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November 23rd, 2009
08:16 AM ET

Status Quo or Reform?

As health care reform moves forward in the Senate it’s not without road blocks.

In a Saturday night vote, the Senate agreed to begin formal debate on a bill after Thanksgiving but there’s still division over the bill as it stands now.

So we wanted to know what you think.
Is the status quo better than what’s outlined in either the House or Senate bills?

Leave us a comment, we’ll share some of them on air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am — 1pm ET.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (234 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Reform, NOT OVERHAUL!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  2. Dennis Houde

    Its all about health care. Getting very tired of the Democrats VS Republicans. If the Republicans were in charge the Democrats would be against the bill. Neither one can get along. It makes me sick. We really need a third party. I can not see whats wrong with debating this. How can all Republicans be agains the bill and the Democrats all for.

    November 23, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  3. Dan Sloane

    Individuals deal with stress differently. Obtaining an education can and usually does cause stress at any age and at any level. Eating or not eating can be an outlet in handling that stress. Some gain weight; some lose weight. Eating disorders are common.

    One chooses to attend a school to further their education, not to gain or lose weight. It is the individuals choice and right how they want to handle the stress.

    Dan in Ft. Myers

    November 23, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  4. Mona Benge

    The GOP representatives that come on CNN all leave the impression that the study on mammograms comes from an Obama appointed task force. All members were appointed during the Bush Administration yet I have not seen anyone on CNN mention it. The NY Times had an extensive article on the task force recently which provided all the history on the group and how it operates.

    This morning on Good Morning America, the reporter interviewing Michael Steel was tough but didn't challenge him on his statement that (I paraphrase) Obama health care reform would leave women without mammograms or something like that.

    Whoever comes on should be challenged with true facts and not just allowed to get airtime to spout obvious lies. I'm not talking about a point of view but full out lies should not be allowed without comment. This would perhaps elevate the discussion and stop the fear mongering that is absolutely out of control. They did it with the death panels when you all knew it was not true and now this.

    I hope all of you at CNN, without taking sides, just make facts more important than tabloid controversy.

    November 23, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  5. ecurra19

    The reality is that Health Care Reform is moving toward more discussion. A debate has to take place and what a better place than Congress where scare tactics cannot be done. The division still there in the United States. Politicians know what we need now is up to then again but the tactics used for years and decades to denigrate citizens and the scare tactics cannot be use. This discussion has to be done by the big guns in the Senate. Common sense should be the answer. There is a large sector of the citizens who have being denied of Medical Health Care Services. I hope that status quo will not be consider, nor the scare tactics.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  6. Patrick in Madison

    the Status Quo is unsustainable, and only serves to further enrich the industries that are ruining our economy

    November 23, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  7. Mike Perry

    I believe the true answer to your question lies in where you are on the health care spectrum. The people that currently have insurance are most likely satisfied with the status quo while those individuals and families that have no access to health care would like to see the currently proposed health care plan passed as soon as possible.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  8. kathy-oregon

    both my 20 something kids are working and have no health insurance. All I care is that they, and everyone else without heath care gets it. If the new bill does that, then its better than the status quo.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  9. Tom

    Yes! The current system is MUCH better then the proposed "reform". It's not reform, it's the government getting into the healthcare business.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  10. Linda Groves

    Absolutely we need reform. Too many are uninsured or underinsured. Too many have to decide between food and healthcare – a decision that no American should have to make.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  11. kevin

    What's the debate? Any health care is better than none at all.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  12. Les Mezei

    Shame on you Tony and shame on John King. You let Mitch McConnell get on the air and spew out a bunch of baloney about the American people being against health care reform when you know darn well that polls consistently show that a majority of people favor reform. Why doesn't John challenge him on this. I can only conclude that you and John are doing everything you can to help Republicans kill this bill.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  13. G Watts

    Mandates should never be imposed on a free people. Too soon after the national seatbelt push. Making healthcare affordable is JOB 1, and if the bill "requires" a purchase, then that's not supply and demand, it's just demand.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  14. Mr and Mrs Ladde Mayer

    The status quo is better than either the House or Senate health care bills.

    We need improvement of those things that need fixed.

    Taking funds from Medicare is not an improvement.

    No form of abortion is acceptable.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  15. Scott Griffith

    I am an uninsured 56 year old self employed male, healthy, non- smoker, and one hospital visit away from financial disaster. We need this health plan. Loose the fear, get behind the plan and get it done.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:15 am |
  16. Ray in Las Vegas

    Well shesh, 2000+ pages in new proposed bill against a very complicated system that exists now. It is very hard to compare just health plan options when renewing coverage every fall. No Ordinary person can claim to be able to make a valid value judgement. We will only know when and if it happens. Like the weather, you don't fool with mother nature, at least with the weather, we have trained scientists and super computers to learn how it works.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  17. Patricia Buschette

    The discussion has become political, i.e., are you opposed to Barack Obama or not. We had that vote.

    The status quo is miserable and desperately needs reform. Should we wait and think about it for a time? I think not. We have been doing that for years.

    We desperately need reform. The proposal to be discussed will have its flaws, but the status quo desperately needs chang.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  18. karen

    Trick question! We need REFORM (removal of barriers to competition, stop frivilous lawsuits and limit amounts, do something about drug pricing (maybe we should quit subsidizing the rest of the world!)


    November 23, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  19. linda Walton

    I am sick of seeing Republicans spouting off about how the people are all against the health care reform. Why doesn't CNN publish true statistics that at leaast 60% of the people favor the public option. We are sick of being ripped off by insurance companies!!!! The proposed bill is definitely better than the status quo.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  20. Thomas & Martha Smith

    We support Health care reform (including Tort reform) but no public option.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  21. keithhogan

    I support healthcare reform with a public option. Anything is better than what we have now.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  22. Bill

    Afforedable health care is a right in this country and all countries. Health care reform is a required step towards this goal. We seem to have to take small steps towards refrom is this country, so I hope this is the first small step, and I hope that the propaganda and fear mongering by the health insurance companies as well as their campaign contributions to legislators and senators will not stop this bill from passing.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  23. Charlie Linksman

    No! We need health care reform, once we have a bill, we can weak it year after year until we get it right; just as we did with Medicare, so many years ago.

    We have to remember the close to 50 million Americans who do not have any insurance and are dying from every year from the status quo.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  24. Doris Sauls

    Tony, it appears to me that people who are against the bill are trying to avoid paying for the person who has nothing to pay. Whether they know it or not. People who can afford to pay for health care will pay for indigents either way. You cannot avoid being your brother's keeper. It is a spiritual, dynamic law.

    I heard the CEO of a large Hospital state that his hospital would not pay the 16 million dollar indigent bill they have, but that he would pass it on to the American consumer.

    They can't get away, let the people have health care. It makes for a better America for all people to live in.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  25. James

    The status quo is MUCH better than either plan yet presented by either house. EVERY government-run program is subject to corruption and mishandling of monies. It doesn't matter about which party, but rather the politicians are "running" and providing "oversight" for these programs. Politicians are greedier than any CEO may ever be portrayed.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  26. Helen

    We need reform............NOT AN Overhaul. A 5th grader could come up with a better bill! If our representatives would STOP wasting our dollars, healthcare would be paid for. I will NEVER vote for another incumbent AGAIN!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  27. James Finch

    Health Care Reform with public option is necessary to fix the multi-billion dollar travesty that is the current situation. Business as usual will result in catastrophic expense for the middle class taxpayer, on who the brunt of all government expenditures fall. All working Americans deserve full health care coverage, and in order to keep the giant, out of control insurance companies in check is to provide a public option for Americans who need it.

    Since insurance premiums are well above the affordability of most working class Americans, the backbone of the country, public option is necessary for them to be covered.

    Also, the pre-existing condition requirement by these insurers needs to be removed and the health industry as a whole needs to be regulated.

    Deregulation over the past few decades has produced nothing but negative results, increased cost, and many Americans falling through the cracks. Reform must happen or the current health care situation will implode and more Americans will die.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  28. john

    The presently proposed health care reform bill scares me to death! Specifically, I'm very, VERY worried that paying for it by 'revising', (read REDUCING) MEDICARE will cost all of us senior citizens more out-of-pocket money. I'm also worried about adding close to a trillion dollars to the national debt is a long-term mistake. And thirdly, I hate the idea of paying for illegals by taxing 'legals.'

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  29. Lisa Zeankowski

    no the status quo is NOT better than what is outlined, and what's out lined still needs some work. While everyone is fixated on a problem with a "Public Option" they are forgetting that inside of this reform there is still no mention of helping those who are disabled get their medical insurance i.e. Medicare sooner rather than later...meaning bypassing the 2yr waiting period. I have Multiple Sclerosis, earning SSD means we make too much money for State Medicaid and often our child support (if separated or divorced like I am) counts as income as well when determining getting help for health insurance, this new plan, while I feel it's an improvement for those without health insurance options, doesn't help us, those of us who might NOT be able to purchase insurance, no matter how inexpensive it's made, we can't be held to a penalty because we already can't afford to live on SSD only, and we are being FORCED to wait for Medicare to kick in. We are only collecting what is DUE us from earnings we already earned and paid into, yet we can't work, aren't insured and have NO options. The status quo is NOT good, nor is the new reform the perfect answer, I voted for Mr. Obama and am a bit concerned that knowing his wife's father lived, and died having had a chronic Illness as Multiple Sclerosis, he is not paying attention to the country's disabled population's needs as much as the common people's needs and the poor as well as the elderly.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  30. Jennifer

    I agree with NOT asking certain questions and CHALLENGING, CNN is "taking sides" and not presenting ALL sides "equally." King certainly is AGAINST the bill! And–when you keep running McConnell saying how Congress is not listening to the American people.....ALL people will think that he means ALL the American people, which is NOT true. Are you going to run something else which says it is not ALL Americans who are arrogant and are against the bill? If not, then take this: Most Americans DO WANT health coverage and are FOR health care....and they are the ones who NEED COVERAGE AND ARE NOT ARROGANT ABOUT IT. McConnel shows his own arrogance by dismissing that MOST Americans NEED AND WANT health coverage. Be far!!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  31. Susan

    I vote for Status Quo over the "reform". We should incrementally improve the existing system, addressing the SPECIFIC problems with it. Obamacare's wholesale REFORM throws the baby out with the bath water and will bankrupt the country into future generations while handing more control to the government. I want FREEDOM. Almost everything that our government micro-manages goes bad.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  32. William

    Somebody has to do the work of providing the healthcare. How will we pay them? The burden of all government spending is always borne by those who do productive work. It doesn't matter how the tax system slices and dices things. Tax the "rich", and the rich will distribute the burden to their employees and customers. It has always been this way, it will always be this way. It's a lie to say that you can tax the "rich" to provide something for free.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  33. Carly

    Status quo is no longer affordable to Americans and employers. Reform, or end with healthcare being another luxury for the wealthy and powerful.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  34. Jan Miles

    If we don't get this reform, this country will go further down the slippery slope. We've needed this reform years and our Congress is still ignoring the people. Congress is listening too much to the insurance companies, instead of the people. With no insurance for the millions, we could end up being like the countries where everyone has a disease and no place to go to get help. Our doctors and nurses won't exist and hospitals will be closed.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  35. Lou Sansevero

    Facts are not longer required to air your views on CNN or any other news channel. We hear statements from Republicans that are absolutely false and intended only to pander to their base and inflame peoples emotions. The sad thing is that there are people out there that actually believe what is being said to be fact. I though journalists were supposed to be bringing out the truth! The fact right now on health care is that our system is the most expensive in the world. We are being held hostage to the insurance companies and drug companies that can charge what they want, choose who to accept and who to deny and rely on our ignorance in order to make a profit.

    Politicians need to stop worrying about keeping their jobs and worry more about fixing our broken health care system. If we do nothing now, we are destined to create a third world country within our own country, leaving health care availability only for the rich and the politicians.

    OH, and by the way, since when does it require 60 votes our of 100 to pass legislation? Arent' we supposed to be s simple majority in our congress? I say let the Republicans filibuster and make them stand on the floor of the senate just like Jimmy Stewart did in Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  36. josh brown

    Yes, by any measure used, the status quo IS better than what is being proposed in either of the two bills now active in Congress.
    Reform does not equate with government takeover......while reform is
    needed on a number of healthcare items......the huge increase in beauracracy at the federal lever which comes with a government takeover will not improve anything for the MAJORITY of U.S. citizens.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  37. robert westfall

    The status quo is to be flailing in quicksand - we can continue to do it and get by for another day, but why? The proposed health care reforms would go a long way to helping return optimism to the gray landscape of an America that has lost its touch with the modern world. The US has become backward and I hope we can return to a respectable stature.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  38. Kate

    No, the status quo is not good enough. Ordinary people, who make up the majority in this country, are suffering. What don't the republican old boys understand? We MUST have health care reform. Small businesses shouldn't have to bear the cost of employee health care and individuals or families who can't afford health care shouldn't go without. My husband and I have two children, we pay $1800 a month for health care! That is crazy. We can't afford it. REFORM IS A MUST.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  39. Laurie Dunivant-Larsen

    I don't understand why all these people are fearmongering about what MIGHT happen if the government gets into health care reform. It should be painfully obvious by now to EVERYONE that the insurance industry is not a friend of its own customers, much less the general American population. The status quo is that you pay higher and higher costs your whole life to have some illusion of security, and then when you need help, you get cut off by the people you paid whose ONLY job is to be there for you at that time.

    Plenty of people have complained, but the insurance/bank industry (which is one and the same) has refused to self-regulate. I don't see how leaving them alone is going to make them self-correct. We have already seen the same industry thumb its nose at the public during the Wall Street bailout.

    Anything the government does cannot possibly be worse than the way it is now!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  40. Jay

    Yes we need reform but not with a gov. opp. If you can tell me a program that the gov. runs now thats good for the people. I may change my mind. I work for the gov. and I know first hand they can't run anything with out Over run in cost.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  41. fred

    What we need is reform, but let the people decide it through referendum or plebiscite, i think majorities are scrambling for the money of the insurance companies, it is very obvious that their votes are for sale.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  42. J Diederichs

    They are putting the cart before the horse. They need to put their votes behind lowering health care charges. Stop the lobbyists for pharmaceuticals. Regulate charges for health care. DO IT RIGHT.
    The U.S, has the highest health care cost in the world, it has to stop. We as Americans can not continue to pay the high cost of health care.
    If the charges that are currently charged are reduced, then we all be able to afford health care.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  43. David

    I wish I could give the author of this idea credit, I cannot remember who wrote it. Making everyone have to buy their own insurance would increase what the public knows about their plan and cause competition for pricing. Now an employer offers healthcare and the fulltime employee just signs up, no one reads their plan they do not even know what they are covered for. Insurance companies have all the healthcare business from that employer. So if businesses didn't offer healthcare and the person got their own insurance companies would have to compete for our business and lower costs and the insured would know what kind of plan they are getting and the system, I feel would be better off.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  44. Gloria

    Status Quo absolutely NOT. This is what the Insurance Companies are hoping for. We need to create much more competition for Insurance Companies to take away their monopoly on controlling cost. When the McDonnel says the Democratic Party is not listening to the people, I don't know what country he is referring too but it is not the American people. The Republican Party is not for the American People but only for the big corporations and especially Insurance Companies since they are in their pockets. We need Public Option that is a must and my preference would be Medicare for all but we have to start somewhere.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  45. eddie

    The status quo means insurance companies continue to focus on profits. Reform is necassary to uphold the public trust as in the tradition of police, and fire, departments.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  46. Anna

    Will someone please ask the 'small business owner-plain folk-conservative middle class' person what THEIR plan is if they don't like what the democrates are offering? I'm just curious because I haven't seen any of the interviewees respond with a positive comment-"we should do this or that". I've only seen people saying "We need reform but not what's coming out of Washington". WHAT WOULD THEY DO??????

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  47. Maria Pahl

    Status Quo is better than this so called reform. This is not reform it is government takeover and I don't want the government controlling my health care. Reform would mean tort reform, medicare fraud reform. This bill does not address these major issues at all.
    Look at the IRS, SOcial Security, the DMV-disasters on every level and now they want to "fix" our health care.? Who do they think they are fooling?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  48. Jon

    It's not better than the status quo because our Congressmen aren't being honest about the true cost of this bill and that it doesn't reduce costs. Reform that we can afford would be better, but not this bill.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  49. L G Lane

    Obama touted health care for everyone and reduce costs. However, the democrat bill still leaves 6% without coverage. 85% of americans have insurance. This will only cover 9% more and increase premiums. Fix the 9%, allow across the state options, tort reform, and limit waste and abuse. No government socialist programs are wanted that continue to take away choice and freedoms. If the government knows that medicare has waste why haven't they done something about it before now?? This is not about health care, this is about control.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  50. George Sabo

    When millions of Americans have no insurance, and millions more can't afford the insurance they have and thus don't get proper health care, it's time to do something about it. I support health care reform and especially the House version that has been put forth. The situation we have now is bad and is growing worse all the time. I can't believe that people are content with the status quo!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  51. Diane Jones

    The insurance companies need to adhere to new regulations.
    No pre-existing conditions! I had trouble finding affordable, after college, insurance for my child because she had been under the care of a dermatologist for facial breakouts! My 23 year old nephew had cancer – now tests fine and can't get insurance. This child is destined to always work for a large company in order to get insurance coverage.
    Insurance companies are not gods and need to be knocked down a few pegs!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  52. Linda Lewis

    The status quo is better than this massive bill that we cannot afford at this time and doesnt lower health care costs. How can the cost of health care improve when the bill taxes hospitals, health care plans, medical equipment etc, makes no sense. We could do several things to improve cost with out throwing the entire system out the window, this is about politics not health care.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  53. Oscar

    REFORM! How can I demand from my Congressional Representatives to allow 400% plus profits for the Insurance Companies. How con I live with myself knowing in the U.S.A. I have condoned the DEATH of a CHILD. All for what? My GREED? Unwilling to depart with a little money from my check? How SHAMEFUL!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  54. Tahir Sheikh

    Status quo stinks. Ask one of the 31 million who cannot afford healthcare how they feel.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  55. julio

    THEY(GOP) DON'T NEED PEOPLE IN good health for them to keep making money on wars.more and more wars

    tony did you watch 60 mn in CBS YESTERDAY?

    NO health care reform means more gop teachers on little people, throwing RACISM ON THE DEBATE.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  56. Gerry Straatemeier

    Frustrated by CNN biased coverage today. Tony, are you a Republican apologist? Why all the advertising for Republican points of view, without balancing with articulate Democrats? You are increasing peoples worries, without celebrating the wonderful things health care reform would do for people. You influence the electorate, which is the opposite of what I would expect from CNN. Let's have some checks on your obvious bias.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  57. bob austin

    The Status Quo is better than Congress's current proposal. Medical reform is a necessity, but this proposal is worse than doing nothing. Let's get it right, then move ahead.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  58. terry reese

    The status quo is better than either the House or senate health care bills.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  59. Phil Corryn

    I'm so mad they are moving forward on this bill, I want to set up a recall election vote on Lieberman, and Dodd (I live in CT).

    It is a nightmare. They say it costs $878 billion, but they are lying, since it is front-loaded the first 4-5 years, won't touch Medicare for $500 billion, don't include $250 billion for doctor reimbursements, and are going to increase the costs to individual states that are already broke. The actual cost over 10 years is $2.5 trillion.

    Democrats are letting a few thousand malpractice lawyers prevent cost savings to 300 million Americans, by letting their huge contributions to the Democrats influence their votes.

    Very few want the public option, and the CBO says its is going to charge higher premiums than comparable private insurance. The ONLY people that will benefit are those that will get insurance for FREE (if they are above the 133% poverty line). If it is going to cost more, what was the point?

    The point is to create the foundation for massive socialism in our country like we have never seen before.

    2010 can't come soon enough, especially 2012.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  60. Jean

    Healthcare reform is desperately needed. Medicare seems to work, so why not universal healthcare? As it stands now, insurance and drug companies (and private providers) are doing very well financially. I don't believe that the general public realizes the profit and waste in the healthcare industry. Other countries are able to provide healthcare to their citizens, so why not ours?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  61. leigh

    as the wife of a liver transplant patient, i will have to say we need reform. we are paying $500/month for his premium, $5000 deductible, all the co-pays, the prescription meds he needs, and the scheduled payments to the hospital for the part the insurance doesn't pay. we can barely afford to pay his monthly medical costs so therefore i have NO insurance and have not been to the doctor in 10 years for anything. my health insurance is "don't get sick".

    something has got to be done. if something serious was to happen to me right now, i fear i would die from lack of money/insurance

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  62. William Brothers

    The staus quo is unexceptable and unsustainable. The reason this country is in the shape it's in is because corporate interests have bought all of our politicans, and the legislation that has enabled them to run this country into the ground. It started with the outsourcing of jobs, and progressed to the legalized theifery, which got us into this financial crises. We have the best government that money can buy. The best interests of the citizens of this counrty is never the primary concern.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  63. H e r n a n Lescay

    I think reform needs to take place, but not the way is going. I'm a doctor in Michigan and most of my patient are insure and they are happy with their insurance, but the ones that don't have insurance should be taken care of, and that is where this reform needs to go. The reform needs to focus on the high cost of medications, the high cost of testing and the high cost of litigation. The rest of us that are happy with our insurance. LEAVE US ALONE

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  64. Jimmy

    I can't stand the current health care system. My health care premiums are going up double digits each year. Copay goes up, benefits go down. Health care reform is desparately needed. But the House and Senate bills don't even come close to what is needed. It unfortunate that current status quo is better than either the House or Senate proposals.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  65. Mike Barton

    Of course the status quo is not better. Everyone should be able to agree on that having an exchange makes good sense (and that is market-based), ending bad practices such as discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, and the big one: ending the antitrust exemption. I can see the controversy over the public option and if it is not big enough and supported enough it could be a big boondoggle, However, the status quo is people ending up in the emergency room.

    But you might not even see a problem if you believe the conservative (no change; we have ours, thanks very much) rhetoric from the right, saying that this is the government taking over the private health care industry. We need to get the facts out about what is really being proposed, rather than asking people if they understand it. Agreed with Mona Benge (above) that CNN should make it a practice to always to a fact check on anything that is said about policy issues because what we have is rhetoric becoming fact through replay (media, citizens). It's amazing to me how we are not really debating the issue, and instead clinging to partisan talking points - even in the media, which should transcend this for its audience.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  66. Mike

    Status Quo will not leave this country in a financial melt down.
    This Health Care Bill will. Be honest with me, who will pay back this debt?
    Even the Chinese, trying to protect their investments, has warned us against this.
    Obama going to China reminded me of myself going to my banker.
    I don't think he had any better luck......
    Anyway, full steam ahead, regardless of the financial fallout from this health care bill.
    Democratic Senators, the sky is falling........

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  67. Irene Adams

    The present health care bill is a disaster,both medically and financially. The government will bankrupt the country by taking over all aspects of our care. Why can't we just fix the broken part instead of throwing everything out and starting from scratch?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  68. joe smith

    Yes, the status quo is better than the current proposals. At least under the status quo, if one doesn't like restrictions from one insurer, other insurers may be available, and a doctor or hospital has the ability to explain one's options and to advocate on one's behalf. If the government sets the standards and has the power to regulate, control, censor and ration all insurers, doctors and hospitals, it will be far worse. We risk health care decisions based on political interests. Senior citizens will be hurt the most. It's wrong.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  69. Terry Stephens

    It depends. If you're a Republican in congress who already has government-run health care, the status quo is perfect.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  70. Gary Melvin

    Tony, the health system needs reform but the current proposals have been constructed under artificial deadlines, expand social programs, and add to the bankruptcy of our nation. If it were one or the other, stick with what we have!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  71. Arlene Kelly

    We, the wealthiest country in the world, have the MOST costly, most inefficient health care system in the western world.

    We cannot AFFORD the "status quo"...I favor Healthcare Reform with a strong public option.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |

    If this new health care bill, as is, cost twice as much as it does, it would still be twice as positively affective as the statis quo, which isn't much good for anyone in America, save the wealthy and their insurance companies.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  73. Oleg Otten

    Status quo is unsatisfying, while the reforms proposed by both the House and the Senate are unacceptable. More government interference with the economy will be very harmful in the long-term.
    So, I would vote to defeat the current reform and start addressing specific problems with the health care system, such as opening state insurance markets to the interstate competition and creating a network of cheap or even free neighborhood clinics.
    Ultimately, free markets and competition is the solution, not more government!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  74. Scott

    I believe anything is better than status quo. I also believe whatever the first pass is it will be re-done. Democrats seem unable to find enough common ground to insure the reforms and improvements are what "most" Americans need, and Republicans are more concerned in its failure so they can win more votes in the mid term elections. With something in place we will have a first pass to start working with and moving forward. Without it many Americans will find themselves in the near future in the uninsured category with the other 30 plus million without. We also need it to stay competitive with the rest of the world. And if we do not get it now I am sure we will end up with something resembling Medicare drug plans, a nightmare that confuses the best of us and benefits insurance companies.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  75. Gonzo

    We need health Reform, the Public plan is great for people who has limited resources, Is this Public Plan will affect the insurance companies? well, Fed-Ex or UPS affect the USPS, to a point yes, can you afford to send a packet via Fed-EX for better and faster service well great you have the choice to do it, however if you can't afford FED-Ex or UPS you have a cheeper choice the USPS ( this choice is better than nothing)
    well so is the public option at least we all or the majority will be cover under some kind of health insurance, it's cheeper than visit the ER's with out insurance, at the end this is what is sending the deficit sky high.
    Now the problem here is Insurance companies do not like this option, and Senators who receive contributions from this companies are fighting to stop the public option ( after all they may loose the support of this big companies at elections time)

    November 23, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  76. JIm S.

    The status quo is killing Americans so trying somthing different is needed to save lives. I support the public option simply because it is an "option". So if what those who oppose the public option are saying is true that a majority of Amecicans are against the public option. Then very few Amecicans will chose the option therefor it is not a threat.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  77. Mark

    The status quo is killing us. As long as Republican senators and congressmen act as paid lobbyists for the health care industries (as company profits rise or threats to their income increase so do donations to Republicans) there will be a continuing separation between the "haves" and the "haves not". Health care companies making high double or triple digit profits by forsaking the poor cannot continue. They are also robbing the taxpayers blind thanks to government give-aways that keep their profits high due to no competition.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  78. Jerome Jones

    Health care is has sky rocketed over the past 10 years , Insurance CEOs continue to pay themselve MASSIVE BONUSES while FAILING TO COV ER THE PEOPLE THAT PAYS THEIR SALARIES. Millions of AMERICANS don't have insurance and thats also costing Billions. We NEED REFORM AND WE NEED IT NOW. President Obama has the right plan and the REPUBLICANS HAVE NO PLAN. They had the White House for 12 years under Presidents Reagan and Bush 1 and 8 years under Bush 2 yet Health Care was never ONCE brought up for reform. President Clinton tried and failed but will not fail under President Obama. This is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It's an AMERICAN ISSUE AND WE MUST HAVE REFORM NOW. If It's good enough for the Congress and our Military to have a Government ranned health care plan why is it not good enough for the rest of Americans who pays their salary?????????

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  79. michael James

    Doing nothing is not an option, at least until we can say we have the healthiest country in the world, the lowest infant mortality rates and longest life spans based on the dollars spent. We are a long way off.
    I am confused by those who say they don't want gov't between themselves and their MD's. Seems right now we have insurance companies between us and our MD's, insurance companies whose primary purpose is to make money for their shareholders. Maybe we need an entity whose sole purpose is continuously improve the health of our nation, all of us, so we have healthier and longer lived citizens who will then be more productive and able to spend more which can only strengthen our economy.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  80. John

    I think the whole thing stinks,and them that votes for it should be voted out next term

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  81. Alexander Mackenzie

    Is the proposed reform better than the status quo, sadly, no. This befuddling conglomeration of two bills, with conflicting chunks of very touchy ideas, taxing good plans, funding abortions, semi public option, or not, front end yrs of tax to pay for system (8 or 10 years of tax to pay for the first 4 or 5 yrs of system, than what?). It will not cover the 31 million uninsured, by a long shot (Dems themselves have said only 3 million will be added). So, either single payer, or open up (no state line restrictions of choosing a company for oneself and family) or leave it alone until you can do it single payer (we gave you Dems both houses and the White House, use it) Or pay a heavy price in the coming election.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  82. Steven Essien

    Status Quo – I will settle for status quo because of the present economy situation, pile debts, and additional tax that will be enforce on individuals. The two parties are not getting along, as a result there is no bilateral decision. The democrats are doing whatever would get them back in offices but they have forgotten that without the economy and job improving the republicans has already regain their respective offices.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  83. john - Oregon

    The presently proposed health care reform bill scares me to death! Specifically, I'm very worried that paying for it by 'revising', (read "reducing") MEDICARE benefits will cost all of us senior citizens more out-of-pocket money. Even bill-proponents admit that is exactly where more than $500 million dollars to pay for it will come from. I'm also worried about adding close to a trillion dollars to the national debt is a long-term mistake. And thirdly, I hate the idea of paying for health care for 'illegals' by taxing those of us who are 'legal.' What ever happened to Obama's pledge that he wouldn't sign any health care bill that added as much as a dime in new taxes?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  84. Jose A Fernandez

    Status Quo is unacceptable, the middle man health insurance companies and partners increase the cost for at least 40%.
    When you are sick you go see the doctor or ER or hospital, you do not go to aetna,humana or blue cross.
    Why have a middle man that only increase cost?
    Taking out the insurance companies and have a single payer like medicare for age 0+ is the solution
    The ones that want status quo are the ones that get money(a lot) from insurance companies, that is not good for americans is only for insurance companies.
    They had over 50 years of "business" abuse, it is time to move to a better health plan for the country.
    With all their profits(billions) they can go in other business.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  85. Lawrence Young

    Dear Tony,
    Its obvious to me that ppl will jump any bandwagon that opposes anything Pres. Obama does, in this case Health Care Reform, I and many ppl are for it, just look at the abundant turnout to the Free Clinics people attend, not to mention the millions who weren't able to attend!!! I for one, who paid for insurance that I never ever used as a young man,now at 49,unemployed,uninsured,diabetic, and living in Sth. Louisiana!!! What pisses me off most is the misenformation that has been throw out for ppl to grab onto w/out any basis whatsoever!! The Pres. has said over and over that cleaning up the most of the way our Health Care System works "TODAY" will save us Millions if not Billions,but its obvious those closely merged with the "Insurance Companies" have pulled out all the stops, But it Won't Work This Time!!!, Its Time For the American People to Stop Being Flasked by Irresponsible Corporations!!!!! Only to make a profit!!!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  86. Ray in Las Vegas

    What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so ~ Mark Twain

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  87. Lynn Adair

    I am 56, looking for a job, have private insurance and am very healthy. I pay $400 a month with a $5,000 deductible and have been to the Dr. 1 time this year for a check-up. I have not paid this months premium.

    Even with my troubles I would not even consider Obama's plan. I am 100% opposed to it just on it's own merits. Government does not belong in health insurance. Taxes WILL go up for all of us and care and longevity will DEFINATELY go down.

    II have also had a daughter and son-in-law in the UK's health system, who are now in the US, and so they have experience with both systems. Do I need to tell you what they think of social medicine?

    I am also in contact with my daughter's father-in-law who has had a lifetime of social medicine experience. Based on their information I would never want the US to go to social medicine.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  88. John Mark Miller

    Is the status quo better? For anyone who makes less than a 6 figure income the answer to that question is a resounding "NO!"
    I have long believed that anyone who works for a living is a Democrat whether they vote that way or not!
    For those of us for whom heath insurance is around 20 – 30 percent of our useable income or more the current situation is untenable. The Republican view of things is distorted and they have convinced a few of us working people that because we can barely afford health care that we should close our minds to those who can't. Most of these people are one paycheck away from being without things like health care themselves and they believe the best way to protect their fragile status is to act selfishly and just forget those who have alread fallen through the cracks. They will be next and sooner than they think if these people do not jump on the "reform health care bandwagon" they will soon be force to face the fact that they are really democrats too!
    Reforming health care is a way to protect our people, enrich our economy and eventually balance the budget. Yes "balance the budget"! With more people working both because they are healthier and because the reformed health care system will increase employment (more taxpayers) our economic health will get better as well.
    The Republicans are back to their old tricks: sceaming at the top of their lungs about the budget deficit and out of control (they say) spending. Well those fat boys were handed a balanced budget in 2001 and the very first thing they did was to unbalance it with a stupid tax cut that if the truth were stated was the underlying cause of our current economic woes.
    Republicans: Shut up and let the party who always pulls our fat out of the fire work!
    John Mark Miller

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  89. Greg

    The Arkansas garage owner's sentiments regarding health "insurance" reform was indicative of the irrational and closed-minded thinking of the very conservative personality type. He clearly stated that the current system, the system his party had 8 years to work their magic on, is not working for him or his employees. Still, he blindly rejects the efforts of the "other team". Its a cut-off-our-noses-to-spite-our-faces group of Americans that we have to work around. We need to move this country forward without their consent. They'll benefit and understand later; just like Medicare.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  90. Myron Z. Bernstein

    Generally the public does not understand what is happening. Those with insurance are being told their insurance will be affected when it will not. Over the past 25 years the insurance companies have gained control of medicine and our lives determining who shall live and die, who will get coverage and who will not. These Senators are receiving a lot of money from the insurance industry to kill the health initiative. Remember the Senators have insurance for life. Our country has gone from being one or two in health care to 37. Health care in our country is not really about people but profits and losses for the insurance companies. Doctors practice volume to make a living. Test after test is run to generate fees while the insurance company tries to dictate what not to do. If you have a pimple on your ass, the insurance company will use it as a means to exclude you for a pre-existing condition. They system is out of control and all the Senate is worried about is maintaining their jobs at election time not the good of the people. I am a doctor and left practice early because I wanted to take the time to listen to my patients, but the system wouldn't allow me to practice that way. I had patients, when Medicare part D passes who couldn't afford the $32/month premium. It was a choice of no food or paying the premium. The solution was to stay the course and take their medications every other day to cut the costs. Something has to change and if this congress does not do something immediately then their isn't a person who should remain in office.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  91. Jim Amstutz

    Real reform.

    The health industry has been raping the American people for way too long.

    Where do you think they get the millions upon millions of dollars that they spend buying our Senators, Representatives in Congress? Where do you think they get the millions that they are spending to whip up the opposition to reform?

    If they were honest and gave a damn about America and the American people, they wouldn't have to buy off anyone.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  92. Maurice

    The bottom line is that the majority of people don't want this bill. Our representatives are suppose to represent us and not tell us that they know what is better for us.

    We need to improve our health care, but throwing out the existing and starting over again isn't the answer. We can start with lowering premiums and drug costs with 2 simple changes. Allow buying Insurance across state lines (more competition) and putting a cap on law suits. Then put all Insurance companies on a level field, by taking out pre existing conditions.

    Later we can make other changes like lowering the medicare age to 55 or 60.

    Maurice in Ottawa, IL

    November 23, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  93. Malik Shabazz

    Tony, I am a military officer and I am tired of the lies being spread by right-wing. Congress & the military active and retired have what they call socialized health care. If it works for these two big organizations then why won't it work for the country. I believe the sole cause for opposition is insurance companies would lose money and congressional members would in turn lose their so-needed donations. This is the only reason why the Republicans are opposing the plan.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  94. Jeannette Whaley

    Tony, This Country and it's people desperately needs complete HealthCare Reform! Who can dispute that. The Democrat's may not be "perfect", but anyone show or tell of a "perfect" Government initiative or Plan is EXISTANCE that is perfect??? Obama's plan will surely evolve over time, like as it should and like all others have. The Republicans, with their own agendas (which currently is to kill ANY plan the Administration has or will come up with to help this country, is ludicrus and so typical of the Republican Party of recent years. Look they have had their 8 years, what have they done? NOTTA.! We cannot believe any of their rhetoric wich is filled with mispresentations even lies. Republicans need to get their act together for the good their own party and stop PRETENDING to a party for the people. Unfortunately, they have become a part of rdicals and their behavior is disgusting. They need to get over losing the Prez election and get with THE program, and take Obama's request for bipartisanship seriously. But they won;t. We MUST HAVE HEALTH CARE REFORM AND MUST HAVE THE PUBLIC OPTION! IT'S AN OPTION FOR GOD'S SAKE. BUT IT MUST BE INCLUDED TO ACCOMPLISH CIMPETITIVE PRICING IN HEALTHCARE A TO Z. tHANK YOU FOR HAVING THIS BLOG.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  95. G Watts

    Outlaw insurance. Maybe then the price of healthcare will settle back into what people can realistically afford.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  96. Chris Roesel

    The status quo is not acceptable. The status quo has the USA paying the most per capita in the world. With that payment, we rank 37th in the world in health status. Countries with a public option rank top in the world in health and pay thousands of dollars per capita less that we do.

    I have health insurance, but our government was formed, according to the Constitution, to "promote the general welfare." When we pay the most in the world for medical care yet rank 37th, our government is failing on one of its major responsibilities. We say we have majority rule but minority rights; however, the current system provides majority health care and leaves out 1 in 6 Americans. We are not living up to our priorities in government. For these and many more reasons, the status quo is un-American.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  97. Joel Patrick

    The professional politicians are proposing to increase our taxes, change our health care system (that 85% of us are satisfied with) and cut Medicare in order to, essentially, provide health coverage for the illegal aliens and 5% of others.

    Note that the Dems have stripped the bills of all means of VERIFICATION that those receiving benefits are legal citizens. You can SAY that illegals should not recieve benefits under the helath care plan but if you can't ask for proof of citizenship you're just playing games. Duh. The vote-down of verification language was on a strict party line vote.

    Further, the bills do NOT contain tort reform, which is the one immediate way of decreasing health care costs. There's a payback to special interests, right?

    .....And the cynicism continues.

    Solution? The best we can do it term limits. Throw out the professional career politicians, and get back to pols who will repesent US, not special interests.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  98. L G Lane

    What we have is better than what the democrats are proposing. The democrats will continue to protect the ambulance chasing trial lawyers. We need tort reform, now government take over of of health care system. Fix what is broken, help those who need help, but don't overhaul the entire system. We also need term limits so these bozo's can get a real job and pay for their own health insurance.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  99. Earnestine Simmons

    First I would like to thank you for a wonderful job you are doing. I am a self employed business owner, and I really need health care. I don't know if I would call it statu quo. I am all for healthcare reform. I pray that it pass.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  100. Luther Kea

    Health care reform...Yes. The current proposal.... No. When we see Tort Reform, a no brainer to lower costs, then I may believe once again that Congress cares about we the people. Until then Status Quo. And if my Senator votes for this poposal, he has lost my vote.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  101. Philip Yorio

    We are finally putting a price on human lives! Republicans and Conservatives do not want health care reform because it will cost us money we can't afford. Democrats say the savings will offset the costs. Even if we can not save enough to offset the spending. You're telling me lives are not worth saving. We spend billions to fight abroad. But, we refuse to spend money to save children and other without health insurance. 1935 you didn't want Social Security and 1965 you didn't want Medicare. This should not even be an issue. What have we become? Money worth more than the quality of life.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  102. Mary Whipple

    I believe the American people have spoken. The majority of us are satisified with the health care coverage we have. Many of us agree that some reform is needed, but the Democratic majority is ramming, not reforming. The American people know the difference, and so will the Democrats in 2010 and 2012.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  103. Jesse

    The present bill is an absolute farce! "Reform" doesn't mean handouts to the insurance industry. "Reform" doesn't mean zero cost-control. "Reform" doesn't mean collectivizing the poor health choices of Americans by increasing the tax burden of pretty much every social class. I mean, mandates? Are you kidding me!? Hey, you know those kids who just graduated and can't find work, among whom 60% unemployment is the new norm? Yeah, let's slap them with an insurance mandate, just to bring their dollars into the insurance market. And have fun with that deficit, kids! Good grief...

    November 23, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  104. BROOKS

    I have many democratic friends who I talk to often,
    not one HONSETLY believes there will be any cuts to medicare or
    that the government can somehow do what they have NEVER done before,save money. REFORM , is this some sort of joke?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  105. Mark Fey

    The need for reform of the current broken system is very great. The current system does not work for well people who only need periodic check ups and screenings. It does not work for patients and their doctors. It does not work for hospitals.

    The current system has health care providers charging at rates far beyond the rates they actually expect (or need) to be paid. This occurs at all levels. My recent cataract surgery would have been billed at enormous rates, save I negotiated a cashiers check prepayment for the hospital charges. The hospital offered me 70% discount for prepayment!

    They were very happy to accept this, no paper work, no 90 to 120 day accounts payable balance while waiting for insurers to pay up (maybe) after contesting the bills.

    Well paid claim adjusters (and deniers) , third party billing firms, and insurance profits can be removed from the system; as can the number of doctors taking over $500k in profits from their practice's patients.

    If the insurance and drug companies are fighting this hard against this bill, then it certainly deserves passage.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  106. joseph schlenker

    As a 90 year old retired military officer I have lived with government managed health plans for over 60 years ie. military, medicare and Tri
    care. I have found them to be more than adequate. I feel that citizens with moderate level incomes like me could afford some increases in costs.
    I strongly support a public option.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  107. Sandy


    I am an unemployed professional and I watch the news all day everyday, the problem with the healthcare reform debate is that there is too much"deliberate" confusion created by politicians and the insurance industry about what "healthcare reform" truly means and the actual changes that will result from it and the subsequent consequences/effects on premiums, coverage, etc. Currently, my husband works for a small company and they are changing their health insurance because the currrent provider raised their rates by 36% and healthcare reform has not even been implemented yet. So I still have the question after all this time Washington has been debating on it "What does healthcare reform truly mean and what are the consequences of this reform?".

    November 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  108. DaveC

    We are throwing out the baby with the bathwater with this healthcare reform (PC correct for ObamaCare).

    The current system was created by the Democrats. They know it is an albatross around their neck and their solution is typical: throw more money at the problem by creating a whole new system. They have not fixed the problems with the current system in 40 years and it costs 10 times more than promised.

    The only thing Obamacare does accomplish is to take over the healthcare financial mess of the unions like the taxpayers did for the Postal workers union.

    Get the economy on track and we can afford health insurance. The common theme is price of insurance is too high for small business to purchase for their employees. Let's address this issue first.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  109. Alan D.

    Insurance is the problem, not the solution. When an insurer (public or private) pays a medical bill for an insured patient, the insurer must not only pay the bill for the health care services provided, but in addition they must cover their own operating expenses and possibly make a profit. The ultimate and only bill payer in the United States is the citizenry. If the current version of the Affordable Health Care for America Act passes into law, the American citizens will simply end up paying, one way or the other, for all health care services rendered within our great country and footing the bill for a greatly expanded insurance infrastructure as well. I don’t see how anyone can conclude that adding what amounts to a de facto surcharge to every dollar spent on health care for the purpose of maintaining public and private insurers will, “provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce the growth in health care spending.”
    While I applaud the goal of “providing affordable, quality health care for all Americans,” I do not believe a substantive argument based on reason, objective analysis and past experience has been or can be made to show that insurance and/or the current version of the Affordable Health Care for America Act, are the solutions.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  110. Gerry Straatemeier

    All we hear about are problems, obstacles and dangers. Will we really be better off if we ask the 30 million to 35 million people who’d get coverage under these proposals to wait another five years - or 10 or 20 - for insurance? Can American businesses compete worldwide as insurance cost skyrocket? Can we keep jobs in America? Is the economy really better off if all families have to spend more and more on health insurance, leaving less for other items?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  111. Carolyn and Bob Marcus

    The status quo is definitely not acceptable. Change must be made! We support the current legislation and hope that we get SOMETHING out of all this debate. Is is unacceptable to have the wealthiest, most powerful country in the world fall behind other developed countries in how we care for our citizens. As a registered Independent and Republican respectively, we cannot support the roadblocks the Republican Senators and Congressmen have put forth without any constructive input. Where is the common ground?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:31 am |
  112. Carol

    REFORM! Why are we the only industrialized nation without comprehensive healthcare for all its citizens?? Greed, pure and simple. Both in our economic system and in healthcare. If Republicans and Democrats cannot work together on this issue instead of fighting along party lines, then maybe they all need to be thrown out of office! By the way, who are the "American people" who do not want any reform? Are "they" the insurance lobby?

    November 23, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  113. mike in dallas tx

    dear tony,
    i am a licensed health insurance broker with 20 yrs. experience.
    i agree health insurance is to expensive, rates have doubled over the last 4 yrs. i am not for a public option because insurance is a transfer of risk from an individual to a 3rd party. the goverment (the tax payers) do not need to assume the liabilty for future claims.what if there is a major illness and everyone gets sick and has $100,000 in claims? it will bankrupt the country. there are 2 questions. 1. do we want to cover everyone? 2. do we want to lower rates. THE SOLUTON. give everyone a $3,000 tax credit to buy any health plan. example. the average person makes $25,000 yr. they can't afford insurance. So they can keep paying $3,000 in income tax and have no insurance, or take that $3,000 and buy any health plan they want. to pay for it, tax the rich, and drill for oil.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  114. Julie Stone

    I grew up in a middle-class family without health care. I learned early to avoid going to the doctor, that I only needed care in serious cases. This is the sentiment created when we have no gauranteed healthcare. People have the tendency to focus on what they want and need now and not plan for the future, especially when money is tight. Things like health and life insurance are sacrificed for food on the table and paying the rent. Without universal health care, large portions of out population will go without, increasing healthcare costs by avoiding preventative medicine.

    We are "the richest counutry in the world" and yet we do not take care of the health of our citizens. In fact, we are more concerned with our finances than our health. Yes, other universal health care systems have their problems, but they are not as serious as large sections of the population dying from curable and preventable diseases and conditions.

    No, the status quo is not preferable to the bill in the senate now. Lack of trust in the government and resistance to change are creating opposition in many, but the fact remains that our health care system is not working.Reform may mitigate some conflicts, but as long as money is the bottom line in health care, people will continue to be looked at as risk factors and dollar values. Switching to universal health care will have its adjustment period and politics may be getting in the way of a perfect bill being passed, but passing a bill now will mean getting to a better system in the future. The sooner we pass a bill and inevitably start the fine-tuning process, the sooner Americans will be proud that they support the health of themselves and their neighbors.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  115. Tom Cahill

    The GOP keeps saying NOBODY wants health reform, How come you do not ask them what the 40 million who do not have health care want? I am sure these people are not part of the GOP. Also, ask the GOP how tax credits will help these people? Let's remember you have to be making money to take advantage of tax credits!

    How come the GOP does not have a plan? They seem to be complaining but do not have a plan to help.

    I have been a registered republican since turning 18, now 55, and voted for a republican president every election except for Obama. I may not agree with everything that Obama wants but IT IS TIME TO INSURE ALL AMERICANS!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  116. jheard

    tony rhank you fror a new perspective on the news. why is it that John king and others only interview all conservative WHITE MALES and act as if thet speak for all AMERICA? there is atleast 50% of even White males out there that have a favorable opinion of President Obama's policies. Where is the group professional black men, hispanic, arabic,orientals , young and old at restaurants voicing their favorable opiniosns. No wonder there is a segment of the white population that think that they have a lock on the truth and that they speak for all of us. I say to that WRONG! giveus all a chance, and since you have not given us equal time it is not too late to rectify it.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  117. Monte

    The status quo is terrible! Losing everything you own because you get sick, is truly absurd. With the current system, my insurance premiums have increased from $175/month to $667/month in a 3 year time frame. And, the coverage is continuously decreasing.

    The "for-profit" insurance companies are ruining this country. A "public option" for insurance is the best solution currently offered to combat this.

    The status quo benefits no one but the insurance companies. If our representatives in Congress to vote for the insurance companies and against their constituents, we will make sure they lose too when it's time for re-election.

    Support the President, vote FOR the public option now!!

    ~ Monte

    November 23, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  118. Kathleen S

    This bill will make things worse not better than status quo!

    There are many things Congress could included in this bill to improve access, quality and price of healthcare without including an 'eventual government takeover' . They choose to ignore us. Precious time and resources have been wasted!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  119. Charles Downham

    This bill is rediculous. It is being driven down the throats of the american public and it will be disasterous to the the future of the country and the american people. I do agree we need changes but take the time to do it properly for the benefit of the american people and the country, Not for the political benefit Republican or Democratic Party or and damn re-election. Someting this important will take years to totally figure out and correct. This is a perfect example of what is wrong with our whole political system that is actually causing more damage to our country than good. KEEP YHE STATIS QUO UNTIL THE POLITICS IS REMOVED AND THE PROPER CHANGES CAN BE MADE by pesponsibly medical and financial people, not lobbist or the glory seeking politicians. Lets be a GREAT COUNTRY AGAIN. Even though I'm an X-marine and an X-businessman,I'm loosing faith in our political system, that's bad.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:36 am |
  120. Annette of Colorado

    I vote for reform. The problem is that the Republicans are so set on opposing President Obama and the Democrats that if left to them, nothing would get done; just like they did nothing during the 8 years they were in power. We are paying now for people that don't have health care, including illegals. Do you think that might have something to do with the rising costs of healthcare? As a retiree, my health insurance went from $0.00 in 1999 to $356.00 per month for me and my husband in 2007. Fortunately we had an option to get healthcare for Veterans for far less, but not as good as what Congress gets. The Republicans have nothing to offer but doom and gloom. So, their tactic is to obstruct everything that will benefit the people and push the will of their corporate owners. Like it or not, in many states, we have mandatory auto insurance, so what's the big deal about mandatory health insurance? The bottom line is that we are all paying now for universal healthcare one way or the other. I say to Congress, pass the healthcare bill and get on with the zillions of other issues you ought to be dealing with.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  121. Erik

    Time to re-think, and get the real facts about the impact in the European countries. Our Senators and Congressmen, with their own Healthcare plan being of the Platinum – Gold type, are sending us the Walmart version, payable on our children and grandchildrens credit card, and one that does not include this and that and this and that and this and that..........Get ready for the next election.......I will personally never vote for a lawyer/attorney after this. And that is of either party.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  122. Sally Mondal

    Sally from Ann Arbor Michigan

    Is the status quo better than what’s outlined in either the House or Senate bills?

    In one word NO.

    The status quo is certainly horrible and inefficient at best.. Reform is badly needed as is a public option. I think that they way the Insurance industry and large health-care management systems have been conducting business can often be defined as criminal. They routinely deny life saving procedures, hoping that any appeals process will outlast the patients lifespan. They also give a false perception of coverage when catastrophic needs arise. My dad passed away a year ago. While he was ill, I discovered, while paying his bills, that his insurance only covered some procedures. They paid as little as 25 dollars of a 1000 procedure. The remainder was his co-pay ! That is outrageous ! It made an elderly man who was already going through the stress of chemo and radiation, even more distressed.
    In an ideal scenario, I would love to see the big insurance companies cut out of the entire system. They have been as abusive to the public just as much as the banks and mortgage companies that messed up our economy !

    November 23, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  123. Chris

    The way thing are going on the Hill I'm inclided to say leave things be.
    However, I'm thinking of my Dad and Mom who could have had better care if the Insurance Companies weren't in control. Later under Medicare and Medicaid they had problems because they owned property and had a bank account.
    Then I think of all the veterans families who may not have TRICARE coverage like active duty and retirees do.
    So I'm inclined to say let the GOP and Sen. Lieberman keep getting their kick backs from the Insurance companies, until I realize that real Americans lives are at stake out here, then I realize that the Status Quo isn't acceptable. A better way has to be found.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  124. Kyle P.

    I don't get it how the people in the red states who vote republican and can't afford healthcare are against the health care reform bill. A GOP business owner was against healthcare and a democrat business owner was for it. All this boils down to the GOP lawmakers misleading their people to be against it just to make Obama and Co. look bad so they can get back in power come next November. There is no way healthcare will be passed because of four words congress,senate,money, and power.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  125. Ervin

    We all know were the status quo has gotten us "One day older and deeper in Debt" so the song goes. We desperately need reform with a public option. I'm hopeful that our two republican senators here in Maine will have a change of heart an vote for change instead of the status quo. Big money from the Ins. co's may prevent them from doing so as it has in the past!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  126. Richard Seastrand

    The debate rages as to whether or not we can afford the Obama backed proposed health care reform package. Unfortunately, today's climate of intense partisanship makes it very difficult to come to a credible conclusion on that issue. One thing is for sure. We can't afford to do nothing. We can't afford to sit back and watch many of our good citizens roll over and die because they can't afford healthcare. Isn't it a shame that both sides of the isle can't get together in the true interests of the people. One needs to ask, do they all really care or do some on the hill have a different agenda. The answer is obvious and therein lies the true tradgedy.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  127. Donna R.

    Tony–we all know that Congress is as useful as a milk bucket under a bull. By the time they all get finished kissing each other's "trunks" we 'll all get the shaft and nothing will get accomplished. Washington only worries about us when they need our votes.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  128. Karen

    I agree with the gentleman from Little Rock. There are problems with our health care system but the current reform proposed by Congress does not address the real problems; in reality, it will likely create a whole array of new ones. It has been shown that at least 80% of Americans are happy with their health care because health care itself is not the problem; in fact, it is arguably the best in the world. The problems stem from the way in which it is managed and delivered and could be "reformed" by 1) eliminating government waste (Medicare/Medicaid), 2) enhancing insurance regulation to make insurance more affordable for all, and 3) addressing tort to reduce malpractice insurance premiums and therefore the cost of healthcare. Taking these steps would sufficiently reduce health care costs for EVERYONE without levying crushing taxes on small businesses and the middle class to pay for the 20% who are not happy with health care.

    Democrats would be well-advised to investigate the real problems in providing health care in this country and find real solutions to the real problems to provide affordable healthcare for all, not just for the indigent; we are all Americans! It is their duty to do so and, if they fail, rest assured that Americans will show their dissatisfaction at the polls. It's the American way.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  129. Bryan

    The status quo is hard to define for me because my observation of the environment in Washington, D.C. tells me that more than likely a health care bill will be passed BUT will more than likely only solve a small piece of the problem. I consider myself a Democratic voter but I have heard some really good and not so good ideas from both sides of the aisle. The problem I see is that rather than taking the good proposals from both sides and merging them as ONE to create something that works for EVERYBODY, party leaders from both sides dismiss the relevant ideas from the "opposing" party so rather than the two parties working TOGETHER to form a strong foundation for health care, they choose to use the health care debate as just another political pee pee contest.

    As for the Democrats, I would rather see them do NOTHING than to sign a bill into law that ultimately fails to solve the overall crisis of health care.

    AND as for the Republicans, if you have helpful ideas involving health care, PLEASE share them but PLEASE do not insult our intelligence by trying to switch the focus from health care to jobs when just a short year ago, a point when the economy had already failed us little people, you all insisted that "... the fundamentals of the economy are strong..."

    November 23, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  130. Michelle

    Of course the status quo is not better than any plan that is proposed now. Very soon we need to recognize that private health insurance companies add zero value to the quality of the United States health care delivery system. People are losing everything that they have due to the increasing costs of health care in this country. At times those losses include their lives. At its most vulnerable since the great depression our economy has been additionally hobbled, as employers shed full time employees in order to avoid the necessity of providing costly medical benefits. If you are young, disabled or very old our government will pick up your health care costs. The current system that provides care for our seniors is designed to provide subsidies to private insurance companies and financial incentives for doctors and hospitals to over treatment patients. Again, this is a recipe for fiscal disaster that needs to be addressed now. It is laudable for Americans to care for our children, disabled and elderly but we cannot do it if the bulk of the tax payers cannot stay healthy. In response to those who say that government can’t run anything, I think that our government is a system that has out lasted private companies for generations. We purchase much of our infrastructure, fire and police protection, education and our military collectively. There is no reason that Americans should not purchase our health care collectively too, at a great savings to all of us. Maintaining a state of the art medical care system is not a luxury for this country, it is a common sense requirement of life in the 21st century. We need to set aside our fears and repair the medical care delivery system of this country now.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  131. g. hartin

    I have been a life-long republican, but voted for Obama. I want the reform with the public option. In our work places we are not allowed to accept favors of any kind from sales reps., etc. Decisions are being made by what's best for the Senator or Congressman based on money he's being paid by lobbyist. Just look at the money being paid out by the insurance companies to fight reform. How in the heck can you be loyal to your insurance company. We need reform in health care. Call it what you want, but the people yelling the loudest against reform and calling it socialism, sure wouldn't part with their medicare or soc. sec. ck. We already have socialism and it's the only thing working for some Americans. I am thankful for my soc. sec. ck. and for the foresight our leaders had in the past, Even then it was fought for being socialism. Our senators and congressmen need to stop looking at what's best for them and remember this government is of the people, by the people and FOR the people. We need the public option.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  132. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas


    Here are the bottom line main problems with both sides in this debate which is what I wish that more people would be talking about:

    1) The Democrats in my opinion seem to be far more concerned about how they will get 60 Senate votes to pass some kind of a health care bill than they are about what is actually in the bill.

    I am for health care reform but it has to be responsible and transparent reform. It cannot be just the first thing or the only thing that they can pass which they can get 60 Senate votes for. If the Democrats pass a bad health care bill which does not work out, then 2010 will more than likely be another 1994 with Congress and 2012 will more than likely be like 1980 as far as the Presidential election.

    While it may be politically helpful in the short term for the Democrats to pass any bill that they can, the long term consequences of passing a bad bill will be destructive to both the country and to the Democrats.

    2) This is also just as much the fault of the Republicans because the main reason why they will not seriously work with Democrats (with the exceptions of Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins who I think are reasonable people with honest policy concerns) is because they truly fear the extreme Rush Limbaugh & Sarah Palin activist wing of the GOP targeting them with a primary challenger for the "sin" of being bipartisan.

    They know that they will get just what Arlen Specter got after he voted for the economic stimulus bill and what Charlie Crist is getting right now for accepting economic stimulus money. As long as most elected Republicans in Congress keep on fearing Rush Limbaugh's and Sarah Palin's many millions of fringe activists targeting them with a primary challenger if they show any sign of serious cooperation with Obama, then Democrats will get very few (if any) Republican votes.

    It is that plain and simple when so many elected Republicans truly fear Rush Limbaugh and keep on apologizing to him whenever he gets upset with anything that they say and when he calls them out on it. The Republican leadership has lost control of its activist base and they need to get it back!

    It would be really nice in my opinion if we could go back to 1983 where Democrats seriously worked with Ronald Reagan to make a deal on Social Security. If Ronald Reagan ever seriously worked with Democrats today like how he did back in 1983, then even he would also get kicked out of and be purged from the Republican Party for his "sin" of bipartisanship by its fringe Rush Limbaugh & Sarah Palin wing!

    Mitch Dworkin
    Dallas, Texas

    November 23, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  133. chuck roscoe

    tony ..the status quo is much better than the proposed bill...the proposed bill will have us paying taxes for four to five years before
    we recieve any ..?BENIFITS? ..from the bill,and god and obama will be the only ones that know where those taxes will be spent...will they be spent on health, care I doubt it.......the bill itself is as useless as the stimlus bill....a lot of money given to the special interest and very little
    money to fix the the way what do unions have to do with
    stimulus and health care???????

    November 23, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  134. Ben Keller

    I think that the status quo is broken and beyond help using "Market Forces". I think that the current health care plans in congress do not address all of the issues, or even just the important ones. I think that if we want to keep private insurance, we need to regulate it as we would a utility, effectively, capping the profits they can make.

    If we want to compete with them as the public option might. This could allow the insurance companies to fight to become more cost effective without regulation, but they don't want to have to face a government subsidized entity, because they know they will have to lower prices and slash profits.

    I think that health care reform needs the following things.

    Torte reform, doctors pay too much for malpractice insurance. I think this insurance needs to be regulated and I think that there should be caps on awards and codified rules on what constitutes malpractice. This would lower the actual cost of health care.

    Some kind of control over health insurance companies. This could be stricter regulations and limiting prices and profits. It could be competition with a public or not-for-profit health insurance option. It could be single payer system where health insurance companies are not necessary.

    We also need some legislation that requires everyone to get insurance of some type. This will make all people pay into the system. It will keep people from abusing emergency services. Both of which will lower the costs for most people.

    I also think that government subsidy for non-profit, salary based – where the doctors are employees and not independent businesses operating under one roof – would help to lower the actual costs of health care by allowing these organizations to more effectively compete.

    I think that we need to require the use of a national unified electronic health record. This will allow easier access to health records for doctors and patients. It will allow every doctor you go to to see your medical history. It will make unnecessary the pile of paperwork that you have to fill out every time you go to the doctor. It will decrease the time you spend in the doctors office or hospital, reducing the chance of exposure to some new sickness. I will make it harder for people to abuse doctors and pharmacies to get access to large amounts of controlled substances, which they can then themselves abuse, or sell "on the street" to make money.

    And finally, a pet peev... I think that all organizations, businesses, labs, doctors, etc. operating under an umbrella organization , such as a hospital, should be required by law to bill through a single service provided by the umbrella organization. I think that all of the costs should be shown up front and posted in a public forum, allowing people to select the services they need for a lower price. I think that before you enter for treatment, unless as an emergency, you should be presented with a cost estimate that requires your signature with the amount you will pay, and what is covered by your insurance.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  135. Betty B.

    All I see is party against party with few honestly thinking of the people and whats best for our great country. The healthcare argument has been going on for many years. Few seem to have the intestinal fortitude to stand up for the needs of our people. The ads on television and comments on the internet make me ill as an American. Yes, we have the right to speak out, but must we use those words spoken by loud mouth , know it alls like those on our radio broadcasts.
    Healthcare is the biggest problem we face in our country today. It definitely needs to be overhauled. I ask all of you who represent our country to forget party and seriously take a look into making our country more healthy. A strong healthy nation will benefit industry and all the people, not just the insurance companies etc.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  136. Annie Jons

    My son was just released from Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte last week. He had to go to the emergency room (then put in intensive care for several days. He has no medical insurance nor job, which he has been looking for. He does not qualify for any of the programs that mama babies get, but is just as in need.
    These Republicans who don't care about people like my son and many poor whites just want us to 'go away'! These same Republicans, and some Democrat will then go back to their districts and proclaim 'how much they are trying to help! When McHenry comes to Shelby NC, I will be out there with my sign, say......HELLO, MR. NO! He needs to know that not all of us accept his 'phony responses to the audience.
    I challenge everyone out there to do the same, and let these people know 'THEY ARE PLAYING POLITICS WITH OUR LIVES, AND WE WILL REMEMBER AT VOTING TIME!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  137. David M.

    All the melee generatec over a public initiative I wonder about my
    Christian brethern who have fallen silent on this Christian issue.
    The Bible is very explicite as to our duties to the needy and poor.
    Apparetnly Christianity stops at the wallet. and completely ignoring
    that the greater your wealth, the greater your reeponsibility.
    Where are all the Christians, in and out of the Senate.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  138. Linda Merrifield

    Of course we need health care reform now. Not later.! Not 2 years from now or 10 years from now. The constituents want health care reform not the other way around as so many of your featured Republicans have stated. Let the voice of the real constituents be heard.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  139. james brooks

    No the status quo is nothing but what the republicans and the so called blue dogs or republicans in democratic party want to keep ...Just look at who is getting the most money...Always follow the money and it will tell you who wants what and why!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:51 am |
  140. Renee Keith

    Our current situation with Health Care is a mess; an outrage of stupidity.

    People, whether they have insurance coverage or not are hurting, scared and frustrated. You might have inurance coverage but will the Company that insures you pay for your treatments or prescriptions???

    Insurance Companies are doing whatever they want to do and the American People are left out in the cold with no other resources to go to for care. Reign these Insurance Companies in NOW!!!!!!! Not two to ten years from now; WHAT A JOKE.

    The Republicans after eight years of rule got us into this mess; what a mess and for whatever reason they still want to continue the mess. Who are these people and what is their real agenda?


    Studying other Countrys' health care in the World looks like they have some challenges but nothing like we have. They do just fine with their
    Health care; because their Insurance Companies CAN NOT MAKE A PROFIT!!!!!!

    What a concept; NOT FOR PROFIT HEALTH CARE!!!!!!!!

    We have a run away train and before we know it we will go right over the cliff of no return.

    Congress and the House should all get rid of their current health coverage and reduce their income by half wage and when they want to travel, etc. they can submit vouchers and allow another departments or governing agencies to grant travel or not and give them minimum traveling expenses or not. It sounds rediculous; this is how the American People are feeling right now.

    Wake up Senators and Representatives, people out here are getting very tired and upset.

    People you wanted change? Well, get out their and make the change happen. Contact your Senators and Representatives and make your feelings known; raise your VOICE. NOW!!!!!!!

    Senators and Representatives; stand-up for once about what the American people want; stop telling untruths about what the situation really is and forget about running for office and what the results will be because the Republicans sound absolutely ignorant about the health care situation; they are the party of "NO"; just line our pockets and forget about the people we represent.

    When I listened to Dick Army the other day I was embarassed for our Country. Totally ignorant about what Diabeties is all about!!!!

    The people wanted change so change it for the better.

    What we have now is out of control; too expensive and we are being laughed at by the rest of the world. The best Medical system in the World?????? Let's get real it is the MOST EXPENSIVE in the World.

    Let's all wake up and do the right thing for everyone; not just a few.

    One more thing; WE NEED TERM LIMITS!!!!!! Enough is Enough!!!!!!

    Wern't we going to get rid of the Lobbiest??? What happened?????

    Thank You CNN/Tony for allowing me to sound off!!! I feel a little better; just frustrated.

    November 23, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  141. Dr. Manuel S. Alguero

    The nation needs health reform. We do not need the status quo. Neither do we need to listen to a Senator making misleading statements. It is unfortunate but such senators take advantage of the media NEED to foster the impression of genuine conflict by alleging the PEOPLE do not want reform as currently advanced in Congress. They are promoting the status quo as a result of the lobbying pressure on them, suggesting that regarding national policy MONEY still talks. Long live cash. The polls show the MAJORITY OF PEOPLE want completion to bring down health costs. Such senators and the media should not gloss over this fact. YOU TONY and your organization should and could do something to keep such senators honest to the PEOPLE

    November 23, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  142. Annie Jons

    Karen sounds like most Republicans.....Everything is ok except the healthcare system just needs a little 'tweak'........WOW! We would all be "DYING QUICKLY' with what she is saying needs to be done!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  143. Rebecca Sanders

    REFORM !!!!!

    The details have become distorted not only as a result of the tea party's misinformation, but because the MSM gave them such a massive platform to get their bogus distortions out.

    The majority of Americans don't even have a clue any longer how healthcare costs have gone up over 400 percent in the past 8 years because only the tea-baggers are getting through.

    I blame the media for much of this MISINFORMATION!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  144. virginia

    Give everyone the same type of healthcare congress and the president are enjoying, after all we are already paying for them to sleep well at nite. This is not a racist arguement, stop trying to deflect our attention from the real issue.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  145. Angie

    We all know the status quo isn't working for many Americans and it's headed for disaster if nothing is done now. Face it, the cost of doing nothing far exceeds the cost of reform. Besides ask yourself why EVERY AMERICAN shouldn't have access to affordable insurance that won't deny you coverage or drop you if you get sick. If you have access through an employer consider yourself lucky. Many self employed and hard working folks don't like my family. The time may come when you find yourself in the same boat as those with no coverage. How will you feel then? It takes a nation of strong people to make it a strong, productive, great nation.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  146. Christopher D. Sims

    We need something better than the status quo. The Obama Administration, as well as our economy, has proven that reforming health care is the option. Not doing something about the status quo regarding health care will only mean millions more will lost out on health care in America.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  147. David

    No it's not better. Of all the polls I've seen the majority of Americans are happy with there health care but the majority of Americans have not had to test there health care. A system that can not withstand any test is not a viable system.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  148. kirstenf.

    i am a single mother, i work full time and can only make 1400.00 a month to live off of.My rent alone is 1100.00, I make too much to recieve health insurance, and too little too purchase healthcare, my question is, does this new health bill require me to purchase healthcare?or pay a fine?how can i afford in the first place with 300.00 a month to live off? ps, I have a pre-exsisting condition too!HELP!!!!!!!!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  149. Jim Pedigo

    America needs to make note of the countries that have been around much longer than the US and have already learned, and mastered the need and practice of a universal type health care system. You can have it as well as private for the higher earners without it being a socialism from hell program like the republicans try to scare you with the sound of.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  150. David Hoffman

    We cannot keep the status quo but I also feel that the current process is trying to fix to many things all at once. Why haven't we heard about the cost of moving every U.S. Citizen to Medicare. Gradually decrease the age reguirement by 10 years every 4 or 5 years. Do away with Medicaid. Increase Medicare taxes but also tell us what the overall cost would be to the taxpayer. Continue to allow insurance companies to offer Medicare Advantage to those who employers or private citizens who can afford it.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  151. Diane Moser

    Things MUST change! Status Quo must go. Good hard working Americans are losing everthing because a family member gets sick. Retirees are finding their insurance no longer exists... I'm thrilled to see the Health Care Reform debate move forward. America MUST do better than it is currently doing at taking care of Americans!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  152. Mike McColgin

    When did the entitlee's rights start to outweigh the providers. No ones health care security should be at the cost of my LIBERTY. Everyones personal health care is their own responsibility!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  153. RJ Savi

    Question: If over 51% of Americans are against this Health Care Bill why aren't the "PEOPLE'S" representatives' i.e.. Senators & Representatives continuing to push it.? It would appear that our
    so called spokespeople, (our elected officials), do not listen to their constituents who believe that making JOBS is more important than fixing something that is already working, not well but working.
    Almost 12% of Americans are out of work that's a lot of people out of the workforce and into trouble as history repeats itself again.

    These elected officials are not listening to the people, their listening to special interests and their backers. This is turning out to be the opening of the FALL OF THE REPUBLIC which we have never really been to start with. We are not the SUPER POWER of the old – we are the door of debtor's prison. When other countries own most of the US's output what's left for the people??? As Stuart said there will be a revolt, it's just over the horizon if things keep going this way. The people are not being represented, they are being corralled into a place they do not want to be; and the elected officials are not listening – it won't be good.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  154. James D. Lakatos

    My politics aside for the moment, I have a difficult time comprehending the logic of those in the Senate that voted against debate of Health Care reform. What is the logic of saying "no" to having a discussion? Are not decisions best made when there is discussion both pro and con?

    November 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  155. Dominique

    The current heath care policy is an absoulte disgrace considering how many people are uninsured or in debt as a result of hospital bills. In the international standing the United States hold the tittle of being the richest country, but has failed to keep it's citizens healthy. Health Care Reform is long over do and I admire the courage of President Obama to push the initiative and not back down like presidents before him. Any change made can only be for the better as we're at the bottom right now. I'm excited to see how the reform will transform the values of our nation and increase or quality of life.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  156. Rex Rickard, Titonka, Iowa USA

    As a former employee of KMART I would like to tell you WHY the cashiers ask customers to apply for the Sears card (23% interest); for their e-mail addresses (so that KMART can send endless 'notices'); and to buy the 'Smart Plan' on items (at 10% of the cost).
    We were harrangued every morning by the manager to do these things. Corporate forced the manager to hound us. And, we were told, "Do whatever it takes to get them to apply (for the Sears card).In addition we were told that if we "couldn't do it, they would find others who could." In effect, we were threatened with losing our jobs.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  157. John Marzullo

    You've got to be kidding. The government has had the VA for decades and it's not doing too hot, ask a vet. The government has had Medicare/Medicaid and it's projected to go broke, most recently they've controlled our H1N1 vaccine and I still don't see a shot in my future and I'm high risk, and now we want them to control our health care? If we're that stupid collectively, then I guerss we deserve what we get.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  158. Anne

    I am a nurse and lawyer and my husband is a doctor. The present system will not continue, whether people like it or not. The costs are too high and the #s of people not covered will only increase with any changes in the economy. For 6 months a few years ago my husband and I were unable to buy insurance because of his CAB and my history of migraines – no insurance at all. We were finally able to get coverage through a part time job but ALL of us truly live on the edge of disaster. To say no to health care reform is to live in the past – the 19th Century past.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  159. Dianna

    Sure the status quo is great for many people–those who have jobs and good insurance coverage. The problem is that no one can be sure that they will continue to have that coverage at that price. Businesses have and will continue to cut health care costs to help their bottom line. The status quo is obviously not adequate for the millions without insurance or for those who have been denied because of pre-existing conditions. I fear many Americans are looking only at their immediate situation and their self-interest. We need to consider the big picture. This must be fixed or we will all suffer. It boggles the mind that we are the only industrialized country that has not addressed this situation - others in the free world must look at us and marvel at our inertia. All the mammogram, abortion, death panel discussion are just red herrings designed to obfuscate the movement and discussion. Enough already!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  160. Harriet

    In my opinion, healthcare reform should primarily benefit the Americans who can least afford decent medical care. Healthcare reform is hopefully be a step in the right direction to allow more healers to heal instead of continuing to allow medical, insurance and pharmaceutical corporations to shamelessly profit from our medical conditions.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  161. Emily Sanchez

    what we need is medicare for all –

    currently all american citizens qualify for medicare, with their effective dates being their 65th birthday, or for those permanently disabled, their date of disability. We currently support the insurance companies quite handsomely by allowing them to bid, and seek medicare patients to join their HMO's... that doesnt have to change.

    by changing the effective date of coverage for the rest of our citizens, we can provide coverage without having to create new agencies/departments or rules and regs. Last time I checked, medicare was secondary to an employer's coverage in any case, so those people with current private insurance or employer provided insurance could have their effective dates put on hold until they turn 65 or are uninsured. Worried about starting too many at a time? Then change the rules so that kids currently on schip programs move to medicare as they age out of schip. and leave everyone else at the current effective date.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  162. Super Dave

    RE: The Bart Police officer slamming the guys head into the glass causing it to break.
    TONY – IS YOU CRAZY!!!!!! Your words: " . . . not sure what cause the glass to break, ... the matter is still being investigated, both people were injured.
    You Fool! Its so OBVIOUS that the dudes head is what cause the glass to break!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  163. Thomas

    Is it not strange how much money and time the insurance agencies and lobbyist spend trying to defeat this bill. It should be obvious that any business spending this much time money and effort to defeat a bill are only interested in there bottom line. I have to ask the question if our repersenatives were not being funded and presured by the insurance companys, How would they vote there contenance? It also seems to me that with out the public option and more competition the bill is already defeated.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  164. Chuks

    We have a bunch of self-centered men and women in Congress. Those Democrats holding up the health care reform initiative are only concerned about their jobs and not about what will benefit their constituencies. The Republicans simply want the President to fail, period. They refused to vote for the economic stimulus that ended up haulting the conomic downturn.

    If we are ready and willing to spend billions of dollars a month in Iraq, etc., we should be willing to spend billions to help millions of Americans without health care. Our Congress men and women should stop taking money from lobbyists and other interest groups and do the right thing for the People. They should stop using "Cost" as excuse for holding Americans hostage.


    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  165. dave

    Tony, thank you for showing the extra footage of the kids from highschool with the robot! The media needs to do more to highlight Americans who are innovating.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  166. Melinda

    There also needs to be health care reform regarding how it is paid for. The perfect solution is this: the more you weigh, the more you pay. After all, the more you weigh, the unhealthier you are, which causes you to need and use healthcare more. The more you weigh, the higher you're health care costs are. It's a win-win situation for all to assess individuals according to weight when it comes to health care. There could be 3 assessment levels – 1. healthy level; 2. overweight level; and 3. obese level. Those in the overweight and obese categories would have a big incentive to lose weight if this is tied in to their health care costs and those in the healthy category would have a big incentive to stay at a healthy weight. Healthy lifestyles would be emphasized. This all makes perfect sense and would be win-win for everyone.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  167. Texas Nurse

    Thanks for asking a "no-win" question. Neither situation is acceptable, but if those are the only two choices, then I'll go with the status quo. First of all, NOBODY really knows exactly what is proposed, since neither of these bills has been fully disclosed in a way that is understandable to the people. At least with the status quo, we know what we have and we know what it costs.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  168. c decris

    i think that what we have now is fine,in the state of maryland there is health care for the low income let each state decide how they want to run their health care , all my adult life i didnt have health insurance , had two children and paid for them ourselves to assume just because you dont have health ins. your not going to pay your hospital bill is offensive. i also think that our senators are buying votes and using our money to do so i think it disgusting we need term limits on congress and senate, i hope a new party gives the dems and rep. a run next election and i hope reid and pelosi get ousted soon they are two biggest crooks

    November 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  169. Judy Sugita

    Please–no changes, Leave things as they are. Especially for Medicare for seniors and disabled.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  170. Mary McCarthy

    It's my hope that the Senate will use this opportunity to craft truly important health insurance reform. Unfortunately, I don't believe the current legislation addresses health CARE reform, but useful changes in health insurance might be early steps toward that needed progress.
    I believe that a public option is vital to a competitive environment that makes health insurance fair.
    I am tired to death of the "no no no" we're getting from the GOP, tired of the lies and the disinformation from right-wing radio. And I'm likewise tired of hearing the worriers such as Ms. Landrieu, who nets huge contributions from the health care industry and stands in the way of betterment for all of us. Could we not–just this once–come together again and do something useful for the people who live here?

    November 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  171. Rick

    I cannot beleive people who do not agree that we need to have a public option/single payer system. They listen to right wing radio, are being brainwashed, are unhappy with there lives and need something to complain about. They are also the ones who probably need the releif the most!

    I am tired of my health care premiums and deductables rising to pay ex-congresmen and ex-senators to influence those who currently serve. We need to end the madness!

    Signed: Oracle in Omaha on Healthcare

    November 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  172. Jim Amstutz

    Real reform. The health industry has been raping the American people for way too long.

    Where do you think they get the millions upon millions of dollars that they spend buying our Senators, Representatives in Congress? Where do you think they get the millions that they are spending to whip up the opposition to reform?

    If they were honest and really cared about America and the American people, they wouldn't have to buy off anyone.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  173. cathy

    I think people really don't understand that if we keep the status quo, insurance costs even through employers is going to affect their lives for the worse. Even now, speaking as a person who owns a small business, pay raises are basically a thing of the past. The people who are working just as hard or harder are really getting less for their labor. Insurance companies are offering less coverage for more money, deductibles are going up and the percentage of what they pay per doctor or hospital visit is going down. This year alone the rate for the same coverage just went up 10% and they went from co-pays being 20% to now 30%. And that's with a $3,500.00 deductible! I don't know how they get away with it. We just renewed in June and it went up 10% by August. We haven't been able to offer a pay raise to our employees since 2005 and I don't see it getting any better. We need to throw out ALL of the republicans' "amendments" and go back to the single payer idea. What have we got to lose? They will vote "no" no matter what is on the table. I say bring single payer to reconciliation and push it through. Small businesses are NOT happy to have to pay for private health insurance. We'd much rather pay for a medicare type coverage and keep the prices down to a reasonable rate.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:19 pm |
  174. Virginia

    The Health care program we have now is very deficient in the number of people it covers, too expensive, and allows way too much fraud in the form of overcharging customers.

    I cannot believe the entire Republican Party voted no to bringing it to the floor. It will be a long time before I even consider voting for a Republican again. I never voted a straight party ticket before, but since they are not willing to vote to help keep more of our citizens healthy, and out of bankruptcy court, I will totally boycott them.

    They are not the party of the people, only of the very wealthy and big business.

    Virginia from Colorado Springs

    November 23, 2009 at 12:21 pm |
  175. mirabai butler

    Amazing times, Tony. The baby-boomers are getting hit the worse. The people, who have worked to retirement, are the ones whith the demolished 401k's, the most likely to have pre-existing conditions, and who cannot afford to pay the exorbitant prices of health care as it stands.Those who ask how a new plan can be paid for should ask the phamceutical companies to stop charging several hundred dollars for a bottle of needed medication, the hospitals to stop charging thousands of dollars, for an overnight hospital stay. I have a friend who lost his leg waiting for medi-cal to approve a by-pass. He worked many years and when his insurance ran out...there was no more help or dignity.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  176. juan clavino-santos

    Health care Reform is needed but not in form Congress entente, we should first examine every available means in how to improve the present health care and goverment control health care is not the answer, been a Viet Nam veteran I know better from time to time you can read the result on the news and goverment intervation does little little to control problems incounted, please any one show me a reason why I should trust Congress when they have failed us the past. If the CONGRESS want to help health care than give the opportunity to express our imput in according with our founding fathers principle and transparency and goodwill in how they come up in details with these Bills that will change the cause of history for this Great Democracy. " A Goverment For The People And By People should always be the mind for those that represent the people, We will remember at election time.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  177. Bob in Dallas

    Those that say the 'status quo' is fine, have a job that pays their health care premiums. Unfortunately a lot of American fall into this catagory.

    Blindness to what is going on with insurance costs and policies can not be counted as an educated opinion

    Those of us that are self-employed or not employed, know what the fuss is all about. Especially if you have anything deemed "prexisting" by insurance companies.

    My individual health-care policy premium went from $350 to $1200 over three years when I was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes after a gall blatter operation. I now have a $1000 a month policy from the only place (Texas High Risk Pool) that will write a policy to someone with diabetes.

    I spend $6 a month to control the diabetes and pay $1000 a month to have insurance. This is not sustainable.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm |

    The republicans are not considering the "American People" as far as heaqlthcare is concerned. They are strictly politically motivated. All the polls say that the American people want universal health care and a strong public option that reins in the insurance companies, yet the republican spokesman's point of view on healthcare is, "The American People want statis quo". That is not correct, Michael Steele, whom I find it hard to listen to. Do we not all know that this poor guy wouldn't even have a job if President Obama was WHITE. Aren't you kind of an "uncle Tom" figure, Mr Steele. I know, I know, the race card, but there's a lot of truth in my point. I don't see a lot of wealthy black republicans (there are a good many) geathering around him. No statis quo, let this bill be the spring board that is is to ultimate FREE healthcare for every american who cannot afford to pay for their particular, unsolicited health care need. Oh for the day when it is a "right" not a privilage.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  179. Joe Barnes, Esq

    Great show Tony, Love your style.

    Healthcare debate:

    Explain this to me…
    Fact: There are uninsured Agreed
    Fact: they go to the E/R for treatment Agreed
    Fact WE pay for them through
    Our higher Insurance premiums
    Gifts/charity fundraisers by the hospitals
    Providers “eating” the cost
    Government programs paid by taxes Agreed
    SO why in hell is there such an emergency that we must spend
    a $$TRILLION more in taxes,
    PAY MORE for our premiums,
    Raid medicare for $150 BILLION more,
    Yet Still leave more than 20 Millions UNINSURED

    Why there is still a debate about this 2000 page payoff to special interests piece of crap?????

    November 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  180. Casey

    There is not a person in this country that would agree that STATUS QUO on health care is appropriate. However that said there are very few in this country that would argree with either Political party on their Political proposals. Our Constitution does not give Congress the power to force Citizens to purchase anything and certainly not insurance of any kind. Our Constitution does not give Congress the power to regulate the salaries of anyone for any reason. It is bad enough that they regulate their own and that of the Armed Services without oversight of the Citizens.
    Our Health Care System in the United States is the best in the world. Our Health Insurance and Government provided Medicare and Medicaid Systems are a farce due to the inept regulations and procedures set down by both the Federal and State Governments. Our Congressional Representatives at both levels are incapable of correcting the problems with the current systems because of their Political and Special Interest Group associations. Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Immigration could be reformed and made effecitve and fiscally efficient without expanding the deficite or increasing taxes on anyone if those responsible for oversight did their jobs properly.
    If a private sector business bribed one of their board members to gain their votes like has been done in Congress they would be put in jail. We should demand the same standards of Congressional Representatives.

    Montrose, CO

    November 23, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  181. Mona Benge

    Please have a fact check segment so people can reach informed opinions on this issue rather than react to fear mongering by the Republican Party. I have heard so many lies regarding health care in Canada remain unchallenged by media that I don't believe anything they say anymore. Co-pays, high deductibles,fear of losing coverage when losing a job or changing a job or becoming ill, doctors checking with insurers as to whether something will be covered, no coverage if you have a pre-existing condition.....this is rationed care offered by the private insurance companies in the US at premiums that millions can't afford. The system desperately needs reform and everyone has a responsibility to ask for and to get the facts. I ask you to please present "facts" and to challenge the critics of reform to present the truth when they criticize rather than to tell outrageous lies in order to misinform the public. I have yet to hear anyone, even on CNN, correct the attacks regarding the mammogram issue by Republicans and Fox News by simply mentioning that the task force at issue was appointed during the Bush Administration. This morning Michael Steel on Good Morning America was interviewed with tough questions but not challenged when he said this would be Obama administration policy if reform went through. Viewers are left with the impression that this task force study is policy and also that it is coming from a democratic appointed body. I watch CNN to get accurate reporting not irresponsible political attacks on vital issues being left unchallenged with the facts.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  182. Joseph VanRiper

    The need for change is at hand, because the status Quo as Tony states, is not enough. I am a Republican that changed to a an Independant. I was a fan of Pres. Regan, Clinton, and now President Obama. What caused my change is the status quo. I am a bit miffed that he has allowed The rich to become richer, and those collecting Social Security to not get their cost of living raise this year, while pharmacy costs are at a all time high, and old cheap medicines are phased out and new expensive medicines are quickly phased in. Drugs like Nucynta, Embeda and then there are medicines and treatments that have been dropped by Medicare. The other issue is when the system fails the couple who paid these taxes for years. I became blind and went on Social Security in 2004. Because I was already in a holding status Medicare was immediate. My wife became ill and had her heart valve replaced in 2005, because of this and other illnesses she became disabled too. She had to wait two years for coverage (it starts April 2010). For the last two years our medicaid spend-down before we are covered over 840.00 dollars. That is what we pay before we are covered for her 400.00 dollar heart medicine and another 100. dollars in related medicines. She and I bring in approximately $2,500 which is pitiful. If we stayed in Alaska we would not be able to survive there. We'd have become homeless. Instead we moved to an impoverished area of Indiana. Bushes initiative on Medicaid hurt us when before we both had high paying jobs. My wife assisted Heather Kendall-Miller Esq. and Lawrence Ashenbrenner Esq. I worked for General communications and my wife and I had excellent health coverage. We owned a $230,000.00 dollar home. We volunteered and helped out in the community often. We still do that but the rest of our income and coverage has been reduced by about three-fourths. I feel a difference in respect given, and treatment by doctors and their staff. I know extreme change and completely understand the human condition and their false sense of self – worth. I voted for Obama because Ex-President Bush and the republican party has damaged a policy that I have seen help the elderly from the days when I was a Euclid Street boy in indianapolis Indiana and my neighbor across the street was a world war one survivor and our community was aging, but policy worked then as it will again.

    Joe VanRiper

    Joe VanRiper

    November 23, 2009 at 12:31 pm |
  183. Mel

    Has anyone asked the question, do you think the PRESIDENT, CONGRESS, and an ADMINISTRATION would push for Health care that is BAD for the USA? I do not think democrats are trying to be voted out of office next year. Do we not remember that a republican administration over the past eight years (not counting the last two Clinton years) put this country in the shape it is in presently.

    NO PRESIDENT could overcome the republican governmental devastation in one year in office.

    COME ON PEOPLE! WAKE UP PEOPLE! Do not let the republican propaganda machine drone break you down.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  184. CONNIE

    REFORM is a MUST! I am sick to death of these lying Republicans trying to scare people. I worked my butt off for 45 years and do you think I can get insurance?? NO!!! Not unless I have $800 a month, which is HALF of what I make. Meanwhile, the drug companies, the CONGRESS, the hospitals, the insurance companies, etc. have more money than EVER! Lobbyists should be OUTLAWED!! Yes, all the MILLIONAIRES which includes all of congress don't want any changes, why would they?? They don't need ins. and they certainly don't want to pay for their employees insurance. Small businesses should not be forced to pay for ins. however, unless they make enough money. Of course I worked at a 'small business' for 20 years and they made us pay for half of our insurance plus 100% of every increase in the past 10 years. Meanwhile, they were building their multi-million dollar house and buying Mercedes and BMW's and Range Rovers, so I don't want to hear they don't have any money because a lot of them can afford it they are just too CHEAP and could care less about their employees. If ins. is mandatory for everyone, then the government needs to step up to the plate and tax the millionaires to pay for it. And DON"T even base any of this on the so-called Poverty level. WHEN are they going to adjust the poverty level to what it should be?? Does anyone really believe that they can live on $10,000 a year?? You can't even RENT a place for that, let alone pay for INS., GASOLINE, UTILITIES, CAR PAYMENT, CAR INS., let alone HEALTH COSTS and RX!! Poverty Level is more like $30,000 for a single person! I had cancer 3 years ago so I CANNOT get ins and I CANNOT pay for my prescriptions either. Meanwhile ALL the utility companies have raised their rates here by at least 18%. The Grocery stores are GOUGING us to death for NO REASON. They should be investigated just like the Hospitals, Ins companies, gas companies, and utilities!! No one has gotten a raise for about 10 years now except the hot shots! This country is a pathetic bunch of liars and thieves!!
    NOTHING is going to change until we ALL get off our lazy butts and MARCH ON THE WHITE HOUSE LAWN EVERY DAY!! Furthermore, congress should have to pay for their OWN ins and their OWN retirement and NO RAISES!. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  185. Linda

    Of course we need healthcare reform. Our 38th place in life expectancy is a national disgrace, as is the huge cost, the emotional turmoil, the medical bankruptcies. When I watched a PBS documentary recently which outlined the health care available in five other countries, where all the citizens enjoy quality medical care, where medical bankruptcies were non-existant and health care is considered a right and a responsibility of government, it made me feel so helpless and angry, mainly at the Republicans, the party of no. When they held the majority in both houses of congress and the presidency for six years, all they managed was a prescription care bill for seniors, which was not paid for and put on our national debt. Now their stated goal is to kill any chance of reform because they want President Obama to fail.

    I call upon CNN to replay this documentary. All our citizens need to see how medical care is treated in other countries. Please, CNN, do some educating on this issue, so people have the knowledge to resist the fear-mongering blather that constantly comes out of the mouths of Republican senators.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  186. SGT K. [ usmc ret ]

    it's time for amendment [28] congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the united states that dose not apply equally to the senators and/ or representatives, and congress shall make no law that applies to senators and/ or representatives that dose not apply equally to the citizens of the united states! WHEN THE PEOPLE FEAR THEIR GOVERNMENT THERE IS TYRANNY, WHEN THE GOVERNMENT FEARS THE PEOPLE THERE IS LIBERTY

    November 23, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  187. Meredith

    Heath Care Reform means I will finally have medical health insurance I can afford.
    In other words I will be paying out of pocket for an affordable health insurance.
    Nowhere does it state Free health care coverage.
    Health Care Reform is for Affordable Health Care Coverage.
    Health Care Reform Means No more being denied Health insurance due to Pre-existing conditions.
    Health Care Reform Means No more being dropped because of sudden fatal illness.
    Health Care Reform means No more being charged more due to Pre-Existing Conditons.
    Health Care Reform Means No more Insurance Companies telling the doctor What to diagnose, and How to treat inorder to save the Insurance Companies big bucks at the same time of giving doctors big bonuses for following the Insurance Companies instruction instead of taking care of a sick patient with the Medical Doctors Oath of Doing No Harm.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  188. Meredith

    Everytime Doctors hold back treatment when they follow the insurance companies instruction to do so, The Doctors are Doing Harm to their Patients.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  189. Christina Murphy

    Americans desperately need passage of this Health Care reform bill. They want and need the public option to be available. This is why President Obama won the election with 75% of America's vote. No more status quo!

    Republicans, please stop belly-aching and come up with some valid alternatives. Saying "no" is not an option. You sound like a bunch of whiners.


    November 23, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  190. Joseph VanRiper

    The President is changing the status quo as I see it from my chair as I watch you Tony. He is tackling health care in a better way that does not leave us destitute, and he is now tackling the education system, and I listen to you and President Obama and my local leadership in regards to healthcare and education and these two issues will effect my vote the most in the near future.

    Joe VanRiper

    November 23, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  191. Sandra

    This bill isn't about improving healthcare at all it's all about growing government and increasing spending. Already we're hearing about the perks used to buy votes. What is in the bill that we don't hear about. All polls are worthless the polls can be fixed either for or against healthcare it all depends on who is running them.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  192. Janet Seymour

    The health care bill has problems, but with the status quo raising health care premiums about 19% per year for the same coverage will break us too.

    We can't cherry pick the facts. The Common Wealth Fund determined 109,000 people die each year in the U.S. because they can't get access to health care.

    That said, this bill focuses too much on health insurance and not enough on getting people seen by doctors and therapists.

    One way to cut costs would include:
    1. Get rid on the anti-monopoly exempt insurers currently have.
    2. Require insurers to pay out 85 cents of every premium dollar received on health care claims
    3. Require all insurers to negotiate for best prices possible from pharmaceutical and medical device companies
    4. Require insurance companies to eliminate fee for service reimbursment schedules in favor oa an acuity index
    5. Require malpractice claims go through an independent merit review

    Do this and we'd slice about $800 billion per year off the $2.5 trillion dollar annual health care bill.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  193. Norma Kiernan

    I do not trust this administration. This bill is too large for anyone to really know what is in it, and I believe that is exactly how they want it. We work hard and pay a lot for our healthcare and we do it because it is important to us. We made choices in our lives to ensure that we have it. The government has proven that they are incapable of running anything without running it into debt. How can we hand over our healthcare to them? It would make much more sense to reform healthcare in small increments, fixing a couple of issues at a time than to shove a 2,000 page takeover down our throats. People that are supporting it don't know any more about what is in it or how much it will cost the average American than those of us that oppose it. The Democrats add, take away and change the bill in the dark of night because they know they are not doing the right thing for America. They ignore any Republican suggestions. Every poll I have seen shows that the majority of Americans DO NOT WANT government control of healthcare and yet, this administration continues its evil deeds. Vote them out! Yes, the status quo is better because I have control and I know what is best for me.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  194. John Arnold

    I am saddened an astounded when I hear good people like the car repair shop owner in Arkansas who has more trust in the health insurance industry than those who would reform healthcare. Social policy research and empirical evidence throughout the developed world is at the heart of the reformers' position. Millions of dollars in propaganda from profiteers is at the heart of healthcare industry arguments. Fear, ignorance, and naivite' seem to inform the populace. Truly mindboggling.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  195. Roger Stolz

    Why are we calling it 'Health Care Reform'? It is health insurance reform!!! It has nothing to do with the prescription of medicine or the application of medical procedures. This will not change 'Health Care'. It will, however, change the revenue stream. Now guess which way. Will it wax or wane?

    November 23, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  196. Larry Hamel

    The "status quo" IS Medicare: Clean up the fraud, otherwise please leave it alone. Medical reform has been needed in this country for decades. If I read the senate bill in its present form I doubt if I would understand all the implications. So it boils down to trust. THAT is the huge question: Can we TRUST our lawmakers to do what is right for the American people?

    November 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  197. Sally agnone

    15% or 1/6 of the people don't have health insurance and that's ok?!! We're the only country that has a for profit health insurance program which is rated 23rd out of 40 countries. And that's ok?!! We need reform and if you don't understand why you must be listening to Fox News!!!!

    November 23, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  198. Kevin

    It will remain the status quo. the congress of the united states isn't there to do the peoples work anymore, just to promote themselves and remain in office.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  199. Mary Spallino

    The status Quo is definitely better. Our system rewards ingenuity and cutting edge technology and developments. I would rather every single person pay a $20-$100 a year surcharge, and this money could cover those that do not have health insurance. But to undo our system which is the very best would be criminal. This healthcare bill is a power grab by the govt, and the companies and people who would benefit, i.e. AARP and our congressmen who get paid off to vote for special interests involved. The fact that our own representatives won't agree to be a part of this system is an indicator that it is less than ideal, and I demand that they have to be a part of it! Our poor get health care as it is now, and can't be refused help. We need tort reform, to clean up fraud, and to open the state borders to bigger pools of insurance applicants. Through this process, no one should be denied healthcare.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  200. Eloise Ponte

    Tony, let's vote out all the politicans who vote for the existing Health Care Bill!!! Fix what we have; don't add so much!

    November 23, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  201. Michael Pease

    I love the new fiscal conseratives in the senate . For the last 8 years we went into 2 wars most of which was kept off budget. In time of war we not only did not try to pay for it, we gave a tax break of which 90% went to the top 5% of the people and the Senate passed that through rendition using 51 votes. (How do you like the jobs that created so far) Now when it comes to heath care we do not want to add to the national debt. You Repubs. and Blue Dogs remember that when you are looking for 40000 troops to send into the black hole known as Afganistan . I would like you to the use the same standards. You may not want your children stuck with the debt of heathcare (which we are going to pay for with or with out this bill) Well I do not want my children stuck with the bill of Afganistan or Iraq . Now days our military is not good enough we have to hire outside contractors like Blackwater at 500% more than we pay our soldiers because all of you conservatives do not have the guts to restart a draft for this war of such national security.

    November 23, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  202. Bob in Iowa

    how in the world can anyone consider another government run program considering the postal service, and the multitude of other federally funded programs that are not viable? why the rush? you recieved your change! 1 in 10 are unemployed the economy is in shambles this president has made a business of destroying our soverenty not to mention he has made the u.s. a laughing stock internationaly. Give him time to complete his changes and you will not be worrying about health care, you will be busy trying to survive! by the way not a republican nor demo. just a fed up American!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  203. Ruth

    Regarding health care reform - I have not kept up with "the bill" per se, but all I want to say is we should have at least a public option. Cannot understand what on earth would be wrong with Universal Health Care - I am for whatever helps all of us. As for the abortion issue - I am not FOR abortion per se - but I feel if people are against it then those who are against it should pay to raise those children who will be born and not have the care such as food, clothing, health care, education etc etc etc that most of those opposed to this step are privileged to have.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  204. benilda tillman

    Hello Mr. Tony,
    It's amazing to see and hear the non-partisan role the people in government are playing concerning health-care. The world is watching America, but all we hear is the cost of a trillion dollars in ten years. When are we really going to invest into the lives of all the people of this country? The real issue is the under-served in this country, plus those who are trying to make ends meet. This situation should have been fixed years ago!
    In fifty years the face of this nation is going to be more colorful(according to the experts), and that's the real problem. Race has a lot to do with it, and we need to keep it real. We want to be ballers, but we won't take care of our own. So what if a few lazy folks get covered? Do I need to go into our history of neglect? We should be appalled at the homeless and mentally challenged in this country. I saw the cost of health-care rise with my former employer before I retired. One great push we should look at is to tax those companies that left America for cheap labor. Finally, lets put a real anglo face to welfare and not just African-American. Invest, invest, invest!!!

    November 24, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  205. ted harmon

    I am not in favor of sending more troops to the Afgan. war. Our troops have been in combat more days now than in any other war, some have served three and four tours. Send no more, bring them home as soon as possible.
    Ted Harmon, US Army, ret

    November 24, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  206. Alan D Holmes

    Speaking as a retired hospital CEO, I favor incremental improvements in health care spread out over many years: 1) Prove the Medicare savings by actually doing them first. 2) Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and balance the federal budget. 3) Use the existing MC structure and expand it to cover more and more people as we are able to afford it. Most MC patients carry a suppliment policy, sharing in the cost of their health care. If they are poor, they often have both MC and Medicaid. Limit coverage by increasing deductibles and coinsurance in relation to one's age. Supplimental policies could provide this coverage in more expensive policies. Medicare has massive experience and expertise, accumulated since 1965.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  207. Terry Rogers

    We should not commit one more soldier to Afghanistan unless we have a clear-cut strategy to stabilize the country. We must stop the madness of fighting against people whose highest purpose is to die. We can't kill them all. The best that we can hope for is that the governments in the region become strong enough to make it uncomfortable for terrorists, so that they don't feel secure in where they are.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  208. Marlene Hanson

    Greg Mortenson in "Three Cups of Tea" makes a very good argument for supporting schools in Afganistan instead of continuing with a war we cannot win. People in rural Afganistan, if educated at all, are educated by the conservative religious leaders, with no opportunity to learn alternative ways of thinking and living.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  209. Chris Meehan

    I support the Congressional Health Care Bill.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  210. daniel e. ekiko

    We may convince ourselves that the war on terrorism is a necessary war but let us not undermines its effect on our nation such as the loss of lives on both sides, the US image abroad, its cost at home at the worst economic times. We must be out of our minds to think that we can fight terrorism – terrorism is like prostitution and cannot be eliminated especially to those who do not care to die. Another point of interest to take into consideration is the fact that there are some Government leaders in these nations who are against the presence of the US in their respective nation and are helpful to the terrorist making the war on terrorism not achievable. The Russians tried with our aid but failed so let us rethink the war on terrorism and take on the humanitarian strategy. Fairness in the way we approach the entire middle east problem – Israeli and Palestinian issue which must be approached with all fairness.


    November 24, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  211. Francis

    The Republicans that are against reform all have insurance, and they don't care about the Americans. So Pre Obama should sign an order to drop all the senate's coverage. If we could remember republicans were against social security, medicare, now they are pretending that they support medicare. Republicans put us in these mess, support two wars without paying for it, deregulate financial institution.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  212. Clarence Bickham

    Should the U.S. send more troops to Afghanistan? Right now, definitely, No. Questions have to be answered. Main questions are who are the terriosts? and where are the terriosts? And is it a fact that many of the terriosts are developed only because of the U.S. presents. Very sad to see our troops loaded down with pounds and pounds of luggage, walking and climbing through the desolate rocky Afghanistan. They all seem to have the expression of where are we going. Even sadder is while forces of U.S. troops are traveling through the wilderness to get rid of the terriosts, city areas where they were are being bombed, causing major destruction and many lives. A million U.S. soldiers cannot get the job done in Afghanistan. Our troops are sitting targets. The more troops the more targets for the terriosts. New strategies are needed, which may not include troops.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  213. Michael Pease

    I am an Independent and I sick of the Repubs and the Blue Dogs and Joe Lieberman trying to kill this bill in the name of fiscal responsibility. They want it all , that is to kill the bill. If cost was truly a factor then break up the monopoly the insurance industry has in this country. Then why not go to a single payer system as we already have one in progress. But these so called conservitives like the Repubs are more interested in campain contributions than fixxing the problem. The insurance industry is writing thier talking points for them and the far right is buying it hook line and sinker. Joe is more interested in the insurance companys than his constituants. He sure sounded a lot different when he was campaining . The Repubs had control of the white house and congress for 8 years and did nothing but pass a war time tax cut to which 90% went to 10% of the people . These Conservitves passed this bill through reconciliation only requiring 51 votes . How do you like the jobs that the tax cut created so far. These so called conservitives fought most of the Iraq war off budget . If you want our military to be nation builders then have the will to pay for it. Why are we still using Blackwater at 100 times the cost of our military ? If they were truly conservitives and these wars were so vital to our national security then why did they not have the guts to reinstate the draft instead sending these kids through multiple tours of duty. Dick Cheney says this President is dithering . Where does he think America has been the last 9 years. He and his neocon administration left the soldiers in Afganistan hanging for 8 years while we went on an unfunded nation building tour in Iraq. Remember Donald Rumsfield ,doing the war on the cheap and when he disagreed with the generals in the field he just fired them. If the conservitives want 40000 more troops in Afganistan then pay for it. I can not believe how they play the fear card and it continues to work on some people . Fox News has had its way with these conservitives for years playing on your fears . Lately it has been the trials in New York . The real reason that these conservitives do not want the trials in New York is the people may find out what the Neocons did to our constitution and bill of rights during the past 8 years. Do not be fooled America the only time they are conservitive is when it is for the average American and not the special interest groups that fund thier campains. Kill the heath care bill and see what happens to your insurance in a year or your medicare when the insurance industry prices you or employer out of the market . In the meantime we will continue paying for the uninsured in the emegency rooms across America.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  214. Angie

    The Status Quo is the Private Insurance companies Dropping patients from coverage who suddenly become serious life threatening ill.
    The Status Quo is the Private Insurance Companies denying health care coverage due to Pre-Existing conditions.
    The Status Quo is the Private Insurance Companies charging a lot more for Pre-Existing conditions.
    The Status Quo is the Private Insurance Companies telling doctors not to diagnose an illness and not to give the propper medications for the illness,
    but instead to delay the propper dianosis and treatment until the Patient comes in for the third time for the same illness to cut costs. It happened to me, the doctor told me why he did not give me the proper medication the first time I saw him for the same problem. Only how can you cut costs if you go in and pay three times for the same thing.
    The Status Quo is the Private Insurance companies Lobbyists having their way with the legislation.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  215. Angie

    What will the cost of Health Care Reform be?
    Health Care Reform bill is to make it illegal for Insurance Companies to drop patients coverage due to sudden terminal illness. Where is the cost of that? Prove it?
    Health Care Reform bill is to make it illegal for Insurance Companies to Deny coverage due to Pre-Existing conditions. Where is the cost of that? Prove it?
    Health Care Reform bill is to make it illegal for Insurance Companies to charge more due to Pre-Existing conditions. where is the cost of that? Prove it?
    Health Care Reform bill is to make it affordable for all American Citizens to be covered?
    That means AFFORDABLE for all American Citizens to Pay into the insurance month payments for their own coverage.
    Excuse me for asking, But if I am paying into an Insurance Medical Coverage I can AFFORD to pay, then how can that cost any one else anything?
    No Where in the Health Care Reform Bill does it state the word 'Free'.
    It is not in the Health Care Reform Bill.
    The only word that keeps coming up again and again is AFFORDABLE! !
    So again, If I am paying for my AFFORDABLE medical health insurance, how can that cost anyone else anything. I pay out of pocket.
    Stop creating a mountain where it does not exist.

    November 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  216. Casey

    There has been a big stratigical change in action of American troops in Afganistan in the last few days. This change can only be successful if there are sufficient troops to carry out both the military and non-military aspects. If you want the kind of problems that are being faced in Europe and the loss of life to excellerate in Afganistan then don't send the troops that the strategy enforcers have asked for.

    Our health insurance system is in dire need of a major overhaul. Our health care system needs to have the freedom to deal with medical, physical and mental difficulties without Government intervention and according to the wishes of the Patients or the Patients Families if the Patient is unable to decide for themselve's. Insurance companys must be allowed to function across state lines nation wide and be required to group individual policiy holders regardless of their home location. Small business employers should be grouped nationally so they can get the same rates afforded the unions and large corporations. Health Care Insurance that covers health maintenance and common malidies should be affordable to everyone and available to everyone. Medicare should cover those who cannot affort that level of coverage. Those who require medical care for ailments that require major on-going care should be afforded insurance at rates that might be discounted by the Government or made affordable through grouping with those policy holders that do not require that level of care. Reform of the current Medicare system would allow a great deal of latitude in covering those who cannot cover themselves. Those who just choose not to to purchase health care insurance for what ever reason should save what they think might be necessary to cover their medical needs. No one should be denied health care when it is required, whatever the level of care required, but no one should be allowed free health insurance for any reason. Fix the Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Postal, and Immegration systems and we could afford to have Government subsidised health care for those who really need it.
    The only way that will happen is to get rid of all Congressional Representatives that are in office today or have been in office previously.

    Montrose, CO

    November 24, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  217. Angie

    It is like a car, Not everyone buys the cheapest cars but it does not mean that they are a lemon. They still run well just not with the same features that the more expensive cars have.
    Not everyone buys the same make model style or type of vehicle. But the different choices and prices are there.
    Not everyone buys the same maintenance agreement for their cars, but it is offered.
    Not every car company offers the exact same kind of maintenance agreement. They vary according to make and model and company.
    No Car Company has gone under because another Car Company offered a cheaper car.
    No car Company has gone under because another Car Company sold all their cars at an affordable price for the middle class.
    On planet earth you get what you pay for.
    So what does this have to do with insurance companies,
    think of the new system as a chance to view all the different medical insurance coverages, the different prices for those different type of coverages so that each and everyone of us will choose the coverage that best fits us at the price we can afford.
    Who knows, there just might be a Mercedes Benz or a Lexus brand of Medical Health Insurance for those who want to show they are wealthy.
    But I will be buying the more Affordable insurance coverage for me.
    At least I will finally have Health Insurance Coverage again. Lost mine in 2002 due to job outsourcing. It will be good to have medical coverage at a price I can afford.

    November 24, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  218. Weaver Moses

    The healthcare bills proposed by the House and the Senate are definitely better than the status quo. One would have to be really out of touch with main stream America to not sense the urgency of healthcare reform. Offering a more affordable option for healthcare is the humane thing to do, I hear all the back and forth debate about affordable healthcare and it seems so surreal. How can something that is so needed for humanity spark so much controversy and what does it say about America-the wealthiest country in the world? Healthcare reform will benefit all Americans; rich and poor alike when the least of Americans are empowered America as a whole wins.

    November 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  219. Pat Willyard

    Middle Eastern War costs appear to be pretty similar to proposed health care bill costs over similar time frames. If we had to make a choice ( just like we do about other things every day in our homes ) , which ONE would America choose ? Maybe it's time for a special vote ( or at least a decent poll ). Thanks.

    November 25, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  220. bob

    Dont' pass this health care BILL !!!!!!!

    November 25, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  221. kbc

    Regarding sending more troops to Afganistan, I am unfortunately of the opinion that it is going to take considerably more American deaths to convince us of the futility of this effort. It took 50,000 American soldiers dead in Viet Nam for us to finally realize we needed to get out of there. My guess is that it will take about 1/2 of that in Afganistan, so probably a total of around 25,000 dead. If Obama sends 34,000 more now, bringing our total there to about 100.000, then we can probably reach the 25,000 dead mark within another 2 to 3 years. So with that calculation, we might look forward to pulling out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

    November 25, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  222. ASMA

    it is wonderful to see the piece abodut the gentleman who runs a clinic for his employees. he cracks the thick paradigm of managing disease by running a WELLNESS CLINIC. he is managing the health of his employees he is defeating disease that is why his employees are healthy and disease management is costing him less.

    November 25, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  223. Joe Morales

    The health bills now being considered are far from perfect, but no doing anything is not an obtion at this time in our history. We need reform and once passed, improvements can be added on, and corrections made later.

    November 26, 2009 at 11:30 am |
  224. Dodie

    I believe status quo is just not an option. Allowing the the Pharmaceuticals, AMA and Insurance Companies taking all Americans to the cleaners is just outrageous. I do not believe in monopoly! I would recommend with the public option that it would NOT be free. Everyone will have to pay premiums regardless of income. Everyone will have a co-pay to stop abuse. I would also like to see it regulated similar to unemployment. One would have had to work and pay taxes within a certain period of time in order to qualify. Illegals and their children are exempt from obtaining this insurance. No deals due to number of children. I am tired of supporting people who are greedy by having a lot of children and cannot afford them. Birth control is free. No deals to people who do not want to work and live off the system. We just cannot do this any longer.

    A democracy only works when everyone contributes

    November 28, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  225. Rose Manette

    hi Tony why not Anderson Cooper 2016 for president It's a good person he is very human he has to succeed to gather the rich and the poor so It's a person exceptionally all my congratulations Mr Anderson and thanks for your courage extraordinary so at 2016 Anderson

    November 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  226. Lou

    Hi Tony,
    The following is directed toward our politicians.

    I'm lost? Where does money come into play when human life if at stake. Health = Life. These trusted politicians are voting on the finances of their high paid favorite people in the medical industry.
    Lobbyists are attempting to sabotage the public program with lies about public programs in other countries. Then being considered realistic is evidence that our political system will be insincere as usual. The politicians must think we are all idiots.

    To think that Government run Health Care is socialistic is ridiculous. EMS, FD and PD are all Government run and always seem to have the latest greatest in the countries best interest. Our health is certainly as important as fighting crime and fires. It's criminal negligence to allow someone to suffer or die for lack of ability to pay for the bad habits of people inundated with self-entitlement. Under any configuration of the current insurance system, co-pays and out-of-pocket expense will easily break 90% of the population, in case of serious illness. Hello Washington!! Let’s pay our taxes equally and stop blowing smoke for the sake of gratuities. We are not stupid and you are there for the best interest of the 90%.


    November 30, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  227. david schmidt

    I notice than CNN keeps running a commercial to stop all health care reforms, I am sure this is paid for by insurance companies, I wish you would expose this.

    November 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  228. Gay O'Connell

    public option is very important,as the insurance co. are for profit and keep raising the monthly payment that we have to pay""""""""

    November 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  229. martin williams

    On health care reform, I.m unempolyed and how much is it going to cost me each month, cause so far I am for it.

    (2) Did I here something about stopping the War, but now you want us to go to Afghanistan to get kill, come on, stop the madness, there will never be world peace, get over it.. This is DUMB 🙁

    (3) We need job's, we got homeless people's every where, when are we going to work on our problems.

    I voted for you Mr. Obama and happy I did, but don't understand, can someone tell me what in Blue *&%# is going on?

    November 30, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  230. Judy Cohen

    I am not wild about the bill, but it is a pity that the option to include funding for end of life counseling. It seems that it got dirtied because of the controversy and rumors about so-called "death panels."

    November 30, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  231. Bob McDonald

    If my memory is correct with WWI and WWII Congress declared war against nations, principally Germany and Japan. In Korea we fought an undeclared war against a nation, North Korea. In Viet Nam Congress did declare War but not against a nation but against an organized group that wanted to obtain control of the government.. In Iraq, Congress finally declared War after the fact because the President told us we were going to be attacked with nuclear weapons and biological weapons by the Iraq nation. I will be looking for President Obama to explain why he has not called on Congress to declare War. Also what country is about to invade the United States which is the only real justification for declaring War. We are sending 100,000 troops to Afganistan to fight some armed group called insurgents that it is reported to nimber no more than 20,000 lightly armed people. Further our military muat be very poor since it may require us to keep armed forces in the country for possibly ten years. Of the six foreign wars that we became engaged in during the 20th Century which one do you think was justified? What is the justification for our being engaged in a War in Afganistan when Congress has not declared War?

    December 1, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  232. David Madison

    A tax is a fee for the cost of running the government. Since it takes government to make universal health care happen, it is a tax, no matter how the politicians sugarcoat it. If you exempt one group from paying this tax, then the remaining groups must pay more. Everyone will pay this expensive tax if everyone gets health care.

    David Madison in Royersford, Pennsylvania

    December 1, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  233. Soldier


    I am a soldier and I just returned from Afghanistan over a month ago. I do agree with the troop surge of 30K troops. But I don't agree with those who think that President Obama has taken too long to make his decision. I don't think that they understand how complex the region really is. President Obama did the right thing by taking the time to understand the challenges of Afghanistan vs Iraq. He also appreciates his decision will have a long lasting affect on the families of those troops preparing to deploy into a dangerous part of the world. War is a dangerous business and should not be taken lightly. Especially when the lives of American troops are involved.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  234. Dave Nicheols

    Instead of requiring all Americans to have insurance why doesn't the government expand the government clinics currently available to the needy. These clinics provide health and dental benefits at a bare minimum to anyone who wants to go to them. The government could provide doctors, nurses, etc from the pool of college graduates who borrowed government money to pay for their education. They could provide their services one day per week to pay back the loan which would also help to reduce the healthcare costs.

    Dave N from Louisville, KY

    December 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm |