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July 21st, 2009
09:00 AM ET

What are You Willing to Give Up?

Nearly 46 million people in America are uninsured, and millions are underinsured. But reforming the current system will require changes. So what are you willing to give up to help? Pay higher taxes? Switch to a government-sponsored plan? Have less generous coverage?

We want to hear from you. Leave us a comment. Let us know your name and the city where you live.
We’ll read some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am—1pm ET


Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (899 Responses)
  1. S Carpenter

    Yes, willing to pay more taxes. Our state just lowered property taxes all to heck and now we can't pay teachers, the roads are a mess, and they are cutting Medicaid benefits. There are some things we have to pay for, and if we don't want to pay for them, we can't have them. That is just the way it works. I get sick and tired of the Republicans who don't want to pay taxes and don't want any benefits for anyone. Except themselves of course, which they can get because they run all the corrupt businesses and banks who rip everybody off. Yes, they have Plenty of money for everything they want. And they sure don't want to help anyone else out.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  2. michael armstrong sr.

    IM willing to give up bail outs for banks and insureance companys .

    July 21, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  3. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I will be willing to give up disability for a full time job. I was diagnosed Multiple Sclerosis in the year 2000. I will be willing to drop the force labels from Society of a Person with Disability because I have Multiple Sclerosis. Nearly 46 million people in America are uninsured and millions are underinsured. This situation was done in a process of years which ignored those 46 million people in America thanks to labels of having a pre existing condition as Multiple Sclerosis. There is no cure to MS. Can you live with a condition like that? Can you take the pressure from society to write you off because of a pre existing condition? Reforming the current health system will require changes. Will society learn to accept others with disable conditions? Although heat exacerbates Multiple Sclerosis I am willing to work. Multiple Sclerosis is a chronic condition and MS cannot do without proper medical attention. What are you willing to give up?

    July 21, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  4. J

    I would like to see Congress and Senators not be allowed to vote on topics where there are conflicts of interest. If they benefit from pharmaceutical, hospital, or insurance companies, lobbyist, they should not be allowed to vote. Obama should put a law into place calling for full disclosure and not allow conflicts to exist.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  5. Peggy Toney

    We all should pay, that's what taxes are for. So, find some tax that all of us, poor and rich, pay. Even welfare recipients should have the cost deducted from their cash stipend. Where are the lawmakers, both democrat and republican, who voted to go to war and spend many more millions? Healthcare for Americans is not about the cost, it is a moral issue. As it stands now civilized countries look on us with disdain because we do not "care" for all people.

    I am a liberal democrat now receiving Medicare. I would be on the streets if my husband and I were not covered by this wonderful medical plan. Why not offer that same plan to all citizens.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  6. Susan

    Why couldn't we do things that could help raise money for the uninsured as well as give our planet a break? i.e. – Is it possible for Americans to go a day or two a month without their lights on, still get billed an average cost, and have that money filtered into a fund? Just an idea.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  7. Paul

    Let those who feel like paying more in taxes, do it. As it is we have too many " programs" which enable the lazy to remain so.

    July 21, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  8. kelli, virginia

    If $250,000 for a small business owner is considered "rich" then no-i am not willing to give this reform my support. We have heard the unending question "how are we going to pay for it?" Could you cover a little bit more-what is in the proposals?! And without immigration reform-how can we proceed with healthcare?! what about all of the illegal immigrants or immigrants that are not yet citizens?! should the "rich" have to pay for them too?!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  9. Mike Stanton

    Last hour's CNN report displaying enormous taxes to be paid by the rich (earning more than $500,000) is very misleading and not really accurate. In fact, most wealthy taxpayers are skillful at avoiding much of those taxes through tax shelters and deductions. A better, more accurate, report would disclose what percentage, on average, these folks ACTUALLY PAY.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  10. John Appleton

    Anytime a program stands to benefit the majority of the population, the number one issue becomes cost. We do not hear huge debates about the cost of the wars and military budget, even though they far out weigh the cost of health care reform. I have seen far more debate about the cost of health care then the bailouts. The bailouts were far more expensive then health care reform, and went to a select few very rich people. CNN debates whether or not a this plan is unfair to the rich. How about the fact that those making over 100,000 do not pay Social Security tax after 100,000 while the working class pays SS on 100% of its income.

    Also can we least have a discussion on the health care plans. I hate these strategy stories. I judge a new's story on how much I learn from it. I have trouble getting any information on health care proposals. Give us the details of the plans, not political strategy. CNN give us the facts, not what "the president hs to do to convince republicans". We rely on the news networks to inform us on issues. Stop the gossip garbage stories, and give us something we can learn from.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  11. Mary

    I would be willing to give up my big 60-inch TV, my Escalade, my Cadillac, my Lexus, my cigarettes, my alcohol, my illicit drugs, my tattoos, my Showtime, my HBO, my expensive clothing, my expensive shoes, my gym membership, my IPod, my cell phone, etc. Oh, let's see, I don't have any of these things, so I am able to pay for my mortgage, my utilities, my food, my health care, etc.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  12. CHARLES RUSSO

    WILLING TO GIVE UP SATURDAY MAIL DELIVERY; WILLING TO PUT LIMITS ON SUITS AGAINST DOCTORS

    July 21, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  13. Edward Sheakley

    Well Tony, the way I see it is its time for the country to eat its vegitables. I think, if we hunker down we can eat a higher tax increase for full coverage. The problem is we just don't want to. But like all things in the world its better to pay a big fee upfront than extend the problem and end up paying even higher in the long run. This is health care. Everybody will benefit from it. So, lets everybody pay a little more for it.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  14. jodi botticello

    I'm not willing to give up anything but with this new plan I'm afraid I will have to give up everything. Welcome to the new socialist USA.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  15. Bob Furlong

    Absolutely nothing!!! Politically correct, who cares. Been giving up my retired military benefits for years, lets let Congress give something like retirements, health perks etc. Bob

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  16. toni

    I'm a teacher and we give a free education to all children. I would pay higher federal taxes to help with free health care–IF my state (Iowa) would adjust its exorbitant tax rates.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  17. Jamie

    I'll give up horrendous Insurance company profits. HUge CEO salaries, and overhead way way over Medicare. In addition I'll give up lobbyists buying politicians and my health care being slave to the highest bidder. I'll give up Republican messages from the Scaryland Amusement Park. In exchange I'll take a sensible single payer public option thank you very much.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  18. Lucas Turner

    I shouldn't be willing to give up anything. Being self employed, it's hard enough as it is. As long as the government has people will to give or give up, they are going to be taking.

    We shouldn't be discussing what to give up, but how to become more efficient. Name something well managed by the government?

    I personally do not believe everyone deserves free health care. Why are we punishing those who work hard and rewarding those who do not? What ever happened to earning what you have? I'm 28 years old, and now that I think about it, I'd like to give up social security. It's not going to be there when I could need it.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  19. Grant Mulder

    I am willing to give up – nothing. cost savings via the likes of tort reform and technology should pay for the cost.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  20. Rudy D.

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes. I've been blessed to be able to help others. I think part of what makes America great is that we rally around each other during difficult times. I'd like to think that if the shoe was on the other foot, someone would be there to help me, especially with something as important as health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  21. Brendan

    Tony,
    This is too important. I am 27 years old and have been in both situations when it comes to being covered and not having health care. I right now have the best health care you can get, but I am willing to do whatever it takes. This isn't a money issue. This is a moral issue. I wish everyone saw it as a moral issue because if they did this reform would of passed years ago.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  22. Priest F.

    Tony,

    There are ONLY three groups i am willing to give up any of my hard earned resources for:

    1. Elderly
    2. Children
    3. Disabled

    If you are not in any of these groups you should be ashamed of yourself for asking ANYBODY for ANYTHING...

    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  23. Chris N.

    I'm not willing to give up anything. Assisting others with healthcare is NOT my responsibility. Taking care of myself and my family is. I do NOT expect the Goverment to take care of me and those that do sicken me.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  24. Lois

    In order to pass this much needed legislation NOW, I would be willing to pay more taxes or belong to a government sponsored plan in order to help out the people without insurance, espicially those who have been laid off from their jobs and cannot afford to pay for Cobra.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  25. Brian

    Tony, I am a medical student here in Texas and I am willing to give up part of my future salary. I am in medicine because I want to help and serve people not because I want to be rich. I am willing to accept a lower salary in order to help provide everyone in this country with quality healthcare.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  26. jeffrey c borneman

    Give up more? You must be kidding. The problem is not that 'greedy rich people' refuse to help those less fortunate – the problem lies in the left's statement that health care is a 'right.' It is not (I will stand to be corrected if you can find that 'right' in the US Constitution.

    The fact the governement got involved in the health industry in the first place was unconsitutional and we are now facing the unintended consequences of the 'feel good' generation of the 60s.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  27. DJ

    There should be a government sponsored health insurance plan option for persons like myself who are self employer, and also for those who work at jobs where their employer does not offer any health insurance plan. One of the primary reasons that costs are so high is that there are over 46 million uninsured in this country, and care that is provided to these people at less than market rates cause costs to rise in order for providers to cover their costs. People who work for a living should have access to affordable health care coverage.

    Additionally, the primary drivers of high health care costs – administrative costs and pharmaceutical costs – are not addressed at all in any of these proposals. Insurance company executive compensation should be severely limited, and pharmaceutical costs should be limited by government regulation so that price gouging of consumers at the pharmacy comes to an end. People should not have to choose between paying rent or buying food and paying for their needed prescription drugs.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  28. Jay

    I think the question that would help put this in perspective is: "What are you willing to give up not to spend many of your waking hours worrying about your own health care and that of your family since many of us are only a little away from losing our job at any given time.?" Additionally, we can cover those who are uninsured or underinsured. It is for ALL of us!!!!

    The truth is, even if you are middle class, you have no security. Gotta go. One of the unemployed off to another interview!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  29. Mars

    I would give up anything asked. Right now I haven't had a full time job since Bush took office. Please please please tax my new job at 50%.
    I need health care. I'm someones son. I can't afford a family nor even a home. I owe $14,000 on a ten thousand dollar education that has not helped me get work. What do you want me to give up? I will.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  30. Ron

    Tony, if I made more than 200,000 I would be willing to give half of it up if it could help the whole nation be health-insured. What the wealthy do not realize is that a lot of our current woes are due to an unhealthy nation. Sick fathers who have to stop working because of poor health, lose the family home, get on welfare, children get sick and die of diseases that could have been treated if caught on time, etc. It is a snowball effect. While the wealthy are wondering whether new taxes will prevent the acquisition of the family yacht, poor people are dying daily. National Health Care is an absolute necessity not fodder for political banter.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  31. Gail

    Tony,

    I am willing to pay more taxes, but there needs to be a limit on the number of high tech exams doctors can preform. There are great doctors out there who don't depend on machines to tell them what is wrong or how to deal with someones illness. Those doctors, in my opinion are the best physicians.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  32. Mike Keller

    I am a retiree. I am quite willing to pay more for my Medicare Part B if in some way that would assist others to be insured. I am also willing to pay higher income taxes. I think it is unconscionable that many in this country can for selfish reasons continue to leave millions uninsured or under-insured.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  33. Jim Tole

    I live in Hamilton Ontario Canada-Our health care plan here in Canada is great-we pay for it through our taxes-it is not excessive-I know that if something happend to me or my family we would be taken care of. I certainly wouldn't want to be living under your system of health care. You need to adopt a Canadian style of health care!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  34. Jean

    Being a dual citizen, Canadian-American, who had two operations in Canada with no problems, I would like all myy fellow Americans to have government health care.
    Yes, I would approve taxes going back up to the levels they were when Reagan was President to pay for it.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  35. Peter

    I have no problem paying taxes for things that the government has a legitimate right to do, but I would have a serious problem paying taxes to cover other people's health care. If people would learn to be financially responsible, and budget for things like annual check-ups with a family doctor rather than expecting their insurance to cover absolutely everything, we wouldn't be in this mess. Instead, all the poor and middle-class of this country expect the government to take care of them using lots of money from the rich.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  36. Pierre Angiel

    I'm will to give up rich people's money.....tons of it.

    It's what you have left that counts, not how much you pay.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  37. Denise Robinson

    Tony, I believe that it is crucial that every American has access to affordable health care that allows people to have regular, preventive care instead of only being able to obtain emergency care.

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes. I am fortunate to have coverage through my employer. I would not mind paying higher taxes or being taxed on my health care benefits.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  38. Catherine Shriver

    I find it reprehensible that the very lawmakers we have elected do not care enough about their constituencies to genuinely work toward a feasible national insurance system. After all,THEY receive health insurance AND a salary for the rest of their lives, even if they have served only 1 term!!!
    Yes, I would be willing to be taxed for health insurance. Surely it would be less than the $780/month I pay now for me and my husband, and that's with a $2500 deductible for each of us.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  39. Kim

    What about adding and extra 50 cents onto ATM fees that would go towards health care costs? It would add up and nobody would really blink at a 50 cents increase. Also if the banks could match that 50 cents, it would help with the cost of health care, and they would be paying back their bailouts.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  40. christina Gary

    I think we as Americans shouldn't have to give up anything. If this health care reform passes, the economy will fall to the ground. Many people opt out on health care why force them. It is going to be more difficult for people to recieve the care they actually need. The United States of America is moving toward a tyrannical government. Congress don't have to worry about health care they already get free health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  41. Anne Fitzgerald

    Why give up? We are already paying for everyone's health care. What the new plan would be is that everyone would pay something. All business would pay something. The only one's that would suffer is the highly paid CEO's , that money would be put into the health care pot instead. Health care was not always on Wall Street and it should not be there now. Regards Anne

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  42. Brena

    I agree with the previous poster, we ALL should contribute to OUR healthcare, not just "rich" people.

    When we all pay for things, we appreciate them more. We should all pay the same percentage from our income to pay for healthcare, even if someone makes minimum wage. No one should be allowed a free ride.

    I'm a conservative democrat who grew up poor (now middle class) and I watched my family members abuse the welfare system. No more! If they had contributed, they would not have abused a system that was not designed for someone to be on for 30 or 40 years!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  43. Lucy

    Who says we have to give up something? Maybe higher taxes on the rich, but maybe all will save money by lowered premiums as no one has to use the ER for general healthcare!!! I am willing to give up what costs the US so much– end of life crazy treatments! When a 85-year-old has metastasized cancer, there is no need to spend any money on surgery (or whatnot) to extend the life 6 mo in pain; if that was me, I'd be happy with hospice care to die without crazy treatments.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  44. Ph.D Doc - Florida

    Since I haven't had ANY access to healthcare since 2005, I'd be

    *giving up my lack of preventive health care ... so for sure I'm in favor of universal healthcare. I watched my sister and mother each die from lack of access to healthcare.

    *giving up worry about doing chores, like cleaning my roof, for fear of falling, breaking a leg, and not being able to go to a hospital.
    *fear of losing my home.

    Employers here find any way possible to hire workers and NOT insure them. Even the state gov't favors OPS workers and they are NOT insured, nor do they have other benefits. Lots of hard working people here with NO HEALTH INSURANCE and pay so low it is difficult to pay day-to-day bills.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  45. Tom

    I'm not willing to give up anything (not one dime) to provide health care insurance for illegal aliens. I'm not willing to give up anything for this current health care insurance fiasco – not until the true makeup of the 45+ million so-called uninsured is acknowledged (there are really more like 16+ million that want to be insured and are truly uninsured). When you consider the 16+ million and the 1-2 trillion dollar cost it makes no sense. It would be cheaper to simply buy them health insurance policies. If the United States creates a government-run health care system, it will mean the end of private health care insurance.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  46. James Schubert

    I am willing to give up a system where doctors make 5 million dollars a year. I think a doctor in England making 500 thousand dollars is compensated well enough for all those hard years in medical school. That medical education was supposed to be for helping the sick, not helping him or herself. I am willing to give up obscenely lucrative HMOs that reward doctors who deny expensive care and fire doctors who try to help their patients. I am willing to give up the most expensive healthcare system on earth and trade it for one that does not leave us at about 30th in terms of infant mortality and life expectancy. We are definitely not getting what we pay for. I am willing to give up being ripped off.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  47. Carlos

    I am willing to give up a little for the benifit of the whole. That infact has been the American way. We continue to hide from taxes but we complain about roads, the failing education system, and the lack of available jobs but we fail to contribute to the solution (investments)

    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  48. Darrell C

    Tony.....all Americans should do their amount. From the homeless american to Bill Gates. It isn't about taxing anyone.......which seems to be gov'ts way out of EVERYTHING........its about setting up a program, and doing it.

    If our gov't is so powerful, why don't they stipulate the coverage they want and tell the insurance companys they're going to accept it. WHY ASK THE INSURANCE COMPANYS to say okay to anything.............they need to do their part too.

    Oh and another way is to STOP giving millions in bonuses to executives.............give them a few thousand dollars for doing a good job, and give the rest of their bonus to health care..............

    We the people of the people and for the people, right ??

    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  49. Rene

    I have many family members who are receiving health benefits from the government. Most of them don't work because they claim that they can get more money by staying poor. A few of them claim that their spouses left them so they can collect. A few of them are children of parents that are in the system and they get pregnant and know they are in the system. These people are the worst in taking care of their health yet they demand the best care. If you allow the whole country to operate by a government managed health care we are Fu@&. We all know that the government is the worst in running any business (i.e. Department of motor vehicles). Most of you Obanana koolaid drinkers are a bunch of morans who don't understand how people take advantage of anything that is free.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  50. Mike Hondorp, Gig Harbnor, WA

    I am willing to give up the unnecessary and immoral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid that are bankrupting our nation. Eliminating those things will go a long way towards paying for a long overdue national health care system for our citizens.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  51. John Beecroft

    I think all HC plans should have high deductibles. Many of the issues (highlighted by objectors to a single payer system) exist with the current system.. rationing, refused claims, limited access to drugs, etc. We have a chronically sick family member and know this as fact. I think a high deductible system will curb superfluous and unnecessary use of any system because it's 'free'. So I would give up a low deductible system and move to a high deductible system.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  52. Richard

    I am not willing to give up anything. We are paying an excessive price to heal the uninsured now. We have already have universal health care but it is just that part of it is hidden costs. We need to eliminate profiteering and put the real costs upfront.
    I have lived in other countries; and from personal experience I find the health care in the US is the worst in the developed world, please don't believe the hype.
    By the way, would someone please identify that so called Canadian women who claims she would have died from a brain tumor. Until we know her name, where she lives (she could be a US resident) and the circumstance of her treatment (the Canadian system could have paid for this) it is just false advertising. I hope CNN has a team on it already.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  53. Brenda Shreve

    If I say this often enough someone might listen.

    A 1/2% to 1% national tax on everything but food & supplements would pay for a wonderful healthcare plan. But first, the profit motive must be removed from healthcare.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  54. Linda

    Aren't we already paying for state medical with our tax dollars? Don't we have free medical for all people & the illegals who sneak across the borders to receive welfare, food stamps & everything else? Why should we give up more when the money from medicare is being wasted under govn. control? The news report yesterday told about the price of the wheelchair. I have seen it with oxygen units etc. myself. Here is a wholesale market group where companies can rip off prices legally with no control. So now we are asked to give up for more rip off?? NO! Medicare is regulated for surgeries & procedures so why not more common sense in these fees? The same with drugs – a bulk buying power with no caps. People work now until June to pay taxes and still we are wanting for more? If we give the govn. our entire paychecks, will they then be happy and take full control of our welfare? They seem to be too busy wasting and lining their pockets and asking us what more we will give.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  55. J Rapoport

    I'm willing to live in a smaller home, travel less frequently, own fewer articles of clothing, go out to fewer restaurant dinners, and see less movies, subscribe to fewer premium channels, etc., etc., etc., and sacrafice and pay what we must to achieve equity in healthcare, education, and security.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  56. Mark

    I think that proportioned to our income we should pay higher taxes in order for everyone to have healthcare. If one of the reasons that healthcare premiums are so outrageous is that doctors and hospitals treat people with no coverage, then everyone having coverage may actually have a positive impact on the premiums.

    Mark
    California

    July 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  57. Shepherd L

    I would give up my tax dollars, choice of doctor, and the current ineffectual system for one that gave the appropriate, basic coverage to all Americans and visitors. I would not give up my right to choose private care, but their must be a more even, more competitive playing field.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  58. Eva

    I am one of those people that have no health insurance. I would be more than willing to pay my fair share for health insurance but am a 62 year old woman with a past history or cancer so when I apply the cost is just too much for me to pay or they will not insure me at all. I would give up a portion of my pension to pay if the cost was anywhere near the price I could pay. The republicans have lost my vote forever since I have seen how they do not want to help solve this problem they fight everything that is put in front of them with no solutions for the problem. Until this election I was a registered republican but see to them it is more about politics than the people so they will never receive a vote from me until that changes.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  59. Cathy

    Tony, as a retired person with good health care insurance and a steady pension income, I would be willing to pay higher taxes and pay more "out-of-pocket" for my health care if it can help those who don't have any options. It's about time someone in the media posed the question you did to us. In these complex and difficult times, it is important that we work together if the future is going to be better for all of us.....not just those who "have it made." A population that is better cared for with preventive medicine and routine check-ups will probably be better able to work, pay taxes and be contributors to society's resources instead of just consumers of them. It's time for a shift in our collective consciousness from "what's in it for me" to "what can I do to help?"

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  60. C D

    That's the crux of the question for the public, isn't it? Personally, I would be willing to pay more taxes, with the assumption that the raise would not be that significant. Considering the number of people who would pay the tax, it seems that the tax increase would be minimal. would we be willing to pay $5 a year or $10 a year to help those who need healthcare but can't get it?
    In a democratic society, it is time for the public to return to the principles of the Declaration of Independence and consider all of the people and the public good, and not just focus on self-interest. That's not an easy thing to do for most Americans.
    I think need to modernize the system and eliminate inefficiency and waste. It is a broken system. But I am concerned about the cost and about a government-run option. Has anyone proposed a test program for the government-run option?
    Give up coverage? No. At the current cost of healthcare, that's not an option for me.
    So the tax option seems to be best, with perhaps a promise to roll back the tax once the government gets the system under control. As badly as the system needs reform, the government needs to be held accountable.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  61. Leonard Hingle

    I hate to sound unsympathetic, but until our government stops illegal immigration and stops providing the 8M to 20M illegal immigrants with FREE healthcare, I am NOT willing to give up anything. Not to mention, if one supports pro-life, the 14th ammendment concerning "sand babies" doesn't apply if a pregnant woman crosses illegally into our country; that fetus would be another person; hence, two people are crossing illegally.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  62. Ava

    I am willing to pay higher taxes, and also switch to a government run health plan. The government runs schools, police, fire, gives us clean drinking water, build good roads and highway systems, Medicare, social security, veteran's health care, parks etc..... these are all government run programs and they all work very well. I am ready for a government run health care program. Are the private health care providers scared of a little competition? Isn't competition what capitalism is all about?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  63. Paul F

    I am perfectly willing to pay higher taxes in order to fund a quality public option for health care. Our current for-profit health care system is a disaster. It's inefficient, ineffective, and not serving the needs of millions of Americans who are uninsured. The Republicans are little more than lapdogs to the insurance industry on this issue and for most Americans its becoming apparent that they have no viable alternative to offer at this point. They keep repeating the mantra being fed to them by their industry masters and for those of us paying close attention it's quite clear that their plan is little more than more of the same.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  64. Jay

    Every one of our elected officials should be willing to give up the special perks that they get as members of an elite class and swim in the same pond with the rest of us...

    July 21, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  65. Talma Taormina

    This is everyone's responsibility. Yes, I'll pay more taxes. I'd prefer a Single Payer System, but at least there should be a government option. Health care should be a right, not a privilege.These big companies shouldn't be making money off of healthy people and then refusing to pay for sick people. I, myself, am an agnostic. But I still believe in being "my brother's keeper". What's wrong with all of those religious people out there who can't find it in their hearts to pay for those less fortunate than themselves?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  66. Dave in Mississippi

    I'm not willing to give up anything or pay higher taxes. My wife and I are retired and it has already become very expensive to maintain the level of health care that we have. Perscription drugs keep increasing and this is a major problem. All our every day costs keep rising and my concern now is that we will live long enough to go broke.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  67. Alton

    Americans are a selfish and arrogant people they will not give up something to help their fellow man. Their are always rare exceptions. But think about it, the debate on the right is that we should not have universal health care because of high cost and the fact that is may lower the quality of health care that upper and middle class Americans receive. That translates to "to hell with the poor they don't need health care".

    I am 21 and senior at Georgia State, Accounting major and come from a poor family, I haven't seen a doctor in two years because of lack of health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  68. Toni Fitzgerald

    I agree with "J" . I would be very intrested in which congress men recieve monies from lobbist who work for insurance companies ect. I would definitly pay more taxes to get a better health care in place. Or pay into to a fund each month to help pay for it.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  69. John Appleton

    Willing to give up my copays, preexisting conditions, 60% of all bankruptcies caused by medical costs. I am willing to give up the CEO's and large share holders who get rich from denying cancer patients coverage. I am will to give up the corporate bureaucrats who decide what service I can get instead of my doctor. I am willing to give up the most expesive inefficient health care system in the world.

    I want a choice in my health care. I want a strong public option.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  70. PatB

    Eliminate wasteful spending and corruption at state and federal level and you will be surprised how much money will be found. I would only agree to higher taxes if it is applied across the board.

    Nationalized healthcare coverage have been shown to work for simple care... when specialized care is required, examples from countries around the world show that significant delays and poor care is provides.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  71. Frank

    I personally do not believe the insured will be giving up very much.
    My wife and I are diabetics, with heart issues. I underwent open heart surgery just over a year ago.
    My insurers are raping us...between premiums and deductibles, etc. our minimum output for medical expenses exceed $ 30,000 yearly.
    Essentially my first $ 50,000 of AGI goes to medical.
    Many of the 45 million uninsured can receive medical attention at no cost to them..Who do you think pays for them.
    Certainly if an uninsured suffers a heart attack he is not left at the hospital door and told to die....he is treated.
    As for better care for insureds...it's a "croc of..."because Insurers continually find ways not to pay...CONTROL IS NEEDED

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  72. Karyl Hendrick

    I'm willing to give a lot to get our people covered, with quality of service being my primary holdout. The problem I have, and I hear this from others, as well, is that we can't "see" what is being proposed.

    We really need a good graphic, like a balance sheet that we can understand. It needs to be easy to understand and it needs to be visibly keyed to the 10-year window we've heard about. On one side, show us the cost ranges for options being considered. On the other side, show us the options of how we might pay for the whole thing through both new sources of income and waste reduction savings. For instance, we hear some income will come from electronic records improvements. That's a cost reduction (as well as a quality issue). But what range of cost reduction are we talking about? We hear an option for taxing our employer-provided health insurance. But what percentage of taxation would that be, and, given how much employers contribute, nationally, based on ranges of income, what range of $ increase are we looking at? No one can keep up with this kind of discussion unless we can all see what we're talking about.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  73. Kathleen

    I would give up anything to make sure that we all have access to affordable and adequate medical coverage. I am one of the many, MANY people in this country that do not have medical insurance. We have THOUSANDS of dollars in medical debt because of not being able to afford coverage.

    So would I pay higher taxes? Definitely. Join a government ran plan? You bet. Have less generous coverage? Without a doubt. Because LIFE is much more important than any amount of money, in my book at least. I wish I could say the same for those trying to shoot down this proposal.

    My family has basically given up the idea of achieving our "American Dream" because of debt due to a lack of affordable medical coverage. So we are ready and willing to give up whatever else it takes to protect our family and the other citizens of this nation from suffering anymore than we already have... both physically and financially.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  74. Dan

    healthcare is not a right. I am not willing to give anymore of my money to the government for another government run program. historically the government does not run anything very well. they create a giant bureaucracy that costs billions. we need healthcare reform: eliminate frivolous lawsuits, fraudulent claims, etc. look at other nations you do not want the government to provide your healthcare. it will be slower, you will loose control of choice, they will pick what care you need, it will be a mess. the constitution mandates a small federal government, this just another case for larger government...

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  75. Kent Garry

    Although my wife and I together make far less than $250K, we would be willing to pay more in "visible" taxes to off-set the "invisible" tax we currently pay in higher health care costs to pay for those who get care through crowded emergeny rooms. If this is what it takes to make it happen, so be it... and it makes little difference to us whether the tax is on medical benefits now tax free, or in the form of a surcharge.

    Would we be willing to accept coverage provided through a "public opion" government plan? Yes. We have seen how well universal health care works for the people in European countries. The opposition to health care reform, we think, is making much too much out of the Canadian system being so poor. It isn't.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  76. cory

    Good Morning Tony,
    What are we willing to give up?Tony thats very difficult to agree to give up much of anything!When there are organizations such as World Vision International have been accused of stealing much of the donations given to them and credit card companies playing games with the very consumers that have paid thier salaries, its becoming very difficult to contribute to anything other than physcially volunteering!
    We must first rebuild trust in this nation and then possibly we can have a mosre giving spirt!
    Have a wonderful day!
    Cory

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  77. Paul

    I would be willing to give up nothing. I have good healthcare and I should not have to sacrifice the quality of it to pay for others healthcare. If everyone in America would just learn to take care of themselves, to have some self pride and work for what they need, then we would not need to make the rich make up for the short fallings of the poor.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  78. S Crager

    I believe that in order to save the country money, it is not by raising taxes, and not by taking away the things communities need the most.

    We are in financial termoil. And yet our president is out flying around the world. The money used for his private jet and such could be used to fix the damaged roads, pay for the books and teachers needed. Also, if congress would cut the salary of the president just by a little, that money could also go towards reversing America's debt. If the president is truely interested in the well-being of the country, he would not mind the minor cuts, sort of like the minor cuts he has made to the communities in America.

    If he says that he cares about the country, then he too, will not mind making a sacrifice.

    I am 17 years old, and this is my opinion.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  79. Ramona

    Tax My Soda Please! I agree with a sweet surcharge as it is something that will impact all classes and income levels. Moreover, it will encourage wellness as people that consume too much of those items may choose not to do so.

    Personally, I would not switch to public health insurance as the physicians that I use do not accept government insurance...they only accept elite private insurance. I'm fortunate enough to be able to afford the cost of private insurance, but it is critical that all Americans have access to some form of insurance. I've worked with part-time workers who are uninsured and they tend to play Russian Roulette with their health...skipping mammograms, annual physicals and medical visits for acute illnesses. These friends tend to wait until the situation is critical and wind up in the ER where it is well known that one can get care and the government will pick up the tab if the patient can't pay it.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  80. John Appleton

    I would also like to know why any post that is critical of CNN's coverage is not posted. Come on CNN be more democratic. Stop telling us you want to hear what we have to say, if you won't publish our criticism.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  81. Alan Lindsey

    I am retired and my wife and I do not earn over $250,000 per year. We are in our early 60's so do not yet qualify for Medicare and pay just over 1300 per month for medical insurance which comes to over $15,000 per year. We feel fortunate, however, that we can afford that and still maintain a comfortable life style. Having said that we worry about our children and grandchildren. Becuase of that we would have no problems paying more in taxes so they can receive the security of knowing they will not lose insurance if they have a health crisis, lose their job, or change jobs, etc.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  82. Joanna Clark

    Health care is not free, we all need to pay our share, but consider for a moment that the United States already spends more on health care than any other nation on Earth - approximately 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%), yet we rank 37th in the world, behind France (1), Spain (7), United Kingdom (18), and Canada (30) in quality of health care. Our infant mortality rate (6.3) is higher than Cuba (5.1), Canada (4.8), France (4.2), or Iceland (2.9), and our life-expectancy ranks 45, behind Bosnia and Herzegovina (42), the United Kingdom (37), Austria (25), Spain (19), and France (8).

    We need true health reform, and it is going to cost each of us to get it.
    The problem is that Congress wants to add another costly program to the already existing hodgepodge of programs they have created over the years.... programs that cost us nearly a trillion-dollars a year, yet leave more than 42 million uninsured, and another 55-million underinsured.

    The only way out of this mess is to get Congress, and the President, to go for a single-payer, comprehensive health plan that covers every citizen from the moment of conception through ultimate dead. Representative Marty Russo offered such a plan in 1988, that would have required each of us to pay a 15-percent surcharge on our annual federal income tax. In exchange, everyone was covered and would have paid a $15 copay for doctor's visits, prescription drugs, and hospital stays.

    Bottom line is that we need to get rid of all of the existing health programs, replacing them with a single-payer program that covers everyone, while allowing us to continue to chose our doctors, pharmacies, and hospitals.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  83. Paulo

    I'm willing to give up the $1000 monthly premium for a health plan that is no better than it was when it was $700 a month just last year. I'm willing to give up the bickering that is going on in Washington about getting all American's insured.

    What I'm willing to do is to pay into a plan that is sensible, fair, honest, and not profit driven. I'd gladly pay a monthly or yearly premium on my health care that would leave me with some spending money each month.

    Health care is bigger than a political party. It is a need every American has that transends bickering. It is bigger than who should be in power in three years.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  84. desiree

    my husband and I are both currently employed in medical sales and we earn combined between $220,000 and $250,000. We will be sacrificing more than others because as health care becomes cheaper we will make less in commisions and because we are in the top 5% of wage earners we will also bear the brunt of the tax increases. I want a public option for health care. I believe in sacrifice for a good cause. I think this is a great cause (a public health care option.) I am sick and tired of special interests (HMO's, Pharma, hospitals and the like) politicizing this issue and trying to scare everybody.

    Why is that if we need billions for a war to go kill a bunch of people in some far off land, all the special interests are in. But, if we want to help the sick in our own country all the special interests are out?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  85. Linda

    I guess the biggest hold up on thsi health care reform is the fluxuating numbers the govn says it will cost. the tax was to fall on people earning anywhere from $100,000 to now $1 million and cost somewhere between $1.2 trillion and now $3.5 trillion. Just a few dollars difference is all plus or minus $10!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  86. Careen

    Dear Tony, Have you not looked at your car insurance – we're already paying for under insured without being asked. It follows that we are probably already paying for the non and under insured in the health insurance also. I wonder who these people are who recieve this benefit,. My son-in-law's mother who owns a small diner cannot afford health insurance for herself. Also my daughter and son-in-law who recently got married and still have a year of college left have no health insurance either. How about taking off illegals from insurance roles first. How about a flat tax rate for everyone. And by the way we do pay more because we pay when the afore mentioned family members can't.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  87. Kevin

    What are you willing to give up? In order to provide socialized medicine. I guess that would be my freedom to choose. Not a question I would have expected to be asked in a free society.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  88. John D. McCall

    I have probably the most generous health plan around as a retired govenment worker. My wife now quite elderly have many doctor visits. So I am not willing to give up the security our plan provides. However, I am very willing to pay more money for health. I am a Democrat, I very much liked the Bush medical plan that paid for routine care and very expensive but rare treat.ments.I believe that the plight of the uninsured and underinsured will require sacrifices from humanitarian impulses and also because a healthier population will increase our GNP.

    I would also be very willing to accept a surcharge or additional income taxes, though our income is under $50,000
    John D. McCall

    July 21, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  89. marie farris

    I not willing to give up anything. I don't want health care reform or anything else for this government.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  90. Andrew

    Tony, I graduated this past May from college, and am now finding myself in a pile of debt. I am stuck in a horrible job market, and because I am 23 , I have been dropped from my parents health care coverage. I think I can speak for all recent college grads by saying that we feel lost and confused as to where to go and what to do in these tough economic times. Having no health coverage, also doesn't help this feeling of uneasiness.
    So, would I pay a bit more in taxes each month so that I could have some sort of health coverage?? Let me think....no health care....a small tax and coverage....I think I'm going to have to go with a small tax to be ensured. If it's a tax...I would also feel good in knowing that I am contributing to my fellow Americans well being. I think the only people having trouble with this issue right now are the well off, and those with the $ to be well ensured.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  91. Eileen Harley

    Charity begins at home and spreads abroad. Stop spending millions and billions on war. As Americans we should embrace the concept of affordable healthcare for everyone. I would support a plan that provides for a more equitable distribution of tax burden so that everybody contributes according to their income. What happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. How are you able to achieve this if you do not have access to healthcare.
    We have a President, LET HIM LEAD THE COUNTRY. I AM SICK OF POLITICAL AGENDAS.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  92. Joey

    These are the things I would be willing to give up for a government sponsored health plan:
    1) I would be willing to give up THE NATIONAL DEBT. If we didn't have one we would have enough money to afford a government sponsored health care plan.
    2) UNEMPLOYMENT AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT. If everyone was given a trade before they graduated from high school we wouldn't have unemployment and underemployment. People would pay more taxes because their incomes would go up to a higher tax bracket.
    3) VIOLATION OF MY CIVIL RIGHTS

    July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  93. chris black

    give up, i dont think that higher taxes is giving things up first of all second of all i think every ones confused, the idea of this is to get better health care for all how is giving up coverage helpful. if a doctor deems a procedure neccassary it needs to be given. if the goverment gives starts telling us we cant have things what good does that do for the person, ive watched the news all morning on three diiferent channels and im appalled by some of the things ive heard. fox was the worst i quote IF THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO SAY YOU CAN ONLY HAVE FIVE MRI'S TO SAVE COST THEN SO BE IT. when did someones life get a price tag ive been brough up and taught in school that life is priceless. another thing is how are they gonna make sure the government dosnt steal my heath money like they've stolen my ss money. many things have been brought to the table but nothing has been exsplained to the people if there going to spend trilions on this i think have the right to know what im getting out of it. third and finally you said sothing about a family that makes 5.1 million a year and they pay 500 thousand or so in taxs now after g.w's taxs exspire they'll pay 50 thousand more and with obamas heath cost the 9 thousand more. so after that they make 4.1 million not bad for a year. mean while i make $10,000 last year they take 3 out and exspect me to feel sorry for the person that pays that. i pay 30 percent and they complain about me wanting to be healthy.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  94. Mike

    Has anyone thought of a scaled system where unemployed pay nothing and every uninsured who earns under say $40k pays 1-3% a month . Uninsured between $40k & $60K pay 2-4% a month. over $60K should pay 4-5% a month depending on family size.
    Under those rules everyone pays something if they opt in. and pay nothing if they opt out. Run it through the Child/Family health plus system since it exists now and is set up for things like that anyway.
    The rich shouldn't have to be hit for the expenses of others, most of them have worked hard for their money. BUT If the rich like living in an America without walls and roving bands of sick, poor and hungry peasants seeking to drag them to the guillotines they should be willing to give up an extra 1/2 percent.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  95. Jean Magloire

    Im willing to give my yearly income taxe return to have a goverment subsidize health care plan

    July 21, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  96. H Miller

    My wife and I are now on medicare and this has proven to be excellent coverage. So we are concerned about our children and grandchildren who struggle remain insured while tapdancing on the trap door of disaster in this economy. The current private system is crazy and designed to reward investors, not support medical patients. I think everyone should pay something in the form of taxes for universal coverage. This should be progressive with those making over $250,000 paying a much higher rate of increase. But, everyone should be paying something to expand coverage as everyone will benefit.

    I have worked in government and for a large private insurance company during my working years. I would much prefer dealing with a govt. bureaucrat than a private insurance gatekeeper when I need care. I have seen how both operate as a worker and as a customer.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  97. Elisabeth Sanborn

    What am I willing to give up? I moved to Europe 10 years ago and gave up the insecurity of the healthcare system here.

    I have choice of doctors, the right to a second opinion, and the law states that if I do not receive my appointment to a specialist within 60 days, the system must send me to private care and pay for it in full. I have waited maybe 4 weeks max to see a specialist. If it were an emergency, all I have to do is go to the emergency room.

    So, all of this negative publicity is baffling to me. I have peace of mind that my family and I will get the care needed and never have to lose our home. If we lose our job, we have the peace of mind that we have medical care.

    So, what have I lost? Nothing. I have gained peace of mind and security and receive quality care like everyone else. Medical care is a right, not a privelege.

    P.S. President Obama's team has looked into the healthcare system where I currently live to see what can be taken back to America. I am traditionally a conservative but living abroad has opened my eyes to certain lacks in the American society.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  98. Chris

    I am willing to give up the waste, red tape, and policies that drives up the costs. e.g. yesterday, they ran an example on wheel chairs. I have an example with the cost of my prescription for asthma inhaler. The generic, in 2008 which cost ~$7 was taken off the market and replaced with a brand named version Pro-Air/Proventil. The FDA and drug companies agreed and now every insurance company, government agency and person with Asthma is paying $40+ per prescription. This kind of cost increases/abuse of consumers has to stop.

    Stop wasting money and perhaps you can add more people to the roles. I'd also like to see a 60-90 day test pilot first i.e. one state, before the government goes full board and makes a huge mistake.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  99. bill

    I would be willing to pay more in tax to support ONLY a government run health care plan where efficiences in health care are mandated along with incentives for the insured to take better care of themselves. I am opposed to subsidising for profit health insurers with taxpayer funds.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  100. Andy

    I lived in Japan in the past which like many nations has nationalized health care. I went to the doctor and hospital a few times and can say, their level and ease of care make the US look 3rd world. Whenever I see the commercials by interest groups saying how long you will have to wait for care I have to laugh. The secret is you actually have to wait here longer. Ever gone to the "emergency" room without blood spluttering our of your neck? You will be there for hours. My wife went recently, 5 hours. When I went to the hospital in Japan I think I was in and out in 45 minutes with medication in hand - no need to make a trip to the drug store after hospital. Of course sometimes people will have to wait longer, but both of my experiences where very good with doctors who actually cared and used their brains to figure out what was wrong, not just what I was saying was bothering me.

    The only reason why we do not actually have the best rate care we like tell ourselves we have is too much money against it and politicians with their hands our.

    Not having nationalized care costs our citizens and companies much more than if we had it and paid a single payer. Single payer system has the potential to drive down costs - which is exactly why insurance companies, pharma, large hospital companies, etc do not want it. Also, need to have legal reform to go with it so doctors and care givers do not have to worry every second about being sued for anything they do.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  101. Kat

    Love your show. I watch you daily.

    Tough question. I'm guessing the "haves" won't be willing to give up anything while the "have nots" don't even have insurance coverage. Patients shouldn't have to wait to see doctors esp. in the case of progressive diseases such as cancer. A long wait could mean the difference in surviving the disease.

    I would give up a "cushy" hospital and/or lengthier hospital visit. For instance, rather than Northwestern Hospital (Chicago) I'd be required to visit Cook Cty or a clinic-type of facility as long as I could get care within a reasonable time frame relative to diagnostic or surgical necessity.

    Ex: If I had a sinus infection I would be seen later than a patient with an aggressive tumor or a critical care case (bullet wound, broken bones, etc.).

    Like President Obama said – It's not about bringing him down but rather about the masses affected. Unfortunately, nothing has changed.

    I was laid off 12/09 after 19 years of administrative service in the banking industry. Having worked with multi-millionares, I see both sides of the issue. I write about this issue on my website as well.

    It boils down to character, ethics and doing the "right thing." It's unlikely the wealthy or entitled will be willing to give up anything; that's why they're wealthy. They didn't get that way by giving things up to help others or by being a "nice guy."

    July 21, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  102. Frank

    i am not willing to give up anything. If the dems want to pay for this, tell them to find the money by cutting some of their frivolous programs. I live in New Jersey and already pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. Heath care is not a right, it is a privelage. What happened to hard work in this country? When my grandparents came here they were not handed health benefits, food or a roof over there head. They worked for it all. If we want to make this country strong again we have to get back to those basic fundamentals.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  103. Andrew

    Tony,

    People make me sick

    To bad I don't have health coverage

    and some of these comments are making me even more sick..especially those that ooze with selfish idiocy

    July 21, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  104. Michelle

    Tony, I would be willing to give up just about anything to help out the 46 million Americans that are uninsured.

    There was talk about taxing soft drinks, candy, and other "foods" that aren't healthy. Why not? First of all, we know that these items aren't good for us, yet we constantly pay for them.

    If a tax on these items which we take for granted will help those who need insurance then I say why not.

    Let's be honest, we all dislike paying taxes, but we as a nation need to look in the mirror and honestly say that we don't think that it's horrible in this day and age, that the most prosperous nation in the world allows 46 million people to go without insurance.

    So, if paying a little extra on a soda, candy or treat will help out others so that the playing field is even, I don't mind at all.

    As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't really matter what needs to be done, because it's not fair that I can receive excellent medical care and know that the person who is my waitress, bus boy, or check out person at the grocery store goes without. That in itself speaks volumes.

    Michelle

    July 21, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  105. Barb

    I would be willing to pay more taxes. A single payer health care system would be far better and then monthly insurance premiums would be exchanged for increased taxes and balance out. Of course insurance companies and pharmaceuticals will never let that happen.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  106. Chris

    I also agree with Peggy. We should all pay, even those on unemployment, aid, social security, etc... should give a portion back for health care.

    Taxing the rich is a bit too much like Robin Hood and sets a bad precedent. Everyone has the potential to get sick, get in an accident, etc... so everyone should pay.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  107. George

    I am willing to give up more tax dollars. I am also willing to give up benefits for elective "self improvement" treatments (cosmetic dermatology, psychotherapy for personality change). I am also willing to forgo the right to sue for anything less than negligence. Add to the list the "information" streamed to us in the frequent adds for the latest drugs, drug combo's, and diagnostic imaging – all of which drive up the cost of care and also the profits of med-tech and pharma industries. I am willing to give up all the underwriting departments that spend a fortune denying coverage.
    George in California

    July 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  108. Bernadette Thomas

    Prhaps the majority of individuals in need of health care coverage are the newly unemployed and homeless. Unemployed because trillions of $$ were given to companies and wall street who did not deserve the funds and ARE NOT COMMITTED TO HELPING THE PEOPLE WHO MUST PAY THE $$$ BACK TO THE GOVERNMENT. So, perhaps they are like my husband and I....we don't have anything left to GIVE UP...including increased taxes.
    OR the new homeless WHOSE HOMES HAVE BEEN FORECLOSED because the mortgage companies and banks who SET this spin-down in place, via the CULTURE OF GREED and illegal morrgate packages, HAVE RECEIVED $$$ (which the people have to pay back...) BUT WERE GIVEN THE OPTION OF VOLUNTEERING TO PARTICIPATE IN PRESIDENT OBAMA'S MORTGAGE RESCUE PLAN.
    From February – July (still going on) my husband and I have attempted to obtain a loan modification, we have been unsuccessful. Initially our mortgage was $3,313. monthly...WITH THE MODIFICATION....our mortgage is over $5,000. Our attorney 'explained' that the mortgage companies (IndyMac) ARE NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE AND HELP US RETAIN OUR HOME...THE PLAN LEAVES A SUPER LOOPHOLE OPTION...THAT THEY CAN VOLUNTEER TO PARTICIPATE.
    IN THE CULTURE OF GREED...JUST AS IN THE CULTURE OF RACISM...NO ONE CAN LEGISLATE A HEART.
    While I am wholly sympathetic with the uninsured...our daughters and their children receive minimal coverage health insurance from the states in which they reside,... I reside in California, the bankrupt state, where at least 50% of our uninsured health coverage individuals are also illegals, & while CA should be acknowledged for the generosity...it is over the top...when citizens of the USA cannot receive health care coverage.
    PERHAPS YOUR QUESTION SHOULD BE SENT INDIVIDUALLY TO ALL THE INSTITUTIONS WHO HAVE RECEIVED THE $$$$ THE PEOPLE HAVE TO PAY BACK....ASK THEM WHAT THEY ARE WILLING TO GIVE UP? PERHAPS THE $$$ BY WHICH THEY ARE PAYING BONUSES, GIVING RAISES, AND RAPING THE PUBLIC OF ALL OF THEIR RIGHTS TO PROSPER IN THIS COUNTRY OF OURS!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  109. Rolland Guild

    This question should be asked to all the for profit Doctors, medical supply and equipment companies, insurance companies, contractors and building companies, for profit Hospitals and pharmacies that make billions and billions praying on people that get sick or injured. To reduce the cost of medical care the greed and profit mentality of getting rich off the sick needs to change.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  110. Megan

    The thing I don’t get about healthcare is the cost issue. I don’t see how it is so hard to finance this. I mean, do the math. $1 Trillion for 10 years means $100 billion per year. US population was 304,059,724 in July 2008 (US Census Bureau). That’s $328.88 per person, per year, or $27.41 per month.

    Sounds like people can pay themselves. Now, the only remaining issue is that this is meant to cover people who can’t pay as well. If we charged $50 per person, per month, and every person paid in, the total [gross] monthly income would be $15,252,986,200, when we really (supposedly) need $8,361,687,034.84. So our needs are only using 54.82% of that gross income (at $50 per month per person).

    Basically, what that means is that 54.82% of people need to pay into the system for it to continue to work. Or, 45.18% of people at most can be unable to pay without breaking the system.

    $50 a month is not bad (especially for health insurance). From about.com:
    “The most recent figures are from 2005, and indicate that the average individual’s job-based premiums were $3,991 that year, while families spent an average of $10,728.”

    If that projection ($1 trillion over 10 years) is accurate, then I fail to see the problem in funding, when the cost per person is easily covered as noted above.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  111. MtnMichif

    I think that if we had taxpayer funded elections this discussion would not be happening. When Big Pharma and Health Insurance companies are pouring 1.5 million a day into lobbying and all we out in the real world can only call, send emails or letters, guess who our "representatives" hear? I'd rather pay a percentage of higher taxes and not pay the approximately 12% of our gross (not take-home or after taxes) income it takes to provide health insurance for my family. On my health insurance I couldn't cover my oldest daughter after age 25 who got breast cancer at 24 without paying for COBRA. And when that ran out her mother and I pay for a private plan that covers 80% of costs. Luckily, we're financially able to do this but I think of the millions of Americans who are one paycheck or a serious illness away from losing all that have.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  112. L Neumann

    If you listen you will hear the singing of the insurance companies, and their lobbyists, " We did it" Did anyone watch Bill Moyers with the Cigna executive? If we do not get healthcare reform then insurance will not have to do anything. Remember when the polls supported Obama's reform, insurance said, "we will do better". If you think you have high dedictibles now, and if you think pre-existing is a problem- just wait. Without reform the insurance companies can do what they want. Healthcare reform will cost money. Remember this an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Now 80% of the dollars are spent on 20% of the patients, and that number will increase without preventive services. The money is going to be spent, if folks do not have health care- emergency rooms, catastrophic care. One thing for sure disease does not play favorites- so you can be heatlhy today and tomorrow all that can change. My question is why can't we just hear the truth?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  113. Jennifer

    The question isn't about what I'm willing to give up. That's irrelevant to the people making the decisions. The question is, what is the government willing to take from me to make this happen?

