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September 8th, 2009
08:20 AM ET

Health Care vs. Education: Which Needs More Attention?

In case you haven’t turned on the TV lately…we’ve been spending a lot of time on the problems with health care in this country. But today is the first day of school in lots of places, and it’s reminding us that the education system has serious problems too.

Our blog question for you today: which needs more attention right now – health care or education?

Click on comments and tell us what you think.

Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Health and Education are both important. Just like jobs and careers, finance, social value, human interaction, wealth distribution, foreign relations, etc.

    The president must be holistic and discuss and provide direction on all matters of American life.

    No one issue is so important that other aspects of life should be ignored.

    That is the job of the President of the United States. You cannot have a good president and only start wars and react to disasters. That is a lack of Administration. YES, it is politics the nature of America 2 party system. But the presidents politics does speak for itself the nature of the game. One party wins and one party loses. How they play the game is very important to the civility of the country.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  2. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Education is the most important because without that you dont have qualified people to administer the health care .

    September 8, 2009 at 9:12 am |
  3. Cindy

    Healthcare! Too many children come from uninsured/underinsured families. They have to be well to learn. We place a lot of expectations on our schools and teachers and MOST are able and eager to meet those expectations..I know because I have been a teacher for 17 years. What the schools and teachers can't fix, however, is a child's homelife. Lack of adequate healthcare is the root of many problems...problems many of us with good healthcare find hard to realize. Just like education, healthcare should be seen as an investment and not a handout.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  4. Bill

    Without healh care you don't have anyone to educate or use their education.

    Multi-tasking is what we all must be able to do to administrate, raise our families, earn an income, apply our education.

    Nothing is complex if you break it into its simple parts. The issues of Health Care and Education are only 2 issues. CEO's are responsible for finance (HR, Profit & Loss), adminstration (multiple departments), line operations (widget processes, material flow, end products), customer service (best product, quick response), etc, ETC.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  5. Eric from Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    Health care question about it. Health care.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  6. DH

    Education is getting a lot of attention, just not in the media.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  7. Vince Underwood

    I think both are of the utmost importance and should be treated as basic rights afforded to all American citizens at the highest quality and availability. So let's spend less on Defense, Salaries in Washington and less on Needless Wars and take care of OUR people and OUR children.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  8. David Cheeseman

    Education by far. If we had a universally educated populous we would be more valuable in the global labor market. If that were true more people could afford health care and support those who can't through our existing Universal Access system.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  9. Bill

    April Gallop whom was working in the Pentagon on 9/11 has filed a lawsuit against Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Myers over the fact they did not warn her and others of the incoming "plane". She has testified no plane hit and bombs went off. To support her lawsuit, over 10 pilots have signed affidavits stating that no plane could have hit the Pentagon due to physics. Why don't you cover this story? Oh yea, you are part of the coverup of 9/11.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  10. Toni L'Hommedieu

    Sounds like a Sophie's Choice to me.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  11. Keith Dennis Taylor

    Of course Education is more important than Health Care. I feel this way because if our next generation isn't educated who will be the next to run our country? Our leaders are in there but they won't be here for ever. I think President Obama should of been working with something on education first instead of Health Care. Schools across this country is closing down because they don't have enough money to keep open. Where is our government? Why do they keep bailing out car companies and banks, it's like they don't care about school's and the 46 million kids that are in our schools.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  12. Maron Pazmino

    Im sick and tired to see how senators and congressmen have become the biggest lbiest for american corporations. That will not happen if we have term limites for them as it is for the president.
    M. Pazmino, New Jersey

    September 8, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  13. devon

    Right now-health care is more important only because of the current political climate. Education is a close second though–with an education you can have access to almost anything.
    It is the chicken and the egg argument; with one you can't have the other. A well educated and healthy society will be the most powerful, the most influential, and the happiest.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  14. zahnd

    It looks like we need education first to make sure that our future civilization is not as dumb as the present. Common sense is gone and bullies are taking over that have no education. Republicans act like the mad little boys that lost the baseball game and behave stupid. Most people in this country believe anything anyone tells them. THey have no minds left. Scream at town hall meetings about health care but they do not understand the plan.
    Yes education comes first, we need to have smarter people running the government in the Senate and the Congress. Healthcare is important and we need reform. We need a public health care plan because as an older citizen I pay too much for insurance.We need a healthy competition between he insurance companues

    September 8, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  15. Ready2go

    Healthcare is more important. Those loud-mouthed individuals are just showing the latest problem in America: IMMATURITY!

    September 8, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  16. Dawn Robinson

    I'm concerned because I believe that both issues need to be addressed. While they may seem to be two different issues, they are really synonomous.
    Education is the key to americans taking better care of their health issues. If people can't read nor write, they can't understand the importance of good health for lower costs. They won't understand it when we talk of eating more veggies while decreasing their fat intake.

    Healthcare reform is important because when everyone has access to benefits, they will stop flooding the emergency rooms. This truly drives the cost up!

    September 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  17. Catherine

    The lack of health care and the drop out rate in schools is all part of the same sad story of how we treat people in this country. Without health adequate health care, children are not likely to do well in school. Parents struggling with survival issues are not as concerned with their children's education. Transiency, homelessness and violence are the lot of a families. Eight years of greed and "legal gambling" in the market place have only created a greater divide between the "have's and the Have nots."

    September 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  18. rob

    i think education is more important. I also have a question for conservatives who do not want govrnment involved in their lives. I dont want to have to pay for texas football, school lunches, health care for children in schools or any other extracurricular communist, nazi, socialist mind programming activity in my property taxes. If conservative parents want football for their kids let them pay for it, and if they want lunches and busing for their kids let them pay for it, personally i dont have kids so why am i paying to subsidise them. I dont think they should benefit from any other government program in their states, like maintenance and paving of interstate roads, or subsidies for hospitals, or th center for disease control. The essence of all this hoopla about government intervention is CONSERVATIVES

    September 8, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  19. Mablean Perkins

    Both Education and Health Care are IMPORTANT. I am totally concerned that we've adopted this mentality that this nation can only address one issue at a time. These two important issues go hand in hand. They are interrelated.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  20. Anna

    While I firmly believe that our education system is in shambles and needs reform, at least we have a system to reform. We do have children going to schools where there are teachers and learning standards. However, we do not have a healthcare system at all.

    Additionally, to echo what others have said, the success and health of our schools and children is completely dependent on the success and health of society. Without a healthcare system, we can expect that the effects of poverty will prove much more powerful in determining a child's success in school than any kind of education reform could ever achieve.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  21. thebohemiangirl

    Neither. Creating JOBS should be our governments primary focus!

    September 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  22. Melissa

    Health Care needs needs more attention now than Education. I hope Pres Obama explains more of the details to the public option plan so we can feel comfortable and more knowledgeable about supporting it. Will fee for service to docs and hospitals remain the same under public option?

    September 8, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  23. Justin Smith

    I believe heath care is at the top of the list, with education a good second. Only if people (not the media and pendents) read the bill. People against the bill would fins many aspect that they would support and may even back. There are many different suggestions that address the health care bill. I believe however reform is a must for the Insurance Industry.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  24. Tom Joad

    I don't understand why we are complicating such a simple issue.

    2+2 = 4

    Status Quo Healthcare Insurance = Businesses that can't compete globally = Businesses leaving the US = Less Jobs = Less Tax Revenue = Lower Standards of Living.

    Either you have your cake or your ate it. Would a conservative be angry if a liberal saved their drowning child? Would a liberal be upset if a conservative saved their life? Our children compromise better than we do. The longer we continue nebulous partisan bickering, the worse off we will become.

    Unless you've experienced something similar – watched your loved one die slowly and painfully all while fighting bureaucratic red tape with the health industry, you can't begin to appreciate the passion and determiniation of those seeking reform.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  25. emma mcdonald

    what is the difference? looks like they don't want him to discuss anything..whats wrong with him speaking education to our kids. after all he is an educated smart man. its just ridiculous what people are trying to do to this man and its all because he's black....america needs to grow up...they know that the health care reform is what we need they just don't want it because of who he is.....he's only trying to help everyone not just the wealthy which is opposing everything he does. grow up america freedom just doesn't revolve around the rich.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  26. yves

    I want to say both are equally important. However, education is more important because future generations can become more rationale and logical beings to further the cause of democracy in an ever changing United States. It is refreshing to see we have a leader (President Obama) who wants to address education here in the U.S. We are rapidly becoming a nation of failure, apathy, polarization and degrading sub-cultures which will lead to our destruction. Hopefully more leaders will address education problems in a fundamental manner as well on a local and grassroots level.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  27. thebohemiangirl

    Once an American has a job, he/she can afford healthcare or at least contribute something toward their healthcare costs.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  28. jon bristow

    Healthcare vs education is comparing apples to oranges. Obviously the main concern is healthcare due to the never ending rambling in the media. However, education needs a major overhaul as well. In the first place, education needs to be updated to encourage students to grasp just what it is they are interested in. The opportunities in education should reflect future needs of our nation. What does this mean? it means education geared toward specialization in at least two fields of expertise. This means children would grow up faster; and they would producing a wider tax base. Healthcare will be achieved in this country just as soon as power struggles and misinformation and retoric ceases. No matter what happens now, the future is certainly uncertain in these two areas as it stands now.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  29. Benjamin Fuentes

    With the many problems that society faces today and the desire for immediate solutions, education has taken the backseat to many issues. For us, the United States, to advance we must put more influence into education. We can put billions of dollars into a healthcare plan that is likely to fail within a decade, or we could put money into education system that desperately needs it. Peoples lives are short and we seek immediate answers but what people don't understand is that if we educate the masses, society as a whole will advance. The answer to success is education. As a college student with over $50,000 in loans, I see the system failing everyday as fellow college students can not attend school due to flaws in our education system. The key to many problems in our society can be answered by education and every time I see budget cuts on education, I see the United States taking one more step back in the global community.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  30. Latasha Lawson

    Healthcare and education are both peas from the same pod. Having one without the other is foolish. Having said that,education should be at the top of the list. People who are better educated will make better healthcare choices. They will understand the connection between eating healthy, nutritious food and brain development, starting before conception. It is always the poorest and most vulnerable of our citizens that suffer from greed and capitalism. I know a lot of Americans are afraid of social programs because they have an irrational fear that we are headed toward a communist society. This is crazy. Don't get me wrong I like capitalism but does everything in our country have to be so polorized. It's not Capitalism or Communism. It is the difference between making choices that increase the sustainability of our entire nation. A chain is only as strong as it's weakest link. We would do good to remember that. Substandard education or healthcare for anyone is detrimental to everyone. This is America people. Wake up!!!!

    September 8, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  31. DB Jones

    Healthcare is a life and death issue facing thousands of people in this country every year. As we debate the issue, people are losing their battles with serious illnesses. Education and the future of our children is serious. It is a long-term issue. Healthcare problems, however, are immediate and facing our children, their parents and grandparents today. Empty classrooms due to children and families stricken with illness does not a solid future make.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  32. Tom Joad

    I don’t understand why we are complicating such a simple issue.
    2+2 = 4
    Status Quo Healthcare Insurance = Businesses that can’t compete globally = Businesses leaving the US = Less Jobs = Less Tax Revenue = Lower Standards of Living.
    Either you have your cake or you ate it. Would a conservative be angry if a liberal saved their drowning child? Would a liberal be upset if a conservative saved their life? Our children compromise better than we do. The longer we continue nebulous partisan bickering, the worse off we will become.
    Unless you’ve experienced something similar – watched your loved one die slowly and painfully all while fighting bureaucratic red tape with the health industry, you can’t begin to appreciate the passion and determination of those seeking reform.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  33. Christie

    I had two children born with congenital problems. Our insurance did not cover them till they were 24 hours old which made these problems preexisting. I just paid off the last of their bills. They are 32 & 34 years old. My children could not go to college because there was no money for it. My brother had to quit college because he had no health insurance and became seriously ill. He is now fighting to pay off medical bills that would have paid for 4 years of college.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  34. Elizabeth Schlagel

    Both are critical. We need to stop throwing money at them and study successful programs in other countries. Many other countries are doing better than we are and spending much less.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  35. mary mcshane

    I belive that are both running neck to neck.and if people have a choice then make the choise that's right for you and your family.and dont let people scare you into doing what you dont want to do, when it comes to school I dont see the big deal about the presidents speech,people are trying to make it out to be something that it's not.if it were bush no one would say any thing then it would be a good thing.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:53 am |
  36. thebohemiangirl

    All over our nation there are medically untrained people caring for family members. You can attend a 2 year Associate Science Nursing program and qualify to sit for RN Nursing exam. Why do our taxes go to government funded grants to pay for nursing students to attend 4 years at university level nursing school when you can become an RN after an associate program?!! Eliminate government funding for 4 year nursing students now. Fund 2 year associate programs and let those RN's or the hospitals they work for, pay for their BS, MSN, or PHD programs themselves. They certainly can afford it with the money they make as RNs!

    September 8, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  37. Joanna Clark

    Health and Education are equally important. They are also too important to leave to people like Baucus, Conrad, and Grassley, who have accepted millions of dollars from lobbyst to defeat health care reform and provide job security to unqualified teachers and school administrators.

    I asked a group of parents and middle school children the other day how many states comprised the United States of America. I got answers of 47, 48, 49, and 51. Only one answered 50, and it was posed more as a question, than an answer.

    Houston, we have a problem.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  38. Natasha Drennan

    I think that both topics are extremely important. With our society the way it is today, if you don't get a decent education you will not be able to acquire a good enough job to even afford health care. I also think that the presidents speach should be heard by our children, if a parent has instilled the values they are suppose to and is preparing their children for the real future, getting them involved is a good idea. I can't wait to discuss the speach with my opinionated 8year old, she may be able to teach me something. Everyone is complaining about Obama getting to involved in our lives, but I think its about time. It's been a long time since government has been this concerned about our society. It has also been a long time since society has sat up and payed so much attention to whats going on.

    September 8, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  39. Vicki J McCoy

    I think that whether it's education or healthcare, ultra-conservatives are doing what they do best–looking for "weapons of mass destruction." And once again, as in the case of the President's address to school children, they came up dry. Will they ever learn that their fear-based, search-and-destroy missions that see everyone who disagrees with them as the enemy are really hurting this country?
    Vicki in Atlanta

    September 8, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  40. Jeanette Nenno

    We need health-care reform now! Education can be tackled afterwards. By failing to get behind our President and look at the institutions that are destroying the financial and moral fabric of America we are only destroying ourselves.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  41. thebohemiangirl

    Where are the jobs in America? Why aren't we discussing this critical issue?

    September 8, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  42. thebohemiangirl

    Where in America is education not available? My city's public schools are filled to the brim with kids receiving an excellent education! My city's university has hundreds of kids working entry level jobs to supplement grants and loans to fund their education. What they need are jobs when they finish their degrees!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  43. Kevin L Smith

    Heidi, both Health Care and Education need attention. This is not an either or proposition. The only question is how do we address both. Correction, there is no question, we must do both.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  44. Lou Heck

    What is more important in a car, the engin or the wheels?

    Health Care means healthy employees, and, hopefully, less headachs for the companies. Healthcare means more attentive students, and quicker solutions to the many physical, psycological and emotional problems that hamstring students. Good healthcare benifits the country, poor healthcare is a rocky path to failure,

    Education is the key to a democratic nation. Poor education leads to an erosion of democracy, poor workers and social chaos.

    What is more important? Neither and both, ya need both.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  45. Bill

    Tom Joad – good comment

    It is like American cannot solve any issue. Instead of analyzing, understanding and making right action. We throw political accusations at each other and nothing but money get spent.

    It is amazing how simple solutions are if you are motivated to solve them. What we need is not another law or name calling. We need Republicans and Democrates, Independents, believers and non-believers to participate, debate and then reach a negotiated solution that meets the basic mission statement.

    I think Obama is a great facilitator, unfortunately if no one participates then you have no solution. My thought is Medicare for ALL and an equal Tax Code for all and the problem is solve. Threaten to ram this through congress and we may get real participation or at least the best solution for all

    September 8, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  46. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Isnt this just a fine mess our country has gotten to the point to where the American people are having to give one up to have the other we need jobs putting the people back to work is the answer to this mess lets get back to having our cake and eating it too.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  47. Jim Ramsay

    The single biggest cause behind the health care "crisis" is ineffective education. Most people are not satisfied if their physician tells them that the solution to their current sickness is not a pill or a shot. Suffering of any kind is not acceptable to those who have been indoctrinated by years of hour long episodes of medical dramas where doctors are elevated to the status of a god and medical science has no shortage of miraculous cures. Until people begin to educate themselves about the limitations of medicine and the realities of this world, unreasonable expectations will continue to fuel the desire to insulate ourselves from pain even at the risk of unintended consequences.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  48. Darlene

    Heidi, Our president has proven over and over again, he can multi-task. With that being said, I feel he can handle the job of addressing the need of Health Care and Education. As we have seen over the last week, with the controversy of the President's Speech, there is still a greater problem in this country. I remember seeing a lady crying on TV b/c she didn't want her child to be force to listen to the President's speech. She had all those emotions before the speech was release. I thought, how awful. She is full of hate. At lease, let's give the President the benefit of adult and hear the message. After I read the message, it was a wonderful speech. As for those people who do or say things with the wrong heart, they will answer to God.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  49. Thomas Baird

    The preamble to the Constitution of the United States speaks about “promoting the general welfare.“ Proponents of the approach feel that by giving access to health care for each and every individual, we are ensuring their basic constitutional rights as citizens of the United States. Harry Truman said it long ago on September 19th,, 1945 – “The time has arrived to help millions of American’s living without a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health…and to have protection…against the economic effects of sickness.” Sixty-four years later, advocates of this approach maintain that this still holds true.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  50. Jim Ahrend

    Both-but in terms of priority, Obama has it right. Health care is in crisis and needs triage; education needs long-term growth solutions. We can afford to take a little more time on education solutions than on the immediate needs of health care.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  51. Jennifer

    Education is, in my opinion, a more important issue. I feel that if we Americans had received a better education we would have been able to have a more productive debate on other issues, including health care. I feel that if many of the protesters that spoke out so forcefully during the health care town hall meetings had been more educated on the issue, they would have come to the debate armed with facts instead of guns.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  52. Colin

    Health care needs more attention: Education only lacks funding and we have the "no child left behind" in place for now. Health care lacks over sight and the sick are left behind by the millions.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  53. Minnie Austin


    the republicans are trying to keep the Health care bill off of people's minds and now they are throwing in Education. Why bring in Health Care vs Education now and some do not want the President to speak to the children? This country needs to pray and stop trying to evaluate and criticize everything that President Obama presents. The White House has never been scrutinized like this before. Why now?
    The republicans had eight years to pass a health care bill.They did not even address it until the democrats began addressing it from President Obama's campaign. Stop keeping the country down, cause if you keep the bill from passing, then the whole country suffers. Let's keep Hope for the American people alive!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  54. Bill

    Mike Armstrong, TX. I think you state the problem well, but how do you make it work when 97% of the cake is owned by a few and the whole masses of the world only have 3% to fight each other over the opportunities to have a sliver of a piece

    September 8, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  55. Mita

    Dear Heidi:

    Although our schools need much help in getting it all in order, and the PTA does not seem to take effedt, nor does Lotto, by all means our Healthcare is definitely most important! With a a good healthcare system in place, our nation can altogether save on the economy and teach people (ie., doctors, insurance companies, etc..) about morality and good practices, and not worry much about malpractice. There is so much to say about both of these needs, but Healthcare is most important at the moment! Parents and tteachers should be more educated on helping their children and their schools.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  56. Nancy

    I think both need attention desperately. I've been watching each deteriorate my entire adult life. I hope that we can get to the point where we do something, anything but just arguing about it. Politicians and pundits should stop using fear to keep us from moving forward. Where's the substance?

    September 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  57. Bob, Texas

    Wow, I've never been deleted before! What was wrong with my post?

    If I summarize again, we should NOT try to solve medical in one week or one bill.

    We need to focus teachers on teaching the basics that do not focus on repairing social gaps in the community. Math, and more Math, all sciences, history – variable by age group. Last 2 years of high school should prep for college and include political sciences, world history, advance socioeconomic programs.

    Fix text books to reflect accurately the world we live in and know.

    Focus our dollars on paying teachers MUCH more. BUT require a real education before allowing them to teach.

    Provide financial incentives to teach in the ghettos, or pick a politically correct name. Do more for our poorer inner cities than we are doing in 3rd world countries.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  58. Thomas Baird

    Heidi: Healthcare should have top priority.We dont just want more of the same we want real Healthcare Change.The President should pull the trigger now.No more delays.Vote for the Public Healthcare Insurance Option and start real Healthcare Reform.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  59. Jc Mendoza

    Heidi: Education needs more attention! As a teacher for L.A.U.S.D., My school district spends much $$$ on reading programs that do not help students who have english as a 2nd language. Also, teachers are blamed for low test scores & the like... as a teacher, we do our jobs. We need legislation that will place parents responsible as well. We work with our students for about 6 hours daily., When students go home, parents for the most part do NOT do much to re-inforce lessons being taught. I work for an inner city & parents do not teach their children & or supervise them adequately so that atleast homework is completed. I have students who arrive to school sleepy because they sleep late.
    Lately, it is teacher's fault for every aspect... We need parent involvement... especially in inner cities. School districts should stop spending $$$ on reading programs & test material that will fail students who's 2nd language is english. Districts should stop spending $$$ on employee positions that are over paid & do not assist in student learning. Education should come 1st, & this administration should do a major overhaul at every school district & lower class size & hire more teachers. ALL teachers work very hard & are under paid, please stop bashing teachers & playing the blame game on teachers!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  60. Ready2go

    Healthcare, of course! Those loud-mouthed individuals and that waste-of-time Tea Party organization are all reminders of many Americans' immaturity. Keep quiet, right(wrong) wingers. You're only embarassing this country.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  61. James Bannister

    Health care needs the immediate attention of the adminestration and the nation. I think we need to expose the lies and distortions in emails and ads that are being promoted by the interests that want to block any reform to healthcare or healthcare for the uninsured.
    Could we please refer to a government option as a choice of insurance rather than an "option".

    September 8, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  62. Wild Bill of the West

    Not the Other Bill now Wild Bill of the West

    Let's elect politician who can work on more than one policy at a time.

    Who can solve problems not create them.

    Who can debate without using Nasty Word and Slogans that create misunderstanding among their citizens.

    Let's allow Obama to facilitate and make congress participate for America and Mankind.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  63. ruth lawson

    We really need health care I have so many friends that have no insurance because of company closings or that they have pre-existing conditions and cannot get insurance or the premiums are $400-$500 a monh when you make $8.00 an hour how can you afford that? I woud like to know the names of the congrssmen and Senators or their staff that take "gifts" from the insurance and /or drug companies. If we could get drugs here at reasonable price we wouldn't need the Canadian Drugstore but that won't happen, payoffs are great too bad we keep voting these gift takers in office.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  64. Arnold

    i believe health-care needs more attention, because you need to be healthy to learn

    September 8, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  65. Kevin L Smith

    Heidi, Who are these "patients" who will govern this proposed Non-Profit Co-op? As I understand this, the persons who govern the Co-op are suppose to "negotiate" with insurance companies to get what is essentially a "group discount" for insurance based on competitive bidding? You have got to be kidding!!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  66. marsh

    its hard to split this up both goes hand in hand–if u healthy u need education–if u sick u need health insurance. regardless of age both starts when u are born till ur death. it really depend on ur views and desires.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  67. Thomas Baird

    Heidi: Healthcare should be top priority and also what should be done to help make it work for all Americans?The U.S.Government should help facilitate a universal health care system either through single payer or regional plans.
    Instituting a combination of private and public funds to provide enough coverage for all citizens.
    Require individuals to sign up for an insurance plan and stipend those who cannot afford it.
    The government should facilitate a healthcare system that provides coverage for preventative procedures (i.e. screenings, consultations)
    Place salary caps on Insurance, Pharmaceutical, and Healthcare industries
    The government should outline standards, which all physicians are required to meet, to ensure quality patient care.
    The United States government should establish a form of universal health care controlled by the government. These systems could be as follows:
    Single-payer: provides citizens with the freedom to choose their own doctors, with a centralized administration covering the costs of the medical care
    Public: universal health care would be funded through taxation to ensure everyone is taxed evenly.
    Compulsory: citizens are required to purchase insurance, whether it be with a private insurer or the government (i.e. Germany)
    Ensure that each and every American has access to healthcare
    This is what I believe should be done now concerning our Healthcare System ,but as we know ,what should be done doesnt always get done for a variety of reasons.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  68. Wild Bill of the West

    Obama is stong enough to solve health care, education, stop all wars of American agression, make America the leader of a peaceful coexistant world, opportunitiees for all with equal Tax Codes and free trade among nations

    What you should do is hold your congressman to the fire of PARTICIPATION. Otherwise vote NO or NOPE for them. when they run for office once again.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  69. connie comprone


    After living and teaching in the south, the southwest, the midwest, the northeast, Canada and Singapore, I'd have to say that education and health care in this country suffer from the same problem - inequality of resources and opportunities. My teaching focus has always been with the disadvantaged populations, and I can't tell you how many times I've had to put a lesson on the backburner in order to address a more immediate problem: physical abuse, lack of nutrition, children having children, untreated illnesses, both physical and mental, etc., etc. Until we can think on a larger scale and see the interconnectedness of these things, we're going to continue this infuriating piece-meal approach to problem solving. The current debate going on over healthcare is a perfect example. We've looked overseas and seen something we'd like to have - universal health coverage! Well, guess what - it doesn't exist in a vacuum overseas, nor can it exist that way here. Along with universal coverage they have a lot of regulations, the kind of regulations our politicians will never have the courage to put through because they all, on both sides of the aisle, depend too heavily on the insurance companies, the pharmaceuticals, and the AMA for their campaigns coffers. Also, doctors in these other countries are paid salaries comparable to the other professionals in their respective countries, and I don't think the powerful lobbies in this country are going to let that happen here. So, Heidi, the answer to your question is not an A or B thing. It's A and B and C, and the C is campaign finance reform. Please, let's start seeing the bigger picture and thinking and acting accordingly. Thanks for this opportunity to speak up.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  70. nadera jaber

    I believe we can give both health care and education fair attention.With the resources we have and our endless capabilities, its definitely possible to give both health care and education the attention they deserve.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  71. Adam Engel

    Health care, no question. As a recent product OF the public education system, the only issue I see is lack of funding. Health care should be in everybody's hands – a sick population cannot work, cannot perform, and CANNOT LEARN.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  72. Mark

    Both these issues, to me, are equally important. Currently, there are many adults the lack in the health cate dept. and our children's education is also very important

    September 8, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  73. lynn rhoads

    healthcare needs to be fixed,it starts with the hospitals.a person goes to emergency they decide to keep u overnight to observe you just in case. so this overnight stay costs between 5,000 and 8,000 which is ridiculous. now all during his campaign the president talked about change,change,all who voted where for change however for change it is needed but the president isnt getting the back up he deserves. the last 8 yrs the republicans could CARE LESS about health care,but now because a democrat won they are against it,shame on the republican party

    September 8, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  74. Marcus

    I think Education is more important because the more educated we become, the closer we will come to realize that health care is a right not an industry. We need to stop treating a national security issue, such as, public health for granted. According to Republicans, we are always vulnerable to attack, then why are you not pushing for health care for all because if a disaster happens that is biological I hope we are not asking for an insurance card when everyone is in the same boat.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  75. Joe Martinelli

    Why the dichotomy on everything ?
    Should I pay the electric bill, or buy food ?

    September 8, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  76. Marian

    Here's a novel idea......why don't all the retired executives who don't have to deal with personal health care worries shift their attention to the eductaion a retired corporate worker with vested benefits, I did just that......and opened up an after school !!!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  77. Sam Dogbatse

    Education is critical to sustainable development and continous improvement.Education has a wider and long term impact resulting in increased health professionals,a community of better informed people who are capable of making wiser short to long term decisions regarding their health.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  78. V

    Health care and education need a serious reform in this country. Both are equally important.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  79. Joe-OH

    Health Care. My health insurance premiums raise every year with less coverage. Being on a fixed income I will start losing my retirement funds in the near future.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  80. adrian

    Personally, I think Health Care is far more out of control than Education is. It should definately be dealt with first

    September 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |

    The answer is both are absolutly essential.The problem is the myopic obsolesence of dichotomus logic.This either/or logic system the brain child of the military/industrial mentality does not adress the current reality of a Both/And resolution to a more complex problem.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  82. Emily

    Start with the kids. Through a reformed approach to education we can create more responsible, productive individuals and lessen the burden on our country across the board.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  83. Tiffani

    Unfortunately Heidi...we do not have the luxury of choosing which is more important. They are equally important! There are enough resources in both healthcare and education to find viable options. We as nation have a moral obligation to fix both.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  84. Lois Sears

    I think health care should come first. Education is something that parents can do something about...especially with their own children. Health care is something in which the individaul is virtually powerless to change...we are dependent on congress for reform. This is not to deminish the dire need to reform education. Education is more of a change in attitude on the part of pupils and parents.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  85. Jane Minnix

    It is not the governments place to make sure children get to school on time – that responsibility belongs to the PARENTS of the children. If children are not getting to school on time – prosecute the parents.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:45 am |
  86. Jytte Lokvig, Ph.D.

    Sick children can't learn. Children of sick or bankrupt parents don't do too well either. We already have PUBLIC education. although it needs a lot of fixin'. Now we need PUBLIC healthcare.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  87. eugene a MD

    Asking anyone to choose between these two very necessary programs begs the question: what exactly are our priorities in this country?

    As a practicing physician for the last 34 years, I can tell you that medicine is horribly broken and needs immediate repair. The insurance industry is absolutely destroying this facet of our lives. If the Constitution truly begins with the following words, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," then the argument is very simple. In order to have a life we cannot just have food and shelter and other basic necessities. The other basic necessity which we we absolutely must have in order to sustain life at any level, back in the 18th century and now, is appropriate and adequate medicine. The insurance company simply will not work for that because her bottom line is they ever mighty dollar. The incentives to become a primary care physician of any sort is ridiculous.
    As an internist, I made more 1992 that I can make today! And all I made was simply a comfortable living. But nevermind what I make, what the country needs immediately is government healthcare reform. The private sector simply cannot be trusted to do anything but continue to make money and not provide the care that is needed which is what's happening now. People are being denied care, once care becomes too expensive the insurance company uses some excuse to get out of it etc. etc. and this must stop. We need choice and the insurance companies will not give us choice, we need good care across the board and they simply are not interested in that. I could go on and on but I won't. I've said enough. We can do it!

    September 8, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  88. Scott Stodden

    I believe both education & healthcare are very important in this country. Without good healthcare you cant get a good education. Lets find a good way to solve our healthcare crises and give our kids a good education.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    September 8, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  89. Reilly

    Congress needs to review the current Govt run health insurance plans, ie, Medicare and Medicaid first. Get rid of the waste, fraud and abuse in the systems. Also, Medicare pays for one annual physical EVER! ..its at the time a person goes onto Medicare (The Welcome to Medicare Physical) then waits for people to be sick before covering any procedure or office call. Set an example by paying for annual physicals to screen for health problems first. Until they do that they have NO credibility in running a healthcare plan.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  90. Arturo Montoya

    If the worst ex-president that this country ever had spent billions of taxpayer's dollars on a war for personal benefits, we should not be questioning which is more important between health care and education. THEY ARE BOTH EQUALLY IMPORTANT along with other issues such as the space program, so we protect the Earth from the next asteroid.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:53 am |
  91. Mark

    Ready@go: I agree with you 100% more than likely the parents that are opposed to this speech are the same people that do not agree with the president on Health Care. This is just a classic example of parents(Rep. pareants) putting theirs hands up to their ears and going "LALALA I cant hear you Obama"

    September 8, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  92. Marilyn R. Boren

    Even though I am a retired teacher with over 35 wonderful years in the public school classrooms, I strongly believe that health care must take the greatest attention. Americans of all ages are DYING because they cannot afford the medical care needed. Even people with health insurance are allowed to die without 'sufficient' plans to cover the needed procedures or because of pre-existing conditions along with other restrictions. Education is successful if the student has a fit body, an alert mind, and a worry-free atmosphere regarding the health status of parents and siblings. I hope Americans will stand up and demand health care for all of us whether rich or poor, young or old, and without regard to ethnic or religious backgrounds.

    September 8, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  93. Alvin Smallwood

    While it is true that we need health care in this country for everyone, it is also equally true if not more important for everyone to be fully educated or informed when it comes to every issue concerning our everyday lives. For me, education must be at the top of every issue, because if you are not educated you will react or believe everything that is out there. Let us take the president's address to the student as they enter the class-room for example. Other presidents in previous years have addressed the students and asked them to write him with comments about how he can help them or be a better president. There hasn't been any opposition then, why now? Might it be because he is a person of color or like I said they are not educated. If people are educated they will be in the position to make decission that are in their best interest and not what they are earing from others. We know that when it comes to how students are doing in other countries in areas of importance (science and maths) in education, America is not at the top. What are we doing to better ourselves in these areas? We are complaining of the President's address to the students as if he is doing the worst thing ever. Are we trully educated or informed in this country as we pretend to be?

    September 8, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  94. Muhammad Chaudhry

    Well i believe both are equally important, and one can't go anywhere with out the other.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  95. Gary

    Education is the most important issue in our society. If the public can not understand a message from our leaders then the message is useless. During this economic downturn,states (Mich) are looking at education as part of their cost reductions. I don't think the gov't or the general public understands the relationship between the degree of responsibility and stress teachers are under in respect to the pay they receive.

    The education system is like the government, since the pay is below the business industry, the smartest graduates are going into business not education or gov't, point – don't lower educators pay.

    Education is one of the only professions that does not offer continuous education assistance. Every company I worked at offered education reimbursement. My wife is a public high school teacher and I still don't understand why she does not get reimbursed for classes she takes. She spent 20 yrs in business and earned twice as much money in business as she does as an educator. She chose to change careers to pay it forward and help prepare the students of our state for the world ahead of them.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  96. Barbara Hawk

    I know the speech hasn't been presented yet, but I wanted to share my pre-speech view and that is the students are more intelligent about this presentation to them than some of their parents. Why in the world would it be a problem for the President of the United States to be concerned about our children. The children are anxious to hear from him. The parents, with the media's help, are turning it into another political circus. Surprise!

    September 8, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  97. Chris






    September 8, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  98. howard l graham

    Ask the education experts their thoughts on year round schools and why the teachers' union oppose year round schools. Virtually all studies show that children learn more and achieve higher test scores with the year round schools.

    Year round schools permit 1/3 more students to be educated using the same physicial facilities in the traditional 180 day school year, thus saving significant funds for building new schools that can could be used for higher teacher pay.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  99. eugene a MD

    Asking anyone to choose between these two very necessary programs begs the question: what exactly are our priorities in this country?

    As a practicing physician for the last 34 years, I can tell you that medicine is horribly broken and needs immediate repair. The insurance industry is absolutely destroying this facet of our lives. If the Constitution truly begins with the following words, "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," then the argument is very simple. In order to have a life we cannot just have food and shelter and other basic necessities. The other basic necessity which we we absolutely must have in order to sustain life at any level back in the 18th century and now is appropriate and adequate medicine. The insurance company simply will not work for that because her bottom line is they ever mighty dollar. The incentives to become a primary care physician of any sort is ridiculous. As an internist, I made more 1992 that I can make today! And all I made was simply a comfortable living. But nevermind what I make, what the country needs immediately is government healthcare reform. The private sector simply cannot be trusted to do anything but continue to make money and not provide the care that is needed which is what's happening now. People are being denied care, once care becomes too expensive the insurance company uses some excuse to get out of it etc. etc. and this must stop. We need choice and the insurance companies will not give us choice, we need good care across the board and they simply are not interested in that. I could go on and on but I won't. I've said enough. We can do it! Yes we can!

    September 8, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  100. Tina McCaffrey

    First of all, I must say, out of the 3 news networks. I always turn to CNN. I trust "you guys" the most. I also check-in with BBC & EURO NEWS.

    Now , for the question : health care vs education? The disgraceful civil disobedience they created is certainly Un-American, uncouth, ignorant, etc. .

    The lack of education is what is causing the brainwashing of the middle class. I also believe that the lack of compassion for the less fortunate fellow Americans are really showing the rest of the world how selfish we have become.

    Our children have not been taught History, Modern Living (Civics),Math (budgeting), Problem Solving, Physical Education, etc.,etc, etc. They definitely know to use the computer, the cell phones, twitter, and so on. Those are aids, not the child's brain.

    My High School principal , on the first day of school welcomed us and said "pay attention to the fact, be not a follower, but a leader or an individual" That what has guided me, all my 72 years. Most important my parents who were my first and always teachers.


    September 8, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  101. Agnes

    Of course health care reform is a priority. What do you prefer: be educated or die? Only single payer health care is able to lower costs of medical care in the US. I would love news people to make a comprehensive overview of health care systems in other countries for example in Canada or England to show how Americans get badly treated by current insurance options. I come from Poland (single payer plan) and pay for insurance about 100$ per month. I recently had a ear operation in Poland for otosclerosis an received wonderful care. Never had to worry about additional fees, co-pays,preconditions, if my visit in emergency room is justified and would be covered, what if cobra runs out or is to expensive, neither my mother with tree thyroid operations, uncle with diabetes, friend's mother with breast cancer and so on. Dealing with traps of private health care in America seems like a horror story to me. I feel so bad for Americans. They basically need a lawyer to protect themselves from the system. It seems to me very unreasonable to support system which makes money on people health. Americans are raised in this system an possibly not aware what's out there. It is a role of journalists to study health care solutions in other countries and use air time to educate Americans, by showing how great others have it. Good luck Americans!

    September 8, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  102. Robert Lake,MI

    Neither, we need drug and insurance reform! Teachers while a most important job are crying they dont make enough money but who does? Who but teachers get anywhere from 4 to 5 months off per year and gets paid for it and makes between $35,000 to $60,000 per year with security? We do not need an unlimited public option as most of the people crying for it would just give up things they "dont" need and would be able to afford their own health insurance. Or step up and get employment that helps you with your insurance but dont sit around waiting for free insurance!

    September 8, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  103. Jin Yang Hun(in u.s, Yang Hun Jin)

    Both of issue have long run controversy in u.s politics
    and still I cannot see any conclusion.
    I think it is just nothing more than
    u.s government people's cheap excuse for covering up
    their ignorance and laziness at their work.

    One more thing!
    How long does they have a plan to raise their voice
    for the Human Right?

    in Library on G st
    in washington d.c

    September 8, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  104. Thomas Baird

    Heidi:Healthcare:The United States is considered one of the most powerful countries in the world, and yet lacks an efficient and adequate health care system for its people. Forty seven million Americans lack any form of health care insurance. In the event a medical emergency or even a common physical, they would need to pay cash or decide to not go through with a potentially lifesaving treatment or procedure. Take this into account, without insurance a simple ambulance ride to the hospital can cost nearly one thousand dollars, depending on how far they have to drive you and what treatments were given in route.
    The United States has the most expensive health care in the world. Each year the dollars spent on health care enters into the trillions. This is almost three times as much as other industrialized nations around the world. Of the trillions spent on health care thirty one percent is spent on administrative purposes and test not needed or that provide no insight into the illness.
    The average hospital visit is in the thousands of dollars and if invasive action is needed can reach up into the hundreds of thousands. This is only the hospital aspect. After any hospital visit it is more than likely one is prescribed some form of medication. Prescription medicines can be just as much as an economic burden than the trip to the hospital itself. For instance, cholesterol medications can cost hundreds of dollars a month depending on what type of medical insurance you have. And these costs are only rising.
    How do we pay for such expensive procedures and prescriptions? That answer is simple, medical insurance. This insurance is a luxury that many Americans do not have access to. Insurance premiums are rising at a rate four times faster than that of the average employee’s wage. The businesses that do provide medical insurance for its employees have been decreasing, for it is not economically feasible to do so anymore.

    This forces the individual to decide between going bankrupt paying for medications or ceasing to take the medications altogether. These are the issues that are approaches try and address and solve.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  105. Robert Lake,MI

    Jin, when will the people of China take back their own country, why is it the responsiblitiy of the USA?

    September 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  106. Al Gardy

    Just a thought, why doesn't the government offer an OPT out policy for those who do not want to change their coverage. Have the opt out program run for a period of 5 years after sign up. No going back. Spend the rest of the available resources designing a program that will help those who desperately need health care.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  107. Lucy, Texas

    The Economy is the most important problem...however if we don't fix healthcare, our education system and start producing goods, then we will only fall deep and deeper into debt. Americans have to realize that having a good foundation supports the building. There are 35 countries that have better healthcare then we do. Other countries are educationing their children better than we do. Other countries are loaning us money because we don't have goods to sell to the global economy. Let us start strengthing up that weak foundation and then start building a good house that will be able to weather any storm.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  108. Robert Lake,MI

    Why doesnt Obama tell the American people to take more responsiblility in the things that are of more importance in life like health insurance. Instead of things like cell phones, suv payments, high-speed internet, satillite tv, playstations,x-boxes, manicures,tanning sessions, motorcycles, quads, cigarettes, nights out at the bar, ect.. These same people will say why should I have to go without?, and I`ll tell them why, because you dont make enough money to have these things and pay for your own health insurance. I should not be responsible for picking up the tab for these people luxuries because essentially thats whats being asked of me and my tax dollars!

    September 8, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  109. nascarkasykahne

    I belive both are important. I may be only 21 years old and a lot of people say I'm wet behind the ears but I think that if we improve education than our health care will improve as well. Think about if we improve education and make some children want to be doctors and get them the tools and knowlegde to want to become doctors than we will have more doctors in our hospitals who aren't overwork and that will improve our health care. The reason our health care is the way it is, is because our doctors are so over worked because there is so little of them. So improve education and in the long run it will improve our health care.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  110. Phong from indianapolis

    In the case of health care versus education, I feel that health care should be our main focus. At age of 22, I went through elementary, middle and high school without any type of health coverage. It was not about having the ability to retain and use the information learned in school, but being able to be and stay well to attend school. All approaches my teachers took, all the strategies they used, did not matter. In my eyes, it is up to the student themselves that must have the thirst for knowledge, and the want to pass school. All the teachers teach the same things, maybe not the same way, but that doesn't change the students desire to want to learn that information. I have noticed that the students of today, do not have the focus, discipline and the determination that the students of the past have had. Also the respect for teachers and administrative staff have diminished tremendously. For the teachers that want to teach and eager to help make a difference in the student's life, it can't go far without the respect of students. I have been watching you all day and hope to hear this on air.....

    September 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  111. Judy Johnston

    The president did a very creditable job of explaining why education is so important to this generation and to future generations. Thank God he can rise above all the politically motivated comments of some and tell students what is truly important...get an education, get a job, get future. Most people in education work very hard to help students realize their potential. Let's all get behind this effort and make it count.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  112. Allison Palsho

    Thank you, Mr. President, for a reaching out to our school children in such a direct and meaningful way. A memorable speech that will inspire many of our kids.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  113. Christy Hayes

    I enjoyed the Presidents remarks. I was hoping as a teacher that he would also cover the showing of respect to the teachers and administration. This also makes it hard to teach. I hope this speech will inspire many students to try their hardest.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  114. Alex San Francisco

    I saw the president's speech as a great inspiration for people in school across the nation. For me it had a suddle overtone of Kennedy's notorious 'what you can do for your country' speech – this time directed to the young learning generation. The idea that some school censored a presidential speech is ludicrous. Allow the children to think for themselves.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  115. Carlos

    That small town fair and the comments they made resemble the true racism that exist in America. Those people are simply ignorant and stupid to deny a postivie speech such at the one we witnessed to be expressed before all kids. That shows how obivious it is that racism is the true backbone of those types of communities. It would not matter what topic the president spoke about or what he did it would be criticized because of his race. It will take America decades to truly change because of people like the ones out there today preventing our youth from postive role models, but let them be exposed to the misleading materials of reality tv. This shows that had those people had a speech like this they may have become better EDUCATED to be succussful in life.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  116. josephbbl

    The problem with Obama's health care legislation as it is written today is that it will cement the current system in place, which is stifling competition in the classic economic sense. What we have now is a noncompetitive system where services and reimbursement are negotiated above consumers’ heads by large private and government institutions. And the primary goal of any large noncompetitive institution is not cost control or product innovation or customer service: it’s maintenance of the status quo.

    What will happen when the government becomes the market leader in providing services that it cannot sustain paying for in the long-run?

    Answer: Remember the housing crisis? Didn't government intervention initially distort demand, raise housing prices, artificially stimulated a market of construction, and left us a supply that is not balanced with demand?

    I want a consumer-focused health care system driven by the market. Why you can't call up a hospital and ask for the cost of an MRI when you can do this for Lasik Eye Surgery?

    September 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  117. ifeoma ude

    its a shameful thing that some parent could introduce so much hatered to there kids,in such an early stage of there life.Because the only reason for all this controversy is just because of the colour of his skin.its a pity!.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  118. nascarkasykahne

    I belive educaion is the key to everything. I know kids 24 and younger who don't know have to use fractions or know how to do basic algbra. I was the first class year to gradution under the no children leave behind and the program didn't work. There are kids who want to learn and become someone, but there's schools that don't have the funds or money or tools to give the kids want they want. We are losing a lot of great minds because our education system sucks. There are other countries in the world who are better than us. Japan has a 99.9% reading and writing in their country. The USA is like I belive is 56% or lower. Germany is higher as well as France. Everyone says the USA is the greatest country is the world. I believe we are the dumbest as well. 99.9% vs 56% or lower. Let's do the math. I know I can. I hope other people can as well.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  119. Lynda J

    Healthcare definitely needs more attention and this dead horse has been beaten to death! I pay $900+ a month for my health insurance premium for myself and my husband alone and I am a retired state employee and this is almost surreal. Everyone who has a good health insurance plan and the ability to pay for it should not have any selfishness about wanting all Americans to have the same coverage. We are suppose to be the nation built on Christianity and what happened to us being our brother's keeper? Why isn't our talk on church days being put into aciton? Why shouldn't the least ones be able to get good healthcare although they do not have a job or because they have some kind of prexisting condition, etc.? Enough is enough of this hatred and hypocrisy!

    September 8, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  120. Luka D.

    I think no matter what you should still get just as good knowledge, no matter what kind of human you are–American, Jewish, African American, Asian or European. You should still get just as good an education. You are not always going to like your teacher or your school but listen and learn is the key– listen and learn, the 2 L's. Just do what your heart desires after the age of 23 but listen and learn for 0 to 23 Years.

    Luka D. Age 8

    September 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  121. gretchen

    tony, i would guess if the goverment gave everybody health insurance like congress has they would like the plan. and on the other side whatever plan they come up with congress should have to take that plan. if that was the way it is set up they would make sure we get a good health plan.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  122. Tom Joad


    And to think my kids didn't want to go to school today because I wouldn't let them wear their new school clothes. I explained to them that many kids couldn't afford new clothes this year, and I wanted to teach them empathy for their fellow man while at the same time helping them prioritize what's important.

    I do not agree with all of The Obama Administration's policies just as I didn't agree with many policies of the Bush Administration, but I want to THANK YOU President Obama for assisting us parents with our children. Any responsible parent will agree it's hard enough to raise a child and provide all positive influences necessary for them to be successful. God knows they have more than their share of negative influences.

    Thank you so very much!

    September 8, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  123. J. Conyers

    Dear Tony,

    I thought that the Presidents speech was an electric performance!!!!
    For all parents that cannot be there for their kids, because of
    working double shifts, two jobs, or mother's and dads not being there
    to help with the homework, we as a community/country have a duty
    to push our children forward to a brighter future. We as adults should
    embrace together and " continue to raise the village " for our children
    is our future. This is not a Democrat/Republican/Liberal or any other
    political agenda. This is about our children. Education!!!! is a must.

    J. Conyers
    South Carolina

    September 8, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  124. Nicole Honeycutt

    I thought Obama reached out to students and tried to make them understand the importance school has on kids.

    September 8, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  125. Arlyn Storey

    Both have major importance for now and the future of our country. We are the only industrialized nation in the world that does not offer a Universal Health care system of some type. There is nothing wrong in having a choice..a private choice and a gov't choice of insurance. Why shouldnt the gov't offer a plan that would compete with private insurance..maybe private insureance would have to drop their prices a notch or two to compete. . Competition is the "American" way, so offering a second choice like a gov't insurance is competion for the private insurance co. Fear of gov't intervention is out of context..our gov't should be helping its people otherwise we don't need a Govt at all..So let the Gov't offer its people a choice!!!!

    September 8, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  126. Jannise Mora

    Health care is the biggest issue American citizens have before their government to make a ruling on, such as, how to make it available to all citizens and for what cost. Addressing health care will have beneficial effects on education by providing care to all children, regardless of their social-economic status. Many learning disabilities hampering students in schools are because they aren't able to get access to the necessary treatments currently available in the medical community. A teacher wants to be able to provide the proper method of education to special needs children, and it is necessary to work together with the medical community to achieve success. Once nation wide health care is established and children are getting the medical attention they need in order to be healthy participants, you will see an improvement in the academic success of our nation education system.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  127. Tom Joad

    By the way, for those that STILL disagree with the President's Speech
    a picture is worth a thousand words:

    (look closely at this photo of Bush reading to school children)

    Check & Mate!

    September 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  128. E Brown

    It is ashamed how people have negativity towards the President and I feel that it its very disrespectful. If citizens have ever lived in a third world country they wouldn't be talking against the President. I hope that they do give him the respect that they have past President's. He is trying hard as the country is in a bad state,and he needs support by the citizens. I have lived in a country with socialized medicine and didn't have any problems, being middle class living in the US now my health care bills are very costly. Politics has brought in tactics to scare the misinformed into revolting on health care reform.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  129. Dan

    The right conservative's agenda tried to destroy the President's school message of encouragement to young Americans and twist the intent into a political fiasco. I am so disappointed as an American, that the people of this country are so gullible, shallow, disrespectful and prejudice. This was dirty polictics at it's worse. Have these objectional people with such weak character fell under the republicans (helter skeltor ) sick communal tactics? I am proud that my children had the opportunity to listen to our Presidents speech. God Bless America and Our President!

    September 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  130. C E Walker

    Thanks to the President for the motivating delivery of an "education" speech that can be, and hopefully will be eventually, shared with all American children. Do it again next year...Regardless of his school setting, our 5 yr. old grandson will see it this evening with his learning to be a responsible student and American citizen includes listening to the President when he takes time to speak to school kids. Glad the country had a chance to weigh-in on the speech beforehand; it usefully made the speech, and the learning experience, much better. Something we can agree on (and I usually don't)!

    September 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  131. Krista

    Health Care vs. Education should not be and either or conversation both are egually important. If you are in the position when you don't have health care this is priority for you. All those that are kicking and screaming and tearing down the health care plan proably have a good health care plan. Those are the one's that need to get print out of the cost of every doctor's visit, every emergency visit, or x-ray or cat scan, or prenatal care plan. I have a health carre plan and every year it covers less and less. I can only imagine the hard ship on those that have a low paying job and a family member with multiple health issues. The prescriptions alone will keep them broke, let alone other health care needs.

    American's have to be able to listen carefully a discern between what is big business trying to insure that they get that BIG BUCK and the needs of the people.

    This is also due to LACK OF EDUCATION, America is suffering from ignorance. Lack of Academic Educcation, Social and Political.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  132. Beverly J Powell

    Both are equally important. This is the kind of conversation all adults should be having with any young person that crosses their path. I cannot understand why a parent would have their child stay at home to avoid hearing what our President has to say. Shame on you. The speech was motivating and encouraging to all young people. Take you head out of the sand America. Most of our young people have been left behind because of narrow minded thinking. Have we fogotten that the young are our future ? Everyone in this country is entitled to good health care which could result in them pursuing their educational dreams. America think before you judge and speak.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  133. Vince

    Health Care is the most important issue, after unemployment for me.
    I do not see the issues as either / or.
    I believe we are talented enough to do many things at once.
    I find the discussion of education in the US has not progressed at all since I was a child in the '50s.
    The adults then scared themselves and all America with the non-sense that we were not teaching our population. Stevenson, I believe, advocated Saturday school. The Russians (nobody actually called them Soviets) were beating us in space and they were out working us. We were lazy and soft and ignorant. The rest of the world was willing to work harder than us and we would lose to the Russians. None of it was true then nor now.
    We are the 3rd most populous nation. We are diverse as any on earth. We have unchecked illegal immigration of mostly uneducated, non English speakers.
    We have compulsory education that we take seriously.
    We have open enrollment in college.
    MIT and Stanford and the University of Maryland and the University of Texas and Yale and Princeton and Harvard and Johns Hopkins and many more are still the schools sought by the rest of the world.
    The president attended public schools in the USA and he was able to succeed in very difficult colleges in the US. He was born in the turbulent 60s and was in middle school in the feel good 70s.
    We do ourselves a disservice dismissing the success we have.
    Some children do not wish a college education. Some actually want to work with their hands or be a merchant. Dan Snyder, the owner of the Redkins, Michael Dell of Dell Computers, Bill Gates of Microsoft are examples of wildly successful men who made their fortunes without the benefit of a college degree. They were educated but not in a college classroom.
    A plumber with a degree is not what I'm looking for when my pipes back up but a plumber is a valued member of our community. His contribution is valid and great and we do all the trades injury when we only see college and a degree as a worthwhile goal.
    When the top 10 percent of US students are compared with the top 10 percent of the rest of the world, we score much higher.
    Unlike much of the world, we include all students, good and bad in our mix. Most nations weed out bad students by the time they're 15.
    Let's address the issues honestly so we can actually move forward. As is, we are stuck in 1956, when I was in first grade.
    not a sermon, just a thought

    September 8, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  134. David Smith

    Education is not important to the American Taliban. They don't want their children exposed to the 'socialist indoctrination' of the President. Why would they want their children to stay in school? Education and things like books are bad. Look at their leaders. Rush, Savage, Palin,
    The Right is without adult supervision. The shame is we need a two party system, but the Republicans that my father knew are dead now and so are their ideas. –what a shame.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  135. David

    I don't know, but it's either either or or do or die all the time here. Never yes, allright, good. Tit for tat endlessly in politics and nothing ever accomplished.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  136. David

    It't nice to see you
    Don't say that
    That's not what I meant
    Don't get bent out of shape
    Calm down, listen to what I"m saying
    No, no, no, that's not what's happening
    Things are going allright.

    All better than tit for tat.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  137. Jonnye Stewart, TX

    Health care is definantely in need of a makeover. One of my co-workers that has health insurance coverage could not have more test done to see if his cancer has come out of remission because he owed $350.00 more on a medical bill. When the bill was paid he was told that more test could be done. He has emptied out his retirement account just to cover necessary expenses. We have illegal aliens that can get health care for free, that are not paying taxes and working in this country illegally. We have insurance companies that are being biased. If your are non-white, your chances of receiving a life saving organ are less to save your life. You have doctors that are sucking the blood from insurance companies and their patients with fraudlent transactions. I am not trying to understand why so many people are aginst health care reform. What I do understand is that there need to be some sort of reform in more more ways than one.

    September 8, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  138. Maria T Reed

    I heard the President's speech & hope that the schools across America gave their students the same opportunity. No matter what your age, it is never to late to set new goals for yourselt. And how you can become a role model for your family.

    September 8, 2009 at 2:09 pm |


    September 8, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  140. Dung Pham

    Health care versus Education. I believe that both are important topics, but i would say education because we need education to continue growing as a person. With being educated you are able to find different alternative to healthcare and education could provide you to make more money so you would not have to worry about the cost as much as others that are struggling to find coverage that they can afford.

    September 8, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  141. Kathy A. Conrad

    ... which came first? ... the chicken or the egg?

    Healthcare vs Education ... well, a lot of good education will be/do if we are all sick/dying or dead due to poor healthcare.

    And, why all of a sudden is Congress' taking interest in any issues at all let alone healthcare and education?

    Let me see ... hmmm ... while the financial/banking industry was taking us down the primerose path last summer, our fearless leaders were investigating far more important issues ... drugs use by major league baseball players.

    Yep, them elected officials sure know how to represent their constituency.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  142. Jimmie Johnson

    While both are important, Health Care costs are crippling the economy. Factories fail because of insurance costs. Contract negotiations always hinge on Health Care costs. The industry has a monopoly as powerful as the Oil Industry. They won't regulate themselves in regard to pricing so, it's time for the government to insist on competition.

    September 8, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  143. otis

    Does it matter what the President is speaking about, children learning, health care reform. Some of the Racist (Republican), or not well informed only wants him to fail. If had picked up his mothers Color instead of his Dad do you think tthat he would be getting so much FLACK!

    September 8, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  144. Lauri P. Horner

    How ironic..a speech designed to reduce ignorance and fear in our children, induces so much ignorance and fear in their parents

    September 8, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  145. Aris Bullard

    I am dismay how some parents allow their political fear and discontent to interfere with what kids may want to listen or read about the president.
    Parents! kids will hear from a friend , read or on line or watch tv. so allow kids to have a little bit of freedom .

    September 8, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  146. Thomas Baird

    All Citizens Deserve Health Care Coverage
    In the presidential debates last year, President-elect Barack Obama put it plain and simple – “Health care should be a right.”
    Out of every single industrialized nation in the world, the United States is the only one who does not provide universal healthcare for its citizens, according to the Connecticut Coalition for Universal Health Care. In addition, nearly 18 percent of the population in the United States does not have active health insurance.
    Maybe you noticed this item from the Associated Press: "The U.S. spends more per person on health care than any other country, yet in overall quality its care ranks 37th in the world, says a World Health Organization analysis." The study concluded that France and Italy ranked #1 and #2, respectively. United Kingdom is ranked 18th and Canada 30th. Enough said, even allowing for error.
    We realize any Healthcare System isnt perfect but it can be improved on after its passed , to make it the best Healthcare System of any country for it citizens and all the Americans citizens have healthcare insurance coverage and have equal good quality healthcare access and treatment when they need it. Universal Healthcare.We know it will be a improvement over the healthcare system thats in place now.This is needed to happen people, lets get it done,Now! Not Later. Make it Happen Now! "We Can Do It!"

    September 8, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  147. olivette

    The Education and Healthcare system is of great importance to the people. My advice to the leaders in Washington is work on Health Care and then Education; vise versa, It seems to me that those who are oppose to Health Care reform are the ones who may have profitted from the status quo, and those who can afford to pay for their health Care.

    September 8, 2009 at 7:03 pm |
  148. David Cleinman

    If we can ask students to do homework every night in five different subjects, then congress and the administration can work on two things at the same time. Both are high priorities, and both can be handled together; that is not the issue.

    The competence of our elected officials, and the greed and partisan politics that accompany it are really the determining factors in the effort to solve our problems. When congress decides that our citizens are more important than their financial kickbacks and special interest payouts, we might see massive progress on many issues. And they better begin soon, because our country is falling apart, and most of congress just doesn't seem to care.

    –David Cleinman

    September 8, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  149. Katie Jones

    Education and Healthcare are very important issues in the lives of Americans today. I beleive that Healthcare is the most important essential in anyones life because if you don't have good health you don't have anything. Some may say that education should be at first hand an issue but if you don't have good health we can't expect you to focus in school. Even though Healthcare is the leading issue in America today, we have to also take into consideration we wouldn't have a government or elect officials if they didnt get an education because you can't just jump into the hot seat you have to bring something to the table to benifit all. So to me Healthcare and Education go hand and hand.

    September 8, 2009 at 11:41 pm |
  150. gloria lewis

    Nothing needs more attention than the economy ,it makes me sick to my stomach how ignorant selfish and selfcenter the people with the money and power are in this country .It is this reason and this reason alone this country will continue to fall and take the world with it .Why everyone forgets to add poor lowercall working people into the economy .My question is how dumb is all these big know it all heads ,everything is going up inflation is on the rise salaries are the same or lower .Unemployment is still a mess .
    So can someone please explain their basic logig to how this economy will get better .I do not have any degrees but i do have basic economics and common sense .It scares the hell out me that this country has not seen the worst yet .So fasten your seat belts because sooner than later we are coming down crashing .

    September 9, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  151. Sonja Overholser

    Can't Congress handle more than one problem at a time? Even the health care issue should be broken down into parts that they (and the public) can understand before instead of even attempting to pass a bill that contains huge issues such as health care. Yes, education is just as important. Isn't that why we have different committees working on different issues? Lets get the corruption and fraud out of what the government is trying to run first before puttingeven more in their control. Tort reform should be included in some part of the health care reform this country is attempting. It's not a good idea to give the public (and our legislators) so much to swallow at once that they just don't get any of it. This creates suspicion and doubt everywhere!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  152. Chaney McEachern

    Judging by some of the ignorant statements I,ve heard during the healthcare debate...... I would think we need a whole lot more education.......... surely we can multi-task.....

    September 9, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  153. Ruby Hill-Benjamin

    If you're not healthy how can you succeed? If you're sick and can't get help to get well or can't afford medicine. What good would education do for a sick brain. Only the God given basic human survival skills would be used. Once you have regained your health, then can you be educated?

    September 9, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  154. Carolyn

    The president can talk to our students but here in SC Governor Mark Sanford upon hearing that some historic black schools need rebuilding and restoration, told legislators to go build they own schools. Sad.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  155. John Germain

    Health and education both need attention. When I returned from Nam I was spit on. Americans were dieing every day. Today they are dieing in Afghanistan. I find it curious that CNN so vocal and visual during the Bush presidency on the War has some how forgotten the importance of our children not coming home in body bags in order to have an education. This comment will for certain not be shown on CNN in my opinion. No matter America is in debt to China and Iran has all the oil.

    Will the OBAMA's, the Clinton's or the Pelosi's wait in the same lines for their children? No.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  156. brian mclaughlin

    i probably would have said that health care is the more important issue at the moment, but with the controversy over the presidents address to students and the the panic that was spread by the far right, maybe the education of the adults is the more important issue. it seems as the far right wants us to continue with the bush era lifestyle of being very afraid of everything and anything that is outside of their agenda.

    the way our health insurance has taken hit after hit, people throughout this country young and old are getting to the point where they cannot even afford the deductibles. we the people need to recognize this as a real problem of greed by the insurance industry. the people who oppose health care reform need to be educated to realize that having a public option is not going to threaten our democracy.

    maybe education is the more important issue right now.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  157. Lucy, Texas

    The economy crumbled like a house of cards. We must rebuild our foundation so our house can with stand the winds of change.

    Education is necessary to manufacture new goods, develop new industries, and train Americans for the new jobs produced.

    Heath care is provided to all of its citizens in France, England, and Canada at a fraction of what is paid to in the U. S. It is evidently an urban myth that the U.S. has the best health care....I believe there are actually more than 35 countries that deliver health care better than the U.S. Health care is a huge drain on our resources and our country can no longer sustain a 20% increase yearly.

    To save our economy we have to provide a good foundation to complete in the world economy. It isn't how much it costs as much as what we lose if we don't. We have to investment in our future and be able to compete in all aspects of the world economy. We just can't be consumers and debtors any more and we must diversify to weather competition and change.

    September 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  158. Tina McCaffrey

    First of all, I must say, out of the 3 news networks. I always turn to CNN. I trust "you guys" the most. I also check-in with BBC & EURO NEWS.

    Now , for the question : health care vs education? The disgraceful civil disobedience they created is certainly Un-American, uncouth, ignorant, etc. .

    The lack of education is what is causing the brainwashing of the middle class. I also believe that the lack of compassion for the less fortunate fellow Americans are really showing the rest of the world how selfish we have become.

    Our children have not been taught History, Modern Living (Civics),Math (budgeting), Problem Solving, Physical Education, etc.,etc, etc. They definitely know to use the computer, the cell phones, twitter, and so on. Those are aids, not the child's brain.

    My High School principal , on the first day of school welcomed us and said "pay attention to the fact, be not a follower, but a leader or an individual" That what has guided me, all my 72 years.
    My parents were my first teachers and through the years.


    September 9, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  159. Laura

    Hands-down, education. If we raise the education standards, we also raise the standard of living, educate more doctor's, and maybe we should even educate kids on how to eat right and take care of their health. Through education, we can solve some of the healthcare problems.

    September 9, 2009 at 2:06 pm |


    September 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  161. Dodie ~ California

    Hey, where are the lobbyists for the average American citizen??? I see the AMA lobbyists, the insurance companies lobbyists… so how about us??? After all, it’s our tax-dollars they are using! Where is our word? With congress being paid off by lobbyists of special interest groups, we don’t stand a chance! We continue to lose out!

    What happened to Democracy whereas the Average American has a say?

    ~~~ ((( No Affordable Public Option = No Health care Reform ))) ~~~

    September 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  162. pj

    Both are equally important but health care has the edge because it takes a healthy person to teach – it takes a healthy person to learn.

    Affordable medical health care insurance – for ALL Americans – is a "RIGHT" for the stability and growth of our country. Healthy teachers should teach/instruct healthy children.

    Affordable medical insurance – for ALL Americans – should cover preventive care and examinations to avoid unnecessary tests and long hospital stays. Preventive initiatives will help keep cost down and part of that includes healthy life-styles – the foods we eat, the exercises/activities we engage in, the sleep we get – all play an important part in reducing stress and anxiety that can effect how a teacher teaches and how a student learns.

    Health care and education are intertwined and both needs to be reformed – yesterday!

    September 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  163. mary griffin

    This question is like comparing apples to organes. On on hand Education is need for the furure of our nation. Health care is need to keep you alive and well. Why can we not have both. Someone tell us were all the money gos that is paid to taxes. Money just disappears when the states and feds get a hold of it. lets cut out some of the waste and stealing. use it for education and health care. If we did that we could pay to educate the world.

    September 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  164. Billy Fuller

    The health care issue need to be address first because if it is not taken care of the country can be driven into bankruptcy. It is getting too expensive to stay healthy these days. It will soon become necessary to take out a loan just to go visit your doctor. Insurance is getting unaffordable and soon no one will be able to afford it. Did you know that approx. 60 percent of the people in this country have a exiting condition. HIV, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes and obestity are all exiting conditions. If the insurance companies have thier way 60 percent of Americans would not have health insurance. Can you see what this would do to the emergency rooms in America.

    September 13, 2009 at 1:32 am |
  165. Harry

    I am a white male 61 years old , I have worked hard all my life until Feb 2009 I was layed off. I served in the US Navy during Vietnam. I have paid into health insurance all my life. I have tried to stay healthy, but like old cars the body parts start to wear out. Now Im unemployed, and have been since Feb. Obama singed a bill so I could at least get Cobra which reduces my insurance bill for my wife & I by 65%. Im thankful to Obama for that. I have 4 more years to go before i can get Medicare, so ill be a slave to the health insurance companies. I don't get these so called teatooters who are complaining about Obamas plan to provide affordable healthcare for everyone. If we do nothing everything continues to rise, who is going to stop it? I looked at that tea tooter crowd sat on TV and Ill tell you I didn't see any Mexican Americans, African Americans or Hispanic Americans. Can anybody tell me who these people were? because they sure didn't represent All of America to me.

    September 14, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  166. Gordon Steig

    Why all the talk a bout health care when no-one knows what the real answer is. No matter who you talk with, all come up with different answers, all of which does not make sense. The real thing to do would be to scake down the pages from 1100 to around 15, That would be getting something done!!

    September 18, 2009 at 12:56 pm |