July 20th, 2009
05:48 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Health care battle

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/20/health.reform/art.obama.healthcare.presser.afp.gi.jpg caption="President Obama and Republican leaders traded attacks on Monday over health care reform."]
Jacob Smilovitz
AC360° Intern

Tonight, as Democrats and Republicans battle over health care reform, we dig deeper to find out what it all really means for you.

President Obama today tried to stand his ground in the face of a mounting onslaught of GOP attacks. And, in hopes of galvanizing his base, the president even returned to some of his campaign rhetoric.

"This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses and breaking America's economy,” the president said today in Washington. “And we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time, not now."

But on the other side, Republican leaders see their opportunity and are going on the offensive – with one GOP senator even declaring this Pres. Obama’s “Waterloo” moment.

RNC Chaiman Michael Steele lambasted Obama’s plan calling it a “dangerous experiment” that the country “cannot afford.”

The mounting storm over health care has battered President Obama’s once sky-high poll numbers. A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released today shows approval for Mr. Obama’s handling of health care has slipped 4 percentage points from last month and 9 points from April.

Is this just another case of partisan gridlock? Or do the republicans have legitimate concerns over health care reform?

We’ll discuss both the politics and the policy with Senior Political Analyst David Gergen and CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta.

Also on our radar, authorities are hinting at a new motive in the shocking double murder of Byrd and Melanie Billings, the Florida couple known for adopting special needs children. Sheriff David Morgan will join us once again tonight with all of the latest developments.

And discrimination in the waiting room? Some allege that America’s health care system is racist. 360° M.D. Sanjay Gupta talks with a man who went to the ER suffering from an infected paper cut. Wait till you see what he went through. We’re keeping them honest.

All of that, plus the latest in the fallout from Michael Jackson’s death and is Paula Abdul really done with American Idol? AC360° tonight at 10p ET.

Filed under: 360° Radar • The Buzz
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Gloria

    It's sad that the people we send to Washington to work for us forget all about why they are there. Personally I think they should have term limits. If they weren't so concerned about getting re-elected maybe then they would focus on the needs of the people. The "Waterloo" comments from the Republican Senator proves it's not about the people. If the Democrats stand by with the power they have now and let the Republicans hoodwink them into not passing healthcare. WOW!! Democrats this is your time, this is your moment.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:38 pm |
  2. Gracie

    Can we see some positive coverage from Ireland, Canada, etc. I've been to both and you will find people happy with their health coverage. Why aren't we really looking at what is happening in the US? Companies are dropping insurance coverage for their employees, insurances are denying coverage AND are really running our lives or in some places ruining our lives. This should not be about politices – Republicans vs. Democrates, BUT about us,..We the People. Why should my son have to choose heart meds or food for his family? Why should we have to raise millions of dollars for cancer research, Autism etc.? Where is our Government? Read "In Defense of Food" and than decide how we are doing.....as truth in Health....

    July 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  3. Crystal

    Our Country should provide equal health care for the people, Universal health care is the best way to go. I hope that President Obama health care reform passes. Everybody should be entitled to equal health care. Their should be a health system for everyone to have access to. If people are concerned about waiting lists, then there should be profit health companies that can help them for additional services.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm |
  4. nancy

    Insurance & Drug companies are the ones fighting this so hard.... they're the ones doing all the advertising against it and have handsomely paid the politicians we hear saying we don't need it... wake up people! We need to take healthcare out of their greedy grubby hands and fix it immediately!

    July 20, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  5. John Mancini

    An quick solution to the nation’s healthcare crisis would happen if the members of the Senate and the Congress were in jeopardy of losing their own government paid healthcare and were forced to buy health insurance just like the rest of us. They would be able to come up with a workable plan right away!

    President Obama says he wants transparency in government. Why not publish the Senators’ benefit plan, its cost to the taxpayers and what portion if any is actually paid for by the Politian’s.

    I worked for a major insurance company for over 35 years before retiring. I had to work for 30 years just to have my employer continue their share of my healthcare costs. I still pay a significant portion of it. I believe they receive the benefits for life once they complete only one term. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all have that luxury?

    July 20, 2009 at 11:25 pm |
  6. Peggy H

    Any member of Congress that does not support Healthcare Reform with a Public Option is, in my mind, in the pocket(s) of healthcare lobbyists. What is so bad about a public option? As in: US Postal Service, Fed Ex, UPS......these lobbyists are pumping $1.5 Million per DAY into DC......where do you think that money is going? Fancy parties, vacation excursions, etc., for the members of Congress and their staffs.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  7. Chris Bumgarner

    I don't understand why we aren't looking to the insurance, pharmaceutical companies and the lawyers that are directly responsible for the ridiculously high costs of health care! The politicians won't go after them because they won't "eat" their own. It is time we get their greedy hands out of health care and make it what it used to be- the best health care money can buy. It does not need to be offered to illegal aliens, or crooks filing for phony claims with medicare. It taxes a system that has always worked very well and one that is often admired by the rest of the world who do not have access to it. Lawyers and lawsuits have ruined it. The insurance companies are in on it too because they have no reason to allow certain people to take advantage of the system and sue hard working and honest people for whatever they and their lawyers can get out of it. They are all guilty as sin and filthy rich from the system as is. So why isn't anyone looking at them to help resolve these problems? You know but nobody has the guts to bite the hand that feeds them! It is ludicrous to try and fix something so twisted and perverted because it will always be that way as long as we allow it to happen! It will certainly destroy what is left of a health care system that is admired by all that don't have it. We are about to lose it and so many more will suffer than they are now. I am self employed and have always provided my employees 100% of their health insurance. It is getting harder and harder with the rising costs. But that is due to greed and a system that has been taken advantage of by people who do not care about our health at all! Money, money, money! that is all they care about. Think about it!

    July 20, 2009 at 11:22 pm |
  8. Bart

    If it passes it will be a disaster. It has been thrown together by a bunch of people with no business experience. Just like the stimulus they are rushing it through and it will fail. The only real way to do it is for each person to pay day to day medical care and maintain a catosrophic policy to pay for the major stuff and then require everyone to buy it. Just like care insurance. Then there would be a pool of money for the critically ill. Americans may also begin to think twice before they order a double whopper with cheese and drive up their blood pressure.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  9. ron richardson

    Sorry, I meant to say "We do not pay" for all the profit making work that you pay for.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  10. Andrew

    Not every Canadian loves the Canadian health care system. Imagine that,. There are plusses to our system – everyone is covered. One major downside, we have far higher taxes than Americans. While we have some very good health care providers here, we do not attract the best andthe brightest physicians. I cannot say "most Canadians" would go to the U.S. if they needed specialized care, because I cannot speak for "most Canadians" but I know so very many who would. I would, if I required the care.

    One thing I think is true – we have a healthier population in terms of obesity. I don't know why. I don't think it's the healthcare system, but I really don't know why it is that we seem to be less fat than Americans. This is not a slight – my intention is to point out that American Insurance companies are late to the game on covering preventative health measures that would assist your population in requiring less medication and less physician care, overall.

    I can say this... I'm one Canadian who finds your government's treatment of "the rich" quite disheartening. Being "rich" is not an evil thing...in fact quite the contrary. It seems to me that "the rich" are often responsible for so many of your private sector jobs. Ratcheting up their taxes to pay for the Universal Health Coverage is not the answer. Cutting wasteful spending should be priorty number one.

    All in all, I would bet that Universal Health Care is on its way to America. How you pay for it is the fight that will ultimately end up messing up the entire gig.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  11. ron richardson

    Of course health care in Canada is not free, we pay it through our taxes; but we pay much less than you folks in the US (per capita) do because we do have to pay for all of those health care managers, CEOs, and the bureaucracy you pay for, and their primary concern is profit, not health.

    I have had three friends with life threatening illnesses (heart and cancer) in the last year, and they got immediate care, and they paid nothing more than what they pay through their taxes.

    The only waiting lists are for some optional operations, and these lists are getting shorter.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  12. Sabrina In Las Vegas

    Big messes take time to resolve, it doesn't solve itself easily.

    We need to focus on education and prevention not bandaging and repairing after the fact.

    patients have to be responsible for their health.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  13. Lou

    my wife and I are retired and have medicare, we have as our supplement, Blue Cross, Blue Shield. blue cross keeps saying they are thinking of us and our medical benefits, but they keep raising the premium costs. the cost is getting so high that we have to cut the living expenses that we have. please put a freeze on premium costs so that we don't have to give up some of our food costs to be able to keep our medical plans thank you, Lou

    July 20, 2009 at 11:01 pm |
  14. Michael A Phelps

    The time has arrived to close the gap in healthcare. Park your politics and do the right thing. "READ MY LIPS". Now is the time!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  15. William

    Why not focus on what works? There are plenty of us in the heartland who appreciate the care we receive, we pay for, and we participate in. Not expect, demand, or manipulate for secondary gain. The media and Congress should understand or remember that many with resources choose not to have insurance. It amazes me that our country would force a healthy person to pay for insurance but allow an unintelligent person to ride a motorcycle without a helmet, allow a smoker to utilize resources for smoking related illness, or pay for repeat teen pregnancy in individuals who refuse to share the cost or participate in there health care.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  16. Ann-Virginia

    I am so sick of all the the lies,ads on t.v. that misinform,ridiculous comments from Republican congressmen & senators.Obama isn't proposing that the govt.take over healthcare,he simply wants to offer the option to those who cannot pay outrageous ins.&hc costs.As for the bs coming from the right that it will run pvt.ins.cos.out of business,well,that's just not so.Medicare is a govt.run hc plan for older Americans who can't afford major medical ins.& I didn't see any ins.cos.fold when medicare came about.All those so misinformed about the Canadian hc system,should have seen Rick Sanchezs show today on CNN.Maybe all you naysayers need to be more informed with the truth instead of crap the right wants you to believe,like that ridiculous DeMitt made today.It's about a serious subject of hc,not politics as rep.are trying to make it about.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  17. Heather

    As a Canadian citizen I can honestly say I would never ever give up the health care we receive in this country. Contrary to what is being said about Canadian health care I can assure you it is a great system.
    The horror stories, being spread by paid advertisements are just that.
    I have always received excellent health care without having to pay any additional costs or going into debt.
    Quite frankly I cannot believe that American citizens do not yet have the same medical coverage & privledges as Canadians. I think it is beyond sad that people must liquidate their life savings/assets and face financial ruin to receive medical treatment in the US. Things are bad enough for the average person.
    Thank goodness your current President has the courage to stand up for the things that will positively impact the lives of real people.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:56 pm |
  18. Jackie Robinson

    As a Canadian (who is healthy, & who has 2 family doctors), I can tell you I sit here and get very aggravated about some of the false statements re: Canadian Healthcare made on this website and on CNN.

    I can call my Doctor and get an appointment the same day if I'm sick. I can PICK & CHOOSE which doctor that will treat me. I can get second opinions. Canada is a very large & vast country and sure, specialists are not available in every small town and may have to wait longer for treatment but I can tell you this, I have never had to suffer due to illness, I have never had to wait for months to be treated..yes, you may have to wait a few hours to be treated in a hospital for a cold (in that case, we do have smaller clinics for less life threatening illness).

    My elderly mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and got treated within two weeks with surgery and radiation. What is wrong with that?? BTW, she is now cancer free. 🙂

    I can go on with similar stories re: family members/friends who have received excellent care.

    A proud Canadian.
    Don't take away my free health care! 🙂

    July 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  19. Mike Wilhoyte

    An interesting question for discussion that I would like to see addressed is:

    How does a private health care system and a governement sponsored (public) system co-exist?

    The current system is comprised of a private system with the incentive of making a profit and a governement sponsored system, i.e., Medicare and Medicaid with the incentive of providing safety nets for those who are either too old or too poor to qualify for a private plan respectively. The issue is there is a divide that exists between these two systems leaving millions uninsured.

    A key goal of Obama's plan amounts to extending a government sponsored program to absorb those who are currently uninsured. It seems to me that insurance companies will have more incentive to deny claims and to deny coverage to people who must then turn to the government sponsored program. Thus in the limit, the governement ends up with the old and the sick, and the insurance companies end up with the young and the healthy and make more money than before.

    It seems to me that these two systems will always be in conflict. If they are to co-exist, a clear system of regulation with teeth backed by enforcement needs to be in place (I don't see that happening anytime soon).

    Food for thought....

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  20. george

    To make healthcare more affordable you first have to contain the costs. The initial step in cost containment is a universal medical record for everyone that is accessible by hospitals and providers. At the very least, this will help cut costs by by preventing duplication of costly tests previously and recently performed. Such a system is already in place at all VA hospitals in the USA.
    Contain prescription drug costs. Bulk purchase by existing Medicare/medicaid of standard "formulary" medications according to current treatment guidelines. As we all know, buying in bulk saves money, in this case the savings are passed on to the medicare/medicaid population.
    Emphasis on primary and preventive care. From the physicians' perspective incentive should be present to pursue primary care as a profession. The more people seek and comply with primary and preventive care, the less specialized (and costly) care they will require later in life.
    AFAIK, President Obama's plan will be financed by cutting medical provider reimbursement, and increasing taxes on those making over 350k (many of which are again doctors). This will result in medical practices closing, and employees losing their jobs. As private Medical practices close, testing and medical care will fall to hospital emergency rooms and clinics. Do you see the lines forming?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  21. lampe

    Ken: I only hope that if thing does pass,that if there are any problems, that The Democrats, will stand behind Obama and support him, not throw his Butt under the Bus. Because you do know, if this fails, and The Republicans did not sign on for this, it will be The Democrats that go down in History, and not the way you want them to.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  22. Sheila

    I am worried about this health care reform. What happens to us seniors when we do not have medicare and our social security payments that we count on to help us live on.? I am also a widow, so I worry alot about this. Thankks John. You do a nice job for Anderson Cooper while he is off. Can someone answer my question?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  23. Dr.Michael.R

    It appears that Dr.Gupta had been out clinical practice for a while based on his statement " Doctors who are ordering too many tests to line their pockets"
    If order a MRI on a patient at the hospital, it is the Hospital who performs the test and the radiologist that interprets the tset are making the money.NOT ME.(lining my pocket).
    Doctors order too many defensive tests for one the only reason i.e. to protect themselves againt Medical Malpractice suits.If you reform the Tort law to-day, medical waste will decrease by two thirds by to-morrow.
    Listen to this President Obama." Health Reforms in the US will never be carried out without first Malpractice Reforms.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  24. travelingthecountry

    Most of us do not want this thrown down our throats. For those of you who think it is a great idea talk to our good neighbors in Canada. This is NOT a solution – and we will suffer more if 'they' make us to this. Many in Canada will tell you it is NOT free and it comes with waiting or months to get operations that should have been done yesterday. When are the people of this country going to realize that nothing is free? Some one ha to pay for it and it is always those of us who work hard for money while there are those that sit on their sorry butts and expect to be taken are of y the rest of us.

    TravelingLady and most disgusted with Congress than I have ever been

    July 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  25. makeda sanders

    I think those in congress should spend a year walking in the shoes of the middle class as well as those who are living from hand to mouth and see how they survive. I think some members of congress need to realize not all americans have golden parachutes and silver spoons. get single payer health care passed.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  26. Annie

    OH, PUH-LEEZE, with a per capita expenditure of $8000 on health care, there are plenty of dollars in the mix to care for everyone without one new penny added. Every other first world country cares for everyone with less per capita!

    To do it, though, we'll have to deal out the people who contribute nothing - insurance companies. They have an admin cost of nearly 35%, when Medicare has a cost of 4%. That "admin cost" goes to line the pockets of the management. Fortune.com reported that the former head of United Health Care made $3.5 Billion dollars in five years. That B as in Billion. That's enough to pay for the health care of 100,000 Americans for 5 years - including cosmetic surgery!

    We will also have to rein in the drug companies. Just by stopping direct to consumer advertising ("Call your doctor about ...) will decrease drug costs by 20%! If we demand that doctors learn about drugs from unbiased sources (The Medical Letter, for example), instead of drug companies wining and dining them, that will lower drug costs. Some medical device manufacturers send orthopedists on all expense paid vacations to "learn" about their devices.

    We can deliver care to all with the dollars we have, we shall just have to have the will to tell the people who suck from the system to take a hike.

    Maybe the answer is one huge Mutual insurance company, where management is there simply to see that the bills are paid, not to live like maharajahs in the process.

    People can make a decent living off human suffering, but it is immoral to feed one's greed off of it.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  27. Jon Wimberly

    How come we don't hear about how this will affect those of us who paid Medicare premiums for over 40 years expecting, it plus medigap insurance to take care of our medical bills? As I understand it, Medicare will cease to exist, & who knows what will happen to us.
    With Government running a car company, financial system, & now health system, what constitutes Socialism?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  28. sandy

    People are scared to go to the hospital in the U.S because of the bill they might have after. It's time for a change, we need it.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  29. Patricia

    Serious reform is needed but not a complete dismantling of the system. Congress needs to concentrate on costs that are rising everyday on meds and CT scans and MRI's, etc. Costs are out of control and the insurance companies are taking advantage of everyone. We absolutely should not be paying for healthcare for illegal aliens. This illegal immigrant issue needs to be dealt with now. I also want to read the health bill online as President Obama promised. I have cancer and I want to know how this is going to impact my future care, doctors and at what cost?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  30. Dan

    Just a quick note to Cindy – don’t believe everything you hear and read about Canadian health care – there is a lot of disinformation and fabrications being promoted by special interests.
    Sure our system is far from perfect and there are/will be cases where bureaucracy gets in the way. But tell me, whats the difference between an insurance company bureaucrat in a profit making business vs a government bureaucrat working with tax $$$.

    I have a fairly serious condition that will require an organ transplant in the near future. What is your preference – pay $350,000+ to a US doctor or have the procedure done in Canada for zero cost to the patient – and the survival rate is 90-95% in either country.

    I wish you the best in your medical condition. I agree with you, don't always believe everything you read on the internet, especially about Canadian healthcare. Maybe Obama should slow down a bit on this reform initiative, by Aug 7 is a bit too much. Maybe by the end of the year. I think both sides want health care reform, and health care reform will go a long way toward economic recovery of this country. Mr. President, you' re only doing wha the American people asked for, but it needs some tweaking. Lower it a gear or two. It will eventually work.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  31. Jane

    Healthcare / Insurance companies are such a joke. With insurance, your still denied prescriptions, services if not pre-approved, etc. I am with a PPO and still can't have the prescribed drug by my doctor. Why can someone who is with UHC in MN (retired from Hormel) and another UHC in TX (fully employed and pays for insurance), both need Nexium and the one in MN gets it for $4.00 per month and the one in TX is denied and offered an alternative? It makes no sense to me. The President is an elected official of "the people" so he is to be representing the people. I did not vote for him. However, something has to change and I only hope it is for the positive!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  32. Peter

    It's time to make the strategic decision – will our country provide health care for all its people, or not. We've been debating it for decades. It's time to choose. Are we a second class country that wants more of the same? Or are we a first class country that sees the benefits of putting our people first and ensuring they have access to care? That's the decision. The time has come to make the decision and stop putting this off. Our leaders need to stick to their guns on this issue.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  33. Michael R

    The State of Oregon is in the process of implementing a state-run health care plan for all state employees. Beginning in six months, all health care benefits will be, for the first time, state ensured and based on a non-profit business model, with a private non-profit company (Providence Health Plans) administering the plan, but not providing insurance itself. The Oregon Public Employee Benefit Board (PEBB) decided this for the good of the employees, driven by the very high renewal bid by Regence BlueCross/Blue Shield. The Regence bid was for a 16.4% increase, a difference of approximately 50 million dollars. By self-insuring the statewide medical plan, the State, through PEBB, assumes risk for losses. Regence made 119 million dollars over the past six years assuming risk. This is a potential savings to PEBB members. As a result, about 5% of current members would have to change providers, but this is still a good overall deal. Please support the federal government’s attempt to extend the nonprofit model to all US citizens.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  34. John

    Hey why are the Republican pundits talking about squaring off with Obama and staging a Waterloo showdown over health care? Shouldn't everyone be focused upon finding a solution to the notorious health care debacle?? (From a disgusted conservative voter)

    July 20, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  35. ron richardson

    We Canadians are amazed that you are allowing the Republicans to get away with their lies about our health care system. We love our universal health care, run by the government as the only insurer. There are a few problems that only have to do with funding, not the system itself. We can't believe that you still do health care for profit. We know of awful stories that have happened there because of this system. I can tell many that I know to be true. Really, you should get behind your President to pass this simple initiative. We don't think it is perfect but it would be much better than what you have now. Don't give in to those who are supporting the big health care insurers and their profits.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  36. Danny

    I think an important question to ask is how people are becoming sick or injured. The one flaw with free markets and free societies is that it stretches the entire spectrum of human emotion, allowing people to do whatever they want.
    I think Americans need to address the well being of its citizens instead of how they get treatment.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  37. Miles

    If you don't have any health insurance, you don't have to worry about wait times for hip or knee replacement or cancer surgery, you can't get care.

    GOP says don't tax the rich for health care. Let them get rich by using poorly paid people without health care. Like Walmart.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:05 pm |
  38. Arachnae

    To RLWellman who said: "This bill needs put on the Internet, so the American people who are going to pay for it, will know what it says."


    July 20, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  39. Darrell in Iowa

    Its tough enough living with HIV, Cancer and also Epilepsy.... but having to suffer the humiliation of never ending medical and hospital bills that my insurance doesn't pay has driven me on several occassions to serious mental illness and suicide attempts.

    This system is so broken and so wrong. Do those Republicans know what its like to be ill every single day, to not know if your life will end this year or in five.....and then have the never ending phone calls from the health care industries bill collectors who truly only seem concerned with squeezing every dime out of you before you die.

    Our health care system is fabulous if you are healthy and wealthy...but if you get seriously sick it will suck every penny you have out of you.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  40. Benigna Marko

    Take it in all the way. Breath!

    July 20, 2009 at 9:27 pm |
  41. Ken

    This is the Democrats one opportunity to have a JAW DROPPING moment in History and get behind THEIR President and pass this Universal Health Care. Push the Republicans aside and show them how insignificant they are when it comes to Health Care For A Nation ! They will have lost the opportunity to become part of the Best thing that has been done for America in a very long time !!!

    July 20, 2009 at 9:22 pm |
  42. Beryl

    Americans want healthcare reform. We want the 3 major elements which are included in both the Senate (yes, the one by the Republicans) and the House bills

    1. no "cherry picking"
    2. no annual or lifetime maximums
    3. no denials due to pre-existing conditions

    The insurance companies are spending millions to stop reform because of GREED. The others want to see health care fail so that they can say Obama failed. They don't care that America will also fail. Selfish!

    July 20, 2009 at 9:19 pm |
  43. Lee Jensen

    Health care reform. How can we pay for it? Raise taxes in a recession with so many people out of work. If congress passes reform then I expect them to have the same coverage there pushing down our throats!

    July 20, 2009 at 9:16 pm |
  44. Keith

    Just a quick note to Cindy – don't believe everything you hear and read about Canadian health care – there is a lot of disinformation and fabrications being promoted by special interests.
    Sure our system is far from perfect and there are/will be cases where bureaucracy gets in the way. But tell me, whats the difference between an insurance company bureaucrat in a profit making business vs a government bureaucrat working with tax $$$.

    I have a fairly serious condition that will require an organ transplant in the near future. What is your preference – pay $350,000+ to a US doctor or have the procedure done in Canada for zero cost to the patient – and the survival rate is 90-95% in either country.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  45. A Ignacio

    For someone who works in the healthcare business but not the one that makes the money..(I'm not a doctor)...I can see how bad universal healthcare would be for the people. I try to accomodate each acutely sick patient the same day where I work and more often than not a lot of them are "squeezed: in during the course of the day. I get a lot of stares when patient have to wait but at least they are seen the same day or at least asap. I could just imagine the fiasco we would be in if tax payers were made to wait months before they are seen. I have a mechanically dependent, disabled daughter who needs a lot of special care and sees a lot of specialists e.g. cardiologist, orthopedics, GI, Pulmonary, etc. I don't know if she would be able to wait, long enough to live, just to get a consult with specialists. Maybe we should go back to how the insurance companies handle healthcare. Maybe that's where we should change things. These companies are in it just for the money...the millions for their CEOs. What's that all about? Just a thought.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm |
  46. Mary

    I am tired of the Senate saying they have to have time to work on the Health Bill. This has been in the works since Roosevelt. People forget that the Senate has a nice health care plan. They are not worried about people. If this effected their health plan, it would be a different story. Look at how they sneak in their pay raises after midnight or when the press is gone.
    The Republicans seem to think , they have their insurance, everyone else should have theirs.
    We can afford all of these wars and pork barrel projects but not to take care of our own people. That says a lot.
    Health care is going up and the insurance companies cancel, once they are used or just cancel because of some small print.
    I think we are the most "me " oriented society. I have mine.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:24 pm |
  47. Ellepatricia

    Funny how no democrats signed on to support House Res 615, an amendment that would "urge" [but not require] all congressmen who vote to impose this new government-run health plan to actually sign up for it themselves....

    July 20, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  48. RLWellman

    This bill needs put on the Internet, so the American people who are going to pay for it, will know what it says. You think this is just a argument between the Democrats and Republicans?

    We, the people do not need to pay for illegal aliens so they can have free health care. We who pay taxes and don't believe in abortion, do not need to pay for those who want an abortion.

    The Government needs to use this same health care for their own, not something that pays 100% like it does now. If President Obama would use this program, with no ther fringe benefits, maybe the rest of the country may go along.

    The Congress and Senators need to become our representatives, not our bosses or big brothers!

    July 20, 2009 at 8:16 pm |
  49. Annie Kate

    Everyone has an opinion (informed or not) about health care – what we have, what we need, what we don't want, etc. It might be helpful if we all came to the table so to speak without our preconceptions and talk about what is available – the many different ways it can be bundled and what will give us the most bang for our buck. Once we identify what is available we can rule out those that we truly don't want and decide on what is possible. At work we have 5 or 6 different plans we can choose from – depending on what we need at this point in our lives. If the government had something like that which people could select from according to benefits needed and cost, then we ought to be able to insure most people for a fraction of the cost we do it today. Right now it seems that everyone's mind is made up one way or the other and as long as we continue in this state nothing will change except perhaps for the worst. Americans are not stupid – lets set aside our opinions and look at facts and solve this problem if not for us at least for our children.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Most people in the U.S. do not want this health care reform. Just look at the numbers in these polls and you will see Obama's ratings are suffering hard because of this thing.

    If people think it's bad now when having to wait for a doc just wait until this thing passes...if it does. Just like in Canada there will be a very long waiting list. And the wait for surgeries are even longer...that is if they will even operate on you. Maybe people need to really look and listen before we go gung ho into this without a second glance just because Obama says it is needed.

    I just saw one story of a Canadian woman on another network..I'll be nice and won't say which one but she had a serious back condition yet they wouldn't even let her see a doc until 9 months later and after seeing 4 docs who refused to operate because she was too young so they said..three years later she finally had the surgery but by that time she couldn't walk, had no feelings in her feet or toes, couldn't bend over, and had to wear diapers because her bladder nerve was being pinched by her spine slipping. All the while they kept telling her no they wouldn't operate. Finally she found a doc who would. Now her 15 yr old son has the exact same condition and is feeling the tingling and what not down his legs. She is fighting just to get an appointment and no one will even call her back or listen to her. She says LOTS of people go through this to the point of even dying before they are seen or operated on. Is this what you all call great health care? I don't!!


    July 20, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
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