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July 20th, 2009
06:43 AM ET

PolitiFact Truth-O-Meter: Political scorecard

Editor's Note: PolitiFact.com is a project of the St. Petersburg Times that aims to help you find the truth in politics. Every day, reporters and researchers from the Times examine statements by members of Congress, the president, etc. They research their statements and then rate the accuracy on their Truth-O-Meter.

At 6-month mark, Obama has long to-do list

President Obama after six months: 32 promises kept, 7 broken and 300-plus still to work on - according to PolitiFact.com.

President Obama after six months: 32 promises kept, 7 broken and 300-plus still to work on – according to PolitiFact.com.
By Bill Adair – PolitiFact.com

At the six-month mark of his presidency, Barack Obama has made progress on some of his biggest campaign promises. Of the Top 25 we're tracking with our Obameter, we've rated two as Promise Kept, one as a Compromise and 10 as In the Works. (The rest: one earned a Promise Broken, one Stalled and 10 No Action.)

But when you step back and look at all 515 promises that we're tracking, it's clear that Obama still has a huge to-do list: Of the 515, we've rated 32 Kept, seven Broken and 10 Compromise. A whopping 376 are still rated No Action.

Monday (July 20, 2009) will be six months since Obama took the oath of office. He has wrestled with the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression, but as we noted in February, he used the crisis as an opportunity to fullfill many of his campaign promises through the $787 billion economic stimulus bill.

Keep reading this story »

Health care reform bill jolts the Obameter

President Barack Obama talks about health care at the White House on July 17, 2009 in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama talks about health care at the White House on July 17, 2009 in Washington, DC.
By Angie Drobnic Holan – PolitiFact.com

We've heard lots of talk about health care reform over the past few months, but this week we got the actual bill to look at. On Tuesday, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced major legislation to overhaul the nation's health care system. The 1,000-plus page bill, called America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, includes most of President Barack Obama's key proposals on health reform.

That kicked off a flurry of activity on our Obameter. We moved 10 of the president's campaign promises from No Action to In the Works. We'll likely find a few more to move as the legislation works its way through the process.

Obameter says: IN THE WORKS

Promise Broken

Keep reading this story »

Bennett says stimulus is spending too much on road signs promoting stimulus

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) speaks during a news conference on the economic stimulus package on Capitol Hill January 29, 2009 in Washington, DC.

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) speaks during a news conference on the economic stimulus package on Capitol Hill January 29, 2009 in Washington, DC.

"The Obama administration has spent millions of taxpayer dollars for roadside signs to tout the economic stimulus." Robert Bennett on Wednesday, July 15th, 2009 in a news release.

The Truth-O-Meter Says: HALF TRUE

False

Read more: Signs, signs, everywhere a sign »


Filed under: Truth-O-Meter
soundoff (258 Responses)
  1. Tom Mc

    @Aaron - I had this discussion a month or so ago. We came to the conclusion that senators should be limited to 3 6 year terms and representatives should be limited to 6 2 year terms. This would keep enough continuity of elder statesmen and it would allow them to be in control rather than the staffers. We didn't think a rep or senator has a good bearing in DC for 3-4 years.

    If the House Rep (new idea folks) can't get the idea out there in 10-12 years then the career should be elsewhere.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  2. Aaron

    Can we all agree on term limits? No more professional politicians. Go to DC to serve our nation not your own personal interests and agenda. Think beyond your own local constituency. If it isn't good for the nation, it doesn't matter how good it is for you.

    America is being ruined by professional politicians.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:24 am |
  3. Aaron

    Obama supporters only want to divert the issues. Why is George W. Bush the answer to every concern raised about President Obama? Just answer the questions and concerns without blaming Bush. This tactic is getting old and it's absolutely unproductive.

    Obama has been in office long enough now and he's made enough policy decisions for us to judge his competency. "Hope" and "Change" have given way to massive deficit spending with virtually no accountability. And yet Obama wants to pile on ever more debt to the tune of $1-2 trillion additionally for nationalized healthcare. The American people are overwhelmingly opposed to nationalized healthcare and yet Obama continues to push for it.

    Does anyone honestly believe Obama is taking our country in the right direction? If you voted for him, is he living up to your expectations? Be honest.

    July 22, 2009 at 12:16 am |
  4. Jay Baum

    I waited for two hours to have the address changed on my drivers license. I am really looking forward to the government handling my health care. I can not even imagine the inefficiency and general incompetence that will be the foundation of Obama's pie in the sky health care system. I will stop complaining if Obama and Congress would be required to replace their current health care with the plan that they are forcing down our throats. This is most likely over most of you liberals head; Paraphrasing George Orwell's book 1984; " We are all equal some are just more equal than others ".

    July 21, 2009 at 11:05 pm |
  5. Chales

    All of you have these great ideas that all involve more takes for the government to miss manage. Stop thinking that the issue is some thing that the government needes to pay to solve by starting a new program that is going to cost a ridiculus amount of money from now untill the end of time. The problem is that health care costs are to high. I'm not speaking of how some car insruance is to high, and we all know how that is. You go to one guy and the price is to high, but you go to the one accross the street and the price is more reasonable. The cost are to high across the board, from insuranse, to hospitals, to doctors, to medications, every thing is to much. So instead of making more burocracy that is going to cost stupid amounts of illigal taxes, take the entire industry to court for anti trust violations. They're obviously price fixing. make them drop the prices, and that will solve most of the problems. takes are only soposed to be raised against the people in time of war, to pay for the military. When the war is over the taxes get repealed. So then how was the government supposed to be funded? Well it becomes easier if we don't have the social programs. Remember that this country was founded with the idea that the people could take care of them selves. This was always the land of opportunity but you have to make that oportunity happen for yourself. It's ideas like that (oh the government has to take care of it) that led to the social security problem. Tell me why should I have to pay for some one elses retirment that was to stupid to take care of their own buisness, to plan for their own retirment. This is the same kind of problem. If your to stupid to make it happen for yourself then you have to pay the price. There is no such thing as a free ride. I'm tired of paying for every stupid monkeys incompotance. And incase your wondering if I'm rich, I only make $35,000 a year.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:41 pm |
  6. Tom Mc

    @ David from WI– That is my point. The un/under insurance would be a policy to protect the doctor or defray the cost that a health treatment provider or lose servicing a patient. For that premium, the insurance provider (BCBS, UNH, HCA,...) would work with folks that fall into the un/under insured to best suit their needs. I think the voucher program is just handing out money to insurance companies. There are existing public and social sector programs to help the folks in need. The Caseworkers (insurance company worker) job would be to best fit the needy with a program, so that the insurance company would not be stuck with the bill. The only extra layer that is built in is the actuary, caseworkers and insurance company sales folks. Cost to tax payer would not be any more that it is now with the potential for less costly premiums.

    Then we can try to wring out the costs of health treatment record keeping, billing, coding, etc...

    The mandating standards of care seem a little scary to me.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  7. adam

    RE: Iraq vs. Bailout Price Tag –

    The price tag for war in Iraq after 6 years is STILL billions of $ LESS then the money OB and his cronies in congress have managed to throw away in 6 MONTHS, with next to next to no oversight for exactly where and how these Companies, States, Banks, Firms, Industries, Theifs, Ect ect ect are blowing it......

    War isn't pretty, but there is one way to look at it which you are not!
    You forget about the vast Aerospace & Defense Job Sector in this Country.. Those of us civilians who work everyday to help provide our military the deterrents and capabilities required to PRESERVE & ENSURE THE LIMITED FREEDOMS WE ENJOY TODAY.....

    You can say what you want about the past justifications of misguided wars... at least I still have a job.

    July 21, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  8. Steveh

    "I didn’t hear any of you Rethugs complaining about bankrupting the country when we went to war in Iraq."

    Paul:
    The country wasn't bankrupt because of Iraq, your point is?

    July 21, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  9. David from WI

    How about a better idea Tom would be just have the govt have a insurance assistance program, for those that qualify, like you have heating assistance.

    If you qualify you get a voucher you can give to the insurance company of your choice. They would HAVE to accept the voucher. The amount would be based on the average of health care polices for your area (based on what others pay) wouldn't be the best but certainly not the worse care (you could also pay more for better care its as if the govt gives you cash to buy insurance))

    Who would qualify? American citizens that can not afford health care or those that have preexisting conditions or anyone that isn't covered for reasons that are no fault of their own. NOT THOSE THAT CAN AFFORD THEIR OWN HEALTH CARE OR JUST DON'T WANT INSURANCE.

    Would it be expensive? Sure but not as much as a whole new bloated federal program.
    Would it be fair? Sure, in as much, as the MD you see would not even 'know' if a person has used a voucher to 'buy' his insurance (only the govt and insurance company know you are on the program NOT the MD he or she only knows you have a health insurance (sure beats the whole 'I don't accept Medicare because MDs don' get reimbursed as much' BS) Looking into the reason WHY the AMA NOW is in favor of the new plans (MS PELOSI doesn't want to talk about WHY they are now on board)

    We can then concentrate on reform the insurance and other systems if need be but there wont be a stigma of those that need help.

    Would it be better than anything the govt can come up with? Of course because I thought of it and I am NOT a sitting politician.

    I am not against the govt helping those that NEED help (would much rather private citizens or companies do it mind you) but I am not in favor of handouts to those that DON"T NEED HELP but are leaches on society by CHOICE.

    July 21, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  10. Tom Mc

    Since the Health care reform is really about health treatment payment reform. Here is an idea that is not a 1000 page bill.

    Why have I not hear any discussion of an idea like uninsured or under insured insurance? We have them on auto policies. The US government and Insurance industry could build a program/product that would be sold to doctors, clinics, hospitals, ... that would be used if someone didn't have insurance. The premiums would pay for caseworkers to work with the claimed patients. Patients could have or find a doctor that would service them for preventative and catastrophic issues. The doctors office would write the claim against the un/under insured person. This claim would go to the policy writer that would contact the un/under insured person to build an appropriate policy or find the proper non profit, local , state or fed program for them to fund a policy that would cover them. If they had the means, the policy issuer could sell them coverage or mandate that the heath treatment user pay the claim against the un/under insured policy. Based on the level of coverage a health treatment institution has purchased, they insurance company or the institution would eat other uncovered costs.

    This would handle everyone. It would not mandate coverage. It would provide for intervention on those with need it and it would drive those that can pay for it to pony up for service.

    This is not a new idea. Everyone that has an auto policy has this as part of their liability. You can increase it or decrease the amount that you want to cover. The institutions could do the same. I will take anyone and do not want to eat the cost. Premium is some amount. I don't plan on taking many, so I am willing to shoulder the costs.

    I think there would also have to be a section on malpractice that you can only sue for cost of care, repair and income potential. For punitive damages would need to be capped at 3X cost of care, repair and rest of life income potential. This way the lawyers will still be able to get 2X the earning potential to cover their costs of litigation.

    July 21, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  11. David from WI

    [To achieve health care reform] "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies - they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."

    Barack Obama Aug. 21, 2008 Chester, Va. Town Hall Meeting
    BROKEN PROMISE

    Its not the number of promises kept its the ones he BREAKS that make or break a president.

    Remember.
    "Read my lips, no new taxes"
    That ONE broken promise had a great deal to do with Bush number one being a one term president.
    Oh, of course, many of you that fawn over Obama, don't remember. It happened longer than eight years ago.
    How old were many of you then ... if you are19 now .... 19-8 that would be 11 or 12 when Clinton was president. Lets say 12 if you are 20 this year (depending on when your birthday is)
    Twelve years old minus another eight years that covers the years Bill Clinton was in office. That makes many of these first time young voters 2-4 years old when Bush 1 was in office.
    Wow that means many of these young vocal neophyte voters were:
    4 minus 12 (years of Reagan and Bush one) NEGATIVE 8 When Reagan was elected
    So they don't remember Carter who was another smart [Democrat] president have only ONE term. He even won a Nobel peace prize and put solar panels on the White House roof but ended up to be a JOKE, by his policies, and he had his own little problem with IRAN (that little annoying hostage thing) Remember that whole Nixon thing. It was thought the GOP would be damaged for many election cycles after that but only a single one term Dem president later..... not so much.

    BTW I think Obama is a nice and charming man. His rush to pass health care and his broad goal oriented ' read into them what you want' zero detail speeches, him I find pleasant.... the others ... not so much.

    July 21, 2009 at 2:59 am |
  12. Texas independent

    I feel that I wasted my vote for OB. He talked about change, uniting a divided electorate, ending needless wars, and helping the middle class. I don't care that it has been only six months, his actions to date are not the change I was voting for.

    July 21, 2009 at 2:51 am |
  13. Knows the Truth

    I think its funny that no one realizes that Obama's Stimulus Plan actually puts America into much more debt that Bush ever put us into. And that was with two wars and a failing economy.
    Bush had his issues, but now its Obama's turn to take the brunt of responsibility. (It does come with the job)

    Mr. Obama start making American Jobs. Stop chasing fantasy ecoloving, socialistic ideals. You need to come back to reality. College graduates can't find jobs. Why? cause there are no jobs. The USD is hurting. Why? cause you keep bailing out stupid companies like GE. GE is done stop wasting the tax money you collect from our Hard Earned Wages that have all dropped.

    Also, its nice to know you can crack jokes about the special olympics on leno or catch a fly like a ninja or buy some stupid dog to please you kids...oh wait...you're the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! Start taking responsibility.

    You passed the stimulus plan and than turned to address congress. You told Congress to come up with the difference from your stimulus plan. Thats the same as pointing the finger at America and saying, "heh its your problem now."

    Please Please Please... 1. Bring our troops home. 2. Revive the Banks and Credit lenders 3. Create American jobs to create american products so we can actually export something beneficial instead of paris hilton and other stupid things. 4. Focus on the FTA and other foreign trade agreements. Foreign money is just as good as USD, at this point money is money. 5. If you need to increase taxes...and I know you will cause you can't find the money to support your ecofriendly bills...Luxury Tax Hollywood, the NBA, the NFL, the MLB, anyone who has enough to buy a country basically. Stop raising the normal people's taxes...its hard enough as it is.

    Its all great and all you wanted to run on the slogan of change...but sadly Mr. President...when?

    Please Mr. President do not bank on the reelection and try to spread everything for 8 years just to leave it to the next guy. Do it in 4.

    July 21, 2009 at 2:49 am |
  14. Jay Baum

    I a simple conservative ask that Obama's brilliant followers teach me how to become a fellow victim. I mistakenly thought that the good things in life were earned through my own hard work. Now liberals have taught me, all you have to do is whine loud enough and long enough about how unfair life is and the Mighty Obama will hug them close and protect them from the mean successful people. People wake up, get off your buts and take responsibility for your own life. America is the land of opportunity not the land of free lunch. Hugo Chavez President of Venezuela stays in power by demonizing and stealing from the rich and then buying the votes of the uninformed masses. Obama equals Chavez. His policies will turn this country into a third world nation. I would rather fail on my own than be carried through life on the hard work of others. If some one takes your money from you against your will it is stealing. If it is Obama's taxes it is also stealing. Obama is a thief of free will. Obama never worked for a profit driven company. His pay checks were always from other peoples money. His life, his Power, his Presidency is built on the foundation of other peoples hard work. Please, teach me how to become a victim. Why work hard ? Some one owes me a easy living

    July 21, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  15. Billyba

    You don't sound like you won the election. Bitter, Bitter Liberals!

    July 21, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  16. Concerned

    So Obama has only been in office for six/seven months, so we shouldn't be so hard on him, and give him a chance? He's been in office so brieftly, yet look at the 515 promises he has already made!!!! And can't finish one thing, before he starts another. I guess maybe he realizes there's more to running a country than writing a book? (Which is about all he ever did anyway.) This didn't all "suddenly" happen in the Bush years. Obama is right about one thing, it took a while to get here (start looking around the Clinton years). Need to check out what Colin Powell had to say about him – he's all about big government, toooooo many things on the table, and no way to pay for them all. As a middle income taxpaying American, I am TIRED of shelling out my hard earned money. Simply put – get off welfare, get a job, work for a living, quit expecting handouts, stop having children you can't afford, stop offering incentives for illegal aliens, etc, before the country implodes.

    July 21, 2009 at 2:06 am |
  17. Big Country

    OBAMA = BUSH

    Once again everyone tries to shuffle all of the blame for the economy on Bush... they are only half correct. A Democratic gentleman named Barny Frank actually killed the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac oversight needed to avert a housing distater not once, but twice.

    Obama isn't only cleaning up Bush mistakes, but instead a democratic blunder as well.

    Yes, Bush was very stupid to invade Iraq. It was a total waste of money, a total of $900 Billion has been spent to date, and that doesn't count interest payments.

    It's important to realize that BOTH major parties have failed this country enormously and stop choosing one side over the other when they both are horrible!

    We need a new system... and in this effort it is Obama's true failure. There isnt enough change!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:39 am |
  18. Jman

    All i have to say is basic econ... for mr president. NOWHERE IN HISTORY HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO SPEND YOUR WAY OUT OF DEBT.

    THE MORE MONEY I SPEND THE FURTHER I GO INTO DEBT.

    I BUY A HOUSE 300K

    BUYING ANOTHER 300K HOUSE DOESN'T HELP ME GET BACK IN THE BLACK. of course thats under the thought that i don't have the second 300k to buy the second house.

    But then again if you are obama your goal is print money.

    July 21, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  19. jb

    lets get off of bush and concentrate on what obama does. i dont want my tax dollars going to pay for insurance that people dont have. thats their problem. i have always had to work hard to pay for mine now let them do the same. this is just more welfare for the masses!! i live in cali and i have NO more sympathy for people always looking for the government to bail them out! get off your butts and help yourselves!!

    July 21, 2009 at 1:00 am |
  20. John

    I can only hope an overly complacent and/or distracted American populace wakes up sometime in the next 3.5 years and puts an end to the damage this president and congress are doing to this country. Unfortunately, by that time so much damage may have been done I'm not sure this country possesses the guts its will take to fix itself. Don't think I'm suggesting Republicans are part of the solution; they have been an able and willing part of how we got here, but Obama and the dems have accelerated us in the downward spiral. And I'm running short on hope...

    July 21, 2009 at 12:41 am |
  21. Michael

    If they want to tax the rich to pay for healthcare, ok, but let's put a little twist on it. You've heard of no taxation without representation, let's turn it around – no representation without taxation.
    If you don't pay taxes, you don't get a vote next election.
    Or, even better, you get 1 vote for every dollar of tax you pay.
    It seems fair to me. If I pay $40,000 in taxes, I get 40,000 votes. Someone who only pays $1,000 in taxes only get's 1,000 votes.
    The rich who pay $450,000 in taxes get 450,000 votes.
    Let's see how long soaking the rich will last then.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  22. adam

    I think it's amazing that one could blame Bush for the state of the nation Obama took over, when, for the last two years of the Bush term, DEMOCRATS held a majority in congress... what happened to "Checks and Balances"? If anything, the Democrat party should be blamed for allowing the nation to slip under during Bush's watch! They should have done something to stop bush if he was the sole responsible party for our nations problems today.. But In fact, our problems are not new, are not Bush's fault, and may have even been brewing for decades already.. at the fault of no one political faction, rather the complex failure of our 2 party system of extremists and radicals.

    Now we have a Democratic Executive and a Democratic Legislative branch, and the only checks and balance happening are the checks being written for corporate bailouts, and the 10 trillion $ balance left to me and my future ancestors to pay for all the change you believed in.

    Make no mistake, you signed up for another 4 years of "more of the same".. They just re-branded the product and changed the color of the box..

    Bush may not have been a great leader, or speaker.. but at least with him we just need a tracker for his Bush-isms.

    Unfortunately, when someone like Obama comes along and enrolls MILLIONS of people with his promises, we now need to hold him accountable. He opened his mouth, but is now putting my money in it.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:43 pm |
  23. shmirg mcfork

    I think we need a monitor on the message boards to weed out all these idiots on here. And another one to weed out the country starting with the politicians.
    The stimulus was a joke, it's not working, it never will work, don't let congress fool you into believing that just because they voted for it that it was a good idea and it would work – that's called just forcing an agenda, the health care system reform bill is a joke and just one more giant step toward communism, and pretty much anything else these idiots are doing is just opening the door for the Communist Chinese Masters to walk right in and take over as planned. It WILL happen people. Mark my words. You voted for it. You WILL learn but only after it's TOO G*DD*MN LATE.
    Oh and as far as Bono "dodging a Bush hug" oh Puh-lease! Bush shook his hand and had his arm around him with no intent to hug especially since he had every opportunity with Bono standing right next to him posing for pics. Gimme a break you bunch of spin doctors.
    Man I just CANNOT WAIT FOR 12/21/2012 when this all comes to an end! Idiocy must end – starting with every single one of you!!!!!! LOL

    July 20, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  24. B. Burnett

    When it comes to meaningful reforms on health care, there is never a good time and it is always too soon, sudden, or rushed for the interests who have always tried to kill it before.

    The current proposals from Congress are very much imperfect, but we saw what happened when the White House shaped and initiated proposals under Clinton. Congressmen got their noses in snits and groveled to the lobbyists who opposed any real changes. Clinton's proposals had their flaws, but never got any serious consideration, let alone the serious debates that might have shaped them into a viable reform.

    So many whine that we cannot afford the current proposals, but we can afford the increasingly ruinous same-old same-old even less.

    I particularly scoff at the hysteria over government "bureaucrats" overseeing our health care decisions and setting limits. As if insurance company and HMO bureaucrats don't do this now. At least government bureaucrats usually try to serve the public interest and see that all are treated equally under the law (usually). Insurance company bureaucrats seldom serve such interests.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:16 pm |
  25. Andy

    I think heathcare reform is necessary, but I'm afraid it may be rushed right now. I think the bill needs a lookover and some things need to be changed before it should be accepted.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  26. Terry Couch

    WRONG WRONG WRONG- YOU will pay for the illegals- they do not have to particpate financially in any way shape or form. You will pay for healthcare for others who chose not to work. YOU will pay approximately 40% of your income to support it whether you use it or not. Obama wants CONTROL OF YOU. They want to legislate, regulate, and eliminate anyone who stands in their way They have a socialist agenda, with control of the population. Grab your ankles America or stand up and fight. We beat the red coats in London, and we can beat the blue coats in Washington.

    July 20, 2009 at 11:11 pm |
  27. a citizen

    The man we elected President of the United States has never done anything but get elected. There is nothing he can point too and say I did that. A great talker you bet – good looking you bet – a nice family for sure.

    Nothing has changed other than it has gotten worst. Pelosi has made sure the republicans elected to congress have nothing to say about anything. What she has done is take away the voice those who were legally voted into office by the people. That is just wrong.

    Obama will lose not so much for what he does but what the democrat leadership does. Therefore he will go down as one nice guy – no guts – certainly not a leader – and that is the shame of it. Just look at pelosi and reids rating.

    The first black american to be elected president will end up being betrayed by his party and history will record him as not having what was needed to be president. That he turned over his history to pelosi, reid, franks, boxer, leahy and the other old ladies that have put us in our current position.

    How so very sad for us – for him – for our country.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  28. Sarah

    "My major concern on health care has not even been discussed at this point.
    Since the advent of HMO policies in the 80’s the decisions on our health care has been moved from our physicians to the insurance companies.
    The big gripe on a government program (by the GOP) is that government would be making decisions instead of your doctor. I’m afraid the GOP hasn’t noticed that the insurance companies have been making these decisions for years and jepordising our health in the process.

    Lets put the decisions for health care back in the medical side and get it away from the insurance companies."

    Chas, I work in the medical field and if you must know, a lot of insurance companies are now trying to base their policies on "medicare requirements" The patients that we have the most trouble getting treatments approved for; are those who have medicaid as their primary insurance. There are several treatments that we cannot even think about offering to our patients because medicaid simply will not pay for that type of care. (keep in mind these are standard treatments and are not experimental) I have a patient who has medicare and has been on the same medicine (strength and dose) for the last 10 years. Every 6 months we have to submit a new prior authorization request to get the med approved because it is not a "standard dose". Although medicare has approved this med for the last 10 years, the clinic just got a denial last week for the seventh time saying that medicare will no longer approve the med for this patient. This is despite numerous appeal letters to medicare. I want to leave you with another pleasant term you may have not heard about. It is called the "doughnut hole". Patients who reach this "hole" must pay 100% for their medications during this period of time. Remember that most medicare age patients can average 10 plus prescriptions a month.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:58 pm |
  29. Dave

    Please don't tell Obama what comes after a trillion.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:48 pm |
  30. Steve

    "lets just face it… we have a black president, people get over it…, it amazes me how many people are against obama after 6 months in office. What? did u really believe that Obama was a angel sent from heaven that would wipe all your pathetic problems within the first couple of months? well!!!! news flash!!!!!!!! life doesnt work that way, I believe Obama is rushing things to meet expectations of what u people want and need. I say screw u, i am black and voted for clinton and mccain…

    I JUST DIDNT WANT A BLK MAN GETTING INTO OFFICE, SO HE CAN CLEAN UP ALL YOUR DIRTY MESSS, AND GET BLAMED IN THE PROCESS because ITS NOT THE WAY U WANT IT….. IF I WAS OBAMA… I WOULD SHOW THE FINGER AND SAY IMPEACH ME!!! HAVE YOUR COUNTRY!!! I MADE MY DOUGH.."

    Jackie:
    It would be a pleasure if you were Obama, I would like to see if what you say are just words. I guess on a first note, he's "half black" to be specific, if race really needs to matter. It might not be a good thing because if he fails, and if he continures on his current course, I believe he will, it might be a long time before we have another black president. Remember Jackie Robinson? Great man, a hero of our nation, and then a remarkably talented baseball player. He was the first to cross the barrier because of the people (yes white people) who wanted him and other black Americans to succeed, they knew to cross the barrier they need someone extraordinary. Mr Robinson was the man. Obama is not.

    As far as clean up "your mess", you should probably be careful with your words. You see, black Americans have opportunities that would never have been available to them in Africa. Africa doesn't seem to be doing so well, and never has. Oh, your African brothers also sold your anscesters into slavery, just FYI.

    Let's get off the race since I don't care whether your black, white, yellow, brown, or purple. What is it that you think Obama is doing for your country, or you for that matter that you would praise him?

    While the jury is still out, it doesn't look good for the home team.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  31. Buyer's Remorse

    Obama is putting his personal pride ahead of what the country needs. We are in serious debt, and the last thing we can afford to do is to rush this health care plan. The fact that he is trying to rush it makes it very suspicious to me as well. Maybe I should have looked closer at the corrupt Democratic political machine from Chicago that Obama came out of before I voted. I wish I voted for the other guy. I also find it funny how everyone on here paints the "other party" as the bad guys who screwed everything up. Don't you all realize that there are scores of corrupt politicians on both sides? Seriously, people think it's the cool thing to do when they bash Republicans nowadays. Take a look at Illinois and how Democrats continue to ransack that state. Both parties are to blame!!!

    July 20, 2009 at 10:44 pm |
  32. Paul

    I didn't hear any of you Rethugs complaining about bankrupting the country when we went to war in Iraq.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  33. Steve

    "THE REPUBLICRATS ARE RUNNING SCARED THEY FAILED IN 8+ YEARS AND THEY WILL TRY AND SCUDDLE BO’S SHIP"

    James:
    One too many reruns of "The Hunt for Red October"?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  34. Steve

    "The same people who created this mess (Republicans) now want to tell us how to fix it. It’s a good thing they are no longer in control, and let’s hope they will never again have control. Republicans are worthless communists."

    Need to check your facts Jack, there are numerous reading materials besides the NY Times. Kind of pompous to suggest that you know and no one else does. Communists? Who wants to give our enemies credibility?

    July 20, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  35. Steve

    "I too love President Obama. He works every day to try to fix the economy in addition to the numerous other things on his plate. and in the midst of the tremendous amount of criticism he receives for everything he does……AND HE STILL KEEPS ON

    Oh and by the way Bush did nothing with either 9/11 or Katrina."

    Karen:
    I guess I miss the intelligence from the mesiah. Nothing I've seen or heard from him makes any sense, except that he appears self serving and thinks he became a rock star. One hit wonder maybe, but I guess we'll have to see the "end of the story" (Paul Harvey).

    BTW: What do you think Bush didn't do about 9/11 or Katrina? On first, we didn't experience another terror attack under his watch and we even stopped a few. On second, Katrina was a failure of the state and local governments failure to react, and the ungrateful people that benefitted by the compassion of my tax dollars, only to have no respect for the kindness they were shown.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  36. Morphy699

    To those of you that argue he has only been in office 6 months, so give him a break.
    I say we have seen enough so far to be very worried. over 1 TRILLION federal deficit to date and he is pushing expensive healthcare program. Doesn't make sense. Also he re-writes history on the Stimulus bill and expected progress.
    see link
    http://www.wizbangblog.com/content/2009/07/17/gop-ad-obama-versus-obama-on-the-stimulus.php

    July 20, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  37. Justin

    I just don't understand.......

    Bush was prez for 8 months and many on the right said he wasn't responsible for the attacks on 9/11. It was Clinton! Clinton! Clinton! They blamed everything on that man. Personally 9/11 was a combination of Bush, Clinton, Bush Sr., Reagan and Carter's terms all rolled into one. We became way too complacent as a society and we dropped the ball big time. But again Bush was prez for 8 months when 9/11 happend and he had info on the possible attack. Obama has been in office 7 months and all of whats going on is his fault. Don't fully get it.

    I voted for him.....do I agree with everything he does...no. I think closing GITMO is not a good thing though I understand the logic. WE ARE THE WORLDS super power and we set presidence. While I understand that the ppl there are the worst one will find in society we need to still maintain our credibility in the world. But I don't agree in the ruch of it. Needs to be thought out better.

    The economy is going to take years to fix. It was already doing poorly with Bush in office especially during the fall of 08. He was there in office. And yes his administration helped bring us there....but again previous administration both dem and reps created this mess. But Bush's war in Iraq which was not needed put us further into debt. On top of that we have N.Korea creeping up on us since Bush did NOTHING with N. Korea. He even mentioned them as part of the famous axis of evil! They have WMD not Iraq. We should have used are monies for that not on Iraq.

    These problems are a combo of the Bush admin and many other administrations and now everyone wants Obama to waive a wand and go presto. Get real! We are in a big mess and tell me what would have McCain have done? We still would have been in debt and he would have borrowed money we don't have so we can stimulate the economy. To me either way we are the mercy of these poloticians.

    All I know is I am unemployed and its tough and soon I will loose my health care so I am for some sort of standardized health care. Everyone screams socialist. Maybe that was is good. Who knows. I am a teacher and the school system in this country is not good but we have a decentralized system. Other countries that do much better then us have a centralized system. I was a travel agent for awhile and the airline industry was much better when it was regulated and government controlled now the airlines are falling apart you have to pay if your too fat or ur bags are to heavy. My point is, is that maybe we need a balance of centralized and decentralized control when it comes to certain things cause are healthcare and education system is not known the world over esp. our education system.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  38. Greg

    He promised everyone everything so he could be elected. And the nieve believed and voted for him. They HOPEd he was the new saviour but the reality is he is a unexperienced con artists who is steering us down a path to poverty.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  39. Steve

    "Just because you say something publicly doesn’t mean it is true. I don’t know how you could possibly believe that the “american people” are against this health care reform when the numbers are clearly against you. But then, Republicans never did have much time for actual facts."

    Trevor:
    I guess it's just what you want to believe. I'm totally against health care by the government, and I'm one of those Americans that pay the majority of taxes.
    As for republicans, present some facts to support your hypothesis. It doesn't sound like the republicans are missing the "facts".

    July 20, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  40. Tom

    As an American citizen why would I want to continue to give power to the federal government? What happened to the self sustaining, hard working people of this country? How come we sit back and let a loud, arrorgant, mis-guided, minority influence this country in such a way that we are on the verge of turning into socialist state? We allowed a man to be elected president who's idea of democracy is "those who work hard must provide for those who won't". NO ONE KNOWS WHATS BEST FOR ME AND MY FAMILY BETTER THAN I. And that is an undisputed fact. Decisions are best when made by the people who will live with the consequences on a daily basis. Whether it's health care, what is taught in my school, or any other issue the decision needs to be made at the lowest level possible.

    What does the constitution say? The federal government was created to do two things, defense of the nation and interstate commerce. That's what our congressmen should be arguing about. Everything else resides with the STATES.

    If there was no money in politics, it was a part time job, and every bill had to be hand written in ink with no mistakes, honest people who were in touch with the local cities, towns, and rural counties would be in congress. Not a bunch of out of touch hollywood want a be's.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  41. bewildered

    I'm always interested in reading what people have to say when articles regarding the current administration come out. The one thing I note – if one of our elected officials in Congress happens to say something like "I think Obama is rushing health care reform" I notice that all the people opposed to the subject use that as their excuse for being against it – almost as if they don't have a thought of their own. If an elected official they happen to admire says it – it must be true. I would venture to guess that most of the people commenting on this article have read very little about the proposed health care reform and what it would mean to them. Read CNN's story about the Wheelchair that was put out today. If you are a taxpayer, it will raise your blood pressure – then multiply that abuse by the health care industry not by thousands of times, but millions.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:10 pm |
  42. PB

    I have lived overseas a few times and had to use a foreign health care system once. Luckily I got sick the week before I had to fly home. It was mono. My throat was swelling shut, I had no energy, I had slept most of the week, I couldn't talk, I would be exhausted from walking 4 feet, I hadn't eaten in 2 days, I could barely swallow water. My roommate took me to the hospital. The doctors were on strike and had been for a while. Hardly anyone was at the hospital. I couldn't even get a prescription for Tylenol to take down my fever. When it came time to head back to the US, everyone wanted to get me home as soon as possible. I fainted twice at the airport and cried the whole flight home. When I got home and my family doctor saw me instantly, got me antibiotics instantly, and gave me medical advice instantly. I slept for almost 2 weeks straight after that, only waking up for medicine and soup. I never want to relive that again.

    July 20, 2009 at 10:03 pm |
  43. A pen

    Demagogues have to make appeals to the people even when what they promise are fairy tales or actually in this nation unacceptable to our republic. Thats no bar to promises nor is it a bar to people who have no knowledge of the dangers in what they think are good for them. As the old adage goes, all that glitters is not gold.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  44. Terry

    Give Obama a chance to do his job. He has only been in the White House for 6 months. Congress needs to work with him and stop the fighting. For those that think that the healthcare system does not need to be restructured please open your eyes to those Americans that have no coverage and are not able to get treatment because of the cost. Many Americans do not qualify for the state Medicaid programs at least with now they will have coverage and afford a lower premium. The middle class is hurting and America needs to help them.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:56 pm |
  45. David

    If I could have one wish it would be this:

    All of you stop using the word, "they"!

    Stop saying republicans are warmongers because they believe in things that are worth fighting for! Stop saying they don't care about the envirement because they believe in a different approach. Stop saying democrats are cowards because they are slow to anger and they believe you can talk sometimes instead of fighting! Stop saying democrats want socialism, thousands died defending our democracy!

    They usually means me and you. It is a word created by hypocracy. A word used to describe hatred and prejudice. We are all americans and we need to step back sometimes and think about whether or not something is good or bad and not just whether or not it is republican or democrat. We are brothers and sisters whether we like it or not.

    God was above politics and he knew we had wondering minds that attached themselves to group ideas. He gave us comandments to give us focus and to give us a place we could go back to when we started to stray from the truth. Love one another, Respect one another and follow what is right and wrong and " they " will never come to your mind again.

    Dave in New Orleans

    July 20, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  46. Tim

    I knew from near the beginning of President Obama's campaign that he could not keep many of his promises. People are gullible to believe a politician, any politician, Dem or Repub. Common sense told me that if health care were such an easy problem to fix, it would hava already done. Still the fact that President campaigned on a promise of openness and transparency, while rushing legislation through before anyone has a chance to read it smells bad. After rushing through the stimulus bill that supposedly was an emergency, and then waiting days to sign it, really shows the absurdity of his claims of an emergency. Worse yet, the stimulus, which was an "emergency" has not yet worked, and according to President Obama has not really kicked in yet. If this is the case, how can he justify not allowing enough time for congress to read it before voting on it.

    His Healthcare reform proposal is even a bigger spending bill than the stimulus package, and he has tried once again to use the emergency argument to rush it through, but fortunately the public is not buying it this time.

    President Obama has lost credibility with me, an INDEPENDENT MINORITY VOTER.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  47. Mel in Florida

    Some people are saying was the rush???? my daughter has a pre-existing condition and she won't be covered by my group ins. was the rush???? Wait to be unemployed so I could qualifiy for medicaid???? instead of making health coverage more affordable. was the rush???? for my grandparents to die becouse their income is not enough for them to purchase their medication. was the rush???? I guessing all the people that ask the question, they don't have any worries. We need change. make it free for people that really need it, our low income senior citizens, our disabled recepients, our veterans, our children in the level of poverty. and make it affordable for the ones that cannot pay a high deductible of about 2,000.00 per person. along with the high premiuns.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:34 pm |
  48. gregoryc

    You Obamarians are so naive. You think the healthcare debate is about insuring 43 million uninsured, the poor, the illegal and the less fortunate. HELL-O it is about more government control of one more aspect of your life. Reform is needed, the uninsured need affordable access, and yes, costs need to be reigned in. But if you think another federal mandate is going to solve anything you are sadly mistaken. Our federal government is incapable of solving such a complex issue. With lobbyists, and special interests groups at every turn all that will ever result is more loss of freedom. Pass legislation that regulates the playing field and let free enterprise and fair competition solve the problems. Government can't SOLVE anything other than how members of congress can get filthy rich on $173,000 per year, plus more perks and benefits than any ordinary Americans.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:18 pm |
  49. brian

    Another very, very expensive plan by the Government(note, not the Obama Administration, the government) to be shouldered at the GREAT expense of the next generation. Seems like my generation will be shouldering the tax burden of the most rampant government spending ever, for a health system that will undoubtedly have massive failures(when has our government had a system that we can say works? Post Office. That is it)? I certainly hope my generation does a better job of running things when we are old enough to hold higher public office.

    July 20, 2009 at 9:02 pm |
  50. Gary

    Robert, you are so right. Vote for the individual, not the party. We need a 3rd party so badly, but it can't happen with our current system. More than anything, now is not a time when Americans can be complacent; people need to get themselves educated on these issues which can have such long-term repercussions if done improperly.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  51. Chales

    We will se aside the fact that when the CBO says the bill will cost $1.3 trillion they mean over the corse of ten years. Yes it is true that Bush lowerd te taxes on the welthy, but lets look a wat acctually caused this recesion. If any one believes that the government hs any controle over the stock price, or thecost of goods sold, or te crap loans that te finacial institutions i this countrywere giving out, they need to go back to teirhig school economics class. If you want to blame Bush for some of the nations debt that's fine, h does deserver that blame. But some one explain to me how Obama can spd more money in six months than any other president in the history of our country and some how it's ok. Tell me were is the money coming from. Youned to realize that the government only has three ways to make money, taxes which take money out of the hands ofthe people (andare accual unconstitutional exept during timeof declaired war), they can pintmore money which causes hipper inflation because the th valueof the dollar goes down people stll make the same amount of money and prices go up, orwe can borrow it from another country which drives the nation into debt much like the people that got crap mortgages and couldn't pay for them. The next question that I have is why do I want to let te government steal more of my pay check to pay for some one elses health care that refuses to take decent care o themselves? Further more why would I want to give te gvernment more of my money when it is clear that they can't even be gd stuwards o the money that they're taking from me already? When you come up with an answer to these questions let me know.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:37 pm |
  52. Chris

    When will people realize that pointing fingers at "you Republicans" or "you Democrats" is exactly what potential power-abusers on either side of the political spectrum want?

    When we focus on one's party instead of on the merits of an argument, it blinds us from the truth. George Washington warned against political parties, we should take heed of this.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:36 pm |
  53. Jim

    reto mom - What you do not seem to understand is that we CAN NOT PAY for a program such as the one presented by the admin. Do a little research on the current Canadian medical system. They are doing a great job of cutting cost. About half of the seriously ill patients DIE before they can get an appointment!!!! I agree that we need to modify our system but its needs to be something we can afford. Oh, by the way, name a government run program that works as it was intended.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:34 pm |
  54. Jim

    reto mom - What you do not seem to understand is that we CAN NOT PAY for a program such as the one presented by the admin. Do a little research on the current Canadian medical system. They are doing a great job of cutting cost. about half of the seriously ill patients DIE before they can get an appointment. I agree that we to modify our system but its needs to be something we can afford. Oh, by the way, name a government run program that works as it was intended.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:31 pm |
  55. PJ Word

    The problem is: we've already seen what happens when Congress rushes things. they totally screw things up, as in the stimulus package. The only thing that was stimulated by that bill is Pelosi, (not a pleasant sight) and that's only because she already has a job. If Obama wants to get serious about healthcare, he needs to step up and introduce the right legislation. This Congress has already proven they are not capable.
    Their cap and trade policy is going to cost all americans with higher utility bills. Meantime, China is moving from 30 million cars on the road to an estimated 300 million cars by 2030.

    July 20, 2009 at 8:27 pm |
  56. retro_mom

    I am an American and I DO want this legislation to pass. On one hand you say everything is rush rush and on the other there is criticism out there that he is not doing enough, fast enough. Which hand is right?

    July 20, 2009 at 8:12 pm |
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