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July 22nd, 2009
05:45 PM ET

Health care reform: What’s in it for me?

Will you be able to keep your doctor? Your health insurance? CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen walks you through the maze of health care changes that may lie ahead.

Filed under: CNN Newsroom
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Ann Oriadha

    Please do not believe these Republicans that claim they have not read the Health Care bills. I watched the committees on CSPAN debate every line in the bill including hundreds of amendments (many of which were adopted). They had a seat at the table, read and debated the bill for weeks and long hours day in and day out. Enough already, lets get this done for the American People!

    July 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  2. J Gleed

    Dear CNN, there is so much erroneous and uneducated opinion being broadcast about the Canadian health care system, I think it's only fair you do a special piece on the Canadian system by actual Canadians. Not by the likes of Ms. Cheyney, who literally made my blood boil. As you can see in the posts by Canadians on your site, there is next to no contradiction in our opinion of our system, and in our reaction to some of your guests inflammatory statements. Many of them Canadians living in the USA, much like myself. If you want to comment on the Canadian system, please invite some Canadians on the air. I'd be happy to join in 😉

    July 22, 2009 at 7:04 pm |
  3. Kevin R. McCabe R.N.

    Mr. President, You know that you will have to drag these babies, kicking and screaming, and the insurance companies fighting you tooth and nail, into health care reform and the future. Your decision and legacy will extend to the end of this century......Don't back down! We need you and the far reaching changes you are making in healthcare. I trust you totally! You are a good man, and the man we need at this epic crossroads in americas future!...Godspeed!, Kevin R.N.

    July 22, 2009 at 7:11 pm |
  4. John Appleton

    There is so much talk about people being afraid to lose their health insurance. What about the large number of people who have private insurance and hate it. People have huge deductibles, copays, etc.. There is something very Orwellian about this whole debate. We are not allowed a public option, because of the right of choice in our health care. So in other words don't get the choice of a public option, all in the name of protecting our right to choose which health care plan. Doesn't make sense to me. Give us a strong public option. We have waited 65 years for it , stop the stall tactics.

    July 22, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  5. Allen Phillips

    If California has managed to legalize medical marijuana and subsequently tax it, why can't we legalize it nationally and have the tax revenues subsidize the nationalized healthcare program. If you put a pencil to it wouldn't the government collect hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenues that are crrently not there? I don't buy the notion that legalized marijuana would create more addicts, Has anyone ever overdosed on marijuana?

    July 22, 2009 at 8:05 pm |
  6. Dierdre Bond

    I would like to hear specific examples of how any of president Obama's plans have succeded. It is a lot easier to say that you have saved and created jobs than to prove it is true. Why should we trust someone who is more concerned with his own ego (don't bet against him). WHAT A JOKE. WHAT HAPPENED TO NO ONE MAKING UNDER 200,000 WILL NOT PAY HIGHER TAXES? WE SHOULD NOT ALOW OUR HEALTHCARE TO BE DICTATED TO US BY THE GOVERNMENT. A GOVERNMENT THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN TAKEN OVER BY AN UNAMERICAN FAST TALKING TWO FACED SERPANT OF A TRAITOR TO THE PRINCAPLES THIS COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON. SOUND DECESIONS TAKE TIME AND CONSIDERATION NOT BULLYING.

    July 22, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  7. Diane Hudson

    It can work, Obama is correct to hopefully pass this measure.
    Doctors are leaving their practices in droves, why? Because their insurance are raising and they are not making it. It is possible to monitor the billing process and corrections can be made if you create a Physican who can process any discrepacence. Elimate waste of paper, eliminate disposiles (too costy, money & ecological). Reward the doctors who has patients who are followed through. Care of each patient. Eliminate the Physicans for any wrong doing, the cost of this insurance will cut costs. Put a cap on sueing the facilities an doctors etc. etc. He is on the right tract.

    July 22, 2009 at 8:52 pm |
  8. Vonda

    I watched the President's press conference and it revealed a lot more than I previously knew. I don't need a news commentator to tell me that Pres. Obama bearing moved the needle – that he provided no more information than they already knew. Maybe no more informaton for the news commentators, but a lot more for me, a citizen who listens for myself and has the intellect to interpret what I heard for myself. I love the purpose of the media, but sometimes the media insults the American public's intelligence by telling them what they just heard.

    July 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm |
  9. J A Panelli

    Why is it that the first response from your commentator after the president's news conference is that we "have not learned anything new" from the president. I did not know that ⅔ of the health care plan are being funded by money that we are already paying. You certainly have not being reporting that, therefore you guys did not know that either ... correct?!!

    July 22, 2009 at 9:37 pm |
  10. Thomas M. Fox

    Once again CNN disappoints. I used to watch CNN all the time. But now it's no longer the news. This evening after the Presidents prime time speech at 9:00 PM CNN had "Black in America 2" and Head Line News had more Michael Jackson coverage. On FOX all they talked about was Health Care, one of the most important subjects to the American people. The President talked for 45 minutes about Health Care on prime time TV, he must think it's important. CNN and HLN didn't even mention it after 9:00 PM. Shame on you

    July 22, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  11. Tom Holderness, Sarasota FL

    What a disappointment Obama's news conference tonight. All facts and talking points, and no heart. No fire. No drive. I thought better of him. Maybe he's burning out a little. Too bad.

    July 22, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  12. Carol Lieberman

    Instead of so much commentary, how about devoting time to the people who have actually studied health care issues and the successes (and failures) that other countries have had?

    I am so tired of hearing talking heads and pseudo celebrities discussing and predicting, but not able to back up any of their opinions with real world facts. This is too complicated and important an issue to treat this way.

    Riverwoods, IL

    July 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm |
  13. Cecil Jones

    My greatest fear in the healthcare debate is both sides using this as a way to bankrupt this nation and steal from the public trust. I don't trust either side to get the job done and they have done "Nothing" to make me feel like they can be trusted. We have a public and private healthcare system in place, but I think they want to use the funds to create something else and profit from the huge waste and failed efforts. I don't want that and I don't think America wants it either. The private healthcare system is insurance. The public healthcare program is the VA System. Why not expand the VA to cover those without coverage and then focus on driving down the cost in the private system? By sending civilians to fight this endless war, the VA will expand to practically cover all. The VA system can ask Doctors to delegate and supervise. Costs can be reduced in a teaching environment. Anyone who uses this system can be tracked and the costs controlled without creating something different. It's a win-win and nobody wants to talk about it? They call it noise?

    July 23, 2009 at 12:52 am |
  14. storm

    "We need to insure all illegal and their off-spring , before all American Citizens? "seem like this Disgrace Country politicians only care for them self, and their mix breed family! "They have their health plan, 100% pay by Tax payer money! 'please, 'let all iilegal from around the World come here, and have their off springs then, give them 'welfare also, 'give them jobs , before Citizens, 'then this Country health will be solve! LMAO

    July 23, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  15. Merlin McCormick

    Obviously the president,s health care plan is what the country neeeds
    as evidenced by the squeal of the blood sucking greedy insurance
    industry and their parasitic partners on wall st. and their republician
    yes men, who only care about their pockets and veiw the public as
    feeding stock. They should be put out of business!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  16. Gil Zilberstein

    Dear Interested Readers,

    I voted for John McCain in the 2000 California Republican Primary.
    I voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 California Democratic Primary,
    and in the 2008 Presidential Election.

    As a supporter of President Obama, and more importantly as an American,
    I am sick and tired of seeing the beginning of the "swift-boating" attacks on
    OUR National Health Plan.

    Lest you think I'm some kind of liberal lefty nut, I believe that NATIONAL HEALTH CARE IS GOOD FOR BUSINESS. In fact, I think the best argument in FAVOR of a national health care plan is the General Motors disaster. Because the unions forced GM to meet a dire need for health care for its workers as part of its business, GM lost its competitive edge in the car business as its "social business" took on more and more of its manager's time and resources. Please note that GM's successful foreign competition comes from countries where business is free to concentrate on business, because the health care issue is settled, and no-one, not management, not the workers has to worry about it.

    Gil Zilberstein,
    San Francisco, CA

    July 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  17. Robert Auld

    Folks outside the "Excited States" are aghast at the obvious commercialization of Health Care improvements in your Country. The segment on wheelchairs was a disgusting commentary on American Business greed. Is it not obvious that Insurance Companies, for profit Hospitals Pharmaceutical Companies and some Medical people have taken control of US Healthcare and will not relinquish it easily? Is the American voting public so ignorant as to believe the "horror" stories put out re other nations who have better than US health coverage? Even Cuba has better Universal Health care for citizens and a lower infant death rate than the US! We're glad we live in Canada where, years ago, Commercial greed was defeated and honest Universal Health Care covers ALL Canadians. Sure we take a magazine or good book to the Emergency for an average wait for TREATMENT of non-life threatening illness. Sure we have to schedule elective surgery months in advance and must wait weeks for non serious but none-the-less necessary operations! But here's a Prostate Cancer Survivor whose no cost specialist watched and waited and comforted me for four years until the symptoms called for an operation ...which was done within two months ...again within the safety specifications . My $19,000 Brachy Thearapy treatment, and yearly followups is accomplished at a world renown hospital. My
    medication costs as a Senior in Canada are $6.75 per three month supply of each pill ...and those minor costs are tax deductable!

    Wake up America. By your own admission, the Greatest Nation in the World leaves out millions from Health Care ...while many of you
    worry about "losing" your own coverage!

    We pay a 13% sales tax on just about everything we buy ...small potatoes when it covers generous healthcare. The Brits and most of Europe enjoy better health plans than you.

    Face it guys ...the USA has MEDIOCRE health services for it's poor and average citizens.

    Bob Auld

    July 23, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  18. Diane Hudson

    Both my Husband and I worked for over 40 years. Retired now, we are in a financial mess. All because of Health Care Cost, we are covered by his retirement. That is good, still the cost has put us in debt, several 1,000 of dollars. We have no dental or eye insurance, we have to pay for them. At our age, our teeth are so important for my husband who has a heart condition. He had several operations on his eyes for, tears in his retina and had several surgeries. The Insurance Companies, want to select who get coverage, costs, locations of pay etc,etc. We have no control of the costs, unless you are able to pay additional cost that will leave us into losing our home, savings (already low). Someone needs to take control and help all the American People in this Wonder Country. Don't let them pharmacutical and insurance have the control. We are losing in this field. STOP It!!!

    July 23, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  19. stephen culbertson

    Dear Sirs:

    Americans can agree that we need health care reform.
    What we cannot agree on is the involvement of Government in our private lives.
    This administration's grand plan is to socialize our country, placing extreme power in the hands of what we know is an efficient government.
    President Obama is trying to "push" this plan through without proper analysis because he knows that an indepth analysis would show serious problems.. One of those is that the American tax payer would be now funding abortions when the majority of American's oppose this funding.
    This or any plan must be analyzed carefully and not "pushed" through for political reasons as this one is being "pushed".
    Let's get this right and not just pass a plan without knowing its consequences.

    Stephen Culbertson

    July 23, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  20. Melinda

    Mr President, please pass the health care reform bill. My husband was bitten by a police dog and then falsey arrested in Danville Va. We now have over 20k in medical bills and don't have any insurance.

    July 23, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  21. Datya

    I think there are to many greedy in the world in not enough giving people. I see it like this, My husband and I have good Insurance. But yes I said, but I think the insurance companies are making us and everyone else pay more then we shoudl. Lining their fat pockets with our hard earned money. I would rather the goverment take some that money and put towards the uninsured. Those republicans and big insurance companies think, the american people are brainless.
    But they are wrong, we support our presidents agenda to reform health care Now.

    Christian group, forchange101

    July 23, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  22. michelle

    heres what i think...has anyone ever thought... if you are uninsured who is paying for that care...we are why...though rising health care costs....example....why would it cost over 800 dollars at the emergency room for 4 stitches....and costs only our co-pay at the urgent care were we live (25 dollars) had i known that which place would have i chosen for my daughters stitches....duh
    costs go up according to how many people come and go from a place and are unable to pay for the is a no brainer as to why there is such expensive health care they have to pay for it somehow if everyone had health care....they couldnt raise prices cause everything would be payed for....duh

    July 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  23. Robert

    The answers which Elizabeth Cohen gives are absolutely unbelievable.
    For instance: "if the cost is too high go to your insurance company"
    She is forgetting who creates these bills!! It is the GREEDY DOCTORS!!!!!!! There is no reason in the world to charge $150.- for removing a bandaid of someone's toe!!!!!
    CNN is not getting the picture!!! The rip off starts with the doctors and hospitals!! This is the fact!! All healthcare reform is doomed if the doctors and hospitals and CEO's in this industry are not regulated as should be done with the banks etc. No trillionis needed either to control cost. The Obama proposal will only make the doctors even more rich than before.

    July 24, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  24. Dianne

    something needs to be done to help the ones that have lost their jobs and their insurance,and need medical treatment but cannot recieve it because they would lose their unemployement because they werent available for work for the day. Besides they have no insurance to pay for the medical procedure. I need my shoulder operated on. im in so much pain. But i cant get the procedure done because #1 I lost my insurance when iI got layed off. And #2 If I got Tha surgery I would lose Unemployement because I wouldnt be available for work, and I wouldnt qualify for any state help! I am 52 yrs old and I live alone. what does a person do! Please advise! Thank You!

    July 24, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  25. Andrea Stone

    If this Health Care Package is so great I want to know that Obama, his family, Pelosi and the rest on the Hill will be having the same exact plan.
    This would never happen because even the President has not taken the tme to read what will really happen to people.
    I dont want the Goverment telling me which Dr. if any I can see and how many visits. I dont want the Goverment caling the shots on my Relatives if they are over 70 and if they need care, surgery then they are too old and will be denied.
    Goverment has its sticky greedy hands in too much already. I want a choice, and with this plan there will be no choice,
    I SAY NO................

    July 24, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  26. Rick Roesch

    If all the elected officials in OUR (We The People) government would have to pay their own or part of their own health care plan, this mess would have been cleaned up long ago. We the people of this great country have been footing the bill long enough. We pay their salaries and their health care plans with our hard earned TAX money.It's time, I chalange all government elected officials, from President to City government officials to start helping out the people who elected them into office to start helping the average citizen making less than $70,000 per year, by having to pay for their own health care. Just think of how much money OUR government could save in one year. And maybe then they would know how the real people have to live. They are elected to work for us (WE THE PEOPLE).

    July 25, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  27. Nicole

    The only real way to keep health care costs down is to prevent illness in the first place. Sadly, we have become a nation of instant gratification, and getting people to change their lifestyle, even when it's a good thing, is like trying to get blood from a turnip. Once everyone in this country realizes they have the power and starts taking control of their own health, instead of relying on doctors, that's when we'll see a shift in the health care system. But until that happens, I believe we will (sadly) continue to go around and around about this issue.

    August 6, 2009 at 6:01 pm |

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