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February 22nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Should gov't control what health insurance companies charge?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is finally out with his own detailed plan when it comes to health care reform. Some have been asking for this for months.

But the timing is a little suspect. The president's grand plan comes just four days before the televised, bipartisan, health care extravaganza... where Republicans are supposed to bring all their ideas to the table for fixing health care.

Yet it sounds like if the Republicans aren't on board... the president will get the Democrats to jam through this plan without approval of the GOP.

The White House Communications Director says the president "expects and believes the American people deserve an up or down vote on health care"... and, if the Republicans are intent on filibustering, the Democrats might use a procedural move called "reconciliation" - where they only need a simple 51-vote majority.

Meanwhile as part of the president's plan, the federal government would get new authority to regulate the health insurance industry - almost like a public utility. This comes in the wake of outrage over recent premium increases of up to 39 percent by one California health insurance company.

The health and human services secretary - along with state authorities - would be able to deny substantial premium increases, limit them... or even demand rebates for consumers. In the past, oversight of insurance companies has been left up to the states. But the president's proposal calls for a new seven member Health Insurance Rate Authority to monitor the industry and come out with an annual report setting the guidelines for reasonable rate increases.

Here’s my question to you: Should the government be able to control how much health insurance companies charge?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Virginia writes:
It is a must to regulate how much they charge! I've seen my premiums soar over $200 a month during the last 6 years. A premium of over $800 a month leaves me with around $300 a month in my teacher retirement check. It seems I taught 23 years for health insurance. Check their profits–it's criminal what they charge–but what can you do?

Donna in Marion, Illinois writes:
The government already has too much control. If Obama has his way, the government will control every aspect of our lives. We are heading more and more towards a socialistic society. Enough. Keep the government out of private business.

Heather writes:
Jack, Yes, and the reason being "no one else will." I'm sick of paying $164 week for a plan that has a $7,500 deductible and a $5,000 out-of-pocket expense and does not pay for annual physicals or paps, etc. I personally paid for all of my preventive care last year even though I have a health insurance plan through my husband's employer. My husband's company has just been notified of a 23% increase, for what? Crappy coverage.

Tony writes:
Does the government control how much other merchandise or services cost? Should they control house and apartment prices? Why should any companies be subject to big government control? Competition in a free marketplace is what drives prices down… As a great former President said, "Government is the problem, not the solution."

Thomas writes:
Hell, yes, it should be controlled. And, yes it should be treated as a utility. It’s something necessary like running water or electricity.

Sterling in Aspen, Colorado writes:
The proposed health-care reform bill is a bailout for the private health insurance industry. We've got to allow them to charge enough to pay their lobbyists to usher this can of worms through Congress.

Pete in Brevard, North Carolina writes:
Absolutely! My Medicare Advantage premiums went up this year, 408%. That is not a misprint.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. T. Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    We should have universal health care. That is the right of all Americans.Health insurance companies have no "right" to exist.Period.When do we plan to join the rest of the civilized world? I am ashamed that such a question is asked in our country.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:29 pm |
  2. Mac K Broward FL

    Yes, but they won't.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  3. IKHAN from san jose ca

    absolutely Jack,

    there has to be some control over what these cash guzzling behemoths can or cannot do. Their rampage cannot be allowed to go un-checked.

    Would that be socialism? Utter nonsense. Health care is the right of every American not aprivilege.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  4. Jane (Minnesota)

    Absolutely! It shouldn't stop there either. Health care cannot be allowed to continue to be a for-profit venture in this day and age of unchecked corporate and individual greed. Big Pharma also needs to be price controlled and the large health Providers to also since there is limited competition.

    The more I think about it and have heard how happy people in European countries are with their health care, I think it's foolish for the US to continue to think that spending 20% of AGI on healthcare is OK and we should model healthcare after the european models.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  5. Larraine

    At the VERY least they should be heavily regulated at the state level. I live in Maryland. Our state insurance commission prevented Blue Cross/Blue Shield from selling to a private company in California. Otherwise we would probably be seeing the same rate increases as they are looking forward to in California. This was going to be a big fat money maker for the CEO of Blue Cross here in Maryland. In the Netherlands, insurance is required. It is also heavily regulated. It needs to be heavily regulated. Our state insurance commission recently ruled against an insurance company that refused to pay for surgery for a woman who had abdominal cancer. The doctor was doing a particular surgery he had done several hundred times before. Yet the insurance company said it was "experimental." Maryland's insurance commission ruled against the insurance company and they were required to pay for it. If we're going to require insurance, we need to regulate it.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
  6. M & M

    If we are all forced to buy health insurance (even those of us who don't want it - I like my accupuncturist and natural healers and have a HSA should I encounter medical expenses that aren't covered by natural healers), then yes, the government needs to put some controls in place to keep costs low for those of us who will buy insurance to comply with regulations, but won't use it unless it covers our alternative therapies. There lots of people who are uninsured by choice and for some of them, it just makes financial sense to go a few years without insurance - many of these folks pay for doctor bills as they go (for the young and healthy, it's usually a minimal expense) and keep a savings account to pay for any catastrophic expenses they might encounter. Any bill that forces people to buy health insurance should keep these folks in mind with low rate plans for those who probably will not get their money's worth from the insurance plan they're forced to buy.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:40 pm |
  7. Mike in Pendleton Oregon

    The casinos in Vegas have a cap that they can't go over, there only allowed so much profit. So why aren't other companies like health insurance, energy companies, or banks done the same way, LOBBIESTS JACK. There the bums in DC, throw them out if you want any change.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm |
  8. John in Santa Barbara

    When insurance companys put profit over human misery, YES!!!!!

    February 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  9. Russ in PA

    Good God, no! Why on earth should we accept a government that chooses who prospers and who fails? Why on earth should we accept a government that chooses who makes profits and who doesn't? Government has NO right to set pricing or wages, and we should demand that politicians return to following the rule of law, in this case the Constitution.

    Of course, the US is now starting to show the true reality of democracy, and why our Founders set up a Republic: Democracy is rule by mob, and we will be the worse for it.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  10. David Gerstenfeld

    It won't make any difference unless there are a lot of other reforms. Insurance companies are famous for finding ways around any changes forced on them. They win, we lose.
    David, Las Vegas

    February 22, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  11. A. Smith, Oregon

    Absolutely! And the Federal Govt. SHOULD force Big Pharma to only charge American's the same as the lowest costs for their 'DRUGS' which is what Canada forces Big Pharma to do.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
  12. Boston Viewer

    I have no problem with the government setting rates for health related services. Caring for its citizens is a responsibility the gov't has – therefore it should be able to regulate the process. All regulation is NOT bad!

    February 22, 2010 at 2:45 pm |
  13. Craig Westover

    Where in the Constitution is the federal government given this authority? And please, don' t tell me it's the Commerce Clause. If the government can tell insurance companies what to charge, it can tell your super market what it can charge for caffeine-free, diet cherry coke in 2-litre bottles. Is that really a function of the federal government?

    February 22, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  14. BJ-West Central Illinois

    Yes, they are no different than the banking and credit card companies and you see how they have reamed us without controls on them.but, I honestly think that the stae in which the company, insurance, or banking industry is at should be tha one regulating them, and they need to do a better job.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
  15. Joanne B

    No, we need competition which will result in lower prices. Take a look at Mississippi and how they dealt with healthcare costs.
    As well, the Fed Gov't could not control the local Chihauhua, that's a joke.
    Were competing across the USA allowed you would see a lowering of costs very effectively and soon.
    Joanne
    Mn

    February 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  16. Joe R - Houston

    With what constitutional authority? Oh... that's right... the constitution isn't worth the paper it's written on. Nevermind.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  17. Jack in Boynton Beach Florida

    No the government should not control what health insurance companies charge. The government should open medicare to all citizens regardless of age. That will control healthcare costs. The health insurance cartels can provide the supplemental insurance. The people can then control costs themselves.

    February 22, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  18. Peter

    I wouldn't say it should be controlled but if insurance is such a huge money maker why doesn't the gov't go into the business. They could play by all the rules they want. No, it would not be socialistic, it would be an alternate service

    February 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  19. Jerry Johns Creek, GA

    Government should concentrate on what government cost. There are multi billions in duplicate and unnecessary government expenditures that must be brought under control. The key is trying to get a politician to put down his ham sandwich and address the real issues of government waste.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:00 pm |
  20. frank

    Irregardless of what the ignorant Republicans say, the role of government is to regulate the economy. Economics 101. Basics. Auto insurance is regulated by the states, some better than others. Health care gets a pass and is so expensive because it can be. There is no check on the rates. How much it pays out, what the salaries are. IF I think CNN pays too much for its reporters, I can quit watching it. I can go to another network. Can't do that for insurance in most places. I could self insure which is idiocy. An ER visit for chest pains cost $10k. We'll see what the insurance picks up.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
  21. southerncousin

    In a real world, no. In Obamaland, well the liberals will try. If they win this, they will have us in collective farms in no time. They are corrupt and evil and I want them out of my life.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  22. Albert K., L.A., CA

    Jack, Democrats say “Yes,” reading the Constitutional duty of Congress to provide for the general welfare to include health, education, social security, etc., Republicans say “No,” reading the same clause to mean tax all to protect only the wealthy with the military, police, courts, and prisons and see other programs and regulations as, “Socialism” and “Big government.” Socialist also say “No,” wanting the rich to abuse the poor triggering a real socialist revolution.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
  23. Rick McDaniel

    Absolutely. The public is at the mercy of the health insurance companies.

    They are no different than the banks......all they want is profits. they couldn't car less how much they charge, or whether people live or die.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  24. charlene

    yes, because I'm one of the califonian who was affected by health care increase by blue shield..

    February 22, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  25. Mary Texas

    I am convinced they could do better than the insurance companies aredoing now. Lets find out. Healthcare improvement has been held up for 50 yrs.Let's not hold it up for another 60.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:27 pm |
  26. Harold, in ANCHORAGE, AK

    If that is the best this Congress can do for now, yes. Perhaps another Congress can move us closer to single-payer, universal health care, like CIVILIZED countries have.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  27. HUBERT BERTRAND

    YES !! YES!!! YES!!! Lobbist would mess that up.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
  28. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    No one should make profit from the sickness and misery of others.The health insurance "industry" is the only industry that makes NOTHING, except massive and unconscionable profit. Health care would be half as expensive if there were only one entity responsible for paying for it. Doctors take the Hippocratic oath; "First, do no harm." The health insurance industry has done the exact opposite.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  29. Lynn

    My husband works for a big company. Family heath insurance is $360 a month. I work at a small company. Family health ins $1200 a month. Same insurance and PPO. THIS IS THE PROBLEM! Senators/Congress do care because they to work for a "big company" so they dont see what the problem is. Let the American people know how much they pay for their health insurance. More people would have insurance if they could pay the same price Govt/big company pay.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
  30. Eugene Northern Cal

    Jack, although I don't agree with the drastic changes of Obama Care it's obvious the huge profits made by health care insurance companies is way out of line. My health care provider in California, Anthem Blue Cross raised their premiums 23 % last year and a whopping 39 % this year. It's time for realistic caps on these greedy corporations.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:35 pm |
  31. Rob of Brooklyn

    they should control it until we all have single payer. anything else is just a joke.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
  32. BILL, WI

    Yes !!!!! But first for government run health care to work, costs will have to be controlled. Starting with what doctors and hospitals charge for services. Bottom up price controls not just massive spending is what will need to be done.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  33. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    There are states where utility companies must submit for an increase on rates to a governing body. While health insurance companies may be different to some extent there's not enough manure to throw my way that would convince me one aspirin is billed at $10 each at a hospital. The food is a bargain, then again you get what you pay for.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  34. Gail, Illinois

    Yes. That said, it wouldn't last anyway. It would take about 5-10 years for the Insurance industry to infultrate any agency set up to control costs. After that, it would work just like all the other agencies that have ever been set up to protect the people. It will slowly become an arm of the industry, protecting the industry from regualtion, and remain a hole into which tax payers will continually pour money.

    February 22, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  35. Ed

    No other country in the world finances health care the way we do. As a result, we are #1 in cost, paying 50% more than second place Switzerland, and twice as much as the rest of the industrialized world.

    All the other countries either have their government act as the insurer or regulate insurance companies like we used to regulate utilties.

    Ed
    Texas

    February 22, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  36. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Somebody has to control them because the market forces the Republicans like to talk about don't apply here. When was the last time you applied for insurance on your own? It's not easy, it's expensive and the coverage sucks but you do not have a lot of choice if you want insurance. You have no choice if the rates go up and changing companies doesn't do you any good. If it sounds like a monopoly, looks and acts like a monopoly, it probably is a monopoly and we're getting screwed while the insurance companies declare billions in profits but say they aren't making enough money. What's wrong with this picture??

    February 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  37. kent, NJ

    Yes health insurance premiums should be controlled. Congress needs to legislate an immediate freeze so that health insurance companies do not do what credit card companies have done to consumers. Next the rates need to be regulated by the state governments just like car insurance, homeowners insurance and public utilities rates are regulated. Rates may even have to be rolled back by some states, and if health insurance companies want a rate increase they should have to justify increases. It may not be fair but without controls every middle class family will eventually go broke just paying health insurance premiums. Greed needs to be controlled not allowed to destroy our entire country.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  38. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    Not only should government control what health insurance companies charge, the government should also determine which coverages they will provide. This is necessary so that health insurance companies will not "overcharge" higher risk patient populations in order to force them to seek coverage elsewhere.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:02 pm |
  39. Gary H. Boyd

    Only if they impose the same restraints upon themselves. Their out-of-control spending suggests the truth of the axiom - people who live in glass houses ought not to throw stones.

    Gary H. Boyd, Scottsdale, Arizona

    February 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm |
  40. Michael Alexandria, VA

    If the insurance company gets a subsidy and lacks adequate competition, you betcha!

    February 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  41. Michael, Guatemala City, Guatemala

    NO!! Let them charge what the market will bear and keep government out of health control. Just look what a GREAT job they have done with mis-managing Social Securiy and Medicare not to mention the simplified TAX CODE.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  42. Dan from Utah

    Nope. The market can fill that on it's own – especially with a rule about not denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  43. David in San Diego

    No, but it should authorize and sponsor non-profit competition for those companies. If private insurers provide a superior product, they would earn a lot of business. If not, they would have to change or die.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  44. lou

    Blue Cross is a private company, not a government run one. The government should not be able to tell them how much they can charge for their product, any more than they do Ford Motor Company. However, the government wouldn't enact a mandate for everyone to buy a Ford vehicle. If they mandate everyone to buy insurance they better be able to cap insurance rates or provide a public option.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  45. Jim C.

    Our government wants to control business as a whole. How can we expect them to understand what health care should cost when they cannot control thier own spending.

    We need to tell government to fix what is broken instead of looking for bigger government roles.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  46. Thomas Turner

    Is our government broken beyond repair?

    Yes, as long as lobbyists are allowed to influence politicians. Our legislators disproportionately respond to lobbyists over the desires of the voters. It is no coincidence that the legislators vote as corporate lobbyists dictate instead of as public opinion polls require in a Republic.
    The only way to repair our government is with a constitutional convention that prohibits private campaign contributions to legislators from corporate lobbyists.
    Will politicians ever vote to cut out private campaign contributions? It is not likely. Therefore, the government will stay broken as far as voter representation is concerned.
    We no longer have a representative democracy in the US. The corporate interests have more voice in the Senate and the House than the voting citizens. You could say that we live in a dollar democracy–the lobbyists with the most dollars donated to politicians receive the most votes on legislation.
    The politicians would not admit that the system is broken, they are doing just fine, thank you.

    Best regards,
    Thomas Turner
    Bradenton, FL

    February 22, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
  47. Sylvia from California

    Health Care Insurance should be treated like a utility (water, electric, etc). company with oversight and regulations. This equitable and simple to implement model would spare us all the pain of costly reform that Washington is trying to shove down our throats.... It's time to implemented KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) in Washinton and give the greedy lobbyist and insecure politicians a boot!!

    February 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  48. Peter Lepper

    Yes corporations can't be trusted

    February 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  49. Susie Wright

    Well, its like this: If the government doesn't step in, who the hell is going to? If this bill goes down in flames because of the "no" party, you can bet the insurance industry will run wild. They will be given a free hand to raise premiums. Don't we all look forward to this???? Give them an inch and they'll take your money....

    February 22, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  50. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    Yes Jack, it's called regulation of which we haven't had for a long time which is the primary cause of our downfall over the past 9 years. These companies are making billions in profits and raising their prices to make more. Some day they will just run themselves out of business and it won't matter because it will cost more to have health insurance than to buy a house.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  51. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    No Jack, what we need is a good healthcare system that will bring down the cost of Health Care. I really do not know what the problem is here. Other countries had the same problem. Now other countries have a healthcare plan that covers everyone, and it works. They must be wondering what in the heck is going with us. When with our gov't, cannot create a healthcare plan that will work and bring down the cost. But then there is one thing, that we have that they don't have. We have special interest groups and lobbyist telling our Congress what to do. If we are ever going to get our Healthcare System costs under control, we will need people that has backbones. People that will stand up to special interest groups and do the right thing. There are not that many backbones in Congress right now.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  52. Bud Rupert, Reston, VA

    YES! The only way to reduce costs in our system is for the federal government (or state governments) to negotiate rates, not only with the Insurance industry, but also with the drug companies and manufacturers of medical equipment and supplies.
    Why do the drug suppliers sell their drugs oversea's for half of what they sell them for in the United Sates. Because those governments negotiate prices. And don't give me that socialized medicine crap. It's not. They are still run by the private sector. It's just they are not allowed to steal the public blind...Also, get rid of fee for service. It a license to steal.
    Until we do that Jack they can pass all the health care reform they want and prices will continue to sky rocket

    February 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  53. Craig C

    The terms "government" and "controlling costs" don't ever fit properly in the same sentence! Give these people a chance to do something about almost anything and they are more likely to make it worse than they are to fix it!

    February 22, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  54. Maria

    I think there should be a panel of experts from insurance, from govenment insurance commsittes and several regular U.S.:(maybe 1 citizen who drives 1green Prius one year, Maybe a truck driver the next.
    It makes as much such as anything I've heard proposed.

    Brunswick,MD

    February 22, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  55. Wilhelm von Nord Bach

    YES, Jack because is most states they are a virtual monopoly just like the local utility companies. therefore their rates should be subject to state regulation or the public will get ripped off.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  56. Greg, Ontario

    Yes...i suggested that to you months ago. If your corrupt government would go to these companies and say here are the rules. Here is what you are aloud to charge and if you don't like it get out of the buisness, all this health care stuff would go away.
    If all of them closed up shop then you could have public coverage paid for by the people and the health care givers would have to bring thier pricing inline with what the plan could pay.
    The way things are now the companies can say your bill is so high because of what the hospitals charge. It's one big greedy toilet with the American people circling the bowl.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
  57. chris

    if it is done right and not loseing coverage but this would be the same as gas and oil companines gouging us too can we do the same to them we the american people would benefit for control of health care insurance premiums are way too high while they make profits as well as big oil too

    February 22, 2010 at 4:41 pm |
  58. Michael G Tampa, FL

    Jack,
    Public Utilities already have to submit rate increase requests to states legislatures, and the same is true of auto and homeowners insurance as well in many states.
    Why aren't health insurers which also serve the public good, held to the same standard ?

    OR, if a Public Option were available, I'd be willing to be that we would see a dramatic increase in year over year increases in premiums for both individuals and for companies as well.

    Regrettably, America does need some regulation in certain industries that cross state lines.

    We all see what has happened since Congress de-regulated the mortgage and banking fields about a decade ago.....

    Congress needs to re-regulate certain business that do business across state lines, including the airlines.....

    February 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  59. David of Alexandria, VA

    Moderate and regulate, but not control. The insurance companies have been allowed (and strangely) allwoed themselves to get into some insidious habits, absent effective regulation. But the government has repeatedly (and recently) proven themsleves tobe untrustworthy with large responsibility. The last thing I want is the folks who can't get anything done, who drown in their own partisan ideologies, and have no sense of cost management to control another 16% of the economy - and my life choices.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  60. Allen L Wenger

    Health care should not be a for profit business. The roads, education, health care, and defense need to be run by the government.

    Mountain Home ID

    February 22, 2010 at 4:55 pm |
  61. Joe Hanson

    Why not Jack?

    The government already mandates what insurers must cover.

    Next they can set the prices that those greedy pharmaceutical, medical device companies and doctors and nurses charge.

    We'll end up with the cheapest health care in the world!

    February 22, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  62. Terry, Chandler AZ

    Should they? Yes Jack they should. Could they do so in a manner that would be fair and equitable? Is Congress ever fair and equitable?

    February 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  63. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, a tough and varied debate. Health care should be as basic as your freedom of expression, right to assemble, right to vote, all our basic freedoms. Freedom of a right to good health, regardless of your ability to pay, why not. As long as we taxed the citizen's of this country for a standing army, we never 'insured' anyone, but the destitute and elderly, would be healthy enough to lift a spoon, let alone a rifle. I am not talking about the government supplied healthcare given to those who defend this now, 'not so great nation'. That healthcare evaporates into another abyss of waste and mis-management immediately after veteran's leave their posts. We all should have a healthcare system, so prominent, so practical, so prevalent, that we each have a neighbor who is either a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or a healthcare provider of sorts. Instead we have police, lawyer's, g-men with entitlement to insure their futures, and a lot of sick and uncared for neighbor's.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:57 pm |
  64. walt Utah

    Jack,

    In my humble opinion, It's not the Insurance companies at fault it's the entire medical profession. The charges from Hospitals, Clinics, therapists, Pharmaceutical companies, Lab tests and medical proceudures etc. are the real culprits in our health care system. Some of these charges are exorbitant and there is no easy way to "comparison shop" what you are being charged. It's not as if you can wait for WalMart to put MRI's on sale. If the insurance industry was the problem, Congress would be discussing the cost of Home, Auto, Life, Renter, Boat insurance etc. Insurance premiums are based on cost experience and today's MEDICAL COSTS , not insurance premiums are out of control. Add unreasonable lawsuits awards to this picture and you have the mess we are in today.

    Walt
    Salt Lake, Ut

    February 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  65. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    Yes, Jack, the government should monitor and mitigate, if not indeed stamp out all criminal activity.

    February 22, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  66. Jill

    Yes, insurance companies – like wall street firms – can't be trusted without oversight.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:00 pm |
  67. Phil Burt

    Jack, I sure hope that they can because if not then the middle & lower class are doomed. I do believe that we are headed to become a third world country because of this. The rich and then the rest of us.
    phil b
    benton, ky

    February 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  68. Darren

    With no real reform, gov't overseeing their monopoly is better than nothing.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  69. Bob

    No the government should not control the charges insurance companies charge. If the government posted all the companies charges on the web , we would be able to make informed choicesand they would have to stay compeditive!
    Bob
    So..Milwaukee , Wi.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
  70. Diana NJ

    Paying for our own health insurance, as we have all our lives.. I wish someone would control them..

