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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."

President Obama told a joint session of Congress that the 'time for bickering' over health care is over.

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. Bill

    Thank god that president Obama has finally gone on the offensive when it comes to the much needed national Health-Care reform. The continued failure of the national press to cover Heath-Care reform in a responsible way coupled with the GOP outright lies about Health-Care reform had threaten to turn the Health -Care issue into a joke while million of Americans , die, suffer and go bankrupt because of our broken Heath-Care system. Lets hope that the other news organizations will follow CNN lead and start to cover the real issues instead of just trying to entertain and mislead the public.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  2. Nanc

    Thank you Rudy for sharing truth with us. The debt has risen at staggering rates since Pres. Obama took office.

    For all the President's talk about working together during his speech last night, he, himself in other parts of his speech was very, very partisan. That type of talk only alienates- totally double talk.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  3. sheldon Packer

    Swing _batta-batta-swing CRACK!!! Connect and the ball sails over the wall Dibble step shoot 3pts And the crowd went crazy as the "mighty O "smiled shyly take It you smugabugs Now put up or shut up grassly, bohner, Mcconell

    September 10, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  4. Jessie

    What Wilson did last night is totally disrespecful if we as americans disrespect our President of the United States how do we expect other countries to respect us as the U.S after all they are watching. This should'nt be swept under the rug something should be done there is a time and a place for everything.

    My President Barrack Obama cleared up all the concerns I had in reference to healthcare 100%. Deal with it Repubs

    September 10, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  5. sharon, sydney, ns

    The former mayor of New York, seems to be yet another Republican that would rather kill health reform than try to cooperate and get it done. He didn't have one good thing to say. Thanks John for being fair by taking him on with opposing views. It's always good to hear both sides.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:41 am |
  6. Catwoman

    In terms of funding the heathcare plan, exactly what were the total profits from the private insurers last year? And wouldn't that amount fund universal health care, including the public option?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  7. Nickie

    There are a lot of days that I am worried. I have to take furlough days on my job and if the furloughs don't free up funds then we will have a layoff. My husband draws disability and has Medicare. If I loose my job, I will have nothing because I am not old enough to get Medicare and I would never be able to afford COBRA insurance.

    People who have insurance and don't agree with some type of reform need to realize that people are losing jobs everyday and one day they could be on of those people. Don't disagree with this healthcare plan because you don't care for the President. We talk about what type of future our children will have. If something is not done about the rising cost of heatlhcare most of our children will have a future that does not include healthcare.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:40 am |
  8. G. Spears

    All United States President's after they are elected regardless of party should be respected. All United States school children should be taught to respect the office of the President and shame on all the school's and the school system for not doing so this week.

    I support and trust President Obama and I am confident he will get the Health Care reform bill passed. President Obama is very intuitive, Intelligent and welcomes constructive debate. We as Americans will be rewarded with the results of this ability.

    The speech was wonderful and made all the points needed in the timeframe given. I am sad for the many Americans that probably did not take the time or make the effort to see it.

    Please stop talking about Rep Joe Wilson on the news it only gives him attention he does not deserve. He will have consequence that do not need to be played out in the media.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  9. Mary

    I'm appalled at Wilson's behavior he should be censored. I am more appalled at CNN's attempt to justify his actions. Equating a congressman heckling the president in public and on national TV in a forum that should exhibit a certain amount of dignity to a comment on twitter, (CAROL). Alluding in your commentaries that the president just might be lying b/c you say something is incomplete/false. Just so you know we can THINK out here. I have difficulty telling the difference between you and Fox. By the way when is the next "lets grade the president "on how he is doing, a whole couple of months have gone by since the last grading. It seems there is a different standard for THIS president, I wonder why??? We all may have been created equal but it's been down hill since then! I guess in the end all corporations, insurance corporations and news corporations must stick together! Maybe one day the American people will really wake up and realize without a free press there is no FREE America.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:38 am |
  10. JohnWinNC

    Republicans have used "scare tactics" to oppose Democrats for years. Bush was elected, based on nefarious political schemes by the GOP. Now, they are using the same approach to Health Care. For example, one woman passionately asked Sen. Spector "when are we going back to the "Constitution?" Did she mean go back to when women had no right to vote? It is interesting how much "conservatives" love "liberal" benefits.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  11. A Canadian Perspective

    Your northern neighbours are watching the health care debate with great interest. To get this out of the way – we have great care – my opinion. The main point is... America has long been, and indeed calls themselves... the leader of the free world. Disrepect shown to your President whether in Congress, or at town halls, or on the internet is marginalizing his impact and credibility EVERYWHERE in the world. So..... the ranting of the fanatics "I want my country back" -serves the purpose of demeaning your COUNTRY worldwide.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:36 am |
  12. Harley Cohen

    Ms Abrams, a stay at home mom with a 4 year old, does not seem to have much to worry about, while forgetting the millions of mothers who work, have 4 year olds, and cannot get the same health care as her. Her misplaced anger, which CNN referred to as "heroic" is actually based in her frustration that she would have to participate in a program that would actually help "other less fortunate people" in "her" country. This, she is not interested in doing. Once again, the right wing hide their true beliefs, which are rooted in separatism and elitism, behind false patriotism, and scare tactics of "socialism". They should be ashamed of themselves. Finally, threats of "how are we going to pay for this", are years too late, when it should have been the issue when we started in Iraq. Where was Ms Abrams anger then?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:34 am |
  13. Don Q

    The asertion that the prosposed healthcare reforms will hurt small business is BUNK.

    I own a small business and provide health insurance for my employees. It costs me $1,008 per mo. for health insurance + $185 per mo. for dental coverage for my family. Who can afford $1,200 per mo. Certainly not a small business owner or an employee of a small business. One my employees has coverage for himself but cannot afford to include his wife and young family on the policy because of the additional cost.

    How does the ability to pool small businesses and individuals like myself and my employees in order to achieve more affordable health insurance hurt small businesses. It's BUNK.

    People that say this obviously do not have a small business that is providing health insurance to its employees.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:33 am |
  14. Karen Dickes

    Here's are some questions for your commentators & for all those people who are screaming that President Obama's health care reform bill is "socialism": Our police departments and fire departments are government run, paid for by our state & local taxes. They respond to our calls without regard to making a profit. Is that socialism? Should they be "privatized"? Isn't health care just as much a basic human right as police & fire protection?

    The government already runs around 40% of our country's health care programs, including Medicare, the VA, all federal employees (including all of Congress), & Medicare. My husband & I are on Medicare, & we can attest to its being better coverage than our previous private health insurance. Medicare also has a MUCH lower administrative overhead than private health insurance does.

    The public option is just that – an OPTION. Do people not understand what the word "option" means? It does not mean "takeover".

    My opinion is that all senators & representatives who are against a public option in the President's bill should take a pledge to give up their governement run health insurance policies & be forced to obtain health insurance through private carriers exclusively.

    Karen Dickes
    on the Maine coast

    September 10, 2009 at 7:32 am |
  15. David Eitel

    I thought the President did a very good job explaining his stand on health care reform. It is plain to see the Republicans are not going to participate in this reform so Congress needs to move ahead with out them and hope that the American people remember them in the next election.
    We need Health care reform now because if we continue down this path millions of Americans like me will no longer be able to a ford insurance. It takes all of my Anchor Hocking retirement check to pay my wife's and my premiums. If premiums double in the next five to ten years like the experts predict I will have to drop my coverage.
    Dave Eitel

    September 10, 2009 at 7:31 am |
  16. Sophy

    Do we really need a 1000 page bill? Why not start with the things we all agree on... like pre-esisting condiions? A 4 page bill removing pre-existing conditions. Done.

    And what about the folks like LIberty Medical and Hover-round who are obviously making a KILLING on Medicare payments (which must be WAY too high) that they can buy TV ads ad nauseum?

    Why start with sweeping pronouncements that inflame and confuse? Why not attack the egregious problems and work toward solutions?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  17. Jean Reif Robinson

    Masterful speech by President Obama! Finally laying it on the line in a Congress that refuses to embrace bipartisanship. I am a senior who cannot understand why others in my age group refuse to embrace a plan that will help others, JUST AS MEDICARE WAS PASSED to help seniors. It won't decrease our benefits, just add benefits to those who cannot buy or cannot afford health insurance. These people may be your children, your relatives, your neighbors. C'mon, SENIORS, let's not be selfish! Extend health-care benefits to all Americans.

    Obama YOU ROCK!

    September 10, 2009 at 7:29 am |
  18. Robert Paquin

    It comes at no surprise that a representative of South Carolina took the opportunity to express himself while the entire nation watched. It is no shock to me. S.C. has led the nation from our inception as a country when it comes to going its own way. S.C. fought the original constitution, the first to secede from the union, wave the confederate flag the longest and gave us "heroes" such as 'ol boy Thurmond. S.C. claims to be the mecca of Christianty in this country, but I think they should go back to the text on that. Poor things just don't get it.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:27 am |
  19. Adee

    I love this quote – wish more people would think about it – "I think, therefore I am neither Democrat or Republican". Regardless of where you find yourself in the party spectrum, can you honestly tell me you trust our government to effectively run a National Health Care program? Look at the record – Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, not to mention Veterans Benefits – if anyone deserves the best quality care. Would you trade your health care for theirs? To continue – recently, stimulus checks were sent to people – which is great – currently in prison – which is ridiculous! Let's face it – any implementation is going to have some positive benefits in terms of being able to control costs. But these will be far outweighed by the inefficiency costs, loop holes and abuse opportunities that federal bureaucracy and oversight will provide. When is the last time the assessment of the costs of something this complicated was accurate? The costs will be more than are being projected. And our kids will have to pay the price. Do we need health care reform? Yes. But not this health care reform.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  20. Rich Basler

    I was diagnosed with Leukemia at 17. Now I am 25 and because I have a preexisting condition, it is impossible for me to get health insurance. I am in school full time even thought I’ve completed my degree and stay on my parents insurance because it is cheaper for me to pay tuition than COBRA payments that are twice my rent. It doesn’t help that the job market is so bad which makes it even more difficult to get a job with benefits. Something needs to be done. Make it illegal to deny people insurance because of pre existing conditions. Funny how people who need it the most can’t get it.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:26 am |
  21. Andrea Richards

    Sitting in Toronto watching President Obama's speech last night, I found it to be very informative, and revolting, vis-a-vis the Republican party's behaviours throughout the President's speech. President Obama cannot be more conciliatory than he has been, but he will NEVER win. It is clear to those of us watching from outside the US that racism is the basis of a lot of the US ills currently being viewed around the world ... and quite frankly, I am horrified, but not surprised. Americans never disappoints when it comes to putting their own advise into action. And by the way... Canada's health care system is running very well and has been for years. Why do Americans always think they need to reinvent the wheel... as if no other country could possibly come up with a good that would also work for the ever so special Americans. From where I sit, America does not deserve a man of Obama's quality and intellect... they are too ignorant and close minded to appreciate what they have.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  22. patricia zook

    Concerning health care reform: the eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room is that the present system makes some people very rich at the expense of millions of others. That is the real reason that reform can't move forward. Shame on those supporting the status quo.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  23. william watts

    How come no ones talking about the goverment demanding everyone having to buy insurance coverage, and if I don't then what?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:24 am |
  24. H. R.

    What changed? I still don't understand how we are going to pay for it. If he wants to bring people together this speech didn't do it. He is big on blaming others. Do we know the truth about any part of the plan yet? I think not.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  25. Janice

    The health insurance companies have not fixed the health care insurance industry so far, so why would they now decide to do it now? Out of the goodness of their hearts? Please!
    Health insurance companies are in it for the profit, and for no other reason. That is why for-profit companies exist – to make money. To think that the health insurance industry will regulate itself now is foolish. We need the public option to force for-profit healh care insurance to be competitive, or all of our premiums will continue to go up like they have over the last several years.
    Anyone who does not support a public option for American citizens is either in the pocket of the health insurance indusry, or a fool. The health care industry will not prevent itself from gaining massive new profits from the mandate of health insurance for every American. It's a big bonus for them unless there is real competition from a public option to force them to be competitive.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  26. George S

    Your fact check of Obama's claim we are being taxed by the uninsured claims the number of $1000 a year is true. Wouldn't that cost also include people who would not be covered under obamacare anyway? Like the 15 million illegal immigrants that have access to our emergency room???

    September 10, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  27. Robert

    Unfortunately in American society we hold people in certain positions to a higher standard, a standard that includes self control and emotional intelligence (some may argue thay they are one in the same). When teachers, policemen and elected officials do something to betray our trust it hurts their profession and our sense of decency, at the very least.

    However this irresponsible act by Wilson I think goes even deeper than a lack of decency. Apparently Mr. Wilson did not get the instruction or memo on the proper use of 'sublte racism'. He needs to have remedial sessions with Rush Limbaugh on how to take your constituents/audience to the brink and let them make the leap to blatant racism. As private citizens we have more leeway and are held to a much lower standard. Even Rush knows that blatant racism isn't profitable – ask Glenn Beck.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  28. Ryan

    I agree with the statement from William Currin. Why cant a separate insurance program be developed for those with lower incomes that cant afford insurances rates now? We have WELFARE, WIC...and other federally funded programs that are already being paid from our taxes, so why not another? Why not another insurance company? Because no matter how you look at it, we all have to pay for it in the end no matter what is said.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  29. MGrant, TN

    Thank you Mr. President for finally explaining the details of health reform and eliminating the lies and distortions that have been out there for months. What is disappointing is the lack of journalistic integrity in simply fact checking of right wing nuttery claims. The president demonstrated the leadership needed to move a bill forward and provide the coverage those of us with pre-existing illnesses need. I am excited to know that we have an adult in charge of this country again and that he is willing to force Congress to act responsibly and get things done for the American people.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  30. LJ Scott

    I am glad Obama came out against the lies and misinformation that have been spread around. CNN sure hasn't! And I guess CNN was wrong when they assumed he would kill the public option. It seems to me CNN has been actively trying to kill the public option. Giving a voice to only the opposition and assuming it has to be killed for a bill to pass. Also, just a minute ago the "fact check" on hidden tax on indigent health care was incomplete and wrong. CNN totally ignored the fact that Medicaid steps in when Hospital bills aren't paid. This increases our taxes on the state level. So get your "facts" straight CNN! People, the public option is ESSENTIAL to the rest of the bill working. It is also cheaper than giving subsidies to people because it does charge a premium. What is wrong with forcing insurance companies to be less FOR PROFIT? They will still draw a salary.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:21 am |
  31. SeaRay

    Obama's speech was almost what I expected. I knew he would break out Ted Kennedy, I just didn't know he would do it so well. From start to finish his speech was clear & he made a stand for action NOW. Well Done, President Obama. CNN< Please do not ask morons whose only qualification to speak about policy is that they came to a town meeting with talking points in their hand. That's what twitter is for. If I wanted to hear an unqualified person talk about govt programs as if they were children, then I would listen to talk radio. Please quit wasting my time & put the experts (with real political experience) back on. Thank You!

    September 10, 2009 at 7:20 am |
  32. Lisa Bee

    My point is, my insurance is inexpensive, if they do the public option my cost will jump UP and we will lose our home and we will buy even less. Watch this economy go straight down the drain with public option idiot clause.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:19 am |
  33. Charles Gloyd

    I am amazed that every time Republicans throw a temper tantrum or every time a mis-truth is discovered how easily it is ask to be forgotten or swept under the rug. How easy we forget however as a Texan I van not at all of the dead end left turns the Cheney, Bush white house. As a disabled vet I thought as a country we were ready for change, but obviously not. President Obama you and your beautiful, intelligent family enjoy your lives in the private sector and allow these lunatics to continue to ruin our country, then shovel the blame.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  34. Linda

    I don't understand the problem Republicans have with providing the public with an option. I have long-term care insurance and plan on attaining Supplemental Insurance when I am old enough. I can afford it. There are others that have no insurance, can't get insurance, or can't afford it. I have a friend with a less than 20% functioning Kidney and in order for her to get a kidney transplant she had to identify all of her personnel assets. She decided not to do that because she has kids and her assets are her lifes work. If she has to give it up for a Kidney Transplant what happens to her and her family.

    The Public Option offers competition. What's the problem here? OH, I have the answer – competition is being offered to Republican businesses and cash cows!

    September 10, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  35. Dan

    Point of contradiction:
    17 million illegal aliens will still not be covered by insurance and this will still cost the American taxpayer.

    Does the Obama administration plan to "legalize" the illegals next?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:18 am |
  36. D Nugent

    Obama has no credibility. He continues to lie, apparently believing that if he repeats his lies louder and more often they will become truths. It became obvious during the speech that he has not actually read the details of the bill.
    Obamas inexperience is also quite telling. To belittle the millions of Americans that oppose this increase in the deficit as ridiculous.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  37. Janet Ryan

    Tort reform and letting insurance companies compete across state lines do not seem to be on the President's radar screen. These seem like good ideas that are just being tossed aside. Can anyone explain why?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  38. Joan

    I thought president Obama's speech was articulate and informative, and he demonstrated willingness and ability to compromise on issues to reach concensus. How refreshing in politics!

    I work for a large healthcare system. With job loss and loss of health insurance we have seen a dramtic decline in our hospital patient census, yet a large increase in our outpatient, uninsured clinic census. There is no time left to manipulate and distort the healthcare issue – healthcare reform must get passed or the cost of caring for the uninsured will only increase in the premiums of the insured. One way or another it will get paid; let's take a chance, change direction, give a new idea that is purportedly self-paying a chance.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:17 am |
  39. Martin Howley

    As a Republican turned independent, I like what I heard the President say last night. However the devil is always in the details. The ability to deliver a rousing speech and call to action by the President is far different than congresses ability to deliver on meaningful legislation that will truly benefit every CITIZEN of this country. Bipartisan politics is the standard in Washington regardless of who is power. This has been the status quo for decades, and will continue to be the status quo for decades to come. Our system is designed to be bipartisan – let us all hope that the politics of Washington focuses on what needs to be done, and not on the rantings of few.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  40. Sandra P

    I'm a registered Independent who has insurance through my job. I voted for President Obama and have been very disappointed in his working with Republicans after they have shown they don't intend to do anything. The small business people skipped over the part where he said there will be exemptions. The tax is for businesses that can afford to insure their employees and don't because it is cheaper. The lady doing the 'fact check' is ignorant. $1000 more is $1000 more no matter what she calls it. Lucky for her and me that WE HAVE INSURANCE. Now as a so called civilized country we need to cover those who don't because we are paying for them anyway.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  41. Lisa Bee

    They need to NOT have a public option. Pelosi doesn't care what the people want she has her own agenda. This public option will destroy this country. They lie about the cost! I have friends who own a mom & pop business, their FORCED CARE costs will be $600 a month for 2 people, THEMSELVES!!!! That is outrageous and will put them out of business. They took their letter to an attorney who told them that is what they will have to pay or be fined! That is BS. NO PUBLIC OPTION!!! If they want to "Force" anyone it should be the insurance companies to reform. And for pete's sakes dump Pelosi OUTSIDE of our government!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  42. Jackie Thompson

    Obama's speech was fantastic. He answered any doubts I had about the healthcare program and I am completely onboard. Republicans looked small. Democrats need to step up and pass this bill.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:12 am |
  43. John Lash

    I agreed with the idea of the message President Obama is trying to send, which is that it is time for congress to get off its duff and do something about the problem of healthcare and to finally do something to control costs. The only issue I had was the fact that the program will not cover illegal immigrants. Whats the difference between the illegal immigrants who do not have insurance and the uninsured citizens who go to emergency rooms? In the end the cost is still going to be passed on to everyone in the form of higher taxes.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  44. Roger

    In the president’s speech he mentioned the cost of the uninsured to those of us that do have coverage. Most of your fact check is based on the one study mentioned. However that is only half of the issue. Many counties have hospitals that are funded by the local tax dollar. In our case we have an added county tax specifically for the county hospital for indigent care.
    Additionally, it is well known that many hospitals pad the bills of those that do have insurance to cover costs of those that do not.
    The system in erratic and grossly unchecked. If we are to survive as a nation we must make health care available to all citizens, anything less makes us a third world country.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  45. eddie

    fact checker is leaving more confused. truth squad opinions are misleading.
    thankyou
    Concerned American Citizen

    September 10, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  46. Jacq

    The fact that the president continues to repeat the same old rhetoric is a good sign he is not changing, he is true to what he believes.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:09 am |
  47. Jennifer

    The speech was fantastic,, the republican who shouted out was appalling.. what does he mean "you lie"??!!

    We already PAY for any illegals and uninusred that show up in the ER,, its IMMORAL not to treat them and the hospitals simply charge us whatever they need to for the equipment and supplies. Conservatives would have us turn away human beings from the ER if they could get the laws changed,,, why do they scream about helping illegals, we already DO.

    Mr. Wilsons financial records should be investigated,, I wonder how much money he was given by big pharma, the insurance corps and whatever other groups are fighting to keep americans from getting real health care reform.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  48. J Weiss

    It was a great speech by an American president. I understood every word of it. Let's get on with it!

    September 10, 2009 at 7:08 am |
  49. Barbara

    What I do know is that I am paying more for health care (increases in co-pay and my employer passing more of the cost of premium to employees). Distractions, politics and lies are not helpful and do not serve the best interest of the American people. In addition to be a moral issue, providing health care for all Americans is also a financial issue. The President is right. As some American demands for specifics about the plan from the President, they should demand the specifics which benefits all Americans from our Congressman. If the President needs to provide every detail, than why have Congress? I support the President and his plan. Get moving Congress. As the President continue to demonstrate leadership, Congress must do also. It is time to put the American people before the art of politics.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:07 am |
  50. RindaLynn Ferguson

    Yes, a representative is legally obligated to represent their state. But, in my eyes, the moment they step foot in Washington, D.S., I believe they are just as much legally obligated to represent every single state in this country as much if not more as.

    No matter a republican, democrat, or independent, rules and laws are made to be followed and not intentionally broken. If there is a rule that was violated by Mr. Wilson last night, I expect as a citizen of this country that Mr. Wilson out of fair and equal treatment should be made to deal with the consequences of his actions. Example needs to be made that rules and laws are in place for reason and importance.

    Those of us that work for the government are legally obligated to follow the government's rules and regulations. Every representative in D.C. are just as obligated. There should be no exception just because one is a representative.

    The one point I agree with Obama's speech. The time for difference is gone. It is time to find what is most important in this country. The word is compromise.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:06 am |
  51. Bill Flint

    Katy Abrams...? KATY ABRAMS ..??????

    You must be joking !!

    If you're going to put her on the air, at least have the courtesy to fill in her bio .
    You know..like include she is an ardent Glenn Beck supporter and organizer of 9/12 Project meetings.

    Average, stay at home middle class mom.....yea...OK

    September 10, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  52. Bertha Williams

    At last, President Obama showed the colors that I voted him into office for. His forcefulness and assertive attitude made everyone in the Congressional chamber stand up and take notice, whether they liked what he said or not. Health care reform is probably the single most important issue in our nation today. To those of us unlike myself that have health care and to those who do not, open your eyes and take a good look. I think we may be seeing the light at the end of this long dark tunnel.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:05 am |
  53. Health Care for all

    Someone needs to tell this morning's guest, Constitutional Katie, who is the 35 year old "stay at home" mom, that although we claim to have the best health care in the world, and yes, you can get anything you want in this country, she left out the part about having the $$$ to get it! Obviously she has never had her insurance company deny a procedure for anyone in her family. Rationing is already here, read what your policy won't cover, unless of course you have one of those executive luxury policies that will pay for your tummy tucks. Take a hard look at what is already being "rationed", better yet, take a look at those that don't have the "luxury" of having our current version of "rationed" health care. Try NO health care on for size. What happens if you no longer can be a stay at home mom? Wow, must be a rough life. No wonder she claims to never have been interested in politics! No need to know anything, when everything is given to you by someone else. I raised a family and had to work, so don't give me that tired old line about being a home maker is a full time job. I've done both successfully. I see that Constitutional Katie wears a cross around her neck. I guess Jesus only gives health care to the WASPS.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  54. Linda

    I was sooooo impressed with the President's speech. It answered a lot of questions for me and was inspiring. Not only did he address the plan, but the need for the plan.

    There are those that no matter what the President says will never agree – because they will never listen. (I am watching MORNING JOE, which demonstrates this fact.) They see him as an opponent, not as the PRESIDENT. That is very sad for America. We need to get those types out of Congress. Once the race for President is over, we have ONE GOVERNMENT, for the People.

    Obama is inspiring.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:04 am |
  55. ken

    Health care reform facts: tort reform is a state issue. tx has it and costs have not gone down. Why don't the pub controlled states just do it. The public option saves money because it pays doctors and hospitals 80%. The doctors who average 500k per year are against a public option because they are greedy and want more money. As long as Illegal aliens are here they will continue to go to the hospital for health care. They need to be removed. Health care could easily be paid for by cutting the defense budget by 10% or eliminating farm aid. Private insurance companies are really not needed. Medicare for all would work fine, but the right wing pubs hate the government even though they are a branch of government.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:03 am |
  56. Roberta Steinmetz

    Please be sure that the fact-checking does not obscure the point being made. Example: Apparently it is true that each insured family pays $1,000 of premium/tax/whatever to cover the health care costs of the uninsured. The point is not whether that money is a tax or a premium – the point is that the insured are already shouldering the costs of the uninsured. At least, at the end of the fact-checking, get back to the message. After all, part of your job is being sure that the MESSAGE is accurately reported as well.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:03 am |
  57. Sal Trabanino

    The president of the United States gave a fine speech, and I hope he follows through with the promise to "call out" those that spread lies about "death panels" and coverage for abortion or illegal immigrants.
    But the discordant note of the evening came from –where else- the lunatic right wing fringe, in the voice of congressman Joe Wilson.
    I have never seen that level of disrespect towards the institution of the President of the United States, and he has marked a new low in those hallowed halls of Congress.
    His apology is not enough. I want his resignation or at least his censure by the House.
    He is a disgrace for South Carolina, and as long as he remains in Congress, South Carolina has something to be embarrased about.
    By the way, I am on Medicare and have no problems with my health insurance, but I want others to experience the same, and for that we need health care reform.
    Sal
    New Orleans

    September 10, 2009 at 7:03 am |
  58. Sandra Hampton

    I am disappointed in Wilson, S. C. He was out of control and disrespectful to our President. I am disappointed that AM Fix Commentator spoke openly about Dems "dropping the issue of a possible sanctuion, and moving on." She mispoke! Even CNN commentators support disrespect for "Prez. Obama." I never heard your commentators address Prez. Bush as Mr. Bush."

    Sandra, Albany GA

    September 10, 2009 at 7:02 am |
  59. James

    Congratulations Rep. Joe Wilson.What a disrespectful creep that needs to be fired.This just proves to America and the World that the G.O.P is a bigoted,out of touch party.There was no cause to be that way to the President.America meet the Leader of the Republican Party Joe Wilson.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  60. randy robins

    i am a 67 year old white dude and obama is great and if the racists would just shut up and listen they would realize this guy is the goods.he is highly educated as well as the first lady and they make me proud of the office again.his speech was excellent and the guy that shouted out is really too imature to represent anyone much less his home state.he has not grown up yet.and the speech to schools was very inspiring to me.wish a president during my schools years would have done the same.hang in there america this guy is on our side to improve much about our country.randy

    September 10, 2009 at 7:01 am |
  61. Robert Garza

    When Rep. Cantor is on camera using his Blackberry, his colleagues are shouting and using props, who exactly on the right is listening the the president? Where is the respect for the citizens of the United States?

    September 10, 2009 at 7:00 am |
  62. Donny

    The President presented a great speech. Sure we should turnover 16% of economy over to the government that has so efficiently ran Social Secruity, Medicare, FEMA, FDIC, and the Post Office. Make sense to me or does it?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:59 am |
  63. Ada Thornton

    Carol Costella, If you or your husband was the President of the United States and Senator Wilson called you or your husband a lie would you give him a pass and say ah, just let it go and move on. No, I don't think you would so why should he be given a pat on the back. Was your remark because of who the President is?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:58 am |
  64. J. Cappellieri

    Interesting...I went to send Rep. Wilson a note this morning after his outburst last night...hmmmm his website is down....

    September 10, 2009 at 6:56 am |
  65. Jacq

    I do not think Katie knows what she is talking about, to sit there and say that we have the best medical system in the world is outrageous and ignorant. I have been in my place of work for over 12 years and every year my premiun has gone up. My blood test was covered by insurance now I receive a bill everytime I do go get tested. We need health care reform that controls the insurance companies. It is a must

    September 10, 2009 at 6:53 am |
  66. Mark

    Carol,

    Insulting the President of the United States on national television is disrespectful, regardless of party affiliation. Congress members must be respectful, maintain a level of ethics, behavior, and self control. Mr. Wilson's outburst was an insult to ALL American people and an embarrassment for the people of South Carolina. Congress should make an example of him. Sanctions should be swift. If not, what will prevent this from happening again? Or, should this just be swept under the rug as you suggest? Keep in mind, this was not an outburst by an elementary student in class or was it?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  67. Old Man Rambling

    Dudes, let's keep the President's speech is in perspective. I was presented a choice of watching a bunch of old guys, sit in a room, and 'speechify' or watch two young, long-legged blondes, in short skirts play tennis – come on, is there really a choice here? It was a good match.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  68. Linda D.

    I am sick and tired of all this partisanship on both the republican and democratic side. Calling the President a liar in the House of Congress was apalling. Our politicians don't care about our needs as far as health care is concerned. We are paying 50% more now for health care, when then President Clinton put forth his plan and was shot down by all the "scare tactics" put on by the conservatives, which of course is in full swing once more. I am not happy with my health care, it costs me more every year and every year I get less with a bigger co-pay. Stop all this bickering, we need to pull back on all these FOR Profit insurance companies who want us to pay, but do not want to pay out for medical coverage. Why don't we have a vote on the health care coverage by the people and for the people once a bill is hammered out and then WE can decide if we want this or not. I do not want a totally government run health care system, but at my place of work we have people who I know have no health care because they cannot afford it. They work hard, so shouldn't they have medical coverage too?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:47 am |
  69. rag53

    How dare you not show the view on health care of people who have lost their coverage and are dying because of it. Why don't you show people who can't afford health coverage and have children dying of cancer? Why don't you show people without coverage who have parents with Alzheimer's and can't get them treatment or care? Your coverage is all one sided showing only people who oppose health care change! Are you caving to your health care company sponsors?

    September 10, 2009 at 6:46 am |
  70. William Currin

    I have a simple fix to this healthcare mess. We have five branches of military service. Why can't our government create a " Health Care Crop " branch of service. We pay billions in taxes already and I for one would not mind paying extra to support such a new branch of service whoes number one function must be the American poor and uninsured. This would also create thousands of new jobs for our country. I wish I had the chance to propose this to President Obama and share the details with him.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:46 am |
  71. Bernadette Loesch

    First and foremost I must say that after hearing our President speak last night that I AM SO VERY PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN. He spoke to all of us, not just a particular party. President Obama while still trying to get bipartisan support stated in very, very clear language how he will get the United States on par with other civilized countries when it comes to health care coverage for ALL AMERICANS, not just the privileged few or already covered families and individuals. I was very saddened to see Republicans make a very loud statement, albeit silent protest, by not agreeing with President Obama. Sitting stone-faced, declining to applaud excellent points and sitting in their seats as if glued there are just a few of the bad behaviors they wish to show to our nation. Shame on them!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:44 am |
  72. Nora

    To think that Representative "Redneck" Joe Wilsion (and I use that term lightly) of SC, would stoop so low as to heckle President Barack Obama.

    It just shows that he is part of the reason these town hall meetings are getting escalating to mob like mentality is because of so called Representatives like Joe Wilson.

    Distracting from the real issue will not stop healthcare reform from happening!!

    I Support President Barack Obama 100%

    September 10, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  73. Ada Thornton

    I do not think the senator should be let off the hook for disrespecting the President last evening calling him a lie. If he had done this to former President Clinton or Bush do you think he would have been given a pass and a pat on the should? He was wrong and this kind of thing should not happen. More should be done to stop this kind of thin from happing again.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  74. Tim

    I agree with other posters who are upset and appalled over the congressman's outburst. His behavior was inexcusable. Whether Wilson likes the President or not, the man is still the President, and he and his office deserve respect. If Wilson wanted to show his disagreement, then he should have sat on his hands like his more professional colleagues. The Congressman could certainly communicate his displeasure to the President in a more appropriate forum than during the President's speech to a joint session of the Congress and the country. Shame on you Mr. Wilson.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  75. Milton

    Its very difficult for me to understand what the problem is, Southern republicans practicing closet racism, or fear mongers who just spread lies and deciet ...what ever the problem is we have to get over it and work together to fix a basic problem, if the president is lying about anything we've lived with 8 years of lies and misinformation...we gave that president a chance when everyone else in the world community knew he was either misinformed or just not very bright..I tend to go with the misinformed..but now we have a White house with a plan, it may work ..it may not...but it provides all of us with a "choice"..a option to get some kind of medical help...and to think of a party full of former and present doctors and influenced by insurance lobbyist who have a customer base that they may lose trying to stop everything as oppossed to coming up with ideas to help..is just plain...crazy talk!!!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:38 am |
  76. joe breault

    Isn't it amazing that the people of america can be labled liars on national tv but not the president, oh yeah! politicians don't lie they just make "misstatements".

    September 10, 2009 at 6:33 am |
  77. Kathy

    I am an independent but found hope in this President. We need reform. He did inherit a lot of problems from the previous administration. However, I have NO respect for the Republican Party and Conservative. Their hate and fear campaigns on TV have done nothing but instill fear in the American people and much has no foundation. Is this what we have become...a verbal lynching of the President is acceptable and heckling a President is acceptable? Too bad they did not listen to what was said because as soon as the speech was over, their fear misleading and hatred tactics were on TV.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:31 am |
  78. Tina Horne

    I support the president and shall continue to. I feel that single payer is the only true solution, as insurers are motivated by profit first and foremost. It is sad that the real issue here is insurers and pharmaceuticals have been planning for this situation for a long time. Why don't you have the signa whistle blower on? Where has CNN been on this subject with true investigative reporting? Obama is principle-based and gives too much quarter to big money bullies/sociopaths,however I support him all the way. His capacity to learn and evolve is a great quality. To the ignorant who belittle him while he advocates for THEM, we must show understanding and patience.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:30 am |
  79. Lynetta

    I believe that health care should be the same as the police and fire services......a right not how much coverage you have....you call the police when there's a crime and get the right help...and for being disrepectful should never be a issue...it's okay to disagree but the name calling...never....

    September 10, 2009 at 6:30 am |
  80. janette

    CNN, you are starting to look like and sound like fox news channel
    Shame on you.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:28 am |
  81. Sheila

    All of the lies and misrepresentation of the proposed policy and the president's position on the plan were laid to rest last night. President Obama's speech about health care was just what the American public needed to hear. But, I must say I was really disappointed in the example the representative from SC showed by yelling "Liar" at the president. His behavior was not a positive example to set for the American public...especially the children who might have been watching or who will hear about his behavior all over the news today.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:26 am |
  82. Michael B.

    I listened to Pres.Obama's speech and I feel he made it clear exactly what is at stake.My main concern about the the President's plan is the provision that healthcare insurance is going to be a mandate for all individuals in that they must be insured.Frankly,unless the bill passes with the public option,many Americans are not going to be able to afford health insurance.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:25 am |
  83. K. Scott

    I thought the president's speech was appropriate and addressed the american people as needed to explain what the health care reform is all about.

    however, the outburst by congressman wilson was totally inappropriate, disrespectful, and crossed the line. i hope he is given the most severe punishment for his disruption and lack of "home training". he shamed his own mother for his ignorance.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:23 am |
  84. Eva

    I think the President's speech was excellent. He reminded all of us that health care reform is really a moral issue. I'm convinced the Democrats will rise to this challenge and do what is best for this nation. If Republicans continue to stall and lie, they will once again show that their priorities are politics, and dirty politics as well.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:19 am |
  85. deborah

    The american people need health care reform. I am proud of our president's leadership on this issue and disgusted by the partisanship on capital hill.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 am |
  86. laquetta

    I am a SC resident and b/4 I learned of whom it was the bursted into comment while the President was engaging a nation full of open earred constituates that really needed to hear the entire message, I kept hearing some outburst, of which I imagine was him as well. I assume he wasnt getting enough attention with the outburst that he kept flinging so he decided to get a bit more outrageous. the point is he had a chance to tamper it down, but instead he choose to peak it up.

    the action of this man of the Congressional office is highly unacceptable, it was distracting and i think that we should re-evaluate the freedom of speech and or expressions. if not at any other time, can't everyone give the President respect when speaking in public. if Congress disagrees with the President, they have access to him and can discuss those issues behind closed doors. i feel that the President should have had Joe Wilson escorted out by Secret Service and made a real spectacle of him in front of all of America. this not being the alternative only goes to show you the character of our President

    September 10, 2009 at 6:18 am |
  87. Jack Mitchell

    Can't small business figure out that the extra $100 a month we might save will be spent downtown or at the mall. My brother-in-law pays $1350 a month for him and his wife and that is with a $5000 deductible for EACH of them. He will be 62 in Feb. and can't wait to apply for Social Security so he can put that $1200 a month toward his insurance. They are scared to spend a nickle they don't have to. It's time to quit walking on eggshells around insurance companies.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 am |
  88. Nicole

    We should change the 50 stars on the flag to 50 mics; it seems the fact that we have freedom of speech has only made a lot of us think we can just come publicly and talk like fools, people like Wilson.That guy is a shame to the House and those who voted for him

    September 10, 2009 at 6:17 am |
  89. david j

    It is obvious the special interest have dug in deep into republican pockets. The president is asking for teamwork and all we get from the right is misrepresentation and untruths. The shouting out of "you lie" by a republican is a good example of how the real goal is to bring down the president. What happened to standing up for us? Obama needs our prayers because ignorance is spreading in D.C.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 am |
  90. hattie spruill

    All i have to say about the REP from South carolina is that if that was a white president he would not have called him a liar

    September 10, 2009 at 6:16 am |
  91. Sue

    President Obama's speech was magnificent! As a South Carolinian, I am appalled by Rep Joe Wilson's conduct. He should be censured by Congress and repudiated in SC. There is no excuse for his behavior.... or for Carol Costello's suggestion that it should be ignored. There must be consequences for such outrageous and uncivil behavior!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:15 am |
  92. Lisa Lander

    Talk is cheap...Pres. Obama talks of "significant details" that are missing...I call $60 billion more than a significant detail. Who will eventually pay for it will be small businesses. We own a small business of about 125 employees and he is doing his best to put us out of business. Small businesses can not afford Obama's talk or any more of his taxes.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  93. C. Wilson

    First I am not surprised that Rep. Joe Wilson behaved the way he did because so many republicans have been acting like raving lunatics over the past few months. What I am appalled with is the fact that someone disrespected the President of the United States and people want to sweep it under the rug. That action was anti-American and just as punishable as the man who threw the shoe at George W. Bush. It is apparent that Rep. Wilson is not capable of handling the position that he holds. He should be investigated and removed from office for the safety of our President.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  94. SFC Cassandra A. Wilds

    What happened during Pres. Obama's speech was atrocious, uncalled for and totally disrespectful. When is it okay to interrupt a speech by the President of the United States? Why is there concern about Pres. Obama speaking to the children of the United States? During the election, everyone was agreeing that it was time for change, but are we really ready for change. AMERICA, MAKE UP YOUR MIND!

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  95. Josh

    If the USPS has existed alongside UPS & FedEx, without sending them out of business, then why on earth do critics think a Government run health care will send private health insurance out of business?
    I think it is time for Americans to wake up & THINK, we ought to use our heads & stop letting certain people fool us for their own selfish gains

    September 10, 2009 at 6:14 am |
  96. Stephanie

    If the new public option will be non-profit and will be supported by insurance premiums alone, why does the plan cost 900 billion dollars? Other than the cost of tax credits for low-income people who can't necessarily afford coverage, I cannot follow what the other costs are – What am I missing?

    If the public option plan DOES allow the government to subsidize and that is the cost, then the other companies will NOT be able to compete with it, which will eliminate them.......

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 am |
  97. laquetta

    i think that the Presidents speech was very uplifting and I think that even the most closed minded Congressmen could open up and appreciate the fact that we have a President that is very open to trying to settle differences in a very adult, mature, professional manner.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:13 am |
  98. B Hanes

    The President repeated the same old rhetoric – he is like a traveling salesman. We need a President.

    September 10, 2009 at 6:11 am |
  99. Julie

    I loved the fact that The President called out the liars and fear mongers maybe now washington can get something done!!

    September 10, 2009 at 5:10 am |
  100. Carl Blue

    Rep Joe Wilson is a SC redneck. Once it was announced he was the heckler... his official office website goes down or taken down to keep Americans from sending him a message. I hope SC is again proud of their Republican party. Wilson must have thought he was back in SC talking to his governor.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
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