.
August 17th, 2009
05:51 PM ET

Which concerns you more: health care or economy?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The percentage of Americans who say economic concerns are the nation's top problem is decreasing... while the number worried about health care is on the rise.

A new Gallup poll shows 60-percent of those surveyed cite an economic issue - like unemployment, the deficit or the economy in general - as the nation's most serious concern. That's down from 69-percent last month. The current mood is the same as what it was in September of last year - before the bankruptcies and bailouts started.

And - as the debate over health care rages on, 25-percent of Americans now say that is the country's most important problem... that number is up from 16-percent just a month ago.

Gallup says this spike in interest is similar to what it recorded when President Clinton had tried health care reform in the early 90s.

Meanwhile - Although polls suggest more Americans think the economy is improving, many experts are saying: "Not so fast... "

Economists warn that the recovery will be weak compared to periods that followed other recessions. In fact, investors' fears over consumer spending and a decline in consumer confidence sent the markets down by the largest amount in six weeks today.

And, as our lawmakers in Washington try to figure out how to pay for a health care overhaul with a potential $1 trillion price tag - it's worth pointing out that the two issues of health care and the economy are very much intertwined.

Here’s my question to you: Which concerns you more: health care or the economy?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeff from Marietta, Georgia writes:
Jack, It’s hard to separate the two. Health care reform will help to energize the economy. If people have more money to spend because they aren't worrying about thousands of dollars in payments to health insurance "providers" – that'll be a great stimulus plan. While it might not completely fix the economy, it's at least a good step forward.

Ryan writes:
The economy can thrive without public health care, but without money, how can there be health care? Hospitals, drugs, and doctors are expensive, and cannot be sustained without funds. Although I am in full support of public health care, I think it's undeniable that without a good economy, public medical services would be near impossible.

Dan writes:
With the deficit at record levels, it should be the main concern for everyone. Adding health care will just increase that deficit (I know, the Democrats are claiming they'll come up with a deficit-neutral plan, but no one should believe that). Let's try and fix our current upside-down spending policies that have only gotten worse under Pres. Obama. Then we can have a serious debate about adding to the spending.

A.C. from Los Angeles writes:
Health care is more important to me because the working poor, millions of them, are being locked out of the system – and it has become a disgrace. We have got to get health care costs under control in order to help our economic recovery.

Rosalynd from Orlando, Florida writes:
Both! Health care reform is as much an issue of economic recovery as jobs and other economic elements. Out-of-pocket costs for co-pays and insurance premiums have increased, so that affects one's bottom line just like food, gasoline, and utilities. If you lose a job today, the benefits go with it, and very few Americans can afford the high cost of a Cobra health plan.

Lori writes:
The economy is making me sick. Wait, I can't get sick – I don't have any health care.


Filed under: Economy • Health care
soundoff (300 Responses)
  1. debra

    Jack I don't think it's possible in this day and age to be concerned about the economy WITHOUT being concerned about health care.
    When our benefits keep going down but our premiums keep going up, how can we maintain this kind of path?
    We voted for real change and need to follow that path. Dems in Congress need to grow some.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    These issues cannot be separated, Jack. The economy has caused many companies to drop paid health-care from their benefits, leaving more and more people without proper healthcare. The insurance companies are taking advantage of it, too. Have you SEEN what COBRA costs? Outrageous!

    Then, of course, there are the millions of people out of work or underemployed that cannot afford healthcare at all. Until the economy shows real improvement, and the unemployment figures drop, the overwhelming drain on the few 'free' hospitals and clinics will continue to be a drain on our communities - and thousands if not millions of people will stay at risk of catastrophic medical problems.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  3. glynn - South Carolina

    Jack , both are important , and are linked together , as the only growth industry is the Healthcare Industry .
    However job creation is the most important problem , and this has not been solved .
    New GREEN jobs would be good ,but where are these being created . As with other industries Automotive , Textile , other manufacturing industries , the jobs will go to the country who can manufacture the product for the least cost [ and that is not America ].
    Until the American people are prepared to pay a little more for goods made in the USA , we will not create good jobs for the middle class.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  4. Sandra in Temecula, CA

    They are one in the same right now. The economy cannot recover with all this out of control spending. To contemplate throwing trillions more toward another Obama experiment at this time is a bad idea. They have NO idea how they are going to pay for it. Health care is NOT bankrupting the country, contrary to the politicians constant "sky is falling" scare tactics.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  5. Jane (Minnesota)

    I don't think you can separate one from the other. They both need fixing!!!

    August 17, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  6. Gretchen from Denver

    If there is no public option (like Medicare) in the health care bill, we can forget about the economy as well. In only a few years we will be at a point where families will have to choose bewtween food and healthcare. Which do you think they will choose? What will the health care insurance compainies do when they have only a handful of wealthy people paying into their system and the rest of us are on Medicaid?

    August 17, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  7. Paula From GA

    When the $500 billion cut in Medicare programs get cut. Then when Money (IOUs) go into Social security to get what not in the pot to cover the difference. When we are told by letter what Medicare will not be paying for anymore. The mandates on the Company we all work for get fined for not having the right Insurance or coverage for us. When all the New Taxes are sent out they will have to pay to cover all the Federal taxes to just stay in Businesses. When the Main contractors decide its not worth the effort on their part to stay in Business. Just holding my breath and saying a prayer every chance and light a candle ever morning.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  8. lou

    For us they are linked. I am only working for the health care benefits right now. We are middle class. Have been saving all our lives and have ample money to retire. My wife had breast cancer in her 30's so we can't get insurance on our own. I would like to open my own tackle shop...which would free up my position for a younger fellow. But I have to wait until we are old enough for that socialist...and much anticipated...medicare and medicaid.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  9. Melissa

    Both. Think of it this way... if you want to stimulate the economy, let people pay half of what they do now for health care. They can then spend it on buying stuff to stimulate the economy. Its a no brainer. I'd rather spend $200 a month on health care than the $400 I'm spending right now to line rich CEO's pockets. Then I can take that extra $200 a month and go buy things like shoes and tv's.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  10. Marilyn Lemm

    Hello Jack,
    Health care is a major cost contributor to our deficit; thereby an intregal part of our economy. Without insurance reform, without addressing the health needs of access and affordability for our American people, our economy will continue the upward climb of deficit spending. These two issues are intertwined and inseparable.
    Even if we take a totally pragmatic viewpoint to solve problems within the economy, reformation of health care must be a priority.

    Thank you for this opportunity to send my comments.

    Marilyn Lemm of Helena,Mt

    August 17, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  11. cy gardner

    We need to fix health care and if we don't do it now we may have to wait twenty years for another chance. If we don't get it right, it might be the health care system that drags down the economy. After 50 years of seeing unbridled capitalism in action, a little more socialism might be the answer to both those problems. cy arlington, va

    August 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  12. george

    Neither, because at my age I am no longer working, and knowing that I am going to die from something anyways it isn't worth using what time I have left to worry, but I would rather live the life that I have left in peace. As for those who I will be leaveing behind, I know that someway, somehow they will endure.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  13. southerncousin

    Although it is all tied together, the economy concerns me most. The pain of the Obama tax increases are falling on a smaller base. Once people are working for their money, they realize it is their money and that the government needs to keep their hands out of our wallets.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  14. Jenna

    Which concerns you more: health care or the economy?

    Why do I have to choose between the two, they both concern me equally..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    August 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  15. John from Alabama

    Jack: Health care bothers me more than the economy right now. The economy is showing signs of recovery, but more will be known by December 2010. Heath Care is being short changed by accepting Co-ops as a replacement for the public option. If the co-ops do not accept everyone with pre-existing medical problems then no federal dollars should be spend on co-ops. Co-ops in Oregan and Minnesota do not accept everyone. If tax dollars are used then all people should be accepted regardless of health.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  16. Andy in Vancouver, BC

    Both. Ask someone who lost both their job and their health insurance this last year and I'm sure that they'll tell you the two are interconnected.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  17. Kerry Diehl

    Would you believe ….ALL OF THE ABOVE!

    August 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  18. Scott in San Diego, CA

    The Economy. With a sick economy healthcare needs to take a back seat until the politicians can come up with a realistic plan to deal with the economy and healthcare. A plan that isn't all about tax and spend.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  19. Tina Tx

    Right now health care. I am trying my best not to get sick because if I do I know all of the out of cost payments will hurt my economy and I cannot afford to have it happen.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  20. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If I have to choose, it would be the economy. However, health care reform is a big piece of the economic puzzle and the economy can't get completely well if health care reform is still sick.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  21. Kyle Irvine, CA

    Jack,
    That's a no brainer, the economy! Health care can wait for all I care.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  22. Alex in Seattle

    BOTH problems are closely linked and need to be solved. Health care would be easier to solve if the economy was strong and there was more money available. Even when times were good, (Was that only just last year?) health care costs were a growing drain on the economy. Now increasing unemployment has reduced tax income and created more citizens without health insurance.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  23. Roy

    Both, since they are so interrelated. Today, health care accounts for one of every six dollars spent in our economy. In forty years, that number is projected to grow to one in every three. If we don't solve the health care problem, our economy will only get worse.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  24. Bob G in AZ

    Both Jack, one can't survive with out one or the other. Recently laid off, i fit into several categories, veteran,baby boomer, home owner, husband, father of two and tax paying citizen. But the one category I never wanted to be in was the percentage of unemployed in this country. So the economy is really hitting home. But the Heatlh care side of the equation does not allow people to make decisions for them selves, despite what all the "Right" think that they don't want government or a public health care plan. If you have a pre-existing condition you can't move on to other employers for fear of losing your covereage. The carrier can decide when and what they want to cover so I don't see the employee having any say. The only thing you can do is to stay healthy so you don't need to engage in those services. On the political front. We need to trust those we have elected and understand thatthe ones that lost also lost their voice . They should get in, shut up and let the dem's drive it does not work they can stand there and point the finger of blame just like the dems's did to them. It is a no lose situation for the right. Unless, healthcare reform works as is the President's stimulus, MMM! maybe that's why the righties are so upset. It is working and they have nothing to do with it.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  25. Paul Martin

    Hurst, Texas
    Jack,
    Economic engines (manufacturing, agriculture, education, transportaton, construction, etc..) must be active & growing.

    A rising tide lifts all boats!!!

    Working people are better prepared to pay
    for better health care services.

    August 17, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  26. Tommy Martin

    Tommy from Tulsa : They really both run hand in hand. But right now I am more worried about this health care bill congress is trying to pass. Nobody has read it, but I have read most of it. I am amazed at the ineptness of congress. You can tell that congress really does not want the American people to know exactly what they are doing!!!!

    August 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  27. joe

    The issue of Health Care Reform is far more worrisome than the Economy because a socialized medical system has the ability to destroy this country. The USA has given up its leadership role in many aspects of intellectual property, but still leads in health care. If health care was to be socialized, then we would lose quality doctors, quality innovators and quality researchers. It is one of the only areas America still leads and I am sorry to say that we live in a world of profit and loss, that is just the way it is and to have a quality medical system, we have to have financial incentives. The world did not develop on a barter system and we have to live within that framework – I applaud the ideals, but seriously, the current health care system provides a lot of jobs, a lot of significant medical research and development and a significant amount of tax revenue for the government.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  28. David Caldwell-Wilmington NC

    Jack,

    Health care reform is part of the economy, and we need to start thinking this way. The cost of healthcare is such a burden on business that it impacts their ability to compete internationally. For example, $1500 of the cost of a GM car made in the US is due to healthcare expenses. Only $69 in the price of the same care made in Canada reflects healthcare expenses. No wonder GM can't compete with Toyota, Honda, BMW, VW and others.

    We need healthcare reform and people need to understand that it is not only a moral concern that 47 million people don't have healthcare, it is also an economic concern. For the US. to be competitive in the global market place, we need a strategic partnership between government and business on issues like this in order to compete. We need to start thinking about issues in a multi dimensional manner or we will get left behind on the global stage.

    Healthcare reform would be a first step in that direction. We need to move beyond these weird debates (Socialism, death panels etc.) so we can move forward both economically and with regard to healthcare so we as a nation can be more competitive.

    So to answer your question, they are both important because in reality they are inter-related issues.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  29. steve in florida

    The major economic issue IS health care at the moment. These companies have running roughshod over the American people for way too long. They've been like kids in a candy store for decades. Thats why they're spending 1.4 mil a day and hiring 15 lobbyists per congressional member. They don't want to lose their Golden Goose. We pay twice as much per capita on healthcare than most other industrial countries. And for what? The right to get our pockets picked all over again? The funny thing is, I can actually afford health insurance and can't get insured at ANY PRICE, because I snore and can't wear a CPAP. It's pure insanity.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  30. Toni from OK

    You probably won't print this anyway but I think until the Health Care system is fixed we won't fix the economy.

    What we have "now" is "already" a disaster. Adding more taxes,and waiting lines I can handle. But denial and rationing will be a thing of the past. That's what the insurers are doing already; denial and rationing. Triple the cost of Health care in the next 10 or less years/with paying less on claims and higher deductibles and we have a health system that will take us to our knees.

    I have cousins in Canada, they say if it is serious you get right in and if not there is a waiting line. One gets in anytime she wants to, she has heart problems. As it is now my husband had to wait three months to see a specialist here in the US.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  31. Kyle in Chicago

    A bad economy just exacerbates our health insurance crisis, because if you don't have a job, you probably don't have health insurance.

    But each is a major problem in its own right. We have to solve them both, and we can't put one of them on the back burner.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  32. Julie in Lansing

    At this time, our family is receiving health care from our employer and so I guess I would have to choose economy as one of the most important issues on my mind. There are still a few of us main stream families that care about the others who have less then us. Most of our unemployed citizens want a decent job to raise their children on. They ask for little more. They want to start looking for their American dream as everyone else does. Every company in America large or small should use as many American citizens they need, instead of looking for ways to cut their budget to get more profits that only benefit them. If the top companies would not ship jobs overseas, I would predict nearly 90% employment.

    Julie Lansing

    August 17, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  33. Dan from Alliance, OH

    Health care. The economy will come around if you leave it alone. It will not take long for business to figure out if you make all your product overseas to save money no one here will be able to buy the procust because they don't have jobs. Henry Ford added people during the depression so they could buy his cars.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  34. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    it is all the same problem. Insurance industry costs are devouring our economy. Unless we get a government option to compete with the greed of health insurance pirates greed will continue to gobble up our economy and lick our bones.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  35. Allen in Hartwell GA

    As much as I fight for a national health care plan, I don't need it. As a retired military member my health care is taken care of. So, I guess to me the economy is a bigger issue – but only so far that it isn't like using a bigger plate at the dinner table so it won't seem that I'm eating any more. At some time we have to downsize, and now is as good as any.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  36. Randy

    Hello Jack,

    It's very simple if you don't have a job it's a moot point plain and simple!!!

    August 17, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  37. Pamela - Ohio

    Actually neither. Tried to be concerned but all the bipartisan bickering has nullified my concerns. So I have turned my attention to me and what is the best way for me to survive this mess. Which, by the way, will not take an act of Congress.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  38. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    The Economy, without a doubt is the biggest concern, but it is inextricably linked to the Obama welfare-state, Socialist Agenda which includes Healthcare. Without real job growth and business promotion we will never survive. Without real immigration reform (not amnesty), real healthcare reform (not socialism), and an end to the astronomical, poorly conceived deficit spending, business owners and the private sector are going to wither under the crushing debt and tax burden that will unavoidably be thrust upon them. The creative will and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people will be broken, and the entitlement driven, government dependant, welfare-state will emerge. Thanx president Obama. I did not realize the former Soviet Union was the pinnacle of the American Dream.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  39. Billy in Las Vegas

    as a retiree it's defiantely healthcare, Jack.

    I am a Progressive that is all for a "Medicare for All" single payer plan as long as it does NOT cut current benefits for seniors. THAT would be a complete disaster.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  40. Sandra Santiago

    Health care concerns me more. I'm surprised the media and the people of this country have not focus their full attention on the health insurance companies and how they have driven the cost of health care thru the roof. President Obama is not the problem....its the health insurance companies stupid. Instead of focusing everyone's attention on mis information, why don't you focus everyone's attention on the health insurance companies and how they have driven up the cost of health care. Some American people have stated they don't want the government in their lives, telling them what to do. Well guess what America....the health insurance companies have been in your lives for years....telling you who will and will not be covered, what will and will not be covered, what absorbulent price you will pay for a specific procedure, what doctor/specialist your can and can not see, what hospital you can and can not go to, what your out-of-pocket costs will be if you go out-of-network and etc. Every year, these cost go higher and higher. These health insurance company make millions while the people in the middle class are bled dry. The lobbiest for these companies are paid extremely well to keep this terrible cycle going.
    This is truly something that the American people need to get up-set and angry about. Not mis information. Mis information doesn't buy you anything because it never existed.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  41. Fred R Deleon

    By all means ECONOMY!!!!!!!! With out economy America can not open so much needed jobs. With out economy we will have to depend more and more from the government. Health Care is the SECOND important issue to take care of. We can not build the proposed Health Care Reform Plan with out a solid financial foundation. Yes Health Care is important but pushing the issue the way we are doing it will be the cause for a very negative action from Americans. We have to SLOW DOWN ! ! ! !

    August 17, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  42. Gregory Miami Beach, FL.

    When we first get healthcare costs under some control, then would be the time to deal with the economy because heathcare costs account for 1 of every 6 dollars spent on our national budget and threatens to grow even more. If we do the right thing (public option) we can reduce healthcare costs which will help create jobs and that will get the economy moving in the right direction!

    August 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  43. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    It seems to be the same issue to me. The ecomony crumbled because of unbridled greed allowed to consume it under the guise of "free markets". Healthcare additionally has the ability to consume the working class, because of an incredible amount of power, including that of making "death panel" decisions, held by a few corrupt companies.

    They must be addressed honestly and together.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  44. CAA Dover, NH

    Health care, by far, is my biggest concern.

    The economy is cyclic. It might have times when there is a downturn, but it returns back up, given time (and some restraint on the part of those persons or corporations trying to manipulate it for their benefit). Health care has never been a part of the picture, but it needs to be. Medical costs are reaching the point where employers and individuals cannot afford insurance company premiums designed to continue insurance company profit margins. If US citizens are not to be swamped in the future, real reform is needed now.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  45. Linda Case

    "Now or Never"; wonderful title and timing for a good read.

    How vested with the health care lobbyists are these politicians? A major example of their dollars at work; Hillary's $400,000,000 gift for campaign contributions. Does an accounting system or organization exist to keep facts and figures on these Lobbyists filling politicians's pockets and buying our government?

    Had the American public been given the stimulus dollars, our economy would already be on track. We'd pay for our homes, buy a car, pay the bills and could afford health insurance.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  46. Bill from South Jersey

    Either one or the other? Exactly where are they not connected?

    August 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  47. Brian - Trinidad

    Gosh darn I'm in a quandry with this question.You see, I sell customized luxury cars and boats to mainly doctors and health insurance executives. So I want people to be able to afford to go to them,but I don't want them to make less money!

    August 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  48. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    Both Jack. Without health care that covers every American the economy will not improve. If an American worker has to spent one third or a half his/her pay check on heath care or deductibles how can they consume goods? The economy is another thing. Obama that liar has not tackled outsourcing, corporate tax havens and he has not negotiated NAFTA. You can not outsource all your jobs without paying a price. It is like the old saying you can not give the store away.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  49. Robert, New Orleans

    Health care and the economy are inextricably linked together. You can have a society where insurance companies have the option of bankrupting people simply because they got sick. We've tackled corporate greed in the past few months, certainly we can reign in the highly profitable insurance industy that has failed to deliver services that were purchased.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  50. Kevin, Punxsutawney

    I believe I am among very money who would have trouble prioritizing these two choices. It seems to be answered with a question: Could you enjoy prosperity without good health? Also, the American economy is most often enjoying a satisfactory economy. Yet, for the last few decades, there is a tragic erosion of care of the uninsured or the under-insured. What good is it to get, if one does not give so that others may benefit?

    August 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  51. elyce

    The economy. How can you afford any health care if you can't get a job to pay for it. As far as the government taking care of you, well guess who pays for that!

    August 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  52. JWC in Atlanta

    Economy. Without economy, there is no healthcare. It would be every man for himself, law of the jungle, strong over the meek. Not that much different than it already is of course, but at least we have some medium of exchange with which we can buy imported oil, imported cars, imported furnishings and foreign electronics while pretending to be concerned about the health of our highly overpopulated, under resourced country.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  53. Philly/PA

    Dear Jack,

    One of the most frequent questions asked about Health Care Reform is: How will it be paid for? Based on this question,the answer is extremely simple. The economy, economy, economy.

    I have not been to Harvard so I had to base my answer on plain common sense.

    Phyllis
    Media, PA

    August 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  54. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    The economy Jack. When we were number one in manufacturing, we had jobs that provided good health care at very low cost and we paid a lot of taxes that could help those less fortunate but now we can't do those things anymore since most jobs pay less than half of what we made in the past.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  55. Ben in Maryland

    They are not mutually exclusive. If health care can be reformed enough to allow people to stay healthy, at reasonable cost, without having to forgo food or shelter, without fear of losing health care when they are sick or change jobs or lose their jobs, and without having to declare personal bankruptcy due to catastrophic illness in the family, the economy will recover faster. The main problem with the current health insurance model is that it forces people's decisions on jobs and business and discretionary funds. The insurance people don't mind or care, nor do the hypocrites in Congress who have their health insurance, at our costs, and who continue to receive funding from the health insurance thieves.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  56. Mellie in Phoenix

    The economy. I worry about the people who don't have health insurance and don't qualify for gov. assistance, but I'm also worried that unless my stocks start to do better and the value of my house rebounds, I won't be able to send my kids to college in four years.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  57. Jackie in Dallas

    These issues cannot be separated, Jack. The economy has caused many companies to drop paid health-care from their benefits, leaving more and more people without proper healthcare. The insurance companies are taking advantage of it, too. Have you SEEN what COBRA costs? Outrageous! And forget it if you have pre-existing conditions. COBRA is the only way you can stay covered.

    Then, of course, there are the millions of people out of work or underemployed that cannot afford healthcare at all. Until the economy shows real improvement, and the unemployment figures drop, the overwhelming drain on the few ‘free’ hospitals and clinics will continue to be a drain on our communities — and thousands, if not millions, of people will stay at risk of catastrophic medical problems, and many will die without access to essential treatments, drugs and surgery.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  58. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    both concerns me because they are connected in the end!

    August 17, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  59. Don Benecke

    I think the president needs to take a page from “W”,s play book and cram though his plan and not pay attention to the propaganda people and there network of misinformation. The longer he waits the healthcare company’s which support the status quo will be buying off $Blue dog$ and nothing will really change.

    We have a 11 year old that had Mengo-encephalitis when she was 7 and has seizures and learning disabilities and we have boxes of medical bills.

    I would really like to see CNN ask Sara Palin what kind of Medical Insurance does she have?. And can I get it?

    August 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  60. Larry, Ohio

    Well,Jack,let's see,I've never ask the government for anything,I'm not in the country illegally,and I think you should have to work for the things you have this life,so I guess that puts me the economy is more important column.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  61. Jeff in Houston

    Both. In either situation you likley deal with good old American Corporate greed. The difference is this: One is hoping you die before they have to pay you what you are owed, the other makes sure you are penniless when you do die.

    There is something very wrong with a system that places corporate profit against the rights of citizens. If any one of us pulled stunts like American Business has for the past ten years or so, we would be thrown under the jail. They get off scott-free, and we pay to clean up the mess.

    You can't get much more depraved than that Jack.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  62. Ricky

    I am more concerned about the economy. It's kind of hard to worry about healthcare if you are broke.

    If our elected Officials keep spending like there is no tommorow there won't be a tommorow.

    Thanks

    Ricky

    August 17, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  63. dschilt

    I think the healthcare debate is slowing the economy down. How can businesses make plans for the future when it is unclear where there healthcare costs are going? At this juncture in time, we need to have less certainity. Don't get me wrong, we need some form of healthcare reform but let's start with a manageable piece, for example, pre-existing conditions and those who want insurance but cannot get it.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  64. Peg from NY

    Health care is more relevant, due to the fact that you can become bankrupt or worse without proper healthcare. That effects the economy. I believe this is called...cause and effect The cause of a catastrophic illness ends with the economic effect upon the patients financial reality, or lack thereof.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  65. Judie Williams EL Lago

    Jack: For me it is the economy...and the stress of the cost of living, i.e. utilities, food, etc., can indeed take a toll on one's health.

    We can do sooo much OURSELVES to maintain a better level of health...choosing what we eat, and that is OUR decision, using the common sense God gave us to avoid accidents, "unplugging" ourselves electronically, and much more. Granted, there ARE valid, unavoidable illnesses which need to be addressed and treated to ensure a quality of life, but bottom line is that it begins WITH US, and our choices.

    We've all seen and heard the kids in the grocery stores screaming that they want the sugar drenched, tootie, fruitee cereal and a hundred other products, and the parents cower down and purchase them.

    The govt. will NOT fix our health-be it physical, mental, so why not look in the mirror instead of looking to Washington.

    August 17, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  66. william fitzwater

    Both they are completely intertwined. I need a job but I also need health care .

    August 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  67. Sherri-Illinois

    #1 its the ECONOMY!. Without a doubt because I have been unemployed for 13 mos with a temp job of 1mos sprinkled in. President Obama listened to the WRONG voices when he picked up the baton for Healthcare Reform BEFORE the Economy & Recession showed significant signs of improvement.. Now he has to put his tail between his legs and sign some half-ass healthcare Reform bill that the House & Senate will place before him and it will nothing to do with helping all those uninsured Americans like me. Welcome to Washington President Obama!

    August 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  68. Bruce St Paul MN

    They are not two different things. The rise in insurance premiums has eaten the meager wage increases of the last decade and then some. If we can recoup some of the 400 billion or so that goes to insurance operations each year, it will be better than a tax rebate. But of course, we are sheep, and we like getting fleeced, so it probably won't happen.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  69. David in Texas

    If your dead, you do not need a job. If your employer dies, you will lose your job.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  70. Greg, Ontario

    Our economy pays for health care. Without an economy there is no health care for anyone. It's a serious balancing act unless you can afford to spend a couple of grand a month on health care coverage, even if your unemployed.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:08 pm |
  71. Dana in Austin Tx.

    The two are very much related.However, try getting that across to the cowardly politicians who are taking their pointers from the right-wing nuts.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  72. Dennis North Carolina

    they are both inter-linked so we have to deal with both at the same time.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  73. Cheryl in South Carolina

    "It's the economy, stupid." (I don't mean you, Jack.) Specifically, even if we are beginning to rebound, has our government done enough to ensure that this kind of economic disaster can never happen again? The answer appears to be, unfortunately, no.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  74. Maria

    Health care. I lose my private insurance in Nov. and must pay $3,000.00 per month for daily shots to keep my brain from succumbing to MS. Then there's another $400.00 for seizure meds.

    Guess that falls into econ crisis also. What's a person to do?

    August 17, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  75. Myrna Rodz. Puerto Rico

    They're inter-connected Jack.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  76. Rich McKinney, Texas

    These to things go hand in hand. One is no less important then the other. It takes a good economy to pay for healthcare. With a sick economy you will find even sicker people. Both need a dose of the right medicine and some time to recover. We can only hope that neither the economy or the patient are terminal or we will all be attending a funeral real soon and those are not cheap either..

    August 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  77. JoAnn in Iowa

    Healthcare!! And I apologize for my senator, Chuck Grassley. It appears his plan is to ruin the bill, in the guise of a "bi-partisan bill". The republicans have voted no on everything else. He will be voting no on this, too–no matter what is in the final bill.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  78. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    If I was sick I would say health care

    August 17, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  79. Jay in Texas

    As long as we continue down the road to for-profit health care in this country, the economy concerns me more because even more Americans will be unable to receive medical treatment as a result of not having the money to afford such treatment.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 17, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  80. Greg

    Economy is more important. Affect more people in more way's.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:24 pm |
  81. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Health Care is part of the economy, but not the only part. Finding a way to pay for health care, balance the budget and encourage people to have more kids is the Holy Grail of public policy – or at least should be.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  82. Rosalynd , Orlando Florida

    Both! Health Care reform is as much an issue of economic recovery and sustainment as jobs and other econmic elements. Out of pocket cost for copays have increased and insurance premiums have increased, so duh that affects one's bottom line just like food, gasoline, and utilities. If you loose a job today the benefits go with it and very few Americans can afford the high cost of a Cobra health plan.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  83. Ruie - Brownstown, MI

    Dear Jack: To me they are one in the same - if we don't get health care reform - our economy is NOT going to get much better. We know that first-hand here in Michigan. Business, large and small, CANNOT continue with the rising costs of health care. Cities, ie Chicago in your previous post, are going broke in part because of health care costs. WAKE UP AMERICA!! Don't let the greedy few who make money by the status quo keep us from doing what is right.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  84. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    This is like asking a man whose house is burning which of his two children he wants to save. Without your health (or the choice of personal bankruptcy to get healthcare), what good is prosperity? If there is prosperity, what good is it if you don’t have the good health to enjoy it?

    August 17, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  85. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Both the ecomony and healthcare are connected at the hip and are in direct proportion to each other. These are bad times at Ridgemount High--bad economy means more sickness-–and when you don't have a job or loose your healthcare because of the economy--you only become more ill. Take two asprins and call me in the morning isn't going to work anymore.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm |
  86. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    They both do because they're connected. You cannot have a healthy economy without controlling healthcare cost. It has doubled in the last 10 years and will continue to do so at a much faster rate if something isn't done about it. People are already making choices of getting a raise or keeping healthcare. More people will be losing their Health Care with financial ruin one sickness away. With a monster like this in the midst of our economy it has to be dealt with along with the economy.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  87. Michelle Johnson

    The economy is still in a state of emergency, so it should be given top priority, as in, specifically, creating jobs. Economy cannot recover until unemployment rate drops drastically; people can only survive on unemployment without jobs.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  88. mike k - caledonia, mi

    There is no difference. Health Care is 16% of GDP and growing exponentially. We are still living with the pain of the Housing bubble created by greedy Wall Street, Government and Mortgage Industry crooks. Get ready for the Health Care bubble sponsored by many of the same people. If you were in office because of funding from Insurance companies, would you vote for Health Reform? The Insurance industry started the lies, the gullible believed them and now they will pay for the 200 million or so who will over-run the E.R.'s because they won't be able to afford Health Care in the next couple of years. Rick Scott and Stephen Hemsley are worse than any of the Mortgage Industry crooks because they allow people to die in order to make obscene profits. The Mortgage crooks just helped them lose their homes.

    There is no way you will air this because of CNN's relationship (sponsorship) by the Insurance Industry. It's the only logical reason I can see for you not talking about the practices, law suits. fines and profits generated in the name of saving lives.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  89. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    The Economy is being hurt by Health Care. When people make less money they forgoe Health Care, then when they do get sick it costs more and this has put a number of people in very dire straights.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  90. Jeff Holt

    What concerns me more is how Congress deals with both.. They are more than willing to spend Trillions to help save the Fat Cats on Wall Street, but not one red dime to save Grandma on Main Street! How did we get in such a mess?

    Jeff in Washington, DC

    August 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  91. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack

    Health care is not for sick people. If you only insure healthy people then you will surely make lots of money. To my knowledge nobody sells sick care insurance. Ironically my records indicate that 100 % of all people die! So much for healthcare. When healthy people do get sick thats when they pull out the "only healthy persons fine print" . Truthfully if I wanted to argue I'd get married again. My former wife died of lung cancer so I've seen this movie and I know how healthcare works.( we were insured only after a lot of crap about pre- existing conditions) I consider myself an expert on this subject. So just as hurricane Katrina was quickly renamed and changed to flood Katrina and many people were screwed by the always present technical and legally binding fine print .The economy therefore becomes secondary only to criminal immigration which nobody in government will discuss. Why they won"t control our borders and enforce the law of the land and the undeniable will of the people is a total mystery......

    August 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  92. Ed from California

    What came first, the chicken or the egg? I know this won't happen in my life time. But, suppose, Congress enacted a law that would bring outsourced American jobs back here to America. And, America went back to work everyday with said jobs. Americans would start to pay income and Social security taxes again. The governmental coffers would start to fill up again with money. Perhaps these employers would offer a medical plan benefit to their employees. Or, with single payer plan you could get a plan for your family at an affordable price. Oh! the car behind me is honking. I must have spaced out!

    August 17, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  93. Rick Medina,OH

    Jack,

    As you point out, these issues are highly related. If as a nation, we do not squeeze some costs out of the health care system, our budget deficits will continue to escalate, and fewer will be able to afford private plans. And, if we don't revitalize the economy, health care reform will be a 'hollow victory.' There is room in the national debate to deal with both important issues.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  94. SARAH, TOLEDO, OH

    At this juncture, they are truly married to each other, healthcare and our economy, and neither can succeed without the success of the other. So to answer, there is no "or", both are too important.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:52 pm |
  95. Christ from NY

    Both are equally important.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  96. Chris-Illinois

    7 Million Jobless Americans including 1.5 Million long-term jobless Americans! #1 Priority is fixing the Economy+Job Creation+Ending this Recession.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  97. Christy in Surprise, AZ

    I'd have to say that health care reform is the most important thing on the current political table. Simply because, if this bill, in it's current form , passes, it will be disasterous on our economy. When considering health care reform, lawmakers should worry about working within the nations current economic means, it they do this, then we can go back and consider the economy the top prioity...as it should be.

    August 17, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  98. John J

    Economy.....85% of Americans consider their healthcare to be good or excellent.
    Across State Lines for more competition, get rid of frivolous lawsuits (the loser of the case pays both sides fees and that will stop alot of them), cut the Medicare Fraud.
    John J
    New York

    August 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  99. Tracine McNamee

    Health care as my husband is self employed therefore we have to purchase individual policies and it runs us around $1000 monthly. Also Tom Daschle mentioned that over the next 10 years our country’s going to spend $35 trillion on health care if we do nothing. So if the price tag for reforming health care is estimated at $1 trillion over the next ten years, well then that seems like a no brainer.

    Houlton, Wisconsin

    August 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  100. HD in Phoenix, AZ

    Both. They both go hand in hand. As a healthcare professional, I have watched the quality of patient care decline at the hospital level for the last 20 years. I am appalled at the state of decline the system is in while watching the salaries of unnecessary Hospital and Insurance Company VP's continuing to skyrocket. The economy and healthcare are inter-related and any attempt to address one while ignoring the other is like trying to fix a patient's broken toe while ignoring the heart attack they are experiencing.

    HD in Phoenix, AZ

    August 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  101. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    We can't have an economy if we don't have health. Too many people have gone bankrupt and lost their homes to foreclosure due to the cost of health issues. And, too many businesses have gone bankrupt due to the cost of healthcare. We need the public option.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  102. Janice from Collingswood NJ

    I believe Obama (because I have studied the economy) that our Health care costs drive down our economy. So, I worry about Healthcare reform first.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  103. Roni B

    The economy is what made my health care cost increase $700.00 per month beginning June 1st. I guess I should be happy I have a job and health care, but I am beginning to think my head will go under water if one more thing happens!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  104. ed in ri

    Jack;

    Niether one of the above. Climate change will be the unruly monster in the near future. It's too bad that nobody in the media, be it – weather or guys like you, are connecting the dots for the audience.
    Has anybody in the media thought to "discuss the obvious changes in weather patterns this year"; not just in our country, but all over the world.
    Perhaps a good topic for a question on the C-files in the future?

    August 17, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  105. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    I agree with the President – the two go hand in hand. I think the economy is extremely fragile right now and needs to improve but if we don't deal with healthcare many of the problems will remain. The general population lives in a bubble when it comes to the cost of healthcare either because they have never been sick - yet so they haven't learned what their plan will cover or how much out-of-pocket they will be stuck with or their employer hasn't shared how much they are paying out on their behalf. In these precarious times unfortunately we have to do a lot of things at once because they are interrelated.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  106. Ken M, Millington MI.

    both

    August 17, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  107. Ralph from NY

    Jack, without adequate health care many of us won't be around to worry about the economy. I think it's time the public anger and fury exhibited at town halls across America be brought to Washington D.C. in one giant demonstration. The demonstration should be on K street, where every lobbyist should be run out of DC on rails.. a true American practice taken from the annuls of history.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  108. m armstrong texas

    Jack the economy comes first because without that you dont have any health care just annarky.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  109. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    C'mon Jack, that's not a choice. We have to solve the health care issue in order to create a stable foundation for rebuilding the economy. And to solve health care, we have to pay for it. Contrary to popular myth, the US is and always has been the most under-taxed modern industrial democracy on the face of the Earth. We have been putting things on the cuff for far too long. We should pay for what we want and what we need. If that means my taxes go up, well, so be it.

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    August 17, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  110. bobwhite in Kansas

    Healthcare concerns me more than the economy, which is not to say that the economy is of no concern. Health-care is a fundamental human right just like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If we establish a safety-net for the veterans, the aged, the handicapped and challenged, and the jobless, etc., we need to provide the necessity of health-care for the sick. The absence of healthcare is as much of a depreivation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as are those other determined obstacles that confront public citizens. Our first obligation is to care for those who have fundamental needs for life. Without help, the economy will recover and the ill will not.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  111. Sue from Redwood City

    Economy first with health care second priority. You can't have decent health care without a reasonalbly sound economy to pay for it.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  112. John in Michigan

    Health Care, because it has a direct affect on the economy. If people are spending more out of pocket for health care, then there is less to spend on other consumer goods and thus this "consumer based" economy is adversely affected.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  113. James

    Give me a job, Jack, I'll buy my own health care at the local pharmacy. A lot of people use the ER and doctors office for the simple things they need for their healthcare. I heard somebody went to the ER for a paper cut. F.Y.I. buy some bandades and save us all a couple hundred bucks.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  114. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    While the economy is not robust today it will improve,perhaps not to the point everyone would like but it will improve. There is a better chance that you're more healthy today than you will be 20, 30 or 50 years from now. This should not come as a surprise to anyone. The economy is today concern, your health is an everyday concern. It can change fast.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  115. Dee in Florida

    BOTH are huge issues, and cannot be separated from each other.

    The economy has sucked out many of the jobs we used to have, and millions are suffering an econoimic meltdown. As a direct result of the economy being in the toilet, millions also have lost their health care.

    In our household my husband has not worked in over a year. Therefore we have no health care coverage.

    Please, tell me how to separate those two issues!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  116. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Health care by far is more important.
    Health care in this country will never be re formed until the day comes were we accept the fact that profit should not be gained from the sick and dying. Until then health care will always be a major concern.
    You can brag all you want of how great your technology is in the medical field ,and that it is, but how you blackmail us so.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  117. David in San Diego

    They are inseparable. Our no-other-western-country-would-tolerate-it unhealth care system has damaged our productivity and competitiveness. Obama is right on–fixing our underperforming economy depends on fixing our health care delivery (and payment) system.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  118. S, Michigan

    The economy! Healthcare cannot be paid for if our economy isn't strong/healthy! First healthcare for the economy, then healthcare for people.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  119. Bryan from Colorado

    Both are linked together, How can you work and pay taxes if your sick and on social security disability. This notion that they are seperate does not make any common sense. That is the first mistake goverment has made with our economy. Prevention and controlling illness so people can still be productive working citizens. Is there any hope for America.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  120. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    They are both very important, You have no money you can't buy insurance. JACK this 0ne is hard.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  121. K

    as long as out elected nonrepresentatives are in the back \pocket of special interests, lobbyists, drug companies, hospitals, etc I am worred about both. It is far past time that our elected nonrepresentatives start representing the people who elected them but since money rules that will probably not happen.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  122. DeAnne Martin

    Gilmer, Texas
    I think the two issues are linked. Making health insurance more affordable, and cutting the overall health care costs will ultimately help the economy. If people aren't having to spend as much on health care or insurance, they'll have more money to spend on other things – that will help the economy.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  123. Mary Steele

    What a load of bull...

    Fixing the economy by getting OUR people back to work is key to affordable healthcare and everything else. It's stupid to pay our unemployed to sit home while illegals work their jobs!!!

    It costs our government NO additional dollars to lower healthcare costs, lower food costs, protect our unemployed, give businesses a level playing field to grow and hire more people and add two layers of identity theft protection!

    Guess who is sitting on this powerful, approved program? OBAMA
    Another one of his lies is costing a fortune, he said he would hold illegal employers accountable. 6 months later-more excuses.

    He needs to stop the excuses and make E-Verify mandatory for all jobs!! Employers could verify them in no time for less than $1 each.

    Please get this out there-the truth needs to be told.

    Mary Steele
    Office Support Services
    Yorktown, VA

    August 17, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  124. george in MD

    I will for go health-care just give a good paying job.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  125. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: They're both major concerns and equally important. The rising unemployment is resulting in thousnds of people losing their health coverage. These people are under a lot of stress that can trigger more illness. And heaven forbid you have something serious – the insurance companies will cut you off. Companies need to feel that there is hope in the future and in the markets. Once again the US is lagging in trying to get out of the recession. Now Germany, France and Japan are ahead of us on this economic front as well as the quality of their healthcare. Life expectancy does matter: we're falling fast! Let's support moving forward – not keep sliding back.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  126. Theresa in Bozeman, MT

    They are one and the same. So much of the nation's GDP goes to healthcare now and it's growing. Unless we take this bull by the horns it will eventually be the juggernaut that sinks our nation's economy.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  127. Gigi

    The economy. Health care is just a dream for millions. And until people care about others we will never see it. We have become a "me society". I would be willing to drop the health care for our Representative in Washington and provide health with that monies for single parents and families making under 30,000. Also just provide Social Security only for their retirement. They can afford to buy top of the line insurance for themselves and invest in a nice retirement fund with out the governments over generosity.

    Oregon

    August 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  128. John L

    The economy. We cannot pay for what the government has already done, like huge and growing annual deficits and a $37 Trillion unfunded liability for Medicare, without raising taxes. Adding a massive health care scheme with no real savings is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  129. Ben

    Healthcare is a big part of the economy. If people weren't going bankrupt because of medical bills, they would be able to make their mortgage payments, etc.

    Too many people are unable to work because of health problems that thyey can not get treatment for because they do not have health care.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  130. honestjohn in Vermont

    True they are interlinked Jack, but what does scare me the most is the very uncertain economy. Many years ago I remember my Grandparents telling me what it was like during the depression and I never thought I would ever see anything like it. Now, I think it is possible for me to see something somewhat similiar. Without a healthy economy the idea of healthcare reform is a pipe dream.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  131. mike- Wilmington, DE

    It's the ECONOMY! If the economy is in the tank there is no health care.

    Bush took the deficient from $5.5 T to $11 T but it took him 8 years. Obama is working hard to beat that record.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  132. Randy T

    So the question is what concerns me more? Dying? Or living in indentured servitude to the mega-wealthy and corporations for the rest of my life? Hmmm...let me take a little time to weigh my fantastic options, and i'll get back to you.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  133. David Clark

    I agree, Jack, the economy and health care reform are intertwined. I think the main problem is JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Without jobs the economy can't possibly get back to where it has to be. Everything hinges on JOBS.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  134. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    Jack,
    Both. This is not a matter of choice. Both are extremely intertwined. Although, I'm currently unemployed, I'm smart enough to know that to get the economy turned around we have to fix healthcare, and for everybody to be able to afford healthcare, we have to get the economy going again.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  135. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    Health care. There is no economy if everyone is sick or dead.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  136. Gordon, NJ

    We have to fix healthcare first otherwise the ever-increasing costs will crush the economy. As a small business owner, I've had to buy healthcare insurance at full retail prices, and then some. Small companies can't compete with the insurance buying power of big companies, so we operate at a terrible competitive disadvantage.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  137. Pat in Lancaster

    Healthcare is a part of the economy and it is part of the federal economy as well as the Medicare and Medical is part of the budget that is skyrocketing. Businesses in our country are faced with competing with companies in foreign countries that have health care and they are allowed to profit cheaper because healthcare is not inclusive in their manufacturing of products. We need a universal healthcare plan that is single payer so that our economy can survive. The sooner the better.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  138. brandon

    What scares me the most is most of our elected representatives have no idea how to explain the process. They all use talking points and have no original thoughts. Ask a question and you get a canned response. Each side blames the other while the public suffers. It is really pathetic that this is the best that we can muster.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  139. Scott in Texas

    The economy is priority. You can reform health care all you want, when most Americans are living pay check to pay check just to eat, they still can't afford ANY plan you put out there! It's time to get priorities straight!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  140. Ed from Southwest Colorado

    Health care is more important, because without some major overhauling of the healthcare system, the economy will tank anyway.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  141. Linda in Arizona

    They're completely inter -related, aren't they? Health care costs are a huge drain on the economic recovery. Right now, I'm more concerned that the public option is being dropped from what's left of the "health care reform" we heard so much about in the campaign. If that happens, and I guarantee you it will, because Obama CAVES, then I don't think they will pass any of the mess that's left.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  142. Dave

    Jack if you're asking me it's the economy but I'm a retire vet that have healt Care. I believe they are both very important so that we can compete with the world.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  143. Marlene C. Wilmington,De

    Jack, Which concerns me more-healthcare or the economy? That's a hard nut to crack! Both are on equal footing! But if there are no jobs-14,000 are losing healthcare daily! It stands to reason that healthcare-PUBLIC OPTION is a dire need. You can't work if you are sick! But many of our jobs were outsourced! Are the jobs coming back? I don't think so! No jobs-no money to spend! And we can't afford healthcare either! So we really can't have one without the other!

    August 17, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  144. Julie from L.A.

    The Republicans will do everything they can to make President Obama fail.

    They have shown that is more important to them than ANYTHING–especially our expensive and broken health insurance system.

    Obama is willing to compromise–maybe even too much. But the Republicans really ARE "the party of No" now, Jack. There's no middle ground.

    They will simply say or do anything for potential political gain.

    It's disgusting–and sad.

    August 17, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  145. Richard Green

    Jack,

    The economy will be a long time coming back unless something is done to reduce the burden of health insurance and health care costs. Right now, it's hard to find any positives. Thanks GOP and weak willed Democrats.

    Rich Green
    San Clemente, Cal.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  146. Linda

    It's the economy! Get the government and employer's out of the health care – let people choose what they want and how they want to pay for it. That way they are not stuck with staying with a job they hate because of the insurance.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  147. Ralph Nelson

    Health care. I'm 100% disabled and cannot buy health insurance except through an unaffordable state program using private insurers. Cost? $28,900 a year on an annual income of $33,228. I get no coverage up to the $28,900 ($10,000 deductible), and than they pay 2/3's. What would I pay (according to CNN) under the proposed Congressional plan? $1,012. For me it is indeed a matter or life or death. The economy? It's doing fine. You'll know by September or October if stimulus worked. If not, stimulate again and encourage people to spend. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  148. Lana in Utah

    Jack, Health care concerns me the most. If we had a public health care option that would force the private ins. capitalist to bring their premiums down, then we will have more money in our pockets to stimulate our economy. People who are broke, due to a pile of medical bills are too burdened to contribute to our economy. I think, AFFORDABLE PUBLIC HEALTH CARE = A STIMULATED ECONOMY.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  149. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    .
    Today the economy is one sick puppy, but we still have some tools to effect a cure. In ten years when our health care costs will greatly increase the cost of the goods and services we provide the world and each other, we won't be able to fix our economy or our health.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  150. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The economy. 75% of Americans are happy with their current health care, mostly supplied by employeers. Find more people jobs, get more people health care. Say, whatever happened to those 3 million jobs we were promised?

    August 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  151. Alice NEWYORK

    How can you ask that? One is affect and one is effect, they are inter-twined,.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  152. Rory Murray

    Jack,
    Both! They are intertwined. And neither will be improved until we secure our borders first!
    Rory M.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  153. Phillip

    Since I'm currently unemployed, the economy is more important to me.

    I rarely ever need the services of the health care industry, aside from routine dental maintenance. I make it a point to eat healthy and stay active to avoid needing intervention by a health care professional.

    Question for you, Jack: Since the Whitehouse claims they are no longer fighting a war on 'terrorism', does that mean our elected officials are free to terrorize Americans with phrases like "Death Panel," and the like? Are Americans now fair game for sniping from our representitives? Just how far will politicians go in order to scare the living daylights out of people, just so they can get their funding; or because they made a promise to some special interest group. Seriously, the true terrorists these days are not the Taliban or Al Quaeda hiding out in some cave in Afghanistan. They meet regularly in Washington, D.C.

    St. Paul, MN

    August 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  154. DEE

    I beleve that the economy can't rebound without major Health care reform. With healthcare reform more people would have the money to spend on goods and services , adding a much needed boost to the economy.

    Dee

    Houston, TX

    August 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  155. slynn

    Healthcare.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  156. Darren

    Seems to be me now are both tied together and unless you're working for one of the Big Three or the government, best of luck to you affording insurance and God forbid, collecting on a policy if needed.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  157. Maureen in Tewksbury, MA

    Health care concerns me more Jack. I know all it will take to sink us is one unexpected major medical expense, and I live with that fear every day because I see it all around me. My in-laws were spending 65% of their monthly income to get the "mandatory" insurance you're required to carry if you live in Mass until they hit Medicare age, hoping nothing happened in the meantime (thank goodness it didn't). Our best friends are on the verge of filing for bankruptcy because they can't afford the out of pocket medical care for their daughter, and they actually HAVE health insurance. There's something seriously wrong with the system Jack, and I'm hoping it's fixed before more people I love suffer.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  158. j/NJ

    Which concerns you more: health care or the economy?

    The question is a virtual non sequiter since both are important as well as interelated concerns in any society...suffice it to say that considering the enormous impact of increased regulation and bureaucratization of the health care industry, there is no reason to be optimistic about either in the months and years ahead...in fact things are likely to get much worse in both spheres globally as the world overpopulates and natural resources continue to decline as rapidly as they have in recent years...

    August 17, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  159. Duane in Lock Haven PA

    The economy.The market has been on the the rise sence the end of march, yet many american workers are still being laid off. Give the middle class more of a tax cut, so thay could share their extra wealth with the small bussnesses their area, creating more jobs. I would be for raseing the state gas tax to build new roads and bridiges it would create jobs and keep our debt down, helping the economy.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  160. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Well I'm ruining my health worrying about the economy. It goes hand in hand, don't you think.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  161. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Personally, I can't choose. Public option health care would definitely help my economy and probably the economy of a lot of other Americans.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  162. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    Do I have to make a choice? Both issues are impacting me as a newly retired person. My retirement insurance is not good–I pay a lot out of pocket and get very few benefits. My investments have been ruined over the past year, and my house may be underwater. I am tired of the two parties fighting over both issues–it's time they started working to improve the lives of all Americans.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  163. Curtis Wampler

    Jack – the short answer is the economy – without a robust economy there will be little money to fund constitutional government responsibilities, let alone health care. If there is anyone who thinks that a tax payer sponsored healthcare system will save the economy hasn't considered the realities of covering more people with the same resources that exist today. Economics 101 tells us that if the price of something goes down, the demand will increase – so if (and that is a big IF) a new healthcare system could bring down the cost of health care then we can expect the demand to rise and wait times to increase due to more people seeking services from the same number of medical professionals.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  164. Tony In Largo, FL

    The economy concerns me more, but it's a photo finsh.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  165. Beverly from NC

    President Obama did not back off the public option this weekend. He was merely trying to make the point that the public option is only one piece of healthcare reform, not the whole focus of reform.
    Most of us support the public option since competition is the only way to provide honest competition to the private insurance companies who currently totally control our healthcare system.
    Since the insurance companies are making huge "contributions" to Republican members of Congress to oppose healthcare reform, I wonder which insurance company paid this college student to claim the public option will run insurance companies out of business? After all, this student does work for a conservative politician. It was a planted question. President Obama is fully behind the public option and so are most Americans who really understand the reform issue.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  166. Jewel Boswell Hudson

    Zack was wrong, we have heard nothing but information on the background of the President, and his remark that he only got involved after Palin became a part of McCain, told a lot. He is not a researcher into and information seeker, if he loves the "I never speck the truth if I can lie" Palin.
    His question was a good one, but then he talk's about apple and orange's, he forgot that they were both fruit.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  167. noel

    Both their work hand in hand.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  168. Greg and Berta

    These two issues are as tightly woven together as my thousand thread-count sheets. The goobers that are in charge of policy in health care as well as the rest of our mega businesses are out of touch with "Joe the plumber." We, the people, must take control of our own destinies, by way of our duly elected government, and do what is right for us and the world. Until we wake up and demand that our government takes a stand regardless of what the rich elite think, we will suffer indescribable woes.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  169. Michael Sullivan from Lafayette, California

    Jack - Health care reform and the economy go hand in hand - one really cannot separate the two - all too often, when people lose their jobs, they also lose their health care coverage - also, a catastrophic illness can, and quite often does, cause financial disaster to an individual and/or a family - without affordable, quality health care, most people - the 99% of us - end up paying a lot more for health care, if we can get it, and receiving so much less less.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  170. Tony In Largo, FL

    I forgot to add. The Health Care Reform bill should have psychiatric evaluations for all of the sub-culture Republican radio pundits, their supporters and the biggest one of them all, the drug addict and college drop out.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  171. Mark

    Duh!....no income....your health is crewed!

    August 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  172. James Bowen

    Health care costs. MY copays and deductibles are out running my COLA.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  173. Terry

    Mr. Cafferty:

    I have a question.

    If government run health care is put in place, why would employers want to continue to cover employees through their company's plan.

    Thank you.
    Terry

    August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  174. Scott Stodden

    I would say both healthcare and the economy are my two biggest concerns, but how can we handle these problems when we have a President who has the potential to be a great President but doesn't have the experience to handle the problems facing our nation? He passed a useless stimulus bill that was supposed to create or save jobs and unemployment is still above 9%, money from the stimulus bill is not going out fast enough, and all the money in the stimulus package is still not enough to fix our economy. Wait Jack there's more, now President Obama is backing down on healthcare to satisfy the Washington croonies who want things there way or no way. This is why I voted for Hillary in the first place because you have to have experience to handle the problems facing our nation and President Obama has none. Come 2012 I swear on everything Jack Im voting for Mitt Romney and Im a Democrat.

    Scott Stodden(Freeport,IL)

    August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  175. David Bebeau,Springfield Missouri

    Oh the economy by far Jack...........our do nothing congress sat and did nothing while Wall Street............almost distroyed this country.Do you really think this same congress can mangage Health Care Money???
    Fix the economy first.............absolutely.
    David

    August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  176. Hafeezah (UTAH)

    HEALTH CARE! Why have a job if all you are doing is paying for doctor bills? You are more likely to lose your job if your sick anyways.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  177. Cameron in SF, CA

    The economy. Without jobs and growth, even if there was a public health option, no one would be able to pay for it. Food, shelter, clothing are higher priorities than health care right now and that can only be obtain through employment.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  178. Wiley Padgett

    I am still more concerned about the economy but health care is also a great concern. When President Obama was campaigning to make some real needed changes, I supported him all the way , I not only voted for him but I even donated money to his campaign. He has failed us all in only 8 months. He hasn't stopped the war in Iraq and has increased the war Afghanistan. He hasn't even slowed down the lobbies efforts to control Washington. He no longer supports a single payer health care plan and appears to be abandoning the public option. Where are the promises he made? How is he any better than G.W. Bush? I am so disappointed I could cry.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  179. Inad Haddad, Adrian, Michigan

    Economy first.. But health care is a major component and therefore is equally important...

    August 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  180. John P

    The economy is the most important issue. If the economy fails, the health insurance fails. We need a strong, viable, and growing economy with a small percentage of unemplouyed, so everyonge can live a comfortable life.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  181. Mike from Denver

    How about both; what health care will do to the economy. This is a financial burden once taken up, we will never be able to put down.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  182. Claudia - Illinois

    Healthcare! I don't mind being poor, but I can't stand any of my loved ones sick without an ability to do something about it! The economy sucks because of the mindset of people with no conscience. The insurance industry is of the same mindset. Fix this and maybe we'll all be healthy enough to walk to work and the store when we run out of gas!

    August 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  183. Kevin,Fl

    They go hand in hand ........ever notice all the new "taxes" , Stricter Laws, Regulatory Speech inititiaves , are all directed against one group? The Working Poor and Middle Class --we are the Flag Waiving Freedom Lovers this future " Mex- America" Society , with only 10% rich and 90% poor wants to see gone. Wake up America !!!

    August 17, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  184. M. Sherman

    Health is more important than wealth! That old saying still applies.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  185. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Health care concerns me more as it relates in so many ways to our economy.
    Am even more concerned about those out to destroy health care
    reform, enacting every dirty trick in the book to make sure big
    business still remains in power.
    Our economy will continue to grow, especially since their greed
    and power will be allowed to continue, flushing middle class
    American down the drain.
    What has happened to our United States of America??

    August 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  186. Rama Muikalo

    Health care and the Economy are inextricably intertwined. One of the reasons General Motors had to declare bankruptcy (an economic issue) was it bloated heath care costs (a health care issue). Bottom-line, Obama will be well advice to tackle both issue simultaneously for maximum short and long term impact on American lives.

    By the way, seniors who dislike the public option should ask the republicans why they are not pushing for the private option to replace the medicare that they have come to rely on if its so great for everyone.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  187. Kathy

    BOTH They are strongly linked to each other! If the Healthcare mess soes not get fixed the economy will not improve. We need to eat and be healthy.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  188. Sooner

    Healthcare does because it is an essential part of our economic recovery.
    The healhcare plan is such a no brainer that it's obvious to me all the folks that are against it have no brains.
    It it's not passed, were screwed.

    August 17, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  189. Joe Hanson

    Economy!

    Joe Hanson, Minneapolis, MN

    August 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  190. Jafferty

    Jack,

    I’m concern about the way this country is declining to reform health care. Having health care reform is like increasing the productivity of this nation economy. Both issues need to be watched very closely.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  191. Mary Jo

    Of course, they are tied together. But let me put it to you this way. Friday I learned that my husband may be terminated October 2 if he does not provide the company with medical information he does not have. Anthem, or Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Virginia, will not cover me for the three months between termination and when I turn 65 and am eligible for Medicare because I take insulin and am, therefore, not healthy. Their short-term policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. If I let insurance lapse there are serious repercussions for the type of insurance you can get and so I HAVE to opt for COBRA. The last quote I was given for the monthly cost was $1,900 at my husband's employer Even with 65% coming from stimulus funds to help me, I'm looking at in excess of $1,800 for a three-month time period. BTW, I am self-employed and have been separated from my husband for 23 years in order to hold onto this insurance policy. THE GOVERNMENT OPTION, MEDICARE, COVERS PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS NOW. So who is killing me? Why, the insurance companies who are currently lobbying for all they are worth to hold onto control of the rules and the benefits of the current system for themselves, not for you and me, for themselves. I would say today I am more worried about my health care than this world economy. If you had asked me that last Thursday, I might have had a different answer. Looking at the layoff figures that have gone on in this country to this point in time, I would say I have a lot of company right now! The only people who don't seem to understand are some stupid Senators and Blue Dog Democrats who are not Democrats at all but masquerading as Democrats who have obviously not gone through what I have in the last eight hours talking with insurance companies about the current system!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  192. Carla

    If lies and bullies win out, then democracy is lost. That is the reason health care is more important right now than the economy. When scare tactics, lies and shouting decide public policy instead of majority rule and reasoned debate, then the foundations of the United States are under attack.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  193. mary boyle

    65 yr. old widow, late husband md. cancelled med insurance before i hit 65. couldn't afford it. If i paid the gov't all those premiums over the years, we'd all be better off.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  194. Vivien from NY

    Both Jack . Health care effects the economy . More people go bankrupt because of health care costs. Rising health care costs are causing many Americans into financial disaster, prompting more and more people to forgo necessary medical treatments.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  195. liliam stettner

    If there is no public health program, medicare works well and we should just make it for every one who wants it. If the reform is like part D of mdicare then its nothing more than taxepayers money for the insurance companies and the drug companies. there are mor rejections and delays by the companies than medicare. With medicare I can see any doctor I want and go to any hospital I want. liliam of white sulphur springs , ny

    August 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  196. Bruce

    The economy is dead meat; We won't even have currency in 15 years. But we need to have health. It is better served by healthy living and doing your own research on herbal and other cures that DO exist. The current sickness for profit model must be abandoned,the sooner the better.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  197. Gigi

    The economy. Until jobs are stable there will not be a strong economy. And health care for America will continue to be a dream for millions. Lets ask our government representative to give up their health and retirement packages, to help stabilize our government. They can well afford it. Then give to them after the government is out of the red the same package given to all government workers.

    Oregon

    August 17, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  198. Dan

    With the deficit at record levels it should be the main concern for everyone. Adding healthcare will just increase that deficit (I know, the Democrats are claiming they'll come up with a deficit-neutral plan but no one should believe that).

    Let's try and fix our current upside-down spending policies that have only gotten worse under Pres. Obama; then we can have a serious debate about adding to the spending.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  199. Ram Riva -- Calexico, CA

    They're both related, by being bankrupt and having the government put up the bill, it increases the deficit, printing more money becomes necessary, borrowing a lot more from China, raising taxes in the middle class, all of it, to absorb the cost of a Health program that simply is not enough for everyone, and by the way doesn't work

    It does affect the economy diverting money to prevent going bankrupt

    Raising taxes on the middle class....exactly the main goal for the GOP

    They will do anything in their power to obtain their goal

    Remember George Bush Senior, what happen to his, "Read my lips, no more taxes"....

    GOP is looking for a "Deja Vu" for President Obama

    August 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  200. SHARON: Anchorage, Alaska

    Both issues are inseparable. If our economy is not humming along, citizens will be less healthy (emotionally, financially, mentally, physically, etc.). If we have an unhealthy &/or overweight nation or medical care that is insufficient for many of us; then how can we expect to keep up with world competition in the free market, military condition, etc.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  201. Howell from Glendale Heights, Ill

    Come on Jack, If you have a mortgage to pay and a car note, you don't seat around asking yourself which one should I pay. Why are they both important, they both are equally important because if you don't pay them both, it will run you crazy. Which means that your health care bill will also go unpaid, and now you will be without a house, car and roaming the streets, because no doctor will see you to treat your crazy Butt because of no health care.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  202. Keith

    Healthcare IS the economy.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  203. Sean

    Economy, with out it you have no insurance.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  204. Lori Mash

    The economy is making me sick – wait, I can't get sick I don't have any health care.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  205. Jim

    Jack,

    The economy, without a doubt. Without a job, I have no healthcare-I cannot wait on government to bail ME out.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  206. a.c. of La.

    Healthcare is more important to me because the working poor are being locked out of the system . millions of them, and it has become a disgrace. We have got to get healthcare costs under control, in order to help our economic recovery.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  207. Ryan

    The economy can thrive without public health care, but without money, how can there be health care? Hospitals, drugs, and doctors are expensive, and cannot be sustained without funds. Although I am in full support of public health care, I think it's undeniable that without a good economy, public medical services would be near impossible.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  208. Rosalynd , Orlando Florida

    Both! Health Care reform is as much an issue of economic recovery and sustainment as jobs and other econmic elements. Out of pocket cost for copays have increased and insurance premiums have increased, so duh that affects one’s bottom line just like food, gasoline, and utilities. If you loose a job today the benefits go with it and very few Americans can afford the high cost of a Cobra health plan.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  209. Jeff, Marietta GA

    Jack,

    Its hard to separate the two. Healthcare reform will help to energize the economy. If people have more money to spend because they aren't worrying about thousands of dollars in payments to health insurance "providers" that'll be a great stimulus plan. While it might not completely fix the economy, it's at least a good step forward. I say both concern me, but gettting healthcare done now instead of later will be the best way to help the American people.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  210. Brian from Seattle

    Health care is my main concern. I hope health care reform also includes dental and chiropractic care. As the baby boomer population ages, those become even more necessary.
    One reform I would like to see for insurance companies is the use of a standardized form. Rather than having health care providers deal with 1300 different forms, one would streamline the process greatly and reduce costs.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  211. Jan from Sweden

    I am a doctor from Sweden, and my strong view is that HEALTH CARE definitely is the more important issue. It is beyond unethical that so many million Americans are uninsured and have no access to health care and adequate treatment of serious diseases. Hospitals and insurance companies are ripping off the American people, and are overcharging for simple health care. Private alternatives are important, but a public alternaitve is needed in American, and reform, absolutely, its about time

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  212. Chris in Austin

    Economy first. Health care last.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  213. Jan Baulsir

    Health Care is my major concern but actually it's one in the same...our b roken health care system is a main reason our economy is in the tank and will have a hard time recovering.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  214. jeane

    If we are sick or dead can't do to much worrying about the economy.
    Can't pay taxes to help it either.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  215. Connie

    Health Care, Jack!

    How can we survive without healthy citizens? The insurance companies have the death panels for us. They decide who lives and dies, who gets care and who doesn't.

    The only people really happy with their health care insurance are those who haven't had to use it for a catastrophic illness or accident.

    Somebody has to real in these people.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  216. Allan Caesar III

    To be honest with you Jack, as a 24 year old.. who lives in a state where the economy's unemployed rate is at around 12 percent... It's so bad, that you can't even get hired at a fast food place. Oh and that's in Michigan, so thank you for screwing up our state Governor Granholm.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  217. Susan from Twin Falls Idaho

    The economy, if that is on the skids, health care is a moot point.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  218. Lee in MN

    Both as they are associated. It was one issue sequential thinking that got us into this mess. This is the 21st century..multi-processing. The Bush years are over, thank goodness.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  219. Valli Leone

    These issues for me are really one and the same. Our country is suffering through a recession and an economy that is strangling so many, often as a result of medical bills and worries about the rising cost of health care. Large corporations are not providing the same good policies that we once valued. We are economically sick, and our health care as well as the stock market problems we're encountering are symptoms of the selfishness and greed of the rich. In our wonderful capitalism, it seems to me that the capital sin of greed is responsible for all of our woes. Hopefully, help is on the way!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  220. Nancy, Tennessee

    Health care is my major concern now because this administration has made some attempts to turn the economy around and we have to wait for the results. Health care reform is in jeopardy because of the fear tactics being used by lobbyists, Republicans, and others against any meaningful reform of the system. Health care is big business and the people profitting from it are fighting dirty. Wake up America. Health care reform is needed not only to cover the uninsured, but to reduce the costs. Have the ones with employer plans not noticed the continue rise of their share of the premiums and the rise in the deductible amounts? I have!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  221. Mai in Florida

    A strong economy is needed to pay for health care. Health care reform is the first thing we should do when we have a surplus.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  222. Boyd, Reedsburg, WI

    With health care a monster gobbling up a sixth of the economy, how can anyone separate the two?

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  223. George Matara

    Health care first then economy. Even Insurance companies's health is not good, although they have a way of delegating the cost to me and you.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  224. george

    the economy of course jack...........a bad or non functioning economy means no healthcare reform period.
    they might get a bill passed but it wont be worth the paper it's printed on if no one has a job.
    george
    chester,ct.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  225. Tes

    Health care: I'm pregnant, my husband has a "pre-existing condition," and we lost our insurance last month. We've even tried to get group insurance for our small business, to no avail. It makes me ill to watch the insurance industry control health care "reform." The U.S. stopped being of the people, by the people, and for the people a long time ago; now it's of the corporations, by the corporations, for the corporations.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  226. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Spurious separation. While the current short term economic crisis is due to the bursting of the CDO bubble, the long term prospects for the econoimy are lousy because of the costs of health care. The cost of the 40 million Baby Boomers dying over the next three decades willbe $20,000,000,000,000 – twenty trillion dollars – unless we get real health care reform NOW. Against this, the CBO estimate of 1.4 trillion spent and "indeterminate" savings is just chicken feed.

    Read my lips: the only way the American econmy will have a real recovery is if the cost of health care is no longer part of the cost of running a private company. No reform, no recovery, Simple. Mathematical. Not liberal or conservative – just economics!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  227. Jon from CA

    what should concern people is the economy. those who say that both the economy and healthcare are intertwined is correct in the sense that the quality of healthcare is dependant upon the shape of the economy. but to improve upon our healthcare is not making a government-run system but more affordability and regulation in the current system.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  228. Linda

    I am more concerned about the economy, if the economy improves and jobs are created maybe when my son is out of college and on his own he will be able to afford health care. No matter what options are out there, public or private, jobs are needed to pay for them. The governmwnt can't possibly take care of everyone out of a job and out of health care.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  229. Vicki Boyer

    Without health care reform, there will be only limited economic recovery; Wall St. doesn't understand that allowing customers to save money on health care costs will give us more money to spend on other goods and services. But we may not even have jobs if international corporations continue to place facilities in countries that already have government health care to avoid the cost of paying for their American employees to have the same. Tell Wall St. to Wise UP.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  230. Marguerite Doherty

    Health care. If we don't have real health care reform, we can forget about the economy. The economy generally fixes itself over time; health care just keeps getting worse and worse. Why don't you ever quote the 46 million poeople who don't have health care??? If someone else [employer] paid for my health care, I'd be "happy" with it too! I don't ahve any health care, and haven't ahd for 20 years. My husband finally turned age 65 and now at least he has Medicare. I have to wait 8 more years.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  231. Walter from California

    We have a CHOICE, What a laugh! ! I have been out of work since August 2008, so I need a job first, in order to have health care!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  232. James

    Health Care concerns me more. The economy will gradually improve. Everyone wants that to happen and it will. But if a meaningful health care reform bill is not passed, it may be another 16 years before the issue is seriously discussed again. It continues to amaze me how middle class Americans can be persuaded (by politicians and insurance companies' arguments) to oppose somthing that they need so desperately.

    James
    Memphis, TN

    August 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  233. Valli Leone, Key Largo, FL

    These issues for me are really one and the same. Our country is suffering through a recession and an economy that is strangling so many, often as a result of medical bills and worries about the rising cost of health care. Large corporations are not providing the same good policies that we once valued. We are economically sick, and our health care as well as the stock market problems we’re encountering are symptoms of the selfishness and greed of the rich. In our wonderful capitalism, it seems to me that the capital sin of greed is responsible for all of our woes. Hopefully, help is on the way!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  234. SuzyCarlton

    The economy is the most pressing issue...until we straighten out our GDP and lack of domestic economic strength, our health care future will remain out of reach. In order to have a viable government to oversee health care, we must have sufficient revenues to sustain any changes in the system. Insurance trust fund would be preferable to to our current system...only if we can manage it better than we have the social security system. Let's not delude ourselves that government is the answer...we must take the smarts of the business approach and apply it to the systems that we develop. AND, then hire and promote those government servants who are educated in best practices and reward them for serving. It is time that the MPA replace the MBA. Until then, we are trying to force a wet spaghetti noodle up a straw...the current government workforce will never be able to correct our medical care dilemna.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  235. Michael Ketcham Co

    Healthcare... if you don't feel good then your not going to care about much else. And knowing your covered is one less thing to think about. But a lot of it comes from eating right. Doing this alone will save millions. Stop popping all these pills and eat one less Big Mac a week. We need better education on how to eat correctly.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  236. Deborah Potter

    Health care and the economy are inseparable issues, and I am concerned about both of them. Consumer confidence would be higher if prices were fair. Instead, corporate greed has made costs sky rocket relative to the available money average families have to spend. I support the Obama plan, and think that the public option is also important. It will give us more choices, not fewer choices, and will help control the costs of health care. We are spending more money than necessary, and much of it goes to the big pharmaceutical companies and other corporations that profit from the current system of inflated costs.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  237. Beth Hartford-DeRoos

    Without a healthy work force to make this country productive. How many work hours do businesses lose when someone is sick? And if someone is sick and cannot afford to see a doctor, they are out of work longer. And what about people who end up sicker because they cannot afford to see a doctor?

    We need a healthy work force if we want more tax dollars coming in, which pay for everything from Social Security and Medicare pay outs, to the military and all government services. Wish this was discussed more.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  238. Mel

    The economy is getting worse. The job front is the worse I have even seen. Forget about Health Care and focus on the economy Obama.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  239. Jan - Illinois

    At this stage, it's health care. I retired a year ago and get $612/month Social Security. It's not much income but I get it and it remains the same and I know what I can pay for and what I can't. and one of those things is health care.

    I'm in the no man's land where I'm 2 years too young for Medicare and not eligible for Medicaid so I was really hoping Health Care Reform would work for me. I'm not so sure it's going to, especially since I've heard (in one newscast only) that it won't even start til 2013. I haven't been able to verify it, but if that's the case it won't matter much.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  240. Joel in Dubuque

    Jack, If I had an affordable health care policy, I wouldn't have to give these greedy bastards $400.00 in premiums each month. But that would give me an extra $400.00 each month to spend on food, clothing, or a new door for the house. The economy would take off like a bat out of hell if we pass this!!!!! But the Republicans must protect the greedy. You don't hear about the hospitals or health insurance companies and "bailout" in the same sentance.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  241. LaWanda from s.c.

    I would have to say by default the economy. Though both really bad at this time, I tend to focus more on the economy. I f it does get better and soon, me and alot of others will most likely kick the bucket because we can't afford health insurance and we are to poor to survive this brutal economy.I guess it's really true what they say,if you don't have moneyin this world, you are just a number. take your pick.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  242. Roland New york

    immigration that's what concern me. Thanks.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  243. Jerry Clarke

    The economy is in the tank.Deficits with more taxing,spending,and borrowing.I understand Medicare,Medicaid,&Social Security are under water to the tune of $58 trillion.Today I heard SS WILL POSSIBLY BE OUT OF MONEY NEXT TEAR DUE TO NO REVENUES WITH THE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUING AD INFINITUM.Now Obama wants to control health care with a public or gov't option.If you look at the other deficits you can figure out the bureaucrats will have so many agencies they create that it will spend money like water.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  244. Karl from SF, CA

    I guess the economy. In six months I will go on Medicare and have the identical coverage I have now for $164.40 a month. I currently pay $598.45 a month for the same coverage and co-pays. What, me worry?

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  245. dustymills

    Even though we are all concerned about the economy, we know it will come back. However, if we don't reform healthcare now, it may be another few decades before something can be done. We all now know about not only the billions in profit that insurance companies rake in, but about their indisputable and dispicable business habit's. These insurance companies need to be reformed in the worst possible way and now's the time to do it.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  246. Robert Weintraub

    I can get by with a weak economy, but I can't with a poor health care system. We need a public option; we must get insurance companies out of the doctor's office, out of the hospitals.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  247. Victoria from Waterbury, Connecticut

    Health care and the economy are too intertwined to choose one over the other. It seems to me that it add insult to injury that when you lose your job, you lose your health care also. A public option is the only way to fix that. I mean, what happens when you lose your job and lose your health care and then get sick. You can't look for a job. Then, if the illness is something like cancer, then even if you get a job, you won't be able to get health care again because it would be a pre-existing condition!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  248. Annie, Atlanta

    Without some sort of health care to control costs a lot of us won't have an economy to worry about.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  249. Eric in CO

    Wall Street is deep in the healthcare. 50% of all profits of the fortune 500 come from Pharmaceuticals. Is there a correlation??

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  250. Bobby

    Considering this country is broke it's the economy. To ever get out of this debt we would need to cut defense spending in half
    and make medicare way more efficient. Pork barrel spending is an attention grabber but that stuff is a drop in the bucket. Goverment programs are wasteful and very inefficient. It shouldn't cost 400 dollars for one hammer. Who is in charge of government spending? Paris Hilton?

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  251. Gbenga (IOWA)

    Both are important to me, I am currently unemployed, I have no healthcare.

    I need money and good health, so how can this 2 be separated, I need both at this time.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  252. Josephine LaPorto

    With all this talk about health care, why can't we just have the same health insurance that all the polictions in Washington have??????

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  253. Don Parker/Michigan

    It seems to me they both go hand in hand. my insurance company dropped my Dental and Vision coverage last July after I retired now I am trying to find a Job to make enough money to get this toothache fixed, anybody know of someone ready to hire a 60 year old retiree with bad eyesight.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  254. AmericaFailed

    This is a tough question Mr Cafferty. As someone born with a genetic immune illness (severe Psoriasis), I have been forced to pay Blue Cross Blue Sheild $1,150 a month just to live my life. Its not a situation i really ever had a choice in. I need my health care to make it day to day. I almost equate my situation as being born black. Its what I am. I am this way because i was born this way. I had no say, yet i bear the burden, the challenge of living with my illness, each day.... I'm 33 now and have lived with it since 13. I take newer medicines that help greatly, at great cost. The number one side effect is cancer. Every day i gamble my life on this medicine but its needed. I've seen my health care plan rise from $250 to $1,150 in 8 years. Thats a lot for someone that often could not work due to his illness. Let me sum this up by saying this. If we can build an industry around military weapons, education, and parcel delivery, why cant we build an industry around taking care of us all? We will always have patients, and we'll always need people to take care of them. It sounds like a great economic situation. Supply and demand is there. We just need to change our way of thinking a bit, and care for someone like me... a faceless person, the same way you would your ailing grandparent. We're in this... life... together. Its not socialism, its just a better answer to a problemic health care industry that isnt working as is now. If more people pay in, if more people are covered.... it will be an economy within itself.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  255. DEE,NewYork

    The ecomomy problem will be the same as health care problem. If there is a government control health insurance at a lower rate, which will make independent companies lower their prices, that means they have to lower salaries and beneifits for their employees or worst get rid of employees. There are a lot of people working in the medical health industries.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  256. Henya, CA

    Both health care and economy are equally important
    New health care reform will most likely create new jobs,

    August 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  257. Ted from Iowa

    Healthcare concerns me more, Jack. We simply cannot afford to cover everyone for everything. Huge profits are being protected in this debate, and we simply will not get good care until people pay for it themselves. (At least up to a certain point) We don't need to worry about "death panels"; They already exist. They are called insurance reviewers. These are the people who tell doctors what they can and cannot do. I don't want insurance OR the government running healthcare. If I pay for it myself, my doctor and I can decide. I only want 'catastrophic' coverage for accidents, hospitalization, etc.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  258. Diane Thurm

    Jack,
    The economy is the most urgent problem we need to fix. When and if we get the economy on the right track, then we can tackle health care. One of the first health care concerns is tort reform. Fat chance of getting anything done on that since our congress is loaded with attorney's. Congress should be willing to be covered by the same plan they are eager to shove down our throats.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  259. J A Milam

    Unfortunately, until the economy seems stabilized (to the doubting Thomas'); healthcare will not be on the front burner, no matter how much Pres. Obama wants it to be. Maybe now the extreme left will come out and vocalize their views instead of letting the President and the Dems in Congress be overrun in Town Hall meeting and media interviews by the far right nuts, and have to do all of the fighting for them! The GOP has been extremely good at fanning the flames, and the left and the center left need to get out there and throw water on them!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  260. Char

    I am concerned about both Jack, one causes the other. My major concern is why people are carrying weapons to a health reform meeting. Are they trying to intimidate the President? If someone takes their weapon and harms someone,who is responsible?

    August 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  261. Jim

    Jack,

    No contest, it's health care. I know the economy will be okay, but health care has too many bad guys trying to block or water down any meaningful reform.

    Jim
    Reno, Nevada

    August 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  262. Robin Batteau

    Healthcare. I know millionaires afraid to get a physical because they think their insurance company will use the information to disqualify them from coverage, and hospital costs will destroy their family. The economy is improving, though slowly; our national health is getting sicker, faster every day.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  263. Jo Lynn Smith

    Jack,

    I don't know which to worry about more! I'm a mental health nurse who waits everyday to hear that Ohio has cut the budget another few million, which puts my job in danger everyday. I also have a son who just graduated college who has no health care because he is having difficulty finding a job! All I know jack, is that watching and listening to you filter out all the crap, makes me feel like everything will work itself out! I voted and campaigned for OBama and will continue to ride this out! Love you Jack! Tell Wolf he's not so bad either!!

    Jo Lynn in Wintersville, Ohio

    August 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  264. Edward

    Being self-employed, my biggest concern right now is health care reform. Weathering bad economic times is much easier than finding decent and affordable health coverage.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  265. Jean

    Jack
    Health Care is the economy....we can't continue spending
    for inferior care...if the economy is going to consist of
    any thing other than caring for the sick then Health Care
    Reform is a must. Duh!!!!!!!!!!!
    Jean
    St. Louis

    August 17, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  266. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Today my concerns are both healthcare and the economy as I live day by day. Tomorrow may bring about another concern if I make it through today.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  267. helder panoias

    sorry i m european so i think diferently but, how can you justify spending so much money in arms and defend them with such passion( hello mrs palin) and then speak out against universal healthcare?

    August 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  268. Arizona Bob

    I am on Medicare, and it's terrific. If this is what 'socialized medicine' is all about, bring it on! For me, the economy is much scarier than health care, althought the uninsured today have a lot of reasons to be fearful. If we believe that we are all our brothers' keepers we must do something about it.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  269. Vern Covington

    If the economy goes down the toilet, health care won't really matter will it? The economy must be addressed first. Of course illegal immigration is a major component of the economy in itself and if stopped (no amnesty), will cause a substantial improvement in many parts of the economy.

    With illegal immigration stopped, health care will be much easier to deal with. Health care is as complicated as the economy and will take tort control, prescription control, and so forth. Somewhere alng the line, profiteeriing must be addressed.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  270. Cortney

    I'm a twenty-six year old, self employed writer. I've not had health insurance for the majority of my adult life. I worry much more about health care.
    We're facing the end of the oil age and the economy must shift. I'm confident that communities will localize their economies or suffer and possibly fail.
    I can live lightly and build my community, but there's nothing I can do if I get cancer.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  271. Marguerite Doherty

    Health care. If we don’t have real health care reform, we can forget about the economy. The economy generally fixes itself over time; health care just keeps getting worse and worse. Why don’t you ever quote the 46 million poeople who don’t have health care??? If someone else [employer] paid for my health care, I’d be “happy” with it too! I don’t ahve any health care, and haven’t ahd for 20 years. My husband finally turned age 65 and now at least he has Medicare. I have to wait 8 more years.
    I'm from Detroit, MI area - Macomb Township, the home of the alleged "Reagan Democrats."

    August 17, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  272. jacob b

    Well jack what’s the difference both health reform and the economy are so intertwined it seems absurd to have a favorite. However mine would be health reform it’s the chicken and the egg thing.
    Another thing We are constantly told one trillion dollars over ten years would be the cost of health reform can someone tell me what no reform will cost over ten years.

    jake
    westport
    westcoast

    August 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  273. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    More than either is our politicians making the decisions about the crisises. You have a party that wants the continuation of big
    business having complete control over our country, fighting
    tooth and nail against anything that will benefit the American
    people. And, unfortunately, they are the ones using every dirty
    trick in the book for failure on health care, the economy, with
    support, backing of big business, lobbyists etc.
    And there are actually people who listen to and fall for their
    hypocrasy, lies and dishonor.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  274. Stephen

    Face it. The ONLY reason the federal government wants to get into the health care business is so that Congress can rape the people just like they did with the Social Security fund. It's all about Congress looking for a means to collect more money to feed their insatiable appetite to spend money without raising the income tax directly.

    As for the economy and health care. I have no concern for either, except when the federal government gets involved. Everything they touch turns to sh!t. They created the HMO's in the 70's. Now they want to fix the very problem they created. Sound familiar? How about the Income Tax. Social Security. Medicare. Medicaid. The Federal Reserve. Immigration.

    And for those who think the Federal Government should be in health care... we already have a form of National Health Care. It's called the VA Hospital. As a veteran, I can tell you the government is incapable of taking care of this nations veterans, much less 300 million people. Don't drink the cool-aid they are giving you. You'll only regret it in the end.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  275. Ashley from Portsmouth, NH

    They're co-dependant. The economy is being held back by people who are more concerned about paying medical bills and less concerned about spending. People are reluctant to make any major changes to health care because the economy is doing so poorly and they don't think we can afford it. Something's gotta give if this country wants to compete in the 21st century.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  276. Ron

    Jack,
    many of us can't. See how much a National prriority Health Care means to personal wealth. Wehave been so dumbed down by greed and lies from special interest and republicans that we don't even notice the income disparities between the haves and the have nots. Banks and insurers get richer and the people die young and families go bankrupt.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  277. Jerry Clarke

    The economy is in the tank.Deficits with more taxing,spending,and borrowing.I understand Medicare,Medicaid,&Social Security are under water to the tune of $58 trillion.Today I heard SS WILL POSSIBLY BE OUT OF MONEY NEXT TEAR DUE TO NO REVENUES WITH THE HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT CONTINUING AD INFINITUM.Now Obama wants to control health care with a public or gov't option.If you look at the other deficits you can figure out the bureaucrats will have so many agencies they create that it will spend money like water.Obama has already driven unemployment to 10% from 8% with his stimulus.I cannot get the point with the track record of gov't controlling the agencies mentioned above that he wants to control health with Obamacare.I AM TOTALLY AGAINST ANY ADMINISTRATION SHOVING HEALTH CARE DOWN OUR THROATS ESPECIALLY WHEN IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE IN TWO WEEKS.THIS IS THE GOV'T OF THE PEOPLE ,BY THE PEOPLE,AND FOR THE PEOPLE NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.OBAMA SHOULD TRY AND SOLVE THE DEFICITS IN THE OTHER AGENCIES BEFORE CREATING MORE .

    August 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  278. Allen L Wenger

    Let's see. Am I more worried about catching a major illness or losing my job? If I get a major illness I will lose my job. I think the same logic applies to the economy as a whole. If we don't fix health care, the economy has no long term future.

    Mountain Home ID.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  279. Jim

    The economy is definetly most important by far. Lets get this economy rolling. Tax breaks for bisnessises will spur investment, hiring, manufacturing and so on. It's as clear as day. Our government needs to wake up. While I have the opportunity to speak lets get rolling on exploring and uncapping our North American oil wells. We don't need the Middle East holding us hostage anymore. The health care needs being fixed,but not completly rewritten. Absolouty no goverment plan should be implemented. The government looses money on Amtrack, The Post Office, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare and the list goes on and on and on etc.
    Thanks Jim:

    August 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  280. Duane in Lock Haven PA

    The economy is 1st health care should be 3rd after the wars.The economy should be put on fast foward. the market is going up,but many americans are still being laid off. give the middle class more tax cuts so thay could share thire extra wealth with the small bussinesses to creat more jobs Duane

    August 17, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  281. Kris

    EASY! I am MUCH more concerned with: Health Care.
    The expansion of government control over health care would essentially take 1/6 of our GDP out of the private sector and into the hands of an ever expanding Federal Government already wallowing in debt. With all prior government forays into health care (VA/Medicare/Medicaid) teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, the combination could all but destroy any chance for significant economic recovery.
    Given the price tag for the reform package, in our current economic situation, the risk for systemic overhaul is too great. Better to implement the ideas/ principals proposed on the pre-existing government health programs to determine their efficacy before risking
    the health of our citizens and Uncle Sam.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  282. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Jack,
    What is even more important is the domestic terrorists in our country that call themselves politicians trying to destroy health care our
    economy, our president, our country and us.
    Until they start being what they are elected to do, our health care
    will remain in shambles, bringing dire consequences to
    everything.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:32 pm |
  283. john

    As a the United States we well spend 600 bil a year for death and destruction, but we can't spend a 100 bil a year for the health and safety of the people. That is a ratio of 1 to 6 for health to death.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  284. Kevin from Maryland

    Our unustainable economy worries me the most. How high will gas prices go? How high will the national debt go? Will things that are too big to fail keep failing?

    As far as health care worries, I have none right now. I'm a federal employee, so I have the government option. I can choose, once a year, between PPOs, HMOs, or a health savings account. Pre-existing conditions, denied coverage and high costs don't affect me.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  285. Ken in NC

    Health care.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  286. James In Atlanta

    They are equally important and linked together. If we fix health care we will fix the economy.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  287. Deborah Van Ness

    Jack, they're inextricably linked. If we don't get a handle on our health care crisis, the economy will continue circling the drain for all but the wealthiest few. - Deborah, New York

    August 17, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  288. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    The Economy, without a doubt is the biggest concern, but it is inextricably linked to the Obama welfare-state, Socialist Agenda which includes Healthcare. Without real job growth and business promotion we will never survive. Without real immigration reform (not amnesty), real healthcare reform (not socialism), and an end to the astronomical, poorly conceived deficit spending, business owners and the private sector are going to wither under the crushing debt and tax burden that will unavoidably be thrust upon them. The creative will and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people will be broken, and the entitlement driven, government dependant, welfare-state will emerge. Thanx president Obama. I did not realize the former Soviet Union was the pinnacle of the American Dream.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  289. wanda from orangeburg,sc

    It's quite simple, the economy. I can I afford to pay these expensive healthcare premiums without a job.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  290. David in Mt.

    I would have to say it's the economy. Right now it is directly affecting more Americans (myself included) but it looks like things are turning around on that front. I don't want to take the focus off healthcare reform.This has been a battle between the Democrats and the Republicans instead of doing what's right for every American. I hope Obama does't cave in to the sore losers and the selfish "haves" in this country that think change will somehow rob them of what millions of their fellow countrymen cannot get at all!

    August 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  291. jerry

    Health care at an affordable price and give me back the $15,000.00 my employer deducts from gross pay. Insurance co are a monopoly that is bankrupting this land.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  292. Helen

    Health Care as of now. If the government can't pass it again now the health care system is never going to be fixed again. We're the most powerful and influential country in the world and the government can't even provide for their people's well being? It's time for the Republicans and conservative America to hear a bell.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  293. Aaron

    Economy first because if economy is booming with a zero unemployment rate, health care wont be an issue. Both depend on each other but i think economy is more import.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  294. Aaron

    Economy first because if economy is booming with a zero unemployment rate, health care wont be an issue. Both depend on each other but i think economy is more important.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  295. David

    Health care. The economy will return on its own, but Health Care reform is a major step forward for the quality of care American's can expect for generations to come. This is not bigger government – it's responsible government involvement. Not to mention with the additional health insurance, maybe all the E.R. staffs out there could get paid for their services they render for free now – then they can pay income tax on those earnings and help the economy at the same time.

    David-
    Charleston, SC

    August 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  296. Geoff

    The Economy....We need to get the government spending under control. Balance the budget, pay down and pay off the federal debt. (Clinton had the budget balanced and our economy was in good shape)
    Our country needs to be as debt free as we can make it, once that happens- health care and many other social programs will be feasible. The government should cut spending in every single federal government program, including foreign aid and defense. It will not fix the economy right away, but in the long run our country will be stronger economically.

    I know that it is not that simple, but expanding the debt at this time is extremely stupid. It would be like me getting a pay cut and then borrowing money and using credit cards to keep living the same lifestyle. In a few years I would be so far in debt that I would have no way out. We may be at that point already, but we are never going to get the debt paid off if we keep adding to it. It is crazy to live that way. Our politicians on both sides are afraid to make these tough choices because they know that constituents will get upset when pet projects and federal funds are cut. But it is what must be done. We have to go on a spending diet. I do not think that President Obama will cut spending drastically like that because ideologically it is not in his makeup. But he could sell it to the American People. He has the savvy to pull it off...but he will not do it.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  297. David Weck//San Luis Obispo,CA

    Have we forgotten that all 3 of those people running for the highest office in this land, voted for the mess that we now are in?!. Obama did not inherit (His so-called problem)m HE voted for it gvefore he was elected.!. Both are equally BAD>

    August 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  298. M.L. Squier

    Both are inextricably connected. One or the other can be the death of the other. But health care has to be more fair and cheaper for Americans.

    M.L. Squier
    El Paso, TX

    August 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm |
  299. David Demoise

    The economy is of greater concern. Until we address the Federal Reserve and the depreciation of the dollar, health care will soar.

    David Demoise
    Pittsburgh PA

    August 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm |
  300. Yaser Chow

    As a Junior in college I'm in perfect health, but I'm not in perfect financial standing.

    August 17, 2009 at 6:52 pm |