June 11th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

OK to add to national debt to pay for health care reform?


The National Debt Clock in midtown Manhattan shows the total U.S. government debt as well as the calculated amount per U.S. family. (PHOTO CREDIT: STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama wants to have it both ways. He wants the government to stick to pay-as-you-go rules in order to keep federal budgets under control.

The nation's deficit is expected to top $1.8 trillion this year - more than four-times last year's all-time high.

The president wants Congress to pass a law that requires lawmakers to pay for new spending and tax cuts without adding to skyrocketing deficits. He says the rule, which was in effect in the 1990s when the U.S. had budget surpluses, is simple: "Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere."

But the president apparently wants pay-as-you-go to apply to everybody but him. This plan would make about $2.5 trillion of exemptions for some of the president's priorities over the next 10 years. And Mr. Obama's health care reform plan would also be able to run huge deficits in its early years. Hardly the stuff of fiscal restraint.

Republicans are warning that health care reform will add to budget deficits for years to come. House Minority Leader John Boehner says the Democrats have ignored calls for fiscal responsibility, and he's right: "We don't need more rhetoric and gimmicks. We need action to tackle the tremendous fiscal challenges facing this nation."

Of course, the Republicans ran up record deficits under President Bush, so Boehner's cries ring a little hollow.

Here’s my question to you: Is it okay to add to the record national debt in order to pay for health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian from Philadelphia writes:
Social Security is going broke, and everyone in Washington knows it. Medicare is going broke, and everyone in Washington knows that too. Do we really want them to be in charge of another multi-trillion dollar program that they can mismanage into oblivion, except this time our very lives could be at stake? No, thank you.

Peg from New York writes:
I honestly do not know. It would seem that health care should have always been a top priority. I am a cancer survivor who had to declare bankruptcy due to health care costs. If you are fortunate enough to survive, I can assure you, bankruptcy is not anything to look forward to. Something has to be done, and it is long overdue.

Fred writes:
I certainly think so. They have added billions to the debt for Wall Street, the banks, AIG… need I go on? Give something to the people who financed the bailout, the taxpayer.

Matt writes:
The only way we'll be able to stop the ballooning national debt is by fixing health care.

Judy writes:
Continuing to blame the former administration is getting old. It is time to stop spending and get things under control. That means for heaven’s sake do not continue to pile on more for health care reform. And do not even think about raising taxes on those who have health insurance by taxing that insurance. This is obscene.

Mark from Arkansas writes:
Jack, France can offer health care, as can Canada, Great Britain, even nasty old Cuba. Why in the world can't the most advanced economy on the planet figure out how to do the same? How about this idea: Have the president pick up the phone, call one of these countries and ask the following: "Hey, how do you guys do that?"

Filed under: Health care
soundoff (304 Responses)
  1. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Absolutely not. I know that, since our great great great grandchildren are already going to be paying for our debts, it doesn't seem like a big deal to add on more. But at some point we have to stop. I'd say a grossly over priced pipe dream seems like a good place to say "no more."

    June 10, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  2. Joe CE

    Yes, will reduce health care costs. We have worst heath care coverage of the advanced nations.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  3. Russ in PA

    Well, another wonderful question: add to national debt to pay for health care reform... Why don't we just get the government out of health care completely, kill the FED, and demand a balanced budget with a return to sound money? Then taxpayers could be free to choose health care as they wish. Do you really think a government that can't manage Amtrak, Medicare, Social Security is going to do any better with health care? If so, perhaps you're smoking that weed that the government continues to vilify...

    June 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  4. JD in NH

    Yes. The previous president blew a surplus and took us into debt to give tax cuts to the wealthy and wage a war of choice. If it takes going into debt further to institute a health care system that will prevent needless death, suffering and bankruptcies we must do it. There are many areas where we can raise revenue to pay for medical care for everyone in this country and the increased debt will only be a temporary condition. It would sure beat the bake sales and car washes held every weekend to help pay for some poor person's chemotherapy.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  5. Simpliticus

    That is the BIG question, whether this would add to the national cost. Something tells me that this is a pointless question. If the cost of running things like Medicare is under 3% while the profits coming from private insurance companies goes to as much as 40-50%, perhaps the savings comes from those gouging profits to private concerns. Th REAL costs come from scrapping those gouging profits for the sake of adequate health costs which would be deemed fair and hence the amount of those profits which would allow private insurers to remain in business. That is what this actual concern is all about! And that is what is taking place in Congress: The Question as to how much loss to the allowance for these private concerns to remain in business and to remain profitable while giving up some of those profits for adequate health care!

    June 10, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  6. Tommy Thomas Abilene Tx.

    Well, it has been okay to add to the national debt to pay for the Iraq debacle.Why have the GOP naysayers not jumped on that bit of fiscal irresponsibility? At least the expenditures for healthcare make good sense.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  7. kishen c.rao

    it is ok to add when we said ok to bank bailout...at least it is for the good of public in america...but at the same time we need to think how to cut costs...just pump more PAs in general medicine practice, and put strict prices for office visits, hospital visits and procedures and surgeries, so that surgeons do not rob general public....produce more generic drugs....and mandatory health coverage to all...all all america citizens...it is a must....drop the costs down...do not privatize health care...strict government control is needed....it is going to drop down immigration too....

    June 10, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  8. David Alexandria, VA

    No - we have got to stop trying to buy everything we want whether we can afford it or not. The labryth of added taxes and speculation of reduced costs won't cut it in my book - all more government intervention in my life, siezure of my money, and Beltway fantasy which I don't find very entertaining.

    If we have to spend money to fix health care, cut out something else. Most Americans have had to learn to do with less in the past couple of years - why doesn't the government get it?

    June 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  9. dan in Tucson AZ

    Shifting medicare into the plan and putting the cost to the employers will cover the reform. Let's be real here Jack, the health industry is powerful and does not want this because they see a huge reduction in profits. When profits become more important than people, everyone suffers.

    This program is a necessity for the millions of Americans who are in desperate need of health care. Even people who have health plans can't get proper care. Have you gone to the hospital lately Jack?

    June 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  10. Larry

    Pay as you go Jack.

    I'm sure there's still a ton of government waste that can be eliminated to help finance it.

    Cincinnati, OH

    June 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  11. Al, Lawrence KS

    Yes. We can not reduce the national debt, without reviving the economy and we can only revive the economy by addresses Healthcare. Reform is critical. We spend more of our GDP on healthcare than any other country. Clinton was able to balance the budget and have surpluses because of a robust economy. Remember it's the economy, stupid.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  12. george

    Better than giving it all to the banks, and insurance companies. It is about time that someone put some restraints on Health care cost in this country. The quality of health will not get worse, but better as doctors, and hospitals will have to compete for our money, and that is something that has never been done in the health profession. Twice a month I go to the doctor's office, where I see a tech, and my office call is over $200.00. I only see my doctor once every 4 months, but I pay the same as I would if I only see a tech. No one is watching the store, and doctors are just as corrupt as anyone else.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  13. Lynne Parker in N. Augusta, SC

    Not if by "health care reform" you mean finding a way to funnel more money to insurance companies. Our money has already been stolen from our pockets to fund 2 illegal invasions, pad the pockets of military contractors, boost oil company profits to record levels, boost the lavish salaries of financial industry CEOs, and now my "representatives" want to "reform" health care?
    I think not.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  14. mack from michigan

    If the government eliminates the waste in the health care system and eliminates the health insurance industry trough feeders from the system the impact on the budget shouldn't be as traumatic as the industry lobbyists would have us believe.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:27 pm |
  15. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Our national debt is so great we can never hope to get rid of it. So if we are going down in flames, putting my healthcare on the tab is OK with me. And if not, it’s about time those you put us here bail us out with THEIR dollars for a change (pun intended).

    June 10, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  16. cy gardner

    We can add to the national debt to give tax breaks to the wealthy while we add more to the national debt fighting a war in Iraq that didn't need to be fought.
    We can add to the national debt to bail out Wall St. despite their incompetence and dishonesty.
    We can always add to the national debt when it helps the rich and the Republicans don't make a peep.
    If we finally add to the national debt to help the people who work and pay taxes, perhaps the cost of health care will be brought under control and businesses will be freed from paying for most of the health care in this country.
    America voted for change. Our ludicrous, wasteful health care system was one of the things we wanted to change most. So I don't want to hear any crocodile sobbing from the corporate prostitutes in the GOP who were perfectly happy to hock this country to the Chinese when it meant campaign contributions from the lobbyists and the corporations. People need to stop listening to the GOP altogether. cy gardner, arlington, va

    June 10, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Jim


    Absolutely! It's a terrific investment for the nation. In particular, if health care reform can be structured so as to take the health-premium burden from off the shoulders of business, it could lead to an economic boom that could make unemployment obsolete.

    Reno, Nevada

    June 10, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  18. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Health care reform should be a number two priority, right behind cutting spending.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm |
  19. Michael and Diane Phoenix AZ

    The question should be.....Do we want a more vibrant and healthy nation, or one that will end up costing more in the long run because most people can not afford even basic medical checkups?

    June 10, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  20. Paul Austin, Texas

    You can put me in the OK side on this one. What is the real cost of health care? My mother was in the hospital for 7 weeks and the bill was sky high. Now the insurance company only paid about 1/8th of the bill and the hospital and doctors never asked for more. What happens to the person with no insurance I am sure the health care providers would never just tell you OK pay me 1/8th the cost. Our health care system needs to be reformed and not just keep the health care providers pockets full of cash.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  21. Billy in Las Vegas

    I would rather add to the national debt for something USEFUL to the average American like healthcare than for wars, tax cuts for rich people and corporate bailouts.

    the Brits started their single payer healthcare system in 1948 when they were BROKE after WWII. if THEY could do it back then in their financail shape, so can the United States NOW.

    time for America to join the modern world.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  22. Terry from North Carolina

    Lets find another way to pay for this, our children and our childrens children will already be saddled with debt from our reckless spending to bail out institutions that were poorly managed by CEOs that cared only for themselves and certain key excutives.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  23. Alex in Seattle

    YES!!! We are facing bankruptcy for an $88,000 hospital bill... and we had health insurance.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  24. Michael

    How would a National Health Care Plan reconsile the differences between Federal and State laws concerning available medicine for use. Californians (and those from 13 other states) currently have access to medical marijuana to treat their illnesses. So even though I live in a different state, myself and a patient in California will have the same government sponsered health plan. Why should they be able to treat their illness with a medicine that I can't?

    Unitl a level playing field is put into place, a National Plan will never work.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:45 pm |
  25. Ray Turner ICC(SS) USN Retired

    No we should not add to the debt. We need to come down hard on the insurance companies and health care providers for their greedy practices. As retired military I recieve medical benefits at reduced costs from the same health care providers that serve the rest of the public, only because Tricare for Life is not in the business of paying didvidens to share holders. If health providers and insurance companies want to stay in business they need to become fiscally responsible like the rest of us are being to become.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  26. Lisa in Shelton CT

    raising our debt further seems unconscionable, but, paying now for wise reform could ultimately save trillions later.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  27. Rick Medina,OH


    We're already paying a fortune for the lack of health-care reform. Millions of people use hospital ER rooms as primary care facilities, and invest little or nothing in preventative care. The federal government now pays for much of that in higher Medicare / Medicaid costs, and loss of taxes due to tax deductions on health insurance premiums that continue to rise above the inflation rate.

    Once the dust settles, logic suggests the investment will produce a return.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    June 10, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  28. Jamie in Virginia

    Don't consider it as additional debt. Consider it "Refinancing the primary cause of bankruptcy"

    June 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  29. Remo .............. Austin, Texas

    Sure why not! I mean we're writing hot checks right now, what's a few more. We'll just learn Chinese because that's what we'll be speaking when China calls in all of their markers. Or we can just keep printing money and drive down it's worth until you need a wheel barrow full of $100.00's to buy a cup of coffee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  30. John from Alabama

    Jack: There should be some new tax on a common use item, or a tax of 5 to 10 cents on every person entering a federal park. I do not believe you can keep adding to the national debt, but there should be as small as possible any increase in the national debt. Raise the federal tax on firearms being sold at weapons dealer's stores. Increase the fee to unload ships and planes coming into this country.

    June 10, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  31. David in San Diego

    Yes, it is an investment that is likely to promote "the general welfare" in terms of health and productivity, as well as eventually leading to efficiencies in medical services–both of which will eventually return the investment. It won't come quickly, but the invrstment will pay off, as well as being the right thing to do.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  32. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    Only if (and it's a big if) they can show the savings over time will reduce the debt by more than the increase plus interest.
    Economists agree that the Medicare budget and health care reform is the key to defict reduction, not to mention what it will do for businesses. In other words, if we don't fix health care the defict will be like a runaway train.
    The GOP says it wants any public option off the table. With the crisis we are facing nothing should be off the table.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  33. Gigi

    If we don't buy health care reform the monies will definitely be spent . And my guess is it will be spent on the all ready rich fat cats "pet projects". Health care would open up jobs which are badly needed for the good of the country. Pet project only line the pockets of the already rich.
    So, my answer is... for the good of the people we need health care reform. And should include cutting monies for unnecessary procedures. It will open up jobs for producing better health care for all citizens.
    The national debt is full of pet and junk projects we can do with out. I don't care how fast ketchsup runs out of a bottle or building bridges that go no where.
    I wish CNN would run across the bottom of the TV screen all the silly projects that our tax monies are paying for.


    June 10, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  34. Cheryl

    Yes, it will eventually repay itself. Businesses will not be crippled by ever-increasing health care premiums, our emergency system will not be overwhelmed with people who cannot afford insurance, etc. The taxpayer will actually get something for the money spent – and it will improve the economy.
    This is a much better way to spend money as opposed to the dumb $4500 gas guzzler exchange, which only goes to people that made bad choices.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  35. Bill in South Jersey

    This is really the first part of a two-part question, Jack:

    Yes, it's OK to add to the national debt to pay for health care reform. Of all the things on the country's plate, it's the one item most sure to improve the lives of the ordinary, everyday citizens who drive the economy and make the country a going concern.

    But now, please ask the other part: Out of all the things we've been paying for lo, these many years, what's not OK to keep financing, and thus running up our record national debt? What things does the government pay for that improve the lives of ordinary, everyday citizens not one whit?

    June 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  36. Jack Martin in Boynton Beach fL

    Why should it add to the national debt? Healthcare is not a bailout for the public like we have done for the banks, wall street, and assorted corporattions. Medicare is already set up for use and it is a lot cheaper to run than private insurance. A savings of at least 25 to 30 per cent in administration costs alone. Medicare pays 80 per cent of a negotiated fee with private insurance needed to supplement the remainder. Everybody wins and everybody pays. Why all the whining?

    June 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  37. gary brunker

    Jack,who pays for Congress' health insurance? They doin't-We Do.
    If Congress can have good health care so should the American People. Let Congress
    take some of the money they send to all these foreign countries, who hate us anyway and use it to buy the American People the same health care Congress has and at the same price.
    The American Tax Payer has been taking care of the world since WWII
    It's time Congress takes care of America.

    Part of the reason health care is so expensive is because of the laws
    that Congress passes, such as advertising drugs on T.V. How does that improve anyones health?

    June 10, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  38. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    In the long run, it will be cheaper for the government to pay for health care reform. The rising costs are crippling businesses and bankrupting citizens. Currently we are in a downward spiral, and health care costs are out of control. Reform will help business, health care providers, and citizens. It will help to stimulate a robust economy, which, in return will increase tax revenue to pay down the debt. Without it, there will just be more uninsured and higher profits for the insurance companies.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  39. Jason, Knoxville

    Absolutely not! If we don't reign in our spending, we will be bankrupt.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  40. Terry Washington State

    Would much prefer us being in debt for the health of our fellow americans, vs banks, automobile co's or the rebuilding of the war torn middle east.

    1st world country and we have folks that cannot see a doctor until it's E.R. time for which we pay a much higher cost already.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  41. Scott San Diego

    No, No and No. Quit throwing money in the air and hope it will fly. To spend trillions more on a trial is insane. He better be sure the doctors are on board for this, as it is now, the good doctors do NOT accept Medicare. Who is going to pay for all this, the rich? There needs to be reform, but not Universal Health care. Your dog would be able to get better health care than you would.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  42. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    No it isn't. It's all about jobs baby jobs and we are ignoring that the problem is lack of good manufacturing jobs and the solution is that we as a country should and could take back these jobs by less greed and then we could all have health care without increasing taxes or the national debt.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  43. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    Our system of health care is an embarrassment among the Western nations of the world. There are a small group of people and companies that are stealing billions out of the system in order to make themselves obscenely rich. THERE MUST BE A LIMIT TO PROFITS. No executive compensation beyond a total of $400000 a year. No charging thousands of times the cost of production on drugs that many need but cannot afford. No fees for surgery that lead to millions for the surgeon. We in American pay more , for less than 50% of the care that other more civilized nations receive. To reform health care, what is going to have to go first of all is the indecent GREED that gives millions to some and denies care to many. Mr Obama, lead us Americans out of this wilderness.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  44. Drake from Shongaloo,La

    Yes Jack it is. Health care needs to be one of our top priorities, instead of fighting in a war.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  45. Sandra

    No – Is Obama already backing down from his Pay as you go proposal? That didn't take long. Democrats just cannot stop the cycle of tax and spend, tax and spend.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  46. Melissa

    Yes. In fact, I'd be willing to have my taxes raised to get this dealt with.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  47. hank

    I dunno....you need to ask China.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  48. pete in ny

    1. Wait a minute- I thought this wasn't going to cost anything. Remember his savings were going to pay for everything!

    2. A record for the quickest flip flop. At 11:00a.m. Obama goes on TV and says Pay-Go for everything and by the afternoon he is proposing exempting $2.5 trillion of health care costs from the same program!

    June 10, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  49. Purnell, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes, not because I want to increase the debt, but because the Republican Party have done everything that they can to keep the people from spending their money on securing the Health Care System that they want! But this is nothing new the only thing the Republican Party want to spend billions on, is giving money to their buddies in Big Business, War Profiteers, and and starting new wars so that we do not have money to improve our situation here in the U.S. That is why they are on a fear campaign to stop everything else in the country from being improved!

    By the way I am an Independent Voter I do not like the Democrats because they over help people, or the Republicans because they only care about enriching themselves even if it destroys our country!

    June 10, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  50. Julie, Houston, TX


    Until health care costs are brought under control businesses large and small – and particularly manufacturing businesses will be hamstrung.

    I'd much rather incur debt for health care than wars or tax cuts for the wealthy.

    Houston, TX

    June 10, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  51. Colleen Brooks, Charlotte, NC

    My vote is yes.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  52. CurtJ

    What's the difference between Socialism and Capitalism? We know that Socialism is when a few ruling elite and their yes men have the money and power, and the vast majority of citizens are drudging for the ruling elite.
    What we've seen from Capitalism is, Thanks to laws and deregulations, passed by the Conflict of Interest and Collusion challenged Republican, Democratic, and Independent Legislators, the Neo Con owned Conglomerates now yank the puppet strings of the United States government, with Neo Cons imbedded in the government to ensure everything goes smoothly with no evidence of any wrongdoing left behind. The vast majority of American Citizens drudging for the financial benefit for 1-5% of Americans.
    It's called Colonialism.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  53. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I heard President Obama talk about paygo the other day,too bad he didn't think of that about a trillion dollars ago.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  54. Mike in Albuquerque,NM

    Our current healthcare system costs us 17% of the GDP. Are you fine with THAT debt? The insurance companies are complaining because the government program would actually be CHEAPER than what they offer. In their complaints they actually admit that their for profit programs are not competitive. They fear that entire industries will drop private healthcare and move to a not for profit government program just to stay in business. It would certainly help the auto industry. With more companies able to stay in business, with healthy productive employees, the tax base will increase. Thus it is not an increase in debt to pay for healthcare, but an INVESTMENT!!!

    June 10, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  55. David Gerstenfeld

    Not until they start being serious in eliminating the billions in medicare fraud.

    June 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  56. Dee in sunny (and wet) Florida

    If those who CAN pay paid their money to a single payer (the government) the national debt would not go up any more than it is as a result of the wars!

    I just do not see what all the fuss is about with regard to health care reform.

    First, those who CANNOT pay anything are probably already getting free health care. How would that change?

    Second, those who CAN afford to pay premiums are either paying the whole amount themselves (which is very expensive) or paying a pert of the premium at their job, with their employer picking up the rest.

    So, what if we had NATIONAL health care. Those who cannot afford to pay anything would get still free health care. Those who could afford to pay the whole amount could just pay it to THE GOVERNMENT program. And those who pay a part and their employer pays a part, BOTH could just pay THE GOVERNMENT.

    Then, the government could become the single payer.

    OK, that would make the doctors and hospitals and drug companies mad. But, where in our constitution does it say that people in the health care industry have the God-given right to GET RICH.

    And to address those who say they would not want "bureaucrats" making medical decisions for them, how will that be different from having some clerk earning minimum wage do so?

    June 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  57. JOY

    We really need healthcare, but our debt is getting SCARY. I think we need MEDICARE FOR EVERONE. I don't know what's the best way to pay for it. We may have to raise taxes. JOY IN OHIO

    June 10, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  58. Jim from Rochelle, IL

    This administration is using a credit card to repay credit card debt.
    Sooner or later this house of cards will come tumbling down and our country will officially enter third world status.
    I'm afraid "we ain't seen nothin' yet".

    June 10, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  59. marie mtl can.

    May I give you an example for what happen when you can have the help of your govt. with health care..
    I was a bank teller with an average of 35,000.00 a year salary.
    With my spouse who has the same salary has me, we together have a condo, full paid 5 years ago, a duplex, with a very small mortgage to pay, both 55 years old and retired, plus we have a 401k and spend just what we can, but able to spent and buy things.Plus trips on the side) And only one of us have a credit card with a very small amount as a debt. Each have a car full pay. So imagine for those who have kids in college how fantastic it will be for them too, and in a mean time contribute to the economy..

    June 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  60. Lady from Fayetteville, NC

    Not in my opinion. Find the money or don't do it. I think we need to know who is all of this for? Medicaid recipients? Might work but I doubt it. They don't pay into anything and never will.
    As I see it, If it works like the insurance I have as a civil servant or those in Congress have, I think we both pay into the plan and the Government pays part as our employer. For those who would like to be employed and are not, they pay the whole thing until they become employed and then the employer pays part.
    Hence, Medicaid will be the only thing the Government pays the whole thing and so what is the big difference from now? The unemployed who want a job is the difference.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  61. Joe in MO

    Yes. It is a whole lot better way to spend money than to finance useless wars off budget against some country like Iraq which had nothing to do with 9/11.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  62. Toronto, Canada

    Yes Jack. We have a great health care system here in Canada. It is not perfect, but is 100% better than what the U.S. has. No one will ever go bankrupt because they cannot affort the pay for their health care.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  63. Mike – Denver, CO

    NO!! Does the expression "borrowing from Peter to pay Paul" ring any bells. The interest on the debt alone will cause health care to cost more.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  64. Mark, Bradednton,FL

    No I voted for Obama and I have had enough of him. First of all we need to stop outsourcing and create jobs again and then we can pay for health care. We can't keep spending money we do not have.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  65. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    The problem with the U.S. population is people want something, but do not want to pay for it. No one likes to pay taxes but on the other hand if you see something in return you're less apt to feel your money is being squandered. There's a hollowed out mountain in Nevada where billions of dollars are weapons are being stored which probably should be scrapped as being to antiquated. It's more prudent to spend it on health care than weapons then go pick on a country to be the proving grounds.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  66. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    Is it ok not to look at the cost of not providing healthcare reform?
    The status quo does not seem sustainable from government!
    There is a need for balance for more people to have access! Just as there is a need for coherence and more balance, a link that needs to take place between various industry such as pharmaceutical, natural industry products, food industry, pollutants and the overuse of agricultural pesticides to be part of the prevention, the reductions of health hazards and better commerce behaviors from all industries that has an impact on the health of people!

    As far as I see it health and food industries are doing better than most, They are in better fiscal health than people and goverment. This is what happens when a system is out of balance! It's like a person taking care of only two of their organs....eventually the others tend to fail them!

    June 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  67. chris

    nope first cut all the wasteful spending and pork projexts out there and give it back to us the over taxed americans and get health insurnace prmiums lower without cut in benefits and we won't need their socialist health care system brought by our president

    June 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  68. Doris/St. Louis

    National healthcare is more important than the fat cats on wall street.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  69. odessa

    i don't know.single payer should be on the table regardless because americans deserves healthcare just as rich folks who can afford.the poor and middle class families are paying too much or can't afford it all while some of them rely on state medicad to pay the bill.healthcare costs are crazy and the insurance companies are ripping consumers off while they are still raising prices for insurance payments.i hope that all senators ( whether they are democrat or republicans) needs to wake up about affordable healthcare because taxpayers are paying their benefits so they should return the favor to their voters.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  70. Bill

    Most Americans don't have a clue of how bad the impending disaster the retiring baby boomer generations health care issues are going to create. So, tax them while they can work and pay for it later...much later.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  71. Martin in Shoreline, WA

    No it is not okay. We need to educate the stupid in this country. You are not going to get "free" health care. You are going to have to pay for it, even if you make minimum wage. You know, like social security. Oh, you didn't know? Well there's the problem.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  72. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    A healthier popluation would make our nation more productive, so I would say yes. Unfortunately lobbyists for the status quo are still alive and well in their means to influence our Congress, the members of whom care more about their own pocketbooks than they do of their nation.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  73. Patricia

    Well...Let's see Jack... The banks want to start paying back the money Bush loaned them. We could start paying for Medi-Care For All with that money. So... Yes...I say we can afford this program. And The Sooner The Better!!!!

    June 10, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  74. Joe Greenfield, IN

    Is it ok to let millions of Americans struggle without health care while every other industrialized nation provides it?

    June 10, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  75. Pugas-AZ

    No. Enough is enough. There has to be better ways to move forward on healthcare reform. How about taxing people when they go to the emergency room. How about taxing people after they exceed so many drug doses. We need to assume more responsibility in this country on a personal level or we will go broke as a country. How many times have we all thrown out drugs after we have taken only a few due to nasty side effects? How many times have we returned from a doctors vist to say to ourselves "why did I bother going?" We all need to suck it up.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  76. Anthony....Swedesboro, NJ

    As a person of advanced age who has lost my coverage because of circumstances out of my control, it could never be too soon to reform health care by any means possible. With baby-boomers swelling the ranks of health care every year, millions will fall through the cracks.
    Let's wind down the wars and take care of our own!

    June 10, 2009 at 3:22 pm |
  77. SLM

    I would think the rich people are running out of money we can take from them and businesses will just start to leave the country. So we are left to wonder who's going to pay for this?

    June 10, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  78. Sylvia from California


    NO IT IS NOT OK to add to the national debt to pay for health care reform.... It's like me buying a house even though I know that I can not afford it... THIS THINKING IS WHAT GOT US INTO THE MESS THAT WE ARE IN!!! What is it going to take to get us to realize that we need to live within our means and being indebted to another nation (China, Japan, etc.) is not in our best interest from a security perspective??? STOP THIS LUNACY NOW!!!!!

    June 10, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  79. Alex (CT)

    That'd be like digging your own grave and then just digging deeper just so that you have something to do before you die. There's an old farmer's saying that goes like this: "When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging." The national debt is our hole and adding health care reform to that tally would be digging deeper.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  80. Mark in OKC

    Health Care cannot be "reformed", it can only be put out of its misery by the U.S. Government meddling with it and screwing it up like it does everything else it touches.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  81. Don (Ottawa)

    Adding to the national debt to pay for health care is not the same as a bailout. It's an investment in people and in turn the economy. You don't have to be a mentally challenged Republican to understand that healthy people are productive people.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  82. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Sure it is Jack---they have added everything but the kitchen sink to it already--–it is just numbers.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  83. Terry Andre Hayes

    I think national health care should be just like anything else...We should all pay into and that way every American that pays his taxes should get a great taxs cut at the end of the year. If everyone new that they would be paying into a system that they would get a tax cut at the end of the year they would be more in tune to want to see everyone get national health care. Americans need it, Americans want it, and our government should make sure that all Americans have it.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  84. Cheap Labor Capitalist.

    You're asking the wrong question, Jack.

    We don't have to spend more. We could spend less, get more and cover everyone if we moved to a Federal Single Payer Health Care SYSTEM. Just like the rest of the world.
    Now 30% of insurance premiums goes to profits. Insurance companies make more profits by restricting care.
    The government is non-profit and the CEO only makes $400k. It has no profit motive.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  85. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    Wow, Jack, are you reading my mind again? The point is, everything the government is doing is deficit, so what is the difference, other than someday, (soon) you'll have to come up with a way to fund it...I favor a corporate head tax.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  86. Dale,,,IOWA

    Jack as a AMERICAN CITIZEN all I personally want is the same health insurance that my elected reps have,,is this asking to much? The only people that this plan should before is AMERICAN CITIZENS, and NOT FOREIGN NATIONALS if I have to pay a little more for my fellow CITIZEN so be it.., If foreign nationals want to partisapate in the health program sign them up,, for all programs offered by the good old u.s.a.,, Lets just put a big for sale sign out front while your at it,,.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  87. Jay in Texas

    It's only okay with me if that health care plan is single-payer, not-for-profit for every American. President Obama's plan is not. His plan is only a gravy train for big insurance, drug, and hospital corporations.
    Brownwood, Texas

    June 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  88. Christ from NY

    We spent so much money in Iraq and many more problems will arise that will cost us money. Why don't we make a long term committment to something that will actually benefit the American population. I can't just understand it. You can't stop trying to make investments for fear of the unkwon. What if it turns out okay? What will people say then? Can people just give this guy a break.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  89. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    Seven months ago I would have said "Yes", but after Congress went and threw so much good money after bad (AIG etc.) affordable health care is a necessity we just can't afford.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  90. Wyle

    What actions could the government take that won't increase the national debt? If the debt must go up, maybe it should be for something like health care. I would rather leave a burden for my children that healed and cared for them, as opposed to a legacy of war debt that only glorified killing, or a legacy of subsidizing golden parachutes for a select few.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  91. Chris D., NYC

    It's a shame when government finally wants to do something right, has the political power and will to finally do it, that now people want to block, and scare off a good change, w/ the cost of the whole bloody thing. Ever since Theodore Roosevelt, progressives (yes republicans can be progressive too), have wanted to pass a nationalized healthcare bill....It has always been unattainable, due to scare tactics, and the lack of political will. I have an idea, repeal Bush's 7 trillion dollar prescription debacle, and therein lies the money for the critics.
    All government wants to do is finally offer a choice to people to reduce cost and more coverage. If you like your current plan you can keep it. If you don't you can pay into the governments one payer plan......The choice our congressman can make everyday.......

    June 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  92. John A. Maloney Jr.

    Why not it worked for a war of choice,

    June 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  93. Melissa

    NO, NO, NO! We don't need to spend any more money! I don't believe Obama when he says we can keep our private benefits if we so choose. Why can't people look to the future and see that we'll ALL be on government healthcare soon? What corporation will continue spend money to provide medical benefits when government healthcare is "free"? Take a look at Europe and Canada – they all come here for treatment so they won't die while on a waiting list.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  94. Vinnie Vino


    It is, because the borrowed money now will translate into savings for everyone when health-care-reform becomes law...

    Central Islip, NY

    June 10, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  95. Steve of Hohenwald TN.

    Yes! If it`s ok to bail out AIG, and all of the other faild compaines that have created this huge debt, it suould be ok to help out the people that paid for it. I`m shure AIG is spending our tax dollars, to do all they can to stop any attempt at health care reform.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  96. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    With all the old nagging problems still not fixed like unsecured borders and ports, unwanted bailouts, broken corporations, sub-prime mortgage foreclosures, further collapse of housing values, 9.4% unemployment, money losing AMTRAK and US postal service, illegal immigration, Afghanistan, Iraq, and massive government corruption; why add to the list of government failures? Fix these first.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  97. Kerry Diehl


    Let's stop spending money we DO NOT HAVE and CANNOT REPAY, expecially when it will be the downfall of our current level of healthcare.

    Ask any Canadian how they feel about their program!! I have!! It is not pretty for them.

    June 10, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  98. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Yes, right now it is the only way. But the truth should be told that proper national health care will cost tax payers a lot of money to maintain. It is scary to think of 40 or 50 % income taxes but if all is paid for who cares.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  99. Liz, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

    Health care reform is desperately needed in the U.S. Over 40 million people in the U.S. cannot afford any health care whatsoever. A government-run health care plan would allow EVERY American to have health care protection for the first time – if the national debt must increase to facilitate this, it may be a necessary evil, but I feel it would be worth it to have every American covered with a health care plan.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  100. Michael - Boulder, CO

    Health care is like education. If you only focus on the cost, which most politicians and reporters do, you miss the whole picture.

    A healthy work force, like an educated work force, is more productive and happy, long term. Health care isn't just a liberal's moral issue, it should be a conservative's economic issue - workers who are healthier or less concerned about the health of a loved one are more likely to stay in a job, work harder, and have fewer absences.

    The benefits won't be felt on day one, but if 45 million uninsured people can start to get some kind of preventative care, instead of just ER care when the illness has progressed and the costs are far higher, the long term economic impacts will be immense.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  101. Stanley Okaine

    I say yes jack. if politicans have good healthcare coverage, why can't we the taxpayers have good healthcare just like they have. after all our tax money pays for their salary and healthcare cost. better healthcare means longer living taxpayers, who will continue to pay taxes. sounds good to me.

    Nanuet, New York

    June 10, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  102. Chipster from PA

    I don't believe it's necessary to add to the deficit in order to pay for health care reform. Taxpayers are spending a fortune right now on the cost of health care for the uninsured. If we cover those people for preventive care and routine treatment, we can avoid to high costs we are already paying for emergency care and extreme care for those who wait until they are critical because they have no insurance.

    The premise of your question is ill-conceived.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  103. Rob

    No. I fail to see how extending insurance to all is reform? What needs to be "reformed" are the reimbursement methods currently employed by Medicare and Medicaid. Fee-for-service is the problem. No one wants to talk about actual reform because it means in order for the government to pay less doctors, hospitals and providers will earn less. Fee-for-condition will solve the spending problem. However, some hospitals will have to close for being inefficient. Under the current structures inefficiency is rewarded, not punished. "Take two of these and call me in the morning... By call I mean schedule and appointment because I don't get paid for calls."

    June 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  104. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    You cannot go to the store and use your credit card for everything that you think you need or want without it coming back and biting you in the butt. Throwing money at a problem and hoping what you have done will eventually pay for itself in time, is not the way to go. Especially when you do not know how much time you have left before you run out of money or China and Japan turns off the faucet. We need to find ways to change our Healthcare System for the better without having to go into more debt to do it. Our Health Care system cost more per person than any other country in the world and we have less to show for it. Surely we can find ways to get more bang for buck and more coverage without adding a trillion dollars to the national debt.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  105. rick from the north

    This I don't understand...There's is so much waste within the American Health care system that surely a single payer plan could deliver equal health care with cost savings? Just negotiating better prices with service providers and pharmaceutical companies and eliminating the profits of private insurers...and their enormous beauracracies should deliver a savings...

    Don't get into single payer system without two purposes.
    1) Deliver health care to everyone
    2) Deliver the health care more efficiently.

    People should expect their taxes to increase, but most will replace some costs by eliminating health insurance premiums... Businessess too!

    June 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  106. Horn Lake, MS

    Isn't that the whole point of liberalism, to steal from the productive to give to the unproductive? The unproductive then keep voting for them and keep them in power. How did that Great Society of Johnson's work out for us? I believe we spent $3 trillion on those programs and we still have the same problems.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  107. Chris in Philadelphia

    Reform is needed yes but so is a balanced budget. Enough deficit spending. Hey Congress make a few hard decisions! That's why you were elected.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  108. Alan- Buxton, Maine

    If we don't get health care under control there will be no nation to have a debt.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  109. Thom Richer

    The money would not have been a problem for many economic money problems if we had not wasted it on a contrived, fruitless, and never ending war. Waste not...want not.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 10, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  110. william fitzwater

    we will happily load up on debt to defeat a foreign power we don't like. This is a situation where all Americans will have to pay if we do nothing. Many countries have single payer systems and those countries are not in debt . Why ? . The question is now or latter . I prefer to pay now rather than latter.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  111. Bryan from Georgia

    Jack – Why are we listening to the Insurance and pharmaceutical providers? That is the question. People are going to have to pay for the public option – just like they would pay the insurance companies. If people can't pay for what they deserve – the taxpayers already are paying for that to a certain extent. So what is the difference?

    The Health Insurance providers have been ripping us off already!!! How many people have to call the insurance company to try to get them to cover what they should be covering.

    2/3 of the bankruptcies in this country are caused by the Health Insurance industry not taking care of the American People!

    Why don't the Republicans say that the Health Insurance providers are "UN-AMERICAN"?! They are the ones that are hurting all of the American People!!!!!

    Pres. Obama is doing a Great Job!!! He is trying to make the interests of the American People the Priority!!!!!

    June 10, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  112. Dan

    Just like I heard in a movie: "If a government can find a way to kill people (for example a war) it can find a way to heal them too." I keep hearing that they want to make it so it is mandatory for people to have health coverage. In some states that it is like that people can afford to pay the fine instead of the health plan. Right now medical help is for the rich and the employed or anyone else that can afford a plan $500.00 to $900.00 a month for one person. If I wasn't employed and covered I'd probably be dead because of my health needs. I bet you if the lawmakers were on minimum wage and without their very nice health plan, they would be in favor of a universal health care plan.
    Keller, TX

    June 10, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  113. Jenna

    Is it okay to add to the record national debt in order to pay for health care reform?

    As opposed to war based on lies adding to our record national debt?

    Yes, if we are going to add to the debt I would want the funds to take care of AMERICANS.

    We NEED this! It's part of putting Americans FIRST. Isn't it time we take care of our own?

    We'll pay off the debt..

    Roseville CA

    June 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  114. Chris from Buffalo, NY

    Mr. Obama knows that if he gets "universal health care" passed, it's over, he wins, the democrats win, the liberals win, because it will never, ever be repealed as long as there is a United States of America still in existence. Like social security, medicare, welfare and food stamps, universal health care is going to be one of those goverment run programs that, once the voters get "addicted" to it, it will impossible to get them off of it. This will ensure generations of liberal-democrat control of Washington. Mr. Obama know this so he's certainly not going to let pesky little details such as actually having to find the money to pay for this program slow him down.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  115. Sydney from CA

    NO, Jack, its not ok to spend money we don't have.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  116. Steve Canada

    The health of the citizens should be a good reason for deficit spending..In Canada our health system is far from perfect, however, when we go to a doctor or hospital, they ask for our health card. In your country they ask for your VISA card...

    June 10, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  117. Al from NH

    No, it's not OK.
    Before we add more debt onto the backs of our children, we need to make better use of the money already being spent, especially in this economy. Just throwing money at a problem doesn't solve anything other than creating political capital.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  118. Ken

    Why not? We added to the debt with bailout. We added to the debt with stimulus. We added to the debt when Obama jaunts about US on Air Force One or sends it on a photo op. We added to the debt when we became owners of Fiat. We added to the debt when we became owners of Government Motors.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  119. joe stlouis mo


    I am all for adding to the debt for health care. We can finance a war, subsidize nations Bush called allies, bailout corporations, carry huge staffs for our Congessional Representatives, and now we hand out money to churches. So what is the problem.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  120. Bill - Vancouver, BC

    In the long term every American pays extra for the current lack of health care. It is paid for in the added cost of health insurance that is figured into every company's products and services and in the support needed for publicly funded hospitals whose emergency rooms take up the slack for the lack of a real health care system.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  121. J Atlanta

    What was that last question about spending and the national debt? It applies here as well. Stop spending until we get our fiscal house in order. Subsidizing car buyers is WAY down the list of spending priorities.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  122. jc smoots in tulsa

    YES – Major corporations have done NOTHING to incline me to trust that they'll do anything but maximize their profits. Without the government stepping in somehow the visibility of our lack of dedication to human rights will make obvious our hypocrisy when dealing with issues like the Middle East. Like we've been for at least 8 years. But one of the many, many hidden costs of our current health care woes.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  123. Trueman, Ontario, Canada

    Hi Jack,
    Sadly, no, I don't believe the American government is in a position to go ahead with all of Obama's campaign promises. Bailing out Wall Street, the automakers, and the economic stimulus has been a necessary evil to avert a depression, which would have made things far worse for everybody... but if the house burns down, of no fault of your own, do you still buy that new BMW you've been eyeing?
    If only political commercials could give the whole picture, and not cherrypick the facts, then Obama could wait until things improve. Instead, the GOP will blast him for failing to reform health care in his first term, and blame the entire economic collapse on him while they're at it.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  124. Jeff C in CT

    I thought the whole Democrat campaign last fall was about debt free!!
    And now we have Obama praising "Pay as you Go". Which is it??

    Jeff in New Britain

    June 10, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  125. Kay in WV

    No, it's not ok. Half of the country seems to be complaining about high gas prices these days and none of them seem to understand that the weakness of the dollar is contributing alot to those higher prices and that the extraordinary deficit spending is contributing to the weak dollar.
    Jack, you claim that the Republicans should not speak about deficit spending because of the Bush deficits; but if they don't, who will? President Obama? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? please...

    June 10, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  126. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    It's not only okay, it's necessary if we want to survive as a country.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  127. Dave from Georgia

    This is the big price we may be paying after years of the failure by both presidents and lawmakers (Democrat and Republican). If both former President Clinton and Congressmen worked together to get Universal Healtcare passed and implemented in 1990's, we may not have seen this huge cost ($1.8 trillion) coming up by now. So, let's get this business done before more of trillions of dollars will go up more.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  128. Bob in Indiana

    Yeah, just put in on my tab Jack.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  129. Albert

    Hows about taxing "non profit corp.'s" They want the right to practice religion but not pay tax's for it, like everybody else. We could pay for healthcare, the wars, and the stimulus package in 1 year!

    How many church's do you need in one town? I got like 1,150 in a population of 10, 000 in my town. Their property is non taxable, the things they buy are non taxable, & they even get "grants / welfare" by way of grants.

    I have been on welfare in the past.(15 years ago) The welfare to work program works! I now own my own company and am living the dream (so far). If it wasn't for welfare, I probably would have just resorted to a life of crime to "get by". I would be sitting in jail( I'm not a very good criminal) and getting 3 hot's and a cot, a.k.a. WELFARE one way or another. Wake up people! Tax the so called NON PROFIT'S !!!! -Albert Bermuda Dunes Ca.

    June 10, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  130. Kyle Dickerson- Statesboro, Ga

    I am all for adding to the national debt in order to reform health care. If we are going to increase the debt to buy insolvent companies why not take care of ourselves along the way. What kind of government would we have if they took care of big businesses before taking care of the people. Oh wait that is what our government does.

    Kyle Dickerson- Statesboro, Ga

    June 10, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  131. Jim from Chicago

    Initially, we may have to take a little bit of a deficit hit. However, lon-term, universal health care will result in greater economic stability better, more affordable health car and better wages. In addition, those of us with insurance will no longer have to pay an additional $1000 per family to cover those who do not have coverage.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  132. Lance Schumacher

    Only if you are a Democrat. We are rapidly approaching $2 Trillion in deficeit spending this year, why not try real hard to make it $3 Trillion before the 2010 budget gets here? The blueprint for the National Health Care System will be a replica of the Medicare System and we all know how great that system works. The two options being proposed are a mandatory system that the government pays for if you can't afford it, or a voluntary system which the poor/young won't pay/sign up for, so you still have 47 million without health care. I say we need to get government out of our health care. You want health care, you pay for it, or negotiate it as part of your working benefits, or you do without.
    Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    June 10, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  133. Diana NJ

    The way I see it Jack is if they don't fix it and lower cost and get things under control, they will be paying for it any way without help. The American people will go through their own assets and retirement to pay for their own health care... When that is done they will be on welfare and medicade because they will have stripped themselves of all money.
    By fixing it and lowering cost and getting it to be affordable they will be saving money...

    June 10, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  134. Allen L Wenger

    Yes, for a number of reasons. 1. People should not have to die or receive bad health care because they are poor. 2. To continue with the current system is not sustainable in the long run. 3. Health care is a right, not a priviledge. 4. It all comes down to respect for life, not how much money you can make. 5. It is the right thing to do.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  135. Tim in Texas

    Yes. Debt is a scary thing, no doubt about that, but sometimes it is necessary to decrease costs in the longterm. I live in Texas. I have to have air conditioning. Last year I borrowed money to by an energy saving window unit. Over the year, I saved enough money in energy costs to pay for the unit and the interest. Now I have an energy bill that is less every month. The costs for heath care reform will pay off in the future.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  136. Chuck, NW Arkansas

    Only if we pay off the debt accumulated in providing true health for everyone by taxing the rich who have benefited by working the lower class and the middle class to death. Is this Communism or compassion?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  137. Linda in Arizona

    It's okay with me, and it's necessary. We can pay it back later, when we pay back the deficits the Goopers left for the Democrats to clean up.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  138. Aaron from Denver

    Its almost scary how closely this conversation relates to California's budget woes which are causing welfare benefits to dry up.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  139. Steve - Mich

    Why not? Bush added 5 Trillion doubling it.
    Whad we get? a more expensive giveaway prescription drug program? and some wars

    June 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  140. Ron Feuer

    To add healthcare reform money to the national debt is yet another disaster as actor Jon Voight has said of Obama's performance to date. Just who is such healthcare reform supposed to help....those now on welfare?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:12 pm |

    We need to look at cutting back on ridiculous spending by our gov't.

    Here's one example.
    The US gov't is granting Queensland scientist $1 million in federal research funding this year to reduce the amount of green house gases that are produced by thier cows and sheep.
    How can Queensland farm animals be more important than our countries health care? We need budget watch dogs with bigger teeth that can weed out all this spending on crap that don't even serve our basic needs.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  142. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The trillions recently spent to resuscitate the economy are already going to nail us with hyperinflation. To spend trillions more on expanded healthcare programs would inflate the cost of everything through the roof. On the plus side, the government could then save billions by shutting down the mints; anything smaller than a dollar would be worthless.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  143. Susan in Texas

    Yep, yep, yep. There's all these ads in Texas saying how a public option will be horrific because you'll have a "bureaucrat" between you and your doctor. (Like you don't have an HMO between you and your doctor). Then we hear that Insurance companies don't want a public option 'cause they won't be able to compete. Which is it? So bad that nobody will want it? Or so good that everybody will want it?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  144. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    It will save money in the long run so why not. We added to the National debt to subsidize the rich, wage a stupid war etc, etc., isn't providing health care for everyone worth at least that much.
    It's time to tax the rich more. The got over on all of us to get where they are so they should pay a bigger share. The rich own the businesses that don't provide health care so why not?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  145. Peter

    In the long run Jack, yes. I am currently 13 years old and I have seen how lack of health care for Americans can hurt them. Working on health care reform will raise the national debt, but if more citizens are healthy and don't have medical bills which leads to bankrupt people, couldn't all that extra money allow people to pay their taxes in full and thereby putting the debt down within a few years?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  146. Rod

    Jack, I am surprise that you will ask this type of question when you know the answer. So since you asked, let’s spend trillions on defense and let our people struggle with seeing a doctor. Yeah Right!

    June 10, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  147. Glenton from LA

    The healthcare system has been a black hole for money for years. The only way to fix it is to move to a system that will decrease the burden on tax payers in the long run.

    Sure for a little while we'll be continuing to spend money that we don't have. But if we don't ever work to correct it, we'd be in in a much worse position down the line.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  148. Tony from Torrington

    No, but you and I won't pay for it. My grandchildren and their children will pay for it so go ahead.... believe in the ONE, and let's make our kids pay, and pay, and pay, and pay....

    June 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  149. RJ

    my question to Obama is when will the hard working tax payer that has to pay for his or hers inferior insurance while welfare gives lazy people better health care? at the very least tax payers should get just as good of insurance as people on welfare!

    June 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  150. Alex in Wisconsin

    Unless the health care industry is going to reduce the cost of health care by 75%,The government has no choice but to invest now in National health care to drive the price down. Maybe the Republican critics should get doctors, insurances, and pharmaceutical companies to significantly lower their prices before the democrats finish the health care bill. that would save money for the people and the government in the long. Or they can just complain without doing anything like working towards and alternative solution.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  151. Mark (from new york)

    Yes Jack and we should follow the canadian system. It works well for them and it can work for us too. We pay almost double for procedures that they do. Its time Government instead of being big or small was accountable and provided it to everyone because we all need it, all of our lives.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  152. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Somebody has been providing the public with a lot of false fear of an evil public health plan. Private insurance providers are covering people, still making tons of money for their CEO's and Boards. Their motto is to deny the claim. If the same amount were spent on government-backed health-care, no one would be turned away AND there would be no greedy corporate executives or stock-holders demanding a cut of the profits. You decide who really wins or loses; the folks who desperately need health care or greedy corporations.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  153. Dick

    how can we compete with the Europeans?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  154. Bruce

    It doesn't matter. The increase debt will already result in collapse of the dollar and then the economy. The Illuminate and their reptilian masters will be pleased as their extraordinarily thorough calculations toward the slave state move another step forward. Good health care from our government will never happen.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  155. Michael McDowell, from Killeen, Texas

    And American citizen only program is the only option. Considering how serious the healthcare issue is, I would gladly trade a national healthcare program and cut a lot of the insane defense programs to pay for it. I mean $6 billion for a Presidential helicopter which was never built shows how misguided we are when it comes to our priorities. The inability to take care of ones self for needed medical treatment is destroying countless lives!!

    June 10, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Richard Green

    Yes, it is ok to add to the national debt to provide decent health care for all Americans.....But not if it just adds to the profits of Big Health and Big Pharma and delivers mediocre coverage. We already pay more than any country in the world for health care and rank behind Cuba and dozens of others for what we get. We need to be sured that what we do will make it better.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal

    June 10, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  157. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Why the hell not, we bail out banks, the car industry, the housing industry and anyone else that needs money, unless we provide medical care to the working people that pay taxes so they can continue to work, where is the government going to get the money to bail out all the industry we're helping

    June 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  158. boxer girl in iowa

    We voted for change and thats what we're getting. Everyone needs to take a chill pill.Just because change is scary doesn't mean it is bad.
    I don't like the cost of change any more than anyone else. Did anyone think it would be cheap or free.? It will only cost more if left unattended like it has for years.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  159. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Single pay insurance for all.......period. !!!!
    It would not be part of the debt because it would be paid for by that
    tax on going.Our do nothing serve self first congress does not want this because the looby fills their coffers with lots of CASH.The millions with NO heath care don't matter.CASH matters so I doubt anything will change.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  160. Chryssa

    Yes. Health care reform has to happen eventually and the sooner we bite the bullet, the better. Prevention costs far less than treatment, we just have to get ahead of the game first for it to pay off.

    Boise, ID

    June 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  161. KCLaw

    The way this country is being run by the Democrats and Republicans is making me ill.

    The best health care reform is to "throw the bums out."

    KClaw in KCMO.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  162. Eva in Houston

    Healthcare costs are already a significant part of the national debt and will continue to grow unless we do something about it now. We need to understand the root causes of the problems facing us which would include issues with Medicare, Medicaid, the doctors, hospitals, clinics, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and all of the new industries that have been created due to a system that is ineffective at best. Lest we forget, healthcare has the same problems that corporate america has with corporate greed, specifically, executive compensation. President Obama has the right idea that it needs to be fixed, however, he needs the support of all of these entities to understand the problems and get the right fixes in place.

    I question all of these third parties that speak about how well the current system works and how we have the best system in the world. I work in healthcare and that is simply not the case. We just need to provide services to people, when they are medically necessary, at a fair price, and treat people with dignity. I don't think that any of these healthcare providers should be making the enormous profits that are divided up by the few on the backs of patients.

    This is truly a complex problem and it will take open mindedness, leveraging our best and brightest that are willing to change the current environment.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  163. Valdene

    Americans can't be that gullible. I keep seeing these commercials about how terrible the care will be under a government system. Do you think the current medical insurance system, which is designed to make money cares two hoots about the kind of care you get much less afford? It is essentially a greedy little system that benifits the insurance companies and works for people with lots of money. I don't think the US will ever have a completely government run system as there is a cottage industry of people waiting to scare Americans with the dreaded Socialism word. The best you can hope for is a two tiered system much like the UK. Access to basic health care has to be better than none at all, and having to face bankruptcy for a basic human right as the ability to access health care seems ridiculous. Maybe when the US gets out of Iraq there might be a few more pennies to go around.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  164. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    Health care costs cripple our American businesses. Millions cannot afford it on their own. Greedy insurance providers make big profits and turn down claims and coverage as a standard operating procedure. Pay the same premiums to a government-backed plan and you get, no claims turned down, no one turned away, no excess profit–the plan should cost tax payers little if any more than we are now paying and would allow our small businesses to compete on the international market

    June 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  165. Greg

    pay as you go is code for raising taxes

    June 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  166. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Yes. As it stand now, we, Taxpayers, already pay for those who do not have healthcare! In our taxes and in the cost of our own private healthcare!

    62% of Americans declare bankruptcy due to healthcare costs.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  167. Barbara in NC

    Let me put it this way

    Aricept(Donepezil) in US – $6.00 per daily dose.

    Donepezil (Aricept) in Canada – 60 cents per daily dose.

    The US pharma companies do NOT allow Donepezil to be sold in the US.

    Do WE have a problem?

    June 10, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  168. E.J. in Tacoma

    We should not be paying anything toward health care reform until we have some more permanent ,concrete solutions. Socializing everything may not be the best solution and I don't think it's fair to make the people who have worked very hard to get ahead in life only to have to pay double taxes for good health care. It seems like the upper middle class will be flipping the bill for a lot of these government reforms and bailouts. Come on Jack do you think it's fair for the government to get involve in every aspect of our lives including who has health care. It's wonderful to want to be your brothers keeper and try to make things affordable to all but some of us can't afford to care of everyone that doesn't have health care we'll end up in the soup lines. Have you seen those lines lately!
    E.J in Tacoma

    June 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  169. Bob D, Morrisown, NJ


    That depends on the reform. If the debt goes just to putting more people on the federal healthcare dole, I would agree with the Republicans; we can't afford it. However, I don't get that sense from the Obama camp. We now spend twice as much on healthcare per person as the average industrialized nation, but the quality of outcomes ranks in the thirties. Healthcare costs increase annually at over twice the rate of inflation. Clearly there is room for improvement in healthcare cost-benefit, and if a means of cutting costs is not found in the next 5 to 10 years our current debt picture will look like incredible prosperity. My sense is that the Obama team is seeking to make healthcare investments that will ultimately reduce the proportion of our GDP that goes to healthcare while improving outcomes.

    June 10, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  170. Barbara in NC

    Insurance companies have the biggest buildings in any town or city. They also run more ads on TV than any other company.

    How do they pay for these things?

    PROFITS from our premiums.

    Maybe a little competition would be a good thing to lower the premiums of the people that have the best jobs.

    Just saying.....................................

    June 11, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  171. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    When does it stop? Our grandchildrens children will be the ones paying for this. The middle class is now almost non-existent. Looks like more of the same – tax and spend – tax and spend.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  172. lynne from NC

    With all the bailouts going around, why not? Healthcare is a right not a priviledge. It is not about choice. I can get the phone book and make an appointment with any of them, but the problem still remains. How will I pay for it? And there is the rub. Most doctors want most of their money upfront. And when you're unemployed where are you going to get it? Hence no healthcare.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  173. Casey

    Not exactly. If the government starts paying for healthcare (in other words, the taxpayers), they then have a say in lifestyle choices. I would think that the money it would cost for the government to cover healthcare could be recovered by taxing lifestyle choices that lead to the increased cost- smoking, drinking, fast food, etc. If the American people want the government to pay for their healthcare, we need to be willing to chip in a little extra to cover it or at least contribute.

    Casey, Minneapolis, MN

    June 11, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  174. KEVIN ,FL

    Jack, I agree from experience with others whove been there. This will fail unless we do the following ....One Healthcare system for Rich and Poor alike. Two, regulate fees for ALL Procedures (ie Root Canal 400 Dollars everywhere) and finally as Ive always said , quit giving American entitlements to those who should never have them in the first place.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  175. Allison Sloan

    Yes. In the long term the new system will pay for itself, by reducing the massive amount of money spent on insurance companies, etc. etc. Only people who are extremely short-sighted ( to be kind) could possibly oppose the much needed reform. Why is it O.K. in your country that 45 million people have no health insurance?
    Allison. B.C

    June 11, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  176. Katiec Pekin, IL

    There has to be a health care reform. The rights and care of a patient should not be controlled by the insurance companies. The raping of the American people by the drug companies has to come to a stop.
    The unlimited spending by the hospitals has to come under control.
    The no bid condition the republicans put into the prescription plan has to be eliminated.
    Will any of this be done without government intervention? No.
    Will people the people get to choose between financial ruin or death? Yes.
    We can no longer allow big business and lobbyists dictate our rights to us.

    June 11, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  177. Tom Interlachen,Florida

    If we can afford to send our soldiers to die for this country, we certainly can afford to give them health coverage to reach the age to go to war. Enough said?

    June 11, 2009 at 3:04 pm |
  178. Rick McKinney, Texas

    No it isn't.
    You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.
    When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

    June 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  179. Annie, Atlanta

    I'd like to see all of us under the same plan as our illustrious (not) congress men and women. We pay for them, and goodness knows they do very little if anything to earn it.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  180. Dr. Sam

    Sure it is. You can expect to get something that good for nothing. Either we rofrom this system for the better or no one in the end will win or get affordable health care.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  181. Melissa

    Paying a pittance in higher taxes is better than suddenly having a $500,000 debt because I was in a horrific car accident.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  182. Peg from NY

    I honestly do not know. It would seem that health care should have always been a top priority. I am a Cancer Survivor who had to declare bankruptcy due to health care costs. If you are fortunate enough to survive, I can assure you, bankruptcy is not anything to look forward to.
    Something has to be done~and it is LONG overdue. If my cancer re occurs I am certain to deny any form of treatment. Somehow my husband and I move on. It is not easy but we don't explain and don't complain. My sincere wish is that healthcare reform become a genuine concern of the politicians and that NO ONE ever has to live my reality. Alive, well and very concerned regarding healthcare. Spend monies on HEALTH and PREVENTION ~NOT WARS!

    June 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  183. Thom Richer

    Dramatically. No tips, vacations or running to the store in the car. Will not frequent retail stores out of my neighborhood. If possible, I will sell my current vehicles and purchase a smal fuel efficient "junker." I will not again purchase a new vehicle or late model vehicle again. Those in office at that time will not get my vote in an election ever again. In short, I will no longer waste, which is what vehicles and gasoline are, my hard earned money on oil companies and auto companies. It is also my great hope that consumers in this country finally realize the power is in their hands to stop this criminal act of greed. A cooperative to agree to a designated week or more of not purchasing a drop of gasoline will set in motion a show of strength and solidarity. We should no longer sit quietly while so few dictate our exiistence for their own selfish gains. A big sacrifice? Absolutely. But one we can live through with a little determination and pride.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    June 11, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  184. Allison Sloan

    Another comment, having read through many responses to this question; how many of you who said "no" have no health insurance of any kind? Very few, I would expect. As I mentioned on my previous post, you have 45 million citizens with no health insurance. Are you content to leave it that way?

    June 11, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  185. Steve

    No- As a small business owner it would make more sense to eliminate workmans comp insurance and replace that with health insurance. We pay over $400 per month per employee for workmans comp and have not had any claims in over 15 years. Workmans compensation is loaded with fraud and lawyers fees and only covers job injuries. Health insurance covers any medical needs. Too bad we are paying for Workmans comp and had to cancel our employees health coverage, we just can't afford both.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  186. Brian M., Philadelphia, PA

    Social Security is going broke, and everyone in Washington knows it. Medicare is going broke, and everyone in Washington knows that too. Do we really want them to be in charge of another multi-trillion dollar program that they can mismanage into oblivion, except this time our very lives could be at stake? No thank you.
    The American people will always take something for nothing, which is why socialized medicine sounds like such a great idea to most of them. Now ask them if they're willing to pay half of their income in taxes to get "free" medical care, and I doubt they'd be so enthusiastic. That's exactly where taxes are headed if we don't stop spending ourselves to death.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  187. Anna

    Maybe we can outsource health care to India then it will not cost as much and we all will be able to afford health care. We outsourced everyting else to India and China. While we at this we can outsource all of our CEOs jobs to India. I am sure that it would cut cost for everything by 1000 percent.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  188. bob, oshawa, ontario

    Jack, it is not feasible to add any more to the national debt. Health care reform must be advanced only when a withdrawal occurs from Afghanistan and Iraq of American troops and thereby eliminating the exorbitant costs associated in perpetuating an unnecessary action. That plus the work needed to bring the economy from a recession is also required before the administration can spend money it really doesn't have. Obama is simply trying to solve too many problems all at once. A measured prioritized pace is more appropriate at this time.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  189. Hank Corbett

    I am very concerned about our huge deficit. But, if nothing is done to lower health care costs, now, Medicare/Medicaid will soon fail and, I fear, a dominoe effect will surely follow as the elderly and the poor stream to emergency rooms. This will likely cause many hospitals to close and health-care to costs to sky-rocket. Those citizens with sufficient funds to support their parent's health-care needs may think that todays costs for a national health insurance program are truly mild.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  190. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    No it is not okay (an vast understatement) to add to the deficit to pay for health care. It sure aint "paygo" is it ? It is pay later when he is out of office even if that is 8 years. It is a new democratic subfaction now, it is called "Black and Blue dog" policy.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  191. SLM

    Really hard to understand how Obama thinks in the long run health care costs will be reduced. Take a look at Medicare, it is terrible health care, no good doctors accept it and we the taxpayers are paying for this with our payroll taxes. What will be different about the new proposed plans?

    June 11, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  192. Randy from Salt Lake City

    Sure, I mean who cares?! Once I'm unemployed and living on the street, I won't be making any money for the government to steal, so they can rack-up the debt all they like.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  193. Jack - Lancaster, OH


    No it is not okay (a vast understatement) to add to the deficit to pay for health care. It sure aint "Paygo", it is pay later, long after he is out of office if even for 8 years. It is a new form of a Democrat economic sub group, the Black and Blue dogs (the resulting financial bruise, that is).

    June 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  194. Adam Thousand Oaks, CA

    Let's forget parties for a second. How do we pay for it? And can you imagine how much waste and fraud is going to happen in a giant government run healthcare slush fund? Things need to change but Socialism isn't the answer.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  195. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    I remember a time a few years back, when the republican congress thought the taxpayers money was their own private piggy bank. We were told deficits didn't matter, so tell me why do they matter so much to the republicans now? The politicians amaze me, they think no one can remember what they did and said just a few years ago. At least the poor and middle class will be able to have affordable health care. That beats the hell out of the war in Iraq.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  196. Nancy, Grand Ledge,MI

    It's going to cost us no matter what we do, we might as well reform health care so at least there is a chance of financial benefit in the future. Having decent insurance for all Americans is something worth more than money. I, for one, really need it.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  197. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, there’s always money for war machines right? There’s always money to bail out corporate fat cats who want big payouts for shoddy work? There’s always a few dollars laying around to fatten up appropriation bills right? But when it comes to schools and healthcare, the only thing Washington can muster is hot air and bluster. Solutions exist and we should not limit the search for any one solution. I like the idea of a cooperative effort like they use for electricity. Everyone benefits! For people in this country not to have medical access is a crime against our citizens.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  198. Patricia

    Yes it is OK to add to the debt in order to get Medi-Care for all. If George Bush could double the debt for a war of choice in Iraq, we can pay for Medi-Care for all. I look it at this way, if Nancy Pelosi could get Republicans to vote for a 90% tax rate for those bonuses for AIG, then Republicans should have no qualms about voting for a tax rate of 40% to pay for Medi-Care for all.
    Go For It Nancy!!!!

    June 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  199. Dee in sunny (and wet) Florida

    Presently, under our system where many, many people pay out the nose for health care coverage, the insurance companies are making a bundle!

    Why would it for sure raise the national debt for us to have national health care, if those who are already paying for coverage just pay their money to the government? What people are paying right now gives the insurance companies a HUGE PROFIT (which means what THEY pay out to the providers is not as great as what they take in from the beneficiaries)

    So, if we had national health, those who are paying for coverage might even be able to get a price break (if CEOs and other fat cats do not have to be 'compensated') and the sume that are already being paid should be sufficient to cover what the negotiated provider fees are!

    The very poor are already not paying anything into the system and getting care for free, so that should not have any negative effect on the whole program.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  200. Kevin from Montebello CA

    Yes I think it is. Something has to be done otherwise more and more Americans will be denied access to care for lack of insurance or money to pay.

    June 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  201. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    NO. I believe we’ve waited this long & can wait another year or two. With the country losing its AAA credit rating, 2 wars, Supreme Court Justice Selection process, housing & credit crisis; President Obama needs to pull on the congressional reins, as we all do with our children. “No, we can’t do that vacation till next year or the year after; buy the new car or family toy till next year or the year after; & so on… Even a 5 year old can understand a budget. You just have to explain it to them…”

    June 11, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  202. Paul

    Not only no, but hell no.

    The government has created social security and medicare. Both are going broke and they keep talking about fixing them.

    So how can the government possibly run the health care industry. Ever been to a veteran's hospital?

    While health care is in need of reform, socialized medicine is not the answer.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  203. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    So the conservatives believe that it is A-Okay to add to our deficit, our national debt for war! But it is wrong to add to our national debt for the good of our citizens and to provide healthcare to every American who needs it? Hmmm...... typical of the GOP! Caring more about war than their own neighbors, and they wonder why America rejected their politics!

    June 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  204. andyz Lynn, MA

    Jack, you do a great job. Your question is so very symptomatic of what is wrong with America today. Little to no questions about bankupting the country to save business/industry. When spending is for the good citizenry of the US of A it now becomes an issue as to whether or not the tired, poor, huddled masses yearning to be free should get the same health care that our aristocracy, our congress and those that received hundreds of billions in bail out monies have. The Roman, Cicero, said it best: O Tempora! O Mores! (What times. What customs.)

    June 11, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  205. Marie Ontario

    Maybe simple math will make it an easier decision. If top notch medical coverage costs around $12,000.00 a year then why not add this amount to everyone's income and tax it accordingly.

    The answer is if your income tax rate is 25% then health care will cost you $3,000.00 but it will be a lot better than the $12,000.00 it costs now.

    The idea is to stop the 20,000 people who die in America every year from lack of health care coverage or being denied coverage and if this adds a little to your income tax payable or the national debt then so be it.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  206. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    We are adding to it either way. Go spend a day in an emergency room near you. At least a third of the patients are indigent. It doesn’t matter what part of government pays these expenses be it local or national. The end result is that the working class is picking up the tab.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  207. Phil P. in NJ

    Right now , health care cost represents 17% of the GDP. If we don't gain control of these cost, health care will ultimately gain control over our budget. The Obama Administration has it right when they say we need to gain control over these cost in order to save our budget. Small business owners cannot afford to pay these high cost and remain competitve in the long run. So to answer your question, until we make health care affordable to everyone by making it more competitive thereby lowering the cost, the budget will always suffer. Obama is on the right track.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  208. Stan in Boston

    We need to realize the difference between spending and investing. Some proposals are for spending on things that we need and/or want – police and fire protection, snow removal, parks, etc. Other proposals are for investing in our future – things that will hopefully show a return on our investment. Fixing our health care system is an investment. We will not be able to create real, lasting jobs, unless we do so. Health care costs are why our businesses have not been competitive, why our jobs have gone to other countries. And giving access to health care to the millions of uninsured and underinsured will save our government more than it will cost.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  209. Sonny Everett

    Better now than never... do what needs to be done to fix the health care system for children, the poor and the elderly.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  210. Dean in Pa

    If it was Ok to add to the national debt the past 6 years for rebuilding Iraq and for the past 50 plus years to keep troops in Germany and Japan, asking this question about supporting Americans is not even a first grade quiz question. I would much sooner give aid to my American family than elsewhere. Support America first.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm |

    YES, we need it very much, whether you call it socialized medicine or what. It won't cost much more by the time they do away with medicade etc. Boehner and company got us into this mess and all they do is stand and bawl about it and blame it on the Democrats.
    I am so sick of those Ninny's. Bring it on.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  212. Frank from Peterborough

    Right now America has the highest mortality rate for infants than any other country in the Industrialized world and allow 20,000 people a year to die because of having no health care coverage or who have been denied coverage.

    America is in debt right now because of invading countries and removing regulations on financial and insurance industries. I would think anyone who supports the latter over borrowing money so people can live as long and as healthy as possible needs to get some therapy quick.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  213. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    Let's be honest, Jack. You can't have a great cake without the right ingredients. The main ingredient for healthcare is money. It either comes through highly inflated premiums to private health insurers who are in business to make profit or, it comes through increased taxation of everyone to reach a fairer result. Getting the balance right is a headache whichever way you play it. I think the American people have got to bite the bullet and realize that you don't get anything for nothing. Either live with the present set-up, profiteers getting the cream, or pay out the same amount and get a more socially responsible system where the unemployed and disadvantaged are not treated like second-class citizens any longer. Health care is a social responsibility and it costs.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  214. Sher Dennis, Rockland County, NY

    You choose which is worse... Killing tens of thousands of innocent people because of a massive lie or becoming more of a drugged society ("health care"). If we did it in reverse – added massive debt for health uncare creating a drugged society, we wouldn't care about the criminal war in Iraq. Personally, I think it's all insane.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  215. Michael McDowell, from Killeen, Texas

    It is time to undo the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, end corporate welfare, stop spending on stupid defense programs and farm subsidies, kill most of our foreign aid to despotic governments who steal us blind, kick out freeloading illegals who drain our budgets, and any program that serves no purpose but to keep our lousy representatives in power, and then we will have the money to use for American citizens to become a healthier nation. Healthcare reform is the most important issue facing this nation in the past 50 years!!!

    June 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  216. Ronald Holst

    Absolutely not It is the answer to all of our dreams Jack Lets keep all of the uninsured uninsured then when they pass away with treatable ailments then we can at the same time get rid of all of those free loaders that get unemployment insurance It is the answer to all of our dreams we could get rid of a lot more of the illegals as as the lower class that we have ton put up with .
    The New And Better GOP

    June 11, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  217. Miguel of San Leandro

    Let's start making some headway on healthcare. It's a real mess. With taxes, people at least propose a flat tax for better or worse. With healthcare it is hard to get past the fearful hearsay and innuendo to any realistic reform. It's a very complex issue, we need very smart people to fix it and stop the corruption.


    June 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  218. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Of course. Why should our elected jerks, and their families, be the only ones to get full socialized healthcare?

    June 11, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  219. John in Illinois

    The way things are with heathcare I ask you Jack what's the difference ? You pay more now or later?

    June 11, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  220. Karl Figert

    Why is anyone, anywhere entitled to health care ? And why are those who can afford health care for themselves obligated to pay for those who can't afford it ?

    If you want a pop-sicle, pay for it yourself.
    If you want clothes, pay for it yourself
    If y you want a car, pay for it yourself
    If you want health care, pay for it yourself.

    Take a good look at the job the Federal Government has done with entitlements like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid(all going broke) and then re-evaluate your socializing impulses.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  221. Deal

    Here are some savings:

    Keep whatever works.
    Scrap whatever doesn't work.
    Don't go to unjust wars.
    Scrap Medicaid.
    Pay as you go.


    June 11, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  222. Eleanora Feucht, Mt. Laurel, N.J.

    ARE YOU KIDDING??? If the National debt goes up any higher, Nobody will be able to afford living in this country. We will be paying for all the monumental bailouts of these companies who couldn't manage their businesses, like GM, AIG, etc. What will happen to we ordinary people when we can't pay our income tax? Will the government bail us out?

    June 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  223. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Yes, it's about time we stop acting like the shoemakers children when it comes to health care. If we had a more healthy population, the medical costs would go down anyway. Let's stop the chattering. Remember, back in the early 1960s Bush senior voted down medicare. Where would we be now without that?

    June 11, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  224. matt from philly

    We certainly have no problem finding money to be able to kill people with the push of a button. If we can find enough money to do that, why can't we find enough money to make sure that everyone can have access to affordable healthcare?

    June 11, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  225. Bernie of Lowell, MA

    With the report today that 400,000 people die annually from tobacco-related illness alone, we need healthcare reform of a different sort – enforcing the laws we've got on the books already that the Bush Administration wrote off as 'signing statements' that demand drastic reductions in lethal pollution from our fossil-fueled power plants.

    Healthcare is a ' bandaid' – we need a cure – even stricter laws against all of those pollutants, including the massive poison holding tanks for wastes in the TVA and nuclear wastes that sit waiting for a repository since Hanford was shut down.

    Ibsen wrote "An Enemy of the People".. That enemy is still with us today.

    Let's have a war on pollution.

    Until that war is declared a victory,

    Many more people than from any terror attack will die or become ill
    and George W. Bush's pharmaceutical pals will sell many more pills.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  226. Miguel from San Leandro, CA

    Let's start making some headway on healthcare. It's a real mess. With taxes, people at least propose a flat tax for better or worse. With healthcare it is hard to get past the fearful hearsay and innuendo to any realistic reform. It's a very complex issue, we need very smart people to fix it and stop the corruption.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  227. Deborah in VA

    We will continue to have a record national debt if there is no healthcare reform. If we stay the course, the children and grandchildren everyone is so worried about, will have more than the national debt to fear. As a healthcare provider, it amazes me how little most americans know about their own health and the healthcare system in general. If most people knew how much damage a "simple" ingrown toe nail or choking on a peanut can do to their pockets, this wouldn't even be a question. Our healthcare system sucks and its bankrupting the country...reform is well overdue.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  228. Ray in Nashville

    Of all the things President Obama ok's spending money on, health care reform will be the most beneficial to this country, so yes, it is ok if it adds to the deficit.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  229. Independent for Obama

    I love Obama but all this debt is making me a little nervous....I think he should put this on hold a little while (when the bailouts are showing results ad he's proven right) and then take it up as his number 1 issue.
    Janie, Springfield MA

    June 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  230. Rita/ Pennsylvania

    Why not ? We declared war with billions of dollars going to non bid contracts and friends of Dick Chaney's such as Halliburton ! Did we worry about who was going to pay for it? Conservatives were in charge of the country for 8 yrs and no healthcare was passed
    Just because we get healthcare doesn't make it socialized anymore than Social Security or Medicare. Just more scare tatics from the far right. . We deserve healthcare like other countries have. The wealthy have healthcare and our senators and congressmen have it.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  231. Diane in PC Florida

    From Billy in Las Vegas: I would rather add to the national debt for something USEFUL to the average American like healthcare than for wars, tax cuts for rich people and corporate bailouts.

    I totally agree. To all the blubbering and whining by "fiscal conservatives" and others who scream "socialism" every time the President tries to do something to actually help the people who've been purshed out of the middleclass : just where were YOU when George W Bush was gobbling up the surplus left by the last Democratic President and was giving tax cuts to the uber-rich and handing out no-bid defense contracts to Haliburton?

    June 11, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  232. ed

    Our government has been operating at monster deficits for many years and now we have to pay up for our phony prosperity. But your figures do not include the massive borrowing we have done in recent years from foreign countries. We congress treating the FICA as a slush fund and spending any surpluses like there is no tomorrow - so now you question expenditures for rebuilding our country - Amazing

    Your statement about a record deficit is not quite accurate when all spending is taken into account - not just the congressional budget.

    June 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  233. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    The best choice for all of us is to be happy and live within our means, even if we have to borrow the money to do it!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  234. Missy

    Honestly does it matter what we taxpayers think? Big government will do what big government wants to do. We taxpayers are just along for the ride. That's the new reality.

    Missy, in Arizona

    June 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  235. Ken in NC

    Healthcare is the only reason I can see adding to the national debt.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  236. Allen

    Sometimes you have to spend money to save money. Simple enough. Anyone who owns a car or a house knows this simple fact. Prevent maintenance saves money...spend now and save later, or do nothing and break the bank later...it is no different with health care. It's your choice America!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  237. John - Carlsbad, CA


    Absolutely not!

    We need sanity in this debate and this debt is the definition of and is a result of insanity! Pushing off the pain of the tough choices no one seems to want to make for another day is what got us into this problem in the first place. What is the first step of getting yourself out of a hole? STOP DIGGING!

    Common sense is needed here but sadly it seems none of our leaders have it, especially Obama and his "exemptions" That is ridiculous!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |

    That health care reform necessitates an increased deficit is an unfair conclusion. Tax reform eliminating ridiculous corporate incentives & exemptions could well create a balancing effect. Remember: those who'd stress over paying more already have the platinum insurance plans.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  239. Eric in PA

    I don't thinks so, but maybe you should ask China, since they are the ones paying for it.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  240. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    the investment now will save your daughters and their children from facing a future where healthcare cost will simply not be sustainable for that generation that is having to face this mess now just as their income revenue will not be able to face gas prices that will keep going up!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  241. Matt

    The only way we'll be able to stop the ballooning national debt is by fixing healthcare.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  242. Eileen Goodkofsky

    Yes, it is okay. We have needed healthcare reform in this country for decades and I believe it is now or never.
    It was okay under Bush to have our national debt go higher than it has ever been to invade a country "calling it a war". We are still spending billions in Iraq.
    Let us finally have healthcare coverage for ALL Americans, not just the wealthy.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  243. Ben

    OK, I'm only 16 years old, but what the republicans FAIL to see (which im amazed since most are into big business) is that with free health care, YOUR COMPANY WONT HAVE TO PAY FOR IT, this not only gives companies greater profit but gives our companies equal advantages to the companies overseas who also don't have to pay for healthcare.
    So in turn the debt will be decreased...

    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  244. Fred

    I certainly do . They have added Billions to the debt Wall st. the banks Aig need I go on . give something to the people that financed the bailout , the taxpayer .

    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  245. Dj Krogol

    Jack, We fell for the "socialized medicine" scam back in the '60's. How about a new tune "Won't be fooled again!" If we'd gone for single payer back then, we wouldn't be facing the HUGE bill today.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  246. Matt

    Our National debt is out of control. President Obama is spend happy with no plan as to how it will all be repaid. He's like a kid with a new credit card and running up a tab real fast. Our great great gradnchildren will be paying on what we already owe.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  247. Justin

    Absolutely. Anything to get the US into the twenty first century. It is offensive to me that we are the only country in the developed world that doesn't have universal health care.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  248. Carl from Citrus Heights, California

    Jack, What Obama is trying to do in a complex scenario is a lot like buying hurricane insurance while living in Florida, putting off buying the insurance will eveentually leave us with a destroyed home. Just like health care reform, and trying to work with most republicans to fix health care with a pay as you go plan is not going to happen, pity. So instead
    Obama is trying the next best way. Any republican plan beside doing nothing? I'm still waiting.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  249. Sylvia Hampton

    Yes. When the roof caves in it will cost you to fix it and you'd better do it before the next storm. We have been penny-wise and pound stupid too long. We need health care reform now.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  250. Eric Ottens

    If we don't do something about health reform, the deficit will only get worse. When it comes to health care, the "status quo" is no longer viable. What good is the "world's greatest health care sytem" if nearly 50 million Americans (and climbing) cannot get full access to it?

    Houston, Texas

    June 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  251. Paul

    This reminds me of that old commercial where the mechanic says; "You can pay me now, or you can pay me later". Be it MEDICARE or private insurance plans the whole system will collapse if structural changes are not made and soon. Like 20 years ago. Of course it is hypocritical to do a bait & switch. However, I challenge you to name one national leader that ran on balanced budgets then followed through on that promise rather than saying deficits don't matter once they were calling the shots.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  252. Teri

    Try asking, "is it ok to let US citizens suffer and possibly die to save money?"
    I'm not a fan of the mad spending going on, or the horrid bailouts, but health and life should not be on the scale with money; they are priceless.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  253. Lance

    Absolutely yes. I'm sick of Republican do nothing attitude. Fix problems and stop the crying. You lost. Get over it. Act like adults and help solve this pressing problem.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  254. Bob Murphy

    We are screwed. Obama is adding as much debt as all other bad administrations before him had in 30 years under the guise of "if we don't we will face a catastrophe". Great, now our kids can face an even greater one as we print more funny money to "pay" for all this crap. Free healthcare, free condoms, free blah, blah, blah. Socialism sucks and here we are stuck in the middle again.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  255. Hank in New York

    Well, supposedly healthcare reform is to get some economies of scale if done right. I've heard that we could eliminate 20-30 percent of health care costs if we had national health. Mainly through saving administrative costs. So, I don't see why it would increase the deficit.

    Maybe a weird hybrid plan would be more costly. Would this mean that we'd still pay healthcare premiums and need to increase the deficit too? If so, I'm against it. My premiums are sky high now.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  256. bruce former Republican from North Adams, Ma.

    Yes... Unless you want this country to become a third world country
    We have a desperate need to get health care for all Americans and we have a more desperate need to control health care costs...

    For those opposed .. look to your maker... or your constituants...
    perhaps the same, and go forward with the following creed


    Yup it that old (69yrs) white man from Ma. a former republican

    June 11, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  257. Naika

    After realizing that I would not be able to make a much needed appointment with a hemotologist because it cost $25,000 (I no longer have health insurance for it is too expensive) I was filled with pain. I felt like my country, which I love, was hurting me. Healthcare, like education should be avaliable to all in a high standard-not to some. Whatever the government does, I only hope it reduces the amount of people suffering from the current healthcare system from millions to zero. My idea? why not everyone pay more taxes so everyone has no problem receiving healthcare, like in France? Is it so bad that we all care for each other in this country? Should a child die in the hospital because her mother doesn't have insurance? I am tired, I am hurt, and feel so angry. As such an advanced country, why can't we adapt a more advanced, efficient and just healthcare system?

    June 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  258. Freddy Saxman


    You MUST be kidding. SInce Ronald Reagan DESTROYED fiscal discipline in 1981, the Republican party has never run less than a $200B deficit - 8 years of Reagan, 4 of Bush I, and 8 of Bush II. They cut taxes and raise spending when times are good & when times are bad. Trillions were run up by Republicans, including 2000-2006, when the Republicans controlled everything. When Republicans start wars for no reason, and don't include war spending on the budget, is that okay? And yet you quote a member of the party of fiscal irresponsibility. Sick.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  259. Timothy in Texas

    Jack, this type of fiscal thinking is what got the country into this mess in the first place. People ran up massive debt buying things on credit and spending money on mortgages they could not afford, leading to defaults and foreclosures. Why does President Obama think the government should be able to do the same thing without experiencing the same consequences? This is a prime example of the blind leading the blind...right off the cliffs of hyperinflation and enslavement to the Chinese.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  260. Glen Hards

    Absolutely Jack!

    To ensure the health of America, that means the people; not our hallowed halls of money; we should sacrifice whatever it takes. Its the "War on Ignorance" I'm for, we should evolve to a more "People Friendly" government & services. So far I haven't recieved one check from God, so I have to depend on the government when in need.

    Regards, Glen Hards
    Escondido, CA

    June 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  261. jo peters

    yes health care is so screwed up we need to do something for so long health care and other big issues have made us a very backwards nation jo from TN

    June 11, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  262. David A Whitaker

    Hey Jack I know , that we're in a dog gone mess. We have to spend money, to keep this system running. It hard to cut your budget and spend money at the same time. What choice do we have, no one is coming up with any other great ideas. The economy of the world is in deep trouble, basically President Obama can have this job. There isn't any great decision to be made.

    Martinsburg, WV

    June 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  263. Lance - Carlsbad, CA

    Absolutely yes. I’m sick of Republican do nothing attitude. Fix problems and stop the crying. You lost. Get over it. Act like adults and help solve this pressing problem.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  264. Gershon Lewis

    If we can add to the deficit to pay for "Iraq" and now "Afghanistan", why not for one of our most precious assets, our "Health"?
    If we truly adopt "health care reform", which eliminates the unbelievable profits for health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and the truly excessive costs of administering these "for-profit" corporations' programs, then the additions to the deficit will be minimal.
    What we're hearing is the squeeling of the insurance cos. as they know that they will truly lose as the American public gets the health care they are entitled to.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  265. Ron - Oklahoma

    It’s a no-win situation. If we do nothing, the out-of-control costs will soon make health care a benefit only for the wealthy. If we tackle the problem while the economy is in the tank, we risk breaking the bank. If the President is right, the problem can be brought under control eventually, but at a terrible cost in the (relatively) short term. If he is wrong, the people will vote him out of office and vote in someone else that will have other (also controversial) ideas on the subject. The one thing we know for sure is that doing nothing is not an option any longer. We have tried that year after year, and that is exactly why our health care system is in so much trouble. This nightmare has become a reality and you can’t get more than 25% of the people or politicians to agree that ANY plan is viable. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. We are completely out of silver bullets at this point in time. Keep your fingers and toes crossed. It will get worse before it gets better, I'm afraid.


    June 11, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  266. Lisa

    Considering that our health care is ranked #37 by WHO and ranked just above countries like Slovenia and Cuba and well below European countries that have national health care systems. I think it's time that we wake up and realize that our way is not working and that it is necessary to spend the money to fix a major problem. And believe me this is MAJOR. Wake up people!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  267. Rebecca

    It's not only okay to add to the national deficit in order to provide health care for Americans, it's imperative. People are losing their jobs and homes at a horrifying rate, they simply do not have the dollars to pay for health care.

    Out of touch politicians have no concept of what it is like to be in that type of situation. That is why you have even Democrats like Mary Landrieu spouting idiocy like, "...a public option is not something I'm in favor of. It's not the way I think we should go."

    I hope Americans will get in touch with their Senators and Representatives and threaten to withhold their vote if the public option is not supported. That's what I did.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  268. Patti Diehl

    You bet it's okay. Rather the question should be, why are we still utilizing insurance companies that deny claims to their own paying clients, with full knowledge that their clients will die in the company's pursuit of a profit margin? Even educated middle class people no longer have the security of health care. Hillary all ready tried to make this happen in balanced-budget times. It seems until now no time was ever the right time. I say, seize the moment. Obviously it's feasible, since all the other pre-eminent nations of the world all ready have socialized medicine.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  269. Lisa

    No. The amount most of us and our employers already spend on medical insurance should cover the lion's share of it. But for the rest, and for Social Security and infrastructure and everything else we need to be spending money on, we should stop playing Policeman to the World and reduce our colossal defense budget.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  270. Efrem


    I am a part-time college professor around Los Angeles area and with no health insurance, I am ashamed to say. I recently had to go to ER and incurred a huge debt. When citizens life and well-being is in question, discussion of the national debt, budget deficit, tax increcse, etc is the last thing we need. The goverment sole responsibilty here is to it's citizens. It's a different era of of politics, in case not noticed. We need government in such time to believe we in deed have one that cares for it's citizens.


    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  271. Paulo

    If nothing is done to shore up our national health care situatuion, instead of having a national debt, we will have a national 'death'. I am paying in excess of $1,000 per month for a COBRA health premium that has gone up $400 in the last two years, and will likely rise again next year. As a society, we need to care for the earth's citizens. I would gladly raise the national debt for health care; however, there are numerous ways the debt could be paid in full as we go. Let the citizens choose the health care that best fits their needs.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  272. Dan - Las Vegas

    This is a invalid question. It makes you assume that doing nothing will add less to our debt than if we do something, yet the opposite is true. The only real question is on what time scales are we willing to invest our money and attention to the problem. Do nothing now and bankrupt ourselves down the road or spend the money now in the hope that we can fix things before it gets to that.

    As an aside we spend more per capita and more as a percent of gdp than any other nation in the world on health care in our current private system and we get consistently rated as being among the worst 1st world countries in terms of access to needed health care and patient and physician satisfaction.

    Spend now so we get more later at less cost in long run.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  273. Kevin -- Albany, NY

    The French spend half as much as we do per capita on health care, and by many accounts they're healthier to boot. If we took a lesson from them, we could SAVE MONEY ON HEALTHCARE, as opposed to adding to our debt.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  274. Chris in FL

    I wish for once people would actually listen to what Pres. Obama has to say. One of the reasons our debt is so high is because of health care – Medicare and Medicaid. If we do something about health care costs, the cost of these two will go down and the govt. will pay less for them. I am for anything they can do to reduce health care and drug costs. Why do you quote anyone in congress (Boehner). They have the best health care there is. Of course they could care less about the rest of us.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  275. Rdon,Topeka Kansas

    Yes!Yes!Yes! It will help the low income very much. I can chose
    to stay with mine or go with something other. What a deal

    June 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  276. Brantley Smith

    Yes I think we should . I am a retired worker from a non union company that was purchased by United Parcel Service. I pay 10,000.00 per year for health care insurance for me and my wife and the total premium is subject to tax unless I can itemize and then I can only deduct the portion that is greater than 7.5% of my AGI. Please check what I am saying and you will see that it is true and accurate. Why shouldn't my premium be pretax income like those who are still employed by the provider?

    June 11, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  277. Mitch Dworkin

    The answer is yes in my opinion. Healthcare, just like police protection which is also paid for by taxpayers, is a right that someone is entitled to, it is not just a privilege to only those who can afford it.

    Because healthcare is a definite necessity for all people and is the furthest thing from a pork related project, I agree with President Obama that it okay to add to the national debt in order to pay for legitimate health care reform.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  278. Vic Bothast, Union City, Indiana

    Before your question can be answered we need to know if my auto insurance will go down in cost because the medical portion would then be on the health plan. Same way with homeowner liability. And will the cost of my health insurance go down because of everyone having coverage? And what will happen to malpractice insurance? This makes me wonder how much I can afford in additional taxes. What deficit?

    June 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  279. Rick from Baldwin, NY

    Oh, I get it! We'll become sick from the stress of deciding how we're going to pay for the fuel in our cars, the heat in our homes and the taxes for our bailout and healthcare reform. Unfortunately, we will be too poor to afford to have the children (and resulting grandchildren) that will be required to pay for all this.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  280. mike

    health care is not a right, despite what the liberals will have you believe. It is a service that we PAY FOR. Sure the cost is outrageous. Most of the cost seems to center around liability and the repercussions of having to abide by entirely too many laws and legal obligations.
    Lets get this overbearing, overweight government OUT of our lives.
    Healthcare is NOT FREE. Nationalized, It will come out of our wallets and it will be even more expensive in the end because it is not run by the free markets but by the government.
    Would any of you work cheap or even for free? Should you expect someone else to? Something will give and it will be the taxpayers and the quality of care.
    nationalized healthcare is not a bargain it is a disaster waiting to happen.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  281. Pranav Kothare - West Lafayette, IN

    I think it is a long and tough process to get out of the hole, that we dug ourselves into. Obama should definitely spend money on reforming healthcare. If he is able to succeed and people are on the path to living healthier lives, the government can then pay off the debt rather than subsidizing prescriptions. In due time the costs will inherently go down. But, this is of course, IF Obama succeeds. So I belive that it is paramount for him to get the healthcare plan RIGHT, if he is going to spend that kind of money!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  282. Annette

    I think it would be helpful when mandating healthcare for everyone, to take a lion at the state of Senator Kerry's home state. The estimated cost is dwarfed by the actual cost and continues to be out of control. May seem like a crazy idea for our government to learn from past mistakes, but I hope CNN does some stories on this. Thank you

    June 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  283. Matthew From Bensalem,PA

    Yes. The Healthcare system needs to be overhauled and changed. We cannot continue to keep a failed system that continues to break the finances of the majority of people in this country and allow the insurance companies to keep getting richer when they are so tight to even pay for anything and to keep rates so high an uninsured person cannot afford to buy insurance for themselves. Equal, Better, Affordable Coverage For All!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  284. Marianne Gray

    Yes. It's time to fix healthcare. If we don't we'll be bankrupt and deficit won't matter. We need to get out heads out of the sand and take a honest look at where we stand in terms of the rest of the world. Healthcare cost effect evey aspect of out economy . It's time to get greed driven capitalist off of the backs of everyone. The folks who created this system don't have the intellectual capacity to fix this problem. We need a new system that addresses the needs of everyone. Yes it will cost us, however we're paying now and getting very little for it.

    Marianne, VA

    June 11, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  285. Annette

    oops, meant to say look, not lion!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  286. Catherine Martin

    YES! In order to cure our sick system, we must pay for the surgery! THERE WILL BE BLOOD as we make the first cuts, and there will be SCREAMING from the insurance 'tumor' as it is removed from the body it's been feeding on, but the upside is, the patient will recover! And I have faith in America! We managed to pay down the Reagan /Bush record deficits in 8 years, and ended up with a tidy surplus. This may take longer, but President Obama is on the right track! The cure will be worth the pain!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  287. Jim from Alabama

    Jack, if the new plan focuses on preventative health care and cleans up the inefficient procedures and red tape that are the major cause of such high rates, then it will save money in the long run. So yes, if we don't do it now, the cost will be much greater later on. particularly with our aging population, alzheimers, etc. The present system is based upon profit for the insurance companies and they can only make a profit if they deny coverage and procedures. That's a national disgrace to place a price tag on a human life.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  288. Deloris Gaskins

    Amazing This question is never asked when asking gazillions for the defense industry, spending or the Iraq war, or tax cuts for the wealthiest among us, or the subsidies to big corporations. But when it comes to health care for all Americans, suddenly everybody is a fiscal conservative! Yes it's okay temporarily. There are many ways to recoup this money – if we had the political will. How about an excess profits tax on the oil companies? eliminating much of the corporate welfare on the books?; closing corporate tax loopholes?; serious push to eliminate waste in defense department, war contracting, and other departments of govt.? Just a few suggestions.

    Granni G
    Philadelhia, PA

    June 11, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  289. Brian - Denver

    @ Frank – I am a disabled vet. I served in Iraq and I receive great care from the Denver VA hospital.
    For profit medicine does not show any signs of receiving better care or even more timely care – there are studies showing this.

    Nothing is perfect but the way we do business in the US right now is downright immoral.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  290. Mary Strain

    Dear Jack:

    Other countries manage to offer affordable health care to their citizens, even relatively poor ones. I don't think it's beyond our ability to come up with something workable. And the President is right: it's a moral imperative. Too many people have died in this country because they didn't have the money for basic health care. That's more than sad, it's shameful.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  291. Itala

    I applaud President Obama to keep his campaign promises!
    It is about time that a President took a stand on healthcare reform and help the US join the rest of Western civilized nations and make access to health care affordable to everyone !
    My husband and I are over 50 and our premium is over $900 with $1000 per person deductible and we still pay 20%! I understand the insurance companies are trying to push us out by charging exhorbitant amounts and they might well succeed as we are finding it increasingly problematic to afford these mortgage sized premiums. Many people are not aware of the cost as they get health insurance as a benefit from their jobs, but more and more employes cannot aford it anymore and then even they will see the light.
    Since prices will just keep rising it is times to make drastic changes and even if we need to pay an extra tax so be it........

    June 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  292. Brian in Phoenix, AZ

    You think health care's bad now, Jack? Just wait until we're trying to pay for it with the 75% income tax Obama will have to levy to pay of HIS debt.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  293. Rob in Staten Island

    Of course it is ok. This is Obama we are talking about.
    The same Obama that the media and CNN pushed for extrememly hard.
    I think that the media outlets who helped elect Obama should be taking the hit and having to pay more.
    It is funny for 8 years all we heard was Bush is this, Bush is that, Bush and his buddies are making money in oil, Bush is spending too much.

    And then I guess the green Obama grass turned brown quick when the Gas prices are only a dollar less then Bush last year at this time, and going up every day. The Budget is 4 times bushs last year.

    I think Obama could save some money if he stopped going on trips all over the world, and concentrated on America rather than putting his nose up the rear ends of certain muslim leaders.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  294. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    I would say it's OK but only if the benefit analysis is performed to show actual payback with in 5-8 years.

    It's like buying an energy efficient furnace/air conditioner. You may have to charge it or pay in installments over a period of time, but if in the long run you will save money on your gas and electric bill then it is worth it.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  295. George A Pritchard

    If all else fails yes.The system we have now is not working well.People want the government to stay out of their lives and complain about the government raising the minimum wage .Who can afford medical insurance at minimum wage .As far as illegal immigrants ,blame that on the employers who hire them .I doubt if they would be here without work.
    The ones who are mostly complaining ,I bet have a great insurance plan or can afford not to have insurance

    June 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  296. Roger - Montgomery, MI

    Health Care at this point is a mute topic. If the people that are suppose to be representing us don't get off thier backsides and get our manufacturing back online, all the debate and reforms in the world won't make a difference. You cann't pay for anything if your not producing anything.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  297. WIL from Greensboro N.C.

    Its like the president said today...(The single biggest problem we have in terms of the deficit,is heath care)I do think of course there are other very big issues weighing on the deficit of course...Take your pick.These issues are however due to 8 years of Republican know how.Know how to jack things up for the personal interest of a few.This issue of health care can no longer be put on the back burner.Throw it in with the rest of the spending.Unlike the issues that money has been spent on of late..This is an issue that has been festering for a number of years.Now its a bit out of control to say the least If things aren't addressed now...This will be they major contributer to our global financial demise.These are the cards that the current administration have been dealt.Bush said "History will judge him favorably" He will be judged...Don't know about the favorable part....

    June 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  298. Texas Tom

    NO. NO. NO. I've just returned from 3 years living in the UK. I made many friends while there and not one of them were favorable toward the NHS (National Health Service.) A co-worker's wife who was diagnosed with breast cancer was so glad they had taken out a private health insurance policy for their family before the diagnosis. Had she relied on the NHS, her chemotherapy would not have been approved for at least 6 months after the diagnosis. Americans are too used to fast and quality health care and will never stand for the loss of service they are used to.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  299. Gem

    Jack this is a difficult question. it is more or less similar to choosing between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. Not doing anything is not an option Jack! because u and I know that the current health care system is leading this nation to its breaking point. Adding to the national debt is not attractive either, however, we all should remember that this is a long term investment. Although the begining will be tough but I think that we all as a nation should look beyound the present cost and tagget the future dividend of the reform.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  300. Susan Browar

    There is no doubt that Health Care reform is absolutely necessary if we are serious about a financially stable future for our children. Only a system based on preventative care and true innovation in the allocation of scarce resources can do that. However, true reform, will mean that we have eliminated all conflict of interest between the patient/consumer and healthcare provider. (Licensed medical professionals, health insurance industry, the pharmaceutial industry and in the ability to have honest and reliable physician generated research) When industry runs healthcare, reform will fail and billions of dollars of debt will be for naught.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  301. Paul from Charles Town, WV

    Sometimes it is necessary to spend money to make money, or even save money, at that rate. It may cost many thousands of dollars to install energy saving windows in one's house and it may be painful to one's budget to pay for it, but in the long run they are likely to save money and energy. I am all for adding to the budget deficit if the bean counters can clearly demonstrate the U.S. economy will eventually benefit from health care reform by way of lower the health care costs while improving access to quality health care. If that is the case, it is shortsighted and ignorant not to. This is all part of Obama's "Yes We Can" mentality, and I am listening.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  302. Jonbo

    Simple – if we spend on health care at the present rate but switch to the single-payer or National Health Care System we won't have to increase the National Debt. Get rid of the insurance company bureaucracy and the 350 billion dollars a year of profit and the denial of care to citizens everywhere that go with it, the GAO and CBO have already calculated that we will have more than enough resources to buy everyone the health care that they need and want. If we don't get rid of the insurance companies we are doomed to repeat the increasing price spirals and decreasing health care that we have seen over the last 30 years.

    June 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  303. Bert

    Absolutely! Enough said!

    June 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  304. James the Curmudgeon

    My answer to this question is YES! Although I am not sure how many people can see past next week, the fact is that we are only "fronting" this money. We will save the money many times over in reduced future health costs People who do not sit in waiting rooms to get emergency care, and have health insurance, do not have any idea how vast this problem is. In California, emergency rooms are mobbed, and the vast majority of these people cannot pay. This cannot continue. We need to decide if we are going to cover everyone, as most of the civilized world does, or if we want these people to simply die uncared for. A hundred years ago Government agencies in this country actually hired people to go around each morning and pick the destitute who had died in the streets over night. Anyone think this is the way to go?

    June 11, 2009 at 5:38 pm |