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August 10th, 2009
08:04 AM ET

Your 2 Cents on Health Care

It's "make or break" time for health care reform. Congress is out for exactly one month. At town hall meetings, constituent gatherings, visits to Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, schools, and churches – members of Congress are going to hear a whole lot about health care and health care reform. They'll take what they hear back to Washington in September.

We're focusing on health care all month long on CNN. And we want to check in with you, again. Given everything you've seen, heard, or read this summer...how are you feeling now about your health care and about health care reform?

Post your comments below.

soundoff (720 Responses)
  1. Mike Plugh

    First, it's unfortunate that so much disinformation is being put into the message stream that people are actually frightened. That's a national tragedy and I hope media outlets like CNN can do their part to take fear out of the debate.

    Second, it's also a shame that we've succumbed to the corporate line on healthcare, and we can't even have a decent debate about single payer. It's either public option and the Obama 'Death Panel', featuring the evils of socialism, or status quo. I'm an American ex-pat who enjoys Japanese healthcare. Both of my children have been born under this system and my entire family has received brilliant, timely, efficient, and state of the art care at literally a fraction of the cost. Nothing to fear, no red tape, and no worries about how we're going to pay for our treatment and prevention. Americans need to wake up.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:15 am |
  2. Tina

    Who is really informed about the Healthcare Reform Bill? Who feels they know enough about the Bill that they can effectively protest town hall meetings with their legislators? This baffles me. "Leave well enough alone," has gotten us where we are today.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  3. Sally Williams

    I just found out that I won't get a raise this year so I won't have to pay more for health insurance that is not very good. Not very good means when I go to the doctor my copay is insufficient. I have to pay what the insurance company won't pay or I have to beg them to pay their bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  4. SouthernBeale

    I am appalled at the thuggish behavior of the "tea party" activists, who have rallied to disrupt town hall meetings and shout down legislators as they attempt to answer questions from constituents. Conservatives and liberals alike have a right to meet with their legislators, ask questions, and share their opinions. But the "tea party" crowd, mobilized by insurance company lobbyists, are obstructing the Democratic process in an attempt to derail discussion of the issue. People on both sides of the aisle should be outraged. This issue is too important, affects too many people, for us to allow debate to be derailed by industry interests.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  5. Kathy

    First, I would like CNN to report the truth aboit these mobs being bused from outside their districts for these town hall meetings and who is organizing them and what ties do they have with Republicans.
    Second, I believe that we as citizens should have exactlu what every member in Congress has – free giv paid health insurance.
    If we can't have it, then they shouldn't either!

    August 10, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  6. Michelle

    We need solutions to the healthcare crisis in our country–NOT endless bickering and screaming the way these so-called "protesters" are doing by disrupting the townhall meetings.

    It is not fair of these "protesters"–who are often bussed in from out-of-district and sometimes even out-of-state–to drown out the legitimate questions that constituents have of their own Congresspeople.

    How can we come up with constructive solutions to our healthcare problems if the "townhall protesters" and the corporations that pay for them aren't even bothering to listen to the different plans?

    August 10, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  7. Heather Payson

    I am sad that once again it seems the insurance companies are being allowed to frame the debate, using scare tactics and misinformation to frighten people into compliance.

    I've written my letters supporting meaningful healthcare reform, but I doubt 1,000,000 voices like mine will make a difference when stacked up against the millions of dollars the insurance companies are spending.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  8. michael armstrong sr.

    Any which way health care reform goes nobody's going to like the out come but anything that the majority of the people dont like it's going to influance the 2012 election.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  9. tuffterryn6155

    There's a lot of concerns and questions. Despite the debates and hot tempers, I believe the Health Care Reform will benefit everyone in the end.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  10. Dan Leahy

    The biggest problem in the health care debate is that the insurance industry, and their right-wing allies in the media, are flooding the airwaves with lies and fear tactics. As I am writing this, a totally misleading ad by 60 Plus Association is running on CNN. It is totally packed with lies. Yet, CNN and the rest of the MSM are content to frame the story as "Obama failing to get his message across". It is your job to tell the public what the lies are, and who's telling them. Please do that job.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  11. Julie Schuler

    I have seen the story about the apple mortgage cake lady a half a dozen times already, but CNN has never covered the people who have garage sales and bake sales and spaghetti fundraisers to help pay for their health care expenses, but these stories are in our local paper every day. In a first world, first rate society, whether you live or die shouldn't depend on how much spaghetti you can sell. I'd like to see CNN covering this "uniquely American" phenomenon.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  12. Pam Holley

    It is horrible that the media is not correcting the myths out there and, worst, spreading ridiculous scare tactics. I thought there were lessons learned after the buildup to Iraq. Shame on the media!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  13. Sharon from Oklahoma

    I suspect that the health care industry is somehow behind the outbursts at the town hall meetings.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  14. Fargon

    We are wasting out time talking and need to DO IT NOW! Fargon

    August 10, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  15. Lynda Begnaud

    Why doesn't CNN help to educate us on the health care policy. A daily/nightly segment to discuss pros and cons would be extremely helpful. It may help to calm the emotions of the public on the issue.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  16. Rebecca

    I find it interesting that when people voice option to the healthcare reform plans they are branded as radicals, agitator, misinfomred and even un-American. Why are they not viewed as constituents with a different opinion. Also provide more health care could be done by putting money into University Hospitls, County hospitals and free clinics, but this isn't even being considered. Having more money skimmed off the healthcare dollar by expanding insurance coverage does not provide increased healthcare, just more expense for the insurance super-structure. AndI keephearing how great Medicare coverage is–if so then why do so many elderly have to pay for supplemental policies out of their own pockets?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  17. K Wada

    Dear Heidi, why can't we get the same health insurance coverage that members of Congress get?....KW/NYC

    August 10, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  18. Raymond Cox

    I support UC but am willing to listen to the other view, but all I hear is "no". Perhaps opponents would have more credibility if the were offering an alternative instead of only offering opposition.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  19. Elise

    No Health Care Reform....

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  20. Dr. Charles West

    As painful as it is to say this, the whole healthcare world has changed. In the 1950's we got sick, got a penicillin shot and went home. Now there are CT scans, MRI's, organ transplants, joint replacements . . . as much we we would all like to have these things for free, nothing is free. It's painful, but some form of rationing is inevitable.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  21. Frances

    If this health plan is so great how come our congressman don't join it.
    They have the best of health care and they don't have to worry about seeing a doctor.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  22. chono

    In my opinion health care is an essential comodity and govenments the world over should try as best as they could to their citerzens at little or no cost while still keeping the independence we have come to enjoy over decisions that affect us.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  23. Bryan- Los Angeles

    We do need to reform the health care system in this country but we need to do it right! Before we sling-shot a Bill through Congress and spend a trillion + we need to make sure the Bill is efficient and solves the problems! We need a reform that Pres. Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid would entrust their health care to!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  24. Brian Gerber

    I don't like the fact that the shouters are controlling the debate. This is aserious and everyone needs to heard, but in the form of a reasonable discourse. I get uncomfortable when people try to drown out discussion. What are they afraid of? That the other side has the answer?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  25. Clint H

    As a small business owner who provides healthcare for my 48 employees, I have to say that the current system is NOT sustainable. I see increases in our premiums from Blue Cross Blue Shield of 15 to 30% each year. In less than 5 years, the insurance premiums more than double. Our employees don't see the full costs and think their insurance system is great.... as someone who pays the bills, I have to say it is a total failure and will collapse soon. We need healthcare reform in the US and we need to bring down the cost of insurance and unnecessary spending in Hospitals. I support the Presidents plan.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  26. Jon Anderson

    Even if we really needed massive health care reform, must it be added to our out of control debt while we're trying to recover from a major recession?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  27. Rich

    I am appauled at the inaccurate information that is being quoted about Healthcare Reform. Here is my position.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  28. Elizabeth

    First off, it's health insurance reform, not health care.
    Americans say they're satisfied with their health care, but no one
    I know is happy about health insurance!

    Think about this: if health insurance were not provided by employers,
    they could afford to hire more people. Doctors could charge less because they wouldn't need to spend time and money on reams of paperwork.
    And those of us who are self-employed would be able to make a living
    without spending everything we make on health insurance (my premiums
    have doubled in the last 3-1/2 years).

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  29. Dr. Vickie Parsons

    While I believe that tort reform and creating private health insurance collectives at reasonable rates for those US citizens who are uninsured is necessary, I am very much opposed to the House Bill HR 3200. Section 102 of that proposed legislation is a prescription for socialized health care ... that is NOT the answer. You see, I have actually read HR 3200, unlike some of our congressmen!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  30. Sophia Khan

    Although we need many changes in our health care system, I believe it needs to be done in a way that thoroughly takes into account the many ramifications. They need to address liability insurance for doctors due to lawsuits, they do need to modernize health records etc. Preexisting conditions and fraud. There is alot of waste which if addressed can also help. Congress needs to slow down and make these changes taking into account ideas from both sides. I can guarantee the right choice does not come from one side or the other.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  31. mark petti

    It ia getting frustrating that our elected officials have been talking down to us when they are asked a valid question. The C.B.O. evaluated it and said it wont work they say yes it will. We say we dont want to risk it, they say yes you do. We say let us speak, they say your unamerican... We lost controll of our country and what's ironic is we saw it coming and still voted for these non responsible politicians..

    August 10, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  32. robert nestora

    i feel we should have the same plan as congress does since they represent us or they should cancel theirs and use the same plan they expect us to accept from the government. i do not have confidence that the government can run any program efficiently.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  33. Robert Parker

    Unfortunately, the same lunatic fringe Republicans that were in control of Washington for so many years are once again rearing their incompetent and educationally challenged heads to keep real reform from happening. Nurses and doctors unfamiliar with individuals who sit in ivory towers many miles away decide how much and what health care we get now. The idea that Big Brother is going to decide for our doctors is ridiculous! Wake up America and quit letting the lunatic fringes run this country.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  34. Barbara Williams

    President Obama's compassionate and courageous leadership on health care reform is inspirational. Our country desperately needs what he is bringing to our collective table, and he deserves all the positive reinforcement we can provide during the upcoming weeks.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  35. Gary Robertson

    For all those who are saying that they want to control there own health care. They need to realize that they don't control it now, the insurance company controls it. They tell you what test or treatments that they will cover and believe me they are not concerned with your health, only their profits.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  36. J'DUB

    Anything short of Universal Health Care is a sham ! We need an amendment to The Constitution declaring that health care is a right.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  37. Joyce Stengel

    Those thugs who are disrupting town meetings are a minority, you put them on TV. Those who say this is socialization, I guess they do not plan to collect social security and medicare. They are socialization and they work!!! The GOP is looking very bad and not boosting their image. Joyce

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  38. Casey

    It's utterly shameful that deplorable characters like Sarah Palin are trying to falsify aspects of the Public Option, making up such ludicrous charges such as a "Death Panel". This is both irresponsible and downright dishonest. It's unfortunate that insurance companies and lobbyists are helping the GOP in trying to block so many Americans from having access to the basic human right of health care.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  39. Bill In San Antonio, TX

    Health care legislation should be about reforming the insurance industry, not nationalizing our health care system. There is nothing wrong with organizing opposition and disrupting town hall meetings attempting to promote bad legilsation which would turn our health care system into another welfare program for millions. They get it - and I pay for it. NO THANKS!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  40. Bernadette Loesch

    I for one cannot wait until Pres. Obama puts his health care reform plan into place. Anger on the part of people who attend meetings are there for one reason only, to disrupt and mislead everyone including the TV viewers. Those people are akin to a mob scene plain and simple. From the misinformation issued by the Palin camp (disgraceful), to groups engineering these protests we are seeing U. S. citizens at their worst. Shame on them!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  41. Mark A

    What Congress and the President are proposing is too expensive for America. We just can't afford it. How about starting with proposals that SAVE money instead of SPEND money. You can't just dump 49 million people into the system and expect the rest of us to pick up the tab. "Spread the Health" sounds nice (unless you believe in capitalism), but it should be these 49 million that pay for it themselves. How about the same sort of thing as Clinton's "Workfare" (wasn't his, but he did take credit). How about a "Work for Health Care" program? Don't saddle the rest of us with their bills (again).

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  42. toni cronin

    well,my daugher ciara has had a staph infection and a brocken sholder from a dresser falling on her

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  43. Victor Velez – NYC

    I've been unemployed for a month and on Cobra being subsidized by the government. Normally, I would be paying over $400 a month to continue my coverage. Instead, I pay $192 a month. That's still a lot but much better than paying $400-500. My point? Why don't we wait to see what's proposed as opposed to ludicrous being spread by those interested in their own agenda aka Republicans who would rather see poor people dying young and staying poor than better off at their expense. Consider the source folks and make educated guesses rather than ignorant statements.

    Oh and Sara Palin needs to keep quiet {...}

    Victor Velez
    NYC

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  44. Bill

    Enough about the townhall meetings. It is time for CNN to launch the Truth Patrol that it used during the election. How do people like Gingrich get airtime to claim that the reforms will kill seniors? We ned to hear peoples' well considered thoughts- not nonsense.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  45. bob morgan

    Congress has proved once again,what a bunch of useless,self-serving,posturing idiots they are.They go on break with no action on health care? The most important issue facing millions of Americans? I say throw 'em all out anf start over...can't be any worse!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  46. Susan Turner

    I think the Republican message is a loud "Stop Health Care Reform"
    instead of "Let's figure our what will work NOW" . Perhaps they are afraid it WILL work and it will be the end of the Republican party and Sarah Palin's chance of a run at the presidency?!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  47. Bob Rieger

    Health care should die on the vine

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  48. Corinne Abate

    The insurance companies are behind these town hall protests. Does anyone really think insurance companies don't dictate to their insureds what services they can have right now? Government is non-profit. Insurance companies are for-profit. Who is going to be cheaper? We are on Medicare, which is government-controlled, with private insurance secondary. We haven't had any problems except with private insurance companies' medication control.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  49. James T Hamilton

    Heidi, you are a wonderful and professional Person, and I love to watch CNN when your on. You present the News very fairly.
    Here is an sample of how I feel.

    Email to our government about the Reform of Health Care

    First of all we must do something with out current system once we have a good and affordable solution that all parties can live with and understand, including the following.
    Doctors & Hospitals
    Insurers (personally I don’t believe that both private and public insurance plans can complete fairly)
    Patients
    But, we what answers to our questions and the answers must be based on facts not government opinions and must be verifiable.
    So if you don’t want us to listen to our Neighbors amount our concerns about government controlled Health Care, then answer our questions and quit telling us not to worry our government will take care of Health Care for everyone in the future.
    This will be the largest expenditure our government will every make and in my opinion, once we go down this path it will be irreversible. Our future generations will be burden with these decisions for ever.
    We need printed information about each bill and time to review, discuss and answer questions before I will support any change.
    James T Hamilton
    2275 Pasadena Dr 50
    Dubuque, IA 52001
    Jhamil2275@aol.com
    Retired 11/30/1942
    US Navy 1962 to 1966

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  50. Mary in Portersville PA

    I think the majority of Americans do not want to see their neighbors, whether they're small children, the elderly, or a working couple w/ no health care benefits to go without adequate health care. In my mind, it is absolutely sinful that anyone should go without healthcare in this, one of the richest nation countries in the world. I also believe that Americans need to have their questions answered honestly regarding government health care benefits, and how they impinge upon them. These questions cannot be answered during the shouting matches which are called town meetings. Questions need to be taken in an orderly fashion...answered honestly with the facts...and people need to listen (the most important, yet most neglected part of effecive communication) before posing additional thoughtful questions.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  51. John

    I have not heard or seen anyone just say to Mr. Obama "we the people do not want the government to run/manage/control a national health care system." Our power is the vote and we will and must use this to make our voices heard loud and clear.
    It seems to me that the government works for the people not the people work for the government.
    We must have a choice when it comes to our own health care.
    This guy is selling us out and we must not allow this to happen any longer.
    Thank you for listening.....

    August 10, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  52. jean

    I resent the blatant LIES being circulated by the big insurance companies regarding our Seniors and Medicare. My 88 year old father was frightened to the point where he had to see a doctor.
    The doctor expalined that the funds being cut are ADMINISTRATIVE COST AS DETERMINED BY MEDICARE THEMSELVES AS EXCESSIVE FEES THAT ARE BEING SCALED BACK.

    I also think that CNN should focus more on the what the experts have to say and less on what the fringe like Palin, Limbaugh have to say.

    Palin is a HAS BEEN- she quit her job remember? WHY repeat her non-sensical rantings?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  53. Priscilla from Kansas city

    Every American need health insurance coverage and I support President Obama's health care plan. I believe this is what we need at this time for this country. I am a registered nurse and we are seeing a lot of patients using emergency room as a source of primary health care. Incurring thousands in medical bill for minor problems that will cost almost nothing in the clinic, if they have medical insurance and primary care physician

    August 10, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  54. Kellie P.

    Our country is in dire need of health care reform now. It's unfortunate that we are clearly one of the greatest country's in the world yet unlike other industrialized nations too many of our citizens are uninsured. Those opposed to reform have health insurance. Those in greatest need are perhaps too ill to appear at one of these lewd town hall meetings and advocate what they really need. As Americans we voted for change and now that change is here, too many of us are acting flaky or paranoid about it.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  55. Dirk

    Isn't it ironic that the same republicans who invented the color code for
    national fear a few years ago now try so hard to terrorize our elderly who have given us so much ? All of our greatest generation deserve
    healthcare not just the rich ones.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  56. Rick in Vegas

    I can only go by my personal experience in this matter. My wife is on Medicare and pays about $85 a month for everything. I have Anthem Blue Cross and pay $300 a month for healthcare not as good as she gets. You are darned right I would like to get the Public Option and have my healthcare costs go down. Even if I could get rid of the stupid donut hole I am in now I would be happy. These people disrupting everything should be ashamed of themselves and I hope the Administration gets this through for the good of all of us. Well all of us except the Insurace Companies and their lobbiests.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  57. Jeremy Kane

    Once again the right wing has succeeded in provind they are incapable of having any kind of rational discussion. I sincerely hope legislators and voters aren't buying into the staged "backlash" against healthcare. I also find it interesting that nobody seems to mind that most states, if not all, have government run health care programs already. Why is this acceptable but a federal program, according to the right, is "Socialist"?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  58. D. Smith

    This country needs to take care of its citizens.. we are 38 in health care under Costa Rica and Cuba. Give me a break, why should anyone have to have the stress of going bankrupt with a serious illness? We are in 27 in infant mortality.. the people who resist this change are uninformed, media fed extremists. Do your homework and it will set you free.
    Health care now, not insurance profits. \D. Smith

    August 10, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  59. lois

    Today I tried to get my perscription filled and the insurance company said I had to wait 4 days to get my perscription. ..even though the doctor okayed it. The insurance companys are already between you and your doctor. I prefer a government plan over a profit driven insurance company who cares only about lining their own pockets!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  60. John Sacramento

    While healthcare needs reformed ,intrusion into our lives and rationing of care and expanding Government are not acceptable and will not reduce cost but overtime will eliminate competition.
    It would be cheaper to just purchase insurance for those who are needy or
    reform the insurance industry
    reform the pharmacutal industry
    reform the hospital equipment industry
    reform tort law, cap awards
    eliminate medicare fraud.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  61. Neil Albert

    Heidi;
    It is apparent that the moneyed interests (pharmaceutical/Insurance Industries) have partnered with the Republican and Blue Dog Democrats who are on their campaign contribution payroll, to generate an effective fear and disinformation campaign to derail this much needed reform.
    It is unfortunate that the media is playing right into their hands by not highlighting this money trail, and are instead covering this as a legitimate objection that belies its fundamental importance to the future of our country.

    Neil Albert

    August 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  62. Kate Graham

    The VA and Medicare (both government run) are the highest rated insurance plans as far as customer satisfaction. Members of congress and the sentate have government run health care. As Americans we have many rights – unfortunately the right to free quality health care isn't one of those rights.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  63. Gdavis

    I found it very interesting that the hysterical remarks this morning came not from conservative Mr. Elder , but from Mr. Reagan who was shouting and spouting and talking over Mr. Elder. How ironic is this! The liberals are using "pillow talk" to cover up the half trillion with a T that will be cut from Medicare. That's what we gray hairs are protesting!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  64. John McAllister

    Congress and the president have only themselves to blame for "disinformation" . Niether of them has made it clear what the plan is. Outside the beltway, people are outraged at the possibility of the government running health care (they've done so well with other things they run). This outrage leads to the type of conduct that is occuring in the town hall meetings (by the way, this is exactly what Mr Obama was preaching when he was a political organizer). Certainly the healthcare system needs work, but it does not need to be scrapped and started over. CNN's report card last week showed exactly what the public thinks of congress, and these meetings demonstrate what we really thinks about this useless buch of 535 bozos who work inside the beltway

    August 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  65. paula

    I was not bussed in by anyone ..I thought Obama wanted people to discuss there ideas. I guess only If they agree with him. I have a right to disagree if I chose, and not be called a traitor by Nancy Pelosi. People are very angry about this Health care plan. Wake up we still have freedom of speech. At least for a little bit longer.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  66. Mark Jones

    If we do not make changes to our health care system it will fail all of us, insured and uninsured alike. If you don't believe me spend a few hours in an ER and you will think differently. I am without words wondering why people belive TV commercials and greedy, industry driven politicians who say about the current proposed health care plan the elderly will be euthanized and the government will choose your doctors. The way it is right now you can and probably will loose you health insurance if you become sick enough to stop being profitable to insure. It happens everyday to every class of people.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  67. Millicent J. Aynes

    Health Care Reform will not fix health care. Government's best role in
    improving health care is to promote public awareness of individual responsiblitiy for health. People must know that modern medicine cannot fix individual abuse of health.

    Every individual needs catastrophic health care – like auto insurance.
    Health care is not a right; it is a personal responsibility.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  68. Dave Anderson

    I have a low-paying teaching job without health benefits. Currently, I pay almost a quarter of my income for major medical insurance (as required by Massachusetts) from a company I don't trust. If I get really sick, I'm assuming they'll find ways to avoid paying what they should, and I could be pushed into bankruptcy. So if my taxes go up as a result of the new health care system, that's okay with me, as long as I can depend on getting the care I need.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  69. joe

    one ,healthcare needs to be reformed.secondly this is not the way tto do it. all healthcare has to have malpractice reform and no public option. insurance companies need to be able to compete across state lines. medicare spending needs to be increased ,not cut. the majority of us pay into medicare our whole working life and should expect some benefits. when you have people like pelosi and the other democrats trying to demonize true american citizens voicing their concerns is a disgrace. the true organized groups come from the obama side-acorn,seiu for example.

    people should be aware of union members causing problems at meetings. i believe unions have been an important part of american history but now are a danger. search google for the letter john sweeney addressed to afl-cio members last week.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  70. rich

    Heidi,
    What is health Care reform ? It is different for each interest group. Please Mr Obama be more specific and clear. People are passionate because they see the Govt getting more involved than ever on everthing and many Just do no trust Ms. Pelosi or Mr Reid and slowly Mr Obama.
    Why must it be all or nothing. People I talk to think you identify the top 5 issues and seriously deal with them. Then you keep going. What about mal practise insurance I know a doctor who retired because of the cost.
    And now I understand the Health Insurance companies ( article in newsweek) see a big pay day when all are insured but will reduce coverage other others. I think too much Govt involvement period.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  71. Theresa Washburn

    Iam a proud American with 2 sons headed over to Afganistan in less than 6 months. One son on his 5th tour. Why are we afraid of taking care of our unemployed, elderly or disabled? Health care reform should be welcomed. Just because some have health insurance, they are comfortable, but what if they loose their job. I know many friends and family members that have lived with out health insurance and just go to the emergency room when preventative care would have been cheaper. We take care of illegal aliens, immagrents through our emergency rooms. We send aide over seas. Come on.
    What is the fear? We need the choices offered. Fear teases the imagination and runs rampant. After all where would we be without Medicare. Thats all this is ...finally for all.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  72. Anita

    Health care reform is both a moral and economic imperative. We are paying a terrible price for poor health coverage in this country. Please don't let the naysayers and the fear mongers keep this from happening. Rumors of euthanasia are the worst kind of fear mongering!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  73. Janis Andrews

    The bigger issue here is that we have DC bureaucrats making these decisions, and refusing to consider alternatives. With Medicare and Social Security already a mess, any competent business person would certainly look first at fixing existing programs before messing it all up with more government. What we really need to fix health care is a bipartisan group of non-politicians. There are a lot of obvious fixes that should be done before going down the socialized medicine road. And, how can President Obama say there are "rumors" that we are headed toward socialized medicine, when I have seen him saying he wants just that–of course, before he was running for president. I'm so tired of career politicians, I could puke. Term limits for Congress! Put "real people" in to make decisions instead of power brokers who think they are entitled to fly in expensive jets at the expense of their "subjects." Congress has become like royalty. Who wouldn't want to stay in, with all the benefits they get!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  74. Shirley

    My husband and I, both in our sixties, are very opposed to the "obama-public-option-single-payer" health care plan. We are very afraid of being senior citizens with Obama in power. He is not showing us the "change" he promised during his campaign; rather he is stuffing a "Chicago-Maffia-style" government down our throats. Please let him know that American citizens are very unhappy with what he is showing us. Thanks, Shirley

    August 10, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  75. Joyce Stengel

    Tina, where we are today, is that health care is way too high for most Americans, and for far too many who have no health care, are losng their homes to pay for serious illnesses, or who are dying. We are more like a third world country in health care and some of them are doing better. Most say we have the best health care in the world, but its not for all Americans. The illegals get ours for free!!! Joyce

    August 10, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  76. Jack Clifford

    Thanks for the opportunity to respond to this issue. Are the folks that are opposing this health care reform members of the flat earth society and don't want to get into the 21st century? I have a daughter that is a singel parent without insurance and worry about her lack of health care. Someone once told me that if you want to see in one's heart then look at their check book. I wonder what is in the check book of this "do nothing" advocates?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  77. Steve Lester

    It would be easier to debate the plan if there was a plan. So far all I have seen are suggestions. And what I have read in that 1000 page House bill is a little disingenuous.

    At least with the plan presented during the Clinton administration, there were specifics that could be debated.

    The President has already stated that "tort reform" will not be apart of the healthcare debate. And what part of the cost of medical care is driven by defensive medicine?

    But even if we simply did the math. You could purchase healthcare insurance for those 40+ million uninsured for a fraction of the projected costs being quoted by the congress.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  78. cj from ct

    it has always been a GOP tool to instill fear and misinformation to manipulate the public. I am concerned that they are winning since fear is easy to plant and more difficult to undue. I have great insurance, but I want a public option. I have friends who have gone bancrupt, I know the underinsured, and I know the kind of care you don't get without insurance. I am exceptionally angry with Palin's last comments about the "death panel". Her lack of education in healthcare is apparent. Does she know what a EURO score is? Does she know what an algorythym is? If she did...she would understand that the medical community has been settings standards and guidlines about the risk of surgery and standards of care for many years. I take care of many "dead" people. ICU, expensive, and futile. We call them here the million dollar babies and they will die after we have done "everything" for months even though we know at the outset...they will die. Americans have to come to grips with the costs of futile care and their inability to accept death. Private insurance has a lethal grip on our financial necks. I pray Obama can get a viable competative public option.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  79. Larry Parsons

    I am so tired of hearing Mr. Obama and his party minions look at the camera and tell us there will be no government take over of health care and other blatant lies. The current version of the House bill, HR 3200, contains wording that makes it impossible for private insurance to continue. Also, the provision that fees will be set by geographic location, age and income level–this seems contrary to the whole concept of insurance where the pool shares the cost of the risk. I could go on and on but it seems no one in Congress is listening to their constituents.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  80. mizzio

    Putting fear about healthcare doesn,t help a thing. You have great healthcare so why would you care or cnn.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  81. Brian

    Healthcare debate is all money like all other debates. Insurence is %40 of hospital, doctor & prescription costs passed to the consumer. If that was fixed then many doctors loose the pharacutical kick-backs and pharmacys don;t sell as much (jobs) are lost. Will no one look at the big picture? To fix anything first the coruption has to be eliminated. Doctors should have better oversight to remove doctors that should not be practicing and you should not need to be rich to become a doctor. The coruption and unfairness in any position of life runs deep and we need politions that work for the people and not for their pocets.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  82. Ron

    What ever happened to people having rational discussions?

    Television stories that show people shouting down someone trying to
    speak show disgraceful behavior. These are Americans at their worst.
    The obvious question: who is fueling these hot tempers and for whose benefit?

    Moneyed interests do not want any reform and I will not ever
    underestimate the power of Big Money to control what happens in this country.

    Ron

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  83. George

    I am a health care provider of pre-hospital services. I was initially excited about the promise and prospect of having more people in America being given the opportunity to enjoy the true American dream of good life and liberty. I am now concerned. I am also very disappointed. I look at both news shows and I find mud slinging on both channels, which has no real place now that the elections are over. Time to move on. I think that if Congress does pass these health care initiatives it will be a grave mistake due to the fact that they are creating a new system based upon a dysfunctional system that is already in place, which will fix nothing. I believe that this move may cripple the economy in the end (that is only now showing signs of recovery) since at this time the Health Care industry is one of the few leading the way in lessening the joblessness in America. I finally believe that America took a wrong turn when "Politician," became a profession and sole source of income in America in stead of something done as a service to the country. We have made the government at large too powerful and have taken the right of the states to govern themselves away. What works in the great state of Texas will probably not fit the bill for Iowa. So why would a shotgun effect health care bill solve the deplorable status of health care in America as a whole?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  84. A. Belcher

    We are on a mental roller coaster with all the changes proposed. Why the hurry? I would feel a lot better if we all took a deep breath and thought this through. I am not confident that haste is going to work. I also think the President is pushing this option without any concern for its outcome. I am not confident that anything productive will come of it. I don't think he or any one in his staff really are ready to face the music, if it doesn't work. I am a conservative independent who looks at all options. No one is even looking at cheaper, more cost-effective changes that some in Congress are proposing. Just like the stimulus package, they are trying to throw money at a problem and increase regulation, when that is not really targeting the problem. It just bothers me that this thing is being rammed down our throats without thinking about it.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  85. ROBINSON FROM KANSAS CITY

    May God bless President Obama for all his good intiative for this our great country. We cannot be number one in the world if 46 million American lack health insurance and access to medical care. I am surprised that people can stand and oppose a plan that is meant for the good of the citizens of this coutry.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  86. Joanne Hamilton

    It isn't necessary to get health care reform 100% right out of the gate. Health care insurers, like any business that stays in business, has constantly made changes to meet changing conditions. Perfectionism is a well known way of getting nothing done and we should not be sidelined by it.
    Joanne Hamilton

    August 10, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  87. Bobbi Wayman

    I think that we are losing sight of the main issues:
    1. We spend more for health care than any other industrialized country in the world at about 16% of our GDP with France at second with about 11% of GDP.

    2. 46 million Americans are uninsured.

    3. Private insurers make a great deal of money and work as a group. It seems to be operating more as a monolithic event.

    4. Medicare is a government run program. Medicare recipients in Texas and Florida receive more dollars for care, but do not enjoy greater outcomes than those at the Cleveland Clinic.

    5. Medicare is a public option! Medicare, while expensive, works.

    6. Premiums for healthcare have risen 2 times in the past 10 years. If you made $40,000 tens years ago, then you need $80,000 per year to keep up with the premium increases. Incomes have not increased that much.

    6. What is wrong with some kind of public option? I do not have a problem with a non-for-profit organization providing healthcare just like Medicare does. Medicare administrative costs are much lower than private insurers.

    Let's not forget that the 46 million uninsured are people with illnesses. They need some kind of affordable care just like all of us do. We cannot wait to reform health care.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  88. John McAllister

    The idea that people are being "bussed in" to these meetings is bogus. People are ticked off. One of my senators is having a town hall meeting nearby, but it went from open to all, it is now by "invitation only" - I wonder why people are ticked off.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  89. Monty Kuttner

    The only thing preventing a health care reform plan that works for everyone is the will to compromise. in order to develop the plan. As a former management consultant to insurance companies and a former underwriter of health insurance coverage, I assure you there are many ways to solve the health care problem if experts - not politicians - are allowed to sit down and craft a plan that will take into consideration all the currently-voiced objections.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  90. Robert G Stanley

    I think the President and the Congress have not given the American people enough detail on the health care issue, thus giving the Repuplicans to opportunity to do what they do best, raise fears and cause division.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  91. Steve Setzer

    It amazing to me that so many people in our country are unable to recognize they are being given many blatent lies about health care reform. If a radio personality told them to jump from a bridge, I have no doubt some would comply. Do some research on your own people!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  92. Susy Raybon

    I'm not sure how the topic can even be fully debated without details....most of which are missing. That said, right now at Ft. Campbell they are trying to get the wait times for soldiers and their familes down from three hours per appointment. So letting the government manage health care, from a logistical standpoint seems outrageous. Now factor in meds, durable medical equipment, best practice procedures, etc. and I think we would be living a nightmare.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  93. Dr. John E. Johnson

    With 14k losing their health insurance daily, insurance rates doubling now in just 8 1/2 years, and health care costs already twice as high as the next most expensive industrialized country, we need major reform now. It's interesting that despite the astro-mobs that Obama's poll numbers are back up to 58% in the latest Gallup Poll.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  94. Tameka Washington

    Good morning. I personally think that people are afraid that the government will decisions for them when it comes down to tests or surgeries. They think possible the surgery will be denied. I think people need to put themselves in other peoples shoes, someone who has worked all of their life and now has no healthcare. I think everyone should be taken care of. I would not mind helping someone with no insurance. Like the young lady said on your segment; how she didn't want to take away from someone. I don't think they would. We are paying for social security benefits now when we are told there won't be any funds available to us. We are already taking care of someone right now. I say we need it. My daughter had a seizure and I didn't have insurance and they just sent me home.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  95. bob morgan

    What a bunch of useless,self serving slackers! Congress goes on break with no healthcare plan???? What good are they? I say throw the bums ALL out and let's start over,WITH TERM LIMITS...and no recess until ALL the American people have health coverage that equals what those in congress enjoy!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  96. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Heidi, it is obvious that these people are not there to debate the merits of healthcare reform bills being debated in Congress. You can tell by their questions that most of them are misinformed. They never read the bill. The organizers are counting on the other side's passivisity. These half – educated idiots are only there to disrupt, and keep everybody else from hearing or participating in this debate. These are the same people who refused to observe the MLK holiday when it was passed. If we're going to have a healthy healthcare debate, these thugs or hooligans need to stop yelling and screaming, otherwise, the other side will start yelling and screaming and the sanctity of our democracy will be at stake.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  97. heisenberg

    I had a policy with a company call Mega, when went to the West Houston Medical Center for chest pain, they took me in the ER for 23 hours before releasing me.
    Since I was never registered into the Hospital (an HCA co), the Mega group never paid the bill ($18,000.00) since the small letters of the policy said that it did not include ER service.
    I left before the hour 24 (when I should have been passed me to the Hospital to save money and it back fired to me.
    Mega and the National Association for the Self Employment (another name for the same crooks) never paid.
    I took them to the court and the judge ruled as they wanted since the judges are in th pockets of the insurance companies

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  98. kent in colorado

    Citizens should pay close attention to the respect and attention they are getting from leaders like Nancy Pelosi who referred to constituents who disagree with government run health care as Nazis. These are the same leaders who will be setting up a system to determine who gets taken care of and who doesn't. The simple truth is an entity will have to determine who is approved and who's not. Do you want a government official who thinks your a Nazi to be involved in that process? I think we should think very carefully before we jump off a cliff in hopes of making something better that works already. It might be a better idea to make adjustments on the plan we have already that most Americans are satisfied with.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  99. Tula

    We absolutely need healthcare reform in the U.S. Healthcare premium costs are increasing at an alarming rate each year and even those who prefer to keep their existing coverage will eventually benefit. Once a government option is available, private insurance carriers will have to lower their costs to the consumer and eliminate restrictions, such as pre-existing conditions, if they want to stay in business.

    Our representatives in the House and Senate are working very hard to come up with a plan. Hopefully, a healthcare proposal will be announced soon after the August break.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  100. carol slates

    People voted for change and reform, but now won't allow even allow discussion for these reforms? How can they possilbly know the facts if they won't shut up and listen to what is being said. Listen first, comment after. There is a huge health care crisis in this country. when do people think that screaming and yelling are going to solve it. Like it or not, these attitudes only add to the crisis. They need to wake up, shut up, listen, and then voice their opinions.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  101. Ann Adams

    I believe strongly that the American people deserve a health care system that continues to provide high quality care, without the huge financial obstacles that are currently in place. Whenever change that allows more citizens to receive essential care is considered, what seems to happen is that we start to focus on fear–fear that our free enterprise system will come to ruin. The fact is that many industrialized countries provide quality health care because they see the needs of their countrymen as their FIRST priority–have we stopped thinking that way about ourselves and our neighbors? Even if it means giving a little more so that everyone has access to quality care, to me it will be well worth it for all of us both as individuals and as a nation.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  102. Rich

    I am appauled at the inaccurate information that is being quoted about Healthcare Reform. Here is my position.

    1. I think that every citizen should have access to Healthcare and Insurance that does not cause families to lose everything due to a medical issue.

    That said, I also support the objectives that the President has outlined.

    1. No discrimination for pre-existing conditions.

    2. No exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, deductibles or co-pays.

    3. No cost-sharing for preventive care.

    4. No dropping of coverage for seriously ill.

    5. No gender descrimination.

    6. No annual of lifetime caps on coverage.

    7. Extended coverage for young adults.

    8. Guaranteed insurance renewal.

    What I keep hearing in the news coverage and TV commercials is that this will be paid for by cutting medicare coverage to seniors, when I've heard the President say that it won't.

    Someone is lying in this media war on Healthcare Reform. I think it is imperative that the TRUE FACTS be highlighted in CNN's, and all other media outlets coverage and communicated to the American People. All that I hear from the Republicans and other opponents is that the existance of a Govt. run option will lead to a total Govt. run healthcare system. Again, if this is TRUE, then I would love to hear the facts that support those claims.

    We can only make a decision when we know the truth and not the rantings of political opponents that care more for their cause or party than the country.

    Please, lets hear the facts. Also, if the republicans oppose the demorcratic plan or the Presidents approach, then lets hear the detailed proposal that they have that meets the objectives.

    Thanks

    August 10, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  103. Mike K - Caledonia, Mi

    25 years ago, my company paid for all of my health care. There were no co-pays, prescriptions dental and optical were included. Today, with the best PPO available from a fortune 500 company, I have spent over $25,000 out of pocket in the last 2 years for health care.

    The difference is we are paying for lobbyists, lawsuits, fraud entitled by the lobbyists, uninsured citizens legal and illegal and excessive profits and bonuses in the Insurance industry. There is a correlation between what happened on Wall Street and what is happening in the insurance industry. Nothing will change as long as key Congressmen are on the insurance payroll and the insurance industry continues to scare simple minded people.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  104. Pat Genereux

    Too bad so many are uniformed, including the media. First, this is not the President's health care plan, it is ours and it is needed. Second, deliberate misinformation from people like Sarah Palin is truly evil. Finally, when will people realize that the insurance companies (and the legislators they have bought off) DO NOT care about our health, they care only about making as much money as they can and will kill us (deny care) in order to do so.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  105. Darren Johnson

    We already have health care for all. Just not a very efficient one. Who do people think pays for all the emergency room visits for people without health insurance. No to mention the 6 out of 10 bankrupcys caused by medical bills. So who is paying those bills? All the news agencies, need to do a better job of what is in the health care bills being proposed.

    Darren
    Winfield, Ks

    August 10, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  106. Vance

    As senion citizen I am satisfied with medical Care

    Thomas Jefferson said you need a revolution every 3 or 4 generation. That is where congress is. Sometimes I think they couldn't roll a marble in a manhole if it was downhill in a gutter.

    Why doesn't congress have the same insurance as public?

    Why does it take 1000 pages?

    They should start with reduciing fraud and increasing efficiency?

    How about that jet!

    You guys are getting off message and focuing on shouting at meetings. Let everybody vent! Big Deal!

    The meeting reflect the sum total of everything that is going on...frustration!

    Vance

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  107. hosea

    Health-care is important for all Americans alike; it will insure the uninsured; and give them the opportunity to be seen by doctors when they can not afford to. I have a brother with a hole in his heart; and he can not get insurance; he can not go to the doctor and get care that he desperately needs. There are alot of misinformation coming out of the GOP; but the disruption when trying to create positive dialog is unacceptable. The GOP is trying to disrupt any and everything that our president is trying to do; whether you agree with it or not; show some dignity in challenging the issues that they oppose. That is what the GOP is lacking (dignity). They put us in this mess; then they want to cry foul when there is someone trying to get us out. We can not get out of there mess without investing in the American people. Bottom line!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  108. Jane Kiester

    It saddens me that so many of the people who knee jerk and believe the misleading and sometimes downright false ads and speeches that are aimed at derailing any healthcare proposal are the very ones who would benefit the most from the bill. Fellow seniors, under this bill, your Medicare (a government health insurance program) will only get better and cover more. I beg you to check out the facts before you yell about "killing seniors" or "euthanasia." This scare came about because some healthcare opponent twisted the meaning of the new provision that would compensate doctors for consultations with us about living wills. Everyone needs a living will to let our doctors know what WE want him or her to do for us at the end of life! Don't you want YOUR wishes known???

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  109. Amy Good

    When Bill Clinton was pres. he tried for healthcare it failed. Did the
    insurance companys and healthcare try to come up with a healthcare plan no they kept raising prices and collecting money till it breaks the people. Something needs to be done. We need a healthcare plan..

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  110. R Dodd

    I held medical power of attorney through my mother's losing battle with cancer. At the beginning, the battle was aggressive and some very expensive measures were taken (one procedure alone cost more than $12,000).

    After it was clear she wouldn't survive, the focus on treatment was making her comfortable as she slipped away.

    She was 79 years old when the cancer was diagnosed. If the government had been in charge of her care ala Obamacare, the calculation would have been: She's already beyond normal lifespan; the "value" of her remaining life doesn't outweigh the expense of trying to fight the cancer; provide her pain pills and let her die.

    I have absolutely zero financial interest in the health care industry in any way, shape or form, except, I'm a 55-year-old man, so I'm more likely to suffer a serious illness than younger folks.

    I don't want the government in between me and my doctor, or making decisions on the course and type of treatment I receive.

    I'm mortified at the number of people posting here who'd rather have someone else pay their bills and are willing to totally surrender their freedom of choice to get it.

    Then again, CNN viewers, right?

    Medicare? Bankrupt!

    Medicaid? Bankrupt!

    Social Security? Bankrupt!

    And the answer is? MORE GOVERNMENT!!

    Smell the coffee, folks!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  111. eileen maloney

    YES to Health Care. YES to Public Option. YES to Single Payer. Every other First World Nation in the world has it. TIme for us to stop acting like a Third World Country.

    BTW, the Town Hall loudmouths who oppose Health Care for all (many of whom have GOVERNMENT Medicare themselves) are largely uninformed, and have no interest in real debate. They want to shut it and democracy down through intimidation. Conspicuous by their absence are people of color from these "shouters against health care." I suspect that it's not health care change that they fear at all, but rather are scared to death of the prospect of ceding power to *gasp* people of color like Obama and Sotomayor.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  112. Jim Baker

    Hi Heidi! I wonder what the insurance companies are thinking about this health reform? I am sure they arent in any big hurry for people without insurance to have any. If they were why dont they provide health insurance for those who cont or wont have insurance.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  113. Angie

    Why are people so against their fellow Americans having access to affordable health care? I'm from a middle class family, husband works very hard and yet we can not afford the obscene monthly premiums. So my husband, two children, and myself go without and just hope nothing really awful happens. Don't get angry with the people who desperately want Health Care Reform, get angry at the Health Care Industry for being too greedy.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  114. Julian Rogers

    Heidi, what I am experiencing is just pure frustration about health care and the mindless opposition to the desperate need for reform. The amazing amount of dis-information is deafening and sad. It seems that more of the non-truths are getting airtime rather than the basic facts even though we don't have a solid bill.
    It seems that fear is the enemy of this reform fed by ramped up scare tactics.
    I can't figure out why when people say that they don't want a government take over...the government between them and their doctor yet the for profit insurance company IS between you and your doctor and has for years weilded the power to limit our care based on what is profitable for them. We also seem to have a group of people that seem to be heartless in their lack of concern for those absolutely without any health coverage.
    I am just unable to understand why it is not being reported how much the American people want reform while the demonizers get all the focus.

    Thanks

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  115. Parker Eagerton

    Anything the government gets involved in costs more than it should and becomes very inefficient. Most folks do not know what is in the bills being proposed and folks must realize that if something is going to get paid that is not currently being paid the money must come from somewhere. The government does not have it and is in fact writing checks without the money in the bank to cover them. We will have to pick up the tab and it is going to be tremendous.

    The folks in Congress have not read all the proposed legislation and I doubt if most have. We need to be informed and study before we speak.

    Healthcare needs change but this is not the answer, from what I have seen said by some of the presidential advisers.

    I also have relatives in Canada that do not like the system there at all.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  116. Frank Jasionowiczj

    Fear and hate, The Republican Tag line.

    The Republicans are in the pocket of big Pharma and insurance. The had the White house and Congress for 8 years and did nothing to aid the American People, just start wars .
    This isnt about health care, The Republicans just want power again, and its funded by the drug and Insurance companies.
    We need health care for everyone,

    Stop the lies!!
    Stop the hate!!!
    Stop the incitement!!
    Debate if you can!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  117. Clark

    Heidi,

    I'm opposed for a many reasons.
    I turn 65 in a couple of years and wil be eligible for medicare. With the government cutting $400 billion from medicare to help pay for this new program It's obvious that I won't get the benefits my parents got.

    We need a tune up not an overhaul.
    Cracking down of fraud and junk lawsuits should save $100 billion.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  118. Sarah Fisher

    Heidi,
    Ex-Governor Palin does not even know the correct medical term for her child's diagnosis. It is NOT Down Syndrome. It is Down's syndrome with an apostrophe s. Thanks

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  119. Donald Ratsch

    Heidi, I am 69 years old and am truly scared that this national health care proposal will result in great pain. Ten years ago I had a large growing benign stomach tumor removed after a 3 week agonizing tossing and turning wait. How in the world could I stand a hellish 3 month wait for relief?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  120. Joe Hines

    Lets fix what's bankrupting our healthcare system before we tackle reform. To think that a person who is morbidly obese and/or smokes two packs of cigarettes a day should pay the same for health care as someone who lives a fit life is ridiculous. When did this country abandon personal responsibility for political correctness? Lets focus our money and efforts on education and incentives to live a healthy and active life. Build more parks and ensure our kids have more public recreation and fitness options. Discount insurance for those that are reasonably fit. For now health reform should be the issue not Healthcare reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  121. Arnold Young

    We need heath Care Congress have good heath insurance coverage and the we pay for it .

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  122. Ken K

    I am not a big fan of the proposal because:
    1. I don't know what is in it!
    2. I don't know who (by name) wrote it.
    3. Is there an entitlement element in it?
    4. Will it take money from the under-funded medicare program?
    5. I do not believe/trust congress/the president to be truthful about the long term cost.

