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July 22nd, 2009
09:41 AM ET

Got questions about health care reform?

With all the proposals and counter-proposals out there about health care reform it's really hard to keep straight exactly how what happens in Washington will affect you and your health.

We want to make sure we get your questions answered.

If you could ask someone from the White House or a member of Congress one question or raise one concern about health care reform what would it be?

E-mail us at: mailtothechief@cnn.com
or tweet us at: twitter.com/KyraCNN
You can also call us and leave a voice mail at: 1.877.742.5760

We will use your questions on the air on CNN NewsRoom 1p-3p eastern


Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (130 Responses)
  1. John Williams

    If our government is unable to enact an affordable healthcare plan for all Americans, why should the American taxpayer continue to subsidize the healthcare of all federal employees especially the Congressmen and Senators who don’t seem to be smart enough to develop a plan?

    July 22, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  2. Ray R

    When are we going to see this bill passed already.
    Many people with little or no Insurance are quietly waiting.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  3. Morley Goddard

    I just watched an advertisement on CNN about healthcare in Canada. The add was so wrong and inaccurate it was laughable. I guess the message will acheive the desired affect and scare most Americans. Healthcare in Canada is not controlled by government bureaucrates. Government in Canada does NOT interfere with doctors or the treatment provided patients. Patients do not wait months for treatment or to see specialists. The same drugs available in the U.S. are available in Canada and these drugs do not come from China or the third world. I had a partial hip replecement within 24 hours of diagnoses by a specialist. It amazes me the inaccurate information and scare tacttices that lobby groups will use to prevent any kind of healthcare reform in the U.S.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  4. Erika

    I heard Sen. Wyden on MSNBC this morning and he is proposing a new bil were the workers get to choose through their employers. What about the unemployeed? Part-time workers? Self employeed?

    July 22, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  5. zetta

    I don't know if this counts but can you please ask them to stop letting the doctors give out so many drugs. I know of at least 16 people who have lost their job and their homes because of the drugs doctors gave them. I believe that they would still be working if not trying to find someone to give them or buy pain killers that were prescribed by a doctor. I think that we are looking at health care reform backward. Yes, people are sick but that is mostly because of their eat and social habit, like smoking, drinking, and drugs. Maybe, instead of putting a band-aid on health care we as a people need to live healthier lives. We need to heal ourselves instead of putting our lives in doctors’ hands with their drugs and side effects, which require more drugs.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  6. Robert

    In your show a cancer patient showed a stack of bills and did not pay them, now they refuse to help her.
    First of all I am convinced that a lot of her bills are "padded" and a lot are unjustified.
    The problem with healthcare ( which no one seems to want to address is: "what should be the real cost to the patient"
    For instance if an hospital buys an MRI machine; how isit bought?
    Via a lobbyist; who got kickbacks, how wasthe price negotiated etc.
    Then on how is the write off calculated and its use calculated.
    The same accounts for all medical procedures and staff.
    At the moment this info is kept close to the "vest" in this industry.
    THE BASE COST IS THE DRIVER; NOT THE INSURANCE PLANS.
    Start by researching on how doctors bills are composed!!!!

    Rob

    July 22, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  7. Edna Trawick -Arizona

    This FAX was seent to all of my Congressional Representatives
    July 7,2009

    I am totally opposed to this idea born in lunacy of allowing persons who hold a concealed weapon permit in one state to be able to carry that weapon concealed into another state.

    The American Rifle Association has had for, far to long a larger influence in Washington D. C. than the American public should have tolerated, I know and fully understand the 2nd amendment of the Bill of Rights as well as the reason of its creation.

    That said a very close look at our current crime rate (especially murder) or deaths caused by guns should say to any intelligent person that we need to seriously curb our laws pertaining to guns not expand upon them.

    If you take a closer look at other laws which totally abolish the reason to allow gun ownership under the 2nd Amendment the laws that are in place and the reasoning for them border insanity, which the American Rifle Association tirelessly lobbies for these laws to remain in place and constantly expands upon them.

    Charlton Heston who lobbied for them as well as headed the association for several years admitted to being used by them, when are our Congressional Leaders awaken and face the reality of the same.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  8. Terry

    On healthcare reform: One simple change in entitlements will solve the money problem: ANY RECIPIENT OF GOVERNMENT FUNDED BENEFITS (OF ANY KIND) MUST BE CITIZENS OR LAWFUL IMMIGRANTS WITH APPROPRIATE VISAS IN THE UNITED STATES.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  9. Charles Kopack

    How can "true" reform take place when the pharmaceutical companies and medical specialists are running things?
    How can health care be "reformed" when the doctors and hospitals are allowed to charge whatever they want, and are not held accountable for their mistakes? There has been a lot of talk about "reforming" malpractice claims. But, the doctors who are guilty of malparctice are never censured. And, there isn't enough emphasis on preventive care, just pushing of drugs and their side-effects.
    Magazines, newspapers, and television is filled with ads for drugs. As if they are the answer to everything.
    I know that I have had to entirely cut out my medication because I can't afford them.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  10. Norbert LeCompte

    How come the media has not mentioned one word about what is about to happen to veterans EARNED health benefits ?

    One of President Obama’s most urgent priorities is to reform our nation’s broken health care system, and there has been much written and reported on ways to do this. No one in this country will argue that the current health care system needs to be repaired, but I am disturbed by some of what I’ve been reading. One of the benchmarks established by the president is to enable folks who already have insurance they like to keep it. My understanding of that is that I can keep the insurance I currently have at the present level of coverage and payment. There is some language in Chapter 9 of the CBO Budget Options document that if implemented would not meet that benchmark. Please allow me to address my concerns.

    I am a retired veteran with more than twenty years service and earned the coverage I currently have. My wife and I have Medicare which we each pay for, and have Tricare For Life which I earned through more than twenty years of honorable service to this country as a supplement. These two programs provide me with satisfactory protection. My concerns come from Option 96 on page 175 in the CBO’s “Budget Options, Volume 1, Health Care” document.

    Here’s a quote from the first paragraph: “Because the Department of Defense (DoD) is a passive payer in the program—it neither manages care nor provides incentives for the cost-conscious use of services—it has virtually no means of controlling the program’s cost.” The next couple paragraph addresses potential savings. At the end of paragraph four it says “Approximately 22 percent of those savings would come from a reduced demand for medical services rather than from a transfer of spending from the government to military retirees and their families.” It appears to me that this option is suggested as a means to limit spending not by improving the program, but by increasing out-of-pocket spending by retires in hopes of limiting their medical visits. And, that’s not just my assessment but one of the advantages specifically addressed in this option in paragraph five which states “An advantage of this option is that greater cost sharing would increase TFL beneficiaries’ awareness of the cost of health care and promote a corresponding restraint in their use of medical services.” I agree that there probably is a need for some to restrain their use of medical services, but is increasing the cost of this promised benefit for everyone the best answer? I’ve been employed by the government for more than forty years and every time there is a need to save money the government seems to take the easy way out: reduce personnel, eliminate benefits or cut programs.

    The document does address a disadvantage in the last paragraph. There is says “Among its disadvantages, this option could discourage some patients (particularly low-income patients) from seeking preventive medical care or from managing their chronic conditions under close medical supervision, which might negatively affect their health.” I thought the reason for the needed change in the health care program of the country is to help low-income people get medical protection. Here’s another disadvantage that was not addressed: “Those who were promised life-time heath coverage after twenty years of honorable service to this country will again have to accept another broken promise. "

    I ask that you not support any health care bill that would lessen the current health care benefits earned by military servicemen and women through twenty or more years of honorable service to our country.

    Thank you

    Norbert LeCompte CMSGT (retired)
    Dover, NH

    July 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  11. helen

    I really wish your network would have the courage to illustrate how Obama's healthcare is rationcare and as Americans we have always prided ourselves on the best care. I personally don't want the government telling seniors whether they are eligible for care based on their age. That is Obamanation.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  12. Evan

    The issue is actually simpler than we make it out to be. Health care needs to be handled by the doctors that have spent nearly a decade in training to do. Treat all patients to the best of their ability while using their own judgement in the process. If a patient is terminal, it should be their right to make peace with loved ones and have their final moments. Doctors are the true elites of the nation and need to be rewarded for their services. They should be encouraged to treat everyone in need rather than make more money working for less but more affluent patients. Or would we rather have the 80 year old man that could pay the hospital in cash live for another few weeks while the 8 year old girl dies because she was sent home for lack of insurance?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  13. Kwe McDonald

    are they going to control hospitals and doctors also to help people??? in June i was charged $771.00 from a doctor in emergency room for him just cutting 2 blisters from my foot. and writing a precption. hospital charged $494.57 for sitting in room of er for 20 min. total of me in er for 15 to 20 min $1265.57 i ended up paying $796.57. insurance only payed $75.00. could have payed more but hospital put them as 2 Bills and not as a whole. insurance company said it would have helped to have as 1 bill and not 2 because it was considered 2 visits on my part and not 1.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  14. Nile Johnson

    No matter how many conferences Obama takes to explain the reform, of course there's some "non-profit" organization broadcasting the contrary, just making americans even more confused. I'm sure I heard Obama state "americans will NOT lose coverage if you change your job, lose your job, start a new job, or get sick", so then I see members of the opposing party state "well don't take him literally", are you serious? Also some are saying the reform will not bring down long-term costs? I think americans are confused on the difference between long-term costs and short-term costs. Of course some sort of taxation must be done in order to alleviate the huge deficit that already exists from our current healthcare system. As far as putting a 5% tax on americans making a million annually, wouldn't it seem a bit selfish to be complaining about that when the rest of OUR country faces reality?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  15. Kevin Leo

    Morley,

    The fearmongers would rather through out terms like socialism and cast Canada in a negative light than offer true suggestions to make healthcare for all feasible. It is ridiculous that we as a country have been trying to solve this issue since the days of Truman and we are still battling the ignorant and selfish to make this legitimate dream a reality!

    July 22, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  16. James E. Whedbee

    Dear CNN, Viewers, and Public Officials:

    There is all this talk about how much money a nationwide government-directed healthcare plan will cost. This morning, I'm watching the Bernanke hearing and our government says that because there was a systemic risk, so they had TRILLIONS of dollars (between four and twenty-five trillion dollars depending on the source) to pay out to insurers and bankers. When it's our own people, I guess "We the People" aren't enough of a systemic risk to pay out one trillion dollars. Is this REALLY the message the government intends for us to get?

    Thanks!!!

    James Edwin Whedbee, M.Ed.
    Gladstone, Missouri

    July 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  17. tim

    Yea why must dems put the victims on the podium. I think its pathetic and im sick of the health care stunts. Childrens hospital, victims, the whole deal it makes me sick. Every time the democrats try to manipulate me i am more anti health care. What i find the most troubleing is cnn's " medical reporter" where did they pick this lady up the rose garden? Stop trying to push this down our throats we do want it.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  18. Carolyn

    I have read and heard that while President Obama claims that company provided insurance will not be affected, it not comes to my attention that there will be a healthcare czar that will have to approve all company plans to see that they meet the governments standards. If the plan doesn't get approval the employees will then be incorporated into the government plan whether they like it or not. How is this keeping the government out of existing plans?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  19. Randall

    The problem isn't just the need to provide the uninsured inssurance.
    What I feel needs to be included is a program for those who is underinsured – I can't afford what is offered by my work a third of my pay check each week plus 1000$ coinsurance and a 1000$ deductable at hospitals

    My question is how are we going to deal with this? If gov. Heathcare isn't avalible to everyone who's healthcare stinks am I to get a another job that dosn't pay as much but offers no benifits?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  20. Nurel

    Health Reform as stated by President Obama:
    1. a. extend coverage and include insurance protection.
    b. no one will be denied coverage if he/ or she had a pre-existing medical condition.
    c. will not lose coverage if you change, lose, or start a new job.
    d. americans will be able to compare price and quality of different brands to pick the plan of choice.
    e. if you like your current plan, you will be able to keep it!
    f. each bill will provide for a public option that will keep insurance companies honest ensuring the competition necessary to make insurance affordable.
    g. the plan will exercise prevention and wellness by investing into programs to help americans live healthier lives, save money to prevent illness and increase the competitiveness of our country.
    h. protect american families from financial catastrophe if they get sick thus each bill having out of pocket limits to ensure that families don't go bankrupt.
    i. cut costs and improve quality. improve oversight while cracking down waste.

    ... sounds good to me, no?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  21. jon s

    1) It is very important to differentiate between health insurance and health care. You insure against an future event. You need health care for your current problem.
    2) Most insurance companies spend large sums to deny your claim. I would waste my time and their time trying to unravel claims.
    3) As a small business owner, I waited my day of freemon- Medicare. I was spending close to $40,000 a year with Health Net. At that price I could not afford an assistant.
    4) As a society, do we care about others?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  22. Stacy Wells

    If we are able to have Medicare, Medicaid, the VA as well as the insurance enjoyed by the members of congress, why can't we accomplish this for the entire United States, if not for partisan posturing?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  23. Debbie

    Will Medicare finally cover dental care? I am living in pain due to my teeth being infected and rotting away. I am surviving on a little over $800 a month social security and my spend down to get medicaid would leave me unable to pay my rent and utilities for that month. I need help.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  24. Erica

    We spend more than any other country per capita on health care but we are second to last of industrialized countries in quality. When with health insurance one/third of my gross income goes towards health care how am I expected to live? And for those who say wouldn't you rather you and your doctor choose what kind of tests and drugs you get instead of the government, you're already limited by what your health insurance companies allow you to have, I'd rather have the government help me pay for it then not have any tests at all. Drug companies and Health Insurance companies are making record profits as cost soar for consumers.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  25. James E. Whedbee

    While we're on the subject...everyone is saying "not so fast-slow down." What is there $12 million per day being paid in campaign contributions and lobbying on this issue? Of course certain politicians want to slow this down!!! It keeps the gravy train rolling for them!!! (Who are they trying to kid?) Again: trillions of dollars for bankers and insurers like AIG, but zilch for the ordinary people to have healthcare benefits...let's call it what it is: waste, fraud, abuse, and corruption in government. 🙂 James Whedbee

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  26. Mario Tucci

    Let's make HMOs and hospitals non-profit.

    Or create HMO/healthcare Ins. non-profit co-op that will compete with the for profit HMO/healthcare Ins.

    All HMOs did is move the profit center from the doctors and hospitals to private businesses.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  27. Jim D

    The big question that I don't see is what gives president Obama the power to force Americans to have health insurance if they chose not to have it. Please tell me where in the Constitution does it say the government can force me to have health insurance and then fine me if I don't get coverage or coverage for my employees.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  28. why???

    Has anyone addressed the costs of services and products? why does it cost $500 per pill or $10,000 for a procedure by a doctor? I know that I am making a broad statement but reforming health care has to start with costs. As long as we have greedy/profit seeking companies taking advantage of price gouging, the cost of health care will never be reasonable in this country.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  29. Maureen

    I admire President Obama for going to bat for the American people and trying his best to reform the health care situation.

    I will say though that you DO NOT want socialized medicine, as is practiced in Canada. Don't be misled by what they call "free medical care". It most certainly is NOT free! You need to be alive for the so-called "free" treatment. By the time we have been on a waiting list for months, even years for tests,visits to a specialist to diagnose the problem and finally treatment many people are so seriously ill that the "free" treatment they would have received comes to late. Please don't go down this road ~ You will regret it.

    There has to be a middle ground for both countries. I believe that President Obama and his staff will find that middle ground and show not only the U.S. but the rest of the world how this should be done. Please give him a chance! Anything is better than what both the U.S.A. and Canada is experiencing now.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  30. Tom Las Vegas Nevada

    Tony: I think the question should be: What are the pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, for profit hospitals willing to give up? Why is the consumer suppose to foot the enitre reform? What makes a drug cost less in Canada and/or Mexico than here? As consumers are we footing all the R&D and then other countries benefit while our citizens do without because of the high costs? Let's level the playing field for what our suppliers pay for the drug. Another option might be to legalize marijuana and then do as Oakland just has done, tax it and let that pay for health reform. Tax beer, products with sugar that is bad for health. Thanks.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  31. kate moreira

    We must follow Obama's push, if not this won't get done. The health industry is already bankrupting the country...change is always difficult but in the end the new health care program will save money. It is shameful that our country does not insure it's people. Everyone will be better off, even those who don't want to give up anything to insure the country. Their costs now are inflated because of the uninsured and insurance companies. There is so much misinformation and the old scare tactics. We the people need to band together and support this admin.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  32. Mario Tucci

    In our present system what would happen in a pandemic where a cure is available but very expensive and it bankrupts the healthcare Ins. Co. and HMOs? They would just declare bankruptcy and leave all of us without any coverage or any way to afford the cure.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  33. 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.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  34. Kwe McDonald

    that the insurance companys would have policies that help people out instead of using them...example i just got insurance 5 months ago i had a question for them yesterday i found out i had to wait 6 months for it to start..physical exma for year...and that i had a 10,000 dollar deducable.. I only got to doctor about 2 times a year They will never have to pay a thing unless i get real sick and only after I pay the 10,000 required of me. what a rip.. so money i have put in isn't any good for me or they don't pay a lot out when they do pay

    July 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  35. sue

    I am a small business owner, and I am FURIOUS over the fact that nearly EVERYONE seems to be missing the point that "the status quo is UNSUSTAINABLE" FOR ALMOST ALL OF US - NOT JUST FOR THOSE WITHOUT HEALTH INSURANCE. Guess what, all you people who have "comfy" plans with your current employers: "It ain't gonna last forever!" Each year, health insurance premiums for your comfy plans, increase at least 20-25 percent. For now, your employer may be absorbing that increase, or you may think that the increases in your contribution and copay are not hurting all that much - YET! How much longer do you think your employers will go on paying what they pay for your premiums before they either pass unaffordable costs on to you, or worse, stop offering company-paid plans? The only thing that'll make the health insurance companies stop gouging us is some healthy competition, and if it has to come from a government plan, then so be it!'
    So you see, it's not just about making the "have's" pay for the "have nots...." You may be next.
    Also remember, the health insurance companies have a lot of opponents to the Obama plan in their pockets.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  36. Lynn

    As a Canadian, who enjoys free health-care, I'm extremely anxious to know how many Americans know that THEY are the ONLY industrialized country in the world which does NOT provide FREE health care to their citizens! It just baffles my mind how intelligent, well-educated people don't see beyond the hype of the republican party's, as they're 'in the pockets' of the rich pharmaceutical companies!! People! Virtually all of Europe has publicly sponsored and regulated health care. Countries with universal health care include Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
    But the great US can't afford it??!! THINK, PEOPLE!!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  37. Lisa

    I really feel that if we tax the richest 1 percent of Americans it will give the healthcare system a serious boost. People need to get over themselves one person only needs so much MONEY! Because we are all interdependent, if the little guys fall so will the big ones, I think people today are really forgetting what keeps the system working.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  38. Paul Willson

    As a Canadian I find the ad against government health insurance using a Canadian (?) who says she had a brain tumour and had to go to the USA offensive. Over the last few years my mother had heart failure and we took her to hospital ab cardiologist looked at her and within 30 seconds was getting the cardiac care unit ready for to treat her. She survived for another 2 uears . No interference
    from the government in the least and costs covered by our health care program
    In the mid 1950s muich of the rhetoric I am hearing was hapopening here when governmental health care was proposed .
    Indeed the language was even more vitrolic .. We have ib over 50 years of goivernmental health care we have everyone covered.
    In Canada we have some hospitals that are better than world class in giving certain specialities, Montreal Neurological Institute for treating the brain, the cardiac care unit Royal Jubilee Hospital here in Victoria..
    I would like to see the USA have good health care insurance .

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  39. Lynn

    Just look at this map of countries WITH some form of universal health care and those which do not....it's quite ironic, however, that Iraq and Afghanistan both have free health care provided by US funds!

    It breaks my heart how skewed the republicans' version of health-care in Canada can be. NO ONE tells my doctor how or with what to treat me! ALL tests he requests are free without any 'okay' from anyone! My wait time for x-rays recently requested is ONE WEEK.
    I feel terribly sorry when I hear stories of Americans who lose their homes, incomes, life-savings because a member of their family got very ill. NEVER happens here in Canada....or in much of the world...except of course, the US. Sad, indeed.......

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  40. Joy

    In this health care reform battle, I find it necessary to bring up the issue of the how many thousands of unnecessary emergency visits occur each month. I think it is time for primary care physicians (family doctors) to step up and take care of these less urgent cases. Family doctor offices should be open 24/7.
    1 encounter at the family doctor office = approximately $65-$80
    1 encounter in the emergency room = starting cost $5000

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  41. David

    There is still one key issue not being discussed. If you really want to save money on health care – don't get sick! When will I hear a discussion about patient compliance and people making healthy choices?
    Stop smoking – exercise more – eat less meat – eat more fruits and vegetables

    why should I pay for people who make bad health choices?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  42. PAULA BLANKENSHIP

    I had a dear friend who committed suicide because he could not afford health care and medicine for his arthritis. I trust the government to run health care. The insurance companies have done a dismal job and they are for profit, period. It is unconscionable that hospitals in America can turn away patients (in dire need) because they do not have insurance or because their insurance is not within the hospitals network.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  43. Joy

    There was just a woman diagnosed with cancer on TV. She was upset because her accident/injury health policy did not cover her cancer diagnostics, prescription drugs, and her chemotherapy. She claimed to be a free lance filmmaker and had done well for herself.

    It is very sad for anyone to be diagnosed with cancer. In this case, this female chose to obtain a cheaper accident/injury policy instead of purchasing a major/medical insurance plan with prescription benefits (a traditional insurance policy). It seems to me she took her chances on the fact that she would stay healthy and purchased a cheap policy that gave very little coverage. She gambled and she lost. I dont think that is something to go on TV and cry about.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  44. Peter Larson

    In reference to this bill and the "public option", isn't healthcare already rationed by private providers that refuse to cover or cover completely outrageous but necessary expenses?

    Maybe the federal government will do better at facing down exorbitantly prices for procedures and consults than the private sector has. They certainly might if we go to a single-payer system. Congress must keep working at the passage of HR 3200 and real ref

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  45. Guy

    Why has Single Payer been swept under the table, it would be the cheaper way to health care reform? Insurance companies are the ones (along with Pharma) to push the price of health insurance thru the roof, by waste, over billing, and they own the congress.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  46. John from Naples Florida

    Ask the Politicians, if a govermnt run Health Care program is good for them and their families, Why not for my wife and I

    July 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  47. john

    I think we the government will be throwing good money – (whatever is left after the bailouts) after bad with this reforming of healthcare.
    We are paying medicare premiums now through our SS check, are we going to pay extra if this inadequate bill gets passed? Plus we have private insurance.
    There needs to be overhauling, but yes, as someone here said before,
    can't there be a plan that the whole country can afford and enjoy?
    Why start new?
    JOHN

    July 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  48. Christopher Smith Birmingham AL

    To All Republicans: You Imbeciles have been completely dillusional for the past eight years. It is impartiaive that your political party the GOP cease to be so pollitically Irresolute and try to aid barack obama in the streggles he faces abroad and domestic. We arent going to make any progress when you hypocrites dwell on the past. If you care so much about the fture generations of americans stop creating and implementing policies that only work for that time in history. just from reading the federalist and antii federalist papers, I was able to conclude that our founding fathers wrote the constitution because the articcles of the confederation did nothing for the centreal government andg gave the majority of the power to the states. How in the Hell can you be united with 13 different governments economies and all the other requrements to govr a nation. Additioally, the GOP complains about barrack obaman expanding the govornment. The Anti federalists made the sament satatement when they were devising a new strategy of government that would preserve the union fo rgeneratipons to come. Repubicans, you must lend a hand in what is at hand in WASHINGTON, DC. w DESPERATELY NEED HEALTH CAERE REFORM!!! THE REPUBLICANS ARE RESONSIBLE FOR THE HEATH CARE SYSTEM BEING THE WAY IT IS ANYWAY!!! Health care reform does not allways apply to govenment expansion! We desperately need to regulate the inshurance companies who deny my mother coverage because of her diabetes high blood pressure and muscular distrophy. recently she had a rotater cuff injury aln all they would allow her to recive isi phusical theropy. my moiher lives in pain cant sleep well because of these dillusional idiots who call themse;ves republicans.

    Christopher Smith

    July 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  49. Emilio Serrano

    What are you willing to give up to pay for healthcare reform. I am a retired military person living on a fix income. However I would not mind being taxed an additional $20,00 ir 30.00 a month to make sure every American has access to medicalkcare.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  50. Denise

    Where's the personal responsibility for our own health??! In Japan in order to be covered citizens need to maintain a certain waistline. In this country those who work hard and do take care of their health pay dearly for those who don't.

    Why not expect all individuals to maintain certain minimum standards, rather than consistently penalizing those who hard work, and make good lifestyle choices?

    The taxes to pay for the proposed "free" health care in America should come from the NON-essentials that contribute to poor health such as cigarettes, sugary drinks, junk food and nutritionally bankrupt processed foods, etc.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  51. Carol Miller

    My husband is 58 years of age He has insurrance at his job. He pays 40.00 a pay check which is bye weekly, he only gets the bare minamal. He has a deductal of 50.00. He does not go to the doctor because it would cost him more then he pays for. then on top of it he has to sit for at least two hours or more. So yes we think it is the time for a reform. I am so tired of hearing the republics saying it not the right time. Or it will cost to much. When is the right time and when is it time for the rich to pay for something. Its the saying the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. I am on disability and I have to worry about the gap. Which is very expensive when one perscription costs 100.00. So yes it is time for heath care reform. We are all for it. So tell the republican that like to go and have affairs or the ones that complain about everything the president is doing to sit down and be quit, if they dont have anything good to say. Yes I guess you could say we are mad. I watch my husband with his health go down hill because of money or no good health insurance. Thank you for listening. Hey Tony keep up the good work.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  52. Audj

    9:25 am- CNN just had a reporter on the CNN Newsroom segment talking about the public health care option. She stated that 50-60% of Americans were under some sort of government health care. This is false. If she actually checked the facts she would find that 30.4% of people with health insurance were under a government plan including 13.2% under Medicaid, 13.8% under Medicare, and 3.7% under military health care (U.S. Census Bureau). This statement should be corrected so the public is rightly informed.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  53. troy holcomb

    I can not belive there is evan a debate on healthcare. This a prime example of why funding should NEVER be taken from our schools. Most of the people against reform belive the isurance & the Republican, Propaganda. The belive the Insuance companies will take care of them, they won't. I will make very simple, I want the same Insurance that my Republican Senator MEL MARTINEZ. Could you tell him for since we can't , thakyou very much...............

    July 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  54. John Ragosta

    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 12:44 pm |
  55. Joy Kegle

    When my grandson was born, the hospital made a mistake on their records when my daugter was admitted and showed that the baby was covered by insurance. He had a medical problem that required he be flown by air ambulance to a larger hospital to the neo natal unit. The bills were enormous and the kids couldn't pay, there was no insurance coverage. We received constant collection calls from the hospital and doctors. One doctor finally personally called us and said "If he had known there was no insurance, he would not have treated the baby" Basically he was saying he would have let our grandson die. I definitely believe we need health care reform.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  56. Melvin

    Tony,
    To Break the monoply Control of the Private Insurance Companies, Public Health Care is the option. Most employers will opt for the lower cost of using Public Health Care. To stay in business, Private Insurance Companies will need to lower their cost and provide better health care to stay in business.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  57. Carol Spielvogel

    I have a comment about the fictitious ad being played that shows a Canadian woman talking about a brain tumor that was not treated in Canada. I have personal experience with the Canadian health care system and vehemently object to her claims. I was diagnosed in Canada ( I am an american citizen) with breast cancer and was treated immediately for this. There was no wait, and the expense involved was unbelievably minimal. I was given excellent care and promptly. In contrast I visited an emergency room in a local hospital and was there for a day and a half and was charged $17,000 for the time and received no diagnosis. I have lived in both countries and can assure people that the peace of mind you receive by not fearing that you will be wiped out by a medical expense is priceless. The claims that people make to try and scare you about buying medicine from Canada is also unfounded. Where do you think Canada gets the drugs from in the first place? They negotiate and get a better price from the US, where most drugs originate, than we can get for ourself. I recently visited there and discovered that a minor prescription I needed there was $15.00 and the same drug here is $70.00. Doesn't anybody see anything wrong with this picture.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  58. Eric W-R

    I am a Canadian living in the USA. And I saw the United Patients Now commercial about universal health care in Canada. It is pathetic and a lie. The USA is the last and only country left in the industrial world that does not have universal health care. Many programs such as the police force, fire-fighter force, public school system, post office, SSI, the military, and many, many more are all "socialist". I like those things? How about you? 1% of Americans owned 42.2% in 2004! And it's grown! Why not tax them? However you feel your own personal health should be left in the palm of private corporations and not the government, the government you voted in to protect your life. The continuity of government your for fathers died for. Let's not forget why we have government and especially not forget why government is there. There to serve and protect us!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  59. corky goldberg-schmautz

    I have been watching the commercials on the American channels and have an issue about what they are saying. I live in Canada and currently unemployed. If I were to get sick and needed to go to the hospital, I would be covered by Medicare. Everyone in Canada is covered by this. Everyone pays for it, not just the rich or just the poor.
    Everyone who works pays for this via our govt.

    People who think that they cannot chose their own doctors, and this is done by the govt, is incorrect to believe this is how it is done. People in Canada chose who they want as their doctor providing that the doctors are taking on new patients. The govt. has never choosen what doctor, I can go see.

    For those of you who are unemployed, you are no longer cover in the United States, but in Canada you are.
    People who want extra coverage, have Blue Cross, either through their work or on their own.

    We in Canada have a shortage of doctors here and it is not that there are certain medications that people are rejected, it's just that the FDA in Canada has not approved that medication to be administered here in Canada. Aleve is one of those products, that you can get over the counter, but not in Canada.
    There are way too many medications that are approved in the States that people really don't need. They only approve what is really needed in Canada.

    Yes, there are long wait periods for operations. Partally, due to shortages of doctors. It's very hard for one doctor to take care of 30 patients in an emergency ward or for that matter anywhere else.

    The commericals that they are airing is not helping the Presidents cause. It is only telling the American people what they want them to hear and not really giving them the whole picture.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  60. Chris Booker

    Here is an idea we should all be able to get behind. Whether you are in favor of a single payer system or leaving it the way it is now, whatever our leaders eventually do, we should insist that the plan they impose on all of us should be the same plan that covers members of Congress and their families. I am pretty sure we would get a quality plan if Congress would follow this simple idea.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  61. Lou Hoover

    The folks that are saying that disputing what President Obama says in regards to keeping you existing policy are somewhat confused. We have a small business and cover some of the health care cost for our employees. Every year we quote our policies. Sometimes the best options requires us and our employees to change doctors. That reality exists now.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  62. nancy

    I have cobra insurance and the hefty price is draining . I am 62 and thank God healthy so I do not use it maybe once a year and yet I spend $500 a month premium for just in case. I will have 3 more years til medicare and can not wait . If I got cancer or something big we would still have to file bankruptcy because we can not saave because we have to spend$6000 a year plus our deductiable plus our out of pocket and hope you do not goover limit. W

    July 22, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  63. Terik Ororke

    The members of Congress, especially Republicans, say that they know what the American people want in health care. The fact is that the American people want and deserve the SAME health care benefits as every member of Congress has. But then we know how the Republicans support the insurance/health-care companies and we would not want to eliminate the profits that they make at citizens' expense.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  64. lora

    The Republicans say the government should not be over health care, If this is true why are americans voting for representation in the government? The statements they are making about the president will play a big part in the next election 2010. The president is trying to do everything he promised the american people. The Republicans are not doing anything but critizing. It reminds me of years past. What I see and here is truly heart breaking.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  65. Anna

    I just watched a clip on CNN Newsroom showing how the upper class in the US pays 69% of income taxes collected, while the middle class pays 30%, and the lower class 1%. While those numbers may seem staggering and quite unfair to those in the upper echelon, I think it is imperative to note that the top 20% of the US population owns an also staggering 85% of the privately held wealth (as of 2004).

    69% of taxes paid doesn't seem so bad when you have 85% of what's to be had.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  66. Jay Leonard

    PLEASE – ask all these congressmen & women who want to delay action, what they can accomplish 6 months from now that they can't do now?

    Fact – I'vebeen on Medicare for some time and it works. The big drawback is the cost. I get $862. a month social security and Medicare takes almost $100. before I get my check. Let's find out how many in congress are willing to live on $762. a month. Come on now a least get something done for those who don't have insurance.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  67. Victoria Macias

    I have very little health care coverage with my employer. Looking to move to my husbunds group plan but it is too much at 450 per month, more than my rent and for me to go on my own is even more at 650. We are 1 yr married and are taking percautions not to get pregnat at this time. but if we do we cant turn to state assistance bc we make too much but make to little to afford heatlh care. With my inusrance it wont cover maternity. What are we to do? GET A DIVORCE so we can qualify for SoonerCare in OK. It is sad for a newley weds to be discussing divorce as an option to afford to have a baby in coming years. What will this plan do for maternity coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  68. Ronald

    Why are we being so naive? We are spiraling down with Health Care as we know it. Most employee's don't know what they are paying for. If they are happy then ask them what their reaction every year when their rates go up and their fellow employees are laid off? They all say thank God it's not me. That's the issue...We are all selfish until something happens to us...That's the American Way.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  69. Stephen Charchuk

    You Americans make everything so unnecessarily complex.

    Canada, as a democracy, has what is called a referendum vote where the ENTIRE country votes on one issue. We did this for Universal Health Care, as well as the death penalty, and Quebec separation. The government didn't impose UHC on us, we VOTED on it.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  70. Cheryl

    What about those of us you do not have insurance and cannot work due to a debilitating illness we cannot get a diagnosis for. I don’t have to worry about losing something I don’t have and have paid cash to this point for my treatment. I have nerve damage caused by dental procedures on both sides of my face there is no question about this. My dentist referred me to a neurologist to get verification that the problem is trigeminal neuralgia caused by the dental procedures.
    The neurologist’s entire attitude changed when I informed him I did not have insurance. I know it changed because he kept on telling me “This is not free you know. This cost money. How are you going to pay for this?” That was the first sign that I probably was not going to get the treatment I need. He prescribed me Carbamazepine and anti-convulsive medication that is the first line of treatment for Trigeminal Neuralgia and that if this medication did not work it was not Trigeminal Neuralgia. He suggested a CAT scan and I suggested and MRI at my own expense to help determine what the cause of my pain could be. I returned to the neurologist to get the results on Monday July 20, 2009. I informed him that the carbamazepine did work on reducing the pain. He informed me that I had no tumors or lesions on my brain and the MRI was clear of all other possible causes for my pain. The neurologist then informed me that there is nothing else he can do for me so I don’t need to come back. I asked if he was going to give me a diagnosis he said “No” I asked what kind of doctor I needed to see now and he said he did not know but he wasn’t going to see me anymore because I had no tumors or lesions on my brain. I asked if he was a neurologist and if neurologists diagnose nerve damage and he repeated that I do not have any tumors or lesions on my brain. My confusion continued to grow. I asked what kind of doctor he would suggest I see now and he said a dentist. I reminded him that it was my dentist who referred me to him. He then suggested that I get a new dentist or contact a pain clinic that there was nothing more he could do for me. I cannot roam from doctor to doctor spending what little savings I have and get no diagnosis.
    I am sharing this story to remind the politicians that there are many people who do not have and will not get insurance and we are being lost is the minutia of the din.
    Insurance companies only mission is to make a profit off the illness of others. Insurance companies dictate who will get what treatment. Doctors refuse to treat people with no insurance.
    I am not happy non-existent plan. I cannot afford insurance. I will likely go bankrupt and still not have a resolution to my medical issue. What are you going to do to insure that I don’t lose my home? What are you going to do to help me get the treatment I need? I have already given up my dignity, hope, extras and belief that I will find relief
    And by the way soda and fruit drinks lead to health problems so go ahead and tax them maybe then there will be some medical help for me.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  71. Micheal B. Minix, Sr., M.D.

    For every dollar spent on prevention we save 10 dollars in the US.

    According to the American Medical Association (AMA), 12 million student athletes, ages 5 to 22, suffer sports or recreational injuries each year. One estimate of the medical cost of childhood sports injuries from 28 different sports through age 14 was in excess of $365 billion in 1997. How many dollars will it also cost for the care of adult disabilities that result from childhood athlete injuries that were preventable?

    J Pediatrics. Sports Injuries: An Important Cause of Morbidity in Urban Youth Concluded that 90% of Youth Sports Injuries were Preventable. The Public Health Model for Athlete Welfare Reform: 1.must improve injury surveillance, 2.equipment maintenance, 3.environments and facilities, 4.regulation of coaches supervision and officials and their qualifications.

    Yet, No Governmental Official or the US Department of Health and Human Services have addressed the issue of Child Athlete Injury Reform as a means of reducing our Health Care Burden and costs.

    We are only addressing the payment for Health Care Reform and not the reductions in the costs. Athlete Injury is an enormous cost to the US.

    Let us fully fund and create Prevent Child Athlete Endangerment, Injury and Abuse. Then we will save billions of US dollars.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  72. Victor

    OK....

    Why is healthcare so important to many of us right now?

    What’s different or what are we trying to make different? Premiums/coverage?

    I’m 28 with children and why do we only hear about the elderly?

    So what is the difference with Employer coverage/ Aflac/ Medicaid and emergency rooms?

    Why and how much will taxes really increase and where will the money go?

    What are we actually reforming? I only hear about stream lining the coverage with fewer visits and less turndowns.

    I had this doctor once who saw me 15 times only touching and rotating my knee to finally decide I needed to get scoped.....will this healthcare reform help limit the amount of visits to reduce the cost for Americans and office visits, and immediately go to MRIs and surgery to solve the problem?

    What’s happens next and what about prescription drug coverage how do you know who everyone is talking too!? I’m under the impression that this is a plan to help the elderly?

    What’s the major difference between a government health run program compared to AFLAC......is it just the competition in a confusing market?

    What do you and experts recommend the typical safe coverage should be?

    I can get health coverage for 1500 bucks a year, what will the government health change do for me in that situation?

    It seems like this health coverage talk only affects the middle class and the wealthy. So if I don’t fall in these categories does that mean free Medicaid will change or expire?

    American, government, 3rd party, employer Aflac coverage is an issue why? Is it because many doctors know they can get paid and paid over and over as long as they don’t fix the problem and only use band aid solutions at surgical prices?

    I only care about this! Will this government run health care reduce the number of crooked doctors that abuse there power my repeating the same treatment and refusing to run expensive test that are helpful and definitive?

    Why are so many people arguing this change whats the big catch....can you please give one great example that would make everyone go...."Oh, I get it now!"

    Thanks Kyra your the best and p.s. What is STYX?

    July 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  73. Jasmine C. Quinerly

    I work and I don't mind paying for my own health insurance. I just need a policy amount I can afford. I had insurance until my husband died, then I paid for Cobra until a payment was late because of Hurricane Ike. It appears unfair, that if I did not work at all, health care would be provided. Just provide an opportunity for the working to have some reasonable health care. ...And soon

    July 22, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  74. M. Lewis

    I seems clear to me. If you find out which organizations/politicos received the $360+million dollars the healthcare lobbyist gave out in 2008 to make sure things like a $249.00 wheelchair cost $549.00, you will also find why our healthcare system is in disrepair. All the "balloo" about maintaining the "Doctor/Patient" relationship means the Doctor keeps control of the relationship, not the Patient. Who financially supports the healthcare lobbyist? The Doctors. The healthcare "machine" is a system of favors, much like our political system in this country. We must be getting close to some form of healthcare reform. The lobbyist, and their "political stooges" are getting frantic with the rhetoric. Follow the lobbyist dollars. They tell an interesting story.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  75. Will Turner

    As someone who has experienced the healthcare system first hand I must say this debate is very disturbing. I learned that I had cancer in 2007. Shortly after I lost my job. I was unable to get insurance for myself in my family because of my pre-existing condition. Luckily I was able to get treted by the VA ( I am a Vietnam Vet). Unfortunately I had to move to Houston because the waiting list and process in Georgia would have delayed my treatment. I lost my home in the process. I had been a homeowner since 1976. If it wasn't for the VA and my family I would be another homeless vet that fought for his country honorably. This is truly insane.

    Will

    July 22, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  76. lee

    Hi Kyra

    My wife and I just got notified by an employer that they would be changing to a cheaper dental provider. At best to visit our Dentist will cost 10 to 21 dollars more. Most likely they will not be covered under the new plan and we will have to find a new one. The next time one of the Republicans get on and start yelling about picking your own doctor would you ask them how the hell its any different than now!!!

    By the way I love you show your attitude rocks

    July 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  77. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I would like to see one of this proposals and counter-proposals about health care reform and up to now is he says and the other says. It’s really hard to keep straight exactly to what happens in Washington that will affect our future health care. What possible input do I have for politicians with such lack of flow of information?

    July 22, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  78. PTAllen

    Here's an example, similar to Kwe's comment, my wife and I visited a county fair, she tripped and severely twisted her ankle .... to her and myself, no big deal, go home, ice it, and relax for a few days .... but because someone saw her go down and called for the onsite medical personnel, we had to wait for treatment, due to liability concerns .... the onsite medic determined she should go to the hospital as a precaution .... so they called for an ambulance and transported her to the hospital .... we waited for 2 1/2 hr in ER because it wasn't an emergency, which is understandable, saw the doctor for all of 5 minutes, who said go home, put ice on it, and stay off it for a few days ...... 2 weeks later we got a bill for a $335 ambulance ride, $275 for ER visit, and $280 for the doctor's time .... now for us no problem, I'm active duty Army, and our health provider covered it ..... but for someone else who is in my income bracket, that would be a huge outlay of cash, for an unexpected event, I know many families, not military, in the same income bracket as me, around $40,000 who can't afford coverage .....
    It's the same old story health care is too expensive. PERIOD.
    The "Have's" don't understand why it's a problem, they can afford it with no problem, can get their voices heard, and the "Have Not's" get ignored because they can't afford to have their voices heard, can't afford to contribute to campaigns, etc.....

    July 22, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  79. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Lack of information does not provide a topic of conversation that will account by politicians. The only person who proved to listen was President Obama. In the meantime we were attacked with labels as whiner, etc. The politicians never cared to address the issue. I would like to see one of this proposals and counter-proposals about health care reform but the information is not share. It is not easy to keep a straight face to exactly what happens in Washington that will affect our future on health care. What possible input do we have for politicians with such lack of flow of information? We can only say that we need a Health Care System that will provide solutions for citizens. Not a loophole not an excuse.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  80. Leslie

    Why are you reporting Healthcare reform so negatively. What is the positive? People say they love their insurance, what about those who pay for years and years and find out that their insurance will not pay for something. In the daytime, is it all Republicans on . Is it everyman for themselves in our country? Really? Lets give this the chance that it deserves and let our government do something so historical for we the people.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  81. Padmini

    I would love to see health insurance pulled from all members of Congress. They would probably sing a different tune if they were uninsured.
    Why is it so hard to provide health care to all Americans? I think it should be a fundamental right of all human beings. If everyone involved stops treating healthcare as a business but more as a public service, all of America would be better served.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  82. Gerald M.

    If government operation of services is so bad and inefficient, why not privatize law enforcement? Think of the savings!!

    You people are shameful, protecting your dollars over peoples lives and lying to and scaring your slow-witted minions into helping you protect your profits.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  83. Lloyd from Omaha

    Why isn't CNN covering Obama's arm twisting of the head of the CBO this morning in the White House? This unpresidented pressure from the President on the head of the CBO is another sign of despiration.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  84. Connie

    Kyra: I wish you would have asked the Representative from Georgia why should we trust the insurance companies and Congress when for the past 20 years that have a) done nothing on health reform and 2) the insurance companies-have screwed us over and over? I don't necessarily think the government is always the answer BUT Congress and the private sector haven't helped us in years.
    Connie Cimbelka

    July 22, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  85. Colleen in Omaha

    Why can't employers continue to contribute toward their employee's insurance as they do now, but allow each individual employee to choose between a private insurance carrier and the option of a national insurance plan?

    Will the increase in deficit mentioned be due to the amount of additional people covered under insurance? Won't that be worth it, and wouldn't the costs even out eventually due to better health care received by the whole?

    Congress and Senate SHOULD receive the same options we all ultimately receive under health care reform.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  86. Joseph DeMeis

    Why are Americans listening to the continued scare rhetoric of Republicans? They held office for 8 years and did nothing. Now, they want to scare the public again and do nothing. They are scared President Obama might actually do something good if this Health Law passes. The Republican objective is to keep the public scared with issues of added budget costs, which they have no real proof, only projected. Also they're misleading adds of Canadian health care. Why are they not discussing the health care offered in France or Italy?
    THESE PLANS WORK! We should look for solutions now and not wait another wasted 8 years.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  87. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Since politicians like to use labels let me label myself. I am a certified Person with Disabilities and I am protected under the ADA Law. I am a widow to a World War II Veteran. I am a Latino born American who lacks of information because the information is not provided. This attitude does not provide a topic of conversation for us the citizens that will account for the politicians. The only person who proved to listen was President Obama on the topic of Health Care. In the meantime we were attacked with labels as whiner, lazy, expendable, etc. Politicians never cared to address the issue. I would like to see one of these proposals and counter-proposals about health care reform but the information has never being provided. It is not easy to keep a straight face to exactly what is happening in Washington that for certain will affect our future health care. What possible input do we have for politicians with such a lack of flow of information? We can only say that we need a Health Care System that will provide solutions for us citizens. We do not need a loophole. We do not need an excuse. We do not need attitudes. Certainly this tic-tac-toe situation does not provide a solution but an uncertainty.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  88. Roxanne Farrar

    My question for the President and all of congress is: Are you and your families also going to be on the health care program or is it just for the people who voted you into office? The real truth is you are exempted from this program, aren't you? Did you tell the American people that this wonderful program, you want us to have, you are not going to be a part of? Have any of you read the WHOLE health care document? On one of the pages in the document it states, that even if you do have insurance now, you will eventually be made to go on the government health care plan. This information has yet to be put on the mainstream media news. We all know of course that the government run news stations will never have what it takes to report the WHOLE TRUTH !! Why aren't we going to let the American people vote on this?
    I challenge the President, and all of Congress to go on the health care program for the first 5 years and then let us know if it is acceptable health care, and better then what we have now. If you won't be in it with us, then we shouldn't be doing this!!
    CNN, I know you are all liberal and will not question this health care program, but I would hope you could give just the TRUE facts on an issue and then let the American people decide. We are smarter then many of you liberals think.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  89. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I tried the phone but the system is full of messages and it is not taking any messages.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  90. Cindy New Port Richey, fl

    What makes people think that their employer will keep the plans they have from one year to the next. I worked for a company who changed our coverage every year. You don't get to keep your Dr. when your company changes providers.
    Why do we keep using the 46 million statistic? How many have lost their jobs, and no longer have insurance? Ask COBRA what their new enrollment is. Then take into account those who can't afford COBRA.
    I know it is more than 46 million.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  91. Marie J.

    The media needs to wake up and start reporting facts not fiction when it comes to health care in other industrialized countries.

    I am from Canada and I am sick and tired of the lies that are being spread about the Canadian Health Care system. I am 45 years old and I have never heard of any of my friends or family members in Canada being denied any medical care. In 2002 my 62 years old step Mother was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer within a week she was receiving chemo. In the last few days of her life she was admitted to the hospital where she had a private room and was treated with care and compasion by the nurses and doctors. The cost to us was $0.00. In 2005 a 77 year old friend of my family was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer even if this man had been a smoker for many years he was NOT denied treatment and within 10 days he started his first round of chemo with no success he was schedule for a second round of chemo when he was hospitalized and died with dignity in a Canadian hospital. Cost to his wife $0.00 and she got to keep their lifetime savings.

    However in the United States I watch my 76 year old American father in law refuse medical treatment and die because his frequent hopstitalizations were depleating his savings and he was afraid to leave his wife destitute.

    So who is really denying treatment to its people?

    July 22, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  92. Dan - California

    Many Republicans interviewed on CNN, such as Sen. Hatch, say that government- run health care would be ineptly administered by faceless Washington bureaucrats, etc. I wish that the interviewer would follow up by askiing whether that means that the Senator or Representative has therefore rejected the government health insurance to which he/she is entitled and has purchased healh insurance from a private company.
    I would also like to know how much the government health plan they get costs per year.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  93. nancy

    what people don't understand is the fact that we already have non physicians deciding medical care. it is called your hmo.

    i know this because i work for a physician and i handle all of the insurance authorizations for any care that is needed for patients in our office. i can give you 2 very good examples of non physicians deciding your care(no names will be used)

    we had a patient who was 82 years old. dr., during his examination saw a growth on the patients vocal cord. he knew that this was a cancer. he told me to get this authorization and because he was doing the biopsy the following week. i sent the request in. at the same time we had a 38 year old patient who needed sinuses surgery. the hmo authorized the sinus surgery but denied the cancer surgery. when i got the phone call telling me that the cancer surgery was denied but the sinus surgery was approved, i told them fine. when i hang up i am calling the patient to advise him who to sue because it was not going to be us. since i was on a speaker phone the approval was gotten. fyi, yes, the patient had cancer. and yes, he survived for another 15 years.

    a patient came to see dr., because of ear drainage and pain. a ct scan of the mastoid is needed. the request was denied because it does not medically necessary. i want to know does this patient need to lose hearing before it becomes medically necessary?

    so, yes, we have non physicians deciding medical care. it has been out of the hands of you and doctor for the last 25 years.

    so even with healthcare reform, not much will change in regards to care. what will change is the cost. and that is a big plus.

    nancy

    July 22, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  94. Mona Rosenduft

    Will President Obama and family be covered by the proposed Health Care Plan?

    July 22, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  95. Yvonne

    My husband is retired from the government as a federal meat inspector for the USDA-FSIS. Please let your viewers know that Federal Health Employee Benifit plans are NOT FREE! Government employess We pay premiums for a standard plan. If you have more money you can buy a better plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  96. RJ

    If third world countries can have universal health coverage so can the richest country in the world! We also at the same time need to reform the tax code so rich people quit getting out paying their fair share in taxes. If the rich paid their fair share then they wouldnt have to threaten the American people with not being able to contribute to charities! They only contribute for the most part for tax right offs! I`m also tired of rich people saying that they get taxed more for working harder than everyone else, got news for the richy`s they are blowing smoke when they say they work harder than the rest of us!

    July 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  97. Mona Rosenduft

    As a health care professional in NYC I am outraged at the abuse of the Medicare and Medicaid system. People who have never worked a day in this country, never paid a penny in taxes are entitled to services and funding that most Americans do not have access to. What's wrong with this picture? Splain me Lucy!

    July 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  98. Yvonne

    My husband retired from a government job. He worked for the USDA-FSIS. Please let your viewers know that Federal Health Employee Benifits ARE NOT FREE! We have have the standard plan. We have to pay premiums every month just like every one sle that has insurance. The more money you have, you can buy a better plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  99. Mike M , Lady Lake, Fl

    John Williams, good point.
    My question is this, I make 82K a year adjusted. How much will the gov HCI plan cost me? Just a simple answer will do.

    July 22, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  100. RJ

    If my family was fortunate enough to enjoy $350,000 a year I would gladly pay a third of that to taxes, rich people are just greedy! If one family cant live off of $350,000 per year they have serious issues! The ignorant notion that the rich supports the rest of America is just that, ignorant! Middle class has been bleed dry by the rich and it has to stop!

    July 22, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  101. Susie T. Naelgas

    Can't watch that add about canadian Health Care bec. it's not true at all. Canadians have an amazing health care system, actually the envy of the world including America. No matter if you're homeless or unemployed, you'll still get the same health care as everybody else. I had hysterectomy last year and I paid NOTHING!! All our lab. exams, etc. including flu shots are free, isn't that amazing? FYI we can choose which doctor we want to go and they are not controlled by the government. I think your problems are those people with connection to private health insurance business and those politicians who don't really care bec. they have amazing coverage paid by the tax payers money and those rich people don't actually care about 95% or so of the population who are suffering. Good luck Obama !!

    July 22, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  102. RJ

    Fact: The average family who makes between $40,000 to $100,000 pays more percentage wise of their gross income to the Govt. than a millionaire does! Millionaires can right off just about everything but their dog, while middle class people pay in full because they dont make enough for right offs! Its wrong and the elite knows it! Its time to change the tax code to be fair for everyone! Flat rate period, no right offs period! If this were to happen we`ll have found the solution to fund universal health care!

    July 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  103. Kelly, Austin, TX

    The current poll question; Do you have health insurance? is currently showing 90% yes 10% no. That means 90% of the people weighing in so defiantly on this issue, will not be effected by the proposed reform, unless they, or their employer choose to change their insurance to another source, and 10 % of the people will be greatly effected by the issue and should be the sole focus of the press.
    I have recently been disabled by 4 seperate incurable illnesses. I just won my SS benefits last month . As you see I will be greatly effected by these changes. As part of the 10% who will be effected, I would ask the 90% who wont be effected, to please, with all due respect, be quiet. We are all, today, subject to changes in providers if our employer chooses to change, so this is a non starter. If you voluntarily choose to change your coverage and become a part of the 10%, only then can you speak with authority.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  104. Diane

    Why are all the republicans worried about insurance companies having competition? why do they care if we as citizens get an option to participate in a government option? Is the insurance the congressmen have that bad??????? If so, has Mitch McConnell or John Boehner rejected using it?? Also, what's wrong with finally giving the insurance companies some real competition??? If I don't like the option offeered by the government, I have sense enough to just look elsewhere for coverage.

    Also, why didn't the republicans stop Bush from destroying our economy when they had the chance??? Were they not concerned with the deficit when Bush was presdent????

    I would love to have answers to these questions????

    July 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  105. noreen salter

    When are the republications going to stop using fear tactics on the American people. In Canada here if your not working, you can still go to any doctor or hospital or have any surgery. Private health care might take care of weather you have a private room in hospital or dental or glasses or drug plans. Your insurance companies are using one Canadian as a example of us going to the states for surgery.. think of why some go because they can get what they want in the states if they got the big money. We in Canada here are treated equal and yes we can get FREE health care. People that are not working still got health care. That is what taxes pay for. My daughter only waited like two weeks to start kemo cause of the severity of her cancer and she is fine now. So please stop saying we have bad health care. Our doctors go to the states cause they can make as much money as they want but here they make a wage.Another thing is you have a record of insurance companies rejecting claims. The people complaining of gov health care are the insurance companies making big bucks and people that already got health care, take if from them then ask if they would mind paying taxes to have health care at any time. You have people not getting doctors care now cause they don't have cash money to hand the doctor.
    Noreen
    Canada

    July 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  106. Neil M

    My American Friends,
    I wanted to comment on the ongoing "socialized health care" system in Canada. I tune in each week to various TV shows showing American's losing their homes, going bankrupt, breaking up over money and health issues. In Canada, while not perfect I know of no one who has lost their home due to the need of a kidney transplant. While there are line ups as need increases, I and yes people have died waiting for critical care, I have no complaints with my 32 surgeries, cancer operations etc. I pay $35.00 per month and have little or no worries, at least about health care. I truly believe America is a great country, and I hope and pray you get some of the so called socialized health care...wait a sec...you already do. County hospitals, Medicare, and governement funded programs, are supported by the government is socialized health care. Other non health care related social services can include Policing, Fire protection, welfare, food stamps...you get the picture. I agree you have great doctors, many good hospitals with great staff, but please don't forget who is promoting Private Health Care. Doctors and hospitals for profit. Health Care should be about people, not about money. P.S. Thanks for joining us Canadians in Afganistan, we have been fighting there for years. American the Great, pretty close...nice people who deserve the best in Health Care..try government run Health Care your life depends on it. Cheers

    July 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  107. Fred

    Sonya,
    Would Americans like Canadian-style health care now that many have heard the positive & negative about it?

    July 22, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  108. Mary

    I agree with Roxanne above and her challenge to Obama. Sounds like a plan to me. TAKE THIS CHALLENGE OBAMA. You and your family go on this healthcare plan with the rest of us or alone if you choose, then let us know if it is working. I'll even go a shorter time than Roxanne, just put yourself and your family on it for a year, and then let us know how it is working, and tell us if it was good for you. Until then, clean up Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA insurance. Cut the red tape here, hire people at these places who actually know how these plans work, put just 1 billion into these plans so that there is move coverage there. Medicare for the elderly and disabled is a joke. This is broke, you are the president, fix it! Medicaid for the low income and poor (to exclude illegal aliens). This is broke, your are the president fix it. VA benefits for our veterans. This is broke, you are the president, fix it. This group should be your #1 priority. They are the reason you can be a pompous, arrogant, arm-twisting dictator. Are you not revamping these because you don't understand how they work?

    July 22, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  109. Betty Phillips

    I have one BIG question, it being IS OBAMA AND HIS FAMILY going to be on the health care program? Of course not, they are the elite group and you can bet they will NOT BE. I do not want to pay for others insurance policies, I think this entire program should be given much more time in reviewing this rushed "put together plan", I agree we need a better health program, but, my God, take the time to read what you have out there for the people to have a desire to be part of, do not sneak this in for the "Big" vote at 4 A.M., so the people are screwed over again, wasn't there a "rush, rush" to pass a stimulus and what has happened with that? Only to say we needed more money, well wake up and realize two mistakes do not make it right. Betty

    July 22, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  110. David P. Vernon

    Tucson, AZ

    I have a PhD in Life Sciences, my father was a surgeon in practice, and I worked for three years for IBM Life Sciences on issues related to this. As a genuine subject matter expert with no partisan axe to grind, I offer the following:

    As a matter of statistics, total insurance costs are lower when the risk pool is larger. The best overall cost is achieved when absolutely everyone is covered.

    Private for-profit insurance is the root cause for two of the three main reasons that American health care costs are much higher and results poorer than any other "first world" country. The ten top private insurance CEOs took home enough money last year to pay for coverage for 100,000 more people. Insurers now ration care based on their profits, not on the needs of their insureds. The uninsured go to the ER, paid for by cities and States, incurring double or quadruple costs per visit over ordinary doctor office visits. They go only when very sick, when acute care is ten times as costly as timely preventive care would have been. They do this because for-profit insurers deny coverage to people who really need it, preferring to insure only those who are, and are likely to remain, healthy. They get away with this because there is no competing alternative for most of those seeking to buy cheaper health insurance.

    CBO numbers are disinformation if you take them on their face – CBO calculates ONLY projected Federal expenditure, not potential Federal, State or local savings. The numbers themselves are estimates, not facts – nobody actually knows, or can know, what the cost will be even one year from now, much less farther in the future.

    The bottom line is this – getting poor people out of ER (except for actual emergencies) will save State and local governments up to half of what they now spend supporting ER services. The hidden charges laid to make up current shortfalls will go away, if the "public" insurance actually covers the true hospital and doctor costs. What you pay as an insured will also go down – private insurers will have to compete on costs. That will make what your employer pays for your insurance go down. What your local property taxes pay for in the way of tax subsidized provider services will also go down.

    There are 100,000 excess deaths per year from medical information errors. There are huge sums spent on retesting because each patient is unknown to the next new provider. Personal Electronic Health Records which all providers can view will eliminate medical information errors and cut down retesting a great deal – at least half of all testing is done because the patient history is not available when diagnosis is required. CBO cannot calculate how much money this will save – industry estimates are that 10-30% of current spending is wasted for this reason alone.

    The third big thing is end of life care expense. At present, those who die of illness accrue about $500,000 in expenses for intensive care during the last six months of life. This care should not be available, even to the super-rich – it wastes money and resources that should be spent saving the lives of people who have an actual chance of recovery. ICU was invented to save the lives of acute cases who would recover afterward, not for the terminally ill who will die anyway, no matter what. It will take a change in medical responsibility and liability law to make humane cessation of aggressive treatment of the terminally ill legal for doctors and hospitals.

    Bottom line – we have the best medical care technology in the world, and one of the worst "systems" for delivering it to patients! Medical care is a mere commercial commodity in America now, whereas it should be a subsidized public good. Those who can pay should. Those who can't should be paid for. Insurance profiteering will end if there is a non-profit alternative that offers equal quality of care with less hassle and lower total cost. Doctors put a lot of time and money into becoming doctors – they need to earn that back. Hospitals compete by overbuilding facilities which get underused and must be overcharged – that is something to be addressed after the insurance issue is settled. Malpractice is a very small factor in runaway costs – with good EHRs, malpractice costs and defensive medicine costs will also go down.

    It is in fact possible that despite the CBO estimates, the proposed health care reforms will actually save money compared to what we spend now.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  111. Bernard Fudim

    How will the proposed health expansion bill affect my current benefits under Medicare? Will it reduce any currently allowed benefits or will they remain the same? I getm the feeling that seniors will give up some medical benefits to foot the bill for a larger insurance package. Who is looking after senior health benefits? Are seniors to viewed only as a legacy cost rather than a vultural asset?
    B. Fudim

    July 22, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  112. michael

    Health Care Reform
    I have not seen any reference to those in my situation.
    Over the last seven years I have received an average of a 3% income increase from my employer per year. My medical insurance cost has increased an average of 12% per year. You do the math and you will see that my annual income continues to decline while the dollar value of everything I (we) need for the very basics continues to go up and up and up! If the efforts of the President and other Democrats can reverse this trend I am all for it! Hey, as far as I see it, Baby Bush cared even less than Poppa Bush for the common middle class worker! For the last seven plus years I like way too many are paying the price for the republican greed!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:08 am |
  113. Lucy

    I did a presentation on universal healthcare my freshman year in college (it was the last topic left, I took one for the entire class), and reading about healthcare was the most confusing thing I have ever confronted. Give me quatum physics and neuroscience any day over sifting through all of the beureaucratic red tape involved in health care. I really do think that the simplest plan is always the best plan. The less confusing, the more effective it generally is. The entire system is so convoluted, I really don't even know what Obama is proposing and what the opposition is saying. All I hear is "blah blah blah...I want to help, I want to help now, but so many companies only care about making a profit that it's getting difficult." I truly think that if someone wants to be in the medical field, they really should be in it to improve people's health and lives, not profit. Unfortunately, the USA is not Utopia. The way I see it, there should be financial incentive for having patients TO NOT RETURN TO THE DOCTOR'S OFFICE AND LESSENING OF HEALTH PROBLEMS. Also, for people with pre-existing health conditions, there should be a huge "discount." I hate to make this sound like a business, but that's what it's turning into...people who frequent the doctor's office (such as people with cancer) should have some sort of thing where they could "buy in bulk"; more treatment but at a lower cost.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:19 am |
  114. Stephanie Chapin

    How much would we save on health care if drug ads were banned, as they are in other countries? What is paid each year for drug manufacturers spend on television and print media advertising? These expenses are passed on to consumers. How much would we save if one standardized insurance enrollment form, one explanation of benefits, and one claim form, instead of hundreds of different forms?

    July 23, 2009 at 7:15 am |
  115. Colleen in Omaha

    Mary, Unlike the previous administration that sat on its hands for eight years (other than pouring billions of our dollars into an unnecessary war, and ignoring the signs of a rapidly declining economy due to deregulation on its part), I believe President Obama is trying to help us by reforming health care. It is the uncooperative additude of Republican lawmakers and special interest groups that is making this so difficult to bring about.

    I was in the medical insurance business for 20 years and have extensive knowledge of the workings and complexities of the business, along with the greed. If it were as easy as cutting the red tape, I'm sure he would do it to help us. But our country is one of laws and regulations which prevents such things.

    If he simply cut the red tape and did as he wanted, then he truly would be a dictator, as you say. In the meantime, he is trying to get the Republicans to work with him, rather than taking advantage of the Democratic majority. This is far from a dictatorship.

    You should be thanking him for taking such a great interest in this, unlike our previous eight years of administration. You should also be writing and calling your Congressional Representative and Senators with your complaints, as they are the ones holding this up. Do this, take a deep breath, relax and we can all make this happen together.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  116. Stephen

    Canada's health insurance is modeled on the single payer system, which is not on the table here.

    Plus, in order for just 1% of Canada's population to say they were unhappy with Canada's health insurance system they'd 330,000 Canadians to come forward and say that.

    And even then, it would mean that 99% of Canadians were satisfied with the system as it exists today.

    July 23, 2009 at 9:27 am |
  117. Lynn

    Please let me repeat: THERE IS NO NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF OUR CANADIAN HEALTH CARE! Nor are there any in ALL the industrialized nations who have health care systems such as ours! The US is NOT taking care of their people's health! They ARE taking care of Iraq's and Afghanistan's health care, providing THEM with free care! WHAT ON EARTH is wrong with that picture??!!!
    Please do your homework instead of listening to the garbage the republicans (who are in the pockets of the rich pharmaceuticals!) are spewing to scare you! They use words like "socialist" medicine...OMG....if that's what we have here in Canada, I'm all for it! We pay for NOTHING!!!!! I feel so sorry for the US citizens who have to decide between losing their homes and savings OR being treated for their illness. Absolutely third-world!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  118. Lynn

    Oh, and btw....from our highest officials in office, to our destitute have the same health privileges....it's free for anyone and everyone. Those comments about Obama's family make us laugh....of course he'd get it free, also....why on earth wouldn't he?! Our Prime-Minister does! LOL!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  119. Jeffer Wadsworth

    Medicare/medicaid and the Veterans Administration's healthcare systems are, in effect, health insurance sytems. Both are government run healthcare systems and both are said to be "failing" or going bankrupt. The president has outlined some things that could reduce costs. Wouldn't it be a better idea to apply these ideas to the existing government run healthcare systems and see if these ideas would improve things or not, both in quality of healthcare, delivery of healthcare and cost of healthcare? And why not expand medicare/medicaid to cover the people that don't have insurance, rather than try to change the system to cover everyone all at once?
    The best thing I heard from the President was the part about pre-existing conditions.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  120. Nancy

    In the county where I live, the county has a program if you didn't have much money. They supplied all the health care. I paid $3.00 for prescriptions. When I started getting SS the State had a program and I paid $95 a month for health coverage. Little or no out of pocket expense. Now I am 65 and will be getting Medicare plus a Medicare supplement. People need to check with the communities and counties and states where they live.

    I'm in New Mexico.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  121. Debbie

    Why is it that illegal aliens can get coverage for the children they give birth to here in the USA without worry of being reported to immigration? I had to wait for two years for Job and Family Services to review my application to determine if I was "disabled enough" to qualify for Medicaid. I was not pregnant, an un-wed mother, or have children under age 18, so I could not get same day service.
    I incurred thousands of dollars in hospital care expenses, as I could not get follow-up care in that two years for my life threatening condition. The irony of it all is that in the end after I was approved, Medicaid then had to pay for all the medical expenses that could most likely been avoided had I gotten same day service as those with children. , and I could have seen doctors on a regular basis, instead of waiting till I had to be admitted to the hospital again, and again. Have to wonder how it is that an illegal can have an easier time getting health care for their kids, before a disabled American born citizen.
    Government waste at its best.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  122. michael holzgang

    Discussion surrounds the idea that everyone NEEDS health care. Is the plan to provide 'opportunity' if one needs care? What about a person who doesn't need health care, what rewards do they get? I'm a physical educator (50 yrs.) and I see rewards given to those who are negligent of their personal welfare. So, rewards are given to BAD behavior. WHY? When is accountability to be demanded? Taxing the 'rich' is a stupid idea. That is called stealing to give to the undeserving? I'm all for a plan and system to 'help' in time of need, but certainly not to 'support'. What is the preventive health care plan?

    July 23, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  123. Skip Swivyl

    We as Americans are finding ourselves in the world. Although we believe ourselves to be the greatest country in the world, we are in our teenage years. This is pretty evident as we look to the rest of the world and watch them progress in area's we used to lead. In an effort to get back on the horse financially I pose this. Why shouldn't we take a serious look at the decriminalization and taxing of Marijuana? Decriminalization advocates like NORML have devised regulations similar to that of alcohol, a legal drug that results in the death and destruction of lives. Couldn't we use money derived from taxation of Marijuana to help fund health care reform, roads, research for finding greener fuels, and other MORE important issues that are necessary for our struggling country to progress? How long should we waste money on an imaginary war on drugs when we could be taking care of citizens?

    July 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  124. James

    What ever happened to getting the same health care coverage that our elected officials have? O'Bama said during his campaign that that was going to be a choice. Sign me up!

    July 23, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  125. Lyall Abbott

    Get the government out of Health. They don't care. Our taxes pays for their health care. The government is not our doctor. The government is not our employer. The government does not change our diapers. The government is not our BIG SUGAR DADDY. We the people need to grow up and STOP asking the government to fix that which was never broken or intended for the government to do anything with. Yes laws should be in place to protect any victims of any and all violations of the law. There are far too many lawsuits, many of which are petty, (childish). Let us end this BABYLONIAN system and crying to the government to change our diapers. Lets grow up AMERICA you work you get paid you eat. This may sound cold, but that is the way it is. The church should be empowered to be a church not a 5013c, but a church, which is a family, a family that provides support, and aid to those that are not able. Those weaker members of the church family which used to include just about everyone in the community, And then to those outside of the church community. If the Family were a stronger unit and each individual in the family and the churches where allowed to be a church again outside any state mandate, then the community could experience unity again. The states each would be stronger and thus the nation. When business is allowed to or forced to go abroad to find labor there is a BIG problem. The only UNION is America should be that of the people as a nation, and thus a national family. A family made up of all colors religions, or spiritual backgrounds, ALL AMERICAN'S.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  126. j

    I thought Americans were promised the same Healthcare policies our Politicians get. There should be no delays with Congress or the Senate within either Party. Why are Republicans complicating matters by changing what was promised? Politicians seem satisfied with their healthcare policies. Give us the exact same policies. Keep your promises! And stop stalling!!

    July 23, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  127. Lynn

    Michael, Michael....you must be quite young to be so smug about what causes a person to require health care. Do you have children? Do you drive a car? Are you out in the world at all?! What on earth makes you think you and others like you are so invincible??!!! Heaven forbid, but you could be in a car accident tomorrow. How much will your health care pay? Will you run out of money before you run out of pain? Will your children be stricken by a disease? Michael, there ARE NO GUARANTEES that just because you "live a good clean life" that you'll be healthy forever! What if you lose your job? What if whatever health care you pay for now decided to drop you, or change its policies?!

    Michael.....ill health doesn't just happen to people who don't take care of themselves. It can happen to anyone...yes, even you, Michael. This is no time to be cavalier about how others live compared to YOUR standards.

    If ANYTHING were to happen to me, my family, health care here is FREE!
    It's ABUNDANT and FREE!
    YOURS is the ONLY country that does NOT provide for its citizens!!!!!
    I can't believe you people have to even debate this. In terms of health care....you're a third world country, and I don't mean that in a catty way. It's just the honest truth. So sad for you all......

    July 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  128. Lynn

    Here are some countries with FREE HEALTH CARE!

    Afghanistan*, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Cuba, , Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iraq*, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Ukraine and the United Kingdom, Wales

    And the most ironic part is that the USA is paying for the free health care in Iraq and Afghanistan! THEY have it! But YOU don't!

    Incredible. Absolutely unbelievable.

    July 23, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  129. J. CHRISTOPHER HINES

    National healthcare or the Massacre of Innocence

    Faced with an opportunity today that compares to no other. We hesitate to make the single most benevolent, loving, and responsible move in our history. As a civilization we have come to a threshold in history that can make the difference to our total survival. A national healthcare plan, that provides for all the citizens of this nation.

    There are millions of innocence men, women and children, dying in this country everyday. For some all that could be done was, but for others they were simply allowed to die or suffer and something could have been done about it. If history has taught us nothing else, we know if we don’t reach out a helping hand to those less fortunate or weaker than we are. Essentially we are committing a crime against humanity.

    We live in a vast universe, and because of our inquisitive nature we look to the stars, trying to find kindred spirits such as ourselves to connect to. We do this because we know the prospect of us being alone is highly improbable. Yet if we are to find life elsewhere, sharing of information, ideals and resources would solidify our connection. Therefore why look any further than our own backyard to practice this principle of giving.

    Universal healthcare is not a matter of how too, or how much, but how soon do we move forward. Surely there are many shortcomings and barriers that will have to be dealt with. However, they are just a miner nuisance, compared to the potential benefit. Of course there will need to be direct oversight, cost considerations, regulations, and concessions. All of this should not be controlled by a long standing Czar, that will increase the potential for abuse, but a continuous rotation of qualified people, in charge to implement this plan. This responsibility is too much for one man or woman to shoulder on their own. This will take the effort of the entire nation if this is going to work.

    I am just a citizen of this great nation, I have served proudly in it’s Armed Forces, and overall have tried to contribute my efforts as a good citizen to this nation. I recognize that there are many problems we have to deal with, but there are many successes we need to applaud that we have made. The efforts of our President, Barrack Oboma to create a universal health care system need to be highly supported by everyone in this nation.

    It is easy to sit on the side and complain about what is wrong with this country, but how about supporting what we know in our hearts is right. There is no reason that any person in this nation, need suffer or be denied quality health coverage simply because they can’t afford it. If expense is to continuously be a roadblock in consideration of people, rather than a right to live a better quality of life. Then who has the right to live decently, only those with money. Because at some point, even those with money will suffer the same response, as cost and the greed of man rises.

    The benefits of providing such service far outweigh any hindrances. Lets take a look at a few of them;

    Firstly, with health care cost soaring, and people starting to live longer lives, then it stands to reason that eventually the current health care system as we know it will collapse anyway. Profits margins, higher cost for procedures and medications will still turn the tap off on giving quality healthcare. Lets just say it and get it out of the way, healthcare is a business, and in any business its main goal is to make profits.

    Yet, how can we put a price tag on saving lives. Each and every one of us that enter this world potentially has to face a variety of healthcare issues. If we could see in the beginning our future health, than I am sure we could make changes in our lives to help increase our chances of maintaining healthy lives. The fact is that we cannot control what the future holds for any of us. We must just deal with circumstances as they come and hope for the best.

    But, think of the benefits of creating a national healthcare system. Reschearch in virtually every field of endeavor could increase as a result of having more people to study. The pool of potential variations to a certain condition could be looked at more openly.

    The creation of a national DNA, database could be created, helping to find potential suspects in criminal activity faster and easier. Helping to eliminate unnecessary prosecution of people and be an effective deterrent to criminals. Also help increase the number of potential donors and those in need of organ transplants stay better connected.

    As a tradeoff to increasing the healthcare coverage nationally, make drug testing mandatory for everyone, thereby eliminating illicit drug use. Include physical fitness in performance evaluations of workers in the workforce, helping to increase fitness.

    DECREASE ABORTIONS WITH MORE FAMILY PLANNING CENTERS. MAKE CONDOMS AND NEEDLES MORE EAISLY AVAILABLE.

    Offer more opportunity for not only students, but to anyone who wants to get into medical field, providing more on the job training, and volunteer positions to help increase education and preparedness for transition into formal education and training.

    Decrease in paper, keeping a national network of patient registry. Creating new industry for life coaches, in exercise, nutrition, holistic and natural medicines.

    Standardize forms for processing, with central clearing houses nationally doing all medical billing. Oversight to make sure there is no repeat of services charges or billing. Providing stiff penalties for those that abuse the system.

    Eliminate the greed factor. Making patients and quality treatment a top priority.

    I am not a health care professional, but it seems to me that with proper planning, honest effort and genuine concern for helping this nation be the leader it has always been, helping its people should be one of the highest consideration.

    J. CHRISTOPHER HINES

    July 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  130. helen

    Obama is not telling the seniors the truth about healthcare. Their care will be rationed. He quoted Medicare as if it was a success story to AARP when in fact we all know it is running out of money. We have the best healthcare in the world. Even though we have problems it would be nice if the president acknowledged our superior healthcare. Who is running to Canada or England for improved healthcare?. Noone I know. When Congress joins the healthcare reform they want for the rest of us then I will believe Obama's stand on this issue.

    July 28, 2009 at 11:28 pm |