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August 26th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

What if health care reform delayed until Christmas or beyond?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

One of the causes nearest and dearest to the late Senator Ted Kennedy's heart was health care reform.

Kennedy was a fierce advocate for reform during the Clintons' effort at overhaul in the early 90s - and a leader in helping pass recent legislation to provide health care to millions of children.

Had he lived - Kennedy likely would have been disappointed once again… as it seems the chances of getting health care reform done are receding yet again.

Democratic Senator Russ Feingold told voters in his home state of Wisconsin that there would likely be no bill before the end of the year... and maybe never, saying: "Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas, and maybe not even then, if this ever happens. The divisions are so deep. I've never seen anything like that."

Feingold said that it's unfortunate that Congress is headed in the direction of doing "absolutely nothing." He added he couldn't say whether he would support a health care bill until he actually sees it.

Feingold has been a supporter of trying a variety of health reform proposals in different states first... instead of applying the same massive changes to the whole country. He said he doesn't think a "one-size-fits-all" approach would work as well as letting states have some flexibility.

Definitely not a good sign for President Obama when you have members of your own party questioning whether this thing will ever happen.

Here’s my question to you: What will it mean to health care reform if it's delayed until Christmas and maybe beyond?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeff from Isla Vista, California writes:
All it will mean if health care is delayed is that the Democratic Party will have time to solidify its power base and have a better chance of passing a bill that they like. I'm sure the Edward Kennedy Health Care Act of 2009 will pass with a public option.

Tim from Hot Springs, Arkansas writes:
Delaying health care reform isn't a sign of its failure, it's a sign of the failure of the Democratic Party. If they had any backbone at all, this would have been passed before the summer recess. Instead, their internal bickering makes them weak, subject to future legislative failures and substantial losses in 2010. The Republicans may be on life support, but the Democrats are slitting their own throats. You tell me, which lives longer?

Stephanie from Charlottesville, Virginia writes:
I feel similar to the way I felt each time George W. Bush was elected - that the country would reap what it was sowing, the inevitable slow descent into second-class countryhood. Our empire will continue to decline and fall if we don't get a handle on health care costs. This absolutely means getting rid of insurance companies' monopoly on costs. (Incidentally, I am a physician).

Mike from Huntsville, Alabama writes:
That our do-nothing government continues to do nothing. They don't solve real problems; each party lays traps for the other one and plots ways to score points. They don't have any real interest in solving our nation’s problems. Make the other guys look bad so we regain or maintain power is what it is all about.

John from San Diego writes:
Jack, It will mean what we already know: we have a Congress full of legislators who are incapable of legislating. The last and only true American legislator passed away last night.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (166 Responses)
  1. Jackie in Dallas

    Jack, I can't see health care reform being passed before Christmas under the best of circumstance, much less in this poisonous environment.

    There are two bills currently; one in the Senate and one in the House. Even if both went to the floor and passed, the two would then have to go to a joint committee for a compromise bill, anyway, then after coming out of committee, pass both houses again. That is why I feel all the hoopla being raised in town hall meetings recently is premature.

    We need to read the bills as they currently stand, contact our Senators and Representatives about what we'd like to see changed, and wait until each bill passes on the floor. Then, as the compromise bill comes out of committee, THAT is when we need to raise the roof if it doesn't meet the needs of true reform.

    August 26, 2009 at 12:44 pm |
  2. Russ in PA

    That would be such a good thing, as so far I haven't seen much reform in reform. Where are the demands to remove state insurance mandates? Where are the demands to allow purchasing insurance out of state? Or even out of country? Where is the demand for common sense, where people realize that health care is a responsibility, not a right? Where is the realization by the Left that the US is broke, and that another entitlement program is just more debt for little gain?

    Where is the reform? Tell me...

    August 26, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  3. Amine Chaar

    Jack
    What is the rush, we need to do it right, taking from Medicare $500 Billion to cover the uninsured is unfair to the seniors of this country.
    The government cannot run anything efficiently, the public option should be reconsidered and insuring all should be delayed until Obama figure out how he is going to fund it.
    I am sure it will be higher taxes and more and in return we will have less services.....

    August 26, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  4. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    Hopefully it would mean we're actually working on health care reform. Since when did insuring more people equate to reform?

    August 26, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  5. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    Health care could very well be delayed until or beyond Christmas, depending upon whether a bill can get out of the Senate and into conference. It depends on how quickly Massachussets can replace Senator Kennedy and on the health of Senator Byrd – as well as the arm twisting skills of Harry Reid and Barack Obama. After that, the key factor is whether Obama and Co. can move the conference forward to a speedy conclusion and whether this passes the Senate. These are hard things, but not impossible. This may take a while.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  6. David of Alexandria VA

    Since the proposals all phase in over several years, as a practical matter, this would not make a lot of difference. But, as a political matter, it would enable us to get real clarity on the proposals and their implications (the good, bad and ugly) before commiting potential economic suicide in the name of moral and economic salvation. Right now, we are all wrapped up in the emotion of this. We need a national "time out" on health care.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  7. Jayne

    It will mean I'll have to hang on a little longer and cope with the pain as best I can. My mobility is at risk since I was cherry picked out of health insurance 5 years ago and now need a hip replacement. For the life of me, I don't understand why the suffering caused by not having decent health care apparently affects only Democrats. Do Republicans have a secret insurance plan where everyone is let in and it doesn't cost 3 times your mortgage payment a month?

    August 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  8. Susan Frost

    It means 47 million of us will keep hoping we don't get sick or injured while insurance company profits continue to soar.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    August 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  9. Matt

    Jack

    Once again those who profit from the current system win and those who have to pay the bills lose. Until someone has the hutzpah to champion true reform our health care system will remain expensive and broke.

    Matt
    Rockford, IL

    August 26, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  10. Melissa

    That would be very bad. If that happened, its not going to pass because the Republicans will be the ones in power come election time in 2010. Which is going to mean that nothing is going to get done, and everything will go back to the way it was when Bush was in power because they will stop anything Obama tries to do.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  11. Paul Austin, Texas

    The slugs that move slower than snails in the Congress and Senate no matter what party they are in may be able to delay health care reform until Christmas. I do not think they will be able to let it go beyond Christmas though. Health care reform needs to be voted on one way or the other and the sooner they do the better package it will be with less add ons for the drug and health care industry. Maybe in order to get it passed they should call it the Ted Kennedy reform act.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:13 pm |
  12. Wilhelm von Nord Bock

    it means the health insurance and drug companies win again, Jack and the American people continue to get ripped off by those vampires.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  13. Jeff in E. Lyme, CT

    It will just mean we get it passed a few months later. If that's what it takes to pass the right bill, fine by me. The special interests & their lobbyists who are spreading misinformation will eventually run out of money.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  14. John in Santa Barbara

    Those in favor of Health care reform are right now the strongest they will ever be. Those opposed will use the delay to build their forces. They need to ram health care reform down the oppositions throats and show who's in power in Washington.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  15. Bob B Orlando, Florida

    The insurance companies' payoffs to the Senators have done the job intended. No bill will be approved this year.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:25 pm |
  16. Tom Mytoocents Fort Lauderdale Florida

    Jack
    Health care should be delayed until criminal imigration is enforced. Enforcement of the law of the land should not be a dicussion. or debated . Health care is a cost to our buget where as criminal immigration costs nothing and would add money to the budget..

    August 26, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  17. Sandy Powers

    Let's Be Honest About Health Care
    Sandy Powers

    This month is my anniversary. Four years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and an ailing liver. Luckily, I had health insurance. However, even with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, our (my husband and I) health costs that year reached $12,000. Again, twelve thousand dollars with insurance. My husband was on Medicare so his costs were pretty minimal. I wasn't eligible for Medicare for three more months. Cancer can spread fast. Waiting three months was not an option.

    I had surgery, doctor appointments, further tests, and continuing treatment which resulted in $12,000 for the year 2005. The happiest birthday I ever had was the birthday of Medicare.

    Let's be honest. Medicare is government insurance. I hear people all the time insist "I paid for Medicare." A little. Most of us outlive our contributions to Medicare. The government's return on the investment of Medicare funds does not begin to cover escalating health costs. So, what's all the frenzy on Universal Health Care? Seniors are on government related and mostly government funded Medicare and they don’t want “anyone touching my Medicare.” Concerns about government intrusiveness? More information is released about you by credit checks with an application to buy a car than Medicare ever does..
    I'm one of the lucky ones: I'm on Medicare. I don't have to wait.
    Sandy Powers
    Englewood, Fl

    August 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  18. Peter

    If it is delayed that long, then it is dead in water with 1% chance of recovery since 2010 is the election year for the entire Congress. Very likely there won't be another super majority for the Democrats in the Senate and House after the election.

    If Repubs can hold on until 2010, then cudos to them. On the other hand, Dems and the President have to work together harder in the upcoming months to avoid repeating the Clinton healthcare history.

    Peter
    Harrison, NJ

    August 26, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  19. Steve

    More people will lose their healthcare, more people will die because they can't afford decent medical care, more people will lose their homes to foreclosure because of a medical emergency. More life under the rule of big business and the Bush legacy.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  20. Conor in Chicago

    The normal people will think it is a good idea as you don't want to rush something like this through Congress without thinking it through. Republicans will see it as a political "Waterloo" and continue with their craziness as they will feel emboldened. The Democrats will see it as a defeat simply because the Republicans will see it as a vicotry and in terms of tactics they will have to adjust.

    Notice I started this post with "Normal, Democrat, Republican". If this gets posted hopefully people consider that for a second.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  21. Terry, Chandler AZ

    The longer health care reform is delayed, the better chance the final health care bill will be one that is somewhat affordable and will work as designed.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  22. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It means nothing. Healthcare reform will either be DOA or completely watered down to allow the healthcare industry to continue to soak us. He failed to ram this through, foolishly trying to get “bipartisan” support when the opposition has clearly indicated that they will support nothing this president has to offer on anything. Democrats own Congress now. All Obama has to do is to get his errant representatives and senators lined up behind him and he can get any bill he wants, no matter what the Republicans try. Instead he is giving them back their erstwhile majority. And of course, the middle class gets it in the end – the wrong end – as usual.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  23. Tom from Philly

    Well there might be a bright side, with a few quarters of recovery underbelt the cbo might forecast the falling of the sky is postponed till after 2100.....

    August 26, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  24. Dr.Giorgio, medico-chirurgo, in Italy

    If health care reform is further delayed till Christmas, 2009, or beyond, it will mean more pain and suffering for poor, tom, lower middle class Americans, whom either are part of (1) The current 57 million Americans without any health care at all, allready,or (2) part of a presumed large group who can't afford any longer,the mediocre, incomplete, insufficient, and mediocre health care, they have at present, or (4), may be part of a smaller group of self-named, "macho men ", "rednecks", " mountain para militia outlaws", ex-convicts, no longer in parole programs, and varied, alcohol and substance abusers, or severely mentally ill, who have managed to "fall through the cracks", in their out-patient programs, halfway houses, or homeless shelters! The further delay in health care reform means further injustice to millions of Americans, the long term disregard for the average American, and most Americans, by the American Medical Association, and their powerful, politically ingrained political lobbyists. Overall it means a further decay in the 233yr. American society, that will be viewed by Europe, China, and other mor4e advanced, compassionate. amd , and generous societies, (Of which the United States of America was the leader and number 1, post World War II, and in the 1950's, 1960's, 1970's, and into the 1980's1), Alas, lets pray for President Obama, that the wickedness, avarice, and thievery, including by the A:M:A willful iniquity, are arrested, And let's hope for better American medicine, health car4e,minus big Pharma, once-illegal medical advertising in the mass media, which till the mid 1990's had been a creime, subject to huge fines, and sanctions by state medical boards. Let's cut out commercialism and reinstitute some , "humanity"!

    August 26, 2009 at 1:44 pm |
  25. Ryan, Galesburg, IL

    Let's ask the American citizens who are uninsured and dying right now. I'm sure they will understand if we wait until Christmas, or never as far as republicans are concerned, to address whether they deserve healthcare or not.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  26. David in San Diego

    Every passing month makes it harder to accomplish real reform–and the opponents know that. "Why the rush?" ignores the fact that we have been discussing and analyzing these issues since at least 1992. "Wait" is just a code word for "don't."

    August 26, 2009 at 1:48 pm |
  27. JWC in Atlanta

    Reform in terms of cost containment is already dead. From here it's just a question of how long it will stay dead before millions of personal medical bankrupcies bring up the subject again in meaningful terms. For now, the trial lawyers and money concerns have won the day and are drinking celebratory champagne from golden bedpans.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  28. Pamela holt

    Pam holt foley al . Then we can kiss it goodbye. Also we can say, screwed again by the republican party.....

    August 26, 2009 at 1:55 pm |
  29. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    Given the Massachusetts Senator vacancy until probably Feb1, I think there is a delay under consideration.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:56 pm |
  30. Roy

    3,000 were killed in the attacks of 9/11 and the country was so outraged we went to war in two countries. If nothing happens before Christmas, 7,000 Americans will die for lack of health insurance and America's response seems to be, "Oh, well." Please explain this contradiction to me, Jack. Please!

    Roy
    Port Aransas, TX

    August 26, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  31. Mario (from) Vegas

    It really wouldnt make a difference to me we've been going this long without it who cares how much longer we have to wait aslong as we get it before his term or hopefully terms are up i'm ok with it.

    August 26, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  32. Kerry Diehl

    Better to postpone it until we can come up with a better plan that makes good sense AND can be HONESTLY budgeted for properly!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  33. Jason, Koloa HI

    Every delay created by politicians bought and paid for by moneyed interests in stopping reform is going to bring about more suffering and death to those who need reform the most. The blood of those people is on their hands and they can grandstand and posture about whatever political propaganda they feel like spewing, but what is right and what is wrong never changes and all those involved will have to live with their decisions until they face their own demise.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:02 pm |
  34. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    It means that the Republicans can still find a way to screw up the works if they can't get their fingers in the pie!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  35. Fred R Deleon

    Hey Jack, don't tell me you are affraid the Health Care Reform could fail passing. Think positive m'man. The Health Insurance Reform (new name given by your Master to the plan) WILL PASS. Its for the good of the people that don't like it. But what do they know? Don't mind and be at ease. How the new Prosecutor Czar for the so called terrorism is doing?
    Well, I will not take any more of your precious time. Go and kiss the FASCINATING Kennedy Royalty whatever. You confuse me, A SOCIALIST like you vowing to an AMERICAN ROYALTY? (your words).

    August 26, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  36. Bill Davis

    I'm 50. I've waited this long.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  37. Paul

    I think it will mean there is actual contemplation and thought being put into it. I am a fan of President Obama, but the one thing he is doing I don't agree with is the arbitrary deadline he is trying to put onto this. I like his proposals he has going but rushing an overhaul of such a large segment of the American economy isn't wise in my opinion.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  38. Lou from North Carolina

    This thing has been a part of our conversations forever. Now we are mandating that we fight two wars that we can NEVER win while we are funding them both – we alone – and we are trying to do things in the United States of America that might be important and how can we do anything when our money is going to Iraq and Afghanistan. So when we decide to stop fighting wars that don't count and bring our people home and get well, then maybe we can afford to fund health care...now you tell me Jack, will that be before Christmas or after?

    August 26, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  39. Dave

    Jack nothing. If we don't get health care this year we will never get it because no President will take up the cause because, they will see how much political capital Obama used up.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  40. Chuck

    It will be later. With Ted gone it is one less vote with no replacement for 5 months. The cost will continue to rise. Congress back from Summer break and looking forward to holiday break, then it will be next years Valentine Day break, Oh....it's an election year...., Bye Bye healthcare reform.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  41. patricia swords

    if the vote were to be put off until later perhaps the tone of the country will calm down as people actually read what's in the final bill.

    we've had entiely too many lies and gun-pointing for anyone to think straight all summer.

    Lets be respectful and calm..What has 'pulling the plug on grammie' statements done to help anyone? And what has calling the President a Nazi, a communist, a socalist, a whatever done to help this debate?

    August 26, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  42. Willow, Iowa

    At least that way, the opposition can't say its too fast. They are scaring people saying its too soon, too fast, not worked over enough. So if we waited til after Christmas, that would slow down that argument. I think (hope) reform is going to happen. Even without a public option, there are things they can get fixed. Of course, a public option would be great.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  43. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    It will just be more misery for the average guy struggling to pay medical bills and health insurance premiums the size of which are outrageous. Congress, please get with it!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  44. Sharon in Virginia

    I say, God help those with no insurance and no jobs because they are truely hurting. I will also pray they God keep them Healthy and well as possible. We will all pay a price for not getting healthcare reformed in a timely manner.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  45. Albert K.. L.A, CA

    It is only a matter of time Jack. In honor of Ted Kennedy, true Democrats, and others concerned for the people, will unite and make national health care the law of the land because that is what he, and his brothers John and Bobby, would have wanted for us.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  46. Marlene C. Wilmington,De

    Jack, It means that all the lies and propaganda of the insurance industries is working. It ,also, means that the health industry has lined the pockets of Congress so deeply that nothing less than a revolution by the masses could intiate change. Let's vote all of the Congress against public option out! Right now, big insurance is pushing that there will be no choice with a public option. But insurance on a daily basis limits services or denies payments to preserve their bottom line. When are the American people going to stop believing that big insurance cares about us individually! They don't! Or why would they spend $1.4 mil a day to try to stop reform and the public option! It's GREED on the insurance industries part! They have fleeced us for years and don't want to give up their status quo!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  47. Tony from Torrington

    Healthcare reform is important.But the Democrats are writing a bill without including the Republicans, and it is too similar to socialized medicine than reform. When something is broken and needs to be fixed, it's important to get advice from professionals on how to fix it. You simply don't simply throw out the best healthcare in the world when there are a few things that need fixing. A thousand pages are not needed to fix these: tort reform, pre-existing illnesses, and some other cost factors. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid should not be writing the bill for America's healthcare. NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT!

    August 26, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  48. Dennis

    Jack, I think it the longer health care reform takes, it will go one of two ways. It will be a great program for some or it will be totally worthless to those who really need it. Either way, I don't think my current coverage allows me to hold my breath.

    Dennis / Nashville,Tn.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  49. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack that isn't going to happen. The democrats will pass some kind of bill in the next 3 months simply because if they don't it will not happen. As Obama's approval rating falls the chance of getting any kind of healthcare bill through congress drops exponentially. Congress needs to worry more about reducing healthcare costs then trying to insure everyone. Implementing insurance for everyone will never happen until it can be done by containing overall costs. That is how they will sell it to the American people. Trying to to ram it down their throats like they are attempting to do right now leaves a very bad taste and just isn't going to happen.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  50. chris

    the american people will not be dissappointed cause the current bills they are running down our ally are nto what we need we mneed a bill that will jhelp in the heaht care debate going on

    August 26, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  51. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Crazy question. It means absolutely nothing! The bottom line is to have a good Health Care package passed. Now, I do have a question: Of the 40 million, or so, without health care, how many are illegals? I write my senators and my congressman telling them that illegal aliens do not deserve health care. How much will that lower the cost? How many would go back to their native land if all their benefits are cut off?

    August 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  52. Ruie - Brownstown, MI

    Dear Jack: Personally, I believe NOW is the time for a Republican to step up to the plate, and say, as Everett Dirkson did for the Civil Rights Act after President Kennedy was killed, enough is enough, let's pass this thing in the memory of our friend.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  53. Tom, Bradenton, FL

    As long as it covers all aspects, saves us money, is well thought out and EXCLUDES illegals then I am fine with it.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  54. Martyn Bignell

    Well it will not help the President that is for sure, however, he can overcome this by employing a good sales and marketing man. Simply because who ever is doing this job now is doing a lousy job, too many from the other side are not only getting their lies across, they are also having them believed. For example and I cannot remember who the politician is who said this and I quote, "at his age (59) if he broke his hip he could not get it replaced if needed in Great Britain" ; sorry but only one word describes this comment, LIAR, I would also put a great deal of money on the fact that he did not ever live their.

    Martyn Bignell, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    P.S. Mr President, I could do a far better job selling your health care package stood on my head, please get in touch.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm |
  55. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Waiting until they get it right is okay. If the end result is no reform at all then that is not okay.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  56. Maria

    Health Care Reform can be held past Xmas and even until Spring. But there's be a huge push by tat point.

    Brunswick,MD

    August 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  57. NANCY M.- Colorado

    Obviously, it will mean that the low down tactics of the GOP will have worked and will give them a chance to slither into the congress and hopefully (for them) to take away the Democratic majority. Also, obviously, any chance for meaningful health care for all will be destroyed.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  58. Cheryl in South Carolina

    It needs to get done sooner than that, Jack. After watching my Republican congressman's so-called "town hall meeting," which was actually a pack of lies with no discourse or debate, I now understand that Republicans will do absolutely anything to stop it. NOW is the time, while the Democrats hold the reins.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  59. Ken M, Millington MI.

    Hello Jack. Well i don't think that health care reform has to be accomplished by September . The important thing is that reform takes place and that everyone gets involved with making it work for all Americans. Enough scaring and threatening from both sides, lets all admit that we need reform and work to achieve it.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  60. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    i'M AFFRAID : It will not pass. There are too many big money makes that get rich on HEALTH CARE. They will not let their easy money jobs go. They have the money and politicians to help them. We have no one , But Obama

    August 26, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  61. Ed from California

    I don't think this health insurance cost reform plan is up to us. The medical reform plan is for our employers who carry the freight, and their willingness to continue the benefit payments. Our employers may tell us, "Hey, you had your chance, and you blew It. You go away now, and pay for it on your own".

    Download, and read the bill.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  62. Greg, Ontario

    Depends on how many Americans die from lack of health care or are financially ruined because they fought the illness or injury. If this is all about the money it should apply to everything you do. You didn't care about the cost of building bases all around the world. You didn't care about the cost of an unneeded attack and police action in Iraq. You didn't care about the cost in lives or the cost of rehabilitating those brave men and women you sent over seas. Why can't Americans tell the rest of the world to look after itself so it can tend to problems at home? I mean who asked America to attack Iraq? Who asked you to keep so many forces in Korea? I just don't get it. America should be the one country that has health care for everyone and that's why Teddy Kennedy was so passionate about it.

    August 26, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  63. Agnes Bradenton, Fl

    It will only mean that "Uncle Santa" really loves us and doesn't
    want Bad Old Big Brother taking over our private lives!

    August 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  64. Diane/Allentown PA

    That maybe we can have a clearer understanding of this coverage without the distraction of the screamers.

    If its passed in January – I'd say that's a great accomplishment for the first year of a Presidency.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  65. Pablo in Arlington Texas

    Jack
    Healthcare reform is the greatest social justice issue since Civil Rights, and as the old adage so properly says, "justice delayed is Justice denied."

    Pablo
    Arlington Texas

    August 26, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  66. Joe in VA

    If it takes more time to develop a plan most Americans can afford and live with, by all means, take as much time as needed. Reform is needed but appears doomed on the present track and if not doomed, unaffordable. It's an incredibly complex issue and time to study and also let tempers cool, may be well advised.

    Chatham, VA

    August 26, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  67. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    It means the bill won't be rushed to meet some ridiculous time deadline. It will have time to become something done with more thought than a fast food sandwich.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  68. lockeanddemosthenes

    It will mean an ongoing and continuous struggle that distracts from many issues that should be at the attention of our politicians but aren't. There are so many other things going on in the world, so many other places that need help, and so many other fights American is undertaking. We should concentrate on those rather than continue to debate healthcare. If the solution is consolidate the Democrats and pass the bill, that's what should happen.

    Locke

    August 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  69. Kerry Florida

    It will mean that Americans will suffer even longer with rising healthcare costs and not being treated when needed or given the preventative care this country needs...

    August 26, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  70. Slotl, Marietta, Ga

    The party of "NO" (the GOP) will continue to delay the health care bill until finally the lobbyists have had enough time to advertise and scare the public.

    The end result will be reform to healthcare, but it will be what the health insurance industry and drug industry has been able to dilute, not what is needed nor wanted by the public.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:23 pm |
  71. george

    The Health Care Package would be a wonderful Christmas gift to give to our people this Christmas. It wouldn't surprise me one little bit if that is what happens too. There are many naysayers in the country right now, but there is also the silent majority that will take a stand when the time comes. No need to get all in a tussle when there is not even a bill yet. When there is one, the majority will speak, and the naysayers will not be heard , because they will be muted by the sound of "doing the right things, for the right reasons".

    August 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  72. Remo, Beautiful downtown Pflugerville Texas

    Jack, Health care reform is needed. However the "1,000 plus page Bill" is irresponsible. Washington can't seem to make anything simple. Speaker of the House Pelousi apparently is out of touch with America in her off the cuff comments, and that does not instill any trust on the Hill. Right now the only way to get a clean Bill introduced would be to limit the terms of everyone in Washington. That would eliminate professional politicians from worrying about keeping their jobs. Now if the current administration could prove that they really know what they're doing in other areas then, maybe I wouldn't be so skeptical. However with the Bail-out mess, the ownership of "GM" that should never have happened, I personally don't have that warm fuzzy that the White House has a clue. In watching the townhall meetings, it is also apparent that many, misguided or not, don't have any faith or trust in Washington or the White House as well. I think the Obama administration is scrambling. I also feel that I wouldn't vote for the man again.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm |
  73. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    It means that there will be no effective health-care reform in the near future. It is a shame that the radical conservative Republicans, with the help of the mainstream media, have deep-sixed America's best hope for an improved healthcare system. The traitorous blue dog Democrats will have to share the blame also. I don't think Americans who want and need healthcare reform are going to forget the groups and individuals that stopped change from happening. I know that I won't, and I'll show my disapproval at the ballot box.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  74. deb, Montana

    About 22,000 Americans die from lack of affordable health care every month, Jack, so maybe you should put this question to the 75,000-88,000 who will die by Christmas and see how they'd feel about another delay.

    Haven't we been having this particular battle since Teddy Roosevelt's day?

    August 26, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  75. p.j from chicago

    It's more important to get it right. I really hope it is not rushed through for either sentimental or political reasons.. it is an incredibly important issue, not only for those who need it, but also as a indication of who we are not only as a leading developed nation but also the wealthiest.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  76. william fitzwater

    The longer the delay the more than likely reform won't happen. However with the passing of Kennedy the debate will probably will shift because of the Democrats inability to counter a filibuster.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  77. June-NY

    If health care is delayed until after Christmas or beyond the sun will continue to rise, the earth will continue to turn and and life, as we know it, will go on.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  78. The Broker.

    Things will stay the same. More time to do nothing, while still making excuses. But at least it wont be any worse.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  79. gp

    Again, the public will vote those folks that seem to not be able to take a stance for the american people will no longer have their seat or position as we don't need senators or members of congress taking up space just because... "Change is a coming" The people will have the last word. Not republicans, not lobbist, not insurance companies or blue dog democratic. It will be the american people going to the polls and showing our reps. that we expect them to listen to what we want and if they can't, then we will get someone who can represent the people. I along with many others are tired of the game of politic and really want to see for the first time, the people interest be taken in consideration.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  80. Karen, Idaho Falls, Idaho

    Hi Jack,

    I would rather see the healthcare bill delayed until there is time to think out a logical and fair plan that includes everyone. Right now, the atmosphere is so charged with dissent, anger, and partisanship that nothing worthwhile will be accomplished. We will end up with a bad plan. You cannot hurry something so important.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  81. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think it means there's a good chance healthcare reform will be dead. There will be a lot of people out there affected immediately because of it. Health Care cost has double in the past 10 years. There are 50 million people who do not have it. There are a lot of companies especially small ones who cannot afford to keep their Health Care. The ones that can either keep cutting benefits or keep passing increases on to their employees. Eventually healthcare will be like caviar only their rich can afford it. With all that riding on passing a healthcare bill you would think Congress could work together and get it passed.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  82. Mike - Huntsville, AL

    That our do nothing government continues to do nothing. They don't solve real problems; each party lays traps for the other one and plots ways to score points. They don't have any real interest in solving our nations' problems. Make the other guys look bad so we regain or maintain power is what it is all about. A pox on both of them. We need a “none of the above” choice on our ballots.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  83. bobwhite in Kansas

    Well, congress and Obama have had their chance. And, if not done now, change will ultimately be in the hands of the voters. Vote out the rascals. It is clear that the greatest problem is in the Senate where the corruption is most profound. Who among them needs to be salaried when they all make more money from "pay-offs." And they already have an option-based health insurance, too.

    August 26, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  84. Dale Portland, ME.

    In 2008 the number of deaths attributed to a lack of healthcare jumped to 22,000 from 18,000 in 2007. The disparity continues to grow and without immediate reform it will continue. Even if we passed reform now over 100,000 men, women, and children will die before we put it in place. So when I hear politicians talk about wanting more time or some other nonsense to put off reform, I only wish they could see all the blood that they spill for everyday that is wasted!

    August 26, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  85. Brian

    Jack,

    It means it's time for President Obama to start banging heads together in Congress. He should have known better, trying to give Congress the power to decide the future of health care in this country. It takes Congress a week to decide if they're going to give themselves a pay raise, let alone make a decision that actually affects millions of Americans.

    I can't believe I'm saying it but President Obama needs to take a page from the Bush playbook and write a bill he likes, then ram it through Congress. Americans liked him during the campaign season because he was headstrong but cool and thoughtful at the same time. If he employs that leadership again, he will succeed.

    Brian
    Boise, ID

    August 26, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  86. Sean Griffin

    The people on here keep saying the party of "no" won't let you have heathcare, First of all the party of "no" has no power, not in the house, senate or executive branch. The reason why the democrats won't vote for it is because the American people with thier voices have scared the pants off them. Out of 435 seats in the house of Rep. Republicans hold 150 seats and in the senate with 99 members now 40 are republicans with those numbers the republicans can't stop ANYTHING. It is the democrat party that is holding this up. The republicans have NOTHING to do with it.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  87. John from Alabama

    Jack: If the Democrats get off their collective butts and stand together we will have a health reform act by November 2010. I hope that those who oppose health reform just because they oppose President Obama might fall by the wayside. Health reform is not any one political parties issue it is a personal issue with all Americans. We have a bill and a desire to do something about health care for the 46 million that do not have health care. I hope we do not let the profit making, political supporting, and special interest health insurance companies rule the day.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  88. Michael in Albuquerque, NM

    Considering that about 18,000 Americans die each yer due to the lack of healthcare. What a delay until after Christmas will mean is that another 9,000 Americans will be dead simply because of the unwillingness of republicans to care.
    Talk about "Inglorious Basterds"...

    August 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  89. Ron from SF

    It's done and with the passing of Ted Kennedy, that's sad. Right Wingers and Blue Cross Dogs won't allow a Public Option and Progressives like me, won't accept changes without it. In my case, I won't buy into anything that mandates I buy Private Insurance, which would be nothing more than forcing all of us to pay into a CEO's Slush Fund. No matter what Congress writes to regulate the Insurance Companies (like no more Pre-Existing Conditions), they will find away around it, unless there's honest competition from a Robust Public Option.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  90. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    If that happens we need to vote ever damn democrat out of office, they finally have the ability to pass any bill they want to, so my take on this is they had better make the most of it.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  91. Carla Martin-Wood, Birmingham, AL

    I'm beginning to feel it was all a big show - then "oops - sorry folks, I couldn't get it passed." Ted would be disappointed in our party - you are right about that. I am, too.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  92. joe m

    one of two possibilities:
    1. the bill dies and the political war continues.
    or
    2. cooler heads, who actually want to achieve progress, will come together and push against the extremist of each party and actualy get something useful done.
    let's all just hope that it is the later.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  93. A. Davis, Sacramento, CA

    Doesn't matter a twit when we get it–we just need it and WITH a public option. We just can't let the insurance companies get away with their lies and deceptions just to make a buck (well, a billion of them anyway). The Congress needs to get out of their pockets and look to those for whom they are supposed to be working.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  94. Jay in Texas

    I think that if the "public option" remains "off the table", then Obama's health care program is dead. It doesn't matter if it is delayed for ten years. Until he takes on Big Business and puts forth a Single-Payer, not-for-profit health care plan that will cover ALL Americans, the people will not support it.
    Brownwood, Texas

    August 26, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  95. Nuwan Samaranayake

    I do not believe it will happen. I think after the recess, Obama will step in an push for it. He wanted to try bottom up approach as oppose to top down approach taken by Clinton in 93. He assigned the task of drafting health reform bill to the Congress. Now they have done some of it but stuck unable to move this forward, I think Obama will pick it up from this point. The only way this thing will get through is if Obama take a personal lead on it. Spineless law makers in congress can not make bold decisions for this country. They are too timid and fearful of peoples reactions. Sometimes leadership is about the ability to think ahead and not think in parellel with the people at the same phase. Obama has that ability and I hope he will use it.

    Nuwan from Houston, TX

    August 26, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  96. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    it will be pass with humility from all!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  97. Dee in Florida

    It will mean that Congress has way too much infighting and squabbling and self-interest to do ANYTHING that might be in the interests of their CONSTITUENTS!

    And it will mean that the scaremongers, who are fabricating the most outrageous stories about what health care reform will do to the American People, have managed to once again keep the rich in charge and let the common man get squeezed down!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  98. Katiec Pekin, IL

    If Health Care Reform is not passed soon, it will another tragedy for the American people and a continuation of control by the insurance companies over our welfare.
    Many will die because of no insurance, thousands upon thousands will have to continue to file bankruptcy due to medical costs, numerous policies will be cancelled daily, claims denied and no help for those considered uninsurable.
    If people are contented with big business running and controlling our country and us than they should have no problem with health care reform being defeated. You are making health care entities, the republicans and the media extremely happy and prosperous.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  99. Deb I , Nauvoo, IL

    Until we eliminate private insurance companies from the hog trough, no real improvement is possible. In the age of computers, there is no need for thousands of insurance executives taking millions of dollars out of the money needed to pay for real care. Ask any business owner: would he rather deal with a single payer system? Ask doctors who really runs their practices and makes health care decisions: insurance companies exist to make their CEO's and his buddies into very very rich men. It will take a strong will to dump these leeches into their own cess pool. The other civilized nations of the world are able to buy twice as much health care for the money as the US. Why is our health care twice as expensive, but only ranked 37th (!) in the world? It doesn't take a genius to realize what the problem is.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  100. Robert

    Jack

    Sooner or Later the people will know the truth. The lies that have been told about the changes in health care will be uncovered. The ones that didnt fight the lies and the ones that told them will have hell to pay for.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  101. Karen (Virginia Beach, Virginia)

    Hopefully it will die a never to be resurrected again death. This country cannot spend 40 to 50% or more of its budget on government sponsored healthcare. Please if you want reform fix what is broken and stop saying that healthcare is a right. Where does it say in the Constitution that free healthcare is a right? It took FDR, 18 months to come up with Medicare and they said that it would only cost $8 million over 10 years and it wound up costing 3 times that. The government has NEVER run a program that has saved money, why do they keep saying that they can when the evidence shows that they can't.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  102. Terry from Illinois

    Republicans and the insurance companies will do, say or SWIFTBOAT anything to block "change" which majority of Americans voted for, so if its delayed the rich win again just like the past 8 years of King George Bush ... Republicans want the working Americans to be classified as Peasants just like King George wanted it....

    Change healthcare and change jobs under the trade agreements was what we voted for – get it done Democrats !!!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  103. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    I'm learning a lot from this August recess...and it is for better days..!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  104. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    If health care reform is delayed, it will mean that more and more people won't be needing it anymore. Their plugs will have been effectively pulled and the greedy Republicans will be dining on their entrails.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  105. Richard J. Gottlieb - in Queretaro, Mexico

    What a wonderful Christmas or New Year's present America will have!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  106. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    No problem Jack, we'll just put sickness on hold until they are ready.

    Oh yeah! ,maybe at the same time we can put there salaries on hold and put a freeze on thier assets until further notice. Hell, thier income can't be nearly as important as the welfare of the American people.

    Let's take a vote on it. I would bet the ticked off American people would win this one Jack.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  107. Paul S. New Port Richey, Fl

    Jack, your question leaves out the monstrous issue of tort reform. The only way to start reforming health care is get the lawyers out of the doctors and hospitals pockets. Hell will freeze over before citizens have to swallow this bad medicine while the elitists opt out. Healing should be aggressive, not defensive.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  108. Natalie

    It won't kill us, at least not collectively.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  109. Dennis North Carolina

    it means that the dark side of this country is winning and our country will fail or become a third world country with the rich on one side and the poor in slavery. great out look for our children and their future.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  110. Doris/St Louis

    This bill will be passed, NEWS ALERT; THE SKY IS NOT FALLING! This bill will be passed in the near future, it dosen't matter if it's before, on, or after Christmas.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  111. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    The more I hear about some of the character traits of Senator Kennedy...the more I see how some traits are famillar! On top of singing and painting and knowing the importance of creating personal relationships...maybe there is something about the irish fire here of one's belief in their values...but the biggest value I see is the one where one is capable of forgiving any hurt felt for the better good!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  112. Leslie

    That is just anothr way to say its not going to happen. I am sick and tired of these delay tactics. It is time for action, we cannot wait for the entire country to get on board for health care. The republicans would not and did n ot wait for the entire country to take away some of our civil rights. Its is in our best interest to have health care. we cannot wait for xmas or anything else. The time for talking is over and now it is time for action.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  113. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Jack,

    It made me laugh when I heard how theatrical Senator Kennedy was for the walls to be shaking when he was speaking...I can understand that!!!but then we calm down and make it work!

    August 26, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  114. David in Raleigh, NC

    It will be the best thing that can happen to the country.

    The country doesn't need the tax increases required to pay for a $1 Trillion health insurance plan.

    Polls show that 80% of Americans are happy with their health insurance.

    Why does Obama and the Democrats in Congress insist on turning the country upside down to satisfy the 20% who don't have health insurance.

    There are cheaper and easier ways to take care of the 20% than government controlled healthcare.

    This isn't about helping the 20% who don't have healthcare. It's about giving Obama and the Democrats taking control of our healthcare.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  115. Deborah Black

    Democrats need to get it done. That is why we put them there.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  116. Mike Armstrong TX.

    We have 10 yrs. before medicare runs out of money so the earth isnt going to blow up imeadiatly .

    August 26, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  117. honestjohn in Vermont

    Probably a GREAT idea to delay healthcare reform since there is no plan in place yet and nobody knows what they are doing.

    August 26, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  118. Moraba Gum-Sah

    Good thing for the country if Republicans truly want to have a bipartisan reform. In reality they do not. They are just being nihalistic. So its time for the Democrats to suck it up and get it done – and pay for it with their seats in 2010. Good news is if economy recovers, they may escape with a narrow win. The longer it sticks around the worse for the President. So get it done. All will be better.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  119. Kevin SW MI

    Jack, it will not matter 5 years from now if it is passed at xmas time or later. Jack, what did W. Bush ever get right?

    August 26, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  120. lou

    It will mean that the Republicans have successfully used a handful of crack pots at a few town hall meetings to make it look like the country is against health care reform. When in reality 70% want some kind of change. Death panels? Socialism? People yelling Obama is a Nazi? Are we really going to let that kind of nonsense keep us from making sure all kids can go to a doctor when they are sick?

    August 26, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  121. Susan

    Jack, it means I'll be praying more often that I don't get sick or injured because as of July I no longer am covered by health insurance in this "economic downturn".
    Susan
    Natchitoches, LA

    August 26, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  122. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    It would be sad, but we have waited years and years for our government to set up and worry about our People, instead of Big Corporations.

    United Healthcare posted a $1 BILLION dollar profit in its last quarter ending in June! One billion, at the expense of denying coverage to Americans with preexisting conditions; and the expense of denying claims to sick or dying people; at the expense of employees who work hard and get rip off by big insurance! When will we say enough, and demand a fair and equitable healthcare system?!

    What's most disturbing to me, a Christian, is that it is the holier-than-thou-right-wingers who espouse to be "pro-life" who oppose healthcare for all! Hypocrites!

    August 26, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  123. Bernie

    How about we get the economy back on track, and get the troops out of Iraq, so we have some money to afford the down payment and infrastructure needed for real health care reform?

    August 26, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  124. Jackie in Dallas

    Jack, I can’t see health care reform being passed before Christmas under the best of circumstance, much less in this poisonous environment.

    There are two proposed bills currently; one in the Senate and one in the House. Even if both went to the floor and passed, the two would then have to go to a joint committee for a compromise bill, anyway, then after coming out of committee, pass both houses again. That is why I feel all the hoopla being raised in town hall meetings recently is premature.

    We need to read the proposed bills as they currently stand, contact our Senators and Representatives about what we’d like to see changed, and wait until each proposed bill passes on the floor. Then, as the compromise bill comes out of committee, THAT is when we need to raise the roof if it doesn’t meet the needs of true reform.

    With the death of Senator Kennedy, we may have lost a vote, but I think, given his life-long support of healthcare, we may actually gain momentum. The Civil Rights Bill was his brother's bill; it faced a serious fight in the Senate. After his assassination, the bill passed with a lot less dissent.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  125. Ryan from Wisconsin

    I am a 22 year old college student. I just did some shopping for independent insurance. Most over $200 a month with decutibles of at least $5000. I don't have $5000. It is currently cheaper to go without insurance and pay a clinic directly.

    I will be happy if SOMETHING is passed by chritsmas. it doesn't need to be the public option but something has to happen to Force prices down. If I get seriously sick or injured, I may die because I can't afford it.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  126. denise di biase, seven hills ohio

    Per your earlier comments on healthcare, Jack, President Obama cannot and should not move to the "right" on Healthcare. Where did it get Clinton, or more importantly, the American people? The spiraling costs inflicted by the insurance and Pharmaceutical monopolies over the past decades have nearly bankrupted us. People WITH insurance have been bankrupted. Millions today go without insurance and resort to emergency rooms. We MUST bring in competition via the government, lest the thieves who got us into to this abysmal state dig us in further.
    I don't want a handout. I just want an affordable plan that doesn't charge me to subsidize the billionaires CEOs at Aetna, Cigna, etc.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  127. Linda in Charleston, SC

    It means that big business is winning and politicians don't have a clue what to do and how to solve the problem facing the average American citizen.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  128. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It means that the big insurance company lobbyist will be Santa Claus for the Republicans.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  129. DeeDee

    Jack, why do we have to wait that long. What else is the Congress working on between now and then? Oh I forgot, they are hanging out with the lobbyists trying to figure out the most politically expedient way of dealing with this situation.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  130. Ed'sKate

    It is time that the Republicans got their heads on straight. The Republican Party is nothing but a "Joke". All they know these days is obstruction and they are acting like fools. They certainly are NOT doing the job of either Senator or Representative. They are only thinkng of their own next election.
    The majority of the people of this country know what they are up to and hopefully the people will call them on it . They are NOT working for their constituents or what is best for this country they are only working for themselves. Their attitude appears to be ME and ME alone and to hell with the rest of you. The have the greatest Pinnochio noses in the country. Wake up America and tell your Senator and/or Representative that you will not stand for anymore of their shennanigans.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  131. Birddog in Mississippi

    It means that profits for insurance companies will continue to rise. It means 16% of our population will continue to go without adequate health care while those of us with insurance pay for expensive emergency room visits for people with the flu. It means our deficits will grow enormously. It means that an increasing number of people will lose their employer based health plans as premium costs double. It means that the democrats will lose their majorities in the Congress. It means that we will pay more than twice as much for health care than Countries that have better outcomes and where everybody gets care. Basically, It means that the insurance companies were smart enough to contribute huge sums to the Bluedogs as well as the Republicans to buy their votes.

    August 26, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  132. j/NJ

    What will it mean to health care reform if it’s delayed until Christmas and maybe beyond?

    It should be delayed indefinitely...the people have a right to adequate health coverage, that means the inalienable option to choose as well as to limit the absolute control that doctors, hospitals, and insurance providers currently enjoy in a vast, bureacratized, and mindlessly regulated health care industry...

    August 26, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  133. C.K. of Colorado

    That it will dwindle into a debate, rather than moving forward with action.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  134. Annie, Atlanta

    Republicans will rejoyce. Their goal is to postpone until its killed. Of course, they’ll be killing us too. But that’s not their concern. We can’t finance their campaigns, after all. I wonder how many Americans they will destroy in the process. And does anyone really care?

    August 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  135. John in San Diego

    Jack, it will mean what we already know – we have a Congress full of legislators who are incapable of legislating. The last and only true American legislator passed away last night.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  136. Stephanie from Charlottesville VA

    I feel similar to the way I felt each time George W was elected–that the country would reap what it was sowing–the inevitable slow descent into second-class countryhood. Our empire will continue to decline and fall if we don't get a handle on health care costs. This absolutely means getting rid of insurance companies' monopoly on costs. (Incidentally, I am a physician).

    August 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  137. Tim from Hot Springs, AR

    Delaying health care reform isn't a sign of its failure, it's a sign of the failure of the Democratic party. If they had any backbone at all this would have been passed before the summer recess. Instead, their internal bickering makes them weak, subject to future legislative failures, and substantial losses in 2010. The Republicans may be on life-support, but the Democrats are slitting their own throats. You tell me, which lives longer?

    August 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Victor72

    If we wait for healthcare beyond Christmas, not only will we sink American beyond recovery, but Americans like me who are uninsured due to a shattered economy will never be able to go to a hospital because of the rates, that only keep getting higher and higher everyday, I really hope that health care comes to America as quick as possible, for the sake of the 48 million uninsured, including me

    August 26, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  139. Bob, Arlington, VA.

    If Ted Kennedy's passing cannot be the catalyst for a bipartisan approach to health care then this individual failure, as he himself I believe said, will define our character as a nation. How much more dysfunctional can our political process get before we as a nation lose all relevance to ourselves and humanity?

    August 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  140. Bruce Ross

    Jack... if the Republicans take advantage of the lack of a filibuster proof count due to Ted Kennedy's passing, like Mother Nature who has conjured up a storm to blow Danny Boy at his funeral mass, the rest of the nation will conjure up a Senate in the off year elections that will be more than Filibuster Proof... it will blow the Republicans out of Washington...

    August 26, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  141. PETER

    Peter NY

    Good luck trying to get somthing done by Christmas. It looks like the special intrests are prevailing again. Maybe we can get something done 4 decades from now

    August 26, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  142. Marie

    Maybe President Obama should rename it Medicare health reform. I don't see anyone complain about Medicare. Isn't Medicare a government run healthcare?

    Marie

    August 26, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  143. Aaron owings mills md

    President and the Democrats must pass healthcare reform now and without any delay. Senator Kennedy's passing is one more reason to do this in his honor and as a respectful tribute to the Senator's life-long commitment to healthcare reform. If they fail to do pass H.R. 3200 with the public option this year, it may be another 15 years before they get another chance to do this. Our health and economy's future is contingent upon the reform of our healthcare system. The Republicans and conservatives do not really want healthcare reform and are trying to slow down of pace of this initiative so that they can kill it. We must not let them have their way with this initiative. There's alot at stake for our health, country and economy. LET's GET IT DONE NOW!!

    August 26, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  144. Darren Blichfedt Wisconsin

    Jack

    I read in the newspaper yesterday that this years flu may infect half of our country. If this prediction came true I could see this having a large impact on the health care bill. That is maybe it'll take an epidemic for American's to realize how much our country needs health care reform.

    Darren Blichfeldt

    August 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  145. Julius

    It amazes me how the Republicans can scare the American people and Health Care in the US goes unchanged. If anything can and will bankrupt America, it is the skyrocketing costs of health. Americans have to wake up to the fact that the insurance companies and private health care providers are there for one thing and one thing only- profit.
    They don't care about how healthy or unhealthy YOU are–they only care if your wallet and bank accounts are better off than you. Its up to the people to look past the fear mongering of the GOP, and tell your politicians- no matter of which aisle they sit on, that you wan't affordable, accessible health care, no matter if you are rich or poor. It will not be easy to reform the current system, in fact it may be a very long and painful process, but the alternative is a more scary and ugly prospect than anyone can possibly imagine.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  146. Alan, Cupertino, CA

    It will mean that the "Medical-Industrial Complex" has won again.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  147. gordon

    Unlike President Obama's premise, health care reform isn't on a schedule. Although I've only been paying attention to the Washington scene–casting my first vote–since 1960, my guess is that we are returning to a more traditional Congress where some on each side will vote with the other.

    Therefore, health care reform will bring a significant change, but be ongoing, not finished in one swell foop.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  148. Ellen Barnett

    If heath care reform is permanently delayed, we will become a nation of people that has lost its credibility on the world stage. Not only because our country will hit rock bottom from a humanitarian point of view but because we will no longer be worthy of influencing other nations to treat all citizens with the rights that we say are important for a free society.
    Everyone deserves health care for a society to thrive and grow.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  149. Jim S

    Sadly once again Jack, it seems that the right wing ReTHUGlicans, special interests, big money and lobbyists have won. I'll believe health care reform takes place when I see it and not until then.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  150. kendy

    Jack it means I guess I will have to move to Canada or England if I ever hope to have healthcare!

    Delaware, Ohio

    August 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  151. M.L. Squier

    Delay will endanger passage of any plan at all.
    This is great news for the Insurance companies and other profit (not human welfare) driven entities.
    Too fast is also not good.
    Make sure there is a very good plan.
    President Obama needs to give the American people clearer and more specific information about his plan, otherwise he will continue to be labeled a socialist and other bad, demeaning, and mostly inaccurate names.

    M.L. Squier
    El Paso, TX

    August 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  152. RT

    Jack,
    Health Care Reform will be killed thanks to the Republicans and the so-called "Blue Dog" Democrats. What exactly is a "conservative" democrat....isn't that a Rebublican?
    I am glad Senator Kennedy doesn't have to see this mess anymore. The Republicans won't stop until that kill everything that Obama is trying to do. If it's good for the citizens, it's not good for the Republicans! This is truly a sad time in this country......we will never recover.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  153. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    It means that once again politicians put their own self serving agendas ahead of what the America people really need. I wish CNN would run a special investigation into how much money lobbyists and insurance companies pay our so-called elected officials, to keep real reform from ever seeing the light of day. Congress is disgusting and should be ashamed of themselves.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  154. James

    If nothing is passed by Christmas, maybe those who are blocking healthcare reform will stop being hypocrites and get some Christmas, ie Christian spirit and care about someone other than themselves. They yell ridiculous hypocritical phrases like ‘give me back my country’, when they care nothing about their country and care about themselves only. If they cared about their country, they would embrace real healthcare reform, including a public option for those less fortunate than themselves. We’ve seen the Republicans do their best to destroy the USA over several decades; then the Democrats come in to clean up the mess. It happened again and again. The Republicans make war and destroy the economy; the Democrats try to restore peace and stability in the US and throughout the world and try to restore the economy that Republicans repeatedly do their best to destroy, in part because of their insisting on little or no regulation of the financial industry. Can you imagine the Republican idea of healthcare reform? It would be like their version of ‘financial reform’ – ie no oversight, no accountability, but with plenty of protection for the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, leaving Americans continually worse off. I am sick of the outrageous lies the Republicans have been spreading in an attempt to block healthcare reform. They spread fear about a government takeover when they were happy for the government under Bush to spy on US citizens and take away civil liberties. They were happy for the government then to go to war, even though the reason was based on lies. They didn’t yell ‘too much government’ then. I am sick of their pretending to be religious when their actions prove themselves to be the exact opposite. Healthcare reform is a moral issue. Time for all Americans to be moral, and care about one another, not just yourself.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  155. Jasmine in Germany

    Delay halth care reform? The U. S. will continue to be a second-class country which gives in to lobbyists and greed instead of protecting its citizens and saving the taxpayer money.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  156. Sandra in Arkansas

    It would mean that perhaps...just perhaps...our Congress was taking the time to "look before they leap" so they can avoid compounding the problems most Americans already face...exhorbitant premiums, limited coverage, no coverage, lack of physician access, etc. Insurance companies are some of the biggest lobbiest and their needs and wants will be met...not ours.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  157. Dan Leahy

    Every delay marks another victory for the insurance industry, the Republican party, bought-off Democrats and the mainstream corporate media who have waged a non-stop battle to defeat meaningful health care reform ONCE AGAIN. The "delay strategy" has been admitted by the Republicans, but all the media can talk about is Obama's failure to get this done. Republicans never get blamed for what they do, as long as there are Democrats around to point the finger at.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  158. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    I hope it means it's time for reconciliation and 51 votes to pass. I hope their better angels will come out and do the right thing.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  159. AngelikaBertrand

    My condolence to the Kennedy family. What a tremendious lose . What a loss for our country. I feel that the subject of health care, is being pushed to the limit. I think it is not the right time nor the right place yet, for such a huge sacrifice. It would also be the wrong place , while this enormous Senator, has passed away. And he has always advocated for such a plan to be implemented. We need the right time, the right place, the right equation for such an important plan to surpass. I feel we need not to push our selves into something, that on the hand leads to a disaster. Angelika Bertrand Utah/USA

    August 26, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  160. Peg

    Harry Truman served as President from 1945-1953 and left office regretting not getting a program of universal health care passed for all U.S. citizens.

    Ted Kennedy served as U.S. Senator from 1962 until today. He assuredly died regretting not getting a program of universal health care passed for all U.S. citizens.

    64 years and the Democrats are rushing this? Every day without coverage is a death sentence for some citizens, bankruptcy for others, and a worldwide embarrassment for this country.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:54 pm |
  161. Mike O

    It's hard to say what will happen regardless of healthcare reform does come up for a vote. With public sentiment so steadfastily against a government run public option it wouldn't really matter when it's ever voted on because the Americna public obviously does not want what Santa Obama plans to put in their stockings.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  162. Jerry

    I think every American are in agreement, something NEEDS to be done! They need to come up with a plan, stick to it, put it out there to where all Americans can read/understand the HealthCare and then let the American people vote. Yes, we are going to pay to have this, but if I am not mistaken, we already are paying in some way or the other. Also, to get money for this we need to start taxing the illegals in the USA, whom are living here, tax free and getting public aid and getting medical treatment on top on all that! Have them py taxes like the citizens of USA and lets see how long they stay! Geeee, I think I foresee jobs in the future.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  163. Dorothy Inman-Johnson

    If the Democrats, the President, and Congress can't show some real passion and backbone about the almost 50 million people who need healthcare in this country now, what good are they? Teddy Kennedy worked his heart out for the neediest and most vulnerable in our country and didn't hold his finger up to see which way the political winds were blowing first. He did it just because it was the right thing to do.

    I worked my heart out and gave all I could afford to get these guys elected. Forget Christmas! People need healthcare now! Pass a bill this fall worthy of Teddy Kennedy's 40+ years of work for the "cause of his life", and name it in his wonderful memory. And do it now!

    August 26, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  164. DENISE

    JAMES... you are spot on.

    I just learned yesterday that a popular relief organization for children (ChildFund, formerly Christian Children's Fund) is a SPONSOR OF NEWSMAX! How can that be? I send money each month so that children around the world can get food and medical attention, and then I find that same organization is helping to kill healthcare reform in the U.S.??? A sponsor to NewsMax???

    Hypocrisy knows no bounds in the US. The right wing christians are certainly in the camps of the rich and powerful. I'd like them to tell me, "who would Jesus insure?" Would Jesus hob nob with the billionaires of Aetna, Cigna, and give them an "atta boy"?

    I think not.

    August 26, 2009 at 6:59 pm |
  165. Amy Candor

    Then America will lose, we pay 78% more then any nation. Waste in Healthcare exceed any other nation. And we cannot wait, No more.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:00 pm |
  166. Mark MacNamara

    If this bill is lost it will be a victory for ignorance, fear and bombast. It may also suggest that a relatively well educated populace is unable to think critically, even about an issue of enormous importance.

    August 26, 2009 at 7:01 pm |