    To get my support, answer the questions above and include an automatic and irreversible "kill switch" in the bill that says "At any time after Oct 30, 2009, should the CBO determine that this Act is costing more than the revenue generated to finance it then this Act is automatically repealed and all 1000 pages are considered null and void.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  123. Dan

    I am definitely in favor of a government run healthcare system. The insurance companies and their involvement in healthcare both in running hospitals and telling doctors what they can and cannot treat, and therefore what they will or will not cover is ridiculous. Allowing insurance companies into healthcare is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. What 'Einstein' allowed that idea to float?
    My biggest concern lies with the doctor and not so much with a government system. Doctors will treat patients better when they have private insurance because they can charge more per minute for services as opposed to a government system that limits the charge to a set amount dictated by the policy. That premise is proven presently by comparing Medicare payments with 'Company provided' healthcare costs.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  124. Tret

    I’m shocked by level of ignorance displayed by the people that are shouting and purposely disrupting the meetings our representatives are trying to have on healthcare reform. This level of ignorance about the facts and blatant shouting attacks to prevent an informative dialogue to take place in these town hall meetings is usually seen in third world countries where there is a large uneducated population NOT in America. This type of mob-based theatrics and bullying by ignorant ill-informed Americans must stop so we can have the needed dialogue on healthcare reform and ensure our representatives return to Washington with the right message. We must have healthcare reform NOW!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  125. Lawrence Kassan

    Concerning the "organized disruption" of healthcare discussions by the Far Right across the country to defeat any chance of reform is the same technique that worked in1980 in stopping the recount in Florida and the Supreme court gave us 8 years of George W. Bush.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  126. Joe Greenwalt

    I think it is a shame that the oppsitin to Health Care Reform has to resort to such tactics as disrupting the Town Hall meetings. If they want to be heard so badly why don't the Republican Senators and Representatives hold their own Town Hall meetings. Normal people want more information as to what is being proposed and deserve to hear what their Congressmen have to say.
    I feel that many Republicans have a political agenda and are opposed to anything that will score points for the Democrats. When I hear Mitch McConnel encouraging the shout down tactics that are being used it reaffirms my belief that he is 100% political and must have icewater in his veins.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  127. Peter & Maureen Cervoni

    The only way to really drive health insurance premiums down is to have a public option to provide legitimate competition. People that are waivering on reform because they need all details of legislation are setting the process up for failure. Most people do not fully uynderstand their present insurance coverage, so they only need to know that a public option will drive down premiums, protect people with pre-existing conditions and will have to be funded with savings within the current system and raising taxes.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  128. pat gillette

    We are for health care reform! My husband and I were just dealing with the medigap vs. medicare and thank god the gov't tried to intervene and forced the insurance companies to standardize plans- for one. But we can still see the lobbying of the insurance companies to get their "share" of the pie! Drugs for example- having to get a stand alone policy if one gets medigap-which we did- but the medigap supplement we finally decided on was presented by the agent with the warning that the premiums would go up...well, we are now spending 10-11% of our NET retirement income on medical insurance and that income won't be going up- I can't imagine how much more we'd be spending if the gov't wasn't involved!!
    These health companies have HAD their time to improve- now they need to be forced to change. AND we are "happy " with our insurance but we STILL believe in change AND in equal "sacrifice"- meaning are our public servants sacrificing 10-11% of their salaries for their insurances??

    August 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  129. Tony Irizarry

    The gov't destroyed social security by raiding its funds for pork and other so called projects.
    The "cash for clunkers" program should be easy to manage compared to a national health program, and they barely have control over it.
    What makes you think they can effectively and efficiently manage this health program based on their deplorable experiece with these other programs?
    I am sick and tired of the gov't trying to control every aspect of out lives while insisting more taxes are necessary.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  130. Kathryn

    The townhall meetings are to give everyone a voice to communicate their individual views and to ask questions. The shouting rants just display an unreasonable radical bullying. If people are for or against the healthcare plan, wouldn't you have the potential of winning those that are undecided by rationally conveying your reasoning rather than a rant? I am ashamed of those that are choosing to bully rather than acting like an adult and voicing your opinion and allowing others to voice their's. The scare tactics will backfire. Are these people unable to speak intelligently to give valid reasons they are against the plan? Can they not suggest valid solutions/suggestions if they have any?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  131. cwtn

    I am in dismay of the the verbal thugs hired to disrupt and derail these town hall meetings. Honest people are taking the time to attend these meetings to understand the true facts of the health care reform. I am hopeful the CNN team will be able to trim back the disinformation so the general public can see their way clear to a more informed decision free of fear.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  132. R.E. Dalmeida

    I find it curious that any statements against the Obama and Congress healthplans is considered right-wing extreme, GOP trouble makers, anti-American. Also why is it only those in opposition are considered misinformed when there is so little accurate information about the bills? I am not radical or stupid and I am concerned. It is mathematically impossible to provide healthcare insurance to those that do not currently pay for any and at the same time promise them that "someone else" will pay for it. One proposal for paying for these plans actually suggested reductions in Medicare budgets. So how do you pay for less in this system and get more when the system has for years been underfunded? I hope sanity returns to this country as well as personal responsibility. Nothing is a free ride and it is not fair to expect others to shoulder all the financial burden of the country's over-spending.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  133. Peggy Bunch

    We really need healthcare reform. Some very smart people are working on it and I believe they know what they are doing. Please let it go through. Several members of my family can't go to the Dr. because they don't have healthcare. If Governor Perry doesn't let it happen in Texas I guess we will have to move. I think President Obama is doing a great job.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  134. Debbie

    I am very satisfied with my healthcare, although it is costly. Thank God my husbands construction job has been steady. I think that our healthcare system can not be successful until the cost of illegal
    immigrants that do not qualify for the govt. plan are figured out.
    Illegal immigration drains so many aspects of our economy, I cannot believe that has not been in the mainstream media more.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  135. Norm

    It's a shame that the media seems to be interviewing everyone about healthcare reform except the doctors who take care of patients every day. I have seen the doctors at the Universities along with the doctors at the underfunded clinics interviewed, but why has the voice of the physicians who take care of 85% of the people in this county not been heard. No one has interviewed the surgeon, obstetrician, anesthesiologist ,radiologist, etc.., at the community hospitals about this healthcare reform bill. Community hospitals are where most people in this county get their care. While a focus on primary care is necessary and a great idea, be careful that the specialty practices, that are the best in the world, do not become a casualty in the process. Having practiced medicine in the US for over 15 years I can tell you that some changes need to be made, but the sweeping reforms that are being proposed will have negative consequences that many in the healthcare field can see, and that the American public will not be happy with.
    Norm Rice MD

    August 10, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  136. Steve

    I am very opposed to the Obama-public-health care. We need to fix what we have, not the new plan.There have been several plans submitted to congress from the Republicans that have been totally ignored. When people say the Republicans are just compaining and not producing, it is a lie.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  137. Beverly Kaye Moore

    The drug companies screwed up Medicare Part D and I expect the health insurance companies will do the same with any health care reform. How can America achieve real health care reform when members of congress are ownefd by the drug companies and health insurance companies? I do not understand how members of congress that accept donations from drug and health insurance companies do not recues themselves from the debate and the vote.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  138. Melony Dervin

    I really don't understand why some people are against this health plan. I am convinced the "haves" do not want the "have nots" to receive the health care they need. Why wouldn't you want everyone in America to have health care?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  139. wanda ham

    The people who have medical insurance at this time better understand what is meant by existing conditions. Insurance companies will not cover people who are overweight, have colesterol above 200 ,Blood pressure above 120/80 , and are over 50 years of age. So they better not lose their jobs., or they may never get insurance cover again. What I have to say to them is GOOD LUCK.... This is what the underwriters will tell you when you try to get insurance.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  140. Betty Daniels

    It is very unfair for the insurance industry to take over the debates on health care. They have helped to create this crisis and now they do not want to be control. Republicans ruled the country for 8 years. During that time the cost of everything tri-tripled. That is why you see people paying interest on a house three times the worth of the home. That is why the cost of medicine has far exceeded the care received. That is why the insurance company can decide what medica services you can received. They have enjoyed their time as the ruling party. It's time to let the middle class receive some breaks. If you noticed I said middle class. We are the one being stuck with outrageous mortages and medical bills. As a matter of fact because of financial situation that has been permitted to grow over the last 8 years, we are almost extinct. There has been a wide gulf developed between the middle class vs upper and lower classes.
    Believe it or not, those two groups have nothing to lose in these debates. They are already well covered with medical and housing. It's the middle class that is letting the demonstrators decide their future. The Republicans offered us nothing but higher interest and higher premiums. I know they enjoyed the power they yielded over the middle class, but now it's time that the middle class received some help. Give us the insurance reforms we need so we will not have to have yard sales and lose homes in order to take care of our health. As I said, the insurance reform that is being offered is there to help the middle class so that we can continue to be the middle class. People are being forced from middle class to lower class in unnatural numbers. The middle class is dwindling. The middle class has been ridden into the ground. Our backs have been broken and our savings stolen through the stock market, please give us insurance reforms. Such a small price for all we have had to put up with for the last 8 years. It is really something wrong with a country that lets lenders charge it's people 5 times more than a house is worth. Why? Why? Why?

    August 10, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  141. wayne

    Right now, the media seems to be focused more on the disruptive behaviors of a minority at these town hall meetings than in providing more factual assessments of the bills both the House and the Senate are debating. We as a people, cannot provide direction to our elected representatives unless we understand the options. The scare tactics being pushed by those who do not want a change in health care, are distracting to those in the majority who recognize a need for change and in essence, negating the process of debate.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  142. Mr. and Mrs. Donald Thayer

    We strongly support President Obama’s proposed major health care and health insurance reform and believe that it should include both a single-payer and co-op options. Good models for both of these options exist in the VA Health Care System and FEHB (Federal Employees Health Benefits Program). The VA Health Care System provides excellent care at a much lower cost than do private systems. It is imperative that any revision allow both Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate fair prices from the pharmaceutical companies for drugs and other supplies. We do not believe that it is logical to expect health care costs to be significantly reduced when the major suppliers (health insurance, pharmaceutical, hospital, and unfortunately some physicians) are for-profit organizations. This is why only a co-op option, such as FEHB is not in itself the solution. The co-op option could certainly help small business and perhaps some individuals, but the single-payer option is essential to bring costs under control. Even large co-op programs such as FEHB have had outrageous increases in health care insurance premiums. Our share of the FEHB premium has risen from $318 to $718 per month since 2003 even though both of us are on medicare when hospitalized.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  143. Phillip

    Health Care is a basic human right. A country rich as america should have care provide for it's citizens. The people that oppose it dont realize that MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY are soliciasm.
    That the VA is a government controlled system. That EVERYBODY is already paying for the uninsured people. If youve got insurance your paying for the people that just go to the emergency room. finally, its INSURANCE reform not health care reform. The conservative media is spreading rumors to people to scare them. Thats why there so much outrage about this issue. I wish people would stick to the facts and lets talk about this important issue. whether your on either side.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  144. MaryFran Potts

    On Friday I sat silently smiling at the Democratic Party booth at the Wisconsin State Fair. During the 3 hours I was there I had women stop to shake their fingers at me and tell me I should be ashamed of myself. They were raising their voices and talking about the coming of the ovens. I heard the words eugenics, euthanasia and nazis over and over again. Men walked by giving us dirty looks and telling bad jokes about the president of the United States. None of these people seemed to be aware that it was a Republican who originally suggested citizens be counseled about living wills and end of life decisions. All were parroting what they hear on hate filled talk radio and tv shows. None seemed to know that insurance lobbyists back Americans For Prosperity/Patients United Now which encourage haranguing against health care reform at public meetings. Ignorance and anger seem to go hand in hand.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  145. bajanqueen

    I support President's Obama heath care plans. The media keeps reporting that most people are happy with their heath care which is very untrue. I don't know anyone who is happy with the health care plans that that currently have.
    I hope the blue dogs turn into to real dogs and listen to President Obama.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  146. E. Gilmore

    All the fuss over the health care bill makes me sad. Democracy is discussion and argument, not shouting. Turning up the volume does not make a person right or wrong. I have good health care, but I have many friends with none or impossible prices because of pre-existing conditions. I have wanted a fairer system for fifty years.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  147. Emily

    Obama had promised change during his campaign. Americans seemed rather unhappy with our current health care system, and were looking for another option. Obama had stated during his campaign that he wanted to reform health care. Why are some Americans so surprised that hes working toward health care reform if thats what he had promised?

    Although some Americans may benefit from their investments on health care, the cost has been growing every year. The US spends the most on healthcare in the world. However, this doesn't suggest that we are the healthest or our longevity rate is much higher than other nations. The high cost of health care is an economic slow down for Americans. This is forcing some to even abandon their health care plans. I am one of them. Health care needs to be reformed.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  148. cj from ct

    Private insurance used make 5% profit in the 90's...now they make 20% profit and rising. We have to pay for big salaries AND we have to pay for their costs to stop reform. Our premiums and co-pays rise to help shoot ourselves in the foot. Only in America.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  149. Mike

    I am 52 year old prostate cancer survivor of 2 years with high blood pressure. I now have not 1, but 2 pre-existing conditions and depend on employer based insurance. IF, my emloyer decides NOT to provide insurance, I am out of luck, because I am now uninsurable. It is time for those of us who support health reform to be as focal as those who do not.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  150. mary hyslop

    Why isn't their more exposure of the exorbitant premiums private insurance companies charge that enable the large insurers to make ever increasing profits and pay multimillion dollar salaries? Yet they are able to deny insurance for pre-existing conditions, increase premiums 2-3 times inflation so small businesses and individual buyers can't afford it.

    Too much time is given to those that disrupt health care forums, but the conservative activist that are orchestrating this chaos are not exposed,

    August 10, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  151. Lois McFadden

    Congrerss has forgotten where they come from. We are their boss.
    They have gone too far this time. They will say anything to sell this bill.
    We are disgusted with this administration. Intimidation,threats and slander, will not work.

    Obama has not 'written' any part of this "bill". When he campaigned he said everyone would have a plan as good as HE has! That has not happened. Government workers will not 'sign' up for this plan.Union workers are exempt from the penaltys.

    "READ the signs" Who is the "organized MOB"? Regular folks are livid at the arrogance of our lawmakers.

    This plan is not bypartisan. No one payer system!!!!
    down with PELOSI AND REED. You insult our intellegence!!!!
    ALSO- CONGRESS- TIGHTEN*** YOUR**** BELTS AND FLY THE OLD PLANES

    August 10, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  152. Robert Baumgartner

    I am a supporter of health care reform, but the debate going on now is not a legitimate debate. The debate is focusing on the deliberately misleading, innaccurate, and lies of the right and special interests. It reminds me of the strategy to gain support leading up to the Iraq war. Health care reform has now become the new "Weapons of Mass Destruction" from which the right can stoke fear, conjure up false patriotism and stir up arguments that throw reason out the door. The voices of the right; Sarah Palin, Rush L, Glenn Beck, Hannity, the entire Fox "News" network, talk Radio accross the nation, members of the congressional right, and the RNC all have a hand in making this debate more about politics, power, and fear than about the merits of health care reform. The majority of the protesting I see at the town hall meeeting protesting the reform bills are parroting the Glenn Becks and Rush's of the world. These spokespersons for the opposition cater to those who have ignorance of the facts and lack the will and capacity to check out the realities. Many of the protesters believe that Rush and Glenna are "reporters", reporting the truth, and speaking in realities. They let those media personalitiesdo their thinking and stoke unjust fear and hatred. The anti-reformers are really anti-Obamas. I thought we had an election within the last year where the nation chose the direction we wanted to go? I am looking for one republican leader to step up and recognize that we need a legitimate debate and the voices of Sarah Pailin, Rush and their ilk are not speaking for the American people. Republicans need to show they have an intolerance to lies and fear tactics, otherwise I will continue to assume they endorse them. Alas, I know their response. They have an advantage with those tactics and embrace the lies and innuendo. It is why I am a democrat and do not trust Republicans.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  153. Steve

    Howdy from Texas. The health care system IS broken. I work for myself and I can't afford insurance. The only time I've had insurance was when I worked for a larger company and they paid for most of it, and when I was in the Corps. I honestly can't believe that people think the companies involved (various insurers, medical suppliers, drug manufacturers, hospitals, etc.) will actually do something on their own that will cut in to their profits. I keep hearing people comparing the proposed plan to a Nazi scheme, but these same people seem to be forgetting that the past administration took away more individual and civil liberties in the name of protecting the "muderland!" than any other Democratic nation with the exception of England. If we don't do something about the health care system, it will not fix itself.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  154. Leland

    I believe the heated oppostion is fomented by right wingnuts like Beck, Limbaugh, and Palin who simply do not want President Obama to suceed. If you don't believe we need health care reform you must have been living on the moon for the last 25 years. Those who are protesting so loudly and violently simply have no compassion for all those who do not have health insurance.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  155. joyce gumm

    Hi Heidi
    I am a 70 year old lady. I just lost my husband. and I have no health Insurance. I am taking care of my brother that has Huntington Chorerrea. I have 3 brothers that have this. My father had Huntingtons also. When the people talk about the Goverment running thier lives it makes me ill. If it hadn't been for medicare We would have to go stand in the bread line or just die.What is wrong with this United States Are the people gone mad or is it that they hate the Pres Obama because he is black. I see most of the States that is having problems is in the south.We need to get this passed To pay for this sell War Bonds to help pay for the war's and free up the money spent on them go to help pay for Health Reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  156. Shirley A. Bell, Psy.D.

    I am hopping mad about the issue of health care reform. It would be wonderful to have health care for all individuals, but that health care should not rob some to give to others. I am STRONGLY opposed to socialized medicine, and I believe that is the aim of the current administration. The President himself promised personal choice of medical providers, but that is simply not true. We are being railroaded! The cosr is going up, the quality dowm. This will be the end result of all this political marlarky. Now, when Obama speaks, I mute the tv or change channels. Don't want to hear it.

    I believe this entire mess was created so that Obama could put a feather is his cap. The President and Congress do not have to worry because they will not participate – they will remain in an elitist position. I have been personally impacted by the lack of health insurance because my daughter-in-law was refused medical care as an unensured person, and as result became critically ill, hospitalized for two weeks, and out of work for several more weeks, causing that family financial hardship. My daughter experienced a similaar situation – no insurance – and she developed a pre-cancerous condition that will require constant care.

    I am a disabled senior citizen, and I have excellent health care through Medicare and a Supplelmental insurance that I pay $154.00 per month to utilize. It is my understanding that Medicare will be demolished under the proposed reform bill. If insurance companies are forced to pay tax, that cost will be passed on to the comsumer. It will be the same for other goods and services. Whatever the government decides, the taxpayers are going to be tapped for the cost.

    I have had personal exposure to a government run heath care system in the U.S. Navy. I escaped, but, even though that was years ago, I will never forget that dreadful experience. Waiting, waiting , waiting! And when my child was born, I was very nearly alone in the process. Inatentiveness in a dirty environment. Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!

    I have called congressional members offices, written letters and encouraged others to do so. I do not know what else to do. I am especially enraged the Pelosi called me a brain-washed Nazi. I did not vote a 100% Republican tickey, but in the future, if it has a "D" connection, I will bury it. One of the scariest aspect of anything that the government does is the convoluted and ambiguous nature of their proposals There is never just a government program. There is a root and a bizillion costly, sluggish branches.

    I know this is long, and it may not be of any use, but I very much appreciate the opportunity to vent.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  157. Travis Burpo

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I’m 71 years old, live on a fixed income, and do not have private health insurance. But the last thing I want is Government-run health care in my USA. Socialism, in any form, is a cancer on society. History has proven that, In every way, socialism (including socialized health care) will inhibit the growth, prosperity, initiative and freedom of the people it is imposed on.
    Good health care is intended to prolong a happy and productive life of people. In the case of government-run health care it has been proven to increase pain and suffering and shorten the happy and productive life of its “victims”. Proponents say Government-run health care is cheaper and better for people; but none can demonstrate that result in any country where it has, or is being tried.
    Yet, some in my country’s congress are pushing Obama’s health care plan.
    My question is; are they stupid or simply sick with visions of power. In either case, let’s vote every one of them who vote for it out of office.
    Travis

    August 10, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  158. cheryl

    Dear Heidi, I am a Registered Nurse and have been for 40 years. I also have Lupus. I couldn't get on disability unless I didn't work for a whole year. I couldn't afford to live if i didn't work. I hung in there cut back my hours and worked long enough to take early retirement. I am on Cobra which takes one third of my SS income. I tried finding another insurance policy but no one would insure me because of a pr-existing condition. My Cobra will be up before I am eligible for Medicare. My only hope to be insured is health care reform. The lies and scare tactics orchestrated by the Re PUKE licans and the insurance industry seems to be working. It is very very sad!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  159. Will

    I just saw report on a young child Peyton Thorton. His stem cell tansplant will cost over $100K and the insurance company will pay for a portion of the costs. This what all these protestors are complaning about, to deny a life saving procedure. They compain without realizing that insurance companies today stand between you and your doctor. Wake up America.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  160. Robert Prahl

    When private enterprise cannot, or will not, provide a service that is vital to the well being of Americans, then government has a role to play. It is evident that private health insurers have not made health insurance accessible and affordable to all Americans. In fact they have a dismal track record, conspicuous by the more than 46 million Americans without health insurance. As a result, private health insurers have forfeited their right to maintain a monopoly on providing health insurance. Why not extend Medicare to all Americans and work on controlling costs? Private insurers stay in the game with Medicare, but on an excess or supplemental basis, so that might appease those who oppose a total government program. I cannot understand why in other democratic industrialized countries health care is seen as a right, but here in America it is viewed as something that has to be earned. Why is that?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  161. Paul

    I believe that it is the obligation of our government to assure that all citizens have health care. We the voters elected them to represent us. I'm sure that most of us whould not want someone to die because they don't have enough money.
    The problem is that our govt. (whether run by Republicans OR Democrats) seem to have problems being efficient with money. Even though we elect these people they don't seem to be held accountable for the tax dollars they waste.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  162. CJ

    We have reasonably good health insurance. True, our family of 5 has gone from a zero deductible to a high deductible ($7,200.00 total per year), but compared to many, it is still good coverage. The fact is that all along, many of my family’s health care decisions have been decided by bureaucrats and NOT our doctors or us…. so when I hear these misleading adds warning us that Obama’s plan will result in bureacrats making medical decisions, I am disgusted. We have been experiencing that for years! Why are Republicans fighting so hard to preserve this?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  163. Betty Daniels

    Republicans ruled the country for 8 years. During that time the cost of everything tri-tripledor more. That is why you see people paying interest on a house that is three times more than the worth of the home. That is why the insurance company can decide what medical services you can received. They have enjoyed their time as the ruling party. It’s time to let the middle class receive some breaks.
    It’s the middle class that is letting the demonstrators decide their future. The Republicans offered us nothing but higher interest and higher premiums. Give us the insurance reforms we need so we will not have to have yard sales and lose homes in order to take care of our health. The middle class is dwindling because of high interest and high premiums. Our backs have been broken and our savings stolen through the stock market. Please give us insurance reforms

    August 10, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  164. Debra

    I'm ready to move to Canada – where the discourse is more civil and the health care system WORKS!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  165. Marilyn from Gaithersburg, MD

    Heidi,

    Do we need health care reform? YES!

    We desperately need it, for our economy and for the sake of everyone in the country who is suffering from lack of adequate health care, and for the sake of those who are paying more and more for less and less.

    A month ago, polls showed that 75 – 76% of Americans were in favor of health care reform
    The President wanted to pass the bill before the August recess.
    The Republicans insisted on slowing it down.
    Now we know why.

    The insurance industry and the politicians they pay need this time to create and spread a campaign of lies and smears, and they are succeeding. They are covering American airwaves with outright distortions, and those lies are being repeated by one TV "News" outlet, a lot of conservative radio talking heads, and suddenly-passionate citizens who parrot the lies – or rather scream them to make a spectacle so they can get on air.

    Unfortunately, much of the mainstream media is playing into the swift-boat smearing of health care reform by giving the lies and the grandstanding too much credibility. (Can't we get Josh Lev to do more fact checking? Death panels?! Give me a break!)

    Some of the people who are screaming against reform at the top of their lungs don't care about their fellow Americans who are suffering (I've got MY health insurance, so the hell with you!)

    Many of them don't care about health care at all.
    Some of them hate President Obama because he is black.
    Some of them believe what Rush and DeMint said out loud: "We want him to fail, so we can break him, and bring the Republicans back into power."

    Greedy health care companies need it to fail to stay rich and powerful.
    Republicans need it to fail so the President will fail.
    NEITHER OF THEM CARE about the country or the American people.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  166. John Miller

    Why does CNN refer to "President Obama's Health Plan" when in fact Congress is writing the legislation. This is unlike the Clinton Health Plan, which was written by the white house and sent to Congress for passage.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  167. Sarah

    My current healthcare plan might be considered elite or excessive by some people. I am worried that private health insurance companies, like mine, would be forced out of business by the government run insurance. I think that those who are pushing for the reform are overlooking this aspect of opposition.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  168. Eva

    I am going to be totally not politically correct and say that if illegals are forced to pay for medical attention and not get it for free, may be this will reduce health costs. My daughter was adopted from Colombia and is a United States citizen and now that shes an adult, she does not have health insurance. We do it legally, and my daughter isnt being helped.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:06 am |
  169. Michelle

    I firmly support a public option. I worked for a small company of 26 people. We couldl not get health insurance because one of the employees had MS. We must have a public option now. Why can't the most powerful nation in the world have the best health care? Why can't we take a look at countries that work and learn something? Why doesn't CNN look at countries like France to show us what actually works?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  170. francis

    I just turned 25, but I have the knee joint of someone 3 times my age because I had no access to the necessary ACL + Miniscus operation for over 2 and a half years for lack of coverage. Now that I have insurance I had to threaten my insurance company with lawsuits and make endless phone calls to get the care I needed. Is it fair that this happened to me?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  171. Diana Ashley

    I work for a healthcare company and am also the parent of a young adult with mental illness who was dropped retroactively from health insurance for his inability to maintain full-time student status. It is easy for people who have healthcare to get angry about change. It is those without healthcare options that we need to think about. It seems right now people with healthcare just don't want to think about those who do not have it and don't care about those people either.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  172. Patsy Yantz

    NO gov't in health care. Leave our system alone.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  173. cj from ct

    The GOP has done a great job for decades pushing the idea that gov cannot do anything right. They of course, are gov. Going "private" and to government contractors has proven a lucrative business for the cronies of the politicians. Costs through the roof...but anything for "free market". But free market with no competition is just another means to have us bend over. Just look at poster child Halliburton. The gov CAN do things right...FEMA before Bush. Medicare...but all attempts to clean up fraud and streamline cost $ initially and it has not been a priority for the GOP. Where have they been when in power most of the last 30 years?? they have failed because they have many friends in the "free market" with no competition. Bend over America. This is capitalism riddled with corruption. Health care reform has to happen. Our pillars are falling...I hope Obama wins this battle for all our sakes

    August 10, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  174. Dennis Nigrelli

    Hi Heidi, I have terrific HC both Medicare and Private. I believe everyone should have the same benefits except for Illegals and exclude abortions. I wish CNN would do a indepth piece on what the bill will really do for the american people and what it won't..

    August 10, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  175. E.F. Rooney

    Dear Ms. Collins,

    I fear that the vile lies spread by Sarah Palin and others
    about "death panels" will block health care reform - and that
    Americans will in truth continue to suffer and even die from
    lack of access to care.

    Many have tried to justify the hooliganism at town hall meetings
    by citing fear and "anger." But the Americans angered by eight
    years of Bush lies, corruption and incompetence did not shout down
    and shove their neighbors. Vicious right wing attacks on the very
    process of democratic debate itself cannot be allowed to intimidate
    the majority. The personal hatred many protesters feel for the
    President is obvious and disheartening.

    E. F. Rooney

    August 10, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  176. James Jones

    I applaud Pres. Obama for his efforts. NO system "out of the box" will be perfect. But we have needed a universal health care system for years. The current system is very broken, and people are in need of basic care. In a country this wealthy we cannot delay any longer providing bassichealth care to all.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  177. Rick fredenburg

    I think that we really looked at the healthcare system in the UK or Canda you would see that all citizens are cared for. I have terrible back probem in which i cant get treatment because I have no Ins. In the UK or canda I would be treated for free. I think the ins. companies run the healthcare system here. We as a country have one of the highest infant mortality rates in world why is that?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  178. Glenn Johnson

    Heidi, when you don't have any kind of health care at all, some kind, any kind of reform is better than nothing. The piece that was just on about the doctor in NY and his non profit coop should be considered as a nationwide program. Why is it that "GREED" is always the door that slams in the face of health care reform? It's pretty plain that insurance companies are the problem with greed. And, of course, if our nation's lawmakers were to have to settle for the plan they are making for everybody else, then they would probably do it right the first time.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  179. Mr Wilson

    What do you mean, how do we feel NOW (regarding the healthcare issue)? What, did something change over the weekend? It's a sham and a mistake. Why Mr. Obama insists on jamming his "stuff" down our throats is astonishing! This country was not built on ones mans rule! That my friend is called a dictator.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  180. sharon burke

    Health care reform should include a serious look at the Hospitals who charge for things never done to a patient or drugs never administered.
    They also should take a look at the high mark-up on drugs,including the pharmaceutical companies. What a rip off!!
    I had a friend who was charged for 3 days of hospital charges and procedures done to and on her husband 3 days after he was dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  181. Jose

    we should back obama's health care plan. we need a public option to keep the corporations honest. these people disrupting the meetings have been scared and lied to by people like sean hannity into speaking up, but they have been in many cases completely disrespectful to the congressman and other constituents present by not allowing them to speak, and they don't even understand the program they are fighting against. medicare is already part of government health care and they are not complaining about that.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  182. Bill Kehoe

    Given the heat currently generated on the healthcare debates at town hall meetings, wouldn't it be fair for all concerned to invoke the traditional rules or order for discussion?

    Anyone who wants to demonstrate, chant and waive signs should be allowed to do so outside the building. Those who are seated must agree to comply to the basic rules of orderly discussion or be ejected.

    Both sides need the opportunity to speak so that some benefit comes of these town meetings.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  183. Alice Eisenhauer

    Thank you, Heidi for opening your blog to comments on this. I am very interested in having a universal single payor health care, and would like more information. If we can't have that, I would like the same plan that our senators and congress folks have.
    It is difficult to get real answers because the issue is so hot. It seems to me that those against it are not allowing questions, rather using attack and insult. I want to hear real answers on both sides, not just angry shouts.
    Thank you.

    Alice

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  184. Lynn Mausos

    I am wondering why there is no security at the town meetings that are
    being disruptive. Why is disorderly conduct being allowed there when
    it is not allowed anywhere else? I think others would appreciate knowing
    this as well as me. Thank you.............we are cnn watchers.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  185. Viv Williams

    If other developed countries can have successful public health care, Canada, Sweden, Germany run by gov't-why can't we? Big business and insureance companies are pushing back with ads and info targeted to scare conservatives/Republicans. Think for yourselves people, support our president in putting in place health care for all. And yes some restrictions will have to happen on multiple tests and waste in the system. Also as a nation much can be done via exercise/eating healthy that en masse can have huge impact down the line (look at the groups who are much healthier than average and don't suffer nearly as much from chronic diseases). We all have to take responsibility and share sacrifice.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  186. William A.

    I feel that a health care plan is badly needed, but I don’t think it is possible to trust congress to develop this plan as long as they exempt themselves from the plan. Most Representatives and Senators are older adults, many approaching the age where they would go on Medicare, which they are exempt. How can you expect a program to be fair and impartial when it does not have any effect on the ones drawing up the rules? Under these conditions I think the Obama Administration should quit pushing for a reform until it allows the people to to have time to know all of the pros and cons of their so called health care reform. Then let the people vote on the plan. Don’t just jam it down our throats as they are doing now.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  187. Phil Dudley

    I worked at hospitals that are run by the federal government, which the Indian Health Service. The biggest problems we had were the government red tape. There were times when the red tape adversely affected the healthcare of our patients. I think the president is moving too quickly on passing this. I just hope there isn't a bunch of red tape to go through with any of the healthcare process.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  188. Chad Smith

    The government runs Veteran's Health care, and it is an absolute mess. Health Care run by states such as Massachusetts and Tennessee have failed, Social Security is all but broke and most Americans fear an IRS audit more than getting mugged.

    Why would we ever take the current Health Care system, which insures 85% of Americans and turn it over to the government?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  189. Richard Hall

    I think that congress needs to first take care of their own health care reform. Why does congress have their own heath care plan that is great. Congress needs to have the exact same program that the general public has and this includes social security as well. I feel like we have the fox running the hen house.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  190. Susan McGreevy

    I keep seeing complaints about govt. healthcare limiting the diagnostic testing and care a patient should receive. Our private healthcare companies already do this – decide what tests and treatments are customary for a particular illness/injury and only cover what they deem as reasonable; otherwise, how could you prevent people from abusing the system? I don't understand all the fear behind Obama's efforts to ensure that every American have healthcare coverage. Aren’t our parents grateful for Medicare? I certainly don’t see those opposed to the idea (naturally those who are fortunate enough to have insurance) offering any solutions for the uninsured and struggling small businesses that either cannot afford to provide insurance, even for themselves, or the have to make drastic cuts elsewhere to compensate for the escalating cost. We’re all currently paying for it when the uninstured have no choice but to to the ER for medical attention; it’s clearly a broken system and accepting the status quo isn’t going to fix it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  191. Jo in Iowa

    We have to have BIG changes in our healthcare system! Private insurance companies promised, during the 1990's healthcare debate, that they would make changes in the way they do business. They did not. Now we need a government option.

    I want to buy into Medicare early. I am 59 and self employed. Insurance for me is expensive and has a $7500 deductible and every bill that is run past the deductible has a note attached that says "if the company determines this is related to a pre-existing condition, they will cancel the insurance". I end up with no peace of mind and paying cash for everything.

    The near-riots at town hall meetings have been sickening. The people are acting on lies and misinformation. Healthcare has been one of the top issues in this country for years and now these folks have been convinced to stop changes to our system. HELP.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  192. shirley meade

    I am almost 80 years old and definitely oppose the governments public health insurance program. It's madness and not affordable.
    Why not fix medicare fraud and waste and do something about torte reform?
    Maybe I could feel differently if congress had to be on it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  193. Brenda

    Medicare is not a free service the government provides for seniors, we have all paid Medicare tax for years to fund this program, the government has not done proper oversight on this program and we are told it is broke so no wonder Medicare holders are so fearful that they will not have the care they need in the future. If there is not enough money to keep Medicare going, how are we going to pay for the rest. I have been in Canada and the taxes are astronomical to pay for their so called "free healthcare". Medicaid is free for the poor and the government has not done proper oversighr and they are broke too. Take the tarp and stimulus money, make medicare and medicaid solvent and then establish a program to help those who are temporarily not eligible for insurance through no fault of their own and let illegal aliens go home for their free healthcare like Canadians have to do when they are visiting here. As far as Pre-existing conditions, there is some coverage for that when people change jobs, just check out the Portability Act of the HIPAA Laws which were also put into effect to reform healthcare several years ago.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  194. rosa

    My insurance premiums have gone up continually, yearly. It's and expected yearly occurance. At the same time what is covered and the deductubles are going up as well. My pay has been flat over the past years as well. I want something done, and I don't feel these "conservative" talking heads have my interest at heart. There recommended solution is to open up by allowing inter-state competition. That was tried with energy. Has my light bill gone done? No, not really. So I am skeptical this will work. At the end of the day what we have here are insurance monopolies. They have to be broken up. Monopolies have been broken up before and it is time to do it again. Until I see more about this bill the jury is out. It's not ready yet but I am anxious to see it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  195. Star

    If everyone floods the emergency rooms we're paying for the unisured anyway, and why not have more choices that is what empowers us as citizens in this great democracy the less the choices the less power.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  196. Dan in Tucson

    Heidi,
    I have Blue Cross/BS and it took 6 months for me to get an appointment with my doctor who saw me for 10 minutes and then referred me to a specialist where I have to wait another 3 months for that appointment.

    How is this considered quality care?

    The other point is that I would rather have a non-profit government make decisions on my behalf rather than a greedy corporation who's motivation is profit and not my health.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  197. betty withers

    I strongly support health care reform. My 11 year old grandson and my son-in-law can't buy insurance; insurance companies claim they have preexisting conditions. I have goverment-run insurance, just like members of congress. I am thankful and grateful for it every day.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  198. Mitch

    Heidi,

    I am 66. I am covered. My girlfriend is 60, works at a low wage job, and can not afford medical insurance. There are millions like her. The self centered people who are opposed to the government offering a solution to this problem should be ashamed to call themselves Americans.

    Mitch

    August 10, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  199. Rita Kershaw

    Ms. Palin should be ashamed of herself, for trying to instigate fear.
    I have read pages 429-431 of the House Bill and nowhere did I read what she has intimated. As a Republican that wants Health Care, I would request that the media become more active in dispelling all the false rumors.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  200. Stephen Baird

    I have had discussions with many people who oppose universal health care and a government insurance option. Their arguments are summarized below. I've included my remarks enclosed by parenthesis.

    1) We should have a flat tax – everyone should pay the same percentage of their earnings to the government; Redistribution of wealth is wrong and is not in accordance with Christian beliefs. I can find Biblical passages to support this. (Hmmm, I can find more passages that talk about compassion and charity.)
    2) Medicare should be abolished as well as Medicaid; These programs and any new public option violate the Constitution as health care can't be classified as 'general welfare of the people'. (The many that support the libertarian principles also want to do away with social security, unemployment insurance, minimum wages, etc.)
    3) Everyone can afford to pay for his or her health care; we have illegal immigrants and slackers and people between jobs – those are the 45 million people who are not insured. (25%, 5.9 million, of the people in Texas are uninsured; 80% are employed, 75% are U.S. citizens)
    4) The states and the communities within the states will figure out the best plan to do something about health care reform. This may take longer but since we don't really have a serious problem, either with health care costs or people needing health care, this can sit on the back burner.
    5) People with pre-existing conditions – hard luck stories. Some charity will help them. (Interpretation: Give them tin cups and dark glasses and let them beg for a few coins.)
    6) Private insurance companies are more efficient than the Federal government. The private insurers don't want to compete with a public option and I can't explain why because the Government always bungles everything. (The data clearly show that Medicare is much more efficiently run than any of the large private insurance companies.)
    7) Universal health care would cause people who have coverage today to have longer waits in the future to see their doctors or specialists. (Interpretation: Let's keep things as they are now. We would not want to make any sacrifices so that everyone could see a doctor.)
    8) If we have a public option, the Federal government would decide who lives or dies and whether elderly people can have treatment that makes them more comfortable in their last years. (Medicare currently pays for heart bypasses, stents, hip-replacements, cataract surgery, etc. Thousands of Americans die each year because they are uninsured due to pre-existing conditions and get no treatment until their life-ending trip to the emergency room. The private insurers have to make a profit so they can't be insuring those high risk Americans.)
    9) Our present health care system is the best in the world. (It costs 1/3 to 1/2 more than the other systems in the world and the health care outcomes are no better than the average outcome of all countries)
    10) Even though every developed country in the world except the U.S. has a single-payer system (the people in those countries want to keep what they have), the U.S. system with its private insurers is the best way to go. We can't be wrong. After all, we're Americans. Yea!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  201. Sharon

    I would like to express something that the President, Congress, and most of the news media have closed their ears and eyes to. I am not a "mobster" nor have I ever protested against the President of the United States. I am 61 years of age and have respected my government and those who are in authority, I have prayed and emailed my senators and the White House about my stand against abortion, now I must take a stronger stand against our President and those who are in authority. The United States is bankrupt, words that came out of our President's mouth. Our children must pay this price. Our unborn children are at the mercy of the government who has decided to determine when life begins and now contemplating when life will end. I am pleading with them to stop playing God and to listen to the people. We are still a nation that can think for ourselves. The views have and our changing towards abortion. The senior citizens, many whom have fought for this nation, are now being pushed aside. Please listen to their voices, they have wisdom. Please, please hear what they have to say. Thanking you in advance. Sharon Arizona

    August 10, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  202. Joan Ladd

    As strong and healthy senior citizens, my husband Don and I are very much against the government taking over health care. Our freedom of choice is being compromised. We do NOT want a government beaurocrat to decide on our treatment. The bill as now written will allow discrimination based on age and/or infirmity of the handicapped. How dare they! The private health insurance option is set to disappear. Any changes in the contract will also invalidate the coverage. Congressional members say they will consider the government option. How nice for them. WE WILL NOT BE GIVEN THAT CHOICE BECAUSE THE BILL WILL TAKE IT AWAY FROM US.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  203. Carol Bisguier

    I'm totally satisfied with the care I receive from Medicare and a gap coverage policy. It's simple and efficient. I just don't understand why so many people think it's OK for private insurance companies to be limiting care the way they do and making enormous profits for their executives and Wall Street as a result. Health care is not the same as making widgets and should be a non-profit enterprise such as a single payer system.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  204. karen

    I have excellent health care and wouldn't want to change it, but not everyone is as fortunate as I am and for this reason, a public option is absolutely necessary. The health care insurance companies have figured out how to insure the healthiest of us. Group/employer sponsored health insurance survives financially because of the number of participants, many of whom are healthy. The public option would allow those who are uninsured due to loss of employment, pre-existing conditions, poor health and simply an inability to afford to pay astronomical premiums, to obtain health insurance. The public option is just that, an option. Pres Obama has repeatedly said that if you like your plan, you can keep it. We must do something to help those less fortunate.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  205. Florence Woodford

    I am very concerned about the proposed health care reform. There are too many unanswered questions. My Congressman McMahon's office has stated that the Congressman will not be holding any townhall meetings until after the vote in September. That is ridiculous – the horse will have already left the barn. Also, if this plan that is being pushed on us is so wonderful, why doesn't Congress give up their medical plan in favor of the new plan that is proposed. Something is really wrong with the entire picture.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  206. Sherrie Jones

    Without a public option I don't believe significant health care will ever be available to those who live (and, more often, die) without it. The Republicans who stand in the way of helping what used to be the middle class are, in Sara Palin's words, evil. All of the people at the town hall meetings who shout down their representatives have health insurance and feel no compassion for those who don't. I would make all Republican politicians who have the lives of people in their hands work for a year at an ER in a big city or poor rural area – they MIGHT grow a soul, or at least feel a little guilt at their self-serving refusal to give people what others in Europe and Canada have had for years.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  207. Barbara

    I had medical insurance which I payed myself. I canceled it because, I was tired of paying for the uninsured. We all pay for the unisured. If i get sick I get sick.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  208. zpober

    Moved to Canada to get health insurance for my wife. I am on Medicare. There is rationing of health care in the US... Rationing is based on quality of insurance. Waiting times will increase. You cannot provide care for an additional 47 million people without increasing wait times. The system in Canada does work. Nobody in Canada dies or is injured by the increased wait times. The entire debate is a product of fears that the insurance companies will not be able to take their pound of flesh and physicians that they will not earn as much.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  209. Jerry Dollison

    We, the American people will not allow a bunch of thugs orchestrated by the Republicans to deny us universal healthcare now. It is sinful that over 40 million people in this country do not have healthcare. We are our brothers keeper.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  210. Gabi

    The level of rage about this issue is appaling. How misinformed are the hooligans and who is fueling all this irrational rage? Well, that is a rhetorical question, as we all know the right-wing media and leaders are doing all they can to preserve the Status Quo where the insurance companies and hospitals win while people lose and in the end, die or live a life controlled by them.

    People are afraid that "bureaucrats" would control which doctor can see them and which hospital to go to, but they do not realize that this is how things ARE right now!!!! I am a military spouse and covered by Tricare and even though I have the Prime coverage, I am still not covered in many situations and the level of red tape encountered dealing with them was mind boggling. While this is considered one of the best coverages one can get.

    It is just not right in a country like America for people not to afford health insurance and I am amazed at the selfishness of most people. Those who complain about this being socialism etc but use as much of Medicare as possible should drop their double standards and open up their minds.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  211. Bob Bailes

    Our health care system needs to be fixed. Every person deserves access to affordable health care. I am retired and on medicare and that "government run program" is working for me and everyone who uses it. If I want additional coverage I can purchase a supplement. That is how it should be for everyone. The insurance companies could then handle the supplement insurance or "platinum coverage" for those that have the means to afford it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  212. Raul Castilla

    Heidi, Good Morning. I am a supporter of Health care reform. I am very satisfied with my employers health care plan and our family is very lucky to be amoung those earning very well. Our main concern is cost for those that are less fortunate, we have family members that do not have an option and are left to fend for themselves with outragous costs. My mother for example is a 64 year old retiree on a fixed income that has to pay her own medical costs, so we have to subsidize her medical exspenses or she will not get treatment. A plan that is optional or at least a reduced cost choice seems very logical. I was a Republican my entire life until this past election. Our world and nation have changed and the OLD ways must go if we are to move forward. I have a hard time believing President Obama is wanting the government to take over our health plan, he simply wants options for those that want them or need them and costs to stop rising at the outragous pace they are on. Thank You.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  213. Bob Manusos

    We are disheartened that the health care message is riddled with
    lies. There are people out here that actually believe the lies that are
    are being perpetrated by the Republican Party. It saddens me to see
    our political system sink so low. We elect officials to work together
    for a better America..........ain't happening.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  214. Linda Barnett

    I am very worried about the Obama health care plan and truely
    believe...if the policies are good and fair for the american public
    that they should also be implicated for the senate, house, and
    even the president. Also, why is it that Nancy Pelosi and Harry
    Reed think that this is an "astroturf" response from the american
    people and not the true feelings of the majority. Look at the signs.
    These are "hand-made-signs" and are NOT the duplicated signs
    that the people who are FOR the health plan carry. I am an independent voter and have voted both democratic & republican.
    (voting most recently for Clare McCaskill & Emanual Clever – along
    with John McCain) I HOPE THAT THE DEMOCRATS WILL STOP
    THEIR NAME CALLING – or i'll stop voting for them – PERIOD.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  215. jenni swink

    I think the real reason that there is so much fear and anxiety regarding healthcare reform is that it is a life and death issue. There is also a high degree of mistrust with our politicians. When the White House tells us that Obama did not bow to the Saudi king and we see video showing him bowing, it produces a real trust issue. When we hear him say he doesn't want a single payer system then we see him on video saying that we will eventually get to a single payer system, that is will just take time, it produces a real trust issue. We need someone whom we can trust to tell the truth, to go line by line and explain what these reform bills will do.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  216. Margaret Benson-McCarthy

    Here's a twist on the health care conversation going on right now: My husband is a recently retired vet from the US Army after serving 30 years. I went to my doctor for a check-up and she found pre-cancerous cells and requested a biopsy of my cervix. Tricare Prime (military healthcare) turned down the request. I said, "So we'll just wait until I become a cancer case and then I can get attention?" The answer? "I guess so."

    Thank-you for giving our vets and their families the healthcare they deserve.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  217. Capt. Barry August

    There is no question that we need healthcare reform but the reform has got to come from the private sector not government.
    Congress's approval rating is lower than 30% for a reason. People do not trust the government! They have run up our national debt to a point that may not be recoverable, have not solved the unemployment problem, ignore illegal immigration and bailed out the "big guys" while ignoring the average American Citizen.
    We need politicians who listen to their constituents, will work to balance the budget and give us healthcare reform that will not bankrupt this great country of ours!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  218. Judith Bruder

    My husband and I have good health care and know we can keep it if the health care package passes.
    We are for Health Care for everyone in this country, except illegal aliens flooding our health care system. Everyone of them should be sent back to their country to apply to live here legally.
    We have plenty of money to fund Health Care with smart management. Think how much we spent on an illegal war and how much we are still spending to rebuild the country we destroyed.
    Another thing I consider a waste of money is space exploration sending space ships to explore Mars, Venus, the moon etc. Absolute waste!
    We hope it passes and it is time the Republicans and blue Democrats join in and help pass this legislation.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  219. Tom Windwillow

    Very few people are denied basic healthcare in the US. Private and public hospitals provide the care then overcharge the insured and or take a loss. The cost of basic healthcare is not very much compared to advanced sophisticated healthcare. The public is paying for indigent care right now, but there is no organized system . We are robbing Peter to pay Paul. The insurance companies keep an inordinant amount of the premiums paid to them. This is one of the many things that make healthcare in the US overpriced and inefficient.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  220. joe mullett

    A New Business Model For The Health Care Industry Is Needed. The Wall Street model and the government model …... Both Suck!!!

    Why does a $0.20 pill straight from India Cost $7.50 in the USA? Why does a test performed hundreds of times a day by a $12.00/hr technician on a $15,000 machine cost $250.00? Why do people who don’t need to be admitted to an ICU unit are charged $5000 for 6 hours? Why does a hospital room cost 5 times more than a five star hotel?

    Why does $20.00/month of actual medical consumption equate to $600/month of insurance? Why? Because this industry is a Wall Street industry. It’s bows to Wall Street and no other. Can Wall Street really be part of the solution? The answer is NO. Can Government be part of the solution?

    I won’t pay $600/month for my medical insurance which I believe is way overpriced. I have a pre existing condition called Crohns disease and so they feel I’m weak enough to steal my lunch. My calculations show that the true value of my insurance is only about $30/month. Everything between $30 and $600 per month is “Smoke and Mirrors and a lot of Fishhooks”.

    The question is how do you take $30/ month and turn it into $600/month. The answer I come up with is ….. Don’t allow people access to price shopping. Force them into consumption when they don’t need it. Monopolize pills, tests, opinions and every function by preventing free trade. Charge the Pay As You Go crowd more for these functions thus trying to bully them into Overpriced Insurance. And finally promote the profession as saving lives rather than destroying them............that's how you do it!

    In my case with Crohns disease I need to take 4 pills a day and a blood test every six month. For that menial exposure to risks, Insurance wants to charge me $600/month. What’s even more pathetic is that our Government wants to join the ranks of providing overpriced insurance. Obviously they want a Government Driven Product. One that lines their pockets. They are jealous of Wall Street’s greed and want part of the Kill.

    Consumer driven products strive to satisfy the needs and desires of the consumer. Business driven products strive to satisfy the needs and desires of the business. Government driven products strive to fund the needs and desires of the members of government. We need a consumer driven product!

    Here's My Idea.

    Every time a blood test or any other test is performed it must be entered into an online database where the test and cost by company is viewable to the consumer.

    That way we can see what companies are overbilling and bring our business to the lowest cost supplier. That way the consumer can check the cost of his test relative to other peoples. Price Shopping Must Be Part of The New Formula! Patients must be involved in controlling costs.

    Furthermore, international providers of distribution of meds and procedures will be invited to compete for business if they can verify standards.

    Shame will bring cost down by introducing something the industry has never experienced which is called price shopping. Additional international competition will also drive down cost. The government merely becomes a website funded by a “Per Test Tax” which is viewable to the public. The website is not the governments website but the price conscious consumers website. It measures price and quality mainly but other important features could be included.

    Joe

    August 10, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  221. rae

    I'm very disappointed with one party not allowing the people hear the true story about what options Americans have for insurance. I would rather allow something to happen then nothing at all, which is what we've had. The scare tactics being sent out to make another party look bad is not for the good of all Americans. Lets try the insurance proposal in one part of the country and see if it works.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  222. susan

    heath care is out of controll, the insurance company's, drug co, doctors, all who make the most profit are out of controll. i have been a nurse for over 30yrs and have seen the cut in floor staff, use of aides has risen more than r.n.'s. the care is poor at best, and you can lay money that certain m.d.'s will refer to their friends weither patients need it or not, and then they will be frightened into haveing the same test every 6mo. many surgery's are done before biopsy's are back. or the usual scare tactic, if you don't thave this proceedure you will die. there is a decline in good health care due to heavy top mangement. the drug companies make a huge mark up, i am talking huge. taking meds we really do not need. keeping patients in the hospital for longer than necessary. the do better at home with home health. and one of the biggest heart breaker is patients who are terminal with no chance of survival and have doctors who are anti hospice. the entire family needs their help, but the money these m.d.'s make on these pt's means more to them than the patient. i could go on and on..double and tripple billing, unecessary test and surgery's...medications overload...and the poor still using er's for primary care...its a disaster getting worse....

    August 10, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  223. Louis Hatos

    Health insurance reform is essential to this nations economic stability and international competitiveness. Health care accounts for 16% of the GDP here but is half that in other major countries. Without curbs, we are on our way to 30% GDP in 15-20 years. It is sheer insanity to spend twice as much as other industrial countries and be ranked #37 in health outcomes. Cuba is ranked #39.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  224. James Brown

    Hey Heidi, How about you folks at CNN doing REAL journalism in regard to this issue. You are still stuck in the "Horse Race" aspect and not examining actual issues. How about interviewing some of the people at the Town hall meeting on each side about what they are concerned about?

    Ask some of these "protesters" What their concerns are?
    Why are they there?
    Where do they get their information?
    What about the healthcare bill do they not like? (don't take a generalization for an answer)
    is there anything about it that they do like?
    Ask about specific issues? "do you have a living will?"
    Should an insurance co. be allowed to drop your coverage at any time.
    Is it better to have a government bureaucrat standing between the Dr. and the Patient or an unelected insurance company bureaucrat. whose bottom-line profit?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  225. Tom

    My concern is that health insurance companies are the ones standing between doctors and patients. These companies are run for the maximum profits that their CEOs and shareholders can make. All I want to see is a public OPTION. Most people will stay with their private insurance companies (through work). But for those who chose the public option, if it is not run well, then at least we have some recourse through our elected officials. We have no influence with insurance companies.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  226. Carla Cowart

    Why has no one ever mentioned the fact that the military uses “socialized” type medicine for it’s soldiers. My husband was in the Army for 20 years – therefore I was in the Army for 20 years. We had two boys who were raised through the military medical system. My older son has now been in the Army for 17 years – he has 6 children going through the military medical system. Now that my husband and I use the “civilian” medical system (since our retirement of the past 14 years) we find there is little difference in the quality of health care we receive. The only ones who seem to be affected between the “socialized type” medical system and the “private” medical system are the doctors and the wealthy! So what if a doctor can’t afford three homes and the highest priced cars, etc. That’s not what they are supposed to go into medicine for in the first place.

    I worked at Vanderbilt Medical Center for 2 years as a secretary. The doctor I worked for got a $60,000.00 end of year bonus EACH YEAR!! That is not to mention the bonuses he received from media coverage, speaking engagements, etc. COME ON! I think doctors have been allowed to drive up the price of health care because of their own personal greed for way too long. Let the rich pay for their expensive health care if they want. But it is time to make the doctors pay their past dues…let them do some “charity” work by caring for the majority of the population for reasonable costs.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  227. David

    Three comments Heidi,
    1. All senators and congressmen and women need to have their health care coverage terminated and force them to find their own. This would give them a strong dose of reality.
    2. You CNN, the most balanced, and the rest of the news networks, are doing a very poor job of presenting the facts on the debate. One hour of listening to experts on PBS, and I am well educated on the core arguements, which are a. coverage for all, no exceptions, b. portability and c. a public option to force "real" competition. You are giving too much time to the "other side", the forces fighting reform are the rich powerful organizations who make up the difference between the actual cost of health care and the total cost to the US economy, meaning billions are at stake.
    3. Overall, in my opinion, the minute coverage of the Obama administraion is the compensation for the lack of critical reporting of the Bush years. Too bad you were not as critical of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfiield bandits who detroyed our global standing, wasted billions on the unnessary war in Iraq, leaving the Afgan-Pakastan counties open, stengthening the real rerrorists, and destrying our economy by pouring billions into the coffers of Arabs, big oil, the likes of Halliburton.

    Please give helthcare reform a real fair and balanced look, replaying snippets of congressman Grey reperatedly while ingnoring the real debate is doing a disservice to all Americans.

    Thanks, I am an avid CNN fan from the 1st Iraq war.

    David
    NM

    August 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  228. jackie brown

    Really it is quite simple. If you don't have health care then that person or family should be allowed to signup for medicaid–no questions asked. If you have private health care from your employer than so be it use it and pay for it if you can afford it. If I had to pay through my taxes so that all of us could be afforded health care so be it. Insurance companies are fueling all of this mass hysteria of public insurance. Bottom line health care, mortgage and automobile insurance is a money making scheme from insurance companies that is advocating these fears! America! America! the world is watching us eat ourselves up in selfishness and greediness

    August 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  229. Virginia Shy

    We already have two government run health care plans, medicaid and medicare. When I worked in health care Medicaid, only paid partially or delayed paymen by years it's long term care bill in the state of IL. The system is broke financially and functionally! Medicare is soon to follow. Instead of creating an entire new system, with all the additional expense of new workers, new chiefs and new regulations, it seems only sensible to me to work on the systems we now have in place, improve them and make them work. If that happened then, medicaid instead of denying coverage to uninsured individuals could expand and cover them them all.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  230. Heidi Morgan

    I have no health insurance, nor do I have the income to buy it. My small home-based business will likely earn about $5000 this year. A few months ago someone told me that I could qualify for a sliding scale that gives me 90% off, based on last year's income, of the usual fee for tests and procedures that happen at my small town hospital. I was able to have tests that discovered a uterine polyp. I was pressured to have it removed even 'though it was benign. It would cost me 10% or more of my annual income even if figured at the gross income. However, my overhead takes about half of my income. That turns the procedure (not including the ultrasound and other related expenses) into more than I can afford, unless I dip into my small savings which are rapidly being depleted. So look, not only can I afford to buy health insurance, but I can't afford recommended procedures. What can you do to help me?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  231. Karleen Sanders

    For the past decade people have been watching what others do ,such as smoking or drinking while they are pregnant under the guise we all pay for one being sick from their own bad habits.They feel it is okay to dictate to others what they should eat, drink and/or exercise. Yet now they don't want to share health care. They are afraid they will have to pay for someone else. I do not understand why they do not realize we already do that. We pay in higher taxes if it is a county hospital, or higher premiums to pay for the ones who don't have insurance or our neighbors die before their time,etc. We already have a "public insurance" in the form of Medicare,Medicaid,Vetrans care and the military care. We already have "managed care" and have had for several years. Do not think the insurance companies will let you go to any doctor you want or have any procedure you want. It is managed and the insurance companies can and will turn you down. So let's get on with it and pass health care coverage for all. Karleen Sanders

    August 10, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  232. PortofCall

    Healthcare USA 2009

    The present system is the most expensive in the world! Our position on world ranking on health with half of all Americans being overweight/obese outranks cancer concerns. Almost 10% of my income goes for healthcare! The estimate of that costs is predicted to rise to 15% in the next 10 years. The ability to get cover is already subject to rationing by Insurance Companies forget about governmental rationing of healthcare. Without either a system whereby there is competition both in the medical and insurance industries, there will be no available, affordable healthcare in the US.

    Whether we like it or not, we are going to pay. We will pay for those who cannot or will not pay for themselves. We will pay for a broken healthcare system who bases healthcare on profit/loss. Therefore, a major change in how this system works needs reworking.

    I do not want to discuss socialism or anything along those lines. We already operate under numerous social programs run by governmental agencies. Whether all, some or none of the governmental agencies operate effectively is not the issue. Please don't go into constitutional rights, wrongs, writtens, quotes....................a change in a system that does not or will not change itself is required! Once baby boomers who have been affected by the economic downturn fall into a non-coverage due to job loss, pension loss, pre-exisiting conditions etc........we will clamour for change. By then, it may be too late to do much if anything. Lastly, I do not want a church run healthcare system nor do I want an emergency room healthcare system. I do not want to put my home up as collateral in lieu of ability to pay for heathcare. I want an affordable, reasonably efficient heatlhcare system. I do not believe this will be an easy run thing. It will have to be fought for tooth and nail.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  233. Leigh Johnson

    Obama's health care reform is destined to ruin our health care system rather than helping it. As a registered critical care nurse, I see many physicians and surgeons in the trenches trying to do the best job they can to try and help their patients. Yes they practice defensive medicine- THEY HAVE TO!!! There is always some bottom-feeding lawyer just waiting to file a lawsuit. Whether it is justified or not is almost irrelevant. Health care reform without tort reform will just end up driving more doctors into retirement or out of the profession entirely! Obama is a lawyer. It's really no suprise that he has said no to tort reform. The trial attorney lobbyists owm him and the democratic party!!!!

    Malpractice insurance continues to skyrocket, medicare wants to cut physician reimbursements by 20%, and the costs of running a medical practice continue tto escalate like in every other business.

    In the end, those bright, intelligent, ambitious college graduates who are smart enough to get into medical school are going to be smart enough to find another profession. Can you say "Doctor Shortage"?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  234. sylvia de goytisolo

    Thank you for letting me voice my opinion. The Obama/Pelosi healthcare demands abortion be funded and performed even in Catholic hospitals. This truth is obscene and unconstitutional. In Barbados and Santo Domingo abortion tissues are being cosmetically injected to wealthy women who pay for this atrocity. They pay women $200 to have a baby and abort the child at 9 to 12 weeks. Liberals in this country want this legalized in U.S. Is the world going crazy! I am fearful that our moral chaos will eventually destroy our once blessed USA. CNN please help!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  235. Mr B

    It is not the health care topic that's causing this anger outrage, just a reason. It's comming from within the stained hearts of those who are not happy with the progress and the change from selfish traditions the president is trying to rid this country of.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  236. Sharman, North Carolina

    Here's my personal health situation: I am 58, live with and care for my 90 year old mother, and have no insurance since I quit working to stay at home with her about 5 years ago. She's almost blind, has pulmonary fibrosis, diabetes, and has had heart failure. She has excellent health insurance. Even so, her medicines and med. supplies cost us about $6000 a year. I'll never put her in a nursing home. I am in relatively good health, but I've gained a lot of weight because all I really do is sit with her, and go out for medicine and food. It's actually hard for me to leave her long enough to go for a walk. She forgets where the bathroom is, and needs help with her plastic pants. No altzheimers, but some dementia. Not enough to rob her of the enjoyment of her family. She knows us, her long-term memory is still excellent, so she can tell us stories going back to her early childhood and covering the breadth of her remarkable life. I promised my father before he died that I would be here for her, and I've tried to keep that promise.

    I am furious at the state of healthcare in this country. Doctors no longer concentrate on the care of their patients, but rather on the business end of their practices, cutting time with patients in favor of volumn in order to pay for their malpractice insurance. Blame the lawyers for that and so much more. It's hard to even find a good GP. Specialties pay so much better. It's hard to imagine how a government run option could reap as much havoc as private insurance has. Oh, and private insurance companies exist to deny benefits to their members and promote the use of cheap generic drugs that do not work as well and are not as safe as the name brands. Drug companies are making outrageous profits in the US. No other country is stupid enough to allow this abuse of its citizens.

    The system we have now is nothing more than a bonanza scheme for the redistribution of wealth from the elderly to the drug and insurance companies. It ranks right up there with banking and Wall Street for intelligent, white collar racketeering. It exists because it funnels billions into the pockets of politicians who could care less what their unfortunate constituents deal with on a daily basis.

    The amount of misinformation being promulgated by the special interests is maddening. Look how they stir the angry, ignorant mobs with propaganda that goes back to the fifties with its insinuations of incipient communism. I am appalled that so many are so easily fooled but one need only look to our pathetic public education system to understand. An ignorant populace is easily manipulated, and easily stirred to mob violence. These people are fools, angry at those who would save them, but so are their manipulators who will one day be turned on by those whom they now ridicule and underestimate.

    Concerning the orchestrated vioence of the recent town hall meetings, I am reminded of the sixties. This different demographic is now having its day. I don't think the Nazi references are off the mark. I expect a " Crystal Night" any evening now, orchestrated by this generations Brown Shirts. The Republicans have spiralled down into what they always really were: a fascist vestige rewrapped to resemble the libertarian forefathers whose message they have completely warped. Characters like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin are an embarrassment to any democracy. I despise the lies that obscure the dialogue that should take place if so much of the media were not controlled by neocon pirateers. Or do the wealthy really believe they can exploit the poor to the very last moment? Guillotines and firing squads will result. Or rather, the more modern equivalents. Eric Prince and his army will not save them.

    I love my country and its people. We deserve so much better than this. The future demands a healthy, educated, sensitive, thinking populace. The days of manual labor in an agrarian or even skilled labor in an industrial economy are over forever. Our future is being designed right now. The public deserves to have its say, but their choices will only be as good as their information. That's pretty scary.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  237. karen meredith

    We must reform health care from the other direction. We need thousands of "public medical schools and attached hospitals and clinics." We need to loosen regulations on pharmacists and nurses so that they can provide more of the basic care. We need to make our "public medical system" available to all based on a sliding scale fee structure. The government should subsidize these medical schools, hospitals and clinics (spend all this money on this.) Yes, these would have to be located in larger cities. Rural residents would have to travel more. There is so much fraud and waste doing it the other way, it will never work without substantially reducing care.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  238. Steve

    Other Western nations have taken care of the health needs of their citizens for decades. The Republicans are more concerned about the profits of the insurance companies and the expense of insuring all of our citizens. A profit-making health care system seeks to maximize profit at the expense of those who really need medical care. If we were to redirect much of the aid we give to other countries to the care of our own citizens, there would be no problem in covering health care costs. Also, a government option will help to keep the private sector insurance companies competitive and honest. It works in Germany, and I believe it can work here. Thanks.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  239. rickfromdetroit

    Most people have never used our health care system for a major injury, illness, or disease and they do not know what a mess our health care system is.

    My first encounter with health care was 35 years ago. The insurance company cut of my benefits after 6 months. I collected food stamps for the next 6 months until I was able to return to another type of work.

    Today I am collecting Social Security Disability for 2 knee injuries.
    Same thing again. After 6 months the insurance company cut off my benefits. I have 2 sets of MRI's on both knees. The insurance company sent the MRI's to one of their doctors who issued a 10 page report saying the MRI's are wrong and I can return to work. I sent the same reports to Social Security and they put me on disability.
    I am receiving treatment from the government run Veterans Administration and collecting disability benefits from the government run Social Security Administration.

    Insurance companies are good at paying for minor injuries or illnesses, but when a major injury or illness occurs, contact a lawyer and prepare for a multi year legal battle and call Uncle Sam for your medical benefits.

    People who have had to use our health care system for major medical will support the government reform bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  240. melinda

    we are an american family who live in the UK do to a work transfer, and live with NHS on a day to-to day basis....you have know idea. for me personally, it took nearly 3 months to see a breast specialist for a lump i had found in my breast. luckily for me and my family, it turned out to be nothing serious. what about those people who are still waiting??
    another personal story.... i was told by a dentist that my children were to young to receive x-rays for their mouths. when i asked about the issue of cavities i was told that, "when we see the cavitiy will address it then". i was not happy with how this dentist approached this paticular issue. so ....i registered with a new dentist. this dentist pretty much said the same thing regarding cavities and in addition told me that if i wanted my childrens teeth cleaned i would need to schedule an appt. with a hygenist. i couldn't believe this. when i asked (silly me), i was told "children don't usually need to see hygenists, because they don't really get plac on their teeth". ARE YOU KIDDING? needless to say we took care of any and all medical issues stateside.
    it's not peaches and cream. NHS is not a free program. NHS is paid through taxes just as if you were paying for private healthcare. do people realize that at some point everyones taxes will be going through the roof to make up the difference for those who are unable to work, or just don't work. what about the terminally ill patients? are they going to have to go without treatment because they are going to die anyway? this happened in the UK to people with certain types of cancer. terminal or not this is not right.
    i keep hearing this will be better than what you may have experienced across the pond...how? in what ways? can they foresee the future? do they (politicians) really know how they will react years down the road when approached with similar situations?!

    i would love something like this to work....but is it going to be like the UK, or the EU where some politician decides who lives and who dies? who gets this treatment and who doesn't? how are these tough decisions going to be made and whose going to make them? we all know that at some point this is how it will be.
    i am very worried, what's next?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  241. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez

    The sad thing is that as the person who wrote this opening message requesting the participation says time for health care reform is up. Congress is out for exactly one month. Town hall meetings are not doing the task. As a Person with Disabilities I will not expose myself to danger. My safety is no warranted when people have lost their civism.

    It seems to me that members of Congress have made up their minds and are not going to hear the constituents. Except for maybe the chosen ones.

    It seems to me that people are going to hear a lot about scare tactics on health care and health care reform. It seems to me that Congress has made up their minds.

    What good will do to focus on health care all the month for CNN? Civism is no longer exercise in America. So far what I have experience with Congress people is that they do not want hear constituents. I am very disappointed about this situation. I need health care reform for people who do not have health insurance because my condition has being written as a pre existing condition. How could you feel now about having a chronic condition and not having health care and not given a chance to speak out?

    I received a message on the morning of August 10, 2009 an email from David Axelrod (info@messages.whitehouse.gov) at 9:02 AM from The White House. On his message he acknowledges the fact that the topic of health insurance reform has being hot topic for some days. He adds to that the use of rumors and scare tactics have only increased as more people engage with the issue. Finally due to number of outrageous claims floating around they have decided to make sure everyone knows the facts about the security and stability you get with health insurance reform.

    They have launched a new online resource — WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck — to help separate fact from fiction and share the truth about health insurance reform. Here's a few of the reality check videos you can find on the site:
    • CEA Chair Christina Romer details how health insurance reform will impact small businesses.
    • Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes tackles a nasty rumor about euthanasia and clearly describes how reform helps families.
    • Matt Flavin, the White House's Director of Veterans and Wounded Warrior Policy, clears the air about Veteran's benefits.
    • Kavita Patel, M.D., a doctor serving in the White House's Office of Public Engagement, explains that health care rationing is happening right now and how reform gives control back to patients and doctors.
    • Bob Kocher, M.D., a doctor serving on the National Economic Council, debunks the myth that health insurance reform will be financed by cutting Medicare benefits.
    Seems to me that these information should have being provided long time ago. There are expecting for us to spread the information but what good will do if we are not listen.

    They claim now that they knew that a major effort was going to take place to accomplish comprehensive health insurance reform but the work has taken too long for the negative to set in and it is not going to be easy. Achieving real change never is. I hope that in the end the citizen’s interests are going to be protected.

    I will do my work from home or from the phone. I have to keep my distance because of Multiple Sclerosis. If we do nothing, millions more Americans will be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, or see their coverage suddenly dropped if they become seriously ill. Out-of-pocket expenses will continue to soar, and more and more families and businesses will be forced to deal with health insurance costs they can’t afford.

    That's the reality but it seems to me that the reality has no sensibility because of this monster of the free market that has being left untouched.

    Americans deserve better. We do not have a clue on what is going to be out future for sure. Americans deserve a health care system that works as well as for everyone. A system that will not sacrifice thanks to these pre dispose pre existing condition a system that will not deny coverage to Americans when you need it most or charge you crippling out-of-pocket co-pays. Health insurance reform means guaranteeing the health care security and stability you deserve.

    President Barack Obama promised he'd bring change to Washington and fix our broken, unsustainable health insurance system but rules have to be set for these so call hall meetings. I hope that we have a chance to deliver change. I hope that Visit WhiteHouse.gov/RealityCheck, get the facts and spread the truth will help. The stakes are just too high to do nothing but someone should look into this out of control the nonsense.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  242. Dennis Goddard

    I was forced to take early retirement at age 63 due to job elimination. Retiree med insurance, through my employer, for me & my wife( who is also retired) is $1566.00/Mo. I tried to get coverage through other insurance carriers but because we have pre-existing conditions we were told they did not want to provide coverage.
    If a government health care plan was available & would cost us half as much as we are paying it would improve our standard of living.
    I hate saying this but we are looking forward to age 65 because the cost of health insurance will go down with medicare and the cost of a supplement.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  243. PATRICK OHARA

    THERE IS NO ROOM IN HEALTH CARE FOR CAPITALISM...IT MAKES NO SENSE WHEN HAVE A CEO IS MAKING 1O MILLIONS A YEAR...COME ON PEOPLE.....WAKE UP

    August 10, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  244. John McAllister

    After looking thur all the comments, it's no wonder this country is screwed up. Between being brainwashed, uninformed, and ignorant about the real world, it's no wonder nothing can be accomplished by any government

    Go Terps!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  245. Rob Johnson

    I am in favor of health care and/or health care insurance improvements. I am not in favor of a full scale government takeover of the entire system. I believe improvements can be accomplished in a thoughtful focused manner. I am not taking sides here, but the current debate is really not a debate at all. The government is attempting to ram this down our throats in a mad rush and not allowing time for a debate. This is causing the people (voters & tax payers) to become disruptive. I think it’s normal human behavior to use these tactics to slow down the process to allow some focus and more time to think through the issues.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  246. Godfrey C Leggett

    Heidi: I am a semi-retired employee of a major oil company. I have excellent health care. My wife and I pay just a little over $400 a month and the usual assortment of co-pays any time we access services ($20-35 per doctor / specialist visit). I am financially secure and happy but, I know that I will soon be on Medicare. At that time I will be forced to acquire some supplemental health care (probably Texan Plus). Although my wife and I are quite happy with our current health care, we do not see a rosey future. I think our nation is headed for a health care train wreck. We should have had universal health care long ago. I agree that the government many times does not do a good job at administering programs. I think a national co-op with hospital directors, doctors, nurses, and other health care personell should administer the program. I see three major problems with our current health care The two largest 'for profit' sectors in the health care business, the insurance companies and the drug companies should be taken out of the picture. (more on how this could be done in a future comment). Lawsuit abuse / tort reform, I think that if someone is hurt or killed by poor medicine, they should be recompensed, fairly. People should not think of lawsuits as a lottery or a casino where they can get five million dollars for an infected hangnail. Finally everyone should have access to health care, even ailens legal or illegal. This is how it is in the rest of the modern world. Access to health care throughout their lives would make poor people healthier and lower costs. We should have many, many more local health care outlets for low level care and,they could act as a 'triage' to decide if a patient needs more intense care. I do not understand how these idiotic republicans can say 'we have the best health care in the world' when we are ranked number 37 and sweden and japan have a longer lifespan than we do and Cuba, Cuba, has a lower infant mortality than we do. We need to look at what the rest of the world is doing and adopt those concepts that work the best for ourselves. We need to do this really soon...... Godfrey Leggett

    August 10, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  247. donna isaacs

    I support the health care bill. Something must be done.
    My husband and i relocated from florida to texas in 2006. I had a gall bladder attack in januay when we flew in to look at homes and went to n.e. baptist hosp in san antonio texas. they did a sonagram and saw masses on my kidneys and did not tell me. they doped me up and sent me home because i had no insurance. When we moved here i had another gall bladder attack and went to s.e. baptist hosp. I did not have any insurance and the doctor came into the room and said there was nothing he could do for me. I was in so much pain. I went to university hospital and the diagnosed me with cancer. See the private hospitals do turn the sick away. It is all about the money for them

    August 10, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  248. Debbie San Diego Ca

    The private HMO/PPO plans that my company and I pay for are worthless and have been my whole 45 years. The Health Insurers already dictate what treatment you get.

    They've never helped with any health issue I've had and I've had to fight to even get them to listen. I've always had to go to an accupuncturist or Naturopath to help me. And I'm not exagerating!

    So I say to those that are afraid of national health care. Wake up! You don't have quality health care now! They can raise your costs at any time, deny service at any time and drop you at anytime.

    Lets stop letting the Health Care industry snow us and work together on a plan that will provide real health care for all at reasonable costs, and provides alternative medicine as well. It's high time we mainstreamed alternative medicine. It's worked for me and I'd rather pay insurance for that in most instances.

    Right now I'm afraid the current proposed legislation is in the back pocket of Big Insurers and Big Pharma and we will still get stuck with their bill so they can continue to make huge profits at the expense of our health.

    I'm also afraid a National plan will be as worthless to me as my HMO currently is.

    Whatever plan we have needs to be better than what we have now.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  249. Paul

    Can we afford another, bottomless pit of a goverment program designed to benefit the few at the expense of the many working class citizens. If you want insurance for other people, then you go ahead and buy it for them. As for the "disruptive" protesters, if they were against Republican proposals they would be hailed as champions of free speech! The number one disease in this country is class envy. Those who pay little or no taxes are the first to line up for the next great" free" benefit!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  250. Heather M.

    I am sick of tired being called un-American or a radical because I do not want the government running the health care system. The government can barely run itself and they now want to add more responsibility. Are they kidding me?

    I believe health care reform is needed but I do not want the government telling me who I can see, when I can see them or how many time sI can see a doctor. I love my current insurance and do not want it changed.

    I look forward to the next election, we need change but it is not this form of socialism.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  251. Maxine

    Heidi

    We need to stop the insanity! The media should give an equal or greater amount of focus to the people that want and need Health Care reform in this country. Stop giving these rats that are paid off by big insurance and pharma all the coverage. The people that need this have already been crippled by the economy and cannot get their voices heard. Its even very hard to send emails to our congressmen and women, lots of non-working addresses online. We are not as exciting I know ; but we are the real picture. Reformed Health Care could help people that desperately need help and also help with the economy and jobs. It would be a win win for everyone. Our country can afford what ever it wants! We are told we are the richest country on earth. All of our other government run single payer health Care works very well. i.e. medicare, medicaide and the V. A

    Thanks

    Maxine in Ohio

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  252. Charles Fooe MD

    Heidi,
    I am an ER physician in full-time practice for the last 16 years. Almost none of my physician colleagues support Obama's plan. Obama's refusal to consider tort reform (defensive medicine is responsible for an estimated 25% of the cost of healthcare in America today) because trial lawyers are the number one contributer to the Democrats, and his recent under the table deal with the pharmaceutical industry promising them that the govt will not use it's power to negotiate better drug prices in the future in exchange for their financial support now in getting his plan passed, show that he is not willing to take on special interests to control costs. The enormous cost of his plan (along with the rediculous cap-and-trade and stimulus/bailout spending) will saddle our children with and enormous and immoral financial burden, permanently lowering their standard of living. Also please stop using the discredited but oft repeated 47 million Americans are uninsured. When you subtract illegal aliens, people who can afford insurance but choose to spend their money on other things, and people who are elligible for existing programs but have not bothered to sign up, the true number of uninsured is less than 10 million. Take a look at Facebook polling, a pretty representative cross-section of America (you can only vote once and there have been hundreds of thousands of respondents) The vast majority of respondents disapprove of this plan, but it is being shoved down our throats as quickly as they can, because they know that the more time Americans have to understand it, the less they will support it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  253. Dennis

    I worked for a major telecommunications company for 32 years and retired 7 years ago. I retired with good healthcare benefits. However, my insurance has gone up (way up) every year so I welcome reform to the system to add the uninsured and to hold down the cost.

    I heard one senator say that "we are moving to fast on healthcare". He has been in congress for 30 plus years and has yet to vote yes for any healthcare bill. Zero vote for healthcare but we are moving to FAST he says.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  254. Pam

    I'm not in favor of the healthcare bill mainly because they won't tell what's really in it-they -the president and congress even say that it's not really written yet so they don't even know what's in it.
    We should have the same medical care the congress and the president get, not something different. Why come up with a different plan just extend what is already in place for them.
    I have basically catastrophic insurance-I don't go to the doctor because I still can't pay for the appointments; but I'm glad I have the insurance incase my husband or I end up in the hospital.
    My parents are on Medicare-Congress talks about cutting waste-who's to say they won't decide the oxygen my mom needs 24-7 is 'waste' that the wound care my dad needs every few days at home isn't 'waste', that the battery replacement for my dad's defibulator isn't 'waste' or unnecessary because he's in his late 70's.
    When I try to talk or send info I've received online to friends who support Obama's healthcare reform-they get mad at me instead of trying to explain what's wrong with the info I've sent them. They haven't read the bill anymore than I have. If I knew where to get a copy of the bill I would get it and read it-probably wouldn't be able to understand it, but I woud try to read it.
    I just want fair treatment for everyone-everyone should be entitled to healthcare, no matter what. I do believe that when my granddaughter was born as a preemie 7 years ago-if we'd had this healthcare program she probably would not have been cared for-she probably would have been allowed to die-she was 27weeks, 1.5lbs and it took alot of money to get her to thrive for the first 3 months before she could come home. I want parents to not have to worry about if their child is going to get the care they need to stay alive and have a good life, I want children to not have to worry about if their aged parents are going to be denied care because they're in their 70's or 80's and they've developed cancer or are going blind from diabetes. No one should have to worry about this at all-everyone should be able to rest assured that all people will be treated as equals-no less care for any one age group and no less care for disabled groups.
    I feel Obama is ramming this plan down our throat-hoping that no one really gets to examine what is in it-why else would he insist on having the plan passed by the end of the year.........

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  255. Lisa Brown

    Good morning Heidi,
    I could write all day about health care reform but instead I will bring a few facts to light that really bother me.
    1. "americans" were not allowed to attend a town meeting when Bush was president unless you were totally checked out as "friendly".
    2. If "americans" managed to get into one of those meetings and acted like the reform opponents now you were arrested.
    3. "americans" were not allowed to ask questions or voice their oppinions in those meetings, you were allowed to sit and listen.
    4. health reform is need now and has been needed for decades, I can't believe that "americans " would be against other "americans" being able to get insurancs.
    5. health reform protests in the south florida area are being coordinated by right wing conservative radio stations ( I listen to then just to be aware of what they are planning)
    6. medicare/medicaid is a form of "socialized medicine", are we as "americans " ready to get rid of them???
    7. health reform is not about rich, poor or middle class, it's about Democracy and the right of every "american" to be covered.
    8. if health care reform bill/bills are not enected I propose that all members of the congress and the senate be strip of their health care insurance paid by all tax paying "AMERICANS: and let them find and pay for their own coverage
    lets see how they like it when the other shoe drops.

    thank you.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  256. George BIigge

    It'ss interesting that those who are showing up at town halls and disrupting the proceedings are mostly older white folks with pearl necklaces and well dressed. Unfortunately, those millions of folks who are in desperate need of health care reform are not represented nor are they allowed to be heard by the intimidating crowd. I suspect, also, that these people are cloaking a simmering bigotry with their feigned "outrage". I know because I work with people like this. They are severely upset with the election of Barack Obama. and they see health care reform as a transfer of their wealth to people like him (who they consider as being "on the dole" in many ways). By the way, I'm a 67 yr. old white male, so I'm not putting down older Americans – just their misguided and reactionary views, fanned by the special interest and conservative groups, talk shows, etc.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  257. Judith Leacock

    I have been listening to the pros and cons of the health care issue.
    My family and I don't have health care. If we have to go to the doctor which is not often-Thank God- we have to pay from our pockets for visits, prescription etc. We cannot afford health care at this time and I pray that nothing serious happens to my family. Having said that, I would like the public to listening carefully and realize that it is health care reform that the government is hoping to pass. Not to take control or take away what you already have. It is to give the people like me and my family a chance to have health care.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  258. Dorothy

    I'm worry that all the misinformation on the concepts especial on abortion issues. This is quote from a catholic bishop showing the fears of government run abortion clinics is unfounded
    “Much-needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding,” he wrote. “In this sense we urge you to make this legislation ‘abortion neutral’ by preserving longstanding federal policies that prevent government promotion of abortion and respect conscience rights.”

    “Several federal laws have long protected the conscience rights of health care providers,” Cardinal Rigali added. “President Obama recently stated that he accepts these current laws and will do nothing to weaken them. Congress should make the same pledge, by ensuring that this legislation will maintain protection for conscience rights.”
    Please keep the real ifacts before the public, not just mob rule.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  259. Mike Mihalek

    We’re in the era of managed care, where physicians constantly battle insurance companies over reimbursements while all the while those reimbursements keep shrinking. Healthcare in this country is a business, and as such, it’s profit motivated. The insurance companies seek to maximize profits by declining care, the physicians try to maintain their standard of living by ordering more tests, and healthcare costs keep skyrocketing. It’s a no-win situation, and it’s only getting worse.
    Shouldn’t the health and well-being of every U.S. citizen be the primary concern of their elected officials? If so, then what’s wrong with socialized medicine? Wouldn’t it be nice to see some benefits from your tax dollar instead of watching it go to waste funding immoral wars or saving unethical financial institutions? And when a senator stands in front of a camera pontificating about how no one wants the federal government running things, aren’t they just pointing out how incompetent they, as our elected officials in Washington, really are?
    I understand that the president is doing what he thinks can get done as opposed to what needs to be done, but having spent over thirty years watching physicians order tests for profit instead of out of medical necessity, I’m afraid I don’t see any cure in the current proposals.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  260. Patrick

    Let's change the this debate from Healthcare reform to Insurance reform. It is a matter of fact that the changes would disallow insurance companies from denying health care for preexisting conditions or cutting off catastrophic care. Forcing them to reduce costs of medical procedures and making it affordable for small businesses to insure employees. The only thing outside of that realm, is to find a way to insure millions of people who have an economic situation that prevents them form being insured at all. So what is our problem, are we a country of selfish pigs that don't want to find a way out of this mess, or do we go with that old republican way of bury your head in sand and say things are perfect the way they are, uninsured people and insurance companies making billions off of that stupidity.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  261. David Schneider

    Aren't the shouters and the people who make uncalled for threats listening. Health-care as it exists is bankrupting the country. We can't afford it. The credit card generation needs to grow up and face facts and support something that will help. Not just scream at those who are trying.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  262. Hawkeye

    How much longer are we Americans going to set back and allow these Sociopathic Insurance Companies spend our premium dollars for advertisements and lobbyist for the sole purpose of protect their profits? They are infinitely more interested in keeping their “Medical Loss Ratio” favorable to Wall St. then providing the health care we pay for. All the fear mongering about the Government coming between you and your Doctor is absurd, when you consider CEO’s are currently mandating what services and tests a Doctor is allowed to provide now, by the millions. My Doctor tells me Medicare never gets in her way, while Insurance Companies demand her full time attention getting permission to do her job.
    My Medicare works just fine, thank you. I only hope everyone will be allowed to receive the same peace of mind.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  263. Becky P. M.

    It was too good to be true to believe that Pres. Obama, whose only crime was his promise to make healthcare accessable, and reform a system that has become outrageous with its price for medications along with medical procedures and Drs. prices!! Have any of you seen your dad or mom's itemized hospital bills lately??? There is NO EXCUSE for the greed involved in the Healthcare industry with a myriad of reasons contributing to the crimes, 1) Drs. ordering, and re-ordering the tests of other medical professionals; excessive testing by a group of various and seperate specialists, with no real effort to follow up on records from other professionals the patients have seen! Where does it end? Should there be no checks and balances?; no regulations to make sure the US healthcare system is not abused??? Oh Come on!! With so many of our citizens un insured and putting off necessary medical check-ups, not to speak of going without necessary treatments because of the inaccessable costs involved; how can anyone make excuses for the prices that private Drs and Hospitals charge?? There are none! Just greed. I have experienced as a patient with a long term devastating illness some of the best care, but have also seen horrible things, where a young 19 year old was turned away post a motorcycle accident when he was brought in unconscious to the hospital where my Neurosurgeon was , and was available. He was obviously unconcious from an internal bleed in the head for one thing. The paramedics begged the Dr. to help him at the ER. The administration immediately sent down someone from upstairs and without any emotion, said, "Take the patient to the General City Hospital downtown L.A." [which was 50 miles away I might add].. Despite the pleadings of the paramedics that the young man would never make it that far, no attempt was even made to stabilize him and as the paramedics screamed in tears [something I will never forget because I ended up going to school in another country and studying medicine]..The young man of 19 years did not make it. He died, because he had no medical insurance. He never made it to the only downtown general hospital that was always over whelmed anyway as it was the only facility available to take his case. He indeed died from internal bleeding, and I was beginning to realize, "What if I had never signed up for all the insurance I had when I began work in aerospace; and then I ended up diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and found myself severely disabled very quickly!? And, I almost didn't do it as I was not making much money anyway, but I let them take half of all of it to make sure I had the best medical. It just happened to be a good decision, but as easily I could have passed on the idea as I was struggling to work , still a teenager, and make my rent and eat.
    I see these high paid lobbyists who make millions a year just to use scare tactics and invoke false notions within the heads of citizens to keep them away from a system that would be much more efficient, have more regulations, ie. controls on non essential expenses or repeating test after test, simply because there is no limit as to how many tests or re-tests drs can order nor is there a limit to the same amount of surgeons some people see [sorry but some peoples' fav. pastime is just talking about their latest medical probs. and if they do not get a Dr. to their liking they will keep going from one to another, only abusing an already abused system]. So, the problem is not all with the insurance cos., but a good deal of it certainly is, and there are needed addendums or regulations so that the price of services are kept down. The prices will keep going up with the Drs on staff that can find pre existing conditions to deny care as well! The healthcare system in the US is badly broken, horribly inflated, greed is a big part of so much of it! And, on top of all of this, you get groups of lobbyists passing about incorrect information in order to scare the public away from solutions that would streamline a more honest and
    healthy system, that would work for all concerned, and maybe some Drs. and private hospitals would remember why they are in the business they are in to begin with. Also, you , those of you who consider life sacred, would see that with your protests against honest hardworking representatives to make sure all people can gain access to life saving treatment, IS REALLY WHAT IS MEANT BY LIFE BEING SACRED AND BEING TREATED AS SUCH! WAKE UP , AND LISTEN TO YOURSELF! ALL LIFE IS SACRED.. OUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS OVERSEAS-THEIR LIVES ARE SACRED AND THEY SHOULD NEVER BE SENT UNDER FALSE PRETENSES, AS WELL, YOUR MEDICAL SYSTEM SHOULD START SEEING ALL LIFE AS SACRED AND NOT CATERING TO THE OVER INSURED FEW WITH DEEP POCKETS... I am ashamed that I for so long have been hyjacked by the bureauocratic Republican Party who is very adept at twisting the truth.. I can only pray others will wake up..!
    Living in a nation, born in this nation which brags on being the first and foremost in so many areas, we sadly lack when on one hand we have a group of right wing activists screaming "Life is Sacred" and working to reverse Roe vs. Wade'....'Yet at the same time, you have a a healthcare system based on greed with many doctors afraid of change because they like the enormous money that pours in and their more than comfortable lifestyles-while in the midst of it all the hyocratic Oath has for many turned into the Hypocritical OATH!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  264. Larry Hahn

    I run out of Cobra coverage in 16 months. I have pre-existing conditions and will still be 3 1/2 years from Medicare coverage when it expires. All I ask for is access to the same coverage I now have, which I am willing to pay for personally. Lacking this, I will be treated as a second class citizen just because I do not work for a company offering this benefit.

    A plan may be to require Insurance Companies to offer a "government spec" program. This takes the issue of the government running healthcare. It's a win for the government, the insured and even the insurer.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  265. Mattie in NC

    I work in a Free Clinic in a rural area in NC. Our representative Virginia Foxx has stated, among other uninformed things, that there are no uninsured in the United States. It is really interesting in the number of people we see who do not have access to insurance. The other thing that really is astounding to me is the politcos and the mobs who say that there will be people denied services due to age and conditions have not had to deal with the establised insurance companies. They refused or postpone services on a regular basis. If Sarah Palin took one minute to substantiate her remarks, she would be aware that the "death panels" alreadly exist. The disruptive town meetings show the reality of mob mentality that is fueled by an agenda driven platform. It shows the number of people who get their knowlege from catchy commercials that are full of lies or contain no real content. The constant yelling and rudeness are sad examples on dealing with issues teach our children that loud, rude behavior will get you what you want. How sad for us all.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  266. Virginia Heether

    First off I don't belong to no politico party and never will. Polsi,Reid, Hoyer etc, can call me a mob, unamerican what ever but no one will take away my views.
    I attend these meetings peacfully as do the rest of the people that join me. We give our Congressmen time to answer our questions but when you get the run around like to a question say (Will you put your family on this plan?) They do everything but give us a YES or NO answer.That's all many of us want. Then people get a little loud.
    I've read some of these comments and I take many of these people don't attend town hall meetings.
    I would also like Cnn and other new stations to start looking at the signs. The people in GRASS ROOTS and TEA PARTIES have home made signs and the majority have done their home work. The REAL THUGS have democrate manufactures signs made by ACORN, SEIU. And how about the guy who got beat up by three SEIU THUGS, or the families of other everyday peopleat town hall meetings who get threats from the Democrate THUGS I don't see any of you talking about it. Not one station will and that is really sad to me.
    All reporters are suppose to be bias but apparently your not.
    Why don't you start attending or reporting on town halls of republicans or independents congressmen who are agianst the healthcare bill. Why don't you read the bill your self and report on what is actually in the bill (like abortion being covered, What is going to happening to the elderly.
    WHY DON'T YOU GET TO THE TRUTH? WHY ARE YOU JUST REPORTING ONE SIDE? And not reporting on the back round how corrupt ACORN and SEIU are?
    How about going to other countries oh say like England, Canada, Frence and report on the views of both side of their health care.Or heres one go around and talk to the Doctors on both sides here in America and get their viewsand I'm not talking about the ones you use at your station who are very good Doctors but the ones in the field taking care of the small towns and big cities. If the reporters out their can't report fairly for both sides then I guess know one will know the real truth.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  267. Al Strickler

    My current health care plan, though not perfect, is adequate, and in fact, has saved my family from bankruptcy since my wife has serious, long-term health problems that result in much needed care.
    I have three problems with the health care plan(s) being considered in congress:
    1. Government involvement is a joke. Has it (they) solved the banking and auto industry problems by government hands-on intervention? All it has accomplished is wasting taxpayers money.
    2. The provision mandating the inclusion of abortion benefits is not only immoral, it is contrary to the majority opinion of U.S. citizens who oppose abortion on demand.
    3. The end-of -life provision(s) seem to be guiding us to legalized euthanasia. Note President Obama's remarks concerning the consideration of hospice rather than long-term medical care.
    N.B..: I am not a republican nor do I represent any special interest group. It is absolutely disgusting that those in favor of the current plans paint all those who oppose it as having ulterior motives rather than considering that opposition opinions are just as valid as theirs.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  268. al brown

    You all talk to much and we miss what the senator from missouri is saying. 3 minutes of her townhall meeting were more informative than your news cast. The senator brought facts not your interprtation.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  269. Pat King

    It's nice of you to want to know my opinion about health care, but I would be better served if you could present the plan – a section at a time. I am absolutely in favor of a public option. I'm in my sixties, in good health and pay ridiculously high premiums that continue to increase and will soon be out of reach.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  270. Julian

    We need healthcare reform based on a public option. My healthcare and my family’s healthcare must not be based on profit making ideology. This ideology and the monopoly of the Insurance companies is what drive the prices sky-high. The “market forces” and “self-regulation” stories that we are told could drive down the costs of private insurance are bedtime stories. As long as there is no independent regulatory function they do not work – see the meltdown of the financial market. No market forces, only greed.
    A public insurance plan will drive down the costs by imposing something closer to real competition.
    It is not conceivable in our times to have people that do not have health coverage, under-covered, etc.
    It is not conceivable to be denied health care for pre-existing conditions it is not conceivable to receive treatment base on what is most profitable procedure instead on what is the most effective, and is not conceivable to pay out-of-control services. Just to mention a few from my personal experience: 10 miles with an ambulance having paramedics doing nothing of real help – $1700. Equivalent to about 80 taxicabs! One bandage wrap in the doctor’s cabinet called “surgical care”, 5min, $85.00. It would be equivalent to $1020.0/hour! This is the effect of private insurance system.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  271. frank hosper

    you were talking about the swin flu shots. Question I received Guillain-Barre Syndrome from the flu shoot in 2000 do you know if it will be safe for people who have this problem because im not alowed to get the flu shot any more.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  272. Michael Leahy

    As a small business owner who, in 25 plus years, has paid over $500,000 in Insurance Premiums I say to those who are happy with their coverage now: wait until you have to use the Insurance. My wife was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer and our Insurance Company (Blue Cross) has denied claims for three Doctor recommended procedures SO FAR!
    The naysayers tell us that if we get the government involved we will have a Beaurocrat between us and our Doctor. We already have that!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  273. Joyce LaVasseur

    I am a recently retired critical care nurse, and now a recipient of medicare, and I like my healthcare. I want everyone to have access to healthcare. My husband has cancer and he gets good care. My question is about the area of medical innovations and how would healthcare reform effect new treatments and diagnostic procedures and the public access to top quality care. Medical innovation is very expensive and I think it would be wrong to suppress it, but how do we pay for it? My feeling is that we need to raise taxes in general to get the care that we need. I feel that not enough attention and public discussion has been given to this in a calm and constructive manner. I wish that CNN could present an in depth discussion of this topic. I would like to focus not on the political fighting but rather on the facts before us and the well being of our nation.

    Thanks,
    Joyce

    August 10, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  274. mouse

    my name is mouse ( for real )
    i am a hemodialisis person, i am so glad that i
    have medicare , Medicaid to take my medical bill
    each month, right now it coast thirty thousand
    dollars a month. will it go to forty thousand a month
    next year ? question– do you know anybody
    that makes that kind of money ? i dont

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  275. Jo

    We cannot address health care until we close our borders.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  276. Anna Galvin

    WHY?

    Why can't we ALL have the guaranteed health care that seniors have? Why do we have to wait until age 65 to get health care that is publicly financed and privately delivered? Why should insurance companies get to fleece us when we are young and healthy, then dump us on the taxpayer when we are older and less healthy? Why are we even discussing the continuation this obscene practice?!

    Watch and listen to a former insurance exec's epiphany:

    http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/07102009/watch2.html

    Coverage does NOT equal care. We need to get the health insurance cartel out of the health care equation. Continued toleration of the 30% administrative waste caused by having 1,200 insurance companies is an economic suicide pact. Insurance is for accidents. Health care is no accident! Support health care for people, not for profit, by supporting H.R.676, single-payer, universal health care. The Congressional Budget Office projects that single-payer would reduce overall health costs by more than $225 billion despite the expansion of comprehensive care to all Americans. No other plan projects this kind of savings:

    (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/6/11/741100/-The-Truth-About-Health-Care-Reform).

    For more info on single payer, including the Mike Farrell videos:

    http://www.1payer.net/

    Single-payer Medicare for all is the ONLY real healthcare reform.

    Everything else is just putting lipstick on a pig.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  277. Larry

    I just watched the report about the "mobs" at the townhall meetings. Why didn't you explain that the person who asked the question of the black congressman was a doctor from the congressman's district who had called the congressmans office and never got to speak with the congressman? If you did show it and I missed it, then I apologize.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  278. Alice Eisenhauer

    I was dismayed at your reporting of the comments on health care. i read almost all of them posted prior to my first post and few were against reform, yet you read posts that were aginst reform. Is your bias showing?

    Alice

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  279. TimV

    Healthcare reform is possible if people will stop giving credence to extreme and false views, such as reporting on what Sarah Palin thinks. If you keep reporting on her wacko views people will continue to think her views matter – they don't. She is NOT president, nor does she have a podium to stand behind anymore. Focus on the truth and the facts, not the lies.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  280. Vincent A Bommarito

    I am a retired blue coller skilled trades worker from Michigan, ever since I started working 40 years ago the Insurance Industry has gone up to where employers no longer offer health insurance to keep you employed with them and if they do they make it available if you pay 1/2, now I have to make a decesion to spend the money on health insurance or afford a home, car an all the other things that a family needs, wake up America we need reform and stop protecting Insurance profits.
    The piece you had on the Dr. offering Drs care for the resturants was a good example of people in need, they cant protest they work everyday.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  281. Jeri Macke

    All right now I hear is indiwndos and specliations. How can you go in a read for yourself what they are putting down on paper? I see why everyone is getting upset. Because we are in the dark.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  282. Sonya Roberts

    Reform is simple, or it could be: Put need before greed.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  283. Dionna Cassoni

    Why don’t President Obama and one of the republican’s leaders have a national televised debate over health care reform, just like the presidential debates? So all of us Americans can have the same information and make an informed decision on how we feel about health care reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  284. Andrew

    I just graduated from college, now I'm left without a job therefore without any health insurance because I cannot afford anything, nor can my struggling parents. Every time I get a sharp pain in my tooth or in my side, I get terrified because I know I will not be able to afford a mere doctor's visit to get a prescription, even for a sore throat. I studied abroad in Paris last year – and when I was sick I walked into the pharmacy and the pharmacist diagnosed my swollen tonsils. Why can't they do that here? Do I need to see a family doctor to be medicated for such things?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:37 am |
  285. Mark G.

    A lot of the problems with the cost of health care is the gouging by the health care providers. Some generic drug makers are charging a 3000% mark-up on their products! They must think that they are in the military defense industry. that's why they are afraid of a national health care system. They don't want to have to negotiate prices with the 700 lb. gorilla that I the US government.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  286. brad kocher

    I believe the government should work on remedies to health care issues and not get in the health care business. Just look at Congress’s record with predicting the future of social security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Their record for remedying these programs is abysmal and there is no reason to believe their takeover of the system as a single pay, yes eventually this is their plan, would be any different. They are moving way too fast. Tort reform, insurance reform, product and service costs, and covering more citizens who should be paying into the system are all remedies that can be accomplished without a takeover of the system. And they should quit demonizing the greed, as they put it, of profit. There is also the greed of control which they are exhibiting at unprecedented levels. Thanks.

    Brad Kocher

    495 Donald Ross Dr

    Pinehurst, NC

    910 295-1589

    August 10, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  287. thomas

    Much talk about choice of doctors. I am on medicare and find that many doctors and clinics do not accept medicare, in fact my own doctor now does not take new medicare patients. So who are all these people that say they are worried about their choices being eliminated.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  288. Bill G

    If this health care plan is so great why don`t our representatives lead by example and be placed on the same plan as they are drafting ?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  289. Linda Hendricks

    I'd like all of us to enjoy the same plan as our senators & congreesmen. I have worked all my life in hospital laboratories. When I retired, I did NOT get a paid for health care plan. I am able to buy into the hospital plan at a savings, but I pay!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  290. Ann Pettit

    I am self employed and currently have health insurance. I have paid for insurance for years and never had a claim and the insurance continues to increase in cost. Most of the other self employed associates I work with cannot afford insurance. When you are self employed, your income varies from year to year, but your insurance premiums do not adjust based on your income. There should be a public option for insurance. It should be mandatory and based on people's incomes. Then everyone would be paying their fare share.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  291. Christina

    Our healthcare system is broken and needs to be fixed. Helping to fix the healthcare system will assist in fixing our economy. I have recently spent time in the hospital where they tried so hard to kick me out that they almost sent me home with a blood clot. I refused to leave until they addressed the problem. Any senator that says we have the best healthcare clearly is not personally involved in the healthcare system.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  292. Dan

    In the town hall meeting this morning she said that, "They will tax the insurance companies.." What do you think the insurance companies will do – pass it on. I would only accept a plan that all the senators and congressmen will accept as THEIR plan. It seems like its good enough for the "commoners" but never good enough for anyone in Washington.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  293. Chris Meek

    We can pour billions into military projects to defend us. That is sensible spending. However, if nearly 1/6th of our population does not have access to affordable health care does that spending make as much sense?

    I bet if we lease some of our older technology submarines to India we might be able to afford a healthcare bill!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  294. Tom Windwillow

    Did anyone notice the woman asking the question of Senator McCaskill, was wearing a shirt representing the third national flag of the Confederate States of Americans, These are loyal US citizens?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  295. Johnny Delmonte

    I'd like to know how come we can afford to waste trillions of dollars for the benefit of defense conractors, and yet have millions of people uninsured for health coverage. And please don't give me that "we're doing it to defend our freedom B.S.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  296. R. SIMON

    I like my healthcare and I don't want the Government to tell me how my insurance company should run its business.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  297. james petry

    Why did CNN refuse to air a perfectly legitimate commercial about the excesses in the insurance industry's management pay? Because, when push comes to shove, you're a corporate mouth piece!

    Why are you only reading right wing comments Heidi? Where's the left wing media bias?

    Those who oppose health care for all have blood on their hands.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  298. Jenny Carlson

    Government has never done anything within budget, efficiently or without creating a culture of fraud and excess.

    Maybe it is time for our politicians to go back and review the principals on which this country was founded. Government was not created to solve all social ills or to fix the personal problems of American people. If anything, they need to focus on empowering and educating Americans to fix their own problems and to uplift and help each other. Encourage a culture of independence, self-responsibility and innovation (without throwing money at it); get rid of government excess and spending and watch America and Americans thrive! We do not need government to "fix" it – Obama has made it clearer than any other president that the government doesn't fix anything.

    I have gone without insurance and paid very large bills as a result and now have insurance. So I have experience both sides of this issue. I still say keep government out of it!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  299. Jessica Cunningham

    In the headlines, we hear the horrors of individuals who are being denied healthcare or receiving substandard services. As a nation, hearing these stories, we should not get caught up on our own hangups with the current healthcare system, but keep in mind these headlines and seek out the opportunities to change the current system. Modification is what is best and people need to keep their rational state of mind and realize that our government allows us to modify the benefits that we extend to our own people. Rather than seeing this as the final word, as it is in other countries, this is just a baby step in the right direction. It will be a process, not the last say.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  300. Steven

    We Need Health Care Reform!!
    I used to have Aetna but the price skyrocketed and for what I paid every month, Nothing was covered. So I racked up much medical debt. Of late, I have signed on with a great company that pays for most and my cost is less than what I was paying with Aetna and Much, Much more is covered under the plan. I love Met Life Insurance. They are the Bomb!!

    But I have been with out healthcare and with, I can tell you this countries Health Care is a joke and the providers are even more so a joke and a rip off than you would expect from the Worlds leading country!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  301. MARK

    It's great to know that a govenment, that spent triloins to bail out failing companys that STLL issue billions to their C.E.O.s who ruin their companys, has to debat about health cair for the tax paying ,hard working, citcins!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  302. Godfrey C Leggett

    Heidi: I thought I should follow up on my previous comment about health care. On the subject of eleiminating the insurance companies and drug companies from our health care costs. If we were to form a nation wide co-op this co-op could simply absorb the clerks and phone banks and all the other low-level administrators that the insurance companies already have in place. No need to re-invent the wheel, just absorb that section of the insurance business. As to the drug companies, we pay huge sums of money to universities and research labs around the country for drug research. We pay to have the drugs developed and then we pay even more to have them marketed to ourselves. Now, I think that any scientist who developes a new drug should be awarded a nice payout for his or her efforts. These are the real heros of drugs. Oh by the way, I think doctors should make house calls and they should be paid more than they are now. And just a general business comment, stockholders and boards of directors need to get in control of ceo, cfo, cff compensation. I do not think any of these executives are worth the millions they get paid every year. No CEO, CFO, or CFF should be paid more than ten times a line worker or five times what a mid level manager makes. No baloon awards and no golden parachutes. They should be given stock awards (so should all employess) and not be allowed to cash them in for at least one year after leaving the company or retireing.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  303. Char

    I currently have Medicare Advantage, which I love. This is Medicare with a supplemental BlueCross/BlueShield policy.
    President Obama said this plan will be eliminated. This makes me angry and if there is a townhall meeting in my area, you can bet I'll be there to voice my concern.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  304. Bobbie

    There are alot of people that want healthcare reform. Some are afraid to speak up. The others just don't care that there are families and children that are foregoing treatment for illnesses that they just can't afford to pay for. I think the solution is simple. Start the enrollment process. Give the option to opt-out. The ones that choose to opt-out should not be allowed to opt back in for 2 years. We will then know who wants healthcare reform and who does not.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  305. Adel

    Why should we pay Insurance companies to dictate when we can or can not have health coverage. I don't want to be told that when I lose my job, in a time when I would need health coverage most, I would be denied. That is completely immoral in every way.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  306. Nicholas Jones

    Why is it that Health Care Reform opponents feel this country is incapable of achieving what many other countries have done so well. Do they feel we are not smart enough to have a public health care program? Why is an insurance company bureaucrat preferable to a government bureaucrat? The insurance company guy is certainly under pressure to keep costs down and profits up.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  307. Dr. Bert Bergland

    Thanks for the opportunity to speak up.

    I have one ubiquitous and certain solution to most concerns about health care proposals. That soution is to make any legislation passed by Congress, now or in the future and signed by the president applicable in total to every member of Congress, and every bureaucrat in any governement body whether local, statewide or national with no exceptions permitted. Any future amendments, rules and rgulations have equal impact on ALL citizens. Period. You can rest assured we will all be provided adequate health care uder such a system. What's good for the goose...

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  308. Bonnie, Atlanta, GA

    Delay, Confuse and Pay the Protestors. I will bet those protestors are the first to line up for Medicare and Unemployment Insurance. Record and notify the audience that outrageous and violent protestors will be fined or charged if they injure anyone.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  309. Al Laurence

    I'm thinking of moving to Canada. Why?
    Get Health Care.
    Watch from the sidelines as this country crumbles.
    Nicer people.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  310. Kim

    This bill needs to address costs! When my daughter was receiving speech services through Medicaid several years ago, I received a quarterly listing of what was paid to her providers. They received money every time they even opened her file or made a phone call, not just for the actual therapy. They even received money when they "closed her file", months afer she stopped receiving services!

    When I called to complain about this ridiculous waste of money, I was told basically everyone does it – i.e. everyone bills Medicaid for these types of things.

    No wonder health care costs are so high!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  311. Mike

    Heidi,
    I like the idea of people getting their views expressed about health care. It is better than being passive, as I have see so often. However, I would like the discussion to be on the facts rather than rumor. I would like to see more facts presented and how those will affect my life. Mike

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  312. Susan from Virginia

    Reality is that healthcare is ALREADY rationed. My husband and I have excellent insurance but ask the folks in Southwest Virginia who waited days for basic medical and dental care at the RAM (remote area medical mission) how they feel about the health care system. I am more than willing to pay more so that more people can get care. It is disturbing to see the tone of speakers at some of the town hall meetings. the lack of leadership from the GOP members of Congress is appalling.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  313. delawarehoney

    Watching that staged news conference with Senator Gaskill was an embarrassment.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  314. Rebecca DeWitt

    Dear Heidi,
    If you believe the President and all of Congress, Health Care Reform has to be part of a financial plan to get us out of debt over time. I wish everyone would just wait and see what plan comes out of Congress before they get too upset and jump to conclusions. Thank you.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  315. Greybeard53

    Concerning other comments:
    There is health rationing NOW! The Government will mean LESS rationing for everyone and greater access to all the wonderful gadgets for the rich.

    As for fixing the economy first: Healthcare takes 1 of every 6 dollars spent! If we can reduce that to 1 in 20 our economy will have breathing room and will grow,

    August 10, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  316. Steve

    I'm getting quite concerned, because I'm hearing more of "Hurry up and get it done, we'll change it later."; and not enough of "we need to take enough time to get it right the first time.".

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  317. John

    CNN please don't further obscure the debate by covering the disruptive scare tactics of big pharma and the insurance industry. Instead please provide objective coverage on the pros and cons of the actual contents of the health reform bills now going through Congress.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  318. Erin

    Last year our deductible went up by $500 a year. So that makes a $1500 deductible for each family member that is on the plan. Now we've just been informed that our payments this year are going up by 8%. This is no joke that within 10 years a family of 4 will pay $25,000 a year for insurance. I'm tired of seeing these out of control people at the town hall meeting that are basically stopping the information that needs to get out there and propagating the lies that have been put out there. As a news organization CNN should be reporting whats really in the bill, what is not true that has spread through the country like wildfire, and be a REAL NEWS ORGANIZATION!!! We need our media to step up to the plate and not worry about rating right now, but to be more concerned with the state of our nation.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  319. Jack Love

    I LOVE a National Health Plan with the "Public Option". Every developed nation on earth has national health insurance EXCEPT the United States. Our system is BROKEN, and it is getting worse. We don't have to re-invent the wheel here, there are plenty of models around the world to pick and choose from. You have HMO's and insurance companies who are NOT doctors telling you what medical care you cannot have. Our Health Care for Profit system is wrecking our economy and driving companies out of business. Why hasn't the media done it's job, informed our populace about national health care around the world. We can cherry pick that information and come up with a really great system.
    Jack Love

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  320. Thierry de Roch

    Health care benefits should not be a luxury item that only few can have access to. Everyone is entitled to receive heath care without prejudice and without putting one into financial and emotional bankruptcy. I would support a constitutional amendment making health care a civil rights to all.
    Those who do not support health care reform never had someone they love be turned away due to lack of insurance. These people are selfish and do not care about anyone but themselves. They don't have to make decision such as "I can either feed my children today or pay for outrageous hospital bills".

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  321. Paul Swain

    This "Health Care Bill" is not what it seems. This as about quickening our pace to Socialism from a fast walk to a run. Smoke screen, smoke screen, so the truth cannot be seen!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  322. BJane Yeager

    I have high bld pressure (taking meds) it is now "normal" I also take meds to control-high cholesterol. I tried to get reasonably priced health insurance but was turned down because of "pre existing" conditions. Therefore, I must pay $530 per month for insurance. I am 62 and will have to pay that amount plus increases until I am eligible for medicare. We need alternatives and health reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  323. John Gibbs

    What responsibility does the news media have to explain what is actually being proposed on health care reform in the various bills now in the House and Senate? I have seen very little actual reporting of these facts. And in fact, any reporting that there is no "ONE" health care bill currently being proposed – but 3 versions in the House and 2 in the Senate.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  324. Said (Sa'eed) A. Syed

    There is a reason why the richest and most medical technologically advanced nation in the world (Our country, the United States of America) was ranked 37th in terms of our health care system. France was listed as having the best health care system. Countries like Andorra and Malta are listed as having better health care systems than ours. And yes, Canada's system is listed as 30th, not the best, but yet better than ours. I believe this current health care plan is going to address this disparity. Our nation should have the best health care system in the world but it is only possible if the all powerful health care insurance companies are shut out of the discussion because for them, a $10 billion dollar increase is profits which occurred in the past 8 years is at stake here.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  325. Louise Rolens

    What I find astonishing is the complete indifference to the almost 50,000,000 Americans who can't afford or have been denied health insurance; tie that to the fact that over 60% of American bankruptcies are due to medical costs and you have what is becoming a national disaster. My own health insurance costs $932 a month; that's almost two grand for a couple, and most people can't afford this. We must fix this system based on profit and greed.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  326. Leslie Jack

    Regarding the ongoing Health Care Debate, everything can be accomplished with adequate money and thinking people and something can be accomplished with some money and thinking people. In the present health care debate why can't the U. S. government come out with their own health care plan, and even use down to 25% less resources then private health users just to prove that the government plan does not squander public money: invite health care workers to join the government plan and in return for working for the government with its limited remuneration, give them the right to elect their manager – at all levels of the bureaucracy and have these elected managers keep their managerial jobs by being re-elected each time the employing level of government has to go for re-election. This is a form of real democracy where the employees at the delivery and working level of government are elected.

    For example, if 1/6 or 16% of U.S citizens have no health care benefits then put 16% of the total health care delivery program into the government health care plan; and just to show that it will not exceed that part of the budget actually even take a further decrease from that absolute 16% that logically could go towards the government plan. Take up to a further 5% to 25% from this amount which would then only have 0.25 to say 0.05 x 16%; this would bring the total public commitment down to as low as 12% of the health care delivery budget and use only that amount for the government health care budget. I suggest that likely the care from such an annual health funded plan would provide just as good care as the more expensive private plan. Over the ensuing years these annual hundreds of billions of public dollars could be used to build a wide ranging public system which over time could completely care for persons in the public plan. It’s the government’s money to do as the politicians wish with it and with all the managers running this public system being elected by their employees, in the system the least waste possible would occur, with the public funds being protected as well, or even better, than those at the highest levels of present government. This would provide the competition that is necessary between the public and private plans. WHY NOT GIVE HEALTH CARE DELIVERY TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SOMEWHAT ALONG THOSE LINES? In time, I suggest, many in the private plan would clamour to join the public plan, and because of the democratic way it would be managed, likely it would exceed the efficiency of any private plan and be more efficient than those public plans that exist presently in democratic countries such as Canada and Europe.
    For a more extended discussion on Democratizing the Bureaucracy in presently democratic countries that may better explain the point I am trying to make, please go to http://way.to/Education. I suggest many presently supposedly insolvable problems in government can be greatly improved if not totally solved. Thanks, Leslie

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  327. Jennifer Heckathorn

    I believe that health care needs to be reformed by both making changes to the existing insurance companies as well as covering all americans. I think that it is far over-due and it is fustrating that there are people in our country who do not qualify for what is now goverment insurance (welfare) due to being a working class person who makes too much money but yet they are not offered insurance through their employer. I think we need to take a look at where we can make changes with the insurance companies and what we are actually spending on welfare coverage and ask ourselves if it won't just all wash out in the end.
    One last comment, to all who want to weigh in on the conversation, please do it constructively, yelling and screaming accomplishes nothing.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  328. JM Black

    Hi Heidi,
    All Congress people ARE on the plan that is proposed. They know all about it and how it works. It's a great plan! How do I know? I'm on that plan too. As a Federal employee, I enjoy the benefits of this government-run health care plan. It's shameful that Congress folks who know better are painting this health reform to be something it's not. It serves no purpose other than to tear down the opponent. Bullies win because they don't fight fair.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  329. Bob Davidson

    My comment is about Sarah Palin. I am employed in the fishing industry in Alaska which is a big part of Alaska. We in the industry have never had and would really like a policy for fisherman. Palin did absolutely nothing to help us with this the entire time she was in office here. Because of this I really feels she has no business in this debate.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  330. joseph

    Speaking of health care reform why FRIVILOUS LAW SUITS costs that spike HEALTH CARE costs are not taken into consideration in this heated debate ?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  331. Dan Schutte

    I don't know what is the best resolution for healtcare, but I do know that these issues concern me as a sixty year old male.
    – refuse to cover pre-existing conditions. Insurance will cover whatever does not bother you.
    – ability to cancel your coverage once you become ill.
    – outrageous expense that impairs ability to carry adequate insurance. A family should not face bankruptcy due to illness in a country as great as ours.

    The insurance companies have taken advantage of the public for decades. For this reason, a public option is desirable.

    Limited coverage is obvious. We do not have infinite resources nor do we live our personal lives that way. It is not popular to address, but necessary if we are to have a broad coverage to benefit all Americans.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  332. susan miller

    President Obama says you can keep your health care if you like it. No one ever says what would keep your employer from adopting the public option if it is cheaper. Is this addressed in the bill?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  333. Ron J

    Congress crafted a bill before knowing what issues are near and dear to those that voted them in. They also failed to examine all the costs in favor or continuing "un-American" practices. Where is tort reform? Where is the accountablity? Health care, aside from emergency services (life or limb) should be only for those that have legally entered our country.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  334. alberto

    MEDICAL CARE "DELAYED" ...is Medical Care Denied !!!
    For those of us unde age 65, but "retired" because of a disability, and not having been so disabled for 30 (THIRTY) months, i.e., the pre-requisiate to get on Medicare, If (a) DISABLED, and (b) DISABLED ...under the Social Security Act.....while the CONGRESS ponders what t do, we are left in a kind of "PURGATORY"...where a visit (even) to a Public/Gov't-funded acute care hospital ...CAN....and (routinely)...DOES....result in bills. INVOICE in the thousands of dollars:

    EVEN tho these hospitals were built with PUBLIC (taxpayer) funds: and even tho, since the 1930's, the HILL-BURTON ACT ....requires such hospital to PROVIDE care ...to ALL, esp. to those WHO...

    CANNOT AFORD TO PAY !!!

    Amen.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  335. Scott

    I think someone in the media needs to do some investigating into how the insurance companies are hiring people to disrupt many, if not all the "town hall meetings" being held in regard to health care reform.
    .
    A country which preaches democracy to the rest of the world should NOT have so many uninsured people within its borders. This is the only country to not take care of its vulnerable citizens. We desperately need health care reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  336. Frank

    It's a shame that people don't understand that a town hall meeting is to share ideas not just to shout so loud that no one hears anything. It seems that people are listening to a lunatic fringe trying to scare them and believing it. Sara Palin's ranting about death squads is a perfect example. Everyone should just take a deep breath, really get to know what is in the bill and THEN decide if they want to support it or not.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  337. Wendy M

    I am still living with a husband, that I want to divorce, because I am too chronically ill to work full-time and have my own health insurance! I am not ill enough to qualify for disability. He understands and also wants a divorce. So, we are doing what is called an "in-house-separation". Separate bedrooms and bill paying.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  338. Jerry Frieling

    Heidi; Since health care is such an important and volitile topic why not propose a year delay on any congressional vote taking that time to study and debate the matter more thoroughly and design a system to eliminate Medicare and Medicaid fraud as an important component to pay for the proposed program. At the end of the year commission an independent audit to determine how much cash was repatriated to the Treasury. Based on the amount of money that could be expected from fraud recovery and a more reasoned debate on the issues then legislation could be drafted that would be more in tune with reality and the needs and desires of the people.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  339. Diana Hunnicutt

    I don't understand why health insurance cannot be provided for the uninsured without affecting those who already have health insurance. I am satisfied with my insurer and my coverage. I do not want to be included in this health insurance mess. I will not vote for reelection of any representative or senator who votes for a health care bill that adversely affects my health insurance coverage.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  340. Jana

    Heidi,
    Thank you so much for your report on health care in Germany. Yes, it works over there. True, doctors don't make that much money, but then they also don't have to pay anything for their education and they don't have to worry as much about liability issues as they do here. And shouldn't people become doctors because they care for people and not out of profit calculations? I have lived here for almost 8 years and health care is the most scary thing in this country. Why can't everyone pay a premium and then get good quality care? People here make so much fuss when the government gets even a little bit involved. Let's face it: the system here does not work. I just hope I never get seriously sick. But if I were to get sick, I would definitely get treated back home. That way I won't have to declare bankruptcy and I will be taken care of. Do you trust your doctor here? I surely don't.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  341. Deb

    One item missing from all headlines regarding health care reform is the coverage our elected senators and congressmen receive and the exact cost of that coverage being paid for by the American taxpayer.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  342. Dr. Dean

    OK, watching you show this morning. Want to make a comment about the senator's comments in MO. It is the insurance companies today that are trying to counteract the adds for "scooters" by applying criteria based on need. Who will do that for the government program? Also, for every add I have seen for scooters, I have seen 3 by trial lawyers trying to get anyone who might have had a bad outcome from medicines to call them for legal support. When is congress going to stop this waste.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  343. Adam Whalen

    Listening to all the republican fear mongering on the health care issue is pretty entertaining. We are the only developed country left that has not fixed this problem. They are so obviously in the pockets of their insurance lobbyists and drug companies that it's almost laughable that they even get any media coverage anymore. Are Republicans really that stupid? Or do they just think we are?

    Sarah Palin hyping "Death Panels"... indeed- She's just dumb enough to believe that.

    This country is not full of morons like Joe The Plumber who trumpet the benefits of a system that has been geared to completely exclude them. I for one, am completely behind what Obama is trying to do, and see through the BS that the republicans are using to scare people...

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  344. Hawkeye2

    I fail to understand why we Americans continue to set back and allow these Sociopathic Insurance Companies spend our premium dollars for advertisements and lobbyist for the sole purpose of protect their profits? They're more interested in keeping their “Medical Loss Ratio” favorable to Wall St. then providing the health care we pay for. All the fear mongering about the Government coming between you and your Doctor is absurd, when you consider CEO’s are currently mandating what services and tests a Doctor is allowed to provide now, by the millions. My Doctor tells me Medicare never gets in her way, while Insurance Companies demand her full time attention getting permission to do her job.
    My Medicare works just fine, thank you. I only hope everyone will be allowed to receive the same peace of mind.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  345. James Johnson

    The truth of the matter is that people are dying ealier without proper preventive health care. The republicans co-sponsored this bill and bailed out to create a opposing position. They have turned into a more hateful and calculating party that have become experts in dividing Americans. The truth seems to be if the Republicans lobbyist puppet masters can't get paid then they won't vote for it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  346. Brenda B

    Hi Heidi,

    My healthcare is fine, but costs are rising. I would like to see the government reduce costs by limiting malpractice insurance, limiting healthcare to US Citizens or tax-paying citizens, refer non-emergency cases to clinics instead of emergency rooms.

    Brenda

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  347. judy

    Heidi – I am soooo tired of big business getting in the way of what the American people need and deserve. I am also tired of Republican double-speak. The Party of No destroyed this country and put us in the mess we are now – I am 100% behind President Obama and believe that he is on the right track. We all know that you have to spend money to make money – in this issue we can also save money and help the entire country by changing the health care industry. Competition is a good thing. If we can't have single payer, then we need a public option. To say that a govt bureaucrat will decide care is ridiculous! That's what is happening in health care today. MY DAD DIED BECAUSE HIS HEALTH CARE INSURNACE PROVIDER FELT HE WAS TOO OLD AT 78 TO TRY AND SAVE HIS LIFE and pursue a treatment for prostate cancer. They put him in a study that was working to lower his PSA, and then, because they changed the profile for who could be in the program, even though it was working, they threw him out of the study and he was dead within 6 months! This is what is happening now. This is our current health care – ANYTHING WOULD BE BETTER!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  348. Bob Wolterbeek

    Why can’t we open up Medicaid to all working Americans and their families on a pay as-you-go basis through a payroll deduction system the way we pay into Social Security. This would provide affordable basic health insurance to almost all Americans and at the same time provide a huge influx of money into the Medicaid system (that we're told is going broke). Private insurance would still be available to those who want it and supplemental health insurance would also still be available. Could this be done through an executive order or must it go through our congress which is filled with congressmen and senators who are supported by insurance companies?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  349. Cheryl

    Agree HC reform is needed, but why not do a few things first such as ins co should pool all single payers, cover everyone who wants ins, with affordable premiums by pooling all single players. Then, Congress should look at repairing issues in Medicaid and Medicare before they begin to pass such a massive overhaul of health care in US. I want my Dr deciding my HC needs. Listen to the European Parliament member who says the plan will not work for US.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  350. Jeanne-RN,BSN

    Healthcare MUST change. I would start with insurance and big Pharma regulation!! They are the driving force behind the costs of healthcare increases in this country.
    On another note, even though I am a critical care RN, I do not believe in taking ANY drug or vaccine until it has been on the market for at least 1 year, preferably 3 years. The FDA is in the pocket of the drug companies and time and again drugs are pulled from the market long after they have been "approved" by the FDA. Doesn't anyone remember the first swine flu debacle after a vaccine was rushed to market? Much less making a flu shot mandatory for our school children. The biggest difference is that NOW we are unable to sue the manufactures of vaccines.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  351. Anne Loy

    In hearing the senator from Missouri this morning, I was glad to hear her straighten out some misconceptions about healthcare reform. I believe that we MUST take action, although I don't see how Congress will get the complexities straightened out. The insurance and pharmaceutical companies are controlling too much. One of my doctors said that he receives an amount of less than $30 from United Healthcare, my "Medigap" company, for my visit. If I have to cut back on some of my care, so be it; too many people lack even the basics of care and they need our help. I hope that preventive care will be included, in order to improve the health of our people and, in the long run, cut costs.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  352. Dave Freed, Akron, OH

    Explain to me why you would cut away from the Sen McCaskill live meeting coverage as she was about to answer a question, to go to a report about people shouting at members of Congress. It may make for great TV, but it doesn't serve the viewing public well at all.
    On the whole, citizens are more interested in the questions and anwers at these meetings, than the shoutings of those who don't seem to want the meeting to be productive, nor are interested in the public to be better informed!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  353. Ms. McGuiness

    I really hope and pray someone reads this e-mail.

    When worrying about being denied healthcare, consider this...My Grandfather was hated by his children so much, that, no one ever checked in on him. When my Mother finally had mercy on him, what we found out was shocking! This man was 85 years old and terminally ill from cancer and he recieved a new knee that he never ever walked on! He laid there and suffered in an extreme amount of pain before he died. Some would say it was Karma...but, you decide.

    What I'm saying is true and can be backed up. I think we could have sued, but, again, everyone hated this man and my Mother was dis-owned by many in her family just for having some mercy on him.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  354. Sharon

    It is a shame that the media uses its public platform reinforce the fear rumors being spread by protesters of health care reform. You would think that the media's assistance in spreading the Iraq war build up would have been a lesson unless the media really is in the pocket of the "fear mongering machine".
    It would be nice to hear the facts reported by our media, it is a tragic state of affairs when you can go to Europe and hear more truthful reporting on the US than you can in this country. President Obama has done alot to restore the US in the eyes of the world as a thinking, intelligent nation. Unfortunately, this nonsense fight about health care is undermining us in the world. They wonder how a thinking intelligent nation can be so far behind in real healthcare, and be too stupid to notice that change is required.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  355. cathy ely

    I am in favor of healthcare reform and i support President Obama in his efforts to bring a public option to the american people. i definitely want the public option since the insurance companies main goal is to satisfy their shareholders by makeing big profits thereby driving up the cost of healthcare. We need reform. thankyou
    cathy ely

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  356. donna isaacs

    HEALTH CARE. I AM A NURSE AND I GIVE CARE IN THE HEALTH SYSTEM AND IT STINKS....IT IS JUST PROFIT FOR THE COORPS WHO OWN NURSING HOMES. THE CHEW UP MEDICARE AND MEDICAID AND SPIT THEM OUT.THEY BORDER INSURANCE COMPANIES TO GET YOU OUT AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE. EVEN IF YOU ARE NOT READY. WHEN THE INSURANCE RUN OUT THEY WANT TO KICK YOU OUT. WE ARE ALL GOING TO GET OLD OR SICK AND NEED REHAB. WHAT KIND OF CARE DO WE EXPECT TO GET? IF YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO GET IT, THINK AGAIN. YOU MUST HAVE A JOB IN THE SENATE OR A PRISNOR TO GET GOOD HEALTH CARE. THEY GET THE BEST HEALTH CARE>>>>>>>

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  357. Darrell Wilson

    Both conservatives and liberals, need to address the economic effect of healthcare reform. If we don't reform healthcare, the healthcare system has the potential of bankrupting this country. Healthcare is just as much an economic issue as a public health issue. Healthcare reform in whatever form it takes can be a part of our economic recovery. Leaving a broken system is not a good idea. If conservatives don't agree with the current plan provide an alternate so we can come up with a solution.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  358. JC

    I was layed off several years ago and had to assume the total cost of my healthcare costs. I have seen my premiums increase by almost 33%.
    I believe a public option should be available because it would provide me with an alternative, if I do not find a job soon.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  359. Michael Salconi

    Heidi;
    Much is made of government intruding on health care. the fear being that big brother will intrude in our basic health services. Yet we live in a Democracy. I can vote, I can make financial contributions or work on some ones campaign in an effort to exert some influence. As it stands now I have no influence on the CEO's that run the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. And therein lays the basic problem. Our present health care system is for profit, but the commodity is human beings. There is something basically immoral about that. We need a public option. There's a lot of fear and misinformation being spread about it, but it's important to remember that the enemy of change is always fear.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  360. Gordon

    The Government should not even be thinking about getting involved with health care. I am a verteran and have so much trouble getting treated at The Veterans Administration Hospital, They dont cover alot of things that medicare covers. Let them Fix Veterans Medical coverage before that even think they can take on public health care.
    They say they can do this, well prove it with what they already control first.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  361. Angel

    It was time to reform Health Care when Hillary tried in the 90's. I don't think we need to rush a Bill out now, seeing how we have put it on the back burner for so long. Congress should get it right this time around and stop bickering over how the outcome will affect their Political career and focus on how it will affect the American people. I believe a system that will allow a company to drop your insurance at the first sign of trouble "... is downright evil."

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  362. Dave

    Once again the republicans have managed to convince the American people to vote against their own self interest. Without healthcare reform more people will loose all medical coverage. Only the weathly will be able to afford healthcare in the future. Some of those who are. Complaining the loudest now will loose their coverage.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  363. Ruth

    The majority of Americans voted for and elected President Obama, so why are so many not trusting that he will do the right and best thing for this country and its people regarding Health Care. Seems to me this big ado is all partisan. Sara Palin turned out to be a joke so why do we have to listen to anything she says. The right wing talk show hosts are stirring things up to the point of death threats and rioting. Hope these folks get back to a civil state of mind. This does not look like America to me. It is scary. Let's get behind our President who is doing everything possible to make this country better.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  364. John Miller

    I am a regular CNN viewer and consider myself well informed on the health care issue, but I hear facts in some commercials that I have never heard before, and therefore doubt if they're true. I found the Rick Sanchez interview with Rick Scott very enlightening. Now I know where he is coming from when I watch those CPR commercials. CNN needs to do much more of this. Health Care is too important to be decided by a bunch of biased TV commercials.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  365. Tracey Francis

    I am a working individual that was denied health insurance because of a "preexisting condition " increased cholesterol, however I think that all americans need to be given health insurance!!! I also KNOW that we are paying for those who do not have insurance right now, so what will be better? do we leave it as it is? or do we change it? I think we should change it .....who would benefit ? EVERYONE. The pharmaceutical companies should alter the cost of medications that millions of ppl need.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  366. pat

    I have not received good quality health care even tho' I have good insurance and am able to afford good health care..

    Good quality health care needs to be highest priority in health care reform.

    Greed by the insurance industry and greed by health care providers (including pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, doctors, physical therapist, etc) needs to be controled...all of these need to be non-profit with salaries, bonuses etc. based on howwell the patient does.....if health care providers lie about patient condition, they should be seriously santioned,,,,

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  367. Brenda Tucker

    Heidi Health Care Reform is the Right thing to do I listen to alot of my friends who work in convenience stores, Restaurants, Cleans Hotels, Doctors office, etc they are hard working poor about $8:00 dollars a hr or less they have been paying taxes on programs like medicare, welfare etc but yet they don't have any health insurance I think it is time for us Conversive Christians to do the right thing and open the window of opp. for they hard working poor, after all Henry Ford made the first car and look at what has developed from they window of opp. altho I have been blessed with a job for about 40 years with health insurance I realize we can be so mean to the working poor who pay their taxes but have no benfits thank you!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  368. Chuck Jameson

    My wife was diagnosed with very aggressive breast cancer. If she had waited to see a specialist or waited to get approval from the government for treatment, as is done in Canada, she would have died.
    The same thing would have happened to me in 2007 when I required an immediate heart transplant. Cigna Insurance approved both procedures up front. No government programs work today, why screw up something else?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  369. Frank Feist

    We need to fix healthcare so everyone is covered and preexisting conditions are not a roadblock to coverage. However Specific answers need to be answered PRIOR to passage. I find it difficult to TRUST politicians who want to pass things quickly before they are understood by everyone because of Earmarks, broken medicare, broken Freddie Mac, Broken Freddie Mae, Broken Post Office, how can we not ask for details on how to provide the above mentioned coverage increases while $5 Billion is being cut out of Medicare. How about a revenue neutral program that funnels savings into the above programs, AFTER THE SAVINGS OCCUR. Campaign RHETORIC often promises but does not deliver. We need to read what we are passing into programs before they are passed. I have not heard one politician talk about the high cost impact of noTort Reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  370. James

    WRITTEN IN 1776 . . .
    “Unless we put Medical Freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover distatorship. To restrict the art of healing to one class of men and deny equal privileges to other will constitute the “Bastille” of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic. They are fragments of monarchy and have no place in a republic. The Constitution of this Republic should make special provision for Medical Freedom as well as for Religious Freedom.”
    – Dr. Jonathan Rush, 1776
    (one of the original signatories of the Declaration of Independence)

    Isn't this what we are debating?

    It is not just the cost of healthcare that is in question. I am amazed that those opposed to a health care plan talk about rights being taken away when in reality, they are the one's who are against the freedom and liberty of living. Health care should be a right in this country not a privilege of those who can afford it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  371. Drs. David and Julie McSwain

    I find it amazing that lawyers have been able to keep one of the central problems with our medical system completely off the table in these discussions... medical malpractice reform. Much of the inefficiency in our health care system stems from defensive medicine... physicians ordering tests and procedures to protect them should they be subjected to a lawsuit. The lawyers are making millions off of huge settlements and awards... costs that are transmitted back to the patients through unecessary tests and higher fees. Yet because the lawyers make the laws, it's barely a topic of conversation.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  372. Wendy

    Insurance companies ALREADY tell me what kind of medicine I can/not give my son, what kind of treatments he can/not recieve and how long he can/not stay in the hospital- despite what my doctor prescribes or would be best for him. Insurance companies ALREADY refuse poeople for treatment-they call it pre-existing conditions.
    The government's plan will not be worse than insurance copmanies already are!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  373. Mike in Georgia

    Thank goodness for my current healthcare. $144,000 paid by my insurance last year for my open heart surgery. If I didn't have insurance I would have lost everything. Others not so fortunate either have lost it all or most or their life savings, or gone without and suffered the consequences.
    My bottom line is that we need to join together and pass credible, well thought out legislation that benefits those without healthcare and helps control escalating costs.
    Who should pay and how it should be paid for definitely needs to be well thought out. I am not that eager for a healthcare bill that might force a round peg into a square hole.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  374. Joan Weber

    No to this Healthcare reform. Tell us exactly how this reform is to be paid for. We worked for 50 years for the Healthcare plan we are using right now as one of the benefits for hard work. We do not want to be taxed on this benefit and we do not want the Government controlling our plan.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  375. Hunter

    The bottom line is that we already provide everyone with healthcare and the insured already pay for this coverage. The problem is that we're paying for this coverage of the uninsured in the emergency room. So, here's the real question. How do we shift the cost of the uninsured from the emergency room to a preventive care situation?

    The answer is to provide everyone with coverage.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  376. Josephine R. Lowe

    By all means pick on the thing that scare parents everyone. Target the younger and older folks by making them believe that health care will be denied them and they will be allowed to die sooner. Go for the parents of a child and tell them that their child will be denied the health care they need to live. Then go target the older folks who are pretty much afraid of everything and make them think the same thing. Ms. Palin go back to school and learn how to speak, write and read English, oh yeah you don't read or better yet get back to us on that.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  377. Leigh

    Four things need to happen for Reform to work:

    1. Insurance company executives need to be put under the same mircoscope as Financial Company executives.. especially those that are heading "Non-Profits". Example: The CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC Bob Greczyn received $3.99 million in 2008, a $750,000 raise from 2007. If we are outraged by the Wall Street Robber Barrons, we should be just as outraged by the Insurance Robber Barrons. The lobbying dollars spent fighting reform is sickening and out of control.

    2. Pharmacuetical advertising must be abolished. Too many people go into their drs asking for drugs that either they don't need or won't work. Think of the MILLIONS $$ that are spent instead of putting that to research and development. It is sad that at the end of these drug ads the comment is made "If you can't afford your medication, (Fill in name of co here) may be able to help"

    3. Primary Care medicine must be pushed in Medical Schools AND Drs should be graduating from school with LESS DEBT.

    4. Tort Reform. Enough Said.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  378. Bob in Florida

    Why isn't anyone talking about the 30% that the insurance companies take off the top before they pay out for our health care?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  379. Dr. Bert Bergland

    I have been to two meetings focusing on the health care legislation debate. I was not "bussed" to these events, nor did I see any such process taking place. Each rally attracted over 1000 common folks, each of whom provided their own transportation, plugged their own money into parking meters, hand-made their own signs, carried their own American flags. If one chose to make a donation to the organizers to help defray costs of a rally (rent of a facility, public address systems) they were given a tee shirt that suggested to the government, "HANDS OFF OUR HEALTH CARE." Fair enough.

    To suggest that these rallies are simply a bunch of right-wing activists is wholly absurd. It is wrong and it is an effort by Democrats to discredit legitimately concerned voices. Democrats simply are not used to activist Republicans steppin into their tactical territory of public protest now that the proverbial shoe is on the other foot.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  380. 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 10:47 am |
  381. Patricia Franklin

    I am in favor of the health option that allows a govenment plan. If I have been listening and reading correctly, it simply adds another option as far as choice is concerned. It seems obvious to me that it will also keep insurance companies and doctors honest. I keep hearing 'how are we going to pay for it?' We are not talking enough about the fact that WE ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR IT, every time someone goes to the emergency and in many other ways; insurance costs are going up each year. If we can get a handle on those costs through this plan it will be more than worth it to us and our children.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  382. Jim

    If you want to get an idea how your Govt. health-care will be operated just check out how INDIAN HEALTH SERVICE:
    expense overruns in the millions,
    long lines to see a Dr.,
    Pharmacy meds un-accounted for,
    and extremely top heavy in the administration dept.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  383. Tricia

    Something must be done about healthcare. My monthly insurance payments and co-pays don't cover all the charges from doctors and hospitals that I have to use to survive, and I'm left with the bill. After paying the monthly payments that I have worked out with the various billers (hospitals, doctor's offices,) I'm left with less than $50.00 to live on for two weeks. That's not a typo. Fifty Dollars is what I have left. I'd challenge anyone to try living on that. It's nearly impossible!! I have a decent job, I work hard, I don't buy anything at full price, shop (when absolutely necessary) at goodwill or other thrift stores. I don't waste money, I can’t. What am I supposed to do? Something must be done. I have a friend who is an Ex Pat now living in Finland (a socialist country) who doesn't pay anything for healthcare and who receives excellent care and medicines. The quality of life is much better there, and people live longer and suffer less because there is much more emphasis on preventative care. Why can't we look to other countries for examples of what is working and try it here? Just because there is the label of "Socialism" doesn't mean it is bad. Remove the label and consider the facts. Our system is broken and we desperately need it to be fixed.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  384. Fred B. Schaefer

    When I retired twelve years ago my medical plan was acceptable, however the CEO's compensation package was about 15 million
    now it is 21 million and I have twice as much co-pay and have been transferred to Medicare. My Opthomologist of 15 years won't accept
    Medicare for surgery. If I thought we had more Senator McGaskills
    I would want to be a part of a Federal healthcare plan but chances
    are it will be a liability caused by the two Utah and N. Dakota men that did the 100 million in earmarks on one Bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  385. Joanne Ezibe

    What I think about health care and health reform is that I am glad that President Barack Obama is making sure that everyone has health insurance. One reason is my family doesn’t have any health insurance, and we don’t have any money to pay for it either. My mom just lost her job and my dad is also struggling to pay our mortgage and all the household month bills. Therefore, we are worried a lot. Since school is starting in two weeks, I feel that the Congress should also act on health reform so people like my family would be able to afford it.

    Joanne Ezibe, 10 yrs.
    From
    Dover

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  386. lori

    CNN should expose the vigilantes that have been hired by the insurance agencies and the republican party. You would think people had gotten wise to these tactics by now. We know people who quote Limbaugh (the oxyconton druggie) and Palin (she can see Russia from her house and thinks we are all gonna be ethenized). These people are laughable – except people are listening. It is not enough for news agencies to just report – our journalists need to expose.

    I can no longer listen to "we have to do it right." Our representatives have been talking about health care reform since the presidency of Trumen. How much conversation is necessary. This has become a horrible joke and American citizens are the victim.

    I have had private insurance (a good PPO) and now have medicare and it works fine. Just like my private insurance worked fine. I don't have gobs of paperwork. I get updates on a regular basis. I get all the referrals I need – that includes demotologists, orthopedists and internists. No one has suggested I go home and die. BUT, they need to increase the amounts paid before you reach to "donut hole."

    Here's the problem – this site is only be accessed by the people who agree. We need to get information out to those who don't agree. That will require journalists to do some work.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  387. Vick R Welsh, Orange Park, Fl

    I cannot believe that so many people think we should wait or just stop health care reform. I am unaffected, as I have medicare and military retired coverage. Medicare needs reform, drug prices are too high and the things covered by medicare ( wheelchair, hospital beds, ect) are way over priced due to the way congress has mandated the way these things are charged. Not only are the lobbyist causing the cost to rise but congress is doing it too! My guess they are listening to lobbyist not voters!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  388. Brian

    Some people in this country are so rediculous, Some people have no problem giving money to charity to feed children in Africa or to buy aids medication for sick people in another country, But even though poverty and sickness are rampant in our own country these same people in A lot of cases will fight tooth and nail to keep people in there own country from getting proper health care. I can't believe these people can't see what crooks the Insurance companies and Drug companies are. There are way more people in this country not living the good life, most of us are struggling letting go of this and that just to afford priorities. Am I my brother's keeper? I believe the answer is A resounding yes, Come on America do whats right for the people not the CEO's of the Insurance and Drug companies.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  389. Whitney in Montana

    Health care reform and a public option is a complete no-brainer!
    The current system is a mess, and many people don't get the care
    they need right now – and even if they do, can't afford it. Not to mention
    people staying in jobs in which they are not happy just because of insurance – that in itself is a huge issue. What about the self-employed? I am sick and tired of the small minority of Republican propaganda artists, lobbyists, and downright misguided ignorance (thanks to prominent voices like Palin and Limbaugh) drowning out our
    majority legitimate voices that support the reform effort. We are here,
    we are many, and just because we aren't spreading lies and
    shouting, doesn't mean we don't care. I care – alot, and so do the
    majority of us. As a Montanan, I am incredibly thankful to Max Baucus
    and President Obama for their tireless efforts on this issue.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  390. Anita Brehm

    Too many Americans do not seem to have good listening skills. The fears they have about health care have been answered time and again as being false claims by the opposition. Pay attention. By the way, in the late 1920'3-early 1930's, Hitler would send his thugs to meetings held by
    those who opposed him to disrupt their meetings and messages. Sound familiar?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  391. Gidget Trainor

    Something does need to be done with healthcare and soon. The President said he would change things and make better for all Americans. I lost my healthcare at my husbands job within the past year. And now our daughter 13 months old is next. The cost through his job was 165.00 a week for myself and now that I am off it 80.00 a week for our daughter out of my husbands checks. Who can live with that cost. We need help and fast. And next his company is going to drop the healthcare coverage all together.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  392. lanny

    Heidi

    i am happy to give my opinion. President Obama is correct, all Americans need health care. I am with the President All The Way.

    i think that the people who are disrupting our Senators meetings are against President Obama and that is the only reason they are against health care

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  393. Liz

    I retired at the age of 55 back in 2006 with almost 31 years at the same company. I was fortunate to receive life long health benefits with my retirement. But I have to admit that I am for a public option in the health plan that MUST pass. What if my company goes out of business? Who do I then turn to obtain health insurance. My husband would not be able to pick me up for he has retired from the same company. If people would step back and let all of the hysteria pass, they will see that reform is a necessity that shouldn't even be debated. We can help pay for this by reducing the amounts of money that we give for charities to other countries. I am NOT saying that we should discontinue all assistance to other countries but reduce the amount so that those monies can be used to offset our own health care costs. CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  394. Charlie

    Why are we turning upside down the American Health Care System? The numbers of 44 million people without health care represents 15% of the population of the United States. Of the 44 million people, 15 million people voluntarily elect not to have health care. Why then would we make such a radical change? Raising Costs? Deal with the root cause of the problem. Tort reform! Outragous court costs and judgments! Ambulance chasing attorneys! Put reform where it is needed. Costs containments due to the unlimited ability of suing the hospitals, doctors and drug companies. Limit the liabilities, lower the costs! We have seen from history that our government cannot control costs. We have seen from Canada and Europe that the government cannot provide quality care. We have a government body (Congress) that cannot get "cash for clunkers" correct, yet they want to control legislation on health care? Congress – before you mess with our and my health care, do us a favor – fix Social Security! For that matter, try something simple – fix the money losing postal service. Don't tax us more money to fix it, fix the processes!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  395. Mary Smith

    For a subject as serious as health care reform, it is disheartening to see Sarah Palin yet again using her child with Down's Syndrome as a political accessory. Why is ranting and cynical exploitation of public emotions accepted as a replacement for reasoned debate?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  396. james petry

    Hundreds of people die every day because of either having no insurance or denied coverage. Those who oppose universal health care have blood on their hands.

    You might be happy with your health care now but wait until you get cancer or lose your job, etc. Chances are you'll change your tune. Wake up!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  397. Bill Jones

    I am sick and tired of all of the falsehoods that are told about the Canadian Health system. My wife had a fused hip. In January she had an operation by one of the best orthopedic surgeons in North America to give her an articifcial hip. Unfortunately, she had to have a second operation. Neither of these operations cost us personally anything. The original operation was done in a timely manner. There was no HMO involved. The doctor booked the operation and it happened. The only bil that my wife received was for her telephone. She spent three months in rehab and has had physio at no cost since then. We met a woman on a cruse from the U.S. who had had two cancer operations and the HMO refused to allow her to have a third operation. She was paying $2,000/month for health insurance. That would not happen in Canada.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  398. Norma Vera

    I'm for Healthcare Reform. I'm 60 years old and applied for health insurance through the Kenosha County Health Dept. Badger Care Core for people in my age group, I was denied because my monthly household income is $2521.06 and the limit is $2428.00. I have health issue and at my age I can't go out and buy health insurance so pray the President Obama does get this pass. I totally agree with the comment from Karen above. I'm running out of my medication and can't afford to go to my doctor, which I still owe office visits for. If this Healthcare Reform is not pass, What am I and millions of other people to do?

    Thanks,

    August 10, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  399. Samarendra N Banerjee

    Heidi,having worked both in National Health services in England for 8yrs and VA federal health for 27 yrs as physician(retired from VA in 2002) I find we have both the best(depending upon what kind of Health Insurance you have) and worst kind of health cares compared to European Systems in our present private health care.The main reason, in my view being not guided by knowledgeable Physicians as it is/was during my stay in England.Physicians know best what works & what does not- not Insurance companies or bureaucrats as is the case here.VA(fed.Govt)is highly bureaucratic where in many places chief of the services is a non physician, ie, a promoted janitor or a lab/x-ray tech.The Directors who often come up the ranks and follow cronyism and often anti physician.I blame the physicians of this country mainly for this.They have abandoned their role as patient advocates and collaborated with bureaucrats on whose mercy their jobs depend.With change of each administration their comes a new messiah physician at the top in Washington, who grinds the system to the ground.By the time these messiahs who are recruited from outside the system, leave or forced to leave like in corporate systems, they have damaged the system beyond repair.such things don't happen in English health care system.But I hear from my doctor friends in England ill wind is blowing like jet winds from the west and like their counter parts in America the English health care bureaucrats are interfering there too.I could go on but will stop here.this is my 2 cents comments on present health care system in our country.Of course tort reforms needs to be done properly taking both patients/Health care givers interests. SAM. MD.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  400. Willie

    I hear and see individuals opposing healthcare reform for a fear that the government will take over. I fear that some of the energized are Veterans and the service that they receive from VA, a government run organization, are lacking in their comments. Also, there are a million of service members currently serving who has coverage under the Department of Defense, another government run organization, what about that. As a Soldier I knew I was taken care of, but I worried about the cost of the medicines my mom was paying for, then and now.

    I have only heard and seen only one Replubican with even a clue in healthcare reform and that was Senator Gregg's three C's. So where are the alternatives, besides just saying no. I've always been taught, you should always have a solution before complaining about a problem.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  401. The Concerned

    We SERIOUS need to reform our healthcare system. We are running out of time as a nation with our Recession and deficits. We are a nation of people living beyond means and this life style is mirrored by our government. Our entire healthcare system is based on treatment of illnesses and not curing them. Pharmacuetical companies are burden with the task of marketing and suducing physicians with there drugs; when it is a well known fact that the current treatment approach to medicine.... will not work foever. And the cost of health services is getting out of control. What I'm most afraid of is that we will let our fear of the price tag stop us from making the single most important change in policy since Teddy's financial save in the 1930's.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  402. Cheryl

    Why are members of Congress stating their support for the House HC reform bill? Why aren't they listening to constituents and representing their opinions as elected to do? We need the politics to stop and party line voting and influence to stop and Congress represent the people's view who sent them to Washington.
    ps Why does Nancy Pelosi keep insulting the Democratic process and the people of the US? "We the People" are not mobs and not paid by insurance co or special interests. She is not helping her cause by saying she will pass hc reform and it will be signed as if the people do not matter whatsoever.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  403. Rick

    My wife and I have not had health insurance for over a year now. The only person I see wanting to do anything about this is Pres. Obama! The Republican party wants to ensure that profits for the healthcare corps. are protected instead of peoples health being protected. Oh, by the way, did I say that I am a registered republican?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  404. Gayle Robertson

    I agree that we need to reform the health care process. However, all we hear are WORDS about generalities – there has not been anything concrete said about specifics for a planned reform – nor any details about where EXACTLY the money is coming from. Why is nothing mentioned about tort reform? AND setting a cap on medical lawsuits? Or banning frivolous lawsuits? As a small business owner, I am extremely conerned about a universal health plan – it could prove disastrous for our business. I hear words that say small businesses will not be taxed – yet how is "small business" defined? Is that any business with revenues less than $250,000? Or is it any business with PROFITS less than $250,000? There is a vast difference between these 2 examples.

    If Obama wants to get something passed, he should stop lecturing and begin leading . . . . . outline a specific, detailed plan that both parties of Congress will accept. It does not work to leave the details to Congress . . . . . . as we have seen throughout history.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  405. Joan McIntosh

    When are the American people going to wake up? They bought into the WMD lies and now, are they going to listen to these people screaming and yelling without any information–merely disgusting misinformation?
    Is there anyone out there stupid enough to believe the Palin, Gingrich, Limbaugh, Beck lies....like the new health care will kill old people, euthanize Palin's Down's syndrome child? The vociferous people who are spreading these lies on the most vulnerable in our society ought to take a long vacation.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  406. Brenda B

    I like my healthcare, but I would like to see the costs reduced.

    To do this you need more control on the emergency. i.e. paper cuts and the flu are not emergencies they should be redirected to non-emergency rooms or doctors, and the emrgency room should be for tax-paying citizens.

    Break down the state barriers for purchasing insurance will reduce costs and limiting malpractice lawsuits will reduce costs too.

    I would like to see the healthcare industry get rid of their paper and go to computerized systems.

    Brenda

    August 10, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  407. Rose Watson

    I am 40 years old with a Bachelors in business management and over 20 years experience. I am currently answering phones due to the lack of jobs in my area. I do not have health insurance. My husband is in construction and has been laid off since feb. We have no insurance. At this point government run health care would be better than nothing. If people still have a choice why would they opponents not want their fellow americans to be able to get the health care they need?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  408. Paul Mancuso

    Health care in the USA is indeed expensive. No one likes to pay the prices asked of them when receiving care. Unfortunately, the only bill more than 90% of the US sees is the bill for their monthly insurance premium being taken from their paycheck and some small deductible when visiting doctors or having a procedure of some sort. Health care reform needs to encompass an approach where the legal resident or citizen decides on how to proceed and choose wisely given an informative consult from their health care provider. The US government should not be part of that equation other than orchestrating a more competitive environment for health care choices. When ever the US government is involved, inefficiencies are inevitable due to their lack of will in providing anything cost effective. When has anyone ever heard a government employee state, we gave that portion of our budget back because we did not need to spend it. Instead, we have heard all too often, if we don't spend it, we will lose it in our next budget. Government is inherently inefficient and therefore will only cost more than what we have now. To say otherwise would be disengenous.

    One more small point, when have you ever had an easy time removing a government employee due to poor performance. That is another argument that has so many new tangents to it when considering a Public option for health care. Way too many problems to even begin discussing the plethora of governmental policies that would have to be changed in order to provide an ability to replace poor performing health care administration personnel that inevitably would be between the average American and their health care service.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  409. Glen

    Yes, I'll try to shout it down in any in any way I can and any meeting I attend. It is the only avenue for protest left when your elected official decides he owes more to the party than he owes to his constituitents.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  410. Tracey Gay

    Hey Heidi
    I am a Registered Nurse. Patients who don't have insurance never see a primary doctor instead they go to the ER when things get bad. By then, they have serious issues that could have been prevented. Example, if a they have high blood pressure or diabetes, they may end up with Kidney failure! Do you have any idea how much dialysis costs? Medicare and Medicaid pay for it. Why not prevent it??? OUR HEALTH CARE SYSTEM HAS BEEN HIJACKED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANIES. IT'S TIME OUR CONGRESS DID SOMETHING FOR US, AND NOT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES! They are scaring people invoking Hilter and Euthanasia and essentially using those poor people as pawns to help the insurance companies get their way! There is nothing in this bill about Euthanasia–they are taking about hospice care, which is not at all about Euthanasia. Please set people straight. Are people really this easily manipulated that they would believe this crazy talk about killing senior citizens??? I could go on all day because I see the sad state of things everyday. I wish others could and they would know WE NEED AFFORDABLE OPTIONS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE NOW. THE INSURANCE COMPANIES NEED REGULATIONS, LIKE THE BANKS!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  411. The Giddy Canadian

    Americans need to put the healthcare plan that Obama is proposing into perspective. What exactly is the problem with having a government-run plan to supplement the struggling healthcare system that is based more upon profit margins than the lives of Americans themselves?

    In America there are 45 million people that are uninsured; the very crux of why this healthcare reform is in motion. Instead of screaming out obscenities at town-hall meetings why not place questions that pertain directly to the debate on socialized healthcare? Yes, people will see a tax hike, but that is a small price to pay when 15% of the population in the country can't afford simple medications and treatment. The plan will increase the deficit, but when future generations are living peacefully knowing that they don't have to depend on deceptive insurance companies robbing them of healthcare due to trivial "pre-existing conditions", who will complain?

    In Canada we enjoy a strong healthcare system and although we pay for it through tax rates our system is efficient and has propagated a feeling of prosperity amongst all Canadians.

    Let's get it together America. It's time your healthcare system becomes a little more people-centric.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  412. Jim Johnson

    Heidi,

    I watched the televising of the Missouri town hall meeting and was appalled, sickened and scared. What I saw was the total suppression of free speech. No one was allowed to utter a single word, not even a chuckle or a groan, nor were any visible signs of which side of the issue the attendees were on. I am assuming the total banning of free speech was done in the name of "order". Questions could only be submitted in writing and it was evident the questions had been screened to uphold the view of the pending legislation. I am sure of those present, if any were allowed in the room, that their views or questions were carefully selected out and never were heard. I did not watch the entire segment as I was so sickened to see what our government was doing to our constitutional right to free speech and being supported by law enforcement. What I would like to see aired on CNN is what was told to those wanting to enter, what was and was not allowed. In other words, the honest hard facts of what went on in Missouri this morning. That is if CNN is allowed to air that portion. Is CNN willing to exercise its right to free speech or is the station also going to knuckle down to the government? I see today as one of the saddest days in history for the people of this country. This is the day we quietly gave up the right to free speech our forefathers fought for, our military forces have died by the hundreds of thousands for and we just sat back and allowed it to happen. I am against violence, but I am a staunch believer in the fact we have to stand up for our rights.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  413. Michael Hite

    I use to offer Healthcare as an option in my construction company. One of my employees was in a bad car accident and was in a coma. The insurance company began raising rates on my company policy almost immediately. Soon all but three people dropped off of the plan because it was not affordable. One of the three people was the man in the coma. When we continued paying the outrageous premiums to try to keep him insured, the insurance company cancelled the policy in the state. This effectively forced his family into poverty and the only option for his care was for him to become a ward of the state.
    Apparently this was perfectly legal. The insurance companies run the healthcare system for profit. You may think you are insured, but if you really need it, you will find out that you are not, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  414. Gloria Villaroman

    I think health care reform representatives should work on dealing with the existing health insurance carriers and make some supplemental deals to help lessen financial burden to those who cannot afford to pay high premiums. I also believe that the main reason why health care is so expensive in America is because health care providers (doctors, nurses, specialty care) fees and wages are too high and over exaggerated. Government should work on eradicating malpractice lawsuits that is causing doctors to charge inflated fees that is contributing to high insurance premiums. It seems like the health care reform is just making existing health care system more complicated.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  415. MikeM

    Obama may have survived the Republican disinformation machine (think birth certificate), but it appears that his health care plan may not do the same unless some committed folks step up their efforts.

    Many of us who have lost our jobs very soon could be without health insurance under the current "plan." Insurance companies will be able to write us off once COBRA runs out, and we'll have nowhere to go if we have pre-existing conditions.

    If reform does nothing else, it needs to offer options for the 9.4 percent of America without jobs. Even when we can afford traditional insurance, we cannot get it.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  416. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Anything less then a single payer healthcare system will fail as long as there are healthcare companies involved in it. We do not have a healthcare system we have an insurance system, in which the rich fat cats are the gatekeepers and they decide who lives and dies. People have been paying their premiums for many years and as soon as they get sick the insurance companies do an investigation to determine how they can deny you healthcare that you have already paid for. If you had a minor infection or injury when you were a kid that did not require you to go to the hospital or to use insurance, they can and will use it to deny you the healthcare, which you have paid for over many years. That is how they can make billons more each year, by purposely denying you up to ten times before they even consider paying your healthcare bills.

    It Is the Biggest Scam in the WORLD and the REPUBLICANS are doing everything they can to make you afraid so that they can keep that system in place for their rich buddies! In the end if the insurance system remain in place people will continue to lose their jobs, because companies can not afford to pay their employees healthcare, then as soon as you get sick you will have to mortgage your home to pay for it or go into bankruptcy, in which Those same Republicans have made it very difficult for you to do.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  417. Ray

    I think I'm against the current version of H.R. 3200 – Affordable Health Choices Act – but I'm not sure because there gaps in the information provided.

    1 Out of pocket max – $5,000/individual & $10,000/family. My current out-of-pocket max is $2,670/year & my Wife's is $2,250. H.R. 3200 would increase our out-of-pocket max (potential) by 50.8%!

    2. Three levels of coverage – "Basic" with a 30% co-pay; "Enhansed" with a 15% co-pay; "Premium" with a 5% co-pay. I have not found anything in H.R. 3200 that spells out the monthly (or annual) cost. How can Obama/Congress impose a health insurance plan without any idea of what cost will be imposed on us?

    3. The plan call for poor people to ONLY have to spend 12% of their income on health insurance before government substities kicks in. How many poor people do you know that have an extra 12% of their income lying around for health insurance? I don't know any.

    Mr. Obama & the Democrats in Congress are not living on the same plant that us "common folks" are.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  418. Florence Columbus

    Where were these outraged people when so much of the government money was being spent by republicans and pocketed by their cronnies, including insurance companies?
    This is absolutely insane, we are already paying for higher coverage when we pay for those who are uninsured now. The insurance companies are controlling what doctors are able to do, when they can perform a procedure, how long they spend with a patient, whether or not patients can be hospitilize and when to send them home as well as who they want to insure. There definitely is a conflict of interest with health treatment and the amount of money they are able to not spend on treatment.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  419. Deb

    Claire McCaskill in her town hall meeting just announced that in 2007 the ten largest health insurers in our country have made a profit of $12.9 billion dollars. This is up since 2000 when profits were posted at $2.4 billion. The average salary of the CEO of a company is $10 million. Good to now where our premiums of $75,000 a year to cover eight individuals is going!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  420. mike sey

    As one who has been pushed into despair about America and Americans by the ugly rhetoric, dishonest ads, mob scenes and sheer stupidity being exhibited in the health care debate, I want to thank you for covering Senator McCaskill's Town Hall.

    Hearing her at length has raised my opinion of American legislators, and by extension of Americans.

    I couldn't agree with Al Brown more. A bit more of this genuine democratic back and forth, and a little less of the 10 second Beyner/Palin bites played over and over on CNN would do much to improve attitudes towards america.

    I haven't been so hopeful and impressed by the quality of US legislators since the Watergate impeachment debates. Unfortunately my opinion has gone steadily downhill ever since – in part due to CNN 's coverage.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  421. Kathy Laing

    I am watching CNN as I write this, and I continued to be appalled at the attitudes of people opposed to a more universal health care system for the USA. The same opposition happened years ago in the province of Saskatchewan but due to the diligence of Tommy Douglas (Keifer Sutherland's grandfather) Canada now has health care available to all its citizens. For example, I have had total knee replacements of both knees, and one hip replacement, two cataract operations, and various other medical treatments and tests. For this I have never received a bill nor would any other citizen. Noone loses their home due to medical costs. Canada does need improvements too but noone is afraid to go to the doctor – and emergencies such as heart attacks, strokes etc. are attended to at once. I do have extra insurance as a former federal civil servant for which I pay $65.a month which allows for me to have a private room in the hospital , better access to physiotherapy etc. but for basic treatment everyone is equal. What are Americans afraid of ? Most developed countries look after their citizens' health better than the USA – isn't health care a right in the same way as the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness? – Kathy Laing – age 82

    August 10, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  422. Pamela (Oceanside, Ca)

    Heidi,

    What in the world are these people talking about? I've had government insurance/health care for the past 29yrs. I am a Navy wife and have no complaints about the care I've recieved. I've seen the claims for doctors out patient referrals and they are the problem. I just had some much need blood work done and they billed tricare $150 for a single test and the government said "NO" that test is only work $8.00.. This is what the doctor will be paid. Now if people knew that they get that same test for less I think they would agree to pay the $8.00. Its just that simple. And it doesn't stop their. I have nerve damage in both ears and needed hearing aids. A doctor billed tricare $3790.00 and the government said "NO" that they were worth $1137.00 and the list goes on and on. This puts more money in my pocket to pay towards others needs. What part of this do they not understand? This is a fony outradge. These same people winning and crying are the same people going to walmart and trying to find a great deal. Im hear to tell you people that you WILL NOT find a better deal then what "Obama" is trying to do for you now.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  423. Burnell Green

    I think it's a shame so many Americans are upset over health care reform whem this was one of the key topics during the election of our new president. Now it's time for our government to deliver, worrying about a deficit is not the problem, helping in need families is our problem, with so many Americans losing jobs and homes the last thing we need to be concerned about is our personal health. I would like to see this reform pass so families can have affordable coverage, that will not de denied. Insurance companies are doing the same thing the oil industry did with gas prices last year, charge whatever price they want because they know we depend on it. It's time for change ,so can we please allow change to occur.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  424. MJ Oliver

    There is no doubt that we need to reform our health care system but I believe that we are moving too fast and that the best of intentions will lead to non-intended and costly consequences.

    Although it is appealing to offer health care coverage to all, why do we want to provide health care to undocumented aliens or to individuals whose poor health is caused by drugs and alcohol abused. Maybe we should start by insuring only children under the age of 16?

    Also why not cover all for routine preventive measures and stop there for the time being.

    Let's start with a few important steps and then determine our next steps. This legislation puts us on the slippery slope of becoming a socialist conutry and a second class economy.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  425. Alberto Aguirre

    Health Care,
    Folow the monies. Poor people get free health care. Rich people get free health care(deductable). All goverement employees: federal, state, local, get free health care. Anyone over 65 years of age gets 80% free health care. So the poor working stifs have got to pay the entire cost including tax on their monies. As you can see that including all savings in health care, those getting FREE HEALTH CARE are going to start to pay some of their costs! Hello is anyone home.
    Alberto Aguirre
    Wentzville, MO

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  426. Henry Gomez

    Hello Heidi we are going to a socialist Health care system. As a Cuban American and A Navy Military Retired who has defended this great nation for 25 years. This current President want to change this great nation to a socialist country look at the signs. We do need health care, but not a Single Payee system. I left Cuba in 1960 and I still have family back in Cuba and there health care does not work. Who want the government to tell who lives or who dies? And the reason I said that in Cuba the government tells there elderly people we’re going to provide this or that because of your age. The question how is this president going to pay for it he is not telling us. I guess we are going to trust a government ELECTED OFFICIAL. You know this president is cutting benefits to the vet and defense that is a real smart president so how safe are you?

    Sincerely Your a Concern Military Vet.

    Henry

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  427. Heather Ann

    Currently, I have insurance through the Oregon School districts. It is good health coverage, but I didn't always have it so easy. My husband and I were self employed and there was no way we could afford to pay the high price for insurance that would cover such a small portion of our possible costs. So we were some of the "famous" uninsured.

    In this time my son needed a kidney biopsy and we were told it would cost $9000! And that doesn't even cover the follow-up visits, etc. We ended up taking him out of country to have the same procedure done for much less money.

    In an online support group for people with his same kidney issues I have seen many comments by people from the UK. Sure they sometimes have complaints about their Dr. not explaining things to their liking, or other minor issues, but none of them had to run off to other countries to be able to afford the diagnostic tests they needed!

    On another note, I am SO SICK of the misinformation! When you reported on Sarah Palin's facebook comment, was their no way to report whether or not her "death panel" assertion is based in any sort of fact? I believe it is a bold faced lie! Can CNN not tell us whether it is fact or not?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  428. Pat

    My daughter is a 27 year-old young woman unable to support herself on a full-time basis due to the ravages of rheumatoid arthritis. Not being able to work full-time obviously means no health insurance. No problem – we would buy it for her. Only problem is that she has a "pre-existing condition". No health insurer in NY would give her coverage without a one year waiting period. This is a prime example of how well our current system works – IT DOES NOT!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  429. Juan Garza, Jr.

    Heidi, as a 100% disab led veteran, who has participated in a government run health care system, I have stopped participating due to it's incompetency, insensitivity, inadequacy and most of all it's total ineffectiveness. Mind you, I am considered first priority but have been put on a waiting list for much needed health care. A very concerned patriotic American totally against Obama's attack on my country's constitution!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  430. sande deitch

    Cnn is part of the problem with the Healthcare debate.

    You are not disseminating the information but sensationlizing the information. Your coverage of the town hall problems does not delve into how the Republican hacks have told minons to go there and yell to disrupt the discussion. You are lukwarm about the truth.

    As usual you need ratings and the truth may hurt those ratings.
    You as a corporation can care less about the individuals who need help. Why not help to explain the untruths and educate people about why "government control"is reidiculous since many of the protestors receive medicare/medicad which is a govt. program. congress has healthcare provided by the govt. Educate instead of sensationlizing! That will get viewers as well. i will not watch CNN or buy any products advertised until you do the job for the American people.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  431. joanne mell

    It seems the "Bush reality" is now the "Republican reality", that is, not real at all. It saddens me to see that our citizens are so under-educated that they buy some of the extreme and atrocious trollop put out there by the health insurance companies and the "Party of No".

    Health care reform means that you and I don't have to pay for the patients that show up at the ER for the flu.It means that if you lose your job you will still have health care. It means that no one can deny you coverage for a pre-existing condition. It means that your insurance can't be cancelled because you now have cancer and your health care needs have greatly increased. And the list goes on…

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  432. rhonda carlson

    Sadly, I think that I'm pretty typical. I'm a single mom and work three jobs...none of which provide health care. My ex-husband's health insurance policy is expensive, and the company is so bad about paying, most doctors in the area will no longer accept it (and, yes, it is a major carrier.) I pay approximately $1000 for myself and my two daughters for a $5000 deductable policy. And, of course, that doesn't cover eye or dental. That essentially means that none of us can afford to get sick. My daughter's college physical cost what little savings I had left. I just want affordable and reasonable health insurance, especially for my children. I don't understand why the Republicans are so afraid of a large, powerful, centralized government program. They seem to have no problem with a large, powerful, centralized corporate one.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  433. Jay

    The quality of my healthcare is simple because I have none. Being one of the countries many minimum wage earners, the types of plans offerred, presuming they exist at all, come with huge co-payments and cover very little of the actual costs. Maybe we can take some lessons from those capitalist nations who have figured out a to provide health care to its people.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  434. Char

    Heidi,

    Please ask this questions, Why haven't the Republicans or Conservatives done anything about Healthcare while they were in power, instead of this outlandish bickering they are doing now? Why can't Americans have the same government run health plan that congress has? It if works for them, surley it will work for all Americans!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  435. SWebb

    I find it interesting CNN spends more time reporting the negative responses to healthcare reform at the town hall meetings than constructive ones as Senator Mc Caskel, Missouri, is having right now.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  436. Jeff Sweeney

    Last year I had the misfortune of acquiring an antibiotic resistent bacteria which require 4 hospital stays, 3 surgeries, 31 days in the hospital and home health care follow up. The total amount billed for these procedures was $277,000, however the total amount paid by Blue Cross was $67,000 or 23% of charges. I was fortunate to have great insurance and had no out-of-pocket expense. However if I had no insurance I would have had to pay the $277,000. This is the #1 cause of bankruptcy in our country today and that needs to be addressed constructively.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  437. Monica from Texas

    I currently pay more to have a PPO plan which I'm happy with since I do not like HMO plans. I see the healthcare reform as one big HMO which can be challenging to get to a specialist you need if your primary physician will not refer you. There are many companies that will evaluate to keep offering healthcare to their employees or pay the extra taxes. Therefore some employees may be forced to be on the national healthcare. I'm scared of this Darwin healthcare that is being proposed and I would have more faith if Congress decided to mandate that all its members be on the national health plan. After all, the basic rule of leadership is to lead by example. Also this would ensure they read the bill since it would affect them and their families.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  438. Barbara Borchers

    My sister and her husband sell health insurance. Their company is lobbying against ANY health care reform. They are sure they will be out of work if and when health care reform is passed.
    They are sending emails to everyone of their customers with the scare tactics such as killing off senior citizens and rationing of medical care.
    I receive their scare tactic emails. I refute each of the false claims and hit "reply all". !! I'm not sure it is doing any good, but at least I don't let their claims go un challenged.
    What is so strange about their position is my sister was denied claims by her employer paid health care several years ago. She had to sue to get claims paid and almost lost her home due to collections.
    It was an awful time fo her!

    August 10, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  439. Adale Smith

    I think President Obama should be honest and tell us that a public plan will eventually lead to everyone being forced to move over to this plan. Unless the private sector comes up with a plan that costs less than the public plan. The only way this will not happen is if the private plans come up with some type of additional coverage plan that may not be covered by the public plan. This is not a bad thing. I don.t think some things should be for profit. Especially, if it is a matter of life and death. Health care should be one of those not for profit organizations. Just because someone can't afford to pay shouldn't be a death sentence. Especially, when we give away free american tax dollars to other countries in need and there is never a debate on if we can afford it..

    August 10, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  440. marie

    I do not agree with the new health care they are trying to pass. I do think they need to control the insurance companies, pharmacutical companies and hospitals . no one needs to make the kind of money those ceo's make That is more than the president of the united states is paid.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  441. j. wright

    Heidi,
    Perhaps Palin and her fellow republicans could stop the adolescent, vitriolic hate gathering and spewing to see outside themselves. Until five years ago I was very healthy, then I was misdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Let them try to keep insurance and see at what cost and coverage when the unthinkable knocks on their doors. No matter how many book tours and speeches the cost is devestating. If they are so American and the Dems are Hitlerites, why are they the ones who refuse to care? Am I the only one who thinks the republican party has gone over the top with their anger, lies and selfishness? And to think ages ago I voted with them, never again! Thank you

    August 10, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  442. Joanna Clark

    I'm quite confident that health care reform will be enacted by the Congress this year. Unfortunately, what I expect it will be is a new bunch of laws to guarantee greater profits for the insurance, hospital, and pharma rackets.

    Since 1965, Congress has enacted health insurance law after health insurance law, all favoring their puppet masters in the health insurance lobby. Senators Baucus and Nelson tell us that the millions they have received will not influence their vote. If you believe that, I have a bridge to nowhere that I’m willing to sell you.

    In your run up to the Presidency, you made us believe that anything is possible. You did what most considered impossible. Once in the oval office, you changed. “Yes we can!” quickly became “No we can’t!”

    We need a radical overhaul of the health insurance industry. It won’t be easy. It will take a leader with significant backbone to stand up to the naysayers.

    We cannot keep piling the expense of health care on the backs of business, nor can we continue to cater to the health insurance racket. As it exists today, health insurance is not in the business of paying for patients' health care costs. Health insurance today is intended to make money, lots of money for dividends and unconscionable salaries for its top executives.

    What we need is a comprehensive single-payer system that provides for health, vision, and hearing for every citizen from conception to death. Allow a well-regulated insurance industry to provide supplemental insurance packages to those who want and can afford them.

    The present fee for service method is doubly harmful in that it encourages over use of some procedures while pricing basic care out of reach for many. Physicians and other health care professionals deserve to earn a good livelihood, which should be paid to them as salary rather than on the piecework basis that prevails today. Overall, what is needed is for health care to operate in the black on a non-profit basis. This includes the insurance industry as well as hospitals, laboratories, X-ray and imaging clinics, pharmacies, and convalescent and rehabilitation facilities.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  443. Jennifer M Licon

    With all the coverage going on one would think this American would know more about EXACTLY what reforms are going to be made...especially as I am someone who suffers from chronic phantom limb pain and the depression and anxiety that accompanies it, but I DO NOT! I thought the "news" was supposed to inform me of the FACTS and not add to fearmongering. I rely heavily on healthcare, TRUST me, not because I WANT to - but in that know that I'm not supposed to just trust a doctor just because he IS a doctor - ULTIMATELY it is MY HEALTH on the line...now with Obama's plan I'm supposed to trust some third party to decide how to treat my condition AND whether it is even WORTH treating? HELP! HELP me AND the 1,000+ soldiers returning home as amputees! Where are WE left in all this reform? There is NO replacing our limbs and DEFINITELY NO taking our phantom limb pain away. I've been trying to address my chronic pain for 13 years. Will this make me a waste of taxpayers money under a government run plan? I'm 31 - what kind of future do I even have to look forward to? I wish it weren't so - but my pursuit of happiness DOES depend on this issue.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  444. Charlie

    Several people attending informational or town meetings on health care reform are allowed to prevent free speech and orderly discource on the topic? Shouting and otherwise making so much noise which prevents the speaker to explain healthcare reforms and rejecting the lies planted by opponents in informational forums. And why isn't the news media calling it just that? Why isn't there a special report on the opposition's tactics? It seems the news media dances around that topic! Charlie

    August 10, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  445. M.Felton

    It would be interesting to know how many of these anti government health insurance program folks are on Medicare!. I'll bet they aren't refusing coverage from the Government run Medicare program.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  446. Tom Williams

    I think it is awful the way CNN and other news operations are highlighting only the outbursts at Healthcare town halls, and not giving us any of the questions and answers to digest. It seems the disruptions are more newsworthy than the responses from the keynote speakers. I, for one, would like to hear some “new” answers from some of these politicians, but it seems to me that people are getting angrier and angrier at the fact that there are no workable solutions being offered up.

    I have had my Medical situation drastically altered in the state of California over the last few months, and Calworks benefits cut off completely. It is my belief that the infamous “Chicago Plan”, which calls for a complete breakdown of the current system to force a rebuild, is being forced down our throats. My small business has folded, my sister and fiancee have both lost a good portion of their Social Security benefits, and we all now live together in a Hotel Room as part of the growing number of “Middle Class Homeless” in California.

    If this is supposed to be “Change” we can believe in, let me say unequivocably that “We Don’t Believe!”

    Give us the meat and potatoes of the healthcare and other issues, instead of the “Green” arguments and putdowns on “disruptors”. To me, especially in California,… Green has always meant “Naive and Inexperienced”, and the current administration is only proving this to be true.

    It is not un-American to speak out when you feel you are being duped!

    Thaniks,
    Tom W.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  447. Susan

    I am happy with my healthcare and satisfied with the quality of my doctors. I oppose the Healthcare reform bill and Gov. run healthcare although I think we should help out the people with catastrophic and disabling illnesses and make some changes that would help those people who lose their coverage. Those could be some additional changes to help those in need, and not disrupt our current system.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  448. Adam

    I am a Canadian who is presently attending a University over the border in New York State. If I ever got hurt or very sick while at school, I would sooner drag myself back over the border than go to an American hospital. One of the fundamental values of Canadian society is universal health care. It completely baffles me that anyone would oppose such a system. The human machine is not indestructible and we will all get sick or injured at one point or another. Having a system of privatized health care insurance is placing a dollar value on people's lives.

    I have also noticed that many of those opposed to the President's plan are Republicans, but aren't Republicans supposed to be "pro-life" advocates? How can someone be pro-life concerning abortion and not be pro-life when it comes to equal and universal health care that helps keep ALL people alive and well? It seems to me like they are saying that Americans have the right to be born but not to do everything possible to stay alive and well if they don't make enough money.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  449. Frank Rivas

    I believe it would a great change,to reform the health care system we have now.This change will prevent insurance companies to increase health insurance premiums and deductibles every year.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  450. Jose

    We must have a form of public health insurance to provide health care insurance to all Americans. Private heath insurance companies, doctors and politicians have taken us to this situation. Most of all private health insurance companies will never insure everybody.
    Most people agree that with out the public health options, uninsured patients will continue to use emergency rooms, go to Mexico, Canada, India... for health care and without the public option, there will not be a economic recovery or wage/salary increases nor deficit control.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  451. Scott from Canada

    First you provide the world with 8 years of Bush. Then you send the world into economic turmoil with an unregulated banking system. Now you are fighting among each other over what should be the first and only human priority. the right to health care for all. But yet you allow trillions of your tax dollars to fight unproductive wars. The canadian government does not tell me what medical services my family gets. My doctor does. What does the rest of the G-7 nations really know anyways about health care? It works and it's worth it. It's comical to watch the american citizen eat up the political parties propoganda.

    Scott from Canada

    August 10, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  452. debbie williams

    People afraid of healthcare reform must surely realize that healthcare is going to crash if nothing is done. Boomers are going to overload the system (not to mention rising costs, insurance company greed, etc.) Who will be taking care of all the Boomer oldies ?? Long-term care is going to be a huge issue. Let's bite the bullet and get it done.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  453. Linda Zelm

    My husband and I have not only the cadillac of health care benefits, (for which we pay a big share of the cost) but we also have a choice to fall back on another care plan and of course medicare.

    We both feel the value of the benefit should be taxed. It should be taxed in order to provide security of health care for our children and their children. This insecurity hinders new business start ups, expansions, new ideas and entreneurship because people stay in dead end jobs just to keep their health care benefits.

    It is time the drug companies and the insurance companies pay their share of the freight. The health care providers already pay their share as they subsidize medicare and medicaid. As well as provide care for those who do not have insurance of any kind.

    those who oppose universal health care are those who already are well off and who have job provided health care. We are not part of those who live in glass houses.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  454. ED CONNELL

    President Obama claims that this health plan will cover 50 million uninsured, however the latest polls show that approx 20 milloin who are eligible for group ins. and\or can afford insurance have opted not to spend the money . Also this bill would cover up to 16 million ILLEGAL ALIENS, so this plan really would only be covering 14 to 16 million truley uninsured AMERICANS. We as tax payers can not afford this plan . And since when did the goverment do anything efficient, or estimate costs correctly. Let this plan be operated by the free market, not the government.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  455. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    We do not have a healthcare system we have an insurance system, that is why the cost go up all the time, they are only taking care of their shareholders!

    Are you one of the shareholders of these sad insurance companies?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  456. Lane S. Bonebrake

    I TRULY FEEL THAT A HEALTHCARE REFORM IS NEEDED. WHAT I DO NOT UNDERSTAND IS THE URGENCY. I SINCERELY FEEL THAT OUR GOVERNMENT HAS THE ATTITUDE THAT WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT VERY INTELLIGENT. OUR COUNTRY IS TO BE A DEMOCARY-NOT REPUBLICAN NOR DEMOCRAT RULED BY THE SELF-INTEREST GROUPS. THERE IS ENOUGH INTELLECT WITHIN OUR LEGISLATIVE BODY TO DO WHAT IS RIGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY; INSTEAD IT SEEMS LIKE A BUNCH OF "STREET GANGS" DOING WHATEVER FOR POWER.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  457. Sonya

    As I understand it, healthcare reform is going to be deficit neutral or President Obama will not sign it. So why are people so fired up and focusing on only the costs of healthcare reform and not the huge benefits? Right now our "for profit system" is out of control. When you've got companies like the Scooter Store whose entire business relies on Medicare to pay for "free scooters" for the elderly and obese something is really, really wrong. Medicare gets its funding from our paychecks people! Wake-up!! Our current system is really skewed towards profits for insurance companies, doctors, hospitals and private businesses! It's unbelievable that even with HC costs skyrocketing the only thing the American people are worried about is making sure that there's no funding for planned parenthood. If people are really this stupid, I'm afraid that there is no hope for healthcare reform in this country. I'm completely in FAVOR of a public option. With no public option we can all just sit by and watch the already massive insurance companies who've stomped out all oftheir competition by buying them up continue to corner the market and increase our premiums more and more. The public option is a win win for everyone. It will allow the unisured to STOP using the emergency rooms everytime they get sick and it will give the insurance companies some stiff competition. Both of these things alone will greatly reduce costs to the American people who seem to be completely unaware of just how these costs are passed on to them every single day. The working middle class has been shouldering all of these burdens for far too long and it's about time for some relief and some much needed fairness when it comes to paying for healthcare in his country. The American people need to wake up and realize that everytime they go to the hospital the cost is so high because all of the "non-paying" sick patient's costs are passed on to the INSURED! And then what happens... I think we all know. It's time for reform!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  458. Parthenia

    Heidi, I think America is ready to be the country we all love and are proud of again. We need a health care reform bill. It's not that we've been negligent regarding health care, it just doesn't reach every American, no matter what circumstances we’re living in. It is absolutely ridiculous that a health care bill can't provide medical care for citizens the way it should. It takes us back to doom and gloom and we will remain there if the needs of all citizens are not met.

    President Obama is a man with plans to provide coverage to all Americans. That's the way it is and should be. He was elected to the presidency to lead our entire country. He will lead it until someone else is elected. In the meantime, this country will be strong and free for all Americans instead of a few.

    Let's move in the 21st century in the right direction – the way for all of us, not just a few insured leaving the rest suffering. Let's move on. The time is now. Who's going to pay for it? We're already paying for it and we should be getting more for our money!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  459. Nancy

    Heidi, thank you for showing the posters held by the Pro Health Care reform advocates and the those held by the protesting citizens of this country. It's evident that the Pro group is well organized with professionally designed signage, while those opposing HR 3200 are carrying hand made signage. How can people think the protesters are being staged? HR 3200 will strip U.S. citizens from being able to get life saving health care but will provide insurance to illegal aliens living in the U.S. that don't even pay taxes.
    If the members of Congress will sign up for their HR 3200 plan, then I will. But, unless you've lived in a country with socialized medicine which HR 3200 represents, you won't know how much freedom of choice you've lost until it's too late. I have lived in a country with socialized medicine and the doctors and medical community in those countries are sending out strong warnings to the U.S. to not make the same mistake that they have. People – WAKE UP or DIE YOUNG!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  460. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Sarah Palin is a total nutcase; anyone listening to her deserves to be abused! She is abusing you with her hate, lack of knowledge and fear tactics. She clearly cares nothing for the American people!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  461. Larry

    JM Black, you're on the same plan as Congress? You go Walter Reed for your health care and you can go 24/7? I worked for the Feds, too, and sure as hell don't remember being on the same health care plan. I've also tried to muddle thru what Congress is offering, and it ain't like I've ever had.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  462. Dexter Sutherland

    Once again the ring is in the public's nose.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  463. Satinder Mullick

    Heidi;
    NY TIMES article on 8/9/2009-A Primer on the Details of Health Care Reform states that Medicare cuts are going to pay for 40% of Health Care Reform Costs.
    Rep.Eric Massa told us in Elmira,NY–This was front page story in the Star Gazzette also that MEDICARE faces big cutbacks–so he won't support the bill. MASSA IS A DEMOCRAT–congressman.
    WHY DOES NOT CNN or YOU report on the details?We Medicare patients are not getting the honest reporting from CNN.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  464. David

    My family supports our Senator Claire McCaskill and health care reform.
    Further more, health care should be NON PROFIT without huge CEO income and maneuvering.
    Most US citizens have no knowledge of the Canadian health system. We have both friends and relatives who are Canadian citizens, and they support and are pleased with their health program.
    US Insurance companies are apparently fear the millions they would lose if there is health care reform. Profit should not be made from the sick, ill, needed it is not honorable.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  465. Ines

    Good morning,
    health care needs to be reformed, plain and simple.
    It should be a right for every human being to have health care.
    Health Insurance companies are making mega profits and the people that pay for it often do not get the care they need.
    A lot of people that have filed for bankruptcy also had insurance, but most of the time the insurer finds a way out of paying the bill, thus the insured has to foot the bill and often can't.
    The insurance companies had years to fix this problem but wont, because it would interfere with their profits.
    Health care should be a non for profit business, they are the ones that decide who lives or dies now. Heavy regulation would help but how do you reign in an out of control bull?
    Doctors and hospitals often over charge, probably in hope that they actually get paid something.
    Everybody is against the bill and nobody has a good plan themselves.
    But at least there is a start, now fix the bill and make it right.
    Have Congress look at their own health care and see how everyone could have that kind of plan.
    Unless they pass something that they would feel comfortable in having for health care themselves, there shouldn't even be a discussion on anything else.
    As for the mob's, all have the right to be heard but screaming and yelling is not the way to do it.
    Just my 2 cents.
    Ines, CO

    August 10, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  466. Brent Dow

    I understand both sides to the arguement but I have one major point to make. My health and well being should not be a profitable industry. Why should the quality of my health care be left in the hands of profitable companies who are more concerned about their bottom line than my actual health and well being?

    When someone on the side of private insurance can explain to me why I should let a profit driven company be in charge of my healthcare I might agree. But until then, profit driven private sector companies are only interested in profit, not my well being!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  467. joe

    reading these comments. its obvious who are the real people and who are obama plants trying to flood the board.
    for example rick in vegas " my wife pays 85 dollars a month and gets everything."uhhhhhhh NO!! that may be her medicare premium but without a supplemental plan to pick up the 20 percent not covered by medicare she is paying alot more than the 85 dollars a month unless she is not using any services. also, what about her prescrption drug plan and copays for her meds?

    dr john e johnson. doubt this man is a doctor. maybe that 14k losing their health insurance every day are THE 14000 LOSING THEIR JOBS EVERYDAY. thank you obama for the continued job loss. if you are going to fake who you are try to come with some facts. read the other comments by the people saying they are docs on this board and you will see their posts filled with facts, not part of an obama campaign spech

    August 10, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  468. Sharon Hollingsworth

    Face it. Most that are disrupting the town hall meetings are those who already enjoy Medicare–a government funded program. They drive on roads built by the government to get to their doctors. They aren't as concerned about those under 65 who will have to pay double the out of pocket costs with less coverage in 5-10 years due to this CURRENT scam called "healthcare". Major reform is needed and now. If not, the Medicaid roles will skyrocket–and that means taxpayers will foot the bill anyway–in a worse way.

    The current system has a culture of "long term continuing care"–there is no honest plan for "prevention" nor "cure". Why would pharmaceutical companies and most doctors WANT to cure you??? Current healthcare and pharmaceutical is big business–Cancer is a huge profitable business. Do you really think that those connected with that are going step aside and allow alternative preventative and curative care to take center stage. Think about it logically-lose the emotion. Follow the CURRENT money–and you'll know WHY there is such an outcry AGAINST a public program and true healthcare reform.

    I'm not an outsider making these statements. Having worked in executive healthcare, I witnessed first hand the atrosoties as those insiders joke about how the CURRENT system benefits the healthcare providers–not the citizens–certainly not the patients. It's a scam. There is simply a lot of money to be made for keeping it the mess that it is.

    Our kids and grandkids deserve a meaningful change–no bandaid will fix this current fiasco that I call "sickcare" –not healthcare.

    I'm not a registered anything, but If the Democrats can't get this done with all the power they now wield, they deserve to lose support. And, they'll lose my vote.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  469. Butch

    Here is a simple solution. Let everyone in America join the health plan that congress currently enjoys. No Changes. Just like it is RIGHT NOW. Pay for it with the 1.3 Trillion that the deathcare plan would have cost.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  470. Stephie

    Sen. Claire McCaskill is to be praised for the way she handled the Town Hall Meeting in Kenneth. I found it to be informative and she fielded difficult questions without offending or incouraging panic.
    I am a retired RN of 20 years. I have watched our health care degenerate as the health insurance companies gained more power. To boast a 3+billion dollar profit during our economic resession is terrible. That profit came at a very dear price, lives. We cannot afford to do nothing and we need a government option to provide incentive for private insurance companies to offer affordable health care plans.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  471. Clint H

    I think it is quite funny to see people rail on the gov't. programs. First of all, the post office is run pretty efficiently, and delivers on time most of the time. Secondly, without the gov't. you would not be having a national highway system, county roads, bridges or commerce we do now. Third, without gov't programs, you old geezers wouldn't be able to afford private insurance and would be left out in the cold. Be very thankful you have a thoughtful and fully functioning gov't.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  472. Mrs. Mansfield

    I feel that health care needs to be changed. When I was working the only jobs that I could get, I could not afford insurance. I then had a car accident that forced me into retirement and living on Social Security and Medicare. They are just as bad as not having any insurance at all. I still can not afford to go to the doctor because there is nothing left out of my check to pay the co-payments after I pay the bills.

    My husband is a disabled veteran and most of his health care is taken care of (very slowly) and then there is the co-pays for his healthcare. If it is not a service connected injury then you have to pay the co-pays. Where is this money suppose to come from? Our service men and women risk their lives for our freedom and then have to pay for their healthcare and all the people in government do is sit in their offices and try to figure out how they can make life harder for all of us.

    I WOULD TRUELY LIKE TO SEE OUR GOVERNMENT OFFICALS LIVE OFF SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE FOR A COUPLE OF MONTHS. i WOULD GLADLY TRADE PLACES WITH ANYONE OF THEM. MY HUSBAND AND I COULD LIVE LIKE A KING AND QUEEN OFF JUST ONE OF THEIR POSITIONS.

    HAVE THE GOVERNMENT DO THIS AND THEN TALK ABOUT REFORM AND WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  473. Dolores Cennamo

    Hi Heidi, I have never done this before but I am really upset with the goings-on at these town meetings of late. I realize people are upset but it is mainly because most of us do not really understand what is being suggested in washington. The comments of people like Sarah Palin are not helping this situation; only disturbing it more. She should be arrested as trying to incite a riot. Boy, am I glad she did not get to be our VP.

    I feel Washington should put into plain, down-to-earth language what they are really trying to do so that the common, everyday person can totally understand and then add their comments. They now relying on mostly gossip from those that do not want any changes (to their pocketbooks).

    August 10, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  474. Michael in Clodine, TX

    FIrstly, I am a political Independent, beholden to no party platform (i.e. no partisan dogme). As someone with a political science (as well as hard science) background, and as both a former intelligence analyst dealing with aspects of the Soviet Union, and some who lived in Danada for quite a few years, I know what terms like "socialism", "communism", and "tyranny" mean in both theory and practice, so I have a comment regarding the exaggerations and the outright lies being told about certain aspects of Health Care Reform.

    First of all, I cannot think of any sucessfully functioning democratic nation that does not include some aspects of what is *erroneously* labelled "socialism" (commonly meaning any program which collects taxes, then applies the funds to actions which may or may not *directly* benefit, but hopefully do *indirectly*benefit) everyone from whom the taxes are collected; this is fundamental to democratic governments because one of the recognized functions of such a government, including the Constitutional provisions of the US government, is to foster conditions that allow its citizens – *all* of its citizens – the opportunity to prosper, and to achieve some level of personal fulfillment. This principle is highly practical in that reasonable prosperity and personal fulfillment are the main ways by which citizens feel that they have a stake in preserving the freedoms – AND the responsibilities – that allow them to enjoy these benefits.

    The US currently has a number of erroneously-labelled-"socialistic" programs and functions, including Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and the Veteran's Administration. The US government also administers the excellent health plan offered to Federal employees, *including Senators and Congressional Representatives*, a plan which is *not* available to other Americans, and never has been. This is the template for the Public Option – it exists, and it works, and it is *not* socialism.

    While it's fully understandable (and known) why certain members of the House and Senate seek to derail meaningful health care and health insurance reform, the incomprehensible thing is why so many Republicans seem compelled to reject cogent opposition in favor of exaggerations and outright lies, and compelled to reject civil discourse for shouting, screaming, bullying, and even, as we've recently learned, outright death threats against those who recognize that the current escalation of both health care costs and insurance rate increases (along with *de*creasing coverage) is both economically unsustainable, and will contribute to increasing civil unrest.

    What it amounts to is a rejection of the electoral process. But worst is the fact that this rejection is not based on facts and rational analysis, but upon the most ridiculous of lies (such as the supposed "death panels" irresponsibly erferenced in Palin's blog). FIrstly, one *can* make a case that administering a public health insurance option is Constitutional, especially given the above-mentioned existence of Medicare, the VA, and the government-administered Federal health plan. Secondly, "optional end-of-life planning" has been recognized by health care providers *for years* as an important aaspect of health care, because it deals with thing such as Power of Attorney and the specification of one's own wishes. It's sheer idiocy, and dangerous hate-flaming rabbvle-rousing, to *suddenly* pervert that into nonsense such as "death panels".

    The fact is that there is no longer a *discussion* about health care and insurance reform – the majority of Americans see the necessity for it, and those opposed to it (based upon deliberate disinformation circulated by those who profit greatly from the current inequties) merely try to over-shout anything that resembles discussion. They claim to want answers, and I know that there *are* people who are concerned over what they've heard and do want answers, however, far too many people (albeit still a *minority*) do not want answers, but rather, want to shut down the democratic process by infringing upon other people's right to free speech in an attempt to bully Washington into setting-aside the will of the majority, and instead give the minority its way.

    This goes far beyond the specific issue of Health Care; the fundamental choice facing the nation is evolving into lawmakers having to choose between two unsavory possibilities, between the proverbial "rock and a hard place", these being:
    1) the possibility of a small but well-armed insurrection by a relatively small, but highly agressive, people who reject the democratic electoral process merely because they feel that this iteration of it went "against them",
    versus
    2) the possibility that bulldozing the will of the majority if favor of special interestes and especially of a loud and highly-aggressive minority will lead to this majority feeling utterly disinfranchized, possibly resulting in an even larger set of sociopolitical and economic disruption.

    I do not envy lawmakers for having to choose between those two possibilities. But choose they must, and their choice might very well change the entire landscape and direction of the nation.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  475. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Frances healthcare system is awesome, Americas is a system for the rich only, in the end only they will have healthcare like in the times of lords and serfs! You will have to borrow money just to go to a doctor that is the Republican plan.

    That is coming for an independent voter, and only a single payer system will work!

    If anyone has not seen Sicko watch the section about Frances healthcare system, their system is close to perfect!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  476. Alice Ann Suddaby

    Yes Public Option/Single Payer-–for those who want to keep what they have- fine and good luck.
    Alice

    August 10, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  477. Satinder Mullick

    Heidi;
    I read a comment that MEDICARE is publicaly financed.This reader forgets that we paid Medicare taxes for 30 years and still pay a monthly premium based on income.Those who earn pay more and those who earn less,pay less.
    ONLY people in very low income–have access to MEDICAID in addition to Medicare.
    Medicaid is Govt. financed. WOULD YOU PLEASE CLARIFY this misunderstanding,besides the DETAILS that NY times reported yesterday:
    40% of additional cost would come from MEDICARE CUTBACKS.
    WHY DOESN'T CNN report this detail?
    Medicare people are being duped by CNN covering President's statement that this is false. IS IT FALSE?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  478. Sharon

    As an RN of 20 yrs., I have seen both sides. I have personally had to argue with insurance companies to get them to approve needed tests for cancer pts., even putting the MD on the phone, only to have them denied. Our health care as it is is rationed. Insurance companies require Utilization Reviews that basically require MD to treat pts. in the way that they dictate. MDs are as frustrated as the nurses and pts.

    Once I turned 50, my insurance skyrocketed to $900/mo. Even with a high deductable it would still be over $700. That is as much as a mortgage. Trying on my own to get coverage has now put me in the uninsurable catagory because of "preexisting conditons". I'm not looking for a handout. I have worked and paid into social security for over 20 yrs. and my husband over 30yrs. Offering medical coverage for all whether similar to medicare or that of govt. employees (that do not have to wait the 12 mo. for preexisting condtions, and have their healthcare paid by constiuants) seems a good option. Those with insurance already could keep theirs, only offer affordable insurance for everyone. It's just the right thing to do.

    By the way, I don't understand why Sarah Palin could not finish her term as Governor, but stirs the pot on healthcare with misinformation and accusations. Hmmm maybe that's why she left, it really doesn't look very nice does it? And as far as calling those who are gathering to shout down town hall meetings extremists, they call themselves extremists. Just look on Face Book under Radical Right Wing Extremists.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  479. Betty Tucker

    Health care should not be tied to your job. What ever health care plan the government makes, they should know that plan will be used by them also. The americans now can see the full picture of their polictical constituents they put in office, the kind of decisions they make for us. There is a lot of programs the government still have in place since the 1930's that is not serving any possible good at this day and time. The govermnet need to know, whatever programs they incorporate for the people, they too will have to use. Why should they have better insurance coverage when we the pople pay their salaries? The constitution is for the people, by the people. We elect our officials hoping they will put the people first, but somewhere fraud and greed has taken over their argendas. There is no republican or democratic party, we must vote for someone we know will get the job done for us. There must be a solution soon to this problem. The government must soon look at the insurance industry for vehicles and homeowners, this too is a rip off.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  480. Windy

    I am in favor of health insurance reform, and support a public option. Being a small business owner I cannot expand because of the cost of health insurance. I have had individual insurance for many years and the policies have high deductibles and therefore I get no benefits since I am healthy. The only benefit I get is that if I spend $5-10,000 depending on the policy, I will get some of my bills paid. Our current system of individual insurance is deplorable. Because our current system favors large businesses we are limiting small business growth. I am looking forward to my 65th birthday since I will then be eligible for Medicare.

    Please stop quoting Sarah Palin let her fade into obscurity.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  481. Richard Warren Morris

    HEIDI,

    THIS IS A "NEWS ITEM" REPEAT "NEWS ITEM" PLEASE PAY ATTENTION TO THIS. YOU ARE LOOKING AT GERMANY'S HEALTH CARE, ENGLAND, CANADA, ETC. THEY ARE THE WORST IN THE WORLD~~~LOOK AT AND COPY THE BEST IN THE WORLD~~~DUH!!!! GIVE THIS LOTS OF COVERAGE, IT IS LITERALLY THE ANSWER TO THIS PROBLEM~~~PLUS EDUCATION FUNDING AS A BONUS~~~NO TRILLIONS~~~MAYBE THE CONGRESS AND THE WHITE HOUSE WILL SEE YOUR COVERAGE AND YOU CAN ACTUALLY MAKE "A BIG POSITIVE CHANGE" READ THE FOLLOWING~~~I HAVE SENT THIS 4 TIMES~~~

    IRRITATED RICHARD

    Below is a paste of the message I sent 4 times, it probably went into a "black hole"!!!

    Do not reinvent the wheel. Another country HAD exactly the same situation we are facing. Their
    government (nearly identical to ours) in the same economic mess, with the same complaints
    and FEARS, took the plunge. After 18 months of "nuts getting adjusted", they have a 12 year
    track record of near perfection. Take 8.5 minutes to really study link (#4) then "get over your
    fears" and simply fix the problem, with tiny expenditures~~~NOT TRILLIONS~~~K.I.S.S.

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

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

    Thank you for asking,

    Richard

    August 10, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  482. WSMerriweather

    I do not support a healthcare bill that gives illegal aliens serivices of which I must pay for....where is the justice in that?? US govenment takes my money in the name of taxes and supports illegal aliens. Then when I need help I am told NO...again where is the justice in that. Illegal aliens should have NO rights to US tax dollars or social services....Enforcfe the laws...Deport illegal aliens.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  483. L. Carroll

    At age 60, I'm on disability from very little to no health care. Thanks to my own governmnet, I have lost everything. If I had had health care, I would probably still be a productive human being !!! Our country takes care of everyone else but their Own !!!!!!!

    Ms. Carroll

    August 10, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  484. Linda

    As an American I believe that everyone has the right to know exactly what the Health Care will contain in its coverage and how the government is planning on paying for it. I don't believe that the people we sending to Washington are really representing the people. When we ask questions and disagree with them we are labeled as trouble makers or right-wingers. Don't try and shove things down our throats . Be honest, show us what exactly the plan is, and how it will be payed for.I believe in change, but I would like to know exactly what it is and how it wll affect me and my family.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  485. Iris Beard

    I understand there needs to be health care reform and we need to identify methods to control cost but I do not believe Congress is the entity to do it. We watch every election cycle as Congress drags Medicare around by the nose trying to get the senior vote. Personally, I don't want Congress to have that control over me. Reforming our healthcare system should be well researched and thought out. We can't afford to mess this up. Time needs to be devoted to the research. This is not the way Congress works. They don't even read bills.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  486. WSMerriweather

    The healthcare system needs to reformed. Anyone that is not American, entered this country legally or does not work, pay taxes, or some sort of fee each month sohould NOT have healthcare coverage. Under NO circumstances should the government take care of anyone. That is not the role of the government that is the role of not-for-profit agencies. Taxes and the deficit are out of control because of greed and laziness.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  487. Penelope Linner

    Is this Really Insurance Reform ...many people are having the SAME kind of problems w/Insurance "....

    My Daughter was in a Tragic Accident ...the Insurance will not let her finish Theopy because the Insurance payout has only a Cerain amount of WEEKS it can pay out for .
    This SHOULD CHANGE .. Shouldn't Insurance be for the duration of a Injury UNTIL THE PATIENT IS CURED .
    IF THIS IS SUPPOSE TO BE REFORM ..
    What are you Reforming ?
    Reforming to MAKE SURE A PATIENT DOESN'T GET CURED .
    I don't Understand this WAY of thinking ..Doctor are suppose to be TO HELP PEOPLE GET BETTER RIGHT ..or are they just there to fill the Medicine or PILL Cure ..Shouldnt there be a RIGHT TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO DESIDE WHAT IS GOOD FOR THEM ?..TOO MANY ISSUES NOT ANSWERED ON THIS SUBJECT

    August 10, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  488. Rory Kerrigan

    I'm sure most of the town hall protesters voted for John McCain and are as much against healthcare reform now as they were 8 months ago, and the 8 years prior to that.

    The point is, Barack Obama ran for president on a platform of health care reform and won the election by a landslide, both the popular vote and electoral vote. The Democrats have to remain as steadfast and resolute in Government, and pass healthcare reform, as the Republicans are as united in their opposition.

    The opponents of healthcare reform may be noisier than the proponents, but they are still a minority.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  489. Jim Johnson

    Heidi,

    I am not against health care reform, but I am against the plan currently being proposed.

    I am against a "single payer system". The government has failed to perform with Medicare, the VA and virtually every other program they have attempted to run. What should make us feel this national health care program proposed should result in anything different?

    I am against the federal government having free and open access to personal bank accounts and financial information. This is far too much "big brother" for me.

    I am against the removal of billions of dollars from Medicare to help finance this proposed plan. The removal of those funds would reduce the services and procedures I have already paid for most all my life.

    I am against the current proposal that the governments decision be final on all coverage issues with no provision for appeal.

    I am against any proposal which would tax, fine or penalize any business that is providing health care coverage to its employees.

    I am for any plan that adds a flat tax on all income, bonuses, distribution of profits and dividends, with no cap on any of those.

    I am for a plan that would require the participation of all legislators, federal judges and all federal personnel, whether elected, appointed or hired, with the exception of the military and the President.

    I am for a plan overseen by an independent citizen review board. Such citizens could be chosen by drawing names from a pool comprised of the chairpersons of federal juries 6 months previous to the drawing. Such persons to serve a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years with a single term limit. In other words, we do not trust the government so want private citizens to oversee the operation.

    I am for a plan which would work at cost containment of the medical field, including doctors, hospitals, lab services, etc. I would support any cost increases by the medical field having to be justified by proof of cost increase.

    I am for a plan that would limit the amount paid to medical people for sitting on hospital boards where excessive bonuses are paid to disburse cash to maintain non-profit status of a medical institution.

    I am for health reform, but not in the manner currently being shoved down our throat with no options. Yes, I have read the entire 1017 pages of the proposed legislation and it scared the h–l out of me.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  490. pamela

    I'm a Lab technician smack dab in the middle of daily Dr. fraud thru constant uneccesary and repeated test ordering among the elderly population in nursing home and assisted living residents. In order to reform they must start somewhere, it certainly makes sense to start by cleaning up "fraudulant activities", this alone would regenerate millions back to the system and strengthen the further job at hand to reform it all, and why is this HUGE FLAW as a whole in the existing health care system seemingly so ignored by our gov't???...our gov't. just talks a good talk and just doesn't get it!!!...R E F O R M is the name of the game...let them put their expertices where their mouths are and truly do something spectacular to make a difference, and AMERICA might pay closer attention with more of an interested ear rather than high emotions and heated reactions. We need "real efforts and solutions" not more good talk. I challenge our gov't to simply "GET IT" and "GET IT RIGHT" for once!!!...

    Pamela/Fort Worth, Tx

    August 10, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  491. Lenny, Dallas, TX

    I don't understand what republicans are talking about. On the one hand they say they are against "government-run, socialized" health care. On the other hand, they don't want to dismantle "socialized" health care from Medicare.

    If you are against governnment-run healthcare, then simply say we should ask seniors to purchase health care from the private insurance companies because that is what you mean.

    You can't have it both ways. Meanwhile, private insurance companies add $400 billion to the cost of healthcare from profits, advertizements, large CEO compensations, lobbyists in Washington etc.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  492. Rushahn

    I am a practicing orthopaedic surgeon. I am greatly concerned that the government's cutting back on costs will lead to bureaucrats dictating what tests should be ordered. None of my patients want a "delayed" diagnosis. In this troubled economy, my patients need to get better, and fast, and any delayed time off work because of a missed or delayed diagnosis, can mean the difference between having or not having a job.
    I also have a patient who is a healthy appearing 70 year old, who "hurt" her back lifting luggage. In Obama's health plan, an MRI would not have been approved. I ordered one, and it turns out she had metastatic thyroid cancer to her back. She got the promptest treatment available and we caught it early.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  493. Sisley Dougherty

    How about reforming heath care insurance companies , they seem to be the biggest offenders, and open many more clinics to help the uninsured.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  494. John Mendoza

    As a retired health care professional who worked in a major medical center, these are my personal observations of health care in the U.S.

    1. Whether Drs and other health care providers will admit, there is rationing currently in health care. The elderly and poor do not get the same care, tests, procedures, etc. They are treated differently by staff as those with insurance or rich private pay.

    2. My employer changed my health coverage several times while I was employed. Cheaper for them, less coverage and higher copay for me and different Drs. If I wanted the same coverage as before, I would have had to pay significantly higher premiums. So those who say employers will change health plans, they already do!

    3. To discuss end of life wishes is already being done and should be done. There is nothing "evil" about it.

    4. If you really want tort reform, do something about bad Drs. Unfortunately, Drs protect one another and "peer review" is a joke. You can't have tort reform unless Drs are willing to police each other.

    5. Insurance companies currently dictate the care and procedures one gets, Drs don't.

    Republicans had 8 years to do health care reform and did nothing, now it is just scare tactics for political reasons not to serve the public.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  495. Richard Warren Morris

    ANSWER TO Bob Davidson above,

    Bob you should have noticed by now that Palin proudly displays her incredible ignorance EVERYTIME she opens her mouith. See her latest remark on health care. She is a national and international embarrassment. She is qualified for NOTHING! She thinks the Universe is only 6,000 years old, she thinks faith healing is "REAL", you can see she is "lost on birth control", and she delusional as to think libraries should only carry books she approves of. BEFORE SHE MAKES A SOUND~~she needs at least 20 years of QUALITY EDUCATION! It would require that~~~just so she can see how ignorant she is TODAY!!! Loose Palin!!! Cut her publicity, ignore her, do not cover her. Imagine if she gave a "news conference" and nobody (the press) showed up, then you could cover her hissy fit, about that!! GREAT ENTERTAINMENT!!

    Good fishing to you and your future!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  496. Danette Boyd

    It is obvious that you will continue to be stiffed by the insurance companies if Health care reform does not pass. Those people interupting the rallies are either stupid or are being paid.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  497. Sarah

    Heidi,

    I am saddened to hear that there are people and familes that do not have health care in this great nation. I believe that the government should work directly with those individuals in getting them the health care they need. I pay a good amount in health care but it is well worth it. You've heard the saying that nothing is free and when it is then it's probably not very good. I would rather pay what I am paying now maybe a little more in order to go see whichever doctor I prefer at whatever time I want and get whatever procedure done that I need. If we lower the costs on health care then there will be less physicians, less treatments and longer lines. People will no longer be patients, they will be numbers. Do you ever see or hear about people leaving America to go get health care in another country? NO. You hear and see people, many people from various countries COME TO AMERICA to get health care. Why? Beacause we have the best health care there is. I come from a middle class-lower class family and my parents always made sure they had jobs that had benefits of health care, they always provided and it is no excuse to those people (excluding those in the recession without jobs at the moment) who refuse to work and refuse to get the benefits they need to survive not ony for them but for their children. I would like to see everyone (everyone meaning American citizens) getting the health care they need and deserve and even for those who aren't American citizens but are willing to pay to get the treatment they need. If America goes away from what we have now, where will people go when their health is at risk?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  498. cynthia

    My question or concern is that many health programs are being taken away and/or reduced in acquisition for the elderly and/or for the poor especially children just to "save money" for the local governments and/or for the state & national govmt's.
    I would like to know WHY the people who have payed taxes for these programs are being victimized twice !!! The reason I ask that is that the public is paying taxes to keep criminals in prison but the prisoner not only gets food three times a day, a bed, & shelter , THEY ALSO GET A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF FREE HEALTH CARE !!!!!! Why doesn't the justice system look at reducing their health care to what is absolutely necessary and save the tax-payer & government ALOT of money so that we are not penalized for doing the RIGHT thing ??? Thankyou for taking my question

    August 10, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  499. Mary

    My family and I are VERY pleased with our health care coverage. We are covered under a plan offered by my husbands employer, and my mother-in-law, who lives with us , is a Medicare Advantage Plan recipient.

    If there is a government run health care plan implimented, the only people who will be able to afford/offered a private insurance plan will be the extremely wealthy, and politicans!

    Why should employers offer healthcare coverage to their employees, if they can be covered under the government plan?

    As for President Obama wanting to do away with Medicare Advantage Plans, how does he expect the elderly to pay the 20% deductable associated with Medicare?

    I will say though there needs to be more government over sight of Insurance companies. They should not be allowed to deny coverage due to pre-existing causes. Nor should they be allowed to deny treatment to a patient, if it is requested by their physician.

    Maybe instead of over hauling the entire system, they should expand Medicaid to cover more of the uninsured/underinsured. We have the best healthcare on earth, otherwise people from around the world would not be flocking to our country for their healthcare needs.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  500. Junie

    I was born with a heart condition called coarctation, I've had sveral surgeries to correct the problem but now that I am older I have been having chest pains and I have a hard time catching my breath. I know I am sick, I know my health is failing and I know I need help, but for some reason the government has decided to let me die rather than help me. So I think this country's healthcare system is in dire need of help. Or in dire need of a review in what this country was built on. For the people and by the people.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  501. Sisley Dougherty

    I will be very surprised if anything gets done about heath care, the end result will be more uninsured , because the insured will not be able to afford health insurance, the rates will be so high, that it will not be an option. Should of could of, will be the question.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  502. Leslie Jack

    I suggest President Obama knows what has to be done to insure every citizen of the country. He is just allowing debate to take place and allowing foolish arguments to occur. When he gets enough nunerous foolish arguments why health care shouldn't have some form of government involvement then he will go out and sell his ideas for this government involvement by just ridiculing and repeating those unsustainable and foolish arguments.

    I would like to endorse what many others have said above about the way the system presently functions, especially the frustrations expressed by Becky P.M. and Mike Mihalek.

    President Obama, get to it and start going back to the principals of the democratic party that protect life and limb of all citizens to the degree that the country can afford. Private iniiative has its place and should be rewarded but it's about time that they also realize how fortunate they are and they do not live in a vacuum as much as many wish that they did.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  503. Mary

    Two things have had the most influence on health care in America. Managed Care and the removal of health/physical education from out schools. I have been in healthcare all of my life, my mother was and Rn and so am I. There is something wrong with a system that will charge a copay on the same med that ranges from $10-$160/month. I work in the industry and cannot afford to use my insurance due to the high copays. Something's wrong when an uninsured woman is required to be pregnant to qualify for medicaid. Emergency rooms are full of people with non-emergency complaints, people use the ambulance service as a taxi ride, nobody is willing to do something for themselves first....we have an uneducated society that wants to be fixed on the spot for nothing.......These issues are not being addressed and until they are there is no 'fix'. As long as our govt subsidizes the production of tobacco and alcohol – the two leading causes of healthcare expense- there is no reform.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  504. Joann C

    I'm not convinced that this a public option is not a government takeover just because Obama and MacCaskill say it is not. When you introduce a government healcare option, logically companies will dump their employees in it. It just makes financial sense to them as it will save the business money. Why should I or other logical thinking Americans think otherwise?? Let's be real. I live in Florida and the same idea was sold to us about Homeowner's Insurance for windstorm damage (hurricane insurance). "Create competition" ....sound familiar?? We have a state govt option called Citizens Insurance and guess what, the private insurers (State Farm, Allstate, etc) dumped thousands and thousands of policies because they couldn't compete. Why should they? So guess what, for many of us the Govt insurance is the ONLY OPTION. I have no reason to believe that healthcare would be different. Lastly, how do you GUARANTEE no govt healthcare rationing when you have the same number of docs, clinics and labs AND you add 40 million people to the appoinment books? Why can't politicians just be honest and speel it out without speaking general talking points and non-answers without details? Is that too much to ask?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  505. Evelyn Jewell

    I'm a retried eighty year old nurse. I like my Medicare Part A & B, do not need the part D, I do not need any prescription drugs.

    My big concern about Obama's Health Care Reform, is with the Insurance companies. They have too much control over our doctors
    & hospital stay for patients. Such as the DRG groups.

    Also Insurance companies, up the monthly premiums on older folks, because of their potential of needing hospitalizations frequently.

    This needs to change, not all elderly seniors are ill frequently.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  506. WSMerriweather

    Illegal aliens have not said a word on healthcare reform...guess why...they are rewarded with free healthcare under the present system and if it is reformed it gets better for them. Why am I paying for healthcare for illegal aliens that enter this country illegally. I pay for mine then I am forced to pay for thiurs...where's the justice in that.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  507. Peter W. Koch

    It boggles the mind that a country such as hours has to even debate the issue of decen and affordable health care. Apparently we are not as rich as we claim to be. At least this is true in disecting the truth.
    It was mentioned earlier on CNN that Otton von Bismark initiated a public health care system in Germany along with Social Security. These were firsts in the world. It is even more astonishing that this occurred under a monarchy which had the solid support of Bismark. The German health care system was continued by the Weimar Republic, The Third Reich under the Nazis, and finally now under the Bonn Republic (located actually now in Berlin). They are not give away programs. People who elect to use these options must pay for them although at a much lowere rate. Yet health care and facilities are among the best in the world. So why then has the Republican Party aligned itself with the vilest of political entities in this country, the American Nazi Party. Oh yes, the denials come fast and furiously, but the actions deny the denials. Hitler always told his followers that a lie told big enough and often enough takes on the validity of the de facto truth. We are hearing nothing but lies, lies, and more lies from the Republicans. The "death board" for selecting health care is nothing but a vicious fabrication. The practice of shouting down speakers and generally causing a disturbance is straight out of the Nazi playbook of the twenties. The Nazis were not interested in participating in a debate, no only to disrupt and destroy. The word went out to the followers "dress warm". This was code to be sure to carry your fire arms with you. Wake up America, you are being misled by an unholy alliance of richy and racist Republicans along with the Chamber of Commerce and the insurance companies. These same entities strongly opposed Social Security in 1936.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  508. Dave

    I feel that we should be allowed the exact same healthcare that we pay for all of congress. Give them one month to figure out how to provide it, then suspend their healthcare until it happens. How can we as Americans implement this change?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  509. Frank Bouweraerts

    Dear Heidy,

    i live in canada and in my opinion it would be the best thing for all americans to benefit from this and believe me i am for ohip and it is for all canadians ,my first wife had cancer called multy myloma wich you die in 5 years she lasted nearly 6,de last 2 monthsi brought her home to look after her myself ,they gave us a hospital bed to use ,a doctor came to visit her and i had a RN to help me and it did not cot me a cent ,just think how much it would cost you in the US.I MYSELF HAD OPRATIONS no waiting and my second wife had 4 operations they were not small ones either with no waiting Frank

    August 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  510. John Cook

    Health care reform is a must and should be done this year. The house and senate have many different versions of health care reform, I not sure how the actors in the different town hall meetings can act with sincerity and cause. It appears that rebel rousing and distortion is their only game. The bottom line is there no bill at hand to review, so what is the opposition apposing their own ignorance to Health Care Reform?

    August 10, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  511. C. D. Coburn

    I am a retired senior and my wife and I are very pleased with with all aspects of our health care. I spent considerable time during my working years outside the USA. Most Americans don't know how good we have it;however, I understand that there are others in the US who are not as fortunate. Health care reform is too important to rush through "just because they can". Deficit spending helped put us where we are today. CBO data indicates that the current Democratic health care plan will cost $1 Trillion and increase the deficit over $65B over the next 10 years. Fix the obvious and allow free enterprise, coupled with minimum government intervention to get us back to sustainable economic expansion.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  512. john

    On your report of H1M1 vaccine trials, a list was put onto the TV screen showing which groups of people should consider or require FLU vaccines/shots. A very important group was left off this list – people living with HIV/AIDS. Was this an oversight? Is this deliberate? Is this poor investigative/fact work? Why? Why? Many, if not all Influenza effects the Respiratory System. The Respiratory System is the most vulnerable to infection of opportunistic infection such as Pneumonia. This is a leading cause of death for people infected with HIV/AIDS.
    I urge that you include this group in any further discussion of the H1M1 topic. Otherwise you are sending a message of exclusion to this group of people.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  513. JLaw Pye

    People who believe in the school voucher program, Medicare, Medicaid, Catastrophic funds, Lunch subsities, already believe in goverment programs. There are 1600 Insurance options and if adding ONE MORE will bring the cost down....stop the yelling(with a period).---
    People who receive employer based insurance may not realize that they pay a percentage of the REAL COST and don't realize how the Insurers are charging employers who will allow your premiums to rise over time to cover Insurers increases. This is what this reform is about. Taking away the Insurance Companies unchallenged advantage. Whether we like it or know it.. We all support some type of Goverment base/backed program.

    Jeff from the Philadelphia Airport

    August 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  514. M-AZ

    Mike Plugh is right and I am glad CNN is finally doing something to dispel some of the myths about health care this morning (I think it was Heidi Collins on the show with Tony Harris). I am so tired of news casts just attaching themselves to whatever sounds the most sensational and in so doing perpetuating hysteria and myths.

    However, I am not sure CNN has gone quite far enough yet in undoing the rumor damage regarding health care reform. For example, i was told that initially businesses that already6 provide insurance would simply not be allowed, (either for a limited time, or an extended time, if necessary) to move to the public plan even if they wanted to. So, the fear that businesses will drop private insurance and move to a public plan is also one of the myths. In this mornings show, this myth was still being talked about as a genuine republican concern. Is limiting the public option initially to only to those not currently insured or currently providing insurance to employees just an idea being considered or has if become s formsl part of a piece of legislation?

    CNN – lease make a Fact Check list about health care reorm and post it on your sight with constant updates and constant corrections.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  515. RS

    When is the United States going to catch up to the rest of the industrialized world. Every other nation in the OECD (with the exception of Mexico) has a health care system for it's citizens. Why don't we? We are ranked 27th by the WHO in health care outcomes yet we spend more money than any other nation. This simply makes no sense. We need a strong public option to reign in costs. I support HR 3200. The time to pass it is now.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  516. Patt Needham

    Insurance companies put actuaries and their hired physicians between us and our own doctors; they call it standards of practice and reasonable charges. This clearly no different than a public option.

    Medicare works and is 'single payer. We need Medicare for everyone who's not covered by a good plan.

    Also, we should be looking at Australia as a model of single payer, not Cnanda or England.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  517. Pat Stowe

    I was for health care reform until I talked with a friend of mine from Sweden. This is the way it works there: they pay half their income to taxes. All their medical is paid for; however, there is usually a three month wait for any operations or non-emergy medical treatments. People who want to get to the front of the line and not wait three months can paid up to $10,000 to get surgery, etc. immediately. After talking with him there is no way I want any of my health insurance run by the government. People who don't have insurance should either buy insurance, get a job with health benefits, or pay for it out of their pocket. And if you are NOT a US citizen, go back to your own country and have medical treatment. Non US Citizens should RECEIVE NO GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS OF ANY KIND!! That is one of the things that is breaking this counry's back financially.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  518. Jeanne-RN,BSN

    just HOW long does moderation take? I posted @ 10:44 ET and now it is 12:28 ET! Do my comments offend the status quo?

    I would like to hear from more RNs' here. We are much lower on the financial food chain than MDs' and generally have a much different perspective. WE spend 98% of our time with the patient as opposed to the 2% face time the patient sees the doc.

    Thanks!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  519. Bernard Remakus, M.D.

    Before meaningful health care reform can take place, "The Malpractice Epidemic," must be cured. Until malpractice suits are taken out of the courts and moved into arbitration, health care providers will continue spending inordinate percentages of their yearly profits on malpractice insurance, and at the same time, continue ordering unnecessary tests and consultations to protect themselves against malpractice litigation. It is the unnecessary tests and consultations taht are making health care unaffordable.

    At the same time, the entire insurance industry, not just the health insurance industry, must be reformed. Truly meaningful insurance reform would allow all Americans to be covered under a national health insurance program that would be both accepted and welcomed by health care professionals. With such national health insurance, there would be no need for the health insurance components of automobile insurance, homeowners' insurance, or workmens compensation. Car, home and business insurance would become much more affordable to greater numbers of Americans. Large and small businesss would no longer have to provide health insurance to workers, which would allow them to hire more workers and sell their products cheaper. Hospitals would no longer have to close because of higher-than-normal percentage of services to the uninsured and underinsured.

    The United States urgently needs comprehensive insurance reform. Anything short of this, is simply a penny-wise and pound-foolish endeavor.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  520. Joseph&Elizabeth Hammang

    we are independent Voters and like a all Government Health care.can not
    understand why people do not trust their elected people they voted for them by majority. Insurance companies are more likely to rip you off!!
    single payer or Government regulated would be best.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  521. Jeanne Weidner

    I have been a teacher in a small town in texas for five years. I just not hit the $30,000 mark and am very frustrated. I am lucky because I am in good health. I go to the doctor once a year for my annual exam. I try to eat healthy and exercise in order to keep my good health. I pay $381 a month for health insurance and have a $1500 deductible. I never meet my deductible so almost allof the medical I receive is out of pocket, including many of the normal lab tests they do for my physical. I know I have to have health insurance for something catastrophic. It is a necessity. I believe that health care isn't necessarily a right and I am willing to p[ay for health insurance that I use but for me to pay as much as I do with my small income and relatively few real life benefits is very frustrating for me. I would rather pay for what I get. I want reform but it has gotten so political that I feel that the change we need will get lost in all the political game-playing! I just want the facts so I can make informed decisions. This screaming and hollering and insulting is getting us nowhere and is solving nothing.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  522. louie b

    typical republican fear tactics, They will try and say anything to get back at president obama, to try to bring back that "bush" type of thinking, cheat and lie to push their agenda through, it worked for bush when he stole the election from al gore, we still stood behind w bush , even though we didnt really want to, but we did! it worked with iraq , same tactics and we fell for it again, now when are we gonna learn that unless we come together to solve our big bush era problems that we will sink ,kinda like the russians, but all the republicans wanna do is cheat , lie, and munipulate with fear tactics,and they wonder why they're not in power anymore, it's embarrassing and obnoxious , it makes my stomach turn when i see all these racist people yelling and screaming at these town hall meetings, they sound like a bunch of kids , the republicans need to take a step back , a deap breath and sit at the negotiating like adults and come up with solutions,, not with elementry school like antics, the g.o.p. needs to get lessons on how to take care of the american people, and they also need some counseling on their deep seaded racism, this is the united states of america, united being the key word!!!!!!!!! god help us all ,, lord knows we're gonna need it!!!!!!!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  523. Sharon

    Elizabeth Cohen needs to learn about Medicare. She is giving wrong information. Medicare pays ONLY for hospitalizations. People must BUY Medicare B - to be covered for physician visits or SOME other care. They also must BUY supplemental insurance to cover prescriptions.

    So when she says people "who have Medicare" have nothing to be worried about". she is wrong. Medical bills from doctor's and prescriptions and dentists and physical therapy can drown a person who is trying to survive on Social Security.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  524. Pat from Florida

    My views on taxes and immigraton. If we had a flat tax of 10% for "EVERYONE" we could eliminate much of the IRS and the tax would be fair for everyone. I don't think the wealthy should have so many tax shelters and I think everyone should pay something and contribute to this country equally, according to their income. Those who are here illegally should be sent home and those who hire them should be severely punished. Only the disabled, elderly and children should be exempt. There are too many people unwilling or too lazy to work. There is no excuse for this. Additionally, a lot of jobs held by illegal immigrants could be filled by americans who are physically able to work and not rely on the government to support them. That's why so many people want to live here – so they can get a "free ride." I've worked my whole life, and for many years worked two jobs. Maybe we should all move to Mexico and let them take care of us. I'm just fed up with "giving" people who are able bodied financial help. When immigrants come here and have a baby, even though their babys are US citizens, the parents should still have to return to Mexico and when the baby becomes 18 years of age, they can come back and work and live in the United States. Just because the baby is born here doesn't mean the entire family can be supported here in the US. And for God's sake, if you're going to live here learn to speak English!! I'm fed up with hearing "press 1 for English and press 2 for Spanish!!!!!" There's no press "3" for Italian or French. Let's take back America and equality for US Citizens!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  525. Joseph&Elizabeth Hammang

    we like single payer but will take private that is Government regulated.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  526. RJ

    Well when one reads a ligitimate poll they fing out close to 60% of the American people dont support the health reform as it stands! You watch CNN and you`ll see amazingly a totally diiferent poll, hummmm I wander why? I used to watch CNN exclusively up until about 3 years ago because of they changes in staff they have moved to a strickly liberal format! I voted for Obama ans=d consider myself a democrat but I can not support free giveaways to people who dont work for them any longer! People in this country need to share some responsibility in this distribution of wealth! Obama so far has done absolutely nothing to help me and my family I guess since we make just under $100,000 he considers us rich! Sure as I sit and write this he will also raise my taxes in which he said he wouldnt but he`s done nothing but lie and give to the poor, I cant trust him farther than I could throw him!

    August 10, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  527. Joe Sudol

    As a citizen concerned with the Administration’s Health Care Reform Plan I am against rushing ahead without being fully informed about all aspects of the proposed plan. It is astonishing that our representative in Congress (and I doubt the President) have not read the 1000 or so pages of the Plan. While I admit that the current system is not perfect, I fear that the reforms being proposed will be a disaster for both health care and the cost to the public. The President and his fellow proponents of reform have not convinced me, and others, that we will be better off under the proposed reforms. Some of the President’s supporters have been so brazen as to suggest that the plan should be passed and we can work out the “details and problems” later. This is an outrageous statement (by James Carville) and an insult to the American people who know all too well how our political system works. Telling the public that since paperwork will be reduced, your doctor will be able to spend more time with you is a blatant lie that belittles our intelligence. If there is a reduction in administrative time, health care facilities will only pack more patients into the day to increase revenue. We are also told that if we like our current plan there will be no change. How can this be? Who will pay for all the currently uninsured? In the end it will be me through increased taxes or reduced coverage.
    I am tired of hearing the everyday rhetoric without concrete details regarding costs, choices, how every category of citizen, especially seniors on Medicare, would be impacted, etc that are important to fully understand the plan. I have spent considerable time in researching all available information about the proposed plan (the Present’s speeches are useless as a source of information and are becoming annoying). And while some of the suggested reforms are right on target (portable insurance coverage for one) it is obvious that my health care situation would change significantly. I will lose some coverage I currently have, will be forced to pay increased fees (or higher deductibles) to maintain my current level of coverage, and pay additional taxes to support the cost of this “so called reform” plan. I would ask how our members of the senate and congress will be affected by the plan. In comparing my current plan and how reform would impact me, I would be happy to pay their costs for the coverage they Congress) receive. I doubt that I will have that choice.
    There is no need to rush into an issue so complex and important as healthcare. We would be better off by first addressing the aspects of our current system that are the causes of many of its shortcomings (insurance company control over our health care, lack of portability of insurance similar to 401K plans, and the costs associated with malpractice lawsuits, to name three).
    Contrary to the President’s message, there is no urgent or compelling need (other than political) to rush forward without the full understanding and “buy in” of an informed American public. Only after this “reform package” is passed will we really know the details and impact on each of us. However, it will then be too late and we will be the losers.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  528. Pat from Florida

    Health Care Issue! I talked with a friend of mine from Sweden regarding health care in Sweden. They pay 50% of their income to taxes. They have "free" health care; however, they sometimes have to wait 3 months for treatment. They can pay $10,000 or so and get to the head of the line. I know one lady here in the US in her mid 50's who is single and a diabetic and pays $800 a month for her insurance. I know other people who have the money but just fly by the seat of their pants and elect not the purchase insurance. I'm retired, however years ago I always took jobs with health insurance benefits rather than a larger salary. We should all be responsible for making those decisions. I would like to see a 10 page health reform bill without all the crap in it. Just spell it out in 10 pages or less.
    I CERTAINLY DON'T WANT THE SWEDISH HEALTH CARE PLAN!

    August 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  529. Robert

    We need health care reform in the worst way but the bill for this can not be passed onto just the middle class! Everyone who wants insurance or I should say health care then should have to bear the responsibility! The poor want free health care but dont care how its paid for because they know it wont be them! The rich will fight to the death before they pay so who`s this leave the only class of people with NO representation in Washington! I say to the poor and rich if you expect the middle class to pick up this tab then I say no way to reform! Until the poor and rich alike decide they are going to chip in fairly to this deal then I say NO WAY can I support another Obama free giveaway to people who dont deserve it! Enough of Obamahood! (Robinhood)LOL!

    August 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  530. Don Berghuis

    I am appalled at the behavior of the people opposed to Health Care Reform with the shouting and chanting "Just Say No". That is a mindless way to comment on Health Care Reform. I am sure that some people came to these Town Hall meetings hoping to hear a sober debate on arguably the greatest national concern of our time....and all they heard was some people yelling with the sole purpose of drowning out any speakers and the guests presenting positions. Shame on the people who started this, and I think that means shame on the Republican National Committee

    August 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  531. Carole Salemi Las Vegas NV

    There has been lots said regarding health care but I hear very little about the role the doctors will play in the reform. They over charge for their services, over book they patients in order to make more money. Is their expertise really worth what they charge?? Office visits are a prime example. A routine visit is over $100! I understand their educations were expensive but they paid for it 10 times over. Yes they save lives but they are not God and loose some too. That's why it is called the practice of medicine. When will the doctors adjust their charges so that the government doesn't have to get so involved? Carole Salemi Las Vegas NV

    August 10, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  532. Bill Dorton

    Current law curtails veterans educational benifits after 10 years from separation. How many veterans might take advantage of lifelong educational benefits in order to expand their employment options is an open question. I, for one, would jump at the chance. Why the time contraint?

    August 10, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  533. Glenn

    I have read many of the posts above regarding the heathcare reform discussion. Unfortunately, I am unable to see any opinion on the matter whatsoever. People are either saying Yes to Healthcare reform or No. But there are no details as far as what you like or dislike in either method. You have essentially talked about nothing and there is no progress. From now on, if you like or dislike an option – try saying why and why not, specifically, and what you want to change. Instead of just being lazy and saying – change it or dont change it.

    My view: My healthcare costs are from my employer and consume 150+ pretax of my 50K salary in a high-deductible program. Still, I cannot afford to go to the dentist for anything other than the basics or I have to pay over 8-10k out of pocket – which i don't have.

    Can't we develop a healthcare system where if we are paying for it, when its time, we can actually use it? I would like a system that includes this concern and also gaurantees a reduction in my premium if this concern is not met. Thank you.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  534. GratefulAmerican

    How could there be ENOUGH DOCTORS/HEALTH CARE to cover Millions more people? Common Sense question, but NEVER asked. Of course the bill will not elemenate the elderly, disabled etc, but the system will have to! The Media and administration are slick with how they ask and answer questions, but Americans have common sense.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  535. Jim Lefeber

    Numerous issues present themselves in this debate. However, I am surprised that the issue of Tort Reform is not at or near the top of the list. Maybe I should not be surprised since a large number of Congressmen and Senators are also lawyers. And, President Obama is a lawyer!

    There seems to be a definite conflict of interest concerning Tort Reform. In fact, President Obama is recently quoted from CNN as stating: "While I'm not advocating caps on malpractice awards, I do think we need to explore a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first, let doctors focus on practicing medicine, and encourage broader use of evidence-based guidelines."

    My immediate question is: Why not advocate caps on malpractice rewards (awards)? Why is this subject taboo?

    Our open market encourages competition; by placing caps on malpractice we will effectively encourage insurers to lower exorbitant insurance premiums which directly affect all aspects of our medical care system.

    Regardless of what some think, health care in the USA is a business enterprise and will continue to be so even if directed by an inefficient government health plan (system) and bureauracracy.

    If our legislature, judicial system and executive branch is sincerely concerned about health care reform we must include Tort Reform in the discussion.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  536. Samuel Bruce

    Why hasn't President Obama stuck with his campaign motto of responsibility? He said, yes we responsibility from congress, wall street but also personal responsibility!

    Bill Maher, said it best, " I guess I just lost faith from the man he was during his campaign to who he is now!".
    If we ever plan on preventative medicine, President Obama has to tell people- "You are also responsible" and make it as deliberate as possible.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  537. Gary, Washington

    I am afraid this town hall concept is alot of hooyie!! Brian Baird informed his constiuents that he would do a telephone or computer version of the town hall concept and basically suggested the crowds were too rowdy for an in person meeting. That may be but I am hoping that our elected officials are getting the message that we don't like Obama's plan. I really doesn't matter if your a Republican or Democrat. We are all Americans trying to work out the issues on a broken healthcare issue.

    Frankly, I think our Senators have forgotten who they work for and their job is to put forth our wishes and not theirs.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  538. jmaz

    How stupid can so many Americans be? A Single-payer health care package would bring the insurance companies in line – yes those companies that take YOUR money, deny YOU care may go under. A government-run PAYMENT plan would give YOU choice not the insurance companies.

    It's time the US of A join other western countries and take care of the health of the nation. What do we have if we don't take care of our people?

    I will be happy to pay my taxes to pay for my coverage (I have pre-existing conditions and have coverage through my job) so I can move, change my life, invest in a new idea, become an entrepenuer.

    I don't understand why American corporations (other than health insurance) don't embrace single-payer. The costs of healthcare in our country make us non-competative with other trade partners.

    Single-payer health will save the economy of this country and the nightmares of health insurance will be over. Health and profit are NOT compatible.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  539. Joy Luce

    I think it is about time the administration wake up and smell the voters. It does not matter if we are republican or demorcrats, both sides are opposing this health care plan, or actually I should call it government take over. It is time the media (meaning you) should reveal the true about how the American people view this reform.
    Obama is taking American out of the way of life for Americans. What next, will he change our names......shall we not call ourselves Americans anymore.....I dare ask what he would want to name us.

    -Joy Luce
    North Port, Fl.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  540. Kate

    I agree with Kathy (posted at 8:48 am). Can CNN do some investigating and get to the bottom of this townhall-lobbying "scandal"? I'm sure there has to be a paper trail or a money trail or SOMETHING that can lead to somewhere. How about some investigative reporting? I want to know the truth!

    August 10, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  541. F. Straus

    Shame on your reporting about Germany ! Health Insurance in Germany and I am referring to public health care cost each citizen $800 USD a month. Care is almost non-existent for HIV and AIDS-End of life care is cost controlled by using long term care facilities. The rich hire private help in their homes. In England, all health care is rationed. As a result many individuals with rare disorders are left to die-due to lack of life sustaining medication. Waiting time exceeds 3 months for most citizens seeking cancer care, by that time the cancer has progressed so far, they are terminal. In France, public hospitals use Vietnamese workers who cannot even speak French and use 3 inch syringes to draw blood, except of at the American Hospital where anyone with money can get some of the finest care in the world.

    Tell the American people the truth...our constitution demands it .

    August 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  542. Bruni

    Could please put someone on with an oposing view of the health care debate. I've been watching for an hour, and it looks like the White House has purchased airtime on CNN.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  543. Churchill

    Why is it the responsibility of the employer to provide healthcare? So much for a society that prides itself on freedom. Obviously, this has it's bad sides. We may never know how many people are stuck to their dead end jobs because of healthcare. Universal healthcare that everyone can access as a fall back makes common sense. Why indeed has healthcare for a population become such a ping pong?

    August 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  544. Churchill

    Somebody, please track Sarah Palin down and give her an opportunity to articulate her views on Healthcare. She cannot just be quoted writing things that she cannot defend. She must be taken to task to explain what she meant by her rant.
    If you journalists cannot do you job, please sto insulting your listeners with hollow talk.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  545. Pat Woolson

    Democratic Party's indebtedness to the trail lawyers has taken malpractice reform totally off the table. The doctors today do not dare not order more tests than needed because of being sued. We need tort reform because it raise everyone's insurance premiums. The penalty to doctors would be losing your medical license a more serious deterrent. Fashion a reform that strips loopholes, POLITICAL favors, payoffs, patronage and other corruption out of the system. Wlth the resulting savings we can truely lower health care. This makes more sense than a 1,000 pages of curlicued complexity employer mandates;, individual mandates, insurance co. mandates; allocation formulas, politial payoffs and other conjured regulations and intervention with a promise that this will lower cost. I WANT TO KEEP MY PERSONAL INDEPENDENCE

    August 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  546. Norman Van Etten

    The Health Care reform bill is on the internet, If the people who are making fools of themslevs at the town hall meetings would read it,
    before they start making outragous claims it would save alot of trouble.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  547. Kathy A. Conrad

    It's obvious the Republicans and lobbyists are ratcheting up the war on health care reform at public meetings around the nation. Their tactics of turning meetings into beatings by way of hostility and near violence is shameful at best and un-American to the core.

    They want to take the next few weeks to make it rough for health care reformists. How much rougher can they make it for the uninsured or for those barely able to pay their health care insurance premiums? How much rougher for the sick and dying?

    There doesn't seem a problem with demanding congressional investigation and control as is pertains to run-away gas and oil costs. And, it's okay for our elected officials to spend months investigating drug-use by baseball players rather than heading off the financial crisis that now grips our nation.

    Just think of the lives that could be saved if the money being spent to dash health care reform were spent on those to desparately need of it.

    I believe what goes around, comes around. Give and elephant enough rope and it will eventually hang itself. That hanging will come in the form of American public voting them out of office.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  548. Pam Price

    My objection to all the wrangling now is that as long as people have health care and are pretty happy with it, they could care less about people without healthcare. My husband had a great job with great insurance and then like with so many others, he had to have neck surgery because of a disease which causes rapid bone degeneration. He lost his job at 57. I went to work again after retirement and the company I worked for approved my husbands last surgery only to not authorize it when my husband was on the operating table. We have not had insurance for almost 10 years–next year my husband will be old enough for medicare and at least he will have insurance.

    Personally I don't know the best answer to lack of healthcare but to those who are at least trying to find a solution–my hats off to you. To the yelling people, and bickering people–shame on you. It takes just a blink of an eye to lose everything and until you are in that space, you will never understand how horribly insecure your life is. And about all the ads on TV for government health care and goverment making the decisions for you–well, my family was in the military and we went to base physicians and hospitals and received great care. Insurance companies are all about denials–that is why they post such overwhelming profits. I think we need to look at the Insurance industry and put some regulations in place.

    Hopefully, the news media including CNN will try to report the issue objectively, and how about talking to middle of the road folks who are trying to get healthcare but can't because it costs in excess of $300 a month. Many of us just can't pay that kind of money.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  549. Ruby Fletcher

    I have kept my mouth shut as long as I can. When I heard Sarah Palins comments on health care I have to respond. It is time before she speaks to the world that she get an education in regards to both the situations in the world, policies of the United States, and indeed the programs of the US.

    I listened to her through out the entire election process, and she spread more lies and misconceptions to the public than any other uneduated individual in the US could possibly come up with. Now in regards to Health Care she is just as uneducated. Many of us are tired of candidates for the US Government being so unreliable. Thank heavens she had the forsight to resign as Govenor of Alaska, now I wish someone would educate her to keep her mouth shut until she goes to college or even High School to get some back ground and education. I know of no other person with such a lack of actual knowledge and understanding in the entire world.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  550. Bruce West from Newport Beach, CA

    For those with insurance the public option would provide this benefit:

    Take home pay might increase. Business owners would not have health insurance rate hikes like in the past because private insurers would be carefull about raising premiums so they don't lose customers to the NEW competition.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  551. Carol H

    What is this noise about being able to choose your doctor or possible denial of service with a National Medical Plan? HMOs and other insurances already have lifetime caps on medical payments, accepted lists of doctors and pre-approval and possible denial of treatments. The details of a National plan haven't been worked out, but how could it be less beneficial than the coverage most people have if they are fortunate enough to have medical insurance? We need an insurance safety net that will include the employed, the unemployed, the working poor, the young, seniors, in-betweens, deserving persons with pre-existing conditions, persons who will get cancer or serious medical problems and persons who pray it will never happen to us–in short we all need medical coverage. And hospitals need a guarantee they will be paid in order to continue to serve us.
    It's time to stop belly-aching and fix those "aching bellies".

    August 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  552. Jenny Wilson

    Heidi,

    I don't know WHAT or WHO to believe – both parties, especially the Republicans have taken so much out of context and lied about what is REALLY in the health care bill...
    for example, nothing is in the bill about the government paying for abortions – but to hear Republicans tell it – government will be paying for abortions with our tax money...I think our representatives owe it to us to tell us the TRUTH – not CONFUSE US! So, what do we do
    about THAT?

    J. Wilson
    San Antonio, Tx

    August 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  553. Karen

    I have three points I would like to express:
    1. I do not want our government involved in anyway with my health care.
    When our government can prove to me that they can manage our mail and teach our children more efficiently than private industry then I will consider letting my government manage my health.

    2. The media and our government should look closely at those who are protesting our government involvement in health care. The generation that is protesting the loudest (baby boomers) is the same generation that protested in the 60’s against the Vietnam War. They are just a passionate today. Grass roots today but given them time — they have experience in organizing a grass roots movement.

    3. I do not defend Sarah Palin’s comment. (Irresponsible)) But, I think maybe she was concerned (as I am) that here son and grandparents under Obama Health Care Plan would not be considered worthy of health care treatment. Obama and his radicals have actually made some comments to this affect when talking about how cost can be reduced.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  554. John Sendlein

    Heidi, – What is needed is a televised debate on Health Care similar to the presidential debates. I believe that the general public is truly interested in this matter and would draw a large TV audience. It should have representatives from both (all) sides and cover all the aspects of the bill including false rumors. In addition it should use backup data to prove the points being made.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  555. Guy Petix

    Perhaps the public could be more receptive on a government health care program if the government could run a $4.00, 30 day supply prescription program like Wal-Mart or other retailers. BABY STEPS….

    August 10, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  556. sean

    We bail out an insurance company then we try to redo the health care industry, why bail out an insurance company when so many americans dont have insurance better yet why bail them out when we are trying to cut them out or are they pulling a Bush on us. Start a war so his buddies can get rich. But this time we give AIG a bunch of money so they cant repay the money cause we're going to cut them out right. Better yet shouldnt we be trying to repay China. The only "CHANGE" I've seen so far is Obamas name now it's Obushma. Of course the Democraps want to keep American's out of the process because POLITICIANS both sides of the aisle dont worry about what dr's they can go to, or the health care of US citizens. Why are politcians making up a scheme to take care of the health care problem shouldnt they be listening to dr.s. ideas. This admin. just like the last one is a joke. We dont even know if Obushma is an american citizen shouldnt that be solved before we let him do any more damage to this country. We as AMERICAN citizen's cant take any more damage. A Former President has done more good in 3 days than this president has done in 8 months. I didnt capatilize President because he hasnt done anything to gain that respect. Atleast Former President Bush did what he said he was going to and thats more than I can say about this one.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  557. Shannon

    My comment is why not ask people who are federally employed how they like their benefits? Or how about congressional members? Sounds like they don't want to give up their benefits!! This should tell all Americans that this is the proof that yes government plans can and should be realized.

    How do we pay for it, well to start quit bailing out the rich guys. Enough of that. What is too big to fail anyway?? That is a big smoke screen that allows corporate greed to continue with outrageous bonuses. No manager should be getting that kind of money!!! Think about taxing those benefits accross the board at 65%, well there you go there is one source to help pay for it. Why not? Don't these managers per say need the labor to continue producing goods and services? They don't accomplish it on their own so they need to suck it up and take it for the team.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  558. rita masek

    My daughter has stage 4 cancer and no insurance. While at a recent chemo session, which is provided by compassionate uncompensated care, a health professional said that one of the Big Insurance co. requires blood work every day even though its not needed every day or they won't pay. Isn't this a waste of money and exactly what Pres Obama is talking about. Routines not needed and charged for.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  559. David B. Kennamer

    Dear Heidi,

    I appreciate that our taxes might have to increase if the government sponsors heath care insurance, but I would also hope that incentives or rebates would be part of the plan to reward individuals who control their own health care needs by reducing health risks in their lives, such as smoking, obesity and illegal drug use.

    There are many adverse life-style choices that people people make and should be held accountable for. We cannot afford a government system (we the people) to sanction and pay for the costs that arise from people's bad behavior.

    Maybe a Peer Court should be part of the plan to review medical claims and determine the level of responsibility for the individual and the government. We need some level of accountability in this plan for those who have not taken reasonable precautions, and worthwhile rewards for those that do.

    Regards,
    David B. Kennamer

    August 10, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  560. Scott

    I have worked for Macy’s for 17 years. I pay $47./ week, that's $202./ month $2444./ a year for health insurance. I owe $8000. in hospital bills for a simple appendectomy. 3 emergency room visits with $2000 deductibles, twice they found nothing wrong. Doctors and labs billed me first, threatening collections after 30 days, making it impossible to set up a payment plan with the hospital. I had to use my charge cards to protect my credit. I still owe and owe and owe for my health care that I pay and pay and continue to pay for. We need health care reform now Scott

    August 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  561. james petry

    Hundreds of people die every day because of either having no insurance or denied coverage. Those who oppose universal health care have blood on their hands.

    You might be happy with your health care now but wait until you get cancer or lose your job, etc. Chances are you’ll change your tune. Wake up!

    August 10, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  562. Ron

    wanted to share my thought on this matter however seeing how long it's taken for us first time home buyers to receive our rebate what's to say or who's to say how long it would take to receive your card or what ever it would take to even be seen by a doctor

    August 10, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  563. james petry

    Why isn't CNN covering the fact that right wing groups are orchestrating these so called protests?

    August 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  564. Judy Berry

    Another Pending Tragedy of our Broken Healthcare System!!

    Economic downturn and Healthcare cuts threaten to take away "Equal Access" for low income elderly to necessary specialized dementia care at Lakeview Ranch in rural MN.

    Lakeview Ranch located in Darwin MN, specializes in caring for the "hard to place" and "high cost" population of elderly with dementia and challenging aggressive behavior. Many of these elderly, have come from a life of repeated discharges from other long term care facilities and dementia units, have been subjected to repeated stays in geriatric behavior hospital or psych units and overmedicated causing these elderly and their families untold trauma & stress.

    I am sure many of you have experienced this first hand.

    2009 Alzheimer's Facts and Figures report healthcare costs for this population (elderly with dementia and significant behavior) are NINE (9) times higher than for elderly without dementia and behavior.

    The Lakeview Ranch Model, focusing on pro-active disease management and prevention using high staff ratios, ongoing specialized training and support of staff, and in house RN coverage, have successfully provided the specialized level of care necessary that meets emotional & spiritual needs of each resident in addition to their physical needs eliminating most challenging aggressive behavior.

    St. Cloud State University research show this model has proven to reduce behavioral hospitalizations by 93.3% while reducing psychotropic medication use by 36.1% in this high risk population.

    This is NOT rocket science!

    Residents at Lakeview Ranch are treated with dignity, their feelings are validated continuously, they are provided choices, and then assisted by loving staff to allow them live out their lives with the highest quality of life possible.

    For the past 10 years Lakeview Ranch has raised scholarship funds through the Dementia Care Foundation to allow them to provide this appropriate level of care to ALL persons regardless of financial ability, meaning low income seniors on Medical Assistance have had "Equal Access" to Lakeview Ranch and their specialized model of care.

    Our current healthcare system, funders & case managers doing assessments for Medical Assistance clients do NOT Recognize, Value OR FUND Pro-active Disease Management and Prevention as an effective way to enhance quality of care while significantly reducing healthcare costs.

    In fact, Lakeview Ranch has had to endure repeated CUTs to low income resident's Medicaid payments simply because they manage to do a better job, and are successful in reducing the aggressive behavior of their residents. Significantly higher payments are available for residents with ongoing aggressive behavior.

    In a nutshell, Under our current Healthcare Delivery System, The better care you provide, by using higher staff ratios of specially trained staff including RN care where warranted AND the more pro-actively you manage and "prevent" other acute medical emergencies that require high cost hospitalizations, ER visits and unnecessary testing, THE LESS YOU GET PAID.

    For more information please contact Judy Berry at 1-800-546-5175 or email her at lakeviewranch@yahoo.com

    August 10, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  565. Bruce

    If the scumbags in congress had to live under the health plan they are proposing for the general populace, maybe they would work together instead of at each others throats. With the exception of the prince's and princeses in congress, we'd all come out ahead.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  566. Frances

    Healthcare reform has been a long time coming. Ask any nurse or doctor and they will agree that having a profit system (insurance and pharmaceutical companies) has hurt the system. Most people don't realize that they have coverage as long as they remain healthy. If you were to become very ill and could not work, your employer would drop you from the policy and even if you managed to stay working, the insurance companies would fight you each step of the way. Down the road when you tried to get medical insurance through a different company, you would have a lot of difficulty because you now have a pre-existing condition. America don't be fooled.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  567. norm murray

    so what has our country come to where the people(congress) who work for you have better benifits than the people they work for .what have we as a nation become to let this happen, and worse .....let it go on.The answer is simple give them the same that we have...problem solved ....and......before vacation..

    August 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  568. Eli

    The video of GA Rep David Scott on the air this morning, misrepresented the circumstances of the meeting. Viewers were led to believe it was another healthcare forum. It was not. Give us the whole truth next time. Very disappointing.

    http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2009/08/10/david-scott-on-a-racial-undertone-in-the-debate-over-health-care-reform/

    Eli Karatassos
    eli@elipk.com
    Savannah, GA

    August 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  569. Bill - Boston

    To me, the only way to decrease costs is to increase competition. People need to have a choice in in their insurance company. I get my insurance through my employer, and I have to have whatever they give to me because I can't afford doing it independently. When I first started we had great insurance. It has gotten progressively worse with every passing year. The first thing I think should happen is to give employees a choice of at least three different companies every year. I think that would go a long way in increasing competition. Secondly, I believe that if someone is denied coverage or dropped after they get sick then someone at the insurance company should face federal felony charges.
    It makes one hell of a business model to only cover healthy people, but that's not really the point, is it?
    Oh yeah, outlawing tobacco, or taxing it ten times as much would be a good thing too.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  570. Glen Collier

    I am a recent kidney donor who just lost my health insurance because during the time of my medical leave of absence the store I work in closed, so now I have no insurance and need follow up appointments. I hope something is passed soon so people like me can have basic health care. I lived in Europe for 7 years and it has been my experience their system works, yes, it's a little more, but you have the option to go wherever there is a doctor, and the best thing about this system is that if you can stay healthy for 3 years, you get your money back. God bless America

    August 10, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  571. Karen

    I am a Canadian citizen. I am not totally versed on all the aspects of your health care system and don't pretend to be. I have heard comments on CNN regarding the health care in Canada being better, I have also seen commercials where Canadians are going south for better health care and their stories. I can say I am middle age, have had 2 children, a few surgeries etc. and not once did any money come directly out of my pocket. My husband needed a quad by-pass and he got one and is now 5 yrs healthy. We pick our own doctors, we have walk-in clinics for after hours or an emergency room for serious situations. We may have long waits for certain procedures to be done but if it's a life and death situation it will be done quickly. Canadians with alot of money and can afford to go Stateside for treatment do so and why not if they can afford it. I have absolutely no issues with our health care system and have always had the necessary care etc. when needed and I had all the say in my doctors, second opinions etc. Sometimes people are just afraid of change. I must say also, these meetings with the angry mobs are really not reflecting the democracy Americans are so proud of.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  572. Melanie - Harrisburg, PA

    Why is so much focus spent on the way Canada does healthcare. Of course we do not want Canadian Healthcare, we want Japanese Healthcare! They cover all their citizens at half the cost the US spends to cover a portion of ours, and they are well over 10 years ahead of the United States in research and development. Japan has it right in almost everything they do, why wouldn't they do healthcare right, lets follow their lead!

    August 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  573. Ken Warren

    I just watched Carville and Bennet debate while Blitzer moderated. It is almost time for me to stop watching CNN all together. Journalists were once renowned for digging for the unvarnished truth but no more. Wolf is a joke as are most of today's journalists.

    Is it because they are just too lazy to dig for the truth? Is it because they do not dare to hold their guests accountable while those guests spew forth their disceptions and lies.

    Americans should be able to get the real truth from journalists. That is their job. It is not their job to just let a couple of TV hounds say whatever they want without bringing forth a little journalistic credibility. It makes me want to puke. Today's journalist are nothing more than overpaid cheerleaders for whomever appears with them on TV. It is very disgusting and should be stopped.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  574. Pat

    I think a lot of the problems at the town hall meetings are due to the fact that people are angry because they feel the government is not being honest about the healthcare reform bill and is trying to ram it through without anyone really knowing what's in it. There is no reason the legislation should contain a thousand pages – why can't they just take more time, shorten the documentation, and let the people really see what it contains? The public option may very well wipe out the private insurance industry – will we then have stories from the media about the out of work insurance employees who cannot pay their mortgages or put their kids through college? Or will this be swept under the rug? Will government officials speak about "retraining" as they did when so many people lost their jobs due to NAFTA – if so, just look at the NY Times article of a week ago speaking about more recently laid-off employees who were never able to recover financially.
    By the way, Sen. Mc Caskill was on TV last week, and she was railing against an insurance company who had paid for six CAT scans.which she thought was excessive.She didn't say what the diagnosis was, or what the time period was. (So the insurance companies get hammered if they don't pay for procedures, and they get hammered if they do.) She was also complaining about ads on TV that say people could get free scooters paid for by Medicare. She seemed to think that this was outrageous – she said that people should be walking around, not riding on scooters. (As though they do this for fun, not because they're disabled or unable to walk without diffiiculty.) So if you think that she seemed really concerned on CNN today about your getting the healthcare benefits you need, you can think again. She just wants the government plan to go through.
    I do think the people at the town hall meetings are speaking on their own, but I think they should tone it down because they weaken their position, and just give the elitists ammunition to use against them. Somehow people only belong to a mob if they oppose liberal proposals. When former Sen. Tancredo was going to speak in Pennsylvania against illegal immigration, he was prevented from speaking. There was no talk of a "mob" then.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  575. Ken Warren

    From Paul Swain:
    "This “Health Care Bill” is not what it seems. This as about quickening our pace to Socialism from a fast walk to a run. Smoke screen, smoke screen, so the truth cannot be seen!"

    Sir, what truth is not being seen? Are you just an ignorant person, or do you really know something that the rest of do not. Given that so many seniors are extremely pleased with Medicare, exactly what is your point? I would be very happy if the entire nation was covered under Medicare. Did you know that there are more bankruptcies in this country due to medical bills than for any other reason? Would you like to throw all of the seniors into a private system without guarantees that they would be covered adequately? What the hell is your beef?

    August 10, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  576. PhilC

    when Obama mis-spoke, he was being attacked by Republicans harshly. He had to be 110% correct all the time.

    When people like Rush, Sarah,... with their big loud months spoke of something dividing the country, it is ok and the media took it as just the other side of opinions.

    Are we seeing discrimination here? It is like Obama is inferior... or a foreigner.

    What country are we in today?

    August 10, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  577. Beverly Karam

    I'm for Health care reform, something needs to be changed in our system,this maybe is just what we need.How many more years do we have to go on and on with this stupity of fighting for good
    healt hcare .
    President Obama is one of our most intelligent president. This health reform is comming from his administration that is as intelligent as we have not seen in more then 8 years.

    August 10, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  578. kevin

    I wish Obama would make it easier to get insurance to pay for treatment in Mexico.If I can't get a final treatment soon so I can walk again I'm gonna be put in a nursing home.It only costs $13,000 per treatment.I'm to young to be in a home.I'm scared what I might do if I'm put in one

    August 10, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  579. Jackson Smith

    Is Dr. Brian Hill a secret racist? Is this why he and the HMOs are teaming up on him? Would he be doing this if Congressman Scott were white? Why the Un-American intimidation towards a blue dog Dem? Is it because he is Black? Why is this white Dr. attacking a Black congressman? We need to know now.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  580. Judy

    About all the agressive challenges to the congresspeople asking if they read the bill and overall atmosphere:

    I would ask those folks in turn if they have ever purchased a home or engaged in any other signifigant investment in or purchase of a business, franchise, etc. and if they read the contract completely by themselves. Probably not. Responsible homebuyers and investors hire an attorney or accountant to read and evaluate those contracts and to advise them of the advantages and/or problems in the language or intent of the proposed legislation.

    Likewise, smart managers and business people will have others evaluate and sumarize proposals and contracts...and so on.

    One Democratic senator at a town hall meeting tried to explain that this is what Congress does. But the shouting mob wouldn't let him be heard. I agree that the congressional staff members who are trained individuals should review, summarize and alert the congresspeople of the content and meaning (both good and bad) of pieces of the bill.

    These folks don't understand how the legislature works (so much for our education system)...bills, sometimes multiple bills and amendments are proposed debated resolved and voted on.

    The folks also don't understand that all of their opinions are being formed by the advertising (good ol' propagana techniques) funded by anti-health care reform...and outright misinformation (lies)... they just mouth the catch phrases Obamacare, socialized medicine, euthanasia, and other catch phrases of the moment. I don't hear any concrete objections with facts (not even from the media...too much hype to slog through)

    From my perspective, I no longer trust the Republicans. Nothing they and their talking heads come up with surprises me. They started out saying they wanted Obama to fail. One very foolish lawmaker actually ended up on tape saying that defeating health care reform with achieve that. The smart ones mouth a desire to work together but mearly do so to string out the process hoping to propagandize and terrorize enough people into blind opposition.

    I hope the Democrats wake up to that reality before health care reform is dead, yet again and again, leaving the USA the only industrialized nation (besides China) that does not offer universal health care.

    The healthcare of the people of our nation should not be traded for profit on the stock exchange.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:21 pm |
  581. Deborah Morrison

    Over the last few days I have watched CNN’s reporting on the town hall meetings regarding the issues of Healthcare, I am very saddened at the responses of your citizens. Shonia Holmes does not speak for all Canadians. She does not speak for my retired mother when she had breast cancer 2 years ago and received excellent treatment. She does not speak for my brother-in-law who had quadruple bypass 2 weeks ago and is doing wonderfully. Nor does she speak for my 14 daughter who had a deadly food allergy last summer and was treated immediately at the emergency. What speaks volumes for me is the fact that my family members are alive and doing very well today because of the system we do have.
    The greatest tragedy in the US is not that the world dislikes you, but that you dislike yourselves.
    Wake-up America and take care of your people.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  582. C. Risch

    The Administration is promoting and Congress is drafting a healthcare program for everyone, but they get to keep their own special program. If their proposals are so good, then why do they exclude themselves? This is a hypocritical and illogical approach. I will not trust the Administration or Congress until they put themselves on the same program as everyone else.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  583. Deb Burks

    I was hoping for Medicare for all.

    Insurance, where there are rooms full of people, whose job it is to deny claims and who search for the slightest "pre-existing" condition in order to cut sick people from their rolls should not be between a person and their healthcare.

    The President is asking for a strong "public option", which is not a single payer system, but at least will allow anyone in this country to have healthcare.

    The public option will reduce our healthcare costs. It will allow businesses to be more competitive. It will save lives. It will prevent tens of thousands of foreclosures a year. It will give people with a pre-existing condition healthcare coverage.

    Since a single payer plan does not seem to be a viable option then a public option is necessary.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  584. MaryFran Potts

    I am a 66 year old widow, mother of four, grandmother of seven.  My husband died of pancreatic cancer 5 years ago.  While he was dying, we both spent hours and days fighting with his insurance company to cover all the tests he needed.  They refused.  The last month of his life I was able to put him on my retired teacher's insurance policy.  He had dropped out of that previously because it was so expensive.  He was a small business owner who felt obligated to cover his employees and couldn't afford my more expensive policy.  Insurance executives make health decisions for us now.  I know because I wrote many letters and begged for help. 
    I have a son who lived in Canada while getting his Masters Degree. He, his wife and daughter were covered under Canadian health care.  They had a baby while living there and the whole family received excellent care.  He now lives in Austria and has a third child.  The health care system there covers everyone and no one worries about quality of care or cost.  
    I am not suggesting we in the U. S. adopt Canadian or Austrian healthcare and reformers here, especially President Obama who spoke about it today, are not either. Congress is trying very hard to listen to all doctors and patients.  The congressman who first proposed counseling for end of life decisions was a Republican.  Having a living will which is what that decision is about was also advocated by President Bush.  It in no way requires anyone to agree to less care as they age.
    I spent my life working with handicapped children as a Special Education teacher. I have a Masters Degree in Severe Profound and Autism.  Believe me if I thought anyone in the administration would not fight for the life of a Downs Syndrome child, I would be on a bus to D.C. tomorrow.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  585. Gary J Makuch

    Dear Heidi:

    Members of Congress, the health care industry, (we all need to remember that health care is a” business”, a multi – billion dollar one at that) and the general public have been fully aware of the problems with health care delivery system, the exorbitant and escalating costs, inefficiencies, lack of coverage for millions of Americans, different standards of care based on geography, race and/or economic status, etc, etc, for more than two decades. We finally have a president that has the moral courage to insist on reform NOW! I agree wholeheartedly. If congress walks away from taking action once again, as they have done so many times in the past, future generations of Americans will be saddled with health care problems that are even worse than those we are experiencing today. Those who think that we should let everything up to the “free market” system seem to have developed amnesia ( a recognized medical condition) regarding the consequences of leaving the country’s financial system in the hands of the “free market” system. If nothing is done to reform, and yes, regulate the health care industry it is likely that the same thing will happen as happened to the financial system, total collapse.

    Here’s hoping that congress will have the moral courage to do the right thing. Pass health care reform NOW!

    Gary J. Makuch

    August 10, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  586. Deb

    The republican party controlled our government for six of the eight years GW Bush was president. In this time period NOTHING was done to improve the situation of health care in this country. The reason – THEY DON"T CARE! They believe that health care is not a necessity, but a privilege. Maybe when you receive a substantial salary and free health insurance, it is hard to understand how the other half lives. So instead of working to provide reform they choose to turn to the "scare tactics" that have become the foundation of the republican party. Shame on them!!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  587. RandyW

    My son and his wife lost a perfeclty healthy looking little baby boy at 23 weeks – my son watched his baby 'die' as it's heart beat, beat and after what seemed hours stop. The baby died in his arms. Doctors/insurance here will not consider saving a 23 week old live born baby. At least that is what the dotors told us at the time.

    I have found out that in Sweden babies between 22-26 have a 70% survival rate. At 22 weeks a one in ten chance of living, and at 23 they have a 53% chance of making it, in Sweden. They have universal health care without insurance middle men. My figures come from the following article and study.
    http://www.stjohn.org/HealthInfoLib/swArticle.aspx?6,627664

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  588. Brian Freeman

    There will never be a compromise on health care, because all sides of the arguments are wrong:

    –Pharmaceutical companies think that 1000% profits are acceptable. Most of the medical industry feels the same, and wish for the same target. Free-Market absolutists will defend them - even if their loved ones die for lack of medical care because of it.

    –Doctors enjoy the facade that they are superior to their patients, rather than working with their them as fellow human beings. They demand top income - even if they never read a medical journal after graduating from college And they will never police themselves for the incompetence of their peers, even though they suffer the consequences of their incompetence.

    –Patients expect Doctors to be perfect, and never make mistakes. They refuse to accept any responsibility for their own health by educating themselves, much less ACTING to improve their health. They want the best care in the world - for themselves and everyone else - but don't feel they should be expected to pay for it.

    –Above all, our desperate belief that the number of our living years has absolute priority over the quality of those years. ...Which enables "all of the above" to hold our health care hostage to the highest bidders, with great rewards.

    Until we all have sane ideas about life, health, responsibility, and humanity - there will be no solutions.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  589. Katrina

    I watch these morons at the town hall meetings & just shake my head at their fear & outrage. They are being manipulated by neocons & big pharma & too stupid to realize it. It is just unbelievable. I have friends and have lived in Japan, France, Canada & England & their system works. Canada named their free health care system 'Medicare' after ours. I have been to doctors in those countries & treated with respect, kindness & patience. I have never experienced that here. Back in the States, when visiting my hometown I was actually called a socialist. When I asked these people if they have refused Medicaid or Medicare, they looked at me like I was crazy. I am dumbfounded by the lack of critical thinking by mainstream Americans. My friends overseas didn't understand Americans' attitude until I explained to them that Americans don't like people. Not really. They feel no connection to the poor. When there's an emergency, they'll jump in & help then forget about it later. We are an individualistic society lacking compassion. "Sharing the wealth" is a dirty thing. That's the bottom line. I am so relieved I'm moving permanently out of this country soon. It's too much to take. We will never have free health care in this country.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  590. Najeweh

    It's a shame that americans have allowed themselves to be brainwashed and are acting out against fair rights to have insurance. They're worried about socialism when they are promoting classism. They are practicing keeping others out according to a specific characteristic grouping; no insurance because you may have the same benefits that I have and perhaps I'll have to pay for it. Medicare is government managed but they don't get that. We get what we want to get and what is shameful is most of the protesters against are probably christians.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  591. thomas c cruz

    spread the word… dont let small well organised groups of fanatical republicans influence your opinions on obama. Obama is doing exactly what us democrats elected him to do so we go on with our lives. as for the republicans they are taking online polls, and phone polls in with thier disapproval. and numerious news stations are using BIASED! polls in a manipulative manner against people of high positions, and should take a deep hard look at what they are doing. and see that the "tea party-town hall bashers" obviously didnt vote for obama so why give them attention, then Mothers and Fathers dying of cancer that are refused medical insurance for pre condition... people should think more about others then themselves, i would rather pay a higher tax, if i knew that no one with cancer would be turned away for treatment... HUGS to all you with Cancer, be strong. we hear about your stuggles, and are trying to help. Go DEMS! Go Obama!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:04 pm |
  592. Gregg

    Health Care is not a constitutional right. Those who work should not be required to pay for those who do not work. Congress shouldn't be passing this type of health care reform – and taking the country deeper into socialism. It would be far better for them to spend their time regulating the health care industry to improve the quality of care and also limiting the lawsuit awards in cases where the medical professionals did the best that they could.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  593. sheila zito

    I am 100% behind the Health Care Reform Bill. To not be, is to me,
    being a poor citizen and poor Christian. We are responsible for those
    who have less than we. Taxes should be kept to what can be deemed
    our fair share. But, until all are taken care of in this great nation we
    are all failures. Our responsiblities are to serve one another. We need to learn to take care of our land, our nation, and certainly our
    fellow citizens. The greatest thing we can do for our children is take the steps necessary to insure the land and nation will be there for
    them. A shortage of doctors in Canada causes long waits, especially in small towns and distant areas. There will always be some who are
    not happy. We need to do something now. Those who go to these
    town-hall type meetings seem to have been fed a lot of misinformation, and yet are not open to the truth. Our truly hope, for
    once, Representatives in both Houses of Congress are brave enough
    to put away their own aspirations and vote for what is truly needed to
    lead out country down a better path. One with justice and equality.
    Even a 60 yr. old woman in McCalla, AL. has this figured out. To our elected officials please do what is right for all, to those opposed to
    this bill, EDUCATE yourself.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  594. Kristin

    I'm curious, why is there never mention of the similarities between this health care proposal and the Australian health care system? Australia has been successful with a private and public option for the past few decades and they have adapted to make it better as the year's progress and I don't hear them frightened to death that it will become single payer and that the government will take over their country.

    I wish the people who are so against this proposal would not just listen to what they want to hear – open their minds, do some research on how this might actually make things better, not just shut out the ideas and listen only to the paranoia they are being fed. I fear that they will only realize the sense behind this health care reform when it involves themselves – when they lose their job, or god forbid suffer from an illness that racks up their medical bills. The ignorance is astounding. Nobody is invincible.

    I am trying hard to open my mind to the other side but waiting, unsuccessfully, for someone who is against it to convince me that health care reform and a public option is a bad thing and that we shouldn't support our fellow countrymen like most of the civilized countries in this world do. I would love to hear a proper, dignified debate over this. Facts only.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  595. Mary

    What is in this healthcare reform that is so wrong when congress, senate, and obama don't want it!

    August 10, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  596. Mary

    AARP is not our friend! United Healthcare right now PAYS AARP to use their logo. Have you checked out how much medicare supplement is through United Heathcare? If I choose a medicare supplement and pay $188.00 a month, I still have to pay $97.00 a month to medicare and cannot even use the medicare coverage. So, I am paying $97.00 a month for medicare insurance that I cannot even use! What's wrong with this picture?

    August 10, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  597. Michelle in CA

    There have been a number of people post that we should wait and get it right. We've been waiting since FDR, since Truman, since Clinton.....

    Yeah.... let's wait some more. Why don't we wait until another few million fall of the health insured rolls. Why don't we wait until they are THE majority. Then try to stop THEM from instituting nationalized health care.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  598. andy

    There needs to be real debate on health care. Both sides are only shouting out their talking points. We lack even a good definition of what adequate health care should provide. Only when we have that can we begin to talk about a legal frame work to regulate insurance providers.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 am |
  599. Adam Rosenbloom

    In America, capitalism fosters a dog-eat-dog mentality.

    All German workers pay about 8 percent of their gross income to a nonprofit insurance company called a sickness fund. Their employers pay about the same amount. Workers can choose among 240 sickness funds.

    Basing premiums on a percentage-of-salary means that the less people make, the less they have to pay. The more money they make, the more they pay. This principle is at the heart of the system. Germans call it "solidarity." The idea is that everybody's in it together, and nobody should be without health insurance.

    11% of the population has for-profit health insurance which entitles policy holders to private hospital rooms when they get sick.

    All the American opera singers who have steady contracts in German opera houses prefer the German health insurance system over the American one. WIthout a doubt.

    We, in America should adopt such a system.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:28 am |
  600. beverly

    The American public has gone insane! For decades, we've been crying out for health care reform. For decades we have been sharing medical horror stories...there is no one who doesn't have them. Even I, who have great helath care for which i am very grateful, have had some astonishing medical experiences. And yet now that there is a president who is committed to changing the way we do health care in this country, the voices of fear rise loudly in hysteria. Is change so scary that we cannot have intelligent debate? Is it so scary that the voices of fear, like rabid dogs tearing and snarling at each other, are able to drown out all reason leaving only a carcass in their wake? Is this what we've come to? I'm appalled. And saddened. Who do people think makes their health care decisions now? We're already at the mercy of beurocrats! Wake up! When Bush was re-elected, i thought, "ok, maybe this is what this country really deserves. Maybe we really aren't very smart." So last year there was finally a shift, we elected someone smart and dedicated, and now we don't trust him...and, by default, we con't trust ourselves! Face it people, if we don't have some serious change, we're going to be in even deeper trouble. Sure, let's have debate and sure, question it all. But please let's do it sanely and with the long-term big picture in mind. We all deserve better.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:31 am |
  601. Pablo Castilla

    I do not understand you, American People.

    You are in the biggest economy, you are expending lot of money in healthcare and you have a horrible system comparing to poorer countries like mine: Spain. That sounds american? I thought you always want to be the best

    Don't you think that universal healthcare gives equal oportunities and makes a country better? should people die because of the money? Believe me, I have not think in healthcare in my whole life, I know I have a good one and I will be in treatment without worring about the costs.

    You are being late in the reform!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 3:48 am |
  602. ZARDOZ

    For the record. I rather like the term 'Socialized-Capitalism' to describe the United States.

    "Society (via taxpayers) provides subsidies (corporate welfare) for all sorts of companies — profitable Big Oil and Big AgriBiz concerns (and the Banking Bailouts) come immediately to mind. Some would argue that the Federal Reserve itself is something of a socialist institution." (Miranda Marquit, 2008)

    As I see it, if the taxpayers are always called upon to provide CORPORATE Welfare to aid failing banks or insure windfall tax breaks to Standard Oil & favor the Drug industry, why not create something that's critically important to Americans most of whom dole out all the cash in the first place.

    It's time the government create SOCIAL Welfare that really helps the middle class/taxpayer. A Government Health Insurance program to be there in time of need and in time of future need. If it's the money, then be real 'capitalists' & cut all business subsidies & bailouts.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:42 am |
  603. sharon

    Wonder what i said that my comment wasn't posted?

    Was it that being an RN for 20 yrs., I know that there is rationing right now with insurance? Was it that the MD and I have asked approval for tests for cancer pts and was denied? I even cried and asked the reviewers "what if this were your mother?"

    Maybe because I said that I no longer have insurance, because do to personal health issues i cannot work and insurance through my husband would be between $700-$900+/mo. and would be equal to a mortgage payment. That I'm not looking for a handout, that my husband and I have contributed to society and social security for 25+ yrs. and after trying to get insurance privately, I have now cost myself getting any insurance at all because of pre-existing conditions.

    Maybe because I said that calling people extremists is only what they call themselves, check Face Book under Right Wing Extremists?
    I read with interest the gentleman who posted just before myself yesterday at 10:42 am. he is a fisherman in Alaska and the fishereman have been trying to get coverage for themselves and that the former Governor was no help at all.

    We all need coverage, it's the Christian and right thing to do isn't it after all?

    August 11, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  604. Vance

    Every member of congress should be required to have same insurance that public has not seperate insurance. Then we would know they had their heart in it.

    Vance

    August 11, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  605. Franco

    The politics of fear of the republican party are at works again. I can't believe the people screaming at the town hall meetings, like this plan is going to kill them, and then we have the clown Palin talking about death panels and evil. Remains me of the inquisition times where people were so blind due to polarization.

    Today we are at the hands of 'profit panels' where the priority is to make money and not to provide the best health care possible. Ridiculous when we are in the most advance and wealthiest nation in the world.

    A non government, not for profit structure will be the best for patients health. For all those illiterate polarized republicans, not for profit means that the shareholders will not make profit, but doctors and other employees will have the same benefits or better than today, so they will have the same drive to provide the best health care possible.

    Also, illiterate polarized people, debate means you listen to the person talking and then you ask questions or argue. Remember, my right for freedom of speech ends when I deny your right for freedom of speech. Not letting someone else speak is not in the constitution or in any amendment.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  606. juanita

    I have video on you tube it's called health care to go to the doctor. I have it on there so everyone in America can come together and say to congress that Americans just want to go to the doctor. We all need to come together and stand up for the Americans that can't afford or even get any type of health insurances. If we have the best medical treatments in the world shouldn't all Americans have ability to use it? Please watch this video on YouTube if you can show it on your program.
    Thank you

    Juanita fountain

    August 11, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  607. David

    Hi Heidi,

    It's good to see people getting so worked up about health care reform or health care insurance reform. The back and forth clash of concerns is at the very heart of our democracy. I hope though that some important pts or messages are not getting lost in the impassioned advocacy on both sides.

    Here are some thoughts.

    Health insurance companies making profits is not all bad. These companies make a profit, pay their employees, provide medical insurance coverage for their policy holders, and pay taxes. From the stand point of funding, they are coming up with the money to help people and hopefully start extending coverage. ( to those with pre-existing conditions, for example, or just improving coverage paying for more preventative care for instance). Furthermore, many people on Medicare also carry private insurance as part of their retirement benefits, so as good as Medicare is, and it is good, it is being helped by private insurance. This is not to ignore or deny that insurance companies need reform, but it is to say there is a positive side to private health insurance.

    The health care system in this country is good. It's true my knowledge comes from experience with providers and hospitals locally, but I see that doctors, and specialists, hospitals, and hospitalists are coordinating and consulting with eachother intensely. I am not seeing the duplication of testing that others mention. My guess is the regional groups of doctors and practices are moving to prevent repeated tests when they are not needed and to better communicate with their patients' various physicians.

    Also, I see that hospitals are working to improve patient safety by bringing patients and their families and people supporting them into the assessment, consultation, and treatment process. This is something you discussed with your Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen as an empowered patient segment, and those empowered patient segment and other such medical segments on CNN have been very helpful to me as a family member being treated for an illness and then an injury, but I think it's important to note the working on patient safety gets at the root causes of mistakes in hospitals resulting in law suits. This is energy that is there waiting to be tapped.

    Having said all of that, as someone who has been uninsured now for several years, I can tell you there is a tendency to put off treatment or exams, even when you have the funds to pay for them, because they are rather expensive. And, that having a regular family doctor or internist is better than going to low cost clinics, or urgent care walk in offices. I have received good care, though, at an urgent care walk in clinic. There is a bit of doctor shopping, and building of a physician patient relationship that one has to do. The point is that President Obama has, I feel a good point when he talks about getting people insured so that they have access to care and so would be more prepared to see a physician sooner and thus receive treatment sooner and up their chances of preventing illnesses or catching them when they are easily treatable.

    Also, you truly do have to be on it when you or a loved one goes to the hospital or is in treatment.

    I do agree with others on this thread who point out that CNN could give us a better summary of the plans before congress. Maybe the reporting should begin from the summaries of those bills.

    Sorry for the long post, Heidi, I just want to get some of these comments into the discussion.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  608. Scared Kathleen

    As Americans were suppose to value life and try to give everyone a equal chance to life. LEAVE MEDICARE ALONE!!!!!! If you want to improve health care take a look at Canada. Protect the sick and elderly. Money shouldn't have anything to do with who lives and who dies.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  609. John Mark Miller

    I am a retired/disabled employee of the Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation. I worked in the Technical Department's by product facility namely I was involved in the processing of tall oil and the collection of turpentine. Tall oil is is a known carcinogen and so are many of the chemicals used in the preparation thereof. Also asbestos insulation was used to a very large extent on the lines and pipes in the tall oil area. In the late 80s I had to work in the area while the asbestos was being replaced. The contractors doing this work wore special clothing to protect them from the asbestos, I was not even advised that the work would be done and was not provided with any protective gear. In 1993 I was retired from the pland due to stage 4 lung cancer and given a paltry $360/month pension plus Social Security Disability Benefits. Back in 2002 I received a letter from Stone that should my company provided health insurance lapse I would lose it forever, that it would be non-reinstateable. Two months later my retirement pay was cut off due to a mistake making payment of the insurance premiums impossible. I lost my health insurance. I worked very hard for my company completely, studying chemistry and revamping the tall oil preparation process that saved the company nearly $4 million/year at the time. Of the people that worked in tall oil back then all have contracted cancer, 50% are dead. We were not told that tall oil was a carcinogen until just before I got sick and subsequently retired.

    Right now all I have is Medicare through the SSA. I was recently prescribed heart medications that I just could not afford. How can people think the health care system is not broken?
    John Miller

    August 11, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  610. williemaetruelove

    I am a Canadian citizen who was born in the U.S. I am considered still a citizen of the U.S and it bothers me that there is so much resistence to a universal health care plan in my country of birth. I am saddened by the language used to discribe Canadian health care. I have never had to worry about losing my home or becoming distitute before I get quality health care.The fear of socialism in the US is ungrounded. A mixture of capitolism and socialism makes for a humane system of government. I also notice that Cnn's reporting of the townhall meetings about health care tends to favour the side of those who are against a health care plan. I listened this morning,to a report and noticed that the news crew cut off the only person who seemed to be able to explain the positive side of the universal health care issue. Is cnn opposed to health care reform or is simply tthat the opponents of the reform get better ratings for the net work. I really am interested in hearing the answer to that question and also in understanding why in the wealthist country in the world over forty million of its' citizens have no health care plan. I can not believe that their voices are being heard in this debate. Just let a high middle class person or family have a chronically ill child who requires serious health care and they will probably join the ranks of those millions who have no voice or recourse when health issues overwhelm them . I prey that some health care plan will be enacted for the benefit of all the citizens of the U.S. It is the right of every citizen to pursue happiness but how can you aspire to happiness if the fear of losing everything because medical expenses overwhelms you. Serious illness can strike anyone, a car accident can leave a person seriously injured and a child can be born with an illness that will require medical care for a long time. I know because it happened to my grand daughter but thank God, I live in Canada as does my family and she received the best of care. Oh, by the way, our health care is not free, we do pay higher taxes than citizens of the U.S. But, I think we get good value for our tax dollars when you factor in our health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  611. Marilyn from Gaithersburg, MD

    "The Democrats are PAINTING THE INSURANCE COMPANIES AS THE BAD GUYS???!!!" (about 9:05 am)

    How about a little unbiased reporting?

    Are the insurance companies paying her, too?

    This issue is TOO important to allow anything but the truth to be aired. Please don't allow any propaganda or slanted comments to be part of your news. If this debate was limited to facts, and only facts, there would be no debate. Everyone outside of the health industry would want reform.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  612. Linda

    The healthcare reform does not cover those who are using the healthcare system without insurance. There are those that can't afford healthcare, those that refuse to pay for healthcare and illegal immigrants. Across this country thousands of hospitals have had to close and many in areas that are impacted greatly by illegal immigrants. If healthcare reform is to work then we have to deal with the above.
    Right now we are paying for all of these people and changing the system doesn't address it. We need to fix the things that are broken and not break what works

    August 11, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  613. R.E. Dalmeida

    The woman you interviewed at the free-healthcare site in LA is a prefect example of what is wrong with our country. This woman has two jobs, but does not want to pay for "glasses, teeth cleaning or a pap". These same people to go to movies, restaurants, eat fast foods, take vacations, etc., etc. So they have the money, but they want healthcare for free or for someone else to pay for it so they don't have to. This person should not be included with those that are really in need.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  614. Melanie

    Just a note – when mentioning the free health care going on today in Inglewood, CA – you may not want to use the word "RURAL".

    Inglewood is in the heart of Los Angeles – 9.1 square miles with over 129,000 people – surrounded by the L.A. city populace of over 12.9 million residents.

    If there are tons of people showing up for free health care, then it is probably best to stay away from the "rural" word when mentioning Inglewood. Just sayin'.....

    August 11, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  615. Phillip McCallum

    I look at all the screaming about health care reform. People worried about middle class or socialism,Wall Street / Main Street and of course where is the money going to come from all concerns are valid. Being a 52 yo Veteran on disabilty trying to raise 6 children btwn 4 and 17 I hear no one talking about the SIDE STREET just Main and Wall St. I cant seem to find that corner on Google Earth.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  616. Michelle

    Heidi,

    I've been meaning to send this for awhile, but the healthcare debate has motivated me to action in a number of ways... so this is a good time to tell you what an exemplary journalist I think you are. To be honest I am a bigger fan of Fox than I am of CNN, but there are a few of you on CNN that I think are the "gold standard" of journalistic professionalism (others I can think of are Dana Bash and Lou Dobbs). You and Dana are at the top of that list, perhaps even moreso than anyone on Fox.....because I have absolutely no idea what your political persuasion is. You and Dana are always so squarely down the middle and seemingly "agenda free" that I have no idea what your personal beliefs are – and that's how it should be. Outstanding job. Keep up the good work, and please continue to be a great role model for other journalists.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  617. gloria lewis

    I wish this would all go away america is so busy stressing themselves over everthing that in itself is making them need healthcare .I do not have healthcare do not care about healthcare .I am from an island that has free healthcare people might not like the government system but they are thankful for it .If they dont like it go pay for what they want .I have never met a set of selfish selfcentered ungrateful brainwash people like the people here . If they are hugry they are not grateful if someone give them a sanwich they want to pick the kind of sanwich .
    Wake up people people all around the world have less but they have life the tv have the people totally brain wash .I just came back from the islands i stayed at my families house me my fiance and 19 year old son. There were 3 neices 3 nephews 2 sister plus my three ,on weekend my other sister and brother plus 2 more nephews i neice and my sister in law ,thats how many 12 – 17 people at one time a 6 bedroom house in a poor neighbourhood .No hot water ,no air condition 1 bathroom and shower .Guess what i was sick to my stomach leaving .To see my family do not have much but they have life they are happy everyone in the neighbourhood is so friendly .Then i have to come back and watch people who have more and are miserable sick depressed and unhappy . I am so grateful for my culture it keeps my feet on the ground . It also allows be to be grateful for whatever little blessings i have .I am willing tot get the public perspective on the healthcare if you want to see how they fell . Like i say we have both plans .

    August 11, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  618. Steve Dallas, Tx

    Heidi,

    Just a little accromym for you. Many Americans are saying this is socialism so how about this ?

    GRIP = Government Run Insurance Program
    There's an accronym for everything else govenment does, why not this?

    Steve

    August 11, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  619. Judith

    Things in my country aren't perfect,but as I watch the unfolding news of health care in your country,I'm very appreciative of where I live.I pray that things will work out for all involved.The responses of some people in your country however does not make a great impression on your country,especially when the rest of the world is constantly hearing what a great country the USA is.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  620. matt

    no wonder americans are the most hated people in the world they are so arrogant and so nieve hpoefully it wont be long before canada realizes this and pulls our troops out let the retards steal oil and sell it to someone else american cowards get the canadians to go in first were tired of loosing men because they want to steal oil and sell it to us if our men are getting killed for it we should be selling it to the american retards

    August 11, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  621. Patricia Abrams

    Re: Health care for illegal immigrants. Is the government going to make pregnant illegals have their babies in ditches?

    August 11, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  622. Charles

    Why are members of congress moderating thier own townhall meetings? Senator Specter's format is making him look like a bad talk show host. These townhall meetings should have an impartial moderator and members of congress should respond to questions and provide commentary through the moderator. Maybe such a fomat would promote a more civil discourse.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  623. amy - illinois

    Hipocracy – on TV......Arlan Specter is currently engaged in a town hall meeting and just indicated he is open to the idea of keeping all options open and yet the true free market options are totally out of the eqation. Yes there are problem but the solution is not to create a more powerfull nebulus and controlling body to compete with the market from the top down. More government is not the solution more openness is the solution and if all options are on the table be serious.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  624. Marie Santomauro

    I believe that doctors prescribe many expensive medical tests to protect themselves against malpractice claims. What about the limit to malpractice compensation – I have not heard anything about this.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  625. Andrea Faught

    Why does CNN morning news give much more airtime covering the complaints and actions of those who are opposed to health care reform?
    Every morning I watch endless footage of these protestors, but see very little footage of citizens on the other side of the argument – those in favor of reform – giving their perspectives on the need for reform. I hope that CNN will start to show more balanced news coverage soon.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  626. Andrea Faught

    For all those who are opposed to health care reform, and uses or know someone who uses Medicare, I ask that you give up your Medicare "option" immediately. It only makes sense.

    Also, it is appalling that so many people – many who call themselves christians – are so selfish, unwilling to give at all in order to help another person who is desperately in need, with nowhere to turn.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  627. Ines

    Hello again,
    the one thing it seems is that everybody thinks that this 1018 page bill is already to be passed. In fact it is not, it is a proposal.
    In its current form no one in the House or Senate will vote for it, that is why it is still being tweaked.
    Everybody is very strong and solid on their point of view.
    My view is still, we need health care reform, but it is more along the line of fixing the health insurance companies which is controlling our health care right now.
    I commend President Obama for starting this debate and do not think he wants just anything shoved down our throats, but I do understand him wanting something done. Yes he gave a time frame to which I say good for him, because he probably knows if he didn't this will still be just discussed in 10 years from now with nothing done.
    Thanks,
    Ines, CO

    August 11, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  628. Kelly, Austin, TX

    In watching Senator Specter's townhall you can't help but think, "Where do these people get their information." I have never seen such ignorance and misinformation fall out of the mouths of the people who were suppose to be asking questions. No wonder health reform is so hard to achieve. With this depth of ignorance, any reform is a pipe dream. The town hall format has been hijacked by the right and the lies they are bating their constituents with. Shame

    August 11, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  629. W.M. Jr

    I'm watching the live town hall meetings on healthcare and I am ashamed of what I see. Politically, we have truly evolved into a Jerry Springer democracy. No wonder people around the world have such a low opinion of us. Maybe we should focus on educating the ignorant instead of keeping them healthy?

    August 11, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  630. Debra

    agree with President Obama that we need reform NOW. If we do nothing and continue the status quo, then ouur healthcare premiums will continue to rise and our medicae/medicaid system will go broke. So, if you like your health care provider/insurance company then KEEP IT. I don't agree on insuring illegals with our tax dollars. Wake upAmerica, now is your chance to have afordable healthcare for ALL.
    We need reform now.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  631. Alison Drew

    I am a 21 year old college student currently living in New York City. My family is middle class, and my parents provide the funding for my monthly rent. I pay for my tuition using student loans, and am currently waitressing my way through school. I ride my bike from brooklyn to manhattan for school and work every day because I cannot afford to buy a metrocard due to the rise in subway fares. Because I have to work to support myself for food and bills, it is impossible for me to take on anything more than a 12 credit course load. Also, because one of my necessary classes devoted to my major is only 2 credits instead of 3, I was told by my family's health insurance company that 11 credits instead of 12 means I am not a "full time" student, and therefore I am currently uninsured. Since my job is based primarily on tips, I do not make enough money in order to afford my own health coverage. I do not drink or do drugs, and I have no criminal records. I am an upstanding citizen of the US and I believe I deserve to have health care in case something were to happen. Does it not say in the Declaration of Independence "that all men are created equal"? I feel that I deserve the same health coverage as anybody else in this country. I believe healthcare IS a right because in the Declaration we have the right to "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." How can we have life without healthcare? How can we pursue happiness with the stresses of not knowing how to pay for good health?

    August 11, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  632. mccowan

    Some of these people participating in Senator Specter’s town hall meeting are so incredibly ignorant. People at this level of intelligence should NOT be determining our healthcare future or steering this important debate.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  633. Donald Howard Smith

    Why are you accentuating the negative? Why keep harping on the "fireworks"? Does it increase your ratings if that is the case?

    I recognize that you are supposed to be reporting the news, but do you have to hype it?

    August 11, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  634. Dyanne Earley

    Deara Heidi-

    I think with the exception of the one outburst, Senator Spectors town hall was pretty much orderly. I'm not sure why you are calling it an angry meeting. People have different views, but that's part of the process.

    Don't read something in to it that isn't there.

    Dyanne Earley

    August 11, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  635. John Sanders

    These town meetings are just the begining. I believe that before this is over, people, black and white, will be in the streets! The American people have had enough of stuff being ram rodded dow their throats!!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  636. Kari

    On healthcare: the contract I wasn working on was stopped in January and I've been out a job since Feb 1. I was covered on UHC for February, but that ended in March. COBRA was the option I was offered to continue with UHC at $350/mo for just COBRA – 14 of my unemployment! So I had no health care from March through May. Then I received an offer from COBRA that the government would subsidize my insurance and I would pay roughly $100/mo. I took that offer, received my UHC card, went to the doctor and got my prescriptions. In June and July, I received a bill from UHC to get paid for March, April and May to continue on COBRA – I was not even covered those months, so why should I pay for them.

    At this point I don't know if I have health insurance or not. One day I receive a letter that I am covered, then the next I get a letter that says I'm not. If I call UHC I get one answer, if I call COBRA I get another.

    With UHC making 800B in profit, I really do not want to continue to deal with such crooks again. They can make their blood money off someone else!

    I want single-payor similar to France or Germany!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  637. amy - illinois

    The Democratic and Republican leaders (yes president Obama included ) are displaying hypocrisy with no limits .
    It was Obama who said " get in there faces and question them) – Were going to punch back twice as hard – the republicans just NEED TO GET OUT OF THE WAY....
    The Republican leaders just trying to kill the bill for any reason is just absurdity.

    Obama is dictating the absurd - pass a bill now - even though that bill does not exist in any reasonable form, furthermore he's saying trust me I will not sign a bill that does meet my requirements. Those requirements are obtuse and unclear.
    With all due respect, even if you truly trust Obama do you trust congress who so far has been developing a bill without transparency and openness and bipartisan that Obama said he would make sure happens. This is the same congress who added 2 jets to a defense appropriations bill ( just because ????) at a time when everyone is tightening their belts and limiting their spending. The same congress who over the last years ( republican and democratic majorities ) pilfered away the so called medicare trust fund and now want to establish 1 or 4 or 5 (HR 3200) trust funds. Give Me a break !
    Is the yelling rude, uncivilized, counter productive YES YES YES
    IT's absolutely real ! Orchestrated on not it doesn't matter. This whole process has been schizophrenic and anything but open? The yelling is further provoked by indicating those involved are pawns ? They just want to be heard and so far have had no other platforms.
    Just a concept for all those supporters who want a government plan to compete with the free market look at the consequences of Fannie May and Freddie Mac . The housing market and banking crisis was strongly influenced because the free market had to compete with the government plan.
    Government plans should be only short term, or for catastrophic or for chronic illnesses. Look at Illinois medicaid the emergency rooms have a high number of visits from people WITH government insurance because of limited access and because of convenience. People need to be held accountable.
    Open reasonable debate without the pressure to pass anything ( good or bad ) and inclusion of the public in the actual process as opposed to being told how the government is going to effect their lives will stop the yelling.

    I thought the government to represent the will of the people and not to tell the people what the government will represents for them.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  638. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Heidi:
    From the way they ask their questions, it is obvious the people asking Senator Specter questions are not interested in healthcare debate, they ramble around and cannot when they can't come to ask their question, they ask about Guantanamo Bay, Immigration, the President's middle name, and anything but healthcare questions. I don't know who but I think it was FDR when he said, "democracy requires an educated electorate" The reason why American democracy is going down the toilet is because there are a lot of illiterates and half – educated illiterates in the country. They are a bunch of rednecks. They can't, or won't read the bill, but are willing to listen to demoagogues who will say anything to exploit their illiteracy. READ FOR YOURSELVES PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  639. Elliott

    Many of the people at the town hall meeting in Lebanon, PA seem angry and bigoted to me. Apparently the room is full of Republicans and there isn't a single person of color in the room. Many of the comments express extreme views about the motivation of our government and the questioners seem to have little tolerance for people who are not like them. The fear on display is irrational in my opinion. When they scream that "they want there country back," and I hear how they refer to President Obama, it all sounds like code for don't let that black man and his kind take over our (meaning white folk's) country. The term "Ugly American" certainly seems to apply here and unfortunately CNN is beaming it all over the world. I don't believe these people are in the main of what people in the country want but they're getting the air play. Just six short months ago when President Obama was inaugurated, we stood at the dawn of great promise for our country. Now it seems that the detractors are having their day at our expense and hope is being lost. It's sad for me to witness.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  640. Margaret L. Zadell

    Heidi, I was watching CNN's coverage of Sen. Specter's town hall meeting in Lebanon, Pa and must say I am disappointed that your broadcast decided to not show it in it's entirety. Clearly, since you had the picture and feed, I could have watched it. I'm an adult and don't need the media to "monitor" it for me. Perhaps I missed something important. I haven't decided where I stand on the issue and quite frankly would prefer to make up my own mind. The media with it's "experts," "on site reporters" are spoon feeding the public the Network's opinion. This seems to be happening with all the media. Your job is to "cover and "report" the news. Too many of you have forgotten that. I hope this hits home and something improves as we face all these critical issues. Sincerely, Margaret

    August 11, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  641. Kathryn Smith

    I never realize how dense the american people are, and their lack of comprehension of a situation. My understanding of this health care reform is if you can not afford health care through you employer or do not qualify for medicare or medicaid the government will provide it for you at a rate that is affordable Several examples: My husband was on medicare and working, but I was not old enough for medicare, to cover me it cost 216. a week. we could not afford that. my son and daughter live in Florida both laid off they did not qualify for medicaid, because their combine unemployment was too high. my daughter in law is a diabetic These examples tells me that the health care reform would be a benefit

    August 11, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  642. Kelly, Austin, TX

    Please Heidi, CNN needs to realize that it also has influence and many, many, people will learn what they know about health care reform from you. When you interview and your guest uses words like calling this a "government take over of health care", as Senator Gingrey just did, you have an obigation to the public to correct the misinformation. Allowing it to pass, without correction only adds to the confusion the public has. Millions of people will here the lie, but not the correction because they left the room. Please don't allow your show to be the instrument of misinformation.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  643. Frank

    Hello Rick,
    Is healthcare townhall protest a smoke screen against this new administration? I have spent time watching this meeting and there are no minorities in these audiences. Majority of the protesters are white males and women over 40years old. Probably republicans who sat down for 8yrs and complained about nothing while the country was crumbling. Is medicare and medicaid not government run programs?The medicare prescription drug program which increased the deficit was not protested by these group.Should healthcare be politicized this way.Who wants to be sick and go to the doctor.Healthcare reform is absolutely necessary for all Americans regardless of political affiliations.
    Thank you Ricky
    Frank(Texas)

    August 11, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  644. Linda

    I found the first half of your coverage of Sen. Spector's town hall meeting in Lebanon very informative but then you cut off coverage, said you would monitor it and bring us anything important. Apparently the only thing you found informative was the single gentleman who was angry about the format! To describe the meeting as " lots of fireworks" is highly misleading. Of the 15 questions we got to hear there was only one disruptive one! Why not let us hear the whole meeting? Perhaps because it wasn't fitting the liberal Pelosi view that if you are against HR3200 you are "unamerican" or a kook!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  645. Rick A Gardner

    Is health care a right?: Is offering different levels of health care, dependent on the ability to pay, a fair way to provide health care coverage to every American? Is this type of coverage allowed by the Constitution or the Equal Rights Amendment? Can we have different levels of treatment for the same injury, illness, or disease? How many different ways is there to treat a heart attack, knee joint or hip replacement, or lung cancer? Can we tell one individual that they are entitled to heart surgery and tell another to stop at the drug store and buy a bottle of Nitro Glycerin ? Can we tell one individual that they are entitled to a knee or hip replacement and tell another to have their leg amputated ? Can we tell one individual they are entitled to chemotherapy for their lung cancer and tell another that they will have to die because their insurance policy doesn’t cover the costs of cancer treatment ? The answer to all of these questions is NO. We can not allow this type of system to exist in a country that prides itself as a democracy and preaches human rights to the entire world. We are constantly condemning countries around the world about their human rights violations, and we want to offer our own citizens a health care system that will allow millionaires to stay in presidential suites during an illness and tell the less privileged to sleep in the alley behind the hospital between doctor appointments.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  646. Rev. Lou

    Yes, we need universal health care.
    How can this country demean other countries for their human rights violations when we have 18,000 people die each year in this country because they have no health care?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  647. Susan Gabrielson

    I wish that all those people who are apparently organized just to disrupt the town hall meetings would be organized to volunteer at the free health care clinics that were just reported on CNN. That would really be doing something constructive about the health care crisis. Kudos to all those who are volunteering at the clinics right now.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  648. Wade

    I am really getting tired of the U.S Knocking Heath Care in Canada. I spent 30yrs of my life in the U.S. working and paying taxes in the mining and oilfield. I got sick and my insurance that I payed into was like a coupon for 10% off. Had I given up my Canadian Citizenship I would have been dead right now, Come to find out I had a cancerous Tomor in my Cheek and would receive no treatment in the States. I returned to Canada and within 6Months had Surgery to remove the tumor. I think Americans should take a good look at what we as Canadians are provided with at no cost. Sure we have to taxes, But we do receive Great Medical Treatment in return and are truly free to express are opinions regarding any subject. For example if I think the Prime Minister is an Idiot I can freely express my thoughts without worrying that the Men In Black are going to come and get Me. Canada is really a free Country

    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  649. Cheri K

    I listen to both CNN and Fox. I actually flip back and forth each morning to get the prospective that is being presented on this Health Care System being presented to the U.S. citizens. Today I was upset to see how CNN presented the town hall meeting with Senator Spector. I listened to most of the meeting up to and including the very last citizen that got up and disrupted the end of the meeting. CNN's main focus on that meeting was this one angry instant. There were 30 other people that gave their thoughts backing them up with information they read in the bill being considered. I am so concerned that the American right of free speech is being drowned out if they don't agree with this new administration, and the reporting from most of the newscasters is helping to accomplish this task. I am very afraid for our country and the freedoms we have enjoyed in the past. If ALL private citizens can't express themselves with out fear of being labeled extremists we are doomed as a free nation.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  650. Philip

    I'm a canadian citizen and I'd like to give you my point of view. Insurance companies and medical facilities in your country are making profits on your diseases, injuries and suffering. In Canada, our hospitals and clinics don't exist to make profit, they exist to heal people. And if some people can't get treated fast enough because we lack the manpower? Then we'll pay to get them treated in our brother country, the US, rather than having them die.

    Jesus though us to share and watch over our neighbour. I don't think it's Christian to back a system where money and individualism prevails over health and the well being of ALL free american citizens.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  651. cmarr

    I am a 30 year old female. I believe every U.S. Citizen is entitled to healthcare regardless of economic status. I also feel that although we will not all agree on everything the bill states it is the first time the government is taking a step to cover americans who are not covered. No one thinks about the day that they are not able to work and can not afford to pay for cobra or their health insurance premium and have to go to social services and are turned away because they exceed the income guidelines. People also are not being honest when they state that their health insurance allows them to go to any doctor of their choice. I have yet to see a health care company who includes every doctor in your state. Yes, they can go to any doctor they chose to go to as long as they pay their out of network expenses out of pocket. Again especially in these times when our jobs are not as secure as they once seemed. We need health care for all U.S. CITIZENS.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  652. Elisa Berger

    Most of the people who voted are people at home ill, retired, out of a job...they will most likely vote "yes."

    Scientific poll it is not.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  653. Lynn

    From everything I have heard, the people that are "against" the purposed health care reforms are misinformed. I believe that it mostly comes from the ads that are being run on the TV and radio, feeding people with this radical information. So far I have only seen ads from we don't know "who" trying to scare people. This is the typical of the Republicans. Instead of helping to achieve this important legistration, they are running around screaming, "the sky is falling, the sky is falling". COME ON! BE HONEST FOR A CHANGE. They had their turn and ingnored all issues that are important to us as people.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  654. Curt

    You keep saying that the bill is not completed yet, but if the President had his way, the bill would have been voted on already without this vigorous debate! Thank goodness average Americans have let their voices heard to stop the rush on passing a bill that no one has read!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  655. Nick Kokotovich

    I believe that had the President not initialy attempted to push the bill through before the August recess many people would have been "less fired up".

    Health care in America is a serious issue and certainly has some shortcomings. Lets take our time and make sure we don't make it worse.

    Are we hurrying to get it done before the Presidents approval rating goes down. How dumb is that?

    Maybe we should all vote electronically and we could get rid of the politicians on both sides of the isle.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  656. Otis Trotter

    I think most people in this country realize that there is a clear need for some drastic reforms in the medical care system in this country, and they are just trusting that their elective officials are handling the complex issues involved in designing an effective system. It is my belief that most of the supporters of a public option or perhaps a single payer system not being too vocal, have been caught off guard by the loud and vocal conservative constituent at those townhall meetings.
    It is now time for the supporters of reform to raise their voices to counteract the outright lies, and inaccuracies waged by the right wing propaganda machine. Though I think many of the people at those town hall meetings have genuine concerns and worries about the Obama plan spurred on by the conservatives, but for most of them, this has nothing do with health care. It is about their intense hatred of the Obama administration in my opinion.
    People keep saying that they don't want the government involved in their health care, but what about Medicare as many have pointed out.
    The health care system in this country is a financially bloated and inefficient monstrocity and it is pasttime for it to be reformed.
    I think about all the millions of people who donot have means of paying for basic medical care. When they get sick, what do they do? They flood our countries' emergency room when their conditions have deteriorated to the point that it becomes much more expensive and complicated to manage them. The expense is then ultimately past on to the insured anyway or becomes part of the national debt.
    Yes, it is now time for a radical change in the way we handle medical care in this country.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  657. Joe (Tampa, FL)

    Linda,

    I agree with you! CNN is biased.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  658. John Bekman from Edmonton,Alberta

    it is totaling nonsense what these people at the town hall saying what happen and if what happen to their healthcare who would look after them when these senior who made the country can depend on the health care issue?
    Here in Edmonton,Alberta l was reading that about 900 worker are walking off the job this Friday Aug-14-2009 demanding more pay and other issue, who provide pick-up and checking on blood sample and other things that have to be sorted out, kind of sad that may be longer wait here at health care clinic which the Doctors are provided a service
    thanks,
    John Bekman

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  659. Rich Nowakowski

    It was to be a plan to get insurance for uninsured. It's turning out to something else. Let's insure that abortion is not covered and that our legislators, their families and staff, and members of the Executive Branch and theri families and staff are covered by medical coverage they have planned for us. They want to reduce physician payments – this will cause doctors to not participate in the Plan – and make waiting time fpr appointments grow.

    It is to the point that I really don't know what the government wants to do other than cause problems. Why didn't Pres. Oboma submit a plan to congress? Is he the President or is someone leading him? WE need a leader – not just a speaker!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  660. Gia

    CNN has been playing and playing those horrible commercials that continue to spread misinformation about the proposed health care reform. They are lies! Can't you refuse to play commercials that spread lies? These despicable commercials are contributing to inciting people to go crazy at town hall meetings instead of going to ask intelligent questions and listen civilly to the answers.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  661. John Bekman from Edmonton,Alberta

    Long waits here in Edmonton waiting to see a Doctor is totaling nonsense and can be avoided if there are more docots who can attend to the patients needs and not the long and somtimes up to 6–8 or more hours just to see a doctor, to my attention l had to wait up to 8 hours myself to see a doctor for a very simple IV for my legs and had to come the next day to provide the work l needed.

    Long waits just to see a doctor can be avoided, if only they are more doctors on staff to see the patients.
    thanks,
    John Bekman

    August 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  662. Laura Moorhouse

    I'm on Disabilty (Medicare) for a chronic liver condition, it pays 80% of doctors, tests. I have no drug coverage (medicare D) or Supplemental (20%) because I cannot afford either on our income level. Right now I'm on chemotherepy for 18 months to get my liver disease into remmision so I don't later have to have liver transplant ($300,000.00) If I could even get one because of lack of livers to transplant. My chemotherepy and two medications to keep blood work up so I can stay on treatment are ($100,000.00). This is my third treatment thus far since 1995. I have had to go to drug companies to get my medications and that has been a nightmare because they do not want to let them go for compassionate care unless you fight like heck for them. We are now going through the tiny bit of savings we have saved for last 14 years and borrowing money from family to keep me on treatment.
    Why are these people in shout downs at town halls there? Are they there because they want democracy back or are they there to take my rights away as a U.S. Citizen with a catostrophic illness that desparetly wants Information on Healthcare Reform and how it will effect me? I also would like to know why all these people at shout downs that are on medicare don't understand that medicare is Socialized medicine, it is run by the Government? I myself am very grateful for my medicare and have NEVER had a problem with it
    !I want to go to our local town hall meeting this month, I'm very sick and cannot handle the stress of uncivilized screaming people causing more stress for me, but I think I will go anyway if at all possible to support President Obama and our local representatives, I'm facing death anyway, I will not have my rights taken away by ANYONE! Thank you

    August 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  663. Dmarie Writ

    Heidi, you were a little one-sided...with the GA Congressman. I'm AA-Georgian, and he does not speak for me. Most of Georgia are not against HealthCare Reform, because of them do not have it! They are still having GRAVE ISSUE AMERICA HAS ELECTED A BLACK MAN FOR PRESIDENT. It's in the air, at work, at the movies, at the grocery stores...all over GA. As poor as Georgians are in this state, our GA Politicians HAVE NO CLUE, ABSOLUTELY NO CLUE about the need of its people. Rather than a state of Have-nots, it's a state of slaves and plantation owners. NOW THAT'S THE TRUTH.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  664. Chutney

    Yes , I think ,health care is as important as fire houses and police . We should be ashamed,

    August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  665. Candy

    America needs a national health care system that covers all citizens. This larger insurance pool will bring down costs for everyone. Even a 6% tax for health care paid by everyone would be cheaper than what we are paying for now. In 2001 I paid $100.00 per month in premiums for health care. For 2010, this same HMO will charge me $780.00 per month for premiums under the same plan. Right now I am paying $625 per month for this plan. Anyway, is this inflation or gouging. Two cents is about all I have left after paying these health care premiums.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  666. Brenda

    Were is are humanity? of course everyone should have access to health care. What happen to you are your brothers keeper . we are suppose to look out for each other. It is shameful that people are more worried about money then their fellow man.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  667. Debbie

    Healthcare reform is necessary. I am waiting the 2 year period that Social Security Disability make you wait once you are approved. If they approve you for disability but don't give you medical insurance, does that make since? Let's stop fighting and use that energy to help approve healthcare reform.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  668. Kris from New York

    I just saw someone's comment about Healthcare not being a Constitutional right. I totally disagree. How is one supposed to have a right to life if it is threatened by not having healthcare to save it. How is one supposed to pursue happiness if you're ill and you know that there is medical care to make you better, but you cannot afford it.

    Our founding fathers (all of whom were in a position to pursue these things without worrying about their fellow citizens) took the time to make sure that these rights applied to ALL americans. Healthcare reform to me is just another step we must take in making good on those rights.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  669. Angie Meredith

    First off I do not have healthcare because my husband's secure hightech job was outsourced in 2002. Since that time Allen, my husband, has worked temporary contract jobs because companies stopped highering for permanent positions in my husband's field. We have managed to stay afloat but have had to refinance a few times to cover the costs of his hospital stays for heart attacks and surgery of a gall bladder removal. Of course we want affordable health care. Of course we are USA citizens. Of course we do pay our taxes. Of course we do want a Health Care reform so that we can have affordable medical insurance. Of course we do want our doctor making the medical decisions for us. And of course we want the insurance companies to stop being the ones who control our doctors decisions in how to treat our illnesses. And since the insurance companies will not stop having the control over the medical decisions the doctors make concerning treatment for their patients, Health Care Reform is neccessary.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  670. Sandy Carter

    I am a 69 year old part-time counselor at a charter school. I am greatly concerned about the health of the children in our school. Many do not have health insurance. The success of our nation relies on healthy children who are able to learn. There is a correlation between children's health and their ability to concentrate in school. Let's keep our children learning so that we will have the people power to fuel our nation's engine. Please consider the children.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  671. Cleo Peifer

    My small family business had to drop healthcare coverage in 2000 when the new premium rate for 4 people was going to be three times the rate of my business space rent. Two of those employees were under 30, the other two were my husband & myself (late 50's). Many more employees are going to lose their coverage for the same reason. Meanwhile all of us pay these soaring healthcare costs in higher prices as the costs get passed on as a business expense figured into the selling price of the companies' goods or services.
    Now I have Medicare coverage – one of those government run healthcare plans – and I'm finally getting the help for heart problems that I couldn't afford for the last 9 years. HEALTHCARE REFORM NOW!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  672. Betty

    Something's got to give! The media does a half way decent job of reporting, but again I said half way. This health care reform problem is just that..a problem. And the reason being. no one is absolutely certain what is going to be offered for health care. Everyone bickers about it, but no one has a clear cut opinion about what should be done with the health care bill. The media feeds you just enough to either passify you or anger you. They are not stupid about how to deliver the news about what is going on in the world. I go along with what one person described as a political argument. It seems which ever party can speak the loudest and do the most commercials about health care, depends on what the american people believe. Wake up America! Form you own opinion and don't just believe what certain parties or the media whats you to believe!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  673. Dmarie Writ

    The bottom line is GREED! WE need HealthCare Reform. We need a public option. We need for Greedy MDs to remember their Oath. We need for Insurance Reform: Auto, Home, Medical, Mal-Practice, Business on-and-on. We need the GOP to accept they lost. We need the DEMs to get their feet wet. We need Obama to put his foot down. We need the Media to STATE THE FACTS JACK instead of Junk. We need America put on their "LISTENING EARS", nobody is going to choose your MD, nobody is going to put Grandma in the grave, and nobody is going to allow the GOV to take over Healthcare...just take over HEALTH INSURANCE.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  674. Lynn huntley

    Peple are upset about this healthcare because of the huge growth in government. Congress does not read the bills they sign, they add on things in the middle of the night in the reconciliation process, and then we are stuck with the bill. We do not trust our government right now.

    I think we all want some health care reform...but we want free market reform with some new regulations. The danish system seems more like what the American people would go for, but they would never go for 59% tax rate.

    Why can't we have the choice of every Health Ins company there is? Is that not what the government has? Is that not what Obama promised when he ran for president? That would bring competition and bring down the cost of premuims.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  675. Angeles

    I do not have medical insurance due to my husband's secure high tech job being outsourced 7 years ago. But we have managed to stay afloat with contract jobs, and refinancig to help pay for medical costs.
    *But when we used to have private medical insurance,
    our private insurance would make the doctor deliberately hold back on giving the right perscription for my sinus infection, insisting that the patient can heal on their own. And the private doctors are getting paid big bucks from the insurance companies to do so.
    *When we used to have private medical insurance,
    We had to get aproval for the paramedic to take my husband to the hospital when he was suffering from a heart attack. The insurance personnel on the other end of the phone call was telling me to put my husband in a cab instead. When I told the 911 paramedic what the private insurance person said on the line, the paramedic grabbed the phone and threatened the insurance personnel that if she did not aprove the 911 paramedics taking my husband to the hospital imediately that she will be charged with murder because my husband could have died from his condition.
    For 20 years when we used to have private medical insurance, it was the private medical insurance who were dictating to the doctors how they can and can not treat a patient. It is the Private medical insurance who have be sky rocketing the prices of the whole health care system. And it is the private medical insurance who pay doctors bonuses to do as they say.
    That is the reason why health care reform is neccessary. And with health care reform the costs will come down so that we, my husband who is a high tech contractor and I can finally afford it on our own.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  676. Bruce in Laguna Beach, CA

    The protesters need to realize that the public option would benefit those who currently have health insurance. Private insurers would be careful about raising premiums so they don't lose customers to the NEW competition. If these protesters knew how their take home pay is hurt by skyrocketing health insurance costs they would be open to the public option.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  677. Iris Ewing

    1.) Those citizens opposing health care reform should walk in my shoes for a time. I was a working productive member of society from 18 years of age until I was 60 when I became disabled. I had disability insurance and health care insurance. My insurer canceled my disability insurance, and then based upon that decision, I lost my job and my health care coverage. I used all my savings, had to sell my stocks, and my vehicle just to survive. For two years I went without income or health care.

    2.) My son, who suffers from bi-polar disorder, unsuccessfully attempted suicide. He had health care insurance, but because of his disorder, it was canceled. There was no mental health available, and to prevent another attempt at suicide, he had to be placed in the ICU unit of our local hospital.

    3.) My cousin suffered from a lung disorder. She was a registered nurse with health care coverage. During her treatment she reached the limits of her coverage, and no longer could get the medical treatment she needed. She died.

    We all were working members of society, paying our own way, and look what happened to us. Today it's us. Tomorrow it could be one of you who are opposing health care reform.

    Iris

    August 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  678. Jean Eades

    I KNOW THIS IS LONG BUT PLEASE READ IT--My husband was catastrophically ill for five years in pvt. ins, Medicare and the VA system. I have a son who is a physician. I believe I bring a unique perspective as an American who has experienced many aspects of our medical system.

    1. If the proposals for cutting Medicare and single payer system go thru, what American family will encourage a child to pursue a medical education? They can make more money in other fields. We will quickly become dependent on foreign doctors who do not receive the same training as U.S. doctors. Do the math–no one goes into a field that pays less and less, requires 11 to 16 yrs preparation and incurs tremendous debt. Your programming isn't addressing this issue at all. My son says he is paid a little over $300 by Medicaid to go to an emergency room in the middle of the night for a heart attack patient. He assesses and treats the patient, takes them to the cath lab and performs angioplasty and/or stenting to open the coronary arteries and save their life. He dictates a history, assessment and procedure report and writes post-procedure orders. He sees them in the hospital later that day and the next when, if all goes well, he writes dismissal orders and take home prescriptions. He was in school 15 yrs to master this. He says he defies anyone to get a plumber to their house at 2 A.M. for $300, not to mention the follow up work done until the patient is dismissed. If Medicare and single payer insurance is aligned with Medicaid to "control costs", we won't have doctors who are able to sustain their families and careers for these fees. My son's practice stays open and able to still accept Medicare and Medicaid patients ONLY because they also treat privately insured patients who generate decent payment to offset the government programs.
    2. Medicare only provides a prescribed number of hospital days. After that, a patient must be out of the hospital for 60 days to regenerate their coverage. As people get older and sicker, multiple hospitalizations are sometimes required for recovery. If a single payer system mirrors Medicare, patients with exhausted hospital days will be forced to home health which may be inadequate and prevents regeneration of hospital days or hospice care even if they are not clearly within the six month terminal diagnosis. If we had not had private insurance which picked up after Medicare stopped, my husband would have been placed in hospice in 2003, FIVE YEARS before he died. Thank God for Blue Cross who stepped in and paid for his care until he improved.
    3 VA system does not work fine as purported. If someone wants to contact me, I can give you specific examples of why such a large system fails the individual patient in the crush to service too many with too little. Just two years ago, we were hearing about problems of reduced and lack of VA funding and VA benefits cost cuts. Why does anyone believe VA works after the Walter Reed incident and other news coverage regarding VA facilities? My husband was denied a surgical procedure when he had a collapsed lung and told to go to a private hospital although the doctor who performed the procedure practiced at the VA and was willing to perform surgery at the VA. He was denied an ICU bed because the head of critical care felt he was "chronically ill" rather than "acutely ill." This was for a veteran with a service connected disability. His clinic physician and I had to wage a battle for admission while he sat in the emergency room septic and dehydrated. This was due to "supply and demand" as I was told by VA personnel. This is rationing in the VA system and will permeate other government run systems that will be overwhelmed. The VA literally throws equipment at veterans often based on contracts with vendors rather than actual need. The VA tried to force us to accept a motorized chair for my husband that was too large for him to handle, too large to navigate around our home, and too large for the vehicle we owned to transport it. I was told I had to accept it and to to "investigate buying a van." I had to refuse the very expensive motorized chair and go to VA administration to get a smaller, less expensive, better suited model. I was told the original chair was insisted upon because it came from their "preferred vendor." Government contracts and vendors are always a costly financial problem and will get worse in a huge single payer medical system. Please let people like myself who have had these experiences share. I know you can find someone near your studio who can come in and talk about the VA and Medicare systems. Senators and Congressmen who haven't experienced the medical system will ultimately make the decision. We must let them know what it is really like for the average American.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  679. Alan Simpson

    Heidi

    Health Care in America,Why are people fighting.

    #1Special intrest groups,Insurence and The Wealthy pushing to keep control.
    #2 Ive never seen people fight so mutch over what Mr.Obama is trying to do, give to those people who don't have decent health care a health care system that works.
    #3 Ive heard coments from Sara Palin,John McCain and Dick Cheney neither one said anything positive about Mr.Obama.Palin said he was the devil,Dick Cheney said he was going to straighten out the GOP, John McCaine just grumbels with a scowl on his face,and outhers follow suit.If you look back to 2000 to 2008 when G.W.Bush and Dick Cheney were in office you never heard Lawmakers say a word about spending and now look where we are.Why didn't Lawmakers do something then they let Bush and Cheney spend America into a recession the one we are in now. It seems lawmakers don't see anything but one way it cost too mutch? I think we need to ask lawmakers about their health care plan how mutch it cost them and how great is their coverage.See if they can explain?

    MR,AL

    August 11, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  680. Sarah

    I was born and raised in the US. While in the US I was fortunate to always have exceptional health care through my parents, university, or employer. Of course all of that care was subsidized but still paid for by myself or my parents.

    In my adult life I have also lived in two countries that have "socialized medicine" (Australia & Canada). In both countries I have once again received exemplary care.

    All countries' systems for care worked for me because of three main reasons:
    1) I researched the system I had to operate within and knew my rights.
    2) I could afford additional coverage I deemed necessary or could pay out of pocket.
    3) I actively participated in my care, seeking to understand and question care givers and policy makers.

    From my experience more socialized medicine can work. The only difference socialized medicine presents is that you pay govt rather than insurance company. Regardless of the system (socialized or not) for health care to work there is a cost 1) monetary of course via taxes, insurance, or another channel , 2) personal responsibility – know your medical history and your rights to ensure you are getting care you are entitled to and need.

    Come on people wake up. We are in essence are paying into a public system now as our inflated health care rates are padded to cover the uninsured. We also pay more because our doctors have to pay massive insurance premiums to cover malpractice. In both cases insurance companies are getting our money.

    Getting our government to take a lead in health care does not mean we are any less of a democracy. In theory living in a democracy with a comprehensive public health system means we have more control as we the people can vote on the policies. Right now we cede control to insurance companies of whom we have no control.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  681. Samantha in California

    Clair McCaskill does not deserve all those rude comments people are shouting out at her at the town hall meeting. She is trying her best to keep it together and answer all questions respectfully but still people keep shouting as if they are children with no manners. This is not how we have productive converstions about important topics that will effect everyones lives in America. She is handling this situation as gracefully as she can. Keep it together people we are better than this.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  682. Sharon

    I wonder, has anyone posed this question to these protesters at the town hall meetings: "Do you have health care coverage?" I would venture to bet all protesters have health care coverage, either through thier own or as a dependent of someone else. I wonder if they would be so blatantly rude and opposed if they had children with no healthcare coverage. if they faced the crisis as others in this country do? I am speaking as someone who does have healthcare coverage, through my husbands work, and it's not nearly as good as the coverage we had back in the mid 80's. How can these people lay their heads down and sleep at night, protesting as they do? Do they have no empathy for their fellow Americans? If private insurance companies wanted to make healthcare affordable, why haven't they done it so far? They've had years to come up with a plan, but what have they chosen? I'm not suggesting that what gets passed will be perfect, and will probably need change in the future, but we have to start some where.
    Sharon, Trinity, NC

    August 11, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  683. Lynn Dennie

    The Canadian system is not all that wonderful. It can takes months to get an MRI or similar test, I know because I am a Cdn, but live in the US. I fortunately have a wonderful health care plan in the US, as I recently married a retired Fir Force man. We summer in Cda, this past summer I was so ill I returned to Florida and in 10 days I had a Bone Scan, Mammogram, Cat Scan, X-ray of Lungs, x-ray of hips, and plenty of blood tests etc. etc etc. To accomplish this in Canada would probably have been impossible, but absolutely would take a year or more to accomplish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  684. wendy

    GO Obama I support him all the way on healthcare. we really need to do something about healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  685. Mark Edwards

    Whats the problem, the Church has pushed us into the idea we have to fight a war to kill our enemes and not help our fellow man by fighting health care reform. I guess we want people to die so they can be close to God. I guess I voted for the correct person this time as the leader we have now are more angelic ,when will the Republican guard get off the soapbox and help this contry instead of whineing about loseing the race.We had two terms of hell and deficates,let the new guy see if he can do better,after all he can't do any worse.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  686. Nitra

    Something needs to be done about health care. My dad was assaulted by somone and had to go into the hospital for major surgery, for a week. My dads works 7 days a week and always have made a honest living. He first had to pay a 3000.00 deductible to his insurance company, then once he was released from the hospital he was sent a bill for 38,000 dollars for the days he spent in the hospital. His insurance only covered so much, his portion was the 38,000 dollars. This amount is almost half of my dads yearly salary. This why something needs to be done about our healthcare system. Some of those irate people at those town hall meetings cant say they ever experienced this, because if they did, they would have real concerns about this reform happening. My dad still has not figured out how he is going to pay that bill.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  687. Alan Simpson

    Health Care

    HEALTH CARE HAS TURNED INTO A THREE RING CIRCUS. LAWMAKERS ARE LIKE A BUNCH OF KIDS,JUST LIKE THE BOY,THE ONLY ONE WITH THE BALL.. IF HE GETS MADE HE TAKES THE HOME AND POUTS. LAWMAKERS NEED TO GROW UP. SPECIAL INTREST GROUPS ARE TAKEING ATVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION!!!!

    MR.AL

    August 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  688. John Kemp

    Look ... it's this simple. In order for you to receive health care someone else has to either expend time or property. To claim a "right" to health care is to claim a "right" to someone else's time .. that is, a right to a portion of their life: whatever portion of their life it takes for them to either render the health service or produce the medical implement or drug that is being used. Hate to break this to you ... but who in the hell do you think you are to claim a portion of someone else's life as YOURS?

    August 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  689. John Kemp

    The guiding principle of any major reform should be to “due no harm”.

    Specifically my concerns with the current legislation are with the mandates being considered against private market insurance companies. I ‘m in favor of portability. However to force insurance companies to accept anyone, with known pre-conditions and to have unlimited caps for coverage, is to virtually guarantee that either the company goes bankrupt, or they like hospitals are forced to raise the premiums on all clients significantly to cover costs. This would ultimately force many to have to drop their private plans and join the Government’s public plan.

    The biggest reason for the escalating cost of medical coverage is due to the threat and fear of frivolous lawsuits, that not only seek actual damage awards, but huge punitive awards. Why does this reform legislation contain NO tort reform? Additionally where does personal responsibility come in? If someone refuses to take any action to mitigate or prevent serious health issues from arising or recurring, should they continue to receive benefits at the same cost as those who are health conscience?

    While I believe that the intent behind this health care reform is earnest, the current proposals fail the “due no harm” test. In an effort to provide coverage to 15-20 million uninsured people, this bill will unfortunately result in the unintended consequences of higher costs to those with private insurance plans, lengthy delays and rationing of care due to a shortage of doctors and diagnostic equipment.

    A better solution to help the uninsured would be: 1) Let Government fund medical school scholarships in full, provided that student agree to serve in impoverished area for 5 years upon graduation. 2) Provide limits on punitive awards for malpractice . 3) Establish free walk-in clinics next to every emergency room to separate critical emergency care from patients just requiring routine care. 4) Allow for cross state competition from insurance companies 5) Provide portability of coverage. 6) Provide tax incentives for living a healthy life style.
    I

    August 11, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  690. William Greenwell

    I am 72 years old and I am amazed at the outright stupidity of the people over fifty who are so outrage at something that has not even been completely formulate yet. I'm sorry to say this but as a african american I cannot help but feel that this outrage is race based rather than fact based. These people don't want affordable health they just want to bring down the first Black president. This man was handed a crockpot full of Poop and everyone wants him to turm it into a flower box full of roses in six month. I'm fed up with the ignorance of the majority of people in this country.
    I love my country, but I am slowly becoming ashamed of the of the collective intelligence of the voting public,

    August 11, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  691. Pam

    My family is looking at $5,000 of dental and health care out-of-pocket expenses–after insurance coverage. We both had to prioritize which preventive care screenings we could afford. Maybe next summer we can afford my mammogram and colonoscopy.

    The current bills in Congress regarding health reform do not go far enough, but at least they are a starting point. I expect that whatever legislation passes will have kinks to work out, but we must start now to do something that curbs renegade insurance pricing; we've already waited 40 years; meanwhile....

    August 11, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  692. Joe

    The idea of reforming health care simply won't work until we have developed ways to get the cost of health care under control. The government shouldn't be working to expand coverage or dramatically change any aspects of our current system until they can figure out a way to be able to pay for it (and not just to say, "We'll raise taxes on some certain people... I mean the government actually needs to figure out how they can make things truly affordable). In my eyes, they are skipping steps A through Q and trying to do step R. They aren't going to be able to create an expanded system with any medium- to long-term viability until they address issues such as the fact that the average general practitioner or primary care physician in this country will, in a year, see as many as 4 to 5 times as many patients as the same type of doctor will see in the same time frame in other countries. Or, how does the government expect to reduce the exploding costs of doctors being forced to practice what is commonly referred to as "defensive medicine." I could go on and on but, until more work is done to improve the financial reality, all this talk about expanding coverage is purely academic because attempting to make our health care system do more for more people won't work in the long-run when we are already paying out the nose for what it does now.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  693. Homi

    Americans are stupid
    I watched 30 people asked questions from Pensilvania Senator and not one of them made sense. Not one comment made sense either. These folks don't even know what they were asking or the comments they made was so out of place
    All questions were based on Republican scare points that has been circulating and none of the people had even checked out the facts around their questions. So sad!
    This country is full of stupid people. People who think Insurance Companies are for them and government agaisnt them, people who are selfish and have medicare and don't want us to have the same. People who think insurance companies don't dictate to their doctors the limit to what they are authorized to do to get paid and think Government does restrict pay.
    And finally, stupid people this is about your and your family health care, who cares what it costs? you didnt' give a F about cost of Iraq war and killing of 100,000 women died, but you care about 1/10 of that war cost per year so 45 million of us have coverage?

    August 11, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  694. Richard

    One comment we continue to hear in this debate is that we have the best health care system available. If that is true why do we have the most expensive system? Why do other countries out rank us in service to their people? Why is our life expectancy decreasing while other countries are increasing? Why did we lose our manufacturing industries to other countries that offer universal health care? Why does it cost 2,000.00 less to build a Honda then a Ford or GM card? Why should it cost $200.000 for a two day stay in a US hospital for a minor procedure? Is it because of our expensive health care system? The conservatives should stop shouting and produce face not fiction in this debate.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  695. Bart Robinson

    Im 58.

    I have a knee that needs attention as well as right ankle, lower back and a colonoscopy.

    There is no money to pay for these things even though I have health insurance with a 2500 deductible per person.

    The colonoscopy was supposed to be done 6 years ago because I am a polyp grower. No money.

    I also am bipolar. My insurance company does not pay for psychiatric medication. To buy meds in America would be over 800 per month. I buy them from oversees for about 100. As well as paying for psychiatric evaluations every 3 months.

    Maybe only 90 million are in danger without health care but I am convinced there are more like me who live with pain and expense because I am Under insured.

    I see old folks waving signs and angry because maybe I will get help, meaning they may get less even though they have been reassured that is not the case.

    My hopes are up. For once in my life. Ever since the heartbreak after the Clintons promised such a thing and it just vanished.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  696. joe

    For those that are wondering what Mr. Obama is not telling you – here are some highlights of his bill:

    Page 304, lines 17-19 — Government does not have to protect your private information.

    Page 427, lines 15-24 — Government mandates programs for orders for end of life.

    Page 429, lines 10-12 — "Advance care consultation" may include an order for end of life plans.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  697. Pat

    Hi Heidi, what a hot topic!

    Is anyone tallying this up? Looks like 10 to 1 for healthcare reform. I guess some people are better at putting their thoughts down in writing. At least America is interested and that in itself is a very good thing. Please do a follow up on these blogs, they are a story to be told. Thanks

    August 11, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  698. welshman

    The harrassment of our elected officials at these 'town halls' – call them what they are-riots by bussed in white people to keep Americans from their right to information and free speech-is only possible and continuing because of the joy the media gets from having video of screaming mobs spouting garbage. It's a great day to be a news reporter! But not so great a day for the First Ammendment!

    August 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  699. louie b

    Together we can over come anything!

    August 11, 2009 at 7:57 pm |
  700. Leslie

    There's a lot of confusion out there about what options Congress is considering. Unfortunately, CNN has been covering the confusion at the town hall meetings but hasn't been addressing the questions the public has. You should be covering what options are on the table. For example, what's the difference between the public option and cooperatives? Which committees are considering this legislation?

    August 11, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  701. Mike Kary

    Heidi,
    I know that lines are being drawn against health care reform, making me really sick when I hear misinterpretations and down-right lies about what Congress is considering and proposing. I am extremely happy that we now have a knowledgeable, intelligent, and forthright president leading us in this endeavor. I sure wish more people could appreciate that fact.
    Thanks!
    Mike K

    August 11, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  702. Karen

    I am more than a little insulted by those who are stating that opposition to governments involvement in health care is ignorant. I say back to those people "wake-up". America as we have known it is being stolen from you. The American Dream is slipping away. Let me be clear the American Dream is that we have EQUAL OPPORTUNITY to achieve what ever our dreams may be. It is not that we as American's are entitled to the same "things" but that we have an opportunity to work and achieve. Unfortunately that includes health care.
    My heart goes out to those in need. I give generously to charity and volunteer my time. I will always believe that I am the best person to determine how my wealth should be distributed. After all I am the one who made the sacrifices and work for it.
    A PRODUCT OF THE AMERICAN DREAM

    August 11, 2009 at 9:16 pm |
  703. David

    Thank you for posting my earlier comment. I think it is a positive helpful assessment of the healthcare situation. Personally watching the town hall that you dipped into this morning, I felt people were airing their opinions, but some of them seemed not as informed as they thought they were about Sen Specter, his stand on health care or that issue that means so much to... well some people. I don't know about you, Heidi, but I don't like seeing people confused and frustrated and angry, and the media, and CNN in particular, and your broadcast, could do more to report the basic facts of the bills before congress. Or maybe it's more fun stirring the pot. Who knows?

    August 11, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  704. David

    I think people's comments, experiences, fanciful ramblings are worth more than two cents. Esp since you get them all for free.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  705. David

    One more comment. I need, as a viewer, to hear that I matter, not that I am unassailably right about anything, but that I matter and am not just a laughable overweight person who isn't clever enough, or fast enough, or handsome enough, or hard hitting enough. The fact is CNN culls all kinds of ideas and leads from these blogs not just witty comments. Maybe we could get a little kindness from your network.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  706. robert kearney

    I am glad the republicans are jumping up and down like beavis and butt-head., so everyone can see this party for the racist, disrespectful ways. They refuse to see other peoples points of views. Shouting and screaming is a weak mind trying to express themselves. Didn't any one ever tell them this?

    August 11, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  707. ?B?

    I think that the government needs to stay out of the heathcare. so No heath care reform

    August 11, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  708. Frank D.

    I just got back from the U.K. and my friend who i was visiting is recovering from a heart bypass operation.

    So check this out!!!
    1. He had no worries about how or who's going to pay.
    2. No problems on the quality of health care.
    3.All he had to worry about is getting healthy.

    WHO WON'T WOULDN'T WANT THAT KIND OF HEALTH CARE. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN THE STATES!!!

    PS. Let me also just mention that the U.K. work place is totally different from the U.S. most U.K. companies believe that a healthier worker is a better worker... Not like in the U.S. that if your sick that's your problem. just get back to work.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  709. Catherine Delaney

    I'm a cancer survivor. I've been denied medical insurance by every carrier in Utah. The state will give me insurance for $733/month – half of my income. Somehow stories like these don't make an impression on Sarah Palin and her attacks on the so-called "evil" health care bill. Why don't these negative dirty trick playing Republicans put the blame where it belongs? Not on Obama, but on the medical insurance companies who made $2.4 billion in profits last year. Or maybe I'm onto something. The insurance companies are paying Sarah Palin and her ilk to divert our attention?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  710. Kurt

    First, why is CNN always showing the most negative speakers at these town hall meetings, Senator Specter's meeting also had a nurse get up and make a point in support of reform; not as likely to get the ratings? If CNN is, as you say, is filtering out the noise, then STOP showing the noise makers constantly. Some people are getting to speak respectfully and are engaging in dialogue, despite the people there intent on disrupting the meetings. The providers of the news MUST take some responsibility here for the tone of the debate, maybe the tone is changing, but the repeating on the ugly news clips is just stoking negative perception. Please also show that some reasonable discourse is happening as well, mixed in with the sensationalism please.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  711. birdlady2006

    The townhall meetings that I saw today were a disgrace and an embarrassment to all Americans. In my opinion, when conservatives feel that they are losing the battle, they start with the deceptive ads and the screaming. You cannot have a meaningful debate on ANY subject if you cannot sit down and discuss your differences like logical and rational human beings. Enough with the screaming and fear tactics. Anyone with half a brain knows that our healthcare system is going down the tubes.

    Mr. President, please do not back down on this issue. Despite the volume (as in noise) of the opposition, there are many Americans who are desperate for reform and yesterday for some is too late.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:18 am |
  712. Frank Keesh

    I am a Canadian old enough to still recall the way it was before Medicare was brought in to Canada. I have also taken note of all the negative publicity generated by the right wingers in the USA, regarding universal medicare. I am 76 years old and there is no way I would ever wish to go back to the way it was.
    My wife and I spend about 6 weeks each year south of the 49th. In order to do this,we have to take out additional medical insurance because the cost of medical treatment in the USA is considerably higher than in Canada.
    What Americans don't seem to get, is that the Insurance Companies are running the medical system. Insurance Companies are in it for the money. I have siblings living in the USA, one of them works in the medical field. ..............YOU NEED MEDICAL REFORM.......trust me.
    .

    August 12, 2009 at 1:25 am |