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October 21st, 2009
09:10 AM ET

Public Option: For or Against?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out today on health care reform suggests growing support for a public option. We want to hear from you. Should the final bill include a public option?

Let us know what you think.
We’ll share some of your comments on the air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am — 1pm ET.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (433 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    There always needs to be a public option this is America not Moscow.

    October 21, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  2. Charles Kopack

    Defineitely yes! As well, it should contain the requirement to purchase health insurance.

    If we leave the current options open, then health reform will never happen at all. All the current system wants is the bottom line for insurance companies, health corporations, and doctors. What kind of real reform is that?

    October 21, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  3. Jackie FL

    YES TO A PUBLIC OPTION! Democrats let's get organized and fight for health care for all Americans, we are so close!

    October 21, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  4. Rob

    Public option or no public option makes no difference in the long run.
    The government is so badly managed and is unable to control fraud and overcharge under medicare, let alone for this public option program.
    Furthermore the total refusal to focus the attention on the criminal greedy doctors and hospitals who rip off the present system and review their billing practises will only increase healthcare cost, because the doctors and hospitals will make certain they get their share of the "trillion" calculated. Washington is run by "lobbyist" not by the government!!!!! Wake up America you are being ripped off again!!!!
    As you mentioned on CNN certain senators already objected to cut doctors and healthcare providers cost, because the industry lobby made sure they vote against it.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:05 am |
  5. Dee in Woodstock GA

    Without a public option what would be the point of "reform"?

    The whole point of reform is to make health care available to the PEOPLE, and if there is no public option so that all the people who do not have health insurance, and cannot afford the outrageous premiums the insurance companies charge, can be covered.

    The thing that is important to remember is that the reason payments to insurance companies are called PREMIUMS is that those payments are OVER AND ABOVE the actual cost of the services performed by the health care providers.

    If the insurance companies are making HUGE PROFITS, that means that after paying all expenses, employees and claims, they are still getting rich.

    So, imagine if the PREMIUMS were simply paid to get coverage that was offered by some not-for-profit they could cover more actual care could be paid for!

    October 21, 2009 at 10:13 am |
  6. Jeri

    Yes, yes and yes. The dems just need to actually act like the majority. Baucus and Reed need to actually listen to the people who elected. them

    October 21, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  7. Westley Annis

    Absolutely not! The government needs to get out of the private sector, especially in the health care industry, and let the free market do what it does best.

    The reason we are in this mess is because of government and more government is not going to solve the problem.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  8. John Steele

    When the rich & powerful people control the very means by which we extend our lives (as they now do) & those same resources are withheld from citizens for the sack of profits (as they now are) – when such action results in the deaths of thousands each year, the government is constitutionally obligated to protect citizens against such aggression. We have no other course but to take control from private interest for it has shown itself incapable of honoring life and putting people before profits.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  9. Terri

    Definitely need a public option. The insurance companies are not going to police themselves or promote policies/procedures that might be costly upfront but benefit health consumers in the long run.
    The major reason for public option, however, is HEALTH INSURANCE SHOULD NOT BE TIED TO EMPLOYMENT. Loose your job...loose your health insurance...what a double whammy!!

    October 21, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  10. Cynthia Gonzo Johnston

    YES on Public Option. And while you're up, make it Medicare for All.

    October 21, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  11. Douglas Kilmer, Rockledge Fl.

    Yes. I want a public option. I don't think our health care system will improve without it.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  12. Doug

    Public option YES and should be paid for by the top 1.5%.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  13. Rich Peters

    Of course it should have the public option, It's called, let the people choose..

    October 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  14. Sean A Wood

    Indeed , the only way to bring REAL competition . .
    The costs will be well worth the results in the Marketplace.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  15. cynthia alford

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!! we need a public option

    October 21, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  16. Carol Williams

    If we don't get a public option our country is going to see much darker days ahead, as the Insurance companies crank up our rates even higher. The GOP will have some explaining to do if they only have one or two Senators vote for a public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  17. hgnaz

    There needs to be a Public Option – we are America, the richest country in the world, not some 3rd world country.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  18. Lyndonunderground

    Of course there must be a public option for any real change. How can the richest most influential country in the world be so far behind when it comes to healthcare...

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  19. Jeff in Key West

    The key word here is "option". The more options the more choice. It's time for the insurance companies to compete. Yes... There should be a Public Option, a Co-op option and a private option. I've had to deal with the private insurance for an injury and I KNOW I want another option.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  20. Mark Hamlett

    It is not reform, without a Public Option. Nothing will change if we keep the power in the hands of the PROFITING insurance companies. Why should they profit on health care? I would rather see those profits go direct to the doctors, nurses, hospitals and care givers that deserve to be rewarded for all they do.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  21. Clay Carson

    Yes, of course we need a public option. The main argument against it seems to be that too many people might choose it.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  22. Jack McNatt

    The Public option has to be included, otherwise there is no reform. If no public option is included the insurance companies and republicans have won and reform will not happen. Even having a public option is not the ideal, we should go to a single payer system to get the best system for the dollar.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  23. Sunflower717

    I absolutely think the final bill should contain a public option! The people want it, and if I'm not wrong, that's who Congress is supposed to represent. The fact that the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says a public option would reduce the deficit is just even more of a reason to include it in the final bill. I don't believe there will be real healthcare reform without it, and I see no legitimate or ethical reason not to have it. It's time to stop health insurance companies from taking advantage of the people.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  24. Rob in Fla

    Tony....the ONLY real reform is YES to a public option.

    One more health care CEO gets another million dollar pay bonus while another large group of there customers gets the shaft when they need coverage.....I rest my case!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  25. Ron K

    I am against the Government-run public option for health care. There are so many less drastic approaches that will solve the majority of the problems WITHOUT bankrupting the country!

    My parents left me a prosperous America. I'd like to do the same for my kids!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  26. farrah

    YES! Public option HAS to be on the final bill! WHY? Because 65% of Americans need it, want it and are begging for it! Now that we are asking for something everyone seems against it, but when the banks needed millions for their profits to "save face" but really wanted it for trips, spa days and office upgrades everyone was for it.
    PLEASE give the PUBLIC the OPTION to be healthy!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  27. Allan45

    If reforms are made that hurt the insurance companies profit margin, they will just increase the cost of insurance to make up for it. Thus, increasing everyones insurance cost. The public option is a necessary system to keep prices in check. Without it prices will continue to go up at a rate that will bankrupt more americans than it already has.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  28. diane boly

    Definitely yes! AND we need to spread the risk by mandating individual health insurance.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  29. fm

    Yes, it should contains a public option,otherwise is not bill.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  30. Carol Williams

    I think the "trigger for the public option" is the best option, because we tax payers don't have to PAY for a whole new public system, and the THREAT of a public option will be enough to drive down costs.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  31. Harry C

    A robust and immediate public option is essential. Without it, there is no real competition (especially since insurance companies now enjoy exemption from anti-trust laws). And without it there is no real way to reduce costs and hold private insurance companies accountable.

    Any so-called compromises would not be effective and would only be one more giveaway to the insurance industry–an industry that has shown time and time again to be willing to sacrifice the health and even the lives of its subscribers for the sake of profit.

    There is nothing wrong with profit unless it is made at the expense of life and heatlh.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  32. Darell Smith MD

    Tere is no conceivable way there can be any real reform without a public option. All the other plans are just blowing smoke and the big guys get their way again

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  33. Rob

    No, there should not be a public option. Yes we should have health care, but the Government should tell insurance companies you MUST accept all regardless of conditions or face penalties.

    If the Government has a public option regardless of what the politicians say it will affect health care of everyone. Those happy with their good health care will get ok health care under public option. The reason, doctors will have to take more patients in order to make the money they do now. Right now your doctor may make 100 dollars from a check up. Under government health the govt may say for a visit we will only pay 45 dollars meaning doctors will have to take on more patients. Allready there are long lines, they will be worse.

    Why affect my health care which I pay for ? Right now anyone can go to the hospital and be treated. Also we all want technology right? Well technology costs money.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  34. Darryl

    I am for a public option. We will not be able to trust the insurance companies to do the right thing they have had decades and the problem just gets worse. If not a public option at least a trigger, give them (insurance companies) enough rope to hang themselves.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  35. Kathy

    Absolutely the legislation should include a Public Option, and a good one. The health industry lobbying situation is outrageous and It's time our legislators listen to and help the people on the street.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  36. Kathy

    Yes, It Must include a Public Option!


    Richmond, Va.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  37. jan in SC

    Absolutely....Positively....YES. Look what the banks have done
    to us do you really think the Insurance companies will be any
    different ? Especially if we have mandatory purchase of insurance!
    That is like handing the bandit the gun and saying "Please don't shoot me"

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  38. mike from branson, mo.

    Yes the health care reform bill should have the public option. If there is anything in this bill that penalizes us for not joing with an insurance company and we don't have a public option to fall back on. It will be like feeding us to the wolves.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  39. Phil blackwood

    Yes I want the option to buy insurance from a govt-run insurance program. Why pay extra for corporate overhead?

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  40. Dorothy,

    Yes, Tony the final bill should contain a public option. The key word here is option. This option should be there along with the private options and let the people make their own choice. I can't understand what all these " free market" republicans are afraid of. The majority of americans know it is the only way that the insurance companies will be held accountable and it would appear the insurance companies realize that also, which is why they are fighting so hard to stop it. Otherwise they would not be pouring all the money in to block it. After all, they say the reform is needed.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  41. kathleen young

    the health care reform plan should include a public option. i have medicare which is a public option and have no problem with it

    October 21, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  42. Chris

    I spent ten years living and working in the United Kingdom as an American. My family loosing the Nantional Health Service (NHS) was the worst part of comming back to America. I fear if the public potion is not passed, I may have to move back; I cannot support my family having to pay the monthly premiums on top of deductibles and the rest. The public option is not optional in my opinion.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  43. Don Crawford

    Without a strong public option the medical insurance industry will continue to enrich its coffers at the expense of the American public and medical practioners. This is a no brainer unless you're on the payroll of the insurance industry!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  44. Clint from Tulsa

    Speaking as a hard working American who has been hospitalized while not having health insurance, I can say that without question there should be a public health option available. To go a step further, we should have true universal, single-payer health care like the rest of the industrialized world. It works great everywhere else and the only reason we don't have it is simple greed by the health insurance industry and the huge power that their money has bought them.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  45. don vogel

    absolutely or we have just wasted all this effort and time
    because without a public option rates will not have downward pressure
    for profit companies will continue to overcharge and under/care

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  46. Kate

    Public option must be in final bill 100%. otherwise there is no any change whatever white house going to pass without public option is waste of time and money. All americans waiting for public option, republicans should support bill with publick option and finaly vote for it.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  47. Gerald

    Absolutely.Anything short of a public option is a failure.I work in the health sector,and i know the current state of health care is appalling.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  48. Sandra Johnston

    Yes, public option should be included. The health insurance companies need competition. We need more options. My Blue Cross Medicare Part D premium is going up 50% in 2010 while my social security is staying the same because there is not inflation. So where is that premium increase going? Who's getting the big raise?

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  49. dotty


    I think health reform without the public option is useless. The insurance companies will continue to take advantage of the American public at their own advantage.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  50. Sharon Willmann

    We NEED a Public Option to keep the insurance companies honest. They have already said they will raise rates as they spend millions on false advertisements. If we want to insure everyone and don't include a Public Oprion, the Healthcare Companies will get a bonus. They will be able to cover another 45 million people and raise rates on ALL of us.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  51. perfetto305

    i voted for obama cause we need the public option! I didnt vote for obama to change health care to what mcain wouldve done! If the people who want the public option would rally at washington the way the glenn becksters did we would shut down washington, with the amount of people. Unfortunately we cannot afford to take a weekend off like the glenn becksters. I try to vote on as many polls that i can still showing support. I argue with the die hard republicans whenever i get a chance. i do what i can from where i can!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  52. Liz Coley

    We truly need a public option for healthcare insurance in order to remove the "for profit" incentive in providing insurance. How does an insurance company make a profit? By charging the insured people more than it actually costs to provide their health care benefits. That's fundamentally inefficient and unfair. Think about it.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  53. Albert

    The greatest healthcare system in the world can certainly be more efficient, but the so-called public "option" is not the answer. There is no doubt that after the initial 10 year period, prices will skyrocket ... the CBO has been historically bad at guess-timating costs.
    How about REAL competition ... allow people to purchase health insurance across state lines.
    And what about TORT REFORM? California has done it ... and it has worked.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  54. Bobbie Wood

    Absolutely! A public option much the same as Medicare is essential. A co-op does not even qualify as an option.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  55. larry true

    without the public option it will just be another dog and pony show.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  56. Harry

    Of course it should include a public option. What's the point of even bothering with reform unless there is an affordable option offered by the government. I'm sure it won't be run perfectly. But, at least the government won't be trying to make a profit based on my health! I do not trust the insurance companies to do the right thing. They will always look for unethical ways of squeezing money out of us.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  57. Mary

    I do not understand how healthcare reform can work without a public option. I believe it is very very necesary to have that public option.

    Mary from Wisconsin

    October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  58. Suellen

    YES. A public option must be part of the reform legislation. I do not understand why Democrats are pussy footing around it. Are they being influenced by big buckks from Insurance companies? With all this groundswell in favor of the public option, those in Congress who vote against it may do so at their peril.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |

    A Public Option should definitely be included in the final bill. This is essential, since the key word here is option. Americans should have the ability to invest in an option that may be more affordable and insure total coverage. More Americans would have healthcare coverage with a public option. Healthcare is a human right.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  60. Todd H

    Yes to a public option. The insurance companies are businesses. And they are about profits, not about people. A public option could give the needed competition to force the insurance companies to think about thier customers.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  61. missy

    Yes, the plan must have the public option to bring down costs. Which is why the Republicans are fighting against it so hard, they are in office to represent the insurance companies, hospitals and rich doctors. It's sad that they use scare tactics to get ordinary people to fight against a plan that would actually help them! If they succeed and they pass a bill without the public option, the Republicans will begin touting how Obama's Health Care Reform only cost the taxpayer money.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  62. Lonnie Bedell

    No. The government proves time and again that it runs things horribly (defense dept, medicare), and yet it gets rewarded with more things to run!

    What needs to be done is replace health insurance as a workplace perk, and give people the equivalent money to buy it on their own. When people see how much their health insurance costs they will be floored, and the sheer volume of people buying will make costs plummet.

    What sense does workplace provided healthcare make when the one place it doesn't have any benefit is at work! (worker's comp covers that)


    October 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  63. Oregon Guy

    The United States is behind all other developed nations in providing health care to our people. We absolutely need a public option in the final version of the health care reform legislation currently in Congress. The recent financial meltdown demonstrates exactly how much large corporations care about the well-being of their customers. Insurance corporations are among the largest financial engines in the world, and they also are either owned by, or own, most of the banks. Think about it.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  64. Colin

    I believe it is essential to include the public option in any health care reform bill. It is all too common to read obituaries of people dying of preventable and treatable diseases. This should never happen in America. People should know that if you are unwell, you can do something about it- whether you are rich or poor.

    Colin L
    Nashville, TN

    October 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  65. fm in fl

    We waiting until we get no more healthy people in USA to get Insurance for all, public option is the only choice now.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  66. Jenifer

    Public Option is a BIG MISTAKE for this country. The Government will have more control and say in our lives and we'd be even more RELIANT on the government to take care of us. We want the Government to stay out of our lives.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  67. Tony Sandhu

    In my opinion public option is must to insure maximum number of people and to control the cost as without it we will still be on the mercy of insurance companies


    October 21, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  68. julie

    It should be unacceptable without a public option. Are the republicans trying to eradicate their less fortunate constituents by keeping a system that denies good health care to those who cannot afford it?

    October 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  69. Sherry

    Tony, when a company seems too expensive and you decide to go with the cheaper, local guy, the expensive company then wants to offer you a lower rate....TOO LATE! Insurance companies have raped our patriots for years, and now that we are demanding the Public Option (which was promised by Obama) the insurance companies are saying they are willing to play more fairly...TOO LATE! Take the company that gave you the lowest quote, first, not the one who is willing to take a little less profit after they've already made tripple or more than they should have, according to the "local guy" comparison. YES, We Need the Public Option!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  70. Gail Cheesman

    We need a public option because insurance companies will keep on trying to increase their profits by dumping people who show any signs they may be sick in the future. The two recent babies whose insurance companies tried to kick them off the coverage are an example, because being a high-weight newborn and being a small-for-age toddler are among many warning signs that might indicate need for some medical treatments. I know this because I used to work in a Birth to Three program providing medical and other services, and remember some of the indicators for screening little kids' health and development. Those companies were protecting their bottom line, so they will keep on trying it. A public option would not do this to people.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  71. .Darryl

    There was always strong support for a public option. The only reason it seemed like that was not the case was because of the Insurance lobby and there efforts to distort the truth. They helped organize some of the protest and or set the stage for them by misinforming people and scaring them into a frenzy about losing their health care.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  72. Ahmedin

    NO comment but I am for public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  73. Thomas

    Absolutely! Inclusion of Public Option is the only way to ensure a fair treatment for every one, especially the have-nots. It is not, as some have said, a government take over of health care. It is an additonal option for people to take advantage of, and not be tied the greed and exploitation that is synonimous with the health care industry.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |

    A robust public option is the minimum that should be included in legislation to help regain some compitition to an industry that has been the single biggest reason our healthcare system has become so costly.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  75. jane

    How many people do you know who've been "stiffed" by their insurance company? Some, like me, have had to pay thousands out of pocket for care that should have been covered. You bet we want the public option. Would it be the end of private insurance? Of course not, but it may bring their profits down just the teeny tiniest bit. This is not a democrat vs. republican issue. Friends on "both sides of the aisle" have been equally mistreated (cheated?) by their health insurance insurers. They, and I, want the public option. And finally the press has cottoned on. Whew. Took you long enough.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  76. Cheryl Ede

    Absolutely yes on the public option!

    We need a new economic model applied to our health care system. Social capitalism is an idea whose time has come–solve a social problem while being self-sustaining economically. (Our newspaper industry would benefit from this type of model, also.)

    If the Democrats forgo an opportunity for true health care reform, expect a diminished role for them in the future.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  77. Lyle

    No public option because it will lead to socialized mediccine and destroy private enterprise in the medical field. This will lead to a shortage of medical students and eventually a shortage of doctors.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  78. Pamela

    I am completely behind O'bama's public health care ideas. I hope we're able to pass an undiluted plan so that every person in this country can have health care!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  79. martin

    The public option is favored by a majority of Americans. My question is: "Why doesn't Max Baucus organize the Senate Finance Committee bill to basically benefit America as a whole? Why did he vote to have it benefit only his state of 150,000 people? Is our senate really a democracy? I say NO!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  80. jane day

    yes, i want the same options as the president. why should polititions be treated any differently than we who pay them to do their jobs. which has been less than straight with all of us....

    October 21, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  81. Todd

    NO TO THE PUBLIC OPTION. I am self employed, my wife has diabetes and 8 herniated disc's. I have high blood pressure and 3 herniated disc's. When my wife got laid off 18 months ago we had to find private insurance. It took one month. My son is 23 years old and never gets sick. He doesn't need to carry insurance. The US already has a record deficit. Is in a recession. Have two unfinished wars. We can't afford any more Social programs. We don't need the Gov in our Private Health business! We are not Socialists! Any person legal or illegal, insured or uninsured can get help at any emergency room in America. We don't need to mess with Medicare or Medicaid except to fight overcharges and double charging. The SS retirement fund is going negative. We have too many existing problems already. We don't need more!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  82. Theresa

    I beleive in the public option. I'm sick of the greedy insurance companies. It amazes me how much the insurance companies will lie and play games to stay in power.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  83. Brian

    No. The government is not in the business to BE a business. Every "business" undertaking they have started has had massive failures and cost over-runs. Think Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae, Medicare, and Social Security. The government NEVER uses the money that is set aside for it's intended purpose. They ALWAYS "borrow" it of rother uses and thus add it to the deficit. Until I can trust my government to follow the same rules I am required to follow (live within my means, balance my checkbook, don't spend more than I make) then they should not be allowed to try to expand in new areas. We have to pay the bill for this stuff OR they have to print and borrow more! At what point will they have to file bankruptcy? They require companies who took stimulus money to limit income and bonuses but they take the same in contributions from the same companies. Maybe we should limit their ability to take this money and REQUIRE the work for the people, not the corporations. NO, NO, NO to another government run colossus. Although, since it will take 4-5 years to build the infrastructure (sic. new bureaucracy), I can see that a major draw for some will be "job creation"...

    October 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  84. Russ

    As an insurance professional, I find the insistence on this public option far more political than logical. The politics are to woo the public into thinking they will get coverage as good or better than the current Government employees for no extra charge. The argument defies logic in that the Politicians, in order to gain public favor, continue to under fund Government run programs (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid) leaving a seriously under funded program for future generations. The whole insurance industry relies on special “number crunchers called “Actuaries” to establish rates. When will the Government employ this specialized level of skill (actuaries) to truly crunch some real numbers? But, that would deal with reality wouldn’t it? Would reality get Politicians re-elected?

    October 21, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  85. Michael

    Yes for public option, I believe the only way people can afford today's health insurance is public option. There is no healthcare reform With out public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  86. rasheed

    yes, it is a must, it shuold not not acceptable in america for health problem to be the highest reason for bankruptcy in usa, we shoould learn from europeans and canadians

    October 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  87. Suellen

    YES to the public option!!

    October 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  88. Jerry Carter

    Any bill that the President signs should have a public option or the reform is a sham. The insurance industry has proven over the decades that they will not provide an affordable option for a large number of people. If they had, I don't think there would be so many people who are uninsured or who are insured but unable to afford the co-pays and deductibles and are therefore, still not getting the health care they need. I am among the latter. If the bill adds a tax to the benefits I receive from my employer, I would be better off without it. The reform should be real reform that allows people to obtain affordable health insurance from a source that meets their needs, does not deny coverage for pre-exisiting conditions and allows them to get health care once they are insured

    October 21, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  89. Don Grimes

    Yes there should be a public option. It's time to put the American people first and push back against corporate greed. That included the insurance companies, banks and Wall Street.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  90. Bruce McBride

    A Health Care Plan without a public option would just let insurance companys go about buisness as usual. Refering to claims as medical losses and spending millions to lobby washington to find more ways to deny claims and cut medical losses all the while paying their CEOs millions in wages and bonuses. What ever happened to the phrase compitition is healthy? Bruce A McBride

    October 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  91. glen stevens

    I support the public option to create competition. I also feel there is not enough debate concerning the rising costs of healthcare, medicines, doctors, hospitals, treatments, etc.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  92. Bill Martin

    We need a public option to control prices. It's really simple:

    Public Option: Good for consumers

    No Public Oprion: Good for insurance companies.

    Why do you think the insurance companies are spending millions to lobby congress to block a public option? They are doing that to benefit themselves, not the American consumer.

    October 21, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  93. Peggy

    YES!! to the public option! Without it we have to trust the Insurance companies to do the right thing! Does anyone out there still trust the Insurance companies?! I think not!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  94. Steve

    Yes, we need a public option. We just got our MA info. and the cost are increasing. It's sad that the people making these decisions for us on health care don't really have a dog in this fight, unless it's the money they are being paid from the health care org. One thing for sure is something needs to get done.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  95. John

    Our health care system is just that – a system. Systems are best managed with gradual change not severe change. If you are cold, you don't turn up the thermostat 20 degrees. You turn it up a little bit, see if you are still cold, turn it up a little more, etc...

    The public option is the 20 degrees adjustment. We may need it by the time we are done, but don't start there. Start with the simpler smaller changes. If they don't work, then the a public option can kick in.

    The health care system is a broken and phenomenally complicated system. It is possible to make it worse. Sudden drastic changes increase the odds of that happening.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  96. Hannia Jaworski

    YES! People need choices and the insurance companies need a competition.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  97. Kate

    Yes! yes for public option!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  98. Anna P.

    There should definitely be a public option. Democrats should put an end to this madness!! Any other option should not be accepted, time has come to abolish the health care system as we know it.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  99. George Mills

    Absolutely "YES" to Public Option, reform is needed to the Healthcare of this country and without a Public Option the Insurance Companies with remain in control of the Healthcare costs. Currently, the costs are out of range for many with health conditions. The Insurance companies pick and choose who they want to offer Insurance to and without competition they will continue this practice. Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  100. Marilyn Hill

    There should be a public option. It is clear to me that the medical insurance companies for profit have not worked as evidenced by the fact that so many people are losing homes, all they own for the sake of trying to pay medical bills. The idea of competition which is the foundation for capitalism is the premise for another option for the "for profit companies."

    October 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  101. farrah

    public option has to be a GO!
    I'm 29 and yes- I don't have insurance but it's not because I am opting out of insurance. I just can't afford it on a minimum wage!
    Public Option ha s to happen!
    and for those who are against Public Option, then lets get rid of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, the Post Office and Public Schools! Those are all government run!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  102. Dean Mazdai

    At what point did th United States turn into the United Socialists of Crazy? The public option is called option. We don't have healthcare in US, we have sickcare.there is no reward/motive to be healthy in the usa. If our govt can go in fire the CEO of a GM a public company ,and then tell us we must use their insurance.where does it end they control private and public

    October 21, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  103. Rob

    How many people on here who said YES to Public option have health insurance right now?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  104. MaryKay

    Absolutely YES to a Public Option. This is a no brainer. How else are we going to control costs, and not reward the greedy insurance companies by handing them millions more people to mistreat and overcharge.
    By the way, Government Bashers, I am a senior – I'm on Medicare and Social Security and they work wonderfully!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  105. Robert Smith

    No – We should not have public option.
    Thank you.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  106. James Mckelvie Lee Jr

    As a retired Policeman I have good health insurance. My premiums including Medicare payments are paid for me. There is no reason that every American should not have Health Insurance as good as mine.

    The Public option should only be included If and only If "Single Payer" is not adopted.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  107. David

    NO! there should not be public opition. Government cant beat there way out of a wet paper bag. How can they run a public health care plan, if they cant run, ei, post office, billions in debt, amtrac, went bell up, the veterins admin is ineffictive and scarry (personal experience), fanny mae and freddy mac billions in bad debt. should I go on. It will put our children in dire straits. No politician can see past their noses, this will be a bust.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  108. CAT

    Absolutely yes!! We need the public option and I feel strongly that we will have that option in the end.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  109. Pamela

    I am completely in favor of Obama's ideas about public health care. I hope we're able to pass an undiluted plan so that every person in this country has access to health care!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  110. James Mckelvie Lee Jr


    October 21, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  111. Joe Lyford MD

    A public option is essential. A bill without a public option will be worse than no bill at all.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  112. Leon Urbaitel

    Yes, let's add the public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  113. Nick

    While the right is consistently concerned about a government takeover of health care, they seem not to recall that certain industries are best managed publicly, such as law enforcement, military, and the like; health care may very well be one of those industries, due to its caretaking nature. Noone wants Americans to die unnecessarily, but we seem not to have a problem with it in the case of the ininsured or underinsured.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  114. Sandra in Georgia

    Yes. We must have a public option. If we are going to require insurance for everyone, and we should, then costs must come down. The way to lower costs is to include a public option. It astounds me that people who like and depend on Medicare don't realize that it is a public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  115. Rob K

    Yes, we need a public option! How else are we going to keep the insurance company prices in check?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  116. Jeff

    If there is to be a mandate that we must get insurance, then that insurance must be regulated per price. The public option is the only way I can see such a regulation working. If not it will be no different than car insurance is for the poor: do we pay for insurance this month or do we eat?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  117. David K

    YES YES YES! We need the public option and how else did you think insurance companies would lower prices? On their own hah.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  118. Judi romaine

    Of course a public option – as a senior from Indiana, I have many friends who cannot afford health care until they receive Medicare – one of the gifts this country has given its citizens – I believe the insurance companies are duping the uninformed public about the costs and scaring people away from this – in the long run, it will save the country and business so much money to offer another way –

    October 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  119. Steven

    A Public Option must be included. As somebody who works just above the poverty line, it frustrates me to hear my coworkers bash the public option with lies they hear from the Republicans when they are the people it will help so much.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:07 pm |
  120. Brian

    Single pay is the only way! But will settle for Public Option. So when push comes to shove. Who will win corporations or the American people? I love my country but I fear my goverment!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  121. Louise Harris

    We definitely need the public option. The Insurance companies will never police themselves or stop ripping off their customers ie., refusal to pay for health care etc. etc. The profit motive must be eliminated, thus the gradual move to universal health care must be taken.

    I'm tired of the word "public" being used to frighten people and statements such as "get the government out of our lives".

    We have public schools, public parks, public fire departments, public police forces, public libaries, public bus and train lines, the post office, public water supply, plumbing and sewers, public power, Social Security, public school lunch programs etc. We already have public hospitals, Medicare, Medicaid, veterans Administration and the National Institutes of Health. These work well most of the time.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  122. Dave O'Connor

    We MUST have a public option. What would be wrong with everyone having Medicare. It is delivered at a cost of about $2 where insurance company's typically cost closer to $22. Health care is a right, not a commodity. It's like electricity and clean water.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  123. Jim

    I do believe that the Public Option is necessary to bring costs in line.
    I just received my new policy for BCBS and it has a 5% increase.
    That brings my total bill and my wifes to over $1,100 per month.
    We are self employed and have no children and have no illness.
    We are just in our early 60's.
    We cannot continue paying this...

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  124. Michael Adams

    Health care reform that enriches the insurance companies is not reform at all!! The public option is the only viable option that represents real reform. The subsidies for businesses and individuals that is being discussed does nothing to lower costs and just raids the treasury and falls back on the taxpayer. Insurance co-ops are a joke and have never provided real competition.

    And another thing, I am appalled to learn that the insurance industry is exempt from anti-trust laws. How could a responsible congressperson, who is supposed to represent the American people allow this? A monopoly can charge what ever they want and this is just what the insurance industry has been doing for years. This system is unsustainable. Anyone who knows the facts can see this.

    It is time for real change!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  125. joy

    yes we need public option. and i think that's the best thing for the united state people

    October 21, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  126. Mary

    Yes, we need a public option as soon as possible.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  127. Les Mezei

    A robust national public option is the best way to control costs. We could easily pay for it by putting a $2 to $4 tax per trade on all securities transactions. If we hadn't spent a trillion dollars on the bailout, we wouldn't be as concerned about spending an equal amount on ourselves.It's time for Wall street to give something back. This tax would hardly have an impact on our economic recovery and would be a drop in the bucket for almost all investors. Let Wall Street pay for health reform. The public would cheer such a move.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  128. Frances Smith

    I am FOR a Health Care Public Option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  129. Richard Terrelonge

    If I lose my job and my house and now have to buy health insurance on my own why should I pay the 30% extra for corporate bonuses, business jets, ;lobbying money, advertising expenses, and administrative costs to figure out how to deny benefits to policyholders.

    We must have a viable and robust public option. If the private health insurance industry can do it better and cheaper than government then they will win the businesses. Why are these so called capitalists afraid of competing with the government that they call incompetent.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  130. Steve-Mich

    100% FoR!
    A public Option is the only way to control Out of Control Greedy Corporate dictatorships that hold the people 'over a barrel'.

    Our Govt is designed to protect us from both exterior and interior threats to the people. That includes Powerful, Greedy, Corporate profiteering at the people's expense.

    If the Private medical facilities and INsurance companies and supply/pharma companies think what they do should be done at rates incomprehensible for american workers and the poor and middle classes, they need to be given a new perspective.
    Other countrys do just fine, their doctors make plenty, their education is subsidized, they dont abuse their people for the sake of big Corporate profits.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  131. David Clark

    Absolutely in favor of a public option. I would prefer a single payer system and getting rid of the insurance companies all together. Their only purpose is to collect premiums, take 20-30% off the top for profits, deny whatever they can... and then, grudgingly pay the care providers with what's leftover. Ridiculous!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  132. Cathy & Gary Elmore

    Yes, the PUBLIC OPTION is the only way that there will be fair and equitable competition and get the Insurance Companies who are not in the business of Health Care but rather they are in business to make money to start doing business for the health of the people. The American peoples health is not a game or a commodity.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  133. Tom Swope

    As a retired military person with excellent health care this issue does not really effect me or my family. But as a former social worker I can say from personal experience that the public option is an absolute necessity.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  134. George Van Hollebeke

    The insurance companies cannot be trusted without a public
    option. Without it premiums will likely dlouble again in the next 10 years...

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  135. Jerry

    Yes for the public option. We need to stop the cherry picking and rationing of the insurance companies. Right now some nurse on a telephone call has veto power over my doctor.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  136. charles dillard

    Yes we should! The Democrats need to drop Snow and do what we elected them to do! I have phoned my representatives and told them if they vote against it, I will be voting against them!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  137. Mike Ferong

    Absolutely the healthcare bill should contain the public option. That is the only way to make insurance company's to keep their rates down!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  138. Chris

    Thank you for your input and story.
    I want to tell you from experience, Netherlands, where I grew up, that public option health care no matter what it includes is putting responsibility away from the people. Therefore no good, no future and someone is paying for it somehow. But not the people abusing the system. Simply, it is a step down from what we have. Not up.
    We need people who learn to take care of themselves OR Else....
    Thank you,
    C. G.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  139. David

    Even the most conservative in Canada are shocked at the opposition of a public option in American health care. Any human being with any sense of compassion would certainly want this. At age 39, I have had two doctors in my lifetime. I go regularly for preventative check-ups and am rarely sick. I have had 3 surgeries from a dog bite incident that would have bankrupt me in the U.S. In Canada, I have never seen a bill and have no idea what it cost nor do I care. One's well being should never be an area of stress or worry with regards to finances.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  140. todd hoffman

    yes. we need a public option. the option will keep the insurance companies honest. without the option the insurance companies will have won a major victory and the health care initiative will have been substantially diluted.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  141. Vince Cody

    Until we have a public option, the insurance companies will continue to raise prices and control our healthcare. They influence how they pay doctors, hospitals and who has coverage and who does not. Let's take another look at their profits and especially the insurance company executives. This is why so many people cannot afford to pay for insurance, and do not have it. We need the public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  142. Muffin

    A public option is the only way! For proffit health care alone is not for all! It aught to be like our public schools. If you want to buy private health care you should be able to but basic care for all should be available to all.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  143. Achilles

    Public option is the only option that guarantees competition and will lower health care costs and guarantee coverage for the disadvantaged. Does it have to take a rocket scientist to explain to these dumb idiots in congress how important that is to the common people who elected them into congress?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  144. Karen Mickleson

    Without a strong public option (and repeal of the antitrust law which protects them) insurance companies will always find endless ways to evade any profit restrictions the bill passes on them.

    They should have packaged it as 'Medicare For All Who Want It' from the beginning and we wouldn't be in this mess right now.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  145. Leslie Neebling

    There should absolutely be a public option. There are far too many Americans with no chance for healthcare for a variety of reasons; no job, too expensive, etc... Secondly, we need a "real" competitor for the insurance companies, to drive healthcare prices down. It is frustrating although not surprising that the Republicans want to leave things status quo – they each and their families have healthcare coverage, and a win for all Americans, which comes with a win for President Obama win, is not something they can take. Very sad.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  146. naomi

    Yes it must be with a public option. OR I would not go out to vote for anyone. since they are useless.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  147. Michael Putman

    We should be alert to who is most vocally against a public option as they harp over the internet, talk radio, cable news shows, coordinated public demonstration while generally trying to hide their true identities behind "patriotic" titles. Absolutely, there should be a public option at a minimum.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  148. Chet, New Orleans, La

    Yes for the Public Option. Next month I get slammed with another 12% increase on my health insurance. It's tripled in ten years. The health industry is out of control.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  149. Roberta

    The public option is a must. Without it insurance companies will drive up costs, give huge bonusses to their executives and find loop holes to deny care. Even a trigger will give insurance companies time to figure out ways to cheat the consumer. Look at how with only a few months before more regulations, credit card companies are driving up interest rates and penalty fees to the consumer.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  150. Barry Thorpe

    We already have a public option, since we all pay higher ins. premiums to cover the costs of care for those who show up without insurance and get treatment. The insurance companies don't want a real public option because they can't fudge the margin, and they would not be able to raise rates at will. There must be a public option AND limits on ins. company profits.....Each dollar collected in premiums should result in 85 cents spent on actual care. It's bad enough that life and death is a for-profit industry, but at least give us a good deal !

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  151. Barbara M

    Public Option-YES Absolutely needed or maybe we will just die off. What price would you put on your Mother or Child?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  152. Glenn Kithcart

    Yes, we definitely need a public option to control prices. The insurance companies just publicly threatened that they will raise their prices. But we already knew that from experience. The only way to get them out from in between us and our doctors is with competition.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  153. Judy

    I believe the public option is the best option for everyone. I come to this belief based on the fact it will create competition among insurance companies who have benefited from the previous system leaving the consumer left out. It is the only way we can even the playing field whereas all people can benefit.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  154. venila

    YES,YES,YES TO PUBLIC OPTION...that is my vote...

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  155. Jose


    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  156. Pat

    If you will ask your question about the health care bill by referring to it as the government option, which it is, instead of the public option, which deceives the general public as to who will be in charge of it, you may get a more true read on how many support the government running their health care needs. I definitely oppose the government on this.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  157. Fernando

    I'm really concerned this public option and the health care reform bill in general will just continue to burden our country with unnecessary debt. Why not fix Medicare/Medicaid and get rid of the fraud/waste that exists there?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  158. marcelo san diego, CA

    " Leaders of the free world , land of the brave does not fit in a society that live their own behind... free and universal healf care is not a public option but an exit and the only manuver to lead us out of this crisis"

    " brotherhood option"

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  159. Barbara

    The Public Option is necessary to have true reform. Let's get it done.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  160. Ed

    Public option is a MUST else there will be no reform.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  161. Ken Turnage

    .Yes to the public option!!
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to believe that the government can put together and run an efficient alternative insurance program. But, with the non-competitive system (only the conventional insurance companies that currently exist) setting the efficiency/cost bar, that the government can provide an alternative that will mandate a change in attitude towards efficiencies and acceptable profit margins on the part of conventional insurance companies.
    It's sad to see that our educated politicians are so wrapped up in political politics that they are ready to sell out the people they represent. Even if the some of the people aren’t experienced enough to see what is best for them in the long run, the politicians should be.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  162. D. E. Keith


    re: Public Option inclusion

    Let me be clear. Yes, Yes and Yes for the public option. The time is now to reign in the health care cartel.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  163. Geoff Pykett

    Of course there has to be a public option, with or without the Republicans who must be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century to consider people not just big buisness.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  164. Deborah Williams

    Yes, I am for a public option. I am not in favor of insurance companies making a profit off of the health issues of the citizens of our country. PERIOD

    October 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  165. Dr. Alice Hoffman

    It is stunningly simple. A public program does not have to make a profit. The private insurance companys must operate at a profit. So which one is less expensive? Its not rocket science.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  166. Robert Lake,MI

    I`m for it if the ones using it pay for it, I`m against it if I get stuck with the bill period! Liberals need to start thinking about self responsibility rather than looking for a free handout! Health care is no human being guarantee or right! Its a service you must pay for or shouldnt get it if your able to work in some kind of capacity! We needed change from Bush but Obama has done no better in fact he wants to take more of my rights away than Bush did all in the name of pandering to minorities! Tell minorities they need to work hard and in some cases harder than the next guy to achieve the American dream, its not something that has ever come free for any American!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  167. DJ

    Yes we need a public option, the insurance companies dont want us to know the real cost of keeping people healthy as that would sink their profits. Its Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not Life (if you can afford it) liberty and the pursuit of happiness

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  168. H R Mickelson

    Absolutely, If we don’t have a public option the health care industry will just keep raising the prices for their insurance until only the wealthy can afford it. It time for the wealthy to start paying their far share of the taxes to help get this health care issue running and reduce our debit that most of them caused. Democrats must realize it is their job if they don’t get the public option included.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  169. @T

    The REAL public option, supported by about 70% of the people, and by a huge proportion of doctors, is Single Payer.

    By the time Pelosi's blabla comes out the other end of the sausage mill, it will be nothing. Or, worse, it will mandate millions of poor, near-poor, and about-to-be-poor into the rolling Death Panel of Medicaid.

    CNN would serve its news mission better by exposing what Medicaid really IS - no second opinions, pill-mill "community clinics", Estate Benefit Recovery strictures for those 55-65, etc.

    If "insurance reform" for the upper middle class is what Obama's big flim-flam is about, He should stick TO that.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  170. Mary

    Of course, there should be a public option. How is this even a question? Why did "public option" become the catch phrase? Why not just expanded medicare option for all? Curious how the Republicans only want to raise moral issues when it doesn't hurt their wallets and their special interests. Dems need to take the high road on this and act like a majority!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  171. Abdul Aziz

    Without a public option poor of this wealthiest nation continue dying in the street. Public option does not force anyone to forgo current choices.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  172. nissim sasson

    Not having a public health option will just make the insurance company that will have no competion keep doing the same or worse Without a public option what would be the point of "reform"?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  173. ken

    I would be for the public option only if it reduced premiums. The first thing obama needs to order a freeze all health insurance premiums. If congress gives the doctors a 5% increase in payments for the public option then it will only increase our premiums. The doctors who average 300k per annum are whining that they only get 80% of what they deserve. Who determined what they deserve. The other 20% they say they are losing is a tax write off. Premiums are going up 20% next year unless obama orders a freeze.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  174. Daniel M

    A public option would indicate not only a victory for the middle-class and underprivileged in our country, but a victory of wisdom and real public service over the noise of demagoguery and cheap, myopic political bickering.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  175. Gerald Reis

    Yes i am for a public option, i am for a single payer system in the future, if not now, and i believe that all insurance companies should have to convert to non profit status. Only in America can corporations profit from it's citizens well being. Brings new meaning to "Give me liberty or give me death"!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  176. John Keida

    Revenue neutral Public Option? You bet!
    If a government run plan is better than a private plan, it shows how bad the private plan is. I am a conservative. If a private health-care plan with anti-trust exemption cannot compete against a government-run (yuk) plan, then the private company needs to go out of business. I cannot see why any conservative, unless they are influenced by lobby money, would oppose this. Hell, if you are a true conservative, you wouldn't even be a member of congress!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  177. Carol Holloway

    Yes, there needs to be a public option. Some people can't get insurance thru work, may have stopped working because of age or health, but are too young to get medicare. (Like me; I'm 63 and retired from nursing 2 years ago to relocate near aging inlaws.) I will never trust the private health insurance companies to provide affordable, quality healthcare to people like me who have had health issues. I wish I could have a public option like medicare.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  178. julia exley

    Yes, I support the public option. Without it, there will be no reform The majority of the public are also for it.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  179. Ruth A. Olson

    There cannot be true health care reform without the PUBLIC OPTION. I am anxiously awaiting the House and Senate votes that will put the PUBLIC OPTION into law within a health care reform bill that includes the needed reforms.

    The health care industry has run wild with no regulations to hold it to a standard that would protect people from being "used" by them as "intems" of profit only.

    Thank you for bringing this matter to public attention.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  180. sal sanjak

    Health care should not be a source of profit at all. At least we can do is to get the public health option to pass.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  181. basbille

    OF COURSE we need a public option. Get rid of these "middle men" altogether for all i care. they do nothing but increase the ever-escalating costs through their skimming of monies that should be going to better the public health. stop this silly idea of pandering to the healthcare companies.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  182. Michael Equitz

    There will never be true health care reform without a "public option."
    The insurance companies, via their lobbyist movement, will never back down as long as there is no public option. The greed surrounding the insurance industry must be eliminated for true health care reform to take root. At this place in time they literally hold America hostage and are killing those hostages daily in the pursuit of profit. If any American truly believes that the insurance industry is on their side.... they should seek medical attention immediately!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  183. sydney hope

    We are rapidly becoming a Banana Republic. Corruption thru lobbyists. We're willing to allow mega salaries and bonuses to CEO's in healthcare and bailed out companies. Most house losses are due to healthcare, and the citizenship so out of touch that they're willing to be brainwashed to believe that taking care of ourselves is socialism. I'm beginning to think we're a nation that hates ourselves.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  184. Raymondp

    YES YES YES We need a public option to combat the private inssurance industry

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  185. L.F. Rennie

    Of course we need a strong public option. Whether a person lives or dies must never be a "profit" decision.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  186. jeanne

    We absolutely need a public option. The goal of an insurance company is to make money. This is very difficult to do when insuring those with chronic health problems such as diabetes or vascular disease. And it is wrong for insurance companies to cut care or hospital days to make money. The goal needs to be excellent health care in a cost effective manner. Real reform will include a public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  187. ginny zimmerman

    Yes we need public option. if not then insurance co's will do what they want. mine has already raised twice this year & i dread another increase. which i know will happen. and then may have to cancel.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  188. Karen Epple

    It is immoral that health care is not made available to all our citizens and that health insurance companies make billions of dollars in profits from health care, particularly by denying claims.

    We claim to have the best health care in the world, but only for the wealthy and those fortunate enough to have insurance. With thousands of people losing their jobs daily along with their insurance, how can we keep pretending it is okay to deny medical care to sick people?

    As a medical Social Worker I have seen too many people who have lost their homes or did not receive life-saving care because of lack of insurance.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  189. Denis Logan

    Yes, Yes, Yes, To a public option. 871 billon dollars or 900 billon dollars. over 10 years, is a lot less than what we gave the banks (860 biillon, over 1 year). And less than we spent on the wars, 925 billion, 8 years. Without a public option there is no health care reform.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  190. Jennie Brooks

    Its absolutely necessary that we have a public option. My husband who is 6O years old, was laid off from his job. It left us both without health insurance. He also has a preexisting condition. With all of the job losses in this country there are probably thousands of hard working Americans in the same sinking ship. It's time our government put the people first.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  191. stephen-j

    yes yes yes. without a public option the insurance companies rule and many will not have adequate health care.a change is needed.and yes i do have health insurance. thanks. stephen.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  192. Mary Reiley

    Yes, I am for a public option. It will force insurance companies to offer lower premiums.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  193. julia exley

    yes, I support the public option. Without it there is no reform.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  194. Bobbi Wolverton

    Of course, we should have a public option! What is the downsize???

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  195. beverly cunha

    In my opinion the public option is essential to any true reform.

    My husband and I have *cadillac* insurance coverage for now, but 2010 us going to cost us far more out-of-pocket than 2009.
    Even though under the 2010 plan we will be getting far less for that money.

    We are certainly not unique. We are right in the middle of middle class.
    Health care costs are UP and will continue to spiral if unchecked.

    The public option is the only real way to ensure that there is a counterbalance for the enormous life-and-death power insurance companies have over the most intimate aspects of our lives.
    [health insurance is really birth, life and dying insurance after all]

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  196. Donna Torgerson

    Absolutely YES we want a public option included in the Health Care Reform bill! Obama promised we would stop the Ins. Cos. from continuing to gouge their customers – and this will NOT happen if there is no public option to force them to control premiums. Donna

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  197. Lyle Wilhelmi

    public option – YES What else is going to keep health insurance companies in touch with reality?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  198. Jeanette Koger

    Yes, definitely a public option should be included. I would go further and hope for a single payer plan. I doubt that is feasible now, given opposition from Republicans and other conservative forces in this country. I have three excellent health insurance plans – Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield (through state retirement), and Tricare for Life (as dependent of retired military member). I feel that everyone should be as worry-free as I am. Good health care is a right, not a privilege, as far as I'm concerned. We need to join all the other civilized, forward-thinking countries in providing all our citizens health care. If other countries have figured out how to do it, why can't we?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  199. Sandra Lorean

    I'm a little confused as to why you say "there is GROWING support for the public option." I'm pretty sure the vast majority of the American public has been loud and clear that we want the public option from the begin of this year's debate on health care refom. The fact that wealthy powerful business interests have been able to drown out the voices of the people is a sad commentary on the condition of our democracy. A business is not even a person/citizen with a vote. Money should not translate into influence in a working democracy. It is supposed to be "one citizen, one vote" not "one dollar, one vote and those with more dollars have more influence.

    Yes, absolutely, I want a public option. I actually want a single payer system. The biggest waste in our health care system is the profits collected by insurance companies. We could save billions every year by eliminating those profits.

    I want every single person to have medical coverage. Almost every other Western industrialized nation has universal coverage. I had a friend who, while vacationing in England, broker her arm. They treated her for free. She tried to pay, saying "But I'm not a British citizen." They responded, but you are IN Britain. We don't charge for health care. Sure, they have higher taxes, but most Americans could save $300 to $1000 a month that they are currently paying in insurance primiums. The increase in our taxes would be less than the decrease in out health care costs. And if a single payer system would drive us to bankruptcy, then why aren't England, France, and Germany bankrupt?! I think the argument that our country would go bankrupt is insurance company propaganda.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  200. Doug

    It's the working class that do not have insurance. The poor get free insurance and the rich have the money to pay for it. YES for the public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  201. Tom Kennedy

    A BIG vote for the public option. It is the main way to rein in the excesses of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  202. Mike Salcito

    Yes on the public option. Mr. Obama – you falter on health care & allow a bill to pass without a public option, your presidency will be a failure. We the compassionate people ( the little guys) ( the liberals) (Ouch what a strong word. They call me a liberal like it is a disease.) voted you in. Not Wall Street or the health insurance companies.
    You have been to nice – Get tough and pass a public option for the people, the people who built America. The average guy. Please Mr. President don’t forget us. Wall Street has pushed you around & you let them. I say no to private insurance companies running health care.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  203. Tom

    Yes, the bill should contain a public option. And as an American citizen, I would like to know how much money each individual Blue Dog Democrat has received from lobbyist.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  204. Jay

    The public opiton is required to provide health care to millions, who don't have insurance and use the ER's. The ER has the highest standard cost rate of medical service. This cost is passed on to those of us who are fortunate to have medical insurance. This cost will continue to rise, and provides the insurance industry a reason (as if they need one) to raise the premiums each year.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  205. Jeanne Coplen


    October 21, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  206. Lou Tordonato

    A public option is required to create competition with insurance providers. Without competition insurance costs will continue to increase while reducing benefits.Public option is a must.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  207. Mick Harlingen, Texas


    It's time for the healing to begin.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  208. Mark

    The insurance industry helped create the great financial meltdown of '08. Shutting them out of health care completely would be entirely justified. They should be happy that single payer isn't on the table, becuase they don't deserve the wealth they have accumulated at the expense of the sick and dying. A public option is the least we could do to try and balance the scales back towrad the true objective: to preserve the health and welfare of the American people, not the salaries and bonuses of insurance company executives and investors. Put bureaucrats in charge, if necessary. It would be far better than it is now – insurance CEOs are standing between you and your doctor. Get them out.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  209. Robert Lake,MI

    I`m sick of liberals crying they cant afford health insurance but if they gave up the things they dont need like cell phones, high-speed internet, satellite tv, car payments, designer clothes, Nike shoes, weekend nights out at the bar. Yes you should have to give this up before the tax payer pays your fair share! You add all of these things up and one could afford health insurance but the problem is liberals say they need this stuff and if other people even though they had worked for it have it they should be entitled to it as well! Its called going without and living within your means no liberal knows how to do this! They expect that the tax payer make of the difference in their own short comings! Take some responsibility for your own lives and quit expecting the tax payer to support you!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  210. Willie Ellison

    In the final analysis, I think there will be a Public Option in the Healthcare Bill. I strongly support the option and I believe it is not just important, but essential.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  211. Elizabeth JW

    I do think there needs to be a public option, at least, temporarily until businesses and people can maybe later afford their own.

    I would like to see a shared public option where the government, businesses and beneficiaries share the cost of a premium. That would hold onto the way heath care has been in our Free Enterprise system and give businesses and people, as well as the government, a shared control over the costs.

    I think a government plan is the only way to start to bring down costs by creating a competitive price, like the foreign auto competitive price holds down the price of American made autos.

    Thank you CNN

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  212. Mary from Florida

    Definitely YES!!! Without it there is NO WAY to bring down the high cost of for-profit health insurance. That has been the big mistake in this whole health care debate. Our heath care should never have been for-profit. If the huge profit that the health care industry makes from our insurance had been stressed more, and it was it was made more clear that the public option was non-profit, I think everyone would be for the NON-PROFIT option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  213. lacey

    Yes! It's time for companies to stop profiting from the health and/or sickness and misfortune of Americans!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  214. Casey Jones

    I have dealt with insurance companies for more than 25 years as a lawyer. The only way to keep the colossal health care companies in check is to have the threat of an entity equal to or larger than them to provide the threat of loosing business i.e., money. The only entity that can do this is the Federal Government. As to the argument that we are going to socialism; this is the very same argument set forth in the 60's when Medicare legislation was presented. If there is not public option there will be really nothing available to keep the insurance companies from circumventing the rules and regulations and continuing to put the screws to the middle class as they have been doing for years.

    As for tort reform, if the insurance companies did what they were supposed to do in the first place lawyers would be out of work. The best way to describe tort reform is that - It is an attempt by multibillion dollar international corporations to get the federal government to protect them from folks that drive pickup trucks.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  215. bill locker

    YES TO A PUBLIC OPTION – insurance industry profits should not be a component of health care costs in a moral society.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  216. David

    The attitude displayed by 'Robert Lake,MI' is exactly what Canadians find shocking. Health care most certainly is a 'right' not a privilege. His remarking that minorities are the problem is simply racist. If a newborn baby is found to have a congenital defect, I suppose he thinks the baby should just be left to die if the parents cannot get insurance because it will be deemed a pre-existing condition? Sad and very unfeeling and outright inhumane!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  217. Nancy A. Corwin

    YES, absolutely, we need a public option. Only this will help to bring costs down, and will bring universal coverage. After 100 years of no universal healthcare, Americans need this to create universal coverage and an option with fair rates unpadded by middlemen (insurance companies), who often sell policies that still leave subscribers under-insured.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  218. Robert Smith

    Vote "No" to public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  219. Fada

    A public option will ensure all Americans to be as a healthy as they can be. In the future this will benefit all of us and make America a stronger nation. I am a member of the world war 2 generation, and I am ashamed of the senior citizens who think only of themselves and not of the populaion as a whole.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  220. Arthur Larson

    Tony, I am definitely for a public option. Failure to include it would mean ever escalating costs and no competition for the health insurance industry. If we are serious about containing costs, let us have some competition. After all , isn't that what capitalism is all about?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  221. mike

    public option yes there has to be nothing else will work to stop these crooked republicans or insurance companies from digging deeper into the working poor people of this country.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  222. Linda Reimann

    I definitely support a public option. There isn't a true incentive for insurance companies to accomodate the needs of Americans without it. And public option should be the least that comes from reform. I would rather single payer .

    October 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  223. Wilson

    As a person who has an extremely generous healthcare package with a lucrative and stable job, I believe America still absolutely needs a healthcare system. Not only is this moral but is a logical long term investment the country needs to make.

    We need to stop this short-sightedness.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  224. Roy Atlanta

    The only way to stem the rising cost of health care in this is to force competition among the insurance companies.
    Without the public option were will that competition come from the insurance companies them self I DON'T THINK SO.
    There only interest is money, money and more money.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  225. Nico Moughis

    No public option until there is transparency regarding true cost and where the money is coming from. If we have to rape Medicare and Medicare Advantage to pay for this option, it should not pass. Those on Medicare have paid into the program all of their lives. The government says it will be bankrupt within 10 years so why are we taking money out of this plan-IT IS A PRE-PAID PLAN. Any waste should be applied to the Medicare plan. If we cannot afford the public options now, we should not be approving it. I think all Americans should have health coverage but I also think all Americans should have jobs and houses. My thinking it is not going to make it happen, Think this through before bankrupting our country for political reasons.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  226. Jane

    Definitely no-We do need insurance and tort reform. We don't need the govt to be in charge of our health care....would be a repeat of the probs we are experiencing with Medicare and Social Security. It always costs so much more than the estimates. I do believe we need a co-op or other measures to reduce costs or make insurance more competitive. Regulation by the govt would We do need to provide insurance to the millions who are unable going after

    I don't understand why our admin is going after the insurance companies but lets the tort attorneys off scot free.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  227. dan ackroyd

    We definitely need a public option. Insurance companies have been milking us to the point of being almost dry. Next thing you know they'll want us to give them our 1st born.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  228. Chris Tedesco

    Tony, Public option , yes ! We can simply follow the path of the Medicare program and find something that will work for all Americans . In addition it would keep the insurance industry competitive and at the same time give back to the general population that is sacrificing to keep corporate America afloat. Thanks

    October 21, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  229. Jane

    Even those of us who are fortunate enough to have good, affordable health insurance realize that we definitely need a public option health care plan for the people who are not as fortunate and are suffering without adequate health care.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  230. Jeffrey Bell


    If our elected officals think they can provide expanded benefits for millions of American citizens...and probably millions of illegl aliens as there is no verification provision in the legislation under consideration – and not have costs explode, they are idealogues and not in touch with reality. This nation is headed for bankruptcy...Social Security is broke, Medicare is broke, the Postal Service looses money! The only federal activity that works is the US military. The Public Option is just the first step towards Federal control of our health care system representing 15-20% of our economy. Bottom line, we can't afford the proposed health care reform...which will only bred a citizenry addicted to entitlements who will vote for whomever promises them the most! What has happened to the notion of individual responsibility and rugged individualism which built this country?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  231. Josh G.

    I absolutely believe there should be a public option. It's the only part about the bill that I really like. I'ts too bad that the fedreal government is the only institution the American public has that is big enough to compete with these insurance companies.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  232. Syed Azam.MD,MPH

    We need to have public option now, more than ever.We need to control private health insurance monopoly before it goes out of control.
    Dr.Taqi Azam

    October 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  233. Robert Lake,MI

    Yes for public option only if the ones using it pays for it! Make them also take drug tests to prove they are not buying drugs with the money they could be paying for health care!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  234. george mcvicker

    Is a self employed person in the real estete buisness, I need affordable health care. i have been searching for coverage I can afford for 2 years now!!!!! Insurance companies are a rip off. Hopefully the public option will give my son and myself coverage I can afford.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  235. Mark

    Conservatives have been wrong all along. Why should we listen to them now? Single payer all the way.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  236. george mcvicker

    As a self employed person in the real estete buisness, I need affordable health care. i have been searching for coverage I can afford for 2 years now!!!!! Insurance companies are a rip off. Hopefully the public option will give my son and myself coverage I can afford.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  237. Figueroa

    Yes. There absolutely must be a public option (not a co-op). Any idiot with the most basic understanding of economics understands that a significantly lower priced competitor is about the only thing that will cause a profit seeking business to truly cut costs across the board. It is a patently absurd notion to think that insurance company leadership is going to give themselves big paycuts out of the goodness of their hearts. It is also absurd to think that a public option will put insurance companies out of business. It will not! Will it force them to down size and restructure? Yes. But, let's not be fooled by scare tactics. The emergence of Walmart offers us a contemporary example of what will happen. Walmart did turn out the lights on many a mom and pop, but the big competitors have survived (Target, K-mart, Big Lots, on the pharmacy side Walgreens, CVS). Another example that may be instructive, especially if the giants and broken up, would be at&t (the company formerly known as AT&T) Telecommunications companies were broken up some years ago. They then had to face fierce competition. They restructured. They survived. President Obama cited a great example in higher education, where affordable public schools have and will never put private school out of business. Bottom line, a couple of insurance companies may go out of business, but a public option will not put private insurers out of business. What a public option will do is give us our best (and logically the only) chance at having health care plans that are affordable for all working folks.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  238. Mary Ann

    Yes we need a lower cost, public insurance plan to allow a choice AND TO provide competition for insurers to lower their premiums.

    IF there is a mandate for coverage then a public plan choice is an absolute necessity–coupled with repealing the anti trust exemption these companies have now.
    It is imperativeto pass an amendment to enforce anti-trust laws on the insurance companies. If they continue to be exempt, they will contiue to fix prices.

    How can people say the free market will take care of this when it hasn't shown the slightest interest in 50 years. It has been profit driven and lost its humanity–evidenced by insurers behaviors, droping coverage, denying coverage, continual raising of premiun prices at triple the rate of income .

    October 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  239. Jim Hartbauer

    Yes! You can't control cost without open competition.Something the insurance industry does not want.The public option must be part of the bill.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  240. Kevin in Maryland

    No public option just yet. The health exchange marketplace will most likely happen and the exchange should be given a chance to work first. The public option will have start-up costs and is not gauranteed to be cheaper or better than other health insurance plans offered in the exchange. It's tough to believe a government run health option will lead other insurers in terms of innovation and efficiency in reducing costs and keeping the insured healthy and well.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  241. Yury Rodriguez

    The base principles of this economy of ours is no other than the free market and our ability to choose a product over another. Our prosperity and wealth comes from no other that the rules of the market in which we act upon. We choose to buy a product and somebody makes wealth, we don’t buy an overpriced product when something else is available cheaper and of a similar quality. The health insurance conglomerates are united against the public option been pushed by leader Pelosi; make no mistake about that, the big insurance corporation don’t want this change, they rather don’t compete with a Public Option, they don’t have to now and they want to keep it that way. If we are to be mandated to buy health insurance from them, we as the American uninsured part of the US population, should be given the choice to buy insurance from a Public Health option that, if implemented, will guarantee us lower premiums by accessing the free market rules of competition.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  242. Aldo T Angelo


    The public option is the linchpin of healthcare reform. Without it, for most of us that have healthcare insurance and are fairly healthy, it will be business as usual, continued rising costs. Remember what JFK said many years ago, "YOU CAN'T TRUST BIG BUSINESS". To keep their costs in check there needs to be some good old fashioned competition.


    October 21, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  243. Rita Bostick Young

    Yes, we need a Public Option, this is what we voted the President into office for. He promised us Health Care and we all expect this to happen.We voted for Change, it's time for the insurance companies to stop robbing the American people so that they can live extravagant life styles.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  244. charles

    hey yes we need public option without the public opton there is no reform i hope we get it and those people who against it are doing it for politics yes i am for the public option

    October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  245. Rodan

    Definately favor! A public option is the best option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  246. michelle

    A public option is imperative for reducing the cost of public health care. Without it we will still have uninsured who will continue to seek care at health care facilities without the ability to pay, continuing the cycle of rising health care costs. It is the huge high paid insurance company lobbyists who are being paid to get public officials into duping the public into believing there is something sinister about the public option. To the contrary the public option is fair, cost saving and imperative for health care reform to actually be reform.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  247. Joe Eagle

    Public option? Yes yes yes keep the insurance co's honest. I'm on Medicare A & B and pay $207.00 a month for plan F to supplement. I can go any where I choose and have had a hernia fixed,an angiogram and cateract surgery among other things, all at a teaching hospital in the Chicago land area and it never cost me a dime!!! This is a government run program that's run very well with far less overhead. It doesn't pay share holders, executive salarys and bonuses or advertizing costs etc.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  248. Mary B.

    Yes!!!!!!!!!!!! on Public Option.
    Healthcare is a service.......not an industry. Recognize this and you change the whole system. It should NOT, as it is now, be part of the "so-called free market". – P.S.- anyone who still believes there is a free market after the wall street and bank implosions is quite simply deluding themselves.
    Mandates need to be incorporated into the public option...on all providers......physicians, hospitals and insurance conglomerates.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  249. Robert Lake,MI

    Hey David pretty strong words from someone who should mind his own business, the business of America is not yours so mind your own business! I`m far from racist but as a white male in this country I see my American dream being snatched away from me in taxes that go to people who think I owe them something, theres nothing racist about that its the truth! If you dont like hearing the truth then dont listen!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  250. Angela Cooper

    Yes to public option. I've worked for insurance companies and can tell you they will find a way to up profits no matter what reform we get passed. Except if they have real reason to... less customers.
    By the way.. I paid so much insuracne premiums when working for the insur. co. that I couldn't afford the copays to see the Dr. and get testing. Now that we are on a state plan (thank god) my partner is being tested for testicular cancer. He should have been tested over a year ago.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  251. kathleen rollins

    I am very much for the public option – I believe it could become medicare for all in the future. Medicare has been a very sucessful program. I do believe you should have a choice of private insurance if you want it. My experince with private insurance over the last 15 to 20 years has been fraught with problems both personnel and work related as an RN associated with case management. Some of them only think as business, ethics are very few and far between. Healthcare is not meant to be a business in the sense of profit making. It is a privilige and a service to mankind. If you are in it just to make money you are in it for the wrong reason. Not that you shouldn't be able to make a living wage and according to education needs for the skills you have you should be compensated accordingly.
    Medicare does need reform in the way the fee for service program runs. The delivery system needs to be changed to outcome basis payments based on the individual professional organizations recommendations. The chronic ill patient with multiply medical diagnoses needs to be the focus of more studies as to better methods of care delivery with a central physician being in communications with all specialists involved and be responsible for being the patient advocate in all these complicated decisions. It will be better outcomes for the patient and much less cost for the providers. The reform will be dictated by the health insurance industry as soon as they find ways to gain their profits back if their is no public option. They are that strong a lobby.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  252. C. J. Poindexter

    I feel outrage that the wealthiest country on this globe even debates whether to guarantee health care to all of its citizens. The right-wing extremist politicians enthusiastically cut taxes for all wealthy individuals and corporations in the U.S. Middle-class working Americans in this country need to join hands and stand up against cronyism and lobbyists in Washington.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  253. Jannette

    Yes, we must have the public health option for any kind of meaningful health care reform. The insurance industry will fight it, of course, because it doesn't want the competition, and those politicians who are against it, in my opinion, do not have the best interests of the public at heart. The key word here is "option", no one is required to purchase it. Isn't competition what capitalism is all about? (I am a retired public school teacher, in case you're interested, and I have lost patience with the fear-mongers.)

    October 21, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  254. Ruth

    YES, absolutely yes for the Public Option. Thank you for asking.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  255. Mick Harlingen, Texas

    YES to the public option!
    It's time for the healing to begin.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  256. Nancy Clause

    YES YES YES to a Public Option! If the Health Care Reform Bill does not include a strong Public Option, then there will be no health care reform at all....just more money in the pockets of the Health Insurance Companies at the expense of the American people!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  257. David,Oregon

    Yes on the public opition!!!!!!! I'm on medicare and I have recieved BETTER CARE than any MEDICAL INSURANCE that I've ever been on so YES!!!!!!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  258. Diana Zeiter

    Yes, we need a public option. I have four children in the work force. None of them have Health Ins. My 27 yr old and his wife have been trying to sign with Medical Mutual since Aug. The hoops they must jump through are to say the least, worrisome. They are young healty adults, whats the problem.
    Please, we must do something. Public option is the only way to stop the madness.
    As a retired Auto worker, I would be happy to give up a little so more people could be covered as well as I have been over the years.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:30 pm |
  259. Adama Ndao

    Tony public option or any option that make a visit to the doctor's office affordable for all is absolutely a must ! But Tony beyond the insurance companies, nobody asks the doctors,the healthcare providers, who THE ARE MAIN SOURCE OF THE SKYROCKETTING HEALTH CARE COSTS, why "the price of repair" the insurer is paying for us is so expensive that "the insurance companies" maneuvers to avoid to cover it. Why is it unthinkable to walk into the dentist office without an insurance? Why do doctors charge so much for medical services? Why do they send outrageous bills to the insurance companies for :the repair service" that provide? Why? Is it because their schooling was expensive? Then why is education service sold so expensively by these modern time educational institutions that are the Universities none of which pays taxes or gives back to the nation, yet they increase the tuitions every fall ? Why no one asks the doctors and the schools for account for the unaffordable services the cots of which have bankrupted many families? Why no one in the media or elsewhere has address this issue that is the origin of all this misery? As for car insurers "health insurers" cover the cost of repair...of our body! Why is the cost of repair so expensive?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  260. Timmy

    Do you trust the elected government for and by the people to care for its' citizens? I do not blame the corporations for being greedy. Cutting pre-existant conditions and dropping patients when they get too expensive is ruthless greed. That is the consequence of unregulated markets. It is the elected officials, both the ones in the private health care industries' pockets and the ones who are reluctant to stand out from public opinion and make the necessary regulatory changes, that are the ones worth blaming. Public option or private regulation nothing will change if the people who run the system dont.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  261. Jacquelyn Demers

    Dear Tony, without the Public Option which I feel should be available to anyone that wants it, there will not be real Health Reform. It is is up to probably 98% of the insurance companies they will stick together and us Americans will be right back where we started with this. For the first time in my 64 years of life I have no health coverage. I now live in NC and originally came from MA. Tou reporters need to look at the disastrous situation Medciaid is in different states. My husband has had catastrophic medical bills here and we are still trying to get Medicaid. Medicaid here in NC have not chnged income limits since 1990/1991. We live on a very fixed oncome and Medicaid will only allow us to Have $317. in come and we have to meet an almost $13000. deductible. Four persons have been working on this and all have come to a diffrerent amount at our local Social Services Office.So it gopes on and on. We have been good citizens all of our lives, had foster children, community volunteering, been very active in our church and the lists go on. My husband worked 60-80 hours a week and this is what we have been left with. I also have medical issues that I cnnot resolve to bacause of no insurance. Without this option it will be the same old again. Respectfully Submitted, Jacquelyn Demers

    October 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  262. Aaron Francois

    Yes,we need the public option. Every American deserve health care. The most valuable asset that this country has are people. The leaders of the insurance company are people(I think). Why are they callus toward people who need care at a critical time in there life?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  263. Phil H

    Yes to a public option. It's a modest first step to controlling health care costs. Baby boomers and seniors who oppose the public option need to be reminded that Medicare is grossly under funded and is in danger of collapse without significant changes. Seniors, which will include me in 3 years, need to pay their way and stop gripping about coverage for the younger generations. Each year we push off the problem will only make it more difficult to correct.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  264. Todd, State College, Pa.

    If I thought the government could actually run a public option efficiently and effectively, I would be for it. But I think all you have to do is look at government's track record to know that if a public option is passed, the estimated number of people who will become part of the program, and the cost, will explode once it is implemented. There will be huge unforeseen problems, because there always are with government programs, even small programs. How many times do our "leaders" pass something that they roll out to the public with huge smiles, and seems as though it does something positive, but then we find out down the road it had huge loopholes so in essence the bill is all but worthless when it comes to dealing with the problem it was supposed to fix?

    Some people may say, oh you're just a cynic. My response is, you're DAMN RIGHT. How is anyone out there not at minimum very skeptical? All you have to do is follow politics for a while, look at the past, use common sense, and accept reality. I think the reason 60% of people polled favor a public option is because there are a lot of people out there who put too much faith in government, don't watch enough politics to come to an educated decision, keep giving politicians one more chance, the fact that most folks are for government money when they're going to get it, and for a government program when they THINK it's going to help them with no negative consequences.

    If it wasn't such a HUGE deal, I would say pass the public option and see what happens. But I would much rather have America's health system not get even more screwed than for my opinion to be the correct one. There are other ways to try and bring down the cost of health insurance first without government's red tape adding to the mess, and getting more people, if not all Americans insured. I'm definitely all for that.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  265. Robert Lake,MI

    If one didnt have a cell phone, cable tv, internet, car payment, designer clothes and shoes, cases of beer per week one could afford their own health insurance! Make these people get rid of the stuff that keeps them from buying health insurance! I shouldnt be responsible for picking up the tab for people like this!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  266. Ed

    Lets make it mandatory for elected government officials (Congress and Senators) and their family members to be under the public option with no other insurances options.

    Think about it. If we force our elected officials to do something that they're trying to force average Americans to do, than just maybe, we'll actually get some reform that will work because it directly effects them.

    I would support the public option if the reform would actually cover the whole spectrum of the health care problem, but it doesn't, it just addresses certain areas which in the long run will cost this Nation trillions of dollars to get right.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  267. Sheila Beaudry

    For a public Option – Americans are smart enough to choose what is best for them. Insurance companies want to deprive people of that choice and they are buying both Republicans and Democrats through campaign donations and lobbying promises to protect them from that competition.. Without the pressure of competition, insurance costs will continue to go up. People need to call their senators and representatives to remind them that insurance companies don't vote, people do.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  268. Robert Lake,MI

    We need public option like we need government telling radio stations what content they play or dont play! Keep it up liberals enjoy the next few years because the silent majority in this country is going to take it back and you can bank on that!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  269. vpritner

    A public option will eventually cause us to lose all choice in healthcare insurance. How can any insurance company compete against government..?
    All Insurance companies have to constantly maintain financial soundness...while the government will simply print more money.

    The referee should never be allowed to compete against the players..

    Canada is now in the process of allowing/inviting private insurers back in...Why? Because their current system is more ways than one..

    Government-controlled healthcare works great for common ailments..Cold, Flu, broken bones, etc...Not so great for the serious ones; cancer/chronic (expensive) conditions.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  270. John R.

    We need a public option to provide competition with the billion dollar insurance companies. When insurance executives make millions of dollars in salaries, it is just plain wrong to allow them to make even more money. Also, are the politicians better than the people that put them in office? I don't think so! Why does congress have a public option and we don't? Are they better than the tax payers? We want to be treated equal to the politians in washington. In Gods eyes, and the constitution, all men are created equal. This is a right, not a priviledge. God bless america.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  271. Darren

    Yes to the public option. I do not have health insurance because I can't afford it. The senate bill will force me to buy insurance I can't afford or I will have to pay $750 penalty on my taxes. I am a democrat but lets call a spade a spade. The $750 penalty is the same as an increase in my taxes as far as I am concerned. A public option will increase the quality of our health care system.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  272. Gary E. Morigeau

    Yes, we must have a public option to make the "health insurance bill" work. It is an insurance bill, not a health care bill. There is nothing in the Senate Baccus bill to reduce or keep the cost of health care or insurance premiums down. In fact it provides Billions of dollars for the insurance companies. They call it subsidies for low income people, but the money goes directly to the insurance companies. Is this incentive to lower prices? No!! It is not. It is Welfare for the rich and the insurance companies will not lower premiums if "the Government" will pay every time they raise their rates.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  273. Mark

    This country is supposedly 75% Christian. A lot of "good Christians" are apparently unwilling to care for their own population if there might be a chance that somebody who "doesn't deserve it" gets free health care. Who, exactly, in the eyes of your God, is undeserving? In more enlightened places like Great Britian, they treat everyone, including YOU, if you happened to get sick there. Illegaly or not.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  274. Jimmy

    Reform without a public option is not reform.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  275. MBrown

    The public option should be included in the Health Care Reform bill because it creates competion and choice. Insurance companies only care about profit margins and bonuses not the quality of life of the people they insure. Health care is currently monopolized by a few health care insurers which has left no choice or alternatives for the American people. The insurance companies have already reacted to Health Care Reform by raising cost for coverage.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  276. maria machado

    Dear Tony:

    The fear most people have is that when light skin latinos come into a work place, they will easily displace all other workers and place their own friends and families.

    This is the latin way. I am from Panama, and we just got a new president. We are hoping he has grown tired of nepetism and illegal dealings, so far, he is making changes.

    This is not racism, look at miami. Hispanics are the new white racist. I know, I have seen it everywhere, I am sorry to have to say this. I feel it when I encounter it because I am not only latina, I am black, dark brown, like you.

    Look at any big city.

    Thank you
    Maria M.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  277. Peter Lepper

    Yes..the insurance companies have to go. For profit health care belongs in the stone age with the republicans

    October 21, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  278. catherine

    The reason we need Public Health Option is because we will have people dieing from the flu;I went to have a prescription filled for my son for Tamiflu and was told his did't didn't cover it and I had to pay 132.00 for that priscription. He work at the Post Office and been their 20 years and has United Health Insurance.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  279. Alex

    I'm for public option. While insurance companies all battle to compare prices to changer members, none are quick to pay up when you need them.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  280. Bob

    Actually the only ones against the public option are: Republicans and insurance companies. Both are Greedy!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  281. Linda

    It is a moral issue. No child in the richest country in the world should die because she or he had no health care.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  282. marcelo san diego, CA

    medical bills = 1st foreclosures
    foreclosures = economic crisis
    economic crisis = less coverage

    "by the way, didi i mention that this is peoples life " for godsakes

    we are the only develop nation without public healf.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  283. Al

    No public option! Government run healthcare does not work. The only reason Medicare works is because doctors and hospitals can make the money up on insurance companies or those who are lucky enough to be able to pay for their healthcare as they need it.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  284. Stephanie Chapin

    We have seen you can't trust banks to do the right thing.
    So why would you think you can trust insurance companies
    to do the right thing? History has proven they are driven by
    making profits. We need a public option. If we have to
    use tax dollars to fund it, then tax pop, candy and chips that
    hurt our over all health.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  285. Ben

    The public option will not reduce costs and relieve the current high costs of health care. More importantly, the government has proven many times how ineffective it is in running any type of program. Real reform should include tort reform and the ability to seek insurace programs across state lines as we do for all other types of insurance.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  286. Jacob Stein

    The government guarentees that no one goes hungry in the United States, but that doesn't mean that everyone gets caviar.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  287. Thomas chaw

    I'm for the Public Option. There is no such thing as "private" health. With the global pandemic threats like SARS and H1N1, epidemics which killed 50 million worldwide in 1908, healthcare MUST be for all or for none. Gives new urgency to the meaning of "Public". It is therefore unfortunate that President Obama caved in to the rightwing nuts by excluding undocumented immigrants.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  288. Scott

    How can we guarantee life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Americans, if we can provide healthcare for all Americans? For the naysayers, we already have a public option, it is called an emergency room where they cannot turn you away. That is far more expensive and far less effective than any version of a public healthcare solution that will include doctor's visits, preemptive care, etc.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  289. David Hamilton

    I am absolutely in favor of a public option. People forget that the largest insurers – the Blue Cross/Blue Shield network – are non-profit and, thus, do not have to make a profit. As non-profits, they also pay lower taxes. If they can prove they provide better service at a competitive price, why would anyone choose the government?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  290. Lee

    I am a medical biller and know that a public option is necessary to hold the insurance corporations to a higher standard. I had a claim denied by a major insurance company last week because the patient did not receive prior authorization for her miscarriage. That's right. In her panic and fear of losing her child, she did not get permission from her insurance company. Medicare works very well. A public option could be based on Medicare and would work just as well.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  291. Carl in Tucson`

    I'm for the public option. I would hope for a public option plan could slowly put the health insurance industry, out of business.
    The health insecurity, we have now, is because profit motive big businesses have been, taking unfair advantage of those in need.
    Everyone has to be involved, As we transition to a system that solves these problems.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  292. Michael

    A public option is a "no brainer." This is especially true if we use a system already in place such as by having a component of Medicare manage it. All the information systems are in place there as well as its management structure. As such, there would be no duplication of already existing overhead. Anyone who understands health insurance knows that Medicare is the most efficiently run health insurer in the United States fewer of the dollars taken in going to "overhead" expenses. As such, virtually all of its dollars go towards provision of health care.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  293. Bill, NC

    The US is 60 yrs behind the rest of the developed nations. Now is the time for the people to make universal health care happen. Enough of this cruel profit making policy.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  294. Terrell Ash

    Yes for public option. The government requires us to have car insurance and next health insurance. Who is getting super rich? Yes, its my next door neighbor who owns his private insurance company. The owner of the insurance company has a guaranteed to paycheck thanks to the government mandating everyone to get insurance. Will the private insurance company help the many poor who can't afford both types insurance? I doubt he will. This is wny we need the public option, because private insurance companies are greedy and dirty.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  295. Bobby

    There should be a public option for healthcare reform. I'm from Canada and our healthcare system is great. It has it's flaws like anything but I wouldn't trade it for any other system. Take time and get the public option right but don't deny people their right to better health.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  296. Scott

    Of course we need a public option! Public option is to the health insurance industry as credit unions are to the banking industry. They serve their customers, not their bottom lines.


    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  297. adeline luma

    i support for a public option because ii the best

    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |

    Maybe the american public should consider how quick they are to litigate for a quick buck. As an english medical professional i would never work in the USA although I love the USA because your health industry is controlled by insurance companies and not doctors. And why? because everyone wants to make a quick buck and will litigate for the slightest reason. This is not good for anyone. the UK may not be perfect but MEDICAL DECISIONS ARE MADE BY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  299. L. Fowler

    Just watching Tony and the Washington Political reporter review public option polls. None of the polls that I have seen over the last few months have reflected these figures such as Rasmussen. How is the viewing public to know what the seniment really is if Fox, ABC, CNN take their polls from a internal source because after watching your polls which are different from Fox's polls still leaves me not knowing what the political seniment is.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  300. eddie in oglesby illinois

    We only have to look at what these CEO's are making and the for-profit mentality that the insurance companies have. We need to have a public option and if all Americans choose to migrate toward be it !!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  301. Jenny

    Medicare for all. The only way to have health care for everyone. Yes we need a public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  302. Esper Lee

    Hi Tony,


    Coverage should be mandatory as with auto liability.

    Esper Lee

    October 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  303. Andre

    yes we need a public option. it will force insurance companies to lower cost and provide incentives. the american people more than ever want and need more for they money.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  304. Bob

    OH yes! For those "Republicans" who think the goverment should stay out of health and let the private sector do it because the government can not due anything right. Let's look at it. Since Regan deregulated the phone, cable, oil, etc companies "private" business sky rocketed the prices. Now the Goverment runs the military, medicare, treasury department, department of interior, Federal courts, FBI, etc etc etc and guess what they all run just fine. DUH

    October 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  305. Roy Barr

    I am in favor of a public health plan but I think it should be Medicare. It is an existing program and it could just be phased in for people of younger ages, possibly until all ages are covered. Why create a new program? Let's support what is working and make it work better.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  306. Alfred Gascho

    Yes we need a public option. I trust the government much more than the insurance companies. Without the public option, the insurance companies will manufacture new restrictions or give the old restrictions new names, raise the premiums and pay the CEO's anywhere from 35 to 105 million dollars in bonuses and saleries.
    This must stop!
    It is corruption!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  307. K Barry

    Your poll is flawed. It does not discuss the limitations. Your viewing base is perceived to be far left not center or right. hence the bias in your reports. I am confident if Fox ran the same poll they would have exactly the opposite results yet due to their viewship totals their findings would be statisticly more accurate. Its painful to watch your bias reporting.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  308. Patty A

    Yes, it should contain a public option. Here's my personal example. Starting next year (2010) my company is ONLY offering a an HSA (very high deductible) health plan, which in effect is catastrophic only coverage. For a couple or family, the deductible is $3,000!!! I want a more reasonable option available to me.
    My company is a Fortune 500 company with over 25,000 employees, so this will impact many families. And you know, once one company does something that saves them money, everyone else follows, so I doubt that it will be long before most everyone is faced with this kind of health care option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  309. Tristen

    Private health care's need for profit drives efficiency and thus lowers costs resulting in better care for the patient. In Canada, the lack of a profit driven health care system has resulted in gross inefficiencies – to the point that people die waiting for treatment.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  310. maria machado

    About the public option;

    Absolutely, we need it for the president to move forward with his agenda for a better America. This is only part of what needs to be done, there is so much more he will do. Keep the faith, he will be the greatest we have ever seen.

    Maria M.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  311. Eric

    A Public Option is absolutely needed in order to accomplish comprehensive reform. It's not "socialized medicine", or a "government take-over." It's just an option to keep private insurers on their toes and will create competition to keep prices lower. Anyone who is happy with their current health insurance won't be affected. How can another choice for the people be bad?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  312. J. McArdle

    The public option is critical to control health care costs and stop the cost shifting that is occurrng presently.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  313. Gary E. Morigeau

    Yes a public option is needed. I am a retired federal employee. My insurance is basically a public option for retired federal employees. Give everyone the same choices I have. No start up costs (or very little) and it is cheeper!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  314. Kathy at Nurse

    Public option is a must!!! I have seen personally a lot of unfortunate patients with insurance. They pay more for healthcare now because they have insurance. Helathcare insurance companies are going to fight this hard and with big bucks. The people have to fight for the public option and keep the insurance companies out of their healthcare.

    Personal story: I took my college age daughter to the ER with symptoms of the flue. The MD told me that they could not test for H1N1 because NO ONES private insurance companies will pay for the lab work to diagnosis. It would be 300 out of pocket because we have so called good unsurance. By the way I work for the state and am a union nurse (SEIU). I have many options for insurance but none pay but if we had public option they would pay. It would possibly save this country from an epidemic and death.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  315. Charles

    I am curious, what percentage of democrats, replubicans, and independents, were polled for this?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  316. Tom

    We need choices! As a small business owner the choices are too expensive to offer to employees. I myself cannot afford these plans, nor do they offer any real coverage. Have a pre-existing condition? Forget it!

    As to mandatory coverage, what kind of choice is that? If I don't want car insurance, then I don't own a car. But if I don't have health insurance my only choice is to be dead. What kind of choice is that?

    Give us the choices. Otherwise I plan to exercise my choice to emigrate to Canada (which I can easily do) where the system DOES work, despite biased reporting. It's also 1/10th the cost of any plan in the US.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  317. Pat Akin

    YES!!! A public option is necessary for reform. Without it the insurance companies will be "business as usual." As for the tax on the "cadillac policies", here in Oregon, our Govenor signed a bill that taxed the insurance companies by 1%. Ten days later, I got a letter from Regence BlueCross BlueShield telling me that my next preium ,due in 10 days, was being increased 1% to cover the tax. How about Medicare E (everyone)? I had to retire because of my health and live on a fixed income. The cheapest insurance I could find that will only partially cover catastrophic needs, is 15% of my income. We NEED A PUBLIC OPTION!!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  318. Bill Jenkins

    The public option is absolutely necessary to protect us all from corporate insurance greed. What the Democrats say is not important. Let’s see what they do. I believe they will break their promise. There will be no excuse that will work for them although they will try many.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  319. Rosie

    I think the Health Reform Bill should include a public option. The private insurance companies make health coverage decisions based on profits, not on what doctors request for patients. They have already indicated they will raise premiums much higher than they aready do every year. Also, they have become much more aggressive in canceling member coverage. We need a public option!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  320. Charles

    With opinion split as it is, shouldn't the public be the ones to vote on this matter, instead of our professional politicians?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  321. John


    I was against the public option from the beginning. I have heard friends, associates and family members tell me about the various horror stories from other countries' public health care systems. My father who has traveled the world over told me the same so I took his world as gold. I have 2 friends of mine who live in the states that are from the UK so I asked them what they thought. They had only glowing and positive things to say about the UK system, including end of life situations they were both intimately invoked with. I am not now leaning towards supporting the public option. There are problems but most of the problems are problems we already have. It seems that the public option solves more problems than it causes now that I have looked in to it. Why are the lies and misinformation being spread not being called such by the media?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  322. Jeff in Key West

    Most people who don't want reform have never had to deal with the insurance company on a serious issue. The insurance does a good job with colds and other minor injuries but the minute it because expensive, it's all about appeals. LONG PAINFUL APPEALS.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  323. Linda

    Its been said that "the government needs to get out of the private sector and let the free market do what it does best"......except when it needs a government bail out! The "Free Market" only applies to those of wealth and power.....not the average American. Yes, we need a Public Option.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  324. CARL

    I can't believe we are still debating this. WE NEED A PUBLIC OPTION to keep the greedy insurance companies out of our pockets. Wake up's an OPTION!!!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  325. Jon Mattoon

    Good morning, Tony,

    My wife and I are in our 70's and for us, Medicare + an AARP "Medigap" policy works very well for us. We strongly support a public option....and we are both Republican voters!

    My suggestion is for the "public option" to be re-branded, as many do not easily grasp the description. Why not call it an expanded form of Medicare. Many more people can then identify with the concept.

    My other comment is that even if the Dems don't get all aspects of the public option plan, this whole concept of universal medical coverage is an evolving concept. Even the originally passed SS bill under Roosevelt has subsequently been "tweaked", expanded and modified. Legislators can't be expected to get their arms around a "perfect" plan on the first go-around. Let's get the main concepts into law and then perfect it with future legislation!

    Jon Mattoon
    Woodinville WA

    October 21, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  326. Karen Duncan

    The insurance companies will never reduce their profits voluntarily. Public Option is the only tool on the table that will put pressure on them. All the other suggestions can be "gamed" by the insurance industry - that is, they can find a way around the rules and continue to profit at our expense.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  327. Jennifer

    I support the public health option. I am currently self-employed, and my husband and I are unable to afford healthcare for our family. Before I became self-employed, I was paying nearly $200 a week for health insurance for my husband and myself. When I left my job after giving birth to our daughter, my husband picked us up on his health insurance plan at work. When he was laid off, Cobra coverage was $730 a month for 80/20 coverage with a $2,000 deductible. When we were no longer able to cover this cost, I picked up coverage on my own for us. I was paying $500/month for a 50/50 plan with a $5,000 deductible. To cover just myself under the same plan was $205/month. There definately needs to be an affordable option for not only low income families, but a secondary option for individuals or families that simply can't afford nearly 1/3 – 1/2 of their pay being deducted for medical coverage, especially when the deductible and out-of-pocket is so high.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  328. Alberto Pereira

    Tony, the entire country will heave a sigh of relief once the public option is accepted and we can go back , in depth, to the nation's other problems, such as, do we withdraw from Afghanistan, leave Iraq–with a proviso that both nations' military and politicos shall tend to matters in their countriesour. It is absolutely essential that a public option succeed thereby becoming another addition to the belief in equality in all things for all people in America.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  329. MBrown

    YES to the public option, competition and choice. NO to insurance company monopolys

    October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  330. Steven Kueker

    Yes to public option, Medicare for all should lower costs for everybody.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  331. Mark Spurrell

    Health care should not be a question of money. Our money says "In God we trust". How can anyone that truly believes in God say no to there fellow man who is in need of health care. If you believe in God he tells us to care for our sick. How can we put a price tag on life. Where are we truly heading as a nation, we need this change


    October 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  332. Rich from upstate NY

    A public option is the only option. Let's do it wisely and economically by leveraging what we already have by way of a public insurance by expanding Medicare. We can require measurable continuous improvement in results and cost and evaluate results annually to make improvements to cost and quality. Make it available to everyone as an alternative to the private insurance offered. Not just to a few. The middle class work very hard for their earnings and it is not fare to offer it only to the

    I just got my elections options at work. The same family plan I had for the last three years is going up in cost again by $80 per period on top of the $3,000 deductible that we were offered which is the best coverage we could get. That's $160 + a month less that my lower middle class family will have to struggle less with. We are not poor, we are not rich. We do not buy extravagant new things, we buy used mostly. We are healthy. We go to the doctor only for the most serious of conditions to avoid paying the co-pays and deductibles.

    A message to my Christian peers. I’m a conservative born-again-evangelical- non-denomination Christian and I’m appalled that so many of my peers do not support the Health Care bill in any way. I think my peers listen too much to so-called “conservative radio” and do not think critically enough to make wise decision. What part of Jesus’ ministry makes you think it’s ok for only people with money to get healing and others with little or no money to not get healing. What part of Jesus’ ministry makes you think that an industry that is bent on profiting as much as possible from people’s medical needs is a good idea?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  333. Blanche Brown

    Yes, absolutely yes. The past 15 years have proven the need for a public option. Without it, the scale would tilt toward more abuse oin the medical care system.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm |

    Healthcare should be a Right not a Privilege enhanced by income. This is a Moral issue. It is not a Republican or Democratic issue. The thousands of people dying each day are not concerned with the cost. The cost of inaction will be greater. The Insurance Monopoly will continue to raise rates to maintain profits. Each dollar of Profit is a dollar of lost Healthcare! The Insurance Industry provides nothing but profits for themselves. Bipartisanship is political idealism and is not required to have Single Payer or the Public Option in the final legislation. The Insurance Industry has started to show its cold-hearted business model with the Industry funded bogus study threatening rates will go up dramatically if the inadequate Baucus Bill passes. The fearful blackmailing that the Study engenders is evil. The need for Single Payer or Public Option was never more evident. Rates have and will rise by excessive amounts without the meaningful competition that only Single Payer or the Public Option provide. The CBO agrees,so stop the talk of cost as a barrier. We are paying now for all the uninsured through our Insurance premiums and the more expensive care of the Emergency Room. We need an employer mandate, elimination of the heartless Preexisting Condition, removal of Benefit dollar amount caps and a cap on premium payments. Sixty five percent of the Public want a Public Option. Our elected officials need to vote the will of the people, not by the number of Insurance dollars they take. This is a historic chance to right a wrong perpetuated by the Insurance for over 40 years. The time for Deny, Dispute & Delay is over. We need to join the 37 other industrialized countries and make Basic Healthcare for Profit illegal. Government is our democracy in action and can run a strong Single Payer or Public Option. Stop the demonizing of my Government as inept and unable to run anything. Our Government has protected our way of life for over 200 years. Yes We Can do the morally right thing and pass a bill this year that includes a robust Nationwide Public Option or Single Payer that all can opt into with no triggers. It should be effective in 2010 not 2013 as that will give the Industry 4 years to vote it out and allow many more to die. The NopPublicans aka Republicans have been on the wrong side of all the big Social issues Social Security (Republicans against), Medicare (Republicans against), Civil Rights (Republicans against). With this track record I know that yet again the NoPublicans are wrong again!

    October 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  335. robin

    yes to the public option. that's why we voted for president obama, remember?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  336. Harold

    If you want to consider a public option just look at military and veteran government medical options. Also ask what happened to the public hospitals and docutors.

    Besides fraud, once our elected officials find another "must do" any public option will suffer the same fate as the public hospitals.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  337. Tallis

    Being Canadian I support the public option. I don't see why Americans are so scared of helping fellow American less fortunate than themselves. Do these people realize by insuring everyone total healthcare costs will go down because hospitals don't get stuck with the bill thus shifting their losses into higher care costs for everyone. I personally think the opposition to the public option is ridiculous. I've seen people protesting the public option with effigies of President Obama with a Nazi uniform on, come on can someone say hyperbole.

    The problem I see is the Illegal immigrant problem (we don't really have that in Canada lol), who is going to pay for their care? Its not like they won't be getting sick.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  338. james Killings Jr

    I think that a public option is needed to keep cost in check. That is the only way to get true competition.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  339. Bridget

    Yes we need a public option!!! It will keep the insurance companies on their toes. The current system has left America behind the rest of the world in health care. It is a no brainer.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  340. Mark

    Some of the reasons people think the government is incompetent are a.) conservatives have been telling us this for decades, starting with Reagan; b.) Republicans have been whittling away at government for decades, starting with Reagan. The called it "starving the beast." Look it up. The idea is, always tend to cut funding for anything that benefits the public, and increase privatization. They nearly got Social Security privatized. Just imagine where we'd be today if they had succeeded. All this "starvation" works great for corporations, not so great for America. For example, we now spend about 5x as much on private security companies and subcontractors in the military, and now offer far fewer job opportunities in the military. Soldiers who used to come out of military service with marketable skills, now come out with soldiering skills and little else, because a lot of the critical support jobs have been outsourced. Look in every sector and you'll see it. More money going to companies, less going to government. If we, as a country, don't start to reverse this trend, the government will go broke, and the conservatives, CEOs, pundits, and lobbyists who helped cause this will look like geniuses when they are actually the culprits. This is just one reason we need single payer. A public option is not enough.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  341. E.

    Dear Tony:

    NO, we don't want the public Option or the New Big Health Care Plan.
    It's too costly to put in place, no one can afford the premiums, the Penaltys. We don't want this Government to spend any more money that we don't have. The country can turn to all the Health Care Plans that our States already have in place for us and our Hopital Clinic plans which are exemplary and only charge what people can pay. They also have excellent Specialists, Residents and Interns volunteering their time and have State of the Art Equipment.

    Save our Medicare, Seniors need their Medicare. Shore it up and root out Fraud and put our tax money there.

    Did you hear that Sen. Maria Cantwell and Representative Ross have subitter their plan called "Medicare for All" which is already in place in MN, Wisconsin and several other States in the Midwest and she says the people love it and it is deficit neutral.

    Thank you,

    October 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  342. Steve

    Congress health care is not Obama health care. Congress has too many cooks in the kitchen. The devil is in the details, and the government has not shown that it can run a business efficiently. But, it's certainly good at creating huge, inefficient, administrative bureaucracies - and then contracting out the work to privite industry! I'm against any public plan devised by a congress that will not give the public sufficient time to study the details.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  343. Charles

    How come no one is even thinking about the cost for these plans, how much is it going to take out of my and your pockets?

    October 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  344. Randy Wicks

    Yes there should be a public option. Corporate America has not,
    in recent years, demonstrated a desire to be fair & open with its
    customers without controls, oversight, forced competition, or the
    like. To say there would be sufficient competition without a public
    option is blowing smoke where smoke should'nt be blown.

    We have government run health programs now & have had for
    many years. Do they need improvement? Yes. Yet they have helped
    many who couldn't afford any care.otherwise. Is that "commanizm"
    (Yes, I actually heard some man on the street say that in a national
    news story).

    If programs in other industrialized nations are so bad, why are not
    people dropping like flies, so to speak? Why do those countries
    have lower infant mortality? Why do those countries have longer
    longevity? Why are not people having mass demonstrations in the
    streets in those nations? And, perhaps more to the point, who
    says we have to have a program exactly like another nation's? Look at
    various programs, pick & modify what would work here & disregard
    that which would not.

    "Death panels"? – What are insurance & medical groups who, in
    essence, say to someone with a life threatening illness "Don't have
    the money? Sorry, you die."? Far fetched? Pay more attention to the
    news in your area.

    "I take care of myself & don't have medical problems. I don't want
    to pay for someone who doesn't care for themselves" Boy, that's a
    good Christian attitude. How about those who have medical problems
    which are totally beyond their control (genetics anyone?)?

    Nearly all, if not all, the arguments the "aginners" have made have
    been proven to be false. AARP's latest monthly news letter contained
    the strongest condemnation I've heard from that group against those
    who are trying to mislead the public.

    When I hear the baseless accusations I am reminded of the old
    story of the lemmings rushing mindlesly off the cliff into the sea.

    OK, I'm terribly wordy about this topic (my wife would say that's an
    understatement), but I spent my carer in the public safety field
    and it bothers me that such easily eleminated conditions have been
    allowed to continue.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  345. Dean Dubbs

    Yes, definitely we need the public option. We have seen how the insurance companies treat patients. They only care about profits and not helping people. And above all we need choices both in coverage and cost.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  346. frank lewis

    Yes for public health option. I am seventy six and believe we need this

    October 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  347. Hernan Cortes in Chicago

    Of course we need the public option. There's no sense otherwise to do reform. My son has a HEART PROBLEM at 20 years of age and since he has no insurance he will not get the treatment that an insured individual would automatically get. It's sad that my son may die because he has no insurance. If the public option is not in the bill, I will lose all respect for this country, a country I was BORN IN and move to FRANCE.

    October 21, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  348. Kevin in Maryland

    With all due respect, it seems very few people are considering the real details of how the public option will actually function.

    If the public option winds up being the cheapest and best alternative, then many people will naturally join. But that's the problem: the rising cost of health care is not from big bonuses to health insurance executives but from an increasingly unhealthy population that uses medication and surgeries to fix the symptoms of being unhealthy.

    So please tell me how the public option will do better than an existing insurance company in getting those that are obese to exercise and eat better? How will the public option do better in getting people to stop smoking? How will it do better in reducing stress? How will it better provide wellness services like access to nutritionists, mental health counselors, financial planners, physical trainers, etc. to keep people healthy and happy?

    The reason health insurance costs are going up is because insured people are sicker and the insurance companies need encouragement from the government to be innovative and efficient to keep people well, which does not have to come in the form of a public option.

    We don't need a public car company to compete with GM, or a public brokerage and investment banker to compete with Goldman Sachs, or a public bank to compete with Bank of America.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  349. Don Herr

    Of course a public option should be included in any "Reform". And of course the insurance industries would oppose such legislation, (it would cut into their obscene profit margins). And also include the other obvious measures that would reduce the costs of Universal American Health Care Coverage. "Public Option"--YES !!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  350. Jude in San Francisco

    YES! We must have a public option because the current private system serves insurance companies first and health care second, if at all.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  351. Dorothy,

    I agree with David, Robert Lake, MI has a serious problem, He doesn't know who is paying taxes, there are a lot of us paying them. Call me a die hard liberal that has been a nurse for over thirty years and paying taxes all along. I have three grown children and husband that have good jobs and have been paying taxes for many years. I have lots of friends and other family paying taxes as well. So when Mr. Lake assumes that only people like him are paying the taxes, it shows a little short sightedness. Oh well, it's obvious according to the responses here today and the polls all along that he is in the minority when it comes to views on the public option. wonder how that feels.?

    October 21, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  352. Juan Segredo

    The only way we will ever have afordable health insurance will be with a public obtion. The big Insurance companies are just interested in profits and how much money they can put in their own pockets and not what is good for the American people.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  353. Charles

    It is obvious to me that most of the people here are listening to the Democrats and the "pie in the sky" that they have been feeding you. I have a good idea, let's put the average Americans, people that question ideas and want facts, people that think with their heads and do not follow the herd, let's put all those people in the middle of the country. Let's put everyone else, the people that believe in and depend on entitlements, the people that don't believe that Obama is quietly trying to change the very fundamentals of this country, let's put them on the coasts. Then let's see who remains solvent the longest

    October 21, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  354. Kathy Beck

    We need a change...not something that has been pushed through congress just because it was some kind of promise made on a campaign trail. It needs to be well thought out and bipartisan...not shoved down our throats! Slow down and think about what you are doing. The public option that we will be offered will not be the same plan that is given to those in Congress. That was a statement made by our President. I feel that my right to good health care is as important as theirs! Republican or Democrat...we all deserve a choice...we all deserve a voice!! America should not have to accept rationed health care however, that's exactly what the public option will be. A panel of people sitting in a room trying to decide whether you are worth saving I personally prefer to make that call myself and if I am unable to do this my family, my physcian and my God will make that call for me!

    Respectfully submitted,


    October 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  355. Ray Rodriguez

    An Absolute Yes, Tony!!! It must have a public option. It appears that 75% of the previous writers before me want the public option as well. I believe I saw on one of your news reports that about 70% of the country wants the public option as well. Why don't they listen to the people? All of these writers need to write their Senators and Representatives and let them know their opinion so we can get it included in the bill. I already have. Public option...YES!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  356. Robert Lake,MI

    Its not a human right to have health care, one has had to pay for it one way or another all through history, nothing new about that! All the congress needs to do is pass drug and insurance reform, not start up another government ran service! It will only lead to more corruption than there already is! If a public option is passed then any American should be qualified to get it, oh whats the matter liberals dont like that because that means everyone would have to chip in and they want something free because I know of one liberal who is willing to give up the things they should giving up in order to purchase their own insurance! People live and die thats is whats called life, I shouldnt be forced to give up my American dream so every child in this country has better health insurance than I do! Those kids` parents should try harder and give up more things they dont need before asking me for a handout!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  357. Larry Sisk

    Why is it that no one has considered taking the cap off medecare and social security? The people that are lower income pay 7% of every dollar earned, but people that can afford it the most olly pay o a smaller percern of their income. The added income for the public option would be paid for completely if there was no cap.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  358. Angie

    After being denied health insurance due to pre-existing medical conditions,
    After being given the option of paying 3x's the costs of yearly deductible and monthly premiums,
    After my aging husband having to hustle for temporary high tech jobs around the country in his later years because his secured high tech aero space job was outsourced by Bush and the Republican party since 2002,
    After non of those temporary high tech jobs in other states offered to help pay any of the cost of his temporary living expenses even though he worked for different consulting firms' clients,
    After being stuck with 2 living expenses and very little money of any kind unable to cover any medical health insurance costs,
    After the temporary high tech jobs lasting for only 3 to 6 months with 2 to 8 months of unemployment inbetween while hustling for jobs in the mean time,
    After having sky rocketing costs of medical bills for surgeries and hopital stays and emergency rooms,
    After my husband having no chance for any retirement in his future,
    After my being turned down for jobs because of my age and lack of work experience and constantly being passed over for a younger person,
    After the jobs I did obtain was part time only and low pay, which was no where close enough to pay for medical insurance,
    After being let go when the companies cut back (between 2001 till 2008 stores experience poor holiday spending seasons – Remember?),
    Of course the old one had to be let go first – me,
    We, my husband and I, need the Public Option Insurance just to survive.
    Please, we are NOT a drain on this economy,
    We are American citizens who do pay our taxes and vote ,
    Help us get the Public Option. The Public Option is not free. We would pay out of pocket monthly premiums to the Public Option, but at a rate we can afford.
    That is what scares the insurance companies.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  359. Robert Lake,MI

    Just remember that mother nature has her ways of weeding out the sick and feeble, thats just life, its not racist its a fact! Far too many people in this country know they have a terrible disease but continue to have babies and passing these on generation after generation! In the registered dog world owners kill off these genes because its better for the breed, they dont do it to be mean or racist they do because it helps out future generations! I feel if you have a disease like diabetes and you choose to pass that on then you should have to be on your own period!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  360. Don, an American living in Canadaq

    YES, YES, YES, – THERE IS NO REAL SOLUTION OTHER THAN THE PUBLIC OPTION. It's the only way the insurance companies will be forced to compete. Since they are exempt from anti-trust law it is in their best interest to fix premiums and keep them high and increasing. Without the public option they will only complete, as they always have, by being the best at finding ways to avoid paying your health care claims.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  361. Mark

    For anyone who still thinks the insurance industry has our best interests at heart, consider today's news headline, "Toddler denied insurance for being too small." Add this to last week's headline, about a toddler that was "too big" being denied coverage. Genetics are apparently now considered a pre-existing condition. Pretty soon, the only conditions eligble for health care will be those caused by accidents. And I'll bet they're working on ways to exempt those, too. "It was your own fault." Insurance is evil incrnate.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  362. Jim

    We need health care reform. However, we need to be careful – instead of Congress getting caught up in the Liberal stamped pushing their socialist agenda they need to proceed carefully. The current draft has pieces that violate the Constitution. The first step towards redusing and removing current freedoms. The temporary short term gain will translate to a long term lost for us and especially our children. he Democrates want a Public option, however, Obama said he would control cost and not raise the public debt because of health care cost – that translates into reduced benefits and coverage as more people are added. Health care cost will go up someone has to pay, it is not free. Just like England and other countries currently with government health care everybody has coverage, but it is not much nor is it necessarily timely. Currently, anyone can go to the Emergency room for health care without health insurance and they do. We need health care reform done right, not just done.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  363. Bia Winter

    OF COURSE there should be a Public Option, available to ALL....anything less is nothing but a give-away for the Insurance Industry and would be worse than no reform at all, especially with a MANDATE to force people to buy private insurance!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  364. vpritner

    Ricky Wicks asked why our infant mortality rate is higher...Easy.

    We count stillborn babies & babies that die during childbirth in our mortality rate.

    The other countries DO NOT. Surely you can see how this put's American's rate at an unfair disadvantage!

    If you take out the above factors, compare apples to would see that our rate is certainly NOT higher than other countries...

    October 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  365. Robert Lake,MI

    Hey Dorothy you have a problem, your little poll means nothing because you are on a liberal news site! No the only ones crying for this public option is people who dont have insurance! It should not be thrown unto the backs of every tax payer who does not want to participate! How anout telling your congressman that all of us need insurance and drug reform not another program for the many paid for by the few!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  366. Kathy Beck

    Adendum to my last comment: No to a Public Option!
    Respectfully submitted,

    October 21, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  367. Jeff Koch

    I say no to a public option. It almost certainly eventually will lead to a single payer sytem. This in turn will mean much higher taxes, fewer choices and a health care system that overall will be inferior to what we currently have. Medicaid is a mess in too many ways to mention. Medicare is going bankrupt, and VA hospitals more often then not do not provide the best of care. We need health care reform but not from the same government that brought us "cash for clunkers", a program that spent billions. It did nothing for the economy, and has led to a real shortage of low priced used cars for the working poor! Do we need more of the same?

    October 21, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  368. Don, an American living in Canadaq

    Some fools still think the public option is "government health care". It's not. It's just an optional insurance plan. It's not government run hospitals or government paid doctors. It's just an insurance plan option. .
    It would not drive insurance companies out of business because it has not done so anywhere else in the world. Even Canada, with a universal health care financing system, (not socialized medicine and not government run health care) still has a healthy private insurance industry offering supplementary insurance and "Cadillac" health care plans.
    As for government not being able to run anything efficiently, why are Medicare overhead costs only 4% compared to double digit private insurance overhead?
    If government is so inefficient and can't run anything well, why are the private insurance companies worried about competition from a government run (not government funded) public option insurance plan?
    The only ones opposing the public option are fools, insurance companies, Republicans, government haters, and people who believe their lies and misinformation.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  369. Robert Lake,MI

    Since when does health care have anything to do with GOD, what about the rest of the religions in this country? Liberals are way too quick to call racism when someone doesnt agree with them! The current figure for most insurance plans is about $800 to $1000 per month, how much do you spend on your car every month? How much do you spend on cell phones and high speed internet? How much do you spend on alcohol and drugs per month? How about putting your priorities straight and stop trying to have what the next guy has! Heres a new concept, go without till you can afford those things! Dont have all these things and then cry you cant afford health insurance!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  370. Robert Lake,MI

    Jim well said!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  371. Don, an American living in Canada

    If you are worried about the cost of health care reform why does anyone oppose the option that has the most success of bringing down costs and that costs the least to implement.
    The public option under any of the proposed bills would not be funded by taxpayers or government. It would by law operate entirely on premiums collected from those who chose to enroll in the plan, just like for private insurance companies.
    why don't you idiots finally realize that the reason insurance companies are fighting the public option so hard is not because they give a damm about you, but because it will finally give them real competition and force them to cut overhead by example by reducing the multi-million $ salaries and bonuses they presently pay CEO's from your health care premiums.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  372. Robert Lake,MI

    Hey Don it is just a plan that will cost the tax payer dearly! Theres no such thing as a program ran by the government that proves to be cost effective, thats a myth told up there in Canada! While Canadians enjoy free health care I have talked to not one Canadian that really likes their coverage! They have long waits! They are told where they can go! They also because of the government ran system can never achieve the American dream of success simply because they are taxed to death in Canada!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  373. Richard R Sefi M.A.,M.D.

    My experience of and researches into a variety of practice types and medical care coverages persuade me to favor a choice of public option, or even a single payer for the totality of coverage, but my preferred plan type is that which insures comprehensive care for all by policies private and public each of which should not be permitted to make a profit .
    I am a retired family practitioner, last practicing in 1995. I am 82 years of age.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  374. Robert Lake,MI

    Oh by the way if not for the American businesses putting their factories in Canada Canada would have no money for a nationwide health care system! Canada you are what you are because of the United States dont ever forget that when you are bashing Americans!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  375. Donny Loux

    After 25 years in social and health care services services I beleive passing a strong public option based on the Medicare model is the single most important thing our Congress could possibly do. All other issues take a back seat to health....if you don't have it, your housing will soon be gone even if it is affordable, job opportunities won't matter as you can't work or if you do may loose your job, a boost in the economy won't outweigh your past due medical bills and educational opportunities gained may be lost to your inability to pay even reduced costs. Medicaid and emergency room costs will, without question, continue to sky rocket as these are our only current public options. Surely we can do better.

    October 21, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  376. Robert Lake,MI

    Nothing wrong with my ears when liberals said today they want to pass a law that forces radio stations to air only certain content! Thats not some Republican scare tactic it what the liberals want to do to shut down guys like Rush Limbaugh! While you may not agree with Rush he is an American and has the right to express his views just like the way you liberals express your opinions! Liberals are really hellbent on changing this country from the land of the free to pandering to closed minded with your hand out liberals! Stop thinking that the government is your savior because you must be careful of what you wish for, you might end up like folks in Communist China!

    October 21, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  377. Robert Lake,MI

    Don you must see a doctor because you must be sick to think that a public option would be paid for by the ones using it! The ones crying for the option have the notion its a free program! If they couldnt afford health insurance before (so they say) what makes you think they could pay for this too? No it will end up being another endless program for the many paid for by the few!

    October 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  378. Robert Lake,MI

    Don also by the way if this is a program that pays for itself then why does congress say the bills going to cost almost a trillion dollars, by the way more than what the whole country of Canada is worth!

    October 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  379. Deb Filer

    A public option is essential to protect all Americans, regardless of their circumstances... and the way the system operates now, all those with insurance are at risk for loosing it at any time. No one should feel comfortable or complacent with the current arrangement and structure.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  380. Pamela Donaldson

    A Public Option (and not a watered down one) is absolutely required for true health reform along with strong regulation. Unless we are willing to go the way of other countries who have strongly regulated insurance companies even to the extent of requiring them to be non-profit ( I like that idea), there is no other way to ensure competition to lower costs and like Wyden says, anyone should be able to choose it.

    How about Medicare for all? (and eliminate fee for service)

    October 21, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  381. Dot

    Yes to Single payer Public option

    October 21, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  382. Jim A

    So the "conservatives" have NO problem paying out trillions for an illegal and pointless war, but there's some huge problem with getting healthcare for our own people?

    That's the very definition of 'insane.'

    October 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  383. Chuck-Falcons Landing

    Yes! Definitely. I have had 45 years of U.S. government service, 27 years with DOD (acitive duty) and 18 years with NASA. During all of that time, my health care and that of my dependents were provided with the "Public Option". The military hospitals in the Washington metropolitan area provide excellent medical service. You may want to take a survey of the Congress and the Administration members and see how many have access to these military facilities (ie. Public Option). In my 35 years living in the metropolitan area, I have seen many Senators and members of Congress and of the Administration (both Democrat and Republican) in these government hospitals. They may be retired military (like myself), or like the President be qualified by their jobs. If any Republican has access and uses it, it would seem a bit hypocritical to argue and vote against the public option.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  384. David A. Marchi

    Yes a public option is required. Do not pass without this. Also repeal the 1946 Act that gives insurance carriers an exemption from price fixing.

    And Tony I look forward to you every day. Thanks for being on CNN.

    October 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  385. manuel a. lopez

    There absolutely must be a public option. Without out
    that the working class and poor people will be left out
    in the cold. Michelle needs to lock Barack in his office
    and get him off tv. Enough of the chest beating. Roll up
    your sleeves and get to work.

    October 21, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  386. Dan-O

    Medical "care" devised by a Marxist-Leninist, his commissars, Brownshirts, and useful idiots should be a non-starter for any relatively intelligent populace.

    Of course, in the foregoing, the operative words are "relatively," and "intelligent." What nation in her right mind would elect a Marxist – Leninist, given the historically evidential evidence against doing such a stupid thing?

    Want to know how obamamedikin will look in a few years? Here's how: Ask a Romanian who escaped that gulag–just before the Romanians dragged Nikolai Ceausescu and his honey from their palace, and hanged them.

    October 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  387. Jaycie

    What kind of cretins are we that we allow people to DIE from lack of health care or lose everything trying to pay for health care? No other civilized country finds this acceptable! Trillions of our tax dollars are being wasted every day killing people in Iraq and Afghanistan to no purpose while people here in this country have no insurance, no health care and no jobs. This is obscene and must be stopped! And, what about our "Representatives" and Senators who oppose a public option? This is their way of letting us know that they care NOTHING about us, but only about mega bucks insurance and drug companies who donate to their campaigns. I would really like to see active, loud opposition to each and every one of those in Congress who oppose the public option next time they are up for election. Every poll taken in the last six months has shown that the American people WANT the public option by a significant margin, and the desire for a public option is growing every day. So, who are these lousy politicians to defy us and deny us a public option? Is that what they were elected for, to ignore us and play footsie with mega bucks corporations instead?

    October 21, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  388. L.Dodds

    Healthcare, those with none, get some!

    October 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  389. Caroline, Los Angeles

    Yes. Medicare for all. Tax me for it and call it a done deal.

    October 21, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  390. Robert Lake,MI

    Hey Caroline problem is you are being taxed for the current Medicare and now you want to add 200 million more people to your taxes , I dont think so! Tell the liberals to get rid of the things they dont need and help buy their own health care!

    October 21, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  391. Tony B

    NO!! ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Public option is the first step to single payer. In 10-20 years the public option will be broke and medical care will be unsat and the only move the government can make will be to completely take over health care. I like every other AMERICAN believe we do need health reform but this is not the reform we need. Allowing private health insurance companies to compete is the only way to make it afortable and like everyone except the lawyers are saying "Tort Reform".

    October 21, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  392. A. Baca

    The more I see the more I hear about innocent people not getting the medical care they deserve and the amount of profit the insurance companies are making, disgust me. I am for those who have no insurance and can't afford insurance go under medicare. What is so hard about that. Shame on Big Insurance Companies, perhaps you guys can list the names as well as their addresses/ emails of the Executives of these insurance companies so we the consumer can reach out and let them know or ask where are your morals and ethics?

    October 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  393. Sooner

    I absolutely support the public option 100%..We the people have been screwed in this country for decades when it comes to healthcare, education, workers rights such as maternity leave and much more. We've been feed a line of crap and have taken it in hook line and sinker. This country is way behind the EU, and ranks 37th in healthcare next to Cuba. What a joke.

    October 21, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  394. Dan Chlebove Bethlehem,PA

    Wolf Blitzers asks why the polls show more support now for a public option than in August. Where has he been ? Unemployment has contiued to increse week by week. Lose your job, you loose your healthcare, welcome to America. Who in God's name with a family , and unemployed can afford COBRA.
    Yes, yes to a public option,because it's only going to get worse.

    October 21, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  395. Lee

    That a bureaucracy can run anything fiscally sound is laughable, as proven by US history.

    Americans suffer from wanting their cake and eating it to syndrome. In this case they don't want to pay for health care, but they have convinced themselves that all should have it. Meanwhile the country is going bankrupt and the dollar is on it's way out. Wake up and smell the coffee, people, while you can still afford a cup.

    October 21, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  396. WG Texas

    Public Option – Yes, leave it up to the states – No, Medicare Part E sounds okay to me.

    October 21, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  397. robert alcaraz

    any one knows that if their is a public option it would make the insurance company compete for our bussiness. They have alway done what ever they want with us. Now its our time !

    October 22, 2009 at 12:18 am |
  398. Sean

    Frankly I don't have any confidence in the governments ability to design and implament a plan to overhaul heathcare. That being said, if we are going to do this anyway then I think a public option needs to be added just to keep the rest of the players (insurance companies, etc...) honest. Otherwise we will end up with a bill with loop holes and exceptions which will cost us a ton and provide nothing.

    October 22, 2009 at 1:38 am |
  399. Christine

    I must say that I am a cynic in this regard. The public option is supposed to provide "competition" for health care insurers; however, I recall that the HMO Act of 1973 was passed to do the same thing and to result in reduced health care costs. It allowed for grants and other financial incentives for companies to form HMO's and mandated that employers with an excess of a certain number of employees (don't recall the no. of employees referenced) be required to offer HMO's as part of their benefit programs.

    This was surely not competition on a level playing field – and the result is that today most people are covered by some sort of a managed care plan (HMO, PPO, etc.).

    So I am convinced that the public option is intended to be the baby step towards the eventual elimination of any other insurance option, resulting finally in a single-payer plan.

    And I am puzzled by all of the people who support this option because they prefer that their insurance coverage be provided by a non-profit entity. Aren't most non-Medicare/Medicaid Americans covered by some sort of Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan? And aren't most Blue
    Cross/Blue Shield plans non-profit, as well as many of the HMO programs administered by many of the larger hospital systems?

    October 22, 2009 at 1:56 am |
  400. Nathan

    Yes! I'm absolutely for the public option!

    October 22, 2009 at 5:44 am |
  401. Gary

    No public option, I have worked all my adult life to better myself and provide for my family. I earn and contribute to my company provided health care, let others do the same. I do give to others but don't want the government taking more that they already do to hand out for me. Let me decide who I help. When they get the money moving around they will skim out the top for themselves and thier buddies.
    What does the government do well????? That's my point!!!
    We already have a issue with generations of families that have been trained by some of our government to live off the tax payer. That's what needs to be fixed.


    October 22, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  402. GLEN

    When the Insurance Companies spend MILLIONS to defeat Healthcare and the Public option clause it should tell you all you need to know. It's the insurance companies bottom line not yours. Public option needed? You bet your bottom dollar it's needed. Thank you President Obama.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:02 am |
  403. william remenschneider

    There must be a Public Option. They should just open, to all, the same health care package that federal employees and members of congress have

    October 22, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  404. frances quattlebaum

    I am in agreement with a not for profit option in the health care reform bill.
    I am a Registered Nurse and have worked with insurance on behalf of patients and have also seen what happens to people denied insurance or have used their lifetime limit for payments, they are devasted financially

    October 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  405. Larry in Vermont


    If the bill doesn't have the Public Option in it, the insurance companies will have an open road ahead to deny coverage and get richer on the backs of all of us.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  406. Constance

    The public needs a public option. They don't need to avail themselves of it, if they don't have a need. But millions do. Millions of people are without jobs. Private insurers are looking to their bottom line, ridding themselves of any drains (that's us, folks) on their pocketbooks. Let us not be fooled again w/their ad campaigns. We ALL need affordable, basic health care–and we need peace of mind that we won't have to mortgage the house, the family and our future.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  407. Della Valk

    We need universal health care anyway we can get it. These hypocrites in the Republican party should all take a walk off a short pier.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  408. Debbra

    Yes!!! One reason I believe that the public option is imperative is there are so many individuals that cannot afford the insurance premiums; it's just impossible to choose between house utility / bills vs one month's insurance paymt. It is inhumane!!! I am a RN of 17 yrs, I've seen first hand how folks are treated when they are self-pay; a definite discrimination is evident of their care, and how few 'tests' are performed because they don't have the money for it. But, if you have insurance, well then, that's a different story, every test in the world is done and is charged even MORE so the clinic/hospital can get the most money from the ins. company. It's terrible! STOP THE DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AND SELF-PAY FOLKS!!

    Oh, for the record, if YOU were out of a job, and zero insurance with a pre-existing condition that prevents you from working due to the ins. co. not providing you with coverage so you can receive the proper medication TO beable to work; YOU FOLKS that are against the public option would change your mind real fast. Different story when you are the one being discriminated against, huh? You must be the executive with all the bailouts and using my tax money that disagree giving health care options to ALL AMERICANS.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  409. Bill

    this is just full socialism!!!!!!!
    stop using the term "public" option. it only means govt healthcare.
    this is the destruction of the free enterprise system which has made the US the greatest country on earth.

    October 22, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  410. F.G.

    Health care reform without public option is just another joke.
    Health care should be a non profit organization.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  411. Bob L

    I wonder why there is so much retoric over theselarge companies paying back what is theift(by the way the spin on it on these co.makes it sound like HOW DARE YOU).You and i would go to jail for a long time for the same thing)It is also a moral issue if one understand scripture,HUM M M what !!
    Have a great day to you all @ CNN

    October 22, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  412. M.J. Westerlund

    It's not only "justifiable", it's required; the government would be remiss if they did not now set pay guidelines to top execs whose organizations are recipients of financial bailouts from the government, i.e. American taxpayers. Since the leadership of these companies are proving that they haven't learned from their recent mistakes and demonstrate no regard for the havoc they have wreaked on the lives of average American citizens, the next step needs to be PERMANENT government controls and restrictions on these out-of-control companies and/or industries.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  413. Alexander Mackenzie

    Good Day Tony, Companies that are taking bail-out monies are no longer private companies. They should be regulated until the bail-out monies are able to be paid back. Having tax payers providing monies for failure is crazy and should be criminal. The obscene wages, bonus payments, and any other side payments should and must be stopped until that time the company is again profitable enough to pay back said monies and is in fact hiring again.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  414. Alexander Mackenzie

    Good Day Tony, Sorry, I was answering a question you just asked about compensation of bailed out companies. As far as health care goes, the correct approach is to go single payer by extending medicare to all. Not this combobalation of bull that is as bad as the income tax code. The leftists have the house, senate and presidency, GO FOR IT. Or, forget it.
    Have you ever heard of the "Camel being a Race Horse designed by a committee?" These "public options are indeed the Camel..

    October 22, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  415. Bruce Patton

    A public option would be as ruinous to other providers as Medicare has been. Medicare stipulates much lower maximun medical fees than legitimate fees for medical care which causes the medical community to charge higher fees to other insurers and individuals.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  416. Dave Dubinsky

    20 yrs in the health care business has thoroughy convinced me of the need for, at the very least, a so-called "Public Option." Administrative waste and unnecessary duplication of expensive services, and the ongoing need for provider and Plan member responses to 500,000 claims denials, each DAY, represent just a few of the all too many fiscal wastes within our present "system."

    October 22, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  417. Gary

    Could Lee Iacocca have turned Chrysler around if he was not willing to cut his pay? He got the concessions from the U.A.W. largely because he was willing to bring himself down to the level of the workers to win their trust and make a shared sacrifice to save the company. Japan has proved the theory that the person at the top should not be above getting his hands dirty with the workers if you want a top preforming company so pay alone is not the answer, you need someone who is not afraid to get in there with the workers to find the bottlenecks and get the people who work at that company to feel that they are a part of that company and their ideas have value to the company not just the people at the top who run the show. It is a lesson best learned by top level executives who have worked their way up the ladder from the ground up so they have an appreciation of what the people actually doing the work have to go through to produce the end product. College kids brought in from outside who have never worked a production line job have no idea what the workers go through and are ill prepaired to run a company because they have little knowledge of the parts that make that company up.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  418. Marion Benson

    Well, there have been enough comments regarding no regulation
    or control/specifics regarding the funds used as pay-out to these financial institutions. Now the President is taking actions. What is the problem, or should I say "COMPLAINT", now? It is like he be damned if does and be damned if he doesn't.

    CNN has really done an excellent job trying to explain some of the economics involved in our current conditions; however, I do believe you need to continue. With Fox throwing out their prevarications and misrepresentations on a daily basis, Americans need some really unvarnished truths to guide them in forming their opinions.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  419. Marion Benson

    I really don't believe a public option will ever get all the votes it needs to pass. That being said, I would like to see the public option included as an avenue to lower costs if the insurance industry does not cooperate. Also, I am astonished that these people have not be subject to Anti-trust Laws. What was Congress thinking?

    October 22, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  420. Gary

    The public option must be there to keep the insurance companies honest and not just profit centers for the C.E.O.'s who run them looking to make short term profits at the expense of longterm plans. Cutting the best people from your company to make profits for the man at the top is not good corporate policy and creating an atmosphere where there is no company loyalty by demanding pay cuts at the bottom and benefit cuts of those same people while the person at the top gets all the perks and a golden parachute if the company fails is not good business policy either.

    October 22, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  421. M.J.

    Hey, Gary.

    You are not in touch with cruel reality if you think that "doing the right thing" financially and ethically spares you and your household from a catastrophic illness or an accident that disables you or one of your family members and which can break you, financially and otherwise. Do you think your salary is going to more than quadruple to keep pace with the out of control costs of health insurance over the next ten years?

    Many people have the misperception that it's the "lazy" and those who make poor choices who suffer in our current healthcare system. The great majority of people suffering under this broken system are within a range of middle class people who are working but whose companies don't provide a health care option, or who have lost jobs where they had health insurance and can't obtain health insurance once they loose their jobs due to a pre-existing health condition.

    If we use your pioneer approach that everyone can just pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, does that mean that I can stop paying taxes for public education since I don't have children? I strongly and actively opposed the Iraq war so, since it was responsible for exploding our national deficit, can I be exempt from paying taxes for that war? I've been saving for years for retirement and control my spending to have no debt; I expect you are doing the same, so why should we pay Social Security?

    Do you think it's for the good of our society to let everyone make their own plan to survive on their own according to the "roll of the dice"? I don't agree with that line of thinking. I think we have enough history, information and understanding today to allow our thinking to evolve and to create solutions that benefit all our citizens.

    Otherwise, all we can say is "Good luck!"

    October 22, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  422. M.J.

    P.S. "To Gary" ... I was referencing the comment made at 9:57 a.m.

    October 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  423. Alfred Gascho

    We absolutely NEED a public option!

    October 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  424. khan

    mandating health insurance without making it affordable & axing public option is what i would call fascism or whatever 'ism' one may like to call it.
    What we Americans need & need it now is comprehensive health care within easy reach of all. About time honeymoon ends for the Insurance Companies & pharmaceuticals & others who are raking in our hard earned money,
    We are the richest & the most powerful country on the planet,God Bless, for goodness sake & yet millions go without health care living below poverty level. Wake up guys

    October 22, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  425. cardog

    Once again, we are at a cross in the road. Whenever there is a subject put forth to the American public, you will have this difference of opinions and the the opinions that will receive the most attention are usually those that are the most negative.
    I have written before that the only honest way to appraoch this health care issue is to tell the truth. I am surprised that the Republicans have not used it more, but the truth is, the American public "Will" have to pay more taxes. That is the bottom line and there is no way around it. National Health Care must come about and the only way it can be paid for is through "Taxes". Tell the people the truth for a change.

    October 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  426. Reginald Perrin

    At about 11:55AM today, Tony Harris had a guest on CNN NEWSROOM to explain how government health care insurance would work. I was shocked... There is no more unconstitutional government mandates on the individual. No more IRS involvement. No more federal penalties. No more invasion of privacy. No more mandatory complexity. Wow !

    This should be the top headline on all of the news channels, but I can't find it being reported any place else. Why?

    October 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  427. Joyce Matthews

    I'M FOR THE PUBLIC OPTION and why are insurance companies making such an astronomical profit on sick people?

    I have insurance now through my job, but what if I got laid off? At my age, I could not afford to purchase an affordable plan. I make an excellent salary and live very well. I have over $150,000 in my 401K and own my home. My 28 year old daughter is on a full coverage private insurance plan from a well known provider that is only $342 a month. I called to find out what her plan would cost me. The exact same plan is $1082/mo. I have never had surgery, do not have high blood pressure, do not have diabetes or any other ailment that most older people have. I am in perfect health. Until I checked out her plan, I had no opinion one way or the other about the public option. I have since watched Sicko, which Fox News said more or less was a joke, and find that I could be in serious trouble if I was not working and had to go into the hospital for anything major. In the movie Sicko, I saw many well-off families that lost their savings and homes through one family member having a devastating illness. I pray to God that I will not lose my job. My company has already started giving packages to people over 55. I have been with this company for over 18 years. It’s very possible I could get caught up in the next layoff.

    Living Scared

    October 24, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  428. Allen Klinefelter

    yes, there must be a full public option. This is the only way to control out of control insurance companies. The thought of an opt-out or opt-in is very bad. Remember back in 1860's that was already decided, where you either liven in a slave state or a free state. If your state decided to otp-out you would then be in a slave to the insurance companies state. Think for a moment if you live in a Republican state how is the party of NO, you would have to move. Maybe that would be the only way to show our elected officials who take millions from insurance companies moved to a free state.

    October 24, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  429. Ken Turnage

    YES... we NEED a public option !!

    I went to Alaska to work the oil fields in the spring of 1976 and there were five primary general Oil Field Contractors established on the Kenai Peninsula. They had been there since the original discovery and development of the oil and gas fields in that area in the mid 60's. They were ROLLING in money primarily due to the high level of production and sales by the oil companies who were also rolling in cash. Everyone was happy as they were all doing very well financially and there was no incentive to do anything differently.

    When production and profits started dropping off in the late 70's, the squeeze started for reduced cost of construction and maintenance to enhance the profits of the oil companies and share holders of these companies.

    Trying as hard as they could, the oil companies could not get any real reductions in cost as the existing contractors had gotten used to there mode of operation and in doing everything the same way they had been doing it because money had NEVER been a problem and they were convinced that that’s just what it cost to do business.

    The industry finally encouraged some local individuals who were knowledgeable in the oilfield construction and maintenance industry but were not doing business on there own, to start there own business, and assured them that they would be given an opportunity to bid on these high profit contracts. They were also assured that they would be given fair consideration in the bid evaluation.

    The established contractors didn't see these new-be's as high competition because:
    A)They had no experience in managing these types of projects.
    B)They had no safety programs in place which was becoming very important to the oil industry.
    C)They had no established and experienced work force.
    D)They had no facilities or equipment to support these types of contracts.
    E)They had no financing with which to finance these shortfalls or to even make payroll.
    F)They did not have many other things that the original area contractors had and felt sure that they would need to be able to satisfy the, what had become "Demanding Oil Industry Managers". (As they were under tremendous pressure by the corporate office to bring the cost down and the profit up.)

    What these new-be's DID have was the support of the pressurized industry managers to succeed and help bring the cost down.

    True, they could not perform like the established contractors did, and the oil industry knew this going in, but with the support of the oil industry, they got through the projects and within a few years were well established and making very good profits. Not GREAT profits like the older contractors did, but very acceptable profits.

    A new age had begun and now competition was the name of the game. Some of the contractors saw the handwriting on the wall that the “Hay Day of High Profits” were a thing of the past and cashed in there chips. The majority however, stood there ground and learned how to be more cost conscious and perform the same services in a more cost effective and competitive manner and that 25% to 35% profit margins (which were common in the early days) were not necessary profit margins (and are still in business today).


    Don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to believe that the government can put together and run an efficient alternative insurance program. But, with the non-competitive system (only conventional insurance companies that currently exist) setting the efficiency/cost bar, that the government can provide an alternative that will mandate a change in attitude towards efficiencies and acceptable profit margins on the conventional insurance companies part.

    We MUST have true competition. The existing insurance market leaders WILL NOT self govern themselves and cause a true cost reduction. IT’S NOT IN THERE BEST INTREST!!!

    October 26, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  430. Arlene Evans

    i am for the public option-without it there really isn't any health reform in my opinion. I cannot understand why anyone would be against it unless they are being paid off by the Ins. co. or unbelievably stupid! I watch CNN, and the senate and house every day and I do not know how the Rep senators ever got elected- I am ashamed of the senators from Arizona!!

    October 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  431. Behnam

    Tony, Health Care is a necessity. EVERYONE should have access to a great plan. I absolutely believe in competition and survival of the fittest, but we are human and not animals. Just because the fittest survive, the weak should not be left to die. It is the job of the government to fairly distribute what is considered NECESSITY and leave the free market to those fighting for their everlasting greed. No plan should be 2000 pages either, make it simple and transparent so the average person can feel confident and not scared by ambiguity.

    In Humanity we Trust .

    October 29, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  432. Kevin in Maryland

    OK, everyone that wants a public option right now, I told you so - $2 billion in startup costs before a single patient is enrolled. That will probably be an underestimate as usual, considering a new agency under HHS will probably be created which will need a new computer system and personnel.

    (A) IN GENERAL.—In order to provide for the establishment of the public health insurance option, there is hereby appropriated to the Secretary, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $2,000,000,000."

    So I continue to echo my first post on October 21st, 2009 at 12:25 pm (which Tony read on the air btw... pretty kewl).

    The exchange and all the new rules will provide more fairness and more competition in the insurance industry. How much will costs go down is anybody's guess, so we should wait a few years to see where competition takes us before introducing a public option that costs money. With good rules and competition, the insurance companies will have to innovate and be efficient to compete and attract customers in the exchange.

    The government role should be to foster innovation and efficiency among private companies, not try to be innovative and efficient itself. So a government health plan that is not efficient and innovative will only be able to compete through subsidies, which is useless especially right now in our economy. That $2 billion could have gone toward something else important like building much needed transmission lines for wind farms.

    October 31, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  433. Alfred Gascho

    No puplic option, No reform! Corporate greed will continue.

    November 2, 2009 at 1:47 pm |