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June 12th, 2009
07:31 PM ET

AMA vs. Pres. Obama's Health Care Reform

Monday, President Obama talks to America’s doctors at the annual AMA convention. Doctors have a lot of worries about his health care reform ideas.

CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen talks to CNN Newsroom anchor Tony Harris.

soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    The American Medical Association has not being truthful to patients when millions of Americans Minorities have suffered thanks to big interest of doctors and big corporations. We need to work in closing the Gap for American Minorities.
    Millions of Americans are the uninsured. I hope that my opinion could move to clarify any wrong ideas but clearly political agendas are stronger.

    The estimate to 45 million Americans without health insurance which is a
    number that has been consistently rising since 1989 is not a good prognosis for America.

    How can the statists to one in five Americans under the age of 65 in Florida, be good for America. The fact is that 15% of Americans who live without
    health insurance is a staggering state of affairs, especially in
    Education.

    We live in a country that leads the world in advanced medical procedures
    and technology but the reality is that advances medical procedures are not
    open for everyone.

    We have work to present health reform discussions to be clear. Does anyone
    has come up with a better idea than creating a new government-run public
    health insurance plan similar to that of Medicare or Medicaid?

    The United States is going thru baby steps of England after World War II
    when the medical system crumble and did not work for the citizens. The
    fact is that we did not have a War going on locally like Europe.

    Maybe the independent studies have to cut corners. The independent studies have to show that 118 million Americans could lose their current health care coverage are not clear.

    The reality is that our economic situation will bring 130 million
    Americans who could end up on a government run health insurance plan if
    the government sets payment rates at Medicare rates.

    I do believe that the solution to this problem can be found by expanding
    already the government programs. At this level the promotion of real
    competition among private plans cannot work to demonstrate effectiveness, is
    elusive and it is not real.

    Competition cannot happen and quality and cost cannot be offer to me since
    I have Multiple Sclerosis which is a condition label as a pre existing
    condition.

    I had the chance to benefit from the Health Reform in Puerto Rico because
    Health Care was not offer to me in Miami, FL because Multiple Sclerosis is a catastrophic condition. If we the patients can have a Health Program we
    can emphasis in the needs to place and promote a wellness and financial
    incentives for healthy behaviors such as losing weight, and quitting
    smoking but it cannot be done otherwise.

    Right now in America I do not have any Health Care System. I am one in
    five under the age of 65 in Florida. How can leaving a person cut off of the
    Health System be good for America?

    Thank God that Senator Martinez from Florida told me that there is a broad
    agreement on both sides of the aisle that our current health care system
    is in need of reform.

    People have to take action aimed at making the system end the Health Disparities and we need to close the Gap as the report from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap that points out. This document can be found at http://www.HealthReform.gov.

    We need to work together to make sure that Congress understand that the Health Care System is more affordable. You all have to make sure to improve the quality of care, by expanding access to all Americans.

    Americans want a health care system. They had not had that system that
    had work for them. Americans who are less fortunate can learn the
    innovations, one at a time but putting patients and doctors at the center
    of health care decisions is major important.

    The current system does not allow that perception. Patients cannot
    choose a healthcare plans that best suits their needs. It is like me when
    I was in Puerto Rico two years ago for three years. I had to do everything one step at the time.

    The first thing I did was to visit the dentist. I felt like a millionaire. Then I had a mammography and then I went to a Neurologist and I did a bone density test. The medication indicated for major exacerbations for Multiple Sclerosis eats the bone.

    I had my colonoscopy too but services for Persons with Disabilities do not exist in Puerto Rico. The services lack in Puerto Rico. Do you have an idea what is Multiple Sclerosis? Heat exacerbates us patients.

    Can you imagine me in the middle of the summer without any air conditioner? I had to file a complaint to the U.S. Department of Transportation when a driver for the local government bus company in Puerto Rico refused the use of the lift to me just because I use a four wheel walker DOT # 2005-0030. How can a Person with Disabilities do without a reliable transportation system?

    Thank you allowing me to share my story and thank you for taking the time to read my email but I believe that we all need to Close the Health Disparities and Close the Gap for all Americans. Maybe you need to look at the report from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Disparities: A Case for Closing the Gap that can be found at http://www.healthreform.gov/ on option number 1.

    Respectfully yours,

    Mrs. Eileen G. Currás widow to Hernandez (WWII)
    Multiple Sclerosis Patient since 2000

    June 12, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  2. Dovie Desirey

    My son in law is employed full time, his pay is about $14 an hour and he has to pay out of pocket about $400 a month for health insurance for the family. The insurance is not even that great. One employer he had in the past would not cover by daughter when she was pregnant becuase she was 4 months pregnant when he went to work for the employer and they considered her pregnancy a pre existing condition so therefore would not cover the expense. I was stund. I work for an agency that offers good benefits but if the agency did not have to pay so much we could probably get a raise in pay. If I get sick and need to take time off work because of a disability I pay cobra which I can not afford. The health care system in this country is broken. The billing system is even worse.

    June 13, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  3. Tom Harper

    I can't watch the video because I only have dial-up internet, but I certainly hope that President Obama and the Democratic coalition can overcome the AMA's objections. If it wasn't for the AMA, then all Americans including the poor would already have a National Health Care system. All the AMA wants to do is maintain their power, they have no interest in the health of anybody except those that are rich enough to pay the exorbitant fees.

    June 13, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  4. MoneyedPoliticians

    There is but one solution: single payer like Medicare-for-all. But the insurance industry has given $46 million in campaign contributions to block it. Who do you think the politicians are going to listen to?

    June 13, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  5. Camilia ElDidi

    My family and I strongly agree with the President's healthcare reform act. Every Amrican deserves the proper healthcare. We need our country, our kids, and our families healthy.

    Thank you

    June 13, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  6. Cindy

    It's about time that all of the special interests lobbyists (insurance companies, drug companies, doctors, etc.), realized that the system is broken. If they wish to keep earning the shameful profits they are accustom to they had better help President Obama reform the system. Otherwise, within a few short years their incomes will be zero. The average American can no longer tolerate the excesses of a broken system to continue. We need a single payer option to bring needed competition to the system which will control the run away costs of health care.

    June 13, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  7. José F. Colón

    Health Care is a right of every individual, not a priviledge for some. One of the most important changes that President Obama's administration would be to make amendments to the current HMO system and provide a procedure such as well administered and highly funded Medicare, for all, system. Of course, this one payer plan would not eliminate people who have insurance and are ok with it.
    This project would Honor Senator Edward Kennedy and comply with the ideas of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she tried to implement a health care change years ago.

    June 13, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  8. Belinda

    The doctors "do not want to be reimbursed at Medicare rates"?? Boo hoo. Give me a break! Did they ever think about the fact that not only do we not WANT to pay their exorbitant rates, but many of us are not able to?? My husband makes good money, we have health insurance, and yet I STILL have to pay a $500 deductible, just to have simple blood work done! Guess that can wait on the back burner, along with my root canal and permanent crown that never got fixed either, due to not having enough money . . .

    June 13, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  9. Sam Isaacs

    I can understand the need for the Healthcare but I question where it will make a difference as all Insurance that I know of requires some kind of deductable. I know currently I have Insurance but both my wife and I are in fairly urgent need of going to the Doctor. The problem for us is that I recently lost my job and we owe the Doctor money. When this happens the Doctors office's refuse to see you. Therefore it makes having Insurance useless unless you are Hospitalized for some major problem. We still have to pay the premiums to the Insurance Company but we cannot use it. If we had no Insurance we would have the money for Doctors visits. Obama's idea is to have Insurance so the major problems can be avoided. How can this happen if you cant even afford the deductable for a Doctors visit? In addition to this Insurance Companies require Doctors to lower their costs to them if consumers could pay what the Insurance pays wouldnt going to the Doctor be more affordable not to have Insurance for their visits? and what about the prescriptions that go with them if you have Insurance with a $20 co-pay for prescritpions and the regular cost for the prescription is $5 guess how much you pay for it. No it's not the regular cost you pay but the amount of your deductable. What a crock!!! If these issuse were worked on I think we may be able to solve some of our own problems and not have to worry about any other Government interference!!

    June 13, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  10. Frank Pittman

    Of course the AMA, drug companies and hospitals do not want a public option as their main interest seems to be profit and NOT the assurance that every American can have insurance that actually
    covers their medical needs. Interesting that the only opposers to this idea (a Public Option) already have the insurance that they seem to think is not necessary for others who can afford or be approved under the current system.

    June 13, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  11. Jason

    Medical insurance companies are wasteful, they are mere economic leeches who seek to wherever possible leave the sick to be sick and a sly smile towards any healthy person's pocket book. They are a middle entity that is wasteful, undeded , and unethical in our society. They are a company whose very business survives off of denying care as much as possible to those who need it. They give massive bonuses for employee's who can deny medical claims and those who can discover pre-existing conditions. Medicla insunrance companies are Gambling with health/ethics.

    Universal Health Care.

    PS Public Education is a socialistic tool. So if you feel that Universal Health Care wouldn't work or that it is too socialistic, take a look at public education.

    I would like my children when they get older to see universal health care as accepted as education.

    And it will be. IF we don't give into greed and excessive selfishness. We Need our Thomas Jefferson on Health Care (he fought hard to show how government funded education could work)

    June 13, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  12. Chuck Self

    Who doesn't want better health and more prosperity for all citizens...actually all humans.

    But, just because it is good for people to have access to quality healthcare, doesn't mean the government should be in the business of providing it.

    We already have two enormous budget problems associated with entitlements. As you all know, those programs are named Social Security and Medicare. Until the government convinces finds a way to fully fund those government sponsored health and welfare programs it is my strong belief that we shouldn't bring public sponsored healthcare to the table.

    June 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Liz

    Of course we should have universal health care – we are the only industrialized, developed nation that does not have it. How much does our country support the well-being of it's people?

    June 13, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  14. John K Edoga, MD FACS

    Not only must the Government provide an alternative health insurance program, it must also get deeply involved in the delivery system itself if any healthcare reform legislation that is passed is going to have a lasting beneficial effect.
    The current system is difficult to access, unevenly available, administratively top heavy and extremely inefficient. It therefore, cannot be relied on to make the needed changes unless real competition emerges. If healthcare systems can unilaterally decide which health insurance programs they will or will not accept and what services are covered, they should not also get to be heard on who or what can emerge to take care of the patients they have turned away.
    The people's money can be better spent on offset programs to encourage multispecialty groups of physicians and other healthcare professionals to set up practices and smaller hospitals in the communities especially the underserved areas of the country.
    I say bring on the competition in all areas of healthcare and think of new ways to deal with the large issues that drive the spiralling costs for example, professional liability. We will all be better for it.
    John

    June 13, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  15. Karla Franklin

    Our country's new leader, President Obama, has the right idea pursuing health care for every American. I personally feel that basic health care should be a right for every American, not just the privileged, regardless of income, unemployment, or ability to pay. By basic health care, I mean all aspects, including dental, vision care, mental health, preventive medicine, and drug coverage. It is up to us all as a nation to provide equal coverage to all, rich and poor alike. And yes, I feel if it means taxing those individuals and corporations that have the largest financial means to help support this idea, then so be it. I'm a Christian and I feel we should help one another and also being an American I feel we should help our country's citizens first.

    June 13, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  16. P Brent

    Re: government backed healthcare plan. I am a Brit permanently living in the US. I grew up and was raised under a government health plan. Americans are not informed on what exactly are the facts surrounding a government plan. As in the UK and Canada, it is offered as an affordable alternative to private plans, but individuals can still opt to pay for and have healthcare under a private plan if they so choose. What upsets me is the fact that Republicans, lobbyists for doctors, healthcare professionals, etc., are constantly touting how long you might have to wait under a government plan to receive healhcare and try scare tactics pointing to how long you have to wait under a UK or Canadian plan. I have never had to wait very long under the UK plan, but two years ago in the US I was told I had to wait four months to see a hand specialist when my thumb was out of its sheath and extremely painful. Last year I also had to wait 5 months to see a specialist gynocologist to find out if I had endometrial cancer. Fortunately, I did not. But if I had, another 5 months wait to see a specialist could have had serious consequences. Americans are having to wait now to see a specialist and so this scare tactic is totally erroneous. I wish someone in the media would point this out so that the public can be informed and brought uptodate on what exists here now.

    June 13, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  17. Alan Devereaux

    Everyone living in the United States should have the equivalent of Medicare. Everyone would be covered. Medicare is the most efficient means of delivering healthcare in America. Pay for it by employee contributions, employer contributions, and a national sales tax. If you wanted a more extensive health insurance plan, then buy your own add-on from a private insurer.
    This would solve many other problems as well. You would not need to stay a job just to make sure that preexisting conditions would be covered by insurance. American companies would be on a more equal competitive footing with foreign companies that do not have to pay for their employes heathcare. The uninsured that currently flood our community hospital ERs would then be covered with basic care, eliminating their costs from being passed along to those who do have insurance.

    June 13, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  18. Arrive

    I'm tired of hearing conservatives saying a government-run health care system will ruin the insurance companies. The insurance companies are For Profit, and they caused this whole health care mess. Who else will do out of the goodness of their hearts? The people will. And the government is The People. Wake up, get the insurance companies and outragous profit out of the mix.

    June 13, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  19. Ken

    Several weeks ago CNN reported that the CEOs in the health insurance sector had the highest median compensation packages of any industry.

    That is just one indicator of the big, plump profits they make – at the expense of their customers. It is time that the government provide at least one policy to compete with these guys.

    For those who feel the that the government can't compete there should be no fear of government competition. For those that pull in a lot of money from the private private insurance sector, you had better start finding ways to cut costs if the government starts competing as the public will see what is possible.

    June 13, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  20. patti williams

    As an RN I can tell you that most doctors are not the enemy of expanded coverage for all Americans. Most of the time they are the greatest patient advocates fighting against the insurance companies. My husband is a primary care M.D. whose rates have virtually not increased in 15 years. Our office expenses, employee salaries, etc., have increased just like every other business. About 40 percent of our billing has to be written off because he still takes Medicare patients and does not turn down sick patients without insurance. His elderly patients have written our Congressmen complimenting his care and protesting the small amount he has been paid to care for them. I think the main concern regarding a public government plan is that it will absolutely lead to rationing of care, and come between the doctor/patient relationship. There is no way that the President can assure patients they can keep their same doctor, with a public plan and a government bureaucrat dictating medical care. This type of plan will decrease quality of care for all. If Medicare and Medicaid are going broke, why would the government be trusted to take over the whole health care system?

    June 13, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  21. Sharon Carroll

    We will be tuning in at 4pm today to watch your on-line broadcast as a group of us gather to organize a Health Care Reform event that is scheduled as a National Event for June 27th by Organizing For America! We'll be waiting to hear your 4pm report!

    Sharon Carroll
    Dania Beach, Fl

    June 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  22. Don

    A public option MUST be a part of any health care reform passed, or we will simply continue with the for profit system we have that is letting people suffer and die.

    June 13, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  23. Sharon Carroll

    This is the reason why we need this reform in the first place. If the AMA and Doctors don't want to have to treat patients who are on medicaid because they don't get paid enough.....ISN'T THIS WHY OVER HALF OF AMERICA IS NOT RECIEVING ADQUATE HEALTH CARE!

    June 13, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  24. DAVID

    STOP THE INSANE SPENDING!!! We cannot afford to do all that President Obama wants to do. His programs may be well intended but we cannot afford it as a nation. Before we try to extend Health Care to the every citizen, lets fix the Health Care programs the Government is already managing poorly (Medicaid, Medicare and the VA system). If the goverment cannot fix those first, they will be incapable of running a system as large as the Health Care system they are proposing. What has happend to common sense?

    June 13, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  25. Timothe Keyser

    There can be no appreciable reform of Healthcare as long as it is a 'for profit' system.

    June 13, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  26. Sue Back

    I am a teacher and one of my benefits that I work for is health care. I emphatically feel I should not be taxed for those benefits in order to pay for people who will be getting free health care. Many places offer health care if you work, and those jobs do not require education. There are fast food places that will give those with minimal education health care. I deserve the heal;h care that is offered to me, I work for it, as should everyone else!
    As an aside, those who are in this country illegally and not paying taxes, should not receive any benefits except that of a free ride back to where they came from.

    June 13, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  27. Yosif

    Obama wants a publice health care OPTION, not Universal health care, so don't get it confused. Bottom line, health care should not be a for-profit industry at it's core – which it is right now. We will go broke if we do not fix this – American businesses can't compete with the rest of the civilized world that cares for it's citizens. If it is socialism (like our public libraries, schools, police and fire departments), then so be it!

    June 13, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  28. Patrick Cavanaugh

    So much is made of "negative aspects" of the Canadian Health Care system. Try a search of 'Satisfaction Surveys of Canadian Health care Systems". You'll find a satisfcation level much higher than similiar surverys of the American health care system

    June 13, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  29. Marc Schoenberg

    Hello I am one of the millions of people who lost my job eight years ago and do not have healthcare and cannot afford it , going to the emregency room is not the answer, this country needs a public plan like other countries have , i am appalled at all the lies spread about the plans other countries have that are working , there is no reason that this country cannot provide the same , the so called options out there and the ones proposed will not allow me to have healthcare , we need a plan for the people that cannot buy it , so it would be deplorable if a plan is not provided like has happened in all the past years every time it comes up it gets defeated this is garbage thank you

    June 13, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  30. Susan

    On asking if we as a nation can afford health care reform, I wish this many people were asked and commented on whether or not we could afford the cost of the Iraq War.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  31. Lewis Lewis

    From the Great White North

    Up here in Ontario we don't talk about Socialised Medicine, we Just have a plastic card that we show at the doctor's or at the hospital...it's our Ohip card and it's free to residents of Ontario.
    January 2007 I was feeling tired and my wife called 911.
    At the hospital I was diagnosed with Heart Problems and I would be lucky to make through the day.
    Anyway I was transfered a week later to Toronto General Hospital where it was determined I would have a better chance of survival. After a few weeks of getting fit enough to be operated on I finally had a Triple Bypass and Valve repair.
    After going home I required a further week in Hospital.
    In the following weeks and months I had great back up from nurses and doctors.
    In November I was again admitted to hospital and had defibrilator/pacemaker implanted.
    I am monitored from the lohal Heart Function Clinic and Cardiac Rehab Center.
    I watch commercials on US TV decrying 'Socialised Medicine', well folks I don't have a clue what my medical care cost, I know it cost a lot. Thanks to my little plastic OHIP card I am still alive two and a half years later and Happy to still be here.
    Why don't you Americans wake up, your health is really the only thing that matters and we all need to support each other.
    Do it Obama
    Have a good life,
    Lewis

    June 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  32. DAVID

    Do the numbers that you keep quoting for those that have no healthcare insurance include those that choose not to have it. I know many people that don't have health insurance because they choose not to spend their money to have it. Not that they can't afford it.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  33. Jeff

    Health Care has to be reformed. I'm willing to pay more taxes to help the entire population. Whay can't we impose a national sales tax of 1%. – AMAZING – problem solved.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  34. Peggy Tanksley

    I wonder how many folks who are happy with the status quo are also blessed with heath care. I am one of the lucky ones, I do have healthcare and affordable for now.
    Before people decide a government run health care system is bad, they should consider how much the cost of insurance would be reduced if all profit was erased from the bottom line.
    Our public servants work hard to maintain services to our citizens
    Also, in most states public employees are not permitted to participate in political campaigns and can not accept any money or gifts that could be constured as a conflict of interest. I would rather put my life in the hands of a dedicated public employee (and I am not one) than in the pocketbook of a profit oriented/pulbicly traded corporate fat cat!.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  35. DAVID

    How much money does the President think he can take away from those that make "250,000" dollars or more a year to pay for his programs? When my business is struggling I decrease spending and run as lean as possible. I guess if I were spending other peoples money then I would spend more in hopes that it would somehow make things better. We can't afford to bail everyone out of their bad descisions!

    June 13, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  36. DAVID

    How can you say thatthose who have insurance won't be affected when in the next breath you say the benefit will be taxed? Perhaps they can afford it because it is not being taxed.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  37. Linda Watts

    No one is talking about one huge factor in the cost of H Care. Legal actions...cap the law suits settlements to something reasonable. The $ is going into the hand of Attorney's. Often frivolous suits and cause for
    " cover your ass " medical care.Unbelievable defensive charting and time drain.
    Why is this not an obvious topic? too many Legislators are Lawyers.??
    Linda

    June 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  38. John

    The Elephant in the room: Health Insurance Does Not Belong in the Free Market

    With all the talk about reforming this country’s healthcare, no one is talking about the elephant in the room: the insurance industry. Because the truth is, insurance is not an industry; it doesn’t even belong in a free market. A free market is based on competition. Competition creates better products and services for less cost. If I can make a better automobile for cheaper, I will capture a large enough share of the market to succeed. When someone else comes around with an even better, cheaper car, I will have to compete for market share and so goes the cycle, forever producing better products for less cost. The problem with insurance in a free market is that the very best insurance is the one that has captured the entire market. Competition reduces the efficiency of insurance. Competitive insurance companies can’t realize the efficiency of an all-inclusive market share, so, to offer policies for less, and still make a profit, they must cut corners by denying benefits, cherry picking subscribers, and making the claims process so difficult many claims are denied for technical reasons.

    Free markets are made up of companies that deliver either a product or a service. Insurance is neither a product nor a service. Insurance is risk management, an invention of society. It is the concept of everyone giving a little so that if catastrophe befalls any of us, there is a societal bank of resources to cushion the fall. Insurance, in its pure sense, is a kind of communism in that the whole are contributing to the well being of the individual who has experienced a loss, with the understanding that that poor sap could be any of us. Unfortunately, the insurance companies are directing these healthcare debates and they like to sound like they belong in the free market. They call themselves an “industry”. They call their policies, “products” and their commercials talk about excellent “service”. The fact is, insurance is an equation that predicts how many claims will be made by so many people over some time frame, so each subscriber has to contribute so much to cover the claims with enough left over for a profit. A very large subscriber base delivers more dependable predictions, a smaller subscriber base means less dependable predictions. By dividing up the subscriber base with competition, insurance companies are actually delivering worse coverage for more money.

    A doctor explained the physician’s perspective on health insurance this way: “I don’t have one boss. I have two hundred bosses, each with a different reporting method, each with its own code. And the whole point is to deny as many claims as possible.” This doctor has three full time, highly trained employees whose only job is to process insurance claims. You may not know this, but some claims your doctor submits for reimbursement have just one chance. Get it wrong and they don’t get paid, because that’s the only way the insurance “industry” can make money.

    As we proceed into a global economy it may be time to consider a new perspective on insurance, not as a free market device, but as a publicly traded, government regulated monopoly. It is time we shrug off the money and power of the insurance “industry” and implement one payer, universal health insurance in this country. What I propose is a regulatory bureaucracy overseeing a consolidation of the insurance “industry” into one monopoly, one hugely profitable monopoly. This will be a government regulated, publicly traded company that is primarily supported by a universal personal tax. Payers could even choose their level of coverage. Say you choose a basic coverage, then only a minimum in your tax bracket is taken, but your deductible is high. Of course the profits of this monopoly would have to be heavily regulated, but they could still deliver a dividend that will encourage investment. The rest of the profits could go into lowering the subscriber rates. The savings in administrative costs of doctor offices, hospitals and pharmacies alone will more than pay for any set-up.

    Corporations, small businesses, and sole proprietors will no longer have to invest in healthcare. Instead they can invest in research, development, and infrastructure. Other countries have similar health insurance systems, this is nothing new. It is time for this country’s leaders to challenge the elephant and do the right thing for the people they serve, instead of servicing an industry that isn’t.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  39. Paul Menten

    Regarding healthcare;

    Let the government take over the care of cancer patients. That is a huge expense.

    Paying for healthcare; a tax on imports. Companies buying from foreign countries have an advantage of not paying for health care for foreign workers. It is a strategic advantage that makes foreign labor cheaper. Tax that foreign labor with an import tax to offset the cost of health care that domestic manufactures and companies often have to pay.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  40. DAVID

    Congressman Andrews, The problem with the plan is that we have non-clinical people (congressman) making clinical descisions!! You should not attempt to assume that you know how to care for patients until you have completed Medical School and practiced medicine for a few years.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  41. Terry Gries

    I sure hope that the number of uninsured we are expecting DOES NOT include illegal aliens in the country. I'm getting SO tired of being expected to pay for others' "mistakes" or lazinessness. No wonder they come here!

    June 13, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  42. dominic tomasulo

    PERMIT OTHER F.D.A. APPROVED DRUGS TO COME INTO THIS
    COUNTRY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES & COMPETE WITH
    THIER PRICES

    F.D.A. ONLY!!!

    ALLOW THEM TO ADVERTISE HERE. THAT MAY HELP BRING
    DOWN PRICES ?????

    June 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  43. DAVID

    What does President Obama think Doctors are doing? All the Doctors I know are already practicing the "best care" and not just "more care". Perhaps he needs to learn how to "spend the best" and not just "spend more".

    June 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  44. DAVID

    Health Care is not a human right! You need food and water more than you need health care. Perhaps the government should start paying for everybodies grocery bills!

    June 13, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  45. Carol Simonis

    Hello, It's really tiring and frustrating to hear the word socialism in regard to health care. We need national government coverage and what we are under now is socialism and a police state. There are not enough rules and regulations for insurance , manufacturing, less government rules just means more tyrants. The working people have all the rules and the rest none! Carol from Wisconsin.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  46. Nicole

    Please keep us out of your healthcare debate, most Americans don't know where Canada is much less the state of our health care system. Is the state of our system being debated in Canada? Yes...it always has been. Could it be made better? You betcha. What would happen to a politician that suggested privatizing health care to some degree or totally? He or she would be looking for another job. A friend's brother was diagnosed with cancer last week and within 3 days was in a chemo program. Heart problems are also on top of the list. If you need a new hip, you're going to have to wait. Cancer and other such illnesses are the priority and everyone, rich or poor, are in the same boat.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  47. lamour of Houston, TX

    It is incredible that this Georgia Congressman says healthcare is not a right for all US citizens! And just think, he represents his uninsured consituents who “have no right to be insured” ! Unbelievable! 37 countries have universal health care of some some. Why re-invent the wheel? Pick up the phone and ask these 37 countries how they did it. We deserve and are entitled to just as must as other citizens.

    June 13, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  48. L.Douglas

    Re Healthcare. When I hear peope put down healthcare systems in England and Canada I want to scream into the TV. I have lived in both countries and worked in Hospitals and clinics, I have also worked in healthcare in America. Here's the big news....there is no difference. Both free and payor systems have wait time for non-emergency surgery, both make patient mistakes, both have excellent services and healthcare staff. The only difference is one is free and covers everyone. All my family are treated in a free healthcare system, and they have been cared for with amazing care that would not have happened here, they include Crohns Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart problems, etc.
    My husband and I do have private healthcare insurance, but by the time we have paid the premium (shared with the employer), paid the deductible of $500.00 for single person or $1500.00 per family, paid the 20% of the bill, and paid any difference charged by the provider than the insurance does not cover....we simply cannot afford to go to the doctor.
    In fact we are still paying on a hospital bill (our portion) from 6 years ago!! And we have insurance.
    Come on America wake up!! Republicans dont want free healthcare because the Insurance Companies and the American Medical Association if terrified they will loose their huge profits if it isnt a private paid system. Its sickening.

    June 13, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  49. Lynette Aungst

    My husband and I are not politically involved individuals. However, when a government is considering instituting any type of healthcare system that has been proven several times over to be eroneous, failing and of no value to those who truly need healthcare, then reforming a system with a failed system is of no value.

    Other governments have tried what is currently being considered in this country and if the older individuals or the elderly are not permitted treatment such as kidney dialysis simply because they are too old (in other words being wasted on them), then if this country takes this type of approach to healthcare, it's making the statement that those in ruling power and responsible for making the decision obviously truly don't care about the older/elderly individuals which is contrary to what they are verbally spouting.

    It's one thing to want healthcare reform but it's another to take away healthcare from the individuals that really need it such as the older/elderly persons. Examples of this is when the government ruler wants to deminish the opportunity for the elderly to remain living at home which enables them to maintain some form of dignity and force the issue to put them in homes when it costs much more to care for those in nursing homes than those in their own homes.

    Obviously the government rulers have chosen to put their elderly and ailing relatives in nursing homes to get them out from underfoot instead of caring for them in their homes. We're talking about the everyday ordinary individuals not those that have the funds to pay someone to stay with them in their homes and don't really have to do much themselves to bother themselves with their care.

    Perhaps just cutting the cost of doctor visits and services such as x-rays, MRI's, cat-scans, etc. may be one way to help. An example of this is that a visit to the family doctor approximately six or seven years ago cost about $45.00 but now it costs approximately $100.00. That is a ridiculous increase so the insurance companies go up on their costs to insure individuals saying they have no alternatives. That's not true, they only want to make more money instead of caring about the healthcare of individuals.

    Taking the attitude that the government handles the healthcare system as well as all other big business as we have already seen is only making it obvious that the people really don't have any say in these issues (even though they say you do, it's not true.)

    June 13, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  50. jay gordon

    I've been in been in health care for 20 years, now retired. Debating who gets what coverage is fine and needed. HOWEVER, health care costs, how it is delivered, efficiency issues, and drug costs are in need of change. Cooperate pharmaceutical and health provider companies have too much power. A significant paradigm shift must occur for America to achieve true health care reform.

    June 13, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  51. robert kearney

    I would love to become a European run state. People complain all the time about not having health care. We finally have a person The Republican party works for the insurance companies. That is why they are not in control of our countries vision.

    June 13, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  52. Christopher D. Boyle

    The solution for affordable health care for Americans? Provide the same health care programs that Senators & Congressmen are provided. It's O.K. for me as a taxpayer to pay for the health care of public servants but when I want the same benefits; I'm calling for socialised medicine.

    June 13, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  53. Barry MacMurray

    If the President and Congress want to come up with a new healthcare plan, let all 536 of them and their families go on that plan for one year. After a year, if they still think it’s such a great plan, then I’ll be happy to sign up for it too. Otherwise, don’t force your crazy scheme on me while you bask in the luxury of a healthcare plan none of the rest of us can even get, let alone afford.

    June 13, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  54. Larry

    We need to eliminate frivilous law suits against doctors. Many doctors can hardly stay in practice because of their malpractice insurance rates.

    So many of the lawsuits against doctors are just plain ridiculous. Our legal system really needs to be cleaned up.

    June 14, 2009 at 4:47 am |
  55. Jared Salinger

    The A.M.A. is part of the problem, not the solution; unless, Obama can affect a miracle. I'm hopeful, naively.

    June 15, 2009 at 10:07 am |
  56. chris

    there need to be a cap on the cost of heath insurance comp.
    my heath ins. for individual plan went up in march to$476.00 and injuly it go up again to $578.00 plue i pay a 30% and $5000.00 deductilbe per yr.

    June 15, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  57. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    President Barack Obama is doing a great job.

    June 15, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  58. Jason Harter, Iowa

    The argument against universal health care based on it being to expensive is about as logical as the same argument agaisnt public education.

    The rewards of having public education GREATLY outway the costs; and as public education has proven: an effective system of OUR taxes socialistically being put into society can reward EVERYONE in the system through an improved economy with greater opportunites, high wages, and more effective citizenry.

    In the same respect, organizing health care to be more effective and similiar to education funding, in a socialistic manner, would hold many similiar advantages. At the same time, foster things that WORK within the medical system (Very good primary care doctors – REALLY good primary care doctors should be the corner stone of an effective health system -, less wastefull uneeded spending). With the right tools, Universal Health Care could prove as beneficial to our economic structure as an educated public has proven to be!

    June 15, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  59. Hubert Humbert

    Health care for all should be an idea we embrace in America.
    Caring for others does not make us Socialist, it make us responsible.
    It makes us good. It makes us right.

    June 16, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  60. Maryanne

    Arguing over whether health care is a "right" or not is ridiculuous. That is just your personal opinion. Where would the right come from? God?

    Yes, we absolutely must draw on our COLLECTIVE COMPASSION and work toward reducing the suffering of the sick by getting them some form of health care, YES YES YES. BUT, THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS OUT THERE TO CONSIDER BESIDE A GOV'T RUN OPTION. PLEASE EVERYONE EDUCATE YOURSELF BEFORE YOU SAY YES TO THIS.

    I'M BEGGING YOU ALL, PLEASE EDUCATE YOURSELF ON THIS!
    For example, Senator Wyden has some great ideas and his bill has many cosponsers from both sides of the isle. PLEASE READ IT. It puts the choice of health plans back in the hands of us instead of our employers, and it would provide a write off to cover it. If you are an informed consumer and purchase a health plan wisely, you will even see a tax credit for yourself. This seems much better than completely taking our choices from us with a gov't run plan yes?

    When the gov't runs things we all run the risk of losing our individual right to make choices. I think that is an important thing to retain.

    Public education has beens one of the biggest campaign issues for the last several elections and how to change that failing system. How can anyone on this board now use it as something good that the gov't runs?

    My local congressman, Bishop, has tried use the Veterens Hospital as an example of a well run govt health program and several Vets who have been treated there explained to him how wrong he was!

    MY POINT – PLEASE DON'T JUST LISTEN TO THE NEWS IT CAN BE ONE SIDED. EDUCATE YOURSELF, READ ALL SIDES, MAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE

    RESPECTFULLY

    June 25, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  61. Karen

    I spoke with a woman last night at my church, she was visiting, with her husband, from England. I asked her about the healthcare system they have in England. She said one thing that is good is that everyone is covered, but the bad thing is everyone pays for the coverage whether they use it or not (through high taxes). She told me her daughter gave birth with the assistance of a mid-wife (government mandated) who was not well qualified, using malfunctioning medical equipment (government paid-for). Her baby was suffering from severe fetal distress, but the mal-functioning monitor failed to record it properly. The child was born with cerebral palsy. Had the mid-wife had more knowledge of the urgency of the situation, a doctor would have been called in for an emergency C-section, and the child would have been born healthy. This is a tragic story. Good quality healthcare comes with a price. I have been on government health insurance before (Medi-cal, here in California), and now I have a PPO plan. This private plan is so much better. I would not want to go back to government insurance ever again.

    July 11, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
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