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August 14th, 2009
07:04 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Watering down health care reform?

President Obama discusses his health care plans Friday at a meeting in Belgrade, Montana.

President Obama discusses his health care plans Friday at a meeting in Belgrade, Montana.

Suvro Banerji
AC360° Intern

President Obama made another attempt today to push for a health care overhaul. And he chose to do so in Montana, a traditionally conservative state. Speaking to a mostly supportive crowd, Mr. Obama emphasized the fact that the health care system requires improving insurance practices and reducing the costs of treatment. 

There are critics who believe that health care reform could become Pres. Obama's Iraq. Also, there is skepticism among members from his own party that this bill will eventually be so watered down that they're starting to call it the "health care lite."  

Is this health care debate going to have a lasting effect on this presidency? Tonight, we will dig deeper with former Bush 43 speechwriter David Frum, Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page and Nia-Malika Henderson from Politico. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Grassley got into a Twitter tussle with Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pennsylvania over the notion that health care reform might lead to pulling the plug on grandma or denying her care. We will keep the politics aside and let 360° MD Sanjay Gupta give us the raw facts.

Also tonight, the death toll from the typhoon in Taiwan is expected to reach more than 500.  Roads are blocked and hundreds of people are trapped and many are badly injured. There is anger and frustration over the government's sluggish response. But rescue workers seem to be trying their best. Senior international correspondent John Vause will join us live from Taiwan with the latest on rescue operations.

And, an eleven year old boy has scored the big interview for his school’s TV station- ten minutes with President Obama. Damon Weaver of Pahokee, Florida has already interviewed Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell and even vice president, Joe Biden. Tonight, we will show you the best moments of that 10-minute long interview.

All these stories and much more tonight on 360° at 10pm ET. See you then!

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care • President Barack Obama • The Buzz • Twitter
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. Nathan Kaufman

    LOOK at Massachusetts – they have universal coverage and costs are twice what they originally projected, it is bankrupting the state, newly insureds cannot find doctors so they use the Emergnecy room at twice the rate of the general public. People are not dealing with the right question. Healthcare reform will look a lot like the Massachusetts plan.. and it will generate costs twice the original projection. The question is what will the governemtn do WHEN costs are higher than the theoritical-politically-influence cost estimates being generated.... In Massachusetts an emergency panel has proposed changng the payment system from fee for service to a set payment covering the cost of an individuals care for the entire year, i.e. capitation. This will bankrupt many hospitals and cause doctors to leave the state. So when, not if, costs are way out of control under the new reform plan will the government's "medical effectiveness" start rationing care– you betcha

    I am a national healthcare consultant - you interview politicians and doctors - you may want to interview professionals that study this stuff throghout the country.

    August 17, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  2. Jim Gibson

    Dear President Obama,
    No public option = no true reform. As a liberal, I hope you are not "selling us out" with health care reform. If we can't get a public option, please kindly withdrawal from any attempt at meaningful change. No excuses with a democrat majority. Shame on all of you! I am outraged and discusted with both parties.

    Jim Gibson

    August 17, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  3. KIm

    Gotta defend CNN and think they all do a grand job of getting down to the bottom line and facts ! Now ,if one of them will just prepare an outline on the 1000 pages to understand and clarify all this health care. We need more RN's and Doctor's with input ! Listening and reading what they have to say has helped. I don't understand the 1000 pages and I'm frustrated figuring it out. Where is the break down and outline of objectives ? 1. Tax costs= --–? 2. Medicare decreases ? Is that true ? 3. How much will be saved to fix the concerns we have of which in the long run saves us money and lives ? Where is the easy list of how to fix it 1-20 ? Not 1000 complicated pages and we're not paying lawyers to figure it out.

    August 16, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  4. RLWellman

    The argument isn'r really about whether or not we need health care reform as much as it is about the Government thinking they can run another program. Some of you think the Government is doing a good job at running Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, VA Hospitals, and the Post Office.

    But, the majority of us think they have trashed the other five programs, why give them another chance? The Government can help lower the existing costs of health care if they wanted to. However, they would rather run another entirly new program.

    You may ask why? Beacause they want the power and control over the entire population of the country. They could help just the 45-49 million Americans they say do not have life insurance. But, they don't want just part of the country, they want all 300 million Amricans.

    You can't talk down to the crowds at these town hall meetings. You can't call them un Americans, morons, idiots or Nazis and expect to change their minds to your way of thinking. These are American citizens who are the back bone of this country and do not want the Government to have any more control than it does now!

    August 16, 2009 at 6:51 am |
  5. sandra grey

    If the government does not take this initiative to reform healthcare who will? For those who distrust government who do they want to follow? WallStreet? Insurance companies? Status quo is also a choice. Then where are we?

    Thanks to preponderance of opinion polls leading every American to think their opinion is salient whether they have any facts or not I say all networks quit the hyperbole inducing opinion polls and start focusing on data as in facts.

    There is data in what other countries are doing. What about an in depth on other countries esp. Germany where everyone is insured and pays for it(social democracy is not socialism), where insurance companies are limited on what they came make off sickness, where there is choice and where there are few lawsuits. It needs to be studied. Why not save the bantying around of opinions and focus on a serious study of what might work here. No system is perfect but as there are systems we could cherry pick from the trial and errors of others.

    August 16, 2009 at 3:48 am |
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