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September 9th, 2009
08:28 AM ET

Pres. Obama's Health Care Speech

Pres. Obama goes before a joint session of Congress tonight to talk about his health care plan.

What do you want to hear from him?

Post your comments below.


Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield • Heidi Collins • Tony Harris
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Lori Browne

    Healthcare Reform- My solution:

    Rather than reinvent the wheel, let's have the government provide the “excess” insurance coverage on private plans, or call it “stop loss” coverage for insurance companies. If the gov’t really wants to be in the healthcare business, then provide the excess payments that the insurance companies don’t cover, this will allow the premiums to come down so that insurance company actuaries can plan for budgeted stop loss that the gov’t would pick up. Everyone would be required to buy coverage under the private plans and the gov’t would pick up the excess claims costs. Afterall, wasn’t the gov’t planning to write all the underlying and the excess in the first place?

    And let the insurance companies compete for wellness, providing tax credits for wellness programs. But beware, do not tax insurance companies for poor loss ratio's, this would create wrongful selection of only the healthy. Lastly, the government should not be in the wellness business directly, it is technologically complex and the gov't systems are too antiquated to develop "honor" system programs on-line..

    Lastly, it is wrong to assess the insurance companies, they are not the enemy. Insurance Companies don’t set the taxes. The gov’t perpetuates the rate increases with wrongful assessments. There are plenty of opportunities to cut the “pork” in our government that the taxpayers are paying, the healthcare assessments are wrongful and meaningless to correcting our healthcare system.

    September 9, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  2. Mark

    I want him to explain to those who don't seem to understand how this will save money. Specifically, elaborate on how the US Economy is 70% consumer spending. And, having a PUBLIC OPTION (like ALL the other major nations in the world) will lower healthcare cost currently at 18% of GDP = that leads to businesses being able to afford to do business in the US = more jobs = more tax revenue = better education = better standard of living = more business growth... and the cycle continues.

    Have a great day all...

    September 9, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  3. Maria

    It would be refreshing if the President produced a real game-changer by stating emphatically that any health care reform plan should specifically exclude abortion. That would prove that the abortion lobby does not control the White House, and it would ensure that there is not a spike in abortions caused by public funding. The entire nation would benefit from such a common sense approach.

    September 9, 2009 at 8:52 am |
  4. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I want to hear him say that if it dosnt work that they will either fix it or change it back the way it was .

    September 9, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  5. Justin Smith

    I want Obama speak like he did during his campaign, and go even further by bringing the boldest the most to the point speech he has given yet. This will be one of the most important speeches the President may give. We as a nation need to understand all of may not like it, But this is something that will overtime and over our children life accumulate over billions of dollars. We have the best doctors in the world the best hospitals, the newest and greatest medical technology why not put them all to good use and provide us the nation all of us a right to health care.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  6. Robert Lake,MI

    Well I`m all for helping those truly in need but so many people out there that if they just lived within their means would be able to pay for most if not all of their own health insurance. But too many keep up with the "jones`es" and just have to have their cell phones, laptops with high speed internet, suv payments, satellite tv, the newest game console, its because of these "wants" most people find themselves then unable to pay for health insurance and in turn expect the rest of tax payers to pick up the tab! What President Obama needs to say is more on the lines of personal responsibility and insurance reform! Its time to force the insurance companies to do the right thing and if some profits is not good enough then we should go to a one payer system where everyone equally chips into the pot!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  7. Robert Lake,MI

    I hear all the liberals crying for this public option, why? The only reason I can figure is most of them dont care how big of a government program that would be and how much its going to cost the tax payer who makes enough money! This program if passed will put 40 to 50 milllion people on the books right off the bat, with millions more on the short waiting list. Do you really believe that this program is going to be able to pay for itself or do you really live on the planet earth and realize that this will within a few years rival Social Security Medicare, you know the health system taking care of most people over the age of 62???? I say to liberals write your congressman and urge insurance reform, but that would take doing the right thing and not expect someone else to provide you with better health care than the ones who have to buy their own!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  8. Monster Zero

    I personally want a condescending speech. It needs to be so condescending that not even right-wing goons like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh can make things up about it in their crooked little minds.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  9. Robert Lake,MI

    Funny thing, this so called "right" to health care has only been a theory since the liberals gained control of Washington, yeah it was mentioned from time to time but only now is it viewed as a "right". Since when in history has health care been a right for any society? Oh you`re about to say what about England, ummm no its a one payer system where everyone contributes. You`ve always had to find ways to pay for your own health care. Americas fix with the will to live as long as possible is going to bankrupt this country no matter how much reform is done. Such is life, to live and die, its what is taught no matter if your religious or not, and who are we to make someone else pay for someone elses health care? That sounds like communism to me and the ways of the old Soviet Union! Didnt work for them and it wont work for us!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  10. Jessica Bowman Bluefield WV

    I want an explanation on the exceptions to the mandate that all individuals must purchase insurance. We are a family of four living on $25,000 a year. If the cost of the insurance isn't practically free I won't be able to afford it. How can I be fined for not buying something I cannot afford?!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  11. susan, Sequim WA

    Hi Fred – If the Senate bill comes out as you just reported it may, the Democrats in the Senate will have sold the American worker down the river. It puts the onus on individuals to buy insurance from these sleazy companies with no chance of a public option and no controls over the industry to keep the cost down. As for the "insurance co-op" idea, it won't really work. There is one here in Seattle and it's big, with half a million workers, yet the cost is so high that most people cannot afford the $1200 per month. The Blue Dogs have sold us down the river and need to face strong primary challenged when they get home!

    Harry Truman said: "If given the choice between a Republican, and a Democrat that acts like a Republican, people will choose the Republican every time!"

    September 9, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  12. Justin Smith

    hey Robert Lake, MI .... its not going to be free people who elect to go on the plan for a public option will have to pay based on the coverage just like an insurance company only cheaper, and ahhh those who cant pay just like medicaid and other non profit health care systems will be paid for by Cadillac insurance polices, Do u have a Cadillac health plan? it will be paid with some higher taxes on junk food, and on tax revenue from people making over 250 or is it 350 thousand a year. nothing will ever be free, Here in lee county our tag renews rose 25%, stamps go up every year a couple of times, you and other have to just accept that it will be a part of our taxes a part of our nation we can be proud of and at times upset with. nothing is ever perfect and we can all argue on the little points of each of the three bills, which I have read, Have You? ,face it it will be done, it has to be done weather everyone likes it or not.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  13. Larry Clark

    With the AMA now endorsing the Health Care proposal can you tell the CNN TV and radio audience just what percentage of the total number of doctors in America does the AMA represent? This will put the AMA's endorsement into perspective. If the AMA represents 90% of all the doctors in America then that is a very big endorsement. On the other hand if the AMA represents say 28% then that isn't really that big of an endorsement considering that 82% of all the doctors in America don't belong to the AMA.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  14. susan, Sequim WA

    This is so simple. The public option should be an expansion of Medicare. Keep it mandatory for folks on Social Security with no reductions in their coverage, but open it up to people of any age on a voluntary basis to buy into as the public option. It would add people to Medicare that are younger and have lower medical costs and would save the program, and at the same time it would offer low cost insurance to people who have none. All the infrastructure for it is in place and could easily and cheaply expand to take this on.

    I am tired of greedy congressmen doing the bidding of the insurance industry and scaring people for them. It's inhumane! Death Panels? We have them! They are the insurance companies who drop sick people. Insurance company death panels!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  15. Alan

    Hello,

    I want him to talk about getting off of foreign oil. To talk about an aggressive plan to develop alternative fuels and to safely increase our own oil production.

    What does this have to do with health care? Everything! We are in two wars in the middle east because of oil. All the money that we have spent because of our dependence of foreign oil could fund a 100 health care plans.

    Economy, health care, national security; all connected and can be made better if we get off the middle east oil fix.

    Thanks,
    Alan.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  16. Shanah

    I want to hear consistency. Meaning, I expect him to iterate exactly the same sentiments that he has been stating all along. We need competition to lower cost. We need a free marketplace to chose which health plan fits our budget and our lifestyles.

    PASSION and a sense of real DETERMINATION to get the job DONE.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  17. Ferrell Winfree

    I am 70 year old female who had no health care until the govt program of medicare. I would like to know if ANY of the people protesting the health care program is WITHOUT health care.
    Ferrell Winfree

    September 9, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  18. Richard Rogstad

    I would like to see the nuclear option employed. Public financing only of elections, expand the supreme court by six, single payer health insurance, graduated income tax, withdrawal from Iraq, social security tax to all income.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  19. Keith Ensminger

    I wish President Obama would take the high road and support the public option as an opportunity for Americans to pool our resources through a public, non profit insurance entity.

    I'd like to see him support an amendment to HR 3200 that would shield states’ single payer health care option from an ERISA-based legal attacks, attacks big business has used to overturn almost every state sponsered reform legislation.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  20. Jack Dermody

    The insurance companies have had their way for so many decades that they were not ready for the persistence and drive of Barack Obama. If they had wisely banded together and solved the pre-existing condition nightmare and made themselves more affordable, it's unlikely a public option would be necessary. Ultimately, the American Dream cannot be about greed.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  21. Pam

    I truly believe that President's Obama ratings fall is due to the fact taht we all were expecting him to have already define a health care reform and that he would defend it till the end.. But we have seen how the GOP is simply winning the debate with lies and fearmongering and President Obama does nothing about it and the Dems much less even.

    We are kinda desillusioned, because we thought he would be on our side and not trying to gain the love of the GOP.

    We wanted a single payer reformfirst, but he did not agree with us, so we all settled for the Public Option and now not even that .. I think it is really unfair..

    We were the ones who elected him, not the GOP
    I hope he doesn't let us down

    September 9, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  22. soldier

    again..while you all discuss our president..sum person decided to shoot his gun in from of the school my son attends in Killeen TX aka Ft. HOOD..this is going on right now..The stand off began at 0740. The locked down the neigbor hoods and the school. wont let parents pick kids up or anything..I am in iraq and cant do SH>>about it! they wont give me anymore details...can somebody please stop worrying about something more important like my son who's right across the street from a police standoff with this 26 year old jerk...???mad mad mad

    September 9, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  23. Mike Armstrong TX.

    What about dental im getting old and my teeth are getting older how about putting some teeth into this plan.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  24. Ruth

    If we had a Public Option and people spending less on health insurance to get those people richer, thinks of all the money that could be spent on what is called "consumer spending" and how that would improve the economy.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  25. Chris

    Health care reform can't work without malpractice or tort reform. We need to balance the spending with insurance/tort/pharmaceutical legislation.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  26. cj from ct

    I would like to hear specific proposal changes...like Medicare Prescription plan D passed in 2003 by the GOP at cost est of 700 bil to 1.2 tril over 10 years. The plan leaves the doughnut hole...pays up to $2700, then between that and $6150 it's all out of pocket. Seniors are the most financial constrained and they are paying 2-300% more than others because Medicare , by law,cannot negotiate with the Pharmacueticals. Also, the drug list can change any time during the life of the plan making certain drugs unavailable. The reform.....will save est 30 bil over 10 yrs (CBO), eliminate the doughnut hole, and although premiums may rise some, overall costs will decline. A real winner I have heard no media coverage about.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  27. MARILYN - FLORIDA

    Fredricka, I noticed that you questioned the physician about whether or not he is a member of the AMA. That question is almost irrelevant. Do you realize that the AMA represents only 20% of all physicians? Many physicians left that organization when it did not support the public plan that Hillary Clinton offered.

    All my physician friends fully support and see the absolute need for a PUBLIC PLAN. They see and have endured the repressive ways HMOs treat doctors and patients and that HMO ... with PROFIT as their main objective ... interfere with doctor/patient decision making on what the best options are for care. ALL my physician friends think the only real solution is to get healthcare-for-profit off the table ... out with the HMOs permanently.

    So, it is nice to see that the AMA is finally onboard with the President's health care plan but AMA as a forceful organization became a myth when they put HMO profits-for-CEOs ahead of the health care needs of Americans.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  28. Elizabeth 39

    What does pre-existing condition really mean ? I was wondering, will I get coverage if I suddenly get sick ? Is that the point of insurance?
    Preventive medicine gets covered no question, but what about stroke, heart attack, cancer, I think once your sick with these dieases, you will always need care, right?
    Is this pre-existing condition?
    I think to many people are counting on this to help them. Let it.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  29. Marion Clair

    After all the impassioned opposition to a "PUBLIC health care option," I am disheartened that so many people still believe that the richest country in the world cannot, should not provide for people who are unable to afford private insurance. Every other industrialized country provides for its people as well as non-citizens who happen to be there–even Mexico– whose citizens we want to deport after they finish picking our crops, and never allow them OUR health services. We already use the vast majority of the world's resources. We are mortgaged to the hilt with China, and still think the rest of the world owes us a living. This grasshopper mentality will come home to haunt us sooner than later, especially if we continue to cherish the idea that only the affluent Americans deserve to live a healthy life or have medical treatment when they need it. BTW, I am a WASP-y 64 y.o. female public school teacher.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  30. jean from wisconsin

    I want the President to stick to what he believes in.I have health insurance and am very unhappy with it. Believe me,I am glad I have it,but because of so many things it didn't pay for,I ended up owing so much money,I filed for bankruptcy 4 years ago.This is exactly why I don't have a problem with a public option. I think it's a very necessary part of reform. We need to take care of each other,all of us,and I don't mind paying for it if that's what it takes! President Obama,give us specifics,stick to your guns and don't be sidelined! We elected you for change and I for one expect it!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  31. Eva

    I would like him and the democrats give the people what they promised on the campaign trail. They said affordable health care for everyone. I am not saying free but affordable.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:04 am |
  32. Tom Joad

    Since the "greedy" in America seem to only care about "their” money, Obama needs to simply elaborate, in layman's term for the far right, how we are going to pay for the Public Option. "Greedy Conservative." There's an oxy "moron" for you (pun intended) .

    Here we go again... Ladies & Gentlemen we have another one. LOL

    @ Robert Lake, MI

    First, let me speak for the majority of us here, "We'll agree to disagree." Not all people who believe having a "Public Option" are "Liberals, Communist, Marxist, Socialist, lazy Keynesians who want something for "Free." We are your fellow Americans. We can be civil if you can expand your vocabulary beyond what you heard on Fox News yesterday, and debate with us without having to put any of the aforementioned in every sentence. Any Economist worth their weight can tell you the US can handle a sufficient amount of debt just as a business or an individual could according to their revenues. For instance, Warren Buffett can manage a debt of 2 billion dollars a year without going bankrupt. Yet, that amount of debt would render most people insolvent.

    As a former Republican I will agree with you that government is FAR TOO LARGE, and this is unsustainable. We simply need to get rid of the waste in the system. Two great examples are Teacher Tenure in California and US Postal Service Legacy Costs. It’s unconscionable that you actually have people sitting around every day doing nothing getting paid by taxpayers. Just as Republicans allowed Wall Street to lobby for deregulation in their best interest, Unions lobbied for Democrats interest. All of this bureaucratic, partisan nonsense is breaking the country. As a country we need to stop wasting money. Between the State and Local Municipalities, California spends ten (10) billion dollars a year on illegal immigrants and another 14 billion on the prison system. That alone would cover their deficit. Twenty million a year for butterfly migration research, Twenty million to re-sand beaches, I could go on and on about waste on the state and national level, but you get the point. California should be an example of what not to do, especially since they rank 48 out of 50 in education, yet have the largest budget.
    Nevertheless, if “we all” can “socialize” the postal service, highways and fire departments, why not healthcare?
    Why should we all be burdened with the expense of delivering ten pieces of junk mail to rural Arkansas at negative profits every day, or fighting fires every year in barely habitable hills in California where people know better, or paying for roads when you don’t even own a car? Yet, we already do.

    I’m confident if we can stop bickering over nebulous partisan issues and stop rewarding irresponsible behavior, we can actually get some things done.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:05 am |
  33. Paul

    Pelosi and the Democrats claim that the public option is needed to spur competition with the private insurers because they are exempt from the antitrust laws. So... why not simply repeal the exemption? Nobody in the media has asked this very basic question. This would not cost the taxpayers a dime and competition would drive the price of insurance down. Consumers should be able to shop around across state lines like they do for car and life insurance.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  34. Rayna

    Our healthcare is in bad shape....
    It is so sad that we are one of the riches country in the world, spend the most on healthcare and have some of the worst health outcomes in the world. WHO made comparisons with other countries and US ranks 37th of 191. UK spends 6% and is ranked 18th. Fairest mechanism? we rank 54-55. We ranked worst for preventable deaths! That translates into over 100,000 preventable deaths.To those who site quality is at greatest risk, The Commonwealth Report found that the US ranked last (that comes from the American people!) Poor for infant mortality and child well being we ranked second to last by UNICEF.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  35. Valerie Counts

    President Obama need to "WRITE HIS PLAN DOWN AND MAKE IT PLAIN" just like the Bible says. The people that do not want Public Option are the people that did not vote for President Obama ANYWAY.

    Why are we still fooling with them. He ran on everybody being insured. Why stop before the vision is complete.

    The Blue Dog Democrats are just UNDERCOVER REPUBLICIANS.

    Leave the Republicians alone and lets get this done.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  36. Pam

    The President MUST demand a public option or he will veto the bill.
    Otherwise there is really no reason to pass "reform' at all. It would just be giving the insurance giants 48,000,000 new payers of premiums and more huge profits on our misery.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  37. CarolAnn

    Tony – I want to hear a MEANINGFUL, HEARTFELT, STRONG speech that both DEFINES the plan in no uncertain terms and makes a CLEAR distinction that America WILL get a PUBLIC OPTION despite what critics say. This country is supposed to be the leader of the world, yet we are the only civilized country in the modern world that does not have universal health care for its people. What example are we setting to the world when we can't take care of our own???'

    Peace -

    September 9, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  38. Robert Fitzpatrick

    I would like to hear that the national health care program is not going to cause my private insurer to Jack up my rates to cover the cost of this plan. I have a very good insurance and it does not cost me much a month. I want to know that I will not be covering these cost for everyone else.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  39. Kristin from Sherman Oaks, CA

    President Obama needs to "be clear" about what is in the plan. He needs to fight back like never before against the lies that have been created to derail this bill. He needs to inform the people that indirectly we have been paying for the uninsured, and he needs to keep drilling into our heads that we are a sinking ship. He can get 'outraged' about the insurance companies and their monopolies and give direct comparisons to how the banking system failed when we let it govern itself. He needs to reiterate to the ignorant people that Medicare and Medicaid ARE run by the government, and that millions count on that care. We need to see FACES of people who have gone bankrupt – give a face to this crisis. He needs to forget about playing nice and having bipartisanship...if we wanted that we would've had an equal amount of dems and repubs in the Congress....use the power that the people have given by giving you the majority!!!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  40. Keith Ensminger

    Set a high bar and say if Congress passes, he will sign a national health insurance program that will provide every American citizen and legal resident health insurance as a birthright instead of our current system where comprehensive insurance is a privilege for the wealthy and well heeled. Short of that, take the high road about the public option and let Americans know he firmly stands with us and will help us create a robust public option that will serve our needs.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  41. Nell

    I want to hear that every American will be covered by affordable health care. The insurance companies have failed us, pricing many out of the insurance market and refusing to insure others. When people lose their insurance because they have lost their jobs, that is the "final straw."

    Since a public option is unlikely to be approved by the insurance-company financed Congress, I propose two fixes:

    1) Let people keep their insurance when they lose their jobs - COBRA without a time limit.

    2) Create a public plan, but allow states to choose to opt in or out.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  42. harry brand

    I would like hear from the President that he will request the IRS eliminate the floor of 7.5% on medical deductions for income tax purpose.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  43. VIVANN RYAN

    TONY. I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA'S VOICE TO BE VERY FORCEFUL, BUT REASSURINGTO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I AM HOPING THAT HE TELL US SPECIFICALLY WHAT GOING TO BE IN IT (THE PROPOSED PLAN).. I SUPPORT HIS HEALTH CARE REFORM 100%. I AM VERY CONFIDENT THAT MY CURRENT MEDICARE/US HEALTHCARE PLAN WILL NOT BE AFFECTED BY THIS REFORM.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  44. mel lea

    we have a health plan that has worked for a good number of years. with all the experence we have with medicare,that has worked pretty well for the the retired, why not medicare for everyone.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  45. Jack Dermody

    Mark this day nine-nine-oh-nine. Kids in a hundred years will memorize part of tonight's speech as they will Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and Washington's Farewell Speech. President Obama will go down in history as the can-do President - and Healthcare Reform will have been the line in the sand for courage and persistence. After these new reforms get passed, other challenges like Afghanistan and Energy Conservation will be dealt with by this smart administration with smart consensus and smart action.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  46. Joan

    I want the President to say to the members of the congress to get some backbone and get the job done for the American people. Reminding them that they never hesitated to fund billions of dollars to the God forsaken war in Iraq and to build schools etc. for the Iraqi people. Now it is time to help the American people who are hurting. This is an American problem. They have an opportunity now to do something about the high cost of medical insurance. Stop the talk and GET TO WORK. Stop playing politics. Believe me the people will remember those who DO NOTHING like they did the last eight years.

    Joan

    September 9, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  47. Rick

    The president should live up to his promises of nearly universal health care. How we get there is beyond his ability obviously, from what I just listened to on CNN. Here's a thought, next time you hear anyone against universal health care complain about paying for those who aren't insured, remind them that if they work beside someone with 1 child, and they themself has 3,4, or 5 they are getting welfare on the backs of those paying monthly premiums as well. Taking all those situations all across this nation, and making those that breed like rabbits pay THEIR fair share, and getting off the backs of those who live within their actual means, would do much more for Health care premiums than anything else in this situation. Should President Obama say something to that nature (which he wont because he's not brave enough) that would shut 9/10ths of these idiots being interviewed about why they fear or demand to not pay with their tax dollars for the uninsured...the President would then be a true leader and deserve the respect he craves. I did vote for him holding my nose, because I knew he was a ladder climber of the worst kind, but I am a Democrat and would not consider casting a vote for a Republican.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  48. MARILYN - FLORIDA

    Tony, I'd like to hear President Obama say that access to healthcare, through a single payer system, is a matter of NATIONAL SECURITY! When Americans are not healthy, and can't afford the health care options they have, you have a country of SICK people. How can a country like that be "secure?"

    I believe that makes it a serious issue, and shouldn't be left to congress infighting, bickering and partisan lies. If I have to hear/see tanning-bed-Boehner one more time I'm going to gag! If the President puts it in the NATIONAL SECURITY category, he can handle it in the same manner that Bush-Cheney used it to put us deeply into an unnecessary war. But, this would have great benefits for ALL Americans ... with possibly the exception of over-paid HMO-CEOs!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  49. AJ

    I want to hear that he is going to move forward with his original plan to make a comprehensive reform of health-care that will help most Americans (disinclining the inputs of, and despite, the right-wing obstructionists). We need the public option, and we need a mechanism to detect and eradicate fraud that is prevalent in the system.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  50. Matt Murray

    I am 49 with major health issues. I am one that private insurance companies do not want and they have shown me this with 50% + increases over the last 5 years. I am not profitable to them. Without a public option it will be business as usual for these large companies. Anyone that would fight this issue obviously has an agenda to help these large companies stay business as usual. I say, any politician who has recieved any financial donations from health care lobby to their campaign funds, should immediately abstain from comment on this issue and if they want to voice their opinion and/or vote on any health care reform, should give this money back first. Conflict of interest is fueling this debate and should be stopped. Let's all have a look at how much these opinions are based on $$$.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  51. Rick

    I'm your average American of average intelligence who nonetheless understands that there are multitudes of uninsured citizens. To get the message across to us "average intelligence" American citizens I would like President Obama to draw me a picture; give me emergency room examples or medical conditions that the healthcare plan will cover and what it will cost me. Once I get it I'll jump on board.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  52. Vivian

    I want him to say we cannot afford some of the spending that is going on all I hear him say if I WANT does this country know with the jobs loss and the unemployed the money is gone. The poll question on the this web site is about who is most popular band group. I have health insurance I pay for and I donot abuse it. I have spent 50 dollars of money in the last 5years. But you can go to any emergency room in this nation and it is filled with people who is hurt fighting in gang fights,drug overdose, or just a cold personal responsiblity cannot be mandated form the oval office without this country becoming a dictatership.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  53. Tina Tate

    I like the President's urgency on pushing this health reform...I believe the Republican's constantly want to "drag their feet" on every issue that has been brought to the table...I have been inspired by every speech the President has made thus far in office, and tonight will be no different...He has been perfectly clear (to my family and myself) as to what he wants for the American people....Why does the media, the right side and the independents have to read something into every thing that comes out of his mouth...As soon as his speech is finished this evening...EVERYTHING will be torn apart and analyzed...sentence by sentence by the right wingers and the birthers, and the media...It sickens me to no end...Say whatever you want...there is a blackman in the White House...and the racists of the world are out to get him...however they can. I think he should do whatever he believes is right....I trust him. I think more so than the last 8 years of total chaos!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  54. Mary- Georgia

    I want to hear the President take a strong stance on the public option and call the 'right' out as the liars they are and for stuffing their pockets with insurance money and leaving the people, they are suppose to represent, out in the cold to fend for themselves against the predatory insurance giants. THEY ARE WRONG! Why are nut jobs so insistent upon defending insurance companies that are drooping people who need coverage when they become a liability to them and not taking those with preexisting conditions? If they do take some, they make it impossible for them to pay the premiums by jacking them up so high. Can people not understand that if a check is not put on the insurance companies, even the well- to- do will have a hard time paying premiums. Just mark my words if they are allowed to get away with it this time. Grow up people and "use your heads for more than a hat rack", quote from one of my high school teachers.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  55. Deb Williams

    I can only hope that Obama can get the public plan, The almost certain rise in health insurance premiums is going to benefit the insurance companies, but will hurt those like me who cannot afford the current rates. So sad that the profit-makers are the biggest part of our health care debate.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  56. Phil Dudley

    I've worked for a federal funded hospital. My main concern would be a patient can't be seen because he/she forgot to cross a t or dot an i. The cost of processing that red tape might cost more then the actual patient care.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  57. Dodie ~ California

    ~~~ ((( No Public Option = No Health care Reform ))) ~~~

    September 9, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  58. Jamie

    Slap down the birthers, the deathers, the scarers, the liars, and whiners. PUBLIC OPTION now and stop paying off corporations instead of caring for the American public.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  59. Joan

    The American Medical Association support the President. Need I say any more.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  60. Diuane Fesler-Macaluos

    I want President Obama to say that we will not give up the public option!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  61. CEH

    I want a speech similar to that he gave to the school kids yesterday stressing personal responsibility. We can have a fair insurance system that retains personal responsibility. This can be achieved by opening up state-to-state purchasing power, small business pools, Health Savings Accounts, revising regulations regarding preexisting conditions, and tort reform. Providing tax subsidies to lower income families allows them greater choice and responsibility for their family's health. Creating a "nanny state" does neither. More bureaucracy is not the answer – that does not lead to efficiency. A public option cannot be deficit neutral without large tax increases on everyone and severe rationing. We need to fix Medicaid and Medicare before even discussing a complete system overhaul. The billions allocated to unions needs to be removed as well.

    Unfortunately, the President will once again promise the moon with no way to pay for it. How can anyone believe that everyone will be covered, have the highest quality and quantity of care, low premiums, no rationing and it will all be deficit neutral?

    September 9, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  62. whatamothersays42146

    What would disturb me about healthcare reform is that taxes would go up and people will be on waiting lists for care like in Australia and Canada...Too, why should we pay for immigrants. I too do not think that the elderly, infimed, and Veterans in our country should be denied care or receive inadequate care. I am certain that the wealthy and politians will continue to afford care...

    I think most of our problems stem from outsourcing jobs and fighting in other countries where our resources are spent. We do have needs in our own country which cannot be met when revenues are spent on war. Then when I go into convenience stores in our country and see motel owners who receive, I think, funding from us to become small business owners, Too, in the south I see more Mexicans working in certain jobs than our own citizenry. Many of our citizens are out of work. How sad to see in my lifetime. I think why are our own citizens out of work. How can Americans afford having their basic needs to be met, their homes, and even healthcare when they do not have jobs...I have concerns that the old, impaired, and grossly needy would still not have even basic healthcare...

    I do pray for our leaders and our country. Our children to come will have to live the decisions made now. Too, I wonder what is the urgency in passing something that is not well-thought through just to get a plan that could become another major nightmare for our citizens. I think proper planning is more important that a half-thought out plan.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  63. Andy M

    Their will be NO health care reform without a public option, putting healtha care reform in the hands of the insurance companies, is like asking a wolf to please not eat the sheep your taking care of.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  64. Andrea

    I want to hear that he "GETS" that he & the Dems must go at this alone so they will take the bull by the horns and give THE PEOPLE what we want and need...A PUBLIC OPTION at least...Single payer would be best. He could cut out all the drama by simply saying "Medicare for all ".

    September 9, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  65. Kari Epstein

    I want to hear him remind the nasty, extreme right that he is the most conciliatory President we've ever had, that he's tried his best to respect all sides in this debate, and then I want him to slam it out of the park, use the power he has, and tell his naysayers that he will make healthcare happen, with a public option. I would also like to see a pie chart, showing exactly where the insurance companies have lined the pockets of politicians to jam this thing up.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  66. Todd

    I want him to come out strongly for the Public Option and put a verbal smack down on the oposition about the untrue and misleading remarks about Heath Care Reform.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  67. Tina Tate

    Way to go Justin Smith...tell it like it is!!! People have to wake up and SMELL the coffee, already!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  68. Vicki Crosby

    President Obama has to stress the need for a strong,public option. Without it this bill be will be garbage. Even if they put in a trigger to push the insurance companies to do the right thing. If the President does not get re-elected that trigger can be removed and we will be stuck with more do nothing legislation. I might not be able to support my President like I did last time if he leaves us behind on this issue.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  69. PamB

    President Obama needs to say :"To the 76% of Americans who approve of a Public Option, I want you to know that if this bill passes without it, Blame Obstructionist Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who are nothing more than a Republican in blue clothing. They are in the pocket of the Health Insurance industry so for no other reason, their wallets are more important than Americans health. So your daughter with no health coverage because she lost her job, for your neighbor who got cancer and cannot get a pollicy, for your acquaintances who had coverage until they got sick, and the company dropped them--they will all have to go forward still with no coverage, thanks to the Party of NO ! REMEMBER this at election time ! "

    September 9, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  70. Dan Nelson Lafayette,IN

    I want to hear that he will bring down the cost of drugs, doctors, health care workers and their procedures. They should not become rich off the sick and/or poor!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  71. alexlyrics

    I would like to hear from President Obama, that nations have fallen to divide and conqueror. Divide the people, make them week, and win I would like him ti show that lobbies, lawyers, doctors, corporations, and pharmaceutical companies wish this bill dead before it gets started.
    I would like the president to lay out his plan and make the public option will be essential to the market.
    I also want the president to state that we are ending the wars to pay for the healthcare plan, and that our soldier are coming home.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  72. Mark Trierweiler

    What I would like to have the President say to the Republicans wouldn't be helpful to the cause of national health care for all. I've been a lifelong Republican but between George W and the mean, dishonest campaign the party has waged against change of a badly broken health care system–I'm now an independent. Campaign contributions are killing our country and this issue is a good example.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  73. Lilian

    I would like for the president to give the details of his plan. I want to know, who will qualify ? How much will it cost ? Will people have deductibles and co-pays ? Will there be a mandate for the uninsured to buy insurance?
    Will his plan cover medicines ?

    September 9, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  74. Dodie ~ California

    I would Like CNN to investigate How many Senators and Congress being Paid off by the Insurance Companies!

    I am so sick and tired of Lobbyists/ big business running this country! We the people need to take back control. We can not expect a president to do this on his own. We the people need to go to the streets and demonstrate against Lobbyists/ big business We Must support our President or we are hurting ourselves!!!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  75. Lilian

    I would also like to know Obama's definition of "public option" ??

    September 9, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  76. Eric Daniel Breit-Nicholson

    I need to hear the President say that he supports a strong public option.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  77. Toby in Texas

    Obama claims that Illegals will not be included in the Health Care Reform. There is no process included in the 1000-page plan to ensure that. I want to hear exactly how he plans to keep Illegals from being included in a plan that is going to be paid for by (generations of) taxpayers' dollars.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  78. Catherine -

    I hope that Obama gets tough. Take that olive branch and smack some sense into the lairs! Congress needs to put politics aside and do the job we elected them to do. After all we can vote them out!
    And hopefully someone will throw a shoe at Sarah Palin what a train wreck

    September 9, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  79. Herb

    The truth about how and exactly who will be paying for his health care program, and I do not mean a lot of BS about saving enough in reduced Medicare costs to pay for the program!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  80. Rick Ventura California

    The President should live up to his campaign promises. Hillary was right, and what we are going to get (if anything) is far less than what we deserve, or what we could have. President Obama should drop the 100% increase in my health coverage over this last year, or put a freeze on the increases until health coverage reform is totally enacted.
    Corporations pay horrific costs to give employees health care coverage, and if employees, from top to bottom paid for their actual fair share, prices would drop dramatically. If worker A & B work the same shift, make the same money, do the same job, and only have a difference in family size, then the bigger family should obviously pay more in a monthly health care premium. If they did, Corporations wouldn't have such large costs in health care, and people living within their means wouldn't either. Instead, we who have 1 child, working next to someone who has 5, are paying the exact same premium. That isn't "Fair", its "Welfare." I've seen too many people dragging herds of their children to protests over this attempt at reform, if you confront them with this theory, they are offended, and they don't seem as chipper as before they are confronted. Sadly, you will see no news person ask one of these apposed to health care reform, if they would be in favor of having litter builders (large families) to pay their share and "just say No" to Welfare in the health care industry. That would shut them down right away.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  81. Leila Power

    I support President Obama. I favor a public option. Actually, I favor a universal care plan as in Canada or UK. Health care should not be a profit-making concern to benefit highly paid insurance CEOs.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  82. Tom Clark

    To protect myself from being inDOCTORnized by Obama's speech tonight I'm locking myself in the closet. My kids are grounded too!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  83. Donald Howard Smith

    Did you hear Sen. Whitehouse from Rhode Island yesterday as he catalogued the stories of people who have had horrible experiences within the Health Care system that I am sure can be repeated by the other 99 members of that body? And yet, there are idiots who hear something and don't take the time to check it out sayin,"don't mess with my Medicare" not realizing it is a Government program.

    And then I listened to Rep Stenyhoyer's Town Meeting where he invoked the Bible's prescription of compassion and there were people stupid enough to boo that. I cannot believe that all of this is JUST about Health Care reform although I pray that it is. We NEED health care reform and we need it NOW! Do you want(as Sen. Whitehouse has suggested) to pay $26,000 for Health Care? Are you kidding me?

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  84. Ruby Hill-Benjamin

    Dear Tony,
    I want to hear the President say there will affordable healthcare for everyone who can afford it. And for those who can't, help is on the way in terms of low premiums, increase medicaid coverage for struggling families, very low prescription prices and co-pay. Renewed Preventative Care process. I don't understand the opposition using the word socialism as if it was horrible. The same people cloak themselves in the Christian faith. Jesus Christ was and is the most effective SOCIALIST in the human race. He said remember the poor always, care for the sick, feed the hungry and the don't forget that commandment " Do unto other as you would have them do unto you"
    The table can easily turn for those opposing healthcare reform , they can find themselves poor, hungry or even sick one day.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  85. clnnie kasparian

    tony dont underestimate the base..we have been working to get signatures, this isnt over yet..we want a public option..and we are vocal.
    how about we fire the gop we pay their salaries and they arent doing their jobs..lol

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  86. Joe Bonistalli

    I want to hear the President tell the Congress that "We won the election, I have the votes, the Democrats will cram their version through if you don't pass an acceptable bill by October 15, 2009!!!"

    September 9, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  87. Chaney McEachern

    I want the President to speak with the same conviction he did in the campaign......In retrospect he should,nt have treated Congress like grow-ups just provide an outline and they can get it done......Not so fast........The Republicans Hi-jacked the the healthcare debate during the recess with lies about H.R3200....... the ignorant and uninformed went berserk in some of the town-halls....So he needs ti dispel the lies......

    September 9, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  88. Debbie McWhorter

    First, I'd like to know if we are all on the same page. When you hear "health care reform" that means different things to different people. Are they talking about "quit giving healthcare free to illegals" or are they "talking about reducing rates" or exactly what has been defined as the problem. In our own household of 4, each of us has a different opinion of "the problem."
    Second, I'd like to have an overview of exactly what is being planned. I have not seen a detailed plan anywhere, so without that, how can I judge whether or not it may be what I need. I've heard a ton of "noise", but no "specifics". If you know where I can get specifics, please let me know.
    Thank you.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  89. kim branker

    I hope he doesn't give up on the public option. It is the only way to keep insurance companies honest and promote competition. Insurance companies are not going to wake up tommorrow and say hey lets cut our profits and offer more people coverage and lower rates. Their hand has to forced now not years down the road with a trigger-just get it done!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  90. Don Brattin

    I would like to hear President Obama say he will support TORT reform.
    Otherwise I'm in total agreement with him. We must reform this mess of a system.
    Many people whose insurance is paid by their employer have no idea of the cost increases from the health insurance companies.
    They wonder why they didn't get that much needed raise this year. They need to look no farther than their insurance company.
    We need the public option to keep the insurance companies halfway honest.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  91. Stephen Stuart

    It's about time Obama showed some emotion and spoke to the majority of the country instead of the few intellectually atuned with him.

    He has to denounce those purveyors of bumper sticker rhetoric with a pounding or two on the lecturn.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  92. kalvin king (portland,Or)

    i wanna hear obama push for public option and healthcare for all , thats what he ran on and thats how i got so many people out last election that never even voted before including young adluts like myself .

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  93. Medicare as Public Option

    In order to simplify the concept of "Public Option" and make it an expansion of an existing and successful program, Obama should suggest that Medicare be the "Public Option"
    If a "trigger" for a Public Option is the only way to pass a bill, it makes even more sense that an expansion of Medicare be the option, because is already has millions of people in it, and is viable, while starting a new program, perhaps just in limited states, would not be viable.
    And finally, HOW TO PAY for increased initial costs. Obama should suggest a repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, and a .25% securities transaction tax (on Wall Street). The arguement that American cannot afford Healthcare Reform is simply not true.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  94. Carolyn

    I want to hear him say that he is changing tact. He is going to call for widespread audit of the private insurance industry and enforcement of federal regulations for big insurance and big pharma.

    I want to hear him say that he is holding the insurance industry responsible for the investments they made with out premiums as a hedge against rising healthcare costs!

    I want to hear him say he is starting over at the heart of all of our problems and at the same time make healthcare affordable for all.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  95. Derryll

    My wife and I voted for President Obama because he promised health care for every American. If he doesn't make good on his promise we will not be voting for him again. He needs to tell the Congress, in no uncertain terms, that the health of American citizens, who can't afford insurance, is top priority. There needs to be a government option.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  96. joe dorsey

    I believe we need a public option, here we go again. Politicians listening to the the people with money. How many of the people do u think can express their opinion whom can affprd health ins. that can afford computers or even have telephones. The cost of electicity is insane.Thank God for healthy kids, and that I am a veteran! Please President Obama, we voted you in to make the change. We are tired of the same political rederick. Push the public option!For the people not just the ones with money.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  97. mamie forbes

    If Health Care is so important to the government, let the President, the Senators, the Congressmen, the Judges, even past officials, have the same program they are pushing onto all the rest of us.
    The majority of us do not want government involved.
    Haven't we learned anything about the left – the buy-outs, the bail-outs, etc. The corrupt are taking care of themselves, not us the majority. This has to stop. Our children and grandchildren are never going to survive all of this.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  98. roel benavides

    I would like to see our President question his worst enemies, ie, Glenn Beck, Rush, and most of the other Republicans about why they did not come up with all their great ideas when they had control for eight years. Did they drink some kind of tonic that has made them smarter now?

    Roel, Texas

    September 9, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  99. ronman

    1) That he will veto anything that doesn't have a strong public option.

    2) I would like to hear him apologize for ever negotiating with the insurance companies.

    I'd be thrilled to see something like the scene in the movie, 'An American President', where the presidential character basically said, "this is the way it is, so grow up."

    September 9, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  100. slambourne

    Tony: It is with great regret that i suggest that President Obama has lost his opportunity to lead. His Vision (during the election) was truly inspirational but his execution lacks omnipotence and persistence. He has allowed his desire for bi-partisanship to usurp his potential for greatness. Sorry day for America>>>>

    September 9, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  101. John Germain

    I would like the president to explain how he is going to fund this bill when we are in a state in History in which we have more foreclosures and bankruptcy's that ever in this country. Lets be fair this is a mater if economics. Obama's economics including his stimulus have failed all of us.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  102. Glynn Fontenot

    I would like for him to give us an itemized outline of the healthcare plan. Show me how all will be effected. I would like for him to tell us just how this will be paid for. Nothing is Free!!!!!! I don't want my great grandchildren to have to be paying for what is ahppening now.

    My wife and I are retired and living on a fixed income. We have medicare, A,B, D, I like that just fine. Will we be left alone.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  103. Joanie from Paradise, California

    Tony....I am hoping and praying when the President makes his speech tonight that he GET'S TOUGH...names those Senators who have lied about what he is trying to pass...and tell the REPUBLICANS, you had a chance to come together and have done nothing but stall the process...so this is what we are doing with or without you....We need this health care plan...and we need it now.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  104. Michael Kavanagh

    What I'd like to hear from the President( I know I won't) is this: "Look-I won this office last November with a large majority. My party was given control of both houses of Congress, all because that majority wanted health care reform. So, Democrats-if you want the party's support next year, get in line and pass the agenda.Republicans-show some courage, do what you know to be best for our country. Don't allow a small vocal minority to trump the will of the great majority ."

    September 9, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  105. Linda

    We have included the Republican-Conservatives in all the choices being offered.These Nay-Sayers must understand that we want a better America offering the choice to each individual in America and not to be obligated to a Party.We need a reform that would allow people to choose healthcare at an affordable rate.As far as the propaganda of pulling the plug on Grands but We are offered today a living will and if not chosen then the children are left with the choice of putting mom or dad on the machine.Dad didn't have a living will and we were left to decide.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  106. Dale Moyer

    I want to see universal health care for all. Currently I have no choice. I live in Fort Bragg, CA. The only options are Blue Cross or Blue Shield. I don't call that choice. I've been paying (for 2) over $1200 per month for $5000 deductible to Blue Cross -Anthem. Outrageous! Give us REAL choice!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  107. Ruben H Lujan

    My wife is a General Medical Doctor from UK and practiced medicine in England fo 22 years. Now we are living in the USA and has to do an intership for 2 years somewhere in the USA, something she did in England when she got out od med school. Seems unfair for us in the USA to make bonified, well educated experienced doctors from our best allied first world country England to make it difficult to practice in USA. Getting an internship where we live is difficult or impossible. Doing a required USA internship for a doctor who has practiced for such along time successfully also is a waist and an impediment for any experienced doctor.
    Please look in to this problem sice we are in real need of experienced doctors with good reputation to handle the volume of quality care required in thei country!!!!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  108. Ghostwheel

    I want to hear the President ask all of the representatives and senators who will not vote for any public option to leave the chamber. Then we can get a head-count of those remaining and find out if we have a fighting chance of getting insurance coverage for people like me that lack such coverage.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  109. Carolyn

    Oh, and I would like to hear him say that he has talked with an insurance actuary about how unwise it would be to add a pool of women having a procedure that can result in death, infection and clinical depression.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  110. Don Pelton

    Questions to be answered by the President relative to adding 15% more people to those currently having medical coverage:

    * Where do the 15% more doctors come from?
    * Where do the 15% more medical facilities come from?
    * Where do the 15% more medical assistants come from?
    * How long will it take to add the 15% more doctors/medical facilities/medical assistants, or will the services currently available be diluted by 15% to cover those who will be added?

    September 9, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  111. David J

    Hi Tony, we are self-employed, my wife is type 2 diabetic and has hypertension... the only way we could buy health insurance is through a state program called hypa... this guarantees that a state selected insurance company will insure her. Her premium started at $600 per month, went to $728 per month the second year and was to increase to $863 this year, her copays were as much as $145 per doctor visit and her perscriptions were as high as $143 per month for one med. We had to drop her coverage because we cannot afford it. The health insurance companies don't care about us. WE DO NEED A PUBLIC OPTION to force the insurance companies to lower their premiums.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  112. asa brown

    I would like to see obama work as hard on rebuilding our countrys economy as he has on the health care issue..it seems as if him and the governmemt are trying to starve the country into submission ..forget global economy .take care of america first

    September 9, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  113. Bud

    I want the same healthcare option we give our so called political leaders, nothing more nothing less. Why can't I have it? We waste more money on trivial programs that should be cut to help this program to succeed. It should be the right of every citizen to demand this and have it added to the Bill of Rights.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  114. sharon

    Tony, alot is said about the understanding of exactly what the healthcare plan includes, or doesn't include. I heard the president already say some specifics. Medical problems a person already has are covered, choosing what you want on your healthcare plan is an option, keeping the healthcare plan you already have is an option, healthy living options will help lower costs, and designing a specific plan for your age, concerns, and job hazards, are also possible policy plans for families and individuals. If people listen, really listen to what the President says tonight, they will not be confused; even though the healthcare system is an extremely difficult endeavor for the president to take on. I know he will do well tonight, because he is honest, intelligent, and cares deeply about the American people!!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  115. Therese Allen

    President Obama keeps insisting that those on the other side of the aisle aren't offering any ideas to help with the Healthcare problem in this country. Dont' know where President Obama gets his information but I have read and seen and heard on t.v from those on the other side of the aisle serveral of their ideas in their HR3200 proposal. Of course President Obama doesn't think they are offering any ideas because they are not his own ideas.

    Therese

    September 9, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  116. Dodie ~ California

    ~~ For Profit Insurance Companies have NO business dealing with the sick and dying!! What an Insult!

    I want ""affordable"" Public Option for ALL American Citizens!!! We deserve it!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  117. GAIL

    I'm a Military Wife at Fort Bliss Army Base, in El Paso Texas and one of the things here since, all the spouses arrived here with there husband, we can't get a job, because here in El Paso, Tx. we were told we have to speak Spanish.

    To my knowledge and the spouses here in the United States Of America "THIS IS AN ENGLISH COUNTRY", if we go to there Country we will have to speak Spanish, why! we do have to speak Spanish here in the U.S.A.?

    This is totally wrong! (SERIOUSLY)

    Mr. President we being a Military Spouses in the U.S.A. we all should be speaking "ENGLISH" and it should be English.

    Regards,

    Gail
    Fort Bliss Army Wife

    P.S. Mr. President get this Health Care Bill Pass, ASAP! no waiting for my family and friends.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  118. Donna

    I want someone to tell the American people just how much the CEO's of these INSURANCE companies earned last year–and the year before–the MULTI MILLIONS they earned–the profits they turn--The divide between THEM and US is too, too wide even for good old capitalism! For the Americans who who won't look it up in their computer-LET THE PRESIDENT TELL THEM JUST HOW MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  119. Jeff Fuchs

    Tony, the president used the internet to great effect during his campaign. The extremists have learned to do the same.
    Many fo my contemporaries (Octogenarians) believe that healthcare reform would mean that we will be shortchanged in our medical care needs.
    The president needs to simplify, clarify, and indicate that he would veto a bill containing any of the outrageous lies being circulated.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  120. Linda,SC

    Here in SC we do not have a choice of anything in my opinion.Our Governor makes the choices and demand compliance.He got the Stimulus money but we do not know where it went.Health care is important because here in SC we have approx.700000 people uninsured. Can we ask our Republican leaders who feel their obligation lies in the GOP,the answer is no. Can the President depend on a bi-partisian plan for America?No Thanks to the media and Conservatives who lead them.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  121. ruth red

    I hear all this talk about labeling american as liberal, left, right of the left, conservative. I would like someone to define these terms that is thrown around so freely. Explain to me exactly what is the definition of conservatives, conserving what? and liberals ?and the right and left of what ?.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  122. Debbie

    I want to hear from Obama about the Cap and Trade bill he is trying to keep hidden from Americans while using health care reform as a cover up while the House and Senate have "secret" meetings and votes on this bill. Most Americans dont even know about this bill. Is he just gonna continue to slowly take away every aspect of our bill of rights as he tries to make the USA another communist country?

    September 9, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  123. steve lambourne

    I am amazed at the Americans that still seem to have faith in BIG bussines. Was GM and Chrysler not a BIG business, is not the wall street mess we are still in not BIG business; Why then do people continue to place their faith in BIG business. Big business has demonstrated over and over that they are driven by greed alone and without a public option, this will NOT change.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  124. Dodie ~ California

    I am an employee of the local government Health Care. I have to tell you in the 23 years working in this field I have learned several things.

    1. When we privatize a section of our health care, it not only costs the individual more than twice as much, it also costs the tax-payer!!! That is because the government is non profit and private industry is "For Profit"

    2. All government employees treating the individual must be licensed. This is NOT true in the private sector! Therefore, the quality of care is better through us then when it is privatized! I know because I worked in both for 2 of the years. I quit the private sector because it was just too unethical for me to continue!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  125. Erin Brophy

    Judging from the abysmal misinformation which has characterized the "heated" debate surrounding health care reform, it is high time for the President to become "Professor in Chief"!

    I would like to see him do an educational presentation along the lines of what Ross Perot used to do; complete with charts and graphs!!

    President Obama should present simple graphs to explain cost components of health care as they currently stand, deficit projections without any change at all vs proposed new cost components of reform and projected deficit projections thereof!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  126. Victor Adams

    Tony I would like President Obama tonight, be very specific with regards to the public plan, remembering one thing, he is the people,s president they elected him, he was given the right mandate to carry out their wishes as he promised during his campaign, no elected
    president will ever satisfy everyone, he has to go with the majority its time to"fish or cut bait" I do wish him well, because he does care for the American people. he is a caring President, and have taken a lot from the hard right in this wonderful country.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  127. William

    I think that the Health Care needs to be changed to Obama's Plan, because I am one of those who are not insured, and have been for most of my life because I can not afford medical insurance. If the people of the United States would just step back and see how many Countries are on board with this plan they would notice that the majority of the planet is universel Medical care and why arn't we because of socialized Medicine perhaps or is it the American Greed all these Medical insurance Companies over charging the elderly who can not afford insurance at all. My thing is why does people have to charge to pay for there $50,000 + hospital bill and if they don't pay they will loose there house and everything they worked their entire life for. Just for the almighty dollar let's step back and notice what we are doing to our people the Youth and our Seniors. The choices that we make today will affect life tomarrow remember we are fighting for our present and future generation. Change is necissary if we are going to continue living. Remember not too long ago people were dieing of the simple flue. And when a simple drug called Asprin saved milloins of lives the people were outraged and called the "change" blasfumuse because it was not "God's will" but now they are living to see there children grow up. Change is necissary no
    matter what or how you look at it. Remember how many lives were given for us to live today.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  128. Myra Intobdi

    I want to see Pres Obama really put the facts in perspective. People lucky enough to have ins currently face many of the same challenges they are complaining about. Dr's cease being providers for various Ins. companies and you are forced to change physicians if you want coverage, if you have to change providers because of a multitude of reasons, pre-existing is staring you in the pocketbook, caps are real and you don't give it a thought unless you are faced with the situation. If you become umemployed, like myself, you can't afford cobra. The cost far exceeds a week of unemployment benefits. My unemployment is 1/3 of what I was earning. Healthcare is a non option when you are faced with circumstances you can't control. Shame on the republicans for wanting this to fail so Pres. Obama will fail. I want to hear more about the public option plan, i.e which ins. co will underwrite it, how will the billing get done and what will it cost me. How about a National Lottery like Mega Millions or Powerball to fund the plan?

    September 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  129. Bud

    Tony, I just read an article in our local St. Louis paper about Express Scripts wanting the city to give them Tiff monies and other monies to help them build a $60 million drug distribution center in the St. Louis area. The company made a profit of 700 million dollars last year. I feel so sorry for them, that I am thinking of sending them a private donation since they are just barely scraping by. The medical industry is the greatest ripoff going and our elected officials continue to allow them to operate. They pay millions of dollars to our elected officials to gain their votes, this should be considered treason against the Country and violaters should be dealt with severly.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  130. Lilian

    I just don't understand what will "change" in healthcare ? Same hospitals, same doctors, same drug companies. The only thing that will change is that the uninsured will now have to buy insurance. People will still have to go to ER's for care. We don't have enough family doctors to treat millions of new patients.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  131. JoeShon Monroe

    Since this is a joint session of congress I would like President Obama to address specifically how he is trying to compile a plan that invites both parties suggestions to be a part of the solution. No one is going to be totally right in this solution since we have never made this change before. So that is why we need to hear about the specifics of the plan and how are we expected to implement it.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  132. Linda,SC

    Derryll,You just gave the Republican amunition to their refusal to comply to anything offered.They monitor all the blogs just to get amunition.Remember when Rush Limbaugh said he hoped Obama would fail. This remark is the way they feel and if they can flatten the tires on the healthcare bus,you will see them with tacks in their pockets.Glenn Beck and Rush,who make their living causing disruption in all things Obama are probably already at the hardware store.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  133. Marion Clair

    When Pres. Obama speaks about health care tonight I hope that he reminds the American public that ALL their elected officials that are kicking and screaming against a "public option" have the very BEST HEALTH care in the world for themselves and their families compliments of us taxpayers. The same taxpayers these Blue Dogs and Republicans seem to believe are UNdeserving of any health care unless they pay it themselves out of their own pockets. People should be outraged by this self-serving attitude, but instead are totally bamboozled by these elected con artists and their media campaigns to undermine an option for public health care. Absolutely unbelievable that voters can be soooooooo stupid and led like sheep to the slaughter.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  134. Sheena

    I would like Obama to talk specificly on what he is doing to Medicare and how this will affect seniors, and will the government have anything to say or do on what treatments seniors can have?
    I see the government is raising taxes on Social Security from 50% to 85%, now they want to cut into Medicare, no Social Security Wages, etc.
    What is this man doing to the Seniors of this country that paid in all their lives for these benefits. Is he going to take away from the seniors and give to the younger people? Hardly nothing is being said about this aspect of his changes, but only public options....

    September 9, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  135. Victor Adams

    why is it the truth always hurt some people so much? the American people need health care reform, for too long many people have suffered due to the lack of it, this is suppose to be the most powerful,
    wealthiest country in the world, let us act like it and do what is right for our people, and stop this political gridlock, President Obama is the last one who will ever have a chance to make this change, I trust that God will help him to bring serious healthcare to a reality..

    September 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  136. Roger, Iowa

    We hear a lot of comments about healthcare and a lot of them are untrue. We who think for ourselves know which statements are not truthful and who is saying them. I don’t know everything about insurance companies but I do know this, Insurance companies are like a hospital gown. The minute you set down on an x-ray table you know what is not covered.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  137. Lucy, Texas

    It is time to pass health care legislation. America voted for change. I think that since our constitution was written "We, the people of the United States of America", it is time to take back America. The contitution was not written for Corporate America. Health care for every American citizen is not a socialist movement it is a very patriotic movement to restore the rights of our citizens.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  138. James Rodgers

    Health-care,

    What happens to the ten of millions of people on Medicaid if there is no public option – or do we end up with a separate means tested system like we presently have with all of it inefficiencies?

    September 9, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  139. Richard "Fish"

    I truly want our Congress and our Nation to take every opportunity to get a health care bill passed that is truly in the best interest of our nation as a whole.

    The constant bickering and division between the Dems and Reps is truly stupid. The health care bill is not POLITICAL! We have got to get everything on an even keel for all...and stop the big rip-offs by the insurance companies and lage medical concerns.

    I have a question for the whole nation...Why such scrutiny of Our President Obama on every word or movement he makes/takes?

    We as a nation should be backing him and helping him...especially those politicians who he worked with and was a part of their world in congress.

    Respectfully

    rjf

    September 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  140. connie fl

    to robt mi, its wonderful that life hasnt hit you in your pocket, others havent been so lucky..jobs went overseas, with tax credits given to the corps that sent our jobs overseas, with out putting in place an alterntive for our workers who would be out of jobs..someone made alot of money with this program...ive worked since age 16,ever been with out ins and not only lost my job but lost much in my ira, worked for a small company who couldnt get ins coverage because the fact that i was in my 60s made it cost prohibitive to supply ins...so i took cobra at 487.00 amonth and when that ran out went to 687.00 for one person. the economy effected my employer and i was layed off....unemployment pays 275 a week...how do u pay for health care and not pay your other bills..so i went with out health care for months and prayed i didnt get sick...mine isnt the exception lately it seems to be the rule....so count your blessings robt....but look around your area hard working people who never lived above their means are in big trouble..ive never been able to not get a job..and im not alone...and proper health care should be a right and not just for the rich....this is america...not a third world country.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  141. Mary

    The Massachuesettes plan is NOT a public option. That Urologist is a total DICK! MA mandates universal coverage through PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANIES. Taxpayer dollars are used to pad the pockets of private insurers and their CEOs through subsidies.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  142. Matt Murray

    Adding further to my comment at 11:22 a.m., the 50%+ increases were every year and not a total over a 5 year period. Over the 5 year period it was about 700%.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  143. Dodie ~ California

    It is sad that you are not willing to publish my previous blog. Especially since I have had experience in both public and private sectors! If you only knew what the private sector does.... you would probably pass out! It really is outrageous!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  144. Jaycie

    So, I guess all those millions and millions of people in other industriallized countries who have universal healthcare and never go bankrupt from paying medical bills are WRONG? And we, the ONLY industrialized country so backwards and corrupt that we do not provide healthcare for all are RIGHT? Why, oh why, do we want or even allow the existence of a healthcare industry which makes billions of dollars every year off the illness and misery of our citiizens? This is an archaic, obscene practice which needs to go the way of the steam engine and the butter churn!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  145. connie fl

    i forgot to add.............how come we can pay for rockets to go to the moon, we can buildings for 750 billion in irag, bail out banks and wall st ...etc but when it comes to main st we cant afford programs....something is wrong with this picture....i want president obama to put the gop in their place, and when he comes out stronger his approval will go thru the roof.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  146. Lilian

    I want to hear Obama's definition of "public option" ?
    I would like to hear details to Obama's plan. No more vague talk. I want specifics. Who will qualify ? How much will it cost ?What are the deductibles and co-pays ? Will Obama demand that people who are uninsured BUY insurance ? What kind of things won't be covered with the public option ??

    September 9, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  147. Lilian

    Jmaes Rodgers........I don't know how anyone on Medicaid can complain. You get care for free. Your co-pay is one dollar. I pay $1200.0 a month and have a $500 deductible plus co-pays of $35 to $50 dollars.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  148. Rolland Guild

    Tony,

    I just saw the story about the cost of health care lobby money spent. Please break it down to for and against changing to system, esp. the government option.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  149. Mike Pope

    I was disappointed in your handling of the panel this afternoon. You allowed Kristian to compare the government option to "nationalized health care like Great Britain". There are NO proposals for nationalizing the health care system. This is more than the average static. This is the kind of misunderstanding that is fueling this ugly national "debate" and gives incorrect information the same weight as facts.

    I think you cannot just allow opinions to be spouted without challenge. Otherwise all you have is noise. And this entire "discussion" has been one big roar of confusion, anger, and fear. You're supposed to help us distinguish fact from fiction.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  150. Derrick

    It is funny how everyone is in a uproar with this public option, like the govt is bursting into healthcare, with the VA system being govt ran, and medicare, is it perfect no it needs some reform, but the bigger picture is if the private market system worked we wouldnt have to have reform correct? so now when the govt tries to begin providing a reform everyone is up in arms. NO matter what u think about he govt, right now INSURANCE COMPANIES are dictating how your healthcare is run. We pay monthly for insurance, we pay a co-pay when we go to see the doctor, and still some of the procedures may not be covered under the insurance, they decide whether the procedure is appropiate and if they will cover the cost. I guess everyone is ok with that. What is being proposed is an OPTION, for those that cant afford insurance who are denied insurance because of a pre-existing conditions. I guess everyone has forgotten that private market is about profits, money decides your heatlthcare, just think about it for a sec

    September 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  151. Mary

    James Rodgers,

    It is my understanding that some of the bills going through Congress have suggested expanding Medicaid by increasing the limits as a means to get universal coverage through already established programs.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  152. Geniene

    I want to hear Obama stand up for what he originally asked for, INCLUDING the public option. If he makes it clear what the public option will be, how it will be paid for, etc, who's to say it wouldn't pass the senate? If he backs down, the Republicans will eat him alive and the democrats will lose faith in him.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  153. Michael

    We live in a country where a major company like General Motors could work me full time for 4 years with out paying me medical benefits...simply because they used the term temporary when refering to me. The irony in this was the fact that if you ever had to miss work because of an illness you needed a doctors excuse or be fired. So I took it upon myself to seek health care on my own. I called many of the major providers like United healthcare and Blue cross blue shield only to be told that I could not get coverage because I didnt fit a Height and weight requirement. I was willing to pay what ever I had to but was turned down by all the providers I contacted. The current system told me they didnt care if I was here to watch my children grow up or if my wife had to raise my children with out me. The current system said that my death would be my problem not theirs. Something has to be done about the current system I dont care if their is a public option or not...but all americans need and deserve access to the same opportunity to live.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  154. Matt, Missouri

    Based on the live report of Senator Baucus' statement that he will push forward without Republican support of the health care plan is typical of this administration, impatient, not really looking for the best plan possible, just push what the Democrats want (or more what our President wants) regardless of whether it is right or not or whether it's what the public wants or not. So much for listening to the constituents they represent and bi-partisan efforts that were so obviously over-stated by this administration. So much for "Change" in politics.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  155. Lee Webb

    We need a frank reporting of Ezekial Emmanuel's proposal for rationing health care to favor 14-40 yr olds replacing the hypocratical oath with the decision of what is best for society. Stop hiding what is really going on and do a special on his article in the Lancet. He is Obama's medical czar & will head the proposed medical panel to implicate govt health care so there should be wide reporting of what he has stated should be done. CNN is extremely dishonest in not reporting this. When a young mother tried to bring it up this morning, Tony cut her off and shut her down & did not let her speak again.

    This is NOT the best that CNN claims to be!

    September 9, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  156. Doug Fredlund

    As a heart transplant, I have had the best health care in the world under Medicare. My experiences have spanned the gamut of health care options during this journey. When I was first diagnosed with Cardiomyopathy in the early 90's, Health Insurance nearly bankrupted the non-profit I worked for. We opted instead to keep me on a "self-funded" COBRA plan from the local hospital I was eligible for when my nurse ex-wife and I parted ways, to help the non-profit stay solvent. That self-funded plan always managed to "lose" my paperwork to extend payment out to 180 days from the mandated 90 days and cost twice as much.

    What I have learned is, that unless there is a watchdog with big teeth to keep them honest, insurance companies can not be trusted to do the right thing. Those who oppose the "public option" need to know that the only other option is intense government scrutiny overseeing the insurance industry. To me, that seems more "socialist" than the Public Option that keeps competition honest. Right now, all we have is collusion by the big players in the insurance industry to keep profits high and liability low.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  157. Mary

    Sheena,

    As far as social security taxes, I believe you are confused. The President has proposed raising social security income limit. Currently, only the first $90,000 of income is taxed and goes to fund social security. His proposal would raise that threshold so that more money would go into the social security trust fund for social security recipients.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  158. Lilian

    Michael......You didn't qualify because of height and weight ?? Are you obese ??

    September 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  159. Pastor Dennis

    I want to hear that the average price will be around $150.00-$175.00 per month for every adult, no pre-existing conditions, I would like to see a cap against any lawsuit against any doctor. And this will bring on less tests for every individual that needs one. Whatever you want to call this~ this is what I would love to see our Congress vote for.....Pastor D

    September 9, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  160. Katsumi

    When we are close to 60 years old, it is very difficult to find a job and often almost impossible to get medical insurance. 60 is not high enough to get Medicare. If we only can afford low cost medical insurance, what kind of insurance can we get? We do not have a choice. We have to pay big money to the insurance companies and big deductable when we visit our doctors. We hope the President’s reform includes this kind of people. We are no longer young and we care increasingly about our health. We need a decent insurance based on a “public option” that we can afford. We like a government sponsored insurance that is affordable to us.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  161. Lilian

    Dems have the majority in the House and Senate, why aren't they passing single payer healthcare for all ? Like Medicare??

    September 9, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  162. Darrin

    I would like to see President Obama remind us, America, why we need this! Why do we have the most expensive health care program among the advance nations. Why do we rank 37th.

    Public Option – how can this cause so much panic? An option is a person's choice. Yes or no. I can't recall ever being threatened by an option: Would you like that supersized? Ummmm...no thank you. Do you want an upgrade on your cell phone? Ummm..no...would you like the Premuim Deluxe Car wash special? Ummm..no. America!! It is an option...the choice to say yes or no. Come on...

    September 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  163. Katsumi

    When we are close to 60 years old, it is very difficult to find a job and often almost impossible to get medical insurance. 60 is not high enough to get Medicare. If we only can afford low cost medical insurance, what kind of insurance can we get? We do not have a choice. We have to pay big money to the insurance companies and big deductable when we visit our doctors. We hope the President’s reform includes this kind of people. We need a decent insurance based on a “public option” that we can afford.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  164. Mary

    Lee Webb,

    Did you read the article? Probably not, because the jist of his article trys to bring to light a problem with mandating universal coverage and then figuring out what to cover.

    Do we cover any procedure/treatment for everyone – which would be costly.

    Or

    do we cover BASIC procedures/treatments for everyone and classify other treatments/procedures as discretionary like cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments, etc...

    September 9, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  165. Susan

    The doctor from Atlanta on Tony's show was misinformed about Massachusetts health insurance. He called it a disaster with a public option. It has been very successful and it doesn't have a public option. More companies are offering health insurance to their employees. Those without employer coverage buy insurance. Cost is based on income. The cost of insurance increases has slowed. The intent was to cover everyone and control costs after. Now 97% have coverage. They are now working on ways to reduce costs. Like all other states , tax revenues are way down and this presents challenges with the program.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  166. Mary

    Katsumi,

    Here is info from the white house site: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/More-Stable-and-Secure-Health-Care-For-Seniors/

    Health care reform will lower costs for 50-64 year old Americans by providing assistance to employer health plans to encourage them to cover recent retirees and by giving individuals access to an insurance exchange where participants will be able to compare prices of health plans – including a public plan – and decide which option is right for them. Individuals will be eligible for help paying for insurance in the exchange based on their income.

    And in order to market a plan in the Exchange, insurance companies will have to comply with its rules: no denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions; no discrimination based on age; and fair prices, for good benefits.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  167. Larry Todesco

    If a one payer health care system is to be considered, let's all pay for it without the government administrating it. Suggestion: Set up a "Social Personal Care Program" for every American who contributes under the present Social Security Withholding program (Emplyee/Employer). All funds would be kept separate and apart from any others. At first, provide a minimal coverage to keep costs down, with the option of a person obtaining supplemental coverage if they wish. Start the funding immediately, and the program in one year in order that you can jumpstart with some ready cash on hand. Private insurance companies can compete for this coverage. I'm not an economist, but there should be some perks here, i.e. young people contributing but normally not using the medical services, employers not have to offer health care insurance to its employees, people who are in the program for years but never used any of the benefits, suddenly pass away leaving their contributions for others, etc. I don't know whether or not anyone has considered this approach.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  168. Rick Ventura California

    Pastor Dennis,
    You neglected to remark on how much you should pay for each child, and how unlikely 150 to 175 a month would be impossible with all the people in this nation that breed like rabbits due to their religion (take Mormons and Catholics..as examples) if an adult has 1 child he should pay for that childs health care as well, not have his premium of 150.00 raised to 175.00 because he has one and the next person has 4 children. That person that believes he should have 4 children should be paying more for those extra children. When he says, that's why I'm on an HMO, the person is actually saying, "That's why I signed up for Welfare" because that is exactly what it is. Married couples without children should pay less than married with a child. If each family paid for their health care, corporations wouldn't pay such huge amounts to cover its employees and employees wouldn't pay such high premiums because of the Litter Factory families out there. Think about justice, and how many years now HMO's have been screwing responsible people out of money for those living far above their means.

    September 9, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  169. Lilian

    I want to know Obama's definition of "public option ". ??

    September 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  170. geo

    Mary is right, Mass. does not have a plublic option. So there is no connection between the ins.cost rise and a public option that does not exist in Ma. (as the doctor said in the cnn interview)
    Why is everyone on the right so stubborn and partisan. I see a plublic option covering people who are not or cannot afford the coverage. Those with insurance already through work or elsewhrere cannot or will not get it. The propaganda from the insurance indust. and their Wash. buddies is polluting the minds of everyone.
    I hope that the real voices for the people drown out those who speak only for the insurance industry.
    The vote will happen with or without the rebublicans and then we will see who voted to do the right thing for the working people,small business and the poor. They (replubicans) expected so much from the Dems. and the people for the 8 years we had Pres.Bush.
    Now they won't give the new president the right time of day.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  171. Jeff Stults

    Healthcare was First.

    How do you plan to regulate and control the influx of prescription drugs, that do not require a prescription for sale and ordered on the internet, for reduced costs to the consumer, which many many many United States of American citizens abuse or sell for profit instead of utilizing them the way they should be prescribed and taken with consultation from a doctor and pharmicist?

    September 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  172. Mary

    Our health care system is broken-we are not getting a return on our healthcare dollars-nor are we one of the leading nations in a low infant mortality rate or quality of the healthcare provided. What is wrong with this nation that provides prisoners with a constitutional right to health care, but doesn’t provide affordable healthcare to all Americans? I haven’t noticed the opposition proposing alternatives that will become law in the near future. Please get out of the way of progress and needed reform. We are all fed up with the political system that applauds the status quo and allows this problem to continue year after year.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  173. Jeff Stults

    Education is next.

    If you stop the buying of what should be prescribed drugs for sale on the internet for good or bad usage, without a prescription at reduced costs... you can educate children, as you go of what not to take if you are unable to stop the process over the internet, then consider education with restricted warnings on the websites of these types of sites for parental guidance to access them.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  174. Tom Joad

    Cost of the (conservative sponsored) Illegal War in Iraq –
    $1 Trillion and counting

    Cost of the war in Afghanistan –
    $1 Trillion and counting

    Money spent bailing out mistakes of the previous administration
    (Wall Street, Auto Makers, Main Street, et. al ) –
    $3 Trillion & Counting

    Angry Conservatives already on Medicare protesting a “Public Option” – Priceless !!! LOL

    I want the President to explain to the GO (pea) brains that:
    Ignorance is taxpayers NOT wanting to medically insure another
    when they have a cough – only to end up paying ten times as much when the patient returns to the emergency room when the cough develops into lung cancer.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  175. Mary

    I hope they include dental and vision. Kids who do poorly in school are often in need of glasses that goes undiagnosed due to lack of coverage and there has been new research that shows a link between gum disease and heart disease.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  176. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Heres my next question can you promise to the people that your plan is going to work and what are you going to do if it dose not work .

    September 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  177. Betty Phillips

    I want him for once in his life, tell the truth, explain how this health care plan is going to save money, also explain how he will pull this off and not have the death plan? He is so untrust worthy, who can believe a thing he says. I will want to keep my own insurance and lets see if he telling the truth that those who want to keep their own insurance will be able to do so. God help us all, we are just about to see the evil works of our Black president. Betty

    September 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  178. Mark

    Uh, Betty Phillips

    The blog for the uneducated racists is down the hall.

    Please, stop embarrassing other American Citizens with your intolerance and obvious lack of education. Every where I go in the world this is all they talk about. They watch CNN, MSNBC and Fox News like it's a soap opera.

    "As Amerikkka Turns"

    September 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  179. Lilian

    I want Obama to give the details of his plan. Who will qualify ? How much will it cost ? When it will go into effect ? No more deceitful speeches. Just give us facts please.!!

    September 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  180. Lilian

    What is Obama's definition of "public option" ??

    September 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  181. James of Houston

    I don’t know why my comment was not added….but will try again…

    Dear CNN viewers and trusted friends, do you want our wonderful, caring parents to live their final years under Obama’s new health care plan! Whether you do or if you do not, please read on!

    “Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, health adviser to President Barack Obama, has written extensively about who should get medical care, who should decide, and whose life is worth saving. Dr. Emanuel is part of a school of thought in the Obama administration that redefines a physician’s duty, insisting that it includes working for the greater good of society instead of focusing only on a patient’s needs. Many physicians find that view dangerous, and most Americans are likely to agree.

    The health bills being pushed through Congress put important decisions in the hands of presidential appointees like Dr. Emanuel. They alone will decide what insurance plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have, and what seniors get under Medicare. Dr. Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of the Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He clearly will play a role guiding implementation of the White House's health care initiative.

    Dr. Emanuel says that health reform will not be pain free, and that the usual recommendations for cutting medical spending (often urged by the president) are mere window dressing. As he wrote in the Feb. 27, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA): "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality of care are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change."

    True reform, he argues, must include redefining doctors' ethical obligations. In the June 18, 2008, issue of JAMA, Dr. Emanuel blames the Hippocratic Oath for the "overuse" of medical care: "Medical school education and post graduate education emphasize thoroughness," he writes. "This culture is further reinforced by a unique understanding of professional obligations, specifically the Hippocratic Oath's admonition to 'use my power to help the sick to the best of my ability and judgment' as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of cost or effect on others."

    In numerous writings, Dr. Emanuel chastises physicians for thinking only about their own patient's needs. He describes it as an intractable problem: "Patients were to receive whatever services they needed, regardless of its cost. Reasoning based on cost has been strenuously resisted; it violated the Hippocratic Oath, was associated with rationing, and derided as putting a “price on life”. . . . Indeed, many physicians were willing to knowingly lie to get patients what they needed from insurance companies who were desperately trying to control and hold down costs." (JAMA, May 16, 2007).
    … Really, think seriously about these radical proposals and heartless comments!

    September 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  182. Chris K

    I want Obama to explain to the public, using Hymn Roth's words from GodFather II, that the Health Care industry "Is bigger than US Steel" A 2.4 TRILLION (With a "T") DOLLAR A YEAR INDUSTRY. This is a prime example of how Capitolism via rhe Free Market System, left to to do what it will, bolstered by De-Regulation, and underfunding regulatory agencies seeks to conduct business. Look what Wall St did in that enviroment; they created a monster than only the Goverment can, or was misguidedly cohearsed into affecting a stop-gap remedy.
    In short, most all Goverment actions can be considered a socialistic endevor, and it seems that unrestricted Captolism leads to Goverment socialism. If your not advocating Goverment what do you advocate? Financial Anarchy? Look at the bottom line with how Wall St utilized the free market system? ...Most people only lost 20 yrs of acrued apperciation in their largest investment, and 20 to 50% of their 401K's, not to mention any cost incurred for our socialistic Goverment to fix it. Ask yourself, how much political K St. influence peddling would a 2.4 TRILLION Dollar industry mustar to sustain that yearly income? How would that money be spent if the party you need to back your negating effort has not only lost all three branches of Goverment, but also the ability to filibuster in the Senate? Might Public scare tactic style outrage top that limited list of options to spend all that 2.4 trillion dollar industry influence on? Obama's got the biggest challange of his or anyone's life, he's taking on the next bigest industry in America besides the US Goverment.

    September 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  183. Eliza

    Why haven't we looked at the pharmaceutical industry a bit closer? They spend millions of dollars on public advertising, most of which should NOT be seen by the general public (ALL prescription drug advertising should be solely targeted to the medical professionals); therefore keeping drug costs down, insurance rates in check, etc. Perhaps the drug companies' sales forces stop spending so much money on lunches for the docs and simply educate the medical professionals on current/developing therapies. The doctors want to provide the most accurate, evidence-based therapies to their patients and aren't going to miss having free lunches all the time...half the time they don't have the chance to sit down and actually enjoy food!

    September 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  184. Vivian Johnston

    Hi,Mark, Thank you for your comments to unsteady Betty. I love your touch. Just wish I were that "COOL". Hang in there because it only get's worse. Vivian

    September 9, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  185. Girish S

    Obama is not going to bring the Universal Healthcare immediately. He is going to say we will have Universal healthcare once economy is up. Brought immediately will increase Job loss.

    But for the uninsured he is going to work with Insurance companies, provide an aid and lower premiums which kinda helps all in the game (insurance companies and Uninsured and Govt).

    September 9, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  186. Fredrick Ruckett

    For him to remember that the people who voted for him and I suppose most of the 50 million people who did not vote for him but who don't have healthcare wants him to push ahead. Thats it you guys should poll people who didn't vote for him but who don't have healthcare on this issue.

    September 9, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  187. Deb

    This great country of ours should not force its citizens to do without healthcare or go broke with high insurance premiums. If you find an affordable health insurance, better read the fine print because you won't get real coverage. If you stop working to take care of elderly parents, try to buy health insurance or use COBRA....what a catch 22.

    September 9, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  188. JM Silas

    I am expecting some specifics from the president and the bill sponsors. All too often legislation is drafted and passed without consideration of consequence. It is time for a change in the health care system as we continue to have to pay for those who are under or uninsured. However, a bill that fails to address or prevent abuses by insurance companies will be expensive and disappointing

    September 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  189. Rita H

    I am one of the many Americans uninsured. I lost my job and lost my insurance. My husband's company doens't provide insurance. My children have been on the State insurance during this time and even though at times it does "suck" having to go through those hoops and red tape, at least they have something. And they have used it. But my husband and I have been without and we've needed to go. I only get so much a month for unemployment and if I were to take the COBRA it would have cost me 2 times more than what I get in unemployment. I just hope that those who oppose health care reform never wind up like my family.

    September 9, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  190. Grymlyn

    Here we go again! Those that can least afford health insurance are being offered a "waiver". What will that waiver do if you become ill? And, let's not forget those republican ideas...tax credits. My question is will hospitals and doctors put a lien on your estimate tax credit so that you may receive care when it's needed? More of the same old same old. Just remember if you become ill, try to hang on until you receive that tax credit and hope it's enough to cover the cost of your care. Otherwise, nothing has changed, bend over & kiss your butt goodbye.

    September 9, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  191. Tony Cornish, Jr.

    What a great speech by President Obama! It was a speech filled with heartfelt emotion, key facts, futuristic thinking, and a look back at our rich and historic past! References to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy were a stroke of sheer speech-writing genius for a night such as this. Sen. Kennedy's feeling on this hot-button issue were well-known throughout the chamber! I appreciate President Obama's keen understanding that jobs are a stake, if this Health Care Crisis is allowed to continue in it's present state. I pray that ALL members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, can forget the insurance lobbyist and their fat wallets filled with cash for just a moment, and do what's right to help the "Common Man" In America in a way that hasn't been seen in this nation in over 30 decades! I pray that the U.S. Congress moves in a positive way to work with this President to hammer out a National Health Care program (in the next 90 days)...that truly works for us all! Citizens of all ages, races, religious beliefs, economic backgrounds, as well as, various political parties, within these United States of American, truly deserve no less!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  192. Gayle

    Currently our health care system as dominated by medication companies, health care providers and others that can from the illness of the American society gather as much of the profits as possible is so way out of line. It is unreal how the three areas of profit rule how much American citizens have to pay for their own personal healthcare services. We need our country leaders to help us by placing some controls over those making billions in these areas. In all, I feel that is what President Obama has been speaking about all this time.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:25 pm |
  193. Diana L. Mapley

    The president's speech was great. It sounded great, so let's see if it's " too good to be true". He's on probation with this senior citizen.Diana

    September 9, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  194. Linda Snyder

    President Obama's speech was informative and well delivered. I can't wait to see a finished bill, and a financial breakdown of projected costs and specifics on how they'll be covered. The President was much less partisan than his opponents have been, and very restrained in light of the mud that's been slung by his critics lately.

    What took me totally by suprise was that an elected member of our Congress (more than one???) rudely interrupted a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress! My 13 year old son has been taught better manners!

    September 9, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  195. Diane

    The President's address to Congress was right on. Our representatives in Congress need to get the Health Care issue settled. They need to work out their differences, quit calling each other liars and acting like children and do what the American public needs them to do. It should not matter whether ithey are Democrat or Republican, it is an American problem that only they can solve.

    September 9, 2009 at 9:36 pm |
  196. Anita

    I heard what I wanted to i think it is a fair bill with a lot of ideas not perfect... but perfect in many times is not the solution since everyone has a different opinion of perfect. I am certain now I wasn't before that this will not be a government take over rather an exchange and a public option as part of an exchange to cover uninsured. I just want the people in office to stop trying to serve the lobbyists lining their pockets and serve the PEOPLE they are their to serve, and stop... worrying about next term do something in the term you were elected....