    February 22, 2010 at 5:06 pm |
  71. Moe Dallas TX

    No they should not, just make Medicare available for everyone and let the Insurance companies raise premiums as high as they want to-Oh, and be sure to give Execs. multiple million dollar bonus every 6 months to defray the high cost of living..

    February 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm |
  72. Dr. Jim Farrow (New Orleans)

    The private insurance industry is in bad need of supervision and strong federal regulation!

    February 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm |
  73. Marlene

    You damn right they should control how much insurance companies charge.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm |
  74. Terry Gnsbg,IN "Hoosier Hillbilly"

    Governments sole purpose is to uphold the 'preamble to the constitution' -for the people, of the people, & by the people.
    That means protecting our life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.
    If it ain't right, they're suppose to make that way by controlling business, industry,finicial markets, and anything else it takes to represent the people.
    They should do what I said in the first place; fix what's wrong and not try to own "US" cause "WE" won't let that happen! "WE" fought that was along time ago but if "WE" have to we'll fight it again.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  75. richp the poconos

    First you need to find out where the money goes, for profit hospitals are one suspect, I don't remember this being a problem when the hospitals were run as non profit in the 50's and 60's, it only became an issue in the 70's when they were taken over by corporations with the governments blessings.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  76. Taj from Chattanooga, TN

    Jack,
    I'll give you the Joe Biden type answer very simply so the tea party people won't mess it up: YES.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  77. cy gardner

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!!! No other country in the world is stupid enough to give the greediest, most callous business people the power of life and death over the sick and elderly. Saving lives and healing illness should not be held hostage to wide profit margins. We can afford to let money pour into CEOs pockets at the insurance companies and on Wall St. even if it means death for over 40 thousand people a year? Insurance company and Wall St. execs belong in Guantanamo more than that stupid kid with the underwear bomb. They've done more to hurt this nation. cy from arlington, va.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  78. Willow, Iowa

    In my opinion, the insurance companies have shown that they can't control themselves, and they want to bleed the citizens dry. It would be a good idea to regulate them, because they can't regulate themselves. If anyone gets a mandate through,. the American public would be sitting ducks for the insurance companies, we have to have insurance. I think the government should regulate insurance companies. If we can't get health care for all, then we need to regualate them.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  79. Meg from Troy, Ohio

    Jack–
    Somebody should. These greedy, heartless, companies are headed for obscene profits until there is either some real competition or some kind of control. Most of these companies seem to have no conscience about their business practices–someone will need to improse it on them.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  80. Mr. D

    They shouldn't control what they charge. The marketplace should determine it. They should, however, place some sort of cap or ceiling on rates to help rein in health care costs. Free enterprise is fine but it can get out of control and society in general suffers.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  81. Wm in PA

    Jack,

    No!

    It should extend to all citizens the taxpayer funded health care the congress has given itself.

    They could set social security payments the same way the set their own retirement too.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  82. Loren, Chicago

    Which government are you talking about? Since insurance companies are regulated by the States, their rates are subject to regulation. If you mean the federal government, then will we have an insurance system that matches our banking system, a small number of players with little competition and even less consumer choice? So long as regulation doesn't result in less competition, then go ahead. The big "but" is when has regulation ever not reduced competition.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  83. cy gardner

    We should legislate the insurance companies out of business. Other countries have done it and their health care is cheaper and better than ours. But who would set the prices? The corporate prostitutes in Congress have proved over and over and over again that they want to give everything to the rich and we dirty peasants who are forced to work for a living can get sick, die, and starve for all they care. cy from arlington, va

    February 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  84. DBlake

    Jack

    The better question is, Should Health Insurance Antitrust Exemptions be repealed?

    Another example of government being bought by corporate america.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  85. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    This is a terrible idea. Anyone who knows anything about artifical price ceilings, see rent control, knows it will cause artifical shortages. Except now we are talking shortages of drugs and doctors and access to medical insurance. This will have the exact opposite effect of what they are intending. The federal government needs to GET OUT of the free market and stop trying to dictate its terms. They are only making things worse and they have no business being there in the first place.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  86. Sabrina

    They should, and they should have kept restrictions in place in the other sectors that are cleaning out our pockets daily. It would not be the same thing as if we are buying goods that are not needed, but it is the same cruddy deal we get by being forced to buy high electricity,water etc. Basic daily living exceeds most peoples pay these days, it is why everyone kept using charge cards, they did not realize this is a permanent economy. MI once lead this nation, we are well aware in this state, that this is the new age. You know the one that allows companies to buy cheap labor, to make profits, while we are barely surviving , not because they are concerned about giving wages and wealth to less fortunate people in other nations, they are exploiting people for as much as they can, it is also why we are not letting to many people from tourist area nations come here like Haitians, they fear they would never go back and work for a years wage what they can make in a wk here!

    February 22, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  87. Melissa

    Emphatically YES!!!!!! The whole reason we got to this point is because of the Republican attitude of "hands off the businesses". Regulation is desperately needed.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  88. Ed from MD

    No, why drive up the cost of health insurance by requiring them to purchase more politicians?

    February 22, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  89. Minesh -Troy, MI

    Should we trust these corrupt and power-hungry federal officials? Price fixing decreases quality of service and increases rationing. I know – I am from India. They are desperately trying to fix price of sugar right now.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  90. JaneE

    Health insurance companies should be non profit organizations, period. What does it say about the morality of our system when denying medical care is seen as the appropriate choice, because it produces profit for the shareholders? To put it another way, killing the sick is good business. The law should mandate how much of the premium is returned as coverage. Higher premiums would mean that more medical costs are covered. If less is covered, the premiums would be lowered.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:30 pm |
  91. Anne -- Sulphur, LA

    I'm not sure that control is the right word for what the government needs to do. I do think that health insurance rate increases need to be reviewed BEFORE the companies are allowed to implement them. The profiteering needs to be stopped before a public option becomes the only option for over ninety-five percent of the American public after the prices rise too much for them to afford it otherwise.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  92. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, NO!! Government price controls never work in a free market society. Capitalism will determine what the insurance companies can charge, because when the price gets TOO high, some enterprising new company will show up with a cheaper price for the same service and presto, everybody either brings down prices or loses their customers.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  93. SLK 65

    No! They are not part of the gov. and the gov should not delagate what a company can or can not do. they can make laws making some practices illegal but to tell the company what to charge is nuts. What next trying to tell the oil companies how much gas should be, see how that works out.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  94. Ronald Holst

    i do not think they should have complete control over what insurance companies charge . I mean this is the same entity that will buy toilet seats for five hundred dollars . and is it the same entity that has spent billions with a B on weapons systems that just did not work . like The Raptor . I know the conservative have said that is different that is for national security , But Health care reform is to help the slackers in this nation . Funny what Is important and necessary to one group is a political ploy to get votes and to pay back the the lobbyist right . just one question to all what and who is going to gain by health care reform . OW the people that is different Sorry but you do not count ant More .
    Jack you tell me weather Government should intervene or Not !
    and look at what harped to the banking system with no regulation
    There has to be a balance . It can not be stacked one way or the other . . That is what is called bipartisanship people from both sides adding something is called balance .
    With out Balance then No stay the hell out of it I mean it works so well now right .
    Ronald Holst
    San Antonio. TX .

    February 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  95. ron in SC

    Yes, if you don't want your health costs to drive you into the poor house. Heath insurance and drug companies have already proved that the only thing that they care about is money. Just look at the amount of money they spend in Washington to defeat health care legislation. Makes you wonder why Republicans are so against health care reform.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  96. Ed

    Jack
    Treat health insurance like a utility, regulate them. But do it at the national level so they can't do the divide and conquer technique. Control the maximum for equivalent coverage. Require them to justify increases. Prohibit denial of coverage and control rates for persons with preexisting conditions. Basically go back to the fundamental concept of insurance before they dissolved the mutual companies and went public for greater profit.
    Denver, Colorado

    February 22, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  97. Stan in Boston

    Right now the health insurance companies are exempt from anti-trust laws. They may get together and agree on what rates they will charge, in what areas they will operate, and how else they will stick it to the consumers. Rates are going up thirty to forty percent a year while they are making record profits and their managment is getting huge bonuses. And you ask whether the government should have a say in what rates they charge?

    February 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  98. Dennis North Carolina

    they should regulate not control medical business. government's job is to protect all and insure fairness.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:34 pm |
  99. Pat from Algonac Michigan

    It's not uncommon for government to review requests for rate increases in other areas, such as utilities. We just saw a 14% increase in medagap insurance. How was that determined? What was the yardstick? I know congress or the senate doesn't care. After all I paid for their increase as well as my own.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  100. Tina Texas

    Didn't they do it at one time before the Republicans took power and let them charge what ever in the dickens they wanted too?

    February 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  101. Raghu

    Why not? If an insurance company increases premium by 39% to individuals in a state that is already nearing bankruptcy, what's stopping other companies from not taking similar steps? How can they ever come out of the recession? If employers are overburdened with health care costs, we would be the last generation that ever heard the phrase 'Employer Provided Coverage'.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  102. Johnny From South Carolina

    Yes, the groverment should control it. If their not going to pass single payer they need to help the insurance companies make insurance affordable.

    Johnny Groves

    February 22, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  103. Joe, Chicago, IL

    No. If it is allowed, then the insurance companies will HAVE to reduce benefits and/or drop people from thier plans. This insurance companies need to make profits to pay off thier investors...like the ones who have stock in their 401Ks.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm |
  104. Johnny From South Carolina

    Yes they should. However; with the bickering and backyard deals between our elected officials and the insurance companies it will never happen. In my opinion they all incumbents need to replaced in the upcoming elections.

    Johnny Groves

    February 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  105. Steve Canada

    They have exemption from anti-trust laws, very little competition, and seldom lose money. What options do the people have to get a handle on costs?

    February 22, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  106. Mark from Birmingham Alabama

    Yes, by consolidating them all into a HUGE SOCIALIST ONE PAYER SYSTEM. (Prepare for the workers army...)

    February 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  107. Heather

    Jack, YES! And the reason being "no one else will." I'm sick of paying $164 week for a plan that has a $7500 deductible AND a $5000 out of pocket expense; and does not pay for annual physicals or paps, etc..I personally paid for all of my preventive care last year EVEN HAVING a health insurance plan through my husband's employer, which is ANTHEM. My husband's company has just been notified of a 23% increase...for what? Crappy coverage.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:46 pm |
  108. James

    No, but they should change the reason why they charge what they do. Forcing insurance companies to finance themselves via fixed rate corporate bonds instead of stocks would allow them to focus on long term steady returns instead of constant quarter to quarter gains.

    James
    Fremont Ohio

    February 22, 2010 at 5:47 pm |
  109. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, the current Administration is under the delusion that they actually have the AUTHORITY to tell private companies how to run their business, how much to charge, or how much should be paid in executive compensation. NOTHING in the Constitution gives them the authority to do what they are trying to get away with, and that will leave them in for a very rude awakening if they continue ignoring the Constitution and the law. This sort of behavior would never have been tolerated by the previous Administration, and it should not be tolerated now!!

    February 22, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  110. Donna Marion, IL

    The government already has too much control. If Obama has his way the government will control every aspect of our lives. We are heading more and more towards a socialistic society. Enough – keep the government out of private business.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm |
  111. Jerry Jacksonville, Fl.

