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December 14th, 2009
08:00 AM ET

New health care pact doomed?

"A good, solid B+." That's how President Obama is grading himself for his first year in office. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, he said that could improve to an "A" by creating jobs and getting health care done.

The president also told CBS' "60 minutes" he expects a health care reform bill to be on his desk sooner than people think. Today, though, there are new hurdles in the Senate. Our Jim Acosta has the report.


Filed under: Politics
soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Ted Lewis

    The Health Care Bill should be renamed: The Insurance Company Preservation Act of 2009.

    The Insurance companies will be given 30 million new members.

    If the new members can't pay – the tax payers, Unions, and Medicare will pay for them.

    December 24, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  2. Sheryl Stolzenberg

    For Americans between 55 and 64 (60 million of us) the Senate bill allows insurers to charge 3 times as much for a policiy as for those younger.The House bill allows a charge of 2 times as much. This has nothing to do with whehter there is a pre-existing condition. And all the hype about pre-existing conditions being covered? For adults, that won't happen till 2014. So for every one person under 55 not insured now, this new health care system may mean 2 people will end up with no coverage. Our choices are between paying a fine for not buying too expensive coverage while trying to pay for the care we need out of pocket, or struggling to pay for insurance while paying for the care we need out of pocket. How is this an improvement?

    December 24, 2009 at 6:40 am |
  3. mdgwinn

    passing this bill is a sign of our countrys like of care or respect for our constitutioal rights. All sentors who vote yes on this bill should be inpeaced and removed from office.

    December 22, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  4. Metpr17

    It is a sham and a shame that our Republic is being usurped with such disdain. These so called "representatives" of the people do not hear, much less obey, the will of the people they are sworn to represent and the constitution they are supposed to defend. I can't hardly wait for next November, cause I will do something I have not done in 35 years, go out and lobby against re-electing Mary Landrieu. I will also be very active in blogs and e-mails against all of these elitistic members of Congress who think they know what is better for me. No thanks!!!

    December 22, 2009 at 9:28 am |
  5. Boomer in Mo

    I've had to fight an insurance company "death panel" twice to keep them from killing my husband. The last one tried to claim replacement of a pacemaker was elective surgery. One should not have to hire a lawyer to enforce their contract (insurance policy) with an insurer. But the mess Congress will give us should be thrown out and the entire process started over. My husband will be eligible for Medicare in three years.Right now our insurance costs are $7,200 a year. Our income is about $40,000. We do without lots of other things and would be in real trouble if our home was not mortgage-free.

    December 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  6. dlm

    I'm one of the millions of Americans that don't have health insurance. I did when I became ill, but my husband lost his job because of the company closing. His knew job offered fairly good insurance, but for me to be covered it was going to cost $1800.00 a month with a $5000.00 a year deductible and they would not cover anything pertaining to my preexisting condition for the first three years. The problem here was that my husband's monthly income was only $2000.00 It's all well and good about not being turned down because of a preexisting condition, but so far I have not heard what is to be be done about outragious premium demands.
    Debra L. Murphy

    December 21, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  7. Cojo

    Joe J is living in the dem's world of bigger govt is better. Obviously he is just as bad at simple math as the spend o lot congress. They are basing their theories off estimates of the CBO. They have even said it is not wise to estimate costs so far in advance, but did it in this case because the situatuion. You would think it would have been better for the CBO to tell congress to shove it for the same reasons. A total joke is what this congress and house represent no the people.

    December 21, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  8. janie

    I just received this email from our State Senator Evan Bahy...I thought it was an interesting read and wanted to pass it along.

    Fed Up With Spending

    By Senator Evan Bayh

    Over the weekend, the Senate passed a massive $1.1 trillion year-end appropriations bill, a pork-filled excess that will cause indigestion for Hoosier taxpayers.

    This legislation will add $34 billion in new spending to the 2010 budget, an increase of more than 8 percent. The bill included nearly $4 billion in special earmarks for projects like a beach park promenade in Mississippi and exhibits at the World Food Prize Hall.

    Because the legislation included 5,244 pork-barrel projects and increased spending for a buffet of federal programs at four times the rate of inflation, I voted "no."

    While my vote will not win me any popularity contests in the halls of Congress, it was the right thing to do. President Barack Obama should veto this bill.

    What is most troubling about the weekend vote is that we went through this exact routine less than a year ago. Earlier this year, the Senate passed a sprawling $410 billion spending bill left over from the previous Congress.

    We were told it was "last year's business," even though Americans were being asked to pay with this year's dollars. That bill represented an 8 percent increase over the previous year's spending - just like the one the Senate passed on Sunday. Then, as now, I opposed the bill and urged a presidential veto.

    Many of those who voted for last year's bill did so under the assumption that things would be better the next time around. Yet here we are again.

    I hear every day from concerned Hoosiers who tell me about the cuts they have had to make to their family budgets.
    They share with me their stories of struggling to provide for their children, pay down their debt, keep up with their health care premiums, and save for their kids' college fund. Families across Indiana are fed up that Washington seems immune to their sacrifices. I share their frustration.

    Each American's share of our government's debt now exceeds $39,000. It violates something fundamental in our nation's character when we spend money today knowing our children will be forced to pay the bill. Such fiscal irresponsibility weakens America. Going head over heels into debt to the Chinese is not the path to national greatness.

    It is time for Congress to undertake serious reform.

    That is why I am pushing hard for new debt-fighting rules that would put all options on the table and compel Congress to take an up-or-down vote on a set of comprehensive recommendations. Under the new process, there would be no amendments. No filibusters. No more denial. Instead, we would force a "yes" or "no" vote on a more responsible path.

    There is precedent to create this type of commission with real teeth. President Ronald Reagan created a commission, chaired by Alan Greenspan, to shore up Social Security in the early 1980s. Congress created a special process to take parochial politics out of decisions on military base closures, and it worked.

    Support for our debt-fighting commission is growing, and I am actively making the case to the White House and leaders of both parties to seize on the urgency of the moment and insist on a new fiscal path before we pile more spending on our record $12 trillion debt.

    There are no guarantees that a debt-fighting commission will succeed in restoring our nation's fiscal health, but it would be deeply irresponsible not to try.

    December 18, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  9. bjrivera

    We all know that real & honest health reform is sorely needed in this ccountry, regardless of your personnal income. For years the insurance companies have been allowed to impose their will and Huge increases on the American people at will. This needs to stop, this blatent stealing is plain wrong and everyone knows it ...Lets all demand simple and basic reform ..1) the elimination of the pre-existing conditions, this has always been wrong...2) Ins. coverage and cost should be pretty much the same for everyone.. 3) Prescription drug coverage and the co-pays should be the same across insurance companies, and the insurance drug formularies should be regulated more to prevent these companies from changing the Tier levels of drugs to increase their prices and profitability, for 2010 they have made radical increases that will cost us all much more for the same drugs we paid for this year..4) enforce cost controls across the board and limit year over year % increases to the rate of inflation plus 1 % at max... Lets keep thyis reform basicly simple and reasonable, and we may get something done ...

    December 18, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  10. RW

    The healthcare industry has done its job beautifully "brainwashing" the much of the American public in basically continuing to accept the "status quo" !

    At times, I think many Americans are amongst the "DUMBEST" people on the face of the earth!!.

    December 18, 2009 at 11:40 am |
  11. dw

    One more thing. In the middle 1960s you could go to the hospital ER with a broken arm, get an xray, cast and everything for $20.00 bucks. Now for the same services it more like 20 thousand bucks. What is up with this kind of extortion. We are getting extremely ripped off by the medical industry. I would like one you mental giants out there to explain to me how this is right.

    December 17, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  12. John M

    Healthcare reform is absolutely required. But people do not seem to understand the fundamental problem that exists today.

    There are two extremes that exist today. On the one hand, we say healthcare is more important than money when you go to ER as you will get the care even if you can not pay or have no coverage. On the other hand, private insurance is for-profit, means money is more important than your health.

    These two scenarios can not and should not exist. If the society thinks that healthcare is more important than money, then Govt must be involved in the process. Otherwise, leave it the way it is where the profit-driven insurance will thrive very well.

    Do not bother about the polls; large number of people do not understand the problems or they are influenced by the special interest groups.

    December 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  13. jeff

    Hey JP, Joe never said 60% are against healthcare reforms. He said over 60% of the public doesn't want this bill and he's right. He's referencing a polls done right here by CNN:

    As far as 2010 goes, you are delusional if you think Bush and Cheney will have any effect whatsoever on the elections. The effects of millions of jobs lost in 2009 and the passing/failing of a deeply unpopular attempt at nationalizing healthcare will be the signature issues.

    Democrats have tanked. All reputable polls show Obama's approval rating circling the drain. Ignore the polls if you want to, but you're on the Reality Denial ride in ObamaLand if you think the Dems are going to maintain the lopsided edge they have now in November 2010.

    December 17, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  14. Ken in Mt

    ti's dead on arrival. No one can beat BIG Business in the US more so that the right wing is firmly in their pocket

    December 17, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  15. dw

    I am beginning to think that maybe we should outlaw health insurance coverage in this country, then healthcare expenses will surely go down when people can't afford doctors or hospital care. It is the principle of supply and demand.

    December 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  16. Ron

    .Harry in Texan is correct in his observations. I was a Rupublican since Reagan – loved the man. Didn't think much iof the first Bush and votes once of W. But now, I'm out. No matter what ever happens again, I will **NEVER** vote for another Republican. I have had 2 jobs outsourced since 2000. Unless you're a rich, white (Iam), and a conservative Christian, you're out with them.

    If the GOP is really serious, let's see some **REAL ACTION** against corporate greed, congressional greed and corruption, and some economic justice in this country. I'm not talking about a socialist state, I'm talking about all of us putting the common good of our country and our fellow citizens above our own petty ineterests.

    Dare you!

    December 17, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  17. j salerno

    Harry:
    We already have tried that experiment numerous times, and it has put us in the mess we are in now. Things DO happen when they are in power other than wars. The social and economic structure of the US is continuously weakened, policy is based on whatever claptrap amalgam of superstition labeled as religion, xenophobic fear, and greed can be best packaged to their 'base', and we fall further behind the rest of the so-called civilized world in everything except our ability to wage war. Right now we are about in the position of Spain around the time of the Armada (vide 'The Rise and Fall of Great Powers). Maybe be need to see what happens if we base policy on intellectual analysis, science, and some minimal level of concern about upholding the principles the United States was founded on. These did not include the rights of corporations. God help us, we still have people who vote in elections who think Palin, or Bobby Jindal, is just what we need to clean up this mess.
    But you and Dean are right about the bill. The determination of the Publicans to sabotage any attempt to improve the country is impressive. They hope to cause enough misery and defeat to get back in power, and are willing to wreck the country to do it. I don't much like the Democrats in Congress, but after this I see no future for the Republican Party that also includes a successful United States.

    December 17, 2009 at 10:59 am |
  18. Paul Mysza

    people are so worried about change, that any media driven nonsense will cause a person to become an expert. i can see that some of you do your homework and really care about our country. i can also see that some, in this blog, are so closed minded about change, that you refuse to delve intelligently into this conversation. i am not interested in your media driven opinion. look up the facts and lets quit stalling on change. our nation was built on progressive change. people are suffering with medical bills. the insurance companies are making a killing on us. meds are way too expensive, and our out of pocket charges continue to increase. we need change. it may not be the change YOU need or want, but the rest of the country needs some assistance. Obama was elected to get this done. you can say what you want about the polls, but the election tells the true story of what America wants and needs.

    December 17, 2009 at 10:55 am |
  19. Harry in Texas

    Howard Dean is right...the bill is so watered down that it is not worth saving.

    Let's put the GOP's industry stooges back in power...we see what happens when they are in the majority...nothing. Nothing except wars that is!

    They had 8 years of White House, and even longer with majorities in congress, yet NOTHING was ever done to benefit the average middle class citizen. And nothing will get done again if they are returned to power.

    December 17, 2009 at 9:33 am |
  20. Jim

    I think we'll all be surprised at the coverage, the cost, and the impact to us as taxpayers when we learn of the contents of this bill, which will happen after passage and when we need to use it the most. The healthcare legislation debate is not about the American people's need for insurance reform, it's about satisfying the fat cat lobbyist groups and political contributors. Can we realy believe the politicians are looking out for us... please? "We the people" will get the the short end of the stick and it's buried somewhere in the 700+ pages of the bill and $1 trillion+ price tag. The real news in not what "is" being debated openly, rather what "is not" being debated and reported openly. Regardless of the merit for the ideals of President Obama, can we really believe the government is the answer and they are going to look out for us? I see no evidence for that level of change in our government.

    December 17, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  21. j salerno

    Kevin, you and the other poor ignorant fools complaining about the liberals giving away your money should take a good hard look at what happened in this country over the last forty years of incompetent leadership, most (but not all) of it Republican and supposedly conservative. Our country is dead in the water if we don't stop the upward spiral of health care costs, and reduce the fraction of our GNP we spend on health care to the level of our competition. We might even be able to make things here again if we did that, instead of the clinging to the stupid idea that we can support ourselves by selling each other hamburgers, or get rich by selling each other worthless pieces of paper. I find the confidence you guys still have in banks and insurance companies touching, but I don't share it. I have a very hard time taking seriously the opinions of anybody who voted twice for W, or who has a Palin bumper sticker on their car or oversized personal vehicle.

    December 17, 2009 at 8:42 am |
  22. whybs on twitter

    Kevin,

    "How many individuals refuse to sign up for health insurance due to costs, yet maintain an expensive cell phone...we are paying for the uninsured already. Vote out the liberals so freely giving away your money...."

    Something don't seem to add up with the "vote out..." part!

    See my post that is time stamped with December 17th, 2009 1:16 am ET.

    December 17, 2009 at 3:24 am |
  23. Jon

    People need to come together and at least see that the bottom line is that those against the legislation for healthcare reform are not "against reform". Many more people out there don't want to prevent improving healthcare or the expansion of coverage for those who are uninsured but are against THIS particular bill...both the House and Senate. What we have now is a rushed, incoherent, and illogical bill. This bill is NOT going to drive the cost of healthcare down. Yes, perhaps, for some it will lower the actual costs of premiums and out of pocket expenses but overall it will simply increase taxes and reduce services. There are many more people like myself out there who appreciate reform and would like to see fixes, however, think that this reform does more harm than good. PLUS, I can't fathom ANY legislation that requires people to buy health insurance. Not that I don't understand the concept of that requirement but when and if this passes I'm sure the first stop is to the supreme court and this legislation goes out the window. Healthcare is not like car insurance.

    December 17, 2009 at 3:00 am |
  24. Kevin

    Statistics are great; you can use them to fit your need, especially when the data is flawed. How many individuals refuse to sign up for health insurance due to costs, yet maintain an expensive cell phone. How about not eating out 5 days a week. Get real people, force responsibility for the decisions made and quit taking from those who planned for the future.

    Illegal immigrants sorry but your lack of insurance is not my fault, assimilate into this country legally or just head back home.

    Quit crying over the high price of insurance, we are paying for the uninsured already. Vote out the liberals so freely giving away your money. Wake up and smell the third world country you liberals are developing for your offspring to inherit.

    No I do not believe I should be forced to pay for those I believe are lazy, ignorant bottom feeders, which are always the victim. Guess what, quit making stupid decisions otherwise the result will continue to be the same. Try a different course in life, you might even surprise yourself if you think thru multiple options.

    December 17, 2009 at 1:22 am |
  25. Janie

    I agree/disagree. I've read through these post for the last 40 minutes...Everyone has something different to say. I lost my job, lost my insurance. My state has a plan called HIP. It cost me $25 a month and is good up to $5000 in medical a year. I have a presription card as well. Co-pay of around $10. It beats nothing. It pays for an office call, emergency room...no major medical. But it's something.

    My thought after reading through these post...All of you can't agree what's right...You expect the elected idiots in office to agree? Ha...

    Forget Healthcare Reform...Overhaul Government. This is all headed toward bigger government. We don't need it. It's time government were downsized. It's the elected idiots that got us here in the first place.

    Politicans are all full of hot air. Government is corrupt! And I'd bet 98% are on the take to line their own pockets. It's funny to me that not everyone that becomes a congressman or a senator is rich when going into office, but how is it they come out that way?

    VOTE GOVERNMENT REFORM!!!!! NO MORE LIFETIME POLITICIANS...GIVE THEM THE SAME SS BENEFITS THAT THE REST OF US GET AND LET ME SERVE NO MORE THAN 2 TERMS BACK TO BACK. IT AMAZES ME THAT THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD CAN ONLY SERVE TWO TERMS BUT THE REST OF THESE WORTHLESS IDIOTS CAN SERVE A LIFETIME!!!!

    I almost get a warm and fuzzy at the thought of states pulling away from the union...thats what it would probably have to take to change anything. The President is virtually powerless...Bush was an embarrassement, Obama is a Czar in training and Nancy P. would make a great replacement for Al Pacino if they ever did "The Devils Advocate II."

    Sigh people...We can argue and blog about it all day long, but it doesn't make our voices heard. I've no idea what it will take, but I'm sure, it's not this.

    December 17, 2009 at 1:16 am |
  26. whybs on twitter

    Talking about the 50M uninsured & dumb, poor, lazy, socialist/liberals!

    One uninsured that shifted the costs to others is Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France winner! You wouldn't consider him a dumb, poor, lazy, socialist liberal, would you? Here's how Lance put it, "I was lucky. One of my sponsors, Oakley, stood up for me and threatened to take all their business elsewhere if their insurance carrier refused to cover me [due to pre-existing conditions]. Without their help, I might not be alive today. Or I might be completely broke, still trying to dig my way out of a massive pile of medical bills." (cut/paste bit.ly/3gor0p as URL)

    Guess who ultimately paid Lance's bills? Since we'd pay for the uninsured regardless of our current deficit, including it in the discussion clouds the real issue - it's fear mongering! In fact, a universal/public option health care would help us reduce the U.S. deficit faster (the costs of uninsured emergency treatments would come back & bite us).

    Health care reform with universal coverage/public option/single payer is the best solution. Here's why

    1. Preventative care/treatments is least costly (vs. emergency treatments)
    2. When 50M uninsured Americans need emergency care, we "all" pay!

    Regardless of whether we have a health care bill with a universal coverage/public option, above statements are accurate! So it boils down to whether you want to pay more (no universal coverage/public option) or less (universal coverage/public option).

    BTW, per CBO (non-partisan) both the House & Senate HCR bills are deficit reducing – I.e. passing the bill helps reduce our deficit faster than not to have one. Counter-intuitive isn't it? Why Fed-Ex is that big?

    So, let's put aside our ideologues, fear-mongering tactics, and worthless minutiae! Health care reform with universal coverage/public option is the best solution for the U.S.!

    http://twitter.com/whybs

    December 16, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  27. whybs on twitter

    About the 50M uninsured...

    One uninsured that shifted the costs to others is Lance Armstrong, 7-time Tour de France winner! You wouldn't consider him a dumb, poor, lazy, socialist liberal, would you? Here's how Lance put it, "I was lucky. One of my sponsors, Oakley, stood up for me and threatened to take all their business elsewhere if their insurance carrier refused to cover me [due to pre-existing conditions]. Without their help, I might not be alive today. Or I might be completely broke, still trying to dig my way out of a massive pile of medical bills." bit.ly/3gor0p (cut/paste as URL).

    Guess who ultimately paid Lance's bills? Since we'd pay for the uninsured regardless of our current deficit, including it in the discussion clouds the real issue - it's fear mongering! In fact, a universal/public option health care would help us reduce the U.S. deficit faster (the costs of uninsured emergency treatments would come back & bite us).

    BTW, both the House & Senate HCR bills are deficit reducing - I.e. it costs less to pass the bill than not to have one.

    So, let's put aside our ideologues, fear-mongering tactics, and minutiae! Health care reform with universal coverage/public option is the best solution the U.S.!

    December 16, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  28. whybs on twitter

    Jim,

    No worries. It's more important to do what's right for the U.S. than what the polls say - just look a Iraq!

    I voted for Reagan twice but hands-down Obama is smarter & effective. Frankly, it'd be great if Obama go for the nuke option! It demonstrates government efficiency and, at the same time, lets the thugs' moaning & groaning be heard loud & clear!

    On a more conciliatory note, health care reform with universal coverage/public option/single payer is the best solution. Here's why

    1. Preventative care/treatments is least costly (vs. emergency treatments)
    2. When 50M uninsured Americans need emergency care, we "all" pay!

    Regardless of whether we have a health care bill with a universal coverage/public option, above statements are accurate! So it boils down to whether you want to pay more (no universal coverage/public option) or less (universal coverage/public option).

    So, let's put aside our ideologues, fear-mongering tactics, and minutiae! Health care reform with universal coverage/public option is the best solution the U.S.!

    Regardless of our healthy & civilized discourse here, HCR will be passed by end of Q1 2010! A non-profit/trigger option is just as good as the public/single payer option!

    Just watch!

    December 16, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  29. Stephen Mehring

    Re: Mike

    Half of that 12 trillion dollar debt was added on during the last 8 years! Don't blame it on the Liberials!

    December 16, 2009 at 11:10 pm |
  30. Another Point

    I think whatever it takes to create a Health Bill protecting each American is a good thing. You can always change bills in the future, but you need a bill to change.....Its great that the average American is winning this war on health Protection...Its hard being rich, and not having to pay for it all these years....But its a better world when everyone has health care. Its worth the costs, and can save you in other ways. Less crime, happier people, people with more money to buy your services.. All it cost was one less trip, one less dinner out. Really American has some of the richest people in the world. Three famous people could cover 1 million uninsured....Just do it. Put this topic behind you, and cover every American with Excellent Health care. You can do anything, if you want it...see this as a start. Strange since Medicare, nothing new has been passed...But with the internet...these Senators..many of them wealthy, have no outs, but to consider whats best for everyone. Rock it America...

    December 16, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  31. eva

    To Detlev:
    What is wrong with our german system. It beats the hell out of what you get here....at least at home I know i have coverage when i need it....it is funny my aunts and uncles and brothers and my parents never had any issues with our german system. I am from Berlin, where are you from?

    December 16, 2009 at 9:08 pm |
  32. greg

    medical insurance premium and medical cost are going up steadily for yrs. Unfortunately, the administration and CNN are playing in the Fox News's hand. The Fox News smartly asking would the cost going up with the new health plan? It's shifting the blame to the plan. Da– it, because the medical cost is going up, therefore we need a new plan to save us.. The main stream press, eg CNN is not doing the job to educate the public. In stead, they just reproduced the poll and let the insurance co to continue the negative compaign to kill the new health plan.. Yes, I'm afraid that the new health plan has no chance to survive, because the lazy media and the public. The American spend too much time on the news of sport and celebrity, instead of the politics. it's the sad days ahead of us..

    December 16, 2009 at 7:26 pm |
  33. Robert

    I give him an "F" for facist....

    I cant wait to vote these idiots out of office. They have truly awakened a sleeping giant, and they are to drunk on our money to even notice.

    December 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm |
  34. John

    I think there's only two real questions to ask : One is ...Have the Insurance companies that are looking out for you, been lowering your health premiums each year? Or are they continuiing to skyrocket ...Hmmm
    The other question is ...were the Insurance companies going to allow pre-existing conditions ever in your lifetime....dream on....of course not. We need the reform..and we might actually get the insurance companies to participate in some form of competition...maybe..
    .Everything we consume or use in life, continues to go up...but at least we will have more americans covered who don't have coverage or couldn't get coverage without a wheelbarrow full of gold .....

    December 16, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  35. BD

    someone opined, " if you can't say anything nice about..... whomever/whatever,......don't say anything at all"' so I'm not saying anything about congress and health reform! how's that for YOKE o the day?

    December 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  36. Dan-L

    The root cause of US healthcare woes is well understood: we have abandoned primary care in favor of specialist care. The US healthcare industry is among the best in the world when it comes to saving the life of a diabetic who is undergoing organ failure, but among the worst in the world when it comes to keeping a potential diabetic from developing diabetes in the first place.

    This tilt towards specialist care is the driving factor behind the high cost of US healthcare. We wait until conditions become critical, then spare no expense to correct them.

    Why we take this approach is also well understood – because the healthcare industry makes more money this way. Doctors get paid more for open heart surgery than they do for telling you to diet & excercise, so they'd rather be heart surgeons than family practitioners. Insurance companies take the cost of care, mark it up by a percentage, and pass it on to companies; the higher the cost, the larger the $ that underlies that %, so there is no real incentive to reduce the cost of care.

    To conduct real reform, we need to address the above. The reform bills on the table right now don't do that.

    Congress is not focusing on fixing America's healthcare woes, but on reducing the more visible hardship that America's healthcare system is imposing on individuals. Putting a positive spin on it, Congress wants everyone to win, from patients to doctors to hospitals to drug companies to private insurers. On the flip side, Congress doesn't currently have the political will to pass a bill in which someone loses.

    The only way Congress can ensure that everyone wins is to pump more money into the same healthcare system we have today. Unfortunately, there is no money available. So Congress plans to collect additional taxes to cover some of it, borrow a lot of the rest, shift some of the costs onto the States, pretend some of the future costs don't exist or will be dealt with by future politicians, and generally spread everything around as much as they can.

    The issue is complex, but at the end of the day the debate in Congress and in our streets is simple – can we really afford to make life easier for people without changing our healthcare system?

    If the answer is no, and many individuals, policy experts, and politicians believe it very well may be no, then the reform bills going through Congress are steps in the wrong direction, not in the right one. We need to go back to the drawing board and make the hard decisions necessary to reduce costs, improve quality, and ease access. There will be winners and losers in the industry, and the losers will protest bitterly. To overcome that opposition, Democrats need to swallow their pride and work with the Republicans. Historically, major policy changes have succeed when both parties jumped together. There is no reason to believe that healthcare reform will be any different.

    December 16, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  37. kool-aid drinker

    I believed in change I could believe in. I was suckered like every other centrist in this country. He was so sincere wasn"t he? So...believable. And so full of s-t I have a job. I have health care. I pay a lot for lousy health care. But if all that 's left of health care reform is government enforcement to make the unwilling public buy a private company's product and higher premiums to subsidize those who don't, won't, or can't buy their own insurance, I say chuck it . This has all been a humongous waste of time.

    December 16, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  38. Ron

    It is easy for many people to whine about what is wrong with the efforts to try and get health care reform passed. Cries of socialism, liberalism, conservatism, and all 'isms only cause strife. Screaming about death panels (what a joke!) and other such nonsence only deflect from the real issues at hand.

    Instead of whining, be part of the solution. The status quo is obviously no solution, since so many people are without health care in this country.

    Health care reform does not end with the insurance companies. They obviously are way out of control, but what about the pharma companies, the distribution channels, etc.? Every part of health care needs to be attacked.

    December 16, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  39. Steve

    Many people on both sides of this issue are missing the point. Most people want health care reform. But a majority don't want what congress is trying to pass because no one including those in congress can possibly understand it nor the consquences of passing it. Whatever it is. The only nod to reducing costs is reducing payments to hospitals and other providers. Hospitals already loose money on most Medicare and Medicaid inpatients. This legislation has gone beyond being a plan. It is now purely political. The Democratic majority feels they must pass something called Healthcare reform, even if it isn't. In 4-5 years, when the true costs of the current plan begin to kick in, we will not have the funds to pay for it because a significant portion of the government's "income" will have to go toward paying the interest on our debt.

    December 16, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  40. Eric

    I agree, TC, there is never a free ride. 75,000 employees at GE were put on a high deductible health plan like mine this year. At what point will people who are insured be unable to pay their bills?

    If I work at an entry level job making somewhere around 30-40K, can I afford $2000 in deductibles? No, I can't, can I? I'll only take home $2000-$2500 a month, and that has to feed me, house me, etc. I can't afford to get sick.

    If we don't pass this now, what do you think the numbers will be during the 2012 election cycle? What will your premiums be? What will your deductible be? How many will then be uninsured?

    A fact, culled from SEC filings – 4.2 million of the 47 million uninsured lost their insurance this year. If such a trend held, we'd be looking at 59 million uninsured by the end of 2012 – or almost 20% of the population.

    Scary,,,

    December 16, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  41. sgurdog

    Man, some of these talking points are completely drilled into the heads of the far right do-nothings. I keep hearing of wealth redistribution, death panels, socialism, yadda, yadda, yadda...

    Are you people able to think more than one election cycle ahead? Every move, every fear is based on 2010 now, and after that it will be 2012. Not one of you can tell me how you would blunt the rising costs of health care. You continue to believe the failed arguments that tax cuts, tort reform and a hands off approach by the government is the best way to drive down the costs, but that amounts to "you have no friggin clue what to do" so you don't want to tire your brain with all the details of rational thinking and problem solving.

    Deficits will continue to soar without taking in adequate tax revenue. You can't cut programs that actually work and serve a vital purpose to society. You can keep screaming about entitlement programs but we all benefit from them in one form or another. Social Security and Medicare are both hugely popular entitlement programs that no politician has the guts to cut.

    And for those dimwits that haven't a clue, allowing people to buy affordable insurance is not a radical thought and is no more evil than allowing 40,000 people to die without it so that a rich man may afford a new house for his mistress.

    Economically, it makes complete sense to allow people 55 or older to qualify for Medicare. That is the most expensive group of people to cover and that makes the rates you and your company pay for a plan. If a company's workforce gets older so do their premiums. If you were to get these folks off of their company's insurance plan you would cut the costs of health insurance for a large majority of the middle class. Providing you have controls in place that would keep the insurance companies from pocketing the difference. So far there are none and we are at the complete control of a few very large privately owned companies.

    If you anti government people would take your thoughts to the next level of consciousness then you may ask yourself what is the different in being governed by "big government" or being governed by BIG BUSINESS? You may believe in the religion of free market principles or just hate "liberal" government, but the only difference in tyranny of government and the tyranny of corporate governess is that you have a voice in throwing a political bum out of office...you have absolutely no power to change the board of any private corporation.

    December 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  42. jdhinatl

    I see Mr. Joe Lieberman has taken down his website.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  43. JA

    Free or near-free health care reduces the financial incentive to make good health choices at an individual level. If you don't have to pay for the consequences, why not engage in behavior potentially detrimental to your health, if it provides short term enjoyment?
    Ah, but the catch here is that the ruling class in DC will quickly catch on to this and see an opportunity to further their control and influence, all under the guise of "doing what's right for the people and the country." Cigarettes? Illegal, because the public health care system should not be burdened with the resultant costs. Alcohol? Taxed to the bejeezus for the same reason. Fatty foods, cholesterol, sugar? Regulated at the manufacturer level and taxed at the consumer level. All in the name of the public good. Sugar will be particularly funny, as it is already a subsidized agricultural product, and once regulation reduces demand, sugar subsidies will be forced to increase.

    While it may sound good on the surface to get something for nothing, there is always a cost. In this case the cost will be individual liberty, just as it was during the Bush regime when they used the fear of terrorists to take individual liberty. Now it is the manufactured fear of a health care disaster being leveraged to drive a political agenda at the cost of individual liberty.

    I am patiently awaiting the government to fully over step their bounds to the point that individuals in this country rise up to reclaim their liberty and their nation.

    December 16, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  44. Jack

    Let's clear the deck in 2010 if it is not too late!

    December 16, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  45. drew

    lexppc,
    Yes, having the "Federal Government " pay for peoples insurance until all can afford it is a veritable stroke of genius. But instead of the "Federal Government" you better use words like; US, You, We and Our, becuase the last time I checked the "Federal Government" doesn't PRODUCE ANYTHING and therefore doesn't make ANY money to pay ANYONE for ANYTHING! They get it from US the tax payer!!!

    December 16, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  46. Fred

    >>>Number 2 is that the drug companies should be regulated as well to keep the costs of medications reasonable b/c it's insane for us to pay higher prices for medicine than people in other countries due to our subsidizing their prices.<<>>Force the health care plan through with the public option. Our country needs to stop looking at health care as profit driven and value the health and safety of its citizens above the profit of large, greedy, overblown insurance companies.<<<

    Why?

    You seem to forget the purpose of profit. It is the incentive for people and companies to put effort toward something, new medicines, better ways to sterilize surgical instruments, fast service, better vaccines, etc. If we take all the profit out of an activity what will happen? Those that provide health care services, materials, and devices will have less incentive to provide those services, materials, and devices. As a result the supply will go down, the quality will go down, and the effective price will go up. Long term this is the wrong way to go.

    Yes there is a role for the government to promote safer, better practices and expose fraud and deception. Government can promote promising research and development efforts. Government can educate the consumer. Government can force companies to honor contracts made in good faith. I would even go so far as to say that government can to a limited extent regulate the content of those contracts, i.e. limit ability to stop insurance coverage when a previous medical issue was not reported to the company, or decrease the time before a preexisting condition is covered, etc. But to take the profit out of the system is just a recipe for complete disaster.

    December 16, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  47. Gene Lucas

    As Governor Dean noted on Dr. Nancy this morning, failure of the bill as written would be the best thing that could happen for the American people. This bill does nothing to bring down the cost of health care – it assures its increase. Agree with the Republicans – vote it down.

    December 16, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  48. michael

    Healthcare costs will continue to increase until we acknowledge that WE are a big part of the problem. Too many are still smoking, drinking to excess or are obese. Too many of us insist on getting a CAT scan, putting mom on a repirator, taking chemo when there's predictably little benefit. We insist on the latest pill,experimental test diagnostic xray or procedure. Everybody wants to live forever at any cost.The cost of defensive medicine is so grossly underestimated – ordering that likely unnecessary test or procedure is far easier than a potential lawsuit.....let's face it folks... our "deserving" and "demanding" attitudes are a big part of our problem.

    December 16, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  49. John

    Does Health Care need to be reformed? YES
    Are we already paying to have uninsured get health care? YES (via higher health insurance costs to make up for the money they are losing)
    Do we need to push a bill through this fast? NO
    Should we take our time and do it right the first time? YES

    I leave you with this parting question:
    If the uninsured are now going to have the means to pay for their medical expenses shouldn't our insurance costs go down?

    December 16, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  50. Bob

    They are obsessed with passing a bill that is way down on the list of priorities of real folks out there. People don't have jobs; our debt is out-of-control; we have two ongoing wars. The vigor with which they are pursuing this, rather than those problems, shows that this is simply an ideological badge for the Democrats. Something they've wanted forever, now we're getting it whether it's right, good, or not. It's an attempt to once again build an entitlement that takes from some folks to give to others.

    It is a good thing to help your neighbor – that's civilization. We need to take care of those that cannot care for themselves. But for sanity sake, this is too large an undertaking to rush through or half-arse. They need to calm down and take their time before creating another irresponsible government program.

    December 16, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  51. TC

    It would be great to give everyone everything, but who will pay for it? My grandchildren are already in debt from the rest of this bs. Why now, except for some political reason, just like everything else.

    And by the way, from what I have read, there is no free ride here either, the deductibles are $5000 single, $10,000 married, so Eric, it is worse than what you can buy. There is never a free ride.

    Wishing people would lose their jobs and health care is really bad karma, wonder if that is your problem in the first place?

    December 16, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  52. screw you theiven liberals

    Margaret December 15th, 2009 1:08 pm ET

    Force the health care plan through with the public option. Our country needs to stop looking at health care as profit driven and value the health and safety of its citizens above the profit of large, greedy, overblown insurance companies.

    -
    Population control is the answer to health care problems.

    Deny all access to liberals for ANY of lifes requirements. It's time for war anyway. The liberals do nothing but take from those that earn their fair share. Time to take back from the theiving liberals who are to lazy and to stupid to take care of them selves.

    I will support and care for handicaped, children, and individuals that prove the are working(no matter what the wage). But I will not support or care for slime ball f'n liberals or their illegalin friends who got them elected.

    Civil war. Death to the leach's.

    December 16, 2009 at 11:26 am |
  53. Donald Bray

    Under Roberts rules, can't the Senate vote to "Divide the Question"? or are Senate rulse of order different?

    December 16, 2009 at 9:21 am |
  54. AB

    Joe you dont want nationaly healthcare rammed down your throat we had the war in iraq rammed down ours, and we were fed lies . At least we are trying to do something good for the American people , what did you accomplish, getting in a tar pit? and second at least we have been up front with you guys... you people spit in our face. and Lieberman hes a republican , disquised as a Democrat. he is deceiving the people of Conn.

    December 16, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  55. Rick

    This probably was the greatest nation in the world until the first white man set foot on native soil. He brought disease, a bigoted religion, greed, slavery, and, in general, a sorry ass attitude. Delta is ready when you are.

    December 16, 2009 at 12:40 am |
  56. dw

    I am getting sick and tired of the health care issue now. Congress members have got their payoffs from the health insurance companies by now. It is time to move on to other problems. We are fighting wars on two fronts. Let's put our efforts toward winning this war against the muslem terrorist now and support our troops that are fighting for our freedom.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm |
  57. C Johnson

    No one has said that the current medical system is "perfect"; however, it is still the best in the world. If they want to "reform" the system how about tort reform to limit the lawsuits? The Dems wont even allow this to be considered – guess they get too much money from the attorneys. Why not allow companies to sell across state lines? But it isnt about true reform for Pelosi, Reid, and Obama – it is a massive power and control grab.
    What happened to President Obama wanting to hear all points of view – there arent red states and blue states – just the united states of america – yet he convenes with only the democrats? they are not interested in any republican thoughts or ideas. they only talk to the sellouts (Snow and Collins from Maine).
    they are taking us down a road that has been tried and doesnt work, 2010 cant get here fast enough!

    December 15, 2009 at 8:54 pm |
  58. az

    For those of you who missed the poll, it was actually a CNN poll (not FOX). Here's the link. 61% is correct.

    December 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm |
  59. Don Northcott

    I believe Mr Obama campaigned on having transparency in his administration. But what does he do today? Meet with Democrats only behind closed doors. Why should he only want to meet with democarats and no republicans if he was not trying to ram something on the American Public.

    December 15, 2009 at 7:01 pm |
  60. Glenn Bemis

    On health care reform:

    The strength of our country can be measured by various methods; political savvy, economic clout, and military weight. But what the U.S. congress either fails to envision, or has left stagnant, is a people measured by their physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
    The "No child Left Behind Act" of 2002 was one of the last great visions to promote the citizen welfare of our country. It started strong at the gate, but has itself been left behind as jockeys ride stallions of military exportation, and of big banking interest.
    The most recent entry to the arena, the public health care reform, real working reform, may be a no-show. Yes, we might see a beaten down nag of a reform bill, but will it really run?
    The pitfall of ignoring America’s responsibility to each and every person through health care reform not only impacts individuals and families, but will reduce our strength as a nation.
    As the whole is a sum of the parts, it is necessary to have good broad public health reform so that together we, America, can maintain our strength and our stature as a leader in a demanding international world.
    .

    December 15, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  61. Glenn Bemis

    As a small businessman, I purchased Aetna group health for myself, wife and children, family policy. Over 35 years the monthly rate went from 400.00 per month to 2,000.00 per month. The Aetna plan I had was group simlilar to what federal, and state employees have for about 100.00 per month now.
    Six years ago after the Bush administration allowed health care lobbiest to disallow group of one person, I was dropped from the plan.
    To have health care equal to our federal and state employees who, being paid with public funds, are indeed under an envelop of public health program, will certainly cost a family more than the 2,000.00 per month I paid 6 years ago.
    Contrast that with the 100.00 per month the government employees pay. So our public funding contributes approximately 2,000.00 per month to each family plan.
    Equality for all? I think not.
    Public health care need include all, not exclusively government employees.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  62. M. Stevens

    Where do we start? We have a multifaceted issue and not a clear cut issue as most think. We have the insurance companies watching their profits and thus making decisions based on data mining results. and we have them paying the Doctors, Hospitals, clinics.... we have the companies supplying the hospitals with equipment at a premium. The we have the Medical staff themselves living and feeding off of those who have been forced to obtain medical insurance. A vicious circle in my opinion.

    To be fair caps should go accross the board so that no one segment is burdened to the point of breaking down the whole system. All ties into the medical industry need to be addressed and not just the insurance industry.

    The insurance industry is the most visable as they are the first step in the chain where once your farm animals used to be. It has sadly become a way of life for the American Public and much like a drug addiction.

    Where do we go from here?

    December 15, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  63. Tamantha

    All I know is I don't want the government touching my medicare. Leave well enough alone. lol

    December 15, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  64. dw

    I hope all of you that are against health care reform lose your jobs and health care plans, then you will see that you can not get health insurance at any cost without being part of a company health care plan. The health insurance providers have the congress in their pocket. All I really want is the ability to buy health care at a reasonable price, for me me and my family, not a handout.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  65. rrock

    In principal it sounds good but we already have entitlement programs on the brink of bankruptcy. We have gigantic deficits. How can we afford another big government program? I would like to see a balanced budget before we create another poorly funded program.

    December 15, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  66. Eric

    You know the old saying that a recession is when your neighbor loses his job and a depression is when you lose yours? I think the same can be applied to health insurance. At some point, the percentage of uninsured will reach a level when all will agree that the system is broken. I'm surprised 15% is not high enough. If something doesn't get done, don't be surprised to see us at 20-25% uninsured within 5 years – and I hope to God that, should we get there, we would recognize that for the crisis that it is.

    I agree with the poster that said that health insurance rates should be regulated. The fact is, it's not really optional, is it? It's not like a driver's license, where you can really go without – it's more like electrical and energy utilities.

    December 15, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  67. Eric

    I'm going to try real hard to not say something controversial, so let me give you a basic fact. This year, there are approximately 47 million uninsured Americans. According to the US Census bureau, there are approximately 308 million US residents today (I checked). That means that greater than 15% of the US does not have health insurance.

    Now, I will break my promise. The ability to sell insurance across state lines is a worthless change. You're assuming that the state next door offers the exact same coverage for a whole lot less. In general, you get what you pay for – a much less expensive plan will cover much less. And you're also assuming that insurers would charge your residents the same as it does in the other state, which is by no means assured. In fact, I would guess that, if that were the requirement, either rates would rise for all or the insurance company would decline to offer the policy out-of-state.

    Lastly, a personal note. My medium-sized employer (over 300 employees) has been absorbing rate increases in the mid-teens (13-16%) for the last 4 or 5 years. This year, Aetna raised rates 23%, so we were put on a high deductible health plan. My family deductible went from $400 to $4600, and my max out of pocket doubled from $3000 to $6000 (divide figures in half for personal figures).

    How many of you have that kind of spare money, year after year? My daughter's physical therapy in the month of January alone will cost us $2200 out of pocket. And we make a very good living, but this will really hurt our budget next year – we had an FSA, and now will have to put twice as much away in an HSA.

    Health insurance is cheap and wonderful if you don't need many medical services. It's expensive and painful for most of the rest of us.

    December 15, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  68. Sandra

    Lieberman is not in my shoes and never have been. I want Public option, I want the Medicare buy in. I am 56 and have no Insurance. Today I am sick and can't go to the doctor because I have no Insurance. Lieberman has his now I'm asking that he step aside and let people like me at least be able to go to to doctor and in an affordable way.

    December 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  69. lexpbbc

    Have health care providers send the bills to a Federal general accounting office. No regulators or health insurance companies. There should be some over site for fraud but that is it. Face it, people need health care – health insurance and politicians have nothing to do with this and are not a necessary process between a patient and doctor. We should have the Federal Government pay all bills of uninsured until they can work out a plan to fix things so people don't have to suffer, they did this with the banks and auto companies... just give them billions now and we'll figure it out later...they need to do this with health care. I'm appalled when I hear people say why should 80% of people give up something for 20% of people – so it is okay for people to suffer and or die as a trade off for money? What if one of those 20% is your child, parent, friend, neighbor...is that okay that they suffer and/or die? Some Americans are so selfish, and as recently proven again...greedy.

    December 15, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  70. Margaret

    Force the health care plan through with the public option. Our country needs to stop looking at health care as profit driven and value the health and safety of its citizens above the profit of large, greedy, overblown insurance companies.

    December 15, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  71. William

    Everyone says the Republicans don't have a plan..that is a blatant lie fed to you by the Obama loving media. They have proposed numerous times over the years tort reforms and new regulations. See people this would actually hold costs stagnant the Dem plan? Costs will rise nothing is being done to prevent that. All that will be happening is those who have will be paying extra towards those who do not have –Wealth Redistribution– Look the Canadians are now discussing PRIVATIZING a large portion of their health Care services as the COSTS have skyrocketed. Anyplace that has socialized medicine has issues with varying procedures if its not deemed life threatening you could have years to wait. That is not what we want to happen here, but this will happen. Wake up liberals look at the real picture, if we tax the "cadillac plans" those businesses will CUT their plans to save taxes. Guess what this means LESS MONEY to pay for this folly. If you step outside of your political view you will see that these current bills are garbage. They will do nothing but give free insurance to those who don't have it. Costs will not be kept in check, in fact we will wind up paying more-LOTS MORE. But then again that is what this administration wants...reducing everyones net worth to create a general apathy.

    December 15, 2009 at 12:28 pm |
  72. Jim W

    If I hear the words "distinguished Senator" one more I will throw up. Each of them should be made to listen to their drivel. Maybe the taxpayers should be able to have equal time to speak to these so called representatives on the floor of Congress

    December 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  73. MRS. P2

    until everyone in this country has access to health care, not emergency room care, no government employees should have government run health care. let them do what the rest of us have to do, pay through the nose for private insurance.

    December 15, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  74. Mark

    If so many of you on the left want sociolism why don't you move to Sweeden or the UK. Lets leave America as the great Country it has always been. If you leave it might reduce our un-emplyment problem here. Complian about the Right or Fox news all you want, We are not the ones who want to change the greatest Nation the World hes ever seen!

    December 15, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  75. Mike

    Re: Richard

    You mentioned that 56% opposed, 54% favored. 110% of the american people polled? Is this how Chicago politics works, or is simply liberal math? Maybe that's why we're $12Trillion in debt!

    December 15, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  76. M C Nichols

    Americans don't get it. The Soviot Union was held together through the rewarding of and recruting of it's members. the rest of it's population got cake. Hitler said-just tell the biggest lies and they will believe.

    December 15, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  77. joe J

    ENOUGH WHINING FROM THE LIBERALS!!!!!! It's pretty clear that they just want more for zero effort in their part. America was built by hard working folks that took all responsibility for the welfare of their families and now all these socialist wana-bees want more welfare hand outs, soon we will be forced to provide even their toilet paper, I say you get it done like the rest of us and get your grubby hands out of my pocket

    December 15, 2009 at 10:08 am |
  78. SanJose Mike

    IS IT POSSIBLE TO FIX IMPORTANT HEALTH ISSUES WITHOUT GOVERNMENT OPTION?

    Yes, I think it is. But it requires closer "control" and more competition among insurers.

    1. Force insurers to be able to sell across state lines. Interstate commerce has a history of forcing down prices. Look at the electronic industry and others.
    2. Force insurers to remove pre-existing condition clause.
    3. Get some REAL tort reform
    4. Limit the pay of health insurance executives
    5. Set up a basic "low level" coverage that is affordable. Make all insurers offer it. This will be just about the level of welfare, but importantly will cover E.R. Visits. These will be government subsidized for poverty level families
    6. Expand HSA accounts and force insurers to widen the coverages on these plans, after the high deductible is met
    7. Allow Medicare access to people over 55 (I know Joe is against it)

    I think these changes will cover a great many more people and will not bankrupt the Country.

    sanjosemike

    December 15, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  79. jay m

    60%, he's watching too much Fox news.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  80. Wilberto Jimenez

    Edyth- congratulations:

    (1) So you want a government-run option and approve of a more socialist system.

    (2) Drug companies ARE already regulated- the best gov't agency in the nation, the FDA, already does this. And I can't believe you whine about costs. The only thing driving discovery and innovation is the ability for the drug companies to make a profit. You're not sponsoring their R&D to get the drug, so they have to recoup their cost by charging a reasonable price for the end product.

    (3) Where in the Constitution does it say all Americans should get free health care ? You'd need to re-institute slavery to set up the number of doctors necessary to operate the way the current public option promises.

    Here's my suggestion: work hard, save money, worry less about what your friends & neighbors do. You'll be rewarded in the end.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:57 am |
  81. BobT

    Polls? If you're going to base decisions on the collective intelligence of 300 million people, don't expect too much. Most Americans do not make the effort to stay informed.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:30 am |
  82. jim

    Arguing about the percentages who do and do not want government-run health care insurance is ridiculous. Absolutely no one is interested in taking an honest poll. They are all interested in skewing the results of the poll or just outright lying about the results so that it reflects what they want it to prove. With so much money at stake, you can't believe anything you hear. Everyone is lying as fast as his mouth will move.

    December 15, 2009 at 9:07 am |
  83. cm

    I must live in a different US than joe J and others commenting on the health care reform. I, and most evryone I known, need reform. I just got my notice from my health insurance company, for 2010, with an increase of 18%. The last two years, it was around a 12% increase. I have friends with no insurance at all. They go to the emergency room for everything, even a cold. When you add the emergency room care to the yearly insurance increases, I wonder how much we are really paying. Something is wrong with this picture, you complain about going up on taxes, but you don't mind the the high increase in health insurance for less and less coverage. Like I said, I must live in a different country than you do

    December 15, 2009 at 8:44 am |
  84. Ralph Patch

    well said Mike

    December 15, 2009 at 8:33 am |
  85. Edyth

    Problem is that there are at least three things needed to reform health care. Number 1 is that insurance companies should either be not for profit and/or regulated. Number 2 is that the drug companies should be regulated as well to keep the costs of medications reasonable b/c it's insane for us to pay higher prices for medicine than people in other countries due to our subsidizing their prices. Number 3 is that doctors should get paid a set rate per hour, not per procedure; that would probably eliminate a lot of unnecessary tests and surgeries. Of course none of this will ever happen here; so we might as well face the fact that, no matter what kind of health care reform, you'll have to be rich to be able to go a doctor.

    December 15, 2009 at 8:01 am |
  86. mike-sey

    Gosh, the Joe Lieberman fan club is out in force today with its usual quota of disinformation, selfishness, and paranoia. Pity the poor kids in Chicago and elswhere.

    December 15, 2009 at 7:59 am |
  87. Jim Godfrey

    I have not been living under a rock for the past year, however, I do not know what the Republicans Health Care Bill is. Do they even have a plan or are they just endeavoring to obstruct any and all bills put up by the Democrats?

    December 15, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  88. Paul B

    If you go by polls, it is important what is asked. The 55 to 60% reflect any government option. The bill as it is will not lower the cost. All studies agree. Our nuts in Washington only touch on the problems. There is good in the bill but there is a lot of bad. The bill does not touch the drug companies or the lawyers. The dems have been bought by them. Its all about special interest and $$$$$$ in their pocket.

    December 14, 2009 at 11:06 pm |
  89. Richard

    Rasmussen Reports latest poll has 56% against the proposed health care "reform" and 40% for. That's pretty close to the aforementioned 60%. And Denny ... you can't have 56% for and 54% against or vice versa ... it adds up to more than 100%. This is why we don't want you folks handling this ... perhaps in Chicago you can have these kinds of numbers ... for the rest of us it doesn't add up. The whole proposal (any of the ones the Dems are trotting out) doesn't make any sense or add up.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  90. Detlev Wegener

    How about 56% against and 40% for this so called "health care reform." This is the latest Rasmussen numbers (8 hours old) I lived in Germany under their system. They are experiencing a mass exodus of doctors. They do not get the pay they deserve. Also, their system creates classes. Those that can pay up front and wait on the government to pay you and those that make the dr. wait. And don't need something extensive, e.g., hip replacement, kimo, by-pass surgery. You will wait a long time. Government has no incentive to be efficient. There is no profit incentive which, believe it or not, is good for the consumer.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  91. Jim V

    "Over sixty percent of the public does not want it "

    What poll was that Joe J ? Oh never mind

    December 14, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  92. JD

    Economy in terrible shape. National debt through the ceiling. Foreclosure crisis growing in scale and severity. Over 15% jobless. And 0bama and Congress keep trying to ram a health care plan that the majority of Americans DON'T WANT down our throats, a nuclear Iran getting more powerful by the day...

    ...and 0bama gives himself a "B+"??

    Anyone with a lick of sense should give 0bama and his pathetic czars a D-.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  93. Apachelx

    It makes me angry when someone like Nobama says something like the Banks don't get it. Especially when he and is Goon squad of liberal dems continue to try and pass a bill or bills the people of the US do not want. Can't say Nobama doesn't get it because he never had it. HE WORKS FOR US NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND, AS HE BELIEVES WE THE PEOPLE WORK FOR HIM.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  94. Denny

    @Joe J

    I question your 60% figure against health care reform. Every poll I've seen shows a much lower figure and a much more even split. Like 56% against 54% for or 56% for and 54% against.

    I also dislike the health reform package the senate is proposing. I'm not fond of the house bill either. I'm afraid we are going to get a health insurance reform bill not actual health care reform. The current health insurance reform is estimated to insure 30+ million more people over 10 years. That is not a bad thing overall.

    What can anyone do about changing this reform anyway. Some type of insurance reform will pass this congress. The Dem's are hell bent on passage of health reform before years end and they have the numbers to do it.

    If said health care reform doesn't pass this year it will never pass. Mid term elections will influence any vote or lack there of next year.
    So its now or never.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  95. Herbygee

    Ah, yes, let's just keep our wonderful system that prices out all those who can't afford care, bankrupts those who have pre-existing conditions and isn't anywhere near as fair or effective as other countries. That's the beautiful thing about us Americans: we're so easy to brainwash.

    December 14, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  96. keith

    Tell it joe J and if we can't elect them out since they could just vote themselves new term limits, we may have to go there and kick them out...

    December 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  97. David

    well said!

    December 14, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  98. Mike Rogers

    Many of my "older" friends are scared to death of this attempt to "redistribute the wealth" which is what this is all about. It is NOT reform. It is the expansion of another entitlement program that is already broke. Who are we trying to fool, the American people? Something for nothing is what this is about as usual.

    December 14, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  99. JP

    Joe, where do you get your numbers? Polling your living room? Saying 60% don't want healthcare reforms is a blatant lie...Bad news Joe, Bush and Cheney are still fresh in our minds, good luck in 2010....

    December 14, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  100. joe J

    It should be doomed, over sixty percent of the public does not want it and these fools are still trying to shove it down our mouths, I can't wait to 2010 and start voting all these fools out.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
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