    September 9, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  197. Nell

    Don't some of you understand that if you have a pre-existing conditionb - diabetes, even having ever taken a prescription for depression - YOU CANNOT GET HEALTH INSURANCE - not at any price. Obviously, some of you have never been turned down for health insurance or you wouldn't be talking about how you manage your finances better in order to pay it (implication that other people don't manage their finances well).

    September 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  198. spurge

    i just want to know if new hospitals will be built to cover the new 100 million that will soon to have health coverage.most hospitals are crowded and with this reform, things could get ugly...see this is a legitimate question. like why are we covering immigrants?false. why are we becoming socialist?false.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  199. Edwin Swenson

    Great speech, gives hope and debunks the scare tactics currently in use by those who like the profits they get from depriving needed care to some Americans Please let your senators and representative know we want them to work with and support the direction spelled out by Obama.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  200. nelson solano

    I am confident the speech was able to rise above all the lying from the right. It's time the republicans stop being obstructionists and put America's sick ahead of corporate profits.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  201. Julie

    It is nice to have Obama making all these speeches, but i'm not seeing any resolution. All he is doing is making speeches. Im glad the Senator called him a liar, I agree with him. With each speecht he president makes something else changes. And on that note if this health care bill is so great why doesn't Nancy Pelosi and the Vice President get the health insurance he is offering? I would like to see all politicians to get the same health care that is being offered and then maybe we can see if it is really that good, that the President is claiming.

    thanks

    September 10, 2009 at 9:14 am |
  202. janel hebl

    President Obama did a superb job on his health care speech. Unfair criticism that he did not give more details in speech. Going into anymore detail would turn off listeners. Those, as he appropriately stated, are things to be worked out by the legislators.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  203. Edgar Benarrous

    Yeah, Obama! I think he did very well and hope that he succeeds!
    Edgar

    September 10, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  204. ralph trout

    what are you people so happy about?
    did you NOT see hiedi's show this morning on the truth squad segment where they pointed out two seperate times that the president LIED to the country on health care. Or do you just not care that he lied?

    September 10, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  205. Melissa Dent

    Dear tony...I think this lack of respect f/Pres. Obama was outrageous and the culmination of a summer of attacking the President, his Health Care plan and his policies in an increasingly hostile, competely unfactual manner. I 'd like to point out that the leaders of the movement:Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Karl Rove are ALL College Drop Outs!!! While President Obama was head of the Harvard Law Review....I wonder if that(and possibly race although nobody is supposed to mention the R word) has something to do with the anger of these ignorant white men!!

    Melissa Dent,New York,NT

    September 10, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  206. Robert

    I saw the speech last night. In fact I stayed up late to watch it twice. For the first time I saw how deep the ocean our President is swimming in. I also saw how great of a swimmer he is. Health Care Reform is not so much a medical or insurance problem as it is a political one. When do the Democrats or Republicans decide it's finally time for the American public to win the election concerning healthcare? Has the profit margin blurred the balloting process on both sides? I have an idea, why not yank the medical insurance for all those in Congress opposed to healthcare reform. Perhaps this will widen the view and finally put people above profit.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  207. Erik Kurtz

    I was happy to hear Obama support and defend the public option. Real reform has to introduce competition into the current environment and provide universal coverage. Health care is a human right and when people don't have coverage or control of their health care decisions, our entire culture suffers. Obama made an eloquent, intelligent argument for his plan, and it stands in stark contrast to the tone of the discussion during August. Thank you Obama!

    September 10, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  208. Mr Tidwell

    Thank you Mr. Wilson for voicing the opinions for many of us who have no voice. The President has the national stage any time he wants to regurgitate nonsense like a used car salesman. America stand up. Stop the political correctness trying to make sure no one gets their "feelings" hurt.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  209. Regena

    In 5 years I have been forced to change my level of coverage every year in order to maintain an affordable monthly premium. I'm retired and on a fixed income and can't afford the rate of increases on my coverage. I went from a $500 deductible to $5000 deductible over the course of 5 years because my insurance carrier (BCBS) has continued to raise my premium with no justification, even though I have not had any surgeries nor do I have any pre-existing health conditions. I'm tired of being held hostage to the Insurance Industry because they know I cannot afford to be WITHOUT coverage. It should be unlawful for an insurance company to profit off of the sick. CEO's of these companies are making million and billion $$ dollar salaries and their profits comes from the sick – that is outrageous. I had an xray. The CT scan cost $3000 – for an XRAY! That is outreageous! I want to see cost control and caps on healthcare costs and limits on Insurance company profits. AFFORDABLE healtcare premiums is one of MANY healthcare issues I want them to focus on.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  210. Annie Monroe

    I salute the President for keeping calm. I feel that Mr. Wilson was out of place and should have been removed from the building. It's sad when he had that outburst like that on national tv.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  211. Cheryl

    Why is it Ok for White Americans, (Especially those in Congress) to spit racial rhetoric and disrespect towards our President without consequence?

    As in last night’s President’s address to Congress on Health Care Reform with the obvious disrespect from Congressman Wilson. This is typical, of the white attitude in America towards African Americans. Why is it they can say whatever that want to the President? No other American in history has ever done that to a past president. But, there has never been a black man as President of the United States of America either.

    All Congressman Wilson had to do was say he’s sorry. That should not be acceptable.
    He said his comment was spontentious; actually it’s just his nature as a white man to say what he wants to say to or about a black man.

    Black people have always had to apologize for white behavior.

    This is a prime example that racial attitudes are alive and well in America.

    President Obama is the President of the United States of America.
    President Obama should be treated with RESPECT.

    (Personally I think, “Anyone saying anything disrespectful forwards the President should be brought up on charges of treason”.
    This should be treated as a threat.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  212. glenda barbre

    There they sat ON their brains
    texting, nudging, still the same.
    Special interests up for hire-
    Yelling hate words like LIAR!
    (tho their own pants are on fire.)
    Media, please dont fuel their flames
    While they play their ugly games.
    Dont give them a chance to scoff
    Grab that remote and
    TURN THEM OFF.

    poem by senior for Obamas plan
    AND public option! and the return of humor!

    September 10, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  213. glenda barbre

    Whoops, forgot to check notify me of follow up comments on
    poem above..ok folks, love to hear from you via e mail!
    Rhododendron Oregons Poet for OBAMA

    September 10, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  214. Elizabeth 39

    Well done Mr.President.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  215. Cornelius Mason

    I do not believe that anyone could do any better. There are those that are slow to understand things and will not ever everstand no matter how many times it is explained to them. maybe, if we focus on insurance reform, we might make some progress. How is it that insurance companies make billions and medicare loose billions? Part of the problem is the insurance companies are concerned about looseing some of their profit. The doctors and insurance companies have a network in place where by they both make a profit. I have private insurance and when i go to doctors who are in the system, they can only charge me what they charge medicare patients because i am over 65. who is picking up the difference?

    September 10, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  216. Kurt of Hopkinton, NH

    Tony,

    Why did CNN cut-off the live discussion of GOP Minority Leader John Boehner after he began to discuss how people will be eventually "forced" in the government healthcare plan. If I change my plan or job, it seems I will be forced into the government plan. I thought I will ALWAYS have a choice as long as my employer offers a health insurance plan – but it doesn't appear this way!

    V/R,
    Koncerned Kurt!

    September 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  217. sion

    Good afternoon I am really concern w/ the childish behavior of the republicans after all it was them who set like mutes while the Bush administration "cook the books" and lied to america and sent our families out to slaughter by false allegations when they knowingly mislead america by claiming that Iraq had "weapons of mass destruction" ,this is simply treason and let's not forget the other reason that america is in this position.While giving the wealthy 8 yrs of a tax break as if they needed it the middle class and small business had to pay taxes for the wealthy and the welfare and goverment recipients of all of these programs.I am pissed w/ these greedy politicians mainly the self serving republicans.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  218. Marilyn K.

    Our President proved once again that he is brilliant and has all the qualities, intelligence and demeanor we want in our Commander in Chief. It was great to see him finally call out the Republicans on their despicable behavior. Mr. Wilson's outburst clearly illustrated how little respect he has for the Office of the President of the United States. That Mr.Wilson, his party, and their radio mouthpieces continue to perpetuate lie after lie in their relentless pursuit to destroy President Obama and win back the Whitehouse only underscores the extent to which they will stoop on behalf of big corporations and the insurance companies that fund their campaigns and lifestyles! Hooray for our President and all the good his is accomplishing, NOT for only the wealthy, but for ALL of us!! -Marilyn K., Placitas, NM

    September 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  219. Bonnie W

    With all this talk about healthcare today can someone tell me why CNN has mentioned nothing about the breaking story from 9AM about the outrageous corruption uncovered at the Baltimore ACORN office? I've watched CNN all day and I had to hear about late this afternoon on the radio!!!!
    Is this another example of CNN `waiting on a story and hoping it will go away like the Van Jones story??
    Keep in ming that out tax dollars fund ACORN! This story needs to be told- esoecially on the heals of all the voter fraud by ACORN during the 2008 election.
    Step up CNN! Your viewers deserve better! Follow the corruption! That's far more important to our well being than healthcare!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  220. Steven'76

    President Obama finally is fighting back against these Flat-Earth, Knuckle-Dragging, Mouth-Breathing sheep from the 'Party-Of-No'. Now if CNN would stop providing a platform and interview time in FAR greater amounts than honestly reflect their percentage of support in our nation. Why is it that CNN worships at the altar of 'False-Balance of the Status-Quo'?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  221. steve lambourne

    THis blog is filled with a discussion of the public option but you need to realize one thing. It is not going to happen if the democrats dont get it done. No help for the R's should be expected. The best thing President Obama said is that if the lies continued he was going to 'call them out'. Well the lies continued today including lies again by the congress, yet i see nothing happening. President Obama needs to get tough with all the Dems and get this done, but i do not think he has it in him;. He will therefore lose is place in history as a great president and his presidency will always have a footnote that indicates he could not get even the Dems to support hi.
    this is a sorry state of affairs but it is where we all find our selves
    things are truly 'business a usual' and that includes the President.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:26 pm |
  222. Sally Coburn

    In this great republic, the people have always had a vote. Lets put in on the ballot and take a vote. Health care needs help but not the huge controlling change being proposed. Please lets take more time to continue discussion on this all important change to our American system.
    ACORN!
    YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED- the photographer and college student who intervied the Acorn workers are heros not villans. Send your own reporters to confront these cheeters AND PRESS CHARGES. CHECK IT OUT PLEASE. NO MORE TAX PAYER MONEY FOR THEM.

    September 11, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  223. Asiah Perusse

    President Obama's speech was well prepared, very informative and and clearly expressed a global view for the Healthcare program. It was clear that he is not trying to re-invent the wheel, but modify and amend a program that's failed millions of Americans for decades. It's unfortunate that so many of my fellow Americans tend to turn a deaf ear to change, when change is needed so badly. I just happen to be one of those millions who lost my healthcare when I lost my job. I can't afford to purchase medical insurance, so now I have no coverage for the follow-ups for my breast cancer treatments.

    September 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  224. Asiah Perusse

    Why is it that many of the news commentators refer to President Obama as "Mr." Obama much more often than "President"? Doesn't he deserve the same respect as his predecessors?

    September 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  225. alex lyrics

    Obama heckler Joe Wilson a member of neo-Confederate SCV, fought to keep Dixie flag flying in South Carolina

    Looking into the background of Rep. Joe Wilson, R-South Carolina, after his heckling of President Obama last night, I came across this:
    Joe also has been a member of the Columbia World Affairs Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Sinclair Lodge 154, Jamil Temple, Woodmen of the World, Sons of Confederate Veterans, ....
    This is an organization that, as the SPLC has detailed assiduously, has been taken over in the past decade by radical neo-Confederates who favor secession and defend slavery as a benign institution. Leading the takeover is a radical racist named Kirk Lyons, who's been an important legal figure on the far right for some years.* [More below]
    In more recent years, the takeover has led to an outright internal civil war. Andrew Meacham at the St. Petersburg Times detailed the internal rift last year:
    Experts say the divisions within the Sons vary between two extremes. On one side are the traditionalists, members who focus on cleaning up Confederate grave sites and conducting Civil War re-enactments.
    On the other side are the so-called Lunatics, up to 2,000 members who deride traditionalists as "grannies" and belong to camps named after notorious Southern figures such as John Wilkes Booth and Jesse James.
    John Wilkes Booth members have been known to put pennies in urinals, making sure to leave the Lincoln side face-up. Other Lunatic groups have removed the U.S. flag from their halls and banned the Pledge of Allegiance, says Walter Hilderman, who several years ago created an anti-Lunatic group called Save the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
    "The problem is it's supposed to be a patriotic organization," says Hilderman, 59. "You are either that or you let guys in who want to secede."
    As Heidi Beirich at the SPLC reported, this rift has led to Lyons himself coming under harsh attack from his own right flank. The SCV is a serious mess.
    Now, add this to the fact that Joe Wilson, as a state legislator, was one of only seven Republicans to go against their own party and vote to keep the Dixie Rebel flag flying over the South Carolina capitol:
    The flag came down that year after Republicans in both houses went for a compromise that would put it on Statehouse grounds at the Confederate Soldier’s monument. The “Magnificent Seven” of Senators who voted to keep the flag up included current Congressman Joe Wilson (who I served with in the 218th Infantry Brigade of the National Guard.)
    A clearer picture of why this congressman might so virulently breach protocol and loudly interrupt an African-American president's speech to Congress by calling him a liar does start to emerge, doesn't it?
    So inquiring minds want to know:
    Is Joe Wilson still a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans?
    If so, does he condone the activities of the "Lunatic" faction that now controls the SCV?
    Does Joe Wilson consider the Republican Party "the Party of Lincoln"?
    Does Joe Wilson support secession?
    Blue Texan at FDL has more.
    *I encountered Lyons when I was covering the Freemen standoff near Jordan, Montana, in 1996. He actually played a key role in bringing an end to the 81-day standoff, mainly because he had so much cred with with radical racists who were holed up at the Clark Ranch.
    Here's the relevant excerpt from In God's Country: The Patriot Movement and the Pacific Northwest (pp.257-58):
    The talks in Jordan continued apace. The final piece of the puzzle came June 9 when the FBI flew in Kirk Lyons, director of a North Carolina legal organization called the CAUSE Foundation, and two of his colleagues. The group (whose initials ostensibly stand for Canada, Australia, United States and Europe - everywhere that white people are established) describes itself as a defender of unpopular causes and the powerless: "I will always support the rights of radicals,’’ Lyons is fond of saying. "The more radical they are, the more they need to be supported for their rights. If you take away their rights, we’re all losers.’’
    Actually, Lyons himself is a white separatist who sneers at the current American system. "Democracy in America is a farce and a failure,’’ he once wrote. "It has led us to the brink of a police state.’’ He attended Pete Peters’ 1992 gathering at Estes Park, Colorado, that is widely credited with giving birth to the militia movement. At the session, he led discussions on how to establish common-law courts throughout the country.
    Lyons first made a name for himself successfully defending Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon Louis Beam in his 1988 post-Order sedition trial in Arkansas. He attempted to represent David Koresh during the standoff at Waco, filing for a restraining order against the FBI that a judge abruptly refused, and after the siege ended in disaster, he took up the cause of surviving Davidians in their lawsuit against the government.
    The Freemen, however, indicated to the FBI that they trusted Lyons to handle some of the legal negotiations. Lyons had previously contacted the FBI in March and told them he’d be willing to act as a mediator. On June 9, they called him and said: "You have been elevated to a viable option.’’ Lyons and his colleagues caught a flight out the next day and arrived at the Clark ranch on June 10.
    Lyons assured the Freemen they would be able to present their cases in court, as he had done in Arkansas. "They came in as a vehicle,’’ says Karl Ohs. "Edwin was saying, `Well, I’m gonna leave.’ And the CAUSE people were then able to talk to the other four and convince them. Because if Edwin was going to leave, they knew they had to leave too. So they convinced them that there was some sort of legal documents that they could file - it gave them a glimmer of hope, even though everybody probably knew it was false hope, at least they could say that it wasn’t, and have some dignifying grace. And they knew enough of the things that they had to file and do that could let them have a way of escaping.’’
    Central to the Freemen’s willingness to come out lay in protecting all their documents, law books and computer files they had stored up over the years, so that they could easily access them in preparing their defense. Lyons negotiated an agreement to load the documents into a Ryder truck and hand all the documents over to Karl Ohs, who promised to protect them from being mishandled by the FBI.
    All the elements were in place, except for one: Edwin Clark wanted to have a final consultation with LeRoy Schweitzer, who was locked up at the Yellowstone County Jail in Billings. The Freemen wouldn’t come out, they said, unless LeRoy gave it his blessing.
    Lyons went to the FBI with a proposal: Let him accompany Edwin Clark in a plane flown by the FBI to Billings, so Clark could present the surrender package to Schweitzer and see if it passed legal muster in the Freeman’s eyes - that is, that they wouldn’t be signing their rights away by surrendering. Only Schweitzer, it seemed, could make the final ruling on that for them.
    The FBI agent, according to Lyons, responded: "Let me get this straight. You want us to take a man who is technically under arrest, fly him in an FBI plane to a jail we hope to see him incarcerated in, bring him home and then put him under the siege again? Is that what you’re asking?’’
    Yes, Lyons replied.
    The negotiators checked in with FBI Director Louis B. Freeh back in Washington. Freeh personally approved the plan.
    On Tuesday, June 11, Edwin Clark walked out of the compound, where he met Lyons and two FBI agents. They piled into a Suburban and drove to the Jordan airport, and then flew to Billings. He arrived in Billings at about 2 p.m., and returned to the Jordan airport by 7 p.m. The FBI kept mum on whether or not Schweitzer had given his blessing to the plan, but the mood among the agents seemed decidedly optimistic.
    The next day, Dana Dudley’s daughter Amanda Michele Kendricks - or Ashley Taylor, as she sometimes called herself - walked out of the ranch with a female FBI agent and promptly asked for a cigarette. FBI agents did not mind letting the teenager smoke in front of them. They were just glad she was out. It was the last of the "innocents’’ to leave the Clark ranch.

    September 11, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  226. L Frazier

    So many of you wear me out. Health Insurance is not a RIGHT! If you take care of your self then you don't need health insurance. I am tired of hearing all you beggars out there with your hand out because you want something for free. Well guess what there is no FREE LUNCH. Someone has to pay. So quit you belly aching and stand up like an adult and take responsibility for yourself. We pay plenty of money to people on welfare in this country who do nothing for what they receive and think they should get more. Well I for one don't want to pay out of my pocket for you people to have health care so you can sit on your rear, drink you alcohol, smoke, take drugs, eat fast food, be obese (of which over half of America is), and practice other unhealthy life styles. Get a job!

    September 12, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  227. L Frazier

    It's simple Cornelious, insurance companies are privately owned (stockholders you know) and have to make a profit so they have to be efficient and Medicare is run by the Federal Governemnt which is a giant wefare program of it's own and doesn't have to care about efficiency, if they need more money to operate they just raise your and my taxes.

    September 12, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  228. Nell

    HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT. People do not choose to be born with diseases like diabetes. Where is your morality? Where is your sense of justice? Where is your religion?

    Christianity is said to be the dominant religion in this country. To Christians the Bible says "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you love your neighbor you want them to have basic health care.

    Get off your greed. Behave like a Christian!

    September 12, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  229. Nell

    Unfortunately, the Republicans will not support any reasonable health care plan. They will offer many amendments in hopes of weakening the health care bill, but they will not vote for the weakened product. Senator DeMint made the mistake of telling us the truth. They are not interested in people having health care, they want only to weaken President Obama. How callous!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  230. glenda barbre

    Hey Frazier, How do people help themselves who dont have a job, loosing their home,l and perhaps have a terminall illness.? The reason the insurance companys are NOT what you are saying is
    because they are profit orientated not service orientated. We are dealing with corporate greed just like on wall street. Idealism is fine
    Frazier, but the facts are that people are dying, and LIFE is part of the declaration of independence..we are hold these truths sto be self evident that ALL men are created Equal. they have a RIGHT to LIFE.
    which goes aloong with liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The insurance companys deprive the citizens of LIFE when they refuse service that causes stheir DEATH. The cases are so numerous that it would fill up a million blogs. So Frazier, until you can solve greed, you wont solve the problem, therefor the govt should either regulate it or give people THEIR CHOICE, whichd then they will be taking the responsibility for their LIFE, as you so nobiley proclaimed. But unless they are allowed the CHOICE of an OPTION they can not choose responsibility as people of greed will do it for them. Careeful people,
    \YOU may be in a desperate position and THINK your insurance is going to PAY and they wont, and some one will tell you to take 'responsibility, which you DID when you bought their policy!

    September 12, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  231. Brenda Harper

    Tony, Mr Gerhardt commented that he wanted to get back to where the country was 100 years ago. I feel we as a country fought too hard to uplift this country. Mr Gerhardt showed his true colors with that statement. I understand that he is old and some senirors are living the glory days but get over it! It's a new day and no one but maybe a nazi wants to go back to that troubled time.

    September 12, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  232. Travon Johnson

    I'am a 13 year old boy from sumter south carolina and this health care subject has went to far. And I'am just surprised at the people that are acting so stupid and don't care about who's trying to help them. These people and i said people because to me there're not americans. But president Barak Obama is trying his best his total best to bring healthcare to all who needs it and dose'nt have it. And trying his best to make healthcare affordable. And then u have the un unapreciative americans that's what i call them, that are in these stupid groups that are protesting like little babies saying they will do you know what to the president like little kids. And they think that Barak Obama is trying to destroy the United States in the opperation of doing i think the right thing. And in the congress were this man i don't know his name but he yells out "LIEAR" and that was just so childish and babyish to me i don't care. If he can say "LIEAR" to a man of higher office then i can say the man can't keep his mouth shut. And to all congressmen that don't care about what Obama is trying to stand up for, all of you are just like us americans. it dosn't matter how rich you are or how much power u has, you don't have to have healthcare if you don't want it. And this is my note to Barak Obama, Mr.President, my name is Travon S. Johnson i live in Sumter SC and i go to Bates Middle School all i want to say to you is, your doing an awsome job Mr.Preisdent, and you don't take no for an anwser but you still help. Also Mr.President don't even listen to those people who are not listening to you and are not understanding you the right way just keep on going toward the people that are doing the oppisit of those things. Because there just turning everything around because they want to. And don't let the people that want your help but want it the wrong way munipulate you. YOU ARE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES YOU DO NOT TAKE NO ANDS, IFS, NOR, BUTS ABOUT IT. YOU ARE A HIGH OFFICE, AND YOU ALWAYS HAVE DONE RIGHT EVEN WHEN YOU BECAME PRESIDENT. IF THEY DIDN'T WANT YOU AS PRESIDENT THEY WOULD HAVE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU A LONG TIME OF GO AND SOMETIMES YOU CAN LET OUT YOUR BLACK IT'S ALRIGHT. GET ON TOP OF THOSE CONGRESSMEN AND TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT AND IF THEY DON'T CARE YOUR HIGHER POWER MAKE THEM CARE.

    September 12, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  233. glenda barbre

    Right on Travon !! You have 13 years on you son, and you have more sense and insight then all those people who are trying to tear down our president who is only trying to help all people! As a great grandma in Oregon, I would like to thank you for your letter, and I am asking my higher power that congress will pass our presidents plan, and give everyone a choice (a public option)Also congress would be greatly encouraged if they all read your comment!

    September 13, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  234. FRANK

    Hi.

    I can guarantee that a majority of the people involved in the Tea Party demonstrations are members of medicare. For sure any seniors involved.

    With that in mind lets ask those people involved in the demonstrations if they are against government run health care.

    Ask them if they want to give up thier medicare.
    Ask them if thier age allows them the right to government health care.

    I'm 39 and need haelth care coverage.

    I SAY TO YOU PROTESTORS – GIVE UP YOUR MEDICARE – ITS GOVERNMENT RUN. THEN AFTER YOU GIVE IT UP – GO TRY AND PAY FOR YOUR HEALTH CARE.

    MY QUESTION IS FOR CNN TO DIRECTLY ASK PEOPLE WHO ARE PROTESTING A PUBLIC OPTION IF THEY ARE A PART OF MEDICARE.

    IF THEY SAY YES TELL THEM TO GET A LIFE.

    September 15, 2009 at 2:41 am |
  235. Michael McCann

    Heidi, Please discuss this simple solution to the "public plan". Reform Medicare first. Ask the wealthy pay for extras, such as my apnea ventilator, wheelchairs, higher Soc Sec deduction for health insurance. It is insane that the low income taxpayer should offer Donald Trump free health insurance just because he is 65. He should be in the system, but PAY his fair share, like 95% of cost. Same for myself, a retired physician. Then use these savings to extend Medicare option to unemployed to "buy into" this already existent well accepted system, but "buy-in" based on ability to pay; NO FREE LUNCH. I am a flaming liberal, but I share my conservative friend's concern that we are too much in public debt now to put more of a burden on our children, when so many well-off are not pulling their fair share. WE ALREADY HAVE A GREAT PUBLIC PLAN! IT'S CALLED MEDICARE. It needs reform first before we add a whole new bureaocracy. But it needs to be extended to those in need. I cannot understand why Mr Obama has not made Dr Dean his health care czar, given him instructions to find these savings in Medicare, not by denying or rationing care, but by excluding all the ridiculous extras that should be the domain of the private health insurance sector, (including chiropracty, homeopathy, plastic surgery, and on and on). Having practiced in all the health insurance systems, you can't beat Medicare,(plus private pay supplements for those who want these mostly unneeded extras), and these are the sentiments of the majority of practicing physicians. Michael L McCann MD

    September 15, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  236. Sandy

    I wtant to hear it all. President Obama and his administration should be applauded for tackling this issue with such zest and urgency! Other administrations ignored and scrapped as just too much work and controversey. Shows me how much class and character this administration brings to the table.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  237. Bob, Mi

    65years trying to get the right to health care for everyone in this country is long enough.I believe it will pass this time. The bill we get, may not be what we need and deserve but, like the unfunded presciption bill that the GOP push in the last administration, we'll take it and fix it later. We need tort reform, but not in this bill. Do it now but separately. To add it to this bill is just another GOP stall. Some of the people in this country can indeed chew gum and walk at the same time. I'm tired of the rest of the civilized world laughing at this country and our bad idea of health care for the few and the wealthy. Just like our system of justice for all who can afford it. We have a crysis management system in this country, not a heath care system. We need to stop the abuse and price gouging in our system, like the whell chairs for $800 that cost $395 one at a time in any supply store, or the home delivery of diabetes suplyors that send you 3 times as much as you could possibily use and bill it to medicare. hospitals that charge $25 for an asprin and $200 for a pillow. They would have you believe that they are the petagon and have black prodjects to fund. Enough is enough citizens of this country should not become millionares and billionares on the backs of the sick and infirmed. Health care and energy are the two biggest scams in this country today. We can't allow these few to take advantage of the people of this nation. Get this done now. It's too important for the Life, Liberty and Happiness of the People of the United States of America. We'll get to energy next.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:10 pm |