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August 19th, 2009
03:42 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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AC360°

Tonight we will be taking your questions on health care.

We're cutting through the political rhetoric and answering your questions about substantive change to the country's health care system.

Now the Obama administration is looking hard at pushing through a health care reform bill without Republican backing, top Democrats close to the White House told CNN.

How will this impact the plans for reform? What does this mean for your medical care and your bottom line? We'll be looking into this tonight. Do you have a question? Let us know!

Send us a text message with your question. Text AC360 (or 22360), and you might hear it on air!


Filed under: T1 • Text 360
soundoff (285 Responses)
  1. Evelyn, Atlanta

    When we come off of Cobra, Lisa at Humana, who does all the Cobra conversions nationwide , says the State of Georgia will allow Humana to charge up to six times what is currently being charged (now over a thousand dollars for 2 people). Very few people can afford to pay six thousand dollars a month. We have no choice, if we want coverage.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:45 pm |
  2. Alan NH

    What is the goverment intending to do with the millons of illegals that drain our health care system? They pour over the porous borders put zero into the system that all of the hard working citizens & legal residents pay for in the form of taxes & higher premiums. I am sure that heathcare costs could be lowered if an aggressive approach to dealing with this issue was more of a priority.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  3. Rob

    Will I have to pay as much for Healthcare as those that don't take care of themselves? People have different priorities in life, and some would rather a cigarette today then a healthy future.

    If pre-existing conditions are covered, how is it insurance?

    I think all americans should have big screen tv's beecause it is better for our eyes. Shouldn't the government be taking over the electronics business too?Don't we have the right to cheap and afordable big screen TV's.

    Should we be buying stock in McDonalds since we will all be covered for open heart surgery, and therefore be able to eat anything? Vitamins might as well be non-existant.

    If doctors are so concerned with our medical care here, why are they traveling to Africa instead of treating people here?

    There are a lot of non-profit health insurance companies in existance today, where the president of the company makes less than 1 surgeon in a hospital. Shouldn't we be ultimatly be limiting doctors saleries are require them to work a certain amount of time at free clinics?

    How will this actually cover more people, as premiums will skyrocket due to limited resources and more demand?

    Do I not have the right to use my money my own way and not waste it on health care I will never use, because I don't believe in doctors, but believe in God to take care of me?

    Do the Amish have to enroll?

    Quality, quantity, and a cheaper price can not exist on the same plane. Ultimatly we will be paying more, and not able to take on the risk we have a right to.

    Why has the government not allowed us to make insurance cheaper by allowing us to buy drugs over seas, making us pay for diseases in our insurance we will never get, and not allow insurance companies to work with hospitals to help manage care and reduce unnecessary tests? Why is it impossible for insurance companies to buy hospitals and give doctors reasonable saleries. Instead they must remain seperate entities unless previously developed together, and doctors make millions on unnecessary testing.

    There are so many things that make insurance unaffordable, and government interference makes it worse. How is this health care proposal reducing costs to the average person at all?

    Can I write the health care reform bill, at least I know how to make things better instead of saying, we need everyone to have insurance woo hooo!!!!!!!

    August 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  4. William Keng

    Why can we give all (legal) US citizens the same health care as our senators and congressmen? That should end the debate.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm |
  5. Richard Ducharme

    The only thing that will work, is the broadest plan possible. Thus I suggest the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) aproach. The existing federal employee plan (the SAME one congress and civil servents) which is
    (open selection among a variety of fed approved plans) .
    This plan already is already set-up (exists) and is tested (works reasonably well). Thus, my "duh" suggestion is to simply "open up" the federal employee plan to the average citizen. There will be details to work out, but ultimately the fairest option and fastest to implement is to let EVERY american enroll in the exact same plan the people who work for us have. KISS
    Richard

    August 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  6. Michael Schirk

    Dear Sirs/Madams:

    I have read approximately 400 pages out of the 1000+ pages in one current draft of the proposed health care bill. I am finding the document to be poorly written, extremely difficult to understand, and am concerned about the sheer scope, complexity and size of the issues which it is attempting to address.

    It seems to me that we are becoming lost as a nation in a morass of sound-byte rhetoric and detail. THE key issue in health care reform is what type of system would deliver the highest quality care to all citizens, while simultaneously bringing costs under control. The control of costs is crucial, or we will find that an unacceptable portion of our GDP will soon be devoured by run-away health care costs, with dire consequences for our nation's economy and our standard of living.

    Unfortunately, the current plans being considered by our representatives do not put forward any proven, viable mechanisms to control costs. It is beyond me how anyone would have any faith in a government-run health care option as a means to control costs, given the miserable track records of Medicare and Medicaid in this regard. Additionally, the current bills do not include any meaningful attempts at tort reform. Any attempt to control health care costs must include tort reform, in order to stop the out-of-control spiral of legal award costs which are ultimately absorbed by the consumer.

    Wouldn't it make more sense to initially try a "rifle-shot" approach, instead of the sprawling morass of activities contained in the current utopian health care bills? Specifically, why couldn't we initially target the few millions of consumers with pre-existing conditions who cannot obtain insurance, and bring them under the current federal employees' health plan? The IT systems, payment systems and administrative structure to manage such an initiative already exist. Once we have stabilized that initiative, both from an operations and cost control standpoint, then we could move on to the next sub-segment of consumers that we would wish to address. This approach would certainly be less dramatic than the current ill-conceived plans, but would have a greatly increased chance for viability in the long run.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  7. Lynda Narug

    It doesn't sound like anybody is listening to all sides of the health insurance debate. The side I'm concerned about is the children born with life-long medical disabilities or acquired diseases, but will always be considered having a preexisting condition, with no insurance coverage ever for them. Our grandson was diagnosed with leukemia at age 6, suffered through 2 yrs of chemo and has been in remission for 8 yrs. As cancer is never considered "cured", only in remission, he will always have a preexisting condition. In our work with Make-A-Wish, we visited many similar kids, most will grow to adulthood with preexisting conditions, but as it stands now, they will never be insurable for their conditions. I am angered that they will be discriminated against because they had the nerve to get sick, through no fault of their own.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  8. Jake

    If the final version includes a public option, will the public option be self-sustaining, and stay solvent on premiums alone (like private HMO's), or will it receive tax subsidies?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  9. Al, CT

    I am a physician in private practice in CT. My income has not gone up in 10 years while my work load has increased dramatically. At times I have spent more time arguing with an insurance company than examining the particular patient on whose behalf I am going to bat. I have now given up and no longer prescribe the best medication for my patient but the one the insurance company will cover without argument. I am unable as a small business to obtain affordable health coverage for myself and my wife, let alone my staff members. The Connecticut Medical Society organized its members in a large pool to purchase affordable health insurance but no o company was willing to bid on it. I am now seriously considering giving up my practice and working for the State Government which will provide me with a "soup to nuts" health plan coverage.I am a registered Republican but am disgusted at the roadblocks put up for reform.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  10. Phiillip Bias

    How come the government thinks it has the right to shove there red tape wasteful nonsence down our throats. America has the best healthcare in the world and has won many awards atesting to this fact, and today the CDC announced that americans are living longer than ever, if a wealthy leader from around the world gets sick they come here for treatment.Even king hussain of jorden came to Mayo for his treatment. they all admit it is the best. But if we let the Government(those who are responseable for the maylay in the postal service and medicare. then it will definately change for the worse.it will be bankrupt in less than 10 years ( And so will we ) As a referance on medicare i have spent the last ( YEAR ) trying to straighten out my account with medicare i had taken part in a program to try and return to work. I had bluecross as a union member but after it ended the medicare office could not remove them as my primary insurer. so for a year i have had to call them at the first of every month to find out why they hadnt paid any of my bills.Its been a whole year and they still cant get it right .ANd probley never will. also they have allowed the union to hold my retirement money for two years for taking part in the return to work program. if given the choice dont ever trust the government.or the lier in cheif!

    August 19, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  11. Alex

    Why aren't the current proposals addressing the problem of windfall profits for medical malpractice trial attorneys? Without some type of medical tort reform, this effort is incomplete and insufficient.

    Defensive medicne is a reality. If Pres. Obama wants comprehensive health care reform, why won't he include any measures to reduce the costs of tests and studies ordered merely to protect health care providers and hospitals from potential frivolous law suits?

    Is it because he wants to protect the trial lawyers who helped him get elected with large campaign contributions and support?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  12. paul

    I think that the health insurance availably/cost is not the problem but it just the symptom. The problem is the cost of the health services and the amount of services that are being used. I think the program being pushed by the Democrats is a waste of time and money until these issues are addressed.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:35 pm |
  13. Mary Terlaak-Smith, MD, MBA

    Good evening,AC,
    I have just been listening to Lou Dobbs on CNN. He played video of speeches by President Obama in recent days. I found some of his statements to be misleading and totally untrue. This troubles me. I wonder where he claims to have been educated in health provision and medical decision making.
    I am an eye surgeon, am board eligible in Emergency Medicine, began my training in Internal Medicine and Oncology before retraining in ophthalmology when I discovered I wasn't wonder woman ( could not manage three children without stars on my pants). I have therefore experienced medical, surgical and emergency medicine practice with all their unique problems and challenges. I became the Assistant Medical Director at the Scripps Memorial Hospitals Mericos Eye center in 1993 and served for 9 years through the time when the first wave of managed care washed over San Diego. In response to my concerns about the growing bureaucracy and inefficiency of managed care, I enrolled in the first Healthcare Executive MBA in the country. You can google my name and find the front page WSJ article on the professionals who participated in these degree programs.
    I went to DC as part of my curriculum. I attended the AMA Conference on Healthcare Reform with Pres. Clinton, Kennedy, Gramm, etc. I also traveled to McGill University in Montreal where the physicians made no secret of the cost cutting efficacy of waiting times for bypass and hip surgeries. If the patient dies while waiting, it is a 100% savings.
    When Pres. Obama mentions a primary physician choosing referral for the amputation of a compromised gangrenous diabetic foot as if it were a failure of his conservative care AND then states that somehow he would make $30,000 for this procedure...he is totally wrong. Even with the best care some diabetics deteriorate and suffer severe complications. On the other hand, many diabetics and other patients in this country take no responsibility for their own wellbeing. You've heard the one about leading a horse to water... Beyond that, the doctor who refers for an amputation earns nothing for that; in fact, in managed care, he loses income. No pediatrician makes money on tonsillectomies that are done to save children's hearing from chronic infection and neurotoxic antibiotics.
    Another good example of the poor compensation of physicians is the Medicare paid cataract. The ophthalmologist does the initial complete exam, the preop diagnostic and optical calculations,and the preop history and physical .The physician provides the office, the instruments, the staff, the pharmaceuticals, the office and billing expenses, pays the business taxes, equipment insurance and services, and then pays ever increasing liability insurance ( malpractice that, for instance, climbed through my career based on the litigious climate and the errors of others, when I never even get one nasty letter.) The eye surgeon then does the meticulous stressful microsurgery bearing all the liability and accountability, follows the patient postop for six months, dealing with all complications and unanticipated issues, at the end to receive from Medicare just over $400.
    And we wonder now why we can't attract the best and the brightest to our Medical Schools. They are all headed for Wall Street where they can be compensated for their excellence and dedication.
    Physicians spend well into their thirties going to school, worn out and away from their families, missing their youth held up in hospitals, accruing debt, shortening their own life expectancies, only to walk out now into a practice experience that is frustrating and demeaning and could defeat Tom Dooley if he were living today.
    Take a look at a little book from the Cato Institute on Patient Power. If we could roll back the tape to the days when the third party carriers didn't run the show. If individuals were the payors and negotiated the fees. If we could sweep through out healthcare bureaucracy and remove all the expensive bean counters and inspectors sitting at desks...Then, perhaps, we might have a chance of restoring the integrity and the trust of the patient doctor relationship.
    Mary Terlaak-Smith, MD, MBA

    August 19, 2009 at 8:33 pm |
  14. sargon andrews

    you blue dogs must come back to the pack who need you. it was a fight to get medicare for senior it was fight social security. this is our fight american today we must win.i pray everyday that our country is up this fight. we are mybrothers keeper. president never give up this fight. my lord rode in on a donkey not a elaphant

    August 19, 2009 at 8:32 pm |
  15. Rich Handy

    If OUR Representatives in Congress and the White House vote on a Health care plan for all of us then THEY should be on the same plan. Maybe then they would read the bills they vote on first and take their time in doing it right.
    By the way, does anyone understand the meaning and original intent of Article X in the Constitution and how National Healthcare fits in there?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  16. Neil

    How can they say that the private sector can compete with the public option? This seems like an impossibility. The government will use tax dollars that private companies cannot access to subsizde health care. Without access to these dollars private companies must charge more in order to have enough money pay a competent doctor. So it seems impossible that private companies could actually compete. THis will create a government monopoly. How is that not Fascism or at the very least Socialism?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  17. felix

    Public option or private ones, no matter what. Now there is a shortage of family doctors which will be aggravated by retirements of the boomers-doctors and lack of interest on part of the youngsters to become anything but a specialist: less work and better pay. Now, we are going to add forty something million new patients to the rolls. Where will all the addittional doctors come from, and when? The only hope is India and Pakistan? What do the Congress and Mr. Obama thinking about it? Havent heard from them. Have anyone?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:28 pm |
  18. jo

    Why cant we make health care be a right under the constitution,than a previledge . Can an
    amendment to the constitution be the first step?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  19. Fran

    We keep hearing that we have the best health care system in the world. Is that true? In what areas of health care do we lead the world? Do we spend more or less money than the rest of the world on health care?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:26 pm |
  20. grif

    They say that there will be on health care benefits for illegal aliens with the current health care bill. When asked, there is no firm way to determine who is an illegal alien and who is not. How can you say there will be no health care for illegal aliens when you cannot tell when you are treating one?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  21. Jeri

    I keep hearing that if a public option is passed, then it's just a matter of time before we have a socialized health care system. Is this prediction likely and how exactly how does a singular public option morph into a national program?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:22 pm |
  22. Jim in St. Louis, Mo

    President Obama has obviously already caved in to the drug companies on drugs. Just check out the Internet drug companies for Generics available world wide but not here. And it appears that he's also shielding his lawyer friends from Tort reform. So where are the lower drug costs and lower medical costs going to come from? Unless we address the top two issues where are the savings.

    I believe before we go any further in this debate over health care we need the public to decide "do we want universal health care for all legal citizens or not " or do we just keep the same corrupt system we have and go broke? Once that decision is made we can take the next steps to achieve.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:21 pm |
  23. Matthew

    Please name me one government run program that has been run better than the private sector. Is it the United States Postal Service? Social Secuirty? Medicade? I cannot think of one. It is not the government's responsibility to take over health care. Show me the provision in the United States Consitiution (remember that document that defines the power that the Federal government has?) that empowers the Federal government to take over the health care system. What about the provision that allows the government to bail out large corporations?

    I agree that some reform is needed. Tort reform. Health care savings accounts. The government "option" is nothing more than the trojan horse for the single payer system. A system that has not worked in Canada or the U.K. What makes people think that it will work any better here in the United States?

    Additionally, why are we doing so much at one time? Has the President fixed the economy? How about we fix one thing at a time. It may help if our President stops campaigning and starts to govern.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:18 pm |
  24. mroberts

    Alice, a good reason the health care system is so messed up is NOT because the private sector can't get it right, it's that the government keeps meddling in health care. If the government would just get out of the medical care business, the private sector could make available an affordable insurance policy for anybody that wanted one. The problem is that government meddles in health care by mandating all kinds of coverages that drive up costs. Insurance companies wouldn't stay in business if they didn't raise rates to cover those costs, so they pass on the higher premiums to the rest of us. Unless you like rationed, poor quality care, government health care is NOT the answer.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  25. MIke, Jacksonville

    I think the President, House, and Senate are trying to do too much in one shot. It's like building a house and trying to get the plumbing, electric, phone, drywall, and painting all done in one day...unrealistic and not logical. Instead, they may want to take the approach of passing several different stages of health care reform. The can first start with something that the majority would agree on...a patient bill of rights. Then, they can also address the morality of insurance making large profits off of healthcare and if this will be allowed (setting the stage for a possbile government option if profit-making continues to be allowed). Next, they can plug some of the big holes in medicare and medicaid that have caused the wasteful healthcare spending we have seen. If what the pass works and the systems loses less money (and heaven forbid starts to head towards the positive), the American public will have more confidence in the government and will support the next stage of health care reform until all the basic parts are passed that comprise an intellegent overhaul of our health care system.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:17 pm |
  26. Greg

    Quick! What do Haiti (the poorest nation on earth) have in common with Inglewood, California?
    One knows that is down and out, and one continues to deny that it has anything but the best...
    It was with extreme sadness that I watched that CNN episode of the free clinic in California. I would have never thought that the country with the "greatest healthcare system in the world" would ever need this?
    Really am sorry for you all...

    August 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  27. Linda

    In 2003, John Deere Insurance raised my premiums to 1600.00 per month after having a hip and knee replacement in 2001. I could not afford the premium and dropped the insurance. Then found that I was considered as a preexisting condition. I am 63 yrs old and 10 months. I am in constant pain needing another knee replacement and shoulder replacement. I have osteo-arthritis. At the present time I have to wait until age 65 to get Medicare. Will the age of Medicare eligibility be lowered in the new health care reform?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  28. Michele Smith

    Alice R, I cannot say it better than you. We spend more per capita than any other nation and still cannot deliver care to all. That is insane and corrupt. YES CORRUPT. Americans voted for change and we should not be derailed by the crazies, corrupt and uninformed.
    I am tired of hearing that the current health insurance companies will be harmed by a public option. They have no conscience, only profits to worry about. If they can't compete with a public option, let them go the way of the horse and buggy and whale oil or snake oil.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:15 pm |
  29. Rick

    Why is it that Obama is so set on this health care issue and he will not listen to the people. Obama says NO Death Panels, but We Dont Believe Him, Obama says not increase in deficit, But We Dont Believe Him. Obama says No Increase in taxes, But We Dont Believe Him. Why is it hard to believe Obama, Because He Has Lied To The People With HIs Stimulus. Obama said Jobs, but the stimulus has not increased as he said, Obama said unemployment not higher than 8%, Unemployment ois at 10%, Obama Lies.
    So why is it hard to believe Obama, BECAUSE HE LIES.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:14 pm |
  30. Howard2

    I watched about 15 minutes of Barney Frank's town hall today. I have never seen a politician or anyone else on national TV be so rude and obnoxious. It's a good think he is a politician because he would never survive in the business world.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  31. Dan

    More of us that either can't afford insurance, or have been denied coverage due to past health issues which would seem to most to be relatively insignificant, should be attending these townhall meetings. I can only assume that most of the people that are doing the yelling and screaming already have insurance. If you do, be very careful in being so complacent in believing that you always will. I can't imagine that someone in my position, whose family currently has insurance only for their kids because of the Chip program, would be so quick to complain.
    We live in constant fear of having some unforeseen medical malady strike us, in short time leaving us hopelessly in debt, with, after 47 years of hard work, no other option than to pursue bankruptcy. I would prefer that my government pass a plan, if even a flawed plan, and fix the mistakes later, than to do nothing at all. If you can call what we have a system, it's broken. Obama needs to lead, follow, or get out of the way. Unfortunately, I think there are enough politicians on either side of the aisle that are beholden to the insurance lobbies that we won't see anything of substance come of all this. Just enough that they can all stand and pat themselves on the back for what they've managed to not accomplish while "fighting the good fight".

    August 19, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
  32. R. Giordano

    will the health insurance plan of the government include medical prescriptions discounts for all that might join?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm |
  33. Nancy

    I thought the whole idea behind health care reform was to find a way for ALL Americans to have good health care/insurance. I'm hearing alot of talk about small businesses having to provide health insurance for their employees, but what if those employees don't make enough money to BUY that insurance, regardless of the cost, because they need every penny to feed and clothe their families! And what about those who are poor and/or homeless? They don't have employers, does that mean no insurance or care? What of those people who have lost their insurance due to catastrophic illness, do you think they are going to have money to pay for insurance, so no care for them!!!???

    I can't tell what's truth or fiction because no one has been able to tell me just what the plan entails? How can they, when three different committees are coming up with their own plan?

    I guess I was naive enough to think that we would come up with some type of plan that would cover EVERYONE, regardless of whether they could/could not pay! Boy, I was really dreaming, wasn't I!!!

    August 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  34. Howard2

    1) Medicare is supposedly $500B in debt, why aren't they fixing this first?
    2) How much will the "typical" 25 to 30 year old have to Pay, or how about the "typical" middle class family of 4?? No one seems to be able ( or want to) to answer that question.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  35. Barbara, CA

    Heath care industry became for-profit in the 1970-1980s – that is about the time our health care problems began. Will the Bill presented allow discrimination that is now allowed within the industry? Blue Cross patients pay the lowest contracted price, while a private patient with a different insurance pays an inflated price to make up that difference, while a patient without insurance pays a far greater price for the same service on the same day from the same health care vendor (especially hospitals in our area). The people without the resources to pay for insurance receive the highest bills and the worst discrimination.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:09 pm |
  36. Angela, NYC

    Why do my comments always await moderation, and are rarely posted?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  37. Angela, NYC

    The problem with a government run health plan is there is no appeals process; at least with an insurance company you can appeal their decision and 99 times out of 100 it is reversed. I know, I have appealed decisions with no problem and all the procedure cost was my deductible. I'll take private plans over the government plan anyday!

    August 19, 2009 at 8:07 pm |
  38. Anna

    I can't understand what the big deal is. I have lived in Canada most of my life and England before that, so I know no other system but state health care, and I love it, warts and all. All the ads about the Canadian system are just propaganda financed by those who stand to lose the most. Perhaps it is a different mind set altogether, but medical care shouldn't be a for profit business. Even though the Canadian model (which is actually different from province to province) isn't perfect, it is still better than anything else out there. Big business keeps telling you they can do it better, cheaper, but they don't and they can't. Don't believe me? Read what the some of the best analytical minds have to say in the Economist. As soon as you introduce a profit motivation, greed wins and the ordinary person loses. The house always wins, and in this case, we know who owns the casino.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm |
  39. conversefive

    CNN once again doing the White House's bidding. This administration is by far the most corrupt I've seen in several administrations. Do you know why? Because none of the mainstream press is doing their job as the citizen's watchdog. All they do is pass on more propaganda for their leader.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  40. Sean

    It would be nice if the actual facts were laid out, and people on both sides could talk it out with out yelling, screaming, saying unconfirmed details... We have between 20 and 47 million people without healthcare in the richest country in the world.... We have the most advanced systems with fantastic doctors. But with all the good points, we also pay more per person and GDP then any other country in the world. Canada may have their set of problems, but they do spend a significant amount less then we do and still have longer life spans.

    I'm not saying we should drop our health care system, but we should look into making it more affordable. If Co-ops or an OPTION for a public offering is on the table, I'd for it if:

    1. It maintained or improved the current systems resuts
    2. Covered more of our people
    3. Did not fund contraversal issues such as yes... abortion.
    4. Cut down on costs.

    We need a solutions.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:03 pm |
  41. Pat Galanis

    Years ago the HMOs came into the medical world and they were supposed to cut our cost. Basically , they added another layer. They have bought doctors' practices and dictate the care. Why not go after the million dollar executive in that industry?
    Want end of life suggestions? Why can't the Social Security Administration prepare and send a pamphlet on these options to all seniors over 65. A postage stamp is even cheaper that a physician consult.
    We are hearing that the $$ for clunker program is trapped in the muckuty muck of Washington with car dealers opting out of the program. Why does Washington think any doctor or hospital will want to do business with a Washington run insurance that will be in the business of given everything away?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  42. Sherrie F.

    I was born with severe birth defects but have never been allowed to work because I would lose my Healthcare benefits that I need FIRST and foremost; and no private insurer would accept me with my "pre-existing conditions"! The Good Lord didn't give us the knowledge and ability to ONLY care for those who could afford it! How can ANYONE justify denying any human being decent health care in this country?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm |
  43. linda

    I work 50 hours a week, for the minimum wage, and I see everyone that either works for the government, having healthcare, and everyone that is a beneficiary of the taxpayer whether it's a schoolteacher County or State worker having healthcare coverage and someone like me making a project in a factory receiving no healthcare coverage I pay my taxes it makes me so disgusted seeing everyone else receiving coverage through my taxes I think it's time we take care of the simple people like myself that works hard every day, linda

    August 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  44. Sara

    I just don't understand how we, one of the richest countries in the world, cannot be healthy. Being healthy means that each and every one of us takes care of ourselves and are focused on a healthy lifestyle. Having a healthy lifestyle means that all of us are cognizant of our health issues. Being cognizant of our issues means that we must be aware of our health needs. How can we do this if we do not have adequate health care (prevention and cure)?
    We need health care reform. We provide education, fire, and safety for ourselves via a tax structure and government oversite, why not health care?

    August 19, 2009 at 8:01 pm |
  45. Abby Beggs

    As far as actual questions go, I was wondering if there are income limits on this plan for full coverage.

    Also, I think that the entire healthcare reform is a great thing. For example, I am an 18 year old non smoking college freshman without any type of insurance because of the expense and my family's prior history. I cannot even step foot into a doctors office, without having to fork over hundreds of dollars. If something is to happen to me within the course of the next four years, I may have to just grit and bear it. I was also wondering why the republican extremists think that this is equal access. Why is it that they are so ready and willing to shoot down Obama's ideas, but are so reluctant in making their own plan? Honestly, I just wish that the republicans in congress would stop dragging their behinds and actually do something as far as this bill goes, it's only their job.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  46. Becky

    Hi Anderson,
    I have been a teacher for 8 years. Each year I get a small cost of living raise. Each year the insurance company reaches out and takes that raise by raising premiums, therefore I never feel like I am getting ahead financially. Will a public government run insurance option really give these huge insurance companies (crooks) competion and drive down these ever increasing premiums? I think democrats should go through with the health reform plan regardless of bipartisan concerns. Not only should all americans have health care, the insurance companies are out of control.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:00 pm |
  47. Georgia

    I am a senior citizen on Medicare and I also have supplemental insurance which is known as Medicare Extra. The cost of the supplemental insurance is taken directly from Social Security each month.. I am completely satisfied with this form of Health Insurance. Would I lose it under the insurance plan being discussed by congress?

    August 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  48. Steve

    If medicare (govt. health insurance) works so well for those over 65, why do so many crazy right-wingers think it can't work for the rest of us. Why doesn't the health reform effort focus on nationalizing medicare? We know it works.

    August 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm |
  49. patricia lewis

    Why do people keep saying if you get sick all you have to do is go to the Emergency Room. I mean its true but I pulled a muscle in my back in March and went to the Emergency Room and now I have a $750.00 bill , 3 collection agencies after me and bad credit. I turned 65 in may so now I have Medicare but I have to pay a deductible. Thank God for Wal-Mart $4.00 medicine because I have no idea how I would be buying my Arthritis Meds. I just want people to stop saying all you have to do is go to the Emergency Room. Its kinda like if I want a brand new SUV all I have to do is go to a car dealer right.

    August 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
  50. Tom Ulrich

    Why is congress, the executive branch, and the judicial system exempt from the healthcare system regular americans "must" participate in?

    August 19, 2009 at 7:58 pm |
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