August 17th, 2009
06:02 PM ET

Health care in America

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/08/17/health.care/art.obama.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama believes the public option is the best way to reform health care, a White House aide says."]


The White House sought to reassure jittery supporters Monday that President Obama is not abandoning the fight for a public health insurance option.

The assurance came amid a media firestorm ignited over the weekend by administration officials seeming to indicate a willingness to drop such an option in order to secure congressional approval of a health care reform bill.

The verbal maneuvering reflected the steep political challenge facing an administration trying to balance the competing priorities of the more conservative Senate and the more liberal House of Representatives.

Click here to check out CNN.com special, 'Health care in America'.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Health Care
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Fred Bergen

    Lies by our representatives should not be rewarded by additional coverage by Fox News.

    In CNN's fact checks you should place congress people and ads into categories of truthfulness. From down right lies through reasonable debate to the "truth as found to be by aggressive reporting and leading non-patrician experts.

    I suggest a town hall meeting where the attendees are our representatives and the President is the host. I'd like to see them lie to his face and the American people.

    All comments by congress people should be accompanied by their health care constituents along with the number of people without health care in their District.

    Fred Bergen

    August 18, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  2. joe

    It is interesting that as the Health care bill has had time to be digested (instead of being forced to a vote by Mr. Obama with little time to actually read the bill), many conflicting views have resulted due to the ambiguity of the language and my feeling is that if a bill is crafted with such ambiguous language that so much of it can be left open for interpretation, then it should not pass! Once we let the Government in, they will define it however they feel fit and whatever Mr. Obama is saying now he could easily go back on.

    August 18, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  3. IRhonda

    I could not believe that David Gergen gave the typical Republican talking points that a public option woulfd lead to a single payer system. The single payer has been off the table for a long time, andf comments like that only give the Repubs more ammunition. All of you have health insurance,, but the public option is the only hope for my daughter. Because of not having insurance and not being able to afford to see a doctor, it took 6 1/2 years to get my ss disability approvedl. Show those people that waited in line for days in LA, talk to peple that need this insurance, but whatever you do, PLEASE DON'T REPEAT Republoican talking points that are simply not true!

    August 18, 2009 at 3:21 am |
  4. Tom Papas

    America land of the free, beacon of democracy, where the dream is still alive everyone equal. MY ASS!

    August 18, 2009 at 2:57 am |
  5. mary

    I am a nurse practitioner at a college campus. Over 90% of the students we see do not have health insurance. We practice medicine based on what the students are willing to pay out of pocket, and this is not right.

    Our infant morbidity and mortality rate in this country is the highest of any developed country. This can be prevented by adequate and early prenatal care. If our system is so good, why is this happening?

    I like my doctor and my current insurance plan too, and I will probably not change. But I do not believe this is any reason to block reform for those who are less privileged.

    We desperately need health care reform in this country.
    Just an insider's point of view,

    Mary in Maui

    August 18, 2009 at 2:40 am |
  6. J.V.Hodgson

    Having been subjected to multiple health care systems due to an international business career, I have learned two things
    1) The system and cost is reduced, when your individual medical record is maintained by your family physician, that you can freely choose. If you move from Maine to California your record goes with you to your newly chosen physician.Hospitalisation records are passed back to your current physician.
    2) To do that in a practical sense means everyone has to have National Medical insurance number and the database, it does not mean the government knows your medical history, just the needed data to send to your selected physician
    3) Your Doctor and you decide to which specialist/hospital, if necessary you need to be referred to, not some insurance clerk or somone without adequate knowledge of your medical history.
    Cooperatives will not work as they will be state controlled and the savings arising from a national record will never be achieved. My experience is these more than pay the costs of legislation that Obama has outlined.
    There is not a single International health care system that does not have Horror stories, and America has its fair share and frankly in my opinion more as 47m are totally uninsured, and leave the illegal immigrants uncovered, it's an effective deterrent economically and socially and is part of needed illegal immigrant legisaltion in USA.
    Deal with Illegal immigration separately please, for me it has no real place in the health care debate, separate subject.

    August 18, 2009 at 2:21 am |
  7. Fed Up, Shut Up!!!

    I am just sick and tired of seeing the disgustingly vulgar behaviour by some of the Americans at these Town Hall meetings. I think that Americans forget that the ENTIRE world is watching them and most non-Americans are disgusted by their behaviour. The American media is largely to blame as well. What ever happened to reporting a story that is told clearly and objectively?? Also, how can you want to tell the rest of the world what decisions to make and actions to take when you can't even sort your own s**t out??? DOUBLE STANDARDS!!! Therefore i will be boycotting CNN (i've cut Fox News TOTALLY from my list of channels) until i can see that your standards have been restored. What the media should be doing is clearing up the many misconceptions about President Obama's Health Care Reform Plan instead of jumping on the band wagon and selfishly not thinking about poor people!!! OBAMA's HEALTH CARE PLAN can work if each American citizen can be their brother's keeper instead of being so self centered. May God bless America and may He allow Americans to open their hearts and stimulate their brains...

    August 18, 2009 at 1:45 am |
  8. Jose

    I firmly believe that the president would not bucle down in including the option for a public health insurance as part of the health care reform program of the government. In fact, the proposal to remove or eliminate the proviso on pre existing condition(medical) as ground for exclusion in the insurance coverage is already a big victory for the public in this proposed public insurance. I have never heard anyone in the government, in the private sector,or in the academe including the American Medical Association calling for the deletion of this unfair and grossly disadvantageous proviso to the insured except the present president who eloquently narrated his personal experience about this particular provision as mentioned.

    August 18, 2009 at 12:10 am |
  9. Dean

    When will the people back off and let obama do his job.This country need something for every american,and not just the people that can afford it.Try not having it for yrs and are unable to get the help you need because doctors wont see you because you dont have the money,or insurance,so you suffer,I did have health insurance untill i retired and found it would cost me $1400.00 a month to keep it and that was three yrs ago,come on people wake up and quit complaining.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  10. Valerie

    I have really listened to both sides. But, what I don't understand how can a government controlled health care plan really work. I have medicare and they just will not pay for what the doctor orders they decide the medicare people the government get. I am fortunate that I have a Federal employees plan that covers what medicare doesn't. This plan is one of the few that pays what medicare doesn't. Most private insurances only pay what medicare will pay and nothing above. Now mind you I pay 100.00 a month for medicare out of my social security and 300 amonth for private insurance. Total of 400 just for me.

    What my question is if we go to thegovernment health care what will be the cost. You see right now out of your check you pay for FICA 1 to pay for SS. Then you pay a FICA 2 for medicare. I can see a FICA 3 coming to pay for health care for someone else. Now mind you I don't make over 24,000. I am very scared about what its going to cost me for everyone else.

    Do you also know that if you make over 70,000 a year you don't pay anymore FICA. Why??????

    We need to fix the first problems.

    Do you know that doctors right now don't except medicare because they aren't paid enough.

    What is the President going to do force the doctors to take the government healthcare program. I don't think so.

    I do not see any improvements with this option;I also don't see any with the private insurers. So we as the people what do you suggest we do. Because either way you go its a no win.

    August 17, 2009 at 11:33 pm |
  11. Rebecca

    I was so upset I made many spelling mistakes on my last comments, I was told vary bad news today by my Dr and it blow my mind. I need to just breath and stop posting for now. I have papers to back everything I wrote you. So my facts are true and can't be changed. I thank God for you all that see we need change. I pay for insurance and every year something changes, the price keeps going up for less coverage. I thank God I do have insurance at all. I don't like to think this way but I took a great fall and it changed my life, thank God I was someone that was vary health and had my own shop. I'm glad people are seeing the truth. I Pray we all fight for Quality of Life.
    Good night

    August 17, 2009 at 11:13 pm |
  12. Ian

    Look anyone that doesn't favor reformed health care doesn't know what its like not to be able to afford proper health care for there family. Health care related debt is the number one cause of bankruptcy in this country. Does that tell you people anything. Look at it from my point of view. I work seven days a week make a good living, but After I give the government my 30 percent of my hard earned money I cant afford health care. My tax money should go to help me and my fellow americans not foreign affairs like give Israel money for free health care and free education, and thats exactly what we do. your tax dollars buy Israel free health care and eduction. Dose any one out their think that alright. because I don't and I need health care PLEASE!

    August 17, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  13. Wayne Howlett

    The health care debate is a tricky one. I believe in a public option because medical costs are out of hand, but I understand the fear of big government controlling everything. I am a veteran who works in a VA hospital and I have been denied treatment for years. Not even writing my congressman and senator could help. My medical treatment in the private sector is better but now I'm thousands of dollars in debt. What is the average blue collar American or veteran supposed to do?

    August 17, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  14. Alice, Arkansas

    The ones complaining the most about government run health care are our senior citizens. Excuse me, but I think they already have government run health care and are fighting with everything in them to keep it that way. My question is, why do we give senior citizens special treatment and discriminate against the general public. If they have the RIGHT to basic health care, why not the rest of our citizens.

    This country has given the private sector every opportunity to provide fair and basic health care to our citizens and they have failed misserably. Our citizens have been sold a bill of goods when we are told that the private sector has all the answers. Just look at the health care crisis and the economic crisis and you tell me that they know what is best for us. Did anyone hear that 7 of the top paid CEO's in our country last year, work for the oil companies. The top paid CEO made $710,000,000.00. That while the American people were paying $4.00 a gallon for gasoline. I would trust our government with my life long before big business. At least I can vote them in and out.

    I hope Obama keeps up the fight. We need someone in the White House that will fight for all of us and not just the special interest groups. GO OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 17, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  15. Thel

    It's those frustrated few that lost the election and are bitter that want to create havoc.

    They are few in comparison to those who voted the Democrat's in!

    In comparison to the American's Voice that was heard through the Million's and Million's of voter's who wanted change and voted the Democratic Party in...I say let's go for it!

    August 17, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  16. jr

    If you want to protest, protest professionally, use the right signs. Keep the respect of America. Don’t act like an extremist; don’t show to the word that you are a hatred man. Live positively, learn how to give respect to yourself, and learn how to respect the president of the nation the highest position of the nation. Do not get into broadcasting adverse programs. Respect your soul and the God.

    Keep cool and listen more.


    August 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  17. Eye Rolling Mavis

    1) My husband worked 42 years and paid the max into SS, had this money been set up in a SS fund instead of landing in the general fund things might be a lot different today.

    2) They don't plan to pull the plug on Gramma but they WILL restrict what her options are, usually this means pain medications and no preventative treatments.

    3) If I pay for my private health insurance NO ONE has the right to say I can keep it UNTIL there is a change in the plan and then it will be MANDATORY to take the "public plan".

    4) When you hear the word MANDATORY you are hearing the birth of socialism, YOU are losing YOUR right to choose. This is about more than a healthcare program, this is our basic right to free choice. When we give up one right, others are sure to follow.

    5) I did not vote for a government run healthcare program for ALL.
    WE were never told it would be a mandatory program at any level but would be something to cover those who are unemployed, have pre-excisting dieases, and otherwise uninsured. At no time were we ever informed we would have to lose our personal health insurance coverage. This sounds like bait and switch to me. Does this sound like the same coverage congress has? That's what I remember hearing and being promised.

    6) Now as for children – where have you been? We have medicaid at the state level . . . Illinois already has a program that covers all children in the state, so who is it that future generations are paying for?

    August 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm |
  18. Rebecca

    To the unborn babys, all children, the college kids, seniors, Vets, FBI, CIA and all citizen; We all pay to much, all tax payers have put into medicare and are paying more then they made when working in 1931 a time the dollar was worth more but still little. Iam sad for that day I do, if Iam lucky to reach 65 to go on madicare, all Insurance is made up of formulas, you dont see this when your healthy, but let me tell you if you need it you will not understand it. I sat at a table of 11 men in Boston that work for Insurance Co and they didnt even understand all the paper in front of them.I showed how they lied and stold from me, and in the end thay all were payed more for my misfortune.So who realy wins.I too have a 21yr old that would have to pay $15000.00 a year to be covered by anyone. She cant afford this. I payed less then that for a house,car and insurance, when i was her age. So everyone turn on a light, fight for ( COST REFORM). We need to know there is HOPE for all LIFE.

    August 17, 2009 at 9:26 pm |
  19. Lucy Frost

    I supported Obama enthusiastically. Still do. And I'm beginning to think that a national health care cooperative - with initial funding by the gov't - would actually be better than a true gov't program. What if the millions of us who either don't have insurance or don't like our insurance could join one big honkin' really, really non-profit co-op? And what if only the members of that co-op voted for directors (with term limits), and on what kinds of care would be included - like alternative therapies, for example? And what if those that couldn't afford the premiums got gov't subsidies? And what if the premiums we did pay were tax-deductible just like they are for businesses? What if we knew that our premiums would go down with fewer claims? Would there be social pressure to get & stay as healthy as you can? And what if that co-op could not refuse membership to any American? If the membership pool were large enough - we're talking millions, remember, because it needs to be national and cross state lines - the risks would be spread wide enough and the top brass wouldn't be paid obscene salaries - so those premiums would be much lower than anyone pays now. I'm just sayin'.

    August 17, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  20. Hilary HoSang

    Why are we re-inventing the wheel? We already have a public option. It's called Medicaid. Why not just fix that monstrosity. Expand on the eligibility requirements to include anyone who are unable to afford insurance, and simplify the application process. Seems to me the only people whose voices are being heard are those who can afford private insurance or who are comfortably covered by their jobs. The people who really need the public option doesn't seem to have a voice. They don't have computers or cable TV and are too busy struggling to survive to join in the melee. Those surveys done via the internet or telephone don't mean a thing. Ask the Emergency Rooms how many people they treat daily who have no insurance. That's where people who have no insurance go for health care because that's the only place they can't be turned away for lack of insurance.

    August 17, 2009 at 9:07 pm |
  21. Gordon Roberts

    I have been a small businees owner in south florida since 1985 and have provided Health Insurance for my employees. During those years have watched premiums rise almost yearly with no voice to stop the price setting by the big companies.

    Am hoping that President Obama and the Democratic Party do not cave into the big money lobbying of the Insurance Industry – and take off the table the Public Govt. Option. It is the only thing that the Insurance Industry is truly afraid of beacause it will bring an end to their abusive pracitces.

    I keep hearing that most Americans are happy with their Health Insurance. Am not sure if that is true - but I do know that most Americans are appalled by the constant raising of premiums.

    Personally I have just gone on Medicare. Shopped carefully for my supplimental Policy - and went with Neighborhood Health Partnership - a subsidiary of United Healthcare. Did not have the Policy for five months and received notice that my premium was going to be raised $50.00 a month starting in Sept. This has to stop - and the Public Option is the only Option that will force these out of control companies to become competitive.

    Thank you.

    August 17, 2009 at 9:04 pm |
  22. Willie Williams

    i wish people would yell at the financial institutions that put us in this situation in this country....yell at fema for how they handled katrina...yell at general motors for taking a bailout then filing bancruptcy...yell at bank of america for takin...g our tax money and buying more banks...war on terror,wmds',not looking for bin laden..yell at that...canada and europe are socialist now! thats new to me

    August 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm |
  23. Larry

    Why is nothing being said about tort reform? It is not in the health reform bills.

    Fear of high medical suits are the main reason for skyrocketing health care costs. The physician asks for all tests and prescribes uneeeded medicines to cover any lawsuit that might occur. That is the main reason for high medical costs and it will continue with this reform bill. State the facts, if you dare.

    August 17, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  24. Rebecca

    Mrs Thomas Sargent Perry "Who Would Not Fight for Freedom"
    Only the suppressed word is Dangerous_ Ludwig borne
    OLD BLACK JOE"Why do I weep when my heart should feel no pain"
    " The only way to solve problems is to face them responsibly and with dignity" StodSports

    August 17, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  25. betty little

    Public option posses a big problem. Who is to say that tomorrow either your employer or mine will stop offering medical insurance because he/she doesn't have to since there would be a public option. How will this create competition if employers don't have to offer insurance anymore and therefore private insurance companies disappear? It's not about just covering everybody and we'll all be happy. There would be ripple effects and I'm surprised that people are not seeing the big picture.

    August 17, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  26. frank christensen

    Physicians are often seen as contributing to the health care mess. Most however are hard working, honest , ethical, and are also caught in the middle. Consider this: at least medicare pays for and approves surgery. Blue Cross denies a higher percentage of necessary surgery each year and more than any other company from my experience and is getting worse.
    Its is now more difficult to get private insurance to approve medically necessary procedures. My patients are unable to get operations that were previously deemed necessary. A public option should be considered. United Health has been lobbing congress specifically to prevent this. They are spending millions to lobby our representatives and it appears to be working. On a different note, my own company has seen my expenses ( over the last ten years) for health insurance jump from $25,000 to $130,000 a year for the same six employees. Medicare is about to invoke a 20% cost reduction over the next 2 years to physicians under an arcane formula. Physicians are forced to cut back because of Medicare's problems. It is now difficult for seniors to find doctors that can afford to accept Medicare payments. Private insurance is now paying at Medicare's reduced rates AND THEY SAVE MORE BY DENYING CARE, SURGERIES, ETC. Personally neither system is working. Something needs to act competitively to private insurance companies. We certainly don't need the greedy hand of private business in the health care triangle of patient ,doctor and insurance co. Poll other surgeons and you will see that many if not most are being squeezed in the same fashion.

    August 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  27. United States of Erica

    The thing about Baby Boomers, some of you are already on government health care. Remember Medicare? Sure enough you'll be filling out that government health care form for that. Yup, that's the nice health care that will provide you with hours of lazy fun in your HoveRounds. I helped pay for that. Comfy? You should be. The rest of you are coming up for Medicare in a few. My tax dollars hard at work to support you in your government health care plan.

    Want to protest Government Healthcare? Deny yourself Medicare. Don't submit to Obama's Death Panels. Pay for your health expenses through a private insurance company with your retirement funds. Let the private insurance companies and your money decide your eternal resting moment.

    I have friends on the government health plan in Canada and England. These programs actually help them the most, as it would me, because they get preventive care. I would sure like some preventive care. I've been working for 21 years and unfortunately became unemployed. Although I'm in college, I used to pay for health insurance through college. That's about $800 – $1000 a semester at Georgia State University. That doesn't include the $50 in prescriptions I have to buy each month. I'm unemployed. I still get bills ranging from $32 – 300 from Grady Hospital (non-emergency, just to see a doctor in order to get my prescriptions), Morehouse College (because one of their intern nurses stood there while I got a pap smear) and Emory University (I don't even know what that person did). Did I mention I was unemployed, with four (4) health care entities billing me even though I have private health care insurance through the college? All that I still have to pay rent, utilities and food. Well this semester, I can't afford the insurance. I have less than $13 total in my checking account, no savings and no 401K or any retirement plans because I've had to cash them in to live. I know it's just a sob story to you, but I could sure use some Medicare, if I was old enough. Does being a senior in college count as being a "senior citizen"? Cause right now, you guys got all the government benefits you're fighting to keep me from having.

    August 17, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  28. Rebecca

    My Dr and I were on the phone many times with my Insurance co, I have had for 25+ yrs paying for something Im not getting now, I was able to have for years.This year thay say I hit a limit, one I never had before, without this care It would cost them more $ by formulas going to the emergency room 6 times a day so I wont die. Why do I have to fight for care I need to live? Everyone can breath, so who is killing me? Not my government. This debate up on Capitol Hill. All the ones we pay for insurance to standing up for all the people that can only sit up sraight and take their _ill "sign" I dont get it!!

    August 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  29. RLWellman

    If health care is supposed to be for those who don't have any, why does the Government want to shove it down all 300 million American's throats?

    It is reverse psychology trying to get the 253 million Americans to say just pay for the others and leave us alone? This way the Government can tell us we had a say in who is to receive health care?

    The Government can't run the programs they have control of now. They are not going to get another program they can screw up and gain more power and control over Americans at the same time!

    August 17, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  30. Ken (San Diego)

    $52 million dollars have been spent on ads for and against health care reform!! Does anyone out there think maybe that the money might have been better spent insuring America's poor and getting them some proper health care?? What happened to common sense??

    August 17, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  31. al

    If we can pay 3 trillion for the Iraq war, give huge tax breaks to energy and oil companies, tax breaks for companies sending jobs overseas, TARP money for banks, etc. For once, why can't we use taxpayer money to actually benefit taxpayers! If I have to choose where my money is spent I choose healthcare over giving money to large corporations.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm |
  32. Rebecca

    (My phone just died) like my Bill: I too would like to Thank and give my tremendously respect to all services to our country that fight for are right to have dignity. GOD bless are Vets that sing his songs for are country and died so we can have life without someone telling Our Dr what we need, or they will pay for, with their formals, made up by them hidding behind faces for their profits. If we are not on the front lines doing what is the main purpose of our existence"then we wont be viewed as someone who can command" Quality of Life

    August 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  33. Angela Savage Austin

    Thats okay that you did not post my question,,,,you prove that you are about ratings. Continue to dress your paper doll. I still will pray for this country and all of the people...around the world. Corruption is the love of money!

    August 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  34. saylor white

    I have wathed the right carefully. I always suspected the neo/con/right-wing/evangelicals/ were strikingly similar to the neo/con/right-wing/muslim evangelicals. Now it is so obvious that it is not my imagination. These crowds are composed of the same people who rose against a sun-centerd universe/civil rights/ womens rights/ and now they confuse humane treatment of their fellow citizens with becoming communists and socialists. They are stirred on by simpleton hate mongers (Limbaugh,Beck, Hannity) who are given credit for intelligent observations when, in fact, they are almost clueless to anything except the few ideas inside their tiny little mental boxes. The tragedy is that there are a lot of stupid white people out there who think these men are social prophets...nothing cound be further from the truth. We need to rise and fight this incredible ignorance that will surely keep us rooted to neanderthal thinking and tribal mentalities. What makes it all the more dangerous is that these domestic terrorists are armed with more ammo than intelligence...for the first time in my life I am starting to hate...and I hate myself for hating.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  35. Rebecca

    Thank you for your dignity to my healthcare, "you can't have it it's mine" gets passed down generations forced with debt not asking to face thier short comings, many examples that can't fighty, so we all can have rights and dignity. Big

    August 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  36. Annie Kate

    I have to say M.Bennett has the best comment on this blog. Yes most of us are boomers; some of us still espouse the same convictions we had back in the 60s and 70s but now we are hard working folks, tired from all the different struggles that all generations are fighting these days. In the 60s we thought we could change the world; well we didn't or couldn't but health care for everyone would be a nice place to start and helping resolve climate change problems with the aid of our children and their children is another project we can hang our hat on. Our parents generation was and is called the Greatest Generation because of their service in WW2 and their struggle through the Great Depression. If they could do what they did surely we can do this.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  37. mary babcock

    I have already sent my sad story about my beautiful 29 year old daughter's fight against genetic colon cancer to my congressperson. I just want to know...what will happen to people with catastrophic illness when they cap out of their insurance?? my daughter recieves I-CHIP through the state of Illinois. since this is year 3 of this fight, she has incurred many thousands of dollars of treatment. what happens when she hits the limit/? wha will happen to the CHIP program?? do you have any idea how many people are living with cancer?? do you have any idea how many of them are under 40?? it is a serious issue,

    August 17, 2009 at 7:19 pm |
  38. RObert

    .....the Nancy Pelosi reference is to protesters carrying swastika signs at a Town Hall meeting, she didn't refer to anyone as a Nazi. Health care means a lot to us in Generation X too. I'm 40 and haven't had health insurance in two years. I haven't been to a Doctor in two years. If I were in a car accident and was injured, my car is covered and I am not. We all appreciate the spirit of protest, but protest based in misinformation spread by people who should know better is not appreciated by anyone, nor is it going to help anyone. Please, protest anything unjust, but don't protest untrue rumors as truth.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  39. Mary

    The public voted in favor of Obama's approach to health care reform in the election, and by a wide margin. Now my vote – and many others – are being drowned out by rigged town hall meetings and a conservative mud fight. I'm done. I campaigned, I donated, I debated, I voted. I'm not going to get out there and participate in a scream fest with the people who lost. Obama and legislators need to focus on the voices of the people that were loud and clear last November. And get ready – it will no doubt happen again with the environment bill.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:16 pm |
  40. cat

    This should be a vote by the American people I think of the day that may come if you your friend or family are faced with bankrupcy because of high medical cost. I feel deeply that if you invest your money in a health insurance . and paying into insurance for years and decades if you become gravely ill the insurance should pay. With the Social plan / public option which really makes sense For The People By The People. There should be no limit as to who is covered under a social plan rich and poor in need of care are covered. Besides I Am Tired of BIG Business comming in here and Dictating what the prices will and will not be for merchandiseBIG BUSINESS IS THE REASON WHY SMALL BUSINESSES ARE NOT GETTING OFF THE SLUMP.
    Another reason why the public option when done right with high reguards to the people it will serve can help to regain our control.
    The Government is not the enemy it is the power we will need to take back control of our own land.

    August 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm |
  41. Tony

    The history will ask one key question “Did Obama change Washington or did Washington change Obama?”
    I am an Obama supporter. Millions of us are today in doubt of due to one key position change on public health plan. Did Obama cave in and lost the battle to represent the real America? This fundamental change shakes up the roots of democratic party. We feel betrayed today. I will not vote for democratic party or Obama second term if public health plan is killed. Public plans mean that Obama is fighting to his bones against special groups and deep pockets for the Americans. Please do not make this crucial mistake. Because it is about “Is Obama for us or is he going to be like the Washington who takes care of the rich and powerful”. The history will be written through congress, house and white house re-election. Public plan is what is defining Obama because he is for the people, by the people, of the people!

    August 17, 2009 at 7:08 pm |
  42. RObert

    I really don't think Nancy Pelosi called anyone a Nazi (besides perhaps actual Nazi's from WWII)

    August 17, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  43. Zoe

    One of the key issue of his plan is coming to terms of paying for illegals or ppl who abuse the system. Who wants that? How is this monitored? Just wondering.:)

    August 17, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  44. M. Bennett

    The Return of the Woodstock Generation
    Posted by Boomer Pie
    I almost have to chuckle at the left wing criticism hurled at those marauding mobs voicing their freedom of speech at these recent town hall/health reform gatherings. Have Democrats never been to a condominium association meeting? If so, they'd quickly realize that these town hall trouble makers are like docile lambs in comparison to some agitated condo owners who can whip a peaceful condo meeting into frenzied pandemonium faster than you can say "bylaws change".

    From what I've seen on news reports, many of the town hall audiences are comprised of people over 55. It seems to me that generally the folks caught on camera complaining the loudest appear to be people of my generation: aka babyboomers. Ah hah! Hasn't anybody else figured it out yet? It's the return of The Woodstock Generation! And we're worried as hell.

    Finally, after a relative calm of nearly 40 years, we realize it's time to come out of the closet. I don't mean the gay closet. I mean the gray closet. Gone are the long locks growing down to our knees, the hippie duds, the bell bottoms and leather vests, the flowers in our hair, love beads, pot parties and psychedelic posters. (Well for most of us-that's all over.) We've traded those things in for silver hair, hearing devices, knee replacements. We're downsizing, moving to condos and drooling over grandchildren. Some of us are just plain drooling. And yes we're still doing drugs but this time it's prescription stuff. Granted, we weren't all Vietnam protesters. We weren't all bra burners or flower children or free love fanatics. A lot of us even missed the Woodstock festival. Amazingly, some of us never did drugs. Even so, right now we're all sharing the same basic life experience: Aging. We are getting older. We're living longer but we're getting tired. We're having health problems. And we're worried about how we can afford to survive the upcoming years in good health. It's a very legitimate concern-not just for us but for all Americans.

    During the Woodstock era, I held a respectable job during the week and was a hippie on the weekends. Back then, I was liberal leaning but I married a man who served in Vietnam. I tremendously respect his service to our country and the service of the millions of other men and women who fought and died in Vietnam.

    So when I hear somebody like Nancy Pelosi and others like her, complain that town hall protesters are Nazi's and anti-American, it makes my blood boil. I firmly believe it was the shed blood of our young patriotic military men and women in Vietnam and the rebellion of our patriotic boomer generation, the marching in the streets, the protests and dissention that ultimately ended the Vietnam War. I believe we have a right to question the authority of the government on something that affects us as personally as health care.

    So I say: Rise up boomers. (Or at least sit up straight.) Question those arrogant politicians. Be kind but be firm. Be aggressive. Be scrappy. Be informed. Be organized. Years ago, we used to think that we could never trust the government. Honestly, do you really think Washington is anymore trustworthy today? Now we hear they've got an enemies list and a snitch-on-your-neighbor program. Let's face it, Congress seldom has our best interests at heart. I don't know the answers. I don't even know all the right questions. But I do know that we are not anti-American, malcontent mobs, fiendish extremists or terrorist thugs. (You'll find those sorts at condo meetings.) I don't even like Rush Limbaugh and at my age, I couldn't thug anybody even if I wanted to. We're seniors for God's sake. We've got arthritis. Yet as evidenced by the town hall crowds, we've still got spirit and spunk. The Woodstock nation is still hanging in there-as long as they don't start euthenizing grandma. Right on, brother, right on.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  45. Kristi in kc

    When people, especially children, are deprived of basic necessities - nutrition, education, and health care– our entire society suffers. It is the making of despots, criminals and perpetual unrest. The cost of our, "you can't have it, it's mine" mentality will be a pox upon our future generations. Health Care For All is the only solution. We NEED a public option.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |