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December 22nd, 2009
07:50 AM ET

Got Health Care Questions?

Post them here. We’ll answer as many as we can on the air this week.

Filed under: Fredricka Whitfield • Heidi Collins
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. Vernon

    How can Dems cut almost $500 million in Medicare without hurting Medicare Recipients? ANSWER: They can't. They are simply lying.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  2. Jackie Schneider

    How will this health care bill help families like mine, who don't have and can not afford to buy health insurance at this time?

    We have been hit hard by the economy in Michigan. My husband is in school for retraining, ironically for heatlh care. Surgical Tech and nursing.

    December 22, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  3. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Do the children of illeagle imigrants without citizen ship qualify for medicade . And who pays for emergency room visits for same.

    December 22, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  4. Steve Roadcap

    As a Veteran myself of two branches I would like to point out that one of our greatest Generals of the last century; George S Patton, pointed out that: no soldier ever won a war by dying for his country but rather he accomplished victory by forcing the other soldier to die for his country.

    Bearing this in mind those that intentionally do something to remove themselves or contribute to another being removed from the fight before they otherwise should have I can not disagree with this general's actions here. I also think that any reasonable person would agree as well.

    December 22, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  5. Ric Sandler

    It never ceases to amaze me that many of the people who are against positive change for the working poor ARE the middle class- the ones who these new policies are meant to protect.
    And then, in order to get this change in policy, the ones who support it have to water it down to get it passed so we're back to where we began.
    Yes, I am talking about health insurance and Wall St. regulation.
    There are special places in hell for obstuctionists. who don't want to pay into a system for the greater good.
    And then they go to church.

    December 22, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  6. Maggie Stone

    How does this affect a senior on Medicare. Will we be required to pay 8% of our income for insurance? What about the health benefits from the VA for a veteran who is receiving medical attention?

    December 22, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  7. dawn

    My personal health care costs less than 500.00 a year. I don't want to buy a health care insurance policy that is going to cost much more than that. I just want to pay out of my own pocket for the care that I require. I don't understand what happened to health care REFORM? As in reducing the cost of procedures, ancillary costs and prescription costs, so those of us that can afford to pay for our care can. Isn't this new forcing people to buy health insurance unconstitutional on some level?

    December 22, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  8. Steven Jones

    I am employed by a small company that is made up of sattelite offices so there are 10 of us but in 5 different states. We have to pay for health care as indiviuals and can not qualify as a group. Will this health bill help us as indiviuals? We pay the highest for health care and usually get the lowest in coverage. I currently pay $700.00 per month for a family of three!

    December 22, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  9. James Johnson

    IF I don't have heath care it is because I can't afford it. how is it helping to fine me If I don't keep it or have it. ITS JUST LIKE INSURANCE you must read the fine print

    December 22, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  10. Steve Ferreira

    I have been working for a small business that has less than 20 employees. They have been good enough to offer good health insurance. For economic reasons my wife and I had to relocate and cannot get cobra coverage. Does the new health care law extend cobra coverage for employees of small businesses?

    December 22, 2009 at 9:41 am |
  11. Del Kinell

    I am retired, recieving social security and on medicare. I use the VA as my only health care provider as I am a veteran (no service related disabilities). Will I still be required to have a health care insurance program?

    December 22, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  12. Marilyn Murrell

    My daughter is 26 years old has been sick for the past 2 1/2 years following an operation to have a her gall bladder removed and is now in chronic pain daily and needs a pain pump operation. She did not have insurance when this first happened and is now unemployed. I have tried to get health insurance for her but cannot get her covered due to preexisting conditions and in our state of Florida you can only get Medicare if you have children. Can you tell me how the health bill will help her financially and also will there be a mandatory cap on how much the insurance companies are allowed to charge someone that has a preexisting condition?

