December 14th, 2009
09:44 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/14/09

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We've got breaking news from Capitol Hill on health care reform. There's word of a possible about-face from Senate Democrats on the idea of allowing Americans to buy into Medicare starting at the age of 55. We've got the raw politics. Plus, big banks under fire. President Obama urged banking executives to provide more loans to small businesses. We're keeping them honest. Should banks be doing enough to rebuild the economy?

Want more details on what we're covering? Read EVENING BUZZ

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (256 Responses)
  1. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    One day after the President called the bankers of Wall Street "Fat cat bankers", Citigroup announced it would pay the government $ 20 billion loan it received. If the cap fits, wear it... lol..

    December 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Emily

    So, Pres. Obama would give himself a B+?
    what else do you expect him to say?

    If he says "A", that sounds arrogant, even if he deserves it....

    If he says "C", or lower, again even if he deserves it, well, that alwasy sounds bad.

    I think that's a Catch-22 question. (like the ones in Job Interviews!)

    December 14, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  3. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hi Erica!!!
    I agree with you!! Ed Henry and Dana bash are doing great job reporting from both places talked about healthcare.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  4. eric walker

    Obama gives himself a B+ for What giving Trillions to Big Banks to loan money to small bussinesses? Maybe he's talking about don't ask don't tell. What has he completed ? Any campaign promise ?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  5. Karen

    I'm so completely disgusted with these senators. Honestly, I just can't blame Obama for these old lions stinking lily livered ways. I write to Ben Nelson constantly and get a pat form letter back, patting me on the head and saying "I'm doing this for you". Gah. My own party *boggles my mind*. I can't believe this crap. Not that there aren't other things in the bill that are worth having but seriously, the people I most blame for the crap place this country is in right now is CONGRESS. The president isn't King, he's president. Obama has done just fine. I really wish people would quit this "grading" crap. Like ordinary people who get polled have any idea about what is actually happening in politics or in perspective to history. I really hate polls. They've never made sense to me. Just like TV ratings. I just don't trust them or believe them.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  6. Jennifer

    Part of the issue with refinancing is the cost. A family member went to refinance (and they qualified for refinancing through Obama's plan) and was told by their bank that it would cost $10,000. If you are having trouble with your mortgage, how on earth could you pay those fees? No wonder more people are not taking advantage of these refinancing offers.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  7. zackman

    it NEEDS to pass

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  8. Chaney, Louisiana

    Good evening everyone, these people of both parties that we have elected to do our business, ALL need to be voted out of office....they sit up in their ivory towers, taking obscene amounts of money to line their war chests and then speak out of both side of their mouths., they do not have our best interests at heart they have their own..... I am very upset with them.... since when is it okay for our law makers to lie about pending legislation, just because they oppose it.?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  9. Jean Hughes

    My health insurance (Anthen Blue Cross) just went from $434 per
    month to $570 per month. I am an independent contractor (Realtor)
    How's that for an increase?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  10. Casey Jones - Boston, MA

    So did the Obama administration push the public option in more recent months knowing that by eventually dropping it they would get back to what they really wanted to start with?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  11. Annie Kate

    I suppose it could be worse – the banks at least are paying back their loans. Hopefully that will decrease the deficit somewhat. I never expected to see the money paid back. I'm just glad I do my banking at a credit union – so far all has been quiet there.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Shanny

    Change is uncomfortable for almost everyone so I give Obama kudos for pushing through the discomfort and toward his goals in spite of the polls

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  13. carla

    give the people insurance liberman will be fired because he don't have his own mind i for one am sick of the politicians not giving people healthcare who are they to do that.........all the republicans should just be fired and all the dems who do not vote for healthecare will be fired ....the people voted for obama because we wanted healthecare for americans......what

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  14. Marianne Pacella

    Lieberman's "change of heart" was bought and paid for by the insurance companies. Typical liberal.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  15. Stew Phillips

    The only way to keep the banks from paying insane business is to tax the receiver at a rate of 50-75% AND to eliminate, or at least, limit the amount of deduction that the payer can apply to their tax bill. But, that would require Congress to act in the public good, and that isn't too likely.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  16. Dave

    Why isn't anyone talking about why insurance companies were made exempt from anti-trust laws? And what about banks, wall street and oil companies, why are they permitted to become so massive where their failure cripples the U.S.?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  17. Emily

    Always great reporting from David Gergen.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  18. starr, formerly known as vincent

    I think Sen. Lieberman should be stripped of his chairman position of home land security! He has consistently played with both parties for the last several years.

    I am starting to doubt Pres. Obama's abilities to handle some of these issues. I'm wondering about his limited governing experience perhaps being part of his problems.

    We, the people really need to get involved and write to our rep's & senators and the president. We need to find a way to be heard and taken seriously. I don't want a healthcare bill so the President can say he got healthcare passed.!!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  19. tompan

    David, thank you for explaining this mess in your clear thinking (as uisual). Wow, health care reform is just a roller coaster. I can't believe how grey our president is becoming so fast!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  20. Kay McIntee

    Hi, Just an opinion on adding 55-64 people to Medicare. I worked and have been paying into Medicare from 1965 until 2006. Now that I am retired and 65 I am still required to pay 96.50 a month for Medicare. Can Anyone explain where all of the money I paid into the system went? I vote NO for the 55-64 age bracket expansion. I worked for 45 years and now that I am finally retired, the system is changing the rules, let them all work their 45 years. Thanks for listening.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  21. eric walker

    Lets kill this healthcare bill, get New leadership replace these conserv-a-dems.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  22. Josh Duenyas

    Banks will not refinance existing loans as they are waiting for a new wave of ALT-A loans that were fixed for 5 years and now will turn to be adjustable. The next wave is coming in a year and a half to two years. Those are the loans that were fixed for 7 years.

    Why should they refinance loans that will pay them higher rates than the on going historical low rate?

    I was a mortgage loan officer and know the "ropes".
    Unfortunately I am one of the "poor fellas" who has this type of a loan.



    December 14, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  23. Spence (Banker from Georgia)


    I'm a banker in Georgia and have been and continue to loan money to consumers, small businesses and commercial customers. While our bank has been somewhat successful in doing this this year, please understand that there is a disconnect between what Washinton is saying what it wants and what the regulators on site are enforcing in our lending institutions. When regulators come in and downgrade essentially any loan not secured with cash and impose new, more stringent rules on mortgage lending, how do we possibly increase lending?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  24. anna

    Big banks need to hire more American people so we can bring this unemployment down. Small business needs consumers and consumers are out of jobs.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  25. Dulcie - Denver

    Let me be absolutely clear. I don't blame President Obama for any of this public option/Medicare conflict. I blame Congress. I'm sickened by how partisan this has gotten. It's all about ideology and forget the average person.


    December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  26. ericacnn

    Evening, bloggers. Great reporting off the top from Dana and Ed, and fantastic insight from David.

    What do you think of this health care bill? Is it worth it just to pass something, as many have alluded to?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  27. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Yes. The banks would like to get interest back also.... Might have to take them back, if they don't.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  28. Nadine

    Why doesn't the government say to the banks, "ok, you won't cooperate? fine you're out. From now on the American people will go to the SBA to get all of their loans and help for their small businesses". Why isn't the government using this entity which already exists?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  29. Emily

    sounds like the Dem's are more upset with Obama at this time then the Rep's are!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  30. zackman

    hi im zack

    December 14, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  31. Keith

    They don't want to , Isabel. They are deliberately dampening the economy.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  32. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    Stop sitting on the money. How the money going to grow? We need a loan! We need a loan!! We need a loan!!!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  33. Rodney

    @ Anderson
    They won't go broke just like the health companies won't go broke. The well connected are the only ones being taken care of in this country.
    President Obama can only do so much. Congress has the power to pass legislation.

    The President should push the Fed to start community based co-op banks. These would be designed to provide lending to truly small and minority businesses. They should also use the same model to compete against the health companies.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  34. eric walker

    Obama has barley been in office a year. How have the banks who were going to fail be possible paying out morebonus money than last year ?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  35. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    I bet if the government imposed a capital tax on standing money in the banks then they would start loaning it out.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  36. Emily

    @Mike, formerly from Syracuse,

    That was exactly why the banks got the money!

    It's very frustrating hearing them and their weak excuses that they are feeding the American people. Sounds like they are not giving loans to anyone, despite their financial/credit records.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  37. David, Indiana

    Good evening Anderson, Erica, Isabel, everyone. Can anyone help me understand the Medicare buy in? I thought there's been a provision for Medicare being available to retirees 55 to 64 since HCR began taking shape in congress. So how is it a compromise for the Public Option?

    I can't help but wonder if any of that 30B in bonuses for 3 banks could be flowed into lending but almost a fourth of bailout monies paid back is good news.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  38. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    To free up more credit to companies in an attempt to boost employment growth is a positive thing, but it is something that will not be so easy to happen.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  39. pamg

    my husband is a mortgage broker and I can tell you that it is a total nightmare to try and refinance someone's mortgage. the banks are a complete mess, still. it is not easy to for a consumer to take advantage of the great rates

    December 14, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  40. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Casey Jones – Boston, MA,
    Yes, I agree with you! Good point there!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. Mark!

    The Democrats have wasted 2 months, they could have pass this type of reform months ago!

    It will still be a major victory for this congress and the President, they just need to get it done and move on to other issues!!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  42. jacqueline ny

    Good evening! Happy Holidays!

    December 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  43. Keith

    There's plenty of room for good loans. To prevent the bad loan practices of the past, doesn't mean you have to stop making loans.
    That's just an excuse.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  44. hCasey Jones - Boston, MA

    I love the TARP recipients referring to consumers and small businesses like we're deadbeats. The biggest deadbeats of all are those same institutions.

    I know one family who just walked away from their home this past weekend and a second family that will be doing the same thing very shortly. With good credit, both have tried refinancing for months and months and month only to be consistently stonewalled.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  45. Jim S

    Senator Lieberman has dropped the ball on medicare reform. Doesnt he realize if you drop the age of eligible participants it would give them incentive to retire early and put more people to work.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  46. Rick U

    There are legitimate Small/ medium businesses being denied of loans and credit with a fair to good credit. I was denied. a credit card. from US Bank. They send me a Busness Credit application so I can fill it out and they can decline me credit. I also have 3 aaccounts with them. The Federal Bailout money is to help the economy/Americans not just Fat Cat Charlie. Have some Accountablity you Corporate Companies. Life isnt all about money. Its about the well being of the human race. Shareing , giving, careing, living and loving. Open up your hearts and it will open up your soul to give back. Get some advice from Warren Buffet & Bill Gates. They willl show you how its done. God Bless America annd the Human Race, we really really need it.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  47. Kathy Chicago

    Banks are raising interest rates on good and profitable customers. They are dragging their feet on any loans.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  48. tompan

    Refinance? That's a joke. Here in California where many people are underwater 60% the banks won't allow any refi even if you're not behind on any payments. And Lieberman, please retire, we need politicians who can stand behind their words.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  49. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    You have good point there..... I agree with you, looks like our business are going down, too. And I like that magic wall.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  50. Isabel Siaba (Brazil)

    @ Anderson

    The bankers have a duty to help the U.S. recover from the crisis, but do they have how to do this? Or do they want?

    December 14, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
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