May 11th, 2009
09:48 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Health care reform, Cheney still in the spotlight

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Jill Billante
AC360° Senior Producer

Good Morning everyone. There’s quite a bit cooking this Monday morning, so let’s get started.

The president will be talking about health care reform today. During the campaign, of course, the president talked about providing health care for everyone in the United States. Health care reform was to be a top priority for his administration.

The cost of his grand plan seems to be the biggest stumbling block. The 10-year plan would save American families $2,500 in the fifth year and 2 trillion dollars over 10 years for the nation.

Interestingly enough, industry representatives and a labor union are behind this plan. Should industry groups be writing health care reform legislation?

What do you think about health care reform in this country?

Elsewhere in Washington, former VP Dick Cheney manages to stay in the spotlight. He says now that he would follow Rush Limbaugh instead of Colin Powell as GOP leader. Not much of a surprise there considering the alleged bad blood between the two, but it does give us another look inside a GOP party in disarray. The DNC has taken this opportunity to launch a new ad campaign slamming the Republicans.

What was that promise about bringing bipartisanship back to Washington? Seems not everyone got the message.

And, this week the Senate is set to vote on a credit card bill of rights and the president is set to hold a town hall on the topic this Thursday. Joe Johns is planning to dig into credit cards for us tonight. He’ll be keeping them honest. Credit card companies received bailout money from the very people they still charge with outrageous fees and interest rates. Some say the interest rates they charge are tantamount to loan-sharking. We’ll have that tonight as well.

Filed under: Jill Billante • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Lamp

    AC360: Why didn't you comment on the part of Cheney's Face The Nation interview where Cheney admitted passing along the enhanced torture (water boarding) order, signed by President Bush. It was an admission that both Bush and Cheney encouraged and ordered troops to commit war crimes.


    May 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  2. Marceline

    I think we can all agree that this country needs health care reform. Taxes being raised in this country is an inevitability. It's going to happen and there is nothing that will ever stop that. It's what the tax revenues are used for is of more concern to me. Rather they be used to improve the quality of life in this country for the middle-class and low income citizens, then it be used to continually benefit those who have no need. I agree free-health care is not entirely free, but everyone who lives in this country should be entitled to health care in some form and I respect the President's recognition of that and him taking some initiative to address it. Even though I am skeptical about how much this will cost, sometimes the outcome of a thing outweighs the cost, and I believe our President has weighed that in his mind when putting forth his idea or plan for health care reform. I don't believe that the industry leaders should have any input on health care reform legislation. They would have the most to gain if they had any say so, and that is not the way to go.

    As for Dick Cheney....I have always thought him to be an untrustworthy person. As much as I tried during this Vice Presidency to find something that gave me confidence in him, I could never find it. I always felt like he had a secret agenda and that he was just using his position to benefit himself and not the American people.

    Lastly, what do I say about credit cards...they are thieves!!!! Credit has become a necessary evil nowadays, which I find to be disconcerting, and because of this credit card companies are consistantly taking advantage of the average consumer to benefit their bottom line.

    May 11, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  3. ronvan

    c,ca.: I couldn't agree with you more. These idiot republicans are in total disaray, confused, and have NO ONE with any sense. I have not heard one of them stand up to this Limburger idiot!

    May 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  4. Larry

    Regarding Credit Cards; that should be an area for Biden since he is cosy with the country's largest credit card company MBNA.

    May 11, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  5. Larry

    He said he would provide those of us that cannot get health coverage with the same plan he was getting as a U.S. Senator; what happened with that?

    May 11, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  6. Lesley Anne

    I'm disappointed by the news that the makers of wealth-for-themselves known as the for profit private sector health care folks have been making promises that the Obama administration is actually listening to. This is a ploy for sure. They realize that attacking him full on would be death considering the mood of the country, that voters having no problems throwing tea parties at such ideas, so they come up with a palatable plan for them to stay in the game. The only way to really reform the health care system is to institute a public plan as an alternative, to go along with private plans that are already in existence, and give voters a choice. Private plans will be forced to revamp their costs, only we won't have to keep track of it because it they don't, they're out of business. That's the best way to keep them honest and bring down the costs for private insurers, to make it necesary for them to continue to operate, not by making it voluntary. Obama is passing up a huge opportunity to really do something right for the American public and I will be outraged if he takes the public health care plan off the table.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  7. David, Indiana

    Republicans and Democrats will work together when they get into this. Its too complicated and important an issue, but I hope Republicans can calm down. It's not good to see them fighting. Democrats who are enjoying it are showing their lack of principle. I would urge Republicans to take a step back and a deep breath. To President Obama's credit he has made it a point to give credit to the Bush admin for various initiatives. This should give merciless critics of the Bush admin and Republicans pause.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  8. Michael C. McHugh

    If Limbaugh has any power, it's mainly over the Republican Base, especially in the South. That Base is all they have left right now. Anyway, they haven't been able to score many points off Obama yet, although they certainly attack him every day. Basically, they just pick one or two issues a day and then attack in unison, even if they have nothing of substance to say. This is going to backfire on them very badly, for many people are just getting sick of hearing from them and their automatic attacks.

    If Obama said "a,b,c" they'd accuse him of vilifying the alphabet.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  9. Tim

    Been watching the Michael Moore movie "Sicko" and it shows what is really important to the Health Care industry. It seems like a "savings" to health care costs is more beneficial to an outright overhaul of the system to match what France has. It is too bad for us that this country treats its taxpayers with so disregard.

    May 11, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  10. Susan


    Any kind of healthcare reform MUST include tort reform. Malpractice insurance rates for many doc's is very expensive. Tests are sometimes duplicated as no stone can be left unturned.

    I am not going to hold my breath for this kind of reform. The trial lawyers lobby gives a lot of money to our Congress to keep things the way that they are. Congress is also stocked with many attorneys who will be voting on this large piece of important legislation.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  11. D in Missouri

    As long as everyone in Congress has their own special insurance and does not have to deal with the healthcare system the rest of the United States has, no reform will ever happen. It is amazing how soon they forget what getting healthcare insurance is like once they are on the gravy train. I applaud the Pres for trying, but if he really wants to make it happen, he needs to cancel the current policy of every member in Congress and give them the 1-800 number for any insurance company in the US-any company! My bet is that they cannot afford, will have pre-existing conditions that limit their coverage or afamily member's coverage, or will have to ask their favorite lobbiest to secure it for them..at a reasonable rate of course.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  12. c,ca

    I am beginning to think that Rush Limbaugh must have a "file" on all Republicans. Why are they so afraid of this guy? Even Darth Cheney is afraid of him. Does he have some info on each of them that he can threaten to make public? He's a radio shock jock like Howard Stern or Don Imus – nothing more.

    Maybe his listeners are big campaign contributors – but they don't make up a huge voting block. Why do Repubs all have to apologize to Rush if they say something he doesn't like?

    They try to be the "Tough on Terrorists'" guys but they can't even stand up to a radio dj. Weak.

    May 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  13. Melissa

    The very last thing we should be doing is giving the Health Care thieves the ability to write the legislation. They will just find new and sneaky ways to increase the cost without violating the legislation.

    Cheyney is a danger to this entire world and he's totally irrelevant. The man would blow up the world if he could. Its not like its a surprise. We all knew this years ago.

    I can't wait to see what happens with the credit cards. I hope its going to put some legislation in that will stop the thieving credit card companies from robbing you blind.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  14. Jamie

    I find it alarming that private healthcare industry is behind the plan. To me that says it is not progressive enough. We should not pacify the industry that has been controlling healthcare like some sort of mafia for decades.

    May 11, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  15. earle,florida

    Yes,to all inclusive industry,and unions getting involved. Their feedback,and intrinsic data is invaluable for a complex program of such large proportion,and difficult transistion to (or even get off the ground,and become a reality) actually work. Labor is the backbone of private healthcare,and industry is the enabler that makes it work. This is where lobbyist earn their money,and the system works.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  16. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    Good Morning Jill

    How can credit card comapnies recieve bailout money?They are the ones stealing money our own money when we make purchases .I think they should let the banks fail without giving them another cent they are the ones resposible for this economic crisis .It's corperation greed The fees charged with debit cards and withdrwaling your own money is riciulous .The healthcare plan has to be revised i would like it to be provided to everyone and they shouldn' have to pay out of thier own pockets the cost of mecdine depesing is hurting as well .

    On that note
    Happy Monday !

    Michelle DE.

    May 11, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  17. Cindy

    Obama's health care reform is a joke. There is never anything given for free. We will pay for it one way or the other. If free health care is so great then why do a lot of Canadians come to the US for care instead of using their free system? And why do a lot of Canadians opt to have private insurance that they have to pay for instead of getting it free? And BTW their care isn't free they pay very high taxes. Which mark my word we will end up doing also if this is passed. But hey..Obama stacked the deck by getting the 60 votes he needs to pass anything with out the Reps help and we'll end up with a sucky healthcare system and then I guess every one will be oh so happy!


    May 11, 2009 at 9:57 am |