simple. Want a copy?

    July 1, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  71. AJC

    Why is President Obama destroying "Tricare for Life" (TFL) for military retirees ? This is especially egregious for disabled military veterans!! Is this the way that President Obama keeps his promise to military veterans and retired military veterans who served a full career and sacrificed their bodies for their country?

    Why is President Obama over-taxing "Tricare" health insurance to literally make it unaffordable!?! Military retired Veterans have pre-exisiting service-related conditions and will NOT be able to get quality full coverage health insurance elsewhere. This is also especially egregious for disabled military veterans!! Is this the way that President Obama keeps his promise to military veterans and retired military veterans who served a full career and sacrificed their bodies for their country?

    Why is President Obama literally destroying nilitary veterans health care and the faith of military veterans and retired military veterans in their country? We were there for our country LONG before Mr. Obama was – and now Mr. Obama is taxing us out of our benefits. SHAME ! SHAME ! SHAME !

    This is ALL a NEW TAX on people making less that $200K per year. WHY is Mr. Obama breaking his promise?!? SHAME ! SHAME ! SHAME !

    July 1, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  72. Constance

    I keep hearing about the poor private insurer and how health care will hurt them. Does anybody care about the harm they have caused. How much do they actually pay out compared to what they take in. They are a large factor in the current problems but all I hear is poor them. We need to do away with the private insurer so that everyone can have the same complete covarge like that of our congress and senate who have the best health care our tax dollars can buy.. We are supposedly the richest country in the world yet we provide the least beneifit to all of our people.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  73. Lavita Khemlani

    I worked successfully for a bank for 16.5 years. But from the beginning of 2009, I faced harassment as retirement or part time was constantly being suggested to me VERBALLY by the mgr.As harassment my vacation was not being approved, It reached a level of threatening where I was almost going to get fired if I did not make a decision. If fired I would loose my 17 years credibility disabling me employment in financial industry, so eventually I opted to retire. With just 1 more years work, I was eligible for life time of health care subsidized by the company as rule of 75 would apply to my benefits. I lost that previlege. Since I had to opted to retire, I opted for Cobra. At this stage I cannot claim the 65% help offered by the stimulus pkg., as it is not being considered involuntary loss of job. I've lost my pay chk and have a higher bill on hand .Mr. Obama, what can you do for people like me that are forced to leave work and have no unemployment compensation nor health care help.,,,Thanks...Lavita

    July 1, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  74. Wayne H

    Just like to ask the President and Congress one question on Health Care it be this. Why hasn't the President or Congress look at what cause this problem. The one thing a good analyst does is look at the cause and effect. Congress allowed Hospitals and Insures to move from non-profit to profit enities. With that the effect has been hospitals have been making profits and buying up other hospitals an example is right here in the state of PA where I lived. In the last 10 – 15 years we had 6 different hospitals has different enities in competition, where one could go and get great service at a resonable price. Now we have 2 entites running the 6 hospitals with one of the entities St. Lukes owning 5 of them. Now if the president sees this and understand this is why there is no competition in the field. Why doen't the President and congress do them and other 'To big to fail" entites. Why doesn't the President and congress do to what they did to Standard oil and Bell Telephone (Ma bell) and force them to breakup into smaller entities. Not only will lower cost and make a real compative market it will also create hundreds of jobs as the new entities need to hired people to help run them. We are talking jobs from blue and white collar to the enities helping in the communties in which they are located. Breaking up entites is not new just think what would of happened if standard oil was not broken up. What do you think the prioce of a gallon of gas would be. Breaking up this entites first should be part of the reform as this would create a new stream of revanue by the newly hired employees paying taxes to all governments and creating price competition has people will go where they get good service and a reasonable price.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  75. Jacqueline

    In October my husband lost his job when his company lost several government contracts due to cutbacks. We're a one income family. He has since found a job after months of searching, but it's part-time and doesn't include health insurance. This has forced us to make a lot of changes. One such change is that our 3 special needs children are now on Medicaid, which I must add is an absolute joke in our state (Mississippi). Our only option for our children going to see their specialists is currently to drive out of state to Memphis which is 100 miles away. Or to drive 3.5 hours 1-way to Jackson, MS. More and more doctors and specialists in the Memphis area are choosing to not accept Mississippi Medicaid, making our choices for care for our children smaller and smaller. Not because there aren't enough specialists, but because so many are choosing to not take Medicaid. I fear more and more that there will become a point where we're expected to drive 7 hours round trip several times a month just for our kids to see the doctor. For families like us, it's just not a possibility, meaning our kids simply wouldn't be able to get the care they need to survive and thrive. What will health care reform do to families like ours?

    July 1, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  76. Paul

    Seeing as much of the money is coming from already established health care and disability, will this lower the already inadequate health care for the disabled?
    Will the focus really be on prevention? Having to get 200,000 people into a specialist without a few million miles of red tape from the gov. ??

    July 1, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  77. Lavita Khemlani

    We must have the reform, Mr. Obama so there will be no exploitation of workers to enable corporations that will go to any length to cut down work force making employees helpless,,,Lavita

    July 1, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  78. Rita Vaz

    Why spend billions to introduce a system not necessarily proved to be effective elsewhere? Reform is needed, but the focus should be on the insurance industry not on the health care system. Proven results show that we do have a good productive health care system, so if we put the emphasis on regulating the insurance industry, reform will occur naturally without spending billions, particularly in this economy.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  79. Sherry Salinas

    Health care reform that citizens are not aware of is that the issue of HMOs health caps. People fail to realize that each patient has a cap on health care yearly. The process is that by any or all physicians keeping the costs of health care down beyond that cap is entitled to the bonus that the physician sees at the end of each fical year.

    First, this is a detriment to the well being of a patient and the effects it has on the quality of health care treatment.

    Secondly, Think of the millions of dollars it would save health care costs if they were to come to a surprising and well instituted proposal, on the way they are running the health care costs.

    And third but not least, you do not have to be a rocket scientist to figure this scenario out. I would suggest on new proposals on how these funds that are used for bonuses be directed towards american citizens that do not have a health care insurance program.

    In conclusion, everyone wants reform on health care, start where the source of the problem is.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  80. Torri Ramsey

    As a US Marine, government healthcare was good enough for me and my family. If fact, we were well taken care of. My father-in-law is retired Airforce and receives great government supplied healthcare. My congressmen & senators received government based healthcare but when it comes to the working man/woman or eldely, suddenly, the government solution is failed. I'm a civilian now and my healthcare cost has risen 20% consistently over the last three years as my care options have decreased. This market based healthcare is solely "for profit" and I'd gladly pay my current monthly share into a governement based system that did not increase premiums annually while decreasing coverage.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  81. M Boyd

    It really disturbs me to that people like Steve S. & Elaine who have commented above don't see the bigger picture on this. This is not about the rest of us w/ jobs who pay for our own insurance taking care of slackers... and this is not about "I already have good insurance." This is about the current for-profit system & how it has abused it's non-regulated position in the market for years.

    Steve S., you may be healthy as an ox now, but what if, God forbid, you develop cancer or some rare kidney ailment & the insurance company that you've been paying premiums to for YEARS then decides that now that you're going to cost them more and more to treat... well, they're just going to cut you off and now you're stuck with paying those bills on your own. You go bankrupt, you lose your business, your house, your car, your savings.

    Elaine, yes, you may have great insurance now, but again, if something happens to you – say a car accident where you need regular therapy for your back or leg... you now cost the insurance company more than you are bringing in for them in premium payments, so when it's time to renew your policy, they opt not to, or your premium triples. Do you think that's okay?

    The system as it currently is is all about GREED. A national health care system will put pressure on these companies to do what is right because guess what? If more and more people see that they can get treated for something that the for-profit companies denies, then guess where they're going? To the national system & eventually, yes, the for-profit insurance companies will be forced out of business... and they will deserve to have been forced out of the industry because they didn't treat their customer right in the first place.

    The health of human beings should not be chocked up to PROFITS. And that's why a national health care system needs to be enacted.

    Watch "Sicko" or go to YouTube & watch the series of videos called "Real Americans Denied Real Healthcare" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4kEvdyIcBk) posted by the California Nurses Association and then you both will see it's not just about those w/ jobs paying for those who don't or that your current insurance is great as it is.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  82. Dodie - California

    My biggest concern is there will NOT be enough change!!

    I am in favor of a “One Payer Health Care” system at a reasonable rate for everyone. I am sick and tired of “FOR PROFIT” insurance companies dictating my health care at a huge premium cost. I am also tired of promoting huge families by giving them breaks.

    Example: I have been working a total of 42+ years, 3 years for DOD and 22 years with a local government and I am unable to retire because my government retirement health care premium is $612 for a HMO per month just for myself. Who can afford that on retirement???

    I am also sick and tired of insurance companies, etc. able to spend millions of dollars using ‘fear tactics’ placed ads on prime time TV! Remember, our fire department and post office are run by the government!

    There is a huge difference between a social health care and economy and socialistic health care and economy! I wish Americans would wake up!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  83. Elaine

    I forgot to ask, are doctors going to be forced to take all of these new patients, or can they just except private insurance patients if they want to? If they aren't going to get paid the same now, and with the stress of more patients, won't people stop becoming doctors in the future, plus not being able to prescribe certain medicines that are" too expensive"or tests that the system won't appove of ? A lot of doctors will feel helpless because they are there to help people, but now they're restricted on what they can do, which they know will effect that patients life. Also, a lot of the expense of all of this will be lessen if ILLEGAL aliens aren't included. That will save millions right there, plus it won't encourage them to keep coming.That would be awarding them for breaking the law and wouldn't be fair to the one's who are coming in legally and waiting their turn.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  84. M Boyd

    In response to Becky Clem & the treatment she says her husband received while on a trip to Italy – I just don't believe you. You know why? I have a friend – a US citizen who lived in Italy for 9 months last year. While he was there, he enjoyed getting his eye exams, dental check-ups and medical care that he said was just as good as anything he would get here in America. The only difference is that it cost a fraction of what he was being charged here in the States. You say the system in Canada & Europe doesn't work... how many people have you talked to in those countries? If your husband DID receive inferior care, maybe it was that particular doctor. You know, there is such a thing as bad doctors (in EVERY country). The reality is that those systems in other countries are better than ours. We struggle to pay insurance premiums and in the end can be dropped at any time by the insurance companies.

    Becky... I really think you're probably someone from CPRights.org trying to scare people into believe UNtruths. If you are real & telling the truth... watch "Sicko" and WAKE UP.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  85. john marron

    I've been a nurse in a major teaching hospital for 18 years, I've had plenty of time & opportunities to observe our health care system at work.To me,
    there are 4 major elements to our system that create an enormous cost to our system yet I don't hear squat about what the proposed health system will do about them. The travesty of this is that none of these entities actually care for the patient! The costs that these 4 elements contribute are astronomical. They are: Equipment & supply vendors, Drug companies, Insurance/HMO's, and Lawyers. Talk about the $400 hammer for the military, medical equipment costs pale in comparsion, overpriced medications are legend & our tax dollars support research that they utilize in development of their products. Insurance companies make sure they get a healthy profit out of our miseries. Look in any major city, who owns the largest office buildings? And last but least, the lawyers, who whip clients into a feeding frenzy to collect for any perceived mistake in treatment. I trust that a fair God has a special place in hell for dregs on society.
    I could go on for hours about these four but here's a idea for "real changeI" in our country. Why doesn't President Obama simply set a date, say January 1st, 2011, for every american citizen to get free health care (minus some copays if we can afford it). Yeh, we all get a health care card that when presented to any provider gives us free care. Let's put the shoe on the other foot & stop all the behind the scenes manuvering by all involved. Presented with this deadline I'm sure we 'd get all the interested 'parties' to the table.
    Is this really a country, "of the people, by the people, & for the people" . I say ' Mr. President, make a real change is this country, then let the money lusting fools figure out how they'll get a piece of the pie. Put the healthcare of American citizens first!

    July 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  86. Joanna Clark

    I want to know how President Obama expects us to remain competitive in the global economic market under the current, and his, health care program.

    So long as heath care is attached to employment and the profit-driven
    insurance racket the U.S. will remain at a competitive disadvantage. In my opinion, the current Congressional and Presidential health care reform proposals amount to nothing more than adding a second story onto a house that's already riddled with termites.

    Representative Marty Russo's H.R. 1300 (1988) and California state senator Sheila Kuehl's SB-840 are two examples of the type of reform that we need, but President Obama refuses to allow them to be discussed.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  87. Debbie Harris

    My concern is that everyone needs to have access to health care coverage. I believe the president’s focus on heath care reform has a lot to do with providing health care coverage to those who DO NOT have coverage, or who can not afford it. The majority of the people who oppose his ideas are the people who are fortunate enough to have health care coverage. Why not put ourselves in the shoes of those without coverage, or those who have the misfortune of a pre-existing condition and are denied coverage, or who have been quoted an excessively high premium that they cannot afford to pay. This is America… Everyone deserves the chance to have health care coverage. Those who have coverage, and like it, can keep it. Let us provide for those less fortunate. Let us not take away the opportunity for the less fortunate to be treated equally.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  88. Karen D.

    I'm 66 years old and haven't been to a doctor in over 15 years because I can't afford it. It's true I have Medicare now, but I almost opted out of it because I can't really afford the $100/mo. premium. Forget the drug plan. The government takes 15% of my Social Security because I defaulted on a student loan when my Fortune 100 company went out of business and I was over 50. Despite my BS and MBA, I couldn't fiind work. I ended up working as a retail supervisor and holding down 3 jobs, 1 full time, 2 part time, to just take home $18,000 per year and the student loan people garnished my salary for 10% at that time.

    Medicare pays 80% of what they consider a reasonable and customary charge for a service, plus there is a yearly deductible. If the doctor charges more than is "reasonable and customary" I am responsible for the difference. If I should get sick enough to need to go the hospital, Medicare will take care of it. If I want to go to the doctor to treat the conditions associated with aging, I simply can't afford it. I feel like I am living on a precipice.

    I have such bad arthritis (I think that's what it is) in my knees I can barely walk. I am in pain all the time. I make too much money on Social Security to quality for State help paying for Medicare and medical bills. I well could be diabetic or hypertensive, but couldn't afford the medications, even if I could manage to get to the doctor. And what about tests? My daughter just got charged $3,500 for an ultrasound from a specialist she goes to for her pregnancy. She is over 35 and her age is considered a risk. 20% of something that costs $3,500 (MRIs, x-rays, ultrasound, blood work) is $700. Who has $700? I don't.

    Concerns? I think it's time we became civilized like the rest of the industrialized Western world and provide free, government-sponsored medical care for all our citizens. I cannot believe all this hype about choice. What choice do those of us have who can't afford medical care? The only thing we can choose is to not get any treatment at all.

    I spend most of the summer in Canada with friends. No one here worries if they can afford to go to the doctor. No one worries about bankrupcy if they should get ill. If you are over 65, your drugs are paid for. I know these people get good care. I've seen, firsthand, the care they get. What is wrong with the United States? Has greed totally obliterated our humanity?

    The bottom line? If you don't have healthcare in the US, you are just plain out of luck. I don't care if I get to choose ... I just want to be able to go to the doctor and get some treatment ... and that peace of mind should belong to all US citizens, not just those who are lucky enough to afford it.

    Karen from NJ

    July 1, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  89. Joe

    Representing peoples? Call this Democracy?
    Is it the contribution from medical insurance lobbies who keep you senators elected?
    Or you do not understand the individuals in small businesses like me who creating business and can’t afford (the human right) to have health coverage?
    Do you understand if we manage to Qualified it is typically for more expensive insurance as majority of us had some medical problem in past?
    Do you understand that the insurance cover only very basics and have unrealistic limits on procedures they will cover?
    Today affordable insurance is only good if you do not get seriously sick and do not have to go to the hospital or on expensive equipment for tests.
    If you get seriously sick all your savings will be gone and when you run out of money you are reported by Collections Company to the Credit Bureaus.
    1) Let’s keep the greed out of the system. Senators you did miss to stop the greed on Wall Street and therefore help me in to bankruptcies in CA.
    We need simple Rules and Regulations and cost Standardization to Health Insurance policy in each state in this country.
    2) Each individual should have one medical record with his family doctor and should be able to transfer it all records if he moves to other state to the family doctor of his choice. Keeping this electronic and other tests, exam and prescriptions records in his last family physician office should be mandatory. Your family doctors is in charge and this including referral and record from specialists.
    The Health insurance Company (Wall Street) has the unrealistic coverage limits for the cost in hospitals, for specialist, drugs or lab tests.
    The double or triple billing by doctors for same diagnostics is result of this Wild West free enterprise policy and big part of large medical cost. Doctors should be accountable if they order duplicate unnecessary tests on costly equipment. If doctor have investment in the expensive equipment he will use it if he have stock in the drug company he will proscribe unnecessary drugs.
    3) If you have one transferable electronic record for each person you can easy detect cost per person, ordering the unnecessary procedures prescribing excessive amount of drugs and the overcharging by greedy individuals.
    You have my record of driving points and number of accidents, so it is not that difficult. Patient never knows what additional bill they get when they get sick. When the medical establishment can’t get money out of insurance company they bill patients and ruin his credit and many times live. The cost of the health insurance can be adjusted as percentage of your income.
    4) Let change the law suing doctors for malpractices witch give the insurance company additional reason to increase the cost of healthcare.
    Get some regulations and government or public (non profit) competitions to this Wall Street rip of artists and insurance companies. 25 % working people credit is screw up from excessive medical billing. Point finger to Canada? Is in Canada shortage of doctors? The reason is most of the doctor’s move to US. They can work only 3 to 4 days per week and make more money ripping of people as this free enterprise system allow it. Cut out the waste; let everyone pay in to insurance. The young and healthy will get sick one day as well. The doctors may have to work 40 hrs per week and charge only for the necessarily procedures.
    Thanks Joe

    July 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  90. Aaron WIlson

    I couldnt say that Obama plan for health care is perfect since a vast number of citizens disagree with the plan.

    As a result: George Bush dint crack down on the money being spent on and out of the country, so where left with the Obama plan to try to get things going again.

    {Thanks anouncer, by the way I love the hair}

    July 1, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  91. Arleta McKillip

    My concern is that many of our representatives in congress are not willing to put the country ahead of their next re-election and give us health care that everyone so desperately needs. The lobbyists and major contributors so far are winning AGAIN. The citizens of this country need to step up and let their voices be heard and their votes be counted. Medicare for everyone, the plan is in place. All we need to do is give everyone a chance to join if they want that choice.i

    July 1, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  92. Denice Nelson

    Health care is an abused system by many people. Why can't families with no health care have it taken out of income tax returns? I know of many families who only go to emergency rooms for health services for their families, then receive large income tax returns, which is usually spent very foolishly. That makes no sense at all. How is our government helping people learn how to prioritize and budget familiy needs? Many families receive thousands of dollars on tax returns. It's senseless to me, because a lot of those families may also abuse the tax system by claiming kids who aren't theirs, then go on a a type of "binge" spending, only to be in the same economic situation two months later.

    July 1, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  93. Christina McKee

    I have never been interested in politics, nor have I ever been so moved to feel the necessity of making a contact such as this. For years, I have had a simple, realistic solution to health care, and now I find it necessary to act.

    With health care reform affecting our country, we need a policy that is swift, easy to implement and extremely cost-effective. The solution has been around since the beginning of time, but it is too primitive for most Americans to conceive. Americans make life complicated and will only entertain complex solutions to very simple problems.
    The answer to many of the issues affecting the health care crisis is implementing tax credits to all families who choose to breast-feed their babies rather than to feed them infant formula. In addition, businesses could be offered incentives for setting up lactation rooms in the workplace in order to help mothers continue breastfeeding when they return to work.

    The immunological effects of breast-milk prevents illness, not only while the baby is receiving human milk, but for his/her lifetime. The longer infants receive human milk, the better the long-term benefits. Human milk is specific to humans and is made up of living cells, or macrophages, that kill bacteria, viruses and fungi. Mothers produce milk that is designer-made to fight the diseases that are present in the environment. By encouraging mothers to breast-feed their infants, the results will be healthier infants, which will reduce doctor visits, hospital admissions and prescription medications. The child will be healthier throughout life because the infant body had optimum nutrition from the beginning. This also results in lower costs to insurance companies. A mother who breast-feeds is healthier as well, which reduces health care costs for her not only while she is breastfeeding, but for the remainder of her life. Again...lower health care costs...lower costs to families, to employers, to insurance companies and to the government. It is estimated that families who choose to breastfeed their infants save $1000.00 on the cheapest infant formula alone, plus another $1000.00 in doctor visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations in the first year of life. That is $2000.00 for the first year per child that families would have to save or spend, therefore helping another crisis....the economy. Lowering costs to business and government would help improve assets by reducing long-term growth of health care costs, which will allow better cash flow. Insurance companies will save exorbitant amounts because people will be healthier. In short, where there are reduced costs, there will be increased cash flow to improve the economy.

    Regardless of the overwhelming consensus that breast-milk is best, many American families choose infant formula because our society creates obstacles to the process of breast-feeding. Third World countries have lower death rates among their breast-fed infants and yet many Americans choose a processed, man-made substance that is less than optimal for the nutritional needs of human babies. Third World countries know what is best nutritionally for our species and we, the most advanced nation in the world, are giving our babies a substance that has no defense against illness...milk from a can...milk that is suitable for calves!

    As I have been listening to the debate on health care reform, I have been hearing about protecting families' financial health, assuring affordable quality health coverage, investing in prevention and wellness, and reducing long-term growth of health costs for business and government. All of these issues can be improved when mothers nurse their infants.
    I am an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant who receives no reimbursement from insurance companies because they, like most Americans, have no idea of the life-saving advantages of infants receiving human milk. It is ecologically and economically friendly, simple, easy to implement and provides all the nutrients needed for human brain growth, which targets yet another issue facing the U.S....education. Human milk provides the nutrients for optimum brain growth, giving a child the best possible start to a productive life.

    Cows' milk, which is infant formula is intended for calves, to double its weight in 45 days. Hasn't obesity reached an epidemic status in America? Does obesity have negative results on our health? Could the way Americans feed their young have an impact on obesity? I choose to leave that in your hands.

    The policies of America are too complicated for one individual to implement. My time and energy belong to new mothers who want to give their babies the best. I only have a small voice, and in this letter, I have spoken. As Commander in Chief, you can implement or ignore as you see fit. My voice as a U.S. citizen, taxpayer, and lactation consultant has offered one simple suggestion to a multitude of problems. It is not a comprehensive answer, there are many other issues, but it is a guaranteed beginning....

    July 1, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  94. S.S. Rice

    My concern is that US taxpayers will be forced to pay even more for Illegal aliens' healthcare. Hospitals and clinics don't check for residency.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  95. Robert Killoren

    I am worried that Congress will wimp-out and pass a watered down bill. We need coverage for every American, and I'm ready to pay more in taxes to ensure that.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  96. Thomas Wheat

    My greatest fear is that health care "reform" will end up as corporate wellfare. Those that don't have health insurance will have their premiums paid by the government to private insurance companies. All one needs to do is photocopy the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.. Basically, forbid the government from negotiating prices and pay the companies whatever they demand.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  97. guy

    About a real reform, about Single Payer, why do we let the insurance companies loot the system and run the show?

    July 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  98. Gigi

    How are people going to pay for out of pocket insurance costs when their jobs are being cut and their medical attention needs are lifetime commitments? What kind of insurance plan would be available for them under the Obama plan?

    July 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  99. carolyn

    I am concerned about the president's statements earlier in the week. Under his proposed plan he wants to treat certain patients pallatively assuming that the doctors have either not informed the patient's family or that the patiently family does not understand that the patient is terminal. Usually this is not the case. People decide with the medical team what step comes next.

    Looking at Medicare, doctors are already frustrated because of Medicare's legislated rules. They don't always work to fit the case and sometimes the patient suffers.

    We need review on a case-by-case care for patients. How can we prevent government rules from interfering with the best treatment for patients that may not be heroic and preserve medical and Christian ethics?

    July 1, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  100. David Hart

    What can be done to bring the ever increasing costs under control? Costs of medication and hospital visits are out of this world. Many people can go across the border into Canada and see a doctor there and get prescriptions re written and save a lot of money compared to the cost in the United States for the same brand if prescribed here in the USA. My wife and I spend nearly 40% of our income per month on medications and co-payments for doctor office visits for our medical issues. We are finding it very difficult to make things work within our income. What will be done withing the medical reforms to help families like ours???

    July 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  101. Denise

    I still have a job, but the company I work for is just hanging-on financially, partly due to the fact that they're still partially paying for the healthcare for employees. MY portion of the premiums is VERY HIGH, and my deductible is VERY HIGH. I'm 55. The high deductible makes it hard to get the preventative tests I should have (but haven't!). I have Aetna...not an obsure company....and it's STILL hard to find providers in my area.
    Having lived in England for a little while, and experienced socialized medicine I absolutely don't understand the argument against it.
    Maybe someone can explain it – in simple, no double-talk statements.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  102. Cindy

    Since Managed Health care was forced on us by the gov.'t in 1985; my old time plan has suffered tremendously. (The deductibles & co insurances have sky rocketed.) But I can be seen anywhere I want to and my doctors can practice medicine; not be controlled by a gov't. source. I am afraid President Obama's; plan is gone to cause my premiums; deductibles and co-insurance to really go up, as right now I can barely afford them. I have been disabled physically since 2001 but I do without to have my insurance plan. Do this for the people on Medicaid, elderly, and disabled, but don't take my given right for insurance and make it unaffordable for people who refuse to work and earn their benefits as I have.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  103. Vikas

    I have the following queries for Mr. President / Health Reform Committee :

    – Why can't doctors and prescriptions drugs are not provided at lower costs when I'm ready to pay in cash? All the services and drugs are always charged at a higher price when I want to pay in cash as compared to when I come through insurance company. Even though the service providers (doctors and pharmacies) will only get the payments after 2-3 months time and that too after correctly billing the Health Insurance companies. It defies a common business practice where there is always a discount for cash payments. But out here in US, one gets penalized if you pay in cash for health care services. It seems like a cartel (health care cartel) which prohibits / kinda follow restrictive trade practice for doctors and pharmacies... Can something be done to curtail this restrictive trade practice?

    – I feel that a GOVT sponsored insurance plan vis-a-vis private insurers will promote competition among the private players to earn a business from public and also provide better services. As of now, they try every trick in their basket to deny you the desired service claim to the best of their capabilities. However, the GOVT sponsored plan must be maintained well to sustain its implementation costs but as a non-profit organization. Atleast general public will have some backup to fall upon as against these terrible private health insurers whose main objective is to maximize their profits (as in case of any normal business). The good thing about it is that general public will not be afraid of going to the doctor or hospital coz of a fear that their portion of costs will run into hundreds and thousands of dollars or they don't have to worry about their bankruptcy just incase they happen to land in a hospital for a service without adequate coverages.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  104. Shirley Matzek

    Current Congressional Representatives and Senators, in many cases, seem to be "bought and paid for" by lobbyists. We really believed that this would be part of the "Change" this country desperately needs. If they were subject to the same restrictions in healthcare as the general public, would they look at the issue differently? Even if they lose their job (voted out–which many may be if they continue to ignore their constituents' wishes), they will still receive a nice pension and healthcare package. How can they then look themselves in the mirror as cancer survivors, elderly, and many other disadvantaged who have lost health care through no fault of their own (and after being good hard-working citizens as long as they were able)? This is not socialist. This is humane! For the Rifht to Life crowd, achiefing birth isn't the end–death is.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  105. Chad Saunders

    No one has been talking about a large group of citizens, to which I belong. College students, who may not qualify for medical insurance under their parents plans, receive little to no coverage throughout their tenure in the education system. I have not been covered under my parents plan since 2001, and have actually gone up until now with NO medical insurance. i still have another 2 years of school left, and will probably not have any coverage until after I get done? Work full time just to get insurance? Not a chance. My education is very important to me, and feel any kind of forced coverage would be a slap in the face. No one, especially our government, has the right to force coverage on people who can not afford it, just because they want to "fix the system." Ultimately, this debate is missing the main point of contention. Private providers will lose millions, if not billions, of dollars if healthcare is taken into the public areana. SO WHAT!!! These companies have raped the pocket books of Americans for decades and it is time that they start to give back. Why should we Americans trust in a system that allows drugs to be released for comsumption when they have not affectively been tested by the FDA? If we can't even get these kinds of standards right, I highly doubt that the system will ever work correctly.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  106. Donald Seabock

    If the Federal Government wants so badly into medical insurance, why doesn't it offer Malpractice Insurance for doctors and hospitals. This would give the Federal Government the financial incentive to take action against repeat offenders who AMA may be less inclined to do to one of their "members"

    July 1, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  107. carolyn

    Why are the health insurance companies not held accountable?

    What are their CEOs making?

    Did you know they have some really big bonuses and luxury trips for selling healthcare insurance?

    Are they in compliance with laws that govern this type of industry?

    Who is enforcing them?

    We need a watchdog to bring them into compliance, stop the waste and make them work for the American people. If that doesn't work then, we can look at what you propose but not before.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  108. Bill

    I am in favor of a new government healthcare plan. Medicare, Medicade, and other government-sponsored healthcare are so bogged-down with conflicting policies and operating procedures that they are no longer effective. Whatever program is designed, I don't think that it should be considered a replacement for the private industries, but something that would act as another competitor.

    It would be like the Post Office versus UPS, FedEx, and others. The Post Office has not put the futures of the other companies in danger, but has provided another healthy competitor. I believe that whatever plan the government settles-on would reflect this kind of competition.

    Obviously, this is an over-simplified view of the the whole thing, but I think we need to start simple, then work-out the details.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  109. Mark

    I'd like to ask Presiednt Obama a question about his current plan for a public health insurance policy.

    Will he switch from his current health care plan provided by the tax payers to the public plan he is proposing.

    If not, I dont want any part of it. Why should I join a plan he is proposing that he would not go on himself?

    July 1, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  110. John McLeod

    Single Payer is proven to be the most cost effective method of delivering health care. There are two single payer bills in the house and one in the senate. I have not heard a single person in the main streem media even say the words "single payer." I have heard only one politician say the words.And no one mentions these three bills in the congress. Is there a conspiracy in this country regarding single payer?

    July 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  111. Chris

    I am concerned about the following and would like Obama to address these issues:
    1. The cost of the plan and how he is going to pay for it. With the expected tax increases resulting from Cap and Trade, California State, Los Angeles City, and sales tax, we the middle class are suffering already. We cannot afford paying additional taxes to support a public plan.
    2. Whether the health plan is going to cover illegal immigrants? I don't have an issue with legal immigrants receiving the benefits but I object to illegal immigrants receiving them. Unless gov't tighten up the borders, there will have a flood of illegals coming into this country. Obama will ultimately bankrupt the country anyway if he extends the coverage to illegals. Gov't must create DISINCENTIVES for people to come into this country illegally.
    3. Will those who have private insurance through their employers get a tax deduction because we are already paying a percentage for those private insurance premium? Otherwise, we the tax payer would be double paying, in addition, the premium for those who are on the public plans.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  112. kathy in FL

    I am worried that no real health reform will happen because special interests will kill it. There must be a public option for real change to happen.

    Also, I am concerned that not enough will be done to deter unhealthy habits in the first place. In addition to President Obama’s proposed plans, I would like to offer these painless, common sense suggestions to help cover health care costs. They are based on the premise that products that create health problems should share in the cost of treating those problems, thus bringing actions and natural consequences into fiscal reality.

    Tax gun and ammunition industries and any industry profiting from violence or the glorification of violence (TV, movies, video games, music – in proportion to the percentage of violent content) for violent crime’s cost to health care and society.

    Tax industries profiting from the promotion of promiscuous or unsafe sex (TV, movies, music) to help cover the cost of AIDS, STDs, and teenage pregnancy.

    Tax alcohol for the cost society incurs for alcohol abuse: rehab programs, injuries and deaths from drunk driving accidents, domestic violence.

    Tax polluters as well as the tobacco industry for the cost of treating the cancers their pollution and products cause.

    Add a 10% luxury tax to vanity (non-reconstructive) plastic surgeries to help pay for life saving procedures for people who can’t afford them.

    Tax unhealthy (high saturated fat and high sugar) foods to help cover the costs of treating diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Also quit subsidizing them (as in high fructose corn syrup). Just as higher cigarette taxes discourage smoking to some degree, making unhealthy items more expensive will provide some prevention.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  113. Helen Chaparro

    Why does the Republican party still try to scare everyone about government run anything? They don't want taxes raised yet they live off of our taxes, they don't what health care for everyone as good as they get for free, they scared us into a war that we didn't need to have...people should wake up to the scare tactics of the Republican Party and try to get on the Obama side after all didn't we vote him into office for the change he promised and is trying to get for all of us. We need affordable health insurance and those who have none no what I am talking about!

    July 1, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  114. Rodger

    Mr. Obama says" if I like my plan I can keep it." Truth is if my boss likes my plan I can keep it. If we get a gov't plan my boss will drop my coverage.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  115. Donald Seabock

    The WH is offering an Insurance Remedy Scheme to insure all Americans, another IRS if you will. Looking at what has happened to the IRS, I am worried. According to Nina Olson, the national taxpayer advocate at the IRS. Olson found that the IRS miscalculates the interest taxpayers owe in one out of three cases, and gets penalties wrong 2 million times a year.

    My health and life does not depend upon the present IRS not making errors, but any Federal Insurance Remedy Scheme that has the Federal government involved, with the miscalculations above, worries me considerably.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  116. Bright Ehienulo

    Mr President and the Congress go ahead and make this reform that will make people have affordable healthcare. Democracy is good but when few opposing individuals hold good ideas to ramsome because of their selffish interest it becomes autocracy.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  117. Richard Warren Morris

    WE DO NOT NEED TO SPEND TRILLIONS~~THIS IS THE ANSWER

    100% total Health Care has a surprising solution with huge savings over what is currently spent.
    Those savings can then be applied to Education, solving both problems. One half of the budgeted
    funds for Medicare will cover 100% in the USA completely. Please study carefully the "in place
    system" with a 12 year track record used in Taiwan. It is the best system in the world and is a
    hybrid of all systems in the world. On PBS "Frontline" aired on 4-15-08 "Sick Around The World"
    Taiwan is the 4th one featured. Listen very closely! They had exactly the same situation we have
    now, in a government system nearly identical to ours. Follow HOW they went about making the
    change. Those who designed the system were all educated at Harvard and Princeton, some are
    still professors now. After 18 months of the new system, ALL parties loved the new system.
    Doctors, Rx companies, Health Insurance companies, Hospitals, Patients, ALL came to love it.
    There are NO delays, or patient waiting lists. Care is instant. This same system can be copied
    and slowly brought in as your plans for "The Public System" as you have planed. There is absolute
    zero wasted dollars, resulting in the savings I have mentioned. The Medicare monies can be used
    as there be no need for Medicare from day one. The huge savings in the already budgeted funds
    then can be applied to Education. Solving two huge problems in one swift move. Please give this
    a serious study, apply it BEFORE you make a huge wasteful error.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/view/main.html

    Thank you for asking.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  118. Guy AYEL

    1- I want to know clearly in simple words how many of the 45+ millions we are all taling will be insured for free?

    Illegals
    People who can pay?
    & why for free

    2- Why can't we start saving now without a bil (adminstration cost @ Medicare, Medicad)

    3- Why not solving Medicare system and build on it instead of another one

    July 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  119. Guy AYEL

    Why can they start solving Medicare that we already know will fail soon and by improving step by step the existing then merge the new customers in the improving system.
    The are millions alrready served by the system
    Why creating a new system that will not work first when started

    July 1, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  120. Jules

    If we do a public option plan...where those of us who are covered and happy can keep our existing coverage and those w/o coverage can use the public plan... my question is: why wouldn't business just stop offering health care? If they know there is another option for employees...wouldn't they just stop offering coverage? And if that happens will the public system be able to handle it?

    July 1, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  121. Carolyn Wall

    I have heard nothing from the White House about the problem of doctors refusing to accept Medicare patients. This goes on all the time. We got caught in this trap when our long-time doctor retired just as we were turning 65. After a lifetime of teaching and having benefits, we were turned away from the largest and best-known practices in a city of 450,000 as well as a satellite clinic in our small city (where we had once been patients,) To get flu shots until we found someone, we went to Costco. Luckily, one doctor took us until space (for Medicare patients) became available in our city. It was a frightening and humbling experience. If they don't raise payments to GPs and require the goverment plan be accepted, many will have no choice but to continue their private insurance. I voted for Obama, and I have read extensively about the need for reform, and I support reform. But I will keep my expensive private insurance until I know the government plan will be accepted everwhere, no questions asked. I can't explain how stunned we were to be rejected time after time in spite of having the best private insurance available in the state–insurance that was accepted with a smile until we were on Medicare.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  122. Rebecca Clark

    My husband and I are on Medicare. He cannot get a Supplement Insurance plan because of previous illness. Mine keeps going up and up. Why do we have to have a Supplement? Will your plan take care of this problem. Due to economic times, I have lost so many clients. I have a commercial janitorial company and have laid off all but 5 employees. So we are really up against it. If he should go in the Hospital...we would lose everything.

    Thank you for all your are doing.

    July 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  123. Jim

    For years Americans have been held hostage by the Insurance Industry.By a collective effort, Insurers have mislead and defrauded Americans.An article by David S. Hilzenrath in the Washington Post, June 25th,2009, explained why the Insurance Industry does not want Health CareReform. The Post chose to publish the article on page A3, but it shouldhave been front page and above the fold. If the public can be made tounderstand what the Insurance Companies are doing and why they areagainst reforms, there would be no further need for public debate.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  124. Linda Wells

    Perhaps I've missed something, but nothing has been said about institutions and doctors overcharging patients. For instance, a tylenol will cost you $2.50 while in the hospital. I needed a procedure which had been dropped from my teachers insurance, so my doctor said he would do the procedure for less since the insurance wasn't covering it. Why was he charging more because insurance was covering the procedure.

    If we reduced the medical expenses, then premiums would not be so high. Why hasn't the high medical costs even been mentioned?

    Think about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  125. Peter Calloway

    with regards to healthcare, why are we not dealing with the cost of health care and the sky high rate of pay for doctors in america, more than 100 times the rate of pay for doctors in other countries, and the amount of money the whole medical feild in the US makes is out of controll, with some doctors making up to and more than $1000.00 per hour, Hospitals get tax dollars and then charg sky high prices for there services that the average joe caint afford, and the insurance companys,charging premiums that are crazy and then if you dont use it your money is gone for nothing and then the 1st time you need it the try everything in there power to deny your claim, every year you pay premiums and dont file a claim you should get a percentage of your money back, it should not just be free money for the insurance companys, these three groups are the reason for our health care crises

    July 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  126. Joe Caldarola

    Why isn't anyone making the point that individuals cannot make informed decisions as health care consumers?

    As an individual, I cannot get access to procedure pricing, outcomes, and contract rates for services. I am told by insurers and hospitals that these are confidential and proprietary.

    For all of their talk about choice, insurers and health care organizations are loathe to reveal pricing and outcome information which you would expect for any competitive system.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  127. kenny Hudson

    how does the non US. citzens come into play with health care reform?
    Is there really 50 million without health care? How many americans can afford health care but choose not to take it?

    July 1, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  128. A Noway

    Obesity, overweight, smoking, diet, nutrition are clinically proven to directly contribute to chronic diseases such as cancers (like colon, breast, prostate cancer cases), diebetes, cardiovascular diseases. Insurance premium should tie to factors such as BMI, smoking habit, excersie membership to encourage personal responsibilities for ensuring their own health.

    There are a lot of companies charging doctors and health insurance companies for reimbursement billing and drug/medical supplies. These are non-value added cost. A universal reimbursement code and IT system for all healthcare supply chain must be established to eliminate middle organizations to charge processing of reimbursement. This type of system will allow healthcare providers such as doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, medicare, medicade to have have a free market while streamline the process and eliminate the fraud medical claim and non-value added cost.

    Doctors are doing defense healthcare service due to excessive lawsuit. Healthcare cost will not go down until this issue is addressed.

    Drug development cost is very high. It is reasonable for the drug companies to recoupe its cost in order to develop new treatment. However, today the same drug cost less outside US. This means the US paying customers are supporting the rest of world. Generic drugs from India, Canada, China are cheaper then the US name brand drugs. Why cannot US drug manufacturers reduce the prices of their patent-expired drugs to compete with non-US generic drugs?

    Government run medicare and medicade already cost us tax payers arm and legs and will bankrupt the US economy. Expanding the coverage to additional ~45 million to this pool will definitely bankrupt the US economy.

    I will suggest the first thing for the government to do is to reform medicare and medicade to prove the government CAN REALLY reduce the COST before taking on more. I want to see the TRUE BUDGET (tax income and cost) analysis, not with FAKE assumption to hide the fact that the current proposal of health reform will further US deficit and put ALL BURDEN to MIDDLE CLASS TAX PAYERS.

    AN

    July 1, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  129. Barb

    Why can't I have access to the same "Government Program" for health care insurance that members of Congress have for themselves and their families? The FEDERAL EMPLOYEES HEALTH BENIFITS PROGRAM offers our Senators and Representatives a choice of dozens of different health insurance plans with various levels of coverage at various costs, no waiting period, and no pre-existing condition exclutions. Many of those plans are from private insurance companies, but it is obvious that the "government" has been able to negotiate a much lower price than I would be offered by the same insurance company for myself or my employees. The "government" also pays for 75% cost of what ever plan a member of Congress chooses. If "Government Health Care" is so terrible for the country and too expensive why did our Representatives and Senators create this federal government plan for themselves? Obviously some type of "government sponsored health care" has been good enough to provide health insurance for this select group of federal employees (Congress) for many years without putting insurance companies out of business, coming between a congressman and his doctor, or destroying the high level of health care that some people in this country have access to. Why should members of Congress refuse to give taxpayers access the same type of health insurance system that Representatives and Senators can take advantage of (at taxpayer expense) for themslves and their families?

    July 1, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  130. Linda Dean

    Investment or spending?
    Seems to me like we are investing.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  131. Lena

    Alright, I'll admit it. One of the reasons I didn't vote for McCain in the first place was because he planned to tax our health care benefits. If this plan comes to pass, Obama will become a one-term president. Lying and hypocrisy does not suit you, Mr.President. Don't go down this road.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  132. Tony I

    For Vets
    Hi can you extend VA GI Bill benefits by 2 / 3 years from 10 years to 12-13 years? Mine are running out next year this will help laid off Vets going back to college like myself. PLEASE PLEASE extend to 12 years for college GI Bill even if it’s for a 3 or 4 year Temp program. Thank Mr. President and CNN.

    July 1, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  133. Tony I

    For Vets,
    Hi can you extend VA GI Bill benefits by 2 / 3 years from 10 years to 12-13 years? Mine are running out next year this will help laid off Vets going back to college like myself. PLEASE PLEASE extend to 12 years for college GI Bill even if it’s for a 3 or 4 year Temp program. Thank Mr. President and CNN

    July 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  134. janek

    When are Americans going to take responsibility for being part of the reason why health care costs are going up? CNN reported that 75% of healthcare dollars go to treating diabetes and hypertension. A huge portion of these costs can be avoided by personal behavior. GET OFF THE COUCH, EAT RIGHT, AND QUIT SMOKING!!!
    If the 60+ percent of obese Americans would own up to their BEHAVIOR that contributes to their problems instead of just wanting free expensive meds to control their disease, healthcare costs would drop dramatically. A pair of walking shoes is a lot cheaper than drugs!
    I realize many diseases are not self inflicted, but the 75% figure woke me up.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  135. Glenda Sherman

    My husband has been looking into supplemental insurance for Medicare and many of the policies are $200 a month!! On a fixed income this is highway robbery. Can't the President force the insurance company to offer lower cost supplemental insurance?

    July 1, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  136. Maribel

    I'm watching Pres Obama at the town hall, and I really think his health reform plan will work. Everybody keeps talking about the affortability of the plan, but me comment on that is what will happen if we don't do nothing. I'm all for it!

    Where do I sign up, or who am I suppose to tell so it gets done?

    July 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  137. Terah Rutledge

    Adding other comments concerning healthcare reform. Music therapy, healthfood stores, theraputic massages, accupuncture, alternative, internal cleansing (detoxification), preventative therapies is to be praised. A good thing without the harmful, needless, and some of the dangerous prescription drugs. Thanks for the new discoveries being made for and on the regeneration of the human brain. Any genuine concerned leader on healthcare reform will consider and incorporate this as a more mainstream form for the improvement and for a better healthcare system!

    July 1, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  138. Leo, Dallas, TX

    What worries me most is the level of ignorance on the current effort to reform healthcare. Currently, we spend $2.4 trillion (public and private spending combined) EVERY YEAR. The plan Obama is proposing will spend $1 trillion over 10 YEARS which boils down $100 billion every year. This fact seems to be lost in all the propaganda against healthcare reform.

    The healthcare struggle is all about maintaining excess profits:Profits at 10 of the country’s largest publicly traded health insurance companies in 2007 rose 428 percent from 2000 to 2007, from $2.4 billion to $12.9 billion. In 2007 alone the chief executive officers at
    these companies collected combined total compensation of $118.6 million—an average of $11.9 million each. So anyone thinking that this is not about money needs to evaluate the facts closely.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  139. Audrey Papke

    Someone isn't seeing it for what it is. Glenn Beck could stand to read this. I like Glenn well enough.

    Illegal aliens are breaking our health care system? Not true. They get treated as I did. My tumor grew until I nearly died, and for ten years doctors bilked my medicaid card.

    Do you see what I mean? Doctors do things patients don't need – to bilk their medicaid card to make their house and yacht payments, and pay off a couple of pregnant women.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  140. Alberta Sparrow

    I am a Canadian with the advantage of a great health care system. We here in Canada are proud to have a government that approves of everyone having care.

    I am tired of hearing our healthcare system put down by Americans. With a health system open to all, one would expect to hear complaints but isn't that part of the human condition. The complainers about our healthcare would really be complaining if we did not have it.
    I hope the American health system works for everyone as it a necessary part of life.

    July 1, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  141. Victoria

    I like the idea of there being a government supported health insurance. The only thing I *don't* like is that that idea, as proposed so far, does not go far enough. The ideal in my opinion would be to do away with private insurance altogether, and make the government THE provider. It would make things a lot simpler, especially if one is in a situation where one is already stressed by being in need of medical services, to have someone hand you a card with the name of ONE doctor, ONE hospital, and so on; as opposed to the present private insurers who will give their subscribers these huge books listing dozens, if not hundreds, of doctors' names and leaving you to wade through and try to pick one. When you are in need of medical care, depending on your particular ailment, things can be complicated enough already. Simplify things and do away with 'choice', is what I say.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  142. Robert

    The e-mail of Richard Morris makes sense!!
    I agree we do not have to spend a "trillion" to make healthcare work.
    1) first is to have a "central" (for all states) uniform patient data base.
    All doctors should have access to it; patients should have to show only a " patient card" which gives insurance details. Health history and other data should be in the "central" data base.
    2) All standard doctors consultation ( without use of any real "equipment) should be priced at an standard cost set by an agreement berween the doctors and insurance company's.
    3) Emergency visits at hospitals shall be priced in "one" bill and not from every person involved as a seperate bill. Time spent with a doctor at such hospital shall be priced according to the time spent on the patient and not based upon total "hospital" overhead etc. etc.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  143. David

    Allright here are my thoughts on healthcare. The best situation is to have regular physician, someone who is thoroughly acquainted with you as a patient, who knows your allergies, illnesses you are susceptible to, and what works for you. So isn't having an ongoing relationship with primary physician the way to go? And if so shouldn't we be trying to expand the number of physicians in private practice? That's what I would want for myself and what I would want for my wife and kids if I were married and had a family of my own.

    On the question of best practice. How will this be determined as there innumberable illnesses and isn't this too a matter of ready access to all available treatments to so that a doctor and his/her patient can choose the best treatment for that specific patient?

    A question related to the best practice issue. Though we have good hospitals in my area, people around here sometimes travel to other cities, for instance an hour and a half north to Fort Wayne IN, for care that is not available here. That's how it is at this time. Does the govt plan envisioned help people travel to where they need to to get care that their physician recommends? One question. Maybe it doesn't. But when someone has to do that there is a lot of arrangements to make, directions, records to bring, time and dates etc.

    July 1, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  144. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I find alarming that nothing has being done about the problem of doctors refusing to accept Medicare patients. Although this goes on all the time, it is inappropriate. Yes, we all got caught in this trap but the previous administration government never addresses the problem. It is simply horrible that after a lifetime patient are turned away from the largest and best-known practices. Are all the cities are going to do the same as Miami? It is terrible. I voted for Obama, and I have read extensively about the need for reform, and I support reform. I do not have a choice because of my condition of Multiple Sclerosis. I tried the Health Reform in Puerto Rico and it works. Yes, it is not perfect but if Puerto Rico can why not the United States. What did not work in Puerto Rico was the lack of a reliable transportation service. How People with Disabilities are supposed to get to a doctor? If there services get cancel without no reason and no explanation. This does makes sense. Not all are eligible for Medicare. I am a young widow with a chronic disease. My husband God blesses his soul had it because he was a senior but I am only 47 years old. I have to be here to take care of our child. The SSA does not nor the state government and in Puerto Rico is horrible.

    July 1, 2009 at 8:48 pm |
  145. janek

    I'll let you know why doctors don't want to take medicare. It is because the government has made it so difficult to collect a payment that it is not worth their time and effort. Imagine you are a grocer and sell bread for $2 a loaf. Now imagine you can get only $1 for a loaf from certain customers. In order to get that dollar you have to fill out 5 forms and then you may or may not get your dollar if you didn't fill out the papers correctly. Now imagine that every so often the government came to audit your paperwork and would have the perogative to fine you $10,000 per mistake. Would you do business like that? Doctors don't want the hassle and added stress. Government run healthcare is a beaurocratic nightmare.
    Yes I am a doctor, and yes I do take medicare, but only because I am fortunate to be in a large clinic with a large staff to take care of these issues. We handle "denials" for legitimate necessary services on a regular basis. If I was on my own, I couldn't afford the resources to handle all the red tape!

    July 1, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  146. Scott

    Canadian citizens are stating that a public health care system are creating long wait times and are now moving toward privatization of health care. How will your plan be different from Canada's?

    Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/30/canada-sees-boom-private-health-care-business/?test=latestnews

    July 2, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  147. Dawn

    What will be done about pharmaceutical companies? They don't help this situation out either. I am tired of paying higher premiums every year with a deductible that is outrageous... but at least it offers good care and drug coverage that my husband needs for his pulmonary hypertension. But it is ridiculous that pharmaceutical companies charge $25,000 for medications and supplies. They need to be held accountable just as much as insurance companies.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  148. Diane O'Dell

    We have good coverage and we want to keep what we have. We agree that everyone should have coverage. We are REALLY afraid of a plan like Canada. We have a friend who used to live there and tells us that IT IS TRUE that people die there waiting for tests and procedures. She said it is AWFUL!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  149. Ron

    The government deciding what will and what won't be covered is what concerns me. In Canada, when the government won't cover something, the people can come to the US for treatment. When our government is doing the same thing, were are WE to go for treatment. If you have cancer and you are over a certain age, you will more then likely be denied treatment. Same thing with heart disease. How about having a preemie......the government will get to decide when and if your child gets any care, in essence deciding if your child lives or dies. Who REALLY wants that?? The government is running our banks and financial institutions, running our car companies, setting pay for executives and now they want to take over our healtcare??? PLEASE DON'T LET THEM GET THEIR HANDS ON OUR ENTIRE LIVES!!!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  150. Larry Blanchard

    We are the most obese nation on the planet. Mississippi is 33 percent obese. Americans must lose weight and prevention must be a mandatory and intregal part of any healthcare program or the program will bankrupt the nation.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  151. Deborah ODonnell

    Logic tells me that any large company or gov. body can negociate health care costs. The cost of health care in the future may be compromising our own health due to pandemic issues.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  152. SarahAnn G

    The thing im concerned about, is what happens if this isn't going to pass. Why do we not want to be able to help everyone?
    To many people talk about the cost this is going to put on America's debt but really is has to start some where. No matter what time America decided to do this for themselves its going to be costly. Why can't people understand that. We need to stop thinking only of ourselves and start seeing the bigger picture behind this.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  153. Chip Jones

    The only thing I fear is that our national health care system will remain in the greedy grasp of elite politicians in congress who don't care whether poor and uninsured people die or suffer. I won't say how I feel about the Republican Party and its horrible stance on human rights and humanitarian issues. I think that is implied here. We need coverage for all of our citizens, particularly those who are in crisis or in the grips of potentially fatal or debilitating chronic health challenges. Affordable should be affordable, and based on individual or family income. No for-profit health care system will ever truly serve the altruistic goals that the medical profession should be pursuing.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  154. Nancy Peterson

    I have to say that I feel that me and my husband are going to be paying more than we can afford for the rise on our health insurance that we are already paying over $1000 a month for both of us. This is with us being on medicare and our blue cross supplement. In one year they doubled our prescription plan and we are still paying through the gap for a name brand. We are both 65 and are paying more on health insurance than we paid before we went on medicare. I can only see our Blue Cross going higher and higher. We are both on disabilty due to car accident and my husband's accident at work 5 years ago. It has been really rough but I see this as a disaster. I am not for it at all.

    Nancy

    July 2, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  155. Thomas O'Quinn

    I'm a healthy, self-employed, 55 year-old SINGLE male–no wife, no children–and my health insurance premiums, last month, were raised to $1075 per month!

    'How about some relief!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  156. hpHOKE

    I am against anational health plan. Who will decide what care or how much cab be spent on me? I understand 10 people have already been appointed for an oversee board for health care,none are practicing physicians, Please check this out.This is important to me.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  157. Dave W

    I just saw a comment on air that someone thought we should be talking about "removing the profits from heath insurance." Are we really going that far off the deep end? Is making profits bad? Think of it this way. If there's profit in providing health insurance, lots of companies will want to provide it so that they can make money too. That brings in competition and keeps prices down. If there was no money to be made, you'd be left only the government to provide health insurance. If you want that, please move to Canada or Europe. Or better yet, call people there and ask them about the quality of the government health system.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  158. FWMcCain

    If the Gov't is going to offer a not-for-profit insurance option, how is that not going to undercut the private sector. President Obama continues to say that it won't. How is this possible? He also says that we will have the option to keep our existing plan. However, why would any employer continue to pay for health benefits when his employees can get it though the gov't for free? The answer is, they won't. That will eliminate the private sector along with an obscene amount of jobs. We've already seen evidence of this with Hawaii's statewide children's health care. It went bankrupt! What do you think will happen to National Health Care?

    Why can't the government simply reform health care so that it becomes more affordable to citizens to buy health care from the private sector?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  159. David

    Opponents of a public option concoct horror stories of government bureaucrats taking away our health care choices. Well , I currently pay nearly $900 a month for an HMO, and I'm at the mercy of corporate bureaucrats who overrule my doctor's decisions on a regular basis. At least a government bureaucrat is accountable to the public. A corporate bureaucrat is only accountable to stockholders. I would trade my private insurance for a public plan in a heartbeat.

    David

    New York

    July 2, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  160. Penny from Arkansas

    My Husband and I Retired in 2004. Our Health Ins. monthly Premium has increased 250% since 2004. (from $350.00/mo to $871/mo. ) I expect a 30% increase in 2010, because the company that provides our Insurance has pooled all their Retirees in one pool. And their employees in another. My Husband is seriously ill and I don't know how we will continue to afford our insurance. We have 4 years till we reach Medicare. I pray Obama reforms Health Ins. I'm sure there are many like us.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  161. Dan

    What concerns me is why so much money from Lobbyist is going to politicians to kill this plan. I've read that $1.5 million a day is being spent so were is this money coming from. That's a 1/2 billion dollars a year that could be used for health care. No matter what the cost as americans we can't afford not to pass a plan. Every year company plans are shifting cost to the employee and those on their own plans raise the deductible every year to keep cost affordable.

    Personally, the thing I don't understand is why is single payer off the table other than for political reasons. This issue isn't a political issue it is a human issue.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  162. Jim

    Why would we want another system like "Medicare" …. We can't control that and cost have been out of control for years so why rush me another bad plan that will cost me more !! Everything the government gets their hands on they mess up since they can always raise taxes to cover the mess.

    No thanks.

    Jim Atlanta GA

    July 2, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  163. Shannan

    As a single mother who has worked for everything I have today, I have never looked for a handout. There is a difference between forcing health insurance to cover people who are pre-existing and I feel that we need to force the insurance companies to do so. I on the other hand do not agree that every person should have health insurance at the taxpayers expense, which is flat out socialism. It's another Canada and Canadian's are dying waiting for cancer treatment. But America was built on the America dream! As a single mother who has wanted more for myself and children, I have insurance and it's not government funded either! Wake up America..this is NOT the American dream, it's nothing more than socialism!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  164. Raymond

    I have my concerns with increased costs BUT we have to understand that this would be a completed a new process for health care .... and new things always have uncertain costs BUT we forget that change must occur now .. we must have faith in our President to look after our best interests .. We need to stop worrying about the short-term issues and think about our long-term needs, we have so many issues to review, this is one major one for us and our children ..

    Example: I have lived in many countries and have used Emergency Room Doctors as-well-as follow-up care with hospital approved doctors. I did not have international medical insurance ... I feared the costs of my ER visits were like that of the USA, but after the ER and two weeks of doctor care, my bill was only 120.00 usd ... I wish we had more affordable healthcare ... The problem is getting the excess profits out of healthcare... learn by our world community and lets solve the next problem

    July 2, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  165. Cheryl

    Why are the profits of the insurance companies more important than the health of American Citizens?
    Why can't i find a cost list of tests/procedures?
    Why is it an anti-trust issue that insurance companies can't let this information be know?
    As a consumer shouldn't I be able to find out exactly what I am getting for what I am paying for?
    Why is there no consumer protection concerning medical care?

    July 2, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  166. Arlene LaHera

    I am concerned it won't pass. I'm 52, work full time in restaurants. I must stay healthy because even the best places don't offer health insurance. Flu season, I had to go in sick or lose my job. I could not afford the $120 I eventually had to pay to be perscribed proper anti-biotics for a cold.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  167. penny j.

    I'm concerned about being taxed for my current health-care coverage. I have a small retirement income ($21,000), plus I work part time ($2500), but I have good insurance. Even though co-pays, deductibles, and premiums are going up every year, with less coverage, I can't afford to be taxed on my health-care benefits!

    July 2, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  168. robert

    I really do not want this healthcare plan for several reasons.

    #1 look how good our government has done with social security and medicare! If you have half a brain you would see that this too will follow the same route.

    #2 America does not have the money to pay for this especially right now.

    #3 This will be another tax, soon working americans will have no money left after all the many taxes from fed, to state sales, etc.

    #4 They are rushing to push this through. What is the hurry we have not had healthcare for over 200 years and now all of a sudden it is an emergency?? Why is everything with Obama portrayed as an emergency???

    #5 This I believe will destroy the quality of our current healthcare system.

    I think giving companies who offer healthcare plans a tax deduction would be a much better option, that combined with offering employee's an HSA(health savings account) which reduces your taxable income, would be more than sufficient, creating new taxes when a country is in a deep recession is a really bad idea and it seems that is all Obama has planned more and more taxes and raising current taxes, the states are hurting so they will also be raising taxes, So if you do have a job you are going to be taxed to death, and soon you will be getting IOU's instead of tax returns.

    July 2, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  169. Brian

    Each time Obama pushes congress to pass a bill the result is more money being spent which taxpayers will have to pay for at some point. QUIT SPENDING MONEY WE DON'T HAVE!

    Why can't the President and Congress reform the health care system so health care costs go down for everyone and we don't have to pay more in taxes???

    I believe it's possible to make fixes without costing tons of money. I believe that we should not do drastic changes. It did not work with either bailouts (lots of jobs were still lost), and it did not work with the Auto industry (they still filed bankruptcy).

    Wake up, people! Contact your Representatives and Senators to tell them to quit spending. You can't solve all problems by throwing money at it. Let's see some creativity to solve the problems. So far the last few big bills have only been power and money grabs and little to none in results.

    GOVERNMENT DOES NOT BELONG IN THE HEALTHCARE BUSINESS!!!

    Again, why can't the President and Congress reform the health care system so health care costs go down for everyone and we don't have to pay more in taxes???

    July 2, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  170. Aaron

    Why does no one want to talk about the price that hospitals and doctors charge for health care? I believe that's why insurance and health care is so unaffordable. I paid for a recent dental procedure that cost $900 and took only 1 hour to perform. My insurance had to pay 80%. I'd love to make $900 an hour. What am I missing about this equation?

    July 2, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  171. Elaine

    Nobody seems to be talking about the "ottery system" in England, where certain medications and treatments are rationed or kept in short supply. They have a "lotery" drawing and only people who live in the post code(zip code here) get the care. You can't pay for it yourself either, they won't allow it. If you're caught paying for it, you get kicked out of the NHS. Some people get kicked out anyway for hacving certain treatments, etc.I lived in England for 2 years. How can you "pick your own doctor"? Everyone would be booking the "top docs", so you'd end up with a doctor in the end that wasn't on your list. Also in England (if we get that type of insurance , that is) the waiting times for non- life threatening surgeries are months long. It can be crippling if you don't get help, but that's not considered life threatening. Certain problems can only be ruled out by more test, if the current test come back negative or if the doctor didn't order the right test to begin with. What kind of tests is Obama going to limit? The Republicans aren't using scare tactics. They're just telling facts (on the healthcare) which just happen to be scary.

    July 2, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  172. Elaine

    I forgot to add, why doesn't Obama , instead of rushing in and signing a health bill that's going to make everything worse, have a couple of days a month where health care will be free, using different areas each month, so that most people can try it out. He can then see how it'll probably work out and can then make improvements on the results.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  173. Dave

    My concern is that those who cower at the costs of universal health care fail to acknowledge what the uninsured and underinsured are costing us now - in loss of life and jobs and productivity, in bankruptcies and ruined families, in hospital emergency rooms and "free" clinics, and so on. Let's take a close look at these costs, and see if we can still argue against reform.

    July 2, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  174. Sandy

    What concerns me about healthcare reform? Nothing will concern me about healthcare reform unless those with deep pockets (Insurance Companies) continue to find loopholes in any policy or document that leads to denial. Insurance companies are monopolizing every mid-to-large corporation. There is no "healthy" competition, for sure.

    I can site so very many instances of harassment and apathy toward cases they receive. A particularly painful one for me was when my twin sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. She is now passed.

    I seriously believe, and so do many others, these insurance companies harass and discriminate, especially in very serious cases who's prognosises are death or could be. If they harass long enough on a very doubtful pre-existing anything and nit-pick about coverages so as to find a loophole even to the extent of harassing a grieving family, they do it and boy do they celebrate for how many people have the time or the money to fight.

    I am one person and have so many stories.

    Haven't we done away with Monopolies in our country where a need is necessity? Then why are they still monopolizing?

    Healthcare reform is a MUST! I don't care if its not perfect at first, it is reform in the making and to expect perfection is incredibly naive. But the reform is in our coverages and our coverages are dictated now by people with very, very deep pockets and a hidden agenda, people who have been lobbying a very long time. They dictate what doctors we can go to, what hospitals we can go to and what procedures we can have. Doctors are as much the victims as are their patients.

    Insurance carriers should not have this power...they play God when deciding our life and death, who gave them that power?

    Happy to tell my story to anyone who wants to listen. I am an educated woman who worked in network news many years and from there began a 2nd in biomed. The abuses in insurance companies are real and rampant. I want to know specifically what reform means to the "insurance carriers?" I realize they think reform will affect their (good care) which is ridiculous, unless of course their premium costs are not justified. Deep pockets of these carriers also result in Doctors and Hospitals having to raise their costs to satisfy an insatiable appetitate from the carriers. Much like taxpayers paying $200 for a hammer for the Pentagon that cost $10.

    Thank you
    Sandy
    SLC

    July 3, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  175. Chris

    I think that under this health care reform, doctors/nurses will be over worked, way more than they already are, and request more pay, and the hospitals will more than likely, refuse to give more pay, so they leave hospitals on go to different practices. Leaving us in a bigger shortages, longer wait times, more and more over worked-under paid nurses/doctors, leading them to leave (dominos effect)

    Just imagine 100 MORE people going into a major city hospital, which isn't that huge of a number, but imagine how much MORE work its going to be for nurses and doctors, how much longer wait times is going to be..

    I think that if Obama really wants this to work in the way that he wishes it to, he needs to set a minimum of how many nurses work per bed, and doctors per bed, which will require hospitals to HIRE more doctors and nurses, so that a huge jump in patients wont be such a huge effect (WHILE MANDATING SALARY MINIMUM, AND COST OF LIVING RAISE EVERY YEAR) I know that sounds far fetched but is it really? If the customer base increases (more like when) they will need more staff, BUT wont hire more staff, just overwork the staff they already have present. What do you think?

    We already have a nurse and doctor shortage, and if this passes without some kind of law addressing this issue, health care is going to be horrible, its going to be worse than veterans hospital, hospitals will do whatever possible not to hire nurses and doctors. We are in a nurse shortage, but a new graduate is having an even harder time trying to find work. Whats going to happen when this gets passed?

    SOMEONE needs to address this issue, and bring it to someones attention because I really don't think they realize what pumping millions and millions of people into a health care system thats already in desperate need of nurses and doctors, and wait times that are too high, is going to do!

    Chris
    Nursing Student

    July 6, 2009 at 3:22 am |
  176. Charles Kopack

    Several thing concern me.

    First, the cost. Has anyone really laid out how much this is going to cost?

    Second, it seems to be a greater expansion of more of the same (Doctors, insurance companies, drug companies, AMA, inefficient government agencies, etc.) running the program.

    There is not enough emphasis on prevention rather than what seems to be inefficient treatment.

    July 7, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  177. Tony I

    need more jobs also extend VA 10 year limit for ed benifits maybe 3 more temp years.

    Tony you

    July 9, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  178. E Jordan

    Heidi. this should not be....now, who will investigate? not necessarily Al Sharpton, but a new group formed by the NAAACP...The new group should be called The NAAAP...standing for The National Association for the Advancement of All People....It is important that the NAACP heads in a new direction. The new image of this organization will consist of a group representing all races of people........

    July 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  179. hphoke

    I believe the pool was just over crowded.But you keep stiring it up will you and further pull our country down.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  180. hphoke

    It concerns me that someone other than my doctor will be making decisions on my care.

    July 10, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  181. Joe

    Cost and waste in existing system.
    Three thinks has to happen to keep the cost under control:
    Government has to make complete overhaul, new regulation to standardized and streamline all medical system to be able detect the greed.
    1) Government has to include reform on medical billing methods and have standard rates for all doctors in each state.
    2) Each individual should have one medical record with his family doctor and should be able to transfer it all records if he moves to other state to the family doctor of his choice.
    3) Family doctor has to make decisions for his patients, coordinate all drug prescriptions, visits to hospitals and specialist, have all the records on computer and all billing to insurance should go trough his office. He would pay the others.

    July 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  182. Joe

    We are so selfish and greedy sociality. Healthcare should cover the one who is sick for100% (all care.)
    I’m healthy now so I do not won’t to pay. Choices in different amount of coverage programs and every one has limits is stupid. What about if it is you:
    Get run over by alliance car with out license and coverage. You will go bankrupt and your sweetheart limited plan coverage from your employer is good for nothing. All people shout pay some percentage from there income. Healthcare is human right no business with peoples life.
    This should be duplicating or triplication of diagnoses, the limited coverage and ever razing cost you who sit in secured jobs getting money from all this organizations to keep your jobs are not human. Get some regulations and government or public (non profit) competitions to this Wall Street rip of artists and insurance companies. 25 % working people credit is screw up from excessive medical billing.
    Family doctor has to make decisions for his patients, coordinate all drug prescriptions, visits to hospitals and specialist, have all the records on computer and all billing to insurance should go trough his office. He would pay the others.
    Republican and Employed with insurance wake up. Republicans and some other senators will not wake up they private drug and insurance company keeping them elected.
    No we greedy loaded idiots like to go to three doctors to get drugs. Choice of doctors is name of the game.

    July 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm |