American Morning

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August 10th, 2009
05:25 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Monday August 10, 2009

Anita Rossi argues against Democratic Party health care proposals, shouting 'It's my money' on August 8, 2009 in Brighton, Colorado. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
Anita Rossi argues against Democratic Party health care proposals, shouting 'It's my money' on August 8, 2009 in Brighton, Colorado. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • Today marks the beginning of a make-or-break month for health care reform in this country, as lawmakers go home for recess and face town halls across the nation.  They’re hearing from many people who seem genuinely mad.  But today in a USA Today op-ed, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer say the attacks on health insurance reform are “un-American “ and many of those louder protesters are misrepresenting the truth.  We’ll talk to one congressman who cancelled meetings in his hometown over a death threat.  And the main event –  a no-nonsense debate of our own, between Ron Reagan and Larry Elder.
  • A dire warning from the Pentagon's top man on the ground in Afghanistan.  General Stanley McChrystal tells the Wall Street Journal the Taliban is winning in Afghanistan, forcing the U.S. to change its strategy.  He says that'll mean more U.S. casualties, as the pentagon puts U.S. forces into more heavily-populated areas.  We’re live at the Pentagon with the military’s response.
  • Where will Superman get changed now??  This morning we're paying tribute to something you rarely see these days: phone booths.  They used to be everywhere in New York City.  Today, cell phones and wi-fi hot spots are driving pay phones off the market.  Richard Roth tracked down the last booths in New York to find out who will be most affected if they disappear.  How many do you think are left?

Filed under: What's On Tap
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. a. fortier

    i am a canadian and tired of hearing us citizen cretecize our health care system. it is one of the best in the world. sure we have to wait hours after triage but once the system takes you in charge it is a good effecient and quality system. no one die because they cannot afford to be treated.

    2 years ago i had a blood infection that was treated for 10 weeks with antibiotic at a cost of $225.00 a week and the cost for the last 2 weeks of the treatement was $975.00 . that cost exclude my 7 days stay at the hospital and the professionnal cost which were paid by the system.

    as for canadian going to the us for treatment show me how many did. it only happen occasionnally for specific reason and situation.

    tell me how much it cost for heart by pass surgery or transplant in the us. in canada the cost to the patient is $000,000.00.

    years ago in the us the wife of a retiered executive of a multi national company got cancer. the treatment cost her husband over $2,000,000.00. it took all his saving away and still his wife died. he was left with no noney or assets to carry on. he suicided himself a few months later. is that a better system.

    investigate how many us citizen go to india for major surgery that cost tens of thousands of dollars in the us but between $12,000.00 and $25,000.00 in india including a 1 month vacation after surgery. all performed in first class hospital, clean, well staffed and with extremely competent doctors all trained in the us.

    finally a personel experience with the us health care system; 10 years ago i was in santa monica. wy wife suffered a bad head ache. we went to the hospital for exams and treatment. within 3 hours we were out with a total bill of $2250.00 us plus a pain prescription. in canada my only cost at the time would have been $0.00.

    i think that the us citizens should put all that energy and rage against the wall street bankers and their fraudulent loan application that provided loans to people that in the first place could not afford them. and what about the billion$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in bonusses they collected along the way wit their tax money. the agitator should have town meeting on that subject.

    our cost: 2.70 % of the gross salary paid by the employer.

    regards

    andre fortier

    August 11, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  2. Saundra

    I believe there are real people, not planted people at the town hall meetings. I believe this because everyone I talk to feels the same even if they believe there is nothing they can do and so they don't take any action.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  3. Chris

    The polls on Health care debate that 70-80% do not need a health care or ok with what they haved, will not accurately reflect the actual number because the people that needed it most do not have access to computer, phone or other gadgets to be polled. Therefor the real poll to reflect the need must be taken to the street, homeless shelter or skid roll etc. There is a great need for Govt sponsored insurance.

    Chris- Los Angeles

    August 10, 2009 at 7:39 pm |
  4. riley

    Ten percent out of everyones paycheck......that should cover healthcare.......if we are going to have universal health care everyone should contribute at least the legal work force.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  5. Peter Cronig

    HAVE A NATIONAL LOTTERY GAME LIKE MEGA MILLIONS OR POWER BALL TO HELP PAY FOR NATIONAL HEALTH CARE.

    I have an idea that I know others have probably mentioned. People in this country love to play the lottery. Especially the Mega Millions and the Powerball. Money from these lotteries help the States to fund education, etc.. It is now time to have a National Lottery with the proceeds that will go exclusively to the needs of the people for such services as HEALTH CARE, MEDICARE, AND MEDICAID. Make each ticket ($5.00) Five Dollars. Play the game once a week. Have the drawing be from 50 numbers for the first five numbers chosen and 50 numbers for the National Ball Number. Example 2, 30, 34, 42, 45 (42). Let the jackpot keep rolling over each week if not won on the previous week. It could be the biggest lottery ever. I think the Mega Millions and Powerball actually raise double the amounts shown as the jackpot. So when they say the jackpot is $100 Million, they have actually raised $200 Million. Then in addition if someone wins, the lottery actually gets a percentage of the winners proceeds and the winner has to then pay taxes to the Federal Government and the State Government. It is a win win situation for everyone. Could you imagine fully paying for National Health Care and the possibility of a person winning 1 billion dollars if the National Lottery gets large enough. The right wing may have a problem with it, but they have a problem with everything. It won't hurt the states, it could help them if they didn't have to pay as much to Medicare or Medicaid. Millions of people play the lottery everyday. Why not use a National Lottery Game as a way of solving these problems. You can run the lottery through each post office or any other place where you buy a computerized lottery ticket. A separate lottery machine or two could be installed in each Post Office. We should Give it try

    Thank You
    Peter

    August 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  6. CHUCK

    SARAH PALIN IS SO STUPID THAT ANYONE CAN GIVE HER A SCRIPT TO READ WHETHER IT'S GOOD OR BAD AND SHE WILL READ IT OUT. THIS WOMAN AND MANY OTHERS LIKE HER IS PULLING THE GOOD OLD USA DOWN DOWN DOWN. IT'S TIME FOR BIGOTS LIKE SARAH PALIN TO SHUT UP AND ALLOW THE MESS CREATED BY THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO GET CLEANED UP.

    August 10, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  7. James

    You’re legitimizing Larry Elder so he can be at the same level as Ron Regan Wow? Who does Larry Elder speak for again? I wonder how many black people Larry Elder speaks for. You should have done Larry elder and Louis Farrakhan that would have bin much more dramatic for your morning show laughing out loud. Why every time I turn on the news I find a bunch of moderates speaking on liberal talking point, and I find a lot Right wing Republicans Calling them self Moderates. Headline for CNN Morning Bush is gone yet Cnn still afraid of liberals. So you continue legitimizing your illegitimate children like Lou Dobbs, Larry Elder, and Rush Limbaugh you just have to be on the fringe or know how to shout to get on CNN. I don’t know a true American Christian that not for health Care; whether or not you say it’s Obama Care, even if you think that black people are taking over your health care. Health care for all Americans, there is no debate on this issue. Go on Keep trying to scare Americans.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  8. lynn

    So CNN has decided that August is the "make or break" month for health care. I thought it was the media's job to report and the elected officials to decide on the legislative schedule!!

    CNN, you constantly overstep your boundaries, and in doing yourself, you diminish yourself. That was apparently clear in the shambles of the "report card" you touted for weeks and then are reluctant to state that the republicans got a "d" as did you!!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  9. Nick

    Now I know why it appears that everyone on this site supports socialized healthcare. CNN simply doesn't post opposing views. Left media manipulates elections, policy and leads the charge as America becomes the new USSA ( United Socialist States of America) and CNN leads the charge.

    Post some opposition views, look at the polls, there is plenty of opposition. I have sent several post that never seam to make it on your site. Hate speech seems to be tolerated and perhaps encouraged as long as it is Left Wing Hate Speech.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  10. joyce stengel

    Bernice, most polls show that more Americans want heath reform!!

    August 10, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  11. joyce stengel

    The thugs who are shown disrupting town meetings must not be planning to collect social security and medicare because that is socialization!!!!! Joyce Stengel

    August 10, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  12. joyce stengel

    President Obama gets it right!! He has boosted the housing market, the stock market, and companies are showing gains, the bleeding unemployment has curbed some, so he must know what he is doing. The thugs that get on tv are a minority, and I guess on the losing team. I was a registered republican in NJ, and have since moved to Florida, I will register Independent and never vote rep. again in my life. Joyce Stengel

    August 10, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  13. Mark

    I agree the Republicans are spreading lies and the sheep follow.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:16 am |
  14. Nancy Merrell

    I am so tired of this selfish attitude that seems to be growing when it comes to health care reform. I teach middle school reading, so I do not have a lot of extra money at the end of each month, but I say if raising my taxes will help give insurance to someone who needs it...do it! I volunteer to have MY taxes increased in order to help others. I know I can't be the only one who thinks like this, can I.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  15. Alexandra

    I would have much more respect for the loud voices against healthcare reform if more of their arguments were based on facts and reasoned arguments.

    For example, it is very disingenuous to equate end-of-life planning (i.e. working with seniors to make sure their wishes are known regarding resuscitation orders, the use of ventilators to prolong life, etc.) with euthanasia. They are not even remotely the same.

    And for those of you who want to chose your own doctors, who is saying you can't? Certainly, there is no part of any bill now being discussed that changes your ability to choose your own doctor.

    And for those of you who don't want to pay for the uninsured, who do you think is paying for them now? We are. They simply wait until they are extremely sick and then show up in our emergency rooms (the most expensive form of care in our system).

    And for those seniors who are carrying around protest signs about keeping "government" out of their healthcare, who the frig do you think runs Medicare?

    I am a hard-working female who didn't rack up credit card bills that I couldn't afford, who is paying for a financial rescue that I had no part in creating, yet I know enough that we can't continue down the path we are on now re: health care. If you want to have a reasoned discussion about what healthcare should look like, I'm in. If you want to shout stupid slogans and unsubstantiated garbage based on whipped-up fears, this independent voter isn't listening (loud doesn't make you right, it just makes you loudly stupid).

    August 10, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  16. Jan

    I don't understand these people who are saying that it will be Socialized Medicine. Do they not realize that is what Medicare and Medicade are? I'll bet these same people are on Social Security. We have 2 insurnaces that we pay for, one of which is Medicare. We're both retired and in our 70's. We are on Social Security and also have our retirements from both of us working for 40 years. My husband had either food poisining or the flu and got very dehydrated while were were out of town and he had to go to the ER. He was told his kidneys were failing and was hospitilized. He was there less than 48 hours and our bill was over $10,000!!!! Of that we had to pay over $900 with 2 insurnaces. We pay for the 2nd ins. to pick up where Medicare leaves off, but as you can see it doesn't do a very good job. They only major test he had was an ultra-sound. The rest was lab work and the meds in his IV's. None of this includes the doctors bills.

    I don't understand how these people who are screaming at these meeting think that they are going to solve anything. They must be listening to that fool from Alaska, Sarah Palin. What a joke she is, but that's another story. Come on folks this country needs a Health Care Plan for everyone, not just a select few. The insurnace companies tell us what we can have done and what we can't and sometimes by the time they decide it's ok for treatment it's too late for the patient and that's here in America, not Canada.

    Please start thinking with your head and not listening to all those who are just doing it because of politics or the fact that they don't want something like this to happen when Obama is President. I'm white and glad that I'm not a racist. Please for the sake of your families and families lets get this done or the insurance companies will be running this country if they already aren't.

    August 10, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  17. Bill New York

    To AMFIX

    People should read the bill before opening their mouth about it.
    Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.
    The main problem that I see with health care is the Great profit margins that the Insurance company's are taking They want to live like kings while we fight over penny's, Hospitals used to be non-profit but now look at how the administrators live, Great houses and life style.
    Also on a note;
    Why does anyone listen to "Trailer Trash" Sara Palen, She always talks out of her ass. It is oblivious that she did not read the bill, by her statement. Sara the lamb following the command of her boss.

    Bill, Upstate NY

    August 10, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  18. Bruce

    Whether the town hall obstructionists are orchestrated or not is less of an issue than the misinformation and its source fueling them. If their claims were true or even believable, their outrage would be justified. Free speech is one thing, but the spreading of lies by Republicans and certain media outlets to incite the gullible masses is un-American and disgraceful. And gullible masses they are... they don't even realize that they're the dupes of a Republican machine interested in preserving the wealth of the few at the expense of those screaming the loudest.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  19. TAM

    IF PEOPLE WOULD TAKE THE TIME TO FIND OUT WHAT THE BILL REALLY COVERS I FEEL THEY WOULD BE BETTER INFORMED. GOING TO A TOWN HALL MEETING AND HAVING A SHOUTING MATCH IS JUST WHAT THE REPULICANS WANT TO GET PEOPLE FOCUSED ON THE DISTRACTIONS AND NOT THE REAL PROBLEM WHICH IS HEALTH CARE REFORM. CNN CAN YOU STOP SAYING THAT AUGUST IS THE MONTH THAT WILL MAKE OR BREAK HEALTH CARE . THERE ARE STILL 4 MONTHS LEFT IN THE YEAR IF YOU WOULD LOOK AT YOUR CALENDAR.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:50 am |
  20. Ann

    If Town Hall's are being canceled, then they get what they wanted. Bullies who keep the public from being educated are what we are fighting in the sand, and is wrong.

    Shakespeare said, "Me thinks thou protest too much", just let people talk and acting like an emotional three year old should not be covered at this level.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  21. Jane D Crawford

    Everyone is so concerned about the government control of health care they need to look at how health insurance and the pharmaceutical industries control their health care. Pharmaceuticals decide what medicines are researched. Their decisions are based on profit. The insurance companies make decisions, such as, pre-existing health problems. I think Big Brother (private industry) is already making decisions for us

    August 10, 2009 at 8:48 am |
  22. Carole

    Odds are: Most of these people either are on or have a family member on Medicare or Medicaid.

    DID ANYONE NOTICE THEY ARE MOSTLY WHITE RACE AND SEEM TO BE PEPPERED WITH THE RACIST BANNERS? THIS IS ABOUT THE RACE OF THE PRESIDENT WITH THESE PEOPLE.

    The Republicans will be responsible for all the people who's insurance rips them off turning down treatment and the health care system collapse.

    The Rethugs had eight years and did nothing.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  23. Ryan H

    I'm 26 and a Type I diabetic. My costs average $800+ a month. I was laid-off a couple months ago. COBRA will soon run out and I have yet to find a job in the tech industry. Give me a public option! Remove the ability for insurers to deny coverage based on pre-exsisting conditions. I didn't cause my diabetes, I am healthy, I workout, I am fit.

    I am not obese, I rarely eat junk food, I don't litter, why should I be punished for something I cannot control? Why do I have to shop for the cheapest insurance option that refuses to provide me with my insulin pump supplies? I'm saddened by older Americans selfishly hijacking this debate. Give your kids or grandkids a decent shot in this world, not one in which they'll have to compete for healthcare but one that they won't have to worry!

    August 10, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  24. fwj

    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 benefitting from while there are people like me who have nothing. Now it has all turned into true chaos with no one benefitting. Every timr 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.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:39 am |
  25. Chris B.

    I have been watching American Morning every day for over a year, and I think I can say Ron Reagan was the best guest you've had so far. Bring him back!

    August 10, 2009 at 8:38 am |
  26. maplesugar

    Re: Story of Oxycontin addicts in Maine turning to cheaper street heroin.

    John Roberts, I agree that it's interesting that a legal drug seems to have become a gateway to an illegal drug.

    It's also interesting that Afgan poppy farmers, organized crime, with dozens of middlemen along the way, can provide a cheaper alternative painkiller than US pharmaceutical companies.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  27. mike-sey

    How can a nation with so many smart people and so much wealth look so much like a dysfunctional third world country.

    An outsider, watching the long lines at occasional free/ charity medical clinics, and then seeing the violent behaviour of groups at health care town halls, and hearing the flat-out lies being told by Conservative lobbyists, commentators and supposedly responsible politicians, can only be reminded of the whipping up of Brown shirted mobs to stifle debate in Germany during the 1930's.

    No wonder the US is losing in Afghanistan if it took eight years for the US military to remember the lessons of Vietnam and realize that defeating an insurgency requires more than search and destroy missions and massive amounts of death-dealing technology.

    It's helping the poor and the people (or giving that Robin Hood impression) that helps El Chapo survive and his drug business prosper. Unfortunately, the US gives the impression even at home that it just doesn't get it.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:36 am |
  28. Margaret

    The biggest problem with the heath care reform bill, is that most Americans' (including myself), have no real knowledge of what the bill really is and how it would affect us! I've yet to hear any complete, detailed information. Unfortunately,we do here all of the half truths and warnings of a "socialist" system from the GOP, who are against change or reform of any kind because it would disrupt their bottom line, which is profit! The GOP now has to blur the lines between fact and fiction and "Tap Dance" around any bill or issues that won't appease, the lobbyist who fund them. And the Dems, don't provide us with enough intelligent information! Moreover, for what little information I do know about the bill, it seems to only address an "alternative" option, vs. reform of the current corrupt system!
    At this juncture, I don't think it's wish for the President to pass a bill, just for the sake of making "milestones" based upon his campaign promises. It would be more beneficial to the average "working class" and poor, to make the big health insurance giants accountable for their greed and actions, RIGHT NOW!!!!

    August 10, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  29. Connie Ragle

    Don't these lawmakers understand that they work for us? We are their bosses. Would we back able to get away with ducking out on a meeting with our bosses because we didn't like what he/she/they had to say? The public is outraged at this healthcare bill and have a right to express it to those that will eventually be making decisions on it. Do these lawmakers think they work for Obama and not the taxpayers? Any lawmaker that will not have a town hall meeting or open discussion because they don't like what they will hear, should be voted out of office. These town hall meetings are concerned and outraged citizens and to refute them they are being called orchestrated and controlled. Not so. Everyone in my community would do the same thing and we are made up of Dems, Reps, and Independents. We are all outraged and would tell our representatives so - so write letters to these cowards and let them know that we won't stand for them doing this to us. Anyone that isn't outraged has either not read the bill or has had a lobotomy!

    August 10, 2009 at 8:32 am |
  30. Derse Smith (pronounced Dersey)

    Last week, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explained the costs of the President's proposed Health Care Plan (by income range). The unbelievable annual cost in my bracket – $3,500 MORE per year than I'm currently paying! Once again, I was shocked and appalled. As a single 55-year-old woman (an independent contractor/REALTOR), I pay $440/mo for major medical ... with exclusions for the very things I am concerned will affect my health and ability to work. In 2008, I was paying a whopping $660/mo on COBRA - during a period of having no monthly income! And we wonder why we get in credit card debt! The self-employed should be allowed an affordable GROUP plan with no pre-existing condition clauses.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  31. Hamilton R

    people that are scared of the government plan really need to relax. The government is not going to force anybody to take the plan that is offered by the government....

    thats like the government forcing everybody just to buy a GM car because they have invested our money into them to bail them out.

    No it is not required to buy a GM car you can still go and buy whatever car that you like american or not.

    So again, the president has said you can still choose who you want.......

    all the experts that have actually read the fine print have also stated you can choose what plan you want.

    you dont have to change your current plan if you like it.

    And please stop comparing the plan to some other plans used in other countries. this is a plan for the United States.

    Imagine if Social Security was not started and they tried to start that program today. Yes everybody has an opinion, but sometimes the government does try to do something that will help those that need it.

    Some type of healthcare improvement plan like this will help. If you don't like it ignore it.

    We as a people need to stop thinking about ourselves. We will only improve society once we start looking at life and this country as WE the people, not I the people. Directly or indirectly we all have to chip in to help each other out to advance our local and national communities.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  32. Sam

    I am sick of the jerks disrupting the townhall meetings. They are there for a reason. The reason being trying to stop Pres. Obama and our senators and representatives from doing something about our health care system. Our health care system is a joke. It is a money making scheme for the insurance companies that have been screwing us for years and years. The rude jerks disrupting the townhall meetings should have their asses kicked out of the meetings, so that people can discuss their concerns. Why do we tolerate such behavior? And, there should be an investigation as to who hired those jerks to disrupt the townhall meetings.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  33. Peter

    I am a construction worker, and I loose my insurance every time I get laid off and cannot afford it at that time because it is too expensive. Have you ever heard about $10,000 deductibles? Well I did....The voices of the uninsured are unheard, and we need help. Listen to the things that the plan may include and do not be mislead. It is a multi billion dollar business; you must find resistance. Most people who have insurance is the ones that don't see the urgancy for reform, and also the greedy insurance companies.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:23 am |
  34. Peggy

    I would just like to know why the democrates always put the blame off on republicans. They never take the blame for anything. These town hall meetings are people who are scared. I don't want my tax dollars paying for some NON AMERICANS healthcare...Who doesn't want to use her own money on healthcare. I know a certain person that wants gov run healthcare but her extra money she spends on tatoos and a boob job. Why should the gov. help her?
    We own a small company and things are not good. We used to have about 40 employees now we only have 10 and we only have about 6 more weeks of work left right now hopefully that will change but if not we will be laying off more. The bad thing about it is our daughters work for us. Its scarry...

    August 10, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  35. Phyllis Andrews

    It is total nonsense that the government will counsel you to end your life early. I am 63 and I am a staunch supporter of a health care plan. By the way, YOUR congressman is having input into this plan. It ISN'T Obama's plan. It will be a compromise made by congress (Republicans, Democrats and Blue Dog Democrats) and other entities like insurance companies, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. The reason we are working on it is that US health care costs are higher than in any other major country. Health care costs will bankrupt your children if we DON'T have a health care plan, not if we DO. Someone is trying to scare you by saying the government will counsel you to end your life. Please understand that and support what is best for our country and its citizens.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:20 am |
  36. Delores Gee-Pailin

    It is my opinion that a National, basic health care system would be a security blanket plus for all Americans. Testing and medicine maintenance could be the beginning basis of the program. Later, specific additional services could be added, resulting from survey statistics that would be gathered from start-up of the program. I feel that many of the starched opponents against President Obama’s Health Care Plan are afraid it would take away from their already heavily funded wallets.

    Where would millions of retired Americans be today had not President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the insight to sign the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935?

    Delores Gee-Pailin

    August 10, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  37. CHUCK

    IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT WHITE AMERICA HAS NO INTENTIONS OF ALLOWING A BLACK PRESIDENT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN HEALTH CARE REFORM . THE PROOF IS IN THE PICTURES AT THE TOWN HALL MEETINGS. SOME OF THE WHITE PEOPLE WHO ARE CAUSING THE DISRUPTION REALLY DON'T HAVE A CLUE ABOUT HEALTH CARE BUT THEY ARE STILL PROTESTING WHETHER IT'S GOOD OR BAD AND THIS IS VERY SCARY. IT'S SAD TO SAY THAT AMERICANS DISRUPTING THE TOWN HALL MEETING ARE ACTING WORST THAN THIRD WORLD CITIZENS AND SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR THEIR BEHAVIOUR.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  38. Phyllis Andrews

    Currently most people who have health insurance receive it through their employer. If they become sick and lose their job, they won't be able to get health insurance because their sickness is an existing condition. If this happens to enough of these protesters, maybe they will see the light.

    We are the richest country in the world. Why is the richest country too cheap to provide a minimum level of health care for all citizens? Oh, yes, these poor people DO receive care but it is in the emergency room, the most expensive way to be cared for. All other civilized countries offer health care to their poorest. What would Jesus do if he lived here today?

    August 10, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  39. rebecca mcneilly

    What are these people thinking? What kind of control do they have now with there health care? If you are lucky enough to have a job that helps you pay for your health care you have no choices. You take what they offer or you pay for it. We now know why Palin quit her Mayor job. The health insurance companies are probably paying her to spread false and over blown STORIES to create fear and panic.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:08 am |
  40. Saundra Robinson

    Please America – get honest – the issue of ...'government deciding health care... '- who do you think currently decides? Certainly not the patient or your doctor – with Medicaid, Medicare – the government!! and with health insurance, managed care, it is the insurance companies – but as a physician, I have fought MORE with insurance companies to get benefits, including prescription drug approval, for my patients than I have had to fight the government – so, in the end, health care decisions are USUALLY the result of insurance companies saving money – and that will continue to be true, no matter WHO is making the final decision – and doctors, like myself, will continue to fight for what is medically best for the patient – and the saga will continue...what we will never have, in this country, is good health care for everyone – because everyone wants the best health care but doesn't want to pay for it... that is the riddle of the century...

    August 10, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  41. Suzy Hart

    To find out if protests are staged, town halls should have police ask for ID's at the door so attendees can prove county residency, and then ask every one over 65 who is opposed to "government" health plans to sign a statement giving up their Medicare benefits. That will put more money in the system for people who really need it. Because apparently, angry Republicans don't need or want Medicare, right?

    August 10, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  42. Saundra Akers

    I am very concerned about the proposed health care bill. First I'm appalled at the level of proposed government intervention that will occur for seniors. I fear we will be considered dispensable because we require too much care and will be "counseled" to end our life sooner. If we don't accept that counseling, then the care we will recieve will be rationed until we die from lack of care.

    Even if the above doesn't happen, no one will have care when it is needed, only when it's our turn and everyone knows that, illness doesn't come on a schedule. Having care when you actually need it is paramount.

    Also, I dislike government intervention in my life and understand that I will have to purchase this care whether I want or not or be penalized. Other insurance will be driven out of existance. Countries with a similar system are not satisfied with their health care. Certainly there are some things that can be improved with health care as well as anything else, but this isn't it. The people who it is supposed to serve will not be served...they won't be able to get the care they now get at clinics and emergency room, so they won't be happy either Hospitals won't be able to expand without government approval. It's a mess! I say to my congress people, Please don"t pass this bill.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:07 am |
  43. Jabari E

    Linda,

    We hear you. And we agree. The ugly truth needs to be exposed for the majority to embrace change. I am an independent, and I agree with logical reasoning, not 18th century MOB politics.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:06 am |
  44. jay m

    These town hall protesters are fake, they are ignorant people sent by the Republicans and the insurance lobbyist,

    August 10, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  45. Bill

    The tragedy of the town halls is that they are based on ignorance. Folks to not read; do not learn and do not understand. We are 37th in the world in health care quality; our costs rise each year and our coverage diminishes. We have the most complex and costly health care system in the world. Thinking that insurance companies will operate in our best interests is inconsistent with the facts. It is interesting that most of the folks who are angry have coverage and are middle class as opposed to the folks who do not have coverage. Study the plans and the current situation and then see how we can solve it. Our current system is broken and the Republicans have yet to come with any plan except status quo. They had eight years to do something and did nothing. Now they are using sound bites that are not true – witness the lunacy of Sarah Palin – this is our future leader? I think not.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:05 am |
  46. eliz wolfgang

    Here we go again.. All I hear is whining and complaining. Do everyone a favor and raise taxes so that we can all move on. It is going to take a miracle to get health care reform passed because no one wants it to pass, i.e. the republicans, some democrats, insurance companies, drug companies. Everbody is out to make a buck off the poor and the middle class. I agree with Linda. Oh, Bernice, you need to lock yourself in a room so that you can look at yourself in a mirror and see what looks back at you. President Obama is trying to make a change, Change is good. Why maintain the status quo? Be open and not blind to it. We are all in this together. Something has to be done. People are sick and dying.

    The Devil is truly walking this Earth today. Be careful who you walk with.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  47. Ma

    We are every time voting citizens of this country.We see that our congress and our President aren't listening to the average voters on Health Care. NOBODY we have talked to wants what they are attempting to do to our health care, in order to cover a small percentage of people.
    We will end up with government run health care because private insurance will become too expensive for most.
    You bet people are talking and meeting and writing/calling our congress members, and even writing our President though we know he isn't listening. We are going to contribute and offer our support to legislators who fight this awful health care mess. This is what law abiding citizens do. Look at our history books. We are going to vote these people out of office if they do this to the voters of the greatest health care country on the planet.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  48. Tito

    How can any one be outraged by a plan that doesn't exist yet? What exactly are they protesting?

    August 10, 2009 at 8:02 am |
  49. Jayne

    The massive protests against health care reform make no sense at all. Many of the protesters appear to be older Americans who already have government-sponsored Medicare. They seem to have an "I've got mine, to heck with you" mentality. Other protesters don't seem to realize that a goal of reform is to have their insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles reduced. I'm afraid the majority of those screaming and yelling are ignorant people being manipulated by wealthy lobbyists and wealthier talk radio hosts. As my husband is fond of saying, they're rich because people are dumb.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  50. Mark

    OK, so the insurance companies are the Hitler, the Republicans are being paid by the insurance companies to go out and shot down health care so they are the SS.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  51. George Stark

    I think they should get rid of medicare for a year and see how many old Goats would be against goverment health care........ tell them to get off the back of taxpayers! This is stupid! Ask the employers the people are paying for health care it is out of hand. If you ask some one who has health care paid by there employer they think the system is fine well it is not.

    August 10, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  52. joy nicholl

    I think all of the protests are to scare people from listening to the truth and mostly orchestrated by the republicans and insurance companies. the republicans want Obama to fail and look foolish because the republications lost the election and want to gain ground for the 2010 elections. All this is about politics and not the interest of the public. The public should wake up and realize (just like the 2000 Bush v Gore election) that this is just a bully static. Wake up people and demand to have your legitimate questions addressed. Its not about Obama – its about your health coverage. Don't listen to the outlandish lies desiminated by the republican party. They are getting paid by the insurance and health care companies to disrupt these town hall meetings.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  53. Mark

    When it comes to Health Care. I think the problem with these protesters getting so violent is because the Republicans are lying to them. They are getting them afraid they are going to end up like the people President Obama is trying to help. The Republicans just about have them thinking they are going to be treated like the Jews during World War II.
    You know who are being treated like the Jews in WWII? It's the people who don't have insurance, it's the individual who have to buy his own insurance. Who is the Hitler? It's the Republicans and the insurance companies who want to deny people health care by dening the health insurance or deny coverage by exclusions. Go figure, they are the Hitler here. Don't let them fool you.
    We can help people all around the world but we can't help our own people here because the Republican and the health insurance companies are greedy. They are so greedy they want to chose who will live or die to increase their profit.
    If you want to kill people go out and protest and deny people health insurance, enable the true Hitlers.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  54. Daisy21

    The townhall protests are real. Americans are concerned with the cost of the reforms (which have now morphed into "health insurance reform" from "healthcare reform"(. They are concerned about the speed that this and many other changes are being rammed down their throats by the Democrat controlled government. Organized protests are never questioned by the media when they are conducted by left wing and Democrat groups. Why now? It appears it is because many (not all) people involved are conservative.
    One suggestion for health "care" reform is serious torte reform. That will never happen since the Democrat Party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the trial lawyer lobby. Reign in duplication of services between hospitals in the same areas to bring down costs. Stop unnecessary building projects. It is time to stop bashing yet another business (insurance) which seems to be the tactics of the Democrat Party.....they need to find a boogyman to scare the voters.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:55 am |
  55. Lydia

    EVERY American deserves healthcare. Whether u have the ability to pay or not. I would rather have the goverment involved, than my BCBS, who's sole job is to not approve my hospital bills.
    And besides, when did government become so bad?

    What do you say to children whose families cannot afford insurance?
    Here in Florida, many dentists refuse to accept Medicaid. There are children in pain, with rotten teeth here. I drove a six year old child 159 miles one way so that she could see a dentist that took us 2 years to find. The only dentist willing to accept her medicaid and treat her. Her only living parent, unemployed. It's like a third world country here. Not the great United States.

    If we can't give it to all,
    than take it away completely.
    MIlitary families, Medicaid, Medicare recipients say goodbye to your healthcare, paid for by the people!

    August 10, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  56. Joe

    It seems one of the high cost of doing business for health care is the cost of insuarance. This cost is passed on, and every hand that touches it adds cost.

    Instead of the current system of punishing doctors by suing them an alternative systeam of rewarding doctors with points for every procedure they do, and taking away points for every mistake. If they end up with a negative balance, they loose their license. Good doctors will practice, bad ones will not.

    Funds could me made available through a flat rate system to compensate individuals who are hurt by medical mistake. A life is priceless, however we live in a world of limited resources, and a sustainable value needs to be applied to medical mistakes, which is going to happen.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:51 am |
  57. Kev

    With respect to the Congressman from NC. Quit pointing fingers at some phantom "groups" at town halls. You slander people that do not agree as a "mob" with out a evidence of proof. No one contacted me– I CALLED my Local rep for his schecduled meeting.

    As for the 800lb gorrilla you pushing forward as health care. Why can't we fix the current systems first then enact minimul legistation that enable state/local Gov's to handle it?

    Kevin
    San Antonio

    August 10, 2009 at 7:49 am |
  58. Bill Bartlett

    Are the townhall protesters real, absolutely. Is what they are angry about real, not so much. This has the look of a carefully orchestrated effort to:
    a) preserve corporate profits, and campaign contributions.
    b) an attempt at any cost to deliver a defeat to the President.
    This is unique to the right wing in this country, primarily because of the status of conservative talk radio. It's a template that has been used before and here is how it works. Republican law makers, like Foxx of NC, or Palin (formerly) of AK, make outrageous claims, like "putting citizens to death". The right wing talkers led by Rush, certain cable news outlets and a host of blogs, repeat, embellish, and amplify this, creating genuine rage. If I thought these claims were real, I'd be outraged too. Then the paid lobby organizations point these angry people to events, where they can express their rage. And just to hone it to a fine point hold (mis) information sessions at the event, or immediately prior to the event. The majority of the media will cover this, because nothing drives ratings like a disaster or controversy.
    I think a great journalistic endeavor would be to do a "man on the street" type of interview with random protestors. Sample questions:
    "Do you have health insurance?"
    "How much have your premiums/deductibles gone up in the past five years?"
    "Do you believe that health insurance reform is really a plan to kill the elderly?"
    Maybe you can come up with some of your own.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  59. Linda

    What's the point of stating my concerns here? If you don't read it on the air, what will it influence? I live near Atlanta in a VERY Republican district and have felt disenfranchised for years here in Georgia with 2 Republican senators and nut-job representative Paul Broun. I firmly and unequivocally believe that the out-of-control protests at town hall meetings are orchestrated by right-wing pro-Republican groups, some of which are funded and operated by big oil and the huge health insurance and drug companies. They fear change because they fear that they will no longer be raking in the huge money in health care reform. This country cannot continue on its course–we are drowning in health care costs–people are going bankrupt every day . How about CNN reports about where we stand in health care in the world? In the developed world: I believe we are 37th in the developed world; our death rate for infants puts us near the bottom, we spend more than almost every other country and get less for it. I could go on and on. REPORT THOSE FACTS. the doctor who disrupted a Georgia town hall is afraid he will have to change the way he does business and makes money and I have no doubt he is a Republican who wants to disrupt honest debate.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  60. Lyn

    The problem with healthcare reform in this country is that it is being used as part of a campaign by a battered Republican Party to bring down a Democratic Government. The public is being bombarded by misinformation, incomplete facts, and downright lies about the healthcare plan from organizations supporting or supported by the Republican Party. Somehow, Democrats need to dispell these myths and distribute the facts to the American people. Even then, in a country where people tend to believe the remarkably bad information before the good, it's going to be difficult.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:30 am |
  61. Felix Bonilla

    We as americans do have the right to protest against what ever we believe in.I believe that we should take a look at this a bit closer.I am tired of insurance companies dictating what i need as far as treatment and at times,having to worry about getting sick in this country.In Englad and the majority of Europe,the doctors there will tell you that they are going to cure you ailment where in this country doctors here always say "Let's try to treat you with this".America,did you know that doctors here get a kick back from the medicine makers?Let's do our research before we jump into somthing we will regret.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  62. Robert

    If this is such a great health care plan that is being preposed by the government for the people...then the elected officals should be the first to sign up for the plan...then require every federal/government, city, town police, firefighters and elected offical to take this plan as their own!!!
    President Obama should be the very first to sign on the dotted line so that he and his family may stand in line, be rejected for health care!!

    August 10, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  63. rodge b

    When it comes to health care reform and taxes seems like Americans
    acted like being attacked by aliens and whats funny, all of their concerns are feed up by ads paid by insurance company. Just like
    Sarah Palin, she can't even answer what causes global warming?
    So, why commenting to this more complex issue?Now we're talking
    rights to protest...god bless America hope you guys deeply understand what's all about.Don't be feed up, know it by your own and
    be smart!

    August 10, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  64. Stevi Meredith

    I am sick of the healthcare protesters. Last week I took my mother to the emergency room on her doctor's orders to be admitted. We checked in at 7pm and it was 1am before she was seen and after 4am when she was admitted. The waiting room was jammed packed with people who were not emergency room sick and had no insurance. People were using the emrgency room for what would be routine doctor's visits if they had health care. People are dying because they don't have health care.

    Do the protester's have health care? Usually, people protest to gain rights. In this country, more often than not, people protest because they don't want to lose or share what they have.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  65. new10l3

    It's really scary watching these meetings. I am all for healthy (no pun intended) debate, but what I have been watching is more akin to a lynch mob mentality. The apparent plan to take the low road, even the ditch, and the lack of an intelligent alternative rather than screaming and shouting does not say much for our democratic system. No matter what the outcome, I just pray cooler heads prevail.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  66. Lee

    I am tiring of the the question about whether these town hall protests are real or fake. It's both. People have been incited with a lot of fake information on both sides and are exhibiting real emotions to the bad information. Take the case of Rep. Gene Green. People presumably against "socialized medicine" didn't realize they some of them were recipients. He should have also asked if any had ever gone to a VA hospital. I'm not saying I'm necessarily for universal care, but Americans need not fear with such rage this boogeyman called socialism. The spectre of socialism descended a long time ago. Social Security anyone?

    August 10, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  67. Fred Tondalo

    Bernice:
    This is not about PRESIDENT Obama’s Health care plan. This is about the fact that PRESIDENT Obama is BLACK, and you can’t handle that. You and the other bigots out there.

    Thank God my parents did not leave me a legacy of hatred towards others nor the spinelessness not to be honest about it if I were.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  68. Fred Tondalo

    August 5th, 2009 6:37 am ET

    All this screaming amounts to political terrorism. What needs to be done is that the congressmen need to have police at the meetings to enforce order. Yes these protesters amount to a MOB and that is not democracy it is rather an attempt to silence information in favor of rabid political emotion fostered by racist republicans who cannot handle the fact that America has grown past their hate and has grown up enough to elect a Black man for President.

    August 10, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  69. Hamilton R

    The trip to Mexico and the president. Banning guns will never happen, they should just make bullets EXPENSIVE..... we need to raise money, so they should put a huge tax on bullets, and people that do purchase bullets, because of the cost may track and limit where there bullets go. ie. not accidently misplacing them across the border.

    Also maybe they should put peoples SSN# on the bullets or some other identification, when people are held accountable for what they purchased like bullets..... they will think twice in reselling them to some criminal or losing them .

    Just a thought

    TAX bullets and scribe some I.D. on the bullets

    August 10, 2009 at 6:10 am |
  70. Bernice

    Maybe they should do what they were hired and elected to do for a change. Address and to answer the questions of the American People! I WAS a democrat. Not paid nor organized by ANYONE! I am a taxpaying citizen of the United States of America, and consider myself a patriot. I love my country, our people, and the privelege of having wonderful rights that are found in our Constituton! (and truely, I would love to keep them just the way that they are).

    We have questions that should be addressed, but they are not! We are being told lies, but not from the GOP! I am NOT a stupid lady, and feel strongly that WE THE PEOPLE are being highly misled! Look at all of the over spending that OUR children have to pay for all as treats to Congress? What??? Bribe for a signature? Using our own money against us? A MAJORITY DO NOT WANT THIS HEALTHCARE BILL TO PASS, and for very good AMERICAN reasons! Listen to the People!! It is them trying to speak to you! No thugs needed!! Just listen! Maybe they are protesting because they ARE AMERICANS! It is a right that you and I have and are able to enjoy. It is one of the wonderful rights given to us by our forefathers! Anyone who calls these people Un-American, just seems to be this way themselves. But then, n't her public ratings under 29% now? Should tell you something here! AMERICANS HAVE RIGHTS! USE THEM, before the rights to use them exist no more! Be kind, be strong, and loudly voice your opinions.. Educate yourselves first. After doing so, the democratic party will NEVER have my vote again. I do not ever wish to see HUGE govt. When we end up having that, our words will mean nothing.

    August 10, 2009 at 5:53 am |