August 12th, 2009
07:30 AM ET

Sound Off: Your comments 8/11/09

Editor's Note: Once again, the topic that brought the most response from AC360 viewers was the proposed Health Care Reform and the town hall meetings occurring across the U.S. We heard the loudest voice from those who feel that the negative side of the issue is getting the most attention, while too many questions remain unanswered about what it actually means for various individuals. Appreciation was heard for Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s coverage, but was combined with requests for a “less simplistic approach and more in depth information on the pros and cons.” Here are some of the opinions and questions we received, and we’d love to hear what you have to say:


More coverage on the pro health care reform movement. ...Please....I feel the media is showing mostly the anti health care protesters...stop, and show the opinions of the grass roots PRO health care/Obama health care reform supporters.

I REALLY appreciate your attempt at setting the fact straight on the health care reform "debate?" However, the segment with Sanjay Gupta was at best "milk toast" and at worst it added to the confusion and fueled more rage. Come on guys. Gets some guts. Don't be so wishy-washy. You didn't even mention the most outrageous and widely held fear among seniors, and that is there are provisions in the current bill that will authorize killing of seniors. When are you guys going to stop trying to present everyone's point of view as ok. Sometime, one side is flat out lying. It's time for REAL TRUTH in journalism and you guys just failed your first attempt at returning the truth squad to reporting.

Dr. Gupta's analysis of the public option tonight was far too simplistic ... do it again and actually cover the pros and cons of public option. Why do some think it is a vital piece of reform while others view it is the worst possible thing? Please actually explain so people can evaluate. You do a good job ... now, go further, go deeper, more analytical. Discuss the shades of gray ... you audience may well be smarter than you think.

I was so delighted to see more coverage of health care. But please do not ask why Obama got elected if a silent majority opposes health care reform, as you did tonight!! I voted for Obama because I didn't want to vote for McCain and Palin. But I have serious doubts about health care reform. Also, Dr. Gupta said some may not qualify for public health care, but didn't say why not. I would like more details about the facts.

I voted for Obama but am unsure about health reform. Didn't you ask tonight whether there could really be a silent majority who don't support health reform if they voted for Obama? I don't understand how you can ask that question. It assumes that there was only one issue in voting for President. Please look at your biases!

Finally 360 is covering the news that is important to Americans...bravo. Your show concentrating on the "FACTS" of healthcare was so helpful. Anderson's substitute is doing a great job of allowing facts and keeping the "crazies" in context. We need more of this kind of journalism. Less Jackson, Manson and more about healthcare, economy, spread of guns and violent movements in U.S., stories behind what is happening in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Africa. Your coverage on Anderson's trip to Congo and tragedy of rape as a weapon was powerful and important. Don't look away! So much to cover, so little time for old mass murderers and celebrity dysfunction.

Filed under: Behind The Scenes
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Rene J.

    Am so disappointed with some of the people you choose to put on to discuss important issues. I (like so many people) am interested in factual information being discussed/debated by thoughtful, reasonable people. I am not interested in watching some wanna-be celebrity reduce what could be an important conversation to the likes of a high school debate contest – willing to throw anything against the wall regardless of how asinine or absurd. Was so annoyed with the Dana Loesch/Ron Reagan Jr. piece that I turned it off – what a waste of airtime. With all of the agenda driven media out there it is difficult to find reliable information – I expect better from CNN.

    August 12, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  2. Herbert Lefcourt

    Dear Editor: As an American-Canadian dual citizen living in Canada, I am aghast at the abject ignorance of Americans about health care. Canada's health programs seem to be written off as an example of the inadequacy of "single payer" health plans by people who simply do not know what they are talking about. It has been characterized as a system involving delays and lineups which may be true for certain esoteric surgeries. However, for more common problems , not only are the waits rare, but the costs are low and the technical expertise is excellent. For example, laser cataract surgery can cost up to $4000 in the U.S., whereas in Ontario, costs are $200 for both eyes, and that is the difference between ultrasound (free) and laser treatment. I have undergone three surgeries in my lifetime without cost to me, and, of course, the same is the case with visiting family physicians. Even our drug and dental costs are substantially lower than in the U.S. As a former officer in the U.S.Public Health Service, I can only marvel at the abysmal ignorance about alternative health plans. The ideologically driven myths about medicare in America are so incredible that the reputation of the U.S. as a world leader with a well educated populace can't help but be sullied.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  3. Kabe

    I was quite shocked by a momentary exhibition of poor journalism yesterday on the part of Gary Tuchman when he took the streets to ascertain views on the Health Care reform proposal. He asked an older lady about her views, and she responded that she did not trust anything President Obama said. Tuchman then asked the lady why she doesn't trust President Obama. The lady said she didn't trust the president because he has lied about many things. Rather than Tuchman ask the obvious, "what are some of the things you believe he has lied about," he quickly said: "so this is about trust, you don't trust him." I mean, how frustrating. Even, a high school journalism student could have asked that basic follow-up for the benefit of the viewers. You as reporters are the extension of our eyes and ears on the street, and you need to ask the relevant, important, informative questions for our benefit. We were sitting around the TV with our jaws dropped over the apparent journalistic incompentence. I completely agree with the writers who have suggested that CNN hold debate-style discussions on Health Care, like you did for elections. And, please feature more doctors and medical providers, and a bit less of the political commentators.

    August 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  4. India

    I do not understand why the health care town hall protesters keep holding up signs wiht swastikas and comaring Obama to Hitler. Was Hitler not a Fascist, Nationalist and White Supremicist? Fascism is associated with the RIGHT end of the political spectrum not the left. I think it goes wihtout saying that Obama is definitly not a white supremist either. So, why is he being compared to Hitler? What is the Nazi connection that these people think they are making. Did I miss something? Did Hitler also want affordable health care for the less forturnate and less restrictions on pre-existing conditions in private insurance and I just didn't know about it? In reality it seems to me that this is a case of the ignorant pot callign the kettle black in that most of the people holding up the signs are actualy, themselves, right-wing, nationalist, white supremicists and they just don't like having a black President.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  5. Jane

    I would like all the people that are pig headedly complaining about the health care initiative to stop. I want them to really find out what it’s about and stop listening to republican talk show hosts’ skewed and downright wrong information. Maybe these people have a lot of money and can afford the expensive health insurance plus co-pays. Maybe they are living on a pension, plus social security and don’t want their money going to those who need help.
    America is a capitalist country and there is nothing wrong with making money. While you should be able to make money on some things, you shouldn’t be able to overcharge and make exorbitant amounts of money on healthcare. If you, God forgive, have a child that has a handicap or rare disease you know that for the rest of your life you have to work 2 or 3 jobs in order to give your child the care he needs. The prescriptions are very expensive because it’s not an everyday disease. You are locked into a job because you are afraid he won’t be covered if you change jobs. I have 4 kids and each one has a medical problem. My oldest has PKU and although he is old enough and works and has his own insurance, it will never cover the medical attention he should have or the expensive special foods he has to eat. The substitute formula he should be drinking to make up for what he can’t eat is way too expensive to buy. My second child has a growth hormone deficiency and his medication is very expensive. We had to get him on Medicaid in order to get the medicine. If he goes to work he will lose this and I’m sure whatever insurance his first job has, it won’t cover this. My twin daughters are highly functioning autistic. They are 20 years old and I am enrolling them in college. They have collected SSI for disability and have Medicaid since they were 18. If they do well in school and get a good job they will lose their Medicaid and any programs they may be eligible for. My husband and I both work, we are not asking for a handout.
    Why do the insurance companies have to make so much money? Why do the pharmaceutical companies have to make so much money? Is it because of their lobbyists greasing the palms of government? They are making exorbitant amounts of money off the health of Americans.
    When something is needed for people to survive, it should not be a Fortune 500 company. Too often the stock holders come first before the customers.

    August 12, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  6. Heather Hallam (Canadian)

    I don't understand why some Americans are making a big rumpus over President Obama's proposed health care plan. I know Canada's system has been made out to be too socialistic but when it comes to the health care of all citizens what's wrong with that?

    I haven't heard the same outrage in the states over your government run pensions that are similar to ours. So, what is the difference between your government run pensions and a government run health care system in terms of socialism?

    August 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  7. Audrey

    With all the horror stories and confusion surrounding the health care bill, I think there should be a special report broadcasted, like the debates, that would take us citizens through the proposal so far and debunk the rumours. This way anyone, like myself, who really cares could get the true facts without any interpretation and personal spins.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  8. Kevin Duffy

    I am watching this "debate" in bewilderment. I am a Brit and have lived in the US for nine years and Australia before this,my family has significant medical issues which have managed in three health systems. The one I am in the US is substantially more costly in every way- the quality of care my family has recieved is good but at risk of bursting anyones bubble is no better than I have recieved in the public and semi private systems in the Uk and Australia.
    The hysteria being whipped up by those who should no better is masking the open and sensible debate that needs to take place to improve a system that is need of major overhaul and full of waste and excess in the form of beauracracy and non necessary tests and procedures.
    It disturbs me greatly when I read comments by former governers talking about death panels and removal of care for the aged. My father has just been through a double hernia repair in the UK ,it was a minor irritation to him -he is 83 so it was not threatening his qualification for the olymipic pole vault. he waited 7 weeks for this surgery, nobody is sending him bills ,putting him in collections or trying to take his house.
    My message to all those passionate on both sides of this debate is to get the facts and understand the alternatives.
    There is no doubt that public healthcare systems have their faults but they are not as demonic as is being suggested by some.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  9. susan goldbeck

    CNN should research who they are quoting from on an essential issue such as health care reform. Last night on AC's show with a substitute for him on the show,the guy talked about research from the Lewin sp?Group and reported it as something we all should take as independent and reliable research.
    Unfortunately this group, repeatedly quoted by opponents in Congress of health care reform, is an arm of the insurance and health care providers and is funded by them. Check it out and at least report where they are coming from and who they are speaking for. and when you do present an opposing view as well.
    To me this is more important than your picture of the day or endless stories about Micheal Jackson.
    Why not have a town hall meeting on CNN similar to the kind you had in presidential debates? This might actually get some meaningful dialogue going on. You could have two Democrats, two Republicans. or something like that. You could discuss single payer, coops or other options the public needs to learn about.

    August 12, 2009 at 11:37 am |