Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
August 6th, 2009
08:51 AM ET

Health Care: Make-or-Break Month

The August Congressional recess will be anything but a break from the health care reform debate.

Democrats had hoped to spend this month selling hometown constituents on the need for reform. However, several local meetings across the country have become heated with passionate voters asking pointed questions and expressing serious doubts about health care reform.

If you had the opportunity to talk to your representative what would you say or ask?

Leave us a comment.
We’ll share some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom.

soundoff (526 Responses)
  1. Folake Taylor

    As an MD, I support a health care reform. I support a public option because every American deserves medical care. I also support keeping private insurance options and making it competitive. We need a national registry for controlled substances. Is that on the table? I understand many MDs are concerned about their bottom line. How is our income expected to be affected?

    August 6, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  2. j

    We need serious Healthcare Reform. Stop wasting money on Gulfstream jets and perks for yourself. We the people should come first, and it's shameful to read about your toys when others are dying because of untreated diseases and lack of health insurance.

    August 6, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  3. Scott Stodden

    I would ask, why did you all go on a vacation that wasn't even deserved without doing anything such as passing heathcare but you can pass bills to benefit your own selves such as being able to fly in jets at the expense of taxpayers. This Congress and Senate all sitting members need to go, Im not voting for any current sitting House or Senate members at election time, Im so tired of this do nothing Congress & Senate.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 6, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  4. Larry

    The problem is Tony there are so many lies about health care reform flying around that I don't believe anything of what I hear. I'd have to read the bill myself.

    I've gotten to the point where I look up a congressmen's voting record and campaign contributors. Too many are heavily financed by the health care and insurance industries and they are the ones given the most resistence to reform.

    Too many lies.

    August 6, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  5. Richard

    Take lobbyists away from the equation and maybe they would think and react clearly on this issue. What is good for the people is more important than campaign financing.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  6. Richard

    Take lobbyists away from the equation and maybe they would think and react clearly on this issue. What is good for the people is more important than campaign financing. The government Congress needs to get their priorities straight and back to whats good for the people.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  7. Lydia, Pittsburgh

    A recent "article" on Yahoo Finance stated that our current employer-provided health care plans will be "grandfathered" into the new health insurance reform bill, but only for 5 years and only for super large employers that "self-insure" After that they will be required to conform to whatever restrictive health insurance plans the goverment mandates for all insurers. Is that true? And if so, is it true that healthy people will pay higher insurance premiums for coverage that they don't need so that people with pre-existing conditions can have the coverage that they need? Will current access to specialists, tests, and doctor choice available through PPO plans be reduced or eliminated under the proposed plan?

    When will we the citizens actually get to see the key components of the proposed plan and have explained to us how it will affect our own health insurance premiums, taxes, and health care choices? Will it happen BEFORE our representatives and Senators vote on the final bill?

    Since the current bill, if passed, wouldn't take effect until 2013, what will happen to people who currently don't have health insurance or who lose their insurance in the meantime?

    August 6, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  8. Ines

    Tony,
    I would ask, why can't the American people have the same health care coverage as the Senators and Congress enjoys? For life.
    Why doesn't anyone listen to their constituents, ever?
    What does it take to have a term limit for everyone, and cut the lifetime pay after they leave office?
    What does it mean to you when the phrase WE THE PEOPLE comes up?
    Why do you all give yourselves pay raises without asking via vote by your employers, US ?
    What makes you think you are smarter or above anyone else?
    Just a few, but here are my questions.
    Thanks,
    Ines from Colorado

    August 6, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  9. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Democrats and politicians have proved the selling hometown constituents on the need for reform is not getting to a point of conversation. The several local meetings across the country will become passionate venues for voters but Political Agendas too. I have my doubts about health care reform. I have experience that the local representative does not want to listen but rather push their own agendas. How can anything get done? The prior administration use labels to stop constituents. The present representatives do not want to listen. How can we get anything done with a chronic condition that I should not be exposed to stressful moments? What can be done if the local organization for my condition does not have the funds to advocate for my condition? I do not think that the August Congressional recess will bring a solution to the health care reform debate.

    August 6, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  10. Debbie

    Before I can even comment on the health care, could someone please tell me where I could get a copy of the bill that is currently out there? There is so much hearsay that I would like to see in writing what the bill consists of. I need TRANSPARENCY. I think if a group of everyday Americans could take a look at it, we could truly know what is going on rather then listening to Dem and Rep comments. I think our opions/concerns/comments could then be brought up in town hall meetings intelligently rather then being force feed by outside interests.

    Thanks
    Debbie from PA

    August 6, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  11. Cameron

    What bothers me most is that people are refusing to talk about these issues, and for no other reason than their political affiliation. These people insinuating themselves in town hall meetings and shouting down the other speakers, whether asked to or not, are expressing nothing but contempt for the democratic process. The same goes for anyone who hasn't researched the issue for themselves. The materials are there, and our congresspeople are actively looking for our opinions. If you have an issue over healthcare, please DISCUSS it with your neighbors rather than trying to drown them out.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  12. Stephen Paul

    I'd ask my Congressman "why can't I be on your health care plan? I'm paying for it"!

    August 6, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  13. Jon Konjoyan

    Actually I want to comment on POSTAL SERVICE but can't find it on this page!!!! I believe Saturday POSTAL SERVICE should be cut.

    Thank you,

    Jon Konjoyan
    Los Angeles

    P.S. DON LEMON does a great job.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  14. Carlo Moody

    I would tell my Representative (Phil. PA) that a single payer health care system, or publicly funded healthcare (whatever you wish to call it) is not Socialism. Canada is a democratic nation just as is Europe, which have some form of publicly funded healthcare. I believe that you will find that these nations are better able to overcome the recession as their respective citizens are healthy, educated and not having to declare bankruptcy due to medical costs, or not as frequently.
    The right to life and liberty should not have to be a struggle for it's citizens, but rather a source of sustainenance in the face of adversity.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  15. Jim Lovell

    I hope to find out where the next one is...Unfortunately, I live in Texas and all my local representatives are republicans, so these nutbars probably won't show up, but I would love to be there if they do. I love arguing with people so horribly misinformed on the issues. Makes me look like a genius.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  16. Piquant

    Please locate one congressman who opposes the healthcare plan and has not received funds of any kind from a healthcare special interest group.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  17. JC Hunter

    Please give the Health Care protestor a thanks for allowing them to speak directly to their elected officials. Over the past 8 years anyone who didn't agree with them was placed behind a fence called "free speech zones." You can speak but please don't shout. It is difficult to answer questions that never get asked because you are unable to manage your stress. This is real democracy in action. Thank you Barack Obama.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  18. Rob NYC

    Why is it that when citizens rise up against policies which they are against it is automatically because they are republican or democrat?

    how about this one? People are rising up because they disagree with what our politicians are trying to do, which is push bills down our throats with out even knowing how much these bills will cost the American citizen?

    I guess it is now anti american to speak up?

    August 6, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  19. Karen Allen

    We need a national health care. If anyone doubts just go to http://www.nchc.org. For the real facts about coverage, costs and the need for reform. A bi partisan coalition that needs to be heard. Almost 50 million American's don't have healthcare and the costs are rising. Yet someone published a poll yesterday that said people were satisfied with their coverae and afriad of a government overhaul. Is anyone talking to the other 50 million? How satisfied could they be? And Ines is right many of the Reps and Senators that are arguing about this don't seem to dislike their coverage, and their families get medical care. Shame on them.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  20. jayne shaw

    Obviously the US does not have good healthcare (tongue in cheek). From what I see a substantial number of people in Washington DC both elected and the media have experienced hearing loss. This should be corrected immediately. Nobody has solicited or paid me to protest but I am very frustrated at trying to get my message across.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  21. Rob NYC

    Folake Taylor, as an MD, do you plan on becomming part of Obamacare which means that when you treat patients you will be receiving less payment from the government than from private insurance companies? Will you be willing to lower your cost of a visit knowing the government is going to tell you what you will be getting paid?

    And seeing as it will be the government paying you back, how quickly do you think you will be getting paid for claims?

    How do you feel about knowing that a patient of yours is complaining about a headache, and you from your knowledge and experience know that it is just stress related, yet your patient is concerned because they knew some one who had a brain tumor and wants to get further care. So you say, ok, I will send you for a catscan or mri, but the Govt says, sorry this patient does not need that further care. And this 1 patient in 500,000 turns out to have a brain tumor which could have been caught, except the government said not to investigate further?

    Sounds like a great plan.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  22. Samuel L. Criss

    I would let them know that as a health care professional, I am supportive of the health care plan and am willing to drive a Ford instead of a Mercedes so that "everyone" within our borders can obtain
    quality health care. The system is drained by greed and many of those who are profiting are against this plan and erroneoously interpreting the plan encouraging iuninformed ndividuals to speak out against it.
    I personally know of a family who are losing their home because their health care plan would not pay for experimental cancer treatment, but the individual felt that she could not allow her Mother to just die without
    trying the experimental treatment. She still has her Mother after over almost 2 years but is not losing her home. It could be you, it could be me or a member of your family.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  23. Dave

    Keep the government out of health care, they can't run anything!!!!!!!!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  24. I am Canadian

    The town halls where the out of control mobs are yelling and screaming looks pretty dangerous. Why are there never any police?

    August 6, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  25. B. Berman

    Called Congressman Charlie Wilson's (D, Ohio) office Mon. and was told Town Hall mtg. would be announced on air and in newspaper soon. Called today ,8/6 ,and secretary said there would probably be NO meeting in the Youngstown/Boardman area at all. There may be one in the southern part of the district only. I expressed my unhappiness at this answer and wanted to know why he won't tell his constituents what is in the health care bills. I think he's hiding, and I said as much. Even we Democrats deserve to speak to our congressman about this important matter.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  26. Domenic Di Bratto

    I see that on today's show you are traveling the world to review health care systems – i.e. China & Cuba. When are you coming to Canada to get answers as to why it is the best system in the world where everyone (100%) of citizens are covered , no one (NOT ONE) goes bankrupt, life expendancy is one of the highest in the world and health care is a right NOT a privilege..

    August 6, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  27. Laura

    I do think we need health care reform, but I have no idea how to go about doing that. Therefore, I would have nothing to ask until I took the time to learn the plans.

    BUT, whatever questions or comments I would have would not need to be shouted at town meetings.

    I'm not saying that people should not have dissent, because it is absolutely necessary. I'm just saying that making an arse out of yourself at a meeting the representatives or whoever set up for us is not going to help the situation at all.

    Just think, the more uncomfortable you make your reps, the less they're going to want to go and figure out what *you* want. People are generally more receptive to ideas when they are not being yelled at.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  28. jenni swink

    I cannot find out if my senators are having a townhall meeting. I have tried for the past 2 weeks (even before the news of angry townhalls), by calling their offices, checking their websites and the local newspaper. So much for organization and manufacturing angry townhall meetings! The reason I want to see them in person, is that while I called their office and a staff person wrote down my concerns,
    I do not feel that my voice is being heard. I

    want to see their expression when I tell them that I truly believe my 17 year old daughter who has been battling the side effects from cancer and its treatment for 13 years would not be here if we were under a gov't run health program. During this time I have been on listserves with many parents around the world who have children battling neuroblastoma and have heard first hand accounts of being put on a wait list for a bone marrow transplant by the Canadian run health care system. A child with a growing cancer, cannot be put on a wait list!! So this mom had to travel to the U.S. for her child to get treatment. Where will Americans go when we have a single payer gov't run program and are told to get in line for a life saving treatment?

    I truly believe that Americans with chronic health issues will be the ones who suffer the most under this health care reform.

    I would also like to know why Pelosi, Reid and Obama are not considering the Wyman Bennett bipartisan proposal? This tells me that they simply want a single payer government run system in which I am adamantly opposed to. I want both of my senators to know this!! And also I want to be able to say this to them in person. And I am willing to travel all over Michigan to do this. Becaus I believe it truly is a matter of life and death for me and my family members.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  29. Cheryle

    Have you noticed the demographics of the so-called "concerned citizens" going to the Democratic health reform town halls? I have yet to see blacks, Hispanics, Asians in the crowds. It seems the "concerned citizens" demographics looks much like the Republican party and their lobbyists - pharmaceuticals, etc. I am sending out emails, alerting my FB family to spread the word that "we," those who want health reform, need to attend these town hall meetings and be seen and heard! We supported President Obama to get him in to office, and now we need to support him in health reform.

    I live in Norcross, Georgia, lost my medical insurance in February 2009 because the company I worked for didn't pay the premium for Kaiser, and then the company closed their doors on Monday, March 9, 2009 without any notice to employees (over 200 people). We were not eligible for COBRA because the insurance was cancelled for non-payment. In my case, I had a mammogram at the end of February and Kaiser requested I come back immediately for a second screening and to see a doctor. The appointment was scheduled for March 2009 and because I had no insurance, I could go back for the second screening.

    I'm sure there are millions here in the United States that can tell similar stories about not having health insurance and needing it. Our current health system definitely needs to be reformed now, and we must show our support for this most important matter.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  30. Arlene

    I would ask him why the democrats voted down the ammendment to the HR 3200 health care reform bill that would require them to give up their federal plan and enroll in the plan this bill is proposing for the rest of the american people. Why isn't the federal plan an option for all americans?

    August 6, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  31. ATLevine

    I'm surprised that adults are such poor role models for our children, when it comes to civil behavior at public gatherings. Since when did it become OK to shout and jeer at an event meant to educate us about potential changes in health care, etc. The speakers deserve to make their presentations without attendees showing off their juvenile behavior. Everyone is entitled to free speech. If the opposition wants to be heard, and respected, civil discourse is the best way to make a point, and show our children how 'real' grownups behave!

    August 6, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  32. L Dufour

    In 1961 Canadians waited while conservatives held meetings and protests to stop our medicare. Common sense won out and now even the conservatives would not give up our medicare.

    I feel bad Americans have to wait for medicare because some people are acting like buffons at town hall meetings. What you need is for supporters to turn out and out number the conservatives.

    Hang in there Americans the fight will be worth it when you win medicare.

    In the meantime the rest of us will watch the very poor behaviour of those who are easy manipulated by the selfish and greedy.

    Get informed asap!!

    August 6, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  33. Pam

    Does Congress not remember that the majority of Americans elected President Obama and why? I'm not rich enough to be a Republican, in part because of the high cost of health insurance. I'

    August 6, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  34. jaxon

    I would ask why Congress is not leading? Since fining an employer less than the cost of offering insurance to employees will mean they will drop insurance, and we will be head long into single payer/government health care (that IS the plan, right out of Obama and Schawkosky's mouth), then why isn't Congress agreeing to go on the public option - why aren't all federal employees put on the public option - from the beginning. Let them be the guinea pigs to see how this is going to work - if they have a fine experience, we will all feel much better.

    A word about the bs that the ire being seen at town hall meetings is orchestrated by the right wing. This is the same stuff they said about the tea parties. I am a democrat, and I attended the one in Dixon, Il organized by a fellow democrat. The real PURPOSE in the dems putting out this garbage, is to keep people, especially the dems whose voices right now are more important, away from the meetings. By keeping the dems away, the anger can be painted as coming from the right, and dismissed as folks who don't vote dem anyway. As I told Sen. Durbin's office, yesterday, you are out of touch if you don't think that democrats are very angry at the endless spending and what we know will come with single payer, rationing.

    August 6, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  35. Karen Allen

    Debbit - if you want to see the House bill here is the link http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf
    or AARP has a great analysis under "A look at the House Bill around 07/22. And the Senate at http://help.senate.gov/Maj_press/2009_07_15_b.pdf
    Hope this helps

    August 6, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  36. Pam

    Does Congress not remember that the majority of Americans elected President Obama and why?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  37. D Kolb

    Regarding Healthcare reform- Why the rush to push this bill through? What happened to transparency? Why should we believe that a government run program will be better than what we have now? When we can look at how the social security and medicare programs have been run... What happens to innovation in medicine when government takes control?
    BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY – I am very concerned with 9.7% unemployment in this country – why is this NOT the top priority right now? CNN why are you not talking more about this? What good is cash for clunkers when you don't have a job? What good is healthcare reform when you can't afford a roof over your head?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  38. heather kohn

    The anger is real in Ohio. Seniors are especially upset, and the older people that you see in many of those videos are people who are truly afraid of a single-payer system such as in Canada or Great Britain. Once we are on a single-payer system, we cannot go back to a private system, according to the Brits who have been there. My uncle lived in the UK for three years and came back on business a few times a year. He saw his doctor in the U.S. because healthcare in Britain was so messed up. President Obama has gone on record (video clip from 2003 speech) saying that his ultimate goal is a single-payer system. Americans are not stupid people but the arrogance of the DNC and the White House are only making things worse. If my congressman offers a town hall meeting, I and several of my friends will be there. It will be to learn, not to shout down. I don't applaud those who shout down a speaker, but frankly, we have heard a lot from Obama, Pelosi, Waxman, endlessly and this simply gives us a chance to respond. Arlen Specter was shouted down because he offered a very lame excuse for not reading the bills that he signs. Go back, CNN, and review his words carefully. My Congressman has signed the pledge to read the bill. Unfortunately, most if not all democrats have not signed it. Why not? American people expect more from those we hire to work for us.
    I am in favor of having all people have access to health care but the bills currently in Congress do not address the high costs to all of us with a public system. A public option among private insurers will only drive the private insurers out of business, and Obama will achieve his avowed long range goal of a single payer system eventually. It is no accident that he is falling in the polls. Every day, more of us are getting fed up with Congressional spending, and the anger, yes, it is real!

    August 6, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  39. Nick C

    Seems to me that the White House should re-package its marketing of health care reform. Focus the message principally on BENEFITS of Health Care Reform. The cost of health insurance should be the secondary message since its is too defensive. A simple COST /BENEFIT presentation could help sell to the wider audience. Please address this point with the Secretary of Health or the White House representatives

    August 6, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  40. Dale Shipley

    Why don't we put a 10 cent a gallon tax on gas to pay for Health care ?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  41. Jake Jachna

    I am retired and have Blue Cross insurance along with medicare. Will I lose my medicare with the new plan? Will I still have to pay $200 for B/C and $167 for Medicare per month? Can I cancel my B/C?

    With all these e-mails out there pointing out pitfalls in the health care plan, with specific pages identified, why do not the elected officials just address those issues and tell us where they are not problematic.

    A representative who does not take the time to read the bill should resign. Many are too old to read and just cry that it is 1000 pages long. 1000 pages yes, but large print, 24 lines with 5-7 words per line. Much shorter than a Stephen King novel.

    If they would just read the sections that people complain about and explain those sections we would all get a better perspective of the bill.

    Hopefully Obama will eliminate all the politicians over 50. They are too old. Too out of touch with the modern world.

    Jake

    August 6, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  42. Margaret

    I think it is so hypocritical of Republicans to now say it is our 'right' to show descent for the administration, but when Democrats exercised same right under the Bush Doctrine we were called 'terrorists', 'unamerican' and were basically told 'if you don't like it...leave!'. They are welcome to buy a one way ticket out of here anytime they chose!I

    August 6, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  43. jenni swink

    Why was my comment not posted? It was not mean spirited or unfair. And with only 26 comments I don't think that volume is an issue. This just feeds into the feelings that so many Americans have that their views cannot be heard by their congressmen and their frustration with the media bias in favor of Obama.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  44. Sanaa Siam

    We NEED HEALTHCARE NOW! TOO many people out of work, no money, no healthcare. The rich rather that we die, they want the USA to be as a third world country. The rich and those who do not want healthcare reform are just as Kim Jong Ill.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  45. Ralph

    If it isn't good enough for you (congress), then it isn't good enough for us.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  46. Mindy Zhu

    How can we pay for it? Why congressmen are not in the same plan with public?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  47. Sanaa Siam

    OBAMA ROCKS! because he doesn't do as others do. Not a PACK follower. God Loves President Obama and his followers!

    August 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  48. edward j hill

    Tony if I were to talk to my congressman on health care I would tell him to buy a plane ticket, coach! Then get over to Belgium to see how it is done. Europe are eon's ahead of us on health care.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  49. Marilyn

    I am SO bored with these "polls" and "report cards" ... anyone knows that for the right price there are computer folks who can be paid to skew these results anyway they want it to go, just see Twitter & Facebook this AM if you want to see how results from the 'net can be manipulated. Frankly, I think it is INSULTING to all Americans for the President to be "graded" through a system that can be so used by the opposition.

    Odd that these right-wing-nuts claim to be Christian but only care about what they have and can hold on to. They care nothing about the millions of uninsured. HMOs, legalized protection racketeering, have distroyed access to healthcare. They care about nothing but PROFIT for themselves! Talk about who controls whether you get a hip replacement or cancer care!! It is currently all about HMO executives saying "yea" or "nay" based totally on how it profits the HMO and their execs. I'd take political bureaucrats anyday over that!

    August 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  50. Rev. Mike

    If I had a chance to ask my Senator anything it would be why won't you decriminalize marijuana?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  51. Lee in MN

    I have contacted my Senator. I have ALS and my health care provider supported by my health insurance scores a 2 on a scale of 10. I am fortunate to be a vet and now get care from the VA. I rate that care a 9. Everyone should have the opportunity to subscribe to a VA type system for truly comprehensive care. The current insurance paid provider system is broken and filled with bogus charges .

    August 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  52. JoAnne Reed

    DON'T VOTE FOR THE HEALTH CARE PROGRAM. We are in financial ruins right now. I think we all need a say in the type of care we are given and I feel that would be taken away,
    DON"T, DON"T and again I ask listen to the PEOPLE!!!
    Sincerely, JoAnne Reed-Sonora, CA

    August 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  53. Theresa Wilkinson

    I would tell my congresman and senator to vote NO . We need economic
    stability before we take on that kind of debt. We sdo not need more taxes. I am an RN at a level one trauma cenyer ,more that 1/2 of our pts do not have insurancwe but they are still treated. The lie that prescriptions are too exspensive for the elderly is a joke, every drug company has a program in place to help those who can not afford medicine. If you want the cost of drugs to go down stop drug reserch, if the pharmceutical companies are the bad guys stop looking for cures for AIDS or diabetes .
    I am so tired of being called aredneck racist because I do not Obama on everything. Your stion assumes I am ignorant and racist . I am neitheeeer . Iaam a member of an Honors Soceity for nursing, and I am not white.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  54. Tim Kostyk

    If I could talk to my Senators or Congress member I would ask three questions:

    1) Why not buy the big Healthcare insurers and make them non-profit orgabizations; It will cost less than we will pay in the next ten years according to opponents of the Gov option plan. Why is Healthcare for profit anyway.

    2) If Socialized medicine is so bad why do we give it to our veterans?

    3) Why not have medicare as the base level for everyone with the option to buy a medicare supplement to reach the level that some people can afford and want (seems to work for the elderly)

    August 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  55. Brian J. Woznicki

    Don, What's sadly lacking in the Health Care discussion is the details of any plan. Neither the Obama administration nor those who oppose them has offered the kind of detail i need to sign on to this type of vital and huge change.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  56. Rhonda

    I would tell my congressman that the money needs to be spent on seniors not on people who are here illegally. My should seniors suffer who have paid taxes their whole life to have that money go to people who have come into the country illegally.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  57. loretta james

    i would to let congress know ahat health care is vital for ourcountry
    STOP STALLING. THANKS L.J.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  58. abibu

    I see nothing wrong with having many varieties of the same commodity in the market for consumers to chose from. I believe Americans have the right to chose from different health care providers. If you dont like the government option, simply leave it and retain your old plan. Simple.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  59. Gary Kirk

    Tony:

    I believe people should only have what they earn and what others wish to give them. I do not wish to give health care to everyone. I don't believe every other American wants to contribute to this either. However, those who do should. They should just not require all of us to do so.

    Also, remember 90% of Americans have health insurance and 80% are happy with their coverage. With "universal" coverage, no one will be satisfied (based upon the Canadian and Mass. experiences). Additionally, aren't medical facilities who provide health care for uninsured provided tax breaks?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  60. Barbara Lee Ash

    I have been a nurse for over twenty five years, served in the Peace Corps. I was a whistle blower when my clients were being abused. I feel if you cut only half the waste in the hospitals, nursing homes etc you would have no trouble paying for Health Care Reform. Also work with the insurance companies and billing. I received a bill from a hospital that charged me for all kinds of tests I never received and the hospitals billing department argued and said I must have had the test. The final result was that she said why do you care the insurance company will pay for it. No wonder premiums are so high. her time I pulled a muscle working at a hospital, I went to the hospital pharmacy and he said forty two dollars I said that's a lot , when he found out I was paying for it the charge went down to three dollars. I wrote President Obama and offered my help in cutting cost, after three months I received a letter saying they are working on reform.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  61. Roger Klaves

    Many older Americans don't use a computer. As they are replaced by younger ones, the use of the U.S. Postal service will naturally diminish. I only go to my mailbox about 2 or 3 times a week. Who needs immediate deliveries for offers for car insurance? By all means, cut the delivery days by one or two days a week.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  62. Willie Mont

    I would tell him to not vote for it in its current state. The bill is far to expensive, we do not understand it, our representatives do not understand it and it seems that the president does not understand the bill as well. Also, thank you Jeni Cook for not calling those concerned citizens a "rabid angry mob". That was a very childish move by the DNC and some members of the media to say that about the American public.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  63. Katharine Mukherji

    I would like to see an expansion of Medicare to include all Americans. The for-profit system costs more, while creating an incentive for private companies to deny sick people coverage. Delivering a profit and delivering excellent and affordable health care to all–no matter how sick– are incompatible goals. The existing competition among private insurance companies is not for quality, but for the least care at the lowest cost with the highest profit margin. That does not serve the consumer. A government administered plan could serve everyone.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  64. Al Soltis

    Healthcare Reform and Universal Healthcare are needed in this country. Regulation of the Healthcare Insurance industry is as desperately needed as regulation of the banking industry. Congressmen do not let us down, please create the best possible and economical healthcare situation.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  65. Doug in Texas

    One of the big reasons i spent 20 plus years in the military was to keep the health care plan the government offered my family for our service to this country.

    You just don't get things free, you earn it. Anyone receiving this proposed health care reform should be required to spend a few hours a month helping service organizations such as big brothers, big sisters, salvation army, soup kitchens, red cross, veterans hospitals, etc.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  66. Tiffany Kafka

    I am an American Registered Nurse with over 10 years of Emergency Room experience. I have practiced in hospitals both large and small in several areas of the United States. Recently, I moved to Canada and have been practicing in the Canadian health care system in the Emergency Department and Cath Lab for the past two years. As a medical professional with several years of experience both as a practitioner and a patient in both the American and Canadian health care systems, I have to say, the Canadian health care system is by far superior to the American health care system.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  67. Theresa Wilkinson

    Cameron
    Imagine the suprise those uptight conservatives screaming at a meeting as if thy were from acorn my my . BUT I am a nurse who actually have beeen to a meeting and got so mad that my congressman tried to insinuatr that I was a racist because I did not like the bill I actually wanted to throw my shoe at him!!! The money is not there!! You want to fix health care? take care of fat people they are th 2nd most exspesive part of health care. The end of life is very exspensive not just for the old but For Aids pts. Who is telling them the need to stop spending hundreds of thousands of dollars at the end of their life when we know they are going to die. Please do not try and tell me I am wrong I work in hospital and I just had pt who spent 10 days in the ICU after 3 surgeries when eveeryone knew he would die.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  68. Susan

    Since Congress just approved spending more on planes than the Pentagon even wants, much less needs, maybe health care reform should be shifted to the Pentagon. Interesting Congressional priorities, don't you think?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  69. Gina Mortimer Storr

    it sickens me to watch this debacle......our politicians (most of them anyway) are selfish and heartless. Why, with all of the examples from so many countries of how universal health care can work are we even having a debate.......it makes me mad as hell that we allow our politicians to get away with the nonsense

    August 6, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  70. Bill Armbruster

    A single-payer system, also known as Medicare for All, is the only logical, cost-effective and moral solution to our health care crisis. It would cover everyone, and at lower cost.

    We have 50 million people with no health insurance at all, and tens of millions more have woefully inadequate coverage, which often prevents them from seeing a doctor or buying medicine because they can’t afford it. As a result, thousands of people die each year, and thousands more go into bankruptcy. More than 60 percent of all bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical costs, and three quarters of those people had insurance.

    All other industrialized countries have single-payer systems. These are funded through taxes, but the total cost of health care per person is a lot less than here in the United States. We spend $2.2 trillion a year – one sixth of our total economy – or about $7,000 a year per person on health care. That’s almost twice as much as the average in other countries.

    I recently heard a talk by a top official from Taiwan, which adopted a superb single-payer system in 1995. He said it’s unthinkable that anyone there would die because they can’t get health care or go bankrupt because they can’t afford it. Here it happens every hour.

    Don’t let the scaremongers frighten you. Tell your representatives that you want them to vote for single-payer legislation - H.R. 676 in the House and S. 703 in the Senate.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  71. pearl

    The Canadian healthcare system is beinng maligned for political
    gains..it is sad....children in Canada do not go on waiting list.....at least not in BC

    August 6, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  72. Theresa Wilkinson

    Tiffany
    Odd, I work at a hospital with Canadians who come to see our neurosurgeons because they can not wait for the Canadians
    Good for colds bad for cancer

    August 6, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  73. Judith Howard

    I would ask my representatives why I can't have the same health insurance they do. What makes them so special? Their salaries and most of their health insurance premiums are paid for by us, so it's high time they represent us rather than pharma and health insurance companies.

    A public option is my line in the sand. That's what we voted for last November. Get the job done for us or we'll find someone who can.

    August 6, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  74. sureshid

    If a government run health care system works fine for members of congress, why is it so bad for the rest of us?

    August 6, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  75. Evie

    I feel it would be a good idea for Cnn to send all the posts on health care reform to the White House.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  76. Rosa Wallace

    For almost twenty years we have been waiting for a health care reform. I have health insurance. I am not worried if I am going to be taxed for universal health care. I think we need reform and the thousands of people without health care should have it and be covered. Health care is a right.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  77. Jackie Blanton

    I support the President's efforts to reform health care. Thankfully, I have Medicare and private insurance but it is crystal clear that money is pouring out of holes in the system like a sieve. There is plenty of money if it is channeled toward patient health instead of insurance company profits. I have had a chronic illness for a number of years and could write a book on how money is wasted.

    As Bill Maher said so brilliantly, there are some things that should not exist mainly for profit. Health care is one of them. Insurance companies and doctors' organizations have turned into blood-sucking vampires. If you want to see who is sacrificing older people for profit, look at HMOs.

    Also, health care benefits should not be taxed.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  78. Karen Allen

    Gary - In 2008 we spent $2.4 trillion on health care and in 5.5 years we will be spending $4.2 trillion. We spend almost 5 TIMES the amount we spend on national defense. It is estimated that 80% (not 90) of the population do have health care – and if you estimate for medicare, veterans, Congress and federal employees – nearly a quarter of that population is already covered by a federal plan. So the “majority” is who?

    The cost of health care is creating a burden of the economy in job creation, home mortgage defaults, and on and on. See more a nchc.org and get the facts.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  79. Marilyn

    I just went over to CNN Money to look at the "interactive" basketball oriented rating of President Obama. I see that there is NO option for "interaction" which would mean you could input your own thoughts, beliefs about which were slam dunks and which were air balls. "Interactive" in the way you guys are using it just means you click on something and see a comment made by ... WHO KNOWS WHO!! Not any intellectual activity involved. Uhhhhh, duuuuh, whoever came up with that one is not doing "news" or anything of value. You could save some salary money there!

    August 6, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  80. manuel

    I would tell the Dems. to stop playing nice w/the GOP. The GOP are obstructionists. They would rather keep the status quo and some in both parties are owned by the insurance health industries. Get it done and stop catering to the GOP. Obviously bi-partisan over rated.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  81. Shirley Ches

    I would tell them that our health insurance costs have gone up this year alone by 8.75%. We haven't been sick! So this must be due to the fact that my husband and I had the audacity to age – gee, we lived one more year.
    Our total health and drug insurance cost is 32.6% of our annual income. To add insult to injury, our CO-pay has gone up!! We live largely on our Social Security. This is becoming painful. If these insurance costs continue to rise we will be forced to drastically cut back on our coverage. I should think that many other older citizens are faced with the same dilemma. I should also think that insurance companies would be wise to face the fact that they are pricing themselves out of the health-care market just as pricing was a contributing factor for the auto-industry. They would be wise to consider the well-known fact that "a little bit of something is worth more than a whole lot of NOTHING"!! We're tired of paying a big portion of these ompanies "cost of doing business", ie; their "perks", their advertising, AND their greedy lobbyists.
    We Americans need real health care choice! We can't afford to allow the continual price increases caused by greed in Big Insurance and Big Pharmaceutical businesses, as well as the increased cost of care caused by a litigeous society requiring increases in Dr. & Hospital insurance – an endless circle of greed.
    We don't just "need" a new type of health care market, we MUST have a new type of health care market. God help my children and grandchildren!
    So DO keep the public plan option as part of health reform, and give us meaningful choice, reasonable pricing, access and coverage – NOT JUST WHAT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WANT!
    OTHERWISE, I am certain it won't be long before my husband and myself join the folks seeking medical help in our local hospital emergency room!!!!

    August 6, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  82. Karen Allen

    Thank goodness for Bill Armbruster - at least a fact based opinion.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  83. Tiffany Kafka

    Theresa,

    Interesting. I work in a hospital where Americans come for cancer treatment that their insurance denied or only pays a small percentage for. I work in a hospital where Americans bring their children for treatment. I work in a health care system that provides care for everyone and if the appropriate therapy is not available in the immediate area, the patient will be transferred to where that therapy is available – even if it is across an international border and the patient will never recieve a bill.

    Canadian health care. Good for colds, great for everything else.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  84. Mary F. Puglielli

    I'm an Independent voter who is happy to see that people are organizing to insist on having Universal Health Care in this country. I have e-mailed my representatives in Congress asking them to approve Pres. Obama's health proposal. However, my representatives are hopelessly selfish Republicans (DeMint being one) who are more interested in preventing the President from succeeding than doing something good for the country. These politicians have good health coverage offered by the government, just as my husband and I have as retired government employees, and yet they would rather use their energies to block the President from helping those many citizens who have no coverage at all.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  85. Anthony W Jennings

    hello, my name is Anthony, I'm From Dallas, but Live Currently in McKinney, TX. Y'all 'v asked te viewer what they would say to there congressman, or senator, so here goes:
    in 2006, both of my grandparents passed away, and left my mother (who is disabled, on SS, and Medicaid) 2 civilian burial plots, they wee interned at Arlington Memorial Cemetary here in TX as my Granfather served aboard the U.S.S. Midway. SS called my Mother a couple of days ago and informed here that her SS and Medicaid are being terminated due to the inheritance. This is an Outrage!!! My Father has Cancer, My Mother is Disabled, and this is how our Gvt gives respect to it's citizens? She'll never work again and is totally dependant on SS for Income, and Medicaid for Doctor's appts. How can Our Fine Country change the rule of thumb about inheritance? it's not like shes making money, se scraping by. and under threat of complete and total poverty. I am a Stay at Home Labor of Love Son, and cook, clean, grocery store, you name it, I do it for THEM. So Why is My Gvt hurting my Mom? I have e-mailed the white house, and will go public to get My Folks, and Yours The Income They Need. Please Help us Tony, CNN is on 24/7 Here, plus the Fact that Your a Fellow "Tony/Anthony", and an American. I know that we'll work through this, but it has become nerve racking. Too many red tape issues. She is Facing here the worst Hours of Her Life. Please PLEASE Help. That is what I would say/beg/plead frm my Senator and My Congressman. Thank You Very Much and God Bless America.
    Sincerely, Anthony W Jennings.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  86. Rev. Mike

    If you wanna be able to have cheaper health care lower then find a way to lower the costs to become and stay a health care professional. Health care professionals have to pay more for their education and have continuing costs for the rest of their careers. If you find a way to lower these costs, then more people could charge less for their services.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  87. Marilyn

    If you think that your "polls" on healthcare reform REALLY reflect how many Americans FAVOR full healthcare access for all Americans, you are sadly wrong. Many Americans who desperately NEED healthcare also do not have ACCESS to the internet or are too seriously ill, and with no healthcare, to be able to find access. They are too busy dying.

