August 11th, 2009
10:19 AM ET

Morning Buzz: Health care waste?

[cnn-photo-caption image=
http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/08/10/art.whhcreality0810.wh.jpg caption="The White House launched a new Web page Monday."]

Eliza Browning
AC360° Associate Producer

President Obama hits the road and heads to New Hampshire today for the first time since he campaigned there during the election season. He’ll be speaking at a town hall in Portsmouth on health insurance reform. Will he encounter the same protests members of Congress have seen over the past week at these public meetings? We’ll be watching closely.

Meanwhile, in response to what it calls “wild rumors and scare tactics” circulating about plans for health care reform, the White House launched a new site that apparently debunks some common myths about the reform proposals. Does it make this complex issue easier to understand? We’ll dig deeper on the issues tonight.

Sen. Arlen Specter is holding two town halls in his home state of Pennsylvania today. Demonstrators from the Independence Hall Tea Party Association were planning on attending the event to express their opposition to some of the Democratic proposals. Tempers were already flaring at the first one this morning, but it seemed a bit calmer than the public meeting the Senator held last week when he and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius were drowned out by boos and catcalls. Gary Tuchman will be at Specter’s second town hall this afternoon. He’ll bring us the latest on the concerns of people in that state.

Before we spend trillions of dollars to reform health care – what about the hundreds of millions (if not more) of dollars experts say we’re wasting on health care today? How will that be reconciled and what causes so much government waste? Tom Foreman is keeping them honest and looking into the roots of this so-called waste.

Is Baitullah Mehsud, the infamous Taliban chief, alive? Yes, says the spokesman for the group in Pakistan. But this disputes the Obama administration’s contention that he was likely killed by a CIA missile strike last week. The Taliban spokesman says that Mehsud is ill and in an undisclosed location. Peter Bergen in Pakistan and will have more about the likelihood of the Taliban’s claim about Mehsud tonight.

People in China are facing a disturbing trend: a child trade. John Vause talks to parents whose children have been stolen right off the streets and kidnapped outside of their homes. The police have reportedly been slow to help find the missing children and return them to their homes. And the numbers are up to 10,000 to 20,000 children each year. More on this frightening trade tonight.

And Eunice Kennedy Shriver died this morning at the age of 88. The sister of President John F. Kennedy founded the Special Olympics in 1986 and is credited with transforming the way in which Americans see those with mental disabilities. Her legacy will live on for generations to come.

See you tonight at 10 p.m. ET!

Filed under: Eliza Browning • The Buzz
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. redhat

    Serious question... I asked the white house health care website, but they didn't respond.

    The house health care bill mentions "health disparities" many times. It specifically seeks to address disparities across racial and ethnic lines. Will my race be a factor in any decisions made about what scarce medical resources I may have access to?

    August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  2. Amanda

    I live in Canada. I am from a small city in Saskatchewan. When I first saw that president Obama was taking on the Us health care I was amazed. I am floored when I read that so many people don't get the basic medical care let allown something major happens to them. I am sad when I hear that some people don't want to have a universal health care system. I ask my self why. Why do the rich get the basic human right to health care. It does not make sence. I know Canada's health care system is not perfect there are waiting lists but I know I can get medical care when I need and know when I leave the hospital or doctors office I am not going lose my house or car because the bill will send me into debt. I am proud to be in Canada.

    August 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Marian

    Most of these protesters are so misinformed, and actually many of them are just plain angry because their candidate lost the past election. They will go to the point of shooting themselves in the foot over health care in order to shout reform down. When they start seeing the results of doing nothing Heaven help them.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  4. izzyeffect

    the comment that Melissa made is just proof how nasty some people can be."You like Candace health care so much……………Move!" how creative I'm a 18 year old freshman in college and the behavior shown by some of these so called adults is nasty before you can tell someone to move realize that you are in American in this country as well as me and your sitting here instead of being part of a solution being part of a problem so really maybe you should be the one to move.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  5. kent

    Mr. Cooper- current legislative proposals will likely do very little to "reform" healthcare. I am a physician/small business owner and physician leader. There is no discussion from Washington or the media on focusing on what is truly needed. There is too little space for me to state all needed issues. Congressmen and Senators who know very little about healthcare are not equiped to create what is needed for true reform. Once a giant entitlement program is created, it will be impossible to take it down. If Mr. Cooper or someone from his staff would contact me, I think I could outline what elements are probably necessary, and perhaps we could focus our attention on what actually has a chance to work.

    August 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  6. Ann-Marie Clements

    Hi Fed Up,

    I'm one of those Americans who MOVED TO CANADA because our family had NO HEALTH CARE AT ALL.... We as a family, in fact, ALL CANADIANS NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HEALTH CARE, whether they are working or not.... That's one less worry we have here. Yes, we do pay much more in taxes, but we know ALL OF OUR CANADIAN CITIZENS INCLUDING LEGAL RESIDENTS LIKE US ARE TAKEN CARE OF. For example: my spouse broke his ankle here in Canada, and it was operated on and he had physio-therapy until he could walk normal again. If I had been in "The States" when I had NO HEALTH CARE INSURANCE, I would have been BANKRUPTED!!! That's the difference between the two systems!!! This system isn't bad if other Industrial Nations (England, France, Italy, Germany, etc) also have UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE. It's just medicare for ALL THE PEOPLE, not just the few who have the LUXURY of having health care because they are working for a company that provides it. In fact, many Americans have LOST THEIR HEALTH CARE SINCE THEY LOST THEIR JOBS.... Please try to OPEN YOUR MIND to change!!! ;>)

    August 11, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  7. Ashley

    Thank you izzy! That's really all this is about...I would respect these people more if they just had the guts to come out and say it....

    August 11, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  8. Fed Up

    Melissa – You like Candas healthcare so much...............Move!

    August 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  9. Antonio

    Have you seen the 1997 film, "The Rainmaker"? A good Grisham book too, from what I hear. Is it still relevant?

    August 11, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  10. Kristi in kc

    Tired of emotional misinformation?
    Try this.

    From 2000-2007, profits of the top 10 insurance companies increased by over 400% while the number of uninsured increased by 19% and health insurance CEO's averaged $11.9 million each, per year. In 1993, 95% of medical claims were paid out - whereas in 2007, approximately 80% were paid out. Could that possibly be why the health insurance companies are spending $1.4 million A DAY to stop reform? . . . . Nah.

    August 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  11. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    @Susan, I guess you missed Obama's prime time press conferences. I'm sure all the questions that are allowed to be asked will be hand picked or planted just like his press conferences. People are mad and are demanding answers, which if you look at the new White House 'reality check' are few and far between.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  12. izzy

    it is very unfortunate today in 2009 we have the anger going around the way it has been. comparing the president to Hitler and painting him out to be the deliver of death is not only disgusting but very UN-American. the health care reform bill is just a bill in progress nothing has been set in stone there are different versions of the bill being thrown in the air, but people do need to understand yelling and screaming because there presidential candidate ( John McCain) was not picked and I'm sure the fact that the president is black has a big part to why some people are angry. they are hiding behind the health care issue to express anger for everything else they don't like about the president. if this doesn't stop the anger of these town hall meeting could lead to bigger things like flat out racism and hate that can be very dangerous. i believe it's not a health care issue but a cover up to why a lot of these people are really angry.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  13. susan

    From some of the videos of the disruptions: It comes down to adults displaying puerile behavior in inability to allow the person to whom they pose their concern to say anything. If the person is not allowed to say something, how can that person even begin to attempt to answer your question. They have taken the tactics of certain "news" networks and "columnists" in suggesting that if one does not allow the other side to speak, your side automatically wins.

    I am also struck by the difference a few years and Democrats v Republicans make. The Bush years demonstrated carefully scripted and approved questions and questioners with nary the possibility of an agnostic or questioner in your audience. Compare the current climate which does indeed allow and almost encourages anyone and everyone to speak out. Even on the blogs, both sides are allowed to present their views. But, it seems that certain groups believe this should not be the case – at least in real time.

    These tactics may be revealed for what they are – fear-mongering, which was the specialty of the Bush-Cheney-Rove machine. Sorry, but referring to a clip played by Jon Stewart, the "questioner" could only vocalized, "I am afraid." When asked what made her afraid, "Obama." This is not the basis of debate. This is the basis of psychotherapy.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  14. Stan

    I was watching cnn this morning and to my surprise and disgust this add was aired about healthcare reform depicting all of the mis-truths that the right wingnuts have been trying to convince people of. This is the same mis-information that most people in this country are trying to stop. This is the type of add that I would expect from fox news, but certainly not cnn. Doesn’t cnn have the integrity to place adds that at least have some truth about them, or has cnn decided that the money is more important. Good healh care reform is too important for this type of trash to be aired. Please cancel this add.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  15. Ilona, Tempe, AZ

    I can barely stomach CNN's coverage of the town hall meetings. Are you serious in asking if these crazy folks on crank behaving like bullies have legitimate concerns???
    It insults my intelligence!
    They are ignorant, misinformed fanatics, disgruntled with the fact this country has a Black president, who is aiming to make some ground breaking change.
    They should be escorted out of the meetings and arrested for disorderly conduct. That's what Bush would have done to progressives bahving this way.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  16. Melissa

    Ann-Marie Clements, I'm a Canadian living in the US and I'll tell you now that I am terrified of getting injured in this country. Canada's health care is infinitely preferable to what the US offers. At least in Canada I knew that I wouldn't end up homeless and destitute because I was hit by a car while crossing the street. In the US, the insurance company can actually deny me lifesaving coverage if that were to happen and I could easily end up exactly that way.

    Incidentally, the example of the car accident already happened to me in Canada. I'm supposed to have the metal rod in my leg out in two years. I think I'd rather go to Canada to get it fixed than stay in the US just to pad some greedy corporations pocket.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:25 am |
  17. Melissa

    I'm so tired of people like Cynthia trying to scare everyone into fighting against reform. No more of this kind of attitude. If you can't be bothered to help, just want the status quo that we know isn't working, and want to simply cause trouble with no solutions but more screaming, then sit down and keep your mouth shut.

    August 11, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  18. Jofre Rosero

    I feel CNN is helping the Republicans to bring down the new reform. I watch the news this morning and your anchor didn't let the democrat congress mans speak.. President Obama is trying very hard to help make this system better for all of us. YOU guys should concentrate in educating people what the bill is about.

    This is the principal of journalism, to be neutral....

    Thank you for your time

    August 11, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  19. Enough

    We can only hope Obama listens to the legitimate concerns of the citizens. Healthcare is too important of an issue to turn over to a government that cannot run any program efficiently. Post office, DMV, Medicare, Social Security are all fine examples of why we should be concerned for our health. It is a matter of Life and Death.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:44 am |
  20. Ann-Marie Clements

    I was disgusted at the American people at the town hall meeting with the Senator at Lebannon, Pennyslvania. I think they are greedy & only care for themselves and can't see past their own situation, which shows their ignorance. I'm an American living in Canada and I've lived both health care systems, and can tell you, the Canadians care for their citizens, where Americans only care for their immediate families and their health care situations. As an American who's concerned with her country's decayng situation, I can't believe that Americans can't see "outside the box" of their own situation. BTW: I lost my health care in Michigan 5 years ago for 1-1/2 years, so I lived watching my younger daughter brake her arm and having to pay CASH for it to get fixed.

    Ann-Marie Clements (born New Yorker) now living in New Brunswick, CANADA..

    August 11, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  21. Cindy

    This health care reform thing is a crock. It will do nothing but bleed this nation to death! We are in severe debt now just wait until this thing passes. There's no way to pay for it but by raising our...everyone's...taxes. If you want to see how government run health care looks then go to any VA hospital and you will see how crappy it is and how crappy they are treated. Someone I know almost died because he needed a pace maker and they made him wait three months before doing the surgery. By then his heart was barely pumping blood through his body and he couldn't even get out of bed. Then the kicker is they did the surgery yet one of the inept doctors touched the pacemaker with no gloves on so he got a really bad staff infection that made them have to take the pacemaker back out and then he had to wait another month and a half before they could do it again. That is government run health care. There are LOTS of more stories just like that to go around.

    Sorry to hear that Mrs' Shriver passed away. She did a lot for the disabled. My prayers go out to her family.


    August 11, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  22. Michelle D. Fonthill,Ontario

    Good Morning Eliza

    I hope the protesters don't give too much strife directed at Pres Obama .They are misinformed and the insurance companies can increase thier profits and it will get derailed .

    My prayers go out to Maria Shriver on the passing of her mother what a legacy she leaves behind and her wonderful charity work .

    @Eliza When will Anderson be back? AC 360 is not the same without him i hope all is well .

    Thanks for the buzz
    Michelle D.

    August 11, 2009 at 10:30 am |