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August 15th, 2009
12:57 PM ET

What Concerns you most about Health Care Reform?

All the screaming, shouting and shoving we’re seeing at these health care reform town halls makes great TV. But too often, the real questions and concerns get lost in the noise. That’s why we’re doing all we can here in the CNN Newsroom to cut through the rhetoric and rumors to address your real concerns and fears about the future of your health care - and where this debate is leading our country.

Is all the fighting and frustration we’re seeing in these town halls a symptom of something bigger brewing in America? Do you fear a “big government” takeover? Does the prospect of doing nothing scare you even more? Most people agree something HAS to be done. But what?

We want to know what you think. Send us your comments, questions and concerns.

Most of these questions will take a little time to research so we won’t be able to get back to you right away. Once we’re able to answer your specific concerns, we’ll air them in the CNN Newsroom.

soundoff (542 Responses)
  1. Steph B

    I support universal health care with the understanding that the health care plans that exists now will remain unchanged, and there will be a new option added to the existing ones to cover people not included under the existing umbrella. Is this true? Also, where is the money coming from to cover the cost?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  2. Sharon,Daniel Island, South Carolina

    a statement is made on monday and changed on tuesday,i can't sustain faith in this bill if i am not sure the creators actually know whats in the darn thing

    August 12, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  3. Kerrie

    I have two majors concerns with the heath care reform. One is that there is no TORT reform involved. Unless you eliminate the need for doctors to feel they have to cover themselves, they will continue to order additional tests, etc. therefore, driving up the costs.
    The second and greater fear is that if the government controls everything and doles out this and that to everyone, they are eliminating any desire to excel, to create, to innovate... to work even. There would be no incentive to try to better oneself because there would be no reward. Nobody will be able to become rich in America if everything is socialized. I don't know why some people think it is such a bad thing to try to become wealthy, or to at least better yourself.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  4. jean smith

    YES, we do need health care reform. Your insurance company has mandated your coverage for years.So why the worry about the government? I agree with so many people when they say so many Americans are stupid! They are led around by their noses,believing everything they hear,without trying to find the facts.It's easier to believe what people tell you.As far as those town hall meetings go,most of them are older people who don't seem to care about anyone else's problems. Having to declare bankruptcy 4 years ago because of huge medical bills I couldn't pay,I feel I have a perspective that a lot of people don't have.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  5. Ines

    No, it doesn't scare me to see democracy at work.
    However there is a way to protest without sounding like a mad mob.
    I am just saddened to see it took 8 years for people to wake up and protest.
    Then again, if they would have over the past 8 years they would have been swooped away, of to Gitmo without a trail and labeled as terrorist. LOL
    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 IMHO it could be a story about any Parent 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,
    Ines, CO

    August 12, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  6. PAUL VANDENMUYSENBERG

    AMAZING THE HEALTH DEBATE.

    AMERICANS ARE NOT WILLING TO PAY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE.
    THEY EXPECT THE EMPLOYER TO PAY.

    WE ALL SHOULD PITCH IN.
    HAD AN OPEN HEART SURGERY.
    MY CO PAY WAS ABOUT $ 500.00 MEDICARE THAT IS A BARGAIN.

    THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE PROTESTING ARE THE PEOPLE WHO ARE NOT WILLING TO SHARE IN THE COSTS.

    HOW TO PAY FOR IT A SMALL NATIONAL SALES TAX WOULD DO THE JOB.

    I HOPE WE HAVE SOME MEMBERS IN CONGRESS WHO ARE COMING UP WITH A NON POLITICAL SOLUTION TO THIS NATIONAL
    PROBLEM.

    SINCERELY,

    P V D MUYSENBNERG

    August 12, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  7. JoAnn in Iowa

    I fear republicans care more about scoring political points and handing Obama a defeat than they care about helping Americans who are denied coverage and can't afford healthcare.

    I fear that in the push to get a bipartisan bill, the democrats will make concessions to the republicans and end up with a bill that doesn't really do much and then the republicans all will vote against it anyway.

    Then how many more years will we be complaining about the cost of healthcare in this country and all of those without coverage before congress has the courage to actually change the system?

    August 12, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  8. Annastasia Stafford

    My biggest concern is that it wont get done. People are dying and our country is spiraling into debt because of our broken heath system. I'm terrified that the same people that think our president wasn't born in America are the same people that would force me to have a child if I was raped are the same people that wouldn't give a bucket of spit if that child had no health insurance once it was born.
    Logic and human kindness must prevail.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  9. Terri Young

    I often wonder why we are the only major power in the world that views health care as a privilege and not a basic human right. I don't understand the 'Big Government', Socialist, (don't even get me started on the 'Death Panels'), where is this all coming from? I've never seen the blatant disrespect at Town Hall meetings where these issues should be openly discussed.

    I'm very much in favor of the First Amendment, even when things happen under this amendment that I don't agree with, however much of what I'm seeing is the equivalent of shouting FIRE in a crowded theater. All of this over providing a basic NEED to a large portion of the American population.

    I wonder how much of this would be happening if our president was white. When the Clinton's tried to pass health care reform in the 90's, I don't remember any of this nonsense taking place then. Yes there was a large outcry against reform, but none of the disrespect, name calling, gun toting or organized/formulated resistance.

    At times I'm very ashamed to be an American. I'm ashamed to be grouped in with Americans who have become so disrespectful, uncaring and hateful. I wonder, how the rest of the world is viewing us right now? What are they thinking of the most powerful country in the world? Are they losing respect for us? Are we losing our standing in the world? I'm losing respect in the people of America and I'm an American! This is just sick!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  10. D. Singleton

    I can't believe that CNN plays these soundbites of people at Health Care town hall meetings making absolutely ignorant comments, over and over!! It is not a good image to project to the world!!

    Doreen
    Canada

    August 12, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  11. Michael B - NYC

    I am disappointed that so many people are losing the opportunity to get the facts and understand the issues better when these unruly and politically motivated people try to disrupt the proceedings.
    I am convinced that this is one of their ways of showing their disappointment over the poor showing of the Republicans in the last elections.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  12. John A Babitskas

    In Atlanta, watching the town hall meetings is like watching the last election all over again. The conservatives still don't believe they lost and need to stuff it untill the next election. The meetings are to discuss Health Reform. PERIOD.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  13. Judy

    I am concerned that insurance companies will still get the upper hand. I am retired military and have the so called 'promised free medical' care, which I do have to pay for. I do not mind that because I get the care I need. . I have a 'pre existing' condition and without the plan would be in trouble. How do I find out what they are planning?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  14. Ralph

    I don’t believe that anyone should start showing up at these town hall meetings. If citizens don’t believe that they have been getting the representation that they deserve the empty seats should be the first warning to our representatives.
    So many of our representatives appear to think they are in life time appointments. We the people need to take a serious approach and start replacing them with who ever the new individual is on the next ballot. If the next one doesn’t quickly appear to be doing the work of the people replace them and don’t give them a second term. We all must remember they work for us!
    Here is an alternative to send the message, as soon as the town hall meeting begins everyone should get up and walk out in total silence.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  15. Josh Trump

    That the issue will got lot amongst all the politics. Reform needs to happen.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  16. Michael and Vera Polidore

    We seniors on Medicare know, and know accurately and predictably, that we're going to lose big time if millions of new government sponsored enrollees flood the health care system. The cues will get longer and some form of ration will have to occur. There just aren't enough providers to go around. Advocates of a government sponsored plan cannot lie, twist, or advocate your way out of this one. We seniors are smart enough to see what's happening. If there's rancor and acrimony over this issue; it is warranted and it's going to get worse until these cretins on the left figure it out.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  17. Herb Smetheram

    Both sides of the debate are taking the wrong approach. The administration is defending only the known items of all the legisative bills; the opposition is dealing with worries of the items. The real issue that needs to be addressed is the"Law of Unforeseen Consequences." When the final bill is ready for debate, each specific item in the legislation needs analysis to determine potential impacts not necessarily spelled out in the legislation and methods of dealing with them if they show signs of occurring. Examples: 1) Will access to caregivers be lessened? 2) Will personal costs increase? 3) What hidden impacts are there? The present interactive debate actually may drive us to that model. Perhaps then there can be rational discussions on both sides that address our individual concerns.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  18. Kristina

    What we are seeing is nothing more than the classic fear mongering of the right wing in this country. The same people that brought us the "cold war" which had us hiding under our desks during "drills" at school. The same people that brought us Watergate and opened our eyes to high levels of corruption in government. The same people that are now bringing us the notion that Healthcare Reform in this country will kill Granny and Sarah Palins' baby. The same people that insist somehow we are becoming "Socialists" although I have yet to meet one of these people in person that could give me a correct definition of Socialism. I am most afraid that these radical, hateful, selfish people will win, alongside their brothers in arms, the Insurance industry. I am most afraid we will continue with the status quo that puts us in front of Insurance Company Death Panels who decide whether we are worthy of treatment. I'm afraid the media will never get around to actually reporting the truth of the matter as they are wholly owned subsidiaries of giant corporations themselves.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  19. Greg

    I want to know which Members of Congress accept money from insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and others opposed to heath care reform and the amounts of those campaign contributions. CNN and other media should provide a public service by gathering and sharing that information. If legislators fail to achieve health care reform this year, each of them deserves to be held accountable for that outcome, especially those who are doing the bidding for those interests who are committed only to preserving their profits without regard to the human factor.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  20. David

    Tony, I noticed listening to some of these Town Hall meeting, many of the Senators are I'll prepared, an might not have any clues to questions being asked by the audience. I find they stray off the questions being asked and give responses that don't have anything to with the questions being asked am I the only one noticing this, why hasn't the media reported this. I can't belive we have these people in office representing us they come across worse than some of the ignorant idiots attending the Town Hall meetings.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  21. Joseph Rua

    This is just another example of Republicans using scare tactics to stop real reform. I thought that after the failure of George Bush conservatives would change their approach. I guess I was wrong. The truth is that they are afraid of Obama suceeding and actually helping people. Stop playing politics.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  22. Nancy

    Insurance companies are exempt from anti-trust laws. Why isn't this a bigger issue in the health care debate. Is it really legal for them to fix prices?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  23. Allison Buyle

    I have been following the Healthcare Town Hall Meetings for the past couple of days on CNN. I have been surprised and concerned with the emotional level of the attacks on public officials from seemingly uninformed citizen's who appeared to have been influenced by the irresponsible scare tactics posted by some high visibility personalities. These events seem to have a "mob" type of chemistry, negatively impacting productive debate and forward progress of reform.

    I have recently experienced a situation that outlines one reason why I believe we need reform. My 23 daughter is a college student, working to put her self though school. She is currently engaged in a full time pharmacy internship as well as working as a server in the evenings to pay her bills. She does not currently have health insurance and was dropped from my policy because she had exceeded the age limit for inclusion in my family coverage.

    The end of last week, she had a severe health crisis that sent her to the Emergency Department and subsequent admission into the hospital for 2 days, with extensive diagnostic testing. She was discharged under the care of a specialist. Her condition is still undiagnosed and is requiring further follow-up, diagnostic testing in the short term, as well as therapy

    This is the area where I feel our country has a large gap. A responsible full time student, with a job, who will now be strapped with a large hospital bill. A big burden to bare, as she gets ready to graduate and enter the job market in 2 months. How can the system be changed to protect our College Students?

    Tampa, FL

    August 12, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  24. Eva

    My biggest concern is after this is all done that nothing will end up being done at all because our government cannot work together to solve this problem for america. I think the people who are shouting and screaming are going to win and that people like me who have no health insurance and am willing to pay for insurance if I could afford it will once again be left with nothing. It is quite apparent to some of us that the republicans want it to fail just because it is an democrat agenda and we will be back to where we were before.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  25. David Kwiat

    Dear Tony:

    The president does not want to face the truth and make changes where needed such as

    Tort reform
    Buying health insurance across state lines (we are one country)

    Obama is not believable. He is an agomaniac that needs to be recognized by the public. He wants to control us and be a dictator.

    Here is a letter I sent to Senator Bayh. Feel free to copy it and send it around to our other representatives.

    Stephen Fraser

    July 23, 2009

    Senator Bayh:

    As a practicing physician I have major concerns with the healthcare bill before Congress. I actually have read the bill and am shocked by the brazenness of the government's proposed involvement in the patient/physician relationship. The very idea that the government will dictate and ration patient care is dangerous and certainly not helpful in designing a healthcare system that works for all. Every physician I work with agrees that we need to fix our healthcare system, but the proposed bills currently making their way through congress will be a disaster if passed.

    I ask you respectfully and as a patriotic American to look at the following troubling lines that I have read in the bill. You cannot possibly believe that these proposals are in the best interests of the country and our fellow citizens.

    Page 22 of the HC Bill: Mandates that the Government will audit books of all employers that self insure!

    Page 30 Sec 123 of HC bill: THERE WILL BE A GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE that decides what treatments/benefits you get.

    Page 29 lines 4-16 in the HC bill: YOUR HEALTH CARE IS RATIONED!

    Page 42 of HC Bill: The Health Choices Commissioner will choose your HC Benefits for you. You have no choice!

    Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

    Page 58 in HC Bill: Government will have real-time access to individuals finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

    Page 59 in HC Bill lines 21-24: Government will have direct access to your banks accounts for elective funds transfer.

    Page 65 Sec 164: Is a payoff subsidized plan for retirees and their families in unions and community organizations: (ACORN).

    Page 84 Sec 203 HC bill: Government mandates ALL benefit packages for private HC plans in the Exchange.

    Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications for of Benefit Levels for Plans = The Government will ration your Healthcare!

    Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Government mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation: illegal aliens.

    Page 95 Lines 8-18 HC Bill: The Government will use groups i.e., ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government HC plan.

    Page 85 Line 7 HC Bill: Specifications of Benefit Levels for Plans. AARP members – your Health care WILL be rationed.

    Page 102 Lines 12-18 HC Bill: Medicaid Eligible Individuals will be automatically enrolled in Medicaid. No choice.

    Page 124 lines 24-25 HC: No company can sue the Government on price fixing. No "judicial review" against Government Monopoly.

    Page 127 Lines 1-16 HC Bill: Doctors/American Medical Association – The Government will tell YOU what you can make (salary)!

    Page 145 Line 15-17: An Employer MUST auto enroll employees into public option plan. NO CHOICE!

    Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.

    Page 149 Lines 16-24: ANY Employer with payroll 401K and above who does not provide public option pays 8 percent tax on all payroll.

    Page 150 Lines 9-13: Business's with payroll between $250,000 and $400,000 who doesn't provide public option pays 2-6 percent tax on all payroll.

    Page 167 Lines 18-23: ANY individual who doesn't have acceptable HC according to Government will be taxed 2.5 percent of income.

    Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay).

    Page 195 HC Bill: Officers and employees of HC Admin (GOVERNMENT) will have access to ALL Americans finances /personal records.

    Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax" Yes, it says that!

    Page 239 Line 14-24 HC Bill: Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid Seniors, low income and poor are affected.

    Page 241 Line 6-8 HC Bill: Doctors, doesn't matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same!

    Page 25 3 Line 10-18: Government sets value of Doctor's time, profession, judgment etc. Literally value of humans.

    Page 265 Sec 1131: Government mandates and controls productivity for private HC industries.

    Page 268 Sec 1141: Federal Government regulates rental and purchase of power driven wheelchairs.

    Page 272 SEC. 1145: TREATMENT OF CERTAIN CANCER HOSPITALS – Cancer patients – welcome to rationing!

    Page 280 Sec 1151: The Government will penalize hospitals for whatever Government deems preventable re-admissions.

    Page 298 Lines 9-11: Doctors, treat a patient during initial admission that results in a re-admission -Government will penalize you.

    Page 317 L 13-20: PROHIBITION on ownership/investment. Government tells Doctors what/how much they can own!

    Page 317-318 lines 21-25, 1-3: PROHIBITION on expansion- Government is mandating hospitals cannot expand.

    Page 321 2-13: Hospitals have opportunity to apply for exception BUT community input is required. Can you say ACORN?!!

    Page 335 L 16-25 Pg 336-339: Government mandates establishment of outcome based measures. HC the way they want. Rationing.

    Page 341 Lines 3-9: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advance Plans, HMOs, etc. Forcing people into Government plan.

    Page 354 Sec 1177: Government will RESTRICT enrollment of Special needs people! Unbelievable!

    Page 379 Sec 1191: Government creates more bureaucracy – Tele-health Advisory Committee. Can you say HC by phone?

    Page 425 Lines 4-12: Government mandates Advance Care Planning Consult. Think Senior Citizens end of life patients.

    Page 425 Lines 17-19: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney. Mandatory!

    Page 425 Lines 22-25, 426 Lines 1-3: Government provides approved list of end of life resources, guiding you in death (assisted suicide).

    Page 427 Lines 15-24: Government mandates program for orders for end of life. The Government has a say in how your life ends.

    Page 429 Lines 1-9: An "advanced care planning consultant" will be used frequently as patients health deteriorates.

    Page 429 Lines 10-12: "Advanced care consultation" may include an ORDER for end of life plans. AN ORDER from GOVERNMENT!

    Page 429 Lines 13-25: The government will specify which Doctors can write an end of life order.

    Page 430 Lines 11-15: The Government will decide what level of treatment you will have at end of life!

    Page 469: Community Based Home Medical Services = Non profit organizations. Hello, ACORN Medical Services here?

    Page 472 Lines 14-17: PAYMENT TO COMMUNITY-BASED ORIGINATION. A monthly payment to
    a community-based organization. Like ACORN?

    Page 489 Sec 1308: The Government will cover Marriage and Family therapy. Which means they will insert Government into your marriage.

    Page 494-498: Government will cover Mental Health Services including defining, creating, rationing those services.

    Senator, I guarantee that I personally will do everything possible to inform patients and my fellow physicians about the dangers of the proposed bills you and your colleagues are debating.

    Furthermore, If you vote for a bill that enforces socialized medicine on the country and destroys the doctor/patient relationship, I will do everything in my power to make sure you lose your job in the next election.

    Respectfully,

    Stephen E Fraser MD

    August 12, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  26. Ines

    Just watched the reply from Grassley to the lady with 4 kids looking for insurance.
    To the most part tax credit's won't work for the low income families, because they still have to pay it for a year first and sometimes that money may be needed for food. Plus the IRS will find a way to keep that as well.
    10 grand deductible per person that is totally insane. You mind as well go to the ER and worry about it afterward.
    The pay or die insurance companies need to be regulated.
    By the way, anyone that ever had to use their insurance plan for actual health care is NOT that happy with their plan.
    I think I will start an Insurance Company and deny the claims for out of network or some bogus nonsense.
    Heck these day's you need Insurance for about anything and to have car insurance is mandatory, hmmmm wonder whats wrong with that picture.
    🙂
    Ines , CO

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  27. Renee Rydzewski aka Indepedent Moderate

    My concerns framed in a statement and questions to my representative:

    New figures to be announced today, August 12, 2009….

    In 2008 the deficit was 459 BILLION.

    In 2009 the deficit is 1.8 TRILLION and GROWING.

    As of August 12, 2009, the National Debt is : $11,668,477,062.18

    Incorrect predications by the Administration:

    1. Unemployment: Higher than predicted;

    2. Economy: Shrunk more than predicted;

    3. Tax revenue: Shrunk far more dramatically; and
    4. Borrowing: We are borrowing far more than predicted and Timothy Geithner is desperately asking more. We continue to borrow 75 MILLION per week to pay for the debt already in place.

    So [Senator/Congressperson], in light of the foregoing, can you promise that massive healthcare reform will not add to our financial woes? Can you promise that the “loan well” won’t dry up? And, please [Senator/ Congressperson], set forth your argument as to why the American people should trust government on this issue in light of Governments irrefutable track record?

    Our financial circumstances, coupled with uncertainly of both the financial and medical outcomes of this massive healthcare overhaul, is what is fueling the opposition. We learned to add and subtract in elementary school.

    Lastly, please refrain from repeating the false premise that anyone who opposes a massive overhaul of the healthcare system does not want healthcare reform. We have been wanting common-sense healthcare reform for decades. There are many proposals on the table that can result in a tremendous improvement in the system without putting the American people in even more financial jeopardy.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  28. Nancy Giuliano

    You asked to sharecomments–why do you suppose two on the most important issues regarding our health care were not even mentioned during Obama's NH Town Hall–namely, tort reform and illegals and how they or if they will be covered...it's on everyone's minds and Washington refuses to address it...that's what happens when you "stage" a town hall...

    Thank you

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  29. Claudia

    From WHO data I have found
    · 33 Countries have higher Life Expectancy
    · 39 Countries have lower Infant Mortality Rates
    · 44 Countries have lower adult mortality (15 to 60)
    · 192 Countries spend a lower % of GDP on health care.

    How much cheaper it would be for everyone if we considered health care a right for every resident and got on with it. Why must we spend so much of our money to pay insurance co administrators to deny claims.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  30. Michael

    Tony, what scares me the most are the right wing extremist trying to scare the elderly or anyone else they can put fear into. It's obvious to me and I can only hope that everyone that voted for President Obama will step up to the plate and voice their concerns once again. Have they forgotten how badly Bush ran our country? The Republicans were in power for the previous 8 years before Obama what type of health care reform did they suggest? Nuff said!!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  31. Mary

    I think the people showing up at the town hall meetings are relying on the media to cover them so they can spread and promote hatred. They are not concerned about healthcare. They are using the opportunity to vent. They need to get over it! President Obama is our President. Exercising freedom of speech & using words and behavior to offend others is two different things and should not be allowed.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  32. Wesley B. Califorina

    The National Health Care will be good. The only people that are agenst the program are the people that already have healt careand are afrade of loosing somthing they think that they are intilted to. For hard working people that cant afford to buy a plan we just do with out and don't go. This program will help us all from the lower working class to the donald trump type. Can't we all just get along for HEALTH sake.....

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  33. Eunice

    I am one of the 46 million that are uninsured. My employer offers no insurance and the price of insurance presently is too high. I am hoping that some plan is offered (whether private or public) that will actually be affordable to the rest of us. I think that Congress should remember that many of us aren't uninsured because we choose not to be but because we can't choose it. I think all the bickering is not helping–no one is offering an alternative just bashing what they see. Maybe if everyone just stopped arguing and started working together to find an acceptable program that everyone can be happy with we might actually get this passed. I don't think anyone in Congress remembers how to actually compromise–or even listen to the other side. Why do they think we have such a low opinion of them in the first place?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  34. Lane Good

    We need LESS involvement from insurance companies. They are the problem. OK, a single payer system may be too radical for now, but we are never going to cut costs as long as we allow the fat cats to continue with unchecked profits. Low cost competition from the public option like Medicare is exactly what we need!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  35. Chris, Minnesota

    It seems that the media is fact checking various claims, whacky or otherwise, but where is the media/press taking the bills apart, provision by provision, and explaining what's being proposed and the implications of the proposals? Seems that would go a long way to increasing public understanding. Isn't that what the press' role ought to be?
    Where's Gupta when you need him 🙂

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  36. Jen

    My biggest concern is my family- my mother is a nurse working for a company in Illinois that does heart and vascular testing. If the government controls our health care, who's to say that won't try to cut corners and costs and let people go from their jobs?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  37. LML

    I would like an honest brekdown of the 45M Americans not with health care today. I understand 10-12M are illegals, and Obam has not been honest in this fact as he refers to the 45M as American and illegals are not..WHAT IS THE TRUTH...CNN has also not addressed this issue..WHY NOT..

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  38. Joan S.

    People like me who have been denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions understand the important of health insurance reform. These town meetings are forcing news organizations to better explain the issues and debunk the crazier, inaccurate notions held by some.
    Those people who express the fear that they won't be able to keep their current doctor don't realize that at any moment their current doctor might opt out of their insurance plan (this happened to my 85 year old mother), or their employer might change to a plan that doesn't include their current doctor.
    At the very least, we need to guarantee that everyone can purchase affordable health insurance. Those with good, employer provided insurance should realize that their coverage can change or vanish with any negative change in their employer's bottom line or their own employment status. We cannot be a great nation with an unhealthy, sickly population with no basic health protections.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  39. Melody Cherry

    Just let everyone sign up for Tricare and call it a day!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  40. Andrea Matthews

    My biggest concern is how CNN and other media have fallen down on the job. Instead of laying out the facts of the various bills and their potential effects (which would be WORK! OH NO!), you're all content just to pass the outrageous lies around and debate them. This is exactly what opponents of any reform want you to do – create a cloud of obscurity, encourage the ignorant and gullible to act out, and drive reasonable people into apathy and paralysis. Facts!! Give us facts!! And keep the bozos off the tube!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  41. Lewis

    My biggest concern is for those who don't have health insurance, for all of those who may be denied for preexisting conditions, and for the people who are letting fear get to them. “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself” Franklin Delano Roosevelt
    Another big concern I have is the quality of health care in the U.S. especially with how much the U.S. spends per capita

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  42. Lisa

    I think that the people who show at these meetings are of the same yolk that appear at the tea parties, are the "birthers, "are a mix of republican and blue dog democrats who would rather die then vote for (now) President Obama. These are the "Americans" who fear that minority culture is taking over, or that they are losing their power and stance in the country. It's irrational, and change is always difficult, but it's what has been promised by President Obama and he is making good on it. There is also a large portion of America who do not want President Obama to succeed, want his waterloo to come, want for him to fail! It's a whole mixture of everything, anxiety, anger, hatred and it's disguisting!

    If people really cared about the healthcare debate, then they would come with open ears, open minds, and be prepared to listen instead of already come with anger, animosity, hatred for anyone supporting of the administration and its goals!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  43. Tyson in Oregon

    Tony, the behavior at these meetings is scary and leads me to believe that we have lost faith in our president. I trusted Obama when I voted for him and I still trust him, IMPLICITLY. Let those of us, who know very little, get out of the way and let them, who know much more, do what we elected them to do. The president is working as hard as he can to get us the reform that we so desperately need in this country.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  44. John Stevenson

    After viewing the PBS Frontline documentary, "Sick Around The World",
    I'm now more convinced than before that the wisest thing to do would be for Congress to study the health systems of the five most advanced capitalist countries (Japan, Germany, Taiwan, Switzerland, UK) and select the best features of each, draft legislation and implement (lobbyists be darned). I believe that one day it's going to come to a single-payer system anyway, so let's face reality just do it. And Medicare is well-run. We in the US spend approximately 17% of GDP on health care costs compared to an average of 8% +/- of other countries surveyed in the documentary. Further, all else failing, Medicare should be authorized by new legislation to negotiate drug pricing with pharmaceuticals.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  45. Charles B.

    Dear Tony:

    Let's put the Health Care Debate into context.

    The US 2008 Census estimates say approx 43 – 47 million
    Americans are uninsured today.

    This is the equivalent of EVERYONE in America over age 60!

    Or everyone now living in the following States:
    WY, D.C., ND, AK, SD, DE, MT, RI, HI, NH, ME, ID,
    NE, WV, NM, NV, UT, KY, OK, AR, MS, IA, CT & MN.

    This is an issue that is going to do nothing but make our
    health care system get more expensive and less effective for
    everyone because many of the uninsured still need health care
    and will get it at the expense of us all.

    These figures do not include people who ARE insured with a
    pre-eisting condition that have their insurance due to their
    employment. As soon as they attempt to retire or are no longer
    employed they may never be able to get insurance.

    Our lawmakers can give us what we need if the time is taken
    to work out an effective System. This is not the time to
    play one-upmanship Democrate vs Republican but for them to
    act as AMERICANS WHO CARE!

    Sincerely,

    Charles B.
    St. Petersburg, FL

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  46. Dawn

    I feel the fear and concern is "America as Usual". These bills are formulated with a clear purpose. Than, at the last minute, adendums are "slipped in" to protect the private interests of big business.

    With pharmeceutical and insurance, that's scary no matter who you are. Refer to the interview with the past CEO of a major insurance company last Sunday on another network. Insurance companies are to generate profit for shareholders, not keep America healthy. No wonder we're all fat and insecure. And on antidepressants.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  47. James King

    The only responsibility, the single responsibility of a government of FREE people is to protect their lives and property from acts of aggression both foreign and domestic. When government does more than that the people are not free, just as Americans are not free. We just say we are. Healthcare is the responsibility of the individual, just like buying a car or TV. Of course America has never really been that kind of country, but it was designed to be that way.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  48. Corey G.

    This country was founded on FREEDOM. What we are fighting for now is, in essence, the same reason our forefathers founded this country to begin with. The government doesn't run anything efficiently and effectively. My healthcare is none of the government's business and they have ABSOLUTELY NO RIGHT to interfere with it, much less anything else. Government's role is to defend this nation, and nothing else, period. The government has so many hands in my pockets already. Do i fear a big government takeover? IT'S ALREADY HAPPENED!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  49. Russ Barton

    I hear both sides arguing to get their point across but so far I’ve heard no one answer a question who has actually read all 1000 pages or so of the bill itself. Even the politicians admit to not having read the whole document. How can anyone answer questions concerning the bill if they haven’t read it? My question is; has anyone read the bill in its entirety? If so, that is the person(s) we need to be asking questions to.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  50. Jason

    We keep blaming the insurance companies for the high prices of health care in the USA, when its the doctors who's prices are unchecked. When we buy services we know the prices upfront, not true with the medical community, when we ask for the costs, they look at us like we should be ashamed for asking. This is the real factor driving insurance costs. We must put the medical community in check.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  51. Courtney H.

    Earlier today, I heard a lady interviewed by Ali Velshi. She said "Tax me, tax me, tax me, " I'm with her. If that's what it takes, let's do it. As for the protesters, some of these people would be the first to tell you what God loving people they are. How dare they say in essence that 20% of Americans, can just drop dead or be rendered useless and a burden to society and our families, simply because we are unlucky enough to end up without insurance? That's what I'm hearing from them, whether or not it is intended.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  52. Roopa

    President Obama is doing nothing to address the possible secondary and tertiary effects of what is in the bill. For example, although he says that we can keep our existing plans if we want to, the fact is that a single payer system will incentivize employers to drop coverage for existing plans. That means we will end up with the single payer system.

    Why not use market methods to introduce competition? Despite the fact that we have many private health insurers, most states have a single insurer with 60-80% of the market. What is being done to dismantle the incentives that create this situation?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  53. Karen

    When I first started with the company I am presently working for I had several health insurance options. Two years ago I was diagnosed with COPD. Now I only have one health insurance choice. If I lose my job I will not be able to get any insurance that would be affordable. I cannot live without some kind of insurance!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  54. Aaron Williams

    What has concerned me the most throughout this debate – and stretching back through the 2007/2008 presidential campaigns – is the media. The mainstream media (and I'm talking about CNN and network news, not the other two cable channels) seems to be so afraid of being labeled 'biased' that they won't call out a partisan, even when they're flat-out lying.

    The mainstream media should have shot down Sarah Palin's "death panels" claim, by themselves, from day one. Instead, they waited for Democrats to do it, and just reported on that.

    Truth is not biased, and good honest reporting isn't either. Anyone who disagrees (on either side) can just go watch whichever of the other two cable channels they know they will agree with.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  55. Pam R

    The debate has me confused. When President Bush pushed through the Patriot Act not a single memeber of Congress read the bill before voting (due to time limitations). There seemed to be complete faith that the President could be trusted.

    Now that there is a Democrat as president, there is anger reminicent of the Clinton years. Why do some oppose democracy? Why do some only accept the idea that Republicans can lead the nation?

    I prefer medical choices being up to my doctor and myself. Yet that is not the case now. Would it improve or deteriorate if one option on the table was a government option? I do not know the answer and would like to know if there is an answer.

    Can the government run A public option for medicine? It runs the greatest military in the world. It provides the proud members of the military with health care. Could they do the same for an equal number of members of the public?

    Thank you.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  56. R Arnold

    I agree that the status quo is unsustainable but why is there no discussion on reforming malpractice insurance? The status quo of malpractice causes doctors to perform the unneeded tests and procedures that are so expensive for fear of lawyers looking for reasons to sue the doctor. Any health care reform should include torte reform

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  57. David Lowery

    I feel that the real problem in Hospitals charges and doctor charges and meds are way out of reach for most americans, as soon as the hospital staff got my insurance card seem they were smiling, after 3 days in the hospital no water , no food the bill came out to 18,000, this is what is wrong with health care.makes wonder what if, I had cancer or a very bad problem?, most times I can't even afford my meds and I have insurance! I'm just happy I don't have to figure out this mess.....

    David In Texas

    August 12, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  58. Melissa

    I think the opposition is being hyped too much like its the majority opinion. I don't know one person who is outraged by this plan. It's not fair that these meeting are held in the middle of a week day when most people, especially the working poor, are at work. And I bet you most of the people in the room A.)didn't vote for Barack and hate everything he does or B.) will never be for a public option so there is no swaying them. The majority voted for Obama and they voted for him knowing he wanted to add a public option. I'm sorry, but elections have consequences.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  59. alex wybraniec

    hopefully the health care discussion will address the fact that when a person goes on medicare/medicade he/she no longer has teeth or eyes. medicare does not compensate for either. also, the donut hole is getting deeper every year. plus the fact that supplemental coverage is increasing at an unsutainable rate for seniors.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  60. Nancy Giuliano

    Annastasia,

    Yes, our system is broke, but there are many ways to fix it other than total government takeover...as far as abortion, yes, women should have a right to an abortion, but we or someone else shouldn't have to pay for it...yes, logic must prevail!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  61. kelly lane

    I am a registered nurse and without my own insurance. my son has type 1 duabetes and uninsurable, he deals with a life threatening illness and painful injuctions yet he cannpot buy health insurance. i get my health care in France where it is of the highest quality and affordable. They spend money on care and not fancy waiting rooms , don't people understand that insurance companies are there to make a profi
    i support a government plan
    Kelly

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  62. Sean

    Tony,
    I agree that there are many misconceptions and flat-out lies that are being thrown about in town halls and other venues, but many of these are more well-founded than people think. Just because a concept isn't included in current healthcare reform drafts, doesn't mean it wasn't ever advocated. For example, regarding the "death panels"–which are obviously not true–Rahm Emanuel's brother, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, is quoted as arguing for the "just allocation of health resources." He states that that health services should not be guaranteed to “individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens… An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” With statements like this being thrown about by prominent Democrats, it is not hard to see how these misconceptions get started.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  63. Lowell Dunlap

    The "subtext" of the Heath Care debate is the fact that we often don't trust experts because they are in a position to use their expertise to navigate the complications they often author to their own advantage–see the financial derivatives, AIG, etc.

    Put the 1,000+ page House healthcare bill into our recent experiences with financial experts, many people's extreme anxiety just finds a lightning rod!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  64. Stephen Paul

    What we are experiencing is an outgrowth of job loss for 30 years along with greed and exhuberance from the CEO world taking companies smaller so profits are maximized for stock holders and CEO salaries are maximum possible.
    One must realize that as manufacturing has all but left our country there are no jobs of support. So, where does a person go to earn a living? Does he then turn to crime? Of course as he sees himself getting poorer and his family suffering self-esteem and depression go in opposite directions and.....here we are.
    All of us are getting frightened as our politicians, afraid to tell us the truth or refusing to admit their mistakes continue to drag us into Hell on Earth. It's all about jobs and earning a living to bring us back to a real working society. Remember, the profits earned from outsourcing only go to the very wealthiest of people, most of them CEO's of companies. I'm not a socialist but obscene is simply that and I know it when I see it.
    I worked hard all of my life and now my retirement is in real jeopardy, and yes, I'm angry. I want term limits and much different representation in our Congress, our States, our Counties and even my City. I want us (the people) who made this country great to have a real voice and yes, the sleeping giant has been awakened !

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  65. Dave Morris

    I am a senior and one of the concerns I have about the proposed healt care bill are the "death panels" that will determine what health care if any seniors with healt problems will recieve. I know CNN and all news agencies are saying there are no death panels. However Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel has already been reported as being part of the panel that determines medical treatments. His published opinions of care Senior Citizens should recieve due to costs turns this panel into a death panel. Perhaps a lot of calm would be established if only this man was not allowed any involvement in the care of people.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  66. Diane

    I am absolutely concerned about the government taking over every aspect of Americans' lives, not just health care. Here is the other huge problem...HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR THIS? I sit here watching the news every day and feel like I am watching my future go down the drain. I am 27 years old, paid my way through two college degrees and feel like everything I've worked so hard to achieve in my life will be taken from me.

    I do not believe that we need to dismantle the entire health care system– we DO need to restructure specific aspects of the current flaws in our system. These are some areas I believe we must fix:
    > Tort reform (WHY is this not mentioned in the bill?)
    > Preventative care
    > Reducing private insurance cost
    > Not taxing middle class Americans
    > Provide insurance for those who really need it, not every American (many don't want government-run insurance, just more affordable premiums)

    ...these are just a few items

    Side notes:
    > There needs to be some policy action taken to hold insurance companies accountable for fraud
    > Term limits!!!
    > STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  67. R. Lloyd

    One of the best ways to reduce health care cost is Tort Reform. However it is not even discussed, let alone proposed.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  68. Tom

    It's a shame the issues are falling through the cracks. Everyone deserves some form of healthcare. This is the USA, we can figure this out. GOP disagrees with everything, and give their people misinformation. Then they show up at the town halls and act like idiots.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  69. Kevin Morrison

    Did I hear correctly that Obama said the health care reform is "too radical a decision"? It's too radical of a decision to fix something that clearly needs to be changed? Would that be any more "radical" than buying diapers for a newborn? Or putting gas in your car when it runs out?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  70. Ralph

    The exchange of effective communication is necessary.
    What I think is the most important issue in all of this is so many of our representatives appear to believe they are in life time appointments. We the people need to take a serious approach and start replacing them with who ever the new individual is on the next ballot. If the next one doesn’t quickly appear to be doing the work of the people replace them and don’t give them a second term. We all must remember they work for us!
    However, if citizens don’t believe that they have been getting the representation that they deserve silence at these Town Halls could the first warning sign for these representatives to indicate the people will wait for their soon to be replacement to open a line of communication.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  71. Janet Brazil

    I have great concerns about our new President, now showing the new changes that people voted him in for, many years back our Constitution stated for the people, by the people. Somehow that is being taken away from us now. I could not believe what I was hearing the day I heard our President on national TV say, YOU NEED TO SHUT UP-SIT DOWN AND LET ME DO MY JOB, no no no, we voted him in and we can vote him out. All issues that are being discussed in Washington should be voted in by the people not just decided by men in suits buying new jets, riding in their limos, and going to expensive lunches, and going to their gyms. Only some how our money is being spent by them and decided by them. Now they are finding out that we will only take so much. IT'S ABOUT TIME THE PEOPLE OF THE US FINALLY STOOD UP AND REPRESENTED US AS DO THE OTHER ETHINICS. I am tired of people from other countries coming in and telling our government how things need to be for them, they need to comply to our laws if they want to be here, and I am tired of paying for all of their needs, this is how all this started and this is why we are where we're at.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  72. jeff

    Tony, we need to only worry about seeing what is in each bill that is being proposed , not what is on other outlets (like politifact.com) where you just reported on. Why can't you ONLY show what was written on each bill. That is where the actual fact is (the source itself). Everyone should be reading the source and the actual people that wrote it !!! Not Just Who Sponsored the Bill !!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  73. renae

    I think the point everyone is missing is that there are many scared americans who object to all the spending and government intrusion into their lives. Healthcare is a personal thing and there is not the level of trust in government for anyone to really get behind this. When they say they are going to tax the rich and cut a huge amount from medicare and medicaid there will no doubt be less in the fund as it is already broke. The government just needs to stop spending. Medicare is already broke. How long will it take to bankrupt a new government program? There have been too many radical changes to this country in a short time. It is making americans nervous and changing into something we have never seen. People tend to get loud when the are really anxious and Congress just wants us to be quiet and accept what they offer us sight unseen. No way!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  74. Adam M.

    Is all the fighting and frustration we’re seeing in these town halls a symptom of something bigger brewing in America? Do you fear a “big government” takeover?

    I find it sad that the people currently rallying against "tyranny" and comparing the President to Hitler seemed awfully quiet when the previous administration expanded warrantless wiretapping, legalized torture and indefinite imprisonment for anyone they declared to be an "enemy combatant." But now that we're debating paying for a public health care system, the cries of "Don't Tread On Me" are ringing far and wide. We already have a "big government" military that few people complain about, yet now that government could be used to actually help one another people are screaming for blood.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  75. Daniel

    What concerns me most about Health Care Reform is the possibility that the misleading 'noise' does have the possibility of impacting the ultimate outcome in a negative way. Even though the possibility that this may happen appears to be slim, the force(s) that motivates so many people to approach their views without sincere curiosity and thought is a strong cause for concern.

    Too many of us are trying too hard to say something before we actually have someting to say.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  76. David B

    Why not make a few law changes and set up a support system that feeds all the uninsured into the private healthcare industry? Why not prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions and set up a voucher system for those uninsured? This will allow them to shop. Anyone who has a voucher for insurance and fails to get it should be assigned insurance automatically so they are not a drain on the Emergency Rooms and Hospitals.

    Also, I think any employer that doesn't provide health insurance ought to pay an additional tax on each employee that costs more than the vouchers. This will eliminate dumping. Make the tax double the actual cost of vouchers so that companies don't dump on the government.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  77. Egberto Willies

    My biggest concern is that with all the screaming on both sides of the debate that healthcare is nothing but a catalyst to have Conservatives in effect nullify the direction the country voted for. The reality is the President is doing exactly what he said in the campaign he would do relative to healthcare reform. He stated he would institute a public option to compete with private insurance and mostly universal coverage and he won the election by a large majority (not a plurality) but a real majority and the largest winning popular vote ever.

    The only solution to our dilemma is to ensure the insurance companies do not continue to rob us blind. We mist also be able to negotiate drug pricing just as other nations have.