    Sounds good, just as long as there are some common middle class voters on the committee that makes decisions on raises. If it is left up to the Republicans you can bet there will be raises

    February 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  112. Johnnie from Florida

    If not the insurance companies will jack the rates so high no one will have insurance

    February 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm |
  113. Paul

    No they should not be allowed to control what any private company charges its customers. Unless they can control what their cost are. We can not control what they charge us in taxes for their services or have a say what services we want.

    February 22, 2010 at 5:57 pm |
  114. Viv from NY

    No, but government should have a plan to compete with them to drive the cost down. After all that would be real FREEDOM . Rather than have the insurance companies monopolize the market and charge exorbitant fees. What are these people afraid of some competition? We have the US post office and we have FEDX . Take a pick

    February 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
  115. Jim Z

    No, They should butt out and allow free market competition. It worked for cell phones and televisions, and it will here. Should the government control advertisers on CNN, Jack?

    Jim
    Rochester, NY

    February 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  116. Tony from Southport

    Does the government control how much other merchandise or services cost? Should they control house and apartment prices? Why should any companies be subject to big government control?

    COMPETITION in a free marketplace is what drives prices down. Fair competition across state lines where Americans can shop for insurance and decide what to buy based on price and quality of service.

    As a great former President said, "Government is the problem, not the solution."

    February 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  117. Danielle

    Yes, we fight terrorists overseas but allow economic terrorists like the heath insurance mafia to charge premiums, deny care and kill people, in other words, they're allowed to kill people for money, why is that?

    February 22, 2010 at 5:59 pm |
  118. Scott Stodden

    Yes because they are charging outrageous prices just to have some kind of health insurance coverage and its wrong, why can't we have the same coverage that Washington leaders have? I want what they got!

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    February 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  119. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    That's a slippery slope Jack. First control health care premiums, then what else gets price controls? Before we know it we have a centrally planned economy. It's been tried and failed.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:01 pm |
  120. Corwin7 from Lakeland Florida

    NO NO of course not...according to the tea baggers all corporations are excellent citizens and we are at fault for suing them if they intentionally or accidentally kill our loved ones. Hence the theory that tort reform (setting the cost of killing/maiming a human being low enough that it just becomes good business) will fix everything.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  121. Carl

    Jack,
    Normally I would say yes, I don't know if our Corrupt government can control anything. With our Third World government, I feel that we are doomed.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:02 pm |
  122. AspenFreePress

    The proposed health-care reform bill is a bailout for the private health insurance industry. We've got to allow them to charge enough to pay their lobbyists to usher this can of worms through Congress.
    Sterling Greenwood/Aspen

    February 22, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  123. Gerry In Toronto

    We do in Canada and our drug prices are 75% less than in the USA, and they still make tons of money.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  124. JENNA

    Should the government be able to control how much health insurance companies charge?

    You Betchya! The have already proven that their only goal is to pay their stockholders and CEO's. They really are a NO VALUE ADDED partner that actually raises the cost of care. Cut the middleman and reap the savings! The US Government has proven that they can provide the same level of administrative services for pennies vs dollars..

    Jenna
    Roseville CA

    February 22, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  125. Carla Martin-Wood from Birmingham

    YES. However, government control will not be effective for Joe Citizen till it also sets limits on physicians, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. Recently, I had an angiogram, which - together with all tests, the hospital stay, two outside tests, and four doctor visits, cost over $30,000. I have Blue Cross, and my part was only $175 plus a $375 deductible. Here's the punchline. Blue Cross - due to its bargaining power - only had to pay a little over $4,000.

    The hospital and doctors had to accept that amount by contract. Now, if they could accept that amount and still make a profit - why can't they do that for everyone? But they don't - they just keep jacking the prices higher for the uninsured instead. And it's a vicious cycle.

    Till ALL medical costs are LOWERED considerably and tightly controlled by the government, we will continue to face rising costs - from insurance premiums to - God help them - the full costs that are charged to the uninsured.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:04 pm |
  126. Joe CE

    The government should control heath insurance rates. They have an unusual monoply – there is no real competition. A public option would create some degree of cometition, we could try that approach. The public option could be thru a special non-profit, privat corporation chartered by the governemnt and initially open only to thoes not leigible for a large group or unable to afford the rates available to them.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:05 pm |
  127. Johnny From South Carolina

    We all need the goverment to step in and do something. The insurance companies and our politicians have been in bed longer than Tiger Woods. So unless the American people step up and vote these guys out of office nothing will change. Well nothing but there will be even less people with heath insurance.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  128. carrie m

    if eyeryone must purchase health care insurance /well then THANK YOU because you people will pay my premiums to whoever the insurance co is and they get the profit of your tax payer dollars sound fair to you? Im part of the working poor crowd

    February 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  129. john ....marlton, nj

    No, the gov't should stay far away from telling insurance companies what to charge. What the gov't should do is require that all medical care providers charge the SAME price (for services) to everyone. Yes, the hospital charge to Medicare, private pay insurnance, or uninsured would be the same...

    It is time to shift 'buying' power back to consumers (who actually use the medical services)

    February 22, 2010 at 6:07 pm |
  130. Mike - Fort Worth, TX

    If they government can tell the health insurance companies what they can charge, then they have to let the health insurance companies decide what they can provide for that price.

    It is not magic, though it might seem so to the majority of congresspeople who have never worked in a for-profit environment. You can either control the prices or you can control what is delivered for the price, but not both. If you try to deliver more that is paid for you will go bankrupt, in the real world. If you do not deliver enough for the price, you will also go bankrupt, as your customers will go elsewhere.

    That does not seem to apply to the federal government, however.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  131. aristocratic anarchist

    why again do we need insurance companies to take our money then turn around and pocket ( as if a legitimate capital gains tax break) only to transfer the costs of over inflated machinery (already paid for by our tax dollars when others research and developed them)... while allowing the non working shareholders to refuse us access to healthcare becuz they gotta wrongly get paid for doing nothing????

    February 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  132. Jeff Rothstein

    Yes. Medical care is the most basic of services which should be available equally to all. What more basic right could there be? And why should anyone be making money off of these services? The money making distorts the whole service delivery process.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  133. Rich McKinney, Texas

    I don't think the government should be able to control fees for insurance companies but they should be able to govern what they must cover. The government should also allow all insurance companies to sell insurance across state lines to bring the monopolies that they currently have down which will lower costs of policies nation wide. If only one or two companies are allowed to compete in certain states then they control the fees they charge and what they provide and that is what is currently happening. That has to stop.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  134. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    As long as industries such as health insurance, pharmaceutical, credit card, and banking continue to blatantly put greed before any human value and suffering, then not only should the government control these industries, the government should be these industries. Then we would have some say in how these institutions are run.

    If this is socialist thinking then so be it if it will combat the evils these industries perpetuate. This now is not capitalism, these businesses are dynasties, otherwise each of these industries would fail.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  135. John DeMartini

    Absolutely! The health industry, as every other industry, has to be controlled. The con artists come crawling out of the woodwork when money is the only controlling interest. Just look at what happened to Wall street and the banking industry. Many people confuse controlling corporations with controlling an individuals right to start and build a business. People should read what Thomas Jefferson had to say about this subject.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:10 pm |
  136. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes 100%, At every turn the Insurance Companies in the U.S. have decided that they are going to milk the cow that is the American People until the last person in the U.S. gets it in their head that they do not care about the American People, even has the number of people who currently have insurance in the U.S. shrinks fast because is their strategy if Non-Affordable Coverage. The sad thing is that the Republicans are side by side with them and support the raping of the American People for their last pennies, even if mean that people do not have food on the table to feed their children!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  137. A Boomer in Illinois

    Yes, just like the states' do.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  138. J Travers Devine

    Hell yes. If I had my druthers Insurance would be against the law as nothing more than a mafia type scam! Why do we need these guys? Without them medical costs could be more easily contained.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  139. Linda in Arizona

    Absolutely. It's like the credit card companies. Would you want them to be able to charge you an uncapped interest percentage?... Oh, wait.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  140. Mary Logan Martin

    Insurance companies should be regulated like a utility. That means they should not have the ability to raise rates without government review.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  141. Vincent B

    YES– I believe they should – like they control income tax rates.. The insurance companies have just gotten out of hand on insane rates and prices.. We need a revolution on policies and prices just like Wall Street needs a fix!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  142. Soul Leister- undisclosed bunker

    NO! We should control how much government spends but that will not be happening any time soon if ever.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  143. Joe Palen

    Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  144. Tina Steele

    Oh hell yeah! It's about time, and enough of the pandering to the GOP. We didn't vote in the Democrats to give us more of the same. We wanted change, and now let's get it!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
  145. Homeless D in Atlanta

    The idea of governmental control of what companies in the private sector charge for their goods and services is against everything Americans have believed.

    But, realistically, SOMEONE must begin to control the skyrocketing cost of health care.

    So, why not, instead of the government CONTROLLING what the insirance companies charge in premiums (which of course are NOT for health care, but their charge as BROKERS.) the government sets up a single payer insurance plan and let the insurance companioes COMPETE for our dollars.

    I suggest that those who are totally againse any sort of regulation have insurance, and the money to pay for it. However, that can change in the blink of an eye due to job loss, catastrophic illness or any opther factor. I believe those people then would be much more receptive to some sort of controls of premium costs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  146. Steven Roush

    Someone has to regulate these Greedy business. The Government regulates the ordinary citizens lives, every aspect of them. What makes a business entity any different than a citizen?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  147. George Cohen

    Absolutely Jack!

    If not, the greedy insurance companies will eat us alive, which is what they are doing now...

    February 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  148. Chris, Atlanta

    You assume that health insurance rates are arbitrary numbers pulled out of thin air. They are based on the price of healthcare. Lower health care prices by providing grants for new doctors and nurses, grants for new startup companies developing new technologies. This is how you reduce the cost of health care, by providing more of the supply, not by mandating more people buy into an already over-demanded service. It's all supply and demand, why is health care any different?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  149. jimmy in greenville, north carolina

    Won't work. The insurance companies hire better people. They will walk all over the government gumshoes.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
  150. honestjohn in Vermont

    Yes. There is alot of gouging going on with most healthcare companies. One thing is for sure and that is that these companies pay THEMSELVES very handsomely at the expense of their customers.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  151. pete reilly

    Absolutely! My Medicare Advantage premiums went up this year-408%. That is not a misprint. pete reilly brevard,n.c.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  152. Trudy Royster

    Jack, someone has to stop the insurance companies. Big Business greed in this country has far surpassed what is even ethical!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  153. James in Idaho

    Jack, I think the administration's best bet is to first prove it has the power to do so, but then, instead of setting up something so drastic as an immediate public option, put the health insurance industry back on it's heels with a trigger. Essentially, like Olympia Snowe already concluded, saying shape up or else, and making sure the "or else" is written on a VETO pen the size of a Louiseville slugger made in America.

    No offense Jack, but this doesn't seem like one of your more difficult questions to answer.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  154. johns minnesota

    If they mandate by law that we purchase insurance they will have to control the cost. If not the insurance companies will have a field day with price increases.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  155. TIMOTHY GRADY

    Jack, let's rephrase the question to what I really understand you to be asking me... "Should the Federal Government be able to prevent Insurance Companies from screwing the American people?"

    Answer – Yes!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  156. Joe

    Jack,

    When has big business ever looked after the best interests of the American people. The average American needs to have health insurance and to be heard. The insurance industry is nothing more than racketeering, and then they want a bailout; such as, the Katrina floods. For hundreds of years Americans pay for insurance, and then the insurance companies change the laws for benefits and payouts.
    Joe, Binghamton, NY

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  157. Fred

    Let's quit playing games, and become Americans, and get health care for all Americans, because we all get sick, and we all die.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  158. Marissa

    Jack,
    The government cant even budget their checkbook. What makes anyone think they can "regulate" healthcare? If the government wasnt involved as much as it already is, the prices wouldn't be the issue. Let competition and market do its thing!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
  159. Molly in San Diego

    Yes, it should! The states obviously aren't regulating it well enough on their own. There's no doubt the healthcare industry is bankrupting us. Something has to be done for sure!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  160. LaSonya TN

    Jack, Yes, Yes, and Yes......We wouldn't need them to control the healthcare insurance cost, if we could have a PUBLIC OPTION! therefore, the public needs something. Its about the citizens, not companies. We did not elect officials to protect Businesses , we elect officials to protect CITIZENS!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  161. Ron Barksdale

    Yes, the game needs a referee, and the government needs to ref the fairness of the game, which is currently tipped heavily against the people that healthcare is supposed to serve.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  162. Claire Melbourne FL

    Absolutely Jack – we regulate TV Cable companies, Telephone Co's,
    Electric Co's.... Health Care is the most important field that needs regulation – immediately. If the R's won't come on board... do reconciliation immediately. Then we have to get Big Pharma under control plus more regulation by the FDA.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  163. DON IN WESTPORT, MASS.

    Yes. There was a time when people wished they would hit the lottery so they can buy a home, drive a nice car and just live a care free life.
    Now they wish they would hit it just so they don't have to worry about paying large medical bills they can't afford and losing thier homes through forfiture.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  164. karen Tuttle

    yes! Yes! Yea! We're tired of getting ripped off because our government has allowed Health insurance companies to run wild with greed.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  165. June Simpson

    Absolutely! It is a shame that the insurance companies have continued to rip off the public by charging prohibitive premiums or by denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions.

    June from Greensboro, NC

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  166. Carolyn

    Yes! The insurance companies have proven that they can't be trusted to act in the consumers' best interest. They are, after all, a for-profit business. Why do people think they should trust a company out to make a profit over the government that we elect?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  167. kathy

    In a perfect world, no. However, our world is terribly flawed- special interests take precidence over the interests of we the people. So, yes, I am all for the government doing what it needs to do to 1) obtain health care for all, therby controlling costs and 2) making these jerks at the health care companies stay within reasonable/affordable/reliable boundaries

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  168. pat differ

    No. The government should let private industry and small business handle the insurance companies and drive prices down through competition. What the government should do is help Middle Class America by eliminating the 7.5% health tax on Schedule A and allow up to 5k in health credits (not taxes) on this Schedule. This would allow the majority of Baby Boomers to recover or break even on their yearly medical expense. No one ever talks about this hidden tax yet it stares us all in the face at tax time. This is one tax that never gets lowered. Why not?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  169. Paulino

    Health insurance companies keep messing with costs to average americans tha thave trouble enough with the poor economy. Setting a ceiling to keep costs from going through the roof & robbing their wallets. THe main goal I'd hope for is to ensure that health insurance companies cannot just drop people like Kaiser Permanante did to my diabetic/arthritic grandmother & epileptic aunt with down syndrome; whom can't reaply since they would be considered to having prior existing conditions.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  170. Bob

    Absolutely not! The federal government should not be in the business of establishing prices for insurances companies unless the government will also assume responsibility for financial losses as a result of those price ceilings. The federal government has a miserable track record of micromanaging any activity.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  171. Connie Corine

    We'll have to wait and see if the insurance companies can handle this much freedom and be reasonable. If they get greedy and can't play fair, the Government should have the power to take over and force the insurance companies to play fair. Blue Hill, NE

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  172. Kevin

    of course government should control health care increases. What is wrong with people?! How can they like social security and medicare and not want health care government options and regulations? The health care industry made a greater profit this year than in any year in the past. Are people deaf, dumb and blind? It's an outrage that we don't have a government health care system option. I can't get health care in my own country as a 58 year old male with pre-existing conditions. My health care is from Denmark as my primary residence is there. It is the best health care I have ever had.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  173. Lyn Stone

    It would be great if companies would do the right thing, wouldn't charge exhorbitant rates, if pigs could fly..............Government has to step in now -There's no one else out there to help........Lyn in Moravia, New York

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  174. June Seminole Fl

    yes who else can or will protect consumers...and also maybe send health care companies to rehab for money and wealth addiction..they just can't seem to profit enough

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  175. Floyd Vahalik

    My vote is a resounding yes! A central revue board would keep health insurance from choosing the least regulated states as home base. And it should have some teeth, unlike state power rate boards which have become a joke.

    A board to regulate drug company prices wouldn't be a bad follow up.

    Floyd Vahalik

    Ammon, ID

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  176. BLK

    Who else will? Not the ins.co.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  177. Kyle in New York

    No Jack they shouldn't. They can't control anything at all! How are they going to start controlling how much they charge? If they do find a way to control it, by all means, YES, please do control it!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  178. brenda patton

    Yes, the govt. should control health insurance profits! I'm SICK and tired of being robbed by insurance and drug companies!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  179. Chris in CA

    Someone needs to regulate these guys. I am fortunate to have health insurance but every year it is the same story; higher premiums & copayments for less coverage. I fear, if something is not done, I will eventually be unable to afford health care. They stopped the credit card companies from raising rates & fees for people who don't pay their entire balance each month, how about some help for someone who leads a healthy lifestyle, does not go to the doctor very often, and has been paying insurance premiums for years?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  180. Robert Biggs

    Yes , the government has to control insurance companies and all of their practices to protect the American people. Not just in health care and prescription drug coverage but in other forms of insurance claims and coverages. Insurance companies are suppose be delivering a consumer product to be purchased , not be a political force.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  181. Philip Okoro

    Yes, Jack! the insurance companies need to be regulated and I don't know why the president and his quivering democrates are waiting for the gaddam ( excuse my word) GOP to dictate, how to run the country. Word, if he doesn't start making decisions and passing policies that counts to the people, he is going to loose my vote.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  182. Steve McCoy, Oak Ridge TN

    Should the government be able to control how much health insurance companies charge?

    No but the government should establish a standard plan on which the insurers can bid. Let the market provide price competition but make it possible to compare "apples to apples."

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  183. Dawn

    YES! For example, our small co. w/group policy of 2 people just had our rates raised 71% from 833/mo to 1426/mo by Anthem CA. This isn't gouging, it is RAPE! And we are trapped as I take blood pressure medication – I'm uninsurable! We are a small business and we've taken a 30% hit in revenue the past year. How do you even try to justify a 71% increase. You cannot it is just pure greed.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  184. Annie, Atlanta

    If they don’t we will all be priced right out of coverage. Someone has to take control. Or do you expect the insurance companies to police themselves? Just like Wall Street, right?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  185. thomas schlanch

    Hell yes it should be controlled . & Yes it should be treated as a utility.It"s something necessary like running water or electricty.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  186. Barbara from Loarain Ohio

    A big YES...the average American has been run over with bad home buying with the banks, then with the Credit Card making tons of money from the Average American, So yes they should control the Health Care cost, without the Government changes will never get done, Non of these Companys will do anything to help us but create tons of money for themselves. Enough is enough

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  187. Nick CT

    Absolutly, we really need to control it.They increase the premiums without any reason. My friend who own a small buisness had pay a hiked up premium for the same number of employees without any change. Its ridiculous and people have no say on this. I do not believe in republicans proposal of across state line purchase of insurance.Insurance companies do not change their behavior across states. But I like Tort reform and bringing down the cost of drugs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  188. jim Blevins

    The controls on health insurance companies should be very similar to the controls on public utilities. Everything that they do should require government approval. If you can't trust greed motivated privateers with your electricity, you certainly can't trust them with your health.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  189. Virginia Weddington

    It is a must to regulate how much they charge! I've seen my premiums soar over 200.00 a month during the last 6 years. A premium of over 800.00 a month leaves me with around 300.00 dollars a month in my teacher retirement check. It seems I taught 23 years for health insurance. Check their profits–it's criminal what they charge–but what can you do?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  190. David

    I absolutely agree that the government should be able to control how much insurance companies charge. In my opinion, that is an example of working "for" the American people and protecting the from the adverse affects of capitalism. To this day, I can't seem to understand nor accept the fact that there are many republican politicians and Americans who oppose the government getting involved in, reforming, and regulating corporation "bullies" that result in less money in American's pocket and more in theirs. Whoever disagrees with the government involvement after the proposed 39% rate increase from that California insurer must work for or support the "evil" powers.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  191. Beverly

    Yes. Unregulated greed is why we're in the shape we're in on a multitude of topics.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
  192. Allen in Hartwell GA

    Not the federal government.
    Jack, if I hear right most states already control what insurance companies can charge. The only reason I can see for having the feds control charges would be to get the monkey off the back of our governors. Like buying insurance across state lines, I think this is something that should stay within state control...state's rights and all that.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  193. Jim H

    Something has to be done. Insurance compave what we don't, reform will come soon nies and pharmaceutical companies are raping the public. Their business model seems to be start with a bottom line profit and work backwards to determine what to charge. It is disgraceful that so many of our politicians oppose health care reform, could it have anything to do with lobbyists and secial interests. I say that its cool if all the legislators in Congress come up with a very simple plan......lets have the same insurance benefits they have or better yet let them have what we don't, reform will come soon. look at the big picture of what this country needs and wants. Democrats need to compromise and remember what their jobs are and it is time for Republicans to change their goal of having Obama fail and to hell with everything else.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  194. Curtis in Kansas

    Sure, Jack – let's have the government control health insurance rates, then they can control gasoline prices, grocery prices, hotel room rates, the price of cars, and while we're at it how about the price of a massage (therapeutic of course). Then we can skip right over socialism and go right to communism – welcome to the United Socialist States of America.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  195. Terri

    Yes as long as it keep the high rising price down.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  196. Ken in NC

    I don't like the idea Jack but the Health Care Industry has proved just as Wall Street has that they don't care about how much they hurt the people of this nation.

    Cut the insurance companies off at the knees. If they claim it will put them out of business then so be it. Then maybe we can get a Single Payer System after the Insurance companies are gone.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  197. Cathy E.

    Yes. The insurance industry has gotten WAY out of control with their charges. My monthly rates went from mid 300's to mid 700's in a couple of short years. I had to drop it! Now.. because of corporate greed... I'm without needed insurance... and I don't see any end to the madness until the government sets us up with Medicare for all!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  198. Paul - Florence, KY

    No, there is nothing in the Constitution that gives them any powers to control what any company charges its customers. They need to lift the ban on insurance companies to offer their products across state lines. That would drop the cost of insurance instantly. Or make health insurance free to all and the doctor's bill is paid for with the TAXES that they already collect.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  199. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Sure we should, we do not need Insurance Companies they are nothing more then gatekeepers deciding who lives and dies in America, while they raise price for no good reason, and kick people off of the roles who have paid their premiums for years faithfully even before doing what it takes to take care of themselves to be healthy. Our whole system of health-care is flawed we need a Single Payer Heath-Care System which is paid by our tax dollars, no premiums, no copay's, and no paying out of pocket for any reason at all, unless you want to go to another country and get health-care!!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  200. Eric

    The government regulates many things that effect our level of safety Jack. Nobody is complaining about the govt. involvement in the Toyota recalls, the NFL head injury cases, our food regulation,etc.etc.etc. The costs of medical care directly effects the safety of our citizens when people cant afford proper care. The only people who have a problem with the regulations are the fat cats who stand to profit from it, and with those profits can afford to keep everyone important to them healthy regardless of what treatment there neighbors are getting. The system needs major changes or we are in trouble.

    Eric
    Virginia

    February 22, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
  201. shawn

    its an outrage any health company that increases premiems that high escpecialy when all talk is about health care and lowering costs should be run out of business and should be a crime i already think it is RAPE

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  202. The Cold Civil War

    There is no left/right divide in Washington. This divide only exists within we, the people. Elephants and Asses go on tv to instill hatred in Americans for their fellow Americans. Then they go out and high five while they throw back drinks, patting each other on the back for dividing America. By next summer, we will have exactly what both parties wanted from the beginning: Mandated health insurance with little to reduce costs. Want more evidence that Democrats and Republicans work together to deceive Americans?

    Nobody is talking about eliminating the antitrust exemption for the health insurance racket.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  203. patrick

    Jack,
    It is not working with regulationg utiliies our Electrict bill has increased 505 in virginia this year why would it work in health care
    Patrick in Virginia

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  204. Dave in NC

    The top 10 health insurance companies had profit margins of 4% for 2009. I make more on my checking account. Follow the money, Jack. Making villains out of someone with razor thin margins isn't good theatre.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  205. David

    Yes 100%. This is not a free market issue. Do we play God and tell who get to live or died?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  206. chuck in bishop ca.

    Jack, Not only should the government be able to do some regulation of premiums, if you have looked into the way healthcare is run you would see that we waste upwards of 30 cents on the dollar just to run healthcare. It's like everyone having a car to drive but having to pay for a driver instead of driving yourself. A single payer system would not only save enough money to cover everyone, it would be able to improve our system without spending a dime more than we do now overall.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  207. Eileen (Peabody)

    Jack,

    I certainly hope so.

    I am all for free business in this county. However when one industry is exempt from the antitrust laws, announces it will be increasing premiums by 39% this year with a promise to increase them by another 30% next year, has NO COMPITITION (yes Jack, they do not compete with each other....they set rates amongst themselves), and has reported billions in profits last quarter....we need something to keep their greed in check.

    If the only solution is having the government step in....so be it.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  208. Jillian Wright

    Well, it would be a heck of a lot better than leaving it up to the insurance companies. Ultimately, it should be up to the people. If our representatives actually represented the people, then I would say yes for sure. As it is, I have a hard time trusting the government, but an even harder time trusting any company that makes money by insuring those who need it least and dumping those who need it most.
    Jillian
    Orleans, CA

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  209. Morten Solum

    Jack,
    as a Norwegian living in Chicago, Illinois I am appalled to see how the greedy insurance companies are behaving on the matter so crucial to every person living in USA. The government should not only have the control, but be able to set the price. Let them compete on coverage, not on how "clever" they are in avoiding paying out. Better still, do what the rest of the world is doing: Pay the cost with tax dollars: Health care is a right – not a privilege. Just for the record: Health in Norway cost me app. 3% in taxes.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  210. George M. Woyames

    Yes. It's about time that insurance companies can make gigantic profits, and buy political capital, instead of helping Americans to obtain health care equivalent to that of members of both houses of Congress. I remember that during his campaign, candidate Obama, told us about his terminally ill mother fighting insurance companies to okay medical treatment. He's not alone. Every day this happens in our country. How many more millions of us must die, without health are, until of us have it?Thank you.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
  211. Charles in Lawrence, NJ

    A non sequitur if ever I heard one. There should be no such thing as a health care insurance company, they tack 30% on top of an already unaffordable commodity while contributing absolutely nothing. Middlemen are crushing America, single payer is the way to go, cancel the wars to pay for it.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  212. Paul from Arkansas

    Absolutely the Gov should regulate the healthcare providers. With the cost of premiums now, people have less money to spend to help our economy. They are consuming way too much of peoples income, and it's about time that this should be adressed.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  213. Anthony from Swedsboro, NJ

    Yes, Jack. Since it's well known that doctors are caught between a rock, medical insurance companies, and a hard place, legal malpractice, they conduct many tests that are redundant and expensive.
    We must put limits on this duplication to protect doctors and patients.
    No entity should be able to come between doctors and their patients!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  214. Miriamfl

    Yes Jack, we need a nationwide law regarding these for profit insurance companies. It is travesty what they are doing to the American people. I would prefer medicare for all but since that is not possible at this time we need a public option and rules and regulations on healthcare insurance. Even the auto insurance companies are not as bad and we are talking about life and death not to mention the entire economic and medical well fair of our country.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  215. kerry Jackson

    Yes,I would like an advocate to represent me. Health is not a commodity, for someone to make a profit off of.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  216. Gary Burdick

    It's about goddamn tiime. The people of this country have been ripped off by insurance companies and other health organizations for long enough. The entire health industry in this country needs a complete overhaul. Heallth care in this country is a joke, a disgrace. Not only are we being gouged by excessive rates; but, fraud is rampant. I hope the democrats in Congress give the Republicans, members on the take, the Tea Party NeoNazis, a big fat finger and ram health care overhaul through. I am sick of the dilly-dallying. For God's sake, get the job done!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  217. Kaprice

    Of course they should, if it's in "the people's" best interest!!
    These insurance companies are out of control, and there's nothing wrong with government making rules and guidelines, so that "the People" don't get screwed!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  218. Diane, Dallas, TX

    Jack,

    You left out one important thing. WE, ya know – taxpayers, subsidize these insurance companies now (via Medicare, just an example) with the subsidies growing with health care 'reform'. Yes, the government should be allowed to monitor and set premiums. The insurance companies should not be allowed to take public money and then be allowed to run up whatever premiums they decide.

    Diane

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  219. John Nuss

    Yes these insurance companies need to be regulated but there's more to it than that. The fees that doctors, hospitals and pharma companies charge need to be regulated as well. Try going to an emergency room with no insurance and see what happens. You will be shocked. John-
    Los Olivos, CA

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  220. omar gonzalez

    When the insurance company has being put lot a money on the pockets of someones republicans and democrats representatives don't count with the american people,so get rip of both corrupted historical partys and make a new America.But I don't believe the goverment could do nothing,is simple is not working for ours

    February 22, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  221. Jon Youngblood - Portland, OR

    Yes, absolutely. If the GOP is going to get their wish for limited Government, then it’s only fair that us Dems get to see our wish for limited corporate power. I fear corporate power far more than I feel fear from a bunch of Government clowns. Gov may be slow and inefficient, but it’s not corrupted by malicious motivations. Police them, absolutely. And punish them when they try to rip us off.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  222. Jim

    Yes yes yes! Let's face it there is no legitimate competitive marketplace for health Insurance. In most all states 2 – 3 insurance companies control 80 – 90% of the market. In a couple of states just a single company controls 80% or more of the market. As long as the health insurance companies are able to perpetuate this Big Lie the American People lose. Unfortunately, most Republicans are lap dogs for the health insurance industry. I am a devote Independent but this one is easy.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  223. Mike - Fort Worth, TX

    All these comments about the high profits that the health insurance companies and medical personnel make are overlooking something very basic.

    All those profits are taxed. And taxed heavily. That is what is paying for all this "federal government money" paying for "federal government programs". No profits, no taxes.

    A non-profit entity pays no taxes to the federal government other than the matching on the employee's social security and medicare taxes. Just like over 50% of the people who are gainfully employed.

    How is the benevolent Federal government supposed to pay for all their largess (with a 100+% overhead cost) without someone making some profit? More federal debt that our grandkids will have to pay?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  224. Wojciech Moskal

    The government absolutely must be able to have some kind of control over the private sector. The mess we are in right now is a direct result of lack of control and regulations by the government. The government if I understand democracy correctly should separate it self from private sector and be there to govern only. Those who tell you different either made they money by lying, cheating, selling drugs(Oh yeah baby many, many businesses opened up by selling drugs, and many are used to money laundering) or by deceiving general public. Once again, people who work for the government should the driven by a cause of serving, and representing the people who elected them(not only rich and powerful but all the people) and not by greedy shallow scum, driven only by money etc. When the scum abuses the people of the US the government steps in and straightens them out, even if that means using the military. You are free to do whatever you want, run any kind of business, explore you talents as long as you obey the law. The more out of control people and businesses are, the bigger government has to be to protect basic freedoms of every citizen(not only the wealthy, but dose who are on food stamps as well). When the people and businesses play by the rules the less government is needed to protect the rights of every American( not just selected few). The people of the United states pay taxes for that purpose. The tax money pays for a cops, fire fighters, military, it all costs money. Often the private businesses create and support and encourage the very things churches, cops, social workers, courts, teachers and all the good people are fighting while claiming their right to to so, I say B Shit they have the right to poison the children right in front of our eyes. Talking about cowards who are lower then terrorists. Hey news people why don't you ask and use the people who live in poverty level on your shows, they are American people as well and actually they are the once always serving as soldiers, cops, fire fighters, etc.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  225. Heidi H

    Yes yes yes, enogh is enogh, american people are tiered of the thier life being in the hand of insurance companies, enogh is enogh that the insurance companies get richer every day and american people die because of not having access to health insurance. American people are sick & tiered of not to be able to live their lives because of politician like to play politics. Its time for these decent hard working people in this country have some sort of afordable health insurance.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  226. M.K.

    Damn straight, if somone doesnt start controlling the costs, the Doctors, pharmacuetical companies, and drug stores will own the parts of this country that China and other foreign countries do not already own.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  227. Marty

    absolutely Jack,I'm in Michigan, and last Sept.09,Blue Cross blue shield of Mich.sent me a letter that my insurance for my family and I was going to be raised by 40 percent,and that is on top of the 4 or 5 rate hikes that I'd suffered through over the previous 7 years.I've had to step down to high deductible high co-pay health insurance just to survive.And on top of that,I'm in Michigan,I don't know if they've heard,but things are pretty slow here right now.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  228. John D DeBarge

    Most definately!! My god we control the cost of electricity and natural gas why not health insurance? Is human life not worthy of the same cost protection as light and heat? Should income level decide the level of medical care a person gets? The current system is not only broken it is morally wrong. The constitution says we all have the same basic fendamental rights. What is more basic and fundamental to human happiness and dignity than health care?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  229. Paulette in Dallas,PA

    Yes the government should have some regulatory role in setting the premiums people pay to have health care. They also need to put a reasonable cap on what office visits,procedures,testing,etc. costs that are billed by doctors and hospitals. All of this needs to have one set price and one set amount of what the reimbursement that will be paid. As it stands now, there is no one set price for say,Chest X-Ray. A hospital in Philadelphia will be charging more than a hospital in a rural suburb. Prices for services are so high because it is a game. Doctors and hospital will delibertly charge more than they know will be paid by insurance. This definitely hurts the people without medical insurance because if the hopsital or doctor charges $100.00 and insurance will only pay them $66.00 and if they are participating they must accept this lower amount. The poor guy without any insurance is held to the $100.00 charge and they expect him to pay it. These are the games that must be stopped to make health care more equitable for all.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  230. Jim Roker

    With the insane profits in the insurance industry, and virtually no regulation, how have we arrived where the federal government dose not already have the the power to regulate premium increases?

    It can be strongly argued that the largest element of our broken health care system is excessive profit and other outrageous business practices. Controlling rate INCREASES is well below the minimum moral imperative to fix this mess.

    Jim in Tuscson Arizona.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  231. Phil

    Yes, someone has to try to get them under control. Too many people are hurting.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  232. barbara a spears

    Jack, Jack, Jack

    It already does, thanks to the lobbying by the insurance companies.
    Who do you think pays the congress to vote their way.

    Barbara
    Strawberry Plains, Tn

    February 22, 2010 at 6:25 pm |
  233. Bob Murtha

    Yes! but it doesn't matter. The Republicans will never agree to get involved in the current plan because they want Obama to fail. They don't want anything included in the plan which will limit the power of the health care and insurance companies. They all are in the pockets of the lobbyists who represent these companies and the proof of this has been verbalized by manyof the senators and representatives who have decided not to run in November. They are tired of Congress being more concerned about working for these industries rather than for the people they represent.
    Bob Murtha

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  234. Hamzah

    as david gurgen put it so well, either force the bill through, or get a negotiated bill. the gop have been uniformly opposed for over a year. forcing it through would be a kind of eye for an eye approach, while the negotiated bill might be a good way to ensure cooperation on future legislation. i think the latter is preferable, but the former would be fine with me as well; the republicans say they have been staunch obstructionists on a matter of principle, and if that is the excuse that they want to use, the same excuse should be used to stiff-arm them out the way. but, like i said, actual progress, not for the sake of politics, but for the sake of our future, is a good thing, so a negotiated bill, given the state of our politics, is the best way forward.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  235. thomas schlanch

    Yes it should be controlled .& YES it should be treated as a utility.It's something necessary like running water or electricity.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  236. Lynn, Columbia, Mo.

    Sure and they should also regulate what they do and don't cover to balance it out and we should have a government mediator for complaints. Government is not the problem, it's the solution.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  237. Jay Brandt

    Absolutely and they should use reconciliation to pass it.
    Why do you call it passing by a "simple majority"...it's a MAJORITY! Why should the right be able to stop progress just because they've increased their minority position by one? That's why Obama won the Presidency by over 8 million votes...to pass this legislation.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  238. Keythe

    No, the gov't needs to stop trying to control every part of our lives. Free markets will find the appropriate level for the insurance premiums. If the gov't stopped trying to control everything maybe we could buy insurance across state lines – just like you can buy a car – and the competitive market kicks in. Controlling the "cost of insurance" without looking at the "cost of medical care" and all the long term contracts attached to everything by the unions, then nothing gets fixed. At the end of the day I want to make my medical decisions – I fear that the gov't will start allocating my health care decisions if they start taking control of every step along the way....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  239. Carolyn

    The government does need to have control of insurance premium costs. Obviously, the insurers nor any other entities are controlling the premiums. My retiree insurance premium from CIGNA rose 59% this year, from 239. per month to 399. per month.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  240. stefano

    health management of an individual is a prerogative of the individual him/herself, however the collective sate of a nation's population health is a public responsibility, as poor or poorly managed health of a large number of individuals can severely affect the economy and success fo a nation at large. The parallel with education is obvious: were not for the education "public option" in this country, the literacy rate of our country languish among those of third world countries and our competitiveness and prosperity would likely suffer. By leaving health care in the hands EXCLUSIVELY of private enterprise with no public supervision is irresponsible, as greed will always win over social responsibility.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  241. gloria richards

    Personally, I don't understand how these so-called providers of health coverage have gotten away with their greedy pricing policies for as long as they have. I would personally prefer to take health care out of the private sector altogether and set up health care the way most of the rest of the Western world already does: through a public sector agency. Military personnel, their families and members of the US Congress and their families already have such coverage, why don't the rest of us? If we're not willing to take that route, the least we should do is REGULATE the way these compainies do business. Tell them what sort of coverage we expect them to provide under a fair pricing cap and without any sort of cherry picking for the cheapest insurees.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  242. Curtis in Kansas

    Perhaps you want the same type of care received in Canada. Right now there is a 22 year old woman with an extremely painful gall bladder condition that was forced to call her mother in tears from the pain. Her mom took her to the hospital and refused to leave until they did something for her daughter – the doctor could not fit her into his surgical schedule so they admitted her and put her on morphine. She can't eat or drink anything on the chance that a spot might open up on the surgery calendar. Pathetic.

    My 15 yr old daughter was diagnosed with a failed gall bladder on Tuesday and was in surgery Thursday morning.

    No you choose the system you want if it's your daughter.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  243. Chris Zimny - Sarasota, Florida

    Dear Jack,
    No, the federal government should not be in charge of healthcare prices. The government has no business controlling an industry, especially one as big as this. While it may seem warm and fuzzy right now, it will more than likely end up as a huge problem in the future. Healthcare prices may be high, may be out of control, but the principle of the matter should be upheld.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:28 pm |
  244. Eric Gillespie

    Yes, the government should regulate fair health insurance practices.
    The American people have been robbed blind long enough by the health insurance companies.
    On the same subject – Health Insurance Reform; Correct me if I am wrong. The last election resulted in a large majority for President Obama; A large majority for the House of Representatives; and a large majority for the senate! All well over 50%.
    The last time I checked, we did live in a democracy.A health
    reform bill should be passed imeediately, using whatever rules necessary. The Democrats have majorities in the house, the senate, and the white house; what else does it take – go for it! – Filibuster be
    D-ed. Have some guts, Dem's.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  245. coco

    yes jack gov should, it's ashame that it should go that far, with suppose to be grown ups but with the circumstances as is you betcha. and it amazes me that the president has been trying to get the republicans to get aboard on his health care plan evevery since he's been in office; but for sume reason you people on CNN don't ,just amazes me.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  246. TOM (INDIANA)

    my answer is simple. YES!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  247. Edward B

    Jack, first the argument should be health insurance reform, not health care reform. If the democrats were to stick to that narrative, it would resonate with the public. second, you really have 2 choices, one regulate the heck out of it just like California or two let the market prevail. I should be able to buy catastrophic health insurance and then pay as i go for normal stuff. Of course if that was to happen i need to compare doctors prices and quality of care. This will never happen. Why does 1/6 of the GDP not have to give me a price for services when i walk in the door????

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  248. Jim H, Jackson Heights, NY

    The government has to do something. Insurance companies and pharmaceuticals are legally raping us. We have no choice, lobbyists and politicians have made this mess and someone has to clean it up.
    Health Care is a necessity and for the supposed leader of the world not to have a program is a disgrace. As soon as the term Health Care Reform pops up – Republicans take up the cause not so much on the issue but as a sign they need to beat Obama down. It coulod just be settled if Congress gave us the same benefits as they have. Or better yet lets give Congress what we have....then we'll see progress.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  249. kerry Jackson

    Maybe the government could tax the profits of the insurance companies to pay for a public option. It's pretty obvious the insurance companies want a public option (otherwise why would they raise their rates just before the health care reform bill is to be voted on?), this way they don't have to feel guilty purging their clients when they get sick.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  250. G Brown Atlanta

    They don't tell me they just take it out of SS check.
    Pay it and have coverage or don't it's that simple.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  251. Brenda - MA

    Yes Jack, they absolutely should. How can every other Industrialized country in the world seem to make it work, yet the US is always crying about how much it will cost. After moving from Australia almost 5 years ago I can tell you the healthcare for all system works. It may not always be perfect but it is a much fairer system than the one you have here.
    The health care bill doesn't have to be the be all and end all of a new healthcare system it is something that is developed over time and it's time for the "no" crowd to realize this so things can start to change.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  252. thomas schlanch

    Yes, it should be controlled. & YES, it SHOULD be treated like a utility. It's as necessary as running water and electricity.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  253. Chad from Los Angeles

    yes, the gov't should control the Health care industry more. At what point, did your income determine if you got health coverage. Isn't someones well being and health a fundamental right that we should all have equal chance at attaining?

    Universal or Single Payer Health care should be added to the Civil Rights Act as a fundamental human right for all citizens to utilize equally.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  254. Antonio from Washington D.C.

    Half and Half, (government and the ones receiving the health care) so no one feels someone is manipulating and controlling the health care system.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  255. Mitchell in Saginaw, MI

    Of course! If you were awake in Economics 101 free markets work well without government interference only when they are COMPETITIVE. Health Insurance companies operate in a non-competitive industry which ensures that they can and will charge extremely high prices–see WellPoint's 39% proposed rate increase. In this type of market millions will be unable to afford or denied life saving health services. When markets fail in this way, government needs to act.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
  256. Brian

    Jack,

    Of course. The government controls or restricts the amount charged for any critical service that people rely on to stay alive. Imagine if the police force in Washington D.C. went to the voters and said "our budget needs to increase by 40 percent otherwise we'll stop protecting you." How do you think people would react?

    Brian
    Boise, ID

    February 22, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
  257. Roger West Bend, WI.

    Most States have review boards, we need the godfather looking over their sholders, sounds political what else is new. This whole past year of big government ideas is becoming very unamerican. NO to Obamacare as well, you can push but don't get to arrigont and shove.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
  258. ro of la

    Yes let government help us just like they did with medicare. Who is complaining about medicare benefits? . Insurance costs is a life or death or bankruptcy question for many of us. There are plenty of regulations on things that are not life or death so why would we fight against this unless of course you are in the pocket of the rich insurance companies and you need them to be reelected or you are part of the party of no and only care about political power and not the lives of the people you will govern.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  259. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Yes all types of business must be regulated or they will in time rape the American People like they are right now! They have no self control to speak of, all they care about is profit. The American people and America as a whole mean nothing to these businesses, because they think that they are the citizens and we the people are nothing more then either an ATM Machine or Fully Expendable. They just do not care if we get sick and/or ill and die as long as they get their profits!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  260. Gigi Oregon

    Don't you think government should do something to earn their keep. I for one am sick to death of being taxed with no representation. Government does nothing for the multitudes but make promises and pay themselves fat wages beyond belief of the majority of the American people. I was told Obama was going to bring health care for all Americans, but the losing party is going to see that they are not allowed to do anything for the people. Government will keep bailing/giving to the fat cats (corporate) America. The banks, mortgage companies, medical, pharmaceutical Co. etc have been robbing us for years. As long as lobbyist are allowed to grease their palms with bribes, we will never get regulation.
    We need to revolt against the government by tightening our belts. Do you think we could change Corporate America by borrowing from smaller home town banks, thinking twice before we purchase, trade /use small business, second hand shops, don't go to the doctor for hang nails, eat at home and invite friends over to eat. Start enjoying the good life again. We have been supporting everything that is sucking the life and money out of us. Oh yes, We need change...but we can't depend on government and corporate America. All we can do is get even.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  261. Hamzah

    Should the government be able to control how much health insurance companies charge?

    Premium-propelled Public Option or Government-regulated Health insurance rates? i think the former sounds better than the latter.

    also, when you say "government," i think, for the sake of fairness, and to avoid accusation of meddling with the facts, there needs to be a clarification of which level of government, federal or state – as i understand it jack, it's a combination of both.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  262. Pamela Curry; Dallas TX

    Short of universal cradle to the grave health care recognized as a HUMAN RIGHT not a PRIVILEGE, absolutely! Deregulation in Texas fostered not competition for better rates, in insurance or utilities. It brought out of control run away profit taking and the highest rates in the country. All at the expense of the consumer. Because it opened the door for companies to treat their investors as the customer and the people they were claiming to serve as an end to the means of more profits!

    Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege!
    Buying, consuming alcohol either by the drink or the bottle is a privilege!

    Not being affected by a serious health issue is not a privilege, its a blessing. Having affordable access to adequate and medically appropriate without bias health care is NOT a privilege! It's a basic human right.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  263. Harvey

    Yes. Call it what you like, the government must protect citizens from being gouged by greedy insurance companies. Currently we are being held hostage by insurance companies manipulations and stipulations to obtain increased profits.
    We are told if we want to have health insurance (which everyone should have) that we must play by the rules dictated by the insurance companies. The government must be on the side of the citizens and stand up for citizens by not allowing insurance companies to game the system by manipulations and stipulations to obtain increased profits.
    In the Long run, I believe National/Universal care will be the only way around this.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
  264. tracey

    no, Jack, the gov't should not tell insurance companies what to charge because all insurance companies should go to... "insurance heaven". they've shown they can get away with raising premiums exponentially, denying coverage continuously, using pre-existing conditions as a shield to deny coverage (yes, my pregnancy was a pre-existing condition), and then pay exorbitant amounts of those premiums to lobbyists as well as to their ceos and to cover those 30% administration costs instead of paying for the care their policy says it would cover. and then they top it off with record profits. well, i believe they will in the future charge outrageous premiums for no coverage at all. we'll be paying lots for.... nothing! that's the road we're looking forward to if we don't get healthcare reform, preferrably universal. so saith this registered nurse of 25 years and a former republican.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
  265. Jake-Wenatchee, WA

    Yes. When I receive a bill for $411 for a simple medical CONSULTATION, something has gone awry and needs to be fixed. The physicians are charging more because they know they can get away with it, thus resulting in higher insurance premiums. There needs to be a national standard set for different types of services.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  266. steve- virginia beach

    No. Folks keep demonizing the insurance companies but if the media did a better job educating them, they would know that the health insurance companies are only making a 2% profit on average. Current legislation that would force insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions and remove lifetime benefit limits will force them to increase already-excessive premiums. The last thing we need is for these same legislating clowns to regulate more than they already do. Tort reform and innovative ideas would be better- revoke the anti-trust exemption to achieve free market competition, pay medical school costs in exchange for accepting the government's terms for Medicaid and Medicare, etc.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  267. Lean

    Why in the world would you not want control or regulations over health care. This isn't something you can choose to have or not to have. Everyone is entitled to and deserves affordable or basic health care. Those people who think it's a bad idea won't feel that way when they lose their jobs, or end up with an illness that their current health care provider won't cover. I've seen people denied health care or sent home when the insurance runs out. The wealthy don't worry about health care and our government officials don't worry about it because they have government health insurance, which I'm sure is regulated. They pay little or nothing. Yes, they have the same insurance security that they are denying you.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  268. Rod

    Universal healthcare coverage is not a "right" guaranteed by our constitution. What do you say we mind and follow our constitutional principles again. Whatever happened to states rights instead of huge federalism with no constitutional basis?
    If you want to control the cost of insurance, then set limits to malpractice litigation. There are countries that are not so litigious and their healthcare costs are not nearly so high.
    Another alternative is to build in positive incentives for cost savings. Why not attract bees with honey instead of throwing rocks at the nest. Our capitalist systems works well with the right incentives that benefit everyone including the patients. You can also use capitalist principles to provide decent coverage for the underserved.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  269. Tom in Jacksonville

    Insurance company's = Death Panels,
    So yes, they need to be Government controlled.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  270. Ken

    Yes... But the insurance companies need to make their crazy profits so if they can't charge more they will give less coverage. We will loose either way. The real question is will the country (you and me) have the guts to control both the cost and coverage. People cry that they want lower taxes, less government interference and regulation, but then they cry when their roads have holes, schools drop programs, companies skirts a law because a regulatory agency has 1/3 of the inspectors or they don't have insurance to cover an illness.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:41 pm |
  271. Kyle, Irvine, CA

    Only in a socialist country Jack. Oh wait...

    February 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
  272. Lisa in Ga

    Yes, I believe some type of regualation is needed. Health care cost have skyrocketed and has been a henderance of all societies..health care cost is like a runaway train.. the government should intervene, they can be the brick wall that is needed to stop this out of control Amtrack!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  273. Randy - NH

    Yes the government should regulate rates, but lets face it the additional revenue is needed to support the political ambitions of our elected officials that aren't likely to allow this. Give us a public option in healthcareand let the politicians get their votes the old fashioned way. EARN THEM!!!!!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  274. Lester Helms

    Yes Jack! History repeats itself and the Republicans used their lies
    about health care to ride their way into control of Congress in 1994.
    And here they go again. They will NEVER agree to ANY health care
    plan.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  275. Roger West Bend, WI.

    Most States have review boards, do we need the federal government looking over their sholders, This whole past year of big government is not a fix only a bandades. NO to this large bill to take over how we deal with healthcare, Too many unknowns as for cost and what we might have to give up.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  276. Bev

    YES, we have been reped by the Insurance company's for way too long. It is time to let them fall if they can't make it without controlling the Republicans by padding their pockets. It is time to put a stop to this nonsense. If you have worked very hard and have no Insurance and cannot afford it, then you know what a lot of people are going through. It isn't only people who don't work, it is people that do not make enough to buy it and don't have a retirement either. Let's get Public Option passed and let them filibuster.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  277. Lynne in CA

    Put the public option up for a nationwide vote in 2012, let the people decide.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  278. cliff

    No! We don't need any more government meddling in the private
    sector. What will really help is to allow open competition in health
    care plans and to be available in all 50 states.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  279. Curtis in Kansas

    In 2008 the average of the profit margin of the top 10 insurance companies is less than 6% (that means that they averaged 6 cents profit for every dollar of revenue). The #10 insurance company made 0.38% or about one-third of a penny for each dollar of revenue.

    If we're really worried about profits we should have the government control the prices of waste management companies – the top 8 companies average a 15% profit margin with the top company making almost 44 cents for every dollar of revenue.

    Where do you think this could possibly end?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
  280. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    The Constitution says Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, without Life all the rest means nothing. Why are we giving a free pass to these rapist companies who care nothing about the American People or their level of health. Why allow any companies to do anything they want sell flawed goods sand services that do not do what they companies says that they should do, this is allowing fraud for profit!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  281. Phyllis G Williams

    Yes, they should, or they will tell me that I am enjoying perfect health and charge me $400 and give me an expensive prescription again
    and let me have to quote Ephesians 6:12 "I am wrestling against....
    spiritual wickedness in high places".

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  282. lynne j.

    One would think that they would have done so years ago. That shows how inept Congress is.

    When there are different tiers of insurance coverage depending on how much one pays with the $500 and $600 a month packages doing most for one's money you bet your boots there should be. It is nothing more than high way robbery because we're not sick all the time in the first place.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  283. Tom from Vermilion, Ohio

    All of us and the government needs to take a detailed look at the medical industry as a whole. This includes all pharmaceutical industries, health care institutions, medical equipment manufacturers, health care and malpractice insurers, attorneys and medical doctors and staff. Everyone here listed files taxes, don't they? Then, ask a simple and straight forward question. What is your net or take home income? Anyone, who has a NET income over $500,000 annually would have to justify and tell why they are worth that kind of money. If we the people are not satisfied with the responses heard or read. Then every penney over the million bucks should go to pay off the National Debt. Check the numbers for yourself the National Debt goes away immediately. Do the same thing with the Defense Corporations, Financial Corporations, Education Institutions and Wall Street. Guess what happens to the bottom line. In just one year, the government will have a surplus of a Trillion Dollars! Quite frankly, I can't see how anyone is worth that kind of money.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
  284. Charles Ellis

    No, Government can't even control their own spending . Why should they be trusted to oversee the insurance companies. They have had many years to come up with this idea. Why now. Why don't they take care of the unfunded liabliities, that is a much higher amount? What have they shown us in the past? I believe the less government we have , the better.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
  285. charlie

    I thought we fought tooth and nail to avoid socialism and communism. It makes no sense to go to war with countries that appose our freedoms or fight against our government to keep our freedoms if theywill set prices of any product produced in a free society.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  286. andres

    Sure, is the only way to survive. Health is not a business is a right. The only persons who are disagree with that are the persons who are making money with this "business"

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  287. Geoff Goode

    People keep saying "keep the government out of big business!" How about keeping big business out of my government... I'm only advocating government control because these corporations are screwing all of us over in the name of profit and the bottom line....

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  288. Charles Ellis

    Jack, Your site told me I had responded to your question prior. SO I guess I will not respond again. Good luck with your selective listinening.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
  289. Barry P

    Yes they should to keep them from running amuck with thier charges while cutting coverage. Barry P Greentown, IN

    February 22, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  290. ANthony Galvez

    Ihave heard the President say that insurance companies have made $12 billion in profits. Assuming that 275 million Americans have health insurance (the other lost souls are waiting for the President to help them), that means the Insurance companies made $43.50 for every man, woman and child they covered.

    Let the people know that for all the paperwork and admin req. to provide and pay insurance, I am not upset with that.

    No, I do not work for anyone associated with teh Insurance Monster.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  291. Healthcare Professional

    We pay the highest price for healthcare coverage and have the the worst outcomes out of every 1st world nation according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Something is very wrong. An industry that profits from denial of services NEEDS regulation. People that don't see that are secluded from the rest of the world. There are 3rd world nations with better healthcare outcomes than the US.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  292. Rich

    Let's have the corporate food companies and fast food restaurants subsidize the health insurance costs, since the typical American diet of junk, devitalized, overprocessed and additive ridden foods are the real source of the health problems of America causing the skyrocketing increase in health costs. Perhaps making corporate America provide us with decent natural organic foods would put the brakes on the growth of health care costs.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  293. Bill Paustenbach

    Here in California, we have a State Insurance Commissioner with his huge highly paid staff doing exactly that, supposedly. The question is, "Why should the Federal government duplicate this responsibility?"
    Of course, in California, our state government is so dysfunctional and useless, we might as well have the Feds take over the entire state government responsiblility and eliminate it entirely. This sounds extreme, but the more I think about it, the more appealing it gets.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  294. Barry Cohen

    Wake up America. Insurance companies pay out 85% of their premium in actual health claims. If you take away all their profits and overhead on a $1,000 monthly premium, it's still $850!

    The problem is, we pay out way to much to doctors, hospital, pharmaceutical companies, and medical equipment companies....because we're so damn fat, lazy, and sick....period!!

    In fact, the huge $14 billion in profit is less than 1% of what is paid out, directly ($2.3 trillion), to treat our sorry selves.

    Wake up America, the solution is on your plate!

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  295. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    Look what happen when no one look after Wall Street?

    February 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  296. Sami Ambar

    In the past 6 years my HMO health insurance premiums in New York State for 1 person were increased by 20% a year; doubling every 4 years. This March, they are being raised by 35% to $1,177 a month ($14,000) a year from $870 a month ($10,500 a year).
    Boy oh boy I now miss the 20% increases. The CEO of my insurance company earned $20,000,000 a few years ago. I have to pay the poor guy's salary. We need a single payer Government plan. Period.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
  297. angie

    the only people who can afford their own health insurance are the companies themselves, or employees who get their health insurance through the companies they work for.

    With more and more companies since 2003 dropping health insurance as an employee work benefit, it is a miracle that anyone can afford health insurance at all.

    Should they control, or are they putting a limit.

    Putting a limit is not controlling, but it is the smart thing to do.

    As far as those complaining of Socialism and Communisim, What about a Corporate Governing body.

    Can you just picture it, the Insurance corporations in control of our government. That is what we have had for over 30 years. I mean what else in America can you buy, and yet the money that goes into the product, actually gets spend by the insurance company for their own employees office parties, etc. I bet you didn't know that one.

    February 22, 2010 at 6:59 pm |