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August 15th, 2009
03:23 PM ET

Covering illegal immigrants?

Will health care reform mean illegal immigrants are covered? Josh Levs has answers from the CNN Truth Squad.

Filed under: Josh Levs
soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. bill kalter

    The public option will eliminate a level playing field for all insurance companies because the government will be able to charge what ever it wants to drive down costs. If they operate at a loss who really is going to pay the bill?

    August 15, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  2. Don Hehr

    Could you please break down the often thrown around number of 47 million???? Who ar ethey????? And in fair balance each time 47 million is mentioned also state over 200 million are covered.
    Do the the blls currently being discussed require our senators and house of reps members to have the exact coverage or are they exempt of the bill? If not....they how can American trust our leaders???
    Why is tort reform not included in the bill or discussions????
    Limiting iiability should remove the need for defensivve medicine...less tests, less costs???
    Why can reform not be implemented is a step wise methodically approach as opposed to rush and done...

    August 15, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  3. annette

    Why don't republicans/conservatives want health care reform? Is it strictly political or are there any really sound reasons not to want at least some of the reforms?

    August 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  4. carol hayden

    I am deathly afraid of government control, especially
    where the unborn are concerned. If the government pays
    for abortions, the next step will be like China...people
    will be told how many babies they can have. We are on
    a slippery slope. Our constitution is going down the drain.
    If babies aren't babies if in the womb, old people will be
    disposed of if not contributing to society. People are not
    commodities and abortion is wrong and the government
    has no business paying with my tax dollars to kill babies
    or break their necks when they remain alive after a
    botched abortion. Obama was against the Hyde ammendment
    and he has to be stopped before it is too late.

    August 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  5. carol hayden

    My only comment was turned away as already was not.

    I am afraid of abortion in the healthcare bill. We will become
    like China and be forced to have less children. I don't
    want to pay for destroying babies. Obama is destroying
    our country and the constitution.

    August 15, 2009 at 3:40 pm |
  6. michael armstrong sr.

    OK guys im getting worn out ansewring these questions but here it is . Public and national relations we are connected to this country as well as Canada and we need them in case of war to extend our power in other words its better to have them fighting with us then against us the government see's it as a small price for a big problem and that's the way it is.

    August 15, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  7. Linda

    My question is – how many of the people who don't want health care reform have plenty of health insurance they can afford? This may be the ultimate example of the "have's vs the have nots". I am unemployed on a limited income, but I would be happy to pay a little extra in taxes to help my fellow American. I hear comments made that health care is not addressed in the constitution – what about the right to life?

    August 15, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  8. Eric

    How come everytime you see coverage of someone with comments on healthcare at a town hall, it's never seems to be a minority? (How come reporters don't come to my neighborhood in the inner city?) How come everytime you see coverage of someone with comments on healthcare, it's never seems to be someone who doesn't have healthcare? It's always seems to be someone with healthcare who seemingly is either suspicious of the government or doesn't believe anything a politician says. Then why go to the meeting? There are other views that don't seem to be getting as much coverage as what we are bombarded with on TV. Are the views portrayed on TV the minority or the majority?

    August 15, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  9. Rich

    If we let illegal immigrants stay in this country and we now give them healthcare, then what is the incentive or the point of becoming a citizen?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  10. A. R. Brister

    I pay for full coverage with Blue Cross//Blue Shield but because I AM QUALIFIED for medicare Medicare controlls what BC/BS can pay providers. But Medicare payments are only a tiny fraction of what BC/BS would pay if I were not QUALIFIED for Medicare. This is true even if I do not want and do not pay for Medicare. When Obama promises, "If you like the insurance you have, you can keep it." Does he mean that you can continue to pay for your private insurance but the government will determine what providers will be paid, as is the case with Medicare?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  11. Francine Cataldi

    Each person who is against Health Care reform needs to take a critical look at their employer sponsored insurance now. Most people are ill informed as to what their plan actually covers and how the plan is modified and reduced at the whim of the insurance company and your employer. We are all one disability or job loss away from becoming one of the 47 million without health insurance. This is because the only option to have health insurance at a reasonable price is through your job. I can tout real examples of this but most people are unaware of this policy. I am a nurse, I have worked at my major medical center for 25 years. If I get cancer and have to be out of work for more than 3 months, my company will not pay for my insurance any longer. My family policy will then cost me $1300/month while I am trying to live on disability payments which will be 1/2 my regular salary. I would love not to have to deal with the rationing of care that my employer and my profit based insurance company decide for me. I would love to be able to provide health insurance for my family outside my employment situation. Simply, your job should not be the source of your health insurance. All americans would benefit from a public health option and this option can be offered at a cost to those that can afford it. A lot of the cost of this program could be covered this way. Then all of us could breathe a little easier.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  12. sylvia azzopardi


    I understand illegal immigrants will NOT be covered under the healthcare plan. However, I also understand there are TWO LOOPHOLES in the existing plan.


    August 15, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  13. Sarah

    The following statement was made by Michelle Bachman:

    "Ezekiel Emanuel, one of President Obama's key health care advisors "says medical care should be reserved for the nondisabled. So watch out if you're disabled."

    Is this true?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  14. D.A. Benson

    Are young adults who don't want health care coverage going to be required to purchase it?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  15. Pete in Buffalo, NY

    Not sure where to ask a question, as it says I can do on CNN which I'm currently watching, so here goes:

    Under the current reform bill making the rounds, if I hire new workers for my business, will they be able to be added to the current company plan?

    -Pete in Buffalo, NY

    August 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  16. Carla Glanz

    As a small business owner, I am concerned about the 8% "penalty" on total payroll capped at $250,000 annual wages for small businesses who do not provide health care for their employees. We can't afford the health care benefit let alone the penalty!!!!!

    Our payroll is approx $260,000.00 annually with 6 employees yet I hear that this penalty is not to affect the "small" business owner. What does the gov. consider "small business" if not 6 employees?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  17. Edward Erslev

    While everyone is talking about medical coverage how about Dental coverage? It is running out of sight to the point that even with normal medical coverage companies add a dental coverage that really is not any where helpful. The the dentist try an milk the insurance companies for all they can. Compared to just a few years ago the pricing has gone though the roof and no one seems to be concerned.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  18. joe

    There has been so much talk about different clauses in this bill and the Dem’s come out saying that; “no, we don’t mean it that way – no we will not ration, no we will not make decision, no we will not tap your bank account”, but if there is so much ambiguity then this bill should NOT pass because it leave too much open to re-definition which could lead to total control of our freedom to choose. How could we believe that this super majority will not turn around and say; “well this clause allows us to tell you when to give up a fight against cancer.” Once we let the Government in, we will never get rid of them and they will do what they do best; micromanage a system to death until we are left with the worst of the worst – if so many people are arguing about the clauses, then it is too ambiguous. Mr. Obama tried to rush it through as he did the stimulus and we see the failure of that bill. Now that he was not able to bully congress into passing it, the lack of cohesion in the document is coming to light. It should not pass if so much of the document is unclear!

    August 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  19. Bernie

    Thank You CNN for doing this! Please do more of this kind of programming. One suggestion however is to rebroadcast the program or do another one during prime time so more people can get this valuable information!

    August 15, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  20. James of Houston

    Comment: Preventive care does not save money, as President Obama claims!

    This sounds somewhat counter-intuitive, but the recent CBO study concludes preventive care does not save money, as President Obama claims! The reason is doctors do not know beforehand which patients are going to develop costly illnesses. To avert one case of acute illness, it is usually necessary to provide preventive care to many, many patients, most of whom would not have suffered that illness anyway.
    THE PRESIDENT: ” … because there’s no reason we shouldn’t be catching diseases like breast cancer and prostate cancer on the front end. That makes sense, it saves lives; it also saves money – and we need to save money in this health care system.”
    Here is the key sentence from CBO Director Dr. Douglas Elmendorf in a letter he sent to Rep. Nathan Deal last Friday:
    CBO: Although different types of preventive care have different effects on spending, the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.
    Dr. Elmendorf eloquently explains why:
    CBO: But when analyzing the effects of preventive care on total spending for health care, it is important to recognize that doctors do not know beforehand which patients are going to develop costly illnesses. To avert one case of acute illness, it is usually necessary to provide preventive care to many, many patients, most of whom would not have suffered that illness anyway. Even when the unit cost of a particular preventive service is low, costs can accumulate quickly when a large number of patients are treated preventively. Judging the overall effect on medical spending requires analysts to calculate not just the savings from the relatively few individuals who would avoid more expensive treatment later, but also the costs for the many who would make greater use of preventive care. As a result, preventive care can have the largest benefits relative to costs when it is targeted at people who are most likely to suffer from a particular medical problem; however, such targeting can be difficult because preventive services are generally provided to patients who have the potential to contract a given disease but have not yet shown symptoms of having it.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  21. annette Koch

    As far as I can see you have not answered the most important question relating to the health care bill and that is how are we going to pay for it? Everyone should know exactly what this will mean for them as it relates to tax increases. Please make sure you investigate what people will need to do to get coverage other than just show up like they do for welfare today. There is no motivation for people to work and support themselves and if the burden of this healthcase program is on the taxpayers with no contribution or limitations for the receipients we are in trouble.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  22. Miles J. Zaremski, Highland Park, Illinois 60035

    Josh/"truth squad":

    Will the penalties upon employers who only provide a public plan option (assuming there is one) be GREATER THAN those on an employer which provides the public option along with other options from the private sector for their employees? (I ask this since I am told there will have to be revisions to the tax code allowing for the greater penalties which have yet to be written). Thank you.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  23. Don in Calif.

