Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
July 16th, 2009
11:58 AM ET

Health Care Coverage

We're focusing on Health Care!
Congress is working on several bills for health care reform.
We want to hear from you.
What do you have to have in your health care plan?
Should the government mandate health coverage?
Do you support a public option?
Who should pay?
Send me your thoughts!

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (247 Responses)
  1. Elliott

    On the confirmation hearings for Judge Sotomayor, it seems that the Republican Party is becoming the GOP, Grumpy Old (white men's) Party. By alienating Hispanics and most Americans, it is succeeding in assuring its permanent status as a minority party in the US.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  2. Dana McCullough

    I support a public option.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  3. Bryan


    You just asked what was bad about the comparative research study in the proposed health care bill. The answer is that it doesn't just look to see which treatments are the most effective for treating the problem it also looks at which treatments are most cost effective. The fear many of us have is that the new government plan will only pay for the most cost effective treatments, preventing doctors from providing the most effective treatments for treating the problem.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Ken Edelin, M.D.

    Tony, did your medical reporter just say, "Yank out that prostate"? Ouch!! As a reitred Ob/Gyn if I ever said "yank out that uterus" they would want to cut somethings else off! Ouch! Ouch!

    July 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  5. Stephanie Chapin

    I just heard it suggested that they tax insurance companies to pay for health care. Is there no current federal or state tax on insurance companies? Do the profits go direct to shareholders, who are then taxed? What would be the reprecussions of taxing these companies?

    July 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  6. Anna M Zornosa

    I believe in a national heath care option. I do think it may be expensive. I also know that doctors get paid a lot of money, partly because they pay so much for school is why they try to keep their salaries high – to make up for it. I think that the way the country should go is to build up the numbers of nurse practitioners and physician's assistants. The government can help this with advertising for the need, and paying for school with loans, grants. Nurse Practitioners and Physicians' Assistants don't demand the high reimbursements that doctors do, and would make health care overall a lot of money if they were used instead of doctors. Also, maybe medical schools could make it even tougher to get in, and offer NP and PA schools for those who don't make it in to med school

    July 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  7. Will Rogers

    After $1000.oo a month Insurance premiums, DON’T FORGET we also have huge Deductibles for every family member, Co-Pays on Dr.'s Office visits and tiered higher amounts for Pharma needs, the 20/80% Billing to pay and Doctor's sending out "balance bills" for amounts uncovered by Insurance, then there's the Yearly limits, and the Lifetime limits.

    Medicare? You'll need three a la carte policies for complete coverage, which together costs about $450. This doesn't include the infamous Rx "Do-Nut Hole", which is another $4000 out of pocket for EACH person and paid at Retail Prices.

    Give us ANY Single Payer Non-profit provider.

    My “Savings” will come in the "Off-Set" of NOT having to pay all these "High Premiums" and out-of-pocket EXTRA expenses!!!

    NO! other country has these problems, go ask them, “Hey, How do you do it?”

    July 16, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  8. Corinne Lobacz

    Who should pay for health insurance? The biggest culprits of all. CIGARETTES, which cause cancer, heart diseas, emphysma should be TAXED to the MAX!!! People smok,e get sick, health care costs go up to take care of them, and everyone pays!!! Tax a pack of cigarettes 5 dollars a pack to raise money for health insurance. People will stop smoking and healthcare costs will go DOWN. And we'll be a healthier nation. ALSO, tax the tobacco companies to the max, since they're the ones pushing their toxic merchandise via lobbyists!! Also --raise the tax on liquor, another substance that ruins health, causes accidents (drunk driving) and forces healthcare up. Why should the average health conscious american pay for the nasty habits of drunks and cigarette junkies????!!! What do you say??

    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  9. Ron

    Public option from day 1 for all is a must for this to be considered a reform. People go to hospitals and clinics as a necessity and not for fun. It is not a luxury like a spa. Therefore, it should not be dominated by for-profit businesses run by people whose business is come up with excuses to deny or reduce coverage and retain only those who are healthy.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  10. Mark

    If this goes through, I, as a small business person, will be forced to lay people off. That's the bottom line. Nice job, Congressional Dems and comrade Obama, you're really fighting for the small guy!

    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  11. Theodore

    WHAT! Did she just say that medical practice isn't a science!? Maybe she only knows cosmetic surgeons.


    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Arnold Thompson

    I would support a tax on junk food like sugary drinks. It would help peoplke keep form developing diabetes. But that wont be enough so taxing the wealthiest in the country would not be a bad option too. If we dont get helath care now then when? We are the only industrialized country that does not have health care. we should be ashamed we let people die to keep rich people rich.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  13. patti

    With all due respect, healthcare is already under the grip of research/science. Insurance companies have lists of acceptable treatments that they will reimburse. if you or your doctor would prefer another treatment, you are on your own. surely you must know that.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  14. John T

    An obvious way to either reduce costs or pay for changes is to remove the cost of profit-seeking insurance companies. Remove these usurers from between me and my doctors.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  15. Jim Delaney

    How weak and poorly managed are our insurance companies if they tremble in fear of a government healthcare option? The government also offers a shipping option, but the U.S. Post Office has not hurt FexEx or UPS. Maybe some of these chumps need and deserve to go the way of DHL and Airborne Express!

    How are we going to pay for it? Add a tax to alcohol similar to that on cigarettes. I wouldn't mind paying an extra 5% on a 6pack of beer or bottle of booze if it will help.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  16. Jan

    What makes people think their doctors control their treatment now? Insurance companies approve procedures and decide what they will pay for and what doctors they will pay. Prescription coverage plans determine what medicines they want you to take instead of what your doctor prescribes and torrments you with mail, email and phone calls about cheaper options (for them, of course), despite whether or not they have been tried and determined to work. Let's face it, there is really little choice as it is. Who are they all trying to kid?.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  17. Dwight

    I believe that the best treqatment research thinghy is a good-bad thing. This is a good way of eliminating unneeded expenditures ans such, but might be also bad because not all humans are the same.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  18. Scotty

    I think that health coverage for all is way overdue, especially for those who can't really afford it. A public option is great as it would guarantee a more level playing field and fairness on the part of the insurance companies but still insure the best in actual physician care and expertise. Fixing the human body is something that should have never had a price tag affixed to it in the first place and this is why we are in the predicament we are in now.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  19. Mike Tichon

    Taxing the rich? The problem is with the definition of who is rich. A million dollars doesn't go as far as it used to. And, why should the upper income group have to pay half their income in taxes? That will curtail spending and hurt the economy. If we need to fund reform, the burden created should be commensurate with the reasonably available resources. If we are going to force people to buy insurance, that is like forcing everyone to buy a GM car.The suggestion to tax the insurance companies makes more sense, since they will profit greatly from health reform. Why create a new class of sheiks, only this time insurance sheiks instead of oil sheiks.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  20. Joshua Forman

    Your brief discussion of medicine as an art vs. medicine as a science was shallow and misleading of what experts on the matter actually think. Please read some Institute of Medicine reports on the matter before commenting on what is a very important aspect to the health care debate. For example:

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  21. Sue Stauffer

    It is time that the INSURANCE INDUSTRY has some real competition
    and that would come from a Federal Gov't Insurance Plan.
    AND REASONABLE WITH THEIR CLIENTELE....then the FGIP would continue to take over the entire US health insurance industry covering most of the citizens of the USA

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  22. Diane

    It's a given that Obama's going to force a healthcare bill. The only way to assure a comprehensive, fair, and complete healthcare plan, is to require Congressmen and their families participation in whatever they create.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  23. Scott Keller

    I support a single payer system like every other western civilized countries have. I would pay a higher tax rate for it. I'm tired of listening to politicians say that we don't want government bureaucracy between us and our health care. I have not had medical insurance for 15 years because I had spinal meningitis over 20 years ago. Those of us with plenty of money but cannot get insurance are the people that need to be taken care of first. I have absolutely zero faith in our politicians that they are going to fix these problems to the current healthcare system. As long as they are keeping the insurance companies in business, nothing will change. They need to take over the entire system, and force the healthcare system and pharmaceutical companies to lower prices like all the European countries do. Over there drug companies are not allowed to rape the citizens for medications.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  24. V Luke

    This economy will not turn around as long as: 1) the government does not stop spending at these unprecedented levels 2) the government continues to take over the private sector. There are less intrusive ways and less expensive ways to improve what is the best health care system in the world.

    We are watching the dismantling of this republic.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  25. Louise

    I am a RN and see what the "goverment regulations" do to the haves and have nots. Medical care is art and science, but goverment forgets – it's about the patient. Not every patient is text book. If the goverment MUST be involved, they need to remember that INDIVIDUALIZED patient care is the best practice for the best outcomes.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  26. Andreams

    There should be three levels, basic, regular and premium with varying benefits. Everyone should pay a reasonable premium with any government credit applying to the basic plan only. Those who want more should pay more. Plan benefits should increase at each level.

    Mandate – depends on how the rest of the bill reads. If there are no government subsidies or tax credits, no public option and no national exchange, there should be no mandate. That would only benefit the companies that caused the problem.

    Definitely should have a public option and also a national exchange for private insurance. Give us a choice!

    Payment should be from multiple sources – the people getting the insurance, the groups providing all the services, taxes and government. I want to pay for health care but I want to pay a reasonable price. 77% of my income is not reasonable and that's what it costs now.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  27. Eva

    Health Care, sure tax the the Insurance Companies they'll just increase our rates and we'll beforced to go on to Gov. Health Care. My Insurance already went up over $100 this year for single coverage.
    Why aren't our politians going on this Government Health Care. They have the best coverage in the country.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  28. Jeanette Bennett

    As a senior on Medicare, I am very concerned about the cuts in Medicare coverage. We hear about cuts in Medicare and Medicaid but never any details about what these cuts would entail. I have listened to the "Senate hearings on Health Care" and am very concerned about the welfare of our country as well as our people. It is very easy to spend some one else's money. More time needs to be spent educating the people about what these bills contain.
    Jeanette Bennett

    July 16, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  29. Tony

    I'm very concerned that if President Obama's universal, affordable health care system becomes law, people who don't have insurance provided by an employer or who can't afford to pay for insurance, but who will be mandated by the government to have insurance, will be forced to relay on the government to provide health insurance coverage. I'm afraid that people will be forced to participate in Medicaid-type insurance programs, which will mean that in order to get medical treatment a person would have to become a part of a system that is administered by a governmental agency–a system that dangerously resembles welfare-type services.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  30. Stuart Fleischer

    Health Care reform without a public option is not real reform. Many of those fighting a public option are really fighting to protect the profits of the insurance and pharmacutical industries.

    The cost should be paid by those most able to afford it, namely high income individuals and families. In addition, disbursement to the medical industry should be lower. Medical costs are vastly overpriced.

    The current system is unsustainable and real reform must be enacted.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  31. Joyce

    Re: Healthcare. Will Congress have to sign up for the same plan they stick the taxpayer with? Probably not. Will they read the 1,000+ pages before they vote for it? Probably not. Who should pay? No matter how you slice it, the taxpayer will pay – where do you think the government gets its money? Business, insurance pass expenses to the consumer. As you can guess, I do not want the government in the healthcare business as well as the banking, car, post office, amtrak, and who knows what else.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  32. Kent

    Where is accountability? Where is responsibilitity? Those who want health care should pay for it. Health Care is not a right but a priviliege. A right co-exists, it does not oblige another to provide for it. My right to life does not oblige another. A true American does not look to the government for a handout or provision, but understands that hard work and personal responsibility are the way privileges like health care or housing are obtained.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  33. Gary Morris

    America can find billions to help the auto industry
    but cant find the money for those that need it the sick the poor
    America has stuck it to the poor and sick long enough

    July 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  34. barbara campasino

    Why have you not addressed, that in the health bill, there is a clause that clearly says that the people in congress does not have to participate in the health bills for 5 + years. Also that the republicans are sending around and form to sign, that the people in congress will participate in the new Health bill. That all republicans are will to sign up in the new health bill, but none of the Democrates will. Also will the President himself sign up for the new health bill. Specially since while he was running for president, he did say that the public would have the same as himself and every one up on the hill.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  35. Dewey Fish

    This Health Care Thing is all about the Money and How The MEdical Community Can Get More of it Out Of Our Pockets...
    The Simple Truth is that Health care is all about Nutrition!
    Why are we Being Fluoridated To Death... What ever happened to Clean water?? I'll Tell You Why To Get Us Sick and To Keep Us Sick...
    WQhat About Cancer... If The Media worked for the AMerican People We would have Known about Vitamin B17 A Long time ago... But it is all about the Money and Vitamin B17 is a Naturally Occuring Vitamin that the Medicall Community Does Not want you to Know about Because it is a Cheap And 100% Effective Cure For ALL, Thats Right I said ALL Cancers... That is why the FDA has banned it...
    So Consequently You have to go to Mexico in order to recieve this Life saving Vitamin...
    Do Your Homework...
    Investigate Vitamin B17 and Don't Believe anything you here on the Main Stream Media...
    You can Go ahead and delete this message now , Since I know that Vitamin D is a Taboo Subject, and Water Fluoridation is The Sacred Cow of The Mass Media and 'Modern Death Care... Oh... I mean Health Care??

    July 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  36. Crystak Throne

    Yup, that's the insurance companies so they may in turn add it to the premiums of their customers! STUPID. However, I have a plan, triple tax those in the News media, the congressmen, senators, the president, judges and bureaucrats. Triple tax those doctors who perform abortions! Ta-da! Health care paid for. SImple

    July 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  37. jez

    Get this: my 70-year-old mother-in-law's insurance stops if she's not working full – time, which she needs and wants to do. So when she needed hip replacement surgery, her coverage ended. How ridiculous is that? No need to even ask when a basic right like health care is all about profit.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  38. SAM

    I must be watching a different confirmation hearings. I see people concerned about justice NOT being blind and the influence of a "wise Latino woman" regarding decisions that should be based strictly on the law (you know that thing called the constitution). Since this is a lifetime appointment these decisions should concern everyone! I also see some of those same "old white men" being extraorinarily patronizing to someone who has a few hits against her performance as a sitting judge and her many statements claiming bias and someone who has a majority of "overturns" by higher courts. The fact that she is Hispanic should not enter into the equation at all. If they are alienating Hispanics then those Hispanics are not concerned about justice being blind which is something there have been complains about in the past.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  39. Pat

    I want choice in our health plans. I want a tax credit to help pay my premiums. If the government is to mandate health coverage, I want the congressmen, senators and their families to use the same health plans they mandate for us.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  40. William

    I just finished reading HR 3200 The Government Knows Better Than You What You Need In Health Care Than You Do And We Won Bill. On Page 16 Obama's lie is exposed. He says if you like your plan you can keep it. WRONG!
    "Except as provided in this paragraph, the individual health insurance
    issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first
    day of Y1."
    Translation: There will be no competition because we're shutting them down so your policy provider will not exist." Come on CNN Do your job report the news and stop covering for these people.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  41. greg farmer

    I have a bad feeling that if the insurance companies are taxed, they will just pass that tax cost right down to us who pays for and uses the insurance. wow, what a deal for us! Higher insurance cost..... Again!

    July 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  42. Robert Goad

    The present payment for the Heal Plan takes the benefits away from all of the Seniors that have paid for their care for more than 40 years. The present plan is to eliminate all of the Advantage Plans for Seniors and reduce the cost to Doctors and Hospitals by 21.5 percent next year. All of the Doctors and Hospitals in Springfield, MO say they will no longer take Seniors with Medicare next year, because they will loose money with the reduced payments planned by the Administration. The costs of Seniors will skyrocket without the Advantage Programs which contribute to the care of Seniors. We paid for the Advantage Programs with our taxes, so why do we have to pay for the Health Care of all the non seniors now that the Administration want to find funds. Let the Seniors continue to have our present health care. Medicare is being taken away for the Seniors and we will not be able to afford our medical starting in 201o.

    Bob Goad

    July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  43. shannan

    Healthcare should not be mandated by the government. It will cause patients to be limited on the care they receive based on what the government deems "the best course of care". Taxing the healthcare companies to support this form of socialism will in turn cause them to pass the "cost" or loss along to thier consumers in the way of higher premiums, forcing Americans to buy the government mandated healthcare. Thus limiting what choices we would have about our own healthcare. It all sounds nice and even comes wrapped in a pretty package with a bow, but goverment run healthcare will only compound our current economic crisis!

    July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  44. Susan Strong

    I support single payer with equal employer/employee deductions based on percent of income, similar to Medicare. The Medicare bureaucracy is already in place and it doesn't tell me as a physician how to take care of my patients, as private insurance often does.

    I recently had a patient with an xray suspicious for cancer. The radiologist recommended an MRI which would tell us if there was more than one suspicious area. The private insurance company refused. They forced the patient to have a biopsy instead even though the biospy would cause a reaction that could obscure the findings of any later MRI and not tell us anything about spread of the cancer. But MRIs are expensive and this rationing for the profit of the insurance company.

    We are already spending more per capita than any other country on health care and a big part of that is the cost of administration of private insurance. In the end single payer national health insurance will allow us to choose our own doctors and allow our doctors to make decisions for our care without interference.

    Would you rather the government which has done this already with Medicare run your health insurance or corporations such as AIG?

    July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  45. stephen Pagnozzi

    Hi Tony. I reallly don't know why there is a big controversy over the healthcare system. It's simply broke. I could only speak on behalf of my family and my coverage, or lack of. My family's cost has gone up while my out of pocket costs have also risen. We NEED HELP! And We DO need a public option to keep the other companies out there honest. I also look at the TV ads with the conservatives saying higher taxes, are not the way. Well, we are paying out of the kazoo now so why not change things. Thanks.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  46. Walter B

    Government defiantly has to do health care reform but the way to pay for it should be more divorce. Government should incise tax on cigarettes, alcohol, and gas to get needed money to pay for it. This way everyone will pay for health care!

    July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  47. Mike

    I'm sorry but if I am sick and might die, it is not the responsibility of anyone else to take care of me if I cannot afford care, there is no right to medical treatment. It's interesting that those who pontificate on God are quick to attack the insurance companies and accuse them of choosing who lives or dies. Fear of death for ourselves or our loved ones is natural, but it doesn't give us the right to take from others by force.

    July 16, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  48. Lisa from Canada but living in TN

    hi Tony;
    GREAT IDEA!!! The government needs to take charge of the pathetic situation of health care today in the U.S. People dying in their homes because they can't afford a doctor visit or care at a hospital! Canada is fantastic example for health care with no waits for surgery or to get care whatever your needs! The U.S. has got to face up to the fact that public health care is the best way to treat everyone fairly regardless of income and status! Plus, all these private health insurance companies have been ripping of citizens with ridiculous high premiums for years and you don't even realize it!!!!!!!!!!! Ignorance is not bliss America! Get with the program and support the government! Peace, out!

    July 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  49. Robin

    I am in favor of a public option for health care. A public option will be cheaper and will press private insurance companies to compete. Republicans are against a public option because most of them are in the pockets of private health insurers who control costs and of course their profits. I am at a loss as to why Republicans are against this private option, when they seem to be in foavor of the free enterprise system. Do they, Republicans, beleive that free enterprise should only be for private companies who control costs. A public option will become part of the free enterprise system that we all embrace.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  50. Paul

    . All we have are a lot of expensive, empty promises that will limit choice, lower the quality of care and bankrupt our children while pushing us in the direction of socialism! I am sorry to report but there is no "right" in our constitution with respect to this issue. Choices will be made for us by bureaucrats. I am amazed at how many people think they are entitled to various "benefits"! Any "reform" must be carefully weighed with all options given equal consideration and NOT rushed through like what President Obama is trying to do. This is not an emergency but a serious problem that must be carefully examined before action is taken. Oh, and by the way , how are WE going to pay for it?

    July 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  51. Jack

    I don't understand all the hubbub about the government getting between my doctor and me. My health insurers have been doing that to me for years. Things like prescribed medications, PSA tests, etc. have all been denied at one time or another. I have to ask permission for surgeries.

    Last month I had a back problem while out of town. I went to the local emergency room for examination and treatment. Think the insurance company covered it? No, it ended up costing me $300 out of pocket. So, let's not trouble ourselves with the big "get between you and your doctor scare" someone's already there and it isn't the government.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  52. Joan

    Glad you’re debating this. My concern is if a person is unemployed but doesn’t collect unemployment payments, will such a person be forced to buy health insurance coverage? I can’t find work but my boyfriend cannot afford to pay any extra for health insurance for me. We live very modestly but don’t want to lose what few assets we have. I am all for healthcare reform. Taxing insurance companies isn’t a bad idea, as long as it is written into law that the insurance companies could not pass on the cost of the tax to its customers or doctors. Insurance companies are the problem in the equation. I have worked for health insurance companies and typically they are ruthless and incompetent. The important point that the media could repeat is that many people who are happy with their current insurance have not had it tested with a really serious illness. Many people who have insurance are refused coverage when their health deteriorates. With a government public plan, there would be oversight. At the moment, insurance companies can get away with just about anything. The last thing a sick person needs is to be hounded by insurance companies to pay exorbitant bills. Currently, people who are health-conscious, hard-working, decent citizens can lose their home and all their assets overnight if they become sick. Go Congress!

    July 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  53. Helene Wrenn

    If Congress deceides what type of treatment should be provided for a patient with prostate cancer, does "their" healthcare bill provide the same treatment, or does their policy provide a choice of treatments and clinical trials?

    I would prefer being covered under their health care bill myself!

    Helene New York

    July 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  54. Barbara Dozier

    Insurance companies are in the profit business so why should we trust them to give us the best deals. This is a capitalist society so a public option would drive competition, which is good for the consumer. Everyone should pay for it based on their income, even a person on welfare can afford five dollars a month.
    I worked for 33 years and I retired at 59 and my retirement check is not the much but I have $285.00 a month deducted for my health insurance. I also have to pay a deductible. But at age 65 I am understand that my health insurance becomes invalid. So the people that are working now and are happy with their insurance only have until they reach the age of 65 years. So wouldn’t they like to have a public option?

    July 16, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  55. Dewey Fish

    Sorry I Meant to say Vitamin B17 and Fluoride are Sacred Cow Issues that you Will NEver Hear About on The Main Stream Media...
    Do Your Homework...
    Investigate Vitamin B17 ahd Fluoride...
    Wait.. I Forgot to Mention Vaccines... another Scam On The American People...

    July 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  56. Alex

    The campaign by HMO's et al to protect the status quo in healthcare in the US using complainers about the Canadian system is disingenuous at best and a farce.
    Up here we do not have 15% of our population without healthcare. Even visitors and immigrants have healthcare shortly after arriving here.
    Up here healthcare is not a profit centre at the point of delivery except in those provinces that allow private clinic options along side the public system.
    Yes there are wait times and yes it is possible that someone could die waiting for a procedure but with triage this is rare. Those in urgent need get moved to the front.
    Of course nobody ever dies in the US as a result of a no coverage decision of an HMO right? Of course nobody dies in the US because they have no healtcare coverage at all right?
    Public healthcare is not perfect but better than no healtcare, expensive healtcare or selective expensive healthcare metered out by HMOs based on cost to them.
    It works in Sweden, the UK. Japan, Germany and yes up here north of the border.
    It's time government stepped in in the US and created something in healthcare that benefits all its citizens and not HMOs, insurance companies, business, those who can afford it and the Republican party's friends.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  57. Diane

    Republican questions in the Sotomayor hearing were the only ones with any substance. Their questioning was relevant and revealed much more about this nominee.
    Al Franken's questioning was, absurd and a waste of time.
    I would like to know if CNN will show the firefighters comments.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  58. Ken

    Costs would go down by two-thirds if the HMO's and Insurance companies were not so entrenched in wall street trying to satisfy stockholders. The problem is, we have made the health of the american public into a commodity so a few can get rich. It's all about the money, not health.

    If americans here 'think' they have a good health plan, I have news for you! You don't!

    I have seen and experienced the European and Asian healthcare systems, and we really have a lot to learn from them. Costs are less than a third than they are here, and the quality is just as good, if not better.

    Even if we had an experiment and tried the British NHS system or even the Taiwanese or German system for one year, The overwhelming majority of Americans would buy into it totally without a fight.

    We've been assaulted with scare tactics about how bad 'their' system is, when they have no idea what they are talking about. This is just the insurance and drug companies scaring the public so they can keep their profit levels extremely high.

    A public healthcare system is NOT socialist. That is total nonsense. If that is the concern, then please privatize police, fire, schools and libraries now, so we don't have to hear anymore whining about it.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  59. Bruce Vernon

    I really don't see what the problem with healthcare is. As it is right now we have set up the Insurence Companies as the ones who decide what care, if any, we will have. They also have the option to drop you at any time for what ever reason they see fit. And I know first hand that they will if you start using it for more then just regular checkups. My wife died from MS so I have seen this road.

    Who Pays? We do now! At least those who have insurence do. Those without insurence either go on Medicade or use the local emergency room as their personal doctor.They can't pay so these costs are passed on to us. Having the cost as a part of SSI or income txes spreads it out and takes the Insurence Companies out of the loop. Never forget that Insurence Companies are publically traded Companies whose sole purpose is to make enough profit to keep the stock holders happy. Putting them in charge of your health is like putting Oscar Mayer in charge of the FDA.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  60. Karleen Sandersd

    Anyone who thinks the healthcare isn't regulated now doesn't know the coverage here in US. We have had "Standard of care" and "Best Practices" here for several years. The Insurance companies use these to determine if they will cover the insured for the procedure. This country does have waiting for procedures, which is still better than no coverage. I'm really tired of the ads that make it seem that our coverage is wonderful. I am a nurse and I know it is not, even for people that have insurance. The difference is the insurance companies regulate what we can have done instead of the government. The insurance companies run Medicare and look what they have done to that..

    July 16, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  61. Mary

    Will I be paying a monthly premium for this health insurance, and if so, how much is this health insurance going to cost me a month? How will this premium for me be determined, i.e. on income, illness, etc? Are preexisting conditions going to be an issue that premiums will be based on? Right now in my state of Maryland, for me to obtain health insurance as an individual through the State of Maryland (government issued health insurance), I would be paying over
    $500. 00 a month, plus deductibles, co-pays, and other costs not covered.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  62. julie

    First off, a bit of bias on the art vs. science topic....Tony's verbals and nonverbals totally discounted the experts voice. Healthcare clearly both Art AND science, Biology and Chemistry might be predictable forms of science, but applying those to the HUMAN condition requires more art. A person on dialysis requires different treatment than one not, a person with a family history of breast cancer would require a more aggressive treatment approach than a lower risk person. Come on, Tony, put your personal agenda aside and let your experts speak.

    What do you have to have in your health care plan?

    1. CHOICE
    2. assurance that my treatments are based on the physicians that I CHOOSE and trust and not the agenda of outside influences such as pharmaceuticals companies, biased researches, and politicians
    3. preventive care, including alternative approaches

    Should the government mandate health coverage?

    of course not

    Who should pay?

    we should pay for our own health care. Those who cannot pay should be funded by taxing the organizations that most lead to health problems... pharmaceutical companies and junk food producers and providers – OR, how about we impose a voluntary tax on all the folks that feel so strongly about, as Colin Powel suggests, feel good about paying more taxes for more services.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  63. AnnMarie Mackway-Girardi

    All Americans deserve good health care. It's not only the right thing to do, it will help all of our citizens to be as productive as possible. Prevention and early diagnosis will make care cheaper, too.
    I prefer a single payor system like Medicare. It keeps administrative costs as low as possible; almost all the money can go into care. We currently have a great deal of money diverted from peoples' care to profits for insurance companies. In addition, insurance people make decisions about which doctor, drug, hospital, and treatment a person may have. They are practicing medicine without a license.
    There IS art in the practice of medicine. Science and evidence based medicine are applied every day in the physicians' decisions, but people aren't all the same. There is an art in choosing care appropriate for each individual, and their unique circumstances.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  64. Dee

    I worked as a professional at an insurance company and learned how denying cases and looking for pre-existing clients to deny was the key for saving money. The "medical criteria" was just another avenue to deny services and feel better about it in most all cases. Since I refused to engage in this behavior, I was eventually pushed out. Everyone needs full healthcare that covers pharmacy as well. That was the other thing at my job- we had the worst insurance benefits anywhere!! I am still paying on a minor surgery bill! I think we should not hesitate a minute to nail the insurance companies.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  65. dawn mitchell

    Health starts with the food we eat,the thoughts we think and how active we are.The health care program seems to support a bunch of junk food eaters and people who aren't taking responsibilty for their own health.I have no health insurance.I take care of my body mainly by what is put in it ,body mind and spirit.I dont care to support someone who smokes,eats mass meat and drinks too much ,or the lazy potatoe.How about taxing junk food the farther away real food gets by processing the more it should taxed.Because it is taxing the body and everyone else.And alcohol and meat is overly eaten so tax it more .Americans live way beyond a clean simple life in many ways.Why are the food makers allowed to put so many poisons in our food ?Why is gatorade blue?I feel less on health care and more on making quality food, look at what we feed our country .Food also develops the way of the mind so its a vicious circle.I have no time for ignorant people who wish to remain fat and dumb.Take Care Guys I hope you read this

    July 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  66. Tom Jeffries

    my opinion is that Govt should offer a parallel health insurance. I was a nurse for 20+years and now disabled.The operation of health insurance companies ,I believe are illegal.We have allowed them to perform the way they do for so long we don't think of it as being illegal. As Dr Cohen pointed out about the concerns of the "comparative medical" and then only doctors being allowed one way to treat patients;that is happening already i.e. Mrs Sarkasian on Captol Hill illustrating the battle waged by her family to get treatment for her daughter.This is where the LEGALITY of their actions is questioned. Who said CEO's of Insurance companies can practice medicine without a license?? Directing patient care and treatment for sake of profit margin does not constitute being qualified to Direct Doctors on how to care for patients OR to with hold care for the sake of someone's portfolio. State Nursing Law says " practice or offer to practiceonly within the scope permitted by law AND within the licensee's own educational preparation and competencies"-I dont see where CEO's of insurance companies even come close to fulfilling those requirements ..let alone dictating care to doctors ..thru case managers which have no business telling Doctors how to treat thru "code books"...Doctor is kept on contract by insurance companies to review high profile or high cost cases ...theres no way those Doctors hired as consultants can review ALL the cases crossing the desk in front of "case managers" thats why a serious review of HOW insurance companies "practice" medicine should be reviewed ....thats why I favor a Govt run parallel doctors can be doctors again.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  67. Prince David AmaGEDOn

    this new health care bill violates my constitutional rights due to the fact that they want to force all Americans to show proof that they have health insurance, I grew up in a very religious home and our religion has a health code to be able to live a long and prosperous life, I am 50 years old and my mother is 80 and still driving a car, we are not on any medication, we've never been to the doctor and we live by the famous words of one of our religious leaders Brigham Young, "I rather die a natural death than to hire some wicked Doctor to kill me" . So forcing me to pay for health care violates my religious beliefs. I wonder how Judge Sotomayor, would answer that?

    July 16, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  68. Bruce Guernsey

    I was amazed and appalled by the language of your reporter as she discussed the health insurance issue a short while ago.

    In discussing a physician's possible choices about prostate surgery, she asked whether the prostate "should be yanked out" or not.

    "Yanked"??! Please–how careless and crass! How utterly unprofessional.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  69. HillbillyBill

    Who will pay for Health Care? The same guy that pays for everything–the one at the bottom of the totum pole. Tax the profits of the top 1½%? Fine. And where did that top 1½% get those profits? Of course, from the guy on the bottom of the totum pole.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  70. mark chaddon

    Hi Tony,
    I do NOT mind paying a fair share for my health coverage and having options of coverage sounds great. I share many peoples concern about "government involvement" in health care but I also think that every person in the USA should have health care coverage. This is a difficult topic but finally talks are under way. I am sure any bill that passes will not be perfect but it will be a beginning. A first step has to be taken before progress can occur.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  71. Donna D. Hill

    We have very real problems with our health care delivery system that need very real solutions – we can all agree on that. However, a public plan will not provide the solutions we need. Many times, the argument given in favor of a public plan is of the "Jane needed a kidney transplant and her insurance carrier denied it" type. A quick examination of any existing public plan (Canada, UK, etc.) denies MORE procedures not less. We need something that is affordable – a public plan option will simply transfer increased cost from "premium" to other forms of payment, primarily taxation (whether that's direct or indirect).

    The eseential issue that needs to be addressed is access to coverage by the nation's uninsured. The real uninsured, not those who perceive themselves as 10-foot tall and bullet-proof until they hear the bullet whizzing by their ear. Several states (look at Utah and Washington among others) have developed reasonable ways to address that issues. Modeling and fine-tuning those solutions has a chance of solving the real problems.

    A public plan will on appear to solve the perceived problems. Is that really what we want?

    July 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  72. Peter

    Health Care.
    I support a public option.
    We currently pay into (1) social securiy and (2) medicare. Why should we not also pay for health care in the same manner?

    July 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  73. J P morgan

    we should merge medicare and medicaid and have a public plan that is automatically offered and is a right for all who are living in america. Illegals or immigrants, because we do not choose to be ill. to pay for it we should set up a health care fund and put a health care tax on all every day items eg... soda, clothes,toilet papers, food, general goods that is use by all, that way all people living here will be contributing and not just a particular group. We must also stabilize the cost of care and notifify patients of all billing and items being billed for by providers to prevent fraud in the system. to avoid seeing the doctor for a particular complaint and the system gets billed for the complaint plus a totally different item also that was not even discussed with the doctor. all records need to be computerized to avoid repeat labs, ct scan etc..

    July 16, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  74. Mary Hanson

    Universal coverage is the key, and both words in this phrase need to be emphasized equally. Part of getting to universal coverage is requiring everyone to be enrolled in a health plan that includes preventive care; the public option is necessary to make this more affordable.
    The second word in this phrase, coverage, is just as important. Coverage must be there when you need it. Opponents of health care reform are running ads about government bureaucrats standing between you and your doctor. They fail to acknowledge, of course, that with the current system insurance employees in cubicles have the power to deny life-saving treatment recommended by the best doctors in the world. We know this from personal experience. And if you become seriously ill, your coverage may be terminated. So insurance needs to cover everyone, including those with pre-existing conditions, and coverage needs to be there when you need it most, to save your life.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  75. Mary

    Yesterday some Congresspersons were quoted as being concerned about letting the government make our health care coverage decisions. Where have they been while insurance companies, even "non-profits," have to be sued to provide covered services; the patient can die before such suits require companies to pay. Would patients prefer the government or bottom-line sometimes non-medical persons calling the final shots on who lives-who dies-who pays? As a patient & former provider, I want the universal health care I have seen in other countries, I want it to cover every aspect of health, physical & mental, & I accept that no entity outside government can effect this change. Until insurance companies report less staggering "profits" (or "excess of revenue over expense," I believe they should be required to contribute financially to the cost of designing & implementing a program of universal health in the U.S.

    Some of the American public and its healthcare providers have expectations far beyond what a technologically sophisticated system can provide & still break even. I've talked with patients in one of the nearly 40 civilized countries we lag behind, & it is apparent there is a significant difference in expectations between those citizens and ours in America.

    Cost of malpractice is another issue which must be addressed; Americans must accept there does not have to be negligence or other offences every time an unfortunate outcome results from a healthcare encounter. In some cases I think the physician is as damaged as much as the patient when unavoidable, adverse outcomes occur. Genuine negligence, intentional malpractice...these cases can keep the courts busy. Not poor outcomes in spite of all a medical team can do. Nothing is 100%-try it yourself and see.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  76. brent

    I did not hear your anchors mention that taxing the wealthy to pay for gov't health care includes most small business operators who will be forced to cut jobs or that taxing insurance companies is just another example of an uneven playing field in competing with a government "option.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  77. Kevin Hall

    In the health care crisis, we are looking at the symptom instead of the disease. If we took money out of politics, then the "healthcare" companies couldn't pay to play, propping up a system for profit instead of health, by putting money in the pockets of those who keep their profits flowing by letting people suffer & die!

    July 16, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  78. Sean McDermott

    I am a 26 year old college student who has worked multiple part time jobs to try and account for some of the costs of attaining my degree. I have not had a doctor's visit in more than 3 years due because my part time employers haven't provided me with even partial coverage. Costs of resources are being over-quoted somewhere along the line and identifying which costs are being overblown is a start to reducing the price of healthcare. Next, if we mean to be as united as we claim, costs of National Healthcare should be based on income of every individual. Of course, working class individuals should not pay the most of these costs because the trend continues to grow of working class employers providing little or non-adequate health care coverage. This includes much of the retail and food service industries. I'm sorry to make the more wealthy put on a frown, but if you want to be United, you have to mean it.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  79. Joya Cave

    Sorry, the idea that medical care is an art not science is absurd. Perhaps if doctors admitted that they didn't know EVERYTHING and for that reason individuals respond differently to medical treatment, the science would be more progressive. That's precisely why doctors "practice" medicine!
    I believe more research in medicine is necessary as long as the drug company's are not the source of what is medically sound, the best treatment is a cure not prolonged medication to treat the symptoms.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  80. SAM

    On the healthcare issue we need to wait. People need to be working and we need to get the economy working before rushing into something so costly and adding to the deficit. Haste makes waste and the bill needs to be read by the people, questions answered by legislators so that everyone can understand what precisely is in it.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  81. David

    I am a registered democrat and a young physician but I express deep concern for the proposed changes in health care policy. While it is my hope that we are able to expand health care coverage to every American, I am frankly perplexed that tort reform is not included in the proposed changes. Having served as a health care provider on the front lines for several years now, it seems that much of the skyrocketing costs can be attributed to the increased ordering of tests due to the fear of lawsuits. Statistics show that over one third of medical lawsuits are merritless while the legal fees that physicians must pay for any suit brought against them can range as high as $25,000. Those who deny that this has been a driving force behind rising costs are clearly apathetic to the pressures that healthcare prodivers face in today's legal system. The root of the problem lies in the minimal risk that plaintiff attorneys face (and the prospect of outrageous rewards) in bringing a suit. The proposed health care changes should adopt a "looser pays policy" where plaintiff attorneys (and/or their firms) must absorb the cost of the physician's legal fees if the suit is not successful or does not settle. Many other countries have already adopted this policy. This would ideally reduce the number of baseless lawsuits, reduce the pressure on physicians to order unnecessary tests, and thereby reduce healthcare costs. This just makes sense but it appears to have been completely ignored by politicians. The healthcare system continues to work hard to reduce medical errors. It's time that the legal community shows some self-restraint if we are truly vested in expanding coverage to every American and controlling costs.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  82. Cecille Lewis

    Hi Margie, Tony! I am compelled to respond as I know thousands of people are in the same position as I am. No health care. Before this, I paid $428/mo from my pocket just for my individual coverage to have Kaiser Permanente plan.I paid it so I would feel secure (healthier)when I get older & more sickly. Suddenly I have no more money to pay and have to beg them to at least just fill up my prescription. What must I have to have in my health care plan is exactly what i personally bought as I was willing to pay exorbitant expense just so. $10-20 co-pay & $ 20-30 prescription max. Clearly, I got coverage for extended hospital stay,etc. Even when I had my private insurance, I had to wait for 2-3 months away appointments unless urgent. So,I found myself lining up-waiting a lot. What am I saying? No difference to Canadian health care or Philippines health care options. Waiting is more a clinical/scheduling problems and totally have nothing to do with coverage as well as volume of people insured. Guess where I go get my comprehensive health care even when I was insured, Philippines.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  83. George Michailow

    As a starter plan we can take all of the people who are too sick or too broke and not desirable consumers for the insurance companies and let the government create a Plan for these uninsured.
    As more people lose their employment and coverage in this economy or become uninsurable by the insurance companies they will have a safety net.
    What's wrong with a safety net for all Americans so that no one who has a catastrophic illness end up with a death sentence ?

    July 16, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  84. Gina Russo

    We already have a "public option". It's called Medicare, its administrative overhead costs are only three percent, and it should become the public core of any healthcare legislation that passes Congress. We do not need another bloated bureaucracy on top of the many we already have when one of them is actually doing its job well. Why reinvent the wheel?

    The biggest mistake I see in the Obama administration's stance is that health insurance should be tied to employment. What about children? Yes, we have Medicaid for the children of the poor, but again, why the compartmentalization? Here, too, there is a problem that remains unresolved. Who's responsible for insuring other people's children? Certainly, not the companies that employ their parents! I'd suggest that it is individuals, who need to learn to take responsibility for the choices they make. When or whether they have children and how many they have is up to them.

    These are issues that are not currently part of the discussion and should be. A sensible public plan would take them into account by offering an option to all parents to buy into it to cover their kids as each is born, and tie the coverage to the child's (mandatory) Social Security number. Costs should be the responsibility of the parents, be tied directly to each parent's wages,and be deducted at the workplace of each. How much it costs should be a percentage of how much each parent earns. No caps, no refunds. Having children is a right, and like all rights, it entails responsibility. This should hold true whether or not the parents are married, and all the "tomcats" out there should be held legally responsible for the costs of their kids until at least age 18.

    But the important bottom line is that healthcare insurance should be mandatory for all of us, and it should not cost us a king's ransom. This is a human rights issue, and governments around the world with far fewer resources than ours have recognized that and done something about it. In fact, ours is the only G-20 nation that hasn't. It's about time it did. Let's not waste this opportunity, and let's do the job right!

    July 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  85. Kate G. Wilsonville, Oregon

    Your coverage of the "best practices" issue leaves out the nature of the change that will come with health reform. Millions of Americans now are denied appropriate treatments because doctors must get approval from profit-oriented insurance companies. Doctors often do not even mention the treatment options they know insurance companies don't want to pay for. Under a system that provided doctors and patients with authoritative information about best practices, all parties would have information about the effectiveness and cost of treatments. Information about best practices would protect doctors from exhorbitant patient demands. It would also protect patients from inappropriate treatments, whether too much or too little.

    July 16, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  86. Charlie Erickson

    If Congress writes the healthcare reform plan, there won't be much reform. It doesn't matter if it is a democratic or republican bill. Congress cannot get anything right, when they mostly fight and oppose the "other side". Congress has become a sick joke, and an embarrassment to Democracy.

    As far as the Sotomayor confirmation hearings; They're pretty much a sad joke too. The republicans have all but admitted that this is all for political partisan positioning for the upcoming 2010 election, and to throw jabs at the democrats. They don't care about Sotomayor's appointment. they've already said that this will not change the balance of power on the bench. That in itself is also a kick in the teeth of Democracy. Since when should the Supreme Court have a balance of power? What happened to upholding the Constitution, fidelity to the law, and equal justice. Power (of the political sort) has absolutely no place on the bench.


    July 16, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  87. Arnold

    Notice who is getting bothered by the healthcare issue. Congressmen that are receiving tons of money from health related companies, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, etc. Now with the theory of charging the cost to the rich is logically bothering the rich. No matter what the government does, someone is going to be upset about it.

    I like the idea of taxing the soda industry. Think about what makes everyone so unhealthy in the first place. Tax the fast food industry, tobacco, alchohol, pharmaceuticals, and even the oil/gas industry. Maybe having to pay thru the nose for our addictions will finally prompt us to break our unhealthy habits. This would lead to healthier people. Unhealthy people should also be provided incentives/tax credits for becoming healthy and avoiding illnesses.

    Don't even try to argue about the govt restricting treatments because insurance companies and HMO's already do that. Watch "Sicko".

    July 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  88. Dewey Fish

    Here is More Fuel For the Fire ... Concerning Good Old Healthy GMO foods which the Goverment is Trying to Push onto EVERYBODYS Table... This Stuff Is POISON to the 10th Degree...

    July 16, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  89. Owen

    I think America needs to see TR Ried's( Washington Post Foreign Correspondent) titled "Sick Around the World".His in depth comparison of the five Capitalist- Democracies healthcare handling. More information needs to go out to the public by our news agency's , to expose the Greed of our Elected Officials in Washington.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  90. Sandra Manczuk

    I think everyone deserves health care. I don't think that the government should be in charge of it, because costs will skyrocket. I just wonder if the Senators, Congress, and White House officials will be taking advantage of the new health care reform program or are they going to continue to use their free (taxpayer paid for) medical insurance?

    If it is such a great program, they should be on it too. Right?

    July 16, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  91. Paula

    I would echo what patti said: aren't we already subject to the research done by our insurance companies on effective treatments vs cost? This is the same old debate. Having just gone through surgery, I am watching the bills come in for one amount and the insurance paying the 'agreed amount' which is usually about half of what was billed. Sure doesn't make sense.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  92. Owen

    I've never had the problem of having to worry about any million dollars I will never have one to be taxed, would like to know how that feels. Always said I would love to pay a million dollars in tax one year.
    But taxing the healthcare org.'s would be the logical way to go. But the real way would be to ask these people ( Insurance Carriers, AMA, Hospitals, Lawyers) to step up to the plate and give it back, take a haircut, like the rest of Americans.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  93. Ralph Wolf

    Why isn't CNN reporting on the conclusions reached in today's CBO report regarding the adverse and devasting impact that proposed Congressional healthcare plan is likely to have on the economy? Is CNN still carrying the water for the Obama administration?

    At some point, one would hope that this news organization would attempt to return to its roots in mainstream reporting rather than fuctioning as an unofficial organ for the party presently in power. Fortunately, some of the MSM is beginning to resurface with a slight degree of critical reporting.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  94. momto4intx

    Don't take away my right to choose my providers and what care my family should have. I have family members who live with government run healthcare out of the country and it is not as wonderful as our illustrious leaders would have us believe. I don't want the government deciding whether care is "worth it" or deciding that my family members aren't worth it. No to universal healthcare!!

    July 16, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  95. Kristen

    I think the government should mandate health care for everyone. I have been a RN for 10 years and have seen the uprising costs of health care and how it affects everyone. For those who have health insurance and think they don't have to worry about anyone else, think again. For the argument that over all costs are going to be too much to pay. I have news for those people, whether you know it or not, every one is already paying for health care. Every time a homeless person, a person without insurance or an illegal immigrant gets sick or injured, we the tax payers (mostly the middle class) picks up the tab. The cost of not doing anything to reform health care now will end up costing us more in the end. I have never understood how or why America chooses to continue to put a price on life. The United States lists number 37 on the World Health Organization's ranking on the world's health care systems. France is number 1 in the entire world. France has a universal health care system. I do not trust corporations to play God with my health. If the United States sets up regulations for health care (we all know what happens when systems are deregulated) I think it could work. The people need to take a stand just like we did in voting for President Obama and state we want health care for all! No one should be turned away.

    July 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  96. Cecille Lewis

    Yes, I want a government mandated health care coverage with public as well as private health plan options. I voted for President Obama to have this issue addressed. I switched over from being a Republican as I know that a person's life is at least worthy of coverage. How could one be pro-life without believing health care for everyone? Who should pay? We pay as a group in terms of co-pay. Save money for medicare/medicaid later as we transition there healthier. Lower malpractice suits so health care personnels don't have to charge so high & increase accreditation training to avoid it in first place. Pharmaceutical companies pay higher taxes in lieu of longer exclusivity .Generic drug makers will also help pay our health care.Health Insurance & life insurance companies pay more to the system. Anyone that makes money & benefit from the health care industry have to contribute. Savings from re-aligning funds.We can even get funds from other nations if we hire their citizens as health care personnels provider in our country (working visa). Lower labor costs. Better yet, let's remove employer funded health insurance plan out so businesses can focus on their business, profits & globally compete . Good for employment & income. In short, we can start from "zero" so we can really hear what people want. Affordable, best value health care plan with basic common sense. The homeless poor will always be God's & gov't's care as they are the victims of failed health care, education, employment and community support.

    July 16, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  97. Maritza, Whittier, Ca

    Medical care is not a luxury it is a necessity. Bacteria, virus and illness do not discriminate. For every individual we fail to take care off, we are compromising the safety of all.
    At the present time, our government is paying for the care of those that don't have medical insurance. They go to the emergency room for what should be a regular doctor's visit or they go to the emergency room when their illness is too advance to take care of it quickly and effectively in an inexpensive manner. They will become eligible for medical/medicare and we ppick up the tab. Unfortunately, most Americans are very poorly informed of what goes on right now.
    In addition, insurance companies are worst then the government..... I actually have medical insurance. I have a long history of breast cancer in my family and when I began with symptons that very much reminded me of what my mother and 6 maternal aunts had gone through, I went to the doctor and asked the breast tissue be removed. They refused! I had to wait until I actually had cellular changes they could find... Well, I did have the surgery, paid for most of it myself, when the pathology report came back, I did have cellular changes and needed to be monitored. Do I get any input into my care? No! Not unless it is okay with the insurance company which may not even agree with the care the doctor feels it is to my best interest.
    As far as the cost... My single coverage for a POS is $9500 a year and $8480 for an HMO If the average family has an anual income of $46,000, how can anyone expect them to pay for medical coverage? Oh, I forgot. They should be sterilized if they can't afford a family!
    My son is in his first year of surgical residency and what I told him before he left the house was, "Joe, medicine is a necessity not a luxury. Nobody want to be sick. Keep that in mind and have empathy for your patients." I would be very disappointed if he didn't focus on the patients' needs.

    July 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  98. Walt Weintz

    As a senior citizen with coronary heart disease I am pleased that Medicare has been supporting my therapy and monitoring adequately. I have heard President Obama say that those who like their health plan can keep it in the new universal health care system. But the news is now reporting the latest plan being issued includes severe cuts in Medicare. Seems to me I am dependent upon Medicare to stay alive and legislaters are considering reducing Medicare support to reach greater coverage of more people. That option, cutting Medicare support, definitely doesn't work for me and may in fact increase my health risks.

    July 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  99. Paul

    There are a lot of great posts here with different opinions voiced. N ow, in what forum can all our voices be heard? I don't believe that either party has an answer but maybe, "We The People do"! We need to drop our political alliances and work together. If this can be done, I don't think our representatives are going to be able throw something together in a few weeks and it make sense. Everytime our goverment gets involved it gets complicated.

    July 16, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  100. Thomas May

    This country is headed for a depression, and I predict it before the end of Obama's term. People cannot continue to be taxed for the sake of curing this country and the world's problems – health care, global warming, etc. etc. The middle class cannot continue to foot the bill, and the rich will find a way around it – sending businesses and accounts overseas, laying off people, etc. Things will not get better; these recent proposals (should they become law) will continue to thrust the middle class into the hole. I've seen no improvement in the economy since the stimulus, and if we continue to pass poor legislation, things will get worse.

    July 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  101. j

    I would support a public option. And I think Big pharma should be taxed to help pay for our new healthcare plan. They've been given a free ride for way too long! Oh, and I pay for my own healthcare, but it wouldn't hurt for Big Pharma to be part of the solution, because their prices have long been part of everbody's problems.

    July 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  102. Jeremiah

    to kind of some this up the way i see it. Since i have type 1 diabetes i own business and cannot recieve health insurance because i am deemed not as profitable as another person who does not have a chronic DISEASE:

    so the problem i see with the current for profit health care system we have is that a man will pay anything he can to stay alive.

    currently in the U.S. it costs 120 dollars for a vial of fast acting insulin vs. 35 dollars U.S. buying it in Canada, unfortunately i need this insulin to survive and will pay anything to have it and the companies that make a sell, distribute, etc.. on down the line all know this.

    July 16, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  103. Mark

    It's my RIGHT as an American to have Health Care! And it is somebody else's job to pay for it! Yeah!

    July 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  104. Rick

    Look at the health care bill. If passed you will not have a choice for insurance coverage, If you change health care coverage you will be required to use government coverage. If you don't have coverage, most college students, will not be allowed a choice of coverage but will be required to take government coverage. Sounds like a communist government to me. Let's all get on our brown shirts and drink kool-aide together.

    July 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  105. Rick

    Health care bill, page 16, Under the Orwellian header of "Protection the Choice to keep current Coverage." the "Limitation On New Enrollment" section of the bill clearly states: "Except as provided in the paragraph, the individual health insurance issuer offering such coverage does not enroll any individual in such coverage if the first effective date of coverage is on or after the first day" of the year the legislation becomes law. So we can all keep our coverage, just a promised-with, of course, exceptions: Those who currently have private individual coverage won't be able to change it. Nor will those who leave a company to work for themselves be free to buy individual plans from private carriers. Sounds like a great(?) piece of legislation for a socialist government controlling everything we do. Thanks obama for nothing!

    July 16, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  106. rache

    I do have healthcare, but understand that finding and affording coverage can be a nightmare for many Americans. I do believe that there needs to be a change to the U.S. healthcare system. I support a public plan as long as it is done effectively. I think the best way to fund a public plan is through a combination of a fair or flat tax combined with government provided workers compensation insurance. Here is why. If workers comp automatically covered all workers, OSHA would know which employers to watch out for because complaints would be centralized. Additionally, if there was a fair or flat tax which replaced income tax, there would be ample funding and massive growth of small business. This would decrease unemployment. Also workers could feel free to move from job to job if it was combined with non-workplace based healthcare. This would increase enterprise. The major concern of any small business is the added cost of paperwork, workers comp and taxes. Take these concerns away, and the flood gates of employment would open up. Finally, I have had a great deal of experience with U.S. doctors. My experience has taught me that physicians are, for the most part, lackluster. If healthcare, and wages were standardized, perhaps doctors could go into the field with compassion not greed. Irregardless, the best doctors could operate outside of the system on a cash basis. This would bring down healthcare costs, keep our system in check, give incentive small business, allow for more exceptional and compassionate physicians and allow all American Citizens the opportunity to have healthcare.

    July 16, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  107. George Michailow

    Given a choice between having Insurance companies or government between me and my doctor, I'll take my government any day

    July 17, 2009 at 1:11 am |
  108. Ted Weaver

    Why is this made out to be so complicated? This is why the rest of the world thinks Americans are morons. The other developed countries have all moved beyond this issue and already have public/private partnerships and government-mandated insurance that works quite well I have to say FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! The reason this debate exists at all is because Americans know nothing about the world outside their borders...or inside for that matter (Canadians know more about American history than Americans). But my catch-all position on all of these hot-button topics facing Americans, such as marijuana, gun rights, gay marriage, and healthcare is real simple.....try it and if it doesn't work, go back to the way it was. Why is that so difficult for people to process? Why are Americans so timid and scared and wimpy?....oh no, the unknown!...I'm scared! Rather ironic when you consider how they pride themselves in being so tough and brave. All this indecision and debating is doing is putting money in the pockets of the media outlets (sucking off the drama), the politicians (play acting like they really care about anything other than their golf handicap), and the lawyers circling the bloody chub-by Americans. But no, the brain-dead Americans sit on their couches sucking Cheetos while getting programmed by the special interest groups (insurance companies!!) to think 'a Washington bureaucrat' is going to make their healthcare decisions rather than them and their doctor....rather than the way it is now where a health insurance company bureaucrat makes those decisions!!! But guess what!.....Americans fall for the foolery because the ads are narrated by the familiar Miller beer commercial pitchman...the same cozy rustic 'good guy' sounding pitchman who narrated George Bush's propaganda!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!! CAN'T YOU SEE HOW YOU ARE GETTING TAKEN FOR A RIDE BY THESE SOCIOPOLITICAL AD CAMPAIGN GURUS?!?!?!

    July 17, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  109. Bill

    The arrogance of this plan is amazing. Complexities are so extensive that health experts could not be expected to know but a fraction of the appropriate policies and programs to implement. Responsible reform needs to be in steps, fist lowering cost, where policies are implemented, results are measured, and improvements are succesively applied. Cost needs to be fairly applied so that participant incentive promoteds a willingness to drive reform to receive top-notch care, see doctors of choice, and control health expenditures.

    July 17, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  110. Dan in Houston

    Country was built on achievement, not entitlements.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  111. Don

    I think if the Democrats want this so much, then tax all democrats and leave the Republicans alone!!

    July 17, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  112. Arthur

    People will have to pay for their own health care.

    I will not be responsible for the health care expenses of other people, just my family. I am sure everyone would agree with that.

    As for health care insurance and expenses being too high. That is obvious. However, the means to reduce that cost is NOT a government run health insurance plan.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  113. michele ellison

    Class warfare ALREADY exsists... so that is a non-issue! I am Canadian and our Medical System helps everyone! There is some waiting...but when our daughter had Cancer... it cost us NOTHING! We did not lose our house or our finacial future....!

    July 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  114. BearMarketNews

    Wealth is either directly or indirectly obtained from the efforts of the larger population. There would be no wealth without public effort. The lifestyles of the wealthy are far more destructive to the planet. They live as if they had the resources of 60 to 100s of planets. Their wealth must be taxed to compensate for the ecological damage they do to the planet and for making their wealth (or the karma of inheritance) off the bent backs of the public. The wealthy should pay a tax to maintain the health of the planet and the public effort from which their wealth is derived.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  115. Bill

    Who should be taxed to pay for health care? The Democrats, of course. They want to foist this on everyone. They are the ones who claim everyone has a right to it. Give them a chance to do the 'right' thing. Divide the total cost by the list of registered Democrats. Send them a bill. No prob.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  116. Bettye Clement

    If the Senator from Nebraska thinks it isn't fair to tax the rich, what does he think is fair? Is it fair that millions of people should be without health insurance? His response implies that the rich "deserve" to be rich and should not have to help others and that those without insurance "deserve" this fate. When do we get around to meeting the criteria of a "society" in which we feel some responsibility for each other? The only "class warfare" in this country is the selfishness of those who are rich.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  117. Sue

    The question that was just asked is do we feel that taxing those with higher incomes to be fair, and it seems to me the ones that are bellyaching the most about this are the ones who, most likely, make the amount or more designated for the tax. I think it's really pathetic to hear a politician whining about how he doesn't think it's "fair"...paaaleaaase!! I'ts fair to tax every other citizen, but not them?? I also think that forcing the tobacco company to pay for ALL health diseases directly linked to tobacco would be VERY fair as well.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  118. Candy K

    I do think that the upper 1% should be paying more for the 'general good'. BUT I think that extra taxes should be assesed on alchol, firearms, and ammunitions – there's already heavy taxes on cigarettes! Alchol, firearms, and ammunition cause just as much baodily harm, if not more!

    July 17, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  119. Pat Davis

    Tony, I'm flabbergasterd!

    Have the Dem bluedogs lost their minds. The CBO has been the "supposedly" group that has ruled out healthcare reform for the longest. The CBO doesn't even have the finance committee's numbers....did you not see the look of glee on the GOP senator's face as he read that little info.

    Americans know that what we have had in the past isn't working. Also, sure the top 1.2% should start paying their "fair" share...right now they are on the same rate as middle class; which mean the middle class has been paying more than their fair share.

    Pres Obama is going to do this because Americans want it!

    July 17, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  120. Duff

    I think we should legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. Research has shown that this product is non-toxic to humans. 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning and 400,000 people die each year from tobacco use, both legal products. Never mind the other applications for this product in paper, textiles, and bio-fuels. The world is worried about corn shortages because of bio-fuels so here is a perfect alternative and would create a new agricultural industry for this nation.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  121. Walt

    Health care reform? Class warfare? Ummm the wealthy have been riding the back of the middle class and the struggling poor for years, yet they feel slighted by having to pay more? Oh and by the way, I can't remember the Senators name from the Sotomayor hearing who said this, but yesterday he had the nerve to lecture her on how bad things are getting and we need to tighten our belts!!! Where were our Senators and Congresspeople when they allowed themselves another pay raise!!! Politics is becoming the next Professional Wrestling!!! I wonder when they will start having Pay Per View!

    July 17, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  122. David

    It is a shame that caring for each, especially the less fortunate, is called class warfare. It's not communism, its what a healthy society does, make sure all its members are properly cared for. I am small business owner and understand the costs and benefits. And shame on any business owner who lays off employees because his/her personal income is reduced 1.5%. It a shady scare tactic.

    We supply a generous health care benefits for our employee. I have an employee whose husband's heart treatment was not covered because it was supposedly pre-existing. She now has a a $25,000 (and growing), debt. How can she be productive at work if she is having to fight insurance companies and worrying about how to pay her bills. Besides my personal compassion for her blight, as a business owner, I am loosing money because of the stress and demands on this employee. Let's stop being selfish and so short sighted.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  123. Lee Vanderlin

    Ever notice that when we want to talk about the moneyed class giving a tiny bit of their spoils to the Greater Good, they holler, "Unfair!". When the
    Underclass mentions the unfairness of their having to scrape along the bottom for food, shelter and medical care, the response is, "Well, life just
    isn't fair!". Let's just let 'em holler and lop a tiny bit off the top anyway.
    They won't miss it; it is just the principle to them.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  124. Kim Dunn, Attorney

    This country's health care problems can be resolved inexpensively and easily if N.D.'s are included in the health care plan. These people are required to go to school for as long as a M.D. They should not be confused with those who claim to be naturopaths who are not formally trained. These people achieve cures, not a masking of a problem. I have countless stories of their success for myself and others. For instance, these people are trained in food intolerances, which affect everyone dramatically. Much like peanuts can kill someone, these intolerances can debilitate in everyway possible and most if not all folks have them. Should you want to delve further, Dr. Letitia Dick in Spokane is an outstanding story. I guarantee you will not regret talking a closer look. Thank you for your consideration.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:42 am |
  125. Pat

    I am very conerned about how fast this health care reform has to get passed. Why?? Why can't we have a real debate asking good questions about how this will effect people's health care? This is a big issue and should be treated so.

    I am in favor of keeping the system we have, it is the best in the world. We should give everyone a tax credit for premiums paid. The problem with the government option is it will be the only option they are going to make the insurance companies go away. If you die, or change insurance co. that company will not be able to replace you with someone else, hence the remainder of the people's premium will go up. They will get price out of the insurance company and wll have no choice but to go on the government plan.

    As for Gov't plan, I would like to see all govern't employees including Congress, Sentors and 1st family use the gov't plan and we will wait a
    few years to see how it is working for them and their families before we put the whole country on it. They can report to us and tell us 1st hand how their Dr. visits and hospital treatments are going. If their grandparents got the needed treatments or was it decided they were just too old to get treatments.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:43 am |
  126. Lee Vanderlin

    If a group of politicians is unable to reach suitable conclusions to problems such as health care, I say we GET RID OF THEM! We settle
    for such nonsense! An alternative would be to nominate REAL THINKERS, who are NOT politicians, to join the group! The Florida
    law-enforcement officer who headed the murder of the adoptive couple,
    science-fiction writers, students - ANYONE who stands out among us as a REAL THINKER!! Let me do it! Within the space of one week, if I could not find better thinkers, I would willingly go before a firing squad.

    July 17, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  127. Karen

    While America may have the most advanced health care, the health care "System" is a complete failure. Part of the problem is that health insurance companies are profit-making entities. Some commericals present horror stories from Canada or England, but health insurance companmies already tell us what procedures we cand have ot not have, so where is the difference? Some complain that it would cost too much to cover everyone, but we are already paying for uninsured people who go to the ER or hospital when they are really sick – it would cost less to cover everyone so people can go to the doctor and reduce trips to the ER/hospital because of preventative or timely care.

    For a good model, examine what works in France with their single-payor system. Some would compalin about the taxes the French pay, but we already pay more in insurance premiums for questionable coverage.

    So get off your tails and just do it for all of us!

    July 17, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  128. Tina Mendoza

    I have been suffering for over 42 years due to the incompetent training of doctors by modern medicine. I have not obtained needed medical treatment, not even when I now have PPOs. And don’t see a solution any time soon, with the present health care system. And when I had HMOs, it was totally useless. Besides, I kept losing my jobs every 3 to 5 months due to my medical conditions the doctors caused. My health has been royally ruined by unnecessary and destructive surgeries, done when I was young and had good insurance. And now going to doctors is a revolving door, due to my health conditions, which doctors caused. I pay $300 a month on insurance, which as a 66 year old senior citizen is a hardship, but do not get the health care I need, and the doctors promptly bill my insurance for nothing. Most of the treatment my body will tolerate is not covered by insurances. And then the advocates against health care reform urge us to vote against it. It is easy for them to say, since they don't live a life of hell, after our health is ruined by doctors. They even go as far as presenting an isolated health care case from another country regarding public health care system, trying to say that it doesn’t work. Modern medicine has done more damage than help, then they have the audacity to be against health reform, never mind all the millions of people that suffer because of them and the millions who die each year because of medical incompetence, and many more millions of dollars are wasted.

    July 17, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  129. abby

    America is a major industrialized nation.

    Health care reform is possible.

    Follow the example of the health program for military dependents.

    As the spouse of a retiree (who unlike me is on Medicare) I have a choice of 3 levels of care based on the premium I pay.

    I have low premiums and co-pays and receive excellent care at civilian facilities because I choose to save the military facilities time and materials for our courageous soldiers. I have never been denied care or faced hassles or delays in seeing specialists, getting care, and even having major surgeries.

    Don't let the insurance industry and its lapdog the GOP convince you otherwise with their "scare" tactics full of lies.

    I have relatives in France and friends in the UK, Canada, and Germany who love their health care system.

    Even that bastion of conservatism Switzerland has national health care.

    July 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  130. Concerned

    I am happy with my current coverage. I work in health care and I worry that going to a nationalized health care system will only bankrupt us and have the government dictate care. When I compare those who are on a government healthcare program (medicaid or medicare), they, as a patient, will do whatever their insurance pays. Others who have a commercial insurance plan (ie BCBS, Humana, UHC, etc) do the same. I have noticed over the years that those who get the most out of their health and take it more seriously are those who have some "skin" involved (they have to pay).

    I get concerned when the only organization that seems to get press on if they approve or disaprove is the AMA. There are a lot of other health care professionals out there that, as solo practitioners, would be crushed. One suggestion I would have is to offer a national "basic" plan that would cover preventative care such as routine physical exams, alternative care that has been shown to be cost effective (chiropractic and acupuncture), etc. Then allow the free market place to have supplemental policies that can be purchased by the individual (like medicare). just a thought...

    July 17, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  131. Mike

    For the sake of our children, we need to save the health care in this country , and there is no way that you can do this, without putting a CAP on malpractice insurance and stopping the ambulance chaser from suing Hospitals and Doctors. The judges should be educated that with giving billions of dollars to their attorney friends, they are actually bankrupting the health care and killing innocent people .

    Also I put a seperate budget to fight obesity. I believe more than 30 % of our health care money directly or indirectly is being used for obesity and its complications such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Osteoarthritis , ( !00.000 joint replacement/ year !!)

    Taxing people who are making more than 250K and giving to FAT people is going to make more FAT .

    it should be education, incentive, and punishment, not more TAXES

    July 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  132. Richard

    Heath Care Reform is a right and neccessary. Congress should push this through. It is much needed. I have employee paid health care, but it is limited and I pay alot of money to help pay for the premiums and large co-pays. It is not guaranteed, I could loose this in the near future. The people in this country need a government run health care plan. To pay for this a federal sales tax would cover the cost. It would be the fairest way to pay for it.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  133. Al

    I think this health care fix can been by wendsday, how so just tell these doctor,Insurance co., and politicians this is what the people want. the hell with lobbyists and the rest of the crackpots. We are just proving just how Dunb we are to the rest of the world! Remember the only reason there is a United States of America is our ansestors worked together.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  134. Sharon,Daniel Island, South Carolina

    I have severe adult acne. in the US acne meds are not covered by medicare and medicaid, I can't even get treatment. However, I am able to get acne medications from Canada were the same meds are over the counter and hundreds of dollars cheaper. Ex: Retin A $180.00 a tube US, Canada $35.00 tube same size, same maker

    July 20, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  135. Jim Davis

    My wife is in healthcare. Until the "lawyers" in congress put some controls on liability awards against all of the medical industry, costs are going to continue to skyrocket. Do you think the "lawyers" are going to do this? Not a chance. They are all blowing smoke.

    But something does need to be done, NOW.

    July 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  136. tim

    Hey Tony,
    stop lieing for a living. We dont want to get taxed and we dont want bad health care. Why do you and the people at cnn keep pushing it. You keep saying that obama has momentum if you knew anything about that you would know that it has swung the other way. We cant afford this. I find it interesting that mr.orzag was the head of the CBO and now a few month later he says there full of it. I think the haters of wealth out there should stop hatein Just tax them more tz them again dont you guys get thats who pays your salarey. You only hurt yourself when your greed and jealousey cause you to want something that is not yours. Obama cant save us CNN only we can so stop pushing this trashy bill Tony!

    July 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  137. steve in Rancho cucamonga,ca

    I am very concerned that the current administration is rushing to pass any health care bill to beat the 2010 Congressional elections. The current bill(s) are not going to reduce costs, but add millions of people at a continuing cost escalation.
    Obama was going to take on Big Pharma, instead he signed a bill to increase the patent protection to 12 yrs making lower cost generics less accessible, he said he would allow Medicare to negotiate medicine costs with Big Pharrma, again that issue has been stopped.
    Shouldn't the government investigate why health costs continue to rise and what to do about it before passing a bill that exacerbates the problem?
    Finally, if the proposed Healthcare bills are so great , why haven't the congressional members changed their healthcare package to be part of what they are offering to all American public? They should set an example and walk the talk.
    Bottom-line, why hasn't the government reviewed the cost elements of healthcare and initiate action to reduce these costs before adding more and more costs to the taxpayer?
    Socialized medicine by any other name is still "Socialized medicine", and the USA is not ready for such a drastic step without a major reform of the current system.

    July 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  138. Parthenia

    It is so ironic to listen to the news media fight against health care reform when it's one of few issues that necessarily demand our attention nationally. The sad excuse for the fighting is that the insured would have to switch to excercise their options with federally sponsored health care. What difference would that make if there would be no reduction in service or an improvement, and what insurance business wouldn't work with the government to make sure their insurances could be added to the basic health care by those who can afford to add them? What about the suffering of not having a doctor's care at all for the majority of Americans? It is a tragedy that our country cannot care and share in the wonderful plans the President is desperately trying to carry through to secure basic health care for all Americans.

    Government does not belong to the rich and others who are already insured, alone. It belongs to all citizens of this country. People need to be able to go to a doctor if they need to, and we must do all we can to enable the President to get the necessary legislation passed. We all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and certainly health is essential to their realization.

    July 20, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  139. Eline Spanjaard

    I want pay higher taxes

    July 21, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  140. Deborah

    Obama is so wrong. Socialism does not work. Health care is not a right. It has to be earned. Don't force me to give money to people who don't even try to keep themselves healthy. I have worked very hard for what I have, don't take it away. Wake up America. Get the facts. Educate yourself. READ THE BILL

    July 21, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  141. John D

    No one comes between my doctor and me. Sure there are going to be screw ups, but we are 33 million people and the poorest get the same standard of care as the wealthiest, that includes doctors, hospitals etc. Drugs are cheap too. My son broke both ankles at once in a sporting accident and in three days he was transported, went to emergency, operated on etc and the cost – zero dollars. That woman from Hamilton on anti-Medicare ads, say what she wants, where is she now, yep right back here using our system! In the mid-nineties there were bad delays, but those days are gone. No it is not a perfect system, but what a wonderful country I live in. Health care for all is right. As a society we spend 1/10 of what yours does and we have the same quality and world class care standard of care, even lower infant mortality rates! And health care Associations do support what we have. Do not believe the TV, the private system favours the rich and leaves the rest. I would take mine over yours any time.


    July 21, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  142. Pierre

    Stop killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan and spend a small amount of that money saving people here.

    With 1/5 of the money we spend getting Americans killed overseas we could have FREE medicine here.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  143. Cassandra Gay

    I think that it is unfair and unjust to tax the so called top 1% of our nation. Why should the top percentile have to pay for people that aren't making an effort to find a better job or another source of income to pay for a healthcare plan? Everyone works for their own money so why should some of us be taxed more to pay for those that aren't trying their hardest to succeed and provide for themselves and their families. People don't take into account the pain and anguish that some have gone through to make their livings and it is extremely unfair to take from their hard earned profits.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  144. Alex


    You ask an "interesting" question to use an English expression.

    As a broken human, the answer, if I am honest with myself, is nothing. I may couch this is "interesting" ways for like many I want to look good. I will pay more tax, or raise some money, or manage without a vacation week. But these are self deceptions, for I know that when the time comes my "willing" will become what I am forced to do, and that is not "willing"

    There is a solution, but it only comes when I remember what others have done for me, what I received for free, and what I needed in my despair. I am an Angola veteran, 25 years a drunk, now sober 10 years. An Irishman, gave me his time and experience, he taught me to make my bed when I was too broken to understand how to live. I thank God for His unconditional love, that I was given my health back, and that I can give back what I was "willingly" given. This is different, it is not from the broken me, it is from the new me, and it comes from within.

    Please can we look at our hearts in this matter, and see what is inside us. Please can we put aside the fears of what we will lose, and ask a different question.

    How much do others need? This is the answer to your question, as much as is needed.

    July 21, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  145. Christie

    As an RN who has seen many people die from lack of access to healthcare from things like cancer because they could not get early care, I am willing to pay higher taxes. So often these stories haunt my sleep and it is time for everyone to have access to this necessity.

    Most American don’t know that a large portion of their house taxes goes to paying medical bills at their county hospitals. People without health care go to emergency rooms for treatments of basic problems that could be handled at a doctor’s office. The cost of healthcare is becoming a huge burden for states and much of the increasing costs of medical care are because hospitals and physicians have to make up the deficit from those who can’t pay, so they pass these costs on to the rest of us.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  146. george black

    I already pay to much for insurance and can't afford to pay for someone else. Who is going to pay for this health bill is a diversion, nobady is talking about the benifits that will be cut and the hassle it will be to get care. We all will be lining up at the free clinics! That is not America!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  147. Clyde

    why not tax all of the things that make you unhealthy:
    alcohol, cake, sweets, sugar, asalt rifles, etc.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  148. Roald Rolfson

    CNN has done a lot of reporting about how the polls have shifted regarding support for health care reform. And CNN runs negative ads from groups like CPRights and PatientsUnited which are filled with the typical scare tactics, mistruths, and negativity about health care reform. Why isn't CNN doing some investigative reporting about who these groups are and where their money is coming from? I think that's the more interesting story and one that really needs to be presented in the interest of good journalism.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |



    July 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  150. Cynthia

    I say 'fix' our states medical care systems instead of wasting dollars on this Universal Health Care catastrophe? I live in Arizona and I have to use the state medical, which has been more than very good! I am 58 and I have chronic asthma, and if it were not for this state medical help, I most certainly would be dead. Thank you Arizona!!!

    But with all the budget cuts... DES, has had to cut their personal and now are social workers... we are now herded in by groups to apply... and they have cut any cash for the needy! I received a fixed income of $380 a month from a pension, and it is too much to quailfy for any money... so I have to live with my grown son!


    Give the money to all the states to improve their own programs! We don't need the government in our personal medical business!

    The fear of Univeral Health Care is making me sick!

    July 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  151. Sheila Logan Cowan

    Congress should pass a health care bill before the August recess, and it must contain a public option to create competition for the private insurance companies. Hello! It is time that the insurance companies stop practicing medicine. They repeatedly deny medical care deemed necessary by physicians. I call that rationing care. I cannot just pick my doctor; I'm given a list by my insurance company. The out-of -pocket expenses continue to zoom out of control. If the government insurance is so bad, why don't the members of Congress give up their coverage?

    July 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  152. Wallace Buero

    I understand that as far as you are concerned (Tony) that the Dems can do no wrong... So onward with the health care bill.... who will get screwed... small business and the military active & retired ... health care is NOT a right... you work for it... 45 million without health care?
    But you also reported 30 million were offered health care through their employer but refused it... How many of the remaining 15 million are those who just refuse to work but are able to do so??? Cover the truely disabled, the kids under 18 and in school, and the elderly //

    July 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  153. babypalms

    If you are going to deal with health care reform, you have to look at the problem as one problem – all health care. This should include health care for DOD (Veterans), Congress (Senate and House), insured and uninsured, and Insurance companies, and any other department or agency that processes payments for health care from the federal budget

    Once that commitment is made, then the next step is to use the stimulus money to help doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies to automate their internal operating systems. The latest technology should be intergrated so that when a patient visits a doctor it is completely automated and the check is shoulkd show show the picture of the person coming to the doctor, the related insurance company, and the current status of why the visit is requested (which may be confidential).

    The very records that the doctor is accessing should also be available to the hospital should the patient be referred to a hospital for additional care.

    If the government mandated that medical records be automated, it would be a giant step in reducing medical costs. The real reward will be for doctors having access to medical records on conditions that they are treating but may not be adequately documents for patients under their care.

    Docotrs would love it because it will dramatically reduce their administrative staff. patints will love the new system because they will move in and out of a doctor's office in a timely fashion. It will also be a boom for medical training as staff will have to retrain to keep up with innovations in the medical industry.

    I see it as a win, win situation. The data base system could be used for general voting and immigration control if properly documented. The over all cost savings down the road will greatly reduce the federal budget.

    PS. The one thing you do not hear from anyone in government is how much the federal government is currently paying for the uninsurded. Thin about that one. No one is quantifying that number on either side of thr aisle.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  154. Elizabeth riggs

    I would pay a tax on my luxury Idems that I purchase.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  155. Mitzi Hopkins

    I am an American and live in Canada with my Canadian husband. We have excellent health service that costs us $96 per month. I think it would cost very little to everyone if there was a National sales/service tax in the United States to help pay for the service. Canada does not have socialized medicine it is a way of paying for medical service. The doctor here is the person who is in charge of our care. We have many free clinics that take care of the little things. I had a hysterectomy two years ago that cost me nothing. Medical service should be non-profit. When I was in California for 22 years, I had Kaiser Permanente care. It was excellent and cost little compared to the other options. Kaiser is non-profit. Mitzi

    July 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  156. s.j.

    i think people are totally un informed about the facts.. the president mentioned that in his address a while ago.. he said that people would use scare tactics and fear mongling to discourage something from being done.. to me we are already paying for health care to the degree that its causing a deficit in our national debt. to reform and over haul.. also for all those who complain and whine about having to possibly help pay for the uninsured, what they have to open their minds and hearts to see is that most of those who are uninsured where once insured... so while u complain today about not having to help the uninsured remember u could lose ur job and insurance tommorow and it could be u dying of cancer with no help... think about it..

    July 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  157. Elizabeth riggs

    I would pay taxes on foods or substainces that are bad for our health.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  158. Elizabeth riggs

    All money that is collected from drug dealer raids should go to Health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  159. Robert


    The health care system, as huge as it is, cannot be overhauled within a couple of months. The swiftness to complete the reform by the end of the year is irresponsible, and is purely a Democratic political fiasco. Any American that wants our government to run our health care should move to Canada.

    July 21, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  160. BarbaraAnn B. Conti

    Dear Tony and Staff,
    Thank you for all you do...not sure which reporter after your timeperiod ended today:7/21/09...But, thankful that one of your CNN reporters was doing a great job obtaining a story about a home health supplier called 'Apria' was ripping us off with costs to Medicare by one persons wheelchair being 'charged to Medicare' rather than the individual purchasing it...not allowing their children to 'purchase' those products at I believe he said a 400% lesser charge...I knew my Mother and I were not the only people to whom this has happened...just think how much this takes out of our 'Country's Deficit' year after year...and that is yet another reason we cannot afford Insurance for ALL !! Ugh...!!! And your reporter also stated this was caused by CONGRESS...probably due to 'Apria' & 'Home Health Associations Lobbyists sharing from the profits RIPPED from our pockets via taxes yet again. I once had a job investigating for Fraud and Abuse to one state's Medicaid would be amazed at how many companies also take that money out of this country to other countries, and how they do it !!! I could tell you yet another story similar to that you had on today from my Daughter's point of view caring for my Mother, and I am an RN so I had some insight...AND, when I called as a 'complaining daughter/tax payer' to a Medicare Office...I was told: "Medicare does not take care of those complaints against Home Health Companies nor Hospitals, you will need to take them to small claims court yourself " . The Audacity and Thievery !!! ...Now, I also wanted to add my IDEAs that I just e-mailed to our President, and also plan to take to my Senators and Representatives...but you were the next in line...You are my voice...the Public needs to be further educated, and get angry, and make these Government Reps stop making out with their own lobbyists contributions, Plus THEY have great Health Insurance through a group plan...what happened to the IDEA that we could purchase into that same group...who NULLIFIED that ONe ?? I often have 'Outside of the Box Thinking' that could assist with the debated 'costs to pay for Health Care Reform'. And, some people may laugh, however, it just might HELP !! IDEA: Many American Artists for many Decades have given TV Telethons to raise money and done Benefit Concerts, if a percentage of those monies were 'donated to' a 'Pool toward the costs of Health Care for All Americans' I am sure they would be willing to do (People so often rise to assist others!!)...and the 'Attendees' could take a portion of their ticket price off on 'Charitable Donations' when they file their Federal & State Taxes...we would be happy to have that also. Many may laugh at these ideas I propose, however, 'Thinking outside the box' has been encouraged for decades by American Industry Owners ! Another idea: A percentage from ALL Churches, Synagogues, Mosques, Schools, Universities, + other Charitable Organizations could donate a percentage of their intake monies from Car Washes, Bake Sales, Teen weekend church stay overnite parties, Brownies' Sales of Cookies. Any Ticket or Fee price for 'viewing a DVR' movie or at a Theatre, a Basketball Game Ticket, every day, every one sold, ...possibly one cent to 1% of total daily sales or 1-5 cents per dollar spent toward entry prices back to the 'Pool' of money for 'Health Care for All Americans'. It has been reported upon the News that even with our publics belts being very tightened during this recession...we are still going to the movies, or having them in on our maintain our sanity...keep levity alive, etc. There are Endless opportunities to ask the Americans to 'donate' a small part of a purchase toward a common good !!! Now It may not pay the full price, however, with over 300 million people contributing something, it just MIGHT WORK towards some assistance !!! A definite 'Win-Win-Win' !!! I think it is just sheer 'lazyness' and their i.e., the Congress's way to continue to consider ONLY: TAX, TAX, TAX the public...that is just 'easier for them...and then they do like to 'debate all the time while getting their paychecks while we suffer...also, they do not make their lobbyists friendships be 'taxed' (pardon the pun)...and maybe they feel they are supporting capitalism which does fuel our economy...but there has to be that check + balance...NOT Capitalism gone AWRY !!!!! Thank you for all you do...!!! Great job, all the time !!! I only just asquired 'Fios' TV at my home this past is a blessing to have so much available to see during all hours of the night and day. GOD Bless you and yours. Thanking you in advance. Sincerely, Barbara Ann

    July 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  161. Bruce from California

    The public option would be more reliable than a policy from an HMO. Paying higher taxes for the public option would be less expensive than filing bankrupty because the HMO canceled your policy during your hospital stay.

    July 21, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  162. barb

    For those protecting the rich–a billion is an inconceivable amount of money–no one works that much more than another. The top 1-5% have sucked all the money up away from this country–we work for them, they run our country and they brainwash everyone into believing otherwise.
    Health care is a right not a privilege and if you have insurance or enough money to not need it, stop the arrogance–others were smug until an illness or injury bankrupt them–those being laid off, those working for employers that drop coverage, those with catastrophic costs for their condition–and many are still working full time, overtime and at very difficult jobs. Jesus was a socialist. Stop using the liberal and socialist labels for negative name calling. A capitalistic economy with a social leaning government is perfect.

    July 21, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  163. John Ragosta

    Single payer healthcare is the only logical solution to healthcare. If it wasn't,congress would not be going around in circles. Fear of socialism is a joke. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the library system, the public school system and I am sure there are some I haven't thought of are all socialism. The only people who have a right to reject social programs out of hand are those who do not benefit from them.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  164. Rudy from St. Louis

    I support all of the above.

    I am sick of hearing Republicans use the slogan ‘More Government is Bad and inefficient.’ Yet, we are suppose to be the Most Powerful and Greatest Nation on Earth. Government was and is the glue that has made this Nation Great. We are allowed to read and think now! It’s not against the Law.

    The Republicans Party hangs their hat on Morality. Yet, they are against sharing. Did Jesus share? If you teach your Children to share their Toys with others, Are you teaching your children socialism by learning to share their Toys? Yes or No?

    July 22, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  165. gem

    Why can't CNN do a thorough study of Canada's health care system. Show the comparisons between the USA and Canada. We pay the medical system in the U.S. the most money. I find it pathetic when I hear we have the best doctors. Of coarse we pay the most money in an unregulated financial environment, therefore the doctors flock here to get paid the most. I have yet to see a poll of the people of Canada regarding their satisfaction with their medical coverage.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  166. Dennis Weston

    As one who has repeatedly turned down for coverage by Insurance companies because of a 4 year old back surgery. I feel we need to just make a universal premium applicable to all citizens. Small business are screwed by the Health Insurance companies because of not having political clout. What ever is decided the Government Workers should be required to have the same plan, that includes Elected officials.

    The silver bullet to pay for it. Tax every malpractice lawyer at 100% for every attorney award above $250,000. That was the approach for Bonuses for bailed out companies. Should work for Bailed out health care.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  167. Milton Malla

    I've listened to all the arguments about Obama's health care plans,
    and all I see is a national Medicaid System. I saw Ms. Sebelius
    talking of health care and FIXING the problems. The Medicaid
    system needs to be held accountable. My Mom is a para-plegic and
    has been receiving Medicaid benefits for over 15 years and I am
    eternally grateful. However, I take care of all of my Mom's affairs,
    bill paying and all correspondences, but in all the years... I have never
    received one statement that outlines what was paid on her behalf
    through Medicaid. In my opinion, Medicaid is a gigantic cookie jar
    that has no safeguards. Personally, I have my own health-care through a retirement contract through the NYC Transit System and whenever I see a doctor or have a procedure or fill a prescription, a statement comes to me and I review each one. That is accountability. Why don't they FIX what they have in place, before looking to establish a new plan? I can go on and on, but you have the main idea. I'd be happy to discuss my views further. Thanks, Milton Malla. Brooklyn NY.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  168. Mary

    Give up? We are already "giving up" in terms of higher prescription costs(thank God to Walmart to helping to regulate that with its 4 dollar scripts), high cost of medical procedures, and high costs of co-pays etc. I pay for dental insurance and all I can figure out is that I am paying full price for a crown and root canal. Where is my savings under insurance? I pay a monthly payment and a copay for services but where is my savings? I am middle class, a teacher, and I cannot make it with the current insurance and it is increasingly difficult to insure my children as well. I make too much money(that makes me laugh) to qualify for medicaid. I am bilingual and considering going to border towns for dental and health procedures. It is cheaper and just as efficient in Mexico. I am a woman with a masters degree, a tough latina, a us citizen, and we are feeling the pain of health care directly in my family. I refuse to lose my teeth and sacrifice basic care(i.e. physicals etc.) I support Obama's plan. It is better than the status quo. "The status quo is full of woe."(a la mary).

    July 22, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  169. derek

    Good morning Sir

    l caught a bit of your piece re healthcare in Canada...heres a real time situation for you....
    diagnosed both with prostate cancer and a bad knee on the same day....knee needs to be replaced they tell me....they tell me its going to be 2 years plus before theres something done..l wonder how l will survive till then as it interfers with my job in construction trades Aunt who is in the health care field in L.A tells me l could have it fixed next mnth if l could go to LA.. for the prostate cancer ..well lm comeing up on a year here and havent been treated what you wish for we have a system for the rich and leftovers for the poor and less well off.

    a crippled canadian
    Calgary Alberta

    July 22, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  170. Edna Trawick -Arizona

    Government run Health Care is a scary proposal. I think that the reason most find it so is because it takes us somewhere unknown. For so long we have had Health Care of choice. Whereas the rising cost are making that are making that choice one that only the wealthiest American can continue to afford.

    The House and Senate have not been so good at keeping the American Public informed as to how mandated health care would look or perform, and that is truly a scary proposal for most Americans. How would you receive Health Care as well as how we as a nation would pay for this, I understand that it is not possible if it is not paid for by increased taxes.

    We can not continue to borrow and pass this debt on to future generations. I think it is to large a debt to continue passing to future Generations. I also understand that our Congressional leaders think this is business as usual and if taxes are raised that just might spell no re-election for that Person who thinks life as an elected official is their ultimate personal goal. Well if you are not doing your best for your constituents you shouldn’t be there as an elected representative of the people.

    Therefore I think that ideas should be gathered form many sources as to how we should proceed with Health Care for all, by this comment I mean people from all walks of life not just those with a vested interest in what happens in the health care industry, and it is an industry.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  171. Diane Schankin

    Our Congress and House of Representatives had no problem giving billions of our dollars to bail out banks, the auto industry and insurance companies but are balking at spending $$$ on providing health care for ALL Americans. There is something wrong with this picture. If you are not supporting health care for all Americans, please, please look beyond the propaganda that is being put out there, recognize the status quo is NOT working and do something about this travesty NOW

    July 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  172. dale

    Tony :
    Lets give up supporting the world. Stop sending foreign aid to other countries who give free health care to their citizens. Let France/Germany support themselves and bring our troops home from Europe. Let Korea/Japan defend themselves. Lets put America first and let the rest of the world alone

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  173. Ken Vasan

    Here is a great idea to keep the cost low for good – outsource health care to India or China. How about that?


    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  174. Rhonda

    I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis for 5 years. During this time I have had insurance and I have had COBRA. I have lived with the fear of having no insurance because of the extremely high cost or the inability of getting insurance because of my pre-existing condition. I have faced enormous debt and the fear of losing our home. I do not feel it is right to leave those of us who need healthcare the most, with the least choices. I feel terrible because of my MS, but I feel worse because of the financial stress I have put on my family. I won't be cured, so without this reform I will cause more financial turmoil for my family and will possibly lose everything we have worked for.

    July 22, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  175. Tina

    I keep seeing a commercial on your station with a Canadian woman with cancer who says she couldn't get care in Canada in time and came to the US for her care. Can anyone find out how much she paid and how she paid for it?


    July 22, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  176. Marc

    Whatever they pass, I just hope that MY REPRESENTATIVES actually READ IT THIS TIME!!!! I want to trust my government but they make it very difficult with their past actions -- both sides I might add. No more rush bills, unread bills, last minute additions to the bills. Let's be upfront and put the cards on the table.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  177. Debbie

    I have medicare, but it does not cover dental visits or any sort of dental care. Does the government think the aged and disabled have no teeth?
    I am suffering with a major gum disease and tooth infections. I can go to the emergency room for temporary help such as pain killers and antibiotics, but that is just a band-aid. The problem is still there again once the meds wear off. Isn't this a waste of tax dollars? Three or four trips to the emergency room which Medicare paid, could have gone to fix the problem correctly by paying for me to see a DENTIST.
    Wastefull spending at its best.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  178. teddy

    I would give up part of my salary for health care. In England this works very well!
    So much per week is taken out.
    This covers you for doctor's visits, hospitals, free medicine over the age of 65. Free dental for children and pregnant women.
    Why cannot that be done here? Because the pharmacy and doctors and other health care providers want to make money

    July 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  179. Laura

    THE NOTION THAT "PAYING FOR IT" IS THE ISSUE IS LUDICROUS AFTER THE GOVERNMENT SHELLED OUT BILLIONS FOR THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS! Here's the answer about taking care of uninsured, disenfranchised citizens, pay for it with TARP and "Stimulus Money!" Give me a break. Here's another way to get it paid – FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES and Wall Street! Give back where it counts! Don't just blather on about how great you are because give BILLIONS TO CHARITY! That's about Corporate America's image – not the growing poverty class!

    What happened to the discussion of that evil term "The Public Option"? What does this entail? Here's Max Baucus' answer and it has a few key words, such as "qualifying" that hide the truth. Pleae investigate.

    “Exchange would be a marketplace where Americans could easily compare and purchase the plans of their choice. Private insurers offering coverage through the Exchange would be precluded from discrimination based on pre-existing conditions. Premium subsidies would be available to qualifying families and small businesses.”

    This is Private Insurance and not everyone is covered. Who qualifies? More importantly, Who Doesn’t?

    “By making health care more affordable and universally available to all Americans, the Baucus plan would take a
    major step toward eliminating racial and ethnic health disparities.”

    This is just BS. Race and Ethnicity has little to do with the 47 million Americans who can’t afford health insurance! How do you make this bizarre connection?

    The ludicrous assumption here is that citizens are only unable to pay for health insurance because of their race or ethnicity! That is absurd! I am a college-educated White Female and I can’t even find a job, much less pay for health insurance. None of this has anything to do with Race or Ethnicity. Max, your arrogance is showing.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  180. John from Naples Florida

    As a 83 year old American I am willing to give up voting for Republicans . All I want is the same Medical Insurance that is given to ALL the Politicians in Washington, If it's good enoough for them it's good enough for my Wife and I.
    You want a Insuranace Bill passed just stop their coverage and group them with us average Americans.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  181. Ron M.

    I wonder if this Health Care plan will work. It sounds great, but I live in Nevada and have been trying to get care through my worker's compensation (run by the State) and I was operated on by the worker's comp recommended surgeon (who left metal pieces in my back), was denied treatments as well as Prescriptions and I am still in so much pain, yet not much is moving forward with my claim. Perhaps you can send somebody from CNN to cover my story. I NEED HELP.

    It has been two years since my slip & fall and worker's compensation in Nevada is the absolute worst from what I've experienced. So if the healthcare plan they are proposing will work anything like this I wouldn't want it because it seems that when government gets involved in managing things, there are always problems that go along with it. Otherwise I like the idea and hope it can be afforded by our country.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  182. Lore Leis, Palm Desert, CA

    In order to have comprehensive healthcare reform it is vital to have a public option. Without such an option there will be no real reform. I would give up whatever it takes to get this passed. And I do approve of taxing the rich to pay for it.
    Also, I do not know what it takes to make some people understand that they can keep their healthcare plan if they like it. I think government is doing a good job with social security, medicare, unemployment benefits, etc. The people who reject a public health plan are taken in by the health insurance lobby who spend billions to convince the public to reject a public health insurance plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  183. Jesse

    I think that the only reson that people don't want the Heath care plan to pass is that they have there hand's to deep in the pocket's of the insurance company's.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  184. Glenn Johnson

    Hey Tony. I presently have no health care coverage in the strict sense, that is, that I pay for, but I am enrolled in the VA and get my health coverage from them. My question is, will the President's reform affect my VA coverage? And, along the same lines, when I turn 65 in 2 years, will I still have to apply for Medicare?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  185. Jack Barker

    Get Rid of Ins.Co.. We don't need a choice of plans, we need Health care for everyone( National Health Care) Pay for it with Fed. tax 2% on everything we buy.Charge employers $200.00 a month for every employee thay have, that will be a lot less than they pay now.We can get rid of all the other health plans, Medicare, Medicaid, Ins. for kids etc. That way we will all be covered working or not.Rich or poor. Take the monies we all pay into Medicare & Medicaid and pay it into the Nat. health plan. We need no co-pays and no deductables. We all get to go to any Doc. we want. Jack Barker Florissant,Mo. 314 839 1308

    July 22, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  186. Pam Nolan

    I am willing to GIVE UP the following:

    having 15 minutes to spend with my doctor
    jumping through hoops for months just to get the medicine I need
    having unequal coverage for mental health
    paying $1,000 a month for coverage
    having my insurance company stand between me and my doctor
    seeing wealthy people get better care than poor people

    I am willing to DO the following:

    pay higher taxes in return for my health care insurance
    wait as long as necessary for elective procedures
    involve the government in providing healthcare insurance

    Who should pay?

    Me, via taxes. After all, it's my health care
    The very wealthy, who have a moral responsibility to help
    Consumers who buy junk food, in the form of taxes

    Pam Nolan,

    Edinboro, PA

    July 22, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  187. nicholas Roberts

    Can one hope that health care could be financed by any of the following fees? Perhaps we should consider tourism as an income source.

    • VAT on all US purchases by foreign visitors

    • x% tax on international air travelers flying to the USA

    • Increase the “sin tax”

    • x% tax on all (non real estate) purchases over $50,000

    July 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  188. Mike Castiglioni

    If you don't have health insurance or were dropped or if you were laid off or fired, the only viable option is a health plan that you can buy into.I believe the real problem is the insurance companies and that needs to be addressed. In addition if eyeryone is insured the hospitals would benefit in that theu would get paid. Right now hospitals must treat anyone that comes in the door and not get paid. Tax whatever it takes.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  189. Betty Dresher

    I am retired and have a wonderful health insurance plan. However, I would be willing to do whatever it takes, higher taxes, reduced coverage, in order to help everyone have health care. Universal mandatory coverage is the only fair solution. I am appalled at the false information being given by legislators, interest groups, and the rightwing media. It is meant to frighten and confuse people to keep them from backing a plan for everyone.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  190. Laura


    Can't those robber barons do with one less Rolls Royce?

    The "How can we pay for it" mantra is just political rhetoric! JUST STOP IT!

    The Senate Finance Committee members have received huge funds from the Insurance and Pharmaceutical Industries. They should be disqualified from any participation on this issue!

    July 22, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  191. Sameer Aljanedi

    Hi Tony , does the health care reform include Dental and Vision coverage?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  192. Guy

    Single Payer health care, anything else is another gift for the crooks at the insurance companies

    July 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  193. Joann Freeman

    Unless you have visited an ER lately you have no idea how urgent this issue is. You could literally die waited to be seen. I took my daughter to a Critical Care Center when she was severly dehydrated from vomiting for 3 days straight. They would not do the transfusion there because she was pregnant. They sent us to an ER with a referral statine she needed a glucose transfusion immediately. She didn't get seen for almost 12 hours. There was a woman in convuslsions the entire time we were there, people passing out. It was awful. I thought I was going to loose my child while we waited.
    We must fix health care NOW! It may be your loved one who ends up dying in the ER waiting for care. If people just got prevetative care, it would cut the ER visits in half & remember it can cost 10 times as much to be seen in an ER than anywhere else.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  194. loren

    One thing I am not hearing about in this healthcare reform debate is the profits insurance companies make and the salaries insurance executives make. CNN is currently airing an ad against government healthcare. The ad states that we don't want govenrment between the consumer and healthcare. We now have insurance companies between us and our healthcare. It seems that at one time insurance was for emergencies and catastrophies and now insurance is all about big business and profits. How many millions of dollars is the insurance lobby pouring into efforts to defeat healthcare reform? Is this money being spent to defeat healthcare reform coming from the premiums we consumers pay?

    July 22, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  195. Lewis Stepp

    I am a cancer patient, but I have insurance coverage and the doctors and quality care that I need. If the government mandates health care coverage it should be based on true costs, like mandated auto insurance coverage. I recommend free clinics, paid for by the government and provided by social service organizations, for those that are poor and cannot afford coverage. Everyone else should pay for their insurance through private providers on a true cost basis, but the government can and should establish the rules by which the insurance companies abide. If you believe in free markets then you can believe that competition and markets will set a fair price for insurance premiums. Free markets do work, but require regulation by government. If the government has failed at regulation, that does not mean that insurance (spread of risk) and free markets do not work.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  196. Brad

    The top 20% pay 60% of income taxes, but what % of total national income does that 20% get? Recent study showed that our nation's highest earners get 75% of all income, so if they are only paying 60% of income taxes, seems like they are under-taxed as it stands now.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  197. David Stiller

    I've grown up in the Canadian health care system. I barely recognize the system as described by many of the critics of a government scheme. Yes, sometimes someone has to go the USA for specific care. Our hospitals here have many Americans who come for specific care. I've just had my second knee implant; I've had a coronary; I've had cancer treatment. ALL with excellent care and outcome. Incidently, my mother at 88 years had a full knee implant and I offer this in response to the leader of the RNC.

    My concerns for the American adaptation of this approach are two-fold and if not recognized will spell its doom:
    1. you are a litigious society and that will break the system of public health care unless there are controls to senseless claims. We have limits and I know of no unresolved issue.
    2. there has to be balance between almighty individualism and the place of community in the order of importance.Just a balance, not an abdication.

    Proud of my American associations.


    July 22, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  198. Gloria Egli

    Congress and Senators should be covered by the same bill they are trying to pass.Not the privileged one they are cover with now.
    If they would have to deal with the difficulties that we midlle class have to deal with, They would have more compassion and more willingness to corrects matters.

    July 22, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  199. Dragon

    Why can't we have the same healthcare as Senators & Representatives? Do they get to keep that after they are voted out of office?? If so, why??
    What are the "Pro & Cons" of what Canada, Sweden, Great Britain, France, Switzerland, etc. have for their Health Insurance System?

    July 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  200. Lisa - again, from Nashville but originally from Canada

    Once again, we hear of people feeling confused and bewildered over health care reform! Let's just let the government do its thing with this! Privatizing health care has gotten us in this mess,,, think about it people!! Don't you realize that 2/3 of the population is sick and quite possibly dying coz a few stogies in Congress are too cheap to contribute to the mass majority who have little money, low paying jobs, and cheap employers! What about them???? Has this become the "Health Care Crisis on Wall Street", with a "All for One, One for All" American attitude!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  201. Judy

    Trust the government to further complicate the problem of health care costs! In the proposed Senate bill I understand there are 84 new programs. In the House version there are over 30 new agencies.

    Yes, there need to be improvements to our system, but the bills are reckless. Anyone that is unhappy with what's available now will be horrified within a few years of either bill's passing. "Due dilligence" is important with health care changes. We get assurances from the president that, if these bills are read, are not really true. ALLOW ALL CITIZENS THE OPPORTUNITY TO READ THE BILL IN ITS ENTIRETY AND WAIT FOR THE FEEDBACK BEFORE THE VOTE!

    July 22, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  202. Deborah Burton

    Four responses to Republican talking points that never seem to be clearly articulated but must be soon if I am to avoid having a stroke:

    Republican Talking Point #1: "Don't let Government ration your health care!" Response: Health insurance companies are ALREADY rationing your health care. I'll take my chances with a government-run plan that doesn't involve a profit motive.

    Republican Talking Point #2: "If we have a public option for health care, employers will all opt for public health insurance!" Response: If the alternative is NO health insurance because private health insurance companies have priced employers out of the market, isn't public health insurance a preferred option?

    Republican Talking Point #3: "No one is ever turned away from an emergency room for treatment in this country." Response: Sure, you can get treatment. You just leave potentially homeless and bankrupt.

    Republican Talking Point #4: "If we have government-sponsored health care, we'll put the private insurance companies out of business!" Response: Funny; that's not what happens in single-payer countries. Private health insurance is ALWAYS an option. If you can pay for it, you can have it.

    Please help me avoid a stay in the hospital and make these very important points!!

    Thank you, Deborah Burton

    July 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  203. bob woytko

    Tony, today on your show you asked what am I willing to give up to get a state run health care system.

    First of all, a better question would be is -what is Obama and his democratic cohorts "telling" me to give up and why are they trying to force me to give up my current health coverage?

    This forced-upon-us-health-coverage isn't truly optional. If it were truly optional there would be much less concern from the majority of Americans. If it is only truly optional it would permits permit everyone to continue their current health care and wouldn't force changes to its funding methods (many companies and even the federal government will eliminate their employee health care plans).

    Second of all, where are the majority of cost savings going to come from? To me, it is clear that the vast majority of savings can only come from the rationing of medical services. Therefore, who in this mandatory plan is going to be discriminated against the most. There is one group and they just happen to be the group who have made this country what it is today. America in the last 80 or 90 years has far exceded by probably 100 times or more the advances of wealth and quality of life than in all of it's previous years prior to 1920. And, I do not use the term "discriminated against loosly. This health care plan will ration health care to save money and the vast majority of that rationing will be absorbed by the elderly. The elderly will be discriminated against through this rationing so that several groups like the poor, the illegal immigrants,etc will be able to receive free health care. This is class warfare is fare as I am concerned. Helping these groups to the detriment of one group is clearly discriminatory.

    I can to this day still remember my high school my history teacher discussing Roman history and that she made a strong point to me during this discussion about the health of societies, and that was:


    Now the white house wants those born between 1920 and 1945 (over 65 years old and those few still alive that were born before them) to sacrifice their health care when they need it the most. Obama's plan is to force the generation born in this 25 year period to suffer the majority of the rationing of medical care rationing that his plan will require, and to do that when they need medical care the most.

    CNN please tell Mr. Obama that the greatest generation will appropriately reward him and anyone else who votes for his medical care bill for their "lack of concern for us". We will not forget and forgive anyone for the discrimination against us that they are attempting.

    Therefore, my answer to what I am willing to give up as far as my current health care or the cost of health care is --nothing.

    I want my health care to stay the same as it is. The governments great track record of social security, medicare, medicaid, the Postal Service etc., clearly shows its lack of capabilities to doing what private industry should be tasked to do. Private industry is far from perfect, but is heads and tails above what politicians will ever be in managing any organzation. The federal government should be dropping those programs I discussed above, not furthering it's involvement in my life, especially in my health care during my remaining years.

    I will, however, support (time and money) any organization that attempts to stop anyone in congress from voting for this bill. And if this bill passes I will also provide this support to any organization that will work to make anyone in congress who votes for this bill unemployed.

    Hopefully all of us in the greatest generation will quickly understand what Obama has in store for us, and that they will then let their congressmen and senators know how they feel by being betrayed by this discriminatory act of this administration and its liberal politicians in congress.

    CNN, rather than your very simplistic question that was addressed today that appeared to be being directed towards building support for a discriminatory change sponsored by the left, why doesn't CNN provide answers. Provide us some answers to some intellectual questions directed to the concerns of this country's greatest generation like this one in today's "My Federal Retirement".

    "Will it withhold medical care from them based upon a bureaucrat's decision regarding so called 'quality of life' issues? Will it encourage the rationing of medical services? Will it counsel the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration in order to expedite their death? In short, is Euthanasia included in this National 'Health Care' Reform?"

    From what I seen up to this point, what Obama plans for the elderly is not real health care, but just a lot of pain killer so that the greatest generation and Michael Jackson will at least have one thing in common.

    Bob Woytko

    July 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  204. babypalms

    The real sad part of this whole debate is that business is lacking any input.. If IT was utilized, like we see on news TV, day in, day out, our healthcare system would be greatly cheaper.

    Many comnpanies, especially those making hefty profits in healthcare, could utilize high tech to achieve this goal. Health care, with long visits to a doctor, would be a thing of the past. Patients will get results faster, beneficial treatments because doctors would be able to match their knowledge against the database of medicasl histories accumulated within the system.

    True, you'll have a hic-cup initially, becaue there isn't a law maker in DC worth their salt in finding any cost savings. It's just not in their nature to make it cost efficient.

    This is where the stimulus money should go. Not into building old highways and old and inefficient rail systems. Get efficient – modernize everything. That's real job creations.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  205. Bettye Clement

    I support universal health care. Yes, the rich should pay more than the poor. Yes, taxes on unhealthy items–cigarettes, soft drinks, liquor, etc–should be increased to help pay for their consequences. I also support elimination of for-profit insurance, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. No one should profit from illness. As long as all of these entities have as their top priority the payment of dividends to their investors, our healthcare system will be in trouble no matter what we do because the patient will never come first. People are delusional who think patients come first now!!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  206. Tina Mendoza

    Look around you people! Modern Medicine has failed, big time. You special interest groups, who do not know what it is like to be without health care or inadequate health care don't know what you are talking about. Modern medicine and the health care system kill Americans by the millions each year, and billions are hurt; and then they bankrupt the health care system in the process. This is called erosion of the health care system and erosion of economics. I am a statistic, doctors messed up my health permanently, and now the insurance companies will not pay for the therapies that my body will tolerate. I pay $300 a month in insurances; however, it is useless because the doctors are useless. I’m a senior citizen. In other words, "we have a vehicle but no one is behind the wheel." Doctors messed up my health with unnecessary surgeries when I was young and had good health insurance. How good does private insurance do if doctors only victimize us? Many of my relatives have died not due to diabetes but because of the diabetes’s medicines. Wake up America! The Republicans have done worst. So, all of you, self interested groups, that don't care about so many innocent Americans that are entitled to good health care, are you going to pay for them? How can you put a price on a human life? Heck, yea, I don't mind paying for something for the good of all. Besides, selfishness will eventually be self destruct. Like the supreme law teaches, “don’t look for a treasure on earth, look for a treasure in heaven.” And “if you follow my precepts, all else will be given”

    July 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  207. George wang

    I!d give up several things to achieve national health care:
    1. I'd give up all the "ASK YOUR DR' pharmaceutical ads we see on TV. Do we have to tell them which medicines we need. Don't they know without us asking?
    2. I'd be willing to pay a 5% sales tax on every purchase if that money was designated to go directly to doctors and hospitals.
    3. The US ranks 47th in longevity. I think that's a pretty good indicator that our system is not the best in the world, but it is undoubtedly the most expensive. I think cutting out the middle men, mainly insuance companies and pharmaceutical ads, would do wonders in decreasing our expenses and allowing us to provide more and better care to those presently uninsued.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  208. Roy and Perla Forbes

    This note is regarding the Small Business Owner that Speaker Pelosi used as an example of people who do not have adequate health care insurance. Her story is very touching but we would like to know the following:
    1. How much did she pay for her insurance coverage?

    2. Did she read her policy when she signed for it?

    3. Could she have afforded to purchase a more comprehensive policy?

    4. Did she investigate all offered coverage options before choosing her plan?

    5. Did she try to go to a state hospital for treatment where she could have been treated and could have made payments? From my understanding, state hospitals cannot deny treatment and work with patients for payments.

    6. Did she investigate the insurance company she signed up with and is it a recognized and reputable company?

    Our health insurance needs improvements. There is no doubt about it. However, time is needed to read and alter the changes and investigate thoroughly all options before making a change that can affect all people and and the U.S. economy. As it stands, this healthcare change is being rushed through Congress for approval before anyone even understands what the details are. At the present time, we are VERY OPPOSED TO IT and we are very concerned about it in general and, in particular, as seniors.

    We would appreciate answers to our questions so that we may continue evaluating this health care reform logically and try to understand to the best of our ability what is being proposed. These answers should also be made available to the general public as they may address questions of many many voters. Thank you

    July 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  209. George wang

    Naturally, we should have a public option. How else are we going to be sure that our insurance and pharmaceutical companies are providing the best choices, I happen to have one of the finest national health care plans available. It's called medicare.
    If insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and AMA are sincere about wanting to develop a competitive national health care plan they would not hesitate to include a public option that could act as a catalyst to help control prices. We have the highest medical costs in the world because the big three, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, and medical faclities, are competing for the same health care dollar; and there is no co-ordination of how that dollar is divided. Only a federeal option can provide the incentive to have these entities reach a fair conclusion.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  210. Norris From Canada


    1: That Canadian woman is has a become a pseudo poster child should have her Ontario, Canada healthcard stripped from her person. She slams our system, gets used as a negative example and I bet she is back in Canada flashing her card for some more care...

    2: In Canada, many of the Doctors are capped with income that is paid to them by the Canadian gov't. This helps keep costs down. A GP could make upto $200K CAD. A specialist could earn more. ANything above and beyond those amounts, they would have to earn in the private sector(I believe).

    3: Someone sent me this URL If half this money was put towards a socialized healthcare system, could this not help solve some issues south of the border?

    July 22, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  211. Dennis Weston

    How much funding would be generated if Mal-Practice insurance premiums were paid directly to a fund to help pay for medical insurance premiums and Tort reform was in place to limit damages. How many uninsured could then be covered?

    Along with cost savings that may put the cost of health care affordable for all. Without Bankrupting the future generation of Americans. There is so much waste in medicare now that just paying for real health care and not for the abuse that is rampant would help bring the costs down.

    July 22, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  212. babypalms

    Obama should have let the healthcare system be fully computerized first before tackling the cost issue. The biggest problem with health care then would have been re-training the thousands of staff that would hagve to be re-trained due to the efficient operations that would have resulted.

    July 22, 2009 at 8:26 pm |
  213. babypalms

    Dr. Klein, Ouch! That's what I said when the nurse couldn't remove the tube from my stomach after the gall bladder operation. The good doctor came in and yanked it right out and said that's how you do it. Ouch! I'm always looking to see if I could return the favor one day.

    July 22, 2009 at 8:30 pm |
  214. ray

    gee what s left for the govt to take over ? If its going to be universal health care everyone should have ten percent taken out of there income !

    July 23, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  215. Whit Fitzpatrick

    (1)with Speaker Pelosi's comment that there is a "cap" on health care contribution, but "no cap" on health care itself, I can only conclude that she thinks we are a nation of Neanderthals.
    (2) When I was Law Clerk to a Virginia State Supreme Court Justice, one learned very quickly how terribly dedicated the Justices were to the details of their decisions. It truly frightens me to learn that many, if not most, Members of Congress admit to not having read a Bill that will bring a "sea change" to our Health Care way of life and that even our President admitted to having not been familiar with all of it.. We have just experienced what a "Rush to Judgment" can lead to in our ongoing financial crisis. KNOW what you are voting on...elections are not far off.

    July 23, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  216. Bob

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  217. Carol

    Within all the discussions about Health Care Reform, WHY has neither the Congress OR the Media focused on:

    July 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  218. Carol

    Within the Health Care Reform discussions, why has there not been a CNN expose on:
    1. The obscene profits of health insurance companies which could be certainly cut down OR
    2. The disgusting profits of the drug companies as well as other medical suppliers.
    Let's hear from Congress AND CNN on these subjects!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  219. David Young

    this might not be the place for this particular comment,but consider my current situation.I have been laid-off since Sept.'08,I worked for this company for 20 yrs.I have 3 children,I am going thru a divorce & custody issues,mortgage to pay and NO INSURANCE.Yes,I could have had Cobra coverage for $600.00/month!!! Now,President Obama initiated a plan that would reduce Cobra Ins. for eligible people.They want me to pay over $700.00 up front for previous 3 months(April,May,June '09) of which I don't have any medical claims,then pay $200.00/month premiums for 6 months of coverage.Seems to me that someone wants to make money at my expense in hard times.I just can't see the logic of collecting 3 months prior.just wanted to share this with you,and I am somewhat surprised that more people have not complained.I appreciate the effort to help me in a time of need,but I don't know how they think I can come up with this extra $ to pay for months gone by.Thanks for time.Keep up the good work.

    July 23, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  220. Rob

    That insurance rep you just had on, was so full of it! Only when pushed do they want to change now, and fix healthcare, to save there own necks as companies.

    I have a radical idea!...Why not make all healthcare NON-Profits! We already give free care to those without insurance, then bill those with insurance for this free care in higher premiums! Hospitals in the past were mostly church related, non-profits....why not return hospitals, insurance and medical care to NON_PROFITS!

    July 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  221. Candace

    I'm watching your segment with Elizabeth, Peggy and your guest from the insurance industry. Interesting as it is the question was never answered as to how individuals who need insurance, are sole proprietors and small businesses such as Peggy can obtain insurance if there is the dreaded "pre-existing" condition." Like Peggy, my husband and I are sole proprietors. We belong to COSE (Council for Small Enterprises) here in Cleveland, Ohio. We joined to be elligible for health insurance at group rates through Medical Mutual of Ohio (which however, is a bit of a misnomer as companies with 1-50 employess are still rated as individuals).

    We originally joined COSE in 1990 and paid dearly for insurance up to $1600 a month. Because our business is tied to the housing market, our business began to falter. My husband took an outside job with a local window company to augment what business we were still able secure through our sole proprietorship. The company he went to work for offered health insurance, and although it wasn't near the plan we had through our business he signed up for that coverage and we dropped our plan to save us the $1600/month we were paying for our plan. In June he was laid off and along with that went the health insurance. Rather than accept COBRA, we attempted to re-establish our medical insurance through COSE and Medical Mutual of Ohio, but due to a surgery my husband underwent in December 2006, he now has a "pre-existing" condition and is now rated at the highest level. While Medical Mutual offered insurance it is for a plan that would cost us nearly $2000/month and is essentially useless. We cannot afford that and have subsequently opted for COBRA benefits. But when COBRA ends, we will still be in the same predicament of "pre-existing" condition and at the mercy of the insurance underwriters.

    I often wonder as these underwriters sit around the table making decisions as to who gets rated at a number that offers a reasonable premium versus those they throw to the wolves. What "pre-existing" condition do any or all of these individuals have? But because they are covered by their group there is no empathy or consideration provided to the faceless applications they have in front of them.

    Ovwer our years in business we have paid upwards of $20,000/yr for health insurance as an individual/sole proprietor. And like many sole proprietors/small business owners this is and has been at the expense of being able to contribute to a retirement plan. Health care is and should be a right for all Americans, but in this country it appears to be a privilege for only those that can afford to pay for it.

    This has to stop. I am not sure why there is all this bickering and infighting about reforming healthcare. If a public healthcare plan is not good enough for members of congress and their families then it isn't good enough for the rest of America. Why not open up up the federal plan to all Americans to take advantage of? I am not asking for free healthcare. I am not asking to take part in a free program. We fully expect to have to pay a monthly premium for comprehensive medical and pharmacy coverage. However, it needs to be at a cost that most Americans can afford. I do not believe that is too much to ask for in this country.

    July 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  222. Bettye Clement

    Carol's comments from July 23 should be in capital letters and bold print. Why is this subject being totally avoided by everyone, including the news media? Are insurance companies and drug companies so powerful in this country that no one dares even mention the major part they play in this crisis?

    July 23, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  223. Millicent J. Aynes

    When people cannot pay for dialysis, ER Services, organ transplants, alcohol/drug rehabilitation, etc., who will pay? It seems to me that a government subsidy for those who cannot afford health insurance will open a Pandora's box.

    President Obama said there will be no repeat of tests and records will
    follow the patient. Tests and doctors diagnosis are fallible and a patient often needs to see another doctor to get help. I don't see how this can be covered in government managed health care. What can a doctor do for you in a very short appointment? My HMO PCP is more interested in billing my HMO for apointments and dead end referrals than in helping me. How does the President feel about a patient being treated for drug side effects instead of trying to find a medicine the patient can tolerate better?

    I'd rather keep my health plan than have no health plan but I envision huge problems in the quaility of health care through the government.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  224. Irene Sweda

    I can’t imagine an uninsured citizen of any affiliation living day by day with fear of getting sick and not able to go to the doctor for treatment that can have any doubt of a mandatory health reform in this country. I certainly think that just those who have jobs with great benefits are not putting themselves in the other’s people shoes and think that millions of Americans need that relief.

    July 24, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  225. Stephen Conard

    Being a young American I see the country in a different light than my parents and even grandparents. But one thing we agree on is that there is a mojr issue facing our country. WIthin this Healthcare battle there is a larger more dire issue. At the beginning of the week I watched part of your mornign show and noticed some bullets on who receives healtcare and from what background they were. One group stood out. Illegal Immigrants. I do not know if I am missing something or what but when was it ok to support illegal activiteies? We just arrested 44 public officials and Rabbis for money laundering, but yet we can turn around and say, "it's ok that you snuck your way into this country. It's ok that you want everything but give nothing. It's ok that you don't want to become a citizen. We will give you everything you need regardless of whether our citizens need it or not." What would other countries do in this situation? They never would have been here, thanks to their laws on naturalization. I am all up for giving people opportunities to better themselves and provide a better life for their family than they could have in their previous country. But I have all the right to demand a change because when my family came here from Italy, they learned english, necause that is the language of the country. They filled papers to become citizens. They opened stores and worked harder than I could even imagine. Why aren't they???

    July 24, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  226. CM

    Eric Cantor: Blah Blah Blah Blah. Same old Republican response. That's why I voted for President Obama. It's time for new ideas and someone who will get things done in this century. Sorry for the sarcasam but your talking without giving any good ideas is very, very, very old.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  227. Verb Goff

    Government run healthcare work well from my experience. I am retired Army and have had government contolled healthcare since I was 18. I have always seen specialists in a timely manner when needed. Also I keep hearing talk about those opposed to federal dollars paying for abortion. The public must not be aware of the fact that federal dollars pay for abortions for female military personel and military wives. Also th VA performs abortions fo service connected Vets.

    Verbelle D. Goff
    SSG, USA, Retired

    July 24, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  228. Justin, TX

    "The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy. "

    Woodrow Wilson

    Too many people against Health Care Reform are concerned with Insurance companies going out of business or not being able to compete with the "government plan" instead of the HEALTH of the American people. Those asking for more time should send a request to all the people on their death beds...not in hospitals..but in their own homes b/c the hospital bed costs too much.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  229. Robert Harris

    I just finished talking with a represenative from AARP and I asked the represenative if AARP was supporting the President's proposed Healthcare plan as he stated in his last news conference. The AARP represenative stated that AARP was only supporting certain elements of the Presidents proposed Healthcare Plan, such as helping to cover the doughnut hole. After talking with the AARP represenative I realized that AARP is not in total support of the plan only parts of it. So without a doubt President Obama mispoke in his latest news conference stating that AARP was in support of his Healthcare Plan. This is not the first time the President has misled the American people in his quest to Nationalize Healthcare. As it stands now in Section 102 in the Tri-Committee-Discussion Draft in Congress according to Represenative Steve King from Iowa, after a 5 year period or less, all private healthcare plans will be choked out of the system and President Obama's Healthcare Plan will become one huge massive Government run Healthcare plan . The Government will then decide what kind of healthcare a person gets, who their doctor will be and how long a person will have to wait for any procudure. In other words after five years or less we will wind up with a Healthcare system like Canada or Europe or even something much worse.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  230. Doug Crow

    WE should all pay for an improved health care program now, or we are going to lose it all together in 5 or 10 or 15 years! What has been done in the name of health insuranc for the past 40 years is bankrupting the American public and enriching the health insurance oligarchy. The Republican and Democrat Legislators are in the pocket of BIG insurance. We "the people" need a Thomas Paine to inspire us to revolt against the oligarchy that is ruling our country.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  231. John LV

    Interesting that it is no longer healthcare reform, but "health insurance reform". I guess the insurance lobby finally got there way and convinced the politicians that insurance companies are also "too big to fail". Now they will have a new profit center made up of federal subsidies so they can pay their executives and rich shareholders. I'm very sorry to say that my most enthusiastic vote ever may have been wasted on "politics as usual". What a terrible missed opportunity.

    July 24, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  232. Debbie

    Why can the children of illegal aliens get Medicaid???
    Just because they were born here, they are still here because of illegal acts of those who gave birth to them.
    Stop the practice of giving them Medicad. Also stop not reporting the parents to the immigration officials when they apply for the benefits.
    Alot of money could be saved if illegals do not have access to Medicaid.

    July 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  233. Allen

    I have employer provided healthcare, if you can call it healthcare. It cost a great deal in premiums for my wife and I to have this "coverage". We still pay a copay to see a doctor that has been chosen by the company, and after each visit we will receive a bill for any lab work that was done, and then we will get a bill for the part of the doctor visit that the insurance won't pay. Get with it politicians this isn't healthcare insurance, its a legal rip off. If one of us needs to have some medical attention, and the company doesn't feel like paying anything for the procedure, they simply say we don't cover that.
    I am is favor of the public option and all other options as well, the more options we have the better the coverage and the price will be. I can't wait to tell my employerer to stick his crappy coverage where the sun don't shine. And I plan to if I can save one dollar or get one more bennifit from another policy.

    July 24, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  234. Norris From Canada

    @Tina. That woman you wanted to know more about, her name is Shona Holmes. SHe paid $100 000USD to get the surgery done by remortgaging her home and borrowing from friends and family that I believe she is still unable to pay back.

    Here is more on her story:

    July 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  235. Al

    In the past three days I've gone over all these posts,and I come to one conclusion. The heck with insurance companies if they were giving peop[e the best they can for the dollars they spend they would not be afraid of the public option (DA). On question to you all is the US the smartest, richest, country in the world? If so why worry about i ending up with a government run health plan, or we to stupid to kook at all the problems in the others and fix them in ours. So I would suggest that big insurance put aside there 155% profit growth in the first quarter of 09, and work with the president and congress and get it done before more people lose everything they owen or die. as for all you sheep get together and help instead of following dumd asses. one more thing look up United Health's first quarter profit report and then call them and tell them what you think. come on folks grow some and help run YOUR country!!!!

    July 25, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  236. Al

    For all you young americans this debate really giong on since I was a year old and if we don't stop the infighting and get something done NOW you'll be writing this when your 62 years old. As for Immigrants legal or not remember if it wasn't for Immigrants you would not be here unless your native american. I myself was raised in a place we as kids worked brside them in the fields and I don't see young americans or any american rushing out to get these jobs in these hard times. So stop Crying and listening to others cry and DO SOMETHING!!!! Help yourself to help someone else.

    July 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  237. Marty

    No one wants to fix the healthcare system. There is no incentive to fix the system. The very people talking about fixing the system have no experience in the system. Both houses of government have different motives for what their efforts are all about. Dems – what's in it for me and my friends. Reps – Don't upset the current status. Both get lobbyists funds.

    Corporate America is asleep at the wheel as experienced in the current financial crisis. You watch TV ads with former government employees who will workj with you to fix your tax problem. Politicians, how many of you have their personal phones numbers to call and express your problems.

    We are supposed to be the number one country in the world and yet we have people in public and private life that promote their own interest and are motivated only by greed.Take a look at the Citigroup's problem where one person who ran their secret energy trading unit earnred 100Million dollars. Remember our recent energy problem?

    To put icing on the cake, we have another problem looking us in the eye with a potential flu outbreak ionj just a few months. I guess the person who forcasted a new drop in the market in 2011was not far off.

    I have no proble with Obama but we need a person like Reagan to take command and pull off a jump into healthcare. If business had an interest, healthcare would be a thing of the past. Take a look at what CNN did for election coverage in the last election using IT. Give business an incentive and see how fast it gets done. I exclude GE's attempt at high speed rail transporttion. Europe seems to be at fore front all the time. Remember radial tires with that French company called Michelin. Akron is still reeling from that $200M they had to pull out of their pockets for re-tooling the tire industry.

    July 27, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  238. Steven Morello

    If you don't support a fellow American's right to health care, you have to get the "United We Stand" bumper sticker off your car!!

    July 28, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  239. Thomas

    I guarantee that the people that like their health care have not been struck with a catastrophic illness or have become disabled.

    July 28, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  240. Peggy

    I'm writing this because I've had about all I can take from the media about all of our major issues! I chose you to speak to because I like your style and I just want one of you to read my comment and pass it on. So please Tony, PASS THIS ON!
    First of all can I just tell you all to stop the madness! The media has been so quick to jump at any chance to "prove" that President Obama isn't who he says he is and that he is trying to do
    something "underhanded" or that he has some sort of hidden agenda to take down our country!
    May I remind you all who took our country down? Remember that last guy, uh...I think his name was Bush?! Oh and his friends, those greedy guys who robbed us all...Corporate America?!
    You sure didn't beat them down, like you do to Barry (yes, i called him Barry)! In fact the media missed the whole entire scandal and didn't bother to even investigate or even notice that our country was being raped and was about to fall on it's face until after it was too late!
    Hello?! How could all of you sharp news people not have seen what was coming! I'm noone, but yet I saw what was happening years ago. I was always amazed that you all weren't pulling the covers on all those "fatcats" in Washington and on Wallstreet and that none of you were reporting the fact that Bush was a shady, weak lame, and for him, his whole point of being president was for the oil! He didn't care about any of us, it was all about "The Bush Family & his Corporate Clan" He made sure he was fine and he made sure whoever became president after him was totally screwed! You all just stood by as he back paddled and spoke gibbererish and you barely critisized his fatal mistakes as he buried us deeper and deeper until we ended up where we are today!
    So here we are today, our economy is completely devastated, the world looks at us like we are a bunch of a–holes, we're kneedeep in wars that Bush caused to be huge by pissing off the middle east so badly they want to get back at us for everything!! And in a moment of clarity (and desparation) we elected a man to be our President who actually cares. Imagine that! He is working practically 24/7, FOR US! He is trying to undo the horrible reputation Bush gave us, he's trying to save our soldiers from all being killed, he's trying to get jobs back to us Americans that Corporate America outsourced away, he's trying to keep us from losing our homes and our shirts, since it's too late to save our money...Bush -n- Buddies stole that already! AND at the moment he is trying to save our lives by getting us to believe in a health reform plan. So how does the media react to all of his honesty and hard work? I'll tell you..the media reacts "stupidly", yep i said it...STU-PID-LY! You all feel so "stupidly" that you missed out on the "big scoop" that our country was going down the drain because you didn't notice how shady our "pillars of society" were being, that you now are all going to make sure that you have every base covered because you want to be the first to report that "AHA! LOOK EVERYONE WE'RE BEING TRICKED AGAIN!" Get over it media people, so you missed your big story before it was too late, that's ok, most of America did too. Instead of making Barry pay for your mistake, why don't you back him? Why don't you use your power to believe in and promote his honesty and goodwill? You all are so quick to jump on anything he says or does, twisting his words, doubting his dedication to our country and even questioning his citizenship, STUPIDLY. What a waste of time, please stop and regroup, and think about this:

    Barry Obama means what he says and says what he means. I can tell you this with complete conviction because I grew up with him in the same place at the same time and I don't care what you all say to this but we were blessed and protected from the big bad world by being raised in Hawaii. We went to an unbelievable school, I can't imagine that there is a better school on the face of the earth than Punahou. He was born at Kapiolani Hospital a few weeks apart from my sister and he had to hold his head up high to get past the fact that he was an extreme minority because there were only 3 or 4 black students at that time in a school that averaged 400 kids per class and was kindergarten thru 12th grade! I was also a minority (I guess I'm what you would call white) and let me tell you all that growing up in Hawaii as anything that wasn't "a local kid" was at times a little hard to handle. But we didn't dwell on that, in fact, we were all just kids who were so fortunate to be raised in such a loving, caring and honest environment and we were not tainted by racial issues, violent crime, or people who pretended to be someone they weren't. None of our teachers, babysitters, ministers, or parents mistreated us and our values and morals were so deeply instilled in us that when I moved up to California I had no idea that the rest of the world was so horrible. It took many years for me to protect myself from the "wolves" because they all have on such wonderful sheeps' clothing. But I vowed that I would never compromise my values and my morals and always stand up for what was right, no matter what, because that's just who I am. Just like Barry.
    So for whatever this is worth to you all, or not, I am compelled to tell you all to stop bashing our President and start backing him. we should be grateful to have him as our President because in the long run he will make us look good because he is good. Use your power to help him do the things he is trying to do because they are, for once, of the people, for the people. Aren't you all Americans? Well if your answer is yes than start by being one! C'mon CNN get real.

    Oh and I have a really good idea for you.....instead of your blah blah blah repeating the same old sh– all day long why don't you all use your air time for something that would make a difference? Why don't you all take a segment of the Health Reform Bill and read it in it's entirety so that our Representatives and all of us know what's in it, then we will all know exactly what's involved and we can then have an educated opinion on it. Maybe that would get you guys going in the right direction. Could you possibly imagine working as a team to help our country instead of working as a group that keeps our country in such division and confusion? You could all make or break us and at the moment it seems you'd rather do the latter, STUPIDLY.
    Thank you for being my messenger.

    With the Utmost Respect,

    July 29, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  241. Brian in Virginia

    Dear Tony,

    I’m a healthy 30 year old male, a non-smoker, an exercise fanatic, and I haven’t started showing any signs of male pattern baldness but sooner or later I will!

    Why fund healthcare with one source financing or one tax base as narrowly as possible. Can we try a broader funding approach?

    Tax soft drinks a little, Tax cadillac plans a little more, Tax healthcare insurers a little less because they’ll just pass those taxes onto individuals through higher premiums.

    Tax all foods items at 0.001 per $100 or all fuels gas, propane, diesel, coal.

    I’d pay all these taxes in good faith for the peace of mind that would come knowing that If I ever got sick then I wouldn’t have to face losing my house, my good credit, my child’s educations savings or my retirement funds.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  242. Elaine

    Everyone, and I mean everyone in the USA has Healthcare. Some people don't have insurance. Two entirely different things.

    The insured have healthcare, the poor are given healthcare, immigrants (both legal and illegal) are given healthcare. We need health insurance reform–NOT healthcare reform.

    Please let us all live our lives. I am tired of being told what to do, how to do it, all in the name of what's best for me. I am not now, nor have I ever been stupid enough to let someone else make my decisions for me.

    A law REQUIRING me to wear seatbelts–A proposed law requiring young people to VOLUNTEER (Americorp) now there's an oxymoron; laws directing my healthcare, laws on who pays for my healthcare, laws taking care of me for this and that–GET OUT OF OUR LIVES.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  243. RuthAnne Fernandez

    You don't give the average person enough credit. I'm sure most thinking people realize Medicare and Medicaid are socialized care set up by the government for seniors and lowest income families. That said, I do not believe our country needs a government take over of the entire health care system. Fix medicare (a government run plan) waste and fraud first.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  244. Chris

    EVERYONE in any system should pay Tony! Now is the time to rid all of our program of those who will not work, will not contribute, and are dragging our great country down the drain. They do not care about this country or those working to keep it going.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  245. Marty

    Talk about giving people credit, the Canadian goivernment, or, the Canadian Police have a license plate recognition system they are using (rather than explain – search for video on you tube) that represents quite a jump in police technology. Take a look and just imagine if that technology was used for the healthcare system from the poiint of coming into a doctor's office through leaving with your prescription.

    Think about that, we have that technology today and could be implemented without any hardship to the medical community. Doctors and hospitals would be more profitable with the cost per patient greatly reduced to absorb the numbers of uninsured. The reason that this is not happening is that the lobbying effort within the industries (insurance, pharmaceutical, medical equipment, trad egroups, and government) are not interested unless there is a financial incentive for thier efforts.

    July 30, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  246. Bernie Lemieux

    The last senatorial election in Massachuset will have a desastrous effect on the passage health care bill. The americans wil regret this for decades to come. With the number of seniors increasing all the time and living much longer, the present system will implode in a few years. Now is the time to face reality and muster the fortitude to take swift action to save it. D'ont worry too much, it's probably just a mid-term rebellious hick-up. If it fails, the repuplicans will wear it! There are 3 main points of contention left. First the abortion issue; we can argue at eternam on the morality and religious aspects of it but it would not be helpful. This is a woman's issue until men can get pregnant, maybe in the future. No goverment or private health care plan should pay or subsedize abortions on demand. It would be too costly and encourage irresponsability. Abortions are available in private accredited clinics at your costs. Pregnancy is not an illness or a desease; it's a cooperatively induced condition. Sex is the most powerful human compultion, unfortunately as we all know, things happen. There are cases where abortions should be subsidized; late term pregnancies when the mother's life is at stake, girls who are not of the legal age for conjugal sex and cases of severe of physical or mental retardation. The second issue is the taxing of the "Cadillac plans". I hate to say this, but this is unfair to the rich. A small consumption tax on non essential food items would be a better idea. The third issue is the public option. It would be too much too fast for "America the free" right now. The average american is not ready for this much "socialization" yet. It's simply not in their psyche. It could be revisited in a few years. Do what it takes to pass this reform or there will be dire consequences. Make a pact with the devil if you have to. Just do it!

    January 23, 2010 at 10:29 am |
  247. Debbie

    When will the government realize that those on Medicare need denatal care? I have a major infection in my teeth as well as severe peridontal disease. I cannot see a dentist. It is not allowed. Medicare will not pay for it. Living on $860.00 a month in social security, I cannot pay for it either.
    It seems to be government waste when I have to make monthly trips to the emergency room for anti-biotixcs and pain killers for my teeth, when a simple trip to the dentist would most likely cure some of the problem.

    January 25, 2010 at 1:47 pm |