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August 12th, 2009
06:24 AM ET

Obama's town hall – tackling health care reform

President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

Outside the president's health care town hall in New Hampshire, a little girl held up a poster that said: "Obama lies, Grandma dies." When I asked the child's mother (who didn't want to give her name) what the sign meant, she struggled to find an answer.

But the sign was a reference to the false claim from some reform opponents – that Democratic proposals would set up a bureaucratic "death panel" that would determine when patients die. The president batted down the claim at his town hall – a more telling sign of just how tough the health care sell has become.

Are the health care town halls helping? How is the president handling the debate? What do you think?


Filed under: Health • Politics
soundoff (110 Responses)
  1. Pepper

    BTW, Heather,

    You said:

    "They COULD walk, but chose not to."

    How do you know they CHOSE not to walk?? I'm guessing, considering the state of their health, it was EXTREMELY painful for them to walk. Diabetes attacks the nerve system. Have you ever been in the dentist's chair when he/she all of a sudden hits a nerve? Imagine that feeling in a million nerves in your feet and legs as you are trying to walk. You should never judge a book by it's cover, you never know what any one person is going through until you ask them.. Clearly, you and your mom had no interest in doing so. I'm sure those people are grateful you are no longer there.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  2. Pepper

    To Heather (7:44am):

    You need to grow a heart. Yes, those people should not be smoking, and it is dangerous to do so around oxygen tanks, so I'm with you there. However, your judgment about them being fat is crude, cruel, and none of your business. You are not their doctor. You cannot legislate unilaterally (that means on your own, dear) who does and does not get covered by Medicare. AND, you do not have any clue about why they have reached their current weight, and how people like you have contributed to their misery by making them feel less human and deserving of respect! We live in a free society, like it or not (you could always go to Russia), and they have the right to live their lives as they choose. Maybe food is the only comfort they have. I'm sure they are quite isolated, and limited in their movement. Why don't you reach out to them, and offer a helping hand now and then, I'm sure it will be appreciated, and you may start to see them more as human beings, and not a waste of space.

    August 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  3. Pepper

    To Michelle Ashton:

    You are not presenting facts, but opinion. An opinion, or the impression of an opinion (unless you have a direct quote, or some video, I will have to assume that you are filtering what you heard, long ago, according to your own beliefs) is highly subjective, and not the basis for legislation. Whoever said what, the people you mentioned are not legislators. Your elected representatives are the legislators. And I highly doubt that if Michele Obama said what you say she did, that it meant what you seem to be saying it means. I'll tell you what kind of situation I believe she was referencing:

    Last October I was forced to watch my father die of lymphoma, cancer of the lymphatic system for those who don't know, and it spread throughout his entire body, and it took 5 weeks of watching him suffer to end up thinking "why did he have to suffer so much in that last week?" Sometimes that little extra bit of morphine where there's so much pain and when there's no hope left is a Godsend to the person you love who is dying. My fathers lungs gave out and lung collapse due to to Lymphatic cancer was listed as his ultimate cause of death. He died during the night, and was alone. I wish I could change that. It hurts. I wish the doctor had been able to give him morphine while we were there with him. In his last days I watched as he tried and failed to talk, and struggled for breath, and felt the pain for him. Michelle Obama was talking about extreme suffering where all hope of life has been removed, not just your grandma having trouble walking, hearing, or seeing. Either you really think a first lady would advocate murder (in that case you are ignorant), or you are planting misinformation on a very serious, sensitive issue. In that case, shame on you.

    BTW, I live in Canada, and euthanasia is a crime here, as it is in the US. My mother and I went through a very painful period which wasn't made worse afterward by being hounded by medical bill collectors and the threat of bankruptcy. Dad's hospital care, with a very small fee for his having a private room for five weeks due to C-difficile (we had to wear gloves and gowns everytime we entered the room) through no fault of his own, was entirely paid by the government (Quebec), and his care was administered and directed entirely by his doctors–that's not the way it is in the US, and that IS how it should be!! I am rooting for everyone who is struggling right now. May your fortunes improve, and soon... Get out there and make yourself heard–you will win if you do!!

    Listen to all the good information out there, and discard all the fearmongering tactics. For the facts, go to

    http://www.factcheck.org

    Namaste!

    August 12, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  4. Koleta Wells

    I'm a senior citizen, and I cannot believe what I am hearing from this group. They seem totally "befuddled" by all the hype being pedalled as our President's vision for Healthcare Reform! As our "mouth piece" on television, PLEASE play and replay the portions of his town hall speeches in which he mentions 2 very obvious parts: (1) that Medicare and MedicAid current policies will NOT change, but will only have added benefits to seniors added; and (2) when they espouse that they don't wan't ANY GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE PLANS, they are simply saying, "Please cancel my current MediCare and MedicAid plans!"

    In yesterday's town hall meeting, Pres. Obama even asked the seniors in the audience if they really believe that AARP, the American Medical Assn. and American Nurses Assn. would be in favor of Healthcare Reform if this was going to strip us of our current health care programs?
    How can they be unaware?

    August 12, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  5. Billy j

    in responce to this daniel guys blog @ 9:11 am eastern. think i can see right through you and from where you're coming. a fox news watcher no doubt. in my openion cnn is the one channal that tries to put it out there like it is. imagine, if you will, that cnn reported the slant or spin that fox news did. fox even went negative the very few minutes after those two journalist were released in korea. their comment were about just what the obama admin. had to give up and if the goverment had to appologize,as if that would matter in order to save those 2. bill

    August 12, 2009 at 11:10 am |
  6. Mrs. Mayes

    We should always address our President as President Obama, Mr. President, Or Mr. Obama depending on the conversation. We respected Presidents in the past let us respect President Obama!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:42 am |
  7. Pepper

    I won't even direct this comment, but anyone who references Wikipedia as "fact-based" information is not interested in facts. People, if you want to sort the lies from the facts, on a specific, targeted subject (not inferred or implied), I implore you, for your OWN sake, please bookmark FactCheck.org, and go there for your information, not any news network exclusively or any talking head–there are so many commentators who are not journalists out there with vested interests that it's scary!! And they don't care whether or not you get the care you need, whether it be due to illness, accident, or end of life care (euthanasia is against the law, people!!! Think!!) And making health care affordable (under the government, controls will be put in place to control and even reduce skyrocketing costs) are made available to ALL CITIZENS is no more socialist than providing the population with teachers, police, and firefighters!! Open your minds and let some sun in!! And, BTW, Socialism is being confused by many who do not know better with Communism!! France, Canada, Britain and Denmark are NOT Communist countries–we are progressive democracies!! The US is the richest nation in the world, but looking at your health care, one would never know it! Don't let this chance for meaningful change, and increased life expectancy, pass you by!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 10:10 am |
  8. Jimmy

    Doesn’t it bother anyone that when asked, the bulk of the people screaming their heads off about the healthcare reform do not have a legitimate reason for their opposition to it? What logical sense does it make to oppose a healthcare program that basically guarantees that insurance companies do not have to determine who lives or dies anymore and who qualifies for what coverage at what cost? Healthcare should not be a privilege, but a right, and a debt owed to the people by the government they have democratically elected, which is what the current administration is trying to do and should be applauded and not ridiculed for. The president has repeatedly said that those who are comfortable with their current health plans are more than welcome to stick with them, so this is a relatively victimless situation. The only people who have anything to worry about are the insurance companies who have enjoyed complete autonomy of a very unfair and dysfunctional health system that only adequately caters to the wealthy. This type of reform (for those who have actually taken the time out to understand what it offers) will ensure that insurance companies that are intent on staying in business would have to make their premiums more affordable to be competitive. We need to put our personal feelings aside and let common sense take over our judgement with regards to this matter and stop with the preposterous displays of stupidity. The level of ignorance and hypocrisy is so amazing it’s disturbing….AND I’M REPUBLICAN.....

    August 12, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  9. Mike K - Caledonia, Mi

    Daniel – If President Obama had not put a date on having a Health Care Bill signed, Congress wouldn't be anywhere near where they are now to accomplishing anything. It is the nature of the under-performing beast we have created.

    I appreciate the fact that you are the father of 2 and yet you don't have any health insurance. Since you are watching CNN all day I guess it's safe to assume that you also do not have a job. I can also appreciate why you would be against any Health Care Reform as that reform could require you to pay for the Medical Coverage that you are getting for free today. The problem that I have is that it is people like you who are driving up the cost of Health Insurance for people like me who have paid for it year after year for my entire life. I have had insurance through the good times and the bad because it is the right thing to do. Pay your own way or your opinion rings hollow.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  10. Josh Trump

    I am in the medical field. I deal directly with leading surgeons & educators, research labs, pharmaceutical companies as well as the very ill very under insured Americans on a daily basis. Having said that I have read HR3200 and believe I have a solid grasp on the essence of the bill. That being said I don't think going to a town hall meeting will benefit myself or effect change to the issue on the table. I believe that these town hall meetings are more about the repersentative running the meeting and not the issue itself. I think that this has become way to political. It seems all agree Americans need medical care and need options with that medical care. It is also apparent all agree on reform, just how we get there seems to be a forum for political flexing.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  11. freedom of speech

    when the president and all congressman, government employees and families get on this healh care plan then i will consider it if they don't wnat to be on this plan then why should the american people. nancy pelosis' comment was unamerican, the protesters were exercising their rights to speak, to assemble, now her comment sounded like she wanted them to shut up which to me sounds like a communist/ socialist comment

    August 12, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  12. Jean

    I left my job 5 years ago to care for my aging parents. I am 58 years old and we live on my father's social security and my husband's social security and pension. My mother has passed away so it is just the 3 of us now.

    We've been paying for my health insurance out of pocket which was difficult but do-able. It has now gone up to almost $1000 a month. I've looked around for less expensive insurance and it is like wandering through a maze. On the recommendation of some one I know I signed up for a much cheaper insurance with less to offer, but it is something we can afford. However, the person who recommended the insurance received a letter yesterday from a company that is no longer going to be assoiciated with this insurance because it is really a Pakastani company and not licensed to operate in the USA. This seems to be true.

    We need healthcare reform desparately. I'm at the age when things start to go wrong and cant really count on my health until I'm eligible for Medicare. My only concern is that our income would be considered too high to qualify as our income is too high to qualify for Family Health Plus.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  13. Pepper

    Joan:

    Umm, how has Obama made unemployment worse??? For the FIRST time since before Obama took office, unemployment actually slowed and economists and newspeople alike (except FOX, I'll bet you watch FOX) are saying the economy is beginning to improve. And how on earth do you expect him to fix the housing market, a disaster a decade in the making, in six months??? You just hate him and will find any way you can to smear him, like your buddies Rush and O'Reilly, right?

    "the government is causing all those fruit and crops to die and causing so much unemployment" WHAT??? Do you have proof? There must be some heinous conspiracy afoot!

    "Our debt has multiplied astronomically" Obama was left with that debt with after 8 years of GW Bush's lies, and his spending over a trillion dollars on a war that was based on a lie. Clinton left office with a healthy surplus, blame Bush for 8 YEARS of squandering it!! Tax breaks during wartime–irresponsible!! Unfortunately, his Republican congress created a financial disaster by deregulating financial markets, which required a HUGE infusion of cash to keep financial markets from collapsing, and a Depression from happening. Check your "facts". Bookmark FactCheck.org, in fact, make it your home page!!! Watch the Colbert Report and The Daily Show to get a dose of humour with the real facts.

    You make so many false claims that I have to wonder if you even care to know the truth. You are just a hater. Are you a birther too? If you can't back up your claims with facts, then just go away so those of us with relevant questions and concerns can make a significant contribution to this debate, which is a life-and-death concern for too many people.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  14. Stan

    The young lady at senator Arlen Spector's townhall was totally out of line, what the U.S. constitution have to do with health insurance is beyond me, CNN. had her on this morning show saying her comments resonated, I think not, she was rude and continued to scream with the crowd after microphone was removed from her and had the nerve to say people were polite and shushing the crowd after micphone was removed from them. Like we couldn't see her behavior.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:37 am |
  15. ralph mahnke

    I would like to know if cnn has done any checking on these people so upset over something we do not even know about really. It seems strange to me they are all reading something from their hands, all the same size paper. Something smells here.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  16. Jim

    Thomas, I'm apalled! Were you as hostile to the Dems and anti-Bush protesters who were so vicious in their treatment of the previous administration? CNN is guilty here, too... this morning one of the reporters complained that people said impolite things about "the President of the United States"... fair enough, if they had equally criticized those who called Bush a Nazi and worse! If you tolerate vicious and abusive opposition rhetoric for one, you should for the other. As they say, what's good for the goose.."

    August 12, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  17. Carole

    Thank you for having Carol Costello and Dr. Sanja Gupta answering legitimate questions. I feel some of these people are legitimately concerned. I am retired and am trying to see how things will change for me. I get the AARP magazine that did a great job as well explaining the changes for the better.

    I am tired of the people who are just mad at having a Black President getting coverage. They are so obvious with I want my country back. Where were they when Bush's regime lied to us? I guess that was okay with the monies. The American Indians want their country back.

    A true QUESTION is 'What are the Republicans doing and offering? I feel TIME Magaine is correct that the Republicans need to think twice about being seen as not getting the system reformed.

    Again, thanks for having the questions and answers on this. Just keep these transparent racists off because they are of no purpose.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  18. Billy j

    first let me say, have been a republican the past 18 yrs. I just can not believe what I'm hearing in these town hall meetings. these people are so ill informed about the contents of this health care bill. I believe the president, he can be held accountable, unlike all the so called experts I hear on talk radio and the the consertive tv channels. I commend cnn for trying to seperate fact from fiction, i would only ask all you people who are so opposed to this reform, who do you think is spending these hundred of millions of dollars to defeate this legistation and for whos interest?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  19. Jim

    Brendan and others seem very anxious to hush citizens, which is anti-democratic, in my view. We citizens should be free to express ourselves, and like many here I prefer a more civil and rational discourse.

    CNN's anchors seem anxious to poo-poo the fears of concerned citizens, parroting the President's assertion that the proposals don't include what people are saying. But people are extrapolating, and that is reasonable and good. Just one example: it's true that no one is actively attempting to take away current insurance plans, but if the government offers a tax-supported "alternative," what employer in a competitive economy would subsidize private plans going forward? A "public option" inevitably will kill private insurance sponsored by employers. Intentional or not, a national, public plan is the Trojan Horse that will ultimately supplant our current system. Whether that's a good thing or not is really the question. It's time for an honest discussion of that question.

    I also agree with those who argue that all health care must be "rationed" on some basis or other, because we cannot afford to continue the current pattern of unlimited spending for those who have prepaid care. Costs have gotten out of control as consumers consume without paying for their own usage. In the current system there is no incentive to conserve and limit spending, but if the government takes over the spending decision will simply shift to Congress. As it has in Canada (I have personal experience of this), the spending will go to those districts with the best political connections.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:25 am |
  20. william good

    here is the best idea for the healthcare reform and that is for the white house and congress to open up thier health program to us as that will show the truth that they do not want to control us and the program is already in place and we really do pay for it now with our taxes as that is how they get paid and it is the easies way to do it.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  21. American Teacher

    Katy Abrams was interviewed this morning, invited to share her thoughts about her experience on national tv as a town hall participant. When you asked her questions, her answers seemed honest, if not a little simplistic. There was only one thing missing from the interview, and it is a question that needs to be put to every conservative who wants to shrink government and "get government out of our lives."

    Please ask them: Who do you want to
    finance and run the military?
    fix bridges, electric grids, and other aging infrastructure?
    build roads, hospitals, and schools?
    pay the police to protect you?
    pay the teachers, nurses, and fire-fighters?
    protect you from tainted food and medicine?
    help your community in times of crisis?

    I could go on, but the point is there. Every tiime one of them complains about paying taxes, or tells the government to "get out of our way and let us live our lives," please follow up with these questions. They are fair questions, and may actually inspire f few more people to think instead of parroting a simplistic party line.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  22. Argwings

    It appears there are people who have continued to drain and benefit from healthcare and have continued to siphon healthcare corruptly, now they have to defend their corrupted source of income by hook or crook. The president has interfered with their territory, there isn’t any justification for all the madness that I see in town halls which is getting uglier everyday, people have started showing up armed!!!!
    Who are these people?
    Who do they represent?
    Why all these madness?
    If what I see in town hall represents America, SHAME ON AMERICANS, LEARN HOW TO DIALOGUE!!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:13 am |
  23. Daniel

    I like many others have trusted CNN for years to be the only news station that was ever needed. Recently I have found a bend in CNN’s reporting. Since the election of Mr. Obama CNN appears to have lost its fight and its ability to report the facts with out ending any negative story with some form of defensive act. When speaking of the so called “Medical Reform Bill” CNN is not able to just cover the story but has to go in to how it is the American People that do not understand as if we are to stupid to see past the smoke, and mirror show that the White House is pushing down our throats. If this bill is so great and so well written than why the rush Mr. President why not give the people time to review the bill as it is getting written and be part of the review and decision making. On a personal note I am a father of two with out health care, but I want no part in a government health care system. I hope CNN and go back to real reporting before it loses my self and many others who have spent the last several years watching it everyday.

    Daniel

    August 12, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  24. faith allen

    i thought obama handled his town hall meeting very well. he explained things in an understandable way. the folks were respectable, i'm sure the secret service was a deterrent to bad behavior. some of the other town hall meetings, were raucous. everyone has a right to express themselves, but not to the point into turning it into a screaming fest. i saw the one we had in michigan with john dingell. he is 83 yrs. old, frail and really was not competent in handling the crowd or answering questions. arlen specter did ok as the lady senator from missouri. this is an important issue especially for all us uninsured. reform is needed. i just feel if i go to a local town hall i'll be reduced to screaming louder and pushing harder for my views. if i have to i will.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:08 am |
  25. Pepper

    To E Laurence:

    President Obama has stated that illegal aliens will NOT be covered in any Health Care bill. That is YET another lie perpetrated by those in the medical and insurance lobby, and politicians who have a vested interest in keeping the status quo–they are all afraid, scared to death of losing their million dollar paychecks!! Suggest you go to FactCheck.org to sort the truth from the lies. Americans are dying NEEDLESSLY because of the power these people wield that needs to be put back in the hands of the doctors–that is what health care reform is all about, besides controlling the overinflated costs–a visit to the doctor in Canada costs $36. in Canada–I know this because I was late renewing my medicare card, and was reimbursed–what does it cost where you live?

    August 12, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  26. Mike K - Caledonia, Mi

    It's hard to say if the Town Hall Meetings are helping or not as you and your fellow "journalists" have been reduced to what amounts to ambulance chasing. The only parts of any Town Hall meeting apparently fit for cable news are the parts where some med-deficit wacko decides to derail any decent discussion.

    You are as much to blame for this outrage as is Rick Scott and Stephen Hemsley. The mini-Limbaughs wouldn't be there if they didn't know that you would put them on T.V.. O.K. so you say you are just reporting the news. Where is the coverage of the meetings that are civil and productive? Well they aren't as interesting and those people don't buy commercial time on your network like 60plus.

    This is the most important issue in the last 30 years and you are prostituting yourselves for the sake of ratings instead of trying to get the truth to the American people.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:06 am |
  27. John Kissner

    With Regards to this health care debate and argument that is developing, Americans need to stop being ignorant. this goverment was founded by the people, for the people. Well if we take a look around the people (Americans) are not attempting to take care of its people. The people who are against the health care issue seem to be acting like selfish children. People with out health care need help and if the people (Americans)) are not going to by them health care, then yes the government should step up and take care of our own short comings. That is why we look to our goverment to take care of its people.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  28. Patrick

    Just thought I would give all who keep saying President Obama and the Democratic Congress are changing the country to Socialism, a true definition:
    Main Entry: so·cial·ism
    Pronunciation: \ˈsō-shə-ˌli-zəm\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1837
    1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
    2 a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
    3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods
    and pay according to work done

    So hopefully, this can put to rest that we are no were near becoming Socialist and never will be.
    To answer a question about finding answers on Healthcare Reform, all you have to do is take five minutes and search for it.
    It is obvious that the Right-Wing TV Ad's they keep showing here are lies, and they only strive to fuel the fire of those who do not wish to search for the truth.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:03 am |
  29. Brian

    I was watching this morning and wish to throw out a few ideas. As a small business person well aware of costs in running a business, I am amazed at the amount of staff needed in an doctors office to handle insurance and billing. If we use very low (absurd really but low to avoid debate) salaries of 25K per year for an A/R person, at a minimum that position consumes $250,000 per year in gross billing just to get to a break even point on a modest 10% profit margin. Think about how much money could be saved if that position was no longer needed. I've asked a few doctors about this and without exception they would love to do away with Insurance billing positions. I ask, “What happened to the days of Marcus Welby MD”? A time when we went through the door for a common cold we knew the doctor would charge us a reasonable fee and we would pay it on the spot. We did not have insurance for every day problems. We had health care insurance like we have auto insurance. You are covered for LARGE unplanned disasters. I am still amazed my health insurance pays for my dental visits and eye glasses. Why are we letting Ins. get so involved in such little items. Our health insurance should cover MAJOR health issues and get out of the small doctors offices. This would allow a doctor to pull out from major hospital chains and operate his small business on a cash basis and lower the price within reach of all Americans. Think of the disincentive for tests. Your doc knows it's coming out of your pocket and will think long and hard before ordering a test to get billing up to an insurance company so then can live with the discount the Ins. company shoves down their throat. We all know the fees are inflated to account for the discount the Ins. company forces on the doctors. If nothing else we would bring reality back to actual cost of an item rather than an insurance adjusted price. Think of how competitive auto insurance is with their pricing. We all see the ads on TV for our business. Think of how low health insurance would go if we could choose what we wanted to cover and the deductible we wish to pay. Then fix the torte side of the problem so doctors can get a reasonable insurance policy for their practice. We have very few OB doctors outside the hospital because their insurance is so high our health plans don't pay enough to cover the cost of doing business. Leave our safety nets in place just as they are, but let those in need use their government benefits pay the doctor just as they now pay for groceries. Allow the government to enjoy the savings by eliminating the the costs involved with billing and oversight of insurance payments. But I know this is a pipe dream, big insurance will not allow their bottom line to be altered. Congress will not allow torte reform. Heck, Congress will not dismantle the IRS and go to a simple flat tax, due to the loss of government jobs and agency power. Think about how much government would be removed from our lives with a simple sales tax rather than the system that is now in each and every one of our paychecks. Think about the real equity of this system. A rich buys a new 80K Hummer and pays an $8k tax on top of guzzler taxes. I buy my Versa for 14K and pay 1.4K in taxes. There is no IRS involved, no tax shelters, no deductions, just a simple transfer of money from the dealership to the treasury. Take the time to look up how much the IRS consumes to operate. Think about that government savings. But I'm sane enough to know this too is a pipe dream.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  30. B Stanley

    Rush Limbaugh's manipulation of the healthcare reform issue smacks of (Joseph) McCarthyism. For those uninformed and uneducated, Joseph McCarthy was the Congressman conducted a witch hunt, destroying the lives of innocent Americans SUSPECTED of being Communists. This was another dark day in American politics that I prayed would never be repeated but here it is again. The McCarthys, Palins and the Limbaughs are the REAL Hitlers. They use inuendos and ignorance to achieve their political agenda. This is exactly how the Nazis took over Germany. GET THE FACTS!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:02 am |
  31. Roger Wray

    Here is the design for Obama care: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-adjusted_life_year

    August 12, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  32. LeAnne

    I wanted to wait until I learned more before supporting or not. I listened to any town meetings I could and it is the opposition who has convinced me to support this healthcare reform. Anytime people feel the need to outshout others, threaten that "God" will "get them" and push and shove, they are hiding something. Then I hear/research what the opposition is saying and discover that much of it is inaccurate.

    There is a pattern here and it is very simular to the unfounded accusations that I heard during the election process. There is a group of people out there that is less concerned with health care and more concerned with their notions that our president is an anitcrist. They talk about Christianity like it is the only game in town and demand that their religious agenda is imposed on all. And then they quote the Constitution. I fear for many of the extreme reactors it is the color of his skin that is the issue. Sad, very sad.

    August 12, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  33. Mrs. Mayes

    I think these rowdy people at the townhall meetings are racists and they are using these meeting to spread racism in America. They look like mad people out for blood. They have no respect and do not care who they may hurt. It makes you a shame to be an American when you see people acting like this wild bunch. This is why people around the world are losing respect us. When we don't respect our own and insight discard. We are suppose to lead in a positive way not a negative way! It is alright to disagree but these people are being down right mean! The Media is helping to build them up as well helping to add fire to the flame. Media you need to get a grip!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:01 am |
  34. linda pike

    I do believe the Prez has good intentions and knows exactly what needs reformed in health care..... though until he reforms the Government (on all levels) starting with the change we voted for "how Washington does business" we are in dire trouble, look what happened to the ARRA when he handed it to Pelosi free for all as usual !!!

    August 12, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  35. Jerry W. Freeman

    No reform will work with out first taking on waste, fraud, and corruption by Public Officals did you know there is a resident of Public Housing in rual Lewisburg TN who the State Coptroller foud was paid by the Lewisburg Housing Authority $383,716.72 (see Comptroller letter to District Attorney Bernard dated August 21, 2006) thess payments was for maintenance work however, this Resident only reported $8,606 for rent caculation.

    Nevertheless, HUD's Inspector General states thy could not prove this fact. You should ask Senator Bob Corker (see the letter dated October 23, 2007 to Senator Bob Corker from Kenneth Donohue. the funds saved by adressing fraud, waste, and corruption could fund all health care reform

    I am a former Public Housing Offical and can provied you with documintation of organized HUD corruption

    August 12, 2009 at 8:58 am |
  36. Dustin Smith

    I wish people would stop bashing canadian health care. My dad cut off his fingers and he got them reattached sucessfully. why does free health care sound so bad?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  37. Pepper

    I don't trust CNN to tell the whole truth–the report at 8am by Jim Acosta showed Obama at the town hall saying he "doesn't approve of it", and neglected to show the rest of what he said, that that does not exist in the bill and it is "simply not true", which can and did likely lead many uninformed, frothing at the mouth and looking for a fight idiots (who would probably benefit most from this bill) to say "see, he didn't deny it"!!! You, CNN, have a duty and a responsibility to inform the public with the WHOLE TRUTH, not selected sound bites that obfuscate the truth. And I've seen DOCTOR Sanjay Gupta also fudge the truth by saying that abortion would be covered in the bill, but failing to mention that it would ONLY be in cases where the LIFE of the mother is in danger. But I've seen Dr Gupta fudge the truth (there does exist an Air Ambulance service in Quebec, I found the Government web page in less than 30 seconds–why didn't he??) many times when it comes to health care!! STOP LYING and FUDGING THE TRUTH about CANADIAN HEALTH CARE!! The ONLY reason there are lineups (nowhere NEAR 12 hours, SIR, I have NEVER exceeded 3 hours) in our emergency rooms and a lack of family doctors is because WE HAVE LOST VERY MANY OF THEM, AND NURSES, TO THE OVERINFLATED US MEDICAL COMMUNIITY!! I personally have lost two personal physicians to the US in the last 20 years, one to a hospital in Dallas, and one to a hospital in San Francisco!! As well intentioned as they are, our governments simply cannot compete with the overinflated US paychecks offered by the bloated US system. Obama's right, controlling costs is a huge part of the answer–but I'll bet Dr Gupta doesn't like the sound of that! How about presenting all the facts, and not just the ones that suit you??? Shame on you, Sanjay Gupta, and SHAME on you, CNN!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  38. Paul Engelbrecht

    Good morning!
    The basic issue with health care and the reason we are trying to get universal health care is because medical treatment, ( not insurance) is more expensive tahn most people can afford. If our media would focus on the chronic problem of inflation and the loss of good paying jobs, I think you will find the real reason we are in the fix we are in. If just a few reporters would gather historical data concerning the costs in the 80"s compared to now. Just for example. In 1980 my local Dr. charged me $20 for an office visit. This may or may not include a prescription for some life saving medicines. Blood and or urine tests included. He had a small x-ray machine right in his office which he would use if it were needed. Now if he sent you too the hospital you would need to look into a second mortgage.
    today my Dr charges a minimum of $120.00 just to get the appointment. If I need a blood test add in $20-$300. If I need Meds add $5- $500. My average charges before insurance is $140.00 today.
    $20 to $140.00 just to see a Dr. Pretty big inflation. Who may I ask is reaping the benefits of that inflation? I don't believe it is the Dr's. I believe the managed health care Corporations are. Whatever happened to Health care because they care. Not because they can make lots and lots of money.
    Now the other-side of the story is the good paying jobs side. In 1980 $10.00 per hour was a good wage. Today in 2009 I would need $70 per hour to have the same buying power. Why don't you folks do some honest reporting and tell me how many jobs there are paying that kind of money. You will be lucky to find a few $15 per hour jobs. For gods sake when the auto industry was in trouble your reprorters said it was because of those "overpaid union guys making $25.00 per hour". Cut their wages thats the answer. Those jobs were the only ones even close to what we all should be making to compare with inflation. Please don't give me the canned answer that the federal Reserves inflation rates aren't that high. compare a gallon of milk in 1980 to now. Compare a therm of natural gas then and now. compare a Dr visit then and now. Do your own reporting for once and report honest results. I believe you will get to the bottom of the health care issue as well as much of the economic issues facing our country today.
    Thank you for your time
    Paul

    August 12, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  39. Joan

    Obama is wrecking our American way of life. Americans do not want his kind of change. They wanted change for the better , not change for the worst! He said a bunch of lies to get into presidential office and alot of people believed them , and now they are finding out the truth and people do not trust him. He is Ram-Rodding bad financial decisions down our throats. Cap and Trade, Health Care, Stimulus package – RUSH IT THROUGH ! Don't have time to Read the Bills ! Trust me. He has made Unemployment Worse, Our debt has multiplied astronomically. He has not fixed the housing market. He has only helped his friends. It is ok for His Acorn to protest, but according to the Democrats it is not ok for Financially Conservative Americans to Protest Obama's wrecking of our Free American Way of life. The people protesting do not want an overhaul, just fix the bad things a little at a time . We have a great health care system, just fix the fraud. Make LOW COST clinics for the uninsured and illegals. If they want more health care they can purchase insurance. Alot of people choose not to have insurance. I did not have it when I was young and healthy. Here is a healthy tip. Let the Water flow in California to all the farm that are producing healthy fruit and crops. Put screens on the dams to save the minnows. Then we won;t have to get fruit laced with poisons from other countries. It is a shame that the government is causing all those fruit and crops to die and causing so much unemployment . That is why people are rising up and protesting. To Save America from Socialism (which does not work) Fix only the things that need fixing.
    Thank you

    August 12, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  40. Mr. Ed (Ed Jocz)

    I believe health care needs reform. President Obama is taken on a task no one has ever done outside of the Clinton's. First the insurance companies are the main problem, which no one is talking about today. Second, they talk of a plan, what plan? If there is I have not seen it or they have not giving the list of the plan, without going to a told to side of something written by the government you can read or understand. If we are having people with so many issues, then something is being done right if we have to fight to make the change. The bad thing is the ones the go against the change when asked what is your plan, there is never an answer, but keep fight with President Obama that said he would make change. My big question, which I never get an answer is, " What is affordable" and busniess need to stay ouf ot insurance. Insurance should come to busniess and just offer a policy plan, company don't even get involved. I had choice and all that is was constant insurance raise that wasn't affordable. So when I heard choice it is just dollar sign of raised cost.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  41. Nancy G

    I have been watching these "protests" and can honestly say these people are acting like spoiled children who can't get their own way. You can make your point by rational discussion & debate and by sticking to the subject matter. Shouting & disrupting meetings to make your point is not the american way and is counterproductive. I like Ali's RV trip. I think we will get a more accurate gauge of how people truly feel about healthcare reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  42. lynn

    So is CNN going to balance their interview of the stay at home mom with an equally passionate one who has been politically awakened because she sees the nedd for health care reform and a public option??

    August 12, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  43. Henrietta

    What has happened to democracy? It seems that we've turned a page overnight back into the dark ages of the Middle Century. It is mind boggling to witness that some in our nation, would be calling for blood rather than being open to civil discussion on resolving differences working toward an acceptable alternative of a healthcare/insurance reform. After all, this only seems THE most HUMANE thing to do given the current status; and, it isn't disappearing or getting better anytime soon. HEALTHCARE is not a CHOICE, it is a basic human right. Thank you AMERICA!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:41 am |
  44. Ann-Virginia

    I wish everyone in America had watched President Obama's town hall meeting yesterday,then they wouldn't be "acting stupidly"over healthcare.It amazes me that people would so easliy believe all the mis-information out there.Before one runs their mouth about healthcare,one should arm themselves with the FACTS.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  45. Rick

    To all that does not want this Health Care bill to pass. I hope u have extra savings to pay for your increase in health insurance policy and deduction. Because if you think issuance company's will not raise your rates your not thinking clearly. let me remind you that insurance company's put profit first and health care LAST !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thanks You

    August 12, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  46. Dick Johnston

    I am 63 my wife is 61 my monthly health premiums for health insurance is $2,100. Annual cost over $25000. for a standard not deluxe plan.I can't wait to turn 65 for Medicare, a government run program.I'm a Republican but not againist universal care such as Canada's the insurance. hmos and pharmacutical industies are spending billions to spread falsehoods and scare tactics to defeat health care reform. I am hoping we pass health legislation soon.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:31 am |
  47. Michelle Ashton

    Months ago, Michelle Obama stated on TV that once a person, reaches "end of life" it is time to stop treatments. On several tv shows Obama representatives have stated, Obesity, Cancer, Heart desease, are costly, and people that allow themselves to fall into one of these catagories deserve to be denied treatment or be taxed more to cover costs. To tell people that fall into specific catagories you don't deserve to be given health care, can only be described as Government frciding if you live or die. Who will make that deterination. The end of life counselers that have to be paid by the "new Obama health plan" Do you really feel that the best interest of Americans will be met by insurance compnaies that don't want to pay for treatment? Get a clue people, Would Ted Kennedy qulaify for treatment under the new plan, if he wasn't a member of congress?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  48. brad

    How can CNN opine about where people are getting these crazy ideas about the proposed health care reform while running those 60-Plus ads that are spreading intentional mis-information creating fear amongst Americans, especially seniors or people who are simply ignorant. 60-Plus is a corporate-sponsored special interest group that seeks to derail health care reform by any means necessary. CNN is responisble for spreading misinformation about health care reform. Perhaps the anchors and writers for CNN should watch CNN if they want to know what the problem is. PLEASE, try to act with even a little bit of social responsibility and stop running special interest ads that spread this horrible misinformation that is directly responsible for all of the incidents that have been occuring around America (swastikas, arrests, threats, etc.). YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:30 am |
  49. Theresa Martial-Edwards

    I am a Canadian and free Health Care is very important. Canadian work forces have Private Insurances, plus the Government Plan. The Private Insurances cover mostly Private / Semi Private rooms in the Hospitals, also you do pay less for your Prescriptions. Whereas OHIP covers you in a Ward in the hospital. Anyway the Government Insurance is very important to the poor people. It will be a traversty if the Americam people who have Private Insurance Plans think only of themselves. As far as I am concerned, everyone will be covered under this plan as we are whether you are employed or not. Give it a chance and every one will be pleased.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  50. Michele

    In the midst of all the "debates" I haven't heard much about preventive health or basic health education nor have I heard the topic of an individual's personal responsibility to their own health addressed. Deferred accountability is not the solution.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:29 am |
  51. Michelle

    If the government wants a true perspective on the people's thoughts about healthcare reform they should travel further into the Appalachian mountains than Obama's last town hall trip to Bristol. Most of the people I know there are on medicaid and it's not all that great. Ask them what it's like to sit in waiting rooms of public health clinics for hours on end waiting for their turn. It's absolutely nothing like going to a private doctor. Americans want change but not at the expense of giving up a good life. How healthy is this bill anyway?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  52. Bernice

    For some ODD reason, they do not want you, the People, to know the thruth here! Read page 16 of the bill. It states that you will have to take the public healthcare in the end. Maybe they just didn't read up to page 16 as of yet? You are being misled. This will abolish most of the Constitutional rights that we have left. STOP THEM NOW!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:28 am |
  53. E. Laurence

    We should all be happy to see citizens come out and defend what they think. This is what our country was founded on. Perhaps it's time for politicians to either listen or resign from their posts if they can't tolerate the voice of the people. Let's all be glad we are not just being led to a more destructive government without standing up and using everything we have to say 'we don't want this'.
    The trouble with a healthcare bill is that this year it may just have a small impact but next year, it will be expanded and so on and so on just like social security, medicare and others that now include payment and care to illegal immigrants and others who are not deserving. We are tired of paying for everyone else's. Let's hope politicians listen for a 'change'.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:27 am |
  54. Brock Martin

    I am seeing a lot of ranting and raving by people who offer no viable solutions. Where will these people stand when their premiums have doubled within the next decade ? Enough is enough. It is time to put to rest all of the rumors and lies that have been started by people who have an obvious vested interest in keeping things the just way they are.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  55. RANDY

    I like to ask and see some common sense and reasoning when it come to the health care reform 2009.All we are seeing so far , especially in the community town hall forums meetings is hate and nothing but hate from the republicans and the conservatives.Anyway that how it looks to me.I totally and fully support the ideas and plans of president barack obama and the democratic party in the health-care reform of 2009.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  56. Janet Glazier

    JR from Vegas Hit the nail on the head!
    Something need to be done Now.
    My family is lucky to have great health coverage.I'm tired of the "its all about Me attitude" Lets all work together to help each other and those less fortunate.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  57. Topher

    The white trash that are yelling about the loss of their country and how all of this change is bad are ignorant and should be deported from the country regardless of citizenship. Politicians like Rush Limbaugh who have said "We want President Obama to fail" are just as bad. By saying that he wants Obama to fail is saying he wants America to fail. These morons who say they want their America back and that they don't want change, don't deserve America. This is MY AMERICA and I WANT CHANGE. This country is in a hole and Obama is going to bring us out. Presidents have been talking about health insurance/care reform in their electoral speeches for years. Obama is the first man to actually do something about it. I am a proud WHITE AMERICAN that is ashamed of the amount of white trash that misrepresent whites across the nation. They are not American. They are trash. Don't stop President Obama.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  58. Tom

    As a Republican I must say I am truly disappointed in my party. They haven’t offered an alternative now or when they were in the White House and yet they are attempting to hijack the debate on health care reform. They are so afraid of change that they will do and say anything to distract us from the real problems that face our country. Do the Republicans really have to act like thugs; bring up Hitler and Nazi’s; and disrupt civil meetings just to offer us nothing in return?

    Since the first oil crisis in the early ’70’s the Rep. party has been in power most of the time, but they did nothing on energy reform. Since Pres. Clinton left office they have done nothing on health care reform. Yet, during this past Presidential election and continuing today they offer us nothing but the status quo as an alternative. Where’s their vision? Or are they blinded by racism and fear?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  59. jay m

    The Republicans scare tactics may have worked in the past,but they won't work this time. REFORM is coming.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:25 am |
  60. Petra Elliott

    Why are all these people freaking out before we know any details about the health care proposals? My conspiracy theory is this: insurance companies and the American Medical Association are paying Rush Limbaugh to spread his hatred and riling people up against health care reform because they don't want to stop getting rich and richer while the average American cannot afford basic coverage anymore. It's all about money – again. Sickening. I say we just wait and see if one of their proposals isn't indeed better than what we have now. In the meantime let your congressman/woman know what you want – but do it in civil terms so people around the world don't think we're all demented because we have an opinion before we can base it on anything...

    August 12, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  61. David

    Universal care will eventually happen, it’s just a question of how ruinous we allow our current profit driven system to become. People complain that we’ll have no ‘choice’ but the fact is, unless you’re paying completely out of pocket now (and only the top 3% of Americans can afford this) the insurers are making your choices for you; and I guarantee that they’re more interested in the profit line than they are your health. We do have the best health care in the world, if you can afford it; unfortunately, the vast majority of us can’t. Economically speaking, imagine how many more people companies could hire if they didn’t have to cover the cost of their health care benefits. My feeling is that someone is baiting ignorance and fear once again in the more gullible sectors of our population. Has anyone seen Karl Rove?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:24 am |
  62. Stephan Legault

    Those debates are getting out of hands for a reform that is bound to increase this country debt. Ask John Roberts, he has lives through the Canadian health care and Ontario is not as bad as the Quebec one.

    The first question, since I can afford health care why should I pay for those who can't?

    This is a vote that should be done throught the legislature or you will see a lot more overt demontration such as the Swazstuka.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  63. Lisa

    No. The President is not winning the health care debate. The bill shouldn't be 1000 pages long if it is as easy as congress says it will be. There is very odd wording for alot of the provisions in the bill. The bill should be written in everyday language easy enough for junior high students to read. Maybe if we had a model of a program that worked that would help. Medicare you need a supplement plan and even with that the plan is broke. Nothing govt. attempts comes in the price they say it will it is always 10x more expensive. They should take the time to really be bipartisan because if this is screwed up it will be impossible to fix!!!!!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:22 am |
  64. dennis

    Lest you forget..

    If President Obama had his way, health care reform would ALREADY be law.

    This "American" tradition would NOT have happened.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  65. Taryn

    I'm so disgusted by the conservatives behavior in the town hall meetings and in the general public forum. I am 100% behind health care reform, I think it is long overdue. But I understand that there are people in this country who have real concerns about the proposed bills. The lies and misinformation these conservatives are spreading are doing nothing to help or forward the discussion. Just like the "birthers," for this group of people the issue isn't health care reform, but who won last November. Someone needs to remind them that no matter who wins elections we are all still Americans and it's time these people started acting like one.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:21 am |
  66. Lynn

    The impromptu group of people in Kentucky discussing health care have restored my faith in humankind - we CAN disagree without being disagreeable. We can sit down and have an intelligent conversation. I do believe that part of the issue in the public Town Hall meetings is our representatives. Many - not all - present in their own heels-dug-in partisan point-of-view. In some cases, I believe they
    add fuel to the fire. My senator is representing me by having private, invitation only discussions. That's one way to eliminate debate - invite only those who agree with your point of view. He will do what he feels is right, without the voice of half of those he represents.
    We need health care reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  67. Cheryl

    The reportage on the health care debate sometimes fuels the anger. For example, in his response to the rumor about 'death panels' Obama said there's nothing like that. He goes on to explain how the misconception arose. However, if you look carefully at the way cnn is reporting it you get the impression that there's a 'death panel' provision that he doesn't approve of. That is not entirely accurate.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:19 am |
  68. Tarrie Franke

    Town hall meetings are not working. Medicare and Medicaid are already in place, What is the problem with discussing health care constructively.
    Tarrie

    August 12, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  69. Tom From Philly

    I want to know who is being denied healthcare? I know for a fact that no one is turned away from an emergency room. Yet, while everyone is bringing every stuffy nose and stubbed toe to the emergency room, the government is cutting funding to hospitals. What sense does that make.
    Here is another plan if you are not an American you don't get MedicAid!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not in favor of closing the borders, but why do non-americans get MedicAid? Maybe that would save us a few bucks that could be used to help Americans.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  70. Jourdan

    I do agree with what a lot or people are saying; I do feel like we need more information. Health care needs reform but I'm not sure of the best way to do it. There is one thing that I think needs more attention in reform which is preventative health care. So many of the issues we are dealing with today are lifestyle issues. We need to look at more than just hospitals and doctors but also what is in our food, farms, beauty prodocucts, bug spray, sunscreen how much we exercise or stay inside. This is very important to our health and the health of our enviornment but the stress is put on the after care and medication. Now I'm not saying that meds are bad and that everything is caused by what we eat and how much we exercise, but a lot of it is. I believe we as a country would benefit from more preventative health care.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  71. Race Sorden

    Town Halls, in general, are the best way for the voices of our people to be heard. Whether Liberal or Conservative, you can voice your opinion at one of these Town Hall meetings. So yes, the Town Halls are helping.
    And overall, I believe that Obama is handling this debate as best as any person could. He's keeping himself open to criticism and is not lashing back. He's handling himself quite well.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:18 am |
  72. sue wright

    I am opposed to the Obama plan and find it very interesting that his town hall meetings are so "calm". Looks to me like the attendees are screened for his meetings. Also can't believe your CNN road trip meetings seemingly so positive to the Obama plan. I'm not stupid and would like to see what's really going on, and not your slant on things!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:16 am |
  73. Phil, FL.

    It seems that every news piece you've done on town hall meetings talking about health [care] reform, has been where a Democratic Congressman/Senator has tried to talk to their constituents. Does this mean Republican Congressmen/Senators are not talking to their constituents, or are you just not covering those town hall meetings?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:14 am |
  74. 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 8:12 am |
  75. Jessica

    The headline for this segment was talking about "Death Panels and Pulling the Plug on Grandma." When Obama was put on screen talking about the rumor, he did not say that this was not up for a vote, but that he was not in favor of pulling the plug. This was not reassuring to me at all. It makes me think that instead of standing up for what he "is not in favor of" he may actually bend or secretly favor the idea of killing off the old because it is not economically feasible to keep them alive. Well, the same may be said for the inmates that are never going to be released from prison. To me, the right to live or die is up to God not politicians. This segment reminded me of an old Sci-Fi movie and book called Logan's Run. Is that where we are heading?

    August 12, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  76. Bernice

    It took him 6 months to pick out a dog. He was putting his great love for religion on a top burner, and would pick out a church for his family to attend. Maybe he just didn't have the love for his God as he still found it not as an important issue. Maybe he just acted as a religious man ...for the votes coming from the religios voters of America! I am still waiting. Something twells all of us that when his next election comes, he still will not have made that choice! Tell you something?

    There is a show on the REAL problems with the healthcare system as it is now. It will be on TV at 9pm (est) Hannity Show. Fox News station! I think this will be a highly informative show that hour! Watch it if you can. If they tell you now to, that is just someone else misleading you.

    The woman who spoke at Spectors meeting did know the Constitution! Maybe you all should take a good look at the rights that this administration is trying very hard to remove from you! ...and ME!

    Obama admitted yesterday on TV, at his townhall meeting, that fed x (private owned) and UPS (private owned) are doing so well, but the post office (federal) is always having problems! And you want him in charge of OUR healthcare? What a joke? How much are you people actually paid to put up this garbage! These are NOT paid people! These are REAL AMERICANS with serious concerns for America and all of its PEOPLE! They are NOT in Purple shirts. Not with ACORN....just worried Americans! Wake up!

    They can't even run the federal programs that they currently run! (besides running them right into the ground)!!

    I think that the govt should help organize the healthcare situation, but never to run it! There goes your Constitutional Rights! If anyone says otherwise, they are misleading you!!

    And, what is this that I heard on TV that Obama was making fun of an elderly lady because she was against his healthcare plan? No class at all!! We should be taking better care of our elderly, after all, they took gooood care of us for many years! They even paid into the programs so much longer than any of us! Have a touch of respect!

    August 12, 2009 at 8:11 am |
  77. JR from Vegas

    The last thing Pres. Obama needs to do is appease the GOP by dropping the Public Option in the health care reform. Just like the stimulus bill, they will force their amendments into the bill and then turn around and vote against it. Why is it that all you hear is how the Dem's have to bow down to what the Rep's want?. The Republicans have had all the chances in the world to get some kind of health care reform through, but they never did. They never brought up a single bill to the hill to reform anything. We know where they stand on the issue, DO NOTHING! And allow the insurance companys to do whatever they want. Just like the did with wallstreet.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  78. Phil, FL.

    I was impressed how many times the President (finally) refered to his plan as health INSURANCE reform, rather than health CARE reform. The Government does not want to reform or control American's health CARE, they just want to reform how we PAY for that care. When you consider that the insurance industry is a PROFIT industry and is ONLY interested in how it can take YOUR premium payments and turn it into a PROFIT to pay executives and CEOs 6 and 7 figure salaries and bonuses, and pay investor dividends, it is hard to understand why Americans are so upset that the Government wants to change that so your costs go down. And, when it comes to this myth about how the Government wants to ration your health "care", go read your insurance policy! You will find that your private HIGHLY PROFITABLE insurance company is already rationing what it will and will not pay for. Keep this in mind; neither the Government nor the private insurance is rationing your "care", but the insurance industry sure does ration what "care" it is willing to help you pay for, and "who" it is willing to help pay for. I personally support either a Government run single payer health INSURANCE system or at least legislation that forces private insurance companies to become non-profit organizations with salary caps and no stocks on the open market. Your insurance costs will continue to go up at a rate greater than the inflation rate because the insurance industry is competing for PROFITS, and NOT competing to see how much better they will serve their policy holders.

    August 12, 2009 at 8:00 am |
  79. Theresa

    We already have defacto rationing of health care and waiting lists so what's new? Living in rural America, it's not unusual to wait up to six months for an appointment with an Ob/Gyn or dentist. It's not unusual to have to travel 60 or more miles to see a physician. Surgical procedures often require a partial pre-payment (despite having health insurance) – the extreme being organ transplant. Elderly warehoused in 'nursing' homes and who have no one to advocate for them receive marginal care and are often left to stew in their diapers. It sure sucks to be you if you don't have health care coverage, the financial wherewithal to make the pre-payment services, the ability to travel, or the misfortune to be old and alone.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:57 am |
  80. Charles E. Norton

    Town Hall attendees have a right to express their opinions and sometimes their concerns get them excited and maybe a little roudy.
    This is aggravated when the Speaker of the House and others in the Administration put a label on them; when Union members treat them violently and when the President of the United States tells them to "get out of the way!"

    Charles Norton
    Manning,SC

    August 12, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  81. Brendan

    Health care town halls are not helping. People are misinformed on the 'proposed' bill (it's not even official yet)...which is completely normal in our country. The majority have failed to read the proposal for themselves (as usual), opting instead to be fed whatever garbage is spewed from the Internet, TV or their uncle Joe. They allow the 'spin' of information to fire up their ignorance, then leap into a battle; for which they are completely unarmed and uninformed. It matters not which party a person belongs to...the nuts come out depending on the issue and who's directing the conversation. Today the Dems are laughing at the Reps, tomorrow it will be the other way around. I think Obama is handling it as well as any President could. He's sticking with his rhetoric which, in this case, isn't a bad thing. Of course, that is because the bill is still in draft; to stand on stone with any element of it's substance would be daft since it's not even done yet. The true test will be how he defends it (if needed) when it's said and done.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:53 am |
  82. Cathy Carapezza

    My father won the Silver Star fighting in World War II and Korea. He fought the Nazi's and paratropped onto the beaches on D-Day to fight the atrocities of Hitler.

    For a radio host to draw parallels between health care reform advocates and atrocities carried out during World War II is despicable. I want to hear debate on the issue not hate encouraged scare tactic distractions. I have a 23 year old who is deemed "non-insurable.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  83. RJ

    What I`m tired of is the liberal media supporting and shoving this health reform as if it was the second coming of Christ! The media Costello) says how unrulely town hall crowds have been and it must somehow be a plot from the right! Newsflash to all liberals, middle class people are speaking against this because they know they will have to pick up the tab! CNN needs to support the American people not pit them against one another! We are all Americans but this American is tired of footing the bill for Obamaland.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  84. skip

    if this health care plan is so great for all americans then i would like to suggest our goverment leaders to go on the same plan we are offered. it seems that it is always the best thing for the people but never good enough for them. the plan should be identical to the options we have. if they are not willing to go on this plan why would i believe it good enough for the average american.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  85. Heather

    Our system is so broken! My mom used to rent apartment homes to HUD recipients. One building had 26 tenants that received government aid for not only their rent but also healthcare. Of those tenants, 21 of them received oxygen systems to help them breathe. And a large portion used electric wheelchairs. Every single person on oxygen smoked. And most of the people in those electric wheelchairs were morbidly obese and diabetic. They COULD walk, but chose not to. When my mom called the HUD dept. to let them know of the wasted money, they told her that there was nothing they could do to change it. But if THEY couldn't change their policies, who could?

    August 12, 2009 at 7:44 am |
  86. Thomas

    I'm unemployed right now but when I had a job making about 20K a year, my healthcare cost was 230$ a month and my wife who's a teacher was making about 40K a year and paying about 500$ a month with less coverage than mine and hers was mandatory. we live in Tampa, FL and that's how teachers are treated for their healthcare insurance. clearly anyone who dont want to change this, in my opinion, has a different goal as some republican said, it'll break Obama.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  87. markp

    No one believes there is a death panel, what people are worried about and rightfully so is that in order to save money that a bean counter will get in-between you and your Dr. look it is obvious that if they were truly putting together a cost neutral plan they would have tort reform on page 1 line 1, but 95% of trial lawyers campaign money went to democrats including Pres. Obama. No one on CNN is to interested in talking about that because facts take the presidential gleem out of there eyes..

    August 12, 2009 at 7:43 am |
  88. Linda

    I find the town halls for the most part a place for hate mongering. Some people are speaking without thinking or repeating information that may be false or misleading. Individuals who receive Medicare and Medicaid are already using health care that is government controlled. The only problem I see is that Medicare does not cover enough for our older citizens and they need to have supplemental insurance to compensate at exorbitant prices. As for health insurance, there is a medical board that decides if I can or cannot see a particular specialist or have a procedure. The health insurance providers need to step back and let physicians do what they have trained to do – provide medical care – and stop trying to second guess what medical procedures folks needs to have.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  89. Megan

    How come no one will talk about tort reform? This is never brought up. This is a serious issue that Obama doesn't want to address. People talk about doctors performing "defensive" medicine, and yet most of that comes from the constant fear of "missing something" and being sued. Until we deal with out of control judgments and frivolous lawsuits, we cannot have an honest conversation about health care reform.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:39 am |
  90. Thomas

    Janet G. got it right but I dont think those who desagree with the President are interested in the real debate or what the president's facts, they have agendas and different views of just about everything.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  91. Thomas

    If people want to have a real debate, maybe we should all look in the mirror for a start. we've allowed our elected oficials to act as they do and we cheer for them them just like we do for our football teams just because we call ourselves "fans" from the media to the big corporations, we all agree that its about the migthy $$ and whose got it. Is healthcare a right or privillege? depending on how everone answer this question, you'll notice their position as well.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  92. Janet Glazier

    Alot of people think they may be hearing too much from the President.I think we haven't heard from him enough.This Universal health care proposal is crucial to all of us and President Obama needs to have another Prime time speach to clarify what it is all about.He is the Only one that could explain what Governments intentions are.I'm tired of all the yelling and misinformation that is going around.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  93. Nancy

    It would be great if the media would spend the next two weeks covering facts only that are in the proposed health care reform. The debates are the best thing we can do but we need straight facts. Health care is a basic human right and we need to start somewhere. It's about time.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  94. Bill

    We need to reform health care. I never thought alot about it until very resently. I have worked at same company for 25 years and am thinking about early retirement. I am 56. Until this month our company helped to pay for retiree health care. Now in effort to help their bottom lline they have cut that benefit. I can keep my insurance in retirement but have to pay for all of it. Amazingly the current premiums are going to take all of my pension. I and fellow workers have looked for other cheaper alternatives but have been told by them, oh if you take more than three medicines we won't accept you in our plan. We need to fix the problem so people like me have some real options

    August 12, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  95. Heyward

    I for one an thrilled to see these so-called "Real Americans" behave as total fools in Town Hall meetings. The majority of those protesters are McCain/Palin holdovers and former Tea Baggers, they'd scream, shout and protest anything President Obama wants to do as President. Any one who has ever dealt with a insurance companies understands it's time to reel them in for the benefit of us all.What's more baffling is how anyone can stand up in a Town Hall meeting and defend the current system is beyond me and rational thinking. It's sad that the media HAS NOT FOCUSED on the INSURANCE COMPANIES, I'm sure some who report on this story have their own personal stories about insurance companies nightmares. The media in their zest for sensationalism is presenting these unruly Americans as the majority and that's not the case The majority of Americans do want some type of Health Care Reform.Instead of giving idiots, morons and racist a platform it would be in the BEST INTEREST of the country to give is FACTS. This is NO MAKE OR BREAK anything, we are talking about OUR COUNTRY for some in the media to pretend this is a game or spectacle is doing a disservice to us all.

    August 12, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  96. Al

    I bloged yesterday that the young lady you had on from Mr Spectors townhall would be the next news item, and her video would be online before you guys went home yesterday. Her interview with you this morning just shows how little young people know about the constitution and how the government works.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:57 am |
  97. Thomas

    unlike Bush who had all his policies passed by force and fear, Obama's allowing the conversation of all kinds including the weird ones. Obama talked about his plans during the campaign and is following up on it, no one should be surprized, election has consequences, I think hes doing just fine, this country was a mess when he became president and we all know how long it takes to make a mess and how hard it is to clean it up. those who didnt make an issue when the country was going south, they shouldnt say anything to those who are trying to fix it.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:52 am |
  98. Sarah

    The more I hear about this health care bill, the more confused I become. The little I have seen of the town meetings tells me that the people of this country are not fully aware of the kinds of medical coverage already in place. Medicaid for poor people has always required financial information and control. The Medicare system requires that you pay a monthly premium and they will pay your supplement insurance premium, but there is confusion as to what you get for it. If your social security income does not does not cover your doctor's visits co-pay you are sent back to Medicaid and sometimes you are rejected. My point is this: there may be entirely too much wrong with our health care system for one bill to fix. Why don't we ask each group what it needs, and make sure that each state is in agreement with the federal government that whatever is decided, it will be another choice for those who want it and not for those who don't.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:51 am |
  99. greg

    The townhall meeting is an American tradition. They work when the citizens attending are civil and ready to participate. What's happening now is the health insurance lobby is packing the meetings with gun carrying screamers who shout down our representatives and fellow citizens. This is clearly unproductive and a threat to the American way.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  100. Thomas

    I think the PA mom who said she dont know much about const. should be quiet and express her anger some different ways, most republicans do not have tolerance of everyone's rights, the democr. endured G. Bush policies for 8 years and republicans need to be aware of our 2 parties system.

    August 12, 2009 at 6:42 am |
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