December 21st, 2009
09:55 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/21/09

Tonight, we're keeping them honest on Capitol Hill. See what deals Democratic leaders made to get the Senate health care reform bill passed early this morning. It's your tax dollars. Plus, up close, the mysterious death of actress Brittany Murphy.

Want to know what else 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.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
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5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Rita

    Under the Health Care Bill, the insurance companies cannot deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition. But, they can charge whatever they want to charge which will be way too expensive for the average person. For instance, if a person is over 50, they will not be able to afford individual insurance because the rates are based on age. They should have kep the Medicare for 55 plus in the bill.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:32 pm |
  2. Jane

    Don't trust that Brazilian lawyer, either.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  3. jamie

    will doctors be forced to accept the new government run insurance

    December 21, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  4. David, Indiana

    Some of those deals are pet projects or ideas that I imagine a senator wants in the legislation, but there are some deal deals. Public support is needed that's were bipartisanship comes in.

    @Isabel, so David Goldman is spending time with the mother's family in Rio this holiday? Do you think this will help them come to some understanding?

    David Goldman sounds frustrated. It's sort of obvious but distance is part of the problem. If he could visit more easily, there would probably be less tension.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  5. frankie

    If you wonder why public support seems lower for health care reform, do you realize how many times a day during CNN ad breaks, there are advertisements about how I should tell Congress not to pass that horrible bill that will kill old people and make America go broke?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  6. David Gergen

    Hello everyone - thanks for joining in tonight. Erica is a terrific substitute for Anderson, don't y ou think? Really interested to see how much anger you are expressing over these back-room deals to get the health bill through the Senate.

    To Gerry Kesselman: yes, when a conference bill comes back for final passage in the Senate, it again needs 60 votes to end debate - that's why Senate Democrats are warning that the House should agree to their version or face the possibility of the 60 vote Dem coalition falling apart on final passage.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  7. Emily

    @Megan, thanks for the update on Mr. Goldman 🙂


    Thanks. 🙂 ...I'd be wondering about the power that this family seems to have in Brazil!

    What a sad story.
    I sure hope that they are able to be reunited asap!

    That was heart breaking listening to David Goldman talking.... 😦

    Sergio Tostes doesn't sound very convincing to me!
    He was not answering Erica's questions.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  8. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Isabel -Brazil

    Thank you for your replies and the info.

    Forgive me, but the Brazilian family's invite to Mr. Goldman to Christmas is a too little, too late.

    I think Mr. Goldman should have his son home for Christmas and if the Brazilian family wants to join him in the US, they can travel to have the Entire family together for the holidays.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  9. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    By what right is the child still being held in Brazil?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  10. Nate

    Hi Erica,
    You look great in high def!
    I keep hearing republicans talking about the high public opposition (in the polls) for this health Care bill. I think that there is more public opposition because they took the public option out. If you polled the amount of people who favor universal health care, you would get a much higher number. It isn't the public's interests that Republicans are fighting for, it's the corporate HMO's

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  11. Cassidy ropes

    How is the new health care bill going to effect someone like myself who already has health insurance? Are my taxes going to increase for something I won't even use?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  12. Giovanna - Miami Florida

    Hard to understand why "many Americans are against the healthcare reform bill..." Obviously, it's not perfect, but what is the alternative? At the rate premiums were climbing if something is not done to reign in the corporate providers, kids out of college would be paying $1,000 per month in less than 2-years, while salaries would not come close to $1,000 per week.
    Back room politics is as old as infidelity, if the average American is so upset by what elected officials do or don't do why don't they get more involved by just sending an email or writing a letter? If we were on the same page America, we could keep the politicos honest at least every 4-years.
    Happy Holidays and good health to all.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  13. Paolo

    Hello everyone! For all the disappointment on the bill, it's far from perfect. It just goes to show you can't have it all but you have to start somewhere. I'm glad you there at 360 aren't naiive to the reality that Republicans did it as well.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  14. Nancy

    Absolutely not. David should not let Sean stay in Brazil through Christmas (if he gets to take him home). Enough is enough.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  15. Molly


    I think Sanjay Gupta said it is more like 4 years before healthcare reform is in place.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  16. Tom

    The public option is not optional! We need a robust public option for there to be real reform. Americans voted for this kind of change in '08, and the great majority of Americans are behind this. President Obama has been a great disappointment on this so far. I truly hope he will fight for what is right at this late hour - a robust public option! This needs to be reintroduced in conference between the Senate and House. If necessary, it should be pushed through via reconciliation. President Obama (and Sen. Reid) should fight for this! No more excuses!

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  17. Jane

    I would hope the Brazilian grandparents would allow the father and son to be reunited. Sad situation. Its been 5 years, let the kid be back with his father.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  18. Isabel Siaba

    Poor Sean .... He is suffering in the midst of it all!

    I hope that Sean has a Christmas of peace with everyone he loves together!

    December 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  19. Dulcie - Denver

    You know, it may have been 'won ugly' but it won. The GOP is just seriously sore that it managed to pass anyway.

    This is the single, most important piece of legislation to get this far in a long, long time. The GOP was never going to be on-board with anything President Obama does.

    Yes, it's the realization of a dream per D. Gergen. Yes, it was ugly, but it got done. It's been needed for a long time and it was the only way it was going to happen.

    I actually think the lack of public support is based in the nasty 'sausage making' process. It may be matter of course, but we haven't had to watch before.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  20. charlie

    Fully agree with Stan. Of course the rest of the world is quite happy for the US to saddle themselves with a 17% of GDP tax on your indusrty. The US should just give up on private health care and provide care to their citizens, like the rest of the civilized world does.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  21. John

    I am absolutely sick of the corruption embedded within the health bill. This rotten bribery to get required votes at the cost of the tax payers has got to stop. I had high hopes for Sen Nelson to do the right thing. But now I, a Virginian has to pay for unlimited Medicare for Nebraska. My own state's senators have already bowed to Reid, who, in my opinion, is a total embarrassment. Can't wait for mid-term elections.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  22. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    The 7 senators who sold their votes need to be voted out.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  23. mike

    healthcare doesnt have 2 b complacated the best way is 4 everybody 2 pay 1 cent tax on all goods this way there is enough money 2 cover everybody the way things r going with the Good old boy system those people r only looking out 4 there pockets

    December 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  24. Lori

    Do you think that it would be disruptive to the child, after five years, to move the child to the US?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  25. Sylvia

    If backroom deals help 30 million people get health care – way to go! Why not talk about the Republicans – the party against the American people – the party in favor of the rich and the insurance companies. Down the road many Americans will be happy – but for months the GOP has lied and lied and frightened the citizens in believing what is not true. Don't ever believe that we Canadians aren't happy with our health care system – we love it! Welcome to the 21st century America.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  26. stephen Pollock

    i am curious:

    not one question on why there is no tort reform in the bill

    and why arent citizens allowed to by insurance across state lines..

    those 2 things would lower the costs.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  27. Dodie

    No pre existing conditions... how much will the premiums be... I wonder

    December 21, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  28. Erica

    Hoping the health care plan doesn't pass.... Quite surprised it has gotten this far, hopefully it comes to a quick halt soon.... Kind of sad that members of the Senate have to be bribed to pass this bill, maybe that's an indication that it probably isn't the best move for the American people? I mean if it's such a good bill, what happened to transparency? Why can't we know all of the details that are entailed in this bill?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  29. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    How much will this cost? What happens to our tax rates as a result? Let's see a breakdown for different income groups to see who gets wahat and what it costs.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  30. Molly

    7 senators got breaks for their states as payment for their vote! Sounds like more than just health care needs to be reformed.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  31. Amy

    How exactly are we planning on paying for health care? We all know Medicare costs are not going down any time soon.

    Anyway, unnecessarily big government making decisions in my life that I'd rather make for myself.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  32. Lori

    Erica, whether Democrats or Republicans, it doesn't matter who is getting benefits from legislation. It is a shame that politicians in general, who have mostly come from priviledged backgrounds, think that they are entitled to spend taxpayer money at their own private discretion.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  33. starr, formerly known as vincent

    I wish the Republicans' would "man up" and aplogize for the absolutely outrageous things that theydid when they were in power. And, then, maybe they could gain backsome credibility.

    But, they won't. Now they look like the "obstructionists" like they are.

    Terrific panel discussion!

    December 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  34. Cheryl from Minnesota

    I want to see Public Option for ALL Americans. I still want to see this, it will provide health care for almost everyone without letting the Health Insurance companies make millions more off of people. Public Option will make it more affordable, where that may not be the case if our government gives all the power to the Health Insurance companies. We still may have people that cannot afford the prices the Insurance companies will want Americans to pay.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  35. Marc

    How can you force someone to purchase health insurance, a.) if they don't want it, and B.) if they can't afford it? You penalize them and if they don't pay, are you going to put them in jail? It is totally ridiculous.

    Also, making deals for individuals states is ludicrous at best.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  36. Dulcie - Denver


    Most of these reforms won't go into effect for at least a year (or more). So yeah, we all have to just be patient until the reforms kick in.

    It'll help, but it's going to take some time. It hasn't even been signed into law yet.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  37. Dion

    This is horrible what these senators are doing, taking our money for their benefit. I am sick of this crap! When are we going to get what we were promised? My father is at home with no health care?!

    December 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  38. Isabel Siaba

    @ starr, formerly known as vincent and @ Emily

    The Supreme Court (STF) is in recess in Brazil, but STF president is on duty this week just to have a decision on the case.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  39. Ray

    My concern is that the Health Bill Congress is pushing through will gut Medicare. It will take hundreds of millions from Medicare. Currently, it is very difficult to find any doctor to accept Medicare, Tricare, etc. because the Congress refuses to pay doctor's for their costs. If this bill passes, no American citizen in these programs will be able to either find a doctor or remain with their current doctor due to all of the cuts Congress keeps putting to Medicare.


    December 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  40. Russ

    Nice to see that Democrats led by Nebraska,Louisiana and Connecticut are into bribery and corruption just like the Republicans.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  41. Toby Maclennan

    Judd Gregg, the Senator from New Hampshire, said on the Chris Matthews show that the Senate Health care plan will cut billions, from the Medicare program to pay for the new entitlement program – the uninsured. Because of the cuts, Medicare reimbursements to doctors will be so low that doctors will opt out and seniors won't be able to find a doctor. Is this true?

    Thank you, Toby MacLennan

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Isabel Siaba

    @ Emily

    It is a story that is much in the media, including with the discussion of how this case may or may not influence and disrupt relations between Brazil and the U.S.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Gerry Kesselman

    Question: If the conference committeee hammers out a bill,
    does rhe senate again require 60 votes to get it through?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Brandon

    @Kathy this isn't the only time backroom deals happen in our congress....politicians like to play it dirty pretty often.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Stan

    The story is that the Republican senators are not trying to pass laws that will let this country progress. We are falling behind the world – this healthcare debate is silly- we know what we need – we need a public option... like all our competitors have- so we do not overburden the employers.... why is this so difficult?

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  46. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Hopefully this bill will die when they try to pass the reconciled version.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Todd

    It is insane that our elected officials are trying to justify the cost of new entitlements by saying they are going to use funds from an insolvent bankrupt entitlement program in Medicare. If Medicare has fraud that we can now eliminate, why would we not put that money back into Medicare.

    Also disgusting how the mainstream media has refused to do their jobs in covering "their party" with any objectivity.

    Finally, if I used my money to give kickbacks to obtain business or favor I would be arrested. The Senate took "our money" and used it to fund a bribe to get what they want and the media just winks at it as the way politics are instead of pointing out the crime that is perpetrated on the American people.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  48. Marc

    How can you force someone to purchase healthcare, a.) if they don't want it, and B.) if they can't afford it? You penalize them and if they don't pay, are you going to put them in jail? It is totally ridiculous.

    Also, making deals for individuals states is ludicrous at best.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  49. Mark

    The fact is that if you ignore the lies and hype coming from the Republican senators, this health care reform bill will be a huge positive improvement both in coverage and in cost. Glad the Dems are showing the courage to vote for it.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  50. Stew Phillips

    Giving one state, or the taxpayers of that state, benefits that are not available to anyone else seems to me to violate the equal protection clause of the Constitution. And since those who participated in this are aware of this, it is a conspiracy to violate the constitution – an impeachable offense. If voters are too lazy to vote them out, let's convict them and force them out.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
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