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November 24th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Do you want govt. more involved in health care?

Do you really want the federal government more involved in health care?

Do you really want the federal government more involved in health care?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With more Americans now saying that health care is not the government's responsibility, it's not difficult to see why some may feel that way.

All you have to do is look at the track record of government-run programs.

Here we go:

-Social Security was created in 1935. It will be paying out more money than it receives by 2016. And unless changes are made, it will be gone in 2037.

-The Medicare and Medicaid programs were signed into law in 1965. Medicare will run completely out of money by 2017. The situation for Medicaid is even worse.

-Spending on Social Security and Medicare totaled more than $1 trillion last year - or more than one-third of the federal budget.

-The U.S. Postal Service was created in 1775. It’s broke. It posted a $3.8 billion loss for this year. That's $1 billion more than it lost in 2008 - despite $6 billion in cost-cutting moves in the past year.

-How about Fannie Mae, in operation since 1938; and Freddie Mac, established in 1970? Both broke. The two home loan agencies were seized by federal regulators 14 months ago. Fannie Mae is now asking the government for another $15 billion, which would bring the tab for rescuing both companies to about $111 billion.

-And don't forget the hundreds of billions of dollars in the first round of TARP money that went virtually unaccounted for.

And now the government wants about another trillion dollars to reform health care. A trillion dollars we don't have.

Here’s my question to you: Do you really want the federal government more involved in health care?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Dave says:
Jack, Thank you! It is about time someone starts looking at facts rather than the emotional appeals. With the government's lack of control with regards to fiscal matters, we cannot afford to let them run anything else. If we do, we had better learn to speak Chinese because to pay back the debt, we will have to start giving them large blocks of U.S. property. Perhaps we should start with Washington, especially if they promise to keep the politicians.

Steve says:
Jack, You did your best to pose the question in order to elicit a "no" from the non-thinkers among us. I however would love the government to provide all my health care and kick the health insurance companies to the side of the road where they belong. How much longer are we going to stand for the abuse they put Americans and our economy through every day?

Scott from Panama City, Florida says:

Jack, I do not want the federal government involved in any aspect of my life. The federal government is all about control. When asked where the Constitution authorizes Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance, Pelosi says, “Are you serious?” As Mark Twain said "Politicians are like diapers, they need changing often and for the same reason."

Jeff from Indiana says:
We should trust corporate America to do the right thing, like we did with the mortgage debacle. What would be a better choice than letting elected officials manage health care? There just are no really good choices.

Del from Texas says:
Jack, Do you really want the private sector to run health care? Like Enron, GM and AIG. Give me a break, Jack. I had the best health care in the world when I was on active duty in the Army.

Ed says:
Medicare for all. Fold all existing programs: VA, Medicaid etc. into one program and get serious about fraud and waste. The bills I've seen look like the IRS code. Of course, I haven't been paid off by the insurance companies.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. JaneMN

    Hello, Jack. The short answer to your question is No. Nationally or internationally, history has clearly demonstrated failures after failures for almost all government-run civil programs. My understanding for these failures is two folds: 1) Government-run civil programs often end up to be entitlement programs, while the latter is the killer for individual incentive/motivation for “good behaviors” or individual responsibilities. 2) Unlike market based programs, government-run civil programs are artificial, and thus will not have a self-repairing/correction mechanism built into them.

    Consequently, no matter what kind of problems developed later on from these programs, government’s solutions are always the same – raising taxes! Just today some Democrats have proposed “War Tax” to all taxpayers to deal with our current Afghanistan crisis. I thought our paying tax IS for national defense. So we have to pay additional whenever there’s an active war going on now? I have no problem ever to pay tax for public goods, such as national defense. But health care is not public good, and therefore federal Government should not be involved.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  2. Joe in MO

    Without Medicare, retired folks like me would be up a creek without a paddle. Don't tell me government run health insurance or the public option is bad.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  3. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, of course! We must have the government involved, according to the Democrats. How are we, the people, ever going to get all those free-loading , chronically unemployed, non-tax paying, welfare frauds insured if the government doesn't get involved? Never mind that the government has NEVER successfully run any of its social programs, anywhere except into bankruptcy. THIS time they are going to "get it right"! YEAH, RIGHT!

    November 24, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  4. Donald in CA

    Criticize government if you want, but if this democratic administration dont stay the course nothing will ever get better to improve health care. Look where the last republican administration got us, and a lot of American would like them back in office.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  5. sammi

    Yes. i'd rather than trillion dollars was spend on American's lives and health than many other options it would go to, and surely will go to. Our seniors on the federal dole worked and fought hard for their rest in their senior years. The Postal Service is no longer the monopoly it once was and needs restructuring, snail mail is becoming obsolete. lack of regulation and lack of capitalism integrity gave us Wall Street and mortgage meltdowns. let's cut the cynicism and get involved in open government, work maturely with our elected official, and hopefully derail America from becoming the Alfred E. Newman of the world. we have angry people hoarding bullets believing unsubstantiated talk show crap, and i'm not sure i want my son growing up with neighbors with their fingers on the triggers. so yes, let's be the government of the people, for the people.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  6. Jim; Spartanburg, South Carolina

    Yes jack I want the Government involved in Health Care unless and until they prove they can make a bigger mess than the Private Sector. God help us all if we can't find some entity to operate an accessable, affordable Health Care system without driving this nation into Bankruptcy. The Senate should stop the babbling and get on with the vote.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  7. Michael Alexandria, VA

    Yes. I need the subsidy and the protection from pre-existing condition clauses. Also, the government provides my health care right now, since I have a rare adrenal disease and am now a lab rat.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  8. Rus in Saint Paul, MN

    Absolutely not until they show some responsiblity. If we can cut $500 billion in waste from Medicare, why aren't we doing that now? Why is it only popular in Washington to show some fiscal responsibility when they want the money to spend on something else? Maybe our elected officials should earn the public's trust back first.

    November 24, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  9. cy

    YESSSS!!!! Believe it or not, I trust the government to do the right thing more than I trust greedy, callous, unscrupulous insurance companies. The government runs Medicare and other programs at a cost of 2% of gross for administration. This is WAY more efficient than private insurers, who spend up to 20% of their income on administration, marketing and bloated surreal executive salaries. YES! Based on years of experience, I would prefer a government run PUBLIC option to the current state of PRIVATE options. cy – arlington, va

    November 24, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  10. David

    Jack, Thank you! It is about time someone starts looking at facts rather than the emotional appeals. With the government's lack of control with regards to fiscal matters, we cannot afford to let them run anything else. If we do we had better learn to speak Chinese because to pay back the debt will have to start giving them large blocks of US property. Perhaps we should start with Washington DC. especially if the promise to keep the politicians.

    Dave

    November 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  11. Wilma Riley

    Jack, I sure do want the government involved in my health care they are better than some insurance company who raises the rates every year and can cancel your coverage any time they want to.I now have Medicare and Champ VA and very happy with both coverages.I think God every day that I have good coverage since recovering from stage 3 lung cancer and they have paid for every thing. I have been able to choose any doctor I wanted to do my surgery and the chemo treatments.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  12. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    No,thank you. They can't even get through the H1N1 flu smoothly. They messed up in New Orleans before and after Katrina. Let them pay back all of the money they "borrowed" from Social Security and we'd all have more security for a longer time. They have enough difficulty governing and getting along with eachother and keeping eachother honest.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:05 pm |
  13. John, Fort Collins, CO

    The desirability of government involvement in health care is a matter of perspective. After paying into Social Security and Medicare for 45 years, I obviously want the government to stay involved. I'm centain those with no medical coverage would like to see more involvement, and I'm equally as certain the Republicans in Congress would like to see health care reform fail in hopes President Obama will fall flat on his face.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  14. SCOTT ROSE --- PANAMA CITY, FL

    Jack, I do not want the federal government involved in any aspect of my life.The federal government is all about control. When Asked Where the Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance, Pelosi Says: 'Are You Serious?
    As Mark Twain said " politicians are like diapers, they need chaging often and for the same reason ."

    This is the oath of office every member of congress has to swear to:
    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. -they have broken their promises way to often

    We need term limits right away and need to vote all members of congress out as soon as possible - oh and by the way, prosecute and then deport the illegal alien occupying the white house.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  15. Mike in Quebec

    Yes but the hammer has to come down on the waste....THE HAMMER! Insurance companies, hospitals are like hotels, doctors salaries etc... if you can't fix that drain fughetaboutiT!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    When our only alternative is for-profit health insurance companies, you bet I do.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  17. Jay in Texas

    I want Single-Payer healthcare for every American like is proposed by Congressman Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. "Everyone in, nobody out" except for the huge health insurance companies. People working for those would have to get real jobs.
    Brownwood, Texas

    November 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  18. BEVERLY-Mystic,Iowa

    By the way, I have heard that someone thinks, (or wants to make US think), that the President had something to do with those irresponsible doctors who came up with the new guidelines for breast cancer screening. This Administration is against everything the doctors recommended. The"doctors" came to their conclusions in 2008, yet they waited until just before the healthcare reform vote to release their findings. Why? Of course, if appointed by Bush, we would expect them to also be inept, but I think it's much more sinister than that. I smell a rat, (Carl Rove?) or, more likely, a plague of them. Maybe we should ask Wendell Potter?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  19. NEMO

    Honestly, with the proof that you have read off alone, that should be enough for us to come together as Americans against government run healthcare. We have to take a lot more personal responsibility in this country for our own lives.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  20. Gene Vega

    With the goverments record so far, you have got to be kidding with healthcare!!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  21. cy

    Republicans don't want the government to work. They get into office and try to sabotage government programs to prove their misguided point. If people would stop falling for GOP lies and fearmongering and stop voting for these hypocrits and crackpots, government might have a chance to straighten out all the problems that the Republicans cause with their borrow and spend, laissez faire economic craziness. Cy Arlington, va

    November 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  22. Linda Pollari

    Like privately run programs have worked so well? What I DO want is more people involved in HEALTH CARE COVERAGE!! People should not have to decide between buying food or medicine. Everyone should be able to go to the doctor if they're sick. No one should be denied medical coverage because some huge insurance agency decided they were too risky to be covered. And yes, I think the government needs to be involved to make this all happen.

    Roseville, Minneaota

    November 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  23. Yvonne Charbonneau

    No, No, and No!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  24. Walter

    I'd rather they spend the money on saving lives rather than bailing companies out.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  25. Paul Barcelos

    It's not a case of whether I want them or not, it's a question of there is no better alternative on the table. You failed to indicate the failure of the private market in health care. Costs keep rising, more than 15% of our nation is uninsured, and we spend significantly more on health care per capita than any other industrialized nation. Those nations' governments are all involved in Health Care.

    Paul
    Los Angeles

    November 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  26. Geoff

    I don't see how a government program can be any worse than leaving our health care in the hands of the insurance companies. For decades, these companies have been making big profits while denying people the care they have paid for, or denying it altogether. If it takes a competing government program to stop this, I'm all for it.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  27. Keith Ensminger

    Absolutely! I have no confidence private insurance companies will protect my interests like a nonprofit, public insurance plan. Social Security and Medicare are struggling because of economics and a political party that has worked to destroy the institutions for decades.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  28. Arthur Smith

    If you want current proof that the government should not be involved in health care, just look at the current unavailability of H1N1 vaccination. I have Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes and asthma, and cannot get a shot. No one, not my primary care physician, not my endocrinologist, not the local hospital, has a drop of the stuff. Yet, our government keeps telling us how many millions of doses are supposedly available,and how they are distributing it. Where is it? I'd love to know. And they want to be the agents of change? Yes the healthcare system is broken, but is our government the right agent of that change?

    -Arthur Smith

    Worcester, Massachusetts

    November 24, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  29. Doug

    Jack do we need another hole in our budget?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  30. Peter Wolf / Cedar Grove, NJ

    Without Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the Postal Service, we would be Gen Lost. Without a public option, the insurance companies will enjoy robust growth - off your and my hide! We need the government to ensure true competition.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  31. David Hughes

    There is not one single program that the government runs efficiently. Why in the world, especially in this economic climate, do we want to "roll the dice" on a trillion dollar program that will take over a full 1/6 of the U.S. economy and place all of our lives at risk. And – it will not even cover all of the uninsured. I thought that was a primary purpose of this boondoggle.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  32. Jim

    Yes. The government should take an active role in the U.S. health care system. As citizens, we've already decided monopolies are bad things, causing costs to skyrocket without any repercussion. The numbers speak for themselves, insurance companies are monopolies all across this nation, with many states having only one or two such health insurance companies running the show. If these guys played fair and kept prices down, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. But if we insist on having private health insurance companies running the show, and if they continue to work so tirelessly not to cover people, with profit as the bottom line, then by all means it's time for our government to step in.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  33. Jack Bass

    Do I want a government to spend an extra trillion dollars on a program we all know they can't manage? Do I want to see them involved in health care regulations and management?
    Why don't you ask if I'd like to get a root canal w/o pain killer?
    But just in case you misunderstand and would possibly put my answer down for 'I favor govt health care' poll. The answer is NO!! A thousand times NO!!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  34. Mary Jane

    In my opion it is an absolute necessity to have the Gov. involved in health care. Medicare & VA programs work very well. Who wants to give up Medicare????? We need affordable and consistant coverage for all Americans.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  35. andy in tx

    Jack, you make a good point. If I remember correctly – When Clinton left office the government had a surplus. During the last 8 years ruled by repulicans, the deficit grew to 11.2 trillion dollars. Lets give credit where credit is due. Anything run by a "republican" congress or president will fail. This is why democrats were elected – to "mop up the mess". I support health care reform – its better than doing nothing.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  36. Elizabeth in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    We the people need solutions, no matter where they come from. Are you suggesting that private insurance companies continue in the driver's seat? I think private industry has had their turn, sorry. Jack, why don't you give us your solution in 2000 pages or less, and allow us to comment on that?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  37. Kaye Mills

    Are you kidding? Medicare is Billions (or is it trillions?) in the hole already, and millions of Baby Boomers will be added to the program in the next 10 years. I would not trust these democratic/socialist"
    "health plans" to take care of my dog, much less myself or my family.

    To believe that these plans could possibly help America, and Americans, in any way would require a complete suspension of the ability to reason. The middle class better wake up and take back our country.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  38. Jack, Dayton NV

    If we don't want the government involved, I guess it is because the insurance companies are so much better. ... AIG sure won me over...

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  39. joe m

    yes jack, i'd like the government to be more involved in healthcare. there certainly isn't enough beaurecracy in it. there simply aren't enough forms to sign to before being seen at the hospital or doctor's offices. the rules are absolutely not complicated enough. i'm SURE that all these will disappear with the intervention of the government. NOT!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  40. Sean

    YES! This question is just another way to give more rebuttle to This administration! Every time they try and get something accomplished, someone (usually a republican) disagrees. This is harmful to the democratic process, which, the last I heard...majority of Americans want healthcare reform. Not most Americans need healthcare, which means that those who support reform are actually being good Americans and looking past thier own needs. Hopefully, more can do the same.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  41. Tracy from Ontario

    As a Canadian who has lived in the US, Americans cannot not afford to have the Government involved in healthcare. The issue is more complex than a Government run option plan. The issues that need to be addressed include outrageous doctor's salaries, insurance companies who take premiums but refuse service. Doctors, hospital fiscal policies set by directors and CEO's, insurance companies must put aside the GREED and see that a healthy America (via healthcare coverage) is good for America and the economy.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  42. Jon

    Jack,
    I'm unsure how to answer that. While I'm not to crazy with more government spending and more government control, I am also not too happy with the private sector who has brought this country the majority of the problems we're in now. I am glad that we did not do something of the things that were suggested during the Republican controlled government (I.E. private social security accounts run by wall street and the removal of Medicare in favor of private insurance.) I think we should instead be working on controlling the industry by bringing down costs and regulating the excesses of the industry. If we do that then we will see costs truly come down across the board.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  43. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Jack, don't beat around the bush just say it. We are screwed. We are between Barak and a hard place.
    One contender, our current health care providers, want to beat us into submission by intentionally draining from us every last thing we own in this life and they know how to do it well.
    The other possible contender, the federal gov't, through neglect and ignorance would in the end throw us to the wolves.
    Third option? Kivorkian?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  44. Joe, Las Vegas (the dealer, not the plumber)

    Yes, all Americans should have universal care. We deserve it. Healthcare as a whole is much better in all other 1st world countries.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  45. David

    Jack, you make it sound as if thes programs wouldn't be broke if they were run by the private sector . . . I'm not sure on what basis you could make that assumption. WHere's your list of all the government run programs that run well? We only hear about the problems. But what about all the private sector industries and companies that go broke. Sometimes, organizations just go broke – whether public or private. Look at the disastrous state of the insurance industry and the banking sector. Those were all run privately and are a disaster – maybe the government should have put some controls on them to protect our society.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  46. carol

    I do NOT believe the government should be more involved in health care. It is not the government's responsibility in this country to provide for my family's health insurance. That is not a responsibility given to the government in the constitution. I believe in this country's constitution and the wisdom of our forefathers. I believe in freedom...and personal responsibility. It is nice to hear someone asking this question though...finally.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  47. ron mcrae

    how come the other counyries of the g-7 can run social programs like health care social insurance and masny other social programs and not go broke. \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\i thopught america could do anything .maybe he they could control the greed in there economy they could balance there books,and treat those who have lees with respect

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  48. William Brooks

    Jack, how do you think health care would work if the insurance lobbies, drug lobbies and health care lobbies took the money they spend buying off our congress and gave it up as discounts and coverage to the public?? Problem solved but you're not likely to see that as long as our legislators are lining their pockets with their wives sitting on boards for six figure incomes and their children stepping out of college into six figure token positions with these companies. When all is said and done there will be alot more said tahn done.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  49. Esther Massillon Ohio

    I would rather have the government running health care and let AIG, Aetna, Blue Cross, and all the other insurance companies fail. I have Medicare and it works. I also go to the VA and it works. Tell me why you think that the Government can't run a health care program and I forgot to mention Medical. I do not hear them complaining about the coverage they are getting. Stop Blaming the government for all out problems. Go after the Lobbyist or members of the Congress and ask them what have they done for us lately except to mount a debt for wars which we are not going to win and tell me again about that bridge to no where and then tell me about all the other pork they laid on us by borrowing from China. and tell me about the unequal trade agreements and how come we have so many recalls of cribs and drywall that is making us sick in this country from China. The President can only do so much in this and in my book he is doing his best.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  50. spongebob

    i rather have the government run health care then the greedy corporate Americans who all about profit then humanity

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  51. william torchia

    Goverment has the unconscionable ability to spend more than it makes. Why is this so difficult for them to see?

    Also, our government never mentions that in Afganistan (sp?) and Iraq, as well as even at home, we are fighting a religious war. The enemy is acting on Faith.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  52. Francisco

    The Best Country in the world I think yes I want govt. to get inolved. I hate when american dont want to pay more taxes I think everyone make 200,000 should pay another 20% to 30% in taxes so all middles and lower class can have a better life then the rich Stop beening greedy and give a little to heath care.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  53. Mike L.

    The problem is that too many people, mostly Republicans, see health care in the form numbers and dollar signs. Medicaid, Medicare, etc. might not be doing so hot anymore financially, but think of how many lives these programs have saved. Isn't that what health care is supposed to be about?

    Republicans make the argument that the insurance companies have made so much more money than gov't programs and are therefore more reliable, but that's because the gov't actually pays for people's care and doesn't cut them off.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  54. Allan Smalley

    We must try to fairly provide health care, and the government option is the big stick those suckers in the private industry must be threatened with to get any attention at all!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  55. Better gov

    Yes... Because the alternative is to leave it up to the profit driven insurance companies. The answer is simple. We need a federal Govt thats works... Remember that the next time you cast your vote.
    charles.. Richmond,Va

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  56. Janna Taylor

    Yes I want the government to stop the raping and pillaging of middle class Americans by greedy insurance companies. I find It interesting that you fail to mention any of the programs that do work...how about unemploment insurance or consumer protection or our military? The bottom line is something must be done and ANYTHING is better than the broken system we have now.
    Janna Taylor
    West Monroe, LA

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  57. Mike Bouroult

    The Federal goverment has proven time and time again that it is out of touch with middle America and most importantly it hasn't any clue of how to inact any meaningful ideas in either healthcare or education

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  58. Becky

    If it were not for government run Medicare, I would have been dead five years ago. I think that says enough. If we can spend billions to kill thousands of people in Iraq and Afghanistan, I think we can surely spend billions to save lives. Selfish people would say no, just let the sick and the poor die. The Republicans really do not care.

    Becky
    Tennessee

    November 24, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  59. cy

    You mainstream media corporate lackeys do a lousy job of explaining how government involvement in health care works wonders around the world. We pay the highest prices, by far, for prescription drugs because our Congress is full of prostitutes. We pay greedy middle men the bulk of our health care money when we could save a huge amount of that money by eliminating those greedy middle men. What vital service do these middle men perform??? In 2005 Canadians voted for the Greatest Canadian of All Time. They chose the guy they call the father of their national health care system. Apparently, they are happy with government involvement. I wish we were as smart as Canadians, eh? cy – arlington, va

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  60. Mike Bailey

    Absolutely not! To your list of Federal government "successes" you can add Amtrak, which was supposed to be a temporary involvement too.

    Raleigh, NC

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  61. Kim in mpls

    Social Security will cost 960 Billion ANNUALLY for all of the baby boomer retirees, period. Healthcare for them will be multiples of that ANNUALLY! So Jack what do you think about reforming healthcare?

    PS They are already in it, they just need to do a better job managing... a start would be to remove "white collar" from medicare fraud and make them pay with hard time!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  62. jim

    What I look forward to is the failure of Congress to pass Healthcare Reform, Republicans take over and Insurance premiums and deductables to soar over the next few years. When companies can no longer afford premiums they drop coverage and the individuals who are so satisfied now with the coverage have to take over the premiums or lose their expensive plans that the public now pays for in the price of goods purchased.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  63. Larry So Cali

    Here's the problem Jack, Something has to be done Period...! If we need to fight corruption with corrution so be it. The Ne-cons have learned well from this tactic. The insurance companys love you jack. This is exactly the message they want to get out. We can continue to be slaves to the Insurance industry or finally do something ,anything, about it. To many people losing there respect and livelyhood when loved one's get sick and are at the mercy of out of control greed.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  64. Melissa

    Yes. If other country's can make their health care better by doing it, there's no reason that the country thats supposed to be the greatest country in the world can't do it.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  65. Don, Fl

    I want them involved in policy regulations only!
    The gov needs to reform regulations to prevent monopolies. If prices are the same for services, then the company that best delivers these services and offers the most value will win.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  66. Mike

    Hey jack,
    You really have to look at the dates those programs were founded. All of them more than 35 years ago now. How much has changed in our country and in the world in the last 35 years? I think this is even more of an incentive for us to be able to change and adapt to the times. We can not afford to let conservatives to stop every piece of legislation that changes our policies. We can not afford to fall behind the evolving world. The time to stand fast with our traditions has come to an end. We need new ideas and programs to meet our current needs and not the ones from three decades ago.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  67. marge

    Yes,I do.All those examples you gave,hello??The people who supported them are the baby boomers.My parents and their generation were the ones who benefited from those of us in the workforce keeping those programs going.
    Now,duh, there's not enough(and wouldn't be even if the economy was fine) in the workforce to provide for the boomers.
    What, when I need to renew my driver's license, I go to a gov't run office, law enforcement, water dept, fire dept all gov't run. The V.A. gov't run.
    What's your answer, let the big corps keep robbing us. That's what happened to me. I paid my premiums, then the insurance co decided my thryoid condition was pre-existing after well over a year of being treated for it. They also put test and exams such as a gyn exam and hormone meds,tests all under thyroid and denied it all.
    I lost all my dr's, one dr they didn't pay a penny to...I was stuck with thousands of $$ of bills, and lost out on months worth of premiums I had paid. Now I have pre-existing conditions...
    So yes, I not only want the gov't involved, I NEED the gov't involved! Otherwise, how about I just tell the dr's to send the bills to you???

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  68. Peter Lepper

    Yes I want the government to take on nat. single payer health care for all.
    We pay the most in the civilized world for health care and get almost the worst results. We have fat cat CEO's advertising that we owe it to them to makes their lives a heaven on earth while Americans die in the streets. The rich can pay more if they don't like it they can move to Cuba. Some one else will be glad to replace them.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  69. vicky deacon

    Do I really want the government involved in running health care?

    I believe you answered the question very well when you reviewed the dismal history of government run programs – all currently bankrupt. So my answer is NO, absolutely NOT – I do not want the government running another thing ! In fact, they should get OUT of the bank business, the car business and every other business. Just stick to national defense and for heavens sake, do your job at that one!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  70. John

    You neglected to mention the dumb wars we get involved in and, again, we are on the verge of another war costing $1 billion per soldier.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  71. Kim in mpls

    Amen to Jay in Texas

    November 24, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  72. Kelly in Minneapolis

    Jack,

    The answer is yes–I want more government....REGULATION! One-third of every dollar spent on health care goes to INSURANCE companies. Then they need to be bailed out.

    The President, in hind sight, might now realize that a series of succesive bills aimed at specific problems should have been the plan. Giant bills that virtually noone can understand are much harder to pass.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  73. Mike

    If it is the only way to have insurance company's actually care about our health as much as their profits and to put an end to some of the absurd costly decisions made by some doctors that lead to the prescription of many unnecessary costly tests, then YES.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  74. Amber, Ohio

    Jack,
    I think it is crucial for something to change with the healthcare system. I refuse to go to the doctor unless I'm seriously injured or extremely ill. The bill I receive after a trip to the hospital is always more than I can afford–and I have insurance. If it takes government involvement to make that change, that's fine by me!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  75. LaSonya

    Yes! I most certainly do! something has to change. I would prefer regulating the hospitals and physicians to where the cost of healthcare is not so enormous and implementing a contract rate across all healthcare providers, including pharmaceuticals for non-insured citizens, this would at least make healthcare more affordable for preventive care and medicine. However, is this is the best we can do at this time, then I am all for it. It is better to do something than nothing at all and we all know if this plan doesn't go through, nothing will be done in the future.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  76. Dan Shoop

    Yes, I want the government more involved in health care in this country, involved enough to the degree that they stay out of it and deregulate it more. The issue isn't health insurance coverage so much as making health care more affordable, something the government could easily do by just three simple things: (1) permit insurers to offer plans across state lines, like we permitted banks to do long ago, (2) permit anyone eligible to enroll in plans not tied to employers and provide the same tax credit offered employers to those whose employers don't offer coverage, (3) tort reform to reduce the costs of health. Congress has demonstrated they're not concerned about reducing health care costs but about increasing its complexity.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  77. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    I think it would be better than being at the mercy of the insurance companies and healthcare industries. They're no better than the financial institutions. We can control the government when we want to.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  78. Carol Meadows

    I grew up in London on the National Health Service and I loved it. Everyone was covered and if you couldn't get everything you wanted, you could pay a little extra for a top-up insuarance plan. Everyone paid into the program and the rich paid for the poor and the healthy paid for the unhealthy. The preventative care, prenatal and pediatric care is fabulous. No frills but everything you need for a healthy start to life. And it is fair, women get what they need and so do men. Dental and Opthalmic needs are covered, fabulous in home care for the elderly too.
    Every religion says that the rich should take care of the poor. Do we believe that or not?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  79. Ben

    I honestly see health as an inaliable right. The government job is to insure any & all rights. That whole "pursuit of happiness" should include a proper health coverage, screw the money.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  80. Robin

    Yes, I do. For the last 20 years, I have worked as a Sr. Social Worker Case Manager for the Medicaid Program in my State. I don't understand why there can't be Universal Health Care in the US. All of us who are still working would still pay a premium and all employer's large and smaill would pay a healthcare flat tax. What's the problem?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  81. Joan Wilson

    NO! I believe the majority of Americans do not want the government involved in health care. We have lost faith in this Administration and with Congress. Health care is broken, but it needs to be fixed piece by piece. We are being railroaded into a health care system we don't want. The makeup of Congress will look very different after the 2010 elections, but by then it will be too late.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  82. Ben

    Although I am absolutely cognizant of your concern, share your fear, I also think that the country needs some sort of health care overhaul. I have a question though. How come no body is saying anything when the country spend more than a trillion dollars no to mention thousands of lives in Iraq and Afghanistan with no end in sight. With that kind of money we could have done a lot of things. Don't you think?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  83. David Johnson

    So after years of conservative driven tax cuts for the wealthy, entitlement programs are going broke. What a surprise!

    Without the economic stimulus provided to individuals and communities by these programs, we would be in a depression right now on our way to becoming a banana republic. I'll sign on to single payer health care in a minute, and Ill pay the costs willingly. And by the way, my Federal tax bill was over $50,000 last year.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  84. Randall

    We've left it up to the private sector, yet nothing has happened, millions of americans don't get care, and thousands of Americans die every year because they can't afford care. So, if we can't turn to the government to fix this, where can we turn? The private sector has failed.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  85. Mr. Dixie Wells

    Simply put, I do not want the government more involved in health care for two reasons: (1) now is not a good time for the federal government to spend another trillion dollars they don't have; and (2) if the feds take over health care, they will not run it responsibly. There isn't enough money for Social Security because the feds have stolen money from it over the years to pay for other spending. If they manage the new health care costs in a similar fashion, it won't work. In the short term, the government needs to simply cut spending. In the long term, after the economy improves, they need to increase taxes somewhat, while maintaining the spending cuts, in order to pay down the national debt.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  86. Tim in Texas

    The problem with government run programs is not the the government . The problem is that as times change, the people want the exact same services from government programs for the same price as they have had in the past. People are living longer, but they want to retire at the same age as they used to (or earlier) without paying more into SS or medicare. Email has cut the amount of snail mail down to about nothing, but we still want the postman to show up at our door everyday and deliver the one letter we might have to send every three months for 47 cents. The answer, Jack, is YES, I want a public option. I want to have 96% of the money I pay into health care to go to health care like it does with Medicare rather than only getting back eighty cents on the dollar like I do with the Insurance Company.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  87. ellen

    Up to half of what is spent for health care goes to the insurance companies. We need the management of our health care to be nonprofit. People are dying so the insurance companies can profit. We need to be able to reduce the cost of medications by being able to, as a group, negotiate for more reasonable prices. The federal government is the only entity that can take on this enormous responsibility. I expect any who disagree to abdicate their rights to medicare. If single payer systems didn't work the people in the rest of the civilized world wouldn't embrace it. Try taking it away from them if you want to see revolution! Ellen in L.A.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  88. elliott factor

    what i don't want is private insurers making obscene profits on the backs of sick people – they shouldn't have a monopoly and they shouldn't be the final arbiters when it comes to health/illness
    they deny coverage, exclude people with "pre-existing conditions" etc all in the name of making money for their companies
    what i really don't understand is why people don't realize how expensive
    the emergency room is, in the end we all pay for it!!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  89. david

    Yes. First the national health care should included Medicare and Medicaid program. 2nd the government should monitor health care industry. Who else would trust to monitor it? Not me. You?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  90. Sharon

    The only further involvement the government should have in health care should be implementing legislation to regulate drug companies detestable practices plus implementing medical tort reform. Huge medical malpractice premiums are driving some doctors out of practice, which this country can ill afford. Nothing they do will be successful unless they build a better system on a foundation that includes reform in these two areas.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  91. Chris

    People always complain about the problems government program have, but think of all the services regulated by the government that you used today that did work: you woke up with power and water; police, fire and EMS were there in case you needed them, your finances were insured... the list goes on and on. Healthcare could use some oversight.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  92. Karl from SF, CA

    Perhaps if we joined the rest of the civilized world and had national health care for all the Post Office would break even. Maybe some of the companies that went overseas to countries with national health care to cut 15 t0 20 per cent out of operating costs would bring those jobs back to the good old US of A. As for Medicare and Social Securoty, operating a system at a loss rather then ask the future beneficiaries to pay in enough to at least break even is poor planning at its worst. Fear mongering is winning and that is not good.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  93. Don

    Jack,
    My recommendation: "No! God, no! Please don't continue the madness of big government. What more proof do you need that we all need to find new ways to solve our problems besides resgination to big government solutions?"

    Don
    Germany

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  94. Scott Hill

    Absolutely.
    Buying health care insurance is not like buying a new TV, car, or even a home. The free market works for those items because if the price gets too high, the consumer can choose to do without them. Not being able to afford healthcare can be, and often is fatal. Not much of a choice there. Also, the insurance companies have proven time and time again that their only concern is their bottom lines, which is often in direct conflict with their customers' lives.

    Scott Hill
    Wolcottville, IN

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  95. Barb from Texas

    Jack, first of all don't you think your question is very leading ? You failed to mention the very valid reasons these programs were enacted to begin with, just as you failed to mention rather pertinent facts such as social security had a surplus in the budget and should still have a surplus if it was not abused by the last administration. You also failed to mention that the government has been trying to reform medicare and medicaid programs to make them more viable as well as other programs when they saw the need and all efforts were stymied by party differences. You also failed to mention that many of the problems with the resulting debts of the programs can be directly connected to fraud within private industries.
    So the answer is yes, Jack, more government control is preferable to being totally left as food for the wolves in the private industries.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  96. Michael

    The federal government has monopolies on first class mail and interstate passenger rail service. Both are broke. I wonder how government run health care will be any different?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  97. Jon Youngblood - Portland, OR

    As long as the only alternative is for-profit Insurance Companies, heck yeah! Lesser of two evils, Jack. It's the motive behind the people, whether they work in Government Service or as a Corporate employee, the motive of the Government is to serve the public. It's up to all of us to help to make sure that public service works better as we go forward, not trash it because it has some of the lessened aggressiveness that more idealized organizations might display over those where the bottom line is competition and profit. Call me an idealist.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  98. Bill in Dayton, OH

    Not no but Hell NO!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  99. Frankie

    The last thing we need right now is to TRUST the government with another program that costs more money. If the American people are expected to be responsible individuals and live within their means, then the American government should do the same.

    Riverside, CA

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  100. Dorothly Buran

    Your figures for social security differ from mine. The information I have states that 57% of our federal budget goes to the military in the form of defense, war, veterans affairs, etc., while 6% goes to health and human serviices which I assume includes social security benefits. No matter how good or bad the economy, conservatives always have money to make war, but never enough to provide for human services. Yes I believe the health bill with a government option needs to be passed.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  101. louis rattanni

    i feel like we are on the niagara river 100 yds . from the edge of the fallswelost both oars ,having to paddle withour hands and losing ground. we need moderate reform not a massive overhaul.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  102. Gerold

    Jack, it's all about good financial management. and planning. President Obama is a thinker and we should give him the opportunity to make this country physically healthy...as it should be. All I know is several years ago if it were not for medicare/medicaid my mother would not have been able to have surgery for colon cancer. My parents did not have the luxury of being able to afford good medical insurance so they had to settle for what the government could give. I don't wish the same situation for you Jack nor others like you who are privileged enough to afford good health care. Please stop encouraging the narrowed mindedness of a few to influence the needs of a majority.

    Gerold
    Atlanta

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  103. Steve Ellis

    OK, I have a son that's a Type 1 Diabetic. When he graduates from college in two years, he MUST get a job with a company that supplies health insurance, or he risks serious illness and/or death.

    He can't start his own business or go to work in a small business or start up because buying insurance on the open market to cover his diabetic supplies would be unaffordable or unavailable.

    So he is less free than others in this country. He does not have the unlimited opportunities that others have. Nice.

    No one thinks of this issue in these terms.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  104. Sickly

    Its puzzeling to me hearing Republicans asking people do they really want some government bureaucrat making health care decisions. I think the answer has to be a resounding yes. Lets face it, in our present system, many insurance companies are granted monopolies, and still, they find ways to gouge the public, contradict doctors and deny benefits. Having government involvement can't be any worst than having profit motivated insurance company bureaucrats making the decisions for me.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  105. Bill Davis

    Absolutely want the gov't more involved in health care. Time to join the rest of the world and take care of all the people in the US. The debate has been great and has made us better. But it's time to put aside politics and influence peddlers and get this focused on the people not the profits.

    Do you really think the insurance companies have our best interest at heart...come on.

    Bill Davis (a small business owner)

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  106. Thought Wilson

    Spending on healthcare is one of the most worthwhile investments we can make. Politicians just have to have the guts and brains to tax enough to pay for it. Not like there isn't enough money, especially in the upper few percent who make vast amounts on the backs ofthe rest of us. It wont help them if we're dead or bankrupt either.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  107. Frank

    Yes,yes, and yes. If we do not ha ve enough money then we should add a national value added tax. Or, better yet, we should junk the current IRS tax and go to a straight fixed 3 or 4% tax for everyone without exemptions.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  108. Bruce Budy

    Imagine how great it would have been without Social Security..how are your stocks and 401K doing? Anybody out there with an Enron Retirement package?
    And without Medicare or Medicaid we could have saved billions, of dollars, not lives.
    And somebody should contact UPS or FedEx and see how anxious they are to deliver your Christmas Cards for $0.44 each.

    Critics decry government losses on programs which could not deliver a profit. If they had the potential to be profitable, private investors would flock to them, and of course that would mean big savings for all of us...including money left over for stockholders and CEOs...really?

    What we really desire is everything for nothing. Merry Christmas.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  109. Michael n Seattle

    well let me see I'd say the answer is yes since I've been on medicare for 12 years now and no complaints. everyone should be on medicare and raise our taxes to 65% for everyone no deductions to cover the cost.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  110. Saron R, Lansing, Illinois

    If the surplus back in the Clinton era had not been squandered, and
    the wasted billions in an Iraq war instead of Afghanistan were still available these government run entities would not be in trouble. Ask the people receiving Social Security and Medicare if they are happy with the programs. I am.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  111. Ed O'Dwyer

    Well, Jack, from your litany of problems it sounds like everything will shut down in the near future. The government can either do nothing and let it all spiral to a halt or try to correct it. Correcting it costs money. Yes, I want the government to step into the escalating health care problem. My employer set a medical cap when I retired and that cap was reached years ago. Anything over the cap is the retiree's cost. My health plan costs have more than doubled over the past three years. And I'm healthy!! Now my pension is going more for health care plan payments than for any other personal expense. I can't see any other organization stepping in to correct problems other than the government.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  112. Robin

    Yes, I do. For the last 20 years, I have worked as a Sr. Social Worker Case Manager for the Medicaid Program in my State. I don't understand why there can't be Universal Health Care in the US. All of us who are still working would still pay a premium and all employer's large and smaill would pay a healthcare flat tax. What's the problem?

    P. S. Nothing else can be charged to the "Health Care" turst fund. That's the problem with Social Security and medicare, it has been been robbed blind.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  113. Barb Saywell

    Absolutley not! The goverment does not belong in our PRIVATE Lives! The can however.......defend this country and the borders!!!!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  114. Patricia/Georgia

    Yes Sir: and while they are at it.....get the public option also. This from an Independent everyone says does not want it. We need it and should have it otherwise the insurance companies still rule.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  115. pollys

    yes. i work for a mortgage company and watched fannie mae executives almost put us out of business because of their greed and now i am watching the insurance companies raise premiums so high that what little money we make is being eaten up by their greed. Corporate America has no limit on how much they feel they should make. The government and their bureauochracy is better than corporate greed

    November 24, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  116. Georgeann Chambers

    The current state of health care is in such disarray and were we to shift our paradigm to wellness rather than treatment of the illness, healthcare would become much less a burden on all involved. The problem is that healthcare has become such a cash cow for the insurance industry and the insurance industry has so abused their position, that something, i.e., the government stepping in, must be done. It will be a painful process initially, as has the recovery process for the economy to recover the failings and abuses of the past administration (read $700 Billion bailout for banks just before leaving office).

    While the short-term costs will be higher than anyone cares to see, if you have a long -term vision and truly care about the strength of this nation, the path of a nationalized healthcare system makes sense and allows the masses to improve their stead without the fear of devastating health issues bankrupting them in the process.

    The people looking to keep the status quo are those who wish to keep the poor, poor – and the wealthy, wealthy and not provide for the opportunity of change in thinking out of fear.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  117. Brian, Santa Rosa, CA

    If not the government, then who? We cannot wait for the Insurance companies to do the right thing. And in a time where everyone is saying "no" to bigger government, then who polices the big businesses that are screwing us?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  118. Chris in southern Indiana

    Yes we want the government involved in healthcare. Look at what private insurance companies have done. Do you honestly think the goverment could do any worse? Millions are uninsured. More don't know whether or not their insurance will be there if they get sick. And we spend more and more every year only to get less and less in return. We've spent trillions bombing and rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan, but now that we're going to help the American people with healthcare, we need to be tightwads? What a joke.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  119. James P. Regan

    Elected representatives are doing what rthey think they should do – – expand the xcentral government control of everyting. Bigger is better and what better way to get some excitement in your life than "runmning" a business or major agency. Here is a group of officeals that do not belong to the very system they are trying to manage. Why? They can control and fund their benefits with a simple vote.

    A liberal pundit observed most interestingly. . . "I don't understand why the average citizen is not marching in the stereets yelling for their scalps." the Health Care System if enacted will lead to the ultimate xdecline of our "Empire" (it's overdus at nmore than 200 years). The complacency of the citizenry and the arrogance and venal ponouncements of elected officials seem to go unnoticed. I weep for my country.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  120. Mark

    Jack,

    Get real. Is there any government run program that is more efficient and cost-effective than private industry? Obama, Pelosi and friends claim we can pay for a large part of this new welfare program by reducing waste and fraud in the existing government run Medicare and Medicaid programs. If there is really that much waste and inefficiency in the current government health plan why haven't they corrected it before now? It's not like we haven't been running in a budget deficit for many years with these programs being a major reason for that deficit. Leave well enough alone.....legislate some reforms including removing pre-existing conditions, stop pharmaceutical advertising, limit liability for medical malpractice and call it a day. Adding 20-30 million to the welfare rolls is not the answer.

    Concerned in Nashville

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  121. Nick

    Jack how easy is it for you to say that we dont have that money when we spend millions and millions on unwanted war and aid to other countries, what fraction is healthcare reform compared to money we waste daily on less important things?? Bottom lineJack get sick with no medical insurance and you will know what am talking about.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  122. Lisa Rahon

    I prefer the government running health care. If they do a bad job, we don't reelect them. If insurance executives do a bad job, we have no recourse, except to have the government step in.

    Saying we should stop having government programs because existing government programs are over budget is kind of silly.

    I had to cancel my insurance, I'd give anything to have something like Medicare. As it stands now, if I get sick, I just die.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  123. tom

    No..........not just no, Hell No!
    The sad thing is people just keep asking for this crap. Oh Mr. Government Man, please help me. Whatever happened to slef reliance, Jack? You know, like grampa and gramma lived.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  124. David Rosner

    Jack, you made an incredibly storng argument for the efficiency of government. social security since 1935? Postal Service since the revolution? Medicare for the past half century? They've all remained stable, importnat parts of our national family and have delivered services virtually uninterrupted for decades, if not centuries. What industry can claim that kind of stability and security and service to the public? Just look at the member companies of the Dow Industrials in 1935 and now and tell me which are still on it, ore even in existence? Would we want anyone of them responsible for necessary social services? I'd trust my government well before i put my health care in the hands of Aetna or any other private, for profit insurance company. It seems to me that it is perfectly reasonable to adjust and improve our social service network every 50 years or so - don't you? That government officials 50, 75 and 200 years ago could develop a system that didn't need changes. .
    Why are you mouthing this ahistorical, anti-government, ideological nonsense? I expect more from you.

    David

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  125. D. Morgan

    Of course the government needs to step in. Right now health care is being run in a capitalist way – one in which profits are the goal of any health care provider, and the actual lives and service provided is placed second. By removing the profit incentive and putting patients first, the government is in a MUCH better position to deal with health care.

    Also Cafferty, your comment amount "money we don't have" is a distortion of the truth, since not only does the current health care plan not increase the deficit, but it reduces the deficit.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  126. Alex

    The federal government shows symptoms of inefficiency and the cause is a lack of the free market. The profit incentive for instance and competition.
    All we had to do for the life of us was.
    1. Permit competition among all the 50 states in healthcare.
    2. 30 year healthcare plans to do away with the problem of preexisting conditions.
    This horrible health plan that already passed!!! ....will still leave people uninsured.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  127. Arcy

    Jack,

    No. I do not want government more involved in healthcare. Government involvement is the main reason it's so messed up now. In fact, we would be much better off if government would remove itself from just about every other entity it's involved in – that includes education, which has been an utter disaster!

    Since you mentioned the Post Office as an example of government failure, just remember that, when President Obama was trying to sell us this so-called healthcare reform, he tried to assure us of how great it would be by pointing to the bankrupt Post Office as an example.

    Arcy
    New York, NY

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  128. Peg from NY

    NO! IF only the entire medical profession and all insurance companies could get on the same page to benefit ALL! Is that really too much to ask? The Government, Medical Profession, Insurance Companies, etc. should understand that healthcare is a right not a priveledge. All US citizens should receive the same healthcare every Senator does. Until then~nothing is fair in healthcare.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  129. Steve Fontaine

    What isn't anyone trying to get the governments fingers out of public education? Because people aren't getting rich off of the public education system.
    The bottom Line – as long as there are people getting wealthy at the expense of other peoples misfortune then there will always be a crisis. It's not only the insurance companies. Hospitals, pharmaceuticals and and other health care institutions are also just as much to blame for the problem.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  130. cy

    I think the World Health Organization ranks the US health care system as the 37th best in the world. THIRTY SEVENTH, JACK!!! How many of the 36 countries in front of us have greedy middle men making profits and driving up prices at the cost of 40,000 lives a year? Very few countries are as STUPID as America. Instead of chasing Sarah "the Quitter" Palin around the country, why don't you devote some air time to examining what other countries are doing that make their health care systems more responsive to the needs of the sick than the greedy, crooked mess we have in this STUPID country. Cy – arlington, va

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  131. Lois, The Villages, "Florida

    I'm happy with my health care program just the way it is and I don't want the government messing it up. If the administration is so smart, let them root out the fraud in the current programs and make us ev en happier.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  132. John h. Moore

    No we do not want the government involved in our health care. In fact we don't want them involved in our life at all. Every time the government decides to get involved it costs the public more tax dollars.

    What part of NO more taxes do these Obama people not understand. Must we march on Washington with our guns to get them to stop spending money we do not have. WE ARE BROKE, BANKRUPT, KAPUT.

    Obama and the DEM-Socialist progressives have started a civil war.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  133. steve in virginia

    No. I want them to start identifying then solving the underlying problems that got us into the mess we're in instead of throwing more money at the symptoms. Even afterward, I don't want them involved in healthcare or any other social programs until they prove they know how to run the ones they have.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  134. Neil

    We spent almost 3 Trillion dollars in Iraq, enough money to pay every Iraqi a full salary for 28 years.
    I don’t want the government running Healthcare; however I do expect them to set up a framework with health not greed at its core.
    Asking teabagger freaks to drool out big business special interest groups rhetoric helps how?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  135. Sean

    Maybe, if past administrations and generations had spent the $ on those particular programs you mentioned, they would be doing fine. But if you look at the books, they'll tell you that social security has funded more than what it was invented for. AND NO, you can't blame Obama for what happened in years past!!!
    YES! We need more govt oversight. To all the nut jobs who say they don't want big govt...tell them to put their $ where their mouth is. When you need swine flu vaccines, stay home! When you need your social security check, send it back! When you lose your job, because the president of the company ran the thing into the ground...don't come begging for big govt's help!
    To all those with some sense out there, you should be able to rely on the govt, whohas relied on all of you to keep this country running. God bless America...or the idea that it once was!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  136. bob

    i dont want more gov involement but we have to have some one to keep insurance companies from rapeing us on the already high cost of insurance

    November 24, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  137. Phillip Simmons

    Its funny why dont we save big bucks and cancel all that government run health care for all those senators and represantatives since they are so against government run health care. And you want to talk about health care rationing get cancer or a chronic disease with our people loving insurance companies and see what a real death squad is. Why is we have to fund raisers and raffles to get some people procedures that our life and death. Insurance companies are the true death squads. Risk versus return duh.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  138. rickfromdetroit

    Jack, yes I want the government running my health care, at least someone will be available to bail out the bureaucratic mess that the private sector created. Lets not forget that the taxpayers bailed out the banks and the auto industry, and for years have supported the private sector through tax cuts. Lets face it, the same people run the government and the businesses, they are called American Citizens.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  139. jeff in hawaii

    Jack,

    Yes i do. The insurance my mother had tried to deny my mother cancer treatment during the '90's. My parents had to sell their home, their cabin, and dip into their retirement to have money to treat my mother. If we don't have a government option, many more people will face the same thing my family went through.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  140. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    The fundamental problem here is Corporatism, specifically executives who have exported the manufacturing base to other countries to enhance management bottom lines. Small business cannot compete, pay reasonable salaries, insurance, unemployment and taxes. With dwindling or non-existing paychecks, how can we afford to buy stuff? The government needs to slash and cap all corporate management salaries, the so called "talent" that is RUINING this country that was built on the backs of the middle class. If these corporate folks don't like it. They still could have the freedom to leave USA to provide their "talents" to China, India, Thailand, and others. With that problem resolved, maybe the middle class can reamerge to take back our Country and put it back to the way it was.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  141. Charles

    Jack, I really don't understand peoples objection to Gov. Run health care when the alternative is for profit health ins. Does anyone really want health ins that can be canceled when you need it the most. Do you really want a bean counter standing between you and your doctor.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  142. MARK PRIBBLE Anna Illinois

    The problem is not the Government cant fix the problems, it's the people with in the Government that are the problem. If they were all honest people in charge & did not lie and steal this really would be the richest country in the world, we would all have health care & most if not all would have jobs and a roof over are heads.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  143. Jackie in Dallas

    You know, Jack, I do. I do want the government to get involved.

    I want them involved because a for-profit system has shown itself to be uncaring, unsafe, and unreliable at providing moderately priced healthcare for good, tax-paying citizens of this country. The real "death panels" are the number crunchers at the companies who say that cancer treatments aren't "cost-effective", that essential pain medications lead to dependence (even though the patient is already terminal), and who are in cahoots with hospitals and all-too-many doctors in fixing prices.

    The execs at for-profit companies are responsible only to a relatively small group of stock holders whose only concern is the bottom line. A government-run project is subject to scrutiny by the entire population.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  144. Dennis

    The government used to take hard working people's money and give things to people who don't work in exchange for their votes. Now that the government is broke, we borrow money from China to give things to people who don't work.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  145. Sarah in Texas

    The government also runs the best military on the face of the planet. If government programs are going broke, it's because people keep screaming about paying too much in taxes - which is a joke. I certainly trust the government to run an optional insurance 'company' that works to my benefit much more than I trust a private insurance company to do so.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  146. Kathi, Bayview ID

    Let me get this straight if I can. Congress wants to overhaul healthcare instead of putting together comprehensive legislation that protects the public from exhorbitant insurance premiums. They could pay for comprehensive healthcare reform if they bring medicare fraud in check, and no one seems to know how to put standard checks and balances in place to do that? Kinda makes you wonder who's minding the store, doesn't it?
    Kathi, Bayview ID

    November 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  147. Chad from Los Angeles

    The big difference between health care and those other examples is health care is self sufficient. Also, our well being is a little more important than the mortgage industry and the mail.

    The gov't just is not good at foreseeing problems like people living so long and email. (social security/medicare + postal service)

    November 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  148. Ron - Baltimore, Maryland

    I think the question is can we afford for them not to. We forget that our premiums continue to rise (mine went up 20% for 2010 simply because I will reach age 50) and that the care provided lessons.

    Health care needs to be completely overhauled including Medicare and Medicaid. The amount of fraud alone continues to set us back each year and is estimated to be in the 100 of millions.

    If people paid attention to those statement of billing explanations that they receive from their insurance carrier after a procedure, they would better understand why health care cost so much in this country.

    I can't stop thinking about the movie "SWING VOTE", and the question asked at the final debate – "If we are the richest Nation in the world, then why is it that so many of us simply can't afford to live here"?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  149. JoAnn

    Looks like you are seeing the light – just by your question. Obama told everyone during his campaign what he was about. His agenda is to take from those who have and give to the have nots. I am very interested in caring for those less fortunate and participate in a food panty in my community. My problem is government has just gotten into to much of my life. Do not get involved in my health. It is not the governments right to take over my quality of life.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  150. Sam Houston King

    sorry, Sam from Corinth, Mississippi

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  151. Alan (Milwaukee)

    I don’t think we have any choice in the matter, at least not right now. In a perfect world, the government wouldn’t have to be so heavily involved, but because we’ve allowed the private insurance industry to write their own rules for so long, we’ve painted ourselves into a corner. We need the government to regulate this industry, and we need the government to make sure that the private industry has incentive to act and function more responsibly than it has up to now. You think we just can’t afford the heavy federal government involvement? I think we won’t be successful without it.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  152. Elaine

    Jack, with the information you have just listed, only the entitled or under educated would want more of the the government in our pockets. There is no government program to date that has shown they know how to use our taxes wisely. In fact just the opposite, politians of both parties share in the blame for this country's financial disaster. It truely scares me what and where this country is going.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  153. Jim

    Obviously yes.Under Mr.Cafferty's absurd set up to this question,he acts as though these social programs are made for profit.If that's the case,is the military also "broke"?Is the FAA "broke" ?IS the EPA "broke" Every other civilizied,advanced country in the world has universal health coverage.For the richest country in the history of the world to have the number one cause of bankrupcy the inability to pay for heath care is a complete moral disgrace.To have 20% of our fellow citizens without health coverage is also a complete disgrace.It's all about priorities.We seem to have plenty of money for Iraq and Afganistan.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  154. Mary

    NO! I'm 62 and have paid into Social Security and Medicare since my first job in 1965. I wish I had been allowed to put all that money into a 401K....I would have managed my money better than the government did.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  155. Ken Ablakovic

    The programs would be healthy if the politicians did not raid the funds to pay for Vietnam, Russia and the Gulf wars.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  156. Ken in NC

    When you tire of one Girl Friend, you drop her and get another. Time to drop the Private Insurance Company because it is not putting out like it is supposed to so time to drop them in favor of the new Federal Insurance Girl Friend, I mean Company.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  157. Jaycie, Los Angeles

    What's the alternative? Turn over everything to greedy, lying, cheating mega corporations like United Healthcare? We see just how well privatization has worked for the military by outsourcing so much to Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR, etc. who have ripped off the taxpayers for BILLIONS of dollars. What is the purpose of government anyway? Isn't one of the purposes to collect taxes for those very necessary things which are either extremely difficult or impossible for people to do for themselves, like building roads and highways, dealing with public health issues, providing a justice system, etc.? However bad a government system might be, it's a whole lot better than relying on for profit companies whose only interest is in making the maximum profit. And just why is it that Social Security, Medicare/Medicade are going broke? Because, instead of properly funding these agencies which provide actual benefits to the public, we prefer to spend trillions killing people in other countries and destroying those countries in the process. Here's a radical idea: let's defund the military and instead spend those trillions on making better lives for our citizens here at home.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  158. Basil Cooper

    Jack, the USPS has been in business for 234 years. How long do you think General Motors or Chrysler will remain in business. If the government hadn't stepped in, both would have gone out of business last year.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  159. David

    Should the Govt. be involved in health care?, Well, let me put it to you this way:
    You just mentioned how much the Post Office lost for this year. The Post Office has got the be the absolutely worst run business IN THE UNIVERSE!!! (I know, I work there.) Here at the Post Office, you have people working who have no background in business, never actually did the job they are expecting the people to do, without really knowing what is involved. They are the ones involved in running the place. If you ever have any question, they are the last person you go to for an honest answer!
    If I want to see my doctor, I will want to see a doctor, not a politician. The only reason the politician should get involved is if the doctor is intensionally doing something wrong.
    Everyone who is/was working, or at least in school, should be covered. But how, and how much, that is another matter. Since we do need a well educated and healthy work force, some degree should be pay by taxes, However, I should not have my taxes go to someone who simply want breast enhancement to please her boyfriend!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  160. Mike in Colorado

    Social Security, and Medicare have been caught in a trap of rapidly changing demographics. Medicare and Medicaid have been caught by rapidly rising healthcare costs. How would things be going Jack if GWB's proposal to privatize retirement money been realized? We could have been invested securitized mortgages – wonderful. The government can and does run things well unless the republicans are at the helm. They hate government run programs and prove when they have the reins.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  161. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    The Federal Government is already involved in funding medical research so they should be involved in healthcare and not just big insurance companies who profit in return at our expense.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  162. Ray Rudy

    Since we've tried the "free market" system of deregulation for at least 30 years and have learned the failings it engenders, maybe it's time for the pendulum to swing the other way – so yes we need more government involvement. Why can we spend well over a trillion dollars in Iraq but can't fund health care, at a lower cost, for hard working citizens? Congress has favored large campaign donors for long enough. It's time to throw them all out and replace them with representatives that believe the phrase "WE the People", not "we the corporation".

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  163. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The real problem with all the government run programs you mention is that they are not "government run" programs – they are paid for by taxpayers, but are required to try to operate like a profitable business. The American way of doing these things makes no sense – any activity that can be done for a profit will be, without government intervention. Government need only provide essential services that by their nature cannot yield a profit. To pay private firms to provide these services requires appropriation of the necessary funds, which our Congress has never been willing to do. These shortfalls are caused (indirectly) by the public, demanding such services but refusing to levy the taxes to pay for them. The Swiss do not have this problem – they gladly pay the taxes that provide the services they get from their Government, and they do not try to run uneconomic businesses, like general postal mail and health care for the elderly and the poor, as if they could be self-suppporting. That is why everyone in Switzerland has health care, all measured outcomes are much better than ours, nobody goes broke from medical costs, and they pay 40% less per capita than we do. The problem is not "the Government", it is the lunacy of the American (actually Conservative) economic theory that Government could and should be run like a business. It is not in fact cheaper to run Government "on the cheap." Our Treasury is in the hole because we do not tax ourselves enough for the stuff that we demand that Congress provides. Period.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  164. lee may

    Well Jack I would have to say yes, millions have lost their secure jobs and with that their health care, with prexisting conditions they are uninsurable at this point. We should create a National Lottery headquatersed here in Pennsylvania to take care of healthcare for all, veterans, seniors and even reduce deficite, I want credit for this. Lee Lafayette hill Pa.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  165. Alex Lancaster

    All cats have four legs, my dog has four legs, therefore my dog is a cat. To me, this is the argument you are using when listing government programs.

    What about all the services, at all levels of government, that do work and well. The Military. With the exception of minor intrusions from our British cousins, we have been invasion free for most of our history. The Air Traffic system is not always popular, but our planes rarely crash. The highway system seems to work ok. At the local level, education is failing, but Fire departments seem to work well. The country is not burning to the ground.

    What would happen if we privatized fire departments like we do health care. If someone can't afford the fire department's premiums, will there house burn to the ground. If so what happens to the houses around it.

    The opposition to public health care is based on secular superstition that says anything government is bad, like some boogie man. They even have scary stories about such past victims such as Canada and Britain and the imperfections of their system. Yet, their life expectancies are not worse than ours. People aren't dropping dead by the bushel in London or Toronto.

    What I hope for most out passing this legislation is a throwing open of the closet door to show there is nothing there but our own stuff.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  166. Bing De La Vega

    Jack,

    Most if not all government ran programs are yes, screwed up by the government. There's really nothing wrong with these programs. Just that the dumbf,,,, d politicians deeped into the Social Security fund for example they were warned not to. The private insurers has been knifing the americans because we have no choice now costing me $750 abt half of my uneployment and due to run out in a few moths. .
    Without government intervention millions more more of uninsured like me will just end up in the county hospitals you and I will eventually pay for. Certainly for alot more. We cant run govt programs. We cant win wars. How long can americnas continue paying taxes that just keep going down the sewers.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  167. Ed Lexington, KY

    Jack,

    Let's just back up a minute here. It's very easy to bash government for money problems, but have you ever considered the worst steward of finances is the private commerce system. How many millions and millions of businesses have gone under and the US government is still hear after more than 230 years.

    You bet I'd rather have the government responsible for my health care then Blue Cross - since I'm now on Medicare I'm much more satisfied then when I was on private insurance.

    Oh, by the way I never worked for any government.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  168. D. Morgan

    Please tell me what the government is doing that is more important than directly saving lives? When it comes to what we should spend money on, health care is vastly more important than plenty of other things already being funded. More people are dieing to lack of health care than have died due to terrorism – but "rich" America already has health care and "poor" America is too stupid to realize they're being exploited.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  169. Leslie

    The feds should be involved in health care because if not we will be subjected to the will of the insurance industries price and level of health care without regard. We owe it to the citizens of this country to set the standard that the health care industry will follow and, provide them an opt if the industry decide not to or price themselves to the point that only the rich can receive quality health care from them. I cannot and will not believe that if there is a standard set in a public opt that the industry would not follow, profit from it and provide health care at a lower cost than the government . For instance when cable television came out the big three were up in arms that the new channels would ruin there industry lower there ratings. We now know that the level of competition was good for the big three and the television industry. We know that when the level of competition rises great things can happen. In the health care sector the greatness is limitless when you look at the amount of jobs that will be created, parity in quality of care so that you do not have to be wealthy to receive quality health care because of the number of doctors and nurses that will be needed. and profit margins when people work companies make money and there is a lot of money out there. People want to work and they get sick. The only reason that some people do not want a public opt is because greedy people do greedy things and they do not want to share the wealth.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  170. Jim in Texas

    Everybody in the house is screaming to get on the computer to answer this one Jack. And we all say YES, YES, YES to a public option. Insurance costs have doubled in the past ten years. If you doubled medicare costs, then medicare wouldn't be going broke. The difference is that profits for insurance companies have gone up by 438% in the last ten years. My God man, they are killing us! They are stealing our money and then when we get sick, they won't even pay for our health care costs! Hell, the cost of their plans are so high that some of them don't even provide coverage for their own dang employees.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  171. g ontario

    social security was doing ok untill reagan decided that all that money sitting around would be better given to the rich in taxe cuts who was in charge when the post office and medicad starting have money problems you can bet it was republicans

    November 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  172. Michael

    Based on your examples Jack – it would seem that the Government has a history of poor performance in funding and management of major social programs. Your implication seems to be that another major social program – Public Health Care – is doomed to a similar fate. But why were Social Security and Medicare started in the first place? The private sector surely had no solutions – so rather than allow people to be homeless and destitute – the Government stepped in. Never mind that even then – health care costs were out of control – but no – let's ignore the real problem and fund Medicare for the elderly. In this "Land of Plenty" most Americans can't believe that the US can't afford to help people. As those programs became more and more expensive Congress didn't have the stomach to increase taxes nor seek innovative solutions to offset higher costs. So wimpy Congress either does nothing and lets those programs go broke – or they will fund them at the last minute and increase the National Debt. Do I want them involved? I don't really care. But more to the point – why does Congress get involved in health care? Simple. Health care costs are out of control – and no way does the private sector have any reasonable solutions – nor the money. Besides that – there are 50 million people that are without it. And heavens – we can't have that.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  173. John Canada

    In canada our equivalent to Social Security was in an unfuded state in the early 90s. The Goverment of the day increased employers & workers contributions. We have a health care plan where personal bankrupcy is not part of the bargain. We have a different form of government where politicans in Canada make when it counts the tough decisions.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  174. Bob G in AZ

    Jack, Great topic. Just when do the republicans think we all died and made them our financial and moral compass. Just because we have put the cost up front it is being slammed as being too expensive. Maybe we should just do it (we have the votes) let them continue to complain and then when another Republican gets elected they can tell everyone what the cost has been. That it just the way we were treated when they carried us into IRAQ accept we were lied too. Now were broke and can't afford to provide security from Alqaeda in Pakistan let alone health care for all.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  175. John Canada

    In canada our equivalent to Social Security was in an unfuded state in the early 90s. The Goverment of the day increased employers & workers contributions. We have a health care plan where personal bankrupcy is not part of the bargain.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  176. amira

    im going to school so i can work in a better field, hopefully for better pay and benefits for both me and my family. i go to a private school, so it's not a universary that requires me to be covered; but i've been without health insurance since 2006, wheather it's from the government or santa himself...i think i would be happy and GREATFUL for anything at this point...at least until i graduate and get on my feet God Willing!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  177. Carleen Balzraine

    Jack, this country can't support SS, Medicare, Medicare, and now healthcare because of a lack of jobs to feed funds into these services. It boils down to jobs, jobs, jobs. That is how Roosevelt set these services up and it worked until Reagan, first Bush, Clinton, and Bush "de-regulated" everything, and all the neo-cons moved the factories overseas, which wiped out our economy.
    I've been denied healthcare twice because of a pre-existing condition and my husband was kicked out after a serious fall. We certainly need some kind of overhaul.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  178. Jackie in Dallas

    By the way, that TARP money went to privately held companies on Wall Street – like banks and stock brokerage companies. They were companies that only regarded the bottom line and didn't care that they were putting not only their companies at risk, but our entire financial system. And when President Bush pushed that through, he didn't ASK for accountability. I hardly think those are government run programs!

    Programs like Medicare and Medicaid are overwhelmed because in the last 10 years, private insurance coverage has gotten so expensive that many companies have dropped covering their employees, who turn to what is available – which is either nothing or government supported programs. Also, more and more of the wealthy execs have wonderful little caps that mean they don't pay their fair share, but still get benefits. Let them pay for their own, and stop using what was supposed to be a safety net for the poor and middle class.

    As for our Postal Service, we pay less than half of what most industrial countries charge. And with the advent of computerized bill pay, the amount of real mail has dropped dramatically. It doesn't stop the USPS from being the #1 purveyors of junk mail and trash, though. Nor does the USPS actually offer service anymore. That's just badly run, not because it is government run, but because they've forgotten that they now have competition.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  179. Audrey Glover West Point Ga.

    Jack, Social Security was created in 1935. It is now 2009 – which means it has operated 74 years. Medicare and medicaid came into being in 1965 which means it has 44 years of operation. Pretty good record. If it weren't for the government health programs in the last century we would still have the deadly plagues of typhoid,diphtheria, scarlet fever and other contagions that filled the cemeteries with adult and children's graves. Private insurance companies didn't eliminate this problem;Government backed programs did. They did a great job where there is a will there is a way and we will survice the money issues as we always do. The outrage is "Full of sound and fury,signifying nothing.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  180. Charles Reed

    Are we in the twilight zone or what or I am I the only one who does not get the fact that whether it government or private industry that Health Care cost are to high.

    The real point is we are bunch of fat unexercise people, who supersize any and everything, and would not walk a block to lower our premiums in the name of Constitutional Rights. Where is the NRA when you need them!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  181. Maria

    I regretfully must say we need a reformed health care system and will have to pay the costs. I don't believe costs in the proposed system have been cut enough.

    Off with their heads!(just don't charge me for the reconnective surgery.)

    Maria

    Brunswick,MD

    November 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  182. Dave in San Jose

    If I'm not mistaken, part of the reason for Social Security's financial difficulties stem from the fact that the Government has borrowed from the trust fund for other uses and now owes that money to the fund. If the fund was left alone maybe it wouldn't be in the shape it's in.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  183. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Question to you, Jack.
    Are you happy with the status quo? Do you want the continuation of people dying, losing everything, being priced out of the insurance market, cancelled and denied coverage and being told to go die because they pre-existing conditions?
    These horrific conditions will not change without government intervention. We most certainly cannot count on big business to
    suddenly care.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  184. Randy from Salt Lake City

    I would like the government as involved in my healthcare as it is in the healthcare of our illustrious Congress, Senate, Supreme Court and Obama administration.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  185. Doug

    A big NO. Private companies can cover everyone at affordable rates if all Americans are required to buy insurance, including the young and healthy! A government plan will be unsustainable under the same set of rules.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  186. Gail, Plano,Texas

    Actually Jack, u are wrong on this one. Government run agencies have worked for eons. But as with anything, abuses creep into the system and because no one does a job, they go unchecked. The Postal Service was a failure tests ago, rude employees, long lines, poor service. So what did they do? Built better offices to no avail. More money wasted. But the beat goes on. There is virtually nowhere u can send a letter for 37 cents. Social Security has great employees and has worked for longer than I have lived on this planet. Ditto, Medicare. Could health care get any worse in the good ole USA? Let's give the President's vision for a better America a chance.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  187. Britta Lee

    Yes, I do want more involvement by the government in healthcare. By your own estimate, the average length of service from these government run programs is about 100 years. That's a pretty good track record, and with the threat of global warming looming over all our heads, we'll be lucky to be around to complain if it doesn't work out!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  188. steve in virginia

    The House version of the legislation creates 53 new bureaucracies and the Senate version creates 70. We don't need another monolithic mess; we need actual healthcare reform.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  189. Philip

    Jack – The problem isn't the government involved in health care or otherwise. The problem is the politics of managing the programs on an ongoing basis. If government programs (excluding defense and the CIA, etc) were run by effective business leaders who know how to run big companies and had full authority for decision making (like not allowing unions and Congress to dictate each and every move) we would have much more efficient and effectively run programs. I just don't accept that government programs cannot be run effectively but until someone like Jack Welch runs Medicare or Social Security we will not see the change that these programs need.

    Philip
    Texas

    November 24, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  190. John P.

    It is my belief you can demonstrate the effects of a government health care option in our current system of Medicare and Medicaid. Health care providers will be the first required to sacrifice. Rationing will be the default action and cuts in salaries and staffing will not be far behind.

    Instead of providing those currently without coverage a full coverage policy, ask them to contribute to a minimum liabilty policy such as is required with driving an automobile. If the current administration calls for all Americans to step up and be responsible, should we empower individuals to make decisions and contributions to their own health care?

    It is easy to point to the United States as the most prosperous country in the world. It appears to be politically expedient to the current administration to create a social benefit to living in America and anoint themselves as savior of the common people. Trouble with this thinking is the bill eventually comes due and you drag down people with incentive to improve their lives by work and toil. In the end, where is the motivation for a better life if you bestow individuals with the fruits of labor with no sacrifice on their part? If you continue your search outside of the previously mentioned equation, then who will have the incentives to produce more? Will this not only delay payment and lay the problem at the feet of our children? Once opportunities and incentives cease in this country, then mediocrity becomes dominate.

    John P.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  191. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes, because this patchwork healthcare system that we have is not working, until we adopt a single payer healthcare system we will continue to waste billions of dollars, and until we get rid of for profit healthcare the cost will go up as well. We all know that other countries are decades ahead of us in gaining control of healthcare costs! England is the best model in the world, but because of the fake socialism rants we will continue to waste money

    November 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  192. Connie Hall

    I absolutely want the government more involved in health care. That is the only way the "have nots" will ever have a chance against those complacent Americans who have always been the fortunate "haves". Without the federal government, we would still be fighting for a Civil Rights Act, a Voting Rights Act , Social Security, Medicare and the list goes on.
    Our health care plan will cost no more than the unneccessary wars in Iraq and Vietnam cost! Who do you think will take this massive problem on if not our government? Why do we send our representatives to Washington if not to help us?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm |
  193. irene naron

    I do not, again I do not, want the Federal Government involved in my health care. And exactly what are the plans for spending the huge amount of money that our government borrowed and signed our names and our childrens names on the BORROWERS LINE, WITHOUT OUR PERMISSION . STAY THE COURSE CAFFERTY. irene naron

    November 24, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  194. Nancy Watson

    Jack:

    Government should become involved in areas where the private sector refuses or is unable to act. For instance, senior citizens were unable to get medical insurance;therefore medicare, and later medicaid, was created.Senior citizens, the disabled, widows and children needed subsistence money to survive during the great Depression. Therefore the democratic president created the social security system. The private sector wrecked the economy through greed and lack of ethical standards. Therefore the tarp. The fact that these systems lack funding is not the fault of the system. It is that these systems are underfunded by the government. The fact that the postal system does not make money, does not reflect on the efficiency of the postal system (which is very efficient.) It is that it is underfunded. Government programs are not designed to make a profit, They are designed to provide citizens with ways to fulfill their needs.

    Can anyone argue with the need for the government to provide education, or protect the public with agencies like the FDA, the CDC, the FAA? Also, the American public needed affordable housing. So therefore HUD, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were invented.

    It was the private sector that looted these programs.

    So, yes, the government should become more involved with health care because the health insurance companies have not met the needs of American cjtjzens to obtain universal and reasonable priced health insurance coverage.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  195. Frank

    Let the government run it and they mess it up. Let the private sector run and they mess it up too. We can't we :(.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  196. C.E. Family - Austin, TX

    Why not?

    I for one am sick and tired and tired and sick of fighting with private insurance companies. You figure if you are paying the premium, you should not have the fear of not being able to use the insurance when it’s needed—or worst it being cancelled if you need it.

    Why all of a sudden are people all up in arms about the “government” managing our country? Is it because a black man is the commander-in-chief? Someone has to run the country, without organization we would all just be a bunch of gun carrying Palin-Tea baggers.

    Where were all you negative-yahoos when Bush was actually running the country into the ground, and doing whatever the hell he and Cheney wanted?

    November 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  197. Ken in Maryland

    You and the too many others always want to point to gov't failures and how these programs cost too much and are running out of money.

    I notice you don't mention the many programs that have done great things for the benefit of so many citizens. Who do you think provides for our defense and builds our roads and provides a stable environment for business and individuals to operate in. I notice you don't mention the huge budgets and waste in the miltary or in the business world.

    Why do you think these programs are going broke? Like so many things its more complicated than a sound-bite. Demographics play a role. Underfunding programs plays a role. Waste plays a role. Business also faces many of these forces. The RNC viewpoint that markets solve all problems is a fallacy. Healthcare is a perfect example where the forces at play drive maximum INefficiency.

    The simple fact is that criticising is easy. Building and governing is hard. Tough choices sometimes have to be made. You need to do better in dealing with facts and explaining the important detail to our citizens. And our citizens need to do better in understanding if they are to earn their right to be participants in this democracy.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  198. david doherty

    Yes, but I also want a oversight committee that can be trusted to see that it's run properly. I know that's asking an awful lot, but I know if we can get away from the greed an theft that has become our govenment, we can make it work.

    Dave from NH.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  199. Scott Stodden

    Yes Jack I would want the goverment involved more in health care if its actually going to be affordable and have a public option included. The United States health care is a disaster, to do nothing would be wrong so why not create an affordable health care bill that we all can afford, raise the taxes on the rich who make $250,000 or more a year to pay for this bill, American's are tired of all the hassles and hurdles you have to climb in order to get any kind of health coverage, Lets pass affordable health care for all with the public option included.

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    November 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  200. mrobbin

    Jack,
    Why don't you also tell us why those government services are so much in debt. They have been mismanaged by Republican hit men. It's as bad as putting a coal industry executive in charge of the EPA. What do you expect to happen. The reason these programs are suffering is because of the Republican idealogy of limited government. Also inconsistent funding or the pilfering of the funding sources for these programs for other less significant priorities.
    Just because at this moment in time they are losing money is reason enough to not have the services they provide? These are valuable programs that provide valuable services. Someone has to do it. Just like someone has to do healthcare. We, the people have been left alone out in the cold for too long. If the healthcare system were working properly, allocating resources in an efficient manner, and not profiting off our sicknesses then we wouldn't need government involvement in healthcare. As it stands, too many people are hindering what should be a noble institution of helping the sick. Access to medical treatment should not be predicated upon income and profits. Healthcare should not be a means to milk profits from patients. It's not going to get better without government involvement, so I welcome it.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  201. Rodrigo Steele

    Are we the American people so gullable that we fail to realize that the reason we are in the finantial perils that we are in, is the direct results of the inhability of the private sector to manage. We are quick to point out Medicar, S S, The Postal Services, Etc. What about Wall Street, Enron, Bernie Maddoff, S&L, Private Banks, etc., If I am not mistaken, these are all privately run buissiness.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  202. Allan Hanson Placerville,Ca

    YES. if we were not in Iraq and Afganistan, and many other countries we could fund more programs for our people. No more foriegn aid, instead we could have Medical Insurance, repair New Orleans, Spend the money at home not in Countries that don't want our help.
    Quit blaming Obama for the problems created by the Bush Administration. Buy USA.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  203. Darren

    Yes, we left this to their own devices and look where we are now ... with over 60% of all US bankruptsies stemming fom health care related issues.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  204. Harley

    I guess Jack means to say that if any entity, government program or private business, has to increase taxes or prices, as the case may be, to stay in business, it is a failed or mis-managed government program or private enterprise. From my experience, virtually every business increases prices as costs of operations increase. That is why a loaf of bread in 1956 was 25 cents and today a loaf is way over $2.00. The bakery is either a failure or a thief but it can increase its price without a vote of a legislative body and get away with it because all the other bakeries follow suit! Government, the ultimate scapegoat, doesn't have that luxury. While the costs of government have risen just as inflation has risen, federal taxes have actually not increased since 1993; in fact, they have decreased. How can an entity cut revenues in the face of inflation and other increased cost factors and not run a deficit? Jack, provide an answer to that!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  205. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    When are we going to stop the government for stealing all of the money out of Social Security in order to pay for other programs that have on funding at all! Social Security would have no problem but they just love taking from our elderly in order to start fake wars which enriches the Military Industrial Complex.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  206. Robert

    I want the FREEDOM to have health insurance or have no health insurance.

    How has the notion of FREEDOM been lost?

    The "majority", generations suckled by the matriarchal government breast, have been perverted to believe that someone else should be the "provider". Consequently, they failed to learn how to take care of themselves. Did they have a choice?

    This country intends to punish me monetarily for being responsible and healthy (by forcing me to pay for something I do not want or need).

    I want to die a FREE man. And, if being a free man means suffering a long, slow, agonizing death because I don't have govenment-provided "health care" or any health care at all, I'll take the long, slow, agonizing death.

    Hey, wait a minute,...I already am suffering a long, slow, agonizing death watching our "government" pick my pocket for Social Security and medicare that won't be there for me anyway,...money I'll never see.

    November 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  207. Rich

    We are all in this The American people are just going to be the ones picked to take it in front of everyone . And take it you will and have . Adding it up I would say there is something to this NWO . Just seeing how this Health debate is going tells volumes . Now the same bunch is going to continue this lie of a war . These people have been caught at nearly every lie but it doesn't change . Obviously your guy in charge isn't and I would say those that are hell bent on destruction . I just hope we can get on track of peace and try to heal the people we have so horribly wronged .

    November 24, 2009 at 5:58 pm |