    And the answer seems to be, anything that's necessary.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  114. Joyce D, Las Vegas

    Nothing... being middle class I've been giving up for years. It's time the wealthy pay their dues!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  115. Duane

    I am currently working full time and do not have any Health Insurance. I am willing to pay higher taxes and go on the Government Health Plan. Truthfully the Nation in a whole need to pay a National Flat Tax Rate.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  116. JUDY

    HAVEN'T WE GIVEN UP ENOUGH ALREADY? MILLIONS OF US ARE TAKING PAY CUTS TO BAIL OUT WALL STREET AND PAY FOR ALL OBAMA'S NEW PLANS. I'M DONE. WHAT ABOUT ME? WHY IS IT WORKING AMERICA IS BEING ASKED TO GIVE MORE.

    WE NEED TO WAIT UNTIL OUR ECONOMY SETTLES DOWN, THEN DISCUSS ASKING US TO GIVE UP MORE.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  117. Julie

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes to help those in need with healthcare coverage. We need to help each other!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  118. Fred Conklin

    Seeing as how I dropped my insurance (as a healthy man) at age 50 because the company wanted over $12,000/year, I have no trouble with a single payer plan.... the government can't mess it up any worse than the private sector has.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  119. Bill Weaver

    I am willing to give up my shares and profits from all healthcare accounts in my portfolio. Healthcare should not be for profit.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  120. Wayne Hadley

    It seems that Congress is trying to find a single tax source for funding healthcare reform. Why couldn't the approach instead be to fund from multiple tax sources but a lesser % from each source to come up with the total amount needed? Also why not tax items that are not good for your health, like fast foods, sodas, candy etc.? How about taking the funds from the F22 program?

    Wayne

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  121. Dan

    Nothing. It's amazing. People say that they can't afford healthcare. But, look at the cars people drive. How about every time these folks go to the store and buy beer or cigarettes, or go out to eat a couple times a week. But they can't afford healthcare? Some times, people need to prioritize.
    I have healthcare. I earned it. I served in the Navy for 20 years.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  122. Mike B

    I am willing to pay more in taxes. We already are paying for the Medicaid / Medicare program, we are also paying higher medical costs because so many do not have coverage...which forces facilities to increase their general prices. We have to do something. We need our taxes to be better managed. It's that simple!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  123. Kevin K.

    I would agree to pay higher taxes. My only concern would be the longer waiting times to see a physician as a result of a government run health care system.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  124. Kiki

    I feel I give up all the time. I am a teacher. I am losing my Social Security through the WIndfall Elimination Bill. I give up all the time. AND I AM NOT WILLING TO PAY THE HEALTH CARE FOR ILLEGALS.

    KIKI

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  125. Ben S.

    I would be wiling to give up sugary snacks, soft drinks, and junk food. When I hear about new taxes on high-fructose-corn syrup, I am shocked that our government could conceive of doing something so effective. Taxes on cigarettes go up all the time. Alcohol is heavily taxed. I say tax Coca-Cola, Doritos, and McDonalds!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  126. Tyler

    I'm just a college student so I don't really understand all of this stuff about the health insurance and all the different taxes, but I think that our country should consider a national sales tax. If we made a national sales tax then everything would be fair. Also, with a national sales tax illegal immigrants would pay taxes. If someone complains about taxes then all they would have to do is buy less stuff. It seems very simple to me.....

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  127. steve lohbeck

    i agree on more taxes for the rich like you tony !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!the poor already pay way too much give the poor a break!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  128. Jim

    I am willing to give up our government wasting so much money. There will never be enough for them even if we gave them every penny and possession we could possibly get our hands on.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  129. Steve

    I would be willing to give up anything for good – affortable healthcare that gives me and my family peace of mind and portability. We will always pay, up front, durning, and forever. Please report on cost containment!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  130. Ron

    I would give up my right to sue. One-third of health costs in the U.S. are related to litigation, at least indirectly. "Defensive medicine" is a major expense. These are procedures whose main purpose is to reduce litigation risk.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  131. Shara

    I am unwilling to give up anything. I worked hard to get a good job that has a wonderful health benefit. I have a chronic disease. I am afraid of losing the excellent care I now receive. I have also saved a fair amount of money in case I need it for my health later. Should I give up my plan so that someone else will live if I have trouble down the road? Those of us who plan and save and manage our lives should not have to pay the price for those who don't! This government is looking at rationing and will have to, because they'll waste so much money that they won't be able to care for anyone with the quality we now have. Think about it? What has the government EVER done that manages money well and or improves on a system that was privatized? NEVER! We must stop punishing achievement in this country or we'll find ourselves in such a pile of pooh that nothing will get us out. The government should not be in the business of caring for us from cradle to grave. Where is our personal responsibility??

    July 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  132. Bob A - Scottsdale AZ

    I am will to have my taxes raised to have universal healthcare. In the long run, I will break even. Though I will pay higher taxes, I will not have to pay the insurance company. I feel the co-pays, deductables and monthly payments are a indirect tax. With a family, I MUST have insurance. Thus, I am already taxed.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  133. Richard

    I would be in favor of paying a federal sales tax to pay for a good health care plan. The health care plans that some workers in a America have may not be there in the near future, plus we have quite a few uninsured now.The number of uninsured will get larger in the future if we don't act soon. Only the rich will have health insurance.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  134. Carolyn Leventry

    Tony,
    I thought reducing health care costs meant that the outrageous charges we pay for procedures and operations, etc would be reduced. A stress-test costs almost $4,000.00! We have the best health care but it costs an arm and a leg!
    Carolyn

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  135. Robert

    I'm not willing to give up anything. I do not want the government running health care and taking money from me to pay for someone else.

    The government ruined Social Security and Medicare and they have not learned anything from those experiences.

    Less government and the fair tax are what is needed.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  136. Michael in Canada

    I am an American living in Canada. On March 30th last year my daughter was born 4 months early. She spent a total of 5 months in the hospital, had heart surgery, and another surgery to fix her abdomen. The entire 5 months I spent by her side while she got stronger and grew into the absolutely beautiful little girl she is I constantly kept thinking "thank God she was born in Canada" Everything was paid for. She received the absolute best care possible, because she was in Canada. I can't help thinking that if she was born in the United States, she would be dead, or my family would be destitute paying the medical bills. When you ask what I would give up for that kind of health care? Anything. I Would give up %50 of my income if it meant my daughter would receive the care she receives living here, and yet I only need to give up a total of 13% tax in provincial, and federal sales tax. A small price to pay for the constant miracles happening every single day.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  137. B. Thomas

    Prhaps the majority of individuals in need of health care coverage are the newly unemployed and homeless. Unemployed because trillions of $$ were given to companies and wall street who did not deserve the funds and ARE NOT COMMITTED TO HELPING THE PEOPLE WHO MUST PAY THE $$$ BACK TO THE GOVERNMENT. So, perhaps they are like my husband and I….we don’t have anything left to GIVE UP…including increased taxes.
    OR the new homeless WHOSE HOMES HAVE BEEN FORECLOSED because the mortgage companies and banks who SET this spin-down in place, via the CULTURE OF GREED and illegal morrgate packages, HAVE RECEIVED $$$ (which the people have to pay back…) BUT WERE GIVEN THE OPTION OF VOLUNTEERING TO PARTICIPATE IN PRESIDENT OBAMA’S MORTGAGE RESCUE PLAN.
    From February – July (still going on) my husband and I have attempted to obtain a loan modification, we have been unsuccessful. Initially our mortgage was $3,313. monthly…WITH THE MODIFICATION….our mortgage is over $5,000. IN THE CULTURE OF GREED…JUST AS IN THE CULTURE OF RACISM…NO ONE CAN LEGISLATE A HEART.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  138. Jules

    I am willing to give up all the ridiculous government sponsored studies and non essential government spending. Why don't we ask ourselves if we would be willing to pay more taxes for EACH and every line item in the current budget? It is basically the same thing. I am willing to pay more taxes to help other citizens get health care coverage. I am not willing to pay more taxes to study the sexual orientation of mice in Ohio and other similar special 'pet' projects.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  139. Mike

    Tony,
    I think in these economic times it’s inconceivable to ask the American public to pay more. Why not tax the medical supply and pharmaceutical companies, let them give back to the debt medical reform will cause.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  140. Mary Malden

    I'm willing to do anything to help bring some hope to persons who are struggling to get medical help. I am helping now, because of loved ones not being insured and unable to pay to go to the doctor and get medicines. I think it is a shame that we as a people, the USA in this day and time, still wanting to continue to get richer while the poor have nothing.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  141. debbie

    I have very good insurance,I would be willing to pay an extra 10 cents on every dollar I earn to allow all Americans to have health insurance. We need to start thinking we instead of me.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  142. Sue Taylor

    I'd be willing to give up the myth of "no new taxes." What are increases in the cost of parking fines, parking meterss, public transit faress and bridge tolls? the 30% above subscription cable service? NEW TAXES! I'd be willing to pay well planned tax increases and not be dollar and dimed to death. "No new taxes" means regressive excess charges which hurt the poorest among us. This is the huge Republican loophole: the myth of "no new taxes."

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  143. David Voils

    First I would want to know just who are these uninsured. Second I would like to see the fraud and corruption taken care of. Third I would like to see the reforms, such as access to health care, prior illness, portability of plans, etc. taken care of. If these things are done, then I'd consider what I'd want to "give up" . I'm not for a government health plan.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  144. Anthony Dingeldein

    In order to reduce health care costs for all Americans, and to help those uninsured, I am willing to give up fast and junk foods, as well as soda and other over-sugared drinks.

    Our health care costs are high in this country because we treat ourselves poorly. Studies have shown that an unhealthy diet leads to illness later in life (diabetes for example.)

    If we were to have a National re-vamping of our eating habits, and got a little more excersize, the average Americans health would improve, making quality health care a little more available, and in turn lower costs.

    We in America seem to want to ignore the root causes of our poor health and instead treat symptoms only.

    This is indicative of a instant-gratification society where we want what we want and we want it now; we can deal with the negatives later in the emergency room...

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  145. Rupert

    Tony, As a Canadian who is very satisfied with my health system, I am disturbed with the lies and ignorance being put forth by the GOP and other Republican lobbyists. People don' die under our system due to lack of coverage, they die under yours.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  146. Victoria

    Coming from a family that would be taxed, I'm fully okay with it. I'd rather pay more to benefit the millions of uninsured Americans and speed up this health care effort, knowing that in the end we'll all end up paying for it in some way or form.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  147. Theresa

    We have not heard anything regarding the premiums people will pay. Those premiums will offset a large portion of the cost. I am willing to give up the money I will pay for reasonably priced health insurance premiums.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  148. Travis Russell

    Individuals should not have to sacrifice. There is plenty of abuse in our system today from those that collect from insurance companies. I see this in my case every month as hospitals and medical supply providers continuously bill my insurance company despite they have no legitimate claim. Their claims are denied, yet they continue to send in claims every month in the off chance that one slips through.

    THis is a common practice, and only inflates the cost of insurance. These are the practices that should be scrutinized and stopped if we are serious about reforming health care. Dont penalize the patient; penalize the abusers.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  149. Kyle Schmidt

    Tony,
    I wouldn't be willing to give anything up. Our government has overstepped its boundries and a National Health Care Program is an infringement on our rights as American Citizens. Although it sounds nice and would help the lower class citizens, this is just another reason to raise taxes in order to pay for the health care program. Our nation was formed as a result of angry citizens against British taxes. If our government raises our taxes or enforces new taxes on its citizens then the American people need to wake up and think about how much we are going to let our government get out of hand before it is too late. Again, this health care program sounds nice but who really wants more taxes just to sit in the emergency room for a longer amount of time?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  150. Donnie in Ohio

    I am not willing to give up anything. The question should be what are our nations health care providers willing to give up. We must put a stop to healers becoming businessmen. The oath Dr's take should preclude them from getting rich off of their patients. The oath our lawmakers take should preclude them from protecting those providers by making back room deals and then selling those deals as "reform". Obama should be ashamed of himself. The means will not justify the ends.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  151. Heather

    I am willing to give up the option of a lawsuit against my doctor. Tort reform for malpractice should happen before anything else!!! Have we even looked at how much that would lower healthcare costs?!?!?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  152. Phil Spiegel

    In return for universal health care I am willing to pay higher taxes, receive coverage through a government plan, and receive reduced benefits. In return, I do not want to pay health insurance premiums. Health care costs should be funded by a new tax taken out of paychecks in the same way we pay for Social Security insurance (and the upper limit on incomes that pay these taxes should be eliminated).

    I would like to see a basic Medicare/Medicaid plan extended to all citizens regardless of income. Then, if wealthier individuals want to buy additional private insurance that covers additional services, they can do so. This leaves a niche for profit-based private insurance companies while giving basic care to all citizens.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  153. Andy

    To answer the question of what I (we) should give up:

    I do not think we need to give up anything. We spend the most in the world, yet get the least per dollar spent per citizen of industrialized world.

    Seems like with those figures the average citizen can get much better service for an overall lower price vs the current greed driven system.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  154. Eddie Churchwell

    Until the provision of providing health insurance for illegal alians is
    eliminated, I'am not willing to give up anything.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  155. Tom

    There is something left out of your question. Insuring the uninsured is not about being altruistic, it is self protection. The uninsured go bankrupt when faced with excess medical costs. The go to emergency rooms and don't pay–we pay with higher rates and higher insurance rates and a big burden on our economy. If all were insured and all paid something (like auto liability insurance), all win in the end, no matter how you pay.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  156. Neil

    If taxing will decrease or eliminate insurance premiums for everyone, then it's a win-win situation. What I don't want is to continue to pay high premium rates along with additional tax. That is not bringing costs under control!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  157. Joe Weitzell

    Tony,
    Seems pretty straightforward to me. We need to cease spending any money for food, medical care, etc any place in the world if one American citizen is in need of this kind of help – specifically veterans and the elderly and children. No one would operate his (or her) family's finances the way our government manages ours. I am not against charity and help to others – but AFTER our own are taken care of. We just need to work sensibly and prudently with budgets and prioritization.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  158. andrew bachenheimer

    Here is a non-political suggestion for health care funding:
    I am willing to pay a small increase in tax, HOWEVER, a much better idea is not to simply tax the "wealthy", who already contribute a large share, but rather to tax those who benefit from providing health care.
    The hospitals, the doctors the diagnostic centers and the pharmaceutical industry will all benefit from higher health care spending and thus should pay for that benefit, As an ex-ad man, I also suggest a tax on the agencies and media that make money on advertising for the health care/pharmaceutical industry.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  159. Bo

    Sorry Tony, but I'm retired, living on an extremely limited budget and do NOT want to give up anything so others can have health coverage.

    All Americans, included illegal aliens, have access to care when it's necessary.

    I buy my insurance and I expect others to do the same!! They can give up bit flat screen TVs and buy health insurance. It's a matter of priority!!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  160. Andy

    Why do we the people need to give something up? The government already uses TRICARE which our tax money already pays for. How many on the hill are offering that to the people as a choice of health care since they are using it?

    Andy
    Tallahassee, Fl

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  161. Jennifer

    Realizing that semantics is not the issue, I couldn't help notice the choice of words in the question: 'What would we be willing to GIVE UP?'
    How about , "What would we be willing to GIVE in order that everyone might be able to access needed health care?" This country boasts of its generous and compassionate nature - alrighty then, let's put some substance behind our bravado. Talk is cheap - it's time to walk the walk.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  162. Tim Berthiaume

    I'd be happy to pay more taxes if I knew that they were going to programs I can support like healthcare. An obscenely disproportionate amount of my taxes goes to defense. It's time to join the rest of the developed world and find a way to provide affordable health care for everyone.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  163. Mario

    I have been on Govt health care since I was born, my Father was Ret Vet, and I am now a Ret Vet so I really dont know why their is a problem with the Govt providing Health Care for everybody. How are you going to regulate the cost for care is what I like to see. Are the doctors going to lose money? Are the medical and drug companies going to lose money? The Rep need to sit down and shutup they are the reason we are in this mess.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  164. Betty in southeast Arkansas

    I am not willing to give up anything. I already pay $8000 a year for a high deductible ($5000) health insurance policy. It is essentially only a catastrophic safety net. I essentially self-insured. I have worked hard all my life, sacrificing to get my college degree. I fear that the current administration is bankrupting our country and to tax us more is untenable. Why should I ask anyone making more $ than me to take care of me? Universal health care sounds nice but is unaffordable.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  165. Preet

    I would be more then happy to pay higher taxes or take a government sponsored plan.
    The measure of a society is how it cares for all it's people, not if it cares for some well and others not at all.
    Taxing the rich more does make sence but I don't think that can be the only thing in place. The excuse that this will cause more unemployment is a scare tactic, but it can't all be placed on the rich.
    Increasing taxes on big companies and people who are employed in general would be helpful, however then you would need to make the plan available to more people.
    Right now as I understand the plan would only cover people who can't get insurance for either lack of employment of a preexisting condition.
    1 thing everyone should bare in mind ins that the 46 million people without insurance was back in 2007, unemployment was around 5% then. Umemployment is now 9.5%.
    Also our health system costs twice as much as any other country in the world, barring Luxumberg, we only cost 20% more then they do. Yet all those other countries have everyone covered, for any illness.
    We cannot let health care reform fail, but we have to also make sure it's done right.
    Personally I'm an advocate for singal payer but that's not going to happen but atleast what's happening now is showing a chance of making things better then they are.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  166. MARIA

    Me and my husband, both lawyers, make more than $250,000 a year...but we cannot give up anytyhing else!

    As middle class professionals living in Manhattan, we have a HUGE mortgage, HUGE payments for our Law School loans, big utility payments, and we try to save in everything possible, (even giving up Cable TV premium stations and this year's vacation plans) -and cannot even plan to have children because it would cost too much for the time being...

    So...How can we face being taxed even more??? It would RUIN us and destroy our attempts to be economically stable and bring up a good family.

    Life for the middle class is VERY difficult nowdays and nobody seems to care about us.

    We voted for Obama but we cannot afford more taxes

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  167. janis

    I would be willing to give up nothing unless I see the Congress and President covered by the exact same plan that they're trying to, literally, push down our throats.
    I have worked hard and given up vacations, nicer homes, expensive clothing and shoes, and other luxeries, to make sure I have the proper insurance. Why should I have to sacrifice for others who (a) are young and feel they don't need it, and (b) have a Gov't program to cover them i.e.Medicare and Medicaid.
    This is nothing more than a copy of Canadian and Great Britain's Healthcare program. We are America. And whether you Liberals believe it our not, we HAVE and have always HAD, BETTER HEALTHCARE THAN ANY OTHER COUNTRY ON THIS PLANET.
    Let's not let Mr. Obama do this to this great country.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  168. Paul O'Leary

    HOw about this. Have a all the charitable organizations that are pout ther, pay a tax for health care. THe animal rights groups for example advertise for help in protection ot the animals. They get a tax break for theier donors. this tax break raises the tax burden on all taxpayers as someone has to make up this shorfall. So, how about lowering the tax write off for all charitable deductions?

    Another thing. Did you know that there are ferderal agencies that actually lend money to folks? THe EPA for example lends general funds to the stats at a low rate of interest. IF this money were lent by the Soc Sec Admin. then the interest can be collected by the SSA and re-lent. What a savings to the Genral FUnd this would be over time. MILLIONS of dollars of new general Revenue dollars are in the EPA Revolving fund loan program each year. But the interest does not go to the EPA ot returns to the General Fuind and is not paid to the debt at all. As a matter of fact it is all part of the Accounting practice of the government. IF you want a story follow up on the amount of money that is padi in iterest on all the government programs back tohte General Fund. It will astound you and how it is not well "accounted" for on the books.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  169. Mark

    Tony

    You have a good show today. I am a military retiree. I am willing to pay higher taxes and/or have a higher deductible. I am skeptical of all the promises that this will fix health care in this country. Good intentions don't mean great programs and policies will be developed. In the long run, I think with the reform that has been talked about-we all lose.

    .

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  170. sharon w

    Isn't this plan called Universal Health care? If so, Than Everyone needs to contribute !!! We own a small busines, and what congress is proposing will very likely put us out of busines. I will take a poll of the people we now employ and see if they would rather have a job or insurance. That should really be telling answer on what middle Americans want. I am however willing to pay more taxes IF and When congress goes on the same plan they are forcing on us !!!! Then and only then will I believe it is a good plan for all. If its good enough for us, its certainly good enough for them.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  171. Joyce Morrow

    As Americans paying taxes we are already paying for the uninsured.
    Personally I think the American people will end up doing what needs to be done. However the question is what are the Senate and the HOuse willing to give up. They receive free health care and the best in fact so let them pay for their health care and then the people who they are suppose to be WORKING FOR can see some incentive to help.I always thought the people who wanted to be PUBLIC SERVANTS wanted to help the country instead they feed their own pocketbooks. First they need to come up with a Healthcare Plan and put it out there for people to read and DO NOT fill it with so much junk and legal jargon just A + B and paid for with help from WHAT. We are turning into a third world country with all this Political Junk.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  172. J. Dost

    We have to give up expecting government to pay the first dollar. Gov't should pay the last $$. Let individuals and insurance companies buy and pay for health costs up to a limit ($5000? $10,000? $20,000?) Then let universal health insurance provide catastrophic coverage. We are going about this business right now in the most expensive and least effective way. Lets turn it around.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  173. Elaine

    Dear Tony,
    I've just retired from a for-profit health insurance company who managed large state Medicaid plans.
    The question, as I see it, ahould be: "When will the states understand that the Medicaid recipients health coverage needs to be "reigned in!" Currently, in our state, the Medicaid recipients can opt-out of a state directed managed care program MONTHLY – and resume a fee-for-service-Plan from the state. Their healthcare has very few restrictions and they use the Emergency rooms as often as 1-2x/week for "the common cold."
    This population is one of the major contributors to a state's health budget FAILURE.
    ....But for some odd reason – No-one is talking about this ....

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  174. veronica

    The main complaint/concern that I hear from others in regard to national healthcare is that it will reduce the quality of care for those already insured in that a greater patient to doctor ratio would result in longer wait times to see a doctor. I would gladly wait longer to see a doctor if it meant that everyone had the opportunity to get the medical care that they needed.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  175. J Skinner

    When it comes to cash, I have none to give, so what else would my government ask of me? Tax pharmaceutical companies and regulate them. Take money from insurance companies and regulate them. Narrow the scope of socialism instead of spreading it to all industries in America. Heck, hire Madoff... I bet he would find the money.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  176. ofega99 from OH

    Tony,
    Instead of having to give up anything to help fund for this necessary reform, I suggest we approve a pardon to first-time non-violent offenders in each and every state so they can get a job and pay taxes as the rest of America. This will put more in the pot and contribute significantly for whatever reform is called for. There is approximately a year and a half wait in my state of Ohio before an application is reviewed, suggesting a huge back log of applicants who are waiting and waiting and waiting while America's expenditures is going and going and going like the energizer bunny!!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  177. Steve

    Tony,

    If I were to give up cigarettes, I could save $1500 per year. If the nation were to give up cigarettes, and invest it in a healthy lifestyle, we could reform health care without the need for bureaucracy. There is no way to solve the health care problems of an population which insists on unhealthy lifestyle choices.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  178. Norma

    We should all insist on giving up obscene insurance company CEO salaries and profits. This greedy industry has abused citizens by denying care, caused costs to skyrocket, and ruined our health care system.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  179. Jay

    I would be more than willing to pay a little bit higher tax and switch to a government-sponsored plan in order for my family to get quality health care. It would be cheaper for everyone and It beats what I have now which is nothing! My wife and I both had good jobs before being laid off but what we paid for health care per month was absolutely ridiculous and the insurance companies rarely covered much. The bills were insane! Government -sponsored would be far better than any private insurance company based on what I have seen in the last eighteen years.

    I have family that live in Canada and they say they would never want to be in our shoes! No complaints up there.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  180. BJ in NC

    I teach in a community college where many of my students have lost or seldom have had any private health care. If they or their children get sick, they have little recourse but to suffer through it. I also lived for 5 years in Canada and used their superb national health care. It was great to just have a "credit card" that could be used at doctors' offices and hospitals. The care was excellent. My husband had a viral infection and spent 9 days in a fine hospital (the equal of any around where I live!) and walked out not owing a dime! Try that in the U.S., even with "good" insurance. I went in for an outpatient surgical procedure that had problems, spent one night in our local non-profit hosptical and the total bill was $18,000. What would have happened to me if I hadn't had insurance? The higher taxes in Canada were really worth it! I would happily pay higher taxes if it meant that my fellow Americans, all of them, had access to good health care. Yes, we might have some bureaucrat deciding what amount of care we would have, but right now under my state plan, the insurance company gets to tell my doctor what drugs she can provide for me! I want portable, national guaranteed health care! Make the insurance companies, hospitals, and doctors provide full disclosure of all prices and costs. And while they're at it, why not take this time to completely revise both Medicare and Medicaid? Put them both into whatever plans offers the best value for our tax dollars. I am so sick of hearing people admit how serious the problem is while offering no actual plans to really solve the problem. We can subsidize tobacco farmers but not health care?

    July 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  181. B. Thomas

    $$ were given to companies and wall street who ARE NOT COMMITTED TO HELPING THE PEOPLE WHO MUST PAY THE $$$ BACK TO THE GOVERNMENT. So, perhaps they are like my husband and I….we don’t have anything left to GIVE UP…including increased taxes.

    Perhaps your question would produce more positive results if it was asked of the institutions who have already received $$$ to help the public, and now have the opportunity to pay for the Health Care Plan.

    HOMES HAVE BEEN FORECLOSED , via the CULTURE OF GREED and illegal morrgate packages. And were given the option of VOLUNTEERING to participate in the mortgage rescue plan. .

    . Initially our mortgage was $3,313. monthly…WITH THE MODIFICATION….our mortgage is over $5,000. IN THE CULTURE OF GREED…JUST AS IN THE CULTURE OF RACISM…NO ONE CAN LEGISLATE A HEART.

    I think your question would be best served by asking the recipients of bail outs to respond.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  182. robert in florida

    I am will to do my fair share. Fair being the key word. A % of my income ie.... tax. Those who can afford more would be taxed more. My wife & I have families that are on public health care now. It doesn't wok well for them. We all need to start at the same point & then we can purchase addition private insurance based on our needs. What is so hard about this. We all pay now for a system that doesn't work well. So lets start at the beginning and worry about what might happen tomorrow. We have to start. Doing nothing is how we got here. Doing the same thing and expecting a differant result – is just backward thinking. We have had that bacward thinking for almost a decade. I'm exahusted being led down the primrose path only to be led into dispair. Lets do someting together that makes a differance.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  183. David Williamson

    What every one forgets is that the premiums, deductibles and co-pays they have to pay under the health insurance plan they are currently under will no longer be taken out of their wages if they opt to a public plan. The premium for health insurance under a public health plan will be less in many cases than what they pay today and should not have deductibles or co-pays.

    I would like to see the health care premiums be a % of a persons income instead of a set amount. The way it is currently set up, the premiums etc. are cost prohibitive for those with lower incomes and they cost very little to the wealthy who want to keep everything the same.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  184. Don

    I would be willing to give up the war in iraq and Afghanistan to fund single payer, universal health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  185. Loretta Mills

    How about the $14,700. I deduct from my taxes each year in Medical Insurance payments, medicine and payments for procedures that are not covered by by insurance. This is on income of approximately
    $50,000-–
    How about information on what it is costing us now for insurance???

    July 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  186. Ruth

    NOTHING! My family already pays an avg. of $20K per year for all healthcare costs combined, and 3/4 of that is after-tax money. Healthcare reform is supposed to be about getting more for less, not less for more. If all this is about me giving up something, then it's not being done right and I want no part of that kind of program!

    July 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  187. Samantha

    Tony, Tony, WHEN will you educate yourself on the issues? With regard to the "47 million UNINSURED Americans" please read the following statistics:
    Census Bureau data is misleading. The Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) is a misleading measure of those who lack health insurance in America and an imprecise tool for analyzing the dimensions of the problem. Analysis of data from earlier Census Bureau and other government reports shows that roughly 7 million are illegal immigrants; roughly 9 million are persons on Medicaid; 3.5 million are persons already eligible for government health programs; and approximately 20 million have, or live, in families with incomes greater than twice the federal poverty level, or $41,300 for a family of four.

    Most of the uninsured are in and out of health coverage. The professional literature also shows that, overwhelmingly, the vast majority of the uninsured are persons who are in and out of coverage, largely as a result of job changes. Only a small number of the uninsured are chronically uninsured. For most of the uninsured, the problem is fixable if policymakers simply take steps to make health insurance portable, so the insurance policy sticks to the person, not the job.

    Current Federal Tax Policy Fuels Uninsurance. A substantial portion of uninsured Americans are not poor but rather middle-class working Americans who are forced to face a major tax penalty, resulting in premium increases of 40 to 50 percent, if they do not obtain health insurance through the place of work. For millions of Americans without job based health insurance, both the tax policy, and the excessive regulatory burden on health insurance in the states, prices families out of coverage. Current federal tax policy then unnecessarily drives millions into the ranks of the uninsured.

    Source: The Heritage Foundation

    July 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  188. Thakoor Sharma (Priest)

    I would like to see an affordable public health insurance option for those who do not have employer-provided coverage. Congress should expand the Medicare or Medicaid plan to cover the uninsured with an affordable premium. The subsidized portion should be paid with a 1% federal sales tax on all purchases except certain items such as food, medicine, healthcare, education and books. This sales tax would ensure that everyone contributes. The rich should not be taxed disproportionately.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  189. Al

    I would be willing to do anything to get this done. If its higher taxes then it is is well worth it. I live in California. I already pay high taxes for things that i see no return on. If my taxes go up so that everyone has real health care coverage then at least that would be something positive and tangable that i could see. Its time the health insurance companies got a little healthy competition. This must be done at all costs.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  190. Janna Brandt

    I would give up NASA. Why go to mars if we cant 'live' here? It's like going on a world expedition while you leave your children home to starve.

    Secondly, to Health reform funding:
    Society pays a very small premium when they are WELL which largely goes to their doctor. When they are sick they don't pay. Results: The medical community makes "more" keeping people well and is motivated to do all the right things.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  191. Carrie

    I already give up 32% of my money to taxes to pay for government sponsored programs like Medicaid and Medicare. Reducing funding to those programs seems like a step back in this process. I worked hard to get a good job with good benefits and have already sacrificed a lot to get where I am. It's called capitalism. That what America was founded on right? If the government forces their idea of health care on all of us then the middle class will give up the most, and I am not for that. If we all sacrifice what we currently have in health care then we are all going to give up benefits and quality of care. It seems like Socialized Medicine and that is what no one wants. That would be giving up everything that America is founded on. Obama is the one pushing so hard for this plan when it doesn't even effect him, he has a personal doctor. His health care plan is going to ruin the Middle Class. That seems like a lot to give up, for anyone.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  192. Anne

    What are we willing to give up??? Bad question. Those who can afford it won't give anything up. People like me - an under-insured freelancer - can't afford to give anything up. I hope CNN and other news agencies can propose questions that stimulate us to come up with possibilities that helps us team up. It's clear by the comments here that this question pits people against each other. We don't need that.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  193. Barb

    Just read other comments. Those who are sickened by people getting help from the government must be anxious to give up their shameful handouts of roads, schools, fire depts, police services, mortgage tax deductions, etc.. Health care bankrupts even those who do fine without government handouts and then government handouts make a life and death difference that quickly change that attitude.
    Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the canadian woman in the commercial saying she had a brain tumor that would have killed her without the USA health system, is an actress. My relatives in Canada are very pleased with the health care they receive. My mother-in-law couldn't get satisfactory care here and all appointments were a month or 2 out but she visited the relatives in Canada and was seen that week by a neurologist.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  194. S.O

    I am not willing to give up anything. Don't people realize that raising taxes will only hurt the economy more? It is a concern to me how often people listen and believe politicians (including the President) without fully understanding the consequences and being educated on the subject.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  195. BruceG

    Before I give up anything...
    Give up every cent of healthcare given to Illegals through the backdoor of our health care system.
    Give up the 10% of every health care dollar spent on paper-shuffling middlemen in the billing of medical services.
    Give up the AMA and its control of the cost, availability and quality of doctors and nurses.
    Then talk to me about what my family needs to give up.

    BruceG
    San Francisco, CA

    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  196. Eric

    End any and all financial support given to illegal immigrants and foriegn countries, and tax corporations a flat 15% tax. This way both the little guy and the wealthy won't have to deal with issues they are not directly responsible for. If we could recoup all the dead money we provide to support the undeserving, then paying for healthcare wouldn't be an issue. Its not a matter of taxation, its a matter of reallocation.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  197. JM

    I'm assuming you're asking the question of people who have health insurance. If so, you're asking the wrong people what they would give up. The people with health insurance have already given up the money that it costs them to have health care coverage. If we elect to pay the coverage for everyone who doesn't currently have health care, what are THEY willing to give up (i.e., cigarettes, alcohol, 5000+ calorie/per day diets). Are THEY willing to exercise more and adopt a more healthy lifestyle if we provide for their healthcare? Probably not.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  198. Jay B

    I have already given up any dignified old age or ANY retirement for health care. I am after the loss of both my parents existing out here in ND on just over $300. a month delivering a newspaper. It is very clear that the government get more involved (as it should have decades ago) in stopping 12-15% / yr medical cost / insurance hikes, as it invented medicAID and mediCARE, and also allowed lobbists from the medical insurance and drug companies to infest its halls to pay politicians to do things their way at the expense and sacrifice of hard-working Americans. When the American people are overall not strong economically and really NOT free because of these medical costs and expenses, the country is not strong and it will NOT go to the Moon again or accomplish great things until this self-made "pickle" is solved. I am 50 and I have not had health insurance for decades, as I NEVER could afford it, not being paid for my 28 yrs sky work since college (summa cum laude) graduation. Of coarse, I don't expect this truthful commet to be aired, but again, I try.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  199. Jeanne

    I am willing to give up my free time in order to participate in a grand audit of the current Medicare system. Who pays the price on a Medicare scam?

    Pharmaceutical companies are not struggling. What are they going to give? Can they find it in their soul to possibly provide cheaper medications for elderly? Why don't we all donate our time to investigate and report on what can be done to encourage those companies to change. Exposing faults within major companies is enlightening.

    This is old news, lobbysists need to be exposed as well as their counterparts.

    http://www.pww.org/past-weeks-2001/The%20high%20cost%20of%20drugs%20-%20The%20pharmaceutical%20scam.htm

    July 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  200. Kathy

    I would gladly have my insurance benefits taxed if the government would change the earned income tax benefit. How did it ever make fiscal sense to give people thousands more than they paid in? The same people who probably receive food stamps, medicaid, etc. The same people who in future years will not only qualify for social secuity benefits, but draw more than they paid in. Really .. I highly doubt the rich see an incentive to earn less because the government wants more in taxes? I do see a continued incentive program to earn less and get more.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  201. Peter Timber

    I can see a viable medical scheme whereby illegal aliens are given emergency care and encouraged to return to their native countries since as things stand now many Central American, caribbean and South American aliens flock to the USA on tourist visas seeking medical treatment,hospitalization and operations, free of charge ,under Medicaid rules and regulations which encourage such abuses. If they wish, aliens on tourist visas or illegally inthe USA can be required to buy commercial insurance like COBRA for unemployed US citizens....and illegal aliens after emergency care should be deported forwith to their home countries since they shouldn'.t be here and employed to start with. The income from alien cobra insurance policies collected upon arrival can be reimbursed if no medical services inthe USA is required.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  202. Millicent J. Aynes

    Many people cannot afford good health care. Health care careers are increasing wages in their blossoming careers and most Americans are taking wage cuts or something less in their careers. We need good paying jobs to buy health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  203. Marius, from Toronto, Canada

    I have recently had open heart surgery for a congenital heart desease that I have been suffering from since birth. I didn't pay a penny out of my pocket for visiting any specialists, family doctors and even for the surgery and recovery room that I stayed in.

    We pay for our healthcare system through higher taxes and having a system that is not as advanced as the one in the United States. It has worked so far and I'm very happy with it.

    If I were an American I would be very happy to pay higher taxes for it. A lot of people say that Canadians are strange because we don't complain about high taxes as much. That's because we are realistic and know that things cost money and, if it's worth paying for it, we will.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  204. Frank

    There are already lots of doctors and dentists who won't see patients that have Medical Asistance or other government coverage because the reimbursment is so low. So, when we talk about reducing medical costs, where do these cuts come out of? Can we ask our medical professionals to work for less than the plumber or copier repairman? Are we willing to entrust our health to providers that, for economic survival reasons, can only afford to spend a couple minutes per patient? We need a plan that pays providers a reasonable and realistic rate.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  205. Samantha

    Obama should put into place a law....??? The president doesn't
    "put into place" ANY laws. The president is the EXECUTIVE branch. The Congress is responsible for putting laws into place. Why did they not put into place a "law" that said the banks should ACCOUNT FOR THE MONEY? No, I am not willing to pay for people who want something for nothing. Regulate the insurance industry with respect to medical insurance costs. That is the problem. Regulate lawyers who file frivilious law suits. That is the problem. Tax health care benefits? Don't you realize that opens the door for them to tax ALL BENEFITS and more? Good Grief!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  206. Robert in Atlanta

    Give up? 86% of the U.S. Citizens in this country, are confortable with there health care, 4% refuse any type of health care, for whatever reason, and 10% are illigals.
    The only thing to do is refuse care to illigals, leave the present plan alone, and over the next year work on the present plan to remove some of the excessive costs.
    This will handle two problems, no taxes, illigals will not be so willing to come to this country.
    my answer comes down to
    " I am willing to give up NOTHING."

    July 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  207. Robert

    It is not a matter of what I am willing to give up. My willingness to make sacrifice could perhaps cover a family or two. It is a matter of to what degree I am willing to force my fellow citizens to work for the welfare of others. When you take a portion of a persons salary this is what you are doing. I see it no differently than if we force those who were rich with time instead of money to give up there time to nobles causes. I see both as indentured servitude. I question the morality of those who would declare that all who are willing and able should be the indentured servants of those were are not.

    In respect to the health care problem, this is a cop-out anyway. Dissociating the cost from the problem is destructive. As many years as I have heard people complaining about the problem I have not read, heard, or seen the first real investigation into the source of the problem. Health care is becoming more expense. Where is the money going? Why does my doctors office require such a huge support staff per doctor? If insurance is to high then why are there not new comers to the market willing to take a less gross profit?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  208. cdchicago

    I work for my family. They are everyting to me. I am not important. They are. What am I willing to give up? Whatever it takes to ensure their well being?
    1. My life.
    2. My retirement.
    3. No health care for myself.

    Am I serious? Quite. When the government option is available, I will select it. Insurance companies and demonstrated over the years they are only interested in value for he share holders. Not health care.

    Currently, I will never retire. Can't afford to. Spent the money on college for my children, wife and sister. Companies reneged on the rest. Have put money aside for medical for them. If I get sick, which I rarely do, I take an aspirin and get back to work.

    P.S. I am a married Black man. I earn six figures. Still can't afford health care out right. Raise what you have to raise. Do what you have to do. Lets get health care done.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  209. Michelle

    Okay Tony, you asked to be specific about what we'd be willing to give up so that those that are uninsured or under-insured can be covered.

    I'd be willing to have higher taxes; switch to a government sponsored plan or a less generous plan.

    Why would I be willing to do this? Because we brag about being the most prosperous country & we allow such a huge portion of our citizens to go without insurance.

    Let's cut back on the bragging rights right now and concentrate on how to fix what is wrong first.

    Tony because you said to be SPECIFIC, and I don't want to mess with the "Tony Man." You're way cool, keep up the great work.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  210. Sandy

    I would be willing to give up ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! If they want to cut a huge chunk off our deficit/costs, stop providing all these services and money to people who shouldn't even be here.

    I'm tired of paying into a system that illegals can collect from, and then might not even be there for me when I need it. Healthcare is part of this system.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  211. Tom

    I would be willing to give up the following:
    # $3.8 million for the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy in Detroit;
    # $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach water taxi service in Connecticut;
    # $1.8 million for swine odor and manure management research in Ames, Iowa;
    # $380,000 for a recreation and fairgrounds area in Kotzebue, Alaska;
    # $143,000 for the Greater New Haven Labor History Association in Connecticut;
    # $95,000 for the Canton Symphony Orchestra Association in Ohio; and
    # $71,000 for Dance Theater Etcetera in Brooklyn for its Tolerance through Arts initiative.

    Tom
    In Colorado

    July 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  212. Rochelle

    i would pay higer taxes. fighty cancer for a year each infusion of cemo $5,000 and taking tables $3,000 for refils, dealing with the insurance it would be nice to have other opitions then my job insurance which i am locked in to.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  213. Marie Fuller

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes as long as we could be assured that this went into insurance and not bureaucracy red tape. I also think that those making $300,000 a year should be taxed more than they are with fewer loopholes.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  214. Linda

    I am not willing to give up anything. There are already too many people out there fraudulently receiving food stamps, medicare, etc, etc. If all citizens are forced to pay for health care, then once again, we are being forced to "take care" of lazy people that only want to sit on their behinds and eat cookies and ice cream all day, and feed their children the same. People that file total disability and milk it for all its worth when they are not as bad off as they make it appear. I say this because I have a step-daughter that does this exact thing and it infuriates me that we, as hard working citizens trying to make ends meet, have to support people like that.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't mind paying for the people that are in some way TRULY disabled, even though my husband and I live paycheck to paycheck, but I believe the frauds outway the truly needy in this country. Not only that, but I also believe the individuals making a million $$ or more are too busy dodging taxes as it is and won't even notice higher taxes. Why would they be so selfish with their money when they KNOW there are people out there struggling, living paycheck to paycheck in this economy that we have only brought on ourselves, when they are able to help the needy in our own country.....? Because they are busy making huge non taxable donations to organizations to get their "15 minutes"!!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  215. Steve Austreng

    Tony, Iam willing to give up everything. Iam on disability and get about $1300 a month on disability. My rent is $500 per month and my insurance and medicare cost about $500 per month. Iam willing to give up all of my credit cards which I use for the luxeries such as food my truck which I need to sell si I can payoff my credit cards. What Iam not willing to give up is the right for bankruptcy because I think thats right where Iam headed. To many details to write them all down here.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  216. David Hutchinson

    In order to sustain unemployed Americans we need to do Job Sharing and go on a 30 to 35 hour work week. We also need a 20 hour work week if you have children. If employment reaches over 10 per cent then unemployment needs to be extended indefinately and you need to work 20 hours a week to maintain your benefits. There is an abundance of state and local jobs that need to be done. (Your continued benefits are your wages) Grass cutting, trash pick up, social services agents, ect. We need to give up the notion of if you don't work, you can't eat. If you are partaking of this system then you should get free internet, electricity and water. All of this provided you are an American Citizen. Those who are not have been surviving under the radar somehow but we need to address one part of society at a time.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  217. Linda

    Why not ask individuals making over $125,000 & families making $150,000 to pay 1%. They could have a deduction from the 1% for each child down to ½%. Those making over 1 million per year pay 1 ½% to 2%. Spread it a little thinner without coming down so hard on the rich. Plus add a monthly amount, paid by those taking the government plan, equal to what is paid for Medicare.

    Make these time limited taxes, say for 4 years, until a good check on how well the health care reform is doing.

    Along with careful attention to how government healthcare & Medicare is run we should be able to give a decent care to everyone without breaking the country.

    Without healthcare reform we will all be paying more than a percentage or two of earnings. Also many of those making high incomes are able to hire accountants that have kept them from paying anywhere near the percentage that lower or mid income persons pay.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  218. Haydn Hutson

    Tony– Well, I am a teacher, so I can't give up much more on salary. But as an American I am willing to give up:

    -billions in Iraq & Afghanistan
    -hundreds of millions in corporate welfare (F-22s for instance?)
    -tax havens for the rich in Switzerland and the Caribbean
    -outsourcing of jobs overseas
    -the millions spent by lobbyists to finance campaigns for politicians

    July 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  219. Donna

    Nothing. Why should anyone have to give up anthing? Peolpe that are paying a lot already shouldn't have to give up anything. This bill sucks, and is only going to ruin our country even more than he already has in only 6 short months. Talk about all the stuff the "previous Administration" did bad-which, is all the "Current Administration" does..... Its not even close to what they are about to do....They're passing unread bills, and don't get me started on the so-called "Stimulus-uh-Plan"- Yeah, great plan! We can all see that its done wonders for our nation! Only 5% of it has even been spent–the rest of it is just sitting around–and we're paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in interest daily.... And everything has to be SO RUSH, RUSH! Why? Why can't they just take their time with this bill (since, it is probably one of the most important things he will do in his time in Office)-so, why not take time and get it right? Why does Obama think that HE is so darn special that HE can be the one to pass this bill and get it right?? Other Presidents have tried. They were pretty darn smart , also. But, HE thinks that HE can do it in what is going to be essentially, a few weeks-although he did say in January "within 1 year".
    This country is going downhill because of this Administration. Paybacks are one thing, but completely changing everything about this country in 6 months-Gov't "take-over" Everything–Well, I smell Socialism. That is NOT what this country was founded on. The United States of America-Home of the Free, Home of the Brave! For how much longer?
    Freedom of the press is how you have your jobs-I wonder how long it will be until they start changing the Constitution? They're already ignoring it and making they're own rules as they go....What's next? I'm scared for all of us.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  220. Marjorie Good-Helmling

    Dear Tony,
    I would be willing to pay more in income taxes so that all Americans can have medical insurance. I am now on Medicare, and would like to see everyone on a program like this.
    However, my co-pays are rising every year, and that needs to change. We need not-for-profit pharmaceutical companies; people should not make record profits on the backs of the little guy. I believe all medical care should be handled by not-for-profit groups; That would get rid of the lobbyists on K street. It's time the PEOPLE had a voice louder than special interest groups.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  221. Jack McHugh

    Everybody needs to share in the cost of healthcare not just the wealthy. A national healthcare sales tax on all items purchased with the exception of food would give everyone skin in the game and give everyone a voice for cost containment. Let's face it, if you already have healthcare ( as most Americans do) then you don't want to pay for someone else's coverage too.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  222. Tom LaSalle

    I am offended at the question. Why should I or my family have to give up anything? Do we live in democracy or socialism? I have worked hard all my life to provide security and prosperity for my family. I come from humble background and raised myself and my family up because I had a responsibility to do so. I did not need anyone to teach me this. Healthcare is one of the things I work for. Why is our society falling into this entitlement mind set? I believe in American exceptionalism. You work hard and you earn the rewards. And you share those rewards with whom you choose...your church, your community, etc. I take great exception to anyone or any government telling me who I need to be taking care of. Our founding fathers are rolling in their graves right now.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  223. allister

    I would be willing to share my profit so that everyone could have a life free of worry that their health care is considered a right and not a privilege. Reducing the cost of health care is a simple fix, removing the profit from the system and treating health care as a right. Some types of profiteering are illegal, such as price fixing syndicates and other anti-competitive behavior.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  224. Susan Crutchfield,M.D.

    Willing to Give up:
    1. Going to Emergency Room for only mild symptoms or injury.

    2."Brand Name" drugs if generics are available AND stay at low cost.

    3.Having Social Security paycheck deductions stop in July..(if your income is above a certain level) Go ahead and keep taking the soc. security deduction for the full year.

    4. Having Pharmeceutical companies advertise "direct to patients" on t.v.and in consumer magazines. Most of these ads are for most expensive drugs or drugs that are no more effective than the drugs that have been out there that do the same thing.

    5. Having Medicare cover Durable Medical equipment to people that often do not really need it.( Examples are motorized wheel chairs)and c-pap machine (for sleep apnea) updated every year. These machines and the filters and masks can work for 6 or 7 years.

    .

    July 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  225. Kaye

    I don't know what else I can give up. I'm on "medicare" which should be called medican't. I haven't been to a doctor in years and I'm gratefull for my apparent health. BUT I don't get check ups or tests. Most doctors do not accept Medicare patients and I fear that this attitude will be more widespread under a gov't health plan. I know that the AMA will howl and scream, but I feel that the only solution is to regulate the medical/dental/drug industries. Their charges are totally outrageous and have been for years. For professions that ostensibly are "caring" and purport to relieve suffering, they are largely greedy and could care less about the individual in need of care.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  226. Michael in Canada

    I just heard on the broadcast about the Soft Drink Tax. In fact I believe that all fast food, candy, and soft drinks should be taxed. Instead of calling it a tax they can just call it Health Insurance. If you are going to eat that food, and feed your kids that food, then you ought to be paying into the system that is going to have to take care of the fall out from those lifestyle choices.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  227. Edward Sheakley

    I'd like to remind the people up on the hill that this is not something to argue over for political gain and loss. People are dieing and living with deadly diseases, or recieving serious injuries because they can not afford it. This is about the quality of life of all Americans, people are living and dieing over this stuff. Its a bit abstract and easy to forget, but it is something that needs to be done. Tax me more. Tax the rich more! Tax the insurance companies!

    I for one would hate to be the politician that is going to run in the midterms as the politician who is against public healthcare when my own constituents are just as under or uninsured as the next district. I would hate to see the human factor being lost to party politics.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  228. Lou

    Americans, stop the crazy train!!! Who are you listening to? You were overwhelming in support of national health care; now, not so much. You must realize by now that the television ads against it have ulterior motives; they are sponsored by special interest groups and anti-Obama zealots. We take health care in Canada for granted. Should you adopt our system? No! Learn from its pitfalls and improve on it. Suggestions such as minimum co-pay and user fees, education, and saving people from themselves are recommended. But please look beyond the wild stories for the truth. There are usually reasonable answers and significant details that have been omitted. A society dedicated to taking care of all its citizens without regard to ability to pay should be your goal. Your taxes already go towards cleaning up the health care issues that are a result of poor lifestyle and negligence. Most uninsured or under-insured people are there through no fault of their own. You claim to be a society to aspire to; then prove it.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  229. Patricia Mitcham

    I would be willing to pay a higher premium, a few dollars more a month. As it is my premium increases every year, and some of the
    increases are do to paying for the uninsured/under insured. We always have and will continue to pay for medical care for people with out coverage. Do nothing and the deficit will go up, offer coverage and the deficit will go up. I believe if some kind of coverage is offer most people would pay something, most Americans aren't looking for a hand out but a little help.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  230. Gregg Robinson

    Tony,
    It's frustrating listening to critics of health care reform who rant about the cost as if the current system is free. I guess that if you have a high six figure income (or more) and a gold plated medical plan paid by your employer that's how it seems. I'm 60 years old and self employed with taxable income just under 100K. Out of pocket medical expenses run about 15K/YR. That pays for a high deductable policy, basic meds and annual check ups. We dread the thought of co-pays should one of us get really sick. My federal taxes could go up "50%" to pay for universal health care and I'd be putting money in the bank. There are tens of millions of Americans in my shoes. One last thought: universal healthcare is an essential elements of mature civilization.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  231. JB

    Insurance is a racket business. Why doesn't the President put a cap on how much we can be charged for medical services. A cap has been placed on how much we can sue a doctor for when there is malpractice, so why not fair turn around.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  232. carl temple

    To; Tony Harris

    I have yet heard from any Reporter explaining the differance in Health Care costs, For insurance companies versis a person having no insurance. As an example i resently had an MRI . the company handed me a statement for $1075. A few weeks later my insurance company sent me a statement saying they paid $435.00 and that I owed nothing more. So my problem is this. If the Company That proformed the MRI can make a profit charging the insurance company $435. Why would they charge a person without insurance $1075. Maybe we should regulate the health care industry, and these huge profits. This hold true with any medical procedure including your drs. office

    July 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  233. Marla FL

    WHY isn't ALCOHOL included in that list of who/what to tax to pay for healthcare? The costs to society and healthcare from alcohol is far larger than for tobacco. Is the alcohol lobby that powerful? Or maybe there are so many alcoholic politicans they don't want to touch their own addiction?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  234. Donna

    Tony,

    We have to be willing to give something up in order for us to have a healthcare system that covers almost all people. I hope that the Republicans that "don't get it" look outside themselves and see what is going on in the lives of many Americans.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  235. Joe Verna

    We really wouldn't have to give up that much, consider that with so many people not having health insurance, when the go to the hospital / emergency room, those costs get passed on to us right now!! When everyone is insured more people will be able to use cheaper options.. a general physician vs emergency room to get care. Also the costs the hospitals charge to make up the difference will go down!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  236. Kay

    I am a self-employed small business person. I would be willing to give up some of the richer benefits of existing plans to contribute to health care reform. I would be willing to self-insure for the added out of pocket costs.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  237. John

    There is nothing that I'm willing to give up in order to help the underinsured or uninsured. I'm barely making it now. The goverenment will jump through hoops to assist businesses going out of business...and I'm expected to give something up to help others. You have to be kidding me. Find a better question to ask. Maybe you as a host should talk about what you are willing to give up. I started to say I'm sorry at the beginning of my statement...but I'm not. When I become unemployed...and I completely expect to be later this year – I assume that there will be no hand outs for me. Fight for yourself and move on.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  238. Ebony

    I am a full-time employee with a Corporation. I live in Brooklyn, New York City and this is my dilemma:

    My employer offers healthcare for myself and my family. it would cost 4almost $500 per paycheck. i make $540 weekly and get paid bi-weekly. if I were to pay for my employer based coverage i would make $580 bi weekly. This is unrealistic in New York City. The CBO reports says that 30% of people are offered healthcare through their work and do not take the option. This is why.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  239. Jeff in Key West

    Why aren't you talking about the insurance companies more? I'm 47, broke my leg in January and am still fighting to get them to pay. Even today, they rejected an orthotic that the doctor just prescribed because they 'don't cover that". Insurance companies should have to prove the doctor is WRONG in prescribing care. Not the other way around. If we don't build some kind of competition/choice, it's just going to get worse.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  240. Woody Smith

    I do not consider this a valid question. It is highly unlikely that anyone but the few who can most easily afford it will need to give up anything to enact Obama's plan. But it concerns me very much that the entire debate over universal health care is revolving universally around potential cost alone. This is Republican issue framing and is not the correct focus fro a nation that pays the highest percentage of any nation on earth for the substandard care we now receive (including NO care for about 50 million Americans). It is foolish to restrict one's view of an issue on cost alone, ignoring the needs and benefits that the policy would serve. Ask anyone, ANYONE, in a nation with socialized medicine whether or not they would trade their system for ours. You will not get even 10% saying that they would.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  241. Careen

    I would be willing to pay more to cover non and underinsured with health insurance -IF – i see a real hands on committee of those who know the good, bad and the ugly of the health care system. Members who have a track record of integrity and a didication to reform for now and the years to come. Members from doctors, nurses, patient advocates, insuranace companies, etc. (not second hand legislators spitting out second hand knowledge) who can hammer out the most expert compromise on such a tough needful problem. And then present it to the legislators.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  242. Joyce in Chicago

    Hi Tony,

    You and CNN are doing a great job bringing this debate to the masses don't get too caught up in the political aspect of this discussion.

    I live in Chicago, IL and every year the Gas company asks (on your bill) whether or not we are willing to add $1.00 to our payment in order to help those families that cannot pay their own heating costs. I almost always check the box because it's only $1.00.

    I think something similiar on your taxes or some other form of massive and regulated communication would be a good way to raise funds for the Healthcare conversation. I think more people than not would be happy to give a dollar if the alternative is to be taxed.

    I AM NOT in favor or being taxed for this endeavor. I personally feel over taxed as it is. We pay federal, state, county and city taxes. In addition to sales tax and property tax. By the time we are finished taxing, I see barely half of the pay that is intended.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  243. Mitchell

    Health Care is a human right. The Insurance Company will find a way to maintain their profits whether they insure all americans or not. Look at Wall Street these days and they have recovered, while Main Street American is still in a recessions. Lets just do the right thing.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  244. Dan Matlock

    Tony,

    Don't take this the wrong way, but we are already picking up such a burden caused by our government, I would like to know what OUR government is willing to give up on the HILL? It seems that no matter what happens we end up paying the price at the expense of governments decisions. Sometimes I wonder if our representatives are in touch with what is really going on out here. There seems to be such a massive disconnect between what we are really suffering out here as opposed to taking care of those needs at the grassroots. Can we talk to more individuals that are LIVING in this moment instead of all the commentary of what the government THINKS is going on?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  245. avanell johnson

    right now for a household of 3 we are paying $1200 a month for an HMO Plan. We have been told by them that we are already covering the cost of those that cannot pay. At this rate we may be without insurance soon, as our insurance is more than our mortage payment and many times we cannot afford the co-payments to even go to the doctor. We really have nothing to give, but we are willing to get a cheaper coverage through the government if these would help eveyone,

    July 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  246. Ann Oriadha

    Hey Tony,

    I make a six figure income but well below the $250,000 mark. However, I am willing to pay more taxes to help get Health Care for all Americans! It is time for us to stop being selfish and greedy. We need to do whatever it takes to provide basic health care to our citizens. My parents had far less than I have now and did so much for others. We need that since of community again and this generation must rise to the meet the challenges!

    Thanks
    Ann

    July 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  247. Maryanne Smith

    I am willing to do what it takes to make this reform happen. We ALL have family members that are suffering through no fault of their own....many are dying from lack of care.....it's wrecking our economy.....I think we are all ready to help. If the anti-reform lobby really CARED about people....
    they would spend their millions ACTUALLY HELPING the sick instead of spending $1.4 daily to keep things just like they are!!!!! Maryanne

    July 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  248. brenda

    In Canada, excellent healthcare for all. job or no job – rich or poor
    where does the money come from – not the taxpayer – all companies with a payroll of 400,000.00 or more pay 1.95% of their gross payroll , its called EHT – employer health tax..........USA should consider this vs taxing individual. Also the first 400,00.00 is tax exempt to ths % – sp if your gross company payroll os 500,000- the 1.95% would be paid on $100,000.00

    Hope you post this, love your show!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  249. John Appleton

    I don't undrstand why we have to "give up" anything. I have insurance, I pay huge copays, I have to get everything approved by a corporate hack. I pay nearly 300 a month in premiums and my employer pays the other 300. That is 600 a month total. I have to fight tooth and nail to get anything approved. Even after it is approved I still get bills and have to spend an hour on the phone, just getting the bill paid for.
    I want a public option. It shouldn't be what are "we willing to give up" but rather what can we gain. It will be cheaper, lower copays, no one getting rich from being a middle man. Take profit out of the picture thats how we can pay for it.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  250. Brenda Yager

    Why must the american citizens always be asked, "what would you give up..." The problem can be resolved be our congress members doing their jobs: not spending money we don't have, not using funds for foolish programs, and realizing we are trying to accomplish too much at one time. What is congress willing to give up-increases in pay they give themselves, cut backs in their own personal government insurance programs and so forth.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  251. Donnie in Ohio

    I have been following the posts since I posted my own.

    It amazes me that people just dont get it.

    The problem is the cost of services. Why don't we simply regulate costs?Why spend Trillions on a system that cosigns uncontrolled profit taking by men and women who have sworn the hypocratic oath?

    When is our government going to work for us? When are we going to wake up and see what is really happening?

    I find myself feeling very sad for the future we are leaving my children.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  252. Fayth Sims

    Other than my family, I'll give whatever it takes.

    I am my brother's keeper.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  253. MR. X

    I have worked hard and dilligent as people were blowing all their money.I have done what I am susposed to do with my money.I have health coverage.Now I am susposed to pay for others health care?

    I already pay for Medicaid and social security that I will never see.I feel as if I am being Bernied by the system.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  254. Mary Dent

    I believe that heath care is a right for all Americans. I have health care coverage but I am still willing to pay higher taxes for the benefit of our country as a whole. We are only as healthy or wealthy as the least of us. Most Americans that have Medicare would not change it for one of the for-profit companies, so why do we let the lobbyist and politicians keep fooling us with scare tactics. The status quote is not an option, nor is giving the insurance companies more money with vouchers. If you want to see the future of health care, just look at the past ten years.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  255. Susan Beebe

    What I am willing to give up, to help fund health insurance for every American:

    1) Medicare-provided Medical Equipment: As I age, I would be willing to use USED medical equipment, instead of brand NEW equipment, which Medicare pays for in whole or in part.

    • When my aging mother could no longer walk un-aided, we were advised that Medicare would only reimburse for NEW equipment, and would not pay for used equipment. This is a waste. We should develop standards for certifying refurbished used medical equipment , just as we have certified used cars. It would cut Medicare costs substantially to fund used equipment instead of new equipment. Moreover, since most of these patients are at the end of their lives, the equipment is frequently only needed for a year or two. So instead of purchasing this equipment, it could be rented/loaned instead, and returned to the Medicare equipment pool for re-use when no longer needed. This would also launch a new niche business in refurbishing and inspecting Medicare-certified used medical equipment.

    2) Stricter Prescription Monitoring: I would be willing to have my doctor be very strict in requiring a bona-fide diagnosis before giving me a prescription for a drug that I saw advertised on television and asked for. Read “Our Daily Meds” for an in-depth discussion of the over-prescribing of drugs heavily marketed on television.

    • Studies have shown that over 90% of patients who ask their doctor for a prescription for a drug advertised on television walk out of the office with a prescription for that drug, regardless of whether they have a related on-label or off-label symptom or diagnosis that warrants the prescription.

    3) Tort Reform: I would be willing to for-go “Punitive Damages” from any liability suit I might file and win, if the Punitive Damages moneys were instead placed in a super-fund which might be used to defray medical costs of others, or to help other victims.

    • Punitive Damages are needed as a means of punishing those that risk the public health by knowingly marketing faulty products or otherwise exposing the public to a known danger. But the huge awards given in some cases have become an incentive for some people to sue in hopes of a large settlement. If the Punitive Damages awarded by the courts did not go to the plaintiff and their attorneys, but instead were kept in a super-fund, the incentive to sue just for the money would be quelled, but the punitive aspects of heavy judgments would continue to hold wrong-doers accountable and still serve as a deterrent.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  256. Jolene

    If we aren't willing to take care of all citizens no matter what, we as a nation will find ourselves a third world country in a short time. How could this happen you ask, study your history?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  257. Bill

    I have reservations about this regardless of who is taxed, or what anyone gives up. I believe the larger question is how you sustain paying for this. Lets suppose it passes and all citizens were given health care.
    That would be great. Now the President gets immigration reform and you add 12 to 20 million more individuals to the roles instantly. How will that extra cost be picked up?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  258. Tim

    I agree with Jamie. The idea that I and so many like me would have to give up anything additionally, while others live in such luxury, while others profit so generously in the medical, insurance, and financial industries, is absurd! The distribution of wealth in this country is grotesque and grows worse every day. History shows us this cannot continue. Even in these hard times, we still hear about record profits in many sectors of the economy and consistently in health care. I believe that means they are charging a healthy sum above actual costs to obtain those profits and they have plenty of money left over to pay for commercials that try to create fear so that they can hold onto the system as it is. Hell no I don't want to pay anymore in taxes while the rich have so much more than they could possibly need and just want more.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  259. Al

    I have been trying to follow the Healthcare debate closely given that my family is on the cusp of the $250K income earners. The one item i have been listening for is a sense of how much my premiums and co-pays will be reduced if I am taxed to contribute to the "Potential Heatlhcare Tax."

    Tony, I am willing to pay an additional 1 – 2% more in taxes if on the back end I could save on co pay and premiums and even reduce my insurance cost because of proof of good health habits. I am also willing to give up a percent in taxes if we can accelerate the use of technology to maintain and share health records. Doctors and patients who use technology to conduct medical/health related business should also receive a tax break in return. We do it to encourage purchase of hybrid vehicles.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  260. nb

    I'd give up my right to wasteful life prolonging healthcare for the elderly when death is unavoidable. If I can pay for it myself, great. But taxpayers should not have to pay more, just so our society can keep flushing money down the toilet.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  261. Delores Johnson

    I have lived in Texas all my life and have always paid tax on drinks and soda? What about paying more tax on cell phone service, i know we already pay alot of taxes ,but more have cell phones, even minimum wage workers. Maybe more taxes on all the electronics and new gadgets for communications

    July 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  262. kaylee

    All of these people that you guys talk about on the news, that have no health insurance such as the lady who hada great job and got layed off then a monthe later got breast cancer is really tragc and upsetting but to think no this women has no money and no health insurance because this econmy with all if these people getting layed off why isnt the president and the govnerment trying to fix this. everything is just going to get worse more people are going to be homless and dieing nd other trriabl things i am just a kid but i know whats going on in this world and i want their to be peace and everything could be fixed i just want to know that people are trying

    July 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  263. brian

    Tony

    I Emailed You Yesterday With The Same Questions.

    Who Pays For The Senators Healthcare
    Who Pays For The Goverments Workers Healthcare.

    We Do In Taxes, So No Goverment Employee Can Offer A Opinion As They Already Have A Goverment Run Plan Paying For Them

    I Ask You And Your Colleagues To Give Up Your Paid Insurance And Address It On Your Own.

    You Will See It Through A Different Set Of Eyes And Be Just Like The Rest Of Us. Looking For Help

    I Have Run A Small Business For Over 30 Years And Have Paid For My Healthcare. It Has Become The Most Costly Expense And Can Increase Upto (3) Times A Year.

    Thanks

    If Everybody Was Dropped From Paid Insuance We Would Have A Level Playing Field And Change Would Be Immediate For The Good

    July 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  264. joseph boland

    tony- our family is willing to give up our current health care premiums if we will be given the same health care program our senate & house of representatives currently recieve; thru our taxes. why are the news media centering on what we must give up rather than what we are entitled to? will we now have nobles & countesses, after this new plan is pushed thru? we deserve the same benifits the gov't we sacrifice & pay for is currently recieving. humbly,,, boland family

    July 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  265. Lena Everett

    Increase my taxes to help ensure that everyone can be insured; you never when the uninsured will be me or you.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  266. Daid Gray MD

    I'm an Emergency Physician. If all of us give up some access to the courthouse, we can save 60% o emergency care, because that's what we spend in time and testing, not because the patient needs it, but to protect ourselves from lawsuits-all it takes is one to change a Doc's behaviour. For example, a child with an earache typically spends 2-3 hours in the ER. It should take 15 minutes. If that child develops leukemia 2 years later, I know I can be sued because I didn't do a blood count on that ear visit, and, "could have picked up the condition sooner." That's how we've been conditioned to think. I could give you a hundred examples. Sincerely, David Gray MD

    July 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  267. Alexander Zapf

    I am currently un-employed. I do not think having health insurance is a right, it is a privilege when you work and are able to have your employer help you get insurance. But, making a law that demands all employers provide health insurance for all employees is ignorant. All that will accomplish is hurting smaller businesses that employ maybe only five to six people. I used to run a small business. We work sixty to eighty hours a week to stay open and accomplish our dreams. We do not need government regulations to hinder our growth. A business such as wal-mart will just cut employees and move on. That is their right. Anyone can make it in America. I know because I came from Germany. I do not want to pay higher taxes that is the reason I have to get an extra job so I can try to open my business again. Abolish medicaid and medicare and use that money to give every family and person the right to choose their own private insurance with the co-pays that working people have. That will not happen because too many people are comfortable in their situations.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  268. Carol

    I'd be willing to give up the opportunity to finance incredibly frivolous purchases that I know about by a few MDs I know of. I'd also give up whatever money I save by not having to pay current medical insurance rates and medical bills. That! amounts to over $7000 a year, based on last year's tax forms. (Not meds) What a doctor can do to help is awesome; so, ordinary people are forced to pay a ransom to get it. As a result some specialists think three homes are not too many. It is not too much to pay airfare to bring a favorite repairman to your home from 1000 miles away. Five 25-ft boats!? Yes! Of course they have to pay high insurance costs and operating costs, so we have to pay that too. My doctors have office that look like palaces. (Not like my old Greek OB/GYN, who saw patients in an old house with old furniture). Be fair! I have heard my Greek doc refuse pmts from a pt who "has had a lot of bills to pay or hardship". He told me "after a doctor earns (a given amount) he should be required to treat one patient free.' He was a very good man. If he is living, I hope he has as good a doctor.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  269. Maria Henley

    I would be willing to pay a small percentage of higher taxes if we could have a balanced healthcare supported plan. As it is today, those of us who have healthcare through our employer see changes almost yearly to different healthcare plan. We are continuously changing our doctors so as to stay within network of the new insurance plan we get. We are forced to increase our payments and our co-payments and subjected to lower quality of healthcare every year. The companies are continuously struggling to keep the costs the same year after year and provide employees healthcare as best as they can. Keeping the same doctor and healthcare plan is a myth. This is not reality under an employer sponsored healthcare today!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  270. Sharon Jones

    Tony Im a 62 year old women who has no insurance and the fat cats talk about how people from canada have to come here for medical treatment, well if they didn't have mone they woldn't be able to get it just like all of us who are here . If I got cancer I wouldn't get the care because I can't afford it, so the republicans can just forget it Why don't they give up their insurance that we pay for and that would help pay for the insurance for peoiple who don't have it.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  271. Michael Bettinger

    It always seems that the question arises, What am I willing to give up! I've worked all my life and been unemployed for a year. My wife is retired and we pay for our own insurance. The question never comes up about the select group of people that live on WELFARE, some into their 4th and 5th generation. Why doesn't the government use some of that money for health care benefits. It will still go to same people.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  272. Raymond

    Sorry, but I have mixed feelings on this. I work very hard to make a salary. I don't want to pay for someone else's health care, particularly those who make no effort to work or for illegal immigrants. Why should I work my butt off just to give my hard earned dollars to someone who loves to live off of welfare or shouldn't be in this country at all? ......on the other hand, I am approaching retirement age and may not have easy access to affordable health care coverage once I retire, and I have a 21-year old son whose only working part-time who has no health insurance.
    If the government can offer the U.S. citizen a choice between private and public healthcare and keep the increased taxes under 5%, then I might consider it.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  273. nancy

    Tony, you have a very compassionate and thought provoking show.

    Our self employed family has had the same not-for-profit health plan for 20 years and yes the premiums have risen. Have some health issues in our family. Already we may have to give up our home instead of being able to retire so hard put to see what else to give up. Instead we try to volunteer in our community on a daily basis to help those less fortunate, such as allowing young people to stay in our home, but we've been doing this for 30 years.

    Paying more taxes aside we see very little light at the end of the tunnel for people across the board whether you have health insurance or not. Think several of us have already "given up a lot" but now it is getting down to giving up some of the essentials we have struggled to have for our families all these years.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  274. Julio Chavez-Reyes

    We should have a system similar to that of the NHS (UK), with taxes increasing for everyone and being more concentrated on the top 5% of total income earners. My annual salary is 146k and i would be willing to pay more taxes in order to ensure universal coverage.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  275. joy gattshall

    hi tony,
    my mother has been a nurse for 40 years; a chemotherapy nurse for 25 now. when health care reform was being discussed during the clinton admin., she wanted to discuss it but most health care professionals did not. now most health care professionals do. she is all for it. she says that it is a travesty of horrors for the sick and doctors/nurses alike when they are trying to get treatments for their cancer ridden patients approved by the insurance companies. Why? because science has moved along faster than insurance companies are allowing for. Necessary treatments are denied. People are denied life saving technology and nurses like my mom are left with their hands tied; then she needs to break this news to them and their families. Doctors and nurses alike are now more moving towards socialized medicine as a better option for their patients. We still have the science and technology. But our insurance companies aren't allowing us to use it. Thanks, joy

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  276. Aurelius Marcus

    I am not willing to give up anything.....I'm just practical and have a sound framework of what the Constitution and founding fathers meant to be Americans. Government is not the solution. Matter of fact, Government is always the problem when advising the liberty and creativity of Americans......So no Taxes not one penny should be taken to pay for this ridicolous Health Care plan.

    If the Administration wants every American cover, than lower the acceptance age of Medicaid and Medicare.....Start there.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  277. Carlo Pritchard

    Employees receiving company health insurance cover (and indeed. vehicles, housing and any other company funded benefit in lieu of income) are effectively receiving a salary benefit and the monetory equivalent of the benefit should be taxed as income.

    The alternative would be for the employer to withdraw the benefit and instead pay the employee the monetory value, the employee can then purchase his own health insurance. Of course the additional salary in the employees pay packet would be taxed as income – so what's the difference?

    Taxing insurance companies is not a sensible solution. Insurance companies will pass on the cost to the insured irrespective of any measures taken by government to prevent them from doing so, and it would have to be policed indefinately – a very costly beaurocratic and administrative overhead that would need to be paid from taxes!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  278. D

    Public education is good for our capitalisticdemocracy – few would argue differently- & a publically funded healthcare system is essential as well! Tax $ funds public education but anyone can choose a private education instead – the same would be true of a publically funded healthcare system!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  279. Kirt St.Louis

    Keep it simple. I would gladly pay an extra percent or two in taxes for healthcare benefits. President Obama recently gave me a $13 paycheck tax cut. Please take from that, to end the bickering and complex proposals.
    P.S.: Take a few more dollars and give me an extra week's vacation, will you? That would be good for my health.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  280. Kelly

    I do not think that anyone in this country should have to give up anything to pay for a healthcare system that works. Personally because of all my medical bills I have nothing left to give up. We have a government run free education system, mail system and garbage removal system. Why do they push the idea that a government run health system would be so disorderly and “Fascist” I think we need to take a look at the number one health care system in the world Frances health care system. French employees pay about 20 per cent of their gross salary to cover health care cost and Social security. At this point the children of the baby boomers will never see their Social security So where is this money going. If the money we put into S.S were used for our health care system not everyone wouldn’t have the need for social security. The people will be healthier at an older age and without paying for medical bills we all would have the money ourselves to put away towards retirement. Another suggestion I have is cigarettes cost an average of 10 dollars in Ny due to the ever increasing taxes put on them to fund commercials to prevent children from smoking. We also do this with drugs. From what Iv seen these commercials put the idea of using drugs and cigarettes into children’s minds when they would have never thought of using them before seeing the commercial. If we used the money we tax people for using such an unhealthy product towards health care we could collect an average of $ 7,160,254 every three years but this is with cigarettes alone. We have all heard talks of California legalizing marijuana. They are said to bring in 1.4 Billion dollars from the taxing alone This along with the taxes for cigarettes each state could cover their own populations health cost without increasing the taxes on anyone’s salaries. In The end I think If you need To go to a doctor or hospital you shouldn’t have the think first can I afford this. And for the people who think you will not get the care you need if the government runs the health care system I would like you to think about the people like me who have had to fight with their insurance company because they didn’t believe I needed a surgery that was life or death when I pay 1,000 a month to cover my family, and still have to pay 5,000 out of my pocket.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  281. O. Allen

    I am not willing to give anything. I work to hard to pay more taxes to cover people that have no insurance, illegals that should not get any benefits from us citizens, etc. The rich create jobs–the poor just take.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  282. Jan

    The majority of people with insurance won't need to give up anything unless you're wealthy. Many of us with insurance are already burdened with lack of choice,denial for procedures,increased costs with less coverage,government involvement,etc.. We've spent billions of dollars on a war no one needed. It's time to spend on the millions of Americans affected by this "broken system" It's time to put controls on these greedy insurance companies & other health care providers who will spend & do whatever is needed to maintain the status quo.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  283. R Jay

    Today in America, everyone gets health care, no matter their ability to pay. All they have to do is show up at a hospital emergency room. I worked in a hospital for many years and no one was turned away. However, for some, the level of care may not be what they expected, but then, that is life. However, they did get the equal of everyone else. This country is the most generous on earth and now we are in a deep financial crisis. Have you noticed the long line of countries waiting to help us? Right... I am generous to a fault, but do not want to be held captive by the government and have my hard earn money stolen from me and used at the bureaucrat’s pleasure. We should start by reducing the income of all those holding political office by 50%. Next, remove their lifetime pensions and exclusive “Cadillac” healthcare programs, which they are eligible for and we cannot receive. Also, let’s not forget to suspend and permanently remove all the benefits of the past Senators/Congressmen etc. Additionally, immediately begin taxing all of those in “high paying” positions of the entertainment and sports community, NO ONE is worth millions of dollars a year, no one!. Let’s do it to the point that they are forced to live on the salary equal to the President of the United States. Oh, and don't forget the Post Master General who is making at least three times the paid income of our President. I never saw an organization, (US government), which paid a worker more than the Top Dog... You want reform? Then, let’s get back to some real perspective, I want to see Pelosi and the rest of the Conies, pay for health reform, not the average tax payer. Funny, how the “political,” never step up to the plate. They are always ready to be generous with the money of those they are elected to represent, but not their own. Until that happens, then I am against whatever they are proposing. If all our "Super Stars" had to work for the pittance of most of those they serve, I am sure we would see true reform. Thank you.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  284. Russ

    I'm not willing to give up anything, because any government run program will not be cost effective and will continue to push us further and further into debt. I believe the private sector can provide a much better solution to our Health Care problems, simply by the government eliminating restrictions on interstate health care plans for small businesses and assisting (not controlling) in pooling health care coverage for small businesses.
    Remember, the government cannot give anyone anything, unless it first takes it from someone else. With a government run National Health Care system, get ready for more takeaways for everyone that pays taxes!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  285. Chris

    You're asking the wrong question. You should be asking our federal officials how much is the federal government willing to give up?

    There are billions upon billions of dollars, funding a myriad of programs, that can be CUT from our bloated federal government.

    If health care is considered a basic right by our federal officials, cut programs that are not needed and use the savings to fund universal public health insurance.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  286. Matt Ohio

    The wealthly are wealthly because either they earned it or someone in their family has earned. Either way its not the job of the government to unfairly pick out a sect of people, based on religion, skin color, or how much money someone makes and unfairly tax them. I would cared to remind everyone our Indepence was motivated over a 1 cent tax increase to tea. That was the measure and answer of our fore-father resolve to keep their hard earned money. I say stop robbing your fellow citizens and improve yourself.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  287. Carol

    Sorry for adding one more thought :) It bothers me when I hear that healthcare is a right. Taking it back to nature, sickness or injury would just naturally result in deaths. No right to health there. But in the light of the Golden Rule, – it is a responsbility.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  288. JM

    This isn't an issue of wealthy vs. poor. It is an issue of healthy vs. unhealthy. There are so many things that we can do to change an unhealthy lifestyle. Sure, generally healthy people still get sick, but if they are already obese, with diabetes and high blood pressure, taking anti-anxiety and anti-depression medication, for example, they will fare much worse and will require more care than someone who maintains a healthy lifestyle. We will never fix health care until we realize that the best health care starts with ourselves and how we treat our bodies.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  289. Alexander Zapf

    I used to live in a society with so-called universal health care. I just hope all women are ready to wait six months to a year for an appointment to gat a cancer screening. And if you happen to be an elderly, A lot of your health problems will be deemed not worthy to consider or care about. This is exactly what happened tin Germany my mother waited a year for a cancer screening. And by then it was too late.Wake up America crunch the numbers, simply taxing the so-called rich willnot work. It is the middle class working people that will carry the burden. Meanwhile there are people that do not want to work and benefit even more for doing nothing.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  290. Jerry Adams

    What Am I Willing To Give Up For Health Care/Insurance?

    Tony, this is what I think the government should do. I don’t think that the government should taxed the really rich. I think everyone should be responsible for this tremendous task.

    1) Like the government take out social security and Medicare taxes from our income, I think the government should do the same thing with a National Healthcare Insurance Tax (NHIT) to be deducted from every ones income.

    2) Special taxes should be levied/deducted on the following items to help defray the high cost of (NHIT):

    1. Insurance Benefits (Settlements from lawsuits)
    2. Workers Compensation Benefits
    3. Special 1% tax from all income
    4. A national once cent sales tax on all items to be collected over a 10 year period.
    5. A national one cent tax on all movie tickets and entertainment events

    This is just a few ideals that I had. I really don’t think it’s fair to live off the back of the rich when we all can do for ourselves. At the present time I’m a single father of two. And I receive Food Stamps and Medicaid for them. In as much as I am poor, I think the National Healthcare Tax is worthy. I really appreciate my Medicaid for me and my children. If not for the Medicaid my children would not have received adequate medical care.

    Again, I charge that the government not tax the rich only, for everyone in the United States should be responsible for this overwhelming task. I don’t really mind making the above sacrifices so that every one in the United States will have adequate healthcare.

    Thank you
    Jerry O. Adams, III.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  291. Jo

    Those that aren't willing to give up anything sicken me. It is a proven fact they and their offspring are always first in line with their hands out! People with this mind set believe in "trickle down" well trickle down works really well when it comes to nations in decline. What I am not willing to give up is my country. What I am willing to give up is whatever it takes to get health care for everyone!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  292. Matias

    why you deciced to make this question? I saw the movie SICKO I felt very sad about americans and about this country. I have been living in this country for more than a year, I am a permanent resident. I like the United States there are wonderful things about this country but about healthcare is an issue that shows a country that is not doing the right.
    I am seeing people that can't go even to emergency room without healthcare coverage. I come from a country that gives FREE heathcare,even if people lives on street, education, housing and other things at the same time we have a free market, people pay more taxes than amreicans and everyone is happy. Please heathcare is a RIGHT not a BUSINESS.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  293. Gerry Hunt

    The only thing that we need to give up is health insurance companies. They only spend 65 cents of every premium dollar on healthcare, their estimated premium dollars represent less then 35% of national healthcare expenditures (per Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services stats), their "plans" require gatekeepers (costs) at every step in the healthcare delivery process, and medical providers are spending 10% of their reimbursement revenue filling out different forms for each different insurer plus answering inumerable questions designed to delay the reimbursement process which extends up to 4 months or more. All those costs go away when we have a Medicare for All insurance program which spends 95% of funding dollars on healthcare.

    Nothing is quite as foolish as requesting choice because a well designed Medicare for All would be comprehensive, covering pharmaceuticals, dental, vision, mental, and most medical procedures that were not principally cosmetic. And a Medicare for All program would electronically track all process and procedures giving oversight into how to be better managers and to establish audit metrics to uncover fraud and abuse. None of this is available with private insurance companies.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  294. Liz

    Tony,
    Health Care reform is a huge topic. The public is finally engaged and we need to continue this discussion. I do not want to pay higher tax in order to create a new larger federal bureaucracy. I want to pay for my own family health care, donate directly to my neighbors if they need help with their medical bills. I think that a universal public plan, which seems to be the current direction, would be a degradation in the health care for most citizens. This legislation must not be rushed through. We will end up living with this decision for generations so we need to get it right.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  295. Bud Combs

    I personally would be willing to pay more taxes for a universal health care system.
    I am sick of these people who are exorbitantly wealthy who are making the rules and at the same time milking the common Joe.
    I uderstand the concept of being responsible for my health care. That is why I say I am willing to pay extra taxes for a universal plan that helps people get the coverage they need and at the same time it wouldn't cause them to lose everything they have worked for all of their lives.
    As I get older I know that my health will
    gradually get worse. That is a given. I recognize that there are things that I can do to slow the progression. I don't want to imagine losing everything because some health care system is making a lot of money for someone else at the expense of my losing everything I have workeds for all of my life.
    Greed should not be the deciding factor in health care. It is a shame that greed is even in the equation. It is a moral issue. Have we as a society gotten so bad that we do not even recognize this.
    Would we milk a family member for everything just to line our pockets when he/she needed us the most? I would certainly hope not!
    We should be willing to help all. Not just the ones who can line our pockets.
    That is my two cents.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  296. Heath

    So what I'm hearing is Obama is okay with 260,000 more jobs being lost. 90,000 from aviation and the 170,000 from the auto industry...sounds like he wants everyone to rely on the government!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  297. Marcy Everest

    I would be willing to have my employer paid health care taxed in order to provide an affordable national option that anyone could by into. I make approximately $55,000 per year and I am certainly willing to pay taxes on this health benefit (and it's no "cadalac plan"!)– frankly, I don't know why I should get it for free when others have to pay the entire bill. I would rather that everyone be able to purchase a reasonably priced comprehensive plan than for things to continue as it is. Thanks!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  298. Jonathan

    I say we should all pay an additional $25/year flat tax for 10 years to make up for the 1Trillion sort fall and for the transformational changes that need to be made.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  299. Kevin Leo

    I really hate these simplistic questions that seek to pit Americans against each other instead of trying to get us all to work together! You are carrying out the opposition's plan perfectly and this is why we are still trying to resolve this issue for decades.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  300. B.T. Mendelsohn

    The most egregious problem with our current health system is that someone who is laid off loses health coverage at the same time. The current option is to sign up for the expensive Cobra proram at the time you have just lost a major source of income. That is insane. But do any of the health care reforms the Congress is considering address that?

    I am willing to pay for it from graduated taxes on personal incomes and net profits of companies..

    July 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  301. Sheila Logan Cowan

    I have never been on public assistance. I am willing to pay my share for the uninsured, because it is the Christian thing to do. I find it strange that the very people who look down their noses at Democrats and claim to be so holy are against providing health care for those less fortunate. I challenge those members of Congress to practice what you preach!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  302. Robert Adler

    Nothing. We have a health financial crisis not a healthcare crisis. Every state offers guaranteed insurance that all 46 million can buy into. People buy houses at the beach and take the risk of hurricanes. We can solve this by giving tax credit and having pools of insurance that uninsurable people can buy into.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  303. Jonathan

    I am willing to give up nothing, it is for each person to be an end to him or herself. By what right does the government say that it is entitled to give my money to someone else? By what right?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  304. Marques Watson

    I'm willing to give up AIG's bonuses and the other extravagant amounts of money paid to CEOs and other corporate heads. They don't need those extra millions of dollars to pay for their healthcare.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  305. R Jay

    To Tom from Colorado:

    Great ideas, but one observation, your list is to short.

    The government should stop spending money on frilovous programs...

    Oh, here is an idea, vote them ALL out of office next election!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  306. Jim Puls

    I've already lost our house and cars and now am divorced and living in public housing all because of two words, pre-existing condition. Back in 1991. It all started in 1986. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  307. Steve

    Come on! This country is full of whiners and selfish people. What happened to our country? When did we become a ME society? We all know that health care needs to be broken down and done all over again. Do people believe it will cost nothing? Its absurd to want changes and think that no cost to us is possible. But when it comes to the health of a society there is a human cost involved and that is not something to put a price on. Of course I would help to pay for others to have health care. It is costing us for them not to have it anyway.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  308. Binh

    I'm not will to give up anything to pay for uninsured/underinsured American unless the are will to help themself first. Most of diets are unhealthy, this cause un-needed expense to the system. Why should I pay for someone bad habit? Smoker pays for their bad habits. For those that does take care of themself, I'm will to pay more taxes to help them.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  309. Susan Manson

    I have four adult children, two have great health insurance plans through their work, two work with no benefits. The two with no benefits pay taxes on 100 % of their earnings. The two with benefits do not pay income taxes on that portion of their income. Not very fair to my way of thinking.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  310. Steven Spears

    I'd be willing to pay an additional 2% in income taxes. In addition, by providing universal coverage. Has anyone considered the fact that medicaid and medicare would also be in included? These programs could be phased out or eliminated. Those monies would help offset the cost of these "new insurance" programs.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  311. Linda Tyler

    This note isn't related to Health Care, but to the F22 that was just discussed. Senator McCain was quoted as saying that the F22 has never flied a mission over Irag and Afghanistan. That isn't it's mission! It is a fighter jet and there aren't other fighter jets in Irag and Afghanistan. Please don't continue to repeat Senator McCain's misguided rhetoric.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  312. Terry Whitney

    I would be willing to give up being the Number 1 Military Super Power, I would be willing to give up Fighting two wars, I would be willing to give up America providing foreign aid

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  313. MissTe

    Tony, if I had a trillion dollars, I will give all of it to help pay for the cost of health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  314. Monali Khandagle

    I am willing to pay up to $100 more in taxes so everyone can have health care. The tax form has a $1 donation option for election costs. Perhaps we should add a flexible donation option for supporting health care coverage for all. If elections are important so is health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  315. Albert M.

    I'm willing to give up what I pay for health insurance already.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  316. Derek

    What would I be willing to give up so somebody else can have health care? Not a darn thing. Let them earn it themselves. I'm sick of having to give up stuff so lazy poor bums can have something for free. Enough is enough. We already give them welfare, food stamps, earned income credit, medicaid, subsidized housing, heating bill assistance, and more. Thats more than enough welfare.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  317. cherrl

    I just watched the Aaron Russo documentary on income tax. Apparently we do not by law have to pay them! All the money goes to the federal reserve to pay for the money they make for us! So this is what I would be willing to give up, paying income tax.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  318. Deborah

    Yes Tony, I am willing to give up my telephone or cable or cell phone or internet service. I would sacrafice any one or two of them inorder for my grandson who has a bad case of kronn's deasease get decent insurance. He works part time and misses many of his doctor appointments and meds because he just cant afford the deductable all the time.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  319. Donna Ellis

    I would be happy to give up $1,000,000. a day if I had it to counteract the amount the insurance companies are spending to convince us the government plan is bad for us. Do people really think they have our best interest at heart?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  320. James

    Maybe if those voting for or against health care for the people had no health care or had to pay co pays things would go easier

    July 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  321. Nicholas

    I am willing to give up or sacrifice my comforts and luxuries to help pay for healthcare for everyone. I am even willing to be taxed. Healthcare is no joke and is a very, very serious matter. People are sick, and dying, and have no coverage or are afraid to seek medical care. Simply because of cost, refusal of service, and more frustrations.

    President Obama is right. He needs all of our support. Especially the rich and comfortable.

    Thank you,
    Nicholas

    July 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  322. Donna Kraft

    If this healthcare plan goes through, the one thing I would have to give up, is my healthcare. I am 79 yrs. old, and would not be willing to give that up. We senior citizens would just be "out of luck" and too old to do anything for.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  323. Valerie

    We hear all about the "uninsured" Americans, but who are these people? From all that I've heard and learned about, they represent those 18-24, those who have chosen not to take advantage of their employer sponsored health care, and those who have not taken advantage of Medicare/Medicaid. If this is so, we are looking to revamp an entire health care system to accommodate these people. Looking at the currently run government health care systems, I'm AFRAID of the government taking over health care. Why is Obama in such a rush? Haste makes waste – and health care rushed will be a lot of change that cannot be undone; which our children will be carrying the brunt of for lifetimes to come. Take the time necessary and do it right.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  324. STEVE IN NEW MEXICO

    TONY,
    I WOULD BE WILLING TO GIVE UP PAYING FOR HEALTH CARE FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  325. Ritchie Griffith

    I am not willingto give up anything when they keep telling us there are 46 million uninsured. They have twisted the fugures to make it look bad. Do you know the 46 million includes 15 million illegals 6 million that could be on government health care but haven't signed up and another 15 million or so that make over $80,000 a year but don't want any at this time. There are really only about 10 million that don't have it and can't afford it. We should do something for them but not the others. What program has the government ever run that has been a success in terms of costs and results? None

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  326. Denise Marshall

    I am willing to give up the senators' and congressman & congresswomens' current government run health care coverage they currently enjoy.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  327. Jim

    I would like more information on the proposal to cut health care costs by taxing the un-insured. This sounds like the most rediculas proposed solution I have heard. Why not go farther and tax medicade receipents for their meager benefits, or the homeless get charged a property tax on their cardboard box home.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  328. karen bemiss

    I think we should give insurance companies an option. They should offer a coverage plan to everyone ( even with pre existing conditions) at the same price or the insurance company should pay a tax.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  329. KATE

    When Congress and the Executive Office stop the pork barrel spending, tell us what has happened to the Stimulus package, give all of us the same coverage Congress has, Stop spending our money. Then maybe I'll give up something, Not until then. We already have given up our jobs and some of our right to privacy. We are already wasting money! why not tweek the medicaid and medicare programs to include the uninsured and have them pay a fee based on sliding scale. Government needs to stay out of the private sector!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  330. Beth

    You keep assuming that it'll cost individuals more if the House health insurance reform passes. But it will actually cost people less.

    The Canadian province that taxes people the highest amount for Health Care charges $1200 a YEAR for full family coverage. Most private insurance in the US costs more than that for a month. I may have gotten a $200 tax break from Bush, but my health insurance costs went up by more than $5000.

    Public option health insurance will cost less than we are paying now.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  331. Yvette

    I can't give anything UP. I am already an indentured servant to the state of California and the federal government.

    I owe 30,000 because I wanted to become a teacher.
    Each time I turn around I am ask to do more with less.

    Why is it the more I work to try to become successful the more I feel punished! I know this sounds negative! but Geez I should have just had 6 kids and then I would have gotten free school and food.

    We need to stop providing money to people who feel entitled to everything but do nothing to empower themselves.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  332. Gary

    I would be willing to give up the huge salaries and bonuses of the senior officers of the HMO's and the perks taken by our congressmen and senators.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  333. Donna R.

    I'm willing to let my senators and representatives take a pay cut and not have any pay raises until they are willing to stop playing games with the lives of the people who put them there.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  334. Susan Manson

    I'm willing to give up insurance lobbists, insurace CEO's and insurance profits, I'm also willing to give up war.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  335. Jaime Alvarez MD

    Are you kidding me CNN? I mean are you serious with this question?
    I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this on the screen.

    What do you call Medicare?
    What do you call Medicaid?
    A huge chunk is taken out of my paycheck every month for those two health care insurances: one for the elderly, one for the very poor. And I am glad to do so. But enough with the socialist agenda pleasee!! And one more thing- How do we fix the horrible problem of an out of control malpractice system? Do you not think that health costs would be reduced dramatically if docs, from pcps to specialists stopped ordering unnecessary tests for the simple reason that they are afraid of being sued?Now, what, You want me to take money out for the middle class as well?
    The better questions would be, what would YOU give up to get health insurance? Cable TV? I-phone? the twice a month Movie? Cigarettes?
    Please. This question sound like it came from Karl Marx himself! What- did someone revive him?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  336. Rick

    Hardly a day goes by when we are not reminded that we are a "Christian" nation. What more "Christian" thing could we do than to sacrafice so that our neighbors all have health coverage and are able to get quality health care. "To whom much is given, much is expected". Time to step up and put our money where our mouths are.

    non-Christian, middle-class retiree.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  337. Kate Lutz

    To create a better health care system I'm willing to give up - 800 B1 bomber, 1500 cruise missiles, stop manufacturing F-22 jets, stop underwater sonar testing, and give up 5 Halliburton military contracts.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  338. MR. X

    so let me get this straight.....cut jobs.....expand welfare.......way to go MR.President

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  339. JoAnne McLachlan

    I am single and have an annual income of less than $50,000 including approximately $10,000 in Social Security. $9,000 of that SS payment is taxed. I would be willing to incurr total taxation of that SS amount. My tax is small by comparison to those of larger incomes, but it everyone in my bracket would make the same pledge, the funding gap would be significantly reduced.

    JoAnne

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  340. Pat

    I am self-employed and can't get private insurance due to pre-existing disease clauses and inability to pay the huge premiums. I don't own a house or car so can't give those up to pay for health care. I would give up cable TV if I could get health care in return. Anyway, I'm tired of listening to wealthy congressmen and overpaid media people telling us "we" can't afford health care reform.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  341. Stephanie Price

    I'm willing to give up what ever is necessary to ensure that everyone has coverage. I had an injury 2 years ago that literally changed my life. I had a good job with a 6 figure income, good health insurance, money saved, 401K, etc. Now, my 401K is gone, I have no money saved and recently lost my job and have a pre-existing condition. You never know when your situation will change, or when an injury or illness will change your life.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  342. Giuseppe from DC

    I moved from Rome, Italy 6 years ago, I'm healthy and I pay $200 for my Health Insurance every month. If I have to file a claim, they treat me like a car, an object, and i still have to pay a part of the bill.

    In Italy, like in Canada, health support is NOT free, a portion of our taxes go to health departments, but it would be around $10 a month, not $200.

    Plus if you really want to get an MRI and can't wait 3 weeks for one, you can still go to a private facility and pay $100 to get one, you know how much it cost here? $3,000.

    Just like public school, i don't have kids, why part of my taxes go to PUBLIC SCHOOLS? What if I have kids and i send them to private school? Why are you still taking my money in taxes?

    Because EDUCATION is the base of freedom, and a government should invest in education and public schools.

    So why can't the government take care of citizens' health?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  343. s. marcelin-johnson

    I would not be willing to fund a governmentr-un healthcare system because I've seen how inefficent, and inequitable they are. My mother was diagnosed with oral cancer soon after her Insurance carrier dropped her, forcing her to rely on the state of Texas to treat her. She had to wait months (7) before receiving chemo and radiation. Not only that, there were so many loopholes we had to deal with, meanwhile she was getting progressively worse. She passed away last August and although we were sadden by her passing, we were elated she didn't have to endure this so called answer to healthcare for the less fortunate.
    I would be willing to pay extra for those luxury items and activities that aren't necesary to survival. Things like cigarettes, alcohol, some food items, flatscreens, luxury cars, etc. This would ensure that those who in need of healthcare would be doing their share to pay for it as well.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  344. Donna

    I think that this Health Care Reform will affect everyone in a negative way. I lost my husband last year, a great doctor, for almost 30 years. He ran the emergency room and was a great boss to approx. 300 people-all of whom loved working for him. If he were still here with me, he'd be freaking out about this bill. He always told me that he felt that healthcare professionals weren't paid enough, in general...But, most esspecially from the current government programs (Mediacare/ Medicaid)...So, why will this be any better for them, or for the patients? Doctors should be respected for their work in the community. They go to school for many years and dedicate their lives to being good doctors...And what about all the other health care professionals, who we all need at some point...These people deserve to have their job security and I know for a fact that many of them now are very worried about this bill being passed. Doctors will be flooded with more patients; They will need more PA's, nurses, CPN's, etc-But, they won't be making as much money, so they will have less money to pay their employees. These are the people who take care of us when we need help, when we're sick, hurt, in pain.... If they're not being paid as much, then the quality of the service will go down, obviously. It's a snowball effect....Although I miss my husband every single day more than ANYTHING in the world, I AM SO GLAD that He DIDN'T have to see this. I hope and pray that the bill won't pass–Everyone needs to write letters to their Senators, to Congress, etc....Tell them to read the bill before passing it! Tell them to pass the bill ONLY if they would be happy to be covered under that bill, along with their family. I'm pretty sure they don't want that! We DO NOT need our Government controlling our health care!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  345. kathy in FL

    I would be willing to give up the junk food that makes people sick with chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But it takes a lot of self control when these temptingly delicious items are also very inexpensive. So I would propose the following taxes. Items that carry a social cost should pay for that cost.

    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.

    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, treatment of 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.

    These taxes would promote overall health along with helping to pay for health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  346. June Risner+

    I would like to see some action taken to take away the health care plans for our US congressman and senators – give them what the rest of the country has. Also, their retirement should be Social Security, thus they would qualify for Medicare. These lifetimers in Washington DC are breaking the government with the retirement they are given.

    Congressmen and Senators are no better than anyone else, so why do they receive the best of everyting??

    My health insurance copays and deductibles cost me more every year, I wonder how much they pay in copays and deductibles ??

    July 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  347. martha

    I am lucky enough to have excellent group coverage and in the past year have had a very specialized major surgery that prevented me from going blind. But I see other people in an online support group for people with my condition, who have to go months or longer and fight their insurers for authorization for surgery – or worse yet, those that do not have coverage. There is a chance that I could need another surgery several years out. If universal coverage meant that perhaps I would be more limited in the choice of my surgeon, or that it was more difficult to schedule it, that would be totally acceptable given the benefits of timely coverage for everyone.

    I lived for a while in a country with universal health insurance. It is truly a different and better world. I truly believe the pride and the benefits joining the rest of the developed world and providing universal coverage to all Americans will soon win over skeptics. I despair every time I see donation jars set up by cash registers to help hardworking people who can't afford health insurance.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  348. baasbaas1

    I would not object to a 10% increase of what I have to pay for my Health Insurance if it would help those that want/need Health Insurance but cannot afford it. I DO NOT want my dollars, taxes – to go to those who can afford Health Insurance but opt not to have any.
    Why are we not looking at the program in Massachusetts where Health Insurance is mandatory. I know it is still having growing pains, but it is a good start, and sort of a mirror of what the current proposal could be.
    BTW those in Massachusetts for opt not to be covered are monetarily penalized.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  349. Johnny

    Is Congress willing to give up the Government paid for health plan they get as congress men and women. If they can't vote to help us poor people then they should forfeit theirs.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  350. Pat

    Someone needs to explain why there is never any problem taxing tobacco but never touches alcohol. Tax all alcohol and put money into health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  351. Christine

    I would be willing to pay a bit more in taxes if I knew that health care would be available to all Americans who were qualified for it (excluding illegal immigrants who are failing to take the path to American citizenship).

