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August 11th, 2009
09:31 AM ET

Is Health Care a Fundamental Right?

Is health care a fundamental American right, regardless of a person's ability to pay?

The August Congressional recess is anything but a break from the health care reform debate. Several local meetings across the country have become heated with passionate voters expressing serious concerns. One of the debates surfacing is whether or not health care should be considered a fundamental American right, regardless of a person's ability to pay.

What do you think?

soundoff (587 Responses)
  1. Lyall Abbott

    NO, NO, NO, NO, No, how many trillions of times does it have to be said.? No health care is no a right. It has to be paid for.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  2. JD

    Is food, shelter and clothing a "fundamental right" too?

    If you consider healthcare a fundamental right because it is necessary to life... well those things are certainly higher on the scale.

    Should we change to socialist country where the govt issues us all these things? I tell you what.... I will consider this the day that Congress is FORCED to join in on any healthcare plan they design for the "citizens". Like the elite in the communist party they think they are above the dictates they issue down to us common folk.

    Should President Obama get better healthcare than me? YES, he is the President. Should a multi-millionare be allowed to have a different healthcare plan than me when I am unemployeed? YES.

    Another question... WHY, why does the President want to ram this through without anyone reading it? (just like the "stimulus") Maybe because he knows the light of day will reveal it for the bad idea it is.

    Another question... Why do they keep trying to force us into policies that have been proven to fail? Hawaii did govt run healthcare for kids... bankrupt within months. England, even their own doctors have said it has made them "less healthy". WAKE UP.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  3. TGR

    Healthcare should be a fundamental human right. Regardless of where you live. It's a shame it isn't seen like that in US like it is in Europe. Truly shocking.

    Shouldn't we be striving for heathcare for all in every country? Astounding that a "superpower" like the US doesn't look after its own.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  4. Brian

    I'm watching the Lebanon, Penn. town hall meeting right now and I'm appalled at the attitudes of these close minded people. Most of these people admit to either not fully reading or understanding the bill, yet they feel adamant about tearing it down and calling it unconstitutional. I feel like I'm watching a bunch of little kids say "I hate ice cream!" without even ever having considered trying it, and not even knowing how amazing it tastes...

    August 11, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  5. Al

    I'm for health care reform but to show senetor spector is the wrong one to show conducting a town hall meeting. He's not informed and can't anwser the questions the people are asking.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  6. Al

    I'm sorry but incase you can' see the young lady in the front that wasn't paid is video tapping this . What do you bet it's on you tube before you go home tonight. also all the numbers quoted by the Lewin Group must be fixed. There wholey owened by United Health Care.Please inform the people to your program'

    August 11, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  7. Karen Zaytsoff

    Not that it is really going to happen in your country, but I have to reiterate this. IN CANADA WE HAVE A SINGLE PAYER GOVERNMENT RUN HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM WE CAN CHOOSE OUR OWN DOCTORS. EVERYTHING IS FREE AND WE ARE VERY HAPPY WITH OUR SYSTEM. What on earth are these Republicans talking about.??? Do they want Insurance Companies to continue to dictate what health services they may have. And to pay the extraordianry premiums and to drop you if you become too sick!!! I just don't get it. Could someone enlighten me.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  8. mmercedes casey

    friends,

    i cannot believe that 535 in congress and news broadc asters do not know that is the public health care coss are cheaper than private costs that an employer would not subscribe to the public plan. ya'll cannot be that dumb!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  9. Marquette Richey

    I don't like how CNN just ended public viewing on the Lebanon, PA Town Hall meeting.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  10. Lydell

    Are we a nation with no Human compassion. Are all our politicians, insurers, physicians and other medical professionals concerned only about the business of medicine and not the lives health of the people who entrust their lives to them.

    Am I greatly saddened by the events at town hall meetings thus far. I clearly understand freedom of speech. However, as I watch these events it becomes clearer to me each day that our nation is in a precarious state.

    The people of this nation are so deeply divided even on the what should be a basic rights of each and every citizen (health care). I don't see a United States. I see what seems to be irreparable gulfs between us all. We can not even talk civilly with one another and as a consequence our internal problems will continue to overwhelm us all until this nation suffers a final tragic outcome.

    No matter how passionate we are if we can not end the attacks on each other as citizens and if we can not come together as a people there will be no UNITED STATES (w or wo health care). I believe health care is being used as a instrument of division and distraction. We have very real social and human issues that are at the root of our inability to resolve the problems in our governmental systems and our nation as a whole.

    That makes me sad for us all. This is not a bias statement just a personal observation. Who (what) can repair such a shredded society?

    August 11, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  11. Karen Canada

    If you get sick and have no health insurance do your hospitals turn you away and let you fend for yourself at home??? I hope not. I think they would treat you anyway and pass on the costs to those who can pay. Health care is a fiundamental right. The US is the most pwerful coiuntry in the world. The US wants to be a guiding light to the rest of the world. But a segment of your society wants throw uninsured people out of the hospitals, because to take care of them is somehow Socialism??? Why don't they have the same feelings when they send their kids to school for fee.!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  12. Randy N

    Ok When We finnally get this healthcare We will be paying for it with our limited tax dollars right? Then when We are able to use it We have to pay for it again. This is just one thing that We the American public pays twice for. It cannot be free if we pay for it. So if they tax US then tax US for the preium, and when We have a problem We can just show up. Any doctor, anytime, anywhere in this country and Hawii. Your care shoukld be short sweet and to the piont. No goverment intrusion, just make sure the bills are paid. Randy

    August 11, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  13. Bryan

    JD, Food is a right. As is clothing. Government programs already exist to provide all of those: shelters, food stamp programs, etc. Health care is currently a right, too, whether you like it or not.

    If you walk into an emergency room without insurance you cannot, by law, be denied care. As it should be. Any of us can lose our job or insurance at any point–to deny care under that circumstance would be cruel. My guess is that you've been fortunate enough to never have that happen to you or a loved one.

    I wish CNN would stop broadcasting this "town hall meeting." These aren't concerned citizens discussing their views, they are political ideologues with predetermined ideas, looking to shout down anyone who disagrees. This isn't democracy.

    CNN, you wonder why people distrust the media? This is why. You're so much more concerned about your precious ratings than being fair or ethical. Every time you cover one of the "town-hall meetings," you give weight to radical conservatives, screaming at the top of their lungs. You lend them credibility when they in actualitiy have none. These are angry, scared, misinformed people. Perhaps your coverage should reflect that.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  14. Barbara

    I have been watching the meeting in Lebanon Penn, the overgrown children having temper tantrums It is embarrassing to think that the world is watching this and think that this is how Americans communicate.
    .Most of the people who are speaking don't have questions, They have been fed a lot of misinformation and got steamed up

    I believe health care reform is necessary.

    There are too many people who have no insurance and those of us who have it are paying too much. That said, I am a retired federal employee who also has medicare. I believe everyone should have insurance as good as mine. I do pay almost $200.00 a month and some people just don't have the money to pay that.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  15. Virginia Linden

    Freedom of Speech. That right is for all of us, not just for the loudest and most inconsiderate. Our founding fathers did not intend for the most powferful to drown out the weak.

    We all have opinions, lets be civil and allow evey voice to be heard.

    Sick of obiously scripted and childish behavior.

    Virginia in Vegas

    August 11, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  16. marie pierre

    Hi Heidi

    This man is probably right about the referendum. After all, the people have voted for president OBAMA because the want a ' change'. So why so much talk ? Let the nation decide for them-self.

    Marie pierre, R-I

    August 11, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  17. bill reynolds

    As an American living in Canada I must say I am saddened and appalled at the tone and lack of basic civil discussion over this issue of health care in the US.

    I have lived in Canada for over thirty years and, in fact, the public health care system was one of the reasons I moved here. I have used it infrequently but when needed it is efficient and accessible and I have all kinds of choices...there are no death panels, it is not socialized and we all pay...through taxes at source, or through various levels of government participation. It is not perfect but it works.

    The really sad part of this is how ignorant, ill informed and mislead this debate makes many Americans appear.

    Regrettably many of your colleagues at CNN seem to love to pick at the scabs rather that really get to the basics. E.g. the only piece of Arlen Spector's town hall meeting that gets replay is to show the negativity.

    Universal Health Care should be a basic right and I think you should know that...please bring balance back into the discussion

    August 11, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  18. april

    Many people do like the current health care system they have, which is great for them, but how are these same people going to like it when there jobs go overseas, and they can no longer pay for there health care?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  19. birdlady2006

    We are paying for socialized healthcare in our insurance rates. We already pay for the uninsured. As far as reducing benefits to Medicare or Medicaid, if we have a nationlized healthcare system, those programs will not even be necessary. Insurance companies already "ration" care – they know if they deny claims most people don'[t have the resources or the time to fight it.

    WAKE UP AMERICA!!!! IT'S TIME FOR THE HEALTHCARE REFORM NOW!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  20. John Tweedale

    I absolutely think it is, it's not only an American right to be healthy, but a human right, it's fundamentally important to be as healthy as you can be, regardless of financial status.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  21. Nick

    A right is something that cannot be taken away.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  22. Ryan

    News column published in the Portsmouth Daily Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) about the political debates of health care reform.

    http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Partisan+politics+need+to+be+set+aside+for+health+care%20&id=3130902-Partisan+politics+need+to+be+set+aside+for+health+care&instance=secondary_stories_left_column

    August 11, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  23. Sonya Roberts

    We cannot continue to put greed before need !

    August 11, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  24. Nick

    Karen,
    School isn't free. We pay for it through our property taxes.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  25. Edward Hatch

    "The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." Thomas Jefferson.

    This is WHY I SUPPORT UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  26. Vance

    Health care is a fundamental HUMAN right not just American.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  27. Sarah Jo

    Are there any free healthcare treatments near D.C. like we just saw in Inglewood, CA on your show? I really need that.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  28. Jayce Hewitt

    "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness " Deny me health care, I might die, and your denying me LIFE.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  29. Deanne

    Health Care is not a fundamental right.

    I wonder if this quiz had been offered up after the work day was over, would the results have been different?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  30. Tom

    Yes it should be! A system that allows healthcare companies and individuals to make big profits on someone's illnesses is immoral. Is this really the kind of country we want to be?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  31. Toby Wagoner

    I would live to have the same insurance as congress. I say make that optional to everyone as an option. I would switch in a heartbeat.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  32. gayatheistblog

    To the people who are voting no, are you insured? Do you have healthcare? I would imagine your wouldn't vote no so quickly if you had no care. Also obviously the majority of votes believe healthcare is a human right. 84% at the time of writing this.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  33. Joe C

    Our tax dollars pay for police protection and firefighters, which are equally available to all citizens because they serve and protect us and keep us safe. We also have public school, which is taxpayer funded, to give all citizens equal access to education. Why is it that our most important issue, our personal well-being, not generally taxpayer funded? It doesn't make sense.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  34. Darrell in Des Moines Iowa

    In this country we have some of the best quality health care in the world....provided you are healthy and wealthy.

    The hated filled discourse from the radical right of this country is less about health care reform then it is about classism and racism.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  35. Clell Ward

    I do not think that healthcare is a right; however, I do believe that in the United States if government workers have the best health care, so should the citizens at large. If we are going to spend large sums of money on social programs, citizens should at a minimum be fed, housed and cared for medically. Since we are throwing away money anyway.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  36. mike

    of course its a basic american right. the constitution says we have the right to live doesnt it. well to live we need, thats right, health care

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  37. James

    Health Care is a right and if you cant pay you shouldn't get it because you are not a benefit to society so why should the people who have the money to pay and some who don't have to pay for the people who either can't pay or won't pay so I do not believe that the government should do anything with the health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  38. stljackie

    Health care is really not a "fundamental" right. As a caring, compassionate country it is our responsibility to assist those who need help in whatever situation that may be, i.e., the hunger, homeless, disabled, etc. But at its core, health care is not a right.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  39. John A Babitskas

    I live in Atlanta Ga. and saw the first tv ad from preachers reminding us that we are "our brothers keeper".

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  40. WendyNC

    It IS a fundamental right in a civilized country. It is not Socialism or Fascism for a country to care for the health of its most valuable resource, its citizens.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  41. William

    Being Canadian I am rather perplexed by the reactions of some towards our system. News Alert. It works pretty well here. No, it's not perfect however we don't pay hundred even thousands for a hospital visit. It is inlcuded in our taxes. Wake up people. Those who are saying Hand off my Helath Care, You are so far out of touch with reality..you're embarassing yourselves.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  42. Ted Weatherford

    Wake up America. It's time for a change. The CEO'S and the insurance companies are take us for a ride.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  43. Linda Kerth

    YES. I see the question as analogous to public education ... if our children have the right to a free education, do they not have an equal right to access to health care? Then, does the need for health care expire at age 18? Does health care not include dental and visual care?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  44. Stephen

    this country is founded on the idea that we are all in this together. The opponents want to prevent others from getting what they need because they don't want to share what they have been fortunate (yes, FORTUNATE) they are simply selfish, greedy people and the medical/pharma industrial complex is fighting hard to keep people in poor health ... they profit from illness!!! Talk about exploiting people!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  45. Aaron Squires

    Healthcare is not just an American right, it's a human right. Billions of dollars are made every year from the poor health of others... how is this just? I'm Canadian and enjoy universal healthcare and hope that all Americans can share some kind of affordable and easily accessable healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  46. dj anderson

    Food, clothes, shelter, health care are NOT rights but are the responsibility of able bodied citizens to get for themselves. That's why we work each day, to have these things.

    If food or health care is a right, then we should not have to pay for it, but be given it.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  47. Josef

    Whether Health Care is a "right" or not is to miss the point. The point is whether America is running at full steam, that is, is the country operating as efficiently as possible? I don't believe we are, given how much we spend on health care as a nation. This is really what we should be discussing and debating.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  48. Dave Moore

    Health care is a fundemental right. As someone who had to temp for many years and now am unemployed ( I get the Cobra Healthcare) I am familiar with what it is like to have access only to health insurance that only paid for catastrophic care. Many of the people I hear complaining that they would have to subsidize healthcare for others would be the first ones in line for government health if they lost their jobs so they have no credibility whatsoever.
    I am lucky that when my last employer hired me and I had affordable access to health care that there weren't any major medical problems.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  49. Robert Campbell

    Maybe a better question would be, Do Americans have the right to no health care if they dont want it? Government run healthcare will tax us all.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  50. Jon

    I'm sure when electricity was first brought to rural areas people in the cities didnt want to pay for it and when roads were first paved people didnt see why they had to pay for roads they didnt drive on.

    Regardless of what the profiteers, xenophobes, and big brother conspiracy theorists have to say healthcare is indeed a fundamental right.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  51. Sunie

    It's not just a fundamental American right. It's a fundamental human right. Anyone with an ounce of humanity could never sit by and let someone become sicker, lose a limb, die, because the person cannot afford to pay for the healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  52. Rebecca

    It seems like the loudest are those who have had priveleged control over this country and its pollicies. Those who can afford to take off and show up to a town hall meeting in the day.

    As a minority, far too often we are the last hired and the first fired, and unfortunately this has affected physical well being, because of course it affects access to healthcare.

    We are the only developed nation that does not provide healthcare to its all of its citizens, but has the largest prison population. We need to prioritize our values!

    I would rather pay for healthcare for all, than pay for those who show up at emergency room and cannot afford to pay. We are choosing how we want to pay, but pay we will one way or the other.

    Rebecca
    Houston, TX

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  53. Damien

    The question is not so much is health care a fundamental right, but why is it so expensive and so difficult to get. The insurance companies and the medical industry including the pharmaceuticals have had free reign when it comes to charging for there services, picking and choosing who they want to insure or treat. In what other industry are you allowed to pick and choose your customers. It is shocking that when you go to a hospital to be treated you have to sign all of these papers saying you will pay, but there isn't a single person who can tell you how much it is going to cost. I just don't understand why I have to agree to pay for something before I know how much it is?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  54. Nick

    Also, if the proposed healthcare plan includes morally appalling items such as abortion then it needs to be shot down by all in Congress.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  55. Debra Davis

    Healthcare is NOT a fundamental right in America.

    What makes a person think that it is?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  56. Andrew

    Every other developed nation and many third world countries (e.g. Cuba) consider access to health care a fundamental human right. It is shocking how uninformed and ignorant so many Americans appear to be. How can this country pride itself on being a progressive, enlightened nation when many of its most fundamental aspects are so primitive.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  57. Sean

    A right to healthcare, means a right to receive for free, the labors of others in the form of a service. It means to get the fruits of work and labor of healthcare workers and doctor. or it means to steal from Paul to give to Peter. A right to free heatlhcare is a privilege at best, and one at the cost of violation of rights of those who would be asked to provide it. it is very un-American.
    A right to any free service means to enslave the fruits of labor of others. it in effects means slavery. and we know that is not the American way.
    A right is something that could be defended, such as right to free speech, right to freedom, or right to see a doctor or get the type of healthcare you want by way a free contract with another.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  58. margie

    fundamental right? how about human decenty?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  59. Bryan from Philadelphia

    I am so tired of people from small little towns telling the rest of America how to reform health care. They never leave their smalls towns. They never leave their gated neighborhoods. I am angry at ignorant people who never see poor people. If they would go into the cities and see what I see everyday they might support health care reform.

    I am a liberal and I want my voice heard too. We must have universal health care. It is an option in our country.

    Wake up America.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  60. PCarruthers

    I believe those who are against the Healthcare Reform 1) Have the ability to pay for health care and/or have never experienced what it's like not to get the care when needed but no ability to pay, 2) Are grossly misinformed and believes that they will have no say at all in their health care issues if this reform passes. Obviously, the Healthcare Reform would not strip us of making medical decisions, nor is it designed to be a plan that would fail us or put us in a worse situation than we are in. I don't understand why the big roar if this new reform includes an option. America is so clueless and relies on the media to hype them up and mislead them. I think the President should do what he knows to do and make it America's responsibility to read the reform and understand what it's really all about.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  61. Willie Bickley

    According to the poll, most think that health care is a fundamental right , yet there's so much noise against the health reform. Go figure.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  62. Dave Aiken's

    It would help if you showed at lest every half hour how much profit
    the health industry makes and the wages of the c.e.o.s make.
    I am retired military and i get Medicare and tri-CARE for life and make med.care is outstanding.The gov.runs both of these programs.
    The bottom line is if it is good enough for then why not everyone.
    I don't mean free care.
    Please keep telling the truth.
    dave aikens

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  63. James

    The US would be stupid to accept such a thing if we do we wont be a country for long it would bankrupt us in a few years

    August 11, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  64. Peter K. Rallis

    The only RIGHTS we have are enumerated and specified in the Constitution. Healthcare is no more a right than is a new Cadillac every year. There are humanitarian organizations that can and do supply assistance to the less fortunate but the government has no business becoming involved in or becoming one of those organiztion.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  65. jan

    YES!

    Fundamental healthcare is a fundamental right but also it’s a primary national defense. If someone without healthcare gets the swine flu and spreads this disease around, this impacts the rest of us. This example is just one disease. There are so many others. If we don’t have basic healthcare for everyone, we cost everyone and risk people’s lives.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  66. Sam Militello

    Yes, While many question (Specter and others) about the Constitution and founder's intent: no one (even the Liberal Dems) mention the language of the Preamble: "to provide for the general welfare". In the 21st century shouldn't we ask A) should we; and B) if we pay the most but don't have the best results shouldn't the gov't try to fix the shortcomings of the private sector; e.g. create a bit more competition? Thanx

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  67. Keith

    Of course healthcare is a fundemental right of all Americans. Healthcare is a fundemental right just as empathy is a fundemental human emotion. A little care and empathy could certainly help us all live a better life.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  68. george ruch

    Tony – I just wathed your bit on free health care from CA – I wonder why no one ever asked or mentioned how many of the folks receiving free care are legal citizens of this country - I noticed that the guy with the mike did about 95% of the talking and made the entire interview seem to be a vote for the Obamacare program. Please be fair – we all care but we don't want our care to equal what we just witnessed.
    George

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  69. Lane

    Health care is not a right but government health care is a necessity. The insured currently cover the uninsured who leverage the most expensive forms of health care ( emergency ) as opposed to more preventative means. Hospitals employ large amounts of overhead to determine whether or not individuals are covered which would not be necessary if individuals were covered.

    Provide base level preventative care services (so as to mitigate cost due to emergency usage) at nominal cost ( to discourage overuse ), and enable individuals to get additional coverage if they wish to pay for it. Improve and expand as time goes by based on peer reviewed studies.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  70. WILL

    LOOK, THIS IS AMERICA, I THINK THAT WE OUGHT TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE FOR EACH AND EVERY CITIZEN IN THIS COUNTRY. WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN WHEN IT COMES TO THINGS LIKE HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION, AND JOB TRAINING. HOW CAN WE PRODUCE AND LEAD THE WORLD IF WE CANT TAKE CARE OF OUR OWN. IN ORDER TO DO THIS OUR PEOPLE NEED TO HEALTHY AND EDUCATED.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  71. Rick

    Given the capacity for this country to provide good health care at a resonable price it IS the right of each person to receive this care. It's the profit motive that makes it difficult to get and this is what is hurting our health care system now. Whether it be stockholders profits or individual DR.'s the profit motive has to be appropriate to the responsibility for care. Just like taxes, profit should be made fair across the board. There needs to be a redistribution of access and availability to the riches of this country.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  72. john keir

    DEAR TONY,
    I LIVE IN CANADA AND AND TOTALLY DISILLUSIONED WITH THE IDEA OF GOV'T FUNDED HEALTH CARE. I HAVE SEEN PROGRAM AFTER PROGRAM CUT BY THE GOV'T OF ONTARIO, AND HAVE WATCHED THE BEAUCRACY GROW AND GROW. I HAVE SEEN APPLICATIONS DENIED BY THE VERY GOV'T WHO IS SUPPOSED TO WATCH OVER OUR HEALTH CARE. MAKE NO MISTAKE. THE INSURANCE COMPANIES WILL NOT SIT BY AND WATCH THEIR CASH COW BEING STRIPPED FROM THEM!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  73. Jon

    All this hoopla is just a symptom of the American people's inability to think critically. Too often, many Americans are only forming their opinions from talk show hosts and tv personalities. We, as Americans need to read more and have intelligent debates, not screaming matches, so we can move past the misinformation and fear-mongering that's all to common in politics today.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  74. Sharon Blum

    Healthcare is a Right to Life issue! It is a moral imperative. We rank 29th in infant mortatity,behind Cuba. Cuba! Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate than we do . It is time to provide healthcare for all Americans, NOW!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  75. Wanda Foster

    People fear mongering about healthcare desperately need to stop and think. Medicare provides excellent service to the elderly, better than insurance companies. It is a government-run program. How many of you have had cancer while having private health insurance? I haven't but I know people who have. They get dumped after they exceed their $2 million limit, which they do in today's expensive environment. The same thing happens to people with other catastrophic diseases or dialysis. Also, many people can't, cannot, aren't allowed to buy their own health insurance. It's not that they can't or won't pay. No company will take them. Republicans continue to lie and stir the pot. They are making you afraid. Please look at reality. Stop and think rather than letting pure emotion overtake you.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  76. Mike in VA

    No it is NOT a right. In a perfect world there would be no such thing as money...no rich or poor....and then everything could be provided to every one but this world is far from perfect and unfortunately there is a such thing as money and there is the rich and the poor and this country just CANNOT afford it.

    So what are we teaching people...just sit on your butt and the people that bust their butts at work will pay to ensure you have everything you need. You are just reinforcing a welfare state. It is NOT up to me to pay for anyone elses health care other than me and my family.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  77. Jeff Pignataro

    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. First we try and make owning a home a right and it nearly destroys the economy. Now we want to make health care a right?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  78. Cindy

    The right to health care is clearly spelled in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. This is publicly displayed at un.org. for every citizen of this world to read. The United States agreed to these principles over 50 years ago, at the end of WWII, so it's about time that
    Congress is finally trying to get around to doing it. Why is this such a big secret?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  79. albert s merrion

    Pharma, doctors, hospitals, health insurance are "raping" the American public. Look at how many big $$$ these entities are taking in, much of which is taxpayers $$$. Throw it COMPLETELY into the "free market", remember that?, American Capitalism. The aforementioned bastards would then scramble and scream - and health care $$ would come down.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  80. Stephen Charchuk

    Health Care is much more than an American fundamental right. Its a human fundamental right. The problem is that some just don't value human life when comes to money. I truly feel sorry for them.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  81. Bill Yarbrough

    Healthcare needs to be easily accessible and affordable. But, be careful. It is NOT a right. No service that requires the labor of others can be considered a right. To do so, we create some horrible unintended consequences. Our system is broken, but it cannot be fixed by engaging in actions that discourage innovation, encourage rationing, and keeps our best and brightest from wanting a career in medicine. It is no coincidence that costs skyrocketed when real insurance ceased to exist in this country and we started subsidized health maintenance plans.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  82. James

    Why is healthcare a fundamental right? Is it a fundamental right for the goverment to pay for food, clothing or housing? How is healthcare any different? While agreeing health insurance is necessary and our current system needs improvement, I don't see it as a fundamental right but rather a need you must try to provide for yourself.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  83. James Gregg

    People seem to be trowing childlike temper tantrums, as is evident by the screaming and yelling at our elected officials (who are standing right in front of them) inside these town meetings. This display of rudeness is more embarrassing then a 4 year old child throwing a fit in the supermarket checkout line. What will this country turn into if we can't at least be civil in our political discourse? -JB Gregg Richmond, VA

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  84. Karen Canada

    Darrel, that is exactlky how it strikes me and my friends. There is a nasty Facist, Racist vibe behind all of this so called ""grass roots organizing. It is very unbecoming of the Unied Staes of America. Fight it with all you have; these people are your greatest threat to freedom.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  85. Michael C.

    People in American have the same right to health care as we do for police, fire and education.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  86. CYNTHIA MANLEY

    WE HAVE THE INALIENABLE RIGHT TO LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. NOWADAYS IN ORDER TO HAVE LIFE WE MUST HAVE MEDICAL CARE.

    WE MUST GO BACK TO OUR FUNDAMENTAL VALUES OF CONCERN FOR OURSELVES AND FOR OUR FELLOW CITIZENS. IN THIS WAY SOCIETY IS A TRUE SOCIAL CONTRACT FOR ALL.

    FROM AN 18TH CENTURY SCHOLAR WHO UNDERSTANDS OUR FOUNDING FATHERS (AND MOTHERS TOO).

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  87. J S

    Just recently, the government took my mother's health insurance away from her. She has Arthritis, high blood pressure, and she's almost blind. She works very hard and does not depend on government's welfare to survive. However, she cannot afford to pay a health insurance. Many fill their mouth glorifying the United States. That we enjoy great liberty, freedom, and safety. That this is the land of opportunity and of the free. I guess you're free to condenm those who do not share your economic advantages (Middle and Upper Class). Now, you see all those entertainers earning millions and millions of dollars and you don't complain about it. Afraid to give away your money, you already did.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  88. Debra Wells

    Tony, I believe our citizens have a right to live, not just the wealthy.

    I'm an American, living in Ontario. I grew up in Florida, where we subsisted on my mother's very small salary. There was no healthcare coverage from the employer and we couldn't afford a telephone, never mind insurance.

    I had asthma, pleurisy, bronchitis, allergies: the spectrum of lung problems from an early age. Because we could not afford medicines or doctors and had no car to travel to the hospital, I missed weeks of school and suffered terribly, year after year. I have scarred lungs from the experience. I had no dental care or vision care until I was an adult.

    When I moved to Ontario, 30 years ago, I chose a doctor, whom I still have. My appointments are prompt, referrals to specialists (of my choice) are timely. My shoulder surgery took place in the same week it was determined I needed it.

    My asthma is now well under control and I have had medical care every step of the way. I am never turned away because I haven't the funds.

    I am still not wealthy, but in the medical offices here, I am treated the same as a person who is.

    Doctors are paid salaries, here. The ones who are in it for the big bucks cross the border; the ones who are in the profession because it is their life's calling scale back the amenities and live like the rest of us.

    Please explain what is so objectionable in this plan?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  89. Jason

    The constitution states "we find these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Seniors, the poor, the disabled and even murderers in prison are granted healthcare as a basic right. If the government wants to participate in healthcare, it ought to fund it or provide it or subsidize it everyone or to nobody. That is if we are all in fact created equal.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  90. Fatima Minor

    Affordable healthcare is our right in this country. Now, if a person wants to turn it down, than that's their choice. Medicaid is offered for children and pregnant women than the rest of us are out here lost finding other means to patch our health. Health insurance is offered by companies, but after you pay your deductible, the sad thing about that is most people can't afford the deductible. Reform is needed and now.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  91. Linda

    The amount of disinformation, fear mongering and hysteria about health care reform is just frightening. Many of the people railing against health care reform and government involvement are the same people who are recipients of Medicare. Don't they realize that Medicare is a government program, just like social security? I don't see recipients complain about those programs. in fact, they have been very successful.

    And, don't these people realize that government is supposed to be about helping citizens? Why all the paranoia and distrust? I'm a patriot, and I believe in our system. That's why I believe in a government role in the health care system. A democratic government (of the people, by the people) is not evil; it's what our country is based on.

    So please stop the fear mongering and socialism baiting. It's getting old and tired. It's time for a civil discourse.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  92. Aaron

    You simply cannot apply the usual American ideals of "fundamental rights," "the American way," and "laizzes-faire" to the healthcare debate. Ensuring the health of the American people is not a matter of ideals, but a matter of simple humanity. What civilized country would let its people die a slow uninsured death on principle? We have to protect the people.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  93. Mike

    I don't know if health care is a "fundamental right". If so it would probably be in the Constitution. Health care should and could be an affordable necessity. When you look at the excesses in American politics, all the pork bills, lobbyists, etc., you can realistically see that health care can be affordable if the money wasted in politics was used to help us all afford not only health care, but better health care. And here's a novel idea; let's use OUR tax money for Americans rather than send it overseas. When you put more money in our pockets, philanthropthy grows and we the people can decide where to donate our hard earned money.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  94. 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. They’re yelling about cost, taxes, and keeping what’s theirs and don’t seem to appreciate that if the 47,000,000 uninsured in this country aren’t provided with affordable health care, all of us will pay anyway in ways that are unsustainable. 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 11:19 am |
  95. steve irwin dallas tx

    It really irks me to hear from the people who are opposing health care reform...By using referrals to Russia, 1930's germany... obama "death panels"..and return america to us....just shows that they cannot explain their opposition based on facts....I too have problems with the health care reform bill.....I prefer single payer....but I realize that in a democracy you have to take both extreme's and meet in the middle. Good job guys.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  96. Tasha Boone

    LIFE, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... Need I say more???

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  97. Michelle from San Francisco

    I am French so my answer to your question is a very loud YES!!!! I grew up in a system where health care was provided to absolutely everyone, even foreigners. I never quite understood the American way of taking care of its people. The rich and well insured are happy and so are the very poor and children – up to 18years of age. But for the rest of us, we only have to hope and pray nothing major will happen. Or else...

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  98. James

    I would rather pay thousands of dollars to get the medical care I need then have to wait 18months like we ould with the gov running this

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  99. Larry Crabb

    This is the United States of America in the 21st century, the most affluent country in history at the most affluent time in the history of man. It is a codemnation of our entire way of life if all our citizens don't have the healthcare they need to function with comfort at their God-given higest capacity.
    Why don't we raise taxes on a sliding scale to pay for it? True, the wealthiest are most able to absorb the cost, but that proposition only gets the expected resistance. Most of the ordinary folks I know would be willing to pay a little more, the not-so-ordinary a little more than that and the least ordinary more yet.
    As that great Japanese philosopher, Joe Nike said, Let's, "Just Do It!"

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  100. Stephanie Jeffery

    It is time for a paradigm shift in the way America sees healthcare. As it stands, it feels and looks like a "survival of the fittest" situation and as usual, it is the "Haves' who make the loudest noise about the "Have-Nots" being given what amounts to a basic fundamental human right. Shame.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  101. Luie, Hialeah Gardens, Florida

    It's not just a fundemental right, it's a humanitarian right! This is the best country in the world and health care should not be profit driven!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  102. John Mapes

    There is nothing in the Contituion about ANY intitlements! This nation built by people that took care of themselves not by socialism. John Mapes, Yorba linda Ca. (You can use my name and City)

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  103. noelle

    As far as this poll is concerned, I voted that it is right because I believe that it is immoral for an individual to be denied healthcare when there are perfectly capable medical personnel and facilities whose job it is to treat people. Basically, it is the medical community's (dr's, insurance providers, nurses etc) obligation to treat people to the best of their ability... which is currently not happening – people are turned away because they cannot pay. If someone came to your door bleeding you would call for help or help yourself them if you could... you wouldn't ask if they could pay first... and afterward you probably wouldn't even charge them... I'm not saying dr's shouldn't be paid but they shouldn't turn someone down for financial or bureaucratic reasons.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  104. Tommy Walker

    Let's face it–the health care debate is not about health care–it's about money.. The rich people of this country and companies they own don't want to give it up. There is only ONE reason a company does anything–to make more money or lose less money.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  105. Don

    I believe the governments of the world have a fundamental duty to help it's peoples regardless of socio-economic status. To have nearly 50 million people in the U.S. without the ability to visit a medical facility and not be forced into bankruptcy is not only irresponsible on behalf of it's society, but criminal. Example...my son who was 22 years old, suffered a kidney stone. Without insurance and not understanding what was happening he was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. He stayed less than a day...total charge, over two thousand dollars. The doctor charge alone was over four hundred dollars. What did the doctor do? He walked in the room...if you can call it that...flipped through his chart and confirmed it was a kidney stone...and walked out. You might as well put a gun to his head and ask for his wallet. Astounding!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  106. Daniel H

    This is a very misleading question. With consideration, this could be seen through the lens of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, thus making health care a fundamental American right. Insurance companies have proven themselves untrustworthy through 'pre-existing condition' and 'recision' policies and are not beholden to policy holders, rather shareholders.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  107. Fred Cohen

    I've been following the debate on your health care system. I am a Canadian, and like most Canadians believe that health care is a basic fundamental right. My heart goes out to those who have to stand in line for hours to get some free basic health care, as based on your recent interview with the gentleman who is providing a week long clinic in California. What does it say about a society that cannot support it citizens. This is not socialism, but just a basic right. I find the American people are a very generous group, giving to may needy organizations. It is time that the US government give something back to them.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  108. Eric from NC

    I know that our true fundamental rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness however what does it say about a nation that only takes care of the rich and powerful? I woud rather provide healthcare for those who need it with the hope that we are all working toward the goal of creating a healthier nation than waging war on every continent to satisfy our need to feel bigger and better than everyone.

