August 14th, 2009
07:04 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Watering down health care reform?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/14/obama.health.care/art.obama.montana.afp.gi.jpg caption="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. mary nielsen

    Doctor Timothy, really, 500.00 Dollars for any surgery is ridiculous. I suppose if you leave out the nursing care , hospital bed , medication , operating room, and so on, possibly. He is not saying It,s the Doctors fault., He is saying the cost of Health Care is out of control in general. From the medical insurance companies who are charging people rates they can't afford. to out of control paper work, to the high cost of medication, to the uninsured. Yes your malpractice insurance is also out of control. I am a RN. and it scares me to. That's why we need Health care reform. If not for you and me, for the children and there parents, who for many reasons cant afford medical insurance. They are not getting medical care. Besides there is always a bad egg in all groups, Police, Doctors Nurses and so on.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  2. hicoveringkids

    The comment made by Dr. Kent Holtorf about Hawai‘i in today's CNN Live program is absolutely incorrect. Rollover from the HMSA Children's Plan was a ONE TIME event when Keiki Care started. After that most kids were required to be uninsured at least six consecutive months. The plan had limited benefits and out-of-pocket expenses which also discouraged parents from dropping private health insurance. Outreach was for the small targeted "gap group" kids and approximately 40 were enrolling per month. They were finally connected to a pediatrician which meant receiving preventive health care, regular attendance at school, and participating in normal childhood activities.

    For those who don't philosophically believe we should cover all kids with health insurance the same as we cover all seniors through Medicare, think about where your tax dollars should be wisely spent: inexpensive children's health insurance programs or bailing out hospitals for uncompensated health care. In 2008 there were 3,302 total number of visits to hospital emergency rooms by uninsured kids in Hawai‘i. The average hospital bill was $1,346 for a total of $4.4 million.

    August 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  3. Timothy Hopkins, MD

    The President has openly, directly answered questions regarding his support for tort reform. He has said he does not suppert it. Defensive medicine has been a significant, if not the main cause of higher health care bills, because Doctors have to order every test on the list in order to avoid 'not having diagnosed something' and being liable for negligence- even when it's completely beyond the scope of the current visit to the Doctor. Lawyers oppose tort reform. That's well known.

    The President has also been spreading false rumors to elicit an indignant response against Doctors- He openly stated that a surgeon would operate solely for financial gain, and be paid $30,000 to amputate a diabetic foot, when the real figure, per the official Medicare rates, is $500.00- a sixty-fold exaggeration. How can you propose to have a quality health care relationship when Doctors are made out to be greedy, self-serving, and disinterested in the actual welfare of their patients? This stats the office visit off on a sour note from the start.

    The president wants a Bill, and he wants to name it "Healthcare". He wants his name on it. Little matter what damage this may cause to the majority of Americans; Damage that will be difficult to undo.

    August 15, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  4. Joe A

    There has been so much talk about different clauses in this bill and the Dem’s come out saying that; “no, we don’t mean it that way – no we will not ration, no we will not make decision, no we will not tap your bank account”, but if there is so much ambiguity then this bill should NOT pass because it leave too much open to re-definition which could lead to total control of our freedom to choose. How could we believe that this super majority will not turn around and say; “well this clause allows us to tell you when to give up a fight against cancer.” Once we let the Government in, we will never get rid of them and they will do what they do best; micromanage a system to death until we are left with the worst of the worst – if so many people are arguing about the clauses, then it is too ambiguous. Mr. Obama tried to rush it through as he did the stimulus and we see the failure of that bill. Now that he was not able to bully congress into passing it, the lack of cohesion in the document is coming to light. It should not pass if so much of the document is unclear!

    August 15, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  5. darren

    It sounds crazy but hear me out. Limbaugh, Hannity, Anderson Cooper, Beck, and Madlow are all essentially on the same side... the side of entertainment. All 6 of these media outlets (and others) have become masters at pitting our own personal beliefs, passions, and love for our country against each other to increase their own ratings and secure the millions that they make. And trust me, all 6 of the above mentioned make millions, check their salaries. They never show the entire story, only parts of it. And its only the parts that will derive enough anger, resentment and passion so that we hunger for more and we can justify our own personal opinions and tune in tomorrow. I am a conservative by nature that voted for Obama, but in my opinion, its much more informative, unbias, and healthy to watch c-span.

    August 15, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  6. mary nielsen

    To Mary Pat RN. From Mary N. RN You go girl .I was born and raised in New York, and now live in Oregon. I am willing to give , If it takes raising my taxes OK I volunteer. Not too change the subject, but for a positive note our palliative and Hospice care is quite good, but yes we need end of life counsel to get there. The guy on the radio with the big mouth, is a very small man, with a big wallet, scarring people, with lies. That is not what this country is about.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  7. KIm

    The gov. of Montana is saddled up and riding in for Universial Health Care ! In 1993 medical bills were growing at over twice the rate of inflation. No one read 1000 pages. Now we lose insurance for 14,000 people a day.The current health care system is unsustainable. It's broken and needs fixing ! Regulated health care maintance check ups are like preventative medicice for soaring costs we can't afford !

    August 15, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  8. Toni Fitzgerald

    I agree with Arland's comment posted on 08/15/2009. I feel AC baits the the false rumors and outragous lies the Republicans put out every day. I quit watching CNN weeks ago as I felt they have lost the the edge on truth and no bias. Wake up news people and start reporting the facts with out all the tactics for higher ratings. If people want the FACTS tune into MSNBC. Rachel Maddow and others on MSNBC back up thier news with hard FACTS that can be reshearched . With facts people who want to make a educated desicion can do that without all the garbage news people like to throw in for ratings.

    August 15, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  9. Tjeerd Geerts

    @Lynn Robert Carter

    Great comment, and oh so true.

    August 15, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  10. Hum Tum

    We don't want our country to be like Russia but we will follow
    Russian Or ly
    We are informed citizens, thus follow Pa li n, to see Russia
    from her porch
    We don't want socialism but social security, unemployment insurance and medicare
    We want our country back – back from intellectual people
    We don't want govt. bureaucrats; we can elect govt. Mo rans
    We don't need to show my birth certificate, but demand others to show theirs
    We want States right for governance & succession but could use some stimulus money
    We don't want govt control but stand by me at every crises & Katrina in my life
    We are Americans so we exercise our rights over others
    We are unique in our stu pi dity, so, America is the only place for me
    We are not angry mob, unamerican, nor militias, just boring left over tea bagans
    We ha te color people, but, presently on vacation in Puerto Rico to TAN my skin
    We yell at meetings to say- hands off when my foot is in my mouth
    We have values, good ones, but hard to practice in C. street when lights are off
    We don't mind false sided F. news when delivered with a Tear
    We are fearful of death panel as it prohibits us from pulling the plug on my rich relatives
    We know amendments –to conceal drugs, alcohol, gu ns & soul mates
    We understand constitution-"Our forefathers & Sotomayor wrote something.I know she did”

    August 15, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  11. Simon

    wasn't the so called 'sorry gra ma, but time for you to rest in peace now' clause in the healthcare bill put there by a republican in the first place? No wonder they are so quiet these days, now that the fuel is feeding the fire. What will they think of next..what if Jesus would come back nowadays amidst all of this turmoil, they would probably crucify him , but not before waterboarding him this time. God bless this sick planet of ours.

    August 15, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  12. bruno

    Please confirm is Roxana mayer is a Doctor.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:55 am |
  13. rob nelson

    We could always start with tort reform on our healthcare...getting rid of the ambulance chasers on television. Reform malpractice insurance so doctors can charge more reasonable rates free of that burden. Curb the fraud in medicare and and government spending contracts and we might have enough money to pay for more reform....How about finding ways of saving the money before we spend it? Oh, that is what taxpayers do.....sorry!!

    August 15, 2009 at 2:49 am |
  14. rob nelson

    I hope though, that the democratic majority rams the health care legislation through regardless of what they hear. It will be the end of them for sure. After 8 years of hearing them froth over Bush, even independants were ready to toss them the ball and let them run with it. But no one had any idea what they really planned and would do. I am so glad they know what is best for me and will make sure I get it even if it kills me. One question though, has anyone checked to make sure that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reed were not abducted by aliens?

    August 15, 2009 at 2:42 am |
  15. Melanie

    CNN should do several hour specials on the various healthcare proposals to get out the RIGHT information. This is afterall, the best use of your news organization. Rather than short bits on outbursts, problems, etc., inform the public of the whole truth and put to rest all of the misinformation and outright lies and shut down the troublemakers now!

    August 15, 2009 at 2:35 am |
  16. rob nelson

    Even independants and republicans are for health care reform, but they don't believe the people who brought us "bailouts" "cash for clunkers" Amtrak, the Post Office and now GM, are the right people for this job
    If congress does it, how soon will we see $10,000 toilet seats in health care buildings? showing once again they messed it up?

    August 15, 2009 at 2:34 am |
  17. rob nelson

    The main fear of most I talk to is that once the government has a foot in the door, ergo, "end of life care" panelists evaluating senior care such as rahm emanuels brother a proponent of euthanasia will somehow influence the health decisions....this is the full flux of the "death panel" discussions. Simply put...Don't open any door where the government can come back later and widen it for "your own good" as they have done on so many other laws.

    August 15, 2009 at 2:31 am |
  18. Arland

    Once again AC has shelled out legit tickets to these malcontents that legitimately want to improve our health care system:( yeah right! Just remember Anderson, every time you say the words "These people have legitimate concerns," you are legitimizing their behavior. Especially when you do no follow up on the people's concerns. It means nothing when you show the malcontents and then pan to an expert or a behavioralist or even an AARP member who "legitimizes their fear" without facts or byline. You are in fact encouraging and enflaming their fear by bating and solidifying its foundation. I am so close to closing the door on CNN already and you just happen to be one of the last bastions of realism left. What happened to your particularly keen insight? I hope you come to realize that every story has a minimum of two sides and as a respected reporter, you should desire all perspectives before "legitimizing" one in particular. Who have you become?

    August 15, 2009 at 1:49 am |
  19. Tom

    Heath care will be decided by the media. AC, just the facts and health care will become law. One major TV network is anti-health care and we need CNN to level the playing field. My 1st post, you said be brief and this is more brief than I want...

    August 15, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  20. sandra grey

    Can you do an indepth on France and Germany healthcare please. We have heard enough about Canada. As an American who maintains German residency and has studied the system here noone stateside has explained it accurately. In a nutshell, anyone employed must select and buy from 96 companies. All programs are non profit. Truly disadvantaged have single payer to tide them over. As health insurance is nonprofit each company must have other insurances from which to derive profit. Nonprofit means only profit for basics but not for stockholders.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:43 am |
  21. LJB

    Hi Anderson,
    Just an idea from a Brit who has lived in the USA for 12 months and who happens to be incredibly proud of the NHS but completely speechless as to the behaviour and attitudes of Americans with regards to health care reform. Why not take a select few of those opposing the health care reform to Great Britain or Canada so they can see at first hand the excellent treatment that is given to patients regardless of their financial situation. Let them talk to the patients who are being given life saving treatment without concern for losing their homes due to high medical bills or being made bankrupt because some random cells in their body decided to develop into cancer or the unfortunate individual that just happened to have an accident that day whilst going about their own business. I would just love to watch the difference in opinions of before you take them and when they return home.

    August 15, 2009 at 1:34 am |
  22. whitecollargreenspaceguy

    The Government already has the funds to pay for Universal Health Care. It is time to stop the madness and violence at the health care reform meetings. Using shift work for white collar jobs could cut the cost of the 500 million square feet of office space currently in used by the federal governe=ment by up to 50%. This would save enough money to provide universal health care. It could also reduce the carbon footprint by 50%. For details go to:

    Now featured on http://www.buzzflash.com/ under the heading:
    "Using Shift work for white collar jobs to greatly reduce the fiscal and environmental cost of new office space"

    When you need to fake grass roots participation in town hall meetings and press conferences rent human look a likes from Astro Turf Fighters Robotic Rentals.

    August 15, 2009 at 12:52 am |
  23. Ken Cain

    In Palm Beach County, Fl. all property owners are taxed a seperate tax to cover the cost of healthcare for the indigent or poor. No one has to go without medical care. If Congress insists on passing a healthcare bill then just give every American citizen the same health care plan they have us give them. No more and no less. After all aren"t we ALL SUPPOSED TO BE EQUAL.

    August 15, 2009 at 12:06 am |
  24. Georgette in Georgia

    Hi AC – I love your show, you report the news and really don't take sides. On healthcare reform, I think we should strip Congress of healthcare coverage for the rest of their term so they can experience first hand what the other 46 million Americans have to face each day. If someone doesn't think we need to cover uninsured Americans they should go by the Free Clinics in their areas and speak with the hundreds of people in line. It's really sad, I'm just fortunate to have a job and insurance for my family at this time, but I want others to be covered too!

    August 14, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  25. Marianna S.

    Why are there only positive pro health care comments allowed on this site. I could not believe what some Canadians were saying. I am a Canadian – 50 years old and I can say that health care in Canada is terrible and it is most certainly rationed. They had no be when my Mother was terminally ill with breast and lung cancer – they sent her home, she had no extra health insurance through work to cover for a nurse, so was basically left to fend for herself until I I could go down and care for her. My all star athlete son had to wait 7 months to see a specialist and then 2 years for knee surgery effectively ending his career and dream.

    I think it ironic that Obam states Dr's will not abuse being paid for end of life disucssions for patients, but will abuse patients by taking thier tounsils out when not needed. Obama also stated in an NYT interview a few months ago "So that's where I think you just get into some very difficult moral issues. But that's also a huge driver of cost, right?
    I mean, the chronically ill and those toward the end of their lives are accounting for potentially 80 percent of the total health care bill out here."

    Here is a Headline from the Vancouver Sun today 08/142/2009 – Canadian newspaper – "The Fraser Health Authority confirmed Thursday it intends to cut surgeries, seniors' programs and services for the mentally ill to help deal with a budget shortfall of up to $160 million." Canadian Healthcare is that what you want. Another Canadian Headline today ""The Fraser Health Authority will pay $616,000 in carbon tax this year, rising to $821,000 next year, officials there said."

    August 14, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  26. Levi

    In the time it takes Rush Limbaugh to bite the end off an expensive cigar, the Democrats suddenly evolved from the party of wild-spending liberals without the ability to balance a checkbook, into diabolical math geniuses with a long-range plan to shave health dollars by unplugging millions of American Grandmas from life support. What a metamorphosis! Could it be evolution? Or rather, was it a divine gift from above? I believe the GOP are wrong about the evil plan part, but they are on to something about the Democrats new math aptitude, even if they won't admit it. I hope they don't squander their gift for numbers the same way the GOP squandered theirs over the past 8 years. I hope they use it to carefully tabulate enough votes to pass a heath care bill. Such gifts are given to be used for doing good works. Passing a health care bill to help millions of people who can't afford to go to the doctor, let alone smoke expensive cigars, would be a good work. So would defeating the self-interests of those who use fear and anger as stumbling blocks. Did I hear somebody say 'two birds with one stone?'

    August 14, 2009 at 11:47 pm |
  27. Butch Smith

    I can't help but wonder how many of the hard core anti healthcare took the clunker cash or are going to ?????? Do people think that is free ,the car people love it...

    August 14, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  28. Amme

    I am still trying to find out who won the Publishers Clearing House Prize on Aug 13...any idea?

    August 14, 2009 at 11:34 pm |
  29. reggie

    its not about us havin the biggest savings account. the best man at the end of the day is the 1 who is willin to give. i dont make a lot but i am willin to give 2 help.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  30. Dr. Richard Edlich

    The governor of Washington signed into a law a bill that requires all over head systems to be installed in all hospitals in the state of Washington. These lift systems allow the patient to be lifted without injury to the health care worker or the patient. A federal law should be passed that requires lift systems in all hospitals, nursing homes, and hospices. It is an emergency.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  31. mary nielsen

    The lies that are being told to people about health care reform are far more frightening than health care reform could ever be. Who are they listening to? They are terrorist's. The health care reform is going to help the people, not hurt them The medical insurance companies have been robbing us for years. It is about time the government stepped in. I have been a nurse for 23 years, with this experience, all I can say is wake up America, Who are you listening to

    August 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm |
  32. Taylor

    We run a small chain of franchised restaurants We currently have five stores and employ +/-50 people. We operate on a very tight margin and controlling cost is a major part of our company staying in business and being able to employ people. We have been in business for 22 years and over the course of that time have employed +/- 2500 people. Our industry is a very transient with high turnover. The majority of our employees are high school or college aged kids working their way through college. We currently offer a health care policy for full-time salaried employees and pay 100% of their coverage. Out of our eligible employees only 5 want the policy. The majority of our employees opt out of any coverage. If the pay or play portion of healthcare reform goes into effect as written and after running the numbers and fines listed in the current plan, these are the decisions that we will have to make to be able to stay in business.
    1. We will not offer any policy for any employee as it will be cheaper to just pay the fine. Therefore none of our current employees will be able to keep their current policy.
    2. We will decrease the amount of people we hire and/or lay off people to compensate for the increase in our payroll costs.
    3. We will no longer hire any full time employees.
    4. We will have to evaluate all our pricing structures to see if there is anyway to offset these costs without driving customers away.
    5. We will have to eliminate or curtail all charitable donations that benefit local schools, churches, athletic teams and other non-profits.
    When discussing this with other fellow small business owners who are "on the bubble" in terms of tight profit margins, minimum wage employers etc., they anticipate doing the same thing.
    Small business can not afford this nor do my employees want this.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  33. Maurney

    We need tort reform. We need Medicare not cut. We need illegals deported cause we can't keep affording them during this recession. We need our privacy. BHO is paying ACORN to go. I think it was today that someone took photo of the buses. We need to be told the truth. President & Lee stage questions & lie about being a dr. This is Chicago thugs at work

    August 14, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  34. Mary Pat RN California

    Folks just don’t understand the “extension of life’ done in the medical field as a mechanism to collect more money from the family, patient, the patients insurance company, there does come a time that to keep the patient comfortable and there is no chance of recovery. There is just no common sense for endless tests, chemo, meds, and deliberately delaying the end. The patient family says do what ever possible to keep their loved one alive. When the patient is terminal, there is no need for all of this.
    Wondering where most nurses feel and sense with many practices done today, I am sure would be the same as mine. Allow the patient dignity in their final days months or even years. I have a Do Not Resuscitate very clearly written in my medical file and and on a necklace worn at all times. Go to nurse.com and read the article related to Universal Health Care…. I am not threatened by the word ‘Socialized’
    medicine. Just means the social system takes care of their own. It does not mean folks are ‘put down’ My goodness who started that ‘fear tactic’? Let me guess. /;-(
    Trust me on many issues such as these you have to have been there!

    August 14, 2009 at 11:08 pm |
  35. Mary Pat RN California

    I have traveled from here to Norway, and all over Canada , and trust me there are not people carrying on about there health care system as we see here. We will have to have ongoing evaluations of our system and make changes until it is the best in the world. We can do that! If we can travel into space we can take care our own I am sure. I would have no
    reservations on forgoing space exploration until after we have that best
    health care system possible and we need not ask these folks to cut this initial plan to the point it is not effective. Watering it down not a option as far as I am concerned.

    August 14, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  36. larry ferdinand


    I'm appalled, pissed off, livid, etc., for your comment tonight about you're more concerned about the dogs than Michael Vick.

    Where were your comments about:

    -Where's your comment about Michael Phelps dope habit?
    -Where's your comment Madoff and his evil actions.
    -Etc, etc about other white males screw ups!!!!!!!

    August 14, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  37. Zoe

    Hi. The Pharmaceutical and Research Manufacturers Assoc. plans to do a $150M ad blitz during the congress recess. That should push this along I think. Just what it needs: a megaphone. 🙂 z

    August 14, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  38. Mikael Martinez

    You know, I'm for health care reform. But I mean, if it turns out it's not working, it's not like the whole plan is irreversible. I mean, we reversed prohibition, right? I see no need to be so afraid. We've always been able to work things out.

    I just blame sensationalism.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  39. Ray , Toronto, Canada

    Before Americans start trashing the Canadian Health Care system they should learn the name of our provinces. Being uneducated is no excuse for being ignorant on how well our health care works. Sure there is always the "red carpet" route for those who want to cross the border and pay large amounts of money for private care. And that is an okay option but we have a system that works. Your debate is amusing from this side of the border. It's always about fear in the USA.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:59 pm |
  40. Claudia

    I have "good" insurance and in order to get tests done my doctor has to lie for the reason for the test. That is now...today...not what the slam ads indicate will be our future. My Mom has Medicare ...a government program... and it is GREAT! She gets prompt attention from a better doctor than I have and has been refered to two specialist without as big a problem as I have. I can't wait until I qualify for Medicare!

    August 14, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  41. Melissa Bierstock

    I am trying to find some information on the president bestowing a medal of honor to Mary Robinson. There is conflicting reports on her possible anti-semitism and funding of the PLO during her presidency. Can anyone comment?

    August 14, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  42. C. Anne

    Rationally speaking, we need healthcare reform of some sort. The cost of the uninsured on the emerency care system is very high and ultimately ends up impacting us all. It is unfortunate that the debate is degenerating – although that is part of our democratic process. What concerns me is the lack of clarity of how they will pay for this, particularly when we are so financially in the hole. The other thing that is concerning is that they are so focused on jamming something down our throats that has not really been vetted for the impact it will have on our entire society. Case in point, in my mind, is that with all the hand waving over healthcare reform, the senate also has the Medical Device Safety Act that would subject medical devices to individual state tort laws and the vagaries of jury determinations in litigation. That would drive the cost of medical devices us (as is likely for the recent Wyeth v. Levine decision), but these issues are treated completely separately. Our elected officials need to take a holistic view of the process, carefully review and analyze the options and their implications, and then make a proposal. They need to stop with the shrill rhetoric (on both sides).

    August 14, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  43. Lynn Robert Carter

    Is it not the case that hospital emergency rooms must take all comers? Isn't this where a large fraction of the uninsured get their "health care"? Don't the rest of us already pay for that in one way or another? Isn't this less effective and more costly than providing the health care people really need? Doesn't it damage and limit the true emergency health care we all need? How much would we save and improve our health care system if people got the treatment they need as opposed to misusing the emergency system and transforming it into the provider for the uninsured?

    August 14, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  44. Moki, Tucson

    The Health Care debate has had some impassioned moments, but that's OK! This is what is great about our country. Yes, we could use more civility, but I think if we stick to it and talk things out, the best ideas will come to the surface and be implemented.

    We're in the education phase of Health Care reform. As long as people keep an open mind and are committed to doing what's best for the citizens of this country overall, then we're going to be just fine.

    If people close down, create more polarization and hysteria, then its going to be more difficult.

    We can work together and figure this out!

    August 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  45. Chaney,Sarepta, La

    Common sense tells me that the President asked for a 10 and will settle for a 5. Its an election year next year, and we have congress playing "cover thy own rear" so nothing controversial will get done. I think we will get Healthcare reform passed. Thank you for having Mr Potter on. I went to pbs.org, clicked on Bill Moyers, then archives then scrolled down to July 31, then Wendell Potter. Its a must see interview. Please CNN have him back.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  46. chris mcgahee

    I wish Obama would be more aggresive in pointing out what doing nothing will cost. I have insurance ,but cost of insurance and the deductables are rising rapidly
    The use of emergency rooms as doctors offices are rising the insured cost.
    Our taxes pay some of the cost for the uninsured,and the rest of the cost are tacked onto bills of those who have insurance and pay the bills
    I feel like we are increasing the debt by doing nothing

    August 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Terry Griffiths from Orangeville, Ontario, CANADA

    Sitting up in Canada and watching Amercians enthusiastically debate Health Care reform is fascinating television. However, I get ticked off when I hear the Conservative right trash Canadia's health care system as being lousy! If it's so lousy, why does the United Nations World Population Prospects report on Wikipedia indicate that Canada is ranked 11th out of 195 countries for life expectancy while the United States is ranked 38th! To be specific, the average life expectancy for a Canadian from birth is 80.70 years while an American can expect to live until 78.20. That's 2.5 years difference in favour of CANADA! As for males in Canada they can expect to live until 78.3 while American males can expect to live until 75.6 a difference of 2.7 years in favour of the Canadian male. Canadian women can expect to live from birth until 82.9 years while American women until 80.8, a difference of 2.1 years!
    Seems to me that Canada's Health Care system is far superior to the current U.S. model! I like our government run Health care system!
    In my extra 2.7 years of life expectancy I plan on taking cruises, playing some golf and enjoying my grandchildren, while my American counterpart will be fertilizing daisies 6 feet under!

    August 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  48. Mark Richard (Athol, MA)

    Evan if watered down I think eventually it will be a positive spin on his ability to do his job! Doing mothing or allowing nothing to pass would be a failure to his term.

    August 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  49. Patrick Kane

    Stick a fork in Nancy Grace.... she's done. How did this woman get on T.V in the first place? She reminds of my mother, blond and condescending. Her personality better suites politics. Its clear she hangs on every word she says. A nice seat beside Barbara Boxer is a better fit.

    August 14, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  50. Annie Kate

    If health care reform does not happen in any form I think it will have less impact on Obama and his presidency than if a health care reform that is bad is implemented. But, the health care reform might just be good and we ought to keep a civil conversation going to get what we all really need in it. Long term though whether it passes or not, Obama has 3 more years in this term and he might get a 2nd term – lot of time between now and the next election for a lot of things to happen. I think its too soon to talk about what kind of effect health care will or won't have on his Presidency.

    August 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
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