American Morning

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August 12th, 2009
06:20 AM ET

Health care debate: What's true, what's false

How difficult is it to find answers to what’s in the health care bills making their way though Congress?

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Barack Obama speaks at a town hall meeting August 11, 2009 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire."]

It’s not easy at all if you pay attention to all those town hall shouts, YouTube clips, and 30 second commercials that have dominated the news and the Internet over the past few weeks. In many instances supporters and opponents of health care reform have reduced a very complex issue into simplistic, completely opposite interpretations about what’s in the bills.

Bill Adair is the Washington Bureau Chief of the St. Petersburg Times, and also the person behind, a Web site that seeks to find the truth in complex policy debates. We asked him to assess the accuracy of some of the claims made by the two camps.

Opponents of the plans under consideration in the House and Senate say it will create socialized medicine. Supporters say that’s not true because they rely substantially on private health plans. Adair says it’s “not correct to say that it’s nationalizing the health care system or that it’s socialized medicine.” But he adds that there’s enough uncertainty in how the plan might evolve that several years in the future “it could lead to nationalized health care.”

What about keeping your current insurance under a new plan? Critics say you can kiss goodbye to what you have now. The president has said repeatedly that if you have health insurance now, you can keep it just the way it is. Who’s right?


Filed under: Health • Politics
August 12th, 2009
06:15 AM ET

Battle of the bands

Anyone who saw Paul McCartney perform this summer saw in the audience moms, their kids, and their children's children – all singing along.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Picture taken 18 August 1964 of the British pop music group 'Beatles' leaving the London airport for a tour in United-States."]

It's no surprise that a new survey found that the Beatles are truly a band that bridges generations. A Pew Research survey found the Fab-Four to be the top musical act across all generations. Michael Jackson is the number one pick for those under thirty.

People in the thirty to forty-nine age bracket selected the Eagles as their top choice. Baby Boomers, from 50-64, picked the Beatles. And those over 65 chose Old Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra as their favorite.

And – 40 years after Woodstock Rock and Roll is the musical genre of choice for everyone under 65. Two-thirds of Americans say they listen to rock often or sometimes, with older people preferring country music.

Top 20 acts in the poll:

1. Beatles 2. Eagles 3. Johnny Cash 4. Michael Jackson 5. Elvis Presley 6. Rolling Stones
7. Aretha Franklin 8. Frank Sinatra 9. Carrie Underwood 10. Garth Brooks 11. Jimi Hendrix 12. Bruce Springsteen 13. Mariah Carey 14. Bob Dylan 15. Jefferson Airplane 16. Nirvana 17. Madonna 18. Coldplay 19. Kanye West 20. Grateful Dead

Read more: Forty Years After Woodstock, A Gentler Generation Gap »

Filed under: Entertainment
August 12th, 2009
06:14 AM ET

What’s on Tap – Wednesday August 12, 2009

Here are the big stories on the agenda today:

  • President Obama's road show to sell health care reform kicking off in New Hampshire.  The crowd was orderly and polite yesterday.  But in Pennsylvania and Missouri, town halls turned ugly.  We'll go beyond the sound bytes to find out why so many people are so angry.  And we’ll talk to one congressman who had a confrontation with a doctor, and then found a swastika outside his office.  Has it really come to this?
  • An American soldier serving his country and allegedly, Mexico’s drug lords.  An 18-year-old army private is accused of being a hit man for a Mexican drug cartel, shooting a DEA informant on U.S. soil.  CNN’s Ed Lavandera is live with the violent, new reality on this side of the border.
  • A new weapon in the fight against colon cancer could be right in your medicine cabinet.  Researchers say aspirin may be able to extend the lives of people with colon cancer, the second- deadliest cancer killer in the country. One expert says the study's findings could be "revolutionary.”
  • The all-time battle of the bands.  Who’s number one?  There’s a clear winner in a new survey about the great performers of all time – and which band bridges the gap between generations.  You can probably guess who, but the rest of the list may have you screaming at your TV… “Old Blue Eyes” just edged out a young blondie. Yes, really.  Let the water cooler talk begin!

Filed under: What's On Tap
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