    Just another case of "have everything" greedy spoilers who want to make sure they turn everything to how they want it to look. In the future, when you mention the "nay" sayers at the city halls, it would be nice to ALWAYS mention these people are ALL bused in and paid for by the Republicans and anarchists. These are the same type of people who gerrymandered Texas into being a Republican run state, when most of its people are Democrats.

    It may look one way but it is in fact radically different. It was too much to hope that when we, Democrats & concerned caring citizens, took over the government the little rethugs would continue their attempts to distroy America.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  88. Molly Reiss

    I would tell my Senators to stress to the public that Medicare is a government run program and that Seniors are very grateful for its benefits. I would also urge Senators to refute the commonly held belief that Europeans and Canadians have long waiting lists and terrible health care. This just isn't true. The British system has been greatly improved over the last 15 years–one of Tony Blair's accomplishments. The German system is remarkably efficient with excellent health care and no waiting lists. The American public has been brain-washed into believing things that are totally inaccurate and our Senators need to keep hammering that in. I would prefer having a Single Payer plan, but since that seems unattainable, we at least need a public option! I have an adult son who is without health insurance–he has to go to an Emergency Room to get any kind of medical care. The emergency rooms where I live have a 6 to 8 hour waiting list. We are already paying for those who don't have health insurance through emergency care and with our costly premiums. My German friend who was going to school in the States, foregoes all medical care until she gets back to Germany in the summertime. Her medical care there is excellent and free. How embarrassing that this wealthy nation is so far behind other developed nations!

    August 6, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  89. Jerry

    We can all agree that fair cost sharing is necessary.
    I think we should lower the cost by removing the malpractice insurance. Lawsuits could be redirected to the more appropriate and better-equipped life insurance companies. They could offer optional malpractice coverage on their plans; it could be made tax deductible and offered by the employer.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  90. Ann

    Public telephones, public toilets...
    Public healthcare?
    Doesn't sound any better than the 1st two does it. Anything with the word "public" or "goverment" has a negative connotation attached to it. Why? Because its always mis-managed and corrupted. When are we Americans going to grow up and realize that life is not fair? We come into this world with nothing and it is sure we will take nothing out. Why can we not work hard to attain things for ourselves? And, why must we begrudge those that do? My family makes less than $100000 a year with 2 small children and I'm in the midst of a probable layoff in a mostly-to-blame-government-made mess of an economy. What am I doing about it? I'm taking care of business – Looking for options in the private sector for my family. I'm definitely not whining to some god-like figure about why he didn't pay for my degree or why he couldn't pay for my car or get me something for nothing. No wonder the rest of the world hates us. We've morphed into a bunch of whiny little brats who just want to be taken care of at any cost. I've seen a quote a lot lately that weighs heavily on my mind. Thomas Jefferson said (paraphrasing) "a government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have". I'm a "little person" like everyone else but I'm doing my part. I work for a living to support my family, and for that matter, to support alot of people who won't get off their lazy duffs too. Why should I have to pay for people with no pride and work ethics? If you say I have no compassion, I tithe to my church and I give in my local community even on my modest income. That's the way to help a brother fallen on hard times. Its not Washingtons responsibility and its sure as hell not their right to do with my taxes....Anyway, that's what I would say to Washington if I had the voices they and the celebrities do, but alas, I'm just a "little person" and all I've got is my one little vote. But its mine nonetheless, well, at least for now.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  91. Richard

    Don

    Why don't you guy show all of the countries that have national healthcare? Like Norway.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  92. Marilyn

    Ahhhhhh, the bloggers on here are doing the same thing that the bused in repugs are doing to town hall meetings. The "nurse" who blogged here that she, in the US, treats Canadians and that the Canadian system can't treat cancer quickly and efficiently. WHAT a pile of lies!

    I have extremely close friends in Canada. The husband suffered with terminal cancer for several years. The CANADIAN system allowed him to have immediate treatment, including surgery, radiation, chemo, whenever he needed in a timely way. They kept him alive and working at his job for many years, even though they lived in a more rural community away from big cities.

    If I, uncovered by health insurance for five years, got cancer ... well, I could only afford to die. Yeah, health coverage in the USA ... great if you want to see the population suffer and die without any health care at all.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  93. Dale New Mexico

    I don't know about other people throughout United States will think about this.

    I would like to see the faces of the congressman and senator's in an office photo lineup, on a cnn Internet page. After everything is said and done on this health care reform.

    Photos of The ones that voted for, and the ones who voted against, health-care reform.

    And under each photo put the party they are from and what state. And from which House, they are from Congress or Senate and number of years, at that seat.

    I just want to see the faces of these people. I bet there is some kind of law preventing this.

    August 6, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  94. Carlo Moody

    Who is controlling all these anti-universal healthcare fear mongerers? As an merican expatrie living in Canada, I can assure you that universal healthcare is not the end of the world or of life as you know it. All the criticisms are completely foundless as although there is a universal healthcare system here, there is still sufficient market for private healthcare providors & vendors to deliver their products. Yes there are waiting lists for specialists, and a severe shortage of family Dr.'s, both are due in large part to Dr.'s leaving Canada for higher paying opportunities in the US. I think this is an oversight on the part of these Dr.'s as they enjoy lower malpractise insurance premiums due to stringent guidelines for accepting a malpractise suit. Yes the system in Canada isn't perfect but for the most part, I believe that the majority of people are happy with the healthcare system

    August 6, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  95. Bruce from Newport Beach, CA

    Why is Congress not touting the benefits of the public option?
    Are they scared of the health insurance lobby?

    The public option would benefit those currently with insurance because private insurers would be careful about raising premiums and losing customers to the NEW competition.
    Businesses would be in a better position to raise wages because their health insurance costs would no longer be skyrocketing.
    .

    August 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  96. JustinScho

    We the people are the rightful regulator of both Congress and the courts. We have elected you to do our will and we want comprehensive universal health care. The people will overthrow those who oppose our will.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  97. Tim Porter

    I'd ask the reps for Naples, SWFL...are you aware that the disruptions going on in town hall meetings are because of hecklers being paid by the health care lobbists? The Republicans are calling this a grass roots development... it is not...it is a shame... and only serves to further the blame of Republicans for standing in the way of civil debate & change mandated by the presidential election...

    August 6, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  98. Darryl Rogers Sr.

    My comment and soluion to the entire stimulus plan is very simple. We have been going at this entire problem the wrong way. Why are WE paying to stimulate the very same institutions that are mistreating citizens and dening free assistance to those who need. Why should I pay for corporate america to overcharge me and shut down my services when there are no JOBs paying at the rate of the charged services. When i look around and see all the senior citizens struggling to survive. Waiting for Social security checks at age 65. What can we do....heres something to think about. What if we could stimulate the PEOPLE. Let the PEOPLE decide which business they will use. Why are we giving more power to businesses then to " We THE PEOPLE". Lets save the country some future debts also. Take all that Social Securty Money.....Give it to " WE THE PEOPLE " Let the PEOPLE decide for themselves. Besides, if this is done we will not aquire a large debt like we have now. Ok, Where is this SOCIAL SECURITY MONEY AT ? Who really knows ? I'm reminded every year about $330,000.00 that i have in social scurity income just waiting for me to turn 65. But, what about now...i'm living below poverty..yet i have this amount of money with my name on it waiting for age 65. Now heres the problem with this. This is not a funny joke to be told that you may not receive Social security benefits because there may not be anything there. Give the people whats theirs NOW ! Easy to do....Social security numbers are accts..just send it to the people. This country will be on the right road to recovery. The PEOPLE will be happy and corporate america will have to depend on customers with buying power. This is just my opinion and not necesariy that of many...however...it s mine to voice. God Bless America ! Give Power to The People. We have paid our dues to his country....lets enjoy our latter years with dignity and remain loyal and dedicated to our COUNTRY !~ How many years will it take t repay the Trllion dollars debt we now owe ?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  99. LP

    Two of the President's stated goals for healthcare reform are to significantly reduce the cost of healthcare and to not add to the budget deficit. According to the Congressional Budget Office, none of the plans in Congress meet either of those goals.

    Why not create a plan that would meet the basic objectives before ramming through a vote?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  100. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    It is really strange how the U.S. Postal Service have let this situation of a quarterly net loss of $2.4 billion has gone unchecked. I guess the accountants have relinquished their obligations. Certainly if they expect a $7 billion dollar loss for the entire fiscal year something has to be done on time. Will reducing the daily delivery reduce the cost? Certainly more controls have to be research more carefully. Reducing the daily deliveries will not be enough. The management of each one of the offices have to control every expenses to really control the losses. How can Post Offices have so many rental properties? What is the purpose to rent such spaces?

    August 6, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  101. William Hamilton

    Those who oppose health care reform, say they want to stay “in control” of their health care. The truth is and always has been that it is the Drug and Insurance companies (and the politicians who they pay off) who are “in control” of health care.

    By the mid seventies, the Drug and Insurance companies had a firm grip on controlling prices and dissemination of services. Even today, Drug companies routinely charge Americans two and three time the price that they charge other countries. This is why so many of us order medications from Canada. Very often the Canadian prices are half and less compared to what you must pay here. Our Congressmen gave the Drug companies carte blanch to charge government programs (Medicare) whatever they chose without question. How and why, you may ask? Simple! The huge Drug lobby in Washington
    D. C. has bought and paid for the Congressmen’s votes starting back in the 1930s.

    Insurance companies and HMOs are notorious for deceptive and unethical (as well as illegal) practices in rejecting, delaying and denying claims often resulting in prolonged suffering and even death. The real disgrace was that the HMO Humana was allowed to continue in business after being ordered to pay 250 million dollars in fines by a federal court. I have never seen proof that Humana actually paid that fine.

    Again, the huge Insurance lobby in Washington D. C. has bought and paid for your Congressmen’s votes to prevent this huge “cash cow” from drying up through Health Care reform.

    Another stupendous scamming industry is Medical supplies and devices like Wheelchairs, hospital beds, therapeutic prostheses and other supplies. A wheelchair offered for sale on line for $250 has a “suggested retail price” (by the manufacturer) for $650. This exact same wheelchair, when sold to Medicare and the VA is billed at more than $1,200. The company manufacturing (or importing) this wheelchair claims it is justified in charging this much because of the extra “paper work” required by the federal government.

    Believe me, these companies really do believe that “we” actually are “that stupid.”

    Remember the quote, “Walk softly and carry a big stick?”

    Our “BIG STICK” is the upcoming mid-term elections in 2010. As never before, we can “send a resounding message” to our politicians that they will never forget.

    August 6, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  102. lynn

    Rick, are you going to cover Eric Cantor ans 24 other Republicans on a trip to Israel criticizing the Obama Administration's stance on Israel settlibng on palestinean land? they are supporting the expansion and specifically came out in support of the recent eviction of Arab families from their home; a move criticized by both the European union and secretary of State Hilary Clinton.

    Isn't it a form of treason to go to foreign countries and take a position contrary to the elected president of the U S??

    August 6, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  103. Ines

    Thanks for the link Karen.
    I see over 600 pages of improvements to Medicare, at least that's a start.
    Also that a physician would be taxed on items (gifts) received from a pharmaceutical or other company for items valued over $ 5.00.
    My thought on this whole health care issue, right now it is a business and not a right. That has to change for all citizens, until that happens any reform is a waste of time.
    Health care companies are collecting their dues, but when it comes to paying providers they will try anything to avoid their part.
    There should be no difference in out of network and in network providers other then the fact that the provider is a Doctor.
    Ines in Colorado

    August 6, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  104. Chris

    What I would ask is what is he/she doing to put a time limit on welfare, food stamps, medicaid, etc for those people who have grown up using these systems. I mean, good Lord, it's hard enough to raise your own family much less generation after generation of freeloaders. Help those who have helped this country, those who have worked, those who will work, but goodbye to those who refuse to help.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  105. sabrina

    At this very moment my husband and I are in great need of seeing a doctor. Why don't we go you may ask. Well, because while we have insurance we still can not afford it. We would get precriptions, that we need, but can not afford that either. Congress can buy their jets and will most likely give themselves a raise. While my husband and I live on 16 hundred dollars a month for the next two years. I'm sick and tired of Congress and the Senate doing nothing for the people and everything for theirselves and the rich. I want all the insurances out!!! Universal health care in!!! I have no question for them, it would not get answered anyway.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  106. Jimmie Johnson

    I would ask my congressman who is a Republican. What is his solution to runaway health care costs ? And don't tell me "stop lawsuits". When the average person dies in a hospital they end up owing their life savings to he hospital and the doctors. There is nothing left for their family.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  107. Joye Schmiedt

    Please explain the part of the Health Care Plan were it says that the goverment would be able to view our bank accounts. Who wrote that into the bill and what does that have to do with health care.
    Can you have someone on TV explain that part of the bill.
    Thank you, Joye Schmiedt

    August 6, 2009 at 10:52 pm |
  108. Brian Earle

    Health care is the final hurdle to complete FDR's second bill of rights. This second bill of rights was not passed in FDR's time but the Dem's have made it a priority over the last 60 years. If the people believe that health care is a right then we should pass the bill. As a Republican I think the health care plan might well bankrupt the country just as one of the other rights did last year, that would be the right for everyone to own a home.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  109. James Hendrick

    With all the protesting going on about heath care. The one question that should be asked is not should we do this, but how can we do this better. But like always it will come down to the money only? Not what it will cost but what one organization willl lose!!!!! You know it's sad people have to die so someone can make a point
    \ James
    Chesapaeke Va

    August 7, 2009 at 9:04 am |
  110. george merman

    The bureaucracy and the cancer have tendency to grow.
    Government should not run any health care in USA.

    August 7, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  111. Karen

    Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to speak to representatives from the offices of our two Senators (Binghaman and Udall) and our congressman (Harry Teague). I asked them to please vote for a public option that would make healthcare more affordable and put the emphasis on wellness and preventative care. I was just out of the hospital after surgery on my colon. I argued that if my high deductible private insurance would have paid for a colonoscopy (because my pre-existing condition was ulcerative colitis) they would have saved that $100,000 bill for surgery.

    August 7, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  112. Randy N

    You at CNN should help US out. This Administration is not working for the best interest of this country or it's people. They need to be Impeached. Most of the reason We are having a problem in the media will not cover stories at length like you do with the goverment articals. I know you will pass this by or you could air it. Randy

    August 7, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  113. Maureen Mower

    Tony,

    I would tell my representatives that it is discriminatory to allow insurance companies to decide who lives and dies based solely on how much money they can make off that person. It is unconscionable that ANY American should have to choose between taking care of their health and putting food on the table, or be at risk of losing their home because of an illness.

    I would tell my representatives that I have not had any kind of health care for 3 years, other than 2 trips to the ER (for which I owe over $2400) when I had injuries that absolutely had to be checked out. This means I cannot have the physical therapy I need for my chronic, debilitating arthritis, 4 herniated disks, dysfunctional knees, and foot problems. I can't be screened for breast, ovarian, skin, and other cancers (all of which run in my family and have killed many of my close relatives), or the circulatory and heart problems I KNOW I have. I also can't have the 8 teeth left in my mouth removed, so I live in constant pain and have been reduced to eating only things I can swallow without chewing because the teeth are so loose. Try losing weight (which might help my arthritis and back problems) when all you can eat is soft macaroni, farina, mashed potatoes, scrambled eggs, and if I'm feeling really brave, tuna fish (no bread – can't bite it).

    My husband is permanently disabled and gets Social Security Disability, as well as Medicare. But that only covers him. My son gets CHIP because our total family income is low enough and we have no other option.

    But I'm the caretaker of the family – the one who must make sure my husband gets his meds and eats right, and the one who is still guiding a young son into adulthood. Yet I cannot get any healthcare. So I would ask my representatives – if I die of a preventable or treatable illness simply because I could not get the check-ups and screenings I needed, who is going to take care of my family? Who is going to pay for the medical care I will eventually get when my health becomes so unstable that I develop major problems requiring hospitalization and extroadinary (ie: expensive) measures to keep me alive?

    I spent a childhood being abused and molested by people who were supposed to care about me. I spent my teen years in foster care, only to be dumped on the streets at age 18. For years I had to survive on Welfare while I tried to put my life together. During all that time, I had good healthcare, run by the government (Medicaid). But now that I'm a "productive" member of society (ie: not living on the public dole), I'm unable to access the healthcare I need to stay productive. Please tell me how this makes any kind of sense??

    August 7, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  114. Kevin

    The Republican Noise Machine is resorting to the same brownshirt tactics it used in Florida in 2000: recruit mobs to disrupt the democratic process. The G.O.P. ought to be ashamed of itself for invoking the methods of Adolf Hitler. Do that at a Congressperson's town meeting in my town, and I'm throwing eggs at you.

    The time has come to cast the Repubs into the dust in of history and to forge ahead, forcing a vote on a true health care reform plan. Let them be on the wrong side of history and pay for it at the ballot box.

    Note the illogical arguments they employ:

    1. "The government can't deliver health care. It will like Canada where people wait so long for care that they die." No one is talking about the U.S. gov'.t DELIVERING HEATH CARE! The whole issue involves cost containment and reimbursement for services. There are waits in Canada NOT because of the system, but because there is a doctor shortage and an equipment shortage. In 2002, there were only 4 MRI machines in all of Canada. It's a much smaller population, a weaker economy, etc. But without their single-payer national system, it would be far worse. Fewer than 3% of Canadians would approve of a different kind of system.

    2. "It's a government takeover of health care!" No, it's not.

    3. "But it will end up being a government takeover because the public option will be cheaper and will drive the private sector out of business."
    Look, you Republicans can't have it both ways! You can't, on the one hand, say that any government involvement will destroy the system and result in lousy care, and then at the same time say that if a public option exists, everyone will flock to it to the point that private insurance collapses.

    The fly in the ointment is COST CONTAINMENT. Right mow, pony 40% of doctors take Medicare patients because the re-eimbursements are low and the paperwork burden is too high.

    Here is the fix: impose cost containment n the new system, too. Require all doctors to accept the new plan.But in exchange for this, exempt physicians from payment of income tax on their first $185,000 of income.. The AMA would even support that. It's better than the ideas to tax health benefits, tax 'Cadillac' health plans, tax soda, etc.

    WRITE TO PRES. OBAMA AND YOUR CONGRESSPEOPLE URGING THAT THE PLAN BE DONE THAT WAY.

    August 7, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  115. woNamabOhcaepmI

    Our President has shown himself to be a rank amateur in politics, a buffoon to other countries, a novice to the ways of economics & business & sadly a disappointment to all Americans. This is the man who was labeled our "post racial president" but he brought up race in a press conference w/out having all of the facts. Our President goes over seas to preach "save the Earth" & is told to mind his own business by all of the developing countries. He visits China to tout our economic policies & China tells him to stabilize our dollar, why...because they hold almost a trillion dollars in our debt. The country undergoes an economic downturn & what does he do? He lets Pelosi push every junk liberal proposal down our throats & calls it a stimulus plan. And yes "inflation" is inevitable! We have Russia, Iran & N. Korea rattling swords & Obama decides to cut military spending. What does Iran & N. Korea do then...they build the “bomb”. Obama promised to get us out of Iraq & instead he keeps us in & sends us to Pakistan & Afghanistan as well. Now he's trying to socialize the best health system in the world...okay it's not a perfect system, but it still has people from all over the world coming here for treatment. We all know that the government has done a bang up job w/ Medicaid, Medicare & Social Security. We’ll impeach Clinton for lying about a bj in the Whitehouse but we're all okay w/ Obama bankrupting this country?!? Well, you voted for him, ignored all of the warning signs...so what will you do in the 2010/2012 elections?

    August 7, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  116. Chris

    I just finished watching the town hall meeting video. At first blush I felt that it was a case of extreme right-wing nuts trying to be disruptive for no good reason. This is admittedly because I am fairly liberal at heart.

    But, after reflecting (with reason, not emotions) a few moments, what I clearly saw was democracy in action. I tried to hear what the protesters were saying so I could capture as much information (albeit some bogus) as possible to help me form an educated opinion on health care reform.

    Although the constant shouting made for a not-so-effective meeting, I think all sides of the issue need public expression.

    This is America to me, open argument, boiling down the facts and making the best decision for the good of the greatest number of citizens.

    A small epiphany for today.

    Chris

    August 7, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  117. A B

    More town hall meeting videos! I've never seen so many inbred WASPS in my life! CNN should get an Emmy in comedy for coverage of this story. Middle-White America: WAKE UP! Get your heads out of your subsidized corn holes.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  118. Blake

    Why are people getting so upset in these meetings over a new health care plan? I didn't even know we had a plan to be upset about??

    August 7, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  119. tom

    i would like to remind the protestors that when they become eligable for MEDICARE and MEDICADE that they should decline particapting in these government programs.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  120. Kenny Tipton

    Since you are trying to cut the cost and rise of health care and cover more people why don't you bring in some kind of tort reform to limit lawsuits or a cap for payment?

    Frivolous lawsuits increase cost and the person and their attorney who bring such lawsuits who lose in court should bear the costs rather than the doctors.

    If you do not want such reform is this because you are a lawyer and protecting other lawyers?

    August 7, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  121. TryCommonSense

    Keep the Public Option. It's time to stop suffering and dying for fat Insurance Company Profits! The TV ads just prove how scared they are of having to compete with a fair, reasonably priced alternative! Why are we currently spending twice as much for half the coverage people get elsewhere? My current health care would be great at half the price. Currently the expense is second only to my mortgage!

    August 7, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  122. Sandi

    I retired from AT&T, with healthcare benefits, after 32 years. What will prevent companies from dropping coverage for it's employees and retirees?

    August 7, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  123. Sue

    As the wife of an active duty service member, our family has used "public option" medical care for the past 25 years. I would not wish this type of medical care on my worst enemies. Lines are long, appointments are made months in advance and emergency care is non-existent for the dependents of the service member. Five years ago, I started working full time and we now get our medical benefits from my employer. WHAT A DIFFERENCE. NO to public option heathcare, I have lived it and it stinks.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  124. DAn

    I am a 42 year Democrat, who is against this health care reform.
    I consider myself a moderate and my reasons against were shaped by living in and near countries having social medicine and or socialism. They all had major issues, primarily with the quality of care and large waiting times. The problem with socialism is that you need people who are altruistic, Only a few Mother Teresa's in the world. Unfortunately most people have agendas and an amount of greed in them. As seen on the news one mans ideal is anothers imperfection. This is a democracy where everyones rights are to be valued. Forcing socialistic plans on me is not democratic.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  125. Geoff

    One would hope the shouting of the organized talk radio crazed brown shirts will be recognized for what it is, but given the spinelessness of the Congress I doubt it. Sadly most of these demented losers don't even realize how vulnerable their own acess to health care is. They have bought into the manufactured myth that they have access to health care and an unimpeded relationship with their doctor, something that has not existed for quite awhile.

    Sadly for the nation they have probably scared enough members of congress that they will cave.Corporate criminals like Rick Scott will win. again. Maybe the situation just isn't desperate enough yet for people to wise up.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  126. Patrick

    I will tell my congressman and senators to support a government option for healthcare. My wife has Parkinsons Disease. She had a private healthcare plan from Medicare. It was paid for from government subsidies and was terrible. The company paid for very little and only a small portion of her medicine which cost around $700.00 per month.
    After we were married she dropped the plan and just used medicare and ChampVA, a government run plan for dependents of disabled veterans. Between medicare and Champva, all of he bills are paid, her medicine is now free and she is never harrasse3d by any government official. A government option is absolutely necessary for all disabled people who are on medicare alone or have no insurance at all.

    I am a true American and I love our form of government. I am not afraid of government helping people.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  127. JMBarrett in No Prov RI

    Those opposed to health care reform are those who already have health care, and probably have it paid by their employers entirely or pay very little of the cost. As a former state employee, I pay a portion of my premiums and the state pays the rest. That's good for me. But what about all those people who were never offered health care through their employment? They can buy an insurance policy, but no one is going to supplement the premiums for them, and the coverage is more often than not inadequate. And what of those who live on the poverty line and simply can't afford coverage at any price? I think the answer is socialized medicine, but there's so much negative propaganda against it that it would never pass. I think a national vote should be taken at the polls to determine whether or not to institute a public plan, and let the chips fall where they may.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  128. Billy R

    What i am most afraid of under the President's health Reform bill is that some people will be denied care or procedures becasue of their age. I really am afraid of that. Also how are we going to pay for it? I really am afraid of the Canadian Style health care and fear we are heading there.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  129. Colin in AZ

    I have lived in the UK, Germany, Holland, Sweden and Canada. They all have a public healthcare system or public option. EVERYONE in these countries has access to good healthcare. It works and it works very well. It is true that the specialists in the US are the best in the world but you either need expensive health insurance and/or a lot of money to use it. What about the majority that cannot access this care?

    Access to good health is a basic human right, especially in the richest country in the world, and should not be a question of how much money you have. When insurance companies dictate how the health system is rum and who gets what treatment, it is a great example of capitalism gone wrong! If you want to get a wake up call about the helaht system here in the US, then I recommend people watch Michael Moore's film Sicko

    August 7, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  130. Dewayne Matthews

    Why hasn't tort reform been considered in any bill? Doctors are in a difficult position and, in many cases, have to order expensive tests for liability defense (documentation). This just adds to the health costs and puts more expense on health insurance companies which increases our premiums. Tort reform would bring more affordable health care. No one has given me an answer to that basic question.

    This and a better job of cutting down on fraud (which has been reported to cost Medicare $100 billion a year.) I understand that the U.S. government only spends $100 million on fraud detection, prevention and conviction of those who are involved.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  131. pam bollenbacher

    I would ask why you are supporting a bill that will eventually cost more jobs, ruin an industry with yet another government take-over, cause physicians and hospitals to receive even less than they do with medicare patients, interfere with doctor/patient relationships, ration care for the elderly, outlaw private insurance (do you know most medicare patients carry supplemental ins to cover what medicare doesn't pay, and that would become illegal under the house plan?) I would ask why you voted to allow the government access to my checking account to pay medical expenses???? I would ask where in the constitution does it state the government can plan my end of life? I would ask why illegal immigrants are entitled to free healthcare and no tax if it is not elected, but I would pay a tax for not electing a government run plan?

    I totally support health insurance reform and tort reform. Allow insurors to sell the same plans nationwide, and do tort reform so physcians and hospitals don't have to pay ridiculous premiums for malpractice insurance. The only way to eliminate pre-existing conditions from being denied is to require all Americans to purchase insurance, and for those who are young and invincable offer HSA's which have the added benefit of also being a retirement savings plan, but also provide coverage for unexpected major illnesses or accidents, but cover routine checkups at 100%. I have one with a 2500.00 deductible and a 2500.00 out of pocket maximum, and over 3 years have saved enough to cover two straight years of spending $5000 on medical care. If I don't spend it, it continues to grow.

    Government takeover of insurance, and a government option is totally wrong, and un-American as far as I am concerned. And any politician who states the ultimate goal is not a single payor system is flat out lying, and more and more Americans are realizing this.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  132. Patrick

    Chris, I wish that were true. But Democracy in action doesn't involve busing in paid mobs to prevent an open and orderly discussion of the pros and cons. There are two sides (at least) to any issue, but the opponents of health care don't want to allow any open discussion of the issue. They pay people to mob these town halls and drown out people who disagree with their opinion. Not exactly what I suspect the Founding Fathers had in mind, but yes, this is what democracy in America has become. The issue goes to the side that has the money to drown the other out.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  133. Brian

    I've been a lifelong Dem and becoming very tired of the Dem's political twists. During the last presidential election, the Dem's rallied like never before. Going door-to-door, busing people to rallies and canvas neighborhoods. All their right as American's.

    At a time when ALL American's are concerned over Healthcare reform and people are voicing their opinion, they are claiming that Republican's are busing people to Town Hall meetings to distrupt the process.

    I see myself fading from the Democratic Party over deceitful politics. I might not agree with the Republican philosophies but can not stand behind the "play on words" politics that has become the staple of how the Democratic Party operates.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  134. Howard Kaepplein

    I would ask my congessman and ALL congressmen how they have forgotten all of those people who testified before congressional committees during the past year, telling how their insurance company dropped them when they needed an operation that had been approved by their doctor? Or about how their insurance company manufactured an excuse not to approve a life-saving operation? Has every congessman sold out to those insurance companies and bought into the lies they are saying in their commercials about government involved in health care? The most efficient and best run health care system in the U.S. is government-run Medicare.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  135. Patrick

    Look we can all blame the politician's for this this...but the one's to blame are those that facilitate them. The Insurance industry, the lobbyist's, and all the crook's out there waving the money under their nose.
    President Obama has done his job, and will continue to do his job, if you try to blame him for military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, remember, he is trying to solve the problem and bring troops home.
    The blame for how bad our health care system is lays squarely on the health care industry and the Health Insurance industry and no others, and their very poor oversight on those who defraud them, and how bad they themselves rob blind a patient.
    As far as these Town Hall meetings, everyone should just take a deep breath, believe it or not a Nationalized HealthCare System would be the best thing for us, if you have ever been to Germany they have one of the best in the world, yes they pay higher taxes, but also look at the laws they have in effect for Preventative Care, for Pregnancies, etc.
    Just take a deep breath, think of the good, and if you can't, just "Pull Your Lip Over Your Head And Swallow"....'Cause we will not miss you.

    Patrick

    August 7, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  136. Lisa

    As a health care worker for 32 years all in Long Term Care I see many ways we can better our current system to save millions of dollars that could be used to make medical coverage available to all. So many tests and medications are ordered for patients that have coverage that are unnecessary. Many of these are to prevent lawsuits or to pad the pockets of the hospitals or physicians. When someone has been diagnosed with an end stage illness or is in advanced years many of these tests and medications do nothing but prolong the inevitable. Just because we can keep someone alive doesn't mean we should. All care that is to provide comfort and to support that person should be available but expensive tests and medications along with hospital stays are usually a waste of money . By using a more common sense approach and realizing we all have expiration dates we could use health care dollars in situations that are truly needed.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  137. Donald Elkins

    We need some kind of health care reform. I am a diabetic who was paying $0.99 for a bottle of insulin in 1966. The last bottle I bought was $48.90. Fortunately I have good insurance but still paid over $50 out of pocket at the local pharmacy for four bottles of insulin and two packages of glucose test strips.
    Gasoline was about $0.35 a gallon then. If it had increased accordingly it would be over $17 per gallon now!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  138. Isabelle Shaw

    I can see on the surface how healthcare seems very beneficial. However, people are unaware of the circumstances it entails! My primary concern is that of abortion. Living in a nation where one can stand up for one's beliefs, the idea that government will be using citizens tax money to pay for countless abortion procedures every year, regardless of how they feel towards the issue, is everything against what our nation was founded on.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  139. Kevin

    I would tell my Congressperson/Senator to impose cost containment by limiting reimbursements to physicians, but in return to exempt the first $185,000 of doctors' income from income tax.

    THAT IS THE SOLUTION TO THE IMPASSE. SEN. BAUCUS PLEASE TAKE NOTE!.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  140. Colin in AZ

    Those people that blame Obama for the current economic crisis need to go use their private insurance plans as quickly as possible to get treatment for their extreme case of amnesia. What we need in this country is a third political party so we can eliminate those extremists on both sides of the political spectrum. All other civilized countries in the world have this option and it helps galvanize the population together to come up with common solutions to serious problems. I get sick and tried of attacks on our President (no matter who he is) when he (or she) is doing their best to resolve the issues. Instead of spending time on criticisms, come forward with constructive solutions. The status quo is what is killing this country. The only answer is change.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  141. Gene Campbell

    We need health insurance reform. Large employers self-insure because it is more cost efficient–they cut out the excessive administrative costs and profits of the insurance companies. Because most businesses are too small to self-insure and because there is only limited if any competition the insurance companies are able to continue to prosper without addressing their excessive administrative costs and profits. It is time to time to offer a public option that will force the insurance companies to compete for the premiums of small businesses and individuals. Competition is good for the economy, the citizens, and the country.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  142. Marcia RN

    As a school nurse, I strongly support Health Reform; even in the middle class community that I serve, kids are going without needed care – depressed kids are giving up, too many can't see the board for lack of glasses, dental infections are common, kids with asthma miss too much school because no one is managing their chronic illness.

    I understand some of the concerns folks have about the bills – I too want to make sure we are serving rural communities. I know many Americans are opposed in their hearts to abortion; yet the law allows it and I am old enough to remember when girls and women died trying to get illegal abortions.

    But outside of real concerns – The opposition is shouting misleading threats – Medicare Advantage savings are coming from insurance company subsidies to bottom line profits- not from patient care. No one, I repeat, No one, will tell seniors how to die! Medicare reimbursement to doctors will allow them the time to discuss and guide patients and families regarding living wills, hospice care. Often these issues are neglected, and patients wishes have been ignored.

    Thank you for your efforts to keep this highly charged discussion civil and on topic.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  143. thomas

    The frist thing we have to do to even start to fix hc is the price. I go to the dr. they bill $500.00 ins. allows $250.00 i pay my 20% then ins.pays $200.00. why don't they just bill $250.00 to everybody why should some one without ins. pay $500.00 they can't . If their was a fixed FAIR price for care that is the place to start. Quit trying to force feed us like were kids that wont eat our veggies.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  144. Ines

    Perhaps our elected officials should consider making health care a right first and go from there?
    Or to many politicians are in the health care and pharmaceutical pockets to want change? Heck their coverage is secured for life why would they want to look out for anyone else.
    I grew up in Europe, there were 3 health care companies that are regulated ( not sure if there are more or how many companies) the money came out of the paycheck just as the premiums for elected insurance does here, never had a problem seeing a doctor or had to pay for out of pocket and didn't have to pay for surgery either. As far as I remember (over 20 yrs ago) my deduction was only about 50 Marks a month.
    Here health care here isn't regulated, but what the doctors get paid is regulated by an insurance company. So I ask, why not have the government regulate what the insurance can charge or make them actually pay for surgery or other treatments? Our premiums should cover all visits and fee's.
    Us that do have insurance in the USA,the co-pay's are so high that one wonders why do we have insurance at all?
    Insurance companies here in the USA are all for profit and there in itself lays the problem.
    Ines from Colorado.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  145. Anand Shukla

    I have some questions and suggestions for the Health care reform.
    I was wondering if the reform includes opening the market for medicinal drugs. Currently the drug lobby has effectively blocked any importation of similar drugs from other countries with the help of FDA. I recently visited India and saw drugs from american drug companies sold at ten times cheaper rates. This is wrong.
    Another subejct is that of the cap of doctoral students at universities. Currently the AMA has a cap on how many doctors can come out of universities effectively keeping the wages and cost of practice high for doctors. Lets remove that cap, flood the market with doctors and reduce the overall cost of practice.
    If these two policies alone are put forth, then only will this reform be fruitful in the long-term.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  146. Ron Gilch

    The good news is that we finally have a real national debate about possible healthcare reform. The bad news is that the debate isn't being conducted civilly. Healthcare is the issue, not President Obama. Facts are the issues, not fear. Do everyone a courtesy by listening quietly before shouting loudly.

    August 7, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  147. Kevin M Hallinan

    Although it is unclear who is behind it, (e.g. Republicans, AMA, Insurance Companies, etc.) I believe that the "Town Hall Chaos" is organized and orchestrated. I base my belief on several factors:
    1) I have watched a lot of Town Hall meetings, and I have never witnessed the level of disruption as I see in the one's on health care.
    2) These so-called "concerned Americans" creating the disruptions are not expressing concerns and awaiting answers, rather the are making statements (sometimes disguised as questions) and drown out the speaker(s) as they attempt to answer.
    3) There is little, if any, variation between the various Town Hall disruptions, which is indicative of a standardized stratagem (i.e. they appear the same regardless of who is speaking and where the meeting takes place).

    August 7, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  148. James Kennedy

    I am a US Army Veteran that was wounded in Vietnam. I am rated at 50% disabled from the VA and I get government health care-It's called VA Health Care System. It's better than nothing. The problem is that it is run very poorly. I got cancer last year and it took 4 months to get treatment started(chemo and radiation) 2 months ago my pet scan showed that the cancer has returned and I am still waiting on appointments. It takes at least 1 to 2 months to get each and every appointment. 1 month to get the pet scan, another month to see the doctor, another month to get a ct scan, another month to see the doctor, another month to get surgery and biopsy, another mponth to start treatment!! Yes, that's 6 months. I'm sure that Senator Kennedy didn't wait 6 months to get his treatment. He also didn't risk his life in a foreign country to insure that us Americans are today free. If the government can not run the current government VA Health Care System, how do they think that they can run Obama's new health care system??

    August 7, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  149. EJ Naperville, IL

    As a HR executive with over 40 years experience, I am surprised that the supporters have not emphasized the enormous bureauarcy of the healthcare insurers who are and have been "rationing" healthcare coverage under their current business model.

    The last time healthcare costs were flat was during the early Clinton admin. when the insurers were concern that national health care had a chance of becoming a reality.

    These insurance companies have had no real interest in reducing overall healthcare cost because they operate on a cost plus model. The solutions they present to employers is to reduce their clients (the employer's) cost are all cost shifting arrangements, i.e., lifetime caps, higher copays, increased employee contributions, reduction of care options, etc.

    Most employees are not aware of the total cost of their benefit packages-the employers premium, their individual premium, and most importantly the actual cost of services (generally known as the utilization rate). When this utilization rate runs in excess of certain percentages of the total of the employer and the employees combined premium, the insurance company makes one of the following decisions increase the total premium for the coverage, modify the plan coverage, a combination of the two, or cancelling the coverage.

    Utilization is based on the size of the group covered, the smaller the group the greater the likelihood that a small number of claims or one big claim can negatively impact the overall utilization rate of the total plan.

    These same principles apply to small business pools and coops.

    Any successful reform plan must cover as many people as possible, to forcefully incentivize the insurance companies to look for real cost savings in the service delivery system, i.e. doctors, hospitals, and pharmacuticals. They will have to switch from their cost plus model to a new model- working to secure real cost savings inorder generate profits for their shareholders.

    EJ

    August 7, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  150. Jay

    I would simply like to ask, If they will read the bill before they sign off on it,I think that makes sense.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  151. Nick, Chicago

    I would ask, "How many people at these town hall meetings were insured?" This bill is to help the 30-some million americans that have no coverage. How can you get this bill through congress and get America insured?

    August 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  152. Kathleen in the Midwest

    I hear all the pros/cons about Health Care the problem always will be even in other countries-There is and never will be a PERFEECT system. There does need to be a National Health Care System in this country. It seems that those that have Health Care now are doing all the complaining about – National Health is not needed, you'll have to wait for care ( I have excellent coverage and it still took 2 months to get a colonostopy) and last but not least the costs will go up (WELL THE COSTS HAVE BEEN GOING WAY UP WITHOUT National Health Care)- so the problem is WHAT about getting National Health Care ??

    August 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  153. Quentin Smith

    I would like for CNN to disclose on air (in detail) and publish (in full) the healthcare plan/coverages that Congress enjoys and what premium they pay for that coverage. The public needs this perspective as healthcare is being debated by our representatives.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  154. Cindy

    The main opposition to proposed insurance/health care reform comes from health care corporations. I worked in a hospital financial services department and as a care giver for over 40 years. Insurance companies had teams of adjusters tasked with finding ways to deny claims. As many as 1/3 of all claims were denied routinely and had to be filed several times before the claims were paid. This let the insurance companies keep there money, thereby earning millions of dollars of accrued interest each quarter. I know this to be the case because I spoke with many adjusters who told me they had to deny their quota of claims each month in order to keep their jobs. It isn't hard to imagine how many hours are spent by those who file claims or the amount of money insurance companies raked in due to these practices. YES, we need insurance reform! Big business has taken over the industry to the detriment of millions of Americans who need coverage at the most critical times of their lives.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  155. Al Randt

    how come everyone in the broadcasting business perpetuates the opinion that this specific kind of health care reform is necessary of the governements role in the first place. you're setting the expectation that the goverement needs to pass reform, and the only issue is getting it through. folks on both sides of the isle opposed to reform don't only state cost as the issue, but that it would not work. Let's talk about reform, I hope there are dozens of things that could be done but the lack of this open conversation by the obama whitehouse and congress is what is causing people pain.
    Same thing with cash for clunkers. the medias assumption is that it's a good thing and sets that as the expectation for viewers and listeners. that's simply wrong and you're not representing my view or 50% of the countrys view. Where is the news, and fair commentary.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  156. wes

    Just imagine if the police and fire departments were run by the insurance companys with ceo's making millions and more concerned with profits than people. There are things the government should have a hand in and health care is one of them. I think debate is a great way to get the best bill, but people showing up at town meetings just to be disruptive need to shut up. I love the idea of a government option. The insurance I buy for my son has doubled in only a few years and he is hardley ever sick.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  157. Martin Gold

    I would want to know why, if government sponsered health care is such a bad idea, do they choose to partake in the "government sponsered" program that every congressman and senator are covered by when in office. Why then won't a similar plan tfor their constituents work just as well?

    August 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  158. Linda

    We have insurance. We have insurance for unemployed, for our under employed. We have insurance for families that have no other way to obtain insurance than through a health and services organization. Then we have the insurance through our employers. We don't need healthcare reform What we realy need is insurance reform. We also need a far more acive way to handle physician complaints. We need a way to actually terminate quacks that hold medical licenses, permanantly. I don't believe that doctors should be policing doctors. We also need to have the same medicinal cost as our bordering countries have, Mexico and Canada.
    Thank you!

    August 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  159. Ines

    James,
    I totally understand your frustration.
    My thought was always, do away with VA hospitals and let VETS and their families use any facility they choose to and have it fully covered.
    VA hospitals are not up to any standard and I think their doctors are rejects that can't make it anywhere else.
    Yes, Military coverage is insufficient.
    If we all had a sort of socialized health care system I do not think that hospitals would all close down, but would appreciate the fact that they could depend on actually getting paid without all the over head cost they do now have, they pretty much have to have and administrator for each insurance company there is.
    EJ is making a great point.
    Ok, what is so wrong with socializing something, if it wasn't for medicare, medicaid, unemployment and social security right now, we would be in a depression for sure, because nobody would have any money to pay their bills like in the late 20's.
    Ines in Colorado

    August 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  160. Carol

    We very are happy with our affordable Medicare advantage plan-it includes a drug plan. I would like to ask what illnesses are covered & to what age are they covered? Who will make the decision as to what is covered or not covered? Is is true that seniors who have a cardiac illness can't be readmitted to hosp. within 30 days? How long before we lose our private insurance? It seems like there are 3 layers of Universal Health Care 1) for Washington 2) union employees & teachers healthcare will be subsidized–not fair) and 3) the average middle-class person's healthcare will be grouped with the 34 – 40,000 illegal aliens) If the gov't calls it a waste of money to subsidize the excellent medical advantage plans; then why would the govt subsidize unions & "community organizations" health plans? Isn't that a waste of money too? This is not a fair playing field...so far I see 3 levels of insurance. And I'm going to be stuck in #3 & lose benefits & I have no doubt it will cost me more money. Thank you, Carol

    August 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  161. Jane

    Why doesn't anyone address the issue of how much lobbying is going on on behalf of the drug and insurance czarswho have been contributing millions to getting the health care bill through. Don't you think you owe it to the public to tell the whole truth. You claim truth in reporting. But do you deliver that?

    August 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  162. carl mcmillan

    Betty I think if all the (FREE GRAUTUS) benefit's given to all the illegal immigrants in AMERICA was stopped the deficit would drop 50%, but no one is talking about (REALLY) doing anything about this............. I WONDER WHY

    August 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  163. Maximus

    I would advise all public servants to remember what every retailer has had to learn or die. NEVER UNDERESTIMATE YOUR CONSUMER.. The Health care bill should fail badly because our public servants believe they know what is best for us. I want nothing to do with health care ran by the government. Ask any veteran needing help what he thinks of the VA system that takes weeks to get an appointment.

    Pass laws setting standards and making the system work but leave medical care to the professionals.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  164. Mary Guerra Overton

    I am American who travels very much, I am a scholar, and not just visit, I stay in places and interact with all type if people. I had seen and experienced Universal health care in many countries except home. In Europe you have a mix, you have the non frills universal, and then adding on options, but, one thing for sure, all of them are very much cheaper and human than home..It is shameless that"being the richer, the most powerful,and so on, and so on, country in the world, we have not a basic health care for everyone, The medical care here is for the rich and richer, All the rest of us could be reach a point in which we would have to die because we have no money to support the very profitable health service,.
    We need an universal system that provide ea=qual service for everyone regardless of their income, ut we also need to practice basic decency and civil attitude. As I watched the behavior of those groups who just go to meeting to "bust them" I feel ashamed,Fir whom are those people working? No for America! They are working for the health industry? Are all those individuals making money out of people misery?
    It seems to me that those people cold very well be called TERRORISTS". Maybe they don;t realize it, but they are disrupting the democratic discurse. and a question emerges here
    What you would think if any one of your family would have in this moment cancer or a heart attack? Well, ost of us wold have to think' HOW WE ARE GOIGN TO PAY FOR IT?"
    JUST US, AMERICANS, FRENCH,CANADIAN, SPANISH, ENGLISH, IRISH.,ETC.ETC. THEY ONLY WOULD HAVE TO THINK HOW THE LOVED ONE WOULD WAS GOING TO BE? iF THE PERSON WAS GOING TO MAKE IT.
    THAT IS WHAT IT COMES DAWN TO, THE REST IS THE VOICE OF THE MONEY MAKERS BEHIND THE INSURANCE... THEN, WHAT IN THE WORLD ARE ALL THOSE PEOPLE BARKING AT THE MOON?
    IGNORANCE?
    RE THEY PAID FOR DOING SO?
    I REPEAT, THE REST OF THE WORLD, THOSE WHOM WE SALE WHATEER WE DO, THEY ARE STUNNED THINKING..,.WHAT KINF OOF UNCIVIL BEING ARE THOSE AMERICANS?
    MARIA GUERRA OVERTON

    August 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  165. Al Randt

    What's the problem we're trhing to solve. let's get real problem solvers around the table and discuss options. that simple premise is why I believe there is such an uproar. cost is controlled by many things. enabling more people to work and keep their own money which in turn keeps more of us employed will lower the number of un-insured. the current plan is not covering everyone. people still have to sign up and have intelligence. the governement can't make people get care and can't make people make better decisions. local insurance companies who have incentive to keep costs down can help people make better decisions (no ER visits unless necessary – be healthy, etc) while competing for business from companies and invididuals. why would anyone want to sign up for a guaranteed higher cost system with lower quality. where has this worked before? if someone at a business were to present this as an option the idea would get squashed.
    At the same time, some feel if you are opposed to universal health care you are insenstive. No – I believe our country is wealthy enough to cover the small % of people that truely need it. We almost get that right now with medicare. fix that, expand that.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  166. Barry Marseglia

    Health care reform is a joke! Why? As long as you have politicians owning part of the bank (insurance companies) they will never allow the cutting of their own throats. When insurance companies post profits of billions of dollars per quarter – it's not from paying benefits. It's from denying benefits. How do I know this you ask? In 1990 I was injured at work. I've seen the bad side of America first hand. People bankrupted. Adjusters paid to wreak havoc on people lives, just to turn a profit from some C.E.O. I've heard it all you can possible hear. So what I'm telling America is; get ready to go on Workers Compensation. But – does anybody have the right to not treat anybody who has a medical condition? Insurance companies already do one hell of a job at that my friends. After many surgeries, and just about bankrupted by big insurance, I know what the hell I'm talking about. I've seen countless numbers of Americans starved out, just because they were unfortunate to have a medical injury that needed treatment. My favorite one of all with me – was when the insurance company denied a surgery – while I was laying on the Operation Room Table. They approved the surgery ahead of time, but denied my treatment for a knee surgery when I was on the operating table. We had to borrow a few thousand dollars to keep from losing our house from the insurance company. Worker's Compensation. Same thing. When I was awarded permanent disablilty from the courts, my wife and I, and my two children were cut off of any incoming money to survive for months. They already had us so broke it wasn't funny. I was penilized for costing them more money. The adjuster's quote, "We want our $2,000.00 back before he dies!" My wife heard that from my attorney. The fact of the matter in this country is; insurance companies care about one thing, and one thing only. Money. I see things this way with a Government takeover. At least you'll only have to deal with one non paying entity from then on. That's bad enough, but at least maybe, just maybe you'll get the medical care you require. It's better that what we have now. A pre-existing condition is a ticket out for any insurance company. You better hope Mr. Obama passes this, because you may be the next victim of a denied heart surgery, because you had a pre-existing condition, that caused you to have to fork over hundreds of thousands of dollars or your home. Death just may be a better alternate here. Either way – we're screwed in this country. Why? Every single Government system was invented to make money. Every single politician makes money right? 550 or so politicians are not gonna be starved out – by millions of Americans. Ain't gonna happen!!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  167. Floyd H. Wilson

    We are in such trouble because the media doesn't really know how to cover this problem, we have the weakest leadership in my history in the Congress and the Senate and where did common sense go. So many things need to be fixed in health care, but first and foremost we have to stop the theft from Medicare, Medicaid, Private Insurance, and even individual consumers. To stop the theft we have to stop letting the Department of Justice turn itself into a "fine collection" entity. They should change their name if they are going to be graded on how much money they collect from their investigations as opposed to putting the perpetrators of these fraud schemes in jail!!!!!!! In January of this year, The Department of Justice in a January 15th news release announced they had charged Eli Lily Corporation with the "largest corporate criminal fine in history." The fine was $1.415 billion dollars with the whistleblowers receiving over $78 million dollars. Not one news outlet asked the simplest of questions... WHO was behind the fraud and what is going to happen to them? WHERE is the money to pay this fine coming from? Are the people who came up with the scheme going to pay this money or (and we all know the answer), is this just a payment from the budget line item titled "FRAUD REPAYMENT AND LEGAL EXPENSES." Where is the common sense in letting the company pay this huge fine without anyone being held responsible for the theft? Spend millions to "electronify" personal medical records before you have a system of tracking hospital charges, physician charges–what a joke. Mr. President REGULATE! That's your real job and make sure the HealthCare Mafia go to jail and are not allowed to get by with "paying fines."

    August 7, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  168. melvin jones

    I just would like to know is the president going to cater to those bluedogs and missed the chance to bring down those high doctors, and hospital cost. I think he should come out with that smirk on his face like pres Bush did and just ignore critics or opponents and get his democrats in line. of all the deceitifully things of watching these people every day lie, cheat, steal, no wonder why these people is acting like this. mr obama i am a leo like you, i have a lot of compassion, an respect,love,an understanding, but people wii make that out a weakness for you dont get trap. it hurts.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  169. John

    This country needs health care, and now. the republican are going to these town hall meetings, just to raise hell, and make it look like all Americans don't want health care. i have not seen one hard working person at one of these meetings. they all look like well to do people. and prob. are the ones who wont be able to scam the government on double billing and etc. if health care passes. these people will loose billions, and might have to go to work for a living. there goes their easy money. a lot of these people might also be from Ins. company's, they are the ones that have the most to loose. think about it. the average American wants low price health care now. the Ins. company's will have to cover everyone, they will not be able to turn you down for health care. forget about all of the Idiots that are against it. lets pass health care now, and Insure every American.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  170. Mrs. B

    There has been a lot of confusion with the town-hall meeting
    format of the health care debate. Here is a real opportunity
    to even the playing field in order to give a real health care
    presentation to all Americans. I downloaded both parties'
    health care outline, however, more is needed.

    I suggest that CNN provide fifteen to thirty minute "info-mercial"
    presentation time to the opposing groups with regard to health
    care reform (no references to the other party's plan / sell your
    own proposal). On a subsequent day – prime time- use a scientific
    response system with an authentic sample of the American people
    responding, on touch pads, to research-based questions about both
    proposals. (Questions should be pre-arranged and agreed to by both parties and guarded for authenticity of audience response)

    Let the American people "weigh in" with a scientifically based format
    that is much less prone to staged drama and staged controversy.

    Maybe even ask the American people if a health care referendum is in
    order.

    Just a thought.

    Mrs. B

    August 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  171. Marla FL

    It's not just fraud that isn't getting talked about in this healthcare debate; neither is the total cost to healthcare (and insured patients/taxpayers) of illegal immigrants.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  172. Barbara Laman

    I have already called all my congress people and told them that under no circumstances are they to vote for a plan that does not include a public option. Health care must be a right for all people, not just the privileged.
    Barbara, ND

    August 7, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  173. Tom Bombadil

    What want to know is, why isn't anyone taking the time to actually ask nations with socialized health care what they think? I mean, I've hear politicians say, over and over again that Canadian and European systems are terrible and nobody likes them, but every Canadian/European I've talked to seems to think it's pretty good.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  174. leigh

    dear congress,
    how about you guys go on my heath insurance (none) for your august break and i will go on your insurance for the month?

    August 7, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  175. Angelo J. Salvo

    If the new health-care reform package touted by President Obama and the Democratic Congress is so great, then would all
    Congressmen, members of the executive branch and all other staff employed by the federal government be willing to receive the same
    quality of coverage that the average citizen will have with public health coverage? If the answer to that question is a complete yes, then I stand by the reform package. If the answer is anything but a straight yes, then we should not pass this reform package.

    The reality is as simple as that. It's about time that a citizen like myself has the same rights as a typical Congressman.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  176. Tammy

    America,

    Ask yourself one question. If this particular health care plan is so great, why does Congress and Our President have the right to exclude themselves from our plan. Seriously, if it's good enough for us, why isn't it good enough for them? Remember Social Security, same type situation. Does not work!

    August 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  177. Kim

    What is the definition of "fishy"? Does anyone know what is included in the Healthcare Reform? If no one knows, then how can one judge the information as "fishy"? Oh I get it.... as long as you don't agree with the plan, it is by default deemed fishy.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  178. Peter Diaz

    I am sick and tired of the GOP and all others who are complaining how are we going to pay or the new health plan and saying that President Obama is trying to socialize Healthcare. Well my question is why dont all of us have the same health care that they and the Military do. Their health care is the best socialized health care program there is. The government pays for their Doctors and they have good hospitals. Let all share of the fruits of our labor

    August 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  179. john Baker

    Why has Medicare and Senior Citizens been put on the back burner in the Gov't Healthcare information releases. I guess no one wants them to see whats comming. The news media is mum on the subject also. This is not a case of no news is good news

    August 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  180. Helen Morrison

    I am just disgusted by the mob behavior at recent Town Meetings. These folk are wild-eyed, out of control, and full of misinformation. There is no way to have a discussion with them. This is not the behavior of a democracy. These folk need to be removed from the Town Meetings so that people, of whatever belief about Health Care, can have a civil and meaningful discussion. I am also disgusted by the portrayal of Obama as Hitler, and of Health Care Reform Advocates as Nazis. Way out of line. If someone gets hurt, and they may well, the Conservative Talk Show Hosts and those Congressional and Party leaders who are openly condoning such behavior will bear the blame, not to mention they are inciting behavior that goes against all that America stands for, that of the right for all to be heard and civilly disagree.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  181. Hubert Talavera

    I'm glad to see that someone finally mentioned the problem with fraud in healthcare. The administration has focused too much on mandating coverage. It is apparent to me that there is little understanding of the root cause behind the continued push on on health care prices. Not that its easy, there are many factors including marketing markup on drugs, mindless mitigation, provider fraud, inefficiency in processing, and over use of testing and diagnostics BY PATIENTS.

    The problem is that, as always, we are depending on manufactured sound bites to gain information and appealing to emotion (on both sides) rather than fact.

    Unfortunately, this is a larger reflection of who we are as a society, shallow, ill-informed, easily manipulated. We dont want to spend the time and energy to understand problems, we want them summarized in Guides for Dummies and Tweets.

    Neither free market or autocratic mandates for universal coverage, on their own, will solve it. It will be a combination of both. But then, that would not be as interesting to watch...

    August 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  182. Dave

    Enough of the Health Scare Tactics! It's definitely orchestrated. Typical closed minded shout-them-down intimidation.

    If they'd stop and listen, they'd find that we may NOT have the "best" health care system, probably just the most expensive (google WHO health system rankings). Highest in cost (both per capita and as a percent of GDP), more than double the infant mortality rate of the number one ranked system, and not even in the top 20 in average life expectancy...

    I can hear a new round of chants already;
    "We pay the most! We pay the most!",
    or "Hey-hey, Ho-ho, we want to be the first to go!"

    August 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  183. Lindsey W., CA

    OBAMA TOOK 6 MONTHS TO CHOOSE A DOG, BUT EXPECTS TO PUSH A CRITICAL HEALTH CARE BILL THROUGH WITHOUT ALLOWING FULL CONSIDERATION BY CONGRESS AND THE PUBLIC! What's wrong with this picture???

    Dems want you to believe health care protests are orchestrated. DON’T THEY WISH!!! We're smart enough to oppose this bill until its real cost and merits (or lack thereof ) are truly known, debated, and given careful consideration.

    And why are the President, Congress and ALL federal employees NOT to be covered by the provisions of the bill? When directly asked this question at a townhall meeting, Obama didn't answer, but went off on a tangent. THIS IS IN THE BILL - and so much more that is questionable! READ IT.

    August 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  184. Paul Coe

    Hmm, I might one day have a choice of who gets to tell my doctor what type of services I’ll get? And the choice would be between ‘for profit’ health insurance companies or the government. Well it seems to me that the government can’t be any worse than the insurance companies which operate upon the same entitlement system of greed and massive executive bonuses as Wall Street.

    I’m a typical free market American but I resent that something as sacrosanct as a person’s health care can be limited or eliminated in this great nation so that executives can make massive bonuses and shareholders, traders, and speculators can profit from the health care system. People that don’t provide services should be excluded from income derived from healthcare.

    Not everything in America needs to be for profit! The police aren’t! The fire department isn’t! The military wasn’t until Blackwater! What’s next on the right wing agenda? For profit police that don’t come when you call if you’ve missed a payment? Houses that burn down if you couldn’t afford fire department fees?

    Insurance companies have been rationing and denying services in this country for decades while they're reaping exorbitant profits. Please America wake up!

    August 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  185. James E Whedbee

    If we took profits out of the picture (i.e., drugs were made on a non-profit or utility-company basis, hospitals were non-profit or utilities, and insurance companies were non-profit), there's little reason not to have a single-payer government supervised healthcare plan, and here's why I suggest this. I am a veteran. Although I have insurance through my employer, my healthcare could ultimately be free of charge as the VA is one of my many options. If I ever disagreed with a decision VA made, I could appeal (and usually I prevail on those rare occasions I do).

    When's the last time you took on your insurer? The appeals are generally rigged to favor the insurer by preventing you from suing before a jury of your peers, as our 7th Amendment guarantees. When's the last time your elder family member's care was not directed by that insurer regardless of how you felt? We ALREADY PAY A HEALTHCARE TAX to the insurance companies...it comes out of your check or you pay for it every time you want a raise and are told, "No" because your employer has to pay higher insurance premiums. If WE HAVE TO PAY THE TAX, why not get the biggest bang for the dollar? The ONLY THING that will compete against giants like insurance companies IS THE GOVERNMENT. If we stop paying the insurance tax to insurance companies, they are FORCED TO COMPETE for those dollars against the government. That will require that both insurers and the government STOP directing our healthcare and allow US to do so, because not doing so is bad business practice. The guaranteed profits will shrink UNLESS insurance companies CAN PROVE THEY ARE BETTER THAN OUR GOVERNMENT ALTERNATIVE! Can you imagine having somebody fawn over making you feel better when you are sick instead of becoming sicker from the stress of fighting your insurer?

    Conservatives suggest that healthcare will get cheaper if we cap damages in malpractice suits. What they don't say (and it's disingenuous not to) is that if you aren't "damaged" you can't receive an award for it! In other words, by having the government pay the cost of healthcare, nobody is – per se – damaged...therefore, the claim goes away! Government supervised healthcare WILL bring down the amounts awarded in lawsuits for malpractice, and therefore, doctors and nurses will have less to fear in correcting mistakes that all human beings are occasioned to make. Naturally, that's not what gets conservatives out and shouting down town hall meetings, so they leave out that disclaimer!

    My conservative friends are shouting at the top of their lungs against this because they-whether they know it or not-serve the interests of big business. Fortunately, the United States of America and what it stands for is bigger than them, me, or the issue. When we get down to brass tacks, what's right and what's wrong. Wrong is watching sick people fight against insurers who – in the name of worshipping that almighty dollar – have their own profits at heart rather than the best interests of the insured. Wrong is seeing injured poor people have to suffer in pain or receive substandard care when everybody is entitled to the same state-of-the-art care as the next person. Right is taking the conflict of interest of profit-taking out of the equation of making the sick healthier.

    Best wishes,

    James

    August 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  186. sarah

    It is pathetic that how the republicans are trying to disrupt the town hall meetings in order to cause mayhem b/c they have lost the battle.
    I live in a state that I see day in and day out how the health care system is falling apart do to the bureaucrats that run the system and fraud. As a physician I can not express enough how much we are in need of this reform. One thing I am certain of is that average american person is much smarter than to get caught in this exhibition.

    Sarah, CA

    August 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  187. Ed M

    The healthcare reform that the administration is proposing borders on Nazism and Facism. For these imbecilic representatives to propse that the government will have access to your bank account, that the governement will determine courses of treatment, and the worst part is that the government will offer healthcare to all illegal aliens in the country certainly insults my intelligence and fills me with deep sadness. What is the country coming to and what ever happened to the lawmakers representing the people? This is a disgrace to the American way of life.;

    August 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  188. Michelle

    Something that has not been talked about is this:

    Both Republicans and Democrats agree that insurance companies should not prevent people with pre-existing conditions from getting insurance. Without a public option to keep costs in check, insurance companies will simply add the costs of adding high risk profits to their premiums. They will not cut their profits to insure these folks. So those who are fighting the public option are in for a shock when they see their premiums go up even higher than expected.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  189. Mike Kinney

    Iwould like to ask my respentative Norm dicks as well as Patty Marry or Maria cantwell How come you all could not get a health care pass before now? Then how much more improvement could you all make with Medicare to pay more as well as having the Insurance company pay more of what Medicare will not pay for and only leave 10% maybe for co paymnet or No copayment. If we can hand out money for Banks and getting new cars for the old ones. Then I feel Congress would listen to us voters instead of all the lobbist that are against this Health catre program.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  190. L.T., Los Angeles

    THE PROBLEM WITH THE PUBLIC OPTION is that the bill(s), as written, clearly say you’ll have to move out of your existing insurance the first time it changes! Drug formularies change annually.

    Obama keeps saying we’ll be able to keep our current plans, but we’ll all bounce out of our “current” plans and into the public option when that happens. He’s not being truthful!!! Or, perhaps, he hasn’t bothered to read the bills either..

    August 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  191. Carol

    On pg 65, Section 164 of the Healthcare Bill says that there will be a subsidized Health Care plan for retirees and their families who belong to Unions and Community Organizations. This is not FAIR and a "waste" of money for a selected few. What "community organizations" does the bill refer to? Thank you.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  192. Ines

    I'm sorry, didn't mean to say all military doctors are quacks just a lot of them, specially at small dispensaries, if there are still any.
    I am also aware of the fact that you have to be active duty military or a Vet to be seen at the VA hospital and their families do not have access there.
    Military families health care has virtually been done away with, so much for supporting our Military. Some military member serving in Afghanistan not only worries about his or her safety but also the safety and care of their loved ones.
    Ines in Colorado

    August 7, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  193. Faith Dawson

    I find it terrible that people who come to the States illegally and live here illegally are enititled to heath care, but you take a citzen like me who was born here and lived here as a legal citzen and I can't even get any kind of health care.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  194. Ines

    Oh, I did forget a question.
    Besides Germany being a police state ( in my mind) what else makes it be so much different then the USA?
    The schools are paid for they have unemployment that lasts for 2 years if needed, they have socialized housing i.e. HUD which we have as well.
    They have universal health care. They also have

    August 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  195. James Bowen

    Those folks shouting and screaming are there only for the purpose of disrupting the meetings and preventing a dialog. They are the enemies of free speech and the first amendment and should be treated as such.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  196. Alicia Gray

    I am a 57 year old breast cancer survivor who has been in bankruptcy court because of our country's current health care system. I have worked hard all my life and taken care of myself but I experienced two major illnesses while working with small employers who did not provide health care coverage. At a salary of $13/hour, the only kind of individual policies I could afford were high deductible policies. Contrary to John McCain's belief that a tax credit will allow Americans to "go out and buy any health care coverage they want", insurance companies do not offer coverage to people who have had cancer until 10 years after treatment, and they consider the Arimidex I currently take to block estrogen production as cancer treatment. I just lost my job with an employer who provided heatlh insurance because of the economy. Cobra coverage would normally cost me $425/month and I could not afford that – employed or unemployed. Thanks to the stimulus package, I can afford it. But what about when that runs out. What if i am unable to get a job with an employer that offers health care? My life, and the lives of millions of Americans, depend on major health care reform in this country. I do not want to die because I cannot afford the health care I need for a catastrophic illness. And anyone who sees reform only in terms of a system completely controlled by the government and only equates it with systems that are offered in Great Britain or Canada – needs to think again. That's the way those against reform want paint the picture. NPR put out an excellent series entitled Health Care for all which analyzed in depth the systems in Great Britain, France, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Of these countries the only one whose system is completely government controlled is Great Britain. The other countries offer systems that offer health care by and large through employers, but their systems have government controls and they offer coverage that is accessible, affordable and quite extensive to their citizens, regardless of whether they are employed.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  197. Ines

    Oh, I did forget a question.
    Besides Germany being a police state ( in my opinion) what else makes it be so much different then the USA?
    The schools are paid for they have unemployment that lasts for 2 years if needed, they have socialized housing i.e. HUD which we have as well.
    They also have SOCIAL Security like us. They do have universal health care, we don't. Yes, taxes may be higher but hey they don't have to worry filling for bankruptcy if they can't pay their bill from a hospital, because they do not have to worry about a high bill.
    Oh they also have a few more political parties to choose from.
    They also get a tax refund if they overpaid, just like us.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  198. Bill W.

    I would tell my representative that I am tired of insurance industry bureaucrats getting between me and my doctor on health care decisions. that treatment of my illness is considered a medical loss for these for-profit outfits, who are looking for a way to maximize their profits, is not only idiotic, but unethical. we need a system that is not focussed on profiting at the expense of my health.

    And maybe, just maybe, if the government had to pay for health care,they'd be less cavalier about relaxing environmental protection laws and poisoning the population. And maybe they'd start doing their job and monitor businesses so that i can be sure i'm eating clean food and pure water.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  199. R

    The VAST MAJORITY of Americans WANT and NEED Health Insurance Reform NOW! 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings are partly the result of medical expenses. Health Insurance Reform will benefit ALL Americans and is urgently required.
    Medicare and the VA Health Care are government-run health care systems whose recipients are very satisfied and grateful for, and whose costs are held in check better than private health insurance.
    The Town Hall protests are artificial made-for-TV mob scenes organized by the medical insurance industry which wants no government public option to compete with its record-breaking and ruthless profit-machine. The special interests are using fear and lies to incite, script and manipulate these ignorant mobs (many of whom get Medicare or VA Health Care).
    CNN, please be brave and expose the truth behind who's organizing these artificial protests, and the miniscule actual numbers of people who oppose health insurance reform.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  200. Leon Kaliniec, Prescott, AZ

    How will Congress do so much more with the same resources we have?The main cause of the health care problem is too few doctors. The economist Milton Friedman states in his 1979 book "Free to Choose": "For decades the AMA has kept down the number of physicians, kept up the cost of medical care and prevented competition ..." This process continues today with the help of AMA's powerful lobby in Washington which resulted in having fewer physicians per capita than any other industrialized country. In the last 30 years computerized methods of medical diagnostics, proven superior to reliance on human memory, have been developed which doctors won't use.( WSJ called them "technophobes"). We need to prod Congress not to be bullied by the AMA , and legally force them to allow all academically qualified MD candidates into medical schools instead of culling them with their boards.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  201. Jan Ruegg

    Our Medical insurance is out rages..I have NOT had medical for 4 years I had medicaid ,I was on disability...I married in 2004 and they cut all medical and money..My husband is retired and he recieves Social Security...I am 64 now , and we can not afford Medicaid for me it would of cost me $700.00 a month to continue Medacaid ..I dont even get that from social security...our income is fixed so why dont everyone understand, we have to start some where to get our medical programes changed...then you can fine tune the details .At least get it started.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  202. Alan D Simpson

    Heidi

    WHAT a circus!!!! LAWMAKERS ARE making HEALTH CARE for all a three ring circus.Just ask lawmakers about theirs,who pays theirs where does the money come from.I bet you get the run around and the old RED TAPE B.S. Just like medicare try to get a straight answer.I learned one thing about Medicare,( you can't ) I was promised one amount and got less.

    MR.AL

    August 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  203. Ron

    I realize how much the healthcare reform package has inflamed those of you in the US. I live in Canada and I will tell you this. While I may get a dicount in Medical costs as far as medication. Don't think for a minute that a Govenment run healthcare system is the answer.
    ie: You have no recourse here in Canada if a doctor buggers up a proceedure on you or your family member. You can't sue anyone.
    I had a close friend well 2 close friends go in for a simple operation and both had thier bowels nicked. They could have died and one did and his wife couldn't do anything about it. Oh she gets 350 a month for his death from from his CCP (Canada Pension Plan) it did nothing to console the lose of a loved husband.
    There are some good doctors here, don't get me wrong but they are far and few between.
    You've been warned from a Neighbor here in Canada who cares what happens to you.
    I challenge my government to tell you different.

    August 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  204. Paul Coe

    I think any meaningful healthcare reform was dead before it even got started. We’re simply witnessing the end of the charade.

    Insurance companies have been rationing and denying services in this country for decades while they’re reaping exorbitant profits. Please America wake up!

    And to think that I might one day have gotten a choice of who gets to tell my doctor what type of services I’ll get! And the choice would be between ‘for profit’ health insurance companies or the government. Well it seems to me that the government can’t be any worse than the insurance companies which operate upon the same entitlement system of greed and massive executive bonuses as Wall Street.

    I’m a typical free market American but I resent that something as sacrosanct as a person’s health care can be limited or eliminated in this great nation so that executives can make massive bonuses and shareholders, traders, and speculators can profit from the health care system. People that don’t provide services should be excluded from income derived from healthcare.

    Not everything in America needs to be for profit! The police aren’t! The fire department isn’t! The military wasn’t until Blackwater! What’s next on the right wing agenda? For profit police that don’t come when you call if you’ve missed a payment? Houses that burn down if you couldn’t afford fire department fees?

    August 7, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  205. S.McCarthy

    I find it interesting that the only violence reported over the health care debates were from union members on a concerned citizen and no coverage by CNN. This issue is polarizing and the left can't understand that they are the ones that taught the rest of us. Their conspired and planned protests of the past eight years has inspired the rest of the country.
    As for the administration, you reap what you sow. The "hippies" of the sixties are in control in the house and senate. These are the people that used "mob" tactics to get the attention of the administration then – the rest of us have learned and are voicing our opposition. If they don't like it, TOUGH!
    If they can't take it, to bad. The silent majority is awakeing and the elites will have to listen, or leave.
    Obama has spent us into the poor house and destroyed MANY more jobs than he has created. The people understand the need for reform on this issue. The real issue ios the COST of healthcare, not insurance. This system needs tort reform in order to bring down health care costs, not another insurance company.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  206. David

    Hi Heidi,

    I would ask how is health care reform going to work? Do people sign up for a public option? How can the govt require employers to sign up for an insurance exchange? I thought employers were already required by law to offer health insurance for full time employees am I wrong about that?

    So I guess I would be asking where are we going and how do we get there from here?

    I would be interested in how private insurance is going to be affected. For instance with the larger population of retirees in Florida I imagine private insurers cover much of the cost of health care in that state. Would a broad public option be able to respond to the varying health care needs in each state?

    Doesn't the success of Medicare stem from or depend in part on having a strong private health care insurance sector in this country? I think that is an important question.

    August 7, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  207. Dewayne Matthews

    England has public insurance for all. There are more government workers to administer the plan than there are doctors and other health care personnel combined. If the U.S. goes to Nationalized Health Care it is going to create a huge number of government jobs that will pay very good. I imagine doctors pay will be regulated.

    If we add say 30 million more people to the health system ..where are all the doctors coming from to handle the extra load. Right now it is a an hour wait to see a doctor. I guess this will turn into an ER waiting room if we add millions more and the same number of doctors. Do the math.

    August 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  208. karen lenney

    insurance companies can refuse to cover certain drugs and procedures. your healthcare is not between you and your doctor .bottom line is it is up to some ceo with no medical background.have we not learned anything about ceos.

    August 7, 2009 at 8:55 pm |
  209. Alan D Simpson

    Heidi

    I think the health care issue should be brought to the attention of everyboby in office.Weather it's local,state or federal.One outher thing Sahra Palin and her comments that President Obamas health care plan is EVIL!!!!! iS this women out of her mind who is she listening to.

    MR.AL

    August 8, 2009 at 1:12 am |
  210. Alan D Simpson

    What is with Sara Palin?

    Has she lost her mind She says President Obamas health care plan is EVIL!!!!!!! Who is talking to. What is her game is she alright .

    MR.AL
    .

    August 8, 2009 at 1:36 am |
  211. EDMOND W MARTIN

    You know we hear lots of BS from the radical right wing domestic terrorists about health care , especially keeping government out of it. But Medicare and COBRA are Both already under government control or policies . If you say NO TO COBRA just think How many more will be without insurance. I'm on it now after being laid off the 2nd time in 8 years of work at Cessna . The 1st time was caused by failed Bush policy post 9/11 ,that kept us unable to fly & sell our aircraft for weeks. The 2nd time also due to Bush falied policies or lack of regulation of BIG OIL, HOUSING AND BANKING INDUSTRIES causing the economic meltdown . No body speaks the truth of why, just like the auto industry we have been sunk By Bush in aviation twice in 7- 8 years.

    August 8, 2009 at 1:44 am |
  212. Susan

    This effort to pass the bill isn't about healthcare reform at all, IMO. If it were, we'd be addressing what's wrong rather than creating another beurocracy for government to administer. With our tax money going to empty airports, jets to Congress, millions in bonuses to bailed out banks, and every other political payback, why on earth would anyone want to turn over health decisions to our government? If your job depended on a package getting across country in 24 hours, would you take it to the post office?

    READ THE BILL! I have read it and it's scarey! Did you know that if passed as it is right now, your bank account would be accessed by the government to pay your premiums? If you're a senior citizen, your options for a second opinion, chemo, hip replacements, etc, will be determined by Uncle Sam? The largest group of Americans uncovered by insurance are illegal aliens. Address that as the drain on our healthcare by creating a tariff on imported products from their country of origin based on healthcare usage of their citizens, and let us be reimbursed. THAT would solve the bulk of the problem and we would retain the freedoms we enjoy now to persue the best healthcare available with NO government intervention in our personal lives!

    Reform should be limited to requiring insurance companies to accept all Americans regardless of pre-existing conditions and allowing us to shop across state lines to create natural competition to control costs.

    August 8, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  213. david hagemann

    Concerning those who would break-up a town meeting are those who believe that they are the silent majority, are once again proving that they are the loud minority!
    And those who are putting a Hitler moustache on the president's picture need a little history lesson. It was the brown shirts who shouted the town meetings if they were in opposition to their way of thinking.
    david h from north Texas

    August 8, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  214. heisenberg

    Viet Nam has to understand that even if they won the military war they cannot enjoy the benefits of that
    Only those which were defeated by the US can take advantage of the reconstruction programs
    There are kids in Guatemala living with less than a dollar a day

    August 8, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  215. heisenberg

    Physicians should work as employees of the hospitals they work for like the Mayo Clinic which is exemplary to the rest of the community.
    The scam between the "doctors" and the insurance companies need to be disclosed.
    The "doctors" overcharge to the insurance because they know that the insurance will reduce the payment based on discount rates.
    The insurance companies overcharge their customer using legal tricks which they exercise when paying the claims.
    The doctors pass the task of film interpretation to third parties without the knowledge of the patient, same as the laboratory test.
    When insurance does not pay, the laboratories and "interpreters" pass the bills to the collection agencies which issues derogatory credit notes to the credit bureaus.

    August 8, 2009 at 8:34 am |
  216. James E Whedbee

    One or two last thoughts for my conservative friends who continue comparing our President to criminal-leaders in the past...

    [1] The Nazi party in Germany of the past was RIGHT wing (i.e., conservative) not left wing (liberal);

    [2] Why aren't Americans doing something – like a Constitutional Amendment prohibiting campaign contributions and professional lobbying – to act in their own best interests if we ALL agree that this is a bigger problem than healthcare? We are all (often, myself included) guilty of having too much apathy toward our government and our rights.

    I'm tired of Drudge, Limbaugh, and others making comparisons of the President to Hitler, when a bit of study of history will show you that Hitler came from the conservative movement in Germany. You guys must have forgotten that the President's mother died fighting the insurance industry while she fought cancer...of course he's going to want to do something about that! Let's not compare sincere motives to the worst memories of human history: that's libelous/slanderous at best and demonstrates nothing worthy in the person making the statement.

    Best wishes,

    James...

    August 8, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  217. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Clearly with a condition of Multiple Sclerosis I would not put up to attend any constituents meeting Congressional Representatives. I will send my questions via email but the reliability of this system has never being verified. That is simply another different topic which has not being addressed. Clearly this exercise has become a Circus and I am not going to expose myself to such danger. These individuals who are fighting a just cause are using whatever way to get attention. We need a serious discussion about the Health Care Reform and this argument has to be done at the Senate and Congress. Sadly the health care reform debate has being turned into another political charade and nothing else. Do I need to get the names of these individuals who are halting this discussion? Do I have to take them to court to bring them to their senses? Clearly the Policeman in there is for the protection of Representatives not the citizens as me. What warranties me that they will do their job to protect me? Certainly our only chance to a discussion for this topic has being obscured by cheap politics. Democrats and Citizens had hoped to spend this month selling hometown on the need for reform but several local meetings across the country have become heated with passionate voters asking pointed questions and expressing serious doubts about health care reform that go back to heated discussion of whiners and not being strong of health. What would you do in my case? It is amazing how the scare tactics has being use again and how these so call representatives have lost control of the situation.

    August 8, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  218. daniel cautrell

    There is no debate. Every American citizen deserve universal health care period. Any opposition to this is UnAmerican. It is a travesty that we as a nation have not already achieved this hire form of governance.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  219. KPNY

    Gary Tuchman's report about the town meeting disruptions was highly selective. He said that groups like MoveOn are organizing to counter the grass-roots protests. MoveOn's activity is fact, but what Tuchman omitted was even a mention of the role of groups like FreedomWorks in fomenting these near-riots. Overall, Tuchman's report was a gross misrepresentation.

    Is Lou Dobbs writing CNN's reporters scripts?

    August 8, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  220. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Buying a car produces new debt, spending on your credit card, buying a house, going to the Doctor/Dentist produces new debt. Why all the concern now by republicans abotu new debt? What, they think kids aren't eventually going to go into debt any ways? Why not steer that debt into more productive and valuable avenues than that new X-Box?

    Things like Healthcare and other sound economic investments.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  221. Tanners Dad

    Betty I have been watching CNN all morning. I applaud your efforts to help needy children overseas in Vietnam. One of your points you stressed was we need to help them because they do not have a choice. The little girl lit up and says she has a dream of being a teacher.
    My sons dreams were stolen by Autism ( Vaccine Injury ) He does not have the ability to express his dream. I do not have the resources to get it out of him. I will fight tooth and nail for your kids if you fight for mine. I can tell you are frustrated waiting 9 years for answers and support. The Autism community has been waiting 66 years. Tanner can not wait another day. We can and must do more!

    August 8, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  222. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    I ask that question because going into new debt is what steers people away from buying that new house, new car, new whatever. People don't take into account that they're already paying the equivalent to a mortgage payment for rent at an apartment, repairs and upkeep on an old car as opposed to a car payment for a new car, etc.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  223. Bill

    Betty,
    I am a VERY middle of the road, views on both sides, voter.
    I am very, very, very angry that the news media (and you) are
    blaming the disruptiveness at town halls about a national
    health plan, on the right. That is not the case. Many of us
    in medicine want a better way to deliver, and pay for, health
    care.............just not a 'rushed' and poorly thought out plan
    that has NO WAY OF BEING FUNDED! Most of us are concerned
    about the national debt. If we were to pay off the debt, we'd
    have more than enough money to pay for national health AT LEAST
    10 TIMES OVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm middle of the road, i want a health plan, but i'm planning on
    being very disruptive, very very very disruptive, until we pay off
    the debt.

    Count me angry,
    Bill Dodson, Jr. DMD
    757-676-7950

    August 8, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  224. Amber11

    Health care reform is desperately needed in the U.S. I must say that I am disgusted by these "so-called" town meetings. The Republican-backed health insurance companies have sent these mobs to shut down civilized discussion so that normal thinking Americans cannot receive valuable information.

    At a time when the President is trying to restore America's image abroad, January 20, 2009 showed the best of America, where we can all move to a more perfect union. Unfortunately, these "mob town halls" show the worst of America. Remember, the world is watching. We are NOT setting an example of how we should be conducting ourselves.

    I hope the Republicans remember that!

    Thank you.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  225. Mark Davis

    I would ask very simply have you read and understand everything in the bill? If not how can you vote on it? Will you be the first to sign up for the government option? If not how can you vote for it?

    Can you guarentee this will not lead to health care rationing? How will you guarentee that?

    I could go on and on this is the problem we have many many questions and we are not getting answers. What is the rush?

    But most of all I would ask if they understand why, us the average American citizen is mad as hell? I will give them clue it has to do with the fact we are not getting answers to our questions.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  226. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    Townhall loudmouths are the equivalent of CNN Comment section spammers.

    When they have no real concern, they repeat the same comment over and over and over and over again, or they attach comments that they've got saved on their computer or they bring up other issues that have nothing to do with the issues being discussed.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  227. Gary

    I do not want socialized medicene. Nor do I want a more intrusive government. I like choice. I think Obama is headed down the wrong path. He has already said he felt it would take several months to swing entirely over to his plan. So much for choice. And by the way, while in this transition do you think our elected officials would be required to give up their insurance and live with what they pass for us? Not a chance!!

    August 8, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  228. Gary, Washington

    Our House representative will not have a town hall meeting in person. Mr. Baird has opted for phone ins or the internet. Sounds like they can't take the heat. Instead of being responsible to their constituents who would want to voice their opion this is one way to do it. They blame the ruskus that some representatives have experienced. Don't they get how unhappy people are with them?

    August 8, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  229. Amber11

    Health care reform is desperately needed in the U.S. I must say that I am disgusted by these “so-called” town meetings. The Republican-backed health insurance companies have sent these mobs to shut down civilized discussion so that normal thinking Americans cannot receive valuable information.

    At a time when the President is trying to restore America’s image abroad, January 20, 2009 showed the best of America, where we can all move to a more perfect union. Unfortunately, these “mob town halls” show the worst of America. Remember, the world is watching. We are NOT setting an example of how we should be conducting ourselves.

    I hope the Republicans remember that!

    Thank you.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  230. David M.

    Christians, esp. those on the right, seem to be very selective on their issues. It is time that they weigh in on the current health issue as it is a Christian issue. I challenge all Christian, rich or otherwise, to seek the Biblical teachings regarding the responsibilities we all have to those in need. And, in particular, the relationship between the rich and the poor. This Old and New Testament. But to Christians read the gospels and subsequent teachings regarding our neighbors. Indeed, we are given a specific rules regarding the poor and our riches. We are our brothers keeper.
    Also, with regards to the recent town hall fiascos, this technique is not new, it was used 2000 years ago, – Mark 15:11 and Matthew 27:20.

    August 8, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  231. Rick

    I have followed both sides of the debate on healthcare (insurance) and I accept as fact that the costs for healthcare are spirling out of control. I accept that they represent a real threat to America – both financially and healthwise. However, I fail to understand why a government health insurance program is needed and how that would not be detrimental to the private health insurance community. The private sector is capitalized by investors who rightfully expect a return on their investment and health insurance carriers are required to make a profit; and profits are distributed to investors, not diverted for non-related purposes such as has happened with Medicare. President Obama says a government plan would be designed to compete with the private carriers for the purpose of keeping them honest. How can he ensure that such a plan follows the same business model as private carriers so that the competition is fair and doesn't lead to the destruction of private health insurers?

    August 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  232. Chris

    How dare the President of this country try to stop the 'revolt' that is starting to build against his regime? I guess if he's the socialist that many claimed he was from the beginning then he's right on a path with other governments around the world who are using 'force' to stop democracy. What do you suppose would have become of this great country built by the Europeans if they had simply shut up and went home when the British government told them to shut up and accept their higher taxes and way of life? It didn't happen then and it ain't gonna happen now. We've had one Civil War over government controls (and I don't mean slavery as that was something that was failed from the beginning) and look at what that government did. They killed, burned, looted, and destroyed half of the country. They stole the land from landowners with higher taxes at a time when everyone had no currency. Why, that's similar to what they want to do now isn't it? Steal from those who have and give to those who have not. Not to mention the death threats to our senior citizens who have earned respect, care, and love. This is not what Obama wants to hand them. He wants to take not only their money, their healthcare, but their very lives in order to take his plan forward. No, American will not stand silently by and let this happen.

    August 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  233. henry asemota MD

    Understanding The American Health System.

    As the debate over the health system reform is going on and the attending rising emotions on both sides of the debate, it is extremely important that we understand some fundamental facts about the American Health System so that we can have a meaningful discussion before we put in place any meaningful reform.

    INSURANCE IN HEALTH SYSTEM
    Insurance by definition and design is spreading the individual holder of an insurance policy risk to every other holder so the risk is manageable by every policy holder. Consequently the more policy holders you have in an insurance system the less the risk to individual policy holder.

    CHOICE IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM
    When you buy an insurance , you become a member of a group of policy holders sharing their risks and your individual choice or preference become secondary to the agreed conditions of the group ( i.e. the conditions of participations of the insurance signed by every policy holder of the insurance ). If you do not want your choice or preference to be controlled then you do not buy an insurance. You should have money put aside to pay out of pocket for all your risks. This fact is stated in every health insurance policy as out-of network services which attract a higher co-payer or out-of-pocket fees.

    HEALTH AND SECURITY
    It is impossible to provide security on individual basis for every member of the community as it will be too expensive and ineffective. Consequently security is a communal responsibility which every member of the community must contribute to by way of paying taxes and obeying the rules of the community. The health of the individual is also impossible to provide on individual basis because we are morally obligated to protect the human dignity and will not deny any member of the community the basic health service to survive hence no one can be denied emergency service in the emergency room. These emergency services which are made available to everyone are paid for by everyone through our taxes. So the health of everyone in the community is the responsibility of the community just as the security of the community.

    HEALTH SERVICE AS COMMODITY IN FREE MARKET SYSTEM.
    The health just as the security of the individual is not completely under the individual’s control. The individual can takes measures to limit the risks one is exposed to in life but this is not foul proof. The community as a whole can take measures to reduce the health risks of the members of the community through rules and regulations. Consequently the community has the responsibility to control the individual choice or preference when it comes to health decision as these decisions affect the entire community.
    At the healthcare provider level when you are sick you want to get well and you go your provider to help you get well. You trust your life to his decision and you have very limited choice in the sick situation you are in. When you are having an elective procedure ( non life threatening condition), you do have some time to participate in the decision but again you are still limited in the decision you can make because you want to take care the problem. You can not say I will not take care of my medical condition because I can do without it like a car or dress. You can not care anything that threatens your life (health and security) as you want to be alive to so every other thing in life.
    The health service can not be a commodity in a free market system as the rules of free market can not be applied to the health service without running into the problems the American Health System is facing right now. Anyone who says the free market system is good for the health system is disingenuous at best.

    MEASURE OF QUALITY OF HEALTH
    There are many measures of quality of health services and every one of them is legitimate for what of ever purpose or audience you are addressing. The individual quality of health is the most important to the individual because this is about your life. This is understandable because every one first mission in life is to survive. The community quality of health is the average of all the members of the community quality of health and a reflection of the quality of health service provided by the community. The individual quality of healthcare service in America today is the most sophisticated and expensive because of the technological advancement of the healthcare service. The American Community quality of health is the ninetieth amongst the developed countries ( 2006 WHO country health measures data).
    We can be proud and satisfied to say we have the most sophisticated and expensive health service for the individual but no the best for the community. The simple explanation for this abnormality is the way the healthcare service of this great country is accessible to her population.

    HEALTHCARE DELIVERY SYSTEM IN AMERICA.
    Delivery of primary healthcare through the emergency system is the most expensive and least effective way to deliver primary health system. The emergency health system is a system for brief and stabilizing healthcare before a more thorough and detailed healthcare is provided to the individual. This is why there are limited investigations and procedures done in the emergency room. The staffs in the ER are trained to handle life threatening conditions and stabilize the patients and move them the regular doctors to perform more detailed investigations and procedures to solve the underlying problem.
    America is the only country in the developed world that gives the primary healthcare through the ER hence the country has such low community healthcare measures compared to other countries that spend far less on their healthcare system. As long the healthcare delivery system continues in this format it will be impossible to control healthcare cost and improve the community healthcare measures.

    MEDICARE AND MEDICAID
    The Medicare ran by the public fund has been the scapegoat of the present debate of healthcare .
    Medicare is the healthcare insurance for the elderly (65+ years and some chronic condition patients).
    This portion of the population cared for by Medicare consume 50% of the healthcare provided by the industry in the country, yet this same portion of the population represents less than 25% of the US population.
    The Medicare system sets the standards of quality of healthcare services for the health industry as well the cost of care through the prospective payment systems. Medicare ensures fare payment in the health industry by making every provider participating in the Medicare program agree not charge any patient not covered by Medicare not more than 115% of what the provider charges Medicare. All private insurances fall the Medicare rules to stay in business. Without these measures the most venerable members of the populations would been left out in the cold by the present healthcare system in the country.
    The Medicaid ran by the pubic fund (State and Federal ) provides numerous services for the poor in the population and this portion of the population consume another 25% of the healthcare services provided in the country. Medicaid has rules similar to the Medicare rules at a lower cost since the fund is limited in the program.
    The Medicare and Medicaid programs populations consume 75% of the healthcare service provided in this country and these are program funded by the public fund. The remaining 60% of the population (18-65years) which represents the healthiest and most productive portion of the population only consume 25% of the healthcare service and are taken care by the private health insurance system. The private health system will continue to be profitable and viable as long as they handle the least risky portion of the population and their portion of the population consumes the least portion of the healthcare services. The public funded programs will continue to be inefficient as long as they continue to handle the riskiest portion of the population. This is simple arithmetic.

    PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SERVICE
    Private healthcare is a personal choice and will continue to be available to anyone who chooses. Private health service is available everywhere, even in communistic countries. Personal fund should determine private healthcare and not insurance, as insurance is a group service and not individual service. The public fund cannot and should not provide personal healthcare as no insurance system is personal in risk taking.

    Understanding these basic and fundamental elements about the healthcare will go a long way to having a meaningful debate on healthcare reform. Labeling the healthcare system as socialism or capitalism is refusing to understand the healthcare issue.

    HENRY I. ASEMOTA MD., MPH, CCS, CTR.
    hidowu@msn.com

    August 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  234. Trellis lewis

    I have never seen the American people act so ugly, pushing and acting like wild animals on national tv, but I guess we have to remember that in the 1880's the representatives and senators actually fought and carried weapons to the white house.
    This is ridiculous and some people are rebelling and dont even know the facts. If the networks would keep lunatices off the air like Rick Scott who is resisting reform and he was accused of fraud while manipulating files in his own system and by the way was relieved of his positon. Maybe some people will be in a better position and stop listening to all the lies peole are telling. Now why would the government want to kill american citizens by denying them health care, that is what reform is about trying to give every one coverage that need it, shame on Rick Scott. People will say and do anything.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  235. Lou

    It seems to me the tactics of the opponents of health care reform are emulating the same tactics the Nazi storm troopers used in the early 30s in Germany. We all know how that turned out.

    In this morning's new, a man stated that the system only needed tweaking. 47 million uninsured people requires much more than tweaking.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  236. Chris

    Medicare participants have both earned and paid for the care they receive just as younger people will when they reach this age. Medicaid people, for the most part, have not earned what they receive. Those who live their entire lives on this system are ripping everyone else off.

    August 8, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  237. Ken Moses

    I can not recall in my 72 years of people watching, seeing so many uncivil, rude, out of control bone headed people doing their best to keep normal civil people from hearing from their elected office holders. A town meeting should be a place where you can disagree with the speaker after you have listened to what they have to say. You can express your ideas in a civil manner, then give others a chance to comment. It is never except able behavior to be loud, rude,and uncivil during a public forum. I sincerely hope these loud obnoxious people will realize what they do is uncalled for and benefits no one.

    August 8, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  238. CB

    About the tragedy in Pittsburgh, PA (not sure where I could have posted this):

    Why is it that the news never question the right to bear arms when cases like this take place? This guy might never have followed this horrible plan if he had a hard time getting hold of a gun. Crazy people are everywhere. Crazier is to let any person, no matter what psychological conditions, buy a gun. Why is this not a major topic of discussion in this society? How many horrible stupid deaths like these and Virginia and Columbine and so many others will have to happen before the American society and government take action?

    August 8, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  239. Frank Mucciardi

    I am a Canadian living in the province of Quebec. We have had public health care for some 40 years. I am fed up with Americans bashing the Canadian system – incidentally health care is a provincial matter. I have a suggestion for CNN. Commission a poll of Canadians. Ask them if they would like to switch to the American system of health care.
    What do you think the response would be? Hold on to your debit cards. Canadians would overwhelmingly reject – I would suspect by at least 90% – the current American system.
    Americans seem to be bashing the Canadian system in much the same way they bashed Sadam and propagated myths like weapons of mass destruction. Remember Canada rejected involvement in Iraq. They analyzed the facts without the emotion that permeated the US and they concluded that a war in Iraq was not called for. Yes we are in Afganistan but the Iraq excursion was rejected. So who was right?
    This health care debate reminds me of the Iraq debate.
    CNN, take the giant leap and do some serious reporting that goes beyond what you are doing.
    There is an element that is trying to hijack health care reform in the US. It is unfortunate. Remember, Canadians live longer and spend half as much per capita for health care. Does that sound like a broken system that doesn't work.

    August 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  240. Diane Hammond

    Don,

    I saw short clip of the Town Health meeting in Oxon Hill, MD
    where my Congressional Rep. Donna Edwards was to discuss
    the HealthCare Reform Bill. What is was disappoint with your report, the misleading account of lots of angry people who were against it.
    That was not so at this meeting, I was there. Yes, some of the opposers weren't even from our District 4 which Ms. Edwards represents and some were. Nonetheless, I would say appox. 98% of all those who attended were for the Bill. When I first came in to the meeting there was a tall woman handing out a paper with so-called information on this Bill, it was very misleading. Later while Rep. Edwards was still speaking and before she opened up for Q & A one
    man in suit tried to interrupt her even though she had lead the ground rules down for a civil discussion, needless to say Rep. Edwards handled it while grace and class. The general crowd gave her support. so this meeting was never aloud break down to the shouting
    matches that I have seen on TV. No, this meeting was civil and orderly. But take note Mr. Lemon that the majority crowd while racially
    mixed was appox, 75% African-American. Most of the opposers were white men. Most who were not in our Disrtict and there for not represented by Ms. Edwards.
    All in all a very well attended and informative meeting. I was especially please to know that Rep. Edwards read the Bill and was impressed with her knowledge.
    Also FOX News was there, is that where you got some of your footage
    because it was much better than what you showed.
    Please try to report on the Townhall meeting that are more civil and not just the ones that are really no more than mobs.
    Also please ask the question who are these all these so called angry people who oppose HealthCare Reform. I will bet anything that they are the same ones voted for McCain-Palin.

    Peace

    August 9, 2009 at 7:23 am |
  241. Ibrahim Olatoye Lawal

    It's highly fascinating to see that people are so ignorant about the real issue when it come to health care, I watch the so called protesters against health care reforms and the most interesting thing is that they are older poeple already or about to qualify for benefit from the government run health care. Medicare/medicaid and forgeting that average young working American are with little or no health insurance.
    The four hundred pounds gorilla in the room is that their health insurance premium is rising fast than the earning, and many are just one sickness away from bankruptcy.......... It's the right time to fix this problem and put hope and confidence back in the mind of working American...

    August 9, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  242. Randy McLeod

    To be blunt, I read a story recently where a woman yelled, " If socialized health care is so good, why didn't Ted Kennedy go to Canada?" The answer: The person has to reside in that country for 3 (three) years before being eligible for their health care system. Why/how do people speak like this? Especially when they DON'T know what they are speaking about!!! I, an U.S. citizen, used to live in Canada, (6yrs). And yes, was in their healthcare system, after 3 yrs. Yes, people had to wait for care for major cases but I have seen the same here, in the states. No insurance, no money, color of skin, and list goes on. President Obama wants to help, but everybody ( and I mean EVERYBODY) is only thinking of one thing----MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT HEALTH One more item, President Obama's plan is no where close to the system in Canada. And when the American people know this, they might shut their mouths and think first.

    August 9, 2009 at 8:35 am |
  243. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Mr. Ken Moses, you should continue into your account of 72 years of people watching. I simply resume into people have lost their civism. The reality is that by acting this way of being uncivil, rude, out of control bone headed people. I do not believe that there is not doing their best to keep civil people. The exercise of hearing their elected office holders is not being respected. The rules have change. A town meeting is no longer a place where you can disagree with the speaker after you have listened to what they have to say. Here the chance to comment in a civil manner is not exercised. This clearly is an act premeditated. The rules have being change for able behavior to be loud, rude, and uncivil during a public forum. I really doubt that these loud obnoxious people will realize what they do is uncalled for and benefits no one.

    August 9, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  244. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Randy McLeod the reality is that Ted Kennedy does not have to go nowhere. Each estate or county has their own rules. In Puerto Rico I had to wait a year but I was born there. Reality hits everybody different. I believe that the way people speak like this is motivated by many factors. The reality is that in the United States without health insurance you do not have a chance. Factors as no insurance, no money, color of skin, and list go on moves you down and off the system. The reality is that people do not want to listen to millions of citizens situations where they have to wait for care for major cases. You are right the same is here, in the states. President Obama wants to help, but everybody is only thinking of one thing MONEY! They are not thinking of Health. I believe Randy McLeod that you should elaborate into your comment that President Obama’s plan is no close to the system in Canada. I also believe that when the American understands this, they might shut their mouths and think first. Remember that we are bombarded with the hidden Agendas of Many.

    August 9, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  245. Randy McLeod

    In response of Dr. H. Asemota's comment about Medicare and Medicaid. As for Medicare, I know nothing. But for Medicaid, it stinks. Yes, it pays for my medications, but for health care, ZIP. I have to beg, borrow, and steal to get heath care from that program. Why? You of all people will laugh at this, not enough doctors who will take Medicaid patients!!!!! Heck, here in Florida, Medicaid won't allow us (patients) to go from one county to another. The same goes for the doctor. And Medicaid is my only income. I'm disabled/retired.

    August 9, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  246. Randy McLeod

    In response to Sue, in the military life, who had the experience of socialized health care.

    Don't know what country you were in, but you shouldn't be putting it down on one case. Besides, President Obama's plan is nowhere near socialized health care. Think again.

    I lived in Canada, where all I had to show was my Healthcare Card, the hospital or doctor's office swiped it (like a ATM card), and off I go. No bills, no insurance and especially, no paper work. And there was NO LONG LINES, in and out.

    August 9, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  247. Sebra

    This debate in Washington is not health care reform but health insurance. It will just make the legal thieves known as insurance companies richer and not improve our health care system. We need universal health care for all Americans free to those making less than $100,000 a year to be paid for by those making over $1,000,000. No person is worth a salary or bonus over $1,000,000.

    We are now seeing the true believe of many of the consesrvative leaders who wave relgion in our faces eveyr 4 years and yet when they can do something good for their fellow man, don't. The Bible I read says we should help each other, yet these conservative leaders only want to fill their pockets andx those of their rich friends. It is sad to me that so many poor well meaning people don't understand that they are being used to hurt themselves and help the rich get richer. Let's face it former Gov Saarah Palin didn't leave her job in Alaska to help people. She isn't out giving her time or work to the homeless or teaching children or giving away her world goods. She left this job to make money and not just a few dollars to pay her bills. She wants millions and not to help others, but to give herself a better lifestyle than she had as govenor of Alaska. Unfortunately she isn't the only public figure who thinks like this.

    Health Care should be a right for all Americans not just the wealthy and is should involve the insurance companies. Insurance companies should be banned from the health care debate and from taking part in our health care system.

    August 9, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  248. Michelle

    Several recent posts indicate a real interest in what other countries are actually doing. France is rated as number 1 in health care. Why doesn't CNN do a report on what they do? Why must we make mistakes? Let's copy a model that actually works! I understand, by the way, that France does have a private and public option for health coverate. I know that many of our population has been down on France because they wouldn't go in to Iraq with us..... but..... who was right on that call? Not us.

    Seriously, let's see some news on what other countries are doing. Some real news and not reporting on this circus we have going on here. I think that Americans are very interested in seeing this sort of coverage.

    August 9, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  249. Bill Dekle

    Has the economy hit bottom, thus it’s rising? No way. Since today’s economic geniuses continue to say the problem is “credit,” when the real problem is lack of production, the economy may be jerry rigged by the Fed and federal government, but it can not rise with any permanence. If it appears to, buy gold because inflation will eat up everything you have. Few in charge, the Fed/DC, know what they’re doing unless their goal is to break us.

    August 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  250. Colin in AZ

    Observing a lot of the anti-health care reform messages posted here it seems that most of them are coming from people who never get sick. Of course, HSA plans can build wealth if you are healthy but if you are sick they can also wipe you out, especially when you read all the fine print and the insurance company refuses to pay up. They used to be a cheaper altetnative until the premiums started going up the the coverage lowered. They have more than doubled in cost in the past few years. If the naysayers don't want the government involved then why are they not trying to privatize the police force and the fire services? They are run by the government, are paid for by taxes and they work. Funny eh? Sounds like a double standard to me.

    August 9, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  251. Adam Rosenbloom

    Dear Don,

    I am puzzled that during this debate about health care policy little attention seems to be paid to the system in Germany. I lived and worked in Germany for six years. 10.8% of my earnings were deducted for health care. My company gave me a choice of seven different insurance carriers. These were private companies, but all regulated by the government. If I had wanted a plan that provided better benefits, I could have chosen a plan that deducted, say, 13% from my monthly earnings.

    As a patient, I didn't experience long lines at the doctor's office. Usually I was taken right away. The most amount of time I ever remember waiting was about 25 minutes.

    11% of Germans (the affluent) have private insurance. When they go to a hospital they don't have to share a room. Private insurance is important to fund medical research and development. So a dual system can work.

    But in Germany everyone has health insurance. At some point the dog-eat-dog mindset of consumer capitalism must be set aside. At the end of the 19th-century Germans looked at their common values and decided to form a bond of "solidarity" with each other. This notion of solidarity is the fundamental test of the American character at this time. If Congress fails to pass meaningful health care reform, our elected officials will have failed the test.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91971406

    August 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  252. Muin Ahmed

    First of all, people can debate this issue in a civilized manner. I think republicans could have taken following steps to prevent any discussion about health insurance reform when they were in power:
    – They could have done reform state to state insurance reform
    -They could've reform the system for insurances to reform pre-existing condition
    -They could have stopped rising premium by preventing fraud or cutting costs in many other areas

    Republicans and insurance companies chose probably chose not to do it because it would have squeezed profit for insurance companies.

    Democrats obviously have a different view to fix health care reforms because most democrats prefer public option. Besides, insurance companies probably don't contribute to DNC as much as it does to republican party.

    While both parties fight about health care, people will continue to die or loose their loved one's because of lack of health care.

    August 9, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  253. Stella

    I am trying to buy the ticket for the house raflle to save the life of the boy with skin disease and can't find it. Help please?

    August 10, 2009 at 6:22 am |
  254. Jack Lindahl

    Accurate information, primarily provided by the media, is the key to understanding the complex health care issue. Why don't you cover the issues more and the activities of the political fringes less? That would be a good start to CNN's providing an actual service – as opposed to entertainment – to its viewers.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  255. TK in Denver

    The health care offered in the US is not the question, the delivery system IS. The screamers are just that...screamers, where is the dialogue that these Town Hall meetings are suppose foster. It all seems staged to me and staged for one purpose, to keep the delivery system the way it is. Sadly, these screamers just show how uninformed part of the population is. It makes us all look foolish.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  256. Dan Gonzalez

    I WANT goverment regulated healthcare. But ONLY if the government cuts out the healthcare industry lobyists and their paid legislator lackies.
    The real story here is the million dollars a day the insurance industry is putting into our elected politician's pockets.
    The people who lap up all the negative publicity don't even know who is paying for all those adds and why.
    How about you guys analyze the negative TV adds, and tell us who pays for them and where that money really came from?
    You take their money and publish their propaganda. You KNOW it is false.
    YOU are working for them, too, and are part of the problem.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  257. Joan Williamson

    I'm on Social Security Disability, or SSDI. I have to pay almost 1/4 of my income for health insurance. Medicare costs me $93 a month. It only pays for 80% of expenses, so I have to have supplemental insurance with AARP which costs me $161. a month. I also have to have a prescription drug program which costs me $30 more. So I end up paying $284. a month. My total income is only $1300.. I'm hammered by health costs. Medicaid might be a good program, but for anyone who has a history of working, even minimum wage jobs, Medicare is very expensive. I think it should cover 100%. People say how fortunate we are having Medicare. Try living on what I live on and see how great it is. Our country is helping everyone else and has forgotten our own.If I wasn't married, I'd be on Medicaid, and would have totally free care. I am the victim of discrimination because I'm married. My husband ends up paying because I have work related conditions, and he's a carpenter, struggling to pay his own heatlh insurance.. It's just wrong. Thank you for letting me talk. The typical citizen is never heard. Only the rich have voices. Joan Williamson

    August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  258. David - Philadelphia, P'A

    So long as profit and money is the driving force in healthcare, there will NEVER be coverage for everyone.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  259. pamela mccrone

    I am very happy with my current health care. Please do not pass this bill without further information and more specific data. I am concerned about what is not being spelled out in the bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  260. Karen Allen

    What I think that CNN should do is present the pros and cons of the proposed HR676 and S703 and present profiles of 7-8 Americans - (i.e. current Medicare recipient, Veteran benefits & other federal programs, Employed with insurance, Employed without insurance (parttime, lowpay service), Unable to get insurance, Resident alien, undocumented alien, Unable to afford insurace, I think then people could really understand from their own circumstances what the program really means.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  261. jan Pockrandt

    The misinformation going around is very disturbing. Our country needs health reform and the only ones fueling the false information are the corrupt health insurers who have been ripping of f Americans and want to continue to do so. They make Bernie Madoff look honest. We pay twice as more as any other nation for health care and still everyone is not insured and we are rated in the 30's for quality of care. Canadians mostly like their health care, at least anyone I have talked to and since I travel a lot overseas I have talked to many Canadians. And Sarah Palin's comment about Euthenasia is an example of stupid information being given out. To think that woman could run for President is terrifying.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  262. Jen

    I am disabled and have a regional OR HMO and Medicare.
    Medicare does not cover preventative care such as a pap smear. My HMO only covers me in one city. I had to have a pap smear in another US city and it cost $1,500. Because I have medicare the provider had a two price structure, one for uninsured- triple the price for the insured IE they are stealing from the US Gov in NM by over billing people on Medicare. Even though I have insurance none of my policies would pay and now the bill is in collections. I need national health care that covers me in any state. I need not to be triple billed because I have medicare by Tri-core Labs in santa Fe NM. Reform means stop double and triple billing by these labs and hospitals to medicare patients as Medicare offers us no coverage unless we are dieing.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  263. Claudine Joly-King

    The first thing to do to reduce the overall cost of health care and to reduce hospital and doctors' fees is to reduce their liability insurance costs. And since they blame the enormous compensations awarded by the courts for their high fees, let's start by passing strict laws and setting scales for all of these (too often frivolous) claims.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  264. Gerald T. Smiley

    Heidi – People don't seem to understand that the every five year end of
    life planning meeting is voluntary, but paid by Medicare. This seems to be thebiggest stumbling block in people's eyes, especially seniors like me.
    The current Health Care System will bankrupt the country, if it continues
    uncontrolled so I am definitely for the New Health Care System being
    debated in Congress. As head of our Endowment Fund

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  265. Robert Mrozowski

    The big problem is that any reasonable debate by the public has become impossible because they are being deliberately bombarded by misinformation sponsored indirectly by the insurance industry.

    The people who really care have no way to neutralize this.

    It's sad that the money people spend on premiums is being spent on adds to mislead them.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  266. Hill, MA.

    IF, after all these years, THE SO CALLED GOP could not do any thing about the health carereform in this great country because of lobyst that gives them money to block any kind of health care reforms, they should be qiet and let this great leader with good visions for the american people do it once and for all. Mr. President, you do not need the GOP for health care reform.The GOP hate you just like LOU DOBBS AND the animal in uiniform RUSH..... You promised the america people health care reform and we voted for you. We are behind you no matter what the GOP AND your critics stands for. Sarah palin has failed in all human ramification, she failed the alaskan people, his party and a disgrace to her family. My best advice for her is stay home and baby sit her proud downsydrome baby.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  267. WOMAN RISING

    When are we as Americans gonna stop letting the “sore losing” Republicans stop filling our heads with the untruth. President Obama’s health care plan is not evil (shame on you Sarah Palin). What he is trying to stop is when you put lots of your hard earned money into a health care plan for years then one day you get sick and then are told that your not gonna be covered. It is this type and many more types of unfairness in the health care industry that he is trying to change. Wake up America and stop letting the Republicans lie to you.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  268. Barbara Howard

    Why is CNN only covering town hall meetings by Democrats and not Republicans? Why is it that when people organized by the great "agitator" himself are considered "grassroots" and OK, but when middle-class, the old and elderly, protest – most for the first time in their lives, they are considered an "organized mob". Why did Obama praise those hundreds of thousands of protestors in Iran, but condemn those 30 or so who show up at these townhall meetings? So much so that the White House has organized a protest for the protest. Didn't he say to his supporters "argue with them, get in their face" during his campaign? Why now since those who oppose his policies are taking his own advice that they are now "unAmerican"? And his followers should snitch on their friends who send them emails criticizing Obamacare? And why is CNN complicit?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  269. Dan

    I got to exercise my health care benefit a couple nights ago. I had to take my son to the emergency room, and paid my $30.00 copay.
    How did I get my insurance so cheap?
    I EARNED IT. I served in the Navy for 20 years, going on deployments, work ups, duty days, away from the family, etc.
    But, now I am enjoying MY insurance benefits.
    All of you out there that are young, without insurance, the military is hiring.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  270. Charles

    I believe the healthcare reform will break us economically. I love my privacy between me and my doctor. I don't want a group of people telling me what doctor I may/may not use for my condition.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  271. J. W. Adkins

    The only reason we are screaming at the town halls is that our Congress won't listen to us! They are trying to pass a healthcare bill without giving us the "details" or opportunity to review the bill. This is probably because they don't know the details because they haven't read it.

    Our voices will continue to get louder until our employees–the Congress listens!! If Congress wants our support for this bill then we want to READ it even if they won't take the time to do so.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  272. Donald Lynch

    How come nobody is asking the Senators, Congress and the President

    How come the citizens of the USA cannot get the EXACT same coverage as those members of the government get?

    I am sure they do not want to answer this question.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  273. Gunter Ludwig

    A huge segment of the US population is currently covered by government financed/run healthcare. Among other: the Military, Veterans, Retirees, Federal-State-Municipal employees, and Children. Contrary to dire prediction by critics, these current government health programs seem to provide more choice, more coverage, and better care then many private plans. So tell me again: What exactly is the problem with government run healthcare?

    August 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  274. Glen

    Goverment health care really worries me when I look at the goverments track record.

    1./ The VA system is a embarrasment
    2./ Medicare adn Social Security are almost broke
    3./ The Postal Service is almost broke.

    How can the goverment run something this beg and this important.
    I have great health care and want to keep it. Those who do not have health care should get help for them and just them. Addiitonally we should NOT give health care to illegal's.

    Thanks

    Glen
    Orlando Florida

    August 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  275. Mark B.

    With the government getting different health care from the rest of the country, this is no the longer government for the people it's now "ANIMAL FARM".

    August 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  276. David L. Aldridge

    Shouldn't Congress be the first to adopt for themselves that which they would dictate for the rest of us.
    The hypocrisy and arrogance of this current body of lawmakers is astounding.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  277. Rachel

    My brother was in a recent accident with a head injury. He is a brick mason that works hard for his family and cannot afford insurance. He was life flighted to Vanderbilt due to his injuries but due to no insurance he was released before we felt he should have been and has had to make a painful recovery at home. I feel Healthcare should be available for all no matter if you are rich or poor!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  278. Leonard C. Tekaat

    I believe that the Government made a mistake when it made insurance premiums tax deductible. When you make something tax deductible you get more of it. People are more willing to pay for it as the price increases because it becomes a larger deduction. This is how the medical industry can continue to pass through higher medical cost to the policy holder and the insurance companies creating a cost plus medical system. This creates an inefficient health care system.

    A better idea would be to make the total out of pocket medical cost the policy holder will pay in one year, on a high deductible medical insurance policy, 100% tax deductible. This tax policy will make people more aware of medical cost because the money will be coming out of their medical savings account and they will be more frugal. A transfer of money from a persons IRA or similar account would be allowed to fund the account.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  279. Horace

    The last two major attempts at healthcare reform have come under Democratic leadership (Bill Clinton and now President Obama), while the Republicans have come out "tooth and nail" against it each time while having done NOTHING on healthcare reform (besides giving drug companies billions through Bush's Medicare drug plan) through 8 years and 2 Republic presidents. Why is it so difficult for the American people to clearly see that the two are diametrically opposite and the Republicans clearly support the status quo of big business medicine and pharmaceutical and insurance companies? The democrats are trying to help the American people (as problematic as it may be), but the Republicans are clearly planning election year power politics and don't give a rat's behind about the average American.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  280. Scott Eshelman

    The bottom line is that any government sponsored health care – even if it is not complete "socialized medicine" will at some level take consumers away from existing insurance companies. (Even if a person is uninsured right now, they are still a potential insurance consumer). It is completely inappropriate for a government to compete with established private enterprises. Is it fair that an insurance company employee's tax dollars could potentially fund a program that takes market share from his employer? I support health care vouchers that could be given to those who cannot afford insurance and redeemed with existing insurance companies.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  281. Mike

    I think talking about this healthcare bill at this present time when our country is in such bad shape is ridiculous. We need to find a way to get jobs back and deficeits down before we talk healthcare.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  282. NE Florida

    I called my Congressman John Mica (R) and he will not be holding a Town Hall meeting during the break. He'll only be doing one Conference call with all his constituents from his home. Guess he’s afraid to look at the faces of the people who voted him into office.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  283. Dave Cotting

    Heidi,

    First, I would ask my representative if he read what is being proposed, if he understood it, if he sought out further information, from what, whom, and what he thought. It's not very original, but we all have too many knee jerk reactions; we hear but we don't listen.

    I would also ask my representative not to let himself be overly influenced by the callous, those who want to keep their healthcare specialists to themselves, who want to what's best for them rather than what's best for all. It's about time we listen to the voices of reason (and not simply the loudest voices) in our town meetings and in politics overall. When we give more attention to the loud, we simply encourage behavior not conducive to healthy debating.

    As a combat veteran, I am ashamed by the attitudes of those who think only of "I", "me", and "mine"... when so many have given their lives for us... US! Living a life worthy of their sacrifices includes doing what's necessary for all (not just the haves, but the have-nots, the have-no-mores, and the less fortunate) is a measure of our character as people, and it is often why so many, like me, went on active duty after 9/11 or volunteered in our armed forces and engage in public service. I would thus ask my representative why he went into politics, and if that/those reason(s) along with his understanding of what is being proposed speak to a particular position when it comes to healthcare reform.

    That's what I 'd like to ask my representative.

    Respectfully,
    Dr. Dave Cotting

    p.s. Bertrand Russell wrote: “[Women and] Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.” Should Russell still be alive, he might swap "education" with "the media."

    When it comes to News media, I believe that the misguiding now far outnumbers the informative; your coverage, Heidi, falls into the latter. The questions you ask guests on your show appear to be driven by information-seeking, not argument-making; for that, I want to thank you.

    When it comes to healthcare reform, I believe that some media have developed in some people a fortress mentality, a way of thinking about healthcare that is hardly malleable. I doubt most of the virulent folks at town meetings know much about what is being proposed beyond what is being disseminated by the "argument-making"/shock-and-awe media; if they did, their concerns would include detailed criticisms. However, all I have heard from such individuals are arguments not dissimilar to those made by Reagan about half a century ago. Debunking misconceptions is key and I applaud your efforts, those of Dr. Elizabeth Cohen, Senator McCaskill, and the new government website "Reality Check"...

    At a time when we hear too few debates in politics and too many screaming matches, efforts to fuel the sharing of logical arguments are really efforts towards true democracy; may that consideration bring you some support when your efforts are most challenging.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  284. Shelley

    Rationing is ALREADY occurring, at a vulgar and deadly rate.

    Individual costs are ALREADY spiraling out of control, with no hope of abating.

    With every new report on number of jobs lost, you can add that many more people to the uninsured list, and double or triple it by including their families.

    I am stunned at the number of people who are believing all the orchestrated lies and disinformation and supporting a derailment of healthcare reform. I thought we were smarter than working against our own best interests. I guess I was wrong!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  285. shirley MacIsaac

    I just received an e-mail from Representative Glenn Nye of Virginia, inviting me to schedule a meeting with him or his aides to help the pro OBama health care movement.
    No invitation to discuss the cons of the program, just the Pros.
    How fair is that?
    Looks like his mind is already made up and the voters do not have a voice. They even have downloaded pages tp help me. lol
    Sorry Glenn Nye, I would like to discuss and pros and cons before I decide. How about a special surtax of 5% one every sale? That will raise billions to be used for people who have no insurance. That way, everyone would pay.
    Wake up Politicians before the next election.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  286. Ira Fogel

    As a small business owner I know we need healthcare reform. We also need a public option. We need to be rationale about our use of healthcare policies not allowing doctors to do repeats of recent medical tests by other physicians. There can be a lot savings from our present wasteful system that would mitigate the total cost of near universal coverage but it will take a public that is willing to think rarther than just move to the group that is shouting the loudest. It's time for Americans to stop being selfish and start being compassionate to those who are out of work and without healthcare insurance.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  287. Junior Destine

    I am a medical student , and i have been shock to see the selfish part of America , I am totally for Obama's administration plan on health care. President' s Obama is leading the world one more time.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  288. Madelyn Tarfman/ Southern California

    I think the more Government gets into our lives and pocketbooks and legislates from the Presidency this is becoming BIG GOVERNMENT. Bigger Government means higher taxes and less DEMOCRACY. We're seeing it happening right now. What the founding fathers wanted was smaller govenment . BIG GOVENMENT is getting bigger. When a President of our United States can FIRE the head of a public company like GM and nationalize companies and /or banks is a HORROR.
    I believe this can actually lead to revolution when the SILENT MAJORITY FINALLY YELLS OUT "WE WONT TAKE IT ANYMORE" and decides to TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK FROM ALL THE POLITICIANS.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  289. Mike Black

    If you wreck your car, you can't go down to the insurance company and take out a policy to pay for it. The mandate to provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions can't help but drive up prices for everyone.

    We are often told that if we're happy with our health insurance – which I am – that we may keep it. However, they hide the fact that you'll have to pay dramatically high prices for that. The insurance companies simply become tax collectors by proxy.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  290. Carl P

    The more I hear the anger and vicious attacks by those opposed to a government sponsored health care option, the more I am a prone to believe that the debate isn't as much about health reform as it is about the unspoken class system in America. They would never admit to it, but their hostile opposition is an example of capitalism trumping patriotism.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  291. Robin

    I have many concerns with healthcare reform:
    1. I do not trust the government to run the program. They have a poor track record, look at the CARS program. It was under forecasted, thus an additional bill needed to be passed. Plus will it really stimulate the economy?
    2. This will create a legacy of federal speding, like social security and medicare. In my pay check, the federal tax is less than social security and medicare combined.

    If people are looking for reform, why don't they enhance medicare/medicaid for those people who do not have it?

    August 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  292. Don Lohrey

    I feel as if both parties are ignoring the 800 pound gorilla in the room. We absolutely need health care reform. As President Obama says the current rate of spending on health care is unsustainable. However, a National Health Care plan will not work as long as illegal immigration is not addressed. Emergency rooms will still be full as these individuals use these facilities for their health care needs. Hospitals and U.S. citizens alike will still be spending billions of dollars on the health care needs of these 11-20 million individuals. This will make any national health care plan unworkable as the dollars will just not be there for uninsured U.S. citizens as well as the uninsured illegal aliens.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  293. Carl Pittman - Boston

    The more I hear the anger and vicious attacks by those opposed to a government sponsored health care option, the more I am a prone to believe that the debate isn’t as much about health reform as it is about the unspoken class system in America. They would never admit to it, but their hostile opposition is an example of capitalism trumping patriotism.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  294. s clark

    I have high blood pressure and am on COBRA now. When I can no longer buy COBRA insurance I will not be able to get insurance coverage under the present system which my Republican representatives are defending. Why are my representatives more interested in defending the insurance companies than my health care needs? Would they be willing to go out and buy their own health insurance, just as I am having to do, in order to show they are truely interested in maintaining the current status of the health issues now being considered in this country?

    August 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  295. maximus

    Even though healthcare could use restructuring, IMHO our government is the wrong entity to carry that out. They have a horrible record for making improvements in any endeavor without throwing money at it. I suggest 3 different plans be put before the populace and let them chose the one they think best with also a "no" option available to everyone. There is no rush and short timetables should be scraped. It would be better we end up with something the populace understands and gets behind.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  296. Lisa-St. Louis

    If I had a chance to speak with my representative, my question would be...Why is tort reform not being discussed at all? I know that many times doctors will order tests to rule out every possibility just to protect themselves from any future lawsuits. It seems that this is a huge source of wasted dollars. Maybe tort reform isn't being discussed because too many lawyer groups have donated too much money to the politicians

    August 10, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  297. Douglas Cole

    The government has past history of running a heath care system in the Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals and it has not been very efficient nor productive to those disabled or wounded veterans. As a Vietnam era veteran, I went to the one in Memphis, TN immediately after being discharged in Sept. 1972. I haven't been back since and hopefully will never again be dependant on the government to make my medical decisions or manage my future health care. Ask the VA to account for their expenditures verses patients treated or subsequently cured and compare the mortality rate of the veterans at the VA hospitals to the average population. Personally, you would have to be homeless and destitute before committing your healthcare to the government.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  298. Barbara Herrnstein

    My husband and I have “good” health coverage through the FEHP, with one of the Big Dogs (yes, a government run health care system all federal employees have access to including our congress) as I am a retired federal employee. We also are in excellent health, so we haven’t had to personally test the system. My husband is a stock broker, so we are not “anti business”. We are PRO American.

    Despite our situation, we both feel strongly that we need Universal Health Care in this country, the richest on earth, and that even the least of us should have access to good health care. This includes some sort of Government Sponsored Health Care for those not eligible for or able to afford other private plans. Those who yell the loudest about how “bad” this would be seem to be either the big Pharma, the big Insurance companys, and the idiots already on Medicare, (or even Medicaid) who don’t seem to know that is a Government Program!!!!!

    In my own family, who are all college educated, I can see so many things wrong. I can’t imagine what it must be for others less fortunate. (Doe’s anyone care about them?)

    My daughter, a health care professional, changed jobs, and kept her insurance thru COBRA to the tune of nearly $900 per month, for herself and her 5 yr old son . She recently moved from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, and a different job, who offers a program but does not contribute towards it, so the entire cost in on the employee. (One insurance company turned her down because of a “preexisting condition” they would not disclose to her, and she has no idea what that is!! And Big Dog wanted to charge her $800 for poor coverage.) She ended up with the employer plan for herself ($400) per month, and a different private plan for her son for $92. Still $500 per month, in addition to house payment and all the rest. She actually feels fortunate to have this!!!

    Another daughter lost her job, and has been working 3-4 days a week demonstrating products at a Walmart!!! No health insurance, $12 per hour, but not eligible for Medicaid or food stamps because she makes too much!!! Therefore she eats little and has no health insurance. ( She recently had a major kidney stone and ended up in the ER, and later to a urologist, of course can’t afford any of that, so WHO ENDS UP PAYING FOR HER CARE??????)

    My 21 year old granddaughter lost her medicaid card on her birthday, despite the fact she is independent, works part time at Olive Garden, and is a FULL TIME STUDENT!!! How crazy is that!!!! Needless to say, she can’t afford health insurance, she barely makes enough to eat and pay rent.

    We are the richest country on earth, and it is shameful we do not provide the basic necessities to our citizens. We are a CAPITALIST society, NOT a democracy, and our country is run by special interests with their bottom line in mind, not the common good. You only have to listen to the news (no, NOT FOX!!!) or hold a town hall meeting to see who comes out of the woodwork to protest...People hired by the Big Dogs, (most of whom look like Medicare recepients) , ads run by the Big Dogs, all because their greedy world is threatened by the democratic process. Their goal is to shut this down with a lot of noise, lies, and civil unruliness and ugliness.

    WE NEED AND WANT A GOOD, AFFORDABLE, SUSTAINABLE HEALTH CARE PLAN THAT INCLUDES COMPETITION FOR THE BIG DOGS, AND IS AVAILABLE FOR ALL.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  299. John Panzone

    Why doesn't any of the networks show the documents shown on the web that the disruptive Town Hall mettings are organized? Not all of the atttendees are are grass roots. Stand up to the Republicans who are scoffing at the mention of it. Say they are all standing up for their rights. Put the document up to their face so they can lie.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  300. Carol Mills

    I do support health care reform. Those who are trying to shout it down have a personal agenda - like campaign money from the private sector of insurers. We MUST have national health care because the private insurer is looking first at the bottom line. Every private insurance company should be required to send to each policyholder, each year, a photo of the CEO's home(s) and vehicles. Thus the policyholder will be much better informed as to why his premiums went up and his coverage went down.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  301. dr nagagopal venna

    many thnks for allowing my comments to be sent to you. this refers to health care refom debate, i feel that more information about the current plans available for federal workers, including elected officials, and how satisfactory it has been for these employees , would be enlightening. i have not seen the details of this system discussed except in passing. many thnks. nagagopal venna boston, august 10, 2009

    August 10, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  302. Eugenio

    Who pays congress menbers health care bills?
    Do Obama closing other health care pograms ? if is not, why so difficult to pass the bill that helps the citizen of United states?
    Do Obama health plan gonna be free? if is not,pass the bill.
    Do the republicans are getting bonuses from the health companies?
    Congress,do not just think about yourself but think people in Amerca.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  303. Kevin - Colorado Springs

    I am college student and I work a part time job. I am for the health care reform. I think that if we put the government plan we should take Medicaid program off the table. Personally I would like to see the Colorado Representatives and/or Senators both Democrat and Republican come to Colorado Springs and have a town hall meeting because I have been talking to people who I know who are Democrat, Republican, and Independent voters and most of them are confused about the health care reform.

    I think that the people who are screaming at town hall meetings are not helping with the problem. I think that they have become a problem.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  304. Mel

    The public option is going to pay Medicare rates – rates that have been set by the government and never negotiated by physicians. To remain competitive the commercial insurance companies will have to adopt Medicare rates or be run out of business. Has anyone verified that the Medicare rates are fair payment? My wife will take a 2/3 pay cut if she is paid Medicare rates only. She and several of her partners have stated their intention to take early retirement before continuting to work 70 hour work weeks for 1/3 the pay.

    The administration is calling this "health insurance reform" but if it's passed in its current form, it will cause chaos in some specialties for years. We're on the road to a single payer system run by the government with eventual rationing as cost containment.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  305. gordon hurst

    Everyone wants "Healthcare Reform"..!
    The question is...do you Trust your Government.?
    Ask an Native American!
    Ask someone who is unemployed!
    Has the Government managed anything well, ie Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.? Answer: a resounding....."NOT"
    So why would we trust Nancy Pelosi to determine our Healthcare, especially since she will be "excluded" from our program... ??
    And you wonder why people are outspoken at Town Hall meetings..?
    Since 80% of Americans are happy (except rising costs) why not provide Gov't influence to deal with Tort Reform, paper bureaucracy, pre-existing conditions, private co-ops, inefficiency, fraud, etc.
    And keep the existing system (envied worldwide) in tact..!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  306. s clark

    Why does the news media allow lies and misrepresentations to be spread without correction? The media which allows such mis information is responsible for the content as much as those who will start those lies. If you are labled left wing liberals for spreading truth and corecting mis information, then so be it:; you will get that lable anyway Let the right wingers go with their mis information without logical correction and the truth will never be understood by many who are never exposed to what is true.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  307. Lois Donnay

    People think they have good healthcare because they have nothing to compare it to. Do you get to stay overnight in a hospital or are your procedures "outpatient"? Did your doctor make a housecall after? I get my healthcare in Argentina and it is much better. Hospital stays and doctor housecalls are routine.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  308. DOLLARBILL

    I Believe that both parties have some very good ideas, I'm from the neighborhood were people don't have the time to watch tv all day we have to work for a living, so tony i'm glad when i'm watching your show your not trying push judgement on me you tell the facts and let me decide, BUT back to facts the health care bill is a tool just to win back seats in the next election, nobodys stupid we should hold anyone reponsible for not helping pass a GOOD plan that works for the people be it REP/orDEM , remember every pole i see nobody i know never voted so there not correct in my view, but im watching now and i learned the secret to the game we put you in office we can take you out' . I never wrote a letter before this my first ,I never payed any attention to any of the other elections but NOW i will so keep up the good work and see ya next time.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  309. G Headrick

    Several things can be done on health care.
    1. Import a pot full more doctors – supply/demand.
    2. Tort reform – get the lawyers out of the equation.
    3. Change the patent system on drugs. You get a 17 yr patent if you agree to a cost plus basis of profitability. If you don't agree, you can rape people for 2 years only. Stop advertising Rxs- why advertise controlled substances.
    4. License insurance companies. You get a license for X amount which provides you with a Y ROI. Sell shares on the open market so people can get dividends. Much like a REIT.
    5. No passport or documentation – go home to get your health care.
    6. Force Congress to live with the health care program they pass. Put Teddy Kennedy on rationed health care.

    Insurance companies are a pass through. They pass on costs so the important thing is to lower the costs. Raise the bar on fraudulent claims – put the offenders away. Now it's just a minor white collar crime.

    A good share of the problem is there is no personal responsibility for lowering the costs. For those who have insurance the attitude is Oh well the insurance companies pay. Where's the outrage when a night in the hospital costs $10K/night.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  310. Maxine

    Where are the right to lifers when it comes to this Health Care discussion. Are you afraid you might have to agree that there are a lot of new borns in this country without health care? I

    f you care so much about the right to life......... then you should also care deeply about the quality of health care these infants recieve. You should demand universal coverage for all lives in this country.

    Single payer universal coverage is the only way to insure that everyone is covered. It's simplicity will save money.

    We do not need another bureaucratic complicated mess with different rules and regulations for each person, situation or state.

    Democrats you were voted into the majority to do this so do it!

    Maxine

    August 10, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  311. maryc

    We need to get the hands of some of our Congress people, and senate people out of the pockest of the big insurance companies so we can all have healthcare we can afford. Insurance companies are against what is trying to be done in this country simply because it would cost them a whole lot of money. They have a job, they have insurance, they have perks, need I continue? And with all the people who are out of work, exactly who do they think is paying their salaries and the salaries of their office staff.

    Again, we need to start at the top and cut salaries and get this country back in line with what is right and fair for every person in this nation. OH my, did I say do what right and fair.

    These people at the town meetings who are being so disruptive need to be escorted out and kept out until they can conduct themselfs in an appropriate manner. I wonder who paid them to go to these meetings and do thi?

    August 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  312. Bill

    The news media would do the country a great service if they would inform the American public about the great health insurance program Congress has set up for itself. Congress, along with their families, should give up its privileged healthcare and be forced to join the program they are proposing for the American people. They should be no loopholes for them. Lets see how many of them would vote to write this into the new healthcare reform bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  313. Brandon Fureigh

    Tony,

    We are having a town hall here in the California 29th with our Congressman Adam Schiff Tuesday night at the Alhambra Civic Center Library in Alhambra California.

    I am a volunteer with Organizing For America, and we are expecting huge turnout for this event. Opposition groups to Health Care are encouraging members not to ask hard questions and get the answers they deserve, but instead are giving them tactics to prevent a discussion from even taking place. OFA is encouraging just the opposite. We want the hard questions asked, we want the discussion to take place. We are encouraging not just supporters of health care reform, but all citizens from all political affiliation to show up and have a conversation with our Congressman. We are not afraid to have the dialogue because we believe the truth is on our side. Once people hear what Health Care Reform actually means, we believe they will support it. Already two polls are out, one by the Post that says 72% of Americans support the Public Option, the other by the Washington Journal that says 75% of Americans favor the Public Option. We have the majority. While the opposition is shouting trying to prevent the truth from coming out, we are engaging the American public and having the very conversation that scares the special interests in this country.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  314. Llamara

    I would like to address health care workers in the health care insurance debate. If nurses are not at the table as meaningful partners of this debate, theywill get it all wrong........again. The American Nurses Association does not speak for all nurses. Nurses that work on the front line everyday, (not academics), who work within the confines of a system powered by insurance company profits know the reality and roadblocks present that cause poor quality and unsafe care Cuts to the health care delivery system in the form of decreased reimbursement to hospitals and heath care providers will eventually collapse the system that cares for your mothers, families and loved ones. What ever system emerges must not further erode the workforce in the health care system. Nurses, in particular are being asked to take on more patient care, longer hours, for less wages. Insurance company profits and polititians that they buy and own must not dictate the health care that every American deserves. Keep Nurses at the center of the dialogue.....who knows, if we can save your life, we may know how to meaningfully contribute to the health care insurance debate.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  315. Gary Braden

    Has any one noticed the literal 800lb gorilla in the room? That gorilla is the fat and obese americans. This is the real conversation that needs to discussed with respect to health care reform.

    If you look closely, at all the folks who are yelliing, screaming and basically disrupting the town hall meetings on health care reform, you can see their saggy arms flapping and their fat (red) faces blabbing about not wanting to change the health care situation.

    Heck they don't even want to change their unhealthy lifestyle; what makes one think they are going to want change in the health care system.

    They are complaining because a change to health care means they'll have to finally get up off the couch and finally take responisbility for their own health and fitness. .

    August 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  316. Leonard C. Tekaat

    Why do 55% or more of the people that live in America pay no income tax? Is it a collection problem? Is it easier and more cost effective to collect taxes from people that have higher incomes or play by the rules. The armed forces protect them just like everyone else. Government services are available to them just like everyone else.

    I think we should have a federal sales tax that everybody would pay. If you pay income taxes you would be allowed to take a tax credit for the amount of the federal sales tax you paid against your income tax. In this way you wouldn't have a tax increase. Those people that did not have an income tax liability would pay their fair share of the cost of government. The money received should be used to help pay for Medicaid and other social programs. Illegal aliens and the underground economy could not avoid paying their fair share of the tax burden. Perhaps the people who pay income taxes could have their taxes lowered. There are too many people in our economy that are taking a free ride. The government has taken their responsibility away from them. When you are expected maintain your responsibilities, you become responsible.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  317. Dick Davies

    Obama has lost his credence. His promise of "no pork" changed to "never again" after a stimulus package of Almost a billion $ of bacon was served up. His taking over the auto biz that he "didn't want"
    Now he is rushing a faulty health bill down our throats. He says that there is nothing in it about euthenasia, gov't take over or rationing of treatment. However, with Zeke Emanual as his advisor it is 100% certain that Sarah Palin is correct when she calls it evil.

    Obama is becoming just another lying politician!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  318. Anne Marie

    Tony,

    I like you, you're a nice guy and you report the news and don't offer your political point of view. A little while ago you had your Chief Medical Coorespondent on and she fielded two questions from viewers. I was so angry and this is part of the whole problem. Question two was about the viewer concerned that her choices with her PPO plan would be limited if the government plan piece passes. She responded by saying it was the mother of all questions. She laid out the proponent side and then laid out the opposition side. She should have stopped there, but NOOOOO, she had to go on and say, well, let's just say that people did have to shift to the Public Option just like Medicare now? She ended by adding her own two sense about how people are happy with their Medicare so this wouldn't be bad either. How dare she speak for every single person on Medicare. Many are not happy, but they have no choice. My parents have to pay a huge amount for a supplemental secondary plan to their Medicare. Guess what? That doesn't even pay the balance. Medicare does ration care, they don't pay for everything the elderly or disabled need. This is EXACTLY what will happen with this new public option. Why would we think otherwise? If the Government, more specifically the Dems think Medicare is so great they would just be advocating that we add the uninsured to this system already in place to help them out until such time as they can get their own private plan. Please tell her to keep those comments to herself as she is part of the problem of spreading misinformation out there as the white house now calls it. Shame on her! She should not be called on to answer these questions. She is not an expert, rather just one more Obama loving member of the left wing media. Tony you are great though. I watch you now instead of Fox during that time slot. Sorry though, Cavuto, Beck and O'Reilly are the bomb!

    August 10, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  319. paula c smith

    Enough already ! Obama and friends are trying to fix what is not broken. Our health care system is not perfect but remains the best in the world. Socialist government takeover is NOT the answer! We just cannot afford any more irresponsible spending by this administration.
    Leave my health care alone !

    August 10, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  320. constance Martha

    it is with sinking heart that i watch as this nation falls backwards once again, held hostage ONCE AGAIN by the republicans who will say anything whether its true or not in order for them to pursue their own greedy agenda. they would sooner allow the vast suffering of millions of americans than support our president in overhauling our disastrous healthcare system. it is tragic. it is FOOLISH. IT IS DEPRESSING.

    AND, what"s with cnn/lou dobbs/ the birthers!!!!! i wish to God that i had a news channel to tune in to that was trustworthy, that has some integrity.... it is NOT CNN! count me another defector to the world wide web for my news.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  321. SLC

    The issue of healthcare reform is so volatile because there are significant amounts of money that maybe lost to interest groups. If the intent is to be assured of quality healthcare for all, then it shouldn't be that difficult to develope a plan. If we would remember that before Medicare D was enacted, the cost for prescription drugs was raised by the drug companies at astronomical rates and the legislation would not allow negotiation of the price for drugs. Who was this legistration serving? The American People are again being frightened by special interest groups to defeat legislation that will help them in the long term. But unfortunately, what is best for the people may not be best for the special interest groups. Who should be determining what is needed, I think it should be the people.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  322. Sam Kirby

    Hello, Ali, I am pumped that you are coming to my hometown, Chattanooga. I am a 21 year old college student with Autism (Asperger Syndrome)

    Here are my healthcare questions:
    1. My meds are currently about $700 per month. They are paid in full by my father's business group health plan, which takes a huge hit due to my diagnosis. Since I receive no public funds, will I be able to pay for my own healthcare after I am on my own? Also, will the insurance bias against my diagnosis continue?
    2. I plan on working full time, but I do not drive. Will Obama's plan assure ACCESSIBLE healthcare that will not leave me sitting in a doctor's office all day because few doctors will participate.

    I hope to see you in Chattanooga

    -Sam Kirby

    August 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  323. Michelle

    Follow the money. Find out who is benefitting from our current system. Look up a yearly financial report of your insurer and see what the CEO makes. How much of that is reasonable? How much of that could have gone to so many people who were denied coverage?

    Look at the lawsuits against the insurers. A billion here a few hundred million there for stock option fraud or other shoddy business practices. How much of that could have gone to so many who were denied coverage?

    Look at how much the insurers give in contributions to your congressional representatives. Look at how they donate to one side or the other in media ads running into millions of dollars a week. How much of that could have gone to so many who were denied coverage?

    How much does their advertising cost? Why must they advertise so much? How much of that could have gone to so many who were denied coverage?

    I'm not trying to villify the insurance companies. They do that for themselves in a most blatant manner.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  324. Vincent Tolpo

    The projected health costs are inflated to help the cause of the health insurance monopoly. When the insurance companies report thier payouts to the congressional budget offices they are reporting full retail. Insurance companies never pay full retail they payout the "repriced amounts" which are 20 to 50% less than retail.
    Retail is paid by the unfortunate citizens that can't afford health insurance. Medicare and Medicaid pay an evan smaller repriced amount. The insurance companies want to maintain their huge profit margins of 30% and higher.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  325. Chris

    Here's a fact for everyone to chew on. Our government has been paying millions of people welfare checks for their entire lives. They've been giving out food stamps to these same people for their entire lives. Our government believes that everyone in America that is working MUST pay for everything these people get, including free healthcare. I say ....... it's time for our government to cut the fat and put realistic limits on how long families can do this and never pay a dime. Remove these deadbeats from the roles and we will have plenty to pay for healthcare for those who've earned it like the disabled, the veterans, the working class retirees, the temporarily unemployed who have worked and want to work. Those are the cold hard facts.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  326. Chris

    The Polls on Health Care missed the intended targets like inner city, homeless and skid rolls that don't have access to gadgets to be polled. Get to the real people and get the real facts.. it is needed.

    Chris- Los Angeles

    August 10, 2009 at 7:52 pm |
  327. Dorothy

    As an RN and Family Nurse Practitioner, I believe that we must have a public option in order to achieve real health care reform. There is a great deal of misinformation circulating about health care reform, more than I could include in this limited space. I can only suggest that everyone be sure that they have truthful information. There is a reason why the mobs disrupting the town hall meetings are afraid to let the people's representatives communicate the facts about health care reform. They know that if people learn the truth, they will all want the public option to pass, whether or not they plan to use it themselves. It's the insurance companies that are afraid of the public option.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  328. Dr G S Hatalowich

    3 QUICK FIXES FOR HEALTHCARE

    1 Govt mandates that the CURRENTLY UNINSURED (self-paying patients) receive services at the medicare fee schedule

    2 Private Insurance Companies offer special low cost BASIC NON HOSPITAL plans
    (Limited office visits and basic out-patient services- IE ..routine physicals, lab tests, generic drugs.... Preventative medicine)

    3 Expand HILL BURTON ACT to enclude catastrophic illness benefits to individuals on the these NON-HOSPITAL PLANS

    Most non-medicare age individuals utilize medical services that are NON-Hospital in nature.

    Instead of focusing on expensive ALL-Inclusive healthcare coverage, the vast majority of the currently uninsured would benefit immediately from legislation that costs the Govt very little and delivers needed care quickly.

    More comprehensive, complicated long-term healthcare legislation could then be developed with less pressure and conflict.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:34 am |
  329. Gary Braden

    Put the fork down and back away from the plate!!

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111302222

    You all are skirting around the problem. WAKE UP!!...Obese people are the main problem. Fix obesity and you WILL fix health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 am |
  330. Dan

    It has been said over and over and over again that people cannot afford healthcare. I am sure in some instances this is true.

    However, I am sure there are a lot of people out there that can afford 3-4 cartons of cigarettes a month, a few cases of beer a month, or even car payments of $500 – $600 a month; and can't afford healthcare? People, it is called PRIORITIZE.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  331. Maria

    If you reside in the United States legally you should be eligible for health care. If you are not a resident, "NO" we need to figure out a working plan for those who are legal & pay taxes.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  332. Shawn Smith

    It is not a basic right. our rights are to freedom and liberties and the pursuit of happiness.
    if you want health care get off your butt and do some work. We are paying for way to many people that call themselves americans but they don't act like Americans.
    Don't get me wrong, we need to help our citizens – but only if they are trying to help themselves.

    I will support a right to have health care for certian qualified americans. single moms working part time and trying to pay daycare and food, lodging. sure we can help some how. but if the person sits and watches tv all day and wants my tax dollars. NO – don't give them anything. let the charities out there support them not our taxes.

    Shawn Smith
    Georgia

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  333. barrie

    I am so disappointed in the reaction of many to the proposed health care reforms. Most of those expressing their opposition are fairly well satisfied with their own health insurance...but those millions of
    Americans without benefits...the jobless, the unemployed, and underemployed are not those that are attending the town hall meetings and are not being heard. As Americans , we should be able to have health services available for all.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  334. Miriam W

    Many of these people in these townhall meeting look like they are over 65 and on medicare, which is a government run healthcare plan. Lets ask them if they will like to have Medicare taken away. Also the news focuses on the loud and boisterous for the drama.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  335. mccowan

    The very idea that someone who loses their job, has little or no income or has a pre-existing condition that precludes them from obtaining insurance is not worth reforming healthcare for is not only a truly mean-spirited view, but wholly UN-American. Everyone should have reasonable access to healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  336. Brooks

    Re: Arlen Specter town hall meeting coverage.
    Please ask your reporter to use a neutral background for her report and not allow partisans from either side to advertise their point of view through CNN, as they did this morning behind her holding large signs against health care reform. Given the current atmosphere, it might be better to prevent either side from stealing advertisting time.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  337. D. Terry

    Congress should have passed good/refined straw man bills in phases before the recess to avoid the political theater. Then they should return to continue working on additional phases until complete.

    All the lies, misrepresentation and fear that is driving the discussion is precisely why the founding fathers gave us the electoral college because they understood that the "ignorant masses" are subject to manipulation.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  338. Maureen Hook

    Tony,
    I am really dismayed that the main protesters against health reform appear to be seniors. Normally, they are very compassionate people, but somehow they've been wrongly led astray that reform means less services for them. It really disturbs me that people are without any healthcare at all. I can't imagine not being able to go the dentist or doctor if I were sick. I support any reform that will help get the uninsured covered. This is a national disgrace. It's not freedom to be taken advantage of by the health insurance companies.
    Maureen Hook

    August 11, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  339. Thomas

    We pay our taxes! It sure should be! Every Canadian that I have spoken with say that these people are telling lies. They love their health care! It's shameful to see my party (The Republican Party) shouting and showing a lot of racial overtones during what is supposed to be a productive conversation on Health Care Reform. From a christian point of view it is wrong to refuse help to the poor and those in need. I am feeling that maybe it's time to go independent. What makes all these protest even worse is that I have only seen white people protesting this. Obviously if this was the majority of America ,as many in my party have said opposing this,then there would be more diversity in the crowds. It's just not the case. The Republican Party loses my vote next election cycle. I am tired of trying to defend my party which has been hijacked by the most extreme right wing nut jobs. We need to get the party to moderate, Period!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  340. Mary Scott

    Tony,

    It is very telling that the opposition to healthcare must resort to bald-faced lies to scare the elderly and the uninformed. It's much too easy, apparently, to listen to the loudest voice out there, and the Democrats have got to raise theirs and call the lies exactly what they are – lies!

    It is unfortunate that our country is so filled with lemmings – people who are happy to follow the loudest voice, no matter how hate-filled and vile and full of misinformation. Even my own friends in the Republican party thoughtlessly pass on emails that are full of lies, without any fact-checking whatsoever. I am embarrassed and ashamed of them!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  341. Robert Lamm

    it seems that people are coming out saying that this plan or aspects of the plan are unamerican or not constitutional what seems unconstitutional to me is we alow in this country our state elected official to run campaigns funded at least by part contrabutions from large corperations who than can hire high payed lobist and other special intrest group to represent there desires on bills that may impact ther bottom line even at the cost of the people these elected officials are obligated. the people in the( district state and country) not the large corps or health care companys trying to buy there vote these official need a reminder of who they represent the people .Health care reform needs to happen there are too many americans in need of health care and too many health care providers getting rich on over priced coverage and the sweet of the backs of real americans

    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  342. charity larocca

    I need health care,when my husband lost his job we lost our insurance.They were nice to offer cobra ,but it would cost 2x the amount over what we were paying before he lost his job.I think they should tax the insurance companys who has been charging outragous prices for yr's.doctors, drug companys,hospitals should be required to lower prices or be taxed as well.Bottem line hit the big guys not the employer who already cant afford to provide it's workers health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  343. James

    Name one thing the goverment does well and efficiently (except the military)? Even the IRS! they can't collect their own taxes without making a complicated mess. How could they do healthcare without waste, bureaucracy and inefficiency. If people want a public health option, we already have a model in the VA system and Indian Healthcare system. Is that what people want? If so, let those who choose it funnel into those federally funded systems. Oh but wait, those who want it free also want to pick where they go, who their physician is and want whatever tests and procedures they desire. Hmmm

    August 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  344. James

    How is healthcare a fundamental right? Is it the goverments responsibility or a persons "right" to get food, clothing and housing? I don't like paying for my health insurance either but it is a choice I make because I may need it. I don't feel it is the goverment's responsibility to provide it.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  345. debbie williams

    Our great country surely has a responsibility to provide health care to all. Those of us with insurance cannot afford the rising premiums. Insurance company profits should not trump basic morality. Health care cannot be merely for the rich.

    A very large population of elderly is on the horizon. Long-term care for these folks is nonexistent at present unless you can afford the huge expense. Can this be solved ??

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  346. Diane McKenna

    After years as a constant viewer of CNN (had the station on in the office) I've found your constant negative coverage of President Obama actually frightening. Your health care reform coverage lacks any true indepth investigation and has a tone that makes you appear afraid of the health care cartel that will eventually bankrupt our country if we can't bring it under control. Your financial interests (advertisers, stock investments, your own income) pits you and your station against true health care reform for the general public. I'm a small business owner in Fairfield County, Connecticut and we are beginning to see a backlash against CNN which a friend now refers to as Corporate Network Nonsense. If you just play to the tune of your advertisers, when the public knows better, there will be very few left listening in the audience.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  347. CLAUDETTE

    with h/care reform will illegal person (are there records of these) continue to get on a flight, come to the usa, be admitted to a medical facility, get care for extensive medical conditions.. tests surgeries, too numerous to mention and doctors get no reimbursement facilities absorb the expenses, taxpayers asked to pay increased taxes.
    will hmo's still deny physicians for procedures not authorized but were necessary for patient care considering medical liability...
    malpractice costs are very high.
    i am looking to see how these issues are being handled.
    thank you.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  348. bud from ny

    what some people are afraid of is being charged like the 50 dollars they are taking out of social security checks for medicare and 9 to 15 dollars a month for medicaid per child when we are unemployed and are probably afraid of what other hidden tricks our gov might be sneaking in like 24 dollar tax on tobbacco that cost only 18 dollars a lb. we should keep our eyes open...............thanks bud

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  349. Karen Wickman

    The world watches as the United States, a country with strong religious roots, discusses and argues about healthcare. I hope the debate isn’t hijacked by lobbyists’, special interests, and big business. We need affordable healthcare that we can rely on in spite of pre-existing conditions.
    My husband has a heart condition. The doctors called it a one in a million condition, contracted in his early twenties; a viral cardio-myopathy. We’ve had to carry Cobra Insurance plus insurance on his job when he changes jobs, until the six to nine month waiting period is over on pre-existing conditions. We are always worried about being bankrupted by his condition.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  350. Pat

    Even at the most selfish level we all need access to health care whether we can afford it or not, a sick nation is expensive. So even greedy people will benefit from health care reform. And why are we worrying about health insurance companies? They have made their billions off us and I really don't care if they like reform or not. We have to remember they don't really care if we live well or die (ref. recent congressional hearings) they care only about our premiums so their CEOs and stockholders can continue to rake it in!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  351. Ruthie

    I am going to my representative's office (Rep. Jim Cooper, D-TN) at 3:00 today to ask some questions; the first time I have ever done anything like this. You touched on my main concern with Ali Velshi just now. There hasn't been enough coverage of what the actual proposals contain. My understanding is there are 3 different proposals on the Democratic side and 2 from the Republicans. Hopefully I will get some answers today. Most of what I have heard has been about the shouting and disruption. More of the details of the bills, please.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  352. Khay

    I am so sad that all Americans don't have access to basic health care. That is a crime in this wonderful country. We have good insurance but I also realize that it could be taken away or changed at any time. Shortly after retirement our dental and vision were taken away – Surprise! So who is to say the other changes might not be made. I think that we need major changes made to the way we access medical care in this country. I would even consider Single Payer. If it should cost us more – so be it! As long as we ALL have good safe coverage.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  353. Vickileigh Griffin

    Tony , Im a Australian ,( Now living in Texas) and we have Goverment health care, from Kindergarden to year 12 the schools get Dental care. I had My Own Doctor Which I picked. I had a few Operations and they where paid by The Goverment. Does this make me a Socialist .

    August 11, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  354. Jessie

    It seem as if some of the people in america are acting out of fear, they are not waiting to find out what the health care bill will consist of. These Town Hall meetings are unreal and down right disrespectful. Some of the people at the town hall meetings are shouting and drowing out any attempt to get the truth out about health care, it is so unfair to the rest of us that want to hear about health care. I wish some of the people that's for health care or just want to hear what the representives have to say would step up and be heard.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  355. BigWill

    The tensions over healthcare reform would be soothed if people thought as individuals and not part of a national gossip circle. "Killing babies", "Death Panels" for senior citizens, etc. Ridiculous! Not too long ago we were all screaming in unison about various companies running amuck with unethical financial practices. We insisted on more protection in the form of government oversight. Now that gov't is getting more involved, we scream socialism. If you (RNC) don't like whats being proposed, then come up with a BETTER alternative, not manufactured reasons why proposed solutions will fail.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  356. BigWill

    No one in my household has health insurance, I watched a good friend slowly pass from a lingering, expensive illness that another friend had to sign their life away to pay for. Are you gonna explain to me how we handled this wrong, or are you going to help me?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  357. Mark Winter

    It appears that once again the extreme are hijacking the health care agenda. Every statistics shows the US is not #1, its costs per person are more then double, and mortality rates are higher – yet the Republican politics of "fear" is over shadowing the reality of the true needs of the US people. The blame here is the Democrats – they are not putting together a focused and coordinated effort to overcome this politics of "fear". There is an analogy in the bacon & eggs scenario – the chicken particiaptes, however the pig is committed. It is time the Democrats stop participarting and start to be committed o the healthcare agenda – they need to show the passion and drive that won them the election in this healthcare debate.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  358. BigWill

    2 presidents: 1 ignores the Supreme Court and the Atty Gen. in regards to our rights and whats legal.
    The other is trying to improve heathcare. Which administration is impeding on Constitutional Rights? Which administration have we been more tolerant of...and why?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  359. Steve B

    I am writing about health care reform. I have spent a lot of time listening to the left and the right on this issue. I see it polarizing the country and omitting the moderate opinion. I would like to offer what I see as a sane approach to achieving national health care reform.
    First I would like to give some background from recent discussions. President Obama has stated that this is needed as Medicare and Medicaid will bankrupt the country within a decade. The left states that anyone opposed to this must be a terrorist. The right proclaims it is not affordable and socialistic. There is a lot of passion from both sides on their beliefs.
    My proposal is to address Medicare and Medicaid as a pilot program. These are established programs that may form the basis for a national plan. If these two programs can be overhauled and run as shining examples of what a national program would be, you can diffuse the argument from the right and address the needs of the left. I see this as a great way to showcase what the government can do for the people.
    All great innovation starts with an idea and moves into a proof stage. I think we are missing the proof stage. This is why health care has incited such passionate discussion. You have the opportunity to unite the country behind this issue. Please do not shortcut the time proven process to success.
    I welcome your thoughts and discussion on my idea.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  360. Rob

    I am disgusted with the alleged healthcare 'debate'. People shouting "read the bill" at town hall meetings are doing noting more than repeating slogans provided to them by conservative web sites and television commercials. It is ridiculous. I wonder if anyone repeating this chant has read the bill for themselves.

    As far as the claims of solialism and facism go, these are similarily ridiculous. Most of the people making these claims probably could not actually define what either of these two forms of government are. The purpose of the government is to provide services for their citizens that are better provided by a single provider than letting many smaller providers provide. Things like policing, fire departments, and yes, healthcare. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue in our towns and cities if we left policing up to the privatre matketplace. You would only get protection if you paid your policing company. Sound like healthcare. Virtually every democracy in the world has make providing healthcare to its citizens a right that is either provided by the government or tightly regulated by the government. All, that is except the United States. When will people wake up and understand that we are lagging the rest of the world.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  361. BigWill

    How can we tell if the healthcare industry, including Rx's, doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies are not price gouging us? If they are, what legal recourse is available to us?
    Keep in mind that George Washington or the "founders" (I hear we shouldn't say "Founding Fathers" anymore) never had to deal with this while drafting the Constitution and Bll Of Rights.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  362. Andrew

    On the whole "disassembling of America" comment, it really is a symptom of a greater problem. It is a mentality that has carried over from the previous century in which capitalism was synonymous with democracy and anything vaguely resembling socialism or communism was an enemy that should be feared. This view becomes especially irrational when one looks at other western countries who have embraced limited forms of socialism and are ultimately better because of it. This is a new century, America, and it's time to shape up and face it as such.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  363. CLAUDETTE

    AMERICANS ARE UNINSURED FOR VARIOUS REASONS.. LOSS OF JOB DO NOT QUALIFY .. EARNING ONE DOLLAR ABOVE REQUIREMENT FOR LOW COST.. MUST PAY OUT OF POCKET OR NEGLECT THEMSELVES.

    NON-AMERICANS BECOME ELIGIBLE BY VARIOUS MEANS AND GET THE CARE THEY NEED AT NO COST TO THEMEVERYBODY KNOW THAT AMERICA HAS VERY GOOD MEDICAL CARE AND IT IS FREE..FREE

    WHY IS IT FREE TO SOME AND AT GREAT COST TO TAXPAYERS
    TAX MUST BE PAID, BUT THE TAXPAYER IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAL CARE FOR A LONG LIST OF REASONS.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  364. grrace

    I support a PUBLIC OPTION healthcare plan.
    Ever since I watched a dear friend die of cancer and then the family lost their home, I know the system was broken. I've had my own horror stories with so called "insurance" companies, thinking of knew ways to weazel out of paying my claims.

    What the people don't realize is , they may have insurance now, but not for long...it will either be denied, or premiums will go to high.

    We are already paying the high cost of "profit driven" healthcare, and those costs will continue to get worse.

    The only people at the town halls objecting healthcare reform are insurance agents and/or racists who want Obama to fail.
    Thank you.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  365. David Wight

    Health Care is not a right, but a priviledge of our way of life.. Everyone can get some form of care even if it is through the ER system, which is funded by the rest of us. So why should the government suddenly want to fund it?? (Socialist movement and control??)

    Take the cost out of health care first!!!! Implement TORT reform immediately to reduce the fear and cost that doctors operate under, which will also reduce the number of tests run, just to avoid litigation possibilities.. (read the reports and review the numbers caused by litigation...)

    Then look at the inefficiencies to further reduce costs..

    After cost reductions then review how to better regulate or revise the system..

    DO NOT PUT THE CURRENT SYSTEM UNDER GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT OR IT WILL NEVER GET FIXED..!!!

    (I cannot find one government mangaged area that isn't failing due to mis management....)

    August 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  366. velva graves

    There is no such thing as free healthcare for the seniors of this nation. They automactially take $96.00 dollars a month out of my Social Secirity check for Medicare and then I have to pay $150.00 a month for supplemential coverage for what Medisare does not pay plus paying for my part D which is $34.00 a month. Thank God I am not on any but 3 subscripment drugs because I also have a co-pay on these. Add all of this up and see for yourself haw much is left out of $945.00 to live on. I am one of the lucky ones that also have an extra $600.00 a month pension from my job I held for years. If I want extra to spen on Christmas or my Grandchildren I have to find a job. Which I do in the Fall to get me through Christmas and will continue to do so as long as my health holds up.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  367. Ruth Summey, NC

    Unsolicited change frightens us. This truth is part of the present anger by many concerning health care reform. We also may not be aware how much we need to be in control of our lives.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  368. Wendi

    I think your reporter in Pennsylvania hit the nail on the head. This is not a bill, nothing has yet been written. These are ideas and the town hall meetings are for feedback on those ideas. I wish we could get this message out!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  369. Darlene

    Our country needs healthcare reform as soon as possible. Where are these screaming people getting this insane information? The fact that there is a gym floor filled with uninsured americans is an embarrassment to our country. Thank God for the kind doctors and dentists who are helping. The strongest country in the world doesn't look as strong anymore!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  370. BigWill

    In most cases when people are satisified with a course of action, they remain silent while progress is being made. So for each person screaming and shouting at our officials, there are several more who are more satisfied.
    Question: What happens if healthcare reform is shot down. Does anyone have another plan in place? Even the RNC agrees that our current system is insufficient. So whats the plan if this does't pass??? Have we thought that far ahead yet???

    August 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  371. J. Reasnor

    I am not a highly educated person, but I can't believe the RACISM going on in this country over HEALTHCARE.

    The people are not concerned about healthcare, they are in co-hoots in bringing down our PRESIDENT! Where do these people live, in a cave? The LARGE INSURANCE COMPANIES, YOU KNOW "MONOPOLIES", ARE MAKING LOTS OF PROFITS OFF THE SUFFERING OF OTHERS.

    Get over YOUR EXCUSE, "I'M A REPUBLICAN"! It is time to do what is right for this country for EVERYONE! You, Yours, Me, and EVERYONE!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  372. Angel

    Every" human being has the right of healthcare"

    August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  373. BigWill

    Post Office: what would the financial profile look like w/o purchasing all those mansions and other expenses un-related to mail delivery? And, who profited from the under sale of the mansions shortly after purchase. Somebody somewhere is making a killing from these real-estate deals. Could this be the reason for the purchases in the first place?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  374. Scarlet Pimpernel

    Tony, your question on healthcare is very important. The citizens and the governement alike should consider the following question: if the US population is not health it will hurt your productivity as a nation and it will drag down the economy over time. Besides a HEALTHY and fully-employed population will be more productive and can be taxed thereby adding to the state and federal governments' revenues. The people of the US should accept nothing less than coverage one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all !

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  375. Jack Kmetz

    I am a retired Hospital Administrator working for 25 years at a Philadelaphia Healthcare System. We provided millions of dollars in free healthcare to those uninsured in need, by means of "cost-shifting" as do most hospitals. We also spent about 30% of all revenue on administration, billing and documentation. What a waste this continues to be. When our first Hospital was formed in Pennsylvania in 1889, the State of Pennsylvnia gave an annual grant of $100,000 to the Polyclinic Hospital , a teaching hospital, to provide free care before there was insurance. If today, we made similar investments of government funds, and let clinics take care of people without the enormous burden of billing, jusification of charges and reimburse them at 20% less than Medicare Provides now, we could take care of everyone. I know this would work, For those who know, Medicare is well managed, does a good job, and declines care far less often than provate insurers. The government can do a good job and does not need, nor would it ration healthcare. We need to think outside the box.

    Jack Kmetz

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  376. Mark

    How would public healthcare not be a monopoly? How would private healthcare be able to compete? The public option will be the only option in a matter of a short period. How can you protect the law from future changes that will result in the same issues regarding social security? What will be the reason for public healthcare to be efficient and what effect with this have on research when costs are under government control? Do illegal aliens qualify? Will anyone verifiy they're citizens during a doctor visit? There must be a better way.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  377. Sally

    The representative is absolutely correct! Healthcare should be patient centered! Healthcare should not be given based on a person's longevity....how much longevity the treatment will add to a person's life. I have a severely disabled child. Some doctors don't recognize his quality of life now. When we are looking at administering treatment based on longevity/worth of individuals, he doesn't stand a chance......this is NOT patient centered. It has been stated that cost will be a major factor in determining what treatments we can have......

    Let Congress join us in this plan if it is going to be so great! Otherwise, we can't believe it will be good. I'm not supporting either side.....I am looking out for my family. That's what these "so called radicals" at the town hall meeting are doing. Obviously, our representatives can sell us anything.....it doesn't affect them!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  378. Scarlet Pimpernel

    PS: I forgot to mention that this ridiculous constant battle between the Republicans and the Democrats on such an important healthcare issue is very dangerous for the future of the US.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  379. lapislazuli1977

    Tony: Let's give the Health Careissue some prospective.
    US Census 2008 estimates that 47 million Americans are uninsured.
    That equates to EVERYONE over 60 years of age in the U.S.!
    Or, 20 States in the U.S. with the smallest populations!
    If we don't do something and get it right we'll have more than issue.
    Everyone's Health Care will be unaffordable.
    Charles B.
    St.Petersburg, FL

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  380. Dennis E. East

    I support a govt. health care plan. The republicans lost the election and they are using this issue to undercut this administration.If they don't wont to be constructive and help then the Senate Dem.should write the plan themselves.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  381. John

    THE Health Care SOLUTION:
    Ensure that Congress and the President and their families are required to give up their current health care and that it is mandatory to join the “Universal Health Care Program” that the rest of us will be on. In other words, make it mandatory for them to be on the same health care plan as us with the exact same benefits.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  382. JackDoitCrawford

    If health care is a right, then someone must provide the care. If they don't, then they are violating the "right' of someone else to the care. What if no one wants to provide health care? Then some health care professional must be forced to do it. So what does that make him? A slave to the so-called right to health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  383. Jay Cee

    I'm not sure that universal health care is a "legal right," but it is what makes humans different from all other forms of life. While some animals will protect sick pack-mates, only humans have studied medicine, created healing drugs, and have built institutions where surgery and radiation treatments can take place. Are these only for the privileged - and WHO DECIDES where to draw the line? Certainly EVERYONE includes him/herself in the group that is "entitled" to good health care. Who, then, is not entitled?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  384. Donna

    I lost my full time job 3 years ago and can not find work since. I have given up other things to pay for my health insurance because it is a priority to me. Too may people want to buy the big SUV's, i-pods, and facny cell phones and want their health care for free. That is their choice but don't come crying when you cant afford to go to the hospital or see a doctor after an accident. I DONT WANT THE GOVERNMENT CONTROLING MY HEALTH CARE. I DONT WANT OBAMA CARE!! I DONT WANT TO PAY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS TO GET FREE HEALTH CARE USING MY TAX DOLLARS.
    SAY NO TO OBAMAS HEALTH CARE "REFORM"

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  385. phillip barnes

    Tony,
    Please go back and ask that Ga. senator to have any private insurance CEO who offers better package than the govt. plan B medicare for a cheaper price and he will find out why everyone goes to the govt. plan B. Because as someone who is disabale and has had to make that choice is unaware of any who will even match the price and still match the amount of care. That's a lame statement to me and the kind of bull the right only gives, sounds good but not reality.
    phillip

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  386. ron boese

    Your guest this morning focused his opposition to the proposed health care reform on the experience of Medicare partB, stating that it had 97% share of the market. He did not dwell on why that would be, probably because the for profit health industry has denied these citizen coverage because of their age. His solution to fix the system by tax credits, etc. has just as much government involvement as the proposed plans, yet he sees no problem in his own plan. Whatever the outcome of all the debate President Obama should be given credit for tackling a problem that has been danced around for over 50 years!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  387. henry

    Americans should have the same health care priveleges that all members of Congress and their families have and without preconditions

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  388. Ron

    People do not need to know the details of health care reform to be outraged. It is clear enough that the dems want a government run program. No further details are necessary. If our government runs health care, history shows it will end up costing tens times what is predicted, be very inefficient, bankrupt us and lead to rationing.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  389. Mumtaz Moiduddin

    How can one not want health care reform in USA. America has the wost health care management, where the insurance companies, hospitals, doctors, have gotten so used to making easy money from the consumers from escalating charges. The human factor has mostly disappeared from the health care practice, and we boast of being the caretaker of human rights in the world.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  390. Janelle

    How do we, as Americans, rationalize the drop in life expectancy and infant mortality in our country? Some of us would say that it's because health care is a privilege and not a right which makes the profit-oriented industry a perfectly okay part of the country. I find that kind of thinking completely amazing since we supposedly live in a country that preaches freedom and equal rights for all! It's that exact state of mind that has contributed to the U.S.' current health care problems, and most importantly, statistical declines against the rest of the world.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  391. jane

    the middle class and small business community cant afford to compete with big business, pay exhorbitant taxes to an overgrown inefficient, greedy, self-serving government AND pay for health care for every poor immigrant pouring into this country. when the borders are controlled better and the gov't is whipped into a lean, efficient productive entity serving all the public not just the minorities and the special interest groups then i will listen about offering a public option for health care. democrats say illegal immigrants wont get the public option. that is very sneaky!!!!! they are planning amnesty for them all next.soooo if they were honest -- they will be on the public option.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  392. Sisley Dougherty

    If I could ask my government a question, I would say, why do you think the people, don't trust you, look at what has been happening over the last few months. Financial, big business, and various special groups, have been rescued while Joe public hangs in the balance, by the way has not caused this economic mess.If you could bridge the have not and the haves, you might begin to get better results, from the public.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  393. Phyllis

    Health care is a national security issue! Children who are not healthy can't learn in school. Unhealthy adults are not productive. This nation will not be able to compete in the worlds' new economy in the coming years without the best possible citizenry.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  394. Mitch Jackson

    While the right to health care is not referenced in the Bill of Rights or Constitution, I believe everyone should have access to basic health care. After all, isn’t making sure a very sick 5 year old little girl gets adequate medical care just as important (or more important) than the right to import and consume alcohol which is the topic of the 18 and 21 amendments. Or if a senior citizen requires help with filling prescriptions or obtaining a much needed surgery, isn’t that just as important to society as limiting congressional pay raises (27th amendment). The problem is big corporations and their interest for profits overriding the basic health care needs of all Americans. I’m not in favor of giving everyone a free ride but at the same time, we need to all step up and reach out our hands to help those who need our help. Obama and his team are on the right track and deserve our support.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  395. Glenda

    Where are these people that are happy with their ins.? I don't know anyone, and I talk to people every day. I have a very big family. Only ones that I know of that might be happy is some that work for Physer Drugs. But to me that is no good. My daughter had a brain aneursym back in 2006 and they stipulated that she could have no more rehab and where she could go to rehab, She was 42 and she was in a rehab with senior citizens, more like a nursing home that they did not take care of her (healthsouth) then they even denied that. They told her she had stayed as long as she could in the hospital. She had a great dr. in Charleston, SC if she had n't she would have died. I know that as a fact. But the hospital told her husband she could not be in hospital any longer. She was denied a lot of help because he could not afford the extra that was having to come out of his pocket and he just now had to file bankrupsy because he got so far behind when his wife was in hospital. And they denied any help in the house, any nursing. She still can not walk and she still has short term memory and she still has seizures. REhab could have fixed this but she was turned down.
    So yes something needs to be done and needs to be done now.
    Because I know every family can tell you a story just like mine.
    As long as you well ins. is great, because they not paying out, but let someone get sick.
    A friend of mine went to ER with a fish plug in his head. It took approx. ten min. to take of the dr. and nurse laughed. He had Blue Cross Blue Shield paying out the butt. After his ins. paid, he still had to pay over $200.
    Another Friend of mine broke his foot at work, they would not turn it into work comp. , his ins. had to take care of it. Blue Cross Blue shield. After Six weeks or longer of dr. and ER and all, he had to pay out of pocket over $500 and that was several years ago.
    Another Friend of mine, he takes a blood pressure med that had no Gneric and did cost him $59 a month in the last couple months it has went up to $91 , his ins. does not take care of it. BCBS.
    These are just a few examples.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  396. christine russell

    Though I take very good care of myself – exercise, never have smoked, yearly perventive care and exams, height and weight proportionate 5'7" and 135 lbs, I can not get a good affordable health insurance policy. The only surgery I have ever had in my life beside having my tonsils out, I had a brain tumor back in 1999. It is a miracle story and I am completly free of the tumor and problems but I scare insuance companys. Last year I bought a condo in the county of Panams JUST SO I COUDL AFFORD HEALTH CARE! That is just wrong when you have to move out of your homeland for health care. If I was in prison I would have health care. If I was here illegally or floated in on a raft from Cuba I would have coverage. SHAME on America!

    August 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  397. lee

    When the universe was created, were no billboards put up in space making it clear how much we should ‘charge’ for various services such as running water, electricity, health’care’ or basic necessities of life.

    We can debate ‘luxury’ items, but I think greed has spurred problems that we see in society, and its time to address them and I think obama is on the right track, and the nice thing about america is if you disagree, you still have the freedom to ‘debate’ ( yelling serves no useful purpose other than inciting violence) things. Yelling is unncessary to get across a point.

    We all need to have a heart about this both in humility and health, so lets seed that thought; thus the 'heartseed'.

    thx
    lee

    August 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  398. James

    I'd like to know where the Republican health care plan that gets constantly mentioned is located. I keep hearing they have one but no mention of how to find and read it. I would think that since they've had the past 8 years to create one it shouldn't be that difficult to locate!

    August 11, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  399. Bill from Virginia

    Don't be fooled by the slick talk: this isn't Health Care Reform, it's a Government run system to control voters. Politicians will dictate how much will be spent on health care and they will never have enough. Liberal Democrats will maintain their control by promising more and more and the working families in this country will have to pony up more and more to fund the health care of more and more people. What is the incentive to work hard? Free health care, free this, free that, no universal language, ... sounds like the fall of the Roman Empire! There's no free lunch. Wake and smell the coffee!!

    Here's a better approach: true reform.

    1. Save $$ Billions by eliminating waste and abuse
    2. Force the congress and Federal workers into a "Pilot Program" to demonstrate proposed savings and effectiveness.
    3. Implement changes without taking doctors out of the decision process.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  400. Charlene Flint

    I vote "Yes", as it seems to me that there can not be very much "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" without decent health.....one can't live very long, or with much quality of life, with chronic illness, and often not at all, after an injury, or with some severe diseases. If it must be from only The Constitution, and The Declaration of Independence does not qualify....then I guess we can categorize it under "promote the general welfare"

    August 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  401. KA

    Organizational Meeting to Protest Health Care Reform:

    Spread the word – we will protest health care reform (even though it is not going to be a single payer system) by terminating our participation in Social Security (a government program) and Medicare (a government program). We will not send our children to public schools, we will not go to the library and we will fix our own roads. We refuse to take benefits from any government run or funded program. We are the real Americans!!

    Wait! Where are you all going? I thought you hated government programs!! Wait! Come back!!

    August 11, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  402. Stuart in Phila, PA

    I listened to the President yesterday and now he is talking about reducing the time drugs can be exclusive- shortening the patent time and having generics on the market sooner. What do you think the drug companies are going to do about this? They must make up their R&D costs somewhere, so they'll just raise their prices to cover the new timeframe. Who thinks these things up anyway, how naive are they? In the business world there is a term- COGS (Cost Of Goods Sold) so whatever taxes or penalties you are thinking of placing on businesses, the new taxes will only go into their COGS and I will pay for it anyway.

    He also blamed MediCare for not allowing being able to negotiate lower drug costs. Well, who do you think dreamed up this current policy in the 1st place- our gov't. And now they want more decisive power for healthcare, I think NOT!

    Medical costs must be reduced NOW. Reduce costs first, then we can talk about taking on 46,000,000 new people. I am on disability and cannot afford to pay more money in Federal taxes, state taxes, city taxes, plus Phila just raised its sales tax to 8%. And you promised no tax increases, well the President isn't doing too well here.

    Also, PLEASE stop blaming the Republicans for everything. Just let him fix the problems, we don't care what Bush did, we only care what he does. If his goal is to do things a little better than Bush did, I think his goals need to be adjusted.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  403. Ralph Hirschmann

    We need universal health care. If you care about others that dont have health coverage you need to support the plan that is before congress so everyone is covered. No one should be denied health coverage or have to pay for their lilness with their life savings.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  404. Nakia Caesh

    I feel their is a need for both healtcare and healthcare insurance reform. Insurance is the only system in the world where you pay and if you don't use it, you are not credited back with a refund. Those dollars don't roll over.

    Healthcare the actual application, need reform and serious checks and balances to ensure that people are not herded like cattle. Cut, snipped, stitched, only to be fed drugs, drugs, and more drugs.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  405. Rosemary Mjal

    The American people may feel more confident in healthcare reform if they had more faith in Congress or if the bill was developed by a newly formed Federal Board of Medical Governors staffed by top medical and insurance professionals, who would, end the end, oversee all compliance reform.
    I am for a single payers system under Medicare which brings equal benefits to all Americans and where no one is denied. The federal government should be strategically seeking reform that empowers respect and dignity for all people and one that is a model for the world. It should not be all about the money or keeping insurance companies happy. They are the culprits not disease, chronic illness, and old age. If we had Universal Medicare, corporations and small business would not have reason to descrimate against older workers and that would help the unemployment dilemma.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  406. MeganL

    I want to know why no one seems to be addressing the inflated costs of healthcare. Why are we allowing Dr.s to charge $250 for an office visit but when the insurance covers $50 for the visit that is ok. Then why charge $250? Just to see if the insurance company will pay? My insurance company is great, but I can only afford to keep the minumum. And for now I am ok with that. I believe we should be looking at the providers to do better with the charges not trying to create a government insurance company, who in the end will be paying the same inflated charges all the other insurance companies have to pay now.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  407. Diane Lueckel

    Would the Congress of theUS please address the issue of lawsuits to doctors and hospitals in their reform? I cannot beleieve there has been no mention of this since there are many spent on filling out paperwork to protect the doctors and hospitals from the mnay possible lawsuits they may encounter. Can't there be some kind of a limit on the amount received from particular types of frivolous lawsuits? Can't there be some way to help doctors pay less for their malpractice insurance? These two pieces of the pie have changed drastically in my lifetime(60 years old) and it has had a huge impact on the cost of healthcare. There will most likely be more lawsuits once they have 46 million more people in the system and where is the money going to come from to continue to pay out for these lawsuits unless the hospitals and doctors charge to cover these expenses? Also the gov't must help doctors to pay down the debt they accrue from going to medical school. To be honest. just go to law school for three years and make tons more money being a lawyer who has a limit to the amount they can ever have to pay out in a lawsuit. Why spend between 11-15 years of schooling and not be able to make enough money to live and pay malpractice and pay their loans back? Of course, then who will be around to take care of all of these people who now have insurance?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  408. Darwin Zupke

    Government officials from Obama on down just don't get it!!! Yes, we need Health Care reform. But we don't need government to provide it.
    In Pres. Obama's town hall meeting he explained that the reason
    Gov't officials have such a great health care plan is because of the buying power of the massive pool of gov't employees.
    If that's all it takes..... problem solved!!!!! What larger pool could exist than the entire US population. Insurance companies can offer a policy that EVERYONE can buy into! No exceptions.... No exclusions! Let the best provider provide. Capitalism at it's finest.... NO Socialism needed.. If gov't needs to pass any Bill, let it be one that establishes this type of scenario. Not one that too many fear will lead to socialized medicine. A truly intelligent decision can only be made after exploring ALL the options. Not by being closed minded to a single solution.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  409. Janine Krawitz

    One simple question....that has been asked in previous "town meetings"....but never, never answered.....

    Would the Congress and the Senate be willing to accept the same health plan that they are proposing for the American citizens in its completed form??

    I am looking for a simple yes or no answer, which has not happened when that same question was asked earlier this week.

    Thank you for your prompt attention.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  410. Marla Cox

    I would say NO NO NO NO!!! Please listen to US! We do not want this government takeover of our health care!

    We want our country back! We do not want socialism?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  411. Gary Graybill

    Immigration is a hot button issue, but setting all other concerns aside for a moment, it is estimated hat there are well over 10 million undocumented aliens in the United States today. What would be the effect on Health Care if these people were not here, if they had been forced to wait and enter the United States legally? Secondly, how can there be any effective plan dealing with raising Health Care costs without addressing this issue?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  412. jerry

    I have not heard a thing about how the cost of insurance is going to go down. I am retiring at the end of this month and my insurance co told me yesterday that my insurance would continue to go up. Where will it stop and what is the Gov't going to do to lower the cost of our present insurance and keep it from going up ? If it keeps going up. How can we afford it? I am not a CPA I just work for a living but it seems as though the ins. companies will be taking advantage of us. As long as we can pay it will be ok but when we reach the age that we are living on a fixed income, they will have a right to cancel us when we can not pay.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  413. Gordon Engh

    Break this down into smaller segments:
    1) Reform Medicare and Medicade
    2) Reform prescription drug plans
    3) Revise laws governing health insurance
    (Portability, pre-existing conditions, cancellations etc.)
    4) Tort Reform
    5) Streamline medical records, billing and administration

    The public and congress can deal with each of these parts
    on a rational basis.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  414. Daniel

    I have been a care giver since 1970 and have seen alot of changes. The worst change has been the take over of our community hospitals by big business. As a nurse, I no longer have patients but now have 'clients'. We have unit meetings devoted to how to increase business or as to who pays for what. When it was a non-profit community hospital, patients were patients and treated as such, we did not concern ourselves with the cost but concentrated on the care we gave. We did not base decisions on healthcare based on what their insurance would pay.

    As a patient, I would like to see the profit removed again from healthcare. I would like to have a test ordered by my physician, and not have to think–'Is this what I need or does the MD just want the fee for the test?'

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  415. P Belanger

    We need meaningful healthcare reform. Retired from government service, my wife and I have government insurance, an exchange system with high premiums that keep rising. Prescriptions under our plan are too expensive.

    Living in a rural state, Maine, even government plans have few options dominated by Anthem Blue Cross. A government option would encourage competition that is not available in Maine and many other states with populations of 1,000,000 or less. If insurance exchanges are considered, they should be regional and not limited to the state of residence. I can not buy insurance offered in government plans from other states, like Massachusetts. So, proposed insurance exchanges may offer competion in areas like Florida, Washington D. C. , Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts on the East Coast, but less densely populated states would likely have fewer choices and pay much more for insurance as we do now.
    Government plans must offer competition in all areas (small and large states). Regional, not state exchanges, would make more sense.
    Also we need to open more medical schools and subsidize them to increase the number of primary care physicians. The A.M.A. has created a monopoly which encourages doctors to be specialists and reinforces "pay for service" fees instead of "quality care".
    We also must encourage "good behavior" from patients. We could pay less, receive better care and eliminate the mess of insurance forms that now haunt us whenever we try to determine our medical insurance coverage. Then we could concentrate of lowering the cost of good dental care which is also increasingly unaffordable for most families.
    We're taking better care of our veterans and seniors. We now need to improving healthcare for our younger families, children and their working parents.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  416. Esther Varone

    If they eliminate MedicareAdvantage, I will then have to buy a Medicare supplement. The insurance companies( who are being subsidized in order to offer Medicare Advantage) will then lose all that income. They will have to make up for the lost income by raising premiums on Medicare supplement premiums. So how can President Obama say that "your Medicare cost will not go up"? I am going from a very low cost MedicareAdvantage policy to an expensive Medicare supplement policy. I wish someone would address this issue. I have never heard a word about the Medicare Advantage programs except President Obama saying they will save $500 million by eliminating Medicare Advantage. Can you help me?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  417. Linda Drum

    Seniors are very concerned about changes in Medicare. President Obama has stated that Medicare recipients will still be able to have operations such as hip replacements. He says he wants to extract savings from all the waste in this program. But what exactly constitutes waste? And, could that mean that payments to doctors will be so reduced so that they will choose not to accept Medicare patients? That would then mean that people may not find enough doctors to go to much less perform operations such as hip replacements.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  418. Cora Ziegler

    The problem with this bill is that you haven't put it in print and in language that everyone can understand. How can people come to a fair conclusion if all they are getting is hype from the oppents of the bill. If we can spend money to bailout the corporations and the banks, why can't there be a public service TV station that will go over each item in this bill. Why can't Congress be more specific in it's details. I am tired of hearing Sarah Palin and seeing info-mmercials by the Republican party and watching these so called "town hall" debates which are nothing more then a free for all with very little debate going on. Lately, I do believe, that the politicians think all Americans are total idiots who can be fed anything and they will swallow it. My philosophy is "give me the truth and let me decide". Unfortunately, that is not the Political way. It disgusts me to see what our elected officials are all about., it is not service for service sake, but rather greed and one-up-manship that prevails.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  419. daniel cautrell

    Indeed, we are at war with the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex. They are going to maintain their profit margin at the expense of the health of Americans and the pawns in their scheme are the politicians who are in their pocket. Unfortunately, there are a whole host of stupid American people who don't want to know the truth about medical capitalism and choose not to see the result of it. The sick, the elderly and the poor are the casualties in a health care system that is profit based and those who support it are guilty, by proxy, of the grief and misery it causes.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  420. Deb

    Some of our elected officials along the way have forgotten that they have constituents they represent. It is far easier to take money from big insurance companies making billions in profit (the top 10 health insurers having made $12.9 billion for 2008, CEO's making $10 million a year in salaries) then to represent the people who have voted for them! In addition to this, every elected Senator and Congressman gets free health insurance at taxpayer expense. I say take their health care coverage away and make it a personal expense to them and then maybe we'd see a little more movement in reform!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  421. Bekki

    I think the comment Richard made is right. I bet there are a group of drug company and insurance lobbists watching all this and laughing hysterically at how easily the uniformed masses are manipulated. What really scares me are people like that 35 y/o woman who (paraphrased) '...wants us to return to the Constitution our forefathers had intended.' When did we abandon the Constitution? Was I sleeping when this happened? Where is the logic behind the fear that with health care reform we will become a socialist or communist country? Since there is no final bill before the House or Senate where does this fear come from? I think this is a symptom of something much larger and deeper. What it is I'm not sure. Any ideas?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  422. Lyn in Texas

    CNN is a fake at investigating the truth about the Health Care Reform package.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  423. Burl

    Is there any data regarding "satisfied" health insurance who have had major medical bills?
    June Consumer Reports describes a number of people who thought thy had good coverage, but were deceived and resulted in bankruptcy.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  424. Brian -Tampa, Fl

    Not that any concerns of the American middle class will actually be taken into consideration by the folks making the real decisions with this but I would like to comment.

    I have many questions I would like to ask but think the most import, which I haven’t heard anyone address yet, is this (multi part question).

    Since a proposed bill has already been hastily drafted so Obama can mark one off the checklist, I guess I can assume that our “leaders” have already consulted with all the insurance companies to make sure that all this can be done – correct? If so, what did they promise the insurance industry in return for them allowing a change to the incredibly lucrative system they have in place now, where they can raise rates, premiums and anything else they want all while denying and or fighting every single claim in America?

    Let’s be honest with ourselves now ok? This country (and world) is run by money and big business and not a single thing is going to get passed unless the right business people are satisfied and buy off on such a plan. There is no health care reform of any kind without buy-in from the insurance industry. End of story.

    I could go on and on but I’ll stop at this one question. I am almost done reading the bill but would need a project team to help map out all the references in this document in order for it to make sense.

    Just a thought, maybe some real news organization could have some of their talented folks work on this for the American public and share the facts so there is not all this hype and misinformation going on? My two cents.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  425. Deb

    More than 50 years ago our country, along with many others fought the Nazis. It is truly a sad state when you have elected officials in this country (and they know who they are), along with the mouth pieces for the republican party, spewing their hate and insighting this type of behavior in our country. This type of nonsense went on during the 2008 campaign and people saw right through it. It's the republican "scare tactics" at it again.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  426. Shirley Ryan

    I cannot find a way to end comments being emailed to me! Help! I am a senior citizen who checked the WRONG box. I will ask my daughter before I select any options again. Sigh.

    August 12, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  427. FELICIA

    THIS IS NOT A FICTICIOUS STORY. THERE WAS A WOMAN STANDING ON A BUSY CORNER IN OUR TOWN AND AS MY HUSBAND & I PASSED BY IN OUR CAR WE NOTICED SHE HAD A CARDBOARD SIGN AROUND HER NECK TIED WITH YARN. THERE WAS BLACK
    PRINTING ON THE SIGN THAT SAID.'I HAVE NO HEALTH INSURANCE. PLEASE GIVE WHATEVER YOU CAN. I HAVE OVARIAN
    CANCER. GOD BLESS YOU."
    PERHAPS THAT'S THE BEST REAL LIFE EXAMPLE WHY THIS COUNTRY NEEDS UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  428. Domenic

    I see that Ali Velshi is touring the U.S. on the CNN Express trying to find answers to the health care crisis. Tell him to turn the bus north – head to Canada immediately and he’ll find all the answers there. He used to live in Toronto and should already know that the Canadian health system is the best in the world.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  429. A.B.

    I would tell my representatives to diligently work on developing the details of the healthcare reform proposal and also spend time educating the public about those details and key points of the legislation in order to dispell myths and rumors about the health reform plan. I have asked my representatives about information concerning the public option and I am still awaiting their response.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  430. Carlos Sotomayor

    Thank you for taking the time to allow reader and citizens to post comments to you all.

    I know that health care is important and that many people do not have the opportunity to receive proper care many times. It's important to help those who really care because they can't afford it or are unemployed. I had a thought, scary huh? Why couldn't government health care be set up the way that financial aid is when you go to college? I work at a community college and many people want to go to school but can't afford it. Therefore, they apply for financial aid. A person must show proof of income using w-2's, tax information and any other type of income that goes into the household. Everyone has a different need. Some student can afford tuition but not books, for example. There are loans given to students that must be paid back. There is work study and scholarships that is offered to people in need. If people need assistance for health care have them apply in the same manner that one applies for financial aid. I could go on and on but I am not an expert. I hope that someone at CNN reads and considers this remark and puts it on the air. Of course not in my writing because I ain't the best writer but I hear that you all of a great team of writers and reporters.

    Thank you for your time.

    Take care.

    Carlos

    August 13, 2009 at 12:25 am |
  431. CJ

    Fear and bad info pulled this country into a n 8+ year war. Now an angry mob wants to shoot down health care? Why do we keep letting this happen?

    August 13, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  432. Carol

    Tony – Please see my comments in your other health care inquiry – my questions are included in it. Some new thoughts – I believe that with rights come responsibilities – to those who are demanding "free" health care as a right (and maybe it is, I have not made up my mind yet) – what do you all feel are your responsibilities in the matter – will you do all that you can to live the healthiest life possible and keep the overall costs of the program lower (be it quitting smoking, exercising, eating right, wearing sun screen...)? Would you be willing to give up luxuries such as cell phones, salon visits and cable TV in order to help fund this program (someone has to pay for it , so it's not really going to be free for everyone – I personally would feel ashamed to have such luxury items and then say that I couldn't afford health care – I would give up a lot before I would take a handout – and I realize that some folks really do need help due to difficult circumstances – I have no problem trying to help them in times of need – I would want that for myself – perhaps there is a way to set this up as a fall back for those who are truly in need), will you schedule and keep regular preventive doctor's visits – and follow doctor's orders? Should this program fund the poor choices of folks like the Ocotomom? What will happen when the working families who I suspect will ultimately end up funding this program run out of money? Who will help them? Might we just be shifting the healthcare problem around rather than solving it? As I noted in my other post – this should not be a quick, bandaid "solution". If we ALL give a little (in terms of finances and/or responsible living) we have a better shot at making this work. The health care issue, in my opinion, is a symptom of a much larger problem (s). A little bit of responsibility goes a long way. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day – teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime....think about it.

    Thanks again for listening.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  433. Mr. & Mrs. J. Haviland

    My husband and I have watched with mounting concern the mayhem, fear-mongering, and disinformation that has taken over the national debate about health care reform. We support the "public option" because of numerous bad experiences with the for profit health care industry, especially, the insurance companies. As small business owners, we can't offer coverage to employees, hence we can't expand our business. We understand the financial consequences of not changing this dysfunctional system and we are disgusted that we are so low on the comparative scale of mortality and levels of service available to all citizens when compared to other civilized nations. Health care is a right. Our government (which is us) should "promote the general welfare" like it says in the preamble to the Constitution!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  434. Connie Souligny

    I believe that jumping in and making large changes is not being responsible; make small changes where change can make the biggest difference. Provide preventive healthcare for those who need it; indigent healthcare is very costly for hospitals. I believe that preventive health care ( to include dental and vision) would make a HUGE positive difference in our country and should be provided by the federal and/or state government. Too many people have no way to pay for health care; perhaps a larger number of people currently fall through the cracks and cant get state aid. Could insurance companies be regulated by federal government like airlines used to be?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  435. Lane Palmer

    If the government could run anything effectively, I wouldn't be so nervous about it. The fact is, our unaccountable government has to keep borrowing to even keep running. We wouldn't let any corporation act this way while taking over our medicine. I don't want them to do something just for the sake of doing it. I want it to work exactly the way they say it will, and their track record doesn't make me feel that's remotely possible. Also, Factcheck.org explains several discrepancies President Obama has with what the real facts about the bill. I want to believe him, but I don't think he's being up front about some key details, and that worries me more than anything.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  436. M.A. Rogers

    I recently took an outline poll after heath care. The poll was so poorly constructed that true public option could never been learned. Often questions are loaded in such a way as to skew answers. I have found that too many polls are actually intended to "guide" the thinking of the participants rather than to actually learn their their opinions.

    There are rational and civil people in America. We have become invisible with the rise of mass hysteria among the extremes. I believe Obama has presented rational ideas in a thoughtful way. I don't agree with all of them, but I like many. We need civil discourse based on facts. I have studied the issues and I do favor a public option as one of the choices, but my voice and those of people like me will not be heard because those who threaten and shout have gotten all the media attention. Watching the news, it appears they are all that exist.
    CNN is now started to pay us some attention, but I fear it is too late, as the extreme right now has gained control of the agenda–even though they do not have the majority in leadership. Republicans will be emboldened not too compromise and the Democrats will cave into them out of fear.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  437. Mr. & Mrs. J. Haviland, Colorado

    My husband John and I have been watching with mounting concern the mayhem, fearmongering, and disinformation that has taken over the national debate over health care reform. We wish to express our support of the President’s vision for health care reform. We are strong supporters of the “public option” because of numerous bad experiences with health insurance companies. Furthermore, as small business owners, we cannot expand our business because we cannot afford to offer potential new employees a decent health care package.
    It is our hope that we as a nation will support the “public option” against the vested interests of the for-profit health care industry. We hope that the politicians will have the courage of their convictions that will place them in U.S. history as a Senator or Congress Person that supported the little people against the siren song of lobbyists and the lure of power and prestige that constant reelection offers. Passing health care reform is not only necessary to avoid another financial meltdown in the future, but it is the humane, civilized thing to do. It is unconscionable that we are so low on the comparative scale of mortality, positive outcomes and levels of service available to all citizens when compared to other civilized nations. We believe that health care is a right mentioned in the preamble to the Constitution where our government should “promote the general welfare” of its citizens.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  438. Lenora

    I am very against tax dollars going to pay for the practice of abortion. I've heard congressmen talk this week on t.v. about this issue and that many Americans don't know that this health care bill can increase the money being provided for abortion. I also understand that tax payer monies are already paying for abortion. Is this really true and does this new health care bill include provisions for the abortion industry?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  439. Rick

    1. I have several relatives that are quite content with the Canadian health system.
    2. How would a national health care system in the US eventually change our tax codes? Not sure if this is due to their medical system, but in Canada is not the tax rate much higher? And mortgage interest cannot be deducted? Would we eventually have this happen to pay for our overwhelming costs?
    3. Can CNN produce a special on the specifics of the health reform bill as to make clear what really is going on (with the 1000+ pages this may be a 3-4 part series

    August 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  440. christine shamber

    Tony, now my country is scaring me. Watching the townhall meetings it looks like mostly white republicans & white supremist. I smell the same scare tactics that the Bush administration & Carl Roves practiced. I am considered white, but I am half Italian & Lebanez. They seem to hate the President & think he is trying to take the power away from them. After 9/11 I thought the race wars among black & white would be over & we would all be one U.S.A. It hurt me when I seen the white man tear the black ladies Rosa Parks sign, then watch the police remove the two black women with aggresiveness.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  441. Yvonne- Franklin Grove, Illinois

    With the foreclosure rate at 32% it tells me we are not doing well at all, Where are the jobs the president said he was going to make. forget the health care plan and get back on track with the jobs. We can't accure anymore debt with out the jobs first. I feel Government is using the health care reform as a smoke screen. Americans need jobs, or we won't be able to pay for any type of health care

    August 13, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  442. Geoff Maguire

    The dogmatic belief that the government can't do anything right has become an unquestioned article of faith by many especially those who educate them selves via AM talk radio. Indeed many government programs influenced by politics and clogged with bureaucracy don't work well. But this doctrine is belied by the successes of our military, the space program, and many other things the government does well.

    Doing things incrementally has some advantages but can also "push the water balloon" and cause a lot of unintended consequences in the interim. Accepting partial fixes can set things up for failure and bulwark the the health care profiteers.

    Setting aside the ideological nut jobs whose real problem is having a black guy as president , the problem for more rationale opponents is that many who still have health coverage do not yet appreciate how vulnerable their access is. As such they are ripe fodder for the industry sponsored disinformation campaign that exploits the basic fear of change that exists in all of us. " The devil I know is better than the one I don't know" It maybe that despite the pending implosion of our health care system, more will need to loose their coverage before the critical mass comes together for real change.

    Sad but this year may not be the year

    August 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  443. Yvonne- Franklin Grove, Illinois

    We all ready have a health care system in effect, it's called Medicaid, and the government has control over that. It's limited to how much care you are allowed. It also has what is called a spend down, which means you pay so much, and then they pay the rest depending on your income. It's the same thing the health care reform is offering, that is why I stated before, that the Government is using the health care reform as a SMOKE SCREEN. Americans want jobs, without jobs, who is going to be able to afford the health care they are trying to shove down our throats

    August 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  444. Christopher

    I believe healthcare reform is a must in America. I cannot believe that people or parties are trying to hinder or block the very thing that will help every U.S. citizen in this country. Every American citizen should be entitled to healthcare insurance, and should never in America be denied coverage. It's a sad thing that people or parties will put others lives on the line for profit and political gain. Why hasn't the Republican party put a stop to the outrage and violent remarks that have generated from all this?

    August 13, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  445. elsa

    I am FOR health care reform. Wake up people! Our children/future depends on this. LISTEN to the President, think outside the box.
    I work in healthcare and everyone is already paying for everyone who doesnt have coverage, whether you know it or not. Everyone gets sick.
    Its not socialist, quit with the blinders. I know many people who would pay for affordable insur if available, but isnt the case. It's everyones problem, not young or old, not democrat or republican. This is America. Quit being defensive and racist and anti-govt, and listen to our president . Have some respect. I cannot believe what I see at the town meetings on the news, outbursts. Why aren't people civil and cant state opinions without rage in their voice? Why are there soooo many rumors put out to make people confused? START LISTENING!

    August 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  446. B. Mullins

    Our supplemental insurance is with a self-insured company – how will the house bill affect us?

    August 14, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  447. Evelyn Swart

    Things I Do Not Understand:
    1. Why do 12th grade educated people presume without reading it that the constitution states their own beliefs?
    2. Why do some people call themselves “Christian” while ignoring the Sermon on the Mount?
    3. Why do some people who wish to mount the Ten Commandments in public places publish lies about their government?
    4. Why do 12th grade educated people believe and repeat lies they hear on the radio or read on the internet?
    5. Why do some people shout for free speech while denying others that very right?
    6. Why do people demand to keep everything the same, when the same methods have not worked in the past?
    7. Why do some people want to deny health to other people?
    8. Why do some people decry “socialism” while accepting and enjoying medicare, social security, highways, police protection, subsidies, and the benefits of living in an educated society?
    9. Why do some people believe it is better to pay higher medical bills and higher insurance premiums than to live in a society where everyone has access to medical care?
    10. Why is political party loyalty more important to some people than the welfare of their country and their fellow citizens?

    August 14, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  448. Gary Walborn

    There will be no consensus on health care as long as people think that the government will get between them and their doctor and don't realize that the insurance companies are there now. The Democrats made a BIG mistake when they called this "Health Care Reform" and not "Health Insurance Reform". The public option is just that, another health INSURANCE option, NOT a government run health care system... and it's OPTIONAL at that! Unfortunately, there seem to be a number of people that believe what they want to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary. I hope Congress is not swayed by this vocal minority.

    Gary W
    Youngstown, OH

    August 14, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  449. meera

    CNN and MSNBC highlight only negative comments about health care – all the screamers. we are all impacted if reforms are finally passed, or not. act like you are impacted – you and your families too- you cannot be dispationate here. have stories about folks who have insurance today or just lost it due to job loss, or going bankcrupt because of a health issue – do some work – be journalists for a change – not lazily and repeatedly showing vidoes of the crazy extremes. THIS IMPACTS US ALL in a very real way . behave like it does. be patriotic. think about the future of our children.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  450. Mark

    It's too bad people distrust government so much. I suppose we have George W. Bush to thank for that. Truth is, government runs very efficiently compared to the private sector in many areas, including Medicare. People love to bash government agencies, but it's unfair. The Post Office hasn't driven FedEx or UPS out of business; there's no reason to think a Public Option would drive insurance out. However, getting the insurance industry out of the health care business entirely would be the best thing that could happen. I hate having insurance executives making heath care decisions for me. Having a bureaucrat in the same position instead would be a distinct improvement. But insurance is spending so much money on advertising (and who knows what else behind the scenes), that there is little chance of that ever happening. Money talks, and people listen to what they want to hear.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  451. Mablean Perkins

    Tony, I strongly support your health reform.

    I currently pay $1640.00/month for health care insurance. My mortgage payment is $1736.00/month. My spouse of 42 years is a real estate agent and I am Diversity Consultant. Like many American, we are struggling just to get by. Because of pre existing medical condition, we cannot get let go of our current insurance.

    Like most Americans, I find the scare tactics against health care reform appalling, unfortunately thes tactics and misinformation appear to be gaining traction and continue to distract us from the real debate, health reform.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  452. David Peace

    The government's track record of managing health care speaks for itself. VA hospitals and medicare. Enough said?

    August 14, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  453. Larry T.

    This maybe the most important month on our future. I know you can't say it, and your guest are affraid to say it. But we know this an organized racist effort by the Republican party. Half the people at those town hall meeting are senior's and white. They say they don't want government health care, but they already have it with medicare/medicad. I watched when 10 – 20 of them jumped up at the same time and all yelled we don't want government health care. If you don't want it , give up medicare/ medicad then. IT's like they are all ready a scriept. Give us are country back, Give us are constitution back. I did know anybody took them. What they is, the face of the government is now Black, and their are no Black signature on the constitution. But they can't say that because their tue colors will be out.

    Plus they just don't want President Obama to suceed, were all the other white President's could'nt.

    Larry T. Northridge, Ca

    August 14, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  454. Desiree RN

    I would tell my congressman to go forward with healthcare reform efforts by continuing to do the hard work this needed reform will take. I would encourage him/her to take note of and address everyone's concerns and do the research it will take to sort out myth from facts. Separate the healthcare reform issues into distinct categories to be addressed simultaneously to illustrate the complexity. Form visible teams to work on and report on each category: health insurance issues, those who have no insurance and how they cost all of us a lot of money by ignoring their plight, inefficiencies in healthcare delivery, overuse of technology that reaps little health or quality, liability issues (if Obama does not want to take this issue on at least illustrate concerns raised by forming a team to report the various issues and solutions experts may have), end of life issues (educate the public about what really is going on – huge amounts of waste and personal suffering, while doctors options are limited and huge profits are made – truly this is a disaster playing out continuously and we are all paying for this mess), I cold go on but you get my point. If the public is confused then break it down into manageable parts for them! This level of detail is generally beyond what mass media delivers. Well here's your chance to "mature". As an RN of almost 3 decades I can tell you the whole system is broken from one end to the other. It is immoral and inexcusable. The rest of the civilized world is surely laughing at us and i don't blame them. To play petty games of exaggerated fear and blame with shouting and threats with each other shows how poorly informed the population is. Get medical expert from all the issues on CNN. Don't pander to political approaches to this issue. Take your cues from the experts, they are ready and waiting in huge numbers. Experts know how to approach fixing this mess, so let them talk directly to the public. Lock the politicians up in emergency waiting rooms. After their long, long stay there – then let them out to speak about that instead of being mouthpieces for special interests who give not one wit about actual healthcare quality or the wellbeing of the population as a whole!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our future is at stake because our infants and children are receiving the brunt of our broken healthcare system.
    they are so much sicker and frequently permanently damaged by our systems lack of ability to help them. Currently, we are our own worst enemy. We can do better and I support Obama fully.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  455. Ruth Summey, NC

    Elsa, your comments are great. You speak for me also.

    August 14, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  456. James R Reynolds

    Tony,
    We appreciate your coverage of the health care debate, but PLEASE be more precise and objective in your language! This is NOT a make or break month for health care reform. This is a national debate about ONE health care reform plan. President Obama and the Congress, during his administration, have three more years to pass a health care reform package. My wife and I agree that health care needs to be reformed in our country, but do not believe that an effective plan about this complex subject can be written and vetted in the few months which have been spent on it. As a journalist, we would ask you to begin asking why a plan MUST be done immediately? Why can't Congress and the President study this matter for a year then, give the American people a year to review it and make suggestions. The anxiety our immediate passage makes the current plan smell like a railroad job. That's one reason why there is some much emotion/anger among the American people. Please Tony, raise the issue of WHY THE BIG HURRY?

    August 14, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  457. joe

    I SUPPORT STRONG REFORM

    Shake things up – rattle the insurance companies! Competition will gradually lower the cost of healthcare across the board.

    Lower my cost – give me automatic coverage – I don’t want to worry about it month to month – I don’t want to worry about changing jobs or getting sick – I simply want my family to be covered.

    Take it out of my taxes if neccessary – because I expect that increased competition will lower cost drastically and save us all money – with the money I save I’m going to join a better gym!

    August 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  458. al

    The private insurance companies are spending 1.4 million per day to fight reform.

    Currently over $500 per month comes out of my check for health insurance but I still have to pay for most things out of pocket because I have a $5000 deductible – so I’m not sure why I even bother with the insurance – private insurance is a ripoff – some arrogant overpaid insurance executive makes decisions about what’s covered – and if he denies coverage and saves the company money he gets a bonus. Let's remove that incentive and make it work for us – not the insurance companies.

    It’s about time that tax payer money actually goes to taxpayers… bring it on!

    August 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  459. Joe

    I don’t get what the fuss is all about. A Universal healthcare system seems like a WIN WIN for the average American.

    The only loser is the insanely profitable Insurance industry – and even they won’t lose much – relatively speaking. Their profits are in the billions – so a billion less won’t

    make much difference – they’ll just have to compete like every other industry. In doing so, healthcare options, cost and quality will improve for all Americans.

    August 14, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  460. al

    I want a goverment run public option that is simple and affordable – so we can't be dropped for preexisting conditions, consistent coverage regardless of where a person works, cost of medicines and procedures should cost much less than they do now, and premiums should NOT go up every year the way they do now.

    I'm ok if the government mandates coverage – they already mandate that I have car insurance so why not? As long as they provide a low-cost option.

    August 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  461. J. Reasnor

    I agree with Bekki. The shouting against healthcare reform is terrible. I am a white person, but I have enough common sense to know this is not about healthcare reform. Bekki, I have the answer to your question about it being a symptom of something much larger and deeper. It is obvious it is RACISM! We have already been told by the REPUBLICAN'S that their intent is to bring down Obama. They don't care about the GOOD of our Country. Their concerns are about the RICH. I know I live in Texas. My Republican Representive won't even hold a Town Meeting. He has made it very clear, he is against Healthcare Reform. This county is all Republican's, including the Judges. We have no Democrats, Independents... representing us at all! So, therefore, no body's opinion matters except for the REPUBLICAN's.

    August 14, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  462. Gary Graybill

    Health Care is not just one problem but a combination of many problems. Why do they insist on having just one bill to cover everything all at once. Won't it make more sense to address the individual issues separately? Wouldn't that make for smaller, more easily understood bills for the American people to consider?

    August 14, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  463. J. Reasnor

    I have worked for MEDICARE and know how it works. It is a good program, not to say, that you don't have some abuse in the program. People need to realize that there are Doctor's, the Insurance companies who contract the program who also abuse the program, but the system is set up to catch abuse. I support a "Single Payer System". I lost my insurance when I became ill, when I needed it most., I would have rather paid into a "Single Payer Systerm" than a Health Insurance Corporation, so nobody ever has to go without health care. You people out there who live in your bubble, better realize it could be YOU! Oh, by the way, people on Medicare can opt out of Medicare into an HMO. I've had to tell lots of the elderly and doctor's office, that they don't have Medicare. So, if they go out of network, they are responsible for their bills. Social Security still collects the monthly premiums... and pays the HMO's at the end of the year. I would like to know, since Nixon was the start of HMO's, how many REPUBLICAN'S are invested in them. Someone is making lots of money.

    August 14, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  464. David James

    MAK'IN STUFF UP

    Why is it that CNN and other national media are cautious in addressing issues (like at the healthcare forums) that are in actuality statements-of-fact to true-believers.

    These inflammatory and made-up statements, even when you go on to call them "false" at the end of the segment, have been given what all grass-fires need, that is additional fuel to consume multiple additional acres before a few sprits of water are squirted on them (the analogy is calling a made-up statement; and/or internet rumor; and/or politically motivated falsehood meant to damage any healthcare reform “false” at the bitter end of a presumably “neutral” discussion of that falsehood0. By that time, the perpetrators of the made-up stuff have accomplished their goal of spreading the rumor. I.e., the radical fringes use the media to spread rumors, then when you all get to the “false” label at the end, the radical fringes then say, “see, the liberal media is biased against us.”

    Please, develop some back-bone with those that manipulate CNN and the democratic process !!!

    August 15, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  465. Susan Blaser

    What's to stop companies, even large corporations, from ceasing to offer health insurance to their employees and choosing instead to go ahead and pay the (I think it's 8%) tax or penalty? Seems like a no-brainer - they would obviously save a lot of money. Is there anything in these bills that would help to prevent this?

    August 15, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  466. charity larocca

    If everyone want's the truth on heath care watch the movie siko.It tells the truth about america's heathcare system everyone in our goverment is getting rich while the american people are getting poorer not to mention the fact american people are getting sicker.It's true other country's have better heathcare than us even cuba.I want free healthcare for all. Put these lobbyist out of buissness let the people vote on it i'll bet more people will vote for it,because there's more poor than rich & maybe doctor's will start trying to save life instead of pushing drugs that we really dont need so they can line thier pockets more.Im sick&tired of them trying to scare us out of this.Obama needs to push for free heathcare instead of maybe cheaper heathcare leave all the pork out.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  467. Jake

    Here's something new: want 100% free healthcare, with close to full-coverage? How about this, there are no hidden fees what so ever, and NO BILLS TO PAY. You heard me right, 100% FREE and EVERYONE CAN QUALIFY! The catch: there isn't one, all we have to do is LEGALIZE CANNABIS.. simple as that, Cannabis is the answer to good healthcare that we all could get. MAKE THE MOVE, DON'T BE AFRAID OF YOUR GOVERNMENT, BE PART OF YOUR GOVERNMENT, WE NEED TO BE HEARD! Our "bad" habits could help the poor and needy, but the government will not accept that. If the government doesn't accept the reality, then the government doesn't accept the people's choice. I'm not talking about the tourists that will want to come here to enjoy a different type of vacation, I'm talking about the citizens that use this herb daily, those people alone can tremendously help boost the tax income and give enough to help out with healthcare. Just think about it, and please do so OUTSIDE THE BOX.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  468. Maureen

    Health care and health insurance reform cannot wait. 40% of the current budget already is spent on social security, medicare and medicaid. If America does not start controlling costs, then taxes will have to go up and entitlement benefits will have to be cut. When you ask? A mere 7 years – when Medicare is expected to run out of money.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  469. Sondra

    Since it can currently take months to get an appointment to see a doctor, how is it possible to add 45 million people to the line waiting for a doctor and not have a crisis of health care? If the answer is "train more primary care physicians", will Congress wait to implement their plans until these physicians can be trained?

    Thank you for answering this question
    Sondra

    August 15, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  470. Edward G Robinson

    SOYLENT GREEN.... IT'S PEOPLE!!!!!

    August 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  471. Nicholas Mintz

    What I don't understand is that the Republicans have held power for a long time and absolutely nothing was attempted. Now Obama is trying to do right and he is destroyed and hugely criticized for it. Most things I've heard about what the President wants are good things. And then I hear fix the economy first. Well the health care industry is a huge part of the economy and what we spend as a country. There are so many lies and mistruths that it just doesn't make any sense. Argue on Obama's vision and plans not on things that have nothing to do with health care. I for one have never had health insurance because if I pay through my job there's still a lot of costs left to me to pay. When this plan goes through I will get insurance because I will be able to do so affordably. They talk about so much rationing with the government. Well what do think insurance companies do everyday, denying and deciding what's covered. Some people pay insurance companies for years and when something goes wrong they find out that there's no coverage. Well what was the point of paying. If that's the case they can save their money themselves at least they can get something out of it. Enough is enough. We need a public option to take control from the insurance agencies who are robbing people. If I went out and robbed people of millions I would go to jail. We have to do the right thing, if not don't complain after the fact. Because the opportunity was there and they are trying to kill reform, as well as wallets and human beings. It's a shame.

    Nick of http://www.luvnation.com

    August 16, 2009 at 3:43 am |
  472. Gracie Stone

    I know I'm not a reporter, but why aren't any of the TV journalists pointing-out that at every University in America's Health Center has applications for major medical insurance that can be purchased for students. This could be for these students who are falling between the parents gap and looking for the job. I found that out when one of mine was dropping off my policy but wanted him insured. He quickly got a job and his school insurance carried him thru the 90 day wait in his policy
    In my daugher's case when she got liaid off, our family sacrafised and bought the COBRA health insurance available to everyone when they loose a job.

    Was it hard to buy insurance from the University so my son would stay covered, you bet. Was it hard to pay for COBRA insurance for my daughter when she lost her job – absolutely. But when these products are already available – I'm not sure why I don't see reporters reporting this information.

    I'm not sure if the times have changed and when these things happen now our culture is being lead to believe that it's the government's job to solve everything with this bill. We as a family had to hunker down and not have as much during those months – isn't that how it's supposed to be? I feel I've lost touch how people are incorporating responsible personal values to problems they have – rather than reaching out for tax dollars to solve.

    August 16, 2009 at 6:48 am |
  473. Fred Washington

    I am extremely hurt by the disruptive town hall meeting aired of late. This is not democracy. This is the disruptive student or students in a classroom of students that "want" to learn. As a over fifty African-American man, this reminds me of the segregation and Jim Crowism periods that Americans want to put in the past and look to the future. Sad but true. I remember Whites saying that if Blacks went to school with their children that their kids would be infected with all kinds of disease, when our parent cleaned their homes" If" is the biggest word in the dictionary, our elected leaders "must" stand for something or fall for anything.

    August 16, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  474. Nicholas Mintz

    Thanks Gracie Stone for pointing those things out. There are a lot of people who really do lack self and family responsibility. The President has talked about this as well. But in a lot of cases people are responsible but they just don't have the money. Either to keep up with insurance costs or get it to begin with. Pres. Obama has set forth what he wants, however it's up to Congress to get the job done. Honestly we probably won't get the plan the country needs, but don't hang this on the President because he's trying his best. It's just that a lot of situations in politics, as well as life is not up to you. And once again health care costs are part of the economy, plain and simple. If I were rich I would have no problem paying a little more. So what if I can't stay an extra day on some island. Is that really going to hurt me that bad. No. I guess I understand because right now I'm near the bottom and when you're always at the top, and never struggle you'll never understand. In closing, the world does't just revolve around you and yourself.

    Next up homelessness, there are young toddlers on the streets in the wealthiest country in the world.

    August 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  475. Kathy

    As a nurse, I have seen the results of little to no insurance. We need a public option. Folks who have never worked in healthcare should listen to folks who have seen poor patient results because of fast discharges to save money or humilation of a mother who is on medicade. Again a public option is needed.

    August 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  476. Jay

    Healthcare reform is needed! Obama's plan is NOT IT!

    Tort refom, cross state options, an adjusted FREE market can fix it. Stop trying to turn it all upside down! I'm happy with my insurance. I understand 40-50 million need it. We can come up with a better plan than this. HR 3200 is a disaster in waiting. READ IT! Lets slow down and work together to come up with a better plan, we're America! We can do better than this.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  477. catherine m valentine

    1. It is unfortunate that most people do not know what the current health care system is costing them. We need to reign costs in and have universal coverage.
    Those that are afraid of what universal coverage will cost – do not understand the real cost of not providing health care to our population.

    Many of the permanently disabled that qualify for SSA and SSI disability benefits may have been helped and rehabilitated had they received the medical care they needed.

    In a recent PBS special, our health care system was rated equal to 3rd world countries.

    There are so many lies being circulated on the internet about England, Germany, Canada, Switzerland, Japan's health care systems – We need a public option – what are people afraid of – Medicare was a savior for senior citizens and the disabled – We need a change – The Republicans do not care about us – they are just trying to use their old tactics to scare people – they are using trigger phrases –
    I pray most people are smarter than that.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  478. Jose A Fernandez

    Healthcare is wrong in USA since 1948, this a social service that is tied to national security. Healthcare is not, should not be a business, it is not an option to get sick. Can you imagine private companies doing business in police or firefighters activities? Keep in mind that in order for insurance companies to be profitable they need to eliminate risk and that is where sick people have the problems.We need public option, it is the only way that insurance companies can be controled, they had decades of very profitable activity. If they are so competitive ,then compete with the public option!! If they can not , then they can do other business. Many people as we speak are sick and they need help now! For 40 years nothing has being done, we need to approve this reform now!

    August 17, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  479. Mark Reuther

    In my opinion, the main obstacle to passing meaningful healthcare reform is that far too few Americans have any sense of shame about the current state of healthcare in America. Healthy shame is actually a positive emotion; it is our conscience telling us something isn’t right. Even a cursory glance at American history shows that this lack of shame has been a big problem from the very beginning, particularly in the area of civil rights.

    When a large, free health care clinic that ordinarily serves third-world countries was recently set up in Los Angeles to help Americans with limited access to healthcare, the response from the public was literally overwhelming. People stood in line all night to receive their much-needed treatment, and many were turned away. The primary emotion I felt while witnessing this spectacle on television was a powerful sense of shame. Clearly, many Americans do not share these feelings.

    I contend that their healthy shame has become blocked by self-interest and an uncompromising adherence to a deeply ingrained political philosophy that vilifies government involvement in people’s lives, even though most of these folks are fiercely protective of government programs like Social Security and Medicare. I think it’s safe to say that many of these same people would have been vehemently opposed to these government programs, had they been around during their inception, because of their anti-government beliefs.

    An even greater irony here, at least for me, is that this particular political philosophy commonly runs alongside a religious philosophy that emphasizes helping the needy. If their primary religious figure had espoused the doctrine: “I’ve got mine, to hell with you,” then I would better understand their position. Instead, he lived his life and preached in precisely the opposite manner. Not surprisingly, I am at a complete loss as to how the members of this political-religious movement are able to reconcile so many contradictory thoughts, and then blend them into some sort of cohesive life philosophy.

    To be honest, I find it extremely bizarre being an American today. But I must admit that I do have complete faith in the Democrats, who currently hold all the power. They will remain the gutless eunuchs they have been for my entire life, and pass some basically worthless, watered down healthcare bill that will leave tens of millions of Americans without healthcare insurance. Then they'll calim victory.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  480. Keith

    It is clear that major segments of the 'private market' have sacrificed consumers and taxpayers in the name of quick profits. It is also clear that both political parties have sold out to big money interests in quest for campaign and personal gain. Finance, health care, and 'Detroit' are clear examples of 'capitalism' gone awry. The answer may not be a public option, but the underlying requirement must be accountability. Every 100 million dollar man is riding on the backs of all of those uncounted 100 dollar men who fight and toil for the system that provides for the winners. All, but the most aggregiously greedy narcissits can see that it makes sense to toss a few scraps down to maintain the land of opportunity with hope for all. Even if it's not for humanity, it makes sense for them to do it to preserve the system for themselves and their progeny. HooHaa for Buffet and Gates !

    August 17, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  481. Willie V.

    In town hall meetings across the nation we're seeing outrage and defiance on a level not often experienceed. On one level (politicians) an almost frenzied attempt to explain the disgust of the constituants by blaming the oposing political parties. As an American that is mostly ashamed of our political leaders, I see the condemnation of health reform as simply a catalyst for the much needed overhaul of our entire political "good ol' boy, business as usual, line our pocket" system. Until we stop the bleeding out of our tax dollars for social services that don't require proof of legal citizenship, or at the very least a reciprocative proof of tax participation on behalf of the benefit recipients. I fear the long term result may be a lot more frightening than shouting matches at town hall meetings. Two words "TAX REVOLT".

    August 17, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  482. Kesha

    I want to know what the plan does for mental health care. It is just as important as physical health care.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  483. Jermain

    The blue dogs democrats might as well be republicans! We elected Obama for change, not to bow down to the right. America will never make progress because Obama is black, simple as that. His own party won't back him because of that. Yeah it's great we have a black president, but what does it mean when you have a house and a senate full of racist?

    August 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  484. RAMONA VIOLETTE

    WE NEED HEALTHCARE FOR ALL CITIZENS OR WE WILL NOT
    VOTE FOR ANY REPRESENTATIVES INVOLVED IN VOTE ON OUR
    HEALTHCARE COVERAGE IN NEXT ELECTION.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  485. DARMA

    I THINK ITS TIME THAT ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES EXCEPT MILITARY, POLICE AND FIRE PERSONS- LOSE THEIR TAX PAYER PAID HEALTHCARE UNTIL ALL THE U.S. CITIZENS HAVE HEALTHCARE! THIS INCLUDES ALL RETIRED POLITICIANS RECEIVING TAX PAYER FUNDED HEALTH CARE!!!

    August 17, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  486. mary ann capone

    Using the available info on proposed option insurance plans, can you make a comparative analysis (in an easy to see & understand format of how a coop insurance plan option would differ from the proposed govt public option plan. I am particularly concerned on how each would impact the underinsured, and the folks unable to afford any insurance.

    Also compare the main issues in each proposed plan re: pre-existing conditions, yearly and life cap limits,eliminating state by state monopolies, drup coverage, and doughnout holes.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  487. daniel cautrell

    Well, Jay said it best...as long as he has his health care and is happy with it...it's all good...The public options is for the poor who cannot afford health care and for those whose employment can not offer them health care. To the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex if you can't afford health care then you don't deserve it.....Universal health care is the only option...

    August 17, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  488. sharon douglas

    Health Care should NOT be a business for profit!! But you have the republicans, Rush, & Fox News pushing the buttons of people that are ignorant, fearful and racist and they are playing right into the hands of the health industry & their lobbyist. They are going to blow our best last chance of health care reform! If I may, please watch Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko". Some Capitlism is o.k. however some things need to be socialized – LIKE HEALTH CARE- (also our utilities like water, electric, heat, but that's a different fight). Why doesn't these people look up the definition of Socialism? Both democracy and socialism are excellent ideas but our politicians ruin it all out of GREED.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  489. J. Peters

    I would like to see medicare lowered to age 62, keeping it in line with those who take SS benefits early. I would like to see basic health care clinics in the schools (reaching most students in America, since education is mandatory for all), staffed by RNs - functioning along the lines of college and university health care clinics, which are very affordable. I would like to see private insurance as it is now functioning, with the exception that they can no longer refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  490. sharon douglas

    Also if you want to know how much 'legal bribe money' you Reps. or Senators have taken from the health insurance industry look at govtrack.us. My 2 Senators from michigan has taken appx. 100,000.00 combined. Can't wait to see how they vote for they 'public option', which is absolutely necessary for real reform.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  491. Pam Browm

    I think that all U,S. citizen have the right to have health reform. So many people that don't have health care , so many people who have lose their jobs and health insurance. I think health care reform is a good thing.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  492. Carol

    A few random thoughts:

    Many are now saying that healthcare is a fundamental right, as is education. We already have a public education system and there are arguments as to the level of its success (or lack of). There seems to be a difference in the quality of public education in inner cities and very rural areas, as opposed to wealthy an/or middle class suburbs – and I would guess that many, if not most, of our members of congress/higher government sent/send their own children to private schools. Why is this (we know why, I'm just playing devil's advocate)? If health care is to be equal for all, then why is it not the case for our public education system? If our public education system can not afford to provide each and every child with a "private school caliber education" (and maybe a degree from Yale or Harvard – why shouldn't every American be entitled to a free Ivy education?) why are we to believe that our government can/will provide top of the line medical care to all, "for free"? I believe that the government should offer an enviornment in which we can all pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but it is OUR OWN responsibility to make the most of it – they (the government) can never guarantee success for all because they can not control the free will and personal responsibility that go hand in hand with such liberties. This, I believe that this is the heart of the matter (and those who truly can not help themselves or others are another matter). We keep raising the bar higher and higher as to what the government should do for us and in turn we are losing our work ethic, sense of self motivation and, sadly, our sense of helping our neighbor because we are only looking out for ourselves (a way of life which should not have to be forced upon us by our government – we shouldn't have to be told be be good, kind, hard working, responsible people). Unfortunately, we have settled into a pattern of greed and/ or entitlement and we have thrown the idea of doing right by others and ourselves out the window – turn that around and we'll solve a lot of problems! Shame on ALL of those people – the rich and the not so much who are taking (via entitlement, theft, greed, laziness, fraud,etc.) and not giving as they should.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  493. Lenny

    Can't Obama think of different material with his opening stmts for the town house meetings? What a script. He waste time in these town meetings with "Let Me Be Clear" and a lot of "annnnnd's. And for heaven sakes don't forget he's in the higher income too (likes to mention that). When his takes questions he states please be brief for he'll try and do the same – so far people ask the question (brief), answer go on and on then off into a direction that doesn't touch the question. In total he might answer 6 or 7 questions.

    My main concern, actually one of sooo many is page 425 regarding the seniors appearing (mandatory) to a group every 5 yrs to decide
    their care. Bank Accounts and privacy, how many have read this program? All in all they want to pull the plug.

    August 17, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  494. Patricia A. of Hampton, VA

    Death Panels for Seniors and the Terminally ill:
    Yes, there are going to be death panels, or as Bill Clinton would call them, “government panels” that decide if you are going to get treatment. Who are we kidding? The whole purpose of this bill is to lower costs.
    The baby boomers will soon be hitting 65 and this country can’t pay their health care bills. I’m sorry to be on the receiving end but I just turned 60 yrs. old and I do understand that the gov. can’t afford to keep spending 100’s of thousands of dollars on keeping me alive if I get ill. Bummer. It’s the real world and no one wants to hear it.
    It’s not politically correct to say it.
    Grow up people.
    We’re going to have to make some tough choices to provide health care for the majority of Americans.
    I’m not happy about it, but it’s reality. The wheels of gov. are moving and are going to run over the poor, seniors and those with fragile health.
    Congress, we know exactly how this bill is going to effect us and it is not good. Unfortunately it is inevitable.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  495. Richard Ryan

    This bill or bills does not protect the rights of wlegal citizens. We are living on credit that the government is borrowing in our name and for the good of all (?). The next bill to be pushed through congress with th is president will the legalization of illegal immigrants who wil them become part of the socialistic, subsidized health care. More unskilled labor bringing nothing to the table except cost to legal citizens. I do not see the governemt plugging gaps in our borders and returning theses immigrants to Mexico and other Central and South American countries. In fact I don't see the poor of the US departing for Mexico and Canada like the jobs created Americans which are going out of the country. Why doesn't Mexico provide public health care? This plan for public health care will dilute the care already given through Medicare and Medicaid.
    When will our government reign in giving money and jobs to other countries?

    Richard Ryan

    August 18, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  496. Bchatfield

    We need to stop cowtowing to Republicans and BlueDogs and get the best bill possible now, or Democrats will not get re-elected. We need a single payor option and teeth in the bill to deal with Insurance Companies. NOW!

    August 19, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  497. James of Houston

    President Obama recently said in a Montana town hall meeting that he'd pay for health-care reform by "eliminating about $177 billion over 10 years" for "what's called Medicare Advantage." And it was two days before when he told a Colorado town hall he'd cover "two-thirds" of the "roughly $900 billion" of his plan's cost by "eliminating waste," again citing Medicare Advantage.

    But what is “Medicare Advantage"? Medicare Advantage was enacted in 2003 to allow seniors to use Medicare funds to buy private insurance plans that fit their needs and their budgets. They get better care and better value for their money.

    Medicare Advantage also has built-in incentives to encourage insurers to offer lower costs and better benefits. It's a program that puts patients in charge, not the government, which is why seniors like it and probably why the administration hates it.

    Already, an estimated 10.2 million seniors—one out of five in America—have enrolled in Medicare Advantage. Mr. Obama is proposing to cut the program by nearly 20% and thus reduce the amount of money each will have to buy insurance. This action will likely force most of them to lose the insurance they have now. Yet Mr. Obama promised in late July in New Hampshire that, "if you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan."... Now what are we really to believe?

    August 29, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  498. coj

    No, its called common sense.

    If Obama's own mother whom you can imagine had amazing health care , and yes it was through PRIVATE insurers, then your peddling that millions of elderly should 'trust' them ?

    You must be joking here James, thats just ludicrous.

    Medicare might be having difficulty, but I can tell you from personal experience its far from broke, as evidenced by my own father having it while in the nursing home. He got solid care until he passed on last year , and that is evidenced by him never once complaining to me about anything and always having regular doctor visits, tests and whatever he needed.

    All civilized societies are struggilng with heatlh care costs we aren't immune to it, so to use that arguement is incredibly insincere and unchristian .

    I"ll take my chances , yes, with the medicare system, where we are ALL insured ( vets seem to be ok with it too, and I know that from personal experience as well with father in law ) .

    Remember the guy named Ted Kennedy, who ran solidly for years on health care for all , amoungst other things oh I dont know, like social justice programs etcetera ?

    He fought for all of us, even you, now show me that same spirit of equality for all in the midst of the insurance companies...oops you can't .

    So if you really want to take your chances with your health with the insurance companies thats your choice, but you should really think long and hard about it, or come join the rest of us in support of letting government help us all in time of need, under the intelligent and compassionate hands of Barack OBama.

    He's done a amazing job so far I think, and given how partisan the republicans are being instead of showing true grace , compassion and leadership WITH Barack OBama, says more than enough to this aging 'white 'democrat to know I can't trust the far right side of our country, to do the 'moral' thing and feed the hungry, heal the sick, unite the colors and free us from the bondage of inequality forever more.

    To me the statue of liberty stands tall and proud, signaling that if you are tired and weary and come here you can count on help and guidance and compassion. Jesus ( or pick your spiritual leader ) told us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, therefore showing compassion and love to all people, because its no less than God asks of us, as a compassionate society. I dont see the insurance company ever doing as their bottom line, we all KNOW, is profit ,no matter who hurts for it apparantly.

    I am more than willing to give Barack OBama the benefit of the doubt, considering the MESS ex president bush gave him to fix, and if that means cutting a few things that clearly aren't helping anyone but pocket books of a few rich CEO's etc ( certainly not making HEALTH care better for anyone but rich health care providers )., , to lead to better overall health for us all, – then lets get to it.

    I feel its sad we have to live in a world, where health and well being are limited by ones ability to 'pay' for it, when last time I checked, there were no billboards in space, saying 'I god, hereby decrie, you shall charge for services as outlined in the following documents ',,,come on people lets get real about this...god didn't charge US for this universe/planet we live in /on, what on earth are we doing being greed self-righteous spoil brats thinking we know better ??

    We are created equal in gods eyes, so shall we stop this partisan bickering, and get to our creators business of actually making SURE we really are equal !

    cu
    coj

    August 30, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  499. Gary Graybill

    I am sorry, coj, but your comments are wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to begin. First, I am glad you like the Medicare program, so do I but I doubt if you will like it nearly as well after they cut $700 billion in funding from it to help pay for health care "for all".
    Secondly, please stop acting as if everyone who disagrees with you is some evil selfish person who does not want equal treatment for all. That is just wrong and it is actually quite an unchristian attitude. Many people want equal treatment and health care for all – we simply don't think the way that the administration is going about it is right. That does not make us bad people and you should stop treating us that way and start behaving more like Ted Kennedy who was always first to try and find a way to compromise to get things accomplished.

    August 31, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  500. coj

    to garyG. etal,

    Nice try Gary,but its falling on deaf ears, because Obama was ELECTED to get this done as there is a clear mandate from YOU, – yes you the millions of voters looking for a better day when love instread of hate and greed fill the capital and justice reigns again. Is that the evil you think to which Im referring gary ?

    Maybe not you directly, but enough people voted him into office, being tired of what a mess the republicans under bush gave us, thats there is a CLEAR mandate. You dont remember the huge crowds that roared for OBama knowing their voice would be heard, the tired masses yearning for justice and equality .

    I said NOTHING about anyone , or anything being evil,,YOU are the one that incited that to scare people or try to make this conversation look bad, – but gary I hate to break it to you, but no one is buying it unlesss they are part of your agenda which is to spread fear and doubt. I dont call those christian values . What I spread was truth not evil, there is a huge difference. It'S clear the republicans have no interest in working across party lines, although there is a chance they might , hearing the rallying cry after ted's funeral for them all TO work together for the cause of all of us who have NO health care. Are you going to pay for my health care gary, and all other americans who can't afford it ?

    Your reply is so hateful thats its clear you could hardly stand what I wrote, and it makes me wonder if your part of the problem and not the sollution; do you by chance work for the health care industry , if not then precisely which part of what I said did you find so amazingly evil,,the part where I incite jesus showing he would clearly have wanted compassion to rule the day instead of greed and profit coming from health care, their lobbys and the far right wing of our country that ( like grassley, remember his evil comment!: NOW THAT is evil ) is trying to make it sound like grandma is going to be put to death! Tell me gary what part of his 'speech' compared to what I"ve said was evil. He had nothing but contempt for our president and for any possibility of finding bypartisan agreement to help millions of YOUR fellow americans dealing with no health care or lacking health care , or no health care in the form of insurance companies not paying for illness because it suits them and their wallets.

    So you never saw any of Ted's senate speeches , when he clearly almost got angry to those in the senate that were treating americans as if they weren't good enough to have helath care, while 'senators' and their families enjoyed amazing health care priviledges..you mean that ted kennedy ?

    I think we all know what this is all about,,trying to smear the other side to make them look bad, when its clear we know where this problem is originating from dont we ..greed is self evident in society and those that stand (as they see it) the most to lose will attempt to shout the most about it,- all on the backs of suffering americans who deal with no health care...I hope your talks to god include that part gary.

    August 31, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  501. Gary Graybill

    To: cj

    That was about what I expected. You associate me with "them" and spend paragraph after paragraph complaining, saying that "I" am trying to smear "the other side" and trying to disrespect your point of view, a point of view you seem to think is shared by the majority. I have news for you, check the polls, your point of view is not the majority feeling in this country and it is slipping. Part of the reson for that is demonstrrated clearly by your kind of heavy handed closed minded response.
    You should get off your high-horse and actually read what I had to say and, if you don't understand it or if you don't agree with it, just ask me to clarify it. You should try to have a civilized discussion about it without the name calling. Your entire response is a salient demonstration of the narrow, closed minded and uncooperative attitudes that will make coming to any kind of a workable compromise on this issue very hard.
    A civilized debate is where both sides discuss their opinions and desires, followed by each side being willing to compromise a little to accommodate the others points of view. That is what makes a democracy work. Closed minded name calling and fanaticism simply work against those principles.Ted Kennedy was a truly great man. I personally disagreed with many of his political positions, but I admired his dedication to the country, his zeal for his beliefs and his humanity. He was one of the few politicians I trusted even if I opposed his positions. You holding him up as an example of someone who represented your view point is good, but you fail to recognize my entire point that he was also the first to have been both civil and willing to compromise to get things done.
    I said to you "please stop acting as if everyone who disagrees with you is some evil selfish person who does not want equal treatment for all.' – and what did you do? You write 6 paragraphs doing exactly that. Well, I guess I should simply be saying that you, cj, for making my point so well. I have a feeling you will now do that again.

    September 1, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  502. coj

    Your the one that brought up 'them' not me Gary, I simply drew obvious distinctions in your hateful message. You need to cite where I have said things that upset you and actually let me reply to them instead of making this a one sided conversation where you simply yell back you have been wronged. I need something to go on here 😉

    Do you for one second think its ok for the grassleys of the world to act like they have, and those comparing obama to hitler and his supposed attempts to take control like those poor souls that have medicare and va assistance ?

    I sure hope we can at least agree on that point, if not , there is no point to any kinda of mutual agreement, and the democrats need to do what they were 'elected' to do ( as I will remind you gary, by a huge margin they have a 'mandate' ) regardless of the right wings attempts to make this whole issue look like a 'take over'. It's called gutter politics.

    We are children of god, and its about time we acted like it, and all I was doing was showing where I felt our politicians were in error doing that, and all I got back in return was an attempt to smear the messenger. How is that helping ?

    AS children of god we ALL deserve heatlh care, and to suggest anything less is hateful considering those in congress that have amazing health care, all of which Ted Kennedy may he rest in peace, spoke of so eloquenty.

    But those that think they are in 'power' and have money will always do what they can to keep it even if it means not doing gods work.

    Well I have a message for them and you since you so clearly can't help yourself but to smear others that are trying to have a civil debate, and that is start acting like a child of god, it might do you a world of good.

    Just because I am fighting earnestly for the yes, moral rights of every day citizens doesnt' make me some nut job, though you clearly are trying to paint me as one and it isn't working Gary.

    Do unto others, love your neighbor as you would yourself, do those mean nothing to you ?

    Do you at least firmly denounce grassley for his lack of professionalism and integrity and compassion ?

    Only thing can we find a way to work together when people speak ill of others, not because its the truth but because they are trying to score political gain at the expense of those in their own country who need the help the most. Its dispicable, and that there are not more republicans speaking up in outrage over this should tell us precisely why we can't work together with the republicans or those that speak like them to fix what ails us as a country. I truly wish we could act our ages, but apparantly those in power that have money dont want to share it.

    Again, I said nothing about anyone , or anything being evil, but thats common for those spreading fear and doubt, just ask Grassley from Iowa and those like him on the far right fring of america acting like Obama is hitler or something.

    Mabye Texas will secede afterall, and that we are even having that discussion should tell us all the state of our great nation is still very lacking in morals. THis is not a discussion about texas per se, its about those in need,,all of us.

    When those in our ranks make the discussion about them instead of 'us' we all lose and that isn't what God put us on this precious earth to do. We are here to be our brothers keeper and yes that includes helping them get health care as the government workers enjoy , not keeping them from it as the health care and their cohorts are trying to do. Thankfully, as seen by certain journalists this is being shown to be going on, and they should all be very ashamed, stop it and start acting like responsible god loving people that they were born into this life being. I hold out hope, but those that 'need' health care right now dont have precious time to waste while they 'think about it', its needed right now.

    It's been how many years in the making and we're still talking about it ?

    Ask all the other countries that care for their citiziens justly and compassionately, and ask yourself why its taken us so long .

    I will continue to speak up for those that have no health care, because that is the humane thing to do and gary if you cant see thats what I am about , then you are not going about doing gods work and I feel sorry for you.

    Your reaction to my words is your own business and has no reflection whatsoever necessarily with their content. In this particular moment, your opinion of me and my words which are written here to explain what I think is going on in this country to those in great need, is not necessary to my function or to express their great need apparantly, but I sure hope it helps make clear where the goal is; its for those in need no matter which side of the political spectrum they lay.

    September 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  503. Gary Graybill

    To cj

    All I wanted to do was ask you and others that share your opinion to stop calling everyone who disagrees with you names. Many of us believe in health care as a right for all Americans and we want to achieve it. We are concerned about doing it in a way that we can afford and that will not cause undo harm to existing health care programs, such as Medicare. Many people that share your opinions have spent a great deal of time calling those of us that question the governments attempts to rush a plan through as right wing fanatics and haters. That is just wrong and it makes working together very hard. And, my friend, I believe sincerely, that the best way get a working health care plan is for all sides to work together to achieve it.

    September 3, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  504. Michelle in CA

    Gary,

    I agree with you. We should not be calling other people names. We are all patriots regardless which side we are on with this issue. Let's keep Medicare in tact. In fact, let's let younger people buy in to it. They could pay a premium to join before they reach retirement age. They could actually cover the their actual costs with the premiums they pay. Would that work for you?

    September 3, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  505. coj

    NOwhere did I call anyone a name I only brought awareness to the scandalous nature of this debate.

    I only b rought attention to a cause which was necessary, because all republicans seem ( most of them) towant to do is label our president as hitler, death panels and not appolgize for it in the process.

    Im sorry, but that is worse than name calling ever could be and only serves to divide a country that atm is trying to unite for quality health care for all of us.

    September 3, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  506. Gary Graybill

    To Michelle

    I think that is an excellent idea. This is exactly what I mean. When we can get past the accusations and name calling, we Americans are a caring, smart and ingenious people. We can figure this mess out and not only get some health care for every American that wants or needs it, we might even increase the quality and efficiency of the existing care instead of just stretching it to cover everyone and thereby degrading it.

    September 3, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  507. Gary Graybill

    To cj

    I am sorry but there you go again. You said: "all republicans seem ( most of them) to want to do is label our president as hitler, death panels and not apologize for it in the process".

    I am a Republican and I have a lot of Republican friends – not one of us buys into or supports that "Hitler", extremist rhetoric. Your saying that about Republicans in general is offensive and then we react to what you said. The whole focus becomes that instead of the real issue. It wastes time unnecessarily. This issue should not be a "Republican" or "Democrat" or even a 'bi-partisan" issue. It should simply be an American issue. According to the polls I have seen, just about everyone wants basically the same thing and the only question is how to achieve it. Let's just come up with workable ideas such as the one Michelle suggested (above).

    September 3, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  508. coj

    But you still can't repudiate grassleys words as just that,,hate speech that did no one any good..until you do this debate can not go forward., and I just flat dont understand why its so hard to say those few words.

    And btw its senator weiner that initially brought this idea forward, and I agreed..I make a post up here but apparantly it was removed as it simply had a url to a video where senator weiner was talking to 'joe' on his msnbc morning talk show, where weiner clearly indicated that medicare for all was the goal here.

    And dont blame ME for the republicans parties inability to talk about health care honestly and righteously. Mike Enzi is one you may know about; its people like him that that rest of you need to speak about and make it clear you dont suppport that kind of rhetoric.

    What about Jim DeMint, who was literally speaking about obama and his 'waterloo' where he can be 'broken', do you also repudidate that nonsense ?

    I"d like you to at least have the integrity to do that we can go forward honestly or is that too much to ask of you to 'focus' long enough to do that ?

    IT's not our party that has been 'wasting time' the last several decades stopping reform , all the while innocent victims get sicker and sicker and health companies richer and richer. Dont play the 'victim' card to me its too little too late to try that .

    You've seen here , most posts saying they are tired of people like sarah palin and her 'death panel' comments etcetera, yet I dont recall any republicans apologizing for them, in order to move forward intelligently. I watch the news too you know and I dont recall anyone doing that.

    I guess this means that gary your willing to do repudiate all those supposed republican colleagues ?

    I reiterate, I called no none names, thats all made up to attempt to bring fear, uncertainly and doubt into the equation and im calling you out on it. I have done nothing but brings facts to a discussion , where way too much disinformation from supposed professional senators and their supporters has been presented, and it time your party repudiates it entirely, or you are no better than those who made the original nutty charges, which means your just encouraging it.

    So yes repudiate all that, and we can move forward honestly to medicare for all, its about time 🙂

    September 3, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  509. Gary Graybill

    To: cj

    Honestly, when are you going to understand?

    We could argue about what people say all day. I could quote a dozen things that Democrats have said and "demand" an apology or a repudiation for those too, but WHY?

    Of course there are those who say and do extreme things and express opinions that are actually hurtful. So what? Ignore them and worry more about getting something accomplished.

    Please try to understand that there are millions of Republicans that are good, descent people that want the exact same thing, good health care for all. You are talking about a small fraction of the Republican Party that share those extreme opinions. A vocal minority, I grant you, but a minority nevertheless.

    Please stop wasting your efforts on waiting for apologies and reputations that you and I know are unlikely to ever come anyway.

    The point I was trying to make is that we are wasting too much time and effort doing exactly that and not having a good debate about how to accomplish the goal of getting good quality health care for everybody.

    September 4, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  510. Michelle

    Gary, I agree. I feel it unfortunate that the news covers the kooks and not the real news. I feel hopeless when most people want to move forward and our congressional representaatives can't seem to work together. The polarization is disgusting. If this is going to get done, it must come from the voice of the people. I've been writing letters to all of my representatives. I do respect the outcomes of the elections. Even if my candidates don't win, they are still my representatives. So I do try my best to work with them. Once in a while I think I make a point somewhere or increase a number on some spreadsheet.

    If we were to spend as much time interacting with our representatives as we do getting upset with what the entertainment machine presents to us, we might actually get something done.

    I truly believe that most Americans see these over the top protests for what they really are. People who have become upset without investigating the facts on their own. There's been a lot of anger stirred up and they've been caught up in it. There are times when a pillar of light shines in and someone asks a relevant question or makes a salient point. And that's what we really need. That's what I look for. That's what I listen to. There are many reasonable people in this country..... but they don't get on the tele because they aren't yelling or screaming.

    I am hopeful that we will get something that works.

    Michelle

    September 4, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  511. coj

    Now your just trying to talk down to me, how is that helping, or in the spirit of Ted Kennedy whom your so fond of quoting ?

    You should be consistent if you expect people to take you seriously.

    Im not arguing, you are the one taking all this way too close to your skin, I am just making observations about what I see going on in health care reform, and how unfair it is to those who are 'suffering' right now while law makers get their heads on straight, thats what Im talking about.

    If you cant repudiate your colleagues, I cant take you seriously, and I mean all of them not just hitler comments.

    I know there are good republicans, I never said there were not, but collectively your party is acting irresponsibly and more of you should be speaking out, not just non senators, but hey its something at least.

    Not likely to ever come, and why is that, they deem it unworthy to apolopgize in humility, is that what republicans have become ?
    Surely thats not what you meant.

    Its not democrats that have wasted time on getting affordable, quality health care and reform to our country, as usual its the opposing party whom are steeped in donations from the health care industry, all proven as you may or may not know by popular tv journalists, and others I suspect. So lets stick to the facts shall we.

    I wont come back here, I will let my facts speak for themselves because your right about one thing, I wont waste anymore time as you aren't serious about this debate not being willing to state emphatically ALL republicans comments have been immoral and injust, as that would clearly send a message and not encourage more.

    I will def. agree on one thing, that all americans need quality affordable care not just the rich elite, and if a medicare plan for ALL gets that done, Im fine with it.

    September 4, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  512. Gary Graybill

    To: Michelle

    Thank you. I agree with you completely and even if I did not, I would still applaud your willingness to discuss the issues calmly and intelligently and to take the time to inform your representatives of your opinions. That is the kind of attitude that makes a democracy work.

    To: cj

    I am sorry I wasted your time. When, after all we have said, you are still capable of making a comment like "ALL republicans comments have been immoral and injust" it is obvious that you have not even tried to understand what we were saying. You are simply not capable of intelligently discussing the issues. You are stuck on ideology. I am sorry for you.

    September 7, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  513. coj

    To: gg

    When I said all, I meant the 'all' the republican comments that have gone to gutter politics, Im sure you know which ones I mean; grassley etal ?

    I would like to see that you repudiate specifically Grassley, as without doing that I really dont see how we can move forward, because he comments were particularly heinous and offensive, and he was definitely lying about 'death panels', just like palin was/is.

    I wonder if you, and your party also still like palin as you know she has recently been very venomous regarding this whole death panel commentary, so I would hope you repudiate her as well ?

    If you can meet me half way on that at least showing disregard for angry zealots like them, and more concern for uninsured americans, then we can have a 'intelligent' dialogue as you say.

    You know very well that Ted Kennedy disagreed very strongly as early as l971 with nixon, and it was specifically on his health care policies that Kennedy likened to doing a huge 'giveaway' to health care companies, so consider your words carefully Gary.

    ( and yes I can point you to the online video if you like, its right here in my bookmarks)

    I know exactly what your saying, I just dont agree, and it also seems relevant to point out that its unchristian and vitriolic of you to suggest my discussion is unintelligent .

    I thought you might be different for a time, but just as Kennedy saw in Nixon at the time, its clear not so much so three cheers to you for finding the gutter yourself, just like your colleagues.

    cu
    coj

    September 9, 2009 at 12:22 am |
  514. dee

    remember the fight for Medicare? Same fight , same hollering socialism. As a senior citizen I bless medicare daily. the noise about health care now is the same GOP yelling , they dont want to lose the money that drug companies, and insurance companies keep giveing them. I pray after five presidents trying to passthis reform, we will finally get it done. god bless our president.

    March 16, 2010 at 10:32 am |
  515. Photo Thief

    Photo thief Alan Lewis press photographer Belfast

    http://www.photopressbelfast.co.uk/

    September 9, 2014 at 4:44 am |
  516. Applications

    [...] Backlink [...]

    http://jobstat.net/jobs/applications-engineer-electrical

    July 23, 2015 at 2:49 pm |
  517. bastcilk doptb

    I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it'll improve the value of my web site 🙂

    http://www.bastcilkdoptb.com/

    June 4, 2016 at 1:00 am |
  518. Caren Lindert

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I cannot join it. Is there anyone else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!|

    http://www.BoA1qqshfr.com/BoA1qqshfr

    August 30, 2016 at 2:42 pm |
  519. Google search

    How do you get people to visit your blog and good blogging sites?

    http://google.com

    December 1, 2016 at 8:10 pm |
  520. turquoise hats for weddings

    http://pinkfascinator.com/turquoise-fascinators-will-enliven-your-appearance/

    December 4, 2016 at 12:40 am |
  521. turquoise hair fascinators

    It is actually a great and useful piece of info. I'm happy that you just shared this helpful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQbzU5nOILM&w=640&h=360]

    March 1, 2017 at 12:12 pm |
  522. corinape18

    New work
    http://sunni.muslim.purplesphere.in/?entry.joanna
    messages svensk 48 bless http

    December 20, 2017 at 8:50 pm |
  523. hazeley2

    My mod ascend:
    http://raul.web1.telrock.net

    April 30, 2018 at 10:02 am |
  524. Ruthe Paglia

    Thank you for your amazing website

    December 15, 2018 at 10:43 am |
  525. Mohammad Sumaran

    Thank you for your amazing website

    http://www.talocare.com

    December 15, 2018 at 11:10 am |
  526. PeterPeaft

    http://mysite.ru – http://mysite.ru

    March 27, 2019 at 5:23 am |

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.