July 20th, 2009
09:45 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 07/20/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

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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soundoff (186 Responses)
  1. mary

    I am in the medical profession. I am also a frequent patient. While there may be medical racism in some locations, I think the bigger picture is medical system inccompetence. So many white people are not getting proper care, either! Tests not ordered, having to go from doctor to doctor, undiagnosed, is not a racism problem, as it occurs across the board.

    Thank you.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  2. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    What motivation does anyone (except the beneficiaries of his will) have to kill Jackson? He's the goose that laid the golden eggs. No more goose, no more freeloading hangers on. Jackson killed himself by doctor shopping.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  3. Casey Jones, Palm Springs, CA

    Joe Jackson is a nut job. La Toya didn't fall far from the tree. The family just needs to shut up and treat the whole matter in a reserved, professional, respectful manor. Thay're making MJ's after life into a freak show.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  4. Frankie

    They did a segment on MEDICAL RACISM which was focused in NYC where the majority is minority when it is happening all over the U.S. in the midwest and Northwest as well where the majority is white. Its just another way to use racism any way people can in my personal opinion.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  5. marty

    Many people like to use the difference in life expectancy to prove Blacks get poorer health care than Whites. But if you look at the data 85% of the difference in life expectancy can be explained by deaths of 16-24 year old black males by murder.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  6. Christine

    We've had over 15 years to look at the options for health care...isn't that long enough? Unfortunately in government we don't have time to take a serious look at options because it ALWAYS boils down to playing politics and winning the next election.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  7. Charles

    Be careful out there Sanjay. It's too easy to call medical inequities racism (especially in New York City). I think that you are helping to create a rift between Blacks and Whites that does not need to be perpetuated. You know as well as I that there are way too many factors to make it as simple as racism.
    I'm a physician who used to work in inner city Chicago and now works in rural Ohio.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  8. Valorie Sankey

    I just saw the story on medical racism...I believe it's true...but what is really sad is the the president wants to fix the situation for everyone, yet many don't want to spend the money to do it. What's more important, money or lives?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  9. Nicole, North Carolina

    It is a TRAVESTY if no one goes to jail for Michael Jackson's death. LAPD's shoddy work, as usual!

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

    @Jeremy...thank you, very good comment, i enjoyed reading it. keep on blogging!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I'd like to see two people, one black, one white with the same insurance go to the same hospital with the same complaint. I'll bet treatment is the same. You can't ignore the other variables when doing these stories.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  12. Lori from IL

    Glad 360 is airing this report from Sanjay - it's a story that needs to be told/heard. Hard to think that in this day and age - this type of discrimination still happens - epecially in determining health care.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  13. Sarah

    I'm always amazed to learn more about the American healthcare system, as a Brit it seems so strange. I don't know how you stand for it.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  14. Sabrina In Las Vegas

    Having a fair complexion, I get the opposite when I get medical treatment.

    I go to a clinic because I don't have medical insurance or try to get medical, about 5 years ago, because I didn't have any money and they assume I shouldn't be there or that I should have wealth.

    You don't get the care you need if you look as if you are not supposed to be in the free line, even if you don't have any money.

    We need to treat people properly and for face value.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  15. Michelle

    I will agree that health care is different depending on insurance or no insurance. I've always had insurance from my job so I can't even imagine not having any. Many uninsured go to the emergency room because they can't be turned away.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  16. TJ

    Re the issue of African Americans feeling that they do not get the same medical treatment at times, as caucasians do, I can add that the same thing happens with women, especially in the emergency room. Having been a nurse for many years, I often saw missed diagnoses because it was felt that it was "all in their head." The missed heart attacks in the Emergency Room, were usually women from my explerience.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  17. Annie Kate

    I'm not sure I would believe much of what Joe Jackson has to say. He seems to be prone to self aggrandizing statements just to get attention for himself. I still can't believe that after losing his son he would announce his new recording company in the same news conference.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  18. Heather,ca

    I think immediately of the stupidity and incompetence of some doctors. Its outragious that someone goes to medical school to treat all of us yet the color of ones skin is the determining factor how they treat or not treat them. If that's how its going to be what a waste a medical license.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  19. Rod

    Hi John,
    This is a true story regarding the state of healthcare in this country. I am glad someone is bringing to light the plight of minorities and the healthcare system. I have had family members to die and nothing said or done in the way of answers given. It doesn't matter if we have sought the press or congress to help us get answers. It just goes to show how fractions of America exist for certain people.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  20. Derek

    I want to know what being poor has to do with racism. I realize there are a lot of minorities who are in the standard of being poor, but there are also alot of whites in this standard. Also, going to one hospital does not always represent everywhere. I am a white middle class american. I had a stroke 2 years ago which was mis-diagnosed as blood poisoning and they sent me home. 3 days later I was being life flighted to a trauma center because of the mis-diagnosis. The doctor in the emergency room I was mis-treated in was more interested with flirting with nurses, and not having to call out a person to read a c.a.t .scan ( sound like an insurance thing?) then properly taking care of me. I was a police oficer with 26 years on the force and full insurance. I was told at the truma center that if they had done the C.A.T. scan they would have found the damaged artery I had and I may have not had the 2nd episode and may not have had the problems I have had since. Do not go to one area and call it racism. It happens everywhere and to all the races, not just African American, white Latino, or anyone else.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  21. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    If the government wanted to make health care more affordable they could do so easily by two things: cap malpractice awards and allow more drug competition (e.g. allow ordering drugs from Canada).

    July 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  22. LorenaR

    re gary spears. glad he was successfully diagnosed after going through so much. paper cuts are horrible and take so long to heal anyway.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm |
  23. David

    As a Registered Nurse I can attest to the need for Health care reform. We need a public option like expanded Medicare for all Americans to compete with the private health insurance system. I work for a home health agency and we deal regularly with private insurance and the road blocks to patient care. Now, many agencies are not willing to provide care to patients with private insurance because of the inability to provide proper care as ordered by the Physician and the decrease in pay. Simple put, Seniors are better served with their Medicare option because of fewer restrictions to care and prompt pay.Remember, the Govermnent runs your Army and it is the finest in the world.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  24. Dodie ~ California

    @ Mike, Syracuse, NY

    Yes, I know... I have had dealings with the VA

    July 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  25. carol

    What happen to President Obama's campaign slogan of "bi-partisan politics"? He claims that the health plan is not a political issue. How does he explain Speaker Pelosi's heavy handed tactics that have been reported such as telling someone they will not be on a committee if they don't vote for the health plan? And yet, very few people can even understand all the compexities and facets of the health plan. Troubling times for our democracy.

    Thank you, John, for your responsible and professional reporting the news no matter the topic or event.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  26. pamela lloyd

    My personal opinion is this....The only person that can answer any questions is no longer with us.Doctors, Lawyers, Family members,no one really knows the whole story.If Michael had a truly strong drug addiction, and no one came to his aide, what does that say to the character of the people he had around him.It is a sad world when a persons life had so much to give, and only thought of as a money maker.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  27. Minou, New York City

    I'm skeptical of this perceived doctor-racism. I do believe it all depends on your insurance coverage and your credit card!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  28. Jonie

    I know many senior citizens who pay for there plans and are scared silly that if this changes, it will be the survival of the fittest.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  29. LorenaR

    congratulations, john king and sanjay gupta for your very well presented inquiry into medical care and the gary spears case, and the part played by race. their results are thought provoking. no one wants to talk about it. but it needs to be confronted.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  30. Joanne

    interesting report....but i think it's financial status, including insurance coverage, that most impacts the varying health care attention

    July 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  31. Michelle

    Good reporting on health care and how race does factor into it. I don't like to bring up race but it's sad but true.. Minorities get different health care than whites.. especially if they don't have insurance. Many people don't like to hear those stories nor want to believe it. But it's a problem and it needs to be addressed.. Overall if there is a discrimination with regards to medical care then in the long run everyone will be paying for the care or outcome. I agree there should be fair health care for all.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  32. starr formerly known as vincent

    Excellent report by Dr. Gupta.

    When i was young and living in poverty all that was recommended was clinics Not specialists.And you thanked God if you were young and healthy.

    As an educated RN, with insurance coverage, medical care was much impoved.

    However, i will say that i worked in NYC, NY State, PA, CT in hospitals and we did not give 2nd rate care to Anyone.

    I worked the floors, ER and In the operating room you quickly learn we are all the same on the inside (meaning red, with the same organs, etc.)

    July 20, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  33. LaToya Damita

    To comment on the story about the organ player Mr. Gary Spears- I have seen & heard about the seperate treatment according to medical insurance.

    His is not an isolated case. I worked as a medical biller some years ago and it definitely exists. Depending your demographics and insurance coverage-you are treated differently.

    It is sad but true.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  34. Udo

    Its not about race....its about rich and poor.....its time to move to the 21st cen..comon guys

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

    It was not his race, he just got a slacker for medical assistance. They need to research the person who helped him. You need to be educated to ask questions and challenge your medical person. Let them know that you are taking ownership of your own health.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  36. Scott

    Hey! $50 bucks (Canadian) that "Canadian" women in the anti Healthcare ads had her trip to the States for treatment paid for by that same awful Canadian Federal/Provincial Healthcare system. Who is she? Where is she from – rural/urban? etc.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  37. Dodie ~ California

    Under diagnosing is a major problem for everyone in the USA. Insurance Companies want to make more money; therefore, the needed tests like an MRI is seldom ordered! You have to be very assertive these days and be your own patient advocate!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  38. David Scott

    As a graying dual citizen (Canada and the USA) with significant experience of both health care systems, I am appalled by the misinformation (especially generated by Senators with a vested financial interest in the current discriminatory health care system like McConnell) about Canada’s health care system. It is superb. It is rational. Every Canadian citizen is covered from womb to tomb at a fraction of the US cost per person. Waiting times are minimal. All pre-existing conditions are covered. There is no direct cost to businesses, so some American businesses have moved to Canada for this benefit alone. I encourage you to continue to schedule more interviews with former Canadian provincial and federal health ministers who know the facts, and fewer, and not bogus, often made-up-on-the-spot anecdotes from s-called critics.
    My premature daughter received a month of the very best care possible at Toronto’s Mt Sinai Hospital. My late wife underwent one-hundred (100) hospitalizations in the last 5 years of her life at Toronto’s Women’s College Hospital. No cost, no wait. Superb care.
    In Canada, when any Canadian citizen requires emergency and intensive care, it is provided, then private care as needed, then semi-private care as needed, then ward care as needed, then convalescent hospital care as needed, then visiting nurse and visiting homemaker care as needed–as well as traditional GP and internist follow-up as needed, and experimental drugs as needed–all included. Cost 000.00 (zero).
    Parenthetically, since there is a strong emphasis on primary care, fewer people need secondary or tertiary care. Since everyone has health insurance, there is no need to wait for serious illness or tragedy to strike to go to the (expensive) emergency room as a last resort.
    Moreover, when you go to the hospital, admitting runs your provincial health care card, and your entire medical history pops up on the computer. No redundant questionnaires, no forgotten information.
    When I have needed, fortunately infrequently, medical care, I have received it, same day, whether from my GP, my internist, or a specialist—in their office, at a lab or at a hospital—whether a simple exam or blood work, an MRI or a CAT scan.
    Mindless, uninformed criticism of the Canadian system gets my goat.
    Please continue to separate the sheep from the goats for your viewers.

    Some Canadian doctors move to the USA seeking higher incomes (but often pay outrageous malpractice premiums). Little is mentioned about the fact that that medical school in Canada (for Canadian citizens) is heavily subsidized by the provinces.
    In Canada, the legal system (precisely because of its universal health care system) rarely grants malpractice claims or slip and fall-type awards–hence reducing cost.
    The provincial health ministries work hand-in-hand with the provincial community and social service ministries to provide integrated outpatient support for citizens of every age and condition.
    Also the health care system is not federal; instead it is provincial, albeit the provinces cooperate seamlessly.
    The role of the Canadian federal government in health care is miniscule (5 percent max). In the main, it makes small, top-up payments, if necessary, to one province or another if they have unusually high costs (defined as a percentage point or two) in any given quarter.
    Doctors and hospitals and labs bill individual provincial governments for patient consultations, hospital stays and lab fees, all according to a single, rational provincial schedule–not based the vastly varying schedules in the US system.
    Lastly, it is difficult, because of the way the system is structured, for a Canadian physician to make less than $100,000 per year, but equally difficult to make much more than $150,000. Moreover, the cost to physicians for items like education and malpractice insurance is minimal.
    The exception, of course, proves the rule.
    Please fact check and corroborate each of my assertions, as well as the assertions of your interviewees as you enhance your balanced reporting.
    As the health care debate ratchets up in the coming days and weeks, I again encourage you to continue to schedule more interviews with former Canadian provincial and federal health ministers who know the facts.

    That said, CNN deserves special kudos for its balanced reporting of the vitally important health care issue.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  39. Sumera-Maryland

    Hello John, nice to see you as you always do a great show, but I really miss Anderson!

    Would you please convey my best wishes to Erica on her birthday!
    "Happy Birthday Erica"
    Kind Regards,

    July 20, 2009 at 10:34 pm |
  40. Dotun

    I just saw the piece by Dr Gupta. I am a physician too. Immigrant and I completely agree with the report. I have seen it when minority patients follow up with me. I have seen it when discharge plan is being made.
    It is a shame.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  41. Carmella

    If you don't have medical insurance should you expet the same doctors as someone with insurance? When you don't have the money to hire an attorney, you get a public defender. Does having a public defender lessen the representation? i would say not. if you don't like the representation pay for what you want. It's not about race it's about insurance. We need to stop blaming race on everything. I don't dispute racishm exist, but not for everything.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  42. Doc Ralph

    The problem with Healthcare today is that it is defined as Health Insurance. Insurance is not equal to care. I am a physician and can tell you that I will treat anyone who needs real care; whether or not I am paid. This is because I am adequately compensated by those who can pay. However, if the gov't controls all my pay, which they do now with Medicare, I will not be able to do so. Private pay and Insurance will disappear. Then I will treat each patient as a servant of the Washington DC, not asyour representative. I am supposed to use "best practices," impossible with the rationing that has to come. Preventive care and computers will not cut costs or medical errors. I have been computerized for 3 years and still make mistakes. That darn computer.
    Wake up America!
    Insurance should not be tied to employment.
    Take it with you anywhere.
    You should be able to buy insurance across state lines.
    No matter what happens politically, rationing of services will be unavoidable. Just don't let a federal GSer make the decisions.
    your doctor and you, the patient, can do that together.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  43. Jonie

    Any hospital that I am aware of has not ever turned away anyone from receiving medical care, whether they have insurance or not. Most states have free coverage for children of low income. Even if you tax the richest, Obama will not have enough to pay for this.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  44. Casey Jones, Palm Springs, CA

    @Jonie...It was OUR uncontrolled spending that got us in this economic mess. The only entity that has the ability to spend anything is now the government. There is nowhere else to turn.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  45. Dodie ~ California

    @ John King

    Thanks for the "heads up"

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  46. Doug

    blacks and whites are not treated differently. the poor and the wealthy are. race is tied to socioeconomics. go to a rural kentucky town full of poor whites and you will see the same thing that they are speaking about now for the black man in NYC.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  47. Donna Wood, Lil' Tennessee

    Hello Mr. King. We couldn't be 'stuck with' better. Thank you. I think this Jackson story is playing out just the way it's supposed to. I can hardly wait until all is said and done. I think we are all going to be a bit surprised by the outcome. Keep digging Randi Kaye! I think you are doing a great job!

    Donna Wood
    Lexington, Tennessee

    July 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  48. bill stafford

    If everyone can contribute to the health care system there will be lots of money for our health care profesionals

    July 20, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  49. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Dodie, the VA is just for veterans. Injuries due to war are their job, which they do poorly.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  50. johnkingcnn

    this report from sanjay is fascinating .. health care is a big washington story but it is critcal for us to connect the dots to what all this talk of affordability and accessibility mean in the real world - and how things can be so so different in different parts of the country, or even the same state or city.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
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