.
May 12th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Do you trust health care groups to voluntarily save $2 trillion?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The health insurance, drug and hospital industries are promising they can save $2 trillion over the next 10 years to reduce the cost of health care for millions of Americans. Some steps they will take include: Cutting excess administrative costs, making sure patients take the proper medicine, and greater collaboration among providers.

President Obama calls this agreement to work toward affordable and high-quality health care a watershed event; and some experts say it's unprecedented that the president has been able to keep these interest groups at the table. Especially when you consider some of these groups are the very ones that derailed previous attempts at reform.

One health economist who worked on Clinton's failed attempt tells the Los Angeles Times that things are different this time. He says in the 1990s, the mood was negative and skeptical; whereas now there's a real sense of momentum and people don't want to give up.

But some people are not convinced about the commitment of these industries. They say the groups aren't offering enough details on how they will contain rising health care expenses.

Others aren't sure how long the cooperation will last once the president and Congress start asking specific groups to make specific cuts. So far this is all voluntary and there is nothing binding on any of these groups to force any sort of compliance.

In fact, the skeptics think that some industry leaders are only staying at the table... because they're afraid if they leave, lawmakers will punish them.

Here’s my question to you: How much do you trust health care groups to voluntarily save $2 trillion over the next decade?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Scott from Dallas writes:
I trust the health care groups to act in the best interests of the health care groups. They want a seat at the reform table only to make sure their racket doesn't get too heavily tampered with. Trust is not a word I would use in conjunction with big pharma, health organizations, and insurance companies.

Peter writes:
They have no choice. The Obama administration has them in a chokehold. They will cough-up or they will be run-over. It is that simple.

Teanne writes:
No way. It was self-serving, profit-making corporations that caused Enron, the financial mess we're in now, robbing us of our 401ks, out-of-control health care costs, and fraud and theft of funds as war profiteers. Now we can trust corporations? No way.

Glenn writes:
It can easily be done, by shifting to HEALTH care rather than SICK care, which is our current standard. If we focused on preventative care and medicine, it would be easy to project a $200 billion/year reduction in costs. However, that's going to take sacrificing some things like political correctness. If a person is fat, his HMO should be able to tell him that, and give him a financial incentive to lose weight.

Rachel writes:
Trust is earned. I work in a hospital where for every bed there is an administrator, but there is one nurse for every 8 patients. They have a long way to go.

Steve from Sun City Center, Florida writes:
They can. The question is: Will they? After I shook the hand of any health care executive, I'd count my fingers.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (240 Responses)
  1. James Lenon - Chuckey TN

    Corporate health care has no concern for any health beyond the corporate bottom line.
    I trust them to behave as honestly and with as much concern for our citizens as the kindly folks at AIG.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  2. Donna Colorado Springs,Co

    No I don't trust the health care industry to do ANYTHING except to help themselves to more of our money! They will tell Obama what he wants to hear, and then go on with business as usual.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  3. Leslie

    With no other industry ruin its the health care systems turn. they say its different this time. Whats different The dot coms, wall street, banks, credit cards are all in ruins. This is the only thing left. trust them. they'll save 2 trillion alright by putting it in their pockets.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  4. David A Whitaker

    Heck no they are the ones that jack up these prices. There will have to be oversight committee, for the insurance company. They are sneaky

    David

    Martinsburg, WV

    May 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  5. TRUTH in Texas

    Jack, look into WHO is going to profit from the new software that will streamline the healthcare system. That is the only reason why this is going so smoothly. The companies that will have a monopoly on the management software will make more than that 2 trillion.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  6. Pat, Pa.

    I do not trust them at all. All they want to do is stop Obama and his plans to redo the system. Once that is shot down then it is business as usual.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Moksha Todd

    "Trust" and "health care groups" – aren't those 2 concepts mutually exclusive?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  8. Dwayne of Texas

    Its like asking a pig to stop eating while there is still food ! I dont buy it !

    May 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  9. Dennis

    I trust the health care groups more that I trust our government of saving 2 trillion dollars.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  10. Peter M

    They have no choice. The Obama administration has them in a chokehold. They will cough-up or they will be run-over. It is that simple.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  11. Sue

    I don't trust them at all!. They are already trying to keep costs down by denying coverage of the drugs we really need. The ones they will pay for sometimes don't work or have adverse effects!

    In my own case, I am now PAYING full fare for the two medications I need as BlueCross BlueShield has refused to pay for them anymore.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  12. Mary Texas

    As far as saving $s goes I think thousands could be saved by cutting out ads for drugs such as Viagra and a hundred others. Those commercials tell you to ask your doctor if you need them. How much do you think those ads cost the companies? We would probably be shocked to find out how much more is wasted.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  13. Erik

    No way Jack! This just shows how nieve young President Obama is!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  14. Mike in Colorado

    Jack, Is there any way I could get a list of the folks who trust these people. I have some wonderful bridge property that I need to sell.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  15. Kris Percel

    Yes I do, Jack - when pigs fly

    Kris Percel
    La Quinta

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  16. Dave

    Trust health care groups to voluntarily save $2 trillion over the next decade?
    That's very funny, Jack.

    Dave
    Lafayette, Louisiana

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  17. Bob

    Not a chance! The only reason they are in Washington is to wreck this from the inside.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  18. wolfebme

    Hummm..why does this sound vaguely familiar? Let's see, banks, financial institutions were allowed to "monitor and self audit" themselves and trusted to do the right thing. Insurance companies are just as corrupt if not more. They're trying to dodge the goverment impossing more on them such as regulations. I don't trust their intent... at all.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  19. Neil Gilfillan

    No I don't trust them. I do trust you, Jack, and your opinion of this is exactly right. We should not give up the public option and, in fact, must fight for it. Health care is a right and not a trust extended to insurance companies.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  20. Doreen Suran RN, Bellevue, WA

    As much as I trust a drunk who promises to drink less, it last till the next bing. Profits are addicting. These promises have been made before and forgotten once the pressure if off.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  21. Neil

    I have no doubt the health care groups can save 2 trillion dollars. All they have to do is what they have been doing all along. They will limit coverage for all but those who can afford full coverage. Working people and the poor will still be saddled with outrageous prices and poor quality health care while the President and his benefactors smile and take credit for "real reform." The reason these groups are stepping up now is because they know they have a friend in Obama. After all, whose more important, the huge insurance corporations or the people buying insurance? Without these huge corporations there would be nobody to say who is worth getting health care and who is not.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  22. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I don't trust them at all. They are only saying that they are going to voluntarily do this so they will not be made to do this by the government. In other words,they are stalling and when this recession ends it will be back to business as usual.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  23. Dianne, Colorado Springs

    Absolutely not. If the providers were patient oriented instead of greedy for money, they would have never allowed the fees to get this high in the first place.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  24. Bill....Michigan

    Jack.......I don't trust them one bit. Why have they not enacted these cost saving measures already?
    Bil
    Michigan

    May 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  25. diedrich weiss

    I trust the Insurance Companies to work hard and wheel and deal to prevent a single payer system... and then if they succeed in preventing single payer, I trust them to keep manipulating to achieve these grotesque and immoral profits. So no, I don't trust them at all.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  26. Teanne Kelley

    No way. It was self-serving profit-making corporations that caused Enron, the financial mess we're involved in, robbing us of our 401k's, the out-of-control health care costs, and fraud and theft of funds as war profiteers. Now we can trust corporations? No way.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  27. Laura

    They are at the table to save only their future profits. If they can save that much money over the next few years, they could have been doing that all along. They are making so much money, and they do not like the threat of losing their golden geese.

    I completely distrust that any company will voluntarily give up money without an ulterior motive. They are more afraid they will lose a lot more if they don't give up something today. They are protecting themselves. They are not looking out for the American public.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  28. jc

    I have been in healthcare for 36 years and I would not trust them.
    If they can save that much money now why didn't we do it before now.
    They are afraid...... don't trust them.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  29. David

    I do not trust the health industry very much. Also, it seems I remember hearing Obama say during his campaign that pharma, insurance co. et al would not have a seat at the table. Now, single-payer advocates don't. What gives?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  30. corey ryan

    i think its just another lie weve heard from healthcare groups for the last decade, if they do cut costs from one area, whats to stop them from raising them in another to make up for the cuts????

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  31. Dennis Vandal

    Don't make me laugh....(or cry!) This is nothing but lip service and a slow play for time. As a self-employed person who pays nearly $1000 per month for myself and my wife, I don't believe anything that comes out of that little group of White House visitors. They're just hoping it will all blow over.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  32. Camden Smith

    Let me tell you something, working for governement I can tell you there is always a few that make cuts for those less willing power-hungry sections. Furthermore, cuts could lead to American jobs so why not cut some unneeded overseas spending for God's sake!

    I agree saving is important but there has to be some OUTSIDE spending they can cut. Give me a break!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  33. roger dowdle lockhart, tx

    The real criminals here are the past members of congress who raided the ss fund in the '60's and '70's to balance the budget, then never repaid the money they stole from the fund. All congressmen should forfiet their retirements and benefits and require prior congressmen to forfiet theirs until all is repaid, which will be forever!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  34. Barbara

    Absolutely not what I had in mind for reform. As long as this country has healthcare for profit nothing will change. It's trusting the foxes to guard the hen house....yeah right!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  35. pat south carolina

    jack we have to try something our country is so messed up it is worth giving this adminstration a chance we won;t know unless we try

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  36. Nancy

    Trust the insurance industry? That's an oxymoron! They are all wolves in sheeps clothing. To keep them honest, we need a single payor option to choose when they refuse coverage to all with hang nails!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  37. Raul Martinez

    Hi Jack.

    I trust the health care industry to lower prices just as I believe that my President will finally stand up and say, "OK folks. We don't need any more money."

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  38. Chris in Bellevue, WA

    About as much as I trust anyone else who promises to root out waste, fraud and abuse. If we haven't figured out that nobody ever delivers on these aspirational promises, then we deserve what we are going to get.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  39. Nora Palmer

    Is this a trick question? Yeah, when hell freezes over!

    Nora Palmer
    Jacksonville, FL

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  40. Judith Darin

    Many people have not been able to find affordable health insurance for a long time, or pay their hospital bills without going bankrupt – did any of these industries step forward the last 10 years? They are not to be trusted now. They only respond when faced with loss of revenue.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  41. Paul

    There was a time when providors where not for profit.
    As long as there is pressure for profit. There will not be any savings.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  42. John Arguell

    Sure Jack, I believe the Health Care Giants will control costs.....and I also believe in unicorns, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, that I am going to win the lottery tomorrow.......................sure, I believe them!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  43. Phyllis Small

    Im from Globe, Arizona – and I trust the health care groups to initially cut a small amount and as they get praise for it to stop as soon as possilbe and begin trying to recoup the moneies from some other area. I am on disability due to a condition called lymphedema where it is impossible for me to work no matter how much I wish I could, and without SSD and Medicare my only option is to not survive, so I would rather see this tried first before taking those away from me.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  44. Bob Field Estero

    Not at all. " Health care costs" are their " incomes".

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  45. JANETB

    Hi Jack,
    The healthcare industry are scared of a single payer system, where the payment will not negotiated but a fixed price on their services.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  46. joseph c

    SAVE $2TRILLION!? YET ANOTHER SCAM. what they mean is they want to "not raise us $2 trillion in charges that they figure they could never collect anyway" and "$2trillion less that the $10trillion in anticipated increases"!! these cons are just trying to FRONTRUN the needs of complete health care.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  47. Max

    Jack, once in a while I have to agree with you.

    These guys have been doing this a long, long time.

    While our naive President is focused on photo ops and tasty sound bites, these guys are going to 'yes' him to death and wait him out until 1/2/0/2012.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  48. Patti from Okla. City, Ok.

    I would trust any group more than the government. They have failed at managing Medicare and Medicaid, why would we give them more control? Our health care system is still better than any other country in the world.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  49. Douglas Richardson

    I would trust the for profit health care industry to reign in their excesses just as far as I could comfortably spit a dead rat!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  50. Ken in NC

    I trust the Health Care Industry about as much as I trust “Tricky Dick“, “W“., and the government. Need I say more?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  51. Jeff Crocket

    Get the legal profession out of ambulance chasing, and everything will be cheaper! Then get the government out of the paper work business!

    Jeff in New Britain, Ct

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  52. madeline boyle

    Jack, I trust these guys as much as I trust Santa Claus to come down my chimney with presents. They are holding on for dear life to their wealth and power and have no plans ever to give a whit about the American people.
    San Marcos, Ca

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  53. Steve

    I trust them to the extent that I am certain that if they can identify and agree to a cost avoidance figure of $2 Trillion, then we we can feel fairly confident that they can really save us $8 Trillion....

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  54. Peter Maynard

    Jack- these companies have allegiance to their bottom lines, not to the country. They are playing Washington like a violin. Same old song and dance.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  55. Jonas in Atlanta

    Jack,

    I'm more than a bit wary of this generous offer by the health industry. They could have just as easily said we could save $5 Trillion over 25 years, but it comes down to only $200 million a year which is barely a dent in their obscene profits. As long as they are more focused on profit than service to the public, without regulation, this crisis will only get worse.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  56. John Traver

    Jack, If a alternative to the current companies is a government program like medicare they will find ways to save a lot more. If we loose the medicare like program, they will not change at all. The only thing they look for is profit.

    Maplewood Minnesota

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  57. RobbieC

    Have these groups offered to cut fees? Bottom line: health care providers have monopolistic power. They need rate regulations like utilities.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  58. AARON

    I wont say i trust them but i would give them a trial. After all, life in itself is a risk. We take risks everyday so i would want to give them a chance to try this out, you never can tell untill you really try something.

    Aaron, SAN DIEGO, CA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  59. John M

    I don't trust them one bit. If they are not forced to make changes it will never happen. Insurance company execs are only concerned with how much money they can stuff in there pockets... The care of the insured is secondary to profits in the entire industry....

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  60. Karl from SF, CA

    I'll believe it when insurance companies pay for everything, pharmacutical companies only make low cost generics, and doctors quit playing golf on Wednesdays.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  61. don gattin

    I just don't trust the companys to do whats right. I don't trust congress. When they tell a group of people that their idea is not politically feasible that told me that the only one serious about helping with the health care disaster is president obama. I have this question for congress Some people thought the civil rights bills back in the 60's weren't politically feasible, Well congress guess what there is no difference people are suffering so TAKE ACTION. don't listen to the insurance companies who are making a killing off of peoples suffering.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Dean Mindock

    Anybody who trusts these greedy so and sos to do anything to reduce their profits voluntarily is on really bad (prescribed, of course) drugs.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  63. JS

    Not at all, the only thing they are going to save is their ability to refuse treatments, make huge profits for shareholders, and let people die for lack of coverage. As someone who has lived most of my life in countries with single payer, I can say without doubt, it is great. The propaganda in this country against it is just lies. The insurance companies right now will say anything, but wait awhile they know they won't keep their promises.
    Joan NC

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Joshua Fort Smith AR

    Jack,

    I'm a Registered Nurse and I do not trust the industry of the health care system on anything! They will do what it takes to survive and than return to what the entire system is trying to achieve regardless of "private, for profit" and "public, non profit" health systems: making the bigs bucks for the healthcare CEOs and administrators regardless of the workload of the healthcare workforce, patient safety, and quality of healthcare outcomes.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  65. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    I trust no one. Pharmaceuticals could save several million if they stop advertising everywhere other than Physician’s Journals. Research and development costs could be significantly reduced if companies shared research and facilities. Millions could be saved by transitioning all records to computers interlinked between health care providers and insurers. Several billion could be saved if our health care system was preventative in nature, intercepting illnesses early on, or providing early remedies for say, over-eating and obesity before it leads to diabetes, heart disease, and a host of other related much more serious illnesses which are more costly to treat. Another major savings would come from a significant reduction in compensation for the senior executives and boards of these companies. The day I see this happen pigs will fly. Well, swine flu.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  66. Don

    In a word – NO. The United States health industry wants to keep the status quo for as long as possible. They had their chance, now it's time to really fix this mess.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  67. Bill Pritchard

    Absolutely Not!
    The only solution to healthcare is to remove the profit motive from the system altogether. We need a single payer system like most of the world. Capitalism is not the answer to health care. We seem to be the last country to figure out things these days.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  68. Edith Weiser

    Health care groups won't do anything to save the government
    2 cents unless there's something in it for them.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  69. Rita

    Heavens NO!..I was hospitalized last August, and I just received a bill for $192 for what the hospital billed as "self prescribed medications". I have Medicare and also pay $110 a month for supplemental insurance, then I get a bill accusing me of self prescribing my medications? I thought you had to be a Doctor to prescribe meds. These are the people that are going to voluntarily save money? I don't think so!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  70. George , New York

    Hi Jack,
    This is nothing more than a smoke and mirror show. The healthcare groups are coming to the table to simply gather information in the hopes of finding loopholes that will allow them and their lawyers the ability tp circumvent the government and to continue the status-quo. We will only see universal healthcare in this country when the U.S. Government follows the UK and Canada and simply legislate mandatory healthcare access for everyone with an imposed pay scale for services.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  71. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - I trust health care groups to voluntarily save $2 trillion over the next decade as much as I would trust George W. Bush and Dick Cheney,
    if they were still the head honchos in Washington, to end the war in Iraq.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  72. Dick Yates

    Do I trust this latest attempt by the medical industry to do 'The Right Thing'.

    Sure! Just as much as I trusted the mortage and the banking industry!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  73. Dave in PA

    Our so-called "health care system" is simply big business preying on the sick and infirm, taking advantage of a free-for-all profit opportunity that is not going to change unless forced to. That they are at these talks is nothing by the wolf wearing a sheep's costume, and anyone that can't see it deserves to be eaten by the wolf. I say let's corner, trap and tame the wolf once and for all; forget the talks, let the legislation begin!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  74. Mike M Lady Lake, Fl

    Simply put, no! I'll believe it when I see it...............but by that time correcting the problems they will cause will be too late. I believe them as much as I did Greenspan when he thought that the financial sector could police themselves................we see how that turned out!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  75. Dipak Shah

    Jack,

    No, I don't trust these vultures, who are cousins of the Wall Street vultures. Trusting the Healthcare Industry is like "Fox" watching the Republican Administration. Can someone tell me how the policy developed by the Healthcare Industry to save Medicare and Medicaid will be different from the Cheney's Energy Task Force comprising of Oil and Gas Industry and see where the gas prices went.

    Regards,
    Dipak
    Marietta, GA.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  76. James, Charlotte, NC

    Jack, We have been trusting these same people to do our surgeries, formulate medicines along other things; So I can trust them for now.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  77. Brad Pape

    Jack,
    No trust whatsoever. It will not happen until all health care groups
    are run as not for profit companies. Until this happens they will keep
    denying medically necessary procedures in order to ensure that the
    CEO maintains his 40 million in annual salary.
    Brad
    Ft. Lauderdale

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  78. Charles A. Lee

    A: Zero. Reason: most doctors and hospitals would rather let you die than treat you on the cheap. Proof: Ask the hospital-based radiologist who gets $400,000 a year for interpreting x-rays. Proof: ask the receptionist that the doctor hires as a shield whether you can "make a deal" when you don't have an insurer.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  79. Robert Odom

    Please! The health care industry with pharmacy companies have drained us dry for years. They are promising anything they can in hopes of slowing any change that the democrats may do to control costs until the republicans can get back in power. The reason they have this 10 year plan is with no real details is because they are trying to buy time. Their plan looks kind of like the republicans budget plan. No specific numbers or details. I bet they could put this thin on a 19 page document. With baby boomers getting old and living longer we will have o choice but to get a handle on health care before it eats us alive. There are no easy solutions but as americans we must step up and pay the price now rather than latter.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  80. Elisa

    If the Health Care Industry were capable of saving $2 Trillion voluntarily it would have already done that and passed it on to its stockholders.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  81. John Martel

    I trust the health care industry about as much as you do, they will only pay lip service and claim to be saving us money, but wont.
    the only way savings will happen is to remove the insurance indur\stry
    from the mix

    John

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  82. Cindy Briggs

    As long as health insurance companies are trying to make money for shareholders, they may cut 2 trillion out of their budgets, but it is not going to cut costs or rates. It will be to increase their share price. I may not want the governement making my health care decisions, but I most certainly do not want shareholders profits making my health care decisions, which is what is happening now. They never seem to mention that. We will never have responsible health care as long as it is treated as a commodity.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  83. Steve Batts

    I'm 64 years old. I trust Insurance companies as far as I can't throw one. They are sitting in to make sure that they get their cut. If they where able to contain cost, why haven't the for the last 30 years???

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  84. Laura Oregon City, Oregon

    No Way Jack!.....Im not buying it. The greed in this country is overwhelming. Giving up profits to benefit the less fortunate? highly unlikley.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  85. Pat Jones

    No I do not trust health entities to save $2 trillion. Since the Clinton Administration told everyone at the end of its failed attempts to achieve healthcare reform that the problem would only get worse in the coming years and they chose to ignore the evidence and instead insured its failure, why would anyone believe they now see the light.

    Congress should move ahead and put some requirements on the participants rather than believe those who are only interested in protecting their own vested interests.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  86. Vern Smith

    No, I don't trust them. Without knowing what cost increases the industry has planned ten years out , we will never know if there was a ligitimate savings, no matter what they claim. If they want to truly convince the public then take the annual savings and pass it on to the Gov. to fund the health care initiative.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  87. Barry Watts, Baton Rouge, LA

    I'm not buying it either, Jack. These are the same greedy industries that are responsible for spiraling healthcare costs. I say nationalize all three of them, or at least the hospitals and the insurance industry.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  88. Jack

    Who would voluntarily give up a $2 trillion income? I don't trust them at all, in particular the insurance companies. As an example, I lived in Georgia before auto insurance was required, and it was relatively inexpensive. When the state did require proof of insurance to register your automobile, the cost of auto insurance had doubled.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  89. James the Curmudgeon

    There is absolutely nothing to these "promises" but air! How many times do we have to listen to businesses promise the moon and then do as they please, before we catch on! These folks are ALL going to be in Washington, fighting tooth and nail, to insure that the legislation that comes out will benefit their particular part of the industry, and NO ONE ELSE.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  90. Rick Indiana

    I am a retired veteran and am on a single payer system as a retirement benefit and would not trade it for the world. These people are just blowing a lot of wind. Trust them not as they are only concerned about bottom line $$$$...

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  91. Tony

    With a healthcare system falling apart due to greedy special interest groups, this shamefull attempt to placate the populace is almost a joke. Without the rule of law this 'compromise' is doomed to failure and if there is a reduction in costs, this will surely dissipate the next time the Repulicans gain control of our failed decision making process. The next time you get sick, go see your insurance company.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  92. Jim Blevins

    This is the opposite of a zero net sum game - total cost of health care has no upper limit. So even if the same services cost a couple trillion less, the health care industry can always find ways to provide new things for even more. We have the most expensive health care but far from the best health care. A totally different system is needed and that won't happen voluntarily.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  93. Gigi

    Since they are the problem I'm not so sure they can be trusted. It's like my dog he has gotten out of the yard for the last four years every time I let him out. I put a fence up to keep him in, does he? No...I now call him the flying dog. There always seems to be a way to get around or over a situation. Whether it is health care, banking, mortgage, or keeping a dog in line. Ask me in ten years if I think I'm a pessimist

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  94. Pat Akin

    Sure, I trust them. But then I am 62 and still believe in Santa, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. We would have to be crazy to believe these monsters when they say anything. And yes, I do call them monsters. They have turned health care into a for profit busiess. They only care about their bottom line. I am so surprised that President Obama really believes them.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  95. Donna Shaw

    Jack,
    I've been a nurse for the last 28 years and I can pretty well tell you that it's not happening. I watch as the nurse-patient ratio is increased, staff hours decreased, pay raises are low and far between as more buildings are built, administration and management is increased, redundant and at times just plain silly, services promised with no real plan to provide it as healthcare workers are overworked, overstressed and leaving in droves through a change of careers or stress related ailments. All these problems have been exacerbated by the notion that taking care of sick people is a business. Anytime the word business is attached to an industry profit becomes the baseline for every actions. That may be fine if you are talking about building a car but is sure as heck don't work when you get pushed for a deadline for a human to heal from heart surgery.
    Donna

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  96. ed zukiewicz

    give up 2 trillion dollars?? voluntarily?? you must be joking!!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  97. Rosanne Thomas

    Why doesn't the government tax all (all) income at the going rate for Social Security. I realize the percentage, 7 or 8%, taxes includes all the income of the average wage earner. Then everything over a certain amount of dollars, (most of the rich and famous) then is not taxed over the $98,000 or so. I'm sure this would help SS and medicare tremendously!!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  98. Ed Wells

    Health care groups, absolutely do not trust them, if they could have saved 2 trillion dollars, it would all ready be in their pockets. It is my firm belief that until the huge profit margin is taken out of the industry it will do exactly what the banks, and the rest of them have done. We must remember the basic purpose of these health care corporations is to earn profits for their shareholders, nothing else. Until they are either regulated or nationalized with a single payer system, and set fees they will have no other initiative than to find ways to charge more for less, and bury everything in fine print. After all the majority of the people running these places received their degrees from the same schools that produced the executives on wall st, banking, and large corporate entities why would they change their thinking now ??

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  99. Rich

    I don't trust them any further than I could throw them! And with my bad back, I shouldn't be throwing anybody. This is a farse. The health care industry is already trying to reduce costs for no other reason than to make more money! Jack, there needs to be fundamental changes in how the health care industry does business.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  100. Ken in NC

    Jack, would you "voluntarily" give up $2 trillion of your profits? The Health Care Industry does not care about people because we will eventually die off and others will take our place. Trust me Jack, they are not going to give up anything. If they tell you they have a plan, you better grab your wallet.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  101. Annie, Atlanta

    I don't buy it either, Jack. It's all about the bottom line. Drug prices and doctors' charges are out of reach for most, who are dying because they can no longer afford to live. Insurance companies keep raking it in, with no regard for human life. We need lawmakers to start punishing yesterday. The system is a disgrace, as well as deadly.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  102. indydee

    It's dishonesty all the way around. Paying doctors as if they were gods & over charging for services & medication; that has been going on for decades. That's what did it.
    How can you trust anyone who charges five dollars for a band aid.
    Do you really think they are trustworthy?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  103. Jackie

    Why should Americans believe health care providers will cut consumer costs. If they can make these changes, why haven't they done so already. If they can cut so much administative cost they would have done so. They may cut services, but they won't cut costs until they're forced to.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  104. Michael

    Jack,

    Trust them? NOT AT ALL! These guys are businesses and business are out to grow their bottom lines. Fair enough, but to assume they will do what is best for the American people is absurd. They will, given the chance, take the path of least resistance to profits. For real reform we need a competitive option... Government sponsored major medical health care as an alternative for those who would opt for it. When enough people flock to the alternative then the existing insurance companies will be forced to become more competitive and offer coverage at rates that make sense. Containing costs at the provider level is also important and can be done. Other countries such as The Netherlands spend almost half of what we spend here in the U.S. per capita and cover every one of their citizens! We can and must do better!

    Michael
    Charlotte, NC

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  105. Murray Santa Fe

    Businesses will support anything that will reduce their cost. In 1993, premiums were about 3% of wage cost, today they over 6%. Doctors and hospitals are sick and tired of the insurance bureaucracy that eats their potential profits and surplus.

    Only the insurance industry has to worry. They contribute to administrative costs 4 times what occurs in the mixed public private system in France.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  106. Dale

    Yea right! I trust them just as much as I trust the house and the senate! Why would they want to do anything to help the middle class.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  107. Kim VA

    Hi Jack;

    I trust the health insurers to do this, as much as I trust Wall Street to "regulate" themselves.

    Isn't this what they are trying to do, regulate themselves.
    How stupid do they think we are Jack? This is our kids money we are investing on this healthcare, and they better well get out of the way for the people to have Universal Single Payer, after thirty years of reaming the sick.

    It's not about trust, just "human morality, and not the quarterly profit margin with bonuses.

    Our health is NOT for sale to the lowest bidder.

    Kim
    Richmond Virginia

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  108. Matt

    No. They'd have to want to, which is precisely why the randian, trickle-down. voodoonomic, self-regulating "free market" daydream is exposed for the lie that it is: you can't simultaneously want to maximize profit at all costs (forgive the pun) and still behave all while having a social conscience that dictates behaving ethically and in a manner that would not maximize profit. If you do the former, you eat the weak. If you do the latter, you're not adhering to randian free market principles.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  109. cy gardner

    The entire economy has been based on lies for quite some time. Credit card companies, phone contracts, cable TV, the banks, derivatives, mortgage lenders, the Iraq war, etc, etc. Everyone is lying! Everyone thinks Americans are lazy, illiterate morons who will swallow any platter of dung offered up to us.Unfortunately, this belief keeps making the unprincipled rich even richer. So, there must be something to it. The insurance companies and HMOs are LIARS!!! They are hoping to keep the US the only industrial country on the planet too stupid to consider health care a public right rather than a private racket. Cy Gardner, Arlington, VA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  110. JANETB

    no no no Jack, let bygones be bygones, there is too much on Obama's plate right now to add that, let the democrats fix the economy ,and the whole lists of damages that Bush left, this is the time to move foward.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  111. Doug E Fresh

    I trust the health care groups to voluntarily save 2 trillions dollars, just like i trust that another unarmed African American male will be voluntarily shot by a police officer before the end of the year.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  112. SELF POLICING=SELF REGULATION

    Jack: I would trust the health industry to police itself as much as I would trust Dracula to adequately run a blood bank.

    Emilia

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  113. rachel

    Trust is earned. I work in a hospital where for every bed there is an administrator and there is one nurse for every 8 patients. They hav a long way to go.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  114. Russ

    Trust em, HAH! How far can you throw the pentagon? I rather trust LUCY
    with the football. What's the difference between the Wall Street crooks and these guys. Ask the people/patients who have been shafted by them, if they are still alive. Pre-existing conditions, denial of benefits, no-bid drug policy..et al. Tell me Jack, who is it that stands between you and your doc wanting money? Single payer system and screw them!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  115. Anna

    Just like bankers could control themselfs. If we want affordible healthcare we have to go to Inida, That is what Dr. Gupta said.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  116. Sheldon Merys

    Trusting the insurance companies is like a burglar leaving a note saying he only stole 98.5% of your household items and that's all he will take on his next visit as well. As long as big money is to be made, greed will be the driving force of our health care system. As more and more Americans lose their jobs this will become a bigger and bigger issue driving single payer to the fore front.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  117. Miriam

    Jack:
    I wouldn't trust these health groups to save two cents over the next two months. Nuff said.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  118. Robert

    I think if healthcare companies are making these gestures of cooperation with the governent to try to keep control over costs and then ail reneg on their promises and we will be having this debate again in a few years.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  119. NChary

    I don't trust them at all. The only way these companies make money is by collecting premiums and then not paying claims, so they have figured out national health care would cut into their profits and are scrambling. They will promise ANYTHING but will never follow through for very long. Don't they think we know these are the folks who run all kinds of ads with smiling people paying claims but at the same time pick apart every claim they receive to see how they can deny payment??

    Peekskill, NY

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  120. J. Reasnor

    No! People are crazy to believe that the Health Care Groups would volunteer to do the right thing. These are the same Health Care Groups who brought down Hillary's fight for Health Care.

    These Health Care Groups are making a killing off of us American's. I never have understood why us American's have to pay for all the other Industrialized Country's to have FREE HEALTH CARE.

    Also, it's time for the politican's who represent us to have to pay for health care. Why should we being paying for them to have free health care? They already have SOCIALIZED MEDICINE! The RICH already have the best health care available, This is just a few of the agrument's for the rest of us to have to pay.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  121. Dr. Colette Cozean

    Working with the major pharmacy and insurance companies is like letting the wolf loose in the chicken pen and wondering why the chickens are being eaten.

    Ro be competitive, we must CUT healthcare expenses, especially the cost of drugs and hospitalization. I am NOT a proponent of nationalized healthcare, but Europe has a reasonable system of approving drugs (its safe, but faster and less expensive), does not spent billions advertizing drugs and has a much lower cost for drugs. The rest of the countries in the world (except Japan, Canada and US) accept the decisions of the EMEA (Europe's FDA). Why can't we do the same and get drugs at 1/10th the cost?

    Now that's real reform. Hope you tackle this issue!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  122. joe from Aiken, S. C.

    No, I don't think that health care groups can be part of the solution to our abysmal health care record. They are the chief source of the problem. If the country could cut out the 21st century Robber Barons as middle men, we might see outcomes that are comparable to places like the Netherlands. Otherwise, they'll continue to look out for their own interest and hold the country's health care system hostage, these Robber Barons and foxes in the hen house.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  123. Bob

    Jack I trust the Health Care Industry to save Americans any money on a voluntary basis about as much I can throw a Steinway Grand Piano a half a block, and I have a bad back.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  124. Edwin Young

    Health Insurance Corporations remaining between patients and health providers and promising saving 2 trillion $s? Of course they are not mentioning no care for 50 million citizens. They are craxy to think we would buy BS! Their argument: in a single payer system, the government between patients and health providers would be a disaster. Wow! And they have not been a disaster taken to the nth degree? Do they think we are all idiiots?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  125. Margaret Metheny

    I would trust those people to do what they are promising just about as far as I would trust a copperhead not to bite if I stepped on it. At this point they seem to have a certain level of fear concerning what the administration might do to them, and I would prefer to keep that bar raised near the top.
    My husband and I lived with the same type of medical coverage that the D.C. folks have for 13 years, and were most happy to do so (federal job overseas).
    Margaret Metheny, Winter Haven, FL

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  126. Kym Hamill, Fayetteville, AR

    Let's get real, Jack. We all know that the way the insurance companies will save money is by denying more cases and offering less coverage. To think that they would actually do anything to help the American people, instead of lining their own pockets, is absurd. It's time for us all to join the 21st century, Universal Healthcare, for the win!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  127. hannah from Florida

    i fully trust they will remain at the table. After all they have everything to gain. They will cut the costs but they also will cut the care to all of us. Give me a break,Pres. Obama should get some real people who care and know what is really going on with Healthcare to the table.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  128. Randy

    Jack, I don't think max baucus kicked the single-payer advocates out of the hearing today because the health care industry suddenly found jesus. When obama said "everyone will have a seat at the table", he meant everyone with a check book will have a seat at the table.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  129. Randall

    Jack, this is a preemptive strike by the insurance companies. If they were concerned about skyrocketing costs why have they waited to do something about it. If McCain had won they would have been silent on the issue. It's hard to trust someone that's proposing saving money just when they're about to be FORCED to do so.

    Also, the cries of being forced out of business and losing money don't hold either; the insurance companies will line up to bid on and manage the government's system when and if it launches a competing system.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  130. Teri

    No! I absolutely don't trust the healthcare gurus! If they cared about Americans having affordable healthcare, we wouldn't need to be discussing reform now would we!? All they've cared about thus far, is lining their own pockets! Regulations and public insurance are a must to keep our costs reasonable, Luckily, this president is too intelligent to be bamboozled by the rot at the top!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  131. Daniel Hervey

    Hey Jack,

    there's a reason i recently read that 10 out of the top 15 jobs with rising pay are in the healthcare industry. They don't care to help people, they are just out to make as much money as possible. They take the hippocratic oath and don't stand by it if you don't have insurance. If other countries can make universal healthcare work why can't we? i'll tell you why, greed. Maybe we should look out for each other instead of ourselves.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  132. Michael Bindner

    Unless everyone is shifted from comprehensive coverage to high deductible polcies supplemented by Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts, there will be little or no cost savings. This is not likely.

    If health care reform passes, it will include a requirement to cover pre-existing conditions at community rates. Such a reform will lead to consolidation in the insurance industry, bailouts, greater regulation because of consolidated insurers and companies in receivership and the government taking responsibility for the most costly cases. As insurers seek increaed profitability, more and more patients will be funded by the government. The result of all of these changes will be Single Payer Health Care by 1000 cuts.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  133. Barbara NY

    There is absolutely no reason for us to believe that these health care groups have had a change of heart and want to help. Have you been to hospital lately? They want to see your insurance card before they want to know what your problem is. I'm forced to use a mail order service for my perscriptions. They told my company that it would save the employees money. In just 2 years my costs have quadrupled. It's all about money and with these groups there's no good reason to trust them.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  134. Shawn

    Trust must be earned and they've done nothing yet to earn mine. I believe Pres. Obama should start two health care plans simultaneously, one with the health care groups and one with his own administration. This way if these health care groups start to sway away from their voluntary duties, the President can say we are willing and ready to take action if they decide to stick with tradition.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  135. PJ Diehl

    Right on, Jack . . . trusting the insurance companies to voluntarily give up their own lucrative profits is like asking a Columbian drug cartel to run the DEA. Barrack Obama is a shrewd man; he'll be following up with this bunch.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  136. benjamin gordon

    The prospect of Health Care Groups volunteering to cut their profits or even help streamline the system is beyond belief.
    Therefore I do not believe it and you shouldn/t either.
    Sounds simple enough to me.
    Bernie Gordon
    Houston

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  137. tim, Oakland,CA

    Jack,

    How can you trust any FOR PROFIT healthcare system to cut spending? The answer is trust them to continue what they have been
    doing all along. Stop providing any and all medical procedures, deny
    claims, cancel members of their health insurance without cause, and
    do everything possible to prevent people from obtaining healthcare,
    in the first place. Good for the stockholders, and great for the botton line. The Big boys will have slashed healthcare costs in no time. Call
    it the no care, no time, lots of money for the stockholder system. The
    Republicn party swears by it, while the rest of us suffer from its unbridled greed and stupidity. Millions more in bonuses for the thrifty CEOs to boot.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  138. John K. Edoga, MD FACS

    The problem is we never ask the right questions. Treatments associated with the shortest lengths of hospital stay are usually not the least expensive. The questions that we ought to be asking are related to durability of the treatment and the hidden long term costs following these tratments including effects that cause other health problems for the patient. If someone wanted to sell you a really cheap car that only got 6 miles to the gallon, leaked carbon monoxide into the passenger cabin and tended to explode into a ball of flames upon minimal impact, would you buy it? We have to learn to look under the hood to see what we are getting. Healthcare finance has become a shell game and if we are going to ever achieve cost control, we are going to have to get away from simply sweeping it under the rug by shifting the cost of care.
    John

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  139. Eileen Peabody MA

    Jack, how much do I trust the health care groups...NOT AT ALL. Reason being they are the cause of our skyrocketing health care costs. As you indicated...they are ALL making great promises at the table because each faction is scared to death the others will override their particular interest in their absence.

    And to those groups currently running ads where English and Canadian people are speaking of the services they have been denied.....Have you heard of the bureaucratic decisions made by our current system of HMO's???? Obviously not.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  140. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    Why not, we've put our trust in worse things

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  141. Jim-Atlanta

    Jack, As a 'former' healthcare industry employee, I believe the 'ONLY' reason these entities are involved is that it is in their corporate interest to at least 'APPEAR' to be willing to 'save' money....In reality, with no 'binding' agreements in place, they are under no pressure to change anything.....It's a simple matter of them deciding to either, "getting on board now, or be left on the dock" when Congress writes this legislation.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  142. Sherry

    You mean trust the healthcare industry to reign in cost, like we trusted the banking system to regulate itself? Here we go again. It seems our leaders do not learn from experience. Let me remind you, the healthcare industry leaders CAUSED the cost of healthcare in this country to skyrocket by overcharging for meds and restricting access to care. They BENEFIT from the high cost of healthcare. Please let me know when we are serious about reforming the healthcare system... we are not there yet.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  143. hank

    The health care industry meaning, insurance,pharmaceuticals,and hmo's only came up with this 2 trillion dollar number in hopes to keep the current congress from taking them to the woodshed. Remember that political capital talk from the previous administration?This industry is bankrupting individuals, companies, and small business as well as the U.S. treasury. I didn't include doctors in this although there are some just as responsible for this mess.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  144. Ravi Chitkara

    Jack::

    My monthly healthcare preimums have gone up almost 400% over last eight years. I have had no major health claims and they increased my premiums 40% between 2008 and 2009. These guys are making only politically correct statements to convince the politicians to not to make REAL healthcare reforms. They could have done it easily before. I DO NOT TRUST AN INDUSTRY THAT HAVE HAS A BAD HABIT OF PASSING COSTS TO THE SICK.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  145. Bob Carter

    Absolutely, you said it yourself...they can see the handwriting on the wall. Jack, it's part of paradigm shifting which is happening big time. But, regarding your question, why are you jumping on this one so hard, and so quickly? Stop, look and listen...let's see how it plays out and then take a position, one way or another.

    Bob,
    Ohio

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  146. Richard E Cashen

    Jack, I have been a disabled worker, fell from a roof/ no insurance. I know what its like to have Medicare and state Medicaid. You have to basically go to Doctors and clinics that take Medicaid, alot don't. Now that its been 10 years on medicare. You can believe that all these government agencys that deal w/ the drug companys and HBOs are not going to cut anything except service, drugs you can get, operations not deamed escential. The care is lousy, and your herded through like cattle to the slaughter. They are greedy people and the only thing they will cut is service. If anyone believes these people you are on the YELLOW BRICK ROAD with Dorthy, THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST PROBLY CAN DO MORE.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  147. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Jack,

    No one should trust any of these particular groups you mentioned. As a healthcare professional for 22 years, I’ve witnessed a pattern of blaming the healthcare workers, doctors and hospitals for the costs of healthcare. No one ever examines the outrageous costs from the insurance industry that always get swept under the rug and removed from the equation. The insurance, hospital and pharmaceutical industries have less integrity then than the banking industry. These are industries that live for the almighty dollar and will always do everything possible to put profits ahead of people. If there is anything the insurance, hospital and pharmaceutical industries will do to help bring down the costs of healthcare, you can rest assured it will always involve nothing more than cutting services and the quality of healthcare.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  148. Muree Reafs

    How much do I trust these groups to honor their offer? Not one iota! And what a pathetic offer it is in an industry that represents 16% of GDP. This is like saving the essentially useless penny. There are plenty of areas where they could reduce what they charge – executive pay, non-reuseable equipment, ineffective treatments, specialty centers for celebrity doctors, duplicate services – MRIs, etc. Health Care should not be a for profit business. It should comply with national and regional planning (tried in the 1960s). The "health care" industry has ill served the nation for decades while the profits have rolled-in .

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  149. Thomas E. Harries

    Sure!!! They will save the two trillion dollars. But you will only find it if you look in their profit columns. These greed and power mongers won't give up a thing. Why should they? Who has the clout and the WILL to hold them accountable? They are like zombies. No matter what you do, they keep relentlessly lurching forward. But any lie will do to give them a few more yards and a few more days to further solidify their anchor on the American pocketbook. Wake up Obama!! They may have already fatally compromised your Presidency.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  150. Jacqueline Mongeot

    To me, it means that they robbed us far MORE than 2 trillion in the past years as they expect to make a profit if we accept their offer. So I do not buy their proposal without a full description with all details, with the individual cost, including medical insurance to all who want or need it, even to the patients ALREADY ill, no exception to anyone, and also including the so-called "experimental" treatments.
    So far, they have only displayed their greed, their lack of compassion and of humanity, and let many people who could have been treated die.
    Jacqueline San Diego CA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  151. Pete

    Yeah, right, I beleive THAT like I believe humans are altruistic beings. USA Inc. is all about greed.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  152. Ottis Raybon

    My,my said the spider to the fly – The HMO's are saying future cuts are
    possible without any specifics meaning they are going to wait to see
    how the final legislation looks before they'll commit to change. They
    are relying on their lobbyist and campagne contributions to water down
    any real meaningful changes. The Democrats should pass legislation
    that eliminates all un-necessary clerical procedures. Let the MD's
    decide what is right for the patient, bill the insurance company and get paid. All the rest of the system is designed to line the pockets of
    superfluous paper pushers, lobbyists and other parasites on the system.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  153. Gloria Henning

    I do not have any faith whatsoever that the medical profession, the pharmaceuticals or the insurance companies will do anything at all to curtail medical costs. Why doesn't somebody just come right out and admit that greed is rampant in these industries. If President Obama depends on them for change he will get the same results we've gotten from them before. Save two trillion dollars? Yeah right, when hell freezes over!
    G.H. in PA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  154. stephen blesofsky

    They can. The question is will they? After I shook the hand of any health care executive, I'd count my fingers.

    Steve Blesofsky
    Sun City Center Fl

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  155. William Rogers

    I am increasingly disturbed by the sudden switch by the For-Profit "Gatekeeping" Insurance companies, to now want to help design a NEW system of medical care. These are the SAME companies that have done everything possible to impeded the changes needed to lower our costs in the past. The Senate Finance Committee this morning excluded any advocate for Single payer from it's hearing. Inviting in only the Foxes to help design health systems in how to protects us chickens, and they're excluding those who've always been fighting the Corporate Profiteers seems the financially articulate, whose irresponsibility is in greed, is overriding the greater responsibility to those with less financial but equally articulate in fiscal methods to achieve NON-profit care.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  156. Charlyze

    I trust HMOs will save $2 trillion as much as I trust myself to save $2 trillion. Since their primary focus is to make enormous profits, it is gratifying to see this new collaboration, this sudden change of heart, to fix our ailing healthcare system. What an amazing sacrifice "til death do them part"!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  157. Linda Tift

    Jack,
    I'm with you. The health care industry going to save this country and us money. Since when? They have had over 13 years to become resposible business owners and they chose profits over the lives of many seriously ill policy owners every time. Now they want our trust. Hey America I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  158. Jim Elsaesser

    The idea of the health care insurance giants saving 2 trillion dollars over the next 10 years is quite remarkable. The question is how.
    By cutting back on services even more than they already have?
    By making it practically impossible for the average person to buy health care insurance? Or perhaps by doing what they have already done: eliminating those persons with no voice from the system.
    Trust the insurance companies? Please.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  159. Bill Amado,Arizona

    The health care industry my very well cut administrative costs and other overhead expenses, but do you really believe that those savings will be passed down to the public. The $2 trillion savings will not be a savings to you and me at all. The money grabbing suits that control the system will divide up the profits amongst themselves. Health care costs will continue to rise at the same rate that they have these many years. And the health care industry will try to convince us all that they have saved $2 trillion. And it will all be just IRON PYRITE. Or more commonly known as FOOLS GOLD.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  160. Jim McQuilkin

    Jack, absolutely not. These are the same people who have denied coverage to people in desperate need of medical coverage. They find any reason they can to deny coverage such as a pre-existing condition ,or they claim a treatment is experimental in order to deny coverage and thereby increase profits. The well being of their customers has never been at the forefront of their concerns. Just look at the ads that are being run right now by a group tof health care providers who were convicted of defrauding the government. Its all about profit and damn the customer. The government must take a tougher stand if we are to truly have health care reform.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  161. John R Reid

    Jack, it is inconceivable to me that anybody would believe these sleaze balls from the health care industry. If they really wanted to help reduce healthcare cost, and thus provide more affordable coverage, they would have already done so!
    The only way to get universal health care coverage to all, is through a government sponsored single payer system. And don't give me that bull about rationing, because we already have that now, it is just the health care people that are doing it. And think about it, if it is good enough for our military personnel it is good enough for the rest of the country!
    John
    Vancouver, WA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  162. Kevin

    I trust them more than I trust BIG government getting involved! Take a look at the cost of malpractice insurance for doctors. The large amounts dished out far exceed common sense. At the rate we are going its no wonder young people of today have no desire to become doctors!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  163. NANA MCSHERRY

    Am fortunate, have good health coverage, but do feel this leads to excessive, and uneeded medical supervision! In spite of my current health being acceptable, to me, do feel I am over medicated, and many appts. are so cursory, it is a waste of my time, to spend less than 5 minutes with a doctor, and have them bill my provider with to me what are excessive charges!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  164. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    About as much as I trust AIG. Nothing more needs to be said.

    Maurice
    Two Rivers, WI

    May 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  165. james sloan

    Dear Jack, yes i think they are sincere. This gives them some control of thier destiny. But I would take it forther. I feel Pres. Obama could reform the health care industry out side of politics and work exclusively with the industry itself. It would solve 2 problems. It would negate the big govornment claims of the gop, and let congress off the hook to come up with a solution, which is like passing a camel through the eye of a needle. Jim Sloan/ Phoenixville, Pa

    May 12, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  166. Marie in Colorado

    Trust the for-profit health care industry to voluntarily do anything to save money? I don't trust this industry to look beyond the noses of their obscenely high-paid corporate officers! I've paid in–we've all paid in–thousands and thousands of dollars for health care over the years. And I've also had thousands of dollars of health care denied by these corporate pirates. Now I have an incurable condition that might have been avoided if I could have afforded the health care I needed but could not obtain because my health insurance company did not recognize my disorder let alone pay for treatment.

    And don't get me started on the "reasonable and customary" nonsense they've used over the years to rob their clients! Doctors can charge what ever they want. Insurance companies can refuse to cover whatever they choose. And the patient is stuck with all the bills.

    Trust these vultures? Not on my–or your–life! Single payer coverage is the ONLY answer!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  167. Thurman Sanders

    I would trust health care officials to reduce health care cost as much as I would trust the fox to protect the chickens.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  168. David in Raleigh, NC

    Don't trust the insurance companies. They are telling Obama what he wants to here so that he'll leave them.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  169. Theresa

    Trust the insurance industry?? Absolutely not!! They know single-payer is the only way of providing health care for all that makes sense, and they'll say anything to hang on to their profits, then go back to their old ways.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  170. Nancy, Tennessee

    Since medicine became big business, there has been no limit to the amount that they will charge you for a service. Once when I saw a doctor, I calculated his hourly fee based on what he charged me for five minutes. He must be pulling down over a $1000.00 per hour. Now the rate per hour is considerably less if you add the hours that I sat in the waiting room. Maybe that's why you have to sit in the waiting room for so long – it makes you feel like you got more for your money!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  171. Pat Magee

    Give me a break! I just got an increase from BCBS to $10,000 per year for a high deductible; this policy started three years ago at $7700. And I'm not sick nor do I have any pre-existing conditions. They are just getting President Obama in bed with them. I would be pleasantly surprised if anything significant is done–ever.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  172. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    Jack,
    I trust them about as much as I trust Wall Street to look out for my best interest with MY money. A different group with the same snake oil.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  173. Bill Hoffman

    Trust? This is an industry whose costs have been double inflation every year for untold numbers of years. To date these companies idea of cost containment has been to pay bonuses to administors to deny claims and bonuses to doctors for limiting service. Their formula is simple, every dollar wasted on patient care robs the stockholders. And if they could cut trillions in costs, why haven't they? Wouldn't that make them the most poorly run industry in history if they previously ignored trillions in inefficiencies? This is simply a way for them to control the discussion and legislation.

    Bill
    Reno, NV

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  174. Matt ouimet

    No Jack ,I dont trust the health care groups. Our taxes pay for the health care that our President and Congress get. I want the same health care program that they have. If it's good enough for them it's good enough for me. Matt, from Florida.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  175. Johnny

    I trust the medical profession to handle healthcare savings like I trusted the energy baron’s to work out the nation’s energy policy during the Bush administration; how did that work out for you? Obama was elected to change how things are done; to do that we need new people at the tables; new people that will represent every facet of the problem. How will even identify the problem/need if we don’t get everyone at the table? If we can’t learn from the mistakes of the past we are doomed to repeat the error. Follow the money; it will reveal the truth!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  176. Faye

    They are scared Jack,the president is working hard harder than any other.The people who hired this president made it clear in Nov. we are tired of the lobbyist and those in congress who are supposed to be looking out for the american people taking kickbacks and perks to make our life HELL.............WE DON'T TRUST ANYTHING THE INSURANCE COMPANIES SAYS...........OBAMA KNOWS THE DRILL!!!!!!!! Faye SC

    May 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  177. Bill from pa

    Jack, this had to be the ultimate test for you to keep a straight face while asking one of your obviously cynical questions. With whom should we start, Pharma, who were so accomadating with those who wanted to use the bargaining power of the huge membership of medicare to get better rates for drugs for seniors? or the AMA whose sole purpose, it seens is to make sure there's a permanent shortage of doctors in this country? or the insurance industry, the "Creed is Greed" crowd and thier hired stooges in congress? The word "Integrity" dome how, doesn't jump out at me. You probably wouldn't live long enough to read all the responses to this one, but Thanks for the chance to respond.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  178. Navy_Chief

    If President Obama believes that this is a water shed moment and that the health insurance industry can be trusted to put patient needs first, then I've got a bridge to nowhere to sell him. Oh, wait, he's already bought a bridge to nowhere down Missouri way.

    We need a not-for-profit universal, single-payer, comprehensive care program similar to Marty Russo's H.R. 1300 (1988), Conyers H.R. 676 (2007), or California State Senator Sheila Kuehl's S.B. 840 (2006, 2008).

    And we need to tell CNN not to accept advertising from the "swift boaters" unless they can provide the claims they are trying to scam the public with.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  179. luciana kincer

    The health care-less groups will only save the $2 trillion by decreasing the services that YOU, the patient, would qualify for.

    As an RN for the past 33 years I have seen huge deterioration of services provided. Yet there has been a HUGE purchase of technology that allows hospitals to bill for every single minute and item that a patient uses. This nickle and diming is killing us.
    Luciana
    San Mateo, California

    May 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  180. Dian McDonald

    Insurance companies have gone beyond the point of trust and have betrayed Americans for too many years. Now that the Bush criminals have left office, the insurance criminals need to follow suit. I'm ready to see what the Obama administration will do for all of us. It is time for the Government to be a Government for the people.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  181. John from Alaska

    Jack, I believe that those that profit from the health care industry will do whatever is necessary the fend off the only logical and inevitable solution, a universal, not-for-profit, single payer system. Big business makes 30 cents on every health care dollar. It is our shame that we continue to cow-tow to an industry that profits so handsomely from our misfortune.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  182. Nick

    Jack -

    As a former employee of a health insurance organization, I'm very aware of the healthcare initiatives. The orgs think that health coaching and prevention will lower healthcare expenses and the high costs of (preventative) diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart, etc. Our healthcare premiums will eventual be based off of a points system. The healthier a person is, the lower the premium. This equates to a pay-for-use methodology. Ultimately, the lower-income and health-risk/unhealthy individuals will be paying the highest premiums under this arrangement.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  183. Mike Keller

    For many years the healthcare insurance industry has shown a callous disregard for the health needs of the country. Profit motives alone have governed the industry, leading to refusal to cover the seriously ill or to address the disgraceful lack of coverage for many thousands of citizens. We would be fools to expect this industry now suddenly to acquire the motive of cutting costs for the public good.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  184. Gregg

    No, Jack, I do not trust any of these groups to "vountarily" self- regulate themselves. One must ask why these groups waited until now to offer solutions while the system continued to crumble over the last decade. The answer should be pretty obvious to most people. They don't want comprehensive reform which would reduce their profit margins while providing healthcare coverage for all Americans at a reasonable cost. It reminds me of a crime drama where the suspect breaks down and confesses to receive a reduced sentence.
    Keep up the great work, Jack!!

    –Gregg from California

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  185. Steve

    No industry is going to cut their own throats to the tune of 2 trillion dollars. If they can afford to do this then the question is "just how much is this country being bled by the health care industry". It just makes socialized medicine all the more appealing if you know these companies are going to take a pint of blood from you through the sky high mark ups on everything associated with them. These people have bled medicare and medicaid dry and are taking John and Jane doe to slaughter house to render everything they can for profit. You have to keep those quarterly profits growing you know.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  186. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack

    Never trust anyone who tells you how much you will save before exposing the cost....

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  187. Wayne Wright

    I say NO because they have never paid tax's under the guise of looking for research. They might help but I doubt it. There just like the oil companies the name of the game is PROFFIT PROFFIT and there ain't thing one any one can do NOT EVEN the President of the U. S. A.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  188. Ron K.

    Hi Jack:

    The health Care insurance companies are just as bad a Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America. Along with the rest of the fold.

    NO NEVER NO!!! NO JACK NO!!!

    Ron K Temecula, CA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  189. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Not one bit. The free market is great for sham wows, and ped eggs, but not worth a hoot for our health care. Making a buck will always be more important than our health, until we get rid of the middle man.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  190. DonH

    Heath care groups can't be trusted! Why would the insurance industry want to change? The health insurance industry receives free money while providing zero care. They serve absolutely no purpose in the health care system. By every measure European healthcare systems are superior to that of the U.S.A. but because of insurance industry influence, we will continue with our super expensive inefficient system.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  191. Kim VA

    They know once the government finds out how much pain and suffering has been done the population, they will get kicked out of the insurance business.

    They are the anti-insurance companies, who deny the sick.
    The hell with the "Pay or Die system!"

    May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  192. Daniel in oklahoma

    i'm sure there's a reason that the 6 largest houses in my town are owned by doctors.... it couldn't be inflated incomes, but ask one of them to take a pay cut in order to help someone out? i bet they don't like the idea very much

    May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  193. jean hiatt

    If the government would just pay back the money they have borrowed from the social security account we would be fine.

    Bush said it did not have to be repaired

    No one has even t mentioned such a possibilty

    Jean

    May 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  194. Paul

    I will be 73 in two months. I had avoided doctors like the plague most of my life. In 2001 I was 65 I woke up having a hard time getting a breath and went to the emergency room. The first thing I knew I had an ekg, a stress test and wound up in the operating room having 2 heart stents put in. I got out of the hosp the next day. The bill was over $67,000. Totally out of line with circumstances. In 2005 I thought I was having a heart attack due to chest paid. Went to hospital and after tests was diagnosed with gallbladder problems and was operated. The bill was, believe it or not $157,000. I had Medicare on both hospitalizations. I never hear anyone, not Repubs, not Dems, the general jpublic or anyone complaining about the charges from doctors and hospitals. That is the major problem and noone addresses it !

    Where the hell in the check and balances on Medicare doctors and hospitals? There don't appear to be any – they can do and charge anything they want to!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  195. Sharon (Anchorage, Alaska)

    I don't. Whatever money they save will be returned to their own budgets. If motivated to review the mistakes of the past century, there is a slim chance that they will be able to adapt to the road our country is on. Where has general common sense in business management gone too?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  196. rosie

    Trust them yeah right! They are only on board because they know we had enough and were ready to fight for universal health care. How funny there's are ready commercials on tv spreading lies on health care reforms. Just watch sicko the documentry so much corruption in the healthcare system let's not give up!!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  197. BoB bella Vista Ar

    jack

    you don't see doctors cutting their prices. My wife'z doctor was dismissed because she took to long with each patience. It is the hosiptial and clinics that are chargeing to much. It is not only the pill pusher but the small clinics also in the medical industry.
    bob

    May 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  198. Terry

    $2 Trillion over ten years is merely a down payment on the (God only knows) amount the Health Care Industries would stand to make if the issue of national health care would just go away. It's a bribe. Terry,
    Front Royal, VA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  199. Jim from Chicago

    Jack, this is nothing but a small pledged giveback to try to stave off more appropriate legislation. Max Baucus and too many other politicians are in the pockets of these lobbyists for the health insurance, drug and HMOs. Two trillion is just a drop in the bucket campared to the real loot these crooks are raking off the top. We need single payer insurance and real cost controls and we need them NOW.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  200. AspenFreePress

    Billions, trillions, millions. All those $$$$ make me dizzy. I do know that I'm on Medicare plus supplemental health insurance and I still have to pay close to a grand a month for medications just to stay alive. I'm in what's known as Meciare's "donut hole." If I can survive the next four months, Medicare will kick back in and pay until year's end at which time this whole goat dance starts over again. Sterling Greenwood/Aspen Free Press

    May 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  201. Mini Richards

    Jack it still all about greed! My husband is Military Retired and during the last Administration they ( the Bush Adm. ) took away all of my name brand drugs that agreed with me and threatened me with way over $100. per month for each medication if I continued on the name brand! The pharmacys say the generics are the same but technically THEY ARE NOT! I now pay a huge amount because the govt. disapproved of paying for the name brand! My doctor from Mayo wrote them about one med. that disagrees with me but they wouldn't listen to him!!! I know the Drug and Pharmacys are counting on making a lot of money on poor quality......unless we PAY EXTRA!!!! They think they have us over a barrel and I wish we could deal with other countries and get better quality meds.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  202. Jasmine

    Max Baucus is lying through his teeth. He is in the tank with the rest of them who are working with these insurance and pharmaceutical thieves and murderers who kill Americans in cold blood by denying claims for life-saving procedures. As long as our senators are in their pockets we will never have Single Payer, which is the only real healthcare reform. They are telling us Single Payer is government "run" which is nothing but a lie. Single Payer means the government is the only payer. The HMO's on the other hand do run our healthcare. They choose our doctors and hospitals for us. they tell us which prescriptions to buy, they strip us of our life savings and deny us claims that may save our lives. This is corrupstion at its best.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  203. Joan

    No I don't trust any of these groups. They are the same groups that stopped Hillary in her quest for health care. Just imagine is only they had gone along with Hillary way back when, we would not be in the mess we are in to-day. I have spoken with my relatives and friends in England and they are completely happy with single payer health care. It really helps preventative medicine. Just watch the Ads that will be coming out to stop health care. I even saw one to-day. Just don't believe a word they say. Single payer health care is working in England, Germany, Canada etc. What are we waiting for. Just get on with it without the Republicans.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  204. Jack Dempsey

    Jack , I trust the health care groups to volunarily make a profit ! The faster us baby boomer's die off the happier they'll be. The government is just as bad they will put on a big show but the only plan they have to save Social Security and Medicare is Death. There is nothing to be gained If they keep us healthy and alive after we have lost are ability to pay into the system. Jack from Nice, Ca.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  205. allen cohen

    Jack, Insurance companies will not part with a dime. Doctors love the good life. Drug companies give you ice in the winter time. So much for the health care in America.

    Allen from Florida

    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  206. Scott H.

    I don't believe it one bit. If the government really wants health care reform, then they need to start regulating what doctors and Hospitals are charging. For example: I recently had major surgery, I was in the Hospital for a week. Every single day a Doctor for Diabetes came in an chatted about my blood sugar for about 3 to 5 minutes each time (I don't have diabetes), when I got my bills, I was charged over $580 just by one of the Doctors for 5 minutes, then $117 each day a doctor came in to say a few words. Talk about a scam! Total bill over $1400 for about 30 minutes of them opening their mouths about something I didn't have to begin with. Plus Mirsa is a test required by law that Hospitals have to do, but yet WE have to pay for it, HMMMMM, any other company would have to count this as an expense of doing business, NOT making a profit from it. START REGULATING DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS ON WHAT THEY CHARGE. Someone needs to get a clue!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  207. Brad Koplowitz

    Jack,

    This is nothin' but a "pig in a poke." Do they really think we are so gullible as to believe that they can save 2 trillion dollars by cutting the cost of paperwork? Give me a break. Do they talk about cutting executive pay? No! Do hospitals talk about reducing their ridiculous charges for rooms and services? No! Do doctors talk about buying fewer Mercedes and country club memberships? No! Does Big Pharma talk about eliminating their frivolous TV commercials or cutting the price of drugs which Americans can't afford? No! Does Congress and the administration talk about negotiating the price of drugs as part of the Medicare Prescription Plan? No! Until they start talking about the real costs behind the health care fiasco, nothing real will ever get done. Brad, Norman, Oklahoma

    May 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  208. john west

    Jack

    In regards to the Health Care issue, since reading about what the Pres. wants to do in savng ???????? amount of money, I once read about a chip that is put under the skin.

    What I read was the savings would be astronomical in just administrative costs.

    According to their propaganda, they would just have to scan this chip with a scanner and they would have the patients complete history at once.

    Is there any chance that this would be part of the savings he claims
    would happen ?

    I am not a share holder, but I did look the symbol up, it is CHIP, and it seems to be worthless at only pennys on the market.

    But what I did read, it seem to make alot of sense in regards to saving money.

    Jack

    ps
    I also read that it was some sort of a Devils tool :-)

    May 12, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  209. Roslyn Roshell Perkins

    Hi Jack,
    You would have to be a fool to trust the insurance or drug company. They have been robbing and raping us for years and getting rich while doing it. I am proud to have Obama as my President but he can't do this alone. So this is too all the grassroots people, it is time to gear up again. If we want single payer, we will have the fight for the same as we fought to make Barack Obama our President.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  210. Shaffdeen A. Amuwo

    They should not be trusted. Their new attempt is a preemptive strike against the American people as the tide is moving rapidly towards real concrete health care reform. Hopefully, the one that will have "everybody in nobody out" Single Payer System . In fact, the deception of these people is so apparent, given the fact this is voluntary, no monitoring system, no evaluation and no benchmarks.
    Furthermore, the $2T in 10 years only amounts to less than $200M a year when adjusted for inflation. President Obama should not buy it!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  211. Jackie in Dallas

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    I trust them not at all, Jack. When medicine became a for-profit business, the quality of care, the humaneness of care, and the attitude of the care providers took a major turn for the worse.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  212. Jeff Adams

    No Jack ! I trust them about as far as I can pick you up & throw you across the room! I'm a pharmacist and have dealt with rising drug costs and increasing insurance co-pays for decades now. I deal with bureaucrats from the insurance plans everyday, pleading with them to override a rejection for a patients prescription to be paid minus the co-pay due to doctors increasing a dosage, or a patient going on vacation.
    We need Medicare to be available to anyone who wants it with MORE BENEFITS & LESS LIMITATIONS than many of these insurance companies. And Medicare to negotiate prices with drug companies, which will have much MORE clout than the private sector. This needless to say is what they fear most! Jeff A. Las Vegas

    May 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  213. Ricki Aiken

    I don't trust the health care groups to save $2 Trillion over the next decade unless it's at the cost of our health care. They could probably save tons of money if they declined to cover necessary procedures, shortened doctor visit time (which is already too short) and many other short cuts which could make our health care even more illusive than it is now. They sure won't save money by providing health care coverage for the uninsured or reducing insurance premiums. But that's another subject altogether.

    Ricki Aiken
    Payson, AZ

    May 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  214. Mary Texas

    As long as healthcare remains for profit it will never change, and as long as congress uses social security dollars to balance the budget it will go broke. Someone should have to pay. Maybe they should forgo thier yearly pay raises in congress.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  215. erica p san antonio,tx

    Sure savings on current costs are good but I still don't have insurance eventhough I work 40 hours a week and been working for the same employer almost 3 years. So President Obama please continue with healh care reform I would like someday to be able complain about cost of my healthcare plan.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  216. Pamela Colliver

    Should I not sound like a lady and say "Hell No" they wont'.

    Actually Jack, I am more concerned about social security and I trying to get widow benefits for myself, at age sixty, in less than a year.

    My daughter received social security, survivor ship benefits because her father, my common law husband was an insured worker. He died before we married. SSA didn't tell me what I could try to do at time.

    I didn't get a penny, my daughter and I suffered horribly.

    Social Security keeps big secrets.

    Was it Ronald Reagan in 1981 that stopped and uncaringly prevented social security benefits from a woman that just wanted to help take better care of her child? Just because there was not marriage certificate, although plenty of other paperwork?

    I am shocked to find out what many Americans don't know because social security doesn't want them to find out!

    President Obama, I beleive in full disclosure.

    I will be writing you sir.

    Thank you Jack.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  217. John - Santa Clarita, CA

    Jack:
    I don't trust ANY of the representatives of the "so called" Health Care Providers. Their organizations view the people who use their services as sources of income. They do not consciously care about the quality of care or the affect the cost of that care has on ANY of the citizens of this country. THEY CONTRIBUTE LARGE SUMS OF MONEY TO OUR REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS TO MAINTAIN THEIR STEEL GRASP ON OUR CURRENT HEALTHCARE. Remember the tobbaco industry representatives testifying before Congress that nicotine is NOT ADDICTIVE.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  218. Quint G.

    It is all nonsense. They only promise to reduce the "growth" of costs by 1.5% per year, whatever that means. My Medicare reduced a charge by my doctor from $575 to $74. Now, that is real cost reduction! Without a Government-based negotiation no real cost control can be achieved. That is why a public option is absolutely necessary. The negative stories from Canada and UK about "socialized medicine" are all anecdotal special cases, just as one can find horror stories in the US. Overall, the public option is the only one that will work.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  219. FRANK RUSSO

    I would trust them as far as I can throw them and no farther
    Keep them at arms length

    May 12, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  220. johnchristopher Saskatchewan

    No, not a chance Jack. They will say anything and do anything, except one thing...They will NOT get off your back...ever. It's why – instead of the economy working for the health and welfare of the people, people work for the health and welfare of the economy.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  221. Roland(St George,UT)

    Jack, it really wouldn't surprise me if these HMO's and insurers reduce their costs to below the margins necessary to maintain profitability because, after all, if and when they start to go under, there's always the next bailout package to look forward to. And, they know that by that time, if the Government is going to be that much in bed with healthcare (e.g.: universal access), then, it will be too big to let it fail. Those guys are not stupid, they know what they are doing. Do I trust them? Hell, no! (Roland/St George, UT)

    May 12, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  222. Marcia

    Knowing how the drug companies work I do not believe they will cut anything that makes a difference. We have always paid a higher price for a medicatin then people in Canada. As we have been told we have to pay for the research and publicity.

    The lobbiests did a wonderful job for the Militry Zolof to them is $147.00 a year and for Medicare citizens who take this mediation it is $2,500,00 a year for this citizens to pay. That is the deal that was made and it is wrong.

    NO I DO NOT BELIVE A PROMISE THEY WILL HAVE TO BE MADE TO DO THE RIGHT THING

    May 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  223. Darren

    All they want to do is put a bow on their "healthcare for profit" program until the next Republican President takes office, and then reverse all those pledges and jack their ridiculous rates back up.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  224. Tino

    Abosolutely not! These people, i.e., insurance and pharmaceutical companies, are even worse than that banks because they prey on the sick and invalid and make billions on healthcare which should be regulated way more than the banks. And Sen Baucus should be taken off of this committee; he gets loads of money from these same companies mentioned above. Single payer is what we want.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  225. Ed Aldrich

    Jack............Do you remember when congress was attempting to put our current health care system in place? Tthey had no idea how to proceed so they asked the HMO's and Pharmacuticals to put together a program. That is the program that is bankrupting the system today.

    We are currently mourning a very good friend that died because of the Capitation of doctors and stepped medical care that are in effect today.

    What makes anyone think that these same people are going to do anything to change the system that is enriching them today?

    EdA

    May 12, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  226. Ed from Southwest Colorado

    Hell no I don't trust them. The health care industry is about one thing and that is profit. The word "industry" should be a clue. This country will not have decent and affordable healthcare until it is single payer. We need to get rid of the corporate CEO and other greed heads that are making a profit from people's health care.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  227. J. Reasnor

    Blue Cross & Blue Shield makes lots of money already. They run the Medicare Program. I believe they have been caught embezzling from the Medicare Program. EDI set up the software program for the Medicare Program... large corporations who make lots of money off the suffering of others.

    So, why do people not believe it is time for Health Care Reform? It should be run just like the Medicare Program, allowed amounts set up for every charge. People pay into a socialized program instead of private insurance company's, just like you do now, including deductibles. Based upon income guidelines, determines what a person pays.

    I have paid into private insurance company's only to loose my job, due to an illness, and my health insurance when I needed it most. How many more people does this happen too? Just think of the money these company's make off the suffering of others, when are our politician's going to to what is right for us?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  228. J. Phelps

    No comments as yet by nurses believe any money will be saved and for many reason, from work situations, the ;for profit corporattions, plus all the advertising they do to stymy the gullible public inot believing drug companies have located the "Fountain of Youth'. Truth is, they have found "The Fountain of Green' ", and it is in your pocket.
    I also happen to be a retired nurse by the waty.

    Granite City, Illinois

    May 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  229. sean young

    How do you get rid of tape worm or blood sucking leech? this is white collar mob crime org. they got the politician and license to steal from people in most rich country and provide the worst service, if a country like CANADA or other industrial county(even a little island country-Taiwan) can have one payer health plan, why in the god's eye The USA still lack of this basic health service.
    i do not believe this insurance company& pharmaceutical co& hospital, they are profit first. any one believe them just like believe the REV Jim Jones- dry Kool-Aid. we should stand up and urging the congress and President OBAMA to cut this white collar crime organization out to sewerage pit. they are bankrupt America and people resource.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  230. Anna in Dallas

    When I was trying to get self employed insurance, I was told they would cover me but none of my pre-existing conditions for a mere 890 a month. Ummm, why so much and why don't you cover pre-existing conditions? And I quote "because we are a for profit company". It is probably one of the most blunt answers I have ever gotten.

    No, they are for profit, and the current burecrats that are making our medical decisions are doing it purely for profit. Asking them to fix our medical cost problems is foolish. Part of the problem is we have "sick care" not "health care". If we want to slow down the problem, we have to work on keeping people healthy rather than waiting until the are sick.

    Until we either come up with nationalized health care or require insurance companies and hospitals to become non-profit and enact tort reform, we will not solve this problem.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  231. Bill Pritchard Cary, NC

    Why should we trust corporations to do anything other than make money. That's what corporations do. They have no motive to don anything else. Profit should be taken out of the health care system completely. Neither does it belong as a burden to corporations. The cost of health care should be a role of the government. A single payer system is the only way to get the maximum efficiency from the establishment of the largest possible pool of candidates. We seem to be one of the few countries to figure that out.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  232. Sharon Christiansen, Park City, UT

    What happened to the public option if you don't have health care? Or your company doesn't offer a comprehensive plan? Also, don't these Senators, Congresspersons, etc. remember testimony before Congress that employees got bonuses for denying claims/treatment? Why are companies and their executives making multimillion dollar profits/bonuses/salaries on people's ill health and misery?

    May 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  233. Nancy the Nurse

    Single Payer Health Care is the ONLY SOLUTION! These insurance companies cost doctors and nurses thousands of hours every year trying to get approval for the basic needs of patients. They are only out for a buck, which they then donate 50 cents of to these idiot politicians.

    If Americans want good, inexpensive health care, they have only one choice. SINGLE PAYER is the ONLY SOLUTION!

    A hard working nurse wrote this.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  234. Jean OK

    ABSOLUTELY NOT
    I learned many-MANY years ago get it in writing, signed sealed and delivered. You can no longer trust verbal agreements!!!

    May 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  235. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    At this time, I doubt that I trust anyone. Quite a few years ago I signed
    up with AARP because they are supposed be concerned and working for the people on a limitred incone i.e. RETIRESD PEOPLE. Every year the monthly payment goes up. Last year, it was $195.75 per month. This year it is well over $200 per month. I go to my primary doctor once every 3 months and to a podiatrist once every 3 months. Occasionally I may have to go to another doctor. When I phoned them to find out why it is so much. They asjed for my zip code and told me that was why. This is a medicare suppliment and when they send the statement telling me how much they have paid the doctors, it seems like it's paid only by medicare. Furthermore why should my payment be contigent on all the other people in my ziip code who may have higher medical bill than I have.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  236. Tom, Virginia

    Jack – I trust them about as much as I trusted the banks and the oil companies.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  237. Jane (Minnesota)

    I'm skeptical – it's like the fox inviting itself into the chicken coop.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  238. Arch Laverty

    Dear Jack,
    Someone mentioned Single Payer Health Insurance and the medical industry ponied up a promise of two trillion dolars to influence Congress to forget about it. There goes real reform for another ten years.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  239. Michael, Kansas City, Missouri

    Y'know Jack what is wrong with this system? Unlike those in the rest of the world, in our system Americans pay money to doctors when they are sick. Now, let's see, these same doctors have a lot of overhead - nurses and administrative staff salaries, benefits, and insurance, etc. - that they have to pay each month. My question to youo, therefore, is what fiscal incentive do they have to keep us healthy? Furthermore, what incentive does the American capitalist health care industry have to save one slim dime when they are making such a killing off us? NONE! Anything other than an iron clad law that demands compliance to save is laughable at best.

    May 12, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  240. Dr,. Paul R. VeHorn, Ph.D.

    Absolutely not...Rick Scott the former head of Columbia/HCA when they were investigated for fraud and paid 1.7 billion in fines has now put in 5 mill of his own money to defeat this new health care move...who is the ad agency? CRC Public Rel;ations...they are the liars for hire that brought us "Harry and Louise" and the "Swift Boat" ads...Scott's group " conservatives for Patients Rights" should be called "Conservatives for more Corruption"...one more reason why I am an ex republican

    May 12, 2009 at 5:00 pm |