American Morning

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August 10th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

We Listen – Your comments 8/10/2009

Editor's Note: Monday’s American Morning generated heated opinion on both sides of the health care debate. Most believed town hall disruptions were orchestrated by Republicans, insurance, and pharmaceutical companies. Others suggested that the U.S. democracy was founded on civil disobedience and Americans should be heard.

  • Carole: The loud protests at the town meetings, are due to people wanting answers as to that is in the health care reform bill. People are scared that interests are not being taken into consideration. They want their questions answered. The majority of people I talk to do not want the government involved in telling them what medication or medical procedures they can and cannot have. The seniors in this country are the backbone of its structure and need to be taken care of and not just given end of life consultation.
  • Allan: Your stories on the heated healthcare discussions at town hall meetings this morning advanced the idea that the anger was "organized" and implied in the interview with Sen. Brad Miller that it is not legitimate. Why not? Our elected President started his career as a "community organizer". His job was to organize events, just like the town hall meetings, for the Democrats. Why are today’s events different than Obama's events? It seems that in the CNN world, organized protest is only ok and legitimate if the Democrat Party is doing it.
  • Aljoy2: The whole problem with healthcare reform is this in a nutshell. The media has given huge coverage to the Republican talking points that are designed to kill healthcare reform and destroy the President of the United States. The Insurance companies are backing their efforts to continue their billions of profit. The undercurrent that is showing up primarily at the town halls began with extreme conservatives who are fundamentally racist against the Obama administration. They were clueless in terms of any facts. They did not even know Medicare was a government run organization that they hugely benefiting from while there are people like me who have nothing. Now it has all turned into true chaos with no one benefiting. Every time a Republican talks, put a truth o meter on what they have to say. Especially put one on dangerous Sarah Palin who exploits her family every humanly way possible for attention, power and political gain. She incites and she is dangerous and she is without knowledge and truth. She is just popular among the extreme right.
  • Larry: These orchestrated disruptions aren't protests. The Republican Brown Shirts are intentionally trying to suppress truth and democratic processes, spreading lies in service of their masters at insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
  • Barbara: I believe both sides deserve to have their questions asked and answered at the town hall meetings. One side is making sure that no questions are asked or answered. This is not fair to the health care debate. These people should not be allowed to disrupt the town hall meetings.
  • Sylvia: People and CNN need to start reminding ourselves that Obama was elected on a platform of HealthCare Reform!! Loosen up and do your homework. He is trying to do what he promised and those Blue Dogs should do likewise!!


Some suggested insurance fraud should be addressed first, before radically changing health care. Others saw insurance restrictions as unfair.

  • Joe: Please do the research that everyone is missing regarding the Health Care reform. I am an insurance broker in NJ and I am required to take continuing education classes in order to sell insurance in NJ. One course I just took was on Medicare fraud in the USA. I was told that there is $678 Million dollars of FRAUD committed EVERY DAY. I was hoping that CNN will confirm this as it relates to the Governments ability to deliver health care to us. My question is why would we want to trust healthcare for all of s UNDER TE AG OF 65 to a Government with that kind of massive mismanagement?? Please report this to the public as it is a question that must be answered. Political spin about town meetings are good news stories but a business approach to this will address the mismanagement first before we invest the medical care of our families and the financial well being to those who have no abilities to do it right.
  • Bruce: I hate my Health Insurance company (WPS). My premiums go up and up. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. If I want to lower my premium by upping my deductible I will have a long list of additional pre-existing conditions. This is not fair. It is a sin with what they are getting away with. I can't find any of my friends satisfied with their health insurance carrier either! Those friends of mine on Medicare are happy!!!

Do you believe that health care fraud should be addressed before any changes are made in our current health care system? How do you feel about the way you are currently treated by your health care provider? Do you feel that your current plan has too many restrictions, or does it provide you all that is necessary?


Filed under: We Listen
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Jason Fisher

    I just watched the segment on bringing guns into bars and restaurants, and I only have one question about that "WHY". Why would anybody need to bring a gun into a restaurant or a bar? There's nothing in there to shoot except for people. There's no target practice or ranges in there that I know of any ways. Just like cars and alcohol don't mix neither do guns and alcohol. That's just ludicrous, if you ask me.. What this world coming to.

    August 19, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  2. Vicki

    Dennis: Our choices disipate when we get ill and that illness is costly. My choices are almost zip, since I was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor and hyperthyroidism. One in-network endocrinologist. If I want to go out of betwork, then my only option is to go with my insurance (Texas HealthSpring) choice-only.

    Where are my choices? Are my interest being considered? Because if it was, MD Anderson (reknown in both areas) is my choice. Texas HealthSpring says no.

    I believe we should get active against the real culprits. Big Insurance. Healthcare reform will eliminate waste and negligent doctors with those new reforms.

    August 18, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  3. Dennis

    ok folks, time to stop complaning and move in a slightly different direction. This one should piss a few of you off, so be it. it's time to stop complaning about what is wrong with the health care situation and put in our 2 cents about what we would like to see come from this....

    I watched the program on cnn last week about how health care works in other countries, seems in some places it works others not so well, in the U.K. even foreigners get it free, go figure????

    government runs the program, dr.'s paid a fixed salary, and it seemed everyone was somewhat satisfied with the program.

    It would seem simple enough, turn health care into a non-profit industry in this country, make all insurance companies not for profit corps and put all dr.'s and hospitals, drug companys, dentists, and supporting personell on a fixed income. We would see a mass conflagration of people from this industry, because it would be a 180 degree departure from our basic capatilist mind set. In other words those that got into medicine because of the money would be running for the hills......

    The good thing is that those who are left would be the ones that would provide the excellent health care that we deserve, because their the ones that got into medicine for the right reasons, which IMO is the reason why were in this situation now, way to many are out there just for the money, no wonder malpractice ins is so expensive, when all they think of is $$$$$, providing even minimum care is second to lining their pockets.

    I know this idea sounds ludicruis to most all of you but the only way to regulate this industry is to take the profit out of it and let those who want to do it because of their love of medicine is primary and their love of $$$$$ is secondary.

    BTW, I'm sorry to the politicians that are currently enjoying the healthcare program that we are paying for, for the rest of your life, after one term but this would have to apply to you also, as a matter of fact, while I'm on the subject, I also think that all politicians should be publicly accountable for each and every one of their actions, you should treat your office as a privledge, and if it's proven that you are not capable of doing the job you were elected to do then have the decency to get the hell out of office, that's one of the biggest problems with the government today, to many people are in office who are total idiots!!!!! and when you get caught lieing or abusing the privledge, let the punishment fit the crime..... this countiy would be a lot better off with a few less abusers and a lot more honesty.

    well, I feel better getting that off my chest, let the hate mail fly folks, but nothing beats a good debate. instead of letting me know how wrong I might be, let's hear your idea, cause that's the problem today, everyone wants to complain about whats wrong, instead of inputing what they think would work......

    Have a great day everyone!!!!!!

    August 18, 2009 at 12:43 pm |
  4. Vicki

    Mary M: Republicans don't need talking points. They have Big Insurance a.k.a. deep pockets and the repbulicans a.k.a. for some of the people some of the time.

    The Republicans and Big Insurance seem to be one in the same-fearmongers. Fear worked in 9-11 for Bush and Cheney and it is working right now.

    I'm a grandma without health choices. I'm experiencing what Obama is trying to change with Big Insurance. My time is spent fighting big insurance, while I try to get the best possible treatment. Good Times, Great Choices: 9-11 (used for hidden agendas), Grandma's future (grandma already has problems). Big Insurance knows whats best for me. They're picking my doctors. Ain't I blessed.

    August 18, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  5. Vicki

    Joe: I'm a grandma and I feel unplugged already. Texas HealthSpring has given me the choice of one in-network endocrinologist. This is only one of my problems. Perscriptions get too expensive (and it has with a benign pituitary tumor and hyperthyroidism); well, my doctors have to pick something else.

    My choices are being made by big insurance, right now. Big Insurance-Deep Pockets. Fear-Monger, Republicans and Big Insurance.

    Case-in-Point, 9-11. Our Saviours Bush and Chaney. They slithered right in on the heels of our fears. It worked then and it's working now. If I wasn't experiencing these imaginary choices, right now, I may fall for it too.

    August 18, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  6. Vicki

    Dave: we have more republicans, rush lumbaghaholics and more sly-foxers that are working to get the misinformation out. They're using Big Insurance money and Republicans is using their connections and biases to scare people away from the public option.

    I am experiencing my right to choose my own endocrinologist. My choices under Texas HealthSpring is only one-in-network endocrinologist. I'm experiencing each and everything President Obama is trying to fix in Healthcare.

    Fear, Bush and daddy Cheney used it in 9-11 for their own agenda and it worked. That was an egg we definitely couldn't unscramble. Republicana and Big Insurance work together. We need to get things stirred up with facts. Obama needs us in order to get a public option.

    August 18, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  7. Dave Reeder

    Obama SOLD us out...by dropping the Public Option..he just sold out the Middle Class and the Working man in this country. The public Option was the whole Idea of Obama's Health Care Plan.
    The Insurance companies must have gotten to Obama, between Sat and Sunday because now..he's singing a different Tune..Hey, maybe it isn't important, to have a Pubic Option. The Insurance Companies Lobbyists and the Republicans will be partying Tonight....you can bet on that..and Obama has just become a Lame Duck..for the rest of his term.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  8. Mary Miroballi

    Just watched Rep. Tom Price from Georgia on your Sun. morning show and still no answers on how to reform health care other than the same talking points that are really not answers! Seems that is all I hear from Republicans, negative talking points aimed to disturb the process. We need this to happen now. Congress has to stop waiting for them to come along. It is clear it will not happen. Note that the majority of Rep. Price's campaign contributions come from the medical and pharmaceutical industry

    August 16, 2009 at 10:03 am |
  9. Joe blow

    I'll be in full support of this new health care bill when the congressman and senators write a stipulation in that does not allow THEM out of it (this will not effect anyone else). Maybe a few would actually read the 1000+ page enigma known as HR 3200 or one of the four other incomprehensible bills out there. Maybe then they would acknowledge that cost will limit health care benefits, not compassion or reason. Nobody thinks Obama is trying to unplug grandma, but most know that to be true because grandma will never be plugged in in the first place. This is just another example of people who are out of touch with reality ramming legislation down our throats. Maybe if the senators and congressman talked about the stimulus bill for a month or two longer, they could have used the $787 billion for what Obama calls our greatest problem. But once again the American people have been let down for some left right war that is total crap. Both republicans and democrats want big government. And I can tell form your recent 180 swap on the "astro turf" conventions, that most of Americans do not.

    August 16, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  10. Vicki

    Government insurance, medicaid insurance, etc. Call it whatever you like, but anything is better than what we have now.

    Complaint #1: The right to choose our own doctors. That is laughable.

    I was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor and hyperthyroidism in February of this year (misdiagnosed in the late 80s). I have been fighting with Texas HealthSpring ever since from doctors to specialist to meds. You name it. Whats laughable is my endocrinologist is the only in-network specialist. It seems he specializes more in the area of the thyroid and have answers to very few questions, but he is the choice that Texas HealthSpring gives me.

    I would like to be treated by specialist at MD Anderson -Houston who is reknown in this field with exemplary credentials, but they're price to treat me is more than Texas HealthSpring is willing to pay. They are willing (after a great deal of haggling) to go outside of their network to a doctor of their choice for one consultation and 3 office visits. Even though, it will take approximately 6 to 12 months for the treatments. Sweet. Big Insurance and the Republicans are trumpeting choice. My choice is to take the doctor that Big Insurance decides on, for me, for the sake of the all my dollar. My health and peace of mind has to take a back seat.

    Problem #2: When I bring my perscriptions to be filled, well if those perscriptions are too expensive, then Texas HealthSpring says find another medication. We don't cover that.

    Problem #3: Because I have had these problems (that were misdiagnosed), it has caused other problems. I am seeing an array of specialist (MD Anderson would take care of in one place) and taking test from most of them. There isn't any sharing of information; even though, these problems may be inter-related. I fill out paperwork asking the same questions every time that I'm referred. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. Waste? All these different doctors and different test and paperwork, and there is only one specialist (MD Anderson) that says they want all the film of every test that I've taken since my diagnosis. MD Anderson is the only place that has shown an interest in other problems that cropped up, since my misdiagnosis, and the paperwork that goes along with it. MD Anderson seems to be very aware of all my symptoms and areas that are related. My present endocrinologist tells me, regularly, that I have to talk to another doctor about the same symptoms that are listed under my conditions in WebMD, The American Medical Association, and a support group-Pituitary.org.

    Mr. Whiddle, a.k.a. the whistleblower (used to be an executive for big insurance) says if you have had any problems with big insurance, then you must not have had a serious illness. My advice. Don't get sick. I didn't have any problems with any of my insurance providers, until February of this year. A hell of a time to fight with Big Insurance.

    My concentration should be on my recovery; but instead, I'm fighting Big Insurance. If you're healthy, I pray that you never get sick. You will find out more about your insurance than you'll want to find out, and none of it will be good or for your benefit.

    Tired of Fighting

    August 15, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  11. Ruth Walsh

    The American People are anger and scared. They see broken promises by this President. They see people planted in his town hall meetings, such as the young girl, who was the daughter of his most important supporter in NH. They see President cannot even answer the questions about his own ???? health plan. They see Mr. Jones, Green Czar who is an avowed comunist. They see Eziekial Emanuel, brother of the President's Chief of Staff, writing comments in January 2009 in his book, representing facist thinking. They see organizations such as Acorn and SEIU which were organizations strongarming people, and probably was organized by Obama himself. They see news media false reporting the news. All this and liberal thinking people wonder why American people are anger and scared. I am against the Public Health Bill, I was against TARP and the Stimulius
    packages.

    August 13, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  12. Doe Hall

    CNN should do a better job on continuing to present the facts about health care reform. What is true, what is false and what is un-known. When you have guests on your programs, and they begin to speak things that are not true, they should be immediatly corrected. The worse part of this whole debate is the mis-information. It's very obvious that most of the people that are obstructing these Town Hall meetings, are very mis-informed. This mis-information is clouding our real discussion on this issue. Print the facts in BIG, BOLD, LETTERS.

    August 13, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  13. Carol

    To Dennis: I so much agree with you. I fully support Pres. Obama and his efforts to push for a much needed Healthcare System for everyone. Surely, the current politicians know the average American is neither stupid and are SO SICK of lies. (When they dance around the question, you wonder what they are not telling). I do believe Pres. Obama is sincere and is going to get something but he needs to spell it out, the good the bad and the ugly. It isn't going to be perfect but like social security when it was enacted the two parties finally came up with a compromise the two could agreed with.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:57 am |
  14. Dennis

    first, let me say that I fully support Pres. Obama and I appreciate that he seems to be the only one that I've heard talk about this health care situation with a certain amount of intellengence. But!!! he was asked at the town hall metting in NH about the health care care program that our elected officals enjoy(full lifetime coverage paid for by us) and he illuded to the plan that federal employees use. This type of mis-information is exactly why a lot of people are angry over this situation. I consider this nothing more than the usual political rhetoric that has been being jammed down our throats for years, and I cannot blame anyone for not trusting this or any other program being pushed on us by the government. As far as I'm concerned, nothing is going to get done on this issue until these politicians can speak with a certiain amount of intellengence about this and they have the nerve to admit that they will drop their golden constituent paid health plans and pay for their own, just like they are asking the rest of us to. Holding an elected office is and should be considered a priveledge, but it seems that anymore, to many of them are only interested in getting in , getting all they can and not providing for the american plublic. The constitution states, for the people by the people, well things have been totally skewed and distorted by those same elected officals that the american public and I truly think that we are rapidly approaching the point where we are going to have to throw out this current situation and start over again.

    August 12, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  15. Doug Mustard

    Sorry, Mark. I am 67. And the 65+ are leading the charge. Check it out. One example does not disprove statistics.

    Denying reality doesn't make it go away. Why did you interpret my remarks as pointing to racism? I didn't even use the word. I just decribed the behaviour we all see from SOME of these people on TV.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  16. Bob

    I used to wonder how Hitler came to power, but now I see, that people are blindly led, by orator's that have their own agenda, that is not necessarily that of the public, or in the public's best interest.

    The three stooges, Pelosi,Reid, and Obama, have tried, and in some cases been able to push legislation through, that is of interest to them and the parties they serve, but not in the publics best interest....they don't give the elected representatives of the citizenry time to read the legislation, much less the general public.

    They have put together a "Stimulus" package that doesn't do anything to stimulate the economy, but helps government and non-profits. They bailout companies that should be left to fall from their own weight. Now they are attempting to push through Health Care Legislation that in fact hasn't been completely written...so how can you vote on it. Health Care reform is a good idea, but it should be done to help, not make it worse. Even the people's supposed representatives don't know what they are pushing.

    Health Care reform according to your own report last night might want to include a standardized paperwork form for all insurance companies billing practices, as your report suggested it costs 1.2 trillion a year for the medical proffesionals to fill out the many forms required by insurance companies...this was the most expensive of the group with obesity and smoking being teh other two major contributing factors of high costs.

    I think the general public should get exactly the same health insurance as the representatives and elected officials in Washington. That is what they suggested they could produce during the campaign. I believe in free markets, and don't want the government running it, but they should level the playing field. Make pre-existing conditions covered when changing companies, Make your insurance portable. Work out Tort reform. Cap profit margins on drugs and medical machinery.

    Further the CBO has pointed out that there are roughly 92% of the population covered by health insurance now, and that changing the current system to the proposed government system will only cover about another 3%.........isn't there a less intrusive way to pick up the other 3%??????

    These Town Hall meetings prove one thing to me, the general public feels their political representatives are not working in the public's best interest, and are not "read-up" on what they are voting for.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  17. Debbie in PA

    As AMERICANS we are showing our ingnorance. So few of the town hall speakers have read the bill.(shame on Spector, read up buddy! It's your JOB) It's really embarassing to see these people making themselves look like idots and the people interviewing them just let them go...not informing them after we hear another ignorant question. This is a waste of Town Hall time. It would be better spent with giving copies out of the bill itself. I think Obama is doing pretty good for taking on the Banks, Auto Industry and now the Insurance Companies. Read up people!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:23 am |
  18. Gary Steps

    The Pew poll is clearly severely flawed. It is hard to imagine how they could have found a significant number of people who would have come up with this list. As we go top to bottom, the Beatles clearly should be #1 or #2, given their influence, breadth and depth of work, creativity, and longevity.

    Thankfully Hendrix is there, far too low, but the greatest Rock band of all time is not even in the list, and Zeppelin should be pushing the Beatles for the top spot. Who the hell did Pew ask? If you look at total sales, number of Top Ten songs, innovation, and actual technical ability, Led Zeppelin is at least as good as the Beatles. Not on the list?

    The Eagles? Where did that come from? I like them, but name me 5 top ten songs besides Hotel California. More importantly, they did not bring anything unique to the world of music. Look at the Beatles and the creativity they brought, examining concepts that caused many musicians to change what they were doing and test new ideas themselves. The Eagles are fine, but absolutely not in the Top Ten.

    Johnny Cash? Again, a fine musician, but tell me how influential he was on music itself. And he did not experiment with new ideas.

    Carrie Underwood? Give me a break. She is a mediocre short term talent and will not be on any list 10 years from now.

    The Stones sold a lot of albums, but are not highly skilled musicians and produced almost no unique music – you can put on almost any Stones song, and it sounds like the Stones.

    Where is Pink Floyd? Sales, innovation, technical skills, concert presence – how can they not be hanging around the top?

    What about The Who – no other band had as many incredible skills in one group – Pete Townshend has only Jimmy Hendrix as a challenge to his ability to squeeze sound out of his guitar. John Entwistle did incredible things with bass guitar. Keith Moon was one of the most unique, creative drummers in history. Roger Daltrey was not a super standalone singer, but fit perfectly with the other three.

    Just Tommy should have been enough to put them in the Top Five, and what about the anthems we still carry in our heads – My Generation/Won't get fooled again/I can see for miles/Magic bus?

    Where is Queen? U2? ZZ Top? Aerosmith? Cream? What were these people smoking? The eight supergroups I mentioned should all be Top Ten, but they don't even get an honorable mention.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  19. Linda

    The middle class is ALREADY paying for health care indirectly many different ways:

    Lower salaries due to high employer health care costs

    Higher state taxes due to state costs to cover uninsured who use ER for general health care and who don't get less-expensive preventive care

    Higher insurance costs that trickle down to middle class due to unstreamlined information management in hospitals and physicians offices

    HEALTH CARE REFORM WILL IMPACT THESE HIGH COSTS AND BENEFITS WILL HELP MIDDLE CLASS

    August 12, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  20. Mark

    Doug you need to readjust how you observe things. First you are railing against what you perceive as racism when it isn't even an issue. Then you go and show your own bias by coming out ageist. There are also several under 65 who are at the town halls protesting. One young lady in her thirties was featured on all the news channels after she spoke to Arlen Specter.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  21. Kate Stron

    Katy Abram, "stay-at-home Mom." This is an anti-government idealogue. She's not of Medicare age so she has no idea what she's talking about that the government is so miserable at everything. Like bailing out the private sector so that everyone didn't fall into a terrible depression? Maybe she's thinking of the miserable mess the Bush administration made, abusing power, mis-using tax money, appropriating a surplus for the rich at the expense of the middle class. Let's not confuse Bush/Readan/republicanism government from progressive government, which has only been in power for over 200 days.

    To all "stay-at-home" moms... like this lady....a word of advice...read, think, evaluate, stop the idealogical tautological misrepresentations that are the foundation of your opinions. "No think " fuels ignorance..

    August 12, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  22. Marc

    Tell that ignorant idiot, Katy Abram, let her husband get diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and then see if she wants to government to assist her!!!!

    Why do you put these idiots on television who don't know what they are talking about.

    It government had not stepped in over the years, woman like Katy Abram would not even have the right to vote.

    Please stop putting idiots on your show!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  23. Mike C

    Republicans know that if Obama passes health care reform before an election year, they'll have little chance to win back Senate and House seats. Their plan is to create fear and disruption. Their now sitting back enjoying the media showing their misinformed extremists and say this is how most Americans feel.
    Thankfully, Obama stated the importance of including mental health care as well. Unfortunately, some of these people are clearly beyond help. Their hate for Dems and Obama are as deeply imbedded in their minds as Al Qaeda's hate toward America.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  24. Doug Mustard

    You need to make some distinctions about the protestors. Some, indeed, have serious and legitimate questions about health care reform. But listen carefully to what some others are saying and doing. e.g . "I want my country back.". "This Laurel and Hardy administration has done nothing right since the begfinning." Their protests have very little or nothing to do with health care. They do not like how the election turned out, they are afraidof any change, afraid of an African-american president, a Latina supreme court judge, an African-American Attorney-General etc. This is not the America they are used to, and they don't like it, and they want to go back to the way it was; i.e.white dominance, and no changes in the social structure. It is not a coincidence that the age demographic (65+) which President Obama did worst in, is the age demographic leading this charge (Look at the town hall videos.)

    August 12, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  25. Kate Stron

    Regarding the health care "debate." First of all, the media is covering hooliganism, the hate filled, uninformed screamers out there. Where is media responsibility in this health care debate? The media, like the uninformed screamers have not read the 1000 pages of work the congress is reporting in that one thousand pages.. that will go toward formulation of a final bill after reconciliation of house and senate bills.

    In my opinion, the media has a responsiblity to give the public the facts of what exactly is in that bill. It means people at CNN and MSNBC need to read the bill!!! Then inform the public of what is in it.
    That would be the best counter to hooligan-like insane behavior around misrepresentations and ignorance.

    The public is responsible for reading the bill before they go into a town meeting so that they can ask intelligent questions and offer intelligent feedback. (Only in an ideal world! Or, in a civilized, intelligent one!)

    Everyone is just so lazy!! It is easier for media to show people behaving badly at these town meetings, easier for those there to be disruptive especially those who oppose the president and reform along with those republicans in congress that want to bring him down.

    You in the media contribute when you do mindless "reporting." I guess it boosts ratings? What about what's in that health care bill"
    Is anyone at CNN really interested in finding out? And talking about what they found out? Now, wouldn't that be intelligent, mindful reporting? A real service to the public.

    We don't have a debate because no one is interested in facts, only in the acting out hatreds..of the president...of reform...of change. And the media does nothing to help. MSNBC at least has Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow. If it wasn't for them pointing out the absurdities out there...there would be nothing. CNN certainly sidesteps, seguays, plays it for all its worth. Now Ali Velshi is going around in the CNN express trying to get on the spot conversations about health reform.
    That's all you guys are doing?? That's something...but not a whole lot..like intelligent informing.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:37 am |
  26. Dave

    The swastika was not created by the germans. It was created centuries before and to represent rebirth. That is why the germans chose it (rebirth). If we are to judge a symbol just because it is or was used by an idiot or an organization than what does that say about the beloved cross. Worn into battle to commit murder (purposely congressman Scott) during the crusades and as of late child molestation. Dont forget all the crime and murders in our streets perpetrated while wearing symbols of all form on a chain around the neck. People, stop showing prejudice to a symbol and realize its the person behind the symbol. Otherwise let us judge all symbols as evil because an idiot did something stupid while wearing or using that symbol.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  27. Millicent Aynes

    Health care is not a right; it is a personal responsibility. For example, If our government provides free health care to those who cannot afford health care, we will be giving free kidney transplants to skid row bums instead of making them comfortable.

    Giving a costly surgical procedure and precious resources to anyone who disregards his or her personal health or well being would be ethically unsound under normal circumstances.

    Health insurance should be mandatory like auto insurance. Every working adult needs to pay for his or her insurance and their children's insurance.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  28. Archie from Arkansas

    Want some TRUTH? Check out PolitiFact.com. Want to find out what the proposed legislation will REALLY do for Seniors? Check out the AARP website.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  29. Mark

    I just watched the segment with the Reporter from Kentucky. He said that the group he gathered together were a respectful group that displayed respect. This was untrue because when the man who was trying to describe his viewpoint using the Hummer example, both the reporter and the woman who had no Health Care jumped on him. They placed their words into his mouth and didn't let him finish which is exactly what commentators are complaining is happening in the townhalls. This is especially bad for the reporter to do, because his job is to report and moderate not jump into the conversation and move the discussion in a direction he wishes.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:17 am |
  30. harvey lambeth

    Real health care legislation should not be complicated. Write it so we can understand it. The hidden agendas are scary. More health care for less money, who are they kidding? Tort reform first!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  31. Kathleen Koziol

    I would really like to see you re-visit that $200,000 hospital bill for the woman who had the pacemaker replaced. As anyone who has a hotel (I did) knows, room and board prices INCLUDE overhead, employees, administration costs, even empty unpaid rooms PLUS profit, or else you wouldn't make any money! Also, a pacemaker does not cost $72,000 dollars. Also, if they told you only $1000 was for the uninsured, that's BS.

    The only legitimate concern over the health care reform is cost. Everyone who has ever worked in a hospital (I have) knows the uninsured get pretty much the same services for free. Who does everyone think is paying for them? We do: in our insurance premiums, in our hospital bills and in the price of our new car! We are already paying for those 44M uninsured. The major question is, when they become insured, will all the insurance companies and hospitals lower their prices or just continue to charge the same and keep the difference? What's your best guess?

    I would REALLY love to see a whistle blower from: hospital administration, a medical insurance company and a pharmaceutical company tell how prices are determined. It will be as big a scandal as the bank bonuses when it all comes out. People are unaware and uncaring because their co-pay and their portion of their premium is affordable – just the same as the people who went into all these creative loans with banks were happy – until the foreclosure!

    All the things people are concerned about with health care reform are already happening. Insurance companies already make life and death decisions, and it is based on PROFIT right now. If I have to choose, I think I would rather have a panel of doctors deciding. people trust you. Please go back to that hospital bill. Make them explain every single item. It would open a lot of eyes.

    Kathleen Koziol

    August 12, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  32. Karen

    I HAVE PROOF THE UPRISINGS AT THE CONGRESSIONAL MEETINGS ARE STAGED! Roll back the tape! On August 12 between 5:50 and 5:55 am on the John Roberts show a tape was played of a congressional town hall. Someone stood up and said, I want "tort reform". The crowd erupted in applause. I dont think everyday people KNOW what "tort reform" is! CNN...do an unofficial pole on the street...ask people if they know what tort reform is..and then replay the clip. I think people will see that it was STAGED!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  33. Jon Semerau

    Kira: The HR version of healthcare is online. I've read it. You are reporting on the level of anxiety, but missing the real facts. Are there"Death Panels?" Of course not. But there is a "Commission" empowered by Congress that actually could pull the plug on Grandma. Read the bill.
    If you read the bill you will find no answers. It only empowers the President to do what ever he feels is best for everyone.
    You can keep what you have, but future private insurance choices
    are prohibited. There is no other conclusion than public health insurance is phased out. All new enrollments must be the public plan. READ THE BILL.
    To your point, there really is no plan - just the trillion dollar empowerment to the President's "Commission."

    August 12, 2009 at 8:10 am |
  34. B. Goodwill

    I have not seen any information on a Republican town hall meeting.
    I attended a republican townhall meeting on Monday in Harahan, Louisiana host by Republican Senator David Vitter. He agreed that this would increase the deficit. He agreed that this would decrease the quality of health care of the elderly and that you would eventually lose the heathcare that you are now satisfied with. He had a panel which included a doctor and a small business owner, who claims he pays 100% insurance coverage for his employees (that is so hard to believe in todays world and the price of health insurance, unless he has one employee). Senator Vitter asked you to write your questions down for him or the panel to answer. He did not call on you, he collected your questions and read the ones of his choice. My question was since the Clintons healthcare bill crashed in 1993/94; what has the republicans planned in the last 15 years to repair the heathcare problem and has the Iraq war cost more than what the healthcare reform would cost. My questions were never answered.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  35. Eric Varty

    And where is ZAPPA?

    August 12, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  36. Diane Morris

    Katy Abrams commented that she wants government out of her life and a return to the days of the Founding Fathers. She appears to be unaware of how government makes our lives better in many ways. If she doubts this, she only has to step into any supermarket, where the high quality of produce, meats and dairy products and the safety of processed foods are a testament, not only to the willingness of the food industry to abide by the law, but also to government regulations and oversight. Would she have us return to the days when chalk was added to milk or cereals were sold in boxes with fake bottoms? These activities were once widespread, but are considered fraudulent today. Food laws - a government function - protect consumers from such unscrupulous practices. So although the Food and Drug Administration is not perfect, it is a good example of how government can work to benefit all Americans. Perhaps it is worth considering whether a national health care plan could do the same.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  37. Dj Asselin

    Kirin! John! Durham Fair in little, Democratic, small town Durham, Connecticut! Send Rob! I'll meet you their and do roving reports with my friends. Rob and I can do this it will be great for ratings, and it will be fun as we all know Rob is all of that. We can go find pigs to interview, cops too! haha! I am willing to bring state health inspectors Sam and Irene Hendrikson to talk about health reform. This is the whomp diggity, do it!! I am from the class of 82' and have some very interesting friends.

    I will do roving interviews and walk the grounds with Rob and make sure he is at home and meeting teachers, going to the right civic booths and meeting the towns people. I will keep you away from the ding dongs!

    Dj Asselin, let me know how we can do this!

    August 12, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  38. Nancy

    I'm an American citizen who has lived in Canada for over 30 years. I don't understand why so many Americans are afraid of a health care system that provides insurance to all of its citizens.

    My stepmother had to declare personal bankrupcy after a serious illness because she did not have insurance and could not be covered under my father's policy. Meanwhile, I see my general practicioner and various specialists, and undergo a variety of medical tests each year, at no cost to me.

    Now that I'm retired, I have considered returning to the United States to live. However, under the present health care conditions, I don't think I could afford to do that. Because I have a couple of chronic medical conditions that require doctor visits and regular medical tests, I doubt that I would be eligible for health insurance.

    I am thankful every day that I am lucky enough to have such wonderful health care at my disposal. I don't understand why American citizens fear "socialized medicine" more than they fear watching loved ones suffer because they do not have adequate health insurance!

    August 11, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  39. C. Powell

    .Exactly how many Americans must be in desperate need of (or die due to the lack of) basic healthcare before these selfish people start behaving like human beings? 47 million? 100 million? What's the magic number? Perhaps if it were just one of their loved ones, like my sister with MS or my 30 year old son who lost his job? An abscessed tooth can kill someone as easily as any untreated infection. My sister was rate hiked out of her insurance when she became ill, now she has a pre-existing condition which makes it even more difficult and more expensive to have health care coverage.
    What is most disgusting is the majority of the 'minority' against fixing our broken system refer to themselves as 'Christians'. I would challenge them to show one passage in which Jesus ever said "why should I help my neighbor"?
    Enough already, we know the tree by the fruit it bears. This is America, you have the right to be as selfish and greedy as you like. Just remember, your rights leave off where someone else's begins.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  40. Kerry

    This is not a Republican is wrong and the Democratics are right matter. It's another government agenda trying to take over free trade. What has the government ever done that worked correctly and cost what they said it would. Anyone who ever had to spend time as a military dependent knows what government run heathcare is really like. You spend months waiting for a doctors appointment with a specialist or days sitting in a large room filled to near capacity hoping to see a doctor for something general like a sore throat. Ask any Vet what it's like going to the VA hospital. Here in Albany, NY my husband needed back surgery. After waiting 4 months there was finally an opening in the surgery schedule and then after being admitted he spent 3 days waiting for a piece of equipment they needed to perform the surgery to be repaired. They only had one. I am so opposed to this helathcare reform due to the above reasons but also because no one seems to know what the plan really says or what changes have been made to the existing plan. All it seems to tell us so far is what's wrong with our current system (only if you have no insurance) not what their plan is to fix it. I want to know what are the options, what's the coverage under each option and what is the price. They, the current administration tells us it's free. Well hello, we all know nothing is free. Who's going to pay? We have not had any clear answers on that either. Everybody that is rich will pay – those who make more than $250K a year. Well shame on them for going to school, working to pay off their education and working hard to have a good life. I thought that was part of the American Dream, now the government wants to penalize them for it. Let me clear this up, I am not one of them but I thought the idea of working hard enough to become one was a great thing. Not anymore.
    CNN interviewed a woman the other day that is a diabitic and has no health insurance because 3 of the steel mills in OH where she lives closed down. Wouldn't it make more sense for the government to stop importing steel from foreign countries and rather than give money away to aid all the foreign countries, banks, Palestinians now allowed into our country under HR1388 and all batter women of foreign counties allowed here while, etc. etc. while we give them free housing, food, healthcare to put that money into re-opening these steel mills creating jobs and allowing the employees to get their own health insurance? We need to start taking care of Americans by creating realistic jobs and supporting American business's which will allow all of us the choice of our own Health Insurance Plan.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  41. Ruth Walsh

    the last timei looked around we were still located in the United States of America, the land of freedom of speech and the right to speak to our representatives in Local, State, and Federal governments. I have watched most town hall meetings that have been shown and I see people who are very scared and want answers to their questions. I would be nice if people on both sides would quit name calling and making references about people they know nothing about. People need to wake up and read the bill, it is on line, I have. Even President Obama cannot answer questions about the bill, if people bother to watch the press conference he gave.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  42. jim vicalvi

    I have been listening to the debate on health care all morning. I finally thought that CNN was finally getting something right. They were televising the town hall meeting with Arlen Specter. It was very interesting to watch. Then, bingo, they went away. Oh yes, they were monitoring the meeting but we could not hear the questions. Would that have been because only one of the first 14 questions involved someone who agreed with obummer? Our liberal media couldn't let that happen!! It was interesting to see Specter tiptoe around all of the questions. He told the one woman that agreed with obummer that it was nice to meet a "positive" opinion and shook her hand. What were everybody elses questions? When asked if he would agree to a provision covering illegal immigrants he said that he would not support it. He did not say that he would not vote for it. When he gets back to Washington and lobbyists start filling his pockets with cash and queen pelosi twists his arm and makes all kinds of promises, like obummer, he will change his mind. As simple as that may be. If we don't vote out EVERY incumbent politician we deserve what these thieves are doing to our once great country.

    August 11, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  43. Dan

    I just paid over $7000.00 for one hour service. I am self pay. I have no health insurance – I can't afford it. My option is to pay in advance or go blind in my right eye. How can we let this continue? The American people are being robbed by insurance companies and the health industry.

    Other industrialized nations do not have this problem. What is our problem?

    August 11, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  44. Satara

    The ugly truth verses the whole truth. The ugly trust is unverisal health care is an expanded version of medicaid. We need to go to the drawing board and pretty much have contract negioators determine what medical provider will accept and not accept with insurance agencies. I don't believe in such a thing a free healthcare. Free generates abuse, give everyone an expanded version of medicaid and generate co-pays according to income. Everyone wants something for nothing the insured has to pay co-pays and deductible and so should the uninsured. The flip side of things when your getting free stuff or a more gentle terminology at minimal cost. You subjected be subjected to random investigation to to minimize abuse. And after saying this; the government to be in your business. Is it reasonable trade? I think so. It's all about accountability. Lastly the "WHOLE TRUTH" just change the qualification of medicaid.....GO FiGURE!!!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  45. Carol

    This issue is not new. The gov't was trying to get national health care in 1946. Go to this link http://www.ssa.gov/history/aja546.html read a speech given by Arthur Altmeyer one of the creators of social security. The speech sounds like we are repeating history today. I recall hearing that social security had a hard time getting off the ground. Just think where a lot of our senior citizens would be today without social security.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:36 am |
  46. mary jones

    Those republican are stupid , selfish people. just let them gather at the right town hall. they hadn't gathered at the right place or met the right people yet.

    August 11, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  47. Richard Worley

    The core of the anger is neither Republican or Democratic, left or right. The core is Constitutional. A realization, un-studied or quantified by many, that we have a Federal Government that is not fundamentally acting in the best interest of the Republic, the Nation or We the People. A realization that most of what government touches gets fouled up, does not work as promised, almost always is found to have been crafted to benefit one or another special interest, that we have been repeatedly lied to, that facts are not rationally reviewed and debated and thus nearly everything costs much more than anticipated. A realization that we have an Executive and Legislative branch that have for well over 50 years behaved as King and Royal Court unchecked by the Judicial, just the Federal Government our Founders feared. When an issue as personal and directly impactful as healthcare emerges, that subdued anger boils over. Listen to it. As we fix health care, we must also fix government.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  48. Carole

    I once worked for an HMO. The goal where I worked was to turn down a claim.

    The gentleman you had on opposite Mr. Carville mentioned the Lewin Group. THE LEWIN GROUP IS RUN BY THE HEALTH CARE INDUSTRY! The LEWIN GROUP is what ALL Republicans reference for talking points.

    The protesters at thye town halls are embarassing. They are nothing to people wearing a pink shirt. These people believe anything they are fed. Notice how they are White and Angry? I think it is the color of our President some are protesting, not insurance.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  49. Tom Sifrit

    The almost unanimous public opinion that health care reform is needed has turned the Repulicans into crying obnoxious bullies and Democrats into ducking targets. It is sad that the President seems to be the only one that knows what is needed and has some flexibility. I am extremely tired of the yelling at meetings and stupid comments by overpaid radio hosts. Any good ideas from these people are lost in the show. GROW UP!!!!!

    August 11, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  50. E. Laurence

    The public protests should tell our government that we don't want more government in any area of our lives including healthcare. We ALL should be very concerned about this as we alread know when government gets involved the costs rise exponentially and the program grows and expands to be what the politicians want and becomes another social crutch where they give our tax money to those who least deserve it but who will vote for those politicians who keep supporting them on someone elses money.
    Just like government and religion, government and business/services should be kept independent of each other.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  51. Rose

    People are speaking out because they have a duty and right to be watchful of our government. After all Germany made that mistake once when population control took hold. The seniors in our nation appear to be at risk now. If the government wants the conversation to cease, then clarify your plans for end of life care.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  52. Perry

    Since most people who don't have healthcare can't afford it the gov. will have to pay for it. Would it not be cheaper just to furnish those people medical attention rather than insurance? If the gov. pays for the insurance and insurance companies have to make a profit seems to me that it would be cheaper to just to pay the medical provider rather than to pay the man to pay the medical provider.

    If you check the records you will find that a few years ago this same gov. paid medical colleges not to accept new students because we had too many doctors, hummmmmmmm seems like supply and demand would have brought the prices down.

    I'd also like for someone to tell me what the gov. has ever fixed. Most of the past fixes have been only patches that held together just long enough that the next administration got the blame when the patch failed.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  53. Jackie Master

    Part of any discussion is actually listening to the other side. By totally disrupting meetings based on talking points and some outright lies by organized groups opposed to any healthcare reform, nobody wins. Legitimate questions would get legitimate answers. Shouting and not letting other citizens ask questions is just wrong.

    I believe we do need healthcare reform. The insurance companies regulate healthcare now. And don't they realize that medicare is run by the government?

    August 11, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  54. Michelle Hicks

    Opposing Obama's plan is ligitimate. It is un-American for anyone to shut down another person's voice or invalidate it. History shows when our government has gone down the wrong path, it has Continued on in the wrong path. Case in point; if abortion had never been legalized, partial-birth abortion would have never ever been concievable. The government can force the insurance companies to be fair. That is simply the route it should take; to be a watchdog, NOT an owner. That is what our forefathers wanted.

    August 11, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  55. Bernice

    Yes. I say arrest them if they can not control themselves as civil Americans. You can find them rioting, to the older and even topwards the black people! They, the bad guys, are in purple shirts. The Terrrible Tella Tubbies, we call them here! They are a union organization, our for themselves. NOT YOU!

    Republicans...big business? Democrats ...HUGE government I would rather do the big business myself. Fix it. Don't destroy it!

    Most are here, as paid to do by thier unions, just to mislead you. EDUCATE YOURSELVES! before its too late to do so. I know that Americans are just patriotic and smarter than the democratic party has given them credit for! To call an elderly lady in a wheelchair a terrorist just because she has a question, shame on all of you for doing these terrible things to the People, then lying about it!

    Are the four men who assulted the black man giving away flags arressted? (purple tella-tubbies)They should be there for MANY years! What a horrific Hate Crime that was! They should be charged as such. Evil....Just plain evil.. And, they were sent an email to do this? And our health director told them to keep it up? These are called hate crimes against the black people who justt do not agree with this bill. They are Americans people! The tella tubbies should be stopped, and off to jail. Do not pass go.....no $200.00. They can donate that towards the medical plan instead!

    No...Palin nailed it on the head! She is showing her patriotism, and you just do not want anyone to know the real thruth...Tell it for a change!! LOL Now that was funny!

    EDUCATE YOURSELVES PLEASE! NOW

    August 11, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  56. Bernice

    Yes. I say arrest them if they can not control themselves as civil Americans. You can find them rioting, to the older and even topwards the black people! They, the bad guys, are in purple shirts. The Terrrible Tella Tubbies, we call them here! They are a union organization, our for themselves. NOT YOU!

    Republicans...big business? Democrats ...HUGE government I would rather do the big business myself. Fix it. Don't destroy it!

    Most are here, as paid to do by thier unions, just to mislead you. EDUCATE YOURSELVES! before its too late to do so. I know that Americans are just patriotic and smarter than the democratic party has given them credit for! To call an elderly lady in a wheelchair a terrorist just because she has a question, shame on all of you for doing these terrible things to the People, then lying about it!

    Are the four men who assulted the black man giving away flags arressted? (purple tella-tubbies)They should be there for MANY years! What a horrific Hate Crime that was! They should be charged as such. Evil....Just plain evil.. And, they were sent an email to do this? And our health director told them to keep it up? These are called hate crimes against the black people who justt do not agree with this bill. They are Americans people! The tella tubbies should be stopped, and off to jail. Do not pass go.....no $200.00. They can donate that towards the medical plan instead!

    August 11, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  57. phreejax

    Lee Felsenstein ... a good post & I agree 100%. Please read my post (phreejax) above and help all of us with a little independent research (since, as you have observed, the media won't do it).

    This really is 1993 all over again ... the money to oppose reform comes from the same places, but there's way more of it - and today we have even weaker spines in Congress and the media.

    The way all that big insurance lobby money is being used must please the heck out of Lee Atwater (wherever his soul may be). Yeah, Lee, you got it: the hell with democracy, "Perception is reality."

    August 11, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  58. Terri

    I really feel that most people ( your average every day American) only know generalities on both sides of the Health Reform Issue. Most would not understand the language even if they read all the way through the plan. No wonder every one is confused. I think a lot of reactions are being passed by word of mouth much as a rumor would be. Also, if the people at large do not want this why would the government ramrod on and pass it anyway? Do the people really have a voice or not?

    August 11, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  59. Doe Hall

    The Republicans are continually on the side of Big Business. They protect the Oil Companies, The Insurance Companies, The Banks and The Wealthy. They fight hard to give all of the advantages to those who have the most, yet they run on the plateform of family values. Who's family do they value? Certainly not the middle class or poor families of America. So, it doesn't surprise me that they wouldn't want everyone to have affordable health care. The only "Vision" that they have for America is, The Rich and The Poor, with the Middle cut out. They claim the Moral high ground, yet they ignore the likes of Sanford and Ensign. They claim that they embrace all the people of America, yet they tolerate and even embrace the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Sarah "I quit my job" Palin, who spew all kinds of hostile and hateful words toward anyone who doesn't see America through their narrow, clouded and predjudiced stained eyes. They have really shown where their loyalty makes it's home, and it's not with the hard working middle class families of America. America deserves better than what the Republicans have to offer.

    August 11, 2009 at 7:11 am |
  60. Don Straub

    I believe health care 'reform' should be called health care 'overhaul.' The strong antipathy to this project is symptomatic of the instability in life today. With nuclear proliferation, global warming, the constant threat of terrorism, fears of increasing natural disasters and world-wide warfare, people are simply afraid of major changes which might alter their lives significantly one way or another. Who really knows whether Obama's health plan will be successful? We do know that if the bill passes, it will mean major changes. With the plan covering over a thousand pages, even lawmakers must find it hard to discern what effect it will have on our nation in the days and years to come. It's a big risk to take. I hope a currently bad health care situation doesn't turn worse.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  61. Lee Felsenstein

    We have plenty of evidence that the talking points shouted to disrupt the meetings are based on falsehoods, yet the media treats the whole thing as a spectacle, reporting "evenhandedly" on what is being said rather than digging into the truth of the matter. When is someone going to report not only who, what, when and where, but why, and for extra credit, how these crowds of deluded people got to where they are? The public might learn about the money and effort expended by well-funded front organizations to make these loud crowds appear.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:38 am |
  62. phreejax

    “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.”
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    I have worked within the healthcare industry for almost 30 years. In 1993 I was one (of a large and unknown number) of advisor’s to the Clinton administration’s Health Care Taskforce. Debate on that reform effort quickly was moved by its opponents from the Congressional floor of competing ideas, to TV sound bites. Not even a President could in 1993, or can today in 2009, compete with the deep pockets and media buys of a major special interest.
    I’m disgusted that 16 years later, the current reform effort is failing for the same three reasons as its predecessor in 1993:
    (1) Huge health plan industry investment for lobbying and propaganda / misinformation;
    (2) Exploitation of an uninformed electorate, created by the lack of informed (and informing) reportage on the real story; and,
    (3) The unwillingness/inability of heath care reform advocates to respond to the status quo’s propaganda in like kind (and/or point to #1 or #2 above as the major issues that they are).

    Back in 1993, it was well known in the Third House that the health insurance industry’s biggest lobby group (HIAA, now part of AHIP … again, today, a wealthy opponent of Obama’s reform ideas) had a big “war chest” and was committed to spending “any amount of money” to defeat health care reform.

    In 1993 HHIAA did spend their millions, and they did kill heath care reform … against the interests of their own insureds and the American people. HIAA spent those $millions on lobbying and PR, most memorably the "Harry and Louise" TV commercials, created in 1993 under a HIAA contract by Ben Goddard and Rick Claussen of Sacramento, CA. Their firm, Goddard-Claussen, subsequently was purchased for big bucks by one of the world’s largest PR / political influence firms, Porter/Novelli.

    Gee, Porter/Novelli - now including the healthcare industry’s proven junkyard dog, Goddard-Claussen - is part of the enormous and powerful Omnicom Group, and the former Porter/Novelli chairman, Bill Novelli, (the man who bought Harry & Louise’s creators since he saw that kind of potent TV propaganda could make a profit) is now the CEO of the powerful and supposedly independent AARP.

    Do you think we will ever have intelligent, public discussion of healthcare reform, or any other policy issue, without the free and informed reporting our founding fathers considered the core of America? Yeah, sure.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:32 am |
  63. Sharon

    Lots of health care fraud going on unfortunately by health care providers and i know that from first hand experience having caught one. Am not sure that the doctors are necessarily to blame but that many of the insurance handlers that work for them are doing the dirty deeds or was i believe in my case. Its a vicious circle of of health care cost and insurance costs together everyone wants there share and we the people are caught in the middle then end up with no health care or very little for our buck.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:31 am |
  64. Sharon

    Shame on the republicans at these town hall meetings. They should be polite enough to ask questions and then be quiet enough to allow the answers to be heard. Creating havoc so nothing is learned or heard is childish. Are the republicans afraid that the democrats might actually come up with a viable plan that might actually work. I am retired and also a G.M. retiree that has lost lots of insurance benifits recently and would like to hear answers not orchitrated noise that is helping nothing but is showing how really imature some of our politlical or so called political leaders are.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:23 am |
  65. ronvan

    Town Hall "PROTESTORS": For those that cannot control themselves, I say jail & fine time! There IS a difference of having the right of free speach, and being so unruly that you deny others of their rights! Do you really think you are helping? You have simply become unknowing pawns for those with the $$$$ that do not care about the American people. I would love to see CNN & others, interview some of these people to find out just how well informed they are on the subjects they are arguing.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:17 am |
  66. Chayce

    I am absolutely against the Healthcare plan. I believe this plan will bring the U.S. economy down more than it is. I don't believe it'll bring us to a depression, but it'll bring our economy down. It won't bring everyone health care and those who get it from this plan won't get much. Obama says it'll be good for the country, but I don't think it will. Republicans as long as some Democrats don't want Goverment-run Healthcare. So it proves that most Americans do NOT want the plan to be passed.

    August 11, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  67. ronvan

    CNN: Forget 100 -200 days. Set up a program, on TV & computer, listing every one of our "elected officials", and those that think they are, I.E. Rush, Palin, etc.. Next to their names put 2 boxes. Truth/Lie. Then everytime one of these people make a statement have some "neutral" people find out if that statement is accurate. Based upon the findings you check a box. I would go so far as to put a 3rd box which reads "liar". Maybe then these people would think twice about making some of those outlandish, downright stupid comments.
    Heck, maybe they might even start reading about the programs they are trying to sink!

    August 11, 2009 at 5:59 am |
  68. Collin

    Healthcare Reality Check

    For all those Americans who choose to bash the Canadian Healthcare system and oppose a Public Option, here’s a reality check. Your healthcare system is primarily based on profit first and the well-being of the patient second. Your healthcare system is functionally archaic. Bureaucrats (Insurance and Phama Companies) already run your healthcare system. Your healthcare system bankrupts individuals and families. Here’s the kicker, your healthcare system is really a Wealth-care system.

    The Canadian Healthcare system is broken down like this. 70% government run, 30% private (consisting of both profit and not-for-profit providers). Canadians have lower rates in nearly every chronic illness than Americans. Despite the fact that Canadians have a higher rate of doctor to patient ratio (1 for every 526) compared to 1 doctor for every 416 patients in American, Canadians have greater access to most medical care and is more likely to have a regular doctor. Regardless of income levels, the average Canadian receives similar care with the chance of a better outcome in comparison to insured Americans. Canada overall, pays half of what America does for healthcare per person . Life expectancy is also longer in Canada, and infant mortality rate is lower than that of the U.S. Oh yeah, another thing, the government has never gotten between my doctor and me nor have I been told which doctor I could or could not go to. If the American healthcare system so great then why do you have “Medical Fairs” where thousands of your own citizens have to wait for a “Fair” to pass through their town in order to get treatment? That’s unheard of in Canada.

    Here’s an idea, maybe Americans should stop saying they are the greatest country in the world. When you say that, you become complacent. Once upon a time, that statement may have been true – but not today. It would be better to say, “America is a great country, but we can always strive to be better!” When a country is afraid or unwilling to care for its own citizens especially the vulnerable, that is nothing to be proud of. I can assure you the vast majority of Canadians and people from other industrialized countries who have Universal Healthcare systems are not eager to be caught up in America’s healthcare approach. Sorry to break the news to you, but it is what it is! America, I know you to do better. Show the world you can step up to the challenge and stop with the rhetoric, fear tactics and understand the facts for yourself. All you are doing is hurting yourselves. Better yet, do nothing for another 16 years and then see how the tone will change.

    August 11, 2009 at 2:54 am |
  69. Phil Grigg, FL.

    THE problem with the "universal health care" currently being debated in congress is all in one word; "care". Just take the word "care" out of the title and change it to what it really is; "universal health INSURANCE". Then explain that the Government will offer this "insurance" coverage to all citizens as an option to the profit driven private insurance companies, and explain in the same details as a private insurance company would, what is and is not covered, what the co-pay is, and what if any maximum benifits there are , and what it will cost the consumer. Plain simple words. Then let Americans decide if they want to continue paying huge premiums to the insurance industry, or pay into a new, Government run insurance plan.

    August 10, 2009 at 10:29 pm |