July 20th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 07/20/09

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Tonight, Joe Jackson is speaking out about his son's death. Does he believe Michal is a victim of foul play? We'll have the latest. Plus, Pres. Obama's health care battle. Is he asking for too much? We'll have the raw politics.

Want to know what else we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. Ana

    I am disabled and one of my medicines, according to the pharmacy label, cost $399.00. How in the world that could be? If it wasn't for Medicare and my additional pharmacy plan there is no way I could afford this medicine, when I only receive $1,000.00 a month in Social Security payments.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  2. Lori from IL

    @Jeremy - "Doesn’t it bother you that 70% of bankruptcies in our country are health care related?"

    Yes, that statistic does bother me - also, most people look at home foreclosures and think people overextended themselves or lost jobs, when many are caused by unexpected medical expenses (no one plans on a catastrophic illness) - Even those working and with insurance sometimes find themselves in this situation due to rising health care costs and insurance payout limits.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  3. Stacey, Athens GA

    I'm interested in seeing what "affordable" healthcare is. Who determines that number?? Right now, I'm paying $1300.00 a month for a family of 5.
    No, we never use it, just filling 1 prescription a month. Something needs to be done with the cost for self-employed people or those who cannot get benefits from their jobs. Enough is enough.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  4. Barbara

    Hi John! I really enjoy it when I get the chance to watch you interview people, you do an awsome job!

    I find the entire conversation with Joe Jackson and the news coming out of it interesting. It actually scares me to think of the influence that he might/will try to have on his grandchildren's life – very sad.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  5. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    I find it a bit sad that this story is still relevant in the 21st century. Its a bit of a reminder of how far we haven't come. In some ways we have become a bigger, better nation but in others we seem to still be stuck in the past. Thanks for bringing us that story Sanjay, and reminding us that we still have a long way to go!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  6. Taunya

    Hi John,

    Great to have you hosting tonight! Take care of yourself...

    Happy Brithday Erica!

    I agree with Donna – let's bring on the health care town hall meetings. The people in Washington need to get real with what the public needs in health care not what they think we need.

    Everyone have a great night!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  7. NicoleY

    I would love to see someone do a story on the portion of health care costs that are virtually unmentioned in the press – device manufacturers. Big pharma often gets the blame, but as someone who reviews expense reports for a large hospital IDN I can assure you that big pharma only accounts for 25% of our non-labor costs. Companies like Depuy, Medtronic, Cordis, Zimmer and Biotronic have posted double digit profit margins for the last 5 years. Is Washington addressing this anywhere in the legislation?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  8. Dodie ~ California

    @ Heather,ca

    And I would like to have the choice whether to chose for profit insurance companies or the government!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Casey Jones, Palm Springs, CA

    @Chris, Ohio.....I absolutely agree that our representatives should not be afforded healthcare coverage until every last consituent is covered, first.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  10. Sandra Robertson, GA

    Good evening John. Health care reform cannot come soon enough. Along with job losses, families have lost so much more, the ability to seek preventative care for themselves as well as their children. With the flu season upon us, I wonder how many will be able to even afford vaccinations. Stimulus should come in the form of health care, at this time.

    Happy birthday Erica.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Dennis, exactly right. If Obama thinks he can save so much money then do it. AFTER he proves it we can expand coverage. Trust but verify as Reagan said.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  12. David, Indiana

    The Billings family look so angelic, it's hard to believe that there would be foul play going on in their lives. The sherrif is right to avoid postulating any theories, as he said, as that would only give rise to even more wild speculation.

    Hi Randi Kaye.

    That was an intense looking car fire, though, from what I've seen car fires are always bad, moving fast, creating thick smoke. Thank goodness she and her children were saved. How did the fire start though? Was there an accident? Did eveyone escape safely without injury? I hope so, but didn't catch that in the report?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  13. Jonie

    We, as a country, in this deep recession simply cannot afford nationalized healthcare. To evaluate this correctly, it takes time to look for the correct solution. Obama needs to stop giving congress deadlines and this uncontrolled spending in this country from our government needs to stop. Obama needs to stop throwing things at this nation and cramming this down our throats. Take the time necessary to look at all options.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  14. Heather,ca

    The real thing we need is Tort Reform. Not Socialized Medicine.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  15. Dodie ~ California

    @ Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I never waited in line when I lived in Europe!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  16. Sebastian

    Hi Randi, John. First time blogger.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  17. eleanor coombs, ga.

    Hm! As an African American, I never felt this way. However, I do think the doctors do treat you according to your Insurance coverage.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  18. Dodie ~ California

    Good looking women and men are treated better than average looking people or old people! That is just a matter of fact. So its not just race, but also looks and age!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  19. Gill

    The question of health disparities have been answered over and over again. The answer is YES Blacks and Whites are treated differently in the USA health care system. If you have the bucks to pay for a procedure, you get it. If not, especially if you are Black, you are SOL. Sorry but it is the truth.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  20. Nad

    I don't believe President Obama is asking for too much. Is caring for the well being of our people too much? Is saving a life too much? Is preventing a family from going into bankruptcy because of health care bills too much? Why do we making it seems as if money is more important than saving a life? People making issue of the Public Plan are just playing politics or are in the pocket of big insurance companies. So when people make the ridiculous claim of government getting between patients and doctors,tell them the insurance is already there. At least the government won't be doing for profit and won't have a conflict of interest.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  21. Heather,ca

    I agree completely with Mike. Government should stay out of Health Care.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  22. LaToya Damita

    Healthcare is very important to ALL Americans. I think Mr. Obama is doing as much as he can- I don't expect miracles overnight from a mere mortal.

    However there are millions of Americans, especially children who do not have adequate healthcare. Unfortunate as it is- the bureaucratic red tape, politics and such have to be worked out- it takes time.

    Hopefully the powers that be will make sound decisions that will benefit Americas health deprived. As well as those who feel taken advantage of by the current system by paying too much and given too little in return
    I pray there will be justice for all and we, the people will have the affordable healthcare that everyone deserves.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  23. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    That is an incredible story! That truly is how heros are born! It is amazing that they pulled everyone from the burning car and everyone is alive!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  24. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @karin, they wait in line in Canada and Great Britain for public heath care, why won't it happen here?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  25. Carmen

    I'm a convervative, and I disargee with Mr. Obama almost on all things that he tries to promote. However, I'm supporting him on his healthcare plan. It is coincided with my Christian value that is taking care of others when they are in need, especially when they are sick. The disfunctional health care system that we are having right now is selfish and going against what God taught us.

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

    I have long felt that Congress, the Senate and all the so-called "power brokers" in politics should be forced to give up their health care benefits and pension plans and have the same plans the rest of us have. That would sure solve the "health care crisis" fast!

    For those of us who are fortunate to have medical insurance, our co-pays and premiums are ever-increasing and what is covered under our plans is decreasing on a practically daily basis. It is a crime that in our country we pay more per capita but receive less care and are more unhealthy then some third world nations.

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

    I support President Obama, but I am not sold on this healthcare plan. I would like to see the 47 million people who don’t have coverage get coverage if they deserve it. If you are lazy and not working do you really deserve coverage? And I thought the main purpose of healthcare reform was to cover those without it, why are they telling people who have it they can evaluate a public plan. It just doesn’t make sense. The writing is in the sand, this healthcare plan is going to equal uncontrollable spending. People will be coming out of the wood work for coverage.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  28. Dodie ~ California

    @ Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I believe the reason was because the government did not want to take responsibility for the illness to its veterans due to war

    July 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  29. bill stafford

    I believe it is the law that a hospital cannot refuse care to anyone in need weather you have insurance or not. In saying that then the people paying for insurance either personly or thru employment are the ones truely paying the bill. If we could be taxed thru our pay then everyone would be contributing the the system. It would relieve bussinesses the high cost to insure an employee

    July 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  30. Linda

    Our health care situation does need help.
    When my doctor wants a cholosterol test on me, I have to go to the lab to get a blood draw instead of a finger stick in his own office. The reason for this is because Blue Cross of Florida will not pay for the less expensive finger stick. How $ foolish is that?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  31. Al

    I seriously question the validity of a "public" health system. Will it work? Look at amtrac,post office,Medicare etc. Costly and inefficient.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  32. Jim

    What is wrong with John King's eye?

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

    John, I don't agree that moderate Democrats balking at Obama's health care plan has much to do with the cost of the program. Rather, Democrats have joined the ranks of Republicans by lining their wallets and purses with money from the big health insurance company lobbyists. Senators Harry Reid, Diane Fienstein and Mark Warner are now a little better off, financially, at least.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  34. starr formerly known as vincent


    I think that doc's do order additional testing etc. because of malpractice suits.

    BUT, a number of doc's own MRI's, CAT Scans, and Labs. They order testing in Those facilities to make more money. This is not a slur on doc's, i've seen this happen in my professional life as an RN!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  35. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @michelle, good point. Are there statistics that show that those who are insured are healthier than those who are not?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  36. Jeremy


    Hate to break it to you buddy, we already have a great deal of "government health care" in this country. Not sure if you have ever heard of medicare, medicaid, VA hospitals, etc. As for your comment regarding denials and delays in health care in Canada. I am sure there are many, but take a look right here in the U.S. Private health insurance companies routinely deny procedures, put up barriers, create delays. Doesn't it bother you that 70% of bankruptcies in our country are health care related?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  37. Dodie ~ California

    Why not evaluate all other countries' Health Care to see what would work best! I lived in Europe for a couple of years and I think their health care was Awesome. Nothing like what you hear in the Ads.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  38. Doug

    What is up with this sheriff? He is on the news in the early am, the afternoon, the evening. If he would not be so accessible, the media would be forced to cover other items that affect more Americans then the sad death of two people in Florida.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  39. Frank

    We need to focus on ensuring everyone has healthcare insurance, without using healthcare reform as a means to push through bigger government. Regulation, not bureaucracy, is needed to ensure coverage for all. When was the last time a government bureaucracy did a better job than private industry?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  40. karin los angeles

    john, i kept looking at the tv trying to figure out what happened to your eye. at first i thought you were tired, then i looked again and just saw it was that eye. if you are taking benadryl and doing the show you must be floating on air!! find out what you are allergic to so you never go near it again..allergic reactions get worse the 2nd time i think.
    anyway, good show. i wish the republicans would stop lying about that people will have to stand in line to get care and the gov't will tell them what they can and cannot have. the insurance companies now are making policy and telling patients what they cannot pay for. a girl in los angeles died because blue cross would not approve her transplant. all day non medical people at insurance companies make healthcare decisions for people. with the gov't if you choose the public option, you can bet there will be more care in physicians hands. it requires people like you and other reporters to remind people how the insurance companies tell the dr.'s what to do now.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  41. Angela

    As a conservative healthcare physician in South Carolina I see over utilization of unnecessary testing done on a weekly basis by other physicians. Many times it appears the cause for the testing is a lack of a comprehensive, hands on examination. Most MD's seem to have fogotten how valuable actually touching the patient can be.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  42. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Kim, doctors absolutely order extra tests to cover their butts from malpractice. Cap malpractice awards and cost WILL come down.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  43. Theresa, Des Moines

    Are the Republicans offering an alternate plan or are they just shooting down the current options?

    John King, its good to have you anchor the show. I enjoy your analysis and appreciate you blogging.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  44. Dennis

    If the President thinks he can save billions in his health care plan then why not pass a bill initially just calling for the savings. I think it would get bipartisan support and then work on trying tocome up with a plan to cover additional Americans.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  45. Muriuki

    About jk, it's a cry about nothing! We need move forward as a nation and stop divisive speculations. A healthy nation is a safe nation. Let's all support the president on this health bill.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  46. Dodie ~ California

    @ Lori from IL

    I completely agree with you. I was hospitalized last year and the hospital charged my insurance company $18,000 sterilization fees. I asked a friend that worked at that hospital why so much? She said to offset all the ER costs to people that do NOT have insurance.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    We already have a government run healthcare program in the US. It's the VA system and it's a disgrace. That"s what we'll all have with this plan.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  48. Joanne

    Great to have John King hosting tonight. Sorry about the eye...glad you gave an explanation...was concerned you were on the receiving end of a punch! Try cool compresses to reduce the swelling.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  49. Donna

    I would love for a town hall meeting on health insurance to be held in my town!Most of us are retired or under 35000 a year.Try to find affordable insurance and survive on that budget.Step into the real world! Get on our level.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  50. Stacey Zengo

    Maybe not homicide, but what about suicide? Surprised that no one has
    mentioned this thus far. As a nurse and spouse of a physician, any doctor administering anesthesia would have a defibrillator on hand or
    an antidote available for emergencies.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
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