People still have questions - so we're still getting you answers. Kyra brought back Linda Douglass, from the White House Office of Health Reform, for some more Mail to the Chief.
The one thing it seems is that everybody thinks that this 1018 page bill is already to be passed. In fact it is not, it is a proposal.
In its current form no one in the House or Senate will vote for it, that is why it is still being tweaked.
Everybody is very strong and solid on their point of view.
My view is still, we need health care reform, but it is more along the line of fixing the health insurance companies which is controlling our health care right now.
I commend President Obama for starting this debate and do not think he wants just anything shoved down our throats, but I do understand him wanting something done. Yes he gave a time frame to which I say good for him, because he probably knows if he didn’t this will still be just discussed in 10 years from now with nothing done.
ENOUGH ALREADY!! Other countries have managed to figure out a way to take care of their citizens. Why is the US having such a problem with this? I have no problem paying more taxes if it means I can go to the doctor without being considered about paying the bill.
I am amazed that no one seems to address the real cost of healthcare
On your news a woman showed a bill of $200,000.- for two days hospital to "replace" batteries in her pacer. This picture should wake up enough people that something is drastically wrong in this country!!! Check for instance how much this procedure would have cost in other countries and compare.
My experience with hospitals here is the total inefficiency of anything they do. (except billing!!) Way too much staff hanging around; no multiple tasks; no computerized medical universal data linked anywhere in the country. Hospital cost overruns, Fortunes paid to management, Building hospitals which are 5 times more expensive than initially contracted. Buying equipment via lobbyists; instead of buying direct from manufacturers via bids etc. Getting rid of doctors "visiters" ( lobbyists) ,stop " pill" adds; stop lawyer adds (tort reform) Strict "medicare" control; do not accept and pay only by seeing the bill; have experts control fraud!!! etc. etc.
We need Health Care for ALL-Desparately!!
Health Care for ALL is a long missing right that needs to be added in this great country. I am an immigrant (now citizen) who worked very hard to earn this right through my employment. The rest of my family did not fare as well and have not been protected with health care, unless they could afford a very expensive insurance plan.
It is long overdue.
Those who speak against it are programmed quacks of the Insurance and health care business industry–"They know not what they say." and do not yet realize that it would affect them positively, as well.
When you have a legislator on stating "facts" such as "Only businesses create jobs" and other silliness you must challenge them with facts not give them a pass with "What do you think about how Obama is handling health care?"
I am a US citizen living in Canada with both paid Canadian heath care coverage and free US VA health care coverage. I use only VA coverage because it's better than Canadian coverage.
The mass hysteria of the me generation demonstrated in current town hall meetings is a non-productive fiasco. Healthcare needs to be separated into it's components to make any constructive sense if there is to be rational reform. Health Insurance policies, hospital costs and Pharmaceutical company regulations should be addressed individually rather than the incomrehensible mish-mash of confusion which cannot be accurately understood by anyone. Congress is not approaching this topic sensibly at this time.
Members of congress have "government-run" health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. This program has been successful in providing high quality insurance to senators, congressmen and their families.
Yet, republican senators who benefit from this program do not want the same option for their constituents. This is the highest form of hypocrisy.
An open letter to President Obama,
I believe the time has come for the USA to join the rest of the
civilized world concerning socialized medicine. Below are several good
Health Care costs are out of control and have been for some time.
Is it fair when a millionaire like Mikey Mantle, can buy a heart or liver
while a hard working factory worker with insurance is denied because of
caps and policies? Is it fair for the middle aged couple who ran up their
credit cards for their sons cancer treatment because their health
insurance was capped at $200,000? ( NBC Dateline Friday March 27, 2009 ).
How can a retired couple afford insurance premiums that cost up to half
their pension? Eating Dog Food should not be an option! And finally, is
it right for convicted criminals to have better dental care and health care
than the average American?
Another important issue is quite personal and has to do with the
quality of the Health Care system as that seems to be the main argument
against socializing medicine. In 2001 my Culinary Union retired mother
had a sore shoulder and asked her HMO Doctor if she could consult a
specialist as his treatment wasn't working and her pain was increasing.
He rudely replied "I think we're getting off on the wrong foot." He
further intimidated her by stating "I'll be the one who'll tell you if you
need a specialist." 18 months later her HMO Doctor allowed her to see a
specialist and 3 months later she died of Lung Cancer. I ask you "is this
Another very personal experience occured in Las Vegas, Nevada
in the Spring of 2006. While Ironworking there my wife informed me that I
was scheduled for a bi-yearly Colonoscopy with my Doctor in Washington
State. Unfortunately I decided to call a referal center and have the
procedure done in Las Vegas. They found me a supposedly reputable
Colonoscopy Clinic with several locations in the Vegas Valley. I chose
one and 2 years later I received a letter from the Las Vegas Health Dept.
advising me and FORTY THOUSAND others to get tested for blood bourne
viruses and diseases because it seems that these "Quality Care" clinics
were REUSING SYRINGES and doing other high risk unsafe practices. (see
lasvegassun.com March 9,2008 titled "assembly-line colonoscopies" by
Marshall Allen) I should also mention these Doctor owned clinics were self
insured but also UNDER-INSURED. They could'nt even pay for the blood
tests!! Just Google " Epidemics" and you will find many many more
examples of greed trumping over quality. I ask again is this quality
health care? More like criminal care. Has greed taken over common sense?
So many conservatives have labled you, President Obama, a
socialist why not appease them a little bit and try to reform a greed
infected health care system allowing equal treatment for all! I realize
our Congress will resist due to health and drug corporations/ lobbyists (
bribes). But if anyone can CHANGE the many shortfalls in our health care
system it is you Mr. President.
I sincerley believe if a poll was taken today a vast majority
of registered voters would favor joining the rest of the Civilized World
thus improving our so called "Quality Health Care".
Sincerely, and thank You
I love your news channel, but guys, you need to show the health care lady in the yellow dress who was calm, composed & rational, instead just showing to 2-negative persons causing trauma & drama. Come on, you're better than this.
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.
I do agree USA does need some type of health care reform, but what good it does when you have no place to live or eat because you dont have a job or your unemployment benefits have run out, I think the President/Congress should fix the economy then worry about health care
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.
My husband is retired from the USAF so we have health care. However my son and daughter do not. They both work for small companies that do not provide health care. They don't go to the doctor,dentist, or eyedoctor because they can not afford to. I firmly believe we should have universal health care such as in France. Since I know that is not possible at this time we at lease need the government run plan so my children and others like them can have affordable health care coverage.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, [[[ promote the general Welfare ]]], and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
You will all notice that in the very first paragraph of the constitution that the phrase “promote the general welfare” is included. At this stage of our nations evolution healthcare can be construed as promoting the general welfare.
If that is hard for some to understand, think of the bill of rights that grants individuals the right to bear arms. The constitution does not restrict those arms to Naginatas, Ninja Tos, Rakes, Spears, Rocks, swords or knives, but just says arms. The Founding Fathers were not specific because they did not want to restrict American Citizens to what they can use to defend themselves.
The same can be said for healthcare/welfare. The Founding Fathers did not restrict the general welfare to bandages and leeches, or to corn grown only on sunday on an east facing slope. They didn’t place such restrictions because that would limit general welfare.
So all this arguing over how the presidents plan is against the constitution or not being what the founding fathers intended is nonsense. Aside from that, under HR3200 Flu shots are covered, vaccinations are covered, physicals are covered, and yes, even cancer, lupus and AIDS treatment is covered.
But here’s a question back at you… don’t you think it’s a bit odd that the GOP/Conservative response is to promote the same things that got us into the housing bubble mess and banking mess [Less regulation, lower taxes, and deterences to litigation if something goes wrong]? Why are we so ticked off about the bailouts? Isn’t it because the government, our government, the people’s government, didn’t regulate how those bailouts were to be insured and doled out in the first place? Think about it, and try not to be so hysterical and disingenuous in your conclusions when you do.
If the Republicans think they have such better ideas for health care, how is it that they controlled the Congress and White House for 8 years and never even touched on the issue? They just want to block ANY reform.
You gave full coverage today to President Obama's town hall meeting on healthcare. But after it was over, rather than summarizing and analyzing his comments, you shifted to Specter's town hall meeting in Pennsylvania where some nutcase is threatening Specter.
Then you brought in Candy Crowley and asked her to comment on some guy spouting rumors rather than discussing what Obama had to say.
I'm not supporting Obama because I believe single-payer is the way to go. But you should give priority to his comments over the nutcases.
If the allegations regarding the Liberian parents of the 8 year old girl who was raped, those parents must be deported immediately.
The clip you showed of the woman at Sen. Spectors town hall meeting is a classic example of why the health care debate is spinning out of control. She states that the house and senate are not following the constitution in the legislative process. How ignorant can a person be? Your White House corresponant explained the legislative process very well but all we get in CNN's coverage is this womans sound bite! Why not dispell some of the ignorance of the American public by playing the concern and the explanation of the legislative process at the same time. I'm sure that most citizens can make an informed decision when presented with a fair representation of any subject as opposed to the instant sound bite, tweet, face book entry or any other instant presentation of the news. I realize the most vocal of the American public form their opinions by the instant news clips they are presented with, do they not realize that the constitution was written with legislative provisions that call for proper debate and that it takes time!
I can guarantee if Hillary Clinton was asked a provocative question while in the USA or some other western country, she couldn't have snapped at the student or whomever as she did in the Congo. Her body language in the Congo incidence represents true general western attitudes, one of indifference and disrespect, toward Africa and its people.
Doesn't anyone realize that thare are activists being paid to disrupt these town hall meetings? Anyway, I have Medicare and I think reform is absolutely necessary.l.I am not talking about socialized medicine...something needs to be done about the power of the big insurance companies. I need a dentist that gives gas or will put me to sleedp But in order to get one I am told to see a general dentist, who will then give me a referral,,and that must be approved by my insurance company...And by the way, no dentist on the list I was given, administers gas..(BIG OOOPS)!!!!!!!!!!
I heard an interesting question yesterday. If the current system is SOO terrible that it is destroying our economy, why do all the politicians keep telling us that everyone who likes their current coverage can keep it ??? Pollsters keep citing numbers where 70-80+% of the people rate their current plan as good to excellent. You can't have a majority of the people keep their existing plan and still have wholesale reform.
Where is the discussion of personal responsibility in all of this?
No amount of socialized medicine (single payer or not) can keep someone who is morbidly obese from consuming too much food and not exercising. I know people want to make bad lifestyle choices and then have a 'magic pill' make it all go away but that won't happen.
Much of the increase in health care costs come from bad individual choices – shifting ALL of the costs of these choices to others through a government program simply removes any incentive for individuals to take control of their own health care.
For those that are wondering what Mr. Obama is not telling you – here are some highlights of his bill:
Page 304, lines 17-19 — Government does not have to protect your private information.
Page 427, lines 15-24 — Government mandates programs for orders for end of life.
Page 429, lines 10-12 — "Advance care consultation" may include an order for end of life plans.
This thread has a lot of people who are mostly speaking with level heads. This is good, because there is so much being said by people who don't think before they speak, or who will just blindly repeat what the members of the club/gang mentality (politicians) feed them.
We need to hear from more of these independent, common sense, level headed people.
I had seen the movie "John Q " a few years ago and can not remember if it was based on a true story or not, but in my opinion it could be a story about any father in his situation.
Anyone that is against HEALTH INSURANCE reform, should watch that movie and see how they would feel if they were in John Q's shoes.
Just a thought,
Why in the world is there not something written in the proposed bills that limits medical liability for doctors and hospitals? This would immediately reduce medical costs for everyone.
the answer to the problem is Insurance. First is Insurance reform.the cost is way to high. I am disabled and have medicare and insurance through my wife's work and if it wasn't for my wife's insurance we would be tollaly bankrupt, it took 3yrs to get my disabilty. Iwas turned down twice and that was over 3 yr 's of bill's and persription's and physicial therapy and three surgeries later, before I got my medicare card. there was a long drawn out question to who paid first. when it is oveiuos that insurance should pay first and medicare to mop up. I'am telling u all that goverment sponsered health care is not the answer to this problem we must seek reform in the insurance industries. the cost of private insurance is out of the world. My wife was layed off for 1month and the cost of cobra was way to high,not ever in the ball park for us. and if you think the medicare is good for that month,your wrong again we couldn't even pay for the med's for me that month. You still pay 40 to 60 % of cost of service and have to pay for medicare out of your disablity. and still have to pay for the part D of the plan so you can your med's .IT doesn't work very well. So in short we need insurance reform and pharmaceutical companies to bring down the cost of prescription, we pay way too much for medications so they can make millions. We can also eliminate high cost of Medical Care by paying for college of lower class students so they can intend to become nurses, doctors, technicians, medical staff for record keepers, are any other choice of job in the medical field. We can do this without dipping into the coffers.
I've been reading and watching the TV of hysterical people shouting and screaming at those trying to explain what the health plan REALLY states.
The public has been lied to many times; therefore, we only believe what we can see. Everything we read in the papers, magazines and sometimes hear on the news are questionable. That allows those who want to cause chaos the opportunity to do just that. To avoid that give us the official document on the internet.
Anyone who has a question should be able to read the official document to find out the truth. Since the document is so large one should be able to write, text or email their congressman with their question. To speed up the process the congressman could text, write, or email the writer what page or section on the official document that person can find the answer to their question. At the forums this method could also be applied.
We can't let health care keep going on the way it is now. I am retired and have federal insurance where BC pays half and the other half comes out of my retirement check. Not all federal employees get free health insurance.
Let stop the anger and provide answers!
Nancy – the text of the House bill is already on the internet. Here is a link – http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:H.R.3200. You can also simply search for H.R. 3200 and several links to the text will come up in virtually any search engine.
I do agree that the discussion should be based in fact, with references.
For instance, I do not believe I will be able to keep my current plan because of the language in H.R. 3200. My current plan does not include all of the minimum services listed in Section 122 (b) yet it must include these services in order to recognized as a Qualified Health Benefits Plan. As soon as changes are made to include the additional services, the Grandfather protection described in Section 102 is lost. Whether it is because it is not a QHCP or because grandfather status is lost, I will not have access to my current coverage – with which I am very happy.
Thank you for your suggestions.
I see your point about insurance reform.
One reason (of many) that health insurance is so expensive (and complicated) is because it tries to cover too much. I am a huge fan of health insurance that works like car insurance – I take care of routine maintenance and the insurance covers extraordinary events that could cause financial hardship. If auto insurance was structured like health insurance, it would pay for gas, rotating your tires and changing your oil.
When I watch the news and people complain about the cost of the new health care for all people, I don't hear any one say what the cost will be if we don't pass this one? I would like to know if the cost will go down. We must include the cost of emergency room care for people without health care. We must also include information about other negative affects such increased health problems including death. The new plan may be a bargain.
I see that Ali Velshi is touring the U.S. on the CNN Express trying to find answers to the health care crisis. Tell him to turn the bus north – head to Canada immediately and he’ll find all the answers there. He used to live in Toronto and should already know that the Canadian health system is the best in the world.
You know I watched in horror the other day when a nice lady got out of the hospital and was presented with a bill for almost $200,000. This is crazy. How can this go on in the richest country in the world. Not even Dr. Gupta from CNN coiuld explain all the individual charges on the bill. My message to that poor lady is to get on a flight and come to Canada and become a Canadian citizen. Yes we pay alittle more taxes but my God – no one has ever received a bill after coming out of the hospital here. Health care must become a right of citizenship and not a privilege before any of this mess gets resolved. I wish everyone in the U.S. good luck ..
I think we all have to look at the bigger picture, its just not health care , but health care reform period. If we don't start dealing with the health care issues , ten years from now all that were satisfied with there insurance will be yelling , we need reform reform, and the public is going to say where were you when we tried, lets get serious and solve the problem, for all peoples, rich, poor young, old. Remember Medicare is on the road of disaster , and if we don't act so will we.
I've heard about health companies dropping people while there sick but Ive never seen it until now. I had a neighbor that was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had insurance and faithfully was paying it. Well she started treatment and did it for 3 months and had surgery. But in the middle of her treatment her insurance company dropped her. She is now to sick to fight it and is dying with no help. I would not just like to see a stop to this but a prosecution board that will prosecute execs of such actions from medical companies for murder. What are her options now as the time is ticking on her life.
Have your friend contact the state insurance commission. Left out of much of the health care discussion are extraordinary state and local resources. Many states have 'pools' for those who can not get access to private insurance for some reason (my son had a nervous system diagnosis that while easily resolved medically was very problematic as a pre-existing condition). Through this pool, we were afforded health insurance with very reasonable rates.
In addition, we have a county health care system that offers care ONLY to the uninsured. When my private doctor sent me to the county system to get a tetanus shot (because a private practice doesn't use them fast enough to consume them prior to the expiration date), the county would not offer any options because I had insurance. I finally had to go to a different county that served everyone for a fee.
No one is currently talking about what happens to these dedicated service providers at the state and local level when the federal government assumes control of our health care process.
What I want to know is what is going happen to Medicare? and what is going happen to S.S.I DISABILITY, i call it poverty wages. I want to know why lawmakers can retire with millions, why can't the rest of us get a living wage.Currently it's not enough and has always been that way for years.Will disability ever change.Lawmakers retirement and medical are free for them, paid by tax payers.
Im a licensed Life and Health insurance agent, specializing in Medicare Advantage Plans, currently contracted with one of the largest health insurers in the country. The President is absolutely correct, Medicare Advantage Plans (MAP) are costing the government more to provide health care for seniors than original Medicare, with NO proof or evidence the programs work better! Insurance companies are paid thousands per month for each Medicare recipient enrolled, regardless of whether that beneficiary visits their PCP or not! I work on a "grassroots" level, the majority (95%) of my Medicare Advantage Plan clients are below the poverty level and need additonal assistance to survive.
I am a Republican and FOR health care reform. I don't believe I've been "polled". I have great health insurance, I'm over 65 and also on Medicare but I also have many family members who have no health insurance at all. I think it's a disgrace in a country like ours not to have national health care. I have many relatives in Canada, no one is complaining about their health care! Misinformation in this country is rampant. I've always thought that the only "job" an elected official has is "to get reelected" and I can see I've been right. Wouldn't it be wonderful if our elected officials actually cared about "the people" and not their positions in Washington! I don't know how the senators and congressmen sleep at night. Obviously they have no trouble letting people die from lack of health care and I am afraid one of those people will be my daughter.
Why do American taxpayers have an obligation to provide for your daughter that which she chooses not to provide for herself or that you will not provide for her? Asking complete strangers to care for your adult children seems very odd to me.
Anyone who thinks health care is a right needs to read the article by John David Lewis (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-david-lewis/why-say-there-is-a-right_b_258188.html). The more informed the discussion can be, the better the outcome.
I cannot believe this is true!
What do you not believe?
President Obama has to tell America about the Medicare ADVANTAGE Plans that take Government money to tell us how to use Medicare!
I think what that the President should be explaining this to Seniors so that they can see where he is planning to cut spending and how and why.
For instance, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida is my Medicare Advantage provider and on top of what we pay automatically for Medicare privledges, I pay another $21.00 a month in addition to that cost which was added about a year agp just to remain in the plan.
Medicare pays- let Medicare be the decision maker from start to finish... If Bl Cross Blue Sheild, Aetna, John Hancock and whomever can "oversee" our health care provisions for an exhorbitant amount of money that sends our economy into deep(er) deficits!
When there is a crisis in America, people band together to help. That's the American way. Case and point, The Katrina storm.
We now have a health care crisis in America; we need to band together to solve the problem. Many in congress are concerned about the cost of health care reform. I am concerned about the cost as well, but I believe I have a solution.
Just as candidates raise money via the internet to finance their campaigns, why can't we as citizens and companies send in donations with no limits via the internet or any other means to help defray the cost for setting up the public option program? I would say send in donations for at least three years or so or until the program can sustain itself.
I do believe with all my heart that most people in favor of the public option will be willing to help. My question is, will it be illegal to raise money this way to support the health care crisis? If it's not illegal, why not put my suggestion before the people?
why is the h1n1 vaccine not recommended for people over 60?
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