    December 22, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  13. R. Edward Osborne

    I am a retiree 63 years of age. Until I reach Medicare age, I currently have health insurance that is part of my retirement package. My employer (who since my retirement has been slashing benefits for current employees) pays a sizable chunk of the premium (about $5,750) and I pay about $2275 annually. I unfortunately have a host of health issues – heart and hypertension, diabetes, apnea.
    If the health bill passes as it is currently structured, would it mean that my employer is no longer obligated to pay a portion of the tab and that I would have to cover the entire premium? How long will this take to implement assuming the bill is signed into law in mid-January? (A longer implementation time would likely allow me to move over to Medicare before any changes would be made to my current arrangement.)

    December 22, 2009 at 10:04 am |
  14. Keith Moulton

    One of the main differences between Clinton and Obama in the campaign was Obama's insistence that his health care plan would not require people to purchase insurance, and yet here we are on the verge of just such a system. I'm generally a big supporter of the President, but signing this bill into law will mean he has broken a key campaign promise. Why do CNN and other media outlets not hold his feet to the fire a little bit?

    December 22, 2009 at 10:17 am |
  15. David

    Clearly, the solution is to do what the ancient Thebans did – their Sacred Band was virtually unbeatable in the field, and they were all gays. Just imagine how an all-gay American military would set the right wingers' hair on fire. It'd be worth the price of admission.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  16. EM

    What people don't realize, it's a manpower problem to replace a pregnant female sailor/marine/soldier in Afghanistan or Iraq. That's why there are rules and regulations in place to protect them or to prevent unforeseen circumstances.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  17. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Im a heart patient and if I die on Christmas then im going to die happy bring on the ham .

    December 22, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  18. Glenn Opfer

    Who pays for the people not willing or able to pay for health insurance? People on aid, part time employed, insividuals that do not work by choice. These include adult children that live with their parents. from age 21 to unlimited. We have a friend who's son and girlfriend live with his parents, are not employed and are forty five years old! Government subsidized. Is'nt this the American tax payers money?

    Thanks, Glenn

    December 22, 2009 at 10:30 am |
  19. LL

    I was in the Navy from 1979 to 1989. My first command was on the USS Yellowstone AD-41 out of Norfolk VA, with a large number of women onboard. We lost most of the women onboard in the first year due to pregnancy. The news media label us the love boat. I have always thought that women getting pregnant in the military were a major no.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  20. Bill Campbell in CA

    Where can I get my hands on a full copy of the bill?

    December 22, 2009 at 10:46 am |
  21. dave

    If I'm unemployed how can I pay for this health care?? What about the homeless? How do you collect health care fees from them?? I know people with health care coverage thru work. But with one hospital stay you end in debt and in the poor house!

    December 22, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  22. Merlyn Strom

    My Question is: how can the US Government tell us that Social Security is insolvent or will be bankrupt very soon and still be able to take 500 billion away from Medicare to support the new National Health Care Program.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  23. Nathan Lair

    I am wondering why the president seems to have stopped caring about this bill being bipartisan. a 60/40 vote is depressing. It is like the republicans are defying the bill simply to defy. Is anyone else concerned about this?

    Also I am very concerned that the public option so suddenly stopped being important, what are the health insurance and drug companies saying to have infliuenced this?

    What specifically will be different about health insurance right now compared to what they will be like after the most likely bill will be passed – I'd like to see this in a before and after explanation table to make it easy to understand.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  24. Ric Sandler

    I would happily pay more taxes to a system that looks out for its people- and take a little less for myself. How about you??

    December 22, 2009 at 10:54 am |
  25. Stan

    It should be punished in the same way that any other voluntary action would, that prevents a soldier from doing his or her duty.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  26. Chris

    Those of you that think this should be hashed out in court as to it's consituionality need to understand something. You give up your Constuitional rights when you join the military and the law that applies to you, as a military member, is the UCMJ, Uniform Code of Military Justice. You are informed of this fact upon enlistment and/or commision.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  27. Ed.Wild

    It amaze me that so many people are against a reform in health care
    which are mostly the middle class in this country.It is sad that most people in this country do not understand what is to reform a broken
    system.Insurance companies due what they please with people;
    they raise cost when is necessary for them and drop you out when they
    feel is necessary for them.I also agree that everybody should have insurance in this country .INSURANCE COST CONTINUE TO GO UP

    December 22, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  28. Johnny

    Hi Betty,
    I would love to be able to read the health care bill myself. How do I go about obtaining a copy of said bill.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  29. Kimberly

    As a third year medical student attending one of the most expensive Universities in the country, I will graduate $300,000 in debt. I have always had a passion to practice medicine that was never fueled by the attractiveness of making money. However, as I continue to advance it is very clear that in order to live comfortably, money is an issue or else I will be indebted forever. My question is, can you please explain how this reform will impact me as a future physician. People who are not in health care do not realize the many years of training and education that doctors undergo. As a resident physician I will make maybe $40,000 for 4-6 years(depending on my residency of choice) after attending 4 years of medical school. It is my understanding that this reform will have a severe impact on my future salary.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  30. John Arnold

    Why do we allow politics to frame the health care debate? Competent, non-political research and assessment indicates that the most cost-effective, efficient system would be not-for-profit and single-payer. Why, then, isn't this the primary story?

    December 22, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  31. Merlyn Strom

    where can I find a copy of the government health plan on the internet.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  32. Diane /Georgia

    I'm so glad the Dems finally did what Americans voted them in office for, but then do the Americans who need Health Care NOW get it, when can they apply for health care and who do they apply with?

    December 22, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  33. Disgruntled EM Doc

    Why has the Obama administration not included anything on Tort Reform in the Bill. Oh yeah, they would have to cut the paychecks of the honorable trial lawyers who entered law solely to help out their fellow citizen.

    Until Tort reform happens, I will continue to order unnecessary tests in the ER. I probably waste over $300,000 a year on CT's I should not have ordered.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  34. Merlyn Strom

    I feel that those Senator's that had to partake in a bride for the Congress to adopt President Obama's Health Care Plan have no conscious and should be relieved from their duties, although I am sure double dealing, evasive persuasion by the President and Senator Reed behind closed doors is an everyday occasion for Washington, D.C. It makes me feel like crap to hear that the President, himself takes those Senator's behind closed doors or calls them to the White House for a persuasive gettogether.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  35. WakeUpStupid

    Politicians need simplify things by giving The People the SAME medical benefits that our tax dollars pay for them and their families to have while many Americans can't even do that for their own families. Where is the equality?

    December 22, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  36. Jay Cannon

    If you are unemployed do you still have to purchase mandatory health care insurance from an insurance company, and if so, who pays for it when you don't have any money because you don't have a job?

    December 22, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  37. Bee Jay

    Do either the House of Senate bills carry restrictions on the cost of the required insurance or will corporate health insurance be able to charge what ever they want for insurance?

    If one can only afford catastrophic health insurance, how are they expected to afford their uninsured non-catastrophic health care needs under these new proposals?

    Please describe the process of working out a compromise between the House and Senate versions of the health care bills. Who is on the committee that creates the compromise? How do they become members of this committee?

    Thank you.

    December 22, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  38. Richard Drehobl

    I retained my health ins. from my previous employer after retiring
    from municipal job. It`s co-pay. Will I be taxed on this with the new
    health care plan? Thank you

    December 22, 2009 at 11:27 am |
  39. marc j. mal

    So-–where do people on disability stand? Pres Obama promised to cancel the two year waiting period to get on Medicare, but we haven't hear anything about this. As it stands, I'm paying a fortune for COBRA, which runs out in a few months, then where can I turn. With a pre-existing condition it's difficult (near impossible) to get insurance, and, even if the new bill passes, nothing will go into effect until 2014. Will we get any benefit?
    Marc, Chicago

    December 22, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  40. Steve

    First off, I live in New York and just out of curiosity got a quote for insurance for a family of 3 through my current provider as if I was uninsured. United Health Care redirected me to another company and for the coverage I currently have, it would have been $3600 a month. This is ridiculous that they think the average person could afford that. Secondly check out and look at the lobbying dollars the health industry has spent since 1998 its has more than doubled. I think politicians should get there mind off their money and do what is right for the people not for industry for a change. The middle class does not have a half of a billion dollars to lobby them in our direction. Just a thought and maybe you can get a politician to answer for that?

    December 22, 2009 at 12:20 pm |
  41. Concerned in Phila

    Why is it that none of the news agencies are telling us what is going to be taken away in the current health care bill? For example, I understand that the Senate is planning on reducing Hospice funding by $8,000,000,000 !

    That's a lot of money for a very good cause, and I was horrified to learn that this money is being taken away, and NO ONE is telling the American public what is going on.

    Come on CNN, start doing your job (please) !!

    December 22, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  42. randy

    Why would you not want medicare for people 55 or even 59. Millions of America's would retire early and open up jobs all over America.Most people have to wait untill 65 or older.Jobs are what we need now,Insurance is what we need, at a price older people can afford now.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  43. Jeff Andrew

    Would unions and retirement plans in NYC be affected by the new definition of the "Cadillac Plans?" Is our type of health insurance considered a "Cadillac Plan?" What about police officers and firefighters? If the city would have to pay more tax for these plans, then there is a chance that they will either decrease benefits, or pass the cost to the employees or retirees. How can we benefit from a health reform that is taking away everything we have fought for over the years? These plans were obtained in lieu of extra pay during contract negotiations. The senate wants to target Wall Street, but it is instead hitting middle class americans who have fought hard for their health insurance. Congress needs to address this. In addition, you should not be penalized for choosing a better plan.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  44. paul

    Do your think you congress men care what you want done??

    December 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  45. Linda Gray

    So many lies have been told I don't know what to believe or not.
    The following questions I need honest answers to.
    Preexisting problems, illegal aliens,cost, mandatory punishment for people who can't afford.

    December 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  46. scott

    Our they even thinking of giving insurance to illegals?The only thing they need is a ticket home.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  47. Merlyn Strom

    I heard a comment concerning LongTerm Care within the National Health Care Plan. Can you emphasize or expand alittle concerning this item.

    December 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  48. patricia thomas

    One thing people need to be aware of is that when a plan is proposed , the amount they pay, generally it's listed as percent, that is a percent of what medicare approves, not what the bill is. And if you have not paid your deductable, it may pay nothing. so keep that in mind when looking at a plan for your self. This is true of insurance plans before you ever reach medicare. In this case the insurance company may have set amounts for procedures and tests. Thank you

    December 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  49. Ella Craig

    Will anything be done about the "doughnut hole" in prescription coverage for seniors?

    December 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  50. Joseph Ball

    Senator Nelson held out for assurances Federal money would not be used to fund abortions.
    He also held out for financial assistance to his native Nebraskans.
    I wonder if he has been outsmarted?
    His vote was critical to reach 60.
    As I understand it, his vote is no longer critical.
    If only 51 votes are necessary to pass final senate bill, his demands could now be simply ignored.
    Has he been outmaneuvered?

    December 22, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  51. Gene Lucas

    With the health care bill being debated, I just wondered if it contained anything about building more hospitals and training more medical personnel? Adding 30 million people to the patient load, many of them very ill, will surely cause the present medical infrastructure to collapse!

    December 22, 2009 at 7:34 pm |
  52. Bob Himell

    We have health care but at what cost. I am fed up with the Republicans for all voting no which is all about politics and I am fed up with the democrats for back room deals. PORK will not go away until we have 1 term politicians. I also agree with the Doctors that we need medical mal practice CAPS which will save insurance companies billions of dollars and lower the mal practice insurance doctors have to pay.
    Why do adults have to wait until 2014 for pre-existing conditions to be removed. What happened to a government option or lowering the age to receive medicare. TOTAL SELL OUT TO APPEASE THE OTHER SIDE. POLITICS ABOVE WHAT'S RIGHT FOR ALL AMERICANS!!!
    Have we set up a committee to lower health care cost that doctors, hospitals, pharmacies etc now waste to the tunes of 100's of billions of dollars. 1)Excess testing to CYA by the doctors. 2) one uniform medical form that everyone uses. 3) A smart health care card that contains everyone's medical data. 4) No one using the emergency room for non emergency treatments. 5) Tort reform. 6) Afford us the same drug costs now available in Canada.

    December 22, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  53. dan dederick

    Will Dental Care be included in the Health Care plan?

    December 22, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  54. M

    We now have to pay for our adult children under our healthcare plan until they are almost thirty years old??? Please tell me I heard that wrong.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:29 am |
  55. David Salverson

    The heath care bill will it or will it not cover illegal's


    December 23, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  56. Corey J. Scruggs, MD

    How will this new bill affect physicians? Are reimbursements for physicians going to decrease, while the insurance companies get to profit off of the new "Mandate" to buy insurance. Also, physicians will have to "pay" twice for this bill because if you income is >250K then you pay higher taxes, and your reimbursements are decreased.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  57. Rob

    What I would like to know is this; If there is such an overall lack of support for this bill from the public, and the Republicans completely, every last one of them, refuse to support this bill, why is it moving forward.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  58. Jerry M.

    I am disabled and on Social Security Disability. I am therefore on Medicare. I have heard much about a closing of the Medicare Part D "doughnut hole". Is this scheduled to happen quickly, and exactly how is this supposed to happen?

    December 23, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  59. Dorothy

    I am making minimum wage, but I have pretty good insurance through my employer, it includes limited dental and optical, low copay. Is this considered cadillac insurance? What is Caddillac Insurance? My husband lost his job. He is covered under my insurance. He is trying to start his own business. Will he be liable to cover employees? He doesn't have any now, but in the future maybe four to six. Is this type of business liable to cover employees.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  60. Brian Strouse

    Does the new health care bill make insurance companys include pre-existing conditions for adults without changing premiums?

    December 23, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  61. Corey J. Scruggs, MD

    What regulations are there on the insurance industry in this bill? There is no public option, therefore no competition, so they will continue to rake in the big profits. The Senate bill is not a good one for the public, nor the physicians who take care of them.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  62. Don Eltringham

    Will the removal of the health care benefit "Cap" also apply to Dental Benefits?

    December 23, 2009 at 9:34 am |
  63. Kenya

    Earlier you mentioned that college students will have extended parental coverage until 26. What about military dependents? The cut-off age is currently 23 and I am a 24 year old pharmacy student that would greatly benefit from an increase as such.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  64. Rob

    One more thing to think about. While I was in the Navy on active duty we were told that we had to participate in Tricare; a government medical/dental insurance. We were all told how great it was, what it would do for us, etc. We didn't have a choice since everyone in the medical field was supporting Desert Shield/Storm. Lots of doctors on board in the beginning, but amazingly after only six months or so, the doctors started to leave the plan for myriad reasons; slow pay, no pay, low pay, etc. Seems the doctors were misinformed as well. Just my 2cents.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  65. ken

    I am a night club owner and employ about 15 works that work any where from 20 -40 hours per week . As an owner will I have to provide insurance for my workers .

    December 23, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  66. Terry

    If the Washington can't regulate the banks after bailing them out and they still are making large bonues then what makes us think that the HHS can make sure Insurance companies don't profit more than 15%. It wont be done.

    To force me to buy insurance from the private companies is like giving Billy the Kid the gun and the keys to the bank and then say now don't you rob us!

    Obama broke his promise to us when he said change.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  67. George Shamis

    Healthcare question.

    If Obamacare passes (whatever version), will all individual taxpayer have a tax increase in 2010 to start paying for this thing? Doesn't sound like it goes with Obama's promise to hold taxes for incomes of $250,000 or less. Well?

    December 23, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  68. Al

    What is going to be done for the adults between the age 27-55 that dont have any health care. and cant afford the cost of health.

    The weaver is a good idea but it still leaves a large part of the country uninsured because 8% of nothing is nothing, They may not have to pay a fine but what about their health care.

    All that they are doing is good but it seems that the idea of coverage for is nothing moe then a empty campain promises.

    December 23, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  69. bozena

    I'm unemployed , no benefits, taking care of an out of school 19 year old son with a mental condition. If i manage to go back to work would he be covered by my employer health insurance plan? Until what age?What's the difference between now and after the bill becomes a law? Also what's the time frame the changes would take place?


    December 23, 2009 at 10:11 am |
  70. Ray Graffin

    Health care reform is needed and must be done. But, what is with all of the deal making? It is like the mob asking for protection money or jury tampering. Lets make good legislation for the american people, no deals, no special projects. President Obama, you told us you were going to stop this kind of backroom deal making. Here is a deal for you, in order for our senator from NH to vote in favor of the Health care bill, we the people of Keene,NH want all of our mortgages paid for or we will not vote for our senator again. Silly huh? Here's your sign.

    December 23, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  71. Grant from Winnipeg

    Making people face fines if they don/t have insurance is a cash grab by insurance companies. Whoever put in this clause is paid off.

    December 23, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  72. rebecca buller

    what to expect if you are a retired State employee with Group insurance..with hospitalization and drug medication coverage would tha then be determined by individual states or would it be an overall decision...

    December 23, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  73. Larry Hoffman

    When, will "anyone" on T.V. tell America the truth about the "Health Care Bill"? It does not yet exist! Will someone please explain to the American Public that the House Bill and the Senate Bill, need to be worked through a joint Senate/House Committee; made into one bill, approved by both Houses, and then sent to to President. We will be lucky to see a health care bill before the 4th of July 2010.
    P.S. I am a 68 yr old registered Rebublican, and I still have no idea of what a Repblican health care proposal looks or sounds like. All I hear from my party is No, No, Bad, Terrible, but not CONSTRUCTIVE word or idea do I get from the Rebublican leaders. They are all to damm bust "PANDERING" to the lowest common denomenator they can find. Get on the ball Republicans, or it's more than just my vote you are about to lose.

    December 23, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  74. Heather

    Any chance that the Senators and Congressmen will give up their government health care package and take the same health care package that they are spending so much time making for the rest of us? Follow-up question...
    Do you think there would be better health care policy for the rest of us if they were using the same health care they are constructing for us?

    December 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  75. Heather

    Health Care single payer works in Canada, it's not perfect but Health Care in the U.S. is a tragedy for all ages so why all the resistance to change of the health care system? What is happening in the U.S. that we are so afraid and fearful of trying something and tweaking it as necessary?

    December 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  76. R. Weichel

    I'm what they call an undesirable unemployed here in N.C. cause of a felony and other issues in my past and nobody will give a chance, so my ? is: I can't now or in the past afford Health Insurance, so what does this plan the Democrats are pushing through Congress mean for me and will I be fined in the future if I can't get insurance?

    December 23, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  77. Bob Himell

    The president, the senators and the congressman have passed a bill that will insure millions of people and they want us to be appeased that so many are being helped and not be selfish. I should not not ask what's in it for me but then I remember all the greedy politicians that want to know what's in it for me and my state and it poisons the well. Why shouldn't we ask if it will benefit me. We need to think hard about who we vote for and go beyond our state boundaries if we really care and want to help all Americans. Think Independent political party.

    December 23, 2009 at 7:41 pm |
  78. Kimberly

    I am a family physician and have been affected tremendously by the current healthcare crises. As a medical student, my dream was to "help people" but twelve years later I am sad to realize that this desire came with huge sacrifices. Not only am I in debt more than $100,000 but now, my daughter, a college graduate is also in debt over $60,000 because of my inability to pay all of her college tuition. Primary care is one of the toughest areas of medicine with little financial reward and many restrictions due to insurance companies. Because of these restrictions it is virtually impossible to maintain a successful private practice as with medical specialties. Although medicine for me was not a way to get rich I never expected to be under such tremendous financial strain. I have also sacrificed tremendous amount of time away from my family and friends and unfortunately would not recommend primary care to anyone. Many people assume that all doctors are rich but have no idea that there are so many professions, including some that don't require college degrees, that pay much more than primary care salaries.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  79. Vernon

    How can Dems/Obama promise to cut over $400B in Medicare without harming the People?

    December 24, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  80. Garry

    I've heard nothing in the health care plan about controlling the liability and legal costs. I believe the primary reason our health system broke in the first place is due to the outragiously high medical law suite payouts over the years. When doctors and drug manufacturers have to pay out millions in legal insurance fees, is there any doubt why health care is so expensive? We need to create caps on law suite payouts, lawyer fees, and liability insurance. Of course asking lawyers to police themselves is medicine none of them will want to swallow...

    December 24, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  81. Donna

    Republican issues:

    Q - Republicans say "Americans overwhelmingly don't want this!" Has anyone done a poll to determine who is against Health Care Reform, e.g. people who are already insured?

    Q - Republicans are indicating that they had no part in Health Care Reform. What is actually the truth? What has been compromised in their favor? What would some of them say could be improved?

    December 24, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  82. pat harrison

    we no longer live in a Democracy but an OLIGARCHY when a Senator says he doesn't represent his constituents but what he thinks is best for the USA.

    December 24, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  83. Bob Himell

    the rich,powerful politicians have always run the country. Throw in the insurance and pharmaceutical giants and there is your Oligarchy. that is why the government option is such an interesting factor in the heathcare bill. Its is like asking the police to police themselves but I think it is necessary as a buffer. Kimberly, you stated you were tired of the insurance companies restrictions, they are greedy and need competition, where do you propose we find competition?
    Merry Christmas to everyone :>)

    December 25, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  84. Ray Graffin

    In my opinion we should scrap this health plan that is currently in front of us and start over. Each party write up a health plan in 30 days or less and not show it to the other party until both are done. Then have neutral party combing the areas of agreement and then one at a time talk about and work out a comprise for the areas of disagreement. NO special projects, NO deals. The US is made up of democrats and republicans and this reform should be a project of both parties. What is right for one state is right for all states.

    December 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  85. Bob Himell

    Why doesn't Heidi Jump in and get a discourse going on CNN!!??
    I don't think the Republicans are correct that the public does not want reform. We want something that helps those that need it and does not negatively affect those that have it. As far as the money surplus over 10 years, there is an assumption that we will save money within the health care industry that will more than pay for this bill. I strongly believe that is possible if we all work together on a partisan basis. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  86. tom harmon

    if the comments are question how are the comments answered?

    December 28, 2009 at 11:07 am |
  87. Marty

    Why do I, as an adult, have to wait until 2014 for the pre-existing conditions provision of the Health-Care Bill to go into effect?

    The FTC gave broadcasters only a few months to comply with the no-loud commerical clause.

    Why do the Insurance companies get such favorable terms?

    December 29, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  88. Bob Himell

    Many people do not understand the Golden Rule. Those with the Gold, Rule. How many people will die between 2010 and 2014 because of pre-existing conditions. Also remember that not one Republican voted for health care reform.
    Many people want to scrap this bill and start over. We have started over for 30+ years and have a miserable health system unless you work for the government or an elected politician or stuck in a job that you are forced to keep for benefits.
    Lets start this bill and revamp it by electing politicians that care more for the people(Americans from all 50 states) than Pork and Good ole Boy Politics as usual. I know, good luck finding such people that have learned to bypass Greed. Everyone needs to leave their political party and become an independent voter!!!!!!
    Happy New Year

    December 29, 2009 at 10:38 am |
  89. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras

    The terrible thing is that the Congress and politicians not only want adults to wait until 2014 but to sacrifice ourselves even more for the sake of the country. How many pre-existing conditions patients had to make that sacrifice for the convenience of an administration and now the Congress? How much do we have to sacrifice ourselves for the Health-Care Bill to go into effect? Why do the Insurance companies get such favorable terms?

    December 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  90. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    In the end, the ultimate equalizer will be the USA economy to all as it has happen in Puerto Rico. What do we do then? How bad things are going to get? How many sacrifices are we talking about? The previous economic disaster will not compare to anything already seen. The flourish of the economy was never used for those citizens in need. The Free Enterprise was the agenda all the time and greed was the objective. What is going to happen? Today greed is affecting the field of research for conditions as MS. How bad things are going to get?

    December 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm |