July 29th, 2009
03:07 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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Latest on health care

A group of fiscally conservative House Democrats announced today they have reached a deal with the chamber's Democratic leaders on a health care reform bill. Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas, speaking for the so-called Blue Dog Democrats, said the agreement calls for the House Energy and Commerce Committee to begin debating the bill today, but says there won't be a vote by the full House until after the August recess.

Tonight we'll be talking about what this new development means for you. Do you have a question?

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Filed under: T1 • Text 360
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Nydria Humphries

    I would like to hear from these hospitals, insurance companies, and even people who pick up perscriptions at Walgreens? I want to know what they exactly need money for, line for line? I think the actual budget shoould be analyzed, because we have three and a half more years to go. Also, why does CNN keep calling the democrats the, "blue dogs." They have been calling themselves this forever, but didn't we vote for Change! Are they a football team? Basketball team?

    July 30, 2009 at 6:06 am |
  2. Craig D. Mitchell

    The real problem with the economy is the ever increasing gap between the rich and poor. Healthcare cost is a major portion/reason for this. It is a major step to slow this trend. The other major reason is people were spending beyond their means and/or were or are not educated/versed in proper money management. I think this poor economy has woke people up. Individuals are now more aware of the cost of not managing their funds. However, I do believe that certain trusted industries/companies did take advantage of our consumption compulsion. This is why government must step in, and once they have set things in place...they should step back and let the process and procedures they have put in place take over. Putting these processes and procedures in place can take awhile considering the history of Congress. Socialism is not good, but this great divide between the rich and the poor... is just as damaging.

    July 30, 2009 at 4:41 am |
  3. gena alabama

    Can anyone out there, name one, just one, of anything that the government gets involved in that works and works well. Anyone? If this plan was sooo good then why are they exempt from this plan? If you are at work and vote for a policy change but exempt yourself and only your friends, there is a reason. Please people lets use common, down to earth sense. I know a lot of people that could pay for insurance but decide to have another baby, buy shiny rims, or create another bill with their tax refund. Priorities! Some of us will never get them straight no matter how much you give. Now thats a fact. I think every single politician that votes for this bill will be voted out next election. Americans want their FREEDOM. If they want to pass a bill let them mandate all insurance companies to accept all people and cap premiums. It doesn't seem fair to up a premium on someone who was healthy and paying for years and now sick and needing the insurance. But it is hard to mandate the people who donate lots and lots of money to politicians. It is a vicious circle. This is where those common sense comes in!

    July 30, 2009 at 1:29 am |
  4. Phill

    What we are witnessing in Washington is not completely about health care for the American people. The debate is also about who will profit financially. Billions of dollars are at stake here and well funded political action will influence decisions that may or may not benefit the average American. If our political leaders were exclusively concerned about providing affordable health care for the American people, there would have been improvements long ago. The health care industry is a business just like the banking industry, both provide a service and want the highest possible financial return. Fact is, they are getting it because Americans want the best and they want it now. Well, you pay a premium for both. Remember, Washington and business want you to have the best and have it now.
    You can bet that's influencing reform, and you will pay!

    July 30, 2009 at 12:22 am |
  5. Brielle

    The problem with out current health care system is the insurance companies "authorizing" treatment. Corporate people at the insurance companies haven't gone to medical school, so why is it that they are making decisions about our healthcare?!
    My objection to this whole reform process is that they want to create a government insurance plan. okay, great, so instead of corporate ignorami, now we have politicians beholden to lobbyists making out healthcare decisions. Deciding what treatments we can receive, and how much to reimburse the doctor. Then the patient is STILL left holding the bill for any overage.
    We need an overhaul to the WHOLE system. Our healthcare system will only improve once we get the insurance companies under control. Health Insurance is not a right – it is INSURANCE. Healthcare, should be a right for all those in the country. So if the government wants to ensure that all people in the US will have healthcare, then they can open up more free (or low cost) clinics around the country. Have the health insurance industry pay a premium to fund these clinics, just like the finance industry funds the FDIC – that's not taxpayer money. Those of us who are employed and have health insurance shouldn't have to carry the cost of healthcare for the unemployed. Most employers offer health insurance. If an employee chooses not to opt it, that is their choice. If you're very old or poor, you qualify for Medicare or Medicaide. So the bulk of the population that would be affected by this new "public" plan would be the unemployed. I understand the tragedy of the recent layoffs resulting from this recession/depression, and do not intend to diminish the sadness of the situation. But COBRA is an option.
    Taxpayers especially should not have to shoulder the cost of health care for illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants get to use our schools and other infrastructure. If they want to be part of our society, and benefit from our social programs, let them come here legally, and contribute to our tax pool.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:11 am |
  6. muarice

    all this debate about health care reform ther is rarely any mention of preventatve care . i think that health insurance companies approve preventative care for patients with a chronic illness like diabetes instead of waiting for this patient needs dialysis or amputation which they will gladly pay for our health care costs wwill be more manageable.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:04 am |
  7. Roger Hogan

    My biggest question about the Health Care Bill, that is not even finished being written yet, is WHAT'S THE RUSH? Do they want to rush it through before anyone has time to read it, just to satisfy Obama's personal schedule. I think it should be LAW that every Congressman/woman and every Senator be made to read every bill they vote on and they should be made do it on live TV, C Span or something like that, to prove that they did. I am sick of these pompus sob's just voting the way they are told to by the leaders without even as much as looking at a Bill, unless they had some input into it and then will only read the section they were involved in.

    July 30, 2009 at 12:01 am |
  8. tlobe

    Reform the medical system in this country! Yes, but let's not repeat the mistakes of Medicare and Medicaid, or the VA and the military healthcare systems either. Insurance companies, ambulance chasing lawyers, incompetent doctors, understaffed state licensing boards, and on and on need improving. We might learn a lot from European, Canadian, and other government run healthcare systems but we should not establish a national healthcare system run by the federal government nor with congressional cotrol/oversight. Something akin to the Federal Reserve Bank system might serve as good model for building a better mousetrap.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:59 pm |
  9. Tilly

    All of you who voted for Obama looking for "change", well you are going to get it. Just wait until the government takes over health care. Ever been to the department of motor vehicles? Great service! That will be your health care soon. Long waits and poor service. Obama says that if you like your insurance carrier you can keep it, what a joke. If employers have the option to switch to a cheaper government run option, many will and the employees will have no say. As such, Obama is either ignorant or a liar (or both). Either way, the American people will suffer. Why do you think Obama wanted to rush this bill through congress so quickly like he did with the stimulus plan? Because his policies are terrible and the longer it takes to pass a bill, the more likely people will be to speak up and express their views on how bad his policies are. He is ruining this country socially and economically

    July 29, 2009 at 11:54 pm |
  10. MizFurball

    Soham: Like your idea.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  11. Mike the Canadian

    2006 US budget spending top :

    1st : 480 billion military
    2st : 30 billion education system.

    The health care system would not even cost 1/4 of what you spend for your army.

    And you guys think it is the wrong thing to do ? That is laughtable.

    Every develloped country on this planet, have a free healthcare system, except United states of america.

    So why does it work there and not in USA ? Give me good reasons, not only the easy way telling that the governement cant run things properly, because it's not true. If it was, you guys would not let your governement spend 480 billion on your army.

    The health-care system in Canada is efficient and acessible. I've been using it sometimes, and never had any problem. Fast, cheap, and secure. I dont have to pay thousands of dollars for my health system, I pay hundreds of dollars a year on my income tax, wich is my insurance.

    Giving your money to a private corporation is better than giving it to your governement ?

    That's because you dont know what is the goal of a private corporation...make profit. While the governement has the responsability to make the society progress

    where everyone can have a chance, not only thoses who have money.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  12. Troy

    sometimes you have to make sacrifces to obtain betters thing so people in the future can have better than you.

    July 29, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  13. Joan

    My question is simple: why is the President and Congress spending all these months talking about a new health care program when our economy is still a mess? Do they think the economy was "fixed" when they set aside the stimulus money....and now they're ready to move on? Do we have a bunch of theorists running our government that don't know how to do the "nuts and bolts" to actually resolve issues before they segway into the next "good idea"? Lord help us!

    July 29, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  14. jane lowery

    THIS IS IMPORTANT-has anyone considered President Obama would have made the same statement (concerning Mr. Gates) if these had been white men? No, because we are raciest in America. I honestly feel he would have made the same statement if these had been white, hispanic, green, yellow or any color. He was speaking of how it was handled and the american public, media included turned it into a racial situation. If former President Bush had made the same statement would he have been called raciest? Yes because that's America. Would President Obama have received the same treatment if the men arrested had been white–I don" think so. Certain people are making it racial and others are running with it. It was the way it was handled, and nothing else. Don't we have other worries, unemployment for instance!

    July 29, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  15. muriel doyle

    Lately the US media has been flooded with messages about how bad the Canadian health care system is. Most of them feature a woman from Canada claiming that she had to go to the US for surgery or she'd be dead. This individual, Shona Holmes, is now being sued by the government. Does nobody in the US care enough to investigate this woman, her credibility and her affiliations?

    July 29, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  16. Ron

    This may have been covered but who covers the senators- and house
    with insurance- what there cost and why cant this be provided to the
    general public if they wanted it

    What do the senators and house pay for a premeium

    I would like this compared to what they have come up with for John Q public.

    Like always they have the best intentions but we will wind up paying more in the end becuase it will only incorprate one side view in the bill at the end

    July 29, 2009 at 8:16 pm |
  17. Jan from Wood Dale IL

    I keep hearing the term "affordable" health insurance. Who decides what is "affordable"? What might be "affordable" for someone making a six-figure salary isn't "affordable" for those who make $30,000/year or less. Does that mean if you can't afford the premium price, you lose out in participating in any new plan?

    Also, I heard Obama is planning on making cuts in Medicare. First, Medicare alone isn't sufficient to cover today's medical costs. The majority of medicare recipients need to purchase supplemental insurance to cover the gaps. If more cuts are made, that's just more beneficial to the insurance companies who sell the supplemental insurance. How will those costs be controlled?

    I have little faith that Obama/Congress can control the ever-increasing costs associated with the medical system (doctor fees; hospitalization costs; drug costs; insurance company premiums and deductibles).

    July 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm |
  18. Soham Sheth

    I am a practising physician, specializing in Neurology. Yes, we do need health care reform. Currently, the health care decisions are made by the insurance companies dictating what tests or medicines the patient can get, and malpractise lawsuit fear leading to legal medical practice.

    I want to share my personal idea of trying to solve some of the problems. One of the biggest asset of the federal government is their Verterans Administration hospitals (VA hospitals) that are overlooked. I have worked at one of these hospitals. Usually, these hospitals have large nice buildings (majority of them) with all the latest technologist. There are some problems with staffing which could be solved.

    If the government makes a law that most of the investigations of the medicare/medicaid patients including lab work, MRIs etc should be preferably done at VA hospitals, the government can save substantial amount of money. The majoring of the healthcare costs are in these investigations. By having those done at their own hospitals, the government does not have to pay anyone for these, utilize their own resources better and probably save a lot of money. Similarly, all the uninsured population should also get healthcare at these hospitals. The government might have to spend some more initially to add more resources to these hospitals, may be even build few more (so that the veterans do not suffer from this). But this should eventually save lot of money,I think, enough to cover cost of the uninsured. The patients on the government plan can choose any physician they want, but just have to get their testing, may be some costly procedures preferably at the government hospitals.

    Just a thought !

    July 29, 2009 at 7:02 pm |
  19. Jim M

    So why not base the proposed medical health care program on the VA or the Congressional health care systems – or both?

    July 29, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  20. Lia Lemus

    i think Text messaging should be abolished if its just gonna cause so many deaths on the road we are not gonna die if we cant text message but it seems like we are going to die if we do

    July 29, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  21. Melissa

    I can't wait to text my question!

    July 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  22. tameika

    Its amazing how we have all this money for health care reform and bailouts, but we still can't feed and house the poor

    July 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  23. summer

    Wow money is more important than healthcare? I think all of us as Americans should help pay...We (American people) allowed ourselves to get here so we should help ourselves get out of it as well. The healthcare problem is not going away if we ignore it now it will just continue to get worse!!!!

    July 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  24. Sam(antha), Boston MA

    If health cares becomes more affordable for more people, will it eventually decrease the quality of care that people receive?

    July 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  25. jessica

    yeah...u right martina...
    even (we know and agree) health matter is so important but we ust be realiztic...
    i think now (better) think about economical stuff to recover the finance condition

    July 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  26. Bob hudson

    Why can't our government implement the excellent VA health record system whereby a veteran's health records are accessible at any VA facility in the US? A satisfied veteran.

    July 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  27. RLWellman

    Why does the Government think it can run a 6th program, when it can't run Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the Post Office, and the VA Hospitals now? It's because they want more control over us, not because they want to help us out.

    If this Nationalized Health Care Reform is going to be so great, how soon are they going to sign up for it themselves? I won't be holding my breath until they do.

    July 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  28. Martina Ilstad Germany

    Is it really realistic to reform the health care in this bad financial time?is it affordable?Who will pay?

    July 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm |