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July 19th, 2009
01:11 PM ET

Your Feelings on Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON (CNN) - More work is needed on proposed health care reform legislation to ensure that whatever bill eventually gets passed by Congress is budget neutral, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Sunday.
Appearing on the NBC program "Meet the Press," Sebelius said an additional tax on wealthy Americans is "a legitimate way to go forward."
A final bill "will be paid for - it will not add to the deficit," Sebelius said of health care reform, which is currently President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.
Obama seeks an overhaul to ensure that health insurance is available to the 46 million Americans currently uninsured while preventing costs to both the government and individuals from continuing to climb.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported last week that the measures currently under consideration in both chambers would fail to pay for themselves, increasing the budget deficit.

So, the more you hear about health care reform plans, are you more or less convinced that it's a good idea?
Post your comments here and we may use them live on CNN at 2p and 4p eastern today.


Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Miriam

    Health Care Reform is a necessity. We need to get health care costs under control and the only ways to do that include:
    1) All US citizens with health care coverage that allows FREE preventative care.
    2) Access to private insurance to add onto to public coverage that would cover castrophic events (i.e. Cancer, Accidents, and Heart Attacks).

    Taxes should be increases on ALL Americans to cover #1. Even then those taxes will end up being less than what Americans with health insurance pay now for ZERO coverage.

    Pre-existing conditions can not be used to refuse/deny coverage.

    I am sick of CNN saying that the status quo doesn't need to change. Health Care in the US is HORRIBLE at every level, especially in the area of health coverage.

    I have health insurance but they cover none of my local medical visits or medications for a rare genetic disorder. How is this legal?

    July 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  2. Jeremiah

    About this health care reform issue. The problem I have with this is, this is the last thing this country needs. When you consider the number of people already recieving welfare and ssi that don't need it and are just lazyand living on hand outs. I'm not saying that is everyone I know there are people who can't find jobs but I do have one and already pay entirely too many taxes supporting those who won't support themselves, won't not can't. So is the answer create a health care for all plan? I don't think so. People just need to take some intiative, if they're not already, and support themselves, and give us hardworking taxpayers a break.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  3. Eva

    I am so "Thankful" that I have insurance thru the company I work for. I wouldn't know what to do if I didn't. With 2 teen boys and a husband that works in the oifleld industry, anything could happen to his job and we would loose everything we got. I think that we where lied to just to get someone into office. That's why I didn't vote. I don't think either one of our last choices would have done a good job. That's why we need to keep our eyes on the LORD!!!

    July 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  4. Gloria Torres

    I think that health care reform is needed. Health care premiums are too high and many people cannot afford to purchase health care out-of-pocket. Due to the economic crisis, it is needed now even more. People that are layed-off have lost there health insurance and are priced out of purchasing their own medical insurance.

    For example, in California, Healthy Families, a program offered by the State, is now placing new enrollments that are approved on a waitlist. Kaiser Permanente is no longer taking new enrollments for the Steps Program, another low income health insurance program, and due to income or real estate ownership, there are people out there that do not qualify for Medi-Cal, another California run program. So these people are stuck and are not able to afford health care premiums and do not qualify for State run health programs or other low-income health insurance. Health care reform is needed now more than ever!

    July 19, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  5. Girlie58

    I feel that the government once again is on a suicide mission for the american people by passing a healthcare system no matter what the consequences are. They don't seem to care if the average American goes bankrupt in trying to pay for the this trillions of dollars healthcare.They are more concerned about passing it through by a specifc time, by hook or by crook, than doing it right to make sure that we can afford it. What is wrong with a healthcare plan that will take care of the 46 million uninsured at the present time as opposed to remaking the whole system and getting the country into debt possibly forever? Most of the people in the administration probably don't even have to pay for their healthcare or pay the taxes that we all have to pay . it seems the goal is to destroy the country and its people.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  6. Vern

    Why is it that every other country in the civilized world can do health care for all for much less?? Please spare me the republican talking point that care would be rationed... It's obvious that the senators, both republican and blue dog dems are in the pockets of big pharma and the insurance lobby.

    Seems to me that if we don't fix health care, 3 things will happen. 1) Country will go bankrupt, 2) Citizens will continue to go bankrupt at a higher rate 3) People will die and one last thing, Mr Obama will be a one term president....

    July 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  7. stan nussbaum, m.d.

    Health care reform is essential. It is inexcusable that this country allows people to be uninsured. It is also irresponsible and reckless to allow health care to cost us an ever increasing percentage of the GDP and ultimately balloon the national deficit.
    As a practicing physician, I am convinced that 40-50% of the health care delivered by fee for service practitioners is both unnecessary and in many instances, harmful. I liken the practice to kids in a candy store, with no parental constraints.
    We need an overhaul that provides health insurance coverage for all Americans and that reins in the practices of the providers, hospitals, drug companies, device companies and all others involved.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  8. Larry

    I want health care reform because the insurance companies (AIG ring a bell?) are as corrupt as the bankers, mortgage writers and credit card companies in this country.

    Insurance companies taking bloated profits and giving nothing in return has got to stop. I wouldn't care if a public option put the whole lot of them out of business.

    Thanks, President Obama, for you hard work in this matter, and for watching out for us.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  9. phyllis

    Of course we need health care reform. At the rate health care is now going, only the rich will be able to visit an eyecare facility, medical doctor, pharmacy, dentist or whatever else your health throws at you. Insurance Companies and Paharmaceuticals have no mercy as the foremost interest on their mind, is greed.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  10. Joe H

    Independent of personal views supporting or opposing some version of nationalized health care, I think that most rational individuals should be alarmed by the frenetic pace with which this legislation is being forced through Congress by the administration. A similar sense of urgency resulted in flawed legislation and wasteful spending under the TARP and economic stimulus plans. Unlike the economic crisis, the need for health care reform has developed over decades and should be thoughtfully solved over a period of months to years, rather than days. I am very concerned that the current path of hasty legislation will result in an out-of-control budget deficit, stagnated small business growth, Medicare system insolvency (indirectly), impeded economic recovery, and ultimately constrained personal health care choices.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  11. Sheila Logan Cowan

    Our country must have health care reform that includes a public option to create competition for the private insurance companies. I want to scream each time I hear Republicans declare that the government will choose your doctor, ration medicine, and cause you to lose the ability to select your insurance plan. Hello! Insurance companies have been practicing medicine for years by repeatedly denying medical procedures deemed necessary by physicians. I call that rationing medicine. Most plans provided by employers give us a list of doctors that the insurance company has selected for us. I did not particularly like the insurance company that my employer picked for me. Many Americans have had to simultaneously deal with the heartache of having a seriously ill loved one and the trauma of being wiped out financially. Every American deserves the same type of insurance that members of Congress enjoy. I challenge the senators and representatives who are opposed to government involvement in health care to give up their medical coverage to prove to the public that their motives are pure. We do not have the best health care system in the world because of greedy insurance companies. Let's put health care back into the hands of doctors, nurses, and technicians. We want reform and we want it now!

    July 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  12. Virginia Kind

    The President has to calm down. He looks like a raving maniac on TV these days. HEALTH CARE IS SIMPLY A POWER GRAB.

    We don't want, nor can we afford a governement controlled health-care or even government run health care. There is too much stealing, graft
    and corruption going on already. Health care would just turn the $ spout on totally opened.

    We ae sick of bering taxed to death for all this crap. What will this dude think of next? How about everyone pays his own freight..

    July 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  13. Robert Goad

    The new Health Care Program is being paid for by Seniors on Medicare. The elimination of the Advantage Programs for Seniors and the $300 Billion cut to Medicare is taking health care away from Seniors all over the United States.
    Doctors and Hospitals have already stated that they will no longer take Medicare patients with the planned Administration cuts to Medicare.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  14. deon

    When will people realize that we wouldn't need health care reform if insurance companies was more about quality and its customers then profit....insurance companies main concern is profit and it shareholders......not the people it insure.....YES...we need health care reform....

    July 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  15. Cindy

    This may not be the perfect health care plan, but for me, it is better than anything I have now, which is nothing. My husband is close to having his 4th brain surgery since January, and we need any help of any kind.

    July 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  16. JB

    Having health insurance does help, but it isin a complete mess.
    I was just told that our company provided insurance is going up 12% this year. It has been going up year after year and the coverages has gone down. If there isn't some competition from somewhere it will be more of the same. I guess that competition is our government.
    Ultimately no companies will be able to afford insurance for their employees. I'm just saying....

    July 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  17. Julian

    We need to look at how the top ten health cared countries are financing their system, and make it feasible here. No matter what health care coverage we manage to get, it will matter little when so much of our food supply is poisoned with chemicals that do us no good. maybe we should be looking into the California system of forcing manufacturers to label the food that is known to have cancer causing ingredients. As a country we need to quit a medical system that simply allows people to continue to kill themselves. For example, Acid reflux, instead of turning off the receptors, how about you change your diet first.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  18. Cindy

    To Jeremiah: I agree with you about people getting SSI and Disability Benefits that don't deserve it. I would like to know how in the world they got it. My husband has only a partial skull, absolutely no use of his left arm and hand (yes, he is left handed) and we have been denied 3 times!

    July 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  19. Snws

    Fredrika, I am all for our President's heath plan. I am a stay-at-home mom, who has been job hunting for six months. I used to have personal health insurance, but was paying more out in premiums than was being covered on my doctor bills. To add me to my husband's insurance would not leave us with enough money to cover our bills, but he makes too much for me to be covered on Medicaid. This leaves me uncomfortably uninsured. I have a condition that requires continual medical observance, but can't have anything done because we can't afford it. So needless to say, this health plan would help me immensely!

    July 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  20. ed

    It feels to me that the President is pushing too hard in order to get this health care reform passed at such a quick pace. I think it needs to be looked at carefully and done right the first time. I am still not sold on the idea, I remember when I was in my twenties, I would have been pretty upset if the government was making me pay for health insurance, it was tough enough to pay my auto insurance back then.

    Ed

    July 19, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  21. Roy

    We all agree we need health care reform, but proposing to tax health care benefits is the wrong way to go, how much more tax can we put on the backs of working people, the more taxes the less we have to spend and put into the economy, the correct way to do this is to lower the costs so everyone can afford health care.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  22. Lori McMaster

    We have been waiting for Univeral Health Care since 1993. Health care coverage have tripled in cost 600, or more, and do will not even cover everything. The Insurance companies have denied so many who need bone morrow transplants and other life saving procedures because is cost to much and making it so that eventially the people with these chronic diseased evetially die so the insurance companies can make record profits. Anyone who is not for this have either stock of have pac money from the insurance company, therefore they are being paid off. If we allow the health care industry continue to dictate our fate we will die. I supported Hillary Clintons plan and I support President Obama's plan. Remember folks we supported Hillary and others supported Obama during the primaries so please support health care for all. Stop the abuse in price fixing for MRI's and other medical procedures. We have supported so many air space travels but we cannot take care of our own? We are the only develop country who do not take care of our own people. I am FOR Universal Health Care
    Lori McMaster
    Washington State

    July 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  23. Shailendra Chopra

    The government should concentrate on coverage of the following with provision for people to buy additional coverage.
    1. All maternity care.
    2. All child care upto the age of 18.
    3. All care for the elderly
    4. All catastrophic condition care
    These are the groups that are the highest users of health care. The systems are already in place. The cost does not need to go up too much. If they are covered, the rest of the population can be covered at a much lower cost by individuals through health care insurance.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  24. Gwen

    The only way to cut costs is to expand Medicare to cover everyone and "reform" the profits of drug companies, doctors, and insurance companies. That won't happen until the current system collapses, which may not be too long now. Obama and Congress will do nothing substantial because they won't buck the vested interests. The problem with health care isn't cost, it's profit margins. We don't need reform. We need revolution!

    July 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  25. Larry Caldwell

    Far as I can tell they're not even discussing the most costly aspect of health care which is the billions of unnecessary test in doctor's offices and unwarranted treatments in hospitals. For example I went in the hospital for low electrolytes. The treatment should have been an IV using two or three electrolyte drips. I got those and my electrolytes were normal the next morning. Treatment finished and I was released, right? No ... not even close. I was there for four days and trying everyday hard as I could to get them to let me go. They were charging my insurance company for monitoring my heart 24 hours a day. They insisted I needed more IV drips after my electrolytes were normal. They sent in four different people to do totally unnecessary sonic image scans and they must have done 40 or so blood test.
    I tried withdrawing my consent for treatment but they said that while I could do that the insurance company would bill me for the entire amount. So that didn't work. I realized that I had been able to refuse any more IV drips after the second day and finally just took the heart monitor off and refused to let them put it back on. After that the head nurse called the head guy and told him I was refusing any treatment and I was out-a-there in 3 hours. If I hadn't refused any more treatment I'd probably still be there. Worst part is that I can't even tell the insurance company they've been ripped off because the hospital will just send me the bill for $25,000.00. As it is, I have a bill for around $600.00 but I am loath to pay it because it's fraudulent. Have you heard anyone even considering how the rip-offs work?

    July 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  26. Anita

    America should strive to be a country that puts people first instead of profit. No American should ever have to decide whether to buy food or a prescription. We need to take the politics out of health care and do
    what is right for all the American people. THIS IS WHAT WE WANT.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  27. K. Deffenbaugh

    Don't worry about higher taxes on the wealthy if the Senate passes the new health care bill just approved in the House. Why worry? Many wealthy individuals actually pay a lower percentage of their gross income in federal taxes than do many in lower income brackets due to the ability of their smart accountants and crafty tax attorneys to find loopholes and tax shelters. The myth of the progressive income tax system has been perpetuated for years by both conservatives who decry higher taxes on the rich and by hypocritcal and disingenuous liberals who lie to the American people and piously claim the wealthy "should be more patriotic" and pay their fair share. Only a flat tax with no deductions or loopholes allowed, as espoused by Steve Forbes and others, will get the wealthy or successful to actually pay their fair share.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  28. MMM

    Some form of Universal Healthcare has to happen in this country. Yes taxes will increase but it will be worth it. How do you justify a first world country having things like an infant mortality rates worse than some in the third world? Other first world countries pay many percentage points more in taxes than most Americans and many have no issue about paying because they have the security that these services are there whenever they need them.

    I am currently unemployed and single. Even with the assistance that the president gave paying for 65% of Cobra coverage costs, I still could not afford to keep health coverage.

    Healthcare for citizens and legal residents of this country is never something that should have been privatized in the first place. It is appalling the amount of power health insurance companies have in this country. Unless President Obama basically dismantles the lobbying power of corporations, health companies in particular, nothing will change on this issue.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  29. Joanna Clark

    So long as heath care is attached to employment and the profit-driven insurance racket the U.S. will remain at a competitive disadvantage. We spend more than any other country on the planet on health care, 13.7% of our GDP, compared to Germany (10.8%), Canada (9.4%), France (9.4%), Iceland (9.2%), Spain (7.5%), and the United Kingdom (7.5%).

    So long as health care is attached to employment and the profit driven-insurance racket, we will continue to have an infant mortality rate (6.3) higher than Cuba (5.1), Canada (4.8), France (4.2), or Iceland (2.9).

    So long as health care is attached to employment and the profit driven-insurance racket, we will continue to rank 45 in life-expectancy, behind Bosnia and Herzegovina (42), the United Kingdom (37), Austria (25), Spain (19), and France (8).

    So long as we have a Congress owned by the health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists, we will not get health reform that benefits America. What we will get is one more program that puts the health insurance and pharmaceutical industry first. We cannot continue to build on what we have. The house of cards that Congress and past administrations have created is broken. Continuing to build on the past is like trying to add a second story onto a house that's already riddled with termites.

    The President called for change during his campaign, and he said repeatedly “Yes we can!” It is time for change, real change, and we can no longer remain silent.

    We need to rid of the existing programs – Medicare, Medicaid, sCHIP, TRICARE, Federal Employee Health Plan, etc. Get rid of all of them and create a single universal health plan that covers every citizen from conception to death–a single program that provides health, dental, eye care, home care, etc.

    Our choices today are clear. Either we continue fiddling with the present chaotic mess that exists not for a healthy nation but for the profits of a few at the expense of the nation, or we summon the courage and will to do what is needed and establish a national single-payer healthcare plan.

    The longer we wait, the longer we dither about and moan about
    established traditions, the greater our problems will become. Let us
    fervently hope we do what we must before the problems become so
    overwhelming that disintegration overtakes tradition.

    Polls show single-payer is favored by a majority of both the public and physicians. However, corporate media have demonstrated a profound aversion to talking about single-payer.

    We CAN do it, but it will take every one of us to take our elected representative to task. Give us single-payer or come next election, you will be out of a job.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  30. Lee

    It is bad of an idea now as it was in 1993. There is no arguing that the health industry in the USA has problems and those problems can be addressed; however, this legislation does nothing more than displace where all tax-paying Americans foot the bill for health services (pay on April 15 instead of after your procedure). The more hands in the jar, the less efficient the system becomes.

    It is time to address the issues of people getting treated without being able to afford it, regional price fixing the industry has adapted, and the patients need to be able to pay for a service prior to getting treatment (a guaranteed price). I will never agree to the government thrusting itself farther into the private health industry until those keep problems are addressed. Until that happens, another insurance program is just another bandage for a growing problem.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  31. Sandy

    Jeremiah,

    The health care reform proposals are for an public INSURANCE option, not government health care. Insurance collects premiums, copays, etc. based on the costs to the insurer. It is not a free health care program.

    Right now, people who just take the inniative are not eligible for health insurance due to pre-existing conditions, or have to pay in excess of $800 per month for a policy that still requires them to spend money for visits, medications, etc.

    But the biggest problem is that health insurance premiums, deductibles, and copays keep increasing 4 times the rate of wages. This is not sustainable. Even those who have employee coverage will not be able to afford care! Some of my coworkers do not go to the doctor because the first $600 of expenses are not coverd, and they have to pay 20% plus a $60 copay!

    How can we reduce the costs of medical care? Eliminate the uninsured, which health care providers have to cover by charging excess amounts to insured patients.

    How can we reduce the costs of insurance? Provide competition that does not need to pay stockholders huge dividends. A public option for HEALTH INSURANCE will compete with private insurers, and if private insurers want to continue to be chosen, they will reduce their rates. Their stockholders will earn less – still earn profits, but less.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  32. Paul

    This would be the last hurdle on our way to a socialized nation, not the democratic republic that we all take for granted. The rush to implement this before the loss of gained political momentum comes to pass is the reason why this is such an emergency! Wake up America, we are being robbed at gunpoint and we are sitting on our hands going along for the ride. This issue should be considered in a calm, objective way and not with unwarranted panic as the driving force. Where does the constitution mandate that I pay for your rent. food, health care, cell phone,(yes in Florida), utilities etc...? The meaning of "fairness" has been hijacked! If you want to pay more in taxes, then you go right on and do it but don't mandate I pay for your special programs! That is the meaning of unfair!!!!

    July 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  33. Nancy

    We desperately need health care reform. We ARE looking into an abyss, as the Democrats keep pointing out. But so far everything I've heard about the Democrats' plan is more of the same things that got us here.They will accelerate, rather than slow, our descent into the abyss.

    The one most important thing we need to do is phase out employer-provided health care, because it is temporary and gives people a false sense of security. Its temporary nature allows the insurance companies exactly what they want- to avoid covering people once they become sick and expensive. They get to insure only people well enough to hold down a full time job with a successful company and automatically get to dump people as soon as they get too sick to work. It was a perfect scheme developed by insurance companies and lobbyists for large corporations who can afford health plans. Insurance companies can sell plans to employers cheaply, because the subscribers have already been "cherry-picked" for them by the corporations– to exclude those most likely to need expensive care.

    The best thing congress could do would be to get employers out of the business of health care and make the insurance companies sell plans to individuals. Individuals know what they need from insurance companies–coverage that is not temporary, coverage that the insurance companies cannot cance,l as long as the premiums are paid. They already do this for life insurance, and we need to force them to figure out how to do it with health insurance.

    The one thing congress can do to get uninsured people covered is to make health insurance completely tax deductible for individuals... and at the same time they must phase out the tax advantages given to health care for companies-as quickly as possible! The only reason congress refuses to acknowledge this is because they have to please their close friends in the insurance industry, and the last thing the big insurance companies want is to lose the perfect setup they now have that allows them to avoid paying for care of people with serious health problems.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  34. Sarah Williams

    The public option is necessary, and the more I read and hear about the issue the more sure of this I become. Everyone should have health care all of their lives, and nobody should go without. Regarding the cost, I think that it would be fair if we would mention the cost of not having good, consistent, dependable health care for everyone.

    Other people I am sure know more about this than I do, but I have read about these costs of the status quo:

    One measurable effect of being uninsured is that persons coming into Medicare at age 65 from the uninsured population cost more (Source: Uninsured Americans Raise Medicare Expenditures – washingtonpost.com The article is well worth reading in entirety.

    It should also be easy to measure the cost to American businesses, for whom health insurance for their workers is frequently the second largest expenditure in the budget, after wages and salaries. This drain bankrupts small business and hurts our competitiveness internationally.

    Another thing we need to consider is the high cost of emergency room treatment for problems that could have been a routine office visit if a person had insurance and could have a doctor to go to.

    And I know a lot of people who live with a lot of stress because they and/or their children do not have adequate (or any) health insurance. Stress is related to weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, cancer - you name it, stress does it. Maybe if we had universal health care we would be suddenly more healthy across the board, like people in other countries who have universal health care. Most people in other countries don't sit on the couch as much as we do, perhaps because they don't have to worry themselves to death about what they will do if they break an ankle on a ski slope. Hard to quantify, but worthy of consideration.

    – Sarah

    July 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  35. Sandy

    Cindy,

    Please get a lawyer. The bottom line is, if your husband can work all day, every day – in other words, if he can support himself – he does not need disability. If he cannot – and I'm betting that he cannot – then he deserves to collect disability! We all pay SSI for the this.

    PLEASE get a lawyer if he cannot earn a living wage! I have heard that claims are almost always denied at least once. A lawyer can USUALLY get it done.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  36. Shailendra Chopra

    Europeans spend less than Americans on health care and still have better health overall . Having lived in Europe, I can say that most of it is due to a healthier diet, more walking, less stress, fewer teenage pregnancies and better public transport. America can have a European style health care and still we'll lag behind unless the society decides to change its attitudes. And in the mean time we would have lost the edge in specialist care that we enjoy now.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  37. Clarence/Zolicon

    Health care is over priced and over rated..
    We do not need to be running to a doctor with every problem that comes along. For example.
    80% of my teeth are broken off at the gum line and I do not go running to a dentist when they get infected. I treat the problem myself.
    For the infection I use salt water,and for the pain I use pepsi.
    Clarence/Zolicon

    July 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  38. Linda

    There is one point that people don't seem to realize. Those of us who have insurance are already paying for those who do not. Our taxes pay for Medicaid benefits which pays medical bills of those who are unable to pay or have no insurance coverage. In order for hospitals to stay in business, we pay higher costs to cover unpaid bills incurred by those with no insurance or no money to pay. Hospital emergency rooms are full of patients who use the ER in place of a family doctor because they have no insurance nor the money to pay a doctor. Cities have programs that cover medical costs for the indigent which are paid by, guess who? I work at a hospital and every day I see people getting free medical care which is ultimately paid by people who pay taxes. So, before everyone gets all excited about how much healthcare reform is going to cost, realize that we are already paying. I can bet with a reasonable plan in place, we can reduce the cost of medical care and save all of us a lot of money.

    July 19, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  39. j

    We all know pharmaceuticals, medical device companies, hospitals, and health insurance policies continue to rise in the U.S. Maybe instead of taxing everyone, our government should be looking at puting price caps in all four of these areas. How much profit is enough for these four industries? All four of these markets have been allowed to cause enough financial hardships for so many for way too long. Why should Americans be forced into paying higher taxes, because of unfair price gouging. Our government needs to set uniform price standards for all of these markets.

    "Yes, We Can!" President Obama

    July 19, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  40. mssmith51

    If the measure of how a program performs is how it reacts in a crisis, then our system of private, for-profit insurers is a failure. One has only to look back some 27 years ago when AIDS reached national attention. These insurance companies dropped policy holders for merely taking the test for the virus, regardless of the outcome. In this way, insurers discouraged testing & treatment, thus helping to spread disease. If a private option had existed then, where people could turn for care without fear of loss of coverage, lives could have been saved or prolonged & an epidemic could have been controlled much sooner. It should be remembered that private for-profit companies are FOR PROFIT, first, last & always. They have to be forced to do the right thing, as anyone WITH insurance will tell you when faced with a personal health crisis. A public option can do this.

    July 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  41. Peggy

    I challenge America to get creative and offer suggestions about how we can reduce healthcare cost and generate revenue. Here's a few of my thoughts.

    l. Fact: One reason for high costs is that doctors make money off of the tests that they order. This increases the overall healthcare costs.

    Possible solution: Discontinue the payment to doctors for the tests they order. The payment that would go to doctors (or a fraction of it) would go to support the public option

    Advantages: l. decrease healthcare costs 2. generate revenue for public option.

    2. Fact: Doctors pay a high fee for liability insurance and this increases their costs which of course is added to the patient bills.

    Possible solution: Cap the amount that can we paid for a liability suit...$250,000? (Note; this would also make the republicans happy as they have proposed this idea.)

    Advantages: Decrease doctors costs for liability insurance and offset the fees that they would get from #1. in short, #2 would make #1 more palatable to the doctors.

    Thought you might like to consider these ideas.

    July 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  42. Marilyn

    My opinion about this whole thing is that we need to be keeping our eyes on the LORD, and not our eyes on our government. Anyways, why would I look to government for money when they have such a huge debt already? Our President takes our First Lady on a date on Air Force One. To make us taxpayers pay for his date. I believe he is taking advantage of his position. I believe that our economy is down because of the role model of our government is showing how to manage money. I also believe that as a nation we have taken our eyes off the LORD and pushing Him away. He is lefting His hand from us because we don't accept Him. When all He wants to do is to love us and give us grace. To be able to pour out His blessings on us. He knows that we will miss up, and that He sent His Son to die on the cross to cover our sins, and clean us. I believe if the schools allowed God in we would have less violence. If we allowed prayer and God into businesses then they would be blessed abundantly by His out pouring of blessings. God won't force Himself on us, but He has His arms wide open when we decide to accept Him. He will never let go of us. He does not promise that it would be easy on earth when we do, but He promises us that He will not forsake nor leave us. Thank you for the time to write you and for your time to read this.

    July 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  43. Marie

    Insurance companies should insure homes, cars, jewelry, yachts, planes, luggage, musical instruments, BUT NOT MY HEALTH! I hate it when some insurance bean counter tells me I cannot have a test my doctor feels is necesary!
    Has anyone wondered why we call ourselves a 'superpower' and tell everyone we're the richest nation in the world – – yet we have no health insurance program? If all those other countries are NOT super powers and they are NOT rich, they must just be SMARTER than we are because they've managed to cover all their people. Perhaps we're just STUPID? There aren't many revolutions happening in their streets. It can't be too bad. They live longer than us.
    BTW, we do know how to do it! The VA has worked fine for decades, and Medicare works just fine. When either runs into a problem we FIX them. We can make them work better! But the mechanism is there.
    Reporters don't ask the right questions. Has anyone asked the administrative cost of running Medicare? Of CIGNA? Of AETNA? What's the profit margin for the insurance carriers? Secrets? YES!

    July 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  44. abby

    I firmly believe in national health care. My French relatives love their national health care plan; my friends in the UK, Canada, and Germany love their national health care. Even that bastion of conservatism Switzerland has national health care.

    Why can't America?

    Why can't America have a health care plan similar to what the military offers to its active duty and their families and to the retirees and their families?

    It's reasonable and works great. No one is forced to use a military facility. I prefer to use the civilian facilities to save the time, material, and resources for our courageous soldiers.

    CNN, why don't you investigate Tricare (military health care plan) and report on how that works?

    July 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  45. Katharine

    Although I bought helath insurance for many years, I can no longer afford it. I am an uninsured, self employed middle income person. if I had company insurance I would get a group discount and the company would pay for part of it. If i could get a group rate and a company/government co/pay, I too could afford to but it. That is where a government plan should come into play and why those with company health insurance benefits earning over $250,000 should pay a tax on the part of their coverage underwritten by their company employer.
    Katharine, Los Angeles

    July 19, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  46. Kevin M Hallinan

    Our current health care system has failed; costs are rising geometrically, coverage and services are shrinking, co-pays and deductibles are becoming prohibitive, and there are millions of Americans without health insurance and millions more with inadequate coverage.
    What I find very disturbing is the campaign of misinformation, deceit, and lies that special interests are using to fool Americans into supporting the status quo. For example, they falsely claim that reform will let government make our health decisions, "... instead of between you and your doctor ..". However, this is simply not the case; our choices are not between our doctors, and us, but rather between our doctors and the health insurance companies. Another example of the deceit is when these intrests demonize the Cannadian system; they do so by focusing on waiting periods in Canada, for certain procedures. They fail to discuss the, delays and outright denial of coverage that happens under our system. They also fail to mention that unlike the Cannadian system, our current system leaves approximately 46 million Americans without care.

    July 19, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  47. Howard Steinberg

    Why are you hiding the truth about health care? I watched Christine Roman today and the conversation was all about how do we pay for the fix to a broken system. The real conversation should have been how does the current system of financing health care really work. The answer should be a wake up call to everyone is the country.
    Health care costs are divided between the government , private insurance or personal pay(no insurance) the large insurance companies are public traded companies and under the direction of the same people that brought us the current financial meltdown on Wall Street, so that should comfort everyone. These companies are required to keep a 20% profit margin or the stock price will go down. Now how do they do that? Well they do it in a number of ways. . Aetna's stock dropped because of an 18% return and they were forced to purge 8 million people from their roles to raise the stock price. These people had marginal health and unhealthy indicators. So 8 million joined the uninsured because Wall street demanded a 20% return not 18. Do you ever wonder why we bailed them out? The other way they keep costs down is to deny care, or delay payment for care. Denials are for failure to disclose a minor pre existing condition, or just deny people till they give up. In some companies the denial rates are tied to compensation of the medical executives, and upper management.
    So now we have the most expensive illness intervention system in the world with some of the worst outcomes. Add in the fact that we are the only country that is paying full price for drugs and you get a system that costs 2.1 trillion per year. I don't know why you won't discuss this aspect of the problem?
    I know the cost to fix this will be expensive and your network is obsessed with how much it will cost and continually beats that drum so now every politician is scared to attempt to create a fair and just system because that will correct the ills that I have described. The other issue you fail as a journalistic enterprise to address is when you bring in a politician who opposes health care reform(usually a Republican) to be interviewed, why don't you look up, since it's public knowledge, how many campaign contributions came to them form the insurance and drug lobbies, and state that at the end of the interview . You always say you want to be unbiased so let the people know when someone is speaking for the industry against any reform.
    The stakes are high in this battle. On one side you have the profits of wall street and high paid executives and on the other a president that is finally trying to do what is right for the American people. Please level the playing field and tell the truth for a change, and stop being beholding to your corporate sponsors. Your network has no Walter Cronkite, that is becoming apparent.

    July 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  48. John LV

    We absolutely must get healthcare for ALL Americans. Why complain about the cost. It will cost what it costs. When we went to war with Iraq or Afganistan, no one complained about the cost. Politicians; Put AMERICANS first for a CHANGE!!

    July 19, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  49. tim

    Well CNN you have done your best to make obamas health care plan sound good but it's just not. What happened 2 health care for every one obamas plan leaves 30 million without health care. This thing is going down in flames and cnn can try all it wants but it's 2 late. Although cnn claims Dr.gupta is the best he is not he could not even tell jenny mcarthy that here crack pot medical theory's were not true. He lacks the confidence and courage to stand up to actors and politiacl ops. Perhaps he could be on "Obamas pannel of experets" that a great job for an MD who folds under pressure.

    July 19, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  50. tim

    I love the People on cnn.com that say the people in europe have such good health care for cheaper. Not true its just a bunch of clowns who listen to what obama says and then go around repeating it over and over telling themself's it's true. What i have learned is most of the peopole that say obamas health care plan will be great are rich. Im sure it will be great for you guys you get the best health care you tell all your rich friends that you care so much about us but realy you would not use the junk health care we are being offered. I dont want to wait a year for surgery, I dont want obama makeing my cars,running my bank,provideing me junk health care with no choice. Wake up people at what point do you say no obama you own enough we got this one. I hear everyday on cnn the economy is getting better but in the real world it is getting worse no jobs created hey everybody remember the one million green jobs that will be created? Has there been one created? and if so how many at what price? shame on you for thinking the gov will save you! YO buy my home america im sorry i paid 500,00 for a 250,000 home. Pay for my health care america. Oh come on america give me a job not just any job a GREEN JOB that will save my life and clean the country up. That is for all you suckers out there that though that would acttualy happen if you voted for obama. Sorry yall thats how obama rolls. Same old dirt bag just a new bag of tricks for the suckers.

    July 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  51. Gary

    I think the solution to many of our countries problems, including health care and the drug war, is to change the way we choose our representatives. We do not have a government of the people any more. We have a government of the vested interests. The Senators that want the health reform bills held up have all accepted big contributions from health insurance and drug companies.
    We have a failed drug war which has resulted in a greater per capita rate of incarceration in the world due to the drug war. And we still have addictive drugs being used. Why, because of all the vested interests. Why can't we have a health system like that of Britain, Canada, France etc. because of vested interests.
    So the solution is a different electorale process. Maybe it's term limits, but I think it has to go farther than that. Running for office is too costly. Perhaps back to appointing senators by state legistatures.

    July 19, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  52. Kay Brown

    Insurance industry does not belong in the health care business. These same insurance corporations are spending $1.4 million PER DAY on lobbying the US Legislators against single payer health care in order to protect the profit they make off of fear of ill health.

    We must invest in the prevention of illness, protection of the ill and elimination of illness creating life styes and products including harmful drugs created for profit.

    Here are eight senators who may oppose a public option and the money they’ve received from health and insurance interests.
    Sen. Max Baucus $3,973,485
    Sen. Evan Bayh $1,565,088
    Sen. Kent Conrad $2,154,200
    Sen. Dianne Feinstein $1,749,887
    Sen. John Kerry $8,994,077
    Sen. Mary Landrieu $1,653,943
    Sen. Joe Lieberman $3,308,621
    Sen. Ben Nelson $2,214,715
    PLEASE tell them you support single payer or at the least a public option financing plan. thanks

    July 19, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  53. Carolyn

    Why don't we stop trying to send people to Mars and use that money for health care?

    July 20, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  54. J

    Affordable Healthcare does not exist! Health Insurance Companies charge high deductibles for procedures that are selectively covered. Most of time Insuance claims opts not to cover your test or procedue after years of collecting your premiums. This leaves all of us paying hugh balances and high deductibles. This is not a free market, but a monopoly on price gouging.

    If Healthcare is a fair market...why are so many people going bankrupt because of healthcare costs? I see nothing fair about price gouging. Worst yet, I see nothing fair about taxing everyone to pay for a new system that requires us to still pay for price gouging. We need an oversight board on this. If insurance companies don't want to pay for procedures because they are too costly...what makes government think we want to pay for them after everyone gets insured.

    Either Government needs to put caps on phamaceutical, device, hospitals, and insurance pricing- or they need to become the Middleman. At least this would enable fair pricing.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  55. Sean

    The slogan that other "civilized" countries have better healthcare! This is the single biggest lie being fed down American people to take away their rights to what is THE BEST and HIGHEST quality system in the world. Guess what! it costs the most because it is the best quality. Comparing healthcare in USA to healthcare in those other "civilized" countries is like comparing first class air travel to economy air travel, is like comparing a personal attorney to legal aid, is like comparing a steak dinner to macaroni and cheese.
    the rest of the world may have universal "coverage", but that coverage is worthless when there are lines of months and years for services like in Canada and the UK. Not everyone has "coverage" in the US, but everyone gets heatlhcare. no hospital refuses treatment if you don't have money. The US is where most medical discoveries, innovations and drugs are developed.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  56. Wendy Pountney

    It is easy for those who have the BEST Health Insurance in the world to argue that we do not need reform. Perhaps President Obama should recommend that as a cost saving measure ALL employees on Capital Hill will no longer be covered by employer sponsored health care...that just might get them moving.
    My second thought is this, what would they consider their health care plan? My point is this...they work for the people of the United States of America, therfore their health insurance is paid for with GOVERNMENT DOLLARS. If that isn't hypocritical!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  57. Sean

    Why all the buzz about the "rising cost" of healthcare. What about the rising cost of legal care?
    Americans pay much more than other countries in legal costs, yet no one seems concerned about that. Many Americans lose their homes or go bankrupt every year because of out of control legal defense costs.
    guess what, most of our politicians are ex-lawyers. they would never do something to bite the hand that fed them.
    to them, what is good for the goose, is not good for the gander.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  58. Sean

    Wendy Pountney,
    you are twisting it about senators getting gov healthcare as a hand out. They have a JOB with the federal gov and their employer (federal gov) provides them with health benefits, just like many other Americans who get healthcare from their employer.
    perhaps if you had a JOB too with the federal gov, you would get health benefits from them.
    YOU are not sponsoring the healthcare for members of Congress as a hand-out.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  59. Marie

    Representatives, Senators, Reporters stand before cameras and make noises which are mocked by the public as being 'uninformed'!
    Do they not realize that we ALREADY HAVE single payer systems? Do they NOT know about Medicare and the VA? The mechanisms are in place, it can be done. It might need tweeking, so Tweek it.

    Don't you dare say we're TOO STUPID to get health care. Do you think a superpower is not as smart as all those countries who are NOT rich and are NOT superpowers? So how come they've managed to have health care? Which way is it???

    Europeans live longer than we do, they have fine care and they are NOT marching in the streets in revolt! Of course, you couldn't keep every infant alive, born at 16 weeks, blind and underdeveloped. And you couldn't afford to have every 90-year old tested for every single disease, while they lie waiting to meet their maker!

    The bean-counter at AETNA, CIGNA, Hartford, etc., etc., is no better than a bean-counter at Medicare or anywhere else. Americans need to be educated, they need to be made responsible for their own well-being. They must acknowledge that they will NOT LIVE FOREVER! That would cut costs!

    July 20, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  60. Randy N

    We need to Impeach this Administration, I want change in this country. Randy

    July 20, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  61. Barbin

    It is a moral imperative that those without health insurance have it. We should be looking toward preventive care and to what is necessary for public health. I am sorry that so many Americans think it is their right to have health insurance and to not think it is necessary for those who are without. i would disagree with those who are writing in about not being able to get the care they need–I think they are either not explaining their situation well enough to their care givers or they are hypochondriacs. To those complain that they don't want the government to tell them what health care they can have–that is already happening–just look at HMOs that have primary care 'gatekeepers" . To those who are criticizing the President–I say, hold your horses. If we don't get health care this year–then costs will continue to rise exponentially. And also to those who criticize the President–he's given the Congress a mission and direction and the Congress should get the job done. But the Blue Dogs (and they are more to blame than the GOP) and the GOP don't want the President to get anything accomplished, nevermind the health of their constitutents. Our elected officials in the Congress should get to work and get the job done to the satisfaction of the President so he can sign a bill. And the Congress shouldn't ask for more time–health insurance has been on its plate at least 16 years–that's plenty of time to think it through.

    July 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  62. Allen W

    It seems that all the talk about larger numbers of people being drop from private insurance and switching to the public plan it a ruse because business don't have to provide healthcare insurance as it is – they do to try and compete with larger companies that offer this insurance. The only reason they will drop private insurance is because they believe the that the cost for droping the insurance will be born by someone else. (ie the tax payer) As I understand it there is a small disinsentive built in to help counter act this – but not enough to make it more expensive to drop the healtcare provided instead of continuing to provide the benift.

    July 20, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  63. Adam

    I'd like to know how many of the ~50 million uninsured lack coverage because they can't afford it. And of those that "can't" afford it, how many have cable television, and how often do they go out to eat...? I've read some reports that are quite shocking on how well off those in "need" really are. I'm ok with helping people out who actually need help. If you own a television and pay a monthly cable bill, you don't need financial help, you need someone to help you prioritize and eliminate "luxury" expenses.

    On health care: ~25% of our health care costs can be attributed to OBESITY/OVERWEIGHT and PHYSICAL INACTIVITY!

    And ~2/3 of adults do not meet the minimum recommendations for being physically active. We need to invest in prevention...much cheaper and much more effective. Well, gotta run, need to get my hike in...

    July 20, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  64. Lynne

    What really strikes me as pathetic about the health care debate is on one side you have passionate individuals fighting for the American people's right to affordable, good quality health care and on the other side you have people who simply want to see President Obama fail.
    Petty fools.

    July 20, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  65. Art Hambach`

    I am disappointed with Elisabeth Cohen your reporter. In discussing the current proposals for National Health Care she said a problem is that you might not be able to stay with the doctor or program you currently have. Ms. Cohen, President Obama has said over and over thar you will be able to stay with your current situation. This program is too important for you to screw it up with your shabby reporting,

    July 20, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  66. David Scott

    For Rick Sanchez:
    As a greying dual citizen (Canada and the USA) with significant experience of both systems, I am appalled by the misinformation (especially generated by Senators with a vested financial interest in the current discriminatory health care system like McConnell) about Canada's health care system. It is superb. It is rational. Every Canadian citizen is covered from womb to tomb at a fraction of the US cost per person. Waiting times are minimal. All preexisitng conditions are covered. There is no direct cost to businesses, so some American businesses have moved to Canada for this benefit alone. I encourage you to schedule more interviews with former Canadian provincial and federal health ministers who know the facts, and not made-up-on-the-spot bogus anecdotes.from the preponderance of critics.

    July 20, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  67. Dan Duguay

    I don't believe that all Republicans care about health care, as they now say they do. If they did they would have reformed it when they had a 6 year majority. I think that reforming health care is needed, a no brainer, and should not be nearly as difficult as people are making it out to be.

    I think that all types of insurance need new regulations. Home insurance during Katrina was a farce. If insurance companies are taking people's money all year long, for several years, then how can they be allowed to default when a legitimate claim is needed?

    Health insurance is the same. People should not be dropped when they pay for insurance by crooking, greedy insurance companies.

    I also think that President Obama is right. If there is not a timetable on the health care reform bill, then nothing will be done, ever.

    In short, Republicans don't care, all insurance needs reform, President correct to set a time table, just as President Bush should have set a time table on Iraq. Just wanted to slip that in, sorry. It would have saved enough money to pay for the health care reform bill.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  68. Dan Duguay

    I think that health care reform is a no brainer, and is not nearly as difficult as people are making it out to be.

    I also think that President Obama is right to set a time table on the health care reform bill. Just as President Bush should have set a time table in Iraq. By doing so, it would have saved enough money to pay for the health care reform bill.

    Time tables and deadlines. They are great. They force people to do things that they don't want to do. I think time tables are awesome. Time tables focus people, illiminate waste, and help to get things done. Gotta love the time tables. Congressmen and Senators should all have to carry a calendar and to-do list. They should also have to pencil in all of their campaign promises into the calendar and to-do lists, so they can actually perform them.

    If time tables and deadlines aren't met, I think congress should actually have to stay and perform some overtime. After all, if they work too long and get ill, they are all covered by their awesome health care plan.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  69. Sarah Williams

    Adam -

    You said: "I’ve read some reports that are quite shocking on how well off those in “need” really are. I’m ok with helping people out who actually need help. If you own a television and pay a monthly cable bill, you don’t need financial help, you need someone to help you prioritize and eliminate “luxury” expenses."

    The actual reality is that television is the cheapest entertainment and the cheapest babysitter. It isn't the best, but it is all some people can afford. The monthly cable bill won't take a family of 4 on a day trip to a national park. And if you don't have medical insurance, you can be pretty sure you won't get poison oak or a broken ankle watching TV. Learning to ski (or swim, or hike, etc.) costs a bundle and involves risk. Poor people can't just get up off the couch and go learn to ski - they can't afford the cost, and they can't afford the risk. You are a fortunate person to be able to go for a hike. Probably your medical insurance will take care of you if you break an ankle. You need to re-think TV as a luxury. It is what you have when you can't afford anything real to do. Invite a poor person to go for a hike with you and talk the issue over with him/her and you won't rattle on like the Tin Man.

    You said: "On health care: ~25% of our health care costs can be attributed to OBESITY/OVERWEIGHT and PHYSICAL INACTIVITY!" You left out stress, which is more related to overweight than is physical inactivity. Can you imagine how much stress it is to be afraid every minute that one of the kids will get sick and need a doctor you can't afford? Or that you will get sick or need a doctor and not be able to keep a house for your family to live in?

    You said: "And ~2/3 of adults do not meet the minimum recommendations for being physically active." Perhaps if they had a doctor to recommend to them, they could do better. This is the difference between health care and just treatment of disease and injury. Most people, even the insured, do not have health care. Even insured people are paying money to a financial broker that uses their money to make an obscene profit and can dump them if it helps the corporate bottom line. Tomorrow you might be dumped, especially if you are out hiking and have some kind of accident or incident that costs your insurance company money.

    I commend you on your taking responsibility for your health and doing things that promote good health, particularly getting out and enjoying physical activity. The reality of people's lives is that many people for various social, economic, or physical reasons cannot do this. Having access to health care and good advice from a health professional has probably helped you along the way, and other people deserve this kind of support also. If everyone had it, we would all benefit.

    July 23, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  70. Chuck Johnson

    If thousands of Americans are losing their health insurance EVERY DAY, why isn't Congress taking this more seriously?! Only the Iraqi Parliament takes a month of vacation when the needs of the people are so crucial. Maybe if they had to stay and WORK until they worked out a mutually acceptable plan, they'd DO something significant!

    July 25, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  71. dee

    A simple solution for healthcare:

    Let people sign up (no matter what their age, state they live, or
    health condition) on any of their family members plans. It would
    be just like signing up a child or spouse as dependents. The insurance companies should be FORCED to accept anyone a person adds (as long as their family members)

    For people that don't have families; they can do the public option

    What do ya'll think?

    July 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  72. anniejacobs

    Eating Disorder Program : In large part, you're in control of your health, not your doctor. And taking control of your health doesn't really depend on whether or not you have medical conditions. Cliffside Malibu eating disorder program would look after patients and families, ensure fundamental standards for care, quality perfection and endorse appropriate lengths of stay.

    August 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  73. Marie/NY

    Doesn't it embarrass any portion of the media to have our population exposed showing just how dumb, how uninformed, how uneducated, our entire population appears? People don't seem to KNOW what a government program is! How could that be?
    If the media was tasked to educate and inform the general population I'd say you've FAILED MISERABLY. We were smarter when Cronkite was working. Media NEVER asks follow-up questions when the guest flat out LIES or MISREPRESENTS a fact. Why is that? Perhaps you don't even know they're NOT being honest? Do some research first. Understand and accept that some have a vested interest and so they will be pushing their 'favorite' point of view. It doesn't make it GOOD, or FACTUAL.

    August 16, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  74. Gary

    The problem should be who pays rather than is it going to cost. Consider that it costly our country $7500/person for health care, whereas it costs in other countries that have national health care, $200. And our health outcomes are no better than in those countries where it costs less. So how to access this money, amounting to $5,000 per person per year is the question.
    To make this analysis simpler it would be best to have one Medicare type program for all Americans. They we could say could clearly define who would save by the system compared to the current one. This employers who pay a lot on the health insurance of their employees would save. Local governments who pay a lot of the care of indigent currently would pay. It would be reasonable to put part of the cost on the income tax, like Medicare now is on it. That way people who are employed and currently have employer provided insurance and don't pay income tax on it, could pay the amount they are paying now for that empoyer provided insurance.
    The costs are being born by some entity somewhere. The money is there. The system to help contain the costs and get the basic care to a lot of people that don't have it is not there.

    October 18, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  75. Joanna Clark

    Right on, Gary. Congress has created so many programs - Medicaid, sCHIP, Native American Health Plan, Federal Employee Health Plan, TriCare, etc. - each with their own set of rules, their own bureaucracy, and we still have 47 million uninsured and 55 million under-insured, costing us more than 17-percent of our GDP. It is insanity that we have allowed our elected representatives to get away for this for so-long; allowing them to sell their votes to the highest bidder.

    The majority of American's are more concerned about having to pay more taxes than paying larger insurance premiums. Given the choice, however, I'd much rather pay an additional $2000 a year in taxes if it would save me $12,000 in health insurance premiums for the same level of care.

    They argue that they don't want a government employee between us and our doctor, but its own to have a CEO and his gang of thieves between us and our doctor. They argue long delays... I lost my eyesight in my right-eye because I had to wait 45 days to see a retina specialist, and it has been 35 days since I was referred to a surgeon for removal of a skin cancer lesion, so we're not the only country with long delays for needed care.

    We need to roll all of the various government health insurance programs into a single "Medicare for All" (H.R. 676) and tell the health insurance industry to take a hike. If they want to sell supplemental health insurance, fine, as long as they are regulated so that it doesn't become a continuing of the scam they have perpetrated on American citizens.

    October 19, 2009 at 10:10 am |

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