August 10th, 2009
11:20 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Make or break health care?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/09/health.care/art.dick.durbin.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Dick Durbin, center, says protests disrupting recent town hall meetings go against 'the democratic process.'"]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

Happy Monday everyone.

The battle continues over health care reform and the rhetoric keeps ramping up on both sides of the debate. We’re paying close attention to the town halls and public meetings about health care today to better understand the key questions that keep coming up. Some congressional leaders have postponed their public meetings, while others will continue to meet with their constituents to get feedback on this contentious issue.

Is this just a game of politics perpetuated by interest groups on both sides of the issue, or are there real issues that need to be addressed before health care reform can happen? We’ll be looking beyond the politics and breaking down the concerns about the various health care proposals. Many believe that if the President is defeated in his push for health care reform, he could find his entire agenda at risk.

The President finds himself far from a town hall today in Guadalajara, Mexico. It’s his first official summit with other North American leaders Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Word is they’re discussing a range of issues – from economic recovery to energy and the environment. But you can bet they’re also discussing how to handle the powerful drug cartels that continue to plague Mexico and are contributing to a spike in violence on both sides of the border.

Michael Ware is in Mexico where he continues to dig deeper on the drug violence and the influence of the cartels in the region. The cartels are big business in Mexico, but they’re not just focused on drugs anymore. They’ve diversified their businesses and branched out into other areas – such as human smuggling. The cartels are now playing a central role in the multi-billion dollar-a-year-business of illegal immigrant trafficking across the U.S. border. Some believe this is contributing to the spike in violence against U.S. border patrol agents. Michael Ware will have more on this tonight.

Ali Velshi hits the road this week for his “Heartland Road Trip.” The Velshi express is in Atlanta, headed to Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he’ll talk to people about the economy and their feelings about health care reform. Ali will give us this look at how people like you are dealing with economic pressures, away from the hype of politics.

We’re also watching news out of Iraq, where 48 were killed and hundreds were wounded in attacks today. This violence comes after a series of bombings last week. Now that the U.S. has pulled out of major cities in the country, will violence continue to increase?

And we’re taking a look at what happened at a prison in southern California last night. Apparently, 250 inmates were injured in a riot that erupted overnight at the California Institution for Men in Chino. Dozens were taken to the hospital and several other prisons in the area were placed on lockdown as a result of the incident. How does a prison riot erupt? And what was done to contain it?

What else are you following today? Let us know and see you at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. earle,florida

    It's quite obvious that President Obama through himself into the "Healthcare Debacle",and created his own dilemma.Is he a masichist,or does he think he's "superman",either way he's gotten himself in a pickle. just think what the government could accomplish if they just start appropriating the critical equipment from Original Equipment Manufactures (OEM's) at cost eliminating the middle man? I'm tallking about MRI's,CT Cat-Scan's,Breast Cancer X-Ray Equipment,Diagnostic/Software via Machinery ,and various other related expensive diagnostic software relative to vital survival. The cost-efficiencies,and saving would be enormous if the government puts-out competitive bidding to all the large manufactuers here,and abroad. But the best part in this simple plan if implemented would be to allowing "All Hospital's,Community Facilities, Off-Site Independent Lab's",etc.,to purchase through this program,and save millions for these individual entities.They also could help with the finance, with a low fixed interest rate similar to the other government programs now used to bail-out the big banks,example, TALF/5% fixed 5 years pay back. Just a suggestion from a concerned "American for the Little Guy"!

    August 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  2. Susan

    @ Jenny

    Go to cspan.org and click HR3200. Good Luck !!!!!!!

    In my humble opinion the healthcare bill should be written by our Congress and not special interests healthcare and lobby groups.

    August 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  3. RLWellman

    Let's have a health care plan that doesn't include the Government in running it.
    Let's have a plan that doesn't remove conscientious objection of health care workers who don't believe in abortion.
    Let's have a plan that doesn't have a Government oversight committee that decides who gets care, how, and when.
    Let's have a plan that doesn't allow the Government to go into our savings or checking accounts and remove money to pay for our portion of this health care plan.

    August 10, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  4. Kay

    Just to clarify–Medicare and Social Security arenot entitlements. I have worked for everything I've got and I paid into Social Security and Medicare every month for 38 years. Now we are told both will soon be bankrupt. What happened to the money I paid in? Do you reallly want a govenment take-over of health care?It sounds like a massive welfare plan to me for the supposed 48 million people because they haven't paid any of their hard earned money into the system. Those of us who work (and future generations) will be taxed so those folks can receive a "health welfare" handout (entitlement).
    And another question–how many of the 48 million are illegal aliens? Just wondering . . .

    August 10, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  5. jenny rome ga

    Where can I find the actual bill that everyine is screaming about? I have been unable to do so. I find it hard to believe tthat Obama wants to pull the plug on the elderly and special needs children. That makes no sense to me.I would love to read the actual bill so I can find out if Obama is trying to kill off my parents.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  6. lampe

    c,ca: Maybe the point that most are missing is this. These are Seniors, who know exactly what their Insurance does and does not cover. The have been dealing with their own plans probably for years and years. Now comes along people who want to change the sense of stability that they may have with their Ins. Programs. Maybe they are really afraid of the unknown part of this plan. I am 54 years old, and to be very truthful with you, my parents don't understand a thing about this and neither do I. And we are all Democrats for now. So all this stupid name calling and blaming people is not making this any better, if anything all it is doing is making people madder, and worrying the daylights out of others.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  7. Robyn

    I would just like to state that I think Erica Hill did an excellent job last week during Anderson Cooper's absence.

    August 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  8. c,ca

    Every protest that I see on TV, seems to have the same group of people protesting. It is all white, senior citizens. I haven't seen anyone under 60 at any of the rallys. Maybe that group is the loudest – maybe that's who the news focuses on – I don't know, but it doesn't look like a cross section of America to me.

    I don't get what their problem is – they're on Medicare and Social Security! Where do they think that comes from? Are they listening to crazy Sarah Palin and believing that Obama is going to drop a bomb on retirement communities all over the country?

    This is all very misleading. It appears that a small group of people are getting an awful lot of attention. If I were seeing young people, young families, or ethnic diversity at these anti-health care rally – I would take it more seriously.

    Honestly I think these are just McCain/Palin supporters who are still ticked off that they lost the election.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  9. lampe

    Once again, this is not a Democrat issue, nor a Republican one. This is about how much of a part in your life you want The Government to play. and as long as people keep blaming each other, this will never get fixed. If you want HealthCare Reform, how about saying what you like about it, and STOP blaming everyone else for lying about it. Neither Party in this issue, is without fault. Dems blaming Repubs. Repubs. blaming Dems. The Dems want this, so how about putting everything up front, and let the peole decide. This should not be the decision of the Government.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  10. Carole

    I think too many people are out there screaming and yelling about things they know nothing about. We have not been given any of the critical details of this plan. What will the co-pays be, if any? What procedures will be covered and at what cost? Will we have to go on long waiting lists to even get in to see a docor? What will the quality of care be? How about prescription care costs....what will be covered and what will not? Will abortion be covered or will the government use this plan as a way of promoting what THEY want? If the folks who are voting for this plan had to be on this plan themselves would they stll want it? Force all government personnel to have to submit to this plan....not the golden plans they now enjoy...after all it is the taxpayers money that is paying for their healthcare now...let's downgrade them to what we will have to endure.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  11. Alvin Smallwood

    Let me begin by saying that nothing is perfect in this world. The health care issue in this country seems to be the hottest topic on every TV or in the news. This is an area where we as American can't come to any agreement. We are quick to mention how health care is bad in Canada or other countries, but there are Americans that are leaving here to Canada to buy medications. At least, these countries have some type of health care. They have some where to start and emprove where it is needed. We are going all over the world to solve every problem there is and millions of dollars are spent, but when it comes to spending money on our citizens that are paying to protect other countries, build schools, roads, supply medication to clinics or hospitals, etc. in those countries, we don't have the money. We tend to lead in every area, but when it comes to health care and education, we are behind. Politics have taken over in these two areas. The money is there, but how or where to spend the money is the problem. Health care is getting out of hand and if we don't take a stand now, we will never. We are so much concern about perfection that our citizens are dying and people are loosing their homes, because of health care. Let us be wise and take a stand now or never.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  12. Dave

    I feel that we should be allowed the exact same healthcare that we pay for all of congress. Give them one month to figure out how to provide it, then suspend their healthcare until it happens. How can we as Americans implement this change? It isn't fair that we go on paying for their healthcare and they just keep debating it. We as voters and taxpayers should be more in charge of the way our money is spent. Why are we not voting for pay raises and benifets? We are the employer- we should be assessing the amount of a raise these people are getting and the benifets that they recieve. Until every American is insured for healthcare Congress should suspend their own pay and benifets. Let them go without like we have for so long. I would bet that they could then quickly figure out a way for every American to get the same coverage that we allow for Congress.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  13. christianliberal

    It's really a shame how people are so easily manipulated! The people who disrupt debate at the town hall meeting don't realize that much of the protests stem from the talking points of the health care profiteers' leading lobbyist, Rick Scott. Scott made millions off the backs of patients while his company was fined $1.7 BILLION for fraud. Meanwhile, the most compassionate, loving service we could offer our fellow man is the life-affirming support for their medical needs that health care reform would provide.

    August 10, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  14. Wynoma Hollis

    I have no doubt we will get Health Care reform with a Public Option.
    All the rhetoric and lies the Republicans are spitting out there will back fire. The Insurance industry is finally getting what it deserves. After all these years of swindling people to get rich, their evilness has finally caught up with them. "You can do right forever, but you can only do wrong for so long."

    I have some news for all those Republican Na-sayers: "If God is in the plan, you can't stop the man."

    Wynoma Hollis

    August 10, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  15. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Happy Monday Everyone !

    The noise level has really been turned people want thier voices heard . I can't blame them corperations and employers are screwing everyone out of thier right to have medical benefits and drug plans it';s costing the tax payers too much with the economy in dire straits it's too much stress ! I look forward to seeing Ali Velshi report on the road again .

    Thanks for the buzz

    Michelle D.

    August 10, 2009 at 11:23 am |
  16. Cindy

    I think the health care battle is being harmed by big interest groups on both sides. They are just either..in it for making more money..or against it because they won't make as much. They are creating havoc for sure. But I do think that there are some serious issues and problems that need addressing before they pass this thing without us fully knowing what's up.

    I am SO glad that y'all are continuing having Mic Ware reporting from Mexico on this drug thing. He's great at getting in the middle of these issues and getting us real info and telling us the truth without sugar coating it. Please keep having him on for as long as it takes.

    I think that violence will steadily increase in Iraq because the nut jobs want to test the Iraqi's to see if they can really hold their own in the fight without our troops help. Lets hope that they can!

    Can't wait for the show tonight..seems interesting. And also I am glad that Cooper will be back on tonight! I skipped all last week.


    August 10, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  17. mnm2502

    I wonder if these three leaders will be talking about the possiblityof the amero?

    August 10, 2009 at 10:54 am |