    We must stop condemning government as being the enemy. Unless we remember the government is us, we will continue to expect little from them. We must demand effective policies and effective implementation. The government is no different than a child. If you expect little from them that is what you get. If you demand performance, more so than less, you get it.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  78. Pat Duimstra

    I can't help but wonder why you haven't asked "why the American people don't beleive what the government is saying about the whole health care issue? What has happened in the past to make the American people doubt that the government, in general, has their welfare as their highest concern? Every time an elected official inadvertently slips and tells what they really think about an issue, the whole political system is quick to explain "what they really meant
    was____" (For instance Vice President Bidens various remarks.) It is apparent to most of the American people that again, in general, and certainly not all, of the elected officials in Washington are concerned with their next election and their current position rather than what is best for the people. If that were not true, they would begin with cleaning their own offices, driving their own cars, taking their vacations like we do: drive 50 miles to see something of interest near our own homes, and clean up their act in general. There is no lack of resources in this country; and people could take care of their own health care if the courts were realistic about medical law suits. In our state in particular, the "hand outs" to people who will not work (rather than cannot) are unbeleivable. It's a moral and spiritual issue, not a money issue. The government has encouraged this whole system.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  79. Ram

    Hi,
    I am a Canadian. I have done some research and find that the universal health care system is working pretty well in many countries. Yes there are occasional problems, but everyone has access without any questions being asked.
    This will however be a very big change for the US and has to be done in a phased manner over the next 2 decades.
    The Public option being proposed seems to be an interim solution and am really surprised/shocked at the opposition to this.
    I have an analogy. let say a car dealer who makes money in volume sales decides to give a 15% discount to any new buyer. I am sure all would like to do buy from him. The other car dealers will follow suit and also offer similar discounts or lose business.
    Will the Public option not work exactly like this and reduce cost for everyone.
    I know that Medicare is losing money. The public option should be modelled on making marginal profits with the premiums say 15-20% lower than private insurance.
    These are just my thoughts. You guys will have to decide what's best for ALL AMERICANS, not just those who can afford any insurance.
    Regards
    Ram

    August 12, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  80. Gary Hall

    Medicare, medicaid, social security are all going broke. Why would a government run health care program be any different?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  81. Kenn

    I have watched on CNN as reporters are talking about people being bused in to the Town Hall Meetings. I would like to know if their is a provision that an elected representative can ID individuals having access to these meetings to ensure that individual is from that particular District or State. Why should someone from outside the elected officials Distric or State have business coming to a Town Hall Meeting with someone that does not represent them in Washington?

    Kenn in Clearwater, FL

    August 12, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  82. Margo Madrigal

    While Sarah Palin's comment is not accurate, you should have pointed out that there IS a requirement that the elderly have "consultations" on health care with a "board". In fact, in one of the town hall meetings, a democratic congressman was asked who the heck was going to be on this board and what kind of power they would have.

    You should have pointed this out while doing the fact check and not just commented that Palin's fear were a prediction.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  83. Lorna

    Like most I believe healthcare needs reform, starting with caps for malpractice. I am a nurse, and see abuses of the system everyday, mostly in the public options, like Medicaid. Our social systems remove any personal responsibility in healthcare. Why is it that an 18 yr old having a baby gets a free ride for herself and her child, but if she marries often loses any coverage. What is the outcome, more single moms. Very little help for young families. Illinois has a breastpump program for new IPA moms. They are able to get a free double electric pump worth $140.00 with a script from their doctor and an IPA card. The woman in the bed next to them worried about paying her co-pays and deductibles has to buy her own pump. They are hit twice. Many of these IPA moms are selling the free pump. Even our drug moms are getting free pumps. The program is a drain on Illinois IPA dollars. Government is not an efficient business, look at the post office. When I hear about how well Medicare works, I almost choke. Seniors are denied certain services, and pay dollars out of pocket for many others, and last I heard they are going broke. We need changes, but government takeover is never a good choice.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  84. David Saul

    You are right there does need to be a balanced and reasonable talk back and forth. Why re-do all of health care at once. Lets change the pre-existing requirements and insure those who are in need of insurance as long as they are legally here. That would seem to be a great place to start. I also am wondering how we can sustain this health insurance if Medicaid and medicare is going broke in the near furture. I heard that either benefits will have to be cut or premiums increased if not both. I haven't really heard anyone comment on those to issues. Please do.
    Thank you, Dave Saul

    August 12, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  85. Linda

    I'm bothered by the screaming and yelling. Whether you agree with the plan or disagree why can't we give folks an opportunity to ask their question and our representatives a chance to answer them. This way we can all decide our position based on accurate information. I'm also troubled by, at least my perception,that insurance companies create a population of uninsured by not allowing new high school graduates to remain on their parent's insurance if they choose not to attend college. Why are apprenticeships and other forms of non-traditional options not acceptable. If there is a way to very the real story on this I would be grateful.

    Rochester, New York

    August 12, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  86. Dave

    Tony,

    I agree that all Americans believe in some type of reform. The biggest problem is that Health Care insurance companies can refuse to give you a policy if you a have a pre-existing condition. Once you are on a policy they can not drop you. Also, the amount these companies can raise their rates is a huge problem. Lastly, the high cost of health insurance when you lose your job can be financially back breaking. The government can regulate these companies, just like they are doing with banks that have run amok. We should definitely help the 7 million Americans that do not have healthcare ( as per Lou Dobbs), but want it. For the illegal immigrants, they are not citizens. If they want to apply to become citizens, and pay taxes, then, it can be addressed.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  87. Clinton Metcalf

    On the issue of health care, you can't help but to notice that there is more than just the health care issue on the burner. Simply look at the demographics of the protestors at the town hall meetings, there is a desire from the Sarah Palin type Americans to see the first African American President fail. I have a very good job and insurance benefits. My daughter has been going through an undiagnosed medical condition for the past 4 weeks. The process for getting to the bottom of this is very tedious. We have a lot of late nights trying to comfort her. Through several visits to the ER room and visits with our primary physician, we find the level of professionalism from the health care providers can be very good to very poor. There is just so much to be disired when it comes to get your health needs met. I'm not a staunch Democrat, but the "do nothing" Republicans still have yet to come up with a solution, and would beg them to please stop playing on the fears and emotions of people.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  88. Nancy

    Lots of misconception out there and I think people are no longer trusting government to make decisions for us. Can you blame them? I saw the women in Grassley's town hall meeting saying she couldn't afford $800 per month for coverage, but what I really want to ask her is what would she be willing to pay?

    There is a cost to having the best healthcare in the country and we absolutely do. Face it, if we want to keep excellent healthcare we have to pay for it. The government plan has not demonstrated any way that money will be saved. All the cost drivers are not being addressed. Get a clue!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  89. John Volk

    My wife was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma in March 08. In order to be able to get the treatment required and to be able to get 2nd opinions without going through primary care and a lot of red tape, we had to change health care providers, which ultimately cost us an additional $100 per month. Unfortunately, my wife died from her disease this past February. I am still receiving co-payments due from her stays in the hospital. I am lucky enough that we had some health care and was able to find a provider to pay for most of the expenses. I don't know what we would have done without it. If we did not have some kind of health care, I am not sure the medical personnel would have treated her as vigorously as they did in order to try and save her life. We need reform and we need it now. My daughter will soon be reaching the age where she will no longer be covered by my policy. What will she do when that time comes? Will she be one of the un-insured? She cannot afford her own health care. She will be graduating from college in 2 years. Hopefully, she will find a job that will pay her care, but what if they do not? I am all in favor of Health Care Reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  90. David R. Schultz

    Couple of issues..has there been a "Kennedy Health Care Bill", written into the Health Care Inititiative that has exempted Congress from participating in any programs, they keep there own?

    Just watched Sen. Grassley's townhall meeting and he never answered the question on the credit issue; if you can't pay for $800.00 month insurance, how is a credit going to help. Plus the issue on everything being bankrupted in the governrment programs, Medicare, Social Security, Post Office, etc., how will a medical program be any difference?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  91. Buzz Carns

    Working on the "cost" side first could make believers out of most of us. My belief and question is wouldn't a dramatic reduction in cost be achieved if the government not take over health care but instead provide the liability insurance for doctors, hospitals and drug manufacturers. Frivilous lawsuits would immediately cease. Proven cost reductions then could be applied to ensure a solvent system that could be expanded.

    Another comment: Just as aviators have a higher cost to obtain life insurance, perhaps lifestyle choices such as obesity and smoking could compel individuals to pay higher medical health insurance premiums.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  92. Tricia Morgan

    Tony – I have two questions re health care:

    1. I heard that the public option plan, if adopted, would not be open to everyone. What would be the requirements for joining the public option plan ?

    2. I have heard nothing re the supplemental insurance (medigap) plans which the health insurance companies supply. The costs of these policies continue to rise for seniors. Will there be some control on these companies and what they cam charge ? Thanks, Tony. Sincerely, Tricia Morgan

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  93. Martin

    What I fear most is the ingnorant people in this country that dont believe a Health Care Reform is necessary. Most people dont care about this until it affects them or one of their love ones. I believe there are 2 things that shoud be a citizens right to have no matter their financial situation: healthcare & education. I am a veteran that served this country for 6 years but I dont have health insurance. Call it socialism, call what you want, but health care should be a birth given right. What scares me the most is that ignorance will prevail once again!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  94. Phyllis

    Hi Tony,

    This doesn't really surprise me however it does make those who participate emotional and a little silly. What's behind the real truth here? Would these same people be acting this way in front of George Bush? Honestly, I seriously doubt it. I feel that many of the people who act are have lost it because they feel as if they had no real control over the decision that should be made to make sure everyone is treated the same with equality NO matter who they are. Health care, education, etc. Everyone deserves an opportunity to change where they are in society.

    As a woman of color I have withstood being told NO time and time again for things I felt I had just as much right to as the next person. Education, I have that, good credit, I have that also, so why is it okay for a white male or female and not for me? Why do I have to go through all the hoops to get something? I am an American, and feel that equality is for us all, not just the few who say it is.

    People in America need HEALTH CARE - or some form of it, so that we can all withstand the diseases that come in to this country. A person without the resources cannot fight the illnesses they attract without good quality health care. Come on people. Stop thinking about yourselves, and about others less fortunate. Yor neighbors, the clerk in the grocery store, the assistant who helps you in your business - All of Us. If you need to tax us to get isured, tax us. People need health care first and foremost. Their age going to be many who can't take care of themselves without the proper health care of a medical expert and you'd rather deny this? Its almost like saying you can't buy a home because you aren't the right color and that is wrong.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  95. valerie

    Tony I notice that you're overlooking the obvious of what most viewers like myself are seeing, take a look at the Repubs. townhall and contrast it with the Democrats. Why is Senator Grassleys so peacefull? you can hear a pin drop, who is disrupting the Democrats and what's their goal? just asking!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  96. Alison

    I am scared that after all is said and done with Health Care Reform, that I still will not have access to affordable Health Care for myself and my husband. Our 2 boys are allowed to receive Medicaid based on our income but my husband and I our left out in the cold. I am 2 1/2 years away from graduating with my bachelor degree in education. I carry a 3.8 GPA, work, and I am actively involved in my children's daily life so I don't see myself as others have described as "someone who is looking for a handout" but we do need help. We do work hard and we do deserve Health Care just like everyone else. I fear the Democrats are going to except what they can get through a bi-partisan approach and my husband and I will still be without. How can I not fear that so many people like me are not going to be left out in the reform once again?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  97. Karen Martin

    I am a single mother of 3 teenagers. I am fortunate that I work for the large Montana university system, which has good health insurance as a benefit of employment. The reason I can stay in a job that pays less than $38,000 is those benefits. (I have a master's degree in education)

    My oldest daughter is 19 and has Down Syndrome. She can stay on my health insurance policy for a couple of more years because of her disability – and she is now also covered (secondarily) by Medicaid. My primary concern is the future of HER health care – once she's on Medicaid as her sole insurance. I had to contact 7 doctors before I found one who would even accept a new Medicaid patient (because of reimbursement rates from the govt). Where is this going for Alyssa, who is one of the more vulnerable constituents in this nation? What about for me – if I lost my job – what then for my family?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  98. Judy

    My concern is that the scare tactics used will force those in Washington to make the wrong decisions. The reform must be made for those who are growing up without health care, children are going without the basic care because their families (not illegals) cannot afford to take care of them. Emergency rooms are being crowded with those who have small things like a cold because they know that somehow the will not have to pay. We need change and the insurance companies put in their places

    August 12, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  99. christa

    I've had cancer twice. The first time I was twenty-nine and had a partial hysterectomy for cervical cancer. The second time I was 44 and had a bilateral mastectomy., Insurance was very necessary in both cases. It's a horrible nightmare to hear the word 'cancer' both for your family and yourself.

    My concern is that I have heard there are age guidelines for the types of tests that a person receives under the new healthcare plan. What if my age didn't fit into their brackets? Would my cancer have progressed, undiagnosed to different areas of my body-causing my survival rate to decline?????? This seems to be a scenario for a very personal horror movie..... Are there really age guidelines/restrictions?

    On the flip nside, I worry about losing insurance if my husband is laid off in this shakey economy. Then what????? No insurance is a super scary thing too.....

    In a perfect world I would have insurance whether we had jobs or not. I would be able to select from the same doctors I do now and receive the same care. And hope of all hopes, I wouldn't have to fight with the insurance company to get them to pay for what they know they owe. Hmmmm, how likely do you think that is???? 🙂

    Thanks for listening to my rant.

    Sincerely,
    Christa

    August 12, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  100. Donna

    There seem to be so many versions of this so-called "Health Care Bill" in the House and Senate and the President's office, how in the world can we realistically know what they are talking about??
    As soon as - if ever - the politicians can come together and present one clearly written bill, then perhaps the American Public will be able to contact their representatives in Congress and suggest they either do or do not support this bill.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  101. Mitch

    Aren’t there other issues of concern besides HR3200 being brought up about Healthcare? Things hidden in other bills, etc?! What about reducing Medicare by $500B over the next 10 years? Isn’t this primary insurance for most 65 and older? What will this do to our elderly and disabled! What about non-US Citizens having free access to OUR medical services? What else???

    August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  102. Angela Tacoma Washington

    What concerns me most abut health care reform is not the proposal it self, rather the inconsiderate,passionless, human being that are against it, for no reason other than spreading hate. I have been watching these town halls I am ashamed to associate my self with them as an American before the world. Most questions have had nothing to do with the reform, rather a platform to spread confusion, even a dunce would have more knowlege than what has been displayed thus far.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  103. Sobrasua Ibim

    Tony
    You are doing a fantastic job and you are an inspiration to all of us.

    About the question here is how I feel. Reform is necessary and immediately, we cant waite. I believe part of the reason why American feels so divided is because we dont feel a sense of helping each...it is all about me. It is as if we are in the junk and the strongest and most naturally favored survives. More so, we let the insurance companies to manipulate us...they use the most volunarable citizens to fight their war and in the mean time, price-gauging on every one.
    You know Tony, I am in the position as most people..having taught for 12-14 years in colleges since 1995, I lost my job as an associate professor of biology and have not been able to attain a full job. My part-time job is not enough to pay our mortgage after taxes, so I am on my wifes insurance. I have every reason to yell at everybody I dont.
    We need change: one that will allow the private sector to compete against thereby lowering the prize.

    Thanks, I did not mean to burden you with all these details.
    S. M. Ibim, Ph.D

    August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  104. jean sanchez

    The majority of American's are notorious for being short-sighted and having no talent for the discerning cognitive process known as 'thinking'.
    Rather they react from a projection of fear and loss of entitlement.

    Look at the facts:
    -Medicare is a successfully run government medical program. Its already happening at some level and whats funny is that the people complaining the most are the old ones on Medicare. Is this stupid or what?????
    -Private insurance companies are out of control and most Americans have trouble working their myriad of loopholes and lack of accountability processes.
    -One way or the other we tax payers pay for those who do not have insurance or default on their medical bills – especially emergency hospitalization. Surely the richest country in the world can afford to take care of the health of its citizens and upcoming generations. Is this not a good investment in our future.
    -Many other countries have successful government sponsored health care plans that their tax payers are happy with. The blueprint/model exists so its not an unknown or untried gambit.
    -There are many kinds of national debts to be worried about incurring but the health and well being of our citizens should not be one of them.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  105. s clark

    Will our representatives be willing to shop for the same health insurance in the same market as we the people are now required to shop without preference? They have no skin in the game so they are not interested in any changes and some oviously are more interested in protecting the insurance companies than they are in the people who vote them in or out of office. How are they, the republicans mostly, able to convence people to fight so pasionately for the insurance companies?
    Why is this health insurance/care reform being framed as a loss for President Obama, if it fails to pass, when we will need to wait and see if the present health care system is better than the changes being proposed. If health care and insurance continues to cost more, will we then blame those who were opposed to the change for present system?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  106. Phil Evans

    Tony,
    My question for your consideration is: Are our representatives doing their job? My sense, somewhat validated by the responses shown on TV from the Town Meetings is that people seem to be speaking from the position that their future is being determined form them. Probably from the fact that the Government is “bailing” so many activities and becoming business owners to some extent, specific details which the public has not heard or understood, perhaps. However, the general feeling that I get is that the protestors are displaying reactions that make me think they feel as though we are being told by the government officials what our future will be without our input. The general attitude that I sense is one of submission and the feelings of frustration because we can’t do anything about it and our chosen representatives are no longer “representing” but dictating and becoming more and more socialistic whether the officials accept that fact or not.

    Phillip S. Evans
    Arlington, TN

    August 12, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  107. Rich storey

    Currently corporations control our healthcare system with the intent of making profit. That profit is the driving force of our current system, not the provision of heath care. The only way we can possibly reign in this greed without going to a single payer system is to offer a competitive system from the government whose purpose would be to provide heatlcare, not mak a buck off peoples illnesses.
    The corporations are now spending many millions of dollars to misinform the public to try to block this bill. I fear there are not enough people who will expend the effort to actually research and understand the bill. If ther did, it would pass no problem.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  108. R.J. Klapproth

    Health Care Proposals:
    Pres. Obama and others refer to a database directed at patient care and records. There has been no mention to date regarding the data security of such a system. If the system is national and all hospitals and doctors are eventually connected to the system, what are the possibilities of hacking into the system for the purposes of identity theft?
    To illustrate, one would assume that there would be a unique identifer for each "patient" in the system. Currently we use Social Security numbers to identify. However, we have examples of data losses by government agencies such as the Veterans Administration. It does not appear that an analysis of hospital and physician protections are/ would be in place to safeguard data from hackers. If the security safeguards have not been addressed, the system proposed could have serious risks and consequent financial risks to individuals.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  109. Peter Ramsay

    I am Canadian.
    I do pay for my health care through Federal and Provincial income taxes.
    I have diabetes.
    I am never denied treatment because of my pre-existing condition.
    We have sometimes long hospital wait times. Unless of course you are in critical condition and then you receive fast service.But otherwise you get treatment in a reasonable amount of time.
    Our cost per patient is far less than in the U.S.
    I get exactly the same great medical treatment as any Billionaire. We don't treat people based on their ability to pay.

    It is very difficult for me to understand why the U.S. wouldn't just adopt a medical system similar to ours or the other many countries offering full medical coverage for their citizens. You would save trillions of dollars in taxation.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  110. KRJ56

    Tony, there is no question that something must be done about healthcare. This same discussion has been going on for decades with no real action taking place. I am not afraid of a big government takeover, death panels, or being taxed to ensure coverage for all. Finally, I heard a good question yesterday at President Obama's townhall meeeting: "Where will we get the doctors and nurses needed to support the healthcare needs for another 46 million people." This is a valid, fair question that must be addressed. Can you tell me if anyone in the legislature has given this any thought? Finally, I am very concerned about President Obama's safety. I pray that those who are responsible to protect him are ready. There's a lot more going on here than anger about healthcare reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  111. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    I have a few concerns actually, among them are accessability [If I can find affordable healthcare, will I have access to someone who accepts that plan], Affordablity [How reasonable is the pricing for a young family with one 8 month old little girl], timing [will it happen sooner rather than later], integrity/longevity [Will it be in danger of being revoked under the next administration should that next Administration be diametrically opposed to this administration], quality [will I get at least second to best (Prefereably best) in regards to the quality of care I get and the efficiency and expediency of the doctors and staff who should be treating em and my family like their only begotten children], and variety [Will I have the opportunitty to get a variety of services to help me gain or maintane optimum health for my age and for the ages of the family memebers in my family?].

    I am concerned with that last one because, as an example, I was 31 years old and I went to a clinic for a routine check up, and I wanted to have my prostate checked. the doctor pretty much told me no. I realize that most men don't have that type of check up until around 35 or 40, but I wanted to try to be ahead of the curve and take the initiative. I was interested in early detection and I was denied and IF I was found to be at risk, I wanted to start early prevention. I haven't asked since then.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  112. Eileen

    I am so upset at all the negative media coverage concerning health care reform and its proposed changes. Change has to happen to ensure that everyone has access to quality health care coverage as opposed to what we have today.

    The one comment that seems to be most vocal is the so called "Obama Panel" that will supposedly sit in judgement of and approve requests for services and procedures. I find it very interesting that no one has mentioned that these same panels exist today and are part of the basic day-to-day operation of insurnace companies.

    Insurance companies decide what your health care plan looks like and what they will pay for and if your need happens to fall outside that list (ie: admission, tests and/or proceudre) it will not be approved. Next step an appeal.

    Every insurance company has an appeal process and someone should talk about the volume of requests they receive.

    Let's make sure the general public really understands the health care process and how it really works today. Maybe people won't be so angry thinking something is being introdcued that does now exist today.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  113. David B

    Health care access should be either guaranteed for all Americans (it is not there for some of us folks). Or the government should stop regulating it and allow us to bring in foreigners to help us. Since it's a nightmare to consider unregulated medical care, the government has a moral obligation, because it controls access, to make sure that everyone has equal access to basic medical care. Things like diabetic test strips should not be denied coverage as they are right now by some insurance plans.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  114. Tom

    Our death panel is the US military, wake up people, that would NEVER happen in the United States. People will believe ANYTHING!!! Regain control of your mind.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  115. Joseph

    Two concerns about the Health Care Reform. in both cases they are linked to the governments inability to effectively manage programs it establishes and the probability that taxes will increase substantially to support it.
    Point 1: I cannot accept that this will not end up costing tax payers billions more in taxes. I know that the intent is not to do that, but given the governments poor track record of running programs, they are consistently either incompetent with our money or liars about the cost. Probably a lot of both.
    2nd point. As with the cash for clunkers program, the government totally underestimates the impact (success?) of programs. My fear is the Government insurance will undercut all private insurance to the point that it's SO attractive, employers start switching to it as cost cutting measures and suddenly we have virtually set up a single payer program. Result: socialized health care system in the US, elimination of choice.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  116. Barry Deak

    Hi and thank you for providing this forum for questions.
    My question is where can I go to read the health care reform bill. I have heard there as many as five health care reform bills before congress. So, where are people reading these bills to get their information. I don't trust what Rush or Olberman say, because they are biased.
    How many bills are there? Where can I go to get information that is actually in the bill or bills?

    Thank you.
    Sincerely,

    Barry Deak

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  117. David Satterfield

    One of Pres. Obama's rationales for changing the health care system is that its costs are unsustainable. How much of the $2 Trillion health care industry does the proposals in congress actually deal with? Are costs related to dental, drugs, re...search, alternative care such as chiropractic, nursing home care, and administrative costs being addressed? How can the uninsured be given insurance, the insured be encouraged to use more services by accessing preventative programs, and deductables be lowered and the plan be revenue neutral? Read More.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  118. Lila Scott

    What is or will be done about fraud and waste in Medicare and other insurance? $100s for about every room entered, huge costs for every Qtip and tissue... No doubt millions in downright fraud. Any agency in place and doing its job in these areas?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  119. Roopa

    The Wall Street Journal had an excellent article that highlighted the basic problem of today's system – too much demand from consumers because they do not directly pay out of pocket for many services.

    There is no way that this country can continue to subsidize such a system. A public health option would make it worse. Any country with a public option – Canada and France included – have huge problems with either financing the program (France) or rationing (think long waiting lists for major procedures in Canada) to make the finance manageable.

    The solution is a combination of (a) dismantling barriers to free competition in the insurance industry (b) ensuring that consumers pay a higher portion of medical expenses for routine medical services whilst protecting them from the devastating financial impact of massive "unplanned" medical events.

    For example, patients should pay more for services such as going to the doctor for a cold, chiropractic adjustments etc. since problems like these can be controlled through better diet, exercise etc. etc. This will incentive patients to control costs through healthy habits. However, insurance plans should protect consumers against the cost of major medical events such as cancer, strokes etc.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  120. George Moore

    There is a very fundamental perspective on this that has yet to be discussed in thorough fashion. We trust our government to provide and regulate most services that PEOPLE are entitled too. Police departments, Fire departments, schools, and even Postal service have been regulated by our government for decades. The healthcare sector has been excluded from this group and has been a BUSINESS for profit rather than a SERVICE for Americans. Of course a change, like the proposed bill, on a national scale will carry a large pricetag, however the productivity and well being of a healthier nation is worth the toll.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  121. Carl Wyble

    Your poll question asks if healthcare is a fundamental right regardless of ability to pay. I submit that ability to pay has little to do with it. Constitutionally there is no provision that gives the government the power to decide this. The answer should be based on the facts however we all know most will answer how they feel about the matter. As a caring person I feel we should be able to take care of all our citizens but to call it a right is simply inaccurate.
    On your show you posed the question "is there something bigger brewing". The answer is yes. The founding fathers warned us that governments should not be trusted. They had an inherent fear of government which they articulated very clearly. This is the real underlying problem.
    For me the argument is a simple one. The federal government has failed repeatedly in the form of Social Security Medicaid, and in fact overall management of our tax dollars. You don't even have to dig to find examples of waste and excess.
    It is my feeling that we must hold our elected officials collective feet to the fire (Dems and Repubs) in order to have them demonstrate competence BEFORE allowing them to take on a project such as health care reform. For if they manage this project as they have all the others failure is simply a forgone conclusion in my opinion.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  122. Nick

    Health care is like fire or police or military protection because eventually, at sometime or in somelace, early everyone will need it. How it should be delvered is beyond me but one thing that comes to my mind is that we need more doctors in the market place. Let physicians compete with one another: they say they believ in Capitalism, yet their Union (the AMA) keeps tight control on the number of entrants coming into the Union, so open it up and I am sure prices will fall.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  123. Cynthia Rushton

    Fear a Big Government Takeover? We are already in it.
    If every social security card was a tool like an ATM debit card, we could have emergency (and regular) votes of the people.
    Let's VOTE to see if the people want a single-payer system.

    I know Obama means well, but he is forgetting the highest understanding, You have to see and believe in the ideal to create it, to manifest it. He continually settles for less and is getting less. What happened to the noble ideals he won the election on. I plead him, No more Compromise. Please.

    We must find a fairer way to decide these matters instead of influence going to the highest bidder claiming to be the voice of "The People" .

    We keep using the same old rhetoric as if this age of computers is still the dark age of the depression.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  124. Lorraine Walker

    Tony,
    THANK you for the perspective you are bringing this morming to a critically important debate. I don't want to see any more video footage of screaming people. Let's get to the issues on health care reform.

    An unaddressed point in all these debates is all those people who have health care that they are happy with: great. Now what if they lose their job next week? Would they see things differently? We should realize it is not them or us. Any one of us could soon be among those without health care by a mere flick of fate. If we can't be generous to others...then just think in terms of self-interest. Tomorrow you could be one of those without health care.
    Lorraine from Texas

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  125. Byron

    I am concerned most about the fact that the Obama wants everyone to have ins. I believe that no one should have ins. There should not even be ins. companies for health care. This would level off the exploding costs from hospitals and pharmacutical companies. Health ins. companies are the middle man and the middle man makes alot of money. I understand that there are extreme situations such as transplants, cancer etc. that should be covered by a program like medicare. That should be the only time the government should step up and help.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  126. Laura Talbott

    My biggest concern about healthcare reform (as currently proposed) is that it will prove to be yet another unsustainable entitlement program, along the lines of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. No one can sufficiently explain how much it will cost, how it will be funded, and how much our taxes will increase. Reform is necessary to some degree but I don't believe that the government should attempt to reinvent this country's entire healthcare system. Congress should go back to the drawing board and attempt to draw up a bipartisan, affordable solution that could perhaps be phased in over time. I don't trust Obama's insistence that reform should be passed a.s.a.p., especially before the public has had ample opportunity to study it and comment on it.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  127. Bob Bullis

    With all the hullabalou about health care reform I have heard no comments concerning what the causes of high health care prices are. We need to "treat the cause " not the symptoms. The cause is existing insurance regulation which allows insurance companies to pass their losses in investments on to consumers. Has anyone ever looked into business practices inside the insurance companies? How about regulating them like we do banks? When the owner of the insurance agency that handles my policy tells me that a 80% increase in my premium is unavoidable and the drives away from the meeting in a 60,000 BMW, something is wrong.

    RWB from Montana

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  128. sharon ickes

    The American people should not accept a health plan unless our elected government officials MUST accept it also. I am 69 years old, diabetic and cannot get my insulin at a price that I can afford.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  129. Diana

    Tony. I voted for this President. I am a liberal Democrat. I think he's doing a fine job trying to guide us through this mess that has been many, many years in the making.I back the healthcare reform. I have experienced, first-hand the mess insurance companies put you through. I also believe in debating both sides of an issue and doing it in a mature and civil manner. I do not like seeing people trying to disrupt meetings as it is not fair to those who came to share and to learn. In addition,yes, I think something more is brewing, change is never easy. But please, read todays commentary in Washington Post by Kathleen Parker, ":Easing the 'Death Panel' Fear". read the entire article and take note of the very last paragraph and concluding sentence as to how to ease people's fear about this current uproar. If this simple statement she notes, is not in the bill, could actually be put in print, rather than just spoken word, then maybe as she said, it would help to ease fears.
    Though either way, it is sad to think that no matter what this President does they won't like it....because it is quite obvious something more is brewing by those who participate in the hate dept. Thanks for a great show, Tony.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  130. Jason Cogar

    My biggest concern is America, We are all guilty of not working with one another to come up with the best ideas. Instead we let overpaid politicians argue over our lives. We should take control since we float the bill to pay for all of this nonsense that is occuring in D.C. We all need to work together to help one another. What happen to makeing the American Dream possible for anyone. There are alot of selfish Americans that are fighting against a Health Care Bill that will help millions of Americas children, Shame on you America!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  131. Joey Adair

    I worked for more than 20 years, paying all my taxes including Soc. Security Disability Ins. When I became disabled 3 years ago I was supprised to learn that even though I was awarded my disability income, I would have to wait 24 months for any kind of medical insurance. Had I not paid any tax, I would have recieved SSI and Medicaid. This is the reverse of what it should be, but it is the law. Check it out wtih the Social Security Office. I believe the government set this up with hope that we will die in the first 2 years and save them money. It cost me my life savings, I just wonder how, many people die that do not have any savings to fall back on? I would like to see you or one of CNN's reporters ask the president, a congressman or senator if this is ever going to be changed.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  132. r brennan

    hey tony, could you please show us the amount of insurance companies lobbing money taken by the congress and senate. americans want the same deal as our elected. we pay for their insurance, so why don't we have a referendum this november , so we can take thier insurance away from them. then they may see things from the eyes of the average american?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  133. David B

    To set up a health insurance voucher system we would only have to pay about 10 Billion per month. If every family/household without insurance had a voucher for $1000 a month, and everyone had guaranteed acceptance we could cover 10 million families with private health insurance. If private industry could cover the uninsured for 120 Billion per year (doing simple math), why are the estimates that the governments program would top 1 Trillion? I think a government run program will cost a lot more than just feeding into the private industry. I would rather have Blue Cross Blue Shield than a Federal Insurance plan.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  134. Margo Madrigal

    What concerns me most about the health care reform debate is the insistemce of democratic politicians that those happy with their insurance will be able to keep it. That's not exactly true.

    The FACT is that a not for profit or government agency is not subject to the same restrictions as a business. Not for profit doesn't have shareholders like a private entity and you can't sue a government agency like you can an insurance company. Either one of these options will drive private insurers out of business.

    How about pointiing this out and informing the general public?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  135. David

    Tony, no wonder why Healthcare reforum is failing with the American public, we have a bunch of I'll informed Senators that don't even know how to adress the healhcare issue if it fails they only have themselves to blame not the American public. First of all I can't understand why at these Town Hall meetings we don't have any healthcare industry people addressing the issues instead of Senators that don't have any clue about the healthcare crises the American public faces on a daily basis.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  136. Sadaf

    My biggest concern about health care reform is that people that actually got their education and degrees and worked hard their entire life are going to have the same health care services as someone who has done nothing or is an illegal immigrant. I believe all the hospitals will end up having long waiting lines in the emergency room. People will have to wait for more than 24 hours just to see a doctor. This is what actually occurs in county hospitals. I worked hard for my health care and I believe I should have better care than someone who has not.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  137. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    In regards to Annastasia's concern over forced birth after a rape... raped or not, after a certain point in the developement of a child it is no longer aborting a pregnancy or preventing a pregnancy, it just becomes unwarranted killing, or based on ones reasoning, murder.

    That being said, I agree, the last thing I want is for some "birther" having the power to make such decisions, since the reason for taking the decision out of the hands of someone like a rape victim is to do away with crazy... So, it would be even more crazy to have crazy judge the condition of crazy.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  138. Larry

    I think we, Americans that really need the health care reform are not speaking up or should I say our voices are not being heard. We should be open to change and not be scared of change. History has shown that we Americans do not like change, but at this time when the private health insurance companies are not forthcoming, I think government intervention will provide the competition and will rescue us from the grip of these insurance companies.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  139. william

    Tony...I like your thoughtful presentation....This hubbub about healthcare reform reveals the extreme polarities between the Republicans and the Democrats.....Actually, we need a new party of those in the middle...
    the "right" believes that Capitalism is the only way to govern an country but Capitalism is based on greed...just look at the stock market and all other markets....We want to invest and make a killing..Then, we have millions who not only have no money to invest but cannot obtain preventative healthcare..The Republican "rightious" want to reform the system thru tax rebate incentives...Sure...I know many of my neighbors who dont even pay taxes! The president has presented a truly thoughtful plan....A government option isn't the best..a single payer system is the best....but it will cause the monopoly of the private sector to adjust to more accessible plans.
    Americans are myopic and haven't seen the happy societies of Holland, Canada and Taiwan who have successfull government run programs for all of their folks...Wake up America!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  140. Jeanne Trachta

    Hello Tony,
    I just saw the coverage of the town hall meeting in Winterset with Senator Grassley, and Candy Crowley commentary. It appears civil discourse still reigns in Iowa.

    Thanks for the coverage of something other than the screamers and disrupters.
    JT
    Council Bluffs, Iowa

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  141. Richard

    I think President Obama's "inaccurate" comments are irresponsible on his part. I would think that the President of the United States would check his facts out before he makes these statements.

    I've seen the tape where President Obama states that he is in favor of a "Single Payer" health system. Why doesn't he just admit it?

    In his own words, President Obama has compared the U.S. Postal Service to UPS and admits that this government operated entity is always in trouble (losing money). Why then would we want the Government to run a National Health Care system (Single Payer) when it is going broke running the Social Security Administration and Medicare?

    Who wouldn't be in favor of a Health Care System when taxpayers are paying the bills? We must stop SOCIALISM's logic.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  142. Gilbert

    I just admire your "No-Nonsense" approach in the attempt to get beyond the rhetoric. I'm a founder of a Non-Profit youth Organization- Gil's Professional Youth Services. I've been struggling for over 2 decades to start my non-profit- I can't even help people because of our political systems all the way down to small town councils! Health care will be one of my concerns in the future, especially for my employees. GPYS is about innovation, creativity and all those good things you hear about from out politicians but don't deliver! I have always thought that a Government System in place is required, only because it doesn't make money but set aside money for the individual- hard earn money that stays with the individual, just like an insurance poicy, but if not used- they still have the money in a "savings" sort of speak. Talking about waiste of money, I've had plenty of jobs and lose my coverage time after time- and I can imagine the business that lose the money also- we don't see any of it and policy holders are getting rich while we don't have anything!

    Thanks for listening, Gilbert Sanchez – GPYS Founder

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  143. David Lowery

    oh one last comment, my mom of 89 years old has had the same dentures for 50 years, is in need of a new pair but Medicare, doesn't pay for them

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  144. Joyce

    I have two concerns:
    First, I am disabled on medicare. I work part time to pay my deductible and 20%. As a cancer survivor, I need a pap smear once a year and
    medicare will pay for the pap smear, but not the doctor to do it.

    From what I have heard on CNN, and I watch you all the time,is that
    medicare will be cut, my concern is how will it be cut? Nobody has said anything about how congress plans on cutting medicare. If
    our President and Congress were being honest with us, they would
    let us know how they plan to cut medicare.

    Secondly,
    I understand that there is about 1,000 pages for the health reform right now. Why is it that everytime something is passed by congress
    there are so many pages that nobody has time to read.
    What are they hiding in those pages?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  145. Grace

    I think one of the biggest issues is a lack of clear language and how it can be spun to support either side. Joe and Jane public need a frame of reference to understand what is proposed. Here's an example. Why do people shop at Walmart? Because the prices are lower. How does Walmart sell products for less? By using bulk buying leverage to force suppliers to reduce prices. How would health care reform lower costs? By using the Walmart process of bulk buying leverage to force insurance companies to lower the price of buying their products.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  146. Lorna

    Please put together a panel of OB nurses and social workers in a busy urban hospital, any hospital. Ask about abuses or changes in our business in recent years. I work in a busy OB unit. We have had a woman performing oral sex on her partner hours after delivery in her hospital room, a young man bragging to the nurse that he has 17 babies with various women, 19 yr old woman that has 5 children and can't have her tubes tied until she is 21 yrs old, an illegal who loans her medical card to family and friends that don't have a insurance. Perhaps we should be working on some of these social issues that affect healthcare costs.
    My next concern is over the time it takes to be reimbursed by the government for services, and the limited reimbursement. Hospitals need to make up the difference with private insurances who will pay 80% of the bill as opposed to 45%. The government tells the hospital how much they will pay, and there is no option. Hospital costs have gone up. Often it is because of government regulations about type of equipment and care that has to be provided, making service costs skyrocket. Will government healthcare cause hospitals to have to close, unable to pay their bills? What will happen to nurses under Obama's plan? We have been going through a nursing shortage, but there are no perks in healthcare. What other profession works 24/7, extra shifts are mandatory, and when it is slow, hours are cancelled and paychecks suffer. It is a difficult profession, and not well respected.
    Please get a group of these workers together and talk about real issues, not those that are dreamed up or projected. We have real problems today. Let's talk about those and come up with solutions.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  147. Jodi

    Tony,
    I think people have been angry at the town halls, especially at first, because people felt no one was listening to them. Now that the congressmen and senators have started having town hall meetings things have calmed down. Yes, I fear big gov. that is taking over everything. Why can't we slow down and start with reform on health insurance companies. The gov. is not going to be able to save money concerning health care. There is no reason why they can't decrease medicare/medicaid fraud right now. Why haven't they done this yet? Clean up the systems we have and show us they can run effectively before we create a new big gov. program based on that model. The systems we have to look at for examples of what a gov. insurance company may look like are medicare and medicaid and they are broke. Give us some examples of big gov. programs that have come in or under budget. Our whole country is broke and we just keep spending. Inflation has a cost and every person in America will pay the cost. The very people we are trying to help get insurance will have a lot bigger problems when they can't afford milk and bread.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  148. Mark

    It matters to me that health care reform involves changing the structure of the current system from quantity of service to quality of service. Allowing doctors to provide more preventative care and counseling than proscribing procedures to inflate their invoices. Also I would like to see better regulation on physician billing because there is consist overbilling in almost every medical office in this nation. You can’t blame the doctors for using a system to make as money as possible. So remove the temptation?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  149. elliott barkum

    tony i lived and worked in finland for two years they have one of the best health care systems in the world all citzens are covered regardless of income now their taxes are pretty high but you can see where the taxes are going also free education to all citizens the american people or should i say some don,t realize that we already have aform of socialize health care in this great country of ours the va hospital medicare so i am all for the single payer system taxes will go up but people will not be going broke trying to pay medical bills

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  150. Joseph Claus

    I just listen to Tony Harris address that predictions or the fears that government health care will morph into something different than the bill and I would like to answer that.

    Using recent past and the last several decades concerning government regulations morphing into something dangerous or corrupted, the answer is an easy yes!
    From the issue of illegal immigration allowing criminal business to exploit illegals and citizens, also putting our lives and livelihood in danger.
    To regulation of stocks, housing loans, questionable war, ensuring the safety of domestic and imported foods, and products.
    The outsourcing of decent jobs using a global market; that really has helped only a tiny fraction of the worlds poor and in fact subjugated and practically enslaved more. Reaping huge profits for the worlds already super wealthy.

    The Dot Com scam, to the housing scam, our citizens lost billions and our tax money thanks to both party’s inapt or corrupted actions.
    Is now still enriching those responsible with not one indictment. United Health care head walks away with a 400 million dollar packages and all of health care entities and CEO’s recording huge profits.

    So are fears are not just unfounded but it doesn’t take a physic to see our future about how uncaring and pliable along with corrupted government can get.
    These are just a fraction of government failures or corruption. No crystal ball needed.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  151. Sheryl File

    Any government run program to date that has any track record past or present is gone or is sorely in the red. So any plan that offers a government run option, I'm against. The pilot test failed in Medicare and social security. Yes we need health care reform from the doctors to the lawyers, the pharmaceutical companies to the hospitals, suppliers and insurance companies however and the only way to get to it is through bipartisan negotiations. I haven't seen that in Washington. The only "rush" is the artificial one the President has invoked. He is using this as scare tactic; the sky won't fall because health care wasn't changed in 2009. The whole bill should be scrapped and start over at the beginning where representatives from both sides of the aisle sit down and hammer out a plan that addresses all of the gameplayers without all kinds of earmarks. If that doesn't happen come next election all the Democrats that rammed the plan through will find out really how citizens feel. Even those that have been career politicians will find themselves looking for a new job. The government is in the business to protect US citizens not to provide goods and services. Washington has lost the focus of what the founding documents have subscribed as their duty and that is why we are in the pickle we are in today. Government needs to protect the people from big business not be a part of its ranks.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  152. David Satterfield

    Why won't capitalism cap the rise in health care costs and develop programs to meet the needs of those in the gap of coverage? Does regualtion stand in the way of either of these goals?

