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October 23rd, 2009
12:59 PM ET

What is the Public Option?

A lot of terms are floating around in the health care debate: public option, health care exchange, optional public option, etc.

Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen joined Tony Harris for a little Health Care 101.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. pamela

    Why has no poll ask if people would like a medicare for all public option? as a veteran we get the best of both

    October 24, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  2. Randy N

    Our present Goverment could carless on how long thy take it's only over 25 years old now. We the people should be the ones to make up our own health care and how We should pay for it. I have lost trust in our goverment, sorry.

    October 26, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  3. John in NH

    I fully understand the need to re-vamp healthcare in this country as someone who has not been insured since 1991. That being said, I fail to understand how, in a "CAPITOLIST DEMOCRACY", our elected officials think or feel that they can dictate to the insurance companies how to run their business. In my opinion all they are going to do is cause the insurance companies to drop health insurance on the grounds that they can not compete with the government. They can make their money eleswhere. Under the Obama-Nation, (pun intended), we are well on our way to "SOCIALISM" and "SOCIALIZED MEDICINE" DOES NOT WORK ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! Let me pose this question; Do you wamt 50% or more of your hard earned money going to taxes to pay for this? I have a hard enough time paying my bills as things stand, I can NOT afford to give the government any more of my money and I do not believe most of America can afford to either!
    Thank you,

    October 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  4. Freddie A. Ray (gcbfred)

    OK, I have asked this before and only get angry responses. Please explain to me the exact meaning of "Public Option"???? It may be obvious to some, but I am having a problem with knowing or picturing what they are talking about when they say "Some form of Public Option" is being considered. What does that mean??>> Thanks...

    October 26, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  5. Richard Oldenburg

    If the Public Option is so bad, why don't the senators who are against it opt out of Medicare/Medicade? That is a government run Health Program. Go for it Mitch.

    October 27, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  6. Alice, AR

    The Public Option should be a mere extension of Medicare and Medicaid to insure persons that do not have access to medical care. We already have a government health care system set up that gives basic health care to seniors and the very poor. Just extend this.

    October 27, 2009 at 11:06 am |
  7. Deb

    I agree with Alice above. For-profit insurance has gotten out of hand (way too expensive) for many people. That is inexcusable.

    October 27, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  8. Chris

    Why can't congress get it through their thick skulls that the cost of health care is due to lawyers! Maybe it's because they're all lawyers. Malpractice insurance premiums lead to higher doctor bills lead to higher premiums for us. Don't forget to add a dash of the pharmaecutical industry to flavor this expensive dish!

    October 28, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  9. imtiazkhan

    proponents of Public Option must clarify what it stands for in layman terms. I & most others see it as a way to make Health Care affordable for every American & not leave the hapless & confused populace at the mercy & whims of Insurance Companies who are just profiteering behemoths.
    Those in the Congress or Senate who oppose it are for special interest groups & lobbies & are not bothered for us who sent them there in the first place.

    October 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  10. Lorene Romero

    I do believe there should be some type of "public option" included in the Health Care Reform legislation. I like the idea of the individual states being able to negotiate the rates. This will allow them to put into effect the rates that work the best for their state.

    I want to comment on something else that does not have a topic posted here as yet.

    As I sat watching the press conference celebrating the health care reform package, I was already experiencing its effects before it had even been passed.

    I am 67 and have been a member of a Blue Cross/Blue Shield Medicare Advantage plan for 2 years. Last year my monthly premium (in addition to the $96.40 for Parts A and B deducted from my Social Security check) was $71. Under this plan, I had no co-pays for doctor's office visits, inpatient visits, outpatient surgery, etc. I paid $5/per month per generic prescription..

    Yesterday I received the new packet for 2010. My new monthly premium has DOUBLED to $142 with a co-pay of $10 for nearly everything, a co-pay of $200/day for days 1-6 when hospitalized, and so on and so forth. The cost of prescriptions has been raised from $2 to $5, depending on the medication.

    So, my question is: How has Health Care Reform helped this senior citizen? And the answer is ....... it has not helped but hurt me.

    I am wondering how many other seniors in Medicare Advantage plans are facing the same financial issues I am. I'm not sure I'm gong to be able to continue with this plan, but also don't know if there are other plans in my area that will be less expensive.

    October 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  11. Claude Jarmon

    Since Republicans hate government, shouldn't they give up their paychecks and government health benefits. They use their government positions to keep others from having what they have.
    The only time republicans vote en mass is to declare war on someone.

    October 29, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  12. Mike Tomkinson

    I'm not sure what a public option is, but what I keep hearing about is affordable premiums for all. Earlier CNN showed 3 profiles and associated coverage. I still have not seen a plan for those of us earning less than 40,000. There are millions who don't earn enough to file taxes, these people won't benefit from a tax credit. Subsidies still require payments that would literally take food from the family.

    October 29, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  13. tj /mich

    tony just a quick comment on the socalled health care reform something is not working my elderly parents just had there insurance costs double and now will most likely not be able to aford it congress needs to put a stop to this right away they are just in this for the money and people will end up dieing as they cant aford to get sick.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:20 am |