    Regarding the issue of pre-existing conditions, the administration and congress keep carefully saying that people with pre-existing conditions will no longer be "denied coverage" But there's a huge loop-hole in htat careful statement: Coverage at what cost?

    If insurers aren't required to include those already sick in large, broad risk pools, probably with subsidies, they can say, sure, we'll cover you – for $10,000. a month. Tecnically, that wouldn't be "denying" coverage, but of course it is in practical terms.

    Amid all the nonsense issues that the public is obsessing on, it's little, real details like this that will determine whether this "reform" is meaningful or not,

    August 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm |


    August 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  25. Edward Erslev

    Final question will both sides of Congress also participate in the same health care and dental care programs that they are trying to sell to us? Simple question if it is so good then they should also participate in the same program. Believe me they get plenty of perks. If they don't like it don't run for Congress

    August 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  26. Ken

    1) To the woman who asked why republicans do not want any health care reform. The answer is they do want health care reform, but not many of the things the dems are trying to push through and with the results the dems want.

    2) Even Obama's own people and Obama themselves have said that over time a public (govt) plan would run most if not all private insurance out of business... not.initially, not in the first year, but over time. Try going to YouTube and do some good searching, you can see them on video saying these things! Or research the books and articles Biden and Emanuel and others in the administration have written in the past few years.

    3) Regarding illegal immigrants being covered. The bill cited as forbidding it had an amendment to it offered and it was rejected by dems. This amendment would require the use of VeriCheck to verify the citizenship/immigrant status to prevent illegal immigrants from getting covered. Since this was rejected by dems, though the practice of coverage is forbidden, there is no way to enforce it!!!! It would be like having a law saying you have to have a driver's license to drive when pulled over the police were not allowed to ask tee your driver's kind of defeats the purpose!

    BTW, I am neither dem nor repub.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  27. Roy J. Meidinger

    Health care expenditures of hundreds of billions or a couple of trillion doesn't mean anything to Congress or me. Please break it down to an individual cost.
    What is relevant is how much is the average cost of a Medicare Beneficiary now, and what will it be under the new legislation?
    What is the average cost of a privately insured individual or family plan now and how much will it be under the Government run health insurance plan?
    Also, what is the average cost of a veteran's benefits?
    The last question is how much would the individual cost be for a single payer system?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  28. James H. Murphy

    What good is a provision in the health care bill that says illegal aliens will not be covered when the democrats have no intension whatsoever of enforcing that provision any better than they enforce the law that they will not be here in the first place?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm |

    I would like to know who decides what is covered and not covered. Are these people elected or appointed? I am a doctor so if Mr.jones is 72 and has chest pain and needs open heart surgery, or a kidney transplant, or a hip replacement, who decides if he can have these procedures, and if the insurance covers the cost. I see 72 year olds that are bed-ridden and 72 year olds that run marathons. To cut costs you have to have tort reform, but President Obama has made it clear that is not going to happen. Why? Is there going to be rationing? And again who decides?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  30. William Anthony

    The surface answer is that illegals will not be covered. However, why is it that democrats have repeatedly refused to allow an amendment that people have to show identification to be covered under the plan. In my opinion, if no one has to show id's, then it appears to me a back door on covering illegals. If Obama wants transparency, then let's show Id's just like we have to for drivers licenses, and several other federal or state funded programs.
    Without proof of citizenship, then it is just another loophole and we will be paying for illegals.
    Certainly in emergencies they will be covered just as they are now.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  31. Barbara Schuh

    For one thing, there is no provision in any proposed bill for verification of citizenship status, nor is there any enforcement provision. Since illegal aliens are already lying about their citizenship status via false Social Security numbers, why would they not continue to lie?

    Second, if an illegal alien marries a US citizen and produce a child, that child & legal parent would be under a family plan and the illegal parent would thus be able to get their health care under that family plan.

    Third, every hospital is still required to treat anyone who walks in – legal citizen or not. Illegal aliens can still get health care in this manner.

    So, please do not say that the illegals will not be provided for.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  32. Marc Flenar

    I have heard rumors that proposed healthcare reform will do away with Medicare Advantage Plans. I have such a plan and am confused about this issue. Any truth to this?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  33. john o snoberger

    Josh i think your keeping America and that you are a hard worker on this Heathcare news.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  34. Mary A. Crawford

    Will people on disability who are under 65 stop having to pay double the rate on their medigap policies after health care reform is passed?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  35. Lou Franklin

    I agree that to do nothing about health care is the worst option. But the presnt proposals, even with necessary compromises, will create massive new problems, that will necsssitate many massive ammenments, and will eventualy fail. Obama has sais if we were" to start from scratch" he would go with a single payer plan. Just about all industrial nations have
    gone to single payer plans,and have much less unfairness and better
    results, and longer lifespans than does the United states!

    August 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  36. Bob

    The cited Section 246 does have words that say there will be no payment for "illegal immigrants", but it is very specific to what will not be paid, namely "affordability credits". No where does this section say there will be no coverage for "illigal immigrants". Please do not select just the words that support your supposition, rather tell us what affordability credits are and why denying "illegals" payment for Affordability Credits will exclude them for receiving care under htis plan.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  37. Richard Becker

    Hello Josh,

    I just wanted to let you know that when looking at legislation you cannot just look at whats written. You must also look at what's left OUT. According to HR3200 which is really the only document being looked at illegal immigrants aren't covered BUT, there are no provisions to prevent them for getting the health care any ways. Neither the House nor Senate will adopt any legislation that would require recipients to provide proof of citizenship or REAL documentation that people are in this country legally.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  38. Tony

    Why would I want to be part of a health care program that is being drafted by the congress and the senate and these politicians opted out of it?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  39. Ken

    Oh, also...why is it that we will all be REQUIRED to by health insurance and if we do not, we are FINED? Shouldn't I have a choice to NOT have health insurance? Isn't it MY CHOICE?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  40. Jean Cochran

    People seem to overlook that Congress already manages a "universal' healthcare for part of our population... aka Medicare. Few would categorize this bureaucratic money pit as an efficient answer to healthcare reform. Has Medicare provided competition to bring down prices? No... Medicare standard rates tend to be higher than those negotiated by insurance companies. Does Medicare deliver promised benefits to all eligible insureds, no matter pre-existing conditions? No... Any Senior who suffers and survives a life threatening medical event (stroke, heart ailments, cancer, etc.) can relay horror stories of fighting for their rights. Unfortunately, being a government entity, Medicare is immune from oversight from state DOIs or AG offices. If a health care insurance company ran its business like Medicare, the applicable states would pull its certificate of authority. Unfortunately, Seniors (except those in Congress) don't have an option as Medicare automatically is the primary coverage. Before imposing universal healthcare on all, fix Medicare first.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  41. Bill Martin

    I have several questions about health care reform?
    1) For those of us who already have health insurance, how will this legislation take care of catastophic health care costs that exceed what our insurance covers? ...or will it?
    2) Will the reform cover drug/alcohol abuse, dental, mental health and vision problems?

    P.S. As for the hostility at town hall meetings, I do not think most of that hostility is directed to the health reform but only a vechile to direct their true hostility toward Congress for its non-performance. It is the only time citizens get to deal with their legislators on a one-to-one basis.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |

    What would be the impact of a national health care on america small
    independent drug stores/ pharmacy ?
    Would the big chain pharmacies are the only ones who can contract and benefit from that new coverage?
    M Gaballa

    August 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  43. William Anthony

    I am a republican and I want healthcare reform, but not with the govt administering it. The issue is NOT health reform, but we don't need to throw out everything we have and put the govt in so much power over this. The govt can set rules for preexisting health issues being covered; they can even subsidize families that have the need and they can set those guidelines; but we don't need the govt running another healthcare system. Medicare is already bankrupt. social security is bankrupt. the govt is bankrupt and having difficulty borrowing to stay alive. And you don't think there will be rationing when there is no more money? and there are not enough wealthy people to foot the bill. The govt is making many promises, but they have no answer on how to pay for them. That is the issue not to mention that constitutionally, I personally doh't think they even have been given the authority for running any national healthcare plan and that includes medicare as well. and i am on medicare.....but please don't is bankrupt.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  44. Kamal Dave

    Yes illegal immigrants are not covered in the bill but is there any mechanisms to verify that status of the patient. In the absensce of any way to verify the status of the patient it is not backed by any enforcement. So in effect it is smoke screen to say that illigal immigrants are not covered.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  45. Ruth Unger

    Lack of inexpensive dental care is the shame of the nation.Many adults over 21.walk around with need for dental care but cannot afford it because of high charges of dentists.Even with insurance there is no way a person can afford having dental care.Dental infections lead to internal illness.Dont we get it? I saw a Health Fair yesterday in Ca. God bless the gentleman who founded it. The majority of patients were over 21 and needed extensive dental work, Universal health care is the only answer,All Health care professionals.including Mental health,dental health,etc. need to be included.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  46. Kimberly Warren-Young

    We voted for President Obama to make a change and reform America. The old government is not working. We should support President Obama and let him do his job.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  47. Mike

    Will there be discounts for veterans in the health care reform plan?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  48. Mike Smith

    Wanted to tell you that you all are doing a great job covering this health care issue. I tune in Fox and get nothing but fear mongering and negativity. they have yet to priduce a single show that I have seen that puts the isssues in the 'bill" to the task. Thanks for giving us the truth and the facts and not hiding behind fear. Makes me wonder why I even bother looking at Fox for anything subtantial. More people would be better educated on this issue by watching CNN thats for sure.


    August 15, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  49. George Moran

    I do not trust the goverment when it come to insurance look at my situation . I had blue cross and my doctors bills was being paid fine when medicare step in no one get paid my doctor tell me to call medicare madicare says call bluecross and tri care say we will not pay anything until the other insurance companies have settled there claim. I have had to pay my doctor bills. I am a dialoysis patient. until i got sick I had insurance.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  50. Bruce Wilson

    Are companies who offer health care insurance going to be able to discontinue health care coverage and tell their employees to go get the government healthcare coverage?
    Would this eliminate the company requirement to contribute to the employee healthcare coverage? Would there be a tax penalty for the company?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  51. Dale Skinner

    There are not 47 million Americans without health insurance. The numbers are: 18 million who can afford it, but don't want it; 8.4 million who are young, healthy, and don't want it; 12.6 million who are illegally in the country and need to leave; 9.4 million who are between jobs and temporarily uninsured; 8 million children who are covered, but the parents haven't signed them; 3.5 million who are covered, but haven't signed up.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  52. Ron Senger

    In my experience, hospitals in Los Angeles greatly inflate the cost of health services in order to cover the costs of providing free service to those who can't pay. If it costs $1,000 to provide service to an illegal immigrant, that $1,000 needs to show up as an honest line item on the care provider's books. It should not be passed onto my insurance company in the form of a $5 aspirin.

    Will Health Care reform include the crackdown on hospital book keeping? Will it result in honest reporting of the cost to local agencies resulting from unfunded mandates by the Federal Government?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  53. Dan

    I saw you question on children over 25 in school – what will happen to children of Federal Employees who are removed from there parents hospitalization at 22 even if they are full time students!! Because the Fedral Goverment doesn't have to follow state or other regulations when it comes to their employees – will thay be able to remain on the parents insurance or will this be another one of the catch 22s for Federal Employees. I wrote to my representatives and no one has answered with anything but a form letter

    August 15, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  54. sylvia azzopardi

    Every year i MILLION immigrants are granted U.S. citizenship and 1.5 million foreign workers are granted visas to work in the U.S.. Out of the 1.5M foreign workers, 1 MILLION is granted permanent residency.

    That being the case, excluding illegals, every year at least 2 million people are granted citizenship or permanent residency, plus their dependants if they have children.

    QUESTION: Is the increase in U.S. population being taken into consideration for the increasing costs of healthcare?????

    August 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm |

    Good After noon Josh, just wanted to comment about the health care problems in America. I see that most Americans due not practice preventive Health care. One of the problems that I see is that a Americans are gaining more weight than ever before, due to the diet that they maintain. The diet that most Americans maintain when they are on the move is fast food, and when they shop in the grocery store they buy products that are high in High Fructose corn syrup , and made with Hydrogenated vegetable oil. The amount of damage that this type of food does to your body is bad in the fact that it will cause you to gain weight, and many other medical problems.It is real expensive to treat all the many different medical conditions that occur from being over weight. In my view I think one of the ways to pay for Health care is not to tax the rich but to tax the people who purchase these types of foods when they go to a fast food chain to eat out ,or when they purchase these types of foods in the grocery store. since these types of foods are one of the biggest reasons that Americans are in their current state of Health

    August 15, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  56. Dawn

    I don't understand all the resistance to paying for healthcare reform. Whether Americans realize it or not, we are already paying for healthcare for the uninsured. Not only are we already paying for it, we're doing so in the most expensive ways possible – – by paying for unncessarily costly emergency room visits and major treatments for illnesses/injuries that could have been prevented had the uninsured been insured. I work in healthcare and I see it all the time. Furthermore, the longer we refuse to cover everyone, the more expensive healthcare will become for those of us who pay. Think of all the uninsured who are suffering from untreated illnesses, such as diabetes, that will rack up huge costs later (e.g., by paying for kidney dialysis, amputations, in-home health care, and emergency room visits). There are countless examples like these. Factor in the population's increasing age, and the costs become exponentially higher. Covering everyone now is the best option for our future.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  57. Ron Miranda

    I understand that illegal aliens will not be covered under these plans. How about illegal members of a legal alien's household?

    Also, when people sign up for these plans, will the government's representatives be prohibited by law, from asking a person's immigration status or requesting proof of citizenship?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  58. Sue

    I am tired of the loud mouthed ill-informed lunatics receiving all the coverage on the Health care reform debate.

    The insurance companies are standing between my doctor and me. The insurance companies tell my doctor which medicines I am allowed to have, whether a brace will be paid for, how long I can stay in the hospital, last time I gave birth I had to be out in 48 hours.

    Wake up America......we need to stand behind our President on this issue. This was one of the main issues that helped him get elected. Let the sun shine on these racists, ignorant, Jim Crowe them climb back into their dark little holes

    August 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  59. tom dixon

    when answering questions, why don't u simply show the actual words of the document u are citing instead of giving ur opinion or 'verdict' of what is actually written? people want facts, not interpretations or opinions, they can form their own. and please, don't take ANY politicians 'word' for what they mean...the proof is in the actual written words. unfortunatedly, this bills are intentionally written with wiggle room in them and an 'advisory panel' CAN turn into a 'mandatory panel' (u know, to 'save even more monies') 2, 5, 10 years down the road.
    frankly, since MEDICARE and MEDICAID are broke, besides being just a power grab over the people by the gov't I see this as an attempt by the public sector/gov't to 'transfer' private insurance premium monies to help pay for them, Medi care/caid, and I here no one discussing that...or the media addressing the question of constitutionality.
    remember 'read my lips', 'I did not have sex with that woman' and WMDS? believe politicians at YOUR own risk...not mine.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  60. Helene

    What happens to middle income people such as our family with health care reform? My husband makes too much to qualify for medicaid, but after paying our "choking" mortgage, utilities, food, car payment, and other monthly expenses, there is nothing left for health insurance.

    How affordable will the public option be?

    We need a single payer system now. It is quite obvioius that the present employer sponsored/ health insurance controlled system is a complete failure.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  61. BOB


    August 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  62. Nicholas Grabarz

    Lately we have heard President Obama declare that the right uses Canada as their "boogie man" in an effort to undermine "comprehensive health care reform". Seems to me the left including most recently reps Pelosi and Boxer like to hold up health care insurance companies as their self appointed boogie man. If as Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Boxer say that all 1400 health insurance companies are in collusion to screw the american public they, as well as anyone else in the land of free markets, have the absolute right to start their very own insurance company, grossly undercharge all 1400 private companies and still deliver an exceptional benefit to their insureds. Before long all other 1400 companies will be out of business, they will corner the market and the beauty of this is that they won't have to raise a single penny of government money to do it. Please report once in a while that the health care industry made under 15 bil in 2007 which was a margin of under 3%. I'd like to know what they paid in federal taxes in that year but so far I have been unable to do so. Bet it was more than 15 bil.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  63. Brad

    I am currently still employed but expect to lose my job soon as I've already used up my FMLA time. I need to have a bone marrow transplant which will probably run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I'm worried about not having insurance to cover this transplant. Will I be able to get affordable insurance through the government?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  64. Ann

    You should read the House version of the bill if you believe that there will not be a panel making your " end of life decisions". I think your truth squad is pretty "fishy",,,may need to report you to the White House!

    August 15, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  65. Ana Mack Garza

    I was listening to the CNN report on the proposed healthcare plan and what caught my attentiion particularly was the issue of insurance or lack of insurance, for students older than 25. If I understood correctly, President Obama has included a proposal to insure these particular students. However, it seems that my son will be one that will fall between the cracks. Since he turned 25 he was no longer eligible to be included in our insurance and now that he is 26 and soon to graduate he will definitely still be uninsured especially if he can't find an employer who'll provide insurance. He was denied by a particular insurance co. he applied with because they said he did not follow up treatment for a cyst, which is certainly not true. His doctor has since left practice but I obtained a copy of his medical records. My question is this; what options does he have now or with the new proposed healthcare plan reforms? Is there any legal recourse available to him as far as insurance co. denying him coverage based on false reasons? My son presently is experiencing jaw pain and sharp pains on the same spot on the top of his head, right side. He is attending school in California and we live in Texas. Thank you.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  66. William Anthony are exactly right. I also have another plan, but medicare decides what will be paid for. My insurance only pays for items that they allow for in excess of medicare, but the govt is in charge.
    And if you don't think rationing will come, then explain what happens when they are out of money, scarce resources, and someone in the sky has to decide what is covered and what is not covered. That not could be me or you....don't kid yourself.
    And further, if you want more proof of that, look at the people Obama is surrounding himself with to draw up the healthcare bills. They do not value life nor do they value very young children even in very early years. You had better read the records of the beliefs of these people to see where we are actually headed if this bill passes.
    Govt can subsidize needy families, they can insist on preexisting illnesses being covered and even subsidize those situations, but they need to stay the heck out of the way of administering healthcare and in fact, need to get out of the medicare business also.
    I am actually paying more today between medicare and my secondary insurance than I use to when my secondary was primary. PLease wake up and get below the surface, before you decide whether something is true or false or possibly very gray.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  67. R Wendel

    Here's the part I don't understand: In the past 20 years, my phone bill has more than doubled, gasoline doubled, cable bill tripled, and my medical insurance premiums more than tripled, while my Federal taxes have gone up very little. I can't understand why people keep harping on Government spending and bloated federal programs when I have (personally) found that it is all the NON-governmental expenses in my life that have risen far faster than my income! Is it just me, or can the CNN truth squad verify my personal observations?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  68. Marguerite Billbrough, MD

    As a surgeon , how will reform effect my reimbursements?

    August 15, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  69. Katharyn

    Profit vs. non-profit health care:
    Why is no one talking about the percentage of money taken in by insurance companies that goes to profit? By running a non-profit health program, that profit-percentage is an immediate, huge savings. I read an article last year that said in every study done over the past 25 years, comparing profit and non-profit health care institutions (i.e. hospitals, etc.), the non-profits always came out way ahead in every category, from better pay to hospital staff, better food for patients, far fewer hospital-incurred infection, and so on. No one on CNN or other news stations is presenting this side of the health care question to viewers and I wish they would ... starting with you.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  70. Heyward

    First off the people in America illegally are not "illegal immigrants" or "undocumented workers" they are Illegal aliens, plain and simple. They will not be covered, so what are the plans for illegal aliens who must use the emergency rooms, can anyone tell us that. Once determined that they are an illegal alien will they be turned over to ICE as law dictate or will they die on the streets or remain ill with the possibility of spreading further diseases. Also would CNN stop the so-called "MAKE OR BREAK" slogan for health care, this isn't a game or event where time runs out in the fall,this is about OUR COUNTRY'S FUTURE. In case some forgot this is how things suppose to work in a democacy as we have, this will be the People of the US Health Care Reform Bill. We will have a Health Care Reform Bill in the fall. It's time the insurance companies had some serious competition. If they want the American people as consumers then work for us.

    August 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  71. carmichael

    To those who are afraid of healthcare reform:

    That's your problem–fear. You don't even take the time to go over the proposed plans and come to an educated opinion.

    The problem with healthcare reform are the militant Republicans leading their hysterical flocks to a sea of fear with insanely concocted notions about socialism and communism.

    You pride yourselves on being educated, then isn't it time to be rational and look at the plans objectively?



    August 15, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  72. sylvia azzopardi

    Medicare and Medicaid fraud is costing billions of $$$ annually. Is ANYTHING being done to seriously penalize those accused and found guilty of fraud? Will these organizations and/or /people be removed from the funds available for future healthcare funds?????

    August 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  73. Rob

    I congratulate CNN for finally having the most import interview of all time about health care. Last night Wendell Potter a former employee
    big wig of the insurance industry did the right thing and became a whistle blower. He stated that the insurance ...companies have hired PR firms to combat reform, to save there" rich on us skin" he stated that these PR firms then hire another company that is a "front" for the insurance companies, this front organization along with the PR companies have very specific ties to: Radio talk show host, editorial individuals working for the news paper and magazines and many other avenues. The PR firms/fronts report "Talking Points" to all these important media sources that people listen to and read from. The insurance companies are working day and night to protect the billions of dollars the medical industry and American people are losing to them. People are mad & righteous because they are reciting the insurance companies talking points.this is the problem

    August 15, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  74. Ken

    How about cost reform? I took my wife to the hospital a couple of years back and aside from why she was there, she had an upset stomach. They offered a Tums, she took it. Then when the billnhappened the charge for that Tums was $6 (for 1 tablet). Not only yhat, we were charged twice for that and for other portions of the care, once by the hospital and once by the doctor.

    Cost control should be a top issue...these health providers are raping the victims! Additionally, the mortality rate / secondary hospital bourne disease problems need to be addressed. Peoples' bills go because after they go to the hospital, they get infections and other complications CAUSED by hospital malpractice (staph and other disease spread). Who pays for it? The patient/victim.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  75. Bruce From Tucson, AZ

    My question is about the very high cost of drugs for chemothearpy. Under current coverage, with just about any insurance one has including medicare, these drugs can send a person to the bankruptcy court. Insurance pays part, but the insured is left with a very large bill. This is also true with the cost of anti rejection drugs that transplant patients must use for the rest of their life. Have these type of drugs and their costs come up in any bills or have they been discussed? I know the president has first hand knowledge of the cost of these drugs as his grandmother had to deal with them.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  76. tom dixon

    tort reform not addressed/included? why when the gov't provides the only healthcare (5, 10, ? yrs down the road) we won't be able to sue for botched care. can't sue the gov't now, can u? if u think this 'reform' is only about insuring the uninsured, u must still believe everybody on public assistance today is there because they have to be.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  77. Nicholas Grabarz

    Dear Lord Annette. Once in a while you must put down the people magazine and read something substantive. Conservatives really aren't puppy killing, baby hating icky people. They have a fundamental understanding of what it was that made this country great to begin with and what it will take to keep it there and it wasn't cradle to grave entitlements.. This is not about health care. It is about your liberty and freedom. Please do yourself a favor and the next time you are in Barne's and Noble I challenge you to pick up a copy of Mark Levin's new book "Liberty and Tyranny". Hopefully it will help you gain insight into why conservatives think the way they do.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  78. Charlotte Giuffrida

    One way to reduce prescription costs: Stop advertising pres. drugs on TV. This costs millions – After all, all sales reps are sent to a training center for the sole purpose of learning about the new drugs and then selling the info to the doctors. These reps are housed for a period of time (2 weeks) 3 meals a day, travel expenses from all over the country to get there, teachers to teach many classes for them. They are trained professionally on how to approach the doctors and relate to them regarding the new drugs. This also costs millions. Then why, of all things, do the pharm. company have to advertise on TV. The patient should not be telling the doctor what to prescribe. It should be the other way around.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  79. Gail Beisser

    I've heard that, under the "plan", medicare eligible people will only be under the original Medicare for 5 years but then be placed in a plan in which they will not have any control over their care (example: cannot choose their own doctors). If this is not true, where did this come from?

    August 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  80. Wants the Truth


    First, I am for some type of health care reform. Personally I think we really don't have a health care system until it is too late. Where is the emphasis on living a healthy lifestyle - eating right and exercising, no smoking, limit drinking, etc. How much money could be saved if people simply took better care of themselves? However, I don't see how Obama's plan is really addressing any of the important issues. I will only address a few of my main concerns.

    1) Where are the cost savings??!! I have not heard or read about any cost savings with Obama's program. Sure you can say a public option run by the government will drive down costs of insurance companies in the private sector but where are the data that show this is the case? Furthermore, I have seen the chart of a new agency in the government to run this public option. How much is this going to cost and will the 'hoped' savings even come close to offsetting the cost of a new government agency to run such an option?

    2) He continually says there are 47 million uninsured people in this country and that is not the truth. Why doesn't someone in the media (e.g. CNN) note this? The number of uninsured people in this country is really closer to to approximately 17 million and this is less than 10% of the population. We should not revamp the whole current system to address this small percentage of the population. If we can't get the truth on this straight forward number we certainly aren't getting the truth on the more complex issues. Instead of involving the whole health care system in America to cover the uninsured why not just address that issue separately??? This is real scarey to think our government is going to try and change the current system in such a large fashion to address a small number of people.

    3) I think Obama's plan is to eventually have a government takeover of the insurance in our country and there isn't anything I see that prevents this in the current bill. Obama keeps saying if you like your insurance you can keep it but is this true?? I think is is another partial truth he is telling. What will be the increase in cost to keep ones current insurance?? Also, it appears employers would only have to pay a minor penalty to not insure folks and dump them into the public option. I have my doubts the public option would really offer quality healthcare and be effective.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  81. Bruce From Tucson, AZ

    I use a medicare supplement that works very well. Many top doctors in my area take this insurance supplement/advantage plan and I am very happy with it. The president said he wanted to eliminate medicare supplement/ advantage plans. If this was done, then my coverage may be limited as many doctors don't want medicare coverage only. The medicare supplement plan I use is Health Net Arizona, Ruby Two. What's the story with this issue?

    August 15, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  82. George

    My understanding is that we do not have "illegal immigrants" in the United States, we have "undocumented workers".

    August 15, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  83. George

    Are undocumented workers covered under the Obama health plan that my children will be paying for long after I am dead.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  84. Charlotte Giuffrida

    I have had a procedure called chelation done on my legs. This procedure cleared a clogged aorta artery in my leg. It worked beautifully, cost $3,000, eliminated by-pass surgery or a stent, but Medicare would not pay for it. When I asked why, I was told the AMA would not approve it. (After all, it would take the place of by-pass surgeries and doctors would not like the idea). Think of all the millions of dollars it would save. Couldn't it be studied further? I not only had a leg cleared but the chelation cleared my arteries from head to toe. Couldn't it be considered at least for an alternative method?

    August 15, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  85. Rob R

    The big problem about money is very fascinating, no one as ever got together and had town hall meetings over where all the rest of there tax dollars are going! the government prints money and uses it as needed. The insurance companies and republicans would like you to believe that there is no money left over to take care of it's sick people, the truth is that there is plenty of money because half of the tax dollars goes to other countries, the space program and many many other things that are simply not as important as the health and well being of American citizens.
    They simply think that all the other things to spend money on are more important, this is all about misplaced priorities. The last administration cried "no money for anything" then suddenly started a war and spent trillions.. Gee I thought there wasn't any money! now they are singing the same song and loving the insurance companies. they have these poor saps out there yelling and screaming because they are brainwashed into thinking it is going to cost them something... It won't! The big agency scare tactics of hitting peoples wallets is unfortunately working. I am here to combat all of this. CNN is reporting the angry comments many people are making that are getting there information from the insurance companies PR firms!!! filtered down to the media, unknown by those making the comments. for the first time Americans are getting a direct benefit for there tax dollars and they are so brain washed they don't want it!!!!!!!!!

    August 15, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  86. Stan

    My question is how will healthcare reform affect companies like Walmart that are self-insured, will they be able to remain self-insured or will they have to become a part of the universal plan?

    August 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  87. Charles

    Getting harder and harder to believe this guy(Obama), He run with no more taxes,That changed,Now he saids healthcare plan good, all 1000+ pages that I'm sure he doesn't know what it saids, If he would show each page and talk about each page,we might believe some,We have to remember this guy doesn't believe in GOD,no big thing to lie.So just tell us anything. God help us with this Nut, We would love to take God seat.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  88. Don Jolly

    Obama says we can keep our plan if we want to. But most people have employer sponsored health plans. What is my employer decides to switch to the Public plan. Is there a protection against this?
    Thanks for doing this.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  89. Michelle-Illinois

    I currently have health insurance ,but am unhappy with it. My question is , Will I be able to get coverage for my entire family through the public option, and will the public option pay for preventative care? My husband has not had a physical in years !

    August 15, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  90. Charles

    If you don't have the card you don't need to come here and live off our taxes..If you cann't said healthcare in english you don't need to come here.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  91. Steffan

    The question here isn't if the bill will intentionally cover illegals. The question is if the bill will create loop holes allowing illegals to take advantage of the system thus receiving free health care payed for by US tax payers. So

    August 15, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  92. Evelyn Ellen

    Why is an annual income of $250,000 still considered middle class. For that matter even $100,000! Where is the official source of our economic level listed.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  93. Doug

    I'm trying to educate myself on our nations healthcare budget. Where can I find some simple pie graphs that can give me an idea on the amounts spent within medicaid/medicare?

    August 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  94. jimjupiter

    I think your verdict on coverage of illegal immigrants is misleading. Health care reform would NOT introduce coverage by means of emergency room cost, because this is already reality. Illegal immigrants will simply continue to be a burden on the system and nothing will change this except a comprehensive resolution of the issue of illegal immigration itself.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  95. Reggie

    No Coverage for UNDOCUMENTED Alien.......
    The keyword here is UNDOCUMENTED. That means if an illegal alien has a document that states he or she resides in the U.S, then they will be covered. There's a huge loophole that is well known to illegal aliens. They know that if they go to Maryland, they can get a driver's license with no questions asked!!!!

    August 15, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  96. agrider

    The Health Bill may say that undocumented/illegal residents will not receive health care, however, isn't there a law which prevents asking about a persons status? Even if the individual presents "proof" of legal residency the odds are that the "proof" is not genuine.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  97. Linda

    I saw one of your reports today from Senator Tom Coburn Republican- who said that In Canada you have to wait to get covered. He made a comment I believe that if you have Cancer that you would have to wait 6 months to be taken care of under the Canadian Health Insurance.

    This comment he made to the audience and aired on CNN is NOT true at all. This comment is just another one of many lies that Republicans do. Americans do not understand the benefits that will come their way when this Health Care Reform Passes in America.

    I'm half Canadian, my father found out he had cancer – he was treated immediately – everything was covered by the Canadian Insurance for my father's illness. My parents did not have to pay for any of my father’s health care needs. My mother was Canadian; my father was American they retired to Canada. Unfortunately my Father passed away from Cancer after a 3 year battle. But, my parents home was not taken away from them, my father did not worry as all the bills were paid for.

    Under the Canadian health care insurance you can die with dignity, your home is not taken away from you. My mother always told me that in Canada if you get sick, have pre-condition aliments you’re covered with their insurance. People in Canada are not worried how their health care needs are going to be paid or if it will be paid – they just go to the Doctor not worrying. Yes the Canadians have to pay more Tax for insurance but you’re covered for anything. Canadians don't worry will their health care need at the moment will it get paid. Canadian government have no control over their citizen’s personal bank accounts. Canadians go to what ever doctor they want to. The Canadian Tax covers the Health Care Insurance. But with any country’s Health Insurance coverage nothing is ever perfect. But what we have here in American is shameful.

    Under American Insurance Companies or what every insurance program/department in America you worry. People loose homes because of health care costs – don't go to the doctor because they don't know if their health care will be paid, elderly skip meals because they need their medicine. So America what do you want – I know this is all new to you. Would you rather pay a little more tax to not worry if your bills will get paid or not? Or do you want to keep the Health Care system the same and worry over every detail of Health Care – your home taken away from you because you can’t pay the bill. Having our insurance companies’ find some flaw in your policy so that they don’t pay your hospital, doctor, and medication bills.

    I would also want to know under the new American Healthcare Reform will the insurance companies have control over what will be paid or not be paid? I don't think this is right our insurance companies playing with peoples lives. Will our government stop the greed in the high costs that these insurance companies set for our premiums? Will there be control on the High Cost of medication and the reduction of medication costs? Who is setting these high costs that we pay for who makes these decisions? Will there be a change in Dental Insurance as this portion needs a reform in a big way? Is this Health Care Reform only for Employers covering their employees?

    I also think that President Obama should put out an easy to follow explanation of this New Health Care Reform and compare it with the old plan. Address all Americans concerns. As it seems everyone is going crazy of what will be covered that’s being addressed and covered in the News.

    Maybe there should be some adjustments made to the New Health Care Reform. Nothing is perfect but we really need to do something right now.

    I also think there should be control over health insurance premiums, medication costs. I also think that Cobra Insurance premiums are way to high for people who loose their jobs. I know I never took the Cobra Insurance because of the high cost and took my chances.

    I think everyone should calm down, listen to the right information, really listen to what the President is saying. Maybe President Obama should take a step or two back to address all concerns. Take the rest of this year or until December 2009 and pass the New Health Care Reform in early 2010.

    I just hope that when this passes and everyone's concerns are address that in 4 years or in the future that our Health Care coverage is not reversed to what it is today. If our health care insurance needs adjustment for the better then its adjusted and everyone is made aware of it.

    August 15, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  98. susan mcintyre goodman

    To the Atlanta organizers who have their insurance paid for by their company and their company's consumers, do you know what this costs all of us and do you care if those not as fortunate don't have the same benefits? Your statement suggests a postion against any reform. The fat man speaking if he lives to be 65 will cost all of us a lot of money so be careful what you say. To the lady with him, what makes you think your group was not partisan and Obama's audiences
    are? Based on What fact or What fiction.

    August 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  99. Patricia Schooley

    An illegal alien is covered under for Medical Services at the Emergency Room right now. There is a Federal regulation that covers them for ER services on a one time per incident . If you are a citizen or a legal alien you are not covered. This is how all the illegals get medical care. This regulation has been on the books for year. Do not be legal or a citizen and go to the ER but be here illegal and go.

    August 15, 2009 at 6:03 pm |

    Regarding illegal immigrants getting health coverage. Yes, the House version says they are not eligible, however, the House has deleted mandated verification of citizenship/legal status THREE TIMES. So the law saying that illegals won't be eligible is meaningless without verification of citizenship status addressed in the bill. Please be honest and tell the whole story!

    August 15, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  101. Peggy Duncan

    Republicans don't want healthcare reform because they see it as a way to defeat President Obama. Period.

    Health insurance is already paying for abortions. And why does everyone always talk about fetuses but not give a damn about the children.

    August 15, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  102. James of Houston

    Hey, guys, Here is a perfect solution! Why doesn’t the House and Senate just expand their health care coverage to include all of us? …They could do this with a simple, one-page bill! Things do not have to always be this complicated, as they are now!

    This way, we will get the same great medical coverage as they do, and our premiuns will be reduced because we will all be included in one huge insurance pool! Also, we will be able to pick-and-choose from a menu of private providers just as the Federal employees now do!

    August 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  103. Dodie - California

    I definitely support Obama’s plan.

    I have worked in health care since 1985. Every time the private sector takes over a government run facility, they hire those willing to be paid lower, most do not have the credentials we have, the cost to the individual doubles and the cost to the taxpayer is increased. Remember private sector = ((( for profit ))) government = non profit.

    There are some areas I would like to address:

    1. checks and balances to decrease corruption in the government
    2. Health care for American citizens only!!!
    3. Health care is affordable… NOT FREE!!!
    4. Everyone has to pay premiums. We have too many people in California that just want to live off the system. I am tired of working to support everyone else!

    SSI, SSDI, Medi-cal, Medicare, low income housing, welfare: I want each claim from each person checked out thoroughly! I have seen too many people lie and get these benefits for life! Again, I am tired of working to support everyone else who is either too lazy to work or lie, lie, lie!!!

    August 15, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  104. Brittancus

    It is time to recruit a mandated E-Verify, a part of the SAVE ACT in the extraction of foreign nationals from any business, throughout the United States. We should also recognize it as a major deterrent against other sections of fraud, against federal, state and other government entitlements. For decades welfare has been involved in fraudulent benefit conversion to individuals or groups. Progressive, modified E-Verify will remove the stigma of some–BUT NOT ALL–corruption in the programs, meant as a safety-net for citizens and permanent residents? This is why parasite businesses that use–cheap labor–have been at the fore-front of nullifying any immigration enforcement program, with the assistance of a many politicians who have been brought and sold with campaign contribution and other questionable monies.

    Millions of angry voices have caused a remarkable change on the leadership in Washington. Have made them address E-Verify as a positive tool in the minimal arsenal of immigration law enforcement. For once the uppermost politicians have ignored the demands of corporate profiteering because of the deafening vocal blast from an irate population. However, we must not drop our guard for one minute towards those who legislate the laws, as a gap in our armor will bring down upon all taxpayers billions of dollars to support illegal immigrant families. Taxpayers have been the supplier for years without any relief, as corporate welfare recipients–WHO PAY NOTHING–to their upkeep. The fight is far from over as the oncoming months will bring to the capitol chamber another rush towards AMNESTY.

    Another AMNESTY means even more millions breaking our laws, to take advantage of our plentiful government entitlements. It means overcrowded schools and even more cramming our already saturated hospitals–NOT TO FORGET THE MASSES IN THE CRIMINAL PENAL SYSTEM. We are already the deep pockets for illegal immigrant families in the mandatory emergency room doorstep.

    We as a nation can no longer afford to underwrite the poor of other countries, who break our sovereign laws, as the bill is already in the trillions of dollars according to the Heritage foundation. What we need is an orderly recruitment of highly skilled professional engineers and scientists and not those who will become public charges. We must do all we can to reduce illegal immigration.

    Complete a national two-layer border barrier as originally designed, upgrade the regional police law 287 G federal laws, introduce E-Verify enforcement inspections auditing companies–big and small. Propose a reward to the public who notifies ICE of illegal immigrants in the workplace. No weakening of ICE raids on suspicious businesses around the country. TIME WE TOOK OUR NATION BACK! Keep the politicians feet to the raging fire and call 202-224-3121. All your question answered relating to corruption and lies at NUMBERSUSA AND JUDICIALWATCH. BE AWARE THAT OVERPOPULATION WILL BE AN IRREVERSIBLE ENVIRONMENTAL NIGHTMARE?

    Observe this PETITION to STOP any health care to illegal immigrants at:

    August 15, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  105. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernández (WWII)

    I have paid taxes to the system and my husband too. I was born in Puerto Rico and I am an American Citizen. Have illegal’s paid anything? Why is the tort reform not included in the bill or discussions? What does Limiting liability means? Why does reform has to be implemented is a step wise methodically approach? Why the people do not understand the need to rush and be done for thousands of employees? That’s a good question. Why don’t republicans/conservatives want health care reform? Is it strictly political or are there any really sound reasons not to want at least some of the reforms? How many people who don’t want health care reform is a good one? How many have plenty of health insurance they can afford? The constitution mentions the right to life?

    August 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  106. Dodie - California

    @ Francine Cataldi

    I work for the local government in California. In 1995, I did have stage 3 breast cancer. After 3 months, I had to pay my own premiums plus many additional costs. Our disability was only $900 a month with $600 HMO medical premiums per month. If I had a PPO it would have been paying $1,300 per month. I was off for one year because I had a re-occurance.

    I had to go back to work even though I was not done with the treatments and against medical advise.

    I lived, but I also lost my home!!!!!

    August 15, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  107. Betty Phillips

    After reading the above comments, I have to wonder why people even want to have Health care, we are willing to pay for our health care, yet Obama wants to give it to the illegals free of charge. Listen all of you out there who thinks Obama care is going to be just wonderful, oh how sad it is for you to think so. How are you going to like it when you are told your somewhat elder relatives will not get the medication they need, they will be put on a waiting list, and if they should die, then that is just too bad for the needed medications for your older loved ones must go to the illegals and the ones Obama will say they need it. It is a terrible mistake to believe Dr. Zekal (Rahams brother) I am sure I have misspelled their names, but, for God's sake read up on both of these radical friends of Obama, I pray every night that Obama health care fails, ask yourselves this? How much more damage can the Obama administration to to destroy our country? Like Obama's 20 year minister, Rev. Wright said to Obama and his church crew, God Da– the Obama Administration. Wake up people, you do not have to be a Republican or a Democrat to see the Anger Obama has and is thrusting it on our country, You must never forget that Obama is a citizen of Kenya, he will not admit it, but, he is lying about the Hawaii
    birth certificate, that is enough right there to tell you that Obama can not be trusted--Ever!!! Betty Phillip

    August 15, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  108. Dodie - California

    @ carol hayden

    You do not have the correct facts!

    1. Women have been having abortions for over 2,000 years. The only difference is that women will live with a MD preforming this procedure instead of a back alley hacker! If a female wants to rid herself of her fetus, nothing will stop that! End of subject!

    2. I live A couple of months every year in China. No one is FORCED to have fewer children there. Their government states:

    If you have one child, we will pay for everything, the medical, educational, etc. If you decide to have more than one child, you will pay for everything. I would LOVE to see that procedure in this country! It might make people more responsible!!! We are a country of irresponsibility whereas people have huge families and then expect everyone else to pay for them... health care, education, wealfare.. etc.

