August 19th, 2009
03:42 PM ET

Tonight: Text 360°

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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. Sylvia Z.

    Why don't conservatives get it that at the end of the day in democracy majority wins and rules?
    Why is it unconceivable that maybe, just maybe majority wants more socialism in America? Conservatives should accept that America's demographic make up is changing and people may have different expectations for themselves and for their government than what their conservative views are. What would you say if majority of us want socialized health care and government run public system?
    What would you say to that?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  2. Cookie SD

    I hear alot about a government plan. I want to know who pays the premiums for the coverage of a person? And if the person pays the premium how will the people on assistance pay a premium for coverage. What would be the standards of who pays and who doesn't pay a premium?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  3. Clif Gaus

    Insurance, by definition, is the guarantee of indemnification or reimbursement in consideration for a payment proportional to a perceived risk. Therefore, requiring an insurer to cover people with known conditions (extreme risk) crosses the line between insurance and subsidized healthcare.

    This is no different than forcing auto insurers to cover drivers with numerous at-fault accidents or multiple DUI convictions. Perhaps we should also use taxpayer money to secure debt for extremely high-risk loans... Oh, wait, that is what TARP and the AIG bailout was for.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  4. mk

    why would anyone want the same people that run the DMV in charge of your health care?

    thats what you get with government care, no accountability and no options for better service. a free market is the only way to keep choice, and keep quality high. in a free market bad service providers go out of business, with government they keep providing bad service and charging you higher and higher rates and taxes.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  5. John

    When the elected members of congress endorse the health care program for themselves, the rest of the country will be willing to accept it. But if they do not cover the President, Congress and governement workers with the same plan, then the plan is subject to budget cuts and is not viable for all Americans. Congress wants to ram this program down our throats but it is not good enough for their coverage. And we elect these individuals, I think that any elected official who supports this plan and is not willing to be covered by it should be voted out of office

    August 19, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  6. Mike in NJ


    I hear all throughout this "fact check" that illegal aliens are not covered under this plan but this really isn't true. They haven't repealed "EMTALA" have they? Illegals will still get care in the ER and still get to remain in the US after that care.

    Don't get me wrong EMTALA is a good law and necessary but don't try to tell me that illegals aren't in the system still because they are. Either they're covered through EMTALA or in 2010 with Obama's "Path to Citizenship", the next big liberal agenda.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  7. mk

    why would anyone want the same people that run the DMV in charge of your health car?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  8. anita

    Congress has the best health insurance in the world. They don't seem to want to share with us common people. Consequently, our law makers don't take seriously the day to day problelms that the average person experiences with our out of control medical expenses and insensitive insurance; I would rather have the government involved in my health care or a coop involved than an insurance company making obscene profits from the sick in the U.S.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  9. john moore

    i haven't heard a good reason why this MUST be done immediately.
    "hurry, it's a crisis! it's gotta be done NOW!" that's all i hear.

    some of the people WE elected to represent US are saying they will vote however they darn well please. and they have the nerve to tell us it's not important to understand or even read this 1000+ page bill.

    the lawyers are going to pick this thing apart. they'll have us paying their vet bills by the time they're done.

    how about if the senate actually takes some time to go through the whole thing and discuss it live on c-span, so we can see what's really going on?

    by the way, i hate to break it to you, but government IS big business,
    only they make their own rules. and that's why you can't compete.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  10. Rosie Estrin

    We have great public schools, not just private. We have great public parks and monuments, not just private. We have a great military that works better and cheaper AND with less scandals than Blackwater or other contractors......Medicare is a great thing that is public...........Hmmm, what else???
    My point is that everyone should be able to access great health care...not just the private insurance companies that make money rationing health care. It is the private health insurance companies that have put our citizens health second, and profit # 1. Also our country ranks #38 in the world- not # 1 in quality health care.
    I also trust my country more than a faceless big profit machine

    August 19, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  11. shawn

    Repubs had 6 years congress and 8 years with Bush and the cost more than doubled.They want to do nothing except try to see Obama fail. The cost of healthcare will be out of control if nothing is done soon.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  12. Larry Kraus

    well said maybe we need to have MORE PUBLIC COMPETITION IN MORE FIELDS. The private side will charge as much as they can get away with and they move in unison. Show me how the various companies keep prices low in the gas and oil field. while i agree with Alice in the Private side I disagree with her on the voting out part. Our government is the best money can buy. We are told by the Supreme Court that the money that our leaders are BOUGHT AND PAID FOR with is free speech. i am a regular kind of guy and when our leaders vote the way that the money that buys their votes want them to but against our kind of free speech the kind we make by moving our lips there is something very wrong. there is nobody on our side but us. as for the health care bill if we don't get the public option then the boys with the big money win again. I have an IQ of around 128 which is not all the high and even i can understand that it's stacked on the side of those with big bucks not on the side of the "we the people" side. So bend over and smile just remember to relax or the pain will be even worse than it already is.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:09 pm |
  13. Vince

    How do we trust the government to provide healthcare when they simply let all of the current social programs fail? Like Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. How would a private company with the same record be viewed in the publics eye?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  14. Michael

    Is there anything in health care reform that would prevent illegal aliens from using all of our social programs as it should be? That alone would save this country billions of dollars. Why is it that Lou Dobbs is one of the very few who isn't afraid to report and tell things like they really are? I think Mr. Dobbs is an example that the rest of the media should follow. I'm an Independent too because I've lost faith in both parties. I agree we need some kind of health care reform as long as Medicare/Medicaid doesn't get hurt by it and that the Freedom of Choice Act isn't included in the health care reform. That's another issue nobody seems to want to talk about. Will the Freedom of Choice Act be included in this health care reform? If so I think it should be removed. Now on Medicare to save money what I want to know is why are millionaires allowed to be on Medicare when they can afford to buy an insurance policy of their own? Even though yes I know they paid into the system those that have an income over $300,000 shouldn't be allowed to be on Medicare and not included in the new health care reform bill because again, those in that group can afford to buy their own insurance policy. This would save Medicare a great deal of money.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  15. Robin Taft

    What I see is the right trumping up as much parinoid fear as they can while the left is burdened with trying to govern and put together a plan that can pass. What the media can do that would best serve the country right now is to stop helping stir up parinoia and istead every day untill a bill passes both houses is to become a truth squad concening these false claims from either side. Contribute to a calm logical debate and help the people consider the facts as they exsist in the real world by setting these falsehoods right, not some parinoid nightmare to get ratings, that only serves the medias need for ratings not te peoples need for a logical debate. We need truth squads not people fanning the flames of fear.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  16. Joe

    No where else in the world does government run health care work efficiently. The countries who operate a government run health care system are miserable failures, and I am amazed at how little this is discussed during the townhall discussions and this administrations talking points. While it is true that government run health care reaches more people, it does so at the expense of quality and costs.

    We don't have to look too far, in our own backyard we have Massachussettes, and Tennessee who already experimented with state run health care plans. Both of these states attempt to provide more care to more people. The facts are undeniable, both of these states failed miserably, and the evidence is that costs skyrocketed, while providing less care and less quality than their private insurance counterparts. In Tennessee the costs went from $2.5 Billion/year to $8Billion dollars a year under the government controlled plan. In Massachussettes where we have state run health care system in effect today, the costs rise at almost twice the rate of the national average, and private health care insurace premiums increased to 8 to 10 percent per year.

    How is it that these very important and pertinent examples of State run health care haven't been discussed? Could it be that they are such a failure that it would be an embarrassement of this administration to use them as an example?

    Our economic history is living proof that the American people know how to create the context that binds humanity, that nourishes hope, enhances the quality of the human spirit, and creates the enduring belief that freedom and quality comes from with-in the landscape of the individual freedoms we possess, not by government intervention.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  17. Kevin

    I can't beleive so many "Gullible Old Party" followers are being duped about a public option for health care insurence. Any of these nutjobs that really believe that private insurance interests will always provide the best options for americans citizens need to look back a few month to AIG.

    Fear the government! Fear the terrorists! Fear a health society! But for God's sake trust the insurance companies to always do the right thing. Remember how eager these same people were to have the government intervene and take responsibility for Terri Shaivo's health care. What a bunch of hipocrits!

    These "Gullible Old Party" leaders are so indebted to the global insurance giants they have to fight any real reform. At the end of the day they will lose this battle because the majority of americans want real reform along with a public health care insurance option.

    August 19, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  18. David Karwoski

    Will I still be able to use my own private health insurance and see all of my own Doctors? How would health reform affect me if I can keep my own insurance?

    August 19, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  19. Larry Kraus

    well said maybe we need to have MORE PUBLIC COMPETITION IN MORE FIELDS. The private side will charge as much as they can get away with and they move in unison. Show me how the various companies keep prices low in the gas and oil field. while i agree with Alice in the Private side I disagree with her on the voting out part. Our government is the best money can buy. We are told by the Supreme Court that the money that our leaders are BOUGHT AND PAID FOR

    August 19, 2009 at 10:00 pm |
  20. Rocky

    Why is no one talking about healthcare inflation and costs of healthcare that insurers and providers inflicted on the us economy?

    The market takes care of housing when the costs drop from their highs.
    The market does not do that in the case of healthcare inflation 'cause the health care providers and insurers have articially inflated their care by prescribing unnecessary tests and increasing the costs at their will.
    There is non other than the govt. who has to take these costs back from their highs by enacting tough laws on these entities.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  21. J.L. PA

    As a former healthcare worker with 30 years of experiences, I hear no one discussing about the various purchasing contracts/companies that are available to healthcare institutions. Why? There have been many comments concerning the high costs of healthcare, however, go to the Administrators/CEO, management staff, CFO's, and purchasing/material management departments and discover such mark-ups in equipment and supplies (if they will let one in). It will really open one's eyes.

    Stop/control such mark-ups and the cost of healthcare would decrease! Are the mark-ups worse than in retail sales? One should investigate.

    Review some itemized hospital bills-What a shock! And yes, I do understand behind-the-scene costs, but greedy is greedy. Take a look at High-level Administration salaries of CEO and CFO's. They are high and for what? My salaries were never high, but that of a working technologist- and doing departmental administration duties.

    I worked up the ranks from entry-level position up to Departmental Administration level at several hospitals in my area. (I wish to not be specific in which departments and at which hospitals, I value my life). Generally, this happens all over the states. The larger the institution, the better the buying power contracts for the institution , the more mark-up for the billing purposes and insurances companies. Then look at the poor patients with no or limited insurance.

    Even the buying/purchasing power of machinery /diagnostic equipment throughout institutions would blow your mind. I have been out of healthcare for four (4) years,- too much politics, however remember that any and all machinery that is newly purchased can be realtively paid for itself with patient use within two-three (2-3) years. After machinery has been paid for itself, every patient that is cared for by the same machinery becomes profit for the institution. Should any piece of machinery/ diagnostic remain in working and accrediated order for longer than the pay period is pure profit to the department/institution.
    The longer the use of the same equipment, the more the profit is realized.

    Also to consider what is unknown are the various buying tactics that companies "play" when new equipment is needed to replace old and then CFO's require three(3) or more proposals for comparison review. The tactics that are played between large companies for a "piece of the pie" to win a sale of machinery for an institution would also blow your mind.

    Thank you....
    Just something to think about..

    August 19, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  22. H. Green, MD, FACP, FAAD, FACMS

    Can anyone name one thing, ie., medical or surgical outcomes, preventative outcomes, costs, geographic availability, anything at all that private health insurance companies deliver or do in a more efficient and effective or productive manner than age matched ;patients on Medicare insurance?

    Answer: Issue Common and preferred stock and corporate bonds, pay executives. Nothing else that privatre health insurance companies do better, more effectively or more efficiently than than Medicare insurance.

    Without their own massive government subsidies, protection from medical malpractice lawsuits via ERISSA laws, a Federal ban on collective bargaining by physicians, and a law prohibiting medicare from forming a formulary via competitive bidding, the private heatlh insurance companies would not exist.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:57 pm |
  23. humble opinion

    As a doctor I have the following proposals
    1. Subsidise medical education in the country and help doctors with already existent education loans.
    2. All patients should have only one health care plan like Medicare and so thecompensation should be uniform for a given activity.
    3. the patient can decide which doctor or institution he/she could go to. creating competition amongst doctors to provide a service.
    4.The same insurance company that provides patients with health insurance should also be the one covering the doctors malpractise insurance, so the insurance companies wont pressurise doctors to make decisions that could be potentially harmful to the patient and liable to.
    The alternative is to bring in TORT reform.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  24. Jim

    I SURE hope SOMEONE at least fixes the health care system we ALREADY are trying to use. It's horrible that there are 40+ million people in this country with NO health care and then there are people who have health care insurance (medicare) that can't get an appt with a Dr! As soon as the Drs. receptionist finds out that your insurance is medicare (and that is the first question asked. No one EVER asked WHY I needed to see a Dr.) you are told the Dr is taking no NEW medicare patients. Try it and see what happens. I've called at least 25 Drs. in the last 2 days and cannot get an appointment or even get someone to ask me WHY I need one. Something is WRONG with this system and it needs to be fixed!

    August 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  25. Karen

    Alice, AR

    1) You have no right to health care.

    2) Are you going to force doctors to get paid the same as janitors? Are you going to force the suppliers of medical equipment to loose money selling their equipment to hospitals?

    3) Government is not suppose to compete with the private sector.

    4) the government has made it expensive.

    5) You have no rights to oil.

    6) shareholders approve salaries, shareholders are private owners.

    7) maybe if the government stop inflating the currency, prices would go down. maybe if the government actually allowed U.S. oil companies drill at home, maybe we can get cheaper (NOT FREE) oil.

    we have to pay major oil countries (OPEC) for the rights to drill, they set prices and supply. U.S. oil companies have to pay them royalties.

    Recent government success:

    Social Security? Bankrupt
    Medicare? Bankrupt
    Medicaid? Bankrupt
    Fannie Mae? lost trillions, Bankrupt
    Freddie Mac? Lost Trillions. Bankrupt
    FDIC? Lost Billions, Bank Failures
    U.S. Postal Service? Losing Billions
    Amtrak? Losing Millions
    SEC? Madoff, Enron, etc...
    Federal Reserve? Disaster

    TAX payers and our credit is keeping these programs afloat and bankrupting us.

    Everything the government does is a disaster. Their introduction of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac along with the federal reserve caused the bank problem. When are you going to wake up?

    they made housing so unaffordable that people could not actually pay for it.


    August 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  26. Tom from Illinois

    Why are Democrats not discussing tort reform? Why are Democrats not considering shifting policy ownership from employer to employee along with the tax credit? Why are Democrats not facing the reality that immigration reform is part of health care reform? How will the Democrat public option be less of a fiscal disaster than Medicare?

    August 19, 2009 at 9:54 pm |
  27. Theresa Wolf

    Why isn't anybody talking about taking the cap off of social security to pay for health care? Corporate executives making millions per year pay the same in social security taxes as someone making $102,000/year (in 2008) and no more. If the govt. took the cap off of social security, we could lower the social security percentage and up the medicare/health care percentage and pay for health care without raising taxes for the vast majority of working people. Alice in AR states that the top paid CEO last year made $710 million dollars. He paid only $6,324 in social security taxes! Social Security and health care would be in the black if he paid social security taxes on all $710 million!

    August 19, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  28. kuriya

    I want the bipartisan effort and if they can agree on health care reform. The way things are going all the republicans want is for the health reform to fail and also they want obama to fail. Obama can give them 50% of what they think is their own version of health care reform they will still vote no because of Obama. Let them go without the republicans

    August 19, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  29. Justin, NY

    Health care can be effective and affordable for all legal residents of this country if the fraud, waste, bloat and no value/ negative value added costs are removed from the equation.

    The current system invites fraud and encourages waste. Those who are benefiting from the ills of the current system are are the ones screaming the loudest to ensure that it survives in its current form.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:52 pm |
  30. Sam Bullock

    Our Government is owned by big business.Our votes take the back seat to them in every election.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  31. Jonab, UK

    The Healthcare debate has been antagonizing to many Americans. What I really do not understand is why is it difficult, in fact, a sturggling issue for Americans to make the decision to agree to reform their healthcare system. I heard a lady yesterday saying that whe is fine paying $500.00 a month for healthcare. This si insane. I don't care how rich she may be (does not look that rich seeing her on TV) but $500.00 a month is ridiculous. My analysis is that she's been either mis-guided or total ignorant. Your President is trying to develop a better system and Americans are crying? This is insane to me. Here, we pay less because our government stepped in and developed abetter healthcaresystem, monitored by the government.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  32. Susan, FL

    dont we need immigration reform first? how can we have a health care plan when hospitals are not allowed to turn anyone away? are we willing to pay for health care for EVERYONE when hospitals cannot refuse to treat ANYONE?

    August 19, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  33. Chuck, CA

    How could any legislator honestly believe that we can provide quality healthcare coverage to nearly 50 million new people (many of which have potentially significant unmet health care needs) without a PublicPlan type of program designed to make the health insurance companies be cost competitive. If not, they will increase the cost of healthcare for all of us to account for the addtional adverse selection added to their pool of insured members.
    I believe that everyone should be covered and any change without a cost effective plan for this very risky addition to those covered and accessing care frankly meets my definition of stupid.
    Everyone knows that we taxpayers will ultimately pay for Universal coverage so why not do it right the first time.
    Due to the hipocracy I have witnessed, I will never vote Republican again as l have periodically in the past.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm |

    "The public option has been a sticking point among some Republicans, who consider it to be the camel's nose under the tent of government-run health care." All I have to say is, if my camel is in a sand storm, i will certainly want a tent to put it's nose under so I can continue my journey the next day.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  35. Jane

    Confused? You bet! We have good company healthcarebenefits that will currently continue into retirement/medicare, but what happens after that? If you can, please comment. We hope to retire January 2010.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  36. Dave


    1. How is a goverment run plan with bottomless pockets and ability to dictate , reduce physician and hospital reimbursements " fair competition" to private carriers?

    2. Why no tort reform? Is the lawyer's lobby that strong?

    August 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  37. Jay, Michigan

    Please look at the present healthcare insurance black box that takes all of our money and then we have to beg them to get the benefits when we need them. I prefer a system where our money directly goes to places where we get our health needs.

    If we think that the money we pay to health insurance is going as part of our tax to the government then all conservatives would shout and say how many idling people and what a waste of our money going into big lawyers, some doctor crooks and others who try to cheat the system. Current healthcare system is useless if you really study it and understand how the money wasted to an unknown entity that has nothing to do with our health. You can see a specialist same day even in a third word country today no need to wait weeks until either you die, recover by itself before you see a doctor in the US. Those who shout to keep the current system know nothing about how other countries do it well with more benefits and less burden to the patients. Do not mix outdated healthcare system with valuable pharmaceutical and biomedical engineering industries that really bring new drugs, instruments and medical procedures to the market. Current US healthcare industry is to fleece you dead.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm |
  38. Bhavin H Jani MD

    Anybody who needs a reform needs to talk to their doctors. They will get a very different view.
    A happy doctor will do a better job. Frustrated doctor will deliver poor quality of care.
    Whats the point in having insurance when the number of physicians is dwindling at an alarming rate.

    Hospitals,nurses and pharmaceuticals depends on a doctor. If there is no doctor the others would not survive.
    Let us talk about what would make the "guy" on whom your life may depend happy and content.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  39. Javier Maldonado

    America needs healthcare for everybody. We can all agree on that. Now how we do it is the matter that needs to be addressed, obviously compromises have to be made, so we as a nation, can move forward on this issue. Let's get together and not divide, divided we will not achieve anything.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:47 pm |
  40. Gary, columbus, ohio

    I am not an exteme leftist. I was a Hillary supporter but backed Obama in the presidential. However, I feel the extreme left needs to take a stand. Why do Democrats always cater to the moderates? They are right on this health care debate, and should not give into the crazies on the right or the moderate left. What the Republicans are doing right now is nothing new. It's clear they will do anything to keep power and really do not care about anything else. When this whole thing is said and done, I'm hoping that a united Democratic party will finally take a stand and expose the Republican party for what it is—a backward party, full of loons and bullies. Now, that would a change and a revelation that we can believe in. The truth will set you free.

    Take a stand Obama and take a stand Democrats.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:46 pm |
  41. Karen

    Is it true the Senate is considering a bill that would allow insurance companies to charge 35% copays instead of 20% in effect now ?

    August 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  42. Tony Kassebaum

    Here's a good one...On July 26th I went to Mexico to get some dental work done. I needed 3 bridges, 11 fillings and a crown. This work would have cost $9 to $12,000 if I had the work done in the USA. I am self employed, an artist, and just didn't have that much money laying around. The work I had done was excellent, the same materials as used in this country as well as Europe. Sterility, and professionalism was equal to any dentist in the USA. All of my work cost $2390! A year ago I caught an infection, which I had to buy clindamycin, which is available as a generic, but costs $70.00 for 28 capsules. While I was in Mexico from July 26th thru the 29th of this year I stopped at a pharmacia, (pharmacy), and priced out clindamycin......$6.39 for 32 capsules, manufactured by a subsidary of the American manufacturer. By the way I have traveled to Canada and Mexico on many occasions as well as other countries. I have never seen dead bodies in front of Mexican or Canadian pharmacys, or any other country's pharmacies I have been to, have you? The concept of charging an uninsured patient more than an insured patient is blatant discrimination, regardless of what contractrual terms have been negotiated....i.Come on SUPER LAWYERS, get on the stick! All of us in this country have a right to basic healthcare, every dollar spent on preventative care saves $10 to $20 down the road. The drug companies and medical insurance companies make dramatic profits, even the CFO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, who had open heart surgery stated on national television because he had open heart surgery, he could not buy insurance privately. But yet his company excludes people with pre existing conditions, and covers him........There needs to be a dramatic change in healthcare, as the costs will bankrupt this country quicker than the national debt. The disinformation being circulated by the special interests, to sabatoge the current health care reforms is disgusting and with these interests profits being 40 to 50% they don't want to loose that. It reminds me of Radio Free Europe, and Voice of America broadcasts that were pointed toward Eastern Europe during the cold war years. Lets get this thing fixed, provide basic healthcare for every American, and if we want more, we can buy it privately. It is pretty disgusting when our elderly have to choose between food and medicine

    August 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  43. Mary

    I participated in a discussion for people of faith on health care reform tonight through Sojourner, it was great. I was wondering where all the people of faith were on this issue as I know of no system of faith that honors G-d that would not fight for health care reform based on thier stated beliefs. The president joined the conversation. I hope all believers and people of faith become a part of this discussion.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  44. Buster

    Is this true?

    The Texas Advance Directives Act (1999), also known as the Texas Futile Care Law, The bill was signed into law while George W. Bush was Governor of Texas. Section 166.046, Subsection (e),[1] which allows a health care facility to discontinue life-sustaining treatment against the wishes of the patient or guardian ten days after giving written notice if the continuation of life-sustaining treatment is considered medically inappropriate by the treating medical team.
    There is your REAL Death Panel

    August 19, 2009 at 9:45 pm |
  45. Lin

    The problem with health care in the US is cost. We won't address the cost drivers until the Dems and the GOP stop posturing and get serious about the issues. First, the GOP has to agree that medicine doesn't have to play by the traditional for-profit, capitalistic model. Second, the Dems have to agree to tort reform for medicine so we can lower the ridiculous malpractice premiums that doctors pay. Next, both have to get serious about big Pharma funding all their R&D costs through prices we pay for drugs. They could then think through how to encourage more family and geriatric doctors

    That would be a start.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm |
  46. Rafey

    All industrialized nation provide health care to their citizens. It's not a question of cost. Even today someone is paying for health care of people who don't have insurance. Even illegal immigrants go to emergency rooms and get free care. We are all paying for it one way or another. It will be much better to do it right under a government plan. It will be better to prevent expensive illnesses by giving people proper access to health care. It's the only humane and sensible thing to do.

    Health care industry is not a free market industry. Doctors control how many new doctors graduate each year. They want to keep their pay above a certain level. Foreign doctors are not allowed to practice medicine. A free market would be like in the third world countries, where a large number of doctors are allowed to graduate and give medicine to poor people for whatever they can pay. Poor people in third world countries are allowed to get medicine from pahrmicists too. It's inhumane to tell someone who cannot afford expensive doctors to not be able to get medicine.

    August 19, 2009 at 9:42 pm |
  47. jane smith

    Why do americans want to live with a system that definetely is not working?!! Obviously people in this Country are unhealthy, system is expensive, system doesn’t encourage people to be proactive about being healthy–It’s one that encourages insurance and drug companies to make money. The more sick people well the more drugs sold– i truly believe that the self interests groups are the ones brain washing regular people
    Health care needs to change!! Only a few people have health insurance and those are the lucky few. Especially in today’s jobless environment–no job.. no insurance…it keeps the middle class and poor down. We can never get anywhere if we always have to worry about our families health from sick children, to ageing parents— Let alone ourselves…. Look at the rest of developed nations! We are far the most unhealthy– I believe that health care should be available to all people especially the poor and old–and the goverment should be evolved in regulating this system. This way it’s going to be expensive to the American people—We have to pay taxes to have this— We hate to have to pay for anything!! Which translates into taking proactive measures to be health– ie. Our food is contributing to the problem! Tighter regualations– Making sure that food is healthy starting in public schools– Encouraging more excercise and time for families to be together- Americans work the most in all developed nations… we don’t rest… This is another contribution to why we are unhealthy– We don’t have time to excercise , eat well, chose the right foods, and relax.
    This is not OKAY!! We shouldn’t be accepting this as part of the American Dream! If we don’t reform our health care system– We are getting sicker, more tired, dying young– and we as a nation will not be able to compete on a global scale on anything….We will be just a sick, fat, tired nation— and that's why gov't needs to step in.. big business is only interested in themselves not the general public– they don't live our world and they don't want to– that's why they have so many lobbists working to destroy this reform..

    August 19, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  48. Chris Harmel

    My question to Obama and the senate and house members for Health Care reform is fairly simple. I see a major issue with it. We have Medicare and Social Security which are run by the government which we pay in, but is failing. Why should we start another government sponsored service until they fix Social Security and Medicare so it can continue as so many americans have paid into and some which are definitely counting on. I say fix those two government services, show the american public that the government will follow through, then try to start a new program such as Health Care reform and more americans will back it. Right now there is very little faith in the government backing up what they start. After all, we have heard for many years that social security and medicare will run out and fail, YET!! we do not see any action on it, but rather like a shop-a-holic, "oh the car is not running right, but I need a 52" plasma tv, a new laptop, etc and would rather buy those those than use that money to fix the car which gets me to work to help pay the bills, and buy the things I like in time" That is the attitude I see from our government leaders, and it is very very sad!!

    August 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  49. Sarah

    I would like to know what will happen to those people, like my hsband and I who recieve health insurance from my husbands employer, and pay a huge premium each month just have it. But when it comes for us to actually USE it we just cannot afford to do so. We have to have a high deductable just to keep OUR cost down (money out of payroll) we have had several incidents with out kids this summer that have required ER visits and Urgent care visits, and our insurance will not pay a dime until after we meet the $2300 deductable per person. We do not have that kind of money to spare. My husband needed an anllergy nose spray, after the insurance so generously paid thier portion we had to pay $100 for this tiny bottle!!!
    My husband and I have not been to the Dr in years (we are in our 30s), we cannot afford to go becuase of the deductables that have th be met and paid first..and then our insurance will pay 80%........this is not failr to us or anyone else in this country.

    What will be done to level out the playing field for all americans who have/receive health insurance? These health insurance companies and drug companies rake in billions each year in profit, but still continue to milk and drain us for every penny we have left after our regular bills are paid.......people cannot afford these options.

    Will the high deductables be done away with?
    Will there be a cap on what drug companies can charge for prescriptions?
    How can the government insure that Americans will have more coming home in their pay checks and still have health insurance that ACTUALLY pays for Drs visits?
    What about prevenative care? Going in for annual exams, why can't these be paid for in full?
    Womens OB/GYN appts should be paid for in full along with a physical exam just like men get.

    I was told I can go in for a physical from my General practice Dr and possibly have it paid for but my annual OB/GYN appt will not be paid for as it is deemed unesecary....how can that be? Are I that much less than a man, that i cannot think of going in for an exam to ensure I do not have cancer and to make sure that I am healthy too?

    I hope Obama fixes this problem. We all need health care, we need a cap on the deducabales, we need it even for everyone (or a sliding scale!) If you own any property they deny you for MA because you own a peice of property!

    August 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm |
  50. Gordon Wade

    I have some questions.
    Why are we talking about adding more peple to a public system (Medicare) that is already bankrupt?
    If the 'reformed ' system will save money, why are we atlking about taxing anyone to pay anything more?
    If an individual chooses NOT to have health care insurance, doesn't he have a right not to insure himself?
    If we are not going to tax citizens to pay for the 15 million illegal aliens who do not have health insurance, who will pay for the costs of treating them in emergency rooms?
    How will th 'reforms' effect tort reform orcatastrophic care.
    In England a 'board' DOES decide who will receive what care when under certain circumstances. Is this being contemplated in the 'reforms'?
    Will I still be able to get an ultra sound exam in two days under 'reform'when the average waiting time in Canada or England is measured in months?

    And lastly, is the individual American responsible for himself or should he look to other Americans to take care of him when he fails to practice good health habits After all, 60% of health costs are directly related to poor health habits(smoking, drinking, obesity,lack of exercise)

    August 19, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
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