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August 12th, 2009
11:46 AM ET

Where to Get the FACTS

In our 12 o'clock hour, CNN's Josh Levs gives us the truth regarding some rumors you've probably heard about health care reform. Here, he shows us where we can go to get the facts. Check out the sites below to empower yourself.

CNNPolitics.com
CNN Political Ticker
FactCheck.org
PolitiFact.com
Congressional Budget Office
1000-page bill before the House


Filed under: Josh Levs • Tony Harris
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Miami Beach

    CNN is directly adding to the misinformation by agreeing to air the
    60 plus spot. It is completely false and makes assertions that are wrong. For the sake of money, CNN is lending to the very misinformation they are trying to clarify with the fact check links.

    What gives? Is there no screening or fact checking for ad spots?

    Do the right thing and pull this add or minimally air a disclaimer that the facts have not been deemed true or accurate.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  2. sandy

    Thank You for real answers to real questions about real concerns. Bless You for being such a good anchor. Tell Candy I have a lot of respect for her. When the truth is with the dems she tells it; when the truth is with the republicans she tells it. Candy is an excellant role model.
    Thank you for giving me more answers and less fighting. I hate Jerry Springer news.
    Thank you for giving me a recipe when I ask for a recipe. A lot of news programs give me a "food fight " when I ask for a recipe.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you

    August 12, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  3. jfog

    I would like to see you report on what the four Health Care bills are titled and how a person can research them. That is, are they available on line? Can a citizen get a copy(s) in the mail? Most people don't trust congress and just as many don't trust the media to report honestly or with an unbiased opinion.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  4. Jan Hall

    The health care plan that we have now is not working and I believe that some kind of reform is necessary. The comments that I hear from my friends and on the internet mainly concern who would be eligible for this new plan. Some are saying that illegal aliens are included in this plan and this is why they are against it. Is that true? I have also heard that Congresspersons do not have to pay into SS and that when they retire they and their spouse receive full pay and health insurance until their deaths. Is that true? That might make a difference in how the "every day, Main Street" person views what is going on.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  5. Kevin in Miami Beach

    60 Plus Association
    From SourceWatch
    Jump to: navigation, search

    This article is part of the front groups portal on Sourcewatch. Join our team of citizen journalists researching and exposing industry secrets.
    The 60 Plus Association describes itself as a "non-partisan seniors advocacy group with a free enterprise, less government, less taxes approach." They list their main issues as the "death tax" (estate tax), energy, health care and Social Security. [1] 60 Plus is registered as a 501(c)(4) non-profit with the Internal Revenue Service. [2]

    However, a 2006 report in the AARP Bulletin called 60 Plus a front group for the pharmaceutical industry. 60 Plus, along with Senior Coalition and United Seniors Association, "claim to speak for millions of older Americans, although as recently as 2001 none of the three listed any revenue from membership dues on their tax returns." The article added: "virtually all of their largest contributions in recent years have come from the same source - the nation's pharmaceutical industry." [3]
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=60_Plus_Association

    August 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  6. dennis george

    You are right, the frustration that we are all witness to goes much
    deeper than the health care issue. The fact is we would not feel
    we are being represented by our government.

    We are sick of spending by both parties.

    We are sick of government that flies air force one over New York City
    given the panick of 911 for a photo op.

    We are sick of representives and sentors taking trips abroad in the
    name of governments in our behalf.

    We are sick of congress buying luxury jets while we are all in the
    tank economically.

    We are sick of congress passing legistration without reading
    what the bill contains.

    We are sick of not being able to contact our sentors or representatives
    directly-in twenty years I have never gotten thru to my state or any other
    states sentors or representatives on issue of concern.

    We are sick of the spend by elected officials who obviously

    feel we are all stupid.

    And to sum up the frustration we are sick of elected government
    officicals that seemly always are working in there best interest
    (get elected) rather than ours.

    Is it any wonder that our congress has such a low approval rating
    and are not trusted, they just do not get it.

    So it does not surprise me that all this comes pouring out
    in town hall meetings when we finally get to confront the
    people that are representing us, please keep in mind that
    the issue spelled out in this e-mail are only representive of a
    long list of simular issues that continue to go on unaddressed.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  7. Robert

    Tony, with all due respect, you don't get it. Because some people have said lies about the health care bill, you have decided the opposition is because people don't understand it, or have been scared by lies. This in fact is a small percentage, but you dwell on it like it's the main problem. The main problem is the overwhelming takeover by the government, and the Trillions of dollars spent, and being spent against our wishes. We DON'T WANT THE HUGE DEFRICITS! WE DON'T WANT GOVERNMENT CONTROLLING OUR LIVES! How can anyone advocate another government program when their track record is absurd? Soc Sec. broke, The VA healthcare is terrible, the list is long!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  8. michael armstrong sr.

    Will the new health care plane cause lower then normal health care from profesional doctors will the quality of treatment remain the same or become second rate.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  9. Carlton Gamer

    I strongly support the inclusion of the public option in the proposed health care insurance reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  10. Kevin

    I do not understand why we are re-inventing the wheel with our healthcare system? We should analyze best practices in other countries and implement these best practices in our healthcare system. The healthcare system in The Netherlands is a great example. Their healthcare system is more efficient and effective.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  11. Deana Workman

    Hello?? does nobody understand that the outrage in the town hall meetings is not due to health care, per se, but to the disapproval of Congress as a whole?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  12. Rick

    Tony, IT seems to me what I hear these days is that people do not want the Govt. to run their health care insurance. Who do the people want to run their health care system? Right now the insurance companies are running it. Does that feel better that the Govt? Just let us know, "who would you like to run your health insurance coverage?"

    The selections could be, Government, health insurance companies, DR. panels, Citizen panels, etc.

    I would really like to know what people say.

    Thanks

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  13. Michael - NJ

    I AM SO SICK OF HEARING THE LOUD NOISE ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE FROM THE MIS-INFORMED AND THE IGNORANT.
    PEOPLE, GET THE FACTS BEFORE RUNNING OFF AT THE MOUTH ABOUT SOMETHING MOST SEEM TO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT OR BASE YOUR FEARS ON MISNOMERS.

    BENEATH IT ALL, I REALLY SEE THIS AS AN ORGANIZED REPUBLICAN BACKLASH & ANTI OBAMA MOVEMENT

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  14. Steve in NV

    You report that many of the town hall protesters say they are afraid of "excessive government control" and "intrusion into our lives" if we reform health insurance. Where were these protesters during the past 8 years when the Bush Administration was illegally wiretapping the phone calls and emails of millions of innocent America citizens??

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  15. mike flagg

    In the health care debate,follow the profit margins. these unregulated guerrilla lobbyists need to be reigned in, hopefully before someone is seriously injured. It's not a first amendment issue, it's a lobbying reform issue. While waiting for legislation, proof that attendees are in the proper district should be required at the door in the meantime. And not being bussed in by hospital, insurance and pharma companies.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  16. Robert Shirley

    Many individuals have mentioned the fact that whatever bill is past on healthcare, members of congress, the supreme court and the president will not be in this plan. Why is the plan only for us? Are our leaders not part of this country, I can see why people are upset. It screams that healthcare will be substandard!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  17. Bob

    Well Tony looks like what happened when Clinton tryed to get health care reform. The republicans stured everything up, blocked it, hence no reform.
    Now there the minority, can't do much, so now there blocking or voteing against everything that comes up, well looks like another landslide for the democrates in 2010, republicans are so stupid.
    What they need to do is listen to limbaugh and hannity more, they will lose even more seats, these guy's are truely un American period.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  18. David Fabienke

    It's ironic to listen to Tony discuss the misinformation that is fueling these town hall health care uprisings and how CNN is helping to cut through the "rhetoric", while ads attacking reform proposals are running during the breaks. Am I watching CNN or Fox? This is another prime example of the pathetic state of news commentary and the very reason why the public is so misinformed.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  19. Roger Cooper

    The way I see it, the uproar along with the misinformation is a direct result of congress and the President attempting to force this through in a way that seemed shady. With all the so called plans floating around there is still the fear that when they agree on one that it will be rushed through without the american people being able to understand it before it becomes law. why don't the very people, (congress and the President ) who won't accept their plans they would deem ok for all americans to allow the american people to vote on whatever final version they put together for us. why would I want anyone to decide what is good for me and then make the decision for me. I would think if we allowed the people who this final reform would effect to be the ones to vote it up or down it would make those crafting the reform to make sure it will be accepted by the majority of the people it will effect

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  20. Leon S.

    I am afraid of the reprecussions of the lack of action in the Health Care debate. I feel that if there is no change in the current Health Care model, the same thing that happened with Car Insurance will happen with Health Insurance- it'll be illegal for anyone NOT to have any...

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  21. MKB

    Tony:
    Went to Denmark, had an eye infection, saw a doctor, got medicine, paid NOTHING!
    I am a Healthcare provider. People come here to visit, get sick on vacation, cannot get treatment without large sums of money paid UPFRONT. Somethings wrong with that.
    I am a Disabled Veteran. I would NOT be alive if I did not have VA coverage. (the Government Healthcare Benefits)
    People have to wake up.
    We elected Obama to appeal for the common good (the 47 million not insured) not advocate for those on the extremes (the rich who can afford insurance or the poor who are taken care of by the government anyway).
    Having worked in the health care industry all of my life, I know firsthand, the ship is sinking. We CANNOT do nothing.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  22. Kenneth A. Marcoux

    Unspoken in this argument about healthcare is the fact that the US is the only country in the world with a for-profit healthcare system, and that is the core problem – elsewhere, healthcare is a service like the police or fire departments. The key to economical healthcare is to take the profits out of it and it becomes affordable. Most, if not all of the rhetoric seems to be driven my the insurnace industry which stands to lose it's profitable cushion – last year the CEO of United Healthcare took home >$134million – this is obscene when that money could be used to provide care, not line pockets!

    CNN should be beating the drum about this issue (whether or not you agree with my opinion!) as it's the real issue (i.e. profit vs. non-profit), NOT what I hear you talking about – not addressing this issue simply exposes your ignorance about this problem. Check you facts, healthcare insurance used to be non-profit, it didn't become a profit-driven industry until the late '60s or thereabouts with the creation of HCA and other for-profit systems. Insurance companies didn't become for-profit until the HMO fiascos of that same era ('60s, '70s, '80s).

    Let's role back the clock & make insurnace non-profit, and the fiscal problems become solvable!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  23. L.T., Los Angeles

    Tony Harris, this is in response to your broadcast I'm watching right now, 9:13 PST.

    Your reporters keep saying What's the fuss? Supposedly, "There is NO one bill." The implication appears to be: there is nothing yet to protest. You couldn't be more wrong!!!

    Provisions in the various PROPOSED bills will be folded into the final "one" bill, based on the individual political proclivities and personal biases of members of Congress. There are so MANY upsetting, actually FRIGHTENING, provisions under consideration that the American public MUST respond to them, or Congress and the POTUS will simply enact those the majority likes, WITHOUT input of those of us this bill will impact. Congress, federal employees and the Prez have THEIR coverage and will not be required to change to ours!

    I'm a former governmental legislative analyst and I've read HR3200, which is the 1000+ page bill which has tentative House approval.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  24. Dana

    Tony, I am soo sick and tired of people going to the extreme with false rumors about what Pres. Obama is trying to provide as an option to americans. Here's my question to all of the pessimists, if people think the govt. is trying to take over everything, then I wonder what they think about some of the current govt. funded programs that have been around for decades.

    Examples: unemployment insurance benefits, social security, public assistance, hud, emergency room care, food and drug inspection, incest laws, age limits on marriage, etc., etc. The list goes on and on, but I don't hear anyone saying they wished the US govt. would take away any of these provisions so they can have "their country" back!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  25. Aaron owings mills md

    Tony, the most disburbing and scary aspect of this issue is doing nothing to reform our healthcare system and leaving the insurance companies in place to continue to exploit consumers and patients. The federal government must intervene in the interest of fulfilling its constitutional duty–promoting the general welfare of American citizens and the nation. We must move correctly and promptly to reform our healthcare system to extend healthcare service access to all Americans, contain medical costs and to promote wellness and disease prevention. We have waited long enough and this reform is long overdue. Our economic viability is predicated on the efficiency of our nation's healthcare system.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  26. John

    I want to know what happpened to the Healthy American's Act proposed by Senator Wyden in 2007? The bill would essentially end all tax breaks for employer based health benefits instead giving ever individual a tax credit to get health insurance there by gauranteeing everyone could afford health insurance and still have a choice on which insurance policy they get. Of course there is more to the bill as with everything healthcare related but thats the basic essence of the bill. What was wrong with this idea and why was it never brought out and disscussed in a national dialogue?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  27. jimbo

    I don't think you are asking the right questions to the anti health care people. Namely, just exactly where did they get their information and why do they think like they do. That I believe is the real story.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  28. Wendy M.

    Specter's Town hall at Bucknell was much quieter than others due to the quick addition of State Police, Capitol Police and others to the "crowd control" contingent. There were at least 21 law enforcement personnel. All of them ready to deal with anyone who got obnoxious. As I have taught my husband: One person's civil rights end where another person's body begins. Any shoving, punching, or screaming loud enough to block other's hearing was going to be dealt with by way of a disorderly conduct citation. Penn State, coming up next, contacted Bucknell to find out how they kept it so calm. They knew about Bucknell's success due to CNN!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  29. Larry Hak

    My question is, will President Obama, and all members of congress, be covered by the exact same health plan, and no other, that is being proposed for the general American populace.

    If not, why would they expect the American public to support the idea that the plan being touted is a good one.

    If the members of Congress say they will be covered by this plan only, would those same members be willing to make a written statement guaranteeing they will step down from thier position and permanently retire from the political arena should that not happen. Unfortunately, the preponderance of past experience with our legislators indicates they have very, very short memories and change their stance on a whim.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  30. Robert

    Two things:

    Why are we able to call our police and/or fire department and never get a bill for that? I know that if my life is in danger or my house is burning, I can call and get help w/o any questioning of my income or how will I pay for their services, but if I get sick or injured I'm seriously in trouble. First thing out of the health industry isn't "What is wrong", it's "How will you be paying for this".

    Second:

    Since we are bombarded with ads that use the scare tactic, why doesn't the Obama administration plaster the the TV with ads debunking all of these lies and misleading us? Why can't they use ads explaining what they are actually representing? As we dig deeper, we realize that most if not all ads are by the insurance/drug companies. They are quick to exploit and turn it around to scare us. If we knew who they actually were, I believe they would lose steam.

    I guess third:

    After talking to some in the health industry. It would be ironic to note that most of our seniors that are working are working only to afford health care. Where is the the quality of life after retirement???

    Thank you

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  31. Elaine

    My questions is, Why can't our government regulate our pharmaceutical companies and our doctors fees! I believe that if the cost of drugs and the cost of care from our doctors goes down and is regulated by our government it would make health insurance cost go down and it would be affordable for all. The government is coming at this from the wrong end. Is it because the pharmacutical companies are the largest financial contributors to our political party's campaign funds? Why can't the health care industry make 1 billion in one year as to 10 billion in one year? They are asking the public to make sacrifices but they are not asking the pharmaceutical companies or doctors!!! WHY? The rich get richer and poor get poorer? No one has seemed to acknowledge the proverbial elephant in the room.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  32. Carolyn in Nashville

    Let's stop calling for health-care reform! There is nothing wrong with health care in this nation and especially not this state! What is wrong, and what should be changed, is the health-insurance industry. Therefore, what we really need is health-insurance reform.
    Far too many people are denied insurance, and far too many people are dropped by the health-insurance companies because of an illness or accident.
    Far too many claims are lost in the dark hole of oblivion, never to be seen in the insurance claims office, only to need to be filed again and again by the doctor's office and/or hospital. This causes the doctor/hospital to hire more people to process the claims and makes your visit more costly.
    And there is far too much decision making by the insurance companies regarding what care we receive!
    There are many call for tort reform as part of the package to overhaul health care.
    I think that is just fine as long as you write in there that we get to sue the health-insurance company twice what we sue the doctor/hospital for, considering the health-insurance company is who actually APPROVES what the doctor can do for you.
    Some may think an attorney is the devil. If so, I think the devil's handmaiden is the health-insurance company and any CEO or management who run them.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  33. Edith

    There are lots of older white people in these meetings with their ill -informed opinions...you can see the fear in them. Who is instigating all of this??? Some to the commercials even on CNN are absolutely untrue. The AARP would not support reform if seniors would suffer, people!!! Americans are not stupid...just steeped in fear and easily swayed...not very sophisticated in their thinking abilities. There is this fringe that hates the fact that a person that is not lilly white is running the White House and they will do anything to undermine that. It is the extreme right we all should be aware off because they are the ones that are driving this hysteria. Hate groups are on the rise again...Oh how I fear for this country! Just how far have we really come?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  34. Ralph

    I have the feeling that Physicians are onboard with this plan because it is a REFORM Bill without REFORM that will effect their bottom line.

    My examples are: The DOT.COM’s were all over priced and they went bust. Housing prices were all over priced and they went bust. Wall Street was and still is over priced in areas, has anyone noticed the increasing prices of oil. Plus their pay and compensation still continues without regulation. Anyway Wall Street and Banking went bust and need to be busted more thoroughly. The Automotive Industry has been over inflated and they are still in the process of breaking.

    Real Healthcare Reform would first compare the pay of U.S. Doctors to other world leading countries in healthcare and address why so many of our Physicians receiving so much money. If reform would lower the cost of healthcare it would save MEDICARE and make healthcare affordable to the masses. I worked in healthcare for thirty years and the last company I worked for based their charges by taking MEDICARE rates and multiply them by three hundred percent. However, most of the specialties use five hundred percent in establishing their rates.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  35. Bob

    Health care what health care, the ones that are complaining are the ones that can afford to pay rediculas fees, or there company pay's for it, the heck with those of us that either can't get it, or can't afford it, shame on them period.
    I am retired on disability, i had a good policy that i started out being able to afford, after 1 year the premiums went up from #280. per month to $400. per month, i had to drop it because i couldn't afford it. The cheaper ins. policies are just that cheap, they pay for practically nothing, i pay $600. per month for my insulin which is another rip off, so not much left to eat with.
    Seniors, i do feel for them, however, there the ones at the lottery lines race tracks, besides if we don't get affordable health ins. , we won't have to worry about being senior;s, we won't mahe it there,

    August 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  36. Autumn Pendergrass

    My biggest concern about health care is that once again nothing will be done or it will be so watered down that it won't really change things. Why are we so afraid to do something to better our lives as a country?
    Our son was diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma. Before treatment could be started he needed a test called a pet scan for a base line to tell what stage he was in and just how hard to hit him with the chemotherapy. I had to fight tooth and nail with the insurance company to get them to O.K. his test. People need to pay attention our health care is run by the insurance companies. WAKE UP AMERICA , we are not free in our choices of doctors or treatment.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  37. Marya Small

    I wonder if, more than anything else, today's outcry in regard to the issue of health care reform is related to that most human of traits: fear of change. We sense in our country a tsunami of change approaching as far as health care administration goes, and we are quite simply afraid. And this seems natural to me. The very concept of change implies confrontation with the unknown, and if one must choose between the unknown and the familiar, most people will tend to lean toward the familiar because it feels safer.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  38. jerry otto fosback

    why should I as a US citizen that pays his taxes be responsible for
    illegal immigrants that come to this country with no intentions of
    becoming a citizen, than they recieve medical care and social
    secuirty payments. I haven't heard any dicussion on these issues,
    why?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  39. Eddie

    It appears CNN contributes to the misinformation that is being disseminated on the Health Care reform proposals. Prominent attention is give on your programs to the regressives critics of a reform. Opposing views are allowed the "last comment" when the so-called "experts" are your guests. Candy Ceowley erroneously deconstructed the comment by that mother of four who spoke at Sen. Grassly's town meeting. She complained about excessive cost of health insurance but never implied that she was opposed to public option. She said that she is ready and willing to pay reasonable premium.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  40. Aaron owings mills md

    Tony, I would like you and CNN to report more on the public option of this healthcare proposal. The public option is really the essence of healthcare reform and the principal mechanism that will facilitate real competition in the health insurance market and ensure that the private insurance companies behave honestly and provide affordable access to medical services to everyone. Any proposed plan and bill that lacks the public option will not faciliate reform and will not accomplish the goals of containing costs, providing universal insurance coverage and to promote wellness and disease prevention.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  41. Adelaide B. Hanson

    Some folks on the far right, particularly the Sarah Palin variety of Rep-
    ublican conservatives, are hysterical that Barack Obama, an African
    American, is president. They are so disturbed about that and the fact that he is a liberal that everything he tries to do they think is trying to make America "socialist" or worse. They think he's trying to "hijack" the American government. It is very sad that many of the poor and un-
    educated who would be most helped by his proposed programs do not realize it and cast their lot with the Republicans who have never been for the "little" people, the powerless, or the poor. All of the trem-
    endous hysteria at these public meetings is fueled by a concerted
    Republican/conservative conspiracy to totally nullify as many of Obama's policy's and programs as possible and be certain that some
    illiterate, uneducated, totally unqualified person such as Palin wins the next election.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  42. Skip Goodman

    I think the biggest reason for so much controversy regarding the current Health Care Reform issue is a fear of the unknown and one of those fears HAS to be numbers. Canada's system is often compared to what we hope to attain in the U.S. However, the U.S. population is currently 10 times more then Canada's 33 million people and our the widely-accepted 11 million illegal aliens in the U.S. alone is 1/3 of Canada's entire populace. And, with Congress proposing its predictable decade(nt) Immigration Reform, we self-sufficient Americans cannot dismiss the threat of supporting more non-earning "Americans" at the risk of satisfying Congress's hopes of increasing their tax base.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  43. Tom in NC

    Did I access the sites too early? The first link points to an article about the ugliness of the opposition. No useful facts there. Why all the emphasis on the fools who are acting up instead of presenting the pertinent facts of the debate? When you say facts, I assume that you would have talking points, arguments for and against, and rebuttals. That's what we need in a democracy, some responsible participation by the media.

    The other links point to something that isn't there.

    CNN, why not do the work first, get something substantive together, and then tell us about it when you actually have something.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  44. Leon S.

    Both the Military Health Care & MediCare are two verisons of government run Health Care that not only are popular, THEY WORK! They may be not perfect, but could provide a good prototype for the Universal Health Care reform that President Obama wants.

    In addition- one of the benefits of serving in the armed forces here in the U.S. is the Military version of government run Health Care. If that incentive is given to all citizens, what would be a good alternative to those who serve to differentiate and reward their sacrifice?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  45. Jerry johnson

    This thing about health reforn should be insurance reform and medicine reform. We can shop our health care. Not doctor and medication. I was taken out of a 6 figure job due to a car accident .
    When the company saw my mri from the military injury in 1969 they frecked and put me on disability
    In 02. My problem is income tax has hert me and my family since.
    Disability an medicare should be tax free and I could have good health
    thanks to former president Clinton.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  46. frans marinus

    i have seen more that enough of those town hall meetings. they only prove that "empty barrels do make the most noise."

    August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  47. frank katch santa barbara

    Like children emulating their parents, multiple guests who discuss a topic often are disrespectful and talk over each other, interrupt, and want to hear themselves talk rather than hearing what the other guest has to say. Your channel fosters this and it continues unabated. Where is the produce's "mute" button to stop the interrupting and yelling over each other? You can quash this situation by silencing their mike while one person is talking. That will put an end to it and we all can filter what is trying to be communicated. Don't foster the yelling and interrupting! I'm frankly sick of it and just turn to another channel like Home and Garden or Golf channel where it is calm and respectful.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  48. Gregory Gieselman

    I had hoped Josh had listed for government information sites the newly created whitehouse.gov/realitychecks which even features video presentation of the facts.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  49. Roger Cooper

    While I would like to beleive The President I am somewhat concerned over the audio and videos that are out there that show him talking about the way to get to a single payer and full government health care control. He is quoted saying the way is to take the very steps he is atempting to take right now. As a state senator and as a US senator he has made direct comments to this that I have yet to see anyone at CNN comment and question him on- WHY? Based on his own statements he is attempting to do exactly what he has said he thinks is the way to get from A to B and that is distincly different than what he is saying now in his interviews, I believe it causes many people to be concerned which person is being genuine. I believe Tony is the guy that could take this on and sort out which Obama we are to believe.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  50. Erica

    It is amazing how so many people are oppose to health care reform. I would have been happy and excited if this amount of angry people had question the previous administration on the iraq war, that have cost this country the loss so many innocent lives. I think people in this country needs to put aside their petty politics and look at the clear picture of why health care reform needs to be pass. I have a very good insurance that I can afford but what about the millions of people and their children who can not afford health insurance. I have read some of the bill and most of what people are upset about is simply not true.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  51. robert benicewicz

    Toni – The retired insurance person and his wife featured this morning complaining about the cost of medical coverge seem to be old enough to be covered by medicare. I turned 65 this year and pay $89.00 a month for medicare part B which covers about 80% of non hospital expenses. For at least six months prior to turning 65 I was bombarded by hungry insurance providers, including AARP, offering Medicare part C & D supplemental plans. Several plans for part C were even free. Part D for pharmacy coverage werw around $100.00. In any case it wasn't close to $600.00. I do have a few friends here in Florida under 65 and their private coverage ranges between $600.00 and $1200.00 a month and they are still working. On the other hand, most people I know have coverage through former employers.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  52. Ken in NC

    Tony, my question about the Volt is this. If you can travel 300 or 400 miles before have to do a full recharge on the battery, how many times can the battery takes and holds a full charge before it has to be replaced and what would be the cost to replace the battery?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  53. Steven Card

    The Anger displayed in the Health Care Debate. Just a Symptom of Something More?

    Personally Tony, I think it is a symptom of much more. I think, on the surface, it is Health Care, but there is an undercurrent of extreme frustration with the government in general and I believe that is what even the media is missing in all this.

    The people that are angry and frustrated are not just racists or the conservative, right-wing fringe. The progressives are angry too. In general, I think most of the citizens in this country today are angry, depressed and frightened. They are depressed because they know that corporations and lobbies have bought our democracy on the open market. I think beneath the surface there is a simmering chamber of molten lava and people in this country are become more partial to the Declaration of Independence than the Constitution.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  54. Tesa Frykland

    To Josh and Tony at CNN: Thank you for all that you do providing true journalism and reporting. Your segments in the morning with questioning and fact checking are informative without the inflammatory insanity that exists in so many other "news" presentations.
    My open letter to President Obama's Administration, Congress and the media:
    First, I want to say a huge thank you to President Obama for taking on this most important challenge. I support real health care reform (although, it might do better if it were referred to as health insurance coverage reform.) President Obama's original mission statement is really quite simple and has been lost in the media/opponents' hype:
    "The Administration believes that comprehensive health reform should:
    • Reduce long-term growth of health care costs for businesses and government
    • Protect families from bankruptcy or debt because of health care costs
    • Guarantee choice of doctors and health plans
    • Invest in prevention and wellness
    • Improve patient safety and quality of care
    • Assure affordable, quality health coverage for all Americans
    • Maintain coverage when you change or lose your job
    • End barriers to coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions"
    (from http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/health_care/)
    These issues are quite simple and simply put. Congress has taken this very simple mission and turned it into wordy legalize, which is typical and not surprising. The unfortunate reality is that due to the disintegration of our educational system, there are a contingent in Congress, the media and the general public that seem to lack reading comprehension skills and prefer to listen to their own prattle.
    I do want to express my thanks also to my representatives from Oregon, Senators Merkley and Wyden and Representative Blumenauer who have given this subject honest, positive, intelligent and tireless efforts on national and state levels.
    I am a 58 year old, unemployed, single woman who has raised 3 children to adulthood. From 1982 till now, the availability and the cost of health care/insurance has had an ever increasing influence on my life decisions: from care for my children to care for myself, my mother and my father in their waning years. I have had to make career decisions that have not led to the most favorable outcomes due to the need to obtain group coverage as pre-existing conditions would exclude me or my children from coverage. Most recently, when laid off from United Airlines after 14 years, I was forced to take an early retirement (with no retirement income due to UAL's bankruptcy and dishonoring of all UAL's contractual commitments to employees. This brings another nod to former President Bush protecting corporations over the populace.) By taking the early retirement rather than a furlough (which would have brought me back to work when a need opened,) I was eligible to buy retiree's insurance for $238. per month rather than the COBRA at $1200. per month. With unemployment insurance of $1928 per month, you can see that the math simply does not work if I want to pay a mortgage, utilities, insurances and maybe a bit of food. I now find myself unemployed since November of 2008 with few prospects for employment. My old job at UAL did indeed open back up just this last week; however, because I was forced to take the retirement to afford health insurance, I cannot reclaim that job, it will go to someone else and I remain unemployed.
    As the surrogate for both my mother and my father in medicare, I met endless challenges in seeing to their care. More so with my mother as that was in the late 80's and due to the reductions/exclusions of service at that time, obtaining the necessary care/facilities were not affordable. As a result, she was in a nursing home that did not provide the appropriate care and she died as a direct result of that. It was better more recently in 2006 while seeing to my father's care. I was able to step in and add to his medicare with a Kaiser supplemental plan. Even with that, only with constant vigilance was his care adequate.
    While raising my 3 children, there were some health issues that required my concerted effort to get coverage for them and for me. The insurance companies first answer to any request for a coverage was, "No, that is not covered." More often than I want to remember, I spent time on the phone, usually in tears trying to get a service covered.
    These experiences were not exclusive to one insurance company. Through the years, I often had to change coverage during open enrollment as the premiums would increase, coverage decrease, the insurance company had merged or the doctors I or my children had been seeing were no longer covered.
    My first choice would be a health care arrangement like Canada or France; however, I know that that is not going to happen, so, in the absence of that, please give us health insurance reform as outlined above in President Obama's original mission statement.
    I remember that one of President Obama's talking points during the presidential campaign was a reference to the public having the access to the same insurance coverage that members of Congress have. That talking point has been restated during this "great debate." If that is truly where we are heading, it might be beneficial if the media and the White House make the web site more readily available, referenced and even disclosed on the media. Based on some of the questions and tirades I have heard on the news, it is clear that the public (and some members of Congress,) do not understand the verbiage being used, such as "insurance exchange." Explain this concept and show what it is!
    HR3200 with its 1000+ pages is simply too long and confusing. Keep it simple!!!! Keep any legislation that is created simple! To the Congress: Review the original mission above and keep it simple!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  55. Shirley Ryan

    My husband and I are lucky. We have health care and do not have co-pays because we cover each other under a Kaiser Permanente plans. I am disabled and can no longer work and my income is fixed. Two of my daughters and their six children do not have medical care. One of my daughters is trying to recover from a 12 year violent marriage, and she was a stay-at-home mother of five. California is closing down every resource except the food locker. I worry every day about my girls and their children. Also, I have to go to the food locker today to get food to feed my grandchildren. This world is so out of whack. My husband's paycheck has been cut by about 15% - he works for the State of California - and we are struggling. How can we have so much health care and our children/grandchildren have so little?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  56. Stephen Stenberg

    Tony, there are a couple of things that I think are essential, both in the U.S.A and in Canada, to help get health costs under control

    #1 – start charging a $50 user fee to everyone who uses the emergency rooms at hospitals, regardless of whether or not they have health insurance. This would help to get rid of the people who are clogging up the system & causing rediculous waiting times, with 'frivilous' or 'imagined' illnesses. Both countries are filled with 'hyprochonciacs'.

    #2 – set some 'sensible' limits on medical lawsuits – as they are, the awards given in a lot of cases are just plain 'assinine'. The costs of health care are influenced a great deal by the rediculous amounts that Doctors are forced to pay for insurance, just to protect themselves from Judges who seem devoid of 'common sense'.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  57. Natalie

    Hi Tony!

    What we are witnessing has little to do with health care reform.

    First we watched as our nation proudly birthed our first African American president despite the fearmongering charges and accusations of right wing extremists.

    Next the whole world witnessed the "tea party" revolt led by ultra conservatives apparently demonstrating some claim to patriotism.

    Then we watched as these same "patriots" searched frantically to find the scarlet letter "L" upon the person of our new Justice.

    Finally here we go again, having the process of discussion over health care reform interrupted by those exhibiting clan-like behaviors and demonstrating for the world and our children how NOT to behave. I do not say there is no reason to be concerned or that there is not a possiblity that this is the wrong path to take regarding healthcare. It may be...but for God's sake and the sake of our great country STOP EMBARRASSING US WITH YOUR STUPID TANTRUMS AND OUTBREAKS OF IGNORANCE AND FEARMONGERING.

    I want the true Republican party to take our party back and shut the mouths of those pathetic pirates who add nothing to our government process except what has always been: Fear of change. Get your people under control and tell them to sit down, and civilly discuss these matters. Please.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  58. L.T., Los Angeles

    Tony Harris, this is in response to your broadcast I'm watching right now, 9:13 PST.

    You & your reporters keep saying: What's the fuss? Supposedly, "There is NO one bill." The implication appears to be: there is nothing yet to protest. You couldn't be more wrong!!!

    If the public doesn’t weigh in on the potential impact of the various provisions of the PROPOSED bills, the most egregious of these may be folded into the final "one" bill, based on the individual political proclivities and biases of members of Congress.

    Congress, 8.5 million federal employees, and the Prez have THEIR coverage - they won't have to change to ours! I’ve been a legislative analyst - and have read HR3200... There so many upsetting provisions under consideration that the American public MUST respond to them. If we don't, Congress and the POTUS will simply enact those the majority likes, WITHOUT input from those who will have to live with the final bill.

    Don't be so dismissive of the public's concerns. We need to be heard and now is the time, BEFORE the final ONE bill is shaped!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  59. Gary

    I just heard on your show that the Recession is over, thats CRAZY...when we have a net gain of 100k plus jobs every month, when people can pay their mortage, put food on the table...there is about 6.5M people out of work, and many of these peopel will exhaust or already exhauted their unemployment benefits by the end of August...Put money in the hands of the consumer then the economy will grow in the right direction..the Economy should be the main topic of Congress/President, Give Congress time to write a Healthcare Bill that benefits the entire healthcare system with the patients being #1

    August 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  60. Buzz Anderson

    I have a question that I hope you will honestly answer Rick on your show.

    WHY does CNN (and other news shows) take ads from groups that are blatantly lying about health care reform?

    Is the money more important than the truth?

    A further comment, that the groups turning out are just ordinary average Americans upset at congress, while they are really ignorant hate groups who hate Obama, and the truth is, the word Socialist is the new catch word for the N word. These are not people upset at congress otherwise we would be seeing the same level of outrage when republican congresspeople speak, BUT surprise surprise the same people are laughing and cheering the republicans while they go to democratic meetings and scream and shout and disrupt the meetings.

    These are organized thug groups NOT interested in any real question and answer sessions. They have been given their marching orders by their leader Boss Limbaugh and over at Fakenews . They are NOT interested in what is truth, but what they WANT to believe and the truth means nothing to them.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  61. Lois Cowles, PhD

    Hi Tony, I am astounded by the public outcry over the healthcare reform movement. I am author of a textbook on Social Work in Health Care, and am an advocate of MEDICARE FOR ALL, As a retiree, I am very satisfied with my Medicare, except for the fact that it only covers 80% of approved charges, so that I, like most people, also carry a private health insurance supplement policy, which costs me about $235. a month. The U.S is the only industrial nation in the world(other than South Africa) without a national health service or a national health insurance program, yet our infant mortality rate is higher and our average length of life is shorter than al those nations with universal public health care programs! My point is that most Americans are ignorant about the reality of universal health care programs, and are victims of propaganda from the profit making private health insurance industry. If they really knew the facts of it all, they would be actively promoting National Health Insurance, i.e.,an extension of Medicare for everyone!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  62. samelsilimy

    I do not understand the American overreaction to health care reforms. I have news for you. Your good insurance is not that good. Life and death decisions are already taking behind your back by your good insurance. You do not understand what is going on behind your back by your insurance. It is no longer between you and your doctor. I am a doctor specialist and I spend a few days to try to pre-certify a common CT scan to one of my patients to assess the extent of her tumor near her brain. The reality is your good insurance is not good at all. We have to spend many hours to pre-certify almost everything. Who is in control, you and your doctor or the insurance company? Any reform to control the current situation is much better than the present situation. Please stop overreacting.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  63. L.T., Los Angeles

    CNN's reporters keep saying: What's the fuss? Supposedly, "There is NO one bill." The implication appears to be: there is nothing yet to protest. You couldn't be more wrong!!!

    If the public doesn’t weigh in on the potential impact of the various provisions of the PROPOSED bills, the most egregious of these may be folded into the final "one" bill, based on the individual political proclivities and biases of members of Congress.

    Congress, 8.5 million federal employees, and the Prez have THEIR coverage - they won't have to change to ours! I’ve been a legislative analyst - and have read HR3200... There so many upsetting provisions under consideration that the American public MUST respond to them. If we don't, Congress and the POTUS will simply enact those the majority likes, WITHOUT input from those who will have to live with the final bill.

    Don't be so dismissive of the public's concerns. We need to be heard and now is the time, BEFORE the final ONE bill is shaped!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  64. Frank Remudo

    Hi Josh

    I'm very concern why the people that are proposing this Health Care Refrom (includind Mr Obama) are unable to explain and debate what is in it. They said that "abortion" is not included in the plan when the reality is that not excluding it, the law allow "silent" matters to be evaluated and decided in their own merit later. Then the Panel in a later time will define when "abortion" is a medical need an then we will be paying for it.
    Why they don't explain that the plan do not define any particular coverage and exclusions as all medical policies do and then again that will be defined by the 27 people Helth Panel after the plan is approved?
    Why they can not explain how the plan will work with more people, less doctors and nurses and a shortage of money to cover it all?
    Who will decide what treatment or procedure is "adequate" for an specific person if there are no resources to pay for every thing without taxing pther than rich people?
    Please could you explain that to your audience?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  65. Carlie

    How can we trust our government to run our healthcare when they have not been able to run anything well. Medicare is not working and is going bankrupt. Doctors refuse medicare patients. There is so much medicare fraud. Have we not all heard about the $1000 widgets the govenment bought. There is no accountability in government offices. How well are we being taken care of when we go to the post office or go for a drivers license or for any service that is government run.

    I have heard senators say they will not sign a bill that has this or that, but it can be added later once they have that control. And there is nothing we can do about it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  66. Pat Sparks

    Tony,
    I so appreciate your approach to the town halls. You're the first I've heard ask who these people are demographically. I also love Ali Velshi's town halls.
    Thanks.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  67. Pat

    I am a RN MSN retired nurse educator from a community college. I
    would have made more money if I worked at a hospital instead of educating nursing students, which there is a shortage of nurse educators, therefore shortage of nurses.
    My health insurance premiums have increased with less coverage and I am concerned this will continue. I would like to see advertisements for lawyers and pharmaceuticals discontinued. there is too much lawsuits. doctors pay way too much for this.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  68. Judy

    Just saw Ali Velshi's report...
    OMG! That guy who started talking about the Hummer is parroting exactly the premise I have heard both Dick Morris and Rush Limbaugh present in interviews on FOX...yes I listen/watch them a lot so I can hear firsthand both sides of the issue (most notably the Limbaugh interview with Greta Van Sustrin).

    I can't believe so many people choose to keep themselves so ignorant of the facts and are so weak-minded to buy into the obvious propaganda techniques and manipulations of the Republicans...

    However, you folks at CNN aren't exactly addressing whole fact set either often enough to cut through the sheer volume of junk on the air

    August 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  69. Bob

    More talk about the incentives for companies to continue offer health care may clarify how choice will be preserved. No one mentions the tax advantages very often or how significant they are to the bottom lines.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  70. Sam Daniels

    These misinformed extreme right wingers with their pseudo euphemism, such as "I want my country back" which have nothing to do with health care can't see that insurance companies with the strong tacit political backing of the republican party mighty be able to prevent real health care change.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  71. M-AZ

    I heard recently, on a different cable news channel, that some organizations who are organizing people against health care reform and spreading the worst of the false rumors about health care, like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity have ties (contracted by) the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries or are contracted out by firms that do business like PR business for these same industries. Is this True or False? If it is true, please do a story on this, and post these facts.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  72. lawrence adams

    Hey Tony, it cracks me up to hear those people talking about big brother, and big government, at the same time enjoying all the things this country has to offer, like Medicare, the military protection, education, free speech, then you read about those very people getting busted for stealing, being unfaithful, taking drugs, give me a break, these are pathetic beings who don't have a clue.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  73. Al Seiden

    In all the comments about the health plan, I finally heard someone mention cost of health coverage to us, the little people.

    I am fortunate to have good health coverage. As a retired federal employee I have been able to keep the same coverage I had at work. Now with Medicare and my Federal system as backup I am well covered.
    For the last two years one third of our gross income has gone to medical expenses. That is one third of our gross income goes to medical expenses. If government wants to raise my taxes and give me free coverage, Please raise my taxes.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  74. Nikki Ankerson

    As I watch these town hall meetings, I am astounded at the misinformation that has been generated by the GOP pundits. I am a by choice early retired healthcare executive who has worked at some of the largest medical centers in the country. I have seen people lose their homes after working their entire lives because of castastrophic illnesses. Health care reform must happen and the insurance and pharmaceutical companies must stop their predatory practices. Obama's plan is a good plan. And a plan to compete with private insurance companies is the best way to go to bring parity to the system. I watched Senator Grassely from Iowa avoid the woman's question about not being able to purchase healthcare for her family. And that is exactly what the problem is. People and businesses can't afford healthcare period. If you start out with a high deductable to keep your premiums lower, in five years your premiums are three times as much and you also have a high deductable. It is a game with the insurance companies. Pay those premiums, then you get dumped when you develop cancer, heart disease, etc. A menu plan is needed and the exact way that Senators and Congress members receive and acquire their insurance should be offered to the American public at a reasonable cost and in some cases it should be covered completely. And none of these current assinine, unrealistic income tables should be used to determine who should be covered. Tax breaks don't cut it. They are passe'. Every American should be able to get a yearly physical, have wellness visits, have their yearly mammogram or prevention visit, and at least 10 covered visits to a physician. As well, if they fall into a catastrophic category they should be covered completely. I recently returned from Europe. I did not see homeless people walking the streets like in America. We pay the same amount of taxes and receive little for them. They pay slightly more and they have a decent standard of living without fear that they will lose their homes. And they have excellent heath care. We have an immoral system and the only way we can change it is to enforce term limits on our Senators and Congress members to eliminate those who are bought off by the insurance, banking and pharmaceutical companies that have been allowed to pray on Americans forever. And as well, physicians who buy equpment for their own offices and then have more people getting screened by that equipment for their exhorbitant profits should be regulated. We also need to rein in fraud, duplication and waste. The Obama plan will lower healthcare costs siginificantly. Stop fighting him by listening to those who will continue to profit from the status quo. It is a great mistake. People are foolish and like to hear themselves talk without the education in healthcare to back it up.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  75. RJ Savi

    I like my health care plan, but I see mis-use by DR's regularly. I also see abuse by Phys. on using tests MRI = most abused test in Florida EKG = 2nd most abused test in Florida. I see 2 doctors in 2 days and both do EKG ( both are normal, BTW they have always been normal).
    Can't they fax it to one another. My PC Phy. wants me to do a stress test. refers me to a Specialist for test only he does not do test he has to refer me to someone else, why is he in the middle when he does nothing but middle the deal? This is the kind of stuff that needs reform, abuse of the Insurance companies and Medicare.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  76. Robert Friedly

    Tony,
    I saw a commercial on CNN this afternoon, sponsored by a group called "60 Plus" or something like that, that I believe is disseminating false information to seniors re: healthcare reform. It seems to me that its main purpose is to scare seniors half to death. Talk about "death panels"! Geesh! I know CNN is trying to get the truth and facts out there and I just think that an ad like this is doing a great disservice to the healthcare debate. It should at least be subject to the truth squad or a fact check. Does CNN have any control over an ad like this?

    August 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  77. Brandon Aiton

    I thought I would share these points that a friend made yesterday while I had a debate amongst friends on Facebook

    Medicare/Medicaid suck, but state and federal employee health insurance, as well as the military insurance (all run by government) are fantastic.

    Conservatives have overseen and implemented the largest growth in government in human history. Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. Read up on your history, not the rhetoric. I am a serious liberal, and I resent government involvement in any endeavor that isn't absolutely essential. Health care, education, environmental issues are absolutely essential. Private industry and free market forces have already demonstrated what they will do without government oversight – destroy us all. But for some reason our modern conservatives think that government should stay out of those things yet become involved in people's private lives on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. How does that make any sense?

    The problem with the anti-government movement is that none of you seem to realize that the problem isn't government, it's people. Government hasn't killed anyone, it's what We The People allowed people in government to do. It's so easy to blame big bad government instead of looking at things objectively and realizing that we've all at some point fallen for the political posturing of a demagogue.

    These are all comments from my amazing friend Bob Henline, an awesome educated and thought provoking man. I was very happy with the mature debate that took place on my facebook wall. Hope you enjoy his comments as much as I did.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  78. Coy

    For your network to run an add by 60 + while you are trying to explain the true facts of health care reform is insulting to my critical thinking. It has been proven their claims are without merit. Please do not lead me to believe that CNN and yourself are more interested in the facts than misinformation by such groups.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  79. Guy Norman

    Tony.. You're a good guy but if I hear another anchor describe people as "screaming" at another town hall meeting I'm going to run into the street screaming...You could possibly excuse this in :regular" folks but not someone who makes their living using words and terminology..
    And, I have yet to hear anyone describe what is actually in the health care bill, although I have heard many describe what is not in the bill..
    Respectfully:

    August 12, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  80. Ralph from Arizona

    All too often, the average man/woman won't take the time to email, call or leave a message for their representative since their comment is only going to be counted for or against a particular issue. We, the American people stand by helplessly while the some 70% of those in Washington are on the take. Its no small wonder that given a forum to actually speak out; citizens step up to make their views known. Washington has become the newest "Ponzi " scheme. We are sick of giving the power to liars, felons, philanderers; never knowing if we will get something back positive or just left with nothing but heartache. We are all a part of the problem and if attitudes in Washington don't change and filter on down, get ready for the second "Great Depression."

    August 12, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  81. JerseyBill

    The choices for companies that want to switch their insurers are not very good. One small businesswoman said her insurance broker offered these choices - a sharp increase in premium for her employees – or keeping premiums steady but accepting a $4,000 deductible. Some choice that is!
    Other alternatives facing companies and employees include less coverage; premiums; higher co-pays; higher deductibles; maximum limits - or dropping coverage entirely.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  82. M. Lamberty

    Why does it come as a surprise to everyone that people are getting tired of the way this Country is being run?
    Billions keep getting spent and the Government keeps getting bigger with no improvement in the trenches.
    My taxes are so high right now it makes me wonder why should I keep a job. Half the money I earn goes to programs I can't be a part of when I'm not working. What a joke.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  83. Bill

    It's really quite disappointing to have you expose as false claims that seniors will have to give up services as a result of the President's Health Care plan and in less than 15 minutes you run an ad that states that very lie. In the interest of trying to spread truth CNN should take the high road and insert a crawl (like the ones that can annoy a viewer) to tell people that the ad may be spreading misleading or false information and here is a place you can go to get the truth.

    I understand that you need to generate income but due diligence to be sure that the ads you run don't perpetrate lies or scams is something that would contribute to the reputation that CNN thinks it is worthy of.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  84. Spero

    It will work. My 85 yr old mother is a prime example. Her retirement Insurance from United Airlines dropped her(after 33years of service, and 10 yrs into retirement)Her primary care doctor had her on Steroids to treat arthritis for 9 yrs, High blood pressure meds, Lipitor for cholesterol and others, and never once suggested she excercise, monitor diet or any preventative measures. Once the insurance was gone and meds not affordable, I took charge and walk daily with her, have her on a healthy diet, and a complete turnaround without any meds. Blood pressure a perfect 70/120 Cholesterol below limits, over the counter noninflammatory meds have her walking 4-5 miles(yes not a typo) per day, lost 30 pounds, and I have to say I have difficulty keeping up with her. Give health care a chance and the savings that can not be quantified by CBO will be there. This is Proof.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  85. Janet Pruitt

    Health care is one of the areas where we need government help. Our taxes are already paying for close to 50% of all the medical care in this country through Medicare, Medicaid, government employees and retirees (all levels), service personnel, emergency room visits by the uninsured, etc.: but our money is now not being spent efficiently and many of us are left out.

    We are self-employed and at the mercy of the individual insurance market which is not working! Our daughter would like to move back to our home state, but may not be able to because she has a pre-existing condition which may mean that the insurance companies here would refuse to cover her. This is ridiculous, criminal almost. She has been covered by insurance all of her life, we all work and pay taxes, and she still cannot move freely.

    It used to be that the churches were the major institutions that cared for a broad spectrum of people, then it turned to government which also has a basic charter to care for the least of us. Now, in the United States, the corporation is the dominant force and they have no charter to take care of the commom good. There is a place for government in some of this, and government can do it better than insurance companies if we give them a chance to get this right. I am just afraid that they will succumb to loud corporate interests again (as they did with the flawed Medicare prescription bill) and we will get a plan that is not strong enough. I do not think that the rest of the world is at all interested in giving up the security of their universal health coverages, nor would our seniors want to give up their government run Medicaid! We can get this right!!

    August 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  86. vijayan george

    These protesters are the one who already have health insurence. I have never seen a bunch of selfisf red neck republicans.They just cannot get over the fact that the president is black. So they have to raise hell. All they have to do is have an open mind and absorb some quality information.
    This president is every day in front of the people and explaining his programmes to the public This man doing every thing a president porbably can. Remember the last administration,good for nothing.Get over it and live and let live

    August 12, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  87. Doc in Gilroy, CA

    I have watched CNN since its inception. What started out a a great news organization with Holliman, Shaw, Arnett, Blitzer,Simon, etc. has become a trumpet for the current Administration. Your bias in reporting is so blatant, its embarassing; and Mr. Tony Harris, Mr. Sanchez and Ms Cambell Brown are the poorest at hiding it. Of course, Mr. Blitzer remains the ultimate professional as he is cut from the same cloth as the best newsmen in the business.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  88. jackie wils

    Have (at this point) only breezed through HB 3200. I spent 40+yrs. in healthcare-hands on side and paper side in nursing. Reform is needed, but will never be successful until tort reform also happens. Medical providers are forced to treat defensively. One test is never enough-the lawyer will insist on a few more. This bill appears to be set up in steps, with the end result being a one party, gov. coverage, with the addition of a premium plus plan (which will insure the continued cadillac coverage our "leaders" enjoy for life! ) It penalizes employers and small business. It offers an exchange-but many smaller employers offer employee coverage-but cannot afford to provide family coverage. I may be wrong-but in my quick review, it appeared that family coverage was mandatory. If so-it will force many employers into the gov. plan. The fee schedule is similar to medicare-with reimbursement that hardly covers the hundreds of thousands per yr.in malpractice insurance required . I think it will eventually wipe out the free market, cause many job losses, and most importantly, the loss of free choice. Socialized medicine-here we come. Suck it up middle class-you're going to carry the cost, as usual.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:19 pm |