    If insurance companies are forced to insure people with pre-existing conditions, why wouldn't people buy insurance only when they have a condition that will require medical treatment? I may not wnat insurance until I find that I have some desease that I need it to cover. Removing the pre-exsisting condition penalty would be like allowing people to buy flood insurance the day befor a hurrican was to hit.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  153. Jayne Kaplan

    While there are many issues that concern me, the quality of coverage by news media also skews the issues. Last night there was a town meeting in Alhambra California conducted by Congressman Scifft. There were hundreds (possibly a thousand) people there TO SUPPORT the Obama reforms. I have seen no coverage on your station yet showing supporters, only the disrupters at other meetings. Supporters don't want to be disruptive or rude, but supporters deserve attention. If such attention is not given in coverage, it appears that the only active participants are the nay sayers. All your coverage this morning is about how people are in fear. That comes from the pathetic political theater that is being created by the rude disruptive demonstrators. Cover the energy and enthusiasm of reform supporters and maybe the issues will finally be aired.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  154. George Tomer

    Dear Tony, I am concerned by the continual misinformed news commentators and most 'experts.' This morning the CNN fact-checker mis-stated the AARP position!! Can you imagine the impact on your viewers if they haven't done their own research? Next, the AARP representative has already stated in his testimony to ACT NOW, as part of AARP's health reform policy, ie., Congress needs to act now and get so well-needed reform. Last, TOO much political stances by news journalists, commentators, and others who need to inform the public of their political affiliations before they state OPINION. Simply: too much opinion, not enough factual display. Where's the charts, projections, and rational discussion by those in leadership? My view: pass reform now, make amendments as needed, and work together for all Americans not just the wealthy and their minions. George Tomer, Tribal Elder, Maine

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  155. Jim Pedigo

    Being a citizen who is struggling with a pursuit of surgery, I am aware of this countries need to re organize most of the medical care arrangements here.

    All of these people at town halls that make accusations of socialism, communism, doing away with the constitution, and undesired interjection, are living in a dream world. They are apparently still sore from all the elections they have recently lost and want to demonize anything opposing what they desire. They exaggerate, distort, and probably think there are still WMD that their hero George lied about.

    They didn't even mention health care, they just whined about the general differentials between the two parties, in their view. And factually, if they were more inteligent they could be civil about it.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  156. Neeko Williams

    I have watched the health care town hall meetings. Except for a few people yelling I see no mobs or Nazis in action. Pelosi needs to be impeached before she ruins the country for her comments. Now for my feelings on the health care plan, I do feel we need some overhauling of our system. What scares me the most is Govt. take over of our private insurance.
    No matter what they say, I don't believe we will have the privledge to continue on with our own plans if Obama has his way. Since this is a very important issue, WHY DID OBAMA WANT TO PUSH HIS PLAN THRU BEFORE IT WAS READ BY ALL OF CONGRESS INCLUDING HIMSELF????? From what I understand they don't even know what is in the plan. I have seen Senators at these town hall meetings fumble on certain questions about the plan. We need to clean house on Congress and hopefully Obama won't ruin this great country more than he already has with all the stimulus plans he has enacted.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  157. David

    in 2013 the insurance companies will not be allowed to add new members.This along with the other restrictions that will be imposed on insurance companies, will force insurance companies out of business. everyone will be forced to go to the feds. the government can lose money and the insurance companies cant.. like the postal service has terrible problems like obama admitted..ups and fedex ( non union) are doing fine without the feds.

    medicare is broke now and they keep cutting what the doctors get paid and lots of doctors wont accept medicare..I pay for medicare and there are a lot of restrictions on what medicare will and wont pay for now I need maintainance care periodically and medicare wont pay so I pay doctor cash even though I pay for medicare. Obama has refused to put a cap on malfunction law suits as he is a lawyer and has a lot of lawyer buddies. some doctors in miama pay $250,000 a year in insurance premiums to protect them Obama and his good old boys dont care they only want control and power.

    What is Obama's health bill??? There isnt one and if there was would he read it..Is everybody scared to ask him to read it??
    '

    August 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  158. DannyG

    I am amazed at the number of people that are willing to show their ignorance in public. Some of the people that are shouting the loudest and being the most disruptive at these town hall meetings
    are just parrots spouting the rhetoric of the likes of Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh without the any real grasp of the the issue. Isn't that how Hitler came to power? Euthanizing seniors, forcing people to take government insurance plan, having no say in which doctor is our primary care physician are just a few things that these misguided and ignorant folks actually believe. Come on people..... swastikas?Demonizing the president? Are these really constructive contributions to the forum? If these people were a little smarter, they'd see how ridiculous they sound. If you need a clue, I'll give you one. these right-wing Republicans like Palin, Limbaugh, and others, don't give a rat's rear-end about this issue. Their only agenda is to discredit and smear Obama and other Democrats so that they can get their foot in the door for the 2012 election. Personally, I don't think the American people want that kind of negativity in our political process in 2012 or any other election.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  159. Sara Drake

    There are two principal areas in which health costs could be reduced significantly:
    1. Insurance – affordable insurance for every individual.
    As someone who went without health insurance for twelve years because my former insurer refused to continue my insurance when I changed work, citing existing conditions (minor arthritis and allergies – no bank breakers) and then offering coverage with no existing conditions at 700 dollars a month, forcing me essentially to pay all my own medical expenses while covering nothing, I know what it is like not to have insurance. Eliminate existing conditions and make sure premiums are affordable for every family.

    2. Preventative medicine
    Many of the diseases that eat up vast amounts of health care funds are preventable conditions – diabetes, cancer, heart disease, accidents, etc.
    Thirty years ago dentistry shifted from a treatment model to a prevention model. Dentists focus now primarily on preventing dental diseases. They are still in business. They still do treatments, but dental care and the quality of care has improved greatly because of the prevention model.
    Medicine and doctors need to adopt the prevention model, while maintaining the acute and chronic treatment modalities, and patients need to join in this partnership and take a more active and much more responsible role in their own health by improving their nutrition, exercising more, learning about health and how to become and remain healthy.
    There may need to be an insurance add-on to premiums for those who smoke, are obese, drive drunk, etc. Society should not be forced to pick up the tab for those who intentionally engage in self-destructive and self-injurious behaviors. The individual should handle this responsibility, while receiving expert counselling on how to develop healthier living patterns.

    We would save hundreds of billions of dollars.

    However, I do not agree that the proposed bills before Congress are the solution. They are over-reach and over-kill. Congress and the President have lost touch with the people of the USA and need a reality check – which the town halls are helping to provide. Racking up huge deficits in a recession is poor judgment and poor strategy.

    They could easily come up with cost-effective legislation and cost-effective care (shift to prevention model) if they would plant their feet on the ground, listen to the American people, and develop new innovative care and insurance modalities that save the economy as well as the nation's future.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  160. Bob Bekins

    Dont fix what is not broken. We have the finest medical care in the world. It is highly competitive commercially and so sets a lower price than would be set otherwise. My wife and I struggle to make our insurance payments but we STILL want the system left alone. If things are changed you will not have the Mercedes Benz of health care at a Hyundai price. It is not possible. Much of health care costs come from malpractice suits when illness and misery and death are just a part of life. You cannot permit these suits against doctors who are 99% of the time doing a great job. The threat of a major change is causing young people to reconsider going into the industry. We already have a shortage of nurses, just wait if we have a shortage of doctors. Dont change from this fine machine to something less. It is a mistake.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  161. Lauren67

    Hi Tony,

    I had to declare bankruptcy due to the high cost of medical bills and I am a middle-class homeowner. I wish that those of you in the media would discuss the dramatic increase in medical bill-related bankruptcies in America more often. In fact, I recently read this on your website the other day:

    MEDICAL BILLS PROMPT MORE THAN 60% OF BANKRUPTCIES IN AMERICA

    June 5, 2009

    – More than 60 percent of Americans who go bankrupt are actually capsized by medical bills. Bankruptcies due to medical bills INCREASED BY NEARLY 50 PERCENT IN A 6 YEAR PERIOD, from 46 percent in 2001 to 62 percent in 2007.

    Most of those who filed for bankruptcy were middle-class, well-educated homeowners.

    ...If an illness is long enough and expensive enough, private insurance offers very little protection against medical bankruptcy.

    62.1 percent of the bankruptcies were medically related because the individuals either had more than $5,000 (or 10 percent of their pretax income) in medical bills, mortgaged their home to pay for medical bills, or lost significant income due to an illness. On average, medically bankrupt families had $17,943 in out-of-pocket expenses, including $26,971 for those who lacked insurance.

    ...78 percent had health insurance, but MANY OF THEM WERE BANRUPTED ANYWAY because there were gaps in their coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services. Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance.

    Medical bills are something that a lot of families are having a lot of difficulty with. IT'S A BIG CONCERN and hopefully that's what medical reform will try to address. ... 'Medical bills and medical costs are an issue that can very easily and in pretty short order OVERWHELM A LOT OF FAMILIES WHO ARE OTHERWISE ON SOLID FINANCIAL GROUND, INCLUDING THOSE WITH PRIVATE INSURANCE.'

    The high cost of health care is a problem that's getting worse for people in the United States, particularly since the economic picture became grimmer after the study was conducted. The recession didn't happen until a year after the study. We're quite sure that the problem of bankruptcy overall is worse, THE NUMBERS HAVE BEEN SOARING, and the number this year is expected to be higher than it was before Congress tightened bankruptcy eligibility in 2005. In 2005, bankruptcies peaked at two million filings.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/05/bankruptcy.medical.bills/

    P.S. I'm tired of all the rude shouting so thank you for offering to the hear the concerns of Americans in a civilized manner. I appreciate it and I hope to hear more about the increasing number of Americans who are in my unfortunate situation: not only sick but broke.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  162. paul

    The different health care plans being pushed by president Obama, and the republicans are little more than "smoke and mirrors". Does anyone seriously think that hospitals and insurance companies will pass cost reductions back to us?
    Let's make it simple. We should have the same health care that every member of congress has. If they can come up with billions to blindly give to the banks, give more billions to the (now bankrupt) auto industry, they can find the money to really take care of us for once!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  163. Margo Madrigal

    The CBO has stated that the cost will be approximately 1 trillion dollars. We are already in debt over 11 trillion dollars. Alot of it we owe to communist China.

    Where are we going to get this money?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  164. Mel

    Do all Americans have the right to medical treatment? Yes, I think we do. Do we have the most effective healthcare system in the world? Unfortunately, that is far from the truth. However, my concern is not the need of healthcare reform in America.

    My concern is the amount of govenment takeover that has happened over the past eight months. I think the federal government is suffering from the proverbial "biting more than it can chew" syndrome. There would be less fiscal concern if the federal governmet had not already "invested" time and money into TARP and GM (now dubbed "Government Motors"), both which the federal government had no right to intercede in the first place.

    More importantly, American taxpayers will pay for it all (fiscally, emotionally, physically, etc.) based upon the decisions on Capitol Hill. If GM is able to lose close to $70,000 per minute (which, by the way, is about $20,000 more than the US average household income per year), what give us the confidence that a federal healthcare will not fall into the same rabbit hole?

    If healthcare is such a hot issue, then let's break ties on TARP and GM and use our time, effort, and the American taxpayer dollar to something that all will benefit.

    Thank you for the opportunity!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  165. Steven Vigdor DC

    Tony, You are correct. Health care is not the issue. The issue is trust.
    When our senators and congressman give our hard earned money away,(ie)740 million dollars to T.V. producers. Nancy Pelossi's daughter is a T.V.producer. How much money did Alex Pelossi recieve? Why should I pay taxes so our representative can steel it for themselves and there families?How can we trust them? We the people need a new branch of the FBI.This new division would track all the money distributed to earmarks. Insuring the money does not circle around back to the senators and congressman. Senate oversite is the fox watching the hen house. I bet with FBI oversite there would be virtually no earmars.Wow a balanced budget at last.
    Dr. Steve

    August 12, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  166. Janelle

    Ohio Senator Sherod Brown is holding a health care town hall meeting today but evidently it is secret. I have been calling and can get no info. Were only select constituents invited? I need some questions answered. After standing in a P.O. line for an hour this morning to mail a manila envelope at the cost of 1.75 I thought Gads, that is what my health care will be in the future if gov't takes control?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  167. J Jacque

    I have not heard any concerns on the health coverage for mental issues. The majority of ins. co. will "Cap" out at an unrealistic level...say $1700 per year ( now we all know that most psyciatrist and counseling fee charges are $250/45 min session or more)...there is never enough $$$ provision for continued care...evenually a broken leg heals, but with mental illness you deal with it a lifetime...what reforms are planned that deal with issues of mental illness coverage of ALL ages (teens to elderly)..JJ

    August 12, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  168. Sean

    The World Health Organization estimates that 25,000 cancer patients die in Great Britain annually as a result of restrictions placed upon the provision of CT and MRI scans, similar to the restrictions proposed by the Obama plan. If the US's population is over 5 times that of Great Britain, that means that the US could expect to see an additional 125,000 cancer-related deaths EVERY YEAR due to Obama's new healthcare plan. Is that fewer than the number of people who currently die due to not having health insurance? I don't know. But which is the lesser of two evils?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  169. KAREN, NY

    Tony,

    I hope you read my comment on air. I count myself just like the Nielsen ratings. If I feel a particular way about an issue then I count myself and believe there are 10,000 Americans who feel the same. MY BIGGEST CONCERN IS THAT THERE WILL BE NO HEALTHCARE REFORM AND THE OPPOSITION WILL CONTINUE TO BENEFIT. THE UNINSURED WILL REMAIN UNINSURED AND ALL WILL STAY THE SAME.

    My name is Karen and I am one of the millions who are currently uninsured and I have no healthcare. I lost my job in the 1st week of January 09. I am also a victim of the telecommunications industry and I live in upstate NY. I have been gainfully employed for over 29 years at various telecommucation companies. My health insurance during the time that I did work was always sub par with the exception of one employer. I always had high deductibles when I was single. Now I am a single mom unemployed with no insurance. There is too much mis-information going on about this bill. Far too many Americans are listening to unreliable sources and those who wish to continue to keep the insurance industry rich. American citizens need healthcare reform. We are 37th in the world with a failing healthcare and insurance system. I applaud those in the government and the president for doing all they can do to change the current system. Did any of your viewers ever see the movie SICKO? They all need to see this film. It’s informative. Especially those who are opposing healthcare reform in America.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  170. wilma

    i fear the president will turn america into ANOTHER RUSSIA, he wants to control everything, there is so not being said about this bill, also i do not think the president cares about the elderly, the presidenr does more lying then truth, and americans will fight this bill i think this president is hiding something, he not GOd.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  171. Valencia

    HOW CAN WE CONTINUE TO JUSTIFY PAYING DOCTORS MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO DECIDE WHO LIVES OR DIES? THEY ARE NOT WILLING TO GIVE UP ONE DIME FOR THE SICK WHO JUSTIFY THIER CAREERS. WHY ALLOW INSURANCE COMPANIES TO CONTROL THE MONEY FOR HEALTH CARE? THE CONSUMER SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO GET CREDIT FOR THE MANY MANY YEARS THEY DO NOT USE BUT PAY INTO HEALTHCARE. THEN THAT WAY WHEN SOMEONE IS LAID OFF WORK OR LOSES THEIR JOB AFTER WORKIN G 20-30 YEARS THEY WOULD HAVE SOME TYPE OF CREDIT BUILT UP. I WOULD NOT BE LOSING A SISTER I LOVE DEARLY TO CANCER.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  172. jussuz

    I am 62. My sons are in their mid 20’s one a college graduate. They have already had numerous employers, lapses in employment while in school, part time jobs that do not provide insurance. This is the way so many Americans of all ages work today. Each new job, insurance changes. In between employers, they are not insured. My husband was hardworking & self employed for many years while the family was growing up. I worked with him. Our insurance was exorbitant & still left us to pay deductibles & medications.
There needs to be an option for those not employed or those self employed. A smaller percentage of Americans will be working long term careers in this changing society. If a business can afford & provide health care for it’s employees, great. But we need options to take the burden off of small employers & uncertainty from all our citizens.
We need National Healthcare. To be a strong America, we need to prioritize HEALTH in all ways. An American citizen should never have to worry about healthcare – preventative, medications, major medical. Everybody’s health should be everybody’s concern.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  173. George Coles

    Why all the yelling and screaming?
    1) People are afraid that this massive change being proposed will result inthe long run to losing what they have. Those that have health care, insured or not, medicare or not, don't want to lose it and they don't care if there are people that don't have health care.
    2) The government, which includes the President and members of the House and Senate are not trusted and particulerly on this topic because they tried to rush it through in a short period. They have questioned the members in Town Halls and they don't get answers they believe if they get an answer at all. Clearly the members have not read the bills enough to know what is in them.
    3) The Government has spent more money in 6 months that has been spent in the total of the history of the country. No one can explain in any detail where the money went. No one can explain in any detail what happened and who is responsible for what happened and those that have answered are not trusted, particularly Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd and many others.
    4) Canada's system is used as a guide and example for what the government proposes. It is a one pay system. That is in direct conflict with what members are saying, that we won't lose what we have, You can't have a one pay as well as an open competitive system. I am fron Canada and know better that to believe we can do better than that. It is bankrupt and runs on rationing of services.
    5) Medicare is bankrupt so what makes anyone think that a single payer system will work out any better,
    6) The reason so many oppose the government solution is that they already have coverage and they are convinced that any change will result in they're losing what they have.
    7) People who have been attending the Town Halls have basically been dissed by the members or the SEIU or Acorn or other supporters of these changes.
    8) No one believes what the media, particularly CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS, have to say. They have lost the faith of the people. I spent 45 years in broadcasting with Taft, Kelly, Cox and others and I am ashamed at the lack of objectivity among the reporters, no exceptions. You are all over the top.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  174. Jennifer Shattahi

    I am a supporter of the health care reform. I think of it as more of an insurance reform and I beleive the insurance companies need to have these regulations. However, I think alot of Americans are not seeing it for what it is because of previous bills passed this year, such as the bank bailots. We see these large banks getting money that we as taxpayers are paying for yet we have not seen any of the benefits from it. Many americans have lost there jobs and have piles of debt. Who is bailing them out? I am a registered nurse and my husband is a physician. We have also felt the hit from the economy. It is very frustrating when you have never paid a credit card bill late in your life and now your interest rate is hiked up to 28-32%. Then when you call the banks to ask them why you get hung up on. We can cancel our cards but then our credit goes down. Talk about a no win situation. This has led us to pay off our cards and totally cease our spending. Of course, this effects the economy but I am not giving my money up any more to people who don't appreciate a value of a dollar. I can't imagine being laid off and being in this situation. The American people are getting screwed and the town hall anger is just the beginning of how fed up they are. I beleive this money should have went to the people instead of the banks. I have less of a problem paying for a fellow American who has fallen into ruff times then a bank who has ripped us Americans off for years and now are crying about there mismanagement. People are now scraed that they will lose their health insurance if this bill is passed. If you notice most of the people at these meeting have health insurance already.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  175. carol r.

    WE ARE A DEMOCRACY. WE ARE OUR BROTHERS KEEPER. THAT BEING SAID, WE DO NOT WANT TO BECOME A WELFARE STATE EITHER. AS I LOOK TO THE PAST HOW THE GOVERNMENT LOST CONTROL OF SO MANY PLANS THAT STARTED WITH GOOD INTENTIONS. I WORRY THE HEALTHCARE REFORM WILL BECOME ANOTHER ONE. LOOK AT SOCIAL SECURITY. IF THE GOVERNMENT WOULD NOT HAVE TAKEN MONEY FROM THAT FUND WE WOULD NOT HAVE A PROBLEM TODAY. WHY IS MEDICARE AND MEDICAID BROKE? TOO MUCH MONEY BEING DIPPED INTO BY THE WRONG PEOPLE FOR THE WRONG THINGS.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  176. Daniel

    If the profit was removed from healthcare for hospitals cost would go down. Physicians would not be pressured, by CEOs, to order unnecessary tests. I would like to go to my Doctor and not wonder if the tests that are order for me are because I really need them or if the doctor wants the fee for the test.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  177. Mary Taylor

    No, I don'g fear big government - I welcome it. I seen too much of what goes on without it; everything from e-coli due to lack of government inspectors to unregulated greed leading to recessions to undeclared deadly wars. I have a great single-payer big government controlled health care program. It's called Medicare.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  178. Shirley Matzek

    Since I cannot give my views at a Town Hall meeting, please consider these comments. I am an independent white senior citizen who spent over 11 years caring for three elderly family members. We have a huge understanding of the elderly and the industry that affects them! Be suspicious of the Republican putting the "living will" wording in the plan and then the interesting August "rage!" Our elderly parents had living wills made out way back in the 1970's or 1980's. This is not a new thought, and one doesn't need a doctor to get their wishes legally written down! The Republicans are "spinning" as they always do–putting their awful thinking out there as if it really belonged to the opposition. NO! "Young" emergency room doctors in early 2001-2003 time frame asked family if we wanted 90+ grandmothers (two different people–two separate occasions) treated because, after all, they were so old! They even had the nerve to say that it would "raise Medicare costs!" We adamantly said of course they should be treated. One lived to be 100 and the other had several good years of life after that as well! This was a Republican (Bush) era mindset along with his removal of most regulation from nursing homes. The nursing home corporations continue to abuse and neglect (even rape) patients (no, they are not "residents"–they are patients in the facility for skilled nursing care!). The Bush years are when the elderly found themselves being treated this way; we need to be aware that someone needs to "clean up that mess" too! Christian conservative is such an interesting term. Christian–NO! Conservative–with all their millions (if having those multi-million dollar mansions is considered conservative)? Just preventing abortions doesn't prove taking care of one's life. Caring for homeless, starving "born" children and adults is as important–until natural death. Think about these real life situations, please. We have so much information to share since we were these caregivers. Please feel free to call 715-386-3065. This is so wrong and so maddening when one knows it is all planned spin! P.S. We love "single payer" Medicare and see any doctor we wish. Our younger family members are limited to whatever doctor the insurance from their company allows that year! It's a real mess under private system! We, for sure, hope you take care of "pre-existing" for our Stage IV cancer survivor son–age 50 and needing over $500 medications monthly for the rest of his life. Thanks for listening.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  179. Paul Cassel

    The things that concern me the most in the upcoming healthcare bill are the dozens of frightening items the bill supposedly contains. I don’t particularly care about who’s starting these fright items what I want to know is whether they are or are not correct.

    Your have covered a few of these items i.e. the end of life review board and the full access of individual’s bank accounts. Those were good and very clearly done. I’d like to see each and every item in the various scare e-mails clearly covered. Why don’t you do that?

    Make a list of the thirty or more items that are being widely broadcast – you must have them. Show the list and have two columns on the right “True” and “False.” Then have your expert sequentially work through each item placing a check in one of the boxes. Then make this and the specifics behind the answer available to the public.

    You will do a great service to many people who are greatly confused and terribly worried.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  180. Christy

    C Everett Koop once commented on the subject of cost/benefit in health care treatment. He said you can not access the value of treatment on an individual basis. Although newer and experimental treatments are initially very expensive, they should not be avoided because they are the means for progress in the medical field. I say as a nation we should be committed to having the greatest health care. Health insurance should be purchased to cover our basic medical expenses. The very expensive treatments should be covered by the government as our committment to education and progress in the field. The decision of which treatments to have should be placed back in the hands of personal physicians and patients, not insurance companies and not the government.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  181. Frank E Texas

    Goverment needs to get involved with control of high cost of medication
    from drug companys! A affordable prescription plan covering the non-generic drugs for every american. Lets bring the drug companys to the
    table! This will change the health care alone,and make the physcians
    of this country much more effective!

    Frank E Texas

    August 12, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  182. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    On another point, there's a lot of peopel talking about what their concerns are, but I'd liek to express what doesnt' concern me in the slightest...

    I'm not concerned with this becoming a socialist nation all of a sudden because we have fair healthcare, I'm not concerned that the privileged are upset they they aren't as privileged any more, I'm not concerned with this ebign seen as an attack on the constitution, because that's flat out nonsense, and what I am the least concerned with is all this false, hysterical hyperbole.

    Quite frankly, I could care less that the burden of healthcare is considered being shared thorughout the nation, because a healthier nation is a more profitable one. For those of oyu who can't understand that.... Think of it as the Snowshoe HealthCare Bill.

    Snoeshoes werer discovered to redistribute weight properly. If you walk in snow without these shoes, you sink. If you have them on, your weight is distributed more evenly, and you dont' sink. The same concept applies with shared responsibility in healthcare.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  183. Tom

    I firmly believe that the government is incapable of running ANY program on budget or as promised. That is why the exponential expansion of government programs and costs concerns me.
    On health care...if rising costs and the insurance companies are the "evil force" that the Dems are claiming, then why not regulate/legislate them instead of creating another huge government program? Writing legislation is much cheaper than creating another government program!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  184. Givonnaj

    I am waiting for Senator Landrieu's town hall meeting her in New Orleans. Where is she?

    I worry that the images of these ignorant people yelling is being brioadcast all over the world showing Americans as hypocrites.
    These are the people that cannot believe Obama got into office. And the supporters are staying home.

    This looks just like the people who were yelling about school integration. And had the ignorant not been scared to death, and not fled the cities we would have a much better society today.

    I have been denied insurance from the same company that insured me through 2 different employers. So I would be happily effected by reform

    Spector, and McCaskill both failed to tell people that there is not ONE BILL. We need to bring that home.

    Thanks Tony

    August 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  185. Carl Wyble

    I would like to point out to those on either side of this debate that to suggest that the other side is ignorant stupid in denial or any such derisive comment does not help to further the debate.
    We all are thinking feeling human beings. As such we have our opinions. The right to express those opinions are guaranteed under out constitution. Some may be less informed on specific areas than others. Should individuals really wish to reach an understanding of the facts then they will seek to educated those they feel are not possessing all of the facts. There is little more effective to convince me that I am right than when someone starts calling names or insinuating I am ignorant, biased, etc. If you are angry step back and look from a distance. Try to absorb the opinions of others even if you will not adopt them as your own. Then try to consider the opposing viewpoints honestly. In the end I think most Americans want a lot of the same things. How we get there is crucial and in my opinion right now the most important thing is to not let our politicians sell us a bill of goods that 20years down the road we regret. The only way to prevent this is through open and honest debate of the facts and some method to ensure success. Furthermore, in the absence of success perhaps there should be a way to undue the mistakes. It seems to me that in many cases Washington tries to cover mistakes with more mistakes and never goes back to fix the original one.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  186. Constantina

    The answer is very simple: Take Sweeden & Dennmark as models
    Eliminate all the commercials and negativity and the nonsense and false image industry from the air,
    Be just and truthful,
    Let the intelligent people lead the way
    Acknowledge the fact that the real assets of a country are its people.
    Real education based on truth and not on the fabrications of some people who represent certain groups.
    Stop the pharmaceutical industry from advertising illnesses and feeding people with pills unnecessarily.
    All these do not cost a cent and the results would be miraculous.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  187. David H

    I agree that reform is needed, however there are two concerns I have. On a personal level, I am retired from a large firm that now provides me (as a prior long time employee) a benefit of retiree health insurance through Kaiser which, while expensive is affordable and provides excellent care. I pay a premium, but my ex-employer pays a substantial amount to provide this coverage also. I am sure the corporate accountants are licking their chops over the possibility of ceasing this coverage requiring all of us to accept the "public option" or having to begin to pay the entire Kaiser cost. By choosing to eliminate their contributions, and since we would not be employees per se, they could both avoid the tax/fine for not providing the private option to us and would relieve themselves of the burden of paying our benefit. This would be a very unpleasant and damaging change for us.

    The other concern is more with the content of the reform. First of all, I believe that much of the so-called escalation of health care cost has valid reasons that should be attacked as possible cost savings opportunities rather than just assuming corporate greed is totally at fault. Among these would be the cost of risk/liability protection for health care institutions and private care givers, (malpractice insurance for example), the cost of providing and maintaining the high technology diagnostic and other tools now considered to be commonly expected by patients and which were not even invented ten years ago, the cost of development and testing drug products with the high cost of meeting regulatory burdens, and the cost to health care institutions to cover the services provided to people who cannot pay or where reimbursement is not forthcoming which get factored into the cost to paying policy holders. So far, I have seen NO indication that any of the "reforms" will address the root causes of the high cost of health care such as these, only the absolute resulting cost to policy holders which, in my opinion, is being unfairly assumed to be only a reflection of greed and profit motivations.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  188. Jason Downie of Detroit MI

    All this talk about a Death panel is sick, you need to use your energy for something that helps this country, Republicans have alot to learn. Why are they always affraid of change. I wish we didn't let lie's air on national TV, then we wouldn't have to worry about trying to clear the air. This health care reform is very important to me, and i'm sick of republicans being in the way of change. They are the party of NO. So forget what they think.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  189. Tom Culp

    Why should we as citizens be forced to abide by some thing Congress does not have to ? The President and the Democrats have done a very poor job communicating to the public the details of their plan.... Why should the citizens of this country be skeptical?? It has been my experience every government run program lacks incentive to be efficient or cost effective....

    August 12, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  190. dawn elizabeth

    everyone yes should have health care but what concerns me is the role doctors have to play, there is so much insurance fraud from certain parts of the medical field, doctors who study chiroprator services and use them to do light touch therphies not real chiroprator work and bill the insurance companies especially medicare/elderly so many elderly go three to four times a month for basic overcharged massages and we are to pay for this NO they also change codes very common in this industry, insurance should not pay for this service. where is the goverment looking into this practice before we pay for this nonsense, its not physical therapy thats a different field for the injured which these doctors try to use and now they are bringing in machines take a look majorirty patients elderly why???? insurance pays . bogus they can use the insurance because they go to chiroprator school but actually consider themselves holostic more gentle ways so they can bill insurance. no with our money

    August 12, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  191. Pete Veslocki

    As societies evolve dreams become fundamental rights.

    That is how our Constitution was created.

    Now we because we can, we need to create the best non-profit health care, free education, income tax free society a democracy and it's free market system can procduse for the world to consider emulating.

    Antiquated health care insurance and pharmacuticals for profit has put profit ahead of people's needs primarily due to opportunistic litigation and sheer executive greed.

    Time to put people's needs first.

    Healthy competition will always generate suffecient profit for those who fullfill fundamental needs.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  192. Carl Gray

    think we all know that reforming health care is not a job for Congress to decide for us.
    Of course we need change, we all know it, but let’s change the big things, now and see how they work out.
    1. Tort reform – Limit the # and type of lawsuits and pay-outs of patients. Mistakes are made but to win judgements that bankrupt
    No one talks about it and it’s probably because most members of congress are attorneys as well as the white house leadership.
    2. Limit ER visits for life-threatening patients, only. Set up clinics nearby to treat the rest.
    3. Limit Lab testing, X-rays, CatScans, MRI’s, etc. to serious illnesses and patient pays a large % if not life threatening.
    4. Rather than allowing a generic after the patent runs out, make Pharma Co. drop the drug’s price by 50% for 5 years and then allow generics.
    5. All new drug therapies must be priced at no more than the Ave price of all competitive Branded meds(same class of drugs) plus no more than 5%.
    6. Price increases on All medical therapies should be capped so price increases can not be greater than 5% above inflation per year.
    These changes alone would save Billions.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  193. James

    What sera paitlyn has said about the health-care death panel is nothing but a lie intentionally designed to create fear... why do you the media broadcasted it at all? don't you or politicians or the people who produce all the misleading commercials have any obligation legally or morally to be truthful? This could be easily fixed by barring any broadcast by that politician newsperson show host radio commercial producer for six months indefinitely if they do it again. as it is now they know nothing will happen to them so they just say what ever they want... this isn't something that has to go through Congress the media could do this all on its own!!! Just like any other business in America you have a right to refuse service to anyone! the only time you should broadcast a politician newsman etc lying would be to expose that lie.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  194. Leslie A. Dienes

    Extend Medicare to everyone. Stop placating insurance industry thieves. Dr. Scheiner, the President's former physician, has the experience, insight, and guts to say it right on. Let's go Canadian. Tweak it for increased efficiency and decreased abuse opportunities for system gamers, but cut out the insurance gougers who laugh at us after pocketing eight-figure executive salaries and running up obscene middleman costs. For automobile liability insurance, wealthy individuals can post bond with the state in lieu of buying insurance. For basic health care, we as a nation can likewise self-insure ourselves.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  195. Kelli

    One of the primary goals of health care reform is to reduce costs. A great place to start is by looking at what the lobbyists are resisting the most The insurance industry has already conceded pre-existing condition exclusions. What is their stance on community rating? Drug companies use research from publicly funded universities. What is their stance on patent restriction? I would like to see the top three resistance points from each of the special interests including hospitals, AMA, pharma and insurance.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  196. rich sottilaro

    Here's my comment on health care reform!! Corruption.!! That is the reason most things like health care reform never get down. If a politician
    is taking money from the health care companies to kill the bill but have carte blanche health care benefits that is the ultimate hypocrisy. It takes alot of nerve denying

    August 12, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  197. Wess Barnhart

    The National Health Care will be good. The only people that are agenst the program are the people that already have healt careand are afriad of loosing somthing they think that they are intilted to. For hard working people that cant afford to buy a plan we just do with out and don’t go. This program will help us all from the lower working class to the donald trump type. Can’t we all just get along for HEALTH sake…..

    August 12, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  198. Gary

    Hey tony, I am all in favor of some type of Healthcare Reform, But lets not forget about the economy. If we were to enact the best healthcare system, it wont do any good if we dont have a job to pay for it or a place to live,food to eat, Right now you have about 6.5M people out of work and many of those poeple will run out of unemploment benefits or already have exhausted them....There will be a Bill introduced H.R. 3404, this Bill will extend unemployment benefits to states who's unemployment rate is higher than a 9% over a 3 month average, as of today this Bill will ONLY help 20 states.....This is USA and healthcare should not depend on how much money you have in your wallet

    August 12, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  199. Michael

    Since the Bush administration, your unpaid medical bills now can be used to ruin your credit rating. Why not roll back that "debtors law" so your credit rating can no longer be affected? I'd venture a guess that millions of Americans credit has been ruined by this law. Roll it back and you have a whole new group of Americans with good credit again.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  200. Elizabeth Alexander

    Thanks to CNN for trying to cut through all the fear-mongering. It seems that fear is the weapon of choice by Conservatives and you should continue to point out that opponents of universal health care are setting up imaginary future possibilities and then promoting fear of that – not what's actually in any of the health care reform bills. We have been members of Kaiser Permanente Northern California for 55 years. This is a plan similar to what the President is trying to achieve. We have had nothing but excellent care. My husband is not in the best of health and his doctor even telephones him personally to see how he is doing. Kaiser encourages all it's patients to set up a directive for an end of life situation. I would not have considered this seriously until I was accidentally paralyzed for 12 hours and realized that I would never want to continue living under such circumstances. So much for "death panels" – everyone should have a chance to make these decisions in advance. And everyone should have the comfort of knowing that their medical bills will be covered by insurance if they are sick or injured. If everyone is covered by medical insurance, the nation's overall health report card will improve – that would save a lot of money and help our people lead more productive lives.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  201. J. Wagner

    Why is it the *system's* fault? Why should the *system* need to be changed? I currently have health insurance through my employer, which I pay for. If my insurance doesn't cover something, I don't get it. If I have to have it, I pay for it.

    I don't have AAA for my car. Sure I'd like to, but I can't afford it, so I'll deal with the consequences.

    My concern is that the cost of health care is exorbitant right now due to people without insurance and who do not pay their hospital bills. So we develop a system that caters to these people? And to these people without insurance or money that are complaining about the reform... Are you saying that if you or your child is sick you won't go to the hospital because the reform doesn't make sense or because you have no insurance? I'm betting you'll still go.

    And to those arguing that their kids can't get health care: If you can't afford to insure your kids, don't have them. simple. I can't afford kids, so I choose not to have them.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  202. edyta

    Hi Tony! My name is Edyta, I am 40 and I live in in New York City, Queens. I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004 and again in 2006. My first surgery cost me 15 000 dollars ( that was my savings). After that I was able to get Family Health Plus incurance that covered second surgery and treatment. Unfortunately, recently I have lost the coverage because my " gross income of $946 per month was over Health Plus income limit of $903 per month." I work in a restaurant that does not provide any coverage. I cant afford any insurance. I am at very high risk of getting the cancer again, need to be screened every few months, and get mammograms every six months. I cant do all of these without any coverage. My only hope now is Obama's reform but how long will it take before I can get actual insurance? I need it now! Help!

    August 12, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  203. Geoff Tetley

    Suggested Health Care Plan

    • Everyone with a valid social security number is enrolled in Medicare; anyone being issued a social security number for the first time is enrolled in Medicare when the number is issued.

    • Medicare is funded in its entirety each year by the premiums participants pay.

    • Premiums paid by individuals are based on gross income.

    • Premiums paid by employers for individuals are based on the company’s gross revenues.

    • Medicare supplemental insurance will be expanded to include several additional tiers; premiums will depend on the level of the tier. The lowest tier will be the same as the current plan F (pays everything Medicare does not pay up to what Medicare allows). The highest tier will pay everything Medicare does not pay up to what the doctor or hospital bills.

    • Insurance supplements will be offered by private companies. Participation will be voluntary but benefits in any individual tier will be mandated.

    • No advertising of prescription drugs, medical procedures or medical providers will be allowed.

    • All punitive damage judgments in medical malpractice cases will be payable to the state; no judgment or costs to the plaintiff or their attorneys.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  204. George Moore

    For weeks we've heard the opinions of people who are scared to lose their insurance or have it altered.... can we spend one entire day speaking with Americans who don't have health insurance, I would love to hear how they feel about reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  205. Dave in Savannah

    Three out the four member of our family have had experiences where our insurance company denied us access to medical care that would have prevented years of suffering. The combined cost of these treatments would have required that we sell everything we own and then look to family for the support we would need until we could get back on our feet. We spoke with an attorney who assured us that what our insurer had done was illegal, but once again, the costs involved were well beyond our means.

    I am amazed that so many Americans have been so easily duped by the medical industry and are out there acting against their own best interest. Our life expectancy ranks 50th in the world. Canada ranks 8th. I think that comparison speaks volumes about the state of health care in the USA, and the importance that we address its many failings immediately.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  206. Ken

    There are 3 key areas that need to be considered:
    First and foremost, America has a unique legal system that makes it far too easy and rewarding to blame others for accidents. A child falls on his skateboard, suffers a tragic head injury, and the family sues the town for $ 6 million because there was sand on the road. Health care itself is a perilous field, and American doctors get sued far too easily. Malpractice insurance is a crippling cost that simply gets passed along to the patient. Another factor is that doctors are often forced to prescribe expensive but perhaps unnecessary treatments just in order to avoid a potential lawsuit.
    Second, most people have been conditioned to use health care far too frequently. Health savings accounts and high-deductible insurance is a great solution. The user still has coverage, but is more apt to consider if he really needs to visit the doctor, as the money comes from their HSA.
    Third, health care is not a right. Turning it into a right changes the constitution. Emergency health care is already provided for those who can't pay. Providing universal health care for all who can't afford it may feel like a nice thing to do, but it's unjust. There are heart-wrenching stories all over the world, but there is no bottom to that pool. Setting a precedent like this is unsustainable.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  207. Ines

    On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories."
    Article 25.

    * (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
    * (2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

    Link for more viewing: Educate yourself !!

    http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/

    🙂
    Ines, CO

    August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  208. brigitte gregg

    Real health care reform in this country will not succeed until it is realized that it is wrong to line your pockets on the backs of other peoples misery. Greed has gotten us to the point where we are at and if it continues in the way it has will eventually break apart on its own. To treat illness as a commodity is not what the Hippocratic Oath had intended. The single payer system works in other countries, but those that protest against it now have been thoroughly brainwashed by the factions that would like to maintain their cash cow as it has over the years. It should not be denied that doctors, Insurance Companies, and all the related industry should not be compensated for their efforts. It takes money, and the greatest of skill and intelligence to go to medical school and get a diploma, it takes money and effort to run the related medical industry, such as pharmaceutical, research, etc., and should be very well compensated, but it is immoral to keep up in the way it has been going.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  209. Lefty Aldous

    I have government run healthcare that I pay for and it covers almost 100% of my healthcare needs. My healthcare costs reasonable and my payment includes a co-pay for medication.

    I am also qualified to receive VA healthcare. I have been there and done that and can honestly say that unless a government healthcare program is bidded out to private insurers and outside physicians are available to the patient, it does not work to provide the best care.

    The Military healthcare system is much better because it has a second layer called Tricare that provides insurance to cover private healthcare. That is an ideal system and if our healthcare reform follows that line, it would be the answer to all America's healthcare needs.

    Government healthcare does work , works well, and costs to the consumer are kept much lower than any private insurer is willing to provide on it's own.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  210. Susan Downing

    In the 70's, while teaching in Brussels, I was covered by the country's universal health care. The school provided names of English-speaking doctors as I requested and there was no charge for the medical care I received. On the other hand, the US health care system recognizes that all people are not created equal. Employers who provide health coverage through employment, or those people who can afford individual health insurance can choose from a vast number of insurance companies. But here's the catch. Collectively, they are also paying for incredible administrative costs and a profit margin for each company because of our system. Health care must be changed to meet the needs of each citizen, not the needs of huge insurance corporations.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  211. Laura in Central Florida

    I have two issues. Home Health coverage for people that can benefit from it and, cost/benefit of medical insurance.

    The first issue affected my entire family. Because of the nature of my parents illnesses (both contracted progressive, degenerative neurological diseases) they were denied less expensive home health care by Medicare. They could have stayed in their home for many years and saved the government a lot of money had the home health care been covered. They both would have benefited from physical therapy but were denied this as well because they had progressive diseases that would not be cured by the therapy. We were left with no other decison but to move them to a nursing home where all expenses were covered. In order for my parents to receive the health care that they needed, the government required them to be indigent. They had to sell or give away everything. They were left with no dignity. Is this how Americans want to treat their elderly? It was a heartbreaking chapter in the lives of our family. Subsequent treatment in the nursing home is another thing that should be discussed and not forgotten in this debate.

    Second, is the cost of medical and long term care insurance. I pay almost $560 per month for medical insurance that carries a $7500 annual deductible EACH for myself and my husband. So, basically I'm paying to protect ourselves against catastrophic disease or accident but, must pay for any regular health care we require. It was great to have this policy when my husband and I both required gall bladder surgery but, we are still paying the hospital $222 per month to pay off the deductible on my husband's surgery. We defaulted on my surgery's deductible because we just couldn't afford to pay it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  212. Mark Allen

    The insurance co's have already won the day, the public option will not be passed, according to dems and repub, so once again, the rich and poor make out like thieves, and we in the middle class will now be required by law to purchase our employers health ins, oh, ya, that will reduce cost, right? no, that will increase our cost of health ins that has increased 10%-20% every year before we were required to purchase it. How can that possibly be a good thing. I'm 53 now, and me and many others are making plans to retire to Mexico at retirement age, theres no longer a place for the middle class in america. WE CAN'T AFFORD IT!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  213. Fatima Y

    it's alarming to me that our healthcare systems ranks 37th in the world yet so many americans are against reform. I would like to think that maybe people are afraid of change. I have good healthcare however my premiums get higher every year an that is a real issue for me.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  214. betsy mcintyre

    Tony,

    These are my concerns – I have been nursing for 35* years.

    1. Medicare fraud is about $72 billion a year - what is being done to address that fraud. It represents about 3-4% of the funding (note: credit card fraud is .03%)
    2. The 50 million dollar figure for uninsured needs to be explained repeatedly - 15 million are illegal immigrants (we don't owe them insurance), about 10 million earn over $75,000 annually and chose not to get insurance, about 15 million qualify for current programs are not enrolled. So in essence the figure is really 10 million aren't insured - incentivize currently insurance systems to provide insurance to these individuals.
    3. Tort reform needs to be addressed - however Obama said it is off the table.
    4. If medicare, medicaid, and social security are going bankrupt, why would one think that a gov't healthcare plan be successful. Note: current gov't employees used a varieyt of insurance companies.
    5. Last but not least, Obama wanted a bill passed by early August. Thank goodness it was not passed. But now he is saying it is good for all of the debate and it needs to happen - he is talking out of both sides of his mouth. How does one expect legislators to write a healthcare plan reform bill - healthcare providers need to be involved in the process. We work in the trenches and have suggestion and good strategies - I don't see that this is happening. I don't mind healthcare reform, but lets discuss indepth and plan for what is best for Americans versus the two parties.
    Thanks, Betsy

    August 12, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  215. Kathy

    I have never been politically involved but when I hear so many inconsistencies in the news involving national healthcare...it drives me crazy. With regards to health reform, our President recently said adamently that he does not support a single payer but is also on record several times that it will take 10 or more years for our country to be on single payer. Without competition in the marketplace that can compete with the government with it's deep pockets, single payer is the outcome. Our President says that we will not cut Medicare but this week it was reported that we are cutting Medicare. I could go on. What is the truth? No one has said how we are going to pay for this. We are Americans and want what's best for our Country. We believe in insurance reform. We do not support the current health bill which gives too much power to government. I believe that if the government approached the situation with a solution to one of our govenment failed programs, Medicare, and said we will fix this and then build on it, that would make some common sense.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  216. James In Kamiah, Idaho

    What I am LEast ELast Least concerned about is paying higher taxes when those taxes will be used for such a worthwhile cause.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  217. Gloria-Gaye

    I am sick of those protestors. They are nothing but GOP trying to hurt the president. My family needs health insurance but can not get any. I have a pre-existing cause & we can not afford any. It does need change. The health insurance does not want to change & some polticians need the money the insurance company give them. That need to change to

    August 12, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  218. beth

    My Husband and I are in our 40's and self employed. We are not rich and make an average income, we have our own insurance policy on our 2 kids. Our daughter was born healthy we have BC/BS on her for $57 per month, our son was born with cerebral palsy and asthma, I was able to get a policy on him for $97 per month. our deductable is higher then I WOULD LIKE, but I do not want you or any one else to pay for them.
    If some person is sick and can not afford to pay for coverage, or can not get it because they really are in bad shape then we should cover them with medicare or medicaid and let them pay a premium according to income. Very simple to fix!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  219. Wesley

    The National Health Care will be good. Now I think there should be restrictions to a US citizen ONLY. The only people that are agenst the program are the people that already have healt care. For hard working people that cant afford to buy a plan we just do with out and don’t go. This program will help us all from the lower working class to the donald trump type. Can’t we all just get along for HEALTH sake…..

    August 12, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  220. Jonathan Roberts (GA)

    On September 11th, 2001, nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives in the most horrific attack on U.S. soil since the bombing of Pearl Harbor in the early 1940s. As a result, the Bush Administration announced its War on Terror, a war that began in Afghanistan and carried over into Iraq. Since 2001, $915.1 billion dollars has been allocated to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    I would like to know why do you place these 3,000 lives over the 18,000 lives that are lost each year in the United States merely due to a lack of health insurance? The number of Americans who die each year as a result of being denied much needed health care is equivalent to six 9-11s every year. How come when 3,000 people died on September 11th, the Republican government deemed it necessary to spend nearly 1 trillion dollars to achieve justice, but when 18,000 American lives are lost each year due to a lack of health insurance those same Republicans turn a blind eye?

    I just don’t understand. How can the party that promotes itself as pro-life be in opposition to saving lives? How can the party who preaches fiscal responsibility pay no mind to spending 1 trillion dollars to justify 3,000 deaths, but refuses to spend 1 trillion dollars to prevent 18,000 more each year?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  221. arick

    Tony,

    I survived 5 years with a government run health care system. It's called the U.S. Army. It's like a Mac, it just works. People are afraid of what they don't understand it seems. Most people can not choose their own doctors these days anyways because insurance gives you a list to pick from, just like the military 🙂

    August 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  222. Susan

    The reason people are so worked up about the Health Care Bill is that the media and congress insist on calling it the Health CARE Reform Bill when, in fact, it should probably be referred to as the Health INSURANCE Reform Bill. I am a retired nurse and I truly believe that most people if that are not very happy with, are, at least comfortable with their health CARE. It is a "KNOWN" to them. However, you can not say the same thing about how they feel about their health INSURANCE or about how they feel about the UNKNOWN. Also, how many of those 47 million uninsured people in this country are not taking advantage of the federal and state programs they already qualify for and why aren't they? What happens if they do get signed up with Medicaid or Medicare and the sheer numbers overwhem the medical care system – is this reform bill going to require that every physician accept public option, medicaid and medicare patients – how would that work?? Their reimbursement already is very poor – when you add all those people on the public option, what happens to medicaid and medicare reimbursement? Will it be upgraded to match the public option or will the public option be downgraded to match the Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement. What provisions are being made for the care of the homeless and the mentally ill. Obama said he was strongly encouraging congress to include a mental health component – I would like to see him show some leadership and demand it!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  223. Jeannette Hatos

    My concern is that with the media coverage of these town hall meetings the needs of the many is going to be drowned our by the hysteria of the few.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  224. Susan

    In the 70's, while teaching in Belgium, I was covered by the country's universal health care. The school provided names of English-speaking doctors as I requested and there was no charge for the medical care I received.

    On the other hand, the US health care system recognizes that all people are not created equal. Employers who provide health coverage through employment or those people who can afford individual health insurance can choose from a vast number of insurance companies.

    But here's the catch. Collectively, they are also paying for incredible administrative costs and a profit margin for each company. Health care must be changed to meet the needs of each citizen, not the needs of huge insurance corporations.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  225. Ahmad

    Both my parents are physicians and are burdened by debt. I fear that this healthcare reform bill proposed by Obama will cause my parents to lose even more money, and I will not be able to attend a college of my choice due to high college costs. My basic question is: will the new healthcare reform cause physicians across the country to lose more money and benefits?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  226. rachel

    I am so frustrated with CNN – what happened to honest journalism? CNN news should not be taking any sides- but reporting the facts, honestly withoug bias. Why not a single journalist is addressing the issue of legal reform which is directly relates to cost of health care in the USA..

    August 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  227. tom h

    Everyone in government or politics has an agenda. Most often the true motives are not known until it's too late to do anything about the result. There is only one thing the average American can do SHORT OF RIOTING IN THE STREETS. VOTE AGAINST THE INCUMBENT CANDIDATE IN EVERY ELECTION, LOCAL OR NATIONAL. They are all too deeply imbedded to stop them, any other way. We have to stop these self interested vultures from running our lives.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  228. Michael

    I've made several comments via CNN but, have yet to have them addressed.

    The health care cure is akin to "The Wizard Of Oz"'s Dorothy and her ruby slippers:

    Fix and expand Medicare, a health care organization all ready in place. Subsidize those that need it based on income, reviewed every year via tax returns, with care dictated by what is accepted by today's and future standards as breakthroughs are discovered also on a yearly basis. Add dental care.

    OR:

    Letsall get on the Congressional plan, expand that pool which is what insurance premiums and payouts are based on: percentages.
    Apply the same thoughts listed above.

    Make current healthcare companies compete. Competition is good as it drives costs down. Those that like their current plans and companies are left alone.

    How simple is this? Simple-minded or, simple cure?......

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  229. Thom Bate

    I wish most Americans could get out and travel and truly understand how the rest of world is dealing with Health care. I just returned from Panama. Older Americans are moving there in droves. WHY? Because of Health care.. I had a colonostopy. In the US, that would have been at least 6,000.00. IN Panama, it cost me 120,00 and that included the drugs I also needed. Right now, I need to see a doctor about my blood pressure. In Panama, it cost me 20.00 for a doctor visit. Here, its 300.00 just to walk in the door. I cant afford to get sick, but its a bit out of my contol sometimes. We need change, and I know that scares people. But without it , we're doomed.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  230. Harriet Petropoulos

    Will the government option of the health reform bill be similar to that offered to government employees now; that which the Senators and Respresentatives enjoy. If not, why not?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  231. Mark Baker

    Can you file a report on the Health Care Benefits that members of Congress enjoy? I recall reading a couple year vis ago, it was one of the Best plans in existence today. How much does it cost the public for the 535 members of the House and Senate? What are some of the perks as far as medical facilities that they and dependents can utilize? I also seem to recall the plan is underwritten by AIG, which was a reason Congress didnt want AIG to fail. What other Federal Government employees are covered by such a "rich", subsidized plan?

    Thanks

    Mark Baker

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  232. Bob Diefendorf

    There are many things that need reforming, improving in our
    medical system. However, none of them require a major
    $1.5 Trilllion revamp of the entire system.

    Try tort reform, across state line sales of insurance, health
    savings accounts for starters.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  233. Mike Kropotkin

    What I find most ironic about the opponents of SOME new plan is that many of them are opposed simply because they're against giving subsidies (aka Socialism). The ironic part is that most of them are RECEIVING subsidies in the from of a gov't plan (Medicare), tax exemptions given to their employers (for employer paid/subsidized plans) which are subsidized by any tax payer who doesn't receive employer funded benefits, or (my favorite) parents who receive a SUBSIDIZED tax exemption/deduction (Socialism?) for each dependent child to the tune of $3K per year for 18 years.

    I'm subsidizing ALL of these people and cannot even deduct the full cost of my health insurance. Something really stinks about this situation.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  234. Sonja

    I am a nurse and have been one for almost twenty years. I know the good, bad, and ugly of healthcare. I know the dirty little secrets that the general public has no idea about and could never fathom. While I may not agree with all of the sections of the proposed health care reform legislation; I believe it is time for our country to have health care for everyone that is affordable and accessible.

    The town hall meetings that have been shown on the news are very disturbing to me. I understand people's frustration and anger, but we have to have educated, intelligent debate and discussions on this issue. It is the responsibilty of the American people to take the time to read the proposed legislation and stop taking talking points and manipulated information as the truth. As an American we are responsible for educating ourselves on this issue. We expect Congress to read the bill yet we take Mass Media, lobbyists, and political and other groups opinions and conclusions about this legislature as the gospel.

    Americans need to stop wanting the cliff notes version of things that impact our lives so significantly and to actually read the real information for ourselves and stop listening to all the talking heads. Develope your own opinion based on the truth and facts, not hyped hysteria and paranoia. Stop the screaming and yelling and actually have intelligent debates and discussions. Do what our forefathers did and show a little class and intelligence.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  235. Stan

    I have USAA insurance, and once or twice a year I receive a check for my share of what has not been spent in insurance claims. Most insurance companies are FOR PROFIT, and don't return anything to their policy holders, just massive profits to their executives and shareholders. Shouldn't Health care reform address making health insurance, (and other types too), more like a CO-OP and less like a profit generating machine?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  236. Givonnaj

    Michael has a point about medical bill and credit ratings. After Hurricane Katrina took everything I owned, I got behind on medical bills it hurt me on my credit. This is not right.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  237. Phil Rabne

    I'd like a 'pdf' file of H.R. 3200. Where can I find one?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  238. Jackie

    I think that it is very clear how hateful and mean a lot of "republicans" are. Bottom line, they feel like they do not want their tax dollars to help a bunch of "deadbeat" minorites, that is the root of all of this. I happen to be educated, have worked since I was fourteen, I am now 38 and have paid A LOT of taxes, but now I am unemployed with now healthcare, and facing some health challenges. I am among the 47 million who are uninsured. Those who oppose have never had to face any real challenges, that is why they could care less. They can't relate. I want to be self sufficient, but with the economy being as damaged as it is, I am in the position that I am in, but there are no options for someone like me who just happen to face some challenges. These people who are so mean and hateful, the ones who claim to be "Christians", need to get on their knees and ask for God to come into their hearts because they are sitting in church and their hearts are full of hate.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  239. 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 12:21 pm |
  240. Brenda Carter

    My concern on the issue of Health Care Reform is that people are fighting and acting ugly over discussion of something that is needed for the majority of people. Why can't they try to be a little more mature in how they are handling their disagreements. I'm sure that a lot of people that have insurance have problems with their insurance companies. Before I retired I thought I had good insurance. Over the years, there were many changes that I did not agree with, because it called for me to make many different decisions about my health because of the cost that was associated to the changes. After I retired the changes to my health care are even more drastic. With a fixed income it is hard for a person to go to the doctor when everytime you go you will be billed from $70.00 up per visit. As we get older there are numerous ailments that prey upon us. Until we get medicare or medicad to help us out we, may have to make decisions to wait and see, which can be crucial to our health. I do not know all of the partilculars to the Health Care Reform but I am willing to listen and get the facts of how it will be handled. With all the fighting and disrepectfulness to our government it is hard to really listen and learn about it.
    I may be wrong but i truly feel that this crudeness is happening because we have a black President, who most of the people that are causing the disturbances did not vote for. There are people that are at these meetings that are there to truly be informed. We are beginning to look like other countries that fight each other. Look at the man that brought the gun to the town hall meeting. Why was that necessary.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  241. Jim

    I work hard. Earn a good living and pay for my health care. If I ever needed to earn more money to pay for my health care, then I would get a 2nd job. Or a 3rd. The fact that Obama and congress are shoving federalized health care down our throats and then refusing to give up their special perk by participating in the very format that they are pushing, scares me. That and the fact that they also want the same health care that I will be forced to pay for, given to those who have entered this country, ILLEGALLY... criminals. People who do not work will be entitled to a myriad of social programs now capped by socialized medicine. More reasons NOT to get out and find a job. It should be a requiremnt that anyone entitled to these social programs actively seek employment every day for at least 8 hours. Get oput and look for a job then I will help you. Do not sit on your butt and expect those of us who work for a living to keeo shoveling more and more programs on you now to be this health care package.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  242. Cia Dreves

    I appreciate your asking for genuine input on current events. Here's mine:

    Yes, Medicare/Medicaid is in trouble and needs repair or rescue or tweaking. Any, yes, the Federal Government is too big, too intrusive and its laws are too complicated for the lawmakers themselves to understand without "two lawyers".

    However, the MOST troubling issue is not the problem(s) but the solution. If Congress genuinely wanted to resolve the two glaring problems, funding and the uninsured, they could do it easily. Instead, they weave untenable webs of self-serving and personal agenda.

    Here's a simple layman's solution:

    1- Reduce the troubling "45 million uninsured" number by making US citizenship a requirement for receiving government funding of any kind.

    2- Require that private insurance be portable and available across state lines.

    3- Eliminate the requirement that Medicaid applicants accept Food Stamps and/or financial assistance whether they want it or not.

    4- Allow a 'Single Medical Issue' enrollment into and out of Medicaid so that people can personally cover their own needs in general but can use Medicaid as a safety net for unanticipated, major needs only.

    5- Commit to tort reform because it's the right thing to do.

    6- Vote to disallow Congressional exemption from any and all laws passed by Congress – and make it retroactive.

    That's the two cents that you asked for but I'd like to add a little more in the interest of understanding where this disgruntled person is coming from.

    For generations we have trusted our elected representatives to "represent". The fact that so few citizens have kept Congress under a microscope speaks less to our apathy and more to that trust.

    Had the federal government not become so intrusive into our personal lives, its shenanigans would have continued largely unnoticed, but by a few.

    I am a Republican leaving the party. I did not approve of the policies of either of the Presidents Bush. I genuinely had hope and well wishes for President Obama, largely because of two campaign statements; transparency and no more 'business as usual'.

    Wow! What a wake up call.

    Geitner, who didn't pay his taxes, is in charge of WHAT???

    August 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  243. Noe

    I think government is gettting too big.The founding fathers feared about government getting too big.It just hasnt started with Pres. Obama,this started with Bush.If nothing gets done, we will lose all our rights and freedoms if no one speaks their mind.Whats the use of the Constitution if we dont use it?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  244. Joe Harden

    NO more money to pay for insurance, WE do have to eat…

    Now 55 and no help from anyone for years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    No health insurance for 9 years.

    Lost job and insurance. Preexisting condition so cannot get insurance….

    I have sold everything to pay my bills, but it is getting tough, Items to sell are all most gone.

    Anyone with insurance will not understand until they have this problem.

    At leased Obama is trying.

    The GOP has not shown me that they are trying. Just so no is not any good………….

    Only insurance companies are making money, everyone else is paying but not looking at what they are paying for.

    Or what the money is getting them.

    Thanks

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  245. Bill Foreman

    In comparing healthcare to Europe's healthcare; how hard is it to become a Dr or a PA.? Your soundbite said we had right to a lawyer and an education but there are very limited ammount of med schools compared to law schools and schools with education degrees.? Supply and demand. Change the supply and you'll change the cost..

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  246. Brian

    Everyone keeps worrying about "socialism"...Im quite sure most are grievously unaware that America has already adopted the 10 planks of the communist manifesto, and it happened long befor President Obama. By the way, the progressive income tax is one of those planks. Wake up sheeple....before we lose our ability to speak out

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  247. TH

    This kind of attitude about healthcare concerns me. It is a quote from a comment made by Geoffrey G. on the earlier title named "Is health care a fundamental human right...":

    "The strongest, smartest, fittest, and the most productive of us should be the one’s that have the best healthcare...."

    It is like saying those who need health care the least should have health care. Does this sound familiar? Kill the rest?
    Hitler must be smiling in his grave.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  248. JBrazil

    Just watching your show, heard the speaker mention that if people would watch their health better the cost would go down, again we blame the people.. No No No, the reason is due to cost not better health, they would watch their health better if they could afford to go to doctor and not be charged leg and arm. I am single working mom, my daughter has always had medical, but I have always done without due to the cost, I wanted to better us and worked hard to get off welfare, which I did for 14 years, I managed to buy our own home, but now due to this economy I am loosing it all and I do not have the strength to start all over again!! I am loosing our home, I had to cancel my medical trying to save everything, so I am tired of hearing everyone with their solutions, we are sinking and fast, our government is making all the decisions and the wrong ones, they have spent our tax money giving it to big business, THE BANKS WHO BY THE WAY LIERS I have tried and all I get is they cannot help me, they have spent our money helping the people coming over the boarders, allowing them to remain on welfare, paying for their housing cause they do not want to work, giving them food, and medical. Wake up America, we need to take care of us obiviously not all other people who want to live here without paying their taxes and helping support this country!!!! Make them become citizens-pay their taxes-pay their medical as we do-and school fees-instead of demanding that they get all this free. Think about it, when did the down fall start, how did it start, and what industry create it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  249. Donna M. Herran

    PLEASE! Stop speaking from the LEFT on everything. I expect you to report an unbasied news report. Not what "YOU" feel is right or wrong.
    Stop putting a pro-Obama slant on everything he does. I realize that you do not want to say you were wrong, but please report the facts not your own personal views. NO politician is right with everything he or she does. Obama is no different! I guess most of the people who listen to you, and CNN in general agree with you. I need facts not opinions to form a view.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  250. c clump

    Once we pass this health care bill, we will not be able to take it back. We will be stuck with a plan that will continually cost us more and continually getting less coverage. There is no doubt about that regardless of what the politians try to convince us of. We will eventially end up with government controlled healthcare, and we already know they cannot do anything right. I want no bill that has a govenment option. They have already messed up out country enough.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  251. Burl Romick

    Is there any data on how many who are satisfied with their health insurance have had major medical problems?

    Note that the June Consumer Reports describes many plans that have deceived customers into thinking they had good coverage but have been bankrupted by medical costs.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  252. C. Ken

    People – we're a socialist country already – anyone who thinks otherwise is in denial. Police, fire, Medicare, roads, water . . . oh yeah, and the military, our biggest socialist expenditure every day. And it works, doesn't it? How would you feel if the police and fire department were run like health care: "sorry sir, we have to let your house burn down because you had a pre-existing faulty heater."
    Wow – get real people. The drug/insurance companies, the members of congress and senate who are paid-off by the drug/insurance companies, and a few unscrupulous physicians who live grand life-styles for excessive extra-billing are the ones against universal healthcare. And don't forget Wall Street – remember them? You'd really rather have your health care as a "for-profit" stock ticker item?
    Unbelievable.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  253. Joe

    Where does the government stop? If the government is able to get this health care through then what will the government try control next, religion or all the state public schools, colleges?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  254. Chad C Costello

    Tony, I do believe this growing concern and frustration over this Health care Reform is a symptom of something bigger. I believe it comes from people who are frustrated with our government officials in general. It seems that our "representatives" rarely represent the people anymore. They seemingly represent the desires and wishes of "special interest groups" and themselves. I think the corruption and general distrust of our "representatives" is the underlying problem. The word Politics has a negative connotative meaning because of the feeling that "we the people" are no longer represented!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  255. Ken, Long Beach, CA

    What concerns me is the mess that its in without any govt intervention. The healthcare system here in the US is considered a wall street commodity rather than a basic human right. Is anybody embarassed that we are even having to have to this conversation? Were people having these town hall fights when they decided to have publicly funded shools, police and fire systems? A public option has only been brought up because the private sector can't or won't agree on a efficient system that is affordable for America. If people are scared of a govt program, then I suggest they point the fingers at the private insurance companies and health organizations that have created this gigantic mess. Of course they won't. Greed dictates their mode of operation and they will not change unless there is a quick benefit for them.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  256. Bob Diefendorf

    What concerns me most about the Democrats' idea of health
    reform is their rush, rush attitude, as if a little thinking, a little
    input from the public, a little debate, a little time spent to mull
    over varilous suggestions would be too much for the public
    to stand. As if their plan could not stand the scrunity of the
    public.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  257. Michael Dvorsky

    Hello Tony & team,
    I am a Canadian located in Montreal. While I urge open discussion and debate of health care & I realize that it is up to US citizens to decide their future. I thank CNN and Media for presenting facts & feel perhaps for what its worth I can shed some insight.
    I am currently watching CCN while recovering at home from my latest round of chemotherapy. I have been battling cancer since first detected in 2004 and all through via the public health care system. Before I continue let me say NO it is not perfect but i thank GOD that years ago our National government took action. Given circumstances I strongly believe I would not be alive today if not for Medicare principally because financial resources & private insurance would have long exhausted.
    Yes I have used private services which are available such as ultrasounds & colonoscopy but this was my choice in an effort to expediate obtaining test results. The point is I have a choice, if able to pay I can get diagnosis treatments faster. Perhaps I am mistaken but if your middle class in the US & your health care provider places a cap or you have maxed and you have used up your savings and borrowing power your out of luck. And please let us be clear were talking diagnosis here.
    Diagnosis virus treatment. The moment I was diagnosed in 2004 the world changed and all services scans etc necessary to treat my cancer were prompt and regular and I am speaking since 2004. Two hospitalized open chest operations, radiation and chemo therapy. In a world of pressures for quarterly profits, minute by minute news and I want it now perhaps looking at the big picture, the longer term and public good on issues such as public health is justified. Please revisit your numbers of the cost of diagnosis & extra cover your backside for Tort testing by doctors.
    In the passion i see at the coverage of the town halls meetings I ask is it not your constitution written by and for the people that says "We the people" well I do not mean to meddle but is it not time on this matter to look at and think of all the People.
    P.S. I know some shout Socializim! Some Legal liability, Tort! Has the right to a universal basic public education wrong for You the People. You are better for it and while socialism was likely argued back then I do not think may would consider it so today. And well yes you have to do something about the crazy litigatory environment. The system needs to be purged of poor performance money is just a penalty a bankruptcy and restart. The US has proudly blazed the way on so many fronts for social good including education, opportunity and equality but the universal right to basic health care is not one of them. US families and community deserve better.
    In my youth I questioned universal medicine today i am remain alive becasue of it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  258. Shawna

    Tony,

    You say that you, at CNN, are cutting through the rhetoric of the health care issue so that we can check with you regarding things that we hear. If you find rhetoric to be "not factual" are you going to hold yourself/CNN accountable if something found "unfactual" during this period actually comes to light?

    My point is–these pieces of legislation are so vague and ambiguous that Americans do not trust the politicians and legislators whom are negotiating, drafting and voting upon them. Is CNN, are you, truly confident enough in your own ability to decipher through the ambiguities to tell the American people "this is what is real, this is what is not.?"

    Americans are not trusting these politicians, their fact sites, their claims, their assurances. How can we, considering what we have been seeing over the last 8 months with TARP, auto bailouts, etc? I'm not even so sure we can trust the media simply because they are as vulnerable as the rest of us with this Congress and this Administration. Your own polls give you a D grade in regards to performance.

    How can you claim to guarantee presenting us with the facts? How are you immune to the ambiguities and vagueness?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  259. 0611dlburch

    Health Care Reform as our government calls it is simple.
    Reform Health Care so that ALL CONGRESSMAN, SENATORS, REPRESENTATIVES GET BY LAW THE SAME INSURANCE THAT WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO GET or settle with.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  260. Herb Herpolsheimer

    I am afraid that our "representives" will go back to Washington and vote for this plan, disregarding what appears to be overwhelming negative feelings about it from the American People.
    My Nevada congress people and senators are very quiet about the whole mess and are difficult to reach.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  261. Ron

    My biggest concern is the obviously active attempt by certain groups to cloud the waters in the discussions that need to take place about this very important issue. It sickens me to see people and groups causing problems like we have seen in the debate by creating fear by spreading incorrect information. My wife and I are on the state health insurance pool because we have preexisting conditions and have to pay over $1700.00 a month for health insurance. Obviously this won't happen for too long and then we will have to join the millions of others that don't have insurance.
    Are people in the country so afraid of change that would help so many people that they would put so many fellow Americans at risk? I've never seen so many small minded and petty people put so many at risk because of the small minded, narrow vision of their party...yes, Republicans.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  262. Vee

    I have been an Emergency room RN for 20 years and I see more and more people coming to the ER for basic care because they just dont have coverage.
    There is excessive abuse as really expensive test are ordered to screen out the basic things in fear of missing something and then being sued.
    This system is broken it cannot be fixed quickly but it needs fixing quickly. the really ill patients cannot get in to be seen because we are seeing people three and four times a week for basic things.
    The elderly are required to pay a premium but the young healthy people on medicaid get their covrage free. they get their meds for free. This need to be changes. if they are required to pay even a small premium or a copay this will go a long way in gemerating some revenue. Have the same rules for all not just the elderly or those of us who work and pay our premiums and still have a copay and a deductible

    August 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  263. Bettie Hodges

    My biggest concern is that the media will be complicitous in spreading undo panic and misinformation about healthcare reform by focusing on the drama surrounding the process and not informing folks about what are in the various bills under consideration. I like the fact check approach, but I would hope that CNN could do more to educate people by creating an interactive matrix document – a type of who, what, why/impact document which would allow various population segments (e.g. seniors, small business owners, students, the disabled, veterans, unisured, insured, etc. ) to see the key elements of the various bills and determine what if any potential impact these elements might have on their coverage and costs going forward. Without such a document being available, people are reacting to hype, fears, presumptions, and what ifs. In the recent past, it has been enough for news reporting to focus on sound bites, opposing points of view, and the sensational. News – particularly political news- is not ( and has not) been geared to educate the publc. Now is such a time. A democracy only works well when its people have good information. We are beginning to see what happens when they don't. Please media, rise to the occasion and educate!! not simply react.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  264. Melissa Smith

    I think the opposition is being hyped too much like its the majority opinion. I don't know one person who is outraged by this plan. Its not fair that these meeting are held in the middle of a week day when most people, especially the working poor, are at work. And I bet you most of the people in the room A.)didn't vote for Barack and hate everything he does or B.) will never be for a public option so there is no swaying them. The majority voted for Obama and they voted for him knowing he wanted to add a public option. I'm sorry, but elections have consequences

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  265. Carrin Bouchard

    I am 50 years old. The youngest child of four. My life since May 16, has been fighting for my parents medical rights. Each day since we moved Father & Mother into a skilled medical care facility I am informed that they are not covered for one thing or another. My parents were teachers for 25 years serving & growing young minds. Now at 89 & 87, they are not cover for the care they need live together. I stayed home for 18 years to raise my daughter & son. I budget/cut, I went without and gave to the family. Our family insurance cost us 750. each month. My husband received notice that our co-pay will increase to 30 from 15. I always thought once they went to college, a new adventure in life would begin. I did not think Fighting for my parents medical care, iincreasing fees, cashing retirem't CD to pay medical was NOT the adventure I dreamed of.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  266. Susan R.

    The thought of doing nothing about our health care system is more than scary! I wish people attending the town hall meetings woud stop with all the rants about euthenasia, comparing Obama to Hitler, using words like "socialism", it's all fear and scare tactics! Just listen, get the facts, and stop living in fear!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  267. Walter Zahlmann

    Want to solve the problem-–Offer every American –legal American, the same health insurance that our Senators and our Representitives have along with what the President and VP have--AND THEIR FAMILIES--and if not----then all governement employees-ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES– and their families-must use what all other Americans are offered when the final bill is passed. Simple.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  268. Chelly

    My concern is that it will NOT be passed. It's not only that healthcare is so expensive, it's the fact that people like me can't get healthcare because of a pre-existing illness. I have Type 1 diabetes and believe me that is an expensive illness to have. I was diagnosed at the age of 9, so I have being dealing with this disease for 20+ years. The people that don't want this doesn't care if I die, they will not feel the grief that my family will feel, so why should they care?? Well they should care because I am human being just as they are. If they stub their toe they can go to the doctor and get medicine and have it paid for by Insurance but not me, I have to pay for all of my medicine out of my pocket and it's NOT cheap. Thank goodness I'm in a county that allows me to get my insulin without a prescription, other wise I would be dead. As in days gone by..I want EQUAL RIGHTS.. the right to have healthcare! Some people may say get out and get a job that offers healthcare..well I have a Job, I own my own company but CAN NOT get healthcare, it's not right. Something has to be done.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  269. Rick

    I understand and accept the need for reform and the various reforms under consideration. What I fail to undestand is why President Obama feels it is important to have a government run insurance company to compete with the private sector. My concern is that such a program will undercut the private carriers and lead to a single payer program such as happened in Germany and other countries. Why not legislate the reforms, create an independent medical board to oversee the implementation of the regulations and to ensure that medical decisions are limited to the doctors and the patients/patient family? For the uninsured, why not use the Federal Employees Health Plan which provides a menu of insurance plans with various carriers and then the government can subsidize or pay the premiums for those who qualify?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  270. Jerry Poliskey

    Dear Tony,
    I have employer based healthcare. When our contract is renewed my employer will offer the government plan, and if I want good coverage I will have to buy it myself. Welcome govenment plan for me.
    enjoying the Journey,
    Jerry

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  271. Kerry

    I worry about these idiots that carry guns around and think that the public should all be armed. I don't worry that the government is trying to do anything bad to me. I have gone to town halls in the past and know both of my Senators and my local Congressman. They are honorable people with their own families, and genuinely care about our great nation. These idiots that think the government is trying to take away their liberties, or their guns, or their rights, ... are just paranoid, delusional, conspiracy nuts, that have been whipped up by the corporate pharma and insurance giants, who have vested interests in the status quo.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  272. Judy Buchanan

    I retired from a major telecommunications company and am clost to 64 years old. I am really afraid MY insurance will be taken away from me but more than that I am really afraid we wont allow President Obama to do anything. I want the media but most of all the senators and congressmen to understand that we voted President Obama to run this nation and the probllems the last president left us with. I want the republicans to realize the majority of Americans voted president Obama in as president. Mccain and Palen LOST get over it and support the peoples choice. Give this gentleman a chance to undo the harm done by the last administration. President Obama wants to do the job we elected him to do now shut it up and allow him to do it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  273. David Cadran

    My thought is, how much worse could it get? As a young adult getting ready to enter the professional workforce I am terrified of the potential premiums I will have to pay. Any reform at this point would be an improvement.

    As for 'Death Panels', this is the same type of fear mongering that the Republican Party used to lead us into war under the last administration.

    Even AARP has come out against those claiming this reform will create these 'Death Panels'. And as for the fears of Socialism, ask anyone of those people if they'd want to go without Social Security or Medicare, both long running "socialist" programs.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  274. Dudley Gregory

    I do agree our government needs to take care of those who cannot afford health insurance or are turned down for pre-existing conditions, etc. But I thought Medicaid via the Social Security system already did this. If it is not the case then these existing programs should be reformed. (Several administrations have tried to reform Social Secrity and Medicare and Medicaid) The idea of reforming the whole system for everyone just sounds like too much. Let's take care of those who really need the help and for those of us who are able (and willing) to pay our own way...leave it alone. If you can pay for cable/sattelite TV, home computers, cellular phones, restaurant dining, new cars you do not need government assistance!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  275. Wayland Burton

    What I fear is that with all of the shouting that health care will not be changed as well as it shows how easily some people can be manipulated.

    I was in the military for 34 years and stationed overseas with my family. We used doctors on the economy a lot and the level of medical care was great. I wonder why it isn't possible here.

    When I retired, I took health care benefits for my self only because we could not afford to cover my wife and I. Luckily, she has a career and has health care coverage separately but what if she did not? What would we do?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  276. Karen Roos

    Please provide more information on the other bills being considered besides HR 3200.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  277. Bob Diefendorf

    I consider it urgent that all Congresspersons and their families
    participate in any health plan they write for the rest of us.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  278. Chris in Dallas

    What we are seeing now is a battle between the haves and the have-nots. Our jobs have been shipped overseas for the benefit of corporate America. There was a time when our government protected us against unfair trade and now all you hear is free trade at the cost of being fair. Who pays? Middle class Americans.

    Now we are fighting large corporate insurance companies who want to protect their obscene profits. No one should profit from someones health or lack of. I used to pay zero for my health care from my company and now it is almost $500 per month with less coverage. My only consolation is that I'm better off than most. This is just one turning point that our country will be facing. The next one is attacking the banking system and investment companies who are no different than any Capone era thug. I don't believe is socialism but simply right and wrong!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  279. eddie

    Nothing. I think it is what's needed to better or economy now and in the future. Ppl are worried about change. No matter race, religion, gender;ppl are scared of change. We as Americans have become so staginate in our thought process to realize what's good and bad. I just hope ppl research for themselves and not listen to lies and false commericals.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  280. Fred

    I think we need some sort of health care reform but it's amazing how inefficient the govt is and how they can screw up delivering a message or even listening to the people. The statistics you cited regarding the $1.2 trillion that is wasted in the current health care system is astonishing. More American just want lower premiums and better coverage. If we can have a cash for clunkers program, we can have a cash for a healthier lifestyle program (cash to lose weight, cash to stop smoking). We would save some of the waste in the system and if we could better police the patients and providers and insurance companies that are defrauding the system I think would be able to help make some reform today. We need to work closer with the providers and insurance companies to see where the problems lies and attack the problem. We need to make the insurance companies and providers more accountable and more effective.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  281. Maximus

    Government take over and control of our lives. On healthcare, we are going today to find a new doctor because my wife's pain management doctor informed us he would no longer take our insurance. Our insurance pays what medicare approves and it is a very small % of what he bills. The lab we go to for blood tests receives about 14% of what they bill. If Joe Uninsured goes to the same lab or the emergency room he is billed for the whole bill. Maybe the government would benefit from letting companies like my insurance company pay bills for everyone, but .......the doctors, hospitals, and labs will go broke and the system will implode. Most HMO's and PFFS's are not the problem, they may be the solution. If someone answers this e-mail I will show how much draconian the cuts are. Thank you.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  282. Abby Estes

    What concerns me most about healthcare is it's unavailability to me. I'm eighteen years old and have no health insurance. Along with my mother, we have gone through all imaginable lengths to obtain it. My father, who I was insured under up until two years ago, lost his job. My mother is on unemployment. I have no way of getting insurance unless I were to work full time, which is impossible being that I attend school full time. There are a lot of people my age I know who have had to drop out of college to work full time in order to recieve health insurance. Also, as a side note, our income is too low to get health insurance, but is somehow too high to receive financial aid for school. You see, apparently my mom's income from last year is too high to recieve aid this year, despite a large portion of it being from unemployment. To me, my main concern is that it just seems as though there is no help available to me due to loopholes. I am going on the hope that upon graduation and obtaining a career that I will be able to have health insurance of some sort. Although, with the ways things seem to be going in this world of adulthood, I am anticipating some other complication that will prevent me from getting insurance.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  283. Dane

    How can there be any argument that something clearly has to be done concerning health care. Of the top 30 industrialized countries, we rank 29 in infant mortality, and 24 in lifespan. The problem as I see it is that very few people seem to really have much of an idea how we're going to pay for these tremendously overdue changes. Tax the rich? Take from medicare? Cost savings? I was self employed and trying to get by on an HSA two years ago, now my wife has a very strong insurance benefit from her employer, but I'm very aware that it only takes a layoff to put us back where we can't make ends meet in order to pay for health insurance. I'd back healthcare reform whole-heartedly if I could only be sure how policy makers plan on paying for it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  284. Glen - Halifax, Canada

    Hi Tony,

    I live in Canada.. and i would like to know what is up with Canada's health care bashing...

    Everyone in Canada gets basic health care. That's necessary surgeries, long term care like dialysis.. doctor visits and etc. We have health insurance and insurance companies to cover prescriptions, dental care, and eye care. That keeps our insurance companies in business.

    When I want to see my doctor I pick up the phone and I make an appointment which is usually within a week, if i say that it is more urgent; then they are usually able to fit me in that day. I have never seen a bureacrat or any government official. Occasionally I get a letter from the government to verify that I had an appointment, apparently to keep the doctor's bill's to the government honest. (check and balance)

    You WILL have to pay higher taxes.. but then you won't have the insurance premiums that you currently pay... or the company you work for won't have those premiums to pay anymore, which would free up money to give raises to their current employees... or better yet.. hire more employees. Not to mention it might keep some of those companies from leaving your country because of the high costs of having to pay health care for their employees, past and present. (legacy cost of companies like GM, which is in part why they are having all that trouble.)

    All the people that are protesting a socialized (and i know that's a bad word) Medicine reform must think they are immune.. like they can't lose their job and end up with no insurance or having to pay the COBRA costs that will likely be more than what they recieve on their Employment Insurance cheques.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  285. Mrs. Adams

    The biggest problem with health care reform is that somewhere along the way people have forgotten that American's have a personal responsiblity to take care of the themselves. America was intentionally not founded as a socialist country and we need to remember our roots. It is not my responsibility as a taxpayer to work to pay for the insurance coverage of someone else. Reform that would prevent doctors and hospitals from increasing medical fees beyond the current rate of inflation and eliminate frivilous law suits is what this country needs – not another government handout. We simply cannot continue to hand out money without eventually being forced to pay the bill. It is utterly unethical to strap future generations financially because of this generations demands and sense of entitlement. To do so is not only un-American, it is selfishness. Health care coverage is already available to those who are unemployed and underemployed through state welfare programs. We do not need something more. Its time to stop letting our new president and his co-horts run amuck with their spending plans and start accepting personal fiscal responsibility.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  286. Francie Goodridge

    I am an independent progressive and what I fear is emerging, as the town hall meetings are disrupted by people who do not bother to research the facts for themselves is, at worst and most frightening, facism, which will destroy this country. At the lesser, but still devastating result for millions of Americans, the efforts for universal healthcare will be derailed by the stunning ignorance shown by the few who are taking over the TV coverage and convincing those who will not think for themselves, and our own elected officials' sellout to the special interests who are behind our lack of affordable and universal healthcare in the first place. It has been the Republicans' and conservatives' effort, as stated themselves, to kill Social Security and Medicare and the social safety net and let the people eat cake and historically, what was the result of that particular attitude?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  287. F Joy

    Thank you to CNN for your journalistic responsibility to report the facts to the people amongst all the misleading information being promoted by the GOP talking points. What I want is the facts on healthcare and these bills circulating in Congress. I want those who are promoting misleading information to be called out on it. I want the facts on the Insurance company profits. I want to see real life stories from real life people with real life health and health insurance issues. Have they lost their jobs or have they lost their insurance and what issues are they dealing with? What are the real fears? I don't want to hear from the Medicare recipients who are benefitting already from government run healthcare. These town halls are not about healthcare. They are about people who are against the Obama administration while they sat quietly as the country was going down the tubes under the Bush/Cheney administration. This is shear racism. These town halls do not represent me or anyone that I know. They do not represent my concerns. They just can't accept that they have a Black president. Sarah Palin is their hero. She continues to exploit her children for attention and political gain. She incites the far right with lies and misleading information. People are carrying guns to town halls. This country is in danger because of this level of irresponsibility in reporting the facts. Thank you CNN also for your version of town halls without the radical extreme anger and screaming! Real people with real concerns and questions getting the opportunity to be heard. That's the real America.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  288. Kelli B

    My fear is partly what you guys were already talking about on CNN this morning, being, the fear that parts of this bill not being as specific as it should be and fear that it may, at some point, be "morphed" into something that is unacceptable. I don't know much about the process or rules about writing a bill like this but, to me it seems there shouldn't be so many absurd, but yet legitimate questions in regards to it. I think it would be a great idea for CNN to take the top 50 questions(or however many) in regards to H.R.3200 and give us some definite and detailed answers to these questions. I have misinterpreted MANY parts of this bill due to it's complexity also due to how EPIC it is. I don't want to be lazy and not do research myself because I have, but some people just cannot understand this bill fully and I believe if more people did they would not be so scared of it. I can give you an example. Sec. 102. PROTECTING THE CHOICE TO KEEP CURRENT COVERAGE. When I first read this I was very shocked. My interpretation of this section was that we could only keep our private insurance under a grandfather type clause and after that we had no choice but to obtain the public health care. Now, after more reading, I have come to the conclusion that this section is stating that the insurance issuer cannot enroll any new members until after it has complied with all of the new rules that H.R.3200 has put into place. Is this correct? Or no? This is one of MANY questions. There is a web site, http://www.opencongress.org, that has the official text of the bill posted and an option to post comments on each line. This might be a good place to see many questions that people have and a place to more understand the fears people have over it. People are scared because they are confused, or who knows, maybe we will be more scared if we fully understood.

    Here is a question that I have that is bit off the subject question but I will ask your opinion anyway. Why aren't there more laws on limits of what can be charged for health services? Example: This is true. My doctor ordered an ultrasound. It took less than 30 minutes to perform and it was a $900+ bill. Is it just me that thinks this is ludicrous! Or a prescription for 55 pills that cost $3500? Why? Is it made of gold or is someone just trying to rip us off and get rich? Our government should not allow us to be subject to to getting robbed like this. No wonder insurance costs are so out of control!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  289. Mary

    I agree with Pres. Obama....i think he absolutely on the right track with healthcare reform. My experience is that alot of people are misinformed and those who do not want to hear the truth, prefer to spread misinformation to try to minimize the President's success.
    I have no problem with any of the issues being addressed by the president and hope he is successful with each one.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  290. bj mincey

    Tony I'm Black, but just watching all the fooliness. I'm for health reform, but I do believe more is going on with the Right. I can't understand why they were not this mad during the Bush years. These are GOP folks that know their party has put this county in such a mess. They have to Hate something or someone. They do not want to admit it, but they hate Obama and going to find fault with everything he try to do. Those folks on the right, are upper middle class with jobs and health insurance that are selfish. They have their, but don't wantto give up a thing for their fellow man.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  291. F.J. Williams

    Tony – Thanks for your unbiased attempt at keeping the public informed. Thank you also for not exploiting the irrational outbursts that we are seeing in the news over Health Care.

    You asked what concern's me most about the health care issue?
    It is a fear that the fanatical outspoken people, from both sides of the issue, will rant and rave their views into the minds of the millions of Americans that trust the government to be fair. Many of our politicians are hounded by specialist groups that ultimately require them to spend countless hours refuting outright lies and innuendo distributed by all kinds of media to gain viewers. These hours would be better spent studying the issues and arriving at a fair solution for American's, not just those that have the means to manipulate the media into spreading fear. I guess it truely is the "squeaky wheel getting the grease", instead of deciding what is best for all.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  292. sandy coley

    I have been batteling cancer for 4yrs. chemo,gamma knife therpy,craniotomy. Had excellent insurance thru work. Was terminated after 1yr. of disability paid astronomical premiums for COBRA. I get what that guy is saying about affording the Hummer. I think it is like being able to afford a gym membership, fresh veggies any healthy lifestyle. I could have never been able to pay for catastropic events without an insurance provider to negotiate the price for me.
    example: surgery for brain tumor $55000.00 negotiated price$22000.00 this reduced the price the provider paid and my obligation also

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  293. Richard Beyerl

    I have been watching CNN and it seems that all that is focused on is the termoil that is happening at these Town Hall Meetings. I have been listening to what these people are saying and it looks as if it has been scripted comments and remarks because they are reading them from a print and they are all saying the same thing almost word for word. It seems that we are seeing the same scare tactics that the right has used for years, every time they are not getting their way and need to swing the people. The Rifht seems to dictate through fear not by facts. They say that Obama is turning us into a Socialist Country, which would be a lot better that the Dictatorship that we have been living under the previous 8 year. But Obama needs to get tougher on Congress and quit allowing the Demacrats to be a bunch of whimps. Stand up and do what is right for the Country and not for the Big Businesses.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  294. David Peters

    It is unfortunate that so many news outlets are reporting on the anger and protest at town hall meetings without revealing how much of this conflict is being orchestrated by the medical industry through proxy organizations.

    Just one example – FreedomWorks, a Republican propaganda organization is publishing "kits" for followers to use at town hall meetings across the country, encouraging members to disrupt the meetings and disallow the planned discussion with yelling and defiance. Freedomworks is headed by Dick Army, former Republican House Majority Leader. Army also is senior advisor to the legal firm DLA Piper, who received $830,000 in 2009, and $1.5 million from The Medicines Group, a medical industry lobbying group. The lobbying group gives millions to DLA Piper, and in return, Dick Army uses FreedomWorks to orchestrate the supposed "outrage" at town hall meetings.

    Another example – Rick Scott, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Solantic, a Florida based urgent care provider that sells its services out of Wallmart stores, has been bragging about his role in organizing the "outrage" at town hall meetings, through his front organization, "Conservatives for Patients Rights". Rick Scott was CEO of a healthcare company that was fined by the Federal government $1.7 billion for fraud. Scott's "Conservatives for Patients Rights" has a list of all the town hall meetings across the country, and "how to" videos, encouraging people who do not live in those towns to go there to instigate the disruptions.
    Who else is associated with Solantic? Thomas Scully is a partner in a venture capital firm, Welsh, Carson, Anderson, & Stowe, that invests in medical technology. Scully is a major investor and member of the Board of Directors of Solantic. Scully is famous for orchestrating the Bush administration's lie to Congress about the true cost of Bush's prescription drug bill, and threatening to fire the employee who tried to get the true cost to Congress (breaking Federal law). And so Solantic, a for-profit medical firm, uses Conservatives for Patients' Rights to orchestrate the "outrage" at town hall meetings.

    We need much more focus on how the public is being manipulated by the medical industry and the insurance industry.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  295. Cia Dreves

    The billions in bailout money is WHERE?
    The growing number of Czars are answerable to WHO?
    Failing private businesses are now owned by ME?
    My grandchildren's debt is now NOW MANY TRILLIONS?
    Our military uniforms and equipment are made WHERE?

    Well, this outrage is not 'business as usual' and it certainly is 'transparent' and since we, AND YOU didn't probe for details before we voted, is it any wonder that we not scramble to put the toothpaste back in the tube?

    Most sincerely,
    Cia Dreves
    Bonifay, FL

    Visit Cia's blog at:
    http://www.StillFindingCash.blogspot.com

    August 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  296. Eileen Savage

    What concerns me most about healthcare reform is that the final bill will be so watered down that it'll be little more than the status quo. And that it will NOT contain a REAL public option, available to ANYONE who isn't currently covered by an employer plan. Am I afraid of government control over healthcare? No, I welcome it. Why doesn't the press answer that concern with the correct response: we already have government run healthcare insurance; it's called Medicare and for the poor, Medicaid, and for veterans, the VA. Do you know anyone over 65 who refuses to be covered by Medicare? I don't. I'm 52 and I'm afraid of a major medical need arising BEFORE I reach 65. My individual policy premiums, for a healthy family of three, have grown 25% a year for the last four years. It's unsustainable. I want a public option; it'll be cheaper, more efficient and accepted by doctors and hospitals. Private plans won't compete because they're inefficient, too arbitrary and exercise too much control over physician decisions. More and more doctors are refusing to accept private insurance. They do accept Medicare – because it's one plan that covers millions of patients and whose reimbursement rules are well understood. Try explaining the truth to your audience!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  297. Eve Daley

    Where are the health care reform town hall meetings in my area. I am an African-American women who would like to see a town hall meeting in Long Beach, Compton, Lynwood, Los Angeles, California area.

    I just watched CNN.com live and Tony commented that he was concerned about the lack of blacks and hispanics in the audience. Well, maybe there should be a town hall meeting in areas where we are represented.

    I accepted an invite to a health care town hall meeting then found out it was in Alhambra, California @6:30pm and I live in Long Beach, California. Gettintg to this meeting at that time was impossible.

    I am for health care reform and I just want to be involved in the meetings to show my support for reform. I believe every person has a responsibility to speak up and be a part of the discussion but am finding limited avenues to do this.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  298. Debbie

    I am on Medicare and have one major concern. Will we finally get dental care?
    Medicare will pay for numerous trips to the emergency room for the pain of an absessed tooth, but will not treat the problem. Pain killers and anti-biotics are great as a temporary fix, but once the infection and pain is back, it is back to the emergency room instead of the dentist.
    The wasted costs of band-aiding the problem is is one major issue about health care reform.
    Cover a visit and treatment at the dentist, and all the emergency room costs are gone. Money saved.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  299. Richard

    This should be done in stages. Reform the insurance industry and eliminate fraud and waste in Medicare first. Tony talked this morning about "predictive" complaints of the house plan. One sure thing is that whatever the congress predicts a final bill will cost it will be way below the actual cost. Look at what our government thought Medicare or Social Security would cost and then look at the actuals. If the CBO forcasts a $239 BILLION deficit for the current house plan you can count on it being three or four times that. A government can not act efficiently by nature. Anyone who thinks government is the answer to all our problems does not learn from history or doesn't care. Reform the current system, beginning with limits on court action against doctors, give incentives to insurance companies to offer low cost basic insurance and we can cover the 10-15 million actual american citizens who want insurance but can't afford it. If we break the bank with yet another massive government program we will never again see the prosperous times our parents and grandparents enjoyed. Instead we will hand a country of high taxes and limited opportunity to our children.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  300. Renee

    It might not be completely relevant to the discussion in the US, but we should be aware that this national debate is on display abroad as well. An acquaintance in England has asked US friends to not to believe the "rubbish" we are hearing about health care in the UK, saying that the NHS is wonderful, that they are grateful for it, asking what we are so scared of. Everyone I've ever spoken with in Canada and the UK has nothing but good things to say about their health care coverage and delivery. It's no doubt insulting to them to hear US politicians trash their systems so loudly.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  301. Kris from Canada

    From the outside looking in, it seems there is a large disconnect between the reporting on the town halls and what is actually going on. The Left v. Right, Liberal v. Conservative display of reporting has completely ignored the people in the middle who are concerned about their Country. I think it is a serious mistake for the media to not look deeper into this issue. I believe health care is only one of the many reasons people are angry and it could get much, much worse.

    I'm just sayin.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  302. shelia beavers

    my husband and I are self-employed. what insurance we can afford keeps going up.the first time i had to use it ,i was denied. i had no pre-existing conditions.i am still paying the bills.we have yet to see it pay a claim.is there anyone out there that agrees that the insurance companies should continue to do this to hard working people,who take a great gamble each day .there is no sense of security.we have alot of smart people lets quit this bull and give our legacys something to feel good about.we can see reform.my question is what does the average elected person pay for their health coverage .?i am 45 and pay around 500.00 on both of us.,with writers on me.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  303. Nephi Sanchez

    What scares me the most is that it has turned into a war against Obama – and the radical right is being fueled by myths that they are way too eager to believe! We are losing an opportunity to pull together and do something great.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  304. KELLI JOHNSON

    I AM ALL FOR HEALTHCARE REFORM BUT CANNOT BELIEVE SOME OF THE SUGGESTIONS ABOUT HOW WE SHOULD PAY FOR IT. FOR EXAMPLE, TAX THE WEALTHY. HOW IS THAT RIGHT? WHY SHOULD THEY BE RESPONSIBLE TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS?

    IF GOVERNMENT CAN ADD A TAX/SURCHARGE TO CIGARETTES THEN WHY CAN'T THEY DO THE SAME TO OTHER PRODUCTS THAT ARE CONTRIBUTORS TO SOME OF THE MAJOR HEALTH PROBLEMS SUCH AS DIABETES, HEART DISEASE, OBESITY, ETC... I AM SURE IF THE GOVERNMENT ADDED A SURCHARGE FOR CANDY, SODA'S, ALCOHOL, ETC. THERE WOULD BE PLENTY OF MONEY TO PAY FOR THE REFORM AND MAYBE EVEN MORE TO HELP WITH MEDICARE/MEDICAID.

    YOU CAN GO ONE STEP FURTHER AND ADD .25 OR .50 CENTS TO EVERY RESTAURANT BILL , ESPECIALLY FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS. BY PROPOSING TO PAY FOR IT THROUGH THESE OPTIONS IT REQUIRES THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE PUT THEIR HEALTH AT RISK TO ALSO HELP WITH THE SOLUTION. THE TAX OR SURCHARGE WOULD BE PRESENTED IN A WAY THAT IS AFFORDABLE TO ALL.

    PLUS EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE POOR WHO DO NOT PAY INCOME TAXES AND THE ILLEGALS WHO GET FREE HEALTHCARE, ARE CONTRIBUTING TOWARDS THE SOLUTION. I HOPE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT WILL CONTINUE TO BRAINSTORM AND LOOK OUTSIDE THE BOX FOR ANSWERS TO THIS CRITICAL ISSUE.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  305. Kay

    Never in my 60+ years have I ever seen such vehement "crazies" opposing ANY bill going thru Congress! What is TRULY driving these people?? It cannot be their very own personal sought-out knowledge on this subject because it is so radical and incorrect – and so much of it is coming from older white folks who are ALREADY on subsidized, government controlled medicine called MEDICARE – and loving it!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  306. Judie

    Something I have never understood... would love it if you could explain. I’m on Medicare now, but the same situation occured with private health insurance only. I had a test recently. From the Benefits Statement I got, the following... procedure cost $503.00. Medicare paid $98.52. Insurer paid $24.63. PATIENT SAVINGS $379.85! So in effect this means the provider lowered their bill by $379.85, making the cost for the procedure only $123.15 – simply BECAUSE I had insurance. If the provider was able to bill this at 25%, why wasn’t that amount the original billing? This has occurred with every health plan I’ve ever had, and it seems to me that if people were billed amounts that the provider actually could accept, rather than fabricating "savings", many more of us would be able to afford health care. I don't agree that billing should be standardized nationwide, but at least can any of these new plans require that providers bill in real numbers?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  307. Kathleen Kelley

    There has been so much fear-mongering about lost freedoms and high costs if we have health care reform.

    1.) What about the lost freedom of a person who is in a job they hate because it's the only way they can get health care and health insurance? 2.) What about the lost dreams of a person who gave up on their own small business because insurance for self-employment was too costly and going without was too risky? 3.) What about the falsely insured who pay more in health insurance costs including high deductables than they would pay in direct health care costs? –Now known in the business as the falsely insured.

    Imagine the dynamic and positive impact on our economy from people freed from health care worries! We shouldn't fear reform. We should pray for it.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  308. Brad Poulos

    Gov. Healthcare – I'm ticked that the President presents nationalized health care as mandatory to reduce sky-rocketing costs. He cites unwarranted testing (mitigating liability) by doctors driving up costs.
    .....NOTHING IN HR 3200 STOPS PEOPLE FROM SUEING FOR MASSIVE AMOUNTS SO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE COISTS WILL CONTINUE TO DRIVE UP COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE – that's the largest cost factor to rising costs!!!!!!!

    WHY NOT ADDRESS THE PROBLEM instead of creating another government program like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Post Office – ALL BANKRUPT nationalized government programs.

    1. buy cadillac insurance for 20 million real uninsured = $200 Billion
    2. Write LEGISLATION to address TORT REFORM (save $200 billion)
    3. Provide an exchange of government sponsored packages that insurers must compete to win
    4. Eliminate PRE-CONDITIONS as a means to deny coverage
    5. Any nationalized program must be used by all
    GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES, UNIONS INCLUDING CONGRESS

    SPENDING $1.5 TRILLION to cover "all Americans" specifically "46 million uninsured Americans."

    1. 40% of those are young people 18-35 that choose not to be insured
    2. 21% of those are illegal imigrants – not Americans
    3. 20% are eligible for medicade but haven't registered
    4. 19% don't fit into any of the above categories (9 million)

    $1 trillion / 20 million = $50,000 per uninsured American

    WHY NOT ADDRESS THE PROBLEM:

    TARP – didn't solve tight credit market or clean toxic debt
    RECOVERY ACT – with 10% in the economy after 7 months, didn't keep unemployment below 8%, hasn't address foreclosures, has only created government jobs
    HEALTHCARE – Young people 40% still will not buy insurance, illegal imigrants will still use taxpayer paid healthcare for FREE, 20% still won't sign up for available programs.....
    .....NOTHING STOPS PEOPLE FROM SUEING FOR MASSIVE AMOUNTS SO MEDICAL MALPRACTICE INSURANCE COISTS WILL CONTINUE TO DRIVE UP COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE

    August 12, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  309. Michael Minor

    I am an Independent voter and lean toward Democratic Values and ideas. I want Health care reform and I'm not afraid of the change. I recently went in for an Endoscopy and Colonoscopy and I have a high deductible with Florida Blue Cross BS. Even though I questioned the cost weeks ahead of time ,the amount out of pocket for me was over twice what I was told it would be. There were cost for things I wasn't even aware of. I go to the doctor only as a last resort and it shouldn't be that way.
    I have a great deal of trust in the President.
    My vote is for change!
    Thank you ,
    Michael Minor
    Fort Myers, Fl.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  310. Margi Wilding

    Thank you for the list of sites for fact checking. The health care debate just further exposes a fundamental flaw in how we as Americans make decisions about very important issues. Instead of researching all the studies available on how health care works, how other nations' health care is implemented, we are subjected to scare tactics and outright lies by some media and some politicians. Those scaremongers don't care at all about the health of the US.

    This country would be more productive and costs would be much easier to contain if we took the burden for health care off the backs of industry and followed the lead of successful medical systems out there like the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  311. Greg Gruchacz

    The fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) about the pending healthcare legislation in this country is a result of the mistrust of congress. After the TARP debacle, a major piece of legislation passed by congress without even having had time to read it, the public trusts our political leadsership even less than before. Senator Dodd added the ability for AIG to pay bonuses to executives, so that nobody knew about this until after the bill was passed. The public just wants congress to do their job, read the bill and make sure that their are no hidden boondoggles for insurance companies, drug companies, lawyers or large medical conglomerates before voting on the bill. We are tired of the special interests gaining the benefits of legislation at the expense of the public. Yes, something needs to be done about healthcare but we do not need to rush into changes that we will regret later. Mr. Obama seems to be determined to get the job done before we are able to check the legislation for errors and omissions and without taking his lawyer friends out of medicine. I am tired of doctors having to practice defensive medicine at the expense of the patients, so that they are not sued by predatory lawyers. But we know with congress being dominated by lawyers, nothing will ever be done to reign in the power of lawyers over everything that everyone does.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  312. Cathy Szymanski

    The thing that I fear most about this health care reform are these words – "We have to do something!" – from the politicians. We have to do the right thing, not something. The second thing is the disenfranchizing of the Americans who protest this bill by demeaning them and calling them names. CNN does this all the time either razenly or in undertones of language used in discussion about it. I rarely hear facts from the bill on CNN. he fear mongering is not from "the Republicans", it's from you and the democrats who demean intelligent everyday people to get your point across. The third thing is the lying that the Obama abministration seem to be so comfortable with. We, the people, hear them speak, in their own voice and words, about their intentions in healthcare reform in words that are completely opposite from the vague claims that they make in their public appearences. If I can find it, so can you. The fourth is the bill itself. People in other countries who have these plans are not happy with it, and with good reasons. That is why people who question it have good reasons to do so. Desperation lends a deaf ear to truth and the best, so why is this group of people leading the way in this?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  313. Vicki

    No I don't fear a big government takeover. I believe President Obama wants to do what's right for all of us and it's a shame that people like Rush Limbaugh and others are spreading lies and rumor in a campaign of fear.

    On one of your programs, this question was posed; Is Pres. Obama acting on his promise to be bi-partisan. Most of the answers were negative. He's trying to bring everyone into the discussion on health care and other issues.

    However, those on the other side of the aisle aren't taking the hand he's holding out. It takes two to be bi-partisan. Pres. Obama can't do it by himself.

    I have seen our health care system from both sides. I worked for years on oncology units at the Mayo Clinic and at Stanford Univ. Hospital. I saw doctors spending more time writing their notes so that insurance companies would cover the patient. I handled patient call lights and did what I could because we didn't have enough nurses. The nurse to patient ratio kept going up which is in no ones best interest.

    As a patient, I was almost given a medication to which I am allergic. Fortunately, I always ask what they are giving me. A potentially fatal situation was averted but only because I was my own advocate.

    This happened at one of Mayo's hospitals. It happened because the surgical resident was tired and had too many pre-op orders to write. It happened because the Unit Secretary who processed the order was also tired and had a stack of pre-op orders to do. The same for the pharmacist and the nurse.

    Every department had staff reduced due to budget cuts. Costs were on the rise but insurance companies weren't paying more. They have a bottom line and patient care doesn't figure into it.

    A unit that was for women who had high risk pregnancies was slated to close. Then, a board member's daughter was admitted and she and the baby received the best care anywhere.

    The unit didn't close. Maybe the CEO of all insurance companies should be a patient for a week. Let them see what health care is like in the 21st century in the greatest nation on earth.

    If I go into tort reform I'm sure I will run out of space. But, it MUST be part and parcel of health care. We have all heard of doctors ordering tests not needed to cover themselves should a lawsuit be in his future. This isn't what doctors should be putting ahead of patient care.

    This isn't a Democratic issue or a Republican issue. Want bi-partisanship? Then let's all sit down and talk about the real ISSUES.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  314. Cathy

    Barak Obamas town hall meeting was laughable. Really now, If he can't take on some real and honest questions and feedback, why should we trust him to do the best for us?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  315. tom from navarre FL

    i'm social security and i served in the military for thirty years and i'm just making it . is it true that my tricare for life health plan is going to cost $3000 a year . if so i'm sorry i served for this country.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  316. Rich

    Who is going to pay for this? I'm sure it will be, as always, tax the middle income citizens. Why can't someone come up with a short program, with charts or drawings, showing how they plan on paying for this.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  317. 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 12:41 pm |
  318. Patrick

    I am concerned that not enough information about government run health insurance is conveyed to the public. My wife has Champva which is 100% run by the government. She gets wonderful service, and she has never received a hassle from the company. NO One has ever contacted her doctors and tried to influence their health care decisions. My wife has Parkinson's didease and also receives medicare. She no longer has a problem with medicare since she dropped the private provider that was subsidized by the government. Before she dropped them they paid less than medicare for her treatments and would not approve a Deep Brain Stimulator for her.

    Now medicare and Champva pays and cooperates exceptionally. They are also pleasant and polite which is not true for the private sector plan.

    Other government run health plans are tri-care and the veterans Administration. Please investigate for yourselves and report your findings. People have nothing to fear from the government run health plans. God Bless them, my wife is now doing very well.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  319. James Evans

    Some of us have seen the evolution of healthcare from the 1970's when no one , including congress, the AMA, the Trail Lawyers Association, and hundreds of Privacy Protection Groups, would permit any attempt to save billions of dollars by intergrating a nationwide medical data base designed to eliminate redundant medical tests and procedures and reign in costs. That small industry segment trying to implement such a database, were then accused of attempting to usher in Big Brother with violations of personal privacy. This took 20 years to overcome by creating HIPPA laws and another 20 years for people to accept this simple concept.
    American's do not accept major changes to fundamentals they think are birth rights!

    Big businesses, (Major Banks, Insurance Companies, and American Industry who migrated their manufacturing and jobs offshore), Congress and Lobbyists ushered in the urgent debates that now plague us as a society. The search for profit without liability of a downside has served to undermined our integrity and independence as a nation and as a fractured people of haves and have nots. But, that is precisely why we send our children to law and MBA schools, and that's why they make the big bucks in the big businesses. Left to our own ingenuity we can discover profit and no one will lose! Entreprenuerial strength is what made America great, not exploitation of its clients!

    Now we are asked to trust congress and give grant to decide how we will be taken care of, by whom, and when. Is there profit in this?

    Let's examine The President's recent statement that American Insurance Companies are making greater profits now than at any other time in history. How can this be? Where are these proftis being generated? Someone must know! Could it be shrouded in the bottom line of costs not incurred, and the savings from the Insurance Companeis sending millions of American's abroad for healthcare at 80% less costs at the same quality of care as procedures in America?

    Is this a simple concept that unregulated business will find a way to make profit? Creative Businessmen have discovered methods to save and earn at the same time, not government. Left without bureautic intervention, eventually the Trail Lawyers Association, the American Hosptial Association and the American Medical Association will discover that profits are fleeing to other parts of the world while their profits and millions of dollars per year in income dissolve before their eyes and the fat in their current system will melt away. The issue is competition, let competition reign.

    American Politicians and businesses rarely make a move unless they have figured out the profit motavation in advance of a major economic move. Here's a question du jour: What have 'they' figured out to be the profit in raising taxes to pay for care of the uninsured, when it is already factored into the exisitng overhead and operating costs and reimburseables by the state and local governments to the hospitals providing indigent care? It is merely shifting pockets!

    Someone will profit from this debate being finalized into national healthcare, it isn't the people who are already being served. The real differences for the people is they may have a plastic card of some sort that says they are included rather than being forced into admitting they are indigent at triage. If there is no profit to anyone including big business, AMA, trail lawyers and the pharmaeuticals, then what is this debate all about? Profit. Where is the profit?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  320. Larry Hammonds

    Let me see? The ederly of this country are terrified of the rising cost of their healthcare and they looking to our government for not only answers but help in dealing with the escalting cost, but yet the same government officials they look to help are wanting to spend over $500 million on private jets! I know $500 million is chicken feed when it comes to healthcare cost but as the old say goes every little bit helps. I want to also say I know the aerospace workers at Boeing and Gulfstream are hoping the sale for these aircraft goes through for primarily for job security but I want to remind these aerospace workers many who are in the Baby Boomer Age' catagoy ages 55 or older that 10-15 years from now they too will be worring about healthcare cost as our countrys current senior citizens are going through today. And about the 'Job Security' statement I made about the aerospace workers at Boeing and Gulfstream I speak from expeirence because I worked for a aerospace sub-contractor for both Boeing and Gulfsteam for 18 years and one the most popular statements I heard was "I just need blah blah more years then I can retire." Well guess what those blah blah years will be here before you know it and just around the corner from those years is your 'Medicare years'! Think about it!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  321. Glen - Halifax, Canada

    Hi Tony,

    I live in Canada.. and i would like to know what is up with Canada’s health care bashing…

    Everyone in Canada gets basic health care. That’s necessary surgeries, long term care like dialysis.. doctor visits and etc. We have health insurance and insurance companies to cover prescriptions, dental care, and eye care. That keeps our insurance companies in business.

    When I want to see my doctor I pick up the phone and I make an appointment which is usually within a week, if i say that it is more urgent; then they are usually able to fit me in that day. I have never seen a bureacrat or any government official. Occasionally I get a letter from the government to verify that I had an appointment, apparently to keep the doctor’s bill’s to the government honest. (check and balance)

    You WILL have to pay higher taxes.. but then you won’t have the insurance premiums that you currently pay… or the company you work for won’t have those premiums to pay anymore, which would free up money to give raises to their current employees… or better yet.. hire more employees. Not to mention it might keep some of those companies from leaving your country because of the high costs of having to pay health care for their employees, past and present. (legacy cost of companies like GM, which is in part why they are having all that trouble.)

    All the people that are protesting a socialized (and i know that’s a bad word) Medicine reform must think they are immune.. like they can’t lose their job and end up with no insurance or having to pay the COBRA costs that will likely be more than what they recieve on their Employment Insurance cheques.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  322. Jack L. Crain

    Truth? Y is CNN still running ad by 60+assoc. full of lies? $talks, truth walks.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  323. Kevin M Hallinan

    Tony,

    In reference to health care reform I am most concerned about the way special interest groups and so-called conservative groups are waging a campaign of lies, distortions, and miss-information. Additionally, I am concerned about the organized effort to disrupt town hall meetings and the dissemination of accurate information.
    It should be clear to everyone that our current system is broken, not only for the 46 million working poor without coverage, but for all of us. The fact is our co-pays have increased while our coverage has decreased. I understand that there are those who do not agree with the President's concept of health care reform and/or have legitimate concerns and questions; however, the propagation of so much mis-information, deception, and, lies, obscures the discussion of legitimate concerns.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  324. Sheila

    Need Americans be reminded that Social Security and Medicare are already in danger of going bankrupt? As soon as someone can show me one single government run program that is run more effeciently and cost effectively than a privately owned business, I'll consider the value of government run health care. The same government that many people seem so willing to trust to with their health care will soon run out of money to pay simple retirement pensions, partly because many people who collect benefits have migrated to the United States and never even paid into the system like my Aunt's mother. What makes anyone think they can trust the government with medical care? Please.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  325. Brad Poulos

    HR 3200 doesn't address mal-practice insurance costs, TORT REFORM, – the core problem – to mitigate LIABILITY for doctors...
    (repeated testing, expensive testing not needed but covers Dr.'s but)
    ...President Obama said this is the largest problem driving up costs.

    THEN WHY DOESN'T HR3200 ADDRESS "the largest problem driving up costs" for health care??????????

    POLITICS – the trial lawyer lobby contributes far too much to liberal candidates for the DEMOCRATS to ADDRESS THE REAL PROBLEM.

    sounds like TARP, RECOVERY ACT...none addressed the core problems

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  326. Ed Craig

    I can't believe that people are really are satisfied with the current health care situation. Recently, Blue Cross raised my cobra health insurance from $481 a month to $576 amonth (a 20% increase). I can't change to a different company since I had prostate and colon cancer. We are at the mercy of the insurance companies. I remember having a physical. When I went to pay my bill, I listened to a conversation between the nurse and a HMO representative. A patient of the doctor was vomiting and having stomach pains. The doctor told his patient to go to the hospital. The patient was diagonsed as having food poisoning. The HMO representative was saying that she didn't believe food poisoning required hospitalization.

    If we don't reform the system the number of uninsured will probably double in 5 to 10 years because of increased premiums. That is 100 million people without health care. Health care premiums take away from spending on other items which would create non-medical related jobs. How has health care premiums for companies reduced increasing wages for its employees? How many jobs have been outsourced because of health premiums that don't have to be paid? The American worker is one of the most productive in the world. Outsourcing can't be all wage related.

    If medical care cost rise from 17% of GDP to 25-33% of GDP we will definately be in bad economic shape as a country. it is time that all Americans think about what is best for the country and the future generations of Americans.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  327. Sam Jensen

    Seniors Beware?
    I work with Seniors everyday concerning Medicare.
    Medicare premiums increase every year and coverages are reduced. This created the onset of Medicare suppliment plans which place Seniors again at the mercy of the Insurance companies.
    One such plan is called the Advantage (Private Fee for Service) plan.
    Seniors pay approximately $96 per month for Medicare part B. This amount is automatically withdrawn from their Social Secruity checks and paid to Medicare.
    With the Medicare Advantage suppliment plans the $96 is sent to the insurance companies. The government also suppliments the insurance companies to the tune of $4,000 per year per person signed up for the Advantage plans. These suppliments result in these plans requiring no ott of pocket premiums or very low premiums for Seniors.
    These plans have resulted in a 12% increase to Medicare resulting in both parties wanting to elliminate these plans.
    Millions of Seniors are on the edge of poverty as it is. If advantage plans are dropped millions of Seniors will have to move to traditional Medical suppliment plans which come with much higher premiums. Insurance companies without the Governments subsidies will be forced to increase premiums. Any increase in premiums for a large amount of Seniors would have a huge impact of their lifestyles. Many may be forced onto Medicade moving the problem to the States. I have not seen any information on how the Government will prevent a large increase in premiums to
    Seniors when Medicare Advantage plans are elliminated.
    Please look into this as I believe this is a hole in the floor that is being covered by a rug.

    Respectfully

    Sam

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  328. Bob

    I'm 55, dissabled, and I have been unfortunatly dealing with Insurance non-payments and denial of much needed medical services for 5 years now. My Lawyer and I have spent more time fighiting the Big Insurance company for denied needed services and non-payments then being treated for my injury and finding help or a cure! Everytime anything helps me the Insurance company buys some unethical Doctor to write a false report for them to deny services leaving me to pay for it. I have had to pay for more medications and leave needed medications at the drug store more times than I care to say over the past 5 years. And if the Doctor they hire does not see it thier way they refuse payment for over two years And guess who gets the bills and colections agencies threatning calls, not the Doctor, not the Insurance Company!! They have taken my high Insurance payments which have increased for years now and payed for less and less every year leaving me to bear the costs.

    On top of that most of the Doctors are backing each other up to deny services and protect thier incompantance comfirming incorrect diagnoses boardering on out right lies of thier Doctor friends and cronies. Not only have I been diagnosed wrong, given nasty terrible drugs and painful useless treatments but I have sufferd lose of hearing, lost teeth, and sense of taste too! Not to mention the unbearable horrors of side effects causing headaces, stomach problems, sleep problems, lose of concentration , diarrhea, vomiting, ringing in ears, loss of appetite, nausea, mood and mental changes (eg, depression); red, blistered, swollen, and peeling skin; tingling, pricking, and numbness of skin, shortness of breath and more!!

    God help us, when are these people going to act responsibly, maybe we do need Government involement, but it will be done right for once? Or is it going to be a usaual lining the rich pockets of people who don't need it while denying the people that need it desperatly?

    Dying in America after working and paying taxes for over 40 years....
    You pay for it and hope you don't have to use it. You need it after paying your whole life and you don't get what you need!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  329. michael thompson

    I'm pro-national health care. If we need some revenue to include more of our less fortunate sisters and brothers in health care coverage, I believe this revenue can be generated by reinstating some of the tax cuts of the past trickle-down three decades, or at least the pair of W. Bush cuts

    I would be interested in CNN research in this regard:

    (A) In 1980, before Reaganomics, what percentage of income were people paying in federal taxes? Please measure this for low income, low-middle, upper-middle, wealthy and superrich.

    (B) An optional step would be to compile aligned data for 2000, before the W. Bush cuts.

    (C) In 2009, after both Reaganomics and Bush II tax cuts, what percentage of income are people paying in federal taxes?

    ....... My educated guess is that people not only are paying less in 2009 compared to 1980 or even 2000 as percentage of income, adjusted to inflation, but they're paying substantially less, especially among higher-income groups. It would be great if CNN could do this research. People complain about higher taxes when they're actually paying lower taxes after three decades of trickle-down. Conservatives say we NEED tax cuts; we HAVE tax cuts that remain in place to this day. Obama is trying to say he simply wants to restore tax rate to Clinton levels, to erase the ill-advised pair of W. cuts (unprecedented during times of war), but Obama is having a hard time getting this point across.

    Another opinion is, I wish President Obama had set his "no tax hike" threshhold around $150,000, maybe even closer to $100,000, rather than at $250,000. I realize that cost of living is higher elsewhere than in a poor city like Saginaw, Michigan. But still, a family making $200,000 or $250,000 is "middle class?" Those families could pay a little bit more (or reinstate some of their past tax cuts) to help families making $20,000, $40,000, etc.

    In polling on public opinion on health care reform, can you please do more to break down segments by income and by race? I don't think people of color are running from President Obama. It's mostly whites, and ironically enough, many of them are low- or low-middle income whites.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  330. Mark Allen

    We constantly hear about the people from Canada, Europe, etc,etc, who come here for medical proceedures. We don't hear about the car and bus loads, yes bus loads of people who go to Mexico everyday to have medical proceedures done there. They are not going to some sleazy clinic in downtown Guadalajara, these are American compounds with American doctors and American nurses and American receptionists, in beautiful offices, next to american restaurants, and shops, and pharmacies. these compounds are getting more and more popular as American ins. co. deny more and more coverage. Retirement villages are also becoming more and more popular, and no not a shack in Mexico City, American retirement villages, no differant in apperance than Arizona, New Mexico, or Florida. Don't get me wrong, as a middle class american I love my country, it just no longer loves me.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  331. Michael K Becker

    I have been an employer with as many as 12,000 employees (now retired), the father of a primary care physician, a physical therapist and father-in-law of an emergency room physician. Everything I see says that our health insurance/medical care financing system is on the verge of collapse. I am not concerned about a public plan or a single payer or any specifics but we need reform now! In my mind there are four essential elements to any reform plan I will support:

    1. Coverage for all U.S. citizens and legal residents.
    2. An end to wildly varying regional reimbursement rates for medical providers.
    3. A shift from fee for procedure reimbursement to a system based on medical outcomes.
    4. A result that caps total national health expenditure at no more than the current bloated percentage of gross domestic product we are already spending.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  332. james s lenon

    We need to establish a national health insurance for all citizens. This should cover preventitive care, vision and dental care, and standard therapies and treatments.

    There is no excuse for the the obstructionism and disruption of Congressional meetings that we are currently seeing. The GOP seems to have decided to adopt "brown shirt" tactics.

    The thinly veiled terms, "socialism," and "take back our America," are now being used as rallying cries by the racists, fundamentalist theocrats, and anti-intellectuals who have flocked to the GOP banner since the election of President Obama. CNN and all responsible media services need to point out this attempt to destroy the Obama presidency for the un-American action that it is.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  333. Margaret

    My greatest concern is the polarization that this topic has created. The "ugly American" has risen in the form of prejudice, racism, and greed. The anger and misinfomation shown at some of these meetings is truly frightening. We have lost the ability to empathize with those less fortunate than us, look at all sides of the issue, etc. We have become a "me first" or perhaps a "me only" society. I don't know how this happened,but it has and the continuing commercials spewing lies and incorrect information simply to misinform, frighten, and force people to act irrationally has to stop if we are to survive as a nation. Those who chant "I want my country back", want the country "their way", not the way it really was when there was civil discourse and we pulled together as a nation. Big business and greed has taken over and I don't know how we will ever get back unless the silent majority... those people who seek the facts and discuss rationally, take back their place in the news media and at these town halls, and SPEAK UP before it is too late.

    YES, healthcare is definitely needing reformation for the good of all, not just for the good of a few!!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  334. Ron

    Tony,
    1, What do I have in my health care? Nothing. My boss drove me out of the ability to pay for insurance by lowering my number of hours.

    2. The government has no roll in medical care.

    3. No public option. I have never seen a government program that stayed small or within the bounds that it was originally intended.

    4. Who should pay? The politicians should pay. The Insurance companies should pay. What the laws should do is outlaw exclusions by insurance companies. With liability car insurance it doesn't matter whether you hit a clunker or a Mercedes the insurance for your car will pay to fix it. Insurance cannot make record profits and still demand they they be given the right to exclude high risk customers. In this case one size fits all must be a big enough size that everyone is covered.

    The reasons are many and varied. I am angry because both parties have spent decades fighting each other instead of fighting FOR the people. Big business controls our political parties. Till the representatives again represent us and not the corporations and industries involved I have no reason to trust the government any more than I should trust any other profit generating corporation. Therefore I don't want EITHER the insurance companies OR the federal government between the doctor and myself.

    If the politicians had left the SSI lock-box unopened it would not be in trouble of bankruptcy. So if you want to fact check something, how about fact checking how many government programs stayed within their bounds. You may dismiss Palin but that doesn't mean there isn't sufficient justification for her feeling like she does.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  335. Walter Elwell

    Tony,

    Thank you for the sensible way you are handling the current health care issue. The strident types, like Ed on the left and Beck on the right, are less than helpful.

    I am a retired graduate school professor, PhD, middle class, moderate. I did most of my PhD work in Germany and Great Britain (and the U of Chicago). I do not "fear" a govt takeover, but am very concerned about the increasing size of and control of the govt of our lives and decisions. I have done a great deal of reading in modern European history and have lived there. I have seen how tyrranies can take over incementally and I would be hard pressed to say it is not taking place here. If it came to The govt running the health care program or doing nothing, I'd rather we did nothing, at least until something more reasonable is figured out. I believe that the town halls do show that something bigger is taking place. Most people are afraid that they are being disenfranchized, and are speaking out. Those in Congress are supposed to represent their views and that is what is glaringly absent.

    Let's slow down and get it right .

    Walter

    August 12, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  336. David Cockerel

    Fog of misinformation

    The first problem in the Healthcare dilemma is the fog of misinformation. Fear is the bastard child of hatred and ignorance. We have media propagandist fanning the flames of dissention and division using tactically divisive propaganda methods pioneered by Joseph Goebbels stirring the kind of public response that is reminiscent of Krystallnacht. The rage and fear that underlie the Healthcare debate marginalizes future resolution.

    Many underlying issues must be confronted and cleared from the national conversation which have undermined the issue of healthcare reform:
    1) Open contempt for the President based on Race, 2) Partisan political posturing from both the minority and majority party for the sake of political advantage, 3) Failure to reveal which Congress and Senate members that have in the past and are now receiving funds from lobbyists and insurance companies to perpetuate the current agenda – profit from the sick and dying and 4) Revealing just how many healthcare bills or healthcare related legislation there is between the Congress and the Senate.

    When will the facts and the reason that goes with common sense overcome the hysteria born from hate, ignorance and its bastard offspring, fear?

    August 12, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  337. Donna Dembia

    We are a small business in the healthcare field that provides health insurance to our employees. We have 20 full-time employees. We provide health insurance to 13 employees/families at a cost of $15,000.00 per month. Three employees have a premium of over $2,000 per month BECAUSE we are rated in a higher tier due to the health history of the group as a whole. No one is exempt because of pre-existing conditions. Instead the entire group is rated for a high premium. I have not heard this aspect of health care cost addresed. Raising the employees contribution toward healthcare is punitive as their individual premium is based on the health and age of the group. We have paid $120,000.oo in premium to date this year with approximately $2,000.00 expenditure to the insurance company.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  338. Brett Lehrer

    What concerns me the most is the people on the right who are adamantly against health care reform. Not just that, it's their right to oppose something, but that they use rhetoric of denial of coverage and panels voting to deny treatments. These are exactly the problems we have right now with private insurers, and we're currently powerless to stop it as individuals. Ensuring the health and well-being of your fellow man should not be a for-profit business, but unfortunately it is, which leads insurers to do whatever it takes to cut costs, raise profits, and improve the bottom line.

    If the people that were stomping and shouting over fears of a government run health care system were aware of exactly how the private sector is functioning, you would expect them to be lined up asking how they could help pass a reform bill. But no, they've been inundated with misinformation and rhetoric originating from the people in power who stand to lose profits if we actually do get reform through.

    We shouldn't have ANY public options. If your health is suffering and you need help, you should be entitled to treatment regardless of who you are. I could never trust a public, for-profit entity to do that. We only have one life on Earth, and it's absolutely ridiculous that we should need to fight this hard to (literally) survive.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  339. Mark

    We are hearing from all constituents on your coverage of health care except for one: The Insurance companies. Why?????
    It would be really interesting to hear from them as to what they think about reform and how it would impact them if some of the proposed reforms were to become law.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  340. Jon Watters

    Hi Tony
    I think most people really look at health care as well fair.Most people do not see how much the insurance companies have had there hands in the governments pocket for many years.I have been a single parent and a construction worker at the same time and thank the government for the help with covering my kids when laid off.
    I am 49 and now raising 3 grand children that have government coverage that helps some,but when I lost my job this year I lost my health care.In 2004 I had heart surgery and have a ton of medication every day.Thank god I have a wife that works and has insurance but her health is not good because when it comes down to going to the doctors money is tight and she put her self off for every one else.
    Our President can see that we need help for the many people like us out her.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  341. Marie

    I believe that we need healthcare reform in U.S. and possibly a "public option" included but no bill should cover illegal immigrants.

    August 12, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  342. M-AZ

    My biggest concern at this point is all the false rumors out there – I think that it will take a endless push of fact checking to try to bring all of this under control.

    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. They certainly have have a high level of false informtion on their web pages as evidenced by the fact check sites. Is the fact that they are tied through a link from payments to business working for the insurance industry – True or False? If it is true, please do a story on this, and post these facts.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  343. Brad Poulos

    HEALTH CARE REFORM – – TORT REFORM – – GREAT IDEAS

    ..why isn't Congress addressing the largest single factor driving up health care costs (repeated test, very expensive tests to minimize Dr. liability)

    ..why doesn't HR3200 address TORT REFORM

    ..why doesn't HR3200 address the largest cost in the medical profession – MalPractice Insurance cost.

    ..PASS HR3200 and nothing stops you or me from sueing (1,000 times the cost for a procedure) a doctor, hospital, pharmacist, nurse or pharmaceutical company (or all of the above) if we are not satisfied with the result – – – SO COSTS CONTINUE TO CLIMB DRIVING UP THE $1 TRILLION COST FOR A DOWNPAYMENT ON HEALTHCARE TO TAXPAYERS.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  344. sha

    I believe these townhall meetings are only working for those with an underline agenda and its not health care. People! there is no bill yet. Do you hear! These meetings are like the wild wild west, get your horses and lets rally the men, with no reason but to start some trouble. You see it doesn't take much to gather a certain bunch of unhappy folk together who are looking for trouble. thats what most people see on tv. The last 8 years they didn't even want to deal with health care and it was ok for the Bush adm to spend as they did. That is still be the question for me, such a waste. NOW PResident Obama now has to deal with the baggage that was left. Now the people want an answer to everything wow things sure have changed. Didn't question Bush even congress didn't seem to care, but Obama can't eat in a resturant without given an account.! You have to invest by spending sometimes. Not spend for the sake of spending like during the last adm. As the some might say "we older folks are not ready for prime time yet." YOU KEEP TELLING FOLK THERE IS NO BILL YET! Maybe they will hear you.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  345. Sushil Mukherjee

    I keep hearing from the President that the Health Care Reform would eliminate $170 billion subsidy currently made to the private insurance company without any benefit cut/ Prescription drug costs of Medicare patients. If so , isn't it possible for the President right now (without waiting for the reform to pass) to issue an Executive order to stop the subsidy immediately?
    I would like to know exactly what is this subsidy for , which legislators sponsored and voted for this subsidy? How many Democrats and Republicans were for and against this subsidy and their names?
    In next town hall meeting President should clearly spell out and answer my questions above.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  346. Howard

    This country was founded on vigorous debate and redress of grievances. Our Founding Fathers knew how important it was and would be to hold the government accountable to the Will of The People.

    The President and The Congress seem to have forgotten that. To hear Speaker Pelosi characterize angry American as “Nazis” is a disgrace. To hear the President claim that town hall meetings are being orchestrated by the Republican Party and Fox News is a disgrace. For local representatives to cancel constituent meetings or hold meetings by phone is a disgrace and an act of cowardice. The United States Government was formed by The People, to perform the will of The People, and they answer to the voice of The People. To insult, dismiss, or otherwise denigrate The People’s rights to Free Speech, Assembly, and redress of grievances, is borderline treason.

    Town hall meetings in general, are an opportunity for constituents to voice their opinions. Currently, people are angry, and they want to hold their elected officials accountable. If the town hall meeting is on the topic of healthcare, people want to know why Congress feels the need to rush through a program that accounts for one-sixth of the US economy. People want to know why, with other government-run programs failing and going bankrupt, should they trust the Government with such an vital part of American life? And if people get a little passionate, heated, or angry, can you blame them?

    So what does our Government do? Belittles and insults The People’s Right to assemble, speak freely, and redress their grievances! Which is like throwing fuel on the fire—of course these meetings will become heated; politicians don’t want to hear the anger of their constituents!

    It’s a vicious cycle that must be addressed and repaired. The American People have the right to Free Speech. Our elected officials are duty-bound to listen, to the good and the bad. Certainly, people need to respect one another and behave properly, but elected officials must listen and understand the message: We the People are angry. We are upset over what our elected officials are doing, and we’re going to do the American Thing and let them know.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  347. Bob W

    Health Insurance is NOT a "right" as most people are thinking it is.
    Health Insurance was developed for of the same reasons
    auto insurance and homeowners insurance came about.
    When the cost becomes to great for the average persons to pay
    for a repair or replacement then we get together and all pay a
    certain amount into a pool of money to be able to draw from that
    pool if needed. Health care got to be so costly that we began to
    pay an amount into an insurance pool of money to provide coverage.
    No difference that other insurances we have today EXCEPT things
    changed greatly when HMO's began to control our health care system.
    We're now paying more for less. Get rid of the HMO's and maybe things will get better. Maybe we'll start getting what we pay for!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  348. Jean in Gresham OR

    Monday night Katie Curik reported that Obama had made a back room deal with the pharmaceutical companies in order to get the them to back his health care package. The report stated that Obama had conceded 'no cap on senior medications' and 'stopping seniors from going to Canada for medications'.I'd like to know if this is fact. Being a senior this greatly concerns me.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  349. Bobbie Rosario

    Please someone (Ali?) explain the difference between elastic and inelastic demand! On Ali's trip his had a gentleman who compared his desire for a Hummer to Health Care. Transportation is a relatively inelastic need. What you use as transportation can be elastic. Their are options. Sometimes not so many so we get gouged at the gas pump. Heathcare is an inelastic need. Period. Sometimes you can choose a fancy place to go get your healthcare but in the end the need for health care is inelastic. That is why we get gouged by the insurance companies. When the need is inelastic you get charged what ever the company can get by with and that is a lot. That is when the government should step in and regulate the industry. Public utilities an example of a monopoly that is regulated.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  350. 0611dlburch

    I'm 59 years old. I have paid for health insurance, taxes, Medicare and Medicaid for 30 plus years. Unemployed now with only 12 months money left. What are the people to do that are 50 plus years old. I have by our laws and by economy I for an example will and have 11 years
    To work and wanting to work. What are people of the United States that have paid taxes and that have been employed do.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  351. Lyn in Texas

    President Obama, the White House, and some media outlets are too quick to say euthanasia and rationing are not in the bills or future. NOT SO FAST. Read what has been written by current White House advisors and czars. Look at the writings by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (Rehm Emanuel's brother) who ranks the value of human lives in time of crises. Also look at the writings of Peter Sanger, Czar Fondren (Science Czar) and others. There is a clear ranking where babies and older people have less value than more productive aged people. President Obama says look at the people around him and you will see what he believes. Obama has been willing, when in the State Senate of Illinois ,to argue that a baby who lies dying after a failed abortion should not receive medical care "because it puts too high burden on the abortionist (to call for a pediatrician.) Obama has denied taking this position but I have heard a tape in his voice arguing this very point. The lack of compassion of Mr. and Mrs. Obama should be evaluated. CNN has been in Obama's pocket and has failed to expose very revealing information such as the illegal patient dumping scandal started by Michelle Obama and supported by Valerie Jerrell/Jarrett and David Axelrod. The patient dumping scheme was to divert poor patients from the University of Chicago Hospital's Emergency room to local and lower level clinics for tcare so Univ. of Chicago could fill their beds with well-heeled patients. Univ of Chicago Hospital, Mrs. Obama's, Mr. Axelrod's, and Ms. Jarrell's reportedly had personal gain from this scheme. The University of Chicago Hospital will not give information because this patient dumping is illegal based on President's Regan's laws/regulations. CNN has received a rating of D in the Media Section of the Second 100 Days Report Card. You have not done real investigations on what ithe truth is behind the facade presented by the Obama White House. Older citizens and their families realize it is only one step by proponents of abortion to those who would propose euthanasia. Obama in an ABC report suggested giving an elderly lady pain pills rather than implanting a pace maker to save money. He keeps voicing a lack of compassion and the American people are no longer charmed by his smiles and fakery. CNN IF YOU WILL REALLY INVESTIGATE THE TRUTH YOU CAN GET BACK CREDIBILITY.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  352. CAROLYN

    Listening to all comments concerning the health care reform issue, in my opinion, we need to cleanup, remove, restructure, the existing and then annalyze the needs of the American people. If you aren't Americans, then you need to pay. Americans are the most giving people in the world, and we have made ourselves vunerable to health care costs by doing so. Governmental laws rules and regulations are determental to all of us, and if we don't start the cleanup now on all fronts the entanglement will engulf us even more.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  353. Laura Winters

    Too many people are without adequate healthcare in this country and something has to be done. These are not people who are just looking for a handout. Many of these people are hard working individuals whose life circumstances have placed them in a situation where affordable health care is either not available, or for some very small reason, has been denied. It is getting to the point in this country where health care is only available to the very wealthy, the very healthy, or those working for large companies. Is this fair? How many of us fit into that category? Its availability has become such a huge part of any life decision. How many of us have to move away from loved ones because of healthcare benefits offered at a job elsewhere? How many of us keep a job we perhaps don't want or have grown tired of because of healthcare? How many of us struggle to make a life for ourselves in small towns or rural areas because of the lack of jobs providing healthcare? How many of us know someone who has lost their fight for life or fears for their future because of healthcare? Some level of healthcare needs to be available to all individuals. The question is at what cost. I hope for a plan that can provide coverage to those who can not afford private insurance. There are many of us in this category, so the minimum income level has to be reasonable. Do I want for our taxes to go up dramatically? No. Nobody does. But something has to be done. We all will have to make some sacrifices in some way. I see logic in establishing a policy that requires health insurance companies to cover all individuals with or/without pre-existing conditions (without penalty) and requires all individuals to purchase healthcare coverage (as with auto insurance). But there has to be good, affordable coverage! I also see logic in establishing discounts for non-smokers and individuals who maintain a reasonable weight just as there are discounts for auto insurance for those who have a good driving record. We all will have to make some sacrifice, but it is a sacrifice that will be well worth the cost to give people the peace of mind and the chance of a healthy life they deserve.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  354. Sandy

    I am concerned with the increasing size of government. I prefer less rather than more.

    I think an intelligent discussion about reducing health care costs must include tort reform and allowing insurance companies to compete across state lines. It is not a complete discussion unless these topics are included.

    I'm concerned that businesses that are currently offering health care to their employees will eventually discontinue this option in favor of a less expensive government plan. This could result in much larger numbers participating in the government plan and thus increased costs. I don't think the cost estimates we are hearing about include this possibility.

    I think, in general, I don't trust Congress. I am so sorry.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  355. Lane

    I think the actual problem here is that the politicians are allowing, even promoting all the town halls without having a real bill in front of them to debate. So far I've heard of a dozen different bills being "TALKED" about but none that are up for a vote. Why are we stirring up peoples fears with rumors, myths, and total untruths since nothing is in writing? People, wait until these clown politicians actually get off their collective butts and bring us something to really debate. This whole mess is just ludicrous and is not doing anything but fueling hatred amongst people who would normally have a decent discussion on any other topic. Some of the stories that are out there right now really show the "dumbing of america" and its becoming an embarrassment to our country since the whole world is watching us act like fools. Unbelievable!!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  356. Bobbie Rosario

    Thank you Ali for your trip! The town hall meetings are so depressing. Please share more. Yours are not as exciting but they are important because it shows that not all Americans are crazy right wing hateful nuts.

    Back to the Hummer comment. Driving a Hummer is like getting plastic surgery to enhance ones ego. Getting heart surgery is not a choice. It is an inelastic demand.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  357. Cheryl

    I have read H.R. 3200. My biggest concern is that my right to life under the XIV Amendment being denied for the sake of the wellfare of the insurance companies.The fact that the I pay taxes that are used to ensure that government officials have the best healthcare coverage while I have none and am ineligible to get any is fundamentally wrong. This simple fact shows that we, as citizens, are not being treated equally and I believe that is unconstitutional. I have a right to life, liberty and property under the XIV Amendment therefore I have a right to medical treatment to ensure my right to life, liberty and property. I should not have to give up my quality of life, liberty or home because I can't afford medical treatment.
    I am also concerned because my opinion is not the same as the representatives and senators in my state. The constant misinformed, fear inducing rhetoric is stupifying.
    I see no reason and consider it a breach of trust by government officials to put the wants of the insurance companies above the needs of the people.
    When I was in the USMC I was taught that each platoon is only as strong as it's weakest member. I believe that is true for the Nation as well.
    As Mr. Spock so elequently put it "The Needs of the Many Outway the Needs of the Few."

    August 12, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  358. Ron

    What is MOST amazing is that there are people here in this land of Liberty that actually BELIEVE that health care is a RIGHT. What has happened to this country? It has become so socialist that people believe they deserve health care above liberty. Get this straight people. You have the RIGHT to try to succeed but you also have the right TO FAIL. That is what LIBERTY means. now if you want something OTHER than liberty then there are several socialist nations awaiting your arrival.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. I have watched decades of politicians giving away things to placate the masses for so long that the masses have lost their thirst for freedom over security. They seem quite willing to trade liberty for security. This is not a new concept being promoted by the pseudo-liberals AND the corporation bought pseudo-conservatives but it has become popular because of the numerous "free" giveaways the politicians have handed out that have spoiled the populace into believing there really IS a free lunch. Obama may SAY this reform will be revenue neutral or he won't sign it but that's a laugh. He is a master of smoke and mirrors. It may not be CALLED revenue but I assure you that we all are going to be paying for it as are our children. Just as printing money appears to have no consequences our children will end up footing the bill in inflated costs and depleting worth of the dollar. So wake up America.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  359. Robin

    Yes I believe all the fighting and frustration we’re seeing in these town halls a symptom of something bigger brewing in America. I listened to some of the town hall meetings and shocked, I don't know why the protestors attend the meetings if they are coming armed with misinformation and refuse to listen when they are giving the proper information because Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin didn't say it. I heard that we are losing our constitutional rights. It has been a while since I took American History but I don't remember health insurance being in the constitution. I hear that Obama has done nothing but take our constitutional rights since he has taken office. Where were these people when the Patriot Act passed. TARP was passed under Bush when we bought into these banks but this too is Obama interfering with the free market. They don't believe anything this Administration says, why? These same people believed everything the last Administration said, they believe everything Rush Limbaugh says . They don't see their disruption of these meetings as an infringement of others civil rights. They have a right to freedom of speech. However their rights do not trump the rights of people who are attending these meetings to get real information. The sad thing is the more people that watch this madness on television. The more people you have that would like information that won't attend. This is more about politics than it is about the issue of health care reform and unfortunately if you go into any blog on AOL about just about any subject you can see that racism has raised its ugly head. At a time when race relations should be better than ever you can see the President of the United States called a boy a Muslim usurper, a socialist, and so on. The sad part is I doubt the people who are screaming socialism do not know the true definition of the word.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  360. Don Baltimore

    Many people say they are worried that a government health care plan would put a bureaucrat between them and the needed care. I have had, over a 52 year period, military, Veterans Admin., Medicare and Tricare health care, all government programs. At no time was I ever told I could not receive needed care. Not once. I did have private insurance through employment for a time though, and I was denied some care by private insurance bureaucrats. I don't believe we need worry a second about a government sponsored health care plan, but If a plan is passed without a public option, it will be useless. PS – When Medicare was established in the mid 60s, my mother did not want to enroll because she had heard the government would take her house to help pay for it. Rumors grow faster than the truth.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  361. Jesse Duckett

    Why are'nt the voices of the poeple who are for health care reform being heard, All I see and hear on the air are those poeple who are shouting and protesting against health care reform. Where is the coverage of those millions of Americans who do want health care reform ? The media is giving all the coverage to the protesters and it is giving them the national attention that appears to be speaking for the majority of americans. Please interview both sides, give those of us who are for health care reform some of the national attention so the President and Congress can see the supporters for health care reform are out hear shouting too.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  362. Chuck Connor

    The proposal of a health care bill is symptomatic of a larger problem in America. A substantial number of people are eager to cede all responsibility for themselves and their families to the federal government. An almost equal number are repulsed by the prospect of living under the control of a central government. Such clarity of difference may inevitably lead to civil war. Then, both sides shall certainly lose.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  363. Lyn in Texas

    Tony
    It is sad that CNN is taking what the White House is voicing is true.
    What I am concerned about is what has been written by the Czars and White House Health Care Advisors. Please investigate what Ezekien Emanuel, Czar Fondren, Peter Singer/Sanger, and others have said that lay a foundation for rating the value of human years. A foundation had been layed for furthering abortions and euthanasia due to a value rating scheme for what each person is worth. President Obama does not seek the protection of the unborn and has voiced little compassion for the elderly in recent ABC and other reports.

    Why don't you investigate the illegal patient dumping scheme at the University of Chicago Hospital carried out by Michelle Obama, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrell. The American people do not believe the Obama's and White House administration are truly interested in only their agendas, legacy, and gain.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  364. Robert Lake,MI

    Well whoever says the economy is getting better must live on a different planet than I do. I see jobs still bleeding by the 10`s of thousands nationwide. I see my job at the Postal Service on shakey ground. I`m 39 and have seen my American dream to be a myth. I earned college money through GI bill in the navy and saw it snatched from me for failure to use it in an approperiate time frame! I saw my property taxes double this year! So my question is how much is this health care reform going to cost and who`s going to be responsible for paying for it because quite frankly I`m all tapped out, if I`m forced to shell out more of my earnings then I start going backwards and I suspect from talking to a lot of people they are in the same boat! What congress and the President need to do is make laws that protect the American people from institutions that are too crucial to the well being of the general public like oil, pharmies, insurance, Wallstreet. We wouldnt need reform of this kind if this institutions were regulated with the interest of the real American people, the ones who built this country whether the wealthy wish to admit to this fact or not! I realize lots of people have no insurance but thats not my fault, I dont smoke,drink, or eat to much! Blame unhealthy people and insurance companies for this. If we all want health care we must ALL take responsibility in paying for this. It CANNOT be another program put on the backs of Middle Class people.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  365. Michael Legel

    I'm not interested in INSURANCE reform ... I want single payer health care. Period. I am tired of being held ransom by the Medical Mafia. My health and well being should not be determined by accountants.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  366. Chris, MN

    Many people ARE distrustful of, not only the politicians, but the media for a lot of reasons. Look at what CNN did with the Tea Parties. It made jokes about Tea Bagging and the network went out to discredit the gatherings and the people attending them, clearly showing not journalistic objectivity but bias. Media feuds between personalities like Bill O'Reilly, Chris Mathews, Keith Olbermann and others, including editorial blurbs from Dobbs and Cafferty, not to mention an approach to "reporting" that includes using panels of opinonators where the facts are blurred by personal bias... add it all up and what is the media giving us? It doesn't mean that CNN and others aren't reporting on facts each day but they are mixed in with opinion, sound bites, speculation, face-offs, and sensationalism. So when viewers tune in looking for answers, they go away frustrated and uninformed.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  367. christa

    You know the ones screaming the loudest agaist healthcare are the rich people. They do not want poor people have healthcare, but the poor people of the USA also vote for Palin, who as we all now has no kind of education, but they wanted to make her vize president that shows you in what country we live, someone who does not know that Africa is a continent and not a country. This means that people with no education vote for a party, that does not have any commitment towards them and wishes they would die early I guess, because these so called leaders of the republican party , do not want to give them healthinsurance . You can see these people on TV, screaming and going on against the democrats and healthcare, it shows you that most of them have no education. Because only uneducated people behave the way they do, they forget that we as taxpayers of the USA, pay the healthcare of our public officials from our Taxes . If the republicans do not want healthcare for all, take away healthcare for all republican leaders in politics. They do not deserve the care either

    August 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  368. Lili's Son George

    Lili’s Story

    My mother Lili, a WWII refugee from both Nazi and Soviet terror, is 83 years old and had a stroke two days after Christmas last year. Our hometown is Flint, Michigan.

    Blue Cross canceled her policy January 1st; General Motors has not processed a pension check for her since then because, as a GM benefits manager said, they consider her “dead”.

    While in rehab at Bortz here in Traverse City (Corporate Headquarters in Warren, Michigan), she broke her neck.

    Her senior home, Glen Eagle (Holiday Corporation, Salem Oregon; owned by Fortress Investment Group, New York, New York) tried to seize her property while she lie in Intensive Care.

    After a difficult operation at Munson Medical Center here in Traverse City, she was transfered to Tendercare (corporate headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin) also her in Traverse City.

    You may have read in the Traverse City Record-Eagle about Tendercare’s problems.

    The Facility Administrator is gone.

    The Head of Nursing is gone.

    The Director of Social Services is gone.

    My mother raised concerns about this facility and they slapped her with an eviction notice.

    We thought a payment plan was established, but, again, this nursing home wanted to seize her property.

    Question these corporations. Question our public officials. Question yourself if you want this in our Traverse City community.
    It is time for health care and nursing home reform to happen.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  369. Jesse Duckett

    Why is the media only airing the poeple that are protesting health care reform. The media should aslo give national attention to us people who are for the health care reform. We deserver to be heard, please stop showing people who are only against health care reform. This is what they want and why they are shouting. They want everyone to think they are the majority and they are speaking for all americans, This is far from the truth. Many of us want affordable health and and seeking health care reform for many decades.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  370. Lyn in Texas

    Tony
    Why doesn't CNN investigate the Czars & Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel's writings, and the Health Care team at the White House. You will find lots of writings and history including the illegal patient dumping scheme at the University of Chicago Hospital's Emergengy Room which should paint a picture that will dispell what the White House white washes as myths. Good investigative reporting will confirm that the American people have justified reasons for their concers to the current Obamacare

    August 12, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  371. Lyn in Texas

    Is CNN taking what the White House is saying are myths as true myths or are you investigating?

    August 12, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  372. Sabin Colton

    By the way, the CNN Truth Squad is not entirely correct about the financial access of the government to personal financial records on page 58 of the House Bill. It talks about real-time point-of-service determination of the individual's ability to pay and is vague enough to be abused.

    Quote:"enable the real-time (or near real time) determination of an individual’s financial responsibility at the point of service and, to the extent possible, prior to service, including whether the individual is eligible for a specific service with a specific physician at a specific facility, . . ."

    Here, the individual is obviously the patient and the wording is just too vague to leave out the option of checking to see if the individual has the funds.

    The whole bill is vague, does not define the benefits to be offered, and is a blank slate regarding what they will or want to do. Too many places have phrases such as "will be adjusted appropriately" with absolutely no definition of what is "appropriate".

    Furthermore, the determination of eligibility for Medicare Prescription Program gives them full access to tax returns and ALL finances. With the amount of slosh and cross-talk between the many (53) agencies here, this makes the people's finances effectively an open book.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  373. Kathleen Parr

    I would like to know , what will happen with Health Care Reform, when you check your hospital bill and feel that you have been overcharged and you turn this in to your insurance company, the reply is , if you follow thru with your overcharge complaint you will have to fill out the paperwork, but remember this , the hospital has the right NOT to treat you if, you should need their services. This happened to me , I was trying to protect medicare, bacuase they were being overcharged, I decided to let medicare pay , because I didnt want any problem with the hospital. Also, I think the electronic computer system , is great , less paperwork, but what about all of the typo's in the electronic paperwork ? I have that problem already. I am from Ohio and in the Cleveland Clinic System, they have alot of problems with their system.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  374. Robert Lake,MI

    I also believe that most of America`s problem exsists simply because the wealthy business owners in this country decided after Reagan gave the green light to ship a huge segment of wealth overseas which I guess if someone half way around the world is more important to you than your own family is I suppose. We must decide whether or not we are going to keep our wealth or are we going to give it to the rest of the world? Its a crappy decision, but until we start back providing for Americans we will see the entire country erode into total poverty and this is a fact! Another fact is there is only so much wealth in the world and everyone else out there wants it so this is the decision we must make! Not too far in the distant future there will not be enough tax money in to support social services and when this country approaches this tipping point the bottom will fall out and it wont matter if you have health insurance or not! Food for thought, get out of your dreamlands and see whats going on!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  375. Robert Friedly

    Could a fact check or truth squad be done on an ad that showed today on CNN from "60 Plus Association"? I believe it is misleading and serves only to scare seniors. I know CNN is trying to get the facts and truth out there and this ad is not contributing anything positive to the healthcare debate. It is ironic that it is running on CNN. Can CNN do anything about an ad like this?

    August 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  376. vl

    People who oppose the health care reform's plan are selfish and heartless. They don't think about 50 millions uninsured American people.
    People say reform health care that add deficit , but this is spending for American people not spending for Iraquis people. However, we don't see clearly how deficit. We need to wait and see.
    Moreover, people should check the fact the cost insurance today too high so that most middle class people cannot afford to buy. What do you think if no reform health care?
    Have you ever seen former president Bush concern about poor people , he only concern about the benefit of billions people. If I forget, you should remind me

    August 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  377. Lillie

    I think the fighting and frustration we are seeing is the result of many Republicans who have not accepted the fact that an African-American is President of the United States. These folks don't really care about healthcare. Look at the type of folks making all the fuss – elderly white folks who care only about perserving as one lady said, "Taking the country back to the forefathers." I wonder what race were they?

    It's very easy to contest something when you already have healthcare. That shows the lack of love and care for others. We are so quick to condemn other countries of cruelty, yet we as "good' Americans are denying others the right to have healthcare.

    These naysayers are not fearful of "big government takeover" and if they are, they should educate themselves about medicare and social security. If they still have a problem with the government – give back your monthly check.

    I have healthcare, but I also fully support Universal Healthcare for all!

    August 12, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  378. David Porterfield

    Expand Medicare to cover every US citizen. Pay for it with a tax on imports to be paid by the importer and NOT with any charge to the insured at all. Medicare system is already in place and very efficient. eliminates the need for forming a new bureaucracy. The tax rate to the importer would be adjusted periodically as needed. larger Employers would be charged a tax based on the employee hours worked, and NOT by the number of employees. This system would get rid of the heavy tax penalty employers face when they add an employee, and help to reduce offshore outsourceing.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  379. Doresa

    Toni I took note as well that all the screaming is coming from the non-blacks. I am beginning to think that these screamers are in fact planted for the pure intent to disrupt. People are calling the president a liar and I'm sure worse then that. American need to be patient. The man has not been in place a year and they expect immediate gradification as usual. I am a health care worker myself. I see the problem first hand as well as being a victem of it as well. Insurance companies are bean counters. We need the medical group to take back the medical experience needed to manage care. One example of the wrongness of the system as it is, is the case of my husband was hit by a car 9 yrs ago. He lost both his legs. Because the surgeons were a plastics group, I received a letter of repremand from AETNA,( yes I'm calling them out) telling me it was cosmetic surgery done without referral. Needless to say, I was livid. I called them up screaming asking them did they even look at the surgery done? Who the H### wakes up in the morning and says "Oh I think I'll get both my legs cut off today". So yes, changes need to be made. This business of prexisting nonsense is an issue as well. I could go on but I won't. But I know things aren't going to happen over night.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  380. Cindy Merrill

    My husband and I just got turned down for a SNAP Food credit increase ( He's diabetic and we live on SSI). Which would you prefer: An extra $100 for dietic food, or $180,000 a month for Hospital costs if or when John has a Diabetic blackout or slips into a Coma? You ( as a taxpayer) already pay for his SSI and VA, so its your decision. If Obama wants to prevent complications associated with diabeties, obesity, heart disease and other ailments, wouldn't it make sense to issue specified food vouchers/ Dietic foods/Care boxes to VA clinics,Food pantries and other institutions that address the needs of Low income Americans? Why are Government Commodities ( often delivered to Non Profit Organizations) extremely high in Sodium and Carbs? Will the Meals on wheels program for seniors be expanded?
    Over two thirds of Americans are Obese: Has the Obama administration agreed to tax incentives for joining a healthclub, gym or diet plans like Nutrisystem? Please respond.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  381. Tom T

    I'm worried that the legislators will get intimidated by the screamers. We need health insurance for all Americans now. It's absurd that we pay more per capita for health care than any other country (most of which have universal care systems), and still have 47 million uninsured. Let's assure our Senators and House Members that they have our support to get this done before the year is out.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  382. JR

    We definitely need some kind of public option for those who can't afford private insurance. Even basic preventive care would be better than nothing.

    My big concern that doesn't seem to get addressed by anyone: If this bill passes where are all the extra doctors and physicians assistants going to come from, so we don't have the long waits like Canada?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  383. 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 2:26 pm |
  384. Randy Winchel

    In general. As a 51 year old man. The business actions taken by government in the last few months to stimulate the economy, I doubt governments credentials in any type of business. Example: now, all the money in the world is out there to be loaned, borrowed, etc. Hey, that's fixed our economy, I don't see that it has. Has the gov. taken any measures to curtail American imports. Raise tariffs to bring manufacturing back to the states? Nope! Are the unemployeed running out and borrowing? Nope! I have a job, am I borrowing? Nope! Am I buying furniture from China? Nope! Is the gov. looking out for the American people? Nope! They are still working for themselves and special interest groups. In my lifetime, I have never seen a politician answer a strait ? with a strait answer. Prove to me why I should feel comfortable with their idea of health reform when the info they recieve for reform is not coming strait from the (people) who voted them in?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  385. Maxine Lorence

    What concerns me most about health care reform is that, in the end, nothing will be done. Obama and his staff MUST overcome the politics of it all.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  386. Janet Pruitt

    Biggest fear–not getting this done.

    August 12, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  387. Michael Roepke - Dallas

    I am most concerned about policy being dictated by a population that seems to be living in an alternative universe. We have all the absurd statements from the Town Hall meetings, but there is one statement that goes unchallenged. That statement is that we have the best Health Care in the world.

    The statistics show that Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the UK get better results from their Health Care both in life expectancy and infant mortality. And all but 2, Canada and Japan have fewer physicians per 1000 people.

    If this silly sort of patriotism won’t allow us to face the fact that we don’t have “the best in the world” how are we ever going to improve what we have?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  388. joe

    What concerns me the most is that having fought for this country, having paid my taxes for years – my freedoms are being taken away from me. No one is talking about clear points of contention in this bill:

    • Page 30, line 23 — There will be a government committee that decides what treatments you get.
    • Page 50, line 152 — Health care will be provided to all non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
    • Page 59, lines 21-24 — Government will have direct access to bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
    • Page 110, lines 13-18 — An excise tax (will be levied) on all goods from companies not offering government health care.
    • Page 239, lines 14-24 — Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid.
    • 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.
    • Page 438, Section 1236 — The government will develop a patient decision making aid program that you and your Doctor will use.
    • Page 660-671 — "Doctors in Residency" – The government will tell you where your residency will be.

    How is this fair? First, illegals get the same rights as I do – WHY am I paying taxes? Second, why should I not be allowed the best treatments, I am an individual, I want to fight for my life as I fought for this country – you are telling me that a Government template of how I should be treated if I get cancer is appropriate? Why should I not be allowed to do everything I can to survive? Does anyone really believe the Government knows whats best for you?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  389. Randy Winchel

    The more I watch clips on reform and the news, I understand the ones for reform are without jobs, insurance, and everything else that being employeed gives them. Ask yourselves why you are jobless. What has the government done to secure your job? In 2006, the US spent 200 billion more on China goods than they purchased from us. Fair trade? Equal trade? Sure, right. Spector switched sides to secure his own job, yet does nothing to secure jobs for the Pa people. Vote for him again? Why? What is in store for your grandchildren? Two reccessions I have been thru now and both brought on by corporate greed linked to government. Yes I beleive revolt from the people is needed now. In our state, education programs are being cut, but Bev is still beautifying our interstate interchanges with millions of dollars in trees, shrubs, bushes, mulch, etc. Why anyone should believe gov. is working for us is beyond me.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  390. RYF

    DEAR TONY
    WHY NOT ASK CONGRESS & SENATE TO AGREE ON A HEATHCARE PLAN THE SAME AS THEY ENJOY AND MAKE IT AFFORTABLE FOR ALL AMERICANS WITH & WITHOUT INSURANCE.
    WE COULD PAY A PERSENTAGE OF MONTHLY INCOME AS PAYMENT PREIMUIM.THIS WOULD HELP ALL PEOPLE. ALSO TAX
    PEOPLE MAKING OVER $ 200K A YEAR. SOMEBODY NEEDS TO HELP OUR PRESIDENT. WE SHOULD BE WORKING HARDER ON
    HOW HELP SOLVE THIS PROBLEMS & STOP REPORTING ON PEOPLE WHO ARE BELEAVING ALL THIS LIES ABOUT HEATHCARE REFORM.LETS ALL HELP OUR PRESIDENT HELP US.DON'T BELEAVE ALL THE LIES THAT THIS PEOPLE ARE SAYING. REMMBER
    THEY LIE BECAUSE ITS MONEY ! THEY WILL LOSE FOR THE RICH.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  391. Bill

    My greatest concern about the overall healthcare debate is the wild claims and refusal of a few selfish people to sllow a civil discussion of the subject. Threse are not frustrated indivividuals as they are protrayed in the news media but greedy,selfish people trying to undermine our way of life for profit.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  392. Bobbie Rosario

    In the meantime MSNBC showed the details of the Clair McCaskell townhall meeting where the woman was "escorted" out. She had a sign folded on a chair in front of her. A woman came over and asked what the sign said. She then tore it up. Interesting: the woman whose sign was torn up and forced to leave the meeting was African American. The sign supposedly was about civil rights. The lady who tore the sign up was old and white. She got to stay. Was the African American woman mad. Of course and why wouldn't she be. What is wrong with this picture. By the way, I am not Hispanic. I am an old white lady that had angry white bigots yelling at me in the 50's and 60's during the Civil Rights movement. What concerns me the most is the underlying bigotry and hate of these people. Big money will use that to get there way. I hope our Congress will show the courage they did in the past when the Civil Rights Legislation was passed. This is a Civil Rights issue. It is the right to health care.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  393. Kenneth J. Cox

    I support universal health care, and I believe that public employees (of all ranks and status) should have the same health care package that they offer the private sector that pays for their health care. From what I have seen on TV the shouts at Senator Specter have had very little substance. I have heard that this is socialism and that God is going to judge him and several other remarks but none that pose a real question on what the plan is going to do. I have heard remarks on how will it be paid for (which is a justified question). I think God will judge Senator Specter very highly and as an individual (democrat) I think he has always done his best to make good decisions for the majority and not just special interests. I do feel a completed plan should have been on the table before the representatives started town hall meetings. And one last thought is that if anyone is worried that the government will administer health care we need to ask those people if they are satisfied with the insurance companies that are administering it now.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  394. Trish Redmon

    David Scott should not assume that the swastika has anything to do with healthcare. Three Jewish families in Sandy Springs had swastikas painted in their yards about a month ago. Did that have anything to do with healthcare reform? Or is this just someone who wants to cause an uproar - and doing it very successfully?

    August 12, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  395. Sharon Williams

    Tony, I have worked in health care for 30 yr in the U.S. To be frank we need HealthCare Refrom because so that people in America can prevent major illness that BIG Brother doesnt want to treat to prevent Disease. We have several Medical Models out there with Best Practices that already exist. I cant see what's the problem ? Is it Congress cant see thur the trees Do they need some help from people in HealthCare to guide them. Dont get me wrong there is a lot of money to be spent but at the sametime we can do this. I want for my family members to have a chance to be healthy and any other decent American in this Country.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  396. HERB WEIL

    I THINK THE WHOLE PROBLEM IS THE PEOPLE DO NOT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT TO DO WHAT THEY SAY THEY WILL DO.FOR A LONG TIME THE GOVERNMENT DOES WHAT THEY WANT NOT WHAT PEOPLE WANT,AND THEY DONT CARE ABOUT THE PEOPLE ONCE THEY GET INTO OFFICE.THEY ONLY LISTEN TO BIG MONEY. THANK YOU

    August 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  397. Ed Graham

    There is no doubt that the far right-wing Republican "sickos," inspired and pushed by Dick Armey, have urged their followers to DISRUPT, YELL, SHOUT, etc./, etc. at every town hall meeting, so that there can be NO DISCUSSION of the health care issues. They DON'T want the Democrats (or Obama) to get credit for passing it if (and when) it passes.
    The Republicans are famous for 3 things:
    (1) They are charter members of the "Flat-Earth" Society;
    (2) They have some of the finest minds of the 12th century; and
    (3) They wouldn't know or recognize a new idea if it bit them in the
    ass.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  398. Domenic

    I see that Ali Velshi is touring he U.S. on the CNN Express trying to find answers to the health care crisis. Tell him to turn the bus north – head to Canada immediately and he'll find all the answers there. He used to live in Toronto and should already know that the Canadian health system is the best in the world.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  399. E. Harper

    I was employed for 30 years in jobs that had health insurance, but after falling into sever depression,things took a drastic change.
    I lost my employment and along with that I suddenly was uninsured.
    Life on the other side of the fence is scary and confusing, but I am grateful for the care I get through PA's Medicaid along with AmeriHealth Mercy.
    That being said I wonder if all these people speaking out against health reform ever stop to think that they too may come across a situation where they ll lose their current health insurance?
    Who will they expect to help them but our US government !!

    August 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  400. rob

    HEY TONY, THE FOUNDING FATHERS WROTE ABOUT LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. IN ORDER TO HAVE
    LIFE AND LONG LIFE; YOU HAVE TO HEALTHCARE, SO HEALTHCARE IS A RIGHT......CORRECT!!!!!!!!

    THE QUESTION I HAVE IS...............WILL THE ILLEGAL ALIENS BE EXCLUDED???????????????????????????????
    OR WILL THE VOTE CHASING POLITICIANS AND GROUPS THAT
    ARE SUPPORTING ILLEGAL ALIENS GIVE AWAY OUR PRECIOUS
    CITIZENSHIP, TOO.........

    .................................REMEMBER THE YORKTOWN..........................

    ROB

    August 12, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  401. Domenic

    I see that Ali Velshi is touring the U.S. on the CNN Express trying to find answers to the health care crisis. Tell him to turn the bus north – head to Canada immediately and he’ll find all the answers there. He used to live in Toronto and should already know that the Canadian health care system is the best in the world. END OF STORY ..

    August 12, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  402. Sam Jensen

    Tony

    Sam again

    If you really want to get to the heart of the health reform debate you guys should really do an in depth review of Medicare. There are 70 million people between the ages of 54 and 64 who will be entering the world of Medicare within the next 10 years who have no clue about Medicare benefits. Currently there are less than 40 million people on Medicare. As you can see there is going to be a huge increase in population moving into the Social Security and Medicare entitlement programs. Most people in this country think that once you are on Medicare your health coverage is taken care of. This is absolutely untrue. One fact. Medicare and Medicare supplement plans do not cover post hospital or long term care in over 95% of cases. This results in families forced into Medicaid which becomes a much more expensive option forced back to the state level. There are hundreds of other scenarios that the average American is unaware of concerning Medicare and Medicaid. With so many people moving into these roles someone needs to get the facts out. Yes, health care reform is the most important issue facing our country. Most people do not think about the future and think about what will happen when they are at the point that they become tied to the government through Medicare and Social Security. Medicare is the largest drain on the medical industry. Securing coverage for Americans under 65 is relatively easy. Taking care of those who will use the system the most is the challenge.
    I challenge you to take on this debate.

    Best regards

    Sam

    August 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  403. meyer

    As a Democratie,the Majority elected Officials will be managing healthcare.The President and Government have the right to follow their own agenda;if they fell,they will Jeopardyse their reelection.No one ask my opinion to go to war in Irak! Healthcare is no more a Option for capitalissisme. Corporates should not manage or decide and profit the health of million of American .I have total confidence on the new Reform of Healthcare,is about time to Step up and do it like other Civilized Country.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:47 pm |
  404. Sandy

    I feel the first step to reducing health care costs is to put a limit on insurance company profits before CEO salaries.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  405. Donna Bleiler

    How can the President and Congress promise and explain provisions of a health care bill that is not in it's final form. Aren't the town hall meeting for them to find out what we want and don't want in the bill. I don't see them doing that, they are too busy definding the pie in the sky and asking us to trust them. We know the "devil is in the details" so show us the details. I don't get the feeling that they are listening and CNN is adding to the problem trying to discount those making noise and assuming those not making noise are supporters. That's one way to encourage more noise makers.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:51 pm |
  406. Mark Seiler

    These people at the Town Hall meetings are an embarrassment! Do they know what they look like? What would their mothers' say? Or their children? Legitimate, calm, discussion is what we need... not some uneducated redneck shouting down a person who is trying to give an answer. What is the rest of the world thinking when they see this?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  407. Carol

    My husband and I have worked long and hard to achieve our American Dream. We made the sacrifice of time and money to complete our educations. We lived with tag sale furniture, in inexpensive, cockroach infested apartments, ate lots of Rice A Roni, etc.), we paid back our student loans, delayed having children and put off purchasing many luxuries so that we could plan and save for the future. Through hard work, patience and a bit of struggling we have achieved our dream – a very comfortable upper middle class life (although it seems that, depending upon how the numbers game pans out, we may soon be considered "rich"). We feel fortunate and we are proud to have achieved this wonderful life – and we try to be charitable and share the fruits of our labor with those who are not as fortunate. While we would prefer to continue to choose how and when we will share the fruits of our labor, we do not have a problem with giving a bit more to help set up a better health care system for all. What we take issue with is that, quite honestly, we are a bit resentful that our hard earned money may be taken away and "given" to folks who make bad choices about how to spend their own money or poor choices about how to live healthier in order to keep their health care costs down. I have heard many folks complain about the cost of a routine visit to a doctor or dentist yet the same people have no problem with spending several hundreds of dollars to get their hair cut and colored every few weeks – or they purchase fancy cell phones or wide screen TVs. While I do not believe that people should be expected to spend every last dime on health care, I strongly believe that some of this issue is a matter of chosing between what one wants and what one needs (I know that this is not true for everyone, but it is the case for many). Is it right for me to sacrifice luxuries, bought with money that I have earned, to provide for someone else who chooses the same luxury over a necessity? Who is being selfish in this case? Again,I realize that this is not the case for everyone – that there are deeper problems with health care, but it is a concern of mine. How do we determine the true needs of our population? How do we prevent this from becoming another entitlement program? Will those of us who want to maintain our ability to choose our plan really be left with options that works?

    The fact that health care providers are being made into evil money mongers is also upsetting – I hope that thought will be given to how to keep people motivated to become doctors when the integrity of their profession, and future compensation, may be in question. I also fear that this will add fuel to the "class war", which will be unfortunate. Our government seemed very willing to bail out big business yet some of their commentaries make them sound as if they are also willing to throw doctors under the bus (maybe there are a few who should be, but certainly not all). I think that all would agree that doctors and nurses work hard and take on a huge responsibility and as such should be compensated fairly. In turn I believe that doctors should take responsibility for their mistakes – but I would like there to be some real consideration given to tort reform – the cost of malpractice insurance (much like health insurance) has skyrocketed. Lately it has hit me that some folks think that doctors should not make so much money – but they also feel entitled to extreme financial awards for their errors, just because they are doctors – we can't have it both ways.

    I would also like a concrete answer as to how any new program will be funded – taxes? From who? The upper middle class/ rich? Small businesses? FYI: A roll back to prior tax rates is a raising of current taxes (in my mind) – I do not like semantics. Will all medical/top of the line services be covered, for all people? Will illegal immigrants be covered? Will folks who exercise, floss their teeth and wear their seat belts be eligible for more or less coverage than those who do not? Will our politicians be required to be a part of the new plan? Will pre-exsisting health issues be covered? Is the ultimate goal to move into a one payer or universal system? Where will these lines be drawn in the sand?

    While I believe that some changes are needed I hope that any new health care plan will all be well thought out (and the bill read by all) before anyone signs on the dotted line. I fear that if this is rushed and the big picture is not considered (from all angles and points of view) we will only be placing bandaids on open wounds and the bleeding will start all over again in the future.

    I hope that the folks who make the ultimate decision will not only act in a smart manner – I hope that they will also be wise – there is much to consider!

    Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts – I appreciate it.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  408. Pat

    Physicians like former Senator Dr. Frist, who have gained enormous wealth by building HMO's, are not likely to support a public option that would compete to provide health care at affordable cost! What health services do CEO's of HMO's and health insurance companies provide that are worth $25 M or an average $12M annually??

    August 12, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  409. Suzanne Winfield

    I am a nurse in critical care as well as a consumer of health care. I have always been blessed to have very good health care insurance. More recently the coverage offered has been reduced and the premiums continue to rise. I have worked in both profit and non-profit hospitals in the Richmond Va area. I have never seen health care rationed to those who come through the emergency room and are admitted to the hospital. Most of us healthcare workers don't even know what their insurance covers or even if they have insurance. I worry the most about not doing anything. As hospitals continue to shoulder the burden of the uninsured and underinsured, the hospitals cut back on the staff to care for the patients. The expectations for standards of care however do not change. Where does it stop? I watched the healthcare roundtable and I do not see anyone talking about curtailing the medical malpractice problem. Everyone is looking for us healthcare workers to make a mistake so that they can sue and get rich quick. And what about the drug companies? They claim that research and development cause the price to go up. I do know about other people but I could live without more research on erectile dysfuntion and how to grow longer eyelashes. Is anyone paying attention to the huge amount of dollars being spent to advertise all of these products? Bottom line: I think a government sponsered plan would be great. I think limits need to be placed on all of this medical malpractice. I think the drug companies need to be reigned in. Without the last two, nothing will improve.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  410. robert kearney

    People wanted change and Obama is giving it to them. No Republican has tried to give us Americans Health Insurance. How dare people bring guns to a town meeting with our President. I did not hear anyone complain when BUSH put this country in debt. President Obama is fixing what Bush and Chaney did. Chaney Charged our military men and womas 100 dollar a load to clean their cloth in dirty contaminated water and no one ( Republicans) said anything. President Obama has only been in office for 7 months and has done more than Bush did in 8 years.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  411. Mark Seiler

    It is both curious and disapointing to think that medical information that you would normally expect to be confidential, is not only available, but is discussed in a news medium for all the world to observe. I thought Doctors and Hospitals were held to some sort of confidentiality laws.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  412. Paul Coe

    Proof of need for alternative to private insurance comanies in America. Private Insurance companies are happy to let sick patients die because that saves money for compensating executives with outrageous bonues. See article below from 2007... This type of situation happens in America all the time.

    CNA Releases Statement on Tragic Sarkysian CasePosted by Shum Preston on December 21, 2007 – 2:10pm

    ‘Cigna Should Have Listened to Her DoctorsAnd Approved the Transplant a Week Ago’

    The California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee today blasted insurance giant CIGNA for failing to approve a liver transplant one week earlier for listen to 17-year-old Nataline Sarkisyan, who tragically died last night just hours after CIGNA relented and agreed to the procedure following a massive national outcry.

    On Dec. 11, four leading physicians, including the surgical director of the Pediatric Liver Transplant Program at UCLA, wrote to CIGNA urging the company to reverse its denial. The physicians said that Nataline “currently meets criteria to be listed as Status 1A” for a transplant. They also challenged CIGNA’s denial which the company said occurred because their benefit plan “does not cover experimental, investigational and unproven services,” to which the doctors replied, “Nataline’s case is in fact none of the above.”

    “So what happened between December 11, when CIGNA denied the transplant, and December 19 when they approved? A huge outpouring of protest and CIGNA’s public humiliation. Why didn’t they just listen to the medical professionals at the bedside in the first place?” asked Geri Jenkins, RN, a member of the CNA/NNOC Council of Presidents who works in a transplant unit at the University of California San Diego Medical Center.

    On Thursday, CIGNA was bombarded with phone calls to its offices across the country while a rally sponsored by CNA/NNOC, with the substantial help of the local Armenian community, drew 150 people to the Glendale offices of CIGNA – all of which produced the turnaround by CIGNA to finally reverse its prior denial of care.

    CNA/NNOC Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro called the final outcome “a horrific tragedy that demonstrates what is so fundamentally wrong with our health care system today. Insurance companies have a stranglehold on our health. Their first priority is to make profits for their shareholders – and the way they do that is by denying care.”

    “It is simply not possible to organize major protests every time a multi-billion corporation like CIGNA denies care that has been recommended by a physician,” DeMoro said. “Having insurance is not the same as receiving needed care. We need a fundamental change in our healthcare system that takes control away from the insurance giants and places it where it belongs – in the hands of the medical professionals, the patients, and their families.”

    August 12, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  413. Mike

    We definately need health care reform. I am personnaly disgusted that insurance companies can refuse you for pre-exsisting conditions. Whats the point of getting health care if it's not available when you actually need it? And all of these people screaming at townhall meetings certainly isn't helping anything.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:05 am |
  414. Christian

    I can not understand the ferocity some of you try to deny yourself the universal healthcare.
    If you succeed, you deserve it. You will stay in a line to get an examination or a surgery in Cuba, India or Venezuela. Because there you will (maybe) afford it.
    Yes, I can! Be a 100% insured Canadian for only CND 55$ a month.
    Yes I can! Have a free heart, lung or kidney transplant.
    Yes I can! Stay in the hospital without selling my house.
    Yes I can! Enjoy life without thinking that my deductible healthcare insurance is 50000$.
    Yes I can! Not being afraid that my cholesterol pre-condition deny healthcare if I have a heart attack.
    OBAMA, YES YOU CAN! Fight those trying to enslave to perpetual poverty 48 million people.
    But, if those opposing succeed, well for them! Sooner or later they will pay for this. They are not immortal!
    I am still wondering where the 48 million uninsured are?
    I do not hear their voice!

    Christian, Montreal, Canada

    August 13, 2009 at 12:11 am |
  415. Alan D Simpson

    To The News room

    My concerns about health care?
    #1 John McCane he has NEVER voted YES to anything Mr.Obama has tried to do and a probability he won't in the future.
    #2 The wealthy and special intrest groups and the insurence companies they all have alot to loose.
    #3 Sars Palin and her coments about Mr.obama being the devil and his insurence plan a product of the Devil?
    #4 As I AM A recipient of Disabilit witch I call poverty wages and Medicare. Ive heard alot of comments and one struck me funny someone said G.W.Bush helped medicare ( WHEN) that scares me!!! In 15 years the only thing ive seen is the price go up and the coverage stay the same.The only BUSH who did anything was G.H.W. BUSH he cut the benifits to all new recipientsof DISABILITY during his term in office.Anouther great LEGACY!!!!!!!!

    MR.AL

    August 13, 2009 at 12:43 am |
  416. joe

    Tony I had a business for 15 years and just had to close it down last year.I don't have health care and need to see the doctor. I think this goes deeper than health care.Think about it if bush was in power do you think it would be this much uproar?

    August 13, 2009 at 1:43 am |
  417. christa

    When I talked to my father in Germany yesterday, he said, how dumb people have to be here in the US, not to want healthcare and scream and yell against it. So I told him about the GOP, talking against it and he said I do not understand, these people should think for themselves and not listen to their political leaders . I told him this is how it is here in the USA, because the GOP does not want to lose their incentives and fringe benefits, paid by large healhcare companies, the trips, hotels and also cash. My father said I don't understand, it is for their own good, it will improve their lifes and with good care you can live longer. Then he said why do they talk, that healthcare in Europe is free, we pay 50% of our insurance in Germany, it is not free, both employer and employee pay both, so it is a win, win situation. One more comment, yesterday this guy talked like healthcare is like a Hummer, if you cannot afford it, you can't have it. This country talks about equality for all, wake up, there is NO Equality here.

    August 13, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  418. Dennis

    Is all the fighting and frustration we’re seeing in these town halls a symptom of something bigger brewing in America? Yes it is. The republicans have had dictatorial power for 8 years. We could not critcizs them or we were "Un American". They have lost that power and cannot stand it. They are falling and grasping at straws. Screaming and acting like idiots at town meetings will not help them, but will only show them for their true selves. They cannot see past the end of their noses. Where is their Christian ideals of brotherly love, or help your fellow man? How can these so called religious, moral people oppose a health program that is going to greatly help all Americans including them? And history has shown where the last 8 years have gotten us.
    Support health care reform. Oh, and the plan they are so violently opposed to has not even been written yet.
    I am proud of my government. This is the United States. The government is US. Wake up people.

    August 13, 2009 at 6:37 am |
  419. Malik

    If Health Reform:Just a law reducing Premiums Drop'd coverage Monopoly Fraud+Waste, why the $Trillion pricetag? Plz itemize.
    Why tort reform? Doctors & Hospitals can be negligent, discriminatory, etc... tort actions are necessary

    August 13, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  420. Cecil Jones

    What concerns me about this reform effort is both sides are not being honest with the public and that is churning up real concern. There are two issues in the debate whereby one is access to care and two is reforming the system. The Healthcare debate was originally offered to address the concerns of Anthrax, 9-11, The Sniper and tragedies like Hurricane Katrina. Who should die from not having access to care? We should all have equal access to penicillin without going bankrupt. If a bug threatens to kill us we should not remain silent at home and die. An attack on America threatens us all. Insurance reform is "The Status Quo." Attacking this reform first is a distraction from the goal originally intended. Threatening Grandpa angers the voters and forces us into "Mortal Kombat." Can't we agree that we all need access and provide it? We have years to reform insurance. We are not going to stop greed by saying, "Yes, We Can." Both sides have clouded what was originally intended for what purpose? Evil is a bi-partisan activity because it take aggression and apathy to prevail. Democrats were so apathetic in the minority and way too aggressive in the majority. What's the rush? Let us speak. We can get this right if you listen. These are "Childish Things" President Obama is up to.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:52 am |
  421. Gary Lorentzen

    I see all this screaming and the emotional outbursts at town hall meetings as a sign that we have not done a good job in this country teaching people how to conduct themselves in political discourse. I wouldn't tolerate any of it if I were leading one. Act like that in my classroom (I teach Current World Problems) and you're out on your ear. As for the reform itself, I have concerns about the 'single payer' vs. 'multiple payer' approaches. A single payer Canadian-style approach is probably not appropriate for the U.S. A multiple-payer public option with doctors and patients determining level of treatment that the insurance MUST cover would be acceptable to me. Most important for me is that insurance companies not determine who is covered or what treatments will be paid for. That has to stop.

    August 13, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  422. Gary Ritz

    Health Care Reform and the Town Hall Meetings

    This is in reference to our ongoing health care debate and the debacle or quagmire that it has become. Get the facts Please before you speak at one of these or write a blog or editorial about it

    An U.S. editorial, printed in the Investor's Business Daily, (August 3rd 2009) claimed that renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who is disabled, "wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless."
    Fact if it wasn't for the National Health Service (NHS) he would not be alive today.
    It is writings like this that are fueling the frenzy. BY THE WAY the Investor's Business Daily Corrected that story (August 12th 2009).

    A Republican National Committee ad said that in the U.K. "individuals lose their right to make their own health care choices. Well in the UK they have a “Formal choice " about what services they receive. Another ad launched earlier this month by the anti-tax group “Club for Growth” claimed that government bureaucrats in Britain had calculated six months of life to be worth $22,750. "Under their socialized system, if your treatment costs more, you're out of luck," the ad says, as footage of an elderly man weeping at a woman's bedside alternate with clips of the Union Jack and Big Ben Both are wrong.
    Some adds have even alluded that they lose the right to have health care on a timely basis.
    Well here in the US our Hospital Emergency departments are CLOGGED because those who do not have a affordable health care plan or no health care at all run to the ER to be seen and then we complain that we were not seen on a timely basis in the ER. I think in the UK the hospital ER's run on a triage just like here. Some people here think it is their right and privilege to be seen for a sprain wrist before a heart attack. Triage is just that the dying get seen before the sprain wrist
    If we as a nation WOULD TAKE CARE OF our own and give everyone health care (universal health care) our current health care system wouldn't be broke

    Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa told a local radio station last week that "countries that have government-run health care" would not have given Sen. Edward Kennedy, who suffers from a brain tumor, the same standard of care as in the U.S. because he is too old. Another Republican, Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia, said that the U.K. and Canada "don't have the appreciation of life as we do in our society, evidently."
    The fact is that YES Senator Edward Kennedy would have received the same care if not better care and his COST would have been $0.00 yes you read it right zero point zero dollars
    The Current Health Insurance Companies in the United States are only after one thing YOUR DOLLAR not your health care
    Under the current health care system (PRIVATE HEALTH CARE INSURANCE) Preexisting conditions you have will not be covered, and most of the privately run health care insurances would have initially denied payment for Sen. Kennedy service. Not to not pay the hospital but to make you pay for the service first so the insurance company would not. After all they are only out for making a BUCK at your expense.
    I am a 20 year veteran of the military and retired from the military 14 years ago. I purchased Employer provided Health care through the various employers that I had over the years. Some plans were good some were not.
    I lost my job last month. (due to a contract take over) I am drawing unemployment My COBRA monthly premium from my former employer would have cost me $664 per month. A years coverage through the A U.S. Government funded health care plan, because of my faithful service to the U.S. Army cost me and my wife $460 per year (Tricare Prime) My copays through the Employer provided Health insurance (I had CIGNA and BCBS over the last 14 years) was $ 25.00 per visit and a tiered Drug cost up to$50 for Tier 3 Drugs With Tricare Prime it is $12.00 per visit and up to $22.for Tier 3 Drugs

    Thank god for health insurance both employer provided insurance and U.S. Government provided insurance. My wife or I would not be alive today if it was not for employer provided health care plan.
    When I elected to purchase Tricare Prime and not purchase COBRA I was not even asked if I had a pre-existing condition (I have a blockage on my "Left Coronary Artery" and my wife has Diabetes which would prevent us by most plans if not all of having affordable health care coverage) The Current Health Insurance Companies in the United States are only after one thing YOUR DOLLAR not your health care

    Am I a advocate of Universal Health Care?
    Yes I am

    August 13, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  423. Erica Eugene

    My question is If we increase Medicare to cover at 100%, increase the income threshold for Medicaid (state insurance) and mandate that all health care facilities accept these insurances would that not cover the Americans who are uninsured?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  424. mary howard

    Specter lied in his town hall meeting. He was asked if the gov. would have access to our finacial info. He said no way. Not true. I gave social security my bank account info. so my disability check could be direct deposited each month. A few months later I had a call from medicare asking what I had done with a large sum of money I had in my account in 2006, the year my husband died. I told them I paid off my house. Please let the American people know that the Gov. will indeed have access to all your finances when you enter a gov. health care system.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  425. Keith

    Images of ill Americans relying on the kindness of medical professionals says more about the need for reform than all the shouting. Like CHW, the Remote Area Medical Foundation opened a temporary clinic this week at the Forum in LA. The scene makes a compelling case for a healthcare overhaul, putting a human face on the dry statistics about uninsured and underinsured Americans. RAMF will run all week and thousands are camping out and many more are being turned away because of capacity. RAMF did the same thing in Tennessee with the same result, and the images should compel everyone to consider the ethical basis and need for a national health insurance system.

    We can and should expand Medicare for everyone. Studies from the Congressional Budget Office and Government Accountability Office confirm a national health insurance is more economically sound than our private system, a system that will soon cripple our economy if we do nothing.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  426. TJ

    What about the salary of doctors under these health care reform plans? Is it true that doctors will receive a significant pay cut and receive bonuses for seeing a large number of patients? Major concern when your wife is a medical student and we are going it $250,000 – $300,000 of debt for her education.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  427. jerry

    Is it true that the unions are so in favor of Obamacare due to the fact that their pension system is on a downward slide and there union is insurance to to much for them. If Obamacare passes won't this make the taxpayers supplement the union and put dollars in their kitty.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  428. Edward Shaw

    I feel that government run "Socialized" health care is necessary if americans are to continue to receive any health care at all in the future. The insurance industry has no interest in the health of the average american, only in taking their money.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  429. Linda

    Thank you for finally debunking the rumors & disinformation being spread by biased outlets such as Fox news. Fear tactics, while despicable, often work. The media is obligated to reveal the lies.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  430. David Ferrebee

    One thing everyone seems to be forgetting is the cost of this. The bottom line is we can not afford it. If the projected total is one trillion, it will be ten times that. We all know there never has and never will be a government program that is even close to the projected cost. I do not want to pay the taxes for it. Additionally, lets all face the fact that a program this big will be full of corruption. If you think there is fraud and corruption in the industry now, what do you think this will bring?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  431. Charles

    I welcome your journalistic curiousity in tamping down rumors that are spreading. However, where is the balance in your curiousity? For instance, for every hour you spend attacking those who utter the words 'death panels', should you not also spend time talking about the brutal realities of government-run health care? These would include a cut-off of benefits for those whose prognosis is not deemed long-term? Great Britain, as you well know, has a system that attaches a 'value' to people's lives and weighs their viability as to whether government wants to fund the continuance of their existence. Instead, it's as though you are serving as the offensive line for President Obama's attempt to march down the field–protecting him from all opponents as you seek to advance as well. It would be amusing to watch, if real lives and people's freedoms were not at stake.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  432. Kyle

    With an endless supply of money, the government health care option could eventually put the private health care companies out of business. Does the government have a long-term plan for health care, in case the public option surpasses the private option, to save the private companies? How is the government addressing this concern?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  433. Chris G

    The problem with health care/Cap and Trade is I do not trust our government with any business! they cannot even control the stimulus and corporate bonuses, earmarks, pork, lobbyist...how can we expect them to solve such a huge problem without even reading the bill they are voting on! Our leaders do not Listen! Help them hear us.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  434. john kosich

    We need tort reform, insurance and hospital cost cutting AND personal alternatives/recourse when insurance companies deny coverage for "covered" expenses. We need to encourage methods for reducing health care insurance premiums such as those available to large companies.

    We do not to replace the whols health care system!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  435. Notnowmooky

    What concerns me most right now is the power that rumors carry in America. Until this debate began I thought rumors only carried such power in third-world nations. But it is now obvious that America, or at least some Americans, have fallen to that level: they would rather believe rumors than to find the answer for themselves. That makes them, and all of us, vulnerable to those like Sarah Palin who are willing to exploit lazy ignorance.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  436. jacobs

    FROM ALL I HAVE HEARD SO FAR ABOUT THE HEALTH REFORM, I FEEL I DO SUPPORT PRES.OBAMA'S EFFORT FOR A HEALTH CARE REPORM. WE NEED TO MAKE A CLEARER VIEW TO PEOPLE THAT THIS IS NOT OBAMA'S PERSONAL REFORM PLAN.

    HEALTH CARE NEED TO BE LOOKED INTO AND HE IS ASKING THAT A BILL SHOULD BE DELIBRATED ON NOW TO RESOLVE AND COME UP WITH A BETTER PLAN THAT TAKES CARE OF AMERICANS AS A WHOLE.

    SO CAN WE DO A POLL AND ASK HOW MANY PEOPLE CURRENTLY HAVE MEDICAL BILLS AND BY HOW MUCH?

    AS AN EXAMPLE, SOMETIME LAST YEAR, WORKING AS A CONTRACTOR, I COULD REALLY NOT AFFORD THE PREMIUM THE CONTRACTING COMPANY WAS REQUESTING FROM ME, HENCE I WAS LIVING OFF THE INSURANCE ISSUED TO MY WIFE AT HER UNIVERSITY; NOT MADE CLEARED TO US THAT I WAS NOT FULLY COVERED.HENCE IMUST HAVE BEEN WORKING FOR A WHOLE YEAR WITH NO INSURANCE.
    SO AROUND LAST AUGUST, I WENT TO ANOTHER STATE TO WORK, I GOT SICK AND HAD TO STRUGGLE TO EMERGENCY, STOMACH ACHE AND HADLY CAN BREATH.

    I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR 2 NIGHT, VARIOUS TEST WAS DONE, THEY TOOK MY BLOOD FOR TESTING, WHICH I NEVER SAW THE RESULT. THE SECOND MORNING, I NOTICE I ALWAYS GET TIRED EVERYMORNING WHENVER I TAKE SOME DRIP THEY GIVE ME, i REFUSED TO TAKE ANY OF THEIR MEDICATION AGAIN, REQUESTING TO SEE A SURGEON THEY ADVICE WILL COME, WHO NEVER SHOW UP. EVEN I DONT EVEN GET DOCTORS ATTENTION UNTIL LATE DURING THE DAY.

    WELL I REQUESTED TO LEAVE THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE I WAS NOT FEELING ANY BETTER NO PRESCRIPTION VARIOUS CHECKUP OF O RESULT. AFTER NO SURGEON EVER COMING AND ME REQUESTING TO SEE A DOCTOR EARLIER TO DISCUSS, I HAD TO SIGN A LETTER THAT I WAS LEAVING THE HOSPITAL AT MY REQUEST, WHICH I DID. IWENT THROUGH PLANE FLYING BACK TO MY STATE AND BELIEVE IT OR NOT AFTER SHARING WITH FRIENDS WHO CAME TO VISIT ME AT THE AIRPORT SOMEONE ADVICE I BUY MILK OF MAGNESIA OR PEPTO BISMOL, THAT WAS ALL I TOOK AND I AM STILL HEALTHY A YEAR GOING NOW.

    THEN THE HOSPITAL CAME CALLING WITH INCURRED BILL EXPENSE, HOW MUCH, $14,000.00 DOLLARS FOR AS FAR I AM CONCERN NO FULL TREATMENT AS REMEMBER I HAD TO SIGN A LETTER THAT I WAS LEAVING AT MY OWN WILL.
    SO HOW COULD I HAVE INCURRED $14,000 DOLLARS FOR TWO NIGHTS, HOW CAN I PAY THIS BILL?

    THE QUESTION IS WILL THIS REFORM NOT HELP FOR SITUATION LIKE THIS OR NOT, DO ONE GET SOME STIMULUS FROM THE BILL TO ADDRESS FAKE EXHORBITANT BILL THAT MEDICAL POSES ON US?

    NOW I HAVE THE LAWYERS RUNNING AFTER ME ADVICING THEY WILL TAKE ME TO COURT FOR THE HOSPITAL BILL THAT I NEVER EVEN RECEIVE ANY HEALING OR BETTER HEALTH FROM.

    SO I BELIEVE WE NEED A HEALTH CARE REFORM THAT CAN ADRESSES ALL THIS AND HELP AGAINST MEDICAL BILL LITIGATIONS ALSO.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  437. Daniel J Miller

    I've been saying for years that we needed changed to our health care system. Personally I've had healthcare as long as I can remember, however I've not even needed it for the last 10 years. I've always been afraid of something happening and the insurance i'm paying into for years would NOT cover what I needed. I've had friends get denied their medical needs by insurance companies. WE NEED CHANGE!

    Change is hard, but needed. Unfortunately it's not going to be easy, but maybe we can take baby steps toward a better health system in america. Like start with Free healthcare to all infants in the United States! I doubt anybody would disagree with that statement. Also free healthcare procedures to pregnant women! Again I doubt anybody would object to this!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  438. Andrew V

    I'd like to know where a lot of the studies being cited are. Where is the study on the number of Uninsured Americans? Where's the study that says most people are happy with their current insurance? What's the demographic breakdown of those happy with their insurance? Do these studies even exist?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  439. Fred Miller

    Please publish who the individuals, corporations, and organizations that are behind all the activist ads being run on CNN. Please disclose not only the official backers but who is really behind them. This needs to include things like Move On and Dick Army's insurance/pharma money. The public is entitled to know who really who the lobbyists really are.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  440. Robert C

    I don't believe in all of this health care stuff! I think it is all going toward socialism and I don't like it! I work really hard for the money oi make and just to have the government just take it all away and give it to some bum that doesn't work is really messed up! All I can say is no to this medica plan!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  441. Ann

    I am an RN and work 3 days/week, have benefits prorated due to part time status. I know that most companies do not even offer this to part time workers and I am very grateful for this benefit. There have been times on and off over the years that I have not had health insurance and could not seek medical attention or dental care. Due to neglect of my teeth, I recently had to have expensive and painful periodontal care. I know that if I had regular dental care throughout the years that this would have been avoidable.
    As far as the economy goes and discretionary spending, this is linked to health care directly for me. My 22 year old son who does not have any medical insurance or dental coverage finds that he needs to come to me for money to go to the dentist or to a doctor. If he had the ability to pay for insurance or for dental/medical fees himself then I would be able to start working on the things that I want to buy but can't. No money here for discretionary spending.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  442. Jerome

    Thanks for an opportunity to participate directly . I have said it before an here I will suggest it again. Its time for CNN to host an open TV debate, or series of debvates, on the subject of Health Care Reform.

    With all the confusion this is the only way to get the truth and the facts out in the open.

    Invite the leaders of the health care industry, who now hide behind the mobs, to stand in front of the cameras and justify refusing insurance for prior conditions, or to try and explain why they terminate insurance for people with when huge cost are involved.

    If CNN is the broadcast leader then lets see CNN lead in this, the most important issue of 21st century America.

    Thanks again

    August 13, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  443. Donna

    PEOPLE ARE SO CONCERNED ABOUT GOVERNMENT TAKING OVER HEALTHCARE. BUT THEY NEED TO OPEN THEIR EYEBBALLS AND REALIZE THAT THE INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE CONTROLLING THEIR LIVES NOW! THEY ARE THE ONES MAKING PATIENTS CRITICAL CARE DECISIONS. ACTUALLY , INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE TAKING OVER THE WORLD! PEOPLE DONT SEE THAT. HEALTH INS,HOUSE INS,FIRE INS,DENTAL INS,CAR INSURANCE, INSURANCE,INSURANCE,INSURANCE! IF YOU DONT HAVE INSURANCE, THEN YOUR DIRT! THATS WHY THE PREMIUMS KEEP GOING UP, SO INSURANCE COMPANIES CAN GET RID OF THE OLD, POOR, AND SICK.WONDER WHY SO MANY PEOPLE GET ON DRUGS IN AMERICA, THEY DONT VALUE THEIR LIVES BECAUSE OF THE RICH PEOPLE IN INSURANCE COMPANIES MAKING THE DOCTORS AND NURSES DECISIONS ! LET THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS DO THIER JOB, NOT INSURANCE COMPANIES. WAKE UP FOLKS!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  444. Rachel Ketchem

    I have a friend who is now living in Sweden. She not only has socialized education where she attends the University of Stockholm to become a teacher for free but she has free childcare and free healthcare. However, this does not include dental. I did notice the Swedish, along with the British, and people in Italy had funky teeth. Why does any government see dental care as cosmetic when in fact if a person has rotten teeth, it can make them very sick and if left to get worse, it can kill a person.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  445. donna

    i don't know if this counts on what is going on but i feel that the older people on ss seem to get nothing in life but hell they worked hard all their life to end up with nothing my grandmother had to pay for her pills witch was $518.00 a month she was only receiving about $900.00 she gave up on life and now she has past away. i dont get it is this right that people who dont work say like the people that collect checks every month because their on drugs or their drunks and get to vgo to the doctors office and get their med. for free is right? no i don't! i my self have no med. but i pay out of my pocket for it when needed i dont make anough to contribute a penny i support my children they come first i use my income tax to pay for it i would rather see an old person getting the care and medicine they need before me they deserve it.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  446. Daysie

    Tony,

    What scares me the most about this health care reform is that it seem to bring out the worst in us as Americans... easily seen in town hall meetings. Everyone is so preoccupied about looking at their own bottom line that they dont care what your neighbor is going through. I think that the greater good for all will make it better at the end.

    If a Canadian health system is taken up I'm sure that there will be problem with the insurance companies as well as some of the doctors. From what I have been able to tell here in Canada, one of the bigger problems became finding a doctor but that was because there was now all of a sudden a cap to what a family doctor could charge for a visit. I have been in Canada for 5 years now and see no problem with their health care... for the most part the only problem that does seem to arise is a lack of doctors but that problem happens when they see that there is more money to be made in the states... do you see what that means to Americans? Higher health costs perhaps??

    August 13, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  447. Graham Smith

    It seems to me that the issue is not whether their is a public or private options as much as the expectations of the majority of Americans to have a third party run their health care.

    Whether the Government or an employer provides health insurance, we need to change our mind set that every dollar will be covered by a plan. Instead of expecting that the first dollar will be covered, we should be looking at ways to ensure that the last dollar is covered.

    I am a self employed individual, 34 years old, and have always carried my own health insurance. Ever since I was 23 years old I paid for a plan that fit my needs. Typically it was an affordable monthly payment with a high deductable. This meant that if I had a cold, or a minor issue, chances were that I would pay out of pocket for the visit. If the issue was a major one, such as my two children being born, the insurance plan picked up the tab.

    Since I pay for my own insurance, and manage it as I see fit, it makes me more aware of the best cost effective way to safely care for myself and my family. With a thrid person provider it is far too easy to go to the doctor at the drop of a hat, or refuse to take the time to investigate options of less expensive medications and prescriptions. If more people took the time to do this, we would immediately bring down the cost of health care for everyone.

    As long as we expect everything to be provided at a a low or no-cost option we are doomed to see either health care costs rise, or the feared rationing of care that may inevitable occur through a public plan.

    As the bill is currently written I seriously oppose the public option being pushed and demand our elected official go back to the table to drw up something less complex and with more foresight as to the unintended conseuences. And I aks my fellow Americans to take more responsibility of their own health care and investigate other options. Trust me when I tell you they exist....I am proof of it.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  448. Rachel Ketchem

    I have a friend who is now living in Sweden. She not only has socialized education where she attends the University of Stockholm to become a teacher for free, but she has free childcare and free healthcare. However, this does not include dental. I did notice the Swedish, along with the British, and people in Italy had funky teeth. Why does ANY government see dental care as cosmetic when in fact if a person has rotten teeth, it can make them very sick and if left to get worse, it can kill a person?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  449. Mahaley Bowles

    What measures are being taken in prevention to reform healthcare? I believe prevention should start even before healthy food and exercise. I think we should mandate organic produce generated from farmers that are subsidized by the government. We are learning everyday of the adverse effects of genetically altered seeds and cross pollination practices used to generate faster growing plant, this organic mandate should start with corn!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  450. Edward Shaw

    Addendum: Having looked over some of the comments on this Blog, I noticed that the people who object the vehemently to The President's efforts are the most likely to lose money if reform takes place. Someone should ask all of these arrogant Doctors exactly how much money they receive from the insurance industry?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  451. losman

    Tony, it doesn't matter who is proposing this "health care plan" Independents, DEMS or the RNC! I think and now the polls are confirming the following, American's do not want the GOV involved in any sort of decision making when it comes to health decisions. Conversely the GOV should concentrate on regulating the cost it charges for procedures and cut the waste, so that health care can be affordable. As soon as the White House walks away from GOV single payer control the sooner this we will solve health care. We need change, bigger GOV control goes against what this country was founded on.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  452. Jon Anderson

    Right now people who live the most productive lives are carrying the those who can't afford coverage, or simply don't want it. When a relatively poor person goes to an emergency room, they are given treatment regardless of their ability to pay. When the bill is unpaid, the balance is shifted to all those who pay their bills. That's the system we have now, is it not? Why is a massive government take over necessary unless the motive is to take more from those who are already carrying the rest?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  453. P Brown

    My husband and I have owned a small chain of art galleries with in-house framing for 33 years. We have always been proud to treat our employees as family. Many of our employees have been with us for over twenty years. Two of our employees started with us when we opened our first art gallery. But it has become increrasingly difficult to provide quality health insurance for ourselves and our employees. Health insurance has become a major expense as it goes up every year. This year alone our health insurance increased 29%. Our workman's comp insurance, which to me is another form of health insurance, has also gone up every year. In order to stay in business this year, we had to go with a $2700 deductible plan and we can only afford to pay 50% of our employees' premiums and 0% for their families. Our employees do not make that much money especially during a recession and paying for so much of their premiums is a hardship for them. We are not happy to put this hardship on them, but at least we can still provide jobs for them.

    If some small businesses thing they are not paying for Healthcare they are wrong. They pay through Workman's Comp Insurance.
    I do not understand why we need to have double medical insurance, health and workman's comp. I am paying $12 per $100 gross for each framer, $8 per $100 gross for each office worker, and $2 per $100 gross for each sales person. Paying for health insurance and workman's comp is like paying twice for the same coverage. I hope that workman's comp insurance will be seriously considered during the debates on healthcare reform.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  454. Howard Noe

    We are having problems with our present health care programs because the legislative body uses available money to spend or expand all spending. When things get tight they tax and regulate what you have so that the care you get decreases and the cost increases. This sounds ok except the demand increases and the availability decreases. This makes me very nervous as a senior citizen. The costs continue to increase and the money has to come from a decreasing number of workers. This calls for greater taxation. People need to pay some for what they get.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  455. Fred Miller

    Please publish who the individuals, corporations, and organizations that are behind all the activist ads being run on CNN. Please disclose not only the official backers but who is really behind them. This needs to include things like Move On and Dick Army’s insurance/pharma money. The public is entitled to know who really who the lobbyists really are.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  456. ray

    A Canadian perspective
    I find by listening to some of the town halls on health reform america should spend more on education because of the Questions fielded seem to be comming from people who are from third world countrys Ignorant,and fear their government.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  457. Brian Grande

    Why are we dumb enough to spend a trillion dollars invading Iraq and fight against spending that much on our own health care?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  458. Guy

    Public vs. free market ? At Wal-Mart and other retailers I can get a 30 day supply of 400 prescriptions for $4.00. When the Government can match that, we can go onto to address the more complicated issue of Health Care Reform.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  459. Wilma Jennings

    I do not want our elected people (President/Senate/Congress) to impose a heath care bill on the American people which, they do not and will not be a part of. I feel as if President Obama is too focused on the passing of a "Health Care Bill" and not the content of said bill.

    Another objection is the goverment having access to banking information of the American people. What has happened to "for the people and by the people?" I feel as if we are moving towards a "government controlled country" with no regard for the rights of American citizens or the U.S. Constitution. Party affiliation does not matter – integrity of our American Constitution is what matters. Our President and other elected officials are acting as if we, the people, are arrogant for questioning their behavior. Changes in medical care are needed, but first we need to be more definitive in the "how" to make intelligent changes. Do not insult the intelligence of the American people.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  460. John Washington

    Tony
    You and ALL news reporting agencies have MORE of a duty to report the TRUTH rater than SENSATIONAL stories which show "shouting down" of Political leaders.
    There is so much being covered about IDIOTS who hide behind "freedom of speech" that the TRUTH is being drowned.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  461. Elizabeth

    Good morning,

    Thank you for providing the opportunity to express my views and my concerns.

    First, yes I am much more afraid of doing nothing than I am afraid of government having input. I am on Medicare; I have relatives who have used the Verteran's health system; I collect Social Security; I went to public schools; I have great peace knowing there are police and firemen in my communtiy; therefore, I'm know governement can, and does things very well. It would not be perfect, but it would be better than for-profit companies handling health care insurance as monopolies, as they do now.

    I would appreciate your station providing an outline of what at least one of the proposed Bills would provide. I have done some reading of HR3200, and I think if most citizens actually know what and how the system is proposed to work, there would be less fear and more interest in asking intelligent questions.

    Many of the anti-health reform spokes people keep shouting that they want the same healt hcare as their reprsentatives have. Well, if I am not mistaken, HR3200 provides for a Health Care Exchange of many health insurance companies and it includes one policy to be offered by the governement (the public option.) My husband is a retired federal emplyee. A similar exchange is exactly what he has always had. Once a year, during the Open Season, there is a whole series of policies offered from a wide variety of health care providers (no public option provider) and then the individucal empolyee determines which policy is best for him/her. Yes, federal empolyees ,including senators and representatives, pay a portion of their health care, and they decide for themselves which policy they want. Yes, we have always paid a portion and frankly, it is a 25%, not nearly what other citizens have had to pay. I believe if CNN could explain this to the public, there would be more understanding and less fear.