    What happened to compassionate conservatism?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  109. Holly Martin

    There will never be a positive resolution to the healthcare debate for one very basic reason....The people do NOT trust their Government anymore therefore they will not trust their Government to handle their healthcare. To partially fix this problem once and for all, stop the hospital for profit, doctors for profit and health insuranace for profit....Stop the profit and finally put the people first!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  110. Maria Kaloudis

    I have been following the healthcare debate for quite a while. We are a family of 5 and I can't tell you how difficult it has been to acquire healthcare insurance as a family. My husband is uninsured, simply because we can't afford it. I'm an asthmatic and have no choice but to pay for healthcare because of the costly monthly inhalers that I'm required to take. I even have to pay out of pocket because my meds are not fully covered. Thank goodness that my children are covered through Child Health Plus because if they weren't, we would be bankrupt. Is this fair? I feel that money has become the only option as to who is covered and who is not. When I see people with signs that display "Hands off my healthcare", I feel infuriated. If they are able to pay thousands and thousands of dollars in order to have healthcare, then that's all well and fine for them. However, for the rest of us that struggle to pay their mortgage, utilities and food, well allow us to have the option for a government-type health insurance. Our current healthcare situation has gotten out-of-hand. Insurance companies keep raising rates and do not assist those who struggle. Allow families that need this type of insurance to get it. Thank you.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  111. Richard in Columbia SC

    Our country is a godly capitalist nation. .How could we not help our fellow human beings.It is what we are required to do morally and ethically.Most people who would disagree with health reform have probaly been fortunate to be of great wealth.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  112. Linda Kerth

    Also, why are people so afraid of the health care provided in Canada and England? Is this not ignorant fear of the word 'socialism'? The fact is that anyone at any time for any medical condition can get free and adequate care without cost in those countries, while people without insurance in this country go without. I'm on social security and have to pay out of pocket for any vision or dental care I can get, and I can't afford it. I can't afford to pay 20% of any surgical procedure or any other medical care I get under social security. I have been bankrupt by medical insurers making millions.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  113. Thomas J Stephens

    Dear Tony, I am a Canadian.The joy I have gotten from my life never having to be concerned a health problem would bankrupt me is "priceless." In your opinion question you ask if health care is an American right.Here in Canada we believe it to be a Human right.The clear option is logically to stop acting like Americans and begin acting like humans.Americans must evolve past stubborn individuality that worked in the past and begin to understand, like we do in Canada, that if one American hurts....you all hurt.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  114. thomas raddcliff

    you keep talking about how the last thing you want to see is a canadian health care system. i am a canadian living in the US, and as long as i lived and was treated in canada, it was only in the US that while in hospital i saw people turned away for insufficient health insurance.

    this country should quit misinforming people about health care, and about the canadian health care system as well. the ignorance of these reports is embarrassing.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  115. B. M. Derby

    I think the question about health care being a fundamental American right, with a yes/no response choice, dodges the real issue. The real question is how far Americans are willing to go in providing or refusing health care to people who cannot pay the fees charged for the services they need. It's more a question of fundamental human rights than a question of fundamental American rights. It's easy to read the Constitution and say that health care is not a fundamental American right. It may not be so easy to say that basic/preventive care and treatment for severe or emergency conditions is not a human right.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  116. Marcus Hoover

    The question is framed all wrong. Is health care a right? No; Should health care be a right? Yes.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  117. Millicent J. Aynes

    We cannot have our cake and eat it too! We cannot socialize health care, bail out banks too big to fail; financially support our auto industry; outsource jobs; become a global economy; have a North American allince; increase our trade debts; borrow money we cannot pay back; and maintain a free enterprise system. We need to roll back to paying our own way and standing on our own feet. Citizens must be responsible for their own health as well as they possibly can.
    We need jobs to pay for health care, folks! I don't want to pay for a skidrow bum to have a kidney transplant while I am sacrificing to pay for my own health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  118. Mike

    Forgot to mention that one of the biggest lobby groups is the insurance industry. We need to make health care that is based on the patient and not on the insurance companies.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  119. wilani

    consider this , all native americans are given free health care as part of there (AMERICAN) tready rights .... we should ask them for once if there plan is working for them,,,,, before we so advertently disagree with a plan that is still in the works. just a thought

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  120. mare

    If healthcare is a fundamental right, than who pays for it. The
    middle class can not keep sucking up the costs for those that can not
    afford. Instead of healthcare reform, why don't we work on fixing the existing programs that are already in place ie medicare/medicaid.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  121. yayah kebe

    yes tony it should be a constitutional right for every american to be able to see a doctor whenever he or she wants to,americans will go any where in the world to bring a citizen if he or she is in arms way then don't let americans die in america cause they can't afford to see a doctor

    August 11, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  122. Betty

    Being a nurse for 23 years- I know we need not only healthcare reform but a total overhaul of our system. I think Americans would be truly enraged if they knew how dangerous it is to be a patient in the hospital.
    Due to the insurance companies and corporations running our hospitals and making decisions based on the dollar- this causes. medication errors and errors in patient care.
    If you are worried about about euthanasia but don't say a word about murder then your on the wrong track. Murder, nothing less, takes place everyday in our hospitals and nursing homes. Concerned? Let's ask for the real statistics.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  123. Ken Williamson

    Tony

    You wondered what to do with people's feeling that they are not being heard as reported by Jessica. There is a segment of the population those ideaology will trump any discussion of the issue. This is true at both ends of the political spectrum, but the right wing is more obvious.

    Put that feeling up against the results of your poll (75% feel health care is a right regarless of ability to pay). Yesterday, Senator McCaskil expressed shock at the fact that the health insurance industry reported over 12B in profits.

    Question: If healthcare is a right and not contingent on ability to pay, does the private sector belong in the healthcare business.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  124. Auden

    Distinction must be made between "a right" and "a need". The two are not synonymous. Rights do not impose obligations on other people to provide for me – regardless of my needs. Rights are articles of freedom.

    If a person has a "right" to my providing for them, then my right to self-ownership is violated. Freedom (the premise and the principle of self-ownership) is the highest value of this nation, and should not be sold-out for ANY need, whether real or perceived.

    If health care was a "right" then that would mean that there would be OBLIGATIONS on others to provide for my healthcare needs, and unless/until there is forced/mandated labor, then in the absence of free market supply there must necessarily be government rationing and prioritization on who gets what care – that is a mathematical/logical fact – if its a right then there must be a provider mandated or scare resources allocated.

    The solution to health care issues in this country would be solved by increasing the competitive landscape of healthcare, reducing ineffective regulations, increasing incentives for people to enter the medical field, promoting private cooperatives and alternatives to for-profit insurance companies, and many others...

    sacrificing freedom, raising mandatory taxes, and rationing are NOT the answer!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  125. jason

    absolutely it is. health care is just as much a fundamental right as any other and to deny it to any citizen in our country is to deny them the ability to fully enjoy the rights of life and liberty. Do you want to take public schools away next?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  126. Adam

    Health Care, although a nice thing to have in a civil society, is by definition, not a right. Philosophically, rights include such things as "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," the right to free speech, the right to bear arms (or more broadly the right to defend oneself, or to support oneself through hunting and the procurement of food). Specifically, a right is an individual freedom, not something that you expect society or anyone else to give you, even though it may be a very good thing.

    Having said this, I would still like to see thoughtful changes made to our health care system that would catch many of those who currently fall through the cracks, while also improving health education and preventive care.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  127. Lee Cornelius

    After thirty years as an RN with two of the armed forces and a federal health care facility, I can tell you that health care delivered in a federal system can be every bit as good as the public. However, even within those systems, the service is still stratified, ie. the Admiral still gets better care than the seaman. The question should not be so much about what I, as an individual should/will get, but how well the country as a whole is protected. Epidemics are reduced when everyone has adequate basic preventative care.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  128. Andrew

    Well, if it was NOT a right, then we must teach our kids that until they are allowed to get jobs they have NO right to be treated when sick. For those who think this bill will mean govenment controlling lives... look at Driver's Licenses & states that make it ILLEGAL to NOT own ANY kind of ID in order to be shown respect. I would NEVER own a driver's license if it was NOT required, I look at it as a way to be labeled unAmerican if you do not show people who you are. It does not matter who I am I was born because of two people's decision thats all. I have no friends and society has mistreated me, if I was not afraid of weapons or ANYthing Id kill myself. I have NO reason to be alive eventhough the ONLY person with ANY REAL smart thinking is Mr. Obama. I support him 300%, I refuse to join ANY thing that supports this country of dumb unlogical thinking people. OBAMA is the ONLY true American that understands what MUST be done to keep the future from becoming a nation about money and not the American life If people do not want change, then why vote for it?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  129. Kenny Oreagba

    I am very impressed of the Obama team effort to ensure that all American have right to good health program. In view of my obseravtion of reactions from the citizen that are againt the health reform, most of them are misinformed or not sure of the full benefit to everyone. Also most of the citizen that opposses the reform are older citizen. The government should focus on the younger generation ages 1yr to 28yr for good health insurance to test the program and ensure healthy younger generation for the future of the country. They will decide in the future whether to make health reform for everyone base on previous expeirence over a ceratin period of years of the program

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  130. Stephen Charchuk

    Nick. We pay for health care as well through our taxes. There is no "out of pocket expense" involved when you go to get care.

    We've had universal health care for around 40 years now. Whatever the right-wing is telling you against it is either a distortion or an outright lie.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  131. christine bardenhagen

    IIt bugs me how the republicans drag us into these ridiculous wars at great expense and many casualties that we never win, but for us Democrats to have guaranteed health care is somehow imposing on them. Their values are screwed up big time. Also, the Nazis were to the right of the political spectrum not the left. Hitler would have been a
    republican not a Democrat. As usual republicans don't know what they are talking about.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  132. doug chisholm

    tony the media and the govt. should stress the fact that it's natural to be healthy. the way the whole health care thing is being portrayed you'd think the whole country was on their last breath, with everyone running to get their drugs. dental and vision is a little different and of course there are rare diseases but if people would live healthier lives and if the doctors would quit raping the insurance companies this wouldn't be such a major issue. better to concentrate on a better transportation system. thanks

    August 11, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  133. Nancy Anderson

    You have proven beyond doubt with your coverage of the Lebanon, PA meeting that you are not interested in true journalism. I watched the entire meeting on FOX, then watched to see how other stations would cover this event. You characterized a rather moderate meeting as another mob scene. I wondered at times if you were watching the same event I was. You focused on the dissenters who were upset and trying to be heard, and characterized them as disruptive. This was NOT a mob scene. All were respectful...even the man you showed a clip of. He had called and written to Senator Spector and was told by his office that he would be allowed to speak. When he got there, the Senator tried to silence him. Why didn't you cover that? You, sir, are no journalist. You showed yourself as completely biased in your reporting. I was watching and hoping your show would have some shred of integrity. You have permanently lost your station a viewer. Your questions are skewed to receive the answers you want to see. I hold a MA, and am educated in how to frame a question to get the desired results. Do I believe BASIC healthcare should be provided to all Americans would have brought more agreement, as well as encouraging discussion. Your question is going to be used by this administration to (once again) show false approval numbers or brand dissenters to exhorbitant spending as "unAmerican". You should be ashamed of yourself and CNN should be ashamed to call this news or responsible reporting of issues.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  134. Ellis

    Great piece on the work being done in the LA sports venue, regarding health care for those who cannot afford it [in the greatest country in the wolrd]! One has to wonder how many of them are following town hall meeting times and Twittering, instead of being in survival mode.

    Being shown so soon after the obviously convservative gentleman is shown, acting less than one would care to, if aware, because of the entire idea of ANY health care reform may put a muzzle on the story. I often hear people asking "where are the supporters of this health care bill..?" I'd bet you guys just showed close to an arena full of them.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  135. Dave Ohio

    All Americans deserve good health care. But other than a medical emergency, I feel the government should step in only when other health care insurance avenues are exhausted. A plan needs to be in place for people with no (or limited) insurance and medical emergencies. I worry that companies that offer medical insurance will make some lame excuse for stopping it.
    AND Americans need to start taking responsibility for their part in good health. I realize a lot of ailments are beyond a persons control but a lot are in their control. I won't rehash them, everyone already knows what they are.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  136. Lorenzo

    Every time the government bestows a "right" upon its citizens, it simultaneously imposes an "obligation" on other citizens to pay for it.

    "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" are guaranteed. Note it is the "pursuit" of happiness that is guaranteed...not the attainment of it!

    Health care is expensive. People should contribute to the costs of their healthcare rather than relying upon everybody else to pay for it.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  137. Erica Phillips Stubner

    Fundamental American Right? Yes, but only if the person is a true American. What is an American is the questions? In my opinion, he/she is, at a minimum, an honest, tax paying, constructive, contributing citizen. This person is already contributing to programs that are meant to supply healthcare. We already have systems and funds available that are not being utilized to their full potential. I am just a newly single mother of 2 and at the end of the 2009 school year, discovered a way to provide free basic healthcare for any child/adult in the public school system. Not only would this program not cost American's money, it actually can earn money that can go back into the school and healthcare system. I have looked at every reason why this plan could NOT work, and there are NO reasons. It can happen right away. I simply don't know how to share the details of this plan.

    However, those who are not tax paying citizens and choose to cost this country money, and only take, as opposed to giving, should also be aware that they are choosing to waive their rights to the benefits of being an American Citizen. It's their choice.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  138. John Hughes

    I am amazed at the number of individuals that make health care for all out to be the first step on a slippery slope towards Socialism. Please look around at most of the other industrialized nations that have private and public health care systems working in tandem with one another. While each system is a little different, the point is that public and private systems coexist and the cost of health care is less with better services and better results. Last but not least the system we have is broken, we are all paying for the uninsured whenever we have to go to a hospital or buy insurance, and health care is already being rationed – by the insurance industry.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  139. Radu

    I will never understand how being alive, healhty and ready to work and be useful to society is not preferred by some people to being possibly killed by a beaureaucrat that can sign off on a piece of paper basically saying that you represent a financial loss to some corporate people...

    Healthcare is as much a right as the right to be alive; is more of a right than most other rights. It should not depend on one's ability to pay.

    Anyone that wants to perpetuate a murdeing "healthcare" system, can do that without my participation.

    For the record, I am paying monthly premiums for my own. Thank you for reading this.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  140. Haydn Hutson

    If it is not a right it certainly should be. Something similar to getting a public education. People had to fight to be given the right to have access to public (or should we say 'socialized?) education. And that was after the fight (in the early 19th century) to have publicly financed schools at all. We need to get basic, preventative health care to all our citizens and move on.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  141. julio cruz

    Please, notice that most people asking questions or making negative comments about Health Care Reform are in their sixties and nobody ask them if they use their M/Care card for their care, that being a government run program.
    Also, if they have a commercial M/care plan, who chooses the doctors?, him or herself or the Insurance list of providers that the company inposses with the story that they represent the best providers on earth. That story is repeated by every single company like BC/BS, CIGNA, HUMANA, AARP, UHC and so on,.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  142. jaxon

    We believe as a country that everyone - every citizen,every visitor, every illegal– has a right to emergency health care, that is why we give it for free and have ever since the 1980's federal law to anyone who can't pay. Beyond an emergency, people really need to learn that the only thing in life which is free is the air you breathe, and when you consider the cost of scrubbers etc being passed on in products, clean air isn't free. The only rights this country should ever uphold are those in the constitution - freedom! We are into free house (8000 first time credit, free car (4500 car credit), free school (pell grants), free tv (converter boxes) - only slaves take from the master. This country is in a huge tug of war between those who believe in freedom and self-reliance, and those who want us all to be slaves.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  143. Sam Militello

    Further, the not tax and no socialism folks are misinformed. The COnst. made a standing army a feature; obviating posses who worked for lords or other feudal leaders. This system fuels chaos in many parts of the world today. we have totally socialized systems in terms of public education, sanitation and water, and esp. nat. def. and police and fire. This is also why taxes is not a bad word. We need these services for our mutual protection; good or bad. IT's the 21 st century; we can afford to protect everyone with health care, whether privately, (with more competition and EFFORT from insurors) or through less defense spending for bogus wars. (That's where we mortgaged the future.)

    August 11, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  144. jk in maryland

    Is health care a fundamental right? Yes! you have the right to obtain health care. Its a fundamental right to obtain food and shelter and to purchase those things. The question is should the government be providing?

    Any person that can think critically knows that the government does nothing that is efficient or economical. Everything the government does goes broke or costs twice as much as the predict.

    I think everyone can agree that things should be fixed. I would propose some pilot programs. Each state can have money to put in their fixes and lets see which one works. We might even learn to take little pieces from each one.

    Also I would suggest that no one agree to companies getting a payroll tax if they don't participate. If this piece of the bill goes through, then everyone will be on the universal health care program. The choice will be taken out of our hands. Do we really want that?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  145. Randal Coon

    This may sound rash at first, but read it carefully. I know a lot of people who believe it and agree with it as the best plan to save this country and restore its wealth.

    After watching the coverage of the town hall meeting with Senator Arlen Specter, in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, I am now convinced that the American People are ready for a new Constitutional Convention.

    They don’t want health care reform. They want government OUT of HEALTH CARE. As always people should be careful for what they ask for.

    If a more “conservative” government is elected as result of their disdain for our government, it would only take a majority vote of Congress and a Republican President to TAKE government out of healthcare. No more Medicare, Medicaid, Chips, VA hospitals and promised military health care, and tax supported government run hospitals, such as medical schools, who care for the poor, and finally the problem we are all tired of; removal of the requirement that most Hospitals in the U.S. MUST treat indigent persons in the E.R. rooms. That would certainly decrease the cost of health care, and if the Private Health Insurance companies want to, they can pass the savings on to the healthy people they cover. No exceptions for people who lose their insurance by losing a job, or those who have pre-existing conditions.

    So the government should be allowed to withdraw any responsibility for health care in this country. For that matter, WITHOUT REFORM, Medicare, Medicaid and the rest will be unsustainable BECAUSE of the lack of cost-saving reform. There are NO GUARANTEES that we can “just keep what we have,” as most people seem to assume. That is just not true. Without government involvement in health care, we will be back to strictly FREE ENTERPRISE again. No restraints.

    And we should not stop there. The American People have decided, without much thought it seems, that all “welfare” should be done away with. That would include Social Security disability, SSI, and Social Security Retirement.

    Doing away with all this care of the weak and poor in this country could put it back where it was in 1783, the date of the Constitution.

    It would also solve the problem of overpopulation. This along with the building of military protected fences surrounding our country would help us get rid of the illegals, again helping with overpopulation problem.

    It should allow for the repeal of Income Tax of any kind, and we could probably support the only real need required by the Constitution, and by most Americans apparently, that being the MILITARY, to keep us safe from Muslims and other bad people by charging a very minimal sales tax, aka as the Fair Tax.

    If people keep believing the lies about this Administration and the Congress being uniformly bad, then I predict that my Republican best friend’s prediction for this country is actually true.

    If you want a house, PAY for it, build it or do without. If you can’t afford the rent, do without, or sell yourself and your family into slavery to pay for your “home.” The same is true with food. Raise it, BUY it or do without. Maybe sharecrop. And with healthcare, if you cannot PAY for it, then you have no business having it. Agree with my friend, America? I think it would work for the wealthy, anyway. Maybe you could even allow other wealthy people to immigrate into this country, perhaps with a large tax for citizen ship.

    As he says, MONEY RULES.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  146. A. DeLuca

    I would bet that the percentage of folks who feel that insurance is Not a basic right, are well insured and have not experienced the terrible consequences of what it is like to be uninsured or underinsured. Empathy aside, my hope is that Americans will calm down and stop acting the fool at these town meetings. People have a right to express their opinions, but both sides are more likely to be heard if they act with a little civility and self control.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  147. Diane McSwain

    Yes, health care is a fundamental right for all citizens but who will pay for it.? Those who have health care get it from our employers and pay for it. Many are unemployed and some have never worked. A large group of people rely on the government health care system. Tax dollars will continue to pay for needs of the poor. I just believe all should help pay their way.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  148. Richard Marks

    Tony, Although I do believe that health care reform is necessary, I dont believe the current plan is appropriate. I think that one of the biggest problems is that hard working people, who feel they have earned their health care through their labor, dont want to have to pay for those who "choose" not to work because the current welfare system allows them not to. I'm all for health care for all citizens, but lets make it still be an earned right and not a handout. Far too many people in this country have decided not to work for a living because they get everything handed to them. How about make it universal for any citizen who works or is at least is activly searching for work. Enough with the free handouts for the lazy.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  149. Curtis G. Cheatham Sr

    I most certainly agree that Healthcare ought to be a fundamental right of every American, regardless of their ability to pay. I would go as far as to say, Healthcare should be viewed as a civil rights issue. If Healthcare was viewed as a civil rights issue, rather than a Healthcare issue, perhaps there would be less to debate about.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  150. Sabrina Carlisle

    I think should to be fact every american to be able to affort health Care.
    so Gov do not have to worry about it!
    Give me my job back and I will be abble to take cara myself!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  151. Ken Williamson

    Tony

    The tort reform is is being discussed with the assumption that it has something to do with the cost of health care. How? It does have to do with what the docs take home.

    The high cost of malpractice insurnace has to do with claims paid, the size of the group practice (solo physicans pay a lot more) and most interestly, how well the stock market is doing. Malpractice rates go down when the market is up and go up when the market is down. That is because insurance companies are heavy investors in the market.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  152. Brian

    Watching some of these town hall meetings reminds me of a trip to Mexico. Many "conservatives" are like the people that stay in the resort area with it's swimming pools, paved walkways, manicured landscapes and gourmet food. They refuse to acknowledge that just beyond the resort area are dirt roads, shack like homes and tainted water. They also refuse to acknowledge that without these same poor people, the resort wouldn't exist in the first place. Don't help "those people" if it means messing with the resort.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  153. Debra Williams

    Of course it is a fundamental right. How can we be guaranteed the right to life without the right to health care? Or the right to pursue happiness? Have you ever tried to pursue happiness while being sick without treatment ? How can we have the right to liberty when we cannot change jobs or move if we have a chronic condition that is considered a "pre-existing condition" ?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  154. Angela Green

    Tony
    Can you have several lawyers read this bill and break it down for us? Too many people are on your show giving oppinions without actual facts. I am insupport of health care refoem, but my own family is in disagreement on what we know as facts around this bill. For the average person it is hard to decipher the true implications of each ammendment and how it pertains to us as inndividual. Change is scary for most, but care is necessary for improvement of any flawed system. Why stop something because you are fearful. Americans need to get a grip on there fear and address the facts rather than vague false statements.

    Keep up the good work

    Angela Green
    Henderson, KY

    August 11, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  155. Jane

    Tony,

    I think that a large majority understand the need for all American citizens to receive basic health care services. simply put, it is a human rights issue. For years we have watched the providers, pharmaceutical companies, so-called "non-profit" providers and our congressional representatives grow fat on a system that is manipulated to their advantage. While the system has inspired innovation and quality care, those attributes are not available to everyone.

    What inspires fear among many, I believe, is government inefficiencies and incompetency being inserted into a system that works well for so many. Fear of losing our freedom to choose, fear of being left at the mercy of paper pushers and bureaucrats.

    If Congress wants to end the screaming matches surrounding this health plan, they need to do two things: give all Americans the same level of health care they receive, and (2) eliminate the outdated programs and inefficiencies throughout our government to pay for it.

    We in the middle class can no longer afford to support this inefficient behemoth that we call our "civil service." If they want to continue this "consumption economy" we need money in our pockets to do that. More taxes are NOT the answer. More debt is not the answer. Eliminating a large portion of the Fortune 500 list by bankrupting insurance companies is not the answer, either.

    Thanks!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  156. Sabrina Carlisle

    I think should to be fact every american to be able to affort health Care.
    so Gov do not have to worry about it!
    Give me my job back and I will be abble to take care myself!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  157. Liz K

    Yes, health care is a right. Putting this in extremely black and white terms, this is asking if, in our time, we believe that someone should die if they cannot afford what gives them life. In some cases, that is immediate, but for the most part it is not. If someone with cancer can't afford treatment, do they deserve to die? No.

    No one likes taxes. No one likes the idea of losing money they worked for. But no one is saying that we have to hand over our paychecks. It's sad when rhetoric becomes the entire basis for an argument and I'm tired of it.

    The people against health care are, I guarantee, people who can afford it. Try not having health care, and then come back to this discussion. Not everyone can afford it, not everyone can pull themselves up by their boot straps.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  158. Benji

    To the teacher from PA who commented at Senator Specter's town hall meeting today, I would like to respond by saying "thanks, but I don't need my information predigested for me, I don't need it to be broken down into language that can be understood by an average junior-high school student, and you should speak for yourself on that matter".

    August 11, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  159. David

    If Americans pay income taxes, then they should get free universal healthcare. I don't smoke or drink. I try to eat right. I should exercise more. But, all that won't help if I fall and break a bone or get in an auto accident. The opponents of a government-run universal healthcare program, like medicare, either are GREEDY or are ignorant or both. Too much of our tax money goes to the military and not enough goes to the aid of the citizenship.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  160. Michael

    I seem to remember something about "promote the general welfare...to ourselves and our posterity..." I think basic healthcare for ALL AMERICAN CITIZENS should fall under that basic tenet. What kind of a country are we if we can't take care of our own?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  161. Cynthia Bova

    To the Editor, DON'T BE INTIMADATED
    In my opinion the Insurance Companies actions have brought about the need for health care reform. While raising my family in the early 1980's, I was a stay at home mom with two small children. My husband was our sole provider. As an apprentice in the building trades he was often last hired and first laid-off. This unfortunately often left him short of eligibility hours for family health insurance. At that time the insurance companies were more regulated or less greedy and offered it's clients the option to co-pay the shorted hours mentioned above. This allowed us to continue our coverage till the next bridge or high-rise broke ground.
    Now fast forward to 2008. Last year a friend accidentally broke her arm while visiting our home. She was 5 hours short of the needed 300 hours required by the insurance company to be covered for medical insurance. The option to pay the shortfall is no longer available for most group policies. However she could have paid the full premium instead of a fraction of the amount it should have cost to be covered. She is a single mother and chose to buy groceries instead of paying the full premium and now has to shoulder the cost of over $30,000 in medical bills. In all fairness my homeowners insurance paid her a whopping $1,000 toward her medical bills.
    I urge Congress to "stay the course" on health care reform and ignore the far rights rude disruptive tactics as they are the small minority!
    In closing I ask that all readers in favor of fixing our greed infected health care system to call or write their federal elected leaders demanding they do what the overwhelming majority of Americans want!
    Thank You,
    Cynthia Bova

    August 11, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  162. HELP

    Ask the next expert on HR3200 If you get to keep your health insurance when you get a new job. Between 50% and 75% of the Employer provided Health Insurance is "self insurance." You may have a insurance card that says "Blue Cross" and the company you move to may have a Blue Cross card. BUT Blue Cross in not the insurer!!! The Company is the Insurer under ERISA. (Read the Bill) You Lose, You go to the Public Option.

    Read the Bill.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  163. kbro

    The U.S. is the only country in the industrrialized world where people have to worry about affording necessary health care. 45-50 million people have no health insurance, and for the rest who do, the horror stories abound of health insurers denying coverage. It has been estimated that 20,000 people die every year in the U.S. because they did not receive needed medical care. The largest single cause of personal bankruptcy in the U.S. is medical bills. Yes, we have among the highest quality medical care in the world–if you can afford it. The U.S. is consistently ranked well below 2 or 3 dozen other countries in assessing health care systems.

    Between the right wing's outrageous scare campaign and Obama's public health option, the real issue is being obscured : we need a SINGLE PAYER system, where people would be able to choose their provider (unlike the current set-up where if your employer switches plans, people often have to switch to doctors enrolled in the new plan), health care is not tied to employment, and the government pays the bill. Too expensive ? The U.S spends more per capita on health care than any of the other countries that provide government paid for health care, the short hand for which is SINGLE PAYER.
    HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  164. noreen salter

    Hi Tony,
    In Canada here our health care works and you can't compare what the US is trying to do. Hear you are not rejected any operation or docotr visit or hospital visit or even stay in hospital because you don't have money. We are all considered equal here. Bill Bettet was wrong saying the US has the best system. How can it be good when ppl either have their lives saved or keep their home. People are not going to the states from here because hey can't get an operation ,they go because they decide not to wait like others and you have a system that if you are rich you get better service . Here you are not rejected by insurance com. If you have insurance it is extra like for dental, eyes, or short term or long term disability through the company you work with and you can be refused by them, not by our medical system. I have a disability and can not work but i don't have to pay for nothing even drugs. If i need surgery and have to stay in hospital right now i am not billed for nothing. We pay a small amount in our taxes that we don't miss at all, Just like we pay for canada pension or employment insurance and it it there when we need it.
    So people like Bill Bennett should be doing their homework before confusing the American people about Canada's health care. You people just cant take any change cause you brain washed that you are the the greatest and can't accept change that might look like your not to the world. It is degusting that you have people that can't even see a doctor cause you dont have enough money. So must for the great rich conutry.
    I'm sorry but i am getting sick of hearing the Americans bringing down other countries to make them look good cause they have fear of their own government. One other thing you wouldn't be able to duplicate drug precriptions here cause we are in a system. Kids and adaults heve their own health care doesn't matter when you turn 18 it continues unless you want the ectra from an insurance company. Insurance don't control our health sysem the people do.
    Noreen

    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  165. Cyrus Press

    All those people who talk about choice and the American way of competition in business why are they (insurance cos.) scared when now the government wants to be our insurance co. President Obama is making it so clear that you keep your insurance if you are happy how dumb can you be to understand that. Please don't tell me that republicans are not dumb because they re-elected a brainless president for 2nd term, so no more proof is needed. And all those who listen to Rush L., Please don't insult your intelligence by listening to a man who does not know that it's illegal to use your maids prescription to buy drugs. Republicans never had town hall meetings before going into Iraq and now they are talking like they are the angels with hello on their head trying to save America. Let it be very clear to them "THEY DESTROYED NOT ONLY AMERICA, BUT THE WORLD"

    August 11, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  166. joseph letizia

    This is a rich country,and there is no good reason that health care is not a right of citizenship.Many other countries have free health care for all. Its a sin that this country does not care about its citizens,and protect them from the insurance and drug companies,and their powerfull lobiest.Its the federal goverment responsabilty to protect its citizens not only from foreign powers,but from being taken avantage of by big corporations.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  167. marie pierre

    So, what is good is bad and what is bad is good ?. What is wrong with justice and equality for all?

    The people who oppose the health care reform are doing this not because the idea is wrong but in opposition to Barack OBAMA because they want him to failed his presidency... It is all about politic.

    unfortunately, many innocent are being brain washed by some of OBAMA s opposants political party.

    marie pierre, R-I

    August 11, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  168. KA

    In 2000, health care profit was 2 billion -.in 2007, it is over 12 billion. Claims payments were 95% of premiums – now 80%. CEOs make an average of $11.9 million/year. Of over 300 metro areas, most are controlled by an average of 2 insurance companies (no competition – they just have controlled territories). In 10 years, premiums will be 50% of income. Companies are leaving the US to avoid paying for the coverage. These costs are not sustainable. I have saved my whole life, have no debt, am currently living comfortably and have enough to retire..... but all of that can change if I lose my health care and I have a serious medical condition. I have friends who lost their home, their savings and are now just a few dollars away from living in the street (and they have health care). He has diabetes and heart problems... she just got through cancer treatments – both are not working at the moment (they can't). They now have 0 dollars for their future. The insurance company refuses much of their treatments. There but for the grace of God go each and every one of us. Wake up and really take a good look. The profit hungry health care industry is interested in how much money they can make, not in how they can treat their clients. I personally think all health care should be non-profit. Pay a real premium that does not stuff money into the pockets of CEOs, shareholders, lobbyists and others. We Americans should pay (yes, we should pay a premium) a premium that is level for all ages and we will all be able to afford it.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  169. Pamela Pearson

    If the Democrats don't show leadership and spine this time and do what needs to be done, what most people in this country want, I'll be voting Independent next time. The whole healthcare reform debate started out skewed to the right when Congress ruled out any discussion of single-payer, and then the powers that be continued to push the bills rightward. Now CNN falls all over itself to capture every word from the loudmouths of the rabid right wing, while pro-reform protests go uncovered. It's not news that the right is louder and nastier than the left; it always has been in this country, even as the right grows smaller and smaller. The fact is, the people who most need this reform are either too sick or too busy working several jobs to stack the town halls.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  170. John Westra

    The answer to your question is "NO!"

    The "Rights" of Citizens in the United States are clearly defined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Many of the "rights" people claim to have are not rights, but privileges.

    People do have the right to speak freely (1st Amendment). Elected officials like Nacy Pelosi should respect this right enough to not call citizens who disagree with her "Nazis" and "Un-American!"

    August 11, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  171. Kathryn Haydn-Hays

    It's all good and fine that the republicans defense position is mob behavior, its their MO. But I think once again the Democrats are missing an opportunity. They should have the uninsured wheel in their sick kids, tubes, air masks and all–and line up inside these town halls with their bills in hand. Then when these idiots start wailing about socialism, we can all see them for the selfish, pigish creeps they are.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  172. teresa mcdermott

    It seems to me that the town hall meeting now going on regarding healthcare demonstrate the great divide between the haves and the have nots in our country. The majority of the participants appear to HAVE healthcare, HAVE the time to spare to take part, HAVE reasonably good health, HAVE very little regard for the millions of Americans who do not have access to healthcare and would prefer to see their less fortune countrymen die than pony up a penny of their money.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  173. Heather

    Everyone should have "access" to care. If you saw a bleeding man on the side of the road, would you just pass him without offering him help? As a nurse, I have seen many people not seek healthcare because they can't afford it. They neglect their health so they can feed their families. My own mother did not health insurance for many years because our family could not afford it. By not reforming our healthcare system, we are ignoring millions of people. You may not see them bleeding and dying in front of you, but in reality they may be and we are just turning a blind eye to the situation.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  174. Jerome

    Real Life: I am reducing my health coverage next year. I simply cannot continue to afford to pay the year-after-year ever increasing premium charges. My pay has stagnated and actually dropped due to mandatory furloughs. I cannot sustain the ever increasing costs – neither can the country. The only increases I have seen are my property taxes and health insurance costs.

    These protesters are acting out of fear and ignorance. Fear and ignorance are fantastic group builders UNTIL you realize that you have surrounded yourself with crazy eyed, fear induced chaotic people. Then you are REALLY in trouble.

    Protest is fine. Complete and utterly disrespect for everyone else is not. These Congress people need to control their meetings. I have never seen anyone gain respect by letting people step on your face. Show some leadership!! Stop letting your meetings be hijacked by people who are not even asking questions about health care!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  175. Lydell

    This issue of health care reform cuts to our core as an honorable American Society. If we don't get this right for all the citizens of this great nation we will suffer the consequences of our selfish and blinded attitudes.

    Are we a nation of cowards that only can only assist our neighbor if it cost us nothing? We have in recent history spent trillions of dollars to destroy lives. Even many of our own military men and women who sacrificed everything for us all. I can't believe we don't want to spend a dime to help care for their families and all the families they gave their lives defended. We should feel a since of honor and obligation to do what ever it takes to care for each and every American Citizen!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  176. Thomas

    We pay our taxes! It sure should be! Every Canadian that I have spoken with say that these people are telling lies. They love their health care! It’s shameful to see my party (The Republican Party) shouting and showing a lot of racial overtones during what is supposed to be a productive conversation on Health Care Reform. From a christian point of view it is wrong to refuse help to the poor and those in need. I am feeling that maybe it’s time to go independent. What makes all these protest even worse is that I have only seen white people protesting this. Obviously if this was the majority of America ,as many in my party have said opposing this,then there would be more diversity in the crowds. It’s just not the case. The Republican Party loses my vote next election cycle. I am tired of trying to defend my party which has been hijacked by the most extreme right wing nut jobs. We need to get the party to moderate, Period!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  177. ganna gardiner

    First of all we are now living in a facist society, where the corporations,and the government rule every facet of our lives, from food,to energy,to our economics, to our healthcare. It is sickening to me. We could see on a daily basis, how ruthless these people are, most of their outrageous behavior,in this ecoconmic downturn, which was created by these very people in the first place,it is appalling,to say the least. When will you people make any sacrifices in the form of paycuts, and doing witthout. How can they possibly think in any way shape or form that they deserve any bonuses at all, after destoying the whole world economy?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  178. Rick fredenburg

    Im just wondering what everyone is scared of. What makes people think the goverment is going to decide what treatment you can get or not. I had great ins. before I was hurt and even then there were items of treatment they wouldnt pay for. In my opinion the ins companies are more worried about being put out of business its all about the money

    August 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  179. april

    I live in one of the 10 poorest counties in my state, my husband and I have 3 jobs between us and we still couldn't afford health care, but since we live in the poorest county we have state funded health care, its sad but I feel lucky to have something.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  180. Donna Humphreys

    The claim that employers will drop coverage and force employees into a government plan is dumb. Employers can (and do) drop coverage every day as costs spiral up – which puts people into the market for higher costs and less coverage, if they can get it at all. The only employees guaranteed of continuation are union members where a contract exists guaranteeing ther benefits.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  181. Susan Dicker

    The Town Hall meeting in Lebonon, Pa reflects many distorted views I have heard here at home from seemingly educated people. They do not understand the amount of money drained away from healthcare by the insurance companies – which are banks that invest our monies – like banks, they can fail. Their goal is profit, not health. Their job is to do it as cheaply as possible to maximize earnings. And, they have more power than MD's in what care one receives.

    Government is us. A government-run system is citizen-owned – with a goal of good care with contained costs. It is non-profit with less cost to administer, and no money drained away into risky investments. We need to reflect on how this issue illustrates the character of the people of our nation. We seem to be becoming a country of Haves and Havenots – Them and Us. United we are not.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  182. Joe (Tampa, FL)

    Well, I guess that CNN is biased and supports the Dems since you post everyone elses comments but leave mine out. What is the matter? Are you scared to print the truth?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  183. matt

    Let me get this straight, we as Americans think that goverment will hurt old people. How about this: the only real change that regardless of everything else must be no concept of "pre-existing condition" and doctors' work on yearly salary not commission/per person condition

    August 11, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  184. William

    Here we go again. I was somewhat perplexed by the reaction of some to our Canadian Helath Care System. It works wrather well. Here we don't go into a Hospital and walk out owing hundred even thousands of dollars. It is included in our taxes. For those who are saying Hands off my Health Care, you are embarrasing yourselves.

    Last time I posted this comment...it was deleted.

    So much for being heard.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  185. Ty

    everyone thinks they're an expert. and everyone's got an opinion. and everyone feels the uncontrollable need to lash out in a raging drama queen fit. and everyone needs to stfu. the fact is every single person in this country is stupid. and even worse, everyone in america is a narcissist. And everyone thinks they have all the answers. you people labor under the delusion that obama is going to send federal agents to your door and force you to make decisions, and if you don't... you'll face the possibility of imprisonment. it's these little stupid thoughts that you get in your head. so you run from town hall to town hall screaming on the top of your lungs while the rest of us sit and laugh. get over yourselves and spare us the drama. "omg the deficit! the deficit! what are we going to do!!!" stop the fear mongering, Pass health care reform, and shut these people up.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  186. Debbie Williams

    The AARP supports Obama's plan. Do you really think the AARP wants the government to let old people die? Their organization depends on healthy, active and thriving seniors, and you certainly can't be a member if you are dead.

    Please don't let Rush Limbaugh and his cadre of "haters" de-rail this important and essential issue. They have already vowed that they will do everything in their power to make Obama fail, and this is a key issue for them. The things they are saying are lies, big fat lies.

    By the way, all of you who are so concerned about government bureaucrats making health decisions, why is it not a problem for you to allow insurance company bureaucrats make those decisions, and you pay them for the right to deny you health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  187. Chris Bailey

    Tony,

    Watching "Free Healthcare" being given out of a sport stadium was like watching refugees being taken care of in a third world country. As a Canadian, "Free HealthCare" is given at any hospital in the country, we use our sports stadium for just that, Sports.
    I have been a victim of a hit and run by a vehecial in America, and have delt with the "HealthCare" system you have in place. I can say that money is more of an issue then the patient in America right now, as it took days for the best hospital in the state to notice my major injurys. Not to mention the unnecessary precedures and costs that are associated with them. Its as if, there is a check list instead of a docotor just observing the patient. It is the opposite in Canada, the patient is the issue, while money takes a back seat. I have spent more time in a American hospital after one surgery, then for two extensive surgeries in Canada. You can not point your finger at one system, while your own has its own problems. The provisions in your "HealthCare" reform are nothing like ours, as I've had two elderly family members recieve full medical attention for thier illeness. One being heart problems and the other cancer. I know for a fact, they wouldn't get nearly as close of medical attention in America then they do here in Canada. Again, when comes to it whats more important; The patient or the money?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  188. Gary Roberson

    I watch and listen to the conservatives ranting and raving over the healthcare reform debate that has been going on in this country for decades, and can't help but notice how they are to Health Care as the movie REEFER MADNESS is to marijuana... I'm very frightened!?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  189. Deborah Madison Deig

    Our health care is a right...and we receive care every time we show up in an emergency room. That shows heart.
    Should an American be forced to pay for a stranger's health care insurance? No.
    Should people be forced to carry health insurance as proposed? In America we should have the freedom to choose.
    Right now insured people who pay premiums are footing the bill for those who don't pay....isn't that enough socialism?
    If Canada's health care/insurance plan is so wonderful, how come Canadians come here when time is of the essence?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  190. maz in phili

    wats ur problem mapes
    the contitution states that we have a right to life liberty and the persuit of happiness
    well for life we need health care dont
    how much do u make? 80,90 thousand a year
    not all of us has the money u do

    August 11, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  191. Sam

    What has America become that entitlements are now being touted as fundamental rights? The Constitution was built largely on the idea of negative rights: the government cannot do X. When you start adding these things like health care, you are talking about positive rights. The more you talk about positive rights, the more you as a citizen begin to rely upon the State for your well-being. Do we really want that power to be handed off so recklessly? With that power, the State can start conditioning those "rights" upon actions you must take. You want certain surgeries or treatments? You better get a gym membership, or stop smoking, or start eating a balanced diet... And before you accuse me of slippery slope arguments, this is exactly what is going on in the UK's NHS.

    Why are there no questions about the right to a house? A right to food? A right to water? A right to a job? A right to meaningful transportation to said job? These are all "necessary" goods for basic human survival, so why don't we get all of these for free and/or subsidized? Where will it end? Until the State becomes our parents and we the teenagers? What we end up with is a narcissistic society in which it will be all about what the State must do for ME, MYSELF, and I. I feel like most people on here who argue that health care is a right is thinking largely with their emotions and not with their heads about the legal and logistical ramifications of what they are advocating.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  192. HM

    Absolutely! Health care is a human right! What is a human being to do when she acquires an illness through no fault of his own? Do they not have the right to receive treatment because they don't have money? Should they be denied treatment and be left to deteriorate and die inhumanely, again because they don't have money?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  193. Scott Stodden

    Yes Tony healthcare is a fundamental right for Americans weather they can pay for it or not. This is the exact reason that we need an affordable health insurance program. I know alot of people where I live that do not have any type of health care program, this is why we need an affordable, responsible healthcare reform plan. The right way to go is with President Obama's healthcare reform. The problem with this healthcare plan is how to afford to cover every American who is uninsured because it would cost a trillion dollars that our country doesn't have to spend. I agree that a good idea to afford this plan would be to raise taxes on the rich making $250,000 or $350,000 or more a year. But how else would we pay for this? If people would listen to President Obama's idea then you would know how. You would not lose your current health plan, you can choose to go with the cheaper goverment run plan, if private insurers are honest with there customer's why would anyone switch to the goverment plan. We need to something otherwise everyone's healthcare will be in jeopardy if we do nothing, President Obama's health reform plan is the responsible way to go.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,IL)

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  194. em

    Health care is a "inalienable right" it is a basic human right...."no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions" everyone in America should have access to health care. All men are created equal" so everyone should have access to health care...
    also everyone in these town halls are white americans who look like they always had access to health care...where are the images of latinos and african americans?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  195. Sam Militello

    Mike, yes its. If all men are "created equal" it is a moral imperative. where's yours?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  196. thomas raddcliff

    tony you just, JUST asked if you are doing enough to report on whats being discussed with regard to health care. while at the same time the network is running commercials that say things like...
    "seniors were asked to sacrifice during the war, and now are being asked to sacrifice again by giving up health care"
    or
    "why let to government run health care. why them them decide on a system they will not subscribe to themselves. will you let them have better health care than you?" [while they already do becuse they can afford it, and currently many don't have any at all]

    it is these commercials that are perpetuating this fear.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  197. Nick C

    Do you think that Americans fully understand what health care REFORM is? The current conversations seem to be limited to cost and health insurance. Could we at least try to focus on the BENEFITS we could expect from a reformed health care system. Tony could you please address this important issue

    August 11, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  198. Brian

    Public schooling for our children paid through the prperty taxes and a basic annual feel, is our fundamental right.
    Likewise, Public health care should be a fundamental right of every American.
    Despite the presence of the public schooling option many Americans send their kids to private schools or Montessori.
    Likewise, many will still want to pay the insurance, and it is okay if they don't want the public option.
    It is a double jeopardy, that on one hand it is hard to find good paying employment that would pay for health insurance, because such kind of employments are being outsouced, and it is happening even after the government has been paying the stimulus moneny, and then on the other hand you have to buy your insurance also without good paying work or underemployment.
    I have been paying 512 to Unicare from my savings and never and never used because of the huge deductable.
    My neigbor has been paying 3000 per month from his pocket because the insurance has refused to pay.
    His wife, though young, has excruciationg pain, if she does not take the treatment.
    Her physician is a specialist, and told her that if they are going to cause problem, then the the Doctor does not need her as his patient. The doctor demands cash money before the treatment.
    Once she compalined to the Doctor that she has been charged for a procedure that did not happen. This doctor is famous for treating the condition she is own, that is why they dont change the doctor.
    The doctor told her verbally once that they will follow a modified treatment plan in the future, and the clinic sent her anothe bill of $600 for the doctor's time when she was complaininga about being overcharged.
    This system needs a fundamental change.
    Obama's plan will make the processes improve to reduce the cost after some time.
    Some of the people are misinformed, and they say that Obama wants government to control people from cradle to grave, they are wrong, and they know it they are making it up.
    Obama is not an idiot, because he knows if he is not able deliver according to the expectaions of public, he will have hard time getting reelected.
    He knows very well that if his plans are not at least able to generate good paying employment and he knows if his plann will mess up health care, then he will be rejected in the next election.
    I think after what we have seen in the last eight years, we should be a littile patient, and give this man Obama a chance, this man Obama, who can think indpenedently and clearly unlike his predeceesor.
    Look at the intial conditions handed over to the current administration.
    1. The consquences of the most expensive war ever fought, and with the wrong country that did not attack us.
    2. The last administration created a largest number of employment ever created in the history, but in the wrong country, not the United States.
    3. The last adminstration converted a huge surplus into a more than trillion dollar of deficit.
    4. They never did things pro actively, they always got a surprise.
    5. 911 was surprise for them, it should not have happpened, had they used level headed policies, not let loose a bull dog to unprotected puppies, and then say it is not our responsibility.
    6. Katrina should not happened or consequences mitigated as part of a proactive plan, as it never happens for Hollan, who also have as simlar geographic conditons.
    7.Wall Street fiasco should not have happened, had they put in place the appropriate regulations ahead of time.
    Let us appreciate this administration, at least they are trying their best, at least they have proactive plans, they are not sleeping over any problems that could trigger disasters.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  199. Bob

    How sad that so many people's reaction to the health care program is "What's in it for me?" and so many politicians pander to those people.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  200. Candace

    Can someone explain to me how Conservatives who tout "Family Values" and "the Right to Life" can turn around and say they don't support Universal Healthcare because they think it's too costly to the government? So everyone has a right to live...but not past birth? Oh, wait, maybe just not past 18 when government healthcare stops covering children? Or, is it that only people who can afford it should live past 18? What a sick contradiction... Be a person. Freaking think about other people for a change. Have your own opinion and stop spouting out Republican rhetoric. All of that rhetoric is just one big contradiction, and it's sick and sad and despicable.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  201. Ron Satlof

    Why are we not discussing the various models that are working well, cost much less than the 16% of gdp we pay, have better outcomes and longer life expectancy? The Netherlands, Denmark and others can all teach us a lot. Not all these examples are "government" programs. Some are private insurance programs that are regulated by government.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  202. Andrew Rogers

    Hi Tony,

    My problem with the town hall meetings is that although they are intended to promote discussions regarding the potential healthcare bill while answering people's questions and alleviating their concerns, it seems that most people come in with established opinions, no matter how clueless they truly are. Hence, we see rowdy individuals screaming about abortions, euthanasia, etc. even after being told that such claims were utterly unfounded. They simply blurt out whatever insurance or pharmaceutical company-sponsored adds they have heard last without the slightest intent of being open-minded or of thinking for themselves. I hope that these individuals only constitute a small percentage of the people in attendance and that they only appear to outnumber the rational ones to boost CNN's viewership ratings. In that case, I think that it would be more helpful to broadcast the smarter questions and answers rather than the baseless, misguiding shouts. If not, I really see no reason for these town hall meetings to go on.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  203. Marc Menard

    The insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies have been running health care for the past 50 years. All costs have skyrocketed, doctors no longer care about patients, and now that they may make less than a trillion a year they want to scare us into keeping them in charge.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  204. Dan

    A lot of comments are about the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.
    You are all correct. That is why we need to STOP Abortion. The pursuit of LIFE.
    Jeremiah 1:5 says: before you were formed, I knew you. So, there is NO unplanned pregnancy.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  205. Peggy

    I am fortunate that I have always been able to afford health care. I'm now retired and Medicare has a great plan. When working, I was responsible for shopping health care each year for the company. Each year, the company was forced to take more benefits from the employees due to the increasing company cost of health plans. Instead of congress writing a new plan, why don't they adopt the Medicare plan, close the donut hole, and put congress on this plan. If congress is on the plan, we should have a great plan, and the cost of private plans will have to control their cost.
    As suggested, we could pay for the cost by taxing the insurance companies and, if necessary, taxing soft drinks by 1%.
    Also, I have had doctors praise Medicare, not all doctors are against this type of plan.
    Peg

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  206. Mona Snyder

    I don't think it's a fundamental right if someone abuses their health by overeating, do drugs, smoke, drinks too much and/or doesn't get enough exercise. I don't think it's fair that I, someone who takes good care of my health, has to pay for people who don't.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  207. Jenn

    Wat a lot of people posting don't realize is that Pennsylvania voters, Democrat and Repbulicans, are tired of Sen. Specter's unrepsonsive dispostiion. His staff took the phones off the hook before the stimulus vote. He has repeatedly ignored the views of Constituents, and continues to show them no regard. I believe that hose in attendance had a right to be heard and that cherry picking prople to ask questions put people over the edge.

    It is amazing that the left is asking for a rational discussion when they have locked Republicans out of the discussion, refusing to discuss common sense solutions like tort reform, allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines, and health insurance co-ops.

    The left only holds one way discussions and they people fel the only way they will be heard is through interrupting and shouting.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  208. Sam

    We already treat health care as a fundamental right – hospitals are not allowed to turn away patients regardless of their right to pay. Taxpayers already pick up this cost (in many ways)! A government option would be a more sane way to deal with this problem.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  209. Paul DW

    A few thoughts:

    1. I'm not a constitutional lawyer, but I'm guessing that Health Care is not guaranteed in the constitution, and is therefore not "a fundamental American right." That said, I believe that it should be! Further, I believe morally that access to quality healthcare is not just an American right... it is a human right. (To my conservative friends... yes, that means EVERYONE... citizens, documented and undocumented aliens... children, the elderly... EVERYONE!)

    2. In regard to the recent town hall meeting "shoutdowns," lies and misinformation, even when shouted rudely with no interest in true dialogue, are still lies and misinformation! The American people know this, so just keep on shooting yourselves in the foot!

    3. I am amused by all the Republicans lining up to offer their version of "healthcare reform." My question to you is this: What healthcare reform did you accomplish, or even advocate for, during your eight years in the White House? (The answer is "None.")

    4. To those (mostly conservatives, I believe) who offer up the spectre of "rationed" health care; we ALREADY HAVE rationed health care. It is given primarily to those who can afford it, of whose employers can afford a good health policy. The unemployed, the impoverished children, and the mentally ill get the crumbs that fall from the table. There will no doubt always be some form of "rationing", but with a more just system, the rationing will be fairer and more just.

    5. Virtually every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare in one form or another. Are they perfect systems? No. Do they adequately serve the needs of the vast, overwhelming majority of their citizens? Yes! Are they essentially just, fair, and equitable? They are certainly moreso than ours!

    6. Do we have so little faith in ourselves as a nation that we honestly don't believe that we can effect a system of universal health care at least as good as any other developed nation in the world? I say emphatically that, as Americans, we can do better than most!

    7. Do this: Whenever you hear someone speak out against the President and his healthcare reform proposals, ask them this: "What plan do YOU have to offer that will provide healthcare for everyone, regardless of ability to pay?" If they have something to offer, listen! If they do not, place a "just say no" sticker on their foreheads, and move on!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  210. tony

    I wonder what the results would've been if the question was word this way, "Does someone have the fundamental right to consume more than what they produce?".

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  211. Mercedes Castelo

    If someone needs health care they should have the ability to get it and for an affordable rate. The bill being proposed gives the option for people to take a government option. I personally would keep my own private option. In addition it makes insurance companies more accountable, so they can't pull out of caring for someone when they come down with a serious illness or pre-existing conditions... We need this bill...

    August 11, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  212. Jim Boland

    Health care should be as basic a social service as police and fire protection.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  213. Carol Egerton

    Since no bill has been decided on, why don't the
    Town Halls focus on the positive and ask what the people want in rhe health care bill and even get a hands up vote from the audience?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  214. Don Hurley

    I believe health care is a basic right for all Americans, but at what level of medical procedures? Surely medicines, basic services (broken bones, heart care), dentists, and such should all be available to all Americans. I become uncertain when I consider the costs of some medical procedures, such as transplants. I would not want to have to say no to a patient in need, but can we as a nation afford all medical procedures for all Americans? I voted for the President and continue to be quite pleased with his performance, but I support the republican health care reform proposals that deal with this major social issue with a more conservative, private industry based solution. Several moderate steps on the road to the ultimate solution would seem more appropriate than one giant leap.

    Don,
    Morganton, NC

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  215. Paul Alleyne

    This question is a no-brainer. It is obviously so. The government is deeply involved in all we do in some way; from the legal system, education, commerce, and most other things, therefore they are obligated to ensure that every citizen, regardless of their ability to pay should receive the best medical care, the best education, and the best possible service possible. I do have a general disdain for politicians because they never deliver on their promises, and are rarely around until they need your support.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  216. Andy

    Ali is absolutely right- CNN and other reputable new organizations must educate the public about health care. Please continue reporting the facts and dismissing the myths and lies.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  217. Beth

    I work in the health care industry & have had to turn patients away because they can't afford to pay. No one will ever know how that feels, to see someone that can't afford to pay for their visit & have to turn them away because your employer requires them to pay an ungodly price. I agree that something needs to be done with health care, but I just don't think a government run health care reform is the right thing. I am just curious if this will put a lot of people out of work that work in the insurance industry...

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  218. Bill Foster

    We could more money into health professional education were you go to college and become a primary doctor or physician assistant.

    Its supply and demand

    August 11, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  219. Duane Gillum

    I'm a 46 year old male. In May of 2007 I was diagnosed with a rare, incurable form of Leukemia. The treatment is an oral medication taken once daily at a monthly cost of $3850.00. In January of 2009 I lost my job and I was forced to rely on Cobra coverage to maintain my insurance. Cobra is $500 / month, my co-pay for the prescription is $250 / month, my unemployment benefit is $2000 / month and I have three weeks left before my benefits expire. If something isn’t done quickly my UE benefits won’t be the only thing that expires.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  220. Katie

    I really have trouble with this country revoting a negative President into the White House for 8 years of stupidness and think in less than one year a President is making bad choices eventhough he knows what hes doing, for thoe who compare him to Hitler, back off Hitler killed people because he liked it, Obama i NOT a killer, he reminds me of my grandfather who experienced the GREAT depression. Obama elected= Health Care Cost, when the other guy McCain with Pailin=War Cost & lives lost falsely & Bush-made-decisions to continue. We have yet seen the aftermath of War with our vets.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  221. GEORGE

    TONY IS NICE TO TALK TO YOU.I,AM E-MAILING YOU ABOUT THE HEALTH CARE.I A, M VETERAN WILL AFFECT ME .BEACUSE THE CARE I RECEIVE AT VA IS THE POOREST CARE THERE IS I FEEL .IA,M DIS ABLED BECAUSE FROM WORKING MY SELF TO DEATH ALL MYLIFE .I HAVE SEVERE BACK PROBLEMS AND SEVERE HEAD ACHES AND HIGH BLOOD .MY BACK PROBLEMS AFFECTS BOTH LEGS .I FEEL VA NEED S TO GET DOCTORS THAT CARE AND NOT THERE FOR JUST THE MONEY.I LIVE IN SOMERSET KY. THANK YOU TONY I WATCH YOU ALL ,ALL THE TIME GEORGE

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  222. Sarah Dunagan

    As a small business owner buying insurance for ourselves and employees, we watch as our benefits and options are more severely limited each year, and at alarming escalation in premiums. We have little or no freedom of choice in our care, and our Dr.'s prescriptions and decisions are countermanded with increasing frequency. We are a very small (7 insured) business, and don't have the clout of a huge employer. Something must be done, and we must have the courage to listen, THINK, and act.
    I doubt the government would get between "me and my doctor" one iota more than my private insurance carrier does. Then I look at their profits, and the mystery starts to be revealed.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  223. VM Noren

    But not unlimited health care for those that abuse the system.

    I have been a health care worker for almost 30 years and am sad to witness the demise of our health care system. The vast majority of us are dedicated hard working people that work long hours, holidays, weekends, nights, often without breaks just to assure our patients get the care they deserve. I cannot speak publicly about my suggestions for fear of losing my job. No hospital would want one of their employees promoting what I think is a logical correction in our delivery of care. If I can ever afford to retire I will be very out spoken about it. Health insurance for my wife and I, ages 53 and 60, would cost $10,000 per year. We are healthy, don't smoke, and take no regular medications. Our only sin is we are "old".

    American hospitals and the health care system are in a serious situation. The cost of running a hospital or medical practice continues to go up each year, while reimbursements decrease. There are fixed costs that cannot be trimmed, such as insurance, taxes, cost of new equipment, utilities, etc. There are quasi government agencies such as JCAHO and HIPPA acts whose regulations put increasing burdens on the system in the name of patient safety and privacy. Many of these rules do nothing more than generate enormous amounts of paperwork while slowing down efficient patient care. I think our health care system will collapse within five years just as the banks and financial business are collapsing now. As more people loose jobs, and their health care coverage, hospitals will be taking care of more people without the means to pay. Just because you have no insurance does not mean the hospital emergency room will turn you away.

    By law an emergency room has to treat you if it is a medical emergency. As a reality most ER’s generally see and treats everyone. The business offices will try to collect, but if you have no money, or inclination to pay, they are stuck. You would be amazed how many people come to the ER seeking pain medications for questionable injuries, or girls coming in just to find out if they are pregnant, then give the clerks a dirty look when asked for a $20 co-pay when the bill will run several hundred dollars. Our ER has many drunks that are brought in by ambulance to sober up, taking up beds for many hours that could better be used by those truly sick. One man literally come is almost every day. Some one sees him passed out on the ground, calls 911, and back he comes. His record is 4 times in a 24 hour period. In the last 2 years he has been brought in over 600 times. At an average of $350 per ambulance run it adds up to over $200,000. These costs eventually get passed on the those that can afford to pay, the insured.

    Another example of what I consider a horrible waste of health care dollars is the continued care of the chronically non compliant self destructive patients that every hospital sees on a regular basis. We have one man who comes in with life threatening complications of diabetes as often as 2-3 times a month. He chooses to spend his money on cocaine instead of insulin. He is always positive for drugs when admitted, and has been seen dealing drugs on hospital property. He usually ends up in ICU for a few days before being stable enough to be transferred to a regular room. As soon as he gets to a regular room he makes frequent trips to the vending machines to eat what ever he wants while making demands for pain medications. He is on disability so we the tax payers fully support his life and life style. I would conservatively estimate his hospital bills exceed $200,000 per year, for which he pays nothing. Guess who gets to eventually absorb these costs?

    Another man I used to see 3-4 times a year was also on full disability and Medicaid. He would come in with life threatening gastro intestinal bleeding secondary to heavy drinking. He had hepatitis B & C, and cirrhosis of the liver from heavy drinking and IV drug abuse. His family said he told them he would not change his life style until he was dead. He would spend a week or so in ICU until we could get the bleeding under control, have several expensive surgical procedures done, sometimes get life flighted (air ambulance) to downtown Chicago for operations we were not able to perform. I have no doubt the yearly cost of his health care also exceeded $200,000.

    I have many many more examples of our health care time and money being spent to save the lives of people who are trying just as hard to destroy them. It does not seem rational to spend unlimited time and money on cases like those when there are many people with legitimate medical problems that cannot even afford minimal health care. At some point there needs to be a 3 strikes your out limit. You will be provided comfort care only, pain medication, oxygen, things to make you comfortable while nature takes its course. No heroic measures, no more intensive care, operations, or expensive drugs just so you can do it again next week.

    There are over 7000 hospitals in this country. If each of those hospitals had only 3 patients like the examples above the yearly cost of their care is 3.5 BILLION dollars. This is tax payer’s money being spent to continually save the self destructive lives of those who have no intention of changing. Certainly any rational person would see that this is not a prudent way to spend our shrinking health care budget. Every large urban hospital has many more than 3 patients like those mentioned above. The true yearly costs must be in the tens of billions solely to provide these self destructive people a chance to do it to themselves one more time.

    A little research would verify my observations, and probably show my cost estimates are on the conservative side. I don’t really know what the answer is but the tax paying public should made aware and allowed to help decide on a solution.

    So that is my soapbox speech, in short. I'm not sure if this provides any insight. It is only my opinion but shared by much of the health care providers who see these things on a daily basis. Without an unlimited health care budget the money must be used wisely. Unfortunately no politician would dare recommend anything I would propose knowing full well they would lose the next election. We as people are not to good at taking responsibility for our own actions and life style choices.

    A concerned and angry citizen watching my government spend us all into poverty.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  224. Ruth

    We voted President Obama in as our president. I, for one, trust him to do the best thing for us and our country. The problem we are now having over health care is fueled by those misinformation statements made in the ads put out by obviously the people who want him to fail - Limbaugh, Palin etc etc etc. The right wing talk show hosts are ridiculous in the kind of lies they are spreading. The Republicans, in general, seem to want him to fail as well. It is very sad that this is happening. The people of this country should get behind our president who is trying to help us and our country.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  225. Chuck Hanson

    No it is not for individuals who continue to risk their health with obesity, smoking, drugs, and alcohol. I believe that if we could eliminate obesity and smoking most of our health issues would be solved.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  226. Candace

    I, by the way, am not a "bleeding heart liberal." Let me just put that out there before someone accuses me of it. I don't think of myself as a liberal, or a conservative, or a moderate. I am just a person with an opinion that ranges depending on the issue. I refuse to position myself on one side or the other without regard to what the issue is – before I even hear it. Too many people are brainwashed by our political system and have forgotten how to be human beings. They take the same side no matter what, because they think their political affiliation is so fundamental to the fabric of their social beings. How unfortunate for them...

    August 11, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  227. Connie Stemmons

    Why shouldn't a 7 month old baby or a 7 year old child have the same health care benefits I have as a 77 year old woman under Medicare? Why should we not all have the same health care benefits as our representatives in the Senate, House , Judiciary and Executive brances of government ? Give me one moral reason, and don't make it money. Money and morality are not synonomous.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  228. Mike

    Healthcare should not be a profit making buisness.All healthcare should be NONProfit. No one should be allowed to make a profit off the pain and suffering of Americans.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  229. Jim Green, www.Inclusivism.org

    Tony, why is CNN repeating the blather from these nut cases—and not from those of us who are vastly in the majority—who favor healthcare reform? Also, the unspoken story, here, is that there is a whole ton of money on the line—and all of this static is generated from those with a vested interest in the status quo –and are stirring up our racists, and the unstable to obfuscate the debate!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  230. Jeff H

    This country just needs to grow up and get over it. We need socialized medicine and a flat tax. These people that want to leave health care to the insurance companies are about half idiots. Our country is to new and is failing the way it is. Things have to change. These same people that don't want reform because the want the government to stay out of personal business are probably the same ones that want the government to make gay marriage illegal. They probably go to church but don't want to help thy neighbors. Right wing religious selfish, screw thy neighbor for profit thinking is destroying our country.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  231. R.J. Walls

    I don't recall seeing health care listed on our constitution.
    I look at it this way, I have no doubt that the initial plan is meant to help all Americans. But over time it will be amended and changed just like every other Federal program. It will have little effect on the wealthy, and used to capture votes from the economically challenged during election years, all at the expense of the middle class.
    No thank you.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  232. Jaycie

    It's not just a fundamental AMERICAN right, it's a fundamental HUMAN right. Why are we so backwards that we are the ONLY industrialized country that does not provide healthcare for all? Why is it OK with us to spend over a trillion of our tax dollars killing people in an illegal, unwinable war in Iraq but not on providing healthcare for all of our citizens? Why is it that there are so many people here who have the attitude "I've got mine, so to hell with you"? When everyone has healthcare, we ALL benefit. Multidrug resistant diseases are becoming ever more prevalent and are a threat to ALL of us. When everyone has health care, such diseases and other epidemics such as flu are more easily contained. It is apalling to see these screaming mobs who care about no one but themselves. Not very Christian in this religion obsessed nation, is it?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  233. Mike

    I am a disabled person at fifty with no job and can not afford a doctor and suffer from chronic pain issues and other health problems... the social security is stressed beyond belief. I NEED HEALTH CARE! and can't pay for it unless i get treatment then maybe a job... i have five children 1 still under eighteen. this has been going on for over 5 years. Connecticut had state insurance but Ga does not we need a
    FEDERAL PLAN FOR PEOPLE LIKE ME.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  234. Joan

    Please just check with the people of Canada, Germany, England, etc. and get their opinion on healthcare. My relatives in England would never change their healthcare for what we have over here. They are never faced with NO healthcare if they lose a job or have a catastrophic illness. You always have that wonderful feeling that you will be able to see a doctor no matter what. It really makes for preventative medicine. You go to the doctor before you are faced with a catastrophic illness. You catch it in the bud. Saving money for everyone. People just wake up before it is too late. Just imagine if the Republicans had joined to pass Hillary's healthcare proposal years ago we would not be in this mess. Every time the Republicans are in power they never tackle healthcare. Only now when President Obama wants to pass it they say – NO WAY! The people will remember.

    Joan

    August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  235. Sel Nutor

    It is amazing to see the number of people who are currently on Medicare resisting health care reform- Do they think that my generation does not deserve the right to universal healthcare?

    If Medicare was not passed in the 60's, we would have been in a serious health care crisis today with the baby boomers reaching their 60's.

    Primary healthcare on a universal level is what will save this country in the event of an epidemic. No one want the government determining what medications or treatment I should receive but there has to be a starting point...

