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February 25th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Dying for Health Coverage

Tony met a wonderful couple who really personified the need to get something done on health care reform. The Hartshorns are like so many Americans who have slipped between the cracks. They make too much for medicaid and are not old enough for medicare. Here's an update on their story:

soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Sandy

    I am currently unemployed and have been more than a year, I am 58 years old, single, do not receive unemployment because JetBlue fought my meager salary. I do not have health insurance even though I have heart disease, PAD, depression and gastric problems which I urgently need advanced tests to determine if cancerous. There is a segment of the market for women who have grown children with families of their own, who are single or divorced, always been very independent, mostly college educated, can't qualify for any loan and do not have access to any other source of income. What I am finding through my research is I basically don't qualify for any state or federal assistance on "anything" except a little money for Food assistance which I cannot use for hygiene products such as toilet paper.

    This segment of the population is broken, next step is homeless for me. I even found a program for 55 and older Senior Community Service Employment, a very good program but I run into dead ends everywhere I look, people in the state, job service, etc...haven't even heard of this program (wonder where that state money is going)?

    This segment; ie: 50-62, especially women, are not priority and there is not assistance available, not for housing, health, financial assistance, etc. What do we do now??? I am lost, really lost now.

    February 25, 2010 at 10:22 am |
  2. Erica (Georgia)

    It's not just the older population. It's also the younger population, too. I'm 35. I became unemployed in 2007. While in college, I was paying $700 – $1000 a semester for student health care. When I went to Grady Hospital about my High Blood Pressure and Iron-deficiency anemia and for a physical, I paid the required deductible.

    On top of that I paid for my visits to Grady and the numerous prescriptions they gave me. Later I started receiving bills from Grady, Emory and Morehouse Colleges. These bills ranged from $35 to $300. What was my $700 – 1000 a semester insurance covering? With only a student loan that barely covered tuition, books, student insurance and supplies, I couldn't afford rent, food and medical bills. Something had to give. So the medical bills are in collections and I've had to drop the insurance on the last two semesters I was in college.

    I've graduated college, but I still have not found not even a job, much less something I would like as a career. I have even applied as a janitor at the grocery store, which I was told I was overqualified for the position. Another employer told me that she couldn't hire me because she didn't want the competition from someone with a degree.

    So, I'm living under someone else's roof, unable to help other than to keep the place clean. I'm working on my own venture, but I have no capital to start it. Tax season is right around the corner. I'm sending my resume around the world, but no money to travel to interviews. I still need medication for my blood pressure, but I'll have to find a way to live without it.

    Yet, politicians that live off of my tax money with health care that I provide them, don't want me to have the same health care they are receiving from my money? I guess we will all be one less vote to you guys when we die from lack of health care.

    February 25, 2010 at 10:53 am |
  3. Christina

    I'm middle class, probably in some cases upper middle class. One day I hurt my elbow at work which lead to surgery. Long Story short, I go from earning a descent wage, with health insurance for over 25 years, never received any public assistance ever to basically living on a small amount from workers compensation, no health care because the time frames discontinued it and needing to ask for food stamps and medi-cal. I got food stamps $75 a month...now I could buy 75 boxes of mac and cheese to feed my kids...and was denied medical because I owned my house. I didn't qualify for healthy families because i didn't have EARNED income and I couldn't afford the COBRA $1400 a month on $1800 income. After all my years of being a TAXPAYER...I got screwed. No reason we can't have health care for everyone that is functional....maybe if people had good preventative care they would end up with so many preexisting conditions. Politics can't regulate the human function which means that some will inherit stuff from their long line of DNA that will cause them to be sick, some will do things to themselves that will make them sick, some will do nothing at all and get that freak illness, and some will just need some antibiotics to kill and infection or an inhaler etc... EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTRY DESERVES HEALTH CARE.

    February 25, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  4. Christina

    LAMAR at the health care summit just gave a story that his FRIEND said to him "I hope your going to kill that health care bill" BUT my wife has breast cancer so something needs to be done." Now why should this man get something that someone else needs equally that may be a different race than him or a different income status or whatever. This kind of story sounds like he's saying in Tennessee don't cover all those low class other race people just get us covered and that is wrong and that is the basis of the republican way of thinking. As long as they are taken care of and they can make a lot of money on the backs of the people they don't want to help...then they are fine. Forget the rest of the world, we are ok. Anyone who accepts this way of thinking and buys into this and elects them into office is crazy.

    February 25, 2010 at 10:58 am |
  5. Maurice Stanton

    I think our elected officials are acting more like gangster’s claiming gangs then doing for the people. They call it partisanship, I call it political gang banging. On the streets gangster's shoot at each other, but in Washington they filibuster. In the streets gangs wear colors or clothes to identify themselves, in Washington they wear nice party pens and sit only with other (gang member's) party members. Gangs hurt there communities, Washington’s partisanship is killing Americans. Instead of a bipartisan press conference maybe we should have a gang truce conference for Washington politicians. My Health insurance will go up 20% in two months. It’s already costing me 1/3 of my pay check for family coverage. Health insurance companies and every other special interest group have fueled and understand that as long as we have a gang war in Washington we can screw Americans. Spartanburg,SC

    February 25, 2010 at 11:01 am |
  6. Fred Waddell

    Instead of trying to pass "comprehensive health insurance" in one stoke, why not a step or phase in plan, whereby the least controversial aspects of it are presented in stage one, then in stage two more controversial aspects of taken up, and finally stage three, where the most controversial aspects are considered. Such a common sense "phase in" approach has NEVER been mentioned even once by politicians, nor the media. Why??
    Fred Waddell

    February 25, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  7. Brent Snelling

    I have health care, I am Canadian and yes thier are some wait times for somethings but come on ,only the rich can get the big expensive test and procedures at the drop of a hat. Their is rationing in your system too, your insurance companies tells many people they can't get this or that unless you can pay for it. But the horror stories in our system are over blown and used to politicize the basic issue. I can see my doctor in 20 min. and people without a family doctor might wait max two hours for an emergencies at what we call medicenters that are everywhere. I am unemployed and have been for a while but got tendenituse in my shoulder and was able to get it taken care of with no fear of cost to my family when things are tight. I never have to think food or medical care and that feeling civilized people should not have to deal with.

    February 25, 2010 at 11:32 am |
  8. Gary Bersin

    One problem with the health care bill in both the Democratic and Republican form is leaving out illegal aliens. Currently, illegal or undocumented aliens get free health care. Because of the Hill-Burton law, hospitals can not turn any patient because inability to pay. So what happens today? An undocumented alien goes to the emergency room. Gets the care he/she needs and leaves. What happens to the bill? The hospital writes it off.
    With the current proposals, the undocumented alien can not participate in the health care program where he/she will be obligated to acquire health insurance. Now, what is the incentive to get an undocumented alien to get health insurance? NONE
    The undocumented alien will just go on and get the free services he/she got before.
    Forget about the problem with identifying an undocumented alien. For these people, it would be better tho allow them to purchase health care insurance and reduce the bad debt caused by an undocumented alien created by none payment for services leaving out any requirement for indentity that he/she is undocumented. Let the system work for the health care delivery system, not the INS.
    I worked in Homestead FL in the early 70's with a clinci serving migrants and seasonal farmworkers, all undocumented. These people all got healt care treatment. If only they had the mechanism to purchase health insurance, they could have been part of the system.
    The only problem with thses workers would have been none of them made enough to be able to purchase health insurance. But today, with undocumented aliens making more money, many of them could afford insurance. Let the health bill proposal allow this to happen and reduce the burdon on hospitals. Some local hospitals had to close because health care to undocumented aliens was too much for the hospitals to handle.
    Thank You.
    Gary Bersin

    February 25, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  9. Thomas K. Cole

    Congress has an obligation to fix the peoples cronic problems. Saying no is no solution. Yet, everybody needs to pay something towards their health care and it is not right for those that pay to have to pay for those that do not. There should be no free lunch on health care. Insurance does not need to be under antitrust legislation to set their own prices, especially since health care cost are a hugh portion of everyone's budget. If the congress paid for their own regular health insurance instead of having their superior plan, this issues would be a much higher priority. It is rediculous to use as an excuse to raise rates by saying healthy individuals are dropping insurance because of the rates, so they have to raise rates on everyone else. Regardless, government needs to control the greed, rate hikes, and distribution of care. In case nobody has been watching, the supply and demand of the market just doesn't work in this eara gof greed. Government does have a major role.

    February 25, 2010 at 11:53 am |
  10. richard stabile

    For the past hour or so I have been listening to the debate on health care reform. What I have been hearing is nothing more than political speeches with no solutions. Everything they are saying are all things we have heard before. The republicans are criticizing the democrats the democrats are criticizing the republicans and nobody is really discussing compromise. Nobody on either side is really talking about ways to combine their ideas, they are only talking about what is wrong with the other sides plans. I have yet to hear one politician come up with any idea for a solution, only ways to put down what the other side suggests. I have certainly heard a lot of statistics spouted (and they don’t agree on those either.) If you want a statistic, go out the door and ask any American if health reform is needed and you can bet you will get a 100% statistic saying Yes!! So why don’t they all stop patting themselves on the back for making good speeches and sit down and really discuss ways to change the broken system. And please keep in mind that they are supposed to be representing the American people and not the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and certainly not their own political ambitions. Richard

    February 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
  11. Anita Painter

    Shame on you for breaking away from the Presidential Health Care Summit to ask commentaries from others not on the panel. We can hear your comments any time but we can't witness the full summit meeting some time else. Please give us the full news.

    February 25, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
  12. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Theres not any thing as scary as a doctor telling you that get this prescription or else your going to die but when you go to get it thinking about 30.00 turns out to be 500.00 and then he gives you more prescriptions and before you know it you have a 2000.00 prescription bill I was lucky I was able to get SSI so I get to live because I didnt have enough credits for Disability SS but something needs to be done to help people more to get there medication every one should have the choice to live .

    February 25, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  13. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Just hook all these guys up on IV's and dont turn them loose until they break the gridlock .

    February 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
  14. Dan

    If you are young and healthy, join the military. People make choices through out life. I made the choice to serve this great nation for 20 years.
    There are others who want nothing to do with the military, and I know for a fact, as I know some personally, now they don't have insurance and/or employment.
    I chose to serve for 20 years. Now, I have a retirement check once a month (whether I want it or not) and very good health coverage.
    In addition because of the training and experience I received in the military, I am now working as a Federal Civil employee.
    People talk about pre-existing conditions. Yes, there are numerous pre-existing conditions; however, because one chose to smoke for years and now has emphasyma, or worse, lung cancer, or one did drugs thru needles and now has AIDS, or one who drank so much now has a damaged liver, to me are not pre-existing conditions. It boils down to life style changes.

    February 25, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  15. susan g

    Someone call off the dogs ....
    on top of struggling to find a job, keep food on the table and trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors – I can not afford health care in the State of Mass and I don't qualify for any realistically priced health care option that I can afford at this time – needless to say I have no health insurance for the first time in my professional middle aged life!!!
    To compound my problem .... I'm being penalized and fined by the State and the Feds for not having health insurance!!!!!
    Something has got to give ..... sooooonnnn!

    February 25, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
  16. ladams

    Hey CNN why not have a none biased panel instead a bunch of right wing republicans as so so-called analist,

    LA

    February 25, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  17. hamiltonarrows

    So much for government run health insurance vs. the US "free enterprise" model.

    as recent as Jan 1, 2009

    Death Rate
    7.6 deaths / 1,000 population
    8.3 deaths / 1,000 population
    US has a 8.4% higher death rate.

    Life Expectancy
    81.2 years
    78.1 years
    Canada has a 3.8% higher life expectancy.

    This gap will continue to grow as US insurance rates climb. I would venture that due to the economy the next 2 or 3 years will show an even greater gap.

    Canadians do not go bankrupt when faced with long term illness & are not forced to avoid visits to the doctor because of potential costs.

    The system is not perfect but we do not condemn our poor to death so that vested interests can continue to reap massive profits on the backs of the sick.

    February 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
  18. Bill from Greensboro

    You don't hear anything about providers in all of this. If you have insurance, fall and twist your ankle and your MD sends you for an MRI, the 'negotiated' charge for the MRI will be around $900.00. If you don't have insurance, you are charged around $1800.00.
    This is price gouging the uninsured!!!!
    The providers MAKE MONEY at the 'negotiated' rates!

    One way to prevent health costs from escalating so rapidly:
    Congress should pass legislation that prohibits the providers from charging anyone without insurance more than the LOWEST negotiated rate that the provider charges someone with insurance.

    February 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  19. Sandy

    Looks like the GOP wants this put on state agencies to delegate insurance coverages and separate high risk pools, easy for Congress and Senate GOP to say, since they really don't represent the people, expecially that of middle or lower income people...we are not the ones who re-elect them, it is the wealthy and large corporations...they don't care about the people outside of that upper eschelon. Easy for them to say, they are employed and have incredible health and dental and disability and et. al.

    And if there is a group defined as "high risk," there will be discrimination and denial of coverages to many, many Americans. And if high risk encompasses pre-existing conditions (then this tells you how important preventative care is in avoiding this and something insurance companies have done to the system for decades and decade), this should be an argument on what insurance companies have done to themselves.

    Finally, if people are put in high risk categories and say you are put into a category that you smoke, or have smoked...then obesity should also be defined as high risk, for adults and children. What happens with diabetics or people with heart disease that can't even afford to go to the doctor let alone address badly needed surgeries revolving around heart disease.

    February 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  20. Sandy

    Additionally, with a population out of work, no money, being kicked out of their homes there has probably never been a time when there was more need for preventative measures and treatment. What insurance companies will find is a severe increase in depression, stress related illnesses, exacerbation of existing problems in severe need of less invasive treatment. I think the Insurance companies and the GOP would rather see the "lower echelon" go away and have a country of wealthy people who can donate to campaigns and gladly take money from big business and hire lawyers to make sure its hidden properly and the hell with the rest of us. I feel as though Insurance companies approach this "hiccup" by taking on the approach of class action lawsuits, if they appeal long enough, these people will die.

    February 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  21. helena laporta

    why does CNN have BEN STEIN AS a commentator?He's a FOX news operative.

    February 25, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  22. Sandy

    Listening to the health care summit just convinces me the GOP is out of touch...this is politics and it is NOT about the "people." Its about elections and power and puffery...I want to scream..."Hey! over here! remember me!? I am "the people" and I am tired of your politics! period! GOP had 8 years to reform our healthcare system and ignored it, took money from big insurance business, embraced insurance company lobbyists and said the hell with "you" the people . GOP has not once tried to tackle this dire problem...why? They are in the bed with the insurance companies and all big business.

    I hope you all understand, the people of this country are much, much smarter than they are given credit...do politicians really believe we are not savvy on what is going on in this country with healthcare and big business??? I admire President Obama for taking this on because it is obvious he is once again running into a dead end with the GOP. It is easy for the GOP to fault programs that they didn't have the b___s to initiate because they might piss off the wealthy or compromise campaign monies from big business and the wealthy. The GOP attacks with no track record of their own to argue. .

    ALL AMERICANS DESERVE INSURANCE, IT IS AN INHERENT RIGHT IN THIS COUNTRY AND A MORAL RIGHT. If i had a job I would be happy to have a portion go to public health, especially if we are freed of exaggerated insurance premiums that gives CEO's tens of millions of dollars in compensation. Do politicians forget...a year ago insurance provided were giving bonuses to employees who initiated ways to deny claims???

    February 25, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
  23. Sandy

    I agree, why is Ben Stein on this panel, this contribution goes against every reason I watch CNN, cannot stand fox!!

    February 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  24. Sandy

    And I agree you...CNN should not be breaking away from Summit to address your panel...I can make my own deductions from the Summit and I don't need or want your commentary. This is a subject close to all of us who are watching and we are the ones without a job or healthcare...and guess what? we are pretty smart and savvy at coming to our own conclusions, thank you very much.

    Guess what Orin Hatch is in the pockets of the healthcare industry, he is heavily vested in this industry personally. I know this because I live in Utah, I have interviewed Sen. Hatch and he is a good man on the most part but again he is personally heavily vested in the healthcare industry. I worked for network news and this is a fact!

    February 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  25. Christina

    Richard Durbin is exactly right! Everyone, republican or democrat or independent, is one accident or one diagnosis away from a disaster...everyone deserves healthcare. How can voters elect someone to office who ends up better off than they will ever be.

    February 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  26. Sandy

    Where is the GOP getting their statistics??? They take a hand count at town, tea party meetings...wow, that's a surprise!

    February 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm |
  27. Sandy

    I agree with Christina, Richard Durbin said it best and so did some of the others who commented, take these privileges away from everyone at this summit and everyone in the Senate and Congress and see how quickly these issues get resolved.

    February 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  28. Dennis Darrow

    Raised as a staunch Republican from Reading Ohio (John Boener too) I am now an enlightened American and VERY frustrated with the Republican "let's start over" message. Who are these people talking too? We need to take their health coverage away until this is resolved. I agree with our President that every American, young or old, rich or poor should have access to health coverage. The Republican's say their plan covers an additional 3 million but what about the other 27 million? I am disgusted with the Republican stance and politics on this important topic. Our President was impressive before this summit – we should all be proud to have such a leader!

    February 25, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  29. Debbie

    How did CNN decide when to cut away for commercials or to show commentary from right leaning analysts? You seemed to cut off the democrats a great deal of the time, to the point I turned to view it on my computer. The frequent commentary was a horrible decision. Why not let us hear what our leaders are saying and afterwords you are free to trash health care reform until your heart's content.
    I know a number of people who are desperate for health care who have been denied because of pre-existing conditions. I don't want Congress to start over. Stop wasting time and stop bringing abortion into the debate. All Americans deserve health care. The majority of Americans are one serious injury or illness away from financial ruin. It's time to fix this horrible mess.

    February 25, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  30. Sandy

    We, the people, want a comprehensive plan like public servants receive..."public servants" seems like a contradiction of terms since the "public servants" are not serving "the people" who elected them.

    The GOP is "for" continuing with "pre-existing" condition. I would bet 85% of people over 50 years of age have pre-existing conditons. I was denied short and long term disability on a benefit I payed many years on, for clinical depression, first time was when I was going through menopause and the second time for clinical depression after my twin sister was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and died subsequently 6 months later. I had letters from my primary care doctor and from a licensed counselor...METCALF was the first insurance company that
    denied me coverage and PRUDENTIAL was the second.

    I am wholeheartedly in favor of regulating the insurance companies, they have acted grossly irresponsible to the people they are suppose to be serving. Personally I don't trust these larger insurance companies not to "influence" and "embellish" these smaller companies with monies of bribe. There is absolutely no reason the American people who have been paying these outrageous premiums to "ever" trust that they will do right by them.

    Start over? Right! Like that will help...yes, Mr. President...do not go back, we beg you....the GOP has a history of inaction and self interest. The GOP needs to understand, we voted you in, we will vote you out!! I would like to see them, just once, with an original thought or initiative. Eight years the GOP had to work toward a solution, what did they do....honestly, I do not know, nothing as far as I could deduct. And I am very involved in knowing my issues and politics as are the majority of people. We are "sick to death," (almost literally).of all their GOP rhetoric.

    REGULATE, REGULATE, REGULATE! PLEASE!

    February 25, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  31. dean

    Only when health care becomes unaffordable for most americans will the politicians take this issue serious.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:50 am |
  32. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I hope my comment will be read by CNN but there are more Hartshorns out there and constituents do not have the time to play politics for these Congressman.

    February 26, 2010 at 7:14 am |
  33. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Hamiltonarrows gets it right. There is so much government to run health insurance vs. the US "free enterprise" model. What is a Health Insurance and what is “Free Enterprise?” Deaths? Short Life Expectancy. The Perfect Health Care System portray on the Health Care Summit by Republicans does not exist. The fact is that the Perfect Health Care System condemns our poor to death so that the vested can continue to reap massive profits on the backs of the sick.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  34. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Maurice Stanton has made a perfect comment our elected officials are acting more like gangster’s claiming gangs then doing for the people but there speed is terrible since it is not performing for the needs of patients. At his moment they call it partisanship but it is clear gang banging. On the streets gangster's shoot at each other, but in Washington they filibuster. In the streets gangs wear colors or clothes to identify themselves, in Washington they wear nice party pens and sit only with other (gang member's) party members. Gangs hurt there communities and in Washington’ political agendas are killing Americans. We need a truce conference for constituents and not for politicians. Many people there Health insurance is already going up 30%. We do not have time for political agendas and to accommodate the needs of Politicians. Health insurance companies and every other special interest group have fueled and understand that as long as we have a gang war in Washington we can screw Americans and someone has to stop the cycle.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  35. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Dan I am 48 years old and I am already diagnosed with a Degenerative Neurological condition as Multiple Sclerosis. My late husband served our great country and my oldest brother has retired some year’s ago from service. People make choices through out life but your choice to serve this great nation for 20 years does not give you the right to speak the final ruling. The fact is that our Perfect Health Care Country as some Republican pointed out yesterday on the Health Care Summit does not have provisions for Veteran Widows. Doctors still puzzle with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and the “Free Enterprise” wants to control research for things like CCSVI. MS Patients should be entitle to answers and although CCSVI is a type Venous Insufficiency condition MS Patients should be entitle to proper Health Care and no negation of Health Care. MS is not a life style condition or derive from life style changes.

    February 26, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  36. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Thinking in retrospective Sandy listening to the health care summit just convinces anyone that the GOP is out of touch. The Health Care Reform it simply about politics and it is NOT about the "people." The Health Care Summit is about elections and power. Although it makes you want to scream we need to stay cool. Your comment “"Hey! over here! remember me!? I am "the people" and I am tired of your politics! period!” is the correct one but Republicans cannot forget there 8 years of power and like bullies they want to continue. We need Health Care Reform because our healthcare system is a disaster and the Perfect Health Care System from America does not exist. The system has to ignore money from big insurance business. Health Insurance Companies have embraced insurance company lobbyists and they do not care about the people. GOP dressed with the excuse of the “Free Enterprise” and in the end they use scare tactics to manage and control people. They have never once tried to tackle this dire problem because someone is receiving a chunk of this cake. Politicians are comfortably with the insurance companies and all big business.
    I believe Sandy that people have to take control of this situation. The people have to show there smart. Politicians are not only use the scare tactics. Labels will be use next. People have to bring the topic of what is going on in this country with healthcare and business. I also admire President Obama for taking this on because it is obvious he is once again running into a dead end with the GOP but we knew it. It is easier for the GOP to fault programs that they didn't have the savvy to initiate. The GOP might be upset for the wealthy but they did not move fast and in the case of the GOP being compromise by campaign money from big business and the wealthy that is there problem. The GOP will attack with no track record of their own to argue. The GOP is desperate.
    The reality is that ALL AMERICANS DESERVE INSURANCE, IT IS AN INHERENT RIGHT IN THIS COUNTRY AND A MORAL RIGHT. If I could also have a job I would be happy for my health care but instead I went back to study because the economy here in Orlando, Florida was terrible. Politicians have forgotten...a year ago insurances … were giving bonuses to employees who initiated ways to deny claims.

    February 26, 2010 at 9:12 am |
  37. Christina

    I agree with Debbie...why all the new commentating on everything to the point it is overkill. The new is to report the facts and now it has become so biased and opinionated it is not doing the public, the issue, or this country any good. Why don't you put us on to commentate and not all these so called experts that seem to get it wrong most of the time anyway. I kept hearing a lot of we don't know what the Americans are thinking or we know what the Americans are thinking and really the only people the politicians are in touch with are the ones that donate to their campaigns.

    February 26, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  38. Ginger Carter

    Hi, Tony,

    All of this Republican recalcitrance about costs and government involvement in health care got me thinking: who's paying for Dick Cheney's healthcare?

    February 26, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  39. John

    Hey Tony,
    HSA's does not work for most people. . example. I use to pay a copay for doctors visit and a copay for presciptions. Now my premium has increased and i receive $1000 from my employer to put in my HSA account. Now everytime I go to the doctor or fill a prescription I have to use this account to pay for services and up to $2500 out of pocket before insurance benefits starts. Note higher premiums less benefit more out of pocket..

    February 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  40. Bob Holmes

    I am commenting on the obvious tactics (including mis-leading ads, targeted poll numbers, and scare tactics) used by the Republicans in Washington to stop any and all programs initiated by President Obama solely for the purpose of making future political gains. I am especially irritated by the Republican efforts to block health care reform at the expense of the country. The Republicans blocking these efforts should be voted out of office at the earliest possible opportunity. The voters of this great country should let everyone know with their votes that we still have a strong voice. My wife and I retired recently with very modest retirement compensation. In less than two years, the deductions taken from our retirement compensation has already been raised by approximately 33% and we are hearing that further deductions can be expected. That is in affect less money for everyday expenses. Our retirement compensation can essentially be seriously depleted over time at the present rate. Someone needs to stop the political bickering and think of the people. At least there is one thing the Republican politicians cannot control…and that is the fact that one does not have to be rich to vote them out. Just like on the TV show SURVIVOR, I suspect the Republicans are going to get the largest amounts of “blindsides” in history by being voted out.

    February 26, 2010 at 12:32 pm |
  41. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    I've heard it reported that 45,000 Americans die every year because of no health care coverage. What if 45,000 Americans died every year because of faulty cars or aircraft, I'm sure that congress would take action immediately. It sounds like a double standard. Not all Americans are treated equally, isn't all life important?

    February 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  42. Pastor Brooks

    now on the health care, I feel the president showed great leadership during the meeting. I Tell you what have some of the high powered republicans and democrats have them give up their health program and try to by some on their own. Maybe they will understand and have more compassion.
    My wife is a Physical Therapist for over 35 years and for the past 2 years she has not been able to get health care either through the work or on her own. she is 59 years old, I am a Pastor (self employed) and a School bus driver and can't afford health care and I 'm 55. We have tried government assistance and they say we make too much. So, bottom line is get these multi millionaires to get off their high horses and become a bit more humble and show more compassion and understanding for the people who voted for them.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
  43. Christina

    JOHN MCCAIN is a dangerous opponent. He is so sure about what the Americans don't need all coming from a man who is married to the owner of BUDWISER..look at how alcohol has ravaged this country and some families...He is a MULTIMILLIONAIRE ...must be nice...He has SEVEN or more homes, he's not even sure how many...must be nice. So he NEEDS nothing and that is the attitude the Republicans are taking if they don't need it then no one else really needs it either. This is WRONG.

    He is such a puppet. He is and says what it thinks his next election wants him to say or think or believe.

    February 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
  44. Mark Housman

    I'm really sick and tired of hearing the republicans in the house and senate talk about healthcare. I think we should ask them to give up their government paid for healthcare if they think it is a socialist takeover.

    My son lost his healthcare when he lost his job and then got sick. I'd like to hear what these people would do when they or their children lost their healthcare.

    March 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  45. ewm

    Did I miss the CNN report on the Health Insurance Industry?
    What is the history of the Health Insurance Industry?
    How does a Health Insurance Company make it's profit?

    March 1, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  46. Fran

    I don't know who is taking the polls or where that information comes from because too many people are hurting & dying for medical care NOW. I just want this to pass right away and made available NOW – can't wait til 2012, 2013, or 2015.

    March 1, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
  47. C.M. Ramakrishna

    Hi, Tony,
    I can sympathize with Shorthorns’ predicament regarding their health coverage. But have they ever considered their personal responsibility for their own health? Are they eating nutritious foods, avoiding all junk foods – fried foods, processed foods etc.? Both of them appear to be overweight. Gary may even be obese. I am 78+ and my wife is 72+. Yet we are in very great shape, because we eat only nutritious foods. We don’t eat ANY junk foods – processed foods, fried foods, foods with sugar, corn syrup or artificial flavors or colors, etc.; and we exercise everyday for about an hour. We must understand that essentially our health and happiness lie in our own hands.

    March 1, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
  48. Don

    You know if we lose this chance to get health care reform because of the abortion issue. Shame on these people who want it in the bill. They should ask them self would they pay for abortion insurance. Probably not, then why ask the American people to pay for it.

    March 2, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  49. george pellatt

    With the recent suicide bombings in Iraq I was wondering how many of there have been since the start of the war. Must be in the thousands by now. I think it's safe to say that the unfortunate individuals, both men and women , have killed many more Iraqis as well as brave Americans than have been killed by American soldiers. Where do they find that many people who think that self destruction is a positive event. Can there be that many virgins in the world?

    March 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm |
  50. david

    This is why the public option in health care reform should be implemented as soon as tomorrow. Make it happen by declaring victory in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Pull our troops out and back to the US and, also, those stationed in foreign nations. See the billions of dollars we will save and help our fellow countrymen without busting the budget. President Obama should implement this immediately in this emergency situation. Also, eliminate all foreign aid to all nations except those in the western hemisphere. Project a strong national defense from our shores and be willing to demonstrate that directly from here.

    March 4, 2010 at 12:01 pm |