    August 15, 2009 at 8:16 pm |
  109. Reggie

    No Coverage for UNDOCUMENTED Immigrants???…….
    The keyword here is UNDOCUMENTED. That means if an illegal immigrant has a document that states he or she resides in the U.S, then they will be covered. There’s a huge loophole that is well known to illegal immigrants. How easy is it to get fake I.D.? Maryland's Motor Vehicle Administration is overflowing with illegal immigrants who obtain that needed official document (driver's license) which then allows them to be covered by law in OUR medical systems.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  110. CO Father of 6

    Are we to believe that the same Democrats who fight against voters having their I.D. checked so illegals can vote for them are really going to require their I.D. to get health care. Common sense tells me it's another political "bait and switch." However, if the federal government, dems and republicans, did their job, we wouldn't have illegals filling our schools, roads, jails and emergency rooms. Get the illegals out of the E.R. and let's see what health care really cost when the mark-up for their unpaid medical bills is taken out of our costs.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  111. Mike

    People that come to this country illegally and don't pay taxes shouldn't be entitled to healthcare or any other benefits for that matter. I am glad the bill doesn't cover illegal immigrants. We shouldn't have to pay for people that aren't even supposed to be here.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  112. STEWIE

    Health reform is necessary to get the costs down and increase the number of people that can receive it. I am a strong advocate of Conservative principles and not a whack job against reform.

    1. I am simply against these proposals because of what's currently being considered as appropriate by our politicians. Here is a SMALL list of what's wrong with a few of the proposals:

    Page 50 Section 152 in HC bill: HC will be provided to ALL non US citizens, illegal or otherwise

    Page 58 in HC Bill: Government will have real-time access to individuals finances and a National ID Healthcard will be issued!

    Page 59 in HC Bill lines 21-24: Government will have direct access to your banks accounts for elective funds transfer.

    Page 91 Lines 4-7 HC Bill: Government mandates linguistic appropriate services. Example – Translation: illegal aliens.

    Page 126 Lines 22-25: Employers MUST pay for HC for part time employees AND their families.

    Page 170 Lines 1-3 HC Bill: Any NONRESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes. (Americans will pay).

    Page 203 Line 14-15 HC: “The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax” Yes, it says that!

    2. Beyond the many flaws in the proposals there are bigger issues to consider.

    a. The govt no matter what they say will make this a taxpayer burden. Taxpayers are becoming the minority in this country and can't foot the bill for every program.

    b. The govt has proven inadequate to manage anything. Even when the govt is successful the costs are beyond reason.

    3. This current administration and congress have spent like on steroids and at some point (this is it) taxpayers and small businesses must demand they stop the ignorance.

    4. This current administration and congress have rushed through too many bills with the specifics only being realized after their "100 yd dash vote".

    5. National politicians as a whole cant be trusted. They seek 2 things in life. Power and re-election. Somewhere lower in their priorities are public service.

    6. If politicians were really interested in cutting cost, opening up options to more people, they would have included in their proposals from the very beginning:

    a. Illegal aliens are not eligible. Period. That is so obvious........yet they did NOT include it. (In fact when a committee voted on a resolution to include a requirement for American citizens only the Democrat members of that house committee voted it down).

    b. Tort reform. Again, so obvious.

    c. Across state line options. Again.............

    Reform is necessary. But, not what they have proposed so far.

    August 16, 2009 at 3:57 am |
  113. STEWIE

    Maybe Palin wasn't so far off-base with her comments about death squads. Since her comments those 5 pages of the proposal have been removed.

    Doubtful that will get much air time. No matter the opinion of the woman, in this instance she appears to be have been on target.

    August 16, 2009 at 4:05 am |
  114. Larry

    I hope the new health reform will provide health coverage for active and retired military children that aged over 23. I have one child that is still in college for one more year and she will lose her health coverage in a couple of months.

    August 16, 2009 at 8:40 am |
  115. Fred Hogan

    The public option is needed, that is the only way to drive health cost care down.

    August 16, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  116. James of Houston

    Great News! ... I heard on the news this morning that President Obama is now willing to drop the "public option" from the bill he will sign into law.

    Supposedly, he doesn't have enough votes in the Senate to pass it, and now he has decided to drop it. Given this wonderful news, I could support the following changes to our present health care system. ... How about you?

    "Dear Senator Specter, as a concerned citizen, I respectfully request that you please vote against the Congressional heath care bill as it now exists and help us draft a new one that is not so expensive and not so onerous.

    The new bill should include, as a minimum, the following provisions and common sense cost controls: First of all, let's get rid of junk laws suits and make sure we have medical malpractice reform. That will save some money. The money our doctors pay each year for malpractice insurance coverage, even though they may never be sued, is passed on to us in the form of higher treatment and office visit costs.

    Number two, let's ban or prohibit insurance companies from ruling out people from being insured because of preexisting conditions. Let's make sure we have insurance that's portable, that you can take it from job to job or circumstance to circumstance. Let's incentivize e-prescribing and e- medical records to create efficiency.

    Number three, let's create pay-for-performance, rather than pay for volumes of procedure. If you pay for volumes of procedure, you're going to get more procedures. Lastly, let's fix our tax code so that if a person buys health insurance individually, they are not at a disadvantage compared to people who buy it through their employment circumstance. Let's allow people to buy insurance across state lines or form risk pools across state lines, and purchase it through these new insurance pools.

    Thank you, Senator Specter, for allowing me to contact you and express my suggestions for a better health care bill that is much less expensive and much better for our seniors than the one now proposed.

    August 16, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  117. James of Houston

    This response, submitted respectifully, is for Dodie of California.

    Dodie, many, many examples suggest that the government cannot and will not compete on a level playing field with our private health insurance providers. Our current and future policymakers will do thier best to give the public option distinct advantages over our private plans! ... Look at all the cases today where this has and will continue to happened:

    • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac crowded out private firms in the mortgage securitization business because they had government-provided advantages.
    • Only the government offers flood insurance, because private firms cannot compete.
    • Only the government offers terrorism reinsurance above a certain amount, because private firms cannot compete.
    • The Tennessee Valley Authority has no competitors, because the government has granted TVA market protections and advantages.
    • The President is proposing cutting Medicare payments to private plans that compete with the Medicare “public option.”
    • Congressional Democrats argue that the government should save money by directly negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, a negotiation in which the government, not our private companies, has all of the power.
    • The Federal Housing Authority is crowding out private firms that offer mortgage insurance.
    • The government is about to start crowding out private lenders who offer Guaranteed Student Loans, in favor of direct student loans offered by the government. ... The list goes on and on!

    August 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  118. Helene

    What I am afraid of is that we will end up with "half baked" healthcare reform. It is quite obvious that the present employer sponsored/ insurance company system leaves many uninsured. By allowing businesses to be able to opt out, we cannot rely on an employer based system. That is quite obvious.

    I am self employed and my husband makes a middle income salary, yet we are one of the 47 million uninsured. His employer does not provide benefits, and we cannot afford $1300 a month to cover our family. If one of us even has a minor illness, we would have to use the emergency room.

    We need to start from scratch with a completely new single payer system. Don't people get it?

    August 16, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  119. Billy

    There is much concern and wringing of hands over the cost of President Obama's
    proposals for reform of the health care system (more than $1 trillion over ten yrs.)
    which would make affordable health care accessible to millions more citizens. Yet
    no one seems to be concerned with (in fact, never mentioned) the immoral, illegal
    wars we are waging in Iraq and Afghanistan which is costing us more than twice
    as much, not counting human lives and suffering. This says a lot about our priorities.

    August 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  120. James of Houston

    This response is for Billy.

    Billy, if we were to adopt "Islam" as our national religion, and outlaw the practice of all other religions, as they now do in Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Iran, the radical believers would (perhaps) leave us alone! Then we could divert our military budget to our health care budget. ... Is this really what you want?

    August 16, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  121. william de angelis

    i'm hoping that don lemon will see this question i'ved been hearing a great deal about health care from can you bring this group to your show ,and tell the american people what there realy about

    August 16, 2009 at 8:53 pm |
  122. James of Houston

    A Significant Question: Will the House bill, in its current form, increase short-term, 10th year, and long-term budget deficits for our children and grandchildren to cover and pay for later?

    THE PRESIDENT: “And we will do this without adding to our deficit over the next decade, largely by cutting out the waste and insurance company giveaways in Medicare that aren’t making any of our seniors healthier.”

    (and later) “First of all, I said I won’t sign a bill that adds to the deficit or the national debt. Okay? So this will have to be paid for.”

    And yet:

    • CBO says the House bill would increase federal deficits by $239 B over the next ten years.
    • CBO says the House bill would increase the deficit in 2019 by $65 B, meaning the bill fails the President’s “10th year test.”
    • CBO says the House bill would result in increasing deficits beyond 2019, because the new spending would grow faster than 8% per year, while the offsets would grow only about 5% per year.
    • The House bill would not just slow Medicare growth, but would also raise taxes on high-income individuals and small business owners.

    This last point is perfectly acceptable to me, but we must be prepared to accept slower future job growth because will be diverting investment capital from the small business owners and private investment groups (who create private sector jobs) to Washington in the form of higher-and-higher taxes.

    August 16, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  123. Bee

    (would not)

    August 17, 2009 at 3:39 am |
  124. george in MD

    CNN should report some true-ts on illegals immigrants ,for ounces yes and yes they receive free health-care now and under the new plan nothing well change, illegal immigrants parents and their kids are eligible for all American tax funded health-care and welfare too...and that's the trues facts...CNN come to state of Maryland Baltimore and Towson area emergency rooms and see for your self and report it to your views, and also driver licences for illegals.
    CNN please report the facts...NOT lies.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  125. James of Houston

    This response is for George in MD.... George, I agree with you completely!

    The current health care bill will, in one way or another, provide the illegal immigrants and their families with free health care. The reason they will qualify for free health care is because their wages are not reported by their employers and tracked on any W-2 Tax Statements. Consequently, these persons are considered “indigent” and in need of federal assistance.

    By classifying them as “indigent”, we will provide them with free benefits for which they and their unreported incomes do not qualify. Also, these benefits will became a “magnet” for people from other countries to come to the U. S. where they can gainfully work, receive good, unreported incomes and obtain free health care for their families. The new costs of providing these free benefits to our future non-citizens will grow beyond all proportions.

    Possible solution: The e-card system used for hospital admission and outpatient services must be designed so only U.S. citizens will have access to these cards! They must also be verifiable and tamper proof!

    August 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  126. sylvia azzopardi

    How can the federal gov't control healthcare costs when millions of foreign immigrants enter the U.S. and are granted citizenship, permanent residency, or enter illegally. The majority end up collecting welfare AND HEALTHCARE , at taxpayers expense.

    If the federal gov't can't contol illegal immigrants entering the U.S., how do they expect to control healthcare costs, when the illegals go to emergency rooms to seek care?

    August 18, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  127. Eva


    Unless federal law is changed, illegal immigrants (undocumented workers? How PC of you) will continue to receive health care (emergency room) at the expense of taxpayers. Unless the border with Mexico is secured, illegal immigrants will still come streaming into the US and flock to the emergency rooms of America. True reform will be a bust if Congress fails to act on these matters. If they pass health care reform and then move on to Amnesty (of course, they won't call it that) WITHOUT securing the border... *SIGH*

    I don't believe for one minute that there are only 12 million illegal immigrants. The number is probably closer to 40 million. The reason that I say this is because ...used to be, when you called your local pharmacy or government agency, you'd hear English spoken on the other end. Nowadays, you make a call and its one for English and two for Espanol. Also, everything in the supermarket now comes bilingual. Have you not noticed? *SIGH*

    I am a veteran. I only served for four years so I do not qualify for benefits but I know about the benefits afforded to active duty members and their families. Active duty members CANNOT sue for malpractice. Veterans using their veterans benefits at any VA Hospital CANNOT sue for malpractice. What if the "public option" conained this provision as well? You cannot sue your doctor for malpractice. No need for TORT reform. No need for the doctor to have to carry malpractice insurance. I personally think that this is a good idea. There was no deducttible and no copays. Medications were free. If people want to be able to keep your "right" to sue your doctor, then stay on private insurance. *SHRUG*

    I have employer-provided HC. It includes dental, vision, mental health and presciption drug coverage. My coverage was great six years ago but my out-of-pocket expenses have risen every year. For example, my prescription drug benefit has gone from $10 generic, $20 name brand, to 20% of cost with a cap of $250 in the space of 4 years. I am in favor of reform, but Congress must include a Medicare Part D type of coverage. *HUMP*

    Now, as how to pay for it...well let's begin by KEEPING foreign aid... and NOT financing Mexico's drug war. Let's legalize marijuana and levy heavy taxes on its sale and distribution. I get so sick and tired of the US tiptoeing around Mexico so as not to ruffle any feathers. *SIGH*


    August 19, 2009 at 3:00 am |
  128. Dave

    Jesse Jackson referred to Harrolds Chicken
    Harrolds chicken has a tiny paper cup of cole slaw included with a chicken or fish dinner. Its a Chicago favorite spot.

    August 22, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  129. dee

    The bills may not cover illegals, but what no one is saying is that they will still go to hospital emergency rooms , and we will still have to pay for these visits thru state taxes, so there is no savings there. Also is medicare payments to doctors is downgraded, granted there will be money saved, but then the doctors will refuse to take medicare patients. This has happened to me.

    August 22, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  130. Barbara Brauer

    I'm 68 yrs old and on a Medicare advantage program, which means I do not have to have a Medicare supplement insurance policy. I do not have a deductible to meet each year and all I pay is a copay to my Physicians. I t also has drug coverage and it's paid for by Medicare plus an extra $20 from me. I'm only living on social security and if this plan is taken away from people like me, then will we have a yearly deductible and only 80% is paid for plus extra for drugs? I can't afford supplemental insurance at this time. Please let me know what the effects of health care reform will have on me. Thanks

    August 22, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  131. Robert Daniel Upstate, NY

    If our 'elite' government law makers were to get the EXACT same health-care options as they wish to impose on the taxpayers, they would work to make an effective system.

    August 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  132. Nancy Henker

    I am one of the tens of millions of "uninsured" Americans. I pay my own medical bills, because I feel that the few private individual insurance plans in our state are a severe consumer rip-off.

    I am very upset that I will be automatically enrolled in some Exchange-picked plan., and FORCED to pay a private insurance company THOUSANDS of dollars...

    I beleive HR 3200, the House bill, is a BOON for insurance companies and drug companies, and an unconstitutional BANE for patients!

    August 22, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  133. Jesse Deed

    I keep hearing tThe question of illegal aliens getting benefits in the new health plan, but does this address any changes in mediaid benefits curently received for Pregnancy as well as those received through Food Stamps and Hud housing via their US born children, again paid for by Medicaid?

    August 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  134. Jack

    One basis for Health Care Reform is to provide coverage for the 47 million currently uninsured. President Obama constantly says that illegal immigrants will not be provided coverage. If this is true, then who are the 47 million uninsured broken down into groups?

    August 22, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  135. Jesse Deed

    I keep hearing tThe question of illegal aliens getting benefits in the new health plan, but does this address any changes in mediaid benefits curently received for Pregnancy as well as those received through Food Stamps and Hud housing via their US born children, again paid for by Medicaid?

    August 22, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  136. Robert Daniel Upstate, NY

    Since our government can't run anything without making a mess...We could shut down the schools, highway departments, police forces, waterways, Medicare, and anything government related. The churches could fight over which branch rules the people....kinda like the Taliban do.

    August 22, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  137. Mary Burla

    I just saw your program. While you were talking with two fact check experts, you and the other CNN commentator clearly had anti-health care reform attitudes. To agree with the video of the Texas man who talked about working hard was ridiculous; he was not dealing with the issues at all – millions of hard-working people cannot afford healthcare. Yet you CNN people praise his country wisdom? You know just what you are doing – it is disgraceful. Is healthcare really too big an issue to even try to deal with? Really? You can say this becaure you feel secure. Evidently you don't have the capacity to understand/feel the pain of middle class hard working citizens. You know what a slanted picture you are giving your viewers. How do you sleep at night?

    August 22, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  138. Roy Fewell

    Statistics are being quoted that show the US health care system gets the best results at treating cancer. Do these figures include cases that don't get treated because of no insurance?

    August 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  139. James of Houston

    This response is for Barbara Brauer

    Barbara, President Obama says he wants to cut Medicare Advantage to save $16 Billion a year. Who created Medicare to begin with? – answer, the Federal Government. Who created Medicare Advantage? – answer, the Federal Government. Since he wants to kill the latter because it costs too much, it should make sense to all of us that the “Public Option” he is now proposing will have the same high-cost problems a few years down the road, after it is enacted into law and becomes effective in 2013. Oh yeah, by that time he’ll be out of office, but meanwhile, he will have gotten his agenda through, much to the detriment of all of us!

    August 22, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  140. antonio

    dear president obama
    take care of the american people , and please send the illegal home
    thank you

    September 11, 2009 at 5:16 pm |