    August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  236. Rob

    Tony....It is a right that ALL should have, to see a doctor, go to a hospital for medical care when sick. I wonder how many people would NOT go hungry tonight, with the money spent to scare people in the crazy commercials we are being bombarded with on TV. I thought God teaches us to take care of the weak and poor in love....how does the religious right justify wanting people to NOT be covered for medical? or to go hungry? When did we stop caring about our fellow man in the US?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  237. Brian

    I am sorry for writing so fast and making so many mistakes in my write up. Nonetheless, the content of the write up is right on the target.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  238. Leni Teitelbaum

    Health care is a HUMAN right. How can the people on the other
    side(against health care for all) call themselves Christians? Jesus
    said *take care of the least of these*.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  239. Be American

    Our economy is ruined by 3 factors:
    1) Monopoly Oil Companies
    2) Monopoly Health Insurance
    3) The American political uneducation.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  240. charles franklin

    from the results of the vote I believe that the noisy and raucus opposition to health reform is well orchestrated due to the fact that they are a part of a small minority...'an empty wagon makes the most noise" the majority is well represented by the under and un insured who probably cant afford to participate in this media frenzy..

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  241. Ralph

    Of course, health care should be a fundamental human rights for Americans because, every American, young and old, are contributing to the economy one-way or the other by themselves or through their families.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  242. John A Babitskas

    John IN Atlanta. Just watched congressman Price. Under his proposal the only people that would be eligible under his plan are those that can afford a good accountant to figure out how to use the tax credits, tax incentives and other hurdles. His plan does not do anything for people with existing conditions or the working poor and middle class.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  243. Anita M.

    My husband and I do not have health insurance. My husband has a pre-existing condition that is exempt from coverage, and I can't afford insurance premiums on my fixed income. I read my previous policy and learned it covered very little and my premiums were over $400 / month!

    We use preventative measures to keep us healthy, and we know the ER would have to treat us, on the backs of those who pay for health insurance. We don't want to use this service. I haven't had a physical since 2005 and I know this sounds irresponsilbe, but I can't afford the blood work, pap smear, mammogram on my own.

    It is time we have an option that does not allow pre-existing conditions exempt from coverage. People opposing the healthcare reform are really not aware of how little coverage their policy contains. They really need to read their current policy and find out what is NOT covered.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  244. Christine

    I'am a Boomer, I've always had health care thur my employment, work all my adult life raised a family and always paid my taxes never complained (its the American way right) after I was retired (laidoff) from my job I was offered COBRA health care, I was to send them $1,700.00 to start my policie and then pay $485.00 a month, I'am a diabetic and have heart problems. When I was employed I paid by-weekly over $80.00 with the highest deductible for office visits, medicine. I was not able to receive other coverage because of my pre-exsisting illness (what a joke!!) I tried to go back to the coverage healthcare I had at work begin that I was covered by Pacifice Care insurance when I became a diabetic and they also refused to cover me even though I was covered by them while employed. Myself and thousands of people may have run into the same problem, now I go to a clinic which gives me my doctor visits with a cost and I pay for my med's at a discount, but if a have another heart attack I have no hospital coverage so I'll probably die or end up with a large hospital bill, I have no problem in paying my share for a Doctor visit, but I can't afford hospital care. I think most people will one day find their-selves in my positions and will need help. I like many have paid for the right to have Health coverage. I've paid enough into the system to cover others that never worked, its only the right thing to do.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  245. Mike Hunt

    I watched the town hall meeting in Lebanon PA. I was appalled by "teacher" who suggested wording the bill language at a "junior high school" level. SInce when do junior high school kids vote? It sad that we have to dummy down our legislation so that ignorant people can feel intelligent. Anyone over 18 who can't read past junior high school level should not be able to vote!!
    I was also appalled by the prepared questions that were clearly written to stir the emotions of the misinformed. Maybe for ratings CNN?
    Kudos to lady brave enough to stand up and support reform.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  246. Paul DW

    a PS to my previous comments:

    To those who decry the boogeyman of "socialism," I trust that you do not cash your Social Security checks nor intend to participate in Medicare! Otherwise, please stop being hypocritical!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  247. James Gregg

    I am disgusted and embarrassed by these overgrown screaming children throwing their temper tantrums while inches away from our representatives. What happened to manners and "civil" discourse?

    A 2-year old throwing a fit over a piece of candy in the super market checkout line is more appealing as compared to the rudeness displayed at these town hall meetings.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  248. Susan Hodgdon

    Healthcare should not be luxury only the rich can afford, which is what it will be in about 10 more years. Those ignorant citizens that are being manipulated by the right wing radical groups, representing the health industry, will also be included. I think it is down right dispicable what these groups are premoting, untruths, half-truths and down right lies. I believe there should be a civil and respectful debate at the town meetings going on around the country, but I draw the line at the rude, shouting, interupting and bullying that the groups promote. They target insecure and ignorant people with these gross lies and make fools out of them. This is hardly democratic, it has become embarassing to behold. Those so-called respectful and bi-partisan republicans, those of them with some integrity left, should call out these groups and politely ask them to cease and desist this disgusting behavior. I cringe at the thought of people across the glove witnessing the immature behavior of the citizens of this great country, which is quickly becoming a joke. The bottom line is....The hard working, responsible adults and their children deserve to have good and reliable healthcare, regardless of their income.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  249. Sam Militello

    Julio, you are right; Medicare/Medicaid is the greatest example of gov't administered health care. It must work well enough or private companies would seize the market. Talk about gov't mismanagement; but most people (who qualify) are quite happy.
    MY FINAL comment; those who don't want others making their decisions should ask how much control they really have if they are in a managed or HMO plan. They can't go outside their plans. DUH!

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  250. L. Smith

    The media has to take the high road on this issue and report the facts. I realize that may not win the ratings war, but the people deserve to hear the truth. The healthcare issue is not about the craziest Americans holding Obama as Hitler signs, it is about the people getting healthcare that is affordable, and fair. Thefear that we might not beable to pick our doctor is stupid. My insurance, Anthem, made me switch doctors when I jioned them. IT costs my family over $1,500 a month to be insured. The people who get insurance through their employers may not want change, but as soon as they lose their jobs they will start to yell about the system being unfair.
    Over one million people a year file bancruptcy because of healthcare costs.
    I propose that all the crazy people that are spreading hate and fear should be asked to sign a contact saying they will not go on Medicare. That will solve the problem of medicare costs. IF these people do not want the government to control their costs then they should give up their right to medicare.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  251. A Gurm

    After watching the townhall today, there is no hope for US. It is unbelievable how ignorant these anti health reform people are. If Jesus was here today, HE would have been labelled a communist. They can't handle a smart government... give them Bush back and see the country turn to a 3rd world country.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  252. Maryann

    Health care is a fundamental American right and everyone who is trying to prevent it from happening should rethink how they would feel without that right. These nay-sayers are not thinking about others because they have health care and don't want this president to have the health care feather in his cap. Why is it so hard for some people to wish others well?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  253. Barbara

    I watched you ask Ali if we (media) aren't doing enough to get out information. I think you make an assumption that most town hall attendees are ignorant to the legislative process. While they know a formal piece of legislation that is agreeable to both houses is not on the floor, they are getting and idea of the trend of plans via HR 3200. We are reading it and although we don't have 2 lawyers to help us interpret it, we can get the general idea...bigger gov't bureacracy and enough missing details (what are the benefits?...why does the commissioner decide this?...the devil is in the details) and no idea on how to pay for it. What people at these townhalls are providing to legislators and what you and other news agencies should take from them is that maybe healthcare reform needs to take another direction from what is being offered rather than assuming we don't realize this isn't the final version of the legislation. It's called debate.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  254. Terrie in Tennessee

    Why are folks scared to death of change or the word socialism...We already have some socialized programs in this country and they work very well...Why force an uninsured person to seek out emergency room care when preventative care with a personal physician is by far the better way...What could be a more fair way to spend tax dollars than on a program that covered every man, woman and child in this country...Most programs that spend huge amounts of money don't even come close to benefiting all of us...this one would...So what is the problem.....Fear? Greed? Ego? Let's vote with our hearts as well as our minds...PEACE 🙂

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  255. tony

    " I think they would treat you anyway and pass on the costs to those who can pay"

    This is a line of BS..

    Should someone get a free ride because they were irresponsible in life and did not save up a dime, ate fast food everday, and chained smoked cigerattes?

    How aobut someone who was responsibble in life , saved up their money, excersized and ate right. BUT a freak circumstance happens, and they need the help..

    OH YA, to hell with the responsible one, they do not "Help the economy" So we should punish the one whom is responsible, and reward the good ole american consumer.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  256. Francie

    A relative's family was vacationing in New Zealand. They were involved in a horrific auto accident which was not their fault. An elderly woman went right of center and crashed into their car. All 4 members of the family were hospitalized for weeks. Mother lost an ear, an eye, and her nose. She went through the windshield ever with her seatbelt on. She remained in a coma for a week. Other members had multiple bone breakages and head injuries. They were visitors in a foreign country. The mother received plastic surgery to replace her nose and other issues involving the multiple cuts on her face. The family was housed in a private person's home as they slowly recovered and were released from the hospital. They were given food and shelter and a book on New Zealand because they couldn't complete their trip. THEY PAID ZERO for the medical care they received. Even prescriptions were reimbursed. New Zealand has socialized medicine, not the same as socialism! Now turn this around and imagine how New Zealanders would be treated here in the U.S if the same thing happened to a family here. If other countries can provide health care for their citizens and visitors, why shouldn't we? We may even get more tourists to come to this country and the $$ they bring for one thing. I know I have no problem traveling in European countries since I know if I was injured, I would be cared for. I have traveled to all the major European countries who provide socialized medicine.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  257. Geno

    To many Americans are misinformed or believe negative disinformation peddled by people who profit from pushing mis and disinformation,fear,ignorance,bigotry and keeping health care controlled by the insurance companies. Let's have an HONEST,CIVIL DEBATE about health care. Unfortunately so much of the disruption,yelling & screaming is about trying to defeat Pres. Obama politicially and unfortunately let's be honest, there's some Americans that refuse to accept the fact than an African American Man(actually bi-racial w/a White Mother,people seem to forget that)is our President.C'mon America.We're better than that. Let's not be SELFISH.Let's make sure ALL AMERICANS have health care of their choice in spite of preexisting conditions.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  258. Dave Moore

    THat anyone would suggest that legislation be broken down to junior high school l level is disturbing. Overall are we as a nation so full of people who are that poorly educated that we have to dumb down legislation?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  259. Mike

    Of course health care is a human right. There is so much misinformation in this campaign, but the fact is that people will experience more freedom under the new plan than they currently do. Insurance companies already dictate what doctors, dentists, optometrist, and every other health care professional that you can see. What do you think an HMO is?

    It sickens me to think that people do not believe that everyone has the right to live a healthy and complete life.

    The real enemy here is the insurance companies. I would much rather have the government or an NPO in charge of my healthcare than an insurance company that values the bottom line more than my health.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  260. Kevin

    People are arguing for something they don't want or don't have now, a healthcare system. We don't have a a healthcare system because we have what is called "private" insurance. Only those people who fall below the poverty line or seniors have a healthcare system in our country. The special interests groups with the Republicans have once again organized an effective "Third Reich" campaign strategy to keep the Health Insurance companies in control of the wealth of the private system. Everyone knows of the horror stories of these health insurance companies denying coverage or dropping policyholders before paying the costs of life threatening treatements and their exorbinant rate increases that has caused companies to either drastically downgrade coverage and letting employees pickup more of the costs or drop the company plan altogether. Don't the people understand that the current cost of healthcare is also one of the biggest reasons why companies aren't hiring people. One way or another, the expense and quality of delivering healthcare has to be delt with by our society before it is too late. My fear is that we will be left with a private system that has been spiraling out of control for years.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  261. Joanne Griffith

    I voted yes on health care as a right (rather than a privilege.) I used to ask my high school health career question and then follow it up with questions such has who should pay for it and what should be covered. It always inspired a lively debate. We then discussed basics of how health insurance worked in this country and what was fair and unfair about it. The ignorance of some of the American people on this subject is appalling and is leading to some or a lot of the anger in these debates. I am sure the anger is fueled in large part by insurance industry mis-information, and by people who should know better who promulgate this bad information. I heard Newt Gingrich talk about the issue on Sunday morning. I was so horrified by his baloney that I turned it off. I am an RN with over 30 years of community health nursing and teaching and I have seen first hand the inequities of the current system. I hope and pray that Obama succeeds in his campaign to overhaul the system. It is not sustainable as it is, just as he has said many times.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  262. Joan

    I worked for a dentist & did not have healthcare. After retiring, I purchased a Blue Cross Blue Shield Individual Policy. I had to have a hysterectomy, before turning 65. Out of $21,000, my Blue Cross Blue Shield only paid $4000.00. The rest $17,000. 00 came out of my pocket. I guess I was paying premiums for nothing. Yes, we definetly need healthcare reform.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  263. Robert Brown

    Because we have health we should believe that others should have it.
    If we don't, we will reap what we sow

    August 11, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  264. Craig G.

    According to the Universal Declaraion of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations on December 10, 1948: Article 25 states: "Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control."

    This was a document that the United States was a member in drafting and adopting and clearly expresses the rights of every human being to be treated regardless of social or economic standing. Quite simply the question is phrased wrong, it is no a fundamental AMERICAN right, it is a fundamental HUMAN right. It makes me glad to see the free clinics that CNN covered in West Virginia and California, however it also saddens me to know that these clinics only last for a short period of time. In contrast there are numerous organizations, such as Partners in Health, Mercy Ships, Doctors Without Borders, The International Commitee of the Red Cross, and so many others whose doctors volunteer their time so that hospitals through out the developing world can remain open year round; but even that treatment is not enough for the suffering people of the world.

    Still, while people are dying in our own country and overseas of diseases that have had vacines and treatments for over 100 years, we chose to spend our time screaming and crying about portions of a health care bill that we have been told time and again don't exist. How often do we have to hear misinformed citizens at town hall meeting fearing clauses about euthenasia and abortion when we have been told time and again by our Senators, Representatives, and News Stations that such clauses simply don't exist? By broadcasting such events, which all end the same way (with as much confusion and misinformation in the end as in the begining), we are giving credence to what the scare tactitions, who are circulating scare e-mails, are saying; if we stopped covering these apparently useless meetings and actually covered the bill we would see more true information spreading about the bill.

    I also find it interesting that the man who stood up and shouted at Spectre warned Spectre that he would have to stand before God and be judge on the final day; isn't the passing of this bill more in line with what most religions preach anyway? Do not most religions preach the care for the poor and downtrodden? This man appeared to be a Christian, and i appologize to him if I am wrong, but if he is, didn't Jesus heal indescriminately and never ask for a cent in return? It just makes no sense to turn to any form of religion when arguing against health care reform because most religions will support it.

    Maybe I'm merely the product of a post-Cold War world, maybe i'm not enough of a financial guru to correctly speak on insurance issues, but I do care for the health and well being of every human life regardless of their gross house hold income and I believe that health care is a human right that we all deserve access to.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  265. Connie Stemmons

    Sorry, I spelled Synonymous wrong! CS

    August 11, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  266. Reginald Levi Walker

    Lorenzo August 11th, 2009 11:25 am ET

    “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are guaranteed. Note it is the “pursuit” of happiness that is guaranteed…not the attainment of it!
    -------------------------------–

    True but in order for a person to pursue happiness, they must first be healthy enough to run after it. Without making proper health care a right. the current system has placed the cart before the horse. We work in order to get health care when the way it should really be is we can go to work and work better because our health care has been taken care of by the trillons of dollars in tax revenues the American citizen pays each year. .

    August 11, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  267. Lorraine O'Dell

    Why in Heaven's name do I not hear the obvious, namely that the persons you interview are chosen to ignore it or you need to get opinions other than those you like. What will happen is this:

    The government offers insurance and it will be cheaper than most persons are buying and said person will do exactly what is planned for him/her, i.e. go for the bargain and get the government insurance.

    Voila – the government is running one more facet of our lives and we are no longer a democracy but very soon a socialist state.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  268. Harry B Miller

    I have worked over forty years to earn my Social Security and Medicare. How can congress allow illegeal immigrants to get free Social Security, Free Housing, Free Medical and Free Education. These people are at the front line for everything, while the real life long citizens of the USA get little or nothing. These illegals are costing us billions that could be spent on our own people. How about taking care of the real citizens of America. Don't you think that the citizens of the USA should be made aware as to what the congress gives away to non-citizens?? I just don't think the media reports about what all this is really costing us. Please do a piece on this. Harry Miller

    August 11, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  269. Ellen

    Tony , I live in Vermont people wonder about Canada,s health care , Every Canadian Ive spoken with is happy with there health care and this is based on living in Vremont for over 40 years and Ive met alot of Canadians

    August 11, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  270. Catherine Wright

    I am an RN for 43 years and still in practice. Republicans and Limbaugh, Hannity et al. are sneering and smearing away our chance to reform healthcare. They are lying. Rep. Gingery just did it on your show by using the term "government-run" which is a sneering characterization of the public option that is government paid-for. Where are the nurse activists on CNN? Why only Republican doctors?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  271. Laurine Rogers

    Health care is something all of us should help all of us have. It does not mean government control of treatments or care. Politicians can be corrupted. Look at all the borken promises of politicians. Social security – retire at 65 – oops its now 67 to 70 because the government goofed. You pay in but have a deminishing chance of seeing a return. Politicians haven't created a sustainable Medicare program. Why should people trust them now with our lives? What can we do? Watch them like hawks! Look for all the corruptable cookies and viruses in their bills. This is NOT a make or break month for health care reform. We can debate, hear the best ideas on all sides, and pick the best plans. We can take one step at a time. All of us can make better decisions than the few in Washington. We could even vote on options, if they would let us.

    Laurie
    Iowa

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  272. Brad Steiner

    Tony, I watch dumb-struck this debate in the U.S over health care.Living in Canada,my health care is a given,no question.I shudder to hear your representatives in congress saying "we dont want a Canadian -style system'.Yes you do!!! My family has dealt with triple by-pass surgery,diabetes,autism,prostate cancer as well as a myriad of other day to day ailments in my lifetime.The cost: $0. The care excellent. Can you get that care in the U.S.? It is time the U.S. public be given the TRUTH about universal heath care,not the fear-mongering,un-informed,biased rhetoric your politicians are spewing on a daily basis.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  273. Tom

    We want Affordable health care not a government controlled program.
    We have a government program with the welfare system. If we had group coverage, that would lower the cost to individuals. So as citizens,if we had the option to join a government sponsored group, we could obtain affordable group health coverage from any number of insurance companies. This is not to be confused with a government controlled system, merely using our sheer numbers to form a group, not unlike any major corporation.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  274. Bill Bennett (no not the one in DC - the one in OR)

    Hello Tony;

    This comment pertains to the Houdini trick now being done by Chevy with their "SO CALLED NEW CAR - THE VOLT".

    In the late 70's and early 80's I was loosely associated with a a company based in FREEPORT GRAND BAHAMAS, called "THE ELECTRIC AUTO CORPORATION".

    The Pres. was Sir. Jon Samules, The VP was Robert Arronsson, and the Designer of the Vehicle was Henry Louve (spelling may be wrong) a former engineer for GM. I assisted them in trying to market their and I quote "FANTASTIC ALL ELECTRIC LUXURY VEHICLE. I introduced in in Paso Robles California in 1980 or 81.

    The car idea is now marketed by Chevy called "THE VOLT". The car still has the same problem it had back in the 70's and 80's. Range of travel, Cost, and finally (THE ITEM THEY HAD ME TRYING TO SELL)CHARGING STATIONS.

    The car had a max true range of 80 miles (in 1981) and then needed a 3 hour charge to go another 80 miles. They advertised 300-400 miles per charge (close to what Chevy is doing now). It did not work then and it isn't gonna work now.

    You may want to check google "Silver Volt, or E.A.C. and Apollo Energy system – (Robert Aronsson), Sir. Jon Samuels". Also the San Luis Obispo News Paper back in 1981-or 82 - it had a major write up concerning me introducing the Silver Volt and EAC.

    It was a great idea back then that did not fly, and it is still the same now - It is a song and dance that is only a way to make people think they are getting something that "REALLY IS NOT WHAT IT IS ADVERTISED TO BE"

    Feel free to call me or email me

    Bill Bennett (PhD)
    (William P. Bennett)
    not the one in DC - The One in Oregon

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  275. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    If the Canadian healthcare system is so terrible, why do Canadians live longer than US citizens? For those who think we have the best healthcare - we rank 37th. Those wonderful, efficient healthcare insurers we love so much are responsible for over 30% of the cost of healthcare provision because of their administrative overheaad and profit. The administrative cost of government programs like medicare is less than 3%.

    So by all means let's keep what we've got. Change is so scary. Its much better to spend our precious tax dollars on killing over 100,000 innocent Iraqis and 4,000 young Americans.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  276. Alice

    two things- 1st. we already have govenment health care in the US . One that covers children who need health care and medicade that covers adults. Why not just expand these to cover those who do not have any health care or cannot afford it.
    2nd. How can Presdent Obama go around the country trying to sell a health care plan that has not yet been written. I would not want a plan passed that anything can be written after it was passed. I want to see what the plan was before passing it. Any thing can be written into a plan after it was passed. A plan should already be written before being passed.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  277. Barry Greer

    Check the Taiwan experience. The democratic, capitalist nation of Taiwan has had single-payer health insurance for fourteen years now for the same reason the United States needs it now. No one is opposed to health insurance and health care reform but extremists and the insurance industry that is now running fear-mongering ads in my state using a front group called the 60 Plus Association.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  278. Shirley

    Some people have questions about the healthcare reform bill, some people are misled with outrageous lies about the healthcare reform bill, some peopole want to be mad and find a reason to hate, some people just will not do their own research – but instead listen to the lies of others, and some people are just plain crazy. They go into these town hall meeting with the intent of disrupting the meeting.

    There is a guy today in Portsmouth, NH where President Obama will speak, with a gun strapped to his leg. Seriously...is that really happening? What is his point? Okay, you have the right to bear arms – but what's the point of having this gun strapped to his side on the day President Obama is to speak?

    This is where concerned citizen turns into a dangerous simpleton.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  279. Eva

    Some of these people in the town hall meetings are just acting childish. We are paying for health care for people now who are not insured anyway. Everyday people are filing bankruptcy over health care issues, nursing homes are charging for people who have no insurance. We are already paying for all of this and the only ones getting rich now is the insurance companies, we need to do something to stop this rising cost. It is only going to get worse and worse, I cannot understand why people cannot see that. And as for the ones who say people don't deserve health insurance in this great country I pray you never get seriously ill.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  280. angel

    To me, we should have an acting tax for those who make millions per movie. Will Smith, Tom Hanks, Miley Cyrus(under the age of 22), Mary-Kate & Ashley sisters are pass the age, the Jonas Brothers, the High School Musical people, disney channel stars such as Hillary Duff as well. The taxes they pay now will give them "free health insurance" in old age and help economy now.. Taxes equal city funded things such as retirement, 911 assistance, and road upkeep. Bill Clinton & Obama are the ONLY people that know what is going on.(except when people judge you by personal choices such as human impulses such as Bill's). Obama should tell people that if a meeting is about Health Care reform that should be sense enough not to ask about public relations such as Gates arrest. Obama responded because he knew if he did not the public would wonder why he did not

    August 11, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  281. jr

    to answer your question...no – you (collectively) are not doing a good job reporting the health care issue...sounds like none of the anchors have read the bill...at the least you should have a point by point summery of what is actually in the house bill – it may seve you better, in your interviews and on-site reporting of the chaotic non-debate debate, than the page-six gossip/senstionalism of your repetitive standups/videos of the confrontations – pointing out the misinformation of some of the shouters on both sides might even help to quell the fears that are driving the frenzy.

    jr
    old lyme ct

    ps: every society has to decide what its minimum social ethic is, i would include education and health are as essential to the maitanance of a vital civil society and add that these defining things should be avaialble to all regardess of economic circumstances...
    rights, if you will, but more important, obligations.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  282. thomas raddcliff

    be afraid...fear is patriotic.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  283. wayne usilton

    We are the only industrialized nation that does not have health care for all citizens. I want free health care for all Americans. I get upset every time I hear the word affordable health care. We need the same type program that our leaders have. To finance health care, stop all the Congressial pork barrels and the flow of our tax dollars to all the countries for what ever purpose. It is time to take care of America!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  284. Delores

    I am shocked and embarrassed by the screaming "Americans" at these town hall meetings. I thought that America was the home of civil behavior and the right to disagree – without being subjected to the violent outbursts I am seeing. Or are these screamers really foreign terrorists who have been programmed and planted in these audiences so they can try to disrupt, confuse and destroy our democratic way of life? I hope our congressmen and women have the courage to overlook all the lies and false propaganda being put forth, and will vote on a health care reform bill – SOON!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  285. Ray Haskell

    Health Care Proposal Issues:
    This country NEEDS a health care overhaul. The American people are being fleeced on a daily basis by the existing system. Increased medical costs are absolutely astounding and breaking the backs of America!!
    The Insurance Industry and some health care interests are fueling the existing controversy by using half-truths and downright lies to protect their profit-driven greed!
    You just had a commercial on a few minutes ago (11:35 AM EST) paid for by a group called "60 plus" that tugs at the heartstrings of older folks that continues the lies being spread about this issue.
    I would bet if you followed the money trail of that group you'd find an insurance company or similar group behind it.
    If the private (for profit) health insurance industry was completely dissolved, the exisiting resources/workforce rolled into a new health care system with added community healthcare clinics, that alone would pay for, and create the necessary resources to fix this system.
    However, it is my opinion, that most of our lawmakers on BOTH sides of the aisle are absolutely beholden to the insurance/medical lobby and are "rope-a-doping" Americans. If this continues, once again a valuable opportunity to truly fix this system will be lost.
    We MUST make our elected representatives understand this and heed our complaints. If not, a truly viable third party must emerge to right these wrongs.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  286. MARY LLOYD

    ALL THESE TOWNHALL MEETINGS GOING ON IS HEALTHY AND AS 36 YEAR OLD WOMEN I FINALLY SEE WHATS GOING ON . NO ONE GAINS FROM ALL AMERICANS TO HAVE INSURANCE. I AM A DIABETIC AND I HAVE BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD PPO AND IN 2007 DEC. 21 I HAD TO BE HOSPITALIZED FOR 9 DAYS I LEFT FELLING BETTER BUT ABOUT 3 DAYS LATER THE BILL CAME. MY THOUGHTS WERE I DONTS HAVE TO WORRY MUCH BUT I OENED MY BILL AND IT STATED THAT I OWE 75,000.00 IN ADDITION TO WHAT THE INSURANCE COMPANY PAID WHAT THE ****. DID I MENTION I PAY ALMOST $500.00 FOR INSURANCE A MONTH.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  287. Lorenzo

    Not too long ago, the government determined that "all Americans have the right to homeownership, regardless of their ability to pay".

    That little gem of government intervention has caused the near downfall and financial catastrophe to U.S. and worldwide financial well-being...

    Here we go again. tsk tsk!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  288. Chris Baffer

    The very FIRST right described by Thomas Jefferson as "unalienable" in the Declaration of Independence is LIFE! Protection of that right means Health Care. Of course Health Care is a fundamental human right.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  289. thomas

    Having to pitch health care reform is truly sad. In this great country everyone should have the right to health care. Our current health care system is coporate, not humanitrian. I wish we would have a socialized health care system. It works really well for many countries why not the U.S. .Anyone who is protesting this reform has not seen someone worried about affording medication or how they will pay a hospital bill.
    I am begining to think this more about race and politics. The so called conservatives do not want to see this administation come through on such a valuble act.
    A healthy population is a productive population.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  290. JdPorter

    Washington tells us any illegal has a right to free health care. Look in any Emergency Room. Free Medical care. My gosh can t Washington figure out why Health Care is so high ?Are they really that dumb? What about the Senators,and Congressmen will they be put to sleep along with the rest of us ? At 60 are they checked out? Perhaps thats our problem. All those senile usless old men need to be replaced with the younger generation. What use is the wisdom of the ages? Where is the appreciation of our warriors who have saved our country? My GOD isn t anything sacred any more? What do we send our military to fight for? What have our forefathers fought for? Did they die for nothing? Do we pay taxes for nothing ? Fly your flags,sing GOD BLESS AMERICA. Treasure our elderly. and GOD help us all.JP

    August 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  291. katlin

    If having a SSN is not a form of government control then what is?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  292. John Crutcher

    Tony – The reason people are firghtened by the proposed health care reform is because they don't know what is in the 1,000 page bill passed in the dark of night by congress. Nobody knows. You don't know, Sen Specter doesn't know. That is why you can't explain it to the poeple. It is not a matter of you not doing your job properly. Rather than asking ordinary people what they think about it, make congress give an explanation of what they are trying to pass. Then we all (including the president) would have a base on which to formulate our concerns or approvals. Regards, John

    August 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  293. John Washington

    Tony,
    I am a 67 year old African American Retiree. My wife is 65. We have our Private insurance as secondary and Medicare as our Primary.
    On reaching 65, many people are NOT aware that...unless they have it in their PENSION plan...they will ONLY have Medicare. I live outside of Phoenix, and MANY Physicians I called REFUSE to accept patients with ONLY medicare (I understand it's because Medicare doesn't PAY enough). Lots more are on a STRICTLY CASH up front basis.

    Most of the protesters and panicked people do not recall some life and health facts, or they choose to ignore them. Labor unions and collective bargaining was FUNDAMENTAL in getting health care to the WORKING CLASS of people.

    1. When Social Security was passed, the average mortality age was about 55, but Social Security was set to kick in at 65.
    A VERY conservative government "take over", which MANY people paid int but didn't recieve a DIME for, since they had to pay for a finite period. The fact that America's healt has improved to the point that the mortality age for a white male is 76 and a woman's is 78 is a testament to what "HEALTH CARE" will do.

    2. LABOR UNIONS collectively bargained for health care. If there was NOT for Medicare...another government policy...Millions of people on Social Security who could NOT afford the average monthly premium...$500 for an individual...for Health insurance...would be sick or dead. MANY people on Social Security (SS) only collect about $400-$800 a month, not having accumulated enough "points" to get the $2000-to $5000 a month top management or the wealthy receive from SS.

    3. The GOVERNMENT program that allows you to keep your Medical insurance, if you lose your job...REQUIRES YOU to pay the premiums! MANY premiums for a family are in the $1300 to $2500 a month range, FAR exceeding the reduced income and forcing families to go to the Emergency room for any medical comdition.

    4. Fraud plays a LARGE part of these high health costs.

    I have 4 girls. Following the birth of one of my Daughters, I was casually reading the VERY HIGH copy of the medical bill. To my amazement, I read that my daughter had had a circumcision...or at least that is what I was to have been charged for if I had not brought it to someone's attention. It was casually laughed off as a "MISTAKE".

    The American people, unfortunately are SO much in the dark as to what their rights are regarding health care and insurance. Many gravely ill people do NOT realize it is the INSURERS who opt for "denial of service" and not any potential Governmental program.
    Without MORE OPTIONS...private insurance costs and reduced services WIL cause more EUTHANASIA.
    They HAVE to fix it, or look forward to a VERY full Bankruptcy Court.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  294. Robert Brown

    Because we have healthcare, we should believe that others should have it. If we don't, we will reap what we sow.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  295. Richard Saunders II

    Health Card IS a fundamental right.
    That is why we need health INSURANCE reform. We don't need a change in our health care. Our doctors, nurses, hospitals . . . the true health providers are excellent and do not need reform. The way the health providers are compensated needs the reform.
    The debate should be called HEALTH INSURANCE REFORM.
    One of the insurance providers that rhymes with BSBSNC has 26 different plans to cover health care expenses. The underlying coverage is the SAME all that changes is the cost you pay and the profits for the insurance company. What's up with that?
    As far as the people that say keep your hands off my health care, pray you do not loose your job. Their tune WILL change.
    Cheers

    August 11, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  296. susan johnsen

    I read that President Obama said Immigration needs to be fixed, but it will have to wait until after the Health Care issue is taken care of. I believe that the illegal population contributes greatly to the costs of health care that we face. You can't fix one without addressing the other. For instance, I do not want my health care dollars spent on people who cross the border in labor just to have their child born here so thechild is a US citizen. The taxpayer pays for the illegal's hospitalization, Also, the illegal's schooling, etc.
    Thank you for this opportunity to speak out.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  297. Gloria Rice

    How can we in good conscience provide billions to other countries for health care when so many US citizens lack the ability to pay for health care? We should take care of our own first.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  298. WendyNC

    Who is the group 'Americans for Prosperity' and why are all the signs that these health care reform protestors labeled the same with 'Americans for Prosperity.com' at the bottom of the nicely printed sign? This looks like an organized pushback to disrupt and confuse, especially when these signs are showing up all over the country at town hall meetings. This country cannot sink to the level of uninformed and unwilling to listen. Obviously this is not the majority speaking out loudly and rudely, it is the well-funded, organized propaganda machine that is trying desperately to hide their classism and racism by using the health care issue.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  299. Ray Gagne

    Tony,

    Always a pleasure to watch you, thank you for your integrity.

    Concerning health care. If the politicians want to be believe why don't they put Congress under the same health care system.

    When they begin to including themselves in all the laws they pass then maybe the populace will believe them.

    Unfortunately, when a politician moves his or lips they are lying.

    rayg

    August 11, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  300. josh

    Let me tell you, you think changing this stuff is destroying the our pass of respecting what this country is based on? we changed when it became about profit

    August 11, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  301. Chris

    Americans need to stop nickle and diming the government. If Sweeden, Germany and Canada can provide universal heath care, The United States of America can too.

    I am dying, I have a cronic illness that cannot be managed without health care. Ive been laid off from work 3 times in 2 years here in New York City.

    It makes me sick to see greedy, self absorbed Americans complaining that they dont want to spend any extra money to save my life.

    If you are one to oppose universal healthcare or not want to support the funds for it, you might as well be ashamed of yourself... Are you going to come to my funeral?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  302. Chris Meek

    Tony,

    Watching your segment with that woman at the town hall. Please let them know that in the Constitution, the founding fathers wrote in the Preamble "...To promote the general welfare..." This is purposely vague, but it is part of the mission statement of the Constitution.

    A healthy population IS the general welfare. No liberties are being denied, there is no government health care system, it is an Insurance Program.

    I wish these protesters who claim to never have been politically active would educate themselves on what the Constitution really says rather than rely on the half truths being spread by those who oppose the plan.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  303. JO

    Health care is not fundmental right. It is privilege we get from being American Citizen.
    I'm natualized US citizen. Keep paying for illegal immigrants medical bills and give them right, that is most stupid public policy.
    I believe, everyone shpuld pay something for their insurance, such as flat % of house gross income, then no one will abuse health care.
    Like old saying "you get something for nothing" people would not appreciated.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  304. Arthur Martinez

    Tony you hit the nail right on the head...Why are these sale teams out when there are still 5 bills being debated and there is NO REAL BILL laid out...I agree with the clip of the young lady you just ran...they better listen AMERICANS are tired of the bills just being passed without being read. We feel helpless.....

    August 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  305. Bill Foster

    ?? How much time will Washington give us the people time to read the final bill before they sign it into law.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  306. Dave Georgetown, TX

    Why should I be expected to pay for my insurance, and then be taxed to pay for someone else.
    I am down for helping those who help themselves. I am down for helping pregnant women and children up to the age of 18. But in no way is it constitutional for me to be expected and have to pay for some other persons "BENEFITS". It is not American for someone who helped themself, to be expected to use their labor and hard-earned money to pay for someone else who have mixed up priorities.
    Tax cuts should be given to companies who provide affordable insurance based on amount they are paid to work.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  307. ag

    Someone wrote "School isn’t free. We pay for it through our property taxes.".... hence socailized. So since Americans hate the governemnt so much, you should be asking these "communist Obama gov" to abolish Public Schools.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  308. Lynn

    People have a right to obtain affordable healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  309. Ryan

    Just and observation. How come every civilian speaker/protester at these town hall meetings appears to be a white American that has insurance? The fear is winning, this is America, right? The greatest country in the world, don't we care about our less fortunate and our most valued citizens, seniors and children. Is it right that a 70 year old retiree has to decide drugs or food? It appears to me that no one actually understands the bill, including myself. President Obama has repeated, ad nauseum, that he is trying to insure the poor (which are predominantly minority populations) and ease the cost of health insurance. Please stop feeding the fire of fear. Look at the basics 47 millions Americans don't have insurance and can't afford and the cost for everyone else is spiraling upwards out of control. Please just be open minded and allow the politicians we all elected to work it out.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  310. David Holmes

    We have food stamps for people who have no food, nothing similar for heatlh care, but long, long waits in emergency rooms, and bills that follow!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  311. Mike

    I ALSO WANT TO SAY THAT I THINK OUR GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO INSURE THE UNINSURED AND BRING THE OVER ALL COST OF HEALTH CARE DOWN, WHY IS THAT SUCH A BAD THING? IT SEEMS TO ME THAT PEOPLE WHO ARE AGAINST REFORM HAVE SOME FINANCIAL STAKE IN LEAVING THINGS AS THEY ARE LIKE DOCTORS, NURSES ANYONE WHO IS IT FOR THE MONEY NOT THE LOVE OF THEIR JOBS...

    August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  312. Kim

    Healthcare is a right. Everyone should have the right to quality, timely medical care. I fail to understand how anyone can think otherwise.

    It is morally reprehensible for anyone to PROFIT on another human beings suffering.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  313. Keith

    Health care is fundamental to life but it is also vital to the economy because a healthy society is a more productive society. There is also a personal responsibility to take care of our self and watch your own health.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  314. Bill

    You have a right to get health care. The government can't stop you. You don't have a "right" to have the government pay for it. You also have a right to food, housing and clothing, which are necessities, but you don't have the "right" to obtain these for free from the government.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  315. Jerry Gahan

    So far the insurance companies have spent over $40 million this month on anti health care reform advertising. They have set up phony organizations and websites to fight health care reform. It is the insurance companies who are spreading all the false information.
    Insurance companies caused this health care crisis, now they want you to think that they have become humanitarians overnight.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  316. Brenda

    Listening to the public outrage about fixing healthcare shows how naive the american public is about their present coverage. I have a great healthcare coverage, but i can not see any doctor i want, very few plans allow you to go "out-of-ntework " without having to pay a huge penalty. Ins companies do not care about us, they are a business and the bottom line it to be profitable. Not only do they deny claims for pre-existing condition they use any excuse they can , their reasons are constanly changing, not a covered service, could have been done in another setting, not medically necessary,untimely submission, etc. etc.In addition most INS.Co. exaggerate the amount of money they pay out for a particular claim, most Ins co.reimburse base on a per deim basis e.g $975.00 per day , but they will send and EOB to the patient showing THC e.g $17000.00. Obama need to illicit people who deal with Ins companies on a day to day basis to explain how broken the present sytem is. So far the Congress and Senate representatives are doing a lousy job. Each hospital write -off millions and millions of dollars in claims a year because of Ins. denials. Hospitals are closing , what are these people shouting about?.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  317. Dyanne Earley

    Thanks for your efforts to educate a not too bright electorate.
    While CNN at least tries to explain where we are in the process
    of the Health Care debate, other cable stations have been projecting what MIGHT happen ten years down the road in a worse case scenario of a plan that isn't even being proposed!

    One can only surmise that they want to status quo...high costs of health care with no restrictions or rules for the insurance industry. Does no one remember the last two years and how that DID NOT WORK in the banking industry? In these days of self interest, every one needs rules to live by so the larger population is protected from the greed that drives industries . Dyanne Earle7y

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  318. Don Arterburn

    Why is the government trying to reinvent the wheel? Medicare is a governmental operated health coverage. It has problems, but is better than nothing.
    Why not spend the monies on improving that which already exist and stop all this partisan bickering?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  319. jose diaz

    hello.
    im from milwaukee, wi

    and i have a question for these health care reform!

    how is these health care reform goin to help the people who has no SS?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  320. Kerry

    There are really only a few things we need a large centralized government for, ... but one of them should be universal health care. What we have now is an embarrassment. Greedy corporate crooks, telling us who can or can't get health care. The highest costs in the world, for the "middle-of-the-road" care system, ... and then there are the lobbyists!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  321. John Smith

    Why does Tony (and he's not alone, it's a universal problem) ignore the effect of all the dishonest ads that are running on CNN and every other network from groups like Jack Abramoff-connected 60 Plus, Conservatives for Patients Rights (run by the recipient of the largest Medicare fraud fine in history), and other groups tied (and not just tangentially) to the health insurance industry, big oil, and other corporate interests?

    It's not that people are confused about what's in the bill because of what they are hearing around the water cooler. It's the millions of dollars of ads that CNN and other networks are running unchallenged. People actually do believe what they see in ads. If they didn't, groups wouldn't spend millions of dollars on them.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  322. Regina

    Yes, health care is a right. I have health care, but I beleive all Americans should have health care. What amazes me is the same people talking about government take over are on Medicaid, use food stamps and other government programs. They are the ones showing up at free clinics, and will take the same government program. These were also the same people that took the rebate check last year. Give the stuff back that Governement has given you, and go get a job, if you do not want treatment. Also, they do not know what their grand children or going to pay, no one does, stop saying that, when you cannot predict the future. Our tax dollars pay for a lot of stuff we will not pay for.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  323. mike

    I have a right to go to sleep at night knowing some hospital isn't going to settle a debt by demanding the deed to my condo.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  324. Ines

    Yes, it should be a right!
    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. But how do you reign in a raging Bull?
    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 12:18 pm |
  325. kate T

    What should be a positive time in our nation has become outrageous because for some reason lack of civility is encouraged and accepted by the young and the old.

    We should focus on health care availability and worry about health care reform as a 2nd subject. Putting the two together has caused confusion and then we get those who take information and just plain interpret it to cause fear and caos. Sarah Palin should be ashamed and those who follow that course of action should just sit, calm down and educate themselves on all the options and the opportunities.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  326. wsb-bethesda, MD

    I am already sick of seeing the video of that 35 yr old woman at Senator Spector's Town Hall. She's says she's thirty five and never been interested in politics, really? At thirty five she has no opinion on abortion, which has been THE hot botton political issue for her entire life? At thirty five she has lived through the Gulf War, 9/11, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the invasion of Afghanistan, the 2000 selection of George Bush to be president, the hotly contested and slim margined election of 2004, the Clinton attempt at reforming health insurance, and good jobs evaporating like water on a hot stove. She's seen all that but never got interested in politics? Sure...

    August 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  327. LaKisha Geans

    I have been rich... I have been poor. I have had employer provided insurance & I have had government assistance provided health coverage. I've worked with HR departments in selecting insurance options for employees. I know and understand the costs and benefits of many options. Ignorance is not bliss in this case & we need to take it upon ourselves to learn about our options and voice our opinions in a civil and productive manner to government officials. Until then, we will continue to spin our wheels.

    WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE as well as basic needs TO ALL AMERICANS!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  328. Dijane Lynch

    Denying American citizens medical care because they lack money to pay for it is at the very least discrimination against people who are sick. Of the 15% polled who think medical care is not our right, perhaps all of them do not want to be grouped with those who lack finances to pay for medical care...it probably is the one aspect of American life that "convinces" them of their superiority.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  329. Ryan S

    By definition health care cannot be a fundamental human right because no one has a right to force someone else to care for them (under the guise of a human right.)

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  330. Cheryl Coppock

    I believe that healthcare is a fundamental right. If the Constitution of the United States guarantees life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, then the denial of health care to an individual who does not have the ability to pay for such care constitutes the denial of life to that individual. Medical advances that have taken place in the past seventy years were beyond the scope of imagination of our Founding Fathers over two hundred years ago, so (luckily for them) they did not have the need to to address the issues in todays health care debate!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  331. Heath

    Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It all boils down to life. You can't live life if you aren't healthy. We have should have a right to be able to obtain affordable coverage that can not be denied if we become seriously ill. There needs to be a happy medium within the parameters of the bill. All these people are freaking out and there's not even a finished bill yet. The government should be allowed to provide a public option to compete with the big greedy insurance companies. We pay taxes, and as a tax payer Im ok with helping my neighbor. After all, my tax dollars are better used servicing my country within the borders. We should be spending money to keep America, America rather than dropping bombs in deserts. We need healthcare, and we need to BUY AMERICAN. Those 2 things alone will fix much of our economic woes. Both involve helping your neighbors out, it's not socialism, its making OUR COUNTRY a better place. We need to stop focusing on the world outside of our country and focus on us for once.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  332. Bob From Colorado

    Is it a fundamental right for American citizens to vote? Absolutely. And yet less than 50% of Americans vote. The lack of personal responsibility of many Americans is a large part of the problem. The number of people who could and can afford health insurance and choose not to is a large part of the problem. When they find out they have an illness then they want health insurance. If you don't vote you don't have any grounds to complain about who got elected. If you don't accept the personal responsibility to purchase health insurance you don't have the right to get it after the fact. I have had times in my life that I was extremely poor. I can remember only eating a gallon of the cheapest peanut butter a week and occassionally eating oxtail soup. I qualified for food stamps. I remember only having $0.35 to put gas in my car to go to the grocery store. Guess what? I made sure my family was covered by health insurance. So much of this is a matter of personal responsibility.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  333. Cameron Dupriest

    Health care is a luxury you pay for not a right you deserve. That's what work is for to earn money to pay for the luxury you have to earn it.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  334. Andrew Winkler

    There is a middle ground. To assert that it is a right to be cared for is to assert a right to compel someone else to care for you, which is a kind of slavery. But even it it's not a right, it's still prudent of us to choose to provide it. My partner was recently exposed to a potentially life-threatening methylicillin resistant staphillococcus infection, because an indigent family she was providing counseling services to are all untreated. The 3 year old daughter is eligible for MediCal, but since the rest of the family is not, she would become reinfected. It's a seriously bad idea to have people in our midst with untreated infectious diseases. If only from self-interest, we should feel motivated to provide them with treatment.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  335. teamtiny

    Universal Healthcare seems like such a no brainer! We are the richest industrialized nation in THE WORLD and the last to provide healthcare for all its citizens?

    I feel like generations from now people will look back at THIS time and THIS issue the way WE look back at slavery saying; "Really, some people questioned whether this was actually a good idea?!?!?!"

    August 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  336. jeff hastings

    anyone that says NO healthcare isnt for everyone should put themselves in the other mans shoes. if you were laid off and couldnt afford it and got hurt in say a car wreck or got cancer would you want to be turned away because you dont have insurance or the CASH TO PAY FOR IT UPFRONT? im laid off after 9 years an i need every penney to pay bills so paying for insurance isnt an options. i barely maked ends meet as is.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  337. Gerald Polivka

    I love the "founding fathers" reference by the nim-nod at the town meeting. I'd like to hear her talk intelligently on ANY period in American history, then she could run for VP. For those that really really hate government involvement in anything I propose that the govenment suspend ALL payments for anything other than the military for one year. Let everyone else fend for themselves. Keeping all tax receipts should go a long way in eliminating the debt.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  338. Lydell

    I'm so weary of this back and forth on "Health Care Reform"...

    I believe this debate (if we can even call it that) is just a symptom of a greater social ill that even A PERFECT HEALTH CARE BILL will not be able to cure. We all need to step back and do some soul searching. We have a "pre-existing condition" that needs to be addressed in the HEART of AMERICA. That includes how our government provides information about legislation to it's citizens.

    Our relationship to our government as citizens is not built on trust but fear. No relationship will last without basic trust...No relationship built on fear is worth having.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  339. kathleen rollins

    I am disturbed by what I see at the recent town halls where the elected representative is not given the time to rationally address and inform the public about healthcare reform. I would almost be physical afraid to go to one because of safety concerns . So much false information is being given out by people who are looking for ratings for their shows or monetary gain for themselves or their companies. I think your bus tour is a better way to sample the people and spread correct information. We desperatly need healthcare reform.
    I am a RN who has worked as army nurse in Vietnam and use the VA system it is not perfect. I worked and used for 36 years iprivate health care and neither was that system. In the last several years of my career I was Quality Improvement Leader for the HealthCare System . The past three years I have been unable to work because of RH arthritis . A disease I developed in my late 20's so I have used the healthcare extensively every three months to the rheumatologist from 1970s' till now. I believe I have a good overview from all sides because of my history.
    For profit in healthcare is directly oppose to the mission of healthcare because sometimes to help someone to have the needed healthcare you are not going to have profit. Even non -profits have to make enough money to pay the bills. So that equals the need to change our plans. My first choice would be single payer system after weighing all the facts but the next best would be a plan such as the one passed in House of Representative. Ask the people that are yelling about public option do they wish medicare to be taken away. I believe the vast majority would keep this public option. Sincerely kathleen

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  340. Mike from Austin

    The Govt. and everyone else has missed the whole point of wht we need Healthcare reform. IT's the PRICES! Why do the Durg Companies charge Americans 5 to 10 times as much for perscription Drugs as they do the rest of the world for the same drugs? Why do Hospitals charge so much for their services when a one tylenol does not cost anywhere near the 65 dollars they charge? Why has the Government allowed Healthcare to charge so much and become a Cash Cow? Why does one Chemotherapy visit cost as much as a new Automobile? This is what nees to be changed in this counrty, not to create Socialized Medicine!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  341. Marc Yacht

    Health care is a right and a necessary one for the overall health of the population. Those unable to access health care create infectious risks and burden the economy of health care. The free clinic effort is helpful but typically provides primary care only with a limited ability to provide specialized care or hospitilization. Free clinics help but do not provide equitable care. Such equitable care is essential for the health of our population and is a right that has been neglected for too long.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  342. Ryan

    It is depraved that thousands of people die every year because they don't have healthcare. With the trillions that are spent on defense from foreign invasion, why not protect Americans domestically from illness as well? I would rather have a bureaucrat involved in my healthcare than a health insurer. It's healthier, trust me. It is sad that the same people who line up in support of war come out so strongly against healthcare, especially when they don't even know what's going to be in the final bill. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and to treat it otherwise is to let greed and ignorance blind morality and common sense.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  343. Cyrus Press

    "CHOICE WHAT A WONDERFUL WORD"
    Has anyone analyzed the word "CHOICE" What choice are they (Insurance cos.) talking about? If you can be insured or refused because you had a preexisting condition (thank God that government passed the law that they can't do it any more).
    "CHOICE WHAT A WONDERFUL WORD"
    Choice that you can go to any Dr. Well that's wrong you have to go to a Dr. within their network, you go to someone outside the network you pay more. That's not choice that's blackmail.
    "CHOICE WHAT A WONDERFUL WORD"
    They give you 2000 Dr. names, out of that 100 are family Dr.(s). Of that, 50% are not taking new patients, out of 50, 50% are more than 30 miles from your house, out of 25, 50% you don't want to go to them as already some malpractice/molestation case is going on. So actually you have 7 Dr. to chose from. Well you need only one,and that Dr. will give you an appointment after 2 months. AND THE PEOPLE SAY IN GOVERNMENT RUN INSURANCE YOU HAVE TO WAIT.
    "CHOICE WHAT A WONDERFUL WORD"
    You want to get treated for something, you have to get yourself PRE -APPROVED, if not, you may be refused payment or you will end up paying more.
    "CHOICE WHAT A WONDERFUL WORD"
    All those who say they are happy with their insurance, I want to ask only two questions to them, Are you paying in full for the current insurance you have or you are getting it through your company? Do you have the money to pay for that same insurance if you lose your job tomorrow? If your answer is NO, then you don't know what harm you are doing to yourself, your family and friends.
    "CHOICE WHAT A WONDERFUL WORD"
    Cyrus P.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  344. Mitch

    I am a disabled person. I did everything the way I was supposed too. I worked hard, advanced in my career, purchased a home, and achieved a significant career position. Dispite all of this, I was injured in a WORK related accident. Due to the laws governing Workman's Compensation insurance in the state of Pennsylvania, I was cast onto Social Security, and Medicare. I am unable to purchase or acquire private insurance.

    All I have done is achieve the American dream. However, due to my injury and subsequent disability I have lost all. Fundamentally, I am not entitled to a decent standard of living, proper health care, or access to health care. This is due only to my disability and related complications.

    PLEASE, someone explain too me how our system doesn't need reform, if this can happen to me?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  345. Rosa M. Cottrell

    yes I am in support of a health care reform. In a country as wealthy no citizen should not be able to get it,but that is the problem so therefore the government must intervene to make sure all citizens are treated justly. I myself am a 63 yr. old female that has always had full benefits of health care (MEDICAL-DENTAL-VISION-MEDICINE) then my job that I planned to retire from took bankruptcy due partly to the recession and poor management. But due to the fact of the company taking bankruptcy we were not able to get Cobra because the come must be able to contribute. When I applied for (Anthem) my cost per month would be $1200.00 that was totally out of mt budget-when I CALLED Humana One they could not help me. So my point is that I support the president with his plan maybe there are a few pervisions to be made but when things get out of control like sky rocketing cost and people in this country can not get good and affordable health care which is a basic like food(NO ONE COMPLAINS ABOUT FOOD STAMPS) the government need and should step in for the people. THANK YOU

    August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  346. Karen Canada

    Well said Candace. Where were all these so called protectors of the Constitution when George W. was in power. Silent ,when he thwarted the Comstitution with torture and wire tapping, not to mention manipulating the justice system. Silent when he made the case for War in Iraq by pouncing on unfounded information. Silent, when he ran up the deficit to unpresedented levels and Silent when he allowed the financial melt down to happen right before his eyes and did nothing till it was too late. What is the matter with these people. It has to be political, nothing more

    August 11, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  347. Matty

    No I say we leave our health in the hands of big insurance companies who can decide whats right for them. They should be able to raise their rates as high as they want, deny people coverage, and drive businesses to get rid of workers and even close their doors. Screw the American public and uninsured citizens of this country who can't afford $1k/month for health care coverage. I want my health to be decided by private insurance companies and when I start actually needing to use the insurance have them tell me to beat it and cancel my coverage. Just like they do with Auto, Home, and all other forms of insurance. How can they make money if we actually need to use their services.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  348. Ben

    In America,more and more, we attempt to give the lower class the same oppotunities as the upper class. An example of this occured during the housing market collapse when they tried to buy houses that they couldn't afford and the government stepped in and forced companies to give them the homes. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford a great healthcare plan, but if we gave the lower class everything that they couldn't afford wouldn't that be a step towards socialism?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  349. Bill

    Tony,

    I am sitting here working form home after dental surgery today and have CNN on. Never really watch you guys, but today caught my eye. I am listening to you talking about the people attending the the town hall meetings not knowing what is in the health bill and how they are at fault for no being informed.

    That is not the issue. The issue is they are afraid of what is in because their representaitves have not even read the bill and cannot tell them what the bill contains. That is where the blame lies, they work for you, me, and the country. There passing of bills has to do with what is best for us, not what will get them votes in the future.

    Do you really believe they should be voting on a 13,000 page bill that they have not read? I can't believe that you think that is okay.

    Just an aside, since when should the government be in the mortgage, car, newspaper, health, business. Look at how well all the programs they run now Social Security, Medicare, and others.

    This health care issue is a complex problem that the Obama adminstration wants to push through in one month. Socialization of the United States, I do believe it is moving that direction.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  350. James Woods

    I think heath care is a fundamental right for all humans. We constantly preach to our children to help your fellow man, and be kind, but yet we have some AMERICANS showing up in town hall meetings yelling and screaming that President Obama health care plan will help the poor. Well, thats the idea. Lets step up everyone and support our President and his plan. The World will become a little bit better to bear in these trying times.

    Thanks

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  351. Kat Pidhirny

    Okay, guys, look I'm Canadian...I know for a fact that if you need special referred care in Canada for an illness, you will be sent to a specialist...there is no wait list...you can still go to your own MD. My mother needs heart surgery, her MD referred her to a cardiologist...no wait, she went right away...She's a senior and says that if she lived in the the US with this issue she wouldn't be able to do it. I can walk into my doctors office, be looked at, be given a prescription and never ever expect to receive a bill in the mail for services rendered. Wow is that not good or what ? Get off the boat and get over it...Canada is doing something right. Every other democratic country in the world is doing this>so why is this socialist or even communist. If you want to understand then just ask...it's worth it. Look to the north boys and girls

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  352. Pat

    Yes, healthcare is a fundamental right....no doubt. I think everyone will agree that our healthcare system is broken. Those who do not want anyone to 'fool around" with their healthcare need to realize that that same healthcare is going to cost them 40 to 50% of their income in the coming years if we don't do anything.

    As far as the healthcare townhall meetings...there are a lot of ignorant people who go to those meetings. They don't realize that the bill is only the House bill.....it is not the finished bill that will be voted on eventually. Likewise, I think the government...both Republicans and Democrats, need to do a better job of educating the general public in regard to how legislation is passed.. That way there can be an intelligent discussion and not this heated outbursts at town hall meetings.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  353. Adriano

    If it weren't for Health Care Lobbyists and Monster Health Care companies being so bent up on making profit throughout the decades, we wouldn't be in this situation in the first place. Health Care is NOT an American right, it IS a Human Right. Are we, as "Americans", Darwinistic all of a sudden. Those who have health care, live long and prosper.....Those with out it, good ridden, society was weak with you anyway?

    I thought that as human beings we could come up with a better argument than "making our founding fathers proud".

    I'm not rich, but I'm willing to make a contribution for the collective well-being of this country.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  354. Al

    Tony, what's really going on? At most of these town halls I see no racial diversity what's so ever. Most of them are being conducted in towns or cities with populations of less than 50,000 people. Do cities in CA, NY, FL, and TX get to comment? Our states combined do make up close to the majority of the population in our nation, and I know we don't all agree? I believe that there are educated and informed people in every society that our nation has to offer, but I'm unsure if they ever get to speak especially when it's opposite what the majorrity stand for. That's why I think these meetings should begin with "Do you think there should be change with our current health care situation?", and than address the Yay's and Nays in different forums, because putting them together doesn't seem to be productive at all. As you said there is no Plan, however from everything I'm hearing at these townhall meeting there's one drafted and ready to vote on? Even though that's not the case.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  355. In California

    I am confused, I thougth this was a Christian Country?? What happent the teachings of Jesus about helping the helpless and taking care of the poor. Seems to me the biggest problem the opponents of Healthcare reforn are having is that they don't want to share of sacrifice anythng for anyone. What is our troops in Iraq or Afghanistan followed the thinking and say that why do they have to fight for the freedoms of others (all Americans). Let's grow up people. I have health insurance and am mostly happy with it, but I know thay my part of the payment keeps going up and eventually it will become a major part of my expenses. I also think that American can non stay a super power with its a large chunk of its people in less then a stellar physical condition. I for one has no problem with a Public Option because if you think about it; the private insurance companies are run by same people that are running the Wall Street and I don't trust them.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  356. DEMETREUS

    YES I THINK HEALTHCARE SHOULD BE FOR EVERYONE.IT AMAZES ME THAT WE CAN CALL OURSELVES HUMANITARIANS(ESPICALLY WHEN IT COMES TO OTHER COUNTRIES)AND YET,WHEN IT COMES TO OUR OWN PEOPLE WHOM WE SHARE THIS GREAT COUNTRY WITH THE OPINIONS IN THOSE TOWN HALL MEETINGS ARE BASED ON FEARS,NOT FACTS.(ON AN UN-FINISHED BILL) WHAT HAPPEN TO,"THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THOSE WHO HAVE TO HELP OTHERS"?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  357. Joshua Green

    Unbelievable. Individualistic theology in this country would cause every American citizen to be selfish; thank God that is not who WE are. WE are an American country who believes in the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family. As such members of the human family, who would honestly refuse to declare health care to any person as a privilege and not a right?...*Side Note– In all actuality, by following through with a bill that is STILL BEING WORKED ON AND NOT COMPLETE(Since right-wing radicals are spreading misunderstanding about what can be put into one single health care bill), we would see an actual turn around in our health care bills. That is the money we could be saving on insurance.(Not the geico commercials...lol)

    August 11, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  358. S.P.

    No. Becasue we have a law in place that does not allow the unborn, namely the aborted, to be able to have their fundamental right to life let alone have the fundamental right to health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  359. Mark

    No its not a right its a responsibility for that person. Two things are killing America and that is entitlement and lack of personal responsibility. People think they are entitled to things just because they breath air which is wrong. Should I be entitled to food because I have to eat. If so then I should be able to walk into any restaurant and eat my fill and then just walk out and not pay. Also people are not responsible for themselves. Why should I take care of myself if the Gov will do it? Why should I teach my kid right or wrong is that not the schools job? Why should I try to better myself if I don't have to? Why should I have to learn how to handle my finances?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  360. keith

    Health care is not a right. If you care about your health you would stop eating fast food, smoking, drinking etc. this country has more overweight people than any other country and what, i have to give these people health care? Also more people have an expensive car, with the average car insurance of 150.00 a month a cell phone with an average cost of 98.00 a month and the list goes on. The average person would insure their car before they would insure themselves??? If you want free health care then go to canada or europe and get the hell out of the greatest country in the world you whiners looking for free handouts.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  361. Les

    I phoned my doctor in the morning yesterday and was in to see her 3 hours later for a 1/2 hour appointment. My cost? – nothing directly out of my pocket. But nothing is really free. I know that in Canada our tax dollars support this system and I'm happy about that. I can remember, as a child, when my family could not afford medical treatment – I don't ever want to return to those days. I hope you folks in the US can sort this issue out amongst yourselves. From my viewpoint though, no medical system is civilized or sustainable if it requires anyone to lose their homes, declare bankruptcy and generally become destitute all in the name of family or personal medical care.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  362. Linda Kay

    I can't believe this is even an issue. CNN just ran a story about the hundreds of people that stood in line over night to obtain free medical, dental, and/or vision care because they have none. The story also said that there was not enough doctors to treat these people. These are people residing in the Los Angeles area; working people, but with no health care available to them. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know this nation needs to start taking care of their people. Health care should be a fundamental right of all the people.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  363. Joseph Jisa

    A single payer system is favored by Obama and most of the middle class I might add, because it is the one proven system in the world that works . Just look at all the other industrial countries in the world that have one, and they spend less on heath care and have a better record on results, infant mortality, life expectancy and overall heath care for the people. This is all documented facts. Now saying this, Obama realizes that he may have to except something less, but anything is better than what we have now, which is a Greed Over Prosperity (GOP) run Heath care. Don't ever forget, we are in this current mess, because of the lies and fear mogering of the GOP that enabled our economy to fall into the severe recession that we are now crawling out of, because of the quick actions of Obama and the Democrats. And now it is up to the Democrats to make the hard choices that the spineless GOP were afraid to make because of the Hold the rich companies have on the Greed Over Prosperity party. So don't be fooled by all these fear driven lies and distortions on health care, they are only upset because they won't get credit for bringing the US into the 21st century along with the rest of the world.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  364. Patricia Baughn

    Yes, I believe health care is a fundamental right of every American. I am all for health care reform. I would love to see a health care system that promotes healthy and honest competition between health care providers. This would enalbe Americans to choose a plan that they can afford and that will provide the necessary coverage they need. Really based on the snippits of the Town Hall meetings shown on CNN etc. I can't help but believe that those protesters are largely uneducated and vulnurable to scare tactics. And the comments by Sara Palin; my goodness can she actually hear herself? I read the comments and they seemed to scream to me "Crazy Lady"!!! She's spreading all this nonsense and unfortunately, some po9or folks believe her. It's really a shame.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  365. Harrison Macomber

    We are entitled to health care, ONLY if we are working or have worked to be eligible for social security. If you can't ,at least, pay part of your way, you need to get a job!
    At present, we want to give free health care to only 6% of the population. It doesn't make sense to disrupt 86% of the people for the remaining people.
    Aaaaand, why won't the politicians subscribe to the same medical coverage?? (age old question)

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  366. David in West Virgina

    Tony:

    I don't understand the fuss about helping those in need of health care. Watching Senator Arlen Specter's health care town hall, these people had their notebooks out with their scripted notes. It's ironic, but people only care about themselves, yet the consider themselves Christians. Far from it that they would deny the least of them care so long as they got theirs.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  367. Siggy

    Absolutely!!! Health care should be realized as a human right. There is absolutely no justification for someone to have preventative care, tests, or surgery if needed while another fellow human being is left to suffer or die because they cannot afford it. Those who cry its not a right are advocates for an archaic and failed feudal system where only those with wealth get what they need while the many suffer. That is wrong and about as Un-American as you can get. Interesting how every other industrial country can cover all citizens while America brings up the rear in industrial civilization. It shows the magnitude of the power of corporations here and in this case the insurance industry who only want to maintain the status quo of their cash cow.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  368. Ryan

    I tell my congressman to go for a public healthcare system. The current system is not working and all efforts to reform it have failed.

    Disease has no respect for wealth or political idealogy and if your neighbors, friends and co-workers are sick you are at risk. This is simply a question of how much is your health and life worth.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  369. David

    The problem with this healthcare debate it is being directed my Special Interest Groups, insurance companies, lobbyist and it needs to stop. and political parties what only care how much they can get from lobbyists, special interest groups, insurance companies etc. that only looks out for their interest and profit.

    What needs to be discussed does Americans have the right to healthcare. It is not about Government limiting healthcare because the Private Insurance companies already do that. Insurance companies tell you what doctors you can see, what medication you can have,.what procedures they will cover. etc. There is really no freedom of choice with Insurance Companies the dictate your coverage.

    In a public option everyone will eventally be covered, they can negotiate prices, Medicare is a Government run program and in most cases have better coverage than private pay insurance.

    We need to take a politics out of healthcare, stop the lies from special interest groups, lobbyist which work for the insurance companies, and get to the real question does all Americans have the right to health coverage. I think yes all Americans has to right to healthcare. If we can bailout banks, insurance companies and the auto industry than why can't we do something for the American people and provide them with healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  370. D Eyre

    MYTH – "AMERICAN HEALTHCARE IS THE BEST IN THE WORLD"

    – But what do you mean by "BEST"?

    –> Webster's definition of "Best" = "most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction"

    – TRUE: American healthcare IS best in the world for making insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and doctors rich
    – TRUE: American healthcare is 37th in the world if "best" equals the Webster definition and applies to the American Citizen and how well American Healthcare SERVES the American people in so far as it offers the most productive good, greatest advantage, utility and satisfaction (according to Webster's deifinition above).

    August 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  371. Dan

    Hey Candace,
    It sounds like you are bitter. I am retired from the Navy, and have wonderful healthcare.
    Do you smoke, drink, do drugs? If so, how much does that cost you?
    The military is hiring. You can get FREE healthcare there. I earned my $38.00 a month premium (for my family and I).
    To many people in this country want a handout.
    Like the cash for clunkers. Last year, nobody could afford to buy a new car. Look at what happened when the government threw $4500 their way?
    All of a sudden, people can afford to buy a BRAND new vehicle.
    Weird, huh??

    August 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  372. Sam

    Yes, the press must do a better job at providing the facts. It is apparent the health care reform opposition is coming from ignorance and those who find it neccesary to fabricate and peddle lies by resorting to scare tactics.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  373. Marjorie Wright

    I wish people who are opposed to any healthcare reform would listen to President Obama and others before being governed by their preconceived ideas. Medicare is a pretty good program for those of us 65 and over. The VA serves our service men and women as best they can even though they are underfunded. These programs are government progams. All Americans should have good health care regardless of their ability to pay. What is more important than the health of our citizens.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  374. rahul

    we have gone too far. There are certain things that should not be for profit-national security and national health should be among them. No one is proposing to give FREE healthcare, the task is to provide affordable healthcare. We are traversing dangerous territory if we propose that everything be for profit.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  375. lorenzo ross

    Tony,
    In these town hall meeting on health care are all of the hacklers that are making these out cries republican. or Democrat
    I bet if you do a survey they all voted republican.
    this
    remind me of my pit bull that i keep outside(Republican) and my Chihuahua that i keep in the house (Democrat) now that i let my Chihuahua go outside he act just like my pit bull.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  376. Kelly, Austin

    I am shocked and saddened by the ignorance and close minded attitudes of the people at these town hall meetings. By their words and actions they are trying to hi-jack the democratic process. We are a nation of laws.I think the actions of the right of center organizations in asking people to prevent discussion by disrupting the question/answer sessions are criminal. The level of igonrance we are seeing in these meetings is shocking and embarrasing. CNN must do it's part to dispell falsehoods it's various guests speak and use clear and consise language when covering healthcare.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  377. Ron Greenip

    Tony: Although it is true that the exact details of health care reform legislation are not yet established, it IS clear enough that the Dems want a government run program. I noticed you emphatically pointed out how the protesters don't even have the specifics yet, implying that their outrage is unfounded. Your bias is showing. Specifics are not needed to be outraged, just knowing the government would run it is enough for anyone with any sense to be outraged.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  378. Akil Livers

    I think over the years that universal health care has evolved into a right for all Americans. I think that it is sad that a nation that claims to be as great as ours is, is having such trouble being decent to fellow Americans they don't even know. American's are concerned for their jobs and that is a completely legitimate argument in these rough economic times. But the cost of doing nothing is greater than the cost of doing something in my opinion.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  379. ann

    i'm 63 years old and have to pay out of my sssi check each month 252.00 out of a 811.00 . i can't always afford it cause between my house loan and my utilities i can't afford to pay my spendown .at least i get a food stamp credit card .i can't afford to get my advair disc which is a fortrune and the rest of my pills .i will be on medicare soon and the way things are going in congress i won't be able to afford that like so many others too . The bottom line, pay your bills and not get them shut off or pay your medical and lose your utilities and possiability your home .

    August 11, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  380. richard

    It's not a fundamental American right; it's a fundamental human right.
    The reason it is an issue in America is that sadly, we don't have a communal sense of responsibility for taking care of each other.
    Most of those who have it (wealth, health, health care) assume they have it because they deserve it, and they aren't much interested in providing for those who don't have it.
    Unfortunately for the rest of us, members of Congress have it.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  381. Be American

    Politics 101: WHO ARE YOU?

    DEMOCRAT vs REPUBLICAN
    GOVERNMENT vs MONOPOLIES
    FOR PEOPLE vs FOR CORPORATION
    98% SOCIALISM vs 2% SOCIALISM
    CREATE JOB vs DESTROY JOBS
    HELPFUL CORRUPTION vs UNHELPFUL CORRUPTION
    SMALL BUSINESS vs BIG BUSINESS

    FREE ENTERPRISE??? Be careful what you wish for. It opens a big crack for monopy corporations( oil and insurance) to suck this economy dry.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  382. Stephanie

    The HealthCare Reform town hall meetings; for the most part, aren't about HealthCare. I believe that the majority of people participating, are those who didn't want candidate Obama to become president-this has provided a platform for them to express their outrage about having a Black President. If it were about health care, they would debate the issues of health care, not behave like this.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  383. Sally

    I believe we all should have access to good health care, but it should not be free. Some people (friends included) choose not to have healthcare so they can have new cars, second homes and other extravagances. Others caught in the middle cannot afford it. No question we have some problems. They didn't get here overnight and we CANNOT fix them by passing some half thought out plan just to say we passed it. Congress is not looking at the big picture–they just want to notch their belts to say they passed it. Many have not even read this monstrous bill. People from other countries often come here to receive the most modern treatment they can't get in their countries. Pretty soon that treatment won't be available to the general public. (However, Congress will still have their healthcare.)....WE NEED TO TAKE TIME TO FIX THIS CORRECTLY! We can't even get an accurate picture of the COST of doing this. Let's fix the other economic problems BEFORE we add on some more unknown extreme expenditures!!!!!!!SO MUCH TO CONSIDER...

    August 11, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  384. PROLIFIC

    PEOPLE FEEL LIKE IF YOU CAN'T PAY THEN U CAN'T PLAY! WELL I KNOW FIRST HAND THE EXPERIENCE OF LOSING SOMEONE TO CANCER BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T HAVE HEALTHCARE INSURANCE AND WAS SENT HOME TO DIE! HE DID! AMERICA THE LAND OF THE FREE (SETTLER) AND THE HOME OF THE BRAVE ( INDIAN)!!! AMERICA WAS FOUNDED BY CRIMINALS WHO STOLE LAND AND MAN AND BROUGHT MY ANCESTORS TO WORK THIS LAND WITH BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS. AND HERE TODAY PRES. OBAMA A BLACK MAN IS TRYING MAKE THINGS WORK FOR THE GOOD OF ALL PEOPLE BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE GATHERING AT THESE TOWN HALL MEETING ARE PROBABLY DESCENDEDS OF SLAVE OWNERS WHO MADE MONEY FROM THE WORK SLAVES PUT IN TO THIS LAND. SO I SAY SPREAD THE WEALTH EVEN IF IT ONLY COVERS HEALTH CARE!!!!! THATS THE LEAST THEY CAN DO CAUSE. NO 40 ACRES AND A MULE NO REPARATIONS. YES TO HEALTHCARE FOR ALL!!!!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  385. howard

    Health care for all is more important than huge profits for an industry that is cruel and uncaring. We pay $1000 a month for minimal coverage with a $5,000 deductible because my wife had a 'pre-existing' (lumpectomy) condition from 23 year ago. We are in our 60s and live on a small fixed income. I'm sure if one of us gets sick the insurance will be canceled. The insurance company has raised our premiums every year and reduced our benefits.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  386. Ben

    Our government needs to understand that what a small demographic of our population endures does not issue a mass reform. What it does issue are small changes to improve our current healthcare system and not a complete abolishment of the BEST system in the world!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  387. teresa

    Good Day to you Tony,

    I may be just the public, but I truely do have a solution to the President's problem with the HEALTH CARE ISSUE if only I could get the message to him personally. He would absolutely get all political support right away if he said they have no choice in the matter, and back it up and the public would back him up without doubt.

    Since I am a nobody to him and his staff and the rest of goverment they will never listen to me. Although I am only one who votes that is the problem I am just one vote. Is there any way you could help me to get a message to the President and not a staff member or goverment member?

    He can Listen and it is his choice on wether or not to use the information, I do not need to be known to anyone else but like to be heard. No I am not a crazy or radical and I have never done this before and proably never again will do this.

    Thank You for hearing me
    Teresa

    August 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  388. Justin

    Healthcare is a fundamental right of citizens who live in countries with a fraction of the population of the United States and have tax rates upwards of 50%. If say, there were 16 million citizens living in the United States (like Holland), and we payed a slight majority of our income in taxes, then we could actually afford to pay for healthcare for all of our citizens. The government does not magically turn something that is inherently expensive into free healthcare for all. They simply transfer the costs from the patient to the taxpayer. We will still have to pay doctors just as much (if we don't want to face a shortage) and the cutting-edge technology won't suddenly cost pennies on the dollar. In the United States we have over 300 million citizens and don't pay even half as much taxes as countries with socialized medicine. If we don't cancel out of the costs of free healthcare with taxes, we will add trillions of dollars to the deficit. The United States is twice as large as Russia (population-wise). Uninsured Americans outnumber Canadian citizens altogether. In order for Americans to provide free healthcare for all Americans, the American lifestyle will have to change drastically (that is, if we can even build a bureaucracy that could handle 300 million people). People in Europe may get free healthcare, but they have to give away half of their income to the government, and have exponentially smaller populations. Checkout the Russian healthcare system if you want to see what it's like to implement a healthcare system for that many people (and keep in mind, Russia possesses only half of our population).

    August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  389. Maxine

    Every American should have a right to Health Care. Regular people are being bankrupted by the cost of health care NOW! At the same time they are being denied coverage they or their employer paid for.

    That is why we need a single payer plan for everyone that wants it.

    We already have single payer for seniors (medicare), indigent (medicaide) and injured or lifetime vetrens (V.A. hospitals). These are all government sponsered Health Care.
    It hasn't destroyed our country or taken away our rights.

    On the other hand Big Insurance, Big Pharma, and Big Banking have almost accomplished a Big depression in this country. Left to their practices they will destroy the America we all love.

    The working people of this country that have made it great with their blood, sweat and tears should enjoy the same benefits as the privileged few.

    Maxine

    August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  390. Joe in Georgia

    I lived in (non-European Union) Switzerland for four years. Employers do not offer health insurance. Rather the law states that each resident MUST obtain PRIVATE health insurance. Premiums are based on Age, Sex, State of residence and your deductible. You can’t be turned down for pre-existing conditions. There are accommodations/subsidizes for the poorest. The government does NOT run the health care system.

    (FYI, my total income taxes in Switzerland were actually LESS than what I paid in the States. The Swiss have excellent health care and a very high quality of life.)

    Secondly, I’m self-employed, have private health coverage and was diagnosed with cancer in May. I am not able to obtain insurance from another company due to my cancer. Even before my cancer, my premiums went up 54% over the past 3 years. I now pay $8500 per year in premiums for my wife and I. Separately, we each have a annual $5,000 max out-of-pocket expense.

    Let’s do SOMETHING now, please!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  391. Nicole M

    Tony!

    Health care reform is greatly needed!

    I'm speaking as a legal permanent resident living in AZ who had to go back in the past to her country (France) for a few years in order to be able to take care of a serious chronic illness.

    Right after 09/11 I had lost my job in New York City, was not able to pay for a very high Insurance premium and found myself living on and totally wasting the money I had saved for a rainy day!

    Without receiving any kinds of benefits, neither from my private long term care insurance nor disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (who very easily reject claims), not qualifying for medicaid, having exhausted all my savings, it seemed that the only option for me was to go back to France where I could qualify for universal medical coverage as a French citizen.

    While in France, I always chose my doctor, was able to see numerous specialists, was allowed to have a few MRI's, SPECT scans, CAT scans even an operation without disbursing one Euro! True a primary care doctor was needed to get access to a specialist but isn't what HMOs do in America? I never for one minute felt like a second class citizen!

    Watching you Tony on CNN only minutes ago, I kept hearing the Republican plan for health care mostly based on tax credits. Fine! But doesn't that mean one has to be able to pay first and how much, for how long? Will the tax credit cover the entire cost disbursed in a year? It does not solve the insurance problem for a person who has a pre-existing condition, nor the one who has reached the cap fixed by their health insurance!

    America is a great country Tony, could we keep it that way by taking care of its Constituents when they need it the most?

    Thank you for listening Tony and have a great day. I love CNN!

    I love the US and I'm back in a country I feel is right for me in m y heart, however the only ingredient missing is the

    August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  392. Charles Moshier

    Well if your not healthy how can you enjoy either life , liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Which are all rightsl Thats like being able to live without glasses, teeth or hearing aids. You couldnt see, eat or hear.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  393. Ted

    No, it is a fundamental human responsibility, American or not.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  394. S.P.

    Fundamental American right?

    Does fundamental mean having rights at conception? At birth?
    Upon American citizenship? Based upon the Constitution and it's laws?
    Does this mean any American tax paying citizen to have the right?
    Does this mean any person on American soil to have the right?
    Is it my fundamental right to pay for the uninsured like that of my auto insurance? Or is it forced down my throat to pay it? Is it even constitutional? Is it the auto insurance industry's fundamental right charge us? Will this happen with health care reform?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  395. Gaison

    I have a question. If we pay taxes for universal protection of life and property (i.e police) based on the premise that protection of life and property is a fundamental human right. shouldn't health care be a fundamental human right? It don't make any sense to me because health care is directly tied to preservation of human life? Anyone care to explain this to me.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  396. heretodaygonetomorrow

    Health care is a privilege, like many other things in our society. If you want it, get it. If you can't get it, work for it. Plus, this survey is completely skewed. I am willing to bet a majority of those watching CNN at lunch time (noon) on a Tuesday are unemployed and uninsured. Sure, they think it is a right.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  397. Suzane

    Those fighting against Healthcare reform cannot be reached by reason. The see the facts. They don't believe them. What Obama is fighting against is not a lack of understanding, but a lack of trust. Those who do not like Obama do not trust him and don't believe the facts before their eyes. They will only believe the worst. They didn't vote for him, they don't want him in office and they will never see reason. Lies, no matter how outlandish will always win, because it ties in with their view of Obama, his administration and his plans for America.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  398. Jim

    Healthcare is not a right it’s a privilege.

    Everyone should have access to basic care but they must pay for it.

    It is the mistaken belief that we have a right to healthcare – WHO IS GOING TO PAY FOR IT!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  399. Jim Jones

    Why Is america so afraid of chang. People talk about this being the land of the free and the home of the brave but we dont want to pay taxes to help people. we have spent millions on the war on terror but are not willing to do the same with health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  400. Brian Denney

    Your rights as an American are clearly defined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution! If you're in an accident you will not be denied health care, you just have to pay for it if you don't have the insurance! People act like they'll be denied at the emergency room and thats simply not true. Like driving a car, it is not a right!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  401. Mike J

    As a person living with HIV and who is unable to afford the medical treatment I need after I was laid off and lost my insurance. Now I am also denied affordable insurance because I have a "preexisting condition"

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  402. Evie Henderson

    It's rather ironic that that most of the people who reject the idea that everyone should be entitled to health care call themselves Christians and I believe Jesus said "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  403. Roger

    The in-fighting over the health care issue portrays the real U.S. A me, me, me, society with litle or no regard for their fellow citizens. The U.S. is a major dissapointment and an embarassment to the rest of the industrilaized nations

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  404. Marius

    The debate on health care has many side. We don't debate unemployment insurance nor disability insurance. Which are run by the States and back by the Fed. Could we have an a uninsured insurance like California Medically Indigent Services Program? [MISP]

    August 11, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  405. Becca

    Doesn't everyone deserve access to health care? Individuals unable to pay may be some of those most in need; those who can afford have access to the doctors of their choice, but those who are unable to afford health care are left behind in the dust. If you saw a man lying injured by the road, wouldn't you want him to recieve care, even if he had no insurance?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  406. Steve

    Tony-

    A right issomething that's given to all americans upon their birth. It's been given by the constitution and its ammendments. None of these rights cost money. Healthcare costs money !!!!

    So...No, Healthcare is not a right.

    Steve, Dallas Texas

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  407. C. Lewis

    Tony, I once lived in the UK where there is universal health care which at the time I took for granted. I have lived in the US for 30+ years and I am now retired. The U. S. is one of the richest country in the world and when it comes to fighting a war there is never a question where the money is coming from, so why do we question the cost of health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  408. Lillian

    Health Care is a HUMAN RIGHT. An analogy, If a house is burning should the fire truck just pass it by because they aren't citizens. If a fellow human being is suffering I have and do give them a helping hand even pay for a doctor. WWJD

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  409. Jonathan Buffington

    Why should seniors be the only ones to have healthcare, that is where we are headed under the current system. I cannot afford the rates without the public option to bring down premiums. I have heart disease and cannot get or afford healthcare insurance and must go to a free clinic which has become increasingly inundated with the uninsured. These people like the staus quo because they are covered for little out of pocket expense at the taxpayers expense! I support a public option period!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  410. Richard T.

    Tony, as you know the U.S. health system is ranked 37th in the world, yet spends $7900 per person on health care, which represents 17% of GDP. France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Canada all spend less on health care as a percentage of GDP, yet have systems that are ranked higher in performance than the U.S. Some of these systems are completely socialized, some are hybrids. The point is...their systems are BETTER and CHEAPER! The people who are screaming socialism in these town hall meetings are nothing more than back-water, uneducated, ultra-conservative idiots. Offering a public health care option does NOT mean throwing away the constitution. It just means the private sector needs to find a way to change their business model in order to be more competitive in a changing world.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  411. Pat

    Tony: viewing your progrm this am. I really agree with Tom Price th is is the way to address the Health Care Reform.

    I do not believe we ned to give health care to the illegals.

    This is not fair. When we visited Germany on our honeymoon, my husband fell was on Coudimin and we had to take him to the hospital and they treated him BUT we had to pay the bill at the hospital and then when we arrived home we had another bill we had to pay it. also Our insurance here would not take care of it.

    We have friends that use to live in Germany He was raised there) and his father was a German solider and his wife from Canada and her sister still lives there and needs a hip replacement for the last (4) yrs. and his stil waiting.

    If passed this is a Death Warrant for The Seniors..........

    Question: Would Obama and the rest of Congress use this Health Plan?

    Question: if we dont like the Reform pertaining to us could we switch to their Health Program? And at What Cost?

    This is Not Freedom.

    This is not America..... Remember the Veterans of yesterday how we fought Germany so could have Freedom.

    Obama and congress need to Read before signing not like the other bill passed for Nancy Pelosi so she could go to Paris.

    They work for US........

    Obama needs to get some religion.......Bishop Kenneth Ulhmer , CA.
    might be able to show him the humanity way of living and thinking.

    We being seniors want to be able to keep our own drs., health care plan and not be told how to Live.

    Not to Swith is a lie because Medicare and Tri Care is a gov. program.

    Regards,

    Concerned Seniors.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  412. Val

    Health care is a subject that should be discussed and debated. However, I find the behavior of many people at the town halls disrespectful and rude. I can't believe how disrespectful people have been. If they were spoken to the way they have spoken to our representatives, they wouldn't stand for it. Treat and address our government representatives the way you would want to be addressed and treated.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  413. Jeffrey G.

    At some point America will have to come to the realization that the human race has survived only because the strongest survived all the calamities throughout history. If the strong became weak because they "shared the wealth" of food, care, survival...we would have gone the way of the dinosaurs as a species. Everyone does not have a right to a car, nice house, steak or fine wine...just as the most productive of us should have the best health care so that the best of us survive. We cannot take care of the "losers" forever.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  414. Jeff

    Tony, to those people that want to, now, lean on the Constitution to say that health care is not a right, I say this. At the time our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, the health care was not ruled by the Robber Barron's of the Banking Industries and probably could not have been conceived to be at that time. However, the Constitution does give government the responsibility and authority to protect it's citizens from all threats, both foreign and domestic, like the threat the Insurance Industry has become.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  415. Jim Jones

    No one was complaning when we were spending millions on a war terror. Where was all this talk and protesting. America is a country full of hypocrits who want help there fellow man in need.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  416. Lonni

    Healthcare in America needs reform. Millions remain without coverage. Certainly we need debate, but that debate should be in measured tones, factually based and civil. Shouting, belittling others and chaos is not the way we should resolve serious issues.
    Let both sides be heard... don't interrupt each other.
    Weigh the facts, folks.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  417. Richard from Redondo Beach, Calif.

    Health care is an essential component for any society. Typically the lower classes have poor nutrition and housing, which leads to poorer health. In turn they are more susceptible to illness. Diseases are blind to class distinction. If we don't give basic health care, at a minimum, to those who cannot afford it we all suffer.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  418. Sue

    My husband is retired from the USAF so we have health care. However my son and daughter do not. They both work for different small companies that do not provide health insurance. They do not go to the doctor, dentist or eyedoctor when they should because they cannot aford to. I firmly believe we should have complete health care coverage as I've seen in other countries, such as France.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  419. Esther

    It is unfortunate that the INSURANCE COMPANIES & the CONSERVATIVE talk-show hosts have decided to block help for the American people.
    The misinformation is criminal. Health care , a moral responsibility for our nation, cannot be ignored because of greed and corruption. We have to keep working for it. Shouting, harrassing, and misinforming the public is unAmerican!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  420. Immanuel George

    Health care is your right . But lets think reasonably here it cost a lot to have a 1st class health care ,some people just want it to be free ..... that can cause the country to run into unnecessary debt. what i think Government should do is to include health care tax ,,that will increase the country revenue in aiding health care for Americans....(the fact that health care is your right or privilege doesn't mean it should be free)

    August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  421. Holly

    I'm really surprised that there are people who think that health care is not a fundamental right to all humans. How can we in good conscience possibly refuse health care to someone because they are not able to pay for it? It's not the same as refusing someone a movie ticket or a new car; it's a matter of life and death. If it were your mother, your brother, or your child, would you tell them that they cannot see the doctor because they don't have the money? That they must be sick for longer and suffer because they can't afford a prescription? All based on their financial status? I am fortunate enough to have excellent health coverage through my job, but I am not so selfish that I would condemn those who don't have my same luck. It's wrong, it's unAmerican and it's inhuman to refuse to help others, especially those who are sick or even dying.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  422. Paul

    Health care may not be a right highlighted in the Constitution but since, I am MANDATED to pay TAXES it becomes a right.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  423. Ken

    I just want to know why no one has taken our elected officials to task on the healthcare that the government provides for them. If it is such a bad system or undesirable, then why don't they give up that healthcare that the American people subsidize for them. If they are so worried about what healthcare will cost, I would like to see them give up the care that we pay for, but cannot enjoy if we need help. I would also like to see them give up their vacations, automobiles, etc. that we subsidize for them. I am sure we might be able to ensure a few people. Actually, I would like to challenge them to trim their own "fat" and stop accepting healthcare lobbying dollars and think about the public. What or who are you serving in DC?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  424. Patricia Walker

    Health care is not an American Constitutionally granted right. It is a privilege.

    No one is ever turned away from health care when it is life threatening.

    We should be allowed to put our money in a Health Account or have our own insurance. We should not be forced into a plan we do not want or, with our taxes, be forced to pay for another's health care.

    There are private groups and churches what will help people in need. The government needs to butt out.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  425. roy

    health care is a fundamental right. these people are so uneducated. i heard this morning in the Specter town hall about Canadian income tax being 60%. when the income federal tax is actually a Maximum of 29% and health care is covered. Now we live in a country called United States and our Maximum income tax is 35%. Yes it is true Canadian Income Tax is less than America's. that's what happens when the insurance companies pay normal Americans to protest against themselves. I recommend that Americans read this bill before protesting against it. Knowledge is power

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  426. Godfrey

    I really think that the people are reacting insanely to this. Why shouldn't everyone have the right to the same medical care. Does it not say we the people on the declaration of independence. Repulicans will keep a war going, but won't support medical. Last time I checked you definitely needed health to fight a war.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  427. Kline

    The answer should be "yes." One needs only to look at how a society treats those who cannot help themselves (children, the elderly, the uninsured) in order to judge the true character of that society.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  428. WIILIAM BRIAN ADKINS SR

    TONY THIS IS NOT FUNNY MAKING FUN OF US CITIZENS SHOWING UP AT TOWN MEETINGS ON HEALTH CARE ,, YOU AND THE OTHER REPORTER MAKING FUN OF US CITIZENS THAT TAKE A STAND ON A BILL THAT HASNOT PASSED ! TONY WAKE UP THIS IS HOW BILL'S WORK THEY PUT THEM OUT THERE AND WE THE US CITIZENS TRY TO FIGHT THE ONES WE DONOT LIKE AND YOU MAKE FUNNY OF US !!!!

    ( health care)Its is tues aug 11 at 12:15 est your reporter just was saying it a bill it has not passed,, its like both of your reporter's are making fun out of all of us Citizens for saying we donot care for this bill , we the us Citizens are fight not to have this bill passed so please stop the joke's it's no joke,,, this is how bill's are passed they put it out there and we try too fight the one's we the us Citizens donot like and we all not bill's have been passed that we the us Citizens donot like this is just one more bill coming down ,, so if we the us Citizens donot tell them we donot like this but now they will pass it ,,,, so donot think this is funny! report the new and stop making fun of us Citizens ,, trying to save the great USA !!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  429. Steve

    Tony,

    We have the C.A.R.S program, we have the T.A.R.P program, what are they gonna call the health insurance program?

    Maybe G.R.I.P for Government Run Insurance Program. I think if government get's involved we're moving more toward socialism. Then GRIP would fit as a good name.

    Steve

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  430. Peter

    As a Canadian watching with great interest and distress, I just wish CNN would stop showing and emphazing all the out of control town hall meetings. The news media will have no one else to blame but themselves if something happens to the President at any of these town hall meetings.
    It is quite obvious that CNN is dialing up the tension on this topic with respect to the confusion of the American public of the President's proposed health reform.
    CNN, stop emphazing all the negative aspects.
    I'm sure that because this message is not a positive one towards CNN, this message will probably not be shown. What else is new.
    C

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  431. Jonathan Buffington

    P.S. "These people" meaning retirees and the rich!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  432. dave

    One comment that was read on the air indicated that health care is not a right because it is not specifically listed in the Constitution. George Mason, one of the founders and drafters of our founding documents pointed out that by enumerating some rights and not others, some people in the future would believe those not included were not rights at all.

    Constitutional scholarship does not take the view that rights not included in the Constitution and Bill of rights are therefore not granted. The people, through Congress, are empowered to write laws and define rights as they see fit.

    The show "The West Wing" dealt with this very issue in one episode when the President (Martin Sheen) asked a potential Supreme Court nominee if the Constitution gauranteed the right o use cream in a cup of coffee. the potential nominee replied that, no, the Constitution did not include that right.

    They picked a different nominee at the end.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  433. Teri Skilly

    I take exception to your choice of word "right". Health Care is a "priviledge" that should be extended to EVERY AMERICAN, particularly as long as America is sending one penny or more of tax payers' money over seas to aide other countries! We have too much wealth and too many poor people in the U.S. Supporting other countries in a humanitarian effort is simply hypocritical when we have need in our own backyard. People are dying on the streets of America. Why doesn't this give justification to Health Care for ALL U.S. citizens???? What's wrong with this picture?
    Teri Skilly

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  434. kim dickerson-stoner

    Many people dont know that even if you have Medicare coverage , (and I do, and I'm very greatfull for that), you dont have dental coverage orvision coverage. I myself havent been to a detist in more than 10 years. Most of my teeth are broken including upper front. It is not only unheathy it's extremely embarassing.

    thank you
    Kim dickerson-stoner

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  435. Peter Maurer

    The media nor Mr. Obama seems to get it. We want it to be our right, just not RIGHT NOW!!!!
    Please can we look at all practical solutions before diving out of this hijacked plane without a parachute?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  436. Jeremy

    It is a human right.
    People are so willing to gather and fight against this public option because they think there will be a government beaurocrat making decisions for them, or killing off the edlerly. It is a fact that corporate beaurocrats have already practiced this in the name of profits. Ask the parents of Nataline Sarkisyan if the healthcare system worked for them.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  437. Ute

    My oppinion is, that it's sad that in a country like the USA there it's a question about making it possible for everybody to get affordable healthcare. I think it's time that that's changed and it works in other countries. I also can not believe that there are people who compare Hitler with healthcare reform. Maybe this people look a little bit closer about who makes the dissicions now. I have older neighbors who are sick, who had problems getting healthcare and pay big time primiums and who sometimes got told from the insurences that they don't pay for treatment. So where is it in the moment that the patient and doctor decied what you need. I think it's major time to change the system and see the world with real eyes and not through pink glases.
    Maybe it's also time to take away the healthcare from members in Congress, who think it's not time to do something for the regular guy. Let them pay the bills and see how much it costs, maybe that's opening there eyes.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  438. Marc

    Any reform needs to begin with a reasonable limit on salaries for the top executives and end with a good look at those who live off the welfare system.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  439. Travis

    We have been talking about rights vs privileges according to the Declaration or what not. Please don't forget about the one source that is the foundation and lifeblood of our country, the Constitution. "In order to form a more perfect union, establish justice...PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE..." The key there is "general", no matter if it is a privilege or right, it is our responsibility as Americans to provide for everyone in this nation, to ensure that they are covered! Public option health care is not unconstitutional and is a necessity. I know it's long but please stop the slander of the bill "possibilities".

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  440. Angela Tacoma Washington

    In the end when all of this is over we will have Health care reform, and the noise will simply fade away...

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  441. Lowell Foster

    For those who do not have appropriate healthcare, the basic rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are lost. Therefore, the right to healthcare for all is a basic right..

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  442. Jo Symonette

    In our country people do get help no matter the ability to pay. Medicaid is the system that is already set up to take care of that. This is fundamentally different than the current debate about Health Insurance. Health Insurance reform is NOT the same as Health Reform.

    Our rights are already listed in the bill of rights. I have never read where it says we must supply health care to everyone and if you can't afford it we will pay for it. But we already do supply health care to everyone even those that cannot afford it (Medicaid and Medicare) are you kidding me? Lets fix those systems and even expand them to pick up the slack.

    I think that we do need to address health care and figure out how to get the best care for the lowest price. But we need to do so in a responsible manner and a government that cannot currently manage Medicare and Medicaid efficiently (public health care) cannot expect us to believe they can do any better with a new plan.

    Lets address the issues one at a time and find the root cause of the problem and begin working on that, not putting bandaids on a broken system.

    I want to reform our current systems and get those under control, allow insurances to compete across state lines and put caps on medical procedures that have a base established price – by addressing these issues we will get the price of health care under control.

    One question I would like to know is, if I am living pay check to pay check or even less – If we have a public option for insurance am I forced to buy some sort of insurance like I have to do for a car?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  443. Richard T.

    Tony, ss you know the U.S. health system is ranked 37th in the world, yet spends $7900 per person on health care, which represents 17% of GDP. France, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and Canada all spend less on health care as a percentage of GDP, yet have systems that are ranked higher in performance than the U.S. Some of these systems are completely socialized, some are hybrids. The point is...their systems are BETTER and CHEAPER! The people who are screaming socialism in these town hall meetings are nothing more than back-water, uneducated, ultra-conservative idiots. Offering a public health care option does NOT mean throwing away the constitution. It just means the private sector needs to find a way to change their business model in order to be more competitive in a changing world.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  444. Gemstone

    I have a bi-polar adult child. Some of the medications for this disorder cost as much as 800.00 or more per MONTH. Medicaid does not pay for this NOW. Will this new system we are looking at pay for this. Do we really want to live in a country where someone cannot get these medications because of the cost? I want a system that will assure that my child has the medication life-long, EVERY month and not just the months when I can afford to pay for them.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  445. Teresa H. Warren AR

    IF HEALTH CARE IS NOT A FUNDAMENT RIGHT OF EVERY AMERICAN REGARDLESS OF ABILITY TO PAY, IT SHOULD BE! THE REPUBLICANS HAVING BEEN IN OFFICE THE PAST EIGHT YEAR NEVER BROUGHT THIS ISSUE UP, NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY HAVE ALL THE RIGHT ANSWERS; WHY DID THEY NOT DO THIS WHEN THEY WERE IN OFFICE. SEEMS THIS ISSUE OF HEALTH C ARE

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  446. Jim

    someone should look into Senator Arlen specter comments about the 74 year old w/ cancer being able to get care...

    There is a section, according to one very prominent physician, in this bad piece of legislation that basically states that you will be given counseling on how to end life (i.e. limiting hydration, hospice, etc...) if you have a life threatening illness.

    Most doctors that work as Geriatricians will tell you that Hospice counseling is very important, but to push you to the side due to a life threatening illness is one of the biggest travesties of this bill.

    Have the members of congress even bothered to read any of this bill. all 1,100 pages of it???

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  447. alva

    do i think health care is a right? No, but ido think that a person should have the opp to receive the same healthcare as the rich.The way to do so is to provide free preventive health for everyone.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  448. cindy

    Tony –
    Healthcare for every American is a RIGHT AND MANDATED NEED NOW BECAUSE:
    The downside of good 'ol American Progress is sickness from the OVER 300 CHEMICALS IN OUR GENETIC MAKEUP, WITH AS MANY AS 20 TOXIC CHEMICALS.
    For OVER 25 years, the insurance CORPS. have known this – AND, CONGRESS made law to protect them – not Americans – allowing corp. insurance to scam us with the lie of "pre-determined illness and denials" for far too long.

    Congress needs to do the right thing now – and corporations need to understand their party is over. UNIVERSAL – SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE IS THE ONLY REAL NEEDED REFORM. IT IS MANDATED BY TRUTH OF ILLNESS & GREED.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  449. Grace

    Bottom line: the US already has universal health care because health care is a profit-making system that builds into its cost the care provided to those who are unable to pay and passes those costs on to paying consumers. Economics 101...If we all pay, then those who can pay now, pay less.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  450. habibi

    Health care should be a fundamental human right! If you are sick and cannot get treatment you cannot work effectively, you cannot fend for yourself to provide your basic needs and you cannot contribute to the progress of the economy. Its just as fundamental as protection of life and property we all enjoy. Why don't we stop paying for our everyday security and see if we will not be as helpless as a cancer patient without health care!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  451. Mark Trotier

    On the medical issue:

    Did someone say privilege? Needs translate into rights. You have the right to the things you need in order to live as a human being. How do I know? Well when one is denied something that he/she has a right to it tends toward destruction and when the right is realized it tends toward perfection of the human being.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  452. Shirley

    I'm sick to death of all the rumors and bad-mouthing going on over this healthcare reform thing. If intelligent people would just READ it properly it would put the kabosh on the rumors and big mouths who don't know when to shut up. We are gaining nothing by yelling at each other.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  453. Martin

    It is not an American right, it is a himan right. Life ,liberty, and pursuit of happiness is not a right, but a promise. In order to accomplish this, a person must have healthcare,food,and some kind of shelter from the elements. Too many people in the right wing have a "I've got mine,too bad for you." attitude". Sharing does not mean socialism.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  454. Dorzine

    Health care in America is needed when employees pay check stay the same. When have a employee received a decent raise in the past few years because employer are paying for people health insurance. With the public option American can choose their own doctor at a decent rate that they can afford . I see Health insurance commercial on TV saying for six dollars a day you can have coverage that 200 a month and for a family that will be appox 300 a month based on what level of health you want. The employer can take the health care and put in back in people paychecks where you know it will be used for consumption because they have more to spend. The government will also receive more taxes because to purchase before tax option will be gone

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  455. Mike Holencsak

    We all know the recent events with banks, auto manufacturer's , TARP money , bailouts, etc.
    Has anyone heard of any medical insurer's asking for money or going bankrupt ?? Seems somehow they are making a profit ..how is that ??
    In my area, they've already closed two hospitals and the remaining hospitals are so over crowded they can't handle the patients. Something sure is amiss ..... hospitals close , patients wait for hours , insurers make a profit , and now the nation is in a battle over health care. Maybe it's time instead of giving money to health insurer's we switch over and provide funds for health care facilities , cut out the middle man. If insurer's are showing a profit, staying in business , then perhaps insurance rates are too high.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  456. JustMe

    It is NOT always just those that have bad eating habits etc

    I have known those that smoked all their live and ate anything they want that lived longer than those that watched their weight, never smoked, never drank alcohol and died young. So while it's better to eat healthy and not smoke it is no guarantee!

    And NO not everyone can get health care that needs it! Many doctors make patients pay upfront now AND when going to the ER they will not do many necessary tests for check ups for cancer, etc.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  457. J.A.

    Denying people healthcare because of social class or low income is against the concepts of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happines!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  458. Emery in KY

    As a member of the bar and a constitutional scholar, healthcare is absolutely a fundamental right. Although not an express right specifically mentioned in the document, it is an implied right construed under the penumbras of the thrights to live, liberty and pursuit of hapiness. Many of our rights are implied rights such as those linked to the widely recognized right to privacy.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  459. Juan

    "Death Panels"? Don't we have those already? YES! They are called insurance companies!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  460. Gemstone

    Another thought, what about that famous phrase "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" I think health care comes under that LIFE part...

    August 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  461. Ted

    Tony, that is NOT the issue. The American healthcare system has nothing to do with health and it has nothing to do with care. It has EVERYTHING to do with big business making a ton of money, that's all. We need to turn our entire healthcare system inside out and upside down.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  462. Jill

    If it isn't, it should be because historically this nation provides health care to anyone, citizen or non-citizen regardless of their ability to pay. What I would really like to see is for the congressional members current health care plan be eliminated in 30 days with the task of rebuilding a health care plan that not only would serve Congressional members but anyone else in America needing it? I think it would be interesting to see if they would continue the partisan politics or if they would actually do what all 535 of them were sent to Washington to do?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  463. Katrina

    The right to healthcare is not explicity stated in the Constitution, however, the right to life, liberty and security of person is. Besides this, by the antitrust law, the government is obligated to regulate monopolies, such as those shamelessly instigated by insurance companies, and encourage the production of quality goods and services at REASONABLE PRICES in order to secure public welfare.
    If every person has the security of person, our nation can continue to move forward with the leaping bounds we always have.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  464. Kathy

    Health care for all Americans is the decent, humane thing to do. I don't think it's written up anywhere as a fundamental right. Besides being humane, it will save us from total financial ruin.

    The right does not want regulation either on Wall Street or in health care. Perhaps if Congress had regulations previous to this financial crisis and health-care crisis and enforced the regulations, this health bill would not be necessary. But based on the right-wing thinking about regulations, then we could fire all the police officers. Do they think the only criminals are on the streets?

    I fully support President Obama. If he signs the bill that finally comes to him, I'm happy. I certainly cannot trust anything from the right wing. I am totally happy with my insurance (which includes Medicare). Before retirement, we've had serious problems with private health (I call that rationing). As to the gentlemen who said the government squeezed out insurance companies on Medicare Part B, LOL. I'm sure the insurance industry is drooling to snap up senior citizens and all their health-care expenses. Yeah, right.

    I am white, a grandmother, senior citizen, southerner. I voted for Obama, and I have trust in him. I am not getting a face lift and covering my gray hair to escape the death panel.

    So what's going on? Hear the school teacher at Spector's town hall saying everything should be written at a junior-high level. Yep, think that's what's going on. From health care to education next, and maybe we should start with that teacher.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  465. Bernadette Alness

    We all need the health care reform but most of us would be willing to pay for it if it was affordable and we could get decent health care without being rejected for pre existing conditions and all the other reasons they deny us. Since we are approaching 60 we fall short of Medicare by about ten years and are denied good coverage due to pre existing conditions. I worked in the health care field for years and do not expect it for free.......it just needs to be done where it is affordable and everyone can have access to good coverage. The insurance companies need to be overseen and controlled......they get richer and we get sicker because we can't afford or are denied medical coverage and can't go to the doctors for check ups or problems.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  466. sovereign citizen of Ta-Meri

    Let's face it we live in a capitalistic, left brained society, there is no way the greed of this union will ever do anything! truely free and if it does it has the blood and sweat of " We the People" fueling it.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  467. Sukhpal Sanghera

    Let there be no doubt that this country is going through a historic period and all political parties, groups, and the whole citizenory is on the record on this: those who are speakign and those who are quiet. The fight is increasingly becoming between the health insurance industry and the rest of America. Most of the republicans and the associated groups are openly coming out in favor of the health insurance industry. They are trying to hide under different slogans, but people are not stupid; especially those who have been either exploited or rejected by the healthcare system for too long especially by the health insurance industry.
    The republicans in the house are on their way to their political demise by clearly standing against the people and by planting those so called protesters in the townhall meetings. I'm in favor of democracy, but shouting down the meetings is an attempt to shut down the dialogue and the democracy...When I hear someone shouting in a townhall meeting, or a republican congressman making a twisted argument against the public option, I see the ugly face of the health insurance industry and their lobbyists...
    With all due respect, to every congress person, republican or blue dog democrats...Please be aware, we the people are watching..

    August 11, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  468. EvaLena Hallgren

    Healthcare should be a SERVICE, not a business where insurance companies get rich. I'm Swedish and although we have higher taxes we never need to worry about doctor bills, and contrary to everyone's believe, there's no waiting to see a doctor, unless you're looking for selective surgery. My husband had an emergency during a visit and was helped within an hour. As a tourist that cost him less than $100.00 a citizen pays nothing. In my opinion there's no justification to the inflated prices for hospital care in US

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  469. Bob

    This country was founded with the Declaration of Independence, a document that stated "inalienable rights" which included "liberty and the pursuit of happiness". But the first was "LIFE". How are we assuring Americans the first of these rights buy not providing an affordable way to have access to health care... which after all is "life" care?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  470. daniell

    Do I think it's fair that no one in my immediate family is insured even though we are hard working, middle class citizens? Of course not. But I think we have a right to healthcare because we've worked for it, not just because we live here in the United States. It's a tragedy that such a great nation should suffer under such a remedial system of healthcare, but this situation is a result of the system of capitalism many Americans swear by. In shying away from government interference in healthcare matters and in the government's laissez faire response to these matters, we as Americans have fostered an unreliable and unfair system, unable to regulate itself. But since when is capitalism fair? It is the survival of the fittest and most powerful, the losers in this situation being hard-working Americans like my family. Because of the US's capitalist roots the government is unequipped to deal with this situation anyway. They do not have the know-how or scope
    and would be hard pressed to come up with it in such a short amount of time. The US is far too vast and too economically and socially diverse to implement the programs which may have worked in some smaller countries. In the end, the American people have to weigh the undoubted loss of freedom versus the prospect of better healthcare and make a choice. I personally think that anyone who works for (or is willing to) and contributes positively to society has a right to better healthcare, to be taken care of by the very society we worked to build. Of course those who are unable to work should be provided for too, and maybe it would give some incentive to those who freeload off my labors some incentive to contribute too.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  471. Karen

    Wait a moment!
    WE PAY TAXES!!!! Our Legislators have Healthcare Insurance that They can choose from that WE PAY FOR!!!

    IN FACT, WHY can't the CORPORATE GUYS who make OVER 1 MILLION DOLLARS from their "Special Bonus Payments" that they earned from our labor or from our insurance payments or from the denials of health services/or insurance, or from over charging us for use of credit cards or from charging us to use our cellphones or text messaging or any other hidden fees that come out of "OUR POCKETS" and into theirs!!!
    They are the ones responsible for the crisis we are in!

    Those guys who are drumming up all of this anger are in their pockets – the ones in the audiences and the ones on the airwaves!!
    They are the ones that are acting like the "brown shirts of the 30's" not the Health care Reformers.

    Go to the Bill Moyers interview with Wendell Potter on You Tube to hear the truth behind what the Healthcare Industry does to undermine the Healthcare Reform and to make money off of us.

    FACT there IS NO HEALTHCARE BILL YET!!!!! THEY ARE ONLY IN DISCUSSIONS and NEGOTIATIONS!!!! NOTHING is being passed yet!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  472. Kim Walker

    Health care is a right, yet we are exploited in favor of insurance profits. As my children grew up, they only had health care about half of the time. Why? Cost, sure, but explain why my teen was denied coverage from Blue Cross because she was already on acne medication? And why my other daughter, who saw a doctor only annually for sports physicals required by her school, had a rate increase every year despite few claims? I am a teacher with two college degrees earning a middle class income. Yet because my employer couldn't cover my children without exorbitant cost my children were covered, when I could find it, by individual policies. Most insurance companies won't write policies for single children unless their parent has a policy, too. This is ridiculous. I am for single payer or for as close as we can get to it. The misrepresentation of this issue is astonishing. The people who yell "keep your government out of my medicare" do NOT deserve a place in this debate. The purposeful slanting of this issue by FreedomWorks and others is shameful. I do not mind debating an issue with someone whose opinion differs from mine. But people who eat the "death panel," "euthanasia," or similar line need to educate themselves.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  473. Cindy Quarlae

    We all have a right to health care. In 1972 a doctor I worked with predicted that this country would be forced into universal health care as European countries had at that time.

    My question to you is: Where were these complaints from all these people while George Bush was in office. Health care and the economy problems did not just happen over night. People seem to be so angry with this administration for trying to pull us out of a very bad and evidently secretly kept situation that was left behind by the previous administration.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  474. Beverly Braun

    Doesn't anyone remember the last time a rude, loud crowd of Republican oppositionists tried (and succeeded) to disrupt the democratic process? It was Florida after the 2000 election and It's the reason we had a president who didn't win the election (Bush 2) and had eight years of an administratio that got us into a war by lying and allowed their wealthy friends toi wreck the economy. Of course there are people who have only heard the lies about reform people like Palin are spreading and are concerned, but most of the disruptive, angry people at the town hall meetings are really just objecting to anything related to the President, not the real issues. I hope our members of Congress have the insight to see what is happening and the courage to do what is so despirately needed regarding health care in this country, including a public option.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  475. Denise for Peace

    Though health care might not be a Constitutional right, Article 1, Section 19 does state that "The right of the people peaceably to assemble to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged."
    The key word in that Constitutional right is "PEACEBLY." I would love to hear a real and peacable discussion of the proposed healthcare bills and so that I can make an informed decision. Please stop giving the "squeaky wheel" all of the attention.

    I suggest that all those who want to scream and be disruptive at the Town Hall meetings be escorted out of the room for disorderly conduct. Isn't that how we deal with "loud and tumultuous people"?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  476. Bill B

    I am disappointed in CNN and their broadcasting philosophy. I was watching Arlen Specter town hall meeting, and I appreciate that CNN decided to cover this meeting. However, as with ALL of the (news?) casts they missed the point of the town hall meetings. The purpose of these meetings, or at least my belief of these meetings, is to inform and attempt to explain and clarify the proposed healthcare reform bill currently being discussed. Rather than let America, or at least your viewers, hear the questions and answers offered and maybe LEARN more about the issue CNN prefers to INTERRUPT the discussions and give us their account of what is being said. This is irritating and discouraging and does nothing to clarify the issue being discussed and only serves to present CNN's viewpoint. If you're going to cover these very important and informative sessions then please spare us your opinion.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  477. Cindy

    Everyone has their own priorities. Many sacrifice to afford health care; some folks simply don't care until they need it, then it becomes a personal problem, not a public problem.

    In a country where you're innocent until proven guilty, I'd like to see doctors with licenses suspended prior to trial, be encouraged and allowed to work in free clinics, health fairs, etc., under licensed supervision, until such time as they're acquitted or proven guilty. I just watched you broadcasting a health fair where they don't expect to have enough physicians–what better pool of volunteers to choose from.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  478. Dr. Luther Martin Kindall

    All I've heard and seen in these forums is the propaganda and misinformation that drips from Rush (Hush Dumbar's) lips which is being used across forums to disrupt a civil interchange, and deny millions health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  479. Samantha Ellen

    I found my blood boiling while watching the Lebanon County Town Hall meeting on healthcare. It is amazing and appalling that so many audience members are unaware that millions of Americans are without healthcare, a factor that has led to so many bankruptcies from astronomical medical bills and suffering due to lack of proper treatment. All these people can do is wring their hands and scream and shout that healthcare reform will change their way of life and bring about the destruction of our Constitution.

    It seems a deep, underlying fear in some of the Town Hall participants is that any legislation eventually enacted will encourage and fund abortions. Ironic that people so concerned about a healthcare's plan supposed invasion of privacy rights never seems too interested in a woman's privacy.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  480. Mark Trotier

    Also look what happens to people who live in an unjust society. Yup , violence, just look at the world around you. Is that what we want. I can't beleive how much selfishness is going on here. But then why should be be any different that other civilizations throughout history who paid with their injustices by implosion. It's not too late. Hey lets have some liberty and justice for all.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  481. Maxwell

    It is a right under the right to life and pursuit of happiness. For too long we have allowed insurance companies to run the health care. It is past time for the people's right to life be put in the hands of the people. Not companies out to make a buck without worries of being put in check.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  482. Teresa

    IF HEALTH CARE IS NOT A FUNDAMENT RIGHT OF ALL AMERICANS REGARDLESS OF ABILITY TO PAY, IT SHOULD BE. THE REPUBLICANS WERE IN OFFICE FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS AND THIS ISSUE WAS NEVER GIVEN MUCH THOUGHT, IF NOW ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY HAVE ALL THE RIGHT ANSWERS; WHY WAIT UNTIL NOW TO TRY AND PUT THEM INTO EFFECT. SEEMS THE ISSUE OF HEALTH CARE REFORM ONLY APPEARS TO BE A PRIORITY WHEN THE DEMOCRATS ARE IN OFFICE. THEY (THE REPUBLICANS) SEEM TO BE CONSPIRING AGAINST EVERYTHING OUR PRESIDENTS TRIES TO PUT FORTH. THEY ARE BEING VERY UN-COOPERATIVE TO SAY THE LEAST.

    TERESA, WARREN AR

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  483. Larry

    Health Care is NOT a right. In fact the only treatment that is undeniable is if a person is at risk of immediate lose of Life, Limb, or Eyesight.
    If you believe that health care is a right then who gets to make the determination of what qualifies as reasonable care? Is it only practices and procedures that meet the Life, Limb, or Eyesight or are breast augmentations, facelifts, and braces going to be included as a "right" also?
    It was not so long ago that people thought easy credit and home ownership were "rights" too. I don't think anyone is happy with how that situation turned out.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  484. John

    The Health Care Solution:
    Ensure that Congress and the President and their families are required to give up their current health care and that it is mandatory to join the “Universal Health Care Program” that the rest of us will be on. In other words, make it mandatory for them to be on the same health care plan as us with the exact same benefits.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  485. Sam Raf

    We, especially our Govt, must be the good Samaritan to its citizens, to help those of us who NEED help. We go across the globe to help other nations but we neglect our own. If we don't help our own, then why would we call ourselves a Christian nation.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  486. Shirley

    It may or maynot, however, we are paying anyway, and will continue to pay until Healthcare Reform happen.

    The Republican talking about Medicare part B, i have a Red,white, & Blue Medicare card, however, i can't use my Part B because my Insurance has issure me a Medicare Advantage card that i have to used instead of my Part B card, but i am paying $93.00 for this card and $53.00 for the Medicare Advantage card.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  487. Amber

    It has been a long-held belief of Americans that access to health care IS a fundamental right. Look no further than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25:

    * (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    * (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    We expect other countries to follow mandates issued from the United Nations, yet we feel that we are above everyone else and need only listen to ourselves. If that is true, then get ready for this: Eleanor Roosevelt was a large contributor to the aforementioned document and others like it from that time period.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  488. Dean Licorish

    I don't understand how the "haves" can be so cold toward the "have nots". Why would anyone in America think that everyone here shouldn't have health care. God help you if you ever fall off of your high horse. As I read the comments posted here, I see a lot of selfish and self centered comments. It's not the bill, it's this attitude that will destroy America.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  489. Barbara Hogan

    Never mind whether it's a right or a privilege; it's immoral, in a country as strong and advanced as ours, to allow anyone to be without access to healthcare. I'd like to see us choose single-payer, but, if we can't get that now, we've got to have the public choice.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  490. Glenn E.

    I voted "No" however, the Food Industry should be held accountable and made to pay a portion of the premiums in whatever proposed legislation which is eventually passed by Congress. I feel this way as a result of the dangerous additives (High Fructose Corn Syrup (Diabetes), various dyes (which affect behavior), etc. that deteriorate our health while "cheapening" manufacturing costs and fattening their profits. Shame on you, FDA...do your job and protect the public, not the Food Industry lobbyist.

    Food companies that produce products which systematically deteriorates our health and increases healthcare costs, should be treated like the Tobacco companies. Have them pay a portion of the healthcare premiums in the healthcare program that passes and that can be viewed as a tax. The Food Industry can clean-up its act and commence producing food which doesn't systematically kill us, just as GM, albeit too late, is introducing the Volt, which I'm convinced the benefits of which could have been experienced by consumers 15-20 years ago.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  491. Duncan R. Maclean

    Yes, it is a right and it's one that is recognized as such by the other "super powers." We will never obtain universal coverage until we prevent the insurance and pharmaceutical companies from sitting with legislators to formulate health care policy. Having those people at the table discussing how to solve the spiraling costs of health care is like asking Philip Morris directors how we should get people to stop smoking!
    Duncan Maclean, Corvallis, Oregon

    August 11, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  492. Nancy

    I contend that health care IS a fundamental right because in the Preamble to the United States Consitution I believe it refers to creating a "more perfect union" by promoting the General Welfare. I also believe what I read in the Declaration of Independence. There is reference to the inalienable rights, rights that are not transferable to another or capable of being repudiated. One of which is the "pursuit of happiness". Americans without health care who sick or worried about getting sick are not "happy "nor are they able to pursue it. There is little happiness without good health,and I think we all know that. I believe that when America does the right thing, America is blessed. Pass health care reform that protects the powerless against "big business health" with a public option. We will be blessed many, many times over with healthier, happier Americans that will innovate, create, produce and propel this nation safely into the future.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  493. Ken Mortillaro

    Tony, of course everyone has the right to basic health care. What good is your liberty if you are sick, injured or disabled? As a Canadian, I have to say I'm stunned at how the insurance companies have grown a stranglehold on your health care system. Our system works for everyone, despite what your lobbyists say. Anyone can get assessment and treatment for free, and those who are the most in need go to the front of the line. If you want to pay for extra or private treatment, you can certainly do that. But why would you? We have direct control of the administration of our government insurance, and no one is going to profit from people's health problems. The fact you're all fighting each other over this issue is sad, and make us up north stunned that you are even talking about this. Americans are sick and dying. The insurance companies are responsible. Do something about it!

    August 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  494. Rhonda

    Ok..I am just going to put this out there. I have been watching a lot of the excerpts from these town hall meetings, and I have to say that the attendees seem to be strikingly white and middle class. I think this issue is more about class and race than anyone is willing to admit. Those who have simply do not want to give their "hard-earned" dollars to help out those who are struggling – for whatever reason. It amazes me that a country that doles out billions in aid to other countries has such a large constituent that does not want to extend help to their own countrymen.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  495. Glenda

    I am 64 years old. I had work for same company over 20 years and was laid off in Dec 2008. I have been forced in filing for SS as of three weeks ago. Because could not find a job. I worked construction. I am female.
    In 2001 the company I workd for took several benefits away from us.
    Eye care, no drug coverage. and the co pay went up. And the price for family care went up to $140 every two weeks.
    In 2004 they told me I was laid off( first time), at that time they told me they were taking all my benefits away from me per diem, ins, holiday pay , my three week paid vacation. I was getting $30 a day per diem. I was making $11 an hour. I could go to next town and be rehired for a job but would not be company. I was told every one would be done this way except supervisors. Come to find out I was only one laid off at that time. I was only woman at that time working in field for this company. I was hired back finally in Nov 2005 at $2 less money an hour and no benefits. I found out in several months another lady was hired back who had been laid off in 2002 making $11.50 an hour and she was not capable of doing half of what I had been doing. She was hired back about a month before I was hired back.
    Then I was transferred to the next job, but I got no travel pay or any other benefits. I was hired back at $11 and hour and I told them at a later time about 3 months later , I knew about the other lady. They up my wage to $12 and hour, I had about 6 years senority over this lady even with what she had worked in the past. All of the men on this job had less senority except two and most of them made over $10 more an hour than me and when they were transferred got travel pay and per diem and a bonus. I got none of this.
    Any way I went on 5 more jobs after this with none of the above and now I am laid off. I am very physically able to work. I have no insurance. I can not get medicare until 66 years old.
    Yes I need this health care plan to be passed.
    It is unbeleiveable of how many times because I did not have ins. , that I never get the care that an ordinary person with ins. gets.
    They never offer to test me, never offer for me to have any blood test, never or never want me to have physicals. Never check a thing, I go in a urgent care most times. I have to pay before I ever go in. Most of the time a nurse looks at me, I tell them what is wrong, they except what I say give me a physcription and they never want to see me again.
    I had pneumonia one time and was taken to er and was told if You had ins. You would be admitted but since you don't you go home and take this meds. and never a return trip.
    Tell me if it does not make a difference.
    I am sure I am not by myself.
    Very seldom do you hear of a waitress having ins.
    And they don't even make min. wage. and people cannot afford to tip these days and very few people going out to eat now.
    Fast Food does not allow their help to work 40 hours so they don't have to cover them. And make min. wage. Very few sales clerks and cashiers have ins. There are alot of people who have nothing.
    So yes we need.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  496. Romey J

    Tony.

    Good morning and great job with your reporting. I wanted to correct you on a point regarding the free health clinic at the forum. It is not hosted by RAM, it is hosted by Faithful Central Bible Church of Inglewood, CA – pastored by Bishop Kenneth C Ulmer. The forum is currently owned by the church and they have graciously provided the arena for the momentous occassion. RAM is providing the services and it's their first time in LA and they have chosen to partner with FCBC regarding free health care for the masses. Thank you.

    Romey J

    August 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  497. Emery in KY

    As a member of the bar and a constitutional scholar, healthcare is absolutely a fundamental right. Although not an express right specifically mentioned in the document, it is an implied right construed under the penumbras of the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of hapiness. Many of our rights are implied rights such as those linked to the widely recognized right to privacy.

    Universal healthcare with a kind of public option is not only needed to improve our nation's health, but also economy. If small businesses can be relieved from the overwhelming burden of providing healthcare insurance to their employees, they can hire more workers and increase wages.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  498. Shawn

    .Once again republicans are trying everything they can to get in the way of progress, what a surprise! They must not see the irony. They believe in a "right to life" for any and all post-conception cells; however they don't believe in a right to live healthy. Once you're out of the womb, you're on your own. Healthcare for most is unaffordable unless you work for an employer who offers it. And what about those who don't? I realize the republican party is greatly against tax increases, however if they truly wish to keep healthcare privatized, they might want to deeply consider heavily taxing large employers who do not offer affordable health insurance options for their employees, and giving tax cuts to employers who are willing do what is right & allow their employees these opportunities.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  499. Andrew

    Those who are so convinced that rights are only expressly granted by our Constitution would do well to take note of the 9th Amendment, which states: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    In its preamble: It is the duty of the national government to provide for justice, tranquility, common defense, and GENERAL WELFARE.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  500. Antoinette

    What I don't hear talked about in the Health Bill is coverage for those of us who are not covered but work as health professionals in home health as PTs, OTs, nurses, nutritionists, etc, (and don't have other work therefore no coverage). I feel anyone who works in health in a home health environment should automatically be covered for at least the basics because we yearly need to have physicals. Some agencies pay or do their own health screens; many don't. You don't qualify for free or low cost health insurance because the federal guidelines say, for example, that a single person can not make gross over $849 (I believe) in a month. Well, most rents/mortgages are above that. So the what do you think people are going to do – have health insurance or pay rent? If you can possibly make enough to pay the rent, you don't qualify. Hey!, you do the math. The federal guidelines to qualify for any of its programs are not realistic with peoples basic monetary debt for daily living.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  501. Glenda

    Everyday people everywhere are denied and confused about their fundamental rights in every aspect. As an American citizen and loyal taxpayer, I feel the government should have the respect for it's country to reinvest in it. Why are we not able to determine and vote what our taxes should be spent on? What better way to spend our money than on ourselves? Why are we not allowed a copy of these bills to be kept updated? Obviously, the words of the government are no longer trusted by any means!!

    August 11, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  502. Karen Blanton

    We expect fire department and police services if we need them. We don't have to sign up for coverage with private, for profit providers, thank goodness! Local government arranges for police and fire departments, which are non-profit and paid for by our taxes. The employees make good wages and get promotions. I think the medical "system" itself needs to be non-profit, but the doctors, hospitals, etc. need to make good profits for their services. According to a recent report on PBS, Medicare has a 3% expense ratio for administering the program and the health insurance industry has over 20%. This extra amount goes partly for excessive bonuses and incentives to deny coverage. I think we need a government alternative like Medicare to keep the administrative costs down. This will give the insurance companies incentives to cut their administrative costs. In today's CNBC report on health care costs the insurance company representative said their profit was only "1% of the dollars spent on health care". This sounds reasonable until she clarified that this was 1% of the ENTIRE amount spent on health care in the whole country .. including Medicare and the other government run programs like VA and government employee plans!

    August 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  503. KA

    All of you that don't want reform, want government out of your lives, those that look like well off retirees... why don't you opt out of the Medicare program, which is a government plan. Get yourself a private plan (actually, see if you could even GET a private plan and see how much that the private world will charge you). We could use the dollars that we taxpayers so generously pay for your care. All of you older right wingers should opt out of social security and medicare. Put your money where your mouth is!! I am sick and tired of supporting you loud mouths who don't appreciate what a great country this is and care about these kind of issues. And by the way, this is still a democracy – the majority rules – you lost – so respect our democracy. The majority do not hold your views. "Love it, or Leave it!"

    August 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  504. Bev

    Health Care is not just an American right, It's a human right. The very thing that people are afraid of with this reform is already happening to those who can't afford insurance, in one form or another. Choices are made on a daily basis, can I afford to takes my medication today or do I eat? If a catostophic illness hits me I will have to choose death not treatment, because I am one of those without ins. through a job loss. What happens to my teenaged son with type 1 diabetes and Aspbergers snydrome when he turns 21? Will he be forced to choose death also? Where is our Humanity?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  505. Barb

    People get emotional about "rights" or "privilege" – although when checking the dictionary one finds they are deeply intertwined. It is a question of ethics – Is our culture (as Americans) to provide all our citizens an opporutnity to achieve their potential in growth and development? Some minimum level of health care for all is required to meet that ethic.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  506. Josh

    Health care is NOT like freedom. Health care is a SERVICE provided by free individuals: doctors, nurses, paramedics, physical therapists, etc.
    If a citizen has a right to health care, then he has a right to the time, productivity, and life of anyone who has the ability to provide health care. If one citizen has the right to the time, productivity, and life of someone else, we call that slavery.

    Dr. Josh

    August 11, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  507. James Branham

    i'll try to be brief...a few steps...1. every citizen will have access to the exact same program including all doctors and hospitals that the congress and senate have made available to themselves at the same proportion of cost to income as the congressman and senators 2.congressman and senators and their immediate families can have no other insurance or be provided any healthcare outside of the above mentioned plan nor skip to the head of the line 3.the supply and demand factor? all cost for health care schools are to be made free providing you keep your grades above a certain grade point....(not the George Bush grading curve at Harvard.)...paid for by the taxpayer because ultimately thats who will be helped....simple huh....not even a second page much less thousands....by the way...it been a few weeks and our representatives still haven't read the bill they are arguing about....what are they doing for 170 plus k a year...i would read it fot half that....thanks...James

    August 11, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  508. Maria Kaloudis

    Everyone believes that people who can't afford healthcare wait for welfare to pay it for them. That's unfair and untrue, not to mention ignorant. I pay for my own healthcare but up to what end? Should my individual coverage reach $1000, $2000 a month. When will it end?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  509. Judy Can

    To me, Health Care Reform means to "re-tool" what we have at the present. Do we really need a single payer system, run by the government? I am concerned that it will drive out the choice that we have. Obama first talked about reform when he said we needed to make healthcare more efficient. I agree. What about reforming what we have by addressing costs, improving communications between doctors, lowering pharmaceutical costs, no pre-existing conditions, etc. The insurance industry can do better and would if they realized what they have to lose when government takes over.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  510. Robert Lake,MI

    I do agree that we as Americans have a basic fundamental health right. Doesn`t mean its ok to give a 70 year a script for Viagra nor is it ok for the SSI 5 year old going to the emergency room for a sniffle. But I also believe that the wealthy in this country have taken so much from the middle class that the middle class cannot withstand to bear the brunt of the cost of what Obama wants done. If Obama and congress cant agree to make the rich ante up then I say no to this as well. We also on the other end need to make low income people work if they cant pay for their health care as long as they are able to work. Like Obama says, volunteer for your country well I gave four years during the first Gulf War, its time everyone gave something back including all spectrums of class.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  511. Famous person who doesn't want to give name

    I'm a successful world famous business person who in past paid lots of money in taxes when my business made millions of dollars in the 1990's. After 9/11 my company suffered cancelled orders and I when out of business.

    Even though I was a the top of my profession, nominated for awards etc, I have not been able to secure employment so I have to freelance which means I pay high individual rates for insurance. A few years ago I had to cancel my insurance because it went up over $200 per month in 2 years and I could no longer afford it. All the money I make goes to taxes, rent and into my company because having my own business is my only option to put food on the table. I can not afford to pay insurance at the rates available for me and I don't want to pay so low cost sleazy insurance that's going to cancel me or refuse payment if anything happens to me.

    I wrote huge check$ to pay the government for taxes in the past but today I don't make that kind of money. Today I have to pray I don't get hurt before I go to the gym to play pick-up basketball because I can't afford to get hurt. I pay my taxes. Having a system to provide health care when a person can't afford it should not be too much to ask in this country.

    Post Office hasn't driven FEDEX and UPS out of business yet, it's not going to do that to insurance companies. I want an Gov. option.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  512. James

    Yes we need and yes everyone should have care no matter what.

    Sure your doctors or your drug companies don't want it to happen.

    Rich folks don't want to pay no extra taxes, because they don't beleive in helping their fellow man. Hiding their money overseas or whereever. Taking their money out of stocks and bonds and all the other crap just like this Madoff, is why are where we are now. Greed.
    All companies going over seas. My hometown about close down years ago because of textile years ago and has never gotten back on their feet, then Cinninati Milicron moved there for short while and closed down because they could make the robots cheaper in Korea, they sold us the people of SC out.
    WE have to have the health care plan. Congress does not need another raise. The dr. and ins. companies, lawyers, Credit card companies,realtors, banks, alot of the large companies with all their fees and greed. need to come down off their high horse,

    August 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  513. Cindy Josephs

    I agree that we need healthcare reform across the board, from insurance policies to medical procedures and billing. I also agree with the former government employee who spoke at the Lebanon, PA meeting that the final draft of the reform bill needs to be written in clear language that the average American citizen can understand. In addition, I believe that holding town hall meetings without having informed the public in detail what the health reform draft consists of so that everyone is has the correct information, is an exercise in futility. A detailed summary (not an abstract) should be published by the government, explaining the draft line by line, omitting nothing. Then post both the original draft and the explanation on the government website in both written form and video. People would then have the opportunity to become better informed about what they are for or against. This would also help to debunk misinformation. On a side note, I wonder how many of the people against health reform are without health insurance?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  514. Shelly V.

    We desperately need heathcare reform. Health care decisions are now made by a few major corporations whose main goals are to make profits and pay their CEOs millions each year in salaries and bonuses. They do not have the interests of American citizens as their priority. Americans no longer want premiums we can't afford, pre-existing condition clauses, high co-payments, and loss of insurance coverage when you are out of work. I see senior citizens on TV, who are all covered by Medicare, chanting they don't want government run programs. Who are they listening to, and who is behind them and laughing at these seniors doing their dirty work?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  515. Joe

    I'm going to guess the poll results are bias... since voting NO doesn't work.

    The fact that you even ask if it is a RIGHT indicates you and the general population are not aware of what your rights actually are and how they are granted to you. I wouldn't be surprised if people thought watching TV was a right as well.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  516. howard

    Health care for all is more important than huge profits for an industry that is cruel and uncaring. We pay $1000 a month for minimal coverage with a $5,000 deductible because my wife had a 'pre-existing' (lumpectomy) condition from 23 year ago. We are in our 60s and live on a small income. I'm sure if one of us gets sick the insurance will be canceled. The insurance company has raised our premiums every year and reduced our benefits. The insurance companies need to be regulated. My health care is now dictated by the profit margin of a giant corporation.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  517. brady richardson

    the uninsured get medical attention, they just have to acess it at its most expensive point. the emergency room. so we all are paying for it a broken system now. just consider, going to your docter or a clinic with a cold or going to the emergency room . the cost difference is enormus

    August 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  518. Souldiva47

    47 million people not insured; is clearly an endangerment to me. I'd rather pay an additional tax like medicare taxes to prevent others from carrying diseases that might affect my family and I. I can't believe that people are squabbling about a plan that if left the way it is will have devastating long term effects on the nation. 47 million is an exponential number that will keep growing and growing if we don’t do something now!
    Now what the hell is a credit when a person has no income or low income? Isn't that the same as government involvement? I can't see where the two sides are that different. Why should we allow the insurance companies to decide any more than the government they say? Because WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WHO HAVE COME TOGETHER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION" are the government.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  519. Sue

    This is the time for investigative journalism. Find out why so much misinformation is out there and who is delivering it. I don't think that some people will believe the truth about health care reform until the those who are responsible for the absurd lies about this bill t have been discredited.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  520. James Branham

    1.every citizen should have access to the same plan as the representatives at the same cost to income ratio....2representatives cannot have or be provided healthcare outside of this plan3.all healthcare schools are to be made free providing you keep your grade point average up...not the George Bush Harvard grade curve...simple huh....

    August 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  521. Debra Wells

    Response to Debroah Deig:

    It has been my experience that Canadians go to the U.S. when a procedure or treatment is not available here: this is not done routinely.

    In addition–and this is very important for the uninformed naysayers to understand–

    When my son suffered a ruptured AVM (essentially, a brain aneurysm)at age 9, the best technology to save his life was not yet available here. We took him to Detroit, which had just acquired the treatment we sought. Because it was understood by all neurologists on both sides that this particular course of action was the best for optimal outcome,

    THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT PAID THE HOSPITAL COSTS THAT SAVED MY SON'S LIFE.

    Please don't tell me that the system which cared enough to save a 9 year old whose working parents still were not able to pay is some wildly flawed, socialist system.

    He's 23, now, and I am forever grateful to the system that allowed him to live.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  522. Parthenia

    Yes! Every American has the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness endowed by our Creator. Those states of being exist and we have the right to do what is necessary to secure them both for ourselves individually and by means of our government for all. There's nothing more basic to sustaining life than having good health. Health care is therefore absolutely a fundamental right deriving from our fundamental Constitutional right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not ideals only to be approached and never attained by Americans, they are the aspects of our normal way of being.

    Time is running out to establish health care for all Americans and the protests at town hall meetings across the country and from some CNN right wingers are getting less and less meaningful. I hope the President will be able to pass the bill with the supporters he has.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  523. Jocelyne

    I am a retired nurse from Canada, I have worked all my life with Cancer patients and I can tell you that nothing was spared to treat all cancer patients regardless of their age and/or ability to pay. I am appalled at the American reaction to the Health Care debate. Since,you are our neighbors with whom we share our values I would have expected a more tolerant dignified democratic attitude. I think that some negative and absolutely unthruthful advertising about Health Care is creating unjustified fear in people. It is almost unethical from some to propagate lies.or at least such ininformed comments like Sarah Palin on "Death Panels"..No wonder elderlies and others are so scare. Why are you surprised that they are highly emotional. I suggest that poeple get educated based on facts not hearsays or prejudices. This is a serious discussion that should take place but people need to slow down check facts, ask questions and listen to each other . From the outside it seems a lack of trust in the leadership, which is understandable, after all the lies the American have been fed with, by the previous administration

    August 11, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  524. Angela Tacoma Washington

    It amazes me that some people think that health care for everyone is not important... they must not have thought much about job loss or communicable disease, even if they have health care or is now healthy and the sick one does no have access to health care everyone is still at risk...

    August 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  525. Jill

    If health care isn't a fundamental right, then how can we be sending parents to prison who have chosen to pray for their child's well-being rather than seeking out traditional health care?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  526. jill Bee

    Better health care is not an option! It is obligation to humanity!
    If you want a stable and thriving society, you have to have healthy citizens. No on should be paying $300-500 a month out of their paychecks ever. That’s insane and it's robbery.

    How much money you have should not afford you better or more health care. A house or neighborhoods yes but not the rite to life.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  527. JEROME S. KURTTI

    TONY

    Health care I believe is not a right, but is is a national security issue and also an economic issue. Without a healthy population and you can provide a good military and workforce.

    I would like you to find out if Eunice had a letter explaining her end of life desires. This would show everyone what is in the health care plan.

    You need to show more of the health care plans by other countries around the world.

    Ask people just how much they are willing to pay for health care, and what they want the government to stop paying for. Ask them if they would like to see emergency rooms to close.

    You should take the 10 largest insurance companies, top 5 money earners and show what they make and what they own and then show how many people that money would insure.

    You are not giving enough information to the people and calling a liar and liar. You need to make people prove what they say.

    THANKS

    JERRY

    August 11, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  528. Rick G

    I think all these republicans are still upset about losing the presidential elections,and they are willing to try anything lie,cheat,etc,etc,,also I never hear anything Positive or constructive from them,just politicians trying to make our presidents life difficult!

    August 11, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  529. Alex

    The health care system in this country has been so far skewed from what the hippocratic oath says it should be. Instead of curing diseases we treat the symptoms with expensive medications that cause more symptoms that must be treated with other pricey medications.

    As of right now medicine is a business, this business is lead by the pharmaceutical companies and their bottom lines, the insurance companies who refuse to cover someone's ailments when they seem to cost more than they'd gain to profit and the doctors who love their six figures. Doctors no longer become doctors to help people. People love the status symbol that the PhD provides behind a name. It insures a certain amount of income and helping people get well seems to merely be a formality.

    Those are my thoughts.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  530. M. Jurado, MD (prefer anonymous)

    although today's report shows free medical care in a former sports arena, please consider that tens of thousands nurses ,pharmacists, physicians, therapists, etc provide free care in a variety settings all around the country EVERY DAY.

    In Gainesville Georgia , a clinic called Good News Clinic and Mercy Clinic in Athens provide care for hundreds of people every month. These clinics are home grown efforts to provide care for people who have no insurance and cannnot afford office visits. These clinics are volunteer based, just in these two clinics there are about 100 or more volunteer nurses, pharmacists, physicians, therapists, nutritionists, etc....

    These clinics are funded by local donations from churches, individuals, hospitals and other donors and provide care Monday- Friday . In my little way I spend a few days/month at Mercy and Good News clinic and make only a small ripple in the scheme of things. However, I think you would be amazed by the SUM TOTAL amount of compassionate , quality and free care provided just by these two clinics and all the volunteers provided every week.

    Cost effective, compassionate and quality care is provided in countless communities around the country every day. With proper encouragement, these clinics can flourish to a far greater degree in every town.

    MJ

    August 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  531. Beatrice

    I don't understand the people in the town hall meetings being so aggressive. Their fear is so emotional and irrational. Why don't they do the same thing to the health care companies who can drop you if you are too sick? Why no outrage there?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  532. Bill Smith

    Sorry parthenia, but the excessive taxes that would be placed on everyone to be able to pay for this would deny me my liberty and pursuit of happiness. We have the right to keep and bear arms, does that mean the govt has to buy us each a gun? go buy your own insurance and stay out my pockets. Universal health care is bankrupting everyone that has it, including france, great britain, canada, oregon, mass. and tennesee, lets not make the same stupid mistake they did.
    This is what we need, tort reform, the ability to go with insurance companies over state lines, and an assigned risk/ medicare type plan for people with pre-existing conditions, not some stupid major overhaul.
    Bill Smith

    August 11, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  533. Josh

    response to Parthenia's
    "...we have the right to do what is necessary to secure [health care] both for ourselves individually and by means of our government for all..."

    Do you mean that if I'm an old doctor and want to retire, but there is a shortage of doctors, that you can force me to keep working? What if i sit on my hands? Will you use a gun to make me work?

    If you can pay, someone will give health care. If you cannot pay, someone will probably volunteer. If you ask your government to guarantee your health care, they will try to pay for you. Realize they may have to use a gun, if the money runs out and noone volunteers.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  534. Judy Brewer

    I worked until I was 65 yrs and 10 months although I was not able so we could get good health care and a good monthly check { 44 yrs}. Tell me why on earth My tax money should have tyo pay for health care for those "working the system", those too lazy to work, and those illegal aliens. Also, to be fair, those voting on our health care should get the same care as us and not special treatment. That's the only way they will vote in a fair way. I pay out $500.00 a month for my spouse's and my health care and these people get it for nothing? I call that grossly UNFAIR.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  535. Jack

    Is Healthcare an American right? Do you really mean America or do you meam the United States of America. We cannot afford to supply "benefits" to everyone in North and South America. I do believe we can have a much better, broader, less costly heathcare system in and for US citizens but not with our current government mindset.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  536. Peter Maurer

    Cowards! Oh yes, these mean people are wrong. We should all demand health care. Go Mr. Obama. Go media!!! Whatever you want, we'll do!
    Is that better?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  537. Jo Ann

    I am ready to do whatever it takes to help the country, it's people and the president to make healthcare a fundamental right for all. I have no healthcare, I have no job, I have no dental. But what I do have is a understanding that things change. My mother is 80 years old and won't buy herself a new car (yes she still drives). Wants to leave money to her kids. I told her, I rather drive your new car now. Because I will be to old to enjoy the money you leave me, 10 or 20 years for now. My mother 's health is better then mine. I don't understand why people at the town hall meetings, are shouting and angry about the president's healthcare plan. I'm the one who should be angry, I need a job, healthcare, dental and I haveto out live my mother in order to buy a new car. I sure hope "Anger Management" is part of those angry Americans healthcare plan.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  538. Jo Ann

    I am ready to do whatever it takes to help the country, it's people and the president to make healthcare a fundamental right for all. I have no healthcare, I have no job, I have no dental. But what I do have is a understanding that things change. My mother is 80 years old and won't buy herself a new car (yes she still drives). Wants to leave money to her kids. I told her, I rather drive your new car now. Because I will be to old to enjoy the money you leave me, 10 or 20 years from now. My mother 's health is better then mine. I don't understand why people at the town hall meetings, are shouting and angry about the president's healthcare plan. I'm the one who should be angry, I need a job, healthcare, dental and I haveto out live my mother in order to buy a new car. I sure hope "Anger Management" is part of those angry Americans healthcare plan.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  539. Joe in Wynnewood, PA

    I voted yes, but you ask the wrong question. The question is what kind of country/society do we want to be? Do we want to be a country where the wealthy get the best healthcare in the world, those with big-company supplied insurance gets the care the insurance company is willing to pay for and everyone else can go to hell while insurance company execs pull down $11Million/year (on average for top 10 cos.)?

    August 11, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  540. Scott

    If our current health care system had been free, it would not exist as the world's best health care system leading the rest of the world with the greatest technological innovations. If our system goes, no other country's health care system can take its place, and the innovations they expect from us they'll no longer get. If the Democrats had passed free health care in the 1970s, we'd still be getting 1970s health care.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  541. Anthony V. Fasolo

    Health care is guaranteed by the preamble to the Constitution ("promote the general welfare") and is something that the richest nation in the world should be able to provide all its people. If we can spend biliions on war, we should be able able to spend at least that much on our health.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  542. vallary

    WHY are people so up in arms over this. Obama has talked about this plan since he came on the sceen two years. A number of times he spoke about his health care plans, Why is this so upsetting now. Next time CNN takes a poll take one who vote for him and now cry wolf. Half these people in these rooms fighting are the ones that stood by him to start with so you should have known where he stood.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  543. Bruce in Laguna Beach, CA

    Some say health care is not a right, but they need to realize how expensive the current system is.

    The auto industry has been moving to Canada because they save $1,500 a car under Canada's universal health care. How many jobs have to leave the U.S. before people realize that insurance run health care is a job killer.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  544. Cindy

    I agree with Alex – we need health care REFORM, not government care. Congress rushed into this listening to the lobbyists and without looking at the causes: pharmaceutical company profits and the cost of malpractice insurance after they started paying the huge awards after doctors are sued. What we've got is an bandage.

    If the pharmaceutical companies can afford to advertise that they offset costs of meds to the needy, why can't they simply drop their rates/profits, which will drop the cost of health care, which will in turn make it more affordable, and available. I over-simplify, I know, but government furnished health care will face the same money problems Social Security faces if we don't address the causes first.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  545. Suzane

    Community Colleges are run by the government and they have not run private universities out of business. People should be real and stop the nonsense.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  546. Mike Hunt

    Leave it to the poor and ignorant to vote or side against their own best interests. Scumbags like Rush Limbaugh prey on these types because they're an easy score; leading them to believe that the government is the enemy. Obama is trying to help them and they can't see it.
    How sad that is.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  547. Justin

    The Constitution and Bill of Rights also say that no one is entitled to the service of another person. Doctors are the only people "entitled to free healthcare", being that they can take care of themselves. Arguing that we are all entitled to free healthcare because of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", is like arguing we are all entitled to free money as well. It does not say we are entitled to "life, liberty and happiness", it says we are entitled to the "pursuit of happiness", which is a far different concept. We are entitled to seek our fortunes, but we are not entitled to fortune. There are only so many people with the ability to perform brain surgery, heart transplants, etc... which means there is a miniscule supply and massive demand for healthcare. No one is entitled to it... unless they themselves have actually learned how treat themselves. Having a trained professional take care of you is not an entitlement. No one is entitled to the service of another person.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  548. UnRepresented

    I think this is a great question. If you think the government should provide you with healthcare, that is one thing, but that does not make it a "right".

    I dont know anywhere in our constituion or our founding documents where we are given the "right" to healthcare. Early in the declaration of Independence you can find this paragraph.

    "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness."

    I do know that once we make it part of the government it is almost impossible to go back. Look at our education system if you want to see what government run healthcare will be. We keep throwing more money at it and it and the quality remains poor. And special interests continue stand in the way of allowing cheaper, better competition.
    The majority of improvements come from private alternatives which can provide it at a lower cost.

    I believe the London's healthcare system may be the largest employer in all of Europe and Asia (including China). Imagine trying to reform that beast.

    Until we get honest people reresenting us on both sides of the aisle, that are not beholden to huge $ we will not have quality reform. There is no such thing as "free" healthcare. If you want America to move towards a more socialized government, do you homework, be sure you understand all of the implications.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  549. Leslie

    I want to ask the quesiton to those who oppose: What if you lost your job and had no healthcare-to no prevail, would you want your country to help you? Would you apply for medicare? I would give something to help you!!!!!!! I am thinking about my heart not my wallet.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  550. wilfred sparks

    I have the answer to national health care. The Federal Government along with the Surgeon General and panel of doctors define what GENERAL HEALTH CARE is, Which I believe should include Immunizations, infant care, well womens exams, Life saving surgeries,burns and preventative care. Then once this is defined, That is what will be covered under the National Health Care System. Private Insurance still plays a role in that everyone should be able to purchase affordable health care insurance for Elective and other health issues not covered under General Care. For example a man is heavily overweight and wants to see a dietisian, This would be Covered under General Health and therefore free, however once he sees the dietisian and doctor he decides he wants to have an elective lap-band or gastric procedure done, this would be covered by the specific elective insurance that he purchased. Sounds like a win-win situation for us and the insurance company to me how about you.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  551. Springer Rider

    For starters, Rights are not given, they are recognized. A right always exists, whether someone says so or not. At best, otehrs can deny it. Anything that can be given by the givernment is a priviledge!

    The government cannot give me Freedom of Speech. It can only deny it. Even when that freedomn is denied, it still exists.

    People have a right to health care, in that the government has no right to deny them from seeking health care. IOWs – stay out of the way. It does not mean that the givernment should provide health care. Remember, when the government provides something, they have taken it away from someone else. Do that is a form of slavery.

    Forcing someone to pay for someone else's health care is slavery. You are removing property from one and giving to another. That is theft.

    Why not do as the founders intended and just let each and everyone of us take care of ourselves. If you want to help your neighbor pay for his/her health care, that is your business. Just do not FORCE others to do so.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  552. PROLIFIC

    ANOTHER THING AMERICA MUST NOT LOVE ALL THOSE WHO ARE AMERICANS IF AMERICA REFUSED TO LET THEIR PEOPLE RECIEVE HEALTHCARE!!!! FOR THE PEOPLE???? TELL ME WHO ARE THE PEOPLE!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  553. JSP - Geneva, IL

    I cannot believe the intentional misinformation that is being presented by those that are against healthcare reform. The key word is REFORM, not socialization. Listen to what the president is saying, we as americans have a right to choose our health care insurance providers and medical providers, improve the system in which our health care is being provided to make it more effecient and cost effective, make health care accesable to everyone not just those that are hand picked by the insurance companies or those that can afford it...... Yes, health care is a right – we have a right to be healthly.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  554. Joann Freeman

    Until you visit an ER you have no idea how bad things are. I recenty had to take my daughter because of severe dehydration. We had first been to an Acute Care Clinic and went in with a referral for an Immediate IV. The woudn't do it at the ACC because my daughter was pregnant. Even with that order we waited eleve hours just to be seen. It was 13 hours before she recived the IV. A woman that was there way before us was vomitting every minute. She only got seen a few minutes before my daughter. Ambulances came in one after another & dumped patients in the hallway. I overheard the nurses laghing among themselves saying there weren't any beds so they didn"t have to worry about taking care of them (the people in the ER) any time soon... Because uninsured people use the ER in place of a Doctor's office you can't get seen. People are dying waiting for care. It looked like I was in a 3rd world country not the USA. We need reform NOW!

    August 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  555. Ben

    We have the right to LIFE! Denying those who don't have the means to afford healthcare, in this country, is essentially a death sentence. Others can keep their plans, but don't deprive plans from others.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  556. June

    I watched Spector's townhall meeting in Lebanon, PA. You showed the one incidents that was out of line and dealt with. The meeting was very informidable and allowed citizens to ask their concerns regarding health care and other political issues. Sen. Spector handled it well. He ids to be commended. We need more of this.

    I also watch Obama's townhall meeting. The questions were a joke. Were they prewritten by a committee? It seemed as if Obama had his speech determined. He is good – but how can he justify a plan that is not written yet.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  557. Lucy

    This is a REALLY TOUGH question. I personally don't feel like I have the authority to answer an ultimate "yes" or "no". Theoretically, it would be BENEFICIAL for the US to offer healthcare regardless of a person's ability to pay, because the more healthy and less unhealthy citizens the better and more productive the country can be. Also, the availability of healthcare to ALL PEOPLE would stop the spread of disease, and therefore benefit others besides the sick person. On the other hand, I think more Americans need to start taking better care of their health before they end up with a need for healthcare. Diet and exercise, people, diet and exercise. I also think it is human nature to help another sick human being, social mammals that we are. However, as I stated at the beginning, I really feel that I do not have the power within me to say that this is a fundamental human right.
    Lucy,
    SF, CA

    August 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  558. Jane

    You said that a lot of the questions asked about "health care" are not really about "health care". You are right in one respect - abortions are not "health care", despite the proponents of abortion trying to convince us that abortions are a part of "women's health care".

    The Democrats used scare tactics and lies to to defeat George Bush's attempts to reform social security. I don't recall the media digging into which special interest groups were behind the organized protests that liberals conducted at Republican town hall meetings and via their allies in the media. Why the interest only now when people are against a Democrat plan, yet never any interest when it was liberals fighting against Republican plans? There seems to be a double standard going on in the media when it comes to "astroturf" protests. ACORN protests are legit according to the media, yet anything that a conservative participates in is fake. No wonder so many folks have zero trust in the objectivity of the media

    August 11, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  559. k_michael

    Is healthcare a right?

    I would counter with another question:
    If a child is run over by a hit-and-run driver, and is brought to the hospital, should the child be left in the waiting room until the parents can be contacted and ONLY treated if the parents can pay?

    Conservatives talk all the time about "morality" when judging other people's lives, and when it comes to opposing abortion fo4r any and all reasons – but I hear ZERO mention of morality from them when it comes to questions such as the above".

    Regardless of whether health care is "a Right", how *moral* is it to answer the above question by saying: Let the child die if the parents cannot pay?

    August 11, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  560. Erica Phillips Stubner

    WILFRED SPARKS: I enjoyed your comments. Are you aware that the insurance companies such as BCBS actually pay companies like Healthways to provide FREE services to the clients that are not managing their health well, and costing BCBS too much money? Yep. Someone from Healthways calls them, explains that they are there to help them manage their "diabetes" better and actually hold their hands at no charge. This is so lucrative that companies such as Healthways are publicly traded and earn millions just on a percentage of money that they SAVE BCBS. Sounds like the answer is in Wellness and Specialized care which can't be obtained by doctors overwhelmed by the system, rules and high overhead.

    I have come up with one possible answer to our healthcare reform which would actually be able to provide this type of care to all students enrolled in the public school system. It is posted as a "Note" on my FB page and a "Blog" on MS (ericasongs).

    August 11, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  561. Don from Toledo

    Health care has been a right for years, whether you can pay or not. Just look at our over crowded emergency rooms. It doesn't matter if I like it or not it is a fact that my medical insurance premiums will be higher to cover those that do not have insurance. If and when Congress actually passes a bill and sends it to the president to sign, it should be held in limbo until the American public gets a chance to respond to it. Then I can be given the truth about what is in the REAL bill and not a bunch of propaganda such as the stuff being spread by groups such as Americans for Prosperity, Conservatives for Patient's Rights and 60plus.org. I don't mind people being passionate I just wish they could be passionate about getting the lobbyist out of Washington.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  562. Lisa Capaci

    I can't help but think of the millions that have put their lives ahead of their beliefs, needs or desires to allow us to exercise our "right" of free speech. It saddens me beyond words that my father, uncle and husband sacraficed so much to allow this "right" to be abused and misused. I am ashamed of the behavior that is being witnessed with regards to the health care. I feel I am being trampled, plumetted, kicked, ignored, and cheapened at the expense of the few that feel it necessary to resort to the spotlight of the media. These people are acting in a way that would not be thought of if the media were not available for their five minutes of fame. We are supposed to be a civilized country...what has happened. I am so sorry to be an American today. We are imploding.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  563. ID

    These "Town Hall" screaming matches are solving absolutely nothing, but instead is giving the rest of the world a good look into this Administrations lack of experience and unorganized agenda's that are leading to more mayhem for this country. Expect to see President Obama's initial high approval rating last as long as the "Cash for Clunkers" smoke and mirrors.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  564. Don from Toledo

    Everyone is being fired up by radical groups that are leading you around by your nose and you are letting them do it. Number one: there is no Obama health plan. I think it was a mistake but after he took office he turned the job of coming up with a health insurance reform bill over to congress. Number two: the health insurance reforms being proposed are just that"PROPOSED". If you don't like them you would have a better chance of getting them changed by working to limit the influence of lobbyist for the big drug companies and health insurance companies. Until we can get rid of them, THEY will determine what type of health insurance we have and all the shouting in the world will make NO difference. Democrat or Republican they all bow to those that fund their campaigns i.e. the lobbyist.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  565. GLORIA

    WE NEED HEALTH CARE FOR ALL PEOPLE, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THOSE CAUSING CONFUSION ABOUT HEALTH CARE, YOU MAY HAVE YOUR VERY GOOD INSURANCE TODAY BUT WHAT ABOUT TOMORROW, NO DOUBT SOME OF THOSE CAUSING THE HELL AND CONFUSION ARE IN THAT NUMBER THAT DO NOT HAVE HEALTH CARE BUT JUST WANT TO SEE IT FAIL FOR THE PRESIDENT . WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS WE LIVE IN THAT DO NOT WANT TO SEE PEOPLE BEING CARED FOR WITH SOME TYPE OF MEDICAL CARE. THE UNITED STATES IS FULL OF PEOPLE THAT DO NOT CARE FOR OTHERS.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  566. Mary Nicholson

    I have it all solved. Insure children through the school. If they need medical attention. Have school nurse handle it. If a medical team is needed, it is covered by 80%. After school hours, only 50% is covered.
    As far as who pay for it. Well it was determined that 80% of Americans smoke grass, than legalize it. And you will have enough taxes on it to cover everyone's health car.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  567. DJ

    If we are to plan for the future and be the best country we can be, we must invest in the people. That includes keeping them healthy - to all the Republicans out there - healthy means they are MORE likely to get a job and start paying taxes!!! Ever think of that?

    August 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm |
  568. Becky Weir

    I am amazed that Rick Sanchez who is reporting for CNN at 3:00-3:30 says that people who are speaking against the Healthcare Plan being proposed to congress and the senate are only republicans and that they are receiving marching orders from someone – WITH NO FACTS or PROOF. Mr Sanchez is giving his opinion and not speaking truth!!! I am very opposed to the Healthcare Plan. We do need to address some specific problems with the current healthcare system in America but this plan is not the way to do it!!! CNN needs to report facts not just opinions. Many people I speak with oppose this plan whether they are democrates or republicans. Please show respect for the right of American citizens to publicaly express their opinions!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  569. Dolores

    Healthcare in the year 2000; I am going to tell a little story about my mother that was in the healthcare system back in 2000 (The New Millenium). My mother was critically ill with pneumonia back in 2000 and spent a month under an induced coma to prevent her from fighting the intubation. She went to Lankenua Hospital in Philadelphia for coronary bypass surgery transferred from Frankford Hospital (Now Aria Healthcare), Doris was 69 years old, not old in todays lifespans. I sat and listened to the cardiologist dictate his notes as to why my mother would not be a candidate for open heart surgery because she had decompensated due to a 1 month induced coma and heard him state "that this patient would not be able to tolerate surgery." I actually eavesdropped on his dictation and was mortified. They sent my mother for rehab (rehab to what? Her grave. More wasted Social Security dollars. Talk about waste. I could show you waste that would make your head spin caused by the American Medical Association. And it's dedicated doctors. Laugh, Laugh, most are so uneducated you should run from their offices screaming!!! So, home mom went, I would awaken to her yelling from chest pain and I was just supposed to sit and wait for her heart to explode. I loved my mother and took care of her and sacrificed my future to take care of her. I remember her primary care physician stating to me, "You really love your mother, don't you?" WHAT!!! These so called doctors are frightening. So, my dear, Sarah Palin, if you think they will have death planning for the elderly you are about 15 years too late with your statement sweety. IT'S OLD NEWS, MS. KNOW IT ALL! And for all you americans with your head in the sand and your ass in the air – wake up!!! We are here already and have been since the inception of the HMO. WHAT DID YOU THINK THE HMO'S WERE FOR ANYWAY. If you don't want to be a DNR patient than you better leave this country. Oh, and by the way, my fellow americans DNR stands for DO NOT RESUSCITATE. They push that in the nursing homes just to move the cattle along. WAKE UP AMERICA AND SMELL THE TOAST BURNING. Crawl out of your drug induced fogs, your alcohol induced stupors, your OCD riddled little lives and open your eyes to what is going on and has been going on for decades. Are you really this ignorant! Oh, as an aside, if you're wealthy or famous this does not apply! So bite the bullet, stop wining about healthcare reform because basically nothing is going to change.
    Your fellow american

    August 11, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  570. Kathy

    Read a post about we should not be expected to pay for another person's health care. The right wing claims to be Christian. Remember the Good Samaritan. He found an injured man whom others ignored. He did not know this man. He took him to an Inn and paid the Innkeeper to care for him. Is the Samaritan a socialist? Is Jesus a socialist? What is happening with the right wing of our country? Can they not see that they already pay way too much for the insured? Does their dislike of Obama (some of it must be racist) cause them to throw Jesus out with the bath water? I'm really concerned that Palin and Limbaugh and so many Republicans and Blue Dogs are even being listened to. To not reform health care is to let the death panels of the insurance company continue on.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  571. LJ

    It's odd and amazing that most everyone at these meetings are so certain health care views, and recite false information. All I see is an american minority with incorrect information. Where is the American majority: all the hispanics, blacks, asians, persians, and people 35 and under. This is "Majority" of the american population. All I've seen is stubborn white people over 35.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  572. LJ

    I'm a veteran, so is my father, and my grandfather. What say you to the 50 million normal americans and even veterans who don't have coverage for themselves or their families?? What would we say to them?? Too bad, so sad?? I think not...

    August 11, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  573. Jeffrey G.

    I am simply amazed that the unspoken truth about the true causes

    and the future continuance of the human race is not being discussed.

    The strongest, smartest, fittest, and the most productive of us should

    be the one's that have the best healthcare. It does not have to be equal healthcare. We as a nation should want the people who

    continually produce more than they consume to live longer as
    opposed to those who are on permanent welfare and just consuming

    without a purpose. Wake up America and insist on Work for Welfare on a National Scale. People will find a way to earn their way.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  574. StndStrng

    Another pathetic "stagged" town hall by Obama. The audience was so over stacked he had to ask for someone to disagree with him. Why won't they consider TORT reform? Why not fix the current government programs that don't work. Give me a break....I came from the Canadian system....Anyone who thinks the Canadian system is good has either never been sick or is on welfare....its great for deadbeats.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  575. Betsi Treppel

    RE: choice in health care today
    the insurer of my husband, a retired federal employee, is MHBP. There are NO choice health care providers in Wilmington, NC (100k+ population) including radiology, labs, MD's and other ancillary providers. Therefore, we pay out of network (which translates "out of our pocket" ) rates for services. Numerous phone calls to MHBP have failed to correct EOB's which consistently do not reflect my husband's retired status and provision for only being responsible to Medicare allowable charges. What kind of present "choice of health care" do we have with the status quo? Let's cool our jets and see what the bill actually entails.

    August 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  576. Scott Lenowitz

    Two things I would to hear with respect to the debate on health care:

    1 – What do people who oppose reform think the insurance companies provide that truly makes health care better. If all they do is collect premiums and, hopefully, pay out claims, that is not enough to say the private sector is the answer for health care.

    2 – Prime Minister Harper from Canada should give us the Canadian perspective of their health care program. We hear much about it from opponents of US reform, but what do Canadians really think about their system. John Boehner and others condemn the Canadian system but I doubt their claims are correct.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  577. StndStrng

    Billion Dollar Bailouts
    Cap & Trade
    Government Takeover of Health Care
    Trillions of dollars in debt.

    "In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people."
    Sound familiar?
    The Declaration of Independence 1776 just as relevant in 2009.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  578. gary

    I do agree health care reform is needed in the counrty, People lets not forget about the economy, we can have the best health plan on th e planet but if we dont have a job to pay for it, what good does it, many peopel are unemployed and many will or already exhausted their unemployment benefits by the end of the month...President/Congress needs to focous on the economy and give the Congress time to put a Healthcare Bill together that will benefit all peopel and not add to the National Dept.

    August 11, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  579. CYNTHIA DAUM

    I am so sick of this man obama thinking he is god, He is the wrost pres, we have ever had. I voted Rep and I am proud of it. No one is going to tell me to shut up and go away. I am an American and I was born here, not like are liar of a pres we have. Obama and his congress are very aeeogant to dismiss the concerns of the American people. I have great Healthcare and I am not going to lose it because there are lazy people out that want to live off everyone eles, people who refuse to get a job because it is easier to go on welfare, or just won't get off the couch to better themself. All you demo's. one day you will open your eye's and see just what a idot of a pres.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  580. Joe Blanchard

    CNN,
    I was just watching your broadcast concerning the Presidents Plan for health care. The time has now come, after 8 years of hell under the Bush regime, to at last shut up and listen to an alternative to in some way dig our great nation out of the hole our former adninistration has so ineptly dug for us. To senator Ron Paul personally, you know what you just said on the air is nothing more than a further attempt by the Republican party to cause fear and unrest amongst good Americans. You, sir, should be ashamed, in this critical time in our history, you choose to hold the party line and try to tear down an idea you must see that has merit. The most shocking and shameful statement you made is that ouir system protects the minority above the majority. You have lost touch, democracy is majority rule sir not the opposite.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  581. Joe Blanchard

    In the wealthiest nation on the face of the earth, there is no excuse for every american to have health care. In addition to answer the comment of JD, the answer is YES!!!!! Every american should have health care, shelter, and adequate food, regardless of their financial situation. We waste more in this country than most other nations consume. Are you aware JD, that if 15 loaves of bread are baked in the whole world, that 12 of them will be consumed or wasted right here.m Your republican attitudes time has passed. It is now time to truly look at what assets we have available and use them to the common benefit. Events have proven that the idea you profess is heralded by those who would take from the mouths of the less fortunate. That, sir is not the American way. Go to Texas or wherever George found a rock to crawl under and join him, as your time is DONE!!!!!!!! Go out the garage, put on your sheet and tell it to someone who is willing to listen to your drivel!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  582. Chris

    All of us can argue 'til the cows come home, but what most everyone is tired of is paying the way for generations of slackers who are either too ignorant, too lazy, or too cunning to work for a living as long as the government gives them the necessities they need. Clean them out of the system and let's make the system work. Welfare, Medicaid (for those who won't work), free healthcare at the er, food stamps, and all the rest of these programs all need limits for an individual. They were never meant to become the lifeblood of a long line of relatives. Help those who help America, help workers who are unemployed temporaily, help our vets, help the disabled, help the handicapped, and help all those glorious retirees who have worked for this country to make it the great nation it's become. There is a huge difference in the slackers to which I'm referring and the people I just named. Why can't we admit it?

    August 11, 2009 at 10:57 pm |
  583. James Gottlieb

    NO! NO! NO!

    Health care is a privileged not a right, I agree that every american should be able to get care, but they must pay for it.

    We've lost that component of this discussion. We want the Government or our employers to pay. but where is that money going to come from.

    WAKE UP America, its coming from your tax dollars.

    I spend over 500 per month for a young family of 5 for a very good PPO that is a cost i am willing to pay for good health care. THere are other plans i can participate in, but I CHOOSE this to have the best available to me in my community. I see the best doctors and pay for that privilege.

    Regarding the legislation before the house HR 3200

    Has anyone actually read this bill.

    Here's just part of 1 paragraph where the Government will be making determinations as to what is and is not covered.

    I do not want the government or an insurance company or anyone else for that matter making the decision as to what I need from my doctor.

    the doctor patient relationship used to be about you and your doctor.

    SEC. 123. HEALTH BENEFITS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

    (a) Establishment-

    (1) IN GENERAL- There is established a private-public advisory committee which shall be a panel of medical and other experts to be known as the Health Benefits Advisory Committee to recommend covered benefits and essential, enhanced, and premium plans.

    (2) CHAIR- The Surgeon General shall be a member and the chair of the Health Benefits Advisory Committee.

    (3) MEMBERSHIP- The Health Benefits Advisory Committee shall be composed of the following members, in addition to the Surgeon General:

    (A) 9 members who are not Federal employees or officers and who are appointed by the President.

    IN OTHER WORDS a national health czar

    August 11, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  584. Cecil Jones

    Is healthcare a fundamental right? Let's have those who profit from our deaths ask God if it was a right shared by all or reserved for only the rich, Harvard Grads, and the politically connected? Where are the words "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" shared? Are they in the Constitution? I think somewhere in the front or the back. We are mad because Obama is selling "Snake Oil" on the issue. Congress will not pass a law requiring Insurance to go bankrupt. The issue is how do we grant access to healthcare for the people who don't have it before the next tragedy? Insurance reform pits Senior Citizens against the next generation. Seniors have something, but those not 65 have nothing and we are dying. Obama doesn't care, but it looks like he does. Snake oil. Insurance reform is the coded deception here.

    August 12, 2009 at 5:25 am |
  585. jody smothers

    to the woman who wants to restore the country back to the founding fathers remember, slavery, women with no vote, really lady our founding fathers didnt have all the answers

    August 12, 2009 at 6:23 am |
  586. Claudia

    Indeed, the aging population in America IS on of the concerns driving the healthcare debate. But let's not forget that it is that very post world war two population and thier sons and daughters, now loving labeled as "Baby Boomers" that built the thriving ecomony that this nation has enjoyed for the past 40 years!.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  587. nan pearl

    If we REALLY want to be a "Christian" or religious country how can we deny health care for all? Isn't that a first tenant of religion!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 7:45 am |