December 23rd, 2009
09:48 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 12/23/09

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

It's the final countdown to the Senate vote on Capitol Hill. Plus, a father's victory. We're digging deeper on the New Jersey father who will be reunited with his son in Brazil. The boy's mother took him there five years ago and never returned. She ended getting remarried and died last year in childbirth. And, we have more of the memorable moments of 360° from 2009.

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.

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Filed under: Live Blog • T1
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. ericacnn

    hi, everyone. the figures on primary care physicians - and the reasons their numbers have been dwindling for years – are disturbing.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  2. David, Indiana

    The panel seems to be in agreement on substance on health care.
    I wonder about the ins co regulatory mechanism too.

    I think the repayment of over a quarter of the bank bailouts, amts in the billions is an improvement. And there about 2/3's of the stimulus yet make its way into the economy.

    President Obama has put things on a much friendlier footing foreign policywise.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  3. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    I agree with David Gergens grades for the President.He took on the mess that was our country.Slowly,areas have begun to show improvement.He hasn't even been at the job for a year.How many of us could master a new job in a year?

    December 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  4. Adam

    Although I do not like the current health care bill too much, I give the President B+ for the ability to break the status quo in this matter. I hope that the final signed version will have something to build on later.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  5. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Gaye McCauley- you make an excellent point about the tremdous opposition that Pres. Obama's health care reform endured.

    I truly hope that the second year of stimulus does much more than this years.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  6. charlie

    My goodness. Republicans ran the train off the track weeks before the election. Now they complain that the train is late. It is miraculous that the train is even moving.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  7. patti

    As an RN, I am concerned about this reform. Many docs can't take medicare rates now and keep their offices open. We are already getting notices about drops in reimbursement for medicare, rationing is on the way. Care for the elderly is now considered waste and abuse. Too much money in this bill is going to organic gardening, labels for calorie counts on vending machines and the like. (and special deals for senators votes.) That's all great until you get sick and need a doc. More docs are retiring and fewer are motivated to go to Medical School. Welcome to socialized medicine.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  8. Isabel Siaba

    @David, Indiana

    Merry Christmas to you too! : )

    December 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  9. Tom

    Why are we grading the President on the health care bill? Why aren't we grading the Republicans. They have dragged their feet and obstructed in every way and still he got progress. I think the Republicans should get an F for lack of collaboration and cooperation.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  10. A. Smith, Oregon

    C- from David for down the road inflation? The dollar lost 30% during the final months of former president Bush jr., that's a huge amount of inflation before president Obama even entered office!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  11. Emily

    Good evening Erica, Megan, Martina, & Bloggers....

    December 23, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  12. Dulcie - Denver

    Tom Foreman's board seems like a rather negative slant. I'm seeing definite signs of recovery and almost all those indicators are now improving. Jobs are lagging, but we were told that at the outset. Nevertheless, the jobs number are improving.

    I've been far more disappointed in the vicious partisanship demonstrated by the Republicans. I used to be one and I'm massively disgusted by the behavior of most Repubs. They could have participated more fully in the health care discussion, especially since Dems accepted at least 130 amendments from the Repubs. But no, they did worse than take their marbles and go home. They stuck around and spewed venom at the rest of us. Bleh!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:23 pm |
  13. Mike formerly from Syracuse

    Dr. Gupta. I moved to NH in June and have a primary care in MA. When I called for a first appointment I was told it would take 6 months! The reason: the MA health care plan. That's what we'll all see thanks to this bill.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  14. charlie

    Wonderful to see the talk about how to improve primary care. This is the type of debate found in most first world countries. Not about whether people should have coverage (of course they should) but how best to achieve good health. Primary heathcare is what delivers better outcomes. In the UK a doctor's appointment take 2-3 days and any claim of urgency on my part has always got a same day appointment.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  15. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    Hi Casey!!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  16. Sharon

    Speaking as an RN who has worked in a hospital setting for years, people use the ER because no doctor will accept them at their office, if the patient does not have insurance. What are they suppose do? Something must change.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  17. David, Indiana

    @Starr, I think they just disagree and need to brought into the process.

    @Isabel, Merry Christmas!! Nice to see you tonight.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  18. starr, formerly known as vincent

    David Gergen is right about the debt incurred in medical school.

    Moreover, the expansion of Medicaide does not do much for attracting doc's. As it stands today, Medicaide pays $10 for every $75 charged by the medical system.(these numbers are an approximation)

    December 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  19. patti

    As an RN I am concerned about this reform. Many docs cannot afford to take medicare rates and keep their offices running. We are already getting notices about cuts in reimbursement, guess many services for the elderly are considered "waste". Rationing is a reality. Too much money from this bill is going to organic gardening, calorie labels on all vending machines and such and not to care for the sick or elderly.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  20. charlie

    Obama's Performance: The world gained great hope with Obama's election. The health care debate erodes much of that as it shows that the US is governed by lobbyists (corruption).

    December 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  21. Henya, Ca

    Sham on the Republican not voting for Health care and causing all kind of delay, our president is about to make history its okay we do not need them, they can go home and stay home I wish I can dismissed them from office, and I give our President A+ Great job Mr. President

    December 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  22. Robbie

    Although not perfect, this health care reform bill is a tremendous starting point on which to build. A piece of legislation this large can be revisited time and again for revision. The Medicare we know today is not the same that was passed originally.

    After so many years of trying for reform, we should all be celebrating this legislation. This bill can only help the American people.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  23. Molly

    Merry Christmas!

    I've lost 2 primary care doctor's in the past 6 months. I called the primary care facility and asked where my doctor was going. I also requested that my records be forwarded to wherever he was going. I was told that information was not available and that the doctor would not say. This is how things went down with both doctors. Right now, I don't have a primary care physician.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  24. A. Smith, Oregon

    Intelligent college students view western medicine as in the pocket of big pharmaceutical corporations and very little to do with compassionate care of diseases. Hence, fewer of them are choosing the medical field.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  25. Colleen

    Good evening everyone. In regards to health care reform, restructure the insurance industry, make them not for profit. Pay for physician's per patient not per procedure! Limit amount drug makers can charge, how much does one pill cost to make?? Not as muchas it does to market it!
    I have more but will limit my comments, just to be fair I am a nurse currently working in intensive care and I see first hand the need for help for people. They have to choose between food or pills, not fair!
    Merry Christmas!!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  26. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    I think that the President would have been able to accomplish a lot more of what he promised,had he not met with such opposition from the Republicans.He has taken health care reform further than any one else has been able to.I think his really wants what is best for all of us.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  27. Sharon Wosnick, PhD

    RE: Why people overuse the emergency department

    I work in a city hospital ED. Numerous times I have asked people with minor complaints (toothache, a cold, etc) why did they come to the ED – instead of Same Day Care. The patient almost always replies,"If I go to Same Day – I have to pay $20.00 up front. If I come here it's free...

    I ask them about the huge bill they will get from the hospital. The pt usually responds – "I just don't pay it."


    December 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  28. jackie williams NP

    quite frankly Im tired of hearing about primary care doctors- primary care is much more than doctors

    December 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  29. J. Edman

    Regarding the shortage of primary care docs.

    There are a lot of older docs who would like to work part time as primary care physicians, but employers won't hire them because they aren't "board-certified". Either they let their board certification lapse or they got training in a different specialty. They are experienced and licensed physicians.

    Just FYI.

    Happy holidays.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  30. Dulcie - Denver

    My insurance company uses a lot of Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners for office visits. I know a lot of people don't like that, but I've sort of grown up with that model and I like it. I've found PAs and NPs to be very knowledgeable and helpful.

    This shortfall of Primary Care docs should make companies look more closely at these options.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  31. jackie williams NP

    what about the thousands of nurse practitioners and physician assistants that are already providing primary care to us citizens-

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  32. Jonathan

    I am a 21 year old college student. Normally a kid my age would be covered under their parents plan, but as both of my parents are unemployed, I am left to fend for myself. For me that means I pay for my own school, and no health coverage. My question is that, if health reform passes, will I be able to be covered? What do I have to do to become covered?

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  33. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Hi Gayle!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  34. nigel canada

    We hear all the time about problems with wait times to see doctors in Canada in the U.S. media, but now you're saying it takes weeks to see a family doctor in the states. I can see my family MD or her partner that day if I need to.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  35. Daisy21

    This is not health "care" reform. This is insurance reform. they are 2 very different issues. Will this bill lower the cost of an office visit that my doctor charges me? Will it lower the amount my local hospital charges me for an overnight stay? Insurance premiums are high because the cost of health care services are high. This bill does not address the most important issue - the high cost of health care services.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  36. Ty

    As a current medical student its sad to say that the way the current buzz is about the uncertainty of medical care, a lot of premeds are looking outside of medicine, so i think the supply is only going to get worse unless we have a large influx of foreign medical grads

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  37. Camille

    I've been following the Brazil story as though I know this family...woke up at 5:00 a.m. and turned on CNN for an update. I know the entire nation shares my joy for this man and his family, and the trepidation that something might still go wrong. Kudos for you for keeping this story up front and in the news.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  38. David, Indiana

    Sorry I missed much of that conversation with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Why is the gap in physicians needed going to open up? Seems like we're so close now needing only 16k

    December 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  39. Gayle McCauley Malden,Mass.

    Greetings to All! Or should I say,Seasons Greetings to all?

    December 23, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  40. Jackie

    I am so happy for David that he's getting his Son back and the family that kidnapped him should be punished for that. Even though the wife is dead, they should prosecute her husband. David lost 5 years with his Son and he has every right to be rejoined with him. It is NOT best to leave him with that family in Brazil...

    Lets think about if it were YOUR child after all.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  41. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @David, Indiana, i wish the Republicans would get on board too. As it is, the extreme bitterness between the two parties seems endless and pointless.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:11 pm |
  42. David, Indiana

    Good evening Erica, Randi Kaye, Isabel, everyone. Happy Holidays everyone. I wish Republicans were voting in support of this legislation.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm |
  43. starr, formerly known as vincent

    @Dr Gupta What about how low the Medicaide pay to doctor's is?

    December 23, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  44. Isabel Siaba

    Good evening Erica, Anderson, David (Indiana), Megan, 360 team and all friends!

    Merry Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  45. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    We need medical malpractice reform in order to draw doctors into the system.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  46. starr, formerly known as vincent

    Good evening Erica & entie Team 360.

    Good evening fellow blogges.

    I can't believe that the Republicans delayed the vote from tonight. What does it prove?

    December 23, 2009 at 10:04 pm |
  47. Monica M. Williams

    Merry Christmas wishes to E. Hill, the entire AC360 Crew, guest and fellow bloggers.

    May the joy of the holiday season fill your heart with love, joy and laughter! : )

    December 23, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  48. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    So why aren't they having a vote tonight, instead of waiting for tomorrow?

    December 23, 2009 at 10:02 pm |
  49. A. Smith, Oregon

    Good Evening and Happy Holidays Erica, CNN Staff and fellow bloggers!

    December 23, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
  50. Sharon Hastings

    Good evening Erica and all bloggers. Happy Holidays to the whole 360 team.

    December 23, 2009 at 10:01 pm |
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