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September 10th, 2009
06:00 AM ET

Obama presents health plan, rips 'scare tactics'

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama told Congress on Wednesday that while he is not the first president to take up the cause of health care reform, "I am determined to be the last."

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption= "President Obama told a joint session of Congress that the 'time for bickering' over health care is over."]

In an address to a joint session of Congres Obama presented the most detailed description of his idea of health reform, and at the same time posted an outline of his plan on the White House Web site.

Obama has been criticized as the health care debate has devolved into rancorous town hall meetings and a partisan split over reform plans. Obama has also faced a split in his own party over how to best go about reforming the nation's health care system.

"Well the time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action," Obama said. "Now is when we must bring the best ideas of both parties together, and show the American people that we can still do what we were sent here to do. Now is the time to deliver on health care." Read the full story »

What is your reaction to the speech? What do you think of the president's plan? Add a comment below.

Filed under: Politics
soundoff (275 Responses)
  1. Robert Martin

    I wonder how you can not call the lie. as Obama said his self for example that he is not the first president to bring up health care, he intends to be the last.
    I want to know where his this is gonna fix the problem for ever pill is, as if he is going to tackle this issue and it will never be an issue again.
    Give me a break.
    I have applied for SS disability and you know the goverments first answere is to turn their head and deny the problem and is a wel known fact that no one gets approved the first time and as I now understand it, if you are to be approved it will be no sooner than the third time.
    I take 3, 60 mg oxycotin a day and can not legally drive because of the amount of oxycotin I take and I know of no one that one attempt to hire me and I also take 4 Norco a day and 4 350 mg Soma but in the SS eyes, I am not disabel and I am in so much pain even at the level of medication I take it is all I can do to write this email.
    The Workers Comp is trying to discontinue my lifetime medical and the SS office policy is to turn everyone down and refuse to acknowledge their is a problem and all the agencys want to drown you in paper work and do what ?? hope your problem disappears.
    Even the people that worl at the places that see thee unjust and unfair treatment dare not say a word and keep thier mouth shut and are either just thankful they have a job or they are the other type that love the bonus and the advance in thier carreer as to keep the injured suppressed as the bennifit from keeping the cost down and the profit up and those of us who suffer, GAGED OR MUFFELD.

    Can we not vote the insurance for congress be discontinued untill the problem is repaired.
    Why is it when you are voted into an office based on lies and false promises you get to keep your job when you fail and you can keep failing and it is acceptable in this country and you are not held accountable and the higher the office the less you are held accountable for ?.

    Would some one tell me what is wrong with that picture, it should be easy and that my friend shold be fixed and the rest will take care of it self.

    If you can not do what you claim you can do ? you are fired and you have to return the advance you have recieved on the work you could not complete and some one who is capable is brought in to complete the job.

    September 11, 2009 at 7:56 am |
  2. Bonnie

    Just a quick reminder, the fact of the matter is that the US doesn't have the best health care in the world, they are 34th, behind others like Canada, England Germany, France, etc. all the while paying twice the dollars.

    September 11, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  3. Sandra

    In response to A Canadian Perspective, your comments did not go over my head. You make an excellent point. Unfortunately, we still have the reputation of the "ugly Americans" from foreign perspective.
    Spoiled and rotten.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:38 pm |
  4. Bob misunderstand. I am out here in the real world. I pay my insurance on my own....all of it.....I was paying $1000 month for medical insurance alone 4 years ago....and I can appreciate it if you are really unable to get insurance. The problem I'm having with this is that it sure looks like a power grab to me. If they want to "reform" insurance then do it...but leave the free market be.......I had a business that was doing just fine thank you....until the gov't decided to start helping the low income and elderly......rather than put an agency out there that would write specs and inspect the work before payment to contractors bidding on the work....the gov't put a non-profit together......they started doing the work.....when the "low income" & elderly were taken care of they raised the income they are the only game intown.....they were using my tax dollars against me & other business people like me in the market place until they had all our employees that we trained working for them because they took all the business...........

    If you put a public option, or trigger, or non-profit co-op out there, it will lead to single payer, gov't run healthcare.....period......then they will be telling you what you can and can't eat, smoke, drink, drive, do.....because you'll be taking a chance on running up the medical costs to the gov't.........

    Frankly, there are other writers here that are of the same opinion I have....if its good enough for the citizenry, then its good enough for the politicians, and if it isn't you shouldn't want it either.

    As for the $900 billion.......there is a lot of "pork" in the back end of this HR 3200....or hadn't you noticed...what's that got to do with medical insurance, and why isn't anybody talking about it.....

    It's not a racist's a power thing.....and it goes against the principle's of what made this country great......seems like a lot of soldiers died to defend our freedom over the years....and keep communism off our door why are we in such a hurry to give it up???? We can keep our freedom, and get health insurance that everybody can afford......but not the way they are trying to do it now.....they want to vote on these bills without our representatives even taking the time to read them....don't forget that President Obama wanted the legislation passed before they went on August this day I don't believe we've seen any "final" bill.......this vote it in, then we'll have the help write it after the fact, seems insane to me.

    PS- Bonnieblue....I'm sorry you've had such a time...I hope the surgery went well, and I hope you are okay .

    September 10, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  5. Gale Marshall

    Go Joe ! I was having the same reaction. Work in the health care system with me and EVERYONE would see how the President is dreamng while congress is spending.

    September 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  6. Scott Cook

    Since our leaders are "elected by the people" and they are supposed to be working "for the people" they need to start living "like the people" they represent. I believe they should be forced to give up their gold plated health care plan and use the plan they are selecting for the American people. These people in Washinton are so far out of touch with main stream is time for their wakeup call.

    September 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  7. tanya

    I continue to be shocked by the frat boy mentality of the Repubilican Party. It is an embarassment to our country and to us as Americans. We need health care reform and we need it now! Scare tactics are not the way to go. Remember the story of the little boy who cried wolf once to offen. If the Republicans continue to act in this unprofessional and undignified manner no one will listen to what they have to say. If they truly consider themselves to be leaders then start acting like leaders.

    September 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  8. Robyn

    Let me first state that I have been blessed to have wonderful health coverage and many may not be in the same position that I am in. I also understand that a lay off could take my excellent healthcare options away.

    I am increasingly becoming dissapointed in how many have reacted to the President in general. Bush was a polorizing figure due to what many thought that he “stole” the election and the few critics who opposed the Iraq war-which those opponents were deemed as “unAmerican” -You argree with me or we will ostracize you.

    However, the disagreements my thought that with this particular president, the uproar is a little deeper and little uglier. The uproar has more to do with President Obama versus healthcare itself. Many may balk at my words, but their may be some who would rather see the majority suffer (go with out healthcare reform) than allowing the President to “win” or as some have stated wanting him to "fail". Time out for politics or may be something worst and do what is right!!!

    Healthcare for all is a wonderful option for every American citizen. Iraqis if I am not mistakened have universal healthcare and we are helping to pay the bill for them so why are we not worthy enough and care for our own to do the same for every American? I believe that both Democrats and Republicans should put behind their politcal differences or other differences and stand up for the rights of Americans for which we have placed them in positon to do so. Stop using Americans as a pawn in your game and once again do your job politicians and come up with a reform that will work.

    September 10, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  9. connie

    Once again, the USA has gone on National TV and shown what a joke our politicians are. Instead of showing a group of people dedicated to the best interest of the people , they showed their disrespectfull and selfish "true colors" for the world to see. Our country wastes billions for unnessassary things, then our politicians cry that they will have to cut medicare and social security in order to provide basic health care. They could pay for this by stopping the pork and ear marks, but they wont. We can vote them out, but others just as selfish will only take their place. What is the answer? Are there any courageous people who will work to improve the world instead of manipulate the less fortunate to pad their own pockets?

    September 10, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  10. susan

    The Indians in Oklahoma get free health care, who pays for that? the taxes used for their health care comes from everyone, so everyone should get the same health care for free.....this double standard is what causes the American People to lose faith in the people they elect only to find them voting up their own salary and building airports in remote states for only a handful of people to use, or spending billions to replace the sand on the beaches of the Rich and unavailable with our hard earned money.......If congress and the senate were to be paid for what they do FOR the people who elect them and give us the control over their salaries and perks things might be better for the average person, instead we see no one taking responsibility for doing the job they were elected to do....which is to make this a better country. All they do is just fill their own pockets with money from the tax dollars.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  11. Emma

    Shame on Mr. Wilson. However, did nobody notice the faces Nancy Pilosi made throughout – very disconcerting – and the fact that she seemed to lose control of her dentures. "Just Sayin" She is a big part
    of the stalemate on Health Care.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  12. Bonnieblue

    Bob – I take offense at your remarks and it is apparent that you must live under a rock like many of our politicians out there. I am unemployed after 33 of working, paying my fair share of taxes and cannot afford insurance even when I was working since premiums would have take 45% of my paycheck just to have a mediocre plan that doesn't cover squat. I have never gotten public assistance in my life and the majority of uninsured do not as they are too rich for either food stamps or Medicaid. Most of us have worked all of our lives and paid into the tax system, paid our mortgages, and never ever asked for a handhout from anyone. To indicate that we are freeloaders is an insult to the American people who have helped pay taxes to build the roads you drive on and paid for your schools, and paid into social services and medicare for years and never shurked our duty. The Public Option plan is not free and unless you have income of 350K or more, the cost of the total reform will not affect you in any way now or in the future, so I am not sure what you are complaining about. If I have a chance to obtain reasonable coverage from private insurers, I would already have it. I and many of us without insurance and too rich for Medicaid are depending on this plan so we can pay our premiums at a reasonable cost instead of paying a private insurer discrimitory high price premiums geared only to help subsidize the large group market whom they give the cheapest rates of which I assume this mean your insurance. The current health care system does not work for 85% of the public which is high priced with one of the lowest outcomes as to general health of any modern country and the cost is rising daily to where the 30% loss of small employers in the market in the recent decade will grow to 100% of the small employer in the future. This will lead to the bankruptcy of America. If you do not think reform is needed, hang around if reform does not pass and watch the world surpass in care by leaps and bounds and we become the sickest nation in the world. As for paying for my costs, I paid out of pocket cash of 14k for surgery last year because I did not have insurance and I had no charity. I had to save 5 years to get it. Thanks for being such a human being and you do not pay for my healthcare.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  13. ronvan

    SooooO, many opinions! How about this? Go after the drug companies, insurance companies, lobbyists and anyone else that is getting rich off of medical care at YOUR expense. Start calling people that make "false" statements, LIARS, and make it a TV event. Maybe then we could stop with the terror tactics & try to get an accurate picture of what this proposed program really contains. Find out who of our "elected officials" are getting rich putting $$$ in their pockets from the lobbyists, make that a TV event. Wonder how much money all these people, and the demonstrators, are spending to prevent any kind of change? Wonder why, if they were truly concerned, that they could not take that $$$, millions, if not billions, and help those American's that cannot afford, or do not have, health insurance, and let WE the American people decide what to change!

    September 10, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  14. john

    Rep. Joe Wilson is correct, Obama is a liar.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  15. Jen

    I admit it – I did not watch the speech last night. I watched the Presidents prior speech and wanted to stick needles in my eyes. I was disappointed, again, when the major considerations of HOW IT WILL BE PAID FOR and WHAT ARE THE SPECIFIC DETAILS OF THE PLAN were not addressed.

    What was telling to me in Pres Obama's previous speech is how he answered the question of whether the plan would be suitable for his family. His answer was that he does not need the plan because he has a doctor following him around 24 hours a day. AMERICA, THIS IS A BIG RED FLAG!!! IF THE PRESIDENT CANNOT LOOK YOU IN THE EYE AND SAY THAT HE WOULD WANT TO BE COVERED UNDER THIS PLAN, DOESN'T THAT SPEAK VOLUMES???

    Do you really think that the government can effectively run a healthcare program? Look at their track record. They bankrupted Medicare and Medicaid. Social Security is almost depleted. IS ANYBODY NOTICING THIS???? Aren't you tired of paying into Social Security that will not be there for you when you retire??? Aren't you tired of being taxed more and having to work harder so that those individuals that know how to "use the system" are getting handouts when they are capable of getting a JOB. And now we should pay for everyone to have healthcare???

    But, oh, the poor people that cannot get a job – well, you know what?? I am a single mom with a 9 year old daughter. I put myself through college and graduate school and have always worked. I made education a priority and worked 2 jobs while going to graduate school full time and raising my daughter. I have never taken a PENNY of government subsidies. There is nothing special about me. If I can do it, so can these other individuals.

    Let's be honest. This bill is not about healthcare at all. It's about power and control.

    Pres Obama should block out time on the networks and go over the plan in detail – what it means for us, the American people, and who is going to pay for it if he really wants to at least give the appearance that he is concerned with what is best for the American people. But, don't stand up there and LIE to the American people. Maybe he is not lying because he has not even READ the entire bill to really know what it contains. Whatever the case, we can only hope that Congress READS the bill before voting.

    While Congressman Wilson's comment was not in the appropriate venue, I commend him for speaking the truth.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  16. Mark

    I am a 60 year old business man, I voted rupublican many times before. I plan to never vote Republican again.. I am finished with the Republican party. I hope the insurance companies pay the well.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  17. Bonnieblue

    Stephanie – The cost of 900 billion includes the costs of the entire implementation of the reform bill for consumer protection enforcement, costs of streamlining health records, medical tuition assistance, Medicare Part B coverage black hole, credits for premium assistance for those over the poverty level but still not able to afford private or public option health insurance, etc..

    The 900 Billion is not for the "Public Option" plan itself. The Public Option plan is like a non-profit insurer like we had similar to the old BCBS plans of old. The Public Option plan is payable by insurance premiums paid by qualified consumers buying the plans and by small employers who qualify to be in the plan and paid in part by credit reimbursment assistance for the above poverty level individuals who cannot afford premiums. The Public Option plan excludes persons currently in a group insurance plan under an employer, is forbidden to all large employers including government, and is not accessible to high income persons except in the case where private insurance will not cover them. This is a very small percentage of people the public option will cover. It is a loophole insurance not available ot all.

    Private insurance is not being unjustly competed against unless you believe they have the right to impose premiums increases unjustly at 400% higher to individuals and small employers and can rescind and cancel at whim, deny treatments without any regulations or any law to prevent it. Then yes, this free market has the right to cry out in protest against the free market system where they have had the freedom to ride roughshod on the consumer and our legislators have allowed this to go on and legislators even fight to protect those rights.

    Consumer protections is the responsiblity of the government and to do nothing is like saying it is OK. Government takeover with this reform?? I think not. If you ask me, it is long past time they took the public welfare before corporate campaign fund donations.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  18. Bonnieblue

    For all of those interested in the impact of tort reform and its on current costs, please see

    As I have said many times before, this is not just a malpractice issue and when percentages are calculated they include many factors such as asbestos exposure, worker comp, auto accidents, prescription drugs, etc. How can anyone think we can include all of this in the reform bill is beyond me Mr. Republicans. There are so many insurance industries that this touches on that its inclusion of the purpose of heath care reform only is a drop in the bucket. Tort reform directly related to medical practices only, is not enough to make any impact on the total tort costs or health care costs. A separate bill that addresses all of the multiple insurance markets needs to be created in order to include them all since many times, there are many industries affected simutaneously in a lawsuit.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  19. Trimfruitcake

    Brilliant speech as usual, the President just needs to clarify those areas of fraud/abuse in the healthcare system and over what period of time the true saving will be realised. He should also call this "Health Insurance Reform".

    September 10, 2009 at 11:56 am |

    I don't think any employer should be "exempt". Every employer should provide the minimum of single-coverage health, dental and vision to EVERY employee–regardless of size.

    Illegal aliens will still be able to access emergency rooms–this needs to stop. There is a need fro across-the-board legislation that denies illegal aliens and other non-americans from accessing not only medical (unless they pay upfront), but also educational, foodstamps, welfare, housing, etc. The "anchor baby" clause needs to be eliminated so that children born to illegals and non-americans cannot access any entitlements also!!! I am sick and tired of illegals coming in, overwhelming taxpayer funded medical facilities, schools–and having the nerve to think they should get ssi, etc. Deport the illegals–deny them any kind of entitlemetns

    September 10, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  21. chris

    Nancy, If I wasn't married I would suggest cocktails. I think a have finally heard from a reasonable preson. Unfortunately we are alone in the crowd of haters who need to identify with one side or another,so they have a feeling that they belong. I also feel that's what the politictians want.... swap and bait and hate....God help them if more people like me and you look at the big picture.Where is the tort reform? Where are they going to get all the extra Doctors? Why is The Senate Congress and the Pres Exempt from the Plan? Waht happens to the illegals? I'm not asking you, but they don't want these questions asked.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  22. Bob

    How about this....let's all get off any type of healthinsurance.....what are the medical professionals going to do....not treat anyone? get new jobs? close their facilities? maybe lower their prices.......

    September 10, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  23. Dave

    We should probably stop calling it "HealthCARE" about healthservice. At least that implies that your paying for a service rendered. The "care" would mean some one actually gave a crap.
    When did we, citizens of America, decide it was OK to make a profit illness and death? How is it that something that should be concience driven is dollar driven? When did we become so greedy? Is capitalism so ingrained into our thought processes that we simply don't know any other way?? But, if we turn away from unbridled cowboy capitalism then we are accused of being socialist. Oh, lets not forget how well capitalism has been doing lately..........and I do have some prespective in this area, I'm currently filing bankruptcy. If this is the best we can do, man are we screwed. Yes, life is cheap and there's no profit in cure. The profit lies in treatment. Does ObamaCare have a chance??? Slim to none.......where's the profit??

    September 10, 2009 at 11:14 am |
  24. nancy

    @ Chris ~~
    chris September 10th, 2009 9:15 am ET

    "44 Democrats are against the current plans.This is not a Repulican / Democrat problem, it is a U.S. problem. Change for the sake of change may not be a good way to attck this problem. Would you rathe be in the Frying Pan or in the Fire? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR."

    Then instead of all the fussing and fighting, let's see some coming together of BOTH parties and put a plan on the table. President Obama can't do it all himself. It's called ~~ cooperation. Pres. Obama is ASKING for suggestions and plans. For cripes sake, there's got to be someone WE elected that can come up with plans ~~ viable or not. It's got to START with BOTH parties coming together for the GOOD of the PEOPLE.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  25. chris

    Bob Nelson ,Let's look at this illegal immigrant problem, not what some idiot said last night. WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM IF THEY ARE NOT ON THE PLAN? I mean.. isn't that the question? The answer is they won't be illegal, they will be granted amnesty.. which may not be such a bad thing anyway. Either way we are going to pay for them anyway.and get less.

    September 10, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  26. Jane White

    Obama was firm, focused and fabulous last night! Let's focus on what he said about the health care proposal, and move away from the Rep. Wilson comment. It was rude and disrespectful. Period.

    We don't need more diversions from the issues.

    And WHY the heck did John Roberts interview Katy What's-Her-Name about her reaction to the president's speech? She is sincere, but she is clearly misinformed about the proposed bill – otherwise, she wouldn't say she's afraid that we're "becoming Russia," as she told Sen. Specter during the townhall discussion. She said she wants to see the bill – yet she seems unaware that the bill has been online for anyone to read, for weeks now!

    She's a lightweight, and should not be treated as a pundit. Why doesn't CNN use professors, or doctors or health professionals about their reactions? Geesh!

    September 10, 2009 at 10:58 am |
  27. Bob

    If you have a plan, that says it is going to cover illegal aliens, which HR3200 does, and the President says it won't, which is right? When you have a vote on a bill that isn't written or there are multiple versions of the same theme ,but nothing solid, how do you know exactly what you are voting on or will finally get?

    When you have a general outline from the president, but it doesn't match the congressional versions.....why vote....its a theme not a specific set of plans.

    If you can't afford healthcare now, but are using the doctor's service and the hospital......somebody is paying for it. When you sit at home and your milk & cheese, and rent & food money come from the government, a car, and free babysiting, two nights and three days a week so you can have a "break", and a week vacation at a high end location so you can put your "relationship" together....when you can get a gov't. paid for cell phone at no cost......I guess you would think that healthcare is a right.........

    If you think the rest of the world comes by their money by picking it off the tree......I guess you'd be the federal gov't with a printing press.....

    If you think the rich owe you something I guess you believe in Robin Hood, Jesse James, Bonnie & Clyde, and the rest of them.....

    If the gov't is insistant on reforming health care to cover the tens of millions that for one reason or another are not, and you think you can have a competing public option without damaging the free market you're nuts. If you think penalizing people for not paying for healthcare is the right thing to do, then I guess you don't care if they have it or not.....if they could afford the penalty, they'd buy the healthcare....if they can't afford the healthcare penalizing them will only make it harder for them to buy the what's the haven't accomplished your goal.

    If 85% of the population is covered why change the whole system to cover the rest.....just find a program to cover them.......

    If you think that $900 billion is not going to raise taxes, or that they can "find" the money from other current're nuts....if they make the cuts to move the money from one program to the other....the people affected will complain until they get their free program money back.......when you think don't worry because its coming from the gov't....don't forget YOU ARE THE GOV" you are paying for it anyway....but for every dollar you mail the gov't you only get a small percentage of your dollar back......

    If you think healthcare is a you'll think home heating fuel is a about gas for your car? Free municipal water & sewer might be a property tax might be a right

    As to the "Liar" thing during the may have been poor manors, but certainly true.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  28. dmd

    Once again I thought I was listening to Father Christmas. Gifts for everyone. Utopia thinking. Not realistic. One thing at a time should be the way to start. Especially in a recession. Seriously if all the waste will fund this , why haven't they done this before. It will just be another bigger bureaucratic nightmare.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:47 am |
  29. chris


    September 10, 2009 at 10:41 am |
  30. maria soto-fernandez

    I am no politic person I have good manners but sometimes you need

    to tell something diferent when you feel bad but never in the Congress

    who is representative of American people....

    September 10, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  31. chris

    Bob Nelson, my wife's side of the family has a lot of relatvies (first cousins) that settled in Canada from Italy. When they visited the U.S. for Health Reasons. I was shocked at some of services we take for granted they have to wait 6 months or longer for.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  32. Jerilyn Lessley

    I am a senior citizen. I am happy with my medical coverage. I have Lupus. That is why I had to retire. I still believe there must be health care reform. I have many friends and both my children who are struggling with health care costs. Most have insurance through their or their spouses work. They still have to fight for their coverage. Sometimes it is as simple (or not) to be able to take medicine which will allow one to get out of bed so they can go to work, so they can pay for what health care they get. Thank you, MR. President. Keep on leading the way.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  33. Leigh

    Joe Wilson (R-SC) should be censured. What a disgrace.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  34. Donna

    I think the President is making progress. He is stressing a bipartisin agenda and I hope he is successful. We are ranked 38th in the world for health care simply because everyone in our country doesn't have access to it. Health should be more important than money. That's the way it is in other civilized countries in the world. I am completely behind our President. As far as "liar" being yelled out to the President during a speech to our country, well what poor manners and it sounds like a yell of being scared the President might succeed.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  35. Helen

    This morning when I heard the name of the person who so blatantly disrespected this country's Commander-and-Chief, I Googled Joe Wilson, South Carolina. What appeared shocked me. It was not a report from an American news network like CNN, but from Beijing China ( The "world" is watching every move America makes, and people like Joe Wilson are undermining the integrity, and everything America once had – respect of every nation in the world. By disrespecting The President of the United States, especially in that particular setting, makes everyone, here and abroad, wonder what happened to the professionalism and presumed intelligence of those elected to represent Americans. They are supposed to lead by example – is that the level to which this country has come down to? Is that the example we want the world to see? How can we go into another country and chastise them for their actions when we have no respect for ourselves? President Obama has been doing everything in his power to bring this country and its leaders together, but racism is so deeply embedded in the hearts of so many in this country that unity will never be allowed to happen. The media is not helping matter much. So many in those in the media are so afraid of being called a "N.....Lover" that they will put down people of color at every opportunity with selective reporting, smirks on their faces as they spew out their snide remarks. That may be pleasing to some, but it infuriates others. In case you do not know it, the powerful number one broadcasting network is not using its power to help bring this country together, instead, you are widening the division within this once great nation. You say you are stating the facts, but what you are stating is not the whole truth. Instead of smiling about what Joe Wilson did last night, you should have strongly expressed your dislike of that despicable act against America. Whether any of us like it or not, President Obama is the chief representative of these United States of America on a world level. The media has explained away so many injustices, that people like Joe Wilson feel really comfortable in doing or saying any poisonous, negative, hateful or destructive thing they want to without fear of consequences from our powerful media. That is a dangerous, dangerous message for this country to send. Your response this, and other despicable acts against our President, is like the levies in New Orleans. They broke because their footings were being weakened below the ground and that weakening should have been, but was not detected. America is also being weakened just below the surface by people like Joe Wilson, who will do or say anything to prove that age old perception of incompetence and intellectual deficiencies of anyone not of the perceived "master race". This is not WWII 'Germany; this is 2009 America. We are supposed to be better than that!!! CNN has the power to save this country from an impending self-destruction which we are destined for if someone doesn't do something about the racial divide. However, I guess that would be impossible because your reporters travel in different circles than the average American. Therefore, they do not know the everyday struggles and stresses of regular people. If they did, they would be honest in their reporting of what is really going in this country and stand up for what's right. Don't be a part of the problem, be the solution. People need some positives in their lives and something to hope for, especially in this day and time. We are looking to our leaders to give us that hope, not make us feel even more depressed and adding to our feelings of hopelessness.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  36. Adee

    Tom Joad
    Actually, I did read your post. I find it a little humorous that the point you're trying to make (that no one wins without a public option because...) actually shows that you believe our government can't legislate in such a way that this will be successful.
    IF any of us felt confident that they could, they could simply pass a bill that would ensure the health care industry met our needs such as cost control and pre-existing condition WITHOUT having to have a public option that tax payers have to pay for.
    I can't say I don't disagree with you there though – I don't have that confidence either – which is why the last thing I want is some more government bloated program that doesn't meet it's well-intentioned goals.

    September 10, 2009 at 10:00 am |
  37. Bob Nelson

    CNN Fact Check just said Rep Joe Wilson is wrong. Illegal immigrants are not covered by President Obama's proposed health care plan.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  38. Carole

    I was very disappointed when the President made mention of the lies behind 'Death Panels', the Republicans just sat there not even applauding. I guess the way to interpret that action is they believe in the Death Panel lie?

    Last I recall it was two Republicans who wrote bills that had end-of-life counseling.........also Sarah Palin had a do your end-of-life instructions day in Alaska. I discount her blogging on Facebook like a coward, instead of coming out like the quitter she is.

    I think the Republican leaders in 'all' houses need to give them classes on protocol on how to behave. No signs; No shout outs as it is so August wingnut like; No Eric Cantor using his blackberry while the President of the United States of America is speaking......his constituents should see Eric Cantor as disrespectful of the office as well as immature. Then again, he did go to the Brittney Spears concert alone......pervert, I mean Republican! '

    September 10, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  39. Alfreda

    As I watched the president explain the proposed health care reform I noticed the misbehavior and total disrespect from many of the public office representatives we the American people place our trust in to DO THE RIGHT THING. We had an election and at the time, the American people overwhelmingly chose who they thought would do the best job in this day and time. If we all (democrats and republicans) feel health care reform is a great idea then we ALL need to pull up our sleeves and work on fixing the problem. The president has presented his version of health care reform. Now is the time for those who don’t agree to offer suggestions that will strengthen the bill rather than bark slander and stir up more arguments. This is ridiculous. Stop wasting the taxpayers money by complaining and start working. I'm tired of the Bickering

    September 10, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  40. Barbara Dowd

    I support President Obama's efforts to reform the health insurance business and provide health care for all Americans!!

    September 10, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  41. chris

    v. johanek..SOOOO..... What exactly do you want Guiliani "FIRED" from. Just in case you don't know... Guiliani WAS to be the Mayor of NYC. Lashing out is typical of left librals, but interestingly you don't point out anything he said to be untrue. Forget the hate bit. Keep your eye on the ball. The fact is 44 DEMS OPPOSE THE CURRENT PLANS.This is an USA problem.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  42. maria soto-fernandez

    I love this country because of its Democracy and you can call our president lier.......I am independent , living here 35 years .Every president did the best democrats ,republicans, but all needs help.
    Now we need to help president Obama with the health, trust him..We dont know how many liers are in the Congress,I prefer send my positive vote to president Obama I think he wants the best for this country,

    September 10, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  43. James

    I think that the President did a very good job of explaining what he wanted to see in the health care plan. The fact still remain that the Republicains will still oppose anything that the President or any Democrat puts forward in order to make the President look bad.
    A public option is necessary to make sure that everyone can afford health insurance, and force insurance companies to bring down cost or at less keep cost under control.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  44. Bob Nelson

    Chris, there will always be providers of ELITE health care for those who can afford it, including Canadians. However, can you cite one piece of factual evidence that health care in the U.S. is better than Canada. And not just anecdotal evidence of one cancer patient who had to wait for a CAT Scan?

    September 10, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  45. Steven

    I think the President's speach was on point. It's about time he defended his plan against the LIES and miss information put out by the Republicans. You mentioned again today (sarcasticly) that the Peresident said he was going to change the climate in Washington and work in a bi-partison way. As all people running for off say. You said that has not happened. My issue is you fail to comment that his door is open but the Republicans refuse to come in. They refuse to work with him and you can not blame the President for that. You guys also keep mentioning if other folks are added to the health care system we won't be able to handle it and how do we pay for it. So what are you saying? Let millions of Americans die rather than give themm access to health care? I didn't hear any ask where did we find the trillions to pay for a sencless war that inflated our debt and cost thousands of lives. But we question the cost of saving lives. What is your anr your familie's life worth? President Obama is not a miricle worker he needs help and it is clear that the Republicans are trying to help him fail.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  46. Tom Joad


    "You Lie?!"
    Not, "You're lying" or "Liar!"


    Now let's see if Joe "The Dummy" gets a parade back in South Carolina.

    I have a whole new respect for my African American Grandfather
    and the intolerance he had to deal with. I've been dealing
    with this ignorance, albeit indirectly, for a few months and am
    already fed up with the ignorance.

    @ Adee
    I guess you're one of the ones not listening. "If you like your
    insurance plan, you can keep it..." What part of OPTION
    don't you understand? The O the P the T...?

    – just read my previous post.

    Ok all. I'm getting on the "socialist" highway now, so I have to
    go. I don't want to get a citation from the "socialist" police I help
    pay for.

    – Kuala Lumpur, here we come.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:18 am |
  47. David Breed

    First, I am in full support of what the President presented last night in his address to Congress.

    Second, I believe the public should demand the resignation of Representative Wilson.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  48. Bill Adams

    I can not stop from wondering what would have happened if the tables were turned and it was George Bush addressing Congress and lets say a Democrat from the State of New York called President Bush a liar on national TV? There would have been a such a outcry from the GOP for that Representative to resign. Fox News would talked about it for a week if not longer. What ever happened to fair play? How come the Democratic Parity is always held to such a higher slandered then the Republicans?
    Shame on you Joe Wilson. If I was in the same room as you I would shake my finger at you. Is this what the GOP is all about?

    September 10, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  49. chris

    44 Democrats are against the current plans.This is not a Repulican / Democrat problem, it is a U.S. problem. Change for the sake of change may not be a good way to attck this problem. Would you rathe be in the Frying Pan or in the Fire? BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:15 am |
  50. Adee

    On second thought, maybe we do need to get Health Care with a public option passed, and quickly. We need to get it done so we can get on to more important legislation – since we're all entitled to good health care, we're all (and that means anyone living within the boundaries of the country) entitled to much more basic rights, like food and shelter. We need the government to support all people with a public housing bill that pays for our mortgages and food bill that allows us at least three square meals a day. Hmm, actually, they should pay us too – sort of an allowance – hey we might not even have to work...after all, we're entitled, aren't we...but wait, who would pay for it then? Ah, there's got to be someone out there that will still want to work...I know! Our Congress! Oh, but they're not real good about paying their taxes, are they? Maybe that won't work then...

    September 10, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  51. pj gildernew

    As an independent mind and voter I found the president's speech to be much of the same political @#!#$ !! I voted fro Pres Obama because I thought he stood for getting rid of special interest groups in Washington, boy was I wrong! The more I hear and see Barry, the worse it gets. I cpuldn't stand Bush especially at the end of his second term but this administration and congress don't get it! The American people want cheaper health care and better quality not a whole new system. Why is that so hard to get through people's heads?? Why does someone have to be forced to take health care insurance? If they don't and something happens put them on a payment plan to repay the costs similar to a student loan where you can't claim bk against it and have it wiped out. Make insurance companies be able to compete nationwide not just in individual states. If so much $$ can be saved by cutting fraud as the President suggests then start doing it now and let us see how much is saved in 2 years maybe that pot of money can repay the amount of $$ stolen by congress from social security. Get some form of national tort reform in there so frivolous law suits are thrown out and people hurt by a health professional have all medical expenses paid for until problem rectified or in the case of abuse / neglect or dereliction of duty the doctor's pay is garnished like the irs does to common folk. Above all, whatever plan is passed all government workers, especially congress and the president MUST use exactly what Joe Six Pack gets nothing more nothing less and untill that happens everythign I hear from any politician is a lie!!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  52. Karen

    Once again the President came out with a pretty speech but no plan! He said that the illegal immigrants wouldn't be covered under a public option plan and wants to get rid of waste, said before and no details again! Illegals come into this country and get welfare, Medicare and Medicad, send their kids to school and go to the emergency room all on the federal dime, while citizens are told that they can't get welfare, Medicare and Medicad because they aren't here illegally. So now he wants us to believe that they won't be covered. WAKE UP!

    My question is why isn't he listening to the american people who don't believe in his pretty speeches anymore and want specifics? Where are the numbers? Just how much is this really going to cost us and our children and grandchildren?

    September 10, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  53. Iris

    The President's speech about health care was excellent. I support the President and shall continue to. He made it clear what is at stake. His speech about health care was just what americans needed to hear.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  54. Rich

    It is sad Americans have lost their backbone. We've; Americans, have been known for taking chances that can help make our country stronger. Where has that courage gone? Lost to the party of "no"? That would be the saddest legacy we could leave our children's children. Not only would it mean a crushing deficit, it would mean they would look back on a generation of cowards.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  55. Sara R. Henry

    Why you the Republicans not admit the failure of the Bush Administa-
    tion...when they went to War and spend American Tax Payers Dollars
    and gave the Rich a Tax Break. Give us back that monies and we will have Medicare (our money we made) and have a reform health care bill.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:05 am |
  56. Susan

    All this talk about "how are we going to pay for it" is making me sick! President Bush, the GOP and all those who voted to start the war in IRAQ were not concerned or worried about it's financial and human cost to our people. I am asking my government, my President, my Senate and Congress to give this country and ALL our people the same priority and attention, and fix our health care system with the same sense of urgency! The reason for the IRAQ war was a sham, a lie -–the reasons for the need of health care reform and a public option are true and cannot be denied.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:00 am |
  57. darlene

    healthy in canada , hope u get your reform of health , i had to comment on this issue , im canadian and proud of it , on long weekend just passed my daughter fell and hurt arm we went to emerg at hospital we spent 3 hours there she needed x-ray of arm , this was done at no cost to our family , it would not have been cheap if i lived in usa , ive heard of people loosing homes do to the cost down there , we are so lucky to have a system that takes care of us up here , we left hospital with no cost to us thank goodness , i could not think what the cost of x-rays would be there . we may not have the best system but it works . thank you for this chance to let u know what you are fighting for , may you get health reform for all of usa . good luck healthy in canada

    September 10, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  58. Har'rell Chisolm

    Before I can comment on President Obama's plan, I have to comment on how during the Bush administration, I have never seen CNN commercialS condeming or opposing thus sayeth The Bush! Right after his speech is made. Now as we are showing other countries how separated we really are, ask yourselves this quetion "WDBD?" (What Did Bush Do) about our healthcare situation?
    President Obama has stepped up and not only show interest in our healthcare, he is doing sytematically what needs to be done. We have more than enough hospitals, clinics, and private medical centers, that 75% of our negative concerns will never happen here this is not Canada!!!!
    Commend Effort For a Change!
    We Commended George Bush's Effortless Reign Two Terms...

    September 10, 2009 at 8:57 am |
  59. jenkins

    Good morning on 9/10/09 as a black 26 year old man from South Carolina because we never have received ever in life is a dose of what our once in a lifetime experience toward a chance to turn things around for everyone receives right here in as we call it the united states in which African Americans have established an history here also but still receive no respect an even from our on family Mr. President put all your trust in God an change will come hey i did so far

    September 10, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  60. V. Johanek

    Thank you CNN for allowing Mayor Guiliani to hang himself in the interview. His reaction and comments about the President's health care plan insults everyone's intelligence! It is so blatantly obvious that in these unfortunate times, the very people we have voted for, like Mayor Guiliani and his 'nay-sayer' cronies have their own agenda fed by their big fat egos! We, the American people, pay their salaries to do a job representing us; we trusted them when we voted them into office because we believed in them We believed in their abilities-utilizing their education and intelligence to implement systems and make decisions in the best interest of THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES (hence the word UNITED), in the best interest of OUR COUNTRY AND OUR FUTURE! Stop, putting forth your own agendas; It's not about YOU! Start doing your job! Stop trying to confuse the public! Start putting forth real solutions to work together! UNITED WE STAND, right? In my opinion Mr. Guiliani, you should be FIRED, you and your self-righteous cronies. A bunch of non-productive, egotistical politicians! President Obama's plan makes sense! He was clear and consise about how it will work, how much it is going to cost, and how it is going to be paid for!

    September 10, 2009 at 8:56 am |
  61. CM

    Good Morning,
    I feel it is so easy for those to speak ill of the Presidents plan, when they sit smug because they currently have health insurance or they dont have preexisting conditions. Just over the last year I have developed an illness that has changed my life forever. I feel the Presidents plan is one that will implement a plan of action. He has shown genuine concern and hope for those of us that may be tramatically affected by the health care system. I watched the Presidents speech, and was appalled by the actions of those whose rude and uncaring attitude was displayed during that hour. Those who sat and only grunted, instead of offering a better solution. Yes with any plan there are shortcomings, but those cant be worked out until a plan has taken action. I approve and will support the Presidents plan %110. Thank you, to the President and to those who are doing something to help the American people and provide help to those who suffer everyday because of the health care system. I know first hand what it is like to suffer because some CEO is only out for profit, and has no ethics nor human affection for those who are crying out for help.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:53 am |
  62. michael

    I thought the President's speech was terrific.
    Health Care reform is a MUST. I hope every one who votes against it, be it republican or democrat will be defeated the next time they run. For the people out here who have thoughts of their own know our country can't survive without serious changes. The prescription costs alone are destroying us. The prescription drug program passes by the previous administration does not do enough in helping cover drug costs. The cost for that program was 900 billion dollars which is more than the proposed health care reform.


    September 10, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  63. Jane Shurtleff

    I'd like to see the conservative fringe spend more time and money working towards a solution with President Obama, who at least has a plan, rather than bombarding the nation with propaganda via radio and TV commercials which distort what the President is proposing. I would guess that if you added up all of the costs from the air time conservatives have used up with their fear campaign, it would probably pay for health care for many uninsured people. It is immoral what they are doing and, as Obama clearly said last night, it has to stop.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:51 am |
  64. chris

    The speach was non-specific. No mention of tort reform. How do you lower cost and add 30mil. people with out lowering quality. Lets face it, THERE IS GOING TO BE A BLACK MARKET, UNDER GROUND, SPEAK EASY, OR WHAT EVER YOU WANT TO CALL IT, FOR THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD ELITE HEALTH CARE. Just like Canadians come here for Health Care, the rich will go to China for a kidney,and other services.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  65. Maria Garriga

    President Obama will very likely get a second term and I will be voting for him because of his courage, leadership and determination to get healthcare reform at last.
    This is the change we have been waiting for.
    This is the change that so many in Congress have fought for and died before they could see it happen.
    Each of those fights helped further the cause and one day the United States will be a country that offers high quality healthcare to all at a cost they can afford.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  66. Ken Everson

    I was watching your show & wonder if the NYC mayor saw the same speech! He said the national debt was 9 trillon, the figure was 5.4 T in 1/2001 & 10.7 T in 1/2009. Where does the former mayor get his info?
    If I am correct, the legislative branch writes the laws, not the executive branch, and also works out the details.
    All the scare tactics being used about the national debt is confusing the public. I read on that every adminatration since WW 2 has paid down the huge war debt, except Reagan, Bush & Bush. The apparent differance between the parties is that the democrats have to pay for there progams & the republicans just cut taxes and run up the national debt
    The health care issue doesn't make much difference to me since I have insurance paid until I get medicare, but I know many people that don't have coverage

    September 10, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  67. Mary

    Oh yes, and thank you to all of you who pointed out that Obama himself called people "liars" last night. Did he apologize yet??? Did I miss it?

    September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  68. Edward A. Gray

    WHEN WILL THE PEOPLE WAKE UP? I'm 50 years old now and have watched President's come ad go. This one is trying to do his best to help our Country and our people be and do better. Now we move to health care. Another big business that has gotten out of control. Another busniess paying lobyist to smoosh our House Senate and other branches that can help them keep control of how health care is run. WAKE UP, its not working and it cost us more and more each year. The fact that there are actually people on the hill that would spread stories and pray on peoples fears show they are only there for their own self gain and don't give a darn about there costituants. The Republicans vowed in the begining when President Obama was elected that they were not going to participate and have showed this over and over. My greates fear is whe it comes time for elections in the House and Senate, American's will put in more Republicans (like we have always done for that checks and balances) and nothig will ever get done. Lets do something different, something new. Lets put in a whole House and Senate of Democrates and get something done in this Country instead of more and more red tape and wasted time. I offer something to really think about. How about making terms in the House and Senate like jury duty a civic duty. People are choosen to serve for four years. No more life long Congress or Seante that really don't have any idea what the real world is like. Then it would be people from all walk of life really represeting the state and country as it should be. Oh and get rid of all lobyist...

    September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  69. Krystal Kilbourne

    President Obama's speech was clear, effective & specific as well as articulate. As the wealthiest nation on earth it is shameful that we have the worst health care system of all the wealthy nations & that insurance cos. are not regulated against letting people die so their profit goes up; because of these reasons we MUST pass health care reform NOW - certainly not start over to do it later. Obama made it clear we can't wait around while the Party of No push their personal political agendas for the ins. cos.

    I am grateful we have an intelligent, ethical President who sees clearly what needs to be done!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  70. Manuel Felipe Munera

    Good morning; the assertion by the president to provide the less fortunate with a healt care choice thru a public option was good.
    The public option should non threatening to the people or their capitalist ideals, because its reason to be is just.
    James H. Cone's book 'Risks of Faith' point out the truth about God's love: God's love is justice plain and simple.
    MF. Munera
    Miami Beach, Fla.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am |
  71. Mary

    Those of you who "in your heart" feel trepidation for one is going to try to take him out as you portray! Think about it................Biden would be elevated..............DC would then look like Barney and Rangel circus with Biden as head clown!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  72. Pam Williams

    I'm sick of his propaganda!!!!! If he wasn't a LIAR, then why doesn't he let the american people,(the one's who put him in office) ask him REAL questions in these town hall meetings? He plants whomever he can get a good response from!!! Can't believe the media won't put the truth out there for us all to see!!! CNN & their truth meter's a joke!!!!!! CNN stretches the truth!!!! Why can't you call a LIE a LIE!!!!! Let's see how CNN talks about the illegals getting healthcare once they DO get it!!!! Will you call him a LIAR then?????????? I don't think you will!!!!! You'll stretch the truth again!!!!! I think we should all start stretching the truth, huh? I own a store & maybe I'll have something in stock when you call or maybe I won't? You'll never know! I guess I'll tell you I might have it & I might not! There's no way of knowing til you get to my store! Oh, I'll say, did I tell you I had this in stock? No, I said, maybe? Hahahaha, let's all play the Obama game!!!!!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 8:45 am |
  73. Patty

    I am so tired of seeing the Wilson clip. You have shown it a million times this morning already. Enough. We get the point. Okay?

    September 10, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  74. brian veres

    The people who claimed that this was some democratic cover up for the GOVERNMENT control of health care were moved by the speech, and refuse to acknowledge that they have been wrong in their assesment. They claim President Obama (which is the proper way to address him,not obama, PRESIDENT OBAMA) is a liar. where has this title come from i ask you. It has been brought to the forfront of the discussion by citizens who dont believe in safe money or equallity for all. why would you want to cut down on a system that will insure (everyone) recieves health care coverage. that i feel is the message that has been lost in all of this retarick. EVERYONE has the right to be cover under any health policy, but as most americans know, that is never the case. If any one person has any questions that this is and has not been started by arrogant republicans then need to look no further than the (REPUBLICAN RESPONSE) that was a so obviously disrespectful speech following the presidents speech to congress. First there was the blatten disrespect from the s.c. rep. joe wilson. then this RESPONSE from the republicans that was clearly written and not changed prior to President Obama's speech. I have never seen this level of disrespect in our government, never. The fact that they were so quick to address their views of the speech and presidents job performance that they succceded in trying to undermind our country. I no longer have any positive fellings for the republican party from this point forward. I have believed in some points they have brought up concering this reform issue but as of today , they have lost my vote. This has become an issue of sides thanks to the republicans. they have used tactics that go beyond defending their views, they have used tactics that undermind the whitehouse and its administration. they have used tatics that treat the american people as uneducated children who need the big brother to tell them what to believe and how to react. they have been throwing their hissy fits for long enough. President Obama has asked for bipartisin well before he started this bill, but the republicans claim they asked first. he has ask both parties to draw up a reform bill and guess what happened, the republican said no we dont need this reform,so the democrate took it upon them selves to get it started and now the republican claim they were not invited to add or to discuse the reform plans. everyone who has said that the president is transparent , then explain why that is the case now and not when this reform bill was being established. i believe that ignorance in not an excuse but a unreasonable way to denie the facts of your arogence.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  75. Patty

    If we are going to pay for health care with savings from Medicare and Medicaid, why aren't we doing that already?

    September 10, 2009 at 8:41 am |
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