    Thank you for allowing me to state my views.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  462. James E. Ryza

    People do not seem to understand that part of resolving this problem is not from taxpayers pouring dollars into it, but to cut some of the fat out of it. Since the 80's, most salaries have not kept up with inflation except for executives, and in a lot of cases these people are also rewarded for a job NOT so well done. Too much money is being given for lobbying and campaign contributions, this will not heal anything. There are too many unnecessary test and a lack of communication. I see nothing happening because executives have been spoiled over the years, and you can throw politicians right in that group. A documentary on TV a week ago outlined the depression of the 30's and how capitalist blocked out the truth, the same is happening today.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  463. Mahaley Bowles

    Hi again Mr. Tony, I also think we should better monitor doctors and the way they prescribe medication. Michael Jackson’s death should be our wake-up call. Prescriptions should be entered into a data that is crossed referenced to avoid duplicate prescriptions. This same system should be in place at pharmaceutical outlets. After all if your licenses are suspended in New Jersey –Police departments all over America has access to that information immediately by simply "running" your license or plates. I say we should start "running" prescriptions.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  464. john singer

    what concerns me most about healthcare reform is the fact that republicans believe that it is our human right to have a gun strapped to your hip but I can't have affordable health insurance incase one of those nut-job-gun-slingers shoots me for my wallet because they're broke.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  465. Paul Jobes

    Tony On Aug 12 you made a comment about the lack of visible black america at town hall meetings, are they being ignord and avoided by the political turmoil ,or are we being just trying to avoid the race card being played out. Also if your health care payments were cut by 50% the American ecconomy would bounce back within months and be stronger than ever. Every one of us put the blame on government but in reality it is corprate America. As a Canadian ,I think corprate America is doing more damage to the country than the AXES OF EVIL

    August 13, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  466. Jeremiah

    here is what i can't understand. since preexsisting conditions are a huge issue for reform; why hasn't ANY health insurance company shown any type of good faith gestures and allow people such as myself with T1 diabetes or any other pre-exsisting condition to get health insurance?

    or maybe we are just still not profitable. maybe less worthy of care to them.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  467. Joyce

    My concern is that we will not have a public option and the insurance and drug companies will profit the most out of any health care changes without the competition. We need a" public option" in the plan. And we desperately need "Health Care Reform" now.

    I am insured by Blue Cross and now Medicare. Blue Cross has always rationed care by retrictnig how many services they would pay for in any year and how much they would pay. Recently they refuse to pay for a mamogram because they incorrectly thought I had two test within a 12 months of the prior mamogram test. It took 12 months to get them to pay for the service. They had all the correct information in their office.
    The expenses incurred to get this paid by everybody involved " Testing facility billing office, Blue Cross payment office and myself was all a waste in the system.
    Blue Cross also encourage and sometime refused to pay for some drugs unless they were generic.

    I hope Congress will stand up and past Health Care Reform now.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  468. Sharon - California

    The real issue that needs to be addressed is the ”Law of Unforeseen Consequences.”

    When Pres. Obama talks about a doctor giving the elderly "end of life" talks, just what do you people think that means. You might want to check out the medical program in Oregon. What it actually means is Euthanasia. In other words...the elderly will be told that the government cannot pay for their cancer treatment because it is too expensive for their age because they probably won't live more than a year or two, etc. but however, the government will pay for them to end their own life. My fellow Countrymen, this is where people are getting the name "death Panel" from – got it?

    Let me say this so everyone will understand. Any Country that can say "who lives and who dies" does NOT HAVE FREEDOM. Why do you people out there think we left England and came here in the first place? Please....know you history or you are going to repeat it. Wake up America.

    Most of these posts remind me of Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segment.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  469. JP

    My biggest concern is that healthcare is not available to more than 40 million Americans. That in itself is proof that the system is broken! The most important thing helathcare reform can do is to make healthcare available to every American! Anything less is a slap in the face of what America stands for!

    What frightens me is that opponents of healthcare reform seem to be trying to prevent an open discussion as to how to best fix healthcare. By inserting these outrageous claims into the argument, they have forced the discussion to be about disproving these ridiculous lies and not about discussing the real reform plans. It's an effective, but disgraceful tactic that is stealing from Americans the democratic opportunity to create the healthcare system we want and need.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  470. john

    I know a way to fix health care but some will disagreee, but you could let colleges grow mariurana, sell it to the goverment, the goverment will sell it to the people who want it, school will make money so it will be cheaper to go to school, the goverment want have to spend millions on fighting mariurana, Mexico's biggest import is mariurana,
    all the people in jail and will be put in jail because of pessision and sells of mariurana It could be under the ATF like alcohol and tobacco,
    And mariurana has killed anyone and the people that say it's harmful
    don't no the fact. I don't suggest anyone to smoke it if the don't need it
    but alot do and it's created by earth not man and the earth know more of what we need than man. I have a two page bill that I have but I know no one will read it but the gobverment are WE THE PEOPLE and alot of people have forgot that

    August 13, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  471. Jon Anderson

    Wealth transfer policies take from the rich (often productive, responsible, educated, hardworking...) and give to the poor (often unproductive, irresponsible, uneducated, and lazy). Progressives claim this to be good for our country. WHY THEN DID THIS NATION BECAME THE WORLDS GREATEST ECONOMIC AND MILITARY SUPER POWER IN RECORD TIME WITHOUT HAVING SOCIALIST POLICIES IN PLACE DURING ITS FIRST 150 YEARS?!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  472. Rodney

    Hi
    I have a question about stem cells. I have a Spinal Chord Injury that has left me partially paralyzed. Will stem cell treatment be something that will occur in my lifetime and if so will it be affordable?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  473. Anne C.

    I am a teacher and I do not see my cash strapped district offering choices for medical insurance if there is a cheaper government program available. I like my present medical insurance but I believe I will lose it if this government plan is passed. How will I be able to keep my present insurance if my employer does not offer it any more? If I am offered only the government plan, I don't have any choice for my medical care! Also if the medical program for congress is so great, why not just extend it to all Americans? Why doesn't anyone in congress propose that? After all, the members of congress are our employees and can be fired at election time. They need to remember that when they vote on this issue!

    August 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  474. judith s lymneos

    The American people should receive the same government subsidized health care that members of congress and other federal employees enjoy. Investigative reporters need to inform citizens about the health care plans available to federal workers and congress, and the cost of these plans, which are subsidized by the American taxpayer.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  475. jaxon

    Many of us have been reading the House Bill, and the Senate Bill - the lady is no THAT unusual. I tend to go read when someone blogs on a particular section so I guess I've been through maybe 300 pages. Your guest is right, without being able to cross reference to other parts of the federal code, any reader would be unable to grasp it, and the financial stuff is in another part of the code.

    One of the best articles on it is CNN's 5 things you will lose by health care reform - someone around there IS reading, and btw,refutes what your lay reader just said regarding changes in any policy.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  476. Debbie

    Josh - Could you explore "comparative effectiveness" in the stimulus bill? (Doesn't matter what bill it is in, still is law, correct?) See excerpt from Wall Street Journal article below regarding healthcare.

    "The assault against seniors began with the stimulus package in February. Slipped into the bill was substantial funding for comparative effectiveness research, which is generally code for limiting care based on the patient’s age. Economists are familiar with the formula, where the cost of a treatment is divided by the number of years (called QALYs, or quality-adjusted life years) that the patient is likely to benefit. In Britain, the formula leads to denying treatments for older patients who have fewer years to benefit from care than younger patients. "

    August 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  477. Robert

    Wow Tony, you are completely in the tank for this government healthcare. To compare the "so called" rationing to what government healthcare is gonna do is like comparing a firecracker to a big bomb. I'm glad your digging around for who is behind the healthcare debate though. But please check out both sides equally.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  478. Sandra Miedlar

    Tony,
    I have never really been interested in politics, but I am rapidly becoming interested due to increased anxiety.
    I think that congress could make americans feel much more confident with health care reform if they would change to the new health care plan. I think we might get a decent health care plan if that happened.
    The big problem that people have is paying for illegal aliens. I feel that is not right. I don't mind paying extra taxes to cover health care for american citizens who have no health care, but I have a BIG problem paying for people who are not citizens of this country (and that makes up most of the people in need, from what I have heard).
    I don't understand why my insurance should change at all.
    I wish you would address these two issues.
    Please alert me if you ever discuss this on your program because I would definately be interested.
    Sandy Miedlar

    August 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  479. Selene

    Dear Mr. Harris,
    I watched CNN yesterday, when a women a self-proclaimed Redneck said that the Constution does not say health care is a right. First of all this so call "Redneck" needs to go into her own rural areas in her state and take good look at the people living there. She needs to talk to people who do not get any health care for what ever the reason is. People like her propably have insured through her job or her husband's. And, that's great! Good for her.
    But, as a 52 year old unemployed women with two teenagers at home there needs to be a system in place to help everyone. The truth of the matter is the whole issue is money driven. The Insurance companys and Hospitals that are run like corporations, and then the Doctor's don't want to lose a dime. There is "BIG" money to be made. There is no money in evening the playing field for every American. Look here is the truth; Do I trust the Government? Truthly? No, as a person who has struggled all thier adult life to just to live a decent life it has not been in my favor. But, for those who say they don't want government involvement. Guess what? They'er involved in your life from the day you are born. Get over it. If you don't want government involvment, I think all of you need to move to an island some where you can dictate what happens with you and your famlies. Get a grip people the U. S. Government will be involved in your life until the day you die. We are not as free as we want to beleive. It looks good, but it just ain't so. Don't get me wrong we have it way better than most countries.
    Where you with your loud opposition when Bush was in office? Where were any of you when the government of each of your state's cut into Medical, or fedrally started chopping into Medicare? I get it as long as the government is only messing over the poor and elderly, it's okay.
    Well, guess what I have a little more trust in a President that's been there, done that. He knows what it feel's like to get screwed when all you are asking for is help with a health issuse, from insurance you have paid into. For all of you who have a problem with the Bill go to your ill family member's alive and dead and ask them how their insurance health provider is treating them. In other words, stop making a loud noise and quitely help a man that as been brave enough to tackle an issuse that only one other President had the balls to even deal with. Stop letting these so call radio talk show host dictate how you as an American look after one another. Because, take my word for it you never know who your going to need in the end.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  480. steve

    If this Health Care Reform Bill is to pass , then everyone, the President and Congress should have the same coverage as will all Americans. They are not any better than we are, right? Another way to cut thousands of dollars is to stop giving aid to all THESE ALIENS IN OUR COUNTRY. IF YOU'RE NOT AN AMERICAN, THAT WORKS AND PAYS TAXES THEN YOU DO NOT GET THE BENEFITS, PERIOD.!!!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  481. Jayne Kaplan

    The same thing concerns me today as yesterday. The only thing you report on is consrvative groups. Now you have characterized the supporters at townhall meetings as members of ACORN. Equal time for the supporters Tony, why not report on how many members of OFA were at towhhall meetings. Why don't you report on our enthuiasm for reform. Trust me the supporters are as energetic about reform as the ney sayers. We jus don't use rude and polemical tactics. Get it right tomorrow please!

    August 13, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  482. Wes Snypes -- TOLEDO

    Assuming no reform and that health care insurance rates continue to outpace wages and inflation to the point that less than 30% of the population can afford insurance, what happens? Does everyone go to emergency rooms? How do hospitals pay for services? Will it force the cost of health care down?

    The argument that reform will bankrupt our heirs must vie that no reform may destroy healthcare.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  483. Bruce From Tucson, AZ

    One major concern I have on health care reform is drug costs that effect everyone. The drugs in question are chemothearpy drugs and anti rejection drugs for transplant patients. These drugs will break anyone with their costs. Transplant patients need these drugs for their lifetime. If your on Medicare or have regular insurance or an HMO the cost of these drugs is very very expensive. Is there anything in the works to bring these costs down in health care reform and if so what are details being discussed?

    August 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  484. Dr Sam Sugar

    I am a practicing physician and I have read all 1018 pages of House bill 3200. I am deeple concerned about a number of issues that undercut my ability to practice and my patients ability to have free choice in their care and the intrusion of gargabtuan government into our lives.

    I am also troubled by the alleged reason for the "urgent need to do something fast" mentality. I keep hearing numbers about how many uninsured there are in this country. The number varies from 7 million to 50 million (according to Bill Nelson my Senator from Florida).

    How does one measure something that someone does not have?
    What is the truth about this issue and where do these statisitcs that vary enormously originate?

    August 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  485. Kathy

    With Family Practice doctors being in such short supply these day, why not offer some type of incentive for the next few years for those entering this segmen? Maybe "forgiving" a year or two of their education for practicing in needy states for 2-4 years??? Same idea as kids going to college – community service for education expenses. I'd bet it would work.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  486. Eric

    Tony,
    I just saw the report on the Maryland H.Care Forum. The older man who criticize the Obama administration for putting a tax burden on his kids failed to recognize that it was Bush not Obama who gave put the U.S. into a near Economic depression. This guys " Republicans" should look at the mirror and reflect for a second before tearing up the current administration.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  487. Dianne Kehoe

    A short while back when the stimulous package was released, President Obama said we would see positive changes by August. We are now in mid-August and are starting to see positive changes in the economy. President Obama's health plan may need adjustments but it is necessary. The money wasted on people who are uninsured being forced to go to emergency rooms to live and then not pay the bill is monumental.

    In my own situation, I am not yet old enough to obtain Medicare so in order to have catastrophic insurance, I have a $10,000 deductible. I guess I figure I can somehow pay a $10,000 bill versus a $100,000 bill plus I have exclusions for anything related to arthritis or osteoporosis.

    My husband had a stroke 2 1/2 years ago. He is mentally and physically disabled. His Cobra has run out and needless to say no one will insure him without preexisting conditions being implemented, which, in his case, means don't bother wasting money nothing will be covered. Although not related to heathcare reform, please note we have been fighting for social security disability for TWO years. Even our lawyer is not getting anywhere. Then my husband could get Medicare. Incidentally, he has worked hard all his life and never asked for ANYTHING from Government or otherwise.We are just one cog in the wheel; but, healthcare for all is a major necessity.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  488. Jo

    Hi Tony, I have never heard anyone explain how this administration plans to 1) cut health care costs, 2) improve care, and 2) include 50 million more people. We need a drastic scale-back of the plan. Obama assures we can keep our current plan, but the legislation does not require insurers or employers to continue offering the benefits they now provide. Rather than a massive overhaul, let's find one or two cost-saving mechanisms and pilot them in a couple states. We cannot allow another 1,000-page bill to go through Congress without being read. In addition, we are a very compassionate people. Illegals can be denied coverage but they will never be denied treatment. Most of us resent being ask to pay for those who are in this country illegally.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  489. Marie

    Your Cnn doctor stated that insurance companies do have limits on treatment. I guess this depends on your policy. One thing I CAN tell you is that MEDICARE places limits on what they cover. My husband was in the hospital for more than 3 months and Medicare stopped paying, as they did for his outpatient for physical therapy (after a limit of $4,000).

    These doctors who state Medicare is a good functional system really needs to get more involved to find the ends and outs of the program. In addition, MEDICARE is full of abuse and is going bankrupt. That is a government run program at its best.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  490. Bill H

    I agree with the majority, We do need healthcare reform. My health insurance has gone up 23% in the last two yrs. They also can reject benefits, disallow procedures ,change deductibles, not cover prescription drugs, or anything else they want, whenever they want. Only our Gov.. has the opportunity to control this ,if we will let them. I also haven't heard how Medicare will be affected by a new plan. Will the recipients be charged for the insurance like the people on Medicare are? This would help pay some of the cost. Thanks B H

    August 13, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  491. Abou

    Here is an actual question about the reform bills being proposed right now. Do any of the plans allow patients to get primary care outside of the state that one resides. This is important to me because most insurances including government sponsored current plans don't cover this and I go to school in a different state than I live. This makes it hard to get care when I'm at school.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  492. Colleen

    Are we adults here?
    I am personally against abortion, therefore, I believe I would not have one. I am for seat belts, but opposed to fines for not wearing one. Private rights are just that, private. It means that you may do whatever you like as long as it does not interfere with the rights of another, making it an offense to do so.
    This "protest" is what happens when you make stupid people wear seatbelts. Could the media focus more on the details of this HC bill and stop covering the wingnuts? Far too many people are in desperate need of healthcare in America.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  493. Pat

    In Az we are being inudated with ads from 60plus about funding health care reform by taking benefits away from medicare. There are no ads disputing these claims. They site articles dating back to april. are they true????

    August 13, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  494. Raj (Seattle)

    I have received an email from the White House that refers to "Health INSURANCE REFORM" not "Health CARE REFORM". I believe that the reference to Insurance reform more cirrectly defines the process, Could you please comment and clarify. There is a DIFFERENCE. Pointing out this difference may assist in our understanding of the bills.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  495. Larry

    I have been following your morning news concerning the health care reform and how much is true and what is considered not true. The problem is, you are reporting on truths here, trying to dispel myths and rumors to educate the public, and yet you run anti-health care commercials on the very channel that is trying to dispute the very information your commercials are displaying. Whats with that?..

    view the commercials run this a.m.
    August 13, 2009
    Tony Harris news broadcast

    August 13, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  496. Jackie

    In 1991 Medicare cost 7 times what they estimated in 1965. Today, they are 100 times the amount. I think the idea of the death panel comes from not being able to pay for healthcare, so to cut cost, seniors will sacrifice. I believe the President said as much. You only need to look at Oregon for an example of this. It's common sense thinking. Perhaps the government should fix Medicare and Medicaid, to have a track record for being able to actually make something better, then the American people might have more faith in government. Perhaps they should do more about fraud as the private insurance carriers do and of course, tort reform. This might be a step in the right direction.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  497. bill

    you might have hit the nail right on the head yourself, yes perhaps something bigger is brewing in this country, ever hear of the war between the states, who is to say it can't happen again but in a different form? what i fear most is the natural ignorance growing in our fine country.It is natural for other to have different opinions, but i only wish people would make their choices based on what they take the time to look into, then decide based on fact. But most today just go along with the crowd and believe whatever they are told or read in print or are handed to them by the parents. I wish the younger folks would start thinking on their own.In short PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS... cover them, to not do so is borderline criminal

    August 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  498. Jeff

    WAKE UP!
    When it is stated 'items are covered', this is not the whole truth. Yes it is covered but the new plan now only is willing to pay 50%, 55%.. This means the doctor WILL NOT get what his price is. This doctor still has the huge malpractice ins plus his costs, let alone all the other costs; hospital, additional surgery personell, equipt and more.

    With this policy there will be an increase in demand with no additional increase in doctors, service providers. In addition these providers are being asked to work for much less. There will be providers drop out for several reasons, further imcreasing the presure on healthcare providers. There will be no incentive for further research and developement, nor for people to pursue the medical field in general – which way do you think the quality of health care will go?... not up.

    Brainless decision to tax business' who don't provide health care!
    I am an example of thousands of business' who are simply working to create a profit with enough room so we can have health coverage. Now with the tax, this will further distance this goal and create less hope for employees. It is amazing to me where the Administration decides they will subsidize some hurting business' and penalize other hurting business'

    For those who say this is "democracy at work", re-check your definition:
    Democracy – "Government in which supreme power is vested in the people and excercised by them or THEIR opinions excersised by their elected officials" Why don't we have a national vote?

    It is rediculous in this great country of inspired entrepreneurlism, that the biggest enemy to independent business is our own government.

    PS These town hall meetings are not "angry mobs" they are people who read the details and look at the effects and are scared. We need reform, but the government is not the answer. Here are some "Government run programs" according to their financials:
    Welfare - Impoverished more than its helped get out and back off welfare
    Postal System - Losing millions yearly
    Am Trac - Losing millions yearly
    These people are NOT business people and now we're considering giving one sixth of out economy to them!!

    WAKE UP

    August 13, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  499. Sue in Newtown, PA

    My concern is that there is too much media coverage of the fear that people have due to misleading information being propagated, and not enough of getting down to the details of the bill from congress and providing the truth so that people can have educated discussions about what is best for the country. We need reform but let's talk intelligently about it.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  500. Joe in NC

    Hey Tony,
    Today CNN, including your show, have repeatedly debunked the right wing lie regarding "Death Panels" and old people being put to death.

    But I'm forced to wonder if the folks at CNN watch the commercials you run?

    Immediately following each segment in which you debunk the "old people will be put to death" lie ... you run a commercial that REPEATS THE LIE.

    What are you guys at CNN doing ... trying to become writers for John Stewart and the Daily Show???

    August 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  501. Gabriel Koch

    I am 27 years old and I do not have health insurance. I work at a non-profit that does not offer health care. I always had health insurance with my parents or my employers after college. I do not make much money and I will not help a private insurance CEO make $14 million dollars per year with my own hard earned money. There is no insurance that if I start paying now that I will even receive care in the future. These private companies are running massive Ponzi schemes and it is time for an affordable, transparent option for those of us who are sick of health insurance being a racket.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  502. Frank Ducey

    I have pulled up proposed bill on line. It is written in lawyer speak. It takes you back and forth from different Acts that are in place and the only way to possibly understand it is if you have all the Acts in front of you. This bill if passed will lead to a tremendous amount of misinterpretations as is happening now

    Just start at page 424, (You also have to pull up Section 1861 of the
    Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395x) which I did.

    Can you really believe that the majority of Congressmen and Senators understand it? By the way this hotly contested section.

    Also why are you putting a positive spin on these Town Hall meetings,
    when any can person can see that the major majority are against this bill. Not of your news people have said what they should be saying. Most Americans are against it.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  503. Carol Beach

    Please followup on HR 3200 page 15 and 16 which seems to imply that if a private insurer wants to be part of the Healthcare Exchange, they must agree not to accept new clients (those who are not already insured and grandfathered in) after the health care plan as now proposed goes into effect. If that is the case, private companies could all be out of business within several years. Also am interested in clarification of page 167 that implies that folks who don't enroll in any healthcare plan will be taxed 2.5%

    These issues are not being talked about. PLEASE follow up. Am I interpreting this correctly

    August 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  504. jade

    I have a 24 year old daughter who has no health care for herself and her 2 year old son. I worry constantly that something (God forbid) happens and we can be financially ruined. When she gets sick she does not want to go to a doctor because "it will cost too much." Her part-time job does not offer an option for health care. If she makes over $6500 annually she does not qualify for any health care programs for herself or her son. I also had a step-son in his 30s (without health care) who has been pretty healthy all his life and all of a sudden he developed a medical problem. Needless to say, he did not want to go to the doctor because he is unemployed (lost job to the recession). My husband and I spent over $500.00 for doctors and lab work. This hurt our low middle income family budget. These people who are against the health care reform are not the "grassroot" people. Grassroot people, historically, are people who care the underpriveleged. The grassroot people are the ones who voted for change. These people we see are just angry that the election was won by a Democrat and one not of entirely of their race. This makes them sore losers. My question to them is "does democracy only apply when their candidates win?"

    August 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  505. David

    Tony, one of President Obama's missed opportunity to clarify a big concern for seniors, was at the Town Hall meeting he had on Tuesday 8/11/09 when a senior stated she is on Medicare and has a supplimental insurance through he spouse, she asked if something were to happen to her husband she would loose the supplimental insurance. President Obama gave her a response that had nothing to do with her question. I am not a senior I am 45 years old, my question is with this new healthcare reforum since senior are only covered 80% will they then be covered 100% seniors need clarification with this issue.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  506. ray

    If the cost of healthcare for allians is so high and I think it would be than the focus on re-cooping the said cost should be borne on the backs of the people who hire them pay five bucks for labor and five for health.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  507. Bahman Toronto

    Dear Josh, why do you twist the truth about what Obama said about Single Payer ? His last comment was I have never been a supporter of a S.P. What he had sais before was IF I WAS DESIGNING A SYSTEM SCRATCH, I would go for S.P. BUT we are not in that position. Therefor if you use your common sense, he is basically saying with todays state of affairs, I was never nor am I now for a S.P. system Please correct this misleading statement you keep making. Thanks & regards.

    August 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  508. Gary James

    I finally had a chance to attend one of the healthcare town hall meeting. This one took place in Hagerstown, MD which by the way is a spectacular city. I arrived at approx 11:15Am and the event started at 1PM sharp and while waiting a very long line I listen to different comments and something struck me like a knife in the heart! After objectively listening to all kinds of reason for the negativity I come to a conclusion that this really is not about healthcare but President Obama and I hate to say the obvious and race! This reminds me of when the verdict came in on the Rodney king case and a mini riot broke out and people started looking local businesses. A reporter saw this one man who happens to have been black carrying a 19" TV and ask him" Are you doing this because of the Rodney king verdict ?" The man with a puzzle look in his eyes ask " Rodney who?" We have some serious issues here in this country and we need some serious solutions and for those on all sides who wish to continue with confusion and division be careful what you ask for , be very careful!

    August 13, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  509. Fred MARQUARDT

    Can you comment on health care in The Netherlands?
    They use insurance companies.
    They have standardized policies.
    They are supported according to income, etc.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  510. Steve Homan

    I'm very open to supporting well thought out health care reform, but we need answers to some questions first. Weeding out what is true and not true seems to be the greatest challange for me right now. When I cross check some of the emails being sent through the internet, I see a lot false information, and I believe that is confusing and scaring a lot of good people that would benefit from health care reform. I'd like to see both sides hold a couple of formal televised debates on health care reform, so we can hear both sides. Best Regards, Steven D. Homan, Sedalia, Mo.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  511. Wayne Adams

    We hear there should be more competition between private insurers. Certainly if we,the prospective insured, could have access across state lines to various plans offered there would be more choice and more competition and lower prices.I understand the chairman of the House committee has said"That ain't gonna happen". If we had more reporting about that option there would be more pressure on Congress to put that in the mix.Then the individual can make his or her own choice.

    Why does the chairman make such a statement?Would it have annything to do with the influence of the Unions?

    August 13, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  512. Jim Langford

    I am confused about what the proposed health care program is supposed to be. All I hear is retorts and verbalisms. The politicos (whom ever, which ever) appear to be deliberately causing the general populance to get very excited about something that is incompletely identified, and seem to be happy for it to exist only as subject. matter.

    I would like to see the publication of a chart with each valid proposal explained and how it is to be funded. An even simpler chart would also be valuable that compares each proposal by parallel columns and corresponding subject . CNN could do this and allow copying by our nation's newspapers and magazines. The charts need to be neutral (e.g., devoid of party line embellishments). Such charts may already be available, but I haven't been privy to any – I'll bet most people haven't or the people on Medicare wouldn't be concerned about it being socialism. I'll make up my mind about socialism when I see that the Feds plan to own the health insurance companies in the program. At least, the voting public should see what Obama's proposal is or is not versus what is coming out of Congress.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  513. Marjorie Wright

    Health care should be one of the most important rights we have as citizens. It affects everything we do in our daily lives. We deserve honest debate and a

    August 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  514. Marjorie Wright

    Health care reform is desperately needed for all Americans. We need thoughtful debate and honest answers to our questions. I believe the media is a very important source of information and therefore, has a responsibility to report the truth. Why does CNN keep repeating Ads that are completely untrue like one I have seen many times repeating that Medicare patients will lose their physician of choice – be denied procedures – wait in long lines. Please STOP perpetuated these these lies.

    August 13, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  515. Deb RN

    I am not sure the people who are against health care reform understad the real issues. In our practice we follow a patient with Lupus- she has done very well, graduating high school with honors and being accepted at a prestigious college on scholarship. Her mother is a widow with 3 children and working at a job that does not provide insurance benefits. Our patient is about to turn 19 and lose her medicaid which covers the expensive medications that keep her heathy. If she does not get the medicines, she will relapse and loose her potential productivity not to mention how much it willl cost us all if she is hospitalized. For the nay sayers- what is your solution?

    August 13, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  516. Jerry Gahan

    Every year insurance companies are responsible for thousands of deaths, just so they can increase margin. So why should we care how health care reform will affect them ?

    August 13, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  517. joe

    What concerns me are the points no one is really talking about, some of which are below. What also concerns me is this opens a can of worms for the government to gain more and more control over our health care decisions. If anyone thinks this is it, they are crazy. Once we allow Obama to go through the door, it will be open for continual increased controls! What about these points:

    • Page 30, line 23 — There will be a government committee that decides what treatments you get.
    • Page 50, line 152 — Health care will be provided to all non US citizens, illegal or otherwise.
    • Page 59, lines 21-24 — Government will have direct access to bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
    • Page 110, lines 13-18 — An excise tax (will be levied) on all goods from companies not offering government health care.
    • Page 239, lines 14-24 — Government will reduce physician services for Medicaid.
    • 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.
    • Page 438, Section 1236 — The government will develop a patient decision making aid program that you and your Doctor will use.
    • Page 660-671 — "Doctors in Residency" – The government will tell you where your residency will be.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  518. Kevin - San Diego

    Lots of xlnt points presented by many here ..... I generally would support a health care bill/plan/reform, HOWEVER, I want health care done RIGHT, not simply done FAST. I recently saw a world health organization "ranking of the world's health systems" published in 2000 ...... the U.S. ranked 37th on this 9 yr old list. There are SEVERAL things that really concern me about this current health care issue, #1 the Pres wants to push it through fast ..... why the big rush? ..... #2 there are apparantly MULTIPLE VERSIONS of these approx 1,000 page plans – if true, why so many? ..... #3 Is there any "fine print" or "pork" contained in them? ...... #4 There are PLENTY of examples of poorly run gov't agencies/programs out there – Social Security is said to be shaky & the postal system is said to bleed red ink as just 2 examples ..... Why would THIS be run better, more efficiently, effectively, financially responsibly and successfully than PREVIOUS gov't endevors? ...... We all just saw the gov't misjudge by quite a wide margin how long $1billion in cash for clunkers was SUPPOSED to last, they "estimated" 4 months, it lasted less than 1 week – before they had to pump in more taxpayer money. While I think every "legal" american citizen deserves quality health care at an affordable price, those that can't afford it shouldn't be excluded IMHO, however, it has to be reasonably cost effective for the taxpayers. I would consider looking around the world to other countries as possible blueprints for "some" ideas/solutions to our current health care issue(s), who've got PROVEN world class type health care and are considered to rank higher than the U.S. @ #37 (according to the WHO). Health care touches ALL our lives at some point in time – that's why it's such an important topic/issue to ALL of us.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  519. Gerry G

    I was just watching the Whitehouse briefing on CNN TV and there were complaints of unrequested emails.

    It is VITA that EVERYBODY know that is is well known how for forge "From" addresses in emails. Spammers do this every day.

    One can not determine the actual source of ANY email without the email's "header" which few persons even know exist and never see them. The header contains an actual trace of what servers the email went trough.

    EDUCATE everybody! This technique is often used for scams as well as spam.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  520. Rachel Ketchem

    While visiting cousins in Italy, my father had a severe asthma attack and stayed overnight in the hospital. Not only was there no long wait, but he was never sent a bill. My friends in the UK say the same thing. There is never any long wait and not bill. Same with another friend who lives in Sweden, no wait and no bill. However, they do have to pay for dental work.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  521. steve Bullion

    The heath care system should first be tweeked, amended, reworked...and added to, rather than just throwing it all away for a new version that some of us know will not work as well. When you have a government that sells out to a new novice president with ratical ideas...the pulic is likely to get screwed.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  522. steve Bullion

    Obama's HR 3200 contains such convoluted and obtuse language that no one really knows what its saying. That means that it will likely be "create as you go" legislation for health care. This will not work. Health care is too important to all americans to just be throwing something up to see what sticks to the wall.

    August 13, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  523. Dan

    I've been following what I can of this story for some time now. We're all hearing the blurbs about "death care" and just who will fall under the umbrella of coverage at what age. What I don't hear being discussed is, as with all government backed programs, is what the financial "cutoff" or thresholds will be. Surely this cannot be for everyone??? I'm curious what the "minimum or maximum" yearly salaries would have to be and where the caps fall? I'm pretty certain that those of us hard working taxpayers who make what the government calls a "decent living" will be exempt from any Government assistance, at least until they mandate I obtain it. Like with any other assistance program, I'll probably have to be an illegal immigrant worker, living in some form of a ghetto, have 4.6 children and make a combined household income of $12,000 or less. Someone please, answer this question for all of us. For this is where I believe ALL of our tax dollars will go. After all, when in the world can we ever trust our Government to run an enormous program, funded by tax dollars, do this efficiently without prejudice and save Money?

    August 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  524. sherm

    Before the government significantly changes how healthcare is provided and establishes a new bureaucracy to manage it, they should demonstrate their ability to manage by fixing many of the problems with the current system. Increase efficiency, reduce fraud, waste and abuse, deal with the costs associated with illegal aliens, and address torte reform. If they could successfully demonstrate their ability to do this, I would believe they could manage the cost of the system. They haven't demonstrated their ability to manage these problems with medicare and medicaid, why should we believe they can do it with a new system. Medicare is going broke, the new program doesn't do anything but promise they can fix it. They should demonstrate they can.

    August 13, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  525. Ed

    From the coverage the media provides on healthcare I have now concluded that I am in the minority of those who feel that something must be done to fix healthcare – I contend that if thecost is fixed a large portion of the uninsured would become insured. My insurance premiums (for 2 adults) for the same type of coverage has gone from just over $200/month in 2003 to just under $900/month in 2009. The quality and accessibility of care is not, in my experience, the problem – it's the COST.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  526. Pat

    Maybe I'm getting old and my memory has failed but didn't the Bush administration escort disruptive people out of meetings because they were on the other side. Now they are encouraging them.
    My biggest concern is that the Senate & Congress will exempt themselves from the plan. Federal government healthcare has drastically gone downhill ever since the Senate & Congress opted out. They must be included to make this work.
    It is also amazing that the citizens for patient rights do not want anyone else to have rights and most of these are Republicans. Is Rush Limbaugh worried that the health care plan will ruin his ability to get illegal drugs. He should be in jail; not on radio.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  527. Luis

    What concerns me is that we are going to be railroaded by the undue publicity given to "True Believers" that government is basically bad and that are easily manipulated by the anti-reform special interests. These "True Believers" are only about 20-25% of the people and one cannot change their minds using logic or reasonable arguments.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  528. Luis

    What concerns me is that we are going to be railroaded by the undue publicity given to very vocal people whch are in a minority and is given undue publicity by the media.

    August 13, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  529. maryteresa gibbons

    It is obscene the millions of dollars that are being spent by major corporations and regressive groups to fight against health care reform. Alot of people could be accessing health care with that money right now. How ironic they say they don't want added expense reform would allegedly cause yet have no qualms spending money regarding reform.

    August 13, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  530. Kate F.

    Perhaps this is really ignorant of me, but why are the drug companies not more involved in these debates? I may be wrong, but isn't a large reason that health care costs are so high due to the fact that drugs are so expensive and being so marked up by companies? Perhaps if the cost of necessary drugs became more reasonable, health care would be more affordable. Expenses for doctors, hospitals and patients would go down so that health care becomes more affordable for everyone without government intervention being necessary. Which is not to say I'm opposed to a universal health care system, I'm just wondering why this hasn't been brought up?

    August 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  531. Randy Winchel

    Basically, Obama and his Dems are in a hurry to shove this down our throats. There are other ways to control costs of health care and they aren't interested in anything other that what a few drew up in a short period of time and they wish to shove it at us. After being lied to about the bailouts, how can anyone say this is right so soon? Yesterday in Iowa Sen, Grassley admitted Obamas team lied to congress and senate for a yea vote. I can only hope the American people can endure this ramrod until we can vote his team out! This has nothing to do with race and everything to do with common sense, which so many people seem to be lacking

    August 13, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  532. David R.W. Wadsworth

    This is supposed to be a Christian nation but obviously he peole are not True Practicing Christians. Jesus Christ said, "When you do it unto the least of these my brothren, you do it unto me!"

    August 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  533. Cindy Merrill

    Over two thirds of all Americans are Overweight, including those who are insured already!: Other than a lecture at a regular checkup and Meds ( High bloodpressure, insulin, ect) what preventive measures, if any, are included? Does any version of the Public Healthcare options include Tax deductions for joining a Healthclub or the local YMCA/YWCA? Type 2 diabetes is spreading faster than the AIDS epidemic: Does any of the legislation being considered even mention this?
    Will SNAP Food credit be increased for anyone placed on a restricted diet?

    August 13, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  534. Bruce in Newport Beach, CA

    Democrats are not doing a good job telling how the public option will benefit the insured.

    Private insurers will be carefull about raising premiums and losing customers to the NEW competition. Employers will be in a better position to raise wages when they don't have insurance rate hikes like in the past.

    August 13, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  535. Monica Huff

    It is very upsetting that people who actually want to hear about the health care reform bill the President is proposing are not being allowed to hear the facts because of people who don't agree with anything President Obama is doing because he is a Black American. I would like to see a poll taken on how many of the people interrupting these town hall meetings spewing lies out of their mouths voted for Obama? It appears to younger American's that there is a bunch of angry predjudice old white folks who have deeper issues and all they want to do is keep racism alive. Let the young people hear what is being proposed, don't we have rights to? Medicare is socialized medicine and the same people shouting at these town meetings about no reform should have theirs taken away, and then let's see how they fill about reform when they also are forced to pay high premiums or go without like their grand-children are going to be forced too. We need healthcare reform for many reasons first better care, secondly, for lower premiums by creating more competition, (Isn't the free market competitve=America) , thirdly to help the millions of women, men, children and young people living in poverty in this country. What happened to the America that said give us your tired, hungry, sick and poor? How would these people creating havoc at the town hall meetings feel if all the senior discounts and programs were pulled and they were told America doesn't care about them, their on their own ...oh well?

    August 13, 2009 at 8:59 pm |
  536. Glenda

    #1 I got laid off Dec 2008 construction age 64 I moved around with this company over 20 years.
    #2 My son a house builder has had no work for 4 months age 45
    #3 My daughter in law waitress and event manager the motel closed down age 50
    #4My granddaughter spouse lays tile, no work for 3 months, went to work doing maint. in convenience store , got laid off age 27
    #5Granddaughter got job in Target, but wonders when she might start
    #6Step Daughter got laid off FuddRuckers asst manager 25
    #7 Spouse (site manager) got laid off Tuesday , last day. supposely no work but yet keeping a few, with less senority, he had over 20 years same construction company age 61
    #8 one daugher age 43 has a brain aneursym without the greatest of ins. from hubby working in Capsule plant
    #9 one daughter age 40 hubby works same place as last and this is the only plant doing anything a middle size town in SC
    This town has over ten cotton mills which are sitting vacant because of overseas taking all the work.
    Other companies come in to this town and most of them close down in less than five years because of taking all the jobs to china, mexico and other countries

    But yet I hear things are getting better, this is just one family of Mother with three children and 11 grands. and 1 step

    Yes we all do not have insurance now and need the health plan to be signed so then we can start getting more jobs in the USA

    Where are these people that are happy with their ins.

    August 13, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  537. Dr. Thomas Ofner

    There was a time when money could buy only things. Yes, money could buy other peoples’ lives, in the form of slavery or wage-labor, but that was because slaves were considered to be goods, and labor was considered to be the only goods that poor people had to bring to the marketplace. In those times it was considered to be the natural order of things that the ones rich in money were rich in all the goods that money could buy, and the poor possessed less of the things money could buy.

    Things have changed. Life segments have been monetized. How much does it cost a seventy year old to live to seventy five? How much for each five years after that? Life extending industries thrive, and want to sell you their services on the free market. But what is a fair price. Who is to determine what is a fair price for five manually extended years? Life becomes a bit laughable if its value is thrown to the free market for determination, yet we are there.

    We all know that the free market is duty-bound to maximize prices. They must charge whatever the customer is willing to pay. But what if the customer of my life-extension is the government? What if the government grants me the right to freely choose among all life extension products, and guarantees to pay for it? How will willingness to pay for it factor into price determination then? Even more of conundrum is, what if all Americans come to have equal right to life extension through the limitless goods disseminated by the life extension industry? We can vote it in and feel satisfied that there at last fairness has arrived through equality, until the bill arrives. No country, however wealthy, can afford to give to all its citizens, and illegal aliens, the maximum number of goods put out by the ever growing life extension industry. So you see. . . someone does inevitably have to decide who is in and who is out, who receives that heart transplant and who does not. This used to be decided by the amount of money the individual was willing to spend. Now it will be a committee. Obama says that there will be no committee. Well, it is either a committee, or unlimited life extension service if all are to become entitled to unlimited health care. If we go back to the way things were, then one’s own monetary wherewithal decides. Which of the three is best?

    There is one more possible solution. The government can decide how much money it can afford to put toward health care yearly, and divide this amount up among the health care givers, thus eliminate the free market. In this system all care givers are paid a fixed amount per procedure by the government. It can be argued that doctors need not be millionaires within their carefully controlled monopolistic trade.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  538. Tim Hart

    Why are those who oppose health care redistribution being touted as unimportant, and stupid by the media, and politicians. How can thinking people not do the math, seeing that even illegal aliens are to be covered! We who pay taxes suffer! that it doesn't add up.
    These people have great concern, I have never seen such passion, for such good reason it directly effects every one of them.
    Yet blatantly, and obviously ignored by those in power offering no explanations but rather leveling accusations of being unamerican, Nazi's, Stupid!
    What has happened to this country and the media?

    August 13, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  539. Shirley

    Many Americans have valid questions, issues and concerns about health insurance reform and other issues. However, there is something anit-American going on as well. A lot of the angry people that show up and disrupt town hall meetings, spread lies, rumors and fear via radio, email and cable TV, and call President Obama vile names don't care about health insurance reform. They are haters, bigots and racists who are mad as hell at the fact that we have an African-American president. Yes, it is about President Obama...it's about his race. Anderson Cooper asked what's fueling the rage! The fuel is the fact that Barack Obama is the President of the United States of America. The hate I have seen on some of the faces and heard in some voices remind me of the hate present in the 1960s during the civil rights stuggles. We all need to pray we don't see those days again. I fear we are headed in that direction.

    August 13, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  540. Jonathan A Tamayo

    Hi Josh. 1st I want you to know that I love CNN. I look to no one else when I want to hear the truth. Now my question for you and your truth squad is the following. Robert Kresler (the man in Senator Gordin's Town hall meeting) What is he talking about when he says $99 trillion? And whatever it is, is it true?

    August 14, 2009 at 2:27 am |
  541. Kyle

    My concern is that people like David Kwiat keep spelling the points out plain and clear and then people like Terri Young are still completely lost and confused as to why people like me are so alarmed. Just keep spewing out the same insults the media does because it makes you feel better okay?

    August 14, 2009 at 2:58 am |