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June 22nd, 2009
10:14 AM ET

Health Care Reform

President Obama is piling on the pressure when it comes to health care. He’s spending his day selling national health care reform and hosting a town hall meeting tonight, while lawmakers struggle to come up with money to pay for the massive overhaul. The President wants a bill on his desk by October. So what do you think?

Do you believe health care reform will be passed this year?
Leave us a comment.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (94 Responses)
  1. Christine K.

    I Think everything in Iraq and Iran will completely put health care on the back burner. We need to focus on ourselves and our country before we try and save the rest of the world... personally, that is what I think.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  2. Dylan Taylor Rogers

    I think that the presence of the United States is critical, but we should be careful to be not over bearing initially and as in cases of natural disasters do what we can to help fix the damage that has been done. In short, no I don't think any more intervention by the United States is a good idea, it may agitate and worsen the problem.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  3. leila

    when a country is weak and there is oil ptential, us gets invovled and the citizens have not much to say, but when a country is strong then us doesnt want to get involved even in the cost of all those lives. where is the humanity.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  4. Colin Dean

    Health Care Reform will be passed this year that abrogates common sense and the Constitution. There is no constitutional power granted to the federal government which authorizes the creation of federally mandated health insurance.

    It's treating the symptoms without diagnosing and treating the disease of why health care professionals and pharmaceutical companies are raising their prices.

    The overhead of medical billing and dealing with insurance companies inflates doctors' prices horribly. A doctor is smarter to refuse all insurance and simply ask patients to pay cash or make payments toward expensive procedures.

    Another approach is this: Canada and Norway are both good examples of countries with tax-funded, government-provided health care. Guess what the wait time on procedures is? Weeks. Months. Guess what the wait time on these same procedures in the US is? Hours. Days.

    No one wants the government to decide who lives and who dies. At least if it's a private company that does so, that private company can be easily sued. You can't easily sue the American government, especially the federal government.

    We as a country must treat the disease of rising costs, not the symptom of the people being unable to afford it.

    June 22, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  5. leila

    us could get involved when khomainee took over Iran supported him against shah,.
    us supported sadam hossein aginst Iran when they attacked Iran.
    now us should mind its own bussiness?
    Human lives and blood is not as valued as oil???

    June 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  6. Bob Richardson

    I beleive we should remain supportive, but in a passive manner – not meddle in too much. The one question I have is one that I haven't seen addressed by the news media is that the news is focused on just Tehran, not the rest of Iran. What is the situation outside Tehran?

    June 22, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  7. Charles Kopack

    While this is a first step, it is hardly a "turning-point".

    Not until the FDA is reformed and reorganized; the voices of insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, AMA and HMOs are given lower priority; and the emphasis of health-care is shifted to prevention; can it be said that it will be "turning-point.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  8. donald nigro

    i want single payer health care i'd rather give my money to the us
    goverment than crooked insurance companies what are the
    republican house and senate talking about they have it they live
    the goodlife while the people of america are out of work and losing
    their homes the democrats have enough votes they should push
    it through

    June 22, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  9. carole Illouz

    It had to pass. Citizens who are against it, are digging their own grave by ignorance and fantasist assumptions based on lack of information. And pharmaceutical industry and other Heath Care professionals are against it by greed. They won so far, look were it 's dragging the rest of us.
    If it wasn't so serious the naivety of people in this matter will be laughable.
    Please wake up.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  10. Judi B

    What is needed in this country as far as healthcare is an oversight commitee to address drug companys practice on brand name drugs and generics such as biologics. (I dont want more government iether) drugs used to treat arthritis,lupis etc.. Company practise is to change the formula of a Brand name drug,just a little and that throws it back on the list of as a Brand name drug again! Then the patent protects that price for another 10 or 15 yrs!. It makes it unafordable for lower income or fixed income people.! There is alternative drugs,but not everybody can take them! It makes some people sick. I happen to know someone who gets ill from other drug but cant afford the one that doesnt. Some therapys can cost as much as $1800. a month.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  11. John Appleton

    I am optimistic that health care reform will pass, but only from immense pressure from the people. First of all there can be no "deals" with the pharmaceutical industry, they are the problem. New Reuters poll out shows 72% of people want government run health care. As long as private insurers are in the mix health care will remain costly and inefficient. Give the people what they want real public health care.

    June 22, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  12. Sara

    About the donut: Why in the world was it written that way to start? It sounds like more money would be spent trying to figure out who spent how much and when. Bah.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  13. B.Ricketts

    This is the pharmacutical companies looking out for their future profits. Instead of going forward with single payer that will offer all Americans decent health care, we will instead patch together concessions to "Big Health Care." Shame on Obama.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  14. Ken Daniels

    Helping seniors by lowering their prescription drug costs is great, but why can't we insist on lower costs for everyone? Let's hope this "turning point" is but a first step towards reforming the entire system.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  15. Bonnie

    Why is there a 'donut hole' at all?

    June 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  16. Susan from Oklahoma

    If the insurance companies are going to cover the donuthole it just goes to shows how much money they've been soaking American's. I hope this is a real deal because the donuthole needs to be closed. But....American's need more than this. All drug costs need to come down.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  17. Amber

    I am hoping healthcare reform will be passed this year, but I doubt it will happen. In respect to Medicare Part D, I am overjoyed that the coverage gap (donut hole) will have some coverage, as many seniors went without medications. I worked in Medicare Part D, and I heard the stories of struggling seniors, which was appalling. Hopefully, the coverage for seniors and all citizens for medications and healthcare will improve, but for now it is a good start to take care of the seniors who worked so hard and now struggle so much.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  18. TommyR

    Great first step, but a first step nonetheless and NOT a turning point. The President and Congress must ensure health care reform stays on the front burner. The public support is there and a sign of support by BigPharm will prompt insurers and doctors to come to the table. However this must be get done before the 2010 Congressional Elections or it might never get done at all.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  19. Rick Fernandez

    We are all well aware of the stories of thousands of seniors that cant afford to eat because of their need to purchase these expensive medicines. Even the pharmaceutical companies understand the need for affordable medicines and this was their opportunity to do the right thing.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  20. Rick Fernandez

    Health Care Reform has already started. Today's announcement by the President clearly establishes the pace to achieve this goal. The President seems commited to do everything he said he would do and that leave me with no doubt that Health Care Reform will be achieved.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  21. Phyllis

    When does this new aggreement announced today with the prescription drug companies to lower the costs by half in the donut hole in Medicare part D plans take effect?

    I think it's terrific, but a bit late, as I've already had to order my drugs from Canada at 1/2 the price because I'm in the hole.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  22. John K.

    This is great news! However, I am a senior citizen and because I receive unemployment insurance (until August), Medicare denies me for drug assistance in the first place!!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  23. Avez

    I'm curious about the so-called filling of the "doughnut hole" described in your report this morning. The "doughnut hole" is the gap in prescription coverage with Medicare Part D for expenses between $2700 and approximately $6100, where the patient is responsible for payment for their medications. According to the report, the government and pharmaceutical companies came to an agreement whereby the cost of prescriptions falling in this gap would be halved. Unless the actual gap in coverage is addressed, how does this help in the long run? Does that not mean that it will just take our seniors twice as long to fill the doughnut hole? By this measure, they're still paying the same amount of money in the end, just taking twice as long to do it, correct? I hope there's something I don't understand about this; otherwise, it seems to be more hype than help, IMO.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  24. Henrietta Jonas

    Good morning Tony,
    I just heard President Obama's announcement regarding help for prescription costs for seniors. I take a very expensive medicine for rheumatoid arthritis(negotiated cost about $1700/month) and have been paying for it with my retirement funds. This help from the pharmaceutical companies is MOST WELCOMED!! This may allow me to remain in my home several more years. I had planned to sell my house and use the proceeds to pay for the next 10 years' or so of medicines. My children will be very glad that they will not have to house me quite so soon.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  25. Ann Oriadha

    Yes, I think Health Care Reform will get done this year. The announcement today to reduce cost of drugs for seniors is a major step in the right direction. The rising cost of Health Care is crippling families and small businesses across this country. The time is NOW to finally come together and address cost, choice and access. I agree with President Obama, YES WE CAN!

    June 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  26. Linda Davidson

    This news about removing the “do-nut hole” is a step in the right way as to help the millions of us that fall into this each year. My question is: What about the premiums on our part D Medicare? Whats to say they will jump sky high. Not only hitting us which is 1 in 4, according to your report. If they up all premiums they will more that make up the help that have given.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  27. John K.

    Unbelievable. Now the GOP is calling Obama "timid" for not getting more involved with Iran's issues. Here's a unique thought. How about we focus our resources and humanitarian efforts on fixing THIS country before we get involved in another Civil War abroad?

    June 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  28. Liam

    While the actual agreement is not yet available two statements about it jump out at me. One that the drug company’s commitment is scaled to stretch itself out till the end of a second Obama administration with no commitment after that date. Thus if Republicans regain control in Washington and the support of corporate profit is again more important that the welfare of the individual they could easily say it didn’t work and walk away. The weakness is in the use of %s as a measure and the limit of commitment only till Obama 2nd term ends.

    Second, the drug companies proposal talks in terms of % over the time period. But, does not say that underlying drug prices won’t rise at a rate that offsets that amount. Which would meaning no net change in their ultimate profits. Support for that possibility is illustrated by the regular rise in prices of current products like Levothyroxin which have been on the market for a half a century and whose cost is probably less than a dime, but still has it’s price increased by what the market will bare.

    I would feel more comfortable with a bid system and or price as a function of cost to manufacture.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  29. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    For the past eight years, we've had a government that was convinced that all the problems of health care costs were attributable to the high costs of medical malpractice lawsuits.

    First, we need to change our patent laws that protect the drug industry from competition. Generic medications can be produced at a small portion of the cost of the proprietary sort.

    Next, we need to fix the 'donut hole' in prescription drug costs in Medicare.

    Next, we need to pursue more epidemiological research to prevent diseases rather than spending billions on 'bandaid' prescription drug approaches. Such studies, I'm certain, would reveal that simple 'lifestyle changes' – diet, exercise ... – would prevent the need for the medicine.

    Next, we need to stop the practice of advertising drugs on the media with the message "You need this pill".

    Next, we need to halt the mega-mergers of the drug companies that will further limit competition and increase costs.

    We also need a stronger regulatory function that will force drug companies to be 'open and honest' to all possible drug side-effects and remove the current influence the drug companies have by giving commissions and kick-backs to doctors who prescribe their pills.

    We also need to make the medical system risk-conscious so that it can really warn patients of possible side-effects of drug combinations as well as raise alerts to possible suicidal overdose prescriptions of lethal drugs like diazepam and lorazepam (Valium, ...). More frequent dispensation of smaller, non-lethal quantities of these pills would go a long way to achieving that goal.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  30. Alex

    Real health care reform better be passed this year or we are all doomed. If nothing is done right now rising health care costs will eventually destabilize our economy – from individuals to small businesses, large companies, etc. To me it's a no-brainer that a new public option of health insurance is what we need in order to curb the excesses and sheer greed of the health insurance companies. The health insurance industry right now is a cartel. So there is no real competition. We their customers just take what they dish out to us. The insurance companies are afraid of the public option because they know it is going to break apart their cartel and free the American people from this mess called health insurance. As for some in congress, especially on the Republican side who have been misleading the American people with outright lies about the public option, they need to stand up for the truth and support the President on this issue, if they really love this great nation of ours.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  31. Jerry - CO

    I doubt that any meaningful healthcare reform will ever be enacted because health care is a for profit industry. AND because there is too much waste due, in part, to inefficiency, wasted resources, fear of liability, health care provider abuse, failure to hold people more accountable for their own unhealthy lifestyle choices, etc.
    Having spent 40 years in health care myself (I am a retired RN) I know a lot about the above issues.

    June 22, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  32. David J. H.

    I definately think something will happen. I believe that reform bills will pass due to the pressure out there. Afterwards, there will be relief!

    June 22, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  33. Judith Lorber

    i have a Medicare advantage plan - AARP MEDICARE COMPLETE FROM SECURE HORIZONS. It calculates my Part D drug costs by adding what I personally pay out of pocket plus what the plan pays, so I reach the coverage gap (donut hole) by mid-year (May or June). This year, I paid OOP about $750 but am in the donut hole because I take 2 expensive prescription drugs.
    Could you please find out if other insurance plans calculate drug costs for the coverage gap the same way? If all or even some do, it is important to note that when you explain how the donut hole works. Before Part D, my coverage limit with the same insurance company was calculated only on what I laid out personally - $2400.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  34. John Jorgensen

    The so called deal with the pharmaceutical industry is the Presidents'
    attempt to take credit for programs that have been in place for years.

    There have been plans in place where the medications for the medically indigent have been subsidized by the drug companies for quite some time. Granted there have been some onerous hoops to jump through to access the plans, sometimes making the benefit not worth the effort, but unless this is something that is not being explained well at this point, it is nothing new.

    As a Pharmacist, I have been using these plans for years to access medications for those that can not afford them. This great "deal" that is being claimed seems to be nothing more than better utilization of what was already available.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm |

    i would hope so tony. to think that cuba has free heatlh care for all of it's citizens, make's united states. look ancient.knowing we have more resource. than any other country on earth. which is designed too make . money .i can't see why not.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  36. David Archibald

    Reduction of cost of drugs, for those in the donut hole. cutting the cost by 50%, will also extend the time you are in it by 50%. For those that do not reach the next stage,Catastrophic coverage, it should save them some money. It also should be noted that the the donut hole starts when the persons total cost of the drugs reaches $2,700.00. That is the out of pocket cost plus the amouts paid by the plan. Then when you do reach the donut hole, you start the donut hole at your out of pocket cost amount and not the $2,700.00 that got you there. and then you go from your total out of pocket cost to the $4,300.00.

    June 22, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  37. B. Canter

    I am a 76 year old senior citizen. My prescriptions are out of sight. I pay $777 for one prescription (for 90 days). I have two more that are over $500. When will this prescription help start?

    June 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  38. J

    I think the pharmaceutical industry made a sweet deal for themselves today. The more people who have insurance... the more the drug industry benefits. Now lets extend this 50% discount on pharmaceuticals to everyone else in this country, and then we would really be on to something meaningful.

    June 22, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  39. Dennis

    Prime question to helping our "over payment", (earnings) of people in the various industries should start with all movie, TV and music industry people. All who work in this industry should have a cap of not more than one million a year if you are in the higher end of the industry. They should have to pay for all of their on perks and other extra beanies. I would like them to start with Miss Oprah moving down to all CEO’s of Movie, TV and the music industry. Then all of them that have more than two million in their bank accounts must give it to the government to pay for all these programs they want to shove down the peoples throat.

    June 22, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  40. Richard Haight, MD

    The trillion dollar cost of health care is not going to go away whether we pass a bill or not. We are all paying for the uninsured now. We need something passed and the government must step in to start controlling costs and reduce over-use by the walking well. I recently had a woman who was severely ill and needed a heart valve replaced, but no physician would accept her medicaid. What was I to tell her twin 12 year old daughters when they asked, "You aren't going to let our mother die are you?"

    June 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  41. J

    I think Healthcare Reform will pass this year, but it will require compromises on all sides. I don't think everyone will get what they want, especially those wanting real permanent change (a single-payor system). Hope this movement brings real change though, and doesn't turn out to be just another "Bandaid Healthcare Reform Movement", it would be really be disappointing.

    June 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  42. Juan G.

    We are americans for gods sake!! lets take care of or own!!!!!!!!!!

    June 22, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  43. Patricia Farrell

    The media has made a single party payor system sound like heaven, without discussing the negatives in detail. For example, in Great Britain they have a formula for calculating how much they will pay for a given drug over a period of time, and will not exceed that amount even if it is necessary to save a life. I'm sure there are other restrictions as well in other countries that we would find difficult to accept.
    Again, people are forgetting that a huge number of people depend on the insurance companies for paychecks and retirement benefits. If these companies go under, it will have an effect on our economy. We have massive numbers out of work already, and the failure of the insurance companies will add to the problem. Jumping into something without giving it careful thought could create a catastrophe.

    June 22, 2009 at 9:03 pm |
  44. Michael

    I hope it does,but their are some people who know it's the right thing to do but because they want the President to fail they will make up lies and scare tactics to make health care reform inpossible.Because of ideology, race,politics, their are some in both parties who hate to see a black man do the right thing for the american people.God bless Obama and God bless america.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:17 am |
  45. msmith1122

    Who needs health care any way? Nomore health crap start putting your mony in the healthy first they come first and those who are unhealthy get the pit. People who believe in freedom and democracy are first all else in the pit, fit for the pit.

    June 23, 2009 at 1:25 am |
  46. Cherie

    Having been in the Military I am very versed in the Government Run Health Care System. It is by all means not as scary as the general public thinks it to be. My family got great care very expedient service and no problem filling medications. By far a better service than the Current , Civillian, " PAPER PUSHING SYSTEM" and the behind the scenes , "DRUG COMANIES WHICH ARE RUNNING OUR DOCTORS !"

    June 23, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  47. pamela mcgregor

    I really believe if their was a law or some protection for consumers to only have to pay what the insurence companies pay it would help families so they dont lose everything due to the medical bills. People without insurence endup paying way more than they need to. People without insurence even have extra cost due to hospical billing people that dont have insurence. So when you look at the uninsurence they getting the raw end of the deal.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  48. Diana Elaine Sorrentino, Ph.D.

    Good morning:

    The current "Health Care" reform debate sounds very much like the reform debate from the early 90's and is underscored by very similar numbers for the uninsured at that time.

    Four (4) points missing from the previous debate; the same Four (4) points which remain missing from the current debate which need to be addressed seperately, are: (1) Health Care Delivery; separate and apart from Health Care Financing; (2) Health Care Access; separate and apart from delivery and financing; (3) Health Care Financing; separate and apart from Health Care Delivery and; (4) the statistical fact that a high percentage of the 54 million uninsured are young healthy adults who, due to the cost of insurance premiums, are unisured by choice. These young healthy adults; absent coverage from and employer or government sponsored program, are not likely to pay for coverage they do not believe they need at this stage of their life.

    Diana ...


    For the record; My Ph.D. is in Economics; my MBA is in Finance and mu undergraduate degree is in Accounting.

    Diana ...

    Each of these points must be address individually in order to properly address the current situation.

    June 23, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  49. Dwight Austin,Mn

    What the politicians don't seem to understand is healthcare is not broken just bent badly ,we don't need to shoot the horse just put a cast on and give it time to heal.

    What I mean is most of us have insurance, and most who don't fall
    into a goverment program if we are willing to chase ot down(this country has programs for programs ) what is wrong with the system is health care costs are skyrocketing and that 80/20 thing that insurance companys want to do is bankrupting us.

    What we need is not goverment totally run health care , cause we already know anything the goverment totally runs ends up costing more for the agency that runs it than the problem itself.

    We do need a law that says insurance can not refuse to pay due to prexisting conditions.And that they must allow a procedure if more
    than one doctor concures it is called for, and I don't mean one of those paper doctors who they hire to look at the problem on paper who has never seen you.

    But a umbrella goverment plan that says simply, if the 20 percent that
    insurance doesn't cover amounts to over 10% of your annual ajgusted gross income it will be covered by the goverment plan
    Simple and not as costly and will keep both parties
    happy by not eliminating insurance companys and keeping goverment costs down .

    Like most americans I don't mind paying for my own health care , I just don't want to have to file banckruptcy
    just because insurance covered 80% , denies one or two procedures and left me with a 100,000 dollar bill cause I had a unforseen illness.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  50. Carol Harkins

    You asked about compromise. The public option is a compromise with the huge support in this country for single payer.
    If the public option is watered down, there will be no real reform; it's all smoke and mirrors.
    Single payer is the only true reform.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  51. Scott Young

    Republicans need to stop scaring Americans into thinking a public option would be a nightmare. If the program will be as poor as they expect why are they worried that so many will defect from the private insurance companies? Do they think the American people are stupid? They are trying to beat this bill down because they all prosper from the insurance companies. How dare these naysayers support profit over the health of American citizens. Give us another choice and let these other companies have to compete. Get it thru your heads America, the insurance companies are about profit, not about healing you. We have rights to proper healthcare be with or without pre-existing conditions. People with diabetese are turned down no matter what from these companies. How American is that?

    June 23, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  52. conrad plonski

    I hope a government health care plan is in effect before October.The drug relief program will only go into effect if a health care program is in effect.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  53. mark furlong

    Any health care plan which does not include tort reform as a significant component cannot be taken seriously. With the annual cost of defensive medicine alone estimated at $125 billion, the 1-800-law-suit industry must be reined in with 'caps', loser pays tort reform and the replacement of juries with panels comprised of judges.

    Note: You may wish to reference an article from March of '07 in The Wall Street Journal, entitled "The Tort Tax". The authors estimate the total annual direct and indirect costs of health care litigation at over $800B.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  54. Kevin from Las Vegas

    Health care should be a right for everyone. Everyone should be able to go to the doctor at any time and not have to go bankrupt should some thing terrible happen.

    Regarding these congressmen chiming in on cnn...I think they should all have to wear a button that says exactly how much money they have taken from the insurance lobbyists. That might put things in perspective.

    I have friends from Canada living in the US and they do not want to give up their Canadian Citizenship just in case they get sick. That says it all.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  55. Mark Mcgrath

    Overhaul of the health care industry related to insuring the under or uninsured is a dry well of wishful thinking. President Obama stumped this point to the voting booth, successfully getting my vote, but I just don't see him using enough rhetoric to get anything passed, wait, wasn't defense spending going to be cut? Did not happen. I am not optimistic about an overhaul for the under/uninsured.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  56. Mario, IL

    The House and the Senate will rush this reform and we will come away with a losing situation that affects millions of Americans that can not afford healthcare and/or denied by the healthcare industries because of preexisting conditions. We have to get this right the first time.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  57. Jessica

    I think, and hope, we take this big step towards universal health care. I'm an emergency physician who sees the horrible impact our health insurance shortcomings cause on a daily basis. I also witness the opportunistic and exploitative business practices that exist as a direct result of the chaos, inefficiencies, and lack of organization in health care. I write about this and other similar topics in my blog I think the 'experts' and critics have legitimate concerns, but unless these people have constructive criticisms it is just hot air and nay saying. When the AMA took this tack half a century ago we lost out on constructive input from important players and were left with a dysfunctional medicare system designed by non-medical legislators under fire from the medical establishment.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  58. Cherie

    Let us not forget the Moms out there that raised their children and ran their families for their livings and then the husband runs off years later and takes his insurance with him. It leaves no health care of the Mom and if she is sick then she cannot get insurance. In other countries they cover women that raise their families and don't just toss them to the wind.

    June 23, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  59. lisa scott

    when i watched the documentary Sicko by Michael Moore i just wanted to cry. why are we the ONLY country in the western world who won't take care of our people?!!! Moore took a group of ailing 911 rescue workers who couldn't get healthcare because they volunteered and were not on gov't payroll to GITMO Bay where terrorists have access to all the free healthcare they need. when they wouldn't take them in, cuba did. he showed the hypocrisy too in canada, england, and france. i just don't get it. if they can do it then why can't we?

    June 23, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  60. Dee Showley

    The spending of the current administration is all that our economy/tax payers (perhaps, more than) can absorb. The trillion dollars for government health care should be delayed until we can better absorb the "hit". The first priority is to get people back to work and the economy healthy again. Then we can consider items such as healthcare. I worry that my kids & grandkids will be forced to pay for our extravegance with high taxes &/or high inflation. It is immoral to spend now for ourselves and leave payments to our kids.
    What ever happened to "pay as you go"?

    June 23, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  61. angela from KY

    We HAVE to pass health care reform! Everyone in America needs to have quallity, affordable healthcare. There also has to be a public option or public alternative for people to choose if private options are too expensive or won't cover their specific needs. To do nothing, or to pass a bill that pleases the huge insurance and drug companies and leaves things the same will be no help at all. Millions of people will continue with no coverage. Many more will lose their benefits due to unemployment or skyrocketing costs. America will continue to become a more unhealthy nation despite the best medical care system in the world.

    My questions are to members of Congress: Why won't you stand up and do what the majority of the American people want and desperately need? Why won't you do what we sent you to Washington D.C. for? Why do you continue to put big business interests ahead of the people? To the Democrats on the Hill: YOU ARE A MAJORITY. We elected you to do what the GOP would not do for us. GET BUSY AND PLEASE PASS THIS BILL WITH A PUBLIC OPTION.

    To everyone out there who want health care passed with a public option or alternative, please contact your senators and representatives in your state and let them know we must have this for all Americans. There are ways to pay for this plan that no one has even mentioned. One is a special tax on junk food and soda bought in grocery stores and fast food restaurants. Another is to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid to reduce costs, overbilling, and fraud. A third is to trim all excess government spending that is unnecessary in programs and services. Spread it out among all areas so that one or two areas do not bear the burden. Everyone can cut a little. By doing this, the revenue is found for the program that we all need. If a health care bill is not passed, I am afraid it never will. We have it in our power as Americans to speak out and force Congress to listen to us.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  62. LILLY

    I doubt healthcare reform will pass this year. Simply put the economy isn't in great shape, we're near a trillion dollar deficit, and reforming healthcare is going to cost way too much. Are we just going to keep borrowing from China? It can't be done, without raising taxes or taxing healthcare benefits, and people don't want neither!

    June 23, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  63. Mac, La

    Donot know what other states have; but Louisiana has charity hospitals and clincs that treat folkes that donot have insurance and cannot afford medical care. Why would these folkes want to pay for some sort of health insurance, when they already receive medical care free. These hospitals are associated with some University Medical School and the care is outstanding; such as the Earl K. Long Hospital in Baton Rouge.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  64. Gary Reid

    Well healthcare doesn't really matter to me anymore. My wife died last month of "conjestive heart failure" .She was 50 years old. So I don't really give a flying fish whether I live or die anymore. The five kids that were left behind oldest of 22, I guess gives the govt. around 30 years before it will concern us or them again. Somehow I doubt they will make it as far as to make it an issue to them. So hey as far as us, they might as well keep it.

    June 23, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  65. Luie, Hialeah Gardens, Florida

    I can't remember a time I've been happy with anything any President has ever said and today, I can't say that. Mr. Obama is "A Breath Of Fresh Air", he tells it like it is. I think he was right with Iran and the health care Issue and I believe his answers were heartfelt and true!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  66. Billy

    Republicans and others should stop the boasting about what the President should do regarding health care, just go pass another concealed gun bill for state parks and leave the President alone. Or, maybe come to the table and offer some intelligent help to work out a universal health plan for all Americans.

    By the way, some have said they don’t want government intervention in a medical plan, It’s to costly, well, can someone at CNN please take the time explain once and for all to the American public what the actual “Medical Plan for all our elected federals officials in Congress and the Senate have”?

    I think if we the people of America could put those elected officials on any of the same plans that’s out there for us regular folks, we’d have a proper medical plan for everyone in America (including our elected federal officials) by the end of August 2009!!!

    June 23, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  67. Jaycie

    Here's another thought: Last time I checked, the insurance industry was the wealthest industry in the United States, and owned more real estate than any other industry. I don't think the insurance industry got to be so wealthy by undercharging for their services or by not making a huge profit on the physical misery of our citizens! Perhaps health care belongs in the non profit category instead of the "get as much as you can whenever you can however you can" category.

    June 23, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  68. vanessa

    We're always in other countries affairs that do not involve us.
    I don't know of any country that meddles in our government.
    The United States needs to take care of our own.
    We have a war going on here with gangs and there is no relief yet!
    Help self first; United States!

    June 23, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  69. Tony

    The Universal Health Care or whatever the name – is imperative for millions of Americans. If the rest of the civilized world can do it, why can't we?
    Please do not allow to be sidetracked.

    June 23, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  70. Sandy

    I think the government can't run our country so why would we want them to run our healthcare. Leave our healthcare and our Medicane alone and stop giving it to people from other countries who now live in the USA and do not deserve it because we Americans born here have paid into it since we were 18 or younger.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  71. david guzman

    Health care reform is needed and there is no question about that. Even the folks with descent health plans will find out in a few years that their plans are no longer descent, but more of a messy list of services that will not be provided without a substantial contribution from the payer. At the end of the day I hate to blame one or two specific factors, but it hard to ignore that a good number of our doctors have become over prescribers and have lowered the threshold on big procedures. That has come about because the client population is limited, thus, if you have a limited number of payers well then you're going to over service those payers. Most of the time at the payers/clients detriment. And the insurance companies, well they are a classic case of a monopoly. That simple. That is why a competitive force from outside the private sector will restrain their draconian and meritless increases on their product.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  72. Heather Mash

    Yes, I hope it does and it will make a difference to everyone. If you don't have health care for any reason like a pebble in a pool it has a ripple effect on everyone. So if you have a job and your employer pays in to a Health care program that's great. But if you lose your job, you have nothing or will be paying through the nose. Public Health care option is like public education if health care is not available to everyone we have some major problems to add to the ones we already have.


    June 24, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  73. Candy Carson

    It's going to be up to us to get the heath reform with a Public Option
    passed. Every one of us has to get involved. Write and call your "representatives", and be prepared to vote them out of office if they
    continue to ignore the will and needs of the people.

    We got Obama Elected. We can do anything if we want it enough.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  74. Joe

    Good morning. I do believe there are changes that need to be made in the cost of healthcare today. I do however feel that this huge 1 trillion dollar makeover is going to cause the quality of healthcare to plummet. Everytime the government decides to cut the cost of healthcare, the cuts come to medicare reimbursement for providers. As a result the providers are forced to see a higher number of patients to compensate for less payment/patient. The result is less time for your provider to listen to the patient, an integral part of patient care. If the provider makes a mistake or misses a diagnosis, guess who is there to SUE the provider, the lawyers. Who is going to cap the salaries that these people who ruin medical providers livelyhood for a buck? Oh thats right Mr Obama is an attorney, right?

    June 24, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  75. Linda Wolff

    I think some sort of healthcare reform will be passed this year, although I don't think it will be what the President or the American people want. It will be watered down by the Republicans and healthcare industries so much that it will be absolutely useless to any of us.

    I, for one, have no health insurance and would give my eyeteeth for a good, strong public plan. However, I'm not counting on it. As usual, conservatives in Congress and big business will get their way.

    June 24, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  76. Steve in Cincinnati

    These guys don’t get it – Health Care Reform is all about taking cost out of the system. It is not about creating a Government run alternative. If the current administration were serious about fixing health care they would complete an analysis of what is driving the costs and then facilitate changes to address the real issues.

    For example:
    A shortage of doctors could be addressed by expanding capacity of our medical schools.

    Some costs could be addressed by allowing other health care providers to complete certain procedures instead of a doctor.
    • Why can’t we expand the role of a nurse to do some procedures that are traditionally done by a doctor today?
    • Why does it take someone with a PhD to be a physical therapist today when a bachelor’s degree was satisfactory a few years ago?
    • Why don’t we expand the role of a midwife in the delivery room?

    Tests are often times repeated multiple times because subsequent doctors don’t have access to the prior result. Why not fix this issue with a set of standards that everyone must adhere to and make available?

    And there should be no sacred cows – there is no doubt that the trial lawyers have expanded cost well beyond their value. The issue of cost prohibitive malpractice insurance needs to be addressed. And the AMA can be guilty of protecting their current base as opposed to finding more efficient ways to operate.

    This is the kind of Health Care Reform that can have dramatic long term impacts. It appears that the current administration is harnessing the public concern to further their cause to create a government run health care program with little impact on the long term costs.

    June 24, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  77. LE Dufour

    Americans better get organized and fight for UNIVERSAL Healthcare or your are going to once again loose the opportunity. Canadians would never dream of giving up our health care and woe be any government who thought they could inject private profit interests back into it again. I get to choose my doctor, am involved in knowing my options and deciding my treatment. The bill goes to the government department and I concentrate on my health not if I am covered or when do I file for bankruptcy. Please for your personal sake and the health and welfare of your country consider the healthcare question in terms of health and not what the propaganda is the opposition to health care is feeding you.

    June 24, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  78. Gloria

    In all the publicity/news about healthcare reform, I haven't heard anything about why healthcare costs got so high to begin with. I worked in a large regional healthcare system and learned that the reason people pay so much for healthcare these days is the fact that we're actually paying for our's plus all the non-paying patients' healthcare costs. Also, Medicare/Medicaid never pays full reimbursement for submitted claims, so healthcare providers...hospitals, doctors, etc.– have to increase what they charge to paying patients in order to cover Medicare/Medicaid discounting. Since many hospitals and physicians are required to provide patient care no matter whether the patient can pay or not, the only way they can continue to provide healthcare services is to pass the costs for any uncompensated care along to those who do pay for companies and paying patients.

    June 24, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  79. Alex V

    I don't want to take away anything from Pres. Obama's recent speech on Serving America, but as he had finished his speech and went to greet and shake hands with the people on the floor, he wiped his nose and then shook hands with a woman. This behavior by anyone gives credence to health issues. This is the sure way to spread any flu germs etc. to others. Advice to the President of the United States, use a tissue. Sorry Mr. President. I believe you're doing great things that we haven't seen before. I hope that you continue to do so for the many millions of people that do believe in you, as I do.

    June 25, 2009 at 10:33 am |



    August 6, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  81. Billy

    We should follow the slogan “When companies compete we win”.

    The truth is real reform is at risk because opponents are using scare tactics and slogans to gin up fear and misunderstandings. Don't let that happen.


    August 6, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  82. Jerry - CO

    I am a Senior Citizen & a retired RN. An enormous amount of money & resources are spent on painful, expensive, and ultimately futile endeavors to prolong the lives of the terminally ill & elderly & I think it is imperative that we open a dialogue on better ways to manage these issues& resources. We Seniors have a responsibility to indicate just how many interventions we want & who we want to make decisions for us when we are unable to make them for ourselves. Hysterical uninformed outbursts about "exterminating" the elderly do not help.

    August 6, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  83. Rick

    8 Years of a Republican administration using scare tactics to maintain control and now out of the administration and still using the same tactics to oppose anything the democrats try to do for the working class.

    They will pay. The vast majority of Americans are starting to become more realists and better informed. This will in the long run be the downfall of the Republicans and soon they will have to abandon their party's name for a different name just like they ave done to millions of citizens that are now living in poverty levels thanks to their great work of 8 years of failed policies and feeding the rich class.

    August 6, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  84. Henry Fernandez

    You know, I read these posts and I can see how desperate the Republicans are getting. To use words such as exterminating the elderly and to compare Health Care to the Holocaust is abominable and it truly shows that the Republicans are willing to say anything to anyone scare them from approving the Health Care reform, because the republicans do not not wanting for the democrats to do anything right so they can have a chance to re-election in 2010. How irresponsible and divisive they are. They are getting in the way of progress that is desperately needed by millions of Americans that live in despair due to 8 years of bad administration decisions made by them. I know for a fact that I will never vote for their party again. Their real colors are showing and it is scary my friends.

    August 7, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  85. Billy

    The Republicans should stop talking about what our President should do regarding health care, just go pass another concealed gun bill for state parks and leave the President alone. Or maybe legitimately come to the table with some real help to work out a health care plan for all Americans. Get over the fact that you guys lost the election, you had eight years of nothing except war and with well over 4 thousand KIA’s and more wounded of our brave men and women in Iraq, that is your legacy!!

    For the people who seem to be up in arms over a vitally needed health care plan that all Americans need, just remember that the Republicans wanted you to take your money out of Social Security and put it in our great stock market. Just think if that had passed, where would all of you protesters be now?

    We need real change, so go get the real facts!!!

    August 7, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  86. christianliberal

    YES, some measure of reform will pass.

    I have a great idea for a compromise – we can let poor, sick people get all the care they want, but Republicans can send "compassion squads" to all the clinics, hospitals, and emergency rooms in the nation and decide who deserves to be treated.

    October 1, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  87. Buzzm1

    we should be pushing fraud reform, beginning with entitlements, rather than healthcare reform


    October 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
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