    I am already living cost consciously and I think that all Americans need to do away with the free-wheeling, it's all about me, my ride & my flat screen mentality that has brought us low as a nation. If we took the time to act as a unified country and as the Americans in the spirit we profess to the rest of the world then we could accomplish responsible health care. We could accomplish anything to turn our country around.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  352. Kevin M Hallinan

    Tony,

    I think the premise that we need to give up something to reform healthcare is specious. Reforming healthcare is essential and beneficial to al of us. However, I would certainly be willing to give up the status quo. Our current healthcare system is a failure; the costs continue to rise astronomically, co-pays continue to increase as our benefits and coverage shrinks, and there are millions of Americans without coverage.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  353. Todd T from Illinois

    I don't see why this is so hard to get done. All we need to do is lower health care cost, cut expenses elsewhere, this war would be a good place to start and there are way to many people in government with high salaries. Taxes on the rich should go up to the rates in the clinton era. I am not really crazy about government health care but something has to be done and it has to be paid for. I would like to see a USA that has healthcare free for all americans. You go to the doctor or hospital and you just get taken care of, for a plan like that i would gladly pay higher taxes. If we would make drugs cheaper and overall healthcare cheaper this too would be possible.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  354. Donna Ellis

    Rich to me is being able to pay my bills and have some left over for trips and dinner out, and unlike my greedy republican friends, I don't mind paying more taxes for services. I do mind making up for big tax breaks in California for three large corporations.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  355. Anthony Florkski

    I would be willing to pay a little more in taxes-But I think We need another stimulis package -one that would be worked out to give people one million dollars to spend on a few things.The president would need to get it worked out as to the specifics but the money could be used to buy houses,cars.Pay for many other things and infuse a lot of money into the economy because those receiving the money would have to spend it on certain things in a given time frame-just give the money to those that can use it not the money hungry giant companies that give bonuses to their own instead of using the money wisely

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  356. Tom

    How does the proposed health care reform address the continuing invasion of illegal aliens, who do and will impose ever increasing costs on the medical service community? I am willing to watch the members of Congress give up their self promoted privileges in terms of their retirement and medical coverage in exchange for what they impose on their constituents!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  357. ann

    I've been giving up a lot my entire life in order to pay for my health insurance. I think a lot of the uninsured are people like me who have jobs and would be willing to pay a small portion of the premium themselves. I don't think it should be totally free. They should pay a small portion for the premiums. That seems the fairest way and would raise the rest of the money needed. Why isn't this being discussed?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  358. June Risner+

    My husband and I have nothing more to give up!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  359. Gina C

    Healthcare cost in America are ridicules. It is time for real change, we have to face some hard facts and do what is necessary to pay for it. Maybe its time to look at raising the sales tax instead taxing certain groups. Everyone would be paying then.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  360. Michael

    First things first, governmnet spending needs to be more closely monitored to ENSURE that money is being spent properly. Next, we need to see the really big picture. Whoever gets taxed, be it the "rich", insurance companies, or soda drinkers, it will be a trickle down effect and everyone will have a hand in paying for this. That being said, I believe that everyone should be willing to pay a tax increase to get this reform done. But thre President needs to get this right so this can be part of the basic fundamentals of the country.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  361. Benjamin

    Let's see... I am a father of three kids, work three jobs and although I would be a beneficiary of all these "wonderful" programs, I don't want them. Cases could be made for paying for all your kids' clothes and yours so you could work. They could be made for taxing more to pay all transportation costs for each person below the poverty line (whatever that means) and the "programs" are endless. My wife and I make less than $30k per year but make it work and we pay for our own insurance. Not everyone can, but without sacrifice, they will become dependent on the system. Don't do that to them.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  362. Mike Kinney

    I feel we should Tax the very Rich people like Bill Gates as well as any one who is a millionaire and can afford it the most. I also wonder if we can hel other Nation in giving Aid and Money to them then why Can not the Congress help the American people with health Care. How would Each House of Repenstive and Senate feel if they had No Health care at all that the Taxpayer are paying for their health care even when they leave office. We need Our Medicare insurance to improve better to help people who is retire even in the coming year when they retire. I hope Congress has a whole will give the President a good Health care for all of us as a whole.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  363. Lora Ann Mayes

    Why are Republicans giving the president such a hard time? Health care is needed for all americans. I know what it is like to pay for insurance and when you need it you are denied. I am one of the lucky ones. The Medical University Of South Carolina, saved my life even though I could not pay a dime. They did not focus on the dollar amount. They focused on saving my life. Republicans can sit back and complain about cost I wonder if they would feel the same if it was them are there love ones without Insurance or paying a insurance premium and when you need to use it be told you are not covered. They need to stop politicing with people lives.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  364. Kate Lutz

    To create a better health care system I’m willing to give up — 800 B1 bombers, 1500 cruise missiles, stop manufacturing F-22 jets, stop underwater sonar testing, and give up 5 Halliburton military contracts.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  365. JK

    The real political question is – what do you think everyone should be FORCED to give up.

    So much for "the land of the free".

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  366. Jaime Alvarez MD

    Why should I pay for the 35 year old male (unemployed or not) who smokes, watches cable TV, drinks beer evry weekend, and has a boat and goes fishing every weekend?

    It amazes me that people dont realize that when you pay for MEdicare and Medicaid YOU ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S HEALCTH CARE! And that's ok, because it is for the elderly, the infirm, the very poor.

    But this is a middle class social welfare mandate and I am not for it one bit! ANd Obama: stop shoving this half -a$$ed proposition down our throats!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  367. Evan Smythe

    I would be willing to give up being bombarded with advertisements from the pharmaceutical industry every time I turn on the television. While the Rx companies are busy spending enormous amounts of money on these ads, turning patients into consumers, they are also spending huge amounts to cultivate their relationships with doctors. Generics work just fine and cost SO much less. This, of course, is just the tip of the iceberg. I think it is about time we expect relief to come from those who have enjoyed unheard of profits, and stop expecting the consumer to foot the bill (yet again!)

    July 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  368. Terri C

    I don't think it should be about giving up things...it should be about sharing the burden for something that we as a society decide is a benefit to us all. As such, a surtax should be added to those things that encourage the thing we are trying to introduce into our society. That said, introduce a surtax on things that discourage healthy living...junk food, soft drinks, cigarettes, etc., etc. the list is too long to create and remove tax on those items we want to encourage...fruits, vegetables, etc. That way we are all sharing and benefiting from the costs!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  369. Kelly Sidebottom

    I am always willing to give and will if it is necessary. My husband and I are both blue collar labor. It is not easy keeping a job with benefits in today's world but we have been lucky so we can give more if we need to. First the country needs to look at waste. How about some of the F22's that have never been used. We spent billions on them. Maybe we should stop that type of wasteful expenditure. The Government still has waste in a big way and the F22's are only one example.
    Point is we can all give a little and that would solve the money issue for health care. I have a friend that works as an in home care giver. This job used to be part of our local hospital and it had a better wage AND health benefits. Now this job has been outsourced to a private company for lower wages and NO benefits. She just found out she has breast cancer and is terminal because it went to her lungs. She was told that she has only a few months before it could end up in her brain and they are waiting to start treatment because she does not have insurance. She is trying to get benefits through another source without having to quit her job, but this takes time to get in the program so she is waiting to start treatment because she can't afford it. There is no excuse for that in this country. I am double covered and I guarantee that I would not be waiting for Chemo. She might die because she did not have insurance. She is a hard worker and deserves better.
    Kelly Sidebottom
    Palmer Alaska

    July 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  370. Tom

    People are dying because of not having health insurance. I would be willing to have my Social Security taxed to offer universal coverage. I would trust an elected government to make medical judgments about my life more than profit motivated insurance companies.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  371. Larry Malato RN

    After more than 30 years as a health care professional I firmly believe that tobacco is a major contributor to the cost of health care. Most of my patients in ICU are there as a result of smoking related organ failure. A five dollar a pack tax would go a long way towards paying for the cost of a public health care system as well as discourage smoking by American youth. Why are we calmly accepting this highly poisonous substance in our society?? We are all paying for the damage caused by tobacco companies.
    In addition my life's work has convinced me that health care itself is inefficient, overly costly and dangerous. Practice error, medication error, and poor process design cost the US immeasurable treasure. Strictly enforced safety and quality regulation is a must if we are going to take responsibility to lower the costs.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  372. Fran

    My insurance premiums go up every year to help uninsured people now. I am totally against the health plan and any tax increases at this time. Some of our states are facing the same problem of California, and now government wants more taxes. The rich people of the country, may just leave and many small businesses may just close and go on the government dole. And no one is mentioning that many medical school students will go into different fields, they are not going to want to practice under.government rules. Finally, the American people have a right to see and read the bill before they form an opinion on it.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  373. Tom

    When the President and Congress give up taking their families on extravagant vacations abroad at tax payers' expense, I will give up vacations I can't afford to plan with my family!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  374. Jaime Alvarez MD

    Has any body answered the question- How many of the so-called 46 million uninsured are
    a) Uninsured because they choose to be
    b) Illegal and undocumented
    ??

    This is a fraudluent inflated number that the federal gov often uses to hurry this "program" down our throats.

    I say Enough with this socialist agenda, Obama.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  375. George Oertel

    I am in the $50,000 to $100,000 tax bracket and am willing to give a 0.5 % increase in my taxes.

    IF IT IS RECOGNISED THAT
    The distribution of our wealth has been controlled by the rich and powerful who allocate most to themselves and spread what little is left to the rest of the people. This is called Plutocracy; not democracy; not a representative Republic; certainly not socialism.
    They have convinced us that they will create jobs if they are entrusted with the money; they have not kept their promise. Give the President a chance to try a different way.
    We can balance the budget if the wealthiest people paid a little more for government services.
    Increase the taxes by 1% on AGI's from $100,000 to $250,000. 5% on AGI's over $250,000.
    This should not be a burden or affect the lifestyles of any of these people. They certainly wouldn't feel it as much as someone living on $50,000 who sees a 10% increase in food costs.

    why CAN'T MOST PEOPLE RECOGNIZE THIS ?

    July 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  376. Jan

    Beware, companies are looking to only give employees a certain amount of monies to go towards health insurance. This means you (the employee) will have to find your own insurance. What will happen when insurance companies deny you coverage due to pre-existing conditions? Oh, yes, you could pay $1,600.00 or more a month for health care, plus the high deductable ($5,000 or more), and the 30-70 percentage, etc. . . MMMM. . at minimum wage????? Try to live on that! You don't know what it is like until it happens to YOU!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  377. Dahlia Estacio

    I am not willing to pay for more in taxes unless:
    1. tax the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and if they pass it on to consumers, cap them.

    2. list the names of the lawmakers who are under the pockets of these 2 or more (oil, cigarettes?) PACS.

    If we can cut the costs of the drugs which I believe we gave tax credits with the research and studies of their drugs, cigarettes which cost taxpayers in increase of cancer diseases, we should reap from their millions (billions) of dollars in profits. The pills are easy to manufacture (machines do them now)

    July 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  378. David R.W. Wadsworth

    The Christian Nation of America is showing its true allegiance with it's debate over health care.

    I would remind the American People that Jesus Christ, whom you say you worship but instead crucify again and again with your bickering said, "When you do it unto the least of these my brothren, you do it unto me."

    Me, I would be willing to give up all!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  379. George Huffman

    I am not at all satisfied with anything I have heard regarding any of the options for a National Health Care program. The only thing the President and Congress can do is spend money without ensuring value or guidelines to be sure the money isn't wasted or used to line pockets of company executives. They have a proven record of incompetence that has worsened over the past several months. The US spending is driving the US to financial disaster. The president calls for everyone to tighten their belts and control spending, yet he is doing just the opposite with our money.
    I am not willing to give anything for a National Health Care program. I am concerned about a new Health Care program that will spend billions of dollars on non US citizens. I can only hope that all the politicians will be required to participate in the program without any special treatment. The President has repeatedly said that middle class people earning under $250K annually will not see any new tax, so these people won't be ask to give up or pay anything for a new Health Care program. Who believes this now?
    The media continues to pick and chose and slant all the news releases to show this administration in a favorable light, which I don't understand. I see that CNN will be reviewing these responses for posting so I know this response will not be posted.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  380. Jaime Alvarez MD

    S CArpenter said that republicans run all of the corrupt banks that made evreryone poor.

    For your information, people, Bill Clinton and his cronies de-regulated these banks in the 90s and nobody said a thing! get your facts straight!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  381. real patriot

    I am willing to give up the safety of hipocracy that many americans. I served in the armes service and I and my family was stationed over seas. We know who's robbing americans and it's not the uninsured. We spend more on putting americans that live in highly policed areas and those agencies are the modern pinkertons of our time. Why is it legal to buy a pack of spokes that has more chemicals in them than the pesticides that I put out to kill weeds and pest. We spend millions to put so called criminals in jail for marijuana but those who clearly have broken the law, such as the last admin' they get a pass.
    Lets get real people and realize that we are stronger than any elected official; we only care when it directly fx us as individuals.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  382. AG Johnson

    Why not make it a voluntary payroll deduction for those who want to do this!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  383. Sue Herms

    I would be willing to give up a lot, in higher taxes or whatever it takes. I work for a hospital and you would think my health care coverage is excellent. But I was diagnosed at the age of 54 with a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that is incurable. Unless I die with something else first, I will die from my cancer, maybe in 2 years, maybe in 5 years, maybe in 10 years. I am not yet eligible for Medicare and won't be for several years. I cannot get additional coverage because of my pre-existing condition. One infusion of my treatment to keep my disease in remission costs $20,000. I am afraid my benefits will run out before I am Medicare-eligible, if I live that long. So even though I work at a hospital, I face the prospect of running out of health insurance! Because of this fear, I have had to reduce the number of my treatments. So I certainly understand and am sympathetic to the dilemma of others who face similar situations.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  384. excal

    what i see is that many of us seem very selfish, now i know why i believe in the biker mentality, you help out a brother.....

    i have more that once given a brother my last $ or my last bit of food...

    i have never heard that any health care reform was going to be free as i see it nothing is free.... we all pay in some way.. when we learn to respect those that deserve it our world may be a better place.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  385. Chris G.

    We're ignoring the obvious: we, Americans, already pay for the uninsured through a "hidden tax" when the only recourse they have is to go to the emergency room for health care. Most of the costs of treating the uninsured are borne either explicitly by local taxpayers and self-pay patients or implicitly by businesses and their employees who pay the “hidden tax” in higher premiums.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  386. Don Kenny

    Hello Tony: I've been watching cnn for years and it just blows my mind what people in the US expect from their Government. They agreed with bush going to Iraq, they want free health care, want bailouts, more police protection, more terrorist protection, want more and more and of course, lower taxes. The latter is the crux of the dilemma your country is in now. I can understand with all the tax cuts that were given by the Bush admin is the reason why every Government, State and Federal, is in such a state and with all your problems that you've incurred over the past eight years,you should have been paying more taxes. The debate now is healthcare reform. I'm Canadian and don't mind paying extra taxes for the health care we have in our country. It is worth every dollar.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  387. John McKay

    Yes, I would pay my share in taxes to help you, me, and those who cannot help themselves. Keeping in mind that an entire history of civilization is marked by the ups and downs around redistributing wealth when only a few have it.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  388. Jan

    As a 77yr.old user of Medicare I would give up the many expensive tests prescribed by my doctors which add so much to the overall cost of medicine and only serve to lengthen one's life and add very little or no quality. Old age needs to be accepted and the futile attempts to hold on to every minute in whatever condition the patient is should be better controlled.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  389. Alan

    This is a difficult question for me as a small buisness owner who provides health and dental coverage for my 7 employees. If I am alreay providing health coverage at a cost of over $3000/month out of my pocket. What more can or should I have to give up. Why should I have to pay more taxes, or a surcharge to pay for those who will not pay anything. Also, as a health care providers husband we already provide thousands of dollars of care to people who cannot or will not pay for the service that we have to provide. Also, we have to continually fight insurance companies to get paid for the services we provide, costing us thousands more in lost time and energy. The reimbursement rates are staying the same for years on end as our cost of doing business to keep up with government regulations increase every year.
    The physican is the one person is this process that continually get the raw end of the deal, we have to spend more to stay in pratice and we get less money to provide the best quaility care in the world, and at the end of the day we get sued by the very people you provide the free care to.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  390. Adam

    Rather than giving up, we need to EVALUATE current healthcare expenses. WE pay $9 Billion for teen preg (just birthing, not NICU and social costs), Billions for pt's who suffer medical complications b/c they cannot afford and the govt or ins comp's will not pay for a bottle of pills, Billions for people injured b/c they will not wear motorcycle helmets, Billions for putting people in jail rather than pay for mental health, billions for smoking related costs b/c people want the right to smoke. We pay Billions for terminally ill pts in intensivecare units rather than accept and cope with death and dying issues. Rather than forcing us to suffer in order to pay anothers expense, we need to REPRIORTIZE how we spend our resources!!!!! Teach sex ed in the schools-parents need to be educated as well, provide mental health services and pay for medications. Get rid of pre-existing clauses and povide care. It will cut our expenses dramatically. Require PREVENTIVE Healthcare. Healthcare and Educ are the most critical aspects of any society. We are going to pay a greater price if we do not fix the problem now. I am a republican and nurse. WE need to address the issue now. Your right to smoke stops when your medical care REALLY takes food off my table and prevents me from paying for basic expenses like heat in the winter. Let's think outside the box rather than taxing!!!!! If you smoke, you pay the expenses out of your own pocet!!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  391. Beau

    15 years ago, when the Social Security and Medicare Crisis was big in the news. My wife and I calculated that with at the time a combined average yearly income of nearly $180k, we could afford an increase of $1,000 each of our FICA yearly deductions. (combined $2,000)

    Now that we are making more, we feel that we can still afford an even modestly higher increase.

    Though I know that if I was still making what is now minimum wage, that would be way too high. So, I see no problem in having a graduated FICA deduction regime tied to income levels. This will cover Social Security and Medicare as long as we can keep Congress from continuously raiding the fund to offset deficits, and means testing for those of us who can still afford to pay our own premiums.

    But, Medical, Pharmaceutical, and Insurance Administration costs must be brought under control !!!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  392. chris

    I am 60 yr. widow and i make 1200/month – I pay 317/mo for health
    insurance -no prescription – no tests-have a 5000 deductible and have no health problems or take no pills. I am doing without a cell phone HBO and food to pay for my insurance. It costs me 26% of my income. I have been paying for my own health insurance policy since i was 28 years old and have done without for a long time.

    TAX A GALLON OF GAS ANOTHER 2 CENTS AND ALL OIL PRODUCTS.

    THAT'S A LOT CHEAPER FOR ME THAN 300/MO.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  393. George Oertel

    i AM WILLING TO PAY 0.5% MORE IN TAXES (IN THE $50,000 TO $100,000 BRACKET) PROVIDED
    THE FOLLOWING TAKES EFFECT.
    The distribution of our wealth has been controlled by the rich and powerful who allocate most to themselves and spread what little is left to the rest of the people. This is called Plutocracy; not democracy; not a representative Republic; certainly not socialism.
    They have convinced us that they will create jobs if they are entrusted with the money; they have not kept their promise. Give the President a chance to try a different way.
    We can balance the budget if the wealthiest people paid a little more for government services.
    Increase the taxes by 1% on AGI's from $100,000 to $250,000. 5% on AGI's over $250,000.
    This should not be a burden or affect the lifestyles of any of these people. They certainly wouldn't feel it as much as someone living on $50,000 who sees a 10% increase in food costs.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  394. Woody Goff

    As I read these posts I am truely saddened, comments like:

    "If all citizens are forced to pay for health care, then once again, we are being forced to “take care” of lazy people that only want to sit on their behinds and eat cookies and ice cream all day, and feed their children the same."

    and

    "Heath care is not a right, it is a privelage."

    To them my I first say I hope you loose your job, and along with it your health care. After that may you get an expensive illness that requires much medical attention that you cannot afford. Because for millions of Americans that is the case. Its not about being lazy or not wanting to work for health care coverage...it is about the hard working, honest Americans who must choose between going to the doctor for an illness or feeding their children or keeping electricity in their homes.

    Never have I ever seen or heard so many Americans behave so selfishly as they have when it comes to health care reform.

    If we are truely the "GREATEST" country in the world we will pass universal health care and all Americans will be insured.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  395. Tim

    I am not willing to pay more taxes. Period. The whole concept of using tax monies (yours and mine) for anything other than true emergency care, that is, requiring others to pay for me to get non-emergency medical attention is ludicrous. Now, if our employees in the government are willing to have medical coverage of the same quantity and quality, without requiring their bosses (us) to pay more taxes, then I may not mind continuing to pay the current level of taxes and letting them keep some coverage. Then again, maybe not. Hard working Americans should not be REQUIRED to pay for non-emergency coverage for anybody else.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  396. Charles H

    I am fortunate enough to be blessed with a secondary health insurance to my Medicare. I have very little out of pocket expenses. My contribution to the less fortunate would be to have my premium taxed as simple income to the extent of 50% of that value as per my tax bracket. If my premium is $3000, then $1500 would be taxed as simple income.
    Health care for ALL citizens must be this nations priority. However, these benefits should not be extended to illegal immigrants. The benefits for these people must cease or we'll never stop the influx.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  397. Mary

    If we are truly a nation of Christians we will remember Jesus' words about tending to the poor, the sick, and the needy as we consider what we must pay to extend health care to those who can't afford it. Those who make enough to fall into the categories suggested for extra taxes might ask themselves whether they can give up some of their expensive clothes, vacations, etc. to help others.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  398. Doug Strong

    I'd be willing to give up the million dollar lotteries of malpractice suits for anything beyond actual costs, insurance industry lobbyists in Washington, D.C., insurance industry advertisements against health care reform, and insurance industry rationing.

    In return for an affordable government option, I'd be willing to pay higher taxes, and to pay for supplemental private insurance to cover procedures, and costs that might be limited in an affordable option.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  399. John

    A single payer program would eliminate the profits paid to investors and excessive overhead paid by the competition between insurance companies (including all that advertising) as well as allow economies of scale in record-keeping, etc. Those savings would go a long way to paying for universal coverage.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  400. Clay Hinman

    I'd gladly give up 5% or more of our income, all of the insurance companies, the enormous number of people who do paperwork and medical accounting, and all medical benefits currently in place by our employers. America has become so obsessed with "Me, I, Mine, My Precious!" kinds of thinking that we've forgotten about the good Samaritan, Loaves and Fishes, and doing unto others what we'd have done unto us. Employees shouldn't have to sue employers for long term medical care from damages incurred on the job. It should be provided and would be if we had socialized medicine. It should be there for everybody. It is a right and not a privilege. Most of us who think we're insured only have toy policies. Co-pays, deductibles, pre-existing conditions, catastrophic illness exclusions, life time benefit limits, and so many other "gimmicks" are outgrowths of insurance companies cutting medical losses to enhance profits.

    Paranoid, fearful, greedy, rapacious, and malleable Americans are so busy focusing on what they've been told is wrong with other systems that we fail to recognize how broken our system is. We should never allow ourselves to be paralyzed with fear of trying. More than twenty five industrialized countries were able to do what America says that it just can't do. How can we be the best in the world if we are too broke, to incompetent, and too defeated to do what these other countries have done? The special interest groups herding us against socialized medicine by invoking the term "socialism" aren't afraid of us ever becoming socialized form of government. What they really fear is that we will become a democracy.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  401. Randy N

    I am in the same boat alot of other Americans are in, No jobs no unemployment insurance, scrapping a meger life, trying to hold on. Now I have to figure out a way to pay more taxes? We need a new System in thuis country. We need to get rid of all of these politicans Republicans and Demacrats. Start somthing new and govern ourselves. Randy

    July 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  402. Brooks

    Tony:

    I am willing to give up low cost alcohol and tobacco; soda pops and junk foods and use the extra taxes to pay for healthcare. What's so bad about that? They are not necessary and are often the causes of health issues anyway. Close some of the U.S. military bases around the world. Are all of them really that necessary today?? Also, I don't necessarily agree with taxing the rich, but they [rich] often have the resources and tools to get tax cuts and maneuver through the system – paying fewer taxes while the middle class ends up paying their share plus some.
    In keeping with the Black In America theme, liquor store are in abundance in black neighborhoods. In Canada, liquor stores are government run – GREAT idea!! the cost are higher but the money goes back to the system. our neighbors to the north aren't all that off!!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  403. Kathy

    If I'm going to help pay for a government sponsored health care; then I want everyone who benefits from it to speak ENGLISH

    July 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  404. Stuart

    The new millenium which started with such joyful anticipation has seen this country's people become very bitter over the last decade.

    while this country praises success. .

    mediocracy run rampent especially in politics – it is easier to use scare tactics then come up with workable solutions to issues!

    How short are the politician's memories – last election that was a mandate George: republicans need to run things better cleaner in the development of real solutions not just promoting the status quo

    Stop bickering and get the job done!

    Healthcare is long overdue! get it done!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  405. Clair

    Insurance needs to be more affordable so everyone can pay for their own, just like they pay for car and homeoweners insurance. After everyone has paid for their own insurance, then they can pay for what ever else they can afford. If they tax people who are paying for insurance and they decide to cancel because they don't feel like they should have to pay or can't afford to pay for other people to have insurance, then what?

    July 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  406. Natasha

    why not tax everyone to help support the system, not just the wealthy? Allowing different percentages to be taxed of those grossing different levels of income, but applying a cap so the wealthy are not over taxed.

    Those grossing 5,000 to 50,000 annually I'm sure can give up 2 to 4 % of their pay to help support their underinsured neighbor. I fall in this category and would be willing. However those same people (me included) are not willing to give up anything for those who are not trying to help themselves. Nor would I give this up if the wealthy will just turn around and use tax evasion to get out of it.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  407. Kate in Florida

    I've pretty much given up all I can. After getting laid off from a branch manager's job last year, I have no health insurance and could not afford COBRA. Since then, I've applied for no fewer than 500 jobs with no luck in securing employment.

    Up until March of this year, I had never had so much as a cold. However, after experiencing the extreme stress brought on by not getting a job, I had to have open heart surgery. This resulted in running up more than $137,000.00 in medical bills. When I was still a "self-pay", one of the hospital bills was $16,000.00. When I said I couldn't pay, I then received a revised bill of $75,000.00 for the same dates of service. What's up with that? The hospital now can apply to the government claiming that services rendered cost the higher amount. A $59,000.00 difference for the same bill now that the government will foot the bill?? That's criminal.

    I am not a deadbeat and have always paid my fair share. But being one of the newly uninsured in this Country, there's something fundamentally wrong about healthcare providers inflating costs and expecting the government, which, don't look now, is every taxpayer, to pay and keep on paying til it hurts.

    Lobbyists and greed are the reigning kings of healthcare and need to be dethroned.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  408. James

    Maybe if those voting for or against health care for the people had no health care or had to pay co pays things would go easier. Michael Steele makes a good opponent to health care change, How much lobbyist money does he receive and, from who?

    July 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  409. G. Davidson

    HHmmm I don't work and my savings is being eaten up to the tune of 700.00 /month so I have insurance. I give up many things everyday just to have that whether I can afford to use it after that? But if the government can't even provide health care to our military how do you think they will provide for us. Don't you think the military has given up a lot to have their substandard care? Their track record and them wanting to control every aspect of our lives is down right scary!!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  410. James

    Have less generous coverage? Only, the employees of the taxpayers have that!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  411. Celeste

    I am willing to give up my congressman if he does not vote for solid health reform which includes universal care. Can someone give me a reason why us taxpayers should pay for politicians healthcare and they leave us high and dry? I want to know which politicians are getting contributions from insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  412. Jeanne

    The health care problem isn't limited to just the 47 million uninsured. It affects those of us that are self employed, whose rates go up on average 16% per year. My husband and I currently pay $16,800 per year for decent medical insurance. We have already given up going out to dinner and vacations. Yes we are willing to pay higher taxes to secure health care for all at a reasonable rate.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  413. Ron Way

    I think all those fortunate enough to be making 350,000 $ or more would feel honored to help those less fortunate pay for health insurance; and ashamed if they did not.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  414. Adam

    Our society is SEVERLY compartmentalized. When will society understand that Everything is related. The illness of any person has a domino efffect on every person in society. You can pay $100,000 of tax $$ for the care of a stroke patient or $20 to $200 for a bottle of medication. We do NOT need to increase taxes. We need to PREVENT the problem from occuring. For those who want to smoke, charge a smoking medical tax and itemize it on the receipt. This money can be used to pay for smoking related illnesses. It is not perfect, but begins to solve the issue of payment. Think about it this way. Gas taxes really are fair. They affect only those who benefit from the use of our roadways. If I buy groceries which were transported over the roadway, then it is reasonable for me to pay for the cost of maintaining the roads. It is easier for everyone to pay pennies more on each product than few to pay thousands. If I smoke then I should be responsible to pay an additional portion of medical care associated with smoking. If I stop smoking, then there is no longer an expense of transporting the product and road wear and tear declines. I can decide if I want to purchase a particular product aka tax. We need to make a lot of small changes in many areas rather than trying to implement one major change. Individual accountability is required by EVERYONE. Rather than making Groups responsible, we need to hold individuals responsible. Socialized medicine is not the answer, but neither is our current system. We need to find a middle ground. How about a sliding scale fee for Medicaid rather than no contribution. Teach people to be responsible. Address responsible behavior!! Mandate parents pay for childbirth rather than paying the bill. I met one family with 7 children. Your tax dollars (approx $30,000) paid for every birth!! WHERE is the sense in this? And, they get welfare assistance. FIX the SYSTEM. More tax $$ only perpetuates the problem!!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  415. Adam

    Fix the IRS tax code with respect to healthcare. It is extremely prejudice against those who are self employed or cannot use pre-tax deductions or the Flexible spending accounts.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  416. foxsgramma

    I would give up anything I have to make sure people in need get health care. I just listened to Michael Steele a few minutes ago on CNN. It sounded suspiciously like he was saying that dollars are more imortant than people. Is the GOP going to stop hiding behind their contorted version of Christian values and start showing their true colors? C'mon GOP, He said to love your enemies and to take care of the poor. You can't just use the parts of the Bible you like.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  417. diane b.

    HelloTony, we’re willing to sacrifice a sur tax fon our income to help provide a public health care option for our nation. We need both public and private options and those more fortunate can help those not as fortunate – that is American. Don’t know when it became un-American to help others. Generally we do not earn $280000 in yearly income but on occasion, when we have liquidated an investment, we have fallen for a particular year in the $280000+ bracket and we would be willing to pay a sur tax for a public health care option. When we are fortunate to have a healthy income in certain years, we don’t mind paying a sur tax for the health care access of others. In the future we might liquidate more investments and we could find ourselves in the $280000+ income bracket briefly again and the thought of a sur tax for a public health care option is alright – it’s not abhorrent. The limit on small businesses perhaps should be raised but for personal income, $280000 is a reasonable threshold. We are willing to sacrifice a sur tax to help pay for a government health care option Diane b.– Palos Verdes, CA.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  418. Kathy

    We live in an age when sports players make more money than cardio-vascular surgeons....we put pacemakers in people who haven't gotten out of bed in decades, wonder why they got a bed sore and then wonder why we're here... debating who should pay for health care. Come on people ... we really don't want to live forever.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  419. Scott

    In the interview with RNC Chair Michael Steele, He defended the presence of items in the two and one half page speech he gave on another network. Later when asked about his personal insurance, he thinks it's Blue Cross, Blue Shield, but then stated He's really not sure. Maybe we should look futher outside the political areana for advice on reforming the health care system. Working in the transportation industry, I have always know who my insurance provider is.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  420. Homi

    The question is not what are you wiling to give up? it should be what are you willing to pay for your own peace of mind? What goes around comes around. When the Republican national chairman gives an example of an 85 years old being denied health care scenario he failed to mention she is already on Medicare or medicate.
    No insurance company covers anyone at that age so he is full of it
    like the rest of them and their lies and phony examples and concerns
    Time will come that you will loose your job and can't get insurance and wished you would have the national health care
    My brother is a Canadian Citizen and he is not concerned about his health care and my wife is German and her family too. I am American and I spent 30 years paying my insurance payments until it go so high I couldn't afford it and now they say I can't buy insurance for precondition at my age this is like death sentence if I get sick.So I say to all those who are talking about costs, I wish you all become like me and see how it feels

    July 21, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  421. Terry

    Tony.. I, like most Americans, are willing to give up, or give, quite a bit to help the uninsured as a whole to obtain Healthcare. However, "we" are not willing to support those who are UNRESPONSIBLE / continue to abuse the system. Examples of being UNRESPONSIBLE are;
    Individuals that have health issues but continue to smoke; drug abusers; parents or singles that have children but not the income to support them; alcohol abusers who won't quit abusing; illegal aliens ( and they are to be barred from emergency room use unless they can pass through E-Verify); Welfare receipents who are not willing to do Community Services; and , that the Healthcare they will receive WILL not be the extensive healthcare plan one would receive such as through and employer where extensive services could be available depending on what plan was picked.
    The list goes on and it is disturbing that the media has avoided stating this proposal as an option. The question is as simple as the business of needing transportation- if one does not have the money to buy a new car then you settle for the used one that still gets you from point A to B and costs much less but does the job.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  422. Gregg

    RNC Chairperson Michael Steele appeared on CNN today to bash the Obama health plan. He was asked what health insurance company he was insured through. He didn't know. How can anyone give this clown an ounce of credibility?

    July 21, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  423. Linda Griffin

    I have to laugh when I hear the Republicans ask, "Do you want the government to decide whether or not you can get hip replacement when you're 85 years old? What planet are they living on? The insurance companies are deciding what surgery or medical procedures we can have now. Insurance companies are deciding how long we can stay in the hospital. I was privy to a doctor's conversation with a insurance company representative insisting that the doctor discharge his patient from the hospital before the doctor felt was reasonable. It was scary! My neighbor's insurance company just rejected her surgery. Not because it wasn't needed, but because they didn't want to pay for it. I would MUCH rather have the government in control rather than insurance companies whose only concern is to make money.
    The Republicians are protecting the insurance companies. Period.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  424. Joey K

    Before anyone gives up anything, we need to ask some questions because we may already be giving up enough.

    Here are some questions I think should be asked, but haven't been yet:

    Do doctors really need to make $400/hour?

    Is it necessary for a single pill to cost $100?

    Is it right for high sugar cereals to advertise toward children?

    What if nobody had insurance and the money was simply used when needed (government money)?

    –Wouldn't this save a lot of money?

    How was healthcare more affordable 30 years ago than it is now?

    What healthcare spending is wasteful or useless?

    Could we tax companies that hurt our health (candy, soda pop, Red Lobster, McDonald's, etc.)

    And would it be efficient to offer incentives to companies offering healthier items (healthier items would be cheaper, more people would choose healthy, less people would need to use things ilke emergency services, government would have to spend less money)?

    Is raising taxes the only option for offering affordable/reasonable healthcare?

    July 21, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  425. Albert C

    I think making healthcare available to all in the USA is important!
    I would be willing to:
    1. Each employee pay ten dollars per month for a healthcare tax.
    The employer should pay the same
    2. An internet sales tax! Would 1% be enough?
    3. Give up my tax avoiding cafeteria plan.
    4. Pay taxes on the part of health insurance my employer pays.
    5. Have a surtax on high income earners
    6. Tax softdrink sales ( all of them would be fine)
    7. Tax chips and other junk food (after all they are part of the problem!)
    8. A nationwide sales tax would be ok if needed.

    Is that enough?

    July 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  426. Robert

    The whole healthcare system as proposed is a joke!!!
    START WITH THE COST BASE!!!!
    NOT HALF WAY WITH "PLANS"," INSURANCE TYPES" ETC.
    THE INITIAL COST GENERATED BY DOCTORS HOSPITALS AND PHARMA CAN BE REDUCED DRASTICALLY!!
    YOUR "WHEELCHAIR" EXAMPLE IS ONLY THE TOP OF THE ICEBERG!!!
    GREED DRIVES MOST OF THE DOCTORS; THEY WILL NOT LET GO OF THEIR YACHTS OR PORSCHES!!!!
    EXAMPLE A YOUNG FELLOW BOUGHT MY HOUSE HE WAS A STARTING ANESTECIOLEGIST GOT A LOAN OF THE BANK FOR A MILLION WITHOUT THE BANK BLINKING.

    WAKE UP OBAMA THIS IS THE REAL CAUSE OF HEALTHCARE COST BALLOONING OUT OF SIGHT.

    July 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  427. john

    Regarding the interview with the RNC chairman. You should not have left him off the hook. He gave false information which is intended to scare the public that has insurance. Nobody will be forced to accept the government plan if satisfied with their current insurance. I don't understand why all these Senators and Congressmen keep saying that government run insurance won't work. Where do they get their insurance? It seems to be just fine. Just give me their insurance , pension, and other benefits and I'll be quite happy. Don't see them tightening their belts. How about a pay cut and let them pay into Social Security like the rest of us peons. Please ask the tuff questions of these guys.

    July 21, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  428. V Lam

    I pay $14,400 a year for health care for my family. It is outrageous and to be asking me to pay a little more is crazy! There's more to it: Each year my rate increases! My family and I are fairly healthy and we make a couple of visits to the doctor a year for physicals and for other minor ailments. Cut costs, not increasing it!

    July 21, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  429. Charles H

    It appears to me that Republicans are self centered ,sanctimonious, greedy and generally uncaring.
    Now that I've gotten that off my chest, I feel much better. I had volunteered as as EMT long ago. That work brought me in contact with many, many unfortunate people. These people, through no fault of their own, were thrown into the health care system without insurance. It financially and emotionally broke them even though they were employed.
    How can we not take care of our citizens while we tear other nations asunder and attempt to make them whole?
    Charity begins at home is the saying, but is it really charity or really wisdom, for a nation to take care of its citizens?

    July 21, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  430. Lore Fitzgerald

    Are we really such narcissist that we won’t assist in covering our fellow Americans? We have no issue paying for uninsured motorist for our car insurance but can’t cover uninsured Americans? There are more than 45 million uninsured and underinsured. Expand the medi-care program to include the uninsured. Ads are being run now about Canadians who wait six months to get needed surgery. I believe 45 million Americans don’t even have that option because they can’t afford to even see a doctor for a diagnosis.
    We need reform now! We need a public option now!

    July 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  431. Johnny

    The people that say that the gov. will tell what procedure we can have and not have is ridiculous, does the gov. tell congress men and women what procedure they can or can't have. I don't think so. This isn't a Canadian or Euro Plan, this is a American Plan.

    July 21, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  432. Mike G

    I do not mind giving up something if I feel it is helping those that truely deserve it. I am opposed to giving away my hard earned tax dollars to those on welfare who have no intentions of ever getting off of it. I am also opposed to giving free health care to illegals who show up in this country and find themselves pregnant all of a sudden. You see it everyday in Northern Virginia. A young El Salvadorian woman pregnant and she has been here less than a year on a work visa. The government needs to step in and stop taking care of these people.

    July 21, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  433. Guy

    I`ll pay more taxes (i do not have health care now), if my money doesnt go to insurance companies. I `ll pick government plan .I`ll transfer my taxes now going to Pentagon to a national/single payer plan
    I`ll take my taxes going to insure the congress and its employees and transfer it to a national/single payer plan

    July 21, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  434. Mary Fall

    Re-Rick Sanchez show on Canadian Health Care.

    My mother at the age of 82, who was almost totally blind from macular degeneration was operated on for cataracts with no problem.
    The doctor on Rick's show, today July 21, stated that Canadians are not operated on for cataracts until they are almost blind. That was an unfair statement, as you would think that they wouldn't do surgery on some that was that age and already had a sight problem, but they did do it.
    The Americans are portraying a very unjust picture of our Canadian health care system. It makes me angry.

    July 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  435. israel mack

    hey toney i think i have the pefect idea on how we can pay for healthcare reform: do it by taxing all the things that cause a lot of the health problems in america today like, potatochips , cookies, sodas, storebought pies, cakes, icecream, candy, butter ,margarine, sugar, salt, cigarettes, tobacco, and also fastfood joints like mcdonalds, burger king ect. it's a simple idea that would pay for healthcare several times over because we as americans will find money from nowhere to pay for all the goodies that taste good but our not good for us! if you look at this idea toney it's like we'll using the tax revenue from those unhealthy goodies, foods and habits to pay for the damage they will cause to our bodies in advance anyway!

    July 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  436. Charlie Flynn

    Tony...
    Caught your noontime question – "What would I be willing to give up...[for universal healthcare]?"
    Nothing more than I have already contributed in my taxes...how about thoughtful, constructive $pending of our tax dollars already allocated for, let's say, non-stimulus "porkbarrrel" projects? How do I know that MORE taxes won't be frittered away thoughtlessly?
    Enough! I can't make any more sacrifices than my wife already make!

    C Flynn

    July 21, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  437. Donnie in Ohio

    Thanks Robert! I was beginning to think no one else saw the bigger picture.

    Do you think that Obama really believes this is the solution? Or do you think he is being guided by corporate constituents?

    July 21, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  438. Andy D'Amico

    I've given up enough. Under the Social Security reform Act of 1983 I lose 2/3 of my Social Security because I have a federal pension. I also was brought under Medicare when our own system was working just fine. I now have Medicare and health care benefits but I still have to pay more than I would have before. I also lose my wife's Social security in the guise of Saving Social Security and medicare. I'm paying higher costs because of illegal immigration health care funding.

    You can bet your sit upon Congress as they have always done in the past will exempt themselves from having to come under any plan that makes them pay more.

    It's always good for us but never them.

    I've paid enough.

    July 21, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  439. Marvin Priddy

    I wish someone would please tell me when healthcare became a Constitutional right in the US. I seem to recall the Constitution only ensures the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. There is no mention of a hospital bed or emergency room visit. I would pay nothing because it is each persons individual responsibility for health insurance.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  440. DannyH

    the people and Republicans who increased the US debt by 4.9 trillion and crashed the US economy in the process want to debate the economics of health care?

    July 21, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  441. Ken

    What am I willing to give up? We all should be looking at spending and saving wisely. After the last administration ran the country into a ditch we are so impatient about how fast the new administration can get us out.

    George Bush came into office when the country was running a budget surplus. He set us on this path of destruction. The Obama administration will need time and our support to put us on a sustainable path.

    How about stopping illegal immigration? As the population grows we need to spend more on resources for an ever expanding population. We are nearing or may already be at PEAK OIL production. Resources on earth are not limitless.

    July 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  442. Betty Phillips

    I pray we do not pass the Health care package, I often wonder just how far Obama is going to take us (at least trying his hardest). He says his health reform is a must . A must for what?? Obama needs to read the stats on all the Canadian doctors that come to America for more training, He (Obama) should never be trusted with anything he is doing. He is leading us into Socialism and he knows it. He is one shady character, I have zero trust in him and can not wait for his term to be ended, he certainly did not get my vote, when he can tell the truth about his birth certifcate, then the Obama voters are going to get the surprise of a life time. Lets all say NO TO OBAMA'S HEALTH PLAN, that includes Pelosi, Reid and so many other left wing radicals.
    Betty Phillips

    July 21, 2009 at 7:22 pm |
  443. ANN THOMPSON

    I AM NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP ANYTHING, WHAT ARE THE
    46 MILLION WILLING TO WORK FOR?

    July 21, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  444. Fran

    I will be willing to give up almost anything IF...........THE PRESIDENT, HIS CABINET, CONGRESS the SENATE AND ALL THOSE WHO WANT TO VOTE FOR THIS BILL (WHICH HAS NOT EVEN BEEN FULLY READ BY ALL) GIVE UP THEIR EXISTING HEALTH CARE AND ACCEPT THE "NEW" OBAMA HEALTH PLAN FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILY.
    WHY DON'T YOU ASK THE PRESIDENT WHAT HE IS WILLING TO GIVE UP?

    July 21, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  445. Gerry Dunphy

    Tony, It is not a question of who should pay for Health care, surely the answer is everyone, just like everyone has to pay for car insurance from the age of 16........I know a lot of people who do NOT pay anything until the age of 40 !
    I am from England, and most people there think that Americans are cruel in not having health coverage... as to affording it, we in England enacted univeral health coverage in 1947, when the country was broke, but we felt it was the right thing to do.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  446. mh

    First of all, I could not believe, Tony, how aggressively you posed the question being discussed here. I found your tone and demeanor highly offensive. Secondly, there are 202 million Americans that have health insurance and pay for it. Of Obama's supposedly 45 million uninsured, 10 million are not citizens, 17 million can afford health insurance, but chose, as is their right as Americans, not to purchase it. Only 11 million would like to have health insurance but cannot pay for it. It would be nice to have something sensible in place for those 11 million but we have no demographic breakdown of who these people are what their needs are. I am not willing to give up one thing for the proposed health care reform bill that is before congress. Very few of our legislators have even read the bill. A plan that raises my taxes, rations health care to seniors, denies access to special care is not a plan that I think those 11 million would like. I certainly don't. I don't live a rich life style. I have worked all my life, giving to the community and the country by education our youth. I've given all I'm going to. I urge congress and this inexperienced President to come up with a better plan that addresses the needs of those who truly don't have insurance and want it and that does not punish those of us who do. As an American, I have earned the right to choose my own health plan, and I don't choose Mr. Obama's plan.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  447. pinkmingos

    People who are either uninsured or underinsured already ARE giving up something. Most have no medical coverage because they can't afford it. I believe a better solution to supporting a health care program (that everyone can afford) would be to assign the equivilent of an "HMO" to manage the money these industries (such as auto makers) were given when they needed bailed out. Maybe if they had to beg, plead, write letters and lose sleep over getting an approval for something that they need, the bail out funds would fulfill their intended purpose, leaving tax dollars available for other needs.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  448. Shaun

    I would be more then willing to give up a couple of weekends at the movies so that everyone in America can have proper health care. It is funny how this, as most topics, is highly divided by race. I find it funny that after 12 years of “Bushism” that now the republicans have all the answers; where were they in the past years with all this wisdom?

    v/r
    Black in America 2

    July 22, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  449. Carol Lieberman

    This is what I've included in the letter I'm sending to all members of Congress.

    I will accept some or all of the following to make universal coverage and the above public insurance option sustainable:

    · Increased premiums for Medicare, for those able to pay (sliding scale)
    · Mandated insurance coverage for everyone
    · Some degree of tort reform for medical providers and hospitals participating in programs to reduce errors and incompetence
    · Taxation of insurance benefits for those above an established income level
    · A small national sales tax, excluding food and medicine

    July 22, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  450. Janice

    Hi Tony,

    I'm sitting here in Toronto Canada wondering why US citizens are so against providing health care (and h/c reform) for all it's people? I don't by the rhetoric that it's "socialism" gone wild ... You folks, like us, already have a social-democracy. I wonder what it costs your economy in the long run for the lack of heath care – in bankruptcies, citizen's who worry and are stressed at the very thought of getting sick, etc.

    I guess it's about values. The country's citizens would rather go without 'universal' health care and help one another by actually caring for one another in this way – than say ... going to war. It tells the world a lot about a country that values spending more money on war than taking care of it's citizens' health.

    I know as Canadians we sometimes struggle with wait-times, but that is most often for 'elective' surgeries. Our system is not perfect by any means and we as a country continue to be challenged with some issues related to our health care system – but we never have to worry about getting sick and going bankrupt over it ... or about "preexisting conditions" ... or the cost to re-attach a finger or two ... or our cancer treatments (being cut off treatment until the bills are paid up ... what is that, really?). Nor do we worry about going to the hospital to have a baby – paying the bill / or not / on the way out the door ... nor worry about needing emergency services ... etc.

    All citizens regardless of ones ability to pay deserve to be healthy and cared for. Yes, we pay more taxes in this country – and we value our interconnectedness to one another through our health care system.

    Good luck –
    Baffled in Toronto,
    Janice

    July 22, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  451. Ronald

    Pay taxes, increase taxes on foods and drinks...cigars etc. This is not rocket science... This is about the News Coverage that is spawning the big question marks are coming from. Public opinion is being swayed by the Media which is a strategy of the lobbyist and industries affected. You guys are one sided and it shows. When are you going to stand up for the People....I guess that died with Walter Cronkite....Hm!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  452. Renee Henderson

    I am willing to give up the Medicare/Medicaid programs in favor of socialized medicine for everyone thus combining the programs that includes everyone. Do away with the entire Health Insurance industries. Those jobs can be converted into managing the new National Health Service just like in Britain and France. Those health care systems work and they provide great healthcare to all citizens.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  453. Robert Adler

    NOTHING!! What happened to personal responsibility for everyone. We have a financial crisis in healthcare, not a healthcare crisis. We simply need to find a way to get those who are uninsurable-insurance and control the rising cost. Obama care is guaranteed to reduce the quality of care and increase the cost for Americans who have taken responsibility for their own care. The Feds have never run any program at or below estimated costs so why should Obamacare be different.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  454. Todd

    Being from Massachusetts, we have already had healthcare reform. Seems to be working well. Why can the rest of the country use Massachusetts as an example?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  455. Kathleen

    Please aske our Senators & Congressmen the same question! They enjoy the best healthcare available! Let's eliminate healthcare plans for ALL Senators & Congressmen - then, we will all see how fast healthcare reform happens.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  456. Marilyn Beck

    I would be willing to not smoke, avoid being overweight, and exercise more. Also, give up providing health care to people who are in the country illegally.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  457. Linda Duba

    I am willing to pay higher taxes...nothing is free. Here is my bigger concern. We have the Politicians fighting over the better plan. Deep down, they all know what needs to be done. I wish they'd stop the posturing and mud slinging and work together. Forget about who gets the credit. This is a team thing...we need to win for the USA! Not the Democrats or Republicans. We don't have a silver bullet to solve for this now but we need to build a solid framework, implement the plan, stay on task, be diligent and make changes/adjustments as the program rolls out, and we'll build a better system.

    Isn't this how we do this in business or on a team?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  458. Gene

    What am I willing to give up? Simple, Tony, only one thing. Insurance Companies! We should be going single payer and these politicians all know it's the only to truly cut costs.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  459. Scott Austin

    For universal health care, I and all Americans should give one hour of salary per week. This would be fair for those making little and those making large salaries. Health care is a right.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  460. Ruby P

    I don't want to give up anything for a plan that isn't no more then Obama wanting to get his way or he will have a baby fit. We have medicare and medicade and if they can't keep that going they can't do nothing but put this country deeper in debt! WE ARE BROKE YALL!
    Ruby.......TN

    July 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  461. Bill

    I am willing to give up having some bean counter at my HMO deciding whats covered and whats not. Has any one factored in how much we will save moving 47 Million people from the Emergency room to insurance coverage that a lone will help pay for reform.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  462. John Ragosta

    It's not a matter of what anyone would give up. It's a matter of Congress members giving up money from pharmaceutical and insurance company lobbyists. Then we could have single payer.

    Single payer healthcare is the only logical solution to healthcare. If it wasn't,congress would not be going around in circles. Fear of socialism is a joke. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the library system, the public school system and I am sure there are some I haven't thought of are all socialism. The only people who have a right to reject social programs out of hand are those who do not benefit from them.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  463. Marilyn - Florida

    Once again the HMOs in this country are running ads and trying to protect the BIG BUCKS of their non-doc, non-med-professionals CEOs and other unneeded administrators. These are the people who have made our access to health care some of the worst in the world.

    And, it appears that "them that got" want to make sure they are the ONLY ones who get health care. So many people like that are "right to life" as well, but they really don't care if the mom has access to pre-natal care, if the grandmother is dying from ovarian cancer, and if the now-born little one is crippled for life from lack of access to health care or loses its mom due to lack of health care access.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  464. JAN

    AS A MIDDLE CLASS CITIZEN I AM MILKED DRY! IT IS TIME FOR THE SENATORS, CONGRESSMEN, PRESIDENT, GOVERNORS, AND ALL AT THE TOP TO GIVE UP THEIR PERKS, LIKE RAISES, BONUSES, VACATION PAY, FREE CARS, FREE GAS, FREE TRANSPORTATION, FREE MEALS, ETC. GOVERNMENT WASTE AT FEDERAL AND STATE LEVELS IS OUT OF CONTROL. IT IS HYPOCRITICAL FOR THEM TO ASK THE LITTLE GUY TO SACRIFICE THEIR LOW INCOMES WHEN THE FAT CATS ARE SACRIFICING LITTLE OR NOTHING! I AM FED UP AND I WOULD HOPE THE AMERICAN MIDDLE CLASS WOULD GET OFF THEIR DUFFS AND START SPEAKING OUT LOUDLY!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  465. Jon

    It is hard to talk about what I am willing to give up when I believe the facts are not being presented objectively and honestly. Most anti-health-care talk seems to be quite comfortable ignoring the 46 million people without coverage. Another factor is not in the equation... the people who have coverage but it is ineffective in supporting them in even basic things like dental and vision. And I have yet to talk to one person who lives in Canada, Netherlands and England who agrees with the negative comments I've seen by supposed political officials and news sources.

    I am will to pay for good service that improves the quality of my life as well as the the people who share this country with me. I believe improving the quality of health will improve the nations quality of life in general.

    Just my two cents.

    Thank You

    July 22, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  466. patess

    I DON'T want the government to become a competitor in health insurance. The private sector is a sure loser because the government can dictate costs and obviously has no concerns about profitability. We are trending to more and more government involvement in the private sector. This isn't good. Reforms are needed but not government takeover.

    I would be willing to go back to fee-for-service for routine and non-catastrophic medical care and have a high deductible for insurance. If taxpayer funds are going to be used for medical care, let it be in the form of grants to health care providers.

    Control of health care must remain with the citizens and the private sector.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  467. Audrey Kloss

    I would give up my current insurance coverage for the same coverage our leaders in Washington currenlty have. Since they are our public servants (?) why should we not have the same coverage?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  468. Ronald

    Why prhrse this question like that? Whar are we willing to do to gain entrance into the 21st Century by providing health care for all? Are dwe willing to give up the past? Healtth care has been an issue which has kept our eyes off the prize...How the Military Industrial establishment has placed war and arms above the national priorities of a Nation...A People. Now they and there partners are fighting tooth and nail against change.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  469. Joe

    How much of a monetary burden is placed on doctors and hospitals because of treating illegal aliens in this country and what proportion of this cost is past on to paying health care consumers insured or uninsured.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  470. Terisa

    I'm willing to give up the billions of dollars being spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars...I'm willing to give up 99% of the country's nuclear arsenal... I'm willing to give up 1 trillion dollars annually from the defense budget... I'm willing to give up Saturday Mail service.... I'm willing to give up 25% of the salaries for congressmen and senators... I'm willing to give up fallow land subsidies...

    HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT... NOT A PRIVILEGE... I would prefer that my government spent money on ensuring the health of all citizens of the US instead of killing people around the world.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  471. gerry Philadelphia

    I am in support of health care reform with the public option. i have
    called AND written all my Washington representatives ( we all need to let them know how we feel). I am willing to pay a tax. I am a middle
    income individual, and i am a health care professional. And believe
    me, there is waste and inefficiency in health care today. Despite the
    "Best Practices" that are always published, many providers continue
    to waste resources, which I am sure are adding to the high cost of
    healthcare. This is making quality health care for some, just unaffordable. Whatever bill comes out of washington, will not be
    perfect, but it will be a good start. Drug companies are making a
    fortune, while some people cannot afford to buy their prescription.
    It is a NO-BRAINER. It HAS to change, before it bankrupts our country.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  472. Randall

    I have major concers about the underinsured. Its will be sad
    if people will have to find jobs that payless and have no healthcare
    benifits becuse they work for a company who charges outrages amounts for terrible coverage. The only way this will curve the price of private insurers is if everyone can have an option to buy the goverment insurace at a resonable price if there employer dosn't offer as good as insurace.
    I actully had to choose to not have insurance for my family this year becuse the amount they uped it to was 1/3 of my check and I still have to pay at the Dr. office 1000$ per person co insurance and 1000 deductible at the Hospital.
    I just pray nothing bad happens and that is a terrible way to raise a family.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  473. Frank Vilardi

    When Republicans say we have the best health care in the world – we might have the best doctors and treatments, but the cost and method of receiving those services needs fixing and competition. What people still don't get is that if their taxes went up and health care costs went down, it could still be a win.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  474. Lonnie

    I am single, currently making about $35k including benefits. I do not identify with either Democrats or Republicans, because they are both reaching into my wallet.

    I am willing to give up any government program that supplies anything that an individual can provide for himself or herself. I am NOT willing to give up individual responsibility or individual liberty.

    Look in the Constitution. The government's job is not to provide healthcare.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  475. Dave

    Before my wife and I had kids we had no health insurance. We recently had twins and now realize that there is nothing more important thanaking sure that they are provided for. That includes making sure they have the best helthcare available.

    I am sure every parent feels the same.

    Whatever it takes to make sure they have the best health care out there, even if we have to pay higher taxes. It is time to step up, quit complaining and do what is needed turn this country around.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  476. Rabab Saab

    Medicare and Medicaid can become part of the medical reform bill. This will help our president fund this bill with the bloated medicare and medicaid systems and replace it with the same system that serves all of us at the Federal and state levels.

    Rabab

    July 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  477. Linda

    Dear Tony:
    I would willingly support a government-sponsored health-care plan if it would reign in the out-of -control and power hungry HMO's and insurance companies. They are the main reason health care is on crisis. I would also support higher taxes if my tax dollars would go for health care for legal citizens of the United States. I know that my tax burden would be far less if those of us paying the taxes were not responsible for those who have no right to free health care, I.e. illegal aliens, at the expense of U.S. citizens.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  478. Deb

    In the 50's,60's and 70's my father employed 2 people in his dental practice. For each he provided dental care and health insurance because it was the right thing to do. In the late 60's he started retirement accounts as well. It never occured to him NOT to do these things as a small business man. When did we become so greedy that we could turn a blind eye to our fellow man. We all lose when those around us are not healthy. History reminds us of ill health run wild, it is called plague.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  479. Dennis Seigler

    I am a Chiropractor. My observation is that there is way too much corruption within all branches of health care, with the obvious intent to increase income through direct exploitation. When a doctor heaps on extra 'things or procedures' enabling increased insurance billing, way in excess of what a patient needs, it should constitute fraud. Many procedures are harmless, but any procedure used too often can cause additional damage. I have heard the statement, doctor to staff, that patients must be told to do 'thus and so', and if they won't, then 'that' patient can't do us any good. In way too many offices the emphasis is on money through exploitation.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  480. fred in scottsdale

    i notice that the congresspeople and senators go kinda "mum" when the subject of their health care benefits come into the equation. me? i'd like to have the health care benefits that they get. what entitles them to ssuch luxurious benefits. it is our taxes that pay for their programs......another thing. what are you newspeople willing to give up for your families in the way of health care. most of us out here in the hinterlands have been paying thru the nose for years for our health care plans. my wife and i were paying almost $25000 per year for our health care and also paying taxes that benefited health care for others. so now we are being asked "what are you willing to give up". i want what i paid for

    July 22, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  481. Major (Retired) Melvin Early

    Our politicians need to get on board and reform this health care crisis now! I retired from he military 15 years ago and have maintained my government sponsored tri-care plan and I pay. After retirement I began a teaching career and see first hand the negative impact of our current system. Our children, especially in our high poverty areas deserve better and its a tragedy health care isn't available to all citizens in the richest nation on Earth. I will sacrifice anything for the common good and confident the majority of our citizens will do the same!
    Mel Early

    July 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  482. Helen

    I am willing to give up a useless end-of-life existance where all I do
    is lie there breathing....unaware of my surroundings. If i get to that
    point help me to let go. I am also willing to let go of being ignored
    when I try to point out padded charges, charges for services not
    rendered, and fraud upon Medicare. Listen to us Seniors, we still
    have brains.
    helen Chambersburg, pa.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  483. Eric McGuire

    I would be willing to make numerous sacrifices, including spending on vacations and entertainment activities, becoming more effecient at home and any other activities which is not a necessity, if the healthcare solution is justifiable, however, I am not feeling great about where this is headed. I can't understand the need for rushing this huge and important piece of legislation. I'm not comfortable with our government providing competitive services, instead I feel our government should provide "basic" healthcare services, to all Americans, via fee schedules similiar to Medicare/Medicaid and controlling costs via this schedule. Exisitng insurance providers could then offer supplemental insurance and expand that basic service(s) which are more expensive and we don't have to mess with the difficulties associated with being competitive with the government program. The costs to taxpayers should be much lower as basic services are not where costs in healthcare are so high. WHY are we rushing this versus exploring what will work best???

    July 22, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  484. Dennis Seigler

    Doctor exploitation can only be reduced by eliminating the profit motive.
    The call to health care should be similar to the calling to a ministry. Seems to me that doctors should not be making windfall profits far and above other professions of similar high education. The intrusion of government based health care may be the only way to significantly reduce the profit motive.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  485. Barry Cohen

    With all the political pronouncements, and massive press coverage re healthcare reform, I remain amazed that I've yet to see a cogent, organized presentation of the situation. What are the specific health care related issues a reformed plan should address? What specific objectives (lower cost, expanded coverage, improved "quality", etc.) should be set? It seems that a major issue facing both the public and our politicians is that most of us still have fairly decent health care that we are not willing to compromise. We'd like it to be better and to cost less. We'd like everyone to have some level of health insurance, although we're not sure how much we're willing to pay for that. I am simply not clear re why I need major health care reform.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  486. Peter Cohen

    I should NOT have to give up anything. Everytime our government undertakes inititives that they hope will make them historical figures, we have to foot the bill. All of the current stakeholders in the health care system have been profiting immensely for decades. The only change has been where the distribution of profits has flowed.

    Currently, they are all posturing and positioning themselves to become benficiaries of the next significant outlfow of cash from the latest publicly funded trough. ( think TARP, Stimulus, etc.) Evidence is apparent when they rolled over and magically found 10 billion in cost saving to try and seed their new cash crop.

    I have no confidence in the US Government to fiscally manage a new healthcare system. We get glowing projections at the every onset of new government managed spending programs regarding cost savings and wait for the shoe to drop AFTER it is too late as the GAO reports on the cost overruns and waste to follow.

    What I fear is that government sponsored program will become the primary carrier as employers bail out and shift their employees into the govermnet backed plan. What really needs to be managed is the cost of healthcare to the employer so they can be obliged to continue a vital benefit to their employees.

    The government program should only be a path of last resort for those with no coverage. Subscribers should pay a reasonable rate akin to private plans unless qualified as needy like we do with other government support systems. The healthcare industries mining multi-billion dollar profits should be the ones subsidizing this progran NOT the American taxpayer.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  487. anne

    ck out Switzerland.Alll must have a basic policy and can add as the want.
    They can all choose their deductible and their insurance company.
    1. all insurance companies must charge the SAME rate for basic
    2. IF not employed the government supports but it sounds like the person has to pay a certain % of policy depending on income, i.e. unemployment, ss, disability etc. IT IS NOT SOCIALIZED MEDICINE AND ALL GET CARE IN TIMELY MANNER
    Second.statement of concern about elderly not receiving care needed.
    Example. in 2000 my mother at 88 had a discussion with her doctor about a proposed surgery for "severe carotid clogging" She was told with surgery she could have complications, stroke and die. and if not? The doctor told her she may have a stroke and linger a few days. Mother made decision not to have surgery.Today mother is 97 and still lives alone . Example of dicussion and shared decision by Provider and patient. Instead of just making blanket statements to confuse the public... Examples of who, what, how , needed to be explained.
    Third:
    I retired from health care as an RN of 47years last year. I continue to talk to health care providers and aministrations of hospitals. Many really are identifying and implementing means of saving money which will help balance the expense/savings. Those that don't change probably will be out of business.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  488. Bonnie Sciulli

    What am I willing to give up? Even though I make less than 30K a year, I am willing to give 2% of my pay to help fellow Americans. I am a flight attendant with my company going into 10 years, yeah, thats all I make!- but unlike the people out of touch with the rest of us hard working grunts, I am willing to lend a hand to my fellow Americans rather then give millions to war, or giving monies to any foreign country;. I might add if I may- it SHOULD BE ILLEGAL TO PUT PORK OF ANY KIND INTO ANYTHING UNTIL WE CLEAN UP OUR ACT IN CONGRESS!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  489. Denise in NH

    First let me say that there's a HUGE distinction between those that are uninsured and those that are denied treatment.

    But to answer your question "what am I willing to give up?".... for those that are sick through no fault of their own, I'm willing to do whatever it takes.....however, for those that use medical care indiscriminately for conditions that are preventable or lifestyle related, ZERO!

    I'm sick and tired of paying for other people's laziness and lack of self-discipline. If you choose to smoke, fine, go right ahead, but you should have to pay for the consequences of your actions, not me. If you want to be a fat, lazy, couch potato, unfortunately I can't stop you, but I shouldn't be expected to pay for the medical bills related to your behavior!!!

    I haven't heard anything about personal responsibility in this debate. I'd like to hear something about limits and guidelines. Health care is up to individuals - medical care is up to doctors. Most Americans do not take care of their health - eventually it will bankrupt this country because "free" health care for the largely unhealthy masses is not sustainable!! Eventually Obama and the Dems will run out of other people's money.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  490. Drew

    This bill is only extending what this country has been building since 1964–a large welfare state. Rather than creating a government-run insurance or any of these other questionable ideas with potentially endless negative results, why isn't the government looking to provide oversight to the insurance companies that currently exist? Why not make each denial due to a pre-existing condition result in a fine and then use compliance officers to enforce it? This would create revenue (much needed in our government) and fix a large part of the problem. Any dramatic change to the healthcare bill would just push the welfare state forward. These days, you can have people who have never worked, are hooked on drugs, use their ability to have children to take money from the welfare system, and now get free healthcare. On the flip side, a middle class family of five will have to stretch to make ends meet and, no matter how much harder we work, the government will always be there to take more away from us. We pay for Social Security that we'll never use, for government programs that are broken (see: Welfare, Unemployment, Disability, etc.), and for sexual misconduct or marital infidelity by officials (see: Mark Sanford, Bill Clinton, Mark Foley). I guess eating the bill for healthcare is just another cross the American taxpayer has to bear.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  491. Patty

    Let's put Medicare on a computerized system, like when credit cards track your purchases. It's only paper and pathetic. We could save millions, billions when fraud is driven out Isn't it great to have your golden years turn into a nightmare because you can't get the health care you need. In Japan, they truly respect their seniors. All of us in our early 60's have paid into ss and medicare our entire lives. Now when we need it, it's not going to be there.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  492. E Anderson

    I'm willing to give up:

    * The fact that no insurance company will cover me outside of a large company's policy due to a pre-existing condition (renal transplant).

    * Insurance companies that don't pay hospitals for covered services, leaving me with huge bills and questionable processes for redress.

    * HMOs that require me to see a gateway primary care physician for services that require a specialist.

    I worked abroad in Tokyo for several years, covered by a national policy paid into by my employer. It was very easy to get preventative care, I went to an advanced hospital, my drug costs were low, and my doctors were interested rather than hesitant to order tests necessary to diagnose problems. My company even had yearly on-site health checks including weight, vision, hearing, CBC+lipids, and EKG! Workers with risk indicators were put on programs to help.

    Differences included much higher efficiency facilities (including systems for patient tracking), lower salaries for doctors (still good but not extreme compared with the rest of society), and government-negotiated rates for most medicines.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  493. Elisabeth

    Let's have a look at the other developed countries who have health care and see how they are doing it. I've lived in two of them; they do require you to co-pay according to your income level, for instance.

    It seems to make the most sense to raise taxes on the items that contribute to poor health such as alcohol and tobacco, and beyond that, maybe have a look at other consumables that contribute to poor health – such as, that can of soda that has 12 teaspoons of sugar, and leeches calcium from our bones – tax that at a higher rate. Tax processed foods higher, because when ppl stop buying as much of it, they will get healthier and need less health care.

    I agree with other comments here; it is a moral issue, and our current system disgraces us in the eyes of the rest of the developed world.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  494. Robert

    I'm willing to pay more in taxes to get this health coverage pass. I just don't understand it – we shell out huge amount of money to help other countries to fight and cure AIDS, Malaria, and other infectionious dieases, but we can not help out our own here in the US? Just because we seem to be the wealthiest country in the world – doesn't mean our health needs need to be ignored? And what angers me is watching this certain commercial about this Canadian woman coming to our country to get medical attention on her brain tumor. Stating that she would of died in Canada if she didn't get the medical attention. Well, apparently there must be alot of Canadians on their death beds in Canada, in the UK, and other countries that do not have good health care. I don't think so. So, yes, I'm willing to pay more in taxes to get President Obama's health care coverage pass.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  495. Roy Rosebrock

    I would like to be able to give up part of the $1300/month COBRA premium we are paying, give up waiting 17 days for prescription approval from my insurer, give up $50 drug copays on a drug costing $73, and give up my insurance company. I'd like to give up not being able to shop for cheaper insurance because I have a pre-existing condition. I'm willing to pay a flat tax for a public option-other than that, I've given enough.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  496. Mary LaMastra

    When the country is in such dire situation financially, it is necessary to look for ways to make ends meet other than taking more money from its citizens. We have already commited billons of dollars to "Bail Outs" which comes from the taxpayers.
    Perhaps it is time to look more closely at the federal budget. How about cutting back on some of the financial aid to other countries. Charity begins at home so wouldn't that money be better spent on the *U.S. taxpayers who have put the money in the coffer in the first place We also give away millions of dollars to illegal immigrents who have not contributed any money by way of taxes into our monetary system. If our elected officials, who have been elected by the American taxpayer on our behalf, were to start with these two items alone, I think we would have a fair amount of money to take care of our Health care situation.
    What happened to President Obama's promise to go thru the budget item by item?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  497. Sheldon Feddy

    I am confused! Depending on who you ask, we are spending anywhere from 13–17% of GDP on health care each year. In countries with high quality universal health care systems the range of GDP expenditure is 7-10%.
    How can any plan for universal health care in the USA increase our expense? Where is the extra money going? We should be asking, what are we going to do with the 3-7% of GDP we are saving.
    Why should I have to give up anything?
    The only answer I can come up with is corporate greed, and haven’t we had enough of that the last few years?
    Sheldon Feddy

    July 22, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  498. Bill

    Its really simple for me Tony, I'M WILLING TO GIVE UP WAR!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  499. Peter, Pittsburgh,PA

    I would love to give up the war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Would this give us enough money to reform the healthcare???
    It just kills me to see that NOBODY is raising this issue.
    Who needs us in Afghanistan? Please, are our leaders that dumb?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  500. Dwight

    In a Country like America, one shouldn't have to give up anything.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  501. Dean Cestari

    I am not willing to pay a single cent more until the government stops wasting BILLIONS of dollars in fraud and waste. Out politicians don't even read these bills that they pass. Why is there such a rush to pass legislation within a month? Shouldn't we have an intelligent debate on this complicated issue? Shouldn't we study the effects of such a radical change? We as Americans pay too much in taxes and the government needs to stop spending. Obama and this congress are out of control with frivilous pork spending. They should cut spending elsewhere if they want to pass healthcare reform. I agree that there should be reform but not a government takeover of healthcare. The government cannot run a single program well. I have experienced the VA system and is is a NIGHTMARE!!! Do you really think they can efficiently and effectively run national healthcare? The honest answer is no. If they pass this legislation, IT WILL BE A DISASTER!!!

    Dean

    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  502. Jose A De Leon

    Hi Tony, I'm 52 and un-employed. I'd go with a government plan. Check on Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko". It's prophetic.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  503. Dorothy, Kentucky

    I am willing to help in any way that I can. We are our brother's keepers, contrary to what most (christian) republicans think. When we all pitch in to help, the lifting is not so hard by anyone.

    We are paying for everyone's healthcare any way, why not make it cost less for all of us. I have been a healthcare provider for over 30 years and I know firsthand how broken our system is and it is only going to get worse.

    The time is now for us to do the right thing.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  504. Dr. Galen Wathen

    Giv e up?! $%&* , I don't need to give up anything. What we need to eliminate is the expense of thousands of suits who add NOTHING to the value or the delivery of health care. I've been witness to patients and even health care providers "giving up" lots along the way, while more money is being sucked out of the system by the parasites of
    insurance companies, lawyers and stock holders. !!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  505. Liz Wolf-Spada

    I would be willing to pay increased taxes to move towards a single payer, public option health care plan, it must include extensive regulation of private companies offering insurance so that they don't exclude or charge more for preexisting conditions and it should keep them from raising rates or dropping people based on health. No one should have limits on care for catastrophic costs. Maybe increase Medicare taxes to pay for something like Medicare for All. Of course, we have to pay for this. This is important. People need to be willing to pay taxes to support the common good.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  506. Kelly

    I'd be willing to give up my co-pays, premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance which probably cost me more than the additional taxes I would pay for Government sponsored, universal health care.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  507. Jo-Anne in Los Angeles, CA

    I would be willing to pay $25 per month out of my pocket for affordable care. If everyone who wants the plan pays a very lost cost it should off-set alot of the cost.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  508. Dieune

    Tony Republican and Democrat are the same all stay in Washington to make they own case they own money,who care about us no one washington gana say what they want us to heard but do northing if they do some who gana vote next Election because they need us only to vote .

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  509. Al Kunze

    Everyone knows that health care premiums are raised to cover uninsured people. How about giving up the unnaturally high premiums which will no longer be required when we cover the formerly uninsured?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  510. Anna

    I'm willing to give more taxes to help those who our government and people seemed to have abandoned. I'm also willing to give up less administrative work, and the millions of dollars wasted in paperwork.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  511. Vivian

    I am willing to give up profits in the insurance industry. Health care should not be a profit making industry. I am also willing to give up more of my money to pay more taxes for those less fortunate.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  512. John Cox

    The story you just showed was wrenching – no one who buys insurance should have their contract rights violated. No one will defend the current system. But, throwing out the free market in favor of government directed care is going in totally the other direction and is not only unwarranted but dangerous to our health. It is beyond arrogance to believe that 535 politicians most of whom have little if any experience in the private sector can decide what is correct in a market that is over 15% of the economy.

    The answer for insurance companies that abuse their patients is right to litigate and competition. I have auto insurance from a company that is in a very competitive industry and they do a wonderful job. They keep their costs down while providing immediate service. Insurance and medical services today are in a controlled situation.

    I am not willing to give up a competitive market and innovation in order to have politicians govern my access to medical services. We will regret driving innovation and new ideas and quality out of the marketplace in favor of bureaucracy.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  513. Guy

    Absolutely nothing. Stop making stupid decisions, go to school, put away your credit card, get a job with insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  514. Brian

    I'm willing to give up free benefits & perks given to illegal aliens.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  515. Sandra Johnston

    The question should be, what will you give up when you get sick and can't pay your medical bills, insurance or no.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  516. eddie

    I'm willing to pay higher taxes. I think we have to sacrifice for people other than ourselves. We have become a society who can careless about each other.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  517. Robin in Northern California

    Tax legal marijuana.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  518. robin Ermacoff

    I am willing to give up money to help the rest of the uninsured. We make less than 50,000.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  519. Drew

    I will give up the $20 million a year salaries that these insurance company CEOs are making while denying sick Americans healthcare.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  520. Trevor

    I am willing to give up the outrageous profits made by doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and the drug industry. The reason we have a health care crisis is because they make too much money.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  521. jeremiah

    the problem with for profit health care is that a man will pay anything he can to stay alive

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  522. Eva

    As one of the people who have no health insurance I don't want free health insurance but as someone who has a history of cancer I just want something that I will not lose everything I have to get it. Just please pass something that I can afford soon.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  523. SY123

    How about taxing junk foods and sodas which may also encourage people to eat their fruits and veggies and take care of their health?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  524. Jay Blodgett

    Well, I've already given up my credit, by having declared bankruptcy to pay for my chemotherapy.

    Jay
    San Francisco

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  525. Sidney Delano

    I heard the RNC chairman saying that we shouldn't rush healthcare.
    We have been talking about it for 50 years, I don't think we are rushing it. Congressman that don't like it can vote against it.

    Sid Delano
    West Columbia,Texas

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  526. vincent McKay

    Tony:
    Love the morning CNN crew. Keep up the good work. I find it perplexing that no one in the hallowed halls of power hasn't brought to the table, a VAT TAX. Instead of squeezing those making 250k and up to pay for everyone else, let everyone share in the burden. This VAT TAX doesn't need to be all that much either, especially when it is factored across the entire nation. The powerful HMO'S have a strangle hold on Washington, and it needs to be broken. When HMO'S play God for the sake of greater profits, then something must give. Politicians need to remove their hands from these deep pockets and work for the people. And as an aside: Had the republicans protested GW'S outrageous spending, then I don't think OBAMA would be in such a dire situation.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  527. MikeM

    In terms of health care coverage, I do not want to give up anything. I have good coverage and worked all my life to pay for it. The current debate is more focused on the monetary aspect of the proposed health care plan, not the quality of care or ability to have choices in health care. As portions of the proposed bill (HR 3200) become known, the more concerned I become. The changes are so broad and far reaching, rational comment is impossible at this time. The really scary aspect is that the bill is progressing though the legislative processt without proper scrutiny by lawmakers. This lack of due diligence by our elected represntatives is outrageous. What happened to Obama's promise that all legislation will be available for citizen's review 72 hours prior to voting?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  528. jody olcott

    I AM WILLING TO GIVE UP A LEGAL SYSTEM WITH NO CAPS ON MEDICAL MALPRACTICE.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  529. Jay

    I'm willing to give up the dated policy of pot. Legalize and Tax it. I'm not a user, but it would generate money to be used on healthcare.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  530. Wendy P

    I have a lot of thoughts, but this one in particular goes out to every Congressman and Representative that is oppossed to "Government sponsored health care.
    We as Americans voted you into office. We as Americans pay taxes that pay your salaries. Who do you think pays for your HealthCare coverage? The Government that is supported by every tax paying citizen in ths country!
    Perhaps in his speech tonight President Obama should suggest, as a cost saving measure, that EVERY employee of the Federal, State and local Government will no longer be provided with "employer sponsored health care". Perhaps then they will jump down off of their soapboxes and do something!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  531. sandy olsen

    What am I willing to give up?
    How about insurance company profits (and drug company, medical device companies, etc.) . I can't afford their profits.
    Health care should be available like public education. Quit trying to find ways to PAY FOR INSURANCE!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  532. Allie

    I'm willing to give up taxpayer-provided health insurance policies for members of Congress. They need to feel the pain and figure out how to shop for health insurance like those of us who are not eligible for employer-provided healthcare.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  533. Sunny Doad

    I am willing to pay more in taxes, but the health care should never go Government sponsored.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  534. Cindy Meyer

    Cindy from Frisco, TX

    I am willing to have extra tax put on sodas and beer. (I don't smoke, but cigaretts also can have more tax.) Sodas are not good for people.
    They help contribute to health problems, such as diabetes. So, it
    makes sense to put extra tax on sodas.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  535. j. polachek

    since the senate and congress work for us , i 'll be glad to settle for the senates health care. why not, they are our employees?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  536. Philip

    I am willing to give up being angry at our government for failing to resolve this issue after all these years of telling us that it is broken!
    All of a sudden it is an "urgent" issue. Why have we not had a national referendum on this issue and let the people decide what they want to do.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  537. Kristin

    I think pharmaceutical companies that mark up their drugs 10,000% to finance research and advertising should be the ones making a sacrifice. We don't need new blood pressure medications every year, we need public health initiatives to prevent people from needing those drugs in the first place.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  538. Peter Hill RPh

    How about our congressmen/women and senators give up their gold plated taxpayer paid for health insurance and have them join the thousand page policy they are coming up with now. Maybe they would give it a little more thought rather than trying to cram it down our throats before their August break.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  539. Tom from Va

    I am willing to give up the extravigant salary 's the doctor's & hospital's overcharge for there care.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  540. Kim Byrd

    I am a mother of four boys all under the age of 10. My husband and I are both self-employed and students, and our family has been without health insurance of any kind for more than 4 years. What I would be willing to give up is the subsidies the government provides to the drug and insurance companies and the insane profits and salaries that the CEOs of those companies receive each year. NO ONE SHOULD PROFIT FROM THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS!! Congress should move to not only reform the health care system, but also to remove profit from the entire health care system. The right to live should never be predicated on whether or not someone can afford it.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  541. barry braker

    If my wife and I share the same health care from my job. (I'm retired / laid off) we would be paying 10k a year, and this is through a company subsidized policy. I would welcome 5k taxes a year to drop this policy and get something guarenteed.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  542. David Clark

    ALL of the insurance companies... they only stand in the way and OBSTRUCT health delivery... kinda' like what Republicans do!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  543. Linden Gibson

    I am willing to give up the special free medical care that politicians get FOR LIFE even if they serve as little as one term. I will pay more taxes, I will wait in line, I will do whatever I need to do to ensure that no American dies due to lack of health care, as they now do EVERY DAY!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  544. Ruth

    Bi partisan bickering and political parties.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  545. Ina Townsend

    I am willing for the members of the House and Congress to give up all that free (no hassle) medical care they receive. And not get any care until they come up with a plan everyone can use, and use that same plan themselves!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  546. Andre

    Health reform is needed right? Then why do GOP'S say we don't.... are they living a mars !!!!!!! why don't they want reform? B/c there kick backs are going to go away!!! this is the time for reform and am willing to give up everything!.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  547. Brenda

    Tony I have already given up my home and family so that I could get help paying for medication that runs close to $1000 a month. With out this medication I would be dead.
    I think I have given up enough. I don't have anything left to give. I am living with my mother who is 67y/o and can't retire b/c she has health problems and needs the insurance.
    I use my disability check to pay the rent and she pays the utilities. There is nothing left by the middle of the month and we are to give up more?
    Where?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  548. Frank

    I am not willing to give up my term limits for health care no way

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  549. Kevin Leo (Riverdale, GA)

    I am so sick of people saying that Pres Obama is rushing healthcare. LOOK AT YOUR HISTORY PEOPLE!!! This has been an issue that we have been dealing with and fighting over since the days of Truman. How many more people have to die or suffer before you people wake up and realize that now is the time to get the job done?! The longer we wait, the more people are going to be unable to get preventive care to stop something minor from turning into something major.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  550. tom gibson

    National Sales Tax:

    I am willing to give up 1% of every purchase over $1.00....Every tourist and visitor would then pay into our system......It could further be expanded/raised to lower the individual tax rate system and institiute a reformed tax system as well. IRS then would regulate businesses not individuals!!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  551. James

    I am willing to give up our new president OBAMA! I am waiting for a 2nd lung transplant! He want insurance for all, thats WONDERFUL, GO FOR IT. But don't screw with my insurance, I have battled, struggled, endured, bled (literally), fund raised, and FINALLY SECURED INSURANCE. Do what u must to help others, but I MUST stop hearing how universal insurance will cause me to loose what I have fought for for so many years!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  552. phil mccloud

    If you drive a car you have to have insurance. So, if every american paid 2k per year for insurance, we would have 600 billion dollars to spend. from there dive into detail and exceptions, but we have the money if we all chip in.

    Phil/Galena,IL

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  553. Gary Cherpakov

    I'll give up the windfall profits for Big Insurance that they earn on my misfortunes.
    Slow down? This issue has been debated for 50 years. Obama set a time limit. That is leadership. GOP wants more time? What, another 50 years i supposed..
    They say 50% of Americans are against this plan. They obviously have great policies from their employers and DO NOT PAY. They are afraid they will be put on the Public Plan, which they equate with Medicaid.
    Somebody , please, tell the truth!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  554. Debbie

    i am not sure at the present what I am willing to give up. However, I am glad to see and hear from real people who have went through this nightmare. For I am one of them. I don't know if this plan of our President is the "right" plan but something must be done. I am hoping it will include the fact that "big businesses" can't say what treatment you will have even though you have insurance-this happens – it happen to me. I have often said that the people as a whole, and the media and anyone who thinks nothing is better than something need to be in the situation then come back and talk. Unless you have been there, you are bias, unknowledgable and think that the american people are stupid. Our president is not fighting health care reform but the people who have not walked in non-insurers shoes. Everyone talks about we are spending our kids and grand kids money-have we forgotten that we are now paying for previous generation bills etc.? One needs to ask the question; when a hospital or doctor gives charity who do people think is paying for that? It is the people now who are complaining. I hope some people who have or is now in this situation speak up instead of criticize for what is already being paid for-take the time to really think about what is being said by media and the insured. Again unless you are or have had to walk in these shoes your outlook is different. Again, I am glad to finally hear from real people-should have heard from real people from the beginning.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  555. Robert Ortiz

    Here's an Idea:
    A basic Health care plan for unemployed workers paid by a tax on the employed similar to the medicaid tax we pay but restricted to those without assets..for instance, I WILL NOT pay medical bills of those who own their own home. Can't afford health care? Time to sell!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  556. Larry R. Doane

    Tony, I'm willing to give up every sitting Congressman and Senator. Their catering to special interests and corporate lobbyists got us into this mess, and they are still catering to the medical supply companies, hospitals, medical insurers, and medical professionals, without regard for what will be best for the citizens of the United States who actually VOTE.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  557. Paul Culotta from Rome, GA

    What would I like to give up? Easy: I would LOVE to give up listening and watching all the commercials put out by the drug companies. Seriously, if they would get rid of their advertising expense, they could cut the cost of drugs and thereby lower the consumer's cost! Besides, it's the DOCTOR's call what drugs we need, so why advertise to the general public? I am sick of listening to it.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  558. Michael

    Why haven't I seen a suggestion that we adopt a solution from proven examples in other countries such as France or Japan?

    Our current system does not work. It should be completely scrapped and we should implement a proven system.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  559. mike

    if we have such a crisis with our healthcare in our own country, maybe we should consider giving up some of the assistance we provide to other countries. start at home. then, give if we have the ability to do so financially.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  560. Tom

    Why was that woman saying she was going to loose her house for cancer treatment? The reason California is so broke is because they are the MediCal safety net for the poor to pay for medical. My understanding is that you cannot be forced from your home and that any money owed would just be placed as a lien against a future sale of the home. Was this woman a renter? Are we getting the full story or just the part Democrats want to sell us?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  561. linda harris

    I will be willing to help a sick person no matter what it takes why are they fighting the very plan that they them self have do we not pay for them to have the health plan that they have? why are they so selfish we help people every were but not right here at home.As far as taxes we are going to pay taxes anyway why no do it to help so one in need.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  562. Lee in MN

    I have a very progressive case of terminal ALS. The health care system is broken and overflowing with corruption and bogus charges by providers. I could write a VERY thick book with my experiences. No catastrophic illness should financially destroy a household or family.

    Most of the ads against the options are very distorted and untruthful. How about finding the TRUTH and real facts??

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  563. Counsel

    I have sympathy with everyone who "gets sick," but I live with diabetes. I dn't think the rest of the nation is responsible for my medical expenses–and they are significant.

    I have a few questions for the woman in the interview who was talking about her fears re: costs of medical care for her cancer:

    1. Would the proposed plan cover her treatment?
    2. Would she have been able to get the immediate, emergency surgery she was talking about under the proposed plan?
    3. How would the proposed plan have treated her in her situation...

    I see the VA system, Medicare, SS, and other federal programs aimed at "helping us" to cover life's costs. I see federal programs that are very expensive, over-budget, under-funded, and in trouble of being funded for eternity much less for another 25 years according to the GPO).

    If drugs are less expensive in Canada, perhaps we could start with finding out how Canada gets "cheaper" drugs. That would be a significant start to control costs. A federal plan with NO plans to reduce current costs doesn't reduce costs, it moves the costs from the private sector to the government. Ask veterans if they are satisfied with the VA System.

    What should we, the citizens, get? The SAME plan that Congress gets. If we aren't offered that same plan, I want THEM to tell me why they are "entitled" to better benefits than the rest of the population. Do a story about that. Walter Cronkite often said a journalist should tell the public what they need to know and not what they want to know.

    Do an expose on the health care provided to Congress. Show how the anti-discrimination law may not apply to those in Congress... There should be ONE federal plan. If we can't afford it, we shouldn't have it. Fiscal responsibility is absolute since we won't have ANY system if the government goes "bankrupt..."

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  564. Ronald

    This is a dumb question. The media plays into the hands of their corporate advertisers. You all don't want health care reform, you want profits just like Pharma and Insurance companies. Let's give up the enormous defense budget. These companies are intertwined It's a moral and ethical position. We need this done now. Lket's get it done, now.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  565. Trevor

    We have a health care crisis because doctors, hospitals, insurance companies and the drug industry all make too much money. What are THEY willing to give up?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  566. Steven R. Good

    If our elected officials are willing to switch to this healthcare plan and give up their GOLD-PLATED plan that my taxes pay for than I am willing to be taxed for the new plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  567. Cheri Akins

    I can not afford to buy my eyeglasses or get an eye exam. Its been two years. And my insurance wants me to pay 700.00 deductible before they kick in. I would like to see this changed to be more user friendly. I am wondering if I should just go to area clinics and not try to have an insurance that I can pay for but not use. I support the urgency in this matter. President Obama should push for this massive change. And stop showing people from Canada, .

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  568. Donald Young III

    The question is not what would we give up to have a proper healthcare system. A lot, if it works. The question should be 'What do the creators give up if thier plan fails as created'. The answer is nothing. Take away all pensions of the healthcare legislators if the plan fails and we will get a more thoughtful plan.

    dy3

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  569. Chris M.

    Nothing, nothing at all! We are already over taxed and the government waste our money every second of every day. Take care of the people who take care of the world.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  570. Evelyn Rivera

    I'm willing to accept higher taxes. Where do these politicians think their pay comes from? They don't work for free! I can't believe that they put their political career first before the good of the people! This affects every one of us! It's appalling what these politicians are doing! This health care issue affects all of us irrespective of your political affiliation! Put your constituents first!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  571. Steve

    I always thought that the United States called themselves "World Leaders" but after hearing the retoric behind the health care issues i don't know how you can call yourselves that anymore. How can you tell the rest of the world how a democracy works when you cannot even help YOUR OWN people when sick. Your health care is only there to do two things.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  572. Karen Sasnett

    I am my brothers and my sisters keeper. If my neighbors child is sick and can not go to a doctor or can not go to school, that directly affects my children and their future. What does it take to give hearts and spines to our elected officials? The time is now. Get it done.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  573. Bridget

    I too have already given up! I've given up on my congress to stop politics as usual. I think our congress is too selfish and self centered. Our healthcare and insurance industry are the problem and congress continues to pander to them. The pres. puts me in the "rich" category b/c I chose to educate myself and go to work and pay my bills and not overextend myself with debt. So now he wants me to pay for everyone else's mishandling of their finances. No matter what plan they put in place, there will always be those who either can't pay or even more sadly just WON'T pay. I give up. Maybe I'll just join the others and make irresponsible choices for others to bail me out.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  574. james s lenon

    I'm willing to sacrifice Congress's August vacation so that they can j remain on the job and reach a solution to national health care that doesn't ignore the citizens for their corporate backers and lobbyists.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  575. April Guido

    I am willing to give up fancy waiting rooms with fish tanks!!!

    Healing should be available to all...one way or another!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  576. Seth

    How many Americans are hopping the border to Canada or getting on a plane to Europe for their free healthcare? None...I wonder why!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  577. Elaine Parks

    The idea of the soda tax makes sense to me. Why not include other foods that cause our health problems like fast foods, chips twinkies, etc. IT imakes sense to charge people that eat that type of food because we know for certain that it contributes to poor health. I am one of those people and feel that I should be willing to pay more taxes because I likely will have more health issues. I am sure the grocery store, McDonalds, etc. will pass the cost on to us and that is fine with me. I drink 5-6 diet sodas a day and eat my share of these foods as do millions of others. I think it is a great way to raise the money

    July 22, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  578. Ramiro

    I am a canceer patient.Up until I was diagnosed with cancer i did now owe anybody anything,however since march of this year i now have around $9000.worth of medical bills.I am a widower and live alone .I am also a Vietnam Veteran.I have given everything I have for this country,for my family while my wife was alive,and now I have nothing left to give.I will probably have to file bankruptcy soon.The real quetion is what are both the republicans and democrats willing to give up.like myself,the average american has been giving all thier lives,most of us ,have nothing left to give.I do however need a bailout for myself,after all,if congress can bail out major companys for mismanagement,why cant they bail out an averagre american citizen for things beyond our control?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  579. Dan

    Don't people realize that if everyone gets universal health care, doctors become the new teacher. A public servant, don't people see what shape our public schools are in?? What i am not willing to give up are the freedoms enjoyed everyday, and will not be subjected to the requirements. How can you possibly justify giving a pack a day smoker free health care?? They are taking an inherent risk, but that's their choice and you can't take that away either. I think in theory its an excellent idea, but then so was communism, is that the direction we are really trying to go here??

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  580. Tamara Szafranski

    I have already given up health to Leukemia...and the rest of my life and money to the insurance companies...people that say we need to wait have NEVER been sick with a catastrophic life illness. You have no choice under our current system, because the insurance companies dictate who you can and can't see; what you can and can't do in terms of treatments, and who you doctor is - unless of course you have millions of dollars and can afford to go to anyone you want anywhere in the world - even here. Do you think your insurance will pay for a world class doctor? Absolutely not. I have had to live on DONATIONS and BAKE SALES. What's worse, I am not alone...here is a quote from my Leukemia journal...

    "With no assistance available to those with catastrophic life circumstances, people’s lives often fall apart. To put a more positive spin on the situation, some might say people “pare down” immensely. But this “paring down” comes at a great price: requiring nothing less than the surrendering of all normal life circumstances. After all, who can afford a mortgage or rent or a car payment when one person is unable to work and all available funds are being spent on survival meds? “Non-essential” activities such as buying clothing, eating out at restaurants, and going shopping are completely out of the question. In my case, my husband and I were lucky - all we had to do was move in with my parents because we couldn’t afford our own apartment. The absence of rent allowed us to keep our vehicle and make some payments when we could, although we fell behind while trying to mitigate the cost of my rapidly accruing medical bills.

    When you are grieving the loss of independent living, you often feel as if you are the only person in the world who is. But when I went out to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to have my transplant done, I met an amazingly large community of people who were forced to give up entire lifetimes just to survive. Many people, like myself, had to move in with friends or relatives; some had to sell their home or vehicle. Still others auctioned off everything that wasn’t nailed down on eBay, or gave up everything to relocate near the hospital, relying on public transportation to get them where they needed to go.

    But this, unfortunately, is not where the struggle ends. Even when the prescriptions are done, the financial toll that such a circumstance takes on patients and their families is enormous. Trying to rebuild from nothing is not easy, and the sad fact of the matter is that there are very few people out there who are willing to help. In fact, it is often the same people who marvel at your miraculous tale of “survival” that will turn around and repossess your vehicle because the payments have been consistently late - or gone unpaid - while you were fighting to stay alive. Mortgage companies, banks, and rental associations are even worse. They will look at your plummeting or reduced credit rating and charge you higher interest rates than you cannot afford to pay, or deny you altogether. In essence, whether cured or not, you end up being punished for getting sick in the first place.

    And so I will relive my transplant. Relive it - again and again and again. Because who, outside of the very rich, can afford to pay back more than a quarter of a million dollars in medical bills? That is the very problem I face as I sit here and look at apartment advertisements - and why I dread calling about any of them. I know what I am going to have to do. I am going to have to explain to every person on the list that I was sick, that I almost died, and that my credit score suffered because of it. Catching up on more than five years of illness - not including the years of intense follow-up - is difficult. And I will somehow have to explain that I had the audacity to become ill in a system that abhors such weakness. And I have to hope - hope that someone will give me a chance to rebuild my life.

    Because life is about more than surviving. Or rather, it should be. Creating a life worth living is hard…but creating such a life after almost losing it, is even harder.
    .

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  581. Mark

    A significant drain on the health care system is expensive testing. If doctors weren't afraid of being sued by missing something, they wouldn't have to order a CT scan for a cough or an MRI for every headache that shows up in their office! Tax the trial attorneys!!! That'll never happen since everyone on capital hill is a lawyer with friends on the Bar, including Mr. Obama.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  582. James Felegy

    Why do have give up anything? Why is the insurance administration cost not discuss? They are 30%. Medicads administration are between 2% and 4%. Sounds like the medical insurance company are like AIG.
    They consider execitive pay and bounses more important then the countries heath!!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  583. robert

    I keep seeing the anti reform TV spots, saying, "Do you want government between you & your doctor?". Yes, I would like to see a not for profit in between me & my doctor than a insurance company.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  584. esd2000

    I'm willing to trade salaries with someone who makes 250k or better and pay the higher tax.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  585. Leila

    I am willing to give up the republican party. They are against Obama's bill because it puts more responsibility on big business where it belongs. Who's paying for the emergency room visits for the uninsured/under-insured? Not the companies that are making money off those people.
    The reason they don't want to pass the bill/any bill NOW is because they haven't had time to add on all the PORK they want to!!!!
    How about thinking about the people that are paying their salaries,that sent them there to act in the best interest of THE PEOPLE?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  586. Scott Browning

    The US should follow the CANADIAN health care plan. I have lived in Minneapolis and had health insurance so here's my story.

    12 midnight I roll my ankle on the curb walking home. A hospital just on the other side of the road. Bottom line my insurance would not cover the $364.00 splint because I should of gone to their hospital at least 5 miles away even though they could not be reached at this time of night.

    Canada scenario, playing soccer and cut my eye go to hospital and give health card which every Canadian is entitled to. NO CHARGE up front

    We pay a health tax such as for cigarettes. They cost $10 plus a pack that tax is going towards the cancer care you may require, same with alcohol. It's worth it people. I am a true testimony that it does work for everyday people.

    THIS IS A NO BRAINIER!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  587. Mark

    I'm ready to go without insurance.

    I'm self-employed, and I pay $600/mo for insurance for my family. My adjusted gross income for my family last year was around $70,000.

    My $600/mo insurance only covers two doctors visits a year. Last time I went to the doctor for a cold sore, they charged me $260 dollars. They don't pay for any of my presciptions.

    Why does everyone get affordable insurance but those of us in the middle, working the hardest? The poor have healthcare and the rich get it too.

    I'm afraid to take my children to the doctor because of the bill.

    I give up!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  588. Jim D

    "Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves." William Pitt in the House of Commons November 18, 1783

    I will give to the charity's I see fit not that the government see's fit. I will give up nothing.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  589. Laura Smith

    I don't understand the question. We have the worst healthcare policies in the world. Regardless of your coverage, most people have to fight to get what is recommended by their doctors. If you have a catastrophic illness you will be cancelled when its time to renew your policy. Most people pay a small fortune for this crappy insurance. Not to mention that we are the ONLY civilized country that has private coverage. All we hear about is Canada, what about Great Britian, France, and every other country in the world. I read an article yesterday and I have forgotten what newspaper it was in, but it stated that people who earn over 5 million dollars will experience an increase in their taxes. SO? I think they will be alright with that. I don't know why I am bothering to even address this issue with a bunch of crooks.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  590. Vance McFarland

    My sister in law has breast cancer and I am sure the live long savings she and my brother had will be severaly stressed. Another brother Craig spent $300K without insurance dying of Cancer which his employer donated a large part of. So we give for health care reform whatever it takes, taxes, family trust donations–we need coverage for these catastrophic illnesses. And I would pay for insurance–but there are no affordable policies with full coverage I can get, so have none?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  591. Richard Martin

    Greetings Tony – We up here in Canada are amazed that you folks put up with the (Republican sponsored) Ads that attempt to dissuade Americans from a Canadian style health system. The usual 'scare tactics' of giant business concerns (big Drug Companies) are both pathetic, and even (perhaps) criminal. Certainly they are immoral. After hearing what drugs cost in Cuba, you'd think you folks would 'get it'!
    Everyone here gets taken care of – and they don't have to lose their home in order to get treatment. The rest of the 'fear mongering' is just that.....so much B.S. Our system works!
    When are you folks going to take back your country from the 'special interests' that (like to believe that they) own it?

    RM

    July 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  592. Chris W.

    Drug commercials! Doctors know which drugs work, and a commercial isn't going to influence them. We could be using this money going to commercials to fuel the healthcare system instead.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  593. Unkeljack

    There is an obvious way to cut health care costs. If people show up at the Dr. and are overweight and not losing weight, you should pay more. You have the right to commit suicide, I don't feel obligated to pay for your self indulgense & stupidity. Self inflicted diseeses shouldn't be covered, it's time to grow up and be responsible for yourself.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  594. Michael

    I'm willing to give up the following:
    1. Unlimited settlements in malpractice lawsuits.
    2. Government interference in the healthcare industry which adds over 169 billion a year to healthcare costs.
    3. Social security for people with an income after retirement (from any source) over 150,000 annually.
    4. A 10% across the board in all social programs to pay for this scam being perpetrated on us by the Obama administration (if it can't be stopped).
    5. Requirement that every social program enacted be paid for by eliminating another social program.
    6. I should just give up on it, CNN is as socialist as our current president.. I bet CNN doesn't have any room for a dissenting opinion.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  595. Steve

    1. Put money in the pockets of the big business
    2. Help the politicians that are being paid by the health care industry

    and

    Everyone that cannot pay i guess should just lay down and die when sick.

    How selfish can a Country and its "Rich" people be.

    This is certainly not a good "Example" to the rest of the world.

    I found it very convienient that you showed Nacy Polosi on the news confernence but the voice of the "REAL PEOPLE" was not good enough to show. Commercials i guess where better than real voicees. Or i guess CNN did not want to make the "Health Care" money makers mad by showing how the "Insurance Policies" are really just "Smoke and Mirrors"

    Shame on you America !!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  596. Kelly

    I already give up 20% of our family income for our coverage in addition to the taxes that go toward Medicare and Medicaid. What more would you suggest?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  597. CJ

    We lived in Chile for several years. Someone ought to go down there and take a look at their system. It's great. If you get sick, you go to the hospital and they take care of you. A friend of ours had cystic breast disease. She got immediate and excellent care. Every school child in the country is covered through a universal school insurance. When our daughter dislocated her elbow, we went to the hospital where there was a separate children's ER. She was treated and had 3 follow-ups. None of it cost a dime to us. I don't know the particulars of how they pay for it but it's worth a look.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  598. john allman sr

    Lost job January 2009 after 26 years same company. 62 years old. No Health insurance, no life insurance. No Job. hard finding someone to hire you at 62 years old.

    Working part time , 30 hrs wk. @ $8. HR. Hard to pay bills let alone medication needed. Had heart attack two years ago. Diabetic. Having to let medication go to meet the bills.

    Have applied for Social Security, Starts in September. But that still only covers food and shelter. Can not get Medicade due to Working Part time. What do I do? Quite working? Some of use are falling between the cracks.

    Don't have anything left to give up.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  599. R. Skipper

    Having a heart condition and now on social security at the age of 55, this is a issue Im most concerned about. Im willing to give up or reduce the U.S. Pork barrel spending our government over looks every year as crucial to individual cities or individual states. Thank you;

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  600. Ralph

    Tony,

    Thanks for the coverage – things that I am willing to give up:

    1) Watching all of the ads now being aired by those entities that are afraid of success of this reform. Political or fiscal how many millions are being spent on trying to assure non-success?
    2) My insurance coverage (supposedly good) that never covers tests that my Doctor requests. He had asked for preventative inspections – I ended up paying 100% of the costs.
    3) An economic model that assures our manufacturing sector is non-competitive. Our manufacturers compete on a global basis with entities that do not have to pay short and long-term medical expenses – immediately forcing products made in America to be more expensive and thus costing us jobs.
    4) Any attention given to political parties that only want to see failure for their gain.

    Thanks

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  601. Jim Puls

    I've Already lost my home and cars. I'm mad as hell and I would like them BACK. Prudential ruined my life and my family's. I'm in Public Housing. I won't give up any thing any more...

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  602. Kristina

    Why is it that you are asking what we are willing to give up??? I have health coverage & its always a battle, sometimes I already have to pay for things like my childrens bronchitus myself. 1 in 6 dollars in our economy are already going to healthcare. We are already giving blood. Why is it that no one is talking about the one health insurance CEO that is making 1 dollar for every 7 spent on healthcare. Why is there not a windfall profit tax for these CEO's that are raking in big bucks & paying Bonuses to employees when they deny up of coverage that we are entitled to????? I perfer a CO-OP to a govt system, but I really want to get the profit motive out of health coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  603. norman

    I gave up my Republican Party affiliation in hopes the Democrats could get something done – please don't disapoint.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  604. J. Segarra

    I love when people say "We must get this right! we should not rush into this plan",its just a delay tactic and we have been waiting too long. Would these same people be willing to wait if they suddenly came down with a serious illness or maybe they have good coverage and selfish. We can provide coverage to everyone! It would be the begining of reversing the greed which posioned this country.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  605. Theresa

    We are uninsured and are anxiously awaiting help. We are willing to give up the money to pay reasonable health insurance premiums.
    Please address the fact that the premiums people wll pay will absorbe most of the cost of the program. Thank you.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  606. Gabe

    There is a great deal of talk about who will pay more and be taxed more for the cost of health care reform. Many people seem to be upset about the idea of taxing the rich, or taxing existing health care benefits to pay for the plan, however the real disproportionate burden will be borne by the nations senior citizens. Cutbacks are planned for Medicare, which provides health care for people at the time of their lives when they need it most. Increases in Medicare costs are planned for those who are already financially stressed and living on fixed incomes. As more people are able to access health care there will be proportionally less health care available, and that will inevitably lead to some sort of rationing. No doubt one of the criteria that will be use for this triage is who is likely to get the most benefit from the available care. Older people who arguably have less life to lose are more likely to be denied treatment. If, after reading this, you are thinking "Well, thats not my problem, I am not old" think again. The only way this will not become your problem is if you die first, or if you are a legislator whose health care is exempt.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  607. Donetta Anderson

    I do not reject the idea of paying more taxes for a health care program, but not one which is being forced down our throats at break-neck speed. This administration is just throwing money at every problem without careful thought. I'm afraid that our country is in such a precarious position, this could be disastrous.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  608. Robert Adler

    Obamacare does nothing to control costs. It will only tax those who make money to pay for insurance for those that don't. It will reduce coveage for all to ensure that all get covered. Why not just allow the uninsured or uninsurable to buy into Medicaid? Because Medicaid is terrible coverage and everyone know it.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  609. john H

    tony,

    i am a 46 year old male, self-employed in los angeles ... i pay 395.00 per month for health insurance and 30.00 for a million dollar cancer policy ... plus my 40.00 NASE dues ... 465.00 Total per month .... i have never used it ... hope i never do ...

    it just went up another 16.00 per month ..

    what would i give up ? this is not our fault ... it is our government that caused this ... own up to it and the american people will help you out of this hole .. stay your course and we will not re-elect you ... that is what the bottom line is for most of these people in Wash.

    i so wish congress and the WH could just admit that the origin of this housing market and economy crisis was caused by making it easier for people to buy homes with sub-prime lending ...

    i pay my due ... but i think 465.00 per month is enough already, if this goes up anymore it will be devastating ... congress needs to come down to earth, slow down, curb spending like i have had to since they decided to give my hard earned money to people that do nothing but collect the unemployment that i have never used either even when times are tough .. that is the last resort IMHO ...

    cheers john

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  610. Burley

    I’m willing to give up politicians that have pay and or budget increases during this time. The only trips they should be take would be home to really find out what the people want.
    Oh, and I think we should have access to the same health care insurance as our congress.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  611. Lorraine Menard

    What should we give up??? Better, what would the health care providers give up? Shouldn't all this start with the doctors, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies? It would be wonderful if we could afford health care, instead of getting a bill for $40 for a cotton ball, or $12 for a warmed blanket, or $6000 for a nausea shot. Maybe we could bring our own cotton balls and warmed blankets!!! I think our first priority should be to force a lowered health care providers' unbelievable costs.

    Also, I think that Congress and our politicians should have to have the same health insurance as the rest of us do. Why should they get something more than the people they work for????

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  612. jane myce

    I have already given up my country. I live in Canada where I receive excellent health care at a reasonable price. It's a good thing I like the place because I can't afford to go home.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  613. Kathy Christopherson

    I am willing to give up the millions paid to HMO and insurance company's CEO's for Bonuses and compensation perks. My Mpls newspaper today had a headline"United Health profit soars 155%". Can you say NONPROFIT health care?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  614. Vern tott

    In our governments urge to provide a health care program, the cost seems to be the stickler. We need to start at the source of the problem which is over charging by hospitals, doctors, drug companies and insurance carriers. When did we as a people decide that physicians should all be millionaires? Why are drug companies allowed to charge these rediculous fees when they will sell their product overseas and you can buy it cheaper. what happened to supporting your own people first. Why are hospitals allowed to charge tens of thousands of dollars for an operating room when they know the insurance company will only pay about 10% of their bill? All of the above have rediculous charges so lets control them first and maybe the average citizen could afford to pay them.
    Healthcare should never break someone. If I'm not incorrect, I believe we could decrease foreign spending by about 15% and pay for a program. DUH! Mountain home, AR

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  615. Dave Fitz

    Why do the current new proposals being brought forth by our legislators
    have an exemption provisions for congress and federal workers? Are they a special class of Americans?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  616. Stephen Magierka

    I think that we should all be willing to do what ever it takes to provide insurance to those how have none. You would think that elected people who have the best insurance in the world, would put aside their own interests for once and at least try to think of others. These people have had years to fix this and now someone is trying and all you hear are negative comments.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  617. Jm-Illinois

    How about people start taking responsibility for their own life. We don't live in a socialist society like China and I don't believe Americans really want to. It seems to me that everyone wants something for free. While I have some sympathy for the filmmaker with cancer, she chose to be self employed and understood the risks of the low cost insurance she took. What would be interesting to know is how lavish her life was and maybe it wasn't. Why should those people who make some decent money have to pay for those who don't. I work hard at what I do and deserve every penny I make plus more. I am tired of all the taxes I pay and just as tired of seeing people feeding off ot the system living a more lavish lifesyle then myself. So again people if you choose to think your immortal to life's roadblocks then move out of our great country, I don't believe you reallize just how good you have it here.
    P.S. If someone has a catastrophic financial disaster it is not a right of ours to expect someone else to pay for it, if you think so then move to a socialist country.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  618. Francie Goodridge

    I am 62 and my generation has given up all we can. The facts are clear that we have not gained economically since the seventies while we have seen our safety net erode to the point where we can no longer even afford healthcare What must be given up are the tax cuts that have only benefited the wealthy. Paying for universal healthcare for all Americans through taxes is no different than paying for fire or police protection or public education. The top tax rate was lowered from 90% to 70%under Kennedy and we are only talking about returning it to what it was when Reagan took office. Please, this is a no brainer.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  619. Dave

    I am willing to give up paying for health care insurance for all the government employees, including the Congress, and the State , County and local officials and employees that I also pay for.
    Let them pay for mine for a change. I am willing to pay my share but this has been a one way street for too long.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  620. Glenn

    I agree that we need reform, but my fear is that I will have to give up what my empoloyer currently provides. So in the end I give up what I have worked for to cover people who do not work. I am also very concerned about getting less for more- Just look at the other countries and Mass (in the USA) who have tried to provied universal coverage. It helps those with nothing but hurst those who already have something. So my response is Government needs to stay out of our business and go after the insurance companies who in the end cause the medical profession to charge more.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  621. Brian

    I have not heard any talk about a scaled down healthcare plan for the uninsured? It's a start that may be affordable.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  622. Leslie form Louisiana

    I am willing to give up all of the "pork" projects sent to individual states and also all of the aid projects sent to other countries. How about just holding congress and pres. responsible for spending our money more wisely.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  623. Anthony

    I live in CA, and I'd be willing to pay a cannabis tax. Lots of other people are, too. Too bad we can't – that could save a lot of useful programs.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  624. Sisley Dougherty

    I am willing to give up what little I have, I am going to be 65, and I am considered on the low income, side. I do not have any other income except for SSI which is also low, both me and my husband receive checks.. They would not be enough to live on, so I work, stocking shelfs, which is not easy. I do not get any assistance , but I would be happy to help in anyway that need be. Remember you will be old one day, and then were would you be with the raising costs of healthcare , in the toilet like me

    July 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  625. Rebecca Simon

    I am not willing to give up my current healthcare which will happen if this bill is passed. Reform trial attorneys' hold on going after doctors and hospitals and deny healthcare to illegal aliens. This is how you fix healthcare costs.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  626. Chris Earl

    Why don't we drug test people on welfare, that should save a lot of money for health care?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  627. Devin Serpa

    I'm willing to give up high-fructose corn-syrup, in all forms. So that I am not a burden on the health system in the future.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  628. Steve

    I'm willing to give up excluding people with pre-existing conditions and dropping people when they start making too many claims, or looking for reasons to rescind a policy after accepting the customer's premiums for months and months.

    Other than that, I don't think we're being asked to give up anything.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  629. Joe from NYC

    I am willing to give up the outrageous perks that Congressmen receive. We'll begin with their raises, reduce their pensions, and let them "enjoy" the same health coverage/insurance as the average American.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  630. Ian Stafford

    The role of our Federal Government is to “protect” the people and their liberties. This does not just mean from enemies domestic or foreign, this also means from disease, pathogens, viruses, etc. Now, our government would be able to provide Health Care for all of it’s citizens if it actually was the size the Constitution allows. Our government has become too big now it cannot afford the roles it was created to have. If our Government were to size down to the size our Constitution allows we would live in a much better place. I am not willing to give up anything because I am not the one who needs to, the Federal Government is the one who needs to.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  631. Rick

    We shouldn't have to give up anything. If we went with single payer universal health care, we would end up with MORE money for other things, because it would cost less than we pay now.

    We don't need the vulture private insurance companies that don't do anything for us.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  632. Jm-Illinois

    The short and sweet, NOTHING!!! People need to stop with the attitude of someone else will take care of me when in a crisis and start taking stock of their situation and live according to their means.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  633. gerry curwin

    i would like to c blanket coverage 4 everyone, incxluding dr visits hospitalization,, any needed treatments , chemo radiatrion, dialysis, whatwever is needed, i would b willing to pay a federal sales tax to cover costs, the lo income earner pays far less than the hi income earner, and b4 the hi income earner cries foul, which end of the spectrum wud they rather b on, everyone covered, the rich cud still pay extra 4 their perks

    July 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  634. Ken Wilson

    Presupposing that you have to "give up" something is greatly disturbing. I pay for a good healthcare plan, I'm satisfied with my coverage. Why do I have to "give up" something? Here's an idea, let's start with limiting the malpractice lawsuits...oh wait, the trial lawyers are a key constituency of the Democrats. I guess that will never happen.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  635. Kim Phillips

    I'm willing to give up insurance benefits for all city, county, state and federal employees. I gave up medical care for 13 years waiting for congress to pass legislation on health care for all. I worked to pay for their healthcare as I went without. Try and estimate how much money would be saved to put towards uninsured taxpayers heathcare. Burecrats would be screaming to get the legislation passed if they would have to give up their benefits. After all, they are all glorified welfare receipents at the cost of the taxpayers.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  636. Will

    I, myself, don't have anything at the time to give up because I'm currently disabled and insured, but I hope they do all they can to assist those that's in desperate need of health care insurance, especially the terminally ill and those unable and no longer can care for themselves.

    Greenville, MS

    July 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  637. JD

    Tony,

    Americans need to know more about this plan. Will I have options? If so, what will they be? How much will be required from my employer?
    Before I can say what I will give up, I need to know what MY options are. We talk about incentives for the medical profession, but what about incentives for the common American who can afford and enjoy things the way they are?

    I am not willing to give up good coverage, but perhaps a little more in taxes.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  638. Mr Dean n Seattle

    take away medicare part D and convert the funds to health care reform

    July 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  639. Scott Browning

    I would like to add that the US should take the best parts of what the Canadian model for health care is. We are not perfect but you can build upon a health care system that has taken care of my whole family.

    Taxes towards products which are harmful to your system makes sense that the government should set that aside in case you need help from consuming to much of those products.

    Need doctors is the biggest issue in solving Canadian health care problems in Canada. Solve that one US and you are on your way.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  640. Jim

    I am a small business owner. If this policy were to pass, I would be more inclined to drop all of my employees heath care benefits and pay the penalty. This is the smart thing to do from a business stand point. In the end, this would create more of a burden on tax payers in the US.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  641. R. West

    Healthcare should be a constitutional right.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  642. Shaleea Lima

    If I could be guaranteed to have all of my medical needs covered and still have a great quality of care, I would pay higher taxes. Your own health is more important than money! Anyway I'm probably paying more out of pocket every year for uncovered procedures and experiences more stress than I would with higher taxes and guaranteed health care.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  643. Pamela Hubbard

    I pay approximately $160.00 a month to my employer for my health insurance. I would be willing to pay that amount to the government if it would mean not having to go through what that woman with cancer had to go through. I have lots of health problems and I have been ignoring them knowing that I cannot afford to what I need to do. I cannot afford to be out of work. I cannot afford to have the insurance company that I have been plowing money into tell me that I am too sick to get coverage.

    I want to know why the woman with cancer couldn't get the government to make her insurance company step up to the plate and do what was right. This is not car insurance witch the option to total the car because it is beyond repair or would cost more to repair it that to get a new one. The insurance in on an irreplaceable human being.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  644. wjdingman

    We all know that how complex this issue can be. The fact are that the concerns on both sides of this debate are right. The result must be a debate about the cost and benefits of these ideas. We must stand up for change and change always takes debate. We need to focus on prevention and wellness. This in my opinion should be the cornerstone of our reform. President Obama please make sure its right, make sure we dont get the wool pulled over our eyes

    July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  645. Becky

    I'm willing to give up this god-forsaking war in Iraq, which will create more revenue toward the health care crisis

    July 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  646. Tom Kendall,MD

    I would gladly give up all the foreign aid to countries that should take care of themselves. There is plenty of tax dollars to take care of our citizens and country first!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  647. Marge

    To Peggy Toney: I agree with your sentiments. I, too, am a Medicare recipient and a Democrat leaning left. Isn't it strange that some people want the rewards without the payment. I would gladly pay a tax within my economic range to take care of all people. There are those who call themselves Christians who don't want to pay for "the least among us". Why is that? Also, isn't it written that those with the most resources will be expected to share their good fortune? Medicare is a wonderful program, but we also need supplemental insurance which I believe is the right thing. My part D drug program, however, while it saves the day for me, is controlled by an insurance company who charges the highest price for drugs (to get to the "donut hole" as fast as possible). So, that is a disappointment. Healthcare definitely needs to break the stranglehold insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies have on it. While I believe there should be a government option, I also believe that we should have private insurance supplements. Only competition will bring the supplemental care and drug costs down. Also, in order to keep good doctors, we cannot cut their compensation to the point where they leave the system. I absolutely believe that Obama is doing a credible job. It is a gigantic undertaking.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  648. Laurie Anderson

    From Mount Juliet, Tennessee

    Just about everything that is required.

    My husband and I are in our late 50's. He has health insurance from work but every year it covers less and less. This year we have a new limit of 100,000 per year for both of us. Oh Joy. We are both pretty healthy, take very good care of ourselves, but one heart attack and it's all gone.

    Yes.. we purchase additional insurance, but even that is limited. 2 Years ago we put our house in my 30 year old son's name because he gets to have good insurance. The insurance companies are still willing to insure 30 year olds, close to 60 and you get shown the door.

    Over 45 years of being healthy, paying insurance year after year after year.. and now we get to pray that nothing major happens before we turn 66 or we loose everything.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  649. Shafi Parekh

    Up to 10% of my Social Security check because I am confident that not doing anything will end up costing ME more in the long run!! Health care cost will keep gong up as the vested interest ups their spending on lobbying and continues to gouge the uninsured! I am appalled at how we just eat up the trash doled up by the ex-Canadian who talks about how bad their insurance is and no one talks about those who have NO health insurance. We can improve on something we have! God know, we have been talking about this for how many years??????

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  650. Quinn

    Law makers lack the compassion needed to pass this health care bill, as they have no idea what the average person faces economically. Health care is an economic struggle- and in America it essentially boils down to dollars.
    As a world super-power, it's unbelievable that we cannot keep our people healthy without them having to worry about affordability.
    As someone who has had health insurance which was totally lousy, to someone who has also lost insurance, I can say that I AM willing to be taxed a little more for something as essential as health insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  651. Shaleea Lima

    If I could be guaranteed to have all of my medical needs covered and still have a great quality of care, I would pay higher taxes. Your own health is more important than money! Anyway I’m probably paying more out of pocket every year for uncovered procedures and experience more stress than I would with higher taxes and guaranteed health care.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  652. Kay Callison

    I am willing to pay higher taxes if necessary, but I think if all are covered, it will not cost so much for insurance and will balance out. The point is that all of us who have insurance are paying for all those who don't or can't get it. And that is the most expensive care of all - having to go to the ER to see a Doctor! Finally, here is the question that should be asked: What kind of a country are we, anyway? Since when did it become okay not to take care of those who can't take care of themselves?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  653. Pamela Fox

    I am willing to give up being the world's uninsured health policy. I have worked as an RN for 17 years. I can not count the times I have seen other people from other countries come here for their free medical care and go home. I don't blame them. I would leave Mexico and come here too if I was having chest pain , or my kidneys are failing and I need heart surgery or expensive dialysis treatments. It's not just Mexico. It;s every country that doesn't have health insurance or the people are very poor . If we stop providing thier healthcare then thier country of origin would have to start providing assistance...We can save billions by not being the world's free healthcare plan. I am not willing to give up anything. I pay $500.00 a month as my share of health care benefits. I am taxed up the waaahooo. I give and give and give.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  654. Dana B

    I have a very good career going for myself and we get health insurance at my job. If I go to the doctor, I get a bill (deductible) a few weeks later. The monthly cost of health insurance coming out of my check, plus the bills I get just for going to the doctor is not worth it. I don't make enough money to buy groceries, toiletries , the necessities . I am very responsible with my money, I only have the basic bills, rent, electric, car insurance, phone bill, cable bill, but I still don't make enough to survive. I am willing to give up my health insurance just so I can have more money in my paycheck to pay my standard bills.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  655. Joanna Clark

    Tony, instead of asking what we're willing to give up, how about asking the go Senator's what they are willing to give up. How about listing each member of the Senate Finance Committee's contributions they have received from the Health Insurance industry to make sure that any reform benefits the insurance industry, rather than us, the voters.

    We're spending billions of dollars annually on broken programs - Medicare, Medicaid, sCHIP, TRICARE, Indian Health Care, Federal Employee's Health Plan, and we still have 45 million people uninsured and another 55 million under-insured.

    We need to get rid of all of these programs and replace them with a single comprehensive universal health program that covers everyone from conception to death. You pay for it with a small tax on business (less than they are paying for employee health care) and a small surcharge on individual's federal income tax.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  656. Chuck Berens

    Tony,
    I'd be willing to give up the current Congressional/Senate health plan so that those costs and coverages could be incorporated into the plan that includes all the rest of us.
    I'd also be willing to give up 99% of the ambulance chasing attorneys that drive up medical costs for all of us. Health care reform without tort reform won't save anyone anything. We need access to the courts to address legitimate problems, but not to provide a gravy train of excess at public expense.
    I'd be willing to give up senate and congressional lifetime careers in favor of term limits, so that the interests of the people are served instead of the interests of our "representatives".

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  657. Lewis Stepp

    A more appropriate question is what are the doctors, hospitals and other care givers willing to give up. If the administration is going to reduce costs then these are the folks that will carry the burden. We have already seen this with Medicare and Walter Reed military hospital.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  658. Ralph Kimball

    Congress has been talking for TOO many years. As long as they TALK; they don't have to take action! Let's at least get a beginning and quit getting LIP service!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  659. Michael C. Allen

    The problem is that the health insurance company's are taking at least 18 percent of the money. They are the bad guys.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  660. Mr Dean n Seattle

    take 5%of my income and increase medicare tax 2% pay it to infinity

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  661. Kathy

    California

    We have had to give up a great deal.
    My daughter was diagnosed with stage 3 bilateral breast cancer at age 26. She is on COBRA which will end on September 10, 2009.

    She has gone through 6 rounds of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation and a double mastectomy. I had to take 100 days off of work in 2008 and so far, 41 days in 2009– without pay.

    Now we are being faced with foreclosure on our home.

    Bottom line is, what is my daughter to do without health care insurance.
    She still has to see her oncologist and other specialists every three months to make sure the cancer does not come back. There is no health care insurance company that will insure her.

    Right now, I am paying $1,000 per MONTH for health insurance- out of pocket.

    I will give up what ever it takes. Maybe excessive wars, politician health insurance (let them see what it feels like) or secret service protection for Cheney.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  662. Tina

    Governmental healthcare is an empty promise, and if the American people accept it, they better hope they aren't the patient with breast cancer, or the kid in a coma on life support, when the senate or house or president desires to announce a savings in the healthcare budget.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  663. Robert Goad

    Change is fine, but why do the Seniors have to pay for the new Healthcare Plans. The changes in Medicare($300 Billion cut) will make Seniors pay more if they can get a doctor.
    Doctors and Hospitals in Springfield, MO say they will no longer take Medicare patients with the planned cuts to Medicare. DON'T CUT MEDICARE FUNDING, WE PAID FOR IT FOR YEARS SO LEAVE US ALONGE.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  664. Denise Regan

    Politics, Profit, and Power need to be taken out of healthcare. The Hippocratic oath allows for none of the three Big P's.

    I think that the decision makers on this issue should be required to go without health insurance of any kind until the issue is resolved.
    I bet we would suddenly see "new perspectives"

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  665. Denise Williams

    I would be willing to pay more taxes for everyone to get healthcare. I took a reduction in pay to get better healthcare coverage and I am working more years in an area I don't want to work to get benefits when I retire. I would really like to see how much money the politicians get from healthcare lobbyists when they are talking. Just flash the dollar amount by their name when they speak so we know how much money they are taking. Los Angeles, California

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  666. Harry

    how do we pay for wars, how do we pay 600 billion for defense and now the stupids in congress can not pay for the health care of its citizens. something is wrong with the thinking of our elected money grabbers......

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  667. Dr. Francis Greene

    I'd give up the insurance companies. They are less than worthless.

    No public company puts people first. The companies only real guideline is to maximize profits. "Putting people first" is at best a PR line for these companies.

    Seattle, WA

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  668. helen cohen

    I'm willing to give up expensive experimental coverage if it means that others can be covered. That means I don't need a catscan every time I have a headache. I'm not really that special. I'm willing to get a mammogram every 3 years instead of every year if it means that others can be covered. Why me instead of her? I'm willing to give up watching commercials on t.v that hawk every drug imaginable for real or imagined deseases. And the medicines they hawk. I'm not really that sick. i'm willing to die in the normal course of living without expecting extraordinary intervention in the end. Cover the young self-employed. we're arguing about what our values as a society are going to be. where are we going to spend our money. how are we going to care for our people? Right now we have (metaphorically) half the country driving cadillacs and half without a bicycle. Couldn't we all drive fords?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  669. wm.s.reynolds

    Tony, I am so fed up with some of the nonsense and misinformation re the Canadian system...follows is a posting from my own blog...it is a bit long but the long and the short is that the Canadian system is good...and we are all covered.

    On Canadian Health Care

    Once Upon A Time

    In 1969, after the assassinations of M.L.K. and R.F.K.; followed by the monstrous democratic convention in Chicago; and with another undeclared war grinding on, crushing a country that barely had homegrown technology sufficient to manufacture a ball point pen; I decided it was time to consider alternatives. I went back to S.F. Haight-Ashbury…just in case…it was a mess…so I moved to Canada.

    I was a vet so I wasn't running from anything but I decided that I would rather have a share of my taxes going to something like say…a universal health care system…rather than more guns, bombs, helicopters. I moved to Canada and, have lived as American ex-patriot ever since; I still bleed red, white and blue but I do not regret my decision. I have lived as a landed immigrant in Canada since 1970.

    Health Care

    The birth of my first child in 1971 cost $2.00 (for a bracelet). My sisters ‘non-eventful’ child birth in the great state of Montana at the same time cost $800.

    My second child (approx. two years later) cost $0.00 (no bracelet)...my sister’s third ‘non-eventful’ child birth at about the same time cost $2,000.00.

    Eight years ago a large tumour was found in my wife's breast...surgery was booked and performed within two weeks followed by nine rounds of chemo and radiation. Today my wife is healthy and vital and the only costs have been the post treatment drugs my wife had to take as well as our vitamin bill. (A friend of mine in the states of approximately analogous income and insurance had her spouse engage with cancer and, despite decent health care, they will be paying for this treatment for at least as long as he lives. And if he lives another thirty years he will still be paying so pray for no more illnesses. Now this cannot happen in Canada!

    My wife and I subsequently bought additional private health insurance (yes we were approved, even with cancer in the picture) that also covers that medication. [(It also covers eye doctors, glasses, and most basic dental...it's a good deal) (There are also self insurance options-affordable-that would even cover our vitamins if they were prescribed by a Naturopathic or Chiropractic practitioner.)]

    Is the Canadian system perfect? No. Is it abused? Probably! Frankly most Canadians, not withstanding the cost, understand and willingly provide coverage to that small percentage of illegal or new immigrants that abuse the system. Why? Because it is the right thing to do! We do together what we cannot possibly do on our own and we can share a little.

    I am still an American and I feel great and indescribable pride that the country where I was born has evolved to the point where we have elected a black man...universal health care would be a supreme victory...keep that hope alive.

    It really should be a single payer system…Elizabeth Edwards has it right…this is not socialism, it is people working together to provide what they cannot afford separately. Social democracy works and it ain’t socialism so let that go.

    I have no idea who, if anyone will actually read these thoughts but I will keep writing because it is enjoyable to me, it is the right thing to do and now is the time.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  670. Frank Settineri Sparta, NJ

    Hi Tony,

    I'm very much opposed to ANY interference by the government regarding health care "reform". This reform is a euphemism for transferring trillions of dollars from taxpayers to the government bureaucrats.

    The system can be fixed by allowing free markets to run it – eliminate third party payers and let everyone buy their own, according to their own needs. When free markets reign prices go down. Look at Lasik surgery and Botox treatments. Both are paid for directly by consumers and in both instances the prices have decreased over the past five years. What third party costs have decreased? None.

    I propose promoting medical savings plans over insurance plans. Insurance should be for major medical (surgery, hospitalization) only. Get the government out of our pockets.

    Thank you,

    Frank Settineri

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  671. Elliot

    Tony,
    If I want to spend money on remodeling my home, I make budget cuts. Maybe I don't go on vacation that year. What am I willing to give for re-vamped health care? I'm willing to spend less on the defense budget.

    -Elliot
    from Hyde Park, Chicago, IL

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  672. Joseph Plachta

    I am willing to give the tax funded health care of all our elected and appointed repsentives that they are enjoying until a plan is put into place. This includes State and Federal.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  673. Unkeljack

    Doctors are ripping off the public. Most of them get filthy rich because of our sicknesses and death. I guess they took the Hippocritic oath to heart?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  674. TOM TAYLOR

    I don't want to offend anyone, but this is what should be done. Babies should not become American citizens unless one of the parents is an American citizen. No one should receive free health care unless they are an American citizen. I haveno idea how much this would save, but it would have to be in the billons of dollars.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  675. Roger in Kansas

    We already have enough programs in place that are poorly administered. Upsetting 250 million programs to get another 16 million added to the rolls does not make any form of sense. Most of the added cost will be administrative and not go to better or more care...

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  676. Kenneth

    I'm willing to give up the commercials that discuss Government getting between my Doctor and and my Health. Who are they kidding? I rather have a bureaucrat involved in my care than an someone who gets bonuses based on how much care they denied me. We've all heard the commercials with Canadians testifying about the delay they have had, but that happens in this country every day. It's done by the insurance companies who make Doctors waste time convincing them they should pay for procedures. Who says we have to have a system like the Canadians anyway? We're free to learn from their mistakes and use only what has worked. We can have an American system that works for Americans.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  677. Sherwood, Peekskill NY

    The very question shows CNN's bias and prejudice in this discussion, shows that you are acting as a Propaganda mouth piece for Obama's desired outcome. That is born out in your coverage of the issue in your news...where is the voice of those that oppose Universal (socialist) Health Care? You are doing a disservice to America in presenting only one side of this great debate.

    Why should I or any one else that already has health care have to giove up anything so that others can have coverage...isn't that out the gate the wrong approach? I have to have less coverage than I now have so that someone with none can have some? Further, why does Obama's plan cover ILLEGAL ALIENS?

    Lets have an honest debate, lets see CNN change this question, as it is fatally flawed.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  678. Leila

    from Fort Worth, TX
    I just saw what Michael Steele said regarding the health plan.
    I would like to ask Mr. Steele something:
    Why do you think you have your job? It is because of President Obama! You should be on your knees thanking President Obama! I see you have some gray hair so you're not a teenager. Why did the republican party just now feel you qualified for a position like this? Isn't this like the Lynch mentality? Pit the blacks AGAINST each other when it suits their purpose? Do you think you would have this position if McCain or Hillary Clinton were president?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  679. Ross W

    If we must take on more debt, why not saddle the cost of a healthcare overhaul by burdening those who are causing skyrocketing healthcare costs? Specifically, why not add a surcharge to cigarettes? Smoking is among the top causes of preventable disease. Adding a 5% surcharge to every pack of cigarettes would go a long way in providing revenue for healthcare reform. How about obesity? Why not tak unhealthy foods such as fast foods, foods high in fat, etc? Perhaps a nutrition council could create guidelines for which types of foods cause increase in diabetes, obesity, heart disease, etc. How about a surtax on moving violations or not wearing seat belts which are other preventable causes of injury?

    Surtaxing the above would have a twofold benefit of raising capital and curbing behaviors that lead to increased healthcare costs while not saddling those that take care of themselves with a massive tax.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  680. Joanna Hanes-Lahr

    For the sake of my children and grandchildren's future, economically and physically, I will accept higher taxes and the one payer system, and whatever President Obama decides is what it takes. I have benefited from reforms in my time that gave me, a woman, more opportunities and now it's time to pay back.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  681. Kristine Foster

    I also have diabetes but what I have given up is the idea that someone is going to do it all for me. No one not my doctor nor my government can do it all for me. I have decided to seek the answers for myself and have discovered that good nutrition is about 99.9999% of disease. I believe the very best thing that the government could for for everyone is to have free healthcare. However the government should also supplement that with education and teaching and yes enforcement of the teachings. We all owe it to each other to teach with love. After all when the Good Lord sewed Adam and Eve's loin cloths after the Garden of Eden fiasco HE did it out of love and compassion and mercy for them. He did NOT stick out HIS hand a say " a buck fifty please" That is what healthcare used to be all about folks not condominiums and silver mercedes and frequent flyer kickback miles!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  682. Pete Frantz, Lincoln, IL

    The question about health care is always stated in negative terms, when it should be positive. What will we gain?
    Our personal health care bills should go down if we do not have to pay costs inflated to cover unpaid bills incurred by people without health insurance. I have heard we may be paying $1,000 per year per family or more to cover costs incurred by those who cannot pay. We need to prominently state the current cost of paying for the uninsured.
    If we emphasize preventive medicine, we may prevent or minimize chronic illnesses that are so costly. We should significantly reduce emergency room visits by people who waited until they were in serious trouble before seeking medical help. Such people may have been treated with less cost before their situation became dire.
    We may be offered better health insurance plans than we have available now and, if not, we can keep what we have.
    Please keep our conversation positive and not give credence to misinformation that may be contained in comments by reading it on the air.
    Thanks,
    Pete Frantz

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  683. Bonney Ginett

    from forest hills, ny:
    What I am willing to give up is nothing...since being 54 years old and without any health insurance for over 15 years, and being unemployed for over a year leaves very little to give up. My health care consists of waiting until a situation get bad enough to go to the ER. THAT IS MY health care now. I will cost this government more money and my life may well be shorter because I do not have the option to get preventive care. So the question is moot for the millions of people in my position. And, I have huge objections to those in Congress (who are well fed, well employed, and well insured) badmouthing the very government they work for. Government was created for a reason...to regulate and provide those services that can be a benefit to all the people of the nation. Somewhere along the line, it seems to have been forgotten. It hurts to watch the evolution of this country to a society of haves and have nots. Yes, there will always be a small segment of poor, but the running wild of insurance and big business has put an awful lot of us a hair away from becoming permanently out of reach of staying middle class.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  684. Geri

    I work in the industry. Realize healthcare is just a business. As with any other business they must meet their bottom line, make profit, compensate shareholders, grow and deal with competition. I feel a serious analysis of how much profit payers and providers are making off of healthcare would be appropriate before asking the public how much we are willing to give up. Over the past few years we seem to have been the only one's giving up whether agreed or forced to. Let's see the "Healthcare's Business" profit before we run our familys into the poorhouse over health coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  685. Lynne

    I have great insurance, but if we don't work on this now, it's only going to get worse for ALL of us down the road. I don't understand those who don't want health insurance for everyone (how selfish). I don't understand those who don't want to improve the quality of insurance for all. I know it is VERY hard, but hard things can be accomplished. We could pay for this with a combination of things: a small tax increase on those who can afford it, taxes on items that are bad for us that we don't need to survive (soft drinks, cigs, snacks). One of our big health problems as a nation is our weight. Let's pay for health insurance and get ourselves off bad/fatty foods. The manufacturers of the bad foods can move to create healthier snacks. Why not?????

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  686. wjdingman

    I would give up all the profit margain of health insurance companies. The people who have more than one yaht, more than one "vacation" home, so on and so on should learn to curb their greed for the common good. Facts our in our country the poorest citizens donate more percentage of their money than the most wealthy. Also, during economic hardship these poor people reduce their giving by a less percentage than the wealthiest. REDISTRIBUTE

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  687. Charles Fountas

    Ask Congress And The House And our President to give up their health insurance plans , and get on the same plan they want us to go on THEN I WILL BE WILLING TO GIVE SOMETING UP!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  688. Rich Komorowski

    Yes, we need to provide coverge to the people who do not have coverage. For the people who do have coverage, and who are by and large satisified with their coveage, thru their employer- leave them alone. Second, you need to target the problem with health care coveage. Cover the people who need the coverage- don't overhaul the entire system. I am quite sure you can find wasteful spending with Medicaid, and apply that towards covering the uncovered. I have never been impressed with any government run program. If they were accountable to investors, and they existed as a business, they would have no one interersted in investing, and would be out of business in short order. We all have to budget ourselves today, it's time the government start balancing it's own, and quit asking for bailouts.

    Rich Komorowski

    Homer Glen Illinois

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  689. Loretta M. Craig

    I am reading up on the health care reform so that I can be more informative. Instead of getting bits and pieces of the reform in the media just to exploit it make the President look bad is getting frustrating. Why can't we understand that this all takes time. WE did not make this problem in 6 months so WHY DO THEY expect the President to FIX this problem in 6 months. Americans need to understand that and give the PResident and his team a chance.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  690. Judy (Park Falls, Wisconsin

    What many people don't seem to realize is that one way or the other you are going to pay for those who do not have health care coverage, whether in increased hospital costs (will cause an increase in your insurance premiums) in the work place (absenty employees due to preventative health care problem that are now a major illness) small businesses going out of business (can't make a go of it because of health care costs). I live in an area where many go without healthcare insurance and do not go for routine care. Then when they finally seek care they are really sick and sometimes terminally, then they go on Medicade and guess who pays for that. I support a national health care system would like to see all members of congress work together to accomplish this instead of spending so much time working their mouths in a political manner. They should do their job and work for their constituents.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  691. Wanda Mahfuz

    Tony,
    I definitely do not want any more government sponsored healthcare. Medicare and Social security are in disaray now. Is this what I want for my healthcare as I age? no-no-no!
    In addition, I live just outside of Atlanta now, but grew up in Detroit Michigan, so I have come in contact with many Catholic Democrats. I'm sure they don't, as I don't support using taxpayer money to pay for abortion. I intend to use my vote wisely come election time.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  692. Drew

    Im unwilling! I have already given up THOUSANDS of dollars on PREVENTATIVE CARE and Im not even sick! Many of us are already in debt because of our healthcare program. Now the only people complaining are the ones who have been profitting on this. The system is designed to yield high profits on ONE end ONLY. Now the tables are about to be turned and I think the corporations who have profited should now have to pay up.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  693. Wayne Smith

    There is a lot of good information that shows tax rates will not be adversely effected. Average tax rates for Canadians are approx. 35% with American rates approx 32%, yet the lower American rate doesn't consider local and state taxes. Overall, the rich pay more in the Canadian system, however this figure is not prohibitive. Also – to the GOP – McConnell is a pandering fearmonger, stating that the elderly get tossed in the snow. In Canada, emergency procedures are highest priority. The only procedures not covered by the Canadian system are the same not covered in America under managed care. The states need to realize that their overall medical burdens will diminish under a federal plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  694. Michael Brock

    I am willing to pay higher taxes, and higher co-pays in order for this country to finally provide health care for all.

    I also am sick of the mantra that reform will put a bureaucrat between you and your doctor, is that supposed to be worse than some nameless faceless insurance company that just does not want to spend any money at all to keep us well?

    I am tired of trying to believe insurance company's actually care. Maybe CNN can look into who get campaign funds from health insurance or pharmaceuticals. I bet is is mainly republicans

    July 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  695. Eileen

    I would be willing to give up providing health care coverage for members of Congress and their families for a minimum of one year in order to help them understand how important the crisis in medical care is for their constituents. Perhaps media would also participate by cutting heallth care benefits for journalists.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  696. Margo Straman

    I am willing to play slightly more taxes, but companies that offer benefits should get the money then and not the government. I don't believe anyone who is not a citizen should be covered by this. When and if they become a citizen, then they can pay the extra tax to get the coverage. On the other side, doctors and hospitals should have a standard rate they can charge. Currently they bill one amount if you have no insurance, approximately have that amount if you have excellent coverage, etc. This is not right. It should be one rate. If they can see someone for $57.00 out of pocket before deductibles are met, then everyone should be charged this. I see in no insurance charges for the same visit our $99.00 and up! You can't sell the same thing at a higher price to poor or uninsured. (Only the government is stupid enough to pay 100 x the cost to an individual for something). Tell us what the plans are, cost, etc. We just hear 50% of our money in taxes.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  697. Lucy

    I'm willing to give up my Senator here in TX. The one I'm willing to give up and did not vote for is John Cornyn and don't forget our Governor Rick Perry. Both of these elected officials have done nothing to help the working poor and some middle class citizens of TX. Those who have health care via their jobs or because they are so wealthy they can afford their own don't have to go to the emergency room or stand in a mile long line for free medical and dental care. The bottom line is the haves verses the have nots. We need new Senators with modern day ideas that work for all citizens and not just the wealthy or certain citizens. What do our elected officials actually do? I think the news media should investigate each state Governor, Senator and Congressmen and find out if they are actually working like the rest of us.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  698. Egberto Willies

    Any serious illness can *arbitrarily* affect any citizen. In fact it could easily consume a family's entire savings. As a country we should make healthcare a right that we should all be responsible for paying for in some form. I am willing to pay more taxes for peace of mind of knowing my family's savings is safe. Private insurance's maximum payout caps and high administritive costs have failed to protect us and failed to be any real insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  699. Kyle

    Give up? Please tell me your joking! Why pay for another government bureaucracy that is going to be as effective as the DMV. Besides, I don't think it's good for our government determining which lives are worth living or not worth living. That's called "values clarification" and has been ruled illegal. Now our government thinks it's not enough to tell us to sacrifice our money, we have to sacrifice our aging parents (including my sick mother) and possibly our children because our government is now or will be practicing a glorified version of "values clarification" (which lives are worth living and which lives are not worth living) by acting as the insurance company. Imagine if it was your opposing political party telling you whether you should live or not. You're all willing to risk that? I want to see which politician is going to switch their care or their family's care to this "public option." That will be telling.
    The solution: Tort reform and not allowing ILLEGAL immigrants to abuse our health care system by stealing health care (and guess who gets to pay for it?)

    July 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  700. Diana,council bluffs iowa

    my daughter is a diabetic and cant get her shots ,4 a day. The Statue of Liberety ,GIVE ME YOUR POOR AND SICK.Iam ashamed of my country. The senators that are voting against it should be ashamed!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  701. Ray Ragusa

    You all better be willing to give up seeing your doctor on a timely basis (almost impossible now) or spending much time face to face with your doctor. Simple math formula:

    x=current number of primary care doctors
    y=current number of insured

    y/x=patients per primary care doctor (currently)
    (y+47,000,000)/y=patients per primary care doctor (proposed)

    Without more doctors, all of this is doomed whether we could pay for it or not!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  702. Stan

    I would be willing to pay more taxes, as long as all the Dems, Repubs, and the President himself, are the first to sign themselves and their families up on a unviersal health care program. That means no more special treatment just because they are a Congressman, Senator, or The President.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  703. Ralph Kimball

    Insurance companes are already denying services. What is new? The Insurance loby is too strong and buying off the Congress!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  704. JoAnn Lipe

    A better question might be, "What is congress willing to give up?" Are they willing to give up their health plan and agree to use the "new public health plan" they expect the rest of us to be happy with? When congress starts agreeing to use this plan and they clean up some of the corruption in medicare and medicaid, then maybe they will be qualified to change the health care system and expect us to agree to giving up our plan. When that happens, I will give up my plan and willingly pay the taxes required.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  705. Thomas

    What ever happened to the great American can do spirit? If the rest of the civilized world can take care of their citizens why can't this country? classism, racism? We already pay for the uninsured through emergency room visits as primary care, etc. Why not tax a nickel per beer or glass of wine to help pay for the healthcare like we do with tobacco?

    Thanks Thomas

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  706. Dorman McGann

    Tony, I am 69 years old and I don't want to give up anything for Health care reform. I live on SS and have my own insurance on top of Medicare, I belive that if I can do it anyone can if they choose to. Of course I don't have a new car or a huge TV and some of the toys that everyone seems to need more than a good insuance plan. I live in Hobbs, New Mexico.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  707. LYDIA MAGANUCO, WALNUT, CALIFORNIA

    The question is "Why should anyone give up anything for "Health Care reform?" You don't swap to get health care. We are all entitled to health care no matter what our financial status is. My husband and I are on Medicare using Kaiser Permenante as our provider and they are terrific. They have everything that President Obama is proposing, preventive medicine, low co-pay, low perscrliption cost, and low test cost. We didn't have to give up anything to get this type of care. The insurance providers can not play "Doctors" making the decision whether or not you need a procedure. That should be up to your "Doctor".

    Lydia, Walnut, California

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  708. Karen

    So many people are saying "I don't want the government to control my healthcare" My response.. "Healthcare companies already control your healthcare .. it called denial of benefits." If you don't want the government controlling your healthcare don't choose the public OPTION plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  709. aurra

    rather than ask me what I am willing to give up, we need to know more about every option. Like your guest Anita just said, " I cant compare something with nothing right now."

    This plan is too obscure to know what I am willing to give up before I know what I can expect to receive. I am willing to help in taxes, but I am not willing to give up my family's health plan for another family. GIVE US SOME ANSWERS!!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  710. Vicki E

    I would be willing to pay a higher income/payroll tax. I would also be willing to utilize a portion of my small property for stress reduction, health education, and smoking recession workshops. Programs that are prevention oriented.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  711. Dan

    Americans should not have to give up anything to reform crooked insurance companies. People are LYING and trying to scare people from reforming health care. Congressmen and Senators are PAID OFF by insurance companies to stop health care reform. They are paid off by lobbyists. It's not a big secret. Insurance companies have money to run SCARE ADS on television and campaign against health care reform.

    Americans should have access to affordable health care. Let me guess. The Republicans and some Democrats won't be able to read the bill. Reading is fundamental. If they had improved education, maybe they would be able to read the bills and do the jobs they were elected to do. It's amazing to me that they debate the bills but pretend to not know what is in the bills when it is time to vote on them. "Ohhhhh, how will we ever read all of this?" What drama queens. "Ohhhh look at all this print, and how thick this bill is? Ohhhhhhhhhhh no." What a clown show. If it is too expensive, they should find ways to cut costs instead of being losers and QUITTING a month before the bill is due. Republicans who say they just want to "get it right" just don't want to do it. "Getting it right" is just a delay tactic so that it doesn't get done at all.

    Congressmen and Senators who gave up on health care can kiss it in the next election.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  712. JEP

    You guys lean to the Democrats, and it is obvious. I am an Independent and I am unemployed and have health care issues, cancer being one of them, though it is curable. I have other health issues and my spouse has had open heart surgery, and we have children in college. However, I do not want anyone voting on this issue until that representative certifies that he or she has READ the bill, and I do not mean their assistants have read the bill...why not put the assistants in office if you are asking them to give interpret the information. Taxes are going to be so high that I do not know who will be able to pay them, employees or employers. However, if you run the employers out of business because they cannot afford the insurance and/or taxes, then there will be no employees. This is not an issue that anyone understands, and reflecting after reading on the issue is important. We have a Declaration of Independence that was written by people who actually read and reflected, before voting. Where is it posted for normal citizens to read it, and if we do, which representative will really listen to us. Most appear to be caught up in Obama's ability to sell whatever he has to sell.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  713. Jim Schibik

    Don't you find it odd that the one sector of the US that has socialized medicine (Congress) keeps telling the rest of us how bad it is? Is Congress willing to put their medical needs in the same system that they are willing to filtch on us?
    I am willing to give up half of the Congressional staff, the billions of dollars we are spending in Iraq on THEIR medical needs, and the Dept. of Defense's budget expenditures to design equipment that we never buy e.g. F23 thru F33 that we paid at least to design. If you believe that health care is a right under the Constitution, let's put EVERY American on Medicare and quit trying to invent a capitalist medical system that provides a modicum of care while making the top 10% wealthiest individuals even richer.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  714. Dustin Collier

    It's a myth that we're "giving up" anything. I would rather have a public servant making my healthcare decisions than a private claims "adjuster" any day (and I have two health insurance plans). Also, any public plan can drastically cut down on the administrative costs currently spent by insurance companies (upwards of 30% of costs)

    I'm also tired of this "ask a Canadian about universal healthcare" argument from the right wing. How about instead we ask ALL Canadians: of all the countries that have adopted universal healthcare, how many have gone back? The answer, to my knowledge, is none, and that means more than any anecdotal evidence of dissatisfaction. You pick any law and I'll find someone who doesn't like it; that doesn't make it bad policy!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  715. Rob Nelson

    A good start would be getting rid of a worthless United Nations.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  716. furnie

    How much is the defense budget, 680 billion? Why not give up some of that or how about using the money we just saved when we stopped building those F22's? It seems to me that the average working class and poorest americans have given up quite enough already.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  717. john bourne harbour

    you keep mentioning that you are trying to stay away from the noise– how can americans not hear the noise? if the walls need to come crumbling down for america to hear the noise then so be it– it is time to make noise– america needs to stand up together and take care of one another once and for all– no one should be "left behind"– it is time for americans to start acting more like angels and less like humans– the fact that healthcare for all is even debated should make americans ashamed–

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  718. Jamie from LA

    I work in the healthcare industry. Every time the government regulates a procedure, the price goes up. The regulations seem to be more about legal protection than patient safety. The money spent on defending the medical community against lawsuits is a large part of the cost of healthcare. Is this being addressed?

    I'm also hearing about the caps on expenses for individuals. Where is the money going to come from to cover the costs? The costs are already inflated to cover the expenses of those not paying their bills.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  719. Kimberly Haugstad

    I'm willing to pay more in taxes to support better health care in America.

    Are we carefully considering rare, chronic, expensive diseases in health care reform? Are we factoring in those most at risk, most vulnerable?

    We forget as a society that we're all just one step away from being "next" in a health crisis. I'd like to see all Americans step up to be supportive of those in need and push congress and the administration to make sure health care reform happens in a way that protects citizens of this country. We can all pitch in a little to make that happen!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  720. Aaron

    What bothers me is that Republicans (specifically RNC Chairman Michael Steele) are saying that if this Health Care bill passes, taxpayers will be paying to cover the 46 million uninsured Americans, 10-12 million of whom are illegal immigrants. But the point is, we're ALREADY paying for them! And we're paying more than we need to, because instead of going to clinics, they go to the ER where they know they will be treated.

    And because of Bush's tax cuts, the rich and the poor are both paying the price. It's not good for our economy, and it's not morally right.

    "If we can stop Obama on this, it'll be his Waterloo. It will break him."
    Republicans need to stop playing politics, and start helping our country.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  721. Scott Stodden

    Tony Im willing to give up whatever it takes to get healthcare legislation passed and signed into law. President Obama's healthcare legislation is a great proposal, if you dont have healthcare or want a cheaper healthcare plan then its a choice, its not socialism, canadian goverment run health care its a choice. If you want to keep your current health plan then you can what is so hard to understand. These politicans are trying to scare the American people with all these myths. To pay for this proposal the best thing to do is raise taxes on the rich who make $250,000 or more this would cover the costs of healthcare and also use money that has already been put into the system. This is the best healthcare plan that can be made available to everybody.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    July 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  722. ryder

    I'd be willing to give up every biased legislator, president, czar, and journalist who have no idea as to how to pay for this monster, i.e., CNN, NBC, NPR. I have heard (not from CNN) hidden on page 425 is a stipulation that one's health care will be rationed as a function of one's age: that is blatantly an example of agism and is unconstitional.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  723. Judi K. Plummer

    I've worked in the healthcare industry for over 20 years. I've worked in various capacities and with 3 different insurance companies. I feel I have an unique perspective on this issue. My employer is one of the largest insurance companies in the U.S. My co-workers and I have been encouraged via emails and company web sites to contact our Congressional representatives on this issue. The company's viewpoint is that a government option is not needed. Of course, we are not being told which way to go, but it's obvious their intention is for the employees to go along with the company's philosophy. I, however, know that the government option is absolutely necessary to force large companies to stay competitive. It makes me crazy when I hear Republican's saying you don't want your government coming between you and your doctor. Are they serious? What do they think the policies chosen by our employer's do? We aren't given many options, except who we want to cover and if we want dental or vision. I wish Michael Steele had my HRA or HSA plan which are the only two options given hourly employees at my company. He doesn't even know who his carrier is. Does that sound like someone to whom health insurance is a major issue? I think not. I envy my parents' Medicare coverage. An $110 deductible and $1068 for a hospital stay? The majority of members covered by my company would love to have that option. Statements given by people who have always had coverage and are healthy mean nothing to me. It's easy to sit back when the RNC and the government pays for you and your family for life and these issues don't affect your everyday life, but here in the real world, these are life and death issues. Health insurance coverage is not just rhetoric to the average American. Don't rush this issue? Wow, have we not been waiting since before the Clinton administration for health care reform? When will it ever be time? When you child is diagnosed with cancer? I wonder how many of these "slow down" philosophy minded congressmen and women would be so lackadaisical if it was their loved ones' lives on the line?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  724. Rob Nelson

    The best part of a health bill would be mandating senators and congressmen and their families to partake of what they legislate

    July 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  725. Tony

    Tony, I’m willing to give what the Politicians are willing to give up.

    The new public health care plan should require the following:
    1. The Executive and Legislative branch of government to participate in the same plan.
    2. All presidential appointees should have to take the same plan.
    3. Any add-ons or supplements to the health plan should be paid for by private not public funds.

    If you have to live the by the plan you develop and manage, I’m sure we will all be ok when its all done.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  726. Jean

    47 million americans dont have health care, but half of those people are either illegal immigrants, or can afford healthcare but just dont wanna spend their money on it.

    I dont want to pay taxes, suffer a worse plan, and be delayed to pay for plans for people who can afford it themselves or for illegal immigrants who dont pay taxes.

    STOP ASKING MORE FROM AMERICANS THAN YOU ARE WILLING TO OFFER US IN INFORMATION. That goes for CNN, Obama, AND Congress.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  727. David B. Hayes

    The employers are cutting the employees hours to part time status to avoid from having to provide health insurance. Most employers only offer a health insurance plan to full time employees.

    David B. Hayes
    Palm Coast, FL

    July 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  728. Todd Jensen, Alexandria Minnesota

    What am I willing to give up? I've already watched my employer health care plan grow dramatically in price while going down in effectiveness. Do I believe as a middle class citizen that Obama's health care plan will help me? Absolutely not! Do I believe it will help the nation as a whole? Absolutely not! Do I believe that Obama will bully this through even if it's at the cost of the entire nation? ABSOLUTELY!

    We're asked to believe that the government led by Obama will be able to find savings and pay for this without massive tax increases. Yet we've watch government waste being reported daily for years. It's time for government, and this president to stop insulting our intelligence.

    What am I willing to give up? I give up believing our President and Representatives actually have a clue what the American public wants or needs.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  729. Jay in Camden

    You CAN keep your current plan/doctor UNTIL YOU MAKE ANY CHANGE IN STATUS. !! ANY !! You will be forced to change to a public option for anything as simple as a new address, newly married, change of position within the company, have a baby, get diviorced, when out-of-pocket expenses exceed matching deductible amount during any plan year, choose to upgrade/downgrade plan options, etc... Any change at all automatically triggers a public option enrollment with HEAVY FINANCIAL PENALTIES FOR NON-COMPLIANCE! Please America, read at least 780 pages of the 1100+ page bill. It doesnt work for middle America.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  730. Evelyn Swart

    I would like to give up the hundreds of pages of pharmaceutical advertising in the magazines I read and the embarrassing commercials on television regarding solutions to body function problems. I would be willing to have a reasonable cap on medical malpractice suits. I would be very pleased to give up the high powered insurance company advertising pressuring me to contact my congressmen and tell them not to vote for health care reform. I am willing to pay more taxes to allow less privileged to have health care.
    My private health care insurance company is dropping my supplemental policy because I am over 65.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  731. Steve

    I'm not willing to give up anything. I'm retired (disabled) military, and the government owes me free healthcare for life!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  732. charly

    It should be a requirement that all members of congress who are opposed to government run healthcare, drop their current government-run congressional healthcare and start paying for private insurance. The truth is, they enjoy the very same healthcare that they want to deny us! John McCain continues to warn how the government will only screw up our healthcare system - and yet HE enjoys government run healthcare right now, for himself and his family. As far as paying for it all, the US GOVERNMENT should activate and control a few of the restricted drilling areas along the coasts - and NOT TURN it over to private control. All monies collected from restricted area production should go back into the federal government's till to shore up healthcare, medicare, infrastructure....etc. Restricted areas are equivalent to public parks and lands and should never be exploited by private oil companies for profit. Any profits should go back into the federal government. This is not taking away anything from the private oil companies. They have their wells and drilling leases - this is simply controlling RESTRICTED drilling.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  733. Lennie Morrison

    I am willing to let my employer switch all employees to a public option healthcare plan so he can save money on the employee's healthcare costs. Then he will be able to afford to give me a salary increase.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  734. Randy capps

    how much money would be raised if every working person had 2 dollars taken out of thier paychecks each week? We could have the socail secuity administration extract the funds.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  735. Pete Phillips

    I would like to be able to change jobs and be covered under my new employer health plan Page 16 of the bill says that private insurers cannot sell to anyone not currently covered by them. Would I be forced to the public plan?
    I would like to see that Gov't elected officials and Govt employees are covered under the same provisions that the general public will be forced to. How is this dealt with?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  736. Tom

    I'd gladly pay an additional 1 cent tax on everything I buy including internet sales. That's a way for everybody to pay the cost.

    Tom
    Odessa, TX

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  737. Mildred Barrentine

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes to have health care. I had health insurance on my job and I had cancer and had to have surgery. When I returned to work after the surgery my hours were reduced and I lost my health insurance. Now I am considered having a pre existing condition so I can't get covered and cannot have the tests my doctor says I need. My husband was also covered on my insurance so now we both have no insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  738. Judi K. Plummer

    Yes, I'm willing to pay taxes on my insurance premiums. If the average family pays $700 per month and it's taxed 10%, that's $70. Come on, that's $17.50 per week. Isn't that what most of us pay for fast food per week? A small sacrifice per week would be well worth it to me to insure a fair opportunity for all Americans to have access to health insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  739. Hilde

    I am happy with Medicare. I can go to any Doctor I like. Based on
    this I am for National Health Care for all Americans. Instead of
    Co-pays and secondary insurance I would rather pay a little
    higher tax.

    All my friends are worried that they cannot see their Doctor anymore
    with Govt run health care. They are stuck in the past with closed minds.

    I hope the President will be successful to put his program forward.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  740. Frances

    I'm willing to give up putting my life in the hands of the Republican Party who want a health care program that says F U, I'm in the lifeboat.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  741. Bill Domina

    Hi Tony,
    Two comments on your coverage of the health care issue this noon.

    First, you need to ask the Senators, Congressmen, and White House officials if they will exempt themselves from whatever requlations end up in the legislation. The Kennedy Bill and the House bill currently exempt these "elites" from the misery to come. If it is not good enough for them then you should perk up your ears to this scam and report it as such.

    Second, the fact check on Michael Steele's comment about his grandmother being denied a hip replacement simply dismissed it as not in the bill. The issue you as a journalist should ask is does this actually occur in places where this type of socialized plan exists. Surely you know this is occurring (not only for hips) in England and Canada.

    You ask what I would give up and I ask you, would you let your child die if the plan did not cover the needed procedure? I already pay enough in taxes, government needs to go after tort reform and waste and be effective before I would trust any of them.

    Best Regards,
    Bill

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  742. Ferdy

    Every medical facility is complaining about treating all of the people without insurance that use the Emergency Rooms instead of private physicians..Well, want this insurance coverage that the President is trying to put together will ensure that everyone is paid, even those Emergency Rooms? No one is talking about this. After all, we are paying for these uninsured people now. To me, this is a great plan and how else can we take care of these people? Let's not forget about the patient dumping syndrome that many hospitals are doing...

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  743. Michelle

    Tony, first let me say that you are doing a great job & keep it up.

    As to the question, I asked my husband last night & his response was,"why should I have to give up anything. How about the members of the house and senate, their staffs, and the rest of the government employees start giving up something first & then I'll follow"

    He also went on to say that he'd be willing to switch to a government run health program so that all of us have coverage.

    Let me add to this, that probably the only person that should have "better" insurance coverage in a government run plan is the president. Not the VP, Speaker of The House, & down the line.

    Michelle & Robert
    Chicago, IL

    July 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  744. Jim Rynearson

    Looking at the upward curving trend lines, we have to do something now. A vast majority of personal bankruptcies in the US are due to medical bills. As costs go up, insurance will pay for less and drop more people from the roles. This will continue to grow until it affects someone in your family.

    I would be willing to give up the DEA to afford health care. Prohibition doesn't work - imagine saying alcohol, tobacco, or caffeine is illegal. We spend billions each year in order to drive up the cost of illegal drugs in the US. And who do we arrest and put in jail? Marijuana users.

    Let's control, but decriminalize, drugs and stop sending billions of consumer dollars and government dollars overseas that ultimately creates drug cartels in Mexico, Afghanistan, Columbia, and elsewhere.

    I'm a non-drinker and don't use illegal drugs. I came to this lifestyle thanks to help and support of friends and family and a strong personal conviction - NOT because drugs are illegal.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  745. carolyn in cincinnati

    Being 63, I have seen the fouling of the environment causing much more cancer than my mothers generation. Never heard of young women getting all these cancers. Breast cancer was an age related disease. Even oncologists have noticed a great increase. If this country's relaxed rules on manufacturing has caused this epidemic and McDonalds mentality is causing Diabetes and production of more expensive medications has the same action but more side effects than the older now generic medications, than we need to reform the whole way of getting and funding health care. The health care was never good 40 years ago and even than if you were young and healthy would get good insurance. The reason medicare came into play because health insurance companies did not want to insure older people because of the cost. Well everyone will be eventually old and that is when they will need the more expensive care. We wouldn't be having this discussion if more of the younger people were not getting devastating diseases. anyhow I would pay for added use tax like in Canada or increased payroll tax especially for those who do not pay payroll tax over the 101,000 limit. Also stop frivolous medical insurance cases. Because a doctor does not anticipate a heart attach or pick up on a every disease out there right away, the patient should not have access to file a law suite to make money. Doctors are not gods and can not stop and find every disease. The lawyers are making money out of malpractice cases causing malpractice insurance to go through the roof.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  746. Ruth Fontaine

    Hello Tony,

    What I have given up: I reduced my own costs by giving up coverage for minor problems and choosing a version of my plan that has a couple of modest out-of-pocket options for annual preventive care or screening ($75 or $150) depending upon which choice I want. This reduces the cost to the insurance company, and may make resources available to other patients.

    I don't go to doctors for minor problems. If I did need to do that, I would have to pay out-of pocket (up to $1000). However, if I had a major problem, I would be covered after the deductible, with a 20% co-pay, and a cap on the maximum our-of-pocket cost. Then the insurance pays the whole cost.

    I think the most important thing to give up is the free-reign that the major insurance companies have to conspire to fix payments at the lowest possible level, and to make profits for themselves and their stockholders. They have plead guilty to RICOH charges. They had no competition, because all ten of the major players got together to fix prices and payments.

    I think that an effective government-sponsored plan that offers choices and cuts waste can set a standard of excellence and cost-containment that would prompt competition from the RICOH gang. Either clean up or get out. Believe this: They do not want this, and will use all their resources to defeat it.

    Medicare and Medicaid are not good models. We need something new.

    The public plan, as I understand it, would not be "socialized" medicine, nor would be "run" by the government. The government's role is to support the start-up costs of establishing the new plan, and making the quality and cost-saving changes.

    Don't cry to me about "free enterprise." We have seen what that has brought us–in health care and in our financial institutions. And precedents already exist: Medicare and Medicaid.

    Employers can offer more than one plan, and to commit to a particular contribution. If the employee wants a more expensive plan, the employee's contribution would be greater.

    Regards,
    Just Plain Ruth

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  747. jessie waclawski franklin park n.j.

    In order to get the same taxpayer funded healthcare that all Washington Polititians enjoy,I would be willing to pay extra taxes on the unhealthy types of fast food and junk things that we all seem to buy and enjoy, and actually do not need.With this type of tax, I believe the U.S.could fund healthcare and more.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  748. Charles

    I am willing to give up the palace like hospitals with their expensive artwork and fancy designs. In fact I will give up these fancy buildings of insurance companys and drug companies. These buildilngs are temples to the success of greed.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  749. Daniel C. Nwasokwa

    Health Care reform can be paid for by taxing major items that are known to be unhealthy. I'm sure there are a lot more of such item, not just soda.

    This is a kind of "tough love" decision that will better ensure people's good health (through prevention) as well as help finance the health care of all. Even those currently addicted to such items will eventually come to appreciate this tax-disincentive for bad consumption.

    Thanks.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  750. Herb Smith

    I thought the american way as far as capitalism is concerned was based on competition . If we can incentivize the current health care system with a private option to lower cost , well that's the american way as I 've been led to understand it .
    Herb Smith , self employed musician who has health care throuhgt my wifes job with wyeth Pharm . Her job is being phased out Wyeth was bought by Piser . I can 't afford Blue Xross myself

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  751. James T Hamilton

    No taxes until we can prove that we can lower/or get control of our current health care costs.

    We must do the following first.

    Health Care Question/Statement

    I agree with the Blue Dog Democrats

    • Controller Cost First, then incentives, and finally as a last resort add taxes
    o Automation
    o Limitation of Duplications
    o Reform the Medicare Billing System (I have first hand knowledge of this mess.
    o Get a handle on Drug Costs

    o Then Provide incentives to Doctors, Care Providers and Patients who meet certain goals that help reduce health care costs

    I have a grave concern that if we don’t do the above items first and go directly to increased taxes that we could fall further into the current recession that we in.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  752. Larry Farrell

    I have been on Medicaid since Feb '09 for extensive small cell lung cancer. Without this govt. run program, I'd be dead now. In Washington state this works quite well, so I do not believe naysayers who shun govt. involvement in health care reform. I am tired of politicians who oppose President Obama's policy, as Congress has had years to do this without someone holding their respective feet to the fire. Congress needs to act now, before lobbyists pollute the factual waters with yet more rhetoric and campaign contributions. Peoples' lives are at stake here, and Congress wants to do nothing to offend their "golden goose" lobbyists in the health care industry. Man-up and vote!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  753. Kate in Phoenix, AZ

    This is asking me what I would do to let my friends and family live long healthy lives. ANYTHING. I would pay more taxes, work more, volunteer more. I barely make enough to pay my own bills right now (>$15k/yr), and I'm willing to give. Why won't the rich snap out of it and pay up? They, after all, helped create all these lousy low-paying jobs that don't give people access to good health benefits.

    I have a close friend who is 29 and very ill. She has thyroid cancer. She lost her job where she made about $50k and had decent health benefits about 8 months ago. Her unemployment has run out, and, after MONTHS of trying she finally got a job making about $8 but can only get scheduled for 12 hours a week. That's not even enough to pay rent let alone her for food and her health care needs.

    She can't afford her medications and cannot get on medicaid (she's tried twice in the last few months). Our state and local programs are overburdened and underfunded in the current fiscal crisis. She purchased a private plan recently that won't cover her cancer treatments because it's a pre-existing condition. Now, she can't afford food.

    What would I give? I am already paying for her. I buy her food because my fellow countrymen and women are failing to help her pay for a basic right. I, however, am losing my job in December, and I won't be able to help her with basic food needs much longer.

    I know two other families who have declared bankruptcy because of medical bills. One of them ended up homeless for a period of three years.

    THIS is the greatest nation? I beg to differ. If it was, we wouldn't even be debating this.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  754. Karen

    I would be willing to pay a tax on junk food and drinks.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  755. R.A. Dymond

    It is quite obvious we must give up something, or pay a tax on something, such as even more cigarette tax.
    I would like to hear what the Canadians out there really think. The ones that I know are all very happy with their system. Then, I see these commericals trying to scare us silly away for the Canadian style system. I am paying a small fortune a month for private insurance, and I'm healthy. I can not write off the premiums in taxes either.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  756. Theresa

    I am willing to give up $1200 a month premiums, yearly premium increases and at the same time rising co-pays and deductibles. I would gladly give up having the thought run through my head "how are we gonna pay for these" when my childs doctor tells me that my child needs a major brain surgery. I would also be willing to give up knowing that when my husband is offered a better paying job we can't accept it because my child has a pre-existing condition and we can't afford to lose our insurance. I would not mind paying more taxes if it brings my overall healthcare cost down because in the end that is a savings to me and it is only right that everybody should be able to recieve care when they need it.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  757. Doug from Ontario

    I live in Ontario Canada. Our universal health care system is not perfect ...yes, there are delays for some people for some services...... but people here do not lose their homes and life savings to pay for health needs. Basic fundamental health care is available to everyone, regardless of income, and social status.

    Recently a woman from this province has been seen on campaigns in the US media, citing her situation (brain tumor) as an example of why the system doesn't work ...... apparently she paid $100,000 for health services in the US rather that risk the waiting time delay here. First of all, that's fine IF you have access to those financial resources ..... most people do not. Second, there is no certainty that the delay would have resulted in her death. While there will be cases and examples of tragic situations where delays and waiting times are a factor, people here do have access to health services and do not forego proper health care needs because of lack of insurance or financial resources.

    Sure, we pay higher taxes for this assurance of universal health care; but the quality of life it provides and the health security benefits are wqorth it. A healthy population is a more productive population ..... good for the economy. Healthy workers means income security, and for employers, a reliable healthy work force.; There is plenty of evidence ot support this.

    An issue for public health care ..... the big private insurance companies are going to lose business. You have enormous lobbying forces promoting their interests.

    Like many countries, we do have a shortage of doctors ..... which is part of what is contributing to delays and waiting times. Public health insurance may limit physician billing, and of course, that won't be well received. There's another powerful lobbying force. For the average citizen, it is important to realioze the powerful interests and stakeholders who do not want to see public health insurance ....... because it affects their interests .......... regardless of the health benefits.

    Our system in Canada is not perfect, and it is costly. But one woman's story is not the real picture. Universal public health insurance is good for the whole population and those with the courage to introduce this to the US should be supported and applauded.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  758. Mildred Barrentine

    Marianna, Florida

    I would be willing to pay higher taxes to have health care. I had health insurance on my job and I had cancer and had to have surgery. When I returned to work after the surgery my hours were reduced and I lost my health insurance. Now I am considered having a pre existing condition so I can’t get covered and cannot have the tests my doctor says I need. My husband was also covered on my insurance so now we both have no insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  759. GARY CONOVER

    TONY I LOST MY JOB DUE TO INJURY BUT BEING A VIETNAM VETERAN I WAS ELIGIBLE FOR VA COVERAGE FOR HEALTH CARE. I HAVE BETTER CARE AND AM TREATED WITH RESPECT AND HAVE MUCH SHORTER WAIT TIMES THAN WHEN I HAD PRIVATE INSURANCE AND USED THE PRIVATE HOSPITAL SYSTEM. I HAVE NOT WAITED MORE THAN 1 HOUR IF I HAD AN SCHEDLED APPOINTMENT AT VA. I HAVE WAITED UP TO 12 HOURS TO SEE A DOC AT PRIVATE HOSPITAL AND THATS WITH AN APPOINTMENT. THE GOVERNMENT CAN RUN A QUALITY HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  760. Bob Dixon

    Tony,

    I will give up my existing insurance to take the health care plan of the members of Congress and Senate.

    Please start asking every guest from Congress and Senate why they are exempting themselves in the legislation? And do not let them pump smoke for an answer – if they won't answer cut them off –

    But I am looking forward to giving up my health insurance and getting onto the same health care system they use.

    Bob Dixon

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  761. Jacquie Whiting

    I am on Medcare and I want to know why we need medcare after we get a national health care plan.We don't need two national health plans old or young!!!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  762. Will Turner

    I am Vietnam Vet. I discovered I had cancer in 2007. I could not get healthcare coverage for me or my family. I am lucky that the VA treated me and I survived. Now I cannot get coverage in the open market. There are millions like me.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  763. Cindy New Port Richey, fl

    I am already giving up my Republican affilation, due to the absolute total mess we have caused this country. My beliefs have been proven wrong, and I now know that the Republican Party truly does not care about middle class America. I have given up 40 years of obviously narrow minded thinking, what else can I give?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  764. Daniel C. Nwasokwa

    Health Care Reform can be paid for by taxing major items that are known to be unhealthy. I'm sure there are a lot more of such item, not just soda.

    This is a kind of "tough love" decision that will better ensure people's good health (through prevention) as well as help finance the health care of all. Even those currently addicted to such items will eventually come to appreciate this tax-disincentive for bad consumption.

    Thanks.

    Daniel Nwasokwa
    Brooklyn, New York.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  765. thomas ayton

    This is a moral question! and i will give up my share of taxes to help my fellow citizens! If more people felt this way instead of the normal me, me my attitude, that we are hearing from the right! Once again they will go to any length to create fear to keep the status quo that has draged this country under for the last 50 years!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  766. Sue Anne Lewis

    Sue Anne Lewis
    Cheraw, SC 29520
    843/537-7975
    WHAT AM I WILLING TO GIVE UP?:
    – Seeing our tax dollars going to fund 2 wars in which our military are
    dying
    – Being subjected to TV ads for the medical Community(Cancer Ctrs.
    of America); drugs (viagra, etc.); charities (Special Olympics)
    – Having employers being in the insurance business (pay the
    `employee 1/2 of what it costs the company and let the employee
    carry the rest of the cos)
    – My tax dollars going to pay the salaries of Congressmen who do
    nothing for their constituents and who prefer to play politics. I'm
    sure they are unwilling to give up the lobby $$ that funds their
    campaigns.
    – My $$ that is currently witheld from Social Security to pay for
    Medicare Parts A & B. Roll that $$ into the new Universal Plan.
    – My $$ that funds the Congress' health plan. The "new"
    comprehensive plan for "all" should take care of them also. If it
    does not, we are sure to see improvements post haste.
    – Give up being subjected to TV ads which are nothing more than
    "scare tactics" about socialized medicine, the Canadian Plan, the
    U.K. Plan, etc. That $$ could be better spent by supporting the
    Plan that is being developed for everyone.
    – Shall I continue? There are many ways to "skin a cat." I'd gladly
    give up being subjected to the lying, nay sayers who have done
    nothing to support this initiative and who feel it is their "political

    July 22, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  767. Marilyn

    What would I give up? Apparently we are willing to give up a house or luxury vehicle. My son is an insulin-dependent diabetic and the only insurance he can get is what is offered at his work. He needs an out-patient procedure done and some minor surgery. The estimated out-of-pocket costs for those two things is approximately $30,000.00-$40,000.00. That's AFTER insurance. That alone should tell people that the healthcare system needs to be reviewed. But, should the government be in charge of our health? I don't believe so. They just need to review the insurance companies to force them to cover individuals who cannot otherwise get adequate insurance.
    Marilyn – Metro Atlanta

    July 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  768. Roger Farinha

    I am willing to pay for my health insurance mandatorily like I do for car insurance. I believe that if all citizens are required to have insurance, it will reduce costs overall, so I support this mandate as well. I believe healthcare should be a basic right related to our constitutional right to life. I don't ideally support the profit motive connected to heal care but I do have the realistic opinion that in our present world economy, the profit motive is our best method for obtaining optimal efficiency. I therefore disagree with the government option for healthcare and I support rather a voucher system attached to all citizens to purchase their health insurance, and, most importantly, a government system or database which will keep track of all healthcare providers, enabling its citizens to compare line by line all heal care benefits offered through each insurer, in order to foster greater competition between them. I also would encourage the government to foster the creation of more independent healthcare insurers to increase the competitive base. Finally, I am ok with the government borrowing money to kick in this system, which, after it takes off, will become self-supporting through a bearable heal care tax on each citizen according to income.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  769. Rick Belanger

    Just heard the interview with Senator ??. He said that the US has better medical results than Canada and England for some diseases. What are these diseases. I noticed in the CIA World Factbook that the infant mortality rate in Canada is 5.04 per 1000, in the US it is 6.26. The life expectancy at birth in Canada is 81.23 and in the US it is 28.11. It looks to me that overall the people in Canada have a better health care system or are they better people?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  770. Rochelle (Florida)

    yes, I am willing to pay more taxes. Last year the fist thing my Oncologist said to me was thank God you have insurance. Breast Cancer runs in my family inspite of me taking precautions last year I was diagnosis with bilateral breast cancer. My infusion of chemo were over $5,000 each, I had a total of 18, and the oral medication I take today is $3,000 a month. I am so glade my employee worked with me so I could keep my job. I work to keep health insurance. Due to the health insurance being linked to my job I am stuck. I would like to move on but I am labeled as having Pre Existing Condition. It would be nice to have aforable health insurance options not connected with ones employement.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  771. larry

    Whatever it will take to get things going – not only health care but housing and job ( the whole economy)

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  772. Shawn

    When do the millions of over weight Americans have to take some responsibility? Part of why health care costs are so high are due to you, your neighbors, eating ourselves to death, which we all have to pay for. CNN just had a commercial for McDonald's. We need health care reform, lets go talk about over lunch at McD's and Big Mac with some fries and sugar saturated coke. Americans needs to take some responsibility. Ask yourself when the last time you went in for your annual checkup. Do you know what your cholesterol is? What preventative measures do you do on a regular basis to prevent disease?

    Own up to it. Stop trying to blame others. I agree healthcare needs to be reformed, but government run healthcare is not the answer.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  773. Jack Beyer

    Tony: When the President mentiones health care reform, he always uses the term "all Americans". Does the health care coverage, I am being asked to give up something for, include the 11.6 million illegals in the U.S.?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  774. Mark from Maryland

    I am willing to give up the waste and fraud that is so closely associated with Medicare; the ludricrous costs of COBRA for workers that have lost their jobs, and excessive tests by multiple doctors who cannot work together within the same HMO because it is unprofitable.
    Congress should have to drop their Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and enroll in whatever plan they pass for the rest of America.

    We don"t need a quick-fix to heath care. We need something that is affordable, provides sound health care management with low administrative and overhead costs, and catastrophic protection for enrollees. To ram-rod incomplete plans would be a further waste of taxpayer's money. If Congress would stop band-aiding the financial crisis with plans that have obviously failed, there would already be close to the trillion-dollar amount (or is it $1.5T or higher now?) required for reform.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  775. Jill

    I agree we should all be willing to pay more. including senior citizens receiving medicare. it has to be from EVERYONE not just one group of citizens. i believe that if SENIOR citizens are entitled to medicare for life, then, we obviously as a society value the right to health insurance. everyone should be able to receive basic, affordable coverage. if people want better coverage, then fine, let them pay more for it. i worry about our 20 somethings that can't get jobs with health insurance. people need to realize, whether they like it or not, we are all already paying for "national" health insurance with "non-covered" people using the emergency rooms, etc. we say as a society we are the most compassionate and we won't turn people away from hospitals without insurance. who are we kidding if we don't realize we ARE ALREADY paying for it. now let's get DR's salaries under control and MEDICARE FRAUD, HOSPITAL fraud under control with health care reform!!! we can't continue to push this issue off on the next president like we have done with Social Security.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  776. Brillantsandy

    I have watched for many many years America trying to get health reform. As a Canadian, I am terribly offended to hear America's attitude toward our health care. Everysingle person is covered here and can go at any time to doctors, hosp. etc. We don't have to worry about pre-existing contitions, being dropped because you had to make a claim,. I have family, & friends diagnosed with cancer, heart disease etc. and never had to wait for 6 months to see a specialist or have surgeries. If you are waiting for knee replacement and you get bumped for a heart attack... that is all right by me. Our health care system is totally without prejudice. Age is not a factor...smokers non-smokers etc. America is supposed to be a World Leader and truly should be ashamed that in the yr. 2009 your people could die because they don't have health care. It;s very sad indeed. Get it together America,

    July 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  777. Sue Anne Lewis

    I was not finished when the site took what I had written. I was saying
    that these nay sayers feel it is their political duty to do everything
    they can to see Pres. Obama fail; do they realize they are failing
    our citizens also??? And don't talk about "taking our time." This has been in the works since the 1950s and currently since early this year.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  778. Todd R.

    Tony, I have worked in Healthcare, both military and civilian, for 30 years. If you want to reform healthcare you have to look at hospital costs first. A bed in an ICU costs approx. $10,000.00 a day. A bed on a non ICU can cost $1,000.00/day. You don't pay that much in a posh resort. These beds are so expensive because they have to cover the outrageous salaries demanded by nurses, techs, and other highly paid and unneeded middle management. A nurse makes approx. $50.00/hour, an X-Ray tech anywhere from $18.00- $35.00/hour. Many of these Professionals have only a High School Diploma or at most an Associates Degree. Many of the techs are military trained. Salaries, bed costs, cost of tests( lab, x-ray), and prices charged for medications are way to high and oput of control. I listen to the so-called experts on this issue, that you have on staff and bring on as guests, and have to laugh beacause they have no clue! Regulate what hospitals and Doctors charge and then we can truely have health care reform. And please stop the idiots from telling us how the healthy are overtaxed, they hide so much of there income.
    Todd R. from California.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  779. sydney

    I have worked in healthcare for almost 30 years and have seen the decline in services and insurance coverage. The pharmacuetical companies, hospitals and pvt insurance companies have reaped the benefit. The cost is too much and the women who spoke about her catastrophic coverage this am should not have had to pay 6000.00 for one dose of Nuelastin? We need healthcare reform now.

    The gap between upper and middle class is extreme and the upper class have to give back. I agree with the majority of the middle class who feel that we shouldn't have to give up anything.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  780. Jose F. Colon

    I have, at 56 years of age, five catastrophic illnesses including: diabetes, chronic pulmonary obstruction, chronic atopic dermatitis, ostheosporosis and AIDS.

    I am alive because a higher energy has me here to do what I am supposed to do: educate others of what I have gone through, improving their knowledge, doing prevention and at the same time advocating for the best health care.

    I live in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where things are not well at all.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  781. Todd Jensen, Alexandria Minnesota

    One more thought....

    Since Obama isn't getting what he wants from the House & Senate why not just appoint another Czar so he can circumvent the government and the wishes of the people again. He only has what, 34 Czars already?

    Welcome to the Dictatorship

    July 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  782. Kelly, Austin, TX

    President Obama ran on platform which stated if elected he will perform an overhaul of the health care system. Why now, do people act so shocked that it is happening. CNN reports that his poll numbers are dropping when people are asked if they approve of his health care changes. Re-phrase the question to ask people to list 3 things THEY KNOW and dislike about the changes. I would bet odds that the top 3 list's would reveal a majority of answers to be completely false, showing that people know little about the changes proposed.
    I am an Independant, but I think the Republicans are fear mongering and deliberatly spreading mis-information to scare the populous into delaying change, once again, until the issue is dropped. The GOP and it's leadership have made shameful comments that reveal they are more interested in bringing the President down than they care to bring meaningful change to the system. Shame on the GOP and it's leaders, The Party of No is showing why they are a party in decline and so out of touch with the populace.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  783. Kevin M Hallinan

    Tony I just listened to the misleading statements from Sen. Coburn, and I would like to clarify. For example, Sen. Coburn states that we can overhaul Medicaid and "... give people real insurance: what he fails to tell us is that this has been done in many states, with poor results! The reason for the poor results is that "real insurance" equals "MANAGED CARE.” So the people who were covered under Medicaid were now denied procedures, denied medications (because they were not on the formulary), and denied other needed services - the overall result being a decrease in coverage. In other words, they were much better off with Medicaid.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  784. Ruben

    ...If you belong to a "health care" plan, you have already "GIVEN UP" your "health" after taking "medications" prescribed by physicians who made money deals with the pharmaceutical companies to prescribe these drugs. These drugs, if consumed over a period of time, will cause damage to your Liver, Pancreas, Kidneys, Heart, Lungs and other parts of the human body and will subsequently require heart surgery, kidney replacement, a hip replacement and the list goes on and on, becoming a "cash cow" for the health insurance industry. Do you really think Congress is going to change anything that affects major contributors to their campaigns..?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  785. Carol Lieberman

    Tony,

    In one of the last segments, Elizabeth implied that many people are dissatisfied with government -run programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid. I am 67, and have not heard a single person among my friends and acquaintances complain about Medicare. In fact, they were thrilled when they became eligible. Most of the people I know can also afford supplemental coverage, as well, but if they couldn't, they certainly wouldn't be able to afford full private insurance. Even if those companies would accept them, the cost would be totally prohibitive for any but the wealthiest Americans.

    Carol
    Riverwoods, IL

    July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  786. Brad

    The top 20% pay 60% of income taxes, but what % of total national income does that 20% get? Recent study showed that our nation’s highest earners get 75% of all income, so if they are only paying 60% of income taxes, seems like they are under-taxed as it stands now.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  787. Geacomine Kok

    The Senate have the oblogation to look for the people who vote
    for them and rigth now the most important issue is Health Care.
    For sure all the senate have Health Insurance so is not important
    that the rest of the population don't have.
    I support Precident Obama with the Health Care Plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  788. Ruth Fontaine

    Hello Tony,

    One of the cost issues is the aging of the "baby boomers." Nobody seems to recognize that the baby boomers have worked for decades, and contributed to Social Security and Medicare. Many people have benefitted from their contributions. But their investment has been squandered. Now that it's their turn to receive benefits, everyone is complaining. They are biting the hands that fed them for so long.

    Regards,
    Ruth

    July 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  789. Ronald

    The piece you just showed on World Wide Tax doesn't hit the mark unless you show how much we spend on the Military Complex vs. the other countries. How much we spend on tax exemptions vs. others. How much we spend on education vs. others.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  790. Roger Holder

    We were willing to give up certain liberties to support the iraq war. We did not even care about the cost and our the national deficit. Our tax dollars which financed the war resulted in the death of thousands of American lives. Now we are presented with the opportunity to help an additional 46 million Americans afford health insurance, thus Saving American lives, we have a problem digging into our pockets. Are we really a compassionate people as some polititions suggest? And even if we have to pay more taxes, so what, we will benefit in the long term because compitition will drive down the cost of health care.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  791. Shawn

    Since when does America try to prevent people from making money? Doctors make money, because they put in 7 years to become an expert in something that you didn't want to do. Insurance and drug companies are just like any other business, they are for profit companies, with Wall Street expectations. America was founded on free enterprise, and now we are trying to limit that???

    Educate yourself. Talk to an insurance broker. If you want "free" healthcare, move to Canada. Someone has to pay for it. The money has to come from somewhere. With Medicare facing bankruptcy, social security dwindling down, how do you expect an added layer of healthcare to be supported and managed efficiently?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  792. Denise

    I just discovered that if CNN doesn't like your comment, they delete it. Appalling! They don't mind if you bash the "rich", or the insurance companies, or the drug companies, or the doctors, etc....but heaven forbid you make a comment about fat, lazy, couch potatoes!! Notice that no where in this debate does anyone dare to mention the obesity epidemic in this country??! That's what driving up the cost of health care!! - yet it's never sited as a contributing factor to our so-called "crisis". The "crisis" is that people don't take care of themselves, not that 46 million are uninsured.

    P.S. I'm not willing to give up anything to give citizens of other countries (I.e. illegals) medical insurance - we can't even afford to insure our own.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  793. Karen

    Most Americans are an accident away from a financial disaster that could impact them and generations of offspring for many, many years (if recovery is even possible). Obama is shining a light on the problem that is created by the insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

    We, supposedly, live in the "most powerful" country in the world, yet too many of our citizens are being taken advantage of by those that would prefer to make money vs. give a person the best possible medical care possible. It's absolutely disgusting!

    I don't know a single person who doesn't want :
    – better ins. premiums,
    – removal of pre-existing condition issues,
    – removal of lifetime limits,
    – removal of pre-authorization clauses, etc.
    There are many loopholes that are in place to protect the ins. co. and the focus should be on the person, not the company.

    These folks would benefit form Obama's new health plan:
    1. College student who will soon fall off his/her parents plan.
    2. Medicare recipients that are currently paying for add'l supplemental insurance to cover what Medicare does not cover. (that's my father's situation who is a surviver of 5 heart attacks).
    3. The disabled diabetic that is on Medicare but can't afford $800 a month for supplemental insurance or is rationing her diabetic medicine because she can't afford to take the full doses (that's my mother-in-law).
    4. An unemployed person under 65. Insurance for a person in this age bracket is typically between $1200 – $2500 per month.
    5. The self-employed or an employee who must be on group insurance because a child was born with a defect requiring care and they must stay on group insurance in order to be protected by HIPAA (protects from denial of coverage for pre-exisitng conditions).
    6. Folks with personal insurance (not group). These folks are currently not protected by HIPAA.

    The only people not wanting an overhaul of healthcare in the US are the insurance companies and Pharmaceutical companies as they could lose money on the deal. Their interest is purely in profiting and not in caring for the patient.

    I'm sure Obama's getting a lot of push back from those politicians that are allies of the ins. & pharmaceutical companies and I'm so thankful that he's willing to take on the giants. Go David, Go!

    I don't believe that his ratings are going down. All of the folks I talk with (of many colors) like what Obama's doing and we all want it fast. In fact, my parents who are white Republicans (and didn't vote for Obama) are starting to appreciate him because he's taking on matters that mean something to them.

    A tax for healthcare would be much better than what we have now. Currently, I pay $35,000.00 per year to cover 7 people (Group PPO & Supplemental Ins.). That figure is purely premium cost and does not include co-pays, deductibles, out-of-pocket, Rx, etc. This is shameful! If, instead, I pay 5% tax on $200,000.00 of income, my premium cost would go down to $10,000.00. A SAVINGS of $25,000 that I could apply to college for my kids! So, I'm praying for Obama to succeed and US healthcare to get better and become affordable (and be based on an ind. ability to pay)!

    The healthcare problem has gone on for far too long. We need a change now! It can be done if we all focus on doing the right thing. Delays and disctraction are only tactics to cause Obama to lose momentum. Both are detrimental and unnecessary! This is not a game, people! It's our lives and our futures!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  794. Carole

    Most of millionaires factor in numerous "right offs". They have their own tax attorneys to look for loopholes. Close the loopholes for the rich.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  795. pamela Mcgregor

    I believe that every company in America should provide health care to their employees. If you make minimum wage than the government should provide subsidies. Because of the greed of CEO their will go to the gov plan automatically people will be cheated cause right now doctor only cover medicare on certain basis. I over heard doctors say once that this patents have medicare and so the care should be limited. So yes you going to only get sub standard care. So the way around this is for every company small or big to provide card for their employee. If you want to have a business in the states you have to take care of your employees. That would bring down costs because it would force companies to shop around for their best value.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  796. Will Turner

    During my treatment for cancer, I went from a 230 pound ex-marine to a 6'2" 135 pounder. My doctors told me I was too weak for surgery and could not work, and the social security system said that my cancer treatment did not prevent me from working, therefore denying my claim. I have worked non-stop for over 35 years. I never need assistance until I became ill. What made matters worse was for the first time in my life I was not able to provide for my kids.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  797. Morgan Hege

    1) Change COBRA coverage so it never expires, and ex-employees are converted onto the same plan but pay directly to the insurer rather than through the employer
    2) Make Individual and Family Health Plans Guaranteed Issue. (Cannot be declined for pre-existing conditions) Have a 6 month waiting period for coverage on pre-existing condition (this will discourage people from only buying insurance for the month they need surgery)
    3) Make all insurers buy re-insurance from the government for all annualized individual member claims in excess of $500,000.
    4) Give Tax credits to people who carry health insurance. In otherwords, tax the uninsured if they choose not to buy a health plan.
    5) Make Doctors and Hospitals pay into the government re-insurance program inversly porportinate to the quality of the care they provide. Track 5-year survival and procedure outcome, publish that data, and charge (tax) hospitals and doctors with poorer outcomes more.
    6) Make doctors and hospitals publish their prices for procedures along with procedure outcome data, and let them accept cash or insurance at the same price. No more different prices for different insurance contracts.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  798. Kim

    Why not reallocate funds within the governemt? I can attest to the fact that there is so much wasted money within state programs and insurance companies because people aren't doing there jobs. I work with state programs and insurance companies on a daily basis and am fustrated with this fact. Kids are denied services that are needed and the people making the decisions are uneducated on their diseases and the therapies that would benefit them.
    The answer is not to raise taxes. It is to reevaluate what is already in place.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  799. Milt Russon

    From Utah

    The Federal Government has a poor history of programs such as the one being purposed. We need to keep them out of this business! If we don’t, I believe health care quality will greatly suffer!

    Here is what I would give up … I think that at the very most we (the government) could make reimbursable loans from federal money to private insurance companies that would cover the development of programs to address the missing niches. (Similar to the loans given to small businesses for their growth).

    Other thoughts

    Put limits on suites against doctors and health care facilities that would be fair to the victim but would cut health care providers financial exposure. This would significantly reduce health care costs!

    Please keep in mind that when we say “tax the rich” with inflation we soon will all be the rich! The average rate of inflation over the last 65 years has been 4.1 % in the USA. At that rate in 54 years a poverty wage of $25,000 will be over $250,000! Everyone living today will be paying these taxes well before they retire!

    One more thought. If taxes are used for health care but I decide to keep my existing health insurance plan, I and my company will basically be paying double for coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  800. annette buranosky

    i am wiling to pay higher taxes to pay for good health care.
    one has to have his head in the sand to realize that we are paying higher costs for all those who cannot pay and still receive health care. The difference is now we will know how much we are paying.

    fear of competition? capitalism is based on competition. big ins companies should not be allowed to make megabucks on our backs. while their profits go up, our out of pocket expenses go up and benefits goes down. In addition, ins. companies dictate which doctors we can use and which procedures we can have.
    one very important aspect for me is to put the doctor and patient back into power. The doctor should not have to spend precious hours on the phone fighting for what he/she thinks her patient need.
    finally, paper work must be reduced. In home health, sixteen plus pages are required to admit a patient to services. costs will go down and quality time will increase.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  801. Shawn

    Do some research on government run health care systems. Hospitals, doctors, any and all providers are given annual budgets for "healthcare" in many government run health plans. Those hospitals are now run like a business, making a business/budget decision regarding your healthcare. Hospital administrators can deem the outcome would not be worth the cost, based on age. Many hospitals have run out of money and had to close their doors, as it wasn't in the budget from the government.

    Do the research.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  802. Travis

    I'm willing to give up Congressional pay raises, tax payer funded private plane flights, and taxpayer funded 'reform programs' for captured insurgents and terrorists. How 'bout that?

    July 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  803. Craig

    Tony,

    I don't understand your question. I am happy with my health insurance, and I paid for it because it was part of my compensation package. Why on earth should I have to "give up" ANYTHING? If President Obama is expecting me to give up something to pay for somebody else's insurance, HE is the one that should answer your question.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  804. Ruth

    I feel the implication of your question, "what are you willing to give up" assumes if you are opposed, it's because you don't want to help people or are too selfish to give up anything. I currently am not willing to give up a dime because I don't know what this plan does or what it will cost and neither does anyone else. We give a percentage every month to church and to various hunger charities so don't assume we're selfish.

    Also, from what I've read in the NYT, there will be some form of rationing of care. President Obama even asked that the word "rationing" not be used so people won't be angered so how can you say they WON'T tell an 85 year old they can't have a hip replacement? No one knows the consequences of that bill...

    July 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  805. Karen

    To Lee in MN,

    I'm so sorry you're having to go though what you're going through! I understand how angry one can get by the catch 22 a sick person is forced to deal with and how the family of the sick person suffers, too.

    I agree with you about there being a lot of lying, misdirection, exaggeration, misinformation about the current healthcare system. I know that it's all because of greed to protect the profits of the ins. companies and pharmaceutical companies.

    I'm praying for you and your family and I pray that Obama is able to quickly implement a solution that will help/protect you!

    July 22, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  806. Diane SC

    When you play the clip of Michael Steel talking about his 85 year old grandmother without any comment, it appears that CNN thinks he knows what he is talking about. Even though he obviously doesn't know what he is talking about. First of all his grandmother would be on a socialistic government health insurance plan called Medicare. The decision to replace her hip would be made by herself and her doctor.
    She has a choice of any doctor she wants and when she has her surgery she can go to any hospital she wants. It's been that way since 1965.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  807. Pat

    I'm not sure we should have to give anything up. I'm frankly tired of hearing how great our system is compared to other country's, specifically Canada's. My 85 year-old mother was born in Canada & , as such is covered by their national health care. She's now living w/ me in Texas and, as a U.S. citizen & the widow of a retired government employee has medicare. I can attest that, despite our close proximety to the largest, most progressive medical center in the world, (Houston), her medical care has been consistantly better in Canada than in the US. All at no out-of-pocket cost. Now, I have to monitor three different agencies, Social Security, Medicare, and her suplimental carrier; when something goes wrong, and it does/will, I have to spend hours upon hours on the phone clearing it up. I believe that if $10 was taken out of everyone's paycheck along w/ FICA, SS, Medicare, etc., the greatest nation in the world ought to be able to provide simple catastrophic healthcare coverage for everyone. By the way, several guests on CNN have commented on the long waits for elective surgeries in Canada; my mother has had cataracts removed from both eyes in Canada and never waited longer than a couple of months from the time of diagnosis. We actually joke when I take her to the doctor in the U.S. as she constantly reminds me when she has to wait for service. As with anything else, until I started looking at this from a need perpsective, my opinion changed. I've been unemployed from my executive-level position for nine-plus months; my COBRA premiums to continue my company's standard coverage for my wife and me is $1155.00/month. I don't care how much money you are bringing in or can save, it will never be enough to protect you from serious illness without some form of subsidized coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  808. Shawn

    66% of adults over 20 are overweight or obese.
    32% are obese

    Do the math.

    47 Million americans are uninsured. The stat you don't see is how many of them actually have access to insurance plans through their employer or individual insurance, but choose not to take it. As an insurance broker, I see daily, people who do not elect insurance offered through their employer, but yet they are willing to spend $5 a day on a Starbucks coffee, easily drop $100 at bar on a weekend, or go out and get the new Iphone. Even if the employer only sponsored 50% of the premium, there are always to cut back. One less dinner out that month. Don't buy the latest HDTV. Make coffee at your house, better yet cut out coffee, you'll be healthier. How much is your cell phone bill each month? I'd be suprised if the majority are less than $50.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  809. Pat

    A recent experience opened my eyes.

    After losing my well-paid career job in a collapsing industry (newspaper related), I took a temp job at a local healthcare company. I entered a world in which people were paid to individually hand stamp incoming mail and who labored on archaic computers. The redundancy of effort involved in the work was mind blowing. Healthcare is not computerized, as is any efficient banking system. I agree with President Obama that one major change that will help to alleviate the cost of insuring all of us is the reengineering of current procedures that should have been left in the Dark Ages. It will take time, and there are those who will resist change, but this must be done. When our health care system is equipped with the same level of technology and speed that is enjoyed by investment bankers, we will all be the richer for it.

    Speaking of bankers, why do hedge fund managers still get away with special privileges re lower tax brackets?? Haven't we learned enough by now? BILLIONS of earnings are taxed at 15% as capital gains instead of compensation, while middle America struggles day to day. WHY? Maybe off-shore, invisible, protected assets should be explored by the press. Perhaps if we were all taxed fairly, we would have the funds we need to care for our people.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  810. DEBORAH LORTZ

    Don't you think the American people are being asked to give up to
    much. With each problem that arises, we are not only expected to take
    the blame, but also to give up just alittle bit more of our lives to cover the back sides of irresponsible government and greedy corperations.
    With the amount of money these pharmacy companies have made
    in the past, Its time for them to give alittle back. We all know that prescription drugs don't cost as much as they want us to believe. After all, Most of the patients have already been paid for and the research was probably funded by government grants, So whats the problem?
    And as far a the government goes, lets drop there health care for a
    year and see how they handle it. I would love to know what kind of health plan they would pick if the American people weren't paying there way. My thoughts on paying for health care is for insurance companies to start competing for our business just like Progressive
    does. Besides, theres plenty of ways to fund health care. Lets have our government stop spending our money on useless programs like
    survays on how long it takes geese to fly from one place to another or
    if you can really see Russia from Sara Paylins house.
    We all know that there are a million worthless little projects out there that we don't know about that would more than cover Obama"s
    health plan. Its time for the government to give up alittle for the people
    who allow the to keep there fat cushey jobs
    THANK YOU
    DEBORAH LORTZ
    LAMONT, CALIFORNIA

    July 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  811. KATHLEEN LAKE

    Slow down is not an option-what about the people fighting a battle of Life & Death right NOW! Waiting 50 years for Health Care reform is plenty Long enough–I once was dumb & young & thought myself to be Immortal–but not right now having just being treated for Heredity Heart disease and cancer 5 days apart in 2008 –Heart a battle for 35 years cancer found on a Heart pet scan Blessed it was found taken care of only 1 inch in diameter stage 1–may All be as Blessed as I was-but know cancer does not care-but we all become survivors' from the day we are told this diagnosis and should have All the Entities/ tools available in the Health Care Environment to continue this Journey for All Americans. As a retired widow (husband of 35 years Diagnosis brain cancer-Silent killer- never had been in a Hospital in his 60 yrs-gone in 14 weeks) now on a fixed income-I would give up whatever to Insure my Fellow Citizens have the Protection I have been Blessed to have on a Journey I Pray never becomes a Issue for them.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  812. Jeff E.

    I think this question is decidedly unproductive. Healthcare reform, IF DONE CORRECTLY, is to be a win win situation for the people of this country. This question sounds like fear based journalism and contributes to indecision among the public as it suggests there must be a down side.

    Much of this country can’t seem to grasp there is a bigger component to self-interest than what happens only to them or their individual wallet. This country’s lack of affordable healthcare is a significant driver of poverty. The despair associated with poverty leads to crime that impacts all of us and our country’s perception of itself. Not to mention the financial instability created on the middle-class when they can’t obtain affordable insurance.

    I’ll give up the partisan politics, insurance company lobbying and Medicare/Medicaid waste… and leading questions that are not productive to the debate.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  813. Jose

    Tony,
    Look at the report CNN has published about what Medicare is paying to rent a wheelchair; that would save alot of money to help pay for health care. Congress caused that problem and they need to correct that first, and probably many more. Michael Steel was saying we won't let one person dictate what we should do about healt care etc. etc. but he and the Congress let one person get us into the debt that we have now and did nothing to stop that; why. I agree with Anita Dunn and it seems that EVERYONE is forgetting that the insurance companies NOW dictate what will be covered, so if there is a Public plan, WHAT WOULD BE DIFFERENT. If your company wants to change to that because it's cheaper, that makes it your company's choice, NOT the worker. So a person can keep their insurance and Dr, ONLY if their employer allows them to do that. It's the employer that dictates your coverage, because they give you what they have; if you don't want it and your employer allows you not to accept their plan, you can choose to purchase another policy, so there wouldn't be any difference if there would be a Public plan. So let's be real about this; the insurance companies dictate now what your Dr can do and there isn't a Public plan and they can charge you what they want and you either pay it or else.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  814. Stuart Pastman

    WHAT AM I WILLING TO GIVE UP-

    Nothing! I currently pay $900+ per month for hc coverage for my wife and I and that doesn't include co-pays, or glasses, or dental, or... Before we start adding 50 million new subscribers to hc programs, let's cut costs by 20-30% first! Then we can add on the new folks.

    This is not "reform", it's simply getting more folks covered by the same over priced systems we have today.

    Before disability I used to work for 2 large consulting firms, and I specialized in cost reduction programs. I never saw a company in 25 years who couldn't cut costs by 20-30%, or more.

    Thanks,
    Stuart from Philadelphia, PA

    July 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  815. Dan Sherry

    It is absolutely shameful and embarassing that we choose to allow millions to live without access to health care in America. The devastation is incalculable. People are dieing. People are going bankrupt or simply losing the life savings. We must pull the profit out of health care and do the right thing.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  816. Cthompson

    I am willing to give up the mega yachts and mega castles that the mega rich have so that someone who is working like a dog to make ends meet can have some sort of health care. Why do they need those huge yachts that they only use once or twice a year, how many thousands of feet of house do they have to have to live comfortably. How many cars do they have to have in their garages to be able to drive somewhere? There is a definite divide between those who have it all and those who have very little, and that divide (the middle class) is encreasing at a rapid rate. Soon we will all have to make some really tough decisions as to how we want to live our lives, and this recession is beginning to make people realize just how precarious our lifestyles really are. So many are screaming that if we tax the rich it will do away with jobs, not likely! They are to money hungry to quit trying to make a buck, they will just find another way to stiff the little guy and still come up smelling like money. The rich always manage to land on their feet, even if it means that the government has to bail their sorry ass' out with the middle class working stiff's money.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  817. Ellen

    Why should I have to give up anything. If our government can't stop the abuse of the medicaid system how do they plan to govern the use of a universal health care system. I work in a Health care facility and the medicaid abuse is sickening. Take a survery of the patients that enter emergency rooms for NON EMERGENT services, that have medicaid. That's why the costs are so high for health care and medical services. PUT A STOP TO THAT FIRST.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  818. nettie

    i corrently as a senior get to see the doctor 4 times a year,
    for cholesterol check ups.
    i am willing to give up two visits per year for this examination,
    as i feel its not necessary to see the doctor 4 time a year for this.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  819. Mary Mac

    Will someone please inform those that don't want their employer provided coverage to change, that they have no control over that?!

    Their employer is ALREADY looking for cheaper coverage. It's a huge expense for a business and they are always looking for ways to cut those costs!

    And those who don't think it's fair to pay for other peoples coverage? YOU ALREADY DO! It would just be cheaper if they could go visit a clinic instead of the emergency room.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  820. M. Armstrong

    Please help me understand the individuals who are so concerned with the paying of another persons health care? We pay everyday via our tax dollars for services that we may seldom use but continue to pay to use just in case an emergency arise (i.e. fire and police) In addition, we pay for services that we use daily such as schools and road construction. Every one has access to emergency assistance, public schools and roads. Why is this so hard? Why the greed? How many times have you seen reports on the news where a family has health insurance but the health provider refused to pay for treatment or the cost was out of reach for the family? Some of you have said that they should have been prepared but how many of us are ready for a battle with a chronic ailment along with a fight with our health care provider? and the situation is worse if you don’t have health coverage.

    Give this a second thought: some of us may think that they are prepared. Maybe, the illness that may take a shot or antibiotics for a week but what about illnesses that stay with us for a while or the chronic sickness. What do we do then?

    July 22, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  821. Hugh

    Tony,

    I would be willing to give up outrageous spending on defense. Over $600 Billion a year is OBSCENE while our citizens die with maladies that are curable if detected early enough. I don't know about you but I'm embarrassed. We spend 10X more on defense than number 2 on list of big defense spenders.

    I think Congress should have by law the same medical coverage as the poorest Americans. I wonder if they would appropriate as much for defense then. Talk about clueless.

    Hugh

    July 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  822. Jose, Tucson,Az

    To help pay for the health care program, lets stop the costly deals that Congress has approved, ie..renting that wheelchair for $1200. I'd like to know if there would also be a substancial savings if Congress was on Medicare/Medicaid vs what they have now. The Insurance company dictates NOW what they will cover, so what's the difference. Your employer offers and/or gives you coverage. If your employer wants to change to the Public plan because it's cheaper for them, then that makes it the employer's choice NOT the worker. Some in Congress and President Buch caused our national debt that we have now, and Congress needs to correct their pass Massive misstakes, ie the wheelchair and many other things like that. We can also save money by cutting the pay of Congress by 15% until ALL AMERICANS have health care coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  823. georgie

    I would be willing to pay a little more.Six years ago I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I eat right and exercise. This pass January during the inaguaration I was watching it from a hospital due to having a heart attack. I spent 5 days in the hospital when i was discharged I left will a bill of $52 thousand +debt. I did work up until three years ago I lost my insurance and wasn't able to buy a reasonable policy . Cobra introduce a policy to me for $89.00+a month. A week later I received a correction stating i would have to pay over $500 a month. If you lose your job, Where the hell will I find $500?
    Well in the hospital,My white blood count was found to be very high. I knew that I couldn't afford to go back to that particular hospital so I signed up to go to a state run hospital. I signed up in February but I can't see a doctor until july 28th. Thank God for keeping me strong enough to wait for five months to see a doctor. I would love to go back to work just for the insurance. The outside insurance companies can supply a low cost insurance but the one that I had only pay for you to see a doctor twice a year and if you have a heart problem like me it's too bad. I'm sure that the Health Care Plan will help someone who will be grateful. Unlike Michael Steele who is so fortunate to have a good insurance and Don't know who the carrier is.That means he don't have to worry about nothing. lucky man

    July 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  824. Michael

    I would give up the following:
    1.Social security for retired people receiving over 150k annually in income from any source.
    2. Unlimited settlements in malpractice lawsuits. Tort reform is needed.
    3. The 169 billion in annual costs in health care due to thousands of government regulations.
    4. 10% of the budget for other federal programs, including social and defense.

    That's enough for now, I will add more later.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  825. David Hutchinson

    Screw the budget. The politicians who are against this are in bed with the medical outsources and suppliers.
    We shouldn't worry about solving the problem of paying for what should be a human right. By the time our children have grown up the capitalist system should be rendered obsolete. The government is pandering to the banks and financial institutions. The people mwill soon lose faith in a system that attemps to get something for nothing and get down to the business of really caring for the needs of the people. Once we get true transparency from the house and senate and their bribery and graft exposed the people will balk at the requests of business, banks and financials.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  826. Bob Kinsley, Connecticut

    We now pay premiums for all types of insurance. My family does not want a free ride. Everyone should bear an equitable share of health insurance cost.

    Most importantly: people who smoke, who are drug addicts, and people who are obese or have diseases they could avoid, for examples, should pay extra because of their irresponsibility.

    Thanks for opportunity to comment.

    Outstanding program!!

    July 22, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  827. Charles Grimmett

    I am willing to give up more of my income in the form of more taxes to support a universal health care system. The thing that I don't understand is the arguments made by many of the opponents of President Obama's proposal for sweeping reform of America's health care system. The system is obliously broken and in need of total revamping. So what is the alternative that is being offered?

    The simple truth is that there are other nations that can be used as models to design our system. While a majority of other industrialized nations have varying degrees of universal health care that we can use as a guide to avoid the some problems that are bound to occur in such a mammouth undertaking. However putting all this aside the real issue that it finally comes down to is; do we as a country believe health care is a right or a commodity?

    July 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  828. Don

    Every person who appears on tv to comment on the health care issue should be required to state their personal health insurance situation similar to stock market analysts on CNBC. Who pays for the person's health insurance and what percent does the indiviual pay. For example, I am on Medicare and pay 100% of my supplemental. Let's have full disclosure of each person's position on this issue.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  829. MR. X

    Look Tony I don't want to be a ....... But here are the facts,I pay for my healthcare per week from my check,as everyone was out here making all this money they had to know that the golden rainbow wasn't going to be there forever. I on the other hand was and am employed in a conservative career i wasnt making 2000 dollars a week on home sales. i am a productive citizen of society and i pay thousands of tax dollars that i will only touch by driving on roads,because as we know i will not have anything in social security when i retire.

    what next?will you tell me in 2041 when i retire that i have to pay such and such ammount of dollars of my saved retirement to the government again? hey government just hold your hands out and i will give it all to you.

    and another thing how will i pay my property taxes when i retire?i will have to save because i will have no benefits left from this rediculous government

    for all the people out there that need the governments assistance then fine but for the others that are just looking for a handout they will get their judgement.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  830. Karen

    As I've stated before, I support universal healthcare, but I"m concerned about a couple of things. Here goes...
    1. We have to have a way of collecting from foreigners for healthcare, too. They have already proven what a strain they can put on a system like in CA. I have always felt that a consumption tax would be the best way to solve this problem because many foreign aliens get paid under the table and there is just no way to police that kind of activity.
    2. Any healthcare plan that is passed must be good enough for Congress. We don't need Congress selecting one option for themselves and choosing a lesser option for the American people. The plan delivered must be one that they get, too. If it's good enough for us, then it should be good enough for them as well.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  831. Karen

    (cont.) I forgot to say that I would prefer a consumption tax on items such as junkfood, sodas, candy, sugary cereals, cigarettes, alcoholic beverages, luxury items. Many Americans are big consumers in these areas and the bad food items and drugs have already caused a strain on our health system. If we taxed those problem areas, we should be able to pay for healthcare!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  832. Jamal Brown

    Are there any critical thinkers left in America? The other developed countries have all moved beyond this healthcare issue and already have public/private partnerships and mandated national insurance that works quite well I can testify to FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE (lived in Japan from 2005 to 2009)! The reason this debate exists at all is because Americans know nothing about the world outside their borders...or inside for that matter (Canadians know more about American history than Americans). But my catch-all position on all of these hot-button topics facing Americans, such as marijuana, gun rights, gay marriage, and healthcare is real simple.....try it and if it doesn't work, go back to the way it was. Why are Americans so timid, scared and wimpy?....oh no, the unknown!...I'm scared! Rather ironic when you consider how they pride themselves in being so tough and brave. All this indecision and debating is doing is putting
    money in the pockets of the media outlets (sucking off the drama) and the politicians (play acting like they really care about anything other than their golf handicap and selling their vote to the insurance and drug companies). But no, the brain-dead Americans sit on their couches sucking Cheetos while getting programmed by the special interest groups (insurance companies!!) to think 'a Washington bureaucrat' is going to make their healthcare decisions rather than them and their doctor....rather than the way it is now where a health insurance company bureaucrat makes those decisions!!! But guess what!.....Americans fall for the foolery because the ads are narrated by the familiar MILLER BEER COMMERCIAL PITCHMAN...the same cozy rustic 'good guy' sounding pitchman who narrated George Bush's propaganda!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!! CAN'T YOU SEE HOW YOU ARE GETTING TAKEN FOR A RIDE BY THESE SOCIOPOLITICAL AD CAMPAIGN GURUS?!?!?! The whole premise of
    ‘what are you willing to give up?’ and 'there will be a cost' is simply a fear tactic orchestrated by the GOP golfing buddies of the insurance companies and drug companies. Nothing needs to be paid for! It will be a self-sustainable system!! Uh oh, too technical of vocabulary there….I better dumb it down for middle America. Ok, follow the bouncing ball….just as I can follow a money trail back to the insurance and drug companies as being the underlying incentive for the GOP position, can you find any money trail or special interest of President Obama on this issue? Where is his special interest in his position? Yeah, me neither. And one last thing, when is Lou Dobbs going to be a man and confess to his conservative affiliation and quit posing as an independent??? God help me, I am actually trying to learn Japanese in order to escape this cess pool of idiocy called America and join a higher form of life!!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  833. Jamal Brown

    Stop listening to the MILLER BEER COMMERCIAL PITCHMAN hired by the big insurance and drug companies!!!!!! That is a subliminal marketing tactic to fool you!!!! The voice of the Republican's opposition to healthcare reform is the same MILLER BEER COMMERCIAL PITCHMAN that fooled you to vote for Bush and Cheney!!!!! Don't you get it by now??!@?!?!!?!?!! They know middle America identifies with beer and football!!!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  834. Bruce W from Newport Beach, California

    Paying slightly higher taxes for a public health insurance plan that can't be canceled is worth it. Paying higher taxes is cheaper than going bankrupt because the HMO canceled your policy during your hospital stay.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  835. Ruben D. Braziel II

    The pure and simple truth is that too many people are uninsured, and many of the ones that do have health insurance are underinsured. There are commercials on T.V. saying that government sponsered health care is inadequate and will deny or delay treatment because of red tape issues. They are trying to scare people by saying they may have to wait to get testing or medical procedures approved. What they are not saying is that at least they will have a chance to get it done. If they don't have insurance currently, they have to wait until they can save up enough money to get a doctor to even see them, not to mention order tests or other procedures. It won't help them for health care legislation to be voted down. They already don't have anything. Even if it takes a little time for approval, which has not been proven, at least they can get some sort of care. Some care is better than no care anyday. In addition, don't we already have to wait for tests and procedures to be approved, for those fortunate enough to have insurance? Don't we already have to go through red tape, with referrals from our primary care physician, if he sees fit, before we can see a specialist; and we hope that the referral gets approved by the claims department. There was a movie made not long ago, named John Q, about a family that had insurance, but could not get approval from the insurance company to get a heart transplant for their child. That's the reality that many people in america are facing right now. It's time that someone stood up for those that get stood on every day.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  836. Charlie (Kuhn)

    I might be the most giving person in America.

    Living in Illinois, I'll give up 1 Senator and at least 6 congressmen/women. Those tax dollars can go to health care.

    I will also give up all of their staff. Those tax dollars can go to health care.

    I will allow that we have at least 4 less Supreme Court Justices and in the future, since we elect the President, when he/she makes a nomination I will sacrifice the need to spend tax dollars on a broken confirmation process. You guessed it ... that money goes to health care.

    The Vice President ... not needed, the Secretary of State can take over in case of emergency.

    No need for the ATF.

    You get the picture. Government was never meant to be so large. Reduce and gain.

    Oh ... btw ... Lou Dobbs for President. 8)

    July 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  837. Muffett Brinkman

    So as the healthcare debate ranges on another news story caught my eye. Apple stock is on the rise because the new iPhone has almost sold out yet we all complain we can't afford healthcare. Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured population reside in households that earn $50,000 or more. Come on people time to step up and accept responsibility for our lifestyle choices and stop blaming everyone else. May I suggest we all give up our victim mentality.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  838. Robbins

    It is time for health care reform. I am not willing to pay for illegal aliens health care, when they are not citizens. My tax dollars has paid enough for them already. They do not pay taxes due to they get paid in cash, how do you prove the amount of income? It is time for the insurance be brought down, along with pharmacial companies. All the insurance companies is raise the premium, cost of treatment, who get treatment and who doesn't, and their network chooses the doctor they want, that will serve the insurance company. If the rich and wealthy can own planes, yachts, high dollar homes, and more than one home; well they can pay higher taxes.
    I trust in President Obama and what he stands for. I have never been Republican, maily because they alway reject what is best for the people. They reject any plans because they do not profit from it. It time for change, and we can do it.
    GO OBAMA!!! WE BELIEVE IN YOU NOT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!!!

    jfrj from Arlington, Texas

    July 22, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  839. Allen Phillips

    If California has managed to legalize medical marijuana and subsequently tax it, why can’t we legalize it nationally and have the tax revenues subsidize the nationalized healthcare program. If you put a pencil to it wouldn’t the government collect hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenues that are crrently not there? I don’t buy the notion that legalized marijuana would create more addicts, Has anyone ever overdosed on marijuana?

    July 22, 2009 at 8:50 pm |
  840. Dan

    well since the government is going to mandated healthcare coverage, lets make sure we drug test everyone to see if they are abusing any substances, lets screen parents to see if they are capable of being good parents before they are allowed to have children; I think you get my point.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  841. An American In Canada

    When the government mismanages, they should be the ones giving up. If everyone from the president down took a 10% pay cut, for mismanaging the country, and not doing their job of taking care of the citizens, then they should be the first ones to feel it. Not the poor, not the middle class, the rich, who manage should be the ones to feel it. Has anyone seen the youtube video from the John Stewart show regarding Goldman and Sachs? It's disgusting what the government is doing to financial future of the country.

    July 23, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  842. joseph jensen

    what Obama is doing in my opinion is awful when it comes to the economy, what he is doing will lead us to hyperinflation and taking this country down the same road Zimbabwe and Yugoslavia is and was at.
    i think instead of government and federal reserve intervention on this economic stimulus plan we should cut government spending in half.
    No american remembers the great depression on 1920 that lasted only two years and was greater then the 1929 depression thats because government did what it was supposed to by cutting spending in half by still producing new jobs. in my opinion obama should take advice from ron paul and stop with always going on tv and throwing out the first pitch to ball games and stop with frivolous spending and work more on fixing the economy instead of ruining it with government run health care plans before we have to spend 5 trillion dollars for a loaf of bread and eventually trading gold for corn

    1800-1810 - Thomas Jefferson
    "If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

    July 23, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  843. bill z

    NOTHING , sorry my premiums already go up to help the uninsured.and i barley go to the doctor.
    build speacial hospitals, government run with gov doctors. and all the un insured can go there. the money will come from all governmenent employees , i mean from the house and the senates ins plans. put there incentives at risk and see how fast something comes .

    July 23, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  844. Ian

    There is one thing I will NOT compromise on and that is the government controlling my health. The very idea of the government taking care of my health reminds me of a communist sci-fi movie.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  845. Jan

    I am a disabled Marine veteran, a chair user. I use the VA because I can't afford anything else. I tried to get health insurance, and can't because I have an existing condition-I am a chair user. How cruel is that?

    July 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  846. William

    Hi Tony,

    I think it's important to know that it's not what the people need to give up. It's what the government needs to give up. They are the ones who need to figure out how to offer every American decent Healthcare.

    Even though Canadian Healthcare is slammed on many commercails running as a bad thing..it works very well meaning we don't lose everything because of taking a trip to the hospital.
    Even Rudy Guilian said something like who wants a healthcare system like Canada or Britain.

    People should investigate Canadian Healthcare. I feel blessed to live in Canada!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  847. lee

    Why do we hear nothing about the 55-65 age group? My husband is 63 & retired, I turn 60 this year & would like to retire. Insurance is now through my employer, but Cobra is too expensive and only for 18 months so we are looking at private insurance. We each have one very minor pre-existing condition, but overall are very healthy. The cost for our age group is very high and the deductables are high. Why do we hear nothing about lowering Medicare age limits, it used to be 62. We deserve help too.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  848. Veronica

    Hi Tony,

    I'm willing to give up "Cadillac coverage" provided to members of Congress and insuring illegal aliens and legal aliens here in the US for less than five years. Reason: We need to stop supporting those who enter our country illegally and subsequently receive costly social services. Members of Congress are our representatives and as such, deserve no more than the least among us. That would be a powerful motivator to improve health care. We cannot afford to support either group given our very poor economy.

    Veronica, Bowling Green, OH

    July 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  849. Cherry B

    I went 10 yrs without health insurance. I had been through 3 bouts with cancer (fortunately covered at the time), but developed rheumatoid arthritis during the time I had no coverage. Because I couldn't get medical help, the RA caused severe deformities in my hands and feet, to the point where I could no longer work at all. I'm now on disability, so the government is already helping me. But I would do anything I could to enable other people not to have to go through what I did. Someone else mentioned this is not a money issue, but a moral issue. Couldn't agree more.
    Not everyone out there is lazy and living off the government. Some of you need to get your facts straight before you judge or make a decision about this....

    July 23, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  850. Susan, Troy, MI

    Tony,
    People need to read the actual bill. You don't need to be a lawyer to understand it, you just need to know English. Perhaps CNN could help by giving a link to both the HR Committee and Senate Committee for copies of the respective bills. HR3200 does not legislate what we are being told – pp14-20 say that I can keep the insurance I want ONLY if I have on day one of year one, other wise I have to take government run insurance. Also, if there are any changes to my insurance, which I have on day one, I have to automatically be kicked into government insurance – this includes any changes in premium costs.
    pp.425-430 expound on how if you are over 65, forget getting treated for something as common as appendicitis. Surgery is too costly to keep someone who is "not productive" alive by allowing them to undergo surgery. Instead, counseling will take place on how to make your death easier.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  851. Cynthia L. Carlson

    I don't know what more I can "give up" before I will become homeless. My husband is disabled and just lost 25% of his income. I work for IHSS, taking care of disablee/seniors who live in their own home; yet, I lost 25% of my income. I have had no medical insurance for the last 5 years due to lack of finances. I could not even get a dentist appt because I had no insurance. Since CA has dropped dentist coverage as of this month I am able to make an appt for myself.

    I made less then $20,000 in 2008 and yet, I had to pay taxes! I WANT a government health plan.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  852. Sherrol

    One way Canadians pay for their healthcare is through taxes – income, sales, sin etc..... EVERYONE is taxed and you don't see them whining or griping, as a matter of fact if they lost their system they would probably riot and oust their leaders.

    Taxes have already been raised on cigarettes here in america. How about raising taxes on alcohol, soda, artificial fruit drinks, junk food.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  853. Cherry B

    For those of you calling this socialized medicine, please educate yourselves more. This is not the same sort of care or costs you may be familiar with in Canada. Different in many aspects.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  854. David A Whitaker

    Rich for me is being able to pay my bills with ease. Being to go vacation when ever I want, and having a great home of my owned. Anything else is more headache than I care to want to have.

    David
    Martinsburg,WV

    July 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  855. G. Reynolds

    I am willing to give up the multimillon's of dollars of advertising aimed at the general public who should not be playing doctor. I am willing to give up the billon's of dollars of lobby money to shore up the profits of companys in the health care business. I am willing to give up the practice of no bid medicines paid for by the government. After making these sacrifices I know health care cost will drop by 50%, all due to my great sacrifice

    July 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  856. Ruth

    Why doesn't anyone question Obama's plan to pay for this reform with money recovered from fraud or money that's already in the system. If it's that easy to recover this money why hasn't fraud been eliminated already? I don't think those funds can be captured especially after watching your story on the $1200 wheelchair rental.

    I hate to be so cynical but I have learned that if there is money to be made by fraud it will be made. Clean up the old fruad and there will be more. This is not to say I don't believe in healthcare for all, just to say it will cost a lot more than you think because no one plans for fraud in their estimates.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  857. Sevyna

    I'd give up a lot, including taxes, because good health is priceless. Wait until you're sick, or a close loved one, with a very expensive health issue, you'll change your mind real quick.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  858. Linda

    My husband and I have worked all our lives. We have paid taxes and insurance preminums. We were happy with our coverage until my husband hit 65 and was forced into the Medicare program. As a result, he now receives less benefits and pays more. If this is government's idea of health care; we are in trouble. Furthermore, why are you asking what will we (the taxpayer) be willing to give up when in fact the question should be what is Congress going to give up. If they aren't going to live with this new system, why should we.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  859. Val

    If our system is so good why aren't all the countries going to our system?I now pay $96 monthly for medicare for a plan that does less than the Canadian one for which my similar costs would be $62 month. I work with people from around the world and when I ask them what they dislike about their homeland's medical system they launch into a litany of complaints. When I ask what they think of the USA system now that they are living here they laugh,"What system?" Then, they add that at least the previous country had a system even with shortcomings but the USA has none. Given a choice they all said they preferred what they had in their native country. All this fear-mongering from the government and the media will accomplish what the big insurance and pharmaceutical company's want–it will again defeat a health care system for everyone. Yes, the USA system allows us the "possibility" of having the best health care money can buy–you can have it if you can afford it. I'd be willing to give up my daily cup of restaurant coffee and add the $40 month to what I already pay for health care to get a system that covers all legal residents of the USA.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  860. Pat Maddox

    Tony, Although I have wonderful, health care included in my retirement package, I would be willing to give it up for Universal Health Care for all, such as Canadians have. I have traveled in Canada many times and without exception, Canadians I have asked have said they LOVE their health care and wouldn't give it up for anything. They say they get good and immediate care for serious things, such as cancer, though they may have to wait a bit for elective things. Why not tax SODA, CHIPS, COOKIES, DING DONGS, etc.., "foods" that contain zero nutrition? It's not like you have to have them to survive! I have grown children and grandchildren who have NO health care insurance, they cannot afford the HUGE price being charged., This is not really a financial question.....it is a social question, a moral question. Just as having enough to eat is a RIGHT, so is adequate health care. We have a wonderful, prosperous country (I believe we still are even with the current economic problems) with wonderful health care and it should be a RIGHT for all.

    ALSO, every other major country in the world has Universal Health Care, why are we the exception???? Embarrassing! Let's see: Spain, England, Germany, France, Scandinavian countries, Canada, ....others can fill in my blanks.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  861. Joanne

    Tony,
    Right now 2.9% of our income goes to medicare. 1/2 or 1.45% from employees and 1/2 or 1.45% from employer, and self employeed pay the full 2.9%. If you upped the tax to 5% – 2.5 from empolyees and 2.5 from employers, and 5% from self employeed, social security, and welfare recipents, including the President, Senators, and Congress,
    Teachers, postal workers, EVERYONE!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  862. Joanne

    Tony,
    Right now, 2.9% of our income goes to medicare – 1.45% from employees and 1.45% from employers.

    If you raised that from to 2.9% to 5% and included the President, Senators, Congress, all teachers, postal workers, social security recipents, military, military retiress and welfare recipents with no caps. EVERYONE!!! This would raise over 200 BILLION DOLLARS per year. $2 TRILLION DOLLARS over ten years.

    A family grossing $50,000.00 per year would pay $2500.00 per year, right now whether the individulal pays it or the employer the premiums is at least 12,500.00 per year, no including co-pays and deductibles. The savings would be at a minumin would $10,000.00 per family per year.

    This should be a no brainer!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  863. C Smith

    Yes, I'm willing to pay more taxes. For years the increase in health care costs has outpaced our cost of living raises.

    Here's something else I'd give up: I need hearing aids. For my kind of hearing loss they're expensive. There are a couple of very reputable online dealers whose prices are far, far less than if I purchased the aids locally. The problem is that my insurance company won't pay for "out of network" services. For me it will be a wash; I'll end up paying about the same, maybe a bit more, to buy them locally, and my insurance will cover some of the cost. The overall cost will be twice as much as if I purchased the hearing aids online. If I purchased them online and my insurance paid the same amount they'll pay "in network" my cost would be 90% less. That kind of waste makes no sense!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  864. Tony from L.A.

    Why are the Republicans always definding there position by assuming everynoe has and can afford health insurance and never addressing the people who do not have and or can't afford it like myself.

    I listen to them waiting for there answer to this issue and all I hear is NOTHING which tells me, "if you can't buy insurance, we not interesting in even addressing you. "

    Stay out of grown folks business.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  865. Andrew

    I am willing to give up all of our overpaid Senators and Congressman up on Capitol Hill. These people spend years and years in congress and never get anything done. They investigate things that the government has no business getting involved in and then drag their feet on important issues and when our nation needs them to act. I am so sick of the political games they play. As a Leukemia survivor, health care is very important to me and yet hmos and my insurance company decides what kind of care I need and not my doctor. Ain't that AMERICA!!

    -Andrew from PA.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  866. Joe

    I had been paying over $30,000 to $40,000 per year on policies for my wife and me. I hear others who complain about Medicare costs, but I am very pleased. For those that had amazing coverage, maybe it is different. But I, for one, think that it is worth much more than the cost. I would be willing to pay a little more for the coverage if the doctors would be compensated more for office visits.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  867. gloria goodall

    I am willing to give up most of my freedom. Our oldest child has Medicaid due to disabilities. She also has and we have regular insurance. She has nurses. I am willing to care for her myself most of the time(some time off for sanity sake). The cost of 80 hours of care through Medicaid is now approximately 2100. a week. If I could get enough to cover leaving my job and get paid what anyone else off the street could get paid for caring fror her, it would cost 960. a week. Besides the cost, the quality of our lives would improve 80%. What further needs to be said. I know there are others who feel like I do but we have all been told ....no. I was told I might not care for her but have done so numerous times due to the nursing shortage.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  868. Haydn Hutson

    Mr. Harris- I would be willing to give up my need for short-term results. The president's health reform is smart. It seeks to realign our thinking about results in this area. Like education, which has a payoff when a child graduates (hopefully from college), health care has a payoff as a person grows older with their health. The benefits of this are legion, but Americans are not use to this type of timeline for results. This short-term, short-sighted need for quick results is what got Wall Street and our economy in trouble. Lets change our behavior in this respect and do it right.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  869. Eddie

    We are not educated until we are all educated, we are not safe until we are all safe, we are not healthy until we are all healthy. And just like I pay taxes to maintain school systems even though I am not a parent , a police forces and firefighter rescue teams when I have never been robbed or had a fire with out complaining; I think I should pay taxes to make sure my neighbor is healthy because I know he would do the same for me.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  870. Sarah York

    I am a physician, and I (and almost every physician I know) am in favor of a government run plan. Health care Is a basic human right, and I am embarrassed to live in a country that allows families to go without health care. Taxing families making more than $200,000 is very reasonable; I would gladly pay more taxes to cover more Americans.

    July 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  871. Rob

    I am willing to give up my expensive employer sponsored plan and pay higher taxes if necessary. With my employers plan the co-pays and deductibles result in us paying more out of pocket than my insurance company anyway. My wife is required to see a specialist on a monthly basis and pays a $35 copay. After the insurance company takes their discount then end up paying the doctor an additional $17.

    Before moving to the US in the mid 90's I was born and raised in Canada. The government run, single payer system there works well for 99% of Canadian Citizens. Although, there are instances where it falls short, like the one documented in that commercial featuring the unnamed Canadian citizen with the brain tumor, but these are isolated cases. I am sure you could document many multiple instances of insurance companies denying treatment in the US for every such case in Canada.

    Every major industrialized country in the world has confronted this problem and solved it with a single payer system, except the US whose healtcare system now ranks 40-something in the world.

    I find it interesting that the health insurance industry is now willing to reform itself as your recent guest stated. I wonder would they be willing to do so without the specter of a government-run plan. Somehow, I doubt it. If the government plan comes off the table, how long will it take them to revert back to their old (profit maximizing) ways. Not long, I suspect. Look at Wall street, back to their same old risky behavior in less than a year!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  872. Duncan York

    As a physician I believe that the fundamental question is not what we would be willing to give up, but what are our priorities in a functional health care system. It is clear that every other industrialized nation can provide as good or better coverage (based on infant mortality and longevity rates) for less money than we spend per person while providing universal coverage.
    We need to give up expensive unproven procedures, hospital rooms with flat screen TVs, and paying billions of dollars to coders and insurance agencies who fight about how much to pay and what to cover. We need to prescribe generic drugs, stop practicing defensive medicine (ie ordering expensive tests on the remote chance they are positive to try and avoid a lawsuit) and provide basic coverage regardless of preexisting conditions. We need to stop paying subspecialists up to 10 times the amount that primary care physicians make just because they do procedures.
    In turn we would save enough money for basic health services for all. There needs to be a group that makes the extremely hard decision of how to ration health care. Financially we cannot insure every person for lung transplantation or ventricular assist devices. What we can do is provide basic coverage for primary care visits and treatment of routine conditions. The current capitalist system can then take over to fill in the gaps of coverage for those who have the ability to afford the insurance and desire to have that additional coverage.
    I would be happy to pay higher taxes to see this happen, however, I feel that in the long run the cost would actually be lower than current health care costs. Every other industrialized country can provide universal coverage so why can't we?

    July 23, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  873. James

    Maybe its time to give up the health care our elected officials have, level the playing field, start over, what we have only makes our elected officials rich, and, does nothing for those who have lost everything thru foreclosure because their health insurance didn't do what they paid all these years for. If the insurance companys go under so be it welcome to the real world..

    July 23, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  874. L. Bassett

    Why don't you repharase your question, ie. "What are you willing to contribute?" instead of "What are you willing to give up?" The American mindset is the problem. When accumulation of wealth is no longer the ultimate measure, goal and underlying motivation for all we do we just might be able to accomplish something worthwhile.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  875. Jennifer Smith

    I lived in Canada for 12 years and enjoyed the best health care of my life. I moved back to the States in 1990. Now, as a four year breast cancer survivor, I live the nightmare that so many in this country share, having to fight the insurance company and the debt collectors, in addition to fighting the disease. My insurance company has not paid for a mammogram in three years and my deductible has increased to $5000 per individual.
    I would happily pay more taxes, particularly on items like soft drinks and candy, so that all of us could enjoy health care. As a country, we currently spend approximately 16.9% of our GDP on health care. If we could reduce that spending to the 9-10% that many of the other industrialized nations spend, while offering healthcare for all of their citizens, it seems to me we could apply those savings to paying for the program.
    If we do nothing? What I may very well be giving up is my life.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  876. Sherrol

    How many Americans are hopping the border to Canada or getting on a plane to Europe for their free healthcare? None…I wonder why!
    _________________________________________________________

    That's because they have to be citizens or landed immigrants of Canada, or filthy rich.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  877. jame

    Don't forget to mention that the SQL indexes on the 'position' column MUST NOT be unique, because of the temporary duplicates created by the progressive updates in the sort action.

    July 24, 2009 at 2:58 am |
  878. Opa

    I'm willing to give up the anxiety I feel for one of my three sons and all of my grandkids who have no health insurance. Without health care reform, what will happen to them after I'm gone?

    July 24, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  879. D

    A VOICE OF REASON: Denis Cortese Pres. & CEO of Mayo Clinic
    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/10496

    July 24, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  880. Tracy

    I'm a 23-year-old resident of Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters of Wellmark, Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the largest insurance providers. Health care is a human right, and this is not a money or profit issue, this is a moral issue. Everyone has a right to health care, just as everyone has a right to education.

    I would be willing to give up these large insurance companies. I have many friends and relatives who work for these companies, but I truly believe that universal health care, as laid out in HR 676 in Congress, is the best, and only, way to go. Insurance companies like Wellmark would no longer exist, and those with jobs in those companies would lose them, but they would be retrained into providing actual health care, instead of pushing papers in a dingy cubicle.

    Our system is splintered. We need to remove the privatization and the profit motive, and give Americans the health care we deserve. We need solely a government option, where no one pays and everyone gets the coverage they need. It's the only way to fix this monumental problem.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  881. Gerry - CO

    Having doctors required to write all prescriptions - delegate more of this responsibility down to other medical personnel. Computer programs can be written to support a diagnoses and recommend many of the prescriptions. Experienced nurses could be given a certification test to qualify them to handle some limited medical conditions. Simplify the process - I could do without the paperwork; and trusted to buy most drugs w/o having to get a doctor's approval. Have folks take a test to ensure they know the dangers.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  882. Gary Gerard

    1. Tax everything unhealthy, unwise and unneeded. Those who are...
    A. ...not practicing healthy lifestyles pay for their poor health through "Unhealthy" tax.
    B. ...choosing poor choice lifestyles (porn, gambling, drinking, smoking, high risk events, etc.) pay "Poor Choice" tax.
    C. ...choosing excessive lifestyles (above the average housing, cars, clothing cost, etc.) pay "Excessive" tax.

    2. Prisoners should provide on-site services to businesses to pay their own way AND create prison profits while learning useful skills for reentry to society: print shop, laundry service, mechanic service, etc.

    3. Keep our soldiers home and only enter other countries to offer services based on love and caring: natural disaster, teaching better farming methods, education, meal and clothing centers that teach life skills in exchang, etc., etc.

    4. Offset community cost through required community services and special community events: volunteer fire fighters, maintaining public facilities (parks, etc), "Clean the streets" day, "Clean the park" day, provide stand-in help for public services to relieve employees and cut cost for everyone.

    5. In that everyone can do something, only those who do receive any 'government handouts' in return for the work or service they provide back to the community.

    6. Keep thinking of more such ideas.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  883. Terry- Maryland

    It has been noted in many of the comments that the authors infer that "Healthcare" is a RIGHT.
    WRONG- where in the Constitution does it say that Healthcare is a right??
    As a Nation we should consider Healthcare for all people. This consideration does not mean however that a percentage of the population is supposed to pay for the remainder of the population who do not contribute to the costs in some way when they can be it maybe only through Public,community Service. Those who are absolutely unable to contribute for all the reason we know of i.e. health,disabilities, age etc., will be excused by local committies of their peers. Those who abuse, live poor unhealthy lifestyles or are on wellfare and are unwilling to contribute, get only basic health services until they change their lifestyles..

    July 24, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  884. David

    Happy Birthday Tony!

    July 24, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  885. anamericanidiot

    I see many of you would be willing to live in a communist country to get something for "free." Nothing is free. National Health care will come at a heavy cost. I lived in Belgium & I can tell you the tax burden is very high. It is not just the rich who pays. I know many of you want to live off the backs of the rich because you envy them & believe they have limitless wealth. The CBO is infamous for low-balling its cost estimates – go back and check what they thought Medicare would cost vs actual. The CBO says this plan won't work & will cost far more.

    The current system can be fixed with a few regulations & a major reworking of Medicare. Fix Medicare & make it fill the gap for those who truly can't afford insurance. If they can't fix Medicare then a rushed health care plan will bankrupt the nation. We don't need 2 broken health insurance programs. Read the House bill. It is bad & it IS a single payer system.

    If Medicare now pays $1200/year for a $440 wheelchair don't expect a national health care system will magically pay a reasonable cost. No, then we can all pay higher taxes to enrich the pharmaceutical & medical supply companies. Look who is pushing for this. Because they KNOW it will line their pockets with YOUR money.

    No I'm not willing to even think about national health care until Medicare is fixed. I expect a blizzard in Key West will happen first.

    July 24, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  886. bruce a robertson MD

    As a family doctor, I would probably lose income under a single-payer system but nothing would make me happier.

    If a government agency performed as poorly as the “health” insurance companies, the right wing, profit-raising, tax-lowering class would shriek; but since it’s their confreres at the helm, those insurance giants can give such rotten, expensive “service” to the nation with impunity. I am a family doctor; I deal with those companies every day. If I hear one more time about the “bureaucrat between the patient and his/her doctor” I’m going to . . . There has never been any such thing between me and my Medicare patients. But the private insurers? They are constantly obstructing my patients’ care, wasting my time and endangering my patients’ lives.

    Michael Moore’s Sicko is 100%, spot on, particularly the parts concerning the US, UK, France and Canada, (Cuba, I’m not sure, no direct knowledge). As a physician, my personal, professional experience every day confirms Moore’s documentary. Scare mongering with the word “socialist” is shameful; it’s just an excuse to avoid what people assume will be higher taxes. There’s a big difference between socialist countries (planned economies) and social democracies (market economies and comprehensive social services).

    Fox news says “Most of those 47 million uninsured don’t want insurance anyway.” That begs the question, since the insurance companies’ pre-existing conditions clauses make so many people “uninsurable” and charge others unaffordable rates.

    (Full disclosure: I am in private group practice; as a patient, I too am “uninsurable” save for the group health insurance of my wife [who is thus tied to her job] and the VA.)

    July 25, 2009 at 4:10 am |
  887. David Hutchinson

    Universal Healthcare is a Human Right just as there is a Human Right to Education. This is all about Profitability. Did folks become Doctor's to earn a great living or to help people? Supposed there was a virus going around and because of human contact and airborne aspiration. Rich or poor you would want protection from disease. Disease is no respector of persons. It is in the interest of National Security that all folks are covered by healthcare. As it is right now we are being held hostage by the profitability of doctors, suppliers and pharmecuticals and insurance companies. If Education is a right then why not Healthcare?What's next? Housing and Energy will become human rights. We will also have a right to Internet Access. We will learn to find profitability in other areas.

    July 25, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  888. Grace Connors

    I am an advocate of a co-payment waivered fund. The national average for co-payments is conservatively estimated at seventy-five dollars. A doctor or facilty would have the discretion to waiver a co-payment. That payment would then be transferred to a fund for the uninsured and the doctor or medical facility would receive an end of year tax benefit for waivering the co-payment. The insured individual wouldn't be burdened with a payment for a doctor's visit , surgical or diagnostic testing.
    While this approach wouldn't significantly impact our healthcare system I believe it would be a helpful step in the right direction.
    I'm often reminded of a friend whose mom lived in Canada and had to frequently be admitted to the ER towards the end of her life. My friend said "I wish I had a camera to show people what healthcare in Canada looks like." At the time her mom had been waiting three days in an ER hallway waiting for a bed , across the hall a young women was asleep on the floor with one arm hanging over the chair next to her. Clutched in her hand was a ticket displaying the number which would eventually be called for her to receive emergency care.

    Sincerely,
    Grace Connors

    July 26, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  889. Yvette Schmitter

    Tony I believe the real question is this - are you willing to become personally responsible for your healthcare? Meaning, if everyone is going to "ante up" to pay for universal healthcare the premium rates must not only be community rated but be on the HEALTH status of the consumer. For example, if someone smokes their premium should be higher than a non smoker. And if they stop smoking next year, their premium should be lower.

    In order to make a system of universal coverage work EVERYONE needs to be accountable and responsible for their health. Taxing the rich to pay for a system that is still riddled with consumers that are not responsible for their health and well being.

    Obvisiouly the delivery system is going to change and from my perspective for the better because that means that everyone has access to healthcare and it changes from becoming an afforded benefit to a "right."

    Yvette Schmitter
    Healthcare Contributor

    July 29, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  890. Joanna Clark

    Does anyone reading this really believe that the following criminals have our best interests at heart. This is what they have each received in bribes from big pharma and the health insurance racketeers.

    Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) $1,203,205
    Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) $206,297
    Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) $442,165
    Sen. Mike Enzi (R-NV) $342,228
    Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) $702,595
    Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) $161,706
    TOTAL: $3,058,256

    It the good people of their home states would wake up and throw them out of office, perhaps we could get some meaningful health reform.

    July 29, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  891. Aurelius Marcus

    will you tell the American Viewers the TRUTH....This Health Care is about giving Illegal Aliens American Health Care on the backs of American TAx Payers. This STINKS. Be truthfull and reported. This country was founded on the Liberty and Freedom of the individuals not on Handouts. So report the TRUTH for once.....

    July 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  892. Virginia

    How can you say that Medicare is a government paid for insurance. They deducted my Medicare dues for YEARS before I started drawing anything. In addition to that I pay close to $100 a month in medicare premiums to the government. And If you want to be seen by a doctor you still need to pay for a secondary insurance so they pay some of the additional costs or the doctors do not have time to see medicare patients. Sure there are a few that will, some good, some trying to build a practice, and some that are not able to hang onto a good practice. GET REAL. Stop sounding like it a freebie service for seniors........it is not!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  893. Chris

    I am willing to help retirees, to help people laid off temporaily, to help children in orphanages. What I, and others, are getting tired of is those few million of people who won't work and are beating the system into backruptcy. Let's rid all social systems of these types and our system will work.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  894. John Tubiolo

    I'm willing to give up my Senators and State Reps. Healthcare package for the one they wish to put the people of this country on. I believe that they should have no problem switching coverage if they feel it's going to be a great as they say.

    July 30, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  895. Charlie Flynn

    Well, now that the first phase of a "healthcare" bill is on the docket, how many of our representatives actually read the bill? If I'm to invest in any venture, utilizing my tax dollar$, an, perhaps even more, I'd like to know what is in the 1,000 page healthcare proposal? I'v read and heard snippets of the benefits, gleaned, I guess, from the actual millenium tome. Instead of asking for more dollar$ to fund this massive proposal, why not CUT existing spending from the clutter of sundry "pork" pet projects and reinvest in healthcare, if it's that important to us all.

    August 2, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  896. Bruno

    I am so glad that the two women are back on US soil. Having served in uniform for two and 1/2 years in S.K, I can attest that than, women were valued no more than furniture in Korea in general, I can only imagine how it must be in N.K.
    However, I can't help but wonder if that was me or someone else like me in N.K., if Al, Obama and the rest of them would have sent Bill to get me out... HMMMMM...????

    August 5, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  897. Bruno

    I just watched Dr Gupta political answer to the question " is my mouth not part of my health?" I did not hear an answer, only herd tap dancing around a straight forward question requiring yey or ney answer. What medicare and medicaid approve or not does not matter. I still have to take ATBs before serious work on my teeth is done.
    As I see it, FDA = bad laws = bad foods = Bad teeth = malnutrition = bad health... I don't know, the light is on but the shades are still down, or are they? not profitable???

    I vote yes to no health care for illegal aliens, and if they want to be addressed as non-documented, this is America... what-the-heck... OK! they are non-documented illegals.
    If our mouths are not part of our health, than what is the big deal?
    I vote yes to the revision to health care to include dental care. Big Pharma, MDs, FDA, Ins. Companies etc. don't like it? go and practice in MEXICO.
    Thank You

    August 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  898. Martina

    I'm willing to give up unnecessary procedures and frivolous lawsuits, outrageous and untrue cost calculating, denials by paper pushers and most importantly the profit motive which is at the heart of all evil. No other western civilized nation has this. I come from Austria where people can rely on a government health plan. If they want faster, nicer service, or a better room in the hospital they can buy piggy-back supplementary insurance – which thrives there by the way. For example women in their child-bearing years often opt for a gyn-option that gives them one week of spa-like treatment, access to lactation consultants and neo-natal care in a single room facility after the birth of their child. I hear it is really nice to be able to sleep and recouperate after you had a baby while a nice nurse takes your newborn for a walk....

    August 13, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  899. David Hutchinson

    These are human beings. Stop worrying about whose going to pay. Whose going to help cut down the cost of healthcare by doing preventive care in the first place.

    David Hutchinson
    ruffyy@gmail.com

    August 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm |