American Morning

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March 23rd, 2010
06:00 AM ET

LIVE Blog: Sources: Obama to sign health care bill into law today

Editor's Note: Welcome to American Morning's LIVE Blog where you can discuss the "most news in the morning" with us each and every day. Join the live chat during the program by adding your comments below. It's your chance to share your thoughts on the day's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules: 1) Keep it brief 2) No writing in ALL CAPS 3) Use your real name (first name only is fine) 4) No links 5) Watch your language (that includes $#&*).

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/03/23/obama.applauds.hcr.gi.art.jpg caption="In this White House handout, President Obama applauds as the House of Representatives passed health care reform legislation March 21, 2010."]

(CNN) - President Obama will sign sweeping health care reform legislation into law at the White House on Tuesday, according to two Democratic officials familiar with the planning.

Obama also will hit the road to sell the measure to a still-skeptical public, giving a speech Thursday in Iowa City, Iowa, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. Obama launched his grass-roots drive for health care reform in Iowa City in May 2007, according to Gibbs.

The bill, which constitutes the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees in more than four decades, passed the House of Representatives late Sunday night with no Republican support. It was approved by the Senate in December. FULL STORY

Sound off: Share your personal stories with us. How will this bill affect you? Join the LIVE blog below and chat with us during the show.

Also this morning: CNN's Drew Griffin has obtained a document, a clear warning sign from August 2002, nearly 8 years ago, that Toyota had a sudden acceleration problem, and that according to Toyota's own service bulletin, the problem was electronic. If you own a Toyota weigh in with your thoughts.


Filed under: LIVE Blog
soundoff (193 Responses)
  1. American Morning

    Thanks for all your comments everyone! John and Kiran were able to read a bunch of them on the show. Join us on the LIVE blog again tomorrow and chat with us during the show. Enjoy the day and check back on the blog for the segments and stories you might have missed on today's show. -American Morning staff

    March 23, 2010 at 9:03 am |
  2. Karin D.

    @ Vallan....you must not have read many posts....you are obviously in the minority here, so go have a cup of coffee and log in at fox news.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  3. Chad

    If someone gave you a choice to save 32 million lives and all you have to do is pay higher taxes, you would say "No"? We have been paying taxes on everything for years. How could you turn down saving lives so you can have more pocket money? I am proud to shoulder the burden for my brethren.

    March 23, 2010 at 9:00 am |
  4. Shiang

    I work for Zimmerman Associate Inc,Fairfax VA.Every 2 weeks I make about US$1152 and my employer deduct us$ 458 for my health insurance by force.Plus i have to pay state and fed.Guess what!How much i left in my pocket?All manager and supervisor were did not have to pay.(zero) Super fair.

    I hope this new bill will fix how the rich peple play game on poor people like me.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:59 am |
  5. Hub Brown

    I agree there needed to be a change, but this bill is ridiculous. There is only three points to this bill that will do good for the people. 1. No pre existing conditions 2. Kids able to stay on parents polices through age 26 3. No cap, no denying. The other issue, doctors are going to quit. The quality of care is going to be drastically worse, because doctor pay is going to drop, and med school enrollees will disappear. How does college loans, have anything to do with health care.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  6. GMcArthur

    what % of the budget was spent on health care during the clinton administration? how much has it risen since that time. how much would it have continued to have risen had not this bill been passed? for those so oppossed, what would your argument be if your family was in a similar "health" insurance crisis? its easy to say start over when your life or your family has insurance. its a terrible thing to witness someone suffer due to lack of basic health care. What happened to human compassion. elections in november seem to be the fix all.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  7. rick knight

    what this means to me....it saddens me that the people who was voted to do the will of the people are doing what they want,not what we(the people)want.
    i didnt get to vote on the healthcare bill BUT i will get to vote in november and i will make my voice heard then....loud and clear.
    this is not the hope and change i wanted. now i hope the obama will change his mind.
    can i take my vote for obama back?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  8. Laura

    I am so disappointed with my Republican representatives. They have lost my vote. The health care bill has faults, but it can be changed as it is implemented if the Republicans will wake up. The Republicans have had control of Congress for over 20 years and they have done nothing. I am tired of seeing my neighbors only go to the emergency room when they are near death since they cannot afford health insurance. Our hospitals are getting deeper and deeper in loss and some are even closing. They cannot keep treating people and then not getting paid. My daughter is fortunately still on my policy and even with that, we spend $7000on her medical bills last year.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  9. Dale Clarke

    I have worked productively for 45 years with very high salary. I planed well and was ready for retirement but was wiped out by the recent economic turndown.

    I sold my second home $80k "under water".

    Am in medicare but my sweet wife, 7 years my junior, still requires full insurance. There is no help for us and I cannot retire because I must pay $500 a month for individual general and catastrophic coverage with Aetna for her.

    Thought: When one married person achieves medicare both should if the other is in a 10 year proximity of the age of qualification so they may retire gracefully. I must continue to work and thankfully I can - what about those who cannot.

    Last points...
    1.Only persons with immediate family who HAVE contributed to taxes should have full coverage, which should be proportionate to contribution.
    2.Public option should cover only life and death situations, not every ache and pain.
    3.Non-citizens should have NO coverage but any provided should be charged to the national debt of their native country.

    HISSELF

    March 23, 2010 at 8:55 am |
  10. Jane - WI

    Why are health insurance premiums being subsidized for people making up to $88,000? I know plenty of people who make less than than that who somehow can afford a second home, yearly vacations, new cars, big screen TVs, etc. Yet, I am to believe they just can't afford to pay their own insurance premiums?
    Some may say that $88,000 is not a lot of money in some areas of the country. I can counter by saying that $250,000 is not "rich" in some areas of this country. It also is far from being "rich" in most areas. When you make $250,000 you are getting few of the tax breaks that the middle and lower class get and your kids are getting no help to pay for college.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  11. Cindy

    While I'm extremely happy about the passage of this healthcare reform I'm uncertain just when it will benefit us. My husband and I are small business owners & about 4 years ago were priced out of our group coverage – it escalated to $2,500/mo. . . .little did we know the battle that would lie ahead to try to get coverage for him due to his "pre-existing" condition of having 2 stents in his heart. After trying through numerous companies .(and their interrogation tactics) . . the end result was always the same . . . ."denied". He became a citizen of this country 20 years ago . . . he now goes back to the country he was born in for dental care, and now healthcare. We should be ashamed of ourselves leaving our citizens, in many cases, to decide on paying for medications/treatments or food/mortgage . . . if we deny this basic right to millions of our people. . . I'm ready and willing to move to his country where we won't be one hospital stay away from bankruptcy . . .

    March 23, 2010 at 8:53 am |
  12. terry watkins

    I am delighted that the bill passed. Finally the insurance companies will not be running the show. It's about time the hammer came down on these outragious costs.Maybe we'll all be able to spend some of our money on something for enjoyment for us,instead of supporting the insurance companies. We'll all be alot healthier since they won't be the dictators as to what can be done and what can't. finally something has been done and these people complaining should suck it up and deal with it,they may be happy in the end.Give it a chance!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  13. vallan

    In the event the Republicans do not win back a majority in the House and Senate and achieve the repeal of the bill, we must take a different course. The People must resolve to resist the health care bill by not paying the premiums or the fines, by not filing their income taxes, by demonstrating, by striking, by marching on Washington and disrupting the business of the President and Congress until the government comes to a standstill. Civil disobedience must continue until the bill is repealed or until Obama, Biden, Reid, and Pelosi are forced from office.

    Why is this so important that Americans ought to be willing to shut this country down and suffer personal and national financial hardship, or worse? Because if the majority party, either party, can force a health care bill through the Congress without a vote that follows the procedures outlined in the Constitution, then they can force any bill through the Congress without a vote. If health care passes Obama will have them pass cap and trade. If health care and cap and trade pass, they will pass card check. They will rebuild this country into their idea of social paradise and by 2012 we will no longer live in a country we recognize as the United States of America. The Constitution will have no meaning. Our vote will have no meaning. Freedom of speech will have no meaning. The economy will collapse under the weight of Obama’s spending and he will declare a national emergency and gather all kinds of new powers that he says are necessary for the good of the country.

    The time is now for patriots to draw a line and let Barack Obama know that he cannot cross it except at his peril. The Declaration of Independence says that, “whenever any government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to establish a new government; laying it’s foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to affect their safety and happiness.” For now we must hope that the Congress fails to pass the bill or put our faith in the nine men and women of the Supreme Court. Failing that, the People must act.

    Thomas Jefferson said that, “Occasionally the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

    The tyrants are in place. The patriots are stirring.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:51 am |
  14. Tom Thibeault

    Though most people in the US have not read the bill, but the general consensus is that if one is a Dem then the bill as written is OK and if an individual adheres to the GOP then is is a terrible failure.

    The way I see it is, insurance companies and the drug companies don't want it. Therefore it must be good for the average American. What actually needed to happen was to get both groups under strict government control. Is this socialism? No it's responsible government, and it's time should be always not in the future.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  15. Tina

    This Health Care bill is way overdue.... I think that is what frustrates the majority of the American people, it has taken too long and does not go far enough. But, it is a step in the right direction. For too long we have listened to the rhetoric of the Republicans, with no real direction or solutions. Not to mention, taking the Tea Party for granted for their racial and bigoted agenda. This last weekend should be a wake up call to all, that we are not in the "60's" anymore, and that type of behavior will not be tolerated. Just a thought..... Why are we prosecuting the teenager for his behavior in Walmart, and not the morons on Capitol Hill, who spat and their racial and homophobic remarks? I am totally sick of the McCarthyite politics of late. As if we have not learned from the disasters of our past.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  16. Jane - WI

    How many new government, union workers will be added to the roles as a result of this new insurance bill? How many will be added due to the government takeover of the student loan program that was snuck into the bill? How many in the private sector will lose their jobs because of it, and how big will government grow in order to administer the loan program?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  17. Debbie Wood

    We currently have insurance through our employer. Will the insurance premiums we curerntly have skyrocket? How does this affect those people on welfare who already have benefits we all currently pay for? If my house burns down can I then go buy insurance to pay for it? Will people not buy insurance until they need it?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:49 am |
  18. Kathy M

    I would like to know what the required health care coverage is going to look like. I assume the plan will have a deductible and copays but what will those numbers be?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  19. The Todd

    The argument is not whether or not people care about the uninsured or under-insured but who is responsible for shouldering the burden of supporting our health care system. The reality is health care costs money and unless people are willing to ask their neighbors to pay their bills they have no right to force their fellow countrymen to foot the bill. America is by far the largest giver of charity which follows in the spirit of freedom by allowing individuals the choice of who and how to help. Federal taxation for the purpose of redistributing wealth for whatever means is an institutionalized version of theft.

    We all want to see the sick and ill cared for but we are simply demanding the freedom to make our own choices of who we help and how we help them. The natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness do not come with assurances these things will happen but the promise that no one will stand in your way to get them on your own.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  20. Dawn

    I cannot figure out why people are so worried about this bill! Though I think it could go further, I am just happy they are finally making some change. As a "middle class" family, we feel more medically poor as our rates rise and our quality of care is starting to go downhill. I ask other voters to look at the good of this bill and reassure our legislators who took a chance voting Yes that we appreciate the "risk" they took to make this happen.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  21. john

    With all the hype on health care seemingly directed towards full time workers, how will this affect people that work part time? Let's say a person works 2 part time jobs, will a business be required to carry health ins on them? How do seasonal workers fit into the health care equation? How are they covered?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  22. Brenda Y.

    I work for a non profit organization. We have 10 employees. Only one has health ins through the company. This person has a pre existing condition. We can't find a policy that is less than $1400 per month. For a small business this is very bad, but with the new bill there is hope. I still wish for a public option for those with single policies.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  23. Jane - WI

    I have a high deductible health insurance plan ($5000 deductible). What in this bill GUARANTEES that the fees my doctor and hospital charge me (that I pay out of pocket) will be lower? Health insurance companies are not the enemy. High premiums are a reflection of the high costs of the services charged by medical providers. What in this bill lowers those costs? All these doctors and nurses who support this bill should be willing to lower their own fees in order to make health care "more affordable" for all.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  24. Mark Kosinski

    Where is your integrity? How can you not question our supposed leaders in Washington when they claim the health care bill to be the best thing for America, yet they are all exempt and will not be subject to the very bill the voted to pass? Any citizen who is not outraged by this is being blinded by their foolish emotions and not thinking rationally.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  25. Kristin

    I am employed with a pre-existing condition in my heart. I carry the insurance for my husband, who owns a small business, and my two children. We have talked about me not working so that I can better take care of myself and my condition; however, this is out of the question because I am responsible for the insurance. Basically I'm forced to choose to live a shorter life without going bankrupt through our family's medical costs over prolonging my life with better health.

    I therefore support the bill – and am patiently waiting for 2014 for adult coverage of pre-existing conditions. Thank you, President Obama, for sticking with this bill.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  26. Martin Foley

    I think once its all signed and done, most Republican states will become Democratic states in November. Just wait and see!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:46 am |
  27. michael grant white

    Public option is mandatory. The insurance industry just passes through the costs and gives the money to the drug industry.
    Prescription drugs only treat the synptoms. Staying on drugs that stifle symptoms and overlook causes while the causes slowly kill us is fools play. Change your diet away from fast foods, pasteurized diary, sugar and chocolate and do weekly fasts, monthly and quarterly internal cleanses, and watch your health conditions vanish.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  28. Greg @ Florida

    This is HUGE !!!
    What we are not getting here is this...
    Think about it, Now that EVERYONE is required to have insurance the ONLY way the insurance companies can make MORE MONEY is to start working on ways to KEEP AMERICANS HEALTHY !!!!
    Gee, what a concept....

    That is what this is all about... We have been paying more for health care than anyone else and Americans are the LEAST HEALTHY.\
    This is because if you are not healthy the insurance co. will simply NOT cover you. So why do they care if we are not healthy.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  29. Gina E

    This was needed! My daughter began having seizures at 19 in college. She would be considered to have a "pre-existing" condition. No insurance company would take her so we would have to continue with temporary insurance that is at least $600.00 per month because she would age out of our plan. Topamax (anti-seizure meds) cost approximately $400.00 per month at a discounted rate. Do we sacrafice her health or pay bills? You choose!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  30. Brian Williamseryday Americans use so we'll understand what you're talking about

    I see a bunch of old men wearing exspensive suits dealing with something that they really have know idea about! They have insurance and it's good insurance, so have they ever really worried about it? Why don't they live the lives of everyday Americans and then make a decision, and try using words that everyday use so we'll know what you're talking about! This will be the issue that divides this country in it's weakest moment!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  31. Jane - WI

    Why only cover kids until age 26? Why not 30? How about 45? Why is 26 the magic number?

    In what other scenario is a grown 26 year old treated as a "child"? Does anyone in their right mind think that by requiring these older children to be included on their parent's policies that the premiums won't go up? Does anyone think that by adding all sorts of people with high cost illnesses to plans that the premiums will go down?

    The people who are for this bill are the ones who think they will be getting coverage for free and that someone else will be paying the bills. It's easy to be for something this horrendous if you think you will benefit from it and not have your own money taken away to pay for it.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  32. Stan Wruble

    I was particularly struck by Amys statement that she thought it unfair that anyone should have to dip into savings/IRA to cover medical costs. So what is she saying, should she be allowed to dip into my income to cover her expenses? There is still no such thing as a free lunch. This includes the currrent health care scheme. Maybe we should go after the corporate health care providers (hospitals, etc) that gouge consumers with outlandish charges for services. That would help everyone out.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:45 am |
  33. carl clark

    I wish to say that the progression of humanity despite over-emphasized capitalistic principles is apparent in this health care bill. I look at the big picture which contains our future well into time. This is but a tiny step toward a society we can achieve which is not constrained by things that pit us against each other but which combine all of our amazing potentials toward a continued more perfect union. Technology and Intelligence must be balanced with common sense and curiosity. To do these we need to care for each other. Our future together can be amazing if the best principles of our natures are given the greatest importance.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:44 am |
  34. David Stevens

    I have Psoriatic Arthritis at age 34. My joints are painful and I have had a very hard time. I lost my full time job that carried my health care. Now I will soon have no coverage. I was hoping they would protect people like me right away. Waiting for another 4 years to probaly find out I cannot afford the coverage really makes me mad. I never asked to be sick. I feel like I am being punished. I voted for Obama. I am dissapointed. I expected more regulation and more help for those in need.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  35. Justin

    this reform doesn't affect me at all, i'm a 31 year old with a job and work supplied insurance. Nothing has changed, I still can't afford to go to the doctor when my medical credit runs out and can't afford better insurance, so once again, nice gesture but means nothing

    March 23, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  36. Jerry

    This bill will effect everyone is one way or another. The thing people has to remember is there is no such thing as a perfect bill. If there was, this country would not be in the shape it is today. This is a great start to fixing a huge problem. Suck it up and shut up people. Give it a chance.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:42 am |
    • Justin

      years down the road when the pre-existing condition part of, at least my, insurance has already passed and doesn't mean anything anyway? How about finding a way to make healthcare affordable instead of making insurance companies nicer

      March 23, 2010 at 8:47 am |
  37. Kristina

    What happens to the millions of people that STATE HEALTH INSURANCE? I have Fidelis, through New York State. All my medical care is covered by Fidelis. Dental is Doral. "Family Planning" is covered by Medicaid. My income is, on paper, below federal poverty level, ( I support my 7 yr old son and have my own $900/month apartment) No way, no how, can I afford to PAY MY OWN health insurance, NOR afford these 'FINES" I'm going to be forced to pay if I CAN'T AFFORD IT. What about STATE HEALTH INSURANCE ??? I have heard NO MENTION of this ANYWHERE !

    March 23, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  38. Karin D.

    As a small business owner, I have just received our renewal premium for the coming year with a 22% increase. We have not had any costly illnesses in our pool, so I can only imagine what others are faced with.
    This Health Care Reform is a first, small step in the right direction, but I am dismayed at the volumes of paper for relatively few real changes.
    Allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines, mandating them to pool small business such as mine for more competitive rates, creating review boards to throw out frivolous medical lawsuits and force more streamlined billing practices would be all part of that first small step. But our President delivered on the first step, and for that he gets a thumbs up!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:42 am |
  39. Bella

    I am very happy we are going to get healthcare reform. No one should be uninsured in this country due to greed.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  40. Jane - WI

    Chris,
    The difference between this mandate and the mandate to buy car insurance is that you don't have to own a car. That is your own choice. This health insurance fiasco does not include your choice to opt out.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  41. ian

    Does that mean we are finally rid of Rush? Thank God!!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  42. Nila

    As being a 23yr old African American female I feel this is a good thing. I have asthma bronchitis and get sick alot so being able to stay on my parents insurance for another 3 yrs is a huge relief. Bout time the government starts thinking about the average American.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:41 am |
  43. Suresh Masand

    Excellent bill and democrats get lot of credit from me, a republican. We badly need new republican leadership, more moderate and more progressive.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  44. Keri Nelson

    I don't have a problem with the government mandating Health Insurance that I want and need anyway.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  45. Karen Pursel

    I am paying almost $1500 per month for just me in the Washington State high risk pool. I thought insurance reform might make it a little more affordable, but I am rapidly thinking I am going to be priced out of the market.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  46. S. Coody

    If healthcare is a right then that right should come with the responsibility of paying for it. Maybe now our ER will stop being a doctor's office.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  47. Bob

    As I told my wife. I’m glad she now can have as good insurance as I have. She said she had good insurance she is the comptroller for a financial institution who provides wonderful coverage for employees. But as I told her it’s only as good as her health or her keeping her job or her institution staying in business. All these insurance problems will now be covered by the new law.

    Our old system was broken, every one will agree. At least this is a great start, not perfect, but much better then doing nothing.

    I am a disabled veteran and covered by the VA system not a bad model for a national health system if you ask me. I came back from Vietnam and was called a baby killer by some and insulted for my service. I don’t think these racial hate and fear methods help us be the country to lead the world.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  48. Sarah K.

    The passing of this bill means my parents might be able to finally afford health insurance. My dad is a self-employed contractor and my mom works in a very small dental office without health benefits. For most of my life, insurance has simply been something they can afford. At one point they had a policy after my sister and I left home but had to cancel it because their premiums were more than $1000 a month. Who can really afford that?!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  49. Martin Foley

    How will the health care reform affect life insurance, will the same laws apply?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  50. Valerie

    Hi,We have a job opening at the National Organic Program that will be posted soon for the Executive Director of the National Organic Standards Board, perhaps your most recent interviewee on health care would be interested. It may not be up her alley and it would also require moving, but you never know. It will be posted on USAjobs.gov

    thanks, Valerie

    March 23, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  51. Lisa Lander

    We have a seasonal business that employees over 50 people only during the summer months and will find it difficult to conform to the bill. We feel there should be an exception for businesses that are seasonal and do not have more than 50 employees year round.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  52. Skebo

    I was feeling good about the Health Bill. But I have been seeing that there is some hidden or not highly publicized aspects of this bill that are now coming out. I'm concerned about what else I don't know about this bill and how it will effect me.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:38 am |
  53. Dee

    I can understand now why Congress has not been working. Unfortunately it appears the Republicans from the beginning, have had no intentions of trying to make government work unless it was their way and their way only. Just look across the country at the number of republican states who are planning on challenging the health care bill. Sad

    March 23, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  54. Jane - WI

    While I feel badly that the woman from Colorado you have on your show doesn't currently have health insurance, she does have options. It's not like she can't get health insurance. She can choose to buy catastrophic coverage at a much lower premium and pay her prescriptions out of pocket. That would probably be cheaper than the $600 per month she talked about. She also can go on the Colorado plan or a COBRA plan. It is not the responsibility of the taxpayer to ensure that her premiums are paid for her. As long as she does have options to buy insurance, there is no problem. She is not among the involuntarily uninsured. She is choosing to be uninsured.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  55. Terry

    The experts who don't know a thing about how the PPO system of how insurance companies pay Doctors 75% less than the non insureded has never been brought up. I pay as a non-insured $500 for a blood work up. Insurance PPO's pay $75 less the co-pay or around $50 to the lab. That same pay out has a discount for insurance payouts of every procedure. Why can't I pay the same as they do. Why? Marketing. When you see a $35000 bill you thank god for that $800 a month plan. If you knew that providers only really recieved a fraction of that amount you would feel ripped off.
    Why doesn't any journalist even exposed the corrupt the two bills. The one non insured pay and the money the insurance companies reaaly pay when they write the check
    Also just like Credit card reform the insurance compapanies are getting enough lead time time to make the cancellations before legislation takes effect. My credit card company raced to get me at 29% interest before the laws hit. People are being affect today. Now.
    Insurance companies this week cut off my friend of Nitro glycerin and another presription he needs to live. Now he pays $460 from $40. That happened this week week my friends. Invite people like me. An agent in the trenches. Not political experts like Roland. A $100 fine for NOT covering pre existing conditions is a grammer school math problem. Let you die in a month and pay a $3000 fine or pay the $100,000 surgery. Make your burial plans.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  56. Sandy

    Pleased bill has signed, but we all must be reminded that many who are polled who say they are not happy with the bill is because they wanted more....THE PUBLIC OPTION. Polls do not tell it all. In the area of 13%-15% are unhappy with the bill because there is not PUBLIC OPTION. As a couple we paid nearly $18,000.00 for our insurance premiums and deductibles last year. NOT GOOD! 27%-30% of our premiums go for insurance administrative fees. Would much rather pay into a government program where the administrative fees such as with medicare are in the 3%-5% range. Nancy Pelosi will go down as an historic figure in a good way. The "NO" voters will be just that in history...NO ONE WILL KNOW THEIR NAMES, UNLESS THEY ARE THE ONE WHO YELLED "BABY KILLER" IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  57. vgirl1

    If all these states are so "strapped for money" how can they afford all these sure to be useless lawsuits to challenge healthcare legislation?

    Their citizens should be angry, when the money spent for such legal battles could be going to education and police and fire protection.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  58. Tom C

    So the question is how do I feel about how the new healthcare legislation will affect me?
    My wife and I fall in to the “high income” category. The impact on us will be additional taxes.
    We work hard, we've built up many unique skills, and put in long hours. The skills and personality traits that have brought us this success are truly blessings.
    Jesus told the masses time and time again that to be blessed meant an obligation to share those blessings – particularly with the sick and poor.
    While my wife and I already give to many health oriented charities, none can be as effective as this new bill will be at helping those who really need it.
    That is what Jesus told us to do – help the sick and poor (among other things). I'm somewhat ashamed to be associated with those who hide their selfishness and greed under a “Christian” title, because I fear they really don't understand what that title means.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:35 am |
  59. E. Clark

    I'm delighted with the passage of the health care reform measure, and impressed by the moxie and intelligence that President Obama exhibited in getting it through. This measure passed in spite of Republican opposition that appears to be entirely partisan. Now the USA can join the ranks of civilized countries who protect people from having to choose between losing everything or going without treatment. GOP opponents may feel differently if they had to sit by and watch a child or grandchild die from an illness that their family cannot afford to treat.

    Republicans need to stop playing politics with infant mortality, cancer, and heart disease! They need to roll up their sleeves and bend to the task of moving our country forward.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  60. Beth K

    John & Kieran ~ I tune in to your AM show almost daily, and "almost" always enjoy the programming! This morning, I'll share my/our story regarding the meaning of health-care, health-insurance reform in our lives.

    I'm 59, and a 10 yr (grateful) breast cancer survivor. When diagnosed, I had good health coverage provided thru my job, a low-paying position I had stayed with ONLY for the benefits, as my husband & I were also self-employed. Thank God I stayed with that job, as the BC-BS coverage we had at the time saved our financial lives, not to mention MY life! However, upon returning to work after an 8 month medical leave, I found that full-time work in a busy place was too demanding, extremely tiring (after a full yr of chemotherapy) & *not* rewarding in any real sense. By then, husband had also taken on a full-time job, in addition to our own business, so he could then carry the health insurance. I have been cautioned by my Oncologist NEVER to let my insurance lapse, as it would cost a fortune, and then some, to get me covered again.

    NOW, my husband is 65 and getting Soc Sec & Medicare, but unable to give up his full-time work due to our need for affordable health-insurance. It'll be another 6 yrs. before I'm eligible for Medicare, and jobs in this area are scarce these days, regardless. We're in South Florida, where the economy is based not ONLY on tourism, but had been based on an inflated real-estate market for many years. That having ended, and tourism in a slump, decent jobs, any job that pays over minimum wage (and here, that IS hard to come by!) are slim-pickins.

    The new affordable health-care bill would help us in SO many ways, not the least of which would be wiping out the PENALTIES for pre-existing conditions! I don't see why SO many are reportedly against this bill. Around here, it's largely the wealthy, due to the higher taxes they would face (as in any advanced, developed nation, honestly) and the *uninformed*, who have been faced with the constant negative drumbeat put out by the conservatives day after day, week after week, in particular by the extrememly biased Fox (Faux) News. How they can be allowed to operate and *call* that NEWS is mind-boggling, truly. I/we do believe that as more and more of the population is *informed* correctly abouty this new bill, it will certainloy become more widely accepted, not to mention more popular & better understood.

    Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for doing your part – and I know you'll continue! – to inform & educate as no other network does in such a true journalistic way.... Thank you. SO so many of us need this bill, and it's so long overdue.

    Respectfully, Beth K , SW Fla.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  61. Theresa in Virginia

    I'm so pleased to see this health reform bill has passed. It is long overdue. This affects my life in a huge way. My 7 year old son was born with significant cardiac defects and has required numerous procedures, both in the OR and out. Each open-heart surgery has had a price tag of at least $250,000 and his overall medical care so far has totaled over $1 million. Thankfully, our family is well insured! I have often wondered, however, what will happen to him in the future as he ages out of our health care policy. Will he be uninsured, uninsurable all because of a preexisting condition that he has no control over? Will he need to choose a career that offers him the best chance at getting into a large health insurance pool? These worries are subsiding as I learn more about what the health reform bill includes, like extension of benefits to children up to age 26 and the outlawing of denying benefits to those with preexisting conditions. I know that this is not a perfect bill but it is a wonderful start in overhauling a system which has spun out of control. Thank you President Obama and his supporters of health care reform

    March 23, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  62. Ben

    Leroy – Your daughter can get a great policy for around $100 per mo. check it out – $900/mo you say? Nay – do more research on it bro

    March 23, 2010 at 8:29 am |
  63. Toni

    I am so happy that this bill finally pass, I notice the only people not happy, are the people that have health insurance already, oh well like the GOP, they will get over it as well,

    March 23, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  64. Skip

    I have two Toyotas and believe they are as safe or safer than any car on the road. Stop the speculating for entertainment and sensationalism. More and more discovery will result in "Driver Error" being the prime results of these accidents. This is just a trial attorney and media circus. Most people will see through this and Toyota will be stronger and sell more vehicles than ever.
    Skip

    March 23, 2010 at 8:28 am |
  65. Ben

    All of the liberals who support this bill are just getting sold a line that this bill will decrease healthcare costs and get more people insured. It does not – the only way it has of decreasing healthcare costs is this – the "healthcare boards". Believe it bros and sisters – this is in the bill and it will bite you in the rear down the road – they will control the supply of care – they will dictate what treatments are "needed" not by clinical means but by cost analysis.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  66. Katie

    The GOP is and has been the party of "NO". They had numerous years to do health care reform –and didn't. If they had such good ideas why didn't they do it before! Give the reform a chance. It may be very good for most people-which would "tick" the GOP off.
    As for abortion –I'm female and I don't think any male should tell me what to do with my body. A certain percent of males deny they are the father! Why should they have any say!'

    March 23, 2010 at 8:27 am |
  67. Betty Burney

    As a School Board member I suggest that the Attorney General in the State of Florida use that money (that he is proposing for this 'frivolous' lawsuit) to help fund Florida's underfunded schools. I am appalled that the news media is essentially allowing the Republicans a free pass in this. EVEN STEVIE WONDER can see that the only reason that Republicans are, and have been, opposed to health care reform is because they want to stop President Obama in the 2012 elections. Additionally, if Republicans were so CONCRNED about taxpayers how did so many of them allow us to become engulfed in 2 wars that have essentially DRAINED America's coffers; yet they said nothing. If you read history: this atempt by the Republican State Attorneys General is akin to what many 'well meaning' politiicans did to skirt around the Brown -v- Topeka Board of Education – they buillt private schools and closed many public schools because they wanted to get around integration. ENOUGH already- the voters of those Republican Senators and Congressmen who really do need Health care will be turning on REPUBLICANS. Finally, please tell me where this notion of Americans being angry and people not wanting health care comes from? Again, Stevie Wonder can see that it is coming from Republicans to paint a picture...I wonder who is being polled?!!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:26 am |
  68. Pat S.

    This has been long overdue. We now join the ranks of every developed country in the world in providing for our infirm, young, sick and elderly. My husband lost his job and health benefits because of 9/11 and I am self-employed. We both have pre-existing conditions so getting any kind of health insurance has been a nightmare. We finally got so-called catastrophic insurance which excluded our pre-existing conditions. This at a cost of $1460 per month. This past nine years, the cost of our insurance and our yearly health care expenses has decimated our retirement savings. This health care reform bill is far from perfect and has been sullied by all of the lobbying from the special interests, however it is a new beginning. There is something wrong with a country when over 50% of the bankruptcies are attributed to lack of/or insufficient health care insurance coverage. Health Care should not be considered an "industry". It should be treated just like a utility; something to which every citizen must have access. Citizens of the greatest country on earth should not be forced to choose between health care for a sick family member or a roof over their heads. This is a beginning; let us all come together and build on this. Being able to afford individual health insurance will make for more entrepreneurs and less people shackled to jobs that they tolerate because they would lose their health insurance if they left. Let's all pull together and make this work.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  69. janice thaxter

    I have driven Toyota cars for years with no problems. I now drive a new Saturn Ion 3 and wonder how I get a dealer to help if I need one. Also the only time I ever had a speed problem was with a Cadillac, the cruise control froze and when I came off the freeway into the city I was doing 65 mph with both feet on my brake, car just kept going, I finally had enough sense to turn off the engine and thank God we did stop without incident. The mechanic said it happened all the time, air got into the line. I am still a bit fearful of cruise control. Dr.T I got rid of the Cadillac ASAP

    March 23, 2010 at 8:24 am |
  70. James Shelton

    Yeah!

    The system needed to change and now everyone has to relax. I wish it could have gone further, but this is just Day One. The program will evolve as every government program has in the past. No bill or law is perfect, but that does not mean we don't take the first step. Society cannot survive when it loses its ability to deal with health of its people.

    Shame on those that complain about possible fines. Too many people could buy insurance and don't, but expect to use government funded emergency rooms for free. The free ride is over. Don't people realize that as more people buy insurance or in the system, it will lower rates and future increases. Instead of going to the emergency room, people could go to a doctor's office and hopefully more preventative care will keep critical care costs down.

    The system is out of balance and maybe now, we will see some change that will help everyone. I remember when I was unemployed and uninsured, I was treated very quickly and pushed out of the hospital, but recently with a good health plan I frequently hear doctors talking about my good insurance resulting in a parade of doctors and unnecessary tests. We have been paying for it, but wasting our resources.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  71. christine

    I have lived out of the USA for the majority of my adult life and have now just returned to these politics! Living overseas in Europe requires you to be 100% insured for all medical benefits which follow me anywhere in the world for life. Yes the premiums are high, but could not see not having any insurance at all.
    I recently received medical treatment here in the USA and my medical insurance covered me. So what are you complaining about. Get with the Program! Give it a chance...I also agree its time the wealthy support this program with their increase in their premiums and taxes.
    All for one and one for all!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:22 am |
  72. S. Williamson

    My husband and I have worked all our adult years and have finally reached retirement. All those years we paid into Social Security, we paid into Medicare, we, and our employers, paid dearly for health insurance. Now that we finally have the opportunity to participate in a Medicare Advantage plan and receive a little break on our premium, this bill will deny us that. I don't begrudge the underprivileged the right to have healthcare, but what about those of us who have worked and saved and planned and are now living on a fixed income facing increases in expenses and no increase in income?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  73. Steve

    I feel proud!!! being an American, that compassion has become the law of the land, that such a wealthy country has shown it does value the human life over bottom line profits.

    The Republicans display of what amounts to being sore losers is deeply saddenng,because it has become clear the the President wanted a joint effort.....In short I would be embarrased to claim any connection to the Republican party and there cold hearted mean spirited nature.

    Like my brother a radiation oncologist states "how do you get a Republican to turn Democrat? cancel there health insurance."

    SHAMEFUL

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  74. Bud

    How about this for a new law .... Congress can NOT accept ANY money, gifts, freebies etc from lobbyists.

    Think how that would change the picture of who the congress really represents. Not a republican or democrat only issue it is all of them.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  75. Ben

    Nope Doreen – You have had two options – one your state high risk pool and two with MS you could probably get SS Disability(medicare).
    Wade – your premiums go up cause health costs go up. Don't blame the payor for the systemic failure to control the root of the problem – the cost of healthcare – show me one thing – one that is in this bill that controls the cost of healthcare? Um... I will be waiting.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  76. Robin

    I am a Floridian. Historically, I pay extremly high insurance premiums for all insurance. My homeowner's is 2,400.00 per year, my car insurance is 2,570.00 per year, and my health insurance is 15,600.00 per year. Yes, the total on that is 20,570.00 per year that I pay to Insurance Company. Thank God someone is stepping in and saying let's be reasonable on the price for health care and stop making the middle class pay for the rich (over 88K per year), and big corporations/large small business. I also think that any Congress person and state representative that is trying to repeal this bill should immediately surrender all government benifits for health insurance and go to the private market and secure their own insurance at their own expense in the private market like the rest of us who suffer under large premiums. They should put their money where their mouth is!

    Robin

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  77. Stephanie

    Ok Rich people, I am in the above 250K catagory, and if you are one of those people who are complaining about what this health care bill is going to cost to you. Then I have a reality check for you. Ask yourself if you have ever given or worked for any non profit for the betterment of their cause. If so, then why would you not give little more then a dollar a day for 35 MILLION AMERICANS to get a fighting chance for life. To think of this in any other way is to promote the every man for himself attitude. Not what our country was built on!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  78. Carri

    I live in Oklahoma. My husband and I are middle class people. Fortunately, or unfortunately, we are able to purchase catastrophic healthcare. Approximately $1,000 per month, $5,000.00 deductible to keep our premiums just under $1,000. We have no co-pay and no prescription coverage. As a "benefit", which I believe is a Republican "fix" to healthcare, we have $100.00 deposited in a health savings account. I think this is ridiculous. You can't do much with $100.00 in a policy like this. We have only met our deductable once when our college daughter had an upper respiratory and went to a hospital in Oklahoma City where they performed useless tests on her and when it was all said and done, no diagnosis, and a $5,200.00 bill, which we are paying monthly payments on. I wish we had a voice within us as Americans ro affect our rising premiums by ourselves, but believe the govenment must be involved in order solve our critical problems. My husband is a mild diabetic and our daughter has epilepsy. Right now, we have no other choice but to be locked in this useless policy that has rarely paid a penny for our healthcare. Our senator, James Coburn has already filed a challenge to the healthcare bill. What a crying shame!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  79. Annie

    The current bill has many good, and much-needed, solutions to health care problems, but it came to the people as "too much, too quickly." I voted for change, but not a change that now means that our two sons, one in private health insurance and one with Sallie Mae, (and how fair is that to combine those two?!?) will now lose their jobs. My priority has to be with them and, unfortunately, can't be with the masses in need.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:20 am |
  80. Geri Kline

    I am glad the Health Care Bill passed, as a "beginning".

    However, I wish I could send the following message to all our representatives:

    "I am a former teacher. If any of my students acted as you (intelligent adults, our elected representatives – Democrats calling Republicans stupid and dumb; Republicans calling Democrats communists and baby-killers... and worse yet, doing so in the "classroom" of the House) I would have put you in detention and called your parents.

    When can you learn to say "I respectfully disagree,...for these reasons.... GROW UP!"

    March 23, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  81. leroy a

    the best thing that this bill would do for our family is allow our daughter who is in college now to stay on our insurance policy until she is 26.we just found out that she was booted off our policy when she turned 22.they wanted to insure her at 900.00 a month which o think is a total ripoff

    March 23, 2010 at 8:19 am |
  82. Bentley

    Okla 62 years old still working, had to drop insurance went up 35%, almost RE MARRIED MY X HUSBAND for insurance. Good health, but found a good policy but Deductable $5K waiting to see about premium hope around $400..not 850 on previous policy. WHO really knows what is in the bill, I just go on reports from left to the right...Just Show Me, TIME WILL TELL US ALL. At least someone is trying to help.
    Thank you
    Bentley

    March 23, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  83. Walid

    Why do we think that mandating insurance coverage is constitutionally acceptable? People claim that it is no different than car insurance. This is such a false claim. With car insurance, people have the choice to drive or not to drive. I know that I am not a right wing conservative that will be voting against every democrat that I can this next election.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:18 am |
  84. Ben

    rich – your points sound good but again – you are assuming that people will have more access to care – wrong. More people will be without coverage. Do you understand that a sliding scale penalty of max $750 is not high enough to entice people to get insurance? You say a "step in the right direction". It is over 2000 pages of steps my friend. the CBO missed their medicare projection by a factor of 8 back in 1965. Wait till this thing gets going. You are talking Canadian style waits multiplied over cause we got way more illegals who will soon be granted amnesty and we got way too many fat cat lawyers. Can companies afford to shell out 2K per employee if they don't carry health ins on them? What will that do to the price of everything and jobs?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  85. basilio ebilane

    This bill is long over due for the people of United states. Lets look at the big picture, a lot of people will benefit to this reform and will help low income families to not to worry about thier health care bills. Republican senators should symphaties to all the low income people and it will benefit all americans. The president did the right thing today.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:16 am |
  86. wade

    This a step in the right direction but didn't go far enough! We need National Health Care! I am retired and my insurance premiums keep going up. Soon I will not make enough on pension to cover my premiums. And its not just premiums but the deductibles also. Had to get off HMO because of monthly premiums more than tripled!

    March 23, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  87. Doreen

    The people that are opposed to this bill have no idea what it is like to suffer a degenerative condition, like Multiple Scleroisis. They have no idea, what it is like to be 38 years old, to suffer from multiple symptoms but most importantly, when you wake up, not know if you will be able to walk. Thanks to this bill, if I loose my job, I will now be able to obtain health insurance without being penalized. Although I am a registered republican, I thank President Obama for his commitment to this healthcare reform.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:15 am |
  88. Danny

    I'm retired military and I've heard my monthly insurance premiums (Tricare) will go up $100 a month.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:14 am |
  89. Dr. Dewhirst

    Regardless of how you feel about this bill the economic reality is that thus will raise every taxes for everyone who pays taxes, and it will raise them approx. 50%. So if you pay 10,000 in taxes you will now pay 15,000, this is due to the end of the Bush taxes cuts, taxes on all unearned income (dividends, rents, etc.) and an 3.2% increase in medicare tax.
    There was a great article in the WSJ about 2 weeks ago that broke it down, no scare tactics just reality.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:13 am |
  90. Terik Ororke

    Americans are slowly getting the impressions that the Republican party has never gotten over the presidential election and that no matter what the President proposes they will always be against. their party had years in which they could have done something for the American people other than give huge tax breaks to the very wealthy.

    March 23, 2010 at 8:13 am |
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