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August 25th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How will surging national debt affect health care reform?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama may be on vacation but he and his staff are rolling up their sleeves and getting ready to fight a backlash. This time it's over the skyrocketing national debt. The newest estimates add $2 trillion to the projections made in February and, if accurate, will bring the total national debt to $20 trillion in 10 years.

The National Debt Clock in midtown Manhattan shows that the federal deficit has topped $1 trillion for the first time ever and could grow to nearly $2 trillion by fall.

In other words, by the year 2019, the national debt is expected to double and will represent 82-percent of the gross domestic product. Unimaginable, unsustainable, and unacceptable. Those are levels not seen since World War II.

Tax increases, big ones, are probably inevitable.

Add in the fact that the President is in the midst of another battle - the one for health care reform. That's expected to cost another $1 trillion over 10 years.

So far, no one has told us exactly how that's going to be paid for. Support for the whole idea has been losing steam in the last few weeks.

Lawmakers from both parties are starting to concede that any bill that doesn't reduce projected federal spending on medical care and start to bring the national debt under control is unlikely to pass.

Some economists insist the two issues should not be linked. They say health care reform is needed now to reduce costs in the long run which would eventually lower the debt.

Pick your poison... Whatever the eventual outcome, September in Washington, DC should be fun to watch.

Here’s my question to you: How will the surging national debt affect efforts to pass health care reform?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Brian from Boise, Idaho writes:
Jack, I'm more interested in how a lack of health care reform will affect the surging national debt. When another two decades goes by and half of American families declare bankruptcy due to medical bills, imagine what will happen to tax revenue. The cost of health care is the single most crippling expense Americans will have to deal with as the baby boomers become increasingly sickly and begin to die off. Sorry if I sound insensitive, but we've got a generation hanging around our necks like an albatross and it's only going to get worse unless we can address the root of the problem - health care cost.

Wilhelm writes:
It really should not affect passing healthcare, Jack. The British went to a single payer system in 1948 when they were technically bankrupt after WWII and for all it's faults it's been a great thing for their citizens. Also, the costs of government medical programs like Medicare and Medicaid are out of control mostly because of the sweetheart deals former administrations made with the drug and health insurance industry, so unless this is corrected the country will go broke.

Mike from Syracuse, New York writes:
Hopefully it will kill it. The numbers never did work. Implement savings first. Once you have proven we can fund expanded benefits in a debt neutral manner, then and only then expand benefits.

Bill writes:
The surging national debt will magnify the concerns regarding how health care will be paid for and will simply make health care reform more uncertain than ever.

Joan from Arlington, Virginia writes:
So now we care about debt? Two unnecessary, unfunded wars, eight years of corporate welfare, tax cuts for the rich, but oh when it comes to providing health care for all Americans we suddenly worry about the debt?

Joe writes:
It puts the feet of Pelosi and all liberals to the fire. They will have a choice, pass their version and pay for it in 2010 and 2012, or fail to pass it and pay for it in 2010 and 2012. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. You've heard of a win-win situation, haven't you? This is not one of them.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Eric

    I say we do nothing so that maybe we can surpass the estimates and push for 30 trillion by '10. I mean free market come on man, let health care and the economy fix themselves. They have nothing to do with the governments income or expenses. Obama and Congress just pocket all of the money, right?

    August 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  2. Kevin from Colorado Springs

    Well since the liberals don't seem to care that their children will have to pay for this recless spending and I have no children of my own, I say pass it!

    August 25, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  3. Kathryn

    Pick your poison, indeed, Jack. If the national debt is headed toward $20 trillion, how much difference will plus or minus another trillion or so really make? Besides, it isn't so much the deficit that threatens meaningful reform (that is, reform that includes a public option). It's the deep pocketed health-related mega-corporate lobbyists, the extreme right wing, and the propaganda fomented by those interests.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  4. Dave from Stuart FL

    Are you kidding me??? These socialist are spending like drunken sailors, and at least with drunken sailors, the money their spending they earned and the damage they do is to a single bar in a single night vs. this multi-generation $20T debt crap these guys are wanting to push through…

    We’d ALL be in prison if we ran our homes or businesses like this, TRULY!

    Dave

    August 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  5. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Healthcare as promoted by President Obama will pay for itself. What's interesting to me, is that while Bush was doubling the national debt no one complained!

    The national debt is high, because our nation's banks and homeowners, indeed our entire financial system was D.O.A.! Thanks to BUSH!

    Now after eight months as president, many are blaming Obama ..... for what? For trying to rescue us? Once our economy is back to prosperity, we will see the U.S. government start paying down the national debt ....... like Clinton did!

    Dear God, give Obama a chance!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  6. Gregory Miami Beach, FL

    For anyone to be against serious healthcare reform is simply illogical since it is 20% of our GDP and quickly rising! Even those against healthcare aren't reacting out of logic, but fear! Many people don't see much outside of thier own 4 walls and perhaps can't do the math. The second most important thing we must do must become energy independent. Third we'll need to start giving some goverment a three day weekend This is likely to be necessary as well, for only a while hopfully. When most of us can come together, then maybe we can stop griping and get to work!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  7. Aaron

    Frankly, it shouldn't affect health care reform at all, as the President has clearly emphasized that this bill MUST be deficit neutral. If you start hearing otherwise, then wake me up, but until then, the growing deficit has nothing to do with health care reform.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  8. Jim

    It's O.K. Jack. We can just print more money. Hospitals, doctors, staff and supplies don't cost THAT much.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  9. PETER

    Peter NY

    The national debt will effect helth care reform tremendously. We are on a unsustainable path to finacial disaster!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  10. Anthony DeLio

    Socialism in sheep's clothing is the entire thrust of the O'Bama government. Empathy and compassion are great slogans but they don't pay the bills.High taxation,over 50% and all matter of new taxes are sure to cone and with it European style stagflation.This will surely kill the desire to be entrepreneurian and continue the American way.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  11. Mollie in Austin

    This whole country is in one hell of a mess and this administration is a bad joke – so is Obama . How can folks afford health care if they don't have a job? And why is Obama trying to ram it down our throats?
    Obama still refuses to answer the basic question of illegals using emergency rooms for their primary care! He shuffles around it saying they won't get health care – gee – they already have FREE health care at any emergency room in the country – they don't need insurance! Besides, this isn't about health care reform it's about health insurance reform there is a difference.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  12. Vernis Robertson

    Health needs reform very badly , so all you left wing nuts take a chill pill. Not one time the american people was concern about cost doing the Iraq war , so why be concern now on something that can benefit the american people. Once again the Republican party always strike fear in the american people lives in order to line their pockets . Everytime a issue comes up that make since they want to hold a time hall meeting . Why coundn't they hold these type of town hall meetings 5 years ago.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  13. Chad from Los Angeles

    10-20 years ago, there was not a single ad for prescription drugs on TV. What does that tell you? To have so much profit to be able to buy the most expensive advertising is a clear sign to our faulty health care system.

    Real reform will save billions and help reverse the debt, it is just too hard to see that in real dollars right now, especially when the health care industry has paid for so many elections as of late.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  14. Geoff, New Jersey

    Unfortunately Yes Jack.

    It's utter madness that our country has the memory spans of infants. Obama's been in office for several months, but from here on out that's somehow officially long enough for Republicans to forget the fact that we are in debt because of them and use the debt as the Cure-All, or should I say Poision-All remedy to shoot down health care, and any other policies that the democrats bring to the table from here on out. The Saddest part, is that these Blue dog democrats aka yellow dog democrats who are scared to lose their seats because their constituency is in heavily republican states, are going along with all of this fiscally conservative garbage. Wake up It's entirely too late to be Fiscally conservative. What's left to conserve! We are in survival mode and need to spend whatever China wants to loan us in order to restructure the way we are doing things to ultimately pull ourselves back from this ever growing ledge that is our nat'l debt. Obama's in a lose-lose situation. If he spends money to fix problems (which is the only way to fix problems on a national magnitude on planet Earth) he's wrong, if he does nothing he's wrong. Sucks to be the president in 2009. Thanks GWB-Cheney!!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  15. Henry Asemota

    Common economic sense dictates that we should get a control of the healthcare cost right now as this is a major part of expenditure control. Postponing this vital issue will only make the debt situation worse. If we spent the $1 trillion we spent in Iraq on our healthcare we would be in better shape today.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  16. rlandschoot

    as long as government can spend money, and not be responsible, inflation will eventualy devalue our money like happened to Russia and Korean currency during their war.
    People selling valuables in streets for food? It can, and will happen here, probably within the next five years if not before. History is funny, those forgetting it are those who cause bad things to happen

    August 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  17. Phil

    I think the new numbers published 1 month later than they were required and released after the President had left for his vacation are by no means close to the how bad the true future will be for this country if Congress and the White House continue to push for spending with no regard for how to pay for it. This latest round of forecasting should give pause to anyone with two brain cells left in their head. It should KILL the idea that we can somehow afford this program. It should also awaken anyone who might be fisically minded in Congress to begin the real hard work of cutting expenses. I hope there are one or two of them left

    August 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  18. John from Boston

    There is definitely a link between the national debt and health care reform. A growing number of independents, like myself, feel we cannot afford to borrow endlessly without the system eventually collapsing. The Obama administration needs to articulate how we're going to get out of this mess, particularly if the rosy economic scenarios they are currently using don't pan out. How do you increase taxes if large numbers of taxpayers are unemployed? And what effect will higher taxes have on an already fragile economy? At this point the only new expenses the government should take on must be absolutely essential and must have a stimulative effect on the economy. Is cap and trade essential today? Should we have paid to sustain GM and Chrysler? Should we cut back defense? Is the government looking to cut costs everywhere it can? I know we are in my house. I don't get that feeling from the current administration.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  19. Jim/NC

    Simple equation: if an individuals, corporation's or government's income is one trillion per month you cannot spend one and a half trillion per month. We simply don't have the income to cover our out go. When will this country and politicians realize this simple math statiistic?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  20. Keith

    The saying goes if you can not afford it don't buy until you can. Well we can not afford this health care bill so why are we trying to buy it. It would be nice to get some correct info on the number of uninsured. Not the 45 to 50 million the seems to be the party line because if you take out the people that qualify for med care but chose not to sign up and the ones who can afford thier own insurance then the numbers go way down. An I have heard nothing about addressing the cost's of care, from the hugh incomes that some doctors make to the high price tags of even a night in a hosiptal.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  21. Brett

    So far, the government (under both the Democrats and Republicans) has not demonstarted that they are capable of running the existing health programs of Medicaide and Medicare without massive financial bleeding that threatens the very solvency of the United States of America. Before we give them a trillion more dollars to operate an even bigger health care plan, let's see if the proposed reforms to Medicare/Medicaide suceed in getting cost under control without impacting on the nature and extent of benefits. Show the citizens of this country that the government can run the existing health programs with reasonable efficiency and perhaps we will entrust them with more money and influence into how we are insured. However, SHOWE THE MONEY first!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  22. Bruce

    Health Care Reform (or is it Insurance Reform?) and the National Debt are two seperate issues. Both need addressing now. However no Health Care bill can add to our national debt but should reduce the cost of health care to citizens of the United States. There are many ways this can be accomplished without putting us on the path of a government take over. Again we have ideology trumping the welfare of the American People.

    Bruce
    Shreveport, Louisiana

    August 25, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  23. John Dee, Georgia

    I hope so. We are so far in debt now we do not need to spend beyond
    what we are already committed to The gigantic deficit that we presently have should put large spending programs on hold. Other things much less costly can be done to reduce healthcare costs.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  24. zack

    We as private citizens can live beyond our means via borrowing, but only for a short while. Then the pain will come from making those poor choices. Why should be as a collective believe our government is any different. What they borrow to pay for today we will have to pay back twice tomorrow due to interest. Unless the government balances the budget, we’re all in a world of hurt. In 10 years when the national debt exceeds 20 trillion the only forms of accepted currency will be food, water, fuel, guns and ammo. The dollar will be worthless.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  25. Harry

    Jack....it's doomed! If our elected officials like their jobs, and we know they do, they will run like scared school children do from the boogeyman. Fair or not, the debt that was created by the last administration is now the current one';s problems and they cannot go about saying we inherited it, they need to solve it and so far, I have seen nothing that will reduce our debt

    August 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  26. A.Shah

    Can we ask China and India for bail-out? What are bankruptcy rules for the United States government? Are there any? If not, perhaps we should start to think about that.. 82% of your GDP is your national debt; no one person can live at those debt levels, how can entire society or country do that? Maybe government can shed some brands like car companies were forced to (intelligence, social security, medicare, medicaid, army).. That should do it..

    – Fairlawn, OH

    August 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  27. William

    The exploding national debt should cause the American People to look more carefully before spending another trillion dollars on anything. The larger issue is there is never a right time to spend a trillion dollars of tax payer funds to do anything that does not work. Can anyone possibly know for certain how well the health care (excuse me, I should have said health insurance to be politically correct) reform plan is going to work? The truth is the terms of the plan are far to fuzzy, confusing and ambiguous for anyone to anticipate accurately how it will work in the real world. Is it wise for our leaders to take an irreversible decision to spend a trillion dollars to implement a drastic change like this with so much uncertainty about how it will unfold? To some Americans it just looks like a senseless, risky crap shoot.

    Here's a thought. Let's figure out a way to let the people who support it pay for it, instead of using tax payer funds most of whom do not support the reform plan being considered now in Washington. What do you say George Soros, are you in?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  28. Brian Ricardo

    The U.S. does not have the best medical care! It is too busy spending money on wars. I am 64 years old and always remember the U.S. busy fighting. Why not fight against disease instead of other countries? I live in Costa Rica, which does not have an army; but does have an army of doctors helping people in their own country instead of promoting foreign wars to help large companies that make weapons! Fight disease, not supposed enemies like in Iraq with weapons of massive destruction. What a bunch of bull!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  29. collin Hagstrom

    Jack,

    People are finally starting to see Obama's "money tree" is actually their own pocketbook and its scaring them. The more we spend, the more taxes will be imposed, despite his "no one making under 250k will see their taxes raised".. No one believe this anymore and they shouldn't

    August 25, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  30. Darko Johnson

    Jack, It's Dead on Arrival. When you and I can't afford the interest payments on our debt, let alone the principal...we don't go shopping.

    Then again, the rules aren't the same when you're spending 'other people's money'.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  31. Jim

    JACK ! Why do you TELL them the answers. We'll never prove Americans can manage money. Thus, they need welfare.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  32. John, Fort Collins,CO

    Unfortunately, health care reform was already having a tough time getting out of the chute well before the new zillion dollar adjustment to the deficit was made public. Health care reform is a "must do" for this country, but must wait until the financial resources are available. At this point, health care reform has as much of a chance of getting off the ground as a brand new Hindenburg II eco-friendly hydrogen airship.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  33. Robert W. , NC

    Well, I would not try to reinvent the health care wheel right now anymore then I would try to roast marshmallows on the deck of a storm tossed sea vessel. The democrats want it now because they have control of the white house and congress but sorry guys, there are more important fish to fry right now. I think the national debt in light of the common peoples financial problems caused by this economy will kill health care reform.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  34. Bill

    The surging national debt will magnify the concerns regarding how healthcare will be paid for and will simply make healthcare reform more uncertain than ever.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  35. Steve

    The country is in a "Damn if you and Damn if you don't" environment. Health Care Reform is such a integral part of our economy and cannot be left alone to continue the upward trend in terms of cost that it's on. I am puzzled beyond belief that the American people don't see the connection and I am further complex ed as to why one of the answers/solutions to paying for the cost of the reform should come from the ill advised trillion dollars tax cuts by the previous administration for the "well to do" in the midst of two wars.

    Steve
    Clifton, VA

    August 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  36. kevini

    No, ultimately the scare tactics and propaganda will affect health care reform. It sucks to say but this thing is dead in the water. Congrats geniuses. These people can believe all the lies they want. Don't come running back screaming for health care reform when your daughter is sick and the insurance company just dropped her.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  37. Joan in Arlington, VA

    So NOW we care about debt? Two unnecessary, unfunded wars, eight years of corporate welfare, tax cuts for the rich...but oh when it comes to provided health care for all Americans we suddenly worry about the debt?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  38. Jeff Stanton

    To logical, cost conscious Americans, this debt crisis should be sufficient to stop this Obama Health Plan dead in it's tracks, we can't afford it. No one has clearly explained how we are going to pay for this plan. I don't trust the government and I resent the President and Democrat's efforts to shove this down our throats. The arrogance of Liberals is disgusting.
    We are selling the future of this great Nation such that our children and children's children will not be able to pay off this huge debt we are amassing. As a middle class American, who doesn't trust the government, I say enough. You are killing us with taxes and your spend, spend, spend ways. I'm not sure which people should find more scary, the fact the Liberals are trying to do whatever they want, without regard to the majority of what the American people want, or the fact that frustration and anger is growing everyday in middle class American. You can only push us so far.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  39. RB in CA

    Everyone wants health care reform; both sides of the aisle agree over that. However, until someone in Washington comes up with a viable and sustainable way to pay for it, any reform legislation will either be stonewalled or watered down to a diluted version of its original self.

    The national debt has been escalating for decades and skyrocketing for all of this new century because myopic fiscal management has been the methodology embraced at all levels of government. The philosophy that the quick fix we enact today can be remedied later has been the driving force behind so many of this nation’s woes. It is time for minds greater than those in now in our legislatures to step up and be heard. We can no longer live for today then pay for it tomorrow.

    Tomorrow is here now and he wants to be paid.

    RB in CA

    August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  40. Rich - Atlanta, GA

    The economic crisis was initiated because of excessive debt. The attempt to resolve the crisis was even more debt.

    In the middle of trying to salvage our economy, we try and cure health care with cap and trade in the on deck circle.

    Reality is beginning to hit the Obama administration. Americans are afraid of the massive debt.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  41. Jim

    FLAKES !!! Are all of you young college students living off of mom's feeding tubes? Somebody out there has to know how to balance a checkbook.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  42. Ken, Beaverton, MI

    No stupid.... the surging national debt is going to doom the health care bill thanks to the party that spends and spends and spends without money behind their spending.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  43. David

    Health care reform will be deficit neutral?? If you believe that, you haven't been paying attention to politicians for very long....

    August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  44. Doug in Illinois

    Jack,

    Trade-offs. Storing defense to protect the Amercian way of life has been our motto ever sense I started to follow the national debate in the late 60s. My concern is at what cost? It seems we are maintaining our spending on the strongest defense the world has ever known to protect fewer jobs that pay less and the right to be pissed at a government that has done little for the average American since the 70s. Lobbying to protect big business interests that shed jobs faster than illegals are fleeing the US for lag of job opportunities has got to stop. We need universal health care and the insurance companies are the problem. Get insurance companies out of the doctors office, save some money and provide services to our most precious resource – the citizens of the US! We have lost our way. Citizens first – corporations second and health insurance companies last. Let's get out of Afghanistan and Iraq. It is time for us to rally around energy independence and US job creation versus outsourcing!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  45. Jack

    It won't matter Jack. Health insurance is already calling the shots. Just read yesterdays headlines concerning United Health Care dazzling members of congress with a "mobile clinic" semitruck full of new medical gadgets. They think it will control costs. Imagine the costs of that thing. Reform will not happen. "Business as usual" rules! At least with the way things are going, we know who runs America's health care and it isn't the docs or the government. You already have your health reform in the way of the "Bonanza's" in store for the Insurance industry. Just get ready to write the check, because the hurt is coming.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  46. Neal P

    The way this administration and congress spends money I highly doubt they even care about the national deficit. They have an agenda and how much this agenda costs future generations is not apart of it.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  47. Jim

    Spend it Jack. Poverty means no more McDonald's. No more McDonald's means better health. We'll all be as skinny as those poor kids in Africa (God help them).

    August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  48. Jackie Rawlings

    Jack
    No one said a word as the 8 years spending spree took place. Even the 109th Congress gave the Bush Administration a blank check. Contractors got trillions for doing nothing. Now that the US is broke everyone expects President Obama to pull a Magic Act to fix the problem. Yes we are a country that cares less about others only what we want for ourselves.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  49. joe m

    it puts the feet of pelosi and all liberals to the fire. they will have a choice, pass their version and pay for it in 2010 and 2012, or fail to pass it and pay for in in 2010 and 2012. talk about being between a rock and a hard place. you've heard of a win-win situation, haven't you? this is not one of them.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  50. Cindy Merrill

    The Senate Finance committee is already on it- they've said that they're looking to trim the Healthcare Reform bill's pricetag- so that only means one thing: A Public Option is DOA (Dead on Arrival)
    I find it strange that over 800 amendments and proposals were introduced by Republicans- all rejected, according to RNC Chairman Steele, yet I haven't heard much discussion until just recently on some of them. Why?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  51. James M.

    The surging debt as you put it should have a large effect on the passing of a massive health care reform bill. One can only hope that those in Washington will "get it" and realize they dont have a blank check from the people of the USA and that the government will learn to live within its means to borrow a phrase.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  52. Olu

    Jack,

    It shouldn't but knowing what is at stake some people (nameless) would be glad to see health care dismissed but we need the health care since it contributs to the debt itself...we need competiton to drive the cost down period!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  53. Marcel

    It will make people think, its a conservative point that just falls under the old tactic of "politics". The important thing to do is plans that save current funds, smart plans. So if this healthcare reform is such that, then you shouldn't worry about the national debt. You should look at the Social Security budget in the next decades. Houston, TX

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  54. MartyinLA

    Can we get SOME type of healthcare reform without red ink? Even if it means just finding efficiencies, such as allowing insurance companies to serve people in different states (its called competition). I don't want to see us continue building on the huge deficits that Bush started running up with the occupation of Iraq not to mention the bank bailout and Obama's stimulus package. I just don't have the appetite with that kinda debt, it makes it more difficult to sleep at night knowing that this is just going to preceed another huge crash. In any event, we need to take some steps forward in taming healthcare.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  55. Andrew in Pinehurst, NC

    Hopefully there is an effective health insurance reform. We're going to all need it when the national dept outruns the Feds ability to print money.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  56. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    I think the rising national debt will give conservatives (Reps and Dems, aka: the fearful) another, or stronger point on which to frighten their misinformed followers. Sadly, the whole basis for healthcare and health insurance reform is to reign in the growing, and unsustainable costs of healthcare by 1: adding some oversight to the antics of private insurance companies and hospital administrators; and 2: providing those who cannot currently afford health insurance with access to affordable primary care options instead of relegating these millions of people to the very costly (to taxpayers) option of waiting until near death then crowding the ER. Also, and also sadly, every bit of our current national debt is a result of the last eight years and Conservative Bush Administrations domestic and foriegn policies. Anyone remember when Bill Clinton balanced our budget and all but eliminated our national debt? Let's give Obama a chance.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  57. JD from New Hampshire

    It shouldn't, but unfortunately in this country, everything seems to be joined at the hip. To put it to a medical metaphor, the economy is like the patient, the deficit is active bleeding and the debt is the blood on the floor. The first thing you have to do is make sure the patient is breathing first. Let's get people employed, let's get the housing market back on track, and let's make sure people can afford to be healthy, then we can worry about the blood on the floor.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  58. ed from catskill ny

    Jack you forgot to mention the fact that obama did not create the huge national debt.and health care didnt start it ether.lets guess who did?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  59. William Givens

    The national debt will kill health care "reform." We need to cut back on spending, bigtime. The National Debt is already over $55 trillion if you count Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all of the other entitlements. President Obama and the idiots of the House Democratic "leadership" should face treason trials for deliberately harming the country's long-term chances of survival in exchange for short-term gains at the polls. I am NOT a Republican, because I refuse to shut down my higher brain processes. King George III and anybody who was senior in his Congresses should face similar trials.
    William Givens
    North Olmsted, Ohio

    August 25, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  60. Julie

    The only way to reduce the money spent for healthcare is to start marching some us off to the ovens.
    The amount spent for healthcare will continue to rise regardless of whether Obama gets a bill or not.
    There are a lot of us.

    Julie, Kansas

    August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  61. Rene Crested Butte Colorado

    obviously it doesn't effect the military industrial complex or our war spending or force feeding muslims democracy, and christianity, but go forbid give the taxpayer a rebate is unacceptable.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  62. AJ Brown-Ohio

    Jack ,with all due respect,I think you asked the wrong question.The question should be what's more important than Health Care.The answer is "nothing".If you don't have your health...you have nothing and so why worry about all that other crap!!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  63. Mike

    Obama, Reid and Pelosi love spending our money. Of course it should impact the healthcare discussion, but these folks will move forward and add another TRILLION to the debt with one stoke of the pen. However, next November they will regret their actions. This is Obama's deficit!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  64. S

    The national debt won't mean a thing to the Democrats. They will continue to give away this nation to other countries and to those in this nation that think the government owes them a life.

    Democrats = Robin Hood, the only difference is they steal from the middle class not the rich

    Should be no increase in taxes but a decrease in spending!!!!!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  65. John - New york, NY

    Jack,
    I think if the Democrats and other Obama followers had any perspective or concept about how monstrously large this problem is, they'd cry like little children who were told that Santa Claus isn't real. If the critics of health care reform want a key point of attack, all they need to do to kill health care reform is show the American taxpayer how much its going to hurt. The middle class will quickly change its mind when more than half their paychecks are going to fund the reckless policies of this Congress and this administration. Lets hope its repealed quickly.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  66. Steven Trull

    You know, I actually believe that a different, more cost-effective approach to health care will reduce the national debt to some extent. If we could extend Medicare to cover all Americans that wanted it, and eliminated the high overhead that private health insurers pass onto the costs of private care, I believe we could, in the long run, reduce the debt significantly.

    However, if you really want to tackle the national debt, you have to reduce military spending and increase taxation of the super-rich. The middle class has sacrificed enough. It is time for the super-rich to pay-up–or leave.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  67. Jonathan Price

    When faced with the current economic crisis, Americans cut back on spending, used less credit and generally look ( and are still looking) for ways of getting out of debt and saving more money.
    Why can't the present administration do the same. I hate to see what would happen if our credit lines are cut of or reduced.
    Any healthcare reform that adds a cent to our deficit and national debt is not worth it.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  68. rob shelton

    Jack –
    We can slash the federal deficit and pay for health care by getting out of Iraq and Afghanistan. We can also cut all these un-Constitutional "faith-based" initiatives and by repealing all of the Reagan-Bush tax give-aways to the rich. I am sure there are many other corporate-friendly boondoggles that we can do away with too.

    Rob

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  69. Josh Harbour

    We can not be afraid to commit to healthcare reform because of the cost. We have already doubled the debt from the previous administration with nothing to show for it. If we can keep Republican war mongers out of the white house and prevent future wars we could easily return to the mid 90's surplus.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  70. elizabeth

    Healthcare reform is NOT affordable as long as these are public traded companies. Healthcare is a "right", just as certain foods are not taxed -– healthcare can't be "for profit companies. That only leads to poor care, but high prices -– exactly what we have now.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  71. francis

    Jack-

    It will make our free spending liberal government take a look a themselves in the mirror and stop the printing presses. Healthcare can not or should not be passed if it adds to the debt.

    Francis Middleman,Jr.
    Waterford Works, New Jersey

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  72. Terrence C

    It totally will, but it shouldn't! Some of the reason we are in so much debt is because of this broken health care system. As a medical student and a father and mother who both had massive amounts of health issues, I have seen how much it impacted our personal "ecomony" Health reform is needed so we can work on our national debt. We have to spend some money to get the "savings" and medical advancements we need to cut cost and save our economy! No better time than now! Thanks Jack, keep up the dialogue

    Terrence C
    Springfield, IL

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  73. Don

    Good question! If the powers to be were legitimately concerned about the the current and future deficit, there would not be any discussion about governemnt healthcare. There might be a discussion on how to reform private healthcare but defitely nothing about more spending. The President and the Congress should be talking about how to stimulate investments in private industry. This is the only way to create sustainable wealth. Goverments cannot create wealth. If they create more government jobs, they again will increase spending.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  74. Doug Lata

    With the fact that Americans pay $6,000 more per person for health care than other advanced nations, how will reform cost more. It will save a huge pile of money. I see it as a critical piece of the puzzle in fixing the national debt. Of course politicians have to legislate new prices for Medicare and other public prgrams. The idea that reform will cost more is Orwellian.

    D. Lata
    Pickering, Canada

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  75. Tim Stipp

    So we have seeming unlimited amounts of money for wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, bailing out investment bankers, insurance companies and car builders but cant spend a penny for health care for our citizens? We spend 500 billion a year on the military not including the wars. We spend more on the military than all the other countries combined. What is wrong with ending the wars now and cutting military spending? Where are our priorities? If you die because you cant see a doctor why be afraid of a handful of terrorists?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  76. Dick

    It will have no effect. It is way overdue. The current system is antiquated and services big pharma. Time to take control and try to do it write for a change – There is so much waste that I am currently paying for, why not fix it and then maybe in 25-30 years or so, it will finally be fixed.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  77. EugeneWiese Midlothian,Va.

    The rising debt is the biggest roadblock to health care reform.Money problems can be solved: stop tax cuts to the rich;stop spending and get out of the 2 wars; collect all the hidden money that's not paid to the IRS(change the tax code,loopholes)cut the waste in our present health care system;create more manufacturing jobs and jobs that hire a lot of people.This is where a little creativity and discovery can increase the economy and reduce the debt.Health care reform is an absolute neccessity to reduce costs for individuals and businesses. Gene

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  78. Norman Carter US Army Ret.

    Jack,
    You should know the success of the political argument is predicated on how the argument is phrased. The national debt wasn't an issue when Bush was dumping $300+ into Iraq for the past 6 years. Why bring it up now- with a 10 forecast???

    The debt is critical to U.S. long term financial health. But the spiraling health costs will usurp operating costs of hospitals causing them to eventually stop providing health care to ALL, regardless of insurance. I wonder how many of the town hall screamers DON'T have health care insurance.

    Push the issue, reduce healthcare and we will reduce the debt.

    Norman Carter
    Stafford Va.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  79. Patricia/Georgia

    Unfortunately, it will effect it but to do nothing would be worse. Our national debt is rising rapidly due to unemployment payments and nothing coming in on spending. The rising cost of health care is another factor and our debt will continue to rise if we do not address this health care issue. Too bad the republicans got out there first with their mis-information as Obama under estimated them It will be harder for him now but he is the best spokesperson for it and I think he will turn this around.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  80. Steve C

    The only silver lining to this poor economy is it will stop health care reform spending as proposed by our president.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  81. AJ Brown-Ohio

    I don't know if I,m allowed two comments.The American public needs to kick out the politicans who are saying health care is too expensive.We want it ... but not now.Perhaps congress is too expensive.What good are they other than" telling us what we don't need". !!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Donna from POMPANO

    In this economy, we should be asking what will happen to the "surging national debt", if we don't use health care reform to help cut costs & keep Americans from further unnecessary forecloses because of lack of health care insurance protection.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  83. Mike - Chicago

    To Chad from LA – Drug Companies were not allowed to Advertise years ago. The law was changed so people could make more informed decisions with their doctors. But, for the masses, it seems to cause the doctors more difficulty in explaining why some new expensive drug they saw advertized doesn't work any better than aspirin.

    Yes, let's get the debt under control. Here's a suggestion: Eliminate Medicare direct billing. Reimburse people directly. 1. this eliminates a large part of Fraud. 2. if people actually have to write a check for their true costs, they'll think twice about it. Diabetic Testing supplies should not be covered. The companies get money from Medicare for shipping supplies the people don't even use.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  84. Jo-Ann Behan

    The House and Senate need to listen to their "Employer"...the
    American taxpayers. Of course, the skyrocketing budget deficit
    will effect the efforts to pass Health Care Reform...that no one,
    including the President has yet to clearly explain. And, why isn't
    the Republican solution being talked about in the media? Insurance
    Reform.....allow people to purchase Health Insurance from any company in any state......well, because THAT makes sense, and doesn't require 1000 pages of nonsense.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  85. Tommy Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    The irony is that people's fears about the debt could derail health care reform, when ,in fact, health care reform could actually help reduce the debt significantly.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  86. Cora - Hot Springs Ark

    Jack my question is who runs the national debt clock? is it economists? who decides what the economy is going to be in 2012?why do everyone always doubt what the president and him staff say?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  87. doran Leighe

    Here are a couple things to consider, misinformation is being sent out to republican supporters by the pharmaceutical lobbyist,,,and those that are most vocal about deficits are not going to be around in the next twenty years.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  88. Art

    National debt (go make more paper money) and health care reform (insurance companies call all of the shots not Drs) are so far gone I'm not sure there is a solution without revolution or dissolving this country into 3-4 individual entities (can you say Russia?). Like everyone else I am disgusted with ALL of the administration (yes, it's a joke) and it won't surprise me when the govt calls Marshall law and starts ID chipping every "citizen" (the illegals get a pass).

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  89. Bill from Virginia

    Congress wants to buy jets to fly them around the world, give themselves pay raises, and spend, spend, spend. People now believe they have a "right" to free this, free that. Sooner or later someone has to pay for all this spending. Let's see...the poor don't have any money, the rich always seem to avoid paying their fair share...looks like the working class get stuck with the bill - again.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Emmet Ross

    Obama thinks he can take healthcare away from the non-productive citizens of this country, namely the seniors and disabled of any age, give it to the un-insured and illegal aliens. That way he will have enough money to cover the cost of his new healthcare program. This man we call president has the mathmatical skills of a flea. He has no idea how to work on balancing the budget. He spends money like he had a bottomless gold mine.
    The burden of un-insured and illegal aliens, and fraud is what has put our healthcare in the position it is in.
    Obama does not seem to realize that most of the senior citizens in this country pay all or a large portion of their own healthcare. I pay $254 a month for my share of medicare and two supplements, C & D. Plus I work part-time and medicare is taken out of that.
    So far, in the three years I have had this, I have only used it for physicals once a year and twice for flu.
    Does Obama think he can insure everyone for less per person? No way

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Tom Thatcher Libby, MT

    It has to affect it, our government has to take off there blinders and see whats beside and behind them. What they are doing is going to sneak up and Destroy this country. Healthcare can wait, our countrys well being can't. Bring our Jobs back from over seas, and stop giving everyone that comes here a free ride. We cant do everything at once....

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  92. doran Leighe

    Here are a couple things to consider, misinformation is being sent out to republican supporters by the pharmaceutical lobbyist,,,and those that are most vocal about deficits are not going to be around in the next twenty years.

    Doran Leighe

    San Francisco, CA

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Paul from Rome, GA

    Of course the surging national debt will affect the passage of much-needed health care reform! The Republicans will ensure that it will be added to 20 other red herrings as excuses for letting the health insurance industry rule our lives. Never mind that reform would would reduce the deficit in the long run; that fact will get drowned in the shouted slogans of the gun-toting right. It's amazing that those who cry out for free enterprise the most are willing to live at the mercy of non-competitive providers. Only in America...

    August 25, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Lyle R Olson

    Jack: I believe that Universal Health Care can be accomplished without increasing the deficit. First, administrative costs would be reduced at least 15% from the present level, then get the waste and phony and inflated claims out of Medicare and Medicaid. Then remove the political tax cuts that Bush pushed through. Take the rest out of the bloated Defense budget. Its time to get out of two wars and posting thousands of troops around the world.

    Lyle R Olson
    Ft. Myers, FL

    August 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  95. Thomas M

    I would say that the national dept will be the nail in the coffin for health care reform. If congress would just allow for a tax break for everyone that gets health insurance wouldn't that accomplish one of the goals of more people being covered? And I'm not talking about a tax break that can only be used if you go the long form. If more people are covered by insuance then there would be fewer dead beats that go to the hospital that cannot pay for there treatment. The only other thing they would need to mandate is the part about pre-existing conditions.
    From Texas

    August 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  96. Sue from Redwood City

    I think it would hurt efforts at health care reform. I think the Obama adminsitration made a mistake with passing the stimulus bills through too quickly, it should have been carefully gone over and all the pork taken out of it first. I still support the Obama administration, but I think pusing the other bill through too fast was a mistake. I'm one of the millions that can't afford health care insurance and want to see it go through. I would be happy with just about any kind of health care – it would be more than I had before!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  97. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack
    Were all a little late to the party. The time to fix the national debt was 5 years ago at the last election. Remember when Osama attacked New york so we attacked Iraq. Still today a real leap of faith. I still have a problem with health care reform. My concern is why does the Insurance CEO and his officers make more money than the doctors and nurses that perform the work. If Americans could see how much of their premiums went to paying the insured they be suprised insurance companies spend more of our money not paying claims. Placing a government agency in charge of saving money would be a mistake. The government has a position in this debacle to legislate or mandate health care costs. They mandate fuel, economy and food content they can sure make insurance companies disclose where all the money is spent.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  98. W. Harris, NJ

    Health Insurance Reform aside for a second. I am so pissed about this debt situation. It's ashame! President Obama has inherited the worst economy since the 1930's. I dont understand how this country goes from a damn surplus, to being TRILLIONS of dollars in debt, in eight years! I dont care what anyone has to say about moving on. We can't move on, we cant progress, there is no room for change or reform, because we're shackled due mishandling of our economy by the Bush Administration.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  99. Taylor Blanchard

    Fun to watch Jack? Really? Maybe for you folks at CNN. For those of us in the real world, who don't have or are worried about loosing health coverage, the spectacle of watching these gutless wonders in Washington waste time posturing and maneuvering for political gain while millions in this country suffer is anything but fun.

    Taylor Blanchard

    Ewing
    New Jersey

    August 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  100. Lucy

    I'm still waiting for world peace. Cutting the military would save our butts financially. Cutting red tape out of the system would be another.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    August 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  101. Michael Jones

    Well im sure by know we have all heard the saying that sometimes you have to spend a little to get a little. Well same holds true in this issue. Yes ,no doubt the amount of money thats predicted to be spent over the 10 yrs. sounds incredibly horrible but if we invest in health care know we set up our future so that we can lower the deficit. So by going through with the health care reform we are helping not jus the presence but are future. Yes things will look bad for awhile but gradually we'll see the change-Wichita Ks,-17 yrs old

    August 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  102. Tim in Minnesota writes:

    Kevin says: "Well since the liberals don’t seem to care that their children will have to pay for this recless spending and I have no children of my own, I say pass it!"
    Hey Kevin – I'm not sure if you recall, or even if you were on another planet over the last 8 years, but your Republican buddies are responsible for about 5 trillion of our current debt. Stop blaming "those liberals" for everything and come up with some ideas.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  103. Elizabeth

    National Healthcare is a really great idea. But, alas, it is way too late. That unfortunate Iraq war not only took down Saddam, it also took down our financial ability to do anything good for ourselves.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  104. Annie, Atlanta

    Well, that’s the republican weekly talking point. They must get them early Sunday morning from some secret source. But it's ok if they spend our money on 2 wars. Let’s go back to the progressive tax of the 1950s and give these folks something real to freak out about, along with Medicare for all, paid for with said tax increase.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  105. Chris - IL

    Health Care Reform is essential to allowing our country to continue to grow and prosper. Half of all bankruptcies are related to medical bills and that has a huge impact on our economy. Estimates put 24% of the cost of health care in administration (hospital, insurance) and that is a huge burden on the economy. Solve those issues and the economy is healthier and tax receipts will grow. Finally, there is the moral issue that about 20,000 people die each year because they don't have insurance.

    This has been talked about since Teddy Roosevelt. If not now, when?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  106. Allen L Wenger

    It will make it much harder and maybe even stop it from happening. The deficit is always a major issue when passing any program to help the poor, old, or middle class American. I wonder why the deficit is never a big issue when we talk about going to war or buying equipment for the military.

    Mountain Home ID

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  107. Boris Leak,

    If the economy picks up all this talk about the deficit will be moot. The obstructionist far right is spinning Nazi propaganda now.They have done nothing the previous eight years when they where in power but spend spend on waging Wars to benefit not the American people but their big business cronies.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  108. John

    A trillion dollars for health care OVER 10 YEARS! Why worry about that paltry sum?? It is nothing really. Get over it and move on!
    There is no way to reduce the so-called "national debt", so let's at least get something (health care) out of it, instead of having the lower and middle class take it in the shorts all the time. Sure wish we had that nearly trillion dollars spent on that black hole Iraq War back. Every time we might get some good from governmental spending, people keep hollering "Too Expensive!" Baloney. These people should just shut up.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  109. Bill Myers

    If universal health could have been made to pay for itself, it would have been legislated decades ago.

    If the Founding Fathers wanted the federal government to provide health care for it's citizens, they would have put it into the Constitution centuries ago.

    Reforming health care would take two simple laws:
    First, health insurance providers should operate as not-for-profits. Premiums would take a dive. Besides, profit on sickness is a moral morass.
    Second, a dollar-for dollar federal tax credit for those who buy health insurance. Who would pay taxes rather than have health insurance?

    Thanks for all you do, Jack.

    – Bill Myers

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  110. Rosemary, New York, NY

    The national debt will only get worse without health care reform–and that must include a public option since the private insurers cannot be trusted. Being for health care reform doesn't make one reckless.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  111. valwayne

    Cash for Clunkers was a tiny piece of the corrupt stimulous bill that was suppose to cost $1 billion. In 4 days it cost more than that and the Government had rush to approve a total of $3 billion and had to shut it down in weeks rather than months. If it has run for the originally planned 4 months it would likely have cost $15 or $20 billion. 15 to 20 times the original Government cost estimate. And the Government has screwed up the entire program. Their computers were overwhelmed, they haven't paid the dealerships on time, just an overall mess!!!! Obamacare is 100s of times more complicated. Can you imagine waiting 6 months or a year to approve your cancer or heart bypass surgery only to find that the Government has lost your request? Can you imagine the $1 trillion in additional debt quickly running up to $10 trillion in additional debt. 2 weeks ago we thought the debt Obama would run up over 10 years would be $7Trillion. Now we know it will be $9 Trillion, and what makes us think it won't be a few TRILLION more? Obama clearly can't estimate anything correctly? This needs to stop. Obama's first duty as President is to keep the nation safe and that includes our economy. He needs to stop and focus on getting our economy fixed, the debt and printed money under control, and people back to work. Then he/we can worry about other things!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  112. chris

    you know Jack the national debt is going to rise no matter what we do. After all america is BROKE!!!!! so we might as well try to do what we can before the chinese start demanding we pay them and before our whole system comes crashing down.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  113. steven in e.tn

    Jack, no one seemed to mind or be paying attention when Bush and nis gang took a federal surplus and made a huge deficit by lying and going to war over false information and hype by the Bush gang,spending BILLIONS of our dollars, on an unjust war .. I have no doubt that we can reduce medical costs by reigning in greed of insurance companys, doctors , and pharmacutical drug makers. To do away with their greedy practices of lining the pockets of politicians would probably pay an awful lot towards healhcare of our people.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  114. Mary

    I voted for Obama; I was proud to vote for the first African-American president. But I am one of the many who are very disappointed in his approach to "health care reform."

    Health care reform *must not* prevent the development of new therapies for those who need them. It must not pay for illegal aliens. It must not compromise health care for US citizens. And, I think that Obama's plan will. As an aside–who can tell–there are so many plans and so much paper than our "representatives" have, no doubt, not read.

    Sad to say, the Republicans are right: if this version of health care reform is passed, it will end private insurance. All employers will elect the government's insurance, because it will be cheaper.

    Americans will revolt if this comes to pass. Certainly, Obama and his supporters will be voted out of office.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  115. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Jack, the question is not how will the national debt going to affect health care but how will the 'surging' national debt effect our country? Will we go from the only superpower to being a third world debtor nation.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  116. Tim in Texas

    In terms of paying for health care reform, let the tax cuts Bush gave to the ultra wealthy expire. Then follow Obama's plan of only allowing them to claim so called charitable deductions that bring them down to the 27% bracket - with one exception. If they want to make a charitable deduction to a Federal Fund which would subsidize health insurance for low income individuals, then they can deduct that. These deductions for 'charity' are a load of hooey. Rich folks do things like contribute an ugly diamond ring that won't sell to an auction and then take a huge deduction for it - or 'contribute' to their kid's private school, with a whole lot of strings attached to the 'charity'.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  117. JMZ

    Obama continues to spend like a mad man and noone cares. His insurance reform is nothing more than govt control. he just brought back madoff..remember him...he the guy who say the fed has to be allowed to run unchecked and unaudited for "our own good" . thats what Obama wants..complete controlll..you want to know what Obamas healthcare is going allok like in 10 yrs...looka at ALL other govt programs...it will be just like them. ...abused , corrrupt, bankrupt and all paid for by the people who never get to use them

    August 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  118. LEN - IL.

    It seems to me that the present healthcare is what is causing a lot of the problem. Give this administration a chance to fix what got handed down to them. The GOP caused the huge national debt, now quit your whining and accept the fact, We need Health Care. If you don't, then keep what you have, and shut up.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  119. Robert W. , NC

    One thing people forget. I was without healthcare for eight months when I was unemployed. I did not die from not having health care. The assumption that people die from not having health care is a little strange to me. Not being covered does not kill you. It is the lack of treatment for illness that could kill you but if you are not ill you do not even need to be covered. Would his new system not cover people who are healthy? The administrative cost of covering people who are healthly could treat many sick people.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  120. KC Truby

    The reason Republicans are out of office is that so many fiscally conservative voters stayed on the sideline in 06 and 08. It is not fair to say 'no one' said a word about Bush running up the debt.

    Many Republicans like myslef stepped away from participation and gave the House, Senate and the White House to the democrats. If just 10% of us stay home, that swings the election.

    Obama did not win because of his 'hope and ideas' he won because so many of us were so mad about spending money like idiots from 2002 to 2008.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  121. Susan, Memphis TN

    Let's put a cap on ALL government spending until we bring the deficit under control. That's what I do when my money is gone. There are a lot of things I (we) would love to have but cannot afford. I get sick to my stomach just thinking about what we are doing to future generations, not to mention the good old USA. Doesn't anyone in Washington have a conscience?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  122. Denise, Oregon

    Instead of throwing more money down the hole by converting our health care system into a socialist's dream, why don't we "reform" the existing system, Medicare included, to deal with all the billions of dollars worth of fraud that occur every year?
    When a pizza chain in Florida can charge Medicare over $500,000 for bogus medical procedures and get paid for it, no questions asked, then the system is broken. Throwing more money at it, expanding its coverage, and opening it up for even more fraud will only bankrupt this country without really helping the citizens who need the help.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  123. Bobby

    We can’t have Health Care or Health Insurance Reform if it does not include TORT reform. Unnecessary Tort litigation is 25% of everyone’s insurance premium.

    Yet I have not heard or seen this mentioned by President Obama or any Democrat in Congress.

    Oh and Look I just made health insurance 25% cheaper for everyone and did not add 1 cent to the National Debt. Throw in some regulations around pre-existing conditions and the problem is solved.

    Bobby Knoxville TN

    August 25, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  124. Rich Clawson

    Gee Jack, my wife and I just discussed your question. You're right, the Hell with health care! We can still afford our premiums for now and my wife will be Medicare eligible in 2 years and me in 5 years. No one seemed to care about debt when Bush got us involved in Iraq.
    So let's just keep the status quo.

    I've got my health care, who cares about anyone else? It's the American way.

    Rich
    Flanders, NJ

    August 25, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  125. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    It is going to stall it. We need a plan but we need the right plan. Why rush into anything. Just have the government pay for the proceedures that the uninsured need as a stop gap to overhauling the whole system. I don't think the problem has been studied sufficiently to implement a whole new system. By the way, when are they going to get around to revamping the Secret Service? Ronald Kessler's new book about it is chilling and reccommended to everyone to read. Very interesting.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  126. Scott O'Canada

    It's interesting to see how both sides of this issue are trying to vilify the other. Let's not forget the Democrats inherited much of this problem, so it could be argued that the Republican position lacks a certain amount of credibility and their solutions seem to be a whole lotta feathers and not much chicken. Obama, in concert with his health care agenda, should introduce a balanced budget resolution, beginning in the year 2012. This will allow a two year period with which to engage in working through the new systems inevitable growing pains. You can be certain however, that yes, like the rest of us, your taxes will be going up.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  127. rob shelton

    Jack –

    I seem to remember the Republicans posturing themselves as the moral alternative to those naughty liberals. They were the party of "accountability".

    Now they are scrambling to hide the crimes they committed during the Bush Administration.

    Shouldn't they be held accountable for their immoral behavior?

    Rob

    August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  128. Jeremy, Billings, Mt

    The country's economy and its debt go hand in hand. If you want to fix them both give people the ability and opportunity to be consumers. Affordable health care and education among other things will help things greatly. If you want people to spend money don't bury them in debt trying to pay for things that should be a right of all people. If people have a disposable income to work with they will feed money back into our capitalist economy, and as the economy recovers our ability to pay down the national debt will return. Years of trickle down economics got us into this mess, the reverse will get us out. Empower the masses with the ability to right the ship the wealthy minority nearly sunk.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  129. andrew czajkowski

    There is no plan that has been proposed by the administration that will have any significant impact on health care costs. So health care reform is a myth relative to cost reduction at this point. Medicare now is projected to run a huge deficit. Why not attack that first before biting off another enormous program.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  130. dave

    When Bush left, the deficit was @ 1.5 T. in 8 months, BHO has increased it 10 fold. when are going to stop blaming the Repubs?
    Both the DEMS and REPUBS are a bunch of CROOKS. What we need is a 3rd Party that will start our Govt going the RIGHT AND PROPER WAY. Does anybody agree with me?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  131. DJ in Denver

    This is the scariest thing I can think of. We have to fix this now. Healthcare is a big piece, but the war machine we finance must be downsized. It's great to have the most powerful whatever, but we can't afford this. I can barely comprehend a million add seven more zeros and stick a two in front of it and my mind can't handle that. I have a great idea let's vote another Republican into the presidency so we can get there faster. Spend and spend is worse than tax and spend. The good news is when it's cheaper to burn money than wood the Republicans will still be warm.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  132. Avis Rigg

    I think that the national debt will affect health care reform, Jack. How? With these words: the psychology of looking at, thinking about, and being bothered by the existing deficit.

    Jack, I love your thoughtful questions and the responses you garner from those you take the time to voice their opinions.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  133. Tim in Minnesota writes:

    By the way, does anyone, especially our friendly neighborhood Republicans, remember when Dick Cheney said, "Deficits don't matter?"
    Oh, maybe he was a closet liberal....

    August 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  134. Harry

    Jack, the numbers being projected concerning the expected national debt in 2019 are based on things not changing – where health care costs are allowed to continue to spiral out of control. President Obama made the case early on that the economic recovery depends on controlling health care costs. The economic medicine may not be suited to your taste (your expectation) but it is definitely needed to save the patient (our economy). However, I understand your comparison with World War II. The fact is, the threat to our future is akind to the threat we faced in World War II. That threat included the loss of 55 Million people worldwide. Does it really matter what the economic cost is for recover when you compare it to the cost of doing nothing?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  135. Mike in Colorado

    Maybe the Question should be "How will passing true hea;th care reform effect the national deficit.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  136. Charles R

    Obama can't just double the national debt with no consequences. That 20 Trillion dollar number is unsustanable and couldn't be paid back even if you doubled taxes on everyone (hear that people, not just the rich but everyone). It amazes me that some people think you can just print money to fix this. Guess what, when you print money, the money you have is worth less. Can anybody say $10,000 for a loaf of bread!!!

    Health care and alot of other things are gonna have to wait.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  137. Andy Vouras

    Re : health care costs
    I think an important question that these politicians should ask these disruptive participants of the town meetings is-Who pays your health insurance now? I'm sure that most of these people don't pay a significant portion of their costs now . In the case of public union members Rhode Island, most workers pay only 5-10 %, much less than the average private worker. These people who disrupt meetings are only concerned about continuing to avoid any addition liability for health care costs. If they were uninsured or paid their entire premium themselves(premiums that are increasing 10-15% a year), they would be screaming for the gov't to do something now.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  138. Steve in St. Louis

    When we started wars with Iraq and Afghanistan no one cared about the cost and the impact on the deficit. At the same time when we decided to give huge tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans no one cared about the cost and the impact on the deficit. But when we want to provide health care to those who don't have coverage everyone is up in arms. What is wrong with this country. Greed is more important than compassion. We should be ashamed.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  139. Julianna

    There are some problems we know how to solve–even if we lack the political will. Healthcare is not one of those problems. The issue is complex and solutions will require some experimentation and a lot of responsibility on the part of everyone–legislators, the president, healthcare professionals, healthcare industries and even individual citizens. We have a responsibility to require careful legislation, reject sensationalism and–above all–live more healthy lifestyles. We need to be challenged, not patronized. And the shouting citizens in town hall meetings need to understand that they could find themselves sick and without healthcare. . .unless, of course, they have a government insurance program.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  140. Mark... Voorhees, New Jersey

    Yeah, let's give all our money, what there is left, to the insurance companies, the just say no Nancy Republicans like Ensign and Sandford, the drug companies, and the banks, so they can afford a few more politicians, and get some more wing-nuts to protest sanity and logic.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  141. Jim C

    It is ironic that most people will acknowledge that the US needs health care reform to cut costs and cover more people, however the current proposal only addresses one of the two issues. Those on the left refuse to address tort reform and medical malpractice issues because many of them are aligned with the trial attorneys. Those on the right are alligned with the big insurance companies and refuse to allow a public option without blasting it. Wouldn't it be nice to see some bi-partisanship led by those who know how to fix health care...physicians, nurses, social workers (those who see both the needs and the wastes)

    August 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  142. Lynne

    Beam me up, Jack! There's no intelligent life left on this planet!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  143. Sally-Michigan

    Well, since the republicans don't want any health reform especially the public option, they will jump all over this. They will use the same tired old argument to scare the American people (fear is their favorite tactic) that "our children will be inheriting our debt". This is a lot of bull since we had an equivalent of an $ 18 trillion dollar debt ( by today's standards) after WWII and we came thru just fine. For the children of today who don't have a home or a parent with a job, the future right now doesn't look too good.
    Of course, maybe if Bush hadn't started an illegal war, given the rich a big tax break, and monitored Wall St. a little closer, we wouldn't be having this conversation!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  144. Rick

    Term limits and mandatory budget balancing (like the states). How any of the pols (either party) can vote for more spending in these times with that amount of existing debt is mind boggling. I would like to see what the cost is to the feds, interest wise, on every billion that they have to borrow...show that number to the American people.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  145. Kent

    It's been said that the most dangerous propositiion to this country, aside from Islamic terrorists detonating a nuclear weapon on U.S. soil, is the rising national debt.

    It's unfortunate, but I fear that all too many people will be deceived into blaming this on Obama and the Democrats. A cursory overview of the previous presidential administrations' contribution to the national debt might surprise you about which party has been more fiscally responsible.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  146. Randy From New York

    I'm having enough of a hard time figuring out what health care reform means, much less trying to determine the impact of the deficit on that illusive topic. How can Americans understand health care reform when more than half believe the myths about health care reform; more than half believe the earth is only 8000 years old; and more than half can't comprehend a trillion dollars.

    If health care reform doesn't save money and provide health care to all Americans, then how can it be called "Reform?"

    To me, it seems the larger the deficit, the more we need "reform" - whatever that means. And we need "reform" for more than just health care.

    By the way, I recommend that anyone who does not want the "Public" option should be forced to opt out of the already existing public options named Medicare and Medicaide. We could probably save a trillion or two if those people would opt out of their public option.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  147. Reid in Memphis

    An extra trillion or two will seem like chump change when the 50% inflation train arrives....

    August 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  148. Tim

    That's it, I am done!!!

    I say we gather what ever people still have some wealth, before Obama-Stalin takes it, and hire Blackwater to take over a third world country. Preferably one that won't be too affected by global warming.

    Once there we will set up a new American, one in which the only thing you are entitled to is a level playing field to provide for you and your family. I see the GDP of this new country driven primarily by drugs, payday loan business, healthcare treatments stemming from the constant overconsumption of fast food and a sedentary lifestyle, and other "I don't have to take responsibility for my actions" type industries... we will make a fortune marketing it to the "old America"

    Who's with me?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  149. Lucy

    Does it even matter? We're in a dilemma, can't we just think of solutions instead of pointing fingers? Bush's fault, Obama's fault, healthcares fault....whine whine whine whine whine. Someone needs to lay the smackdown in Congress to get everyone on the same page and on the same damn team. Can we at least agree that we should be fighting for America, not fighting for your party? How did this all get so divisive...I don't like it.
    Lucy
    SF, CA

    August 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  150. Karl from SF, CA

    Unregulated health care has put us where we are today. Fix it now or pay through the nose later. The healthcare industry is currently finding 1.4 million a day to lobby and advertise against reform; who are they denying service to and cancelling to cover that along with their millions in salaries and bonuses. Unchanged, when these executives get through draining the coffers into their pockets and leave us high and dry it will make TARP look like pocket change.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  151. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    About 7 yrs ago the dollar was equal to the Euro , now it is 1dollar and 42 cents gives you one Euro. If the only way the government can get us out of this economic crisis is to print money then inflation will and should be called counterfeting

    August 25, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  152. Tony Fremont, Ca.

    Jack,
    I can't see how it would if you look at our Nation's dilemma as a "whole". Deficit eqauls acquired unpaid debt. How is debt acquired from rising inflation for health care private insurance costs any different? The overall deficit shouldn't stop us from streamlining private health care inflation. It should compel us streamline those costs instead. Both factors decrease our Nation's overall assets and GDP. The Public option is the only part of Obama's proposal triggering savings over time by stabilizing the now monopolized private health insurance market. I realize millionaires aren't too worried about that....but it's a fact. Maybe we better start thinking of our nation instead of ourselves. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  153. M. Davis

    The United States is spending trillions of dollars to dig itself out of a financial crisis that began with the bloody-fanged, unregulated capitalism-run-amok of eight years of the Bush administration.

    Few people are giving the Obama goverment credit for turning around a near-collapse of this nation's economy lasr winter, but it's working. Now it's time for the US to accept the challenge of trillions of dollars of debt and work like hell – each and every citizen – to make our economy the giant and world leader it once was. Yes, we can!

    M. Davis
    Sarasota, FL

    August 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  154. Dorothy from Illinois

    I don't mind my taxes being raised to pay for a Public Option in Health Care Reform...Unlike the top percentage of our society, I've paid my taxes thru GWB era while they were handed tax breaks!!! It would help tremendously if they would start paying their share of the load. Also...no pay raises for Congress til 2020!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  155. Marian Kelso

    From where I sit. and for what it's worth, it's just a lot , of political maneuvering going on anyway. The republicans just want Obama to fail because they want back in power for one thing, and because he is black and some people on both sides can't stand it.. So I think Obama ought to just go ahead and pass it without his detractors if he can and we will all be appreciative for whatever he accomplishes considering how mean it has all been. Good luck to him....I think he is a good honest man. Some in Washington have really have "showed their butts" as my dad used to say, and I won't forget it.

    Pat
    Southaven, MS

    August 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  156. Bob Weir, Huntsville AL

    The debt provides cover for Born Again Republican fiscal conservatives,who gleefully spent money when they were the majority party, as well as Blue Dog Democrats elected from Republican majority districts. With the health care industry providing the funding to organize opposition, we will again fail to overhaul a system that hits those in a position to do nothing but suffer the consequences, and the stupid voters who fail to understand that they pay for this with every visit to the doctor or hospital will applaud it's downfall. Remember, we have the best Congress that money can buy.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  157. g ontario

    get rid of programs you don,t like finding rocks on the moon does mars have water who cares no more billion dollar aid packages for other countrys icluding Isreal ,pakistan get out of wars and so on taxes payed in america should stay in america

    August 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  158. Jim

    Of course not! Why would we want to build a program on the premise of being able to pay for it? That would be against the ethos of Obama and his sycophants.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  159. Mike

    How are we going to add 40M people to the health care system and not have it cost more money.

    Obama and his people keep saying that by adding more people we can save money but they have no proof of it. Personally I think 1T over ten years is totally optimistic.

    Just like their predictions for unemployment , the debt and the clunkers program all of which they have badly guessed on. Or maybe they have lied just Bush

    August 25, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  160. phillip bias

    Obama only has one sulution for any and every problem. SPEND SPEND SPEND problem is this only creates more debt and drives down everything else. someone needs to call for the man in the big hat. cause curios george has broken everything he has touched so far. exactly why do the libs want to bankrupt America, and it is obvious that that is exactly what they are doing.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  161. Pamela

    The reason that Healthcare is 1/6 of GDP is because Bush let the industry do what it wanted for 8 years. Greed ran rampant. We pay the MOST for our Healthcare (which is double or more of other industrialized coutries), and we are in last place. When is CNN going to check these Congress people who get away with saying that we have the best Healthcare system. No we don't!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  162. Lee in TN

    Well Jack,
    It looks as if the Bush plan is working. Institute tax giveaways to the wealthy and push the country so far in debt that we can't institute the programs that benefit 95% of all Americans. How soon the nation forgets about the budget surplus that Bill Clinton left, only to be squandered away in less than a year by the Bush administration.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  163. Jack

    What everyone needs to remember when debating health care reform is that while it is a downpayment upfront, it will pay for itself in the long run. So in the end, the health care reform proposed by President Obama will lower the national debt.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  164. Curtis

    If our "leaders" are intelligent, they will realize that they cannot keep adding entitlements when we are bankrupt! It's time to cut government, reduce spending, stimulate growth and encourage a national policy of frugality.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  165. Mark from Louisiana

    Hopefully this administration will realize that this crazy spending spree has to stop until we can get our nations deficit under control.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  166. michael

    Jack, we need to let it all hang out. What difference does it make how much we spend.? As long as there is Democrats and Republicans in congress, will have this problem.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  167. PAT California

    I like to believe that the war will end and the money used for it will be go to lower the deficit! Obama has promised us hOPE and CHANGE and he will do it! It is not within our sights now, and people are becoming impatient with spending because we never used this approach in the past, but HANG IN THERE! We are building and it will come!!!!!

    August 25, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  168. Economist

    Social Security and Medicare are going to go bankrupt. The deficit is blooming. It's pretty absurd to pursue socialized healthcare when the government already has so much on its plate.

    And no, nationalized health care will *not* solve these problems. Even if the new system realizes new efficiencies, overall spending (and the deficit) would increase.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  169. Steve

    I sure hope so, if we take on any more debt the US dollar will have "Made in China" printed on it.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  170. S.D, Plano, TX

    Jack,

    It would help if the administration can clearly explain the year by year expenditure because of this reform.

    If I remember right, the ideas in this bill won't kick in for a few years. How much money will be spent in 2009, 2010?

    If this thing has a future start, I am not sure current economic conditions should dictate its fate. But, nobody is talking specifics. It is all abstract talk.

    Thanks
    S.D
    Plano, TX

    August 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  171. Dan - Saratoga Springs UT

    Should adding spending to already unsustainable spending be a concern? Why do we even bother to ask!

    We need to reform the healthcare system but why the rush to spend? The current $1Trillion push won't even come into full effect until 2013 so why are we rushing the debate? If it's 4 years until "impact", why do we have to decide TODAY before reading and understanding the full bill? Are we in that rushed to spend money we don't have?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  172. Tommc

    Jack - The fallacy here is that the national debt will double, but what no one is calculating is that $93T unfunded obligation(SS/Medicare) that will need to be paid out starting in 2016. There are 3 choices. Reign in spending on services, means test for everything(do you need SS payment?), default on Medicare and dump everyone in Medicare to the exchange to buy their own insurance or public option vouchers or pull a Zimbabwe and inflate your way out of debt.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  173. James

    Jack,

    I think people need to remember that this was not a factor back then because we did not have to worry about this problem. But it seems that people who are rich are the ones complaining and the poor whom never had it easy, is just doing fine with things. Having a health care reform is a great idea. For the last 8yrs, we were being told nothing about this but now we have a government that is trying to let us know what is going on and too many hypocrites still keep on complaining. People need to get real.

    August 25, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  174. Scott

    No country, in the history of the world has ever solved a national debt problem by spending more money. This is basic Economics 101.

    Sincerely, do you believe if we spend what is projected to be a bill costing American's 1.9 Trillion dollars, that it will solve the national debt problem? How stupid does the government think we are?

    August 25, 